Part 42: Leaving Home (1)
Last time, bad stuff happened and we let the Masked Man pull another needle. We're down 3-2, so we need to pull the last two.
But since we're back in Tazmily, might as well catch up with people.
Well... It seems a bit emptier than usual.
Oh, hey, there's Alec! Finally, someone to talk to.
Oh, Lucas. Slowly but steadily, the people of Tazmily've been heading into the big city. I didn't know you guys were still here, though.
It's certainly not nearby, I can tell you that. Do you remember my little cabin in the mountains where you used to come visit? To the west of that old cabin is Argilla Pass. You can get to Ionia's place from there. Whatever the case, it'd probably be a good idea to take a map... I ran into Mapson just a minute ago. He might still be around here somewhere. You should get him to mark your map for you.
So a huge chunk of the Tazmily citizenry has just up and left, we're talking 75% at least. There's not many people to talk to anymore, though there's still a few.
I'll just lie around and beach-comb and stuff. You want some R-and-R, too?
You can still rest with Bronson, though considering how he's looking right now it may not be the best idea without getting some sunscreen first.
(When you think about it, a lot has happened. I'm reminded of so many things. I'm now a stray dog with a home. But I have no owner. That's my story.)
At least some of the people and animals still here seem happy.
I don't know anything about this Ionia person, but I do know where Argilla Pass is. Let me see your map for a second. ...There. This mark shows where Argilla Pass is.
Bye, now. This has been the map-loving and map-owning Mapson.
Ionia's home is quite the trek, though at least reaching the mountains will be easy since we vastly outlevel the enemies up to there.
When did everyone suddenly get together to discuss leaving for the big city?
Even so, I really want to go. I should just ditch this miserable little village and be done with it. ...Oh, Lucas! You didn't hear me talking to myself just now, did you?
Pusher and his family and servants are still here.
We STILL can't move out, because of my husband's job. Oh, why did he have to be the mayor of this dinky little village?
Do you speak to others with a smile on your face? That's one of the most basic things you can do to be lively. This has been Huck the Huckster's "Humor Dojo".
This is just between you and me, but I've landed a new job in the city. I couldn't care less about the mayor and his wife. So I'm going to suddenly up and disappear in a day or two. Ack! Busy! So busy!
Oh, you're back? I can't really teach you anything about humor. I'm still in training myself. But I can see you really lack humor, too.
Not me, though. I can't just up and leave my store behind. Would you like to buy something?
Thomas still has his wares from the beginning of Chapter 4. Move on already, sir.
Finally, I worked up the resolve to not care what happens, so I stepped outside...and everyone was gone. Which means this hotel now belongs to me. This is what they mean by, "Stepping outside your comfort zone will lead to greater things." Understand, kid? Learn by my example! I went from a man with no money whatsoever to a hotel king! Welcome!
I'm honestly happy that things worked out for this guy, he's one of my favorite NPCs in the game.
Please talk in whispered voices when conducting meetings. Thank you.
He feels less and less like a stranger as time goes on.
See, it's easy to see most of the town up and leaving as a bad thing, and it kinda is, but this is also bringing the few people left closer together. Or something.
Our sheep are still talkative.
Baaa. (Your dad is still looking for Claus, even after all this time. *smile*)
Baaa. (Nearly all the villagers have left. *smile*)
Baa. (Flint says he doesn't want to go to the big city. *smile*)
I guess the sheep are all Flint has to talk to anymore since Lucas is off all the time now on his world-saving adventure or whatever.
(Rumor has it another stray dog I know became the master of his domain. That's got me curious now...)
I think this is the first actual mention of this mysterious new city everyone's moving to.
Once I close this gate, I'm off to New Pork City, too. But this stupid thing refuses to close. Gahh! C'mon!
I have a bad feeling about this...
(Sparrow News! The people of Tazmily have been moving to New Pork City one after the other. The results of this are as plain as day: the village is now silent, and its liveliness gone. There are even rumors that Mayor Pusher is considering moving away soon.)
Should we head into the big city, or should we stay behind and keep an eye on the village? I just can't decide...
Don't worry, Dad! Whatever happens, happens!
And that's everyone. Nothing to do now but head on up that mountain and pull that needle.
Well, there's one last thing we should do before we go.
Alright, now we're ready.
This music keeps playing even in the forest. The trek through the mountains is uneventful of course since there's no new enemies or people to meet.
I recognize this area. Ionia's house is north of here. The western path should lead us there. Let's go!
When we reach this area, Kumatora tells us to go left. Right takes us to the remains of Alec's house, of course, but we couldn't go left until now because there were ants walking through the path and it's rude to step on ants. The ants have left now so we can take the path now.
Be careful not to drop anything.
Yeah, like we have to worry about that.
Where'd the Jar of Yummy Pickles go? Did we drop it?! Though I guess that's what happens when it's easy to drop and easy to roll around...
It shouldn't be hard to find. Let's split up and look for it.
So now we play as Boney for this one entire screen as we check spots until we find a jar of pickles.
Think you can find it, Boney? If you find anything, take it to Lucas.
I thought we'd find it pretty quick, but...
See those sparkles? There are five spots that you can check for treasure. One of these, of course, is the Jar of Yummy Pickles.
