Part 33: Update Thirty Two: Damn The Sales! Or: In Which I Get My Ass KickedWelcome back. Last time, on Earthbound, we went down into the mines in the Dusty Dunes Desert, and defeated the third strongest master of the hole. Today, we're finally going to go shopping.
We're hoofing it back to Fourside. Sure, I could take the bus, but then I gotta walk all the way back to the bus stop.
...Ah, hell, I've frozen again. It's not the phone, I haven't called Escargo Express...Is this just a good ol' fashioned freeze?
Oh, never mind, it's a bulldozer.
: Gerardo is in his mine, but he hasn't found any treasure yet.
Considering it's been what...Fifteen minutes, at most, I'm not surprised. I'm willing to give him a few weeks here. Excavating treasure can't be an easy task.
: Nass. Here it is... Please take it.
Oh, my, you should--Oh, dammit, this is going to the Runaway Five.
With that, George hops back in the bulldozer and heads back to the desert. I really like the Montague brothers. They're just chill-as-shit dudes.
Alright, let's go save those rascals.
We have to buy another ticket, too.
Before we go to the show, let's hit up the manager.
If you try and talk to her, she just repeats her spiel about their contract; you've gotta use the diamond.
As much as I'd like to cash it in, I'm just too big of a Runaway Five fan. And you're kind of a bitch.
: Don't tell anyone about the Diamond... Now the Runaway Five are free! ...You should thank me. That Diamond is worth maybe... MAYBE...$50. So I gave you a bargain.
Y'know, Nass, she already ripped up the contract... I bet PSI powers can't be traced back to where they originated from. Though, considering our relative fame, maybe it wouldn't be that hard.
And like the last time we bailed them out, the Runaway Five burst into the room to give the manager one last piece of their mind.
It's okay, baby! Ow!
Yeah, get out there and rock those cool cats!
Yeah, baby, rock this joint!
Ain't no thang, my brother.
Whoo! Yeah, lay it down smooth!
: Money, it's what we ain't go 'cept freedom, freedom, freedom is what we've really sought!
That guy might be my favorite member of the Runaway Five. Just look at him groove!
Oh, and if you try to leave?
You're a horrible, terrible person for not seeing the last Runaway Five show.
SO NOW, ARE YOU READY FOR THE FINAL SHOW BY THE RUNAWAY FIVE!!!!!?
LIVE FROM THE TOPPOLA THEATER AND FEATURING SPECIAL GUEST...VENUS!!!!
Man, those cats are the best.
Oh, you missed it, Hawaiian Shirt Man? You poor fool.
: I missed her 'cause I went to the bathroom. I'll hate bathrooms for the rest of my life.
I'd feel pretty bad about it, too, but when you gotta go...
Yep, and it's my fault. In one light, I can see why people would see Nass and co. as assholes, since we lost them one of the best bands ever to perform at the Toppola Theater, yet we did free them from a bullshit contract that kept them trapped here.
Though, this lady is already making plans to keep up with them. Good for her.
Now that we've freed the Runaway Five, let's go do some shopping. Hopefully. I'll be upset if the Department Store is still closed.
Well, that one guy complaining about it being closed isn't around here any more. That's a good sign, I think.
Excellent, it is open! I don't think I've mentioned this before, but this guy here is the returns clerk; you can sell your old, unneeded items to him, for their regular cash value. It's pretty nice if you need to unload stuff and don't want to be arsed to take an escalator to the nearest vendor.
Since there's some crap I need to offload, yes.
We make a bit of profit here.
But, you can't sell any of Susan's inventions. I was talking to Keeshhound last night while doing this section (he was actually watching, via Skype), and his theory on it is that since they're unique items, the developers wanted to be sure that you couldn't shaft yourself on having them.
So, a quick call to Escargo Express is in order. The Stag Beetle only sold for $4, and I still have the Fly Honey floating around.
