Part 29: Is There Anything Magicant Do?
Part 27: Is There Anything Magicant Do?
Ness...hmmmm....I think Ness is the right name for him.
Ness...He smiled just from hearing his own name.
Try putting that red cap on him.
Ha ha ha! It's too big, but it looks good on him.
Let's celebrate with some pizza. This baby will grow up to be a hard worker just like you...
I don't think he needs to be rich or famous, but I want him to be a thoughtful, strong boy.
That's odd...the baby bottle that he pointed at seemed to move a little bit...
I don't know what happened to me.
I remember getting hurt, and the volcano...
Then I woke up in a strange place.
Sitting upright, I grasped at my chest. There was nothing, no scratch, no wound. I was wearing my pajamas, as if I had just gotten out of bed. I blinked and looked around.
I took in the dreamlike music, the strange, plastic qualities of the grass beneath me, and the giant vegables dotting the landscape. I decided I must have died at Fire Spring. The strange thing was, I wasn't too upset about this. Maybe dying meant you didn't really care about living anymore? I decided not to think about it too much. I noticed an old man who looked like the Star Master who had taken Poo on his journey.
: "From these, you created Magicant, the realm of your mind. In Magicant, there's beauty, kindness, sorrow, and hatred. Of course, there is an evil and violent side of you as well. The Sea of Eden sits at the center of those feelings. It takes you to the truth about yourself."
After he spoke, the landscape shifted colors. The ground turned purple, and the gently lapping waves glowed a dull magenta. I looked around, startled, but the old man didn't seem to notice. Over to the left, I spotted my family...It was like the living room had been surgically removed from my house and plopped it down on this weird landscape. I shuffled over to them, still feeling light-headed, as if this was all some kind of dream.
: "Other people can't get close to it. It's a strange place."
As she finished speaking, the world once again changed colors.
: "Here...I don't even know where I am..."
In a daze, I wandered back over to the left, where I had woken up. My head was swimming. Was I dead? Dreaming? Or was this the power of the Sanctuaries? No, it couldn't be that, I thought, I passed out before I made it to the last one. None of this was making any sense, and the constant shifts in color weren't helping my mind concentrate.
Trying in vain to take all of this in, my eyes wandered over to the far shore of the now-bright orange and black world. I saw a familiar face behind a bush.
: "But you remind me of myself when I was young. I can't do anything more for you."
The colors of the land shifted to a dazzling white and pale green. As they faded, Everded did as well, vanishing from sight.
: "Everdred...So you really are gone..."
I saw a thin peninsula of land that hadn't been there a moment ago, leading through the purplish sea. Again, feeling as though I was being guided by some force, I started walking across it. I met a zombie mid-way across.
: "Sorry...but you shouldn't try to eat people."
As I padded across the path in my bare feet, I met even more adversaries I had defeated on my journey.
My head was starting to clear up as I found myself on another island, full of familiar faces I hadn't even thought about in years...And a rabbit, for some reason.
: "So...I'm not dead?"
It made sense now. I wasn't dead. This was my mind, made real, by the power of the sanctuaries. My friends must have carried me there after I was wounded, and the Sound Stone must have picked up the melody of the final Sanctuary even as the Sanctuary's powers healed me.
: "I have to wake up! I can't stay here...My friends are depending on me! We've got the eight melodies! We can save the world now! Wake up!"
Nothing happened. I pinched myself, dunked my head in the water, and yelled at the top of my lungs.
: "Come on, Ness! WAKE UP!"
Panting, I collapsed to the ground.
: "Why...can't I wake up...?"
I stood up and looked around. Obviously, if I couldn't wake up, I must be here for a reason. I thought back on what I had learned since coming here. The Sea of Eden...an evil and violent part of myself...I would have to confront this part of myself before I could continue.
The rabbit was at the head of a chain of childhood friends and people I had known from kindergarten, who had moved away, changed schools, or for some reason or another, I had lost touch with.
And standing a short distance, along with a tall snowman, was...me.
After seeing what there was to see, I headed north, intent on finding the 'Sea of Eden.' I hadn't got far before I saw a portly kid sitting on a couch. Yeah, even here, in a world created from my memories and thoughts, was Pokey.
: "I have no luck. But...Ness...well, okay...Let's be friends forever, all right?"
: "Pokey...Why did you side with the enemies? We...could have been friends again..."
