Earthbound – Week 12

–Day 56–

We’re still in this mysterious cave in Dalaam, having just fallen through a hole in the upper floors. This leaves us in a small isolated area with a present and yet another hole to drop though. Of course, dropping through this hole puts us right on top of a small group of monsters and straight into a fight.

After defeating the monsters, we’re left with a decision, continue falling down the holes or go exploring instead. I’m glad I chose the latter as we quickly discover this to actually be our sixth My Sanctuary Location. In a way I was hoping for something like this to happen, but I was still caught a little by surprise when it happened.

This Location is guarded by Thunder and Storm. I wish I could comment on them more, but sadly they died before ever getting a hit in. During the first round, Paula’s PK Freeze Ω froze them solid, costing them their first turn. Then in the second round they took “deep breaths for the next assault.” Sadly we never got to see that attack because they were defeated early in the third round before their turn came up. With that we have claimed another My Sanctuary in what will surely be the easiest boss battle so far.

We proceed through the opening to find ourselves on the Pink Cloud. Here, Ness has a short vision of his mother when she was young. He then records the melody of Pink Cloud like he has at all the other locations. I really hope someone puts all these visions together at the end because we’ve been to six already and I’m not getting a clear picture of what they’re supposed to combine into.

Anyway, we head back to the hole in the ground, jump down, and make our way back to the entrance. With nothing more to do here in Dalaam, we head over to Winters to see what has happened to Apple Kid. Without the aid of the sky walker however, we land at the Boarding School and need to make our way down to the Lab on foot.

Before we can even start that journey however, we get some more grim news! It would seem Bubble Monkey has ditched his wife during their honeymoon so he can go play with Tessie instead! How dare that little monkey! Oh, and I guess Jeff’s friend Tony has gone missing or something, I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention. I was too upset with that monkey.

Normally a pass through an old area would be a breeze, but the situation here in Winters has changed during our absence. Gone are the Gruff Goats and all the other wild animals, replaced instead with wave after wave of aliens. Many of them look familiar as this point, like the Whirling Robo and Lesser Mook, but new to the party are the Wooly Shamblers.

They’re all quite powerful but thankfully we can go all out fighting them thanks to the Campers. Even with all these aliens around, they’re still out here like nothing is wrong, offering tea and a place to rest to anyone inconsiderate enough to barge right into their tent uninvited.

It doesn’t take us long to make it to the lake front. Here we find Bubble Monkey joyfully waiting around for Tessie. We also learn that one of the members of the Tessie-Watching Club has been kidnapped by UFOs. These abductions are getting to be serious. We need to get to Dr. Andonuts’ lab as soon as possible.

With Bubble Monkey’s help, we once again get to ride Tessie to the far shore of the lake. We would also have to pass through Brickroad’s old dungeon if not for the fact we still have the Pencil Eraser on us. Thanks to that we can bypass the entire dungeon and make it to the lab that much faster.

After passing through the cave and past Stonehenge we finally make it to Dr. Andonuts’ Lab. Sadly neither Dr. Andonuts nor Apple Kid are here to greet us. The only ones left are the one nice Bigfoot and Apple Kid’s Mouse friend. Thankfully Apple Kid has already completed work on his Eraser Eraser Machine and given it to the mouse. With this in hand we can now explore the tunnels under Stonehenge and hopefully figure out what happened to all those abducted people.

That however is tomorrow’s adventure. Join us then as we see how deep those tunnels go!

–Day 57–

Thanks to Apple Kid’s quick work making the Eraser Eraser Machine, we can finally get rid of the Eraser Statue blocking our path. However, the tunnels are swarming with alien monsters. This is definitely going to be a tough challenge to get everyone back.

The most common enemies we seem to encounter are the Mook Seniors. These guys need to be defeated as quickly as possible or their PK Thunder attacks will cause some serious harm to the party. However, the bigger threat is the Starmen, the agents of Giygas. We haven’t seen these guys since the beginning of the game, so seeing them here means we must be getting close to Giygas himself.

As we get deeper into the tunnel, another enemy starts showing up with alarming frequency, the Atomic Power Robot. Its attacks aren’t anything special. However, like many other enemies we’ve encountered, defeating it is worse than fighting it. Upon death, this machine will explode into bits, causing significant damage to the party, and cause extra strain on our PP and healing items.

