The Return of Talking Time

The Return of Talking Time (
-   Let's Play Already (
-   -   Huzzah! Let's Play Cave Story (

MCBanjoMike 06-29-2017 06:58 AM

Huzzah! Let's Play Cave Story

A green-haired man in a labcoat stands before a throne of stone. On it sits a skull wearing an
elaborate crown.

The man approaches the throne, his shoulders shaking with laughter. Pleasant, joyous laughter?
I mean, probably. He looks like a nice guy.

Let's play Cave Story!
Hello everyone, and welcome to my Let's Play of Cave Story! In this thread, we're going to be
revisiting one of my favorite games of all time, the seminal indie masterpiece by Daisuke Amaya,
AKA Studio Pixel. Let's stick a table of contents in here before we go any further:

Table of Contents
Let's Play Cave Story!

Let's Play Cave Story+!

MCBanjoMike 06-29-2017 06:59 AM

About Cave Story
Cave Story wasn't the first game that Daisuke Amaya made, but it was the one that (eventually)
made him famous. Amaya was responsible for every part of the game: coding, music, art and
level design. It took him a full five years to finish it, since he had a job and only worked on the
game in his free time. Clearly, it was worth the wait.

When Cave Story was released in 2004, indie gaming as we know it didn't exist. There were
certainly people out there making games on their own, but there wasn't an established culture
of independent gaming and very few people paid much attention to them. I remember discovering
some fun little games programmed by a pre-Spelunky Derek Yu, for example, but aside
from occasional dabbling on freeware pages, I was almost completely unaware of what was
out there.

Cave Story didn't change the face of game development all by itself, of course, but it was definitely an
early herald of the age of indie games that we now live in, where Sony and Microsoft devote time
in their E3 press conferences to showing off games made by small, independent teams.
Cave Story proved that you didn't need a team of dozens or hundreds to make a truly excellent
game, and that there was an audience for games that didn't look and play like AAA blockbusters.

Cave Story and Me
I first heard about Cave Story on one of the earliest episodes of Retronauts. Scott Sharkey started
describing a Japanese game that he'd been playing, waxing rhapsodic about how deep and complex
it was (despite the floaty controls). Intrigued, I looked it up online and found the translated version on I started playing it on a Sunday afternoon and didn't move from my computer for hours.
When I finally came up for air, I knew that I had found something special and I wanted to explore
every part of the world Pixel had created.

Since then, I've played and finished Cave Story literally dozens of times. I've cleared the original version
using the keyboard, I've played the Wii port scads of times, and I bought and played the updated port
of the PC game when it hit Steam. I admitted Cave Story into my canon of great games and forgot
about it for some time. But recently I started playing games for my son, who loves platformers of all
stripes. One day, when I asked him to pick something from the Wii home screen, he chose Cave Story.
We played through the game together about 8 times in a row over the course of a month before he finally
had enough, and even after that I still wasn't completely sick of it.

Suffice to say, Cave Story remains on of my favorite games of all time.

About this Let's Play
So now you know that I really love Cave Story, and that means that I want to do this LP right.
This game is packed with details, hidden secrets, one-off bosses and delightful dialogue. I'm
going to do what I can to show everything there is to see in the game, at least to the best of my
ability. That means a few things:
  • First off, this LP is going to take a long time to finish. Not, like, Eddie long, but still, don't expect
    me to be done for several months. To quote LMM, I build 'em like cathedrals.
  • Second, I'd ask people to use spoiler tags generously. There are a lot of cool secrets hidden
    throughout the game, please have faith that I will show them all off eventually. If there's something
    cool to see or do, chances are I know about it.
  • Finally, if you are at all interested in this game, I urge you to go play it for yourself. It's free, it's
    fantastic and you can probably finish your first run of the game in about 5 hours.

And now, without further ado, let us begin!

MCBanjoMike 06-29-2017 06:59 AM

Chapter 1, Part 1
Chapter 1: The Mimiga Village

I love the tone that this first line sets for the game. The first/best-known fan translation for
Doukutsu Monogatari (Cave Story's Japanese name) was done by a group called Aeon Genesis,
and while this first line feels a little stilted, overall it's very good and quite charming.

The game opens on another green-haired man, this one sitting at a terminal in a dilapidated room.
He's just in the process of logging onto Fantasy IRC.


Originally Posted by Kazuma, apparently
It's me. Kazuma!
I managed to get away somehow, but I've gotten lost...
I've found a shelter, but there's nothing here.
If you can hear me, please answer!

♪♪Gestation ♪♪

And we're off! Cave Story doesn't offer you a tutorial, but rather builds it into the game directly
(much like the best of the classic games that it emulates). You start off in a small room, free from
threats*, without any kind of weapon. You'll pretty quickly figure out that you can move left or
right and jump (using the Z key on your keyboard!).

*I suppose you could maybe try to drown yourself in the little puddle at the bottom of the screen? For some reason, that never
occurred to me until now.

Pressing the down button lets you interact with things. On the left we have this heart monitor that
restores your health...

And on the right we have a 3.5" floppy disk, perfect for saving your game. You'll find both of
these in almost every save room in the game. Note that Cave Story only has one save slot, and
the only way to get around that is to copy your whole dang game directory to make a backup.
There have been many times when I've cursed the lack of extra slots and backup saves, but that's
independent gaming for you.

Taking the door at the top of the screen leads us to the First Cave. Every location in the game
has a name that you see when you first arrive there. One of the big reasons my son loves Cave
Story so much is, no joke, because he likes reading these names as they come up.

If we head to the right, we find a few basic enemies and some suspicious-looking star blocks.
The blobs are adept at both leaping and hopping, but otherwise they don't pose much of a threat.
We don't have anything to fight them with or to break those blocks, so let's head left instead.

Heading left, we have to deal with a combination of spikes and bats. The spikes do 10 damage,
which is instant death for us right now. Did I mention that Cave Story can be pretty merciless?
Save early and save often. The bats just float up and down, so they're easy enough to avoid.
But what's that up on the ledge there?

