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A Loopop Cube: Lup Salad (DS/PSP) thread of criminally ignored puzzling

toythatkills

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An official thread? An appreciation thread? Who knows?

Loopop Cube: Lup ★ Salad is a puzzle game, and frankly, the best puzzle game I've ever played, but hardly anyone knows of it.
This thread will (hopefully) change that, it'd be nice if at least one of you tried this game out as a result of reading this thread, the
game deserves it.

If you own a DS or a PSP and have the slightest interest in puzzles, you need this game.

I'm fairly confident you'll feel the same as me if you give it a go!



Salad is a character by manga artist Izumi Takemoto, and this is her game!

=========
Release Dates
=========

PSone: August 30th 1996
DS: January 31st 2008
PSP: January 28th 2010 - Also available on Japanese PSN for 3,990¥!

=======
The name
=======

There's some dispute over the translation of the name (るぷぷキューブ ルプ★さらだ) but the translation I'm using here takes into
account the "official" translation on the original release's spine (Lup ★ Salad), and the "Loopop" part is to make it as easy to find
as possible online. Play-Asia translated it as that so that's what I'm using. It should really be "Rupup," I've been advised, after the
noise Salad makes in the manga. Oh, it's not important!



Think Bejeweled meets Sokoban and you're half way there. Add in some platforming.

====
Levels
====

How does it work? Levels are set up as single screen affairs. You simply need to clear each level of coloured blocks to complete it
and move onto the next one.

It sounds simple enough but the level design is just awesome. Levels that look impossible can sometimes be solved by pushing
one block and starting a massive chain reaction. Levels that look easy can suddenly stump you half way through when something
you hadn't accounted for gets in the way of the solution. HA! You'll think, when the game tricks you yet again, lulls you into that
false sense of security. It's just lovely.

=======
Gameplay
=======

A picture tells a thousand words. Some pictures and words together, well, you do the math.



That's as simple as it gets. If you have four blue blocks you need to ensure that you get all four at once or you'll have one left over
and the level becomes unsolvable. The same applies to five blocks...

====
Cubes
====

There are some special cubes, to add an extra element to puzzles.



















====
Salad
====

Salad controls absolutely beautifully. While there's platforming, the focus is on puzzles so there's no need for inch perfect jumps
or anything like that. When you press left, Salad moves exactly one space left. When you jump, she jumps precisely the same
distance every time. It means that whenever you move her you know exactly what's going to happen, it's utterly, utterly perfect.
If you ever go wrong, a quick tap of a button undoes the last move you made. PERFECT.

This is what she can do


















And that, kids, is how we play! Watch either trailer below to get a better idea too.



=======
Playstation
=======



It was originally released on Playstation in 1996 and I know next to nothing about this, it never left Japan (a tradition that seems
set to continue.) All I have is evidence that it existed...

A video (blocks appear slightly differently in the PS game.)



==
DS
==



Official Site

The DS release was when I picked it up and was introduced to the awesomeness of this game, I had to have it based on the strength
of the trailer. It remains as the only game that's ever had me so engrossed in it that I've gone straight past my tube stop without even
noticing - I see that as a good thing!

Not only that, but I've lay awake at night, completely unable to get a puzzle out of my head, solutions swimming round - I've solved
puzzles without even having the game on!
It can completely take over your life.

There's a review here, though admittedly I did write the thing. You can trust me! There was also a review in NGamer once but the
reviewer hadn't even played the game properly so it's irrelevant. There's another review here (in Spanish) which Google translates
into something which sounds like it's a good review. It mentions that Famitsu gave the game 26/40 but I can't find any evidence of
this and it's TOO LOW ANYWAY. Finally, there's an 8/10 review of it on World of Stuart, if you scroll down a bit.

The other thing to mention is its awesome music. It's kinda, silly, and pretty Japanese, but at the same time it's addictive as hell
and will be in your head forever. It does this without ever being irritating; I've played the DS game for over 60 hours, I'd say, and
haven't felt the need to mute it once. Each world has its own tune and every one of them is great.

As well as the standard puzzle mode which features 360 puzzles to solve, there's another mode which is called "hiking mode," which
generates thousands of puzzles based on combinations of words - there are some hidden surprises in this mode but I'll leave those
for now (they were certainly hard to find!)

A final note on the language. Yes, it's all Japanese, but no, this isn't a problem at all. It's really simple to work out, there are very
few options.



