The Return of Talking Time

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  #61  
Old 07-25-2017, 06:45 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
I have Creator of Ordnance for the last two letters but don't have anything that I feel works for the first three.
Mechanized Animal-Loving Creator of Ordnance? At least if you consider Kazuma to be part of the animal kingdom.
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  #62  
Old 07-25-2017, 09:28 AM
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MILLITANT
ARTIFICIAL
LIFEFORM
CAUSES
OBLITERATION!

Yes Malco is "Alive" robots are people in this game.
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  #63  
Old 07-25-2017, 01:18 PM
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Default Chapter 4, Part 1

Chapter 4: Sand Zone
Part One - The Curse of the Sunstones
♪♪Meltdown 2♪♪


We rejoin our intrepid hero as he arrives in the arid Sand Zone. This is a big place with lots
to see, but we've barely gone five steps from the teleporter when we run into...



...a mysterious blonde lady who bears a striking resemblance to our protagonist?





She notices us, but heads off to the left without saying hello. Let's go follow her! That wouldn't
be creepy or anything, right?



To the left, we find a vertical shaft filled with recolored the bugs from the Egg Corridor.



They aren't any more dangerous now than they were last time, but it's a fun section to traverse
if only because it's so busy. Lots of sprites! I'd like to see your Nintendo pull this off.



Arriving at the top, we find what appears to be a cocktail bar? I'm not complaining, I could
totally go for a Manhattan right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike's Manhattan Recipe
2.25 oz rye whiskey (no bourbon allowed!)
0.75 oz red vermouth
2 dashes bitters (your choice)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Cherry garnish optional.


Residence? Well that's disappointing. We are immediately greeted by someone screaming
"Aaaahhhh!" - presumably it's the white-skinned girl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Call Me
Ooohhhh!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Robot
I know what it is you're looking for!
But wake up!
Mimigas aren't your enemies!
Mimigas are harmless!!
Too bad for you, but...
I'm on their side!


Ruh-roh! Looks like we have a fight on our hands.
♪♪Gravity♪♪


This fight is chaotic, but it's also pretty easy. I'm pretty sure the mimiga kids (officially: Colons)
can't hurt you, but they run interference for the robot lady by absorbing your shots. Don't worry,
they get up again after a few seconds on the floor - kids are tough!



Every once in a while, you'll hear a charge-up sound and she'll unleash a hail of bullets from
her machine gun. Pretty easy to avoid if you're listening for it.



Interestingly, you can't use the missile launcher in this fight because she'll neutralize it with
some sort of bubble shield. You have to stick with the Polar Star or the Fireball if you want to
do any significant damage. I guess the Bubbler would work too, but it's not ideal here.



The missiles still explode the kids pretty good, though!

Adorable bunnies shot: 7

Anyway, we beat her.
♪♪Safety♪♪


Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldilocks
I suppose you're going to kill all the Mimigas,


Yeah we are!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dejected robot lady
What a pity...
You're clearly supposed to say "No" here, but it's fun to say yes just so you can see the dialog
when you talk to her again:



That's what they used to call me in curling club, anyway! She asks us if we still intend on murdering
everybody and this time we answer in the negative.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipper robot lady
You're with the Mimigas too?
That's right, there's nothing bad about them!


Nice to meet ya! If you hadn't guessed, Curly's going to be a pretty important character from
here on out. Let's get her story:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly
When I work up, I was with these children.


One nice touch in Cave Story is that the major characters all have multiple portraits depicting
different emotions. It really brings the conversations to life, despite their generally static
nature. We're used to seeing Happy Curly, but here's Thoughtful Curly...



...and Sadface Curly. But Curly isn't the type to wallow in self-pity for long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly
Oh, wow.
That Polar Star of yours is in awful shape.
I don't know how she could know the name of this gun, given that it seems to be a unique creation
of the Hermit Gunsmith's. But we don't have time to dwell on that mystery, because:



HELL YES I DO



An automatic rapid-fire gun. Automatically recharges over time.

Niiiiiiiiiiiice. We'll go over the finer points of the Machine Gun soon, but first let's talk to the
kids (AKA Colons) I was shooting up earlier. From right to left (and top to bottom):

Quote:
Ascending: Zzzmrbl... Fish... So hungry for... fish...
Transverse: To move the Sunstones, you need to lift the spell...
Descending: Watch out for the Sandcrocs. If you step on the sand, they'll jump out and bite you.
Descending: It REALLY hurts, too!
Sandcrocs? I don't think they exist. As for the Sunstones, we'll go deal with them shortly. But first!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigmoid
Oh, right.
If you go to see her, you ought to bring along the dog next to the bed.
Puppers??

Last edited by MCBanjoMike; 07-25-2017 at 01:30 PM.
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  #64  
Old 07-25-2017, 01:18 PM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Default Chapter 4, Part 2



PUPPERS!!!

Before we grab that dog, though, let's take a second to consult our map.



Doing so reveals a secret passage! There are only a handful in the game.



We access it by jumping up to this spot in the wall.



Once you're inside, you can't see your character any more. If you want to figure out where you
are, the best way is to shoot - you'll see both the point of origin for your shots as well as
how far they travel before they hit something. You can also jump; if you bump your head on the
ceiling, little stars will appear, indicating your location.

We make our way over to the right side of the screen and then down to the bottom corner. If you
press down while you're there, you'll find a treasure chest!



Retrieved from behind the wall. Yellow-green panties with a cute little insignia. They have no use.

Oh. That's...actually kinda creepy. Don't be a creeper, robot guy!

Let's forget about that and get back to the puppers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pupper
Arf!






There are a few things to note here. First off, while you're carrying the dog, it will hang on to
the back of your head, which is frickin' ADORABLE.



Second, the dog has a name! This is Hajime.

Jenka's pet and leader of the dogs. While searching for his brothers, he got lost and was taken
in by Curly.


I love that he occupies a spot in your inventory. And gasp, there are more dogs to be found!

Pupper in hand head, we talk to Sigmoid again, who gives us a bit more info about the
mysterious Jenka.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigmoid
Her house is...
Ummmmm...
...Somewhere in the Sand Zone...?
Real helpful, kid. Let's talk with Curly one last time before heading out.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly
The Mimigas were just used by them.
Curly is clearly a one-issue voter. Mimigas are good! Ban Mimiga-killing robots!

As an aside, I really can't decide if Mimiga should be capitalized or not. Is it a species or an ethnicity? Are
there other killer rabbits in this world?

♪♪Meltdown 2♪♪


Check out our brand-new Machine Gun! It has decent range and a fast rate of fire, and this is
only level 1. For now it does 2 damage per shot. You'll note that it also has an ammo counter,
much like the Bubbler. It also works the same way: counting down as we fire and filling up when
we stop. The Machine Gun is now our primary weapon, so ammo management will be an issue going
forward. Also note that ammo only recharges while the Machine Gun is equipped, so no switching
to another weapon and waiting it out!



