Part 21: SPROUT MOLE THE TEDIOUSUPDATE 21: SPROUT MOLE THE TEDIOUS
The bottom right and top left are the two parts of the castle we've yet to explore, and they're both much shorter than the other two.
...Pluto!? What the hell are you doing here?
Oh, sure. YOU get to just fly away.
Is... is that the wedding march? In Sprout Mole form?? Who's getting married?
VIRTUOSO MOLE: And don't think I can't see you in the back row dozing off during the chorus! Pull yourselves together, or else Sweetheart will have us thrown in the Dungeon!
Huh... These Sprout Moles seem to have run into some trouble... I wonder if there's any way we can help.
Hey, guys! Y'all need a hand? We're professional helpers here, at your service!
VIRTUOSO MOLE: Oh, thank goodness! The professionals have arrived! We absolutely must have the choir ready before Sweetheart's main event, but there simply isn't enough time! You see... We Sprout Moles become very sleepy when listening to music... so as you can imagine, the choir keeps putting itself to sleep! Sigh... I'm afraid we may have to resort to... alternative... methods to keep them all awake...
I see! Not to fear, dear fellow Sprout Mole! I know... exactly... what you are talking about!
Y-You... You do?
VIRTUOSO MOLE: Thank goodness, we're saved! I should have expected as such from professionals.
I'll handle this, good sir. You can trust me! This will be a piece of cake. Just tag me in! I know exactly... what to do.
Do you?? I don't even know what we're about to do here!!
Mr. Virtuoso Mole, sir... I'm all ready to go.
VIRTUOSO MOLE: Thank you, gracious professional! We are in your debt.
So what do you think we're going to do? Because I guarantee you, you guessed wrong.
Unless you guessed throw tomatoes at the moles that start to doze off. Though I refuse to believe someone figured that out on their own.
And yes, you literally throw tomatoes at moles that are dozing off. I've found the easiest method is to just spam the action button and just move from one side to the other. You do have to be looking at the moles to throw a tomato, however.
Regardless of how well or poor you do, the mole gives you this message. I do, of course, continue to do this because why turn down the opportunity to throw tomatoes at the Sprout Moles?
Here's uh... something weird even for this game. If you take a bite of this cake...
You warp here. The art gallery had a similar thing that I thought at the time didn't lead anywhere important... but I was wrong.
Now that we've helped the choir, people have started dancing in the ballroom. All except for that one Mole Sprout on the right side.
Eh, sure why not?
Wow, I didn't know Kel could dance!
Or be able to put the moves on a Sprout Mole!
Dancing with the Sprout Mole also gives the party a full heal! It literally feels good to do a good thing
On our way back to the main area... we run into another spotlight with a mole under it. Didn't we already kick that guy's ass?
SIR MAXIMUS II Hmhm! You must be wondering how I am able to tell... You see... I am the son of the fabled warrior of legend, Sir Maximus... You may have bested my father, but I am stronger than he! With my impressive lineage and my father by my side, I will be victorious!
If the Sir Maximus fight was a joke then this fight is at least a joke that's well told. Sir Maximus II at least deals damage to us, even if the fight itself is still pretty easy.
Maximus the younger likes all party attacks. It's not a lot of damage but it's enough that you can't just shrug it off. Still, a couple headbutts will take him down.
Like I said, you cannot shrug off his attacks for this very reason. Before the Sprout Mole falls he will use his father's ultimate attack which does a decent amount of damage. And if you haven't been healing then you'll lose a party member right at the end and miss out on some XP. Still not rough if you're paying attention, unlike me.
We're slowly working our way through their family tree, even though I really just want them to go away.
There's one final location left in the castle - Sweetheart's chambers. Hopefully passing through the Atrium goes smoothly.
Pshh, what are you gonna do it about it?
Special Mixtape| I Want Nothing More
You can get a random entourage in the elevator with you, or sometimes it's completely empty.
Riding the elevator causes the eyes in the Wall Sweetheart to glow a bright red, the color of happiness.
CASTELLA: Gasp! What are you doing in here!? Common Sprout Moles aren't allowed in Sweetheart's chambers... You know the rules! Ah... Wait a minute... Perhaps you will be able to help me. Sweetheart ordered me to move this statue out of her bedroom before she returns, but I can't get it to move at all! If only this thing was suddenly and conveniently smashed into itty bitty pieces...
Well, ma'am... What it sounds like to me is... that you're in need of some destruction... and Aubrey here happens to be a destruction specialist!
