Part 32: Update Thirty One: I Should Have Saved The Third Strongest For LastWelcome back! Last time, on Earthbound, we ventured into the mines to go earn our gold to save the Runaway Five's ass (again). We discovered there were five masters of the hole and we defeated the third strongest. Let's finish off the rest, shall we?
Where we last left off, we had just beaten the third strongest master, so let's keep exploring.
But, first, let's get Nass a level!
For this level, Nass gained Oh, baby! Offense +7, speed +2, guts +2; oh baby! Vitality +3, IQ +2; Sweet! HP +45 and PP +5!
One hell of a fucking level, I think. These are the kind of levels that just warm my heart.
Let's snake off up this ladder.
Now, then, these mines are a maze. As one poster mentioned, it's kind of a mapping exercise. Thankfully, it's easy enough to remember your way around, unlike some mazes I've encountered in RPG's before.
At this bend here, we're going to head south.
Now, this automatically looks like I'm going to be surprised, right?
React quickly enough and you can turn around, without letting you be surprised. I'm not totally sure on how this works, but it's always nice to not be surprised.
And it's nice to get Kim a level!
For this level, she gained +1 luck, +3 HP, and +5 PP.
Heading further southerly...
...We discover a new enemy.
A palette swap of the Titanic Ant, but with 308 HP, high defense and good offense. They're slow, and can deal some damage, along with being able to poison.
They're weak to PSI Freeze and Fire, and resistant to everything else.
Freeze Beta is sufficient to one-shot them, but I suppose you could go the Freeze Alpha route, then beat her to death.
Hey, does everyone actually like these silhouette/inverted views I throw up when I defeat an enemy? I think they look neat, but I'm not sure anyone else does.
They drop a good bit of exp., too, so they're not bad enemies to grind off of.
There's a good bit of loot scattered around the mines, too.
I will never turn down a Big Bottle Rocket. For those of you playing along, neither should you.
From here, we're going to go west (the opposite of east!), as that is the central area of the maze.
But first, more loot. Croissants are still nice for Kim and Susan, but Susan's starting to reach the point where Croissants are going to fall by the wayside. Croissants are barely useful for Nass.
Picnic Lunches are still valuable to Kim and Susan, though. It's around half of Susan's health, and a bit more for Kim. It's only around a quarter of Nass', though.
: but he can lead you to an exit if you're lost in a maze.)
These mice here are extremely nice. They do exactly what this mouse says they do.
So, um, yes. We're taking one along. Sure, it's not hard to find your way out manually, but it's just much nicer to use this as opposed to winding your way through the mine manually.
And so we do. He just hops right in Nass' pack, waiting to be used.
We keep going west, but we're going to go south first.
I'm going to ignore that ladder down for now, since continuing to the west leads us to...
...Another Guardian Digger.
Shit, he's the third strongest.
Strap in, kids, we've got a tough battle ahead of us.
Same basic strategy as last time, but Freeze Gamma doesn't quite live up to the standard it set last battle.
Since the Guardian Digger can use Shield Beta, I try and seal off his PSI powers.
Unfortunately, it fails. I'm not surprised, really. Susan's toys don't work quite as well on bosses, which is when they're most useful.
Nass throws this shield up on Susan, as I worry for his life the most. Maybe it's just me, but enemies seem to want to rip his head off the most.
The Guardian Digger enhances his own shield (he starts the fight with it automatically up), even though we haven't done any damage to it.
Kim finishes off this fight with Freeze Alpha, dealing a respectable amount of damage.
They all drop the same amount of ludicrous experience, all five of them. Let's see... 5x5767=28835 exp., just from the Guardian Diggers alone. It's very easy to gain a ton of levels in this mine.
As Susan just did!
For this level, he gained +2 offense, +2 guts, +1 vitality, +2 IQ, +1 luck and +7 HP.
And in the box next to the Guardian Digger, there's a PSI Caramel. That roughly equals one Freeze Gamma, so this is valuable as all hell to me.
