Earthbound – Week 09

–Day 41–

There are a lot of monkeys in this tunnel asking for things, and it can quickly become very annoying. However, I will commend the game for one thing. Many of the paths have presents on them which contain the very items the other monkeys are asking for. Thanks to this, you only need to bring one or two things into the tunnel intentionally, and then everything else will work out on its own.

Searching through the maze of tunnels, we eventually find ourselves at yet another dead end. This time we actually managed to the Bag of Dragonite which the other monkey mentioned. It seems to be quite a powerful item to use in battle. Apparently you sprinkle it on a party member and they will turn into a dragon to defeat the enemies. Another dead end had a Flame Pendant which appears to negate Fire damage in battle. I’ll have to keep these safe for later.

We continue trading items with the monkeys until we find the correct sequence of paths. For the record, the correct path is Right path, Left Path, Right path. There’s a little problem though, we find ourselves blocked by yet another Pencil statue. So we’re going to have to head back out and call Escargo Express to get the Pencil Eraser out of storage.

After that, I ideal course of action is to actually WAIT for the delivery guy. But that’s not for me, no, I apparently wanted to be stupid and go back into the caves without waiting. Naturally, the delivery guy couldn’t find me and left with my package. Without the Pencil Eraser there really isn’t anything I can do, so let’s call Escargo Express again and actually WAIT this time.

After waiting for the delivery guy, we dive back into the caves and head straight for the Pencil Statue. Just as we thought, inside this room is Talah Rama. He starts talking about space and time and destiny and, you know, the kind of stuff that you would expect to hear from someone who has meditated so much he’s literally floating in the air.

After his long speech, he hands over the Tofu Machine which the delivery guy dropped. In addition to that, he also offers to teach us a special skill to help us move through space. Well, he offers to let the monkey teach us the skill anyway.

It’s apparently not the type of skill you can learn inside, so we follow the monkey back outside and down to the road. Apparently we’re being taught the ability to instantly teleport back to any location we’ve previously visited. This will definitely make it easier to travel around. However, there is a slight catch to the ability. You don’t simply whirlwind away like many other games allow you to teleport. In this game, you have to actually get a good running start before you teleport away. This also means if you run into anything it will cause the teleportation to fail.

With our new found ability, we teleport back to Fourside and head to the hotel for some well deserved rest. Tomorrow for sure we’ll rescue Paula, so join me then as we get her back. See you then.

–Day 42–

We return once again to the Monotoli Building, outside of which the maid is waiting for us to return with the Gourmet Tofu Machine. Before we even get a chance to offer it to her she has already taken it out of our hands. At the very least she invites us up to her room on the 48th Floor to grab a piece for ourselves if we want it.

You may remember, or perhaps I never mentioned it, but the floor Porky is on is actually the 47th floor. Now that we’ve been invited up to the 48th we can finally use the other private elevator. The maid was even kind enough to tell the elevator girl to expect us. She did forget one thing though. She forgot to tell us the code to deactivate all the Sentry Robots roaming around the building.

Without that code, there’s really nothing we can do but to fight our way through to Mr. Monotoli’s office. I would like to note that the 48th floor seems much larger than the 47th. It also seems to have a somewhat impossible and maze like floor plan with more rooms in it that you would expect. Really, the ground floor was just a small lobby. Not many buildings get wider like this the higher up you go…

We eventually make it to a room with a tiny little robot that doesn’t really look like it is even capable of causing us much harm. In fact it can barely stand up. It doesn’t seem to be actually attacking either of us. And on the few occasions it might have done something bad is when it falls over and accidentally shoots off a strange beam, which ultimately fails to affect anyone.

Even when it’s not shooting off beams at us, it does simple things like cleaning the area around itself. Or on occasion I have seen it eating a bologne sandwich. I didn’t think robots even could eat…

We never do actually defeat this robot, which I’m kind of happy about, he’s a cute little guy. Instead, after several turns “Some guys rush into the room.” It’s the Runaway Brothers here to help us. They jump behind the robot and flip a switch on its back, shutting it off.

Where the heck did you guys run off to before? If you wanted to help, I could have used a lot of it before now. Whatever, they’re here to help now in whatever way they can. The only problem right now is that they have to use the bathroom… Couldn’t they have done that before?

Well I’m not going to wait around for them and we rush into the office without them. Finally we’ve found Paula and the Evil Mr. Monotoli. That’s what we’ve been led to believe anyway. After talking with Paula, she insists that he’s not a bad person after all, and we should really hear him out before we judge him.

