The episode starts with Strong Bad answering an email (are you surprised?), this time from Roy T. in Castle Hill, who points out what a dumb ruler the King of Town is. Before Strong Bad has time to send off his response, the King of Town and the Poopsmith come bursting into his computer room, babbling about his new email tax — one Creamy Ding Snack Cake for every email sent or received — which Strong Bad has not been paying. The Poopsmith smacks a collar of obedience around Strong Bad's neck. He's under house arrest! If he tries to get past the electric fence outside the front door, blammo! To make matters worse, the King of Town eats up Strong Bad's map. Looks like you're going to be stuck here, at least for the duration.
When the opening scene ends, go to the window and look outside. The other citizens of Free Country USA are gathered outside the house, protesting Strong Bad's unfair imprisonment. Talk to the mob about the invisible fence and the stick next to it. The stick is supposed to be an effigy of the King of Town, but Marizpan wouldn't let them dress it up like the KOT due to some misplaced sense of ethics. It would be pretty cool to burn up the effigy, if only to get out some pent-up aggression, but since it doesn't look anything like the King of Town, no one has the heart to burn it up. You need to turn this situation around, pronto!
Select the window to return to Strong Bad's room. Take a look at the diagram of the King of Town hanging on the wall. There are four elements that make the KOT the man he is: Dumb Crown, Cheesy Beard, Fatness, and Stupid Red Robe.
Go across the hall to Strong Sad's room. Ask Strong Sad about the invisible fence. He'll start to say that the best way to destroy it would be to burn—wait a second, is this something illegal?! Never mind, little brother, you've told Strong Bad what he needs to know. End the conversation and move left into the bathroom. A red and white towel is hanging from the towel rack. Take it, then head downstairs. Let's see what this invisible fence actually does.
Select the front door. Strong Bad will take a few tentative steps outside, until… blammo! Okay, clearly you'll need to find a way to disable that fence before you can get Strong Bad out of the house. Go left across the hall into Strong Bad's bedroom. A paper crown from Blubbo's is on the bookshelf. Take it. Also take the Taranchula Black Metal Detector. If you feel like playing a little Math Kickers, select the Fun Machine. (If you'd rather focus on getting Strong Bad out of the house right now, you'll can always come back and play Math Kickers later!)
Math Kickers is a side-scrolling fighting game starring Dex and Ryu (the "Algebros"). Dex (the blond guy on the right) subtracts and Ryu (the dark haired guy on the right) adds. Your goal is to subtract and add to make the number of ninjas equal on each side. But watch out, if they hit you with a flying multiplication or division sign, your health (represented by hearts at the top of the screen) will go down! Each time you balance an equation, your score goes up.
After a few ninja fights, you'll have a boss fight. During the boss fight, you just have to kick and punch the equation until you kill it. Every now and then the equation will rise up to the top of the screen. Quick, duck to the bottom of the screen so it doesn't hit you! (If it does, you'll lose health.) Once the equation is back in the center of the screen, you can go back to hitting and punching it until it dies.
After the boss fight, you'll level up. And if you lose all your health, it's Game Over. Your best score is stored on Strong Bad's awesomeness chart, but you can't access this until you get your map back!
When you're done messing around with Math Kickers, go downstairs to the laundry room. Take the pillow on from top of the washing machine. Then head into the TV room. Some stuffing is spilling out of the couch, under the duct tape. Take it. You now have everything you need to make that pathetic effigy look like the King of Town. Head back up to Strong Bad's computer room and look out the window.
Use the towel, the paper crown, the pillow, and the stuffing on the group below the window. The Cheat will put each item on the effigy, making it look more and more like the King of Town. When you're done, the mob lets passion overrule reason and decides to burn the effigy. And, what luck! The fire spreads straight to the invisible fence, poofing it into oblivion. Sweet recently-divorced lady freedom!
Onward to Strong Badia… Strong Badia, the free!
Strong Bad tries to rally the troops to revolt against the King of Town, and he's met with a /strongbad/resounding… silence. Turns out he's not the only one who wants his own nation. Pick up the Maps and Minions board next to the cinderblock. This will be the perfect stand-in for Strong Bad's map. Your goal is to cross Free Country USA to the King of Town's castle. The map will fill in as you make your way toward the castle, but for now your options are Strong Badia, The Cheat and Tirerea, Blake House, Concessionstan, and Pompomerania. (Now that you have a map, you can also view through your Awesomeness Rankings and Collectibles pages by using the left/right arrows.)
