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The adventures of Rusa in Toontown (the fourth instalment)

[L’Internationale plays faintly]

In the “The wild, wild streets of Toontown Central” section of the first instalment, I wrote this:

Put simply, Cogs are robotic simulacra of the particular aspects & social roles of people as they exist in capitalist society, specifically in corporate and/or legal environments. Rather than being genuinely critical and/or analytical of capital, Cogs represent something like a cartoonish satire of white-collar society (read: the society that employees of the Walt Disney Internet Group would have existed within).

Although I stand by this overly-brief analysis, I did forget that Toontown does draw directly from the history of the workers’ movement (communism), in a particularly bold way. In particular, by the rather frequent & repeated use of the catchphrase Toons of the World, UNITE!, which is, of course, transparently a simple alteration of Workers of the world, unite!.

Toons of the World, UNITE!

This phrase is reproduced on much of the promotional material, in addition to having a very special place within the game itself (but we’re not there yet! 🙂).

It’s difficult to imagine this being more on the nose, except that the logo associated with the phrase — shown in the above image in a miniature form, near the bottom-right — prominently features the raised fist gesture also closely associated with the workers’ movement. This gesture accompanies the phrase in-game, as well.

The slightly-less-simplified version of my analysis quoted above is to note that the Toon vs. Cog opposition in Toontown is more like a mélange of white-collar satire, a genuine cartoonification of communism, & an appreciation of heartfelt innocence à la Le petit prince (1943). Indeed, Le petit prince itself contains a similar opposition, albeit couched in terms of “grown-ups” [grandes personnes] rather than “Cogs” (Bots, in Toontown France).

But also, that’s about as far as I’m willing to go here, because I think that part of what makes Toontown’s world great is that it can — & should — be interpreted according to the imagination of the player.

Home gardening for fun & profit laffs

Hokay. I really ought to stop being needlessly stubborn, & just nab that $1 Bill from Ahab real quick, so that I can start planting Lure right away. Trees take time to grow, you know!

Rusa digging a hole to plant the $1 Bill in

That oughta do it. Now I can just tuck the little green piece of paper into the hole & cover it with some soil…

The little $1 tree

Beautiful. It’s already growing! That soil is looking mighty parched, though…

Rusa watering the baby tree

Much better. 🙂

Now that I’m gardening, there are some other non-gag items that I’d like to plant as well. In particular, if I can level my shovel up high enough, I can start getting maxlaff boosts for it! Flower-planting is a bit like fishing, in that you get rewarded for how many unique species you’ve successfully grown. But the species that can be grown are limited by your shovel’s level, so you end up having to grow the same species over & over to grind that shovel XP.

I haven’t any shovel XP yet, so the species that I can grow are very limited. But one thing that all flowers have in common — naturally — is that they germinate from jellybeans! Duh!!

Picking a jellybean to plant

The colours of jellybean, from left to right, are: red, green, orange, purple, blue, pink, yellow, cyan, & silver. Silver beans actually don’t sprout flowers at all (they’re used for statues), but the others are used in various very particular combinations to produce viable flowers.

On account of my shovel being brand spankin’ new, I can only plant bean combinations of 1 or fewer beans — that is, of one bean. In general, however, a flower bean combo can be a string of up to 8 beans, leading to a dizzying total of 𝑘=188𝑘=19 173 960 (a bit more than 19 million)[1] possible combos! Thankfully, there are only 5 combos per length (i.e. per value of 𝑘), leading to just 40 usable combos in total. And you can just look them up on the wiki.

So I planted flowers in all ten spots around my house:

The first flowers planted

They even have fun names like laff-o-dil (a pun on daffodil) & what-in carnation (a pun on what in tarnation)!

Admittedly, although gardening is a cool addition to the game, I feel like its main purpose is just organic gags. Organic gags are a crucial part of the game (even though they were only added to TTO somewhat later on), due to how they effectively add a suī generis degree of freedom to character builds. Planting flowers can be pretty, & certainly relaxing, but even if we include the purely-cosmetic/æsthetic statues, it’s still not the kind of gardening/farming simulation — even in a minigamified form — to be expected from games in the genre such as Story of Seasons [(ぼく)(boku)(じょう)()(もの)(mono)(がたり)(gatari)] (1996〜), Stardew Valley (2016), & even Disney™’s own Disney Dreamlight Valley[2] (2023).

Still, if you’re into the decoration stuff, Toontown’s estate system has a good deal of it. In addition to gardening/statues, there’s also interior decorating, & TTR even added purchasable exterior designs for houses! With some more beans in my bank, I’ll probably have a go at decorating Rusa’s house. But for now, it’s super basic…

Footnotes for “Home gardening for fun & profit laffs”

  1. [↑] Not counting silver beans.
  2. [↑] What‽ No *Toontown 2‽‽ Just kidding; “Toontown 2” would probably be bad news.

Scream why? Cream pie!

Although I did turn in my final DDock ToonTask, I couldn’t resist the allure of the Cog Building before I continued ToonTasking elsewhere.

Sorry for the delay…

Transcription of the chat bubbles in the above image

Kakashi: was looking for my cat sorry

[pink cat]: im right here

Rusa: lool

It wasn’t long before I unlocked the level 5 Whole Cream Pie to go with my Fire Hose!:

Rusa unlocks the Whole Cream Pie!

The associated series 1 trading card

Series 1 Cream Pie trading card, obverse

Transcription of the above image

Tastes Great — Flies Straight

Cream Pie

They’re splat-tastic!

© 2003 Disney

Series 1 Cream Pie trading card, reverse

Transcription of the above image

These creamy, dreamy, delicious, and aerodynamic cream pies are baked fresh each day in Toontown’s finest bakeries. Each one is taste-tested by Goofy himself and guaranteed to land a direct hit. In your face[,] Cogs! Available whole or by the slice.

Affects: 1 Cog
Skill Points: 5
Base Accuracy: 75%
Damage: 36–40

Goofy’s Tip: Throw attacks do more damage than Squirt!

Goofy’s Gag Shop

Throw track

[TTO logo]

Very nice!! Now it’s time for the tough part of the Throw/Squirt grind: level 5 to level 6. Level 6 to level 7 is actually less of a grind, but it’s okay. We’ll get there.

Alright, alright. That’s enough delectable grinding for now. Let’s head down Seaweed Street

The mysterious case of the doubled Number Cruncher

Oh, my! A doubled Number Cruncher?? It must be twice as powerful!!

More seriously, this does happen occasionally. Cogs don’t have “collisions” in the usual sense, so if two Cogs of the same species just so happen to walk down the same street at the same position in the same direction at the same time, then you get a monstrosity such as this.

And Bingo was his name-o

I almost started ToonTasking again. I really almost did. But then I realised that it was Fish Bingo day:

Fish Bingo! (Four corners)

Oh my lord, do I love me some Fish Bingo. It’s just the best game. Maybe even better than Twolley Twax… 😳

Wherefore & wherefrom doth the bingo come?