Monotoli assures us that he hasn’t done anything to Paula, she’s a nice girl after all. He even insists she rejoin our party before continuing on with his explanation of what happened. As we already knew, the Mani Mani statue has the power to create illusions. But it also attracts evil spirits and weakens your heart. That power scared him, so he hid it behind the bar, where we ultimately destroyed it.

He apparently went there often to pray, and while doing so cryptic words would appear during the illusions. He would hear things like “Stop Ness, and do so by your own hand.” or “Don’t let them go to Summers.” or “Make sure they know nothing of the Pyramid.” The finally thing he mentions is Giygas’ name. So it would seem Giygas was behind this as well. Monotoli doesn’t fully understand what they all mean, honestly I don’t fully understand them either. But I do know one thing, this means we’re going to have to go to summers soon, and we’re probably going to find a pyramid there…

Now back in his right mind, Monotoli strongly encourages us to go to Summers in defiance of the evil messages he’s been told. To aid us, he even offers to let us use him helicopter to get there. Before we can even accept his offer, he pushes aside the stuffed bear by the door, which somehow opens a secret staircase in the wall to the helipad on the roof.

Wasting no time at all, we head up the stairs, but somehow we are too late, someone else is flying away with the helicopter already. Somehow Porky managed to slip past us and is now taking it for himself. Now that Monotoli is back to normal, he has no use left for him and he’s getting out of here.

This appears to be a pretty big problem for us. Summers is somewhere across the ocean. Without a helicopter, we have no way of getting there, at least no way that I’ve seen yet. Just as we’re about to leave Monotoli’s office, Paula gets a sudden feeling and informs us that we need to go back to Threek if we want to get to Summers.

I’m not sure what we can do back in Threek, but the Runaway Brothers are still there to help us. After hearing what needs to be done, they offer to drive us back to Threek in their tour bus. We all start to make our way downstairs when we get another unexpected call from Apple Kid.

It would seem he has identified the enemy of all humanity and the only way to defeat him is to build a “Phase Distorter” whatever that is. He needs to find Dr. Andonuts to help him build it, so he may be gone for a while. I’m not sure how any of that really helps us right now, but I’m sure we’ll find out.

Not to be outdone, we get a call from Orange kid not much later. Unlike Apple Kid, Orange Kid’s current project seems to be, shall we say, less than helpful… For some reason he is working on a machine that will change boiled eggs back into raw eggs. Thanks, I guess, but of all the inventions you could make, I really don’t see how that one is going to help us any…

After many delays, we finally make it downstairs to the tour bus that has been waiting for us. We all pack inside and enjoy a pleasant road trip back to Threek. When they drop us off, one of them tries to help us figure out what could possibly be here in Threek that we need, perhaps some important item or gadget that we left behind.

That’s when I remembered, we did leave something important here. Jeff’s Sky Walker is still crashed back in the graveyard. Maybe he’s finally smart enough to figure out a way to fix it now. As it turns out, we might not have to fix much at all. Upon our arrival we see that two other people have already mostly fixed it up for us. It just needs a few final touches before it’s back up and running, which Jeff easily performs.

At the moment, the Sky Walker still can’t get us to Summers though. It can however get us back to Dr. Andonuts lab back in Winters. Once we’re there we’ll just have to see if he’d be willing to modify it for us to get us the rest of the way. With that hope in mind we all climb inside and off to Dr. Andonuts’ lab.

It’s a relatively short flight, and we arrive to the lab to a warm welcome from the two monkeys Jeff previously encountered. Since we’ve been gone, they’ve actually gone and gotten married. They didn’t waste any time did they. They also strongly hint towards our next destination. Now that ness is in our party, it would seem we’re supposed to claim the My Sanctuary location Jeff passed by before, the one just north of Stonehenge. After that they are off, it is their honeymoon after all.

Dr. Andonuts’ reception isn’t quite as warm and welcoming. Out of absolutely nowhere and without even a hello, Dr. Andonuts informs us that Jeff wets his bed sometimes, but is otherwise a good boy… How long has he been alone out here in his lab, because that is way beyond simply being “Bad at small talk.”

Now that Jeff is on suicide watch after that terrible introduction to his father, I think it would be best to take a break. Join us again next time as we help Jeff overcome his bed wetting… I mean… reclaim another My Sanctuary location. See you then!