Pick up the stack of Maps & Minions money near the fence. Then talk to The Cheat. It turns out he wants to secede, too. The name of his country is The Cheat and Tirerea (maybe he should rethink that one). You can try to talk him into joining Strong Badia, but The Cheat won't be swayed with mere words. You'll have to find another way.
Head left, to Bubs'. You can try to get him to join Strong Badia, but he says that Concessionstantinople is neutral territory. He's selling imports from the various countries, including some that aren't quite legal. Ask Bubs for a cheap souvenir by asking about the concession stand twice, and he'll offer to sell you a slightly broken clockwork Strong Bad. (If you didn't pick up the money in Strong Badia, you'll have to go back there and get it first.)
Go through the rest of the conversation topics with Bubs. He mentions the black market, but claims he has nothing to do with it. The way he says it sure is suspicious, though. End the conversation, then go to the area behind Bubs' concession stand. There's a door with a peep hole here. Knock on the door to get Bubs' attention. This is the black market he was hinting at! He's fresh out of weapons and organs, but he does have one artifact left. It's from an illegal excavation in the Homsar Reservation, and he's not willing to sell it, but he'll trade it for something equally valuable. You're not carrying anything worth trading at the moment, but keep it in mind for later. Some tonsils or a nice pretendix would probably do the trick.
If you keep running around the field area, you'll see that the rest of the locations have turned into independent nations, as well. While you're here, you might also want to visit the photo booth and see which costumes are waiting for you there.
When you're ready, take out the map and select Bleak House.
Strong Sad has turned the House of Strong into his own nation, and it's kind of… fruity. Before entering the house, look at the box near the front door. There are a pair of pilot wings under it. Now go inside and go up to Strong Sad's room. He's really taking this new country thing seriously. He even made a Bleak House flag, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. You can try to convince Strong Sad to join Strong Badia, but he's not interested. He will mention that giving medals to your subjects makes them feel important.
Strong Sad's LARPing sword is in front of his bed. Take it, you'll need it later.
Return to Strong Badia. Remember what Strong Sad said about medals? Give the pilot wings to The Cheat. He'll agree to join Strong Badia, and return Strong Bad's lighter to him at the same time. Congratulations, you've usurped your first country!
Select Pompomerania from the map. The nation's capital is Club Technochocolate, a trendy party club. The Cheat is spinning discs and Bubs is the bartender. Pom-Pom is here too. Talk to him about joining Strong Badia. He won't do it, claiming that Strong Bad isn't cool enough for an alliance. You'll have to back up your claims with proof of your coolness before Pom-Pom will be willing to negotiate.
Swap Strong Sad's LARPing sword with the real sword behind Pom-Pom. Grab one of the glowsitcks from the DJ booth. Then talk to Bubs. He'll tell you that gaining Pom-Pom's loyalty won't be easy, but you might be able to impress him with some sweet dance moves. Run onto the dance floor to show Pom-Pom what a great dancer you are. No luck: Pom-Pom thinks you look too empty-handed. Talk to Bubs again and ask for a drink. You have three choices: beer, an energy drink, or an expensive glowing drink. You can try each of them, but even with a drink in hand, Strong Bad's dance moves aren't cool enough for Pom-Pom.
After you dance with the glowing drink, Bubs will mention that a plain old glowing drink isn't enough to impress Pom-Pom. Order another glowing drink, and put a glow stick inside it before you pick it up. Now it's really glowing! Strong Bad will take the dance floor again, and this time Pom-Pom is captivated. He's willing to join Strong Badia.
Return to the House of Strong and go up to Strong Sad's room. Strong Sad has three key items that establish Bleak House as an independent nation: the flag, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. He worked really hard on these… too bad Strong Bad's about to torch them.
Take the lighter from Strong Bad's inventory and use it on the flag, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Congratulations, you've defeated Bleak House. (Wasn't that tough, was it?)
Now that you've defeated Pompomerania and Bleak House, there are two new locations unlocked on the map: Country, and the Homsar Reservation. Check out the Homsar Reservation first.
