The Let's Play Archive

Mother 3

by Maple Leaf

Part 11: Chapter 9

Elsewhere on the Nowhere Islands...

The last few hours were largely an unfocused blur. He remembered being with his girlfriend in the deeper bushes of the Tanetane Island, cleaning her of the ticks off her back, when he spotted something large and silver in the sky. There was nothing for a little bit after that, then he recalled being in some closed area, still with his girlfriend, but the walls and the ground were cold and very hard. There was nothing comfortable for him to sit on, and he was always shivering.

He remembered a loud, unnatural buzzing noise coming from everywhere all around them, and he remembered chattering soothingly to her, keeping her calm, telling her that things would be alright. Then there was nothing for a little while again. One of the walls to the small place they were in suddenly fell away, and standing in the gap was a massive, fat creature with no eyes and a stiff mouth, unlike anything they had seen before. It carried two small rings in its large appendages, and it swiftly clamped both the rings around their necks, securely on them, but not tight enough to be uncomfortable.

After that, they were both dragged, literally, to another opening in another wall, where he was pushed out into the open air once again. He took a moment to get his bearings - he had never seen any place like they were in before. There wasn't a tree to climb or a vine to swing from anywhere until the land met the sky - when he took a hit to the back, pushing him into the rough, scorching hot dirt below. He tried to stand, to be back with his girlfriend, but more of the large beasts surrounded them, gripping them both by their paws, and now, here they were.

For a moment, they were all still as could be, the rising and falling of their chests their only movements. Any time he put up a struggle, the one holding him would grip him tighter, making it clear that whatever was happening was out of his paws.

And then he heard footsteps to his left. He turned his head as best he could, feeling the unusual tug of the ring one of them had fastened to him pull against his fur. To his left was another thing that took their basic shape, but was still very different - it had eyes, and a flexible, more natural face, and it was adorned with many other items and colours that the others did not. At the sight of the new thing, the one holding him released him immediately, and the others began to sing and dance in some alien way, flailing their arms and making scary noises out of their toothless snouts.

"Alright, monkey, listen up!" the new thing said loudly, quickly making its dominance over them known. He had never seen a creature like this before, but somehow, he knew exactly what it was saying, and he could follow along easily. "I have a job I want you to do, and if you don't do it,

He wanted to run from these things - he wanted to take his girlfriend and run, and get as far away from these things as possible, back to the jungles of Tanetane and back to the little things they had taken for granted. But that wasn't going to happen, especially not with so many, and their strength.

The new thing turned back to him, its face flexing the corners of his mouth into an awkward, upward curve. "Do what you're supposed to, and you two will have a nice, happy reunion later," it promised. "I guarantee it! Just do what I say for a little while, and you two are free as birds! Understand?"

He didn't believe what it was saying. His paws were pulling at the ring around his neck, pulling and tugging, trying to break it off. "Stop that!" it immediately shouted, and he flinched, jumping back, not wanting another hard shove to its back or anywhere on it. "If you don't do what I say, both you...

Without warning, it dug into a small hole on the side of one of the ornaments it had draped over itself. It took out a small piece of silver with a single red circle and a long, thin twig attached to its corner. It pressed the circle on the silver, and he felt the ring around his neck begin to send pain all through his body.

Without intending to, his body began to move and twist all by itself. He couldn't control his arms and legs as they began to move and fling all around himself by themselves, without his so much as thinking it. And everywhere, all the time, as long as the thing kept pressing the circle on the silver, he was in tremendous pain.

"Well?" it asked, releasing the circle, and finally, his painful dance came to an end. He wanted to cry out in horror the whole time, but his mouth would not obey. Now that he could move everything himself again, he found that he was too scared to. "How do you like it?" it asked again. "That ring around your neck is no ordinary collar. It's so advanced," it began to say, "that no matter how far you ran - if you made it to the ends of the desert - no! If you made it all the way back to the jungle! - punishing you would still be a snap."

