Genre Platforming
Developer(s) Studio Pixel
Publisher(s) Studio Pixel
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release Date JP June 23, 2000
Mode(s) Single-player
System Requirements Windows 98, 2000, XP, DirectX 5.0+

Ikachan is a freeware game developed by Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya. The game is the predecessor to Cave Story. The chronicles a squid named Ikachan who swims through an underground cave, meeting and helping other friends.


Ikachan features unique gameplay; as opposed to using the arrow keys to move, the player uses the left and right arrow keys to tilt Ikachan in the respective direction. The player must then use the 'z' key to swim in the direction Ikachan is pointing. Thus, Ikachan cannot swim directly to the left or right at first, but he later acquires an item that allows him to charge horizontally. Also, while being unable to hurt enemies from the start, once Ikachan receives an item called the Dunce Cap, he can attack enemies by ramming them with the point of the hat.

The game contains many aspects of Role Playing Games. Ikachan can level up after attacking enough enemies or eating fish.


Ikachan takes place in Ironhead's realm, an underwater cave system. A series of earthquakes had recently caused cave-ins that cut off Ironhead's realm from the open sea. As such, the inhabitants of the cave ran out of food and were required to carry pearls marking their allegiance to Ironhead. Ironhead, who has also made an appearance in Cave Story, remains stuck in a private cave, spreading paranoia and encouraging violence against non-citizens to keep the population of the cave from overthrowing him as their leader. Ikachan wakes up inside the cave and swims around, searching for a way to escape.


  • Daisuke Amaya has made a WarioWare D.I.Y. minigame of Ikachan to promote its release. The minigame is a Big Name Game and could be download in North America since April 5, 2010.
  • Nicalis, the company that helped port Cave Story to the Wii and DSi platforms, is considering porting Ikachan and Guxt.