My Grounded Lab Adventures

I’ve played tons of hours since I started writing my first Grounded post. In that time, I died my way through several Grounded lab adventures. I climbed trees to the Hedge Lab, dove deep into the Pond Lab and survived the gas at the Haze Lab.

There was tons of fun packed into between all those deaths, but the real enemy was getting constantly side tracked. I spent hours working on my house and other equipment upgrades. Most of that time is not necessary, but I wanted to do it.

Climbing my way to the Hedge Lab

Grounded Hedge Lab wrapped around a tree

I was mostly ill prepared when I made my trek to Hedge Lab. What I did right was realize the way to go was climb up the tree limbs. I did not have proper armor or weapons to fully prepare me for the spiderlings in those trees, though. I also fell out off the tree limbs a few times.

I eventually found dandelion seed heads. You’ve seen them, the fluffy white things you blow off those wild summer flowers. In Grounded, those serve as single use parachutes. As long as they are equipped, a fall from a tree limb is not fatal. I’d use them to float gracefully down to the next limb or the ground.

It was also fortunate that I kept enough materials in my inventory to build a lean to. I was able to camp out on top of the tree limb. Once I made it to the lab, I was able to stock up on water and food to keep me going.

Reaching the Top of this Grounded Lab

Getting to the Hedge lab was the main challenge for that lab. There was a password puzzle where I had to find large pieces of a ripped up paper with a password on it, but much easier to do that compared to the journey. On my travels in that area, I found berries, webs and quartz pieces.

When I was finally ready to leave the area, I made the mistake of floating down to a hoard of Orb Weaver spiders. They killed me quickly and I failed to recover my stuff in later attempts. Even all my hours into the game, I’ve not dared to recover my backpack of stuff there.

I’m powerful enough now to try again, but by I’ve more than recovered whatever was lost in that backpack. My completion of that lab also helped unravel more of the story. B.U.R.G.L remembered more and my character had a dream of some missing memories about how he was shrunk in the first place.

Sidetracked for Hours Building my Grass House

First floor of my first Grounded grass house

After returning from my Hedge lab journey, I decided to build a more permanent safe house to sleep in and store my stuff. That’s actually a recurring theme of Grounded, getting sidetracked. So many hours spent building and gathering supplies for the base and/or to build better equipment.

I started building a simple grass hut to hold my Lean to, but then expanded into a proper 2 story grass house. It was mostly function over form, but I did make sure to put in a proper roof. The whole ordeal was a quite a rabbit hole that tacked on plenty of play hours.

My Grounded grass house second floor

Things like the Workbench and Roasting Spit are pretty much necessary. Other things like the Water Container, Dew Catcher and Garden Patch, helped me survive easier. I’d have to hunt for juice box drips or water droplets on blades of early on.

After I built the Water Container, I could go fetch droplets with my Water Canteen to fill that up for when I needed it later. It was nice to basically go farm the droplets early in the morning to stock up, but the Dew Catcher turned easy mode on.

With that, instead of searching for dew drops on blades of grass, I could just grab them off my catcher. Now I rarely have issues with thirst, unless I forget to fill up my canteen on a long trip. The Garden Patch helped me out the same way for food. I could plant a ton of mushrooms to have a never ending source of food to bring with me on trips.

More Efficient Building

I have a feeling that the house upgrades alone will take up half of my total playtime. New upgrades often make things easier, but then new pieces for the house unlock, adding to the never ending cycle. Building pallets for grass and weeds, were definitely very helpful for building.

I could chop a bunch of trees or weeds, then stack them onto the pallets. As long as they were near my base, then building any home parts that use those became available immediately. It was a essential for quickly building my modest home up.

Again, all those hours I spent on my house are not necessary, but oh it was fun. I’ve since unlocked several defensive upgrades for my house and now I dread the point where those defenses become necessary.

Diving into the Grounded Pond Lab

Grounded Pond Lab dome under water

After finally taking a break from my grass house upgrades, I made my way to the Koi Pond to find the lab there. There was definitely some anxiety to dip my toes into the water. In the ocean, us humans drop low on the food chain and my shrunken character was in the same danger in that pond.

I could see the Koi fish that I know is not friendly and was able to avoid him during several dips into the pond. He did eventually kill me a couple of times later on, but he’s big and bright enough to make it easy to avoid. I could go to a shallow area or hide under something, easy enough.

