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"I am eight years old. I like video games, coloring, and Mom, Dad, Buck, and Uncle Lars."
Jimmy is a shy 8-year-old with the power of empathy. This allows him to take the form of the various monsters he fights and use their abilities in battle.
- And I Must Scream: How he views his life outside of his dreams - confined to an uncomfortable bed with itchy blankets, constantly bothered by the glow and noise from his heart monitor, and too drugged and tired to move or speak to any of the people crying in his room.
- Death Seeker: Certain NPC conversations and Jimmy's own interest in the Phoenix myth suggest that part of him wants to die, if only so he'd finally be free of his hospital room.
- "L" Is for "Dyslexia": It is heavily implied that Jimmy suffers from Dyslexia. Anytime Jimmy is confronted with written words of any type, the words are always squirming around and appear as a jumbled mess from his point of view. This is further compounded by the credits sequence at the end of the game, where the credits gradually get more and more scrambled as they go on, becoming completely illegible by the end.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: He's very, very sick, and has been for a long time.
- The Empath: Of a sort. After defeating certain enemies, Jimmy can embody them and take their skills for his own. When this is done, we're treated to a brief Dream Sequence of Jimmy empathizing with his defeated foe.
- Heroic Mime: In classic Earthbound tradition. His field ability voices his thoughts on certain areas, though he refuses to say anything for nightmarish zones.
- Hidden Depths: Certain scenes during the Shinryu school sequences imply that Jimmy is really good with numbers, with math skills that are almost high-school level.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Some of the nightmare sequences are packed full of things that no one Jimmy's age should be able to come up with. Many of them likely came from horror movies that Buck let him watch when he was younger.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Jimmy can transform into different monsters using his empathy.
"Buck listens to music that hurts my head. Buck works out and can pick me up with one hand."
Jimmy's older brother.
- Big Brother Bully: Buck probably means well, but his meatheaded insistence on "getting stronger" is responsible for a lot of Jimmy's problems. It's implied that most of the nightmarish imagery in the game comes from horror movies that Buck let him watch, and his constant derision over Jimmy's physical weakness is the basis for his self-esteem problems.
- Big Brother Instinct: One of Buck's few positive qualities is that he comes down like a ton of bricks on anyone who might hurt his little brother. He punches out a feral dog who threatened Jimmy when he was younger, and in the game, a goon who taunts Jimmy is promptly smashed flat.
- Demonic Possession: After the boss fight with Jonathon Bear. Buck is grabbed by Jonathon and dragged down into the depths. He isn't seen again until later, when he's become possessed by the Pulsating Mass.
- Momma's Boy: Despite his grumpy no-nonsense personality, Buck has a hard time hiding the soft spot he has for Helga. Even when he's possessed by the Pulsating Mass later in the game, part of him still shows concern for her wellbeing.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he is cranky and cantankerous, he's also extremely protective of his family and loves them very much.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: He implies he used to be this a few times, claiming that something as weak as the Pulsating Mass could never control him when he shakes off its influence. Though it's ambiguous if this is just Jimmy believing Buck wouldn't lose if he ever fought the Pulsating Mass, or if Buck actually did have cancer and beat it.
- Punch a Wall: He deals with his grief over Jimmy's illness by punching holes in the hospital walls until his hands bleed. In one secret dungeon he can also be seen beating his fists against the walls, presumably out of anger at his own inability to help his brother.Buck: What do you want me to do? What can I do?
- Rage Breaking Point: Literally the description for one of his special moves, which gives him an attack boost at the cost of no longer being able to control his actions.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: At one point the player is treated to a flashback of the real world, in which Buck discovers Jimmy trying to use his exercise equipment. While pleased by his desire to become stronger, Buck does nothing to help Jimmy, who is shown clearly struggling to even lift a weightless barbell.
"Helga is my mom's name. She is pretty and has a pretty singing voice."Jimmy's Mom.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's gentle, upbeat and endlessly forgiving...and packs one of the highest natural ATK stats of any character in the game. In Everchip, the arena champion faces her one-on-one when she's in a bad mood and nearly gets his head smashed in.
- Mood-Swinger: Normally very cheerful, but prone to bouts of melancholia so severe that she lies catatonic on the floor until someone shakes her out of it. It's represented in her stage, Rainbow Park, which goes through regular abrupt shifts between sunshine and gloomy rain.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Andrew.
