July 02, 2015

Ninja Rahoi! - Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!

While grinding through a RPG, it's rare that I get excited for the next town for reasons other than new shiny things to purchase.  In this case, however, I'm more excited to see what new zaniness awaits me.  The next stop on my journey is Dream Town, where half the population are lively ghosts, each with a burning desire to give a partial clue to the secret three digit code that will allow access to their local treasury.  They also sometimes give good life advice as only a centuries-old ghost can.

Uhm, are you me?

The number is easy enough to figure out; the ghosts themselves don't seem to think it's very hard, which really put the pressure on ol' Shen.  The reward for my cleverness is a vast array of 25 hampers (traditional Japanese version of a chest) which I can keep on opening until I find one of Rahoi's scrolls.  Far more interesting to me than the scroll was the Trippy Balls I discover, which I will save until I get some alone time and an appropriate album.

Pretty sure it's impossible to trip a sphere
(R.I.P. literal — you will literally be missed).

Rumours of a dog who knows ninjutsu drive me on to the next pocket of civilization called Runaway Hamlet.  The townsfolk are all dogs for whatever reason and they are all about being ninja dogs.

I normally prefer cats, but this does sound adorable.

The dog with the blackest belt is named Takamaru and he will be my best friend for the rest of the game for he is a good boy.  As an aside, in an odd design choice, I actually had to name a dog character at the very beginning of the game.  Said dog has shown up a few times in different villages but all he does is remind me that he's the dog I named at the start.  Why wouldn't this ninja dog be my named dog?  Because that's not how Ninja Rahoi! rolls, that's why.  Takamaru starts at level one but quickly gains battle experience.  I like to think it also helps that almost every monster seems to exclusively attack him.

You leave Taka-kun alone!  *sob*

Once my poochie has garnered enough levels, I feel ready to embark on the next leg of my journey.  En route to whatever crazy ass-town is next, we come across an eerily silent and long path, flanked by thousands of Jiz┼Ź statues.  This seems like as good a place as any to drop some tab, so Takamaru and I break out the Trippy Balls and immediately regret our decision as we descend into a jizzy maelstrom of nightmarish terror.

I was going to loop this at 0.1 second intervals,
but it was really fucking annoying, even for me.

Fueled by the psilocybin, we each have to battle our own personal demons in order to achieve transcendental nirvana.  I come to grips with the fact that I'm a handsome, well-toned manchine (with great hair) in his late 30's playing archaic console RPGs instead of going out into society, making those dollars, and scoring boatloads of hot chicks.  Takamaru comes to terms with the fact that I haven't given him a single steak since we started our expedition together.  Thankfully, the next town gives us a chance to recover and doesn't even go overboard with the humour.  Just when I think that Ninja Rahoi! might be losing its comedic edge, one townsfolk nonchalantly foreshadows what humourous stylings await me by name-dropping the next village.

Oh crap.

Though it's tempting to just rush right to said village, I have a few things to take care of in this area first, namely completing the most interesting tengu challenge to date.  When I first arrive at the tengu's reclusive abode, he immediately refuses to teach me anything because I have too much money on hand.  Seems simple enough to fool him; I just need to deposit all my money in the bank beforehand.  Alas, that won't quite work as the bank only deals in increments of 100 golds.  In order to get my money down to zero, I have to get my funds into a multiple of 12 (the lowest cost item) while consistently visiting the bank.  It's not just grinding, it's grinding with purpose!  Even after I manage this feat, the challenge doesn't end there.  Now I have to get to the tengu's house without defeating a single enemy.  In addition to the normal option of fleeing, I can use the Jutsu technique of Runaway, which guarantees an expeditious retreat.  Too bad Takamaru has other plans and slays a creature before I can tie up my runners, forcing me to take the experience and gold reward.  Well, Taka's really not getting steak now.  After repeating the depletion process again, the bank declared me their most favoured customer and, after muzzling Takamaru, successfully completed the tengu's quest.

The tengu's ignorance of modern
commerce works to Shen's advantage.

The technique that the tengu master teaches me is called Jingle, costs no points to use, and generates a single gold piece for every step taken in the overworld.  As a bonus, every step also plays a sound effect that is akin to when Mario punches a coin out of a block.  All this grinding has left Taka and I quite exhausted and we decide to take a break and do some sight-seeing with our giant kite which I purchased for a mere pittance.  The kite has a range of about two screens but always must return to the place where it took off and can be used many times.  This effectively allows me to do reconnaissance.  Reconnaissance in a JRPG.  Oh, Ninja Rahoi!, you are winning me over big time.  Come on, Taka!  Let's fly!

♪ I can show you the world!
Shining, shimmering, splendid! ♫

I suppose everyone is anxious for me to get to Turd Village, just to see how bad it can get.  Upon first stepping into the soft, moist grounds of the village, I knew it was going to sink to a new low as the townsfolk themselves are actual coily piles of poo (with eyes and legs).

Oh sorry, I mean turdsfolk.  Didn't mean to trigger you.

The inhabitants of the village are desperate to get television in their community as they all want to produce a variety of shows.  There's no shops other than an inn, which is just as well since any weapons they would have would be pretty shitty.  The whole place just serves as a springboard for poop jokes based around TV shows.  Unfortunately, the shows used in the wordplay are modern and not That 90's Show so I didn't get half of them.  Now, I have about twenty screencaps from here but I'm not about to make a gif that big so I'll just show some highlights... er, I mean lowlights.

What about Family Splatters?
Or The Fresh Pinch of Bowl-Air?

We also pick up the lordly Prince of Turds, Shitose, who is the only one who can guide us through the next cave.  In addition to keeping all living things with an olfactory system well away from us, the velvety prince acts as a sometimes-shield in battle, soaking up the occasion enemy attack.

He also does this sometimes as well, but I don't
know what it does as I'm always busy retching.

We won't be going to the cave right now though, as a pleasant afternoon kiting has revealed a village I missed in my excitement to reach Turd Village.  This village is currently having a pun contest and the entire town is trying out.

Oh carp.

Turd Village must have damaged my comedy sensors somewhat as I actually find myself enjoying my time with all the turdsfolk.

♫ Anything goes when it comes to soles,
cuz shrimpin' ain't easy! ♪

Even an outsider such as myself is allowed to participate.  At first I just bit one of the NPC's lines (guess which one), which wins me one serving of the cheapest healing item in the game.  I enter again, wanting to test whether the game actually looks for fishy keywords or not.

You know, just for the halibut.

At this point my central puncessing unit overheats and I decide to just get on with it and enter the cave Shitose is supposed to guide us through.  I say suppose to because he never once actually guides us in any way, shape, or form.

"Wha... dead end?  Shitose, you stupid POS"

Well, if Shitose can ever manage to get his ass out of his head, maybe we'll stand a chance of getting through this cavern.  I want to get through this dungeon as soon as possible, as Shitose has been with us for a couple days now and I swear man, the guy doesn't even shower.