That being said, I do occasionally wonder: wherefore & wherefrom doth the bingo come?

Most accounts seem to trace the game back to Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia “Italy’s Game of Lot”, instituted in Genoa ca. 1530. This is the source of English lotto (& closely relatedly, Italian lotteria > English lottery), but is not Italic in origin; rather, it was borrowed into Italian (via OF) from Frankish *ᚺᛚᛟᛏ *⟨hlot⟩ */⁠hlɔt⁠/, which is itself from PGmc *hlutą */⁠ˈxlu.tɑ̃⁠/ “lot, share; fate”. Yes, the same *hlutą hypothesised to be part of the origin of Clovis!![1] The use of a *hlutą-derived term here has a double meaning: it’s a game of lot in the sense of “portion of wealth” (as in That’s a lot of jellybeans!), but also lot as in “fate, chance” (as in It is her inescapable lot in life.).

This earliest version of “lotto” featured the drawing of names — & later, numbers — that participants would bet on. But I suspect that this is where the similarities with modern bingo end; as its name implies, this game was probably more similar to modern lotteries (see also: keno). The real history seems to begin at least as early as 1778, by which we have a French adaptation of the game, known simply as Le Lotto. English Wikipedia claims (& so does French Wikipedia) that this game had the modern 3×9 card format, with numbers from 1 to 90 written in some of each card’s grid positions, but the source that it cites is rather poor. In any case, it was via the French that the game was introduced to Great Britain.

The Northern American version of the game was designed by Hugh J. Ward[2] in the early 1920s, whereas the British version remains largely similar to Le Lotto.

Of course, none of this explains why it’s called bingo instead of just… lotto. The first appearance of bingo in English is presumably the folk song usually known by the same name (Roud 589), which is first attested by 1780 in London, England, but is probably older than that, & is most likely Scottish in origin. Predictably, the modern lyrics of the song differ from those of the earlier attestations.

However, it’s unclear whether the folk song influenced the game or not; either seems plausible. Wiktionary asserts that bingo is an alteration of onomatopœic bing, suggesting the ringing of a bell. But it gives no basis for this assertion, & other sources are not so sure. Etymonline (Douglas Harper) has this to say:

[L]otto-like game of chance, 1924; there are many theories about its origin, none satisfying; the most likely is bingo! as an exclamation of sudden realization or surprise (attested from 1923).

Uncertain connection to the slang word for “brandy” (1690s), attested as “liquor” in American English from 1861. Thomas Chandler Haliburton (“Sam Slick”) in “The Americans at Home” (1854) recounts a story of a drinking game in which the children’s song about the farmer’s dog was sung and when it came time to spell out the name, every participant had to take a letter in turn, and anyone who missed or flubbed had to drink.

The earliest known versions of the folk song do explicitly reference ale.

In contrast to all three of these theories, other sources claim that an early version of American bingo was called beano for the dried beans used to mark grid positions, & that when a player was particularly excited to’ve won, they managed to fumble the word as bingo!. Edwin S. Lowe heard this, & later sold the game under this name, thus establishing it as the widely-used term.

Da roolz

Even apart from the fact that there are fish on the card instead of numbers, those accustomed to the British version of bingo may be unfamiliar with the layout. American bingo uses a 5×5 grid, which notably means that getting five in the same column is just as significant as getting five in the same row. And there are also the two diagonals!

Unlike bingo elsewhere, Fish Bingo essentially has one card per pond. If you catch a fish, then you can mark a single (even if there are multiple matches) matching position on the card[3] — assuming that there is one. But doing so marks that spot for everyone at that pond. Everyone at the pond sees the same card, the same markers, the same objective, & the same timer. The objective can be “classic” (any single row, column, or diagonal), “four corners”, “diagonals”, “three-way” (both diagonals & the middle row), or “blackout” (all 25 positions). If the objective is reached before the timer runs out, then any fisher can click the “BINGO” button to award the prize to all fishers at that pond.

This makes Fish Bingo actually coöperative rather than competitive, & adds an element of skill due to the need to, you know, fish as quickly as possible.

Lonely B–I–N–G–Only

And hey — I won! At this random pond on a random DDock street. All by myself.

Rusa: BINGO!

Le sigh. Maybe I’ll find some fellow bingoers later…

Footnotes for “And Bingo was his name-o”

  1. [↑] See the “*Lewis?” section of the previous instalment.
  2. [↑] Not to be confused with huge award.
  3. [↑] Notable is the fact that fishing up an “old boot” — which is otherwise the worst possible catch — counts as a wildcard (the best possible catch) in Fish Bingo, matching any unmarked position!

One buck is a lot of doe for a Bottom Feeder

Okay. I accept that I have Lure now. Like with basically any new gag track (other than Toon-Up), heading to TTC is a good way to train it up, to level 2 at the least. In particular, I was looking for a tier-1 Cog Invasion, & I got one! Yay for Bottom Feeders!! Time to test this $1 Bill out…

They are Bottom Feeders, after all. Hardly capable of resisting a quick buck[1].

Rusa unlocks the Small Magnet!

Cool! Just like Toon-Up, the target count alternates, so the Small Magnet targets all Cogs. It’s still not very good — in particular, the accuracy is just borderline useless — but it bears great potential.

Footnotes for “One buck is a lot of doe for a Bottom Feeder”

  1. [↑] Slang for “dollar”, but also meaning “male deer”. Dough is slang for “money”, so I use the homophonic doe “female deer” instead.

The large feline

Before I had time to grind even more — in hopes of the $5 Bill — I was approached by a large feline by the name of Big Cat. The TTC street where I was training had some Cog Buildings on it (which is rare for TTC), & Big Cat was tryna defeat them. As usual, I can hardly resist a good Cog Building, so I agreed to help.

Whoa! Small Magnet power!! Don’t worry… it usually misses…

Rusa & Big Cat at the top of a Bottom Feeder Building in TTC

After doing some Cog Buildings with Big Cat, I ended up with a bronze star (see the “Fierce fish-flocking, faithful firefighting, & fanciful frippery” section of the previous instalment), so this time, I actually checked the local Toon Platoon:

Rusa on the Toon Platoon

Transcription of the above image
Toon Platoon
star floors name
spinning bronze 22 Sergeant Jimmy
bronze 15 Lady Zaza
bronze 15 Lulu
bronze 13 Pinky Pinkertoon
bronze 12 Coach Petunia
bronze 12 Rusa
bronze 11 Jerry
bronze 11 Queen Giggles
bronze 11 King Giggles
bronze 11 N’atta Monkey Wrench

Nice. 😎

Speaking of nice, I also unloct the friccing $5 Bill??:

Rusa unlocked the $5 Bill gag!

