Earthbound – Week 07

–Day 31–

The search continues for the missing White Sesame Seed, but with very little results. We do encounter a few other things of interest though. There is apparently a small oasis near the center of the desert where a desert monkey lives. He doesn’t really give you anything but he’s fun to see.

While travelling along the road back to the shack to rest and heal, we also come across the Sanchez Brothers and their friend. They are dressed like slot machine wheels and will spin around if you put money into the broken slot machine. I played this a few times, but I never managed to win anything. I’m curious if you really can win something from them or if it’s just for a laugh.

Another very curious find was this little green caterpillar like enemy we found in the desert. As soon as it saw us it ran away, but something told me we should try to catch it. When we did, wasn’t I surprised to see not only an instant victory, but also a HUGE amount of experience from the little guy. I’ll have to try to find more of them.

Towards the right side of the desert, we also find a sign post with a mini quest on it. Apparently someone has lost their contact lenses out here in the desert and is offering a reward for their safe return. Thankfully, they’re right nearby to the sign post, just slightly northeast of it actually. We’ll just hold onto this until we can return it to its owner in Fourside.

After much searching, we FINALLY find the White Sesame Seed. We learn that she’s also worried about the Black Sesame Seed and wants him to know she still loves him. She actually seems a bit relieved when we tell her we’ve already see him and he is doing well.

Before we call it a day, we return to the Black Sesame Seed to relay the message that the White Sesame Seed still loves him. He’s obviously happy to hear the news. So happy in fact that he starts to weep. What a lovely ending to a nice little mini quest.

Well, I’m happy now that we’ve fixed the Black and White Sesame Seeds relationship. There’s only a little bit left of the desert to explore and then we’ll be off to Fourside. So see you again next time.

–Day 32–

Our final day out here in the desert is sadly rather uneventful. The only real point of interest left to explore is the Dusty Dunes Headquarters located on the east side of the desert. On the surface, it isn’t much to look at, just a small shack and the start of a hole. Inside the shack they at least offer to let us stay the night, free of charge. I wish I knew about this sooner, I wouldn’t have wasted so much money at the Inn.

The dig site itself is also rather unimpressive. There is just a tiny hole with a ladder at the surface. Then inside the tunnel it looks like work might have only recently begun. The small tunnel has nothing of any real interest in it and doesn’t lead anywhere. Maybe it will be of use in the future, but right now I think we’ve seen everything there is to see.

During our exploration of the desert, Jeff unfortunately passes out. So we take a quick ride back to Threek to revive him. During this visit, I was quite surprised to see that Ness can have a hidden status effect of “Homesick”. I’m not sure what kind of effect this will actually have during gameplay, but it’s easily cured with a quick call home to Mom.

We return to the desert and spend the rest of the day searching every last corner for anything else we might have missed. Once that’s done, it’s time to hop on the bus and finally head into Fourside like we probably should have done ages ago. Fourside looks like a rather large city compared to the smaller towns we’ve seen so far. I’m actually really excited to see what it has to offer.

Unfortunately, that exploration is going to have to wait until next time. See you there!

–Day 33–

We’ve finally made it to Fourside, and it isn’t long before we start hearing people talking about the Runaway Brothers whom we previously helped back in Twoson. Now free from their evil manager, they are now the top performers at Fourside’s Topolla Theater. Good for them. We should probably check in on them. I’m sure they’d be happy to see us again.

Unfortunately, there’s a bit of sad news when we do see them. Apparently their new manager at the Topolla Theater is actually worse than their previous one. Somehow, in the short time since we last saw them, the Runaway Brothers have managed to rack up a million dollars worth of debt already. How? How could they manage to get ONE MILLION DOLLARS in debt in the short time since we saw them last?

At least we get to see their show again. Although, I think they might be a little depressed from their debt this time. They’re not exactly hitting their marks tonight and the show is a bit of a mess. It looks like we’re going to have to pay off their debt yet again, although I’m not entirely sure HOW we’re going to earn a million dollars in the first place.

