News and Moonside

The Emperor continues to play!
Actually, I’m playing catch-up right now. I’ve beaten the game, but I have quite a few posts to get through before I go onto Mother 3.

As for what I’ve been up to, ah, c’est la vie indeed. I’ve been preoccupied, not in any small part due to the Imperial Computer continuing to baffle me; is it cursed? At this point, it seems to be. Either both video cards have the same problem or the mobo has gone selectively bad. If it’s the former, huzzah for warranties. If it’s the latter, well, I wonder whether I can make the funds to get that replaced any time soon.

Anyway, on with a short post… more coming later!

One person in Moonside asked me whether I knew what Moonside was. If I told him “yes,” he acted as if I said “no”, and vice-versa.

One of the people says “Welcome to Moonside”, then mispronounces it twice.

Another person says, “Welcome to Moonside. Wel come to moo nsi ns dem oons ide.” Creepy. And the music is too.

Mani Mani is always Mani Mani at Mani Mani with all Mani Mani Mani.

Anyway, you fight the Mani Mani demon statue. It really doesn’t put up much of a fight. It sits there and acts pretty, dazzling you until you destroy it.

Then the party realizes they were in a storage room the entire time. What an illusion.

Now, before you can go to the Monotoli building, you must deal with yet another issue. See, there’s this yogurt machine and- okay, it was going to come to you… right, it should have, but the guy, he left it with monkeys! Monkeys have it! Monkeys led by a mystic, right, that’s it. But you can’t just- you can’t get it from him, see, cuz the monkeys want things like chickens and rulers.

I’m not making this up.

So, after all that, and learning teleportation along the way, you can – finally – give – the yogurt machine – to somebody. And done.

I wish.

Cuz you have to get past robots!

See, now that you have the yogurt machine, there are these robots, right, guarding the place… you give the girl the yogurt machine, okay, yeah, but all she does is give you access to the higher, robot-filled floors. At the very end, you run into a Clumsy Robot, whom spends most of his turns doing nothing, but occasionally microwaves you for almost-guaranteed death. After beating on him for a while, the Runaway Five joins the battle, hitting a switch and disabling him.

Finally, we confront Monotoli. Now freed from the influence of the Mani Mani statue, he’s just a helpless old man. He tries to make up for the mayhem he caused by offering the party his private helicopter for transportation. Sweet!

Of course, it can’t actually be that easy. As we reach the rooftop, we find the helicopter already being taken – by Pokey! Blasted Pokey! *Shakes fist*

Well, with or without the helicopter, the journey must continue. It’s time to go back to Threed to check on our other flying device.

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The Ghost-Alien Agenda

I found a place I couldn’t enter here. See, they’re working on EarthBound 2, so I’m denied access. Now if I could just find a way to sneak in…

Mr. Monotoli is the boss of Fourside.

Fourside, by the way, is weird. The buildings are all thrust at a weird angle.

A hospital sign reads: This is not a hotel. Staying the night is not permitted.
What do you think they do? Kick you out on the street?
“But, you can’t – I just had a heart operation.”
“I’m sorry, sir, company policy. You can sleep around back of the hospital if you like.”

Creepy, there’s a cop here who already knows Ness’ name.

I wish Ness’ dad would stop calling him. It only happened once in Mother. In Mother 2, it happens all the time.

There was a solitaire tournament. Heavy stuff.

Master Pokey? But I’m here to investigate Mr. Monotoli, the guy whose terrorizing the town. Why does Pokey have an entire floor (the 47th!) in this place?

Random Thug: Whoops… I was almost gonna beat you up.
Me: Whoops… I was almost going to cave your skull in with a baseball bat.

Okay, so, Pokey is Geldegarde Monotoli’s partner? This makes no sense. Damn it, is he kinda-sorta brainwashed again?

Department store: “Temporarily closed… Gwaaargh!” Weird place.