That is nice. Unfortunately, however, my Lure won’t be much good until I get the next level, & that won’t be easy…

Daisy Gardens thy presence pardons

Okay, okay. Enough of that. It’s time for the ToonTasking. That means moving on from DDock to Daisy Gardens (DG)! Given that Daisy Duck is on the neighbourhood’s seal (& in TTO, was an NPC who walked around the playground), we’re left to wonder whether it’s Daisy Gardens “garden of daisies” or Daisy’s Gardens “the garden of Daisy Duck”. The answer is, apparently, both.

Whereas DDock’s theme was nautical, DG’s theme is that of gardening, agriculture, botany, & mycology. The playground is shaped like a giant flower, & features a hedge maze with a giant spinning flower at its centre.

We’d Be Gone Travel Agency

We’d Be Gone Travel Agency on Maple Street, operated by Greg Greenethumb. A pun on herbicidal weed be gone, which is trademarked IRL with the spelling ⟨Weed B Gon®⟩. To have a green thumb is an American idiom “[to] be naturally skilled in gardening”, which is green fingers elsewhere.

I started off my DG ToonTasking with Sofie Squirt’s (of The Squirting Flower) ToonTask:

Sofie Squirt ToonTask?

Transcription of the above image


10 Squirting Flowers to: Sofie Squirt

The Squirting Flower
Maple Street
Daisy Gardens

Reward: 1 point Laff boost

Oh. I guess Sofie is low on supplies. Well, this is an easy ToonTask! Let me just buy 10 Squirting Flowers from the local Goofy’s Gag Shop & deliver them to—

Sofie Squirt: But I’m scared of the Cogs outside.

Ohhh… There’s always a catch……

Oak’s treat

I’ve still another empty ToonTask slot, so I’d like to fill that one before I start on Sofie’s request.

Now that I’ve four gag tracks, I’m hurting a little for gag pouch space. It’s time to pay a visit to Detective Lima of Spill the Beans on Oak Street for his ToonTaskline.

“WARNING!! SELLBOT HQ” sign in front of the entrance to Oak Street

The entrance to Oak Street gives fair warning that it leads to Sellbot Headquarters (SBHQ). But for all we know, it might be no more than a myth, or just some half-baked Cog fortification…

Dirt. Cheap.

Dirt. Cheap. on Oak Street, operated by Uncle Mud. A pun on the adjectival phrase dirt cheap “very cheap” by separating it across two separate phrases as “dirt that is sold for cheap”.

Being on Oak Street himself, Lima is well aware of the rumours:

Detective Lima: I’ve heard they have organized their own headquarters at the end of this street.

Lima wants those Sellbots to spill the beans, & it’s my job to make ’em do it. As I headed further down Oak Street, however, I was nabbed yet again by another stray Toon in front of a Cog Building…

I did this three-storey Cog Building alongside Purple Mouse & Lucky Pancake. At the top floor, Purple Mouse was going to try Luring the Cogs with his Small Magnet, so I took the opportunity to use my Megaphone to feed two birds with one seed: heal Lucky Pancake, & stun for Purple Mouse’s Lure so that it’s more likely to hit. Lucky Pancake is SpeedChat-only, so I had to tell her “You should pass.” through the SpeedChat menu, as none of her gags would one-shot any of the Cogs — even if Lured.

Stunning for Lure (Lucky Pancake: Good teamwork!)

Good teamwork indeed! It worked!!

Tarmacadamorous towers, joyless jewels of sombre skies

As it turned out, Lucky Pancake & Purple Mouse were also headed towards the end of Oak Street. Just as Detective Lima feared, the end of the street leads to a horrible tunnel into Sellbot HQ:

The entrance to Sellbot Cog HQ

The Earthly consequences of SBHQ

If you’re a boomer 👵🏽, then you may remember that SBHQ hasn’t always been accessible. Even after TTO left its beta phase & fully released in 2003, there was a short time before SBHQ was opened to the public on 2003-12-19. The end of Oak Street looked somewhat like the image above, but with lots of big wooden boards nailed all over the tunnel’s entrance, plus warning signs, barricade tape, & the like. It was incredibly ominous, & at the same time, it wasn’t uncommon for players to desperately try to somehow squeeze their way into the tunnel — after all, OOB glitches weren’t uncommon back then!

Of course, even a successful OOB would get you little more than amused reactions & maybe a goofy screenshot; SBHQ simply wasn’t in the game yet. One implication of this was that the game’s core ToonTaskline changed fairly dramatically roughly twice throughout TTO’s history (particularly its early history). With the groundbreaking release of SBHQ — the first part of the game to have “Cog facilities[1] & to have proper boss fights — the associated DG ToonTasks had to be added post hoc.

The modern DG ToonTaskline sticks out like a sore thumb: whereas the two neighbourhoods before it (TTC & DDock) and the two neighbourhoods after it (MML & The Brrrgh) all have a Gag Track Training associated with them, DG’s ToonTaskline is conspicuously missing all 16 (including 1 capstone) ToonTasks that would otherwise each award an animation frame. With DG, you get your maxlaff boosts, your jellybean jar expansion, your gag pouch expansion, your teleport access to DG, your additional ToonTask capacity… and that’s pretty much it. You’re done.

As an historical aside, from TTO’s initial release until 2004-12-01, it was possible for Toons to abuse a bug to skip over maxlaff-bearing ToonTasks, thus allowing for Übers that we’d no longer even dream of — e.g. getting six gag tracks at just 50 maxlaff! The fixing of this bug did not prevent the creation of Übers, but it did turn the DG ToonTaskline into what I like to call The Great Über Barrier™: because DG gives a bunch of maxlaff but no gag tracks, any player who wants to truly maintain the Über ethos has no good choice but to stop before they get to the DG ToonTaskline. Some Übers (or “““Übers”””, depending on whom you ask…)[2] do go beyond DG, so I like to refer to Übers who do not (& who are also not tank Übers) as neoclassical Übers[3]. Because it’s impossible (by design) to be offered the Trap track prior to the DG ToonTaskline, all neoclassical Übers are Trapless.[4] This leads to my personal favourite very dumb & very inside joke of referring to Übers hypernymically (& almost… euphemistically…) as “Trapless Toons”, knowing full well that ordinary non-Über Toons are very frequently Trapless as well (it has always been a wildly popular build).

Hellquot saidborders

In any event, SBHQ is wide open to me now. If I dare to tread within its borders…

Half-panorama of SBHQ

Sellbot Headquarters is an asphalt concrete hellscape heckscape. At the left-hand side of the above image, we can see a metal ramp that leads to four pairs of double-doors. Cogs can be seen entering & exiting through these doors, but we won’t understand the building’s significance until later. We can also see a giant statue of a Telemarketer, & on the right-hand side, the entrance to another region of SBHQ is obscured by some giant metal barrels.

The building to which those double-doors belong is the vestibule of four colossal towers: the Sellbot Towers.

The Sellbot Towers

The Towers really are intimidating. It’s difficult to convey the scale here, but let’s just say that I had to play around with the in-game camera a lot, in order to even see the tops of the Towers so that the above screenshot could be captured.

