Many SPOILERS are contained throughout these posts. You have been warned!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

EarthBound high playthrough log part 1

Earthbound box cover artEarthbound box cover art

I've played through this once before, but I was kinda just rushing through it back then, and a lot of the details never stuck with me. Now that I've done a playthrough of Mother 1 while high and I'm a lot more into the story of this series, I'm gonna do a full high replay of this game.

First of all, to get fully immersed in the game, first I gotta read through the intro part of the player's guide.

lol this guide is great... even the description of the controls have a lot of charm and flavor to it...
the R button's only function in the entire game is ringing the bell when you're on your bicycle. the only use of the Start button is to start the game... the only use of Select/B is to cancel out of menus (also it shows your HP/PP/money when you're out of the menu)... L is the shortcut button for talking and checking... A is the open menu/confirm button... L also works as the confirm button, and since R is unnecessary and Select can be used instead of B, that means you can basically play this game with one hand... although you do need the A button if you want to access items/PSI powers outside of battle.

The 4 playable characters:
Ness, the balanced one with mysterious psychic abilities.
Paula, the famous psychic whose mother is a preschool teacher.
Jeff, the son of a famous scientist, a mechanical genius who can repair/use items that nobody else can use.
Poo, the prince from the east, very mentally, physically, and spiritually strong and has his own unique psychic powers and unknown weapon/equipment preferences.

oh cool, there's a chart showing all of the default name/fav entries for when you pick "I don't care"

Your "Guts" level is like "Luck" in other RPGs, it affects the frequency of critical hits
"Vitality" and "IQ" are kind of like Pokemon EVs... affect how much your HP/PP increase with each level
"Luck" is your accuracy. the rest of the stats are self explanatory...

Evil people can be distinguished because their faces will be blue... and the people/animals you defeat don't actually die, they become "normal" again and leave.

It also explains how the battle command menu is different for each character...
Paula has the unique "Pray" command, it has mysterious unknown effects.
Jeff has a "Spy" command that tells you what PSI powers enemies are vulnerable to, if any... Jeff is not very strong and has no PSI command, but he's the best person to use items with and there are some battle items that only he can use.
Poo has a "Mirror" command that is like Ditto's transform...

Phones, ATM, Colds and medicine.. these all work just like in Mother 1.. although there are now pay phones that charge money.
Also in addition to just calling Dad to save the game, now you can also call Mom or Ness's sister Tracy... Tracy works for a delivery company, and you can get items delivered or picked up from wherever you are, instead of having to going all the way back home...
Doctors and Healers are the only way to recover from certain status conditions... Nurses are the only way to revive unconscious characters...
Hint Stands are like fortune teller shops in Zelda games...

Sometimes you can find butterflies out in a field or cave, that restores 20 of everyone's PP.. they're basically like the equivalent of healing houses that you'd randomly find out in the fields in Mother 1...

omg I love this player's guide

If You Miss Your Mom...
Even a hero out to save the world can get homesick. After all, this is the longest you've ever been away from home! The best cure for those bouts of loneliness is the gentle voice of your understanding mom. The great thing is, she's just a phone call away...
Everything is written as if it's meant for Ness himself to read through before he starts his adventure. This style of writing matches the tone of Earthbound's world so well.
and that's it for the intro section of the Earthbound Player's guide... I guess I'll start reading the Travel Guide part next session... now time to start the game.

Went with all the default names for the characters, "doge" for the dog's name, "weed" for favorite thing, and "eggs" for favorite food

- Prologue -

I love how this game starts out exactly like Mother 1... almost. you hear a strange noise at night... if you go into Tracy's room she just ignores it and talks about wanting to stay up late... Ness's mom figures that Ness wants to go check out that strange noise, says he's much more brave than her.. and she won't be able to stop him anyway and tells him to at least change into normal clothes first.

Earthbound screenshot

Police are blocking the road to town and wandering around the neighbourhood... people are talking about a Meteor that landed somewhere...
huh... this is really curious

Earthbound screenshot

Pokey's brother Picky says that Pokey went out chasing a police car... and their parents are out at a restaurant. There's a guy standing outside a tiny house who teaches you about billboards... he's the billboard guy.

Pokey is bugging some cops near the meteor landing... some very strange cops..

Earthbound screenshot

one of them asks Ness if he and I are friends... I answered "No"... lol I don't wanna be friends with this pig looking dork.
Pokey tells you to go home, saying you're bugging the cops. one of the cops says Pokey is bugging the hell out of them...
Picky says he's tired and he wants mom and dad and Pokey to get home... You see Ness's mom waiting for your outside your house...

Then you wake up to hear some REALLY creepy banging on your door... Ness's mom isn't getting it... Ness gets the door and it's Pokey... he tells me that when the cops left to take care of the Sharks (the street gang), and he brought Picky to the meteor site, Picky went missing... asks Ness to help him, you can answer yes or no, I tried to refuse but it didn't make a difference... Ness talks to his mom before he leaves... she tells him to get changed into normal clothes first... Tracy gives Ness a cookie... you can talk to doge and she asks if you want her to go with you... I get both Pokey and the dog to join my party... I tried to leave, and then the phone rang, forcing me to talk to Ness's dad first...

