01 November 2015

Thinking Rabbit: drawings, letters and words

I've always been intrigued by the mysterious drawings, letters, words or signs in some puzzles of Thinking Rabbit. Well, in this post he tried to explain these drawings or letters. Of course, are welcome all suggestions, corrections, comments, etc.

To translate the titles of the puzzles in English I have used several translators: Yahoo! Japan, Baidu, Google, Systran... It has also been very useful the Japanese Wikipedia. I write the translations in brackets, next to the original titles in Japanese. Of course, I am grateful for all the corrections of the probable errors.

Sokoban Perfect (Thinking Rabbit, 1989)

Level: 42
Author: Unknown
First released: Sokoban (Sega, 1985) #79
Explanation: Snail.

Level: 45
Author: Masaki Ishino
Explanation: It is the logotype of Thinking Rabbit.

Level: 122, 123, 124, 125
Author: Masaki Ishino
Explanation: Each of the three levels 122-124 is a character of the word 倉庫番, "Sokoban". Regarding the level 125, it seems the character ゲ, initial of ゲーム ("game"). Therefore, the four puzzles would form the words 倉庫番ゲーム ("Sokoban game").

Level: 135
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Explanation: Level solved: Slime (Japanese name: スライム), the most popular monster of the Japanese series of role-playing games Dragon Quest (1986-2015), designed by Akira Toriyama. Slime appears in all games of the series.


Level: 176
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Explanation: Interior walls and goals: "SOS".

Level: 188
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Explanation: Another logotype of Thinking Rabbit.

Level: 248
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Explanation: Sky One, a jet fighter craft of UFO (1970-1971), British television series of science fiction, broadcast in 26 episodes, created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. The series was also very popular in Japan, with the title 謎の円盤UFO ("UFO: The Mysterious Saucers").

Level: 249
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Explanation: UFO, the main Alien craft, capable of travelling several times the speed of light. It spins rapidly while in flight, and is armed with some sort of destructive energy beam. See also Ultimate Sokoban (1996) Stage 3 Chapter 2-02.

Level: 296
Author: Masaki Ishino
Explanation: Number 4.

Level: 301
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Explanation: Pelican.

Sokoban Revenge (Thinking Rabbit, 1991)

Level: 17
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: ストライプ (Stripe)
Explanation: Goals: a stripe. See also Ultimate Sokoban (1996) Stage 2 Chapter 2-01; Sokoban Basic 2 (1998) 1-12.

Level: 18
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: ゆうしゃよ、しんでしまうとはなにごとだ (Hero, it's everything and will die)
Explanation: Cross. This puzzle seems to be related to Dragon Quest I (1986), where are pronounced these words: おお ....! しんでしまうとは なにごとだ! (
"Oh ....! It's everything and will die!").

"Oh ....! It's everything and will die!"

Level: 20
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: Beetle

Level: 21
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: UFO2
Explanation: Replica of SP 249, but does not seem to have any relationship with the series UFO.

Level: 22
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: キャッツアイ (Cat's eye)
First released: Sokoban Deluxe (1990) 1-? Stage 10
Explanation: Level solved: a cat's eye. See also Ultimate Sokoban (1996) Stage 3 Chapter 2-05.

Level: 23
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: ウインク (Wink)
First released: Sokoban Deluxe (1990) 5-A
Explanation: Enlargement of the previous puzzle.

Level: 24
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: 番
First released: Sokoban (GameGear, 1990) #244
Explanation: It is the kanji character 番 ('ban'), which is part of the word 倉庫番 ('sōko-ban') and the official logotype of Sokoban.

Level: 25
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: スプレイ (Spray)
First released: Sokoban (GameGear, 1990) #246
Explanation: Level solved: a spray.

Level: 26
Author: Takemi Watanabe
Title: べるりんノカベ (Berlin Wall)
First released: Sokoban 2 (GameBoy, 1990) 01-05
Explanation: Berlin Wall. See the later version of Masato Hiramatsu "Dual Barricade" (Arranged levels #11).

Level: 28
Author: Kazuhiro Yamaguchi
Title: くもの巣 (Spider web)
First released: Sokoban 2 (GameBoy, 1990) 01-04
Explanation: Goals: a spider web.

Level: 30
Author: Hiroshi Inoue
Title: 一つ目小僧 (Hitotsume-kozō)
First released: Sokoban (GameGear, 1990) #290
Explanation: Level solved: a "hitotsume-kozō", a "yōkai" of Japan that take on the appearance of a bald child with one eye in the center of its forehead.


Level: 36
Author: Eiji Takeuchi
Title: すなどけい (Hourglass)
Explanation: Hourglass, before (level unsolved) and after falling sand (level solved).