I immediately have Kim eat this, as her PP is the most valuable down here.
Gigantic Ants and Noose Men are nothing to worry about, really.
Since Kim can one-shot the Gigantic Ants, and Susan and Nass can drop a Noose Man in a single round by working together.
Down the hole, there's another present box.
Super Bombs are kind of like regular Bombs, but...Well, they're Super.
I also feed Kim the other PSI Caramel, as I like to keep my inventory as free as possible. We're heading back north, by the way.
Sweet Jesus, that's a lot of Noose Men.
And a single Mad Duck!
Kim is going to be scorching the Noose Men, but it won't be enough to kill them off.
Fire Beta leaves them with just enough health that any attack will finish them off from here.
And Susan takes the opportunity to polish up on his Duck Hunt skills.
While Nass starts the Noose Men massacre.
Kim finishes it off, and I can't help but imagine it smells really bad down in that mine.
Look at that exp!
Oh, Gigantic Ant, you should have fled when you had the chance.
Like I said, there's a lot of loot down here.
Most of it is pretty nice stuff. Unfortunately, Teddy Bears don't have the staying power they did when Kim first joined, so this one is going to last only about two hits before it's reduced to a pile of fluff.
But, hey, I won't turn down a free fluff-shield.
Or over 3,000 exp.
Or a level for Nass!
For this level, he gained +1 defense, +2 HP, and +2 PP.
Oh, Kim, you're wonderful!
For this level, she gained +1 speed, +1 guts, +1 IQ, +2 HP and +5 PP.
Both are nice levels. Like I said, it's hard to not gain levels down here.
Another ladder down, and we'll be going east this time.
But first, let's snag some more loot.
Not the greatest of treasures, but it's still useful.
Susan and Nass needed a small boost, so they get the Calorie Stick and the Picnic Lunch, respectively.
Another of the five masters down here.
: Do you wanna test me?
Ah, shit. He's the third strongest master. This oughta be tough.
No level ups this time, but all of my characters are well on their way to another level.
This isn't enough for an upgrade to Kim's equipment; it actually would lower her defense by seven points.
So, I give it to Nass. Things don't seem to have quite the hard-on for murdering Susan that they did before. Nass is becoming a more frequent target, which I'm perfectly okay with.
Oh, hey, a Thirsty Coil Snake. We haven't seen one of these for a while.
Before I forget to show this off, if you select a weapon for a character to use in battle, from the item menu this happens:
From what I've heard online, this has 100% accuracy. There may be something we can do with that later, but for now, it is a simple curiosity.
But Susan gaining a level isn't!
For this level, he gained +1 offense, +1 speed, and +2 HP.
We continue on through the maze.
And we've made our way back to the central area. It's called a maze, but it's a very simple one.
We're heading south this time, and there's more loot.
A Bomb feels paltry after finding a Super Bomb, but not all of them can be winners, I suppose.
More Mad Ducks and Noose Men down here. The Mad Ducks, as much as I love them, really drag down the exp. gains.
Oh, Goddammit, Nass! Now is not the time for homesickness! And if you're already thinking of mentioning the chick, shut it. I stand by my decision to whip that flightless bird into the desert to be eaten by wolves.
Son of a bitch! What happened to the Gigantic Ants and Thirsty Coil Snakes?
This is really taking a toll on Kim's PP. Before long, I'll have to snake out of here, not only to refill, but to cure Nass' homesickness.
But first, let's take care of another master.
: I'll demonstrate the power of being third to you!
Dammit, he's going to be tougher than the others we've fought. With Kim low on PP, this isn't good.
With Kim low on PP, and the Guardian Digger's automatic Shield Beta, Nass is going to help pick up the slack. I wouldn't like a physical hit from Nass reflected back, as it would just hurt like hell.
It leaves the Guardian Digger with a fair amount of HP left, but not enough to be worrisome.
As far as I know, the HP-sucker won't trigger the Shield Beta's damage reflection.
