Part 5: Update Five: Have You Been Wetting Your Bed?Last time on Earthbound, we went to the library! Today, we're going to explore a bit more of Onett and finally meet some of those "Sharks" we've been hearing so much about.
Since Nass can talk to animals, it's worthwhile to speak to all you can find.
: I'm being possessed by the spirit of the game designer... (RUFF!) Do you see the window showing HP and PP at the bottom of the screen? When you go to a store that has equippable items, this window will either flash, look normal or become black. If you are allowed to equip and item, and it is stronger than you current item, the window will flash. If the item's power is equal to, or less than your current equipped item, the window looks normal. If you can't equip an item, the window is black. *Ruff* I thought you'd like to know. Now it's time to become a regular dog again...)
Granted, I gave you that information last update, but what kind of Communist wouldn't want to see Ruffini?
: She's probably got an ulcer from worrying about you.
This is actually pretty valid, not just throwaway NPC dialog. Nass, and only Nass, can be afflicted with a status ailment called "Homesickness". I'll cover it more in detail when we actually get it (because we will, no doubt).
Let's head west of the drugstore; there's plenty of stuff in Onett and a lot of it is, like the rest of this game, interesting and amusing.
Like this guy! He's one of a few black people in game. I like his hair.
: Her mother runs a preschool out of their home. I can't remember the name of the school, but I heard Kim's really special. Why is she special? I forgot to ask. Oh, well...
We can't enter every building in towns, generally. Just knock on the door and receive a reply through the door itself. This one makes me giggle like a schoolgirl every time I see it.
Since we already hit the drugstore, we'll go west a bit more.
Treat them both nice.
: Now I feel bad for stepping all over them to get to this sign.
Even though you can't enter all of the buildings, only a select few, still seeing all of them around really adds a sense of life to the various towns and cities, I think. It's like even though we're taking this journey, the world isn't revolving around us. It's still alive and we're just taking a tour.
:Shhhh, what if someone overhears us?
: Right. Whisper.
: Psst. Pss. Wa ha ha!
: You jerk.
: He heh he
: Heh heh heh
Ah-ha! The Mayor should be able to help us. I guess, maybe.
But first, let's talk to this old lady.
: you should visit them at the hospital. You should check with the nurse receptionist, and she will release your friend. It's a nice thing to remember, but it's all right if you forget.
Essentially, this is how "death" works in Earthbound. Except for right now. If Nass gets knocked out, then we get a game over of sorts. But, since we're revived with full HP, half our cash and zero PP, it's not too bad. This is a handy thing to keep in mind for when we get more party members, though.
This gentlemen is hanging out in front of City Hall (which you can't fight) and has something interesting to say. Why would the leader of the Sharks be near the Giant Step?
Yep, this sign was worthwhile.
: Did you know the drugstore sells things that you can use? ...I knew about it.)
I am getting such a vibe from that pooch.
Since those doors right there are closest, let's go through them first.
Well, with your bright and sunny personality, I can't see why.
: I think I'll just kick back for a while. It just may take me a couple of hours to sign this paper. *snicker* *snort*
I wonder how indicative this is of real small-town government establishments.
: I certainly hope so.
: Have you done your homework? Remember to brush your teeth before going to bed.
: I always do! I'm kind of hoping I can get a toothbrush somewhere soon, because I'm going on a big adventure and--
: Have you been wetting your bed?
This is kind of a neat feature of Earthbound. There are guys with hints scattered around, and by giving them some of your hard-earned cash, they'll give you tips on where to go next. I'll probably be showing them off.
: just run around, doing whatever they want? I'm here to protest!
Well, sir, you may be glad to know that Nass has started a sort of crusade against these creatures. He's cut down on their population considerably already.
'tis a shame. There should have been an alternate path where Nass becomes a low level city employee and saves the world that way.
Actually, they're traveling entertainers. It's why they're near the "traveling entertainer's shack".
: I wonder if they're members of the Sharks. To stop the spread of the gang, someone should shut down their gathering places, don't you think? I've started a movement that will stop all of the bad influences on the children of Onett. I call it the "Fresh Breeze Movement." Hum de dum dum...
: I'm sure your Febreeze Movement will certainly clean up the town.
Can do, man. We're going to learn shortly that Pirkle is a dickhole.
No, sir. I've never talked to you before.
: You need an appointment before you visit. I'm going to have to stop you if you try to see the Mayor.
Whatever, lady. We're on important business.
: meteorite... Hey, are you the guy who's trying to reform the Sharks? Wa ho! Wa ho! Wa ho! You've got to be kidding! Scram!
If it wasn't clear before, we've just found our main objective for the moment.
Thanks to that guy over there, we also know that the Sharks are hanging out by the Arcade. It's directly south, so let's wander on down that way.
Is that a Goddamned robot?
Jesus Christ, it is! Also, that guy in the yard with the robot, for whatever reason, reminds me of Beetlejuice.
The Bakery is just east of the Arcade. Just above that truck, you can see a figure cloaked in black; that's a Shark.
: He's in the backyard of the game arcade, thinking about peace and love. You might want to visit him.
Wait, that one guy said that the boss of the Sharks hangs out near the Giant Step. Is Frank just middle-management, but fooling everyone into thinking he's higher-up?
See that shark to Nass' left? What he's doing is actually coming over to this Shark, who I've already engaged in combat.