He didn't know what to think of this thing, having complete control over him like this. His paws began to reach for the 'collar', as the thing put it, around his neck once more, when it hovered one of its dangly claws over the circle. It made a sly 'ah-ah' sound, threatening to press it once more, and he stopped, moving his paws back to the ground.

You're going to need one from here on out." It brought one of its paws to its chin, running its claws across its skin in thought. "We're going to be socializing, and you're going to be my pet, so I need something to call you."

"Sir," another of the things said suddenly, raising one of its own paws to its face to get the new thing's attention. "How about 'Charlie'? Charlie the Chimp?"

The new thing frowned at the suggestion, hesitating on its answer. "Nah," it said, "too cutesy."

Another raised its paw next, pitching its own suggestion. "How about Geoffrey? 'Enquiring' Geoffrey?"

"Too plain," it hummed.

"Bob the Baboon?"

"Too serious."


"Too awesome."

One of the other things, coloured a watery blue instead of the fleshy pink of the others, raised its hand, pitching its own name. "How about Salsa? That seems like a good pet-monkey name."

"Too-" it started, before turning to look at the small monkey in the sand before them all. It gave him a longer stare than usual, considering the name. "Yeah, okay. Salsa sounds good.

If you wanna enjoy your little journey with me, just remember these two things," it began, lifting its paw, its claws bunched into a ball. "First," it started, lifting its first small, soft, blunt claw, "you and I are buddies. Buddies do not abandon each other. They do not dare to try and leave each other. Got that?" Salsa could only lower himself in submission, listening and obeying to this thing. "Always behave, and act nice and friendly. Got that?" He made a weak whimper in compliance. "Good." It extended another of its fleshy claws before continuing.

If I say dance, you dance!" it boomed, raising its voice and shouting down on him. "If I say laugh, you laugh! If I say jump, you jump!" It lowered both its claws, its paw clenching itself into a tough, pink stone right in front of his face, conveying a threat that was not lost on him. "It's that simple. Got it?" All Salsa could do was whimper some more.

"Do as I say," it said, relaxing its paw and standing back upright, "and we'll both get through this without any hard feelings." It made some kind of noise, like a repetitive grunt, as its mouth curled upward awkwardly again and its belly shook.

Salsa looked up from where he was to the thing. What had he and his girlfriend ever done to them? Why were they being treated like this? His eyes narrowed and his muscles tightened, an unfamiliar emotion beginning to well up inside him.

Dance!" it yelled. Salsa did no such thing, staring the thing into its eyes, unmoving and mad. "Do as I say!" it yelled, and without hesitation, it pulled out the small piece of silver with the red circle, and before he could brace himself, he felt another wave of the pain emanate from the collar and all through his body.

"Dance!" it yelled again. Salsa, after that last wave of pain, understood the consequences loud and clear. It did not offer him a chance to revive himself after the shock, but with the safety of his girlfriend in mind, he had to obey. He danced.

"That's such a silly monkey dance that just watching it is embarrassing!" the thing said, making more of those odd grunting noises. He didn't know what more it wanted from him - he was tasked to come up with a dance right on the spot, and that was the best he could do. "Try a different dance," it commanded, and Salsa, for all his frustrations, could only obey.

"Good boy," it praised, before giving another command. "Laugh!"

Salsa knew what it was like to 'laugh', so that was easy enough to accomplish. He could at least fake that pretty well.

"Do a backflip!" it commanded. Those were a bit tougher to pull off, but it wasn't something he couldn't do.

"Good boy. Good job," it complimented. "No doubt everyone will believe we're a performance duo now."

The large thing holding his girlfriend began to walk back into the enormous pod they had all came from, dragging her along with it. She began to whimper and screech, calling for his help, but when he tried to respond, the collar around his neck kicked alive and all he could do was jitter helplessly in pain. It only lasted a moment compared to the other times, but that just made it hurt worse when he had to watch his girlfriend be taken away. When she was pulled out of his sight, all the other things began to pile into it as well, leaving just him and the new thing with the control.

Before the last one entered the large silver pod, it turned around and, without any provocation, simply kicked him in the chest.