But, I have no evidence leaning either way. If anyone knows, I'd like to know. I don't think it would, since Susan would drain HP, take damage, then heal some of that damage automatically.
Since his HP was low enough, I had Nass Flash Alpha him, because he'll be attacking before long.
The third strongest Guardian Digger is susceptible to flash.
Not that it did much good. Jesus, I'm glad Nass took this hit. That would have outright killed Kim or Susan.
Another blast of Bacon Beta finishes off the Guardian Digger.
His exp. also finishes off Kim's requirement to gain a level!
For this level, she gained +1 offense and +1 HP. Well...Uh...That kind of sucked.
Kim drinks down this Luck Capsule, as luck is useless.
Ooh, a new bit of armor. Kim, I think, as the MVP of the party, you deserve this upgrade.
I decide to leave for a little bit, since everyone could use a quick heal. And Nass needs to get over his homesickness.
The Exit Mouse takes you directly to the exit, so all you have to do is walk out of there. It's really nice.
A quick call to Mom...
Y'know, I think that would have cured my homesickness just as well.
We'll become home owners soon enough.
I'm really curious as to how Dad knows everyone's exp. requirements.
: Hey, Susan, what'd you invent this time?
: It's my old partner, y'know.
And back to the mines we go.
It surprises me a bit that we can auto-win against a single Noose Man and a Mad Duck.
Back in this area, we pick up another Exit Mouse.
We're heading north this time, toward the final master.
: You've fought the strongest master of this hole, the second strongest master of this hole, the fourth strongest master of this hole, and the weakest master of this hole! I'm truly the third strongest master of this hole. Now you see the true advantage of being third!
Alright, we've got a middling fight on our hands.
Now, I could use the tried and true "Freeze Gamma Destruction" plan of action, but I decide to actually give the third strongest master a fair shot.
I use Shield Sigma, as I thought he had some attack PSI to use, but it turns out I was mistaken. The only PSI they have access to is Life Up Alpha and Shield Beta.
Nass blinds him, hopefully preventing some of his ridiculous damage.
Now, the Shield Killer is pretty useful in this fight.
Just, uh, not that use, I guess.
Jesus, those numbers frighten me.
Paralysis has a low chance of working, but someone without Freeze Gamma might try it, seeing how effective it was on the Mondo Mole.
Let's see if we can lower that massive defense a bit.
Defense Down Alpha has a pretty sweet-ass animation, if you ask me.
Paralysis Alpha is pretty useless in this fight, which could be a nasty surprise if you were expecting Mondo Mole 2.0 for these fights.
Even with Kim's huge defense, I'm still glad this missed her.
Ah, perfect. As long as he doesn't put his shield back up, we're free to wail on him as we wish.
...Well, that's not good.
When I said this guy's defense was insane, I wasn't joking. It's 129, if you were curious for the exact numbers.
Now, I know I said I was going to give this one a fair shot. I think this is one hell of a fair shot from Susan.
Oh, Susan. Never fail to be awesome.
At first, the third strongest master wasn't going to have an inverted shot, but this one horrified me to no end, and I felt obligated to share it.
I also felt obligated to share Nass gaining another level.
For this level, Nass gained +1 HP and +2 PP.
Flash Beta could have come in handy that last fight, considering it has one special property to it.
Not only will it hit every enemy, but it also has the chance to instantly kill them. Flash is a hell of a power and not to be underestimated.
Our final treasure is a Guts Capsule, which I let Nass have.
And then we have our Exit Mouse lead us out, straight into a photo.
This guy is starting to annoy me.
Gerardo is pleased with our progress, as am I.
I hope so, friend. The Runaway Five need our help.
If you need that careful plan of action amended, we'll be in Fourside.
But first, we'll rest. I think they all deserve it.
And with that, we're finished this update. Next time, we'll head back to Fourside and see if we can do something about the Runaway Five's debt troubles. Stay tuned!
Somehow, walking from the entrance of the mine to the house, Kim got sunstroke. What the fuck, Kim.