In some ways, SBHQ is like a street with no Toon Buildings. The Cogs roam everywhere, but I guess I wouldn’t call the battles “street battles” in the usual sense. I continued fighting alongside Purple Mouse & Lucky Pancake, gathering intel for Lima:

Doing some SBHQ “street” battles alongside Lucky Pancake, Purple Mouse, & Dizzy Peaches

We don’t know what the Sellbots are up to, here in their HQ, but it’s not good. We can see some smokestack industry imagery in the background, but much of it is faint, distant, overlarge, sparse, or blurry. If we look too far or too close, the visual force of SBHQ can come up short by modern standards. But it’s working with technical limitations that we’re no longer familiar with, & in more recent times, TTR has actually released a SBHQ expansion that is astonishingly polished in comparison. …But we’re not there yet. 🙂

After defeating some of the HQ’s Sellbots, I brought info back to Lima, who asked me to consult Judge McIntosh (named for the apple cultivar, for which Apple™’s Macintosh® was named) of Apples & Oranges Debate Society. She didn’t believe the news:

Judge McIntosh: You must be mistaken. Preposterous.

To prove its existence, McIntosh wanted that paperwork that Cogs love carrying around. Going back to SBHQ, I was able to recover blueprints for the HQ itself in no time. When I bought the blueprints to McIntosh, she changed her tune slightly: so they are building an HQ…! “Just as I suspected all along”…

Footnotes for “Tarmacadamorous towers, joyless jewels of sombre skies”

  1. [↑] At the time immediately after SBHQ was initially released, there was only one Cog facility in the entire game, so there was no need for such a generic term. Only later on did other facilities get added, thus motivating the need for a more abstract term — something not provided by the game itself.
  2. [↑] The most popular, in my experience, being Cashbot Übers.
  3. [↑] Neoclassical because this characterisation is only defined for Toontown after 2004-12-01.
  4. [↑] See footnote #4 of the “Factorial” section below.

Good things come in pairs, & bad ones too

Just Vase It Flower Arrangements

Just Vase It Flower Arrangements on Oak Street, operated by Crystal. A pun on just face it.

Now that I’ve had a taste of SBHQ, I feel assured that my gags are up to the task — the DG ToonTasks, that is:

Rusa’s gag loadout (so far)

Transcription of the gag track levels in the above image
track level XP XP for next level
Toon-Up 3 411 800
Lure 3 147 800
Throw 5 2629 6000
Squirt 5 2636 6000

I’ll be taking a break from SBHQ-related ToonTasks for now, because I just picked up a ToonTask from Postman Felipe (of Compost Office on Elm Street) for +2 maxlaff. So now I have not one, but two (2) ToonTasks that require Cogs specifically in DG:

Precinctive DG tasks

Transcription of the above image
  1. Wanted: 20 Cogs on Maple Street. 0 of 20 defeated.
  2. Recover: 10 Postcards from: Double Talkers in Daisy Gardens. 0 of 10 recovered.

Yeah, Sofie’s ToonTask requires the Cogs to be on a specific street. Pretty rare. And the Double Talker ToonTask looks pretty brutal, but it’s not too bad. The “droprate” (if you will) of Postcards is 100%, & Maple Street is conveniently 70% Lawbots anyway!

Trowels and Tribulations Bookstore

Trowels and Tribulations Bookstore on Maple Street, operated by Whiny Wilma. A gardening-based pun on trials & tribulations.

Just a little bit of casual Maple Street browsing, & I’ve already found a Double Talker.

Double Talker: I’m gonna give you double the trouble.

As you can see, he is a mean-looking robo. A random crocodile lady whom I was in a street battle with seemed to agree:

His is he gonna have two faces and both of them are

ugly lol

Oof. (Oof.)

After just a little bit (I promise) of dilly-dallying inside of perhaps one (1) Cog Building, I did hunt & peck my way to the end of both of these ToonTasks together. Along the way, I was slightly annoyed by the fact that my brand-new Whole Cream Pie is… well… brand-new. That means it deals just 36 base damage, & so against a Lured Cog, that’s 361.5=54 damage. With maxed XP, a Whole Cream Pie has 40 base damage, so if I had just enough XP to get to 37 (just one (1) more damage!!), that would instead be 371.5=55.5=56 damage to a Lured Cog. That’s the 7th pronic number (A002378), i.e. the HP of a level 7 − 1 = 6 Cog. Darn! So close!!

Astroturf Mowers

Astroturf Mowers on Maple Street, operated by Rocky Raspberry. Not wordplay, but a notional gag on the fact that artificial turf obviously doesn’t need to be mowed. Compare Soup Forks on Silly Street, operated by Dan Dribbles.

Mamma mia, lotteria!

As I headed back through the DG playground to restock my gags & finish turning my ToonTasks in, however, I saw that there were actually quite a few fishers at this here pond. It was time to Fish Bingo it up — for real this time…

Fish Bingo with four Toons!

It was a lot of fun! And somehow, by a stroke of dumb luck, I caught an Ultra Rare fish??:

Rusa catches the Devil Ray!!!

It may not be the highest achievement, but I know the Devil Ray (a visual pun on the genus Mobula “devil rays”) & its devilish rarity. It’s a good species to have gotten out of the way already!!


Black-Eyed Susan’s Boxing Lessons

Black-Eyed Susan’s Boxing Lessons on Elm Street, operated by Susan. A pun on the English vulgar name for Rudbeckia hirta “black-eyed Susan”, a daisy native to North America. Black eye is the vulgar name of a periorbital hematoma, an injury most associated with getting punched in the face.

Okay, it’s time to get back to the real ToonTasking. Detective Lima warned me that the innards of the Sellbots’ Headquarters would be excessively dangerous for someone as fragile as myself, & that I should get more maxlaff if I were to attempt any further investigation. Since then, I have nabbed a few more maxlaff, & more importantly, I’ve found someone with a different attitude.

Coach Zucchini: I put the “squash” in squash and stretch, if you know what I mean.

This is Coach Zucchini of Squash & Stretch Gym on Oak Street. His ToonTask for an upgraded jellybean jar requires just one thing: defeating a Sellbot Factory.

Toontown’s very first Cog facility

You see, the Sellbots are industrialists in their own right. They know how to advertise, how to sell, how to market, & how to convince people that they need stuff they don’t actually need. But the Sellbots also need the goods, so that they have something to sell!

As you might’ve guessed, however, making actually useful things is a foreign concept to the Sellbots. So they just keep making factories. Factories that produce more factories that produce more factories that produce… You get the idea.

Let’s fricking go Looking for group

The ways in which we’ve brought these Sellbot Factories to ruin has changed quite a bit over the years. Originally, you’d take the tunnel from the main SBHQ area (the Courtyard) to the Sellbot Factory Exterior area. This exterior also has Sellbots roaming about, but notably has two elevators — somewhat similar to those on the exteriors of Cog Buildings — that serve as entrances to the actual Sellbot Factory itself.