–Day 43–

I remember from the last time we were here that the My Sanctuary location really isn’t far at all from the lab. For a brief moment I thought things would be looking up. Then we ran into this jackass who instantly starts insulting us, calling us stupid kids and arrogantly explaining to us what Stonehenge is. I guess it’s just going to be one of those days…

Anyway, the enemies in this area haven’t changed much either. There are still the same Bigfoot enemies Jeff faced the first time through here. The only change is that they seem to be much more numerous now. They’ve also gained a new friend in the form of Might Bear Seven. I’m not entirely sure what the “Seven” in its name is referring to, it’s interesting though.

Anyway, we have a job to do, and that is to reclaim the My Sanctuary. It’s just inside the cave entrance, so it’s no hassle at all to get there. Thankfully this really is the Fourth My Sanctuary location, we didn’t miss any like we did last time.

This one is guarded by the boss Shrooom! It’s a giant mushroom enemy, which scares me a little because of all the trouble they’ve caused us in the past. Sure enough, its opening move was to scatter some spores which caused Jeff to become mushroomized. Now he’s pretty much useless for the rest of the fight. Hopefully Ness and Paula can handle this on their own.

Poor Jeff, on top of being mushroomized, he also gets poisoned about half way through the battle. Other than that though, the battle went fairly smoothly. None of Shrooom’s attacks were anything the team couldn’t handle and before we even knew it, he was defeated.

We quickly walk through the opening to found ourselves at the Rainy Circle, a curious little spot of perpetual rain surrounded by the otherwise snowy Winters terrain. Just for a second, Ness caught a whiff of Pizza, but as the sensation fades he gets back to the task at hand and records the sound of the location.

Returning to Dr. Andonuts, he once again reminds us that Jeff wets his bed. This time he also notices that we’ve discovered what we were looking for. He then informs us that he has made the upgrades to the Sky Walker we had requested and that it’s ready to go whenever we are.

For Jeff’s sake, I thought it would be best if we all get into the Sky Walker as soon as possible and get far away from Dr. Andonuts. At least for now, I’m sure we’re going to require his help again at some point. After all, Apple Kid did hint to the fact that he would create the very device we would need to defeat Giygas. So for now, we all climb aboard the Sky Walker and head off to Summers.

Unfortunately, we have a bit of a hard landing on the beach and the whole thing explodes once again. We’re all mostly fine though, so I guess no harm done. Anyway, as would be expected of a place named “Summers” the town is a warm beach town, and to some extent a tourist trap. Looking at the map, the whole town is basically just one long strip of buildings lining the beach.

As nice as the beach is, I can’t help but feel like the experience might have been ruined by a bad first impression. I’m not even talking about the crash landing either. I’m referring to the fact that after talking to the very first person we see, we are instantly attacked by an Over Zealous Cop. Is this how they treat everyone or does this cop just have something against us personally?

We’ll try to get over that bad first experience and see what else the beach has to offer. There are quite a few people to talk to after all, someone might have some good advice about what to do next. Most of them don’t of course, and it even looks like one of the Sanchez Brothers has even opened up a little Gelato cart for himself.

After talking to nearly everyone, we do find one person that has some good advice for us. This person advises us that we should travel across the sea to Scarabia from the nearby port town of Toto. If I remember right, I believe the researcher back in the dinosaur museum also suggested we should head to Scarabia. I think he wanted a picture of a real live dinosaur I believe. So good, we have at least a clue where to go from here. But first we should check out the rest of the town.

The whole town is limited to just the one strip along the beach, so it doesn’t really take a lot of time to explore the whole thing. There are the usual tourists you would expect to see, hanging out in front of the elegant hotel and fancy restaurant. But a bit more unusual is the fact that Summers has its own museum as well as the “Stoic Club”, whatever that is.

Following the road to the eastern end, we find ourselves in the port town of Toto. This is where we will eventually charter a boat to take us to Scarabia, however we’re not ready to leave Summers yet. On top of that, there is apparently a large sea monster named Kraken that has been attacking ships lately and making sea travel very dangerous. We’ll have to keep that in mind for when we eventually leave.

As we continue to wander around Toto, we do stumble upon a useful bit of information. Apparently the Stoic Club is a private club and requires you to call ahead before you’ll even be granted entry. Thankfully this person is nice enough to give us the number, so we’ll just have to call it later if we even want to get it.

