The 290 Counter (にくまるカウンター Nikumaru Kauntā), known as the Nikumaru Counter in the Aeon Genesis translation, is an item that can be acquired in the Outer Wall.
The 290 Counter has a black face with visible blue outlines. The digits are white, and a patch of white can also be seen to the left of them. No buttons appear to be present, as described from the inventory.
The 290 Counter is located near in the Clock Room, partway up the Outer Wall. The room's presence is indicated with a sign that has a clock symbol on it. If the player guides Quote directly to the left of the sign, they should encounter an opening that Quote can interact with to go through. The screen then transitions to the Clock Room, whose size fits within the perimeter of the screen. The 290 Counter will be found in a chest surrounded by multiple spikes.
Obtaining the 290 Counter is only possible when the player has the Booster v2.0 and if the player has saved Curly. If Quote carries Booster v0.8 and Curly has not been saved, he cannot open the chest in which the Counter is located.
The 290 Counter's activation is automatic, and in selected areas within Cave Story. In the original game, it is solely activated in the Blood Stained Sanctuary. A screen appears to show the player that the counter is being activated before Quote enters the area.
As the player begins to traverse the location where the 290 Counter is activated, a timer will appear at the top of the screen, keeping track of the amount of time Quote moves through the area since he first entered. The stopwatch pauses whenever a cutscene occurs or when narration appears on the screen upon the first time the player loads the game. The time stops completely as soon as the player defeats Ballos' final form. It is then recorded at the top left of the screen in the freeware if the player has beaten a previous record or they complete the Blood Stained Sanctuary for the first time.
In the NICALiS ports of Cave Story, the 290 Counter is also activated in some of the game's additional modes where the player's best completion time is recorded. These modes include the Wind Fortress and Machine Gun Challenge.
- If Quote has the 290 Counter and completes the Blood Stained Sanctuary in less than six minutes, a new theme song and character will be seen and heard on the titlescreen.
|General||Outer Wall • Littles|
|Enemies||Hoppy • Night Ghost • Sandcroc|
|Items/Weaponry||Nemesis • 290 Counter|
|Weapons||Polar Star • Missile Launcher • Fireball • Bubbline • Machine Gun • Blade • Snake • Super Missile Launcher • Spur • Nemesis|
|Items||Map System • Silver Locket • Arthur's Key • ID Card • Santa's Key • Chako's Rouge • Jellyfish Juice • Charcoal • Rusty Key • Gum Key • Gum Base • Bomb • Curly's Panties • Puppies • Life Pot • Turbocharge • Clinic Key • Arms Barrier • Cure-All • Booster (v0.8 • v2.0) • Tow Rope • Curly's Air Tank • Medals (Alien Medal • Medal of the Red Ogre) • Whimsical Star • 290 Counter • Teleporter Room Key • Sue's Letter • Mimiga Mask • Sprinklers • Controller • Mushroom Badge • Ma Pignon • Little Man • Iron Bond • Beast Fang • Prinny Cap|