However, this exterior region is pretty large, & you start out not being particularly close to either elevator. To start the factory run, you’d basically have to wander to one of the entrances, get together with up to three other Toons with whom you want to run (probably in a populated district), & enter like you would a Cog Building.

Boarding groups were released on 2009-03-17, which added a new way to coördinate such groups: a Toon could be added to your boarding group so long as they’re in the same map, & once you were ready to start, you could just press the “go” button. This, in most cases, effectively eliminated from consideration the space around the elevators, both for the Sellbot Factory Exterior & the exteriors of most other Cog facilities/bosses: the map became just a place where you stand in the crowd, looking for someone to send you an invite, or looking for other Toons to send invites to.

TTR retained the boarding group mechanics of later TTO. Then came along ToonHQ (initially released in mid-2014, but took a bit to have a groupfinding mechanism that caught on), which displaced some amount of in-game groupfinding, in addition to displacing IRC[1] for particularly difficult groupfinding purposes. Still, ToonHQ’s groupfinding was mostly supplemental, & most groupfinding was done entirely via in-game mechanisms; this was especially true for Cog facilities (e.g. Factories), as opposed to bosses. Getting together just three (3) other Toons for something as commonplace as a Factory is simply not that difficult.

In more recent times, the teams of TTR & ToonHQ have extended both boarding groups & ToonHQ groups to meet in the middle, tightly integrating the two & adding hitherto unknown in-game conveniences in the process.[2]

Gone “side”ways, pear-shaped, Pete Tong, in a handbasket

Each phase in this evolution has given differing treatment to an unimportant (but fun…?) feature of Sellbot Factories: the Side Entrance. As mentioned above, there are two elevators in the Sellbot Factory Exterior, one of which is the Front Entrance, & the other the Side Entrance. Both elevators take Toons into the exact same Sellbot Factory facility, but at different starting points.

Context for the Side Entrance

For deeply unclear reasons, the Side Entrance has always had a laff[3] limit of 31, meaning that it’s impossible to use this entrance if your laff[3] is below this threshold. This is in contrast to the Front Entrance, which has no laff limit whatsoever! But they’re the same facility!! Somewhat humorously, this means that neoclassical Übers cannot use the Side Entrance unless they’re 34 base (read: before maxlaff boosts from promotions) maxlaff as a result of having Lure or Drop.[4] After retaining this TTO feature for a very long time, TTR eventually dropped it, so that both entrances now lack laff limits.

It might seem like an unimportant subject, given that I’ve just observed how there’s only one Sellbot Factory, no matter how you enter it. Nevertheless, Sellbot Factory routing is an important subject, particularly because it’s common to not complete the entire facility (thus leaving some Cogs alive). As far as specifically the Side Entrance goes, the evolution looks roughly (eliding various details) like this:

  1. In unreleased (beta) versions of SBHQ, the developers intended to have one Factory for each Sellbot Cog Disguise part, & the Factory that ultimately got released was originally the Leg (a.k.a. Foot) Factory (& continued to be referred to as such, but only internally).
  2. With the release of SBHQ, there is only one Factory, but it has two entrances. The Front Entrance is discovered more easily, on account of being closer to the place where Toons enter the Sellbot Factory Exterior. Because the only way to enter the Factory is through one of its elevators, the intent to do a Side Entrance run is easily conveyed by simply gathering around that elevator rather than the Front Entrance one.
  3. With the release of boarding groups, boarding group leaders are given the option to switch between the two entrances via the boarding group UI. However, the Front Entrance is the default.
  4. In the transition to TTR & the emergence of ToonHQ, the old boarding group system is basically intact. ToonHQ adds an option for group leaders to specify that a group is for Side Entrance, but it’s once again not the default.
  5. TTR removes the laff limit from the Side Entrance, thus making it technically more accessible.
  6. With the merging of ToonHQ into TTR, the old boarding group system is no longer fully intact. It now usually makes more sense to create groups via ToonHQ, particularly because of the large additional convenience of group members being able to teleport to their group leader. At the same time, the elevators are now somewhat meaningful again, because the group leader must be near the appropriate elevator. Elevators are also easier to get to, because their nametags (only accessible if you’re already in the map) can now be used to teleport to them.

As far as the Side Entrance is concerned, this is something of a mixed bag. The final state — (6.) in the above list — is arguably the best state of affairs that the Side Entrance has ever seen. Then again, the super old-fashioned way of everyone crowding around the elevator may have been more favourable.


Most commonly, we think of Sellbot Factory routes as, broadly, two: short, or long. As the name implies, short routes take less time, fight as few Cogs as possible, & thus yield fewer Merits. Conversely, long routes fight all Cogs, & thus yield the maximum amount of Merits.

Less commonly (but still standardly), routes that are neither short nor long are considered medium. This is a more varied grouping, for obvious reasons. One purpose of medium routes is obvious: if you need more Merits than a short, but don’t need quite so many as a long, then some kind of medium is what you really want. Additionally, some media[7] are good routes for the improved time-efficiency of a dedicated group that’s running many Factories in a row, eliminating the need for inefficient longs.

However, none of these three categories picks out a unique route. Short & long each have a preferred route that the general population is already accustomed to. And media are done only very rarely — at least, by “random” groups.

Strangely enough, although the Side Entrance is not useful for long routes, the same cannot be said of shorts nor media. This is “strange” only because of how underutilised the Side Entrance has almost always been. In particular, in addition to at least one or two quite good medium routes, the Side Entrance is used by speedrunners (who are, obviously, doing shorts)![8]

If you’re interested in more advanced Factory routing — including good use of the Side Entrance — check out Toontown Efficiency’s (Coach Hunkins) Toontown Rewritten: You’ve been doing factories wrong! A Sellbot Factory Guide. (Although, do note that Hunkins makes the mistake of referring to a medium route as a “short” route.)

In through the front door ‖ We explore ‖ The four-man Foreman ‖ Yes, we can

Well, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that I simply joined a ToonHQ group — starring April, Feathermooch, & Akira — that went in through the Front Entrance:

Rusa at the Front Entrance to the Sellbot Factory

The first thing that we’re greeted by is actually a goon, which I’ll show an image of later. Goons can deal damage with their searchlights, but can be disabled by jumping on their hardhat-topped heads.

The first fight is pretty easy, with just two level 3 Cogs & a single level 5 Cog. The fight is made even “easier” by the fact that I actually didn’t do much fighting (excepting the occasional Toon-Up) for the entirety of this Factory run, on account of my three party members just spamming Sound.

For the next fight, we took a right-hand turn into the Gear Room, which was Rusa’s first introduction to Skelecogs!:

Skelecogs in the Gear Room

Unfortunately, Skelecogs do not go “doot doot”, but they are spooky scawwy skeletons. And they’re also basically the same as normal Cogs.