Strong Sad is here, serving as Strong Badia's new cultural advisor. He has a fanny pack, a first aid kit, and a huge trunk with him. Over to the right, you'll find Homsar floating in mid-air. Try talking to him and you'll find that Homsar isn't very easy to understand.
Nearby there's a weird rock with glowing crystals protruding from it and a hole in the top. Could this unlock the mysteries of the Homsar reservation? Farther to the right, you'll find a cave with a painting on the wall. It's time to play… Cave Girl Squad!
To play, use the items at the bottom of the screen on the teen girls. Your goal is to kill each teen girl by the end of the comic. This doesn't have any bearing on the storyline, but the better you do, the higher your Teen Girl Squad score will be on Strong Bad's awesomeness ranking.
Go back to Strong Sad and talk to him about Homsar and his language. He'll tell you that archeologists believe a collection of ancient artifacts might be the key to unlocking the secrets of Homsar's language. Make sure to ask about a drink. Strong Sad will freak out, thinking that by drinking the water, he's acquired a terrible disease. Press him further by asking how he feels, and he'll tell you the symptoms of acute aphasic pretendacitis. First you get a high fever. Then you start shaking uncontrollably. In the worst stages, you can't even understand language.
Didn't Bubs say something about trading you an ancient artifact for a pretendix? Let's see if we can't use Strong Sad's paranoia to our own advantage.
First, take a look at the first aid kit on the trunk. Strong Sad will grab the thermometer and stick it in his mouth. (You can't be too careful, traveling in foreign lands.) Take the lighter from your inventory and use it on the thermometer. Now Strong Sad thinks he has a bad fever! Next, slip the Strong Bad wind-up doll into Strong Sad's fanny pack. He'll start shaking uncontrollably, just like the doctor ordered. Finally, go back over to Homsar and engage him in conversation by selecting the icon of Strong Bad with the yellow derby hat on it. Strong Bad will pretend he understands Homsar's language, sending Strong Sad over the edge. He runs off to find a doctor.
As it turns out, the Homsar Reservation has subsidized health care. Even better, they let Strong Sad keep his removed pretendix in a jar! Take it, and head over to Bubs'. Go behind the concession stand and knock on the "black market" door. Give Strong Sad's pretendix to Bubs and he'll trade you a pottery shard from the Homsar Reservation. Return to the Homsar Reservation and use the pottery shard on the rock formation with the crystals growing out of it. A bright light flashes when you do this. Weird…
Try talking to Homsar again. You're now able to understand some of what he's saying! Ask again about the rock with the crystals on it, and Homsar will say you need to assemble the sacred elemental items. But where will you find them? Bubs mentioned that the pottery shard was found during an excavation of the reservation. It just so happens there are three others scattered around the countryside. Here's where you'll find them:
Take these artifacts back to the Homsar Reservation and drop them, one by one, into the rock with the crystals. Each time you do, a light will flash. After dropping in the last artifact, go over and talk to the floating man. Now that you're speaking the same language, you're able to convince Homsar to join your cause. Strong Bad, Strong Sad, and Homsar head through the cave and… into Marzipan's back yard?
You have entered the people's republic of Marzistar?, a peaceful nation that has established a treaty with the Municipality. Boorrring. Talk to Marzipan. She's not interested in joining Strong Badia, but she'll tell you about her model united nations (the big structure off to the left). She's collecting treasures from all of the developed countries to make some kind of point about equality and cooperation. Talk to Homestar next. He's eager to go to war, but Marzipan won't let him. Press Homestar about going to war, and he'll tell you he just needs five soldiers to get the Homestarmy back together. You have four already: Strong Sad, Pom-Pom, Homsar, and The Cheat.
Ask Homestar about reinstating the draft. He'll turn the model UN around to reveal a gameshow-style wheel. Drafting members of the Homstarmy is as simple as spinning the wheel! But the wheel must be a little lopsided, since it always lands on Tom Benedetto, relative of Frank Benedetto, a soldier who fell in service to his country during the first battle of Strong Badia. Homestar refuses to draft him. (Hasn't that family suffered enough?!)
Well, Homestar did say he needs five soldiers. Maybe you can recruit one more from the only country you haven't explored yet… Country.