Resolute, I walked on. Further north, a small building stood amid the plastic brush, but what caught my eye was a small grey tombstone in the ground just outside.
: "Aw...Buzz Buzz...I wonder what this trip would have been like if he had survived a little longer."
Inside the house, I was surprised to see a bunch of strange, orange bird-headed men just kind of hanging out.
: "Um, hello."
: "My name? Let's say Flying Man."
: "Hey...I remember you! Flying Man was my favorite toy when I was little! Oh, man, I'm really sorry about that time you ended up in the garbage disposal. And for the time Otoro buried you in the backyard."
: "In the Sea of Eden, you will be tested by the darker parts of your own psyche. You and your courage will have to work together to overcome this hurdle."
: "Alright. Let's keep going."
Flying Man followed me out of the house, and together, we walked down the thin path that would lead us to the Sea of Eden. Up ahead, the scenery changed abruptly. The plastic-ish grass stopped at a straight line, and a smooth, shiny surface, like something out of the future, took its place. Just before the terrain changed, the Star Master was waiting.
: "It's a place where you can touch the truth of the universe. Going there may bring sorrow. You can't go there until you're truly ready."
: "I think I'm ready. I have my courage with me."
I pointed at the buff chicken-man at my side. The Star Master nodded. We stepped off the familiar turf of Magicant and into the alien landscape surrounding the Sea of Eden.
This was a mysterious and strange place, even compared to Magicant. Bizarre, disembodied faces and body parts drifted lazily through the air, and a constant murmur of barely-audible voices was the only sound that greeted my ears. Every so often, I heard my name spoken, but otherwise I couldn't make out what was being said. Flying Man said nothing as we walked. I couldn't even make out our footsteps. I realized the murmur was deafeningly loud. It was blocking out anything I might be hearing otherwise. I began glancing wildly around. I opened my mouth to ask the Flying Man if he could see what was making that sound, and nothing came out of my mouth. I was getting quite scared at this point.
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a huge pair of disembodied floating lips hovering just above my shoulder, whispering the deafening sound in my ear. I whirled around, reaching for my bat, but I forgot I was just wearing pajamas still and was unarmed. The lips started laughing. I decided to shut them up with a little psychic attack. The lips were knocked around in the air and slammed into the ground. Looking irritated, the disembodied mouth bared its yellowed teeth and charged us. I dodged out of the way. Flying Man grabbed the lips and grasped them in a sort of choke hold, or as much of one as you can do when the target doesn't have a neck. I ran over and began punching the lips with my bare hands.
The lips had somehow worked their way around and bitten Flying Man's arms as he held it. Squirming free, the lips blew a raspberry at us, and a creepy pair of eyeballs floated out of the ether to join it. Together, we tackled the lips once again, but the eyeballs somehow shot out a bolt of electricity and Flying Man was sent reeling to the ground, smoking.
Angered, I lashed out with a blast of PSI power, obliterating the lips, and sending the eyes fleeing in terror. The murmur vanished entirely, and I ran to the wounded Flying Man's side.
: "I...can't go on...I'm done for..."
: "What?! But...but you're my courage! You...you can't die!"
: "Ness...I am...I am...just a guy...with a chicken's head..."
He fell limp and silent. I sat in silence for some time, pondering what he meant. Eventually, I decided it hadn't meant anything. Flying Man or no, I had to keep going, or I would never get out of this strange place.
I walked on, and as I walked, I encountered more strange enemies, no doubt cooked up from the evil part of my subconscious. Bizarre, triangle-headed robots, strange science fair displays, all of them bent on my destruction.
Unarmed, I was forced to use my psychic attacks. They were dealt with swiftly, and honestly a little too easily. I kept myself guarded against being too complacent. After following a winding path to its center, I found a strange, twisted silver needle jutting out of the ground.
I reached out my hand to touch it, once again feeling like I was being guided to do so. A flash of light blinded me, and when it faded, I found myself hip-deep in water. So I had found the Sea of Eden at last. As I trudged through it, low roars from somewhere far away greeted my ears. As I made my way out of a narrow hallway, past sharp stalagmites rising from the sea floor, and out into the wide-open sea, I saw what was making them.
Krakens. At least two or three of them swam about in the warm waters of the sea. I gulped and did my best to avoid them, but it was no use. The nearest Kraken made a beeline for me, shaking the cave with its terrifying roar.
