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Paper Mario: Color Splash *RECUT* is an enhanced remake of Paper Mario Color Splash, for the Nintendo Switch
Color Splash Recut Switch boxart

General Details

Paper Mario Color Splash Recut serves as the final installment in the Paper Mario Recut triolgy, and like it's two predecessors, it aims to better align the newer Paper Mario games with the original Ryota Kawade trilogy. In addition to character and story changes, the gameplay is heavily tweaked with various fixes and quality of life additions.

Changes from Original to Recut

General Gameplay

  • Partners return. While they still have overworld moves for new/reworked puzzles, they provide passive perks in battle.
    • Partner field abilities are assigned to the Y Button. Huey Hints, meanwhile, are moved to on the D-Pad.
    • To switch partners on the field, press Left or right on the D-Pad.
  • Mario starts the game with 20 HP, rather than 50. Enemy attack is recalculated accordingly.
  • In addition to Paint, HP can also be leveled up by EXP. After filling the EXP Bar, Mario can choose to level up just HP (+10), just Paint (+20 of all colors), or both (+5 HP, +10 of all colors). He cannot pick the same option twice in a row, though.
  • Mario uses less Paint in the overworld, while using slightly more in battle. OM-SHARED.
    • Things are renamed "Artifacts".
  • Artifacts are redesigned to look like Mario characters.
    • In dark areas, such as Regale Trainwork's workshed, Artifacts glow to distinguish them from the background.
  • While Artifacts are still used to unlock certain spots in the overworld, they're no longer cards. Instead, they're equippables.
    • To save the budget for more important details, the battle animations of almost all Artifacts have been removed rather than pointlessly remaster them. The remaining ones, meanwhile, have been repurposed for certain cutscenes.
  • Since Artifacts are permanent, Replica cards are replaced with other common cards.
  • Mario starts the game with 2 slots for equippable Artifacts. By the end, he'll have 8 slots (earned by collecting Grand Paint Stars). However, some stronger Things take up 2 slots.
  • A speed up feature is added for text. OM-SHARED.
  • Due to the negativity it caused, the Fan Thing has been removed. Replacing it is the Fwoosh Propeller.
  • Luigi gets his own intermissions almost a third of the way into the game. These intermissions eventually lead into his full role from the original version.
  • Near the end of the game, Mario gains the ability to rematch bosses he's already defeated, as well as some others, if he's collected certain Key Items. These versions of the bosses are referred to as EX Bosses.
    • EX Bosses' stats are calculated for endgame players.
    • EX Bosses can be rematched an infinite amount of times, though they only need to be beaten once to obtain or contribute towards obtaining new Artifacts.
  • After beating the main story's final boss, a new playable game mode is unlocked.
  • For those fans who did like the original version of Color Splash, a mode similar to it is included in the game as Original Mode.
    • Despite the name, some of the Recut's changes are also backported into the Original Mode. Those changes that appear in both versions are follow by OM (ORIGINAL MODE)-SHARED.
    • There are also other changes to this port.
      • It reuses the original graphic fideltity (720p) exactly as it was, even in TV Mode.
      • Thing battle animation intro are cut, heading straight for the Action Command step.
      • Replicas "count" as weaknesses.
      • Completing Paper Mario Color Splash Recut's Original Mode does not unlock the EX Mode.
    • Due to needing to remove several enemies to make room for Recut ones, several enemies from the original game are still replaced in original mode.

Overworld Gameplay

  • OVERWORLD REWARDS: Coins, Normal Cards, Artifacts, Stat-Up Items
  • Due to the heavier focus on battle gameplay, the damage most field obstacles inflict is dramatically decreased, usually to less than half their original strength. OM-SHARED.
    • Enemies can no longer damage Mario in the overworld, even with projectiles, without triggering a battle. They still get a First Strike in their favor. OM-SHARED.
  • Partner abilities and obstacles are added, varying up the gameplay even more.
  • Healing cards can be used on the overworld to replenish Mario's survival stats. However, paint cannot be applied to them here, in order to balance the game. OM-SHARED.
  • Mini-Paint Stars which were very close to each other have been combined into Double Paint Stars, cutting down on unnecessary replays of a level. OM-SHARED.
  • After he's unlocked, Shy Bandit (now Mr. Masque) no longer steals paint from levels on the overworld map. Instead, he's merely causing a ruckus, with the timer now a shrinking dust cloud. Failing to catch Mr. Masque has no negative consequences on other sidequests whatsoever. OM-SHARED.
  • The number of instant Game-Overs has been drastically reduced or changed to not be fatal. OM-SHARED.
    • All lava outside the final room in Kiwano Temple only inflicts 12 damage.
    • See below for the more lenient consequences in failing Snifit or Whifit.
    • Princess inflicts huge damage if she reaches Mario. Afterwards, she rolls back a bit to allow Mario a chance to escape.
    • See the Levels section for changes regarding the final level's escape sequence.

Battle Gameplay

  • BATTLE REWARDS: Coins (exact amount depends on enemy), Enemy Cards, Paint, EXP Hammers
  • Damage numbers and exact enemy HP in numbers are shown in battle (though the amount of HP each enemy has is also still visually represent by how much they're "filled"). OM-SHARED.
  • Button prompts for Action Commands show up during the attack. OM-SHARED.
  • All Hammer Action Commands have been returned to the original "hold back on the Control Stick until the star is at the largest". OM-SHARED.
    • The timing for all Hammer cards has increased by 3/10ths of a second, allowing a little more leeway and error. OM-SHARED.
    • None of the original Hammer cards emit shockwaves anymore. A new battle card is dedicated to hitting multiple ground enemies.
  • Mario has three attack slots from the beginning of the game all the way to the end.
  • All Battle Cards' attack power or healing potency has been completely recalculated to account for Mario and the enemies' new stats. As a general rule of thumb, most returning Sticker Star cards have their power from the original Sticker Star.
  • Like the first two Paper Mario games and Sticker Star Recut, Mario can pick his targets out of order with most cards. This is even if he uses only one single-target card, such as Jump. OM-SHARED.
  • Rather than power up cards, paint merely regenerates them into the deck.
    • Since cards can be regenerated, they cost 2x the amount in shops.
    • Also due to the regeneration, cards take double the paint they do in the actual game.
    • This change has the side effect of making paint usage all or nothing.
  • To better balance the battle system, there aren't any multi-copy cards (Worn-Out x5, Normal x3, etc) anymore.
  • Several new cards have been added to make up for the above.
  • The 1-Up Shroom has a different effect, while some of the new cards are in charge of refilling Paint.
  • There aren't any pre-painted cards anymore, as they would just infinitely regenerate.
  • The player can pick up to 6 cards to apply Star Clips to. Star Clips frontload those cards to the front of the deck, ahead of unclipped cards (though still shuffled according to official order). In addition, if the card is used and there's another copy of it in the deck, OR Paint is applied to the card, that card will be frontloaded or regenerate to that exact spot. OM-SHARED.
    • EX- Mario has 7 Worn Out Jumps, 5 Normal Jumps, 6 Worn Out Hammers and 4 Hammers in his deck. A Star Clip is applied to 1 of each card. Therefore, Mario's current hand would be... Worn Out Jump, Jump, Worn Out Hammer, Hammer, and the other cards in whatever order. Even if Mario auto-sorts the deck, those four cards will still stay in front.
  • To speed up the card selection in battle, all Touch Control options have been overhauled and replaced with just two options- Normal and Simple. OM-SHARED.
    • Normal- Pick all three cards at once before using them.
    • Simple- Switch between picking a card and choosing an enemy to attack or Mario to buff. Once a move has been performed, it cannot be undone. OM-SHARED.
    • The Advanced option has been removed. Instead, selecting a card with the A Button picks it without painting, while the X Button paints it completely as soon as it's picked. In Original Mode, holding the X Button accomplishes this.
    • Flicking cards upwards has been consolidated into the confirmation step's animation. OM-SHARED.
  • Partners have a Partner Meter that can be filled using attacks. When the meter is full, the Partner unleashes their own power. This does not count as one of Mario's three attacks.
    • Partner attacks do not trigger any auto-dodge defenses that enemies or bosses have.
    • If Mario switches partners at anytime, the Partner Meter empties by 50 points.
    • There's a way to get an extension for the Partner Meter, allowing for 2 Partner attacks. However, it's not available until after Chapter 5.
  • Enemies summoned by cards no longer run from bosses. OM-SHARED.
    • Instead, a new "mark" mechanic is implemented.
      • Each card has a visible "mark" on it, pertaining to whom the enemy serves- the Koopalings, the Musketeers, and possibly other marks related to other ideals. Some cards don't have a mark.
      • Unmarked cards can be used on any enemy or boss without ATK penalty. However, they're much weaker than marked cards (about x0.7)
      • Marked cards, meanwhile, are much stronger and durable. However, for every enemy with the same mark on the other side, the summoned card loses x0.1 their ATK. Fighting against bosses, meanwhile, reduces their power further by x0.3.
        • EX1- A Slurp Guy fights 2 other Slurp Guys. The Slurp Guy on Mario's side has 7 ATK. All 3 are allied with the Koopalings. Therefore... POWER= (ATK (1-(0.1ENEMY+0.3BOSS)))RNDUP=(7 (1-(0.1(2)+0.3(0))))RNDUP=(7 (1-(0.2)))RNDUP=(7 (0.8))RNDUP=(5.6)RNDUP=6 ATK
        • EX2- A Dry Bones fights 2 Dry Bones, 1 Slurp Guy and 1 Musketeer boss. The Dry Bones on Mario's side has 8 ATK. All but the Slurp Guy are allied with the Musketeers. Therefore... POWER= (ATK (1-(0.1ENEMY+0.3BOSS)))RNDUP=(8 (1-(0.1(2)+0.3(1))))RNDUP=(8 (1-(0.5)))RNDUP=(8 (0.5))RNDUP=(4)RNDUP=4 ATK
      • If non-card summoned enemies with opposing marks are in the same battle, they'll hit each other first, then hit Mario immediately after. While this can be useful, enemies defeated by other non-card enemies do not drop EXP Hammers. In other words, in example 2, the opponent Dry Bones and Musketeer boss would back and forth with the solo Slurp Guy before fighting Mario, and vice versa.
    • Nevertheless, to prevent enemy card bodyguarding the whole fight, there’s two other changes.
      • When facing mini-bosses and bosses, allied enemy max HP drops to 1/3 normally, or 1/6 if the marks match.
      • Bosses (and some enemies) gain splash effects to some of their attacks, allowing them to hit both Mario and the allied enemy. OM-SHARED.
  • Card summoned enemies who have shell attacks (Koopas, Buzzy Beetles, etc) no longer bounce off a wall if there's one after the enemies. OM-SHARED.
  • Koopaling (and all miniboss cards) all act like normal enemy cards instead of behaving like Fright Jars. Miniboss card stats also depend on Mario's HP and Paint level. OM-SHARED.
    • During times in the story where these characters aren't in any condition to come help Mario, phantoms of them take their place. After the credits roll, all the minibosses are their flesh selves despite the story being rewound to a point where some of them aren't in any position to help Mario. OM-SHARED.
  • Boss super attacks, such as Morton's Flame Hammer, are nerfed heavily. While they still drop a lot of HP, it's nowhere near a one-hit KO. OM-SHARED.
    • EX Morton's Flame Hammer inflicted 48 damaged despite Mario blocking. Now, on top of other changes with Morton, the attack only inflicts 16 damage unblocked (with the assumption Mario has 40 HP at that point), and can be blocked further. OM-SHARED.
      • Only 5 battleable characters in the game have unblockable super-attacks. Even then, they're mostly nowhere near one-hit KOs. The status effects of these super-attacks are also still blockable.
    • The change from Things to Artifacts means bosses have new, extra weaknesses to fill in the difference (though some Artifacts can be equipped to still exploit them). Nevertheless, their battles are changed so they can be fought more fairly.
    • Almost none of the bosses have HP safeguards anymore. With the few that do, the boss loses their safeguard at the start of the next turn. OM-SHARED.
    • With one exception (Iggy), bosses can no longer auto-dodge attacks they shouldn't be able to, and Artifacts are no longer mandatory. OM-SHARED.
  • Kamek's Curses from the original version have been completely replaced with Pollinated Battles around Prism Island.
    Sporinated battle SWITCH

    Mario and Louis near a Pollinator Flower.

    • Rather than activating at complete random, Pollinator Flowers are placed at set locations of each level. OM-SHARED.
    • When Mario begins a fight while near a Pollinator Flower, the flower sprays its pollen on Mario, his partners and the enemy. Depending on the color of the pollen, Mario undergoes a different effect.
    • The mercy rule for escaping has been changed from "Cards= 0" to "Current Turn= 3 or 3<". OM-SHARED.
    • Miniboss cards are not affected by the Pollinator Flowers. OM-SHARED.
    • If Mario and friends win the battle while Pollinated, they earn more kinds of rewards from the encounter. Also, the flower wilts for the remainder of Mario's playthrough for that level.
    • Pollen Colors and rewards:
      • GREEN
        • Mario's cards are regressed to their weakest state for the battle.
        • TRIPLE EXP HAMMERS
      • RED
        • All participants start the battle Burned.
        • 3x RED PAINT
      • BLUE
        • All participants start the battle Wet.
        • 3x BLUE PAINT
      • YELLOW
        • All participants start the battle Shocked.
        • 3x YELLOW PAINT
      • PURPLE
        • All participants start the battle Poisoned.
        • FIVE MUSHROOM CARDS (Normal in Chapter 1 and 2 stages, Super in Chapter 3-5, Mega in 6 and above)
      • ORANGE
        • Mario's partner perks are disabled. In addition, partner attacks deal half damage.
        • MAXED-OUT PARTNER METER
      • MONOCHROME
        • Mario can't apply paint to his cards for the battle.
        • 2.5x RED, BLUE AND YELLOW PAINT
    • Pollinator Flowers do not affect enemy cards. OM-SHARED.
    • In Original Mode, where Kamek's Curses still happen, the mono-type curse is gone. This prevents the infamous Swoop glitch from the Wii U version from occuring.
      • In addition, the spots where the Pollinator Flowers were in the Recut version now have magical shape distortion in Original Mode.
  • Quicksand no longer sucks Mario and friends down if idle during battle. OM-SHARED.
  • Mini-enemies no longer get first strike priority, nor do they have piercing damage. This also means Mario is allowed to fight the Mini bug gangs in Sacred Forest and possibly not take any damage. OM-SHARED.
  • Fire enemies can be hit with Hammer attacks without getting burned. OM-SHARED
  • The Battle Bingo from Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door makes a special comeback.  However instead of healing Mario and the Partner's HP or Flower Points, the Roulette only restores paint. Each time the player successfully executes a Battle Card attack,  a random icon will appear in the upper-right corner of the screen: 
    • Mega Mushroom: Heals 25 percentage of the paint.
    • Golden Fire Flower: Heals 50 percentage of the paint.
    • Power Star: Heals 75 percentage of the paint.
    • Shine Sprite: Doubles the amount of paint Mario has.
    • Multi-Moon: Fills up all of the Paint entirely.

Characters

  • Toads are not the only species on Prism Island. There are at least 5 others this time, many taking the place of the Toads. In addition, the NPC characters (including Toads) are further individualized by name, gender, age, and even clothing or apparel.
    • PIANTAS (main series)
    • LAKITU (main series)
    • BRUSTACHES (DMZ veteran)
    • MEMPHAWKS (new-ish)
    • VELLBEX (new)
    • TOADS (main series) (adults, kids, both genders)
      • In Original Mode, only Toadettes, Piantas and Lakitus are added. Minus some minor script edits for gender and species, only those Toads, generic or not, whose Recut replacements were Piantas and Lakitus are changed.
  • The Koopalings and their Master are not the only ne'er-do-wells on the island. Another villain force local to the island, the Prism Musketeers, pose a problem to every local citizen.
    • Conversely, Black Bowser is no longer a character in the main story. He can, however, be fought after clearing the EX Mode. Nevertheless, some new details about the black paint (to make it more consistent and less overpowered) double to infer how Black Bowser truly came to exist in the original version.
      • In Original Mode, after the final Grand Paint Star flashback, Huey spouts an extra line about how he felt lingering Gold Royal Sticker energy radiating from Bowser in the flashback. Huey then realizes that the Sticker energy had something to do with only Bowser being transformed by the Black Paint, yet no-one else including Mario.
      • After Black Bowser's desperation attack is successfully blocked, the battle immediately ends. This is to avoid kicking Bowser while he's down and unaware of his actions. OM-SHARED.
  • The Black Paint cape entity from the concept art is now explicitly a character called Splotchleek, rather than awkwardly writing around the character like the original Color Splash. OM-SHARED.
    • In Original Mode, Mario and Huey explicitly do realize the Black Paint is a character during the final battle. In addition, Peach doesn't blame Bowser for the Black Paint's actions during the ending.
  • The above changes from Curses to Pollinator Flowers also means Kamek no longer has a role in the main story (though it fixes a plothole regarding Kamek's connection to the mechanic versus his role & fate in the original game's story). Instead, he shows up with Kammy in the EX Mode.
    • In Original Mode, Kamek does admit he feels something is wrong with Bowser just before fighting Mario in Sacred Forest. He reveals what tipped him off was Bowser wanting to bathe the whole world in Black Paint.
      • After Kamek is defeated, Black Bowser creates a Black Paint clone of Kamek so the curse system can still logically happen.
  • Rather than a generic Toad, Toadsworth accompanies Mario and Peach to the island. OM-SHARED.
  • Peach isn't kidnapped early on, and therefore none of the Holo Peachs appear. Instead, she personally tells Mario and friends what she's heard about Bowser Junior lately.
    • The holo-character message concept is reworked for a single scene near the end of the game, though.
  • Morton Koopa’s personality is altered to more closely match how he acted in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam.
  • Due to Luigi's playable status, as well as to fix a plothole regarding his three wildly incompatible roles from the original game, other characters handle some of his other gameplay functions. OM-SHARED.
    • Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy sends Mario the letters Luigi originally sent. OM-SHARED.
    • Il Piantissimo from Super Mario Sunshine, meanwhile, takes care of Luigi's hide and seek duties. OM-SHARED.
  • The host of Snifit or Whifit retains his name from Sticker Star Recut, Snob Biffet. OM-SHARED.
  • Some of Huey's incompatible or more jarring personality traits are given to the other partners. Meanwhile, Huey receives a second storyline revealing his origins.
    • Moments where Huey responds to himself are rewritten so someone interjects between certains lines, or he at least has someone else to bounce off of. This is so Huey looks less unintentionally crazy. OM-SHARED
  • The Rescue Squad's membership has been overhauled. Instead of the semi-generic Toad squad leader, 5 semi-generic Toad leaders and 91 semi-generic Toad members, there's 26 unique characters of various species and identities across all 5 Rescue Squads and its leadership. This alters how the rescue calls play out.
  • The Shy Guy on the Sunset Express is changed to an Anti-Guy (the only one in the game). After talking to him, Mario must fight him at Emerald Circus later. OM-SHARED.
  • While the finalized Rock Paper Wizard is still used as the main Roshambeau boss, the Duplighost design also appears as a boss in other tournaments.
    • Unlike the original game, there is only one Rock Paper Wizard fighting Mario multiple times. Therefore, his subplot has been dropped. The joke he originally told after his final defeat has also been changed. OM-SHARED.
  • Several characters return from the original 3 games. In addition, other familiar and not-so familiar faces make a reprise.
  • There is more of an effort to "involve" Mario in the story beyond just being the main playable character.
    • Mario now uses voiceclips recorded by Charles Martinet whenever expressing extreme emotions, such as happiness, surprise, anger or sadness. The voiceclips are not new, though, but rather archived from previous games.

Story

  • Unlike the original game, Color Splash Recut has more of an overarching story.
  • More of Prism Island and its various citizens' histories are delved into.
  • Like the original 3 games, no-one ever acknowledges the world is made of paper, implying the characters don’t see it that way, even when someone undergoes a paper effect. Those lines of dialogue are replaced with similar, more relatable concepts. OM-SHARED.
    • Rather than being blown away after their defeats, the Koopalings either merely run off or are sent solidly flying. OM-SHARED.
  • Regarding continuity, the original three games are canon to and explicitly referenced in this recut. Regarding what comes after, meanwhile, though players can get by with just the original Sticker Star and Paper Jam, Color Splash Recut considers the following as “what really happened”: the Recuts of the aforementioned two games, as well as two unreleased games called Wonder Journey and Relic Hunter.
  • Because of all this, there are massive deviations from the original Color Splash’s plot, far more than the previous Recuts. As can be guessed, just the addition of the Musketeers means the plot drastically alters almost from the onset.
  • Some lines of dialogue and visuals are changed to de-emphasize/not overblow how important Prism Island and the Grand Paint Stars are to the Mushroom World. Similar changes are also done to avoid implying pre-Sticker Star concepts don't exist or pretending that this is the first time certain plot elements lifted from TTYD have happened. OM-SHARED.
    • Ironically, the story's changes make Prism Island even more important to the history of the Mushroom World.
  • There's only one Prisma Dance, after the Emerald Grand Paint Star. This is unlike the original version, which had a dance after every chapter. This was done to save the budget on important things like the story and characters, rather than reanimate all six dances with the new characters.
    • As a result, instead of six dances creating stat-increasing items, the first five Grand Paint Stars simply give Mario the items. The single retained dance still also augments Mario.

Levels

  • Snifit or Whifit is heavily overhauled
    • The game “remembers”/caches what cards Mario had before entering the minigame. OM-SHARED.
    • Mario gets a free rental deck pertinent to all the possible answers for the quiz. He gets his real deck back after finishing the quiz, win or lose. OM-SHARED.
    • If Mario loses, instead of getting a game over, he’s simply sent back to the surface. Snob Biffet’s dialogue is changed to reflect this. OM-SHARED.
    • As card painting is all or nothing, the Paint Card challenge instead involves painting and not painting three cards in exact order. The cards shown bob up and down, from right to left.

    • The original legendary prize is given for free just for beating the mandatory rounds. The new Bonus Round prizes are several copies of two completely optional cards not needed for the main story. OM-SHARED.
  • Since it's required for later, the Lanky Basin Artifact (formerly the Basin Thing) no longer inflicts any damage on Mario prior to being collected. OM-SHARED.
  • Toad Trainworks has been renamed Regale Trainworks. OM-SHARED.
    • The Sunset Express passengers are completely unable to damage Mario, inflicting 0 damage each hit rather than 1. This is to prevent them from unnecessarily depleting Mario's HP when the "battle" is only supposed to be a joke. OM-SHARED.
  • Tangerino Grill's pizza minigame has been heavily eased up, to allow more room for error.
  • The Sunset Express level has been separated into three spots on the map- the first station, the train, and Starlight Cape. This is to allow easy re-entry aboard the train. Despite this, they're all part of the same level and share the same Mini-Paint Star. OM-SHARED.
  • A new mandatory level has been added to the end of Chapter 5, Starlight Workshop. The Tangerine Grand Paint Star has been moved here, while a normal Blue Mini-Paint Star is added to a new screen in the Sunset Express level.
  • The escape sequence after the final boss is heavily reprogrammed to not muck over players too much after such a tough battle. OM-SHARED.
    • There's a visible 4 minute timer. The timer starts after Mario repaints Peach, temporarily pauses during the cutscenes through the escape, and ends as soon as Mario and friends reach the exterior of the level. OM-SHARED.
    • Huey will simply not allow Mario to leave the final boss chamber until after Peach is repainted. OM-SHARED.
    • Platforms will not crumble until after Mario leaves the correct side. In addition, one-way invisible walls that start the crumbling spawn during the escape that prevent Mario from backtracking onto a falling platform. He can still fall through holes in the floor, though that's not fatal either. OM-SHARED.
    • The black paint merely inflicts 20 damage like it did at Sunglow Ridge. Mario is then teleported back to the last safe ledge he was on. OM-SHARED.
    • Debris is weakened to 3 damage. Only half as much debris falls onto the main path. OM-SHARED.
  • A Pit of (100) Trials is added, accessible via a secret Rainbow Mini-Paint Star in Crimson Tower.
    • In this pit, Mario must use colored shapes to progress forward. He gets the shapes by defeating enemies in rooms of 10, while he uses his Color Hammer to color the shapes. The shapes are also set to drop by enemy, and are not randomized. Because of this, it’s possible to open the way to the next area without defeating every enemy (hence dropping the “100” from the dungeon name).

Music

  • Most of the music from the original version of Color Splash returns.
  • Because not all the Koopalings are Chapter bosses anymore, their themes have been repurposed.
    • "Me Will Rock Me" has been renamed "Koopalings Rock". Though Morton still has it as his battle theme, it's now more of a general Koopaling miniboss theme. Ludwig, the first battle with Roy, Larry and Lemmy also have this as their battle themes.
    • "Battle with Ludwig" is renamed "General Guy's Professional First Phase". It's now solely used for the first phase of General Guy's battle.
    • "Larry's Runaway Train" is just "Battling on a Runaway Train". It's now used as the Sunset Express train's battle theme when outside the cabins.
    • "Lemmy's Grand Finale" is renamed "Blades of the Musketeers." It's now used for all battles with Pitholl & Cucleer, as well as the first battle with Aace.
  • The theme for the Recorder Thing is now used as Jaykan's theme. To cut down on repetition, the song is repeated at one pitch higher after two loops, then returns to normal two loops later.
  • Some music from previous Paper Mario games also returns.
    • From Paper Mario 64...
      • "General Guy's March" returns as General Guy's cutscene theme.
      • "Keeping Pace" is used for the second phase of the General Guy battle, replacing the original track in that span of time.
      • While the level theme for Redpepper Volcano is the original music in both Recut and Original Modes, EX Mode swaps it out with "Bowser's Castle".
    • From Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door...
      • "New Party Member" returns as the jingle for gaining a new partner.
      • "Learning a New Skill" returns as the theme for learning a partner's abilities.
      • "Luigi's Theme" returns as the cutscene theme of Luigi.
      • "Invincible Shadow Queen Battle" is used for the unwinnable battle against Eclipse Princess Shadhema.
      • "Final Battle" is used for the EX Mode's final battle with Shroomsday Core after Bowser becomes Retro Bowser.
      • "Rawk Hawk Battle" is used for the Roshambeau battle against Rawk Hawk.
    • From Super Paper Mario...
      • "O'Chunks, Warrior" returns as O'Chunks' cutscene theme.
    • From Paper Mario Sticker Star and Paper Mario Sticker Star Recut, in addition to those songs that returned and remain...
      • "Supreme Sparkling King" drops Bowser from the track name. The song is repurposed as a battle theme for Sporepocalypse. Guitar phasers are added to allow the song to naturally transition into "ROYal Rumble".
      • "Power of a Royal Sticker" is used as Shroomsday's cutscene theme.
      • "Sparkling King and Co" drops Bowser from the track name. The song is used as a battle theme for Shroomsday.
      • "Spectacular Finale" is used during the final phase of Mario's battle with Shroomsday.
      • "Endlessly Hungry Petey Piranha Battle" is used for the EX Mode's bonus boss fight against Petey Piranha.
  • A few new music pieces have been created for Color Splash Recut.
  • Of the music that was removed...
    • As Things are now Artifacts and are no longer used for battle, most of their musical scores are only heard in Original Mode.
    • The only remaining Thing themes in Color Splash Recut are the aforementioned repurposed Recorder Thing and the Piggy Bank.

EX Mode Details

General Gameplay

  • Bowser’s stats at level 1 are 60 HP and 180 of each Power Juice.
    • When leveling up, Bowser receives 30 extra max HP and 30 of each max Power Juice, without needing to choose between them.
    • Conversely, Bowser’s max level is 15, though his final boss only really recommends level 10.
  • Instead of paint, Bowser’s secondary meter runs off three attributes- Power (Orange), Fire (Red) and Minions (Green). In addition to enemies dropping Power Juice (retextured paints), these 3 stats refill over time.
  • The ? Blocks only yield coins, while enemies do not drop their cards. Bowser instead starts off with a small deck that completely refills after every battle.
    • Pre-determined cards are added after beating a boss or special fight.
    • Some cards are also powered up to their next strongest form after beating a boss or special fight.
  • Bowser gets an exclusive set of cards only he can use.
  • Early on, Bowser only gets one party member. This party member’s ability allows Bowser to ignore a key aspect of Mario’s game.

Overworld Gameplay

  • Bowser can jump by pressing A.
  • Bowser can breathe fire by holding B. This also stuns enemies.
  • Bowser can breathe intense fire by holding Y, allowing a First Strike. However, this drains Power Juices.
  • Most of the original paths in each level are blocked by purple spiked vines or warp holes. Bowser must use warp holes to travel between screens.
  • All Paint Stars are blocked by purple crystals. Instead, Bowser clears the level by beating the boss and entering the Super Portal.

Battle Gameplay

  • Of the enemies Bowser fights during his adventures, their stats are all recalculated.
  • If Bowser runs out of cards, he can use coins to replenish his deck. In a single battle, the price starts at 4 coins/card restored, and increases by 2 coins/card every time Bowser needs to do this.
  • If Koopaling marked enemies are in a battle with those of another mark, the Koopaling enemies will attack the different ones.
  • If there are only Koopaling enemies left in a battle, they will reward Bowser with 1.5x the coins and EXP.


Enemies and Bosses

Click here to see a' List of Enemies and Bosses in Paper Mario: Color Splash Recut

Story (Color Splash Recut)

Intro

It was a dark and stormy night. ...No, really- this is how the story begins.

On that dark and stormy night, two hooded strangers head towards a small Pad over the river. The duo knock on the door. Within seconds, who else but Mario answers the door. Mario is happy to see the two, unhooding themselves to reveal Princess Peach Toadstool and Toadsworth. Unfortunately, Mario soon becomes aware something is very wrong when Peach looks worried, holding an odd letter in her hands.
Mario&#039;s house revamped
The warmth of the fireplace and photos of past epic adventures in Mario's new Pad does little to ease the two heroes and the even more depressed Toadsworth. Mario takes a look at the letter. It keeps unfolding until Mario realizes the horror of the letter. It's not a letter at all- it's a Brustache (a paintbrush person) folded like paper by strange yet familiar magic. And what was more horrifying was that the Brustache had all of his color drained out of him, leaving him as blank as paper! The horror of such a concept takes Mario off guard, and he drops the Colorless and Paperfied Brustache.
Mario&#039;s bulletin board CS Recut Switch
Mario regains his bearing when he sees a postal stamp on the back of the Brustache- what looks like a Grand Power Star, but within two circles and some patterns around it. Thinking on it, Mario finally realizes what's so odd about the stamp- it matches a mark he's been seeing in his dreams ever since the beginning of last year's Sticker Fest. In turn, his local doctor Merlon told Mario it matched the mark of Prism Island, which Mario has a map of on a billboard to remind him of.
Stormy intro CS Recut Switch

Now knowing where they have to go, Mario, Peach and Toadsworth take the Princess' boat across the stormy sea. As they sail and brave the violent waves, our heroes can only wonder what waits beyond the storm, on Prism Island in... (see picture for title)

Prologue: The Case of the Missing Colors

Their little boat trip to the island is a rough one, with waves not even the Toads from Pirate's Grotto could face on a night like this. 

Eventually, Peach’s ship arrives and docks in Port Prisma. The otherwise colorful sight of the town is marred by the simple fact no-one is around. Peach and Toadsworth are confused, considering an old friend of Peach told her long ago it was supposed to be a tourist attraction, as well as Toadsworth letting the locals know they were coming.

Unlike the two members of royalty, Mario didn’t exactly fare the journey well. A concerned Toadsworth demands Mario show a little class, to which the heroic plumber epically obliges. When some crates prevent the three Mushroom tourists from climbing the stairs, Mario decides to search for a solution. Eventually, Mario finds a Hammer, since Toadsworth threw his current hammer overboard for Grambi knows what reason. With the boxes cleared, the trio decide to head to Prisma Fountain in the centre of town to see if there’s anyone around.

There isn’t.

Toadsworth&#039;s worry

Mystified at the lack of locals in such a popular location, as well as noticing how similar the plans for the city are to Rogueport, Toadsworth decides to look around for any Brustaches. While he’s gone, Peach and Mario speculate who sent the magically folded Brustache they hold to begin with. Peach tries to think about what else their old friend told them, when all of a sudden, a hatch in the middle of a circle-cornered hexagon rises.

Peach&#039;s interrupted thought

Peach marvels at this convenient plot device before advising Mario to check on it. Obliging to this, Mario finds some strange instructions on how to open the hatch- hitting three “colors”. After thinking about it and looking around, Mario realizes something unusual- there’s switches camouflaged around the centre of town. By hitting all three switches, the hatch opens, revealing…

Huey the guardian

…a bucket? Peach and Mario question what to do, before Mario just hits it open. To his and Peach’s utter surprise, the bucket is alive! The bucket is livid over being conked while asleep. Though Peach explains why this happened and Huey understands, he’s still not exactly enthralled with Mario’s thwacking. When Peach asks if there’s anything the two can do to make things right, the bucket believes grabbing a burger with him would help him feel better.

Peach stops the bucket and explains what she and her…friend, Mario (OOOOH, that’s gotta hurt!) are doing in Port Prisma. Just as she mentions Toadsworth, however, the elderly Toad yells, sounding as though he’s keeping an unknown assailant away.

Toadsworth sucked dry

Hurrying to the Yellow District, Mario, Peach and the bucket see Toadsworth’s color getting sucked with of a straw by a Shy Guy wearing a soda jerk hat and a bowtie. Before this Slurp Guy finishes the job, Toadsworth gives Mario a bunch of unusual cards similar to stickers. Finally, the Slurp Guy finishes his Toadsworth Malt, and the old man is nothing but a white silhouette. Peach is devastated by her long-term guardian’s seeming demise.

The bucket, meanwhile, encourages Mario to use the Battle Cards on the Slurp Guy. The two sides are raring to go…until the bucket randomly asks Mario if he has any paint. Even when the bucket defines paint as the colorful stuff kids use to pep a drawing, Mario doesn’t get it. The bucket is worried when it seems like there’s no paint around…that is, until a disembodied voice coming from below believes there is.

Huey loses his power SWITCH

Before anyone, especially a disturbed Mario, can figure out who said that, the bucket is suddenly squeezed of his paint by some unknown spatial force. The paint falls upon Mario. Upon realizing he’s lost most of his power, the bucket wonders who did this- though it’s apparently happened before against someone- before regaining focus. The bucket then shows Mario the ropes on battling- targeting enemies, timing hits to increase their power, and using Paint to regenerate Cards back into the deck after use.

The Slurp Guy is defeated, but Toadsworth is still lost. Peach is still mourning for Toadsworth, while the bucket is unusually calm. Finally, the bucket tells Mario and Peach they can just apply a new coat of Prism Island’s magical paint to revive Toadsworth. With a special Paint-tinged swing, Mario gives Toadsworth all his color back!

Following Toadsworth’s revival, the bucket warns Mario that he’ll need to resupply his paint to keep using his special moves. Meanwhile, Toadsworth is grateful for the bucket saving his life. Asking about where else to find Prism Island’s magic paint, the bucket gives an odd answer- the fountain in the middle of town. The empty fountain. The fountain with not even a single one of the six Grand Paint Stars the bucket describes. Toadsworth informs the bucket of this, but the bucket laughs it off, not really realizing where he just came from. Nevertheless, the bucket doubles back to check.

Of course, the bucket’s devastated to realize the fountain is, indeed, currently empty. As he cries his metallic tears, the gang tries to comfort him. Unfortunately, the bucket’s too distraught, as Port Prisma without “the King’s” Grand Paint Stars is like a tuna fish sandwich without ketchup. Even Toadsworth’s attempts to comfort and cheer the bucket up aren’t enough to stop the bawling.

What is enough to stop the bawling, though, is the bucket smelling a Paint Star. Realizing this, the bucket kind-of sort-of guilt trips the gang into helping him. Thankfully, Peach is more than happy to, especially as she feels it relates to the letter. Peach accidentally calls the bucket Mr Can. Clarifying that’s his nickname, the bucket finally introduces himself as Huey. Huey tells Mario how to ask him less painfully for advice, before going into Mario’s surprisingly spacey pocket.

Boosketeer intro

In the west part of town, Mario is ambushed by another baddy- a Boo in refined swordsman garb. The Boo musketeer, or Boosketeer, brushes Mario off at first, until seeing Mario’s stache is as bushy as the ghostly cavalier’s instructor. Of course, Mario defeats the weird Boo. Even in defeat, though, the Boosketeer believes things will get interesting for “the others”. Though they’re mystified by the Boo’s presence in such a peaceful rural area, the appearance of EXP Hammers to increase Mario’s HP and Paint brightens Mario and Huey’s moment.

Boosketeer battle

Throughout the town, Mario uses the power of paint to color back in various objects, gadgets, and citizens, such as Toads, Brustaches, and Lakitus. This helps teach the hero of many, many games and stories the ropes of basic exploration. Activating a waterwheel also helps nicely.

Huey and the Boosketeer

Midway through town, Mario and Huey are deceived by a Shy Guy doing a Toadette impression to catch them offguard. By defeating him, they free the purple Toadette, Tali T. Peach and Toadsworth arrive, and Tali T gives them quarters in the ancient, yet humble town. Peach thanks Tali T.

Mario and Huey finally find a Paint Star! Or rather, a Mini Paint Star. Huey realizes the Mini stars can lead Mario and him to the Grand Paint Stars. Just then, the wind starts picking up. Mario and Huey see a Bowser airship fly into the sky with a bucket of Red Paint. Hanging onto the bucket is…a Slurple wearing the same strange garb as the Boosketeer. Taken aback from these developments, Mario grabs the first Mini Paint Star, one of many in his recut Color Splash adventure.

Chapter 1 Part 1

Click here to view the whole plot for Chapter 1.

Mario & Huey follow the path the Red Mini Paint Star reveals to the appropriately named Ruddy Road. Immediately, the duo see a house drained of its paint. Using his newfound Paint Hammer, Mario restores color to the building. This allows the door to open, as well as many Toads, Toadettes and Brustaches to escape. The Brustache inside the house, meanwhile, explains how those people forced their way into his home.

Emerging Toads AND Brustaches

Man & bucket travel a little more. They find a sign about Paint Thieves, who look an awful lot like the Shy Guys they’ve been seeing. The reward is several coins, as

Annoyed Ruddy Brustache
well as loyalty. It’s the signature of the sign that seems off to our heroes, however- people named Pitholl and Cucleer.

A little later, Mario & Huey meet up with Cosso, leader of the Red section of the “Rescue Squad”. Cosso tactfully recalls that he’d heard the locals couldn’t get up the cliff he’s standing by. Cosso asks Mario and Huey to find all 4 of his other Red Squad members, Brustaches like him.

Mario and & find a Slurp Guy just going to town on a small area of the Road. Huey is annoyed to see this. However, Huey soon realizes this is a great chance to teach Mario about First Strikes. The plumber he is, Mario proves himself as a quick learner.

Further down the Road, Mario & Huey locate the second Mini Paint Star of their journey. Excited, Huey flies directly to the small crimson celestial body. Regardless of whether or not Mario feels like it, Mario eventually attempts to collect his second miniguffin. Unfortunately, in their rush to collect the Mini Paint Star, Mario and Huey overlooked a very tiny detail…ITS COLOR’S GONE! With his sharp eye, though, Huey sees the Shy Guy responsible attempting to escape.

Decaffeined Shy Guy

During their kind-of-exciting chase, Mario & Huey come across a café owned by a Brustache. Several Shy Guys are ordering drinks from the café. Most of them are kind of jerks, while others are jittery. What’s most peculiar as Mario and Huey listen to them is that “Musketeers”, or at least hat wearing warriors, are brought up quite a bit, and the Shy Guys aren’t exactly fans of these Musketeers.

With their assertiveness, Mario & Huey track the Shy Guy who stole the color from the Mini Paint Star. Instead of battling, though, the Shy Guy actually gives up and decides to follow Mario. As there’s no theatrics or big reasons for this unknown Shy Guy to join Mario’s team, Mario & Huey keep an eye on him.

Mario, Huey, and the nameless Shy Guy return to the pale Mini Paint Star. The Shy Guy, knowing Mario & Huey don’t completely trust him, brings the paint back to the Paint Star, restoring its vibrant reds.

Different rolling dash

Unfortunately, it turned out the Shy Guy’s good behaviour was actually part of an elaborate trap. With strange unknown magic, several Shy Guys emerge from about the leftmost side of the intersection and roll up the landscape. Faced with immediate yet unusual danger, Mario runs as fast as he can, avoiding all the falling debris. There’s almost no escape, however, as the traitor Shy Guy tapes the right side of the magically unfurled path down.

The Brustache owner of the café descends on a parasol, despite not being a princess. The Brustache is mystified the Shy Guys had access to such strange magic, yet he’s equally peeved how the Shy Guys messed up his café. He also wonders if there’s a way Mario could unroll the landscape.

Thinking about it and with the detective skills of a man dressed like a Swoop, Mario finds a path around the blockade to the tape. Mario proceeds to pull the tape, allowing him to more properly unfurl the road. While Mario only has to walk on the first two steps, the third step is too steep to keep his feet on. Suddenly gaining an idea, Mario uses his Hammer to slam down on the road. Somehow, the hammer mostly undoes the enchantment on the road, almost straightening it out.

The key word being almost, as some Shy Guys struggle to keep the road up.

Feeling particularly vengeful, Mario and the Brustache café owner try slamming down on the road. Sadly, their combined weight isn’t enough to do the job.

The Musketeers&#039; intro SWITCH

All of a sudden, two figures descend from the sky like a fat angel and a good lawyer. Specifically, a Pianta and Coo Coo wearing the same clothing the Boosketeer in Port Prisma was. The duo, revealing themselves to be Pitholl and Cucleer respectively, congratulate each other on reducing the Shy Guys to blue paint. From this conversation, Mario and Huey learn Pitholl is a bit theatrical, while Cucleer is just nuts. Before Mario and Huey can make the connection to the Boosketeer, the café owner interrupts their train of thought.

With one mystery progressing and another revealed, Mario and Huey collect another Mini Paint Star, opening a path to Cherry Lake.

Together, Mario and Huey travel to Cherry Lake. When they arrive, they see the Slurple kid finally let go of the huge bucket and fall somewhere nearby. Huey is concerned, and believes they should see if the kid’s OK.

Within seconds, Mario and Huey are obstructed by a gate, locked from the other side. As Huey looks at the gate, though, the guardian bucket gets an idea. Huey first shows Mario how the front of the gate looks like stairs from a certain point of view. With this, Huey teaches Mario about using the Cut-Out magic technique.

Mario cuts this section of timespace with a simplistic blade, and before he knows it, he’s travelling upwards in this area. Happy that his new ally has learned the move, Huey reminds Mario they still need to look for the lost kid. Before this, Mario unlocks the gate from the other side.

Shy Guy vs Boo

Shortly after, Mario and Huey find a Boo and his friends arguing with some Shy Guys. While the Shy Guys act all tough and gangsta, the Boo finds the Shy Guys beneath him.  The Boo also sees Mario eavesdropping with no effort, causing both the Boos and Shy Guys to beeline to Mario.

Boo attacks Shy Guy

Before Mario can make a move, the Boo and Shy Guy attack each other, the Boo stating something about “Musketeers”. Bewildered by the two sides not working together, Huey and Mario prove their own cooperation and defeat their foes. Following the fight, Huey is still puzzled by the Boos and Shy Guys fighting each other, wondering what’s going on around Prism Island.

The strange infighting doesn’t stop there, as Mario and Huey fight more and more groups of foes who don’t all work together.

Edwin&#039;s hat retrieved

Moments later, Mario and Huey find some odd clothing scattered across the lake. First, they find a wrapped up Kid’s Hat. In addition, a green Kid’s Bag with lots of coins is also collected. In the midst of all this, Mario and Huey must wait for the lake’s waterwheels to spin to an opening before they can pass. While Mario is a patient hero, he wonders if there’s a way to make the wheels spin before they’re supposed to.

Deeper into the lake, Mario and Huey are greeted by an unnatural windstorm, blowing several Shy Guys and Boos away. On the other side of the next islet is the Slurple kid, hanging on to a tree for dear life. In mere minutes, Mario and Huey see the odd cause of the windstorm on a seemingly unreachable islet- a Propeller, decorated like a Fwoosh. By analysing the landscape, Mario uses the Cut-Out technique to manipulate dimensions and travel to the other side of the lake.

Artifact explanation SWITCH

On the other side of the lake, Mario restores the bridge so Huey doesn’t have to exert so much Cut-Out energy, before investigating the Fwoosh propeller. Huey finally remembers these ancient objects are called Artifacts. Huey also remembers that long ago, he saw the prototypes of Artifacts, the Things. His memories on the objects partly back, Huey informs Mario he can equip Artifacts from an Artifact menu. Fully educated, Mario collects the Fwoosh Propeller and stashes it in hammerspace. By equipping the Fwoosh Propeller, Mario can add a Wind element to his Jump attacks, making enemies Dizzy sometimes.

Meeting Edwin

Mario and Huey finally reach the Slurple kid the last few paragraphs droned on and on about. Mario shakes the Slurple off the tree. Unfortunately, the Slurple has a bit of a “personality”, which Huey takes a little offense to. The Slurple introduces himself as Edwin, frantically looking for his hat, coin bag, and a journal his boss lent him. Edwin has a big mouth even for a Slurple, as he makes it no secret he’s only helping his bosses, the Musketeers, steal the other side’s paint for money. While Huey isn’t exactly encouraged by Edwin’s behaviour, Edwin convinces him and Mario to scratch his back, in exchange for scratching our heroes’ backs. Though still reserved, Huey does realize they can’t abandon Edwin.

At inner Cherry Lake, Mario and Huey find a Shy Guy reading a Journal of Justice by an unknown author. The Shy Guy is really into the book’s contents, especially the part about striking enemies without fear- a theory which the Shy Guy tries on Mario right away. Mario’s superior fighting and the buff from the Fwoosh Propeller help him come out on top. With the Shy Guy gone, Mario retrieves the Journal.

Mario tries to go further into the lake. While he sees a Red Mini-Paint Star, he also sees no path to help him reach it. In addition, while there’s a waterwheel nearby that could be used with the Cut-Out ability, it’s oriented the wrong way and there’s no water pouring on it. Mario and Huey eventually backtrack the way they came…

…To Edwin. Edwin is very appreciative of getting his stuff back- especially his money bag, treating it like a younger brother. Satisfied with Mario and Huey’s work, Edwin decides to join Mario’s party. As Edwin is gleeful of the riches they’ll reap, Huey immediately thinks he and Mario made a terrible mistake.

Edwin suction ability

With Edwin on their team, Mario indeed gains more coins from battling. In addition, Edwin’s natural suction abilities suck in softer objects, while allowing him and Mario to swing from harder objects. With this in mind, Mario, Edwin and Huey reorient the last waterwheel and Cut-Out another dimension, finally reaching the Red Mini-Paint Star and opening another path together, this time to Crimson Tower.

A short-ish walk later, Mario and friends arrive near the Crimson Tower. Immediately, Huey smells a big load of paint beyond a blocked gate- a Grand Paint Star is nearby! Mario and Edwin rush to the gate, painting it in! That is, only to reveal three different holes for a Toad, a Pianta, and a Brustache. Edwin notices the weird people-shaped keyholes, wondering if something else has to be done for “others” to pass.

Mario turns around, seeing a Brustache he neglected to color in. Mario immediately rectifies his mistake, restoring the Brustache to his burly greens. The Brustache remembers he came to Crimson Tower to see its bridge, believing it a sight worth any bridge builder’s time. Unfortunately, a Slurp Guy snuck up on the Brustache and stole his color. Nevertheless, the Brustache is grateful. Huey realizes the bridge builder’s usefulness, and the bridge builder, Britchell, takes pride in his trade. As soon as Huey informs Britchell about the Port Prisma situation, Britchell makes haste back to town. Mario and friends follow suit.

Finally back in Port Prisma, Mario and friends make acquaintance with the guide Toadette, Naviga T. Naviga T gives Mario some helpful advice on navigating the town. While chatting, Mario notices ten banners around Prisma Fountain, detailing special tasks he can accomplish during his stay. Mario also notices how four of the banners feel like they were just added here a short time ago.

Mario and friends find Britchell waiting in the east part of Port Prisma. Britchell explains how he already fixed it, before insisting Mario and friends cross it. Edwin obviously doesn’t really care, while Huey is trying to find something nice to say, but it’s difficult as he has no feet. Huey’s thought is interrupted, however, by the presence of a Blue Mini-Paint Star. When Edwin sees it, he points out the difficulty he and Mario will have reaching it.

Mario quickly goes over to greet and recolor a familiar blank Brustache with a postcard on his back. The Brustache, Postmaster Pesshi, thanks Mario. When Mario asks Pesshi if he saw who exactly mailed him and transformed him, Pesshi admits he didn’t see who was responsible. In fact, Pesshi somehow ended up at Peach’s Castle mere minutes after he was ambushed. Despite this, Pesshi insists that the possible backlog of mail, and mail in general, is more important. He heads into the post office. Before Mario and friends follow, Edwin notices the sign is crooked from the big battle in town.

Rosalina&#039;s letter SWITCH

Inside the post office, Mario already has two pieces of mail. The first letter is from people named Mawk and Pawk Hawk, demanding Mario come to their dojo to practice Fire Flower use. The second letter, meanwhile, has no signature, only stating it’s from an old friend. Mystic in its dialect, the writer informs Mario that a special someone from the Decal Lands has arrived at the harbor, and will be useful. Pesshi notices how the second letter seems as though it’s from another planet altogether.

Edwin informs Pesshi of the crooked sign. Agitated, Pesshi opens a door on the side of his office and rushes out the door. Sure enough, Pesshi fixes the sign, assuring Mario that the mail will not be stopped by anything- not even the long-deceased Draggadon. Pesshi heads back into his post office.

With the mail’s advice, Mario decides to check town for all these people. At the harbor, that “special someone” is Shady T, the Thing vendor from Decalburg. Shady is a little more paranoid than before, as well as defensive of his business’ legitness. Nowadays, Shady T is somehow enhancing people’s extra Artifacts for a price. In addition, to stay on Mario’s good side, Shady gives the plumbers a more than familiar Artifact- the Pixl Plunger, fashioned after some of the famous Ancient inventions.

Merlon shows up SWITCH

Thankful for the gift, Mario and friends leave, only to bump into another Ancient name- Merlon. Or at least, it’s Prism Island’s version of Merlon. Merlon explains his ability to see what Mario needs, mentioning it as part of a lineage since Merluvlee came to the island. With his magic, Merlon hints that Mario needs the Pixl Plunger for an unknown obstacle in the future.

Just as Mario is about to enter the Dojo, he makes a quick stop at the small platform to the south. The Vellbex Squad Captain, who avoids giving his name for some reason, gives Mario a history lesson of why the Captain’s ancestors formed the Rescue Squad- to help those in need across Prism Island. The Captain offers to help Mario find Rescue Squad members if asked.

Mawk and Pawk&#039;s gym SWITCH

Mario proceeds to enter the dojo, meeting an exercising Mawk Hawk and lazy Pawk Hawk. Mawk Hawk takes pride in training the champion of Rogueport’s Glitz Pit, while Pawk Hawk expresses his knowledge of kung-fu movies. Mawk Hawk offers to teach Mario about Action Commands if he wishes.

Finally, Mario stops procrastinating and decides to finally collect the Blue Mini-Paint Star. With Cut-out, Mario easily reaches the roof.

Before collecting the Star, Mario sees an uncolored large body. Recoloring it reveals the victim to be a pink female Pianta. The pink Pianta is horrified, in a hurry to return to the old hangout spot. She sprints off as fast as her little feet can carry her.

Mario tries again to collect the star, when a Lakitu with an anime hairstyle and anime spectacles animes his way into Mario’s life. The Lakitu, introducing himself as Lakitaku, politely asks if he can look at Mario’s Battle Cards. Mario tries to refuse, but Lakitaku doesn’t have “no” in his dictionary.

Lakitaku admires Mario&#039;s deck SWITCH

Annoyed, Mario and Edwin relent. Lakitaku is amazed at Mario’s collection, asking about many possible trades. Lakitaku takes so long, however, a Slurp Guy ambushes Mario, Edwin and Huey. Edwin is annoyed, but Huey remains calm, revealing the Battle Spin. For 7 coins, Mario can buy one of four completely different cards in the unlikely event he lacks a needed card. Huey also explains that in case there’s a card Mario really needs at that point, multiples of it will show up in the spin. With this info, Mario defeats the sucky enemy.

Conveniently, Lakitaku chooses the tail end of that lesson to give Mario his cards back. Edwin is still annoyed at Lakitaku’s oddness, but Huey is nonchalant. Nevertheless, Mario collects his first non-Red Mini-Paint Star, and a path to Indigo Underground opens.

Wondering what the Pianta woman earlier was talking about, Mario and friends search for her before heading to the Underground. Eventually, they find her on a rooftop in the Yellow District. The Pianta explains herself, in that the rooftop they’re on was a hangout for her and five friends. Over time, though, the six friends got busy with their lives and drifted apart.

However, the Pianta just got a letter from one of her friends, Piper, to make flowers bloom so they can meet again. The Pianta remembers Piper’s infectious and charming words, and how lovable it made him. The Pianta also reveals the letter came with a seed to plant, to serve as the blooming flower for their reunion.

Their question answered, Mario, Huey and Edwin leave town for the Indigo Underground. They descend a steep hill, Mario coloring it along the way. Upon reaching a Warp Pipe into the Underground, Mario attempts to go in like he usually does. However, the pipe unexpectedly backs up, revealing a super green individual blocking the way. Mario tries pulling the mysterious green guy out, but he’s too big. The green guy demands Mario cut it out and not dislocate his leg. By remembering Merlon’s vision, Mario realizes he can use the Pixl Plunger to unclog the way.

The Pixl Plunger pulls the green guy- a green Toad in tokusatsu garb- out of the pipe, Edwin assuring him the Pixl Plunger is clean. The green Toad introduces himself as Peppa T, second in command of Green Rescue Squad. He recalls how he and the rest of his family, all members of Green Squad, were called to Indigo Underground. Not only were they separated, however- they were flattened, pulverized, annihilated, crushed, defeated, thrown around, the works.

Huey compliments Peppa T and the other Squaddies on their scarves. Though grateful, Peppa T reminds him of the Squad’s responsibilities. Peppa T also reminds Mario he can talk to the chief director at the HQ in Port Prisma. Strangely, though, Peppa T warns Mario that the chief is moody about one of the other members of the Squad, so he might not catch the Captain at a good time.

Edwin&#039;s annoyance at Peppa T

The conversation gets back on track when Edwin takes from the conversation something important- the other members of Green Rescue Squad have to be rescued, something he notes would never happen to his own bosses. Huey, meanwhile, realizes Mario does this a lot, though he rationalizes there must be another Mini Paint Star in the cave. Edwin believes there’s riches in the cave.

With that chat over, Mario tries to enter the Warp Pipe again. This time, a Shy Guy stops him from entering the underground. Once again, Mario wins.

After the battle, Peppa T states the obvious and reveals the Shy Guy as one of the Squad’s assailants. Peppa T hurries in, though he ominously worries “she” is stirring up trouble. The statement puts Huey offguard, while Edwin notes Mario’s luck lately and the inevitability they’ll meet her soon. With that, Mario finally enters the Warp Pipe without it backing up this time.

Inside the first room of the cave, Mario sees two Shy Guys tossing around some junk. Remembering the strange magic used on Pesshi and the Ruddy Road, Mario realizes that the junk might actually be something. Mario proceeds to fight the two Shy Guys. During the fight, Mario comes to understand more of the perks of fighting alongside someone, as Edwin deals his own share of bag related damage. Mario also learns Edwin’s attack knocks some extra change loose from defeated foes.

Clara T&#039;s profound irritation

After the battle, Mario uses his hammer to undo the strange spell on the junk. The true identity of the junk is revealed as Clara T, Peppa T’s sister-in-law. Clara T is annoyed how she was tossed around like a turnip, before heading off to report to Peppa T.

Throughout the Indigo Underground, Mario must wait for several stones that rise and fall to make an educated move. In addition, he must utilize Edwin’s suction on a few poles and hard objects to make it across some pits.

Mario saves the two children of the Rescue Squad, Whittik T and Beeyew T, from some of the Shy Guys and Slurp Guys prowling the dances. Beeyew T is naïve yet well meaning, while Whittik T is only slightly more mature. The two children head off to find their mom or dad.

Slugshroom&#039;s appearance

At the absolute eastmost part of the Underground, however, comes a sight ensuring Mario and Huey (though not an angered Edwin) will not sleep for a month- a strange mushroom slug creature turning another female Green Squad member into a small mushroom. When the creature notices Mario, it instantly takes offense and catches Mario before the stunned plumber can book it.

Unlike most enemies, Mario is stunned to learn his Battle Cards inflict far less damage than expected on the Slugshroom. More stunning to Mario, though, is the beast apparently expecting Mario’s arrival, as if it knew he was already on the island. This spurs Mario to use his stronger cards, finally downing the insect-legume.

The small mushroom changes back into the Green Rescue Leader, Suga T, with the Slugshroom’s demise. Though Suga T is spooked, she still thanks Mario and gives him a 1-Up Mushroom before leaving.

Eventually, Mario and friends locate the Squad at the top of a cliff. Since Suga T wasn’t around, Peppa T is allowed to perform roll call instead. Suga T is proud of Peppa T, and the family create a human bridge. The family thanks Mario, assured their bond is stronger than their weight.

Kidd battle Azure Underground idle SWITCH

Out of nowhere, however, a female Vellbex in Purple Rescue Squad fittings jumps hard on the Green Rescue Bridge. Huey is shocked at this behaviour, while Edwin recognizes the Vellbex as Kidd, a Rescue Squadee who went crazy for no reason. This statement infuriates Kidd, yet she laughs it off as her teaching people why no good deed is worth it- because people just end up hurt in the end. Huey calls Kidd out on her behaviour and to fight someone her own size. Kidd actually agrees with Huey (or “Tin Thing” as she calls him)- she decides to fight Mario instead!

Kidd battle Azure Underground ice flower SWITCH

Kidd does not go down as easily as the many Shy Guys or Boos. She continuously charges Mario down on her attacks. In addition, she nabs 2 of Mario’s cards if Mario doesn’t block. After a few of the latter attacks, Mario gets the idea to summon an enemy with an Enemy Card to serve. This turns out to be a horrible mistake, unfortunately, as Kidd just kisses Mario’s unofficial partner, bringing them to her side! Making a mental note not to do that against Kidd anymore, Mario and Edwin eventually bring Kidd down.

Defeating Kidd brings our heroes no joy, however, as Kidd believes one should just cause as much trouble as possible and not care about the consequences. To say this particular belief horrifies Edwin and Huey would undermine the horror of anyone having that belief. Further messing with Huey’s mind, Kid gives the bucket a smooch, before running off.

Huey is just floored, while Edwin is a little jealous he didn’t get a kiss. Huey rightfully calls out Edwin for advocating Kidd’s non-consensual behaviour, and Edwin hastily apologizes for his tasteless joke. Edwin then explains what he knows about Kidd- she’s been messing with everyone on Prism Island, even before he arrived. Though this was Edwin’s first time meeting Kidd and despite his “joke” earlier, Edwin admits he doesn’t want to see her again.

Mario then notices the middle of the Green Rescue Bridge is currently submerged. With his greaser guile, Mario helps restore the bridge, earning him the Green Squad’s continuing praises. Inside a nearby alcove behind the waterfall, Mario finds an Item Block with several Cards. Meanwhile, further down the path blocked by a boulder is the first Double Mini-Paint Star Mario and friends see- half Blue, half Yellow. With this Mini Paint Star’s collection, Mario opens the way to two new locations- Bloo Bay Beach and Daffodil Peak. Mario decides to head to BBB first.

Chapter 1 Part 2

Our heroes make their way out of the Underground, and onto Bloo Bay Beach. They are immediately met with a Pianta enthused about a celebration called Oceanfest. Unfortunately, Huey is so focused on restoring the Paint Stars, he gives the poor guy an earful (if Piantas have ears). It takes Edwin scolding Huey for the bucket head to rethink his position.

Pumped Bloo Pianta
Cutlad battle SWITCH

Ironically, it’s not a walk on the beach, but more a test of the fittest. Not only do Mario and Edwin have to deal with Cheep Cheeps and Green Koopas- they must also spar with swordfish bearing a peculiar pattern, the Cutlads. In between all the fighting, Mario must also continue using Edwin’s suction on hard poles to reach higher cliffs.

Beyond the fighting, Mario and friends reach the beach’s Cliffside. Huey is ecstatic seeing the ocean for the first time, something that surprises Edwin. Huey wishes he could go for a swim, but losing his power prevents him from trying.

Captain Ahant and the Oceanfest first act

Later, at the docks, Mario and friends see several Piantas make fun of the curmudgeonous Captain Ahant. Ahant wants to sail to the edge of the world to discover his destiny, but the Piantas are too simple to understand his thought process. Suddenly, a Pianta rushes to alert the others Oceanfest is starting. Not only that- the Deep Sisters are performing. Excited by the news, almost all the Piantas except for the hardworking Ahant make haste.

Following the Piantas, Mario and friends reach the main entertainment center of the beach. On a kind of big stage, two Beepboxers- one with blonde hair, the other purple- are hula-ing incredibly wide. The main crowd of the Piantas is completely divided on the sisters- some find the Deeps entertaining, while the others find their display offensive.

Huey and Mario are impressed- and that’s to say nothing of Edwin, who beelines right to the front of the crowd! Edwin is so restless, he attracts the attention of the blonde Beepboxer, Marirana. Edwin just melts in attraction, while the purple haired Beepboxer, Suebelle, is annoyed at Marirana’s non-professionalism. Marirana puts Edwin down, but leaves him with an inspirational message- to not limit himself if he can help it. The moment lingers with Edwin.

Soon, the dance ends. With this, Mario talks to the Ringmaster atop the stage, Rixx, for a special game. Rixx calls up five Pianta boys, the Five Local Nuts, to the stage. Rixx proceeds to explain how his game, Pianta Go Seek, works- Mario and friends must find the Local Nuts hiding in the immediate area.

While the Local Nuts are crafty to the point they hide right where Mario’s looking, Mario still finds them, conking one in the process. And for the few times Mario is stumped, Huey helps Mario out. As Huey feels like it’s cheating, the guardian phrases his tips as “I could tell you, but..” statements to get around his moral quandary..

Having found all five Local Nuts, Ringmaster Rixx congratulates the plumber. With the game’s end comes another- the closer, Pianta Shuffle, supervised this year by the Deeps Sisters. Ringmaster Rixx reveals a key to Blissful Beach, explaining it to be the prize. He then hands the key to the conked Pianta. Following this and a personal investigation by Mario, the Piantas proceed to dance-shuffle.

Mario keeps a very close eye on the conked Pianta, knowing he has the key. When Mario actually talks to him, however, he learns a different Local Nut has the key. Edwin senses something’s up, while Huey advises Mario to track the Local Nuts another way so Rixx can’t play the “identical quintuplets” card.

More apparent scandal SWITCH

Before Mario’s second try, he uses his magic paint hammer to mark the conked Pianta. Once again, Mario gets it wrong. This time, however, Edwin and Huey corner Rixx with the truth, forcing the long-nosed Pianta to come clean about his scam, and throwing Marirana (but not Suebelle) for a loop. Fearing he’ll be labelled a crook, Rixx gives Mario and friends the key in exchange for their silence.

Just as Mario is heading for the gate, he feels something crawl in his moustache. Heeding his instincts, Mario heads for the back of the local juice bar, finding a lone outhouse. Mario, getting a sudden burst of inspiration, uses his Cut-Out technique to reveal none other than Il Piantissimo hiding in another dimension. Embarrassed, the human-ish cosplayer leaves, and Huey comments on him.

At the Blissful Beach, Mario and friends find a few chairs with closed umbrellas above them. Using his Hammer, Mario opens the umbrellas, allowing the team to relax in comfort. While they nap, the five Local Nuts dance nearby. Even more surprising, Marirana silently sits near Edwin happily, while Suebelle is still antsy. By the time Mario and friends awaken, the Piantas and Beepboxers have left.

The Yellow Mini-Paint Star is in sight, but Mario sees two female members of the Red Rescue Squad nearby, Michelle and Leelee. With the Cut-Out technique and expert thin bridge restoration, Mario alerts Michelle and Leelee that Cosso needs them, springing them off the beach. His job done, Mario finally collects the Yellow Mini-Paint Star, opening a way to Sunglow Ridge.