Got to see the Runaway Five give another awesome performance. Alas, they are in dire straits again. Somehow, they managed to get themselves into a million dollar debt! How do they keep doing this?! So, *sigh*, I guess I know where all that gold is going to be going. *Grumble*

In the gold digger’s hole, I need to find and slay five moles. All five of the moles claim to be the third-strongest of their kind. They’re all equally strong, so they’re liars. After defeating them, the gold digger gets to work and Ness takes off. However, one of the miners catches up: turns out they found a diamond in the gold mine. How unusual. Anyway, he just gives Ness the diamond. A diamond worth $1,000,000. This is insane. But I’m not complaining.

Ness gives the diamond to the manager of Tolopola, the club where the Runaway Five are working. The group is free to leave. They put on one final show that ends with their van driving onto stage and taking off with them. And to think they promised to help Ness. Liars. Good dancers though.

For no adequately explained reason, this unlocks the until-now-closed Department Store. The party can shop here for new equipment, talk with some funny people, and have one of their group members kidnapped by a ghost.

Yes, upon attempting to leave the department store, Paula is kidnapped by an ugly green tentacled alien-like ghost (I’d think it’s an alien; but they do describe it as if it is a ghost; perhaps it’s an alien-ghost). The lights go out and the PA system calls out to “customer Ness”, telling him to come up to the fourth floor to get Paula. It’s actually pretty creepy, despite the “Gwaaaargh!” that accompanies it (what, is there an ork-ghost up there too?). The music is haunting, store furnishings come to life to attack Ness, and the PA system is so calm and insistent.

In the fourth floor office, Ness and Jeff beat the tar out of the ghost, but Paula’s already been taken. It’s time to find her and weep about the experience she is missing. I hate it when games don’t let you catch up in experience, and I know this one won’t.

Although the ghost tells me that Monotoli now has Paula, I can’t go fight Monotoli. See, he lives at the top of his tower, and I would have to go through a private elevator to get there. Ness apparently just doesn’t have it in him to break into a private elevator; just private homes. It could also have something to do with the guy who says, “I nearly mowed you down with a machine gun,” whose standing right beside it.

No, instead Ness needs to visit the Cafe that Monotoli is said to sometimes frequent. After talking with people in there, there’s a commotion outside. A crowd is forming around a man. It’s… Everded, the crime boss from Burglin Park in Twoson. After buying off a kid with a bread roll to move out of Ness’ way, I talked to him. He tells Ness that he can only tell him his story once, as he’s on the verge of death. So, it turns out that he stole the statue from Happy Happy Village and showed it to Monotoli. Monotoli took the statue, using it to become powerful, then tried to kill Everdred. After telling Ness this story, and that there’s a hidden passage in the Cafe, Everdred says he can tell Ness it all again anyway. Tenacious. Perhaps I could keep him alive forever by forcing him to retell his story endlessly. But that would be cruel. After finishing his story, he stands up, moves everybody out of his way, and wanders off. It’s not clear whether he wandered off to die, or whether he was just feigning injury the whole time because he’s weird.

Anyway, after examining a part of the wall in the Cafe, Ness is teleported into a reverse version of Fourside, called Moonside. It’s all black and neon and swarming with enemies in addition to the townsfolk. Oh, this should be good.

Computer Status Update

As many of you know by now, the Imperial Computer has been on the fritz. I haven’t been able to run KotoR, much less Dragon Age. However, I expect to have the problem fixed soon.

Continuing the saga of “what’s wrong with the Emperor’s PC?”…
So, a few days ago, I installed some Windows Updates, restarted my computer, and it wouldn’t boot up past the loading screen. I could get it to boot up in Safe Mode, but not in Diagnostics. So, okay, but not exactly a solution to a mounting problem.

So, I finally upgraded to Windows 7. It’s wonderful: sleek, fast, compact. It fixed the problem – at first. Then the problem returned.