♪♪Get Heart Capsule! ♪♪
It's a Life Capsule! That's right, this game is a Metroidvania. This is Pixel letting you know
from the jump that there are things to collect in the game. There's even a sincerely flattering
little jingle that plays when you find one. This capsule doubles our life, which is great, but we
still can't survive an encounter with those spikes.

As we head down, the tunnel starts to curve back to the right. You'll soon realize that you can't
jump very high when you're in the water, so you have to start your jump from dry land if you want
to make it to the other side of this little pond.

It's probably worth mentioning that Cave Story has a very floaty jump, your little guy gets
hang time for days. This can turn people off the game, but it's integral to the design (and can
maybe even be explained by some of the things we learn later in the story). Don't fear the float.

If you spend any time in the water, your air meter will show up and start to count down rapidly.
It starts at 100, but it probably only takes about 20 seconds to completely empty. You'll drown
if you run out of air, so don't do that! The meter starts counting up again any time you aren't
in the water, but it doesn't refill instantaneously (which can be an issue in one particular section).
I don't know why I wrote that, the meter instantly refills to 100 as soon as you leave the water.
2017 me was such a goofball.

We make our way over to this inviting maw and head inside. Don't worry, it's just a door!

Inside we find the Hermit Gunsmith.

He's asleep, so he probably won't mind if we open up this chest. Inside we find...

♪♪Got Item!♪♪
The Polar Star! This little pistol will be our bread-and-butter for a good long time. As
soon as we pick it up, the screen fades to black again:


Originally Posted by Kazuma
Please respond!
They're looking for you...
Are you asleep?
Your brother is so lonely...

With that out of the way, let's take our new gun for a test drive.

The Polar Star fires a single shot every time you hit the fire button (X on your keyboard!).
The shot travels a short way before disappearing in a star-shaped puff - hence the name.
In its current incarnation, it does a piddly one damage per shot. Between that and the range,
it's almost totally useless at level 1.

But it doesn't take a lot of firepower to deal with these bats and critters. Die!

Cave Story's graphics are very simplistic on the surface, but the game actually does a lot of
stuff that no retro computer could have ever pulled off. The game has no compunctions about
filling the screen with explosions, dust clouds or dozens of enemy sprites - all without slowdown.

Here are a couple of drops left behind by fallen enemies. The hearts refill 2 life points and the
bouncy little triangles are weapon energy. As you collect them, the bar on the top left of the
screen starts to fill up. If you take damage, however, you lose weapon experience. If you're having
flashbacks to Blaster Master, take a minute to stop hyperventilating and let me assure you that
Cave Story is much less cruel about its weapon system (though still a little cruel).

The Polar Star isn't just good for dealing with critters, it also destroys these star blocks! Not
every weapon in the game is capable of breaking them, but as far as I'm aware you'll never get
stuck because you don't have a way past them.

Let's clean out this room and go check out that door over there.

MCBanjoMike 06-29-2017 07:00 AM

Chapter 1, Part 2

That's not a door, it's a monster!

We shoot at it until it goes back to being a door. The door-monster doesn't actually attack us,
it only hurts you if you touch it. You won't see another one anywhere in the game.

Going through the door triggers another cutscene with Kazuma:


Originally Posted by Kazuma
There's nothing to eat and I've been reduced to feeding on cockroaches.
...Ha-ha. That was a joke. Ha-ha.
...If I have to, though, I really will...

Next we find ourselves in the Mimiga Village, where two bunnies are having a heated conversation.


Originally Posted by Scary bunny
She's a stranger!
She's not one of us!


Originally Posted by Bunny that I wouldn't want to meet in a dark alleyway
When the Doctor comes, you know he'll take someone away again...
If we don't turn Sue over, it might be you he takes instead.


Hey, it's that guy! Your character falls out of the sky and disrupts the lagomorphs' conversation... Toroko the chance to make a break for it. Let's go say hi to Mugu Mugu over there.
♪♪Mimiga Town♪♪
(This is such a great example of a retro-game-style town theme. I love the music in Cave Story
so much that you should expect a whole post dedicated to it in the future.)


Originally Posted by King
I thought for sure it was them...
I'm King. Im the number-one in this village.
Not that that means a whole lot, with only six of us left.
Well, seven counting Sue.
She's not one of us, though.
She's just an outsider who showed up recently.
Blast that Toroko...
She ran off somewhere when you fell.

I guess this is King! Despite the scary eyes and huge scar, he actually seems like a pretty decent
guy, if a little xenophobic. We learn a few things of note from him, notably that someone named Sue
is in this village - presumably, the same Sue that Kazuma has been looking for.

Oh, also something about the Doctor kidnapping the adorable bunnies or whatever.

Anyway, we're free to explore the village, so let's go see what's up.

There's a save room not far away that also has a helpful sign indicating the local attractions.
There's also a cage here for some reason. I'm sure they don't use it for anything nefarious!

We start by heading up to the Yamashita Farm.

Hey, this place is pretty nice. It also gets its own theme music, which is kind of funny considering
that you'll spend all of about one minute here over the course of the game. I have to assume Pixel
had a spare song lying around that he decided to stick here rather than let it go to waste.

Let's go talk to the rabbit up there.


Originally Posted by Farmer guy
We Mimigas depend on these flowers for sustenance.
Red flowers, though, are bad news.
If you eat a red flower, they say your blood starts to boil, and soon you fall over dead!
Good thing we don't have any of those growing here.

Good thing indeed, I'd say.

Over to the right, we find another health capsule! Aaaaaand that's pretty much it for the farm.

Next, let's go check out the reservoir.

No shortage of water here. Points of interest: a fisherbunny, a smarmy-looking fish and something
shiny glimmering at the bottom of the reservoir.


Originally Posted by Fishy rabbit
Yeah, I know her.
That's the cute girl who stays cooped up in Arthur's house all the time, right?
She came here just a little while ago.
I saw her fall into the reservoir.
She doesn't seem to like us much...
I don't know why, since she's a Mimiga just like us.

