It took me well over a year to get around to it, but Monday afternoon I finally beat Earthbound for the first time. I had spent so much time in the Stonehenge dungeon that whether I got the Sword of Kings or not, my characters were more than powerful enough for the rest of the game.

EarthBound

EarthBound (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I just did it.

Everything after the Stonehenge dungeon is kind of a blur. I remember returning to Onett to retrieve the book Overcoming Shyness, and giving it to the Tenda people in Deep Darkness. I remember traveling first through that dungeon (bee-lining for the end), beating the boss, and recording the seventh sanctuary.

Then there was the Lost Underworld, which was entertaining but a bit annoying. I didn’t bother with Paula’s ultimate frypan weapon, the one that supposedly boosts her Guts by one hundred, since it has the same odds as the Sword of Kings, and it wasn’t like I was going to get one and not the other. I didn’t get anyone’s ultimate weapons.

I didn’t need them.

I breezed through the Lost Underworld, mostly avoiding enemies because they just soaked lots of hit points and were more speed bumps than anything else. I had to consult a walk-through to locate the next sanctuary because I failed to grasp Lost Underworld’s circuitous map layout. I thought I had explored every corner.

Then I breezed through Magicant, since Ness was nearly ten levels higher than the rest of the party from grinding I had done before I even picked up Paula – it seems the game doesn’t correct for that sort of thing, none of the other characters was even close to catching up – and there was only one hiccup near the end with PSI Flash.

Ness’s Nightmare and the Krakens didn’t prove as difficult while Ness was equipped with an Earth Pendant. I finally got to witness Ness acquire Real Ultimate Power as a result of his psychic journey. Now I know why he’s so tough in Smash Brothers.

I returned first to Saturn Valley to make the trip to the past, and then to Onett to pick up the meteorite chunk, and then back to Saturn Valley as though nothing had happened because retrieving the meteorite was sort of a joke. The enemies had insanely powerful attacks, but I only fought them if they clustered together.

Mostly, I disregarded the enemies in the final dungeon because they just spammed ridiculous attacks like instant kills and weirdly over-damaging effects. I had a couple hiccups while fighting Giygas, where my memory from beating him on my brother’s save game those years ago actually hindered me somewhat.

There was a feeling of satisfaction from beating the game after something like ten years – I don’t actually remember when I first picked it up, or when exactly I started “playing to win” a year ago (with my goal to get the Sword of Kings or go home).

The 7th Saga

You’re next.

Now I’m left wondering what to do next. No wait, I know what’s next. The 7th Saga. That’s next on my list. I have to beat that stupid game. Then Blood Omen. Then maybe Ogre Battle. And Breath of Fire.

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