Umihara Kawase is the first game in the Umihara Kawase series of games, originally released in 1994 for the Super Famicom.
Umihara Kawase has a total of 49 fields, despite the highest field number being field 57; the field numbering starts from 0, and nine field numbers (9, 13, 19, 27, 32, 39, 44, 53, 54) are not used.
Fields in Umihara Kawase have a time limit, which is usually around four or five minutes, but can sometimes be different. If the time limit is reached without clearing the field, a life will be lost and the field will need to be retried from the beginning. Umihara Kawase also has a time limit of 30 minutes on the overall playthrough, which is known as the 30 minute rule. If this time limit is reached without clearing an ending, the next exit cleared will lead to a field which leads straight to an ending, rather than the field that exit would normally lead to. The 30 minute timer can be shortened to five minutes by pressing the select button 100 times at the title screen.
An Umihara Kawase playthrough starts with ten extra lives. 1-ups can be found in some of the fields, in the form of Kawase's pink backpack, though these are sometimes found in hard-to-reach places, where the player risks losing a life to gain an extra one. Once a 1-up backpack is collected, if a life is lost before the field is cleared, the collected backpack will not reappear.
During play, the replay and options menus can be accessed by pressing start to pause, then pressing select. The pause menu can also be used to exit to the title screen.
Nintendo DS (Umihara Kawase Shun ~Second Edition~ Kanzenban)
In 2009, Umihara Kawase was included in Umihara Kawase Shun ~Second Edition~ Kanzenban, the Nintendo DS version of Umihara Kawase Shun, therefore making Umihara Kawase legitimately playable on a portable system for the first time.
PlayStation Vita (Sayonara Umihara Kawase +)
Windows PC version
In November 2015, Umihara Kawase was released for Windows through Steam. Not long after its release, it was temporarily removed from the Steam store, following the closure of publisher Agatsuma Entertainment in December 2015. It was once again made available for purchase under new publisher Degica on 5th February, 2016; this had been planned for 28th January, but was delayed slightly while the transfer of rights was completed.
The Windows version is based on the PS Vita version included in Sayonara Umihara Kawase +, but also includes online rankings for each door and each ending, accessible through practice mode. The practice mode field select screen also keeps track of which fields' backpacks have been collected.
Rather than having options for replays or any settings on the main menu, these are now sub-menu options of a new 'Menu' section. Within this section, in addition to replays and settings, play records can be viewed, showing the total number of fields, doors and endings reached, the number of backpacks found, the number of types of enemies defeated, and the total time played.
New options added to the replay sub-menu allow uploading saved replays to Steam Workshop for other players to subscribe and download, and watching other people's replays which have been subscribed to through Steam Workshop. The settings include volume controls for music and sound effects, video options for fullscreen, width, size and filter, and options for the preferred shot/jump button combination, language (English or Japanese) and the confirm button.
Save data location
The save data for Umihara Kawase is stored in the following location:
C:\Users\<your Windows username>\AppData\Local\UmiharaKawase
The file UmiFst00.bin contains the main game progression data, while the repfst folder contains any saved replays.
In 2011, Umihara Kawase was also made available in episodic format on Sunsoft's 'Shanghai i-Puzzle' site, through Japanese mobile/cell phone service provider DoCoMo's i-mode service.
Nintendo Switch Online version
In May 2022, Umihara Kawase was made available to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers with a Japanese Nintendo Account.