The other four are various treasures. There's something hard, something small, something soft, and something delicious.
The thing is, each thing can be one of three or four items, with a really good rare item. If you feel like it, you could try save scumming to get the good stuff (there's a save frog on this screen so it's pretty easy to do), since once you grab an item it doesn't respawn.
The hard thing can be a useless Made-You-Look (replicated by Duster's Siren Beetle), an Enemy Bufferizer, or rarely a Super Bomb. Nothing too important.
The small thing can have a Pumice Charm, a Heavy Charm, or rarely a Thud Charm. Pumice Charms will be available for sale soon, and Heavy Charms are on sale in Chapter 8, while Thud Charms can only be found or dropped from enemies. Thud Charms are especially nice since they protect from all status effects, so if there's one thing you want to farm here, it's a Thud Charm.
The soft thing can be a Fresh Mint, a Recollection Bell, and rarely a Secret Herb. Obviously only the herb is of any use (and even then it's now outclassed by Lifenoodles, which I'm getting more and more of as the game goes on).
The delicious thing can actually be one of four items, a Rotten Eclair, a Nut Bread, a Peculiar Cheese, or rarely a King Burger, the last of which is the second-best healing consumable in the game with 280 HP. The rest are pretty underwhelming at this point when you expect items to heal 150-200HP.
Anyway, actually getting the pickles is painless and simple.
It's a little dirty, but that's the Jar of Yummy Pickles alright.
Further on are the Argilla Cliffs, where there's a bunch of new enemies.
Including this semi-rare enemy, the Mystery Metal Monkey. It has crazy sky-high defenses and 12HP. It doesn't have much in the way of offense, having only Fire Alpha to threaten us with.
It also doesn't have much in the way of defenses against PSI, as Thunder or Love will take care of it very easily.
Gives good experience, though!
The mole cricket at this spring sells some more upgrades. The humans like the pumice charms and their respective weapon upgrades, Boney likes the Otter Hat (it's also an upgrade for Lucas but 30PP is more valauble to me than 5 defense), and Duster likes the Crow Bandana.
Tender Loving Trees can be a pain with their high HP and their fondness of stat-draining attacks and Brainshock.
And of course the whole "exploding upon death" thing, can't forget that.
Apparently those trees can also summon these Blue Balding Eagles, and vice-versa. These guys have a high offense but little else of note.
PK Fire Gamma looks pretty sweet, at least.
In fact, this entire area is incredibly similar to Flint's trip to the Oriander Mountains at the end of Chapter 1. I'm pretty sure even the battle music between the very similar enemies are the same.
West and north lead to treasure. Our destination is to the southeast.
Mecha-Moles are more annoying than tough, and that's if you get unlucky.
They fire beams for moderate damage and can use alarms to summon more of them, though I lucked out and never met anymore. They go down quickly enough.
Next up are Cuddle Bombs, and they are a pain. They have a large amount of HP and defense, so killing them is a pain without using PSI. They have regular attacks of course.
They can also cling to people.
Then they have three turns of counting down before blowing that person up. Not sure what happens then since I kill them with PK Love/Freeze before they do their thing. Pretty draining on the PP though, especially since they often show up in groups of two, so it's not a bad idea to run from them.
In exchange for losing three defense, Kumatora gains 20 PP and resistance to fire and ice. Not a bad trade, I'd say.
Hidden in the west area is this guy. If you read the SA forums regularly, you probably already recognize him.
Meet the Negative Man.
He attacks for 1HP damage.
He's also pretty negative on himself.
Here's some of the quotes I got from him:
Negative Man mumbled, "I'm nothing but a worthless protoplasm..."
Negative Man moaned, "Just get rid of me now..."
Negative Man sobbed, moaned, and started wailing.
Negative Man muttered, "It's always the same..."
Negative Man murmured, "Life is but a moment, a meaningless grain of sand..."
So yeah, that's Negative Man.
And if you leave and re-enter the room, he respawns, so you can listen to him be down on himself as often as you'd like!
Sticky Slugs are pretty fragile and weak. Their only strengths are getting the drop on you (literally) and their numbers. Otherwise, they have weak attacks and stat debuffs.
A new collar for Boney, another +10 to Offense and Defense. Always nice to have.
Even if it's a pain in the ass to escape. Oh well, nothing PK Fire can't handle.
Both of these are learned at L45 for Lucas and Kumatora respectively. Like all the other Omegas, PSI Shield Omega gives everyone a PSI Shield, while Magnet Omega drains PP from every enemy for no cost, handy if it were worth the effort to use it.
Oh yeah, there's also this enemy.
Heftyheads have a crazy amount of HP for a regular enemy, nearly 2000. They also apparently have nasty attacks at their disposal.
That said, it's trivial to distract them with a Siren Beetle and get them so that they do nothing. Just have Duster use Siren Beetle every other round and you're set. You can also take advantage of Brainshock if you wish.
They also have a 3% chance of dropping the Mystical Stick, one of the strongest weapons Lucas can wield. I'm not gonna bother grinding for rare drops though, plus I like the challenge.
Eventually we leave the caves and make it here. To the north is this place sealed with vines.
To the east is Ionia's House. It's been awhile since we last saw her, so let's pay her a visit.
Next time, we finally close off this lengthy chapter as the end game looms near.