Level: 41
Author: Masaki Nakajo
Title: 卍とハーケンクロイツ (Swastika and Hakenkreuz)
Explanation: Swastika (boxes) to Hakenkreuz (goals). See also SR 121 and 122.

Level: 44
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: 毒苺 (Poisonous strawberry)
Explanation: Strawberry.

Level: 47
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: ボトルシップの謎 (The mystery of the bottle ship)
First released: Sokoban 2 (GameBoy, 1990) 08-09
Explanation: Level solved: bottle ship.

Level: 52
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: 星空 (Starry sky)
First released: Sokoban 2 (GameBoy, 1990) 07-06 (only the top left)
Explanation: Flag of the United States. According to Yoshio Sakae in his Comment, the original title of the puzzle was The Stars and Stripes Forever, patriotic American march of composer John Philip Sousa, and since 1987 is the official National March of the United States of America.

Level: 54
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: かざぐるま (Windmill)
First released: Sokoban (GameGear, 1990) #266. First version, by Yoshiki Kondo: Sokoban 2 (1984) #30 (then in Original #38; SP 172).
Explanation: Windmill. Arranged version of SP 172.

Level: 55
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: 南京錠 (Padlock)
Explanation: Level solved: a padlock.

Level: 67
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: タの字固め (Shaped consolidation of タ)
Explanation: Goals: the katakana syllable タ ‎('ta').

Level: 68
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: パドック (Paddock)

Level: 73
Author: Eiji Takeuchi
Title: 直角二等辺三角形(+3) (Right-angled isosceles triangle (+3))
Explanation: Goals of the left side: isosceles right triangle.

Level: 76
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: ウォー・ゲーム (War game)
Explanation: Classic board of "hex-and-counter" wargame, played with "counters" on a map with an hexagonal grid allowing to move the counters in 6 directions. 

Blitzkrieg (Avalon Hill, 1965)

Level: 78
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: ドクターK (Doctor K)
Explanation: Super Doctor K (スーパードクターK) is a manga by the Japanese artist Kazuo Mafune, published between 1988-1998.

Super Doctor K (1988-1998)

Level: 79
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: クジラ (Whale)

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Big Catch and Prosperity of Seven Bays (1853)

Level: 84
Author: Eiji Takeuchi
Title: 迷図 (メイズ) (Maze)
Explanation: Interior walls: "MAiZE". It seems that it plays with the homophonous words "maze" and "maize".

Level: 90
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: The kazaguruma
Explanation: Top right: "kazaguruma" (風車), a traditional Japanese pinwheel.

Level: 95
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: パラソル1 (Parasol 1)
Explanation: Goals: a parasol.

Utagawa Hiroshige II, Bijin and children
on a beach near Enoshima (1854)

Level: 103
Author: Hiroshi Yamamoto
Title: 宝石箱 (Jewel box)
First released: Sokoban Deluxe (1990) 4-B

Level: 109
Author: Hiroshi Inoue
Title: 風車 (Pinwheel)
First released: Sokoban (GameGear, 1990) #287
Explanation: Goals: a pinwheel.

Level: 110
Author: Hiroshi Inoue
Title: 回転寿司 (Kaiten-zushi)
First released: Sokoban (GameGear, 1990) #291
Explanation: "Kaiten-zushi" is a form of sushi restaurant common in Japan, where the plates with the sushi are placed on a rotating conveyor belt or moat that winds through the restaurant and moves past every table and counter seat.

Level: 111
Author: Hiroshi Inoue
Title: エースをねらえ (Aim for the Ace)
Explanation: Goals: "ACE". Aim for the Ace! (エースをねらえ!) is a manga series written and illustrated by Sumika Yamamoto, published between 1973-1980. 

Aim for the Ace! (1973-1980)

Level: 115
Author: Shinji Kai
Title: ステップ (Steps)

Stairway to Mt. Haguro (2,446 steps) -
Three Mountains of Dewa (出羽三山)

Level: 118
Author: Eiji Takeuchi
Title: マグカップ (Mug)

Level: 121
Author: Masaki Nakajo
Title: アントニオ・スペシャル (卍固め) (Antonio Special (Manji-gatame))
Explanation: Goals: "卍". 卍固め ("Manji-gatame"), also known as "Antonio Special" in Japan, is a stretch of professional wrestling used with great skill by the Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki (Kanji Inoki, 1943).

Level: 122
Author: Masaki Nakajo
Title: 卍の引越し (Moving swastika)
Explanation: "卍" boxes to goals. See also SR 41 y 121.

