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The adventures of Rusa in Toontown (the third instalment)

Clarabelle calls! I couldn’t resist taking a peek at my new Cattlelog, in spite of the fact that I still don’t have any freakin’ JBs. I’ll probably fish for some, or pay a visit to one o’ them beanfests

But for now, I will just browse. Since I last played, they’ve added numerous pride flag bowties & hairbows to the game. Including a pansexuality one!:

Pan Bowtie (250 beans)

For better or worse, it doesn’t have the whole bisexual lighting thing going for it, but that’s all right. The bright pastel colours are more my style on this Toon.

A more difficult decision this time

The previous instalment left off with Rusa unlocking the Toon-Up track. Perhaps you already anticipate what that means: it’s time to pick another track. This time, the choice is between Lure & Drop:

Lure vs. drop…

Transcription of the above image
  • Lure gags can stun Cogs and spring Trap gags.
  • Drop gags are powerful, but not very accurate.

I won’t lie. I really was going to pick Drop, for various reasons:

  1. I’m seriously considering (ultimately) making it my organic track.
  2. It would be nice to get a head-start on training Drop.
  3. Drop is just the best track! Well, other than Toon-Up, I guess…

But, at the same time:

  1. It makes practical sense to make Lure organic as soon as you get it, to help train it whilst it’s still relatively low-level. This is because Lure deals no damage on its own, so instead of organic Lure dealing more damage, it’s just more accurate. Then, later on, I can switch over to Drop. Or maybe keep organic Lure! Whomst’d’ve knows‽
  2. It also would be nice to get a head-start on training Lure, albeit to a somewhat lesser extent.
  3. I think Drop is goated[1], but there are two slight problems with that:
    • This is my opinion for somewhat arcane nerd reasons that mostly boil down to “mixed strategies are good”. This is a verbose way of saying “most people probably won’t agree”.
    • It’s unlikely to be as useful as Lure at this point in the game. As we’ll see later on, having too many Lureless Toons can be awkward when you just want to do some gag training in a bunch of Cog Buildings. Sometimes, having A Lure Gag That Actually Works™ is the difference between life & death sadness.


In case you’re not already familiar with organic gags, the basic idea is this: you can plant up to eight gags in your home’s garden, but a gag can only be planted if the gag that’s one level lower (but still in the same track) is also planted. The result is that there are realistically two possible strategies:

The former option only truly makes sense in early- or maybe mid-game. By mid- to late-game, level ≤3 gags are irrelevant, & although level 4 gags are still always relevant, they’re not relevant enough to justify leaving all level ≥5 gags non-organic. This is especially true because planted gags are not only organic, but actually grow gags on their trees! This is a big deal for level 7 gags[2], which cannot be purchased at Goofy’s Gag Shop.

Whereas Lure gags get more accurate when organic, other gags deal 10% more damage (or healing), rounded down.[3]

My decision

So yeahh, I know it’s boring (unless you’re not a hardcore Toontown strategy nerd), but I went with Lure. I don’t think that going Soundless and Lureless will be necessary for this Toon, so I was going to end up with Lure at some point anyway.

Luring is generally seen as the alternative to Sounding, so Soundless-&-Lureless gameplay is a more 😈⁠extreme⁠😈 turn into the total embrace — or arguably, transcendence — of mixed strategy. This is something that I’ve personally done quite a bit of in the past, but these days, TTR has different ideas. This is a good thing insofar as it would seem to make such an “extreme turn” possible but unnecessary; on the other hand, there are arguments to be made (albeit not here, as I assume the reader to be inexperienced in Toontown) that TTR’s approach betrays a few of TTO’s — & TTR’s, for a long time — core game mechanics that made Toontown strategy interesting & fun, in addition to smothering some of that strategy with reward spam & “vibes-based gameplay”.

But I digress!!

Footnotes for “A more difficult decision this time”

  1. [↑] As the kids say these days. Sorry, I’m old. 👵🏽 Unfortunately, goat is not a playable species in TTR
  2. [↑] As an historical note, level 7 gags were not in early versions of TTO (even post-beta), but were added to TTO later on.
  3. [↑] Technically, the damage/healing added by organicness is floored to a minimum of 1: orgDmg ( baseDmg ) = baseDmg + max { 1 , baseDmg 10 } . Contrast this with the ceiling regime used for combo damage bonuses; see the “Four storeys, four Toons, four stories” section of the previous instalment.

