How Do You Get To Dusty Dunes Desert in Earthbound?

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Dusty Dunes Desert is located east of Threed via a connecting tunnel, but initially it’s blocked by ghosts that won’t let you through.

Just like any other RPG, Earthbound makes you jump through a bunch of mandatory hoops to progress the story.


Dusty Dunes Desert (Quick Step-by-Step)

  1. Go to the northwest graveyard in Threed and get ambushed back at the hotel
  2. As Jeff, recruit the monkey at the store and head south
  3. Travel across Lake Tess on Tessie and go through Brick Road
  4. Use the Sky Runner in Dr Andonuts’s Lab to return to Threed and free the party
  5. Fight the purple circus tent to receive the Jar of Fly Paper
  6. Wait for Apple Kid to call and receive his Zombie Paper invention
  7. Use the Zombie Paper in the circus tent to trap all the zombies
  8. Take underground path in Threed graveyard to get to Grapefruit Falls
  9. Get password from Saturn Valley in the north and head through Grapefruit Falls waterfall
  10. Defeat Master Belch and return to Threed to find the path east is now clear

Dusty Dunes Desert (Detailed Walkthrough)

Two Zombies in Threed graveyard / Earthbound
Two Zombies in Threed graveyard

When you first arrive in Threed you’ll notice the whole city is inhabited by zombies.

Make your way to the graveyard in northwest Threed and approach the two zombies in the corner.

They won’t move yet, but you need to talk to them to progress the story.

Return to Threed and look for the hotel above the circus tent. Approach the lady in sunglasses by the door and follow her inside and into one of the rooms.

You’ll be ambushed and wake up in a cave.

Ness and Paula trapped in the cave / Earthbound
Ness and Paula trapped in the cave

Try the door to find that it’s locked. Then Paula will then use her telepathy powers to call out to a friend she has never met – that friend is Jeff.

You’ll now gain control of Jeff in his hometown of Winters.

At this point you want to leave your room, go downstairs, and enter the room on your left.

Talk to Maxwell here and you’ll receive the Key to the Locker.

Leave this room and enter the room on the right.

When you try your key on the lockers you’ll discover the key doesn’t work! So return to Maxwell and he’ll exchange your key for a Bad Key Machine.

Finally, return to the lockers and use this machine to take all the items inside.

Monkey in Drug Store / Earthbound
Monkey in Drug Store

If you head towards the shop you’ll notice a monkey near the counter (pictured above).

The woman will give you a pack of gum to convince the monkey to join your party.

The Bubble Monkey will sometimes waste turns, but is a definite help with Jeff’s first few battles.

Now walk south from the store to find a shortcut that leads to a campsite where you need to enter one of the tents and have some stew. When you wake up, leave the tent and walk east to the dirt patch on the small peninsula.

Bubble Monkey getting Tessie to give you a ride / Earthbound

The Monkey will blow a bubble and Tessie will rise from the lake, giving you (and the monkey) a ride south across the lake.

Go across and you’ll eventually you’ll reach a brick maze. You have to navigate this until you reach a cave.

On the other side of this you’ll find a zany character called Brick Road, who will allow you to rest for free.

Further south is a cave entrance.

As you make your way through the cave, you’ll find the entrance to Ness’ fourth sanctuary (which Jeff is not able to go through, but it’s worth keeping this in mind).

Bubble Monkey leaving your party / Earthbound
Bubble Monkey leaving your party

As you exit this cave, the Bubble Monkey will leave your party to go off with the female monkey outside.

Luckily it isn’t much further to your destination.

Head south through Stonehenge (you also can’t access this yet) to find the lab of Jeff’s father, Dr Andonuts!

Jeff will tell him about Paula asking for help, and he will let you use his Sky Runner to find her.

You can find this Sky Runner on the left side of the lab.

When you take off, you’ll fly over various locations before arriving at Threed. The Sky Runner will circle around the graveyard before crashing through the ground & plopping you in the cave with your new friends Ness and Paula.

Use Jeff’s Bad Key Machine on the door to finally escape the cave and return to Threed!

Pizza shop in Threed / Earthbound
Pizza shop in Threed

Now take your newly assembled party and head south to the Pizza shop.

You’ll need to fight the large purple circus tent with the face to make it disappear.

After the battle, search the bin to receive a Jar of Fly Honey which you’ll need for a later battle.

Then return to the main street and walk towards the hotel. You should get a call from Apple Kid. He’ll tell you about his latest invention “Zombie Paper” which is used to trap zombies.

After the call, a delivery man will approach you and deliver this invention to your party.

Take the Zombie Paper and go to the big circus tent, then give it to the man in red on the left.

Zombies stuck after using Zombie Paper in Threed Circus tent / Earthbound
Zombies stuck after using Zombie Paper in Threed Circus tent

After this, go sleep in the hotel.

In the morning you’ll discover all the city’s zombies are now stuck in the tent, leaving you to freely climb down the ladder in the graveyard that was previously blocked by two zombies.

This path is fairly linear so you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

The Mini Barf boss at the end can also be easily defeated with Fire and Bottle Rockets.

When you emerge from the passage you’ll reach Grapefruit Falls.

Head north along the river from here to reach a cave that leads to Saturn Valley – your next destination.

In Saturn Valley you’ll find a hotel on the left, and a hospital on the right, which are both free to use.

Enter the leftmost cave (located north of the village) and speak to the Mr Saturn there. You’ll get the secret password of the Grapefruit Falls waterfall.

At this point you simply need to just wait and do nothing for 3 minutes.

Grapefruit Falls Waterfall / Earthbound
Grapefruit Falls Waterfall

When you’ve done in the village, return to Grapefruit Falls and “speak” to the waterfall.

Someone will ask for the password. DO NOT press anything and just wait for 3 minutes. Eventually you’ll be allowed to enter.

At this point you’ve arrived at Belch’s factory.

So make your way through here to reach Master Belch who will fight you.

For an easy encounter, simply use the Jar of Fly Honey on your first turn to render the boss completely incapable of attacking for the entire fight!

If you now return to Threed, you’ll find the city is back to normal.

The tunnel to the east will no longer be infested by ghosts, and you can freely take the bus east to reach Dusty Dunes Desert.

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