Part 32: The Chimera Lab (1)
Last time, we talked to people or something. Today, stuff is actually going to happen.
I think you can actually handle the next few parts out of the suggested order, but I'm going to do them according to how the game to make things easier on my end. Besides, the Chimera Lab is a pretty interesting place, considering it's the place where all the animal hybrids are being made and all.
Keep watch for me, will ya? I'm gonna go inside and help look for some escaped monkeys.
This is the lobby. The Chimera Lab's pretty big, though at first we're limited to where we can go.
Let's go ahead and talk to the people here.
Okay, cool. You can get inside through the back of the mini-theater. The mini-theater's to the right of the entrance, in case you didn't know. Go in through there and change your clothes. It's good to have you on board!
Well, it's great that you're so interested in our company's research, especially at such a young age. But please don't go behind the mini-theater's speakers to get inside the lab. When someone tells you not to do something, you're not supposed to do it.
As for the rest...
THE CHIMERA THEATER IS CURRENTLY CLOSED. *whir* *click*
This area is off-limits! And don't you dare try to find some other way inside!
I have some special medicine here, not sold in any vending machines. Could I interest you in some?
The Offense and Defense Sprays boost the target's offense/defense. Don't know how big an effect, but considering Lucas has Offense/Defense Up PSI already and can learn versions that boost all party members in one turn, it's not really worth investing the money in.
The Bufferizer and Wimperizer make an enemy stronger and weaker respectively. The other thing they do is increase and decrease the EXP you gain. A good leveling strategy is buying a Bufferizer, look around for a Black Beanling, and buff it before killing it for huge amounts of EXP. I'm not going to bother actually doing all that, but the option's there if you're interested.
Heh heh. If you ever need anything else, I'm your man.
The vending machine has a weapon upgrade for Lucas and the usual consumables.
The women's bathroom just has ghosts appear, first one, then adding one each visit up to four, then back to one. Don't ask me why, please.
The other bathroom has a frog, ever faithful to its duties.
Anyway, to progress, we go behind this curtain here.
You're in the way, so go on, get outta here. And don't you even dare think about checking inside the lockers and putting on any pig masks you find.
We can't progress until we put pig masks on, and once we do so, we can't leave the facility.
So let's do so.
Where do you think you're going?! You're on the job!
While we can't leave, we have free reign of the facility.
And this place is big. There's some loot and quite a few NPCs roaming around, but there's also a lot of cool flavor text. I'll try to give the more interesting ones.
For instance, if we check one of the bookcases in this room...
"Ultimate Chimera Report"
Removal of this report from laboratory premises is forbidden.
Let's explore, then.
You guys are part-timers, right? Then get looking, too! Some monkeys've gone missing! They should be hiding somewhere in the lab. There's two of 'em! Scour every last inch of the place!
The monkeys are hiding in the northwestern most room on the second floor, but we're in no rush.
They are SO gonna get reconstructed if I get my hands on 'em!
There's a break room with nothing interesting besides a cola vending machine and a bitter pigmask, and then there's this room that has a conveyer belt to ride if you feel like doing so.
This place has prices for certain chimeras.
"Should the Ultimate Chimera escape from its cage, seal all entrances and exits immediately. In the unlikely event that it gets outside, use full force to feign ignorance and pretend nothing happened. In the event that the Ultimate Chimera is seen by civilians," ............... The rest has been erased and is unreadable.
We'll find out what this creature is next update.
There's an elevator that leads to this room on the third floor. If you get to this room from the other way, that pigmask will be on the other side of the glass wall. Don't ask me why for that either.
There's several shelves like this, but there's nothing we can do about them for now.
In the large western room on the first floor, there's this massive operating table complete with disturbing machines and tools. It's pretty disturbing once you imagine these machines being used to carve apart ordinary animals to create chimeras.
And here's where they store many of their specimens. There's a reason we haven't seen any Dragos since the time skip.
Of course we're reading it.
"My Secret Life, chapter three." (Story from the previous chapter.)
I was neither a murder suspect, nor a target for an international spy organization. But I drove a car down the Jersey Turnpike at 80 mph.
...A police officer pulled me over and asked for my driver's license. He said I was going 20 mph over the speed limit. I instantly pointed to my wife and said, "I'm in a hurry, my wife is in labor." Fortunately, my wife actually had a big stomach.
I hoped he'd let me go with this excuse. "Oh, since it's an emergency. I'll lead you to the hospital with my police car," he said.
"No, it's not necessary."
"Why not?" asked the officer.
"Let's get going," said the officer...
"No, no! We can't! This baby is a demon child!"
In Earthbound, there's a house for sale in Onett for $7500. It's quite expensive at the beginning of the game, but later on it's chump change. Once you buy it, you get this run-down shack with missing walls and nothing of value. In fact, the only thing notable about it is...the same exact story we just read.
So this is a nice little easter egg referencing another hidden, easy-to-miss detail from Earthbound. Well, it would be, but...
See, this book is also in Earthbound, and is part of the plot. In that case, Ness and friends find a race called the Tenda. They need the Tenda's help to progress towards their goals, but the Tenda are all too shy to talk, except one Tenda who had read this book to overcome his shyness. This being Earthbound, to progress we need to go to Onett library, check out the book, and give it to the Tenda chief so that the other Tendas can overcome their shyness.
One reference to Earthbound is an easter egg, but two in the same room?
