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Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite!

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Title Screen

Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite!

Also known as: Tottoko Hamutarou 2: Hamu-chans Daishuugou Dechu (JP)
Developer: Pax Softnica
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Game Boy Color
Released in JP: April 21, 2001
Released in US: October 28, 2002
Released in EU: January 10, 2003

DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

The cutesy adventure where you, the hamster completely without a vocabulary, are tasked with gathering all of the other Hams for a clubhouse meeting. Just don't Hulahula around, or Hamtaro will get very Blash-T.

Hidden Text

Build Date

The following text is found at 0x753A (US), 0x74ED (EU), or 0x76CE (JP):

FILE1 2001/03/22

Copyright Notice

A copyright notice with the project name, studio name and date can be found at 0xA000 (EU):

HAMTARO2 Paxsoft nica. 2000/11/21

And a similar name at 0x0134 (EU):


Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! is the second Hamtaro game released in Japan, hence the 2.

Unused Text

Odd Words

Among several incomplete textual Ham-chat word and item lists in the ROM are several unused strings of text, separated by the byte E1. This byte seemingly isn't in any actual used text, so what it means might be beyond anyone. Here are the unused and unmentioned words, not in their proper order:

J Gym

Note that neither walnuts nor carrots, and certainly no wabldobls, appear in the game.

Ham Names

At 0xBC160 in the ROM (US), a list of the names of every single hamster that appears in the game can be found. Some of the names aren't very well-researched - for example, the dog's name is Taro, but this lists him only as "Dog". Most of these names aren't ever mentioned, and there is no list of names in-game, so the entire thing goes unused. Every single entry is preceded by a newline and ends with a string ending:

Fat Ham
Stuck Ham
Hungry Ham
Skinny Ham
Prima Donna Ham
Very Full Ham
Shutterbug Ham
Tutorial Ham
Money-offering Ham
Desert Ham 
Desert Ham 
Anxious Ham
PC Ham
Glass Ham
Collector Ham
Collector Ham
Grandma Ham
Hip Attack Ham
Skeleton Ham
Nut Ham
Sign Ham
Bug Ham
Jungle Ham
Mog Ham
Panic Ham
Scared Ham
Poet Ham
Sleeping Ham
Sleeping Ham
Golf Ham
Flower Ham
Noisy Ham
Snoozing Ham
Snack Ham
Sun-tan Ham
Sun-tan Ham 
Master Ham
Store Clerk Ham
Bartender Ham
Middle-aged Ham
Macho Ham
Macho Ham A
Jock Ham
Macho Ham
Picnic Ham
Ham-Swap Ham
Apprentice Ham
Errand Ham
Hole Ham
Guest Ham
Dog Ham
Who's that?
Eskimo Ham
Doctor Ham
Nurse Ham
Sexy Ham
Squirrel Monkey
Valley Girl Ham

Unused Graphics

Untranslated Dictionary Entry

Snoresnore: sleepy.

Among all the other dictionary graphics, an untranslated entry from the Japanese version of Hamtaro appears. This entry reads へろへろん (heroheron, sounds like "be drained") and ぐったり (guttari, means someone is really tired). This entry appears in the Japanese version, too, and is just as unused there. In the actual game, a Ham-Chat for "tired" called Blahh appears, though this has its own different counterpart in the Japanese version. In the European version of the game, the entry appears five separate times, one for each language.

Unused Music

All songs are listed at the end of the soundtrack and don't have names.

Unused Track 1

An 8-bit version of the Japanese Hamtaro song, Hamutaro Ekakiuta, or Hamtaro Drawing Song.

Unused Track 2

Unknown what this would be used for, though it sounds like a failure jingle of some sort, so it possibly could've been for when you receive a low score in a minigame.

Unused Track 3

Scrapped Ham-Jam song, an 8-bit version of Dvorak's New World Symphony - 4th Movement.

Unused Track 4

Another scrapped Ham-Jam song, an 8-bit version of Dvorak's New World Symphony - 2nd Movement.

Unused Track 5

Yet another scrapped Ham-Jam song, though this is a second, more triumphant version of Dvorak's New World Symphony - 4th Movement. Strangely, it's the only song to have multiple Ham-Jam renditions.