Welcome to Donald’s Dock, landlubber!

The switch to ToonTasking for a new set of animation frames also means switching to a new neighbourhood: welcome to Donald’s Dock (DDock)!

I was previously Tasking around TTC, a neighbourhood representative of the Tooniverse in general: jokes (practical or not), cartoons — especially those in the West from ca. 1928 (Steamboat Willie) to ca. the tail end of the postwar boom (≈1970; cf. The Jungle Book (1967)) — & general silliness. DDock, on the other hand, is firmly nautical, as its name implies. Its name also implies a connexion with Donald Duck, who does not appear as an NPC (unlike in TTO), but who is nevertheless depicted on the neighbourhood’s seal.

The DDock playground is probably majority water by area, & it even has a functioning boat that you can ride in! Unlike the ice-cream cone treasures of TTC, DDock’s treasures are yellow five-armed starfish that are only found underwater. One neat thing that TTR added was making the music change when you go underwater:

Just before I jump into the water, you can hear a bell go off as the ship departs. Not only does the music get muffled, but the flute part is replaced by a marimba-like instrument!


Speaking of the music of DDock, I don’t know why, but the DDock street music goes kinda hard??:

This little ditty is not too complex to parse, so I was going to just transcribe it by ear real quick. But then I realised that I have the MIDI data anyway (DD_SZ.mid)! I’m not so used to dealing with raw MIDI data myself, but I hacked it together to get this transcription — which is technically a reduction (the original MIDI has quite a few tracks), but only barely:[1]

The ⟨A⟩ section of the DDock street music ◐

I’ve written out the swing explicitly, because the original uses a very tight triplet pattern exactly as written above, suggesting an underlying 128 metre. There are at least two other ways to write this, but whatever. The main reason for writing it this way is to make it very explicit that much of the attitude here is due to the swing. If this were written “straight” with just a single indication that there’s a triplet swing, then things would look a lot more boring. Which I guess is good for readability, but to my ears, the swing is not a variable here — I do feel the underlying 128.

For readability purposes, I’ve written all parts in C, even if they’re nominally transposing instruments that transpose by a non-integral number of octaves. But note that the piccolo sounds one octave higher than written, & the double bass (contrabass) sounds an octave lower than written.

However, in the original, the contrabass part is actually an octobass(!) part, meaning that it sounds two whole octaves lower than written. Yes, really. Listen to the recording, & you can hear the incredible amount of space between the bass part & the wind instruments, with nothing other than the relatively soft chordophone part (here called “Harp/keyboard”) within that chasm. The lowest pitch played by the octobass (throughout the entire piece) is a sub-contra F0! That’s a fundamental frequency of ≈21.827⁢ Hz, which is just barely within human hearing range!!

Anyway, the tonal content is fairly simple. The piece is in B♭ major. Each tonal region occupies either the first half or the second half of a measure:

Tonal analysis of the ⟨A⟩ section of DD_SZ
measure 1 2
chord B♭ F7 B♭ E♭−
Roman I V7 I iv
function T D T s

All chords are in root position. Functions are notated German-style, which is based around the I, IV, & V chords, thus distinguishing only three distinct functions (T, S, & D, respectively).

The “F7” can as easily be analysed as B♭64 (I64), that is, the second inversion of the tonic chord — thus having the function T rather than D. This is bolstered by the lack of a third chord factor in the F7 (“F7no3”). I’ve nevertheless preferred the “F7” interpretation, based on the prominent melody.

The E♭− is borrowed from the parallel minor (B♭ minor), & contains G♭ rather than B♭ major’s G♮. Because G♭ is the only “G” that shows up in this section, all pitch classes are fully contained within B♭ harmonic major.[2]

Notably, G♭ is much “stronger” than G♮, within the B♭ major key: whereas G♮ sits equidistant between the fifth & seventh degrees by a whole tone — thus making it exceptionally stable (as implied by the Tp function of the vi) — the G♭ is just a half tone above the fifth degree, making it naturally “lead” into the fifth factor of the tonic triad. This gives it somewhat of a “dominant” flavour in spite of its s function, making it a reasonable pre-dominant or, as here, effectively a dominant that leads directly to the tonic.