Sue is a Mimiga? Huh, must be one of those recessive traits, since her brother didn't get it.
Then again, families come in all sorts of forms, I suppose.

We hop down into the water to see what's being all shiny and desirable down there.

MCBanjoMike 06-29-2017 07:00 AM

Chapter 1, Part 3

We get a silver locket! Sue must have lost this when she fell in the drink.

On my way out of the water, I couldn't resist shooting that stupid, smug-looking fish.
He totally had it coming.

We hoof it back to shore and see Toroko watching us from the entrance.

But she runs away again. Outside, we catch up to her and King.

Toroko makes like a linebacker and bowls King over. She's pretty scrappy for a tiny bunny!

King is indignant. We decide to head down the middle part of town, where there's a sort of tower.


Originally Posted by Hungry bunny
Sue? Oh, right.
The girl in Arthur's house, right? She's living with Toroko.
Sweet girl, that. Says she's searching for a "Sky Dragon"...
Dragons that soar the skies... Do those kinda things really exist?


All signs point to Arthur's house, here at the bottom of the village, so we go to check it out.
Unfortunately, the door is locked. Better keep moving.

On the east side of town, we find the assembly hall.

There's no-one inside right now, but there is something suspicious about that fire...

"You see something lying beyond the flames."

VERY INTRIGUING. But we can't do anything about it for now.

I just wanted to include this picture because it shows what happens if you try to interact when
there's nothing to interact with. A little question mark appears above your character's head so
you know there's nothing of interest.

Past the assembly hall is the Mimiga graveyard, which is apparently dangerous enough to warrant
a warning sign. You don't think it's *GULP* h-h-h-haunted, do you Scoobs??


Originally Posted by Jack
This door leads to the Mimiga graveyard, where the hero Arthur lies.
Oh, what am I doing, you ask?
Well, mushrooms have been springing up in the graveyard,
so I'm guarding the door to make sure they don't get out.

Jack, buddy, you have got to find a better way to introduce yourself to people. And what's this
about mushrooms leaving the graveyard? Are they *GULP* g-g-g-ghost mushrooms?!

Well, either way, we aren't getting into the graveyard right now.

MCBanjoMike 06-29-2017 07:01 AM

Chapter 1, Part 4

If we drop down from the assembly hall, we can land on these suspended platforms.

Making our way over to the right, we find a chest!

I really like this quote. Anyway, now we have a map:

It's not incredibly useful, but it's handy for first-time players and it can clue you in to the
existence of a few secrets.

Seeing the map reminded me that there is also an inventory screen. Every item you pick up gets
a little bit of flavor text. Here's what we have so far:

We drop down again...

This is the last stop on our village tour, the shack.
♪♪Gestation ♪♪

It seems pretty quiet in here, but the music just changed, so something's clearly up.
Take a few steps and...

Surprise attack! Toroko charges at us, brandishing a stick.

One shot is all it takes to stop her in her tracks. Thankfully, the Polar Star doesn't pack much
of a punch, so she's fine.

Adorable bunnies shot: 1


Originally Posted by Toroko
Save me, save me!!


Originally Posted by Toroko
Oh! I'm sorry.
You had me worried. The Doctor's such a mean guy.
Popping up in our village and taking us away,
sometimes even killing us...
Like my brother. He killed my brother.


Originally Posted by Toroko
You found it for me?
Sue gave that to me!
Well, I shouldn't have it anymore.
King gets his ears all in a tangle when he sees Sue and I getting along...
You can have it.

Suddenly, there's a knock on the door...

MCBanjoMike 06-29-2017 07:01 AM

Chapter 1, Part 5

I'm...not completely sure just what's going on here.

♪♪Balrog's Theme♪♪

Originally Posted by Toaster...suitcase...thing?
You can't hide, no no! I've got the nose of a bloodhound!

A pale-skinned woman with blue hair materializes in the air. Or rather, her hair is blue in the
game and green in the cutscenes. She has a bit of a Terra thing going on.


Originally Posted by Sentient breadbox
I found her first!


Originally Posted by Misery
Come along, now.


Originally Posted by Toroko
I'm not Sue.

Undeterred, Misery launches a bubble at Toroko.


Originally Posted by Misery
I leave the rest to you.


Originally Posted by Toroko
No, wait, you've got the wrong--!


Originally Posted by Oh, it's Balrog - not the one from LotR
And here I found her FIRST!

Oh you know it!

Oh, he knew it.

It's our first boss fight! There are a WHOLE LOT of bosses in Cave Story, but this first one is dead
easy. Balrog lumbers across the floor toward us, occasionally stopped or taking a small hop.

If he manages to grab you, he'll pin you to the floor for a second and you'll take a little bit of damage

Balrog's a large, slow target, so you can really pile the damage on. The damage number doesn't
pop up until a few seconds after your first hit, so you can rack up some big numbers if you mash
the fire button. Studio Pixel games are all about the button mashing.

Did I mention that you can aim down? You can totally aim down.

Anyway, I beat him.

BUT! This is not the last we have seen of our intrepid toaster. Not by a long shot.

Beating Balrog showers us with weapon energy triangles. There's a beauty to the way they bounce
and spin. But this is a screenshot LP, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Wow, Balrog wasn't messing around. Did he learn how to make his entrances from the Kool Aid Man?

We should probably go tell someone from the village that Toroko has been kidnapped.


Originally Posted by Snacky hare
Toroko's been kidnapped?
Well, that's no good. Now the only girl left in the village is Sue...

...we should probably go tell someone else that Toroko has been kidnapped.

MCBanjoMike 06-29-2017 07:02 AM

Chapter 1, Part 6

I make a quick stop at the save room. You can never be too careful!


Originally Posted by King
I thought there was at least one other one made.
Blast you, Toroko, acting like you didn't know...
Well, maybe Jack knows where to find it...