CASTELLA: Aubrey? Well, that is a very strange name for a Sprout Mole... Then again, Sweetheart has been running out of new names to give as of late.
Wait, Kel... Isn't that a statue of Capt. Spaceboy? I would feel bad destroying it.
Psh... It's not like he's ever going to know! Capt. Spaceboy and Sweetheart are a thing of the past... Live and let live, that's what I always say!
You don't always say that! But fine... I guess I can give it a shot.
CASTELLA: My word! You've done it! Well... Time to clean this up!
I wish I could clean things up by just walking over them back and forth. It would definitely make picking up after my dog feel a lot better than it currently does...
CASTELLA: Phew... you're real lifesavers! I should have known to just leave this task to the specialists!
CASTELLA: My, my... Well, this is a surprise! Turns out all I had to do was lift it from the bottom!
Make sure to lift with your legs and not your back!! On the table next to statue is another pearl we can put in our inventory and forget to sell, and also... a book?
I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable person, but if you had told me this was a real word I wouldn't have believed you. Why do you need such a long word to say "pretty"?? "My dear, your face is just so Pulchritudinous, the most I've ever seen!" Can you imagine someone saying that? No you can't, because they got slapped halfway through saying it.
We can sleep in Sweetheart's bed for another full heal, but that's not the reason you want to spend some time in her bed...
This is. The body pillow is a weapon upgrade for Aubrey that gives her two more attack and 10 more HP. She hasn't had a weapon upgrade since the Junkyard so it's very appreciated!
We teleport again for some jam packets... why this happens, I still do not know.
Yes... fruit juice.
Sweetheart has quite the view out on her balcony, with a nice .jpg of a cloud just below it. She's also got a teapot in that watermelon that we can take and give to Hero. Just by picking it up, Hero learns Tea time which heals HP and juice! This is quite a nice ability that, sadly, I rarely used. I always had Hero equipped with Cook, Snack Time, and Smile, so that only left one extra ability to play with per battle. I usually preferred Fast Food because going first to heal someone is just such a good emergency move. I got a lot of use out of juice me from Kel because using items in a video game is equivalent to admitting you're a gigantic wimp.
Since we're done with the chambers, we've explored this whole castle... though of course, we have to deal with this guy one more time.
SIR MAXIMUS III: Stop, imposters! I know what you are... and you are not Sprout Moles! Hmhm! You must be wondering how I am able to tell... You see... I am the son of the fabled warrior of legend, Sir Maximus II and grandson of Sir Maximus... You may have bested my father and grandfather, but that has only fueled my rage and thirst for vengeance! With my impressive lineage and my father and grandfather by my side, I will be victorious and avenge my family!
Six Maximus III is quite similar to the II, he's not tough enough for me to consider him a boss, but he's not a joke fight anymore - which I think can disarm people a bit. I went into the first two fights thinking it was just a joke fight only for the 2nd ultimate attack to catch me off guard.
Like father, like son. This Mole likes to do all-party attacks which can quickly raise your energy level. That's how I got got in that last fight - I quickly got level 10 and wanted to see if I could skip the ultimate attack if I did enough damage. You saw the answer. Still, beat on the young lad long enough and he'll go down.
Eh, you lasted more than two rounds and made me work for it. Hopefully that calms your soul as you enjoy an eternity as a ghost.
Hey, is it just me or does it seem quiter all of a sudden?
Wasn't there a crowd of Sprout Moles at the entrance earlier? I don't see them around anywhere!
They must have finally pushed their way outside! Let's follow them, Omori. Maybe they can lead us out of here.
As much as I want to just head out the door... there's something I do want to show everyone first.
Near where the theater was at the very end of the hall, is this inconspicuous archway. You'll likely think nothing of it... which is intended. I debated showing this off this early, but hell we need some interesting things in this part.
There's no music in this area except for whispering that starts very faint and gets louder as you get closer to this door. Let's go inside, shall we?
You look friendly! What's going on my dude!
KEEPER OF THE CASTLE: That girl. She was an elaborate one. This dwelling. It takes the shape of one's deepest desires. A place to return to. Somewhere to call home. Sweetheart came to me a long time ago, a poor girl from the desert... and begged me on her knees to make this place hers. I gave her what she desired. A castle full of riches, servants for her to command, a stage for her to flaunt her power.
KEEPER OF THE CASTLE: Soon she will leave and not return. I know this. And when I have deemed that she has found her home elsewhere, I will look for a new owner. At that time, return to me. You, with the empty eyes. your soul is split, but you can only choose one path. It will be interesting to see what you will make of this dwelling.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to show this guy off now, because we won't be coming back to visit for a long long time. Still, it's a very interesting conversation... but I won't be talking about what he says.
