Monday, November 29, 2010

Earthbound Scrapbook Entry #14: Land of the Lost (GPP14)

We, the Ancient Knowledge Rocks of the Lost Underworld and beyond, cannot stand behind the recent strange behavior of the once docile Tenda tribe.

The Tendas, a normally quiet and reserved people, have begun acting very strangely in the past hours. We believe the disturbance to be connected to the arrival of four human youths led by the red capped boy, Ness. Before they showed their faces, the Tendas remained almost silent throughout the day, tending to their needs in beautiful silence.

But since the humans came, the Tendas have gotten out of control. For example, one of their new pastimes, called "beer pong," involves the ingestion of large amounts of intoxicants as well as minor physical activity and loud, obnoxious cheering.

The Tendas have also begun utilizing their "Weird Junk" collection to make as much noise as possible, often late into the night. Most mornings have become very difficult for the tribe as they have complained of a lack of rest and headaches throughout what used to be their most productive morning hours.

Nearly the entire tribe has gone from respectable, self-minding individuals to intoxicant swigging, loudmouthed hooligans.

Observe, for example, Democyan, a once-respectable father who now sleeps all day and spends his nights ingesting microbe waste and making rude gestures to his fellow Tendas.

This ruination can be traced to the teachings of the young humans. Yet, through our collective consciousness, we sense that these children are indeed the saviors of the world. Their ruination of the Tenda tribe is a regrettable side affect of the rescue process, but it is still our duty to help them achieve their goal of destroying the evil Giygas, destroyer of lands.

After removing the inhibitions of the previously puritanical Tendas, the young humans entered Lumine Hall, a sacred place once inaccessible to all benign living things. It was up to us to begrudgingly aid them in their quest.

"I am a talking rock," we said.

"Holy crap," replied Ness.

Throughout Lumine Hall, we aided our new friends with invaluable information, including this indispensable tidbit: "I am a talking rock."

As Ness and his friends approached the limits of Lumine Hall and the entrance to the Lost Underworld - we gave him the indispensable hint "I don't have much to say" - the youths met up with the Electro Specter, the strongest villain taking up residence in Lumine Hall.

It looked as if all was lost until the one they call "Jeff" destroyed the beast with a single rocket attack. Then, the four Chosen Ones headed down into the heart of Lumine Hall.

This is when a peculiar thing occurred; something we've never seen before.

"Who's this Ryu guy?" asked Ness.

"I'm not sure," replied Jeff. "Perhaps he's the protagonist of another... uh... adventure."

They shrugged their shoulders and, without hesitation, hopped into the entrance to the dinosaur haven.

*   *   *

We watched their progress from our many perches in the underworld.

"I feel so tiny," said Paula, "almost like an ant."

"Hopefully not like the ant I squashed at Giant Step," said Ness.

Paula looked confused.

"There!" exclaimed the prince of Dalaam, "there in the grass!"

Two huge beasts grazed on the lush vegetation in the distance. The youths gasped with surprise and awe.

"Gasp!" said Ness. "I am surprised an awed!"

*   *   *

Paula stared up through the palm trees. She was the last of the four to accept her new, diminutive stature.

"If the trees are this big," she said, "how about the monsters?"

Ness shivered a bit.

"Hopefully we won't ever find out," he said.

The prince ceased moving and grabbed Jeff's shoulder, stopping him in his tracks. Paula and Ness noticed the discrepancy in their formation and stopped walking as well.

"I think we are about to do just that," said the prince.

Looking down at them was a giant, terrible lizard that time had forgotten.

*   *   *

"If one dinosaur took that much out of us, how will we ever defeat Giygas?" asked Paula. She was equipped with the peculiar new weapon the Chompasaur had dropped after his defeat at the hands of the children.

"I don't know, but we have to keep going," said Jeff. "We have to keep going for everyone you care about. We have to keep going for everyone who exists, even my father."

"I'm sorry he hurt you, Jeff," said Paula, "but I know he loves you in his own way."

At that moment, the four crossed paths with the most knowledgeable of all ancient rocks. It called out to their leader.


The four focused on the rock.

"Listen Ness. I'm going to tell you something very important. You're the chosen one. Your destiny is not only yours... It's the destiny of the whole universe. There will be a time in which all of you in the universe will overlap each other. Do you remember Giant Step in Onett?"

"Yeah, with the big nasty ant," Ness replied.

"That is one of your sanctuaries. It is a spot which gives you power and allows you to realize all your skills. You must reach all of the eight power spots; when the Sound Stone records the melodies of all eight power spots you can finally see your world."

