I wanna be the SAN

Creators: sorariku98, ノン

Average Rating
8.1 / 10
Average Difficulty
87.8 / 100
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Adventure (4) Needle (2) Avoidance (5) Trap (4) Gimmick (3) Boss (2) Secrets (1) Long (2) Sideways_Gravity (1)


  • by Naloa
  • by Naloa
  • by Naloa
  • by Naloa
  • by Naloa
  • by Naloa
  • by Wolsk
  • by Wolsk
  • by Wolsk
  • by Naloa

11 Reviews:

Date cleared: 13/08/2017

This review can include extra. Or not. Your call really.

I wanna be the SAN has 7 stages. 3 by Sorariku, 3 by ノン (Non), and a final stage. You can choose whether you start with Sorarikus stages or ノンs by going left or right at the start of the game.
Sorarikus tend to be more gimmicky, while ノンs are more standard. I'll talk about these in the order that I played them.

ノン stage 1
Split into 4 parts, 3 trap stages and a final stage.
The trap stages were fun. They all had their own theme, fire/water/grass, and most of the traps felt like things I had really seen before with the few that were are the kind of traps that never get old either. There was restarting music, but for a trap stage it makes sense.
The final stage was more straight forward platforming but with two states, black and white, that you had to shoot to change between which was interesting.

The boss itself also used this gimmick with two guys to shoot, one of each state. When one part of the boss reaches around half hp, that half does something else. The black half starts spawning fruit continuously, and the white half will destroy the block platforms and replace them with water bubbles (that you can double jump out of).
They do another thing when they die as well. The white half spawns a fruit that constantly chases you, and the black half (I believe) makes all black fruit able to kill you while in the white state as well.

Sorariku stage 1
If you look at the games Sorariku has made, you'll see they are all have their own unique theme, and don't tend to be too similar to each other. This holds true for Sorarikus stages in SAN.
This stage is where you learn to channel your inner gardener, helping plants to grow through various methods such as: Feeding them sunlight, feeding them water, not feeding them too much water, and running like hell away from tiny bugs that are impossible to shoot.
The various kinds of plants are introduced over a few days, however some of the hints for the plants didn't translate well to English.
Sorariku did give a hint readme for this stage in case you don't feel like/can't figure out how to correctly feed the plants such as on day 4 where you have to click repeatedly on one plant to make it grow .

The boss of this stage also uses the same mechanic, except you can choose whether you kill it by overwatering it, or over...sunlighting it. This boss does have quite a lot of health and the day/night cycle to decide whether you can water/provide sun to the plant, while it was ok for the regular plants, can feel very short for the part you are providing, and can feel very long when you have to wait. The boss also attempts to heal himself at low hp if you are not prepared to react quickly to blocking the opposite of the water/sunlight you've been providing.

ノン stage 2
For this stage you are provided 2 kids to control instead of 1, with the goal being to get the regular kid to the elevator to move on to the next screen. This is accomplished by using both kids to stand on switches to open doors to continue on.
A few screens into this stage you're given some very big screens to manoeuvre around, with a picture in picture screen in the top right of the kid you are currently not controlling so you can be aware of any moving objects.

The boss of this stage is a large game of spot the difference. Whenever you can damage the boss there are 4 flames on screen in the four corners. You must shoot the flame that you believe is the odd one out 3 times to damage the boss while dodging the fire they spew out. Shooting the wrong one 3 times causes the boss to do a counter attack, giving you more to dodge, and making you have to start again in checking which flame is the odd one out.
Examples of differences between flames: Flipped horizontally, shooting bullets at a different rate, and more. Honestly, I'm still not sure on all the methods of knowing which flame is right because I couldn't figure them all out.

Sorariku stage 2
Ah, the good old puzzle stage. 10 screens of quizzes and figuring out what the hell is going on in the creators head to find the answer, with what you think is the answer being a fake door, and what you think being fake being a side path that leads to other possible wrong answers.
As someone that enjoys puzzles a lot, I really liked this stage, although screen 3 had a similar issue as Sorariku stage 1 (and a related readme as well) that doesn't translate from Japanese to English.

The boss also follows the puzzle design, however while the questions are in Japanese, they're still mostly decipherable as to what they are asking. Even if you can't understand, there are only two choices to answer, so if you get it wrong, you know for next time.
For this boss you have to answer 50 questions correctly with a timer that refreshes for each question, but gets shorter the more you get right. Eventually other obstacles such as falling fruit, and your platform getting smaller also appear to distract you from shooting the right way. Get one wrong? Game over.

ノン Stage 3
While gravity flippers are common use in IWBTG fangames, they generally don't use all 4 directions. There isn't a lot to describe for this stage otherwise. ノン made good use of regular platforming and shifting your characters gravity to make interesting stuff to get past.

