Let's Play! Radiation's Halloween Hack

DA

Day 1: Intro - Twoson

First, some background info. "Radiation's Halloween Hack" is a Halloween-themed ROM hack of EarthBound. This time, you play as Varik, the Bounty Hunter protagonist from Brandish as he searches for a monster that killed some people in Twoson. You can download the patch here.

(Fun Fact: My personal Fan Nickname for this game is "Varik's Bad Fur Day." Why? 'Cause the patch is called the "Bad Fur Day Edition," and I usually choose "Varik" as the main character's name. Now you know.)

I played this game a couple years ago (winter of 2011), so this isn't quite a blind run. However, it HAS been a couple years since I played it, so I don't quite remember everything; I do remember the major plot details, though.

Personally, I think this game is a pretty cool, creative hack. But be warned, it's also pretty hard - you rarely get good stat bonuses, and the equipment you find doesn't add much to your defenses. Be prepared to do a lot of grinding. Thankfully, it's also pretty short. While I would have liked it to be a little longer, I can't quite blame it for being the length it is. I've done a little bit of ROM editing here and there, and I know how tough it can be.

Note that I'll be going into plot details, so be prepared for SUPER MEGA SPOILERS. Let's jump right in, shall we?

Okay, so the title screen isn't different; still says "Earthbound." The Attract Mode is different, but not on purpose. The "War Against Giygas!" screen is the same, but Ness has been replaced with our new main character. There's also an accidental palette change in the scene where they walk through the pyramid.

The save select has been changed, and this time is different on purpose. It's got a different background, and the song has been remixed. The text speed select has slightly different text, and the Mono/Stereo select has been changed to a question about hot dogs. The border color selection has some nice new colors - I picked red ("Scarlet Doom").

After that, we get the character naming screen. We're first introduced to our new hero, Varik, who takes the place of Ness. One of the other default naming options is Ares, his original name. I just stick with "Varik." The other three Earthbound heroes show up in order after him, and...for some reason, they're described as "lost heroes." (Hmm, I wonder what THAT could mean?!) I just stuck with the default names for all of them. You then name your dog, who I'm pretty sure isn't in this game. Anyway, the defaults are changed, and I picked the first one, "Wolfo." You then name your favorite food, which I also don't remember being used in this game. Oh well, I typed in "sketti" anyway (shorthand for "spaghetti," been using it as the favorite food since I first started playing EarthBound). You then name your favorite thing, although the game lets you know that your new hero isn't psychic. I put in "Meteor" anyway.

So after the "Are you sure?" screen, we get the flyover, which is over Twoson this time. Twoson's palette has been changed to autumnal colors, and the town theme has been changed to a remixed version of the Love Theme from MOTHER3. We're told that it's Fall of 199X, a few months after the end of EarthBound. The flyover focuses on the Twoson theater and then...

We suddenly cut to Onett? Here we find our new hero sleeping in Ness's bed...standing up (...oops!). As usual, we hear the meteor fall like in the beginning of EarthBound, and Varik hops off the bed. Go into the hallway and some mysterious new music will start to play. Meanwhile, some disembodied voice is telling you to wake up. Walk left a few steps, and the scene will drastically change.

We're now in the lobby of the Twoson theater from before. Apparently, Varik had a bit too much to drink, and one of the employees had to drag his unconscious body out into the lobby. While he's there, the guy tells you that the manager wants to talk to you about something.

Before you go anywhere, go the the equip screen and equip Varik with the Silent Dagger and the Leather Armor he's got in his inventory. Then go left through the door to meet the new manager of the Twoson theater and the ex-mayor of Onett, B.H. Pirkle. He's got a job for you. It must be important, because the soundtrack suddenly went silent. It then switches to the creepy "Hidden Song" as Pirkle tells you about a recent monster attack. He goes into some relatively graphic details of how this unknown beast ate a little girl's parents. And he wants YOU to track down and exterminate this monster. The monster's footprints lead the authorities to the sewers, so Pirkle gives you the Key to the Sewers and sends you on your way.

The Key to the Sewers is useless BTW. You can throw it out of your inventory as soon as you get it.

Since I started pretty late, I left the theater and headed over to the inn to save at this point. Tomorrow, it's time to explore.

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