Even the magic of the King

Mario and friends’ escapade into Sunglow Ridge is immediately shot down by a large Scarlet Gate. Peppa T is nearby to bemoan it’s lack of color. Huey suggests repainting the gate, but Peppa T is pessimistic, believing neither the entire Rescue Squad nor the ancient King would have the power to fix the gate. The mention of the Rescue Squad reminds Peppa T of a previous appointment with Green Squad, forcing him to run off.

Though discouraged, Team Mario decide to check out the other yellow territory they revived, Daffodil Peak. To no-one’s surprise, another gate blocks the way into the actual peak- this one guarded by a Toad the heroes only see the face of. The unknown Toad mentions a Mountain Sage lives here, but the team will need a permit from the park ranger, Fribyrd, to climb the mountain.

Sad Fribyrd SWITCH

By following a simple path, the gang find a cabin with a lone, sad female Memphawk sitting on a crate. Huey is put off by the gloom, but Edwin brushes it off as Fribyrd possibly being emo, like Kidd. Huey asks Fribyrd for a permit, but Fribyrd is too bummed to accomplish this. Edwin sympathizes with Fribyrd, while Huey suggests fixing up the place.

Mario recoloring the cabin does the trick, as Fribyrd is immediately bursting with positivity. To show her appreciation, Fribyrd not only gives Mario and friends the permit- she gives them it for free! The three guys are grateful for the park ranger’s charity. Our heroes return back to the Toad gatekeeper, and he obliges to the permit’s permissions.

The plumber gang begins their ascent up the Peak of flowers. It’s a surprisingly cubey peak, too, with tons of Warp Pipes and open ridges. For those spots Mario’s jump can’t make, Edwin’s suction on soft poles solves the difference.

Neo Spiny and Red Paratroopa battle SWITCH

The climb is further complicated by the Dayzees that can place Mario asleep, sharp defensive Spinies, and Paratroopas that come in Red and Blue. Like the also-present Boos and Shy Guys, the two colored flying turtles don’t get along- though they tolerate ghosts and masked hoodlums, respectively. Spinies also harbor no ill will towards Red Paratroopas, though Blue can go flip themselves. With these alliances, Mario starts to get a sense of the two powers at work on Prism Island.

Hurt Whittik T

A ways up the mountain, Mario and friends find an injured Whittik T. The sight of Whittik T’s injury gets to our heroes like any good person. Also like any good person, Mario gets on his cellphone, calls a doctor, and gets that kid to nah I’m just kidding Mario whacks the kid. Thankfully, instead of injuring Whittik T any further and getting stacked with uncomfortable PR for the rest of his life, Mario’s blow magically fixes Whittik T. Whittik T shows his gratitude before hurrying back to Port Prisma…by jumping off the cliff again. This agitates Edwin.

Later, Mario and friends find a strange Event Block with !? on it. Huey immediately recognizes the block as an Unfurl Block, an invention of the island’s ancient King. Huey explains that Unfurl Block power can enchant Unfurl Marked objects, encouraging Mario and Edwin to find it.

Mario hits the block, and is overcome with a silver energy. Heading back the way he came, Mario sees a Warp Pipe with the Unfurl Mark and hits it. The spell doesn’t just extend the Warp Pipe- it transforms the Pipe into a spiral shape. As Mario passes the pipe, though, he hears chatter atop the cliff he’s facing.

Entering the next pipe, the gang come across Pitholl and Cucleer, teaching a class of Boos on the art of combat. One Boo points out the heroes’ presence to the two Musketeers, alerting them. Pitholl and Cucleer believe Edwin has backstabbed the Musketeers by helping Mario and Huey.

Huey informs the weird saber wielders he needs to return the Grand Paint Stars…only for Pitholl to inform Huey in turn that not only do the Musketeers need the Stars more, the Stars aren’t safe in Port Prisma anymore! In fact, our heroes aren’t even safe near a strange pollinating flower that Huey recognizes a little. Seeing a chance to teach his new students, Pitholl commands the Boos to fight near the flower.

Daffodil sporinated SWITCH

Immediately as this battle starts, the flower sprays green pollen on both sides. As Mario is recovering, Edwin explains the power of the flowers’ pollen- they debilitate friends and enemies in some way, but greatly reward the survivors. In this case, everyone’s power is reduced to their lowest level, even with Artifacts. Despite this huge handicap, Mario still wins.

Pitholl is anguished at the failure of the Boos, while Cucleer swears vengeance, before both run off. Huey is concerned at the duo’s statement of the Grand Paint Stars not being safe in Port Prisma. Edwin admits the Musketeers were trying to take the Grand Paint Stars for some reason “Aace” hasn’t explained well, but the Stars were impossible to remove. The Musketeers finally found someone with enough strength, but before they could succeed, someone on the “other side” knocked the Stars out of the fountain. This worries Huey, who urges the team to hurry.

Spiridemus&#039; fake intro

After all that trekking, Mario and friends finally reach the top of Daffodil Peak, and by extension the Mountain Sage, a Brustache with wise hair. The Brustache introduces themselves as Spirideamus, though he also takes Deem for short. Spirideamus, unfortunately, turns out to be a fake playing an elaborate fake, since he also wanted to see the Mountain Sage. Spirideamus walks away, leaving Edwin confused and Huey ABSO-LUTELY LIVID. Huey wants to give the gatekeeper a piece of his mind- after collecting the Double Mini Paint Star leading to Ruddy Road and Sunglow Ridge.

Unlike most other times, Mario and friends furiously re-enter Daffodil Peak instead. Huey is about to lose it, until Edwin calms him down and decides to handle the gatekeeper more tactfully. And by that, Edwin means losing it even more than Huey, noting he’d be even more angered if he actually paid for the permit! Things take an odd turn when the Gatekeeper leaves his stall, revealing a blank cap and sadness at the Mountain Sage not existing. It’s even odder as the Gatekeeper admits not remembering his history before the gatekeeper gig, which Fribyrd got him.

Fribyrd defends herself SWITCH

Everyone jumps to conclusions and blames Fribyrd immediately, but the Memphawk hurries out to clear things up. Apparently, Fribyrd has seen the Mountain Sage at some point. While Huey isn’t happy with the lack of proof, Edwin acts as the voice of reason this time, believing both the Gatekeeper and Fribyrd are telling the truth. As Fribyrd leaves, the Gatekeeper wonders what happened to the Mountain Sage, his mind being a complete blank, and having no idea.

Within seconds, Mario, Huey, Edwin, the player, the player’s younger siblings, the fruit flies, and the tiny particles that make up matter figure out the incredibly obvious twist and thwack the gatekeeper. His color restored, the Gatekeeper remembers- he’s one of the Chosen, imbued with great power. This alerts our heroes to the Gatekeeper actually being the Mountain Sage, clarifying himself as Rokke T.

While Edwin is relieved, Huey asks the innocent question of Rokke T still having his power. Using his mental power, Rokke T creates a key atop his head, destroys a cliff, and commits tax fraud. This frightening display of power and aggression amazes Mario, Edwin and Huey. Huey asks if Rokke T knows about the Grand Paint Stars. While Rokke T doesn’t, he admits to being a key to Crimson Tower. He then uses his jumping prowess to leap tall mountains in a single bound.

Fribyrd is only half happy, the unhappiness coming from needing to take gatekeeper duties. By talking to Fribyrd again, Mario and friends learn she overheard Spirideamus heading to Cherry Lake for some unknown reason.

Mario and the team hurry back to Cherry Lake. At some point, they find another section of the lake they overlooked the first time. Sure enough, they find Spirideamus trying to pump himself to reach a floating Mini-Paint Star. At first, it looks as though Deem is scamming the group’s bottoms again. Just as Edwin is about to dismiss Deem, however, a key appears atop Deem’s cranium. Using his mental power, Deem pulls the Star close enough so Mario can touch it.

As Huey and Edwin congratulate Deem, the brush person takes pride in his unexpected gift. When Huey tells Deem about the Crimson Tower keyholes, Spirideamus is about to super jump. Before that, though, he mentions he heard a disturbance at Bloo Bay Beach before coming here. With that, Spirideamus takes into the skies.

The gang dash back to Bloo Bay Beach. Sure enough, a panicked Pianta informs them Captain Ahant got stranded in a nearby shipwreck. Concerned, Edwin and Huey insist the trio check it out.

The shipwreck ends up having a bigger turnout, as several Pianta females, Marirana and Suebelle are also watching the drama unfold. Marirana takes a little pity on Ahant, noting he just needs a little wind to move again, but Suebelle and the Pianta females find the result of Ahant’s epic voyage embarrassing.

Marirana words spark something in Mario’s mind. This time, when Mario uses Cutout, he also uses the Fwoosh Propeller in conjunction. When the Fwoosh Propeller blows, though, it blows harder than anyone was expecting, creating a tidal wave! Captain Ahant seems to vanish into the wave, lost to the sea…

Keirf to the rescue

…At least, until he resurfaces on a surfboard. Ahead of Ahant is his rescuer, a weird lobster-eel (a Sosorrisurf) wearing sunglasses and a vest. As the Sosorrisurf hangs 10 in midair, Ahant’s hat falls off, revealing a key-shaped trunk!

Edwin and Huey wildly applaud the Sosorrisurf for his skillz. While the Sosorrisurf is appreciative of the compliments, he also starts hitting on the Deeps and the older female Pianta. Suebelle doesn’t fall for the Sosorrisurf, but Marirana does.

Edwin&#039;s lost crush SWITCH

Introducing himself as Keirf while recognizing Mario, Keirf reveals he surfed all the way from Pastelora, but is exhausted. Keirf lies back, while Marirana fawns over the hip lobster eel. Oddly, something about this depresses Edwin. Huey is concerned for his friend’s sadness, but Edwin tries to gloss over it.

All of a sudden, a second tidal wave rises from the waves, threatening to drown our heroes. With his more elderly attuned intuition, Ahant uses his chosen power to freeze the tidal wave in time. Keirf is amazed by this, while Huey realizes that Ahant is the final chosen. Asking the elder Pianta for help, Ahant eventually obliges and super-jumps away. Huey muses the irony of Ahant only needing to look inside himself, which Edwin half-heartedly repeats…

Before returning to Crimson Tower, Mario decides to go back to Port Prisma to see if Cosso’s other squadees are there. Mario is therefore relieved to learn that two Red Squad Brustache boys, Staupp and Vinn, listen to the call of duty and head straight for Ruddy Road when asked.

Next stop- Ruddy Road. As soon as the trio arrive, Mario sees a soft pole he overlooked last time on the cliff near the entrance. With Edwin, Mario springs up to find and recolor a red Brustache. The Brustache is appreciative of his restored color, but needs to run off elsewhere.

Mario and friends have a hunch where the Brustache has headed to- the hangout sot of Piper. They arrive, followed by the Brustache. The Brustache recognizes the pink Pianta, calling her…Pynk. Pynk, in turn, remembers the Brustache as Redd. Redd, too, got the same letter from Piper about the flower, which is coming along.

Piper&#039;s new laugh SWITCH

The sight of the flower motivates Redd to tell his own story about Piper. Before a big field day race, Piper laughed his weird laugh, motivating Redd to train even harder in spite of Piper’s ridicule. When field day came, though, Redd was in dead last anyways. Near the end of the race, however, Piper, who was in the lead, fell down without warning. This fall tripped everyone except Redd, allowing him to win. When Redd asked Piper about it after the race, Piper denied losing on purpose and just started laughing. From that day onward, Redd and Piper became friends.

Following this story, the gang return back to Ruddy Road, where Cosso is. After taking inventory of the Squad and Edwin’s current mood, Cosso and his crew paint a long pole into existence. With this pole and prodding of Edwin, Mario makes it up the cliff, where he finds a Freezie Extinguisher.

Chapter 1 Part 3

All loose ends before the first big finale complete, the MM Crew hasten to Crimson Tower’s gate, not to be confused with the Scarlet Gate, in turn not to be conflated with Scarlet Johannsen. Following some squabbling between the three guys, Ahant, Rokke T and Spirideamus enter their keyholes! Only for nothing to happen. Though Ahant is cranky and Rokke T is crestfallen, Spirideamus keeps his cool and advises Mario to hammer the guys in.

Mario obeys. His violence opens the gate, but stuffs the three guys into the door for all eternity. Edwin and Huey expresss their gratitude for the Chosen’s sacrifice. That is, until the three Chosen’s faces light up, revealing they’re relatively fine.

Beyond the gate lies a horrifying sight, at least for Huey- the entire Crimson Tower is devoid of crimson, or any color! Huey almost gives up then and there, but Edwin encourage his friend to keep going.

Luckily, the team hears and finds some Shy Guys dumping red paint into a bucket attached to an airship. Using his ingenius Italian espionage, Mario unsnags the anchor, and the airship flies off. Even a guard unit of Shy Guys led by a Spiked one prove no threat.

Scattered sticker fairies

What does prove a threat is the gang having no way to land the airship. Huey manages to stabilize the airship with the steering wheel. As he tells Mario and Edwin to go after the bucket, an odd thing comes into view- a sticker-like comet with four passengers, Mario able to make out a familiar crown-shaped one. The gang is too late, and the Comet crashes into the airship, tossing everyone on both air travelers and the bucket of paint away.

As if it were foreseen, the giant bucket lands at the perfect angle, restoring the Crimson Tower’s color. Also, Mario, Edwin and Huey reach the ground, miraculously unharmed. Edwin is reserved at delaying the Sticker Comet from Sticker Fest, but Huey brushes it off, just happy the Crimson Tower is restored. At that moment, Britchell arrives to finally look at the tower bridge. Overseeing Mario’s departure, Britchell admires seeing the bridge in action.

Cucleer and Pitholl at Crimson Tower entrance

Britchell is so enthused about the bridge, the unexpected arrival of Pitholl and Cucleer throws him over the cliff. Pitholl not only takes no blame for this, he and Cucleer are peeved at Edwin abandoning the Musketeers. The fashionable duo eventually decide on a course of action- ambush Edwin and friends, then secure the Crimson Grand Paint Star. All set, Pitholl grabs onto Cucleer, and the two fly towards the tower’s top.

Morton in a hurry

For an ancient tower, Mario and Edwin are amazed at the conveyor belts near the entrance. A little dexterity and cooperation with Edwin’s suction is required, though, to pass large gaps near the conveyors. The gang don’t get too long to take in the old technology before a rumble is heard. In scant moments, Morton bursts through the wall! Initially, Morton forgets why “the Master” sent him, having fought several Musketeers on his way here. By thinking about it, Morton remembers he needs the Grand Paint Star before Pitholl and Cucleer reach it.

Near the Morton-shaped hole is a stairwell, heading up and up and up and up and up. Already, Mario and friends see Boos and Boosketeers fighting Shy Guys and Slurp Guys. Also present are equally opposed Blue Koopas and Red Koopas. Further complicating a battle on the stairs is an orange Pollinator Flower, disabling Edwin’s money grubbing perk and halving his power in that fight. Edwin’s handicap does little to hinder his prowess in helping Mario, though. Winning that fight also inspires Edwin greatly, giving him a free opportunity to attack first chance he gets. Mario is also inspired to equip his Freezie Extinguisher for some odd reason, allowing his Hammer moves to deal Water damage.

A long climb later, Mario and Edwin make it to the room at the top of the first stairwell. Unfortunately, Morton drops in to ambush the team. Morton is peeved at being delayed by the Musketeers, and Edwin’s presence only peeves him more. Edwin is sure he can ruin Morton’s day, but Morton wants the Paint Star more. He even makes a terrible pun with his name, More Tons, to prove his seriousness.

The battle with Morton begins. Knowing he needs to be careful, Morton summons his hammer, then summons a Shy Guy to summon a pedal stool in a prime case of summonception. To even the odds, Mario summons a Red Koopa with an enemy card found earlier. Unfortunately, seeing Morton and all those Shy Guys drastically reduces the Red Koopa’s battle prowess.

Within the battle itself, Morton uses a mixed style of his hammer and the classic shell attack to not only attack the Red Koopa, but Mario as well, making constant meatshielding pointless. In addition, the already weakened Red Koopa is defeated. Knowing he needs more incentive, Mario summons a Blue Koopa instead. This leads to much better results, as the Blue Koopa retains his physical strength against his Koopaling enemies. All this strategy from Mario eventually wears down Morton and the Shy guys enough to allow Mario to destroy the pedal stool.

Partway through the fight, Morton becomes angry at how badly he’s losing. This fury extends onto his hammer as he ignites it. Mario jumps on Morton that turn, while his pals just attack like normal. When Morton attacks, though, it BURNS! It’s nowhere near the strength of a one-hit KO- maybe 3/10s of Mario’s vitality tops- and Mario blocks it for further damage, but it still hurts Mario enough to realize he can’t dilly around too long.

The sight of a burning wood hammer compels Mario to counter with his water tinged one, instantly dousing the hammer. Morton isn’t happy, despite his attempts to roll/spin with it. Once again, Mario finally conquers Morton.

After his defeat, Morton is upset. Without a Paint Star to bring back to “the Master”, Morton fears he won’t be called Morton anymore, but Leston. Morton proceeds to run off. This mention of a Master frightens Huey, fully alerting him to two opposing forces trying to get the Grand Paint Stars. Edwin quickly explains the Koopalings and Musketeers have been fighting on Prism Island for some time, while not hiding his own profit-driven agenda.

In the rest of the second floor room, Mario, Edwin and Huey come across a broken bridge at the top. Once again, Cut-Out does the trick circumventing that obstacle.

Pitholl and Cucleer at Crimson Tower

The next floor turns out to be the top floor. The Save Block nearby serves as a warning, though, that something tough this way comes. After using the Save Block, the company enters the final room, finding the sleeping Crimson Paint Star- as well as a waiting Pitholl and Cucleer!

Pitholl celebrates his and Cucleer’s retrieval of the Star, while Huey and Edwin are perplexed at the Star resting. At the urgings of Cucleer’s bipolar lust for violence, Pitholl agrees. And so, the battle for the first Grand Paint Star commences!

It’s hard for Mario or Edwin to say if two Musketeers are tougher than one Koopaling. What they can agree on, however, is their swordsmanship. Pitholl mostly uses brutal fencing, while Cucleer is stealthier and quicker in his assaults. A further complication comes from their powerful team move, where Cucleer carries Pitholl into the air, then the Pianta follows with a downward sword slam slightly stronger than Morton’s Flame Hammer!

Mario puts his mind together eventually and has an epiphany- while the downward sword slam is powerful, the Musketeers can’t use the team move if they’re not a team. And so, Mario and Edwin take out Cucleer first. The lack of a partner infuriates Pitholl, compromising his fighting output, and creating a domino effect allowing Edwin to end him, too.

Pitholl isn’t exactly subtle in his shame at Edwin defeating him, while Edwin is assured of his own potential. Disgraced, Pitholl and Cucleer retreat, but not before Cucleer threatens the team with the involvement of the Musketeer boss, “Aace”. This threat is enough to deflate Edwin, but Huey is just annoyed at Aace’s involvement with the Grand Paint Stars’ disappearance.

Regardless of his feelings, Huey is thankful they at least found the Crimson Grand Paint Star, though he notices how dried out it is. The instructions to wake up the Star are easy- jump into it. With one jump, Mario, Edwin and Huey awaken the first Grand Paint Star! Boarding it, the Star takes them on a little ride above the south skies above Sunglow Ridge, restoring the Scarlet Gate’s color.

Aace in the woods

Meanwhile, in a colorless forest, Pitholl and Cucleer meet with a Sleeping Boo musketeer bearing a blue moustache tinged red at the edges. The moustached Boosketeer asks the duo how the mission went. Upon hearing a red man stole the star at the last moment, the moustached Boosketeer asks and correctly guesses the man also had a big moustache. When pressed on how he knew, the moustached Boosketeer merely states he has friends in all sorts of places and strokes his own moustache…

Chapter 2 Part 1

Click here to view the whole plot for Chapter 2.

Mario and friends’ exhilarating red ride ends when the Crimson Grand Paint Star lands in its spot in Port Prisma’s fountain. Huey, relieved, thanks Mario and Edwin for their help. As the two reply, though, the Crimson Grand Paint Star (Crimson for short) also thanks them. Of course, this startles the good guys, even Huey. In mere seconds, Edwin correctly guesses that Crimson is speaking inside their minds, a query that Crimson confirms. To assist the team, Crimson “paints” the memory of just how the Grand Paint Stars were removed from their resting place…

A few days ago, two individuals loom above the fearful Grand Paint Stars- Bowser Jr and a sad Mottley the clown. A moustached Sleeping Boo looks surprised as, somehow, Bowser Jr is able to send the Grand Paint Stars FLYING from their resting spots, launching Crimson last! As Crimson is violently rocketed, Red Mini-Paint Stars leave his body.

…and the memory ends.

Huey is horrified at what he see, yet glad they now know what happened to the other Grand Paint Stars. Meanwhile, Edwin is freaked out of his mind how Bowser Jr effortlessly flung the Stars. Crimson is saddened, as their separation prevents the Grand Paint Stars from supplying the fountain and Prism Island with paint. Despite this, Crimson is still optimistic, giving Mario an Artifact-Up Slot to equip more/stronger Artifacts with.

Bowser Jr&#039;s boast

As the team wonders if they’re ready for the road ahead, who should appear on the roof nearby but Bowser Jr and Motley. Bowser Jr brags that he found something cool some time ago, and wants to return to “that other world”. However, the Prince on the Roof isn’t exactly excited to have Motley tagging along, depressing the meek clown. With that admittedly pointless appearance, Junior and Motley leave via a nearby airship.

Toadsworth&#039;s worry of Junior

Upon the villains’ departure, Princess Peach and Toadsworth rush in. Toadsworth is weirded out with Junior’s part in the Prism Island incident, while Peach has a feeling there’s something going on with Bowser’s son. On a hunch, Peach decides to go after Junior, despite Toadsworth’s concerns regarding his own usefulness and Huey’s advice. Peach just retorts she’ll protect both Toadsworth and herself, before rushing off. Toadsworth bids Mario and Huey good luck, is introduced to Edwin, and rushes after Peach.

Edwin regrets not informing Peach and Toadsworth about the Musketeers, but Huey is sure they’ll figure it out. With this, Mario, Huey and Edwin partake in a series of high fives, belly flops and body slams to boost team morale.

A new horizon and the Scarlet Gate mark the next major leg of Mario’s Prism Island quest. Seeing the Gate repainted excites Huey greatly, as it demonstrates what a Grand Paint Star can do. This excitement is followed immediately by difficulties opening the actual gate.

Our heroes, crestfallen, almost consider turning back to ask the Rescue Squad for help, until someone offers to open the gate by force. Mario, recognizing the voice, turns with Edwin and Huey. To his surprise and their confusion, both O’Chunks and Nastasia approach, much more rounded than usual. Given Mario’s history with O’Chunks, Nastasia swoops in like a bat to make the reunion less awkward.

O&#039;Chunks gate lift SWITCH

Huey asks what O’Chunks and Nastasia are even doing on Prism Island. With this question, O’Chunks responds that Nastasia has been going in and out of depression ever since her and O’Chunks’ boss, Count Bleck, wedded and eloped with Bleck’s “lady friend”. A friend in a place called Flipside recommended to O’Chunks that he and Nastasia head to Prism Island for vacation. Despite this, O’Chunks sees Prism Island has had better days.

As Edwin sympathizes with the two ex-baddies, O’Chunks lifts the gate up. Calling to Nastasia, the two ex-baddies head through the gate. After a bit, Mario and friends follow suit.

Beyond the scarlet gate is a wooded area. Seeing a Shy Guy in front of them, Huey informs Mario that with every Grand Paint Star he rescues, his First Strikes increase in power. When Mario tests this out on the Shy Guy, sure enough, it perishes in one hit without it able to call friends for extended combat.

Within this first area, Mario comes across a gap with several poles and moving spikes. Using Edwin, Mario carefully moves from one pole to the next while avoiding punctures. It’s not just the inanimate spikes that are a problem either. Spinies themselves reside in this wooded area, as well as some Bald Clefts.

Mario’s masterful acrobatics yield him safe passage across the pit. This display of victory is darkened by the sky darkening. Edwin is antsy about how quiet it is, while Huey goes on about eggshell and flat paints. Suddenly, a strange Banzai Bill flies in from the sky. When it lands, it explodes dark paint. Edwin jumps in shock, and the situation is made worse when Huey realizes O’Chunks and Nastasia are up ahead.

Beyond the gate is a huge wooded area with several Boosketeers and strange feline-wolves, Lepbellers. While the Lepbellers are kind of absent minded, their bells alert other Musketeers except other Lepbellers if they’re in danger. Mario and friends come to understand the importance of KOing Lepbellers first.

Also in that wooded area, while most of the trees are a normal green, one is emitting a red glow. Hitting this tree reveals another of the King’s Unfurl Blocks, allowing Mario to Unfurl a bridge further.

On the other side of the cliff are O’Chunks and Nastasia, flabbergasted beyond belief. O’Chunks is edgy, while Nastasia is having flashbacks of some kind. O’Chunks asks Mario if he can take a peek, as he admits cleaning block spots isn’t his or Nastasia’ s profession.

Within the next area is a logging cabin, a lake, and Huey smelling some nasty paint. On the cliff up ahead, the team sees the path to the impact site. Mario, Edwin and Huey resolve to shake a leg up to the cliff. The direct approach up the ramp doesn’t work, however, as it jump falls down, irritating Edwin.

All that setback accomplishes is encourage Mario to check out the logging cabin instead. It’s difficult when logs keep coming down the only ramp up, though. With some attrition, the team climb the whole way and get their revenge on the five Shy Guys responsible.

While there, Mario also restores color to a male Memphawk and female Toadette. Though the Memphawk generally isn’t happy with the Shy Guy’s shenanigans, the female Toadette mentions she had a nightmare about someone who took over the log factory. It’s the name of the perpetrator that takes Mario by surprise, as it’s one Mario was never expecting to hear again in his lifetime- Wart.

Spooked by the sudden return of an old unfriendly name, Mario shakes it off by heading down the ramp. With Edwin’s suction, Mario is able to pull a platform towards the team peacefully, then pull themselves towards a faraway islet with a warp pipe up the cliff.

Our trio finally arrive! …at blackened hills. Huey is in full-on panic mode, while Edwin is disgusted at what he knows the Koopalings had to have been behind. Mario, assuming the black paint just has an odor problem, tries to simply walk through it.

Tsk. Big mistake. For their lack of self-preservation, Mario and Edwin are knocked aback, with Mario taking the worst of the black paint’s poison. Huey is remorseful for not warning his friends of the black paint’s toxicity level. To make this right, however, Huey makes an odd request of Mario and Edwin- they must close their eyes. While Mario and Edwin are a little suspicious of Huey’s request, they trust their new friend in the end and agree.

As Mario and Edwin see a different kind of darkness, they hear a strange void suction sound.

Edwin concerned for Huey SWITCH

Huey finally tells the two they can open their eyes. Edwin is the first to do it, followed by Mario. True to Huey’s word, the landscape is normal. However, for a very brief second, Edwin sees Huey clutching his stomach. Edwin shows concern for Huey, but Huey insists this is normal and to NEVER SPEAK OF THIS AGAIN.

This unusual event is followed by some good news- a Yellow Mini-Paint Star on a nearby cliff. They also find a sign near an Unfurl marked bridge with easy instructions- to “hit this”. Taking a large turnaround on the opposite cliffs and falling down a hole, Mario eventually finds another Unfurl Block.

Hurrying back to the bridge with unfurl power, Mario thwacks the bridge. The bridge Unfurls… incompletely, falling into the depths below for savages, animals, and man-eating lawyers to feast on.

Mario is perplexed by this, given what the sign instructed. Even Huey’s best guess is they didn’t read the sign carefully enough. Mario mulls over this puzzle for quite a while, until he notices something- the sign says “this”, not “this bridge”. Realizing what must be done, Mario hurries back with Unfurl power and hits the sign itself. Mario’s instinct pays off, as the sign itself transforms. Edwin...just laughs at this, as he admits it’s actually pretty clever. With one more use of Cut-Out, Mario makes it to and hits the Yellow Mini-Paint Star, unlocking a path to Chateau Chanterelle.

Despite the area’s name, Chateau Chanterelle looks more like a farm than anything fancy to the team. A nearby Memphawk girl explains the Chateau to be the retreat of Orion, the former Yellow Rescue leader.

Louis&#039; droll yarn SWITCH

Inside the nearby house is a Memphawk with strangely Mario-like clothing. There’s a very good reason for this- the Memphawk Mario is a huge mega-fan of the plumber, even seeing him take on Prism Island’s strongest fighter in the Glitz Pit years ago. The Memphawk introduces himself as Louis, as he recounts his dad, Orion, being interested in old things.

When Huey explains he and the others need to talk to Mario, Louis explains Orion went on a walk with someone named Princess into Mondo Woods. However, they’ve been gone a little too long. Hearing his plight, Mario AKA The Great Gonzales agrees to search for Orion.

Exiting out the back, Mario meets with a young Brustache employee of Orion’s who finds his caretaking of Princess demeaning. This, in turn, reveals Princess is Orion’s pet, which Mario guesses is the Chain Chomp they saw in the pictures within the house.

Mario pokes around the farm house. At one point, he opens up a barn revealing a Big Oink Artifact. As soon as the seemingly inanimate swine sees Mario, it busts an oink and breakdances, before exploding into a ton of coins. Though Edwin is excited for all the cash, he’s also weirded out by the breakdancing. Huey explains that the King was always particular in the “character” he applied to his Artifacts and Things.

Atop the same barn is a Double Mini-Paint Star, in Orange and Green colors. Shifting the barn doors around and using Cut-Out allow Mario to reach the star, unlocking Marmalade Valley and Mondo Woods.

Though Louis’ worries incline the team to head to Mondo Woods, Mario decides to skirt his responsibilities one time and check out Marmalade Valley first. Within the valley, several Memphawks and Lakitus are excavating something they just found. Also in the area is a Toad near a train, Chugga T. Like Louis to Mario, Chugga T is a big fan of the Sunset Express’ Royal Engine, sad at its scheduled decommissioning.

Mario and co want to head deeper into the valley, but the nearby female Memphawk guard asserts it to be off limits without another permit. She points out the crew has had enough problems keeping the Musketeers out of Marmalade Valley, but supposes they could enter…if they had a permit from Orion. Before Edwin lets slip he works for the Musketeers, Huey makes a masterful save by claiming he smells the musk of a Paint Star in the valley.

As they leave, Edwin admonishes Huey for cutting him off. Huey clears up this accusation by pointing out if Edwin had finished speaking, the team wouldn’t be allowed in even with a permit. Blushing at his mistake and Huey’s save, Edwin thanks the bucket, to which Huey states he’d do anything for his friends.

Now knowing they really do need to head to Mondo Woods, Mario and co. head there ASAP without honey. Unlike Chateau Chanterelle, the woods live up to their name as Huey and friends come to take in with the appearance of a huge Rebazy Dayzee. The local Toads of various ages and genders assure the trio that Orion and Princess did pass by.

A little near the heart of the woods, Mario and friends find a huge, colorless coin. Edwin is frothing at the mouth to claim the coin for himself, but Huey points out the colorlessness ruining the coin’s value. Huey claims the team is rich in friendship- however, Edwin only half-heartedly agrees.

It’s not exactly a smooth trip through all this, as all the enemies Mario faces in Mondo Woods seem to mostly reside here. Between the banana wielding Monkhaira throwing stale bananas, or previously Rougeport Pit exclusive arachnid Arantula just being creepy, any friendly face would be a breath of relief for the plumber.

A while later, the gang reach a thin bridge with another huge Rebazy Dayzee under it. Before crossing it, Huey feels like the gang’s being watched. Someone confirms their theory, as on the other side of the bridge is the friendly face Mario was hoping for- literally a face, with a top hat. A green cat body with red stripes joins the face shortly after.

The Catguru returns

Edwin is shocked at the strange smiling cat. Huey, meanwhile, has a brainfart as he believes the cat made everything in the woods big, INCLUDING HIS VOICE. The weird tophatted cat, Catguru, shoots down this theory, presenting himself as a mere visitor to Prism Island along an unseen smaller friend.

Catguru keeps speaking in weird reverse speech where the second part of his sentence or the second sentence altogether is the opposite of his first. In between seeming metaphors to looking for exotic Mushrooms or not seeking large Flowers, Catguru infers he saw Orion and Princess pass by. Eventually, Catguru leaves body first, then face and hat.

In the next area, Mario finds an old brown Memphawk trapped on top a large block. After Edwin and Huey make small chitchat with the bird, the brown Memphawk admits he is Orion. Unfortunately, he’s distressed, as Princess has gone missing. Taking a look at a broken chain, Orion prays Princess is alright. Huey is sympathetic, but he bluntly states the team’s busy looking for the Paint Stars.

Orion relieved SWITCH

Showing a little more tact, Edwin points out the possibility that Princess might have just gone home, as a friend of his (Aace, which Edwin stops himself from saying) gave advise that’s what pets usually do. Hearing this instantly relieves Orion, as he remembers “Chanterelle” did tell him this long ago. Orion then hurries home, to Edwin’s own relief and Huey’s concern.

Fortune smiles even more for the two partners, as there’s a coin a little to the right of where Orion was sobbing. This single coin leads to more coins, then a Green Mini-Paint Star to the deeper Sacred Forest.

Chapter 2 Part 2

Mario decides to stay focused on the task that needs to be done this time and head straight back for the Chateau. Before they can re-enter, however, the three hear Marirana, Suebelle and Keirf approaching. While Keirf is being an airhead and Marirana is indulging the lobster-eel, Suebelle is growing more and more agitated. Edwin, feeling in the blues for Marirana showing Keirf attention earlier, suddenly becomes too sad to meet Marirana again.

Marirana and Suebelle’s hopes of meeting the famous Toad songstress, Chanterelle, are dashed when the Memphawk girl reveals the story of the Chateau’s name. Namely, the “Chanterelle” it’s named after isn’t the songstress nor the color, but Orion’s former fighting partner. The Memphawk girl tries to assuage the situation by admitting many tourists had made the Chanterelle mistake before.

Sadly, this turns out to be a breaking point for Suebelle. Suebelle is mad at Marirana for not checking this beforehand- the first time she’s outright insulted her sister. That’s to say nothing of Suebelle’s extreme intolerance towards Keirf’s ditziness, causing the Sosorrisurf to skedaddle away as fast as his lobster legs can carry him.

Marirana and Suebelle get into an argument. It ends badly for Marirana, as not only does she learn Suebelle feels Mari isn’t paying attention- Suebelle reveals she doesn’t even believe in their own message of not limiting themselves. Marirana’s appeal for the sad Edwin to side with her only makes the situation worse, as Huey explains Edwin’s unusual mood change- something even Huey doesn’t understand- as occurring when Marirana first showed Keirf more attention.

Edwin sad from Marirana SWITCH

Marirana points out she does that with everyone, causing Edwin to ask if she really meant it. For once, Marirana doesn’t answer, causing Suebelle to just walk away and Marirana to give chase.

Louis is concerned about what he heard outside, but Edwin tries to downplay it. Louis tries to push the subject, but Huey looks at the Memphawk fanboy and, as calmly as he can, convinces the bird to change the subject. Louis reveals that Orion is back- but not Princess. Before Mario heads out the back door, Louis seems to want to ask Mario something else, but he chickens out.

Near the shelter for Princess, Orion is sobbing once again for his pet. Huey, now knowing what must be done, decides to help Orion after all. Orion decides to cut the crud and just give the gang the permit needed to enter deeper into Marmalade Valley.

As quick as a quill, Mario and his crew return to Marmalade Valley with the permit, cutting off the Memphawk woman’s assumed repeat of a speech. While the woman is assuaged, she still emphasizes the gang show extreme caution around the site, as well as the number of earthquakes. Edwin wants to “retrieve” some fossils, but Huey reminds Edwin that the gang’s here for a Paint Star.

Higher above, Mario and friends enter into a cave within the valley. Upon entering, a small earthquake occurs, startling Edwin and Huey. Even a lack of earthquakes, Mario and friends come across a cliff they simply cannot climb. There’s no soft poles to suck onto, nor are there any patterns in the wall that would work with Cut-Out. Adding insult to injury, while a hidden passage within the back wall leads up the cliff, there’s no weak spot at that point to Hammer upon.

Regardless, our three heroes are stumped. Just as Huey suggests looking for another path, though, Louis enters the cave. Admitting the site wasn’t made with other species in mind, Louis explains the Memphawks usually help visitors up the cliffs. Louis even remembers his dad helped some old guy up before walking Princess. It’s Louis’ other confession that’s juicy- the Memphawk fanboy wants to travel with Mario while the plumber is on Prism Island. As Huey and Edwin see little to no reason to reject Louis, Mario accepts. Ecstatic at the gang’s open arms (or at least Mario’s), Louis joins the party.

With Louis on their team, Mario’s jumping power naturally increases during battles alongside the bird. More relevantly, Louis places Mario on his shoulder before charging a mighty Memphawk Leap, allowing Mario access across larger gaps and up higher cliffs. Louis immediately demonstrates on the nearby cliff, solving that problem nicely.

A little after exiting the cave, a Lakitu yells for someone to help a caved-in guest excavator. Looking up, Mario, Huey, Edwin and Louis see a turtle shape trapped behind a cracked wall. The turtle guest’s posh dialogue reminds Mario an awful lot of someone, but this thought is interrupted by Edwin’s own query- where’s the Rescue Squad?

Cleft battle SWITCH

Seeing a guest in peril spurs the gang further and further into the valley. While Mario and friends see several moving log platforms along the walls, they too look more accustomed to Memphawk and Lakitu usage. Of course, Louis’ Leaps clear the distance which Mario’s normal jumps can’t. On the occasions where Louis misses his Leaps, he and Mario face off against the local Bald Clefts, Dry Bones, Spinias and Green Pokeys. Again, with Louis by Mario’s side, Mario’s improved Jumping power makes shorter work of the vale’s vicious fiends. Even the Slugshrooms hiding in the shade fall to Mario’s boots. Unfortunately, the earthquakes keep occurring more and more frequently…

All that exercise leads the gang to a small valley. Mario, Edwin and Louis are about to pass through, when Huey suddenly stops them. Huey voices his concerns on how unstable the site is, something Louis agrees with. As another vibration occurs, Huey takes the moment to declare something personal- if something catastrophic happens, he’ll protect them all. To say Edwin is taken aback fails to portray how touched the Slurple is by Huey’s genuine concern for others.

Huey’s claim is put to the test when a huge bowtied Chain Chomp appears. Mario and friends barely dodge the beautiful beast, as they dash to a safe spot Huey points out. Louis, however, recognizes the bowtied Chomp- it’s none other than Princess herself! Huey and Edwin are surprised by this reveal, while also now understanding how urgent it is they reach the main site.

A little after that ordeal and some more Memphawk Leaps, Mario’s crew finally reaches the trapped guest. The guest and the nearby Memphawk guy are relieved at Mario’s arrival, considering the guest is low on snacks. Mario thwacks the wall a few times, freeing…

Kolorado thanks Mario SWITCH

…Kolorado of the Mushroom Kingdom’s Koopa Village. Mario and Kolorado reminisce on old times and quickly explain to Huey just who the Koopa professor is. From that, Huey takes the most important detail- how to say “archeological”. A slightly unamused Kolorado quickly explains he’s on Prism Island to search for Artifacts, due to their status as the final versions of the Decal Lands’ Things. As thanks, Kolorado gives Mario a Draggadon Bone he considered gnawing on.

Just as Mario is about to claim his prize, however, Kidd the Vellbex quickly swipes the Draggadon Bone for herself! Though annoyed at Huey for thinking she’s a ghost, she threatens to ruin Mario and friends’ day before her time comes. Kidd quickly leaves, mentioning she’s off to the Coliseum, and it’s with her departure that Mario understands her threat- Princess the Chain Chomp is hot on Kidd’s heels! Even worse, Princess re-aims her sights on Mario.

Mario tries standing up for himself, but Princess packs a punch! It may not be instantly fatal, but it’s still dangerous enough for Mario to consider escape as a better solution. Quickly, the plumber and pals bash and duck out of Princess’ sight.

Something wrong with Draggadon SWITCH

This leads to Princess destroying the nearby wall, in turn cleanly unearthing a Draggadon fossil! Bizarrely, though, there are unnatural purple spots on the colorless fossil, suggesting it’s not just color theft that befell the ancient dragon.

All the while, Kolorado is all riled up at Kidd and Princess’ dual appearance, finding the former more frightening. The only thing calming Kolorado is the exposed Draggadon fossil. Huey soon finds his own bright side, as a nearby Orange Mini-Paint Star opens the way to Kiwano Temple.

The visit to the temple is short-lived, sadly, as the gang can’t even enter. In fact, they make things worse in trying to reach the front door, since they destroy a nearby train track by Hammering a loose pillar to create a bridge across several spikes. Investigating the door in gets Louis to notice something missing, though.

Eventually, Mario and friends decide to go back to the spot they do whenever they’re stuck looking for a Grand Paint Star- Port Prisma. Sure enough, they meet Peach and Toadsworth. By eavesdropping on a Red Koopa, the royal duo learned Ludwig von Koopa approved the Black Bill used at Sunglow Ridge. Strangely, though, instead of congratulating him for a fine mess, Bowser Junior gave Ludwig an earful, even confiscating all the black weapons and storing them in the hidden Koopaling hideout. Mario and Peach are mystified by Junior’s uncharacteristic decision and Bowser’s continued absence.

All this talk spurs Peach to dart off to look for more info. After Toadsworth quickly gets to know Louis, he hurries after his younger female companion of unknown relation.

Louis then suggests the gang head back to the Chateau to see if Princess has returned for real. Indeed, as soon as the gang enter the backyard, Princess is affectionately rolling over her master Orion. Following that moment, the immense Chain Chomp leaves.

Louis and the Brustache intern are panicking immensely at their dad/employer being crushed. It turns out to be a worry born of nothing, as Orion is very cool with it. Actually, Orion now knows and admits Princess is ready to leave the nest, something he’s sure Chanterelle would be happy about if she were still around. Despite this part of Orion’s life now behind him, he encourages Mario and Louis to let Princess know he’ll be thinking of her if they come across her again, which Louis agrees to.

Orion proceeds to beckon the gang follow him into the house. There, Orion tries to find, and gives, Mario something a guy at the dig site was about to throw out- a Sharp Spike.

Our heroes speed-jog all the way back to the Kiwano Temple’s door. Eager to enter, Edwin and Louis encourage Mario to restore the Sharp Spike to its rightful place. Mario obeys, and in seconds, the lock on the door releases, opening it. Huey sums up the situation with the sharp spiny-looking spike, while restless to collect the Paint Star within.

Mario and co enter the door. As soon as they’re out of sight, a fat guy and a lanky dude jump in front of the door. Of course, it’s Wario and Waluigi. The two are drawn to the idea of collecting the Paint Star. However, they were never taught that sharing is caring, as they bicker while climbing the temple wall.

The inside of the Kiwano Temple is no different from the outside, as there’s hundreds of spikes littering the floor with tales of pain waiting to be told. In addition, several colorless flames are spread evenly across the first room, including a few on high ledges. With Louis’ help, Mario is able to reach and repaint all the flames, revealing a POW Block near the entrance. By hitting the POW Block, Mario turns all the spikes upside down, rendering the floor harmless and allowing Mario passage across to the next rooms.

The second room not only has spiked floors, but unspiked dark pits as well. Louis is once again able to Leap with Mario up and across dangerous floors. Unfortunately, they eventually learn the limits of the Memphawk fanboy’s leaps, as some ledges are still way too high and too far. Mario and co look for a boost, and eventually find a strange hollow pillar in the top right corner of the room.

Thankfully, the pits separating the hollow pillar from Mario are something Louis can circumvent, allowing the gang to reach it. Mario takes it from there, as he rolls within the pillar across the spike pits. Mario proceeds to roll the pillar in a location allowing Louis’ Leaps to reach the north exit of the room.

In between all the spike navigation and pillar rolling, Mario and friends fight against some of the temple’s sharp foes. As expected, Spinies roam the temple’s halls. In addition, both Chain Chomps and Slugshrooms patrol the perimeter. Most interestingly of all is the presence of both Clubbas and Spikes within the temples. Through his battles in the ancient structure and summoning certain enemies with cards, Mario figures out the Clubbas and Chain Chomps are on the Koopalings’ side, while the Spikes are oddly allied with the Musketeers. This latter alliance gets Mario to silently wonder about the Spikes’ involvement in the Decal Lands incident as he fights.

After a third room of hollow pillars and spiked pits, Mario and the gang eventually reach a Clubba balancing atop his own pillar. Once again piloting the pillar from within, Mario rolls it over far to the right. Eventually, he reaches a switch spike, causing the slice of spikes he and the gang are on to descend into a burning abyss.

As soon as the platform reaches the bottom, it rumbles. This throws the Clubba into the pit of hot, liquid MAG-MA. Mario almost shares the same fate, but his three friends create a human ladder in the nick of time, with Huey being the one who reaches for the plumber. Working together, Huey, Edwin and Louis heave Mario back into the pillar. After everyone checks themselves, Huey notices a Double Mini-Paint Star (Yellow and Red) far in the distance. Unfortunately, everyone also notices the MAG-MA starting to rise.

Thinking quickly, Mario finds another switch at the opposite side of the spiked platform, activating forward momentum. As the platform moves forward, Mario must dodge rocks in midair spit out by the MAG-MA. Since the hollow pillar wasn’t really designed with precision in mind, Mario gets hit by four rocks despite his best efforts. These fumbles almost cost Mario and friends their lives. Learning from his mistake, Mario ups his game and avoids hitting a fifth rock.

The spiked platform eventually makes it across the lava pit, and the hollow pillar covers the spikes. A job well done, Mario quickly cleans himself. This brief reprieve, however, is interrupted by Waluigi and Wario’s buffoonish arrival! Wario mocks Mario for his luck, but Waluigi distracts the tycoon with another argument. Huey and Louis, not able to stand the wicked bros’ idiocy, tell the duo off. Wario, hearing none of it, decides to fight the red plumber gang instead! Oh, and Waluigi fights too, I suppose.

Wario and Waluigi battle SWITCH

Wario and Waluigi are as unpredictable as their birth certificates. While they still focus on Mario, they have no concept of friendly fire, as the duo often injure each other with their various moves. For every classic shoulder bash warrior utilizes, Waluigi takes out his sporting goods like his hockey stick and tennis balls to mess up Mario’s status. Waluigi also throws a ton of Bob-ombs, sometimes scorching Wario into a burning run!

Mario tries to end the fight quickly by summoning allied enemies. However, Wario and Waluigi are more prepared than even they know. After a Clubba strikes Wario, the yellow gross jerk retaliates with his ugly, scary face, frightening the Clubba away. Meanwhile, when an allied Spike throws his spiked ball at Waluigi, the prankster counters by stuffing the Spike into a bag, then throwing the bag at Mario. Either way, this enforces a two-on-two bout. With no easy way out, Mario and his partners rely on their own skills to bankrupt the evil plumbers of their HP.

Defeated, Waluigi accuses Mario and friends of cheating like he himself does at parties. Meanwhile, Wario tries to deny Mario victory by claiming a star made of paint would just melt in his hands. This comment angers Waluigi for how stupid it makes Wario look. The wicked bros argue and fight yet again. This time, the fight sends them over a hidden switch and the edge, into the lava, launching them out of the temple.

The triggered switch lowers the lava and covered platform downwards. This allows Mario and the gang to reach the Double Mini-Paint Star, in turn opening the way to the Golden Coliseum and Redpepper Volcano.

Chapter 2 Part 3

As they already have the Crimson Grand Paint Star, Mario is naturally curious that there’s still more of the Red Zone to explore. Therefore, he and his friends quickly trek to Redpepper Volcano.

Following more navigation over spread lava pits with Louis, the gang meet the leader of Yellow Rescue Squad, Iron Hard Jonny. Jonny takes in the view and heat of his surroundings, believing something Orion seems to have told him earlier. Eventually, after Jonny’s speech (during which the gang notices Jonny often combines words together), Jonny heads back to Port Prisma.

The mystery of the extra red area taken care of, Mario and the gang climb back down the volcano and head to the Golden Coliseum. At the entrance, a yellow Shy Guy calls the team over to promote the locale’s Battle Royal, as well as one possible prize- a Grand Paint Star! Unfortunately, not only is the roster full, but security’s been busy keeping unwanted guests (read: the Musketeers) out. Edwin salivates at the idea of prizes while Louis props up his hero Mario’s fighting skills. This leaves Huey to get the others’ minds on track, as well as the need to get into the Coliseum now.

O Chunks and Nastasia at the Coliseum door SWITCH

In a pure stroke of luck, O’Chunks and Nastasia arrive on the scene. When pressed, O’Chunks explains the Memphawks suggested they check out the Coliseum. However, O’Chunks also heard the Koopalings took over the Coliseum, an accusation the Shy Guy doesn’t take well. Eventually, with her hypnotic powers, Nastasia convinces the Shy Guy to open up six more slots for the Battle Royal. The Shy Guy only asks the four heroes and two ex-baddies to stop by the pre-screening area. While Huey and O’Chunks are pumped, Nastasia is mostly indifferent.

Unfortunately, when they reach the PS area, the gang sees the lift into the coliseum proper has been bent out of shape. The Shy Guy receptionist explains the damage was Kidd’s bad-to-the-bone doing, confirming she was here. The Shy Guy here just recommends coming back when the lift is repaired, when Mario’s inventory isn’t so bare-bones. Hearing the two bone puns so quick in succession aggravates Edwin.

While they wait for the lift to be repaired, Mario and the gang decide to go check on the other teams entering. One of them, a bunch of Shy Guys, further confirms Kidd was around, seeing her with the Draggadon Bone. The Shy Guys also mention that when Kidd realized the Yellow Rescue Squad was on her tail, she left- but without the Draggadon Bone. This info lights a spark in Huey’s head, and the bucket realizes the Draggadon Bone is still somewhere in the Coliseum.

O’Chunks and Nastasia are also checking out their competitors. Upon O’Chunks learning of the bent lift, he decides he’ll fix it! After checking the other competitors, of course, as Nastasia suggests.

Immediately, Mario and the others head out the Coliseum door, before re-entering through the spectator entrance. It’s quite a maze inside the Coliseum, too. With so many openings to the stands to choose from, Mario has no idea where to even begin.

Further complicating matters is the security. On top of the Snifits and Clubbas prowling the floors, the gang battle some Dry Dry Pokeys who are obviously not locals of the island and some wondrous-looking Hammer Bros, and wild Fuzzies who speak in a collective. Mario and friends also sees some Musketeers have indeed snuck into the Coliseum. Along the infiltrating Lepbellers are the surprisingly local Drybake Pokeys, a variant Mario previously saw in the Decal Lands and new areas of the Mushroom Kingdom.

Shortly after fighting some goons, Mario head outside the Coliseum walls. As Huey admire the view, Louis reminisces on how the Memphawks loved the ideals the Royal Family used to build the Coliseum. Louis also reflects on the time he spent with Orion, sitting, talking and eating pasta. Just like his hero, Mario-

Edwin&#039;s irritation and Louis&#039; worry SWITCH

Louis’ latest namedrop of Mario finally triggers a reaction in Edwin, who rudely tells Louis to stop fanboying. Louis only digs himself deeper and riles Edwin up more when the Memphawk is about to point out Mario’s strength. Realizing Edwin might have a point, Louis asks Huey for his honest opinion as well. Huey admits he likes Mario, too, as well as Edwin and his own fixations on their favorite things. However, Huey lightly suggests Louis could talk about other things for a change. Reluctantly, Louis agrees. Feeling a little bad for his explosion, Edwin tries to apologize, but Louis accepts he could try changing what he talks about once in a while.

To get his mind off the drama, Mario looks for a way across the Coliseum walls. Mario eventually notices some of the walls are jutted out enough to sidle across. Huey likes this idea, comparing Mario to a Ninji.

It’s not a cake-sidle, though, as several wild Fuzzies also crawl upon the walls in the worst spots. When Mario fights the Fuzzies, they speak as a collective, sending a chill down Mario’s spine. Even stranger is a seemingly innocuous Drybake Pokey who doesn’t appreciate an “indecisive rookie” Aace drafted from the Koopalings’ side. Edwin tries to learn more, but the Drybake Pokey, realizing who Edwin is, fights and belittles the recusant Slurple instead. Of course, the DB Pokey fails, but the thought of another enemy is still…

The Fuzzies’ altered dialect and Drybake Pokey’s omen do not completely distract Mario and Edwin from navigating the enormous battle stadium. As there are some parts of the outer building with no jutted structure, Mario sometimes needs Louis and, for the first time in a while, Edwin, to navigate the exterior. By paying attention, Mario and friends also find a green-colored loose panel that drops the gang onto a hidden path, in turn leading to…

…a secret room behind all the locker rooms. Upon entering this place, Louis picks this moment to tell the gang something important. Louis further clarifies it’s about the Coliseum, defusing Edwin from another fit.

Relieved, Louis reveals some history about Golden Coliseum. The original games were held to entertain the Royal children. During construction, the King of Prism Island also made friends with other rulers, like the first Tutankoopa and Tower Power Pokeyhotep. While Edwin wants to hurry and fix the gate, Louis further reveals the youngest child of the King wanted to enter the games. Unfortunately, the King objected, while the Queen was busy with her own pursuits. Instead, the King allowed the Royal Pets to enter.

This turned out to be a huge mistake, as the Royal Pets were good at fighting. They were so good, in fact, there were countless injuries, in turn leading to the cancellation of the original Battle Royal. It was only in recent years, after using a large amount of gold paint to hide the mess the Pets left behind, that the Battle Royal came back. Huey agrees, as the King never spoke of any Battle Royal when Huey was built and being tested.

A public conversation leads to the gang eavesdropping on a private one shortly after. One of the combatants started attacking boxes in the back of the Coliseum, rather than enemies. This combatant there was something hidden in the boxes.

Yellow Squad&#039;s Draggadon bone SWITCH

At the end of the hall, Louis tosses Mario into a hole. The hole, in turn, leads to a room with three of the Yellow Rescue Squad (Jonny again, Veronica & Caan) as well as…the Draggadon Bone! Veronica does most of the talking, remembering how she and the other two chased Kidd from Marmalade Valley to here. Despite this, Veronica decides Mario should have the bone. Mario gets the Draggadon Bone for real this time, and the Yellow Squad take their leave.

Confidence boost from O&#039;Chunks SWITCH

More good news arrives when Mario exits the room back into the main lobby, as O’Chunks and Nastasia finish checking the competition and are at the lifts. True to his word, O’Chunks fixes the bent lift with a single punch, lifting the Shy Guys’ spirits. O’Chunks gives advice to just keep going at a tough task. Even Nastasia’s pessimism doesn’t deter O’Chunks’ optimism, and the formerly angular duo ride the lift up.

Mario and the gang are about to follow, but the Shy Guy at the desk won’t lower the lift until they answer some questions. Coincidentally (or not), they’re all questions about whether Mario has a bone to pick with his enemies. Affirmative to all answers, and while Edwin rolls his eyes, the lift finally lowers, allowing Mario and friends access to the Battle Royal.

Mario and his friends arrive to the sight of uncountable Koopaling minions in seats. The many Shy Guys, Dry Dry Pokeys and Red Koopas are treated to the sight of Huey express joy at the sight of the Topaz Grand Paint Star. The arrival of the gang surprises the announcer, considering the Koopaling minions just subdued and blindfolded O’Chunks & Nastasia moments earlier.

The announcer’s shock is topped by something Mario hasn’t seen on Prism Island so far- a Goomba, dropping in from above. The Goomba, wearing Musketeer garb, has a bone to pick with Mario. Despite the Goomba giving constant hints to Mario who he is, Mario still doesn’t remember the Goomba from his alternate Mushroom Kingdom adventure. Nastasia, however, does remember the Goomba by his voice and actual name- Perry, the Goomba who defected on Luigi when the green plumber needed someone most.

Nastasia compliments Perry on his spirit despite his betrayal not mattering anymore, saddening O’Chunks. Unfortunately, Perry isn’t grateful for the compliment, revealing the Musketeers have tested him to defeat Mario!

Perry battle

Perry, though still a simple headbonking Goomba, isn’t as predictable as his unnamed fellows. Every turn in battle, Perry steals energy from Mario’s Partner Meter to permanently power himself up. Over time, Perry’s headbonking stops being adorable and encourages Mario to stop messing around. As Mario fumbles through his deck, he accidentally summons a Boosketeer to his side. Strangely, though, while the Boosketeer’s offensive drops at the thought of battling a fellow Musketeer, his vitals remain completely intact. Mario wonders if the other Musketeers don’t really see Perry as a fellow, then proceeds to thrash the Goomba.

His pride wounded again, Perry runs off swearing revenge, like a punk. After the announcer remembers Perry’s annoyingness as the reason the Koopalings didn’t bring him along earlier, the announcer finally announces the beginning of the Battle Royal. At the sound of this announcement, dozens, if not over a hundred enemies, arrive on lifts. Mario’s allies are overwhelmed with the odds against them surviving this long.

O’Chunks breaks out of his bonds, as well as allow Nastasia to see again. The two entering the fray does encourage Edwin, but he’s still unsure of the team’s success. Thinking quickly, Huey wonders if there’s a way to take the enemy teams out all at once.

In their search for a quick win, Mario and O’Chunks’ teams brawl against many of the Battle Royal’s participants. Mario soon believes Edwin is right, in that the team can’t believably defeat every foe in the arena without drastically dwindling their cards and paint. It’s Huey’s earlier remark that reminds Mario of the conversation the team overheard before finding the Draggadon bone. Bringing this advice to the forefront switches Mario from “offensive” to “investigative” as he quickly destroys the boxes.

As Mario searches, O’Chunks and Nastasia are whalloping on most of the other competitiors. O’Chunks instantly defeats several foes, but takes just as much punishment in turn. Seeing his former rival fight so hard inspires Mario, and the plumber searches much faster.

Before O’Chunks bites the dust, Mario finally finds something super useful in one of the boxes, a Super Star. Touching it makes Mario invincible. Wasting no time, Mario turns the tide of the Battle Royal, and quickly runs through dozens of enemies, taking them out like a flash!

Appreciative of this teamwork, O’Chunks gives Mario some Mushroom and Syrup cards he can spare.

Iggy battle intro

O’Chunks’ gratitude leaves him open to the gate lifting behind him however. Just as quickly, three Chain Chomp chariots knock O’Chunks into the far left wall, and a worried Nastasia hurries over. The driver of the main chariot? Iggy Koopa, the insane one of the seven Koopalings- or at least the most insane. Iggy quickly mocks Mario, as well as brag how frustratingly overpowered he is, before a really problematic battle begins.

Iggy isn’t joking either- while his chariot riding Hammer Bros and Snifits are slow to avoid Mario’s moves, Iggy dodges everything Mario throws at him. Even Fire Flower and Ice Flower balls are too slow to compensate. All Mario can do is attack the lower minions and build up his Partner Meter for a hopeful miracle, as well as wonder why he didn’t heed the receptionist Shy Guy’s bone comments earlier. Iggy’s powerful chariot team attack further complicates Mario’s survival.

Eventually, Mario’s Partner Meter fills. At Mario’s command, Louis leaps at Iggy faster than the Koopaling can react, knocking him off the chariot. With no more chariot, Mario and Louis finish Iggy off like a clownfish.

Iggy battle outcome SWITCH

Iggy, embarrassed at his defeat, sulks out of the Coliseum. Because Mario’s team is the last one standing, this makes them the winners of the Battle Royal, and therefore the Topaz Grand Paint Star! Edwin, Louis and Huey bask in the victory- Louis especially, as he got to fight alongside Mario in his home island’s coliseum.

Further boosting their good mood, Orion and Kolorado arrive to further congratulate them. O’Chunks and Nastasia also cheer each other up on their loss, waving Mario goodbye for a while. As O’Chunks and Nastasia leave, though, O’Chunks sneezes on a nearby switch. This causes an enormous statue to emerge in the middle of the coliseum.

Strange Coliseum statue

Everyone is taken aback by the appearance of the statue. Orion himself wonders if there’s a secret to the statue, while Huey is horrified by the immense stone monument. Kolorado finally breaks the silence by offering to inspect the statue, while Mario grab the Grand Paint Star.

Mario and friends agree. They awaken the Topaz GPS and take another ride across the skies. Edwin almost jumps for joy, and his death, when he sees the Topaz Grand Paint Star has restored the color of Mondo Woods’ giant coin!

Luigi Intermission 1

Back in the Mushroom Kingdom, in Mario’s old house, Luigi awakens in the early morning from a raging party. Luigi considers to himself that while it was nice of Mario to leave him the house, Luigi simply doesn’t make enough coins to pay for it.

Luigi’s thoughts are distracted by the sounds and sight of a cloaked stranger, leaving a letter in the kitchen before running out. The letter itself is strange- it was written a pretty long time ago, to be delivered later.

Letter to Luigi

The letter further explains there’s a helpful item on Prism Island to deal with an unknown problem. Alongside the letter is a crystal, which the message explains will help Luigi find the item. What really sells the letter for Luigi is a claim that after the task with the item is complete, Luigi can sell the item for a really high price.

Of course, the letter has no signature- though Luigi recognizes something familiar about the letter. Regardless, the promise of cash sends Luigi straight out the front door, missing a phone call from someone named Ganag on Prism Island…

Chapter 3 Part 1

Click here to view the whole plot for Chapter 3.

Like with Crimson, Topaz brings Mario and friends back to Port Prisma. Also like Crimson, Topaz is grateful for what the team has accomplished. Topaz further explains what happened the day of the fateful fight between the Koopalings and Musketeers…

Near the post office, Slurp Guys duke it out with the Boosketeers. Pesshi can only watch in terror as the entirety of Port Prisma becomes a battleground. Soon, Pesshi’s worries end, because several Slurp Guys suck Pesshi from behind. In the midst of using strange magic to fold Pesshi into the letter that drew Peach and Mario to the island, Pitholl and Cucleer arrive to scare off the Slurp Guys. Unfortunately, in the chaos, the letter falls into the water, going into a sewer grate. Downtrodden, Cucleer carries Pitholl away…

Edwin admits his admiration for his old bosses’ courage. Huey, meanwhile, is incredulous at the duo not having this skill earlier, though relieved they’re not big or burly. Edwin warns Huey that “Aace” is much more skilled than Pitholl and Cucleer combined. Before Edwin can correct Huey regarding the big burly comment, Louis has a troubling thought- if neither the Koopalings nor Musketeers sent Pesshi to Peach, then how’d he get there?

Huey is concerned at Louis’ uncharacteristic thinking, but is sure the other Grand Paint Stars may know. As thanks, Topaz gives Mario another Artifact-Up Slot.

Knowing how eager Edwin is to collect the coin, Mario marathons it back to Mondo Woods. They reach the coin. They approach the coin. And they collect the coin for all it’s worth.

1 coin. 1 unit of money.

Edwin the cheapskate

Edwin is unamused.

Regardless of the disappointing result, Mario grabs the Blue Paint Star, revealing a path to the Dark Bloo Inn.

Following a peaceful, yet gloomy walk, Mario and his friends arrive at the entrance to the Dark Bloo Inn. Right before they can enter the inn, however, they hear someone moan in pain. Hearing the moan, Huey suggests the gang help the citizen in peril before entering the sombre place of rest.

It takes only a few seconds to find the source of the moaning- a blue Pianta guy with a silver crown next to him. Using his Hammer, Mario fixes the Pianta’s back. The Pianta embarrassedly admits that after the crown did hit him, he broke down and started crying. Promising he’ll toughen up, the Pianta runs off.

Edwin considers selling the crown off for cash, but the crown snips up it’s own threats in turn. Edwin tries to pretend the crown wasn’t talking, but the crown flares up- revealing itself to be Kersti! Mario quickly steps in, and Kersti remembers him. Huey is surprised Mario knows Kersti, while Kersti wonders if Huey is also a Sticker Fairy.

Kersti&#039;s introduction SWITCH

Everyone quickly gets to know each other (though Kersti admits she has a bit of a headache clouding her mind on what happened last year), while Edwin is stunned at the idea of both buckets and stickers being alive. Kersti also reveals her friends came with her to the Mushroom World this year. Unfortunately, they got thrown off the Sticker Comet due to impact with an airship, and the Sticker Comet is also missing.

Feeling bad about it, Mario offers to keep an eye out for Kersti’s missing companions during his Prism Island trek, cheering the lady up. Upon hearing from Huey the gang is about to enter the Dark Bloo Inn, Kersti immediately agrees, liking the look of the inn. This comment lightens Huey up, as he and Kersti high five to cement their kinship!