Eventually we make it through the entire tunnel system and into a secret underground base. We are of course immediately attacked by enemies including the new Super Starmen. In addition to being gold instead of silver, these Super Starmen start the battle with a PK Shield already up, causing any PK attacks to reflect back at the party. They also frequently summon other Starmen to the battle causing it to drag on that much longer.

We try to explore the base, but everyone is already tired, battered, and low on PP. At this point it’s fairly obvious that we don’t have the strength left in us to defend ourselves here right now, yet alone try to defeat everyone. Reluctantly we accept this failure and ask the Exit Mouse to guide us to safety.

Today has been a tough day, and we’re going to need some time to recover. So join us next time as we make another attempt and infiltrating the alien base. See you then!

–Day 58–

So we’ve fled the alien base for now with the help of the Exit Mouse. That of course means we need to head back to Onett quick to pick up a new one before we even think of making a second run at it. Unfortunately, that also means quite a bit of backtracking. We still have no way of teleporting directly to Dr. Andonuts’ lab, so we’re going to have to make the entire trek south from the boarding school yet again.

Once again we have to travel south to the lake fighting off aliens of all kinds. Then again we have to ride Tessie to the other shore. Again skip past Brickroad’s old dungeon. And finally pass through the cave before we’re even back at Stonehenge.

After the last run thought here, we have a better idea of where we need to go and we’ve already collected most of the treasures, so we don’t need to detour for any of them. We also know that we need to conserve out PP better this time because there’s a whole base to explore after the tunnels. That’s easy enough to do. With our newly gained levels, our physical attacks are stronger and we can deal with most of the threats without needing to use any PK Attacks. Our progress was actually rather smooth this time. By being very cautious we were able to single out many of the enemies rather than fight them in groups.

Also, as much as I hate doing it, we ran from any encounters with the Atomic Power Robots to avoid the explosive damage we would receive after defeating them. Eventually we make it back to the Base, but this time we have significantly more resources at our disposal and I think we’ll have a much easier time heading deeper.

That however will have to be a battle for another day. It took us pretty much the whole day just to get back here and now there’s no time left for anything else today. Still, we’re in a good position to finish exploration tomorrow. So hopefully we’ll see you then!

–Day 59–

It’s finally time to infiltrate the alien base, and we’re actually in pretty good shape to do that. We do still have to be careful though, who knows how big this base actually is. Just as before, we’re going to have to use more physical attacks than we’re used to. Especially since the Super Starmen will just reflect them back at us anyway. But also we have to be careful of the Atomic Power Robots. Just like before, it might be better to run from then than to fight them.

The enemies aren’t the only trouble we’ll be having here. It might be an advanced alien base, but there is a rather large maze of a room suffering from some very bad wiring. What I mean by that is that the lights will constantly be flickering on and off, slowing you down and forcing you to plan out your approach a bit more cautiously.

When we finally make it through this semi darkened maze, we come face to face with all the poor abductees. It looks like they’ve been crammed into tiny glass tubes, and from the sound of their panicked pleas they can’t breathe too well in there. There doesn’t appear to be anything in the room we can use to help them, so for now we’re just going to have to leave them behind. But don’t worry everyone, we’re here to help you.

In the next room however, we see exactly who has been pulling all the strings here at the base. Just based on the other Starmen we’ve encountered so far, we’re already a bit scared of what their leader can do to us. But from the sounds of it, they’re starting to become scared of us as well.

The Battle with Starman Deluxe definitely looks like a one sided fight for most of the encounter, and not one that leans in our favor. For starters, Starman Deluxe also starts the battle with a PK Shield already in place, leaving us at a bit of a disadvantage. But more importantly, Starman Deluxe is incredibly strong. How strong you might ask? Well, he’s strong enough to use PK Starstorm α, the very same ultimate attack that Poo went off to learn. One hit from that and nearly everyone in the party is brought to their knees.

From here on, the battle only gets worse. Starman Deluxe is relentless in his use of PK Starstorm α, using it almost every turn. When he’s not crashing stars down on our heads, he’s summoning more of his buddies to join the fight. It’s pretty much all we can do just to stay alive through the whole battle.

In truth, our party had no hope of winning this battle at this point. However, the battle ends in an act of true mutually assured destruction. While everyone’s HP counters were ticking down to zero, a beam shot from Starman Deluxe deflected off of Poo’s shield, bouncing back and killing him. And so the battle ends with all combatants defeated.

