Notable Fan Games: Higurashi's Basketball [Higurashi: When They Cry]
Rena's ballin :O


  3. HOW TO PLAY (Go here if you just wanna know about the game)


Higurashi its one of those visual novels I've been delving into for the last couple of months and absolutely loving the story every chapter that passes. That said I have little interest in watching any of the series for now, as it's seems to get the wrong lessons from the story focusing on the thriller and gore/horror parts first when the whole idea of Higurashi it's the contrast of the happy slice of life days you get with your friends and the sadness/horrors of unraveling the misteries of the town.

That doesn't mean we can't have a more slasher/mistery focused higurashi content, it just that it's not what I'm looking for.

What did peaked my interest was the amount of fan content the vn has, including some really interesting fangames such as this one. A Higurashi game based solely on playing a basketball match in the school's courtyard.

That's basically it, you can play as 6 of the protagonist of Higurashi in a 3 on 3 match. I think the most notable about this game first hand its that it controls via tank controls and that the CPU has no mercy against you (there's no multiplayer mode).

This also made it really hard to investigate this game since most of what I found first was a lot of videos bashing on the game for being weird and them not being able to win a single match and not even trying. Gladly I found one user on reddit [1] that posted a video of them explaining the game from what they could gather in the subtitles, finding the first post of the game[2], the first mention of it[3] and a link to download it [4].


title screen

DISCLAIMER: This is the information I could gather using google translator, which it's not the best tool for this, but I linked every source in this so if anyone has a better grasp on Japanese than I do, feel free to use those.

For my fortune and sanity the game comes bundled with a readme html file with info about how this game was concieved.

ひぐ中 (higuchuu), the creator of the game, stumble upon the higurashi series via a friend's recommendation telling him it was a cool mistery visual novel and he would invite him some all you can eat yakiniku if he could figure out who was the culprit.

If Higuchuu would have known that higurashi was a horror vn he would have never played it but at last he did, and ended up calling his friend at 3AM in the morning asking why didn't he tell him that this was a horror and that now he couldn't sleep.

From there onwards he and his friend would play and comment each of the chapters of higurashi with little to no sleep intrigued by the story of hinamizawa. Like most of us did. Sometimes sharing some fan art in a message board trying to interact with every message with no comments because he knew how sad it was to get no responses.

As the message board got popular, new and - as higuchuu describes - better artist started posting their fanarts there. Trying to out did them out of jelousy he decided to make a Rena 3d model because no one had ever posted someone in 3D saying that "if I feel like it I will try to make a game" [3]

Due to the post being so popular, and some peer presure of people commenting they would like to play that game, Higuchuu decided to develop the game.

He stated that the game was too easy for him so he added some special abilities you could use in the game but when his friend played it he said it looked beautiful but the gameplay part was horrible. So he took out the abilities and his friend told him that the game was now somewhat playable like a real game.

That is the story of the conception of Hinamizawa Highschool's Basketball Tournament (雛見沢分校 バスケットボール大会). Yeah, the game it's not called higurashi basketball.

The rest of the info in the manual its about the tools he used to create the game, from the 3D software called Metasequoia LE to the version of the Direct X SDK and C++ compiler, stating in the end that making games might be hard but it's getting easy encouraging anyone who wants to play games to do it since most of the tools he listed are free (with the exception of Photoshop).


practice mode

Here is the download link of Hinamizawa HighSchool's Basketball tournament.


A couple things to note before you start the game (if you use the download provided here):
  1. Spoilers: You don't need to read every chapter of the vn to play this but I would advice reading until Ch 2 mainly because this game shows one character presented in Ch. 2 Wataganashi.
  2. The windows warning: this app was made before the whole Microsoft app signing kinda thing so it will say that the app could put your PC at risk. It won't so don't mind that.
  3. It comes bundle with the OG Higurashi: The game uses the audio files from Ch1 of Higurashi, the free chapter, so in order to play you need those files in there, that are already bundled inside the download.


When you start the game it greets you with three different modes:
  • NORMAL MODE (ノーマル): Just the game with simple rules.
  • ACTIVITY CLUB MODE (部活): Play with some extra rules like a true member of the game's Activity club! In this mode you'll have a 3 second rule, you can't stand still for more than 3 seconds and every throw can't take more than 3 seconds.
  • PRACTICE MODE (練習): You will play against just one opponent that will never throw the ball. If you win in this mode you will not get the ending card


There's 6 character in the game which you can pick 3 of them:
  • Keiichi
  • Mion
  • Mion
  • Rena
  • Rena
  • Sakoto
  • Sakoto
  • Rika
  • Rika
  • Shion
  • Shion
All the character have different stats of how fast they can run and how far they can throw the ball into the hoop with Keiichi being the more balanced character of the 6. Below I ordered the character in relation to their stats (I made this by feel so I might be wrong with the middle part).

character chart

When you finish choosing your character the CPU will use the remaining 3 against you.


