EarthBound: Oh, Poo
I added the remaining player character to my party this week: Poo.
Yes, that is his name. I read an article where the writer wondered why his Japanese name was not translated as Pu, but given the quirkiness of the game, along with the inclusion of characters like Master Barf, Poo fits.
Poo, like Ness and Paula, can use PSI powers. He is also rather strong, which makes him a great secondary fighter (after Ness).
Since Poo started at out at level 15, and the rest of my party was pushing 50, I had to do a bit of level grinding. That’s always fun. Nothing I enjoy more than an hour spent beating up enemies to boost stats. /snark
Level grinding is something I never really thought about, or spent time on, when I originally played EarthBound as a teen. My original save file is still on the cartridge (and I’m playing on my original Super Nintendo), and I beat the game with Ness at level 59. Currently, I have Ness at level 53 and there is plenty of game left.
But, back to Poo. The prince is not without his own quirks (yes, he is a prince, but sadly not the musician. Image that game). Mainly, only certain foods will give Poo more than six or so HP. The player’s guide presents this as some sort of commentary on the Standard American Diet (lots of meat, junk food), as Poo is from a country where everyone lives on water and rice gruel.
To sum up, feeding Poo a burger is a waste of money. He will only recover a few HP. So yes, we have a video game character with a particular diet. In some ways, this is a rather ingenious feature. But, in many ways, it is rather annoying. The easiest trick is to just load up on items which restore PP (the game’s version of magic points) and use Lifeup instead of items.
However, I need to back up and mention how the game introduces Poo. Ness and the party consume a Magic Cake in Summers, which induces a psychedelic freak-out-state. The game shifts control to Poo, who is far away in another country. And this is not the first time the game has the characters consume mind-altering foodstuffs either.
Remember the coffee with Mr. Saturn?
Being familiar with the later parts of the game, I now think these two experiences (the coffee, the Magic Cake) foreshadow some of the stranger events to come.
Where You At?: Scaraba
Sanctuary Songs Recorded: 6
Party: Ness, Paula, Jeff, Poo