A jet of flame soared at me. Thinking fast, I ducked under the water, letting the searing fire pass over me. Gasping for breath, I leapt up and counter-attacked with a blinding flash of PSI light, even dazing myself a little in the process. The Kraken, despite having no visible eyes, howled in pain, and went limp, collapsing below the surface of the water. It didn't move anymore, so I guessed it was safe to proceed.
A blinding golden light caught my eye. Ahead, on a platform in the center of the sea, was a familiar golden statue. Filled with apprehension, I splashed up to the steps on its platform. As I stood before it, a sinister voice filled my head.
: "You can't beat me. Because you are the one who forced me into being..."
The cave seemed to shake. Suddenly, before I knew what was happening, the statue had blasted me off my feet with an incredibly powerful version of my own PSI 'rocking' technique. I felt the bursts of light explode around me, felt pain as they burned my skin, and I was sent soaring backwards into the water, skipping like a stone before settling to the bottom. Lifting my face up, I stared in shock at the statue on its platform.
: "Do you understand now, Ness? The enemy here...is you. Your allies here...are you. Everything, even the pain you are feeling, is you."
Confused and sore, I fired off a psychic salvo of my own, which was countered in mid-air by the statue's attack. Feeling my power wane, I quickly forced my mind to concentrate and push its attack back. I felt a vein in my forehead pulse and a throbbing pain in my head.
: "Give up, Ness. Stay here in Magicant forever. You know there is a part of you that hates yourself, that hates your journey."
: "Shut up! I'm going to leave here! I'm going to see my friends again!"
: "Wouldn't life have been much better if Buzz Buzz had never came to you? Wouldn't everything be easier if you were just a normal boy? You can be, if you wish. You created Magicant from your thoughts...I can help you mold Magicant into the world of your dreams."
: "Jeff...Poo...and Paula...I'm coming back! I'm going to stop Giygas, and save our world! I don't care how hard it is! I'm not giving up!"
: "...A world without pain, a world without psychic powers, all in your head...where you can live forever, with Paula by your side...Ha, ha, ha...I know what you long for, Ness...after all, I'm your mind as well..."
: "SHUT UP! It's not real! I'm here for a reason...I created this place for a reason! To find you...And destroy you! My mind created you! It can destroy you too!"
Forcing every last bit of my energy into my mind, I pushed forward. My attack shattered through the strobing lights of the statues' attack and shattered the golden idol into pieces.
Boss Battle: Ness' Nightmare
My head throbbing, tears streaming down my face, I collapsed to my knees on the platform where the statue had stood.
: "Good riddance..."
Giygas' goal is to destroy you. Listen carefully! Everything in the universe could be destroyed at the hands of Giygas. But he and his followers are also in trouble. The Apple of Enlightenment has fortold that Giygas' attempt will fail...Because of the existence of a boy named Ness. Listen. Free your mind and KNOW what you must do! Your destiny has already been decided.
: "You...I...where should we go?
You know deep within the reaches of your mind.
: "S...Saturn...Saturn Valley...yes..."
Go to the valley where the Mr. Saturn live. ...You'll get something new there. You're waking up now. Soon Magicant will be no more. We must be quick!
I felt a weight in the front pocket on my pajama shirt. It was the sound stone. I took it out, and listened to the eight melodies, the song at last complete, and felt my mind expand and my heart filled with resolve once again.
I felt the power of the sanctuaries flood my body. I felt my mind reach out all over the world, touching the power of those places and filling me with strength. I felt myself reach into the hearts of my friends and fill them with courage and power as well. The Sound Stone finished its song, and shattered. I stood up, and felt my eyes open as if for the first time.
I came to before a small volcano, bubbling lava and flame. My friends were huddled around me looking anxious. I grasped at my chest. I was unharmed, though the shard of diamond had ripped a hole in my shirt.
: "...I'm sorry, you guys. I didn't mean to worry you. There were some things I had to take care of..."
: "Right before you woke up, you kept saying 'Saturn Valley'...What's waiting for us there?
: "I don't really know...But I do know that's where we have to go."
Paula rushed forward and hugged me tight. Without embarrassment, I hugged her back. I looked at her face, shining with fresh tears, and smiled.
: "I'm so glad you're alright, Ness...I...We couldn't go on without you."
: "I'd never leave you...any of you alone. Now, let's go. It's time to end this."
My friends nodded, and we were off.
Next time: Back to where it all began! Don't miss it!