This is Strong Mad's nation, and not all that surpisingly, Strong Mad's not much of a negotiator. Strong Bad calls in The Cheat to serve as translator. (The Cheat happens to be Strong Mad's best friend—today, anyway—which should give us a leg up in this negotiation!) Speaking through The Cheat, try to get Strong Mad to join Strong Badia. He proposes a test of strength and valor. A terrible monster is laying waste to the countryside, and Strong Bad has to defeat him.
The mighty monster, as it turns out, is Strong Mad hiding behind a cardboard Taranchula stand-up. Um, okay. This shouldn't be too hard.
The Taranchula monster has two heads: an ice head (in Strong Mad's left hand) and a fire head (in his right hand). Try using the sword from Strong Bad's inventory on the ice head. It "regrows" as Strong Mad reattaches it. Notice that while he's busy reattaching the head, his hands are occupied and he isn't holding onto the other head. Quickly use the sword on the unattended fire head. It will fall into the river. Strong Mad starts spurting ketchup from behind the monster, to look like blood.
Use the lighter on the pile of skulls next to Strong Mad. They're made of papier-mâché, so they go up in flames quickly! The next time Strong Mad is busy spurting blood from the severed fire head, use the sword to cut off the ice head. It will fall into the pile of flaming skulls. You've defeated the monster!
Strong Mad gives Strong Bad a gift: Tony Stony, his vice president. Strong Bad hoists the rock into his pants—err—inventory. Good job, you've usurped Country!
Head back to Marzistar and ask Homestar about the Homestarmy. Homestar says you still don't have enough soldiers (either Strong Mad and The Cheat count as one, or Homestar's not so good at math). The draft is your only hope. Take a closer look at Marzipan's model UN. It has eight shelves, each of which contains a treasure from one of the developed nations. The Strong Badian display is empty. Take Tony Stony out of inventory and heave the heavy rock onto the empty shelf. The balance of power has shifted! Talk to Homestar about running the draft again. With the heavy rock on the other side of the draft wheel, the wheel lands on Homestar Runner! Too bad he's already part of the Homestarmy.
Besides Homestar, the only other "person" on the wheel is Coach Z. You have to rig the draft to make the wheel land on Coach Z when it's spun. Coach Z's entry on the wheel is two to the left of Homestar's, and directly opposite Tom Benedetto (where the wheel landed on the first time, before Strong Bad put the heavy rock on it).
Take another look at the model UN. See how Tony Stony is directly at the bottom? Since the rock is the heaviest object in the UN, you need to move it to the correct shelf to make the wheel land on Coach Z when it's spun.
Move Tony Stony to the Poopslovakia shelf (it's the one with a pile of Whatsit on it). The balance of power has shifted, and now Coach Z can be drafted!
You now have the entire Homestarmy at your disposal! Just let Homestar know when you're ready to start attacking the castle. (You can talk to the rest of the soldiers first… it's not necessary, but it's funny!)
Homestar will retell the story of the long siege, which started with The Cheat and Coach Z defecting. (Traitors!) Now you're stuck in the castle with the remaining members of the Homstarmy: Strong Sad, Srong Mad, and Homestar. Talk to all three of them. You'll learn that the King of Town has taken up residence at Strong Bad's house, Strong Bad's really bored, and Strong Mad really misses The Cheat. The worst part is, they won't let you leave the castle. You'll have to find a creative way out.
Look at the game board next to Strong Sad. The King had his own deluxe edition Maps and Minions board all along, and his even has pewter game pieces! You can use this to give orders to the Homestarmy, but they won't listen to you. Go through the door on the right.
This is the King's computer room. Select the Snacky 186 to look at the King's sent emails. The King of Town sent the email that kicked off this episode! That's it, this means war. Go back into the KOT's email and look at his Templates. Select Tax Decree. You can fill in the email by filling in the blanks. Choose "email@example.com" and "Creamy Ding Snack Cakes" for the first two blanks (you can choose any of the options for the third one), then select Send. The email goes to the King, who agrees with you—this does mean war!
Go back to the throne room and select the deluxe Maps and Minions board. The King is on the move now, and in Strong Bad's opinion, his army is a lot worse off than the Homestarmy. Strong Bad decides to help the King make his way back to the castle.
The goal here is to get the King of Town back to the castle without being intercepted by a member of the Homestarmy. If another character is intercepted, they need to move back a square, but if the King is intercepted the game starts over from the beginning, so keep him protected!