Here are the aforementioned Sunstones. They're blocking the path down, just like a couple of...
big...stones. Stupid stones.



Heading to the right, we come across a scary mask covered in chainsaw blade teeth. Look, I know
it's bad to judge by appearances, but if you cover yourself in chainsaw blades, people are gonna
jump to conclusions and you really only have yourself to blame.



Shoot the big fella enough and he explodes into a cloud of tiny, chainsaw-toothed versions of
himself. The stuff of nightmares!



This area goes on like this for a while, with big columns of destructible star blocks separated
by stretches of sand. There's a Life Capsule here that we can get with some creative digging.



What is this, our 5th five-pointer in a row? Pixel's handing out the HP like candy.



I like that the star blocks aren't free-floating, they are built onto some kind of metal lattice.
It doesn't make any more sense, but it's a nice detail. Anyway, I carved a little cave out of the
blocks so I could shoot at this big saw dude in complete safety.



Taking out the little versions yields a bunch of triangles that I need to get my Machine Gun
up to level 2, so I hop down to pick them up.
~SUDDEN CHOMPER~


AAAAAAAAH! SANDCROC! I WAS WRONG!!

Any time you see bones on the sand like this, it means you're in sandcroc territory. Touching the
ground summons one up to bite you and, true to that mimiga kid's word, it hurts something fierce.
After the chomp, you'll wind up on top of its head, which is actually a safe place to stand - even
if it doesn't feel very safe. They'll go back below the sand if you move away or shoot them.
It's possible to kill them, but it takes more shots than my Machine Gun can get off before they
disappear and there's basically never a reason to risk a second chomping just so you can kill one.

Except, you know, revenge.



But I did not take revenge on the sandcroc, I took the (literal and figurative) high road. We
proceed to the right, keeping WELL OFF the sand.



Up here, the keen-eyed will notice something. There's a paw print on that block! Are you thinking
what I'm thinking?



Uh, yes, I was thinking "secret passage" too. Of course I was! Ha ha.

There's a save point here, and you know we're gonna use it.

Last edited by MCBanjoMike; 07-25-2017 at 01:35 PM.
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  #65  
Old 07-25-2017, 01:19 PM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Default Chapter 4, Part 3



On the other side of the passageway we find a different arrangement of star blocks. This makes it
a little easier to pick up the weapon Doritos safely, so we manage to upgrade the Machine Gun
to level 2.



No change in the range, but we now do a respectable four damage per shot, as demonstrated on
these mini chainsaw guys.



No particular reason for this shot, I just kind of liked the symmetry.



As we exit the diamond pattern area, we find a health recharge station. Moving on...
~WHOOPS~


AAAAAAAHHHHHH! SANDCROC!!



This next group of star blocks has a few thwomps hidden in it, but even if you didn't notice them,
you'd have to be pretty unlucky to actually get smushed.

Let's make our way over to that suspiciously boss-arena-shaped room.



A disembodied voice!



Misery materializes in the air and then sets down on the sand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misery
Hmmmm...
You look like quite a fighter.
But at this juncture, you're proving yourself rather a nuisance.


Suddenly, the screen ground starts to shake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misery
?!


Misery takes off and leaves us to deal with the source of the rumbling.
♪♪Eyes of Flame♪♪


It's Omega!



This robot...crab thingy will stick its head out of the sand and launch a swarm of floaty wheels
into the air before hiding again. The wheels float slowly to the ground, where they roll around
until you shoot them. It's really not a very dangerous boss, and shooting the wheels allows you
to replenish your health, ammo and weapon energy.



After you've taken off a chunk of its health, it will completely emerge from the sand and start
to hop around, still spewing whatever those things are into the air. Omega is only marginally
more dangerous in this phase.



That said, the screen can get awfully busy between all the wheels and the weapon energy and
whatnot. It can be a little hard to keep track of what's happening. I also managed to run out
of Machine Gun ammo at this point.



Still, overall this fight is pretty easy, despite the fact that it's accompanied by the alternate
boss theme. Omega explodes with a cross-shaped flash that I didn't manage to capture, sorry!
♪♪Victory!♪♪


The spell on the Sunstones has been lifted.

I mean, I guess that's what we came here for? Cool cool cool. I love that we've done this whole
section, including the boss fight, with a dog stuck to our head.
♪♪Meltdown 2♪♪


We have to make our way back to the Sunstones if we want to proceed. Note that the star blocks
regenerate whenever you change areas, but since we technically haven't done so since we left the
Residence, we have to contend with whatever geometry we left in our wake on the way to Omega.
Not a major problem, but kind of interesting!



A close call! If you're really quick, you can hop off the sand before the croc chomps you.
I managed to get away from this one unscathed.



We arrive back at the Sunstones. With the curse lifted, the stones activate and kindly move out
of our way. Onward and downward!



Even in death, the fearsome sandcrocs thirst for blood. Or, uh, cooling fluid? Whatever is inside
our little guy, they're thirsty for it. Makes sense, this place is pretty dry.

Say, what's that in the top right corner?



It's another paw print! Sure enough, it leads us to a hidden passage.





And at the end: goodies!



We are now rocking a beefy 36 HP - a far cry from the 3 we started with.



One's all you can manage.

I'll tell you when I've had enough! Sadly, there is a strict one-dog maximum in this version of
Cave Story, so we'll have to leave him there for now.

Last edited by MCBanjoMike; 07-25-2017 at 01:44 PM.
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  #66  
Old 07-25-2017, 01:19 PM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Default Chapter 4, Part 4



A little farther down and to the left, we find <checks sign> Jenka's House. Let's go bring
her her pupper!
♪♪Jenka 1♪♪


Gave her the *Puppy*.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
You brought him back, I take it? Many thanks.
What's that? *Red flowers*?


Oh, son of a...
♪♪Balrog's Theme♪♪


The dog starts barking as soon as Balrog appears, which is a little touch I appreciate.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
And how is my halfwit of a daughter faring?


WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT. Jenka is Misery's mother?? Then how come her daughter has
bone-white skin when Jenka's looks normal? Maybe Misery is going through a goth phase.
I bet her real name is Margaret or Michelle or something.

Quote:
Balrog: A new master has appeared. This time, the earth will be ours!
Jenka: So once again you two plot to...
Balrog: I'm not here to give you any trouble. I just came to collect the key to the storehouse.
Balrog: The one where the flower seeds are kept!
Jenka: .....




Quote:
Originally Posted by Balrog
Playing the fool, are you?!
.....
I see how it is. So you've chosen to betray us.


