Part 9: Bonus 2Bonus update!
Just a few things I'd like to talk/show/brag about before moving on to the next chapter.
Duster is a unique character: he has no magic, but thanks to his Thief Tools, he can hold his own when it comes to statuses. His accuracy with them is lower than casting a spell (a spell will always hit, but his tools may miss), but they're just as effective and cost nothing. And the Hypno-Pendulum can be a God-send sometimes.
Scary Mask and Tickle Stick are particularly useful, since they debuff the enemy's attack and defence respectively, and buffs and debuffs can stack. Oddly, status changes are never dynamic - if I lower an attack stat by, say, 13, and the opponent buffs it back up, it'll always undo whatever the last change was, rather than buff by so-many numbers.
Here's another thing about Duster. He attacks with kicks, and his weapons are shoes. This is peculiar with his bad leg (I don't think whatever is wrong with it is canon, I just picked 'knee' and ran with it), but what's more is that he will be the second fastest character you can use, after Boney the dog.
He is so fast that he can sometimes score a free hit for you in battle. Once you enter a battle, if Duster is in your team, you might get this message.
Do you remember, in Earthbound, if you snuck up behind an opponent, you can get a free hit on it? And the screen turned green to show that? This mechanic is kept in Mother 3, and the reverse holds true as well: getting snucked-up on will turn the screen red, and you lose your first turn.
But Duster won't take shit from nobody. If by some dupe an enemy manages to get the drop on Duster, there's a chance that he'll just turn around and kick him in the face.
This does not get you your turn back, but it does even the field a little bit in exchange for you losing the turn. And it is awesome.
Meanwhile! Remember this room in the last update?
Inside that present in the back is something called a...
This is a key item and doesn't take up any inventory spots. This is your typical monster journal found in a lot of RPGs that document every baddie you'll ever will, or ever had, encountered. It's actually not that particularly useful, since it offers no stats or information on drops; all it does is give some flavour text about the enemy as well as its front and, if you snuck up on it, back sprite.
You can fight any enemy logged into the Battle Memory as many times as you like, but there isn't really any purpose. They have infinite HP and will not fight back. I suppose they're good combo experience if you happen to run into the same monster again, but other than that...
...it's just for fun.
When you first enter Osohe castle, your first instinct when you find some presents lying around might be to open them. This is not always a good idea! There may be some unpleasantness in store for you.
This is a status effect called "nausea". It's different from poison: poison whittles down your HP over time, in the battle or on the overworld. All nausea does is take away your appetite, meaning you cannot recover via foods or items you might be carrying.
This early in the game, when your HP and defence are not especially high and you have no other methods to recover, this status effect can be devastating. It can be rescinded either by taking a trip to any hot spring, or eating a Fresh Mint found commonly in other presents, or bought at that ghost shop in the middle room on the ground floor of the castle.
Speaking of which, there is, in fact, something of an economy there. You'll find a lot of Rotten Éclairs all over the castle, sometimes in presents but mostly dropped by the Stinky Ghost. Other ghosts apparently love these things, and accept it as a valid form of currency. A Fresh Mint will cost you one, the Rope Snake will cost you one, and a Beef Jerky will cost you two. You'll want to stock up on the Beef Jerky's because you'll be hauling for a while in the castle.
If you ever find yourself running low on Beef Jerky's (which is bad, because they're pretty much all you have as life), then try to shoulder on to the party held in the upper floors in the castle, and talk to this guy.
If you say yes, he will offer you a Rotten Éclair. Don't backtrack all the way back to the shop, but rather, climb up your new ladder of staples, and find another ghost just next to the hole in the floor.
He will exchange one of your Rotten Éclairs for a Beef Jerky. Good deal! Head back down the ladder and bug the ghost for some more of the tainted deserts and barter your way to success.
(Here's a quick time-saving tip: talk to the ghost for a Rotten Éclair once. Once you get it, talk to him again. He'll ask if you want more; say no. He'll gently chide you for being too polite and give you one anyway. Talk to him again and keep saying no until you have all the oozing French confectionaries you could possibly want)
In the kitchen, you can find a small, brightly coloured bag of some kind of mix doing a little jig in the corner.
This is the Strawberry Slime I just kind of shouted-out to in the last update. It might be an aesthetic parody of Metal Slimes, but there's not really much to it. It has moderate defence and HP and cannot run, but it does have PK Freeze and that'll mess you up quick. It'll get you 146 EXP when it dies, which is a good amount more than pretty much anything else up to that point, and thanks to the aforementioned Beef Jerky farming there should be no risk of dying. But it does not respawn. The biggest merit to fighting this thing is that it will always drop a Sprinting Bomb upon defeat.
I love the Hypno-Pendulum
As long as I'm in the area, let's talk about some jerk called the Ghost Knight. He's a unique enemy (in a sense - he's pretty much just a super-powered Ghost Armour) you can encounter just past the gap you need the Rope Snake for, in the first door you find. You can tell he's going to be a pain in the ass because A) there's only one of him, and B) this:
This ghost here warns you that, while it knows that you are formidably strong, the enemy in there is very strong as well, and encourages you to use every item and Thief Tool you have to win.
Right inside the door is a present that contains Duster's first new weapon: Durable Shoes. Put them on right away, and then face off with this possessed jerk.
I decided to give him a video since he's pretty tough. If I didn't have that Sprinting Bomb I would probably have been in real trouble. He respawns, too, so if you think the pressure is worth the grinding, by all means, go right ahead.
Only a few more things to talk about. Here's an Easter egg I managed to find during one of my frequent trips to the hot springs.
This creepy old guy will sometimes be in every single hot spring in the game, I think. If you leave and enter the area it's in enough times, he'll eventually spawn. Talk to him, and he only says this one word. That's pretty much all he's for: just a quick laugh.
In Mr. Passion's room, once you defeat the guy, you can talk to the mouse that he was flinging around in the air as he did. If you talk to it, it conveys its heartfelt-thanks in various squeaks, appreciating your help in saving its life. You then get this message:
One last thing.
At any point in the game, if you open your menu and highlight Status...
And hold the L and R buttons, then select it...
You get this. The memo is a secret encyclopaedia within the game that the translation team managed to find in Mother 3's code, and they brought it to life. It will keep track of everything you find and everything you encounter, much like the Battle Memory but it keeps track of everything except monsters.
So that's nice of them.