The now liberated Threed had a gentle light shining on it, replacing the unending night. There was a lot more people to talk to and some more humorous dialog. I waved goodbye to the happy denizens of Threed and hopped into the bus for Fourside! Unfortunately, there was a traffic jam in the desert that brought our bus to a standstill. Ugh, I hate road slow-downs. If it had been construction, I would have flipped. Fortunately, our beloved designers chose not to torture us for that reason. We hop out of the bus, run into some nice people in a store selling goodies and set out to explore the desert. So, on top of the store is a giant sign that says “DRUGS”, which didn’t strike me as odd when I was young but now seems kinda suspicious. I also remember having a terrible time getting sunstroke and being out of PP to heal it. Wet Towel for $24? No thank you! For whatever reason, this time was much easier. I think I breezed through the zone in about 15 minutes, collecting the contact lenses, opening all the presents and talking to the black sesame seed. Wouldn’t you know it – the traffic cleared up! We hopped back on the bus and high-tailed it for the big city of Fourside.
Fourside is an interesting place. I like it in concept, but the cross-pattern layout is a little difficult to navigate. Moreover, of the many skyscraper-like buildings throughout the town, only a handful you can go into. Thinking about this a little more, it’s probably about the same number as in Onett or Twoson, but it feels like less because of the large designs. There is, however, a gem hidden in Fourside, which is one of the best Easter eggs I’ve found in any game: a sign outside a building that reads “Planning Meeting for Earthbound 2. Only those who are related to this project are allowed to enter. APE Software Development Team.” As a 12 year-old, this was my first experience with a game breaking the fourth wall, and it blew my mind. It took me a while for me to realize that this was not actually a real meeting that I had somehow stumbled upon – probably because I wanted it to be real with every fiber of my being. When Earthbound 2 was never released, I was sad :^( Fortunately, I’ll be playing the fan-translation of Mother 3 after I finish this runthrough of Earthbound. So, I checked out the museum and the absolutely epic dinosaur skeleton, which that awesome whimsical musical track that makes me want to fly into space, saw the once again indebted Runaway Five and got kicked out of the penthouse of recently wealthy Master Pokey… jerk.