And for what it’s worth, this is exactly what the melody tells us: the melody over the tonic chord consists only of the first & fifth factors of that chord, the latter of which leads directly up by a semitone into the G♭. This perhaps demonstrates how “s” doesn’t tell all the possible stories: here, the G♭ “functions” in the same way that the ♭9 of an altered dominant chord does.[3]

The second section (⟨B⟩ section) of the piece is as follows:

The ⟨B⟩ section of the DDock street music ◐

I’ve written out the words prima volta over the clarinet/piccolo (“Clar.”) & wood block (“Wd. bl.”) parts, because they play nothing on the repeat. Here, Tpt. is trumpet, & Tbn. is trombone. Both are, again, written in C, for readability.

The simple melodic fragment from the first half of the measures of the ⟨A⟩ section is elaborated here, with the trumpet & trombone taking turns playing it on various pitches. The tonal content is as follows:

Tonal analysis of the ⟨B⟩ section of DD_SZ
measure 3 4
chord B♭ G− C− F
Roman I vi ii V
function T Tp Sp D

Again, everything is in root position. It almost couldn’t be more straightforward: just vi – ii – V – I. For those unfamiliar with circle of fifths progressions, the idea is just that the root descends by a perfect fifth from each chord to the next, until the tonic is reached.

The overall form of the piece is essentially a repeated binary form: ⟨ABAB⟩, where the latter ⟨AB⟩ is only a very minor variation on the former (which is why the provided audio only contains the first ⟨AB⟩).

For me, the ⟨A⟩ section is what really catches my ear: the simple but clever use of the iv in a major key (more typically used, in popular music, for its subdominant function) really makes the G♭ sound 🌶️⁠spicy⁠🌶️ to me! Plus, I like how the pair of wood blocks is used as a very minimal percussive element.

Still, although the ⟨B⟩ section may be simpler or more straightforward by contrast, its faster melodic & harmonic pace contrasts well with the ⟨A⟩, & it also benefits from many of the features that drive the piece as a whole:

And perhaps the best part of ⟨B⟩ is the call-&-response of the brass, which is particularly characteristic of sea shanties!

Footnotes for “Welcome to Donald’s Dock, landlubber!”

  1. [↑] The tempo is 120⁢ BPM.
  2. [↑] There are conspicuously no “A”s, so B♭ Æolian dominant is also consistent.
  3. [↑] In fact, we can think of this iv as a ♭II∆7, with dominant function. This analysis is arguably supported by the melody, but it’s nonstandard, & so also arguably a stretch of Roman-numeral-style analysis.

Embrace your inner tube

But okay, that’s about enough of that.

My first set of DDock ToonTasks was going to be very frugal, very pointy, & very red. I noticed that there was a Penny Pincher Invasion on the loose, so I picked up a random ToonTask to defeat some of them. Then I also took a ToonTask to visit Billy Budd (the titular seaman of Billy Budd, Sailor (An Inside Narrative), an unfinished novella by Herman Melville). So I paid a visit to Billy Budd’s Big Bargain Binnacle Barn on Barnacle Boulevard (say that five times fast!).

Getting to the Binnacle Barn was made easier by the Street M.A.P.S. system:

Barnacle Boulevard street map

Street maps are kinda like the minimaps in MapleStory. My position (& the direction I’m facing) is indicated by the glowing blue arrow that you can see near the top-left. The building I’m meant to visit for the ToonTask in my ToonTask slot #1 is indicated by the red circle with a white “1” inside. Perhaps the most useful part is that this red circle is instead grey if it’s a Cog Building instead of a Toon one. This allows the player to take a quick peek & then change districts, rather than walking all the way to the building, only to find that it’s been taken over by Cogs…

Back in my day 👵🏽, we didn’t have Street M.A.P.S.! We searched for buildings, accidentally went past them, backtracked, & then found out that they were taken over by Cogs — & we liked it!!

Billy Budd: Hi, Rusa. Thank goodness you’re here. A mean looking Penny Pincher was just in here and he made off with an inner tube.

Billy Budd: I fear they may use it for their vile purposes.

Oh, dear. The vile purposes of Penny Pinchers — unspeakable!

Penny Pincher moment.

Transcription of the above image


  1. Wanted: 4 Penny Pinchers, anywhere. 0 of 4 defeated.
  2. Recover: An Inner Tube from Penny Pinchers, anywhere.

Toon HQ: Penny Pinchers have taken over Toontown!!!