The music cuts out as Balrog delivers his ominous warning. And with that, he departs.
♪♪Jenka 1♪♪


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
.....
There are actually four others.
Four more puppies of mine...
And my hips are so weak.
Could this old woman trouble you to find her other puppies for her?
I mean, I'd rather you explain that whole "taking over the earth" thing Balrog was talking about,
but it's true that I do love me some doggos. Sure, I'll find your puppies!



Hajime gets the last word in before we head out.

We'll stop for now (I learned my lesson about too-big updates from the huge Grasstown post), but
join me again next time for Cave Story: The Search for the Missing Puppers! Huzzah!
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  #67  
Old 07-25-2017, 01:28 PM
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Mightyblue Mightyblue is offline
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It's been forever, but doesn't taking the machine gun lock you out of the postgame?
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  #68  
Old 07-25-2017, 01:34 PM
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aturtledoesbite aturtledoesbite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyblue View Post
It's been forever, but doesn't taking the machine gun lock you out of the postgame?
Nope! You can still do everything you need to do; in fact, it makes getting to the Sacred Grounds easier thanks to having machine gun propulsion. Doesn't help so much for actually traversing that hell, though.
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  #69  
Old 07-25-2017, 02:22 PM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Yeah, you can bring any weapon you want into Hell - even the Polar Star, if you're crazy enough. I certainly have never been. The cutoff for the post-game is similarly arbitrary, but it won't happen until we reach the end of the Labyrinth.
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  #70  
Old 07-25-2017, 02:36 PM
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I forgot the kids Curly looks after are also named after punctuation. That's a cute touch.
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  #71  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:19 AM
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Default Chapter 4, Part 5

Chapter 4: Sand Zone
Part Two - The Search for the Missing Puppers
Ok, folks, we've got some doggos to find! Let's get moving. We already know where to find one...
♪♪Meltdown 2♪♪


In the treasure chest from last update! This is Mick:

Jenka's pet. Loves treasure-hunting. Or treasure *chests*, rather, and recently has taken up
sleeping in them.


After a short hike back to Jenka's house...
♪♪Jenka 1♪♪


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
That is indeed one of my dear puppies.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
.....
It wasn't that long ago that hundreds of robots like you came to this island.
Countless Mimigas perished at their hands.
As did the humans who tried to protect them.
Cornered, the Mimigas finally ingested the forbidden red flowers,
and in their murderous rage began to strike back against the robots.
Had the red flowers not existed, the Mimigas might have vanished entirely from the island...
It's exposition time! Jenka rewards you for the return of each of her pups with some juicy, delicious
back-story. Between this and what Curly said earlier, it seems like our protagonist has a sinister
past. So what changed to cause us to give up our mimiga-killing ways? Maybe we'll find out if we
bring her some more dogs. Spoiler: we won't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
Three more left. Good luck.


Mick is a bit more talkative than Hajime was.
♪♪Meltdown 2♪♪


Below Jenka's house we find a large, open cavern. This is the meat of the Sand Zone and we'll
be spending a lot of time here. A little too much time, if we're being honest - this is the worst
example of backtracking in the game and it's one of the only parts that I feel drags when I
replay it. There are 3 puppies to collect, each one requires a return trip to Jenka's house and
when THAT'S all done you have to go all the way to the other side of this area again to progress
the story! If only there was a better way...



WHAT.

That's right, folks, it looks like the newly released (and absurdly-priced) Switch port of Cave
Story has integrated pup-stacking technology. I'm not 100% sure, since I haven't played it myself,
but this makes it look like you could conceivably pick up all the pups on a single run, which
would not only be AMAZINGLY CUTE, but would also improve the flow of the game. Maybe it
isn't overpriced after all! Sadly for us, we don't have access to this life-changing tech,
so we'll have to make a separate trip for every dog we recover. Let's get going!

(By the way, the sign in the pre-puppy-stack screenshot reads "This way to Sand Zone Storehouse".)



The big cave that I was complaining about is a long left-to-right segment that is filled with some
new enemies. Dead ahead of us is something resembling an armadillo that moves along the ground
and doesn't really do much else. I think they're impervious to damage unless you shoot them in
the face, but aside from that they're pretty much speed bumps.

The other new enemy we see if the deadly parrot-and-skelecroc combo, two creatures with a
symbiotic relationship...OF DEATH. The parrots bob up and down holding the crocs while their
bony charges toss femurs at you. Interestingly, the two creatures have separate HP pools; kill
the croc and the bird will swoop at you, kill the bird and the croc will fall down and start
hopping around on the ground.



There's no shortage of these malevolent duos flying around in this cave, but that only serves
to show off the destructive might of my fully-armed and operational level 3 Machine Gun! The
bullets are now satisfyingly chunky and do 6 damage each, making it a respectable damage dealer.
But far more important than the damage bump is the gun's newfound ability to function as...



...an improvised jetpack! The sheer power of the level 3 Machine Gun is sufficient to keep you
aloft, all you have to do is aim down and fire. This is amazing from an exploration perspective
and also pretty handy for some boss fights, where keeping off the floor can trivialize most of
the enemy attacks. Of course, you're limited in how far you can fly by the ammo counter, but it's
possible to stay afloat nigh indefinitely if you use short bursts and let the ammo replenish in
between. It's one of the most unique and cool weapons in platforming history, although I hope
and expect someone out there to find me an earlier example of something similar (spare me your
Jetpack Joyrides, though, that came later). Note that you can control the rate of your ascent to
a certain extent, as holding down the jump button will make you rise faster. Good for precise
maneuvers!



Our first stop in this great, stonking cave is this little passage up here. The paw prints lead
us to...



...one of Jenka's puppies, hanging out near a little shed.



As we approach, the pup runs inside. We head in after it.



The deserted house is pitch black, with only a few patches of sand visible on the floor and a bit
of water dripping on one side.



There's also a save point? That's a little ominous...



AAAAAAAHHHHHH SANDCROC!!



Once again, looking at the map gives us a hint how to proceed. We need to head up the middle
of the house, the run along the top part of that loop before dropping down to catch the puppy.
I no longer need to worry about the sand croc because I KILLED IT. Note that the falling water
actually prevents you from jumping up, which makes it really easy to get chomped twice in a
row. Which I did.



We can use the shooting trick to map out the room and find the our way in the dark. If I hadn't
lost a level for my Machine Gun, we could have flown up here to the top.





Come here, you stupid mutt.

Shinobu: Jenka's pet. Loves dark places. Due to poor eyesight, he roams the darkness using his
wild instincts alone.


Aw. Now that I know his sad story, I can't stay mad at him. Not even for hanging out in croc-infested,
pitch-black houses with leaky rooves. Also, years of Patlabor had me conditioned to believe that
Shinobu was exclusively a girl's name, but boy howdy was I wrong.



The good news is that this cave is chock-full of birds'n'bones that we can use to refill our weapon
energy. We have the Machine Gun maxed out again in no time.