Ms Bloomington and Ganag&#039;s intro SWITCH

All four heroes and Kersti enter the inn. Unfortunately, the head of staff, Ms. Bloomington, isn’t having a good day, as strange occurrences have happened around the hotel lately. This is demonstrated when the Vellbex bellboy, Ganag, gets what seems to be yet another silent phone call. With Ganag also unable to contact Luigi, Bloomington asks Mario and friends if they’ll help. Of course, Huey and Kersti are all for it, further building their kinship with their shared passions. To help the search, Kersti investigates the main lobby… while explaining to Ganag how unhygienic going into the jungle is.

The new bookkeeper SWITCH

Finally, Mario and friends begin searching the hotel. First, they make the acquaintance of Ganag’s mom, Baamere. The poor girl is just so broken, as the force at work keeps taking the books off the shelves of the reading lounge. As Mario can only watch Baamere slink deeper into defeat, he notices some books wiggling on their own.

On reflex, Mario whips out the Paint Hammer, revealing a female Vellbex. However, unlike other Vellbex, this one has longer, uncanny limbs that unnerve everyone, especially Edwin. Oh, and the weird Vellbex is also a ghost. After calming Edwin down, the gang learn from the ghost Vellbex that she’s looking for a book.

Throughout the gang’s search of the hotel, they come to learn two things. One- there are as many as six weird Vellbex ghosts of varying genders and ages. From a male Vellbex looking for “it” (and the gang hoping “it” doesn’t make them float), to learning that a young girl Vellbex was making the calls to try and get new bedsheets, and as far as the need to help a boy put a bird in a birdcage, there’s no shortage of unfinished business.

Numbered attack on Spoing SWITCH

Two- the hotel also has an arachnid problem, as Spoings litter the halls. While the Spoings act all neighbourly, they still feel the necessity to battle Mario. It’s nothing a good stomping can’t solve, though Mario feels he’ll have to inform Bloomington about hiring an exterminator.

Gathering at Dark Bloo

As the gang search for “it”, they follow a Shy Guy to a Sledge Bro wearing shades and his gang. The gang, all composed of Koopaling minions, is admiring “it” (quite a feat, considering “it” is invisible) when they suddenly notice Mario and friends spying on them. The smaller members of the Koopaling gang are about to fight Mario when the Sledge Bro, …Sledge (OK, I got lazy with that one)…takes this into his own hammer. Sledge admires Mario and friends coming here to stop the Koopalings, but still notes he has to stop the plumber.

Sledge turns out to mostly be talk. While Sledge is bulkier and stronger, he has no strategies behind his attacks, allowing Mario and friends to overtake him. Though Sledge admits defeat this time, he warns next time won’t be so easy. Ordering a tactical retreat, Sledge and his friends run for their lives, leaving “it” behind.

Yoshi&#039;s words

Mario and friends bring the male Vellbex ghost “it”. The ghost is thankful, but he has no time to appreciate the object, as he has a tea party to attend to, quickly placing “it” on the table. Edwin, wondering if the ghost and Koopaling minions have been playing some elaborate prank, demands Mario uses his Paint Hammer to sort this out. However, the duo is surprised by a green Yoshi appearing out of nowhere. Mario tries to get on, but the Yoshi dodges, merely replying to try in some other game. The Yoshi proceeds to jump out the window.

When Mario and his friends go look for the bedsheets, they head to the laundry room. Mario fears this room, as the floor creaks with every step. Carefully, Mario and friends tread to the bedsheet sticking out of the wall. Mario tries pulling, but there’s seven Shy Guys pulling from the other side. With force, Mario, Edwin, Louis and Huey win the tug of war. However, the floor collapses from the inertia of the pull, causing our heroes and Shy Guys to fall into the hole. Kersti enters the room having heard the ruckus. When she sees the hole, she immediately flies in.

Secret SD chamber SWITCH

Mario and friends end up in a weird, teched-up room. Louis and Huey are frightened by the room, but the seven Shy Guys prevent them from leaving. The head Red Shy Guy rants at Mario about the ethics of taking of other people’s towels. In the middle of his rant, one of the Slugshrooms our heroes have seen sprays purple mist in the air, increasing the Shy Guys’ aggressive feelings and making them Shiny!

Battle with mystery enemy SWITCH

Having to deal with eight protected enemies is an ordeal Mario’s never had to face. Just before things can get really bad, though, Kersti flies in. Annoyed at the shiny enemies, Kersti shows Mario a new trick the Sticker Comet taught her- by shining brightly, Kersti somehow “reverses” the protections of the Shiny status. Now, instead of taking twice as long to fight off the enemies, Mario takes them out like scissors through a piece of pepperoni.

Following the battle, Huey admires Kersti’s ability. However, Kersti comes clean about what happened last year during the fight with Bowser, motivating Huey to help Mario more. Kersti also admits she wasn’t exactly a great companion last year, but Huey points at that as long as one really learns from their mistakes, there’s no problem.

Meanwhile, Edwin offers his own explanation on the Slugshrooms- they’re native to Prism Island, and only turn shiny those who they like, something Kersti doesn’t see as so bad. Before Kersti can consider making one a pet, though, Edwin also reveals the Shrooms take control of their victims. For physically weak or compromised people they don’t like? Those victims simply get turned into purple shrooms, like what happened to Suga T.

While the gang quickly grab the bedsheets they came for, Kersti flies back up, lowering a towel rope. The gang also check out a strange pod in the back. The pod won’t function without “samples”, though. Unsure of what the pod defines as samples, the gang climb up the rope.

Together, the gang finish all the tasks for the ghosts, causing them all to head to a dining room. However, the Vellbex ghosts want a particular crown-pattern teapot for their tea party, one which the Dark Bloo Inn doesn’t currently tea carry. Asking Ganag about it, Ganag searches the back room. While he does find a Purple Mini-Paint Star, there’s no teapot. Finally, Ganag remembers that by royal decree, the teapot was brought to Plum Park as an attraction almost one millennium ago.

As Louis thanks Ganag for the Mini-Paint, Kersti decides to part with Mario for now. Huey, being the guy he is, expresses his happiness for meeting Kersti. Mario then collects the Mini-Paint Star, which, by coincidence, allows the gang access to Plum Park.

Greeter Elleine

More friendly tidings in the form of Elleine the Brustache greet Mario and friends at Plum Park’s entrance. Elleine brags about how pure the park’s water is. She also mentions Ms Bloomington told her to keep an eye out for the teapot, but that’s above her pay grade. Being the greeter also complicates Elleine’s knowledge of the park’s current state.

Mario and friends have to agree there, for when they step into the park, the water is contaminated and filthy! The only thing allowing Mario to safely jump across is several lilly-pads. Even then, some are too far for normal jumps, requiring Edwin and Louis to navigate the dangerous waters. Most mysterious of all are several flowers with song note symbols on them, some blocking the path, others in the poison waters. No matter what the gang tries, none of their moves can force the plants open.

Jumping Jehosibloop

Also unusual, both a large gathering of Koopaling and Musketeer minions are scattered across the park. Shy, Slurp and Spiked Guys battle against Boos, Boosketeers and Cutlads. The Shy Guys have help in the form of Isle Delfino’s Jumping Bloopers. The huge enemies are imposing- at least until Mario’s jumps deflate the octopods, heavily reducing their defenses. The only enemy present is the normal Blooper, which… just bloops ink as usual.

The Sol report SWITCH

As the gang scoot and bloop around the toxic park, they come across a large concert, as well as Sol of Yellow Rescue Squad. Sol is looking to fix the poison problem, but the stage is blocking his view. Sol also reveals Suebelle is providing her dancing to accompany a pop singer’s performance. Sol wonders why Suebelle isn’t with Marirana, oblivious to Edwin’s guilty face.

The gang get their lucky break when they find a spare wood bucket. Using his steering prowess and Edwin’s suction to speed up left and right movement, Mario and friends navigate their way to the stage. They arrive just in time, too, as the show begins.

Doki Doki Suebelle SWITCH

Some green Koopas set the tone with their jazz hands, before Suebelle arrives. Suebelle’s dancing, in turn, paves the way for an out of left field return, Birdo! Riding a moon prop, Birdo sings of love and makes several puns to Mario’s Subcon adventure. For a grand finish, Suebelle and the Koopas gesture to Birdo, before the sexually indeterminate dinosaur blows the audience a kiss. Birdo then leaves the way she came, riding on her moon prop.

The Shy Guys really loved Birdo’s performance, despite her aging (gee, wonder why?). However, they’re much more critical of Suebelle’s dancing. Sol, meanwhile, arrives, ecstatic about the jazz hands. Sol leaves Mario and friends the task of finding the fountain, while he goes inform Iron Hard Jonny about jazz hands.

With Sol gone and the show over, Edwin presses Suebelle for Marirana’s whereabouts. Sadly, it turns out Edwin’s earlier words were the straw that broke the camel’s back after all, as Suebelle and Marirana are no longer together. Instead, Suebelle has partnered with Birdo. Becoming aggravated, Suebelle demands Edwin and friends leave her alone.

This revelation just makes Edwin feel even guiltier about his earlier actions. Equally saddened, Mario hits the back wall. This letting off steam turns out to be a good idea, as it turns out the wall was just stagework. Even more pressingly, the wall reveals the fountain and…the Royal Teapot! Before heading over, Mario quickly grabs the Birdo Love Balloons in front of the side wall.

Mario is just about to grab the Royal Teapot when a voice warns him not to. Mario, Huey and especially Edwin turn around to see the moustached Sleeping Boo. At the sight of this guy, Edwin gasps- it’s Aace himself! While Aace seems calm, he quietly expresses disappointment in Edwin for abandoning the Musketeers, especially for Mario.

Aace further continues he needs the teapot to find something, but refuses to elaborate further. Huey, of course, doesn’t trust Aace has good intentions, and tries calling dibs on the Teapot. Unfortunately, Aace is having none of that, as he draws his saber.

As Edwin was afraid of and now the others get to experience, Aace proves to be the most proficient Musketeer in his group. It’s not just saber slashes or a rapid flurry of jabs that the ghost can use- he also unleashes a powerful ghostly wave on occasion. Worst of all, neither Mario, nor any of his friends, nor even allied enemies can land a hit on Aace, as the Boo is invisible/transparent.

Marirana brings the beat on Aace SWITCH

A little into the battle, Aace lightly chides Edwin for his failure to learn. Suddenly, Marirana arrives to save Edwin, Mario and friends. Marirana lets loose her Off-Color Lyrics, cancelling Aace’s invisibility! Aace is just confused at this development, only unamused at Marirana’s language compared to someone he used to know. Marirana cuts Aace off, tagging in with Mario for the rest of the fight.

With Aace now visible, Mario can finally actually hit the semi-deceased warrior. Whenever Aace tries turning invisible again, Marirana cancels it out. All exits cut off, Mario and Marirana finally beat Aace.

Rather than feel upset, Aace is actually happy for Edwin and Marirana’s success in besting him. Edwin apologizes for his behaviour to Marirana, revealing he hasn’t had any friends for a while, though he adds that’s still no excuse. Surprisingly, Marirana admits Edwin’s words did get her to realize something- despite sending out a message, she doesn’t connect with her fans. However, Marirana knows one person can’t know everyone. Therefore, Marirana wants to travel with Mario, to help her understand how he balances fame and friendship and his main draw. As Louis, Huey and Mario are all for it, Edwin also takes Marirana’s addition to the team emotionally. And on that day, Marirana joined Mario’s Prism Island party.

This alliance brings a tear of happiness to Aace’s eye, bringing him memories. Shortly after, Pitholl and Cucleer arrive to give Aace assistance. However, the Musketeer leader denies them, knowing he was beaten fairly. Aace also reveals he read the marks on the Teapot while Mario and friends were talking, allowing the Musketeers to know what to do next. Disappointed, Pitholl and Cucleer leave.

Aace also explains where the poison came from- the water from the underground mixes with the piping, sometimes drawing subterranean fauna like the toxic Slugshrooms to it. As a token of good faith, Aace not only gives Mario and friends the Royal Teapot- Aace also reveals he’s fixed the spring so this doesn’t happen again. Within seconds, the water indeed returns to normal, opening most of the flowers and saturating the plants with song note symbols.

Aace&#039;s words SWITCH

Aace is about to leave when he asks Mario an odd question- when’s the right time for someone to hide a huge secret. When Mario doesn’t know, Aace admits he himself only learned the answer a year ago- when everyone’s looking at you. Aace finally leaves the park, confusing Huey. Edwin just tells Huey that Aace always gives that kind of cryptic advice.

Mario and friends quickly take a stroll through the park. In this time, Mario also learns the benefits of allying with Marirana in battle. When Mario needs to heal, he notices his health items restore more HP and Paint with Marirana out. In addition, Marirana’s waves not only hit multiple enemies, but they inflict double the pain on flying or floating enemies, as with Aace. Meanwhile, on the field, Marirana has two different maneuvers- firing sound waves afar, as well as holding in her power to unleash a sound boom blast around her.

The gang quickly puts two and two together and backtrack to all the song note flowers. With Marirana, the flowers open. Among the goodies inside the flowers, like Battle Cards, coins, and paint, the most precious find is a Blue & Purple Double Mini-Paint Star. Collecting this Double Star opens a way to Violet passage, as well as a shortcut back to Bloo Bay Beach.

Edwin attacks Masque

As the team has the Royal Teapot in hand, Mario knows deep down they have to go back to Dark Bloo Inn to complete the tea party. However, as they’re leaving the park, the team hear a commotion far in the distance. Hurrying as fast as they can, they meet an odd Shy Guy Bandit, Masque, just outside Mondo Woods. Masque isn’t really anything special, though- just a buffer Slurp Guy with a Masque. Mario makes short work of Masque, gaining an Anti-Slurp Guy card in the process.

Ms Bloomington&#039;s thanks

Our heroes get back on track and return to Dark Bloo Inn. With its ancient brewing power, the Royal Teapot gives the Vellbex ghosts their tea. Drinking the tea finishes the Vellbex’s business, allowing them to ascend to the Overthere. Grateful for Mario and friends’ help, Ms. Bloomington gives Mario a bunch of powerful Super cards.

Chapter 3 Part 2

Unfortunately, things do not get any better when the five-hero band arrives at Violet Passage. In addition to the sea looking colorless, there’s a battle waging abroad the docks. A nearby Pianta sailor explains Kidd and some monsters she tamed have taken over the nearby ship. Proving his point is a cannonball, which Huey SWOOOOOooces right under in the nick of time, Matrix style. Deh neh neh, nuhNUH nuh NUHnuh...

The Huetrix Revolutions Recut SWITCH 2 Electric Boogaloo

The nearby box barricade isn’t so lucky, as it’s destroyed by another cannonball. A young Vellbex girl is worried at this development, but this inspires the gang to go deal with Kidd.

Though Yellow Rescue Squad is present and fighting the invaders, they’re oddly outmatched by Kidd and her flunkies. One by one, Mario and friends provide support for Caan, Armstrong, Veronica and Sol. While Caan and Sol have their minds on the battle, Armstrong and Veronica are concerned for Kidd’s neglect of her duties.

Kiss of Kidd SWITCH

Mario and friends eventually fight through the Fuzzy invaders to reach Jonny. Jonny is unaware Mario beat them, believing Orion was right in him needing for confidence. However, Kidd interrupts Jonny’s epiphany in the most provocative way- planting a kiss on Mario himself.

Mario tries to focus on fighting Kidd during the ensuing battle, but his mind’s clouded by the goat woman’s allure. Desperate, Mario uses enemies summoned by his cards to more clearly fight for him, but they feel the heat from Gonzales’ body, coaxing them to join Kidd so they can feel the same. Somehow, despite this handicap, Mario and friends still come out on top.

Jonny&#039;s concern SWITCH

The person most shocked by Mario’s victory is, of course, Kidd. The woman is furious over losing this fight, as she needed to use the ship for something, but only further believes nothing ever matters. Looking Mario straight in the face, without blinking, Kidd swears she’ll come out on top next time. She then flees. Jonny is startled by Kidd’s declining behaviour, believing the Squad Captain needs to know about this.

On the docks, Jonny and the other Yellow Squad members thank Mario for his help. They then depart back to Port Prisma to deliver their news to the Squad Captain.

Worried crewmates SWITCH

After they leave, the Pianta, Vellbex girl, and a rough looking red Toadette also give their thanks. Unfortunately, the captain of the ship and the Vellbex girl’s aunt, Baabeaussa, is still stranded in the colorless sea. Marirana struggles to balance being optimistic and real, but Huey realizes they just need another Grand Paint Star to save Baabeaussa. Relieved, the Vellbex girl, Caapri, starts bossing the older crewmembers around. Of course, they obey without question.

As our heroes didn’t collect a Paint Star this time, they’re a little stumped on where to go. Huey thinks on it before remembering they didn’t visit Sacred Forest earlier when they unlocked it. Upon their arrival, Mario, Huey and Edwin reunite with Clara T. Ironically, she’s trying to pull on that dreaded lousy turnip- and it’s huge, to boot! Clara T asks Mario and friends to quickly check around the island for her family, which Mario agrees to.

Griini&#039;s acting

In the corner of Mario’s eye, he sees an uncolored Lakitu behind a tree root. Recoloring the Lakitu only floods the avian turtle with flashbacks of a Slurp Guy ambushing him, even when pretending to be a bushel. The Lakitu chastises his inability to method act, before flying off.

Mario then collects a Yellow Mini-Paint Star leading to Mustard Café. Right away, Huey is disgusted to see another big colorless spot so soon after the gray Violet Passage sea. Marirana, thankfully, has her eyes set on two Toads in the middle of the spot.

Relaxed Bakke T SWITCH

Upon closer inspection, a Toadette chef is relaxing in a beach chair while being fanned by Beeyew T of Green Rescue Squad. The Toadette chef is enjoying the feeling (…a little too much), but Beeyew T stops on account of only being paid for three hours. Beeyew T bids the chef, Bakke T, as well as Mario, a good day before leaving.

When the gang converse with Bakke T, they learn from her laid back attitude that her Café is booked for three years. She also reveals she has a Mini-Paint Star, but she’s not willing to give it up so easily.

The idea of a Star willingly being kept haunts the rangers- I MEAN our heroes- as they trudge back to Port Prisma. They do see all of Green Rescue Squad being deployed to Sacred Forest. However, the Squad Captain questions the gang on Kidd’s presence at Violet Passage. Curious, Marirana asks why Kidd is acting this way, but the Captain only replies Kidd is “handling things poorly”.

Sad Squad Captain SWITCH

The Captain also tells the heroes if Kidd gets in the way again, to let him know. The Captain finds Kidd’s behaviour unacceptable and a negative influence on someone- but as soon as the Captain tries to say who, he just looks down, as if in shame. Marirana, Mario, and the others know not to prod the Captain further, and decide to make another stop to get their minds off this mystery.

Eventually, they decide to check in on Piper’s hideaway again. Like clockwork, the Lakitu they recolored flies in. Redd and Pynk welcome the Lakitu, calling him Griini, and show him the plant. Griini gives his own account of Piper- during a school play, Griinie was almost forced to play the role of a down-on-his-luck potted plant by their teacher, Hayzee Sr. To bail Griini out, or possibly because he felt like it, Piper volunteered for and got the role instead. Luckily, everyone loved Piper for his authenticity in the role, to the point butterflies were willing to land on him.

Mario and friends stop wasting time, taking a countryside stroll back to the Sacred Forest. As expected, all five Green Rescue Squad family members are present. Clara T thanks Mario, but asks him for a little extra muscle pulling the tulip out. Unfortunately, the Rescue Squad and Mario together can’t pull it out. Huey panics, while Louis believes the other Rescue Squad members are busy.

Rescue Squad and O Chunks SWITCH

In the nick of time, O’Chunks arrives. It’s not a coincidence, though, as o’Chunks explains how Catguru directed the Flip Flip general here, something Catguru corroborates when he shows up. As Catguru continues making weird reverse metaphors and responses, O’Chunks (and Louis this time) help Mario and the Rescue Squad pull out the Dreamy Tulip. Unfortunately, the sheer force also destroys the Warp Pipe the vegetable blocked.

…or did it? Underneath the original pipe is another plant. At Louis’ suggestion, Mario pulls again. This vegetable turns out to be another warp pipe, surprising Marirana. Catguru also chimes in on one existence leading to another, before vanishing.

With the smiling feline gone, Huey asks the question no one can answer- who the heck is Catguru?

Things seem to return to normal on the other side of the pipe, as the forest’s trees are their usual size. Within seconds, however, it turns out to be a fakeout, as now the forest is getting smaller.

Circumstances become stranger as the gang come across a Blue Mini-Paint Star, just…floating there. Edwin is suspicious of this development, but Huey is ecstatic for the chance.

That is, until Perry the Goomba steals the Mini-Paint Star before the gang’s eyes.

Hiding Quincada

Edwin is raring to chase Perry, and so is Huey. Just then, Huey feels something crawwwwwwwling on his skiiiiiiiiin. Slowly turning around, the gang realize at an equal pace that the cause of Huey’s irritation is a weird Musketeer cicada, or a Quincada for short. At Huey’s frightened request, Mario whacks Huey with his Hammer, sending the bucket guardian flying. Huey is initially not amused, but Edwin’s retort gets Huey to act more grateful for Mario’s favor.

Up the path, Mario and friends come across a small river. While most of the Cheep Cheeps jumping seem normal, one is carrying a piece of the Blue Mini-Paint Star. Defeating the Cheep Cheep and retrieving the piece gets Huey to realize that Perry broke the Star apart. By Huey’s guestimates, the Star was broken into five.

Perry insults Mario SWITCH

Not even a minute later, the gang find the second piece. It’s a TRAP, however, as Perry and three Quincadas sneak up on Mario and friends. Dumbfounded that Mario believes he’s getting the shard without a fight, Perry starts to think Luigi is the genius before attacking.

Other than the three Quincadas and muted beefed up attacks, Perry isn’t any better at fighting. Reassured, Mario once again defeats Perry before the Goomba becomes troublesome.

Perry complains at his defeat, but promises he’ll win next time. As the Goomba musketeer runs off and shouts for Aace, Edwin wonders what his old Boo boss sees in Perry.

Marirana adorbs for Gulliv T SWITCH

Before heading further in, Mario and his Amazing Friends see a tiny Toad Boy near a tree. The team draw closer in, and they hear the boy’s wish- to join the Rescue Squad. Marirana is enamored at the Toad boy’s innocence, making the lad blush. The boy asks Mario and Marirana for help in joining the Squad, as he wants to be biiiiig. (He wants to grow big, right?) The Toad boy heads off to the HQ in Port Prisma as fast as his little feet can carry him.

Meanwhile, the gang see a Blue Paint Star piece in the tree, retrieving it with Marirana’s Sound Boom Blast. However, the force also alerts a gang of mini Quincadas to the intrusion. With so many of the bugs, Mario and friends have to win as fast as possible.

Mario and the gang proceed to find a huge insect problem, in the form of a much bigger mini Quincada army. Within Mario’s pocket, Huey and the others inside advise Mario against taking the cicada army on directly, though he’s welcome to try. Mario circles the army, only for Huey to chime in again. While everyone else is inside playing Mario’s party game, Huey smells the Paint Star piece. Though Huey once again advises Mario against fighting the bugs head-on, he wonders aloud if this is like Golden Coliseum, and they just need a fast way to beat the many foes again.

Mario gets a first strike on the Quincadas. Of course, Mario realizes this was a mistake before picking any cards, as the Quincadas in the woods and with Perry were already fast as is. Having no real way to block at lightning speed, Mario high-tails it out of the fight.

In the corner of Mario’s eye, he sees a tree glowing gold. Hitting the tree reveals a Super Star for Mario. All his fears gone, Mario plows through most of the insects. In this time, Mario also realizes another way to defeat the hoard of bugs. Once the invincibility runs out, Mario puts this plan, in the form of Marirana’s Sound Boom Blasts, into effect, and it works! Mario and Marirana retrieve the Blue Star Piece.

Scuttlebug stampede SWITCH

The bug problems aren’t finished, as Mario and friends see a bunch of mini-Spoings headed into a cave. To the south of them is a mini-pipe, something Louis points out. With that path unavailable, the gang try to look for an entrance into the cave of Spoings. While they do find it, Marirana is wary of entering. She stays out of the cave. Edwin and Louis stay behind to comfort her, leaving Mario and Huey to bravely enter a small opening. The duo deal with the Spoings on the ceiling, retrieving the final blue Star Piece. The Spoings gone, the three amigos outside rejoin Mario.

The Weapons club SWITCH

Excited at their success, Mario and friends return back to the Goal Pad. Using his guardian power, Huey magically restores the five Blue Pieces back into the singular Blue Mini-Paint Star. Before they can grab it, though, Sledge and his Clubba friend arrive. Sledge thanks Mario for the Blue Mini-Paint Star, before he and his friend attack.

Like with Perry, Sledge and Clubba are only a minor nuisance with minor improvements. Mario proceeds to mine the two Koopaling henchmen with his Hammer.

Knowing when they’re licked, Sledge and the Clubba run off. Mario shrugs, before grabbing the Mini-Paint Star. The blues of the small celestial body unveils an especially long path- across the cliffs, above the oceans, and towards the Azure Base.

Chapter 3 Part 3

The oceanic location of the base doesn’t exactly nullify the menace emanating around it. The Bowser emblem on the floor before the door definitely fails to lighten the mood, as Mario remembers he hasn’t seen even the tail end of the Koopa King on Prism Island. To try and distract himself, Mario uses his Paint Hammer to color in both the symbol and some other blank patterns, earning a ton of coins and cards. The relieved Mario proceeds through the taped door.

Within the base is a Blue Paint Star. The gang, of course, know there’s an obvious trap waiting for them. Mario, thinking outside the box, tries using Louis to Leap across the floortiles. Unlucky for them, whoever built the base anticipated that, as a wall materializes on the other side of the third tile, which is in turn a trapdoor. The trapdoor leads to a pit with a Warp Pipe. Mario starts thinking, explaining something about this premise- falling into a pit with a single Warp Pipe- seems awfully familiar. Once Louis points out Mario’s seen plenty of pipes in his day, as well as the lack of options, the gang enter the pipe.

Unlike other pipes, this one doesn’t lead to a landmass. Oh no- it just traps the gang in bubbles instead, sinking deeper and deeper into the ocean. Our heroes aren’t alone, however, as they end up in the most logical place one can be at the bottom of the sea.

A game show.

Snob Biffet returns

As in, Snifit or Whifit. As in, “hosted by that maniac Snob Biffet” Snifit or Whifit.

Snob introduces himself, Mario and the others. He then explains how this version of the game works- there’s seven rounds. By winning best of four, Mario gets both a Mini-Paint Star and another participation prize. By winning all seven, meanwhile, Mario can play a special, yet completely optional bonus round. To play, Mario needs to use his cards. Alleviating Mario’s concerns, a Blue Snifit quickly comes in, stashing Mario’s current deck away and giving him a rental deck for the game show.

The game show is pretty standard. Mario has to look at cards in various ways, from a single card spinning in 16 spots, three cards being flown behind seaweed, two cards being smushed together, and other activities. Afterwards, Mario must pick the right card.

Snob Biffet participation prize

Mario aces it, as he does have an entire spin-off of party games to think of. As promised, Snob Biffet gives Mario a special Artifact just for Mario’s participation, the Lakithunder Camera. Because Mario got all seven questions right, he also gets to play the bonus round.

Snob Biffet optional cards

In the bonus round, some round ideas (falling cards) are combined with other ideas (obscuring enemies). Others are just harder versions in general (like taller, thicker sea kelp obscuring carried cards). There’s even remembering which enemy is carrying which card. Nothing gets past Mario, of course, and he cinches the bonus round too.

Snob Biffet couldn’t be happier for Mario’s success…either that, or he’s seething with rage. No matter his real feelings, Mario and friends are brought to a chamber where two Snifits give Mario fourteen unseen cards. Seven of them are Rocket FLUDD, while the other seven are Turbo FLUDD. In addition, the blue Snifit takes back the unused rental cards and gives Mario his real deck back.

Mario thanks the nice interns, before heading into the red pipe.

When they exit the pipe, they see the Blue Mini-Paint Star before them. However, before moving, Huey notices Mario is thinking about something. Finally, Mario explains to Louis and Huey what the area before the game show reminded him of- the Pit of 100 Trials in Rogueport. Louis is amazed the legends of that place are true…but it’s nothing compared to Huey’s reaction to the name, as he reveals Prism Island also has a Pit built by the King. Though Huey doesn’t remember why the King commissioned it or what he left in there, Huey does remember the Pit is somewhere near Crimson Tower.

Mario collects the Blue Paint Star, allowing access to Fort Cobalt. However, Mario and friends dash all the way back to Crimson Tower, looking for this entryway. Eventually, near the entrance to the tower, they find a Soundstone breakable with Marirana’s Sound Boom Blast.

It seems the gang weren’t the only people interested in the pit, though, as some fat bandit with two swords and other normal Bandits are pacing around the entrance, which appears to be locked. Upon seeing Mario and friends, the fat bandit introduces himself as Ari Sworda of the 30 Bandits (“Is going to be 40 one day, comrade.”). When Huey expresses distrust of Ari’s intentions, Ari calms him down by explaining he merely came to visit, but the door into the Pit won’t open.

Ari Sworda at the Pit entrance

Being the hero he is, Mario tells Ari Sworda he’ll look around Prism Island for something to open the door, flling the Bandit with joy. As a token of good faith towards Huey, Ari gives Mario enemy cards of Blue, Red and Yellow Bandits, and encourages Mario to return if he needs more…of course, for a coin price, as Ari Sworda does have expenses to pay.

Our heroes (well, except Huey) bid Ari Sworda a good day, before taking the long scenic road to Fort Cobalt. Huey perks up as soon as the gang arrive, finally feeling another Grand Paint Star (the Azure one) within.

The gang is thrown off by the presence of a lone box before them, though. The box tells the gang that his people have learned of a secret weapon in development at the Fort. The box believes that as strong and diverse as his teammates are, they stand no chance. The box lifts up, revealing a blue Toad Rescue Squadee. The Toad, announcing himself as Den T, jets out of the fort, wanting to be near his beautiful blue captain.

General Guy&#039;s orders

On the second floor of the first room, Mario sees a face he hasn’t seen in a long time, General Guy. General Guy is informing his Shy Guy soldiers of intruders, wanting a thorough search of the fort. The Shy Guys agree greatly, loyally repeating their instructions.

After minor traversal of angled platforms and destroying a forcefield with Marirana’s help, Mario finally reunites with General Guy. Instead of admitting Mario came to them, the General congratulates his men for finding Mario. The General then orders the Shy Guys to stack up. With great difficulty and irritation, the Shy Guys side up like a deck of cards. The annoyance of having to squeeze together so close makes the Shy Guys a little tougher, but Mario and Marirana still pick them off one by one. The Bandits the team got from Ari Sworda also help recover medium amounts of paint in between attacks.

General Guy&#039;s lament SWITCH

General Guy pities his men, then retreats, leaving behind a bunch of Tail cards. Marirana then makes a joke about General Guy running without his tail between his legs, prompting a simple laugh from Huey.

The second room is rather unusual- it’s a long hallway in three columns, blocked by a fence. A sad Blue Koopa is nearby, prompting a reaction from Edwin. Speaking to the Blue Koopa reveals that despite his intelligence, he can’t figure out which fence is the correct one. The Blue Koopa’s failure doesn’t stop him from encouraging Edwin to find the right way.

Mario tries simply picking each fence once. Unfortunately, even after hitting all three, no path avails itself. In fact, Mario keeps getting flung back for every wrong mistake, taking a little damage as well. Huey quickly realizes the fences are somehow shuffling around, and he reminds Mario of the trick they used on Bloo Bay Beach to see past the ruse. Thanks to this reminder, Mario makes more progress past the fences, though he still gets hurt on wrong guesses.

On the third fence set, Mario and friends see a colorful Basin with the face of Donkey Kong’s relative Lanky upon it. Mario decides not bother wondering why this Artifact is just there. Hitting the fence beneath the Lanky Basin causes it to fall upon Mario. Though he takes absolutely no damage and puts the Lanky Basin away, Mario still has a funny face from the blow.

The happy Blue Koopa

The final fence plays dirty, as when Mario fails that one, he’s dropped into the basement of that room. Immediately, Mario not only sees the other Blue Koopas who failed the fence trial-and-error bullplop, but also several Slugshrooms abound. Mario, not wanting to even think about why there’s so many Slugshrooms in the basement, battles his way out of the basement and back to the fences. Second times the charm, as Mario picks the correct fence this time. The Blue Koopa praises Mario and Edwin for their skill, leaving to rally the other Musketeers.

The third room is incredibly huge, with a café, a second floor, and many doors to consider. Tired from the frustrating Fliprussing fences, Mario decides he needs a meal. At the café, Mario orders the special from the Red Koopa running it. The Red Koopa, however, turns out to be a spy for the Musketeers, switching his diction from casual to prosy to prove it. The Koopa spy gives Mario three Tail cards, outright telling Mario they’re the key to destroying the secret weapon in the base. The Koopa immediately switches back to his original casual vocabulary, wishing Mario to come again.

Before leaving, Mario thinks he should reward the gang for all their hard work. Therefore, he doubles back and orders everyone a meal. In addition to their normal order, Mario finds a free Magma Burger in his bag. Mario tries to return the Burger, or at least pay for it, but the Koopa spy politely turns him down. As the matter is settled, Edwin advises Mario to keep the Magma burger as a surprise tool, to help the gang later.

Ludwig base Stabyltu SWITCH

Mario and friends see a Save Block near a door on the second floor, indicating a tough challenge ahead. Due to the size of the fort, Mario declines to just finish this stage of the adventure right away, poking around the base. Mario also remembers Den T’s presence, and realizes the other members must be here.

Wrodes gives Louis the salute SWITCH

The heroes search up and down, just as General Guy would have. First, they find the Lakitu, Stabyltu, in a locker. Then, they force the buff Memphawk, Wrodes, out of a vent. Finally, they find the Brustache Kanviss on a treadmill, feeling the heat. With Mario’s help, all three members leave the base. Helping Kanviss also allows Mario access to a room with a Green Koopa, conscripted by General Guy. To get back at the General, the Green Koopa gives Mario three more Tail cards the military Shy Guy hid under his bed for confiscation.

Mario also sees a Snifit across a bridge. Defeating the Snifit reveals it to be a Boosketeer, though. The Boosketeer apologizes for any crass language he used in his fight, before flying off to also join the other Musketeers for an invasion. Edwin is surprised by the thought of the Musketeers invading Fort Cobalt, as Aace originally didn’t want the base before Edwin left.

The thorough exploration of the base now means Mario and friends must enter the final room. Just as they step towards the door, though, Pitholl and Cucleer arrive with a gaggle of Boosketeers and Blue Koopas. Pitholl talks crud to the Shy Guys about their lacking work ethics. One Shy Guy, unamused, takes a bite of his Magma Burger, then proceeds to breath FI-YAAAAA on some Musketeer minions. The Shy Guy then rallies the Red Koopas and Slurp Guys to his side, but it fails to intimidate Cucleer. With a way cluck, Cucleer and Pitholl battle the Koopaling minions alongside their Musketeers. Edwin knows with both sides busy, he and Mario can focus on General Guy.

General Guy awaits Mario and friends when they step into the final room, which is a docking area. The General is hankering for some payback against Mario, planning to use Ludwig’s new Ludship (or rather, Ludwig’s Megabad Super Battleship of Doom) to defeat Mario. Since Mario trespassed earlier than expected, however, the back of the ship is missing. Huey and Marirana try to scare down General Guy, but General Guy isn’t in the mood to defeat. With his famous cry of “TASTE DEFEAT! CHARGE!!”, the battle commences.

The General is just as militaristic as he was years ago, summoning wave after wave of Koopaling-loyal personnel to vanquish the red plumber before him. Also, cannonballs really hurt, a fact General Guy takes to heart as the Ludship launches the round projectiles.

While Mario knows from the hundreds of hints what the Ludship’s weakness is, he decides to entertain the notion of this being a normal fight by attacking the ship directly. Of course, this has no effect, and General Guy mocks Mario for his imputence. Even Marirana’s sound attacks do nothing to the ship.

General Guy SWITCH

The results of these attacks teach Mario to whip out his Tail cards and present them to General Guy’s cannonballs. The extra velocity the Tail grants to the reflected cannons allows Mario to damage the Ludship. General Guy begins panicking, his only commands being to just summon different mooks.

After the third cannonball, the unfinished Ludship sinks into the waters of the dock. Mario and friends are unable to claim victory right away, unfortunately, as a familiar Toy Tank is launched onto the main bay. General Guy emerges from the Toy Tank hatch, warning Mario he’s just made the white Shy Guy and Ludwig mad.

General Guy phase 2 SWITCH

The Toy Tank’s defenses are nowhere as high as the Ludship’s, evening the odds in Mario and friends’ favor. Just like the old days, General Guy throws bombs and tries running Mario over with his tank. This time, though, instead of a lightbulb, General Guy has a Bob-omb cannon he can throw his explosives into. Just as with Mario’s Tail towards the earlier cannonballs, the Bob-omb cannon gives General Guy’s weapons more punch.

And just like years ago, Mario defeats General Guy once again, this time with new friends.

In a gesture of maturity, General Guy concedes to Mario as his superior in combat, even after explaining Bowser Junior summoned him to Prism Island on short notice. This maturity changes into defiance, though, as General Guy not only warns Mario of Ludwig’s finished Ludship, but Junior’s own rumored weapon. The General falls into the water, finishing his speech.

Some Shy Guys row near the docks with the Azure Grand Paint Star, claiming they’ve seen the error of their ways. Marirana doesn’t buy it, asserting that if they were being honest, they’d toss the Star to her friends. The Shy Guys seem to actually agree, doing just that. Unfortunately, it’s just a ruse to draw the invading Musketeers away from the fleeing Shy Guys. It’s true, as Pitholl and Cucleer arrive just as the Shy Guys leave.

Mario and Huey don’t even think twice, awakening and hitching a ride on Azure out of dodge. Pitholl is upset at their victory being taken from them within arm’s reach. To cheer up his friend, Cucleer reminds Pitholl they still have Fort Cobalt as their base now, as well as access to some secret documents Bowser Junior was scribbling away. Relieved, Pitholl follows Cucleer out of the room.

Azure takes the Mario gang above the skies of Violet Passage. With his/her paint magic, the sea’s natural purples are restored, letting Captain Baabeaussa have a safe route to the mainland.

Luigi Intermission 2

Half a continent away, Luigi arrives at the entrance to one of Prism Island’s deeper forests, Mossrock Theatre. Luigi reminisces on Captain Azure the Pianta giving him a boatride to the island. Green Mario’s thoughts of sharing the treasure are interrupted by the sounds of fighting in the strangely monochrome forest.

Luigi proceeds to fight his way through the theatre. While he doesn’t eat any popcorn, he does fight the Boos, Boosketeers, Monkhairas and Quincadas populating the sea of trees. Luigi is able to tank more damage than Mario, and his jumping power exceeds his brother’s. Sadly, his Hammer moves are markedly weaker that Red Luigi’s.

In the next expanse of trees, Luigi sees a sight that could be called rare- a living banana fighting Boos and Boosketeers. The banana brags of his superior skill, while a Boosketeer believes “they” would be interested in the banana’s presence now, of all times. Luigi decides to lend the banana a hand, and leaps into action.

Luigi and Nabana forced Boo encounter

The banana originally resists Luigi’s attempt to help. Luigi counters that he busts Boos from time to time. Unconvinced, the banana lends Luigi his power, allowing the green without envy bro to obtain 18 specific cards every time the Partner Meter is filled.

After the fight, the banana is now convinced Luigi...should tag with him as a second banana. Luigi declines, stating himself to already be his brother Mario’s sidekick. Hearing the name piques the banana’s interest, as he heard about Mario from Kersti. The banana brags that he could have found the missing Royal Stickers from last year earlier, but he was busy elsewhere. Upon Luigi explaining he’s looking for treasure, the two finally team up, and the banana gives his name- Nabana.

The duo find a poster for something called the Emerald Circus shortly after. Nabana is excited, as not only does he believe Luigi’s treasure might be there- Nabana also wants to be a strongman for the circus.

Luigi and Nabana reach the middle of the seemingly endless woods. Luigi expresses concern on the treasure’s worth, while Nabana is confident his presence bolstered the belittled brother in battle. Another challenger to Nabana’s ego interjects with her own boasts, as Princess Daisy of Sarasaland enters the scene.

Luigi and Nabana meet Daisy

Luigi is surprised to see Daisy on Prism Island, but Daisy is just amused towards Luigi. Luigi quickly jumps to conclusions, thinking Daisy sent him the letter. Strangely, Daisy is just surprised Luigi ALSO got a letter, also admitting she thought Luigi was her messenger. Noticing something is odd about this whole situation, Luigi asks Daisy about a similar passage in his own letter, about danger coming. Daisy is surprised, and the two compare notes- both are identical. At least, except for some name changes, and Daisy getting a packet of Turtley Leaves in lieu of a crystal.

Now knowing there’s something fishy going on, Luigi considers calling the search for the treasure off. Nabana, however, feels different. The otherwise jockish banana gives Luigi sage advice- if he bows out now, he’ll never know what the hunt would have brought him. Daisy agrees to resume, as it strengthens her legs for tennis. His friends’ convictions convince Luigi to reconsider and rejoin, as he really needs the coins.

The three amigos head deeper into the forest. Once they leave, Aace appears from thin air. Aace is glad to know the three are still looking, while also musing that whether they find a treasure or trap is their call. Aace then floats off, investigating how Postmaster Pesshi was mailed to Peach to begin with.

Chapter 4 Part 1

Click here to view the whole plot for Chapter 4.

Mario and friends arrive back in Port Prisma, Azure retaking schkler place at the Prisma Fountain. As thanks, Azure shows the team of good guys another memory of that day….

Chaos! Chaos abounds, as Koopalings and Musketeers battle each other around Prisma Fountain. In the epicenter of the battle, Aace and Bowser Junior in his Clown Car trade blows. Junior’s great strength takes Aace by surprise a few times, but the Sleeping Boo gets a few swipes in! Unfortunately, some Slurp Guys steal some paint, here and there, from the fountain, pouring it into large buckets! The two are so furious and single minded in their fight, the Slurp Guys and Boosketeers take their fight to the west end of town, Pitholl and Cucleer noticing…

Following this flashback, Marirana is horrified how even the Musketeers couldn’t stop the Slurp Guys from stealing all the paint. Huey is just wondering where the paint was brought to, something Marirana points out the next Grand Paint Star might know. Azure further rewards Mario with another Artifact-Up Slot.

Mario and friends decline to head to Violet Passage immediately, feeling the need to check up on Piper’s friends first. The plant is starting to look more like a tree- in fact, it is a tree. Also growing is the number of people watching over the tree, as a blue Pianta jumps up the steps. Griini the Lakitu recognizes the Pianta as Bolue. Redd, Pynk and Griini briefly admire the tree, only for Bolue to bring up Piper’s own absence. Bolue quickly doubles back, however, as he recalls how, despite Piper’s laid back nature, the mysterious individual’s surprising anger when provoked.

Piper in a millisecond SWITCH

Bolue quietly retells the story of when the five friends were ambushed by a gang of Bullies. The Bullies made fun of Piper for his small feet, his round head, and other things. Piper initially laughed it off- that was, until the Bullies started picking on Bolue, calling him a fat crybaby (making Edwin realize Bolue was the Pianta Kersti landed on at Dark Bloo Inn). Bolue, feeling self-conscious, did begin crying, causing Piper to grit his mouth and breath heavily. Suddenly, Piper leaped upon one of the Bullies, swallowing him whole! While Piper had to recover from the Bully’s horns after that, the other Bullies never bothered the gang again.

Hearing this story leads to Edwin noticing something really strange about Piper, about all the vastly different descriptions they’ve been hearing. Edwin soon begins to wonder just who- or what- Piper is…Edwin doesn't get much time to think, as he and Mario's friends, as well as Mario, head off for the Violet Passage again.

Mario and friends see three people when they arrive at Violet Passage. The first two are Peach and Toadsworth, but the third is a strange leaf fairy thing.

Though Peach is about to tell Mario some more news she and her prime retainer overheard, Mario is too districted by the leaf creature. Finally, Huey breaks the ice, as he notices the creature looks a little like Kersti. Peach and the creature verify this, and the leaf thing humbly introduces himself as Kitanu. Kitanu thanks Mario for giving Kersti the chance to mature during his sticker quest, before handing the conversation back to Toadsworth and Peach.

Toadsworth is startled by suddenly being given talking responsibilities, but he refocuses. He and Peach then explain a strange argument they overheard between Bowser Jr. and Mottley. Though Mottley was sent by a sick Bowser to keep an eye on Junior, Junior isn’t getting along with the clown. During this argument, Mottley was begging Junior to throw something horrible the Koopa Prince found somewhere.

Kitanu consoles Toadsworth SWITCH

Unfortunately, before Peach and Toadsworth could learn where, Toadsworth accidentally stepped on a twig, alerting the vile duo. Peach did most of the heavy lifting during the escape, the thought of which gnaws away at Toadsworth’s self-confidence. Kitanu is there to reassure Toadsworth of his worth, thankfully.

Peach also kind of reassures Toadsworth, but is more focused on learning where Bowser Junior went before coming to Prism Island. Once again, Peach runs off, and Toadsworth can’t help but feel mildly annoyed at Peach bailing yet again before meeting Marirana. Toadsworth and Marirana introduce themselves to each other, before Kitanu and Toadsworth hurry after Peach again.

Mario and friends proceed to the ship, greeted by the three sailors from before. Caapri and the red Toadette, Sharlo T, thank Mario for his help, before Sharlo yells for the captain. From the depths of the ship, Baabeaussa walks onto the main deck, taking Mario and friends aback with all her fake appendages. Baabeaussa is a little rough, claiming that while she wishes to give a reward, she can’t spare a single coin- her people need it more.

Mario and friends learn that Baabeaussa and her crew are searching for a mythic place called Fortune Island, said to hide a cache of riches. The thought of riches entices Edwin greatly, but Huey reminds his gold fevered friend of the potential for Paint Stars as well. To get to the islands requires crossing the Lost Sea, but due to replacing part of her head, Baabeaussa doesn’t remember how to cross it. Therefore, Huey recommends the gang look around the ship to figure out how to cross the Lost Sea, an idea Baabeaussa grants permission for.

The scavenger hunt for info yields several notes on navigating the Lost Sea, also all mentioning a legendary captain. When the pirate crew is pressed for info, Pierre replies the captain is one almost all others admire- at least, except for one in a faraway continent, but never mind. The others further recount how he was the only captain to make it to Fortune Island, yet only his ship and journal came back- not him. Even then, the first five pages were missing.

With all five notes, Baabeaussa believes they can cross the Lost Sea now. The Vellbex pirate is about to hoist anchor, when a voice suddenly yells out for passage. Everyone looks down, to see a Ninji with a pink bow-tie, a sight that shocks Mario.

Baabeaussa presses the Ninji for her identity, and the Ninji gives it as Nya of the Decal Lands’ Fibe Forests clan. Caapri and Baabeaussa are apprehensive with the Ninji on their ship, but they hear her case. Nya emphasizes the importance of her request, as her mother/clan leader, Ori, sent her to Prism Island to investigate a threat similar to what threatened her clan a year ago. Nya further reveals that without Mario, her clan would have drowned in the evil’s plague.

Nya&#039;s request SWITCH

Baabeaussa is unmoved, and further notes how Nya’s story only proves Mario’s reliability more. Realizing her stubborn last hope is a goat, Nya pulls out the big guns, explaining that not stopping the threat will mean the end of all species- including the Vellbex. At this last statement, Baabeaussa relents, allowing Nya to board and back- but no more after. Nya expresses her gratitude, and everyone gets busy readying the ship.

Mario and Huey proceed to give the ship some wind with Cut-Out and the Fwoosh Propeller, moving the ship forward in it’s voyage. Unbeknownst to anyone on the ship, a sub with a similar design to the Ludship rises out of the water where the ship was. The captain of the sub declares the ship’s crew won’t make it to Fortune Island alive.

Caapri&#039;s deep pipes SWITCH

The ship sails for many hours in the misty Lost Seas. Since they’re not nautical experts, Mario and Huey decide to just relax. Though Baabeaussa and her crew don’t complain, Edwin and Louis are more alert in light of Mario’s uncharacteristic laziness, manning the cannons. In the meantime, Marirana finds herself stunned at Caapri’s singing, the young Vellbex girl gladly reciting a pirate shanty in a disturbingly deep voice.

A tragedy to music strikes when the ship suddenly stops. Pierre runs up in a panic- the ship’s sprung a water leak. Baabeaussa knows how panicked Pierre is in placating the problem, so she orders Mario and friends to go check on the leak. Of course, Edwin, Louis and Marirana are concerned for the ship, and they rejoin Mario.

Down in the ship’s hull, Mario and friends find Pierre has taken care of the problem. Fate further cuts our heroes a break, as Pierre also found a Super Quakehammer card in the water. Pierre is proud of his work, asking Mario to tell Baabeaussa he has everything under control, as well as demand a raise.

Mario and friends return to the main deck. While Baabeaussa is relieved there’s nothing to worry about, the mention of Pierre’s demand spurs her to explain her coin pinching. Baabeaussa first reveals the ship is a hand-me-down of sorts, given it was the legendary captain’s. On the subject of gold, Baabeaussa believes the Vellbex deserve it more. The thought of how few Vellbex are left in the Mushroom World, even on Prism Island, is painful for Baabeaussa to point out, and Huey silently pities her. Baabeaussa quickly changes the subject back to the Lost Sea.

Speaking of the Lost Sea, the entire crew arrives at the entrance. Several mushroom-shaped rocks decorate the horizon. Baabeaussa takes the time to explain to Mario to use his Hammer, or Marirana her Sound, to fire the cannons. The captain beckons a test fire, and Mario obliges. This allows Mario to see the huge cannonballs fire quickly from the cannons, as well as the helpful targeting reticles. Baabeaussa also tells Mario and friends to speak to Caapri for finer steering instructions, and the young Vellbex girl jumps happily in response.

Mario quickly looks over the notes for all the clues the legendary captain left behind, figuring out what they mean. With this quick check-over, our heroes are finally all set to sail the Lost Sea for real this time. No jokes.

The sight of the mushroom rocks reminds Mario of a passage in the journal about turning after a smiling mushroom. This is a no-brainer, as one of the mushroom rocks does look happy. Belaying his order to turn, Caapri does as Mario asks.

Violet passage reworked minigame SWITCH

It appears to be a success, as the crew sail into some kind of targeting range. Immediately, Huey remembers a message about getting 60 points. With the cannon’s huge fast ammo, Mario cinches the area.

Upon arriving in the third area, déjà vu sets in with the appearance of more mushroom rocks. Marirana mulls over a note about angering a mushroom, yet taking a starboard for the better. Thanks to this reminder, Mario decides to blast several mushroom rocks. While doing this makes most of the shrooms sad, one is angered by this. Mario seizes the day and gives the order to turn right/starboard.

Edwin loves the fourth area, salivating at the many coins floating above the water. Gold fever also kicks Edwin’s mind to remember a journal page about collecting more than 25 coins. Being no stranger to collecting so many coins, Mario and Marirana fire the cannon. Not only do they collect more coinage this way, but also a few cards. Some POW Blocks further make the coin collecting easy. And not only do the gang meet the quota of coins, but a trail of yet more coins appears out of nowhere, paying our heroes with more knowledge and money.

This pre-fortune ends, regrettably, when the ship ends up sailing into incredibly dark mists. Louis reminds Mario about trusting a needle’s direction, but there’s no Cut-Out Zone for any Artifacts. In fact, the gang don’t even have a needle on them!

As per Huey’s advice, Mario quickly checks the ship’s hull for anything helpful. As soon as they descend, Pierre explains he finally plugged up the hole, as well as found a flag to hoist. Pierre heads back to the main deck after this short chat. In the meantime, Huey’s advice pays off, as Mario finds not one, but two Artifacts- the Amp Battery and the Koopa Compass. Mario doesn’t need Huey to know which Artifact to use.

The Artifact problem is out of the way, but there’s still the issue of no Cut-Out Zone. Also, the flag Pierre found looks incredibly beat up, a fact the red Pianta tries glossing around. The flag ALMOST looks like a square, but it’s still not complete enough to be a Cut-Out Zone. Mario is almost out of ideas, until Caapri recommends the cannons for help. Mario obliges, and with one well-aimed shot, the huge cannonball destroys enough rock to form a square with the flag before it.

The Koopa Compass’ needle points north in the most spectacular style, as the needle shoots the shell in that direction, dispelling the fog. Baabeaussa is in the middle of praising the Koopa Compass and making a bad pun, when Huey smells a Purple Mini-Paint Star! The news results in a cry of joy from Baabeaussa, elated she and her crew finally crossed the Lost Sea. Baabeaussa sails closer to the star, and Mario collects it, allowing harbor at Vortex Island.

Chapter 4 Part 2

Baabeaussa commands the ship to dock near Vortex Island. The cause- a huge whirlpool, with another Purple Mini-Paint Star above it. Huey urges the crew to continue anyways, but Louis gets his bucket friend to consider how dangerous the whirlpool is to the ship. Louis’ statement that even Huey would never risk the ship for a Star leads to Huey falling unusually silent.

Capri undehstands SWITCH

Following the actual docking, Baabeaussa, Pierre and Sharlo T go check out the island to think about their next move. Caapri stays on the ship, in case Mario and friends need to leave for some reason. As for Nya, she also stays behind to consider her own future actions.

The trip on Vortex Island begins with several Bloopers blooping around in the air and both Green & Blue Koopas roaming around. The local Lakitus aren’t happy about the influx of baddies, in-between complaining about the difficulties of bringing things to and fro Prism Island, as they’re the only species that can easily bypass the Lost Sea. This attitude from the Lakitus indicates they’re in no mood to help cross un-crossable obstacles. For example, Baabeaussa and her crew are unitedly stubborn in finding a way across a broken bridge. Louis is raring to Leap across the cliff, but a spikey rock formation above scuffles this plan, also getting Mario to understand why Pierre didn’t just toss them across.

Curious Brustache woman SWITCH

After a quick trip through a cave, the gang spot a house. Inside the house is a lone colorless Brustache woman. By restoring her color, the gang learn the woman is one who has never seen anything of the mainland. Marirana quickly explains about the whirlpool. This leads to the woman revealing a strange secret- an almost-exact parallel world, resulting from the mists of the Slugshrooms and their relatives, exists across the Violet Islands. Rather conveniently, an entrance exists in the Brustache woman’s backyard. Marirana is thunder-struck by this news, finding it fun.

The Brustache woman’s words ring true, as the gang find a Warp Pipe with a strange pattern around it. Before Mario can go in, though, he has to pull out a rather unnecessary cork blocking the way. The force of the pull sends the cork flying high, and Louis wonders if it will ever come down. In the end, it’s none of the gang’s problem, so they jump into the odd Warp-Pipe…

.epiP-praW eht tixe ot deecorp dna… As promised, the parallel world is almost exactly like the one Mario and friends come from. It’s all purple, Boos and Shy Guys seem to have an understanding, there’s a Kracka-load of fences, and the ocean is creepily absent, but other than that, it’s exactly the same. Oh, except the parallel world’s house resident isn’t a Brustache woman, but rather a single Black Snifit.

Inside the reverse version of the cave are a plethora of Musketeer allied enemies. Blue Koopas, Boos, Dry Bones, and the Arantulas are all present. Given the dark cave setting and what the Brustache woman just said, of course there’s also Slugshrooms. Mario and friends together can overcome any alliance in any world, though, so they win with some difficulty. They also find a colored pole Mario can hammer. Nothing seems to happen, but a certain thought crosses Mario’s mind…

Thankfully, the gang catch a break outside when Louis sees that while the bridge is still out, the spikey rock formation is not present in this world. With one Leap, Louis helps Mario to the other side.

In the next area, on the other side of the house (which Louis could have leapt across earlier) are four pillars, surrounded by a super high fence not even Louis can jump over. Seeing the pale poles and faces of his friends, Louis hurriedly suggests maybe the fence isn’t in the normal world or isn’t as high, though he seems unsure.

Following this talk, Mario and friends return back to the normal world. In the cave, they find a lowered treasure chest where Mario originally hit the poles. Inside the chest are four Battle Cards.

Outside, a Lakitu explains they quickly fixed the bridge after Caapri talked them into it. Mario and friends want to go talk to Baabeaussa, but the Lakitus are overseeing the pirate crew. Mario shrugs it off, and his team go to this world’s version of the four poles…

…where, annoyingly, the impossibly high fence is also present.

Mario and friends are now stumped at not being able to reach the stumps. As they think, Nya speaks up, as she’s checking on Mario and friends. As Mario and friends reply to Nya, they realize something unusual.

Nya is on the inside of the fences.

Nya quickly explains she needs Mario’s help driving the poles down, and Mario needs her help traveling around. She then cuts to the chase, proposing an alliance. Once again, Mario’s friends are accommodating. Grateful, and to prove herself, Nya uses a smoke bomb to vanish and reappear outside the fence. From that point on, Nya joins Mario’s party. Together, the two travel inside the fence and hit all four poles, revealing some Rainbow Paint on a circular pad.

Nya mocks Babeaussa SWITCH

Mario and friends head back to check on Baabeaussa and crew. This time, no-one’s blocking the way, allowing them to act on their desire. Baabeaussa is just stunned at the sheer power of the whirlpool, something Nya jokingly chides the Vellbex captain for. Nevertheless, Nya is admittedly concerned not just for the Paint Star, but finding out what “that naughty Koopa” was searching for. Quickly, Mario hits the three poles before him. Afterwards, the team doubles back to the parallel world, where the enemies have returned.

In this time, Mario learns from his initial outings with Nya that her smoke bombs’ ability to Vanish and Reappear can be slightly aimed. In addition, Nya’s Ninji Guard relaxes Mario’s muscles, allowing him to take half damage from the first three attacks he misses his Block timing on. Finally, the Partner Meter lets Nya create a Ninji Log to take noticeable punishment for one turn.

The gang backtrack to the point in the parallel world where Baabeaussa is in the normal one, finding a stairway down to a laundry room under the sea. Within the laundry room is a lone Shy Guy reading a book near a washing machine designed like a Gulpit. Mario comes to the conclusion that the Gulpit Washer is actually an Artifact, collecting it as usual. However, this agitates the Shy Guy’s clothing, rising him to fight.

Mario defeats the Shy Guy. This paragraph should end here, but unfortunately, a Red Koopa enters to avenge his friend. A second opponent fails to unnerve Mario or friends. A third opponent in the form of a Clubba, though- that’s when things just start getting sad. Growing more and more annoyed, Mario swats the Clubba more viciously. And the cherry on top of this whole situation? The fourth opponent is Sledge yet again, now just as peeved as Mario is. The two duke it out, and while Sledge may be slightly stronger, Mario is too ticked to notice as he hammers in Sledge’s turtley face.

Sledge is miffed at losing a third time, but promises Mario and friends that his masters won’t let him down. Sledge also warns Mario to actually check to make sure he’s not being followed, before fleeing.

Worried, the red plumber and his various allies hurry back once more to Baabeaussa. Within moments of arriving, the whirlpool vanishes. Baabeaussa takes credit for herself and her crew, believing fervent wishing got rid of the spiral water body. After Baabeaussa and her mates leave, Nya advises Mario not to inform Baabeaussa what actually happened, as she would never believe a Ninji outperformed her.

Mario and Baabeaussa’s teams quickly return to the ship. Just as they’re about to board, however, a submarine emerges from the nearby docks. From out of the sub, Ludwig von Koopa sticks out his crazy head. Ludwig recounts how he’s been following Mario since he heard reports of the plumber voyaging to Fortune Island, as well as introduce Mario to the Ultranasty Hyper Battlesub of Doom. An incensed Baabeaussa commands Mario to deal with Ludwig, considering the Koopaling followed Mario here.

Ludwig’s Ludsub proves its metal as it launches missiles at Mario, three at a time. The long voyage forces the Ludsub to come onto the ship every once in a while. Even then, it’s not an easy target, as the Ludsub’s walker legs also deal their share of punishment. The walker legs also provide Ludwig other angles to launch his Ludsub missiles with, throwing off Mario with some of his blocks.

Ludwig&#039;s new battle SWITCH

With patience and persistence, Mario is able to total the sub, forcing Ludwig onto Baabeaussa’s ship permanently. By now, Mario is used to the standard magic wand attack. The plumber proceeds to end Ludwig’s symphony with repeated blows and his partners’ skills.

Ludwig finally admits defeat, glad he got to try his sub on Mario. However, the classic clod lets slip he’s researching something else in secret, research made more difficult with the Black Bills confiscated. Ludwig bids adieu, just as the Ludsub explodes, sending the crazy haired turtle flying off.

Captain Baabeaussa takes pride in Mario’s success, and everyone finally boards the ship. The gang sail towards the Purple Paint Star as Louis flubs his pirate speech, and the Violet Seas recolor enough to allow voyage as far as Lighthouse Island.

Some days, Mario just wishes he could skip a level or two and head right for the goal. Unfortunately, this is not one of those days, as an impenetrable wall of darkness prevents further passage beyond Lighthouse Island. The darkness is so thick, Baabeaussa ends up back where she started when she tries brute-forcing her way through. All Baabeaussa needs to do is calm down, for in a stroke of luck, she sees the lighthouse on the titular (hehe… “-ular”) island.

Baabeaussa, Pierre and Sharlo T head right for the lighthouse. Mario and friends follow suit, only to be confused when they see the adult pirates debating at the entrance. Baabeaussa explains she and the other two are debating who should go in first. Though she admits she’d like to go in first, Baabeaussa leaves the honor to Mario and friends.

The trip up the lighthouse is pretty standard. All Mario and friends find on the way up is a Pianta salesman selling a Super Mushroom card. The Pianta justifies the outrageous price by pointing out the possibility of a BIG BAD BOSS, like some kind of villainous boy band manager. Mario can only pity the salesman’s forced meme-ing as he buys one card, but only one card.

LD&#039;s introduction SWITCH

At the top of the lighthouse is the silhouette of a Lakitu boy with disco attire. Even after restoring the boy’s color, he still looks pale with sadness. The boy, LD, introduces himself as lighthouse keeper in between his moping. Marirana squees at LD reminding her of Keirf, but Edwin is silently annoyed at never meeting anyone normal this journey. When Huey offers to fix the lighthouse, it finally snaps LD out of his funk, and he asks the gang to follow him.

Pianta boy and the new waterfall SWITCH

The gang head all the way out of the lighthouse, following LD across a waterfall with Edwin’s help. They also meet a Pianta boy claiming there’s a treasure behind the falls, but the kid won’t go inside because he’ll afraid of getting a cold, preventing him from playing with his sister. After that weird kid is LD talking with two young Lakitus and a Pianta girl. LD quickly lets Mario know he told his friends to let the plumber and crew through to a pipe to the parallel world. Thanking him for helping with the lighthouse, LD flies back to his post.

The gang reach the parallel Lighthouse Island. Like Vortex before it, there’s no water in the banks of the island. What is present is the dry waterfall wall with a sound symbol, enticing Marirana to break it down. Behind the waterfall is not treasure, but a faded Fold-Out Block in the air. At that moment, it clicks in that Mario might want to head back to his world to check the waterfall.

As suspected, behind the wall is another colorless Block. This one is on the ground, giving Mario the opportunity to restore it. While it only gives out a single coin, a re-return back to the parallel world recolors the Fold-Out Block there, too.

Jumping on the platform with the recolored Fold-Out Block triggers a trap, unfortunately, as the platform retracts further into the opening. Once it stops, several Cutlads and Slugshrooms emerge on the pathway to ambush Mario and friends. The immediate threat encourages Mario’s team to deal with these foes before using the Fold-Out Block. Once they do, Mario uses the Block’s power on some barrels to change them into a treasure chest, from which a lot of Super class cards are gathered. The gang marvels at this acquisition, followed by Mario and Louis simply Leaping across the gap to the other side.

Our heroes reach the parallel Lighthouse. Despite Nya and Louis keeping up their bravado, Marirana’s a little chilled at the foreboding aura of the dark beacon. Thankfully, Edwin keeps Marirana’s spirits up, which the Beepboxer dancer appreciates.

Slugshroom gang battle

The Lighthouse is definitely not light inside, but dark. Mario’s eyesight does him no favors, and he falls to the depths of the lighthouse, where many Slugshrooms wait in eager breath for prey. Mario fights only a few before deciding to haul his stache out of the pit and onto a lift.