Well, I think you can guess what happens next.

Penny Pincher: A Penny for your gags.

A pun on a penny for your thoughts.

Luckily, I have my trusty Seltzer Bottle from last time:

Rusa uses a Seltzer Bottle

Aye, glasses!

Piano Tuna: Works for Scale

Piano Tuna: Works for Scale on Barnacle Boulevard, operated by Eileen Overboard. The shop name is a manifold pun:

And the shopkeeper’s name as I lean overboard.

After getting a nifty +2 maxlaff boost from Budd, ’twas time to upgrade my gag pouch with a ToonTask from Captain Carl of Dime & Quarterdeck Bank (a pun on the nautical term quarterdeck, from dime “coin worth 0.1⁢ USD” & quarter “coin worth 0.25⁢ USD”), again on Barnacle Boulevard:

Captain Carl: Argh! Those rapscallion Cogs smashed my monocle and I can’t sort me change without it.

Note the use of the archaic term rapscallion /⁠ɹæpˈskæl.j(ə)n, ɹæpˈskæ.li.ən⁠/ “rascal” to evoke the speech of old-timey sailors. The use of me instead of my as a possessive determiner is used for the same effect, although the (in this context) incorrect *my is used earlier in the sentence.

To replace Carl’s monocle, I would need to bring supplies to the local optician, Doctor Squall of Out to See Optics. The Flunkies that populate this street wear some big goofy glasses that I could salvage eyeglass frames from. It was here on Barnacle Boulevard that I used my Feather for the first time!:

Rusa uses her Feather for the first time

Note how the tickled Toon here says “Ha Ha Ha”. The presence of one or more uppercase letters indicates that the Toon-Up gag did not miss; if the text is all lowercase, then it did miss, & the healing is multiplied by ⅕ (ceiling’d). In addition to healing much less, Toon-Up gags that miss do not grant XP, & cannot stun[1].

Disembark!: Tree Surgeons

Disembark!: Tree Surgeons on Barnacle Boulevard, operated by Linda Landlubber. A pun on disembark “go ashore”, on the supposition that it’s equivalent to dis- + em- + bark “outermost layer of the stem of a woody plant”, meaning *“[to] remove the bark from a plant”. The actual term is decorticate. The bark in disembark is an alternative spelling of barque “small ship”, which is etymologically unrelated to the botanical sense. The use of disembark, & the shopkeeper’s name, are in reference to trees obviously only existing on land.

With a newly-expanded gag pouch, I started doing some combination of random ToonTasks & training my gags on the streets of DDock. Part of this involved visiting a Mover & Shaker Invasion, where I was confronted with their terrifying Quake attack:

Mover & Shaker: I’ve got a whole lot of quakin’ goin’ on!

As you can see, it thankfully missed me. But I will say that my blood pressure spikes any time that I see a Mover & Shaker lift both of its feet off the ground at once!! Maybe I just have too much experience playing Übers

Training my Toon-Up was a bit of a struggle at first. I seemed to have pretty bad luck when it came to them actually hitting, & I didn’t have a good way to train, other than finding random Toons to heal in street battles. Eventually, I got the 20 XP necessary for the level 2 gag: Megaphone!

New Toon-Up gag for Rusa: the Megaphone!

Like Lure, Toon-Up alternates in its multi-targetness: the odd-level gags (except level 7) are single-target, & the even-level gags are multi-target.

Oh…! Looks like Out to See Optics has some serious competition, because I saw this billboard advertisement on the same street:

Can you read this? Eye of the Storm Optics, on Walrus Way

Of course, the irony is that anyone in need of optic correction won’t be able to read this…

But we won’t be visiting Walrus Way for a while. 🙂

Footnotes for “Aye, glasses!”

  1. [↑] See the “Microcosm” section of the first instalment, for more on stunning via Toon-Up gags.


Of course, now that I have an expanded gag pouch, I need an expanded jellybean pouch to go with it! For that, I’ll have to do a ToonTask given by Barnacle Barbara of Barnacle Bargains on Seaweed Street.

It seems that the Back Stabbers have stolen Barbara’s powdered Big White Wig for their despicable Lawbot proceedings, so it’s my job to take on these pointy purple pretenders myself:

Back Stabber: I’m good at cutting costs.

