Four “Sanctuaries” down, four to go. The next destination is Summers, which is a resort area and a large beach.
The beginning part of this doesn’t make much sense; you have to learn the private phone number to get access to the Stoic Club and then eat magic cake so that you pass out and control goes over to Poo, the fourth character.
Poo is training to be a king. He is a martial arts fighter with some Psi moves. If you equip him with things they lower his stats, with one exception per equipment slot (all of which have “king” in the name). Also I didn’t figure this out until now, but apparently healing items affect different people differently — so much of this item stuff would have been more interesting without the severe inventory limitation.
Once Poo finishes his training, he heads off to find our party, and we head to the next Sanctuary, back at Fourside, where we could see a Sanctuary behind a wall but could not access it. I hated this sewer dungeon; the sewers have these mice that do critical hits for more than everyone’s max HP, which means you have to constantly heal. Plus there are nasty status effects. Fortunately the dungeon is short.
The boss is not very hard. 5 of 8! There’s also a Carrot Key in the area which lets us remove the rabbit statues in Poo’s home to find the sixth Sanctuary. You have to climb ladders and fall down holes to find your way around in here. Apparently there’s a doping trick you can use here to max stats, but I usually try not to do those unless the game really sucks and I want to finish it as easily as possible.
Back to Summers, and it’s now time to go to the pyramid. Poo gets taken away for more training, leaving us down a guy for while. There’s then this weird “Dungeon Man” we enter, and eventually get in the party (this is a strange section). He has a submarine inside him, and we can use that to go to the next area, the Demon Zone.
In this area, walking in the swamp lowers HP. Unfortunately we also have to fight that stupid Burping boss again although he’s easier this time.
He drops the strongest bat in the game, but it’s a trap — it has a guaranteed miss rate of something like 75%. I didn’t notice this until I was much later in the game. The English name is “Casey Bat” which might have clued me in, but the Japanese name is just “Swing with all your might bat”. Maybe I should have noticed how much Kurisu was missing but I think playing so many poorly designed and poorly balanced games has numbed my sense that something might be wrong.
Next up is a cave where the people are too shy to talk, and so we have to go back all the way to the Onett library to help them out with a book — although first we take a detour back to Andonuts’ lab since he’s been captured along with the other scientists. The dungeon under Stonehenge has some pretty annoying monsters, including ones that explode for big damage when killed. But if you kill them last, the end of the battle will stop the HP counter from going down very much. Unfortunately they also heal the other monsters. There’s also enemies here that have a 1 in 128 chance of dropping the only weapon Poo can equip. I didn’t bother farming for it.
When we return to the Shyness cave to help the people overcome their problem, there’s a part where they ask what the player’s name is. Of course my name is the same as the character’s name but I guess it’s spelled in English (and I put in a fake Japanese last name).
Lumine Hall, where the 7th Sanctuary is, is a nasty place. The electrical enemies use very damaging hit-all spells, so it’s imperative to beat them as quickly as possible. The Franklin Badge (way back from early in the game) protects one person but that’s it.
From Lumine Hall we fall into an area where the sprites are tiny.
I felt like I almost got stuck at one point down here because everyone was dead except for Kurisu and I could not make it back to a place to revive without getting attacked (and the teleport spell required too much room). I wish there were a spell that revived people.
This Fire Spring area here is just as annoying as Lumine Hall; this time it’s a bunch of fire enemies casting huge damage attack all spells. The dungeon is not very long but the enemies are so difficult that it took me a number of tries to get through it. But eventually I won my way to the final Sanctuary!
From here the story gets pretty strange and I’m not sure I always fully understood what was going on. Kurisu has to go into his mind or something like that.
After completing this area, Kurisu gets huge powerups from the Sound Stone, in levels and stats. Now it’s time for the final fight against Gyiyg. This involves going back in time for some reason, but to do that everyone’s souls have to be put in robots. But there’s a danger that the souls might not return.
The final area is creepy. I did not notice this until I saw it pointed out on a twitch stream, but this looks like some kind of birthing canal, and the final boss has babies in the background if you look closely, so I guess we went back in time to kill Gyiyg as a baby?
Here’s the final boss, with Pocky joining him. I don’t know why Gyiyg has Kurisu’s face there.
Eventually Paula begins to pray to ask everyone for help, and people from around the world join in the prayer, doing damage to Gyiyg. The final request for prayer goes to the player.
The final boss is not too difficult, although it’s hard to keep Jeff alive.
Once the boss is beaten, Pocky goes off still with evil ambition, and all the souls return to their own time. You can now travel all over the world to talk to everyone; I didn’t do this, I just went home to Onett to finish the game. During the end credits, all the photographs that got taken during the game show in the credits sequence.
I guess it’s continued in Mother 3?
Overall this was a pretty decent game. I like the offbeat setting and the strange monsters. I felt like I could actually use my PSI moves in battle. As I said, the inventory limit really bothered me and I thought sometimes the balance was off (especially considering how hard it is to revive people away from a town). The story also got kind of weird at the end and I’m not sure I fully understood what they were going for. But overall an enjoyable experience.
I likely will not have a post next week because Sangokushi Eiketsuden on my other blog is a somewhat long game. Here’s something I’m thinking of doing — any time I don’t have a game to post about here on Saturday/Sunday, I will make a short post about some other retro game that I’ll just play for one session (1-2 hours). This is not another chronological project or something that will replace Super Famicom game posts, just a way to make this blog not be fallow while I play SRPGs. But we’ll see.