King's in the assembly hall, but he seems to be more interested in dropping expoisition on us than
dealing with Toroko's disappearance. Let's go see Jack instead.


Originally Posted by Jack
I've got to tell King right away!

Jack abandons his post, leaving us free to explore the graveyard. But first, let's go eavesdrop on
their conversation in the assembly hall.


Originally Posted by King
Toroko's elder brother, Arthur, was a fabulous warrior.
But he was killed by one of the Doctor's goons.
And now, I...I couldn't protect her...


Originally Posted by Jack
Toroko has one of them. The other is hidden in the Mimiga graveyard.

You probably shouldn't be telling me this, Jack! Not if you ever want to make Number One, anyway.

Well, let's go check out the graveyard. I ain't afraid of no ghost (mushroom)!

The mushrooms are indeed white, but they look pretty corporeal. Crisis averted! They mostly just
amble around, but they'll hurt you if you run into them. They don't drop any weapon energy, sadly.

Mixed in with the mushrooms is this charming fellow, wielding a huge knife that blocks your shots
from the front. So all we have to do is get behind him and...

Uh, oops?
♪♪Game Over♪♪

I mentioned this before, but Cave Story pulls no punches. NEVER pass up a save point, because
instant-death traps and tough enemies are around every corner. Good thing I saved earlier!

This time I beat the stabby guy and he does drop weapon energy. Grabbing it brought my Polar
Star up to level two, upping the damage to 2 per shot and increasing the range by about 50%. The
Polar Star is actually kind of useful at this level and there will definitely be times when you'll
find yourself using it this way after taking a few hits. For the record, it is possible to reach
level two before you get to Mimiga Village, but I didn't get a lot of weapon energy drops in the
First Cave (and I think I might have gotten hit once, too). It makes the Balrog fight an absolute

This door looks pretty mysterious. Too bad I can't jump high enough to reach it.

The biggest of the gravestones belongs to none other than Toroko's late brother Arthur:

"Here sleeps the noble Arthur, true hero to the Mimigas."

Is it common to bury people with keys to their houses? Like, in case they're not actually dead?
Maybe they should have included bus fare so he could get home, too. I doubt they buried him with
his wallet...

With this in our possession, it's pretty clear where we need to go next.

It works!

This is Arthur's house - it serves as a sort of hub for most of the game. It has all the amenities:
save point, health station, blackboard, computer terminal, shiny metal cylinder, moat, a couple of beds.

"...If I have to, though, I really will..."

Looks like Kazuma's messages made it to Sue after all. We also get a message saying that permission
has been granted to access the Egg Corridor.

You bet I do! But before we head over there, what's that down in the basement?

Those almost look kinda...reddish colored?

Huh. Maybe the Doctor's henchmen killed Arthur by slipping some red flowers into his carrot juice?

Well, let's blow this popsicle stand. The teleporter upstairs gives us a choice of, uh, one
destination. But who am I to refuse?

Let's go!

And that does it for chapter 1! See you back here when we visit the exotic Egg Corridor. Huzzah!

Gerad 06-29-2017 09:09 AM

This is awesome! I really like the attention to every little detail that you've got going on. I'm really excited to see this continue!

Mogri 06-29-2017 09:55 AM

You didn't mention it, but when Balrog asks if you're going to fight him, answering "no" skips the fight entirely.

This has a pretty negligible effect on anything, since the fight is fairly effortless and the only reward is weapon Doritos.

Anyway, this is a great start. I'm astonished that you're bothering to make the text width line up with the images.

MCBanjoMike 06-29-2017 10:36 AM


Originally Posted by Mogri (Post 2359802)
You didn't mention it, but...


Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike (Post 2359713)
Second, I'd ask people to use spoiler tags generously. There are a lot of cool secrets hidden
throughout the game, please have faith that I will show them all off eventually. If there's something
cool to see or do, chances are I know about it.



Originally Posted by Mogri (Post 2359802)
I'm astonished that you're bothering to make the text width line up with the images.

Before starting, I looked through a few of our LP threads and took inspiration from the ones I thought looked the best and were the easiest to read. Eddie's FFT LP was the one I found the most readable, so I borrowed some of his ideas. It's actually not that much work to line the text up - you just put manual line breaks in when writing (which I do in a text document). Unless you're the type to obsessively rewrite your text over and over again, at which point it gets annoying fast. Of course, for all that effort, nothing lines up nicely when I read the thread on my phone.

Mogri 06-29-2017 01:04 PM


Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike (Post 2359844)

whoops, will edit

madhair60 06-29-2017 01:11 PM

This is great. Cave Story is great. You're great.

Falselogic 06-29-2017 01:11 PM

Huzzah! Where's my PM?

Teaspoon 06-29-2017 03:36 PM

I had a great time with this game until I had to fight a real boss

then I got stuck

I still like it despite the years-old save game that will remain forever

BEAT 06-29-2017 03:38 PM


Kishi 06-29-2017 04:47 PM

Glad to see you're doing this right and using the Aeon Genesis translation. Huzzah!

Aeon Genesis really don't get enough credit for helping to turn Cave Story into the phenomenon it is. I don't think Nicalis would have gone about porting the game to consoles if it didn't already have a big English-speaking community around it on PC.

MCBanjoMike 06-29-2017 05:32 PM


Originally Posted by BEAT (Post 2360003)

This guy gets it.


Originally Posted by Kishi (Post 2360038)
Glad to see you're doing this right and using the Aeon Genesis translation. Huzzah!

Aeon Genesis really don't get enough credit for helping to turn Cave Story into the phenomenon it is. I don't think Nicalis would have gone about porting the game to consoles if it didn't already have a big English-speaking community around it on PC.

Oh, I prefer the Aeon Genesis translation hands down, and I doubt there are many people outside of Nicalis' offices who feel otherwise. We'll definitely take a look at the differences down the line.

WildcatJF 06-29-2017 05:57 PM

This is great. I really like Cave Story and am looking forward to discovering things about it I didn't know!