Never mind the Cog leg that you see on the left-hand side. It’s just a Cog flying away with its little head-propeller.

Back Stabbers can be found with some frequency on Lighthouse Lane, thanks to its 40% Lawbot population. They also have their signature Guilt Trip attack, which is pretty powerful, & hits all Toons!:

Ha ha! Mist me!

Back Stabbers might be tough, but the really difficult part was that Cogs seem to love joining battles on Lighthouse Lane. I go to defeat one (1) Back Stabber, & end up getting punished by like three other unrelated Cogs that nearly bring me to sadness!

Eventually, though, I did recover that ridiculous wig:

Rusa | Items Recovered | Big White Wig

And, in the process, I got my first opportunity to use a Megaphone!:

Rusa using her Megaphone for the first time…

What do you get if you cross a chicken with a banjo?
A self-plucking chicken.

Aaaand it missed. Because of course it did. Admittedly, it is a pretty weak joke, as far as Megaphone jokes go…

Buildings’ Roman

What happened next was something of a blur. I’ve done a lot of ToonTasking in my day, & my instincts are still quite sharp. As a result, I kinda accidentally did a boatload of them. And also I tried to do some Cog Buildings. I need want XP! I can’t be going around with bad gags!!

So I did a little bit of hunting around, & a little bit of ToonHQ surfing… I’m aware that almost none of the groups on ToonHQ are geared towards Toons such as myself, at this stage in the game (read: still quite early-game). Still, strategically, I know perfectly well what I’m doing in battle. Moreover, I know what I’m looking for: Cog Buildings in Cog Invasions of, realistically, tier ≤4 Cog species. That’s something that I can handle in a group.

In one such building, I was teamed up with fellow gag enthusiast Lady Oscar, who demonstrated for me the awesome raw power of the unholy Foghorn (the level 6 Sound gag):

Lady Oscar Foghorning a row of Telemarketers

In the above image, Lady Oscar is not actually the only one using Sound in this round. Everyone is Sounding — except me, of course. The Telemarketers never stood a chance… And neither did my gag XP……

Speaking of Cog Buildings, I do think that the elevator music/muzak that plays in the Cog elevators is rather quaint:

Money Bags: I’m the boss.

Oh… da baws… My goodness, the Money Bags (Money Bagses…?) are some ugly sons o’ guns.

Unfortunately, rescuing a building from the Cogs affords nary a permanency. The war against Cogs rages ever on, & it’s not uncommon to see the building erelong retaken by the Cogs:

Toon HQ: The Cogs took over one of the buildings you rescued!

The reader might reasonably wonder why a special message is sent to the player in this event. We’ll get back to that soon enough.

Melliferous Melville, altitudinous Alice, & artesian Artemis

Just like the ToonTask for teleportation access to TTC that I did previously, I need to do one to gain that access to DDock as well. So I paid a visit to Melville (named for the aforementioned Herman Melville) at Melville’s Massive Mizzenmast Mart on Lighthouse Lane. He needed a bushel of ballast from Alice of Alice’s Ballast Palace on the same street… but he already owed Alice for something, so I had to do Alice a favour on Melville’s behalf: defeat some of those exceedingly pesky Micromanagers on her street.

Micromanagers in Toontown are even more true to their name than the ones IRL: they are, literally, micro. So small that I can physically jump over their heads without triggering a street battle!:

Rusa jumping over a Micromanager’s head

Although Micromanagers are not entirely trivial to fight, being tier-4 Cogs, this ToonTask is still pretty easy overall (including defeating some Cogs on behalf of Art of Art’s Smart Chart Mart). So, whilst in the midst of this ToonTask, I did a little bit moar dilly-dallying…

Rusa: do u speak log lan

I ended up in a Cog Building with this duck named Loglan. I thought that perhaps it was an alteration of Logan, but upon looking it up, I discovered that it’s the name of a language. It’s an engineered language, so I’m not so sure that anyone actually speaks it, but it’s more of, like, a sci-fi thing. Indeed, when I asked Loglan if he spoke Loglan, I got no response…


For better or worse, even with my dawdling, I really was tearing through these DDock ToonTasks. So, naturally, it was time for the very last one: final gag training (for Lure, in my case). The first half of this capstone ToonTask centres around an otherwise unidentified sort of object called a clovis, which is requested by Ahab (named for the antagonist of Melville’s Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (1851)) of Ahab’s Prefab Sea Crab Center on Seaweed Street:

Ahab: […] I’m building a giant prefab crab to confuse the Cogs.
I could use a clovis though. Go see Claggart and bring one back, please.

