Earthbound – Week 05

–Day 21–

Everyone is together now. We’re all trained up to a decent level. We’ve purchased the best gear currently available. We’ve done practically everything we can do at the moment. It’s time to head into the circus tent in the center of town and confront the zombies. It’s weird though. As we approach, some of the other people in town start heading inside too.

As soon as we enter, I realize I’ve made a seriously misguided assumption. Now that I stop to think about it, it really should have been obvious from the start. This isn’t the Zombie HQ, this is the Zombie “RELIEF” HQ. These are all the people trying to fight the zombies and provide a bit of safety to the town. But if this isn’t where Belch is hiding…where is he?

Once again, it’s time to start searching the town. I must have missed something before. I thought maybe the zombies guarding the passage behind the graveyard might act differently now that Jeff is with us, but no. They still simply stare into our souls and generally block the path. So the hunt continued, that is until we get to the south side of town. I know it took a few days to get Jeff to Threek, so maybe I’m remembering things wrong, but I don’t remember there being a tent here.

The plan was to go inside and see who was in there, but it would seem this tent has other plans in store. Turns out it’s a Boogey Tent, and now we’re going to have to fight for our lives. Thankfully, it wasn’t a horribly difficult fight. It looks like all that training really paid off. Now let’s see who was behind this terrible trap.

As the tent fades away, we find two zombies inside huddled around a garbage can. Upon seeing us, they immediately run off scared. But what could be so fascinating about this garbage can that they would set up an entire tent to hide it? Naturally it’s our job to find out. After digging around I find a jar of Fly Honey, whatever that is. It would seem I have the answer, but it still doesn’t solve anything.

It’s starting to feel like that Boogie Tent was a dead end after all, so we take up the search for clues once more. This time however, things take an unexpected turn as the clues find us. Just as we were heading back to the hotel to regroup, we get a surprise call from Apple Kid, one of the inventors from back in Twoson. It would seem he has heard about our problem and took it upon himself to help by inventing “Zombie Paper”. It works just about the same way as fly paper, except of course that it’s supposed to catch zombies. Just place it on the floor of the tent and wait for the zombies to get trapped in it. It all just seems too easy.

Following Apple Kid’s instructions, we head into the tent and place the zombie paper everywhere on the ground. There’s nothing to do now but wait, so the team heads back to the hotel for some rest. Sure enough, throughout the night swarms of zombies are drawn to the zombie paper. As evidenced by the quick montage, even the two zombies guarding the exit behind the graveyard we mysteriously attracted to the paper.

Morning comes and it’s time to see how well the Zombie Paper worked. Everyone is so excited that they’ve all gathered around the tent to see the results. Inside is a sight like none other, a dozen zombies have all fallen victim to the Zombie Paper Trap. Some continue to struggle, unable to move, while others have given up and returned to the land of the dead. In either event, this frees the town of most of their zombie problem, and more importantly unlocks the passage out of town for our heroes.

However, that adventure is going to have to wait until next time. Join us then as we head out of town and see if we can finally find the mastermind behind it all.

–Day 22–

Finally, all the zombies are gone and the path behind the graveyard is clear. It’s time to see where that tunnel actually leads. It’s not going to be very easy though. Apparently any zombies hiding in the tunnel escaped being captured on the Zombie Paper.

As we make our way towards the exit, there’s one last enemy we must face, a tiny little puke pile named Mini Barf. Don’t let his appearance deceive you though, he’s tougher than he looks. Of course, it doesn’t help that Ness was already possessed by a tiny ghost before the battle started.

Really, it’s not even that he’s strong, it’s the fact that he is constantly breathing out stinky gas that makes everyone cry and lose accuracy. It’s easy enough to heal, but there’s no point since he’ll just do it again and again. So slowly the team chips away at his health until he’s finally defeated.

With Mini Barf defeated, we are free to climb the ladder out of the tunnel. Outside is a man selling a few much needed healing items. He also informs us of a nearby village that doesn’t show up on any maps, Saturn Valley. We’re going to need the rest, so it would be best if we get there as quickly as possible.

Death Count: 4

Of course, this is a sentiment that I much easier said than done. The path from the cave entrance is just swarming with monsters. We tried to be cautious the whole way, but a large group of monsters by the village entrance got the best of us. They managed a surprise attack which knocked everyone’s health down pretty far. Then a smash hit against ness put our healer out of commission. After that, it wasn’t long before the whole team fell at the monsters hands.

It looks like we’re going to have to regroup back in Threek for a little while. Join us next time as we make another attempt at reaching Saturn Valley.

–Day 23–

I’ll admit, yesterday’s death was quite the set back. It took quite some time for us to make it all the way through the cave again and out the other side. However, with Mini Barf already defeated it was considerably easier this time around. Still rather time consuming, but easier. We were also in luck outside the cave as the density of monsters felt significantly less this time around.

The second cave was much shorter than the first, and nearly devoid of monsters. In fact, there was only a single Violent Roach in the whole cave system. This was of course a welcome surprise for a change. Once through the cave, we finally arrive in Saturn Village and get to meet the whole village full of Mr. Saturn, the unofficial mascots of the series. These guys are basically just heads with feet, and they speak with a unique font that is admittedly a bit difficult to read at times. We’ve actually encountered this font once already, back in the Happy Happy Village. I guess one of them moved out of town.

There isn’t much to explore in this little town. On the left there is a small hut where we are allowed to rest. Then on the right there is a doctor who for some reason lives in a garbage can. And that’s pretty much the whole tour of the main town.