Level: 123
Author: Masaki Nakajo
Title: 晩餐会の13人 (13 guests for the banquet)
Explanation: The 13 guests (boxes) have to sit at the table (goals)...

Level: 128
Author: Takahiro Suzushima
Title: Xの字固め (X letter setting)
First released: Sokoban (GameGear, 1990) #259
Explanation: Goals: "X".

Level: 136
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: D・スレイヤー (D Slayer)
Explanation: Magic sword, needed to kill the dragon in the Japanese series of role-playing games Dragon Slayer (ドラゴンスレイヤー, 1984-1995), developed and published by Nihon Falcom. 

Dragon Slayer (1984)

Level: 139
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: Q&A
Explanation: Q & A, generally meaning "Questions and answers", also known as "Frequently asked questions" (FAQ).

Level: 140
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: こちらへどうぞ (This way, please)
Explanation: Classic sign of hand pointing this way.

Level: 141
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: アイランド・キャンペーン (Island Campaign)
Explanation: Classic board of "hex-and-counter" wargame. See also SR 76 and 204.

Level: 142
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: テ☆リス (T☆tris)
Explanation: It is the game Tetris (テトリス). In the initial level are falling 17 pieces (and after solving the level fall other 4 pieces...).

The puzzle seems to reproduce the game screen Tetris (1988) of Bullet Proof Software (BPS): on the right side, the box with the next piece, and to the left the indicators "Score" and "Lives". Bullet Proof Software's version was the very first commercial release of Tetris in Japan. It was published in 1988 for several popular Japanese computer platforms, including the Fujitsu FM-7, MSX2, NEC PC-88, NEC PC-98, Sharp X1, and the Sharp X68000. 

Tetris (Bullet Proof Software, 1988), for Fujitsu FM-7

Level: 144
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: 額縁 (Frame)
Explanation: Level solved: a frame. This level seems an enlargement of SP 126.

Level: 145
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: ゲンコツ (Fist)

Level: 150
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: ドラゴン (Dragon)
First released: Sokoban 2 (GameBoy, 1990) 08-06
Explanation: Boxes and goals: double spiral, a figure related whit the Yin-Yang symbol. See also Ultimate Sokoban (1996) Stage 2 Chapter 1-03; Sokoban Basic 2 (1998) 1-13.

Level: 151
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: 回転木馬 (Carousel)
Explanation: A windmill in the center and rooms around... the boxes round and round, as in a carousel. It is a remodel of SP 128.

Level: 158
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: オアシス (Oasis)

Level: 163
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: ウ!マンボ! (Hu! Mambo!)
Explanation: Goals: the katakana syllable ウ ‎('u').

Level: 167
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: 台風の眼 (Eye of the typhoon)

Level: 180
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: しめすへん (Shimesuhen)
Explanation: Goals: the Kangxi radical 113 礻 ("shimesuhen").

Level: 182
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: 君にホの字 (It is a character ホ for you)
Explanation: Goals: the katakana syllable ホ ‎('ho').

Level: 184
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: 五輪で勝利を!(Victory in the Olympics!)
Explanation: Goals: letter "V".

Level: 198
Author: Masaki Nakajo
Title: Xへの序曲 (Overture to X)
Explanation: Goals: "X". See also SR 201 and 246, letters Y and Z respectively.

Level: 200
Author: Masaki Nakajo
Title: ルービックの展開図 (Rubik's development view)
Explanation: The puzzle has the shape of a cube development.

Level: 201
Author: Masaki Nakajo
Title: Yの休日 (The holiday of Y)
Explanation: Goals: letter "Y".

Level: 203
Author: Masaki Nakajo
Title: バーベルの詩 (Poetry of the barbell)
Explanation: A barbell.

Level: 204
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: タクティクス (Tactics)
Explanation: Classic board of "hex-and-counter" wargame. See also SR 76 and 141.

Level: 205
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: 男と女 (Man and woman)
Explanation: Level solved: original icons for man and woman.

Level: 207
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: カラクリ (Karakuri)
Explanation: Karakuri are traditional Japanese mechanized puppets or automata, originally made from the 17th century to 19th century. The word "karakuri" means "mechanisms" or "trick".

Level: 213
Author: Takashi Hiratsuka
Title: Think
Explanation: Goals: "THINK".

Level: 214
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: Mountain

Utagawa Hiroshige, View of the lake at Hakone (c. 1833-1834)

Level: 222
Author: Hiroshi Inoue
Title: くずれ矢印 (Broken arrow)
Explanation: Goals of the bottom: broken arrow.

Level: 227
Author: Takahiro Suzushima
Title: from R to K
First released: Sokoban Deluxe (1990) 3-? Stage 6
Explanation: Boxes "R" to goals "K".