MCBanjoMike 07-03-2017 05:58 PM

Chapter 2, Part 1
Chapter 2: The Egg Corridor
♪♪Mischievious Robot♪♪

Hnnng I love the intro to this track so much. I remember hearing it for the first time and getting
super pumped about giant eggs.

Anway, here we are in the Egg Corridor, which if nothing else is very aptly named. There's a little
white thing zipping around the bottom of the screen, an elephant to the east and a blue guy up top.
Let's go talk to him.


Originally Posted by Blue guy
That white thing on the bottom?
One touch and POW, it's over.

Game over, man! He isn't kidding, though, that thing hits like a truck: -100HP if you get caught.
Considering that your maximum HP tops out at around 50, it would be wise to stay away. That
said, we're going to have to go down there on occasion to fully explore the corridor. Once again,
save early and save often.

Over to the right, we have this totally sweet elephant thing. You can shoot them, but you know
what's way cooler than that?

Riding on them! Your guy will sort of jog in place as they advance and it's easy to accidentally fall
off and take a hit, but that's a small price to pay. There is no practical reason to ride one of these
fellas, but that shouldn't stop you from doing it anyway.

They also make decent loot pinatas.

Before we go any farther, I take a trip down to the bottom of the screen to grab that life capsule.
Pixel placed it there as a hint to players to explore the lower tier, despite the danger. It's just
one of the many design cues he put in to guide players through the game.

Just posted this to show off the increased range of the level 2 Polar Star. I'm standing about as far
away as I can from that behemoth in this shot.

The Egg Corridor is the first place where a player can reasonably get the Polar Star up to level 3.
Doing so changes the bullet into a chunky rectangle that does a respectable 4 damage per hit, and it
also gives you a little boost in range (though not as significant as the one from level 1 --> level 2).

Level 3 is the max for every gun in the game. You can actually continue picking up weapon energy
past level 3, which will quickly get your weapon experience bar up to MAX. This doesn't improve
the gun in any way, but it does give you a buffer so you can take one or two hits before the weapon
level drops. Depending on what's hitting you, anyway. Thank heavens for the small mercies.

We keep moving to the right, watching the numbers on the eggs go down, until we run into...

...a Mimiga in blue and another who seems to have some kind of hormonal imbalance.


Originally Posted by Defiant bunny
Go ahead and try!
Even my brother's never lost to me!!

The enormous rabbit does, in fact, want to bring it. He walks over and socks the Mimiga in the
stomach, eliciting the kind of squeak you'd get from a dog's chew toy.


Originally Posted by Regretful bunny
I'm sorry!
I'm sorry!!


Our hero stands valiantly to the side, unmoving. The last punch sends Blue flying to his feet.


Originally Posted by Punch-drunk bunny

No time to chat!


The monster grabs the Mimiga, glares at you and then heads off to the right.

Maybe feeling a tinge of remorse at not doing anything earlier, our hero decides to follow them.

There's a save room here. Do I even have to say it?

Inside is something a little more elaborate than the save room in the Mimiga Village. That guy in
the sleeping bag up there must be Cthulhu - let's go say hello.


Originally Posted by The Sleeper of R'lyeh
A soldier from the surface?
Didn't expect to see you here...
Where are the others?
What's that? Your memory's gone?
Well, till your juice runs out, have fun wandering.

My, that was a very informative tube sock. So our character is a soldier from the surface?
Presumably somewhere beyond this network of caves. Not sure what to make about his juice
comment, though. I like juice and all, but it's not, like, essential to life or anything.

Did I mention that you can aim up? You can totally aim up.

This door takes us up top, where we can snag that life capsule.

True fact: life capsules don't always give you the same number of HP! Most are 3s, but there are 4s
and even 5s out there for the taking.

Somewhere around egg number 9, we start to run into these flying insect guys. The ones that
stick to the walls typically only move back and forth horizontally, and the rest fly freely in
whatever direction the want. They aren't especially dangerous.

Now we're mixing up critter and bugs, but it's still easy going. I didn't get a picture of it
but there's an opening at the bottom of the screen that lets us enter egg no. 6's chamber. We
have to play chicken with the deadly white thingy, but it isn't hard if you're careful.
When we touch the egg, we are whisked inside where we find:

A treasure chest!

MCBanjoMike 07-03-2017 05:58 PM

Chapter 2, Part 2
♪♪Gestation ♪♪

This egg looks like it's in pretty rough shape, which might be why someone decided to stash a treasure
chest inside it. Or maybe they stashed the chest there and that's why the egg is in bad shape?

Huh, it only just occurred to me that the track Gestation gets its name because it is played inside the hollow eggs (among other
places). I always thought that was a weird title for the music in the First Cave...

I don't know why we need this, but I'm sure it'll be useful.
♪♪Mischievious Robot♪♪

Farther on, we start to run into these bigger, scarier bugs. They can shoot a series of green circles
at you, which I assume are some sort of acid.
♪♪Gestation ♪♪

Going into the save room, we find a bank of computers, plus a bed and a chest. The elevator moves
up and down on its own and is never where I want it to be at any given time.

Red flower petals, huh? Could there be some link between these and the big, scary rabbit we saw earlier?

Next we check out the computer on the desk.


Originally Posted by I seriously have no idea
With the shield up, I can't get to No. 00's room.
I think one of these terminals ought to be able to lower the shield...

Is that so? Let's check out the terminals.

Walking by the computers causes them to light up. Most of the screens turn blue and give us a
message like this.

But two of them are red. It looks like something is up with eggs no. 01 and 06. We've already been
to 6, so we know that it won't be hatching any time soon. Better go check out number 1.

Before we leave, though, we should really see what's in here.

The missile launcher!

The Missile Launcher is a powerful weapon, but its ammo is limited.
You can replenish your stockpile with items dropped by enemies.