Enemies can do that, so if you try to fight one, more can spring up and join the fight. If they take too long, though, they're shit out of luck and you get a break.
Sharks are a step up from the dogs, crows and snakes we've been destroying with impunity.
These two are the hardest hitting Sharks around, too. The Yes Man Jr. is faster than we are, but the Pogo Punk is about even with us and it seems a bit of a toss-up as to who goes first.
Since he gives me the creeps, I'm taking out the Yes Man Jr. first.
I want you to recall the Mr. Baseball Cap we have, that raised our defense by six points.
This doesn't seem like much, but for reference, the animals were only dealing one HP of damage to us.
Our new bat quickly shows its worth. Yes Man Jrs. have 33 HP at max, by the way. Pogo Punks top out at 35 HP.
This is another reason why I like to take them out first.
14 HP of damage is something to be concerned about at this stage of the game.
Things like this don't help, either.
It's very easy to get your ass whipped by the Sharks, especially if it's these two.
Thankfully, our trash Hamburger will restore our HP to max. It restores around 40 HP, I've noticed, give or take a few points.
This is as good a time as any to talk about the HP system in this game. If you'll notice, instead of the numbers just changing, they literally rolled back up. This works the opposite way as well. Now, this just seems like a purely cosmetic thing, right?
NO. This is very important; if an enemy hits a character hard enough to kill them, if you can heal them before their HP rolls to zero, then they will not go down. It's a hell of a lifesaver, as anyone who's played this game can attest to.
Thankfully, sometimes, those two just pass their turn. It really helps on the not being beaten to death front.
One of these dudes is far more manageable than two.
28 exp. at this point is really damned nice. Plus, they even dropped a Hamburger to replace the one I ate in battle!
Two of those Sharks over to the left are NPC's. Maybe they'll be friendlier than the ones we just met?
Yes and no, respectively.
He still starts a fight with you. What a jerk.
But, whatever, I got another Hamburger out of it.
C'mon, be another Hamburger!
Aww. Cans of Fruit Juice restore 6 HP, just like a Cookie.
No, not particularly. I mean, I have no reason to fight with--
Dammit. This is the third, and final, type of Shark. The Skate Punk is the weakest, as far as they go, but he's also just a skosh faster than us and the other two Sharks. He's also probably the biggest asshole and should be the priority target.
Plus, he can shred with the best of 'em.
Even though he has the lowest Offense, he can still lay on the hurt.
With only 31 HP, though, it's easy enough to two-shot him.
This is what makes the Skate Punk such a douchebag right now. He can call either of the two other Sharks in for help.
He's also fast enough that if you're about to finish him, he'll be able to go before you and call in a buddy, prolonging the fight just that much longer.
When we get stronger, it's nice to get into a fight with these guys and just let them call other Sharks in to reap all the delicious exp. they give. For now, though, we're cowards.
This fight was also much closer than I like them to be.
Talk about lucky, huh?
Another near-death experience, another burger. C'est la vie.
Those two were enough to get us to level 5, though!
No offense or defense boosts this time around, unfortunately, but 13 more HP is nothing to scoff at. Soon, those PP will come in handy, too.
After doing all that gang-busting, Nass deserves a pizza.
Dammit. Sorry, Nass.
While we're in the area, let's visit the bakery.
: but I won't because I don't want to bother you with a story that has nothing to do with your adventure. If I keep talking about unrelated stuff, you might start ignoring important messages. It's important for you to talk to people. Also, a person might give you a different message, depending on when you speak to them.
Essentially, talk to NPC's, even if they're saying wildly out of place shit. Also, I kind of wanted to hear the story about the vegetable soup monster.
: They're kind of like fortune cookies, except you can win stuff. Oh, yeah, and it's a sandwich. Okay, so maybe it's not like a fortune cookie. Anyway, the best thing that can happen is "recover PP". I just wish I knew what "PP" was...
Err...No. That doesn't sound very good at all to me, honestly.
This is why I don't trust Paula Deen and her ilk.
Skip Sandwiches make your party run for about ten seconds, which is pretty nice, but they restore a crap amount of HP. Plus, $38 is too much for a sandwich. Lucky Sandwiches, which we just learned the function of, are something I've never really used.
Maybe the police can help us with the Sharks. Since we're going to take them down, they might have some advice or maybe can spare a man to help.
: I'm sick of it.
: out, or people start acting wild, so we police are being ultra cautious.
Well, fat load of help you all were. That guy in the back is Captain Strong, by the way. He's slightly important.
: I'm a cop, even if I don't look like it.
I don't really have much to say here. Though, I am amused when bathrooms are referred to as "cans".
Well, I'm certain we'll never come back to this room for anything, ever.
: through roadblocks, either! Onett is famous for roadblocks!
These guys remind me of any cop you've ever seen that works for the RPD.
: He said he needs the Cat emblem, but it's scattered in three pieces, all four miles away!
: Mmm, Cats.
This town kind of sucks, doesn't it?
That guy lives a pathetic existence, doesn't he?
: No, I'd like to have a girlfriend someday.
Hello! Look at that there!
Don't run away, Mr. Magic Butterfly!
That relaxation the Magic Butterfly gives us restores some PP, too. These things are great to find if you need a quick boost.
Hell, it's so relaxing, I'm going to end the update here. It's a nice spot to chillax.
Next time, we'll see about meeting with Frank and see what we can do about the Sharks. Stay tuned!