The East Catwalk

After that fight, we continued forward to the East Catwalk:

The East Catwalk

As you can see, this catwalk has not one, not two, but three big dumb goons trying to catch us. On the right-hand side, there’s a door (not pictured) that leads into the Paint Mixer Room. Regrettably, we did not go into the Pain(t) Mixer Room, even though it’s kinda fun. And there’s purple paint… The platforms that move all around…… But we just didn’t need to restock gags at this point.

Of note in the above image is the giant silo plated in studded metal & reinforced with grey brick pillars. That’s the East Silo, which has a big elevator to take us up to the top. But we won’t be using it, because people almost always start by going up the West Silo (which is a more boring elevator, if you ask me).

You’ll also notice that the catwalk is kinda suspended over… nothing? There’s just a sea of grey, plus a sadly low-resolution skybox a bit higher. But in addition to not covering the lower areas, the skybox looks stretched out, & seems to just depict grey hills, grey clouds, & what looks like a single grey watertower. On the one hand, this is appropriately bleak for what is, after all, literally the land of the Sellbots. On the other hand, this gives a distinctly eerie liminality to the “outdoor” spaces of the Sellbot Factory: we feel like there should be something there, & there just… isn’t. Worse, this feeling of emptiness is not even inchoative: it feels “empty”, but we don’t know what should be there.

We’d hazard a guess that the developers of the Sellbot Factory didn’t know either, or at least didn’t have time to figure it out. Or maybe this — in combination with the technical limitations of a mass-marketed PC game from 2003 — was basically the original vision. Here’s the early concept art for SBHQ, dated somewhere between 1999 & 2002, due to TTO artist Felipe Lara:

Early SBHQ concept art, due to Felipe Lara

Many of the features in the above image are familiar from the release version of SBHQ: the entrance gate’s architecture, the giant pit in the middle, the Sellbot Towers (including the twin Cog statues on either side), & the eastern gate to the Sellbot Factory. There are also various features that didn’t make the cut. But outside the very clearly delineated walls of SBHQ proper, we again see little more than a handful of disembodied smokestacks.

Although it very clearly shows its age, I think that the overall æsthetics of the Sellbot Factory that we know can be compared well enough with TTR’s Sellbot Field Offices (SBFOs), even in spite of SBFOs coming literally 18(!) years later & with the boon of no real deadlines. Although SBFOs are more polished, well-animated, & generally pleasing to the eye, they’re missing the miserable abjection of a no-Toon’s-land built surreptitiously by Cogs out in the hinterlands.

Indeed, as we’ll hopefully see much later, SBFOs take place entirely indoors, & in a perfectly linear format that affords no exploration whatsoever. This is by no means a bad thing, & it’s certainly appropriate for the setting. But the Sellbot Factory usefully contrasts with this format in at least two ways. For one, it encourages players to explore, and to take a variety of routes & detours. And also, it gives us a distinct insight into the utter soullessness of the nervously-spacious Factory, for all of its riveted sheet metal, sparse concrete, & pneumatic viscera.

As mentioned in the “Back to the main Taskline” section of the first instalment, I’d love to see many parts of Toontown — not the least of which being SBHQ — retextured in a way that precisely preserves the original designs & æsthetics, whilst simply being higher-resolution. But a more polished Sellbot Factory is not an SBFO, & one big reason for that is this: if the SBFO is frightening for its big numbers and its fire & flames, the Factory is downright bone-chilling for an entirely different reason. The lifeless, overwhelming pallor, the uncanny vacuity, the unseeing gaze of the goon, are little more than deeply unnerving — I fear far less being consumed by fire than, worse yet, merely getting lost in this space, the space that should not exist, yet inexplicably does.


At yon end of the East Catwalk is the Warehouse. The centre arena of this room takes up much of its space, & is absolutely overrun by goons. Unfortunately for the intrepid Factory-explorer, not only will they have to bounce & slip past these goons on their own, but the exit to the Warehouse is locked. The only way to unlock it is with a big square red button on a raised platform guarded by four(!) Cogs.

After defeating those Cogs, however, we’re left with not just one big square button, but five. The other four are used to control metal stompers/smashers used for crushing rigid objects like… scrap metal. Or goons!

That goon is gone. D-1337-ed!! This allowed us to clear most of the goons out, so that we could reach the now-unlocked exit without too much risk of getting absolutely detected.

Next up is taking a ride up one of the aforementioned Silo elevators. At the top, each Silo has its own trio of Cogs patrolling. Getting spotted by any of said Cogs springs a little red exclamation mark ❗ above its head, & it’ll walk towards you until a fight is initiated.

The Silo battles are where it starts to get a little more challenging: each trio is of levels 6, 6, & 7, respectively. This makes it fairly likely that you’ll be faced with some scarier Cogs like level 6〜7 Mover & Shakers, or if you’re really unlucky, level 7 The Minglers. After defeating the Cogs on one Silo, however, you gain access to that Silo’s Control Room:

Rusa pushing the button in the West Silo Control Room

Pressing the big square button opens one of the locks (represented by robot arms “shaking hands” across the front of the door) on the Centre Silo Control Room’s door. With both the West & East Silos defeated & button-pressed, the very centre of the Factory is unlocked.

Factory Foreman: I’m the Foreman. (April is battling the Factory Foreman!)

A Factory is a Cog facility, which is one kind of Toontown content that would be described in MapleStory terms as a “PQ” or as “PQ-like”. Unlike MapleStory, however, Toontown has no equivalent game-mechanical notion of party, & so I use this word in a Toontown context to just mean “the set of all Toons coöperating to complete a given instance of game content”. In Toontown, there are no “party leaders”, no need for a super-party “expedition” mechanic, etc. So when starting this crucial final “miniboss” (not technically a boss) fight, it’s just a free-for-all, & anyone can join the fight at any time, so long as the door is unlocked. For this reason, there’s a facility-instance-wide announcement like the one that you see in the image above. Note that it’s actually possible for someone to participate in the Factory, but then not join this final fight, thus resulting in them ultimately not getting any rewards — not even XP for the gags that they successfully used throughout the run!

The route that this Factory run has taken is the most typical short route, albeit not necessarily the best one.

In any case, you already know who the miniboss is: the Factory Foreman. This is a level 9 Skelecog, meaning that it could even be a Mr. Hollywood (the eighth & highest tier of Sellbot)! But also, it could be a Mover & Shaker (which is, ironically, potentially stronger), or anything in between. The Foreman’s three cronies are level 6.

With the Factory Foreman defeated, the Factory is desolated, & we get our rewards. For me, that included the first part of my Sellbot Cog Disguise: the left thigh!

Rusa’s first Sellbot Cog Disguise part

Although the image above would make it look like there are more than 10 parts, this really is 1 out of 10. Defeating nine more Factories would complete my suit, at which point I would only need to “earn my promotion” by gathering those 20 Merits, before I could then… fight the V.P.! The Boss Cog of all Sellbots!! 😅

I won’t be doing anything like that quite yet, though, as I want to be sure that I contribute to my party (of eight) with strong gags.