♪♪Mischievious Robot♪♪

The missile launcher is a fantabulous weapon. It has range for days, does lots of damage and creates
scads of explosions and smoke sprites on the screen when you fire it. Very satisfying. It'll be our
weapon of choice whenever we want to put the hurt on something quickly, especially if it's far from
us (though it also works wonders point blank). The missile explosions do area damage, too, so they're
good for crowd control. Unlike the Polar Star, though, we don't have infinite ammo. For now we can
only have a maximum of 10 missiles in reserve.

Enemies drop missiles pretty frequently, either in solo or triple format.

Moving on, we see that egg number 2 is accessible. I hop down there and sneak past the white
thingy, but I get bupkis for my trouble.

It looks like the real destination is egg number 1, so I make the harrowing journey across the
floor to get there. If you think that I've screwed this up in the past and gotten killed by the
white thingie, you would be right! I'm proud to say that I've died in pretty much every way possible
in Cave Story.

Egg number 1 isn't doing so hot, either. People should probably stop stashing stuff inside their
flying dragon eggs.

It turns out that this is the terminal that lets you lower the shield, so we use the ID card and shut
it down. We haven't actually seen the shield yet, but you've gotta assume we want it off, right?

FYI, the shield would have been here if we hadn't done something about it.

We finally catch up to our muscular friend. I've already touched a couple of master's precious
eggs*, so that might be why he's so mad. Boss fight time!

*Master's Precious Eggs was the name of my '72 prog rock album

This is Igor, by the way, and today he's going to help me demonstrate proper usage of the
missile launcher. Make sure you apply the missiles directly to forehead.

Igor runs back and forth a lot like Balrog, hopping here and there - he is a bunny, after all. He's
faster and he has a lot more hitpoints that Balrog did, though.

(Note that the shield has switched back on and is preventing us from leaving the boss arena.)

Each missile that I land does 15 damage to Igor, so nearly 4x more than the Polar Star - and I haven't
even gotten it to level 3 yet! Note that the damage gap between the weapons isn't actually that
big, because the rate of fire is way higher for the Polar Star if you're any good at mashing.

Igor also has a move where he breathes out a bunch of white circles, which have a kind of anime
energy vibe to them. You can actually shoot them down, which is what I'm doing here.

Igor's another pretty easy boss. I don't think I can remember ever losing to him, though that's
not a boast I'll be able to make for many of the fights to come. We land the last hit on him...

..and he shrinks back to normal Mimiga size.

Adorable bunnies shot: 2

MCBanjoMike 07-03-2017 05:59 PM

Chapter 2, Part 3

Unlike Toroko, we shot Igor a bunch of times and he's not getting up any time soon. But he punched
that other Mimiga a lot, so I guess he had it coming.


The save room is locked, so we head through the door on the left.

Inside, we find another giant egg and the Mimiga that we left to her pummeling earlier.


Originally Posted by Black and blue bunny

At this point, she is bouncing up and down like a prize fighter.


Originally Posted by Fiesty again
You're gonna eat it this time!!
Huh? I got creamed by that monster...

You bet I did!


Originally Posted by Ungrateful bunny
I could handle him by myself! Somehow!

I remember it differently.


Originally Posted by Delusional bunny
Grr...I hate this stinking island, and I hate every living thing on it!


Originally Posted by Optimistic bunny
This egg could be our ticket off this island!

Island, you say?


Originally Posted by Thwarted bunny
Looks like you need a password to hatch this egg.


Originally Posted by Dispirited bunny
If only my brother were here, he'd set things straight.
All right, looks like I'm done here for now.

She heads over to the door to leave, but then turns back:


Originally Posted by Inquisitive bunny
Doesn't look like it, does it.
The words on your cap there...
That's not a language they have on this island.
...Did you get lost?
That's okay. I'll let you come with me.
We can get off this dump together.
In return, you're gonna help me.

And with that, she heads out.

If you haven't figured out who this Mimiga is by now, then I'm certainly not going to tell you.

We can poke at the terminal here, but we don't get any farther than the mouthy rabbit did.

If you examine this corner of the room, you get this message. Can't do anything about it, though.

On our way out, we stop by the save room, which is now unlocked. One thing to note is that the life
station now recharges our missiles along with our health. That means that you can be pretty liberal
in applying missiles (to your forehead) most of the time, because you'll get a fresh supply regularly.

Well, it's time to head back to the teleporter. Cave Story has a bit of backtracking, most notably
in one of the later areas. It's slightly annoying, but for the most part it doesn't take too long.

We got enough Doritos to upgrade the missile launcher to level 3! Each level increases the number
of missiles launched by each shot, which increases the damage.

Take that!

We make it back to the teleporter and head back to Arthur's house. But first, we flash back a few minutes...

Sue logs on to Fantasy IRC.



Originally Posted by Sue
You got away too, then?
Where are you right now?
I found some Dragon eggs.
Is Mom with you?


Originally Posted by Kazuma
I'm still in this shelter-sort-of place.
The sector code is "Grasstown"...
See if you can run a scan on it from there.
Also, Mom's not here. I think she might still be with the Doctor.
Do any Dragons look immediately hatchable?

MCBanjoMike 07-03-2017 05:59 PM

Chpater 2, Part 4


Originally Posted by Sue
Can you do anything about that?

Location: Grasstown Structure D
Scanning for operational teleporters
Perparing for connection to teleporter "Grasstown"


Originally Posted by Sue
Well, anyway, I'm coming to help you.
Just wait right there.


Originally Posted by Kazuma
Oh, by the way, I really could use some food, so

User Sue has disconnected


Originally Posted by Kazuma

Is that all I am to you? Just some other boy?

King and Jack bust in! King is none too happy with Sue here.

You have to hand it to Sue, she has snark for days.

Despite her sarcastic exterior, I think she's really upset to hear that Toroko has been kidnapped.

King approaches and grabs Sue to haul her off, although this isn't actually shown (presumably because
doing so would have required drawing some extra sprites).

We're back! Jack is waiting for us. Are we in for the same fate as Sue?