The HP-sucker hasn't been performing as well as I'd like, so that gets tossed in storage as well. This helps free up enough inventory so that I can gather more crap.
Alright, let's shop. There's three levels in this department store and plenty of shops.
This lady has the same spiel as the hippie back in Twoson, and she sells nearly the same stuff.
The Sprig of Parsley is new, and goes with the Peanut Cheese Bars. I neglect to buy any now, but I'm sure I'll load up later. With a Sprig of Parsley and a Peanut Cheese Bar combined, it's around 250 HP recovery. That's a lot, for any member of my crew at this point in time.
...We find another Leonard!
Foolishly, I buy none of his Big Bottle Rockets. This will come back to bite me in the ass, and sooner than you'd expect. However, I do purchase a Hyper Beam.
Susan's offense is starting to get up there; it still trails behind Nass' a fair bit, but then again, everyone's will do that.
Back out here, we have the burger shop.
Double Burgers are cheaper than one would expect, being only $10 more than a regular Hamburger. Combine those with the Ketchup Packets you can buy from the condiment lady, and there's only $26 for nearly 200 HP recovery. Still not as good as the Peanut Cheese Bar/Sprig of Parsley combo, but still pretty damned nice.
Well, if you can get all the same stuff for cheaper, yes, you should. And then tell me where it's at so I can get the good deals.
Another food shop.
Picnic Lunches go with Salt Packets, which puts them in nearly the same tier as Double Burgers/Ketchup Packets. All in all, condiments are very useful, and very cheap for their effects.
But, onto the third floor!
We immediately encounter this bitch. Were her face blue, she'd already be in a heap on the floor.
As far as I know, there's nothing around these shelves, but I think they're nice for flavor. There's another one of those storeroom doors back there, too.
Hmm...It's empty. I wonder why.
Gold bracelets aren't as good as Platinum Bands, but we'll just have to deal with that for a while. They're also hella expensive.
Her Chef's Fry Pan adds a nice boost to her offense.
Nass and Susan get Gold bracelets each, so now they've got their bling-bling going on.
The shopkeep next to her doesn't sell anything really interesting.
We're heading up to the final floor now.
A weapon shop for Nass!
Oh, what the fuck is this shit? Quit taunting me, game!
To the left of the bullshit sports shop, we have another kind of general shop.
Susan can finally get a Coin of Defense.
It raises his defense nicely. It's still not as good as Nass or Kim's, but it's still a pretty good number.
Alright, let's get outta--
But, Leavemywife! You didn't buy Kim a Defense Ribbon!
Yes, you're right, question I put in the reader's mouth. The Mr. Saturn Coin is better. Now shut it and let me return to my update.
Like I was saying, let's get outta here.
Jesus, this place is big. At least we're nearly--
Oh, GODDAMMIT! Kim's the MVP of the team! YOU FUCK!
Wait a second...Is that the intercom?
: please proceed to the office on the fourth floor. That was customer Nass, 4th floor office... Gwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!
Alright, this area is extremely fucking dangerous.
I highly recommend saving and dumping all of your cash. You may not lose much money, but it could happen often.
Alright, let's get started here. Ask anyone who's played this game before; I'm very apprehensive to continue on here, and it will soon become obvious why, but the vets already know why.
Oh, look, a present box!
There's no treasure around here. All enemies come in present boxes.
God, weapon upgrades are lovely, aren't they?
Now, if Nass had gotten one... Oh, Scalding Coffee Cups only have 190 HP, by the by. Even without one, Nass still one-shotted this fool. Their only attack is to spill hot espresso all over Nass and Susan, which deals a shitload of damage.
Oh, and their weakness? Freeze!
Sure, I killed it before it could attack, so you might be wondering why I'm still terrified of moving on.
Oh, buddy, we're going to see some shit here. Scalding Coffee Cups are, in my opinion, the least of our worries.
Let's move on. I want to get through this hellhole as quickly as possible.