Once back on the main floor, Mario hits the floor with his Paint Hammer in panic. He quickly recollects himself, though, when he remembers…oh yeah, I have a Paint Hammer that sticks to surfaces! In no time at all, Mario heeds the advice of the Grand Paint Stars, and uses his Paint Hammer to let the paint guide him. This pays off, as Mario reaches the stairway to the top- marked by a Save Block. Mario is no sucker to why such a block would be at this point, and hits it before heading up.

Pitholl and Cucleer return

Team Mario isn’t surprised when Pitholl and Cucleer drop into the top room, separating the good guys from a Lightbulb with a Shy Guy groove. Edwin is annoyed at the duo’s presence- and it turns out Pitholl is just as confused too regarding why Aace sent him and his chicken pal here. Cucleer quickly clears the air as he enlightens Edwin on Aace’s instruction to test Mario and Edwin on their own way to Fortune Island. The two Musketeers reach for their sabers, and a battle begins.

During the battle, Mario and friends note how much Pitholl and Cucleer have strengthened and buffed up since their confrontation at Crimson Tower. Thankfully, that’s all the two Musketeers have in terms of improvements, as they showcase no new moves during the fight. So in an ironic fashion, this predictability combined with Mario’s increased roster and arsenal makes the Pianta and Coo-Coo swordsmen much easier to deal with.

Pitholl and Cucleer pant in defeat, with Nya rubbing in the salt on how much they stink for two supposed commanders. This comment enrages Cucleer into a new frenzy, while Pitholl makes excuses for their loss. In addition, Pitholl warns Nya against her own boastful attitude, believing it will lead to her team’s downfall against just the Koopalings. He adds that’s to say nothing of the Musketeers or someone else under Aace who Pitholl almost mentions. Before Pitholl can continue, Cucleer cuts him off, reminding him of the priority for Fortune Island. Knowing his friend is right, Pitholl holds onto Cucleer, and the two flee.

Now that both Musketeers are gone, Mario quickly collects the Shy Guy Lightbulb. On his way back to the normal Lighthouse, Mario equips the Artifact to see how it handles in battle. In one battle with some Blue Koopas and Boos, Mario learns the Shy Lightbulb gives his Jumping moves an Electric attribute, possibly shocking enemies into paralysis.

Keirf drops in SWITCH

The trip is long, but eventually Mario and his friends manage to return all the way to the top of the real Lighthouse. Huey provides aid with Cut-Out, and Mario places the Shy Lightbulb inside the Cut-Out Zone. The power of the masked lightbulb shines a single light onto the sea, towards a Purple Mini-Paint Star. The sight of this fills everyone in the lighthouse with vigor and joy. From LD, to Huey, to Marirana- even Keirf suddenly appears out of nowhere to bask in the moment!

Their job almost done, Mario and friends head back out the lighthouse. A worried Baabeaussa cries in relief, believing the gang was in trouble and wanting to mount a rescue when she heard LD’s loud joy. Baabeaussa, Pierre and Sharlo T leave, letting Marirana express how cute it is Baabeaussa would have come for them. Nya cuts the thought short, suggesting Mario and friends return to the ship.

Like back on Vortex Island, Caapri sails the ship so it just comes under the Mini-Paint Star. At that moment, Baabeaussa also sees a skull in the sea before them- they’re almost at Fortune Island. And as it happens, the Star colors in the sea to allow passage there.

Chapter 4 Part 3

En route to Fortune Island, Baabeaussa takes in her hardwork finally paying off. She also tells off the island for trying to scare her with its prominent skull. However, Baabeaussa’s bravado vanishes after the ship docks, something Caapri notices right away. Fortunately, with the encouraging words of Pierre, Sharlo T and even Nya, Baabeaussa regains her swagger, and leads her crew onto the island.

Baabeaussa&#039;s feelings 2017

Mario and friends set foot minutes later. Just the beach alone shelters several Bloopers, of the normal and Jumping varieties. Further up on the grasses are Fire Bros, signifying a Koopaling presence. Mario is about to jump up and clobber the Fire Bro, when Baabeaussa suddenly yells for his presence. To Mario and crew’s surprise, the giant skull appears flooded, the water barring the front opening. Baabeaussa is upset, bemoaning her guts meaning nothing considering her peg leg prevents swimming. Nevertheless, Baabeaussa gives Mario and friends the command to find another entrance. After Mario deals with the Fire Bro, he finds an angle in the form of a Parallel Pipe, jumping right in. As he does, Mario notices the corks on the side of the skull…

Wizzerds and Dry Bones and Boos (oh my)

At first, everything seems normal in the parallel world. Once again, darkness-loving foes like Boos, Dry Bones and Slugshrooms litter this beach. Also once again, there’s a distinct absence of ocean. It’s when Mario and friends are headed for the front of the skull that the plumber sees an enemy that he’d only seen years ago- a Wizzerd. The distraction of a Shadow Queen robot making its home on swashbuckling Fortune Island gives the Wizzerd the chance to attack. Mario defeats it with great difficulty, but the sight still weighs at him, as if there’s something more to Prism Island’s history.

The surprises continue inside the skull, as alongside the Slugshrooms are carriage-like purple mushroom monsters, the Carrishrooms. These beasts also emit pollen before Mario can move, protecting and brainwashing enemies to serve them. They are also pretty durable creatures. The battles with the Carrishrooms teach Mario and friends that the battles ahead will climb higher in difficulty.

At last, Mario finishes several enemies to make the time in paying attention to the environment. Starting off his investigation are the other sides of the corks Mario saw on his way to the Parallel Pipe. Louis is there to help Mario up the ledge, while Marirana’s Sound Boom Blast exerts enough force to eject the cork.

The gang quickly head back to the real world to check on Baabeaussa, who is marvelling at the cork before them. Baabeaussa again leaves the heavy lifting to Mario and friends. Nya is first on board for the idea, while Huey smells a Grand Paint Star somewhere in the skull. After Mario and friends enter the skull, Baabeaussa takes a quick peek in. Uneasy with the inside, Baabeaussa asserts her decision to let Team Mario deal with it. As she leaves, though, Nya thinks to herself how this opportunity will be great for her investigation on something.

Nya&#039;s motive

The real world’s skull is home to Bloopers and Jumping Bloopers once more. Conversely, Ice Bros roam the halls of the true skull. It’s something Mario confirms after Edwin uses his suction to let Mario cross over the water. With Huey’s help, Mario notices a loose wall in the main room’s lower corner, revealing the whereabout of the other cork. Once again, Marirana comes through forcing the cork out. The left entrance isn’t necessary- it just leads Mario to more blank spots he can Paint, giving him Super class cards.

Mario soon heads further into the skull, into a room with fences and spiked pits covering half the platforms. It’s Nya’s time to shine now, her Vanish transporting Mario through the fences. Clearing the obstacle, Mario walks by a bunch of torches that are lit and unlit in certain spots. The sight of this sends chills down Mario’s spine, the torches reinforcing old memories of the Palace of Shadow in Rogueport.

Sadly, all this wandering around appears to have cost Mario and friends their Grand Paint Star, as Pitholl and Cucleer head right into the centre room before our heroes’ eyes. While they know another confrontation is inevitable, Mario and friends follow the Musketeers in anyways.

Instead of another rematch so soon, however, the sight of Pitholl and Cucleer’s unconscious bodies in the polluted room motivates the gang to get the heck out of dodge, pronto. After they exit, Nya believes she’ll be sick from all the pollen in the room, while lamenting Pitholl and Cucleer’s apparent demises. Huey, meanwhile, is fixated on how he saw the Violet Grand Paint Star amidst the pollen, wondering how to get rid of the infectous pollutant.

Uncharted- Edwin&#039;s Fortune

This frustrating situation is tempered greatly, especially for Edwin, as they come across a room full of treasure chests. Tempered frustration then leads to disappointment and confusion when the chests don’t contain coins, but rather a bunch of Tornado Jump and Spinhammer cards. Huey, though, believes there’s something more to all these particular cards, considering they all make opponents Dizzy.

Nya&#039;s story prologue

As for the fifth chest, Mario recolors it, revealing...a way to a basement floor. After landing and gaining their bearings, Huey draws Mario and friends’ attention to the sight of phantom Slugshrooms and Carrishrooms, exerting the pollen into the Violet Star’s room. This sight gets Nya to state her mother was right after all. Curious, Huey asks about what Nya’s talking about, to which Nya finally explains her reason for coming to Prism Island…

Nya&#039;s story 1

Several months ago, Nya’s clan was practicing Ninji-jitsu in a secret war machine room under the Decal Lands’ Rustle Burrow. Just then, Bowser Junior dropped in for revenge in not getting rare stickers. One of his cannonballs missed, but instead of stopping, it broke a wall in the burrow. Beyond the wall was something no-one expected- kingdom ruins, dedicated to a powerful Monty Mole king. Bowser Junior quickly flew in to grab what he could.

Nya&#039;s story 2

This find grew to scare the Ninjis, as they noticed there had been a struggle in these ruins. As the Ninjis inspected, they were ambushed by Slugshrooms, Carrishrooms, and a third type of mushroom monster Mario hadn’t seen yet on Prism Island, Monstrooms. The Ninjis fought off the creatures, but were further disturbed they were living under the Decal Lands’ forests at all.

Nya&#039;s story 3

Shortly after the fight, Bowser Junior came back with something. Instead of showing it off, however, Junior oddly declined to elaborate. When pressed, Junior suddenly flew out the way he came, leaving the Ninjis with only four words.

One month later, a strange distortion appeared over at least the Decal Lands, bringing most of Nya’s clan to another dimension. The Ninjis were finally returned, but with unusual news. The distortion brought them to the most unusual of realities- another Mushroom Kingdom, where everyone has a counterpart of some kind. While the Decal Ninjis were once again enslaved, Bowser Junior met another version of himself. One Ninji revealed to Nya’s mom, Ori, that the Juniors almost considered destroying the way back to this world. Though they didn’t, the fact they considered it shook the Ninjis. It was then the Ninjis thought this callousness had something to do with what this world’s Junior found under Rustle Burrow.

Nya&#039;s story 4

Two weeks later, Nya and Ori went back to the ruins. This time, no mushroom creatures were even in the corner of their eyes. Instead of this relaxing them, Nya and Ori considered if something had happened elsewhere. Their discussion was interrupted by the sight of a flag with two crests adorning it. One crest was the five similar Royal Stickers (though not the gold one), while the other was the Grand Paint Star crest representing Prism Island. Armed with this knowledge, Nya decided to head to Prism Island to get to the bottom of this. And lucky for her, Junior had arrived sometime before her.

Nya finally finishes her story, emphasizing the need to “relieve” Junior of what he found. Though Huey is at a loss of words, he does promise to help. Nya holds him to it, asking if he’d tell them about the mushroom monsters and how they connect to it. Mario nods to this arrangement….but Huey seems to be half-hearted to this addendum.

Mario quickly stretches his legs following Nya’s long story, out the exit just near the group. They waste no time finding Baabeaussa and telling her the skinny on their discoveries. In turn, Baabeaussa realizes there’s multiple entrances into the island, also telling the team Pierre made a foothold of sorts for them. A quick peek informs Mario and friends that Pierre is actually serving as the foothold! His reporting duties done, Mario and friends head back to the parallel Fortune Island.

Once again, Mario calls upon Edwin and Nya’s aid to traverse the parallel skull’s traps. Clearing the spiked stairway section with the latter is much tougher in the parallel world, though, as Mario quickly understands the spiked pits are not visible. The plumber and Nya reflect on how the stairway looked in the main world. While they get it wrong twice, Mario and his Ninji assistant succeed with their determination and endurance.

The room with the Grand Paint Star smells delicious, the scent overseding that of the strange spores. Unfortunately, it’s just as toxic, confusing Huey and Nya.

Shortly after, the gang end up in parallel Fortune Island’s parallel basement. Mario and friends aren’t surprised the Slugshrooms and Carrishrooms are exactly where their phantom selves were. What does take our heroes by surprise is a yellow pirate Toad with a menacing sword and cocky expression fighting the infectious foes. Also unusual is a barbeque with the Angry Sun’s design upon it, knocked over probably during the pirate Toad’s fight.

The pirate Toad sees them in the midst of his battle. Instead of being afraid, he confidently informs Team Mario they’ll be served Monster-kabob in a moment. Of course, Nya and Louis encourage Mario they should all assist instead of letting him school the mushroom monsters alone.

Another battle ends as soon as it began, but the Pirate Toad is not grateful for Mario and friends serving as the cavalry. Instead, he’s upset from both the monsters attacking him while making his meal, and Mario denying him payback. Not wanting to let go, the pirate Toad decides to follow Mario until he’s annoyed.

He’s not kidding, either. The pirate Toad follows Mario, Huey and the others everywhere they go. On the field, in battle, and even while Mario looks over his guidebook, the pirate Toad is always there. Watching. Mario sees the yellow sword-wielding nutcase even with his eyes shut.

After some though, Huey suggests maybe Baabeaussa can scare the pirate Toad off.  The gang’s in luck, as Baabeaussa is right where they left her. The yellow Toad follows Mario and friends to her, amazed to see another pirate. He starts off his first meeting with Baabeaussa poorly, calling her a goat. Infuriated, Baabeaussa is about to tell the pirate off…until she takes a good look at him. In that moment, the limb-challenged Vellbex captain whispers in awe the identity of the yellow Toad pirate. In truth, he is, and always has been, the legendary captain himself- Pirra T. Edwin is dumbfounded at this name, snarking that he now realizes why Baabeaussa and crew never called Pirra T by his name.

Pirra T meet Baabeaussa 2017

Immediately, Baabeaussa and Pirra T engage in a long conversation. Over the course of it, Baabeaussa is taken aback on Pirra T losing his memory of why he’s here. Pirra T seems to like Baabeaussa, as he commends her for her wardrobe. The talk between two captains takes so long, Huey suggests the gang go find the Grand Paint Star. Before they leave, Nya wishes Pirra T the best, hoping his memories come back.

One quick sprint later, Mario and friends are in the main treasure room of the main Fortune Island. The Musketeers are still out cold, there’s no boss in sight, and the Violet Grand Paint Star is just across the room, near a large clam.

Wendy&#039;s rude awakening SWITCH

A large clam which starts shaking, baffling Marirana. The shell opens, and who else could it be but Wendy O Koopa? The only female Koopaling yawns from her long nap. When she sees Mario, she starts scolding him as if she were his girlfriend, before letting him and the others know Bowser Junior sent her to stop him and the Musketeers from obtaining the Grand Paint Star.

Wendy keeps up the beat during the great battle with her, dancing in rhythm to some unknown pirate shanty echoing through the cave. The girl incorporates this rhythm during her attacks, such as catapulting coins and Slugshrooms towards Mario. Unsurprisingly, Wendy uses the standard shell attack the other Koopalings can use.

Halfway through the fight, Wendy uses her magic wand to summon an equally enchanted giant ring, intending to trap Mario in it so he can’t block her follow-up move. Mario tries jumping on Wendy with his spike-piercing moves and Hammer attacks, but he can’t finish her off in time. Wendy mocks Mario, trapping her red prize in the ring and showing him with 30 cherry-tap damage coins. One alone doesn’t do much, but together, it’s pretty noticeable damage- though not fatal.

Mario can only gasp in exhaustion as Wendy charges up the move again. With no Mushrooms left, and the Battle Roulette fetching him a basic Jump card, the plumber wishes there were a way to throw off Wendy’s accuracy.

That’s when a strange, misty voice reminds Mario of all the dizzy-status cards he collected in the treasure room.

Mario prays to Grambi this tip pays off figuratively, unleashing the Super Spinhammer cards and some POW Blocks. The first two fail to inflict Dizzy, but the third one does the charm. When Wendy sends her magic ring towards Mario, she instead starts crushing another coin in the treasure trove. Now that the tables have turned, Mario and Nya continue their assault, and finally defeat the kootie pie of a Koopa elite.

Wendy is aggravated not only at her defeat, but coming out to Fortune Island and being KO’d by the mist as she waited. Immediately after, though, she calms down, as she admits to Mario she finds him cute…though she warns him not to tell Bowser Junior, since he’s a rat. The diva of a turtle dashes off, and Nya takes pride in defeating another ocean-based threat.

Huey rejoices being able to retrieve Violet. However, Edwin is bummed at the lack of treasure. Not only does he lament not being able to bag a small fortune- the Slurple rogue is also concerned how Baabeaussa’s going to react.

Speak of Bonechill- Baabeaussa arrives with Pirra T to sadly answer that second query. As it turned out, the King of Prism had already taken the gold off the island during his rule, for some unknown reason. Pirra T explains he learned this when he came to the island alone decades ago. Those chests he opened that weren’t empty instead only housed the symbol of Prism Island, signifying the King had been here.

Sadly, Pirra T’s optimism for the Angry Sun BBQ is unable to mask Baabeaussa’s feelings of crushing loss and defeat. The Vellbex captain wallows in despair, crushed at letting down her family at the inn and her diminishing race, not to mention the young Caapri’s worship of her.

Pirra T&#039;s words of wisdom SWITCH

Not wanting his new friend to feel awful, Pirra T cheers up Baabeaussa with the thought of other treasures to find. Encouraging her she’ll find her people’s fortune, Pirra T further promises to show her the ropes. The pep talk works, and Baabeaussa regains her spirit. The two pirates walk out of the cave, filling Marirana with glee at this new friendship.

After the pirates leave, Mario is about to grab the Violet Grand Paint Star. Suddenly, he hears the same voice he heard before Huey lost his power. The voice taunts the video game superstar the Grand Paint Stars are worthless, unable to stop someone… or something. It finally becomes too much for Mario, as he furiously shakes his head to drive the voice out. However, Marirana, Nya and even Huey look confused at Mario’s actions. Mario mentions the voice he and Huey heard at the start of the quest, but all three friends claim they didn’t hear the voice. Huey eventually emphasizes no-one spoke this time….though he’s a little slow in his response, and unsure.

Mario fears this strangeness isn’t behind him, but hearing Pitholl and Cucleer stir motivates him to grab the Violet Paint Star quickly. As with before, Violet reawakens, carrying Mario and friends out of the cave.

Unfortunately, Pitholl and Cucleer wake up too late to see this. The duo are agitated at failing once again, and Pitholl is frustrated that the ale Aace claimed would protect the two from the mists didn’t work. Cucleer is in full-on panic mode, while Pitholl quietly contemplates only having two Grand Paint Stars. The one at the Musketeers’ Emerald Circus, and the other...

Above the skies of the Mustard Café, Violet restores the varying purples of the ground under the relaxing Bakke T. It definitely restores the color- but the “ground” is actually a deep pit, causing the shameless female Toad cook to fall in with her beach furniture!

Luigi Intermission 3

Deeper in Mossrock Theatre, Daisy and Nabana are trying to out-cool each other by bragging of their accomplishments. The Sarasaland princess and magic talking banana keep it up, even as Luigi hears an argument of a different kind deeper in the woods.

While there’s a little Koopaling activity in these parts, it’s still mostly the Boosketeers and their allies. Luigi may be afraid, but Nabana and Daisy are there to motivate the scaredy plumber through the monochrome, ghost inhabited woods. A tall guy like Luigi also has his higher jumps to assist reaching ledges in one bound that Mario couldn’t alone.

With this short wood trek, Luigi and friends find the cause of the commotion is a Koopatrol angrily yelling at a Broozer, Jackson, for working with the Musketeers the entire time. Jackson’s meek admittance the Broozer crew at Bowser Jr’s Flotilla were also with the Musketeers this doesn’t help matters. Even when Jackson brings up Bowser never calling them outside the ghost houses, the Koopatrol has no control of his own temper. Eventually, the two strongest minions notice Luigi’s crew just watching them argue. The Koopatrol is surprised the three are in the woods, but claims both Lemmy and Roy will probably enjoy this. A short fight begins and ends with the Koopatrol and Broozer, the two hitting each other as often as they do Luigi.

Amidst Nabana and Daisy playfully arguing who gets credit for winning the fight, Luigi wants the three of them to escape before someone else arrives. That someone else validates Luigi’s fear, calling him an old man. Ladies and gentlemen, Roy’s our boy, and he’s arrived in this story. He also brings his huge cannon with him, pointing it at the three heroes. This doesn’t make Daisy or Nabana wince, as they bravely flex their arms (or dreadlocks) in defiance of Roy’s bully-like manners. The bravery of his friends also encourages Luigi to rise up! In his own goofy way.

Luigi vs Roy

Roy didn’t come alone, whistling for some Shy Guys behind him to keep stocking his cannon with paint. Each of the six colors affect Luigi in some way when he’s splattered with the stuff, from Red speeding up his movement faster than his brain can keep up, to Orange disabling Nabana’s restocking abilities, to Blue making him feel blue, and others. Roy makes one slight mistake during this fight, though- underestimating Luigi’s will to fight, as the tall green Italian is able to circumvent the mixed paint-fu and end Roy’s rampage.

Everyone is exhausted after the fight, with Roy only taking comfort that Lemmy isn’t there to ensure he never lives this down. This comfort turns to horror as Aace arrives, claiming he knows the feeling of not living failures down. Perry also arrives, uncomfortable with the current situation. Though Aace senses Perry’s uneasiness around Luigi, he also empathizes with the musketeer Goomba and emphasizes the importance of facing what one’s afraid of. As Roy is furious wasting his paint on Luigi’s crew instead of saving it for Aace, the Sleepy Boo gives Perry a strange instruction- to play some bongos.

Perry reluctantly obliges, keeping up a nice beat. Eventually, Luigi does notice something familiar, and Perry’s failed lie to the contrary further points to his role in Luigi’s past. Luigi also realizes the bongo-playing can’t be a good thing. Tired of waiting, Roy is about to attack Perry…when suddenly a large green Monkhaira with huge muscles and banana swords swoops everyone up in his two hands!

Khairacle considers

The huge Monkhaira introduces himself as the Great Khairacles- in fact, that’s the only thing he refers to himself as. In addition, he’s a shameless self-promoter rather than a dumb muscle. At Aace’s request, Khairacles runs into the woods with his four captives, Luigi only able to yell as loud as he can for Mario to YYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEELLLllllp….!

This mass departure leaves Aace and Perry alone. When Perry asks his boss on the next step, Aace claims they need to wait for Pitholl and Cucleer. Once together, the Musketeers can discuss what an “informant” told Aace of the clues on the Royal Teapot. Finally, they’ll be able to find a coffin of someone probably not nice that Aace knew, and use the Grand Paint Stars to bring this person back to mark a new era for the world. Aace is double-excited, as when everything goes to plan, “that other problem” can finally be taken care of as though it never existed.

Perry isn’t exactly concerned with most of the finer details, so long as he’s on the winning. The one thing that does concern him is who the Musketeers are waking up. The question perks up Aace’s moustache, as this person is indeed someone Aace knew and cared for trememdously…

Chapter 5 Part 1

Click here to view the whole plot for Chapter 5.

The Violet Grand Paint Star eventually brings Mario and friends back to Port Prisma’s fountain, filling it with her royal purples. Thanking the crew like her siblings, Violet goes into much further detail what happened in Port Prisma a while ago…

In the middle of Port Prisma, Motley reluctantly uses his wand to funnel the unmixed fountain paint into a weird purple canister for Bowser Junior. Motley then poofs away and runs to the west of town, causing Pitholl and Cucleer to give chase. Edwin is given orders by Aace to head east, meanwhile.

This leaves Aace and some remaining Musketeers to deal with Bowser Junior and his skydiving Slurp Guys. The two faction leaders fight, their blows making the town vibrate below!

Nya is not only mad learning Junior and Motley stole the paint from the fountain like the pigs they are- she’s also concerned with the machine they used to do it. Huey is equally frozen with confounded fury, wondering what the heir to the Koopa throne is planning. While Violet has no real answer, she does think Tangerine knows, as well as give Mario his fourth extra Artifact-Up Slot.

Wario&#039;s bad breath SWITCH

By keeping their earlier trip on Violet in mind, Mario and friends simply trek back to Mustard Café. As Marirana and Huey look at the new hole, they suddenly become aware someone is behind them, breathing a death-like smell. The gang turn around, and only Huey is surprised Wario and Waluigi are back in his life. The wicked bros take pride in their rotten ways, as Wario exhales his horrid breath fiercely. The force of Wario’s garlic sour key winds are so great, it blows the Mario gang off the edge and into the hole. Rather than rejoice, Waluigi and Wario get into another spat. Before it can really begin, an aggravated Kidd the Vellbex bucks the duo into the hole as well, commanding they jump in like she paid them to.

The edge of purple

In the pit proper, Edwin frantically alerts Mario to something big- Huey’s not in the group, and he’s out cold! The sight of his unconscious metal buddy in this sand pit cavern communicates the situation to Mario greatly, and he mounts a rescue! The good news is the gang’s not alone in the pit. Unfortunately, rather than a helpful face, three kinds of Pokeys- Dry Dry, Drybake and Green- rise out of the sands, balancing themselves as they chase Mario and his allies. There’s no time for Mario to play with these living cacti, but continuous battles force him to use stronger cards so he can reach Huey quicker.

The gang reaches Huey, but Marirana worries when she doesn’t hear Huey breathing! Despite Mario knowing Huey doesn’t like taking his lumps, the plumber also knows he has few other options than his trusted hammer. The gamble pays off, as Huey reawakens with lots of sand in his body. After emptying himself, everyone, especially Marirana and Edwin, are relieved Huey is alright. Huey is thankful, but he points out they need to figure out how to get out of here.

With Louis’ help, Mario ascends to the higher ledge and further into the cave. Against all logic, several pipes are positioned in the sands, rotating in place. The room goes higher, but fences block the way up, preventing Louis from bailing Mario out this time. The experience walking in the first room’s quicksand is also enough experience to teach the team doing just that is slow. Mercifully, there’s a series of poles in the room Edwin can use to travel over most of the sand. Marirana also gets to shine, using her Sound Booms to destroy some SoundStones littering the eastmost platforms upward. In addition, Nya’s Vanishing assassinates the time Mario would spend waiting to sink low enough into the sand in case he falls on the wrong side of the pipe bridges. Finally, the ledge at the end of the east pipe bridge is one without a fence, meaning Louis can Leap up.

Bakke T&#039;s relaxation

Thanks to their combined teamwork, the gang find Bakke T. She’s in no danger, chill as a relaxing female Toad can appear in a hot sandy cave. Once the gang reaches her, she casually offers to share her parasol, exciting Edwin greatly. Nonetheless, as soon as Edwin jumps into the parasol, his added weight forces it open. When Bakke T calls Edwin out on ruining her ‘brella, Edwin asks Huey to take the rap for him, but the bucket guardian declines due to the sheer logistics of having any role.  The parasol is sucked into the sands…and the gang are quickly surrounded by all three Pokey types again.

Not wanting to deal with this crud again, Mario, Edwin and Bakke T make a beeline for the north cave opening. Bakke T is half-grateful for being rescued, yet half-annoyed for Edwin ruining her catnap. In spite of this, Bakke T still shows the gang the key to the Mustard Café, promising them fast-tracked seats and “a fancy star” in exchange. It’s Louis who realizes Bakke T is offering a Paint Star, while Huey is the one who knows helping people is more important. You know what they say- strange minds think the opposite even in the most sensible times. …Oh wait, there’s no such saying.

The third room is home to a winding Warp Pipe with several Colorless Spots and tall thin fences atop. When Mario, his friends and Bakke T try entering, they are sent back the moment they reach the first Colorless Spot. With that plan a bust, Mario remembers that he’s Jumpman- he and his friends can just help Bakke T across the top of the pipes. As if to dissuade this idea, several Dry Dry Pokeys and Slugshrooms “swim” in and out of the sands arching above the pipes, like some kind of sand sharks. Bakke T steps away from the pipe at this sight, as Pokeys give her hives while she doesn’t know what would happen with the trippy mushroom bugs.

Mario doesn’t even say anything this time. Oh sure, he and Nya navigate the top of the pipes and fences. Sure, they time Nya’s Vanishing so they don’t reappear in front of a Pokey or Slugshroom. And sure, they even recolor all the blank spots on both the high and low parts of the Warp Pipe so non-one’s forced back again. But deep down, while Mario knows the importance of being a hero, and even with knowledge of Bakke’s allergy, the feeling of “Why can’t these darn people help themselves?” is still gnawing at him. That man’s decaying inside. He needs a hug.

…So anyways, as soon as Mario recolors all the Pipe’s blank spots, Marirana gives Bakke T the signal to go in. The open Toad chef obliges, and she easily slides through the way she likes to the other side. After recoloring ANOTHER PIPE in the next room, this time with Louis’ continued Leap-assistance, the room after marks the finish line with an orange Warp Pipe heading up into the seeping sunlight. The only other things in the room are a fenced green Warp Pipe on the east ledge, a totally-not-suspicious-placed Save Block to the right of the south entrance. A mission well done, Mario and his party step into the sand with Bakke T…

…aaaaaaand she’s gone- Snifits drag her below.

…AAAAAAAnd Mario’s gang shares the same fate.

Dragged to heck with Wario and Waluigi

…AAAAAAANNNNDD in the midst of insinuating the other is afraid of Mario, Wario and Waluigi follow suit.

This has just been a terrible day all around for the Mushroom Kingdom gang and friends.

All attempts to struggle against Mario and friends’ Snifit captors prove futile as the masked fiends violently throw the gang in jail. As the last one locks the door, it’s very clear the Snifit is “frustrated”, but knows an unseen eye regulates the Mushroom World’s actions. Because of this, the Snifit can only command Mario’s team to be quiet, then leave.

Quickly, Edwin, Louis and Nya try breaking out of the joint. It ends up equally pointless, the prison bars too thick to dent or Vanish through. While Edwin is suspicious on the Musketeers missing an entire Snifit hideout under the desert, Louis bolsters Mario’s resolve, asking he find the team a way out. Mario is about to agree, when a great shake is heard below, unnerving the Memphawk fanboy.

A cursory amount of searching lead Mario and friends to a Colorless Spot in the top right corner. Once colored in, it reveals a SoundShape. Marirana’s Sound Booms once again do the trick, granting the gang access to a sinkhole and passage to the utterly demolished cell below. Everyone is relieved, and Marirana suggests they find Bakke T so Huey can get his Paint Star.

Just like at Azure Base and Fortune Island, Mario gets déjà vu towards his Rogueport adventure. The reason is simple- the jailhouse has the same general structure as the X-Naut Fortress, with an elevator on multiple floors and needing a Card Key or two! The differences this time are the sinkholes, as well as some strings he can reach with Louis’ Leaps. Nya’s Vanishing and Marirana’s Sound Boom Blasts also help with locked thin fences and SoundShape sealed sinkholes, respectively.

To get to the bottom of this, Mario heads to the bottom of the Snifit-Naut Fortress. Down there, he and friends hear Bakke T demanding if her captors don’t know who she is. Rather than try to catch two rabbits, Mario and Nya head to the office on the left end of the bottom floor. Luckily, the lone Snifit in the office is distracted, wondering where he placed something as it looks at some purple notes. Not so luckily, just as Mario and Nya grab a lone Card Key, a network of other Snifits and Red Koopas are hiding in the room, taking even Nya off-guard and alerting the Snifit to Mario’s presence.

Together, Mario and Nya defeat the gang of Snifits and Red Koopas. Before Mario leaves, he just decides to poke around in the notes the Snifit was looking at. However, rather than some bad puns or pointless non-sequiturs, the notes prove more sinister and moustache-tingling. One note details the completion of a containment device for “Project Shiny”, while another is an alert for “Priority Shiny”. Mario, not wanting to read anymore, leaves the office quickly and refocuses on Bakke T.

In no time at all, the Mario squad find the path to Bakke T’s cell and defeat her captors. Bakke T is just chill as usual, enough for Marirana to consider introducing the Toad chef to Keirf. The gang unlock Bakke T’s door, which is enough for her to declare peace out towards the jail. Using the nearby Warp Pipe, the gang arrive back near the sand pit that started it all. Mario is never too cautious, hitting the nearby Save Block at Huey’s suggestion so they don’t subject someone who may be experiencing this adventure to needlessly relive this breakout.

It should have been a simple matter of hitting the Brick Block obstructing the orange Warp Pipe, then leaving. Nothing’s ever simple, though, as the pipe pours an intense amount of sand- as well as Wario and Waluigi! The duo are as volatile with each other as ever, as they dive right into the sand and surface before fighting Mario!

Sand may be rough and coarse and get everywhere, but that’s Wario and Waluigi in a nutshell. On top of their previous moves, Wario also breathes his devastating garlic breath after some build-up. The smell is not just as rancid as before- it also poisons Mario somehow, sapping the hero’s health over time. Not to be outdone, the lanky Waluigi sinks and surfaces with time as well, pummeling Mario pitiful yet plentiful. After entertaining the two greedy villains for a bit, Mario and friends just drop the Hammer on them.

Wario is anguished being beaten again, while Waluigi now thinks no amount of goat lady gold is worth the continuing losses. Following their departure, Huey and Edwin are startled how desparate Kidd is getting in eliminating the group. In the midst of this, Bakke T finds the wicked duo disgusting, believing their moms should have cleaned their mouths out when they were little.

It’s finally time to bid goodbye to the Mustard Café Underground. Taking a deep breath of relief, team Mario and Bakke T enter the orange Warp Pipe, returning to the surface above. Bakke T certainly appreciates the fresh air, and suggests the team follow her to the café.

There’s definitely a line-up, as some Lakitus, Memphawks and Brustaches wait for entry. Bakke T feels charitable, telling the line first come first serve. Once everyone is seated, she gives Mario and Huey her Orange Paint Star, exciting Huey greatly. At Mario’s touch, the Star creates a path to the Regale Trainworks.

It doesn’t take long to reach the Regale Trainworks, and even less to meet someone. Just outside, Kersti is talking with an especially proud shell-themed Sticker Fairy. Once they become aware of Mario’s presence, the shell fairy is excited to meet him after hearing of him from Kersti. She also finds Mario’s hat cool, wanting two of them so she and Kersti can look cute and gangsta’ together. When Marirana presses for a name, the shell gives the incredibly creative name of Ellshe, claiming herself the most beautiful Sticker Fairy of all.

The term “Sticker Fairy” alerts Nya that something’s happened to the Sticker Comet. Ellshe wastes only a bit of time laying down the story beats on the airship incident near Crimson Tower. As Ellshe finishes her story, she finally notices Huey nearby, though she gets his name wrong three times- with a memory like that, she’s definitely not solving a mystery or rewriting history. Woo-oo.

Eager excited Ellshe

Once Huey explains he and the others are looking for a Paint Star here, Ellshe suggests to Kersti they tag along. Kersti is happy to, considering the two girls haven’t been together in nearly a day, and the two giggle in happiness as they follow. The combined team enter the trainworks- not noticing Kidd the Vellbex spying on them, planning something for the Sticker Fairies “that Koopa Prince” told her…

Ferress the foreman SWITCH

Inside the Regale Trainworks, Mario, his friends and the fairies meet the easy-going Memphawk foreman. Louis seems to know the foreman, calling him Ferress. Like any good friend, Louis helps Huey by asking Ferress if he’s seen any Paint Stars. Ferress wants to help Louis, apparently having some history with Orion, but he hasn’t seen any Paint Stars.

…Well, except for the weird orange star made out of paint.

Ferress gives Louis (and by extension, the others) the Orange Paint Star, having no use for it. Huey is amazed how easy this paint star was to get, which Ferress justifies as there being nothing wrong with grabbing the easy victories when possible. That said, Ferress thinks sometimes it’s OK to end things on a whimper. Louis, not quite getting what Ferress is taking about, agrees to Ferress’ logic. Upon immediate contact, the Paint Star leaves the Regale Trainworks, and creates a path to the delicious Tangerino Grill.

Right outside the Grill, Mario and the gang meet up with Peach, Toadsworth and Kitanu again. Another reunion also takes place for Kitanu, as he, Kersti and Ellshe quickly chat and know only Nabana remains MIA. Ellshe and Kersti aren’t worried, lightheartedly assuming the banana fairy is a-OK.

The strange secret of Bowser Junior

It is with deep regret, then, that Kitanu allows Peach to give the heroes some troubling news- Bowser Junior has found the Sticker Comet. Any hope of Kersti for Peach just joking is crushed with Kitanu just closing his eyes, troubled. The bad news just keeps coming, for Peach and Toadsworth reveal something odd they overheard from Motley regarding Bowser Junior. Somehow, Bowser Junior’s been receiving intel that always come up correct. However, while he goes to his room at Koopaling HQ to learn, no-one else is actually in the room with him. Nya senses a connection with what she’s been suspecting, but Peach is about to dart off again to confront Bowser Junior.

…Or she would, except without warning, Toadsworth suddenly starts scolding Peach. While he apologizes for speaking out of turn, he pleads with Peach to slow down before she runs into an inescapable problem. More importantly, he demands Peach to actually get to know Mario’s new friends.

Given Toadsworth’s more emotional appeal, Peach actually listens to him for once. Edwin, Louis and Marirana eagerly introduce themselves. The odd one out is Nya (who Peach faintly recalls seeing before, or at least someone like her), standing in a corner. Using this opportunity, Peach bolts off quickly. A

Crestfallen, Toadsworth wonders why Peach keeps ducking out, Kitanu admits while he doesn’t completely agree with Peach, she is ultimately free to make her own path as long as she understands the consequences. Kitanu, Kersti and Ellshe all bid goodbye to each other for now, all sure the four friends will laugh this whole mess off on their ride home.

Nya looks at Toadsworth, quietly saying to himself how the Queen was easier to care for. To ease the elder retainer’s mind, Nya also forgives Peach for her headstrong actions, believing there’s a good reason, and agreeing with Kitanu that maybe the hard way is best. Toadsworth doesn’t seem to really buy it, but he does find Nya’s words wise regardless. No more words to share, Toadsworth runs after Peach and Kitanu. Mario and friends finally make their way into the Tangerino Grill.

Unbeknownest to them, Aace appears out of thin air with a Boo cadet, having listened in on the whole conversation. The Boo notices the sheer panic on Aace’s face, as the news on Bowser Junior seems to have struck something in the Musketeer leader. There is no uncertainty in Aace’s words as he gives the Boo the order to keep an eye on Bowser Junior at all times, and report back only to Aace if the Boo sees Junior with anything unusual on his person. The Boo has no time to question the specifics of Aace’s orders, for the elderly Boo demands his trainee to go now. The surprised Boo flies off, leaving Aace to hope his suspicion on what’s going on with Junior are just meaningless worries.

Train news travels fast

Back with Mario and friends inside the restaurant, the plumber only sees two people. One is Stabyltu, once again enjoying the simple things in these trying times. The other person, though- she looks like the waitress from Rogueport’s Excess Express! Once Mario talks to her, however, the story behind her is different. This Waitress is not the same individual as the waitress in Rogueport, but her older twin sister, Bella T. Bella T has heard from her Rogueport sister, who Mario now learns after all these years is named Serein T, about how the plumber saved the Excess Express.

Bella T then asks if Mario has seen Prism Island’s own train, the Sunset Express. She explains how the Sunset Express’ schematics were brought over to Rogueport to help research and develop the Excess Express. Louis recalls they did a few days ago, in Marmalade Valley. Bella T nods in agreement, mentioning the Sunset is carrying a large party of children who made reservations. However, Bella T heard the train is stopped at Kiwano Temple for some unknown reason. Mario and Louis shiver, a sense of karma creeping into their spines.

Karma leads to fate, as Mario and Louis realize Stabyltu is here with them. Even though Stabyltu found the food great, he realizes he should probably return to Port Prisma with Mario and Louis lurching near him.

On their way back to Port Prisma, Mario, Louis and the others make a quick pit stop at Kiwano Temple. They see Chugga T talking with a female pink Pianta wearing a Blue Rescue outfit. Chugga T is having an overblown freakout about the destroyed tracks, as if this is somehow more important or consequential than a black hole destroying a samurai kingdom and its people. Louis and Mario know this too, and the Memphawk fanboy tries to justify why this molehill of a problem may have happened.

Verda keeps the peace

The Pianta Blue Leader also keeps the peace, gently and peacefully. She introduces herself to Mario and Louis as Verda. Amidst her calm, caring demeanor, Verda admits the Rescue Squad is currently unorganized, with the Squad Captain having much on his mind. When Verda asks Mario and Louis to tell her squad on her whereabouts, Louis obliges, hoping the track situation gets resolved soon.

Just like Louis promises, Mario and friends hasten the pace to Port Prisma’s Rescue Squad HQ. At the Squad Captain’s command, Stabyltu, Den T, Kanviss and Wrodes are tasked with heading back the way Mario came to assist Verda. Mario is about to follow suit, when Merlon comes to the HQ. As the Squad Captain exclaims surprise at the Ancient’s arrival, Merlon explains there’s something he wants to tell the sunglassed Vellbex concerning Port Prisma. However, it’s a private matter not intended for Mario’s ears, the wizard gently letting the plumber down by informing him of his need elsewhere. Merlon also specifies that he’ll still tell Mario about any Artifacts the plumber might have missed, but Mario will have to come here temporarily to talk to Merlon.

On their fourth (and as Mario would learn later, final) stop at Kiwano Temple, the five members of Blue Rescue Squad team up to assist the Sunset Express. To start, Verda hangs by her toes on one edge of the train tracks, Wrodes & Kanviss jump to the other side, and Stabyltu & Den T climb onto their leader’s hands. Verda then tips over at the same time Kanviss and Wrodes do. With Stablytu and Den T’s extra length, the five friends form a bridge for the Sunset Express. Feeling relieved, Chugga T restarts the train, and it starts chugging along.

And then a giant maniacal Thwomp crushes the front of the train, forcing an Orange Paint Star out of the locomotive. Chugga T grieves for his train’s pain, treating it like it’s his girlfriend or something. Left with no real other options, Chugga T sheepishly asks the children aboard the train for a little favor- pushing the locomotive to Regale Trainworks for repairs. No-one is happy with this task, but one of the kids, a blue Brustache girl, begrudgingly leads the way. Altogether, two Red Toad boys, two Orange Pianta girls, two Yellow Pianta boys, three Green Lakitu boys, three Blue Brustache girls (one the leader) and two Purple Toad girls exit and push the mighty Sunset Express. The kids try and make it fun by making train sounds, but it’s making the best of an unfair situation at its prime.

Huey&#039;s orange origins

Chapter 5 Part 2

Our heroes return again to Regale Trainworks to oversee repairs. Just before the team heads back in, though, Ellshe asks Huey if he’s a Sticker Fairy too. Huey denies this, modestly asserting himself as the average floating, talking, magical paint-using bucket. Huey’s answer then inspires Ellshe to ask if there’s more buckets like him. Like a few times before, Huey’s a little slow to answer such a personal question. Eventually, he reveals he was built somewhere in the current Orange region, and the group might see it sometime.

Awestruck, Ellshe divulges none of the Sticker Fairies know how they’re made. All they know is usually, the Sticker Comet travels to the Mushroom World alone. Whenever it comes back, there’s a new Sticker Fairy with it- and in turn, someone else for Ellshe to gossip with. In addition, Kersti reveals it took her a lot of convincing the Sticker Comet for it to decide to take the formerly hotheaded fairy with it last year- and even then, only her. Huey reflects on this history, believing the Comet just wanted to keep its kind safe.

To change the subject, Huey compares the Sticker Comet’s decisions to the King who made him, explaining the King used to love building mechanical stuff at the past version of the Regale Trainworks. However, Kersti is the first to notice “used to”, raising concern on what happened to him.  Unfortunately, the burger-loving bucket has no clue, having not seen the king in quite a while, and only knowing the King promised he’d be back someday. Kersti feels a little remorse for asking the question, guessing the King’s just taking the scenic route.

On the inside of the Trainworks, everyone is having a freakout- several Fuzzies and Dayzees of different species have invaded! Immediately, Ferress gets Mario and Louis up to speed on what’s going on. The good news is the Regale Trainworks got an order to fix an engine, which is perfect for Ferress’ last job. The bad news, though, is Kidd and her flunkies are up in the Trainworks’ biz, yet no-one at the trainworks, least of all Ferress, is much of a fighter. Louis, remembering how charitable Ferress was earlier, implores Mario help his Memphawk foreman buddy out. Thankful for Louis scratching his feathers in return, Ferress lightens the load by letting the gang know the Sunset Express’ parts are fixed- they just need to align them in the right place.

Systematically, Mario and his friends trek through the Regale Trainworks, taking back the facility from Kidd’s forces. Once again, Mario calls upon his partners’ abilities, from Louis’ Leaps to Nya’s Vanishing, as well as a little Sound Boom Blasting from Marirana and a little Edwin Suction to fix what’s out-of-order. Of course, the three varieties of Fuzzies and the two Dayzees, Crazy and Rebazy, think they’re hot stuff going up against a video game legend, but they’re put in their place in time. Once the gang finds a Beepboxer Megaphone in the middle of a room, though, the thought starts to cross Mario- where the heck is Kidd hiding?

Not even a minute after this comes to mind, Mario and friends board the passenger car of the disassembled Sunset Express. The kids are thankful to see Mario…regrettably, their frustration makes it hard to see their gratitude. The angry kids take turns pitifully attacking Mario. Their meager childlike slaps inflict absolutely no damage of any kind on the portly plumber, and he can’t help but be amused at their attempt to destroy him. In the midst of this “epic battle”, the kids complain about various problems, from the Brustache girl proving impatient with the wait for repairs, a Toad boy starving, to Pianta girl’s turtle running away, and other momentary trivialities. When the fight finishes, the kids are satisfied, and Mario takes it in stride.

Later, Mario and friends have assembled most of the Sunset Express. All that’s left to do is fill up the coal train, baby. With the help of an Unfurl Block, combined with Louis and Nya’s skills, Mario restores the coal track path and makes a boy Memphawk happy. Strangely, though, no coal pours in, confusing the gang and boy.

Outside, Mario and friends find several Yellow Fuzzies keeping the coal in its dispenser. Nya is suspicious of this whole setup at this point, while Edwin tells off the Fuzzies for hording the coal. At that moment, Kidd finally shows up again, The deranged goat woman asserts her authority over the Fuzzies, titling herself a proper lady. Incensed, Kersti comes out to correct Kidd on her jerkishness, while Ellshe tries to calm her friend down. Unfortunately, this is exactly what Kidd wanted, and she gives a command- “NOW!”

Kidd procures Ellshe

Suddenly, a bunch of Fuzzies drop down from the ceiling, grabbing Kersti and Ellshe. Kersti’s spiked crown hurts her captives, but sadly, Ellshe isn’t so fortunate. Kidd looks annoyed at failing to get Kersti, but is soothed when she remembers “that kid” only needs one. Huey wants a go at Kidd, but Kidd just brushes the bucket off. To further twist the horn in the metal, Kidd does tell the Fuzzies to let the coal go- right onto our heroes and Kersti, laughing at this misery as she escapes with Ellshe.

The coal eventually makes its way to the coal car, burying most of the gang and the Memphawk boy underneath. Huey flies in after Mario and friends, making sure they’re alright. Mario and friends look alright, but Kersti is barely conscious. Worried, the Memphawk boy runs Kersti to the other Regale Trainworks workers to aid her.

By repainting a diagram earlier, Mario learns how to rebuild the train. After performing this task, Ferress reveals the parts have all been overhauled, feeling connected to the train like the island’s King and his creations. The other employees congratulate Ferress on his handiwork, finding the comparison warranted and deserved. It’s obvious, however, that the feeling of this being Ferress’ last big job is on everyone’s minds. To celebrate their leader, the train workers toss Ferress into the air on his chair, no worse for wear. The train eventually leaves, filling everyone with pride.

To thank Mario, Ferress and his coworkers give the red hero something especially useful, a Partner Meter Upgrade so Mario can use two partner attacks in one turn if it’s full enough. Ferress explains Kersti found it in the trainworks earlier, as she had a gut feeling it was here. Ferress officially declares his retirement, thanking his coworkers for the good memories, and the workers thank him in return. After the workers leave, Ferress assures Mario he’ll nurse Kersti back to full health while soaking in the trainworks, and that the plumber has a bright future ahead. Louis, too, thanks Ferress, then recommends returning to Tangerino Grill to search for Kidd, as well as another possible Mini-Paint Star for Huey.

At Tangerino Grill, Chugga T thanks Mario yet again for getting the train working. Proud, Chugga T promises all the kids are inside the restaurant with big innocent smiles on their faces.

Chugga T must have been upside down earlier, because when Mario and Marirana enter, they don’t see the sight of smiling children. Rather, they hear the restless yells of schoolchildren, demanding their food.  A worried Bella T informs Mario and Marirana of the obvious problem. Though the Beepboxer entertainer thinks there may be too many cooks in the kitchen, Bella T furiously denies this flaw, proudly claiming there’s a crew of skilled preparers under Chef Vinachio.

Unsure of what’s holding up the grub, Bella T begs Mario and Marirana to check the kitchen. While Marirana points out she, the others and Huey are searching for a friend, she can’t help but admit to finding the kids cute when they’re happy. For that, Marirana agrees to Bella T’s inquiry.

IMG 0823

Inside the kitchen, several Dayzees and Fuzzies are threatening the food and Lakitu cooking crew, along with a Brustache chef sporting fabulous hair. The Brustache chef definitely isn’t standing for the invading enemies. When he sees Mario and Marirana, the chef emphasizes that while he doesn’t know who they are or their particular set of skills, he wants the duo to find the troublemakers and to shoo them.

Mario and friends quickly exterminate the pests in the kitchen. In addition to the Dayzees and Fuzzies, our heroes find a Slugshroom, of all enemies, hiding in a cupboard. Apparently, the cooking crew didn’t even know the mushroom escargot was there, but it isn’t anymore when Mario’s done.

Relieved at exterminating all the vermin, Mario and Marirana go check on the Brustache chef again. The Brustache chef confidently introduces himself as Chef Vinachio, a world class cook. He looks a little out of shape, however, no thanks to Kidd’s handiwork. Quickly, Marirana asks Vinachio where the vile Vellbex went.

Unfortunately for Marirana and Mario, Vinachio is “that” kind of guy- he’ll only brush their backs if they brush his. Since the Brustache is in no condition to cook, he asks the duo to take his place as head chefs. Once they agree, Vinachio dubs them a gentlemen and a belle- the latter word reminding Marirana of what Subelle used to be like.

Now that they’re all in the same pot, Vinachio informs Mario and Marirana the feature dish today- the Mamma Mia house special pizza! The sound of pizza quickly summons Keirf into the kitchen, screaming COWABUNGA before quickly leaving. Everyone’s spooked by that non-sequitur, but Vinachio continues regardless. He explains that to make the pizza, Mario and Marirana must spread the pizza dough in a circle, slice onions perfectly, quickly sear the ingredients, and bake the pizza in the oven. While Vinachio admits there’s a LITTLE room for error considering the intricacies of cooking, he warns them a redo costs some coinage.

Mario and Marirana get to work, making the pizza as fast yet professionally as they can. First, Marirana uses her Sound Boom Blast to open the pizza. She flubs it the first three times, but spreads it excellently on the fourth. Next, the onions are sliced expertly. Following that, the toppings are seared across three frying pans, a wonderous combo of Hammering and Boom Blasting allowing quick management. Finally, the pizza is cooked near-perfectly. Mario might be off by half a second, but it’s still good enough no-one will notice the difference.

The pizza is finished, and Bella T brings the Italian cheese-tomato-bread meal out to the kids. Appreciative for Mario and Marirana’s help, Vinachio recommends the duo head out to spy on the kids’ reactions. Not a single complaint is heard among the kids- they all find the Mamma Mia Pizza delicious! From behind, Vinachio also reveals he took a bite of the pizza of the pizza a little earlier, finding it so delicious he instantly recovered. The Brustache chef doesn’t seem to believe in the “a chef shouldn’t taste their own meals” dicthomy, for he asks Mario and Marirana to try their creation. In one bite, Mario gives the thumbs up while Marirana dances.

Everything looks all wrapped up, and Vinachio is about to tell Mario’s gang where Kidd vanished off too. Before he can fully state where, unfortunately, someone in the VIP hallway raises their voice in frustration. The mere realization there were VIP customers waiting at all sends the collected Vinachio into a panic. He’s only composed enough to ask Mario and Marirana prepare an incredibly special dish for the customers.

Inside the hallway, the crabbiness of an oddly familiar voice, who Mario and Marirana aren’t allowed to see for insanely stupid reasons, immediately set the steaks for what our heroes must undergo. It’s not a joke either, as the voice actually brought a steak for the two cooks to prepare. Oh, and there’s that teeny tiny detail where the Steak is alive through some dark magic.

No questions are even asked as to why anyone would bother bringing life to what should be dead meat. The plumber and dancer are only concerned with downing the demonic hunk of unprepared, probably spoiled grime before them. They win, but sadly, that’s not what Mystery Dining Jerk wanted. Grumbling, Mario pays the guy 50 coins for another steak.

Over the course of round 2, Marirana wonders if this is just a scam, and how this is something restaurant could properly prepare for. Once again, Mario and Marirana win and lose at the same time.

Despite his sudden uncharacteristic urge to leap into the VIP room and yell at the customer what they want, Mario takes a deep breath and wonders if maybe Vinachio, Bella T or the kids know how to prepare the steak correctly. Vinachio is offended outsider ingredients were brought into his restaurant, and knows Mario doesn’t have proper cooking equipment. All Vinachio can think of with Battle Card usage is heating up the steak, then cooling it down to perfect temperature.

Another visit to the VIP room, another 50 coins, and another unliving steak precede round 3. This time, with Vinachio’s advice in mind, Mario uses a Fire Flower when the steak is exhausted, then the Ice Flower to properly regulate the temperature. After all that, the fickle VIP customer is finally satisfied. The VIP customer leaves his booth from the backdoor, and leaves behind a handsome coin tip of 300 coins. Quickly, Edwin leaps out of Mario’s pocket and grabs all the coinage.

Vinachio and Bella T hail Mario and Marirana as heroes, considering the customer never ate anything the Brustache chef cooked up. Vinachio also informs our heroes the customer is boarding the Sunset Express. For one last bit of info, the chef tell the gang that while he saw the moustached Boo (Aace) up ahead with the Grand Paint Star a few days ago- something that gets Huey thinking- Bella T has a Mini Paint Star for them right now.

The rewards wait a moment, though, as Bella T asks Marirana the question- where’s Suebelle? Reluctantly, Marirana explains the sisters got into a fight. For the first time, Marirana also outright professes the fight was so bad, she doesn’t think the sisters will ever be able to fix their relationship. Bella T empathizes with Marirana, as she knows how awful it is when sisters, or family members, fight with each other, yet she also reminds the Beepboxer they’re still family.

Once Bella T learns why Marirana and Suebelle are mad at each other (Suebelle not being honest with Marirana’s message, and Marirana not paying attention to Sue’s feelings), she thinks about it. Eventually, she suggests maybe there’s things Suebelle wanted to talk to Marirana about, or wanting more attention from crowds, or afraid Marirana might get hurt from “the wrong attention”, or anger at herself. Since Bella T has never met Suebelle, she doesn’t know if it’s one, all, some, or even none of those things.

Tipping some words of wisdom SWITCH

Marirana is curious why Bella T would suggest these possibilities. Truth be told, Bella admits she’s like this towards Serein whenever they get together. Bella finds Serein so innocent, something Mario can attest to. But even if Bella envies Serein for this innocence, and regardless of how mad she may get, she still loves her sister all the same. From listening to Bella T, Marirana wonders if Suebelle may feel the same towards her after all. All Bella T can give in response is Marirana will have to ask Suebelle herself when they next meet, as it’s the only way she’ll know.

Bella T caps off the heartfelt talk via tossing an Orange Paint Star onto the table in the VIP room, breaking Huey out of his thoughts for a moment and exciting him. Vinachio believes the star should bring the gang to the Sunset Express, explaining he overheard Kidd mention the locale while she was going to town on him. For all the two cooks have done, Marirana thanks them, heroically proclaiming they’ll save Ellshe from Kidd.

One question remains, though- why Aace is bringing his Grand Paint Star to the end of the Sunset Express’ route? The thought confuses Edwin. Huey, though- a thought stirs within him as to where exactly Aace would hide the Star. The thought finally sparks something within Huey, as he suddenly demands the gang get on the Sunset Express ASAP! Mario and friends obey the bucket, collecting the Mini-Paint Star and creating a path to the train’s final route.

A panicking Kolorado is the first person the plumber’s party sees as they arrive at the train station. What’s he panicking about? As he and Chugga T explain, Kidd caused a major rockslide up ahead. What’s worse is no-one, not even the Memphawks, are strong enough to lift the debris away. Such a heavy challenge has caused all the burly birds to run around in a panic, followed by Kolorado himself. Chugga T is more concerned Kidd is up ahead, panic quickly entering his mind. Nya’s attempts to calm everyone are undermined by Huey’s own buffoonery, though he apologizes shortly after.

Following the conversation, Mario notices an Unfurl Block underneath Kolorado. For reasons known only to the Koopa professor, though, Kolorado simply will not let Mario hit the block until he checks the landslide up ahead, as well as any possible signs of Kidd. Because Kolorado and Mario go way back, the former wrestler eventually decides to do what was expected of him.

Mario leads the charge down the tracks, painting Colorless Spots and hitting ? Blocks for more cards as he and the others proceed. On their way up, the gang bump into O’Chunks and Nastasia again. Marirana thinks the two not-as-geometric-ex-baddies are a couple, and continues thinking this even when Nastasia professionally denies it. Amidst the Beepboxer dancer’s shipping, Marirana does correctly guess O’Chunks and Nastasia are getting on the train together. This is something O’Chunks proudly confirms, considering he and Nastasia heard about the train from the Memphawks. However, the obstruction ahead, a huge Thwomp, is a problem. Despite O’Chunks’ efforts, the Thwomp is too sharp to touch, and he reels from the pain even now.

In the corner of Mario’s eye, he sees a silo with an Unfurl symbol. The Brookyln badbutt mentally notes this sight before continuing onward.

Soon enough, Mario and friends see a female Memphawk near this super-big Thwomp. The Memphawk insists she’s been asking the Thwomp to move, but Nya finds something odd with this allegation. Edwin’s attempt at politeness also falls flat on its face. Nya, still keeping an eye on the Memphawk female, starts to think the Thwomp is asleep. With that idea now in consideration, Edwin realizes they could awaken the square golem if they had a way to make his voice louder. Mario agrees, and the gang all head back the way they came. Strangely, Nya is still staring at the Memphawk woman.

Shy Guy and Ruff Puff battle SWITCH

Now that Mario knows the situation, Kolorado steps off the Unfurl Block. Relieved, Mario hits the block, gaining its power. The plumber hurries back to the silo, so focused he doesn’t see the Shy Guys and Ruff Puffs hiding behind some logs on a nearby carrier cart. They make their move after Mario Unfurls the silo into a ridgeless water tower, but Mario and Edwin easily overpower the quintet of mooks. Edwin follows up his victory by pulling Mario up the water tower with the pole attached to it, launching him onto a cliff with an opening and some ? Blocks arranged so Louis would not have cleared the Leap.

A wrecked part of the fence near the tracks grants Mario and friends access to the other side of the Thwomp, though they hit the Save Block nearby just to make sure. Then, using the Beepboxer Megaphone from Regale Trainworks, the Thwomp is forcibly awoken. Slowly, the drowsy giant leaves the tracks, no longer in any mood for carnage. The Memphawk woman is grateful, specifically thanking Edwin and Huey- or rather, Tin Thing.

Vellbex woman&#039;s trap

In the midst of Huey and Edwin’s warmed response, Huey recoils in horror as he slowly repeats what exactly the woman called him. Edwin also realizes in equal terror no-one said his name near the Memphawk woman. Their worst fear comes to pass, as the “Memphawk woman” tears herself apart, revealing herself to actually be Kidd in disguise! Nya is furious how she knew something was off about the underhanded Vellbex’s disguise, while Huey, actually enraged as Edwin, orders Ellshe be given back.

On cue, Kidd holds up a strange purple containment device with a clown face, red hair, and pink spikes. Inside the device is the resilient Ellshe. Suspicious, Nya demands Kidd tell our heroes where she obtained the device. Kidd replies it was her new buddy that gave it to her, Bowser Junior. The Koopa Prince had heard about Kidd obstructing Mario, deciding to give the goat this device to test on Ellshe. If it works, Junior will let Kidd borrow the device to help with one of her own pursuits.

Edwin is incredulous at the idea of Junior cutting any deal with Kidd, believing the Koopa Prince can’t be trusted to keep his end. However, Kidd deflects this idea, finding Junior not so bad, and thinks he would have loved to meet someone Kidd knows. As Kidd thinks about this other person, she becomes extra motivated to try for them, wanting this person back and to rub her success in the Squad Captain’s face. Kidd immediately follows her epiphany up by administering a kiss on Mario, beginning their final battle.

Whatever little friendly competition Edwin had with Kidd is replaced with pure rage, the Slurple now finding the goat lower than a Stretching Boo. Once again, Kidd defends her actions, thinking if Edwin knew why she agreed to Junior’s request, he wouldn’t be talking so much. Kidd turns the machine on, and it spews purple mist on her, making her Shiny. At the same time, the machine drains color from Ellshe. This signifies success for Kidd, as she expresses the machine indeed extracts Sticker Fairy energy like Junior thought it would.

This is without a doubt Mario’s toughest battle with Kidd yet. Even with his partners’ powers, Kidd tanks half the damage Mario would normally inflict, just as with other Shiny enemies. Further complicating matters is Kidd suddenly utilizing a far wider assortment of attacks, from a multi-hit rush barrage, to a powerful wind-up rush, and even a Slurp straw Junior must have given her. Worst of all is the strange machine draining a fifth of Ellshe’s energy every turn in combat, with no way to heal her. It really is a down-to-the-line situation.

Mario finds himself exhausted from Kidd’s unexpected power boost..but because he’s a hero, the Mushroom Kingdom’s saviour bolsters himself with the knowledge someone’s life is on the line. Finally, Mario realizes the true way to beat Kidd- by shorting out the machine, Kidd’s Shiny effect vanishes for a bit, also keeping Ellshe safe for a few turns. Her defenses down, Mario, Edwin and his partners hit the depraved Vellbex as hard as they can with everything they’ve got. In due time, they finally bring Kidd down.

This ends the fight, but horrifically, the conflict is far from over. On her knees, Kidd starts feeling some nasty side effects of the machine, while Ellshe is starting to lose consciousness. Mario, Louis and Ellshe try to break the machine open, but now it’s in some extreme overclocked mode, as it keeps going despite hitting it very hard. All hope is lost…

...”CHUNKS AWAY!”

O’Chunks barges into the scene, piercing and destroying the machine, as well as freeing Ellshe. The machine’s destruction also vanquishes the effects it granted and cursed upon Kidd. Louis is greatly thankful for O’Chunks’ heroism, which O’Chunks doesn’t want a big deal of. The brave warrior is concerned about Ellshe, however, the fairy not looking well. Alert to this news, Mario, Marirana and Louis hurry over to Kersti’s BFF, while Edwin and Nya angrily guard the depowered Kidd.

Ellshe keeps chattering like there’s nothing wrong. Huey has to disagree, however, as Ellshe has lost a lot of her color. Ellshe is surprised, but isn’t concerned with such a seemingly minor development. All of a sudden, in the midst of speaking, Ellshe falls silent. She then flat-up falls to the ground, unconscious.

Nastasia’s arrival sets the tone for the next 30 seconds- if the area was full of collective people now, it isn’t now, as everyone desperately scrambles for the fallen Ellshe. Thinking intelligently, Huey imposes the importance of the Paint Hammer to Mario now. The red plumber agrees, and Ellshe’s colors are restored! …But she’s still out cold. At this point, Huey, Louis and Marirana have no idea, no great insight on what might save Ellshe.

And in the midst of all this, one person does not care about Ellshe. Instead, that person cares on Bowser Junior betraying them, not informing that person on any side effects the machine would have. That person is Kidd. And at this point, no-one is even amused with Kidd anymore. Rather, Nya is offended Kidd believes herself blameless, while Edwin vows he’ll bring the crook to Port Prisma and pay someone to help Ellshe. He also practically threatens Kidd by telling her she’d better hope Ellshe recovers. In spite of that, Kidd is not afraid of Edwin- in fact, she dares him to do his worst, telling him to his face he’s no different from her.

Edwin’s color changes from green to red, looking like he’s about to unleash something on Kidd. And someone does finally lose their patience with Kidd’s callous attitude towards life. The thing is, those words don’t come out of Edwin.

They come out of O’Chunks.

