Part 14: Death Desert (3)
Chapter 1 had us play as a (badass) sheep farmer. Chapter 2 had us play as a thief.
In Chapter 3, we're playing a monkey.
This will also be the first chance we get to learn about the mysterious peddler and the baddies of this game.
Our foes have an insidious scheme that apparently requires a monkey. Alright, then.
Do what you're supposed to, and you'll get to have a nice, happy reunion later. Understand?! Both you...and this girlie monkey could wind up dead, if you're not careful!
Well? How do you like it? That lovely thing around your neck is no ordinary collar. It's so advanced that even if you ran to the ends of the desert, punishing you would still be a snap.
You're going to need one from here on out.
Our monkey friend's default name is Salsa, I assume more for the dance than the dip.
If you wanna enjoy your little journey with me, just remember these two things. You and I are buddies. ...Don't you dare try to run away from me. Always behave, and act nice and friendly.
You don't get it, huh? Then I'll say it just one more time.
And then he repeats his deal. I assume the "No" answers for this part just result in more abuse for poor Salsa, so I go ahead and have him get Fassad's criteria.
Good boy. The second thing to remember: never disobey my commands. If I say dance, you dance! If I say laugh, you laugh! It's that simple.
Do what I say, and we'll both get through this without any hard feelings. Nwehehehehehe.
Eh, I don't think that's going to be true for Salsa's case.
The game then gives a brief tutorial on Salsa's moves, though they won't be relevant for awhile. Press a direction (in this case, left since Fassad motioned left) to do an action.
Of course, taking your time results in punishment, so please try to be prompt for Salsa's sake.
That's such a silly monkey dance that just watching it is embarrassing! Try a different dance.
Good boy. Laugh!
Good boy. Good job. No doubt everyone'll believe we're a performance duo now.
What a jerk.
......Hey, you stupid monkey! You only get to cry when I tell you to! No crying on your own! It's punishment time!
Hey, you! Quit sleeping on the job! Alright, listen! There's a white, round building west of here. We're going there!
And we've got a party member! Hooray...?
Chapter 3 is pretty different from the previous chapters, and most of the other games' gameplay for that matter. Salsa is frankly incredibly weak, doing pretty bad damage and having low defenses. His only saving grace is his high speed.
Salsa does have moves he can use, though. Apologize stuns an enemy with regrets. Make Laugh stuns an enemy with laughter. Dance will randomly buff a stat, and can debuff an enemy or even stun an enemy with dance. Monkey Mimic will copy an attack an enemy makes that round, which is pretty much the only way Salsa will do any real damage.
Overall, Salsa sucks, though it's pretty intentional since he's a monkey and all.
Be strong. Endure it. I'm sure things will start to go your way someday. To help that day come...
The desert's only a couple screens big, though they are pretty large and have multiple paths between them for treasure rooms.
And of course there's enemies.
Our first enemy is a Dung Beetle.
Though this thing has a lowly 43HP, Salsa struggles heavily against it.
As horrible as Fassad treats us, we're pretty much completely dependant on him in combat, as his attacks deal good damage, enough to one-shot the beetle.
The Dung Beetle has a 60% chance of dropping Dung. Yes, of course there's a use for it.
I don't have any dung to roll, so I'm not a true dung beetle. I'm so sad. If you ever happen to come across some dung, please bring it to me. I'll always be here, so please bring me some.
We can give our dung to this dung beetle so he can happily roll it. Let's go ahead and give him our dung!
...*sigh* Now I'm all upset and confused! Wait, you brought me some dung?! And you're giving it to me? For free? Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you! Yeaaaaaaaaah! Let's roll!!! Let's roll to the ends of the desert! Yeah!
Doing this will net Salsa 5EXP, which granted doesn't seem like much.
It's enough to gain a level, though!
You can also restore HP at this oasis, which is handy.
Salsa's Apologize in action. In general, it's less effective on at least this first batch of enemies than Make Laugh.
Fassad has a variety of things he can do, like a stronger attack.
Healing items are pretty important due to Salsa's fragile state.
Salsa's dance is too random to really be reliable, especially since he's usually too weak to attack even with an attack boost and since he's always pretty speedy, so you're gambling for a very small defense boost, a debuff, or a stun that you can achieve with two different moves already.
While flashing from the last battle, I run into another enemy.
One thing I just read that I'm sad I didn't try out is that Sand Lizards will eat Dung Beetles.
That said, they're really upbeat and enjoy a good laugh at Salsa's antics, at least until Fassad beats them to death.
They also have a 50% of dropping Nut Bread, which is pretty nice at this point in the chapter.
Oh, did I mention there are rarity levels to the dung? Not that you have any way of knowing until you turn it in, of course. There's three tiers of dung, with the highest giving 50EXP. Still not really worth the effort though.