There's also a big pile of star blocks next to Jenka's house that contain health and ammo refills.
If you clear them all out and head to the wall, you can actually see the entrance to the deserted
house from here. I used to wonder why Pixel gave you this refill spot instead of just dropping in
a health station, but maybe it was to encourage players to go see this little hint?
♪♪Jenka 1♪♪


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
Thank you kindly. We're up to three now...
.....
Have you ever seen a frenzied Mimiga?
Yeah, once or twice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
The cornered Mimigas hoped that the red flowers would grand them strength.
They ate them, and then they fought the robots.
However...
Do you know what happened to them afterwards?
It is a sad tale...
The enraged Mimigas, likely unable to control their own actions, disappeared without a trace.
If rumors are to be trusted, they descended to the surface, where humans live.
An army of ferocious Mimigas loosed upon the earth...
If that were true...
Do you understand now?
Do you understand how dangerous the red flowers are?
.....
Two more to go...
Between Sue's talk about this place being an island and Jenka saying the mimigas "descended" to
the surface, I'm starting to wonder where exactly this cave system is located. It's also
interesting to note that despite the fact that most of the rabid mimigas apparently left to
go wreack havoc on humanity, a few of them stuck around and reverted back to normal. Arthur
probably wouldn't be considered a big hero if he was a towering, rabid monster all day long.
One assumes that he had some means of controlling the power of the red flowers. Not that we'll
ever find out! That particular enigma is never really addressed.

If you talk to Jenka again before leaving, she adds this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
I think my dearies have taken a liking to you.


Three barks for Shinobu. I think I see a pattern here?
♪♪Meltdown 2♪♪


We head back out to the cave to look for pupper number 4. Flying through here is fun, but also
fraught with danger. It's actually safer to just run along the ground, using the platforms for
cover from the flying bones.



A little ways farther to the right, we find our next puppy. This one is guarded by some kind of
bipedal crocodilian horror who leaps around throwing bones like a twisted hammer brother. Egads!
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  #72  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:20 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Default Chapter 4, Part 6



We take care of poochie's escort, but then the little blighter runs off!



This pup will run the whole length of the cavern, changing direction whenever it hits a wall. To
grab it, you have to perfectly time pressing the "interact" button, just...like...



Dammit.



We manage to grab him on the next pass. This is Kakeru.

Jenka's pet. Adores bones and has buried them in countless places, most of which are by now forgotten.



Like I said, lots of sprites on the screen at once. Taking the low road is safe, since the thrown
femurs won't go through the stone platforms.
♪♪Jenka 1♪♪


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
My puppies don't waste their affection on bad sorts.
We might not know our character's name, but at least we can rule out Bogosort as a possibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
You're after the storehouse key, aren't you.
Wherein lie the seeds to the red flowers...
I don't care who you are, you're not getting the key.
To open the storehouse would invite that same tragedy all over again...
One, two, three...
There's only one left.
One more to go... I really wish you would abandon the red flowers.
Let's check in on Kakeru before we go.



Uh...I think this one's broken?
♪♪Meltdown 2♪♪


Past where we found Kakeru, we come to a three-story croc metropolis. We could just fly over
with the Machine Gun, but I made a quick stop because I wanted to show something off. On the
bottom and top levels there are some running crocs. They're fairly quick, but if you damage
them enough without killing them...



...they'll lose one of their legs! This slows them down considerably, but it doesn't slake their
thirst for robo-blood. They still limp toward you, ready to chomp from beyond the grave.



Past Croctopolis, we enter an area defined by tall columns and solo parrots. They won't attack you
until you shoot them, but they're kind of blocking the jumps, so I clear most of them out.





Dear god, that is a lot of birds. There's also a sign, which reads:

Here in the Sand Zone, there are a number of places where once may pass through the walls.
These spots are marked with a symbol.


This information is useful, albeit a)very late and b)incomplete. I can't imagine someone making it
this far without noticing the pawprints. Also, there are parts of the columns that you can pass
through, and they're marked with holes rather than paw prints. Not that I need backtrack through
the columns, because I've got a frickin' flying machine gun.



Gotta love the face those birds make when you shoot them.



We've angered the swarm! It's totally possible to get a dozen or so birds mad at you at a time, which
sends them all swooping around in a not-entirely-threatening elliptical pattern.



On the other side of the flock, we find our ultimate pup - not to mention the door to the warehouse.



Phooey. No murder flowers for me.



Plebians who don't have upgraded machine guns can use these little blocks to hop over to the pup.



Before we pick her up, notice these suspicious star blocks? Shooting them drops a save point and
a recharge station down on the sand.



I guess all that bird blasting didn't wake up little Nene.

Jenka's pet. Spends most of ther time asleep, but her dreams have been known to portend the future.

We take her aaaaaallllllll the way back to Jenka's house. But unfortunately...
♪♪Balrog's Theme♪♪


We're too late!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Balrog
Catch you later!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
Wait!!
♪♪Jenka 1♪♪


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
The key... The stole the key...
Please. You must stop them.
They plan to enrage the Mimigas and release them onto the surface.
Suffice to say, this is a grave turn of events.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
Oh, yes...
You might want this...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
You can use this once, but only once, to restore your health.
We absolutely do! The Life Pot is this game's equivalent of a Mega Man energy tank. You can only
ever carry one at a time, but in theory you can go back and get another one from Jenka if you use
I've never actually done this, because the most difficult fights in the game are all past a point
of no return that makes backtracking to the Sand Zone impossible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenka
Please! You must stop them!


I'm bummed too, Nene.
♪♪Meltdown 2♪♪


We'd better hightail it back to the storehouse before the bad guys make off with the red flowers.
This time, we take the low road. I'm a real path-of-least-resistance kind of guy.
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  #73  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:20 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Default Chapter 4, Part 7



On our way to the warehouse, we stop to annihilate some more birds in the most spectacular fashion
possible. You can actually hit the birds from off-screen with the missile launcher, since it has
such good range. This will occasionally lead to an angry bird rushing you from seemingly nowhere,
but know that you deserved it.



Uh-oh, the warehouse door is open...
♪♪Tyrant♪♪


Before we show up inside, we are treated to a scene from just before our arrival. Hey look, it's
that guy from the title screen! I was gonna pretend we didn't all know who he was, but it wouldn't
work with the upcoming text recap. So yeah, that's The Doctor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misery
My lord.
I have brought all the seeds as you requested.


I'm digging those impenetrable anime glasses.

Quote:
The Doctor: By the by... The flowers that bloom there.
The Doctor: Are those the demon flowers?
Misert: Indeed.
The Doctor: My, my... They're more uncanny than even I had imagined...


Remind me to come back to this bit of dialog when we look at the different translations for this
game. I think there's some meat on that bone...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Doctor
...No, let us not do that.
.....
Hmmmm...
Instead, let us test the reaction on a Mimiga.