Unused Track 6

Overworld music that sounds like an early version of the Flower Garden/Cave theme, though given that it's the last song in the soundtrack, this might be unlikely.

Regional Differences

Title Screen

Japan US Europe
The typical Japanese bubbliness. The typical American not-so-bubbliness. The typical European... purple-and-... sorry, I've got nothing.

Each version of the game has a different title screen. The Japanese version, of course, displays the Japanese title with the same style as the Japanese logo. The US and European versions both display the westernized logo, but with a different-looking subtitle: the US version places the subtitle on a brown box and has a green background, while the European version's logo is the same as the one on the game's box art.

"For use with Game Boy Color" Screen

Japan US Europe
"This cartridge is exclusively for use with Game Boy Color. Please play it on a Game Boy Color." "For use with Game Boy Color" Paring down typical Japanese hyperpoliteness is a pretty classic localization thing to do, isn't it?

The screen that pops up when you try to play the game on an original Game Boy has its own, smaller monochrome version of the logo in all three versions! Of note is also the unique Hamtaro sprite - largely a copy of the one used in-game, but it has a shadow and is antialiased by hand.


Title Theme

The Japanese version of the game plays a chippy version of the Japanese opening to Hamtaro - sorry, Tottoko Hamutarō - while the US and EU versions do the same for their own separate theme. Since the title screen is set to start the eyecatch after the song has finished playing, the US and European title screens stay active for more than twice as long as the Japanese title screen does.

This change carried over to all later Hamtaro games released outside of Japan. It also affects the unlockable Ham-Jam based on the title theme, making it the longest Ham-Jam theme by a wide margin in international versions.

Japanese title theme International title theme

Notebook Theme

The theme playing in the background while viewing the notebook is different in the Japanese version compared to the US and EU versions. The Japanese version plays the bass channel of the Japanese title theme in the right speaker and the percussion in the left, without the two other channels playing at all. The US and EU versions use the same theme as the regular pause menu.

Contrary to the above change, the same was not done for Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak, which uses the Japanese theme (on its pause menu) in all versions.

Japanese notebook theme Pause menu and international notebook theme



US Europe
Well, isn't that just the nut on the cake? Pretty please with a nut on top? Yeah, this'll be a hard cherry to crack. Is this guy cherries!?

One of the items in the game's trading sequence has different names in the US and European versions. In the US version, the item is called a "Nut". The European localization team said nuts to that and called it a "Cherry". This change is reflected both on the items screen and in dialogue. Note that there are also a few differences in the item description font - the European font has a shorter Y, for example.


Japan International
Prescription drug. ...Mystery drug.

Flugo+, the miracle drug that cures everything between the common cold and the common cold, has different appearances in America and Japan. While the Japanese opt to put text on the large, pink pill, the Americans find that very intimidating and remove it completely.



Japan International
Oh dear. He must've seen the Sexy Ham from the unused text section. What a Wabldobl.

Oh. Oh dear. It is quite obvious why this was changed for the US version. In the international version, Hamtaro is standing around looking bored, tapping his foot and just waiting. In Japan, however, he is rubbing the ground with his paw (it's some Japanese anime thing when a character is bored or embarrassed/ashamed), but it looks like he is tapping his crotch over and over while looking smugly satisfied.


Japan International
That is one perfect thing! Let me cover it in mucus. Ooh, that's perfect. Let me just sneeze on it.

In Japan, Hamtaro says Hamtast by... having a cold, or something. In the international version, the localization team grabbed the sprite of Hamtaro sneezing and slapped a thumbs-up on it. Knowing Hamtast is supposed to mean "perfect", which is better?

The Japanese animation may be a reference to the Asian superstition that sneezing once means someone is talking about you. (A little smug, are we, Hamtaro?)


Japan International

The Ham-chat word Hushie means secret, so it's represented by looking horrified and holding a paper with an X in front of your mouth in Japan. Someone decided that wasn't proper in another country, though, and changed it to a red crossed-circle symbol. That someone also made Hamtaro look more forward than up.


Japan International
Fist of the North Ham Just, uh, running a marathon or something.

The Japanese Cramcram has Hamtaro wearing a headband with a Japanese flag design. In the US, however, the localization team could not stand such smug Japanese patriotism and removed the iconic red circle altogether.