Claggart is similarly named for a Melville antagonist (but of Billy Budd, Sailor (An Inside Narrative)), & operates Claggart’s Clever Clovis Closet on Lighthouse Lane:

Claggart: The best clovis I have is a little on the dirty side though.

The clovis is dirty?? What is “clovis”??? Well, as far as I can tell, it’s probably just a nonce word invented to continue the ⟨cl-⟩ /⁠kl-⁠/ alliteration of Claggart, clever, & closet. Nonetheless, it must have its influences:


A given name revived — in a modern-Frenchified form — from the names of a series of Frankish kings starting from the first king of the united Franks, Clovis I (ca. 466〜511).

The Franks were a Germanic people on account of their speaking Frankish, a West Germanic language (a linguistic clade which also includes, for example, English) which eventually gave way to the modern language Dutch. As Germanic peoples were apparently wont to do, the Franks made their way even further westward, especially to the region mostly overlapping what is now modern France. Indeed, to this day, inhabitants of the Nord department still speak French Flemish.

The exact etymology of the name is not uncontroversial, partly because Frankish was almost never written down. Wikipedia gives the Elder Fuþark spelling *ᚺᛚᛟᛞᛟᚹᛁᚷ *⟨Hlōdowig⟩ */⁠ˈhloː.dɔ.wɪɣ⁠/[1], but this is just a reconstruction; the final element may instead be *-ᚲ *⟨-k⟩ */⁠-k⁠/ (final-obstruent devoicing probably hadn’t quite occurred yet), & the vowels may have been more like *ᚺᛚ *⟨Hlūdawīg⟩ */⁠uː, ä, iː⁠/.

It’s usually taken to be from PGmc *hlūdaz */⁠ˈxluː.ðɑz⁠/ “loud; famous” (> PWGmc *hlūd > English loud) + *wiganą */⁠ˈwi.ɣɑ.nɑ̃⁠/ “[to] fight, [to] battle” (> PWGmc *wīgan > obsolete English wye “warrior, fighter; hero”), thus meaning something like “famous warrior”. But the first morpheme could instead be from *hlutą */⁠ˈxlu.tɑ̃⁠/ “lot, share; fate” (> English lot), thus making the meaning more like “loot-bringing warrior”.

Either way, the name was revived in French via a Latinised form, yielding modern Clovis. But it remains in an un-Latinised form in some modern West Germanic languages like High German Ludwig, & of course Dutch Lodewijk. The English equivalent is Lewis or Louis (both via langues d’oïl).

Clovis point

A very particular sort of point probably used for spears, arrows, javelins, etc. It’s named for the Clovis culture with which it’s associated, which lived ca. 13⁢ ka BP in North America. The culture is in turn named for Clovis, New Mexico, U.S., where the type site was discovered in 1929. The city had already been named over two decades prior, after a Frankish king.

Although this is ultimately the same etymology as above, the Clovis point is at least some kind of tool or material, thus making it more relevant here.

Clovis Crawfish

The titular character of Mary Alice Fontenot’s Clovis Crawfish (19622007) series of books. An anthropomorphised crayfish from the bayous of Louisiana, U.S..

Clovis Crawfish is written in English, but uses Louisiana French terms, & some of the books also have entirely French versions. The name Clovis is thus appropriate, & is also ultimately from the Frankish king.

The fact that this Clovis is an anthropomorphic aquatic animal (& an American one, at that) makes him particularly relevant to DDock’s overall theme, so I suspect that he’s the immediate origin of TTO’s clovis.

In any case, I didn’t have much time to really start this ToonTask (it begins with some running around to various NPCs) before I got swept up in doing a series of Cog Buildings alongside a few Toons whom I met on the streets of DDock: Trixie Pepperjinks, Fancy Jazzy Dizzyphooey, & Little Sassy Tweedlenugget.

Portraits of Rusa, Trixie Pepperjinks, Fancy Jazzy Dizzyphooey, & Little Sassy Tweedlenugget

In the above image, you can see our portraits lined up on the interior of a Cog Building that we rescued back into a Toon one. Those portraits stay there until the next time that this building is taken over!

