Part 8: Update Eight: One Small LeapLast time on Earthbound, we beat up a gang leader and put his robot to sleep. This time, we're going to make some progress toward the Giant Step and see just what all the hubbub is about. So, let's get started.
Before we head over to the Giant Step, though, I have something to show you all real quick.
That snake is running away from Nass. It's terrified of him. Since it's back is turned, this should make it ultra easy to get a sneak attack off, right?
Not only that, but we're also sufficiently strong enough that the game knows we'll just one shot this thing in a fight, so it does it for us!
You don't always have to get the sneak attack on it to do the one-shot, no battle maneuver. If you're strong enough, as long as the enemy doesn't get the drop on you, you'll automatically defeat it and gain all the exp. and items you ordinarily would.
The enemies will start to flee after you defeat the boss of the area, as I understand it. It's kind of nice for backtracking through the longer dungeons, as you can just easily get out of there without fighting all the encounters you normally would.
Now, you might be wondering, if I was just showing that off, why haven't I gone over to Giant Step.
We're making a quick stop over at Lier's house.
It's almost exactly what you imagined, isn't it? I'm also fairly confident I've seen this exact home on an episode of SVU before.
: First, let's go the basement.
This had to be on purpose. There is no way his dialog could be accidental, yet this spot on for maximum creepiness.
: but maybe I'll surprise you!
And so, Lier descends into the basement.
Nass follows, as he is a very brave lad.
: Mr. Agerate can't be much tougher than Frank, even though he eats garlic. I just gotta remember, I have my bat and I know how to use it.
...The shovel and pack make me uneasy.
As we approach Lier, he turns and runs off, deeper into his "basement".
Nass, this is no time for second thoughts! Adventure onward, brave warrior!
As Nass approaches him again, Lier flees before we can reach him. This is creeping me out more than most survival horror titles have.
On a side note, every time I go to type "Nass" I almost always type "Ness" first, before realizing my mistake. Once, I typed "Mass" for his name.
This is the end of the line, Lier! What are you hiding?
Actually, on second thought, don't show me what you're hiding.
Hello! What's this (priceless?) statue here?
Holy Christ, Lier, you weren't going to try and rape Nass!
: help strengthen myself. Go home now. You're getting in the way of my work. You may start to get greedy thoughts...
Greedy? Me? No, Lier, you didn't dig up a box full of exp.
Maybe when you sell this, Lier, you can get a bed that won't have a spring that sticks directly up your ass.
And out we go.
So, what was the point of that? I'll be damned if I know. I just thought you guys would want to see that Lier, despite all other indications, didn't want to rape Nass and bury him in the meteor crash site.
Goddammit, I have the key!
Modern games have spoiled me; how often do you need to go into your inventory to find a key these days?
Probably a lot more than I think, since I don't play a lot of new games.
The Travel Charm prevents Paralysis and fits on your body.
If you say so.
Selecting an item in your inventory and choosing "Help!" will tell you what the item does, whether it restores HP, increases defense, etc., and how effective it is.
The Travel Charm doesn't add any defense, unfortunately, but protection against paralysis is nice.
Oh, hey, this must be Lier's second home. I guess he rents it out to traveling entertainers for the extra income.
That little cave there is the entrance to the dungeon that will lead us to the Giant Step.
The interior of the cave looks pretty much exactly the same, except for where the stalagmites are set. This dungeon isn't very long, so the brown color scheme doesn't really have the chance to sink in.
See those black dots on the ground? Those are a few of the enemies here.
Now, I'm not particularly overlevelled; if anything, I'm right about where I should be. This little bug enemies are just that weak, so they generally attack in packs.
Usually, there's at least three of them, but I guess I took out their third member first. I don't know why they didn't come to his aid.
They have 30 HP a pop, with terrible offense, speed, and bad defense.
Nass can reliably one shot them. They also start the battle unable to concentrate, which means they can't use their PSI powers. Their PSI isn't too fearsome, either, as it's just Hypnosis.
They give 27 exp. a piece, though, which is mighty nice.
Just a quick shot of our stats. In three battles, we've gained over 80 exp. Fighting the Sharks, that would have taken twice as many battles, and then some.
A present and another bug-type foe?
The Black Antoids are assholes. 34 HP, with high offense and enough defense so that Nass can't one shot them. They've also got Life Up Alpha, and can call other Black Antoids to their side.
This was a regular-ass hit from them, too. Black Antoids do not fuck around when it comes to trying to kill you.
They drop a satisfying amount of experience, though. We now only need 1 exp. to level up!
Skip Sandwiches aren't too bad, but meh, ten seconds of running speed isn't too wonderful to me.
These guys are the major assholes of this dungeon.
"But Leavemywife," you say, "'tis only a mouse!"
And, "Nay," I say, "he is a cocksucker!"
"But why?" you ask, happy in your ignorance.
"For he shall SMAAAAAAAAASH more often than not," I reply.
With only 36 HP, the Rowdy Mouse isn't too much of a problem. His defense is high, though, and he seems to SMAAAAAASH about 75% of the time.
But, hey, we gained a level!
I'll always take more offense. We also gained a point of speed, three points into our guts (oh, baby!), a point of luck, and two HP and PP.
This is the big thing, though. Nass has his first offensive PSI power. This is also where our favorite thing comes into play; whatever we had entered there was what our PSI "Special" power would have been named.
And a Magic Butterfly to ensure he has enough PP for us to test it out!
Oh, Goddammit, Magic Butterfly! If I hadn't gone for you, these slugs wouldn't have gotten the drop on me!
All four of them get to act before I do. Thankfully, they're just slugs, so I only take like, eight damage.
Had this been a group of Black Antoids, I would have definitely seen a game over screen here.
But, since we're not, let's shower them in PSI hellfire!
Each Attack Slug took about 80 HP of damage here, which is more than enough to kill them all.
I'm not sure why it says "about 50 points of damage", as it never seems to do that amount, always about thirty to forty points above that.
Some more Attack Slugs throwing their lives away; I did over 110 damage to one of them here with PSI Bacon Alpha.
Another fight with a Rowdy Mouse, and I decided to check my Hamburger supply. I had two left, which did not jive with me.
So, I bought like, four more.
And decided to go visit Mom for a free heal. As I don't think she'd approve of Nass always resting over at Frank's.
Anywho, with that detour over, back to the cave!
There should be more treasures in here, right?
I'm sure that's the thought of most first-time players. There's supposed to be a bunch of enemies in here (or at least, there is in my experience). Let's see if we can actually get this room to do what it's supposed to do.
Just a single Black Antoid.
And three more PP completes this level up.
And is as good a place as any to stop for now. Since enemies throw out so much exp., it's pretty easy to gain levels here. The two I gained here weren't on purpose as much as they were just by course.
But, next time, we'll actually reach the Giant Step! Stay tuned!