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 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.
"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.