Lucky for us, Starman Deluxe went down mere seconds before Ness did, and so we are declared the winners of this fight. As the last combatant standing, Ness also received the full amount of EXP to himself and gained two levels in the process.

With Starman Deluxe defeated, the whole base ceases functioning. So first things first, we need to revive the whole party. But after that we check back on all the abductees in the next room. All of which appear to have been set free from their glass prisons. It would seem the experience hasn’t hurt them in any way. In fact, it has redoubled Dr. Andonuts’ conviction in finishing the Phase Distorter.

In the midst of the chaos and happy reunions, we do manage to gather a bit of information of our own from Apple Kid, namely the whereabouts of the book “Overcoming Shyness.” It would seem the book was only a rental, and he has already returned it to the Onett Library. So with our destination set, and everyone out of energy anyway, we once again request the aid of the Exit Mouse to take us to safety.

We quickly heal up at the lab and then it’s straight off to the Onett Library to find that book. Thankfully it doesn’t take us very long to find it. In fact it was right there on the bookshelf in the first room of the library. We had to look at a couple of the shelves first, but it was still only a few seconds of searching.

With the book in hand, we head back to the Tenda Village to cure everyone of their crippling shyness. We give the book to the village chief, and he is more than willing to read it to everyone all at once for us. Now they will all know how to overcome their shyness and finally talk to us.

This is such a momentous occasion, that the Photographer couldn’t help but to drop down through the ceiling just to capture a picture of the moment. To think, the notoriously shy Tenda Tribe would every open up to people.

To further celebrate, we are offered a cup of tea by one of the other Tenda. At this point, we should know better than to accept food or drinks from anyone as once again we are drugged and see a profound message in our hallucinations.

“Like a great tapestry, vertical and horizontal threads have met and become intertwined, creating a huge, beautiful image.

You may have cursed this never-ending journey. You have known injury and defeat, but you have struggled on to reach this place. Your in-born wisdom and courage have helped bring you here. You have believed in your friends, and as a group, you have supported each other. Have you ever stopped to consider how much your power has grown? Now, you could fell enemies in Onett and Twoson with one blow. As you certainly know, you cannot turn back. Giygas, the arch fiend of the universe, is growing frightened of you and your power. He is searching for ways to end your journey.

From here, the challenge grows and your adventure will take you beyond anything you ever imagined. You are drawing near to Giygas. Remember, when you are suffering hardships, your enemy is also struggling.

Still, where DID Porky go, anyway? When this cup of tea is finished, your adventure will continue. Your destiny pulls you in the right direction. Believe in yourself and press forward.

Ness!

Paula!

Jeff!

Poo!

I wish you luck…”

It’s a lot to take in all at once, but the one thing that really caught my attention was questioning where Porky was. Surely that can only mean he didn’t die back in the swamp and will only continue to be a thorn in our side. But that is a concern for another day. For now, we’re going to rest off those drugs and start fresh in the morning. There’s still a lot to do before we’re ready to face Giygas.

–Day 60–

Now that all the Tenda have been cured of their shyness, we can finally ask for the help of the one strong Tenda to move the boulder blocking the path to the Lost Underworld. He of course is very willing to help, throwing the boulder so high into the air that it in fact never returns.

We quickly descend down the hole and find ourselves face to face with a talking rock. It doesn’t give us much information, but it does inform us of a more talkative rock to be found up ahead. He even emphasizes the fact that we should seek out that rock to talk to.

So with just that little bit of push, we head straight into another dungeon maze full of monsters. At first, this one feels like a walk in the park compared to the alien base we just cleared out. There may be a lot of monsters here, but so many of them seem to be Fobbies, stronger versions of the Foppies we encountered back in the base behind the waterfall. These guys attack in large groups, but they are so weak that the whole group can be killed with a single PK Fire γ.

There are a lot of branching paths to this maze, which makes it hard to navigate, but for the most part I thought we were doing pretty well. That all changed after a rather unlucky encounter with a Conducting Spirit. With a single PK Flash β he managed to knock out three of our party members, leaving only Jeff alive but crying.

We were forced to run away from the battle and quickly use an Exit Mouse to get back to the Tenda Village. I wasn’t expecting such a quick defeat like that, and we’re going to have to plan so it doesn’t happen again. With that in mind, we head back home to talk to Tracy and organize all our items.

This could take a while, we have a lot of junk in storage that we really need to sort through and probably sell most of it. So rather than stick around, why not just join us next time as we try again to make it through the Lost Underworld. See you then.