Anyway, there's also a hot spring here, and this may be the first one that actually has the right number of syllables for a haiku.
It also has a cool-looking mural. Now that I think about it, maybe it's a sort of callback to Mother 1?
There's a magic butterfly under that microscope.
I'm not going to guess. Sorry.
Scamp's parrot is also here for some reason.
And then... And then... And then... Those stairs there take you to the first floor... And then... there's an elevator in that room over there, with the door open... I think? Huh?? Now I'm all confused again... But I think that's probably right.
This room in the western side of the second floor has the skeletons of many different enemies and creatures we've seen.
(Even when stuffed, a frog is still a frog.)
I'm glad this sign supports the choices I make in life.
South of the room is this place. I wouldn't be surprised if you get the "can't eat food" debuff from staying in here too long.
North of the skeleton room, we have the preserved remains of many enemies we've encountered thus far.
And north of there...
I like that Mother 3 isn't afraid to make you think of just how messed up the process is in actually making these chimeras. It's easy to handwave away as "stuff that happens in video games," but this entire process is horrifying and warped. It's disturbing stuff.
Also, I think we found the monkeys.
Well, so much for that.
Meanwhile, have this boss encounter.
The guide says you can lose to this guy and still be fine, but screw that, we're beating this guy.
At any rate, the Almost-Mecha Lion is very strong, so buffs and debuffs are as important as ever. Lucas will want to use PK Flash until it starts crying, and then start using Defense/Offense Up and regular Shields.
Offense Up is particularly important since the Almost-Mecha Lion can use war cries to lower offense.
It has more tricks up its sleeve, like inflicting poison and breathing fire for good damage.
Tougher than the usual boss fight, but not too bad if you keep healed and buffed.
Apparently it didn't take enough of a beating, at least until a Clayman jumps in to save the day.
Just the one now.
"The" one...? You mean the red one with the huge mouth...?
That thing means serious trouble.
Just standing here won't solve anything. For now, let's hurry and seal the exits.
Watch yourselves, guys!
Hey, cute part-timer. There's actually one more that's still lurking around here somewhere... One that's WAY more dangerous than that one just now... If, while looking for the monkeys, you happen to see a red thing with a gigantic mouth...GET THE HECK OUT OF THERE! Listen. Pay close attention, now...
Got that? I've warned you. And, while I'm warning you like this, I should add that it'd be even more dangerous not to take the time out to talk with that frog. All right! Be careful, now!
Yeah, that Pigmask is not kidding. You definitely want to save your game at this point.
Once you enter here, you'll hear a cacophany of pigmask screams with the occasional massive roar.
You want to hear this, because if actual music plays you. are. fucked.
I knew all about that, and yet...Man, I'm so stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Oww.
So, what exactly is this creature the Pigmasks are so afraid of?
Meet the Ultimate Chimera.
If it reaches you, it's instant Game Over. It's too powerful to even try and fight.
Fun Fact: This guy's a stage hazard in the Mother 3 stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
You want to hide until you're able to sneak away from it. Regular music plays when you're in the same area as it, while otherwise you get the Pigmask screams.
And there's an elevator in this room. And to the west is the...oppressing room...? Opportunity room...? You know, the room where they do surgery. Actually, come to think of it, those monkeys fled into the basement earlier... But how DO you get to the basement?
So we have our next destination at least.
Also, there's a man hiding in a trash can.
Not just any man, though. Dr. Andonuts is a pretty major character in Earthbound, being a great aid to Ness and friends throughout their adventures. But is this the same Dr. Andonuts as from Earthbound?
I'm being forced to conduct various sorts of research by a certain man. Currently, though, I'm trying to conceal myself for certain reasons. I'm a bit occupied at the moment. Could you come back at a better time?
And if you try to talk to him again...
No problem here. No problem here. ...Just leave it at that, would you?
Andonuts isn't very willing to help us out right now, so I guess we need to find the monkeys ourselves.
That red one'll stand right outside the room if you start to panic... But I bet you could lure it into a trap if you used that to your advantage. I'm so smart! I can't believe how smart I am!
...Why didn't I run after them, you ask?
...Ow... Oww, oww... M-my stomach, it pains me so. Yeah, that Ultimate Chimera or Kimura or whatever it's called... I'd make quick work of it, if only it weren't for my aching stomach... Like they say, you can't fight on an aching stomach. So I leave the rest to you! See ya!
Pigmask to the end.
Anyway, we now have access to the basement area, so let's find those monkeys already.
But you should probably get out of this building as fast as you can.
We're done for now...
I put some rice balls in the freezer room, but they wound up frozen solid. I should've eaten them sooner...
At the end of the basement area, we find the monkeys again.
And then we lose the monkeys again.
Oh, man. This is too much for me to handle... If that red one's out there, I'm just gonna have to wait it out in the freezer room...
We just have to follow the monkeys now to the other side of the hall.
And there we go!
In other words, if we set the power switch on its back to "OFF", it will stop!
There's a large button on its back! You need to press it! Come, now! Be courageous!
Thank you, lad. And monkey. I think I'll use this opportunity to leave the military and devote my life to making all living things happy. Oh...
I-I'm sorry! I was merely joking about the bait thing! It's a simple misunderstanding! You have it all wrong!!
On the bright side, after all that, Salsa has joined the party!
Next time, we'll get to work on pulling that needle!