During your turn you can move any of the rebels (the playing pieces with red bases) one time. When you're done moving pieces, select End Turn and the Homestarmy will go. If Homestar, Strong Sad, or Strong Mad lands on the same square as one of the rebels, the rebel will retreat (or be sent flying back several spaces in the case of being defeated by Strong Mad). And if they encounter the King of Town, the King will transport back to Strong Badia and the game will start over from the beginning.
A few of the characters on the King's side can be used to distract the Homestarmy and help get the King to safety. Strong Sad is befuddled by Homsar, and if they land on the same square, neither will move again unless you choose to move Homsar. And if Strong Mad and The Cheat are reunited, they'll be so happy to see each other that they'll agree to stop fighting.
Homestar always moves towards the King. The Poopsmith leaves behind a dirt cloud when he moves. This cloud hides the King from Homestar and can be used to sneak the King past the diligent Homestarmy and back to the castle. If he can't see the king, Homestar will head towards another rebel, with a bias toward Coach Z (if he and another rebel are the same distance apart from Colonel Homestar). You can use the Coach to keep Homestar away from The Poopsmith, while you use him to blaze a trail for the King to follow. Once you get the King to the castle, you win!
Congratulations, you've completed Strong Badia the Free! Enjoy the closing credits, and we hope you'll check out the extended play mode!
Here's one way we were able to complete the game. We can't guarantee that the opponents will behave the same way each time, but this should give you a taste of the kind of strategy you might want to employ against the Homestarmy.
Time for another installment of the Awesomeness guide! This section provides solutions on how to complete your overall Awesomeness Chart and achieve the highest possible rank in Strong Badia the Free. Once a statistic in your chart turns green, you've reached optimum awesome levels for that section. While several aspects of your overall awesomeness deal with uncovering and collecting hidden items, this guide does not reveal every hidden joke and Easter egg in the game; for that, you might want to try out the "Did you try" section. It also does not provide hints or a solution to the story part of the game; that stuff is all in the walkthrough.
Once you win the Cheat over to your side, you'll get your lighter back, which you can then use to set fire to a few things around the Free Country USA. Here's everything that will burn:
Go on, let him have it! Note: You must call Strong Sad most of these names during normal play, and some during specific moments in the storyline. For this reason, the task might be the most challenging element to complete for maximum awesomeness in Strong Badia the Free. Here's one way to get them all:
There are eight flags scattered throughout the divided political landscape. All of them are attainable in extended play, if you missed a few during the story. Here's where they're located:
There are seven costume items that count toward your awesomeness in the game. Here's how to get them:
Here are the locations of the hidden manual pages:
Finding these pages might not directly impact your Awesomeness score, but they'll unlock some cool special attacks to use in Math Kickers. You'll need to score 2000 points or more in this mini-game to get the maximum benefit to your Awesome level. Just keep the ninjas equal on each side, and watch out for flying operands and the boss's attacks!
As in Homestar Ruiner, finding the hidden Teen Girl Squad ideas will help out your score when playing the mini-game located in the Homsar Reservation.
There are a few ways to get Strong Bad to award the maximum score (6000 points) in Cave Girl Squad. The goal, as in the first game, is to get SB to laugh heartily (some might say "crack up") at the gruesome fate that each girl meets. Here are some ways to get that result:
Tip: The ideas in this episode seem to be a bit more deadly than in the first game, so here are a couple of items you can use to stall the action (if, say, you're waiting for the egg to hatch). For instance, in the first scene, you can use the alien or machine gun on any teen girl to stall (however, you should probably use the egg and either the tablet or chisel for your turns here). In the first or second scene, you can use the ribbon on any teen girl to get a non-fatal result. In the Pyramid scene, you can use the alien, machine gun, or wheel (except on So and So) to burn one turn.
To maximize your awesomeness score for this item, you'll need to get the king over to the castle in 10 moves or fewer while playing the Maps & Minions mini-game. Once you solve the puzzle to complete the game, you should have a pretty good idea of how to move your characters when you replay to try for fewer moves (you can play it over and over in Extended Play). However, if you're having trouble with this section of the game, try checking out the walkthrough for some tips and screenshots that might help you.
You're now optimally awesome, and with only a little bit of cheating. See you next episode!