Buzz Buzz is a bee from 10 years in the future who tells you of your destiny to cease the devastation of the universal cosmic destroyer, Giygas.
Pokey hears the buzzing before you do. If Pokey wasn’t around, you might have missed out on your destiny entirely.
What I love about Buzz Buzz’s appearance is how it’s the first subtle thing that happens in the game. He doesn’t come from the future in a Terminator-esque explosion of wind and electricity, but from a silent, golden pillar of light. It’s so peaceful and reassuring, it’s like the Assumption.
Buzz Buzz’s appearance seems to banish all beasts from the hills. The walk back home with Buzz Buzz is without incident, UNTIL–
This asshole from the future appears with a BOOM and a FLASH and says that he’s gonna kill us all. We get into a fight and HEY WAIT A MINUTE!
He looks like the guy on the box! Fucking expressionless alien robot creep with his arms akimbo! And, hey: look at the reflection in this guy’s visor – that’s Ness looking up at him! How tall is this guy? Is this SERIOUS BUSINESS?
Evidently not! Buzz Buzz puts a shield of light around the entire party, nullifying all of the Starman’s attacks, and then beats the shit out of him by hurling his tiny body into him.
The advantage to Earthbound’s Dragon Quest-style dialog box in combat is that it obviates the need to clumsily illustrate certain actions where the player can do it in their mind’s eye. Buzz Buzz’s feats are all left to your imagination, with blanks filled in by sound and some visual effects.
It’s important to note that Starman Junior is the first enemy to be “defeated” as opposed to “tamed”.
Finally we get Pokey and Picky home, and their passive-aggressive parents apologize for the trouble. I’ll go into more detail about these assholes later.
Buzz Buzz, maybe sensing some sort of evil, alights on Mrs. Minch’s head. She reacts quickly, and deals Buzz Buzz a fatal blow.
As the only person left in the room who understands Buzz Buzz’s intention, you stand over him as he finishes explaining your mission to save the future. He gives you the Sound Stone (where was he keeping it?) to record the eight melodies scattered in sacred sites across the earth.
He asks if you understand what he has told you, then dies with an “Argh!” and a gasp.
I apologize. I guess I didn’t explain it well enough…
-Buzz Buzz, if you tell him you don’t understand him.
The walk to the meteorite and Buzz Buzz’s arrival and departure act as the perfect prologue to what will be a long journey, setting up your expectation by both literally telling you what’s going to happen and by showing you what almost definitely will happen.
First, Buzz Buzz tells you of a legend of three boys and a girl that will defeat Giygas. You’re not getting close to that dude until you can all unite as a team.
Second, Giygas has a shitload of dudes under his influence – his evil even permeates through time to affect animals and some people – and more of them are definitely going to get in your way. And if you’re going to stand up to them, you’ll need to be at least as powerful as Buzz Buzz.
Buzz Buzz serves the same purpose Zero does in Mega Man X. Both Buzz Buzz and Zero defeat an incredibly strong enemy for you by using abilities you don’t have.
If you’re going to keep playing, you’re going to need to defeat bad guys like these. Which means you’re almost definitely going to have access to the abilities like Buzz Buzz has. You’re going to get stronger.
But now the training wheels come off. Buzz Buzz is gone. Even Pokey, Picky, and your dog are gone. As you step outside, a new day begins, and it belongs only to you.