Part 3: The Mean Streets of Onett Town
Part 2: The Mean Streets of Onett Town
I slept badly. For one thing, I can never sleep well when it's daylight out, and also the Sound Stone was making these quiet, rhythmic sounds just often enough for me to notice. No use worrying about it. Time to get going.
Buzz Buzz had said I had to start with Giant Step, which was supposed to be somewhere near Onett. I had never heard of it before, so I decided to see what I could find out from the townspeople.
Unfortunately, they were either hopelessly confused...
...or helpful, but not in the way I needed it now.
Finally, I decided to check the library, and see what I could learn there.
The librarian wasn't much help, but I did find a map of Onett. According to this, Giant Step was off to the west, in the cliffs of the rocky hills surrounding the town.
I somehow knew it wasn't going to be this easy. Who were these clowns?
Turns out, they were actual clowns.
Frank, of course, was the leader of the Sharks, the street gang that ruled the arcade in downtown Onett with iron fists. What could the Sharks have to do with this run down old shack?
I tried to climb the wall but it was just too high. It looked like I was going to have to convince someone to let me in.
I headed for city hall, knowing full well the chances of someone letting me in were non-existent. What was I supposed to say? "Let me pass into Giant Step so I can record the melody onto this rock a bee from the future gave me"?
Deep in thought, I didn't realize I had wandered too far south. A sharp, plastic whap and a sting of pain on the back of my head brought me back to my senses.
Oh, crap, the arcade. I was in trouble now.
I told myself I had to fight them. I was supposed to somehow save the world. Surely Giygas was tougher than some chubby tenth-grader? I had to start getting stronger, right now.
I swung my bat at the punk with the hula hoop. He wasn't expecting me to fight back; after all, I never had before, and so he didn't have time to move. The bat hit him square in the gut and he doubled over, wheezing. The other Sharks looked taken aback for a second. I shouldered my bat and looked at them with what I hoped was a threatening glance.
"Get that little brat!"
They charged. Sharks on skateboards, Sharks on pogo sticks, Sharks swinging hula hoops. At least ten of them surrounded me and charged. I hit one in the jaw with my bat but even as he reeled back in pain, another Shark punched me in the nose. Stars filled my vision. I clutched my bat tight, knowing I was dead in the water if I dropped it. Another Shark punched me hard in the stomach and I went down, gasping for breath.
On my knees on the hot asphault, I still wasn't giving up. Swiftly, I swung my bat at the pogo stick of one of the Sharks nearby. Even as he toppled helplessly into the pavement, his buddies started pummeling me in earnest, peppering my sides and face with punches and kicks. I remember thinking, well, that was one short adventure, wasn't it? I should have just ran, I shouldn't have tried to fight them, and now I was gonna die bloody and disfigured on the streets of my hometown.
As I lay there waiting for them to either get bored or beat me unconscious, I became aware of a low humming sound. The pain was starting to recede. It seemed like the world was starting to glow. If this is dying, I thought, this isn't that bad...
I noticed a gap in the wall of Sharks surrounding me. I'm not sure why but my brain was working on some kind of auto-pilot. I darted through, and turning back towards the advancing gang, I dropped my bat and began to concentrate. The humming intensified. I could feel the air around me start to move and vibrate. Suddenly the space between the Sharks and me erupted in a display of wildly-strobing lights and colors. The lights hit the Sharks with the force of a small car. They were thrown about, lifted off their skateboards, buffeted helplessly by the force of my psychic onslaught. When it was over, the Sharks lay groaning on the pavement.
Maybe I wasn't so helpless after all? I smiled involuntarily and winced as the pain slowly flowed back into my body. Ugh, they had really done a number on me. But at least I had discovered some means of fighting back.
I picked up my bat and headed into the arcade. Maybe I could ask Frank himself about that shack.
: "So, you beat up a few of my boys and now you think you can walk back here and talk to Frank like you're some tough guy?"
: "I just want to know if you know anything about the Giant Step. I need to get through that shack in front of it."
: "Maybe I do. Maybe I don't."
Frank pulled a gleaming knife out of his vest and began absent-mindedly picking his nails with it.