"My world?" Ness asked.

"Listen to the melodies of all eight power spots. If you do not fail, you may upset Giygas' plans... Understand, Ness?"

"No!" he exclaimed. "I don't! Who... who am I?! Why can't I just be a normal kid?!"

"That's fine," said the rock. "The time will come. The time when the destiny of you and the whole universe will overlap... It is fast approaching. You must obtain the final melody at the Fire Springs, to the east."

That's when the most ancient of all rocks ceased speaking. Ness was still confused. He pleaded with the rock to give him more information.

It remained quiet.

*   *   *

The four solemnly walked through the giant foliage of the Lost Underworld, in the general direction the most ancient rock had told them to go. In their hearts, they knew Ness would soon bear the brunt of the responsibility they all shared.

An enemy - the one known as "Ego Orb" - appeared during this time.

Ness was so lost in thought that he raised his weapon and slayed the beast in one hit, all without removing his hand from his chin.

Soon, the four had reached the fire rock where no ancients may go. We could sense much conflict from within. We knew that Ness and his friends were fighting valiantly for the fate of the world.

Then, a terrible blow.

Ness, the savior of our world, had collapsed.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nintendo Life, Vol. 4

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgaming

Sonic, 1993
On June 23, 1991, Sega unleashed the first video game starring their new mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog. This has little to do with Thanksgiving and much to do with me failing the third grade, but it’s worth noting that Sonic was the first video game character that appeared as a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: the Blue Blur originally sailed over NYC in 1993. Sonic is also the first video game character that appeared as a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to crash into a building and squash several onlookers, but Sega doesn’t like talking about that part very much. At least it was less of a disaster than the 32X.

Not to be outdone by Sega, in 1994 – coinciding with the release of Super Metroid on the SNES – Nintendo introduced a balloon version of a Metroid which drained the energy from thousands of unsuspecting parade goers. The balloon’s fearsome, 100 foot tall teeth and horrendous, insatiable appetite injured 607 and killed 253, mostly children, outdoing the carnage dispensed the year before by Sega’s mascot by nearly 10,000 percent.

Note the screaming gentleman in the lower left corner.

Mario is cooler.
Okay, I might have gotten my facts mixed up on that last bit. However, a Nintendo character did eventually join the Blue Blur for everyone’s favorite Turkey Day tradition: Pokémon’s Pikachu first appeared over the heads of the spectators at the 2001 Macy’s Parade. Then in 2006, an upgraded version with light-up cheeks and a pokéball preceded good ol’ Saint Nick. Personally I would have chosen Super Mario, but I guess Pikachu is okay… if you like crappy games.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Earthbound Scrapbook Entry #13: The Day the Starmen Stood Still (GPP13)


I'm shy.

We're shy...

Want change. Want friends.


Mom and dad take picture. They're shy.


Four children came. Had weird junk.

Looking for book: Overcoming Shyness.

Children kind. Want to help.

Follow. Help.


Children went to cold place. I came too.

Looking for Apple boy. Has book Overcoming Shyness.

Many battles. Scared. Red hat boy protect.



Ness and Paula kind. Poo unfortunate name but strong. And prince! Jeff smart; veiny forehead.

Apple Kid not at old man's lab.

Something is wrong. I am scared. We rest now.


Stonehenge is many rocks. Stonehenge is where many people are trapped. Ness and Poo are collecting supplies. Paula and Jeff are waiting at old man's lab for old man. Jeff is... sad? Why?

I am waiting too.

I am someone. I am me!

Friends are kind to me. Friends are good to have.


We are going into Stonehenge. Bad people took old man and Apple boy. We are going to take them back. We are going to save them.

The stairs are funny colored.

So is the inside of the building.

There are many enemies around. This is very dangerous.


Poo is looking for the Sword of Kings. He says it will help us fight the monsters. He is looking and looking. The Starmen are evil, but I feel bad for them. Poo is trashing them relentlessly. The rest of friends are very, very tired of fighting. I am very bored and I wish there was no Sword of Kings.

TENDA JOURNAL: ??? So tired!

It has been many, many days and Poo has not found the Sword of Kings. My friends, however, are still good and kind.

Poo is very sad, but he understands that he will not find his sword.

We are going to continue through the base.

TENDA JOURNAL: Sometime in August

We are near the final enemy of the Stonehenge base. Poo never got his Sword of Kings, but I think it is going to be okay. I know a battle is coming; a big battle. I know my friends can win; they are the saviors of the world.