As for the bosses, stage 3 is the avoidance stage. For ノン this is a 3 minute Miku avoidance. Personally I thought this boss was very fun, and seemed very well made. There are a few places you'll get killed if you don't know what to do, but most of them were pretty reactable. Honestly, the part that killed my the most was the final attack, because it looked similar to a pattern earlier in the fight and apparently figuring out to not move is the hardest strat.

Sorariku stage 3
Compared to the last two stages by Sorariku, this one is actually relatively straightforward.
The "platforming" for this stage is more like a miniboss, split into four stages. You control the kid on a screen that slowly gets larger over time with the goal being to reach the button on the far side. Meanwhile, a giant bullet slowly travels towards your ship and if it reaches it, you have to start from the beginning of the first stage.
The first three stages each have 3 screens to travel through, and the last has one. Each stage has a few screens to pick from so you don't always get the same platforming. When each stage reaches its last screen, the character on screen starts spawning projectiles to obscure your view, making it harder to get through the platforming.
Each stage also has it's own "idea" behind it.
Stage 1: Straight forward needle
Stage 2: Dodge the projectiles
Stage 3: Straight forward needle, but harder
Stage 4: A single very difficult jump
If you fail the screen, you are sent back to the start to try again until time runs out.
Personally, while I did enjoy the platforming in this stage, I was a bit disappointed there wasn't more, as it felt like I went straight from the boss of the previous stage straight into the boss of this one. Saying that, I am aware that this stage took some people quite some time to get through to reach the boss.

The boss of this stage is where quite a few people stopped playing, and it's understandable why. This boss is a four and a half minute long avoidance, with a significant number of attacks to try and figure out. Thankfully, you are given a few tools to make this a little easier. Firstly, you have a relatively large dot hitbox, and secondly, and more importantly, in the style of the original touhou games, you are given 3 bombs to destroy any bullets (and only bullets, none of the other sprites) on screen at any time.
These bombs can be used to skip any attack you do not feel like solving, that you feel is too difficult for you to overcome, or just when you aren't sure what is about to appear and a bullet suddenly appears near you. The attacks individually aren't too difficult to overcome, the difficulty of the fight comes solely from the length, but the bombs make the learning process significantly easier.
Also, the ending is a really dick move, but also really funny.

Stage 7
Not specified to be made by either of the two makers. This final stage is a significant ramp up in difficulty for the platforming compared to the previous stages.
Split into four sections, with each having its own theme. The first is based on triggers to change the platforming. The second is based on vines. The third is based on various kinds of water. The fourth and final is a short section with gravity flippers, and then the final save of the area.
The final save actually gets a new song and graphics when you reach it. While the platforming itself isn't too difficult, this save is significantly longer than most, and has multiple paths you can take. A lot of this save is trying to figure out which way to go before you actually start. There are 4 paths you can take, which buttons at the top to shoot, however with various fake blocks, hidden blocks, and triggers, some paths need to be taken for others to be more viable, and certain routes don't even need to be taken at all.
I don't personally tend to be a big platforming guy, I'm much more interested in bosses. Saying that, I really enjoyed this stage. While there were tough sections that frustrated me at points, none of it felt like stuff I'd seen before, and I knew the issues were on my own end.