A brief primer on the Earthly consequences of CBHQ (& LBHQ, & BBHQ)

But recall that, in the “The Earthly consequences of SBHQ” section above, I claimed that “the game’s core ToonTaskline changed fairly dramatically roughly twice”. If DG being updated for SBHQ was one, then where’s the second change? Well, that would be with the release of Cashbot Headquarters (CBHQ), which is exactly what it sounds like.

Although there were the expected two Cog Headquarters released after CBHQ — viz. Lawbot, & finally, Bossbot — these latter two HQs were introduced via quite brief (& unfortunately underwhelming) extensions to the very end of the main ToonTaskline. Thus, neither LBHQ nor BBHQ substantially altered the structure of the main ToonTaskline. CBHQ, on the other hand, is directly embedded into the Donald’s Dreamland (DDL) ToonTaskline — which, in its final form, is split into a whopping four(!) sequential chapters.

Prior to the release of CBHQ, DDL was the only playground in the game that was effectively a dead end. Its only egress was Lullaby Lane, which leads to Tenor Terrace of MML. Pajama Place was all boarded up, & it was left a mystery as to what might be on the other side of that tunnel!

With the release of CBHQ & opening of Pajama Place, the DDL ToonTaskline was expanded, & parts of the Cashbot Cog Disguise became obtainable only through DDL ToonTasks. Indeed, the Sellbot Cog Disguise is the only Cog Disguise that can be obtained without completing relevant ToonTasks, as defeating ten Factories is the only hard requirement.

The result is that SBHQ & CBHQ are both uniquely positioned within the game: SBHQ disrupted the main Taskline, but is the only HQ that doesn’t actually require ToonTasks for bossing participation; on the other hand, CBHQ also disrupted the main Taskline, but at the same time requires those new ToonTasks for bossing participation — thus making CBHQ the HQ most closely integrated with ToonTasks. LBHQ & BBHQ require completion of the entire main Taskline for bossing participation, but were tacked on at the end, & so probably didn’t really need to have ToonTasks at all — especially given how shoddy, simplistic, & out-of-place those ToonTasks are…

But we’ll get to all that later. Hopefully. 🙂

Footnotes for “Factorial”

  1. [↑] This was late 2013 through 2014 (& carrying over a bit into 2015), so Discord™® was not a thing yet. Remember that? Ahhh… The enshittification of the internet was somewhat less advanced back then. 🙂

  2. [↑] See also: the “Reclaiming this shop from the Cogs” section of the first instalment.

  3. [↑] Perhaps contrary to intuition, laff limits are not maxlaff limits. I’ve personally been bitten by this before, when someone shows up to a Cog facility with enough maxlaff to pass the threshold, but without healing up far enough to actually pass it. Nevertheless, showing up with significantly less than 100% laff is uncommon, so the distinction is almost never practically relevant.

  4. [↑] This is no more than footnote material until I eventually cave to my impossibly longstanding (you don’t want to know…) Über instincts & make an Über. Nevertheless, the reader should at least know the basic structure of neoclassical Übers (but also see the “The Earthly consequences of SBHQ” section above).

    In the following table, “×” denotes the Cartesian product, “” is a dummy symbol representing an absent/missing gag track, and “∖” denotes the relative complement.

    Neoclassical Über typology
    base maxlaff level 50 maxlaff gag track(s)
    15 20 ({Throw, ∅} × {Squirt, ∅}) ∖ {(∅, ∅)}
    25 30 {Throw, ∅} × {Squirt, ∅} × {Toon⁠-⁠Up, Sound}
    34 39 {Throw, ∅} × {Squirt, ∅} × {Toon⁠-⁠Up, Sound, ∅} × {Lure, Drop}

    The set of possible gag tracks for 15-base-maxlaff Übers has to be written slightly awkwardly, because the 15-base-maxlaff 0-tracker is a degenerate case at the intersection of both neoclassical Übers and of fully-reversed Toons: it could be analysed as a “0-track neoclassical Über” or as a “very young fully-reversed Toon”. But neither of these analyses really make practical sense:

    • The neoclassical Über is, at its absolute core, defined in terms of “low maxlaff & high-level gags”.[5] But the 0-tracker — by definition — cannot have “high-level gags”, except in the vacuous sense that “all of their gag tracks are maxed” because they have no gag tracks; it’s also vacuously true that all of their gag tracks are unmaxed!
    • The fully-reversed Toon is, at its absolute core, defined in terms of “high maxlaff & no gags”.[5] But the 15-base-maxlaffer — by definition — cannot have “high maxlaff”, except in the hypothetical sense that “they could still be working on it”.

    Moreover, all Toons are born this way: 15 maxlaff & no gags[6]. Does that mean that all Toons begin their life by being both neoclassical Übers and/or fully-reversed Toons…?

    The 15-base-maxlaff 0-tracker is a legitimate character build in Toontown that is rare, but that has nonetheless been genuinely played by at least one or two people. It does, however, form a singleton group of its own w.r.t. Über-inspired typology, as it’s effectively unrelated to (or, if you insist, related to) all other possible character builds. This implies that, in such typologies, it’s absurd to include it as part of an otherwise closed (i.e. reasonably well-bounded) class of character builds such as, for example, neoclassical Übers. The only way to break the singleton would be to break away from Über-based typology by defining such classes more narrowly, e.g. having the class of “all 0-trackers”.

  5. [↑] Note that the absolute cores of Übers & of fully-reversed Toons are polar opposites — one might say reversals — of one another; this is the etymology of reverse Über, from which I derive the term fully-reversed. The reason for referring to fully-reversed Toons generically as Toons rather than as [reverse] Übers is to avoid confusion. The term reverse Über makes the build sound like it could be a kind of Über — after all, the word is right there. But fully-reversed Toons are not Übers; indeed, exactly the opposite!

    The fully- in fully-reversed is there to contrast fully-reversed Toons (which may be reverses for short) with semi-reversed Toons (commonly known as simply semis). Whereas a fully-reversed Toon has none of the gag tracks that they “should” have, the semi-reversed Toon has some, but not all of them.

    This is another reason for not including the word Über in either of these terms: semi-reversed neoclassical Übers (e.g. a Toon-Up-only 25-base-maxlaff Über) are possible, & even fairly common! (Although I personally prefer the pithier term Über semi.) Thus, we have to distinguish between semi-reversed Übers vs. semi-reversed non-Übers. If we called semi-reversed Toons *semi-reverse Übers, then this extremely important & common distinction would be unnecessarily difficult to express. What would we call those that are Übers? *Semi-reverse Über Übers‽‽

    My resolution to these confusions is basically simple: don’t use nor imply the word Über at all, unless the character build is some kind of Über.

