Earthbound – Day 18

–Day 18–

And so, our journey South is truly underway. Unfortunately for us, Jeff starts out incredibly weak at level 1. Doubly unfortunate for us is our first enemy encounter outside the school. Instead of running into a weak enemy like a spiteful crow, we end up running for our lives from a Gruff Goat. These happen to be the strongest enemies in the area, and this one nearly ends our adventure before it even begins.

I really have to be thankful for all those cookies I stole earlier, they really helped us right now. But what really saved us was the fact that Jeff was carrying around a Big Bottle Rocket in his pocket… That sounds wrong… Anyway, this did massive damage to the Gruff Goat and we survived to fight another day. We also managed to level up all the way to level 3 instantly from this one fight.

However, this fight made me realize something quite worrying. What are we going to do to recover health? Those cookies won’t last forever. We also can’t get back into the school to rest. I guess we could buy items at the shop, but without an ATM Card we have no way to withdraw any money.

Thankfully a couple of campers have set up a tent out in the woods. They’re nice enough to offer us some tea and let us rest for a while. I have a feeling we’re going to be visiting these campers quite often. At least until Jeff gains a few levels and can take care of himself.

As Jeff continues south, we come to the edge of Lake Tess where we find a rather large gathering of the “Tessie-Watching Club”. It would seem they’re all camping out in hopes of catching a glimpse of Tessie.

Sadly, none of them seem to have any true insight on the creature. However, one suggests that Tessie only shows up when it’s windy. Then another is quite confident that Tessie will show up tomorrow. Normally I would call them optimistic fanatics, but in games all rumors are true. So I should really look forward to seeing Tessie tomorrow.

Much like with the campers, the Tessie-Watching club is nice enough to share their provisions with us. This time the group’s chef is willing to let me have some of their stew and rest for the night. Of course, we can’t just lounge around while Ness and Paula are in danger. In fact, Paula reminds Jeff of their danger by contacting him telepathically during the night.

Also during the night, we learn about Jeff’s repair ability. Apparently this is something that will happen automatically whenever we sleep, assuming Jeff’s ability is high enough. In this case, Jeff managed to repair the Broken Spray Can into a can of Defense Spray. Now I know what to do with any broken items I find.

We awake the next morning and see that the wind is blowing, as indicated by the leaves blowing around now. That was of course one of the signs that Tessie would be showing up. Like I said, in games, all rumors are in fact true and Tessie is sure to show up today.

With Tessie’s arrival imminent, there’s only one thing to do, take pictures of everything. So naturally, the photographer shows up to take Jeff’s picture. It’s interesting, this is the first picture so far that won’t have Ness in it.

Anyway, now that Tessie has actually arrived, I have a brief panic attack. What if it’s a boss battle? There’s no way Jeff is high enough level right now for any kind of major boss battle. Oh no, that was probably why Jeff was already carrying that Big Bottle Rocket! I was supposed to hold onto it for exactly this battle.

Thankfully, no such boss battle takes place. After giving the monkey some gum, he floats over to Tessie’s head as it rises from the water. Then for no explained reason, Tessie allows Jeff to ride on her (I’m assuming it’s a her) back and across to the southern edge of the lake.

After dropping us off on the shore, Tessie simply leaves just as quickly as she arrived. I’m thankful for the assistance, but now I wish we could have spent more time with her. I’m actually a big fan of monsters like the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot and other creatures like that. Of well, we’ll just have to continue on without her.

Tessie may have given us a nice little ferry ride across the lake, but she didn’t exactly drop us off in an ideal spot. Just south of where we landed there is yet another Pencil-Shaped Iron Statue blocking our way. Without any other options, we are forced to make our way through the dungeon maze known as “Brickroad”.

Inside the maze, we once again have to face off against the Rowdy Mice. Just like before, these creatures have an unnaturally high chance to get critical hits. Thankfully the maze is stuffed full of presents full of items to keep my health up. It’s also not a very long or particularly complicated maze.

Even with the simplicity of the maze, there are still a few things that leave you with your guard up. Certain deceptions, like these monster infested present boxes. Normally I would expect the monster itself to be some kind of haunted present, but no. Instead we are attacked by some Worthless Protoplasm which are, well, worthless.

There is also a sign halfway through the maze warning you to watch out for falling materials. However, instead of anything dangerous falling from the sky, we are instead greeted by the photographer once again. Yet another first, not only is Ness not in this picture either, but this is also the first instance of us having two pictures taken in the same play session.

So after fighting some mad ducks and opening finding all the presents in the maze, we finally make our way to the exit. There’s even a phone here so you can save your progress. It would be such a shame to make it all this way and then lose everything.

As soon as we leave the dungeon we are confronted by the dungeon’s developer, Brickroad. Now this makes me question if the dungeon itself is also named Brickroad or if I just jumped to conclusions. Anyway, Brickroad tells us that he has devoted his life to creating dungeons by combining his skills with the intelligence of Dr. Andonuts. Oh good, he’s friends with Jeff’s dad.

After sharing his ambition to become “Dungeon Man”, the first ever combination of human and dungeon, he offers us up a good night’s rest. We gladly take him up on his offer, we could use some healing after the damage we took in that dungeon of his.

We still have quite a ways to go until we’ve rescued Ness and Paula. We haven’t even made it to Stonehenge yet. But that’s going to have to wait till next time. See you then.