Final Boss
Yes this boss needs to be split into sections.
The Basics
The basis of the final boss is similar to the final boss of IWBT Destination. 4 colours, multiple attacks per colour depending on hp (in this case 3 per colour per 1/3 health), and a final phase.
However the similarities end there, the 4 colours (crystals in this case) will constantly do damage to themselves while their respective coloured attacks are going on. The boss will also do an in between attack that lets you do damage directly to him, and while he is hurt the 3 colours not attack will drain their health to heal the boss back up to max. If you get the right combo of in between attacks this can be used to kill the boss early.
The Attacks
Like stated before, there are 12 main attacks on the main boss. These can range from a huge wave of bullets curving towards the screen from the top left, an attack where the whole screen does a slow 360 spin while the bullets stay in place, curving bullets that spawn smaller bullets aimed at you, or just huge falling stars.
While I really liked most of these attacks, there are a few I will point out, either for pros or cons.
Green 2, a bullet spawner falls over the screen creating bullets seemingly at random along the whole line. This is actually coded to not spawn on the player at all, you have to move around before the next wave of green bullets appears.
Blue 2, bullets spawn in one of three areas with a respective colour, then when they hit the middle of the screen, move a set distance either towards or away from the center depending on if they started at the edge or the middle. This attack seemed brutal to me at first, as the bullets move incredibly fast horizontally, however eventually I figured to just stay in a small area and look at its respective place for the bullets on the side to try and predict them easier.
Yellow 3, by far the most visually noticeable one to viewers. Spawns random 360 bullets for a little bit, then freezes them and spins the screen while keeping the bullets in place. I don't have any comments for this, it's just really cool to see.
Blue 3, an incredibly dense barrage of large blue bullets are fired downwards, with some high speed projectiles moving around the screen that delete these bullets when they touch. This attack is probably the most "unfair" of the 12 as there is a reasonable chance a bunch of bullets will be spawned that you can't dodge and the projectiles don't delete them in time. Although quite often when these situations happen, it also deletes them at the last moment, and you panic not expecting to be alive.
The Other Attacks
The above just talks about some of the main attacks, however I also mentioned the boss does in between attacks as well. After the first attack in the fight, the boss will do an alternate attack that gives you the opportunity to also shoot the boss and do damage directly, such as: spawning a water pillar that lets you jump up to him, green springy orbs that bounce you up, or placing blocks on the ground.
These attacks also have an effect on the main attack that he'll do after. Using the same attacks, water slowly pushes you outwards from the center where the pillar is, the green orbs may make you bounce when you don't want to if you accidentally touch one, and the blocks give you up to 3 blocks high worth of extra area to stand on (or can make it harder to jump when you want to).
With the right combinations this can make an attack basically non-existent, such as water and yellow 3, or significantly harder, such as green orbs and red 3 (an attack where you're given a small range to move back and forth).
The Ending
When one colour is drained, that crystal disappears, making the boss restore hp slower, and that colour attacks spawning. Once all 4 are dead, the boss enters the "white phase".
During this phase he'll spawn slow moving bullets in any direction while the player constantly alternates gravity, using your jump to slowly advance up to the boss.
The boss himself only has up to 10 hits, not taking long to kill.
As soon as the boss dies a white crystal spawns that will move to the platform below. You also no longer refresh your double jump, so be careful when returning. When you touch the crystal a warp will appear at the top of the screen that you can infinite jump up to.
The Actual Ending
This all, of course, sounds far too simple after the boss fight so far. When you get close to the warp the final section of the boss appears, an almost 2 minute long avoidance with infinite jump that slowly builds up over time.
It starts very simple with just a single fruit targeted at you and slowly gets more and more chaotic as time passes and the boss absorbs Sorarikus past games, with fruit spawning from the walls, objects from the floor, and way too many from the boss itself.
All attacks are telegraphed in some way, but there is so much to keep track of, a lot with their own small way of movement or extra spawns, that it can be incredibly difficult to keep up.
Also, just when you think you're about to win, the boss timer heals a little for the last 20 seconds of the avoidance, so if you've managed to pay attention to the hp bar through all the stuff going on, you get one last feeling of dread.

There is one secret item per stage, 7 in total. Each secret is similar to Sorarikus stages in the sense that they're very gimmicky, however in this case they are also very short, just one screen long each.
While they are all interesting in their own way, how fun they are can vary. I personally enjoyed the screens to try to touch spikes for as little time as possible with a lot of health, and the avoidance where you can choose a colour that forces fruit away from you a lot.
Whereas the secrets with spikes moving very rapidly over a set position, while interesting, was a bit annoying for some jumps, and the screen that delayed your movement left/right could be frustrating.
All the secrets are pretty easily findable, as I found a lot of them in my regular playthrough and I don't believe I am good at finding them, however if you really aren't sure there is another readme given for finding them.

The boss itself is relatively short compared to a lot of things, only a minute and a half long, but has some weird things that can take some figuring out.
I'm told that IWBT ASN by ノン was also supposed to be part of extra, however for whatever reason that didn't happen, and is a separate game if you can find it.

Final Comments
Overall, I really enjoyed IWBT SAN a lot, every stage felt different and interesting, and while there were points that were frustrating, they were few and far between, and generally tempered out by the enjoyable parts of the same area.
The only major issue I would mention is the difficulty step up for Sorariku stage 3 and Stage 7 compared to the rest of the game, as while I spent a lot of time on the boss of ノン Stage 3, that was mostly due to my own stupidity for an end-of-fight attack, whereas my time spent on the boss of Sorariku stage 3 was due to the length of the fight, and Stage 7 has drastically harder platforming than the rest of the game.
While saying this, the difficulty within these parts were still well balanced and I did still enjoy them.
Even when the game was taking me longer than usual, such as the final boss, I was still enjoying myself, and I hope more people will bring themselves to give this game a try.

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[12] Likes
Rating: 8.5 85       Difficulty: 90 90
Oct 9, 2018
Super long and fun game with a ton of variety and plenty of wacky antics for the whole family to enjoy. I would personally recommend everything up to Flandre, but past that, if you don't like avoidance or hate long intros, you're gonna have a rough time. I also absolutely hated the final stage which ruined a lot of the experience for me; it was insanely precise on every save with several multi-frame-perfect jumps and often a super F-like jump at the end. As much as I enjoyed the final boss, I wouldn't want to go through the final stage again just to reach it. Maybe some people would find it fun, but I sure did not. Would've given it a much better rating had that stage been nerfed significantly.