After leaving that person’s house, we get a very unexpected call from Jeff’s buddy Tony from back at the boarding school. Apparently Tony is busy collecting player names for a school project, breaking the 4th wall, and asking for my personal name as the player of the game. Just a reminder, this is a SNES game which came out well before any online leaderboards or anything else of that nature, so I’m not really sure what this is going to be used for, especially with it being asked this far into the game.

For now I guess we’ll just head back to the hotel to let that 4th wall break really set in. Join us again next time as we finish exploring Summers and hopefully head off to Scarabia!

–Day 44–

You know, this whole time we’ve been trying to save the world, but we haven’t had any time to just relax and enjoy the scenery. So today we’re going to take in the sites a bit before anything else. The camera man knows what we’re talking about, he’s right there in front of the hotel ready to take our picture and start the day off right.

He almost seems to follow us around today. While we were down on the beach he showed up to capture the moment. Then again when we went to the restaurant for some lunch he showed up. Although this time he did kind of drop down from the ceiling into some little old ladies food…

After this we go on a nice shopping spree. Nice and expensive that is, can you believe these prices? $1198 for a Chef’s Fry Pan? $3080 for a Big League Bat? $9998 for a diamond band?!?!?! We end up spending nearly our entire life savings equipping everyone with the latest and greatest gear available to us.

Later we head over to the museum which has a very Egyptian style exhibit on display. I’m guessing these are supposed to be Scarabian artifacts. There’s Rum Raisin the third’s casket, Rum Raisin the fourth’s casket, and even Rum Raisin the fifth’s training pot. Wait a minute, his training pot? Why would they have that on display?

The other museum guests also give us some things to think about. The one surfer dude states a chubby kid was just here, he looked very wealthy and was being extravagant. No doubt that was Porky, since he must have arrived some time before me.

The other guy must also be some kind of researcher, because Mr. Spoon from the Fourside museum is trying to call him for some reason. Mysteriously, he doesn’t seem to want to answer the call for some reason. Even more curious, there was a mysterious musical cue that played after talking to him. What does it all mean?

Sadly, there are no answers to be found at the moment, so we slip over to our final destination for the day, the Stoic Club. Of course we had to call in advance, which is kind of weird, but the atmosphere and clientele inside are even weirder. For starters, take a look at the stage show. It’s just a rock. Everyone just stares at the stone and Philosophizes.

We try talking to this one guy by the stage, but he is talking about god only knows. He’s using big words that I’m not familiar with and whatever he said just seems like gibberish. Then some other guy is talking about wanting some magic cake, which only the lady on the right can make. It’s just weird.

Even the employees don’t seem to get it. The Mr. T looking fellow walking around seems to run the place and he doesn’t understand the thing these people are talking about. But they’re all willing to pay a lot of money for ordinary water, so as long as it’s good for business he puts up with their nonsense.

With that, our day of relaxation comes to an end. It’s time to head back to the hotel and rest up, because tomorrow we plan to sail across the sea. If rumors are true, and they always are, that also means we’ll be facing the Kraken tomorrow. So join us then as we battle the monster of the deep!

–Day 45–

Fully rested, today we set out to the distant land of Scarabia. At least that’s what I thought we would be doing today. The captain of the ship is refusing to leave because he’s worried about his wife. Apparently she has mostly given up on her Magic Cake business and is instead spending all her time in some strange club. It has him really worried that maybe their relationship is over.

I kind of ignored it as just a funny comment before, but wasn’t there someone inside the Stoic Club that was supposed to be able to make Magic Cake? Sure enough, there she was with the other strange people in the Stoic Club talking about weird things. However, just mentioning the Magic Cake to her was enough to snap her out of it. She quickly agrees to make one for us, we just need to meet her outside by her food cart.

The beach is pretty long, so it took me a moment before I was able to find her, but there she was with her food cart just south of the Shop. Just for us, she used the very last of her ingredients to make a very special magic cake just for us. And boy oh boy, does it live up to its name. I don’t know what kind of drugs she infused that cake with, but now I understand why those people at the stoic club are speaking nonsense.

While Ness and friends fall into their drug coma, we’re going to shift our attention to the country of Dalaam in the Far East. This is where we finally are introduced to the last member of our party, Poo. Apparently, Poo is actually the Prince of Dalaam, who would have thought we’d have royalty joining our party.

