Earthbound – Week 06

–Day 26–

So last time, things didn’t go so well for us. But we did learn a few things that might help us this time. For starters, we’re going to use the Fly Honey as soon as the battle starts. That way Belch will be confused the whole battle and things will just be that much easier this time.

Apparently that Fly Honey was the trick the whole time. It only took 2 rounds of battle this time before Belch was defeated. So it wasn’t that we didn’t do enough damage to him last time. He must have had some kind of auto healing ability that is canceled out by the Fly Honey.

After his defeat, Belch informs us that Giygas has taken the Mani Mani statue to Fourside already. It looks like he’s going to start trouble there too now. We always seem to be just one step behind him. But we’ll continue to fight him until the very end.

Now that Belch is gone, we can finally go rescue the Mr. Saturn that have been imprisoned. While heading down the tunnel he was blocking, we even encounter one that managed to escape. But escape from what? As soon as we get through the tunnel, we’ve back in Saturn Valley at a hot spring. Was Belch “Torturing” them with a relaxing hot spring? That monster!

I’m going to call it a day so I can try to process this. I’m not exactly sure what our next step is, but I see another tunnel to the right, so I guess join me tomorrow as we explore that.

–Day 27–

I thought everyone was in danger, but it looks like they were all just lounging up here in the hot springs. I also see they fixed one of the ladders so we can get back to the rest of town quickly. In addition to the hot spring, one of the Mr. Saturn offers us up some coffee before we go.

I’m not sure what was in that coffee, but we start seeing some really weird things. We even hear a strange yet encouraging message. It seems important, and it’s too long to capture in images, so I’m going to transcribe the whole thing.

“You’ve traveled very far from home…

Do you remember how your long and winding journey began with someone pounding at your door? It was Porky, the worst person in your neighborhood, who knocked on the door that fateful night.

On your way, you have walked, thought and fought. Yet through all this, you have never lost your courage. You have grown steadily stronger, though you have experienced the pain of battle many times.

You are no longer alone in your adventure, Paula who is steadfast, kind and even pretty, is always at your side. Jeff is with you as well. Though he is timid, he came from a distant land to help you. Ness, as you certainly know by now, you are not a regular young man… You have an awesome destiny to fulfill.

The journey from this point will be long, and it will be more difficult than anything you have undergone to this point. Yet, I know you will be all right. When good battles evil, which side do you believe wins? Do you have faith that good is triumphant?

One thing you must never lose is courage. If you believe in the goal you are striving for, you will be courageous. There are many difficult times ahead, but you must keep your sense of humor, work through the tough situations and enjoy yourself.

When you have finished this cup of coffee, your adventure will begin again. Next, you must pass through a vast desert and proceed to the big city of Fourside.

Ness…

Paula…

Jeff…

I wish you luck…”

It’s quite the powerful message, and it really reinforces the good that we’re doing here. I know the message said to head to Fourside, but I just know there has to be something down this other tunnel, so I want to check that out first. However, before we get a chance to explore it, the Photographer shows up to take our picture yet again. That’s going to be a good memory. But really, we need to get going to the Milky Well.

After defeating Belch, the enemies in this area aren’t very difficult. However, they ARE very annoying. The Struttin’ Evil Mushrooms for example will scatter their spores around. When they do, mushrooms start growing out of your head. There’s really nothing you can do to get rid of these mushrooms other than going to a hospital, or luckily the hot spring back in Saturn Valley.

There are so many of those mushrooms that it’s nearly impossible to make any progress without getting mushroomized. Since I haven’t really noticed what effect these mushrooms have, I just ignore it or now. Later I find that the mushrooms actually remap the arrow keys, making it difficult to walk around. But it’s not a completely random remapping, just rotational. So I simply held the controller a bit weird while I was exploring. It’s not a big deal really.

We eventually make it all the way to the end, and much to our surprise, there is a My Sanctuary boss blocking the path at the end. Considering everyone has been mushroomized, I don’t think fighting that right now would be the best idea. I think maybe we should head back to town and see if maybe they have some items that would cure the mushrooms.

Death Count: 6

Unfortunately, we discover another side effect of the mushrooms on the way back to Saturn Valley. Apparently the mushrooms also give you a funky feeling, which makes you attack your allies. Unfortunately, it was Paula that got the funky feeling right when she used PK Fire β. It hit everyone for massive damage, and because of that, the entire party was instantly wiped out.

In a way, I guess that helps. It certainly does get us back to town faster. After getting everyone healed up we need to gather up supplies before we fight the next My Sanctuary boss. We also follow up with one of the Mr. Saturn in the cave. Earlier they said they would give us some presents after we defeat Belch. Now that we have, they’re willing to keep their end of the deal. It’s not just one present either, they give us a Cup of Lifenoodles, a Mr. Saturn Coin, and um… a Stag Beetle…

Well, we’re all stocked up now, so join us next time as we attempt to make it to the My Sanctuary boss WITHOUT becoming mushroomized. See you then!

–Day 28–

It took several attempts, but we finally managed to make it to the My Sanctuary boss with everyone healthy. Now we can claim our third My Sanctuary location. Wait a minute, third? So I really did miss one. There must have been one back in the Happy Happy Village after all. There was that other tunnel I never explored because of how weak Paula was at the time.

We’ll have to backtrack later, but for now we need to take care of the Trillion Year Sprout. Surprisingly, this was a rather uneventful battle. We got some good damage in during the first round with a combo of PK Gaming and PK Fire. After that, the Trillion Year Sprout put up a shield to defend itself against any more PK attacks. It took several more rounds of physical attacks, but it eventually became tame and we could enter the My Sanctuary location.