===
PSP
===



Official Site

A PSP version approaches! I've a feeling that the main mode in the PSP game will be lifted right from the DS game, maybe with
a few levels extra; it's that good that I don't even care and I'm buying it again anyway.

There's also an added "cat mode" although details about this are currently scarce.

If you're torn between which version to get, the PSP version looks like the most complete, at the moment.



So that's Loopop Cube: Lup ★ Salad, and why it's the best puzzle game ever. Any questions?

 

BitchTits

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This game is awesome, I have the DS version. The music is outstanding, and it does get difficult later on, lots of levels and modes. The Platform/puzzle hybrid is a great idea.

Nice attention to detail on the level themes with the main character in different costumes etc.

"Ca-ke-wo wa-ko-oh, Ca-ke-wo wa-ko-oh!" :lol
 

toythatkills

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PSP version is out now! It's in stock at Play-Asia if you're lucky enough to live in a country they ship to. For some reason, yesasia haven't got stock, even for people who pre-ordered in November. Supposedly it'll ship from there by February 3rd. I'll be waiting, then :(

If anyone finds it shipping to Europe somewhere else NOW, let me know!

It's also up on Japanese PSN (or should be, I can't check) if you're that way inclined.

Either way, if you own a current-gen handheld system, there's now no excuse not to own this!
 

toythatkills

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People must have this by now, whaddya think?

Me?



YEEEEEEAAAAAH!

Differences between the PSP and DS version noted thus far, there's voice acting which I'm almost certain wasn't in the DS version but I could be wrong.

The undo button on DS only goes back one move, on PSP you can go all the way back to the start of a level if you keep pressing it. This is goooood.

Holding the R Button during the tutorial levels (I say tutorial levels, they're just the "easy" set really, but they work as tutorials because you can view solutions) auto-solves the level like in the DS game, but here it counts as completing the level if you use it, whereas in the DS you had to solve it yourself.

Barely any loading times also :D

Easy and medium are unlocked to begin with, like in the DS game. There's no "empty" slots but I expect more difficulties.

Music is the same but the quality is better. Ace

Game of the millennium.
 

andymcc

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Dec 17, 2007
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this looks really awesome.

i have income tax return money to burn....

hmmm....

PSP version the way to go? i've been looking for something play on it.
 

toythatkills

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Yeah, my experience of the PSP version is still very limited, but it absolutely looks like the version to go for if you have the choice.

EDIT: Actually, if you're really forgetful, the DS version is the way to go, as the PSP doesn't auto-save as far as I can tell. Saving is done by pressing triangle on the level select screen. Not really an issue unless, as I say, you're likely to forget!
 

Wehrwolf

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Looks neat. I remember the artist from some other games like Yumimi Mix.

toythatkills said:
EDIT: Actually, if you're really forgetful, the DS version is the way to go
I'll try to remember that.
 

toythatkills

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akachan ningen said:
gravity would like it just fine, it looks like salad is the one who wouldn't like it.
Well something doesn't like it, and Salad gets squished!

Gravijah said:
Do I uh pronounce the star?
I've never even considered that :/

Personally? Nope.

Finished all the easy levels now and half way through medium. There are still 120 per set, with the same themes and tunes, but some of the levels are new from the DS game. There's a new type of block, the bubble block, which doesn't need to be removed to complete the level but can be used as a stepping stone. If you're above it you can stand on it, if you're below it you can't jump but either side and you can walk through and burst it. If you push a block from any direction onto the bubble (even above) it bursts and the block falls to the nearest floor.

So yeah, there are new puzzles with that, and I guess some of the old ones are gone or will appear later.

On one of the levels, the bubbles had a weird little icon inside with made a sound and flashed a bit when I popped it, no idea what effect that had on completing the level because it only happened once so far and I had to burst them to join the blocks up.

Matatabi mode (the new PSP mode) is unlocked, which is based on the bubbles. You control a cat who controls like Salad. It's kinda like the anti-Salad mode. In it, you have to burst all the bubbles and it doesn't matter if you leave some regular blocks around. The levels are unlocking one by one so I have no idea how many there are, it's pretty neat though, getting further through it and it's getting tougher, starting to have to skip a few. There are loads of puzzles in it too.

Hiking mode is unlocked too, which seems the same as in the DS though I haven't tried it. Oddly, pressing R at any stage select screen opens a hiking-mode-like menu, I have no idea why this is or what it holds in store. The mode is vastly cut-down from the DS version, unless more unlocks later. There seems to be 32 combinations of keywords for 32 levels, whereas the DS had thousands.
 

platypotamus

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I think your thread might have just sold a copy of this game. Looks pretty good.



