Earthbound – Day 06

–Day 06–

In the yard behind the arcade, we finally come face to face with Frank, leader of the Sharks. Not only that, but he seems to have some sort of robotic battle tank at his disposal. No doubt I’ll have to fight this monstrosity as well before the day is done.

Frank does look much more dangerous than his underlings, especially considering he’s brandishing 2 knives at once. If this were real life, undoubtedly poor Ness would be killed before the battle even began. However, thanks to the laws of video game logic, Frank isn’t really that much tougher than any of the other Sharks and he goes down pretty easily.

Just as I expected, Frank doesn’t take the defeat lightly and sends in “Frankystein Mark II” to finish the job he couldn’t. Frankystein Mark II is definitely a bit tougher than Frank was, but it handicaps itself with not being able to attack every turn. On top of that, Ness managed to get a nice Smash hit in early in the battle. It didn’t destroy the machine, but it took a huge chunk out of its health. Thanks to that, we managed to beat it without too much difficulty.

After the victory against Frankystein Mark II, Frank finally accepts his failure. As a reward for beating him, Frank tells me what he knows about Giant Step. Apparently news spread quickly that I was interested in getting there. According to Frank, there is some kind of special power stored at Giant Step that allows certain people to perform wondrous feats.

On top of this, it would seem a monster sucked up all the energy there. He also tells me that it’s difficult to get to, and that it is located behind the Touring Entertainers’ Shack. Unfortunately, the Mayor has locked it up, and we’d have to get the key from him if we ever want to go to Giant Step. So it looks like we know where our next stop is.

Once again, news travels fast in this town, and the Mayor has already been informed that I have rid the town of the Sharks. Hearing this, he’s more than willing to hand over the key to the shack, as long as he isn’t responsible if anything bad happens to me. He is a politician after all, nothing can ever be their fault. Politics aside, we now have the key to the Entertainers’ Shack, and it’s time to make our way to the Giant Step.

Once we arrive at the shack, we find out why it was locked up in the first place. Apparently it’s all Frank’s fault. At some point, Frank must have broken in and trashed the place, so the Mayor locked it up for safety reasons. Honestly, “trashed” is perhaps a bit harsh of a description for this level of damage. Other than the giant hole in the wall, the shack is actually quite tidy.

Then again, who am I to be a Grammar Nazi? What I can plainly say though is that I was not prepared for the fight ahead of me just getting to the Giant Step. The enemies in the cave look like they should be weak, but they are actually as strong as or stronger than the Sharks. The Rowdy Mice for example seem to have an unnaturally high chance of getting Smash hits on Ness. If it weren’t for this fact, they’d actually be quite easy.

However, it was the Black Antoid enemies really took me by surprise. For starters, they are so small you barely notice them while walking around. On top of that, they usually attack in groups, and are surprisingly strong for ants. I underestimated them and paid the price for it as they quickly killed me.

I’ll have to proceed cautiously if I plan to make it all the way to the Giant Step. Thankfully these new enemies give relatively high amounts of experience, so a little level grinding might just do the trick. Sure enough, Ness levels up to level 8 and in the process learns a new ability “PK Gaming α”. This psychedelic looking attack hits all enemies for some massive damage. However, the 10pp cost is a bit steep and I’ll have to use it sparingly.

We’re so close to the Giant Step now, but it would appear Ness simply isn’t strong enough yet. So join me next time as we train and press forward towards our goal!

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