Oh, thank God, this second floor is empty. That room over there, at this point, holds a Magic Butterfly, I believe. However, I am not stupid enough to pass up this opportunity to avoid a battle here to go check, so I hurry on.
But not before we get another announcement to get to the fourth floor. It's hard to convey how creepy this is through screenshots, but that sound bite certainly helps.
Oh, shit, no, please. Shit!
Meet the Mystical Record and the Musica. These two are the biggest ASSHOLES this place has to offer.
Now, it's hard to decide which needs to die first. The Mystical Record has 263 HP, and can hit really fucking hard. It's not hard to damage it in return, but with another, it's hard to decide which needs to go down first.
I have Susan start with the Bomb to deal some damage to both of them. He has no really good full party attacks, so I have to make due.
And 61 HP of damage was dealt to the Mystical Record; a good bit, but I would have liked more.
Nass steps in with a decent whack on it. That monstrous offense is going to shine here.
The Mystical Record has three different attacks, two of which are this charge forward. The other is a bash.
Oof, that's a hell of a hit.
This is one of the things that makes the Musica such an asshole.
Getting put to sleep is not a good thing, especially when they both can dish out a ton of damage.
Susan wakes up rather quickly...
...Only for another haunting melody to come out and put his ass back to sleep.
This is the other action of the Mystical Record.
It erases all the damage Nass did, pretty much.
I much prefer the Mystical Record's regular attack. This has the benefit of waking Nass up.
Actually, I prefer Nass being hit here, as his massive HP and defense can help him survive these physicals.
Normally, Bacon Beta isn't worth it (since it's so expensive) and Kim is usually around to deal the big-league damage. Both of these guys are weak to fire, by the way.
With the Mystical Record knocked out, this fight just became much easier.
Except if the Musica did this.
I could have grabbed the Franklin Badge, yes, but I didn't think to.
Now, I don't know if the Musica's Thunder just doesn't have the accuracy penalty that the others do or what, but this is some bad shit.
Nass does not appreciate this bullshit, and steps up to the plate and saves Susan's life.
Keep in mind, that was a regular-ass encounter. We've still got a boss to fight here.
At least the exp. is nice.
Both of these guys get a Life Up Beta; I'm not taking any chances here.
Now, it looks like I'm going to get my ass surprised here, doesn't it? This was actually a surprise on my behalf, much to my (and Keeshhound's) surprise.
Being a single Musica, it doesn't last long, especially since we had two attacks on it to begin with.
The manager's office is right there. But we've got this to get through first.
Call me a coward if you'd like, but I don't think anyone can really blame me here. If I could be grossly overlevelled for any area, this would be it. I'm a bit above the curve, and this place is still brutal. It's one hell of a jump in difficulty, and I can't figure out why.
I am so happy that I didn't have to fight this one with fair odds.
I wish I'd kept one of those PSI Caramels for Nass right now. Oh, well, hindsight and alla that.
Whew, good numbers. This might not go so badly.
And 119 HP of damage to Nass.
A charge to Susan from Mystical Record B...
And Mystical Record A whiffs his shot to kill Susan.
There's one major pain in the ass down.
And those two gone.
I like the exp. here, but God, it is not safe to grind here.
But, hey, light in the tunnel!
For this level, he gained +1 offense, +1 defense, +1 IQ, +1 luck, and +1 HP.
After that fight, we receive another announcement, even though we're like, ten feet from the office.
Let's go see an asshole about getting our little lady back.
Is it just me or does he look as fuck?
It was a harder road than expected, dickcheese.
You remember that episode of the X-Files where that one dude got squished into the escalator? Because that's exactly what I'm about to do to you.
HEAVEN OR HELL!?
Alright, here's the biggest asshole of the Department Store. He only has 610 HP, but, in my experience, you're going to have to fight for every single health point you rip away from him. This is the guy I should have bought another Big Bottle Rocket for.