I go with Pokey and doge to find Picky... he is hanging around behind a tree at the meteor site... doge is too freaked out to go there and heads home instead... when Picky joins you and you're about to go home, Pokey hears a bee buzzing around (I chose "No" here), and that bee named Buzz Buzz comes down and explains that he's not a bee... he's from 10 years in the future, when Giygas has brought the world into darkness...

There is a legend... it says "When the chosen boy reaches the point, he will find the light. The passing of time will shatter the nightmare rock and will reveal the path of light."
Buzz Buzz believes NESS is that chosen boy, because reasons...
"Three things are of the utmost importance: wisdom, courage, and friendship."
After that whole big Kaepora Gaebora style plot exposition scene, he even does the "did you listen to what I told you?" thing...
Buzz Buzz also told you that the legend included 3 boys and 1 girl... Pokey asks "I'm not one of those 3 boys, am I?"

In battles, doge (who is no longer in my party) would charge forward and attack, often miss... Pokey would mostly only complain to NESS and apologize... and use NESS as a shield... Picky attacks but only does 1 damage... Buzz Buzz actually helps a lot in the Starman fight, putting a PSI shield around everyone that makes the Starman's PSI Fire useless... Buzz Buzz pretty much does all the work in that battle. NESS only healed himself and defended.

Earthbound screenshot

lol this plot right now, it's really weird when you think about it... This creepy fly buzzing around Ness's head is telling him that some animals and humans are turning evil due to Giygas's influence, and that he needs to use violence on them... you could almost interpret this like Ness is just going crazy and attacking innocent people.
Pokey's parents are back now... they look like typical rich snobs.

Earthbound screenshot

The dad sends Pokey and Picky to their room, then he tells Ness to leave and says Ness's dad owes him hundreds of thousands of dollars... oh okay

LMAO... Buzz Buzz just landed on Pokey's mom's head and she killed him... the music and buzzing noise totally stops... holy shit that was brutal.
some really awesome music during this scene... Buzz Buzz manages to not die long enough to give Ness a bit more exposition...
Listen to my final words. To defeat Giygas, your own power must unite with the Earth's... The Earth will then channel your power and multiply it. There are eight points you must visit. Make these places your own... Each of these locations is "Your Sanctuary". One of them is near Onett. It is called "Giant Step".

- Onett -

Onett is just a little bit south of where Ness and Pokey live... Got the map from the library clerk...
upstairs you see some guy run into the mens bathroom, you can knock on both doors and hear people telling you to go away.
some kid says he's seen UFOs flying around... it's pretty apparent that there's some really strange stuff going on.
this dialog is soooo intriguing. It's the kind of game where I just HAVE to talk to every NPC and billboard, even when I don't need any hints. I just love all the flavor text.
Earthbound screenshot
Earthbound screenshot
Earthbound screenshot
Earthbound screenshot
Earthbound screenshot

Onett is famous for roadblocks... the road to Twoson is now blocked... there are billboards warning you not to wander too far away from town... you get attacked by evil dogs on the outskirts of town... even in the town there are crows that attack you if you go near them...

Found out that Giant Step is to the northwest of Onett. guarded by a monster from the outside.. and the gang members have made it their hideout.

Someone in the Bakery starts talking about irrelevant stuff, and warns you not to waste too much time talking to random people and forgetting the important stuff... and tells you about how people can have different things to say when you talk to them again later on.

A dog at the drug store:
Ruff Ruff... I'm Ruffini, the dog. I'm being possessed by the spirit of the game designer... (RUFF!)
tells me about how when you shop for equipabble items, the menu flashes if you're on an item that increases a character's stats, does nothing if it is the same or lower, and is black if your character can't equip it...
*Ruff* I thought you'd like to know. Now it's time to go back to being a normal dog again...)
There's this creepy looking metal-hair guy talking about the preschool in Twoson..
A girl named PAULA lives in Twoson. Her mother runs a preschool out of their home. I can't remember the name of the school but I heard PAULA's really special. Why is she special? I forgot to ask. Ow well...
Finally I went around and talked to everyone I could in Onett... Then went to the game center which is surrounded by guys dressed in all black that attack you... defeated their boss Frank and got the key from the mayor as a reward... The mayor seems like he mostly only wants to use me to promote him in the election...
Now the only thing left is to explore the cave behind that shack and get to Giant Step, where a monster is guarding the place...

This whole area is very... atmospheric in a way... it's the first zone of the game where there's nothing around except enemies and presents... no NPCs at all... eventually you get to some white light blocking the door to your first sanctuary... I died the first time at this giant ant battle... leveled up a bit more from 7 to 9 and then manage to defeat him easily. PSI Love has taken the form of PSI weed...
Earthbound screenshot
Earthbound screenshot

This is easy to miss... You can go back to that billboard guy's house, near where the meteor landed, and go inside and he offers to take you into his basement...
Earthbound screenshot

This gets really creepy.. the game even acknowledges how weird it is that NESS is going into some random stranger's basement. he takes you through a long tunnel that he has dug and found a gold statue.. he intends to keep digging and searching for more treasure... this seems like a foreshadowing of some sort.

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