Misery is just delighted by that idea and immediately summons one up from thin air.
It's...uh-oh.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Toroko
Oof!
Where am...?
Waah!


Toroko makes a break for it, but Balrog appears and body checks her to the floor.











I find this little back-and-forth pretty disturbing, in part because Balrog and Misery are just
so darn happy.
~SUDDENLY~
♪♪Run!♪♪




King arrives and charges at Balrog with some kind of knife. Balrog is staggered and retreats in
his typical fashion by jumping off the screen.





Quote:
Toroko: Ooohhh... My...my head...
King: !!
King: No!!




Quote:
Originally Posted by The Doctor
And from now on, I am your new leader.
Pleased to make your acquaintance.
Now, what exactly is it you plan to do with that sword?
Hm-hm-hmm...


Nobody laughs evilly at King after turning his friend into a bioweapon. King charges into
the fray...



...only to get blasted by Misery just steps away from the Doctor.



King flies across the screen before collapsing by the door.





And that's where we come in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Doctor
You're that soldier from the surface!
You've come at a splendid time.
Here, they're all yours!


Dang, that dude is cold.

Last edited by MCBanjoMike; 07-31-2017 at 11:31 AM.
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  #74  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:21 AM
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Default Chapter 4, Part 8

♪♪Gravity♪♪

~FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU~
Don't be fooled by the return to the original boss music, this is one of the hardest fights yet.



Rabid Toroko jumps around the room chucking stone blocks at us. It isn't that hard to avoid them
if you stay calm, but they hit like a truck. One shot takes off 10 HP and typically drops
your weapon by a level, which tends to make the fight drag on.



Wherever the blocks land, a sentient yellow flower will appear. They aren't especially dangerous,
but they can damage you and you'll be so busy dodging rocks that it's easy to stumble onto one
and take a hit. Killing them does give you weapon energy, at least.





Oops. Like I said, it only takes a few hits for Toroko to squish you.



This time I kept my wits about me and did a better job managing my weapon levels. Missiles do
the most damage in this fight, but the Machine Gun's autofire lets you concentrate on dodging
and being able to fly is a big help too (although Toroko does aim the blocks directly at you,
so you're not completely free from danger when you're in the air).



We land the last hit and Rabid Toroko reverts to regular Toroko.



There is a distinct lack of victory fanfare. But Toroko will be OK, right? We'll go talk to Jenka
and she'll give her one of those Life Pots and...



...oh.

Adorable bunnies shot: let's, uh, maybe stop keeping track.



Not King too!

I didn't want to bring this up before, in case someone hadn't figured it out yet, but did you
notice that the rabid mimigas always have red eyes? Between King's eyes and that big scar on his
face, it seems pretty clear that Arthur wasn't the only one to use the red flowers and then
return to civilian life afterwards. We'll never find out the extent of King's heroics, but I
expect that he was part of the effort to turn back the horde of killer robots 10 years ago.



Unfortunately, King has also breathed his last. He leaves us with his switchblade, which makes
for a lovely parting gift.



A single-shot, high-damage weapon. King's soul dwells within.

As we'll find out next time, that's not just a colorful turn of phase. Nothing left to do here,
so we head out through the door.
♪♪Meltdown 2♪♪


You can't be serious.


♪♪Balrog's Theme♪♪



Quote:
Originally Posted by Misery
You remind me of the one back then.
A tough little robot just like you...
I can see confronting you directly just makes things complicated.




Misery whisks us away, before turning to her toaster companion.


Quote:
Misery: And you as well.
Balrog: ...Uh?






Wh-where are we?



And so end our adventures in the Sand Zone. The flowers have been taken, Toroko and King
are dead, and we're trapped in the depths of the Labyrinth. I'd say we're pretty clearly at the
nadir of our hero's journey. Will we ever find our way out? Is the world doomed now that the
doctor has his hands on the red flowers? Tune in next time to find out.

Huzzah?
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  #75  
Old 07-31-2017, 12:41 PM
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With the amount of backtracking you have to do, Sandopolis Zone is probably my least favorite area in the game.

Then again, there's a decent amount of backtracking in Green Hill Zone, too...
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  #76  
Old 07-31-2017, 12:45 PM
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A thing about Armadillos.

In the credits, every enemy in the game gets a single line of description to indicate a bit about them. Aeon Genesis translated the line for Armadillos as "Tough missile", but I think they missed a word in between there: Armadillos are actually immune to missiles! You can shoot missiles all day long at them and they'll just hunker down and shrug them all off!

It's unlikely that most players will find this out, though, as either the Fireball or Machine Gun will be more popular choices to fight them with.
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  #77  
Old 07-31-2017, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
Adorable bunnies shot: let's, uh, maybe stop keeping track.
NO.

Adorable bunnies shot: 8

You must carry this guilt.
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  #78  
Old 07-31-2017, 02:42 PM
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Man, the original Aeon Genesis translation is quite better than the Nicalis one, isn't it?
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  #79  
Old 07-31-2017, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post


Gotta love the face those birds make when you shoot them.
What are birds? We still don't know but we do know that they don't like being shot in the face.
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  #80  
Old 07-31-2017, 09:24 PM
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To be fair, this isn't a new bunny shot, it's the same adorable bunny as before that you're shooting again.
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  #81  
Old 07-31-2017, 09:57 PM
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A repeat offender! You rotten Mimiga-killer!
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  #82  
Old 08-09-2017, 09:38 AM
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Default Interlude: The Music of Cave Story

It's time for an interluuuuuuude!
The Music of Cave Story
Cave Story is one of my favorite games of all time, and the soundtrack is absolutely a big part of why
I love it so much. Pixel's score is a work of brilliance, filled with strong melodies and varied arrangements
that set the tone for the game's scenes. You'd be forgiven for thinking that the music is made up of
chiptunes; in fact, the sounds used in the songs aren't generated, but instead consist of short, looped
samples, more akin to Super Nintendo music (or old PC .mod files). I originally figured this out because
the first PC that I played Cave Story on was unable to loop the samples properly. This caused a very
slight buzzing sound every time the sample looped, which occurred more frequently at higher pitches
(because pitching up the samples reduced their length!). This gave the whole soundtrack a sort of grainy
aesthetic, which I just thought added to the lo-fi charm of the game. But in the end, the music is meant
to sound rustic, not broken, and that's what you get when you follow one of the music links that I have
sprinkled dutifully throughout this LP.


OrgMaker: Maker of orgs

You might be interested to hear that not only did Pixel write all the music for the game, but he coded it
using an app that he made available to the general public! OrgMaker is the humble little engine that drives
all of the fantastic tunes of Cave Story. It is...extremely rudimentary, consisting mostly of a single
window where all of the notes for all of the tracks are shown superposed on top of each other. You can't
resize the window, it's impossible to see the whole range of the keyboard at any given time, and there's
no way to color-code the different instruments beyond highlighting the one you're currently working with.