Now then, let's leave this joint!
I Definitely Promised You A Rose Garden
I don't think I've ever agreed with Kel more.
I wonder what's up with that big event everyone is preparing for...
Strange... I don't see the Sprout Moles from the entrance anywhere. Where could they have all gone?
There must be a hidden exit somewhere! Let's poke around at anything that looks suspicious.
Unlike the castle, I enjoy the courtyard much more. I'm not sure why, considering how similar it is. I think it's because it takes about the length of one of the rooms from before but has a completely different design, like those geysers shaped like hearts. Or maybe I was just so happy to be out of the castle that even the courtyard was a sight for sore eyes.
So it's pretty obvious what the suspicious looking thing we should be poking at is here.
There's actually 4 phrases that need to be said that count as the password. And uh, spoiler, the phrases aren't listed until you actually go and find them. Which I'm sure is in here so the devs can smugpost in speedrunner's twitch chats.
SWEET JESUS!! That ray does about 30% of HP damage to everyone in your party. Though it cannot kill so at worst you'll be left with 1 HP to go into battle accidentally and game over.
Aubrey and Hero have gone full dapper over there at their tea party. Sadly it does not heal, however. Speaking of heal though, let's show off the enemies of this area. They share a couple enemies with the castle, so I can show off both new ones here.
Splintered Sweets In The Castle
First off is this abomination against the lord, Sprout Moles shaped like a horse's butt and a horse's head. I assume Sweetheart leaves the latter in the beds of her enemies.
The head can make people angry, while the butt just stomps on people. As far as I know, they don't combine into a horse creature that gains like double strength and ability to poop on command.
Here's the other two enemies that are in the courtyard, but we also didn't see in the castle... as well as a neat mechanic that some of the enemies gain! The wizard's name is Lucius, while the archer's name is Therese. If either are in a battle, they get to roll for initiative. Rolling any number between 1 and 20. If it's close to 1, then we get a speed boost, if it's close to 10, nothing happens, if it's close to 20, the opponents get a speed boost. It's a quite a neat mechanic for this one area! Sadly, all the enemies are still weak so them getting lucky still just leads to mosquito bites getting guaranteed to happen.
Over on the left side, we can find another entrance to Mari's picnic spot for some healing and a save spot. Nice and convenient spot you picked out Mari!
Is everyone okay? What happened?
Ugh... That sweetheart topiary just fired a laser at us!
Hmm... There's just gotta be a way to get rid of these guys...
...Dang... I missed.
Oh, silly Kel! You're not going to knock out anything throwing like that! Why don't you try aiming for once?
Huh? Aim? I can do that?
Of course! Even you can aim, Kel!
Alright! I'll give it my best shot!
Kel can now aim while throwing things from platforms! I really like the Kel aiming menu, it's quite cute. We can also now take down the many laser shooting Sweethearts in the area.
Our goal is to be able to head into these mazes and find the golden Sprout Moles so we can get into Willy Wonka's Sprout Mole Factory. Or just leave the area, that too.
CAROL THE ILLUSTRIOUS: Naturally, as one of the chosen elite, I have been given the responsibility of guarding the first of four! It's a beautiful day out in the garden isn't it, brothers and sisters? Ah! You are saying you would like to know of the password? I apologize. I'm afraid that is not in my jurisdiction. Though... I suppose something tasty, off-white, and cube-ish may change my mind...
Sweetheart's Royal Guards are easily won over by a block of tofu... this is why you pay your bodyguards people.
CAROL THE ULLUSTRIOUS: Now... lean in closer... The password that I have been entrusted with is... "SWEET". You got that? Promise me you won't tell anyone, okay?
Well, we'll be telling the statue the password, so I guess in a way we will be breaking that promise. Though, we didn't check out what's happening with those Sprout Moles behind us. What's going on over there?
Seems to be that they're trying to chop the vines down to get through. Maybe we can help!
Ah, they don't look so thick. This should be over in no ti-
...Nevermind! Back to the password hunting we go!
On the upper left side maze, there's this... weird mushroom thing that we can interact with. And by interact with, I mean...
Take a bite out of it.
J. SHROOM: Excellent! Excellent, excellent, excellent... I will teach you. Now observe. The hard bulbs like the one behind me hold creatures like me. However, we are unable to escape by our own means. With a very specific and intricate cutting technique, one would be able to release us from our buddy fate. However, this technique takes years, perhaps even decades, to master! If you agree to learn it, there's no telling how long this will take! Yet with time, I believe you will do great things!
