EarthBound: That Darn Pencil!

It’s been a few days since I’ve picked up EarthBound. Every time I do, I keep telling myself I forgot how tricky this game actually was. Maybe back then we were used to games that required you to grind to gain levels even from the start or something. But, man, I’m only in the second town and this game keeps kicking my tail.

So I explored the whole town over, heard about a kidnapping, beat up a crime boss that’s the patron of the local flea market, and financially supportedĀ a couple of child inventors. I also met a mouse with no name.

I felt a tad lost at that point, but saw the game was trying to nudge me to check out the area leading to the next town, Happy-Happy Village. It was a little confusing that I just got to town and now they wanted me to leave town, but there you had it. Along the way, I beat up one of my favorite enemies from years ago. The New Age Retro Hippie!

The problem started while I was trying to make my way through the two caves over the small cliffs to an area that should lead to the next town, but is instead blocked by a giant metallic pencil. Yeah, you read that right.

The goal was to go and inspect the pencil blockage, then make it back to town where you’d trigger an event that would help you remove it. However, be it just that I was under leveled, under geared or just didn’t have enough hamburgers in my inventory, I kept dying before I could actually get back to town. Every time I died, it sapped all my magic points, so I couldn’t cast healing spells. That meant I had to keep spending my money on healing items, and eventually cold medicines, because the UFOs that attacked me out there kept shooting lasers that inflicted me with nighttime stuffiness. Yeah, you also read that right.

It took me several tries, and some abuse of the Wii U’s save state feature to finally progress past this point. I did eventually level a few times, but dang, I’m not looking forward to Happy Happy Village. I remember that being one of the harder challenges from years ago… whereas none of this was any trouble at all. Ugh.