Despite being a UX nightmare, it's actually a very simple piece of software to learn, which makes it a
decent entry-point for people who want to start making pseudo-chiptunes quickly. But users will quickly
learn that they have almost no tools at their disposal to pretty up their compositions: aside from choosing
the short wavs used by each channel, you have volume control, stereo panning and a whole lot of nothin'
else. Considering how stripped-down it is, the fullness of Pixel's compositions is kind of amazing. There's
no echo built into OrgMaker, so every time you hear that effect in the game (think of the intro to On to
Grasstown), know that it was hand-built. Some of the more elaborate compositions, like the theme song
that plays at the title screen, must have required at least a dozen of hours to cobble together.

Pixel's most recent game, Kero Blaster, uses a newer piece of software that he wrote called PxTone. Unlike
OrgMaker, PxTone adds vibrato and glissando (or is it portamento?) to your toolkit, and seems to include an
instrument maker like you'd find in something like Famitracker. I haven't spent any time with it myself, so I
can't comment with any authority beyond having listened to the music from Kero Blaster a whole bunch.

Anyway, if you're the aspiring composer type, you can go download OrgMaker and/or PxTone right
now at cavestory.org. Even cooler, you can download the original org files for the soundtrack and
open them up in OrgMaker to see how Pixel put them together!


Cave Story Remixes

For a game that has been released in something like 10 different incarnations, it's still pretty impressive
just how many times the soundtrack has been remixed from top to bottom. The first of these to appear
was the New soundtrack that was included with WiiWare version of Cave Story (the first commercial
release of the game). The New soundtrack is...not great. In fact, I believe that part of the controversy
surrounding the Wii release of Cave Story stemmed from just how disappointing people thought the new
music was. Objectively, the New soundtrack is a much lighter-sounding arrangement that uses softer
synths than the original and has a reduced emphasis on percussion. It's not terrible on its own merits,
but in the context of the game, it doesn't work at all. Tracks that should get your blood pumping sound
limp, and quieter tracks are often stymied by the goofy instrumentation (it calls to mind a chiptuney take
on the sort of "toy piano" music that was in Ilomilo). Yann van der Cruyssen, who did this arrangement,
also extended the intros to a number of the tracks - again, not a bad idea, but when playing the game
you'll often find yourself switching away from a track before the melody even gets going. There's a bunch
of stuff in Access that a normal player would never hear, because typically you finishing reading Kazuma's
chat logs in much less time than it takes for the track to fully develop. The bottom line is that playing
Cave Story to this music is just frustrating, but sitting down and listening to the New soundtrack isn't such
a bad time:



Next up, we have the Remastered soundtrack, which was released as part of *shudder* Cave
Story 3D. This version of the music is notable because it was arranged by none other than Danny
Freakin'Baranowsky, well-known to lovers of indie games everywhere. If I'm being totally honest
here, I don't think that this remix really reaches the heights of his original game soundtracks,
but it's still a much better effort than New was. Remastered has a nice variety of instrument
sounds and some extremely choice percussion. Just listen to the bit where the drums kick in
around the 30s mark:



That's the stuff. Anyway, DannyB's remix doesn't quite knock it out of the park, but it's certainly a
fine thing to listen to while playing your way through Cave Story.

Finally: it seems that somehow, in 2017, we are still getting new releases of Cave Story. The most
recent, being less than two months old at the time of this writing, is Cave Story+ for the Switch.
This version of the game comes with a new soundtrack remix by RushJet1, an artist who has been
reworking various game soundtracks to make use of a (simulated) VRC6 chip. Serious nerds will
know that this chip was made famous by Akumajou Densetsu, AKA the Japanese version of
Castlevania III. It expands the classic NES soundscape by adding 3 additional sound channels to
the four that were used in most games (square wave, square wave, triangle wave and noise
channel). Jake Kaufmannused the same setup to great effect for his Shovel Knight soundtrack,
and the result is basically a richer-sounding NES sound chip. I haven't listened to this version of
the soundtrack very much, since I don't have the Switch port of Cave Story, but it seems to be
pretty solid and you can get it for a pittance on his Bandcamp page.



(One thing I noticed on his Bandcamp page was that RushJet1 was apparently given a single week to
crank out this remix of the soundtrack. If similar constraints were imposed for the other soundtrack
remixers, it might explain some of the issues present in their versions, too.)


The Secret Origins of Jenka's Theme

Most of the music in Cave Story was composed by Pixel, but did you know that one piece is not?
That's right, it's Jenka's theme! This bit of music, which we will be hearing quite a lot in our next
update, is based on a particular composition that was written for a Finnish folk dance called Jenkka.
The piece in question is called Letkajenkka and was apparently written by Erik Lindström in th 60s.



As for the dance, well, it resembles something that older Tyrants might remember as the Bunny Hop:



If I'm being totally honest, almost everything I know about this subject I learned from reading two pages
on Wikipedia. But it's still interesting!

That does it for this interlude. See you next time!
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  #83  
Old 08-09-2017, 10:54 AM
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I really love Rushjet's other work, and I didn't know he had done the Cave Story+ soundtrack, so I was very excited to give it a listen.

I think the original is still the best version, though. The Rushjet soundtrack is at its best when it's most closely emulating the originals, and nowhere does it feel like it's reaching past that mark.
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  #84  
Old 08-09-2017, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
The Secret Origins of Jenka's Theme

Most of the music in Cave Story was composed by Pixel, but did you know that one piece is not?
That's right, it's Jenka's theme! This bit of music, which we will be hearing quite a lot in our next
update, is based on a particular composition that was written for a Finnish folk dance called Jenkka.
The piece in question is called Letkajenkka and was apparently written by Erik Lindström in th 60s.
This is actually the first I've heard of this! Very cool.
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  #85  
Old 08-10-2017, 07:46 AM
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I seem to remember reading something about the soundtrack when the Wiiware version came out to the effect of certain instruments just not porting correctly. I want to say the composer issued a press release saying that what people were showing in Let's Plays was totally different than what was composed, but I can't find a link. Hmm.
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  #86  
Old 08-14-2017, 02:09 PM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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I can't access cavestory.org from work, which has some more details, but I think the problem was with the EU and Japanese versions of the game. Apparently it was fixed before the NA release? I can't be sure, because it still sounds pretty bad! I played about half the game with the Wii soundtrack on and my son disliked it so much that he started singing over it to drown it out.
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  #87  
Old 08-15-2017, 09:52 AM
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Default Chapter 5, Part 1

Chapter 5: The Labyrinth
Part One - Monster X and the Black Ghost
♪♪Jenka 1♪♪


So here we are, tossed in the depths of the Labyrinth like so much garbage. I wonder why
Jenka's theme is still playing?



