Earthbound – Week 11

–Day 51–

I know I said we were going to head back to town, but while gathering pictures for yesterday’s post, I noticed something I didn’t see while I was actually playing. On the left wall of the sarcophagus chamber, there are actually two different openings. One of them is the way we came in, so where does the other one go? We just had to find out before heading back to town. I was actually kind of surprised to see a set up stairs leading up and to the left. I had thought we were already at the top of the pyramid. So either we’re only somewhere in the middle, or this is one very weird shaped pyramid and we just didn’t notice from the angle we were looking at it.

Anyway, the path isn’t very long and it ends in a tiny little dead end room full of monsters. It was kind of a disappointment really. That is, until we opened the treasure sarcophagus in the corner and found out it had another Bag of Dragonite inside. I know we haven’t used the other one yet, so we can’t be sure what it does, but it sounds awesome.

Unfortunately, our pockets were all full. That’s easy enough to fix though. Just set out the For Sale Sign and wait for someone to come running to buy off our useless junk. However, something interesting happened when we tried this here in the pyramid. Apparently there are places where normal people can’t find you. After waiting around several minutes for someone to show up, we finally get a call that they simply couldn’t find us and have given up trying.

That’s not a huge problem. We can always simply drop an item instead. So with that we have a second Bag of Dragonite to…most likely leave in storage forever… Maybe we’ll use it in the final battle or something. Anyway, while waiting for a customer to show up, you may have noticed that one of our party members has died. So now we REALLY need to get out of here, and we’re all very thankful that we’ve been carrying around an Exit Mouse this whole time.

Once outside we teleport away back to Onett to get everyone patched up. This serves two purposes. Obviously, we need to head to a hospital to revive everyone. But also, this is where the exit mice live, and since we already used the one we had, we need to pick up another one.

It takes some time, but we eventually make it back to the sarcophagus and finally jump down to see what awaits below. To our surprise, the Hawk Eye is just waiting there on a pedestal ready to be taken. Unfortunately, this still leaves us as the bottom of the pyramid and we’ll have to fight our way back up to the surface.

We soon find ANOTHER hole for us to fall down, which in turn leads to another stairway to climb and even more monsters to fight. Eventually we find out way to the exit. However, it looks like we’ve found our way to a completely different pyramid from the one we originally entered.

It looks like we’ve actually managed to pass under the river and are now in the southern half of Scarabia. Thanks to our earlier exploration, I know there isn’t any way to actually cross the river, so I’m not sure what we’re expected to do over here. However, we’re given very little time to contemplate our situation before an elderly man teleports in front of us.

This man is apparently here for Prince Poo. It would seem he has been waiting for the right moment to teach him the “Technique for making stars rain down”. In order to learn this new ability, Poo is going to have to live far away from everyone else and train.

It sucks that Poo is going to be leaving the party already, but this technique is apparently going to be vital for defeating Giygas. Poo promises he’ll return to us as soon as possible, so for now we have no choice but to trust in him. But that means we’re our party is going to be a man down for a while, and we still don’t really know where we even are.

Just north of the exit pyramid is a small oasis with a couple people standing by. This is where we find our next objective. We finally get an update on Brickroad who has turned himself into the “Dungeon Man”. He’s located to the northwest of our location, and thankfully this person has found the key to enter the tower.

So good, we know where to go now. But that’s it for today. Join us next time as we reunite with our old friend Brickroad, the Dungeon Man! See you then!

–Day 52–

Yesterday we learned that the Dungeon Man is somewhere to the northwest of this little oasis. However, as is our custom, we need to thoroughly explore the new area we find ourselves in. Thankfully, this is a very small area and there really isn’t anything to explore here. There are however a lot of UFOs flying around making travel rather difficult.

When we finally do head northwest, we’re a bit surprised by what we see. It’s certainly not the same Brickroad we saw before, but I can’t quite identify it as a dungeon either. Really I can’t call it a tower either, although I guess there does seem to be some kind of castle on its head. Either way, we use the key and get to walk inside of it.

As soon as we walk inside it feels like Christmas. There are presents scattered EVERYWHERE! Unlike Christmas however, most of these presents are actually alive and getting ready to kill us. The Scalding Coffee Cup in particular is deceptively dangerous. If it happens to spill just a little of its coffee, the whole party receives rather severe burns.