Level: 228
Author: Takahiro Suzushima
Title: final diamond

Level: 239
Author: Keiichi Enomoto
Title: NEC
Explanation: Boxes: "NEC". It is the logotype of NEC Corporation, Japanese multinational company of technology and communications with central office in Minato, Tokyo (Japan). From the 1980s, the Japanese NEC Corporation produced several personal computers, including the NEC PC-6001, NEC PC-8801 and NEC PC-9801.

The NEC logo from 1963 to 1992

Level: 245
Author: Masaki Nakajo
Title: 十字手裏剣 (Juji shuriken)
Explanation: A "shuriken" (手裏剣; literally: "sword hidden in user's hand") is a traditional Japanese concealed weapon that was generally used for throwing. The "juji shuriken" (lit. "cross shuriken") is a type of shuriken in the shape of cross with 4 sharp tips and a length between 10-25 cm.

Level: 246
Author: Masaki Nakajo
Title: Zは究極 (Z is the ultimate)
Explanation: Goals: letter "Z". See also SR 198 and 201, letters X and Y respectively.

Level: 261
Author: Shinji Kai
Title: 人間失格 (No longer human)
Explanation: Letter X. No longer human (1948) is a famous Japanese novel by Osamu Dazai. What relation has this novel with the "X"? I don't know.

Osamu Dazai, No longer human

Level: 265
Author: Hidemitsu Kobayashi
Title: ブラックホールへの招待 (Introduction to black holes)
Explanation: A spiral black hole.

Level: 269
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: 必殺!田の字固め (Special! Shaped adjustment of 田)
Explanation: Level solved: the kanji character 田. See also SP 279 (Yoshinao Sakuma) and 293; SR 280; Ultimate Sokoban (1996) Stage 3 Chapter 4-02.

Level: 270
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: マンダラ (Mandala)

Level: 277
Author: Hiroshi Yamamoto
Title: からくり箱 (Karakuri box)
First released: Sokoban (GameGear, 1990) #288
Explanation: A "karakuri box" (also called "puzzle box", "secret box", or "trick box") is a box that can only be opened through some obscure or complicated series of manipulations. The correct series of movements that can range from two to over 1500 moves. The karakuri box originated in the Hakone region of Japan at the turn of the 19th century. 

Level: 283
Author: Yoshio Sakae
Title: ピラミッド・ソーコビアン (Pyramid Sokoban)
Explanation: See also Ultimate Sokoban (1996) Stage 2 Chapter 2-04.

Level: 291
Author: Yasuhiro Morita
Title: パピヨン (Papillon)
Explanation: Subsequently, Monry made a more stylized version: see monry18 ボツか採用か.

Level: 294
Author: Masaki Nakajo
Title: ゼロの逆襲 (Zero return)
Explanation: Goals: "0".

Level: 296
Author: Hidemitsu Kobayashi
Title: 棺の中の男 (Man in the coffin)
Explanation: The exterior and interior walls look like a coffin. See also Sokoban Basic 2 (1998) 4-10.

Level: 297
Author: Hidemitsu Kobayashi
Explanation: Interior walls and boxes in the upper half: "BEEP".

Beep (1984-1989) was one of the first truly multiplatform game magazines in Japan. It was continued by BEEP! MegaDrive (1989-1995), a monthly magazine sold within Japan that focused on the Sega Mega Drive.

Beep (1984-1989)

Level: 301
Author: Keiichi Enomoto
Title: WHY
Explanation: Boxes "WHY" to goals "ハテナ". I think that ハテナ (romaji, 'hatena') refers to the question mark and is equivalent to "why", but I haven't managed to find out. See following levels 302 y 303.

Level: 302
Author: Keiichi Enomoto
Title: START
Explanation: Boxes "START" to goals "スタート" ("start"). See levels 301 and 303.

Level: 303
Author: Keiichi Enomoto
Explanation: Boxes "SOKO" to goals "BAN"

Sokoban Basic (倉庫番BASIC; Itochu Corp., 1998)

Level: 練習 (Practice) 14
Author: Unknown
Explanation: Heart.

Level: 練習 (Practice) 24
Author: Unknown
Explanation: Bomb.

Level: 初級 (Beginner) 06
Author: Unknown
Explanation: Letter K.

Sokoban Selection (倉庫番セレクション; Itochu Corp., 1997)

Level: 36
Author: Unknown
Explanation: "卍" boxes to goals.

Level: 44
Author: Unknown
Explanation: Letter X.

Sokoban Basic 2 (倉庫番BASIC2; Itochu Corp., 1998)

Level: 2-04
Author: Naoshi Fukui
Explanation: Swastika.

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