Chapter 7: The Seven Needles (Part 1)
As it turns out, Lucas has not only fallen metaphorically out of the sky, but literally as well. The chapter opens with him and Boney lying in a large pile of hay, placed strategically by his grandfather Alec. According to the old man, Hinawa had appeared in a dream and urgently instructed him to gather a pile of hay right in that very spot. Her eerie presence seems to be felt by all of her loved ones still remaining with the living.
The focus of this chapter shifts to the Magypsies, the gender-neutral beings who raised Kumatora, taught Lucas his PSI abilities, and know the secrets which may save the world from the Pigmask Army. They have existed for thousands of years and embody chimerism in every aspect of their existence, and so it is refreshing to see the focus shift from people to Magypsies.
Lucas finds Ionia, the Magypsy who taught him his own PSI abilities, tied up on the bridge and struggling to get free. Once she is free, she asks you to escort her to the home of Aeolia, the leader of the Magypsies. Aeolia lives to the north of Tazmily Village in a giant pink shell, and she sports an enormous fuchsia Afro hairstyle.
A crisis is underway. The Magypsies discuss the alarming fact that somebody has pulled the Needle located at Osohe Castle, which means that the world may soon come to an end. Legend has it that the Needles seal away the Dark Dragon which sleeps beneath the crust of the world, and only a special chosen being is able to pull them and awaken the dragon. Once all seven Needles are pulled, the dragon will become possessed with the power of the one who pulls the Needles, and this power could either be good or evil. If the dragon is filled with evil, the world will be engulfed in pain and destruction. If the dragon is filled with benevolence, then the world will be saved from all the suffering that currently exists.
Once Lucas and Ionia arrive at Osohe Castle, they discover that the Needle has really been pulled. Smoke emanates from a hole in the ground, and a great and terrifying power pulses from beneath the ground. The Time has come for all of the Needles to be pulled, and for the Dark Dragon to wake up. Lucas must be the one to pull the remaining Needles from the world and pass his heart to the Dragon, lest the world be engulfed in pandemonium.
This story of the Dark Dragon is reminiscent of a creation myth, as well as a Christian-related story of the apocalypse. The world of Mother 3 exists as it does because the great dragon remains asleep, but upon its awakening, everything that has ever existed will ultimately come to an end. The difference, however, is that one person has the power to alter the direction of such an apocalypse. If a person filled with hatred passes their heart to the Dark Dragon, all of their wishes for destruction and torment will become true, and thus such an evil person would become the dictator of the entire world. But if a benevolent person, like Lucas, awakens the Dark Dragon, then all suffering will cease to exist, and the world will not come to a fiery end. The Magypsies in Mother 3 serve as guardians to the Needles, and they know that Lucas is the one who can change the fate of history. The fact that a young boy will change everything in the universe, that a human being can have such an active role in the existence of the human race, is a much more radical and active idea than the passiveness of Christian belief of Jesus’ second coming. Instead of doing good deeds and waiting for the Messiah to deliver people to Heaven or Hell, the people of Mother 3 have a real flesh-and-blood boy whom they can aid in his journey to save the world. Thus, the existence of folklore and myth in the game is much more visceral and based upon fact than religion in our world.
The question we must consider now is whether or not the Pigmask Army is aware of the Dark Dragon, or if they just happened upon the Needles and stumbled upon their power. If, in fact, the soldiers know of the Dark Dragon and its endless power, then that can only mean that there is an informant providing the information. The Magypsies, being the sole holders of the legend, trust in Lucas and his friends because they know that they will fight the evil which is now running rampant. But if the evil has come upon such knowledge and this is the true reason for their terror, then a Magypsy is the one who has sold information. But for what? What could nearly-immortal beings possibly benefit from the sadistic Pigmask soldiers? What could the destruction of the world do to benefit a Magypsy informant?
Of course, we cannot assume yet that this is the case. The Pigmask soldiers run rampant all over the Nowhere Islands, and Osohe Castle is one of their first destinations. It is entirely possible that they pulled the Needle out of curiosity and then discovered the power sleeping beneath the crust of the world. But if this is the case, what was the true intentions of the Pigmask soldiers? Chimerism? Tyranny? If they sought to fill the world with freakish Frankenstein creations, then the Dark Dragon becomes the ultimate goal. Imagine taking a creature which is not only powerful beyond comparison, but is larger than the islands beneath which it sleeps. If the Pigmask soldiers accidentally discovered the Needles, it is very likely that they now see the Dark Dragon as the perfect specimen to turn into a mechanical chimera, which would vanquish all opponents. This scenario is equally as horrifying as the idea of a Magypsy informant.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves. The Magypsies informed Lucas that he is the chosen boy who can pull the Needles and pass his heart onto the Dark Dragon. No ordinary Pigmask soldier could do the same. This means that someone else holds the power to pull the Needles, which more than likely means that they hold the power of PSI that Lucas holds. Someone else is chosen by fate to pull the Needles, but their heart has been tainted with corruption. This someone is the leader of the Pigmask Army.
This chapter continues as Lucas hears a ringing cell phone, and as he answers it, he hears a frantic voice on the other end yelling that a monkey is required at the chimera lab. This is the cue to leave. Kumatora and Duster are still missing, but Lucas and Boney may have a chance to find the next Needle before the Pigmask soldiers do. They head past the old factory where they once worked, and eventually come upon the chimera lab. A Pigmask recognizes Lucas from his part-time job in the factory and enlists him to stand guard while the soldier goes off to search for an escaped monkey. The Pigmask runs away, leaving Lucas free to explore the chimera lab.
This lab serves as the center of the Pigmask Army’s horrific experiments with the living beings on the Nowhere Islands. Animals are captured, brought to the facility, hacked apart, and put back together with mechanical parts or the limbs of other creatures. Chimerism is so important to the Pigmask Army that they have an entire facility dedicated to it. But why? What purpose do these Frankenstein-esque monsters serve? Obviously the chimeras are created to inhibit Lucas’ progress toward the Seven Needles, but why don’t the Pigmasks only use robots or their own troops? Are they really such childish cowards that they can only fight a small group of people by tearing apart the creatures living on the islands?
Or is there another, much more sinister reason for the chimera lab’s existence? The foot soldiers are after Lucas just as fervently as the commanders within the Pigmask Army, but it is unlikely that mere grunts will know the real reasons behind the chimeras roaming the land. It could be that the chimera lab serves as a center of intimidation, as a facility that boldly proclaims what it can do to naysayers and dissidents. The leader of the Pigmask Army could be sadistic to the point where he/she wants the residents of the Nowhere Islands to see exactly what could happen to them if they try and resist the invasion.
Perhaps the leader of the Pigmask Army is just playing a game, using the wild creatures of the land as toys.
Itoi, Shigesato. Mother 3. Nintendo: Japan. 20 April 2006. Game Boy Advance.