After fighting our way through all the presents, we make our way to the main chamber where we see Brickroad really went all out turning himself into a Dungeon Man. He has set up benches to rest on, phone booths, even a fully staffed hospital. He may be a Dungeon Man full of monsters, but he clearly wants you to be comfortable.

In all honesty, Dungeon Man’s Dungeon is probably the most fun dungeon I have ever passed through. Thanks to all the comical signs scattered about, the dungeon itself just gathers up so much personality from its creator. And I mean they are ALL OVER the place. Some give tips on what to do next. Some give insight into the creation of a good dungeon.

Then there are others that are there just for laughs like these two at this dead end. One says “Spare not difficult effort. Heed this rule, and great items shall be yours.” It’s actually quite sound advice, which is followed up by its partner sign of “I couldn’t agree more with the opinion on the left bill board.”

The first floor of Dungeon Man is quite enjoyable, but the areas we can’t get to seem even more fun. The top left corner for example seems to be full of fun things Dungeon Man has collected over the years. Hopefully we’ll get to interact with them at some point, but for now it looks like we have our first dungeon puzzle. In front of us are four different ropes that all lead up to the second floor, but which should we take?

Naturally, we’re going to see what’s at the end of all four of them, and the results are about what you would expect. Three of them lead to dead ends with a small sign commenting on your incorrect choice, but at the same time giving you encouragement to keep going and try again. It’s actually really refreshing to have this kind of treatment inside a dungeon.

Anyway, the correct choice is the third rope from the left. This is the only choice that doesn’t have a dead end and lets us explore the second floor properly. The signage doesn’t stop here either. According to the various signs we gather that we are currently around the Dungeon Man’s belly button. We also learn that the background music is Dungeon Man’s greatest accomplishment. I didn’t really stop to listen to it until it was pointed out like that, but it is some epic dungeon music.

Also quite conveniently there is another bench set up for us to take a break on. Brick Road really does want us to be comfortable and enjoy this dungeon. In fact, I don’t really want to leave this dungeon, it’s just so perfect. So for now, we’re going to just relax here on the bench, enjoy the music, and continue on our adventure another time.

So join us next time as we head towards the top floor of Dungeon Man, perhaps the greatest dungeon ever built!

–Day 53–

We continue exploring the second floor of Dungeon Man today. In general it’s not difficult to navigate, and the random signs are still just as fun to read as on the first floor. Who would have thought the dungeon smells like flowers?

Eventually we make it to the rope leading to the third floor, which has a sign both warning us of the monsters ahead while also saying not to worry about them. Sure enough, none of the monsters on the third floor are any threat at all. In fact, it would seem Dungeon Man has sectioned off the third floor to be some kind of zoo for them.

With no real enemies to fight on the third floor, it takes no time at all to pass through it and up to the top floor. Here we finally get to see what Brickroad has done to himself. With his face sticking out of one of the wall, there’s really no questioning that he has BECOME a Dungeon Man like he always wanted.

Brickroad is just as nice as he ever was to us. Having cleared his whole dungeon body now, he actually offers to join us for a while. Seeing as Poo went off to train somewhere, it would be nice to have a full party again.

Having made a new friend and ally, the photographer shows up to capture the happy memories. Unfortunately, Dungeon Man is not with us for very long at all. As we travel south, he quickly finds himself helplessly trapped by a couple of trees. And just like that he leaves the party and we’re back to being a man down.

We press on without Dungeon Man and quickly come to a Native informing us of the Deep Darkness across the river. It’s a scary place with terrible monsters and you will lose health just by walking around in the swamp. Also the swamp is bottomless and we’d easily be dragged down to the bottom if we tried to swim through it. If we had a submarine though, that would be a different story entirely.

Actually, I think we might have a submarine! Back in Dungeon Man there was a collection of vehicles and I thought I saw one there. Sure enough, Dungeon Man confirms my suspicions. However, to get to the collection on the first floor, we actually have to make it all the way up to the fourth floor and use the “Goodbye Exit” this time.

We fall though the holes on each floor until we finally land on the raised platforms back on the first floor. He does have a nice little collection here. It doesn’t look like any of them actually run though. The Taxi has no engine and the bike is completely rusted over. Then for some reason he has the Instant Revitalizing Device from Dr. Andonuts.

The Submarine also seems to be out of commission. Thankfully, Jeff seemed very confident that he could fix the little yellow submarine. Maybe someday we could all live in it as well. After being fixed up, we all carry it outside, plop it in the water, and we’re off to the Deep Darkness.