We are about to fight the final starman. We've located all the people who have been taken hostage by Giygas's henchmen. All we need to do is destroy the head starman.

*   *  *

Ness and his friends destroyed him easily. Now, because Apple Kid doesn't have it, we're on our way to Ness's hometown to find the Overcoming Shyness book.


Because the Apple Kid didn't have it, we've returned to Ness's hometown, Onett, to find the Overcoming Shyness book in the Onett library.

I know my people can benefit from it greatly.

Onett is very beautiful and bright.

The Onett library had the Overcoming Shyness book, but Ness isn't interested in showing it to my tribe just yet. He said he'd like his friends to meet his mother at his house. We walked up the path to where Ness lives. To the left was his neighbor Pokey's house.

Ness opened the door to his home and invited his friends in. He called out for his mother, and she walked down the stairs. She took one look and her eyes lit up.

"Hello, Mom," Ness said.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Earthbound Scrapbook Entry #12: Deep Dark Dungeon Man (GPP12)

As much as I'm thankful to Dr. Andonuts for changing me into the Dungeon Man, sometimes I get lonely here on the Scrabian coastline, all by myself. That's why I'm always happy to meet new people; the people who travel though me. Sometimes they make it all the way; other times they the decide to turn back. But Ness, Paula and Jeff, despite their youth, are the first ones to make it to the end of my dungeon so easily. There's something intriguing about them; I feel they somehow need my help, but the only thing I could think of was to accompany them on their journey. That way, they would always have access to a phone, a place to sleep, a good doctor and plenty of food - though they'll have to go hunting for most of that.

Things were wonderful for about an hour - then I got trapped between two palm trees. There was really nothing else I could do aside from bidding my new friends a painful goodbye. I watched them disappear as the sun began to set over Deep Darkness.

Less than 20 minutes later, the trio had returned!

"Dungeon Man, we need your help!" said Paula.

"But Paula, I couldn't possibly help you now. I can't help anyone; I'm stuck!"

Ness pointed at my massive belly.

"But you can! You can still help us! You've got an old vehicle collection, right?"

I did. And I've always been very proud of it, even before I was big enough to carry it with me everywhere I go.

"Sure, but how its that going to -"

"We need something that can get us through the sea and to Deep Darkness," said Jeff. "A simple boat won't suffice; this vehicle has to have a powerful form of locomotion to get us through the stew-like consistency of the water surrounding the Deep Darkness coast."

It turns out I could aid my friends after all! I haven't felt this elated since I first became the Dungeon Man!

"Inside me, you'll find just what you're looking for," I said. "It's next to the bicycle. And by the way, the yellow color is purely coincidental."

*   *   *

Jeff must be the best mechanic in Eagleland and beyond, because not too soon after the trio lugged the submarine out of me did Jeff have it functioning again.

"That's amazing!" I exclaimed, my booming enthusiasm shaking the ground around the three. "How did you learn to do that."

He didn't look at me.

"The man who turned you into a living dungeon was - IS - my father."

"You're Dr. Andonuts's son!? Amazing! Why didn't you mention this earlier?" I asked.

Jeff frowned. I didn't push him.

Soon, they had loaded their new sub into the ocean and were ready to go. Ness waved to me and Paula blew me a kiss before slamming the hatch shut. I didn't know that the sub had a radio - or maybe Jeff installed one, who knows - but I swear I heard music as they submerged and headed off to the unknown.

The setting sun set the sea on fire with red and yellow.

*   *   *

It was a few hours later. I was worried about them.

Some of my tenants brought me the telescope I had stashed in my spleen. It had a few more coffee stains on it than I remember, but I think I know how that happened. I adjusted the telescope until... yes! There they were! My friends had made it to the other side of the sea safely and were approaching land!

I switched on the sonic hearing device that Dr. Andonuts had installed so that we might communicate. I figured if I tuned it to the correct frequency, I might be able to hear -

"This broken down canoe filled with mosquito larvae doesn't exactly inspire confidence," said Jeff.

Eureka! I could follow along with my friends on their adventure now! They took a few more steps and Paula stepped on something that went "crack."

"What that?" she asked, her voice trembling.

"It's... it's a dead thing," replied Ness. I knew he was trying to hide his own fear, but he wasn't doing a very good job of it.

Jeff adjusted his glasses and got down on his knees to get a better look.

"Technically it's a felis catus, a member of the..."

His friends stared at him. 

"Okay, it's a VERY dead thing. Let's move on."