  6. [↑] Except in the denialist sense that such Toons nominally have level 1 Throw & level 1 Squirt. This naïve sense is “denialist” insofar as it necessarily denies the very existence of both fully-reversed Toons & of semi-reversed Toons (the latter of which includes some neoclassical Übers[5]).

    To use a MapleStory analogy, this is like calling someone a “fake magelet” because they have 20 base INT, and 20 is more than 4 (& more than 0, for that matter). Such a distinction implies that the very existence of magelets is impossible due to some minor rules programmed into the game.

  7. [↑] The plural here is more commonly mediums, because of the widespread use of media as a mass noun & even a plūrāle tantum (is it social media is ruining my life, or social media are ruining my life?). But media is Technically Correct™, & I think it’s funny. So there.

  8. [↑] The current world record appears to be , held by The Doctor TTR (Brennen, The Doctor, The Doctor’s Companion). You can watch it on YouTube™ here.

Very Important Paperwork

Lettuce Alone Salad Bar

Lettuce Alone Salad Bar on Elm Street, operated by Wilt. A pun on let us alone, & the fact that leafy greens are the main or only component of most salads. The use of the verb let rather than leave in this context is somewhat uncommon in general, but perfectly valid & reasonably common dialectally. In their allowance/relinquishment senses, let and leave are virtually equivalent, which results in no small amount of dialectal variation in their usages. Take for example leave me go vs. let me go.

The shopkeeper’s name is a pun on the wilting of lettuce leaves; notable real people with this name include Wilt Chamberlain (short for Wilton, in this case), famous basketball player.

With my dangerous but successful journey into the heart of the Sellbot Factory, I was now ready to get many of these SBHQ-related ToonTasks out of the way. Uncle Spud of Couch Potato Furniture on Oak Street read back to me some of the Cog memos that I recovered from SBHQ, like this one from the V.P.:

Uncle Spud [quoting a memo from the V.P.]: “I’ll be in my office at the top of Sellbot Towers promoting Cogs to higher levels.”

Uncle Spud [quoting a memo from the V.P.]: “When you earn enough merits[,] enter the elevator in the lobby to see me.”

…And this one from a Telemarketer:

Uncle Spud [quoting a memo from a Telemarketer]: “Toons have somehow found a way to infiltrate Sellbot Towers.”

Well, there you have it, I guess. This is to be the purpose of my currently 10%-completed Sellbot Cog Disguise: to bring my “Merits” to the V.P. so that I can… get a “Cog” promotion of my very own…? Some real undercover-agent-level espionage, or something.

Another memo that I recovered — this time, from The Mingler — contains the following text:

Sellbot Towers has installed a new security system to keep all Toons out.
Toons caught in Sellbot Towers will be detained for questioning.

Okay, now it’s coming together. If anyone gets caught by the Cogs, then we’re gonna have to rescue them from detention somehow!

Oh, right. I need to report back to Coach Z about the Factory that I just did.

Coach Zucchini: Hey buddy, nice work on that Factory!

…I think Coach Z has called me “buddy” half a dozen times or so by now.

A mere legality

Canteloupe! Bridal shop

Canteloupe! Bridal Shop on Elm Street, operated by Honey Dew. A melon-based pun on can’t elope!. Note that ⟨cantaloupe⟩ is the more common spelling, but with no difference in pronunciation.

Of course, Coach Z’s ToonTask to defeat a Factory is certainly one of the most — if not the most — notable of DG ToonTasks. But it’s not the most infamous one. That distinction belongs to the ToonTask for teleport access to DG.

I was informed that the key to Daisy Gardens was stolen. The key to exactly what of DG (the entrance? which one??), I’m not entirely sure, but it sounds pretty serious. Unfortunately, the thief was a Legal Eagle, so it won’t be easy to recover! Legal Eagle is the tier-7 Lawbot species, so they can be pretty spooky, & mostly they’re just difficult to find — if you’re no more than a wee DG ToonTasker, that is.

[Toon HQ officer]: Remember, Legal Eagles can be found only inside Lawbot buildings.

This is useful advice for the novice Eagle-hunter, but at the risk of pedantry, I will say that it’s Technically Incorrect™: although Legal Eagles can be found in some Lawbot Buildings, they can also be found in DA Offices & the C.J.!

Oh, & also, they can be found on streets if you’re in a Legal Eagle Invasion 😊:

Legal Eagle: This is so much fun it should be illegal.

Oh, dear. The trouble with Cogs is that when they say something like this, they mean it literally.

I did accept this ToonTask knowing that there was an ongoing Legal Eagle Invasion, but I also knew that I had to be swift, as there wasn’t a ton of time left on the Invasion. Luckily, two of my very bad 36-damage Whole Cream Pies is just barely enough to take out a level 7 Cog, as they have 8 ⋅ 9 = 72⁢ HP.[1] Less luckily, I can only carry up to three (3) such pies at any given time.

I got the key from the very first Legal Eagle that I fought! So I rushed back to Toon HQ:

[Toon HQ officer]: You found a key all right, but it isn’t the right one!

Oh. Well… it did say that I recovered a “Key”, which I suppose could be any old key…

Recovering the actual “Key to Daisy Gardens” is not so easy — its droprate is not nearly as favourable as “any old key”, it seems. After a lot of frantic running back & forth to repeatedly restock my Whole Cream Pies & recover my laff, I did nab The Real Key™ in the nick of time:

Rusa | Items Recovered | Key to Daisy Gardens

Nice!! This ToonTask is ordinarily a good bit more difficult. 😅

14-Carrot Jewelers

14-Carrot Jewelers on Maple Street, operated by Tammy Tuber. A pun on the homophony between carrot and carat; the latter being either a unit of mass used only for gemstones (equal to 200⁢ mg by definition, & thus 2.8⁢ g in this case), or a measure of the purity of gold (roughly ≈58% by mass, in this case). See the “O, Oscar…!” section of the first instalment, for another carat (alternatively spelt ⟨karat⟩) pun also featuring the “14⁢ carat” figure.

The most commonly-eaten part of carrots is their taproots, which in the case of carrots, also happen to be tubers sēnsū lātō.

With another trip to Toon HQ, I’m left with my final DG ToonTask. And a “Just for fun!” ToonTask to go with it:

My final DG ToonTasks

Transcription of the above image
  1. (Just for fun!) Wanted: 8 Level 4+ Cogs, Anywhere. 0 of 8 defeated.
  2. Wanted: 14 Sellbots, Anywhere. 0 of 14 defeated. Reward: Carry 3 ToonTasks

Although this (2.) Task is pretty important on account of expanding my ToonTask capacity, it’s just a random ToonTask for some reason. So I did just a little bit of “Task shopping”, & got this quite easy one. But I think that’s all for now, because I did all this Tooning in just one sitting… 😪

Until next time! We shall see the end of Daisy(’s) Gardens, et plūs ultra! 🧡

Footnotes for “A mere legality”

  1. [↑] See the “Four storeys, four Toons, four stories” section of the second instalment, for the calculation here.