Category: Training


4/27

Nineball Island—The morning begins with dolphin shows. Did I tell you? After we found Pinky at the North Pole, Finley dropped by and challenged us to put on 20 “excellent” dolphin shows for “people of his choosing,” or train dolphins 100 times. If we do, he’ll tell me a secret. Though the prospect of Finley putting his greasy lips to my ear is not much of an inducement, I think this has something to do with getting a freshwater dolphin to open up that hidden part of the Cortica River, so I better go along with it.

There are probably more discussions on the GameFAQs message boards about dolphin shows and training than any other topic. Lots of good advice about levelling up and special tricks and Wii remote wrist techniques, and I’d be wise to pay attention. But it’s all occult science to me—I try to care, but I can’t. What I do: I feed them a couple of fish, set it on free training and go off to watch Ru Paul’s Drag Race or something, and pat their heads when it’s over. When it’s showtime, I just tell my girls to do their best and hope people like the show. I’m probably the worst stage mom in show business.

Anyway, I’ve done about 5 shows already, and it’s really hard to tell how they’re going to be received. Sometimes the dolphins really pour their heart into a performance, but the audience comes away unimpressed; sometimes they put on a mediocre show, but get rave reviews. I don’t know whether any of these shows are going to count toward the 20 I need or not—all I know is they pay, and that’s good enough for me.

After 2 dolphin shows, it’s time to go diving. I’ve got a request to find the Pirate Pottery in the Zahhab Region Depths, which coincides nicely with a photo request for an oarfish. I’ve finally learned to tell the difference between the north and south crevasses, so I can dive directly down there without having to wander through caves and cul-de-sacs. After I find the treasure, I leave the multisensor on and find a lot of stuff somebody’s missing.

Now for the oarfish—I wanted to shoot one on my last trip to the abyss, but even with Hayako’s help, I couldn’t find it. Trouble is, there’s a lot of vertical space up and down here, and it’s all a matter of finding the right depth. I finally spotted the oarfish writhing through the gloom at around 400 feet. My heart beating faster, I swam up beside it, turned and started shooting. Afterwards I goofed around with the Risso’s dolphin and provoked an encounter with a sixgill shark.  When my “out-of-air” warning alarm went off—first time that’s happened in a long while—I swam all the way to the surface. (Decompression is for wimps.)

Bluntnose sixgill

Risso's dolphin

When I returned to Nineball, I gave Jean-Eric my best shot of the oarfish, then went to bed and awaited the results. The editors at Maritime Weekly were very impressed, gave me an “A” and a cover! Now my work will be seen in harbormasters’ offices and marina waiting rooms the world over!

 Today was successful monetarily for me as well:

  • Dolphin shows: 5016 P
  • Fresh fish: 3000 P
  • Pirate Pottery: 1700 P
  • Misc. salvage: 25770 P
  • Photo: 3500 P
  • Day’s total: 38,986 P

My game total is now 669,779 P. I’m inching closer to the Chamber of the Gods.

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4/6 (70th hour)

Nineball Island, daybreak—Over the past few days, I’ve been filling out the schedule with a bit of dolphin training. This isn’t the most exciting work in the world, but I did discover a couple of tricks to make it less mind-numbing. First, if you press “2” on your Wii remote, it will change the angle of view from the standard facing-the-rubber-boat, affording some interesting views of you and the gang on the docks reacting to dolphin antics. When the thrill of that wears off (after about 3 minutes), I set things to free training (the little icon in the bottom right of the screen), and iron my clothes, make a sandwich, or see what else is on TV. Do this for about 1 hour and your dolphin should have learned all its tricks and is breaking its own records. Then run through the routine with your star, make sure Oceana exclaims it can’t do any better, work on the tricks that aren’t there yet and you’re ready the next time Hayako offers to test them. I’ve trained up Lilly and Frodo this way. It’s cheating, I suppose, and not exactly fair to the other characters, but hey, I’m the only one with a life outside the game.

After I gave three dolphin shows, one with each cetacean, our talent scout Finley made another appearance to tell us there was a narwhal that looked like it just might be the next Paoulian Idol. A performing narwhal? This I’ve got to see!

Weddell Sea, later that day—On our way to the narwhal polo grounds, we run bang into a new legendary creature, the Ancient Mother. I guess this is the thing Jean-Eric said we might find at the north or south poles. I’m kind of disappointed because a.) it’s just an albino blue whale, and b.) we found it without even looking for it. Ah well. Never seen such large, kind eyes, etc., as the game enthuses. 

Ancient Mother---such large, kind eyes.

At the narwhal breathing hole,  I show the greenland shark who’s boss by pulsing it and go in search of our next star. A series of cut-scenes tells us we’re looking for a narwhal with a red tusk. This turns out to require some patience and quick reflexes. We have to go to the surface and wait for a red tusk to breach the water. Okay, but it’s whiteout conditions topside, and I can barely see any tusk, let alone a red one. When I think I see it I have to quickly find my equipment and dive. It takes about three or four tries to get the right one, a  piebald beauty with a long spiraling tooth that looks like it’s been painted with pink nail polish. I name her Pinky Tuscadero, after Fonzie’s girlfriend on “Happy Days.”  That time Pinky almost bit it in the demolition derby, and the Fonz got down on the track to declare his undying love and Pinky gave him her scarf to remember her by, that is true love, man. You say Romeo & Juliet, I say Fonzie & Pinky.

Anyway, we take Pinky back to Nineball Island and immediately put her in training, just so I can watch a narwhal do flips.

Pinky Tuscadero

3/15

Nineball Island: Trained up Pha and passed Hayako’s dolphin aptitude (DA) test, and so received a visit from Finley (who’s a douche). I guess Pha met his approval, so I’m apparently on my way to the grueling task of putting on dolphin shows. Harrah! Just what I wanted to do with my spare time. Later I took some white lady down to Zahhab Region depths to find a pelican eel. Had a great time, saw glowing vampire squids (not quite as big or nightmarish as I expected) and ran into a six-gill shark, who after a few zaps with the pulsar turned into a real pussycat.