- Surprise Pregnancy: Rainbow Park reveals that she never meant to have Buck. It might explain some of his angst.
- Team Mom: Literally.
- White Mage: Her skills center around recovering the party's HP and curing different ailments.
"Andrew is my dad's name. Sometimes he says hard words I don't get."
- Black Mage: His skills revolve around offensive magic and buffs to make him hit harder at the expense of burning more MP.
- Glass Cannon: High damage potential, puny HP and defense. Becomes even more of a cannon with the Encyclopedia Set, which reduces his magic power but makes his ATK stat skyrocket.
- No Social Skills: Occasionally blunt to the point of cruelty. When Jimmy's sickness worsened, he actually suggested to Helga they just have another child. We don't see her reaction, but she didn't take it well.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: His vocabulary is very robust. Occasionally throws in Techno Babble.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Helga.
- The Stoic: Completely unshakeable. He doesn't even crack when he's told Jimmy's illness is all but incurable.
- Throw the Book at Them: His unique weapons are all books and academic papers.
"Uncle Lars lives with us cause Grandma died. He plays video games with me and owns lots of toys."
Jimmy's uncle and Helga's brother.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: He's keenly aware of what a loser he is, and a lot of his dialogue revolves around it.
- Living Emotional Crutch: For Helga. He's her only surviving family, and often pulls her out of her darker moods.
- Manchild: An obese, unemployed lump who sponges off his elderly parents and then moves on to his sister and brother-in-law. He does get along very well with Jimmy, who doesn't mind his immaturity.
- Nice Guy: He's a freeloader, but doesn't have a mean bone in his body.
- No Social Skills: He has trouble communicating with people besides Helga and Jimmy.
- Stone Wall: Easy to hurt, very hard to kill. In combat, his skills revolve around drawing aggro and setting up counter-attacks while increasing his survivability.
"Jonathon Bear lives in a forest with his animal friends. Jonathon Bear is filled with stuffing and can talk."
A teddy bear Jimmy owns based off a popular children's show character.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Jonathonland gives us a glimpse into his perspective. He was an obsolete toy model gathering dust on a store shelf until Jimmy stole him. He loved to be played with, but eventually Jimmy's guilt led him to lock Jonathon away again in the dark. Jimmy fell ill afterwards, and Jonathon presumably never sees him again. The last we see of him in-game is his silent, tattered body in Jonathonland, and Helga expresses sympathy before taking him with her.
- Bears Are Bad News
- Body Horror: Once he's fully taken over by the Pulsating Mass, he becomes a gargantuan, rotting amalgamate of fabric and flesh stuffed full of maggots. Even he seems horrified at what he's become just before he perishes.
- Killer Teddy Bear: He can hold his own with the rest of Jimmy's party. Gets much worse when he pulls his FaceHeel Turn.
- Kill It with Fire: When it becomes clear just how malicious he is, Jimmy tries to shove him into the furnace with the rest of the abandoned toys. It doesn't work.
- Knight of Cerebus: He's responsible for one of the game's darkest segments, and his character makes it clear just how badly Jimmy's guilt and self-esteem issues are effecting him.
- Shout-Out: His final appearance in Jonathonland - standing rosy-cheeked against a solid black background - is strongly reminiscent of The Fallen Child.
- Yandere: He's furious with Jimmy for locking him away, and joined with the Pulsating Mass in an attempt to get revenge. By the time his boss fight comes around, all he wants to do is keep Jimmy all to himself in the rotting world of his television show.
"Punch is really cool and owns a bunch of motorcycles. I've never ridden one. Maybe he'll let me!"
The leader of the Petty Thugs.
- 100% Adoration Rating: Is worshiped by the Petty Thugs for his unbridled coolness and sense of fair play.
- Driven to Suicide: Leaps to his death after his second loss to the party, at Jonathon's urging. He survives.
- Easy Amnesia: He suffers memory loss after his suicide attempt, and wanders through Secret Meridian trying to find himself again.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: The Thief class, once he joins. He has the only dedicated stealing skill of the other characters, and sacrifices defense for high agility and decisive blows.
- Greaser Delinquents: Rockabilly, specifically.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Twice. He doesn't come back after the second one.
- The Nicknamer: Insists on calling Jimmy and all his family variations of "Kid" - Mama Kid, Papa Kid, etc.