: "What's it to you, anyway? You friends with those clowns that live there?"
: "Um...I can't exactly say why."
: "I've had enough of this. Come on! 'Fail-proof Frank' can't be beaten!"
Boss Battle: Frank
Google Video / Backup
: "So...you've got psychic powers. Not bad. Alright, I'll help you out. But you have to do something for me first."
: "I want to see if you, the new tough guy on the block, can take on my creation, a being of steel, and pure power."
With that, Frank pushed something covered in a sheet out from behind a bush in the yard. I stared dumbfounded as he whipped off the sheet.
: "Behold...My ultimate combat robot, Frankystein Mark II! Come on, Ness!"
The robot looked like a barrel on wheels. Despite what Frank had said it looked to be made mostly of wood and Christmas tree lights, rather than steel and pure power.
Steam burst from a valve on its back, and it slowly whirred to life and came towards me. Not sure what to do, I poked it in the chest with my bat once or twice, until one of its stubby arms popped forward and punched me in the arm. It hit about as hard as my little sister, unfortunately, 90% of my body was still one cohesive bruise from my run-in with the Sharks earlier, so...
: "Don't underestimate Frankystein Mark II! Hahahaha!"
Irritated, I picked up my bat and swung. The robot's head sailed off into the distance; apparently it was duct-taped on. A few wires stuck haphazardly out of Frankystein's torso, sparking randomly. His arms drooped, and he was still.
Boss Battle: Frankystein Mark II
Google Video / Backup
: "...You're strong. This is my first defeat. 'Fail-proof' Frank is now just 'failure' Frank. You wanted to know about Giant Step? It seems to be a quite a powerful spot. Some kind of special power is stored there that allows certain people to perform wondrous feats. A person like you, Ness...could probably get a lot stronger from a place like that. However, right now, it's difficult to get to Giant Step. There's a monster there that's sucked up all the power."
: "That's all I have to tell you. The mayor has a key to the shack that'll let you in. You'll have to talk to him about it."
: "...Thanks. What about you?"
: "The Sharks are finished. I'll leave the city in peace. I've learned that a life of extortion can't fund high-tech robotics. Also, I've learned that I'm really awful at building robots."
: "Well, good for you!"
Despite the bruises, scrapes, and cuts, I was feeling pretty good as I headed towards City Hall. I'd learned how to use psychic power, and I'd ensured that the Sharks would never shake down another helpless kid at pogo stick-point.
Well. I was definitely getting somewhere now.
: "So you're the kid! You beat up the town bullies! Punched them out big time, kicked their butts, bit their heads off, spit in their eyes, and made them wet their pants! Then you made them promise not to make anymore trouble in town!"
: "Wow, how'd you know about that so fast?"
: "This is big news, after all. The police force has had their hands full with those guys! Anyway, on behalf of Onett, I thank you! Is there anything the grateful town of Onett could do for such an individual?"
: "Well...since you mention it. I need the key to the shack outside Giant Step."
: "Sure! Having the key in such responsible hands could only mean good things for this town! Take it, take it! But...You know it's dangerous there. I have to ask, if you should get into some trouble there, you won't ask City Hall to take responsibility for what happens. I'm sure you understand, right?"
I guess the mayor was just trying to cover his back.
: "Um...Sure, I guess. No problem."
: "Smart boy, smart boy! Alright! Here's the key. Use it well!"
Key in hand, I went back up to the shack.
I gave the key back to the entertainers. After all, they had been living here before.
And finally, I stepped inside the caves that would lead me to Giant Step.
Next time: Ness battles an arthropod and rebels against authority! Don't miss it!
Yes, everybody wants to talk about that. Every time the story of our journey comes up, that's probably the first thing anybody asks about, "Is it true you took a hamburger out of the garbage?"
Look, I'm not here to talk about that. If you want to hear about that kind of thing there were about a hundred sleazy tabloid articles that came out around the time we got home. I'll just say, you never know what you're capable of until you're out in the world, staring death in the face. Don't be so quick to judge!
Note: This is an artist's conception that ran in a leading supermarket tabloid several months ago. It may not represent an accurate account of the incident.