*   *   *

"It's getting dark," said Paula.

"And the land is getting wetter," added Ness.

"Jeff, can we use the Hawk Eye now?" Paula asked.

"Not yet," he replied. "We need to use it at the darkest point of Deep Darkness, or it won't function correctly. I don't know how many 'tries' we get, so we need to save it for when there is the least amount of light visible."

"Oh. Okay," said Paula. She was quite uneasy.

*   *   *

"We'll have to enter this area if we want to continue," Jeff informed the group.

"Wait," said Ness. "I'm having some kind of a flashback..."

He put his index fingers on his temples and closed his eyes hard.

"Someone once told me that 'do not enter' means just that: Don't enter."

"Do you want to save the world from Giygas?" Jeff asked.

Ness nodded.

"Then over the barbed wire and through the marsh to parts unknown you go," he said.

*   *   *

"It's getting darker," said Paula.

"And the ground is getting even squishier," said Ness.

"Can we use the Hawk Eye now?" Paula asked.

Jeff just kept slogging though the swamp.

A minute later, it was almost pitch black. I could hardly keep the kids in the sights of my telescope. All I could hear was the sloshing of the water around them as my friends trudged on.

"It's really, really dark!" Paula yelled, almost in a panic. I bet he didn't think Jeff would see it, so Ness grabbed Paula's hand and squeezed. That seemed to calm her down a bit.

"Riding a bike through here would make a wicked noise," Ness muttered. "Not many people have done that, I guess."

"Jeff, can we use the Hawk Eye NOW?!" Paula asked.

Jeff looked at the sun, which at this point, was more like the moon.

He simply said "Yes" and held the ancient relic to the sky. Almost as if by magic - heck, it probably was - the world of Deep Darkness wasn't so dark anymore.

"Oh thank Gourd!" Paula shouted, throwing her hands in the air.

"Thank who?" asked Ness.

"You know, the G-man. Nintendo's censors won't allow us to mention Him - or Her, possibly - because it might tear families apart or something."

"So we can't talk about, uh, Sky Daddy, but we can battle child-abducting cults and face-shredding zombies?"

"As long as there are no crosses in sight," Paula replied.

"But what about Castlevania!?"

"That's not a cross, it's a 'boomerang.'"

Jeff wasn't listening.

"Ahh, much better!" he said, stretching his arms toward the sun's warmth.

Ness didn't have time to revel in the sun.

"I'm not too sure about that!"

The light had alerted all kinds of terrible enemies to their presence! Ness grabbed his baseball bat from his bookbag.

"We've got some work to do."

*   *   *

Ness, Paula and Jeff had found an area that was slightly raised above the wetness and had taken the opportunity to dry off their feet. Each was holding his or her shoes and using the grass as a towel for their toes as they pressed on.

"So where are we going, Jeff?" Paula asked. "I know we have to go this way to stop Giygas, but I don't know why."

"I'm not sure," he replied. "Like everything on this adventure, we'll know when we see it."

Then he saw it.

"Signs of civilization!" said Jeff. "Out there in the swamp!"

Paula sighed and put her shoes back on. They rushed over to the stone structure.

"This appears to be the architecture style of the ancient Tenda tribe," Jeff said excitedly. He pulled a crumbling piece of rock from wall and examined it more closely. "If they still exist, the Tendas might know something about stopping Giygas."

"Too bad you'll never find that out, spanky!" boomed a disgusting voice from seemingly everywhere. "BUUUURP!"

I could hear my friends gasping. I tried to readjust my telescope to find the source of the voice. My friends were so far away at this point that it was getting difficult to follow them.

Then I saw the most nauseating thing I've ever laid eyes on.

I couldn't hear everything they said to that nasty pile of puke because they were almost out of range of my sonic sensors, but from what I could hear, I gather they've met before. It looked like a battle was about to take place when suddenly, the stars themselves fell from the sky and scattered the bile barbarian's body like a cream pie saying hello to a sledge hammer. There was another person there now... it must have been Prince Poo! And that storm of stars must have been the deadly magic he had been sent away to learn!

They were now totally out of the reach of my audio scanners and my massive telescope could barley keep them in focus anymore, so I was glad that the last image of my friends I was able to see was them taking shelter in a nearby cave.

I had a good feeling that whatever was in there was friendly.

That's when I noticed that my eyelids had become very heavy. I allowed them to slide down and I settled in for my first night in my new home among the palm trees. Soon a warm breeze had lulled me off to sleep.