- Simple, yet Awesome: His unique "Called Shot" skill, a low-cost ability that doubles his damage next turn. When Jimmy is able to transform into Punch, he can synergize this skill with his other forms' attacks for some devastating combos.
- Third-Person Person: In his first appearance he says:Let me tell you something about Punch Tanaka. Punch Tanaka rides on the free and wild dreams of youth. Punch Tanaka is the tiger caged in the heart of man.
Punch Tanaka wears his shades at all times. Even in the shower. I've got a hard lesson to teach you, kid: I'm cooler, tougher, and badder than you'll ever be.
- Warrior Poet: His journal entries and haiku are scattered around Secret Meridian. Some are actually quite nice.
"Hitomi is like a girl in a show Uncle Lars watches with me. She's different cause her hair is purple."
A Magical Girl who joins the party when they infiltrate Shinryu Academy.
- Guest-Star Party Member: Her time spent with the party during the main story is very brief, hardly lasting a single dungeon.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: She comes equipped with two high-damage ATK and MAT based skills, and her stats are well-rounded overall.
- Lightning Bruiser: Her AGI stat is quite high. She also has the only skill in the game that reduces cooldowns, allowing her to pour on damage even faster.
- Secret Identity: She makes a hilariously token attempt at keeping hers up when she's first found out. Lars sees right through it.
- Wish Fulfillment: She's basically Lars' ideal woman. Since the game takes place in Jimmy's dream, it's likely he came up with her character just for his uncle's sake. They fall in love, get married, and climb a ladder to the moon in the space of one dungeon.
The Pulsating Mass
"I hate you, Jimmy. I hate every drop of rotten blood inside your carcass. I hate every mole and mark creeping up your back."The titular villain of the game. An all-consuming Eldritch Abomination seeking to swallow up the entire world.
- The Blank: As far as we know, it never forms a face of its own, instead opting to speak through others.
- Body Horror: Nearly anything it possesses winds up horribly mutilated, and enemies associated with it are screaming, hemorrhaging piles of flesh.
- Child Hater: Out of the main cast, it focuses on tormenting Jimmy and Buck the most.
- The Corruption: It has the innate power to infect anything with a part of itself, from a Buddy Bee to the entire Central Hub.
- Eldritch Abomination: Gee, y'think?
- Generic Doomsday Villain: Its origin and motivation aren't really explained beyond "I hate Jimmy," at least not until you figure out what it really represents.
- Mind Manipulation: It has the ability to brainwash people.
- The Power of Hate: The only thing that drives it is its seemingly inexplicable hatred of Jimmy.
- Shout-Out: Its final form is a clear reference to the Devil's Machine.
- Telepathy: The Pulsating Mass eventually demonstrates the ability to communicate without needing a mouth.
- The Topic of Cancer: It is heavily implied, if not outright stated, to be an imaginary manifestation of Jimmy's cancer.
An enormous snake that, while it appears to have no affiliation with the Pulsating Mass, is very much still nightmarish in its own right.
- Bonus Boss: The first of many, in fact.
- Eye Scream: Judging by its very brief appearance in the overworld and its battle sprite, it appears to either be bleeding from it's eyes, or has no eyes whatsoever.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Even compared to the other optional bosses, Slither has no real relevancy in the plot or its themes, the closest one could make out of it is that Jimmy is afraid of snakes.
- Snakes Are Sinister: Naturally, being an enormous hostile snake.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: If you do them before going to Legato and getting Helga and Jonathan, they can be this, especially compared to all of the other bosses up until that point in the Homeflower.
"It's already unusual for a dreamer to slip into my realm, but to make it this far? You're dreaming deep, indeed."A scythe-wielding humanoid that lurks in a castle beneath the ice of Fermata Forest. If he falls asleep, he'll cause the end of the world.
- An Ice Person: One of his attacks is summoning a blizard.
- Forced Sleep: He can inflict this on party members, and can even pull everyone (including himself) into the dream realm to make them all fall asleep.
- Never Sleep Again: He can put party members to sleep - and you'd better wake them up fast, or he'll deliver a One-Hit Kill.
- Schmuck Bait: When Ebeezil pulls everyone into the dream realm, he falls asleep too, so it seems like it'd be a safe time to heal, right? Wrong, as he manages to be even more threatening while asleep - he can inflict huge damage to the party, give them status effects, or attack their MP.
- Sinister Scythe: His main weapon of choice.