Nope, we cool. I was afraid we might be guilty by association, but that's not how the Mimiga
justice system works.


Originally Posted by Jack
Sue's back. She's been locked up in the cage outside.
When the Doctor's flunkies come, we're going to try to get Toroko back.
In exchange for Sue, you see.
It's not very nice, I know, but Toroko is one of us.
That's what you get when you act alone.

Be a team player or we'll sell you into slavery!

Outside, the camera zooms up to show us Toroko in her cell. Wonder how she's adjusting to life
in captivity?

Not super well!


Originally Posted by King
YOU'RE the reason Toroko got kidnapped!
Our only chance is to turn you over to them and hope for the best.

For someone who looks like he's seen some shit, King's kinda rolling over here. You really can't imagine
standing up to the Doctor or his buddies? Did you get that scar in a tragic knitting accident?


Well, let's go give her a pep talk.
♪♪Mimiga Town♪♪


Originally Posted by this guy who totally has a name but still hasn't told us what it is
Sue was brought up top. They say it's her fault Toroko got


I can't tell if King is trying to intimidate us or simply ease his conscience. In his defense, he's
seen most of the Mimigas in his village be abducted in the last few weeks. As the town's leader,
he's probably pretty desparate for a win right now, even if it seems a little far-fetched to
think that the evil Doctor would just give them back Toroko because they found Sue for him.


Originally Posted by Sue
The doctor's minions kidnapped a Mimiga, thinking she was me.

I know, I was there.


Originally Posted by Kazuma
Her name's Toroko, and when none of the other Mimigas would have anything to do with me,
she alone was friendly and kind.
I know. Why don't you go in my place?
My brother's in a location called Grasstown.
Find him and bring him here.

Eh, I don't have a whole lot going on right now. Sure, I'll go look for Kazuma.

So here you get the back story of Sue and Toroko. Cave Story's, uh, story is nice and economical
for the most part - you typically get what you need in a few lines and they don't repeat themselves
over and over the way a lot of Japanese video games (and anime) tend to these days. The world of
Cave Story actually has a lot going on, but you typically only get glimpses into it and are left to
put the pieces together on your own.

That said, having to screencap or transcribe every piece of dialogue is reminding me that there's
still quite a lot of it! But I've replayed the game dozens of times and it never gets overbearing.
It might not be obvious from this LP, but you'll spend more time running and jumping than watching
adorable little characters put on plays.

We head back to Arthur's house and find that the teleporter now has a second destination!

Next stop: Grasstown! Join us again next time, when we hunt for Kazuma in the land of rolling hills. Huzzah!

BEAT 07-03-2017 06:14 PM


BEAT 07-03-2017 06:23 PM


Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike (Post 2361329)
That said, having to screencap or transcribe every piece of dialogue is reminding me that there's still quite a lot of it! But I've replayed the game dozens of times and it never gets overbearing. It might not be obvious from this LP, but you'll spend more time running and jumping than watching adorable little characters put on plays.

There is exactly one reason I do my let's plays in Video form instead of Screenshot form It's because I am LAZY and writing all those quotes and notes and taking all those pictures is HARD. The one time I strayed from the video format I cheated by using a pre-existing script and also by not actually playing the game at all.

And then you stroll in here do it so well it looks effortless.

This is a good LP. I am very glad that you're doing this very good LP.

Kalir 07-03-2017 06:37 PM

Level 2 rocket launcher doesn't fire two shots: it fires one larger, beefier missile. It's not a very drastic change and you still want the weapon at level 3 most of the time, but there's a few weapons where the properties change significantly between levels.

Also riding the Behemoths is rad cool and this is a good game.

WildcatJF 07-03-2017 06:42 PM


Originally Posted by BEAT (Post 2361331)

You're damn right it is. One of my favorite songs in any game. SO GOOD

MCBanjoMike 07-10-2017 08:48 PM

Ok, I'm about to start my next update, but before I do that I wanted to mention that all of my images are hosted on Photobucket, which is currently in the process of destroying everyone's hopes, dreams and LPs. As far as I can tell, they haven't messed up my account yet, but let me know if you aren't able to see the images and I will...feel pretty bad about it until I come up with a better solution.

And now, without further ado, I give you:

MCBanjoMike 07-10-2017 08:48 PM

Chapter 3, Part 1
Chapter 3: Grasstown
♪♪On to Grasstown♪♪

Listen to that music. Listen to it! On to Grasstown is probably my favorite track in the game and
is definitely one of my favorite video game songs of all time. It usually drives me crazy when
people try to map chiptune tracks onto "real" musical genres, but this song is so clearly
ska-inspired that I have to make an exception for it. Can you imagine that main melody being
played on a trombone? It would be a thing of beauty. Sadly, the only covers of the song that
I can find on YouTube are all (sigh) guitar-based. No matter, it's also super great the way it is.

Anyway, welcome to Grasstown! If we're being honest, they've got a whole lot of grass and not a lot
of town. Who do you think that fellow up there is?

I knew this day would come! OK, so I want a Super Nintendo Classic and a new bike and I've
been pretty good this year if you don't count that one time with the egg beater.


Originally Posted by Jolly Saint Nick
I was off drawing some water when I suddenly got attacked by monsters.
I got away and ran back home, but somewhere along the way I dropped my key.
...I'm locked out of my own house.

Look, I'm not saying you shouldn't help people for the sake of helping them, but you'd have to be
pretty dense to pass up a chance to do Santa Claus a solid. Let's go find his key!

Grasstown, like the Egg Corridor and the First Cave before it, is populated with critters. But these
ones can fly! They hop into the air, spin their ears (?) around to stay aloft and then try to land on
you. For the record, you can also stand on critters, but it's very hard to do without falling off
and taking a hit. You know, because they're flying. It's even harder to screencap, so don't get your
hopes up.

They also come in jumbo size. The big ones really pack a whallop, try not to get squished by one.

Here's Santa's key, surrounded by bats and critters.