Everyone, including Kidd and Nastasia, is taken offguard as O’Chunks lays Kidd’s hypocrisy into her face, proving to him that she really doesn’t care about anything at all. A gut feeling on where this is going overtakes Nastasia, but O’Chunks insists on continuing his speech, as he believes everyone needs to hear it. O’Chunks then tells Kidd he and Nastasia had two co-workers who thought an awful lot like the Vellbex woman. During O’Chunks and Nastasia’s stay on Prism Island, the brave warrior held hope Kidd would change her ways, like Count Bleck had. Well, Kidd destroyed O’Chunks’ trust in this ever happening, as the former general is disgusted how the ex-Rescue Squad leader hurt someone Mario and friends cared about, just to prove a point.

O Chunks&#039; feelings SWITCH

Whatever bravado Kidd had vanishes, reduced to stammering a world without “him” in it doesn’t matter- only for O’Chunks to counter Count Bleck thought that way too. The point is, O’Chunks warns Kidd continuing down her path will make her like the other coworker, who O’Chunks must not like considering he never says their name. Turning around in anger, O’Chunks reveals he would never want anyone going down such a dark path.

Everyone, from Huey, to Marirana (who was sure Edwin, Nya or Louis would give the speech first), to Nastasia, are shocked O’Chunks felt this way the whole time. The big guy admits he doesn’t feel any better getting it off his chest, but everyone had to know. Recollecting himself, O’Chunks suggests they bring Ellshe back to Port Prisma and find help, as Edwin also pointed out.

Savor this moment, as it’s the last time everything seems to be OK. For at this moment, Kolorado approaches the group to warn them about something, only to be distracted by Ellshe’s comatose state and the ruined machine’s odd design. Then a Memphawk guy dashes up, spouting how everything is awful, even as part of a team. Oh, plus the VIP and his friends are wreaking havoc. Finally, a Memphawk gal- a real one- runs up to the gang. There’s a problem, though- she’s being chased by the Sunset Express!

Everyone hightails it off the tracks, and the train runs over what’s left of the machine. However, the unconscious Ellshe gets swept onto the front of the train, into the claws of a certain someone- the lazy-looking Larry Koopa. Louis, ashamed, takes the rap for letting go of Ellshe, but someone else takes the blame for this.

Kidd the Vellbex.

Even Kidd knows she can’t magically flip-flop her opinion after one long speech from a weird bearded guy. She does promise, however, to help the gang, if only to prove she’s not a psychopath, though she insists she had her reasons. Unluckily for her, Huey is against ever allying with her. Huey looks to Mario to have his back on this. Instead, Mario does something unusual- he stretches his hand towards Kidd.

At first, Mario’s party think he’s gone crazy, considering what Kidd just did. Finally, Mario explains what he feels- Kidd deserving a second chance. The instant Louis hears this, he looks within himself, wondering if Mario is loco or the Memphawk fanboy is bitter. Finally, he decides- it’s the latter. For the reason Louis is a fan of Mario is because he always gives people a chance to prove themselves, no matter what. Louis even remembers Mario did the same for him this very adventure.

Soon, most of Mario’s other friends slowly tolerate his decision for their own reasons. While Nya also reminds Mario what Kidd did, Nya also knows she hasn’t been clean herself, yet Mario looked past her vices regardless. Meanwhile, Marirana finally gets what her message has been missing- real acceptance. Just as suddenly, Keirf pops in to pitch in his own two coins on Mario’s forgiving nature, before leaving equally quickly. Finally, though Edwin is still angry, he decides to tolerate Kidd for just a little longer. He warns her, though, if she double-crosses them, she’s gone for good.

With all these votes against him, as well as hearing even more of Mario’s virtues, Huey agrees to let Kidd come with the gang. His own condition, though, is Kidd really apologizing to everyone she hurt, even if they don’t accept it. The Vellbex woman quickly runs through the deal in her mind…and agrees. And that’s the story of how Kidd joined Mario’s party. To prove herself immediately, Kidd picks Mario up. Like a chariot, Kidd dashes after the moving Sunset Express, the fat plumber not slowing her down even a little. Just like that, the two vanish on the horizon.

O’Chunks is filled with pride in his speech getting through to someone, which Nastasia definitely concurs to. An idea crosses O’Chunks’ mind in this heat- he and Nastasia should head to the beach next after this emotional moment.

This thought is interrupted by Chugga T arriving in a handcart to help Mario…not aware he’s got a ride. Regardless, Kolorado offers to go with the train fanatic Toad, since there’s something at Starlight Cape he has to check. Wasting no time asking what the Koopa is seeking, Chugga T urges Kolorado to hurry on the handcart, and both guys start trading pumps after the Sunset Express.

Chapter 5 Part 3

Further up the track, Kidd and Mario eventually catch up with the Sunset Express train. Just as Kidd is pumped to retrieve Ellshe back from Larry, she’s interrupted by Chugga T and Kolorado’s arrival. To make things simple, Kolorado informs Kidd he filled Chugga T in on the current situation. Kidd, remembering what she promised Huey, apologizes to Chugga T for delaying the train. As Huey expected, Chugga T doesn’t just take the apology flat. That said, he tells Kidd if she helps get his train back, he’ll call it even. In addition, Chugga T asks Mario to let him know if the plumber needs to return to the overworld map.

It’s not quite training, but it is practice aboard a train for Mario as he learns how to synergize his battle moves with Kidd. Across their battles on the Sunset Express, filling the partner meter enough encourages Kidd to pluck her Vellbex Smooch on one enemy. By doing so, that enemy joins Mario’s side of the field as though Mario had summoned him or her via enemy card. Sometimes, Mario doesn’t pay attention, either shooing Kidd’s allied enemy away with another enemy card or giving the Vellbex permission to kiss while another enemy is on their side. What Mario focuses more on is the sheer power increase his Hammer moves are granted, which is because Kidd uses Any Means Necessary to motivate the portly foreign man.

Out of battle, Kidd is fast on her feet. With her fast speed, she and Mario can outpace brisk enemies, sneaky Slugshrooms, and short time limits.

Once they get a flow going, Mario & Kidd take down enemies left and right on their train trip. From the familiar Shy Guys, Clubbas & Snifits inside the train, to the trainjacking Boosketeers, Spikes & Blue Paratroopas atop, and even the return of the Sombrero Guy & Boomerang Bros from the Decal Lands’ Drybake Desert, the certified piping expert & renegade Rescue Squadee are unstoppable. They feel a little bad when it comes to defeating the neutral Green Paratroopas, but that’s just battling- it never changes.

Our heroes and conflicted villain aren’t the only ones trying to stop the two villainous forces, either. Inside the train’s many carts, Mario and friends and Kidd find several Rescue Squad members of Red, Green and Yellow factions trying and failing to solve the situation. While Leelee, Staupp, Whittik T and Beeyew T have no ill will against Kidd as they head to the back cart of the train, Armstrong of Yellow Rescue Squad is more reserved even after Marirana frees him with her Sound Boom Blast. Upon hearing of Kidd going back on the right path, Armstrong wants to tell the Squad Captain about it. Instead, Kidd asks she be allowed to give the message, to ensure the message isn’t jumbled along the way.

A bad idea SWITCH

It comes to Marirana’s attention that despite Armstrong being a bird, he doesn’t just simply fly or glide off the train. Armstrong’s response? Explaining the fate of the late Orange Rescue Squad, who Kidd adds had the survival instincts of a Green Koopa Troopa.

After bailing out the remaining adult members of Green Rescue Squad, Mario and friends reunite with Vinn of the Red Squad. Vinn gives Mario the heads-up some FEEEELZ are contained in this room, as he learned even simple henchmen have their own troubles. In minutes, Mario meets a Rebazy Dayzee environmentalist from Dayzee Village in the Pastelora region, a Slurp Guy who wants to be elected, a Clubba with the urge to smash the exhaust funnel, and other colorful minions.

Introspective Anti Guy SWITCH

Well, except for a lone Anti-Guy sitting in his own both. To say he’s troubled serves little justice in fully describing his tortured soul. Slowly and clearly as possible, the Anti-Guy points out to Mario how everything he and his friends have experienced is thanks to their hard and underappreciated work. The FEEEEEELZ keep coming, as despite all the Anti-Guy’s wishes he could just vacation at some faraway place, he knows the truth- he’s in Bowser’s service. For the rest of his life. The Anti-Guy concludes his blunt honesty as he explains to Mario they’ll inevitably have to fight someday.

Mario, Huey and Kidd have no response. They have no jokes. Simply put, nothing they can do could serve as a justified response to the Anti-Guy’s words. Instead, they just get up, walk away, and reflect on themselves, along with the FEEEEEEEEELZ.

Eventually, after catching up with Sol of Yellow Squad and outsmarting an ambush of Clefts, Mario, Huey, Marirana and Kidd finally reach Larry. The blue-haired Koopaling is not concerned with his enemy’s amassed party- instead, he’s more focused on the steak he ate.

That’s when it hits Marirana- Larry was the VIP customer the whole time! Larry confirms it, politely contemplating how she and Mario should have been chefs.

Not curbing your enthusiasm SWITCH

Impatient, Kidd orders Larry give them back Ellshe. However, Larry has no interests in any bargain with Kidd, since Junior left her in charge of testing the containment device and botched it. Instead, the cultured swine- er, Koopaling- decides to defeat our heroes and ex-con before they arrive at Starlight Cape to find the Grand Paint Star that Aace hid around there. Not looking forward to Bowser Junior throwing a temper tantrum if met with failure, Larry begins his aggravated assaulted.

Like so many of Larry’s siblings, the Koopaling didn’t come alone. Just as lazily, he summons wave after wave of enemies to protect him from non-Throwhammer attacks, so the stronger moves don’t come for a while. Magic wand, shell toss, yada yada yada, you know that stuff. But did you know Larry also throws smoke blasts at Mario that blind the plumber if he doesn’t block? Or that if Mario dilly-dallies too long, Larry will unleash a powerful five-hit combo? Or that if Larry hides in the train’s steam pipe, Mario’s Fire attacks or Marirana’s Off-Color Lyrics can force him out? You do now.

Oh look, Larry’s been defeated already. What are the odds? In the midst of Larry considering hiding away from the Bowsers, Kidd rams him off the train, telling him to tell Junior they’re coming for him next. Before the comatose Ellshe can fly off again, Kidd quickly nabs her. This time, instead of use as a hostage, Kidd gives Mario the Sticker Fairy. Immediately after, Chugga T announces their destination- Starlight Cape.

Upon arriving at Starlight Cape, Huey’s carefree attitude leads to Kidd loosening up in a positive manner. This moment is scuttled when, for some strange reason, Ellshe is shuddering. Huey and Mario assume that she's probably cold. Huey decides that they should look for a Grand Paint Star around here, hoping that it can help her warm up. The Rescue Squad Members immediately get off the train. They then run past it, into the darkness. 

As our team of heroes and cons pass the Sunset Express, Chugga T starts celebrating the train’s improved performance thanks to Regale Trainworks. Both Chugga T and the Conductor discuss the Sunset Express’ recent run, before concluding they should keep using it.

Mario and friends reach the eponymous Starlight Cape. Of everyone in the group, Huey is th most enchanted with the locale. While everyone basks under the starlight, Kolorado arrives to give quick trivia on the cape being where the King and his heir would travel to also collect themselves. Looking upwards, the Koopa professor also wishes to bring his wife here someday. For now, Kolorado searches for Artifacts- and he can feel it in his shoes that some are nearby.

At that moment, a shooting star passes by. Everyone makes a wish on it- Edwin for a lifetime of money for both himself and his friends, Louis to go on another adventure with Mario, Marirana for people around the world to tolerate each other more, and Nya for peace among the Ninji clans. In addition, Mario wishes for Princess Peach and Toadsworth to stay safe. Huey, trying to be peaceful, asks Kidd if she made a wish.

Kidd&#039;s regret SWITCH

Sadly, what Kidd wants most is something she can’t ever get back. She knows it’s something she has to accept, though. The Vellbex leader dwells on it, remembering she used to come here with “them” all the time. The sun ahead clears up Kidd’s next thought- she can’t undo her mistakes, but she can wish the gang help Ellshe recover from her injuries. To cheer Kidd up, Huey lets her know he wished they had all six Grand Paint Stars, and that one alone could help Ellshe.

Huey’s pep talk is interrupted when a Thwomp stomps the ground far away. All of a sudden, a strange mark appears under the group. A trapdoor then opens, and everyone falls in.

Wario and Waluigi&#039;s neat find

After, Wario and Waluigi make their third appearance in the story, and it’s obvious they’re out for Kidd’s horns in addition to Mario’s. Wario also gets a hunch there’s lots of treasure here for his own reasons.

Within the pit, the gang look around at the high-tech astral hallwork, glowing in blue and lined with yellow. Almost everyone, especially Kidd and Louis, are confused at the discovery of this never-before-seen area of Prism Island. Kolorado, meanwhile, is ecstatic at such an unknown find.

Finally, Huey becomes equally excited, knowing where this is. Instead of explaining right away, he only tells Mario to collect the Mini-Paint Star ahead so he can see. Huey’s friends listen to him, and a path opens to the lost, top-secret Starlight Workshop.

Walking deeper and deeper into the Workshop, our heroes notice Huey’s joy at arriving in this location. Once Nya gets Huey to concentrate on Ellshe’s current state, Huey apologizes. It’s just he thought his friends would be happy seeing where he was built. This statement excites Kolorado, the professor now hypothesizing this to be a secret workshop of the island’s King, filled with Artifacts and Things no-one’s even heard of. Huey takes a page from Nya’s book and, while he does mention Kolorado might get to see some of it, the Grand Paint Star comes first. A gentle letdown is still a letdown in Kolorado’s mind, and the professor curses his treasure hunt being sidelined by a starfish again.

The heroes and company arrive in the hub room of the Workshop, with a huge door and sidepaths around them. At first, Huey’s excitement returns, as behind the door is the main room, and all they need to do is activate the five switches. However, Nya brings everyone’s attention to scuff marks on the floor, indicating someone else has recently been here. Before Huey and Kolorado lose their minds, Edwin puffs out who the most likely suspect could be- Aace. Since Aace is a Boo, he must have found out about the workshop over his life. With all the info the gang have so far, Huey realizes Aace must have brought the Grand Paint Star into the Workshop’s main room for safekeeping, meaning the gang really do need to enter that room.

Minutes later, Mario and friends decide to check out the left wing first. To everyone’s confusion, several Boos and Boosketeers doused in Dark purple power are there. Huey is both all riled up and indignated, wanting to know what they’re doing messing with the King’s stuff. Despite one Dark Boosketeer explaining they’re training, his Dark Boo and other Dark Boosketeer brothers are equally insulted at Huey’s accusation, and a fight happens. The toughness of the ghostly Musketeers alerts Edwin how strange it is they’re tougher than the Musketeers at the Emerald Circus HQ. Edwin puzzles over why Aace would need Musketeer soldiers this tough and here, even for a Grand Paint Star.

Knowing they’re not alone, the plumber makes the call to check the right wing before doing any puzzles, just to flush out any more unwanted surprises and enemies. Mario’s a smart fellow for it, as a Boosketeer is keeping two Slugshrooms and a Carrishroom in a reasonable sized cage. When Kidd gasps in annoyance at the Boosketeers trying to keep such dangerous creatures captive, the Boosketeer notices Kidd. Luckily for her, the Boosketeer is cowardly, and believes Kidd to be some kind of bogeywoman. Unluckily for her, the Boosketeer frees his three shroom pets- Curly, Slappy and Brian- in a desperate attempt to save him from the Vellbex.

They get KO’d for their troubles, and the Boosketeer flees in utter terror. Kidd tries to make small talk with Huey and Edwin, but they’re not really laughing. For Huey, he just found Kidd’s banter decent. With Edwin’s, meanwhile, he’s still not enthralled with Kidd considering when she joined. As Edwin knows this line of thinking is toxic, he decides to really try putting Kidd’s recent deeds behind him. Instead, the Slurple rogue shifts the subject to the Musketeers and Aace keeping the shroom creatures so close. It’s here Nya finally asks Edwin who Aace is, but Edwin has no clue. All he knows is Aace let him join initially so Edwin could fill his pockets with coins and help someone- though Edwin doesn’t elaborate on who.

Workshop battle SWITCH

In addition to the two stronger Boo varieties and shroom enemies, Mario and friends engage in combat with other weird foes. Buzzy Beetles, Dry Bones and even Wizzerds return for extra rounds. The latter bamboozles Mario even further, cementing in his mind Rogueport and Prism Island must be more similar or even connected in their pasts than he mused. The bigger badder brother of the Buzzy Beetle, the Spiked Top, also picks a fight or two with the gang. Last but not least is a huge rainbow robot golem with separate appendages, the Corona Golem. This contraption is both brains and brawn, observing Mario and his friends with some personality in-between punching them. Though beatable, they’re still the toughest normal enemies Mario has fought thus far on Prism Island.

Half an hour later, the gang finally KO every enemy in the rooms they can access, and are now able to focus on solving puzzles. Starting with the right wing, Mario first uses Huey’s Cut-Out to reach an area with sawblades, then Louis to time Leaps above the deadly jagged discs. Then, the Paint Hammer has it’s time of night to activate a colorful bubble machine. In the middle of all the bubbles, Marirana is given the OK for a Sound Boom Blast, splattering four mini-switches at once to create a pathway. By accomplishing these two tasks, Mario is able to reach paths leading to two of the hittable switches.

Our heroes are halfway done, so they therefore head back to the left wing of the Workshop to finish the critical thinking portions of this stage…of their lives. Edwin’s Suction pulls two Star Wheels together, allowing them to move thanks to the teeth of their gears. This also forces several poles out Edwin can suck towards. However, it’s not a straight path, as buzzsaws and the moving Star Wheels complicate the process.

Finally, and toughest of all, is an Unfurl Block inside a two tier maze. The first tier has thick walls and a huge Unfurlable globe blocking the way up. Thanks to Kidd’s speed, Mario is able to hit the globe with Unfurl power with less than half the time remaining, turning the globe into a staircase. The second tier, however, is a much more winding, indirect maze, so long that not even Kidd can outrun the timer.

Following a few failed attempts, an exhausted Mario and Kidd look at both tiers of the maze, wondering what they’re not getting. In all this mysterious business, Mario neglected to realize something about the second tier- it has much thinner fences. The solution snaps into Mario’s mind, and as soon as he reaches the second tier with Unfurl Power, he calls out Nya to simply Vanish through the maze, revealing it to be an elaborate misleading clue. A satisfied Mario proceeds to hit the Unfurlable hollow globe ahead of him, creating a lift upwards. With all the puzzles done, Mario hits the other two visible switches.

Starmageddon reveal SWITCH

The activation of all four switches causes the fifth switch to appear back in the hub room. Huey allows Mario to have the honor, and the plumber thwacks it as usual. The door lights up, revealing the shape of a large starry individual engraved on it. Marirana is enamored with the decoration, as she thinks the king was a large fellow. Huey agrees, demonstrating how impressed Mario seems. It must have been a quick look on Huey’s part, for Mario is more “floored” than “impressed” with the image on the door. It’s here Huey explains what the engraving is of- the island’s king, Starmageddon.

It should go without saying, but everyone except Huey feels misgivings towards such a foreboding name. Edwin also reflects on giving Pirra T such a hard time over his name, considering the King’s own, while also understanding why the locals only call him the King. Once Louis regains himself, he asks Huey where Starmageddon is. Huey doesn’t know where, but he remembers he last saw the King 700 years ago.

The number really agitates Louis, and Huey agrees. From Huey’s memory, he was just flying around the lab as usual, watching Starmageddon build machines while testing out his own new personality core His Majesty just installed. The next minute, however, Huey was blinded, being carried in secret to Prisma Fountain. Huey also admits he has this feeling Starmageddon wanted him to take care of something, but he can’t remember what it was. That’s not what Louis meant, though, as the Memphawk reveals Starmageddon went missing 1200 years ago- it couldn’t have been him.

Just before Huey can argue against Louis’ case and explain something about the King, Wario and Waluigi rudely interrupt. As everyone realizes it’s them, Kidd attempts to brush them off, but the Wicked Duo are seething payment from the ex-villainess. When Waluigi suggests the evil possible-brothers take the Grand Paint Star as ransom, the impossible happens- Wario agrees. The microgame tycoon lights himself on fire and dashes into the main lab, with Waluigi in toe. Flustered at being beaten to the punch, Kolorado dashes after them to stop the duo damaging the King’s stuff. Soon, everyone else follows.

Inside the main laboratory, Mario and co. find the Tangerine Grand Paint Star encased in a star-like machine. Wario and Waluigi are trying to break the Paint Star free, but they’re not strong enough. Meanwhile, Kolorado is struggling to pull Waluigi away, something the lanky prankster doesn’t appreciate. Worst of all, Nya notices Ellshe is losing her color again.

The clock is ticking, so Kidd recommends they solve this quarrel with Wario and Waluigi. Mario and co. dash to the wicked duo, passing by a large gold Huey statue with no opening. Out of nowhere, the statue starts to violently rumble as the good guys pass. Spooked, Mario and Nya want to investigate further, but Huey refocuses their attention on the cheapskate doppelgangers. The saviours of mankind continue on their path, not noticing the statue rumble again.

When Wario and Waluigi shake off Kolorado, they turn towards Mario. The duo, knowing now how badly Mario wants the Grand Paint Star, proposes a deal to him and the others. If the gang pay the capitalist mugs a fee of 4000 coins, they’ll just step out of the way. Otherwise, they’ll fight.

In light of such a high but not unmanageable asking price, Mario considers his options. By looking at Wario and Waluigi, he surmises they might be upset with Kidd, throwing them off their game. On the other hand, Mario has this feeling something worse lurks around the corner. In addition, our video game icon is feeling both charitable amidst his constant moodiness during the Prism Island adventure, as well as tired of fighting all these strong foes. Therefore, Mario deliberates to a decision of paying the bribe, surprising Waluigi and Wario, as well as somewhat upsetting Edwin. Money might not talk, but it lifts the sleazy moustache twirlers’ spirits greatly.

Pity that the point of the exchange is nullified, when an unknown figure calls out Wario & Waluigi on their money fixation. Everyone turns around to see a glowing blue robot guy with a huge spikey crown and wavy robot limbs. However, the guy’s face is all pixelated, except for the glasses. While Waluigi insults the blue guy for his long limbs, Mario stands his ground while Huey is stunned at the individual standing before them. Finally, the guy addresses Huey heartily, as Hubert, proclaiming it’s been far too long since seeing his creation.

After what feels like a minute, Huey can only respond…

“…Starmageddon? Is that you?! Have you been working out?”

To say anyone was presuming the blue guy to be Starmageddon himself would be a lie, especially for the disconcerted Kolorado. Starmageddon, however, clarifies the situation- he’s actually a holo-duplicate of the actual Starmageddon. (So it actually is a lie after all). The real one had been banished to another dimension by his treacherous backstabbing partner, the mention of whom fills the duplicate with anger, after a seemingly minor altercation. In the other dimension, some misunderstanding with the locals occurred, and before Starmageddon knew it, he lost his original body.

In the wake of this explanation is another question from Edwin- how did Starmageddon get back? Once again, the hologram answers that the King very fortunately found a portal inside a museum sort-of out of the way. The portal led back to the Mushroom World’s dimension, to the area that would become this workshop. Over time, Starmageddon used his engineering expertise to create a simple body similar to….are you ready to facepalm? Or at least have a stressball nearby? Good. …a simple body similar to the only species who lives on Prism Island, the Toads.

Right away, Louis and Kidd lose their cool over the sheer inanity and wrongness of that sentence, but the holo-duplicate is too enraptured in Starmageddon’s story to notice or possibly care. Instead, he finds it more prudent to fess up that his false body would be no match for his now-sealed partner or her remaining minions. Nor another task the holo-King is unable to state due to a weird audio glitch.

For this unknown task, Starmageddon created Huey. Dealing with the King’s own local enemies would require his original body, being kept under high security in the other dimension. To that end, Starmageddon built various mechsuits to deal with that security. This is the moment the holo-duplicate reveals himself to be based on the finalized mechsuit, though another is kept in the lab as a contingency. Hearing all this encourages Huey to praise Starmageddon for his ingenuity, sure that when the King comes back, he’ll bathe the island in color and dances. Also, he’ll probably bring a unicycling monkey to entertain his kid.

Sadly for Huey, Starmageddon’s true colors start surfacing when he unveils a change of plans. When Huey is startled by this change, the holo-King elaborates that over the years, while working in this workshop, the King slowly learned something from his betrayal. The Mushroom World…it’s not worth saving. It’s filled with wicked and complicated people. Instead, after Huey finishes his mysterious task and Starmageddon finds his real body, he’ll fix things- by blighting out the whole world and starting over again, with just Prism Island remade. Maybe the Decal Lands, too. And this reboot would be for the sake of “a new standard”.

Even discounting the sheer disgust Mario and his friends express towards throwing away what made the Mushroom World so memorable and inviting, Huey desperately begs with the holo-King to reconsider. Unfortunately, the holo-King cares nothing for a world where “she’s” gone.

Finally, Kidd speaks out against the holo-King. After letting His Holo-Majesty know she thought the same way a few hours ago, Kidd has come to grips with the truth. The one she cares for is gone, and their absence will hurt for a long time. Now, Kidd has to keep dashing forward.

If the Mushroom World were perfect, the holo-King would change his ways as well, and he would be singing Kum-bay-yah with Mario and friends. The Mushroom World is not a perfect world, though, and the holo-King instead aims his arm cannons at Kidd’s face, cementing in his mind he lost “that battle” because of the Vellbex’s emotionalness.

Huey stands up to Starmageddon SWITCH

Without even thinking, Huey flies between Kidd and the holo-King, facing down the duplicate of his majesty. The holo-King chastises Huey for standing against him, but the Underwhere hath no fury like Huey right this moment. His face red with rage, Huey reminds the holo-King what he was built for, and that the real King is not excluded from this criteria if he comes back like the holo-King. Mario jumps in agreement, and this really sends Starmageddon’s duplicate into a frenzy, beginning a tough battle.

Our heroes should thank themselves they’re not facing the real Starmageddon or even his mechsuit now, because the holo-duplicate packs a mean punch. A Jet Laser Buster cannon with multiple hits is nothing compared to a stardust explosion. That move, in turn, is outranked by a super-powerful air-drop move the King’s replica uses on occasion. The move that best balances power and utility, though, is a triple meteor drop that reminds Mario an awful lot of the Trio Meteor move he used in the other Mushroom Kingdom.

In the middle of it all, Wario and Waluigi watch the fight from the sidelines, entertained but non-plussed. That changes when the Starmageddon copy’s stardust explosion goes off, igniting Wario briefly and forcing him into a fiery run hitting Mario and the pseudo-King. Meanwhile, Starmageddon’s triple meteor sometimes conks Waluigi into the ground. If Mario’s lucky, Waluigi will grab into the King for a turn. Otherwise, Mario’s a sitting duck for His Majesty’s Secret Pseudo-body.

The battle finally comes to an end, and Mario & friends step out triumphant, while the King duplicate is about to explode. Starmageddon’s copy can only scream in frustration at this hologram failing to win with all the data input it was given, wondering why he didn’t listen to someone. The King’s speech is cut short as he finally explodes, freeing the Grand Paint Star and sending Wario & Waluigi flying off Prism Island, a twinkle in the sky.

As Kidd marvels the miraculous recovery of the Tangerine Star, Huey slowly remembers his wish, realizing it came true! He’s joyful of this idea, encouraging the others their wishes will also come true- even Kidd’s self-professed impossible wish. Touched, Kidd returns the favor and cares for Huey, apologizing what the King became, as well as how she might have turned out that way. In the face of this, Huey becomes a little sad. In no time at all, the bucket guardian happily affirms all he needs are his friends in this room, also glad Prism Island and the rest of the world are in one piece.

In the corner, Kolorado finds this good fortune. He also allows the gang to have the Grand Paint Star, while he looks around the room for new finds. Louis agrees, and Mario once again awakens a Star, hitching a ride as usual.

After they leave, though, the gold Huey statue starts rumbling again. This alerts Kolorado to stay away from it…

Draggadon&#039;s words SWITCH

Like the first four times, Tangerine takes a little detour before heading to Port Prisma. In this case, he sprinkles his orange goodness over Marmalade Valley, bringing life to the Draggadon statue. Oddly, though, Draggadon has someone on his little list, as the beast flies off…

Luigi Intermission 4

Far away, Luigi is jolted awake by the calls of Daisy and Nabana. Our not-as-heroic plumber awakens to find himself, his friends and Roy in the back room of a circus tent. Immediately, Roy blames Luigi for everyone getting caught, while Luigi rightfully counters Roy’s ambush gave their unknown foes a chance to capture the quartet. When Roy tries skimming around this by asserting he didn’t escape since he wanted a challenge, Daisy sarcastically quips that she’s a dinosaur.

Roy&#039;s our boy SWITCH

As Roy counters that Daisy barely appears in anything, the argument is interrupted by the arrivals of Aace, Perry and Khairacles. Roy’s raring for revenge, but he can’t find his wand to assist him. It turns out Perry is keeping the Koopaling’s wand nice and safe on his person, with the Goomba sharing his motto of needing to be on the winning team if one wants to play the game.

Once Roy realizes Perry used to work for him and the Koopalings, Roy calls the Musketeer Goomba out on always jumping ship every time things get too tough for him. Before Roy really loses his temper, Aace asks Khairacles to handle Roy. The big monkey obliges and takes Roy out back, Luigi and friends hearing the sound of roughhousing. Khairacles finally comes back with Roy, and the Koopaling faints as he tries to get the last word in.

Khairacles’ pride in his strength and his lawyer’s is challenged by Nabana. Instead of pounding him too, though, Khairacles finds a kinship in Nabana’s own boisterousness of power and ligitiousness, feeling they would have been friends in another life. Khairacles eventually runs off, probably to practice for his own act.

After Khairacles leaves, Aace explains he brought Luigi and Daisy here to test them for some reason. He also needs them to entertain the other Musketeers. Aace requests Perry bring the second-string duo (and Nabana) to the front of the stage, and the Goomba does. Perry makes a remark about him leading Luigi this time, but he quickly backspaces his comment.

It’s a big audience today at the Emerald Circus, with several Boosketeers, Cutlads, Monkhairas and other Musketeers seated on the benches. Perry, performing a duty he doubtless has before, introduces Luigi and Daisy to his fellow warriors. The crowd’s not exactly enthralled with Luigi, but Daisy’s presence stirs much more excitement. Luigi’s especially surprised that Daisy didn’t eat her Turtley Leaves yet, considering she’s using one as a hand fan for theatrics. Just as Daisy is explaining to Luigi that she still has one Leaf left, Perry introduces Nabana to the crowd.

Everyone in the crowd is confused at Nabana’s very existence, with one Boosketeer thinking Khairacles is pulling a prank. Ignorant of the crowd’s skepticism, Nabana flies ahead of Luigi and showboats. Nabana is so enwrapped in flexing his dreadlocks that Luigi trips on the banana Sticker Fairy. Believing this to be part of the act, all the Musketeers laugh- or at least show positive reception- to the clownishness unravelling before them. Luigi, though groggy, recovers fast enough to hear Perry announce the act for today- a battle medley with the circus staff!

Luigi at the circus

First, Luigi and his friends face off with two Dino Rhinos (an enemy Luigi hasn’t seen in years) being trained by an on-hand team of Boosketeers. In his wide-but-limited wisdom, Luigi decides to defeat the Boosketeers before reducing the Dino Rhinos to fossils. This turns out to be a bad idea, as when all the ghostly swordsmen are vanquished, the Dino Rhinos suddenly go berserk, inflicting huge damage on Weegee. More Boosketeers coming on stage to calm the reptiles down ultimately sends Luigi back to less than square one. The next time, Luigi defeats his foes in reverse, and it does the trick.

Second on the battle medley act is three Blue Koopas balancing on each other, with a Drybake Pokey on standby. This time, there’s no unnecessary gimmicks- just two enemies that can be toppled over with Hammer attacks. Closing the gauntlet of fights is two Lepbellers underneath a ring of fire for a Blue Paratroopa. Luigi doesn’t jump into that burning ring fire, but the Paratroopa goes through and his next attack rises higher. Luigi fights, fights, fights, forcing his foes to retire, under that ring of fire.

Luigi isn’t alone during these fights, either. In addition to Nabana’s power of card regeneration, Daisy also assists big green by healing some of his health every turn. It’s not much health, but it’s enough.

After the trio defeats all three waves, Perry is just startled how Luigi and his crew outlasted some of the strongest Musketeers. The trio don’t shy away from taking in the praise for their skills. That done, Perry thanks the Musketeer audience for watching, also reminding them these shows are possible because of one thing- the Justice of the Musketeers. The crowd gives a cry for “JUSTICE”, before leaving for their other missions.

However, as Perry is about to take the trio back the way they came, Aace arrives to tell Perry only he has to leave. Perry’s questions yield no real answers- only that this doesn’t concern him. Spooked at being kept in the dark about something he should know, Perry begrudgingly leaves through the back.

Equally strange is Khairacles bringing Roy into the tent. Khairacles wants to challenge Luigi, Roy and the others in battle, but Aace turns down the request, reminding the ape he’s among the few who know the “details”. It’s obvious Khairacles has some fight in him, but he respects Aace’s declination and leaves- though he wishes he, and not “him”, could have tested Nabana.

With everyone else gone, Aace lets the four know a friend of his also wants a shot at Luigi and crew, as well as Roy. However, the friend likes his privacy, not performing well in front of large crowds. With this in mind, Aace retrieves a Save Block and several HP Recovery Hearts from his person. The sight of such hospitality affirms both a creeping feeling and one thing in Luigi’s mind- whoever Aace’s friend is, he’s going to hurt Luigi and Roy a lot.

After healing, saving, and writing his will, Luigi confirms with Aace that the crew is ready. Aace finds this a good thing. However, Aace proceeds to leave, only loudly proclaiming “They’re all yours to test”. Our heroes find this behaviour strange- why wouldn’t Aace stay to at least greet his friend?

In seconds, they learn the answer from a mysterious voice- that friend has been in the tent the whole time. Suddenly, a giant dark red flower with jagged orange leaves and a green stem rises from below the platform. Two paler, smaller plants follow suit. Ten yellow eyes- two big, eight small- illuminate the main flower shortly after.

Daisy and Nabana show the appropriate reaction at the arrival of this floral foe- utter and absolute joy at getting to face such an unexpected new foe. Then there’s Luigi, who’s horrified at the behemoth before him. The behemoth sees this terror from the green fighting machine and chides him for it, since it thought the trek through the woods would strengthen Luigi’s character. As for Roy, he admits the flower is big, but he could take it with his wand. Upon realizing Perry still has it, Roy calls out the cowardly Goomba’s name in rage. Perry hears his name being called, and walks into the tent- scared at the giant flower monster. This gives Roy the chance to chase after his ex-employee, jumping over one of the plant monster’s buds.

The monster is not concerned with Roy’s departure, revealing Roy’s destiny to not return to the tent. Daisy and Nabana are quick to insult Roy, with Nabana declaring he could take on this “overgrown weed” by himself. Unfortunately, this sets off the plant monster, as it explains only one other individual calls it that, and the monster despises that individual. The monster proceeds to enlighten our heroes that if they wish to maintain a friendly relationship, they call it/him by his real name- Sporepocalypse.

Battling against Sporepocalypse definitely stretches the meaning of the word test. It also confirms to Luigi that Aace’s generosity earlier was to prepare the group for this Floral Glistening King. Because of the two extra buds, Sporepocalypse can inflict damage a few more times with a 1-2-3 physical combo. The main head also has a few other super-powerful moves, from a head-crushing plant fall to a powerful laser blast. Most disorienting of all is the various pollens Sporepocalypse’s buds can emit onto Luigi, inflicting all sorts of strange effects on one of the first Player 2s. All three flowers only taking half the damage they would usually take only serves to elongate the brawl.

Yet despite all these tricks and traps, Luigi and his friends are able to bring Sporepocalypse’s health to halfway. Their performance actually impresses the huge plant, the beast contemplating their perseverance against such a powerful foe as himself. Daisy praises Luigi for leaving such a good impact on their foe.

And then Sporepocalypse restrains Daisy and Nabana, in order to test how Luigi fares alone. The plant beast deems if Luigi can’t succeed on his own, then he’s not worthy of finding and restoring the treasure, something neither Sporepocalypse nor the Musketeers can do. Nor was Luigi worthy of the letter. Luigi’s immediate assumption Sporepocalypse sent the letter is muffled by the huge flower clarifying it merely advised an old friend of an impending situation- meanwhile, Aace was the one who sent the letter. As one final piece of crypticness, Sporepocalypse lets Luigi know that if he knew what was sleeping on Prism Island, Luigi wouldn’t blame Sporepocalypse for the current extreme situation they’re in. Following this omen, Sporepocalypse completely reheals himself.

The battle begins again, but of course Luigi is ill-equipped to deal with Sporepocalypse alone, just as anyone would be. In a short while, Sporepocalypse comes to the conclusion Luigi isn’t worthy of finding the failsafe. While the creature ruminates on the echoes he felt of Luigi’s deeds across time, past and future, Daisy and Nabana try snapping a frightened Luigi back into focus. No more options are left- Sporepocalypse decides to just wipe the ghost hunter out here and now.

That’s when a splotch of red paint hits the giant greenery, forcing him to let go of Daisy and Nabana.

To put it simply, Sporepocalypse is flabbergasted at paint being present, especially where the paint hasn’t been restored. At that precise point, Perry runs in and out of the tent, screaming for Aace’s help.

“Who needs the local color when I’m around? And I brought my little friends!”

Roy enters the scene with his wand. Twelve Shy Guys are at the back stage door. Any hopes of this being an act of altruism are shot down by Roy, who just wants to fight Sporepocalypse. The Koopaling even threatens Luigi that in the event he runs out of paint, he will not hesitate to use Green as ammo. Roy proceeds to throw his wand in the air, transforming it into an empty Bill Blaster and catching it. While Sporepocalypse is trying to process Roy’s presence not matching up with his own visions, Roy merely points out the irony in him splatting Sporepocalypse in the island’s paint, even explaining he’s gone to night school just to learn what irony means.

Luigi and Roy vs Sporepocalypse Prime

After two false starts, the battle finally occurs for real this time. Along with Daisy and Nabana’s returned assistance, Roy’s Paint Blaster inflicts notable damage to close the difference. Eventually, though, Roy runs out of Paint. Like he promised, the Koopaling uses Weeg as ammo against their blooming behemoth opponent, and Luigi takes half the immense damage Sporepocalypse incurs.

Once again half-filled, Sporepocalypse creates a magic barrier to give the plant time in dealing with Roy. During his turns, he attacks Roy instead of Luigi. When the green plumber tries continuing the battle anyways, Sporepocalypse semi-gently tells him it’s none of his concern yet.

Regardless, Roy is only concerned how long the fight is taking. He loudly demands the Shy Guys bring him all the colors at one. After they do, Roy violently shakes his cannon around. Nabana is a little uneasy how much Roy is shaking his cannon, but Sporepocalypse’s initial confusion turns to terror once a dark thought on what Roy wants comes to mind. Roy is all ready with his concoction, and despite Sporepocalpse’s sudden pleading, the Koopaling fires anyways. And the color of the paint that leaves the cannon is black.

To our heroes’ horror, not only does the black paint destroy Sporepocalypse’s barrier on contact, as if it weren’t even there- it really mucks up the flower fiend and his two lesser buds! Helpless, our heroes can only watch as Sporepocalypse writhes around in immense pain. Sporepocalypse can only wonder in his agony how this wasn’t the future he was promised, when his eyes become very still. His eyes then suddenly vanish.

In the silence, Roy is stupefied his plan worked- he was just winging it the whole time. A job well done, Nabana is about to celebrate when Sporepocalypse’s blackened remains start falling towards him. Nabana only has time to tell Luigi he’s top banana, and tell Kersti he won’t make it to the Falafel Eating Contest back home. The dead Sporepocalypse falls on Nabana, collapsing into black paint before hitting the ground.

Roy is just excited at the usability of the black paint, unable to believe now Bowser Jr wanted the paint confiscated. Considering the reality the black paint could turn around the fight with the Musketeers, Roy’s thoughts are interrupted by his shell phone ringing. Roy walks off for a bit to chat with whoever’s on the other end, leaving Luigi and Daisy alone to search for Nabana.

Worried, Luigi and Daisy yell for their plantain friend, yet hear no response. Luckily, Daisy has an idea- using the remaining Turtley Leaf and some of her princess magic, the Sarasaland ruler fans the black paint off of Nabana. Now with the black paint out of the way, Luigi runs to his new friend’s side, picking him up. Though Luigi and Daisy’s first thoughts are finding help for the magic talking banana, another thought gnaws at Luigi- why is Nabana’s body relatively fine, yet Sporepocalypse’s crumbled into the mess before them?

These queries have to rest, as Roy comes back. Roy wants to use the cannon on the three right now, but he’s in such a good mood, he’ll “let them off” this time. Instead, Bowser Junior wants Roy at Port Prisma so the Prince can showcase his own toy. It doesn’t take a genius to know Roy isn’t confident with whatever Junior’s built, and the Koopaling laughs at the idea of it falling apart at the tiniest provocation. The bully of a Koopaling leaves with his Shy Guys. The sounds of Musketeers near the front door convince Luigi and Daisy to also haul butt out of there, not noticing a Sticker Comet symbol cracking on Nabana’s back.

Aace and Perry enter the tent through the front. As Aace is livid with Perry for his failure in keeping the wand away from Roy, the Musketeer leader suddenly notices the black paint mound in the middle of the circus. All Aace can do is hurry to the mound and, realizing Sporepocalypse is no more, grieve for him. Perry tries to apologize, but Aace doesn’t want to hear from the Goomba- he only asks he speaks of who their guest was to no-one.

A dejected Perry slowly walks out, as the Boo Aace sent earlier flies back in with news. Aace isn’t surprised to hear from his cadet that the Koopalings are planning another attack on Port Prisma. What does stir a reaction are pictures of something Bowser Junior whipped out when he thought no-one was looking. Aace’s reaction slowly changes from sorrow, to shock, to horror, to familiarity.

The arrivals keep coming, for Pitholl and Cucleer also return from a second run to Fort Cobalt. The duo also found some notes Bowser Junior scrawled into and give them to Aace, with Cucleer finding them creepy. Pitholl’s question of what happened in the tent goes unnoticed by Aace looking back-and-forth, between the notes and pictures. Now armed with the knowledge of why Bowser Junior came to Prism Island, Aace gives the command to gather almost all the Musketeers, including Perry- they need to head to Port Prisma!

Chapter 6 Part 1

Click here to view the whole plot for Chapter 1.

Upon Mario and friends arriving back at Prisma Fountain with the Orange Grand Paint Star, Huey is quick to rejoice. Tangerine cuts his introductions short, though, at the sight of the ailing Ellshe. Thanks to the reminder, Kidd brings the sort-of-conscious shell fairy to Tangerine. Kidd then quickly explains what happened, not leaving out this situation being her fault. When Kidd asks Tangerine to help Ellshe, Tangerine promises to see what he can do.

With a wave of his magic paint, Tangerine infuses some color power into Ellshe. Sure as can be, the valley girl Sticker Fairy’s color re-saturates back to normal. Now fully conscious, Ellshe is ecstatic at the others reviving her colors. Huey, satisfied, thanks Tangerine for saving Ellshe, pretty sure Kersti will be happy when she gets the news.

Suddenly, a shape similar to the Sticker Comet appears on Ellshe. The shape breaks apart as fast as it appeared. Ellshe only has a few seconds to voice her reservations about this unexpected development before she changes shape! In the blink of an eye, Ellshe shifts from a shell Sticker Fairy to a gold-shelled female Koopa with blue hair.

The Koopa opens her eyes. Immediately, she asks who everyone is. Kidd, startled, questions her by name, but Ellshe is just as off-guard how Kidd knows her name. The last thing Ellshe remembers was falling off a cliff during Sticker Fest- the rest is a blank. Thinking he’s pretty clever, Mario tries cutting the knot on this problem by mentioning Kersti’s name. However, the only reaction Ellshe has to the name is her needing to meet up with some friends- a strange thought for her, as she doesn’t have any friends as far as she knows. Before Mario and the others become really depressed at that reveal, Ellshe decides to go for a power jog to clear her mind.

Following Ellshe’s departure, Huey is dumbfounded at Tangerine’s power not working as expected. The bucket’s not alone, as Tangerine is equally perplexed at Ellshe’s shell form also being a shell. The only explanation that makes sense to the Grand Paint Star is this shape changing being an art known to members of an ancient tribe. The only two people to ever come to Prism Island, though, are Merlon and-

Once Tangerine thinks about the other person, he suddenly looks panicked. Then, remembering what Bowser Junior has, Tangerine warns Mario, Huey and the others to get the other Sticker Fairies and the Sticker Comet off Prism Island as fast as possible. Again, he gives an Artifact-Up Slot to increase Mario’s versatility, but enters his slumbering recovery mode before Huey can inquire more about the current dilemma.

Annoyed, Huey wishes the Grand Paint Stars would tell him why he needs to get the Sticker Star related folks off Prism Island…among other things. A sudden explosion in Yellow District draws the guardian and Edwin’s attention away from these questions. Without warning, Kersti flies in, and Kidd hides behind a tree to avoid an uncomfortable discussion at a bad time. As fast as she can, Kersti lets the gang know- the Koopalings are attacking the Rescue Squad’s HQ, while Merlon is there! Nya finds this behaviour unusual for the turtle siblings. Huey wants to tell Kersti about Ellshe, but another explosion cuts him off, leading Kersti to demand they go help the Squad while she searches for her friend.

When Mario and co. arrive in the Yellow District, they see Bowser Junior wreak havoc, alongside Motley, Morton, Iggy, Ludwig, Wendy and Larry. Merlon and several Rescue Squad members are injured. From within his Clown Car, Junior is just relishing the carnage. On the other side of the coin, Motley is nonplussed, annoying the prince. Junior gives Morton- or rather Leston- for at least causing some trouble, annoying the surprisingly smart brute at the use of his insulting nickname. Iggy calms Morton down, while Ludwig and Wendy continue assaulting Merlon. Finally, Larry wants to hurry up so he can eat some more delicious meet, wishing Lemmy and Roy were here so this could be finished faster.

Eventually, Huey can take no more, calling the Koopa Clan on their disregard for moral standards. Bowser Junior does not care, and further shows his disregard by calling in six Red Paratroopas carrying a dark energy orb. Within the orb- the Sticker Comet! An incensed Nya demands Junior release the Sticker Comet, for the sake of the Decal Ninji Clan. Surprisingly, Motley also agrees with Nya, further suggesting they head back home. Regretably, Junior remains stubborn in his quest, revealing that with the Sticker Comet and the paint the Koopas stole from Prism Island, he can leave this dimension and head to the other place again, just as Junior’s new buddy promised.

A voice questions Junior on if he really believes what he’s saying- this marks Aace’s arrival, along with Pitholl, Cucleer, Perry and some Musketeer soldiers. For obvious reasons, BJ isn’t enthralled with the head members of the opposing forces coming here, promising they’re next after he deals with Mario. Pitholl and Cucleer are more than happy to give the Prince what’s coming to him, but again, Aace won’t let them. Instead, they are only to watch, while the other Musketeers bring the injured Rescue Squad members to safety. Just as Aace says, Boosketeers and Blue Paratroopas retrieve Cosso, Verda, Iron Hard Jonny, Suga T, and other injured Squadees around Port Prisma. However, Aace makes the bizarre request that the Squad Captain stay behind to watch Mario and Bowser Junior’s fight. Aace strokes his moustache after this comment, leading to the Squad Captain looking down in shame. This sight stirs something in Kidd, causing her to yell at the Squad Captain by name- Leblaanc.

In addition to Kidd, Morton is also suspicious of Aace’s intent in not interfering. Like before, Iggy replies, thinking Morton is too paranoid, and Aace has nothing left. Motley is also conflicted, before finally deciding to fight by Bowser Junior’s side. For the first time during his stay, Bowser Junior finally praises Motley for his courage…before tricking Mario into believing Peach is behind him, allowing the Prince and Clown a Back Attack.

VS Bowser Jr and Motley SWITCH

At long last, Mario and friends finally get to confront the leader of the Koopa pack on Prism Island, and his little clown too. When Bowser Junior’s not blasting Mario with cannon balls or ignited him with the KCC’s flamethrower, Motley’s blasting away with magic. Junior more than proves to know the value of teamwork even with an unsure ally, for Motley is actually pretty good at support. Observe- Motley stealing some paint from Mario to create a paint shield for the future Koopa King. On top of providing good defense against Mario and friends’ attacks, Junior can also channel the paint into a blast stream. Finally, the Sticker Comet machine allows the Koopa Clown Car to emit a powerful darkness blast onto Mario.

The battle wages on. With the help of his friends, his cards, and his brain cells, Mario is able to take out Motley, cutting off Junior’s access to the paint shield. The wittle Pwince is ticked, but not down for the count. Then something very odd happens- despite Motley’s protests, Junior calls for his new buddy to help. At that moment, the eyes on the Koopa Clown Car change, from two normal ones to two big eyes and eight smaller ones.

In the second phase of the battle, Junior’s new buddy, whoever or wherever he is, definitely pepped up the clown car. Now, alongside only taking half the damage even without a shield, Junior can use a rainbow blast inflicting Burn, Poison, Wet and Tiny on Mario all at once. This makes those turns where Mario is afflicted in so many ways much more unbearable and much tougher. Finally, the conditions wear off, and Mario has had enough. With a roll of the Battle Roulette, Mario obtains a Super Frog Suit to power up his Jump moves greatly for two turns. Mario does not waste those two turns, hitting Junior with Mega class Jump moves. And just like that, Mario finally overthrows the heir to Koopa succession.

Bowser Junior&#039;s buddy SWITCH

Being defeated, humiliated and embarrassed in front of the Koopalings is merely an underscore to Bowser Junior not taking his loss well. Like the child he is, Junior blames everyone but himself for his loss. It’s not just Mario, not just Motley (who just takes his boss’ abuse like a wimp), not just Aace (who pities Motley), and even beyond the Koopalings “everyone”- everyone “everyone”. For as the Sticker Comet tries to escape the machine trapping it, Junior kicks the clown car over to yell at a strange Dry Shroom with spikes. No, you’re not misreading that- Bowser Junior is yelling at a Dry Shroom with spikes for assuring the Prince all that would be needed to defeat Mario is the Sticker Comet’s power.

Bowser Junior screams towards the sky in anger, while everyone is just weirded out by Junior’s friend. The only one taking this seriously is Nya, who ninja-vanishes to presumably assassinate the unmoving Dry Shroom. Meanwhile, Wendy and Iggy mock Bowser Junior for essentially wasting everyone’s time, and Iggy even declares Junior crazier than him.

Just then, someone speaks up to defend the company Junior keeps on him. Ludwig is about to refute this, when it dawns on everyone present- the one who spoke up was the Dry Shroom itself. As Morton expresses surprised the Dry Shroom just talked, the actually-alive fungus unleashes a long spiked purple tendril towards the captured Sticker Comet. Inside the machine, the Sticker Comet struggles as its energy is rapidly taken from it.

Once all the energy is gone, the containment orb vanishes. To Mario and company’s surprise, the Sticker Comet changes shape into an Ancient sorceress! Nearby, Merlon regains enough of his consciousness to recognize the sorceress- the long-lost Merluvlee. When Merluvlee sadly tells Merlon she failed, Merlon realizes in horror that the “seal” has broken.

It’s true, as the Dry Shroom also changes shape, emitting dark energy that knocks the previously invisible Nya aside. Eventually, the shroom becomes a 10-eyed purple mushroom creature with 10 horns, 6 jagged (yet paper-thin) vines, and a small, equally thin moustache. The Royal Stickers sit on its cap (pun still entirely intended), with the Gold Royal Sticker on top.

A horrified Huey and an unusually calm Aace both recognize the beast. For Huey, he’s fought holo-copies of it courtesy of Starmageddon. Aace, on the other hand- he recognizes the monster as “Shroomsday”, welcoming it- or him- home with open arms. In turn, Shroomsday returns the sentiment, though he mentions a cousin of Aace’s, Dester, who apparently got in the beast’s way and paid for it. To that, Aace can only respond Dester knew what he was getting himself into.

As Pitholl, Cucleer, Perry and even Edwin look at Aace, distrustful of their boss keeping this friendship from them, Motley advises Junior to step away from Shroomsday. Instead, Junior demands to know why the beast didn’t turn into this form right away. The prince gets his response, in the form of Shroomsday firing a rainbow beam at him and Motley. The duo is sent flying, and Junior curses Shroomsday for being a backstabber before vanishing.

The Koopalings don’t fare any better. Hope seems to come in the form of Roy finally making it to the scuffle. Armed with some black paint, Roy guarantees he’ll reduce Shroomsday to another black stain on the ground, and aims the Paint Blaster at the beast. Unfortunately, while the black paint’s presence does stop Shroomsday for a second, he then merely uses the power of the Royal Stickers to reduce Roy into a purple Mushroom. One by one, most of the other Koopalings present share Roy’s fate. The only one who manages to evade this dark craft is Morton, quickly gathering his siblings and jumping in a Clown Car while swearing to bring the big guns next time.

Shroomsday&#039;s warning SWITCH

Despite Shroomsday not finding any threat in Morton’s words, Aace still advises the creature to not overexert himself. Again, Shroomsday listens to the Boo Musketeer without question, and decides to leave town. As he passes by Mario, his friends and the Ancients, however, Shroomsday warns Mario he’s had something in store for him for a while. For now, Shroomsday exerts several spores into the skies of Prism Island, then leaves.

Soon, Aace and his lower followers also decide to depart. However, Pitholl, Cucleer and Perry are frozen in fear. Aace tries to cool the tension with a joke, but though it gets his close associates moving, the Pianta, Coo Coo and Goomba are still frightened, something which depresses Aace. Before Aace can follow, Leblaanc demands to know about the spores, as the moustached Boo promised him the Musketeers would keep the Rescue Squad and locals safe in exchange for Leblaanc helping the Musketeers in some unknown way. In response, Aace points out the deal held up barring unusual circumstances- Shroomsday’s return marks just that. Nevertheless, the sleepy Boo promises to keep Leblaanc updated if anything changes. With that last exchange, Aace finally flies off in search of Shroomsday.

Such an influx of new developments overtakes Huey, causing the guardian to legitimately panic like never before. It takes Kidd headbutting Huey to snap him out of it. At first, Huey is lost for any leads into Shroomsday’s presence. That’s when Louis realizes that if Shroomsday is from Prism Island, maybe the Memphawk’s dad, Orion, knows something about him. This, in turn, makes Edwin remember the gold statue at Golden Coliseum- Shroomsday was on it!

Thanks to the thinking of his friends, Huey calms down. Nya thinks nothing of it, admitting the situation did look bleak. However, she is concerned with Mario looking unusually and uncharacteristically afraid. After Huey quips it’s like Mario’s seen a ghost, Mario snaps out of it. The plumber still shivers, though.

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While Mario and his pals head for Golden Coliseum, Aace is walking with Shroomsday in Mondo Woods, the other Musketeers behind them. They’re not planning anything at the moment, though. No dastardly schemes, no underhanded coups, no nothing. The two are just…talking and joking about unimportant things, like old friends.

As the two converse, Shroomsday apologizes for not contacting Aace earlier, but the beast was angry. Before Shroomsday can explain the reason, Aace correctly guesses it- Shroomsday was mad about some failure of Aace’s many years ago, as well as the Grand Paint Stars’ role in it. Therefore, Bowser Junior knocking them all away was actually Shroomsday’s idea, to punish both the Paint Stars and Aace. Considering Aace needs the Grand Paint Stars, and his goal is likely the same as Shroomsday’s, the colossal mushroom admits his blind resentful actions only created more problems.

Aace doesn’t hold it against Shroomsday, thankfully. In fact, Aace almost calls Shroomsday by his “real name”, but decides against it, believing “she” should have the honors of calling the big legume this name when “she” awakens. With “her”, no-one will have to worry about the emergency to deal with another problem. Just as Aace is about to mention the problem, though, Cucleer impatiently demands a word with Aace. Knowing what’s coming, Aace tells Shroomsday to go on without him, so the monster can see the beauty of Prism Island once again. He only warns Shroomsday to beware of Draggadon, sighted at Marmalade Valley. Shroomsday takes in the warning, and slimes away.

Now that Shroomsday’s gone, the courage of Pitholl and Cucleer return, while Perry just watches. Pitholl is angry that Aace was keeping secrets while preaching honesty among the Musketeers. Meanwhile, Cucleer calls out his boss on his stories of justice, but now it looks like Aace was only thinking about himself.

Though Aace was calm before, Cucleer’s accusation creates a brief crack in it, as he’s put a lot of time into this plan of his for the greater good. Thankfully, Aace regains his calm, and rallies his fellow Boosketeers to his side. They do, annoying Cucleer at what ignorant ail-drinkers the Boosketeers are still siding with them.

And that’s one of the last responses either Cucleer or Pitholl have for a while, as Aace reveals some ingredients of the ale the Musketeers usually drink. There’s honey syrup, sour salts, Prism Island water, and most important of all, the secret ingredient- spores from Shroomsday and his Shroom minions. At the mention of the last ingredient, Perry steps back, while Pitholl and Cucleer’s minds are forcibly integrated into Shroomsday’s neural network, making their eyes glow yellow.

Seizing the chance, Aace gives most of the Musketeers an order- deal with Mario, and keep the Emerald Grand Paint Star away from him before they begin their plan. He then commands the brainwashed Pitholl and Cucleer to fly to where the Koopa Prince’s notes specified, and they obey. By the time most of the minions depart, the only Musketeers in Mondo Woods are Aace and Perry. When Perry voices fear of also being brainwashed, Aace assures him it won’t happen unless he stands against the Musketeers.

Whispers of the Eclipse War SWITCH

After serving the Musketeers for this long and Aace being more open, Perry asks the Boo leader what this is all about. This question prompts an unusual response from Aace…

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Despite Mario and friends’ need to beeline it for Golden Coliseum, they know they should morally check the other areas of Prism Island first to ensure everyone’s safe. The spread of Shroomsday’s spores proves to have been faster than expected, unfortunately, and several shroom minions are now present in several past locations, even above-ground locales such as Ruddy Road. To make matters worse, the Slugshrooms and Carrishrooms are joined in their uprising by the third and most dangerous of all the Shroom enemies, the Monstrooms. These two-faced gluttonous goons rival the Corona Golem in power & durability, and keep capturing Mario’s partners during battle. It’s tough for Mario to say who’s tougher between the two biggest enemies he’s seen on the island, but he now knows Monstrooms are not to be taken lightly.

With the spread of so many eldritch beasts, Mario’s priorities shift back to Golden Coliseum. Yet once more, he makes a quick sweep across the landmark before heading to the statue. What a surprise- the three fungus jerks are here, too,  and their shiny pollen ensures the local Clubbas, Spikes and Chain Chomps last longer in battles. To Mario’s credit, his inclination for exploration pays off, as he finds a Chilly Pick Artifact hidden in a storeroom of the massive battle building.

No more stalling- Mario, Louis and friends return to the main arena. When the lift finishes the journey, the gang see Orion fighting the monster. For a retired Rescue Squad leader, he does much better than most people would against the vermin, taking out two Carrishrooms and throwing a Slugshroom at a Monstroom. However, he pulls his arm after that throw, debilitating him from further combat. Scared for his dad’s life, Louis and Mario hurry to Orion’s side, fighting off some of the legume goons.

As time passes, though, more and more of Shroomsday’s minions arrive. Nya and Kidd are taken aback by the sheer number of abominations gathered here, but Edwin isn’t scared. He knows that with the hidden Super Star in the nearby crate, the team can just steam roll the Shroom minions into a salad. Cue a Monstroom throwing that crate over the walls of the Coliseum, in turn diminishing the bravado Edwin just showed. Edwin has no clue how to bail the gang out of a boned situation.

Edwin’s words inspire Louis to do something drastic- retrieve the Draggadon Bone out of his pants. Right on cue, a rumbling is heard, and Princess the Chain Chomp returns to roll over all of Shroomsday’s minions. The big Chain Chomp girl hasn’t forgotten her master, for she smushes Orion with her rolling back and forth. Her work done, Princess proceeds to leave once more.

Orion then asks Louis and Mario why they returned. Following their long story, Orion recounts the gist of what he’s heard- the gang meeting a monster like the one on the statue, and coming to see if it holds any secrets. What was Edwin’s hunch turns out to be correct- Orion read a lot of ancient text scrawled on the statue.

According to Orion’s research, the statue was made 1300-ish years ago. Orion further confirms the partner of Starmageddon was none other than the Shadow Queen, the evil demon who was sealed under Rogueport until Mario destroyed her years ago. Often, the Queen was away from Prism Island, “tending” to her new kingdom of Rogueport instead. The Blight King didn’t like the way the Shadow Queen treated her kingdom, but he was too taken in by her witchcraft to truly object. Sometimes, the Shadow Queen would bring two of her three pet dragons to Prism Island while she spent time with the King, forcing Draggadon to defend the Vellbex from the Rogueport lizard-avians.

Eventually, using their magic and other unknown means, Starmageddon and the Shadow Queen created a child, an heir to both their thrones. Sadly, fear of the Shadow Queen was so great, the locals of Rougeport and Prism Island avoided the child, for fear of upsetting the child and incurring the Shadow Queen’s wrath. The King felt powerless and sad at his daughter’s loneliness. If he forced his subjects to spend time with her, it would instead sprout more hostility.

So one night, after a quick trip far away to obtain a rare ingredient, the King created a large happy flower to be his kid’s friend. The Queen, however, resented being outdone by anyone. In response, she cribbed together some of what was leftover of the ingredient, and created a large thorned mushroom to also be the heir’s close friend. The point of the story is that while it’s unknown whether the king made a statue for his own pet, he definitely did for the queen, two of her dragons and the mushroom, to commemorate the opening of Golden Coliseum.

Edwin’s only a little interested in this history. In contrast, Huey sadly puzzles over why Starmageddon didn’t tell him about the child- Huey would have been their friend, no questions asked! In the next instant, Edwin asks if there was anything else on the statue. Thinking on it for a moment, Orion reveals there was- a different note in different handwriting, and in English, too!

The note is definitely written by a child, and from the looks of it, the heir herself! The heir complains how her parents won’t let Petally and ------y enter the games anymore, despite her teacher vouching for them. Angered at this injustice, the heir tries to calm down by proposing she and her friends take a walk near the ocean. It’s where she and her friends go when they need to think, despite the heir being a- a- the scripture’s too scratched out at this point.

The mere mention of the ocean clues Huey in where Shroomsday may have gone- to Bloo Bay Beach. Nya, fully alert to the islanders in danger, informs Mario they need to head there now. Mario nods, and Orion himself decides to head back to Chateau Chanterelle to recover, slowly lumbering off.

Upon arriving at Bloo Bay Beach, Mario and his friends, especially Marirana, were shocked to find that multiple Shrooms are attacking and transfiguring the fellow Piantas, as well as Suebelle. The only current beachgoer who escapes is Birdo, taking Suebelle's shroom with her just to keep it safe. In additon, most of the Bloopers were corrupted into Poison Bloopers that were toxifying the waters. Nya considers the situation more, then guesses Shroomsday was already here.
Bloo Beast Battle SWITCH

Our heroes answer the call to righteousness, defeating the Shrooms and their shiny corrupted allies. By saving Ringmaster Rixx, the political entertainer repays them with a bribe of 300 coins. Then, by saving the judgmental Pianta woman and kids from some Carrishrooms, Koopas and a Poison Blooper, Mario and the gang are given Super rank Syrup cards for their good deeds. Our protagonists have a great streak going, finishing off the last team of Shrooms and corrupted wildife to help Suebelle.

Sadly, while Suebelle is restored to normal, she’s still in no mood to talk to Marirana. To further pour salt in the wound, Suebelle points to Edwin’s speech earlier for getting her to realize Marirana doesn’t care about her. This riles up Edwin, however, as he clarifies what he was actually thinking about when he accused Marirana of this- he’s actually been alone and penniless for a long time. While Edwin admits joining for the money, he also wanted people around him. The little Slurple starts getting upset at this point, upset that Suebelle could believe her problem is more major than Edwin not having the money to pay for something…or someone, as Mario and friends start to pick up on.

Though slightly humbled, Suebelle still stands her ground. Therefore, Kidd points out in astonishment how Marirana saved Suebelle- the same as if Kidd had a child in danger. Nya also speaks in agreement with Kidd, remembering Bella T’s advice from earlier on how family members fighting doesn’t mean they don’t care- it usually means they care greatly. Still, Suebelle tries to shift gears by bringing up the possibility that Mario was the first to jump at the call. To this, Mario responds Marirana wanted to save Suebelle first.