It’s a short trip, and no sea monsters or anything attack us like the last time we traveled. I will say though that I wasn’t expecting to see so many monkeys living here. There’s an entire little village worth of them.

However, I’m not ready to explore the Deep Darkness just yet. Not with only three people that is. So before anything else we head over to Dalaam to check up on Poo and see how his training is going. We also do a little sightseeing while we’re at it. Naturally, the Photographer is more than willing to help as he takes our picture in front of the Palace as well as in the throne room itself.

Unfortunately, Poo is nowhere to be found. He’s not in the Palace, he’s not around town, and he’s not up on his training cliff. It’s a small town, so there aren’t a whole lot of places he could hide. I guess he simply isn’t here. I wonder where exactly he is right now then…

It looks like we’ll have to brave the Deep Darkness without him then. Join us next time as we see how bad this swamp really is.

–Day 54–

It looks like the three of us are going to have to find our way through the Deep Darkness on our own. It doesn’t take long before we discover where it got its name from as well as WHY we needed the Hawk Eye in the first place. Not far from the little monkey village, the whole swamp becomes so dark you can’t see anything. Using the Hawk Eye lets you see through the darkness clear as day.

Unfortunately, some things are best unseen. Apparently the whole swamp is home to dozens of puke monsters that resemble Master Belch. You remember Master Belch right? He was the boss monster we had to fight to free Threek from the zombies. After seeing them we head home to get that Jar of Fly Honey we’ve had in storage, can’t be too careful with those puke monsters roaming around.

There are of course other monsters that live here in the swamp, but the most dangerous seems to be the Hostile Elder Oak. Right away you might recognize what the problem is. Just like their lower level cousins, the Territorial Oak, these monsters explode upon death causing massive damage to the entire party. We’ll have to be careful to avoid them as we traverse the swamp.

Although we might not be having the greatest of time here in the swamp, the photographer couldn’t help but show up and take our picture. It was very poor timing on his part, poor Jeff was still buried up to his neck in swamp muck at the time.

Just around the corner however the whole party’s moral shot way up. Once again Porky is one step ahead of us, but it looks like he may have finally gotten what was coming to him as we discover his crashed and destroyed helicopter in the middle of the swamp. Jeff’s quick analysis shows it’s beyond repair, so unfortunately we can’t use it. But after a crash that bad, alone, and without the Hawk Eye to see, surely this means Porky is dead and will no longer be bothering us.

Then again our enemies seem to be incredibly hard to kill. Case in point, we thought we had killed Master Belch back in his base behind the waterfall. Well, not only did we NOT kill him, but he has returned to fight us again stronger than ever. He has even changed his name from Master Belch to Master Barf to reflect his new found power.

Not only is he stronger than ever, but the Jar of Fly Honey no longer seems to have any effect on him. That’s certainly not a good sign. Last time we fought Master Belch, the only way to defeat him was to distract him with the Fly Honey. Was there some other Item we were supposed to bring to this fight?

There’s no time to worry about that right now though, we’ll just have to fight him off as best we can. Of course, that is easier said than done. The fight with Master Barf is just like the last fight with Master Belch. He still exhales his stinky breath, causing everyone to cry uncontrollably. He also burps his Nauseating Breath at us which causes Jeff to become nauseous and take damage over time.

Things were starting to look bad for the team when suddenly Poo swings down from the sky to save the day! Using his new power PK Starstorm α, Poo called down the stars from the heavens to defeat Master Barf. It’s a good thing he showed up when he did. And look, our party is once again whole!

Just past Master Barf we finally find our way out of the swamp and onto dry land. There also seems to be a cave of some sort waiting for us to explore it. But who knows what we’ll find inside. For now, I think we’ll have to stop here and explore the cave another day.

So join us next time as we see what’s in this cave. Is it more monsters? Or do we finally get a reward for our actions? You’ll just have to find out next time!

–Day 55–

When we last left our group, they were standing outside a mysterious cave at the edge of the Deep Darkness. And, well, I guess that’s where they still are now. So let’s get inside this cave and see what’s in store for us. As always, we instantly expect to find monsters inside caves, but thankfully that’s not the case this time. Instead we find the Tenda Tribe living here. They are a small green…Frog like people? Or possibly some kind of Slime Race?… Either way they are all incredibly shy.