When it entered, the large silver plank leading into the hole in the pod's side vanished into the pod itself, and the hold sealed up. And somehow, without wings to lift it, the enormous pod began to pick up and fly into the air. Leaving him behind with this terrible thing, and taking his girlfriend away with it.

Watching it take off, with his girlfriend, and with his old life, he felt for the first time what it was like to be so truly, absolutely helpless. He simply sat there, his back hunched, his eyes towards the hot dirt in his sorrow.

"Hey, you stupid monkey!" the thing yelled. It had his complete and undivided attention, but he didn't have the energy or the will to lift his head to it.

No crying on your own!" it yelled, and again its hand dug into a hole in its ornament. "It's punishment time!"

Salsa lifted his head, quickly shaking it back and forth, putting on the happiest look he could possibly muster. He was about to get up and do another dance, if it just meant not getting another round of that terrible pain all through his body. But the thing was not appeased: it took out the same small piece of silver, and all he could feel once more was pain.

Once the pain stopped, he simply sat. He could feel his muscles all bunch and jump, still responding to the pain, but he made no effort to pick himself back up from that last shock. "Quit sleeping on the job!" the thing barked, but it put away the piece of silver, thankfully.

That's where we're going, and you're going to lead the way." Salsa forced himself to stand, even though he had nothing to stand for. "And you can get started now, monkey."

Faced with no other option, Salsa obeyed, although he did not know which direction was 'west'. He simply picked a path and went with it, and when the thing following close behind him did not retrieve the small piece of silver again, he figured he must have been going in the proper direction.


They had not been traveling long - only about five minutes or so. But Salsa was not used to this climate: with his fur he was practically baking alive in this new environment, and with walking on all fours his feet and paws were all scorched red from the incredible heat the unusual dirt below him gave off. It was not better than the pain from the collar, but it was not worse, at the very least.

This place was dominated by all sorts of weird creatures and insects he had never seen before. They looked relatively like the walking snacks of Tanetane's jungle, but they were larger, and of a different colour. They also pushed around balls of dung larger than they were, regularly.

There were also larger lizards, much like the ones in the jungle, but still vastly different - different size, different colour, different movements and appetites. The lizards were predators in Tanetane, and they were a constant threat below the tree's canopies, so Salsa avoided them at all costs, now that the safety of heights was lost to him.

The new climate wasn't completely unforgiving, however: it was a rarity, but he and the thing following him eventually found a small oasis in the middle of their trek.

Salsa was more than happy to get his burned paws and feet off the rough dirt and onto the soft, familiar grass, soothing his skin for a moment to reenergize before continuing onward. The thing didn't take any clear offense to his minor detour, and was probably feeling thirsty itself; they both stopped for a quick drink, letting the cool water quench their thirsts.

Salsa had no idea which way they were going during the trek, or what they were looking for beyond some kind of white, round building. He knew what 'white' was, but not 'building', so he was constantly glancing back and forth across the hot dirt, looking for this thing.

They eventually came across something that was white, but also had some red all along it. It wasn't very large, maybe only as big as he was, but he inspected it anyway.

In it was a banana. A surprisingly healthy banana, as if it were plucked straight off the tree. It was warm and soft, and it looked like it could feed him for the rest of the day. His mouth began to water already.

But the thing following him had other ideas. "That's a pretty luxurious banana!" it exclaimed, leaning in over him to inspect the prize. "Hey! Stupid monkey!

Gimme that!" it yelled, and quickly snatched the banana from his paws.

The thing quickly and crudely unpeeled the banana and took a single bite off its top. Not even a quarter of the whole thing, just off the top. And then it discarded the banana to the dirt, tossing it inside-down, ruining the whole rest of the fruit in a single toss.

The physical and emotional abuse were bad, but for a connoisseur like himself, this was heartbreaking.

Clearly this wasn't the 'building' he was looking for, so they kept going. Minutes felt like hours in the blazing heat, however, and even though they had just left from the oasis, he felt himself pining for more of that delicious cool water. After only a little while, he could swear that his eyes were beginning to play tricks on him.