After dinkering around with the installs and my hardware, I eventually came to the conclusion that it’s a power supply issue. I’ve had this power supply for over three years, but it seems to be decaying. The computer normally works fine, as-is, but CrossFiring my Radeon cards overloaded it. Even just having two present is too much. For now, I’ve removed one of my cards and my second DVD drive. I’m not installing any more Radeon updates than I have to, since doing so might be part of the power supply issue: unlocking more features in the cards forcing the power supply to work harder. Even still, the weird thing is that if I try viewing PDFs, they sometimes cause video driver failure. This might just be incidental to the fact that I don’t have the latest drivers, or a sign that the power failure issue is getting worse.

Either way, I don’t want to install any new updates or try playing any computer games until I get a new power supply. I hope to get one sometime within the next week. Once I do that, I’ll try running PC games again. If it works, my next game (after finishing the Mother series) will be KotoR, and then I will once again play computer games that have won the poll.

Dusty Dunes Desert… Alliteration. Hah!

Unfortunately, a tremendous traffic jam blocks the roadway leading to Fourside. Apparently having ghosts in the way just wasn’t enough of a delay. So Ness has to take the long way around, through the desert. Of course, on the other side, the traffic jam suddenly clears up. Isn’t that always the way?

In the desert, Ness can fight some Bad Buffalo. They’re buffalo, but it says they’re bad, so it’s okay to freeze them to death.

Also, there’s a pair of sesame seeds, one black, one white, whom love each other but have been separated. Using my awesome power of the talk button, I talked to both of them a couple times to reaffirm their relationship. Huh. I wonder what will come of this.

More importantly, I met a man whom was digging for gold. He asked me for some food. In exchange, he’d give me the gold he dug up when he finished. Seriously? I can give him a hamburger for a gold mine? That’s a deal I’m not going to pass up.

There were some other useful items in the desert. Psi Caramel. Yum.

And a couple of skeletons which talked. They didn’t say much of use. In fact, one made a point of it that skeletons, in fact, do not talk.

Also, the desert is the home of the Sanchez Brothers. The Sanchez Brothers are helping out a broken slot machine by dressing up in outfits that have slot machine symbols on them. Put a dollar in the slot machine and the Sanchez brothers will spin around. Somehow, this seems very very wrong in a lot of ways. Who hired them to do this? Or are they doing it voluntarily? Why would they want to do this? And out here in the desert, where you can get sunstroke (seriously, your characters can actually get the status effect “sunstroke”)? Where did they get those boxes? What’s their relationship with this machine? Who gets the dollar? So many questions left unanswered. Let’s leave it that way.

Mr. Saturn, That Which Shan’t Be Understood

There are a lot of bizarre things in Mother 2. So far, though, nothing beats the Mr. Saturns. I think that’s the plural. Imagine heads with big noses, no mouths, no hair, and feet, completely naked. Plus they speak your language poorly, often flipping words, forgetting some, and inserting random words like “Doink”; and it all translates via a really difficult-to-read cursive script. That’s a Mr. Saturn. And they have a whole village of them in this game.

Now, they’re not bad people. They let you rest at their homes and use their doctors (as they are) for free. But they have a weird layout for their town. There is a ladder that goes nowhere, a passageway that dead-ends on a little cliff and a telephone stuck at the top of a ladder. This is just some of the madness of the Mr. Saturns. To understand their bizarre culture fully, you should talk to them yourselves.

Using some information they gave me (it’s amazing I was able to decipher their words), I discovered that I could go behind a waterfall, wait three minutes and be let into the villain’s secret base. I had already visited the waterfall once, but hadn’t any idea what to do.