At this point, Suebelle is unsure what to think anymore, for she always saw Marirana as wanting to hang out with other people rather than with her own sister. Disheartened, Marirana makes clears she always wants Suebelle by her side, unable to imagine not being near her.

Birdo lessens the panic SWITCH

Then, something magical happens, something that clears this whole situation up- Birdo finally speaks normally. She advises Suebelle that unlike what the Beepboxer was telling her earlier about Marirana, the sister does want to reconnect and understand. Wistfully, Birdo swoons to this family love, remembering another time she saw it long ago. Birdo proceeds to depart on her weird fake moon, to a cold place where she can spread her love.

With Birdo’s departure, Suebelle starts to consider she might have been jealous. It then dawns on her she just wants a day of no pressure with Marirana, like when they were younger. At this point, Suebelle starts taking on a rough southern accent like Marirana, revealing she was suppressing it for the sake of her stage persona the whole time.

Overjoyed, Marirana tells Suebelle truthfully she would like to goof off with Suebelle once in awhile. It’s rather awkward now, though, since despite all the talk of family and feelings, the team really do need to go stop Shroomsday. Luckily, Suebelle is understanding of the odd circumstances placed upon Mario and the gang, directing them towards Blissful Paradise. She tells the gang, though, that Keirf and a pink-haired woman were the only ones who went there earlier.

Our heroes arrive in Blissful Beach, to the sight of Shroomsday accosting Keirf. The gargantuan spiked king is majorly ticked at the spaced-out lobster-eel for his part in destroying a “master unit” of Shroomsday’s nearly a month ago.

To assist him in his revenge, Shroomsday makes an unwilling and annoyed Nastasia an offer. While Shroomsday isn’t sure if he’ll ever see who he misses again, if Nastasia helps get rid of Keirf, Shroomsday will use his own Royal Stickers to distort the space continumm and bring who Nastasia cares about most here. Surprised at this once-in-a-lifetime offer, Nastasia stops and thinks about it.

For ten seconds. Reasoning the Count would be disappointed with Nastasia if she helped cause destruction just to make herself happy, Nastasia suddenly uses her hypno powers on Shroomsday to persuade him to leave the beach, if not Prism Island.

However, Nastasia’s otherwise immense power fails to impede Shroomsday in any way. The beast, though smiling, is clearly seething with rage, letting Nastasia know her specific powers would never work on him due to the nature of his being. The thing about Shroomsday is despite looking physically there in one spot, he’s actually “everywhere”, the very word reverberating from his being. To punish Nastasia for her defiance, Shroomsday grabs Keirf and slams him on top of her. His targets together, Shroomsday declares the same fate, also sharing a faux pas that he never liked bats. The beast raises one of his tendrils, ready to strike. Quick as a thorn, he unleashes the force…

O&#039;Chunks shoves words in SWITCH

…Only for O’Chunks to grab onto Shroomsday’s tendril from behind. Upon O’Chunks asking Shroomsday what he’s doing, the purple hideous beast tries to intimidate the bearded scruffy one with a long, threatening. About 1/100th of the way through his speech, Shroomsday is interrupted when O’Chunks shoves the mushroom’s words in his mouth. Despite his rough exterior, O’Chunks still tells Nastasia how proud he is of her not giving into her greatest temptation.

The Flip-Folk fellow then shoulder-bashes the giant critter before him, pushing him further and further away from Blissful Paradise and the Bloo Bay Beach area. Such heroism inspires Nastasia to thank O’Chunks, as well as pencil in another appointment with him.

Regardless of Huey’s own frank satisfaction with O’Chunks just fighting Shroomsday, Nya fears O’Chunks will only serve as a delay, even notwithstanding the other Shroom monsters able to act without their master. With just a little thinking, Edwin once again realizes where they should look next- Fort Cobalt. The Slurple’s amazing memory lets him recall the Musketeers taking the base while Mario and friends fought General Guy, making Edwin think the Grand Paint Star wasn’t the only reason they invaded. Huey definitely agrees with this logic, and the gang sets off again.

When Mario and his friends reached Fort Colbat, a group of Boosketeers were guarding the entrance- turns out Edwin was right. And to add insult to injury, the Musketeers have got General Guy all tied up. Before Mario and the gang were about to go fight him, General Guy told the gang that they should call a truce until they defeat the Musketeers and Shrooms invading Fort Colbat. At first, Huey didin't want to believe him. But since they are trying to stop Shroomsday, he accepts the temporarily truce. That just left one question.... how are they gonna beat those Musketeers at the entrance? Luckly, Mario knew how to get past the Boosketeer,by battling them. Once the battle was over, they head over to where the poor Shy Guy general was, and freed him from his ropes. General Guy thanks them for freeing him. Though he wishes he could help Mario and his friends, he regrets that he needs to round up his Shy Guy troops that were also imprisoned by the musketeers. He tell Mario and his gang if they any of his troops roped up by the musketeers, they should free them as well. General Guy also tells them if they do that for him, he promises to change his ways and help them. Mario and his friends accept his request and they made sure to be on the lookout for any of General Guy's men while exploring Fort Colbat. And they continue their serch inside the base while General Guy stands by until all of his men were freed.

Mario and his friends went through the base, having to do that fence puzzle again and fighting a lot of the musketeers and freeing some Shy Guys along the way, The constant fighting finally rewards our heroes with access to the room where General Guy was originally fought. There, they find a gaggle of notes scrawled on the floor. Next to the notes is a Noki Bottle Opener Artifact. Edwin is not surprised, recounting how messy Pitholl and Cucleer are when they do anything. The team’s minds are refocused by Nya, as she muses checking what’s scrawled upon the nine notes.

Bowser Junior&#039;s notes and Noki Can Opener SWITCH

All of the white notes appear to have been written by Bowser Junior, taken from his journal. They detail how, after Bowser and his forces returned from their failed plan in the Decal Lands,  Bowser Junior had also accomplished no victories in his life. Even the attempt to ruin Peach’s tea party with the airship’s punchy claw and terraform her castle were thwarted by Mario, Luigi, Bucken-berry and Ala-Gold. Put simply, Bowser Junior is infuriated at having no new friends nor being respected by the Koopalings.

One day, when Bowser, Kammy, Kamek and the other minions went to Peach’s Castle and didn’t come back for a while, Junior decided to go pick on the Ninjis in the Decal Lands. From how he remembers what Nya told Mario, the Ninjis were so thankful Junior found the old ruins, they let him take first dibs. What he found was a cool spiked Dry Shroom that could talk, leading to Junior calling it “Shroomy”.

To cement it’s friendship with Junior and deal with the Koopalings, Shroomy suggested Junior tell his dad about Prism Island, under the pretext of making the Koopa Kingdom bigger. Once Junior brought this up to Bowser, the Koopa King was right on board. The news of the Musketeers’ occupation of the island and resistance against the Koopalings further brightened Junior’s day, as it guaranteed they would not be back for months, even years. However, the relationship between son and father strained due to Junior’s insistence Shroomy could talk, as well as the general creepiness of this particular Dry Shroom. This only served to make Junior cherish Shroomy more.

A little after the news of the battle for Prism Island came in, Bowser, Junior and Kamek mounted another assault on Peach’s Castle, while Kammy lead a different force on a different path. Within minutes of their arrival, though, a huge light appeared in the sky and sucked everyone from the castle in, as well as some others. As Junior was being sucked in, he accidentally let go of Shroomy, who got buried under a lot of rubble.

On the other side of the hole was another Mushroom Kingdom, and another Bowser Junior for this Junior to hang with- Junior found more common ground with his equally lonely counterpart than with Shroomy. Even though the two Princes considered burning the way home, they wussed out. Tragically, this friendship was ended by the Mario Bros again, their victory knocking the Juniors into a deep sleep. When Junior awoke again, he was back in his world’s version of Peach’s Castle.

Junior’s yearning to see his other self grew so much, it motivated Shroomy to offer some assistance. To do this, it would need the Sticker Comet and Royal Stickers, passing over Prism Island this year. Since Bowser had fallen ill due to his yearly allergies being worse than before for unexplained reasons, Junior decided to wait until the next month.

Once the wait was over, the duo went- later followed by Motley under Bowser’s orders. When the Koopa King still didn’t show up, Junior and Shroomy went to the decisive battle between the Koopa Clan and Musketeers, knocking the six Grand Paint Stars out of the fountain. From then on, Shroomy suggested building a base under the desert for some of the Snifits. The oddest thing of all, strangely enough, was Shroomy’s recommendation against using the black paint. In fact, Shroomy often flew into a temper at the mere mention of black paint, mystifying Bowser Junior.

Most recently, Junior and Shroomy learned the containment device trial Kidd used had worked. Thanks to this report, Junior was now ready to help Shroomy obtain the Sticker Comet. All that was left after that would be heading to Redpepper Volcano for another part of Shroomy’s own plan. And Junior was finally happy for the first time in a year, joyed at the idea of seeing “other me” again!

The gang take this all into their minds, now understanding why all these things happened and how the Koopa Clan learned of Prism Island- Shroomsday orchestrated it all, like a mutant maestro. As Edwin and Louis think, though, they realize an oddity in the final note- what would Shroomsday be looking for at Redpepper Volcano?

To close off their research, Mario also looks at the outlier of the nine notes, a rainbow-colored one. This note’s writer is unknown, but amidst the strange symbols and calligraphy, Mario swears he can make out the phrases “key behind starlight”, “trial of tangy shapes”, and “precursor of darkness”.

Chapter 6 Part 2

Our heroes decide to think about the mysterious rainbow note later, for they have to stop some bad guys now. Their first trip brings them to Chateau Chanterelle, in order to peck Orion’s mind for more information. After confirming Draggadon’s revival thanks to the Paint Star, pressing Louis’ father for info on Redpepper Volcano definitely yields some insight as to what Shroomsday and Aace seek there…

After the Blight King went missing, control of Prism Island was finally handed down to his daughter. Unfortunately, not only was she too young to be given such a task- some evidence on the Coliseum’s statue suggests the King’s daughter became much more malefic, no thanks to the Shadow Queen’s corruption. Eventually, this eviler behaviour reached a boiling point with Prism Island’s locals, and Orion reluctantly reveals that his ancestors used the Grand Paint Stars to defeat the child, as well as seal her in a tomb.

Unusually, Orion is pained what his ancestors resorted to, professing they should have done more to make the child feel like a respected adult. In Orion’s mind, freedom is everyone’s right, regardless of morality. All the retired Memphawk can suggest at this point is for Mario and Louis to head for Redpepper Volcano, so they can find their answers. Scratch that, actually- he also suggests stopping by Port Prisma for reinforcements from Rescue Squad.

On their way out of the Chateau, our heroes see a colorless female Memphawk who wasn’t there before they entered, just hanging out. From the sound of things, she waited six months to work up the gumption to interview Orion, when she was silently drained by Masque the Shy Bandit. The Memphawk is annoyed how her simple quest was too much to ask, demanding Mario and Louis restore love and joy to Prism Island. With that, the Memphawk woman leaves. At the top of Mario’s mind, he knows where she’s gone to.

Next up on the trip around the Island is the Rescue HQ in Port Prisma. Many members are present- tired, but still on the call to duty. There’s only a few missing, as well as extra room for one extra Squad.

Also present is Leblaanc, whose got some ‘splainin’ to do. Faced with the plumber and now reforming Squad mate, Leblaanc enlightens everyone to his deal- in exchange for strategically calling away his Rescue Squad subordinates from actually stopping the Musketeers, the bladed warriors would ensure no real harm would befall the squadees. There was something else Leblaanc made the Musketeers promise, but he bails on revealing that tidbit.

Regardless of this promise, Leblaanc isn’t happy at Aace for allying with Shroomsday. As retaliation and to make up for his mistake, Leblaanc is calling every available Rescue Squad member. Once altogether, the whole unit can mount an invasion on the Musketeer HQ in the woods. Thankfully, most of the missing members of the four current squads are at the volcano, simply licking their wounds from Bowser Junior’s recent attack. This, though, comes with the news of a Purple Rescue Squad, as well as Leblaanc holding it to Mario and Kidd to send any stray members or leaders here.

As Mario leaves Rescue HQ to go check on Piper’s gang, Merluvlee exits the Mawk & Pawk Dojo. The sorceress formally introduces herself, also revealing she used to be an advisor for Starmageddon over one thousand years ago. Edwin proceeds to ask Merluvlee two questions- why did she become the Sticker Comet, and why did Shroomsday seek her out beyond reclaiming the Royal Stickers? Since her story is long, Merluvlee decides to tell them if the gang come see her near the docks, though she emphasizes it’s not mandatory, and the team could learn from the battles ahead.

So many people on the island, so little time. Eventually, Mario and friends decide to skimp on Merluvlee’s story for now, and go see Piper’s friends instead. However, instead of four joyful individuals of different species happily catching up with each other around a growing tree until being joined by a Memphawk, a lone female Toad is freaking out near a dwindling chunk of wood and foliage. Relieved to see Mario and Marirana, the Toadette informs the group that the quartet of old pals left to go find a rare plant called a Rainbow Carnation, for its pollen also serves as a tree medicine. The carnation only grows in really high places, however, but the Toadette is sure the group will be fine.

Piper&#039;s gang works together SWITCH

Immediately, Louis squawks out Marmalade Valley as the locale of this flower, having seen it a few months ago. There, in addition to a Memphawk boy excited at Draggadn’s revival, the team of do-gooders also see Redd, Bolue, Griinie and Pynk braving the Valley’s heights. Their target- a flower more complete and dignified than the pollinating ones around the island, yet somehow still similar. With Pynk’s long reach, Griinie’s flight, Bolue’s throwing and Redd’s resourcefulness at looking good, the four friends reach the top together and claim their prize. The flower in their possession, the diverse band appears to be heading back to Port Prisma.

One trip later, Mario and Marirana find the four friends joyful at the tree’s recovery. Pynk, remembering Piper’s message of flowers blooming at the old meeting spot, is overjoyed. Then the Memphawk shows up, as expected. Redd recognizes her as Yella, while Pynk takes her friend’s arrival as a further sign Piper can’t be far behind.

It is then, with deepest remorse, that Yella gives her long-absent friends the bad news………Piper died. Everyone, from Griinie to Bolue, are devastated at their mysterious friend’s demise. The uneasiness of Yella makes her further news more gutwrenching, the traumatic memory of Piper suddenly decomposing as more of the mono-color plants started appearing around Prism Island filling her heart with sorrow. Their old friend could no longer call Prism Island his home, for Prism Island itself recognized Piper less and less.

The tearful cherry on top the mourning cake comes in the form of the tree’s flowers just blowing away, negating what the gang just did a little while ago. Oh, and a lone seed falls out of the tree. The seed is far from dead, however- suddenly, it opens, releasing a Ptooie from its crunchy innards. It’s a Ptooie unlike any Mario has ever seen (although something still stirs at the sight of it). Rather than the usual red head-white spots, white lips and pure-green stalks, the Ptooie is dark-red with yellow spots, darker-red lips a deep green stem.

Seeing the five friends afraid of this strange Ptooie, and a feeling of unfinished business welling in Mario, the plumber decides to fight the plant. However, the battle ends before it can even begin when Bolue and the others suddenly stand between Mario’s side and the plant, looking angry at Mario. When Mario is confused, Bolue clears up the situation quite nicely.

“THIS IS PIPER! HE’ S ALIVE!”

Mario, Marirana and Huey only watch as Redd, Bolue, Griinie, Pynk and Yella gather around Piper, relieved to still have their friend again. Piper doesn’t see it as a big deal, as he claims he’s always worried about them. Nevertheless, he still has a good, hearty laugh at reuniting his friends. He further explains the Rainbow Coronation was so high and so alone, it wasn’t corrupted by the unusual parasitic flowers suddenly showing up around the island. Piper knew his friends would gather again someday, and even go for the Rainbow Coronation right away. It’s been a gift in Piper’s family for over one millennium, foreseeing possibilities, but he knew in his heart they would have looked for it anyways.

Piper explains himself SWITCH

Bolue doesn’t care for the explanation- he’s just satisfied the whole team’s back together! Piper agrees to this, and suggests where they could go. The idea sounds good, and the six friends leave for their next destination…until Piper trips. As everyone worries, though, it’s a false alarm, and the cocky plant gets back up again. Immediately, Redd remembers the last time this happened, and Piper appreciates his friends looking to the past. Again, they all have a stupid laugh- followed by Piper spitting up a huge, pale M to Mario and friends. Piper admits he didn’t see that one coming, but yet again, everyone laughs it off, before leaving town.

Marirana&#039;s pipe of morality SWITCH

After their departure, Huey speculates what the “M” could be. Meanwhile, Mario looks unsure about it, though he thinks it’s incomplete somehow. Marirana finally breaks the tension, now understanding the importance of being with who one cares about.

Mario continues to wonder about this as they arrived at Redpepper Volcano. At the entrance to the hot mountain, he and the others are intercepted by a curious Kersti. The crowned Sticker Fairy’s temperous streak returns as soon as she notices Kidd, her anger rising higher when she thinks Ellshe’s game has ended.

Kersti outta that volcano SWITCH

At the last second, Huey steps in to retell how Kidd changed her ways and helped Ellshe recover. That said, Huey doesn’t go into the particulars of Ellshe’s current status as a Koopa Troopa- instead, the bucket merely informs Kersti her friend is looking for her and the other two Fairies. Kersti does notice something odd about Huey’s description of Ellshe taking a walk, but she lets it slide. Regardless, she decides to resume her search for Ellshe while leaving the volcano to Huey and the others, noting the volcano doesn’t sit well with a proper lady like her.

Once Kersti leaves, Kidd is perplexed Huey didn’t tell the crown fairy the whole story. Mr. Bucket’s only response is Kersti should learn for herself about what Ellshe’s turned into, as well as Shroomsday and the Sticker Comet’s truths. Though the response makes sense, Kidd fesses up she hates lying to Kersti, and Huey is sadly of the same mind. Without another word, Mario and Kidd head on further up, while Huey quietly reminds himself Kersti’s not the only one he’s keeping secrets from.

Again, Aace is invisibly eavesdropping on this whole conversation. Also like before, something someone said gets the lava flowing in Aace’s mind, causing him to fly out.

Just a few steps further, three Shy Guys from General Guy's army are hiding behind a rock. It looks like they're afraid of something- or some dragon for that matter. When questioned why they were hiding, the fellow Shy Guy tells them that they don't want to know. This made Nya concerned. She asks the Shy Guys if they wanted them to see what it was, and the Shy Guys obliged. With that, the 3 Shy Guys left to meet up with General Guy.

When the gang head to check it out, something is coming out of the lava. In the blink of an eye, Draggadon rises, and he looks enraged! Huey is surprised to see the flying mythic guardian with his own metal eyes, while Edwin is intimidated by the dragon’s immense size. The Slurple rogue is calmed when Huey assures him he speaks a little Draggadon. By that, Huey means SPEAKING LOUDLY AT THE DRAGON AS HE INTRODUCES HIMSELF, MARIO AND EDWIN TO CREATE A HELPFUL DIALECT!

A Draggadon&#039;s rage

By a stroke of fortune, Draggadon does speak that way himself. Regrettably, the insurmountably goliath suspects Mario is allied with Shroomsday, smelling the mushroom beast’s scent on the plumber. Despite Huey’s best efforts, it leads to him, Mario and Edwin running for their lives as Draggadon lava surfs after them, destroying what few rocks serve as a bridge.

Our heroes end up back where they started, now with an angry dragon breathing bursts of fireballs at them. Mario wonders what he should do to calm down Draggadon...suddenly, he got an idea! He drops the Basin Artifact on Draggadon's head with the help of his friends. And boy, did it hurt! For the Draggadon at least.

Edwin’s curiosity piques up, though, wondering why the island’s non-metal protector thought Mario was with Shroomsday. All Huey can guess is Shroomsday being the one responsible for Draggadon’s fossilized state, and even then he doesn’t sound sure.

Putting that conversation for later, Mario and friends climb onto the dazed Draggadon. With Huey and Edwin’s combined brainstorming, they retrieve the leftover Magma Burger from their first visit to Fort Cobalt, as well as a fishing rod up Mario’s moustache. Miraculously, the burger isn’t diseased or rotten despite being out of the fridge for far over three hours, and Draggadon is super-focused on the burger.

Mario and friends test out their new ride, luring Draggadon to the northeast platform unreachable for even Louis. It works like a delicious charm, and the gang undocks, while Draggadon sinks into the magma. There’s two Musketeers nearby, but they’re deep in conversation about an unknown object. Despite the briefness of the talk, Mario and friends sense some urgency in the swordswielders finding this object, for the purpose of solving another mysterious Prism Island problem.

Redpepper battle SWITCH

Now inside the volcano proper, the gang find all sorts of red-hot minions of both factions. All three Fuzzies, Fire Bros, Dry Bones, the stronger Shroom enemies… There’s even more opponents in the form of the burning Ember and the airborne rotund Draglet. It’s definitely heating up in the world of combat, but keeping a cool head ensures Mario and friends prevail.

Several obstacles also litter the volcano, such as SoundStones, rapidly shifting lava and platforms with wide gaps. In these trying times, Marirana’s sound, Kidd’s speed, and Louis’ jumping give Mario the boost he needs to trek the Redpeppers of the Volcano. That Magma Burger also continues serving useful, luring Draggadon out of the lava for further transport.

Midway through the red hot rock, Mario and friends seem to be stuck in a room with colorless lava, limiting Draggadon’s movement. More surprisingly is Sledge teaching a group of Fire Bros how to throw their burning spheres, courtesy of Morton Koopa. Once again, Mario totally ruins Sledge’s day, eliminating his friends in turn-based card combat. Even a late Hammer Bro can’t fight Mario alone.

Sledge&#039;s breaking point SWITCH

Contrary to popular belief, Sledge does not complain about his dwindling crew’s departure. No- as a professional, he merely tells Mario to meet him at Daffodil Peak to settle this once and for all. Sledge then departs from the volcano. The looming threat of the Musketeers finding their mark is enough convincing for Mario to delay that request, though.

At the back of the lower volcano is a huge room. High above, hanging on the rock stalactites, are three members of Purple Rescue Squad- Ombra the Pianta male, Uva the Pianta boy, and Stency the Brustache woman. These three may be hanging for their lives, which was apparently Kidd’s doing- but man, are they super chill about it. While they wait for Mario, Kidd, and a sense of decency to save them, the trio constantly compare themselves to cats, slugs and birds, respectively. Ombra, Uva and Stency- they see their own danger, yet they are just too cool to care about it.

At first, it seems impossible to reach them, a lack of lava for Draggadon to surf through an especially chief obstacle. A quick gaze at the back wall reveals a solution, in the form of a closed rock soda bottle with a square groove above it. Huey and his Cut-Out ability are followed up with the Noki Bottle Opener, unleashing the molten contents of the undrinkable drink into the volcano. Cue some lava surfing atop Draggadon and rescuing the missing Purple Squad.

Purple Rescue Squad attitude SWITCH

The awesome trio are rescued, and Kidd apologizes amidst their insane animal metaphors. Their departure leaves Huey with one question, though- if every Squad has five members, and Kidd is leader, yet they only rescued three, and they were the only ones Kidd tossed in here…then where’s the fifth member? Strangely, this yields no answer- just a depressed, long silence and traumatic look from Kidd. Realizing the discomfort his question brought, Huey decides Kidd can tell the gang another time about the final Rescue Squad member.

A bad time for Kidd SWITCH

Happier times come in the form of a Red Mini-Paint Star. To thank Draggadon for his services, Huey and Edwin reward the helpful dragon with the amazingly-still-fresh Magma Burger. Draggadon has now calmed down, trusting Mario despite the stench of Shroomsday somehow still upon him. The big guy asks the crew why they’re in the volcano, giving Huey the chance to ask if anything is here the Musketeers might be interested in. While Draggadon has no knowledge of anything else hidden in Redpepper, he knows someone who might- someone named Shadhema. If the gang find her, they’ll find their answer.

As Draggadon departs, Huey thanks him, even coming on strong. However, Huey and Edwin are left to wonder who Shadhema is. They kept that in mind as they collected the red Mini Paint Star, which creates a path leading to Redpepper Crater.

At Redpepper Volcano’s crater, Mario and Louis see a Yellow Toad near a bunch of lava rocks. The Toad, alerted to the gang’s presence, explains he works at Tangerino Grill, and he’s got a huge block of ice taking up space in the restaurant’s freezer. Unfortunately, though Chef Vinachio told the Toad to find something at the crater to melt the ice, the Toad can’t jump that high. To help a mushroom buddy out, Louis offers to deliver any fiery Artifacts if he and Mario find one here. Giddy with glee, the Toad jumps super high for joy and waaaaaitaminute.

…uh, so anyways, the Crater is more of the same, nothing really special. Just some Memphawk leaps from Louis, some pole-vaulting and suction from Edwin while avoiding Embers- same old same old. The only real change is Ruff Puffs and Steel Clefts also taking up residence as foes alongside the other volcano dwelling baddies, but that’s just a matter of using aerial-targeting battle cards.

Pitholl and Cucleer buzzin around SWITCH

Entering the back room of the crater is a whole ‘nother story, however. As soon as Mario and friends arrive, Pitholl and Cucleer also drop in. As they explain, up ahead is the resting place of Prism Island’s ruler, Shadhema herself. They don’t seem like themselves, weirdly, speaking much more threatening and empty than before. It only takes Louis a bit to realize it’s not Pitholl or Cucleer speaking, but Shroomsday through them. A fight ensues.

Last Pitholl and Cucleer battle

Ironically, Pitholl and Cucleer fight much better under Shroomsday’s possession than in their right minds. What that means isn’t exactly on the gang’s mind, the double troublemakers showing themselves much buffer than before. Even KOing one of them to disable their team move doesn’t neutralize the threat. Upon Cucleer’s demise, Pitholl gains the ability to instill his blade with his tropic ancestry, dealing almost as much damage as the team move. The key word is almost, though, and Team Mario wins for the third time.

After defeating Pitholl and Cucleer, Shroomsday takes his loss in stride. The fight was just to delay Mario and his amigos from getting in the way of some Blue Paratroopas carrying a copy of Bowser Junior’s containment device. The possessed treeman and bird head back to their base, instilling fear on how much stronger Shadhema could be compared to them.

The duo’s departure is followed by rocky stairs to the upper opening, rising from the magma.

Our heroes rush into the opening, to find…a hot spring. A horrible sight meets Mario’s gaze- Peppa T, the Invisible Caan, and Den T in their underwear! The embarrassed three guys run back towards the hot spring, only to find it surrounded by Blue Paratroopas. Using the device, they force a black coffin with the mark of the Grand Paint Stars out of the spring. This creepy revelation startles Huey and Louis, the latter remarking he now knows why Orion sometimes felt cold. By the time they regain their composure, the Blue Paratroopas are already flying off with the coffin.

So close, yet so far- this latest blunder fills Huey with hopelessness. Thankfully, Louis is more optimistic, since they just have to stop the revival from happening at all. And even if Shadhema does awaken, the Memphawk has faith Mario can take her on. Louis’ brighter outlook brings the fight back in Huey, who also remembers Mario defeated Starmageddon a short time ago.

Neo Rescue Squad spa retreat SWITCH

The team decides to ask around, in order to see if the present Rescue Squad members, including Cosso and Sol, know anything. While they do, though, they also relax in the hot spring. Eventually, almost every member except Sol heads back for Port Prisma. Meanwhile, Sol is drying himself off with a Magmaw Dryer Artifact. Upon Mario gazing at it and his macho body, Sol lets Mario borrow it, then heads off.

Oddly enough, Huey can sense a Paint Star nearby, but Mario and friends can’t see it. With a little prodding, the gang find a hidden passage behind the waterfall, where three Snifits and a Boo are relaxing. One Snifit wonders why Bowser’s a no-show, whereas another reveals to Mario that Boos can’t feel temperature changes- she’s just in the water for fun. This one sentence gets Mario and Edwin to understand why Aace couldn’t find the coffin earlier.

Finally, Mario collects an Orange Mini-Paint Star, creating a shortcut back to Regale Trainworks.

Before heading off to the restaurant, though, the gang decide to meet up with Sledge at Daffodil Peak. By the time they got there, they were nearly surrounded by Musketeers. It was an ambush! This lead Mario and the gang to fight them.

After a tough battle, Kersti shows up and asks why they were ambushed. No one has a clue... unless, those Musketeers were trying to get Kersti. They have to worry about that later- they need to meet up with Sledge fast! Our heroes run through the many obstacles along the way, and fought some Boosketeers, Crazy Dayzees, and Dry Bones. In addition, some of General Guy's Shy Guy troops are here in various spots.

Sooner or later, Mario and the gang reach the top of Daffodil Peak for the second time. Sledge is there, waiting like he said. The shady Sledge Bro is frank on his aggravation with Mario, the plumber always ruining even the most trivial of pursuits. Yet Sledge also finds himself respecting Mario for his strength otherwise, and knows how much of a problem the Musketeers are growing into. No further words leave Sledge’s mouth- just a hammer from his arm, starting his showdown with Mario.

Sledge&#039;s last battle SWITCH

This time, Sledge juggles his hammers like a strong clown. It’s not just for show, either- it prevents aerial moves from hitting him. Worse is when Mario goes to hit Sledge with his close-range moves, the round hammer Bro stops juggling, and the hammers hit Mario after he thwacks Sledge. This forces Mario to use under-the-feet moves like the POW Block or Quakehammer to unbalance Sledge, damaging him instead and opening him up to aerial moves that turn.

Before Sledge is defeated, he switches up his tactics. Now, he only juggles when he’s about to attack. However, he juggles the hammers up really high, then either throws them straight at Mario or in an arc, messing up Mario’s timing. Sometimes, he uses his final hammer for a powerful slam move, a la Morton. Regardless, by surviving the onslaught of hammers for long enough, Mario and friends eventually defeat Sledge.

Sledge joins Mario SWITCH

Unlike the last times they fought, Sledge doesn’t run away. Instead, he congratulates Mario’s team for their fighting & loyalty to each other, and they compliment him likewise. Asked to join, Sledge takes all of a millisecond to think about the offer and the current situation. Then, just like that, he joins the party, while still reminding Mario he’ll always be loyal to Bowser.

Prior to leaving the peak, Mario decides to test Sledge out against a few Musketeers. The turtle’s Hammer Juggle is quite the ability, defending Mario from and countering aerial moves for 1 turn, heavily damaging anyone stupid enough to try attacking anyways. Alongside this partner attack Sledge calling in a little Hammer Time for his perk, ranking up all Hammer cards or doubling Mega class Hammer cards on the Battle Roulette in exchange for ranking down Jump cards in that same situation. Even out of battle, Sledge can just Hammer Throw, dazing enemies for four seconds.

With Sledge on Mario’s team, the gang hot-foot it to Tangerino Grill with the Magmaw Dryer. Using the hot dragon hair appliance, they melt the ice block in the kitchen fridge and even get a Frackle Spectacle out of it. Marirana also gets the chance to thank Bella T for her help reconnecting with Suebelle, something the Toad twin just sees as free advice on her part. Rather than any payment like a concert ticket, Bella T just asks Marirana and Mario take the Frackle Spectacle wherever they go.

A job well done, the gang exit the restaurant- seeing Ellshe again from afar. Her memory’s returning, recalling she called someone K-girl, but Ellshe’s still a little foggy in her mind. She proceeds to walk off, searching for her forgotten friends.

Though Louis reminds Mario about the mini-pipe in Sacred Forest, Mario and Marirana’s minds are on helping Gulliv T with his height problem. Using the power of the SPEC-tacles, Gulliv T becomes a normal sized boy. Leblaanc, while surprised, welcomes Gulliv T to the Rescue Squad merrily, even accidentally calling him “son” at one point- though he corrects himself. Marirana and Huey are so happy for Gulliv T’s induction. Strangely, Kidd becomes a little down…

Chapter 6 Part 3

Mario and the gang then head to Scared Forest, and find the mini-pipe Louis was telling them about. Huey was so excited, mostly because he can sense a Mini Paint Star at the end of this pipe. Nya however, was concerned that it could be another ambush when they got to the end of the pipe. She knew she was going to regret this- but they need to get that Mini Paint Star, so they must fix the mini-pipe. With the Frackle Spectacles's power, the mini-pipe grows to a normal sized pipe.

A pun too soon SWITCH

Huey’s hunch pays off, as another Mini-Paint indeed lies on the other side of the pipe. That said, as Nya praises Mario’s ability to always find what he seeks, Mario starts to feel worried. Huey is confused, as he doesn’t see Shroomsday. The bucket fairy proceeds to make a bad pun, which he defends when Nya and Sledge call him out on it.

Just then, Lemmy Koopa rolls by on his rubber ball. He then poofs right in front of the quartet, surprising them. Lemmy has been so busy practicing his magical act and looking for the Musketeers’ circus, he has no clue where Bowser Junior, Motley or the Koopalings are. Once Huey explains the deal with Shroomsday and Morton being the only survivor of Port Prisma, it leaves Lemmy bewildered that Junior had a wildcard.

Additionally, Lemmy notices Sledge in Mario’s party. It’s not just the Koopaling is surprised the big Hammer Bro is working with Mario- there’s also the matter of Sledge being the only Circus Bro still on the island, since Sledge’s brothers and sisters fled. Amazed at this news, Mario, Huey and Nya ask Sledge about this detail of his life. It’s rather simple, though, Sledge just pointing out the circus life was never for him, seeking the spoils of battle. Sledge gets the conversation back on track, reminding Lemmy that the Koopalings and Mario now share a similar enemy. Despite Lemmy not promising Mario the lower Koopa Clan forces will hold back, he does decide to go look for Morton.

The Koopaling proceeds to roll away peacefully. Relieved, Nya appreciates meeting the one Koopaling in Junior’s army.

That is, until Lemmy poofs behind the trio, wanting to demonstrate his magic in combat.

Lemmy battle SWITCH

Our buddy, Lemmy- he’s the last Koopaling. If you didn’t know about his magic wand or shell attacks, it would be unusual. What Lemmy does utilize in battle is his round rubber bouncing ball, giving him the chance to hit Mario with many weak attacks. Like his twin Larry, the circus king also summons some Koopaling minions and bewitches them with the Circus status. Sneakiest of all is Lemmy sometimes draining paint from the first colored card Mario uses in a turn- the attack still goes through, but the card doesn’t come back, hurting Mario in the long run.

As Lemmy’s vitality gives out, he gets the bright idea to summon the super happy destructive Wonder Ball. This thing’s pointy, grey, dark, and edgy. It’s also incredibly durable, resisting a lot of damage like a BAUSS. Accidents happen with clowns, regardless, and the Mario team manages to destroy the Wonder Ball, as well as bring Lemmy down.

Lemmy searches for Morton SWITCH

Similar to the recent string of Mario’s bigger enemies, Lemmy is gracious in defeat, finding drama in it. The battle also gave him an idea on how to defeat Shroomsday, and the Koopaling leaves in a puff of smoke to share it with Morton. When the smoke clears, it turns out Lemmy left behind the Koopaling Contract, a parchment with all the Koopalings’ signatures written on it.

The contract’s existence reminds Sledge it was this style-over-substance approach that convinced him to leave the circus. Nya has to somewhat agree, then wonders what our heroes would ever need the parchment for. A dark idea hits Mario’s mind at that point- a Dark Bloo idea. The machine in said Inn’s secret basement, to be exact. Regardless of Mario collecting the Mini-Paint Star to create a road towards the Green Energy Plant, he decides to check out this hunch.

Within the Dark Bloo Inn’s secret basement, Mario brings the Koopaling Contract to a scanner on the pod in the back. After a quick scan, the pod accepts the sample, revealing itself to be a Timespace Pod. With it, Mario can rematch whoever’s DNA was on any strange object he brings the contraption. Since all seven Koopalings used their fingernails rather than a pen to sign, Mario can now rematch a wide variety of opponents! Once he’s ready, Mario tests the pod to bring him back to the moment he fought Morton at Crimson Tower.

Except the machine doesn’t just do that- it also powers up Morton tremendously, perhaps beyond Starmageddon’s VR clone himself. Most indicative of all is Morton’s burning hammer dealing huge amounts of damage. Mario is only thankful the move wasn’t that powerful when his journey started, and triumphs once again.

Immediately after the battle, Mario is transported back to Dark Bloo Inn’s Timespace Pod. Alongside a GUI showing 1/7 near the Koopaling emblem, Mario receives three copies of Morton’s enemy card. Quickly leaving and entering the Inn to restock, Mario vows to plow through the other six fights.

Wendy EX battle SWITCH

Iggy, Ludwig, Wendy, Larry and Lemmy are also buffed. However, it’s just to the point they’re as strong as the EX Morton, rather than exactly proportional in difficulty. Iggy’s chariots are a pain, Ludwig’s Ludsub stomp is double painful, Wendy rains a lot of coins, Larry’s jump kick is like an angry crow taking flight, and is it really necessary to re-explain the “magic” of Lemmy’s Wonder Ball?

With the six Koopalings he’s fought on the island dealt with again, Mario is looking forward to battling Roy at least once. The red plumber pities not fighting Roy earlier, but reasons this is at least something.

This time, the Timespace Pod brings Mario to a monochrome circus (Emerald Circus). On the other side of the stage platform is Roy, looking for a fight. Before starting, however, some Shy Guys steal Mario’s color and Syrups. Mario almost curses wasting coins on those cards- then he fights Roy.

Roy treats Mario the same way he did Luigi- blasting Paint at him. In this case, while Mario is overcome with the emotional beats of the colorful paste, he also gains some color back, allowing him to regenerate sometimes.

Halfway through the royal rumble, though, Roy calls his Shy Guys to give him all the paint again, mortifying Huey as the large Koopaling swooshes it around in his blaster. All mixed together, Roy fires the black paint randomly, covering the circus floor in black paint.

Hammering Roy at this point is a bad move, as the black paint again hurts Mario if he steps in it. Mario stands to think for a bit, before coming to the decision to use water and ice cards like the Ice Flower or Turbo FLUDD to clear the path. One card alone doesn’t fix this, but three do, and the black paint goes away.

The sight of his new discovery washing away drives Roy nuts, encouraging him to wail on Mario with an assortment of punches and kicks. This lack of focus provides Mario the motivation and chance to finish the fight quickly, and Roy is downed.

Once again back in Dark Bloo Inn, Mario doesn’t just get 3 Roy cards. The GUI shows a 7/7 near the Koopaling symbol, manifesting a Koopaling Clown Car Artifact for Mario to collect. With it equipped, Mario can deal some more damage to Koopaling-allied enemies.

Right outside the Green Energy Plant are Shroomsday’s minions, trying to break into the building. This stirs an out-of-place furious reaction from Kidd, as she rushes over to ram the monsters away from the door. It takes a Monstroom swatting Kidd towards Mario and co to convince the Vellbex she needs to work with her friends. With three powerful Monstrooms assisting the Slugshroom and Chassishroom in their company, the battle quickly shows itself tougher than expected. Regardless, Kidd and Mario come through.

Edwin makes a joke about dinner being cancelled for the Monstrooms, but Kidd is busy looking around the Save Block for someone. When she can’t find whoever she’s looking for, Kidd looks relieved, believing her dad brought “him” into the house. Upon Huey asking what Kidd’s looking for, the goat fatale replies she’ll explain inside.

Our heroes try opening the door, but it’s locked. Being the polite metal guy he is, Huey knocks on the door. Suddenly, a green Toad grabs Huey and drags him in. Confused, Mario, Kidd, Edwin and the others follow fast.

Inside the GEP, Mario and the crew see Huey being held by a metal claw, with a green older Toad observing the guardian. In the bottom-right corner of the plant, meanwhile, a young Vellbex boy with an eyepatch is sleeping on a comfy collection of sheets. One misunderstanding later, Mario, Huey and Edwin get to know the Toad as Enerr T. They also learn Enerr T is Kidd’s adoptive father, taking her in when her real parents perished in the Azure Underground long ago. Furthermore, Enerr T confirms O’Chunks was here earlier, helping Enerr and the Vellbex boy into the Green Energy Plant while the geometric goliath drew Shroomsday away. Even though a few shroom monsters doubled back, Enerr T’s just glad the biggest of them is gone.

One question remains- who’s the young goat? When Huey asks this, Kidd pleasantly, yet strangely reserved, tells the gang it’s her son, Billy. Edwin and Huey briefly debate who Billy’s father is, before deciding to just wake the boy and ask him. At this suggestion, however, the cheerful mood in the room turns to solemnness, and Kidd and Enerr T begin to look anguished. Finally, Enerr T lets our heroes know something- Billy’s not going to wake up. In fact, Kidd hesistantly reveals her son’s been asleep for a whole year already.

Huey, startled, inquires seriously what caused this- he’s the guardian of Prism Island, after all, and it’s his duty to know. The question leads Kidd to tell her friends a story- a story of how Billy, despite his smallness, had a big heart. Every time he, Kidd, Enerr T and Billy’s dad- Leblaanc- went out for a picnic, the kind boy would always pick flowers for his mom.

One day, the family went deeper into Mossrock Theatre. While there, Billy found some strange flowers that weren’t growing there the day before. Unaware, Billy brought one of each color to give to his mom. The flowers were so mysterious, yet interesting, that before Billy gave them to Kidd, he decided to help himself to sniffing them all at the same time.

Kidd tries to remain calm recounting what happened, but at this point, she completely loses her composure and is unable to continue. Enerr T then continues- immediately after smelling the flowers, Billy abruptly collapsed. They brought him back to Green Energy Plant immediately, but though Billy was alive, he wasn’t waking.

Without warning, Billy starts speaking- but rather than a young boy goat, something about his voice and speech of control and roses reminds Mario not just of Piper, but of another flowery figure in his mind. Spooked, Enerr T brings to light that Billy sometimes talks like that in his sleep, also mentioning his grandson has spoken a lot of control and roses in this state.

Billy&#039;s fate SWITCH

Doing his best to continue on, Enerr T elaborates no measures, not even the Grand Paint Stars, have worked to reverse Billy’s condition. And of course, Kidd reveals Billy’s deep slumber was what convinced her there was no good in the world, as Billy’s kindness cost him his consciousness.

Now knowing the full story of Kidd, Huey sadly asks his friend goat why she didn’t tell them earlier. Such a testy subject brings out a brief relapse in Kidd, calling Huey “Tin Thing” as she reminds him how even Starmageddon’s Grand Paint Stars were no help. Edwin, however, realizes something- if Aace is always warning the Musketeers to stay away from the Sporinating flowers, then perhaps he knows the antidote for such an emergency? Both Enerr T and Kidd are awestruck at how this obvious solution slipped under the radar for so long, and Kidd gives Edwin a power smooch, filling him with giddy feelings.

Getting further into the woods is problematic, and would require another Mini-Paint Star. The mention of this reminds Enerr T of something- before the plant’s power went out, a shooting star blasted through the window and went into the monitor. It was this event that tripped the breaker and broke the power, though.

After a top and bottom of the building, Mario and friends realize the Amp Battery would provide a major help in providing the energy. To complete the flow, though, they need to climb to the top of the house to find the proper Cut-Out Zone. They do, and the Battery is summoned.

The Amp Battery begins to work its magic, but Huey remembers something important- lightning tends to strike tall metal objectSBBZBZBZBBPABZZP! Before he even finishes his sentence, the Amp Battery unleashes divine justice upon Huey, using him to connect the heavens with the earth and re-energize the Plant! Huey definitely doesn’t feel good after that!

Returning inside, Enerr T confirms the power is back on. Behind him, meanwhile…despite Huey not recognizing the imagery on the monitor, Mario and especially Louis are overcome with nostalgia. On the monitor is a recreation of the Grass Lands, from one of Mario’s earliest adventures. Enerr T explains he’s been measuring Billy’s brain activity with this ancient imagery, and the results indicate it makes lots of people happy, something Louis jumps on board with.

Because Huey can smell the Mini-Paint Star past the monitor, the question remains of how to enter. Whipping his moustache for a bit, Mario realizes Huey’s Cut-Out might prove the key. This is correct, and the gang are transported into the pixelated past…

The Cut-Out power causes the gang to materialize in the original Grass Lands. While Huey is weirded out by the pixelated dimension, Louis is just enjoying himself. In short order, Mario and friends are joined by an 8-Bit Goomba, the first one besides Perry they’ve seen anywhere on Prism Island. Relieved at seeing such an old face, Mario walks up to the weak pitiful creature to initiate turn-based combat. Strangely, though, the 8-Bit evil mushroom prefers to injure Mario on the field, with no apparent understanding of “Battle Cards”. Learning his lesson in pain, Mario returns the favor, instantly reducing the 8-Bit Goomba to paint.

Catguru&#039;s final advice SWITCH

The nostalgia trip through the weirdly stage-built landscape continues, until our band of Good Samaritans reach the most feared obstacle of bleeding hearts and artists- the wall. Huey and even Nya are stumped at the sheer thickness and height of the green monument. Unexpectedly, Catguru’s face appears over a nearby cloud. The weird paradoxal feline offers his assistance, in the form of an art from a fellow moustache lover- the ability to Flip!

With Catguru’s help, Mario is once again able to channel his power he originally used in other dimensions to bend his perspective. Unlike before, rather than a road straight ahead, Mario gets the sensation of a diagonal “isometric” view. Among Catguru’s jovial celebrations of Mario Flipping out also come some warnings- Mario needs some paint to use Flip, and he can only stay in the isometric view for 10 seconds. Thankfully, Mario is able to exit Flipping prematurely, though Catguru finds the idea of returning to reality boring. Catguru finally parts, leaving Mario and friends to fully explore the pixelated wonderland.

During their trip through the digitized old lands, the gang explore the underground, some verdant hills, and even one of Bowser’s old castles. Unfortunately, they also learn that the 8-Bit Goombas don’t just have equally retro Embers and Bullet Bills as buddies in other parts of the world- some stronger Koopas, such as Fire and Boomerang Bros, also prowl the digital landscape. This forces the Italian-American caricature and his racially-diverse comrades to switch between slow and fast combat on the go.

Panic Shard battle SWITCH

Further exploration of the level yields passage to a secret upper area. Inside the passage resides some Shy Guys and a Green Pokey, guarding part of a strange frog-like amulet. Perplexed at his smaller foes from a dreamy adventure long ago residing in a world recreating the first time he met the Koopalings, Mario finds it hard to concentrate during this battle. Once he wins, he takes the frog amulet piece, the Shard instilling a sense of Panic inside him like when he talked to the sleepy Toadette way back at Sunglow Ridge…

Quickly, Mario shakes the thought out of his head, not wanting to entertain the notion. Slowly, he and his friends explore the rest of the old world, even coming out on top with a tricky Warp Pipe. At last, after finding a secret red pipe hidden in- or rather, besides- some lava, Mario and the party find the room with the Green Mini-Paint Star. All they do beforehand is take out a large platoon of Fire and Boomerang Bros, and the star’s good as theirs!

Shortly after Mario hits the Goal Block to force the Mini-Star back to the outside world, Catguru returns in full to congratulate the plumber on his expert use of Flipping. Edwin, thinking of something, takes the chance and asks the wily feline if he’s ever heard of Shroomsday or Shadhema. While Catguru has not heard the former’s name, the latter brings back wonderful memories. Substitute “wonderful memories” with “a time where many immeasurable forces were drawn to the power of the Eclipse Princess”, and you might understand Louis and Huey’s confidence in dealing with Shadhema suddenly dropping. Catguru leaves for good this time, someone else calling to him.

Shaken by this news, it takes the sight of Billy’s still sleeping body to remind Mario and Huey of some of the emotional stakes. The team proceed to grab the Mini-Star on the second floor of the plant, revealing the way to Mossrock Theatre.

---

Thousands of miles away, at Starlight Workshop, Kolorado is admiring himself for continuously finding more Artifacts and Things in the back ground. The Koopa archeologist seriously considers moving in, until Peach’s voice alerts the turtle to her, Toadsworth and Kitanu.  Peach thinks about bringing a few of the Blight King’s creations home as souvenirs, but Toadsworth feels uncomfortable in the laboratory. Annoyed with her retainer, Peach insists they’re also safe. …Despite the foreboding nature of the door leading into this room. Or the gold Huey statue violently rumbling.

When Toadsworth persists being a stick-in-the-mud, Kolorado chastises the elderly mushroom for lacking a sense of adventure. The shelled scientist also suggests Toadsworth take a page out of Mario’s book in acting brave. Sadly, Toadsworth must admit to his old, small body, while also cursing himself for not attaching the pogo add-on to his cane like other elderly animals before him. This act of helpless yearning causes Kolorado to change tact, and actually offer one of the King’s Things to give Toadsworth a hand.

Yet in the middle of trying to figure out the right Artifact prototype, Bowser Junior and Motley finally return to the land, crashing into and knocking out Toadsworth in the process. Toadsworth being the only one between the two villains and Peach spurs the fair princess to feel guilty for a circumstance beyond anyone’s control. When Kolorado goes to check on the villains, the grumpy Junior ignites the Koopa professor on fire, and he runs out of the back room in pain.

The moment has finally come for Peach to confront Bowser Junior. Unfortunately, the crowned Koopa Prince is not in the mood to directly inform Mamma Peach of his “why”. Rather, the Princess only gets the jib of it, hearing his anger of getting back at Shroomy and forcing him to send Bowser Junior to the other Mushroom Kingdom.

Unexpectedly, Motley draws the line at this point with Junior. Tired of his advice always ignored, being bullied, made fun of, and Junior not wanting to be friends, the clown has decided it’s time to bring Bowser Junior home. Junior doesn’t take him seriously at first. A quick magic blast from Motley changes that, though, and the clown reminds Bowser Junior of the Koopa King’s orders- keep Junior safe, and keep an eye on him. If Motley has to knock Junior out to keep him safe, so be it.

There’s no more time for talk, as Motley chases after Bowser Junior, firing magic at the young prince. A clearly distressed Peach wants to find a more peaceful solution, but Kitanu advises against it- this is Motley’s decision.

Eventually, Bowser Junior is in front of the gold Huey statue. Whether groveling or a sincere revelation, BJ tries calming Motley down with talk, but the clown’s not laughing. Insisting what he does next is as Bowser’s servant, Motley fires a heavy blast at Junior. Junior ducks out of the way, causing the powerful blast to hit the Huey statue instead, creating a hole. While embarrassed, Motley charges up another magic blast.

…When suddenly, black paint pours out of the hole in the Huey statue. Even creepier, unlike the stuff at Sunglow Ridge, this black paint keeps moving after pouring out, as if it were “alive”. Peach and Junior try to warn Motley about it, but he doesn’t listen until it’s too late. Just as fast as it appeared, the black paint grabs Motley, Junior and Peach, while also swatting away Kitanu. The force of the impact makes Kitanu faint, also causing a Sticker Comet symbol to appear over him and crack. With her last breaths, Peach cries for Mario and even Toadsworth to save her.

Following alarms for emergency lockdown and all doors including the entrance closing, silence overcomes the Starlight Workshop. Then…

“THEY WILL ALL FEEL- THE TRUE POWER OF THE BLACK PAINT.”

Chapter 6 Part 4

When they got to Mossrock Theater, Mario's partners were creeped out by the place, especially the uncanny circus music playing in the background. All around the trees of this eerie forest were posters advertising for the Emerald Circus. Huey was happy to read all about it, because he would like to go to the circus and see the hullabaloo of Monkhairas on unicycles his creator always spoke of. Nya has to remind Huey the Circus is actually the Musketeer's base.

The Ninji's warnings are interrupted by the long-awaited sight of O’Chunks and Shroomsday, still fighting each other. Between Shroomsday’s macabre statements of parading the brave warrior’s body around and O’Chunks’ unyielding fighting spirit, there’s no end to their continuing struggle against. The two titans proceed to take their duel further into the woods.

In the second area, there are several hard and soft fences, essentially creating a maze of sorts. With Nya’s help, Mario is able to better surpass the wooden labyrinth. Several baddies complicate the process of exploration, though, such as Dino Rhinos (amazing Mario just as much as they did Luigi), Draglets, Broozers, Rebazy Dayzees and Arantulas.

Dayzee horde battle

New foes also haunt the woods. In the case of the Phantom, it’s very literal. The gang even battle mounds of sentient cotton candy, Cottonstiks. Even as his friends are considering just eating the cute soft enemy, Mario does not underestimate his sweet foes. But even the Phantom and Cottonstik’s power together pale to the most powerful non-boss foe Mario has encountered across all of his adventures, the Amazy Dayzee. Behind their diva-like behaviour is a powerhouse of an enemy, it’s power so great and divine, not even blocking diminishes the damage it deals. Thankfully, Amazies are just as cowardly as always, running away if they think they’ll lose.

Regardless, throughout the forest, the various Musketeer minions were performing several acts such as hanging on a trapezes and doing somersaults. Even one of General Guy's troops got caught up in the act- a Dry Bones grabbing him while it was on the trapeze. Thank goodness Mario came to the rescue and pulled him out of the Dry Bone's grasp! The fellow Shy Guy thanks Mario for freeing him, and even admits that this place was giving him the chills. It went back to meet up with General Guy.

Upon arriving in the third area of the woods, the Mario group sees Shroomsday wallop O’Chunks back and forth. Shroomsday wants to know what makes O’Chunks think he can take on the enormous legume’s power, to which O’Chunks smarmily replies he doesn’t need to think whacking weeds like Shroomsday. Eventually, O’Chunks casually socks Shroomsday in his ten eyes. In response, Shroomsday upsides O’Chunks. Pretty soon, the two’s rough encounter turns into a dustcloud, and the fight moves even further in.

Mario is about to give chase, when Huey suddenly smells something. Though Kidd and Nya misunderstand Huey’s wordless gestures, it dawns on Edwin what his metal homie smells- black paint coming towards Mossrock Theatre. The forecoming threat is more than enough incentive for Mario to hurry.

Proceeding through this area isn’t quite simple, for Monkhairas are throwing their stale bananas on the paths ahead. The monkeys are definitely clever in diluting Louis’ ability to help, as they’ve constructing really high fences to prevent the Memphawk from simply Leaping over them. The fences’ close proximity to the edges of the hills also make Nya’s Vanishing a bad idea. After observing their throwing speed and patterns for long enough, though, Mario realizes Kidd’s Dashing can squeeze by just enough. The idea pays off, and that area is dealt with.

Hidden in one of the wooded areas is a Double Mini-Paint Star, of Orange and Purple colorations. By collecting it, Mario unlocks some shortcuts to both Tangerino Grill and, of all places, Lighthouse Island. Following a brief celebration of this find, Mario remembers he has to hustle it back through the woods before the black paint arrives!

Our heroes finally arrive in the last part of the woods, just before a Mini-Paint Star no doubt leading to the Musketeers’ HQ. What’s better is Shroomsday is exhausted from all the fighting- though O’Chunks is also giving out. The two comment on each other’s incalculable strength, before Shroomsday asks O’Chunks where he gets it from. This prompts O’Chunks to divulge it comes from his desire to protect Nastasia, as well as all his other friends. Hearing O’Chunks’ reasoning causes Shroomsday to think back to a time where he felt the same- sadly, that time has passed. Now, Shroomsday reaffirms his unstoppable wrath as the last remaining creation of the Shadow Queen, surpassing all he sees!

Then Shroomsday starts sniffing, something awful-smelling in the air. O’Chunks believes as Shroomsday smelt it, he dealt it. However, Shroomsday’s bafflement slowly turns to dread as he realizes what the smell is…

Even Morton

Up in the skies above Mossrock Theatre, Morton and Lemmy are commandeering a Koopaling airship. Excited to finally get some payback, Morton yells to down below he now knows why Bowser Junior confiscated the Black Bills- because “Shroomy” told him to. And if that’s so, it must mean Shroomsday has some weakness to it. Lemmy definitely feels the excitement in the error at the idea of the giant purple menace meeting his maker in the Underwhere. Following that, Morton gives the order to drop the Black Bill on Shroomsday, hopes for a big reward on Morton’s mind. With this clearance, the Shy Guys on board proceeds to DROP DA BOMB. (Sapook eht nioj…)

Down below, Shroomsday wastes no time stretching his tendrils very far towards the Black Bill, intending to stop it. …Unfortunately, the tendrils disintegrate as soon as they make contact with the enormous ammo. While O’Chunks is growing a wee worried at the dark bullet of doom heading before them, it’s nothing compared to the extreme pain overcoming Shroomsday from merely touching it! The beast is so desperate to end the torment, he actually fires lasers at his own tendrils to sever them before the black paint can come any closer! In a stroke of luck for Shroomsday, the laser also hits the airship, severely damaging it enough to force Morton and Lemmy order a retreat.

Even with the black paint no longer touching it, Shroomsday is still in agony, and he start raving on the situation being far worse than he could have prepared for. Abruptedly, he opens a portal to both escape a likely game over and find Aace for consultation. As Shroomsday enters, O’Chunks leaps in after the monster, and the portal closes after him. That leaves Mario, Huey and the rest to once again deal with a Black Bill- this one coming right where they are!

To save his friends, Huey asks they duck and cover, even shielding their eyes to keep the black paint out. The gang agrees, and like at Sunglow Ridge, a strange void suction sound is heard following impact from the Black Bill. Eventually, Huey gives the clear, and our heroes open their eyes…to the sight of Huey clutching his stomache.

Huey insists black paint is nothing he can handle. Not only does Edwin agree, but he also finds it suspicious Huey can handle the toxic mix much better in comparison to Shroomsday shrivelling at a mere touch. It’s here that Edwin demands answers on what’s going on.

Emerald search

It seems while Huey doesn’t think he’d be the best guy for that story- plus he doesn’t even know what the big plan is- he does pique up the Emerald Grand Paint Star as a possible source. Revealing that Emerald was the first Grand Paint Star that Starmageddon ever made, Huey happily chirps the greenest of all painted celestials holds the final key to the general mysteries of Prism Island’s past.

With this promise and more timed dashing with Kidd, Mario and friends reach what seems to be the last Mini-Paint Star on Prism Island, and by extension the road to the Musketeers’ hideaway, Emerald Circus.

The long walk brings the band of heroes to the entrance of the Emerald Circus. Huey understands what the location is right away, as Edwin reminisces on how long it’s been since he’s been here.

Several Musketeers are stationed around the tent, but they’re too busy to fight. Pre-ordering tickets for the next show, a Quincada suspicious of Mario’s looks, a Monkhaira surveying some captured Yoshis…everyone outside has their hands, appendages and paws full getting ready.

All Mario and his allies can really do is check up on the Yoshis. They seem alright, but the cage is still too small for them. The unfairness of the situation is accentuated when the Green Yoshi remembers Mario from Dark Bloo Inn. His kinship with these majestic dinosaurs spurs Mario to unlock the cage.

Too bad the red Yoshi swallows and spits out Mario as soon as he tries unlocking the padlock.

Some sharp eyes alert the gang of someone else being nearby. Using his hammer, Mario massages the nearby victim of Yoshis. It’s Verda of Blue Rescue Squad- she wanted to pet a Yoshi, but it was defensive against her. The caring Pianta appreciates Mario helping her, and heads back to Port Prisma to report her findings before Leblaanc.

There’s nothing else for Mario to do or try at the circus at the moment, so he and the others follow.

Back at Port Prisma HQ, almost the entire Squad is finally assembled. Leblaanc gives a motivational speech to stir his fellow Rescuers’ fighting spirits- now is the time they take the island back from the Koopalings and Musketeers! All five Squads and Gulliv T heed their leader’s encouragement, and head out to Emerald Circus en masse!

This time, Leblaanc is also joining the operation. Seeing Kidd’s surprise at this, Leblaanc explains to her- calling her Kiddwella to boot- he feels ashamed of himself for not stepping in to help Kidd and giving up on her after Billy fell asleep. Instead of getting angry at him, Kidd(wella) puts it behind her, done playing the blame game. Leblaanc is happy for the return of Kidd’s spirit! …that said, there’s something he wants to tell Kidd, something he did, and that something is-

Before Leblaanc can explain, Kidd implants a kiss upon him. The Squad Captain turns very red at this, but keeps himself reserved. For three seconds. Finally, he can take it no more and loses himself in the amour of love, dashing after his organization in his lust!

Mario is about to head off when he recalls none of the gang have heard Merluvlee tell her story to them. Realizing he shouldn’t put this off any longer, he and the others head down to the piers to find the sorceress. Out of the kindness of her heart, Merluvlee decides she’ll give Mario cards if she listens to her stories, as all parts of them are very long. As Mario learns, there’s currently three parts of her tale she wishes to share now. Our heroes, glad yet guilty they can just binge-listen, gather around Merluvlee, and she begins...

Part one- It actually all began with an incident involving the King and Queen’s daughter. Several players from alternate dimensions came from far and wide to capture the power the young ruler possessed. The results of the planet-shattering battle were horrendous- one of the Royal Pets and many of the Vellbex had their games ended. Even worse, the Shadow Queen used the aftermath of the clash to strike a powerful blow upon Starmageddon, banishing him into the dimension of another participant.

Though the clash ended, things only got worse for Prism Island after- for the Queen had corrupted both her child and the surviving Royal Pet, who Mario and friends know as Shroomsday. Both Merluvlee and Aace tried reasoning with the two, but the Shadow Queen’s evil influence was too great, chiefest of all a lack of responsibility or care.

With more understanding, the gang proceed to part two. Shortly before the Shadow Queen was sealed away by four heroes, she became jealous of a traveling Monty Mole kingdom. She proceeded to send Shroomsday on a mission to destroy those Monty Moles. At first, it seemed Shroomsday had failed, as no word had reached Prism Island for some time. Even better in Merluvlee’s eyes was the Shadow Queen being imprisoned in her palace. Everything should have ended there.

Unfortunately, the Queen’s influence over her child, as well as Shroomsday’s bond, ensured this would continue. Shadhema sent her mother’s most loyal right hand to check on and free Shroomsday. Somehow, she did, under the continent of Pastelora. This resulted in the beast cursing the continent and its inhabitants, on top of finally dealing with the Monty Mole kingdom.

Eventually, Merluvlee felt she could no longer stand by. Luckily, she got a message from the Monty Mole king, Montgomery, requesting her aid along two others. Merluvlee accepted, but Shadhema wouldn’t let her leave. Finally, the Prism Island locals had also reached their breaking point with the Shadow Queen’s influence and legacy- Shadhema the prime person exemplifying this.

Even Aace had to admit his student was just a shell of her former self. But since he loved Shadhema too much to openly rebel, Aace left Prism Island for a long time. Altogether, the people of Prism Island were able to subdue Shadhema, allowing Merluvlee a chance to depart.

In part three of the tale, Merluvlee finally reached Pastelora. By the time she arrived, Shroomsday had already turned the capital city into a plagued shadowland, complete with shadowy Monty Moles and Shroomsday’s minions. In the middle of the chaos, the Monty Mole king, Montgomery, fought alongside a Bomb Boo and a red Swampire to deal with Shroomsday. Wasting no time, Merluvlee flew into the fray.

The brawl lasted for weeks. Eventually, Merluvlee noticed Shroomsday was wearing five extra crowns she’d never seen before he left. Getting an idea, Merluvlee took the five extra crowns, as well as the Gold one, away from Shroomsday. Just as Merluvlee thought, the experience drastically weakened Shroomsday. However, the power of the crowns was immense, especially the gold one. In order to contain their power, Merluvlee had to focus all her mystic energy, changing her into a spatial comet in the process. Sadly, despite Shroomsday being weakened, he still put up enough of a fight to force Montgomery into dragging the shroom monster into Pastelora’s depths…

For listening to Merluvlee’s stories, Mario receives a lot of Syrup cards, some high-end. As Mario and friends decide to head off to Emerald Circus, Merluvlee informs them she’ll tell more of the story once they deal with the Musketeers’ base.

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Inside the deepest chambers of Fortune Island, Aace, Pitholl and Cucleer are overseeing the Blue Paratroopas bringing in the coffin from Redpepper Crater. The ghostly leader is very particular about where the coffin is set, though he does give the hands-up eventually.

Despite relief at finally getting to make up for his mistake years ago, Aace is unsure whether to look in the coffin- he dreads seeing Shadhema’s angry, betrayed eyes. Once Pitholl and Cucleer egg their boss on, Aace eventually gives in- only to find something so horrific and decayed, his eyes fill with terror. The sight of Shadhema’s body, or what’s left of it, convinces Aace that the Grand Paints Stars won’t be enough to bring her back. Motioning the Paratroopas to carry the coffin away, Aace contemplates his suspicions were correct. To revive Shadhema, he needs-

Suddenly, Shroomsday enters the room through a portal, with O’Chunks hanging onto his tendril. While O’Chunks is busy with Shroomsday’s tendril, a panicked Shroomsday informs Aace of the Koopalings creating and using the black paint in Black Bills. This fills Aace with even more concern for the future, his only relief being it could have been worse. All that matters is retrieving a missing ingredient, then returning to Prisma Fountain to revive Shadhema.