Thankfully, the Shroom had a hyperbolic chamber in the other room thanks to Omori watching a marathon of Dragon Ball Z before he started dreaming on Saturday.
MASTER J. SHROOM: Now, cut it using your perfected technique so that it may live!
YOUNG SHROOM: At last, I am free! Excellent, excellent, excellent...
Can any of these shrooms talk as if they aren't taking over as Rita Repulsa next week? Freeing the shroom gets us a Dandelion from the shroom and a jam packet from the watermelon we get from jumping on his head.
Let's leave this mushroom fueled madness and go back to the Sweetheart fueled madness.
ALEX THE ESTEEMED: Naturally, as one of the chosen elite, I have been given the responsibility of guarding the third of four!
ALEX THE ESTEEMED: Huh? You want to know the password? Oh no... I'm sorry... I'm not supposed to tell anyone... Huh? You really need it? Like you really, really need it? Like you really, really, really need it? Like you really, really, really, really, really need it? Hmm... Hmmmmm... I guess I have no choice then... But you have to promise not to tell anyone else!
ALEX THE ESTEEMED: And done! Phew... I was worried you might've been someone untrustworthy! Now... lean in closer... The password that I have been entrusted with is "FILLED"
We've got Sweet ___ Filled ___, as the password so far. I'm sure that phrase might sound familiar to you, but we still need to find the other two words before the options appear for the statue. As well, the guards are not in any logical order, for the first and third guards to be next to each other.
There's no weird mushroom creatures on the upper right side, just some lemonade in a watermelon to grab.
BRIAN THE DISTINGUISHED: Naturally, as one of the chosen elite, I have been given the responsibility of guarding the second of four! You want to know the password, eh? Not so fast there, buddy. I gotta say... You're awfully tall for a Sprout Mole... How do I know if you really are one of us highly intelligent and majestic creatures? You think I'd ever spill the password to a potential spy? Ha! Don't make me laugh!
It's obviously not survival, so... Tofu?
BRIAN THE DISTINGUISHED: Oh... Mmm... Delicious Tofu... I apologize for ever doubting you. I guess there are all kinds of Sprout Moles out there! Now... lean in closer... The password that I have been entrusted with is "JELLY". You got that? Promise you won't tell anyone, okay?
Three down! One more to go!
The bottom right holds our final password... though it also holds something interesting.
If you explore the hedge maze a bit, you'll see this upraised portion of the ground. So what's underneath here?
It's a ladder that takes you down here! Where Sweetheart is keeping a dozen Rare Bears! There's a button on the right side that you can press to unleash them and you should really not ever hit that button! You will be fighting a dozen rare bears all in a row! They move too fast, and if two enemies are touching you at the same time, as soon as one battle ends - another will start. You saw how much damage a rare bear can do in the forest, they're still that powerful! Though if you took down King Carnivore, you should be able to take these guys down. Sadly, most of what they are protecting are healing items... which you'll likely need to use just to beat all the Rare bears in the first place! I'll probably come back here later and take them down because... well, I'm me. But I really don't recommend doing it now, it took me 45 minutes to try on my first go-round and the rare bears don't provide enough XP for it to be worth it.
HELEN THE CALAMITOUS: Naturally, as one of the chosen elite, I have been given the responsibility of guarding the fourth of four! But, ugh! I'm supposed to hold onto this super secret password and everything, right? But, like, it's about food, so now I'm just thinking about food all the time... It makes me so hungry, that I've started chewing on the grass to curb my appetite! Can you believe it!? They should really start providing food to the guards around here!
HELEN THE CALAMITOUS: Puh-lease! That's no secret at all! Anyone could guess that! They were always walking around here and acting all couple-y, calling each other names like that back and forth... Saying things like, "Why won't you ask me to marry you yet?" and "I'm sorry. My friends don't approve of this relationship..." all the time... Ugh! So annoying! But, whatever... I'm still stuck here guarding the passwords with those three other guards.. .Those guys couldn't keep a secret to save their lives! Hmph! That's right! Pity me if you want! See if I care! Here I am, trapped here in this lonely little corner in the garden, guarding the word "DONUT" of all things! Geez-louise!
That sounds really tough Helen, good luck to ya! They should really pay the guards their fair share, or at least some food! Just such a shame... anyway, we've got all four words now! Time to get past that statue...
And with that... We are nearly done with Sweetheart's castle...