Belch’s henchmen aren’t really the brightest. The first pile of goo just assumes that this random kid is on their side because he brought some honey for their master. The rest of the enemies are a bit brighter, and a bunch of horrible barfs and red orbs with feet will attack Ness & co. on sight. At the bottom, Ness encounters Master Belch. Master Belch is a gigantic pile of vomit with a face, and that’s not a crack at the graphics. His dialogue is accompanied by disgusting belches, preceding the actual terrifying battle. I lost the first time; he summons henchmen whom make Ness & co. cry, which is the same as blindness, and I didn’t have the resources to take away the status effect. The second try around, I was higher level, near full psi power, and was prepared with a bunch of cure items. Also, I tossed the honey at him, which… I’m not really sure what it did. Distracted him, I think. Made the fight much easier. Ugh… disgusting…

Fortunately, Ness gets to take a bath. The game actually advertises the hot springs you find shortly thereafter, recommended for getting rid of the stink. Thank you, sir, very much!

After that, Ness enjoys some coffee provided by a Mr. Saturn. But it’s no ordinary coffee; no, it’s Mr. Saturn-brand Psychedelic Coffee! Seriously, the screen fades to black, then a trippy but soothing lightshow plays in the background to soft music, while a mysterious voice reflects on everything Ness has done up to this point. The weird thing is that this scene is totally avoidable. Okay, that’s not the weird thing, but the fact that you could skip something so bizarre, when such effort was put into it, is surprising.

After that, it’s time to collect on the third song. The Trillionage Sprout (a word I’m unfamiliar with; like, there’s a trillion of him?) looks kind of like Master Belch if he was made of dirt. It’s a bit disappointing to fight such a similar looking boss so closely on Belch’s heels – and a grim reminder of the disgust it engenders. So, after taking out the Trillionage Sprout (an easy battle), it’s time to head back to town!

Now that Master Belch has been defeated, the zombies are gone. The town is bright. The ghosts have left! It’s time to visit Fourside.

Imperial Commendations – “Starmen” & “EarthBoundCentral”

Today’s plug is for “Starmen” and “EarthBoundCentral”.

http://starmen.net/
http://earthboundcentral.com/

Starmen and its sister site, EarthBoundCentral, serve as the definitive source of Mother/EarthBound information. Starmen is focused on the games themselves, with complete walkthroughs, official artwork, character bios, and maps, amongst many other things. If you are ever stuck in any of the games, you can almost always find the answer here. Everything is conveniently laid out and fully explained. Even those weird items that don’t make any sense in their description.

EarthBoundCentral is a blog run by one of the co-founders of Starmen. It’s dedicated to Mother/EarthBound in the “now”: you can copies of EarthBound being sold on eBay, the latest news about the series creator, and links to other sites, like this one, which have something to do with EarthBound.

Between the two sites, you’re likely to find everything you need to satisfy your Mother/EarthBound cravings. Check them out. I do.

Thanks for 6,000 Views

Wow! 6000! Six – Thousand – Views! You guys – are awesome. This started as a personal project. I was just trying to keep focused on gaming, but the journal’s attracted a lot of readers. I’m glad to have all of you along for my journey. Thanks to all of you who vote on the main poll on the right sidebar. And thanks to all of you who contribute games to me for me about which to blog. I couldn’t play some of these games without you.

Here’s a peek at my plans for the upcoming year…
I plan to hold an art contest around 10K hits. I am looking for an updated banner and peoples’ interpretations on what “The Sword Emperor” looks like. I’ll iron out the details, and what I might be doing for prizes, as the view count draws closer.

I do a lot of posts just about my experiences on the game I am currently playing, but I sometimes get the itch to expand and talk about my previously-played games, games I’m interested in, or gaming in general. I plan to start doing more posts along those lines.

During the latter part of the actual year, I expect my schedule to get a lot busier, so I will probably have less time for gaming in general. I still intend to update the site regularly, although I will probably post more of the aforementioned essays. Of course, I won’t stop playing games. I’m still TSE.

While I’m on the subject, let’s do a poll. What kind of content do you want to see on the blog in the upcoming months? (Unfortunately, I lack the tools to do a video blog, so that’s not currently an option.)

Thanks again for the 6,000 hits, guys. See you at 10K.

Onward!
TSE