Doing these Cog Buildings was a lot of fun, partly because there was no ToonHQ involved, & we were just a couple o’ DDockers gettin’ shtuff done. Eventually, I progressed through this last ToonTask enough to get to the meat of it:

Ahab: I’m not getting any power because that Cog building is blocking my solar panel.

This quest is notable for being the first time that the player actually must do a Cog Building. DDock is the player’s introduction to Cog Buildings, which will become very relevant to ToonTasks (even apart from their importance to gag XP) in the neighbourhoods to come. This is the final check (a ToonTask chokepoint, if you will), placing a ≥2-storey Cog Building as an absolute requirement.

Of course, this is little more than a joke to me at this point. I was already doing some Cog Buildings back in TTC, & now I’ve done quite a few of them — even 4- & 5-storey ones (albeit in relatively low-tier Cog Invasions, in the latter case)!

Needless to say, I was done with this ToonTask pretty swiftly. But I knew that turning it in would give me access to Lure, & I didn’t quite feel ready for that yet. Instead, I kept doing Cog Building spam. After more than enough frustrating Toon-Up misses, I finally got to level 3 Toon-Up: the Lipstick gag!

Rusa gets the Lipstick gag!

In keeping with the target-count alternation, Lipstick is a single-target gag. This means that I can use it to patch someone up real quick-like — healing for 30 laff at maximum XP (non-org)! I used it for the first time in this Cog Building:

And of course, it missed!! I need more kissing practice!!!

Footnotes for “*Lewis?”

  1. [↑] Vowel length is not indicated in Elder Fuþark inscriptions, but the length is part of the reconstruction.

Fierce fish-flocking, faithful firefighting, & fanciful frippery

As mentioned above, my piggybank is a bit light. Fishing is a good way to earn beans (apart from beanfests…), & moreover, I’m going to want the maxlaff boosts from fishing anyway. Although it’s realistically not necessary (all that you truly need is a reference for which fishes are in which ponds), I’m happy to make use of a new tool: the Shticker Foundation’s Fishing Guide.

Back in the day, I used the SigGen Fish Advisor. But it’s no longer online, & even if it were, it would be outdated due to TTR’s Fish Migration Update (2023-01-26). The Shticker Foundation revives the basic utility of SigGen’s tool: you can track which species your Toon has already caught (possibly across multiple independent Toons), & the Fishing Guide will tell you which ponds have the highest probability (per catch) of getting you a brand-new species. It will also give you those probability figures, as well as a figure for how many buckets (1 bucket = 20 fish catches) are necessary to have a ≈99% chance of getting at least one new species[1].

I like the idea, so if I’m going to fish, & I haven’t yet caught all 70 species, then I’d prefer to do that fishing at whichever pond the Fishing Guide puts at the top of the list that it generates for me. As it happened, the list that it generated conveniently put Barnacle Boulevard at the top, so I headed to Fisherman Barney’s pond:

Fisherman Barney: Wow! You collected 12 of 70 fish. That deserves a trophy and a Laff boost!

That’s my first maxlaff boost that’s not from a ToonTask! Nice!

Whilst I was fishing, though, I was keeping my eye on ToonHQ for Cog Invasions & Buildings. With some more Cog Buildings under my belt, I finally unlocked the level 5 Squirt gag: Fire Hose!

Rusa, Sora, & Queen Pickles Bumblebumper are The Firefighting Squad™

Firefighting Squad™ roll up!!

After all this on-&-off Cog Building spamming, I eventually ended up with a bronze star:

Rusa gets her first bronze star!

Cool! In addition to showing up above my head, the star would also appear next to my name if I made it onto the Toon Platoon of that district (I was probably on it, but I didn’t check). A non-spinning bronze star like this one indicates 10〜19 Cog Building floors defeated, & does not count floors of Cog Buildings that have since been retaken by Cogs (in addition to not counting any in other districts). This is why the message from Toon HQ that one of your rescued buildings has been retaken is “important”, although Toon Platoon is really just for goofs & for screenshots that you can brag about.

For really no good reason, I still have yet to turn in that ToonTask to get my $1 Bill. I want that Whole Cream Pie first!! Probably even moar Cog Building spamming coming sooon…‽

Footnotes for “Fierce fish flocking, faithful firefighting, & fanciful frippery”

  1. [↑] Using the CDF of the geometric distribution.