The Diver Bell Spiders though, what a pain. Spiders are creepy enough, but seeing them swim under water gave me real life goosebumps. What’s crazy is they are real. They have to breathe like other spiders, but can grab air from the surface to build an air bubble to breath and live in. It’s crazy.

Water Fleas are also annoying, but not as tough as the spiders. Luckily those 3 creatures I mention are the only underwater enemies I’ve seen so far. I did get out of the water at a bad place and was shanked by Mosquitoes, but even those are easy to avoid via the shallow water.

The other aquatic creatures like Tadpoles and Water Boatman are mostly there for resources to craft better gear. The real threat under water is the the lack of oxygen. There are some spots to catch air bubbles, but better gear is essential.

Crafting Proper Underwater Gear

I started out collecting resources to build a Gill Tub. It looks like the Grounded version of a rebreather and increased my oxygen capacity for diving. That helped me fetch more equipment to build a Bubble Helmet to hold even more and the Fin Flops to swim faster.

Grounded character in the inventory screen wearing a bubble helmet and fin flops

Maybe for people that know exactly where to go, none of the equipment is necessary, but they are so convenient. That’s especially the case for me since I found the long entrance to the Pond Lab first. My biggest suggestion is find the dinosaur and you know you are close the proper entrance.

I pretty much wasted two hours trying and failing to get their via the longer cave entrance on the other end. I’d end up running out of air, even with the Bubble Helmet. Once I found the “right” entrance, I realized I had swum past the lab door that would have saved me those hours.

Once I did get that lab powered up and found the quest item, I thought I’d hung up my flippers. Most of the resources in the pond were geared towards improving trips underwater. Turned out later there are other places to dive into

Holding my Breath to the Haze Lab

Entering the Grounded Haze Lab

B.U.R.G.L, my robot quest giver, warned me I’d need a gas mask to reach the Haze Lab. That was actually something I crafted in the early hours of the game. I only used it to brave a fight with a Stinkbug for some necessary crafting resources before.

When I finally made the first trip to the “Haze” area, I died quickly. The whole area is clouded with insecticide and there are exploded spores everywhere. If that were not bad enough, some of the creatures I ran into in other parts of the yard are there, but as an infected version.

I tried fighting one, but it’s tougher and deals a lot more damage. The exploding spore attacks just decimated my Grub Armor. After a few more deaths, I decided upgrades were needed. When I searched for new resources on the outside of the Haze area, I stumbled onto the back entrance to the Haze Lab.

I had to go fetch my water gear again, but I was happy to bypass the infected creatures. Clearing that lab didn’t save me from fight, though.

Lady Bugs are Cute Until Provoked

My luck was an infected Lady Bug between me and my objective. The normal ones are cute and I never wanted to hurt one, but that changed after I accidentally hit one. Once provoked, they are mean. Their charge and bump attacks deal a ton of damage.

Even their eyes go blood red. I finally killed my first one with something like 100 arrows. Even at that distance, I didn’t feel safe. If I jumped on a tall rock, it felt like they could practically teleport onto it.

When I decided keeping my distance was the way to go, it still managed to knock me off from time to time. The first one I killed was only after climbing pretty high on a narrow stick. It was just high enough where it couldn’t hit me and narrow enough so it couldn’t follow me up.

The thought of fighting an infected one was stressful. I was fortunate enough to have almost 150 arrows by that point and the lab had plenty of obstacles to put between me and the Lady Bug. It took me a few tries, but the victory was that much sweeter.

After that fight, I was able to go find the Super Chip quest item and learn more about the overall story. I’m a Sci Fi nerd, so I enjoy reading about some of the failed experiments and collecting audio tapes of experiment progress.

The Next Grounded Journey

My final lab to visit is the Black Ant Lab. I know I’ll need to spend some hours prepping my equipment. The Haze Lab was tough enough, so it’s time to use the Smithing Station to upgrade my weapons and equipment.

Much like my house upgrades, that will require some time fetching resources for the upgrades. There are a few times that gathering borders on tedious, but the overall crafting and surviving loop is fun. I’m almost afraid to look how many hours I’ve already racked up, but I at least “feel” I’m at the halfway point.

Grounded is really packed with a ton of content and I look forward to crafting, then unraveling even more of the story.

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