We continue searching around Fourside, and the next person we start hearing about is Mr. Geldegarde Monotoli. He’s apparently an incredibly rich person who now basically controls the city now. Depending on who I ask, this could be either a good thing or a bad thing, I’m not really sure yet, but past experience has taught me it’s probably a bad thing.

Perhaps Mr. Monotoli can help us with the Runaway Brother’s debt, so I guess there’s no harm in going to see him. Before we do that though, we happen to find the bakery. If you remember, the sign in the desert said the person who lost the contact lens lives over the bakery. He is very grateful that we’ve returned then, and as a reward he offers us his socks. His old, smelly socks that he’s been wearing for the last 5 years… Thank you? I guess…

Leaving his presence as quickly as possible, we apparently find ourselves wandering into the Fourside Museum where they have some dinosaur bones on display. I love dinosaurs, and apparently the Photographer knows I love dinosaurs, because he was right there to capture the moment for us.

After talking with Mr. Spoon, the researcher in charge, we find out that this dinosaur is just a replica. However, there are rumors going around that real living dinosaurs are roaming around in the southern region of Scarabia. There are even rumors that they’ve started eating some of the natives. No naturally, the scientist doesn’t want to go there and get eaten too, but he’s perfectly comfortable sending out group of children in his place. He’s not asking for us to defeat them, just bring back a few pictures to help his research. Sounds like fun, very dangerous fun.

As we continue exploring the town, we also learn that the department store is apparently haunted. At the moment, there’s really nothing we can do about this. We’re not even allowed to enter the building yet. But we can be sure that we’ll be forced to get rid of those ghosts eventually.

It’s depressing to see that the department store is closed, but what’s more depressing is the hit and run our party was a victim of. That’s right! While innocently walking around town, a cab drove right into our heroes. Not that I’m trying to justify driving over young children, but it does look like the cab might have been possessed by something.

To make matters worse, it would seem even the traffic signs are under some kind of possession as they too jump out to attack our heroes. What kind of nightmare town is this where cars and street signs are actively trying to kill young children?

On a more light hearted note, we do find another bit of shameless self-promotion in the game by the developers. This time we stumble upon a developers meeting for the game’s sequel Mother 3. It’s nice to see that they were planning for a third game that far in advance. It’s just sad it was never properly localized after they made it.

Anyway, that’s enough exploring for today. Join us again tomorrow as we finish exploring and most likely try to talk Mr. Monotoli into paying off the Runaway Brother’s Debt. See you then!

–Day 34–

Having explored every other area of town, I supposed it’s time we went and talked to Mr. Monotoli. He’s not hard to find of course, he has his name plastered on the side of the tallest building in town. I am a bit surprised how easy it is to get to him though. Especially considering he practically owns the police force. The elevator operator however seemed to have her own issues with me unrelated to us wanting is see Mr. Monotoli.

I didn’t catch it at first in the elevator, but another familiar name has started to pop up, Porky. It would seem he has somehow weaseled his way in with Mr. Monotoli and is profiting off of his recent success. Not only that, but he seems to have hired rather trigger happy guards. Before I even have a chance to do anything they are already threatening to shoot me if I do anything suspicious.

Inside one of the office suites, we actually run into the tubby little devil himself. After flaunting his new status to us and pretending not to remember us, he states that he is in fact Mr. Monotoli’s partner. Apparently he gives him Political and economic advice. I would like to point out that Porky is supposed to be 13 years old, and any business man that takes political and economic advice from a 13 year old needs to have their head examined.

After he is done bragging, he sets his guards on our party and has us forced out of the room with the threat never to return. I mean, you can return if you want to, nothing actually happens, he just says the same thing and then throws you out again, but still…. NEVER RETURN!

Anyway, just down the hall we find that Aloysius Minch, Porky’s father, is also benefitting from this whole situation. I don’t remember much about our last encounter with him, but I do remember that he was pretty money obsessed before. He seemed to detest the fact that his family had sunk down the lower class from their once elite status. I guess he got what he wanted at least.

Sadly, we have to call this visit a failure, due to the fact that we never did actually get to see Mr. Monotoli. In fact, we didn’t really get any new information at all out of that visit. It looks like we’re going to have to hit the streets again and hope to find some kind of clue. Unfortunately, nothing much really surfaced. The best I saw was someone mentioning a dig for treasure out in the desert. But we’ve already been to the dig site and it wasn’t anything special.