They were running into the strangest of creatures he had ever seen. The thing following him would often respond to them as well, so if they were just mirages, it could see them too.

In this strange place, creatures could even live and thrive in the hot dirt. Things living in the ground wasn't uncommon in the jungle, but he hardly expected anything to be strong enough to enjoy living in the baking ground.

Them creating sinks and trying to pull him under was new, though.

In between the many large, rocky canyons was just more and more emptiness, sprawling in every direction forever, its heat digging into his fur. They would occasionally take an opening in the cliff face going in one direction, just to find that it was a dead end, and forced to turn back. The thing never made a move for the small piece of silver whenever they did, though, and he wasn't about to question why.

One dead end held a cache of dung that the thing behind him didn't care to visit, although Salsa didn't pay the droppings any more mind than usual.

Their wandering the hot landscape didn't last forever; they eventually found a small ditch, the stone walls reaching higher than the thing following him, leading deeper into the place. The tall walls provided a decent shade for him to hide in, offering cooler temperatures, but it was still hotter than anything in the jungle.

The ditch went forward for a little distance, only leaning in either direction for a bit before straightening out again. It came to an abrupt end, and at the bottom of the dead end was a large, white dome sticking up from the ground. It had something on its top, like some kind of awkward branch, and sleeping in front of the depression at its side was another beast he had never seen before.

At the sound of incoming footsteps, it picked itself onto its legs, and growled ferociously at them. Its belly was a little thin - it must have been terribly hungry.

"Listen, monkey!" the thing commanded, getting Salsa's attention. "That there is a Cactus Wolf, the meanest thing in the desert." He had no idea what a 'cactus', 'wolf', or a 'desert' was, but he did understand the word 'mean'. "But we can't get inside with it standing there. Go beat him up."

Salsa nervously looked from the thing, back to the Cactus Wolf, and back to the thing. "If you lose, I'll have an extra serving of punishment ready just for you!"

Salsa figured the pain from the collar would be the least of his concerns if he lost.

With the beast turning tail and running, the thing following him approached the door and fiddled with something in the indentation on its side. Suddenly, a quiet whirring noise filled the air, and a hole appeared in the dome, leading into its dark inside.

Salsa obeyed - and just as he entered the dome, he felt the kick of a boot on his back.

Short update this time; I'm going to be busy for most of the weekend, so I wanted to get something out instead of leaving everybody high-and-dry for another three days. This was also a decent place to end the update, story-wise. Next one will have more substance to it, promise.

Also, yeah, only the two songs, and one of them is just a jingle. All the enemy themes are just repeats (not even any of that skipping/repeating nonsense). But if it's any consolation, A Monkey Love Song For Monkeys is really, really good in my opinion.

For the boss battle, normally I'd refrain from using battle items unless I somehow work them into the story. You'll notice when I fought the Oh So Snake that I had a Sprinting Bomb that I didn't use. But Salsa is very weak - he only has his tiny monkey paws and he's at level 1 when you first get him, so he's in a bit of a tough spot. I kinda wanted to win the fight, so I spoiled myself this time.

As for post-update scenario-relevant stuff, next to the oasis in the desert is a friendly dung beetle, not unlike the many, many others you find in the desert.

Enemy dung beetles are weak - I don't think they ever attacked me while I was in the area - but they have a high drop-rate for dung. They offer 2 EXP when defeated, which can get you your first level or two without much risk, but their dung is really useful. Bring them back to Wan Sum and...

...he will reward you generously.

There's a small chance that when you bring him back some dung, that you'll get this message instead:

You will receive 7 EXP instead of 5 if this happens. Not exactly a truckload but since Salsa is so weak, every level up is worth its weight in gold.

There's a minor cost.

But it's aesthetic. This doesn't affect the water or its healing properties on you at all.

Speaking of aesthetics, always place your garbage in the proper receptacles. You wouldn't want something to happen!

And finally, some education. In your Mother 3? It's more likely than you think.

Also, I've been meaning to ask: is my style too wordy? Is my word-to-screenshot ratio too large? Am I putting in too much detail, and is it all taking away from the story?