Also it has secrets and extra content should you desire to do them. I found them very unique but not necessarily enjoyable, and they were generally worse than the platforming in the stages where they're contained. Extra avoidance song is a banger, though.

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Tagged as: Adventure Needle Avoidance Trap Gimmick Secrets Long
[3] Likes
Rating: 7.8 78       Difficulty: 89 89
Aug 2, 2020
Huge game, filled with really crazy one-of-kind stuff going on. The actual highlights were:
-Gardening. Despite being tight in terms of requirements, it was just very unique and absolutely fun. Boss slaps hard as well being even probably my favourite in the game in terms of balance and enjoyment
-Double Kid stage. Holy classic gimmick with some sweet ideas replicated. Boss of this stage while not having gimmick, was fucking bonkers. Determinate difference between minions was crazy, thrilling and actually hillarious. Despite i had baffling time sometimes, it was just pure an extravaganza of chaos, and i love it
-I don't really remember Miku stage, but the Miku avoidance was charming with catchy song and fun not that hard attacks
-Touhou stage is probably best stage in the game, being somewhat of Dice roll gimmick, featured with fun segments that are never get boring. This was pretty hard stage and ending twist is fucking scary, but it was worthwile and simply awesome
-Flandre avoidance is eeh, yeah it has issues having really bro nothing intro and also very long duration with most of the hard attacks are placed closure to end. I can't say i had brilliant time, even tho it was enough to play it up until to end blindly. Mostly, because song is jammer, some attacks are very fun and also you had one thing that make experience much more enjoyable and smooth - bombs, that allows you to destroy everything on screen, outside of the Flandre herself. Overall - it was decent, definitely not the highest moment of the game, fine tho
-Final stage is very long and hard needle, divided by 4 sub-stages and one very last save. Tbh, it's probably lowest moment of the game, because almost every save, despite having interesting ideas about, was ruined with some fucked up overprecise jumps. I also actively dislike last save of water sections (yeah, the idea is cool, but it's really sucks to play) and very last save, because i find it boring with some really unpleasant jumps here and there. There were also very good saves tho, especially in trigger (first) section and vine (second) section, but not that much. Frankly, i can completely see how this stage can bring motivation to extremely low point, but...

If you made it through this needle madness up to end, you will find

-Actually one of the most unique, hard and awesome final bosses in fangames. Very deep, very charming and very cruel boss, that will drive you insane probably quite a lot. It made in Destination-like shell, but actually way more deeper because a lot of twists and shenanigans will appear with even second phase, that is actually incredibly chaotic avoidance. Despite this boss having some RNG issues (sometimes quite a lot, tbh), i still find it absolutely enjoyable. Probably, best thing is how often this boss requires from you pull off some crazy dodges, that you are completely not expecting from yourself, which is always big pleasant for me. I had good time at the end and the victory feeling over this beast is one of the most rewarding i've had

At the end, i can say, this game is great. Yeah, it has some minor and major troubles here and there, but this is one of the games that has genius ideas and concepts, and not affraid of offering it to player in sometimes brutal form, but still that classic adventure form, that is warming and welcoming to conquer obstacles, with many things that just happened to be very cuddly. I really wish this game can come out from under radare and having more clearers

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[1] Like
Rating: 8.2 82       Difficulty: 87 87
Dec 9, 2023
Incredibly unique and creative fangame with a ton of variety at each and every step. It contains 6 main stages with a final stage, and the order you do the stages in depends on the route you choose at the beginning of the game. The earlier stages are relatively accessible for those with a decent amount of fangame experience, but towards the third HUB levels and definitely the final stage, the game begins to ramp up in difficulty considerably, peaking at the final boss. All of this content in my opinion, is very well made, even some of the more questionable sections such as the Flandre avoidance or the final stage's more precise saves. I had an absolute blast going through this game, and it surprised me at every turn. The final stage and boss especially were a total highlight, featuring some of the most satisfying needle I've played, and a boss fight that never gets stale due to an extremely high amount of differing situations you can end up in. In conclusion, this game absolutely shot up as one of my all time favorite fangames, and I think it's a must play for nearly any experience fangamer, even if you may not enjoy everything the game has to offer.

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[1] Like
Rating: 10.0 100       Difficulty: 87 87
Feb 24, 2023
I hated extra avoidance, a lot of unfair and impossible situations blocked me from beating it. -2 ~ -1 rating because of that. However the main game was really amazing. I only recommend playing this until the final boss.

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[0] Likes
Rating: 7.0 70       Difficulty: 87 87
Sep 19, 2020