Shroomsday, wondering what he missed, cautiously asks of this secret ingredient. An uneasy Aace whispers what it is into Shroomsday’s horn. Whatever it is, something like the instinct of narrowly dodging a bullet combined with flabbergastment instills Shroomsday, with Aace only further clarifying the missing ingredient makes too much sense. In light of this, Mario’s continuing presence undermines any chance the Musketeers have of obtaining the last of what they need.

Shroomsday&#039;s plan SWITCH

Shroomsday thinks about it. Finally, he comes to a decision…

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When they got to the Emerald Circus, the entire Rescue Squad was in line for the show. Even General Guy and his troops were in line, surprising Huey. General Guy explained that he couldn't resist coming to watch what may be a good show.

Along with General Guy and his minions, Mario and friends also talk to a few of the Rescue Squadees. Peppa T hasn’t seen the circus since he was a boy, Stency is working on her Rescue Squad song’s lyrics, Stabyltu thanks Mario for talking to an average Lakitu like him, and Michelle is hyped being one of the first in line. In addition, Jonny lets Mario and Louis know that Leblaanc would like Orion back in the Rescue Squad after this mission, to head a new Vermillion Rescue Squad and restore some version of Orange. The rest of the Squadees are too focused on the mission to pay them heed, as if not speaking would allow the world more breathing room in portraying the image of everyone teaming up.

Circus lineup SWITCH

Upon reaching Cosso, he’s about to give the order for roll call. However, he stops midway, as he senses Leblaanc should handle such a momentous moment, and Kidd agrees. Honored by their vote of confidence, Leblaanc yells for the mother of all Roll Calls. The tally ends with Suga T, as she yells out “25!” Counting Leblaanc, that’s 26 members, with General Guy’s forces as back-up. The thought of the large gathering believe Billy would be proud if he were here.

The show is finally about to start, and a Boosketeer welcomes the entire line-up heartily. In fact, as the Rescue Squad and General Guy’s forces are heading in, the ghoulish cavalier ominously mentions they’ve been expected. Worried, yet with another smooch from Kidd, Leblaanc heads in after his allies to ensure their safety.

Surprise! It was all an elaborate trap- the entire Rescue Squad and General Guy’s army are seated on the left stands, encased in webbed-up cocoons! While Boosketeers and Monkhairas are all relaxed in the right stands, the Arantulas wrap up their work, salivating at the idea of eating the Rescue Squad and Shy Guys. Only Leblaanc is able to force his head out of a cocoon, befuddled at how the Musketeers knew they were coming. This leaves Mario and friends vastly outnumbered in the Musketeers’ own domain, unable to even reach their close associates and Shy Guys.

To pass the time again, Huey and Edwin make small talk about the Slurple returning to his group’s circus. All Edwin is able to communicate is his awestruckness at what a full house and giddy audience it is right now. Huey is also excited- though he swears he smells both black paint and a hint of banana.

About a minute later, Perry appears on stage to build up the Emerald Circus’ grandeur. Right away, he pulls out the big guns, with Khairacles’ Show of Stunning Strength.

Khairacles showmanship SWITCH

On cue, the giant green ape drops in, crushing Perry. He follows it up with some showboating, leading to a lot of applause from the Musketeers present. And Khairacles is just enjoying himself, the applause a banana bunch laced with drugs. The applause finally dies down, and Khairacles starts things off by demanding the Weight.

The psychotic Thwomp from the Sunset Express returns once more, and flattens Khairacles beneath him like a sandwich. Huey is relieved Khairacles was defeated so easily, but Edwin warns him not to speak too soon. Suddenly, the Thwomp starts shaking, and Khairacles easily lifts it in one hand while juggling Perry in the other, making Sledge envious. As the ape effortlessly continues the act, he brags he can carry anything of any weight, to Perry’s aggravation. In time, Khairacles throws the Thwomp away and drops Perry, before deciding to demonstrate a tougher challenge- the Emerald Grand Paint Star!

The ancient star’s small size is not representative of its supernova-heavy weight, and Khairacles struggles to even move it an inch. In a bizarre turn, though, after slicking the back of his head, the enormous monkey tries lifting Emerald a second time…and succeeds, pushing it upwards!

Laughing warmly, Khairacles assures he is the strongest on the island (though he wishes "the other three" hadn’t left), before directing his attention at Mario’s group. Wanting to continue the show, Khairacles decides to give the gang a try on-stage. Rather suddenly, Khairacles jumps out of the tent, forcing Perry to stall.

In the midst of Huey and Kidd discussing the mystery of Khairacles’ second wind with Emerald, Edwin warns the gang that Khairacles could easily move the entire tent if he wanted to. Among the crowd, the Musketeers also wonder about Khairacles' ease of movement, for Aace struggled to transport the Tangerine Grand Paint Star when the organization still had it.

The call of the Grand Paint Star gets to Huey, and he decides the gang should take Khairacles up on his dare.

Reaching the center stage ends up being harder than it looks, Louis’ Leap strangely repelled despite no fences. This forces Mario and his compatriots to find the back door into the circus.

Outside, the Boosketeer ticket seller is frenzied at Khairacles’ mystifying departure. Not only that- a stranger freed the Yoshis during the confusion, and the rowdy dinos may get in Mario’s way during his challenge. The only remaining Yoshi is the green one Mario freed from Dark Bloo Inn, but he’s gotten a little too comfortable at the idea of living in a cage. Indeed, once Mario forces the cage door open, the green saurian goes back into the small colorful prison.

Monkhaira hints SWITCH

At the back of the tent are a Cottonstik and Monkhaira, discussing Khairacles’ armwork. By talking to them, Mario learns that Khairacles slicks his hair back with his left arm before unleashing his super punch, while he removes stage hazards that could harm him with his right arm following a bad experience with sharp objects long ago. Our heroes mentally jot this down, for it could prove Khairacles’ undoing.

There’s nothing really important in the backstage area. It’s mostly just stage props, scenery, extra ropes and an 8-Bit Crystal Artifact. Admiring his pretty nostalgic acquisition, the gang finally head onstage from the back.

Everyone’s excited to see Mario and his friends enter from the back stage, possibly including Perry who introduces them. Unfortunately, Huey gets stage fright, and starts to look sick. With Louis, Marirana and even Sledge’s encouragement, Huey works up the mettle in his metal to fly on up. Filled with a little more confidence, Huey does a little stand-up routine where he does an impression of a normal tin can. Regrettably, the audience is near silent, a Boosketeer outright stating he lost intelligence just hearing that joke.

A dejected Huey flies back to his still supportive friends, asserting that joke killed back at the workshop…despite it being the only joke he got to tell between gaining his personality core and Starmageddon placing Huey in Sleep Mode. Even in light of the tough crowd, Louis meekly suggests Mario might have a great joke to tell.

It falls on Mario to regain the audience’s favor. He does- but not with a joke. Instead, he just stands there and flexes. Stands there and flexes. Mario, the hero of hundreds of video games, walks to the centre of that stage, moves no more, and exerts muscle into his arms. It almost looks to be a bomb- until Leblaanc and General Guy bail Mario out with some Pixl Mushrooms, making Mario grow multiple times before exploding and reforming. THE CROWD JUST EATS IT UP! (The explosion, not the Mushrooms.) The crowd’s faith in the plumber’s troupe is restored, and Perry gives the signal to start the battle medley.

Like Luigi before him, Mario must fight three sets of foes. This time, the man in red and his cohorts battle several Monkhairas sharing a single unicycle; two trapezes for Arantulas and Cottonstiks; and of course, the-

All of a sudden, before Perry can announce the third set of foes, a fifth set of trapezes drops down. However, it’s not a Musketeer, but an Anti-Guy who wasn’t with General Guy earlier. Several feelings fill Mario at the sight of this powerhouse- dread, annoyance, sadness, and strangest of all, an odd familiarity. Not just with the Anti-Guy species as a whole, but something about this one is peculiar to Mario and friends. As Perry calms the crowd by assuring them it’s part of the show, Mario and the others endure the fury and flurry of the Anti-Guys acrobatics. Finally, they knock the dark Shy Guy off his hanging wooden rod, potentially ending his game via a long fall.

Tragedy at the Emerald Circus

And then the moment is forever burned in Mario and his pals, because the Anti-Guy’s speech instinctively reminds Mario who it is- the depressed one he met aboard the Sunset Express. The poor masked guy only asks Mario he venture to that faraway place and relax for both of them, before expiring.

Of course, the Musketeers toss coins, and there’s another wave with a Monstroom, some Dino Rhinos and some Draglets. Sadly, the sting of the Anti-Guys demise is still present, and it’s as if this experience has tossed Mario and friends the most important thing of all.

The FEEEEEEEEEEEEELZ.

After clearing the last wave and their own souls of regret, Perry calls to the audience to give Mario and friends more applause. All that’s left to do is jump on some giant bongos to summon Khairacles back into the tent. Ensuring he “saves the game” first (whatever that means), Mario jumps on the percussion instrument enough times to attract Khairacles’ attention.

The giant ape is humbled to the gang’s strength in combat, while also commending Edwin for improving since the Slurple trained here. To that remark, Edwin admits his friends- Mario, Huey, Louis, Marirana, Nya and even Kidd- were all supportive. Maybe not Sledge, since he just joined, but Edwin is sure he'd be just as friendly given time. The point is that without them, Edwin doesn’t know where he’d be. Marirana finds this sweet, while Khairacles admires Edwin for his changed beliefs in really trusting his friends. All that said, the humongous gorilla reminds Mario and the others that Aace trusted Khairacles with the Emerald Paint Star while preparing to revive Shadhema. The battle for the final Grand Paint Star commences.

Khairacles is one mad monkey to keep track of, boasting a banana bunch of moves. Like a copyrighted ape, Khairacles stomps on Mario hard from time to time. His banana swords also prove painful, not the least of which is their staleness making them poisonous if not blocked. Then there’s Khairacles playing his bongos for multi-hit combos, throwing Mario off.

The banana on top of the coconut cream pie is Khairacles’ arms. Just as his minions warned Mario earlier, loosy left not only punches, but Khairacles sometimes slicks the back of his head, doubling the move’s power for that attack. Meanwhile, when Mario tries outsmarting Khairacles’ stomping with Spiked Helmet cards and spiky enemies on his side, Khairacles puts his righteous righty to work removing them.

Even if the monkey finds this funny, the plumber stops finding this amusing. Our hero proceeds to deplete Khairacles’ arms of their vitality. This not only limits Khairacles’ moveset in general- it also limits him to just stomping, making him much easier to deal with. With that in mind, Khairacles eventually calls for a barrel of bananas to feast upon. After gorging on his meal, Khairacles’ arms return to working order. Such an assortment of contingencies and attacks keeps Mario and friends on their toes the whole fight.

Using one last Mega Hammer, it was Mario who depleted the beast. As Khairacles is about to lose balance, he apologizes to Aace, Shroomsday and Shadhema for failing, before giving out and collapsing upon the unlucky Perry. Khairacles’ hat falls off mid-tumble, revealing purple Dry Shrooms in his hair.

Victory is spoiled, though, when Kidd realizes Aace is nowhere in sight, and Sledge also notices Pitholl and Cucleer are MIA. Edwin is thrown off by his bosses not only being absent during this affair, but only leaving Khairacles to guard Emerald. Something’s screwy, and Huey believes Emerald might know what Aace is up to. Before Mario jumps on the bongos again to check the roof, Khairacles musters enough strength to ask Mario something- if he finds a sentient banana, Khairacles would like to meet with him.

Luckily, Gulliv T has finally broke free of his web cocoon thanks to his memories of his Mini days. (Much to the shock of an offscreen Arantula.) The rest of the Rescue Squads are impressed with Gulliv T’s skills, and they debate which Squad he should join. Even General Guy weighs in on the discussion, wanting Gulliv in his army. Finally, Leblaanc ends the conversation by reminding everyone that it’s Gulliv’s choice which Squad he wants to join, and it’s his dedication that defines him. Gulliv T tells Mario to go ahead while he frees the Rescue Squad- once they’ve secured the Emerald Circus, they’ll meet back at Port Prisma. Mario thanks Gulliv and heads to the roof.

After they leave, Perry crawls from under Khairacles. Growing infuriated that even the Musketeers can’t defeat Mario, the Goomba is starting to openly consider returning to Bowser’s side, and by extension Perry’s friend Gary. As soon as these words leave Perry’s mouth, his eyes start glowing- Shroomsday is about to possess him for planning to desert! Thinking quickly, Perry starts praising how great the Musketeers are, and the glowing stops. No other options are available except to go find Aace and see if he’s ready yet.

On the roof of the Emerald Circus is the Grand Paint Star of the same color. For the sixth and final time, the gang hitch a ride on the round-pointed object. Their ride takes them above the skies of….Mustard Café again? Emerald sprinkling green paint above its skies bamboozles our heroes, as there were no other Big Colorless Spots in that area. It must be a rare mistake- yeah, that’s it.

Luigi Intermission 5

Over half an hour earlier, Luigi and Daisy arrive at the entrance to Mustard Café. While Daisy is admiring the locale for its nice name, Luigi is struggling to carry a large red gorilla. The ape is wearing a banana on his head, indicating him to be Nabana’s true form. About to collapse, Luigi expresses surprise on Nabana changing into the monkey partway through their escape, and that Nabana needs to exercise when he returns home. For now, the main focus is bringing Nabana to the café so he can rest.

Nabana all bananad

A confused Daisy asks Luigi about the treasure. Hearing this aggravates the already tired Luigi, not wanting to risk their primate pal’s fur for something neither Luigi nor Daisy can find. Luigi proceeds to tell Daisy off, uttering she can look for the treasure while he stays with Nabana.

Feeling guilty, Daisy apologizes for not thinking about Nabana. Luigi calms down a little bit himself, admitting he was acting greedy too in the search for the treasure. Further reflection gives Luigi the epiphany of the treasure not being important, but the adventure the three friends shared together- and still are, as Daisy points out. Big Green agrees, but he still knows the group has no leads to the treasure.

Suddenly, Luigi’s memory jogs himself when he recollects the crystal that came with his letter! The crystal shatters with on-point timing, revealing a pointer within. The magic within the pointer enchants it to direct Luigi and Daisy towards the large pit. The treasure must be inside the underground caves, and Daisy guesses Weeg was sent the pointer because it must only work for the kind and innocent. In an admirable display of humbleness, Daisy fesses up the pointer probably wouldn’t have worked for her or Nabana.

“Did someone say ‘strongest ape in the world?’”

Luigi and Daisy are alarmed, as Nabana wakes up and flexes his muscles. Though the lesser counterpart heroes are relieved to see their friend finally conscious, Nabana has no recollection of his new friends, or his name being Nabana. Further attempts to jog his memory on Mossrock Theatre and the treasure hunt in general only confuse the crimson gorilla moreso, mentioning he’s more of a lone ape. The last thing he remembers is exercising on the edge of a fruity volcano in his home land during Sticker Fest, when it unexpectedly erupted. That, and Nabana has the contradictory feeling he IS looking for friends.

Dejected, Luigi wistfully reminds Nabana of how the monkey always referred to the younger Mario bro as his second banana. This does the trick, as Nabana admits it’s definitely something he would say to a sidekick. Elated to progress at least this much with reconnecting with their monkey mate, Daisy suggests she and Luigi leave Nabana at the café to fully recover after all, while the duo search for the treasure.

Nabana&#039;s leap

At that moment, Nabana grabs Luigi and Daisy, for he wants to keep looking with his new friends. To Nabana, if they’re looking for something together, they’ll finish it together. Such loyalty fills Luigi with gratitude for his partner, and Nabana rushes right into the pit, filling Daisy with adrenaline.

The landing inside the pit could’ve been smoother, but the gang surviving is the most important thing. Luigi’s a little out of it, though, needing to reorient himself- and the pointer focusing north speeds up the process greatly. The gang is excited at the idea of their search finally nearing the end!

Inside the caverns, Luigi’s higher jumping altitude gives him some leeway in surpassing two-block platforms. Even better is Nabana’s change from fairy to anthropoid, since he can climb up some of the softer walls. Together, this substantially reduces the time combing the sands of the café underground.

Luigi cafe battle

Battles also come and go like a breeze. True- the caves have become more and more populated with the different Pokeys and Shroomsday’s minions since Mario came here, but Daisy is still here to replenish Luigi’s health and the end of turns. Our banana buddy Nabana also just keeps on giving, his Partner Ability causing him to beat his chest and give Luigi a set of powerful cards.

At last, some time later, Luigi and the pronounced duo find the jailhouse and arrive at its bottom floor, now with a Save Block. The pointer glows as bright as possible down here, then drills into the sand- it’s found the treasure. Wasting no time, Luigi and Daisy get to digging.

This excavation is less of a slog and more of a mini-game. Part disposal and part puzzle matcher, Luigi, Daisy and Nabana remove the loosened rocks by passing them in sequence to a pile tower at the back. When they match three similar rocks- coming in yellow, peach and orange- they disintegrate in a flash, giving the gang points. However, none of our heroes can hold more than five rocks at once. A more pressing issue is the pile at the back, leaning towards our heroes as it rises. Luigi, getting the feeling if they try tossing more than 10 rocks on top the back pile, no-one will be enjoying the treasure.

Some good news is occasionally finding old grey Koopa Shells in the dirt, removing all rocks beneath it once it becomes active in 4 seconds, and scoring 5 points regardless. The dormant Bald Clefts are more middling news, serving as useless dummies, though clearing rocks near them convinces them to leave. The most annoying “rocks”, however, are the Slugshrooms. While they can be cleared as with the Clefts, Luigi and friends learn the hard way that matching just two of the escargot legumes angers them, costing our heroes five points.

Keeping their wits collected and scoring 90 points is enough to unearth the treasure. Seeing what it is causes Luigi, Daisy and Nabana to hurry into the depths where it’s found. Whatever it is, Luigi is taken aback something like it is on Prism Island, too. For Nabana, he boasts he’d be the best with the treasure. And as soon as Daisy points out it just needs a paint job, green sparkles rain into the unseen pit, filling the trio with awe. Our heroes have finally found the treasure, and are ready to show it off…

Chapter 7

Click here to view the whole plot for Chapter 7, the final chapter.

Pre 7 Part 1

Mario and his allies’ ride atop the Emerald Grand Paint Star, and by extension all Grand Paint Stars, ends at Prisma Fountain. As Emerald makes himself comfortable, Huey is still wondering what the heck the olive-colored celestial body just restored. Eventually, Huey shrugs it off, for all that matters is all the Grand Paint Stars are back home. Emerald feels the same sense of accomplishment, too, thanking Mario, Huey, and the rest for their splendid work. Having mentioned this, Emerald is also more tuckered out from his flight than his siblings, and proceeds to doze off. With Emerald so deep in sleep, Huey realizes the gang will have to ask their last questions about Prism Island’s history later.

In lieu of resolving the remaining mysteries, a Toad declares it’s finally time to party! Soon, a lot of people, from the three Chosen, to Orion and the Vellbex Ghosts, to Captain Baabeaussa and the pirates, Bakke T and Chef Vinochi, Enerr T, and many more arrive on the scene to boogey. It’s a relief for Huey to see so many dancing around Prisma Fountain after all this time, filling the bucket with a pool of joy. These happy tears pour into the Prisma Fountain, causing an Artifact-Up Slot to emerge for Mario.

Merlon arrives too, thanking the gang from the bottom of his heart for recovering the stars. Now, all that’s left is to find O’Chunks and deal with Shroomsday. Then, finally, find the Koopalings’ base and boot them off the island!

Good news is the first problem is resolved when O’Chunks is thrown into the Town Plaza from Yellow District. The bad news? Shroomsday arrives from that entrance, and everyone previously partying runs off, either in fear or knowing they’re not strong enough. Even worse, O’Chunks is clearly tired, and lets Mario know Shroomsday is now looking for HIM! With one last angry push, O’Chunks forces Shroomsday back into Yellow District. Huey, worried for their friend’s mortality and dwindling strength, emphasizes they should go give O’Chunks a break while they finish Shroomsday.

In Yellow District, the gang see O’Chunks, finally brought to his knees defiantly before Shroomsday. The violent violet taunts the Glaswegian powerhouse for his weakness, and O’Chunks eventually collapses. Nya becomes disconcerted, as not only are the Rescue Squad still only on their way back at best, but she also thinks the team has no way to power down Shroomsday. Looking to Mario for a solution, the licensed plumber-snake wielder weighs his options. Finally, he lets his friends know the reality of the situation- even if they can’t disable Shroomsday, they have to at least try and fight him. Kidd and Sledge commend Mario for this decision, with Kidd explaining O’Chunks would do the same for them, and Sledge remembering the creed of the Hammer Bros- keep your foe at bay, no matter how strong they are.

Steeling up their courage and overalls, Mario leads the gang towards Shroomsday, standing between the monster and O’Chunks. Strangely, Shroomsday doesn’t see Mario as a threat, even mentioning he won’t let Mario win again. Mario, Nya and Huey are confused, Huey asking if Mario’s met the enlarged enoki before. To clear this up, Shroomsday uses his space power to start writing memories into Mario, Huey and Nya’s minds…

Our heroes and Shroomsday find themselves in the strangest of locations and times- they’re at the Sticker Fest in the Decal Lands, one year ago! And on the stage is the past, fatter Mario, watching with Peach as the past Bowser is crowned with the Gold Royal Sticker…like the one Shroomsday always wears.

The truth about Sticker Fest 1

At the moment Bowser is crowned, Shroomsday delivers a series of bombshell revelations to Mario. First off- when Bowser first wore the Gold Royal Sticker at that time, Shroomsday’s worldwide consciousness began to awaken, beginning a continent over where the stickers were originally stolen from it. In addition, Shroomsday had begun possessing Bowser more and more during the entire sticker battle adventure, as well as creating sleeper agents with sticker power for future use, in the event the mind-controlled Bowser was defeated. Chastising Mario for not realizing how odd it was a supposedly “holy” artifact would simply cause one to go mad, Shroomsday also ferociously remembers Mario has stood in his way at every turn since that night. The devastating death even enlightens Mario to the beast’s subtle presence in the other Mushroom Kingdom, helping to form the final foe Mario and his counterpart fought there.

The truth about Sticker Fest 2
The truth about Sticker Fest 3

Those revelations pale to the granddaddy of them all- when Mario went all-in trying to fight Shroomsday-Bowser on that sparkling night, a white flash went off. What no-one in the entire crowd could make out in that sightless sight was the Gold Royal Sticker, and by extension Shroomsday, marking Mario, too! Shroomsday brags at how easily he pulled this off in front of a large crowd without anyone knowing what was really going on. Luigi tried to stop the battle, but the Shiny Bowser took offense and scared green into hiding across the Decal Lands. However, Shroomsday didn’t mark Luigi, sensing a strange floral presence in the homo sapien, and declared him sloppy seconds.

The truth about Sticker Fest 4

Evidentally, Mario did sense something had changed about him, but Kersti’s voice waking him enticed Mario to brush it off as a feeling and nothing more. Unknown to Mario then but made clear to him now, Shroomsday reveals the wrongly-delivered baby gained extraordinary abilities thanks to this eldritch pact. The beast elaborates, enlightening Mario that his prowess with unleashing the full power of the Things in the Decal Lands, as well as the true reason he and Bowser’s minions was able to clone himself in the other dimension despite actually non-functional or no Copy Blocks, really came down to Shroomsday’s lingering presence…

Our heroes and beast end up in the conscious world, Mario trying to grasp in his horror just how much Shroomsday had been guiding him all this time. He’s brought out of this funk when he and the others see and hears O’Chunks carried away by Merlon and Merluvlee. All Shroomsday is focused on is revenge on Mario- and controlling him, too, so the hero can help restart and enforce the “Eclipse Empire!” The showdown between man and mushroom manifests.

Like his “children”, Shroomsday pulls a stunt before Mario can play his first card. Luckily, it’s not showering the arena in purple pollen to make himself shiny. But it is much worse, for Shroomsday’s tendril reaches across reality and jacks the Partner Meter. Now, as Shroomsday informs Mario, every time Mario harms Shroomsday, he’ll also power up the meter, and twice as fast to boot. When it’s full, Shroomsday will possess Mario briefly and force him to remove one of his partners for the rest of the battle. If Mario fills up the meter yet has no remaining partners, the heroic idol will take half the damage of what he inflicted upon Shroomsday!

If Khairacles had a variety of moves in his arsenal, Shroomsday carries a swiss army knife of swiss army knives in his. The lesser five Royal Stickers aren’t just for show- each of them grant Shroomsday a different move he can use, though only one of the five can be cast per turn. Red’s numerous shurikens are contrasted with the sheer power of Orange’s tendril topple. The Purple sticker entices some summoned tendrils to hit Mario in rhythm with a harmony only those watching from another dimension could hear. The rhythm of the assault gives no time for Mario to chill out, throwing his blocking off from the Blue Sticker’s spatial frost.  Finally, the Green Sticker heals Shroomsday significantly every turn. As for the True Crown, it doesn’t seem to do anything- yet. Even this would all be tolerable, were it not for Shroomsday’s body reducing the power of all attacks he takes not to half, but to quarter damage! To say Mario is fighting the immovable wall would be failing to mention that Shroomsday is also the unstoppable force.

Slowly, Mario keeps hitting Shroomsday for piddle damage, yet inflicting enough for Shroomsday to possess our hero at least three times. Despite Mario’s best efforts, the beast uses the Paint Hammer to boot Sledge, Kidd and Nya to the sidelines, injuring them greatly. Hope is not lost, though- during some of Mario’s multi-target attacks, he shorts out some of Shroomsday’s Royal Stickers, rendering them inert.

Noticing this, Mario changes his tactics and starts targeting the sparkly evil mind control crowns directly. Not only does this not fill up the tainted Partner Meter, but eventually, when all six are disabled, Shroomsday suddenly starts to look weakened. Mario exploits his chance and thwacks Shroomsday for greater damage even with extra jumps, and this window of opportunity also does not see the Partner Meter increase.

After Shroomsday is reduced to half his life, he uses the Green Royal Sticker to call in reinforcements. It’s not any of the Musketeers he summons, however, but Petey Piranha! Likely summoned due to his previous possession, Shroomsday exerts his influence over whatever energy remains of the Green Royal Sticker in the confused Petey, retaking the tropical Piranha once more.

The addition of Petey to Shroomsday’s side does complicate the battle significantly, for like Mario’s own card-summoned enemies, Petey takes all single-target attacks aimed at Shroomsday. Mario’s choices are even more limited as he discovers Petey really doesn’t like anyone jumping near him, biting anyone who tries. To further slow the battle enough and bleed Mario dry of his friends, Shroomsday enchants Petey with the Shiny status, halving all damage the polka-dot flytrap takes.

Regarding Petey’s offensive set, he bites, spins, and slams. Spinning is actually a no-no for Petey, though, for while it deals quite a bit of damage, it leaves Petey open to being tipped over with a Hammer, exposing his belly button. Hitting that belly button just wrecks Petey, proving itself quite the reliable target. Best of all, Petey on his back gives Mario a chance to also hit Shroomsday more.

When Petey is also reduced to half health, he (and by extension Shroomsday) cuts all pretense of being fair with the Partner Meter. Faster than Mario can keep his eyes on the flower, Petey beats up the plumber to force Marirana & Louis out of his remaining party. He then bites them & Edwin and chews on them, leaving Mario with only Huey. Despite Huey calling out Shroomsday and Petey for their flagrant cheating, Shroomsday has no concern for these rules, taunting the duo at being all alone…

O&#039;Chunks returns to fight Shroomsday SWITCH

…When O’Chunks unexpectedly dashes back in, hitting Petey in the stomach and causing the plant to spit out Marirana, Louis & Edwin. However, regardless of being saved, they’re still beaten up badly. O’Chunks is grateful for the gang tagging in while he recovered- as payback, they can take a break while he finishes up with Shroomsday. Kidd thanks O'Chunks, and the other partners hide inside the Mawk and Pawk Dojo. Before proceeding, O’Chunks recovers the Partner Meter from Shroomsday, better evening the odds.

With O’Chunks on Mario’s side, Mario starts to feel all Chunked Up from the otherworldly general. The confidence radiating from O’Chunks lets Mario hit Petey and Shroomsday for normal damage, as if they weren’t Shiny at all. That said, Mario takes some extra damage from the two planted punks’ attacks, a lesson in the costs of Chunking Up.

With time, Petey is finally KO’d, and explodes. Shroomsday is angered at Petey being a worthless plant, just the same as the other.

Mario and O’Chunks reach the home stretch as Shroomsday is further reduced to a quarter of his health. Victory is within reach! You know what they say about a cornered rat, though- they tend to slash back hard. And so Shroomsday, realizing Mario is now resisting his control, falls on his last resort- using all six Royal Stickers, Shroomsday goes into his Megasparkle Mode, enormously reducing the power of all attacks he takes to the absolute lowest it can go, as well as fully restoring his health. Even O’Chunks presence and Chunking Up cannot penetrate Megasparkle Mode Shroomsday’s defense.

After attacking Shroomsday three times in this state, O’Chunks despairs at his opponent suddenly resisting everything he and Mario throw at him. Mocking his foes, Shroomsday gives the spiel of “we could have been great together, but we’re not, so forget you”, and spells out for them they have nothing to threaten or weaken him with, no-one to save them.

One good deed deserves another, for Kersti flies in from up high, conking Shroomsday in the noggin. When Shroomsday comes to, he recognizes Kersti as the one watching his power for generations. Kersti doesn’t believe Shroomsday has anything to do with the Royal Stickers, to which Shroomsday mentions the Monty Moles would beg to differ. In the middle of Kersti explaining to Huey that a passing Goomba told her Mario was in danger, Shroomsday speaks up to remind everyone of the still-ongoing battle. Kersti replies as follows-

“YOU WAIT YOUR TURN! Don’t you know how to address a proper lady?!”

Oddly, this one pair of sentences tempers Shroomsday’s presumptuousness, amazed that “Aace’s suspicions” were correct. The mushroom bugaboo further defies expectations and more politely asks Kersti to PLEASE stand aside. Kersti’s not hearing it, however, and uses the power she showed at Dark Bloo Inn to reverse Shroomsday’s Shiny Status! In fact, because it’s MEGAsparkle status, Shroomsday takes thrice as much damage, really mucking him over!

Megasparkle status with Mario and Shroomsday SWITCH

The final phase goes as fast as it comes, with just the Worn-Out cards dealing insane damage. Fearing for his life, Shroomsday finally calls upon the Gold Royal Sticker to unleash the monster’s most powerful attack, the rainbow blaster. Channeling all six Royal Stickers into the Gold one, Shroomsday then channels that power to his mouth and unleashes a blast so raw in power, Mario’s Blocking fails to reduce its power.

But in the end, a last resort is last for a reason- because Shroomsday cannot win against Mario. The beast finally accepts Mario has bested him in combat no matter what he tries, and faints.

The beast is down for the count, letting Mario’s other friends exit out of the dojo safely. O’Chunks is relieved his job is finally over, and Huey hands it to Kersti for her major contribution. Blissfully, everyone jumps for joy- Mario’s adventure is over!

…Yet Kersti is apprehensive for some reason. Is there more to be done after all? The formerly temperamental Sticker Fairy returns her cool, relaxed with the knowledge they defeated Shroomsday now, rather than having to explore some giant fortress and fighting him at the end.

Out of nowhere, Shroomsday reawakens, but he’s weakened. Mario and friends give the monster a stern look, all fired up to begin round three if needed. It ends up not happening, signalled by Aace’s arrival with Perry and the still hypnotized Pitholl and Cucleer. As Aace commends Shroomsday for putting up the good fight, Aace demands to know what’s the meaning of this. In response, Aace reveals how to correct his greatest mistake, before ordering Pitholl to bring Shroomsday to Prisma Fountain for a front-row seat. As for Cucleer and Perry, they are ordered to retrieve the princess.

Pitholl follows his orders without fault, picking up Shroomsday effortlessly and bringing him back to the centre of town. However, Cucleer and Perry don’t leave town to look for Peach- instead, they head towards and nab Kersti, puzzling everyone including the Sticker Fairy. Aace proceeds to apologize to Kersti for his comments ahead of time…while also referring to her as “your majesty”.

As Aace reveals to Kersti, she is not just the sealed form of any average Mary. Rather, Kersti is the transformed amnesiac version of the moustached Boo’s old student, Shadhema, the heir of Starmageddon and the Shadow Queen, and therefore ruler of Prism Island. As hard as it is for Aace, he also gives Kersti the news about her three friends and other sticker fairies. Hoping her friends side with her, Kersti’s anger turns to trouble when Mario, Huey and Edwin fall silent on “correcting” Aace. Aace regrets not knowing Shadhema was here earlier so he could break the news more gently, before ordering Cucleer and Perry bring Kersti to Prisma Fountain.

Mario and friends, dreading for  Kersti’s safety and real identity, scramble back to the fountain. They’re almost too late, seeing several Dark Boos & Boosketeers and Broozers gathered around. Merlon and Merluvlee are also tied up, while Shroomsday is looking worse for wear. In the fountain’s paint is the coffin from Redpepper Crater, along with Kersti.

Merluvlee pleads with Aace not to go through with reviving Shadhema, but Aace counters that Her Majesty is their only hope at getting rid of the cause of all this, as well as Aace’s guilt. The ghostly dueler is also sure Shadhema spending this much time away from her body would cool her off, and posits everyone will just laugh this whole thing off once she’s back.

The scared silver crown cries for Mario and Huey, and O’Chunks assures her they’ll get her out of there. Unfortunately, Mario and his drained friends start getting dogpiled by the Broozers. While Huey makes it the furthest, he too is weighed down under the undead boxers.

In Kersti’s last moments, Huey apologizes for not telling her about what happened to Ellshe and leading her on a wild goose chase. The bucket almost keeps pouring his soul out, until Kersti accepts her friends’ apology, knowing they were only trying to protect her. All Kersti wants from Huey is for him to keep Mario and his friends safe when she’s gone.

All six paints from the resisting Grand Paint Stars are poured on Kersti and the coffin at once without mixing, creating a rainbow-colored sphere. However, whatever is supposed to happen isn’t, frustrating Aace. Shroomsday weakly wheezes this ritual only works for the body- for Shadhema’s spirit, meanwhile, more desperate means need to be called upon. Slowly, Shroomsday gets up, and the Gold Royal Sticker starts glowing. As it dawns on Aace what his mushroom friend’s doing, Shroomsday insists on his idea, confessing it’s his own fault everything bad on Prism Island happened.

Shroomsday begins disintegrating. His particles head towards Kersti, soon joined by more from the skies and underground openings. This alerts Aace what Shroomsday’s up to- sacrificing not just this body, but the entire Shroomsday network and all master cores around the Mushroom World, all to undo Kersti’s Sticker Seal. Even when Aace vigorously warns Shroomsday he’ll never return if he does this, the monster truly feels this is his only path. Leaving Shadhema in Aace’s capable hands, Shroomsday’s last  request is Aace to tell Shadhema that he’ll always be part of her.

The long pain finally ends- Shroomsday and the Gold Royal Sticker disintegrate completely into Kersti. The other five Royal Stickers, meanwhile, fly somewhere far away, their Sticker Seals breaking and bound to break into their real selves eventually. In closer proximity, the greatly grieving Aace loses the color in his eyebrows and moustache, while Pitholl and Cucleer break free of their possession. Neither Aace, nor anyone else, can believe Shroomsday’s really gone.

Shadhema formed SWITCH

One’s demise leads to another’s life, for inside the rainbow colored sphere, a Sticker Comet symbol appears and breaks apart. Suddenly, the paint combines with the coffin and a purple Kersti. Soon, the paint starts to shape a female humanoid…

When the paint finishes, Mario and co look to see a young princess. Her back hair is purple with pink on the spike parts. Her dress is deep purple with pink at the bottom. And her eyes are blue. Shadhema has returned.

Horrified, Huey asks Kersti what they did to her. Shadhema only laughs off the name Kersti- or, as she hears it, Cursedy, the name of her pet mushroom. For a princess, Shadhema has the curiosity of a child, asking Huey if he’s an invention of her father’s. Reluctant, Huey answers truthfully. This seems to placate Shadhema…until she suddenly conjures two Musketeer blades, each fashioned after Shroomsday and Sporepocalypse. Now angered, Shadhema declares her mother warned her the King’s inventions were evil!

Kind of hot off the heels fighting Shroomsday is another battle with Shadhema. At the start, Shadhema appears to recognize Mario, indicating some part of Kersti remains inside her. Sadly, she rejects Nya’s attempt to remind her of the honor fighting along the Mushroom Hero, as she believes fighting alongside Mario would sully her rep as a proper lady. Things don’t get any better on the next turn, for while Edwin gets Shadhema to faintly recall her Sticker Fairy friends, his rougish looks also threatens his credibility in the Eclipse Princess’ eyes. Even stranger, Shadhema inflicts Megasparkle status- but on Mario, rather than herself!

O’Chunks takes up the bat on the third turn, reminding Shadhema that she just helped them with Shroomsday a few minutes ago by using her magic to reverse his own MS status. This ends up being a blunder, not only upsetting Shadhema at “Cursedy” being roughed up, but giving her the idea to reverse Megasparkle on Mario. Immediately, O’Chunks regrets his part in reminding Kersti.

It’s up to Huey to jog Shadhema’s memories. Tragically, the two are now polar opposites of each other, and Shadhema has become bored of listening to these “strangers”’ reminders. The Eclipse Princess takes this chance to impress Aace and Merluvlee with a lesson Shadhema learned the other day- how weaklings fare in jungles! Raising her arms, Shadhema summons a huge beam of eclipse energy from the sky. Blocking fails to reduce the immense damage the beam deals, and the reversed Megasparkle effect only triples the magnitude of the attack! No more health is available for Mario, and he collapses with his friends.

Her enemies defeated, Shadhema declares this is where she ends them! …normally. However, this time, she’s feeling rather charitable. Though everyone else is confused, Aace takes this as a hopeful sign Shadhema has cooled off with time. Soon, Shadhema notices Aace is nearby, and the two joyfully reunite! Everything’s going to be allllll right!

That’s what Aace thinks, until he starts to realize something- Shadhema hasn’t changed. From not caring for the sleeping Billy, to her disturbing lack of concern for the lingering problem the Musketeers on edge, and even up to interrupting Aace when he’s about to tell Shadhema about Shroomsday’s sacrifice…it’s entering Aace’s mind that whatever change he hoped Shadhema would undergo didn’t happen. He even tells Shadhema to her face that he thinks she’s worse than before- only for Shadhema to reply with a single, angry, threatening utterance of Aace’s name.

Shattering Aace&#039;s hopes SWITCH

Broken-hearted, yet not willing to disobey after all he went through, Aace stops disagreeing with his princess. Shadhema proceeds to demand the Musketeers take over an unseen castle in the sky, despite black paint being present in the lower levels. Aace looks to Perry for guidance, but the Goomba’s desire for self-preservation and being with the winning team leans him towards Shadhema’s side. Aace is saddened, unenthusiastically giving the command for the Musketeers to follow. Given Shadhema’s eclipse beam, the lower Musketeers see it best not to upset her.

Since Perry and the land-based Musketeers can’t fly, Shadhema begrudgingly uses her magic so they can all reach the air castle. While Shadhema and the others go ahead, though, Aace sneaks in a word with Mario that he and Huey are expected at the castle. The conflicted graying Musketeer then flies after his comrades and princess.

Once our heroes regain their strength, Huey panics about fighting Kersti when the team only got past Shroomsday thanks to her. The panic ends when Edwin assuages his brother-in-arms on Shroomsday tiring the gang out before they fought Shadhema. And on the bright side, he and Nya take into account that Shadhema IS taking care of the Koopalings’ home base, so the gang can focus on her and the Musketeers. This mostly placates Huey, but it leads back to the issue of Shadhema’s super move and Megasparkle reversal combo.

That problem is somewhat solved by Pitholl and Cucleer, having retained some recollections of a conversation about the Starlight Workshop. Pitholl rationalizes the King wouldn’t not know his own daughter might not be so perfect, and probably made something to deal with her in case they ever battled. Cucleer has no advice of his own- just giving Huey an earful for the King making him as the island guardian, yet not contemplating other back-ups for other problems.

Once again calmed, Huey thanks everyone for helping him see straight. While appreciative, Nya compliments Huey on his own helpfulness and supportive nature during the journey. Huey returns the sentiment, thanking everyone for their encouragement. The bucket is thanked by O’Chunks, then gives the call to head for Starlight Workshop.

Everyone’s surprised at what O’Chunks just said. When Kidd asks for clarification, she and the others sure receive it- O’Chunks is coming with Mario and the others, knowing Mario will need all the strength he can get. The gang take this to mean O’Chunks has joined the party, and Mario realizes this is the first time anyone from a previous quest who wasn’t a partner then is one to him now.

The final question, this one from Edwin to Pitholl & Cucleer, is what they intend to do. After a few seconds, Pitholl reveals he and the bird are off to look for Khairacles- maybe he can help. In case they don’t return, Cucleer gives Mario a Musketeer Feather to remember the hench-duo by. Cucleer proceeds to carry Pitholl into the sky, looking for their sell-out simian sidekick. Our heroes and new recruitee O’Chunks follow suit, leaving town…

---

High above Prism Island, the Koopalings’ airship is barely flying. Lemmy is disappointed the Black Bill’s paint vanished like a rabbit in a hat, but Morton is just concerned returning to base to gather more black paint. Two like-minded voices agree, the former revealing he researched the black paint for the purpose of getting the edge, while the latter maniacally touts nothing being edgier than a Black Bill fired from an airship.

Morton and Lemmy are surprised at these voices. They turn around to see Ludwig, Iggy, Wendy, Larry and Roy. No-one’s sure how they came back, though Roy knows the answer to dealing with Shroomsday (none of the Koopalings aware of what just happened below)- bathe the entire island in black paint! At this point, Morton is willing to try anything, just to deal with the Musketeers.

Larry is in agreement, when a mysterious dark voice interrupts. The Koopalings turn around, seeing Bowser Junior and Motley with a captured Princess Peach…yet the two Koopas are different. As Peach tries to warn the Koopalings about something despite her muffle, Wendy commends Morton for finding Peach, Junior and Motley. However, Morton is stumped at their presences, not knowing they were back on the ship, and surmises they snuck onboard while Morton and Lemmy stole equipemtn from Regale Trainworks.

Abruptedly, Bowser Junior and Motley attack the airship pilot. Morton is about to stop them, when he and the others comprehend too late their comrades aren’t themselves. A disturbance rocking the airship starts, then ends just as quickly.

The airship proceeds to fly further into the sky- dripping black paint as it does…

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Pre 7 Part 2

On Mario and his allies’ way to Starlight Workshop, they detour to Bloo Bay Beach’s Blissful Paradise. It’s a good idea, if only to see Nastasia and show her O’Chunks is OK. Lunch time is approaching, though, so Nastasia’s stomach growls. This prompts Huey to suggest a nice, juicy burger- just hold off on the mushrooms. Such a joke inspires everyone to laugh.

Jokes with Nastasia SWITCH

Soon enough, O’Chunks, Huey and Mario explain what’s left to accomplish. Nastasia is sure if the team works together, they’ll be done by nightfall. Nastasia begins to walk away, when Birdo arrives on her moon prop. The singing pink dinosaur gives Mario another shard similar to the one he found in the Green Energy Plant’s virtual world, and she tells him the object is better off in Mario’s hands.

Having taken care of Nastasia and getting a welcome surprise to boot, our heroes resume their journey towards Starlight Workshop. It’s unusually quiet, though, and Edwin are further thrown off by the continuing existences of Slugshrooms, Carrishrooms and Monstrooms in the entrance hall. Huey’s only guess is Shadhema now having control over all of Shroomsday’s minions thanks to his sacrifice.

The main hub of the workshop, however- it’s covered in black paint, blocking off the west and east wings! Edwin doesn’t get it- the lab is deep underground, with no way any Black Bills could enter. It’s Huey who rivals Edwin in utter horror, the bucket flying into the back room ASAP to check on something.

Our heroes hasten after Huey, to find the back room in even worse shape! The golden Huey statue is completely demolished, all the machinery’s been torn apart, wreckage litters the perimeter, the Things are mangled beyond repair, and most important is black paint complicating travel within the room. What I’m trying to say is, stuff got real in here.

Huey is overcome with alarm, knowing the King isn’t going to like this. Meanwhile, Kidd and Nya are stunned at the gold Huey statue’s condition. Further inspection leads the women to surmise the statue was punctured outside, then something broke out. Apprehensive, Louis queries Huey on what the statue contained. The smaller bucket hints it’s something far worse than anything they’ve encountered so far, including Shadhema.

The quiet of the room is broken when an elderly voice weakly cries for someone to help the princess. This alerts everyone, and they start looking. Careful echolocation directs the gang to the top-right of the room, but all the junk and black paint forces Nya, O’Chunks and Marirana to use their skills to destroy and push back the miasmic dark substance.

Reaching their target, Mario, Louis and O’Chunks pull two people out of the wreckage- a rising Toadsworth, and a Tailed Goomba who looks very reminiscent of Kitanu. Questioned by Nya, Toadsworth reveals that Peach and Kitanu overheard Larry Koopa had located a secret Musketeer base, this workshop. The old Toad proceeds to quickly recap everything from meeting Kolorado, to being knocked out. In Toadsworth’s unconsciousness, however, he overheard Peach once again being kidnapped, just like many times before in his presence.

Recounting this fact fractures Toadsworth’s spirit, and he begins- or rather, resumes- doubting his helpfulness and competence in the face of Peach’s constant abductions. The aging porcini-man finally raises the question- why does Peach tolerate him, when Mario and even Luigi are far more dependable?

To Toadsworth and everyone’s surprise, the new Kitanu answers it’s because Toadsworth is Peach’s closest friend. Despite the reborn Tailed Goomba’s mild bemusement at the name Kitanu, he continues to encourage Toadsworth that he not give up. Furthermore, Kitanu brings up Toadsworth leaving will cost Peach some protection, a faithful advisor, and her closest friend, the latter which Kitanu senses he himself lacks.

The pep talk slightly improves Toadsworth’s depression, but he still desires something to prove he can defend the princess. One with the elements, Kitanu reveals he senses something Huey embarrassingly admits he should have remembered while helping Ellshe- a door even further into the workshop, which may hold something Toadsworth can use. The name Ellshe instills a vague memory within the true Kitanu, and he departs while wishing his old-new friends luck on their journey.

Sure enough, when O’Chunks breaks down the back wall, there’s a secret path. This hidden chamber is really tall, with no black paint in sight. At the top of the room is a platform with a cloth draped over something. To reach these heights, Mario needs Louis’ leaps, Edwin’s pole-suction & swinging, Kidd’s speed for a buzzsaw bridge, and O’Chunks to clear rocks on the way interfering with Huey’s Cut-Out. Trying to explore away from the tower only yields a spiked road, no way to safely cross it. The last thing out of the ordinary is a sign to hide the delicious key behind the emblem.

Climbing up to the top, Mario and company arrive at the clothed object. At Louis’ suggestion, Mario pulls the cloth off, revealing a gold go-kart with a neat looking helmet and brushes on the ends. Kidd finds it a sweet ride, and the vehicle really strikes a chord with Toadsworth. The car activates, shooting paint of all colors as a kind of demo. While Louis reads the license plate as “P8R8D3”, Toadsworth places the helmet on him and jumps in. Toadsworth then turns the wheel around. At this point, he’s more machine than mushroom- he could even pass off as Mecha-Toadsworth!

Marirana applauds Toadsworth for his style. Regrettably, in his rush to enter the AU-TO-MO-BILE, Toadsworth learns from the Beepboxer that he accidently left his cane behind. When Toadsworth asks someone to pick the cane up for him, however, Toadsworth’s helmet levitates and grafts the fungi stick onto itself. The problem solving itself, Toadsworth finally joins Mario’s party. (Wow, two in one hour- it’s Mario’s lucky day!)

The excitement of joining Mario and having the power to save Peach fills Toadsworth so joyously. Before he can continue celebrating, though, he realizes Mario’s gang didn’t even know he and Peach were here. As fast as possible, Huey explains all the twists & turns that happened between the Mustard Café meeting and this moment, ending with the gang coming here to find Shadhema’s weakness. All caught up, Toadsworth is up for further inspection of the workshop- as well as a testdrive.

With Toadsworth and his new car on the team, Mario can take a Mild Ride in the elder’s helmet. True, he doesn’t drives fast, but he drives regardless. A few nearby Corona Golems also give Mario the chance to see how Toadsworth handles his ride. Along with the ability to Reload Paint a little at the start of Mario’s turn, Toadsworth can unleash a Paint Barrage that not only damages foes, but makes them drop more paint after battle.

As they continued practicing, they noticed General Guy and his troops arrive and search in the room. Huey questioned him what he was doing, and General Guy replied that he was helping them look for Shadhema's weakness. His troops were looking through nearly every book the workshop had for information. Kidd doesn't think that looking at the old books is all they need to look at, but General Guy insists that his troops are doing their best to assist. Huey tells him that he can keep looking at them as long as he likes..but it's not really helping them at all, much to the General's concerns....

After this discussion, the gang ride Toadsworth atop the spiked floors. The tough build of P8R8D3 and its wheels prevent any accidents while riding the sharp terrain. The room is more than it appears at first glance, though, as rising floors under spiked ceilings, dripping water, and buzzsaws would probably cause the average car to crash or explode. There are some safe floors, but not a lot.

Near the end of the obstacle course, Mario, Huey and Toadsworth notice a Grand Paint Star emblem inside a square, denoting a Cut-Out Zone. Traveling this zone reveals a secret basement to the obstacle course with tougher obstructions and only two solid floors. It’s a real test of Mario and Toadsworth’s driving skills, figuring out the pattern to the rising and falling floors while also avoiding buzzsaws. Thanks to ther patience, they survive.

The prize, though, is unusual- a Key Lime made out of the same material Huey is, with rainbow colored teeth marks. It takes a moment for Mario and Huey to grasp that the Key Lime is what’s needed for the door into the Pit of Trials…which Ari Sworda probably wants. Swiftly, the idea is put out of the duo’s mind, and they ride Toadsworth into a hole back into the standard course.

Upon reaching the standard end of the path, Mario and his comrades find a large circular platform with a starry pattern. Toadsworth and Edwin concentrate hard on what may be hidden here, when Toadsworth reverses onto a switch.

Suddenly, the middle of the platform starts glowing. Huey is excited, recognizing the technology as one of the King’s 3D messages. Apparently, the conversation is recorded so accurately, one would swear it was happening right now. According to the data log, the one about to play was recorded almost a year ago. The middle of the platform shoots out three holograms- Aace, Starmageddon in his mechsuit, and most shocking off all…

…Leblaanc, the sight of whom infuriatingly baffles Kidd. Regardless, the message relays the following…

Leblaanc is shocked to see his King, alive and well. Nearby, Aace relates he was just as surprised when Starmageddon pulled him under Starlight Cape fur centuries ago, before assuring Leblaanc it’s really the King. Starmageddon turns around, for he is about to go reclaim his body from where his enemies sealed it. However, His Majesty flies into a fury at Leblaanc’s presence, as no-one outside Aace and the guards stationed here is supposed to know His Majesty is around.

Upon learning from Aace what happened to Billy, Starmageddon is curious, for he instructed Aace to plant the seed he got in a very secure location. It’s what the Blight King did to his own seed, after all. Unamused, Aace actually tells off Starmageddon for keeping him in the dark about how widespread the seed’s roots and plants travel once planted, also knowing the same is happening where the King is. Starmageddon justifies it as slowing down “BZZT” when it breaks out of that “seal”, but Aace calls the King out, seeing this reason as an excuse for revenge in the King’s banished dimension.

This affects Starmageddon, and he gives Leblaanc a strange potion. Sadly, Leblaanc’s joy is cut short when he presses the King’s “wife” button, that one word painfully reminding him of the Shadow Queen’s betrayal. A look from Aace quickly recomposes the King, but it’s clear His Majesty has an agenda tied with the potion. For it to work, Leblaanc needs the hair of a princess. While Starmageddon dropped the princess he kept off with some mean Shy Guys for his plan, he not-so-subtly informs Leblaanc that Prism Island does have a princess he can take head-shavings from- Shadhema.

Immediately, Aace realizes that Billy’s fate is tied to Shadhema’s revival. The musketeer may be all for bringing his student back, but not as torture for another. Aace calls out this plan, seeing it cruel as something horrible the King did to a large Jabbi recently. With such apparent disloyalty, the King gives an ultimatum- either Aace and Leblaanc wake up Shadhema and have Huey take care of BZZT, or Starmageddon returns with his body and blights out the world.

Aace and Leblaanc look at each other, both uneasy with this idea. Begrudgingly, they form their pact, and the matter is almost settled. However, Leblaanc knows that while Aace and Starmageddon have offered their assistance, Shadhema hasn’t and likely won’t. This leads Starmageddon to reveal he did know Shadhema could have a mean streak, so he created something to clean her up whenever she acted grossly out of line. The item to deal with Shadhema is in this room, where Mario and friends are watching the hologram.

Starmageddon&#039;s confidence SWITCH

Starmageddon also gives Aace a letter, to be delivered to Luigi on the appointed date. Everyone now knows their duties, and Starmageddon cackles he’s off to invade the lion’s den, taking joy in tricking some kind people into helping with his perfected mechsuit. Though the King laughs, Aace regrets the good becoming wicked. When the Blight King almost hears this, Aace pretends he was merely wishing His Majesty luck in retrieving his body. The professionalism of Aace brings out a rare genuine moment from Starmageddon, before taking his mechsuit off. The holo-log cuts out before the helmet comes off the King.

The Underwhere hath no fury like a backstabbed Vellbex woman, for Kidd is fuming at Leblaanc knowing what happened to Billy all along, yet still chewing her out. Before Kidd can relapse, O’Chunks tries to find some merit in Leblaanc’s actions, concluding he helped Aace because he had nowhere else to turn and was much angrier at himself for keeping up the charade, even when lecturing Kidd. Edwin even remembers Leblaanc was about to come clean before he left for Emerald Circus. While Kidd is calmed, O’Chunks can’t disagree with her that Leblaanc should have told her sooner.

Our heroes look around the platform, trying to find any kind of switches. Mario thinks, and comes to one thought- the switches must be camouflaged, like way back when he and Peach arrived at Prisma Fountain. This is correct, and with the help of Edwin, Marirana and Toadsworth, three switches are found and triggered.

Upon solving the puzzle, a certain object drops from the ceiling. This object is, defying all possibility, beyond good and evil, undefined by time and space itself, a Luma Sponge. Edwin is letdown by this weakness, while Huey chides himself for not expecting how weird the King could get, especially in light of the Big Oink Artifact. But Huey’s excitement, Nya is deep in thought on a bothersome issue…

When the gang head back to Prisma Fountain, Emerald has regained his strength, awake once more. The Grand Paint Star also recognizes P8R8D3 as the Blight King’s invention, knowing his craftsmanship. Toadsworth’s elatedness at the idea of using the vehicle at the next Mario GP is interrupted when Emerald notices Nya is still thinking. What Nya wants to ask is of the black paint’s nature, and why Shroomsday was affected so much by it.

To some surprise, Emerald enlightens Nya and the others that the answer to her question goes back to near the beginning of Prism Island’s history. The Grand Paint Star proceeds to write one last memory into the gang’s minds…

It’s a peaceful day in Port Prisma. All around, the original Vellbex are filling normal buckets with paint, then throwing the stuff or dabbing their horns in it. Unfortunately, Shadhema arrives in town, along with Shroomsday and Sporepocalypse. The sight of all three Royal family miscreants instills anxiousness in the past goats, and they back off.

Since this looks like a bad time, Shroomsday uses his tendril to block off Shadhema from the fountain. Sporepocalypse does the same- only placing his vine in front of Shroomsday’s. Annoyed, Shroomsday summons another tendril in front of Sporepocalypse’s vine. This ticks Sporepocalypse off equally, returning the favor.

The two keep trying to assert themselves, until Sporepocalypse upsides Shroomsday. The force of the blow breaks off a thorn atop Shroomsday’s head. Before a full-out brawl breaks out, Shadhema starts laughing. She then pets Shroomsday, followed by Sporepocalypse. This calms both creatures greatly, enough to distract them from seeing Shadhema open her hands.

The princess’ magic mixes together all the paint in the fountain, creating black paint. Shadhema is too into her paint mixing to notice the Vellbex and her pets grow scared. Shroomsday and Sporepocalypse try warning Shadhema away, but she doesn’t pay attention. The situation becomes much worse when Shroomsday’s broken-off spike is sucked into the ball of black paint. Two yellow eyes appear on the black paint ball, before changing shape.

Eventually, Shroomsday and Sporepocalypse grab Shadhema’s attention. Unfortunately, Shadhema becomes infuriated at her pets interrupting her fun.

Splotchleek&#039;s birth

Suddenly, a long black paint arm grabs Shadhema. The arm belongs to the newly-born black paint entity, now in the form of a long, sinister cloak. The entity flies off into the sky with its hostage, eventually twinkling like a star.

Panicked, Shroomsday and Sporepocalypse look back and forth, before leaving Port Prisma in a hurry...

Lesson of responsibility SWITCH

Nya is astonished at the existence of Sporepocalypse, understanding what Roy and Perry were talking about when Shroomsday revealed himself. Meanwhile, Edwin finds some merit in the longevity of the two ten-eyed beasts. Huey, however, doesn’t understand how the black paint entity was born when Shadhema only meant to have fun. This prompts Emerald to give Huey, Mario and the others a simple fact about life, children and innocence.

The gang dwells on this lesson for a moment, before Kidd pops the question of the entity’s fate. Though Emerald does confirm the eldritch being was dealt with, he discloses it was no easy feat. Even when Shroomsday and Sporecalypse alerted the Blight King and Shadow Queen, and even when the queen brought all three of her pet dragons along, the black paint entity- Splotchleek- proved incredibly formidable. Eventually, Sporepocalypse felt he had no choice but to convert most of his energy into one burst of time to freeze Splotchleek. Working fast, Starmageddon rescued his daughter and constructed a “prison” to contain their foe, sealing the menace away. Sporepocalypse’s last-ditch effort greatly weakened the giant flower, requiring time to heal.

Sadly, the plant would never get that time. Though the public didn’t realize it, Sporepocalypse’s move broke the walls between dimensions, alerting other players to Shadhema’s power. In order to keep his island and daughter safe, the King rallied troops of Wizzerds and Corona Golems, as well as loyal Vellbex soldiers, to repel the intergalactic invaders away. He even called in a few favors to some powerful friends. Eventually, the Shadow Queen seemed to join Starmageddon by his side.

A great battle was fought in outer space, as day was blocked by night. Finally, the battle was won- but at a great cost. One of these costs, as Kidd guesses, is the annihilation of most of the Vellbex, even ones not at the battle. Sporepocalypse also met his end at the breath of a great dragon, leaving behind only two seeds which the King collected. Finally, there’s what the Shadow Queen did to the King. To this day, the conflict became known for the title the Princess held, and the time when it was fought- the Eclipse War.

Nintendo and DMZ retcon SWITCH

Everyone takes some lesson from this ancient retelling. For Louis, he’s stunned they could have avoided all this if they had just installed a “Don’t Mix the Paint” sign, though he recognizes he never would have met Mario otherwise. However, Emerald has to explain to Louis it’s not that simple. The green star clarifies, revealing that while mixing Prism Island’s paint will create black paint- something even Emerald doesn’t understand- it can be dealt with if addressed immediately. The thing is creating a black paint ENTITY requires a series of circumstances that are incredibly difficult to replicate- black Prism Island paint, royal energy, and Shroomsday… or someone infected at some point with his difficult-to-remove scent, like Bowser. Now that Shroomsday no longer exists, further black paint entities like Splotchleek should prove impossible.

Clarified and slightly relieved, Huey becomes fired up to finish the Musketeers, Koopalings and Splotchleek. That said, Huey explains to an equally enthused Toadsworth that he thought assembling all six Grand Paint would reveal a path. To Huey’s consolation, Crimson leads the other stars in pooling all their color power to create a rainbow road into the sky. The end of the path is the Koopalings’ Castle, covered in graffiti. Toadsworth, Marirana and Kidd are all stunned at the auroric path painted before their eyes, and heed Huey’s suggestion to give it a try.

That is, until a white-haired individual in a black cultish cloak is seen, flying haplessly over Port Prisma, and landing far away. The Grand Paint Stars are perturbed by the person’s impact elsewhere. Conflicted, they give Mario and friends the choice in either trying the road now, or heading to the victim’s impact point at Cherry Lake. They also encourage Mario finish up any business he has on the island.

Pre 7 Part 3

Hustling to Cherry Lake, they find the young person in the area’s center, unconscious. Huey discerns whether the pale-haired traveller is male or female, before Iron Hard Jonny arrives. Jonny and the others take a gander at the conked-out visitor, but the only hint they’re still playing the game is the sleepyhead muttering “Chrom” and “Validar” as they slumber. Iron Hard Jonny body slams whitey, but he or she (or shkle/shklim from now on) is still napping. Distraught, Jonny asks that Mario and the others find the remaining Yellow Squad members to perform a risky procedure together. Upon Mario agreeing, Jonny advises the gang to check with Leblaanc for guidance.

Back in Port Prisma, our heroes do just that and head to see Leblaanc. Unfortunately, Leblaanc’s good mood is undermined by Kidd and, somewhat oddly, Huey’s beefs with him. Kidd is enraged that her hubby left her out of the deal with Aace, while Huey is unimpressed that Leblaanc knew Starmageddon had been alive, yet didn’t tell him. Swiftly, Leblaanc realizes the gang saw the holo-message at the Workshop, and apologizes for this level of deceit.

Just as O’Chunks thought, Leblaanc somewhat defends his actions as relating to keeping Kidd out of dangerous stuff. With Huey, meanwhile, Aace looks Huey in the eyes and, without blinking, tells him Aace believed the guardian would be distracted if he knew His Majesty was still around. After a moment of weighing the story, Huey chooses to believe Leblaanc. Nevertheless, Leblaanc tear up, promising there will be no more secrets between him and the others, especially Kidd, Enerr T or Huey.

Everyone’s on the same page, trusting each other once more. Leblaanc proceeds to check over where the remaining Yellow Rescue Squad members are patrolling. Starting with Caan, the gang find the cockney cockatoo at Fortune Island, watching Pirra T and Baabeaussa fight. Then Sol is at Starlight Cape, watching the night sky while trying to enter the Workshop for supplies. With Veronica, she’s deep in the Indigo Underground, washing her hair feathers. Last but not least, Armstrong is visiting the sleeping Billy at Green Energy Plant, just to keep him company. By listening to Mario, each of the four Memphawks return to Port Prisma HQ to await Leblaanc’s own command for deployment to Cherry Lake.

The back-and-forth search leads back to Cherry Lake. At Jonny’s command, all five Memphawks leap into the air to form one giant living bird-kite. Together, Yellow Rescue Squad descends upon the unconscious target, inflicting a powerful blow. The move works, and the white haired dududette finally jolts up.

Robin&#039;s thoughts SWITCH A

Robin&#039;s thoughts SWITCH B

The cloaked person looks around the area, remarking it isn’t the Dragon’s Table- a term that instantly confuses the guygal. The sight of the Yellow Rescue Squad, Sledge, Huey and especially Mario trips the humanoid, wondering where shkle is. When Orion asks where the person came from themselves, shkle’s not sure. In fact, shkle doesn’t even remember shklis own name. The only word that comes to mind is “Robin”, befuddling Mario and Sledge.

Out of nowhere, a bunch of Slugshrooms, Carrishrooms and Monstrooms arrive. However, before they attack, Robin instinctually conjures a magic bolt from a book, vaporizing one of the Slugshrooms. The incident inspires the other monsters to high-tail it out of there, mesmerizing Robin and the others. This gets Huey to realize maybe Robin can help Mario, a sentiment the sorcerer agrees with. And that’s how Robin joined Mario’s party during the colorful quest.

A new ally in hand, Mario and Robin find some braver Shroom monsters the lightning wizard can test shklis skills on. If Robin's Thunder Tome doesn't electrify shklis land opponents when it's read to them, it will when sklhe uses the Partner Meter to conjure the spark once again. The cultish-looking magus also teaches Mario far better than his other friends, the Veteran wringing out more EXP Hammers from foes- but it comes at the cost of coins and paint. And if Mario just wants to cut to the chase, Robin's Sword Slash delivers a Defense-piercing First Strike, from the overworld into battle.