From your brief write up, this simple puzzle looks challenging. Or can you make an L shaped 3 yellow and get them to disappear?
 

toythatkills

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Yeah, the L shape is fine, you just need to get three or more cubes of the same colour touching, the configuration doesn't matter. (It's actually impossible to connect those yellow ones any other way!)
 

platypotamus

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toythatkills said:
Yeah, the L shape is fine, you just need to get three or more cubes of the same colour touching, the configuration doesn't matter. (It's actually impossible to connect those yellow ones any other way!)
I thought that must be it, as your OP didn't mention anything about pulling, so I wasn't sure what else you could do.
 

toythatkills

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Yep, no pulling. Which does risk becoming the bane of your life. On so many levels you'll get right to the end only to end up thinking:

"If I could only pull this one single cube, the level would be solved!"

Then you have to start again and think harder.

The puzzle design is just phenomenal, constantly leading you into traps like that and then forcing you to come up with a solution that's probably nothing like the one you used to get there before. It's amazing.
 

Wehrwolf

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PSP version ordered (along with psp 1m ton barabara and Qix++, DS 3d picross game (old, but I had forgotten about it), DS Shiren the Wanderer 4)
 

Wehrwolf

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I love it too. Very cute voice and nice songs (though I wish they wouldn't reset at the beginning of every stage, I keep hearing the beginning of each song over and over). I also like how the character artwork is different for each set of levels based on the story that's being told in the animation before and after the stage.
 

Wehrwolf

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Now that I've cleared normal mode and am getting stuck on the first hard mode levels, I have that song about baking cakes stuck in my head.
 

Wehrwolf

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I actually just started playing it a couple days ago. I've played a bit of matatabi mode as well as hard mode. The random mode I'm really bad at.
 

toythatkills

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Wehrwolf said:
I actually just started playing it a couple days ago. I've played a bit of matatabi mode as well as hard mode. The random mode I'm really bad at.
I've unlocked all the levels in that mode I think, there are
-50-
, fact fans.

I'm stuck on a couple though so I've not quite found out what beating it unlocks!

The noise the cat makes at the start of every level is awesome

I'd ignore the random mode for now, more of a post-game thing. I've no idea what the trick to it is in the PSP version, it took a bunch of people weeks and months to work it out on the DS, but it's different on PSP.
 

dock

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Sorry to necro this, but I've just picked up and played lots of the PSone version.

I love this game! It's taking soooo long, but it is amazing. I may seek out a Japanese PSP version if this indeed the definitive version. Does it have a lot more than the regular 100 levels?

I am up to world 8 on this version.
 

nmanma

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I loved this game, great puzzler and the music was adorable

My memory may be a little foggy but (at least on the DS version) after beating the game there was a mode where you could order words to get more levels (edit:eek:h it was the random mode, thanks thread). Some of those levels were special and were added to some percentage or something

To get those levels you have to
order the words to make the name of each chapter
 

toythatkills

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I loved this game, great puzzler and the music was adorable

My memory may be a little foggy but (at least on the DS version) after beating the game there was a mode where you could order words to get more levels (edit:eek:h it was the random mode, thanks thread). Some of those levels were special and were added to some percentage or something

To get those levels you have to
order the words to make the name of each chapter
Haha, years later and I still have no idea what that was all for, it feels like there should have been some great unlock for finding them.

And yeah, PSP game has 300 regular levels, IIRC, and another 50 cat levels which are... different. It is certainly the definitive version.

(If anyone's interested in the OP by the way, I posted it on rllmukforum too and the passage of time hasn't killed all the images there so you can actually read it.)
 

toythatkills

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Why not just edit the post
'Cause the images are still in the same place, but GAF must have banned tinypic in the meantime so none of them display here. I'd have to save and re-upload them all and it's just easier to look at the pics elsewhere for the two people that are probably interested :lol
 

Takao

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Tinypic was banned because it reuses URLs for new images. This meant old threads had all of their images replaced with unintended images. OTs were suddenly filled with pictures of people's dogs, etc. The site also once threatened to limit service to the US only, which is just a dick move in general.

If you don't want to save, and rehost the images you could just install a browser plugin like the Imgur one that'll allow you to rehost images with a left click.