We enter the My Sanctuary and just like the other location, Ness has a seemingly unrelated feeling by being here. This time, Ness thought he heard his mother telling him to “Be a thoughtful, strong boy…” After this, Ness recorded the Melody of the Milky Well and we’ve accomplished our goal here. But now it looks like we’re going to have to backtrack quite a bit to find the second My Sanctuary.

Upon returning to Threek, the change is instantly apparent. Everything looks so much brighter and happier now than it did before. There’s also a small group of people waiting to thank Ness and team for all their hard work. On top of that, there are a lot more people freely walking around town now. Everything is so much better that it summons the photographer again to capture the moment.

Another benefit is that the tunnels are no longer haunted by ghosts. We’re now free to travel forward to Fourside, or as the case may be, back to Twoson. If we’re going to be back in Twoson anyway, we might as well stop in with Paula’s family and let them know she’s doing ok. Her mother was so happy see us she even made us a pizza.

Anyway, we’re tired from all that travel, so we’re going to stop for today. Join us tomorrow when we head back to Happy Happy Village and hopefully locate the second My Sanctuary location we apparently missed.

–Day 29–

The journey through Grateful Dead Valley was relatively painless. Most of the monsters in the area were too scared to fight us and simply ran away. The few that were foolish enough to attempt fighting us were easily stopped thanks to our 3 person party. Before long we arrive at Happy Happy Village, and at the entrance of the cave where I’m sure the second My Sanctuary location is.

As is to be expected, the cave system is a bit of a maze. However, we still benefit from our advanced level while trying to make our way through. None of the enemies put up a substantial fight. Not even the Mighty Bears are much of a threat. In fact, they’re rather cute.

It doesn’t take us long to bulldoze our way through the enemies and make it to the My Sanctuary Boss. I already expected it, but I’m still relieved to see it confirm this to be the second one. Anyway, the boss is the Mondo Mole and unfortunately that’s about all I can tell you about this guy. Thanks to our advanced level and extra party member, the poor thing was defeated in just two turns without every actually attacking.

We proceed through to cave opening to find ourselves at the Lilliput Steps. Here, Ness has another brief vision. This time, he sees a vision of a baby in a red cap, no doubt himself as a baby. I really hope all these visions come together in some meaningful way, because they don’t really mean anything to me yet.

With the location boss defeated, all of the enemies now flee from the party, making the trek back painless. We’re now free to head onto Fourside, but I think there are a few other places I want to check out first since we’re already back tracking. First stop, our lovely coastal cottage. We have more than enough money for it now.

We’re all going to be so happy now! We’re no longer children, we’re home owners. A person’s home is their castle and this home is….A DUMP!!! We’ve been cheated!!! This isn’t a suitable home for anyone to live in. look at it, half the floor is gone, the furniture is destroyed but you sure can enjoy that ocean view through THE ENTIRELY MISSING WALL!!!

To add insult to injury, the photographer shows up again to capture the moment. I object! I don’t want this memory in our photo album. I want to burn this place down and pretend it never happened. COME BACK HERE WITH THAT PICTURE!!!!

I guess we just have to accept the fact that we’ve been cheated. But we can’t stay here, so instead we head up the road back to Ness’ house. His mother makes us all some pizza and we tuck in for the night. After this set back I think we just need some time to ourselves.

Anyway, join us again next time as we probably head back to Threek and ahead to Fourside. See you then!

–Day 30–

Before we head back out on our adventure, I thought it would be a good idea to talk to Ness’ little sister and organize some of the items she’s been holding onto for us. You know, sell off all the cookies that are now mostly useless, drop off a few actually important things for her to hold on to, that kind of stuff. Having that for sale sign really helped too. All I had to do was step outside and people were there to buy my useless junk. It was like a garage sale or something.

Enough of that though, we have an adventure to go on. So we travel all the way from Ness’s house back to Threek and then further on into the Desert. The bus drops us off right in front of a small little shack which seems to be the only building around. It acts as basically a combined store and hotel which means we’ll probably be back here often.

We soon start exploring the vastness of the desert, and it isn’t long before we come across something interesting. Just north of the shack is a monkey guarding a hole in the ground. This look suspicious, so naturally we investigate. Apparently it is the entrance to some paradise for the monkeys set up by someone named Talah Rama. He apparently knows all, but we find out that he’s currently fasting and meditating. He’s also blocking the only entrance to the monkey paradise, so he’s doubly useless to us right now. We’ll just have to make a mental note and remember to come back later.

Next up on our desert tour, we find one of the few mini quests in the game that I had prior knowledge of, the romantic tale of the Black and White Sesame Seeds of the desert. We happen to find the Black Sesame Seed first and he tells us about how he wants to apologize to the White Sesame Seed, if he could just see her again. This is just the perfect example of the brilliantly absurd humor of the game and I love it. It’s one of the reasons I’ve wanted to play this game for so long.

Surprisingly, this little event is enough to trigger yet another appearance of the photographer. I’m still mad about last time when he photographed our terrible house. But I think I’ll forgive him if he’s going to preserve this memory instead.

Anyway, back to speaking of absurd humor, we can’t ignore the other examples we find in the desert. Things like being able to talk to the decayed cow skeletons littered across the desert. Or running into a pair of sun bathers joking about how they are often mistaken for corpses laying in middle of the desert.

However, we can’t overlook the dangers of the desert either, and the worst offender has to be the Smilin’ Sphere. Don’t misunderstand, the Smilin’ Sphere isn’t any stronger than any of the other monsters, and from my encounters, it doesn’t seem to cause any status effects like the mushrooms did. Instead it’s much more annoying by exploding into bits and causing massive damage to the party after it dies. He would probably cause instead death to the party during most encounters if it weren’t for the game’s unique damage counters.

It doesn’t take many encounters like that before we’re ready to call it a day. Join us next time as we continue our exploration of the desert as we search for the While Sesame Seed.

 

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