Nass should also have more PP, too, but I make due.
Oh, this is a wonderful start.
He's only got 160 HP left, which doesn't seem like a lot, right?
He's got a ton of PSI attacks to wreck you with.
This is just the beginning of it.
Now he's nearly dead, yes.
But not for long. Life Up Alpha is assholery when used against you.
Susan does his best to mitigate that healing, though.
The Spook's displeasure is obvious at being shot with a laser.
Alright, with Life Up Beta, I just gotta beat the rolling HP meter. Just gotta be quick in selecting Life Up Beta.
But first, Nass is going to whiff his attack of the round.
For just a bit of extra speed, I choose Life Up Alpha, as it can still save Susan.
Aww, fuck! Brainshock takes too long to complete to save Susan...
...And he hits the dirt and Nass has no way to revive him. This fight is not going well.
I wish it had re-targeted to Nass.
Thankfully, Nass is just a ball of health, so he can take these hits without much worry. Still, I wish I had bought another Big Bottle Rocket.
Whatever, Life Up Beta will keep Nass in the game for long enough.
Brainshock misses again, thankfully, and Nass is now on full offensive. I possibly could have ended this fight now with Bacon Beta, but I didn't want to take the risk of it missing, then being shafted when Nass needs healing because I need Life Up Beta over Life Up Alpha.
I feel bad for all of the enemies I've used Freeze Alpha (and Beta and Gamma) on now. This shit hurts.
Nass comes in with a good hit, though, putting me one step closer to victory.
I have Nass use the Sudden Guts Pill, not only for the increased chance of SMAAAAAAAAASHING this asshole back to the stone age, but because guts also affects the rolling of the HP meter.
Not a bad amount of guts, I think.
At first, I wondered why he had Magnet Omega and not Magnet Alpha.
Then, I realized that the developers didn't want him to be able to waste his turn on Susan, so they made him always capable of robbing Nass of some PP. Now I only have one Life Up Beta to use.
I use it here, as Nass needs all the HP he can get in this fight.
With all the Freeze Alphas coming my way, Nass needs it.
Oh, son of a bitch!
Thankfully, he wasted his turn with Brainshock Alpha.
Oh, shit! After this, Nass is going to have 9 HP. That's about 190 less than I'm comfortable with.
Thankfully, Nass' next attack finishes the fight before he can lose too much HP.
...Y'know, Susan's dead, so that's why it's so high. I wish he had gained his portion of the exp., but I feel this is necessary.
Susan may have fallen, but we can still celebrate!
For this level, Nass gained +2 offense, +1 guts, +1 luck, +1 HP, and +2 PP.
Life Up Gamma heals one person's HP to full, no matter how much they need to recover. From how I understand how it works, it restores a flat 999 HP, and it only costs 13 PP.
Just barely beat you. That was a hell of a fight.
Doubtful. I'm going to get a hell of a lot stronger before I take him on, and I'll have Kim there, too.
Well, alright. We've now got a concrete goal in mind.
Thankfully, I don't have to fight my way out. That'd just be cruel.
And nobody is any the wiser to what happened...It makes me leery of the sort of power that Giygas wields.
This just a fucking lovely spot for a picture, asshole. Nass is hidden behind a toy robot, and Susan's fucking dead.
Photograph Man doesn't give a shit, though. He's here for pictures.
Reminds me of Sting when he used to drop down to the wrestling ring from the catwalk.
I snag enough cash to ensure I can revive Susan and afford a night in the hotel.
Well, there's one expense out of the way.
Before we can reach the hotel, a Mad Taxi decides to get up in our grill.
They still don't stand a chance.
Gladly. I may have drawn out too much money...
Whatever, Nass and Susan are back in prime ass-kicking mode.
And I have a reasonable amount of money again.
We're going to stop here. Next time, on Earthbound, we're going to a very special place. Stay tuned!