Part 18: The Lost ForestUpdate 18: The Lost Forest
SPACES IN BETWEEN
Out of the sugar desert and back to the spooky forest. Some quick things before we continue on. Hector Jr. is an accessory that can only be equipped on Kel, its base stats are Attack +4, Defense +3, Speed + 4. & Luck +3. However, these get BETTER the more energy you have in battle. Looking around online and there didn't seem to be much information on how exactly that works out for stat improvement. At minimum though, each point of energy will add an extra point to the stats, with energy level 10 potentially increasing stats by 15 points! Needless to say, Hector Jr. is staying on Kel from now till the credits roll. We also... may have killed enough bunnies that leafy handed over his final gift - the rabbits foot. The rabbit's foot gives bonuses to speed (+15) and luck (+10). If it gave a bonus to hit rate this would be the best accessory to pair with an ecstatic Omori. But without it, it just makes happy more dangerous... whenever it does hit.
We'll be right here if you need us... right, Hero?
H-Huh? Y-Yeah! Of course!
These are nice little moments that Omori has. Not sure about the rest of you, but spiders have never bothered me. Saw a spider hanging out on the door last night as I went to the bathroom and ignored him. Roaches on the other hand? I will turn into one of those cartoon women that see a mouse and jump on a chair. I woke up in the middle of the night once and saw a roach and spent an hour hunting it down before I could kill it so I could sleep in peace. Hate those filthy things.
I do love that Hero is basically a mary-sue... except his one fear is a very basic one.
Don't be such a baby, Kel. There are just some spider webs here and there!
AAAAAAAHH!! THERE'S A SPIDER IN YOUR HAIR!!
W-WHAT? WHERE? GET IT OFF!!
Haha! Just Kidding! Look who's the scared one now!
Hmph! That's not very funny, Kel...
Welcome to the Pyrefly Forest. It's uh, quite creepy here! It's also not that big of an area, so we'll be done with it in a short amount of time. And then... well, we may not want this area to end...
Heading to the left side will lead to this small little area, where we can finally find that Joke Book! Now we can go back and find those old jokes we never recorded before! That'll be at a later date when we do some general cleanup.
WEEPING WILLOW: They say that money can buy happiness, but apparently it's not working... Can you do something funny for me? Maybe tell a joke?
Oof, sorry our joke book is empty right now. We'll have to come back later.
WEEPING WILLOW: Really? You called me out here for nothing? Sigh... What a waste of time...
Here's the reason for the jokes, we'll need to find them all and then come here to tell to Weeping Willow. It may be hard to see, but there's another face on the left side of the fountain. It reveals more Jam Packets to us, which is always handy.
Heading back to the entrance, there's this mine cart sitting here for us... we can use it right now, but uh we'll get stopped very quickly so let's go remove those stops!
Over in this little alcove, we find uh... a bunch of spider nests. We can't cut them down because the spiders are too thick to cut through.
DEMI: I've read every book on this shelf over twenty times already... If only I had something more interesting to read...
Sounds like another quest for us to pursue! It's gonna be a while before we complete this one. Not because it's hard, but uh... you'll see.
Since we can't do anything about the spider webs yet, we'll have to move on and come back later.
It may be hard to see, but right above that spider nest is what we need for this area.
With a matchbox in tow, we can finally do something about those spiders blocking the way forward. I'll show that off by going to the area right of the matchbox.
Ah jeez, another quest?
CANDLIE: The last time I had him... I'm pretty sure I was wandering through a big pink castle... If you ever find him, could you return him to me? I bet he's really lonely...
We'll need to keep that in mind the next time we're in a big pink castle... not that we're planning to go to any.
Now that we have the matchbox, we can use it to light these candles, which will make the spiders leave their posts on the spider nests towards the candles. Now we can cut the nests down and get whatever's lying behind them.
Which are these! The reason we can't use the minecart yet is because the tracks aren't in place yet. We'll need to find the three we need and then place them on the railway.
Oh, by the way, the candle eventually goes out! When it does, a big spider goes out to get you and throws you back to the beginning of the area. I really hope you don't have any arachnophobia!
We head back to the first area with Demi and get the track that was here, as well.
Let's take a bit to talk about the enemies in this area. Needless to say, they're mostly spiders. Bug bunnies are quite cute, but are definitely the most dangerous of the bunnies we've met so far. Of course, by dangerous I mean that if you do nothing they'll probably kill you in a couple of turns. Compared to before where half of the bunnies turns would be wasted being cute. However! This area has a very key gimmick...