Oh, sweet! The Luxury Banana is Salsa's favorite food, so when he uses it-
If you think you've earned that Luxury Banana, then you better think again!
Bleh... How can this get any worse?
i know one person i'd like to use this bomb on you stupid-
This guy can apparently inflict confusion, but I never saw it.
I did learn that dancing is no substitute for humor though.
The Great Antlion's pretty tough and can hurt a bit, but otherwise is another enemy that you just need slightly more caution than normal around.
That does it.
Bug Spray does huge damage to bugs. Handy to have.
This side room has a frog in trouble!
Wait a minute, why is there a frog in the desert.
Some species of frogs, such as "sand frogs", do exist in aris, desert regions like Africa. During seasons with little or no precipitation, these frogs burrow into the ground to protect themselves from the harsh, dry climate.
Oh, alright then.
This is a different Great Antlion, though with two differences. One, it's slightly harder to apologize to it.
Two, instead of a 10% chance of dropping Beef Jerky, it's guaranteed to drop a Flea Charm, which is nifty since Salsa has no equipment right now.
Thanks for saving me when I needed help. Anyways, while we're at it...
It feels good to do something nice.
Buried in this remote corner is unlimited dung. Well, there's three pieces, but they respawn when you reenter. Unlimited dung!
This is better.
That's a Cactus Wolf, the meanest thing in the desert. But we can't get inside with him standing there. Go beat him up. Lose, and I'll have an extra serving of punishment ready just for you!
Well, when you put it that way...
This guy has a beefy 468HP, which will take Fassad awhile to burn through. You have a couple options, though.
But this guy's attacks hurt, so make sure you've got plenty of healing items and a few levels in your belt.
First off, Monkey Mimic will use the enemy's strength for its attack, which is generally better than Salsa's. So if you want to go on the offense, spam Monkey Mimic.
I don't recommend it though because this guy will tear through Salsa's low HP like butter.
Plus sometimes Fassad takes his sweet time helping you.
He's also difficult to make laugh. And just forget about telling him you're sorry for waking him, he's in too cranky a mood to hear it.
Fortunately, he's not cranky enough to be lured into dance!
Really, though, the best way to handle this fight is to Guard to reduce damage, and heal when necessary. It's kind of a weird strategy, but it's probably the simplest way to stay alive.
At any rate, though a bit lengthy, it's not too bad and the Cactus Wolf eventually goes down.
And with that, our path is open. Onward!
This place is a bit weird.
Violent Roaches are around but we've already fought them, and they're not worth the effort to show them off again.
I forgot to look at it but seriously this place is a straight line why do we even need this.
We're going to take it to an unbelievably uncivilized village called Tazmily. It'd take an incredibly long time to get there on foot, but with this Pork Bean, we'll get there in the blink of a "Nwehe!" ...You get all that?
So we'll get to control a bean-shaped ship. Neat.
In only a few seconds, it'll fully revitalize you, just like a good night's sleep. Under normal circumstances, it'd be wasted on a stupid monkey like you, but I'll give you special permission to use it for now.
Does what it says.
It apparently does something in battle, but no idea what. Guess I'll try it out later.
Alright, listen up. When you want to stop the Pork Bean while it's moving, press the B button. While it's stopped, press the B button again to get out. ...You get all that? Then get in!
We could just walk the entire way, but ehhhhh
The Pork Bean is pretty fast and lets you avoid battles by plowing through enemies.
The right path is a dead end, so left it is.
There's HUGE Pillbugs littering the path, and while you can plow through them, it's worth fighting them as they're worth good EXP and are hilariously easy.
So much so that, because they curl up when you approach them, you'll almost always get the drop on them.
Very weak, good EXP, and a 30% chance of dropping Nut Bread. There's no reason not to fight these guys!
Near the end is this detour. We can't get to the gifts behind the fence.
But there is some headgear for Salsa that we can get.
I'd rather drive that honestly.
It makes things all smoky.
Eventually we reach the end, with another mini-boss blocking the way.
These guys wouldn't be too bad solo, but there's three of them, making this a problem.
Oh wait I have a Running Bomb this fight's a joke.
It doesn't kill them in one hit, but it does enough that Fassad will.
They can also try to split and summon more, but this one failed before Fassad pummeled it into submission.
So at the end of this, Salsa's already L10. Considering he started at L1 with no real grinding, this is pretty nice progress.
They'll also drop a Mosquito Charm, a nice upgrade from our Flea Charm.
After all that, we end up at Tazmily Cemetary.
There's a place there called the Yado Inn, where we can stay the night. That's where we're headed now.
We're kinda railroaded from going anywhere else for now.
There's also the same enemies here as there was in Duster's chapter, though it'd probably be tougher for Salsa to take them out.
One place we can go is Hinawa's grave to admire the flowers.
Next time, Fassad and Salsa arrive at Tazmily.