It might not be a very good lead, but it’s the only one we have right now, so we head back to the dig site to investigate. And weren’t we surprised to see that quite a bit of work had been done since the last time we were here. The main hole has been expanded to a sizable crater at this point. Not only that, but there is now a crowd gathered to watch the dig as it progresses.

Of course, things have hit a snag down below ground and it looks like it’s up to us to fix it yet again. Apparently while digging, the miners discovered a maze full of monsters. Not only that, but there are 5 Big Moles apparently acting as leaders. In order for work to progress, we’ll first have to defeat all 5 of the moles and rid the tunnel of all monsters.

Heading north from the entrance and down to a sub-level, we happen to come across the first of the 5 moles. It is indeed a rather large mole, and if we’re to believe what it says, it is the 3rd strongest of the 5 moles. That’s perfect actually, it will give us a good benchmark for the battles to come.

As it turns out, the third strongest mole wasn’t all that hard to defeat. Don’t get me wrong, its attacks are powerful, and could easily kill a party member if we’re not careful. However, it doesn’t have a whole lot of HP of its own, and it is easily defeated within only a few rounds of battle. So that’s 1 down and 4 left to go.

The maze however does end up being rather problematic for me. Not to mention the high number of enemies in the area constantly slowing things down. Between Gigantic Ants and Dry Coil Snakes, it’s difficult to take even a few steps without getting into another battle.

So for now I think we’re going to call it a day. Join us tomorrow as we continue ridding this cave of its Giant Mole problem.

–Day 35–

So we’re back with another day of hunting down Giant Moles. However, it’s quite easy to get lost in these caves. Thankfully, we stumble upon the family of Exit Mice once again. We haven’t seen these guys since we first entered Twoson, and it looks like we might actually need them at some point in here. Sadly for us, we don’t have the exit mouse with us right now, it’s currently in storage. We’ll have to call home and have him delivered to us soon.

Anyway, our aimless wandering through the maze eventually shows results as we walk right into another of the Giant Moles. To our surprise, this one claims to REALLY be the 3rd strongest of the 5 moles. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, why would the other one lie about that? In any event, this one doesn’t seem much stronger than the last. In fact, one good hit from Paula’s PK Freeze γ is almost enough to kill it. Just a little more push and we have killed the 2nd of the 5 Guardian Diggers.

After a little more exploring, we’re starting to get a good feel for the layout of the maze. With that said, we quickly bump into the next Giant Mole. This one at least isn’t the 3rd strongest. Instead it falls between the second and the fourth….wait… that means this one IS also claiming to be 3rd strongest. In a way, they are all very consistent. None of them have seemed to be any stronger than the last, and they keep dying in just a few attacks.

Having defeated 3 of the 5 Giant Moles, it’s time to find our way to the exit so we can regroup and recover before going after the final 2. It was during this time that something rather odd happened. After defeating a Dry Coil Snake, it dropped a present which happened to have a Chick inside. Apparently it’s a live chick, and I can even hear it chirping over the background music. I really don’t know what I’m expected to do with a live chick, but for now I guess I’ll just have to love it and care for it.

We return to the HQ building, take a brief nap, make a few calls, and then it’s right back into the maze. The family of Exit Mice actually prove to be quite a useful landmark, and using them as reference we quickly find the next Giant Mole. It’s almost expected now, but this one ALSO claims to be the 3rd strongest of the 3 Giant Moles. Why 3rd? Why couldn’t you all fight over 1st?

At this point, there’s really only one path left to go down. There at the end of the tunnel is the final of the Giant Moles. This one acknowledges that we’ve already defeated the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th strongest masters, but now we need challenge the true 3rd strongest of the 5. This is just ridiculous, how am I supposed to know which one REALLY IS the true 3rd strongest? I guess we’ll just never know…

With that victory, all 5 of the Giant Moles have been defeated, and it’s time to head out of here. Sadly, I’m going to leave you hanging a bit to find out what our reward is. Join us next time to find out!