There's an assortment of blue robots down here, like the one we met up in the Egg Corridor.
This first one doesn't have much to say. But his friends do!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mega Manny
You poor thing...
This is the island's trash heap.
Once you get in, you never get out...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mega Manny 2
But the footing's tricky up there.
I fell over and over again until I broke my legs.
That's a pretty horrifying image! Good thing this guy is a robot, I guess.



He wasn't kidding about the door, so it looks like we don't have any other option except to
explore the treacherous heights. But first, let's take a look at our newest weapon: King's Blade!





The Blade is basically a little dagger that shoots out horizontally, with a range of about what
you see in the second image. You can only have one on screen at a time, but it hits for a whopping
15 damage when it connects. And much like the Fireball, if you're close to an enemy you can spam
it quickly to do huge amounts of damage. This is how Cave Story mitigates the sting of weapon
degradation: by giving you a weapon that is still extrmely useful even at level 1. If all else
fails during a boss fight, you can still do respectable damage with the Blade no matter what level
it's at.



As with the Fireball, we are also provided with a perfect area to test out our new toy as soon
as we acquire it. The purple critters up in the rafters will leap and shoot at you if you hit them,
which makes killing them with the Machine Gun a real pain. But one hit from the Blade takes care
of them instantly! They are also located conveniently about one Blade-throw's length away from
the various platforms that we'll be using to climb to the top of this room.



This whole big room is an extended vertical platforming sequence with a bunch of these critters
lobbing balls at you. It can be tricky, especially if you come out of the Toroko fight in rough
shape (since there's no health station in this room). Climbing it will be tough...



...for a sucker who doesn't still have a powered-up Machine Gun! Ahaha! Take that, level design!



Of course, no sooner did I start flying then I ran into an enemy, losing my lv3 Machine Gun.
I guess we'll be climbing after all. =I

This critter is sitting on top of our next Life Capsule. He's also just exactly the right
distance from us...



...to hit with the Blade! Thanks, Pixel.



I guess the majority of Life Capsules actually give you 5 HP once you make it farther into the
game? Not sure why I thought 3s and 4s were the order of the day. I think I don't actually pay
that much attention to the numbers when I'm playing most of the time.



Farther up, some of the creepy-eyed stones start to move! These ones activate on your approach
and move back and forth horizontally.





Hop!





Two more moving stones and we make it up to a computer terminal.



Yes!



The camera pans down and we see the little blue robots reacting to the door opening, which I
think is a pretty nice touch. Now we just have to jump aaaaaalllllll the way back down.



Whooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!



And we're free! Or, free-ish. We've made it to Labyrinth H - each section has a letter code,
although I can't find any rhyme nor reason to them.

This jumbo cockroach-looking dude is a Gaudi. They aren't friendly.



They're also another great reason to use the Blade! It does just enough damage to take them out
with a single shot.

The little guy on the floor isn't doing so well. Investigating him yields this:

It's a robot. What's left of it.



To the left we come to a twisty section. It's like some kinda dang maze.
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  #88  
Old 08-15-2017, 09:53 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Default Chapter 5, Part 2



On the top level, we are accosted by more moving blocks! Make no mistake, getting squished by
one of these things is instant death.



This little nook in the ceiling is our ticket past ol' crushey.



One more trap awaits us before we exit to...
♪♪Jenka 2♪♪


...Labyrinth W! Which is not the letter that comes after H! Note the much more upbeat remix of
Jenka's theme (and by extension, Letkajenkka). It's time for some action!



After a few more critters and Gaudi (another word I'm not sure if I should be capitalizing), we
come to a door. I decide to clear a safe path before heading inside.



Eat it, cockroach! Gaudis make a delightful squeaking sound when you kill them. =D
♪♪Gestation ♪♪


Inside is the Labyrinth Shop, which is also populated by the Gaudi. These ones seem to be friendly,
however.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug 1
*sniff sniff*
YOU smell a bit like Mimiga.
Well, sorta friendly. To inedible robots.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug 2
She's the one who constructed this labyrinth, in order to keep us Gaudis penned up.
Aha, so Jenka was responsible for the creation of the labyrinth! That explains the music.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug 3
This island is floating high in the skies.
As to how it manages to float...
That secret lies within this maze.
And this explains the whole flying dragon/take over the surface stuff. We're on a floating island!
I always thought this was a fun reveal, since you wouldn't typically expect a game about caves to
secretly take place in the sky. And yet, here we are.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug 4
And moving the boulder would be just the beginning of your trials...
As much as I'd love to spend the rest of my life trapped in a cave filled with giant cockroaches,
I think I'm willing to risk whatever is behind that boulder.

Let's go chat up the guy at the cash register.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug 5
and there's nothing to sell right now.
Sorry 'bout that...
*sigh*
Here. How about this?
You can have it for free.
I don't see any money on you, anyway.


Increases the rate at which the machine gun replenishes ammo.

Hey, that's pretty nice! I like this store. Having a faster recharge will be very useful during
boss fights, and it makes flying indefinitely easier too.

Speaking of flying, you need the powered-up Machine Gun to get to the last Gaudi, since the jump
up here is too high to make normally.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug 6
Of course, it just led elsewhere in the labyrinth...
Real interesting. Anyway, I've gotta go kill a bunch of your friends now. Ta ta!
♪♪Jenka 2♪♪


We've powered up the Blade to level 2 and it now does a colossal 18 damage per hit.



However! The range has now been shortened to what you see here. So it's a bit of a tradeoff,
and there are times when you'll definitely be happier with a level 1 Blade instead. Then again,
most of the time you use the Blade to deal tons of damage to something that you're standing
next to, and in those cases the range doesn't matter all that much.



There's a whole dang bunch of Gaudis in this area, along with two more doors. Taking all the
bugs out gives us enough Doritos to make it to level 3. And this is where the Blade starts to
get a little weird:



Instead of throwing an even bigger knife, the spirit of King himself springs forth and brings its
wrath down on your enemies! This attack hits in a very large area for a lot of damage, but it isn't
quite as concentrated as the level 1 or 2 Blade, so it isn't always superior for doing damage to
bosses. It's still pretty cool, though.
♪♪Safety♪♪