Look at the adorable bunny face on that key! Makes me wish I had my own vanity keys.

The key to Santa's house.

Say, what's that up there?

To make it up top, we have to head right, exterminating a few more bats and critters on the way.
Then it takes a couple of precision hops on these platforms to make it over to the capsule.



Originally Posted by Kris Kringle
That's the key to my house!

Oh man oh man oh man

Before we go inside, though, we spot Cthulhu on high ledge.


Originally Posted by Cthulhu
A soldier from the surface? I thought the war was over already.
Well, whatever.
If you're going on ahead, watch out for those Power Critters.
When they land on you, it hurts.

Apparently this isn't the same Cthulhu that we talked to earlier. I just assumed it was, since they
look identical and all.

...crap, I think that makes me super racist.

Santa has a charming abode, with a comfy bed, a crackling fireplace and...

What is that on the left side, exactly?


Remind me to stay on the "nice" list!

Thankfully, it looks like I'm in Santa's good books for now. And he has a present for me?!?

The Fireball is a delightful weapon, which I will be showing off shortly. But first,
let's poke around the workshop a little longer.

Santa's fire is just roaring away, but there's something about fires that just makes me want
to put them out. Not that I have a fire extinguisher handy or anything.

Before I forget, here are the inventory descriptions for the Missile Launcher and the Fireball.

You can sleep in pretty much any bed that you find in the game, which restores your health but
doesn't refill your missiles. Why you'd want to do that when there are health restoration stations
everywhere is beyond me.

This is the fireball! I said was delightful and I meant it. Not surprisingly, it shoots little fireballs
that bounce along the ground, moving up and down slopes with ease. This makes it especially
well suited to Grasstown, which is largely built around rolling, grass-covered hills. Pixel is great
at designing areas to show off whatever weapon he gave you last - we'll see this again later.

The fireball does decent damage, starting at 4 points for level 1, and it goes a very long way. This
is balanced by the fact that you can only have a small number of shots in play at a time - after
that, you have to wait for one of them to disappear before you can fire again. At level 1, you get
a paltry 2 balls, and that is clearly not enough ball to satisfy anyone.

Here we see them climbing the hill with ease.

Just for you guys, I intentionally got squished by a power critter. 12 damage is a lot of damage!
It didn't kill me, to my great surprise, but it did level down the fireball. Not to worry, there
are tons of weapon triangles to be had in Grasstown.

Here we see fireball level two! The damage has been increased to a respectable 6 and we can
now have three projectiles at a time. Much better. As with the Polar Star, if you find yourself
knocked back down to level 1 during a boss fight, you should probably consider switching to a
different weapon.

MCBanjoMike 07-10-2017 08:49 PM

Chapter 3, Part 2
♪♪On to Grasstown♪♪

Much like the Bubble Lead, subject of a million pronunciation arguments, the fireball also lets
us find hidden pits in the floor. Like this one, with Santa's patented Death Spikes (TM) at the
bottom! Somehow, the concept of falling on instand-death spikes seems so much crueler than
just falling down a bottomless pit, like in every other video game. Functionally, it's the same
thing, but one of them feels meaner.

A little farther in, we come across another structure. We can't go around, so let's check it out.

It's Chaco's house!


Originally Posted by Chaco
Goodness, that's a dangerous item you've got there.
Are you a traveler?

Chaco is drawn to dangerous men.

Chaco comes over after we investigate her fireplace.


Originally Posted by Chaco
Then you'll need the *Jellyfish Juice* you can get from the Jellies.

Jellies? What Jellies? If you talk to her again, she adds:


Originally Posted by Chaco
Aim for the big sucker!

All right, I guess it's time to go Jelly hunting. But first let's rest up and recover our HP.

Strangely, when we sleep we get this message, accompanied by the sound effect for obtaining an item.

Chaco's fast asleep in bed when we wake up.


Waaaaaaiiiiit a second...

Red lipstick. It has no use.

You dog! This is one of a few items that only exist to add color to the world. It's also our clue
that Chaco apparently digs short white guys with nice arsenals.
♪♪On to Grasstown♪♪

With that episode behind us, we head outside, where we find that the Jellies have come out of
hiding. There are a couple here to indicate to the player that something has changed in the world.
But to find the rest...

...we have to return to where we found Santa's key. I've already cleared out the bats and critters
in this screenshot; this area is actually a hive of activity when you first arrive on screen. Anyway,
we have a few of the small jellies flying around, but who's that up there?

Here's the big one! It can be very tempting to shoot that star block, but it's actually a way better
idea to leave it intact, since it will run interference and keep you safe from the big jelly. He has
a lot of hitpoints and he'll often land a hit or two on you before you run them all down, but he
isn't really all that dangerous. He drops a chest when you beat him that contains...

...the Jellyfish Juice!

A fluid that can quench fireplaces.

We can use this to put out the fire at Chaco's place, but lateral thinkers will find some other uses
for it. For example, wasn't there a fireplace in Santa's house?

Putting out Santa's fire will probably land me in the doghouse, but what's he gonna do, give me some
coal for Christmas?


Santa doesn't actually seem to be mad at us, despite the fact that dumping jellyfish innards on
someone's fire is a total dick move. Anyway, we should go get more juice, we still have fires to
put out!

This shot gives you a better idea of the bedlam that you see when you enter jelly territory. There's
nothing I like more than shooting into a crowd!

Please no-one show this page to Homeland Security or I'll never fly again.

This time I did the stupid thing and let the big guy out of his cage. That was stupid!

I gotta have my juice!

Say, do you folks remember another fireplace that we saw last chapter?

I'll give you a second to try to remember.
♪♪Mimiga Town♪♪

We head back to the village and briefly check in with everyone. Jack's still waiting around in
Arthur's house, because I guess no-one cares about the graveyard mushrooms any more now
that Toroko is gone.

I'm working on it, okay?

Man, handing someone over to certain death sure is a chore, isn't it King?

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:01 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Your posts İyou, 2007