The Tenda are so shy in fact that hardly anyone in the village will even talk to us other than to say how shy they are. One Tenda near the center of the cave mentions that a book might exist that would fix their shyness. Let’s hope we can find that book for them. Poor little guys can barely function the way they are now.

Out of the entire village, there seems to be only one Tenda that is not cripplingly shy. This Tenda informs us that there are scary dinosaurs underground and they sealed the entrance with the large rock next to him. He senses that we want to explore this area, despite the danger. Alas he is not strong enough to move the stone himself. The Tenda standing over there next to the rock is unfortunately the only one strong enough to move it, but like the rest of the Tenda he is too cripplingly shy to help us. It’s just one more reason to find this book for them.

Well, if everyone is too shy to even talk to us, there really isn’t anything left for us to do here, so we leave. To our surprise, we get another call from Apple Kid as soon as we set foot outside the cave. It sounds like he made it to Dr. Andonuts lab safely, though Dr. Andonuts doesn’t seem to be around at the moment. While waiting for his return, Apple Kid has been working on one of his own inventions, The Eraser Eraser Machine. No doubt this will remove the Eraser Stature found in the tunnel under Stonehenge.

However, something terrible seems to happen to Apple Kid as he’s talking to us. Someone unexpected seems to have shown up. From the sound of it there was a bit of a struggle before the phone suddenly disconnects. This doesn’t sound good for Apple Kid, we should probably go see what happened to him.

Once again, not to be outdone, we also get a call from Orange Kid. Apparently his research on how to turn boiled eggs back in to raw eggs is nearly completion. Once again, I really don’t care. I don’t think anyone cares. Of all the useless inventions that have ever been invented, that has to be among the top 10. Don’t get me wrong, on a technical level that is a very impressive accomplishment. But on a practical level, I still can’t think of any instance where that would become useful.

Useless inventions aside, he does however pass on some very useful information. After commenting on Apple Kid’s absence, he casually remarks that Apple Kid was in possession of the book “Overcoming Shyness” which Orange Kid was hoping to borrow for himself. We already were motivated to check up on Apple Kid, but now it seems almost imperative that we see what happened to him as soon as possible.

Or we can do the exact opposite and let him wait a while. After all, there is one thing I’ve been meaning check out before we go see Apple Kid. Now that the whole party is back together, I think we should make one more trip to Dalaam. I was thinking about the Rabbits’ Carrot item we got back in Magnet Hill and how it’s probably related to the Rabbit Statues blocking the cave in Dalaam. Of course, my assumption was right, and the rabbit statues disappear.

Sometimes however I wish we could just leave well enough alone, as the cave the rabbits were guarding is full of some powerful monsters. The most common of which seem to be the Thunder Mite and the Tengu. The Tengu actually isn’t very bad, he can put a party member to sleep, but he is ease enough to defeat. The Thunder Mite however can cause some serious damage if it isn’t defeated right away.

Another interesting, though very rare monster I encountered here was the Kiss of Death. This monster is quite literally just a floating mouth. The whole day, I only encountered one of these monsters, so I can’t really say much about them, but their interesting design left an impression on me that I felt I should share. Really we should be more concerned with the Conducting Menace. Those guys can actually be quite the pain in the ass.

Anyway, the cave itself is your usual mini maze dungeon. Normally, this wouldn’t be so bad, but after having just gone through Dungeon Man, this dungeon just lacks the personality we’ve been shown is possible in dungeon design. There aren’t any signs telling me anything, there are few branching paths and dead ends, and there aren’t very many treasures to find. There was one item though that really made my day. Far out of the way in the bottom left corner we find the “Bracer of Kings.” It’s a cool enough name for an item, but what makes it worthwhile is that this is actually one of the very few pieces of equipment that Poo is meant to wear. FINALLY he has a piece of equipment just like everyone else. It’s about time.

We continue exploring the dungeon, though explore might be too broad of a word here. There is basically just a single path to follow which leads to hole in the ground. Jumping down this hole brings you to another smaller area with a magical butterfly as well as three more holes to drop down.

Two of the holes are quite boring, leading you back to early parts of the dungeon and forcing you to hike all the way back to where you just were with nothing to show for yourself. The final hole, the one on the left, does actually lead to a new area. Unfortunately, we’re out of time to play for today. So we’ll just have to wait here at the bottom of the hole for now.

Join us again next time when we finish exploring this cave. What other treasures do you think we’ll find here? You’ll just have to wait and find out!