We enter the lower door and find ourselves in the Camp. And hey, look who's waiting for us!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Green
No, no, no charge, don't worry.
In return, though, there's something I'd like to ask of you.
There's an old clinic near here.
Go and see if there isn't any medicine left in there.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurse Green
I used to work in the old clinic nearby,
but it was seized by ghosts and I fled here.
I'm just saying, maybe if you and your doctor buddy did a better job, there wouldn't be so many
ghosts around HMMMMM?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly
Haven't seen YOU in a while. You're looking good!
That witch tossed you down here too, eh? Same as me!
We never get any details about Curly's altercation with Misery, nor when it happened precisely.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms. Brace (if you're nasty)
I'd actually had my hopes for you, but...
And me, I tried. Oh, I tried.
And just look where it got me.
.....
And all for nothing.
In the end, I couldn't save any of those children.
The shape I'm in now, I won't be leaving anytime soon...
Curly is uncharacteristically sullen, although I suppose that's understandable. It isn't clear
whether the Colons were killed or taken away by the Doctor, but I believe it's the latter.
Hooray? You can talk to Curly again to continue the pity party:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly
I survived, yeah, but now what?
Guess I'm just going to sit here and rot...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurse Green
If you care about her, I'd advise you to do as the doctor says.
This isn't meant to sound threatening, but that is some classic 80s movie villain dialogue there.
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  #89  
Old 08-15-2017, 09:53 AM
MCBanjoMike's Avatar
MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
Sudden chomper
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 15,756
Default Chapter 5, Part 3



All right, let's go see if we can help a sister out.
♪♪Jenka 2♪♪


Outside the clinic door is another fun, chaotic spot. You have to come through here a few times
and it's pretty hard to get through without taking a hit. We let King do the talking for us.



The clinic door is just barely off the screen when you come out of the camp, to the upper left.
But as we make our way up, we spy a suspicious-looking star block to the top right...



It's a secret passage! The jump up here is too high to make on your own, so you'll need that
level 3 Machine Gun to make it. OR SO I THOUGHT. Once again, the longplay video that I've been
watching to get the music cues right taught me something new about the game: namely, that you
can bait a critter into jumping and then damage boost off its head to get up there without the
Machine Gun! At this point I've referenced this video enough times that it probably deserves
a link, so here you go. Whoever is playing for this recording knows all kinds of cool tricks that I'd
never figured out. This particular one happens at about 1:34:25.



When you take damage, the amount of weapon energy lost will be halved.

That's really useful! If you miss this, you can come back and pick it up later on. I wouldn't
want to fight some of the later bosses without it.





All is quiet inside the clinic. Let's go check out that chest.



Apparently this cures anything and everything...

Sounds like this'll do the trick to get Curly up and running again. But as soon as we grab it...
~THE BLACK WIND HOWLS~
♪♪Gravity♪♪


It's a g-g-g-g-ghost!!



This black ghost (officially: Puu) looks an awful lot like Balrog, I've gotta say. It is surrounded
by a cloud of black bubbles, which absorb your shots and damage you.



For the most part, it attacks by jumping off the screen and then trying to land on top of you.
The bubbles start to form before it lands, giving you a second to move out of the way.



The powered-up Blade does a pretty good job of chewing through the black bubbles on this fight.



I took a hit here and my Blade went down to level 2, but as I've mentioned before that's not
much of a problem. Just stay close to the enemy and you can still pile the damage on.





When you land the last hit, the black ghost dissolves away. No victory fanfare this time - are we
supposed to feel bad that we killed Balrog's ancestor (again)? No explanation is forthcoming.
♪♪Safety♪♪


We head back to the clinic and give the doc the medicine we found.





Maybe one or two...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly
I don't know who made it, but it's apparently the trash heap of the island.
There's only one way out.
You ahve to get past the giant rock in the Boulder Chamber.
I'd go with you, but with the state I'm in, I'd just get in your way...
♪♪Jenka 2♪♪


Looks like we're going solo for now. Or does King make it a duo? Note that Spirit King's eyes are
blue, not reddish.



You can climb all around to get to this path, but why do that when you can fly?



More moving blocks are here to ruin our day. This one is descending from the ceiling to crush us.



You have to make a somewhat tricky jump to get around it, although this is made easier by the
Machine Gun. Failure, of course, means instant death (unless you land on the little spikes, which
do 10 damage). Don't forget to save your game!



There's another block here that comes up to squish us, but if you're quick you can squeak through
without waiting for it to cycle.



Farther on, we come across some sort of weird tank thing, surrounded by a swarm of Gaudis. They
may be named after one of my favorite architects, but nonetheless they're pretty annoying. The
flying ones in particular will shoot purple shots at you (after flashing for a second) and they aren't
shy about attacking you from off-screen. On the bright side, the big tank thing isn't active and
just serves as set dressing, so at least we don't have to worry about it.
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  #90  
Old 08-15-2017, 09:54 AM
MCBanjoMike's Avatar
MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
Sudden chomper
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 15,756
Default Chapter 5, Part 4



This hallway extends quite a ways to the right and is filled with at least a dozen Gaudis. But as
we make our way to the end...
♪♪Eyes of Flame♪♪


...we find that we're walled-off, and the more-serious-sounding boss music starts to play!
~UH OH~


The tank have started to move!



The cat tank is a fearsome adversary and has been the end of many a Cave Story playthrough.
From what I've seen, it's generally considered one of the hardest fights in the game. Personally,
I do find it challenging, but once you know a few tricks it becomes pretty manageable. Not to
say that I never lose here, but my win rate is significantly higher than it is for some of the
later fights.

The tank careens back and forth, doing big damage if it hits you with its treads. The first thing
to know is that you can safely stand on the tread housings, although you'll usually get thrown off
whenever it changes direction. Jumping back and forth between them every time the tank turns
is the best way to stay out of danger.



You can't hurt the tank while it's moving. Every few passes, though, it'll stop and open up its
shell to shoot purple division symbols at you (just like the flying Gaudis and Balfrog). Before
you can start working on its health bar, you have to destroy the foor green circles flanking the
two eyes. Or one eye and one other green circle that isn't like the ones you can break. Whatever.



Once the four circles are broken, then you can start chipping away at its health (again, only when
the shell opens up). Level 2 Blade is one of the highest DPS weapons in the game - I believe it is
only outclassed by the fully-powered-up missiles, and those run out of ammo after a while. 216
damage in a single cycle isn't too bad, if I say so myself!



At this point, the tank starts to shoot fish-missiles at you (?), which slowly circle around. They
aren't especially dangerous, but between them, the remaining Gaudis and the tank zooming across
the screen, there's a lot to keep track of. The missiles can be farmed for weapon energy, life and
missile refills...



...which is how I got my Blade back up to level 3. King's puttin' in some work.



Got it!



The tank explodes with a blinding flash, revealing...



...the true identity of its pilot! The cat splats against your monitor and then falls away, à la
Turtles in Time.
♪♪Victory!♪♪


A well-fought victory!
♪♪Jenka 2♪♪


With Monster X out of the way, we are free to explore the far end of the hallway. There's a door!



Stepping into the next room, we hear the sound of a teleporter.





And down falls professor Booster! He's looking a little worse for wear. Shall we go find out
what the heck he's doing here? We shall...next time, on Let's Play Cave Story! Huzzah!
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cave story , dark souls of undertale , huzzah! , indie , let's play , platformers , studio pixel , they're balls of yarn

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