Hero will start every battle being afraid, so long as a spider enemy is on the field... which is all but two battles. We've never had to deal with afraid as a regular battle occurrence, but as with the story battles, afraid locks off all skills from use. You also have a weakness to emotional enemies, interesting enough.
The other major enemy in this area is a potted plant... spider. These should be avoided, because after a few turns...
They straight up explode! You still get the XP and Clams from winning the battle... for the party members who survive anyway. Still, the bunnies give more XP and are not as dangerous so avoid as much as you can.
... Just like the "Bunny?" before it, just adding a question mark at the end of the enemies' name, causes my anxiety to just go through the roof. They're somewhat tough, but since Hero won't be afraid for these battles, you can stomp them easy. They have better stats than a regular mole sprout, but again, not considerably tougher.
Here's one of the spots that need a track down, two more to go!
Hey! We found Mari!
There's even an old minecart running through here... I wonder what it was used for?
Not sure how that's going to fill us all up, but sure thing!
How are you handling your fear of spiders, Hero?
Huff... Breathe in... Huff... Breathe out...
You're doing great, Hero! Keep at it!
Huff... Breathe in... Huff... Breathe out...
Omori used to be scared of spiders too, but look at him now! Not even a flinch!
Look at how brave he's being!
Wow... So brave...
Yeah! So brave!
It is actually quite admirable how brave Omori is being about his true fears in order to help save Basil. If I had to go through a field of roaches to save a friend, well, you can always make more friends!
Though some things are irreplaceable.
This area has a bunch of spiders all over the place, but the time to get the track is still the same. There's also a chest containing a healing item that will try to tempt you away from the true path. Though if you're quick enough you can get them both.
One last track to place down!
And there's the last track down! Whenever we're done exploring, we can head back and use the cart whenever.
What the heck is this thing!? It's... kind of slimy... and smells like bad apples.
There's more forest on the other side of this lump. Come on Aubrey! Smash this thing to smithereens!
Oh? What's this? You're asking me for help, Kel? How rare!
Step aside! I'll show you all how it's done!
I'm gonna give this strange lump all I've got!
Well... this is embarrassing. I guess we should find another way past this ting.
Yes... Let's do that...
And... THAT'S why we need the minecart. Aubrey's good... but not that good. Speaking of which, I'm not sure I've talked about it yet but I really love that Aubrey is the strong one of the group. There's a lot of games, even today, that make the one girl of the party a healer and it's cool to see her be an angry tank instead.
Aww... look at that cute bear! Is this that teddy bear that went missing?
NOT CUDDLY. REPEAT: IT'S NOT CUDDLY!!!
The Rare Bear is by far the toughest enemy in this area. This dude can wreck your shit! And he looooooves being angry, which just makes him maul through your party like butter.
Hero and Omori immediately go for knocking his attack down a couple levels.
Here's the result of them both doing that, in case you thought I was exaggerating.
It's a very good idea to put sad on the Rare Bear. He's one of those enemies that like to have a certain emotional state, and if he's not angry he will waste all of his turns trying to go back to being angry. Even if it means you're not doing ideal damage to him, this guy spending his turns not attacking is a major boon to us.
Though if you can make Aubrey mad, you'll be doing that ideal damage. Good lord is she getting powerful.
All in all, the Rare Bear takes about 3 minutes or about 5 full turns to go down. That's on par with some of the easier bosses. These things are not to be trifled with!
This is our... reward... for winning the fight. Mush adds one of every stat to one of the party members. I put it on Omori, though you can put it on any of the other characters if you prefer.
While we have already placed all the tracks down and are free to proceed... there's an optional little area over this way. It's somewhat hidden and can be hard to get back here. I think I found it by accident my first time playing.
So uh... I'm gonna warn you now if you've got some severe arachnophobia that you may want to scroll down a bit past the next 5 or so screenshots/gifs. Just... fair warning!
Aww... instead of the horrific spiders plaguing us, we get this cute kitty!
That was NOT sped up by the way, that's the speed they move at. This game is going to give me arachnophobia, I swear... You have to cut your party down out of the web to get them down.
Let's try that again... If the cat-spider is sleeping, you can easily make your way around them without alerting them. If they do get alerted, they have about 2 seconds before they chase you and dunk you into the shadow realm. If you can't get away from them in time, lighting the candle will distract them and give you another couple of seconds.
