Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass is an RPG with a surprising bit of depth to it hiding under the (not-so) innocent tale of an 8-year-old boy. With this guide and tips, you can stand a better chance at saving Jimmy’s world from the Pulsating Mass.
1. Use your forms in combat often
When you win a battle in one of Jimmy’s non-default forms, that form gains experience along with experience towards Jimmy’s base level. When forms level up, they add stats to Jimmy’s base stats, making him stronger. By leveling up forms enough, he can also use their active skills in other forms or unlock powerful passive skills he can equip. These passive skills range from large percentage boosts to Jimmy’s stats, immunities to certain common status effects, and more exotic effects. There are ways to boost Jimmy’s Imagination EXP gain, with the most obvious being the ‘Positive Work Ethic’ passive. You unlock it by getting the Happy Little Sunflower form to level 40.
2. Be creative with your field abilities
Jimmy’s forms also give him special ways to explore the environment. Some of these are fairly obvious, like the Rotting Jack O’Lantern’s ability to set things on fire. Others have more obscure uses. The Revolting Blob, for instance, can slide down into holes into the ground to find hidden areas. The Happy Little Sunflower, meanwhile, can dig underground to not just make plants grow, but to see what’s in graves or to find hidden areas.
3. seek out spooky side dungeons
Scattered around the world are side dungeons that bring the more horiffic part of Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass to light. These areas are often hidden, and require Jimmy to make use of his powers to find them. Inside these areas are tough enemies with a boss at the end, often requiring different tactics than regular bosses. If you can complete these areas, you can gain powerful equipment and rare furniture for your clubhouse that bestows powerful benefits if you complete a set.
4. just be careful where you go
When you unlock a new form, it’s tempting to go back to old places and check every area to see what you can access. However, it’s pretty easy to wind up in side dungeons where the enemies can easily destroy your party due to being underleveled. If you find one of these areas and get into a fight before you can escape, you can instantly flee fights by using the Low-Level Goon’s ‘Clean Getaway’ ability for 1 MP. To provide vague hints on three of these areas, they’re accessible with the Red-Billed Squawker, the Rotting Jack O’Lantern, and the 50’s Style Vampire.
(And before you get any ideas, the only chests in these side dungeons require you to defeat the boss first. So you can’t just run in, grab the loot, and leave. Nice try.)
5. Save up your money
Like EarthBound, you lose half of your on-hand money when you die, but it’s safe if you have it stored in the bank. However, there’s a second reason to put your money in the bank. Sometimes when you open a chest, you find shiny rubies along with what’s normally inside, giving you 20% interest on the money in your account. This can add up to a lot of money if you keep investing. Consumable items cost more as the story progresses, so it’s good to have a lot of money. Also, you need $100,000 in your account to enter a certain side dungeon.
6. Play some games
As you get into the game a decent ways, you’ll find some side areas that offer mini-games you can play. Playing these games provide different types of currencies that can be used for useful items. These items can include some of the game’s best items, so they’re worth checking out. These side diversions include:
- The Arena. Fight against waves of enemies and the occasional boss to gain points you can spend on equipment. The badge items are particularly useful, as they grant skills along with the stat boosts, and the higher tier ones grant immunities to common status effects. However, you can only gain one of each badge.
- The Dark Dungeon. Explore a 100-floor dungeon that plays like a board game, collecting points and treasures, and dealing with the occasional monsters. The points you earn can be spent on items that make the dungeon easier, modify the skills of party members, and other cool things. Not to mention the rare equipment you can find in there.
- The Shinryu Arcade. This arcade has four mini-games you can play to earn tickets. They can be spent at the counter to buy neat items, including a powerful skill manual for Lars and a piece of equipment that prevents random counters entirely. If the mini-games are too hard, you can just buy the tickets from the guy in the upper-right part of the building, but that’s boring.
7. watch out for status effects
Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass has a wide variety of status effects, some of which are unique to certain enemies/bosses. The more common ones include:
- Sick: Character loses 10% of their max HP at the end of every round.
- Immunodeficiency: Afflicted characters cannot heal HP (except from HP regeneration.)
- Sleep: Character cannot act for three turns. Getting hit cures Sleep, but deals double damage.
- Startled: Character can’t act that turn (assuming they haven’t already acted.) Startled characters and enemies become Alert the next turn, which provides immunity to Startled. The length of Alert increases the more someone is Startled in a combat, up to five turns maximum. This is to prevent stun-locking. Being Startled cancels Flying and Counter.
There are also rare status conditions. There’s no way to avoid getting hit by these. Some of them include:
- Infested: As seen above. Character loses 40% of their max HP at the end of every round.
- Ennui: Character doesn’t get any experience points (and Imagination Experience, if it’s Jimmy) from the combat.
- Extended: Enemy attacks hit the entire party.
- Mind Control: Character can’t be controlled and attacks themselves and other party members for three turns.
- Terminal: Character instantly falls unconscious three turns later.
- Smoky: Affected character/enemy may avoid enemy magic and attacks for two turns.
- Flying: Enemy can’t be hit by melee attacks. Magic can still hit them, and being Startled cancels Flying.
8. Rob ’em blind
The Low-Level Goon form has the ‘Grift’ ability, a free skill which allows Jimmy to steal from enemies. Often times you can get useful items, mid-tier furniture for the clubhouse, and money from robbing your foes. For example, an early enemy known as the Skitterbones can be killed instantly if you steal its ‘Weird Bones’ from it. An early boss also can be made a good deal easier if you steal his knives. There are also rare enemies that flat-out require you to steal from them to defeat them.
9. Light up the world
Hidden around the world of Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass are 25 light bulbs. At first, they don’t seem to do anything if you activate them. However, if you turn them all on, you gain access to an endgame dungeon that gives a special form for Jimmy as a reward. This form is magic-focused and has some powerful healing spells under its wing. If you’re having trouble finding them all, you can eventually find a detective willing to help you for the right price.
I hope these tips will help players get the most out of Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass. I’ve just finished up the game a couple of days ago, and I really want other people to enjoy it like I have. It’s quite a powerful game, and it’s one of those games that really needs more exposure. It stands as a testament to what can be done with even a relatively simple game building engine.