The tank movement controls are as it follows:

  • ARROW KEY UP: Move Foward
  • ARROW KEY DOWN: Move Backwards
  • ARROW KEY LEFT: Turn Left
  • ARROW KEY RIGHT: Turn right

In adition if you have the ball in your hands, you can do two more actions:

  • Z: Throw the ball at the hoop (Hold to aim)
  • X: Pass the ball for a pass in the direction you're facing

When a half time start you will have to do the initial jump:

  • Z (HOLD): Charge the initial jump, release to jump


initial jump

The game starts by the initial jump. You can control just one character at a time. The character you control when you're not having the ball will always be the closest to the ball. When you control a character, a blue arrow will appear on top of their head.

In order to take the ball from another player you simply need to touch the ball with your character, this will automatically give you the ball and leave the opponent stunned for a second so that you can escape. You can take the ball from your own teammates by accident so be careful!.

pass example

In order to pass the ball to another character, you need to press the X button and aim to your next character. You can also pass the ball to your enemy so be sure to aim!

throw example

While having the ball, if the arrow above your head turns green, you'll be in range of throwing the ball into the hoop. To do so, hold the Z button to aim and wait until the bar on the right is near the red arrow, this indicates what strength you need to use to score a point.

jump example Sometimes, while you're running your arrow will turn red, in that moment you can press the Z button to do a jump and try to score some point in a fashionable way.

When you win the game will be greeted with a heartwarming scene at the sunset thanking you to play the game. :)

  • While holding the ball try to face your enemies with the side opposite to your dominant hand so that they can't grab the ball from you.
  • Always have Rena or Mion on your team, they both can do 3 pointers, doing those are the easiest way to get ahead on the score.
  • Game seems kind of impossible at first, but if you score one point, rush to the enemy as he's going to your side, and trying to score as fast as posible is the easiest way to cheese the AI.
  • Try to have Sakoto in your team, she's the fastest and can outrun almost any menace.


While doing research for this game and trying to find more info about it, I found an archive of old japanese geocities sites [5] and realize 2 things:
  1. This is not the only game of the author
  2. I haven't played the final version of the game D:
Apparently the author put the basketball game in a bundle with other simpler games and software, like a chat client, a majohng game, a custom card game, a lying game and more for a total of 7 games in his last update.

There is more games

The worst part is that, no matter how much I tried, I couldn't get the game to work. And I tried a lot. Different configurations of windows, runing it on a linux machine with wine for better 32 bit compatibility, put together a PCEM machine with a japanese version of Windows 98 and a Voodoo 2 Card and the damn thing still wouldn't work! Worst thing is that the games need the launcher menu to work, so I can't open any of the games executables without getting a warning saying that the game can't be launch on it's own.

And about the basketball game, this is not the version I've played. In the original manual Higuchuu says that he wanted to give the characters different abilities and balance the game a little more. Well he did put those abilities in - along with controller support - like, for example, if Rika its close to Rena (no matter what team she's in) if you activate the special ability she will enter into Kyuuuute~♪ mode, and Rena will punch out anyone who comes near her, making her invincible for a few seconds. While Rena can do a "R.F.D.: Rena's Special Flash Dunk" (レナ・フラッシュ・ダンクスペシャル) and jump into the hoop and do a nasty dunk... I made the image in the title before doing any research of this and it was a stupid joke I made cuz A: Rena it's most recognizable character, B: I wanted to have a try and do some of those blured out backgrounds and C: I thougth it was funny. But turns out not only she can do a sick dunk in the game from the 3 point area, she the only one that can do this!. Higurashi it's playing tricks on my mind...

I wanna play this T-T

The only thing left for me and my little japanese knowledge was to either learn how to dissassemble a EXE file and mess with the code to make the game work or start talking to randos on twitter or via mail and I'm not ready to do that cuz if I do I wont stop and I want to write about other stuff for now, so into the piles of misteries it goes.


Even tho I found a brick wall I think I went a little bit overboard for a 30 minutes game. But I would hate to see this information be lost in time because most information out there it's how much of a meme this game is. And the game's not good, don't get me wrong. But this type of fan efforts are the ones that speak for a franchise. Higurashi has an impressive fanbase, only overshadow by the doom and sonic community due to the size of it. But this kind of dedication deserves respect in my opinion.

These games might not be perfect but that doesn't mean their stories have to be forgotten.

Besides, the author did the bold decision of doubling down on the slice of life games rather than the horror the series it's best known for. Maybe that makes him the truest fan at that time.

Also this research made me realize the ammount of merch higurashi related there is, original or fan made, as you can see in this video I found of youtube user daisu4 showing his massive higurashi collection, even his own doujinshi.

In the end it was fun to do this research and try to add a grain of sand into the information that can be gathered online. More so going back to writting about stuff I investigate but this time in english. I'm sure there's a lot of typos on the write up but I only did a couple of Proof reading on this.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this information. Maybe someone else can take a swing at looking at this new games before I decide to try again.


  1. Reddit: Video about a "Higurashi basketball fangame" (Turn on CC when watching!)
  2. Web Archive:
  3. Web Archive: ひぐらしのなく頃に お絵かき掲示板
  4. Google Drive: HigurashiBaskeball
  5. ひぐらしド♪