So long as you only move when they're sleeping, they won't be alerted to you and you can make your way around them. So why are we traversing through this horrific forest with these awful fucking creatures?
Not for this thing, it gives 15 speed and nothing else which doesn't even measure up to the rabbit's foot. No, what we're here for is...
To get a bit spooked... do you see that tiny little path to the right? That's why we're here.
The spider nests appear in front of us as we try to walk through this area. As if, something is trying to keep us back... though the shadow that looks like Basil is here too...
Magical bean lets you start the battle with a random emotion. I'm not a fan of accessories that do that for an emotion you can pick, much less not even getting to pick the emotion you start with. Now then, let's follow the shadow Basil...
Uhhhhh... hi there! Please don't hurt us!
Daddy Longlegs... despite his inherent creepiness, is not hostile... but he does only have one new thing to say per area. Did I say per area? Because that's right, this place is akin to the lost woods ala Zelda: Ocarina of Time. There's several paths forward, and only one of them leads to a correct area and the others lead you back to the entrance. You can get forward through trial and error, but there's a quick trick to get through it.
The upper right hand path will lead you to the next new area... We started at the bottom, by the way. Ignore that... apparition of Kel over on the right hand side.
If you talk to Daddy Longlegs a second time, he will offer to take you back to the entrance so you can leave, in case you get stuck. So what's the trick to getting through here? Well, do you see that little bunny above us?
It's a ghost bunny, which you can fight for a little XP. They are very weak and can dispatched quickly. However, they also point the way forward. Whichever path has a ghost bunny in front of it is the way to deeper in the woods.
If you go down the wrong path, you'll still get new dialogue from Mr. Longlegs. The correct path in this case, is to the left.
DADDY LONGLEGS: I suggest you look for the exit before your "needs" become more apparent.
For this area, we want to go to the right. The bunny can move around a bit and make it a little confusing, but the correct path is where they start the area at.
There's a pearl on the docks we can collect to resell for 1000 clams. We're starting to reach the point of the game where money is no longer becoming an issue.
DADDY LONGLEGS: How regretful it must have been to never find what he was looking for. Be it regret, defeat, or confusion, no one will know.
Unlike the previous times, we want to head north from here. Not south - there's nothing there.
DADDY LONGLEGS: You have reached the end of the Lost Forest... but the beginning of the truth. I will tell you a story that has been lost through time... a story about the creation of this reality. In the beginning, there only existed two... the Dreamer and his room. The Dreamer grew weary of his room and created a door that led to many different worlds. Walking the path as a visitor to these worlds, the Dreamer would come and go as he pleased. Slips and falls, tumbles and drops... the Dreamer's curiosity and clumsy exploration eventually led him to a certain world. One not like the others... one painted with chaos and bathed in darkness. The Dreamer slowly became filled with dread. Quiet as they may have been, words of malice quietly crept into his mind. Whispering lies, secrets, and truths. Powerless to silence the noise, the Dreamer manifested benevolent entities in his different worlds. Then he compounded his worlds above the dark realm... sealing it with their combined might. Yet despite his valiant efforts, the darkness's presence never abated. Even with new allies, the darkness continued to scrape and scratch at the back of the Dreamer's mind. The noise might have subsided... but it never went away.
DADDY LONGLEGS: The Dreamer could run and bury away his fears, but one still has to face his own reflection. What the Dreamer had created was something he could not be a part of, something outside himself. The Dreamer's own power was his greatest adversary. Knowledge... or the absence of it, would become the Dreamer's greatest gift. To truly escape the perils of his own faculty and ascend to a blissful state of ignorance... Only then would the noise cease to agitate the Dreamer's sanity.
DADDY LONGLEGS: From that time on, the Dreamer has lived amongst us... simply as an inhabitant of this world... Traveling along blissfully, ignorant of his own fabrication. Children, I must warn you... As with all things that are born in and out of this world, an end will threaten this one too. Though the Dreamer may have subdued the inexorable, the darkness grows still. No bandage can stifle an eternal wound... and there will be a time when its influence will bleed through. Forgetful the Dreamer may be of this peril, a peril never forgets to be. Yet, the end of this world may be an inevitability. The Dreamer is the only one with the ability that can truly set this world free.
Another wrong key, sadly. With the end of the tale that Daddy Longlegs has told us, the Lost Forest is done, and we can continue on...