November 10, 2014

STED - Stumpsted

Often in these older RPGs, I'll reach a point where I get completely stuck.  I spin my wheels for awhile, revisiting old towns and dungeons until I figure out what I missed.  I don't hate this aspect; it adds to the challenge and sometimes it's my own damn fault (okay, most times).  But usually there'll be just one major roadblock and once it has been hurled, the rest of the game goes smoothly.  STED has issued me two such roadblocks and there's still more game to go, but I'm getting ahead of myself here.  Last I spake with thee all, I was having problems with the uber-tough Bowser.  Even with micromanaging all my available resources, he was still a tough customer.  At one point, I was beginning to think that he wasn't actually taking damage and that I needed a special item or weapon of some kind.  I barely managed to eke out a victory but what a victory it was.  The celebration was short-lived as, soon after, I realized that I'd need a password for the computer... which I didn't have.  After administering a spanking to myself (which was hot), I exited the tower and went back to the nearby towns to quiz the folks a second time.  It doesn't help that the majority of townsfolk spout off the obvious instead of a clue (or even flavour text).

Well, I guess this isn't one of
those places, huh, asshole.

I was aware that I had an unfinished quest involving finding a hermit.  I even knew the general area that he was hiding in (thanks to a vague clue from a useful citizen).  I searched every goddamn rock and tree in the area but to no avail.  This was the first roadblock.  I wasted a lot of time tooling around, hoping to stumbling across something.  It was during this long, aimless trek that I started to fade out a bit as the redundancy of encounters took their toll.  During this hazy-headed time, something in the back of my mind clicked — something that had been bothering me since the beginning but that I wasn't even conscious of.  The little music jingle that plays whenever a random encounter happens is the same as the one that plays whenever a level is selected from the map screen in Super Mario Bros. 3.  Fascinating, right?  But that didn't help me in my quest.  What did though was realizing that I had a quest item in the form of a harp that I hadn't used yet (or had any clue what it was for).  I tried the harp on all the rocks and trees and voilĂ , my first hurdle was hurdled.  After getting the password from the hermit, I climbed the tower again and got another gem from the computer.  Now it was off to the next continent and finally some new monster types.

This Sith's light saber is just too adorable.

This time I was prepared; I knew there would be a tower with a compie at the top and I would not scale it until I had a password.  I had plenty of incentive to explore around; the photon weapons being offered were hella expensive.  While exploring, I found something even better than the SNES.  You know how I ended off the last post with a being-distracted-by-porn gag?  In a hilarious coincidence, STED itself distracted me with much the same.

Nothing happened... just like in real life. *sob*

Things went much smoother on the third continent and soon I had the last gem needed to enter the (hopefully) final tower that had been mocking me since I left the first continent (there's a central hub from which each of the continents can be accessed).  I was in good spirits as the entire party had sweet photon weapons.  Even sweeter was that we could buy Brainers, which restore EP.  This meant we didn't have to carry less efficient healing items as well as being able to weather the random encounters.  A lot of randoms have monsters that can only be damaged by ESP and that takes precious EP away from healing.  Not that that matters to Gap as it can't be healed by normal means.  Speaking of Gap, I hate to bag on a fellow bro-bot, but Gap kinda sucks.  It's a decent fighter, about on par with Actes, but its non-organic status means it has to have its own separate healing items.  Gap also can't use ESP and doesn't gain stat points to distribute like the meatbags do.

The Photon Cannon would be impressive
except for the fact that Corona and
I also have photon weapons.

At any rate, we were set for our assault on the maybe-final tower.  With a deep breath, I stepped forward onto the tower only to have nothing happen.  I walked through it like it wasn't even there.  Dread began to creep up my spine.  I knew there were only three gems to collect and I had 'em, so why wouldn't this stupid tower let me in?  And so we've come to my second roadblock.  Perhaps these gems are used inside the tower and I need a different item to get in?  If so, I have no idea what the item could be.  Guess I'll have to see if the local citizens can clue me in.