Passing through another small cave at the back of town we do also find a shop at the top of the hill. They have a few interesting things to buy, but most curious to me is the “Horn of Life”. It’s annoying that you can’t examine items before purchase, but in this case the name was enough to know exactly what it did. This is finally an item to revive a fallen team mate. The $1780 price tag makes it a bit impractical at the moment for extended use, but I think it would always be a good idea to keep one on hand.

By talking with the various Mr. Saturn around town, we start to piece together what has been going on around here. For starters, the Mr. Saturn have slowly been dwindling in numbers and it’s really bumming out the ones that remain.

Thankfully, they know where they all are. It would seem they’re being held captive behind the waterfall. On top of that, I can only assume that “Bad Stink” is referring to Belch, the very monster we’ve been looking for. Now we’re just doubly motivated to stop him. We need to rid Threek of zombies and now we need to rescue all of the Mr. Saturn too.

I’ll admit, I haven’t seen a waterfall yet, but I’m sure it won’t be hard to find. That however will have to wait for next time. Join us then as we finally infiltrate Belch’s base and free the people of Threek and now the captured Mr. Saturn.

–Day 24–

With our target set, we leave Saturn Valley and head for the waterfall. Of course, such an occasion is bound to be perfect for yet another photo-op. We must always remember that time we walked behind the waterfall. I hope I get an actual photo album of all these pictures when this is all done.

Unfortunately, we run into a bit of a snag. We may have found the entrance, but it seems like there is a guard of some kind that is waiting for a password, which we don’t have. I guess we’ll have to head back to Saturn Valley and see if anyone knows what we’re supposed to do. I thought I already talked to everyone, but it’s hard to tell since they all look alike.

After talking to all the Mr. Saturn, we finally find one that we must have missed before. He tells me the secret password to get behind the falls. He also tells me I have to say the password and then wait 3 minutes before I can go in. I hope that’s just a figure of speech. They can’t really expect me to just stand there for 3 real minutes do they?

Why would I have expected anything else from this game? Of course they meant stand still for 3 minutes real time. This was honestly the most excruciating 3 minutes of my life. There’s no real indication that anything is going to happen. I can’t even see my characters. Is anything happening? Did I do something wrong? Am I waiting around for nothing? These questions made this pure torture.

After the longest 3 minutes of my life, we’re finally allowed inside Belch’s Base. It’s actually a lot more industrial than I ever would have expected. I’m also saddened to see a couple of Mr. Saturn chained to an assembly line making something for Belch. It almost looks like they might be making some kind of canned food. Don’t worry little guys, we’ll save you.

There’s a lot to explore in this factory, and of course a lot of enemies, but my favorite has to be the Foppy. These little red ball creatures typically appear in large groups, are very easy to kill, and give a great amount of experience. They’re one of the best enemies I’ve seen so far for level grinding, not that I really need to right now.

On the other hand, there are also a good number of Slimy Little Piles running around. These guys are nearly identical to Mini Puke we fought the other day, except colored green instead of pink. They’re not particularly difficult under normal circumstances, but their stinky breath makes them more annoying than they should be. They can also call for help which just makes your problem that much worse.

Anyway, while exploring I found a room with a Magic Butterfly inside. It respawns every time we reenter the room, so we can completely restore everyone’s PP this way. Now that we’re all healed and in a safe room, I think it’s about time to stop for today. We’ll be nice and rested for tomorrow when we face Belch.

So join me tomorrow as we face off against Belch, save the town of Threek, and rescue all the Mr. Saturn.

–Day 25–

I’m almost positive Belch is over to the left, so before that I want to finish exploring the rest of the building. There really isn’t much left to see, just a few zombies and a couple of trashcans. Even so, I’m still happy to fully explore the building first.

Now that I’m satisfied, it’s time to head over a face Belch. He’s quite easy to find, just follow the massive puddles of puke scattered all across the floor. They’ll lead you right to him. It looks like he has also been expecting our encounter. He even goes so far as to address us by name.

I believe one of the people back in Threek mentioned it, but Belch confirms that he is in fact working for Giygas. Belch also informs us of a prophecy that a young boy will eventually destroy Giygas. Assuming we must be that boy, Belch sets out to defeat us before that prophecy can be fulfilled.

Similar to the Slimy Little Piles, Belch also has a Nauseating Breath attack. However, Belch’s is far worse. Instead of making everyone cry, Belch’s breath actually poisons whoever is unfortunate enough to breathe it in. Other than that, Belch isn’t particularly remarkable. It also helps that Paula’s PK Freeze attacks also freeze him solid, preventing him from even moving.

Unfortunately, the battle wages on far longer than it feels like it should have. Paula and Ness both end up depleting their entire supply of PP, preventing any more PSI attacks or healing. To make matters worse, Belch eventually summons a few minions to his side.

With few options left, we start going through all our items in a desperate attempt to still win the battle. We blow up every bomb, shoot off every bottle rocket, eat every sandwich, but nothing seems to work. With few options left, we even throw the Fly Honey at him. He loves it of course, perhaps a little too much. After consuming the fly honey, Belch seems to have lost his mind and no longer attacks us.

Death Count: 5

Unfortunately, this all comes up too little too late. The team simply doesn’t have the energy or resources left to defeat Belch. Between the poison and the attacks, the whole party is eventually defeated. We must have done something wrong in that battle. We did thousands of points of damage to Belch and he just kept going. I can’t easily imagine he would really be THAT much stronger than the normal enemies in the area. There must be some trick that I’m missing.

We’ll have to resupply ourselves back in Saturn Valley and try again tomorrow. Join us then for our rematch against Belch!