We join Poo as he is being informed that the time has come for him to undertake his final trial. He must go to Mu, the “Place of Emptiness” and endure the final test. I have no idea what any of that means, but I’m sure it will become apparent as soon as we leave the palace.

Before that, I do want to point out this guy next to Poo’s throne. See how he has a really funky hairstyle? Well that’s because this guy actually is a telephone. Poo ends up calling Ness’ dad, who thinks his son is doing voice impressions, and is capable of saving the game this way. I just thought it was funny and wanted to point it out.

As we walk around town, it becomes apparent that Poo is quite the ladies’ man. I mean, just being a Prince surely makes it easy to have all the ladies falling over you. That is, everyone except for this one girl who seems to not even recognize Poo as she talks about him in the 3rd person. How do you know even know what your prince looks like? There are only maybe 10 people in the whole village.

As us suspected, it’s not hard to find Mu. There are only a few buildings in town, which by the way seems to be floating in the air. And the only exit out of town is blocked by some kind of rabbit statues. Anyway, there is an elder here that will walk us through what we have to do.

We climb to the highest point and start to meditate, but we’ve barely gotten comfortable before we’re interrupted. A messenger has shown up saying out master needs us to return to the Palace immediately and give up on the trial for now. I have no idea if this is actually PART of the trial or not, so I’m going to wait here just a moment longer to be sure.

Apparently waiting here was the right choice. Moments after the messenger leave we encounter the spirit of his ancient lineage. As part of the trial, the spirit is going to break our legs so we can’t use them anymore. Hold on a minute! No one said anything about breaking our legs!

Next he tears off Poo’s arms and feeds them to the crows. Without arms and legs there’s really nothing Poo can do to defend himself now, but the spirit isn’t done yet. He continues to cut off Poo’s ears so he can’t hear anything either. What kind of trial is this?

The spirit isn’t done yet either. Now he wants to remove Poo’s eyes, leaving him immobile in a world of silent darkness. With nothing left, the spirit communicates telepathically to Poo. Apparently the spirit wants the last thing he has left, his mind. And just like that, Prince Poo is a vegetable. What a shame. We only got to play as him for like 5 minutes…

OH! I guess we passed the trial! And look, Prince Poo seems to still have all his limbs back. With the trial completed we really should return to the Palace this time to tell our master, Yi-Si-Qi. I’m sure he’ll be very pleased to hear we were not in fact chopped to pieces by the spirit of our ancestors.

Our master has nothing left to teach, and so he relays a message he received from the heavens. The evil entity that controls all wickedness, most likely Giygas, is preparing for the greatest struggle of all time. The only ones that can challenge him are three boys and one girl. This of course refers to Ness, Paula, Jeff, and now Poo himself.

With his training complete, Poo must now join up with the rest of the party. To do this, his master forces his level to increase several times until he naturally learns the ability of Teleport β. Using his new found powers, he quickly joins the party who seem to have recovered from their previous drugging.

Finally the party is complete and we head off on our first adventure together. This is a perfect opportunity for the camera guy to show up and take the first picture of the four saviors to the world. Make lots of copies of that one, I’m sure it will be worth a lot once we all become famous!

The captain is very happy to hear that his wife is once again making her magic cakes. Well, magic tarts now anyways. She ran out of ingredients for cake after all. But that’s not the point, the point is that he’s finally willing to give us a ride to Scarabia. It’s probably going to be dangerous, and we’re most likely going to encounter the Kraken along the way. But what’s the worst that can happen?

We pass by several small islands on our journey, some with small villages I wish we could stop to explore. At one point we have to stop the boat because the captain became sea sick. I guess it has been quite a while since he’s been out to sea. As night begins to fall our fears are realized as we are blindsided by the Kraken himself.

This fight was over faster than anyone could have expected, but unfortunately not in a good way. The Kraken hits unbelievably hard and fast, with a single fire breath causing mortal damage to Paula, Jeff, and Poo all in a single turn. Even with all of the most expensive equipment money could buy, three out of four party members were defeated all at once in a single attack.

Death Count: 8

Ness took massive damage, but remained conscious for the moment. However, against such overwhelming power, there really wasn’t anything he could do, and the party was quickly defeated. Honestly I’m not sure what we can do about this enemy. I do recall acquiring a flame pendent while I was in the monkey caves which might help. But beyond that I’m not sure…

Well, for now, we need rest. Join us next time as we most likely get burned alive yet again.