How To Get The Neutralizer in Earthbound

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The Neutralizer is a battle item usable by Jeff. Only one exists in the game, and it’s located in the Monkey Caves, situated in Dusty Dunes Desert.

The Monkey Caves consist of forks, which are guarded by monkeys.

To pass the monkeys you’ll have to give them the specific food item they require.

You’ll need to bring along a picnic of items to fully traverse the caves, and to ultimately find your way to the Neutralizer item.


What Does The Neutralizer Do?

The Neutralizer is a multi-use battle tool, and it can only be used by Jeff.

When used during battle, it’ll remove all stat buffs and PSI shields across all enemies and party members.

Think of it as a mass dispel.

The fact that it also removes your shields and stat boosts can seem annoying, but the Neutralizer is actually more useful than you might first expect.

Using the Neutralizer in battle / Earthbound
Using the Neutralizer in battle

First and foremost, this has a 100% success rate.

Secondly, if Jeff’s turn comes first in battle, you can use the Neutralizer and then put up your own shields afterwards.

The Neutralizer really comes into its own the later in the game you are. This is mainly due to the fact that later enemies are more inclined to self-buff and put up shields.

An item that works similarly to this is another one of Jeff’s tools – the Shield Killer.

This’ll remove a shield from a single enemy. However, it isn’t a 100% success rate, making the Neutralizer far more useful.


The Neutralizer Location

Entrance to Monkey Caves in Dusty Dunes Desert / Earthbound
Entrance to Monkey Caves in Dusty Dunes Desert

As previously mentioned, you can find the Neutralizer in the Monkey Caves.

You can access these caves via the ladder north of the Dusty Dunes Desert drug store.

Although you can enter the caves when you first arrive at Dusty Dunes Desert, you won’t be able to proceed until after the events in Fourside and Moonside.

Once inside you’ll immediately approach a fork, with each path guarded by a monkey. The left one will ask for a Picnic Lunch and the right one requires a Skip Sandwich.

Monkeys guarding the first two doors in Monkey Caves / Earthbound
Monkeys guarding the first two doors in Monkey Caves

The fastest way to the Neutralizer is to always take the right path at each fork.

After the Skip Sandwich monkey, there are two more monkeys to bribe.

These two will ask for a Protein Drink and then a Fresh Egg. So the order of items would look like this:

  1. Skip Sandwich
  2. Protein Drink
  3. Fresh Egg

It may seem daunting to carry around all items needed to progress through the Monkey Caves, but all the food items to bribe the monkeys can be found at least once on other paths.

All you need to bring along is a Picnic Lunch, a Skip Sandwich, and a little patience.

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