Thanks to the training Mario and Robin got at the lake, the plumber and tactician are stronger, smarter, and better looking than before. The duo and company leave the lake, only to hear Masque causing trouble yet again. After shooing him from Crimson Tower, though, Mario and Huey get a reminder that Ari Sworda's probably waiting for the Key Lime. Even after all this time, Huey doesn't consider trusting the large bandit a good idea, especially with the Blight King's stuff that he locked away. On the other hand, Marirana and Edwin counter there may be something more in the Pit of Trials to assist with defeating Shadhema and Aace. And should Ari Sworda try to double-cross them, the team can just battle and defeat him. Finally, Huey gives on, yet warns them to keep an eye on Ari.

Ari Sworda and his Bandits are twiddling their sleeves when they see Mario, Huey, Marirana and O’Chunks arrive with the Key Lime. A sought prize so near fills Ari Sworda with unrivaled glee, and the 30 Bandits follow their leader in unison. At Ari’s behest, Mario brings the Key Lime to the locked. When Mario has trouble turning the lock, however, the marauders’ spirits start to diminish. O’Chunks soon loses patience and slashes the door with the metal fruit. As it turns out, this is the proper way to use the Key Lime, the teeth acting as an “eraser” for the door. On the right track, O’Chunks scrubs the door out of reality, allowing entrance into the Pit of Trials.

Appreciative of the way forward finally open, Ari Sworda gifts Mario and friends a set of Mega class cards. The 30 Bandits proceed into the entrance, with their extra large leader following. However, as Ari Sworda is passing through the arch, he lets slip he can finally confirm with his client if there’s any remnant of “the dark predecessor” at the bottom.

Mario and Marirana are overcome with betrayal, unsure how they were played so easily. Huey is about to give the two a reaming for just letting Ari Sworda stroll in, only to lose this fury just as quickly. The more the bucket guardian thinks, the more he understands the main reason he didn’t trust Ari was because of Starmageddon’s pedigree, not because Huey himself saw any danger. Now, this mention of something evil at the bottom is motivating Huey for the right reasons- to prevent something as dangerous as black paint ending up on Ari Sworda’s hands and beard.

Pit of Trials SWITCH

The open doorway is all the motivation Mario needs to explore the Pit and discover its mysteries, including its shorter name. As soon as the gang enters, though, they fall into an ornate red room with 10 enemies. At the back of the room is a door with a round opening, for a key. Assuming the rules are the same as usual, Mario and O’Chunks start wailing on the weak enemies around them. Strangely, while their foes still give out paint as well as reward more cards than usual, no EXP Hammers drop. Such a rebalance of reward forces Mario to battle much more carefully.

After just his sixth battle with a Crazy Dayzee, a Round Stone drops from the happy flower. Looking at the stone and the door, Mario knows they have the way forward. The early victory also serves to explain why the Pit does not have 100 in it’s name, signaling Mario in that he can probably skip a few fights this time.

The next room is more orange in coloration, with slightly stronger adversaries. This time, a Square Keyhole blocks the way forward. The floor shows itself as unlucky for Mario, since he doesn’t find the Square Stone until the ninth battle here. Wondering if there’s some trick to finding the shape stones, Mario decides to KO the final opponent just for kicks. The act of defeating all 10 enemies turns out to be a good call, for Mario is rewarded with a few Mushroom and Syrup cards for putting in the extra work.

Third floor dips into a little bit of yellow, and a Triangle Keyhole ensures Mario sticks around for a while. Before fighting, Mario checks for a Huey Hint to see if his enhanced accomplice notices anything- probably something he should have done on the first floor. Fortunately, Huey discerns that some enemies give off shape shadows when they notice Mario. Thanks to this hint, Mario finds the Triangle Stone after only three battles.

On the very subtly greening fourth floor, things look suspect when not only does the door forward protected by both a Circle and Pentagon Keyhole, but there’s only nine enemies, most of them subspecies never seen outside the pit. Apprehensive, Mario decides to forgo a quick victory and clear all the foes on this floor, if only to learn of any surprises. Eventually, Mario earns both stones after two and four battles, but clearing all nine rewards nothing. Frustrated, Mario and Huey open the door further in…only for iron bars to block the way immediately after.

Unexpectedly, a large Spiny with native markings and decorated spikes is summoned by a ghostly aura. The Spiny introduces himself as Chief Pointamo, leader of the lost Kiwano Spiny tribe. He touts that the six guardians, always connected to the Pit, poofed him here to ensure the dark piece at the bottom stays in slumber. Though Pointamo curses not being able to stop Ari Sworda, his renewed energy will make quick work out of Mario and O’Chunks.

For a Spiny, Chief Pointamo is actually pretty tough to predict. Flipping him on his back fails to impede him the whole turn, as he turns right-side up and resumes his assault immediately. The native spiked beetle also jumps during a shell spin randomly, turning blocking into a timed exercise. Pointamo can even spin on his head and exert his spikes, demonstrating him as the apex member of the Spinies.

Pointamo’s still a Spiny, though, so it’s just slightly tougher to deplete his health. In defeat, the Chief chastises himself for letting down the six guardians and their creator. He also warns Huey that if he’s not careful, his body will decorate the walls of the Pit as it should have. The same ghostly aura envelops Pointamo, and he vanishes like he was never here.

Despite Mario and O’Chunks’ relief at the Spiny’s defeat, however, Huey is puzzled that the six Grand Paint Stars never mentioned monitoring the Pit, as well as Pointamo’s odd comment. The only consolation is the bars on the door vanishing, as well as several Super class Mushrooms and Syrups appearing as reward for beating every foe.

The process of exploring the Pit repeats for the fifth, sixth and seventh floors proceeds as usual. Not surprisingly, the hue of the walls continues changing from green, and arrives at a hint of purple on the seventh floor. The seventh floor also steps up the ante, the door locked by 3 keyholes and harboring just 9 enemies. Half of them are Bandits, while the others are stronger versions of Prism Island’s feral inhabitants. At this point, Mario decides to give O’Chunks a break and hit up Toadsworth for back-up.

The gang retrieve all three keys after the seventh battle, but Mario finishes all nine foes just to replenish himself after the inevitable mini-boss. A smart plumber he is, as once more iron bars block the way after the door is unlocked. Nothing could prepare Mario and Toadsworth, though, for the sensation of an eruption, or a large Phantom and a swarm around it summoned in a ghostly manner.

What’s weird is the Phantom is unable to truly speak, frustrating Mario and Toadsworth to the apparition’s intentions. Hearing this, a ghostly Shy Guy poofs in to serve as a translator between the two parties. By listening to the Phantom, the Shy Guy reveals to the heroes that the Phantom collective, Eruptasm, is also under the employ of the six guardians to test Pit explorers. Regardless, Eruptasm is not above pre-battle taunts, the Shy Guy translating it as a reminder the ghost is made of fire and Mario’s gang isn’t- so have fun with that.

It’s unknown where Eruptasm was transported from exactly, but it must be one haunted locale. Similar to a queen bee, the green giant ghost commands its swarm to strike all who oppose it. When Mario gets the bright idea to use water-type moves, the swarm flies in front of their leader to protect it from the brunt of aquatic doom. Eruptasm also fancies itself a fire dancer, cycling the smaller Phantoms in and out of its body to power each other up.

Soon enough, the embers of conflict dwindle to a wisp, and Mario’s team come out the winner. As Eruptasm begins to vanish, Huey questions what the Grand Paint Stars were thinking recruiting the giant ghost to guard this area. Strangely, the ghostly Shy Guy has no clue what Huey’s talking about, the Grand Paint Stars not in charge of overseeing the Pit. This riles up Huey, reminding the Shy Guy what Eruptasm just said about six guardians, just like Chief Pointamo did. Understanding Huey’s confusion, the Shy Guy counters they never said six Grand Paint Stars- just six guardians. Before the ghostly Shy Guy can further explain, he dissipates in a ghostly aura, only giving him time to reveal the Grand Paint Stars are much like the guardians.

Huey keeps puzzling over Eruptasm and the Shy Guy’s cryptic remarks while Mario and Robin handle the eighth, nine and tenth floors of the Pit. More puzzles arise in the transition between floors, for while B8 is purple and B9 is black, B10 abruptedly turns back to purple…but bizarre, dark vines adorn the final room’s walls. They look all dried out, yet they’re not Shroomsday nor Splotchleek’s doing. Mario, Huey and Robin almost lose their lunch once they use their noses, a stench of decay and malice emanating from the alien-like vines. The horrid…it’s unknown if it’s even plantlife… is coming out of the final door, locked with four Shape Keyholes at once.

Keeping themselves together, the gang work quickly to eliminate all nine enemies in the room. With all four Shape Stones, the door is unlocked. As if to cut the gang some slack, nothing bars the way forward this time. Instead, several Mega class Mushrooms and Syrups, as well as a single 1-Up Super, drop from the ceiling. Whatever relief this breath in difficulty could provide is choked by the continuing odor of disease and death.

Beyond the final door, Mario, Robin, Huey and Marirana find Ari Sworda investigating a large rock adorned with two mysterious emblems. One of the emblems is three stars joined together, while the other is an unknowable emblem encrusting a dark, cracked stone.

Ari Sworda sees the good guys approaching him and changes tact. Congratulating them for managing to follow him this deep, he apologizes for rushing on ahead without the gang. However, Huey and Marirana chastise Ari Sworda for wanting something potentially more dangerous than Shroomsday or Splotchleek, while Robin thinks any other mercenary would carry some ethics. Slightly annoyed, Ari Sworda corrects the trio, repeating it was his client wanted to check out this dark power. This also comes with the revelation the substance was used to create Shroomsday and Sporepocalypse. Ari relieves Huey’s mind by revealing the substance within the dark stone has dried out and decayed substantially, completely unuseable in his client’s talons. Regardless, Ari still collects a sample, just to prove to his boss he was down here. The rotund foreigner also notes the strange vines cannot penetrate the walls of the Pit or even leak past them, eyeing Huey as he brings this up.

That said, Ari Sworda prides himself on his services as a mercenary, and doesn’t want to return to his employer practically empty-handed. Therefore, he will not just take the unuseable substance- he will take Huey too! Pulling out his sword, the leader of the 30 Bandits engages our heroes.

Ari Sworda battle SWITCH A

Ari Sworda battle SWITCH B

Sword dashes, sword drills, calling his fellow Bandits…it’s clear despite his impressive skills, Ari Sworda isn’t fighting at top strength. The thought both comforts Mario and frightens him, the bandit still performing alright. To try and make up the difference in strength, Ari sometimes throws his sword to his fellow Bandits, who throw the blade back up for a powerful jump blade strike. Other times, Sworda uses the flat side of his weapon as a baseball bat for his rallied robbers. If the bandits can work together, Mario can too, switching out his partners when he feels like it and letting Robin get a few Thunder Blasts in.

Eventually, Ari Sworda calls the duel to a halt- he knows he’s lost. However, he reveals he doesn’t need to take Huey- just borrow him for a few seconds. In the blink of an eye, Ari Sworda grabs Huey and lightly raps his noggin while holding a recording device, making a distinct echoing vibration sound. The bandit then lets go, and does the same to one of the random walls in the room. While the walls give off a louder sound, the sounds match- meaning Huey and the Pit of Trials are made of the same material.

Just like that, Ari Sworda calls for him and his Bandits to leave- they didn’t get exactly what their employer wanted, but they did learn something interesting. As they leave, an infuriated Huey demands to learn why Ari drummed him. This only prompts a hearty laugh from the lead bandit, only informing the “little conta- I mean, bucket man” that’s between Ari and his clientele. As a compromise, Ari Sworda tantalizes Huey, Mario and the others with something odd- while Huey may have been built on Prism Island, the material he’s made of is not found here, but elsewhere. Soon, Ari Sworda departs, along with his Bandits.

The bandit honcho’s remarks leave Huey to wonder about his heritage, as well as how much else Prism Island “borrowed” from other places. Is any part of the island truly unique to it? Finally, O’Chunks and Toadsworth speak up, assuring him that Huey’s home is where he makes it. Louis and Kidd also join, for Prism Island has been their people’s lands for a long time, and their contributions help make the island stand out. His friends’ encouragement cheers up Huey, deciding he’s proud to be a Prism Islander.

At that moment, a large stone tablet with the etchings of six star-leafed trees is conjured up. Using his car’s scanners, Toadsworth translates the writings as “Frutta Mural.” Mario picks it up, noticing it could be equipped like the King’s Artifacts.

Before leaving, Huey, against his better judgement, takes another whiff of the disgusting dark substance. Rather oddly, it "smells" like the black paint, but without the "paint" part of it. Curious, Huey is stumped where Starmageddon found this substance, or what convinced him obtaining it was a good idea.

Outside the Pit entrance, the gang find Ari Sworda still standing around with his Bandits. Pressed on this, Ari lets Mario know he’ll still sell his services to the plumber- he doesn’t have to depart for a while yet. Secure in the knowledge of Ari Sworda's gracefulness, Mario pays the foreigner some coins for more Bandits to assist him.

Next on the list of unfinished business is hearing the rest of Merluvlee’s story at Port Prisma’s pier. The gang awkwardly walk past the Prisma Fountain, the rainbow road reminding them to not muck around too long. This time, two new parts of Merluvlee’s tale are ripe for the listening.

The fourth part of Merluvlee’s story continues with her new transformation into a comet. When Merluvlee returned to Port Prisma, Shadhema’s spirit had broken free of bodily limits. Learning what happened with Shroomsday infuriated the princess, unleashing her full ancient power. Not even Draggadon, who tried standing up to Shadhema, could stand up to such might. And with Aace gone, there was no-one to calm her majesty.

Though Merluvlee was weakened from her previous battle, she used the transfiguration technique of the Ancients to change Shadhema’s spirit into a fairy. Keeping Shroomsday’s crowns and Shadhema altogether began to strain Merluvlee’s power, unfortunately. Trying to keep this power under control gave Merluvlee an epiphany- to save her home from destruction, she would have to leave for other stars.

Eventually, Merluvlee found an uninhabited planetoid, allowing her to relieve the power strain. But the fairy who was formerly Shadhema grew lonely, needing a friend.

In comet form, Merluvlee took Shadhema’s desires to heart, as the fifth and final part of her long saga begins. Still in her comet form, Merluvlee returned to a rather humble section of the Mushroom World. As a precaution to ensure Shadhema’s memory couldn’t be triggered, the sorceress brought Shroomsday’s crowns with her.

When Merluvlee landed, she shed power in the form of Stickers. A settlement grew around where the magic comet landed, a settlement that came to be known as Decalburg. As the settlement was built, a festival was held honoring the comet’s power. Every time Merluvlee spoke, it was in Ancient tongue. However, the locals mistook it for a new language altogether, coining it “Stickerish”.

Following the first Sticker Fest, the Ancient-Stickerish comet found a female Koopa who had been seriously injured. Merluvlee looked around, but no-one seemed to recognize the girl. Taking a questionable chance, Merluvlee used her magic to change the female Koopa into another fairy, hoping she could serve as a companion to Shadhema. Thankfully, this faith paid off back home, and Shadhema- now calling herself Kersti due to distorted memories- got along with the shell fairy, Ellshe.

From that point on, Merluvlee travelled to the newly-christened Decal Lands almost every year. Whenever a loner became injured, the sorceress would change them into another fairy.

And so many things came to pass. Merluvlee was now called the Sticker Comet, the festival Sticker Fest, and her subjects Sticker Fairies. Most importantly, the home of the Comet and Fairies would gain a name of its own- Sticker Star.

Along with several powerful Mega class cards, Merluvlee pleads with Mario and friends to make Shadhema see sense. She also gives Mario an object Leblaanc brought back from Emerald Circus, a large crown with the same design as the M the gang got from Piper. By combining the two objects together, the King’s Crown Replica is created, its royalty bringing to mind that of a Round Dimension.

Holding the King’s Crown Replica, Mario starts to mentally checklist other items he may need to complete to ensure no regrets. At last, he looks at the two Panic Shards he’s found during the adventure, and notices there’s room for one more piece. By checking with Merlon, the wizard reveals while Mario no longer requires Artifacts in the future, he could still find items with “traces” still on them. Utilizing mystic energies, Merlon peers into his crystal, and finds the yellow Toadette at Sunglow Ridge’s lumber mill awakening from a nightmare.

Dashing like an orange marsupial, Mario and Louis discover the Toadette still taking an uneasy catnap. It’s as Mario feared, Toadette telling Wart to keep his bubbles away from the lumberjacks. The Toadette jolts awake, and the last Panic Shard appears in her hands. Unsure of how she got it, the Toadette gives it to Mario in hopes of tamer dreams. Mario combines the shard with the others, and it creates the Panic Amulet!

Mario returns to check with Merlon again for other traced items. Another vision later, Merlon sends Mario back to Fort Cobalt, as General Guy has called a meeting with his Shy Guys. At the meeting, General Guy is motioning a call to arms in case Shadhema comes back down to Prism Island. Seeing Mario, General Guy explains he’s busy arranging a naval-to-air strategy, and finds Mario’s unexpected entrance as rude as always. Nevertheless, he gives Mario a small Toy Tank, the one General Guy based his on when he was younger.

By the time Mario heads to Dark Bloo Inn’s Timespace Pod to test all these objects, he’s almost up to here with all these side activities. Regardless, the plumber looks between the three items he just got, as well as the Musketeer Feather he obtained a little while back. Soon, Mario decides to deal with the Feather and Toy Tank first.

The Musketeer Feather brings Mario and friends back to Redpepper Crater, facing with the strongest versions of Pitholl and Cucleer. Unlike when it actually happened, the duo are not possessed by Shroomsday in this incarnation of the battle. And man, does Mario regret leading himself to believe the late mushroom beast was better at being the Musketeers than they were, for the duo are much stronger when not controlled. Pulling their leaves and feathers again rewards Mario with the Musketeers Sabers Artifact, increasing damage against Musketeer enemies and bosses a little. Mario also obtains three copies of Pitholl and Cucleer’s cards.

Next, the Toy Tank recreates the second half of the battle with General Guy at Fort Cobalt, skipping over the Super Ludship in the process. It’s nothing to really write home about beyond greater health, power and defense. For Mario’s efforts fighting the enhanced past General Guy, a Toy Tank Wheel Artifact is the gang’s for the taking, doubling the card drop rates of Koopaling enemies and bosses.

Following that battle is the King’s Crown Replica, sending Mario and friends to the colorless version of Emerald Circus…and Sporepocalypse is looking right at them. Huey and Nya are baffled at the giant flower being their next EX opponent, but Mario doesn’t back down. Weirdly (or not), Roy is not recreated, meaning Mario and friends must fight Sporepocalypse fair and square. In turn, despite enhanced (or high to them) statistics, Sporepocalypse does not reheal himself or conjure a barrier, ensuring things stay clean. Finally weeding the time-keeping flower, Mario obtains a colored version of the King’s Crown Replica, doubling the card drop rates for enemies and bosses not affiliated with the Koopalings or Musketeers.

Last on the bonus boss bonanza is the Panic Amulet. Even if Mario has a huge hunch who this will summon and where, the plumber still takes the plunge into the pod anyways. And Mario was right- in the deepest areas of the dream world Subcon, on a platform near a weird vegetable machine, is the great and powerful Wart.

Wart battle SWITCH

The large frog hits like a truck, his body slams dealing an insane amount of damage. The real crux of Wart’s battle style, though, floats in the form of his bubbles. Not only do they pack a little punch, but Wart sometimes uses his tongue to steal color from Mario and add it to the bubbles. Depending on the color, Mario can suffer a variety of side-effects, from burning, to poison, to shrinking, becoming dizzy, and other nasty surprises. And should Mario use enemy cards to call for backup, Wart’s bubbles can absorb them to become stronger when they hit Mario.

Hanging on by the edge of his nose-hairs, Mario once again ends up overthrowing the nightmare frog king. Such a monumental victory grants Mario an unusual Artifact in the form of the Nightmare Turnip. While it replenishes quite a chunk of Mario’s health, it drains a lot of paint to carry out this function. If Mario runs out of paint, he takes a high amount of damage each turn instead, creating quite a risk and reward situation.

Lakishima corner SWITCH

Again, the gang make one last sweep of Port Prisma and Prism Island just to make sure there's nothing left to do. Near the Rescue Squad HQ, where Gulliv T used to stand, is a female Lakitu with anime eyes and fake cuts. The girl cheerfully introduces herself as Lakishima. The girlfriend of Lakitaku, Lakishima knows all about Deep Cuts, or optional Cut-Out Zones. For a price, the fangirl informs Mario and Huey on any Cut-Out Zones they missed.

Armed with these locations, our heroes manically run back and forth to past locations to find these spots, sometimes finding Il Piantissimo once more. Eventually, all the Cut-Out Zones are found, rewarding quite the coin shower.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 Part 1

Now that they've done everything important and noteworthy on Prism Island, Mario and his friends are ready for the final battle. As they headed towards Port Prisma and they were geared to jog up that rainbow road to the fortress. But when they try to climb up the rainbow, they slipped and fell back to the ground. Neither Kidd nor Toadsworth can make much progress, either. A nearby Lakitu offers to fly the gang up, but when he approaches the Koopalings' Castle, the building seems to emit a cold gas just to deal with aerial invaders, chilling his cloud into an icicle and causing him to plummet below. Huey becomes distressed, the rainbow too slippery for anyone to walk on. Before Huey can grow more upset, Edwin calms his buddy down, confident there has to be a way.

Luigi&#039;s expanded rescue SWITCH

The sound of a kart engine revving up fills the Prisma Fountain area. Suddenly, Luigi drives in on a green Standard L, with Daisy and Nabana in the back seat. His friends introduce themselves to Mario's partners, while Luigi fills Mario in on the treasure they found. Daisy guesses whoever sent her and Luigi letters did so in anticipation of their rainbow problem, while Nabana blusters of his own assistance and tutelage. For now, Luigi suggests Mario and his friends climb onto the kart so they can all save Princess Peach.

All of Mario's partners except Huey climb into his pocket. Luigi starts his engines...waits for the countdown...and GOES up the rainbow road!

After the kart leaves, Ellshe and Kitanu enter the scene. While Ellshe curses being too late, Kitanu assures the Koopa he sort of recognizes Mario and the others will succeed and gather all four friends back together, whoever they are. Needless to say, Ellshe finds her "new friend" cool, yelling this sentiment for all to hear. The one friend she's most concerned for, however, is K-girl.

On the kart's way to the castle, Luigi and his allies hear what Mario's team experienced on Prism Island. The tale is interrupted as Daisy and Nabana see the Koopalings' Castle straight ahead. Luigi adjusts his driving, not wanting to fall all the way down without the Lakitu they know with his special cloud to save them.

Our heroes arrive at the Koopalings' Castle. Shadhema's been busy, decorating the exterior with more stickers and graffiti. O'Chunks isn't impressed, claiming he's seen better castles. Meanwhile, Nabana finds something familiar about the stickers decorating the fort's walls. While Luigi got Mario and friends this far, though, he decides to stay behind with Daisy and Nabana for a quick get-away. Louis appreciates this, reminding Luigi to use his mean stare if anyone gives him trouble.

All of Mario's partners are pumped. Huey is eager to save Peach, O'Chunks concerned with saving Kersti, Edwin in stopping Shadhema, Sledge prepping his hammer to take back his boss' castle, and Marirana resolute to finish "understanding" people. Meanwhile, Nya is concentrating on ending the Eclipse Empire, Kidd obtaining the truth for curing her son, Toadsworth a little antsy in proving he can protect the princess, Robin in figuring out who shkle is and why shkle's here, and Louis to prove the team is all united. Seeing his allies so focused on their mission, Mario is motivated to lead the charge!

It’s hauntingly quiet inside the castle’s main hall. All over the walls and floors are black paint and rubble. And at the other side of the hall- a painting of a colorless Princess Peach! The sight abhors Toadsworth and O’Chunks, while Sledge ponders why the Musketeers would just leave it out for anyone to take.

A captive Princess is all the thrust Mario requires to know things have gotten real. (In fact, it’s the only thrust Gonzales needs, but that’s a whole other yarn.) Precise driving atop Toadsworth and mindless carnage from O’Chunks trump the obstacles inside the long hallway, bringing the troupe within arm’s reach of Peach’s portrait. Mario, Toadsworth, Sledge and O’Chunks are just about to grab the painting and bring it back to Luigi, when a trapdoor opens beneath the gang.

Crafty Shadhema SWITCH

Tumbling in the darkness, Mario and his tough cohorts enter the basement of the castle with a thud. Huey gives Shadhema props for her craftiness, while Toadsworth is thankful the team isn’t surrounded by vagabonds. Someone unknown interjects, preferring the term “bad guys”.

Perry&#039;s ambush SWITCH

Perry and, surprisingly, a bunch of normal Goomba spin in around the team. As Toadsworth chastises himself for assuming too much, Sledge recognizes Perry as “the self-serving coward”. No love is lost between the Sledge Bro and Goomba, Perry insinuating Sledge as a hypocrite for abandoning his causes before. The Goomba musketeer and his reunited brethren give Sledge no time to reply, for they rush towards Mario and co.

When the battle begins, Perry is primed to give Mario a taste of his own medicine regarding who’s stomped on. The Musketeer is also painfully obvious in how sore he is from Mario’s sneak attack at the beginning of the Paper Jam adventure.

Channeling this pain into power, Perry leads his conscripted Goomba “friends” in a relentless beatdown. Nothing seems to have changed in Perry’s offensive capabilities at first, still relying on the staple Multibonk. The same goes for the Goombas, barely giving it any effort in fighting.

Midway through the fight, Perry does change tactics. With Shadhema’s help, Perry remembered the art of forming a Goomba grid goliath, like how old Megasparkle used to lead him. Minus the lunacy, Perry and his eight brown buddies join together into a 3 by 3 goliath, increasing their power greatly.

Perry final battle

Our heroes soon witness the unpredictability of Perry’s equally-divided creation. In addition to only taking half the damage, the Grid Goliath can temporarily detach Goombas and use a strange magic to throw them like shurikens. The disgruntled Goomba Musketeer also authorizes rolling out onto Mario and shifting forms into a living plane, keeping Mario off his toes.

Focusing their strength, Mario and friends come to damage the Grid Goliath enough to make it disassemble, exhausting Perry and the Goombas. Perry attempts to convince his “friends” to continue fighting alongside him, but sadly, none of them believe in his cause and start leaving. Among the departing Goombas is Perry’s pal Gary, who sees the Musketeer turncoat as having a real problem with loyalty at this point. The loss of all Perry’s friends outrages him, swearing revenge on Mario. Revenge he’ll never get, by the way, because Mario and pals outnumber the little dude and easily overpower him.

Trounced once more, Perry enters a mental breakdown, upset trying to start over only made his friends hate him more. He starts bawling, and Mario’s friends can’t help but pity the poor shroom. Soon, Edwin speaks up, and teaches Perry if one just joins a cause for power- or wealth, as Edwin did- they end up in a worse situation than before. Edwin retrieves two coins out of his bag, giving them to Perry so he can buy a sense of loyalty. In the end, it’s loyalty that molds one into a valued fighter.

Perry is moved by Edwin’s speech, and the Slurple looks to his own friends to verify what he’s learned. In addition, Sledge finishes what he was trying to explain earlier, that you can still earnestly help one’s “enemies” if you remember where your loyalties lay.  Taking both these pieces of advices into account, Perry renounces his loyalty to the Musketeers, and swears unending loyalty to Bowser’s Army, the Koopa Troop. To prove he’s serious, Perry takes off his hat and shakes his head to remove his fake beard. The eyebrows are real, though, so he’ll have to wait to regrow those.

Following Perry’s wardrobe change, Toadsworth politely asks for Peach’s portrait back. Complications arise, though, when Perry hasn’t the foggiest on what Toadsworth’s talking about, nor Edwin’s clarification of the Princess’ portrait a floor above. Even then, Perry insists he hasn’t seen Peach in the castle at all, before rushing off to find his friends. The reformed Goomba runs towards the opening into the factory. Huey’s eye shrink in fear, for he has a sinking feeling who created the mess upstairs…

The gang arrives in the castle’s basement. In contrast to the Koopa Clan’s other castles, the basement here is one giant paint factory, strewn with buckets ranging from small to machine-sized. Edwin and Huey’s eyes are soon drawn to some Shy Guys carrying buckets on a conveyor belt, acting like mindless pawns. The sight is the sixth creepiest thing Edwin has ever seen, and the Slurple garners whatever’s in the next room isn’t going to be pleasant. What befuddles Huey most is the lack of Musketeers in the immediate vicinity.

Under the stairs is a lone Shy Guy, hiding from the Musketeers and other invaders. He admits it’s not a good plan, but it’s the only one he’s got. The masked minion soon prays for General Guy to show.

Within the room are several Musketeer minions, such as Lepbellers, Blue Paratroopas, Dark Boosketeers and Broozers. The only Koopa minions still fighting are the classic Koopatrols from Mario’s previous epic adventures. However, their power and defense doesn’t provide them the endurance to fend off both Mario and the numerous Musketeers.

An idea crosses Mario and Huey’s minds- what if they got on the belt themselves and infiltrated the next room like a snake of various physical states? Louis gives the duo the Leap up onto the belt, and Mario holds Huey above him. Despite the Shy Guy at the security desk recognizing Mario, the threat of the Musketeers holds enough sway for him to give our heroes a pass.

The threat of the bombs

Nothing could prepare the red caravan for what awaits in the next room- several giant buckets holding at least a small ocean’s worth of black paint. The nightmare is heightened as the demonic concoction is poured into an ever-growing arsenal of Black Bills, increasing their killing power greatly. Huey is, of course, alert to the sheer damage such a large amount of this ammo could inflict upon the world, while taking a guess why manufacturing is still continuing.

The fellowship of the colors finally gets off the conveyor belt, mulling over the best course of action. During the course of deciding, the team slide down a flagpole, filling Louis with a mistimed sense of old-school hijinx. Louis, regretting such feelings in the face of the black paint, excuses himself as just trying to keep hope up, like the Big Bob-ombs held behind the thick fences. Once Huey takes a look at the enlarged explosives, Huey claims Louis a genius! The bucket explains this- by igniting the big bombs, they might be strong enough to destroy the black paint tank. Everyone, including Louis himself, is completely on-board with the plan.

Proceeding deeper into the factory is complicated by a few things. One, there’s several boxes placed in the most obstructive way possible, requiring O’Chunks to demolish them. Also present are a few poles and spiked floor traps, giving Edwin and Toadsworth some hero time.

The other hindrance to progress further is an enhanced set of the Shroom enemies, safely patrolling away from the black paint. Slugshrooms are succeeded by Wormshrooms, Carrishrooms improved into Chassishrooms, and Monstrooms evolved into Beastshrooms. The higher stats make them stronger- but not invincible.

Soon, our role models arrive at the bottom of the factory, where the bulk of Big Bob-ombs are stored. Perry and the other Goombas are waiting for Mario. When Red arrives, Perry lets Mario know the Goombas are off to evacuate remaining Koopa Clan personal- meanwhile, Aace is just ahead. The Goombas proceed to go warn their friends, while Perry warns Mario the other Boosketeers respect Aace a lot.

Mario heeds this warning, hitting a nearby Save Block to record his life story up to this point. The team head further in- but Aace is nowhere to be seen. The no-show angers Edwin, and starts to second-guess Perry’s intentions. However, Perry ends up not being a liar, as Aace appears from behind Mario, still bummed out.

Since he’s never met Aace before, Toadsworth guesses the Boo must be the group’s leader. But the talk with Aace isn’t filled with some grand speech or philosophical perspective- instead, Aace is greatly disheartened how all his efforts just brought back more problems than they solved. The ghostly swords master curses himself for thinking Shadhema would change, chalking it up to nostalgia.

Toadsworth sees a bit of himself in Aace, and empathizes with him on their female rulers not always listening. While the mushroom retainer does wish Peach would listen more, he knows she has a good heart with the alternatives she takes. What Toadsworth is trying to say is Shadhema may still have a kernel of goodness in her, too.

Tragedy of Aace

It is with regret that Aace can’t agree on that last point, for Shadhema hasn’t shown any innate goodness since she woke. Yet there’s something that saddens Aace even more- he still care a lot about his student! Pointing his saber at Mario and friends, Aace declares if they want to duel against Shadhema, they have to prove themselves against him first. He means business, too, promising to fight to the last whisker despite Toadsworth driving the Blight King’s invention.

Right as the battle starts, Aace turns invisible again while vowing to go all out. Annoyed, Marirana gives Mario a reminder of her timely assistance from their previous battle with the phantom blade leader. Mario does so, switching between Marirana and his other partners during an enhanced repeat of the first bout.

When Aace reaches a third of his life, he rebuffs the idea of losing now- falling otherwise would leave Mario and friends unprepared to deal with Shadhema. Aace resorts to use the ancient Boo technique, loudly summoning 45 of his Boosketeers. At their leader’s command, the Boosketeers converge on Aace. Soon, a large version of Aace, known as Aacelossus, is formed. The gestalt ghoul pressures our heroes if they can’t defeat this technique, they can’t defeat the Eclipse Princess.

Aacelossus battle

Similar to the shiny enemies and the Goomba Grid Goliath, Aacelossus shrugs off half the damage he takes. In turn, he can spook like a normal Boo and body slam with a touch of poison. Most important, Aacelossus can suck in the air one turn, then fire a barrage of all his comrades on Mario. Depending on how well Mario blocks, Aace still demonstrates grace and eloquence in motivating his foes, or critiquing them if they lag too much.

Things don’t look too good for Mario, his health waning and running low on Mushrooms. To delay Aacelossus, Mario utilizes a Spiked Helmet card in the hopes the ghoul will come in close. Mario should get a ton of lottery tickets for that choice, because Aacelossus does indeed try another body slam. Not only does it prick the combined specter, but it also starts cracking apart the Aacelossus. Breathing a sigh of triumph for his ingenuity, Mario follows up with two other sharp cards on his next turn, and it breaks Aacelossus back into just Aace. The instructor commends Mario for breaking apart the form, despite clearly not able to take much more.

After the battle, Aace is astonished how Mario and his squad outdid the Musketeers at every step of the way. He considers Mario’s excellent leadership as the reason Shroomsday’s agents transformed and teleported the decolored Postmaster Pesshi to Peach. Nevertheless, Aace forewarns the team of Shadhema’s mastery over the saber, alongside her unfathomable power. With his last wavering words, Aace asks many a thing from Mario- destroy this factory, stop Splotchleek, save Shadhema from herself, and tell everyone how so sorry Aace is. The rest- is a ghostly implosion, the only remnants Aace’s Journal.

Even in light of the trials the Musketeers put Prism Island through, Huey feels sorry for Aace. The bucket’s also concerned Aace meeting his demise despite Mario and friends battling the same as ever. One possibility is raised by Edwin- Aace still didn’t have it in him to go against Shadhema, and just wanted to vanish. The still young Slurple doesn’t know if Aace was cowardly to still face his fear, or smart to not pick a fight with the Eclipse Princess. All Mario and Huey agree with Aace on is the factory needing to go, as the first step to finishing this.

O’Chunks is able to destroy a weaker fence near one of the Big Bob-ombs, allowing easy access. There’s just one problem- the gang have nothing to light it with. On the floor, though, is a lot of spilled gun powder. The only thing quicker than Mario’s mind is his decision for Kidd to run really fast atop the powder, creating friction to generate a spark. Traveling up the powder trail, the spark reaches the Big Bob-omb, and it goes boom. Next thing Mario knows, he and the others are sent flying in the air, caused by the chain reactions of Bob-ombs exPLOOOOOODing!

Their problems with the black paint are just beginning, for the factory starts rumbling and the vile substance begins flooding the room. Adrenaline surges through Kidd, calling for Mario and the others to hustle out of here while thrown aback at how much black paint there is.

The race is on, Kidd carrying Mario while the facility around them drowns in villainous black goo. Amid the carnage, several Koopalings, Musketeers and Shroom minions are consumed by the black paint. Though the Koopalings and Musketeers merely drown, the Shrooms start burning up the instant they make contact with the poisonous mixture- your guess which is worse.

Up ahead is a long storage hall with a Save Block. Huey, Kidd and O’Chunks catch their breath, and O’Chunks outright states he never wants to see another drop of black paint again.

As Mario and company proceed past the Save Block, an increasingly unstable dark voice speaks up, insisting the team not leave without a little black paint. Then and there, the dangeorus infectent pours in from the door the team just entered from- more running! Sometimes, Mario needs O’Chunks to destroy large wreckage blocking the way to salvation. In the nick of time, our heroes find the Warp Pipe back up to the first floor.

Perry and his fellow Goombas are discussing various minutiae when they feel the rumbling beneath them. Fortunately for them, Mario and Huey arrive to explain what happened. As Huey mistakes one Goomba for Perry, he and Mario notice the hallway is no longer covered in black paint. Even worse, Peach’s portrait is gone. Again, Perry assures the duo he didn’t see a picture of Peach when he arrived.

Splotchleek&#039;s stealth

…But while he and the other Goombas were waiting in the basement for the ambush, they heard strange voices. Gary even remembers what they were discussing- “the gift of black paint”. Huey looks terrified, the Goombas continuing the voices sounded like the Koopalings, yet they all shared the same mind.

Regardless of what other danger is present, the Goombas definitely don’t want to stick around for Shadhema. Perry advises Mario to prepare himself, as well as tell the Koopalings that Perry said “hi”. The reconverted Goomba and his comrades leave out the front door.

Pulling a nearby rope removes the wall, revealing the door into the next room. What insidious brain-busting puzzle awaits the gang in there? What cardiac-arresting beast could threaten Mario and friends before they face Shadhema? What airborne nonsense might-

Oh, it’s just a normal room with a bent path like a bridge. Fair enough.

As Mario and co cross the bridge, Huey is compelled to say something to all his friends. This one sentence draws everyone to their possibly-steel sidekick, hanging on Huey’s every word. Huey becomes nervous at so many eyes, and almost calls off what he intended to explain. However, Kidd’s simple peer pressure entices Huey to reconsider and state his business now.

Taking a deep breath, Huey is confident they’ve all gotten to know each other pretty well, or at least appreciate in Robin’s case. Ever since Mario’s rude awakening, the team’s been through good times and bad times in various ways. But no matter what, none of the party gave up on Huey or on finding Starmageddon’s Grand Paint Stars, even when Huey felt the situation was beyond his ability.

Huey&#039;s thanks and Kidd&#039;s response SWITCH A

Huey&#039;s thanks and Kidd&#039;s response SWITCH B

Brimming with joy, Huey thanks his friends. Nya, Louis, and O’Chunks all return the favor. Meanwhile, Robin is also supportive, wishing shkle got here earlier to spend more time with Mario and Huey. It’s Huey’s comment of always being grateful for their friendships that get the waterworks going. Edwin, Toadsworth, Sledge, Marirana and Kidd choke up on Huey’s big, hopeful heart.

Now that his friends know how he feels, Huey can face his perhaps-known future, and motions the gang towards the final two battles with Shadhema and the Koopalings.

…As well as someone else, Huey suspects.

Within the final chamber, darkness greets Mario and the others. When Mario steps forward, however, the torches all ignite. Up ahead is none other than Shadhema! Shadhema is more bemused than angered with the team’s arrival at the castle. Rather, she’s more disappointed with Aace and the Musketeers unable to fulfill the simple task of fending off Mario.

Kidd takes the chance to request Shadhema give some of her hair for the awakening potion. Though Shadhema recognizes Kidd as Billy’s mom- who Aace filled her in on- she cares little for the suffering of others.

The mention of the spectral leader props Toadsworth to deliver the sad news on Aace’s demise. But he’s interrupted when Shadhema mistakes the elderly Toad for Starmageddon. Toadsworth correcting the mistake sends Shadhema for a loop, unable to consider someone else in the driver’s seat.

Nya and Huey get the conversation refocused- the Koopalings’ bomb factory has been destroyed, so all Shadhema has to do is surrender. In addition, Huey decides they’ll draw a nice sponge bath so Shadhema can clean up her act. Unfortunately, Shadhema feels insulted at the sheer audacity of the Mario team’s actions and requests. Summoning her two blades, Shadhema demands the gang bow before the Eclipse Princess, and soon-to-be ruler of the world.

The beginning of the fight is alike to when the team battled Shadhema in Port Prisma. The only change is Mario and friends are no longer holding back, acknowledging they can’t afford to jinx their jumps or botch their blows. Enduring the jabs of Shadhema’s saber thrusts, our heroes manage to reduce enough of Shadhema’s life for her to try the Megasparkle reversal strategy again. Fortunately for team red, the Luma Sponge prevents Shadhema’s shiny gift from being inverted, and she dispels the cursed protection she granted.

As Shadhema turns unfocused from her strategy being thwarted, Huey tries to appeal to “Kersti” by reminding her of the detective agency they talked about. Instead, Shadhema is furthered enraged being called by what she hears as Shroomsday’s real name, and yells that no-one knows anything about her. The one bright spot in this tirade is Shadhema finding the idea of an agency quaint.

In the following turns of battle, Shadhema increases the variety of her powers with extra moves. She starts using her hair as a whip, summons the stronger Shroom enemies, and raises her sword to give herself two moves the next turn. The addition of powerful attacks and more opportunities to use them keeps Mario and allies out of any comfort zone for too long.

Shadhema battle SWITCH

At the halfway point, Shadhema’s moveset becomes larger, for she begins using the ability to change between different forms. She glows white, then changes to her space form and time form. On top of all her other attacks, the Eclipse Princess utilizes a different dimensional distortion- a super strong space boom, or a weak but multi-hit time boom.

Mario and friends still manage to reduce Shadhema’s vitality to the home stretch, forcing her to use one of Starmageddon’s ancient techniques. Shadhema opens up 3 timespace holes, and 3 meteors of increasing size emerge. As the Princess sees the move as changing from a cavalier to a comet, thoughts of the Sticker Comet appear to surface in Her Majesty. Finally, Shadhema decides she’ll no longer let these images bother her, holding Mario responsible. She also steadfast wanting to eradicate the plumber’s mustache- though she may keep his hat as a souvenir.

Today on “Obvious Facts You Don’t Need a Scientist For”, a meteor dropping on one’s head hurts immensely. Mario learns such a captain duh facet of life as the meteors fall from the sky above, and there’s little he can do. Even as Mario comes to understand how Draggadon felt the same, he still fights through the pain, unleashing various card combos and Mega class cards upon the unwieldy girl before finally emerging victorious. And that was another “Obvious Facts You Don’t Need a Scientist For”.

Greatly weakened, Shadhema can’t comprehend losing even though she’s the strongest in the world- even if Nabana says otherwise. Immediately, Shadhema covers her mouth at Nabana’s name, now starting to suspect there’s holes in her memories. The Princess’ time collecting herself is cut short, for she falls to the ground, fainting.

Chapter 7 Part 2

None of Mario’s friends can believe it- they managed the impossible and defeated Shadhema/Kersti! Still antsy for some reason, Huey encourages Mario to hurry and bring the Princess to Luigi before something happens. For Kidd, the rogue Vellbex finds elation, her dream of curing Billy within hoof’s distance.

Just when Mario is about to pick Shadhema up, however, who else drops in but the Koopalings, Bowser Junior and a much braver Motley. As Huey feared, the entirety of Koopa leadership is covered in black paint. It’s not just any black paint either- when the Black Koopa Clan all congratulate Mario for destroying most of their enemies, Huey is quick to call the collective by another name, Splotchleek.

Black Lemmy- or more accurately, Splotchleek speaking through Lemmy- gives Huey a round of applause for paying attention to the entity really in control. Black Larry “interjects”, Splotchleek channeling Larry’s appetite into creating a blob of black paint. The blob then picks up and swallows Shadhema. Savoring the taste, Black Larry comments Shadhema will keep Peach company.

Toadsworth’s temper rises at the mention of Splotchleek having captured Peach, but Black Motley isn’t threatened by the metal-riding mushroom. More worrisome is Black Junior’s excitement sharing the black paint with everyone, even if it leads to another Eclipse War. The possessed Prince is looking forward to baiting so many powerful foes, if only to infect and spread further throughout the multiverse. For now, the Koopa Clan decides to drown the heroes in black paint. Black Morton, Iggy and Ludwig stand their ground, while the other six Koopas hop into the black blob.

It’s a bizarre battle against Splotchleek’s Black Koopa All-Stars. With so many foes, Mario and his partners plan their attacks more carefully, in a bid to take all the active Koopaling’s out at the same time. From what our heroes observe, the Koopalings only use three attacks each- wand blast, shell shot, and their unique move. Since Splotchleek has to control so many victims, their power isn’t as high as previous encounters, to say nothing of their EX counterparts. In exchange, every time Mario and friends’ attacks connect with a Black Koopaling, some black paint splatters off them.

Regardless, there’s only so much damage Mario can take before he considers calling allied enemies. Seeing it only fitting for Splotchleek to symbolically meet its end by its progenitor, Mario summons a Beastshroom to inflict major pain. This ends up the definition of a bad idea, for when the Beastshroom launches its claw at Morton, not only does Morton receive no damage- the Beastshroom instead takes quadruple the damage it may have inflicted, enough to knock itself out. Following this disastrous attempt at backup, Huey reminds Mario that Shroomsday couldn’t even touch the black paint, making the deceased disease’s minions useless against Splotchleek. Instead, Mario falls back on Musketeer and Koopaling-allied cards. To Mario’s relief, the Koopalings’ new allegiance means their former henchmen can attack them without a power loss.

Splotchleek Koopaling All-Star battle SWITCH

Over the course of the conflict, Mario is able to remove all the black paint off each Koopaling. As soon as this happens, Splotchleek pulls them back into the black blob and replaces them with the next combatant. Once Morton falls, Wendy is compelled to join Iggy and Ludwig. The battle becomes more energetic once Iggy falls and Roy tags in, then Ludwig conducts his last symphony and leads to Larry joining, followed by Lemmy.

Dealing with all the Koopalings’ antics leaves Mario and friends with only two combatants, Black Junior and Black Motley. As much as Mario understands the blues filling Junior not able to see his other dimensional counterpart, or Motley’s mixed loyalty defending the former, he and the others still must fight the duo to put a lid on Splotchleek for good.

While Junior goes down too, Motley is able to survive with the tiniest sliver of health. Enough black paint has been knocked off Motley, allowing him to gain control over himself. Meek once more, Motley sees Mario and worries how Junior is going to react with the plumber in here, likely blaming the clown. Unfortunately, just as Motley remembers how he got here, Splotchleek drops the act and just grabs the clown against his will.

Splotchleek Bossblob SWITCH A

Splotchleek Bossblob SWITCH B

The blob of paint changes shape. Soon enough, it reforms into a black version of Motley’s Bossblob form. Splotchleek Bossblob makes a cruddy attempt to trick Mario and the others into thinking it’s still Motley, but they’re just as attentive as they ought to be. All the attention in the world can’t change how mad Splotchleek Bossblob is.

Mario and the gang are undeterred, continuing the assault. The giant clown blob keeps firing black orb blasts and hammering the heroes, but they’re sure they can win this.

That is, until Splotchleek Bossblob merely recalls all the black paint the gang knocked off the harmful harlequin after its own attack, rendering normal combat useless. Kidd takes extreme notice of the unwinnable situation they’re in. Alongside this observation, Louis posits Splotchleek’s nature is why the Royal Family had such a tough time dealing with the abomination, something Robin compares to as a living corpse.

It’s Marirana who thinks instead of fighting Splotchleek, the big dark demon has to be contained into something, somehow. The Beepboxer’s words gives Huey a radical idea, but he needs to return to full power. Mario is unsure of how- until he remembers while Shroomsday’s essence came from all over the world just to free Shadhema and while Mario was marked, it dawns on the plumber nothing came out of him. On a hunch, Mario reaches deep inside himself, before a purple energy emits from him. Successful, Mario uses this energy to reverse the dimensions around Huey to restore the bucket’s “shape”- though it turns Huey into a card as well.

However, when Mario tries to use the Huey card, Splotchleek opens his right hand. As Huey’s card is spinning in place, it’s frozen in a barrier of time.

Mario and his friends look traumatized, and especially angers Edwin, demanding to know what Splotchleek did to Huey. The giant pulsating clown explains it borrowed some of the Eclipse Princess’ power. Then, it proceeds to reveal the other purposes of Shroomsday and Sporepocalypse’s creations- not just to expedite the strange primal goo the King and Queen used to create Shadhema, but also to be her equals in power. What Splotchleek is trying to explain- it has Sporepocalypse’s control over time, AS WELL AS SHROOMSDAY’S MASTERY OF SPACE!

As a demonstration, Splotchleek Bossblob opens his left hand. A spatial hole appears in front of Splotchleek. With great force, it sucks Edwin, Louis, Marirana, Nya, Kidd, Sledge and O’Chunks towards it! Scared for their lives, they initially try holding onto Toadsworth. Soon, they realize the futility and let go, attempting to block off the hole. The seven partners are sucked into Splotchleek Bossblob, and the clown closes his hand.

With only Toadsworth and Robin still on his side, Mario is at a loss of what to do. Thankfully, Robin encourages Mario stay focused, by faintly recalling someone once told shklim “a leader should always be at the top of their game”. Toadsworth agrees with Robin, also emphasizing Huey holds the key to Splotchleek’s defeat. To try and help Mario, Toadsworth decides to look in the car’s enclosed instruction while the plumber and tactician keep Splotchleek occupied.

Toadsworth’s request ends up a tall order- now Splotchleek Bossblob is using the full power of spacetime! Imbuing his punches with both scientific elements and slowing down space as well as freezing time ensures it’s Mario and Robin who are occupied. Worst of all, with Huey frozen in time, Mario is unable to apply Paint on his cards, making them one use.

After a few turns, Splotchleek reaches for Mario with his left arm. Not wanting his friend to share the other partners’ fate, Robin gets in the way. To shklis own surprise, Robin conjures up a Flametongue breath burning the vile mass’ hand. Quickly, Splotchleek grabs Robin with the right hand, inspecting shklim, before coming to terms what power sleeps within the cloaked brainiac. The giant clown absorbs Robin into itself, chortling on this gift from the dimension of tactics. Over the next few turns, though, it’s evident the Flametongue breath greatly weakened Splotchleek’s offense to four-fifths of its power.

Eventually, Splotchleek grows weary for the conflict, and is about to grab Mario again with his right hand. It’s not going too well for Toadsworth, either, the instruction booklet for his car written in some ancient language. The elderly Toad, knowing Mario, Huey, Peach and the entire world are counting on him, desperately prays to the stars for help to save his friends.

Defying all expectation, the quiet laugh of a certain star princess is head, and something glows under Toadsworth’s helmet. Suddenly, Toadsworth’s car changes shape, from a go kart to a mechsuit! Filled with more confidence than ever before, Toadsworth announces his own role as vassal of the Mushroom Kingdom’s Princess Toadstool, watching over Peach since she was a child, and view her friends go on adventures. Toadsworth aims his arms at Splotchleek Bossblob, flat out telling the villain it’s going to let the mech-pilot’s friends go!

Giving his foe no chance to respond, Toadsworth fires a white substance from his brushes at Splotchleek. Amazingly, this hurts the clown even more than Robin, freeing Mario’s partners as well as dispelling the barrier around Huey! Splotchleek Bossblob recoils in anguish, the liquids of egg whites destabilizing the nightmarish mass of unliving black paint. While that’s going on, Kidd, Louis, O’Chunks, Sledge and Robin credit Toadsworth with rescuing them.

Even better, Nya brings everyone’s attention to time flowing normally around Huey’s card again. Huey’s card finishes spinning, and he emerges with full form!

Huey&#039;s extra thanks

Huey thanks Mario and Toadsworth, then checks himself out. He feels kind of heavy, but also strong. However, Huey’s plan with his new form is rather risky- he wants Mario to use the bucket as a shield to block Splotchleek’s attacks. Rightfully caring, Edwin tries to dissuade Huey from putting himself in danger, but Huey tells Edwin not to worry- again, he feels stronger than ever right now! Anyways, what Huey wants from Mario is to hit Splotchleek Bossblob as usual. Then, when the fake Bossblob attacks, Mario blocks the imitation jester- in that moment, Huey will open up and use his power to suck any loose black paint in, ensuring Splotchleek stays injured! Marirana squees at Huey’s strategy- it’s perfect!

The gang test out this theory, however unwilling they are to let Huey take the brunt of attacks. It works out great, exactly as Huey expected. Making this even better, Splotchleek Bossblob hasn’t fully recovered from Robin’s unexplained spell, so Huey can take even more damage than usual! That said, Mario and Edwin are well aware that no matter how sure Huey is of his durability, he’s still taking a lot of damage. The self-sacrifice of their friend versus his mortality provides the gang ample reason to fight and block as hard and accurately as possible, to stop the possible torture on their friend.

In a stroke of cursed luck, Splotchleek resorts to a last-ditch move at only one-fifth of its remaining “life”. The remaining bits of Splotchleek form into a miniature Bossblob, freeing the trapped Koopalings…as well as the portrait of colorless Peach! The mini-Bossblob then jumps high, intending to land on Mario.

Timing his block perfectly, Splotchleek’s final resort ends up the eldritch being’s undoing, and Huey sucks the last of Splotty in. The last words Splotchleek screams as it connects with Huey… “NOOOO! I needed you…Eclipse Princess…for the starry seal…”

Despite Splotchleek’s rage, Huey closes, and Splotchleek’s a splot in a cage.

Mario and friends are exhausted, defeating one of the most intoxicating villains the plumber has ever faced. Eventually, he regains his breath, and delivers hammer blows on the Koopa leaders. He sends them all flying, the nine Koopas conscious enough to say goodbye to Mario as they’re hit. Ludwig also notes to himself not to mess with black paint anymore. Most gracious of all, Junior rues not listening to Motley, while the clown thanks Mario for freeing them.

With every single bad guy or morally ambiguous foe finally gone, everyone jumps for joy at the immense task they all accomplished. From within Huey, Splotchleek takes on the bucket head’s personality and does its best to persuade freeing it by offering black licorice. Thankfully, no-one’s that stupid, with Kidd agitating the imprisoned entity over its idiocy.

All of a sudden, the castle starts rumbling. Shadhema drops from the ceiling, along with the blank painting of Peach. The castle continues violently shaking, and soon, black paint starts surfacing! Pretty quickly, Louis starts regretting his earlier idea, while Splotchleek lusts for its great creation to make its foes see error in sealing it.

Huey, not wanting to hear another word out of Splotchleek, shushes his prisoner- but he’s aware the castle’s not going to last much longer. To help his friends, O’Chunks picks up Shadhema with one arm and tells everyone he’ll get the Eclipse Princess out of here. The large general leaves, and a large pillar drops down.

First, Mario has to recolor Peach. Regaining consciousness, she notices not just Mario, Huey, and everyone who joined after Nya, but also Toadsworth in his mechsuit. There’s no time for Toadsworth to explain much- he tells the Princess they need to leave now! Peach actually listens to Toadsworth this time, healing everyone from the gauntlet they’d previously endured.

It’s rather fortunate for Mario and friends the Koopalings’ Castle is rather slow in its collapse, the team not wanting to consider what would happen if they so easily perished after an insane battle medley. In fact, the castle doesn’t give out until after they walk over its floors. However, a slow collapse is still a collapse.

Just before leaving the bent bridge room, a pile of wood almost falls on Mario, Peach and the others. In his mechsuit, Toadsworth moves in the way. He catches it, allowing his friends to sidestep- but the mechsuit can’t take this weight for much longer. Peach is grateful for Toadsworth’s save, and Toadsworth asserts he would give his cap for her. Also touched is Nya, who notices a way out of this.

Nya vanishes. Suddenly, Toadsworth vanishes from the mechsuit. Following that, Nya and Toadsworth reappear in front of the others. Eventually, the wood crushes P8R8D3, reducing it to junk.

While Toadsworth appreciates Nya rescuing him, he’s upset over the loss of the mechsuit- how can he prove himself to Peach now? Thankfully, Peach reveals not only did Toadsworth succeed- all she ever needed from him was his company. Toadsworth, validated at last, almost cries heartfelt tears. The castle rumbles once more, unfortunately, and Kidd emphasizes the team needs to hurry.

The entrance hall is in worse shape than when Mario’s alliance first entered. Kidd assists getting everyone out of there quickly, as they dodge all the falling wood and bricks.

Outside, Luigi, Daisy, Nabana, O’Chunks, Perry and the Goombas are all waiting. As Luigi and Daisy greet their main counterparts, Perry decides it’s time he and the other Goombas rolled out. Using their last bit of Shroomsday’s power, the Goombas combine into the Goomba Wheel, then quickly roll down the Rainbow Road.

There’s a bit of a problem, however- there’s not enough room on the kart for Shadhema and Peach! Even worse, Mario’s partner pocket doesn’t have space for both Princesses, preventing that cheat from working.

When all hope of full escape seems lost, Pitholl and Cucleer fly up to the castle, with Draggadon in toe! Draggadon respects the two Musketeers for the twenty Magma Burgers they gave him, but it’s so cold up here, the giant Toad-opposing dragon demands they hurry. In addition, Pitholl reveals they have Khairacles and General Guy on standby- everyone, regardless of alliance, is pitching in.

It’s then Pitholl notices Aace isn’t present. The lack of words from our heroes is all Pitholl and Cucleer need to know what happened. For once, the Pianta and Cucleer fall silent- even if Aace wasn’t completely honest, he did always try and make sure they were never in any real danger. …Except from the possession, but even then, they weren’t mind-controlled into jumping in lava.

To avoid digging too deep into their boss’ morality, Cucleer hastens Mario’s friends onto Draggadon. O’Chunks, Louis, Nya, Robin and Sledge all board the great dragon, carrying Shadhema. Seeing the Eclipse Princess, Nabana changes rides. In addition, as Kidd is aboard to climb on Draggadon, she gives Huey/”Tin Thing” a smooch, wishing him good luck.

When Draggadon notices Shadhema on-board, he almost loses his temper. It’s only thanks to Kidd that Draggadon stays his vengeance- for now. The treasure guarding dragon also feels something odd about Robin, but shakes it off. The immense reptile flies back down to the Mushroom World, and the Musketeers follow suit.

Suddenly, another shake occurs- the Rainbow Road is detaching from the castle! With the freed capacity, Toadsworth, Edwin and Marirana are able to climb onto the Standard L. Mario finally jumps across. All that’s left is for Huey to board, and everyone can say goodbye to this mess for good.

However... Huey does not board.

Guardian of Prisma Island

Instead, Huey decides to stay behind. As he painfully explains, when the castle collapses, all the black paint is going to fall out and engulf a large amount of the planet. Huey can’t let that happen, for it’s part of the function Starmageddon built him for. At last, Huey reveals he figured out what his purpose truly is- not to recover the Paint Stars like he suspected, or restart the world as the Blight King eventually sought. This whole time, Huey’s purpose has been to destroy Splotchleek and the black paint.

The road begins breaking apart. There’s no time left, as Huey demands his friends leave now. He promises he’ll be right behind them, especially as he can fly- he just needs to clean this mess first. Marirana is shocked at what Huey intends to do, but it’s Edwin who doesn’t want to lose a brot- another friend. Frantic, Edwin begs Mario or Luigi to say something. Instead, the two brothers know Huey’s right. Luigi drives off with Mario and the gang, while Edwin screams Huey’s name.

After our heroes leave, Splotchleek gets under Huey’s finish- it’s aware Huey has no intention of following them, calling him a coward. This angers Huey, both at Splotchleek’s accusation, and himself needing to lie for the greater good. Huey flies under the Koopalings’ Castle, opening himself up. Despite Splotchleek’s doubts, Huey calls upon the Grand Paint Stars to grant him the SQUEEZE ability.

The castle starts dripping all its paint, being sucked into Huey. Once the bucket is finished, the castle becomes small and Chrome, floating downward.

With the castle gone, the Rainbow Road rumbles. This knocks the Standard L, its passengers, and the Goombas up ahead off. All in mid-air, Mario & Toadsworth, Luigi and Edwin go catch Peach, Daisy and Marirana respectively. Just before they meet their doom, Mario, his group and the kart are caught mid-air by Khairacles, acting as a safety net on Cucleer’s orders.

Far away, Perry and his Goombas almost fall to their doom- until they land inside a bouncy spring. Confused at first, the nine Goombas realize they landed on a large life raft, commandeered by General Guy and the remaining Shy Guys. The white masked General wants a full report from Perry on what happened, as the life raft collective sails away from Prism Island.

Back with Mario and friends, Khairacles lands in Port Prisma. Around Prisma Fountain, many of the people Mario encountered are gathered. Khairacles gently places Mario and his close pals in front of Prisma Fountain, asking they remember to vote for the big ape at Emerald Circus. The large monkey runs off. Also taking their leave is Draggadon, watching from the skies in case Shadhema tries something.

Once Mario and Peach get comfortable, Nastasia lets them know she gathered everyone to make sure the team made it back safely, thanking them for everything they did.

Everyone in the plaza SWITCH A

Everyone in the plaza SWITCH B

The Chrome Koopalings’ Castle Artifact floats into the Port town, and Mario collects it. The tiny colorless building stuns Merlon as to its nature. Just then, Merluvlee slowly contemplates who was responsible for squeezing the color out…

High in the skies of Prism Island, Huey recollects himself over the titanic task he succeeded with. However, Splotchleek not only reminds the guardian of its continuing existence- the unknowable being threatens Huey once it breaks out, it’ll resume covering the world in black paint and-

Tired of Splotchleek, Huey decides on a valiant course of action. He’ll take Splotchleek and the black paint far away from the Mushroom World, so it can never hurt anyone ever again. And unlike Merluvlee, Huey affirms he’s not coming back. The matter is settled, and Huey flies deep into space with an annoyed imprisoned Splotchleek.

Back in Port Prisma, Shadhema wakes up, upset. She begins rattling off a series of questions, desiring to blast everyone around her until she gets answers. Before Shadhema can unleash her renewed power, though, Ellshe speaks up and reminds “K-girl” that Mario and his team just lost their friend.

The name “K-girl” is enough to stay Shadhema’s hand, and she recognizes Ellshe. Soon, Nabana and Kitanu arrive, and they proceed to further jog Shadhema’s mind on her history as Kersti. The string of yarn is pulled, and thanks to her friends, Shadhema starts remembering more and more of her Sticker Fairy existence, including her favorite subject- how paper fares in jungles.

Most important, Shadhema now starts to understand how bossy she used to be as Kersti, as well as her current/”past” behaviour. Orion takes this chance to apologize for Prism Island’s ancient ancestors not finding a more peaceful solution than sealing her in a coffin. To everyone’s surprise, Shadhema takes the blame, admitting if she weren’t playing so recklessly near the fountain, the Eclipse war would never have happened.

Rather than anyone rubbing it in, Kitanu brings up the bright side in all this. Despite the tragic events that followed the day at Prism Fountain, a series of positive changes ensued. Of these changes was Shadhema gaining new friends, a new home, and travelling with a respected hero, Mario. Thanks to her friends’ encouraging approach and the sight of Mario, it finally comes back to Shadhema that Mario has saved her several times now.

Happy for her friend, Ellshe reiterates how while things were bad at first, they became better. Nevertheless, Shadhema should never forget who or what made her “her”.

All these words get Shadhema to reconsider her stance. She’s still going to blast everyone…but not with magic. Using her sorcery, Shadhema once again moves the paint out of Prisma Fountain. This time, instead of mixing the paint together, she merely levitates the individual colors over the entire plaza. Positioning it carefully, all the paint falls on everyone, and Shadhema calls for a paint fight!

A great paint brawl erupts! Everyone starts throwing the colored liquid at each other- Luigi at Mario, Marirana at Edwin, Nastasia and Robin at O’Chunks, Keirf and Sledge at Nabana… Pretty soon, the whole plaza’s a mess!

During the paint fight, Gulliv T gets a red paint ball in on Shadhema. Immediately, the fighting stops! There’s silence. Shadhema conjures up a huge ball of paint! …Before letting it drip enough to a safer small size and throwing. The paint fight resumes!

As they stand out for a bit, Catguru, Keirf and Kolorado brim at visiting the island now, if only to see this. Merlon even suggests they have their own version of Sticker Fest to celebrate in Port Prisma. The wizard gets the idea to call it Splatfest! …Though he thinks the name might need work.

Closing off this wonderful turn of events, Shadhema sees Leblaanc and Kidd she heard from Aace about their woes. Using her twin sabers, Shadhema cuts off not just a small amount of her own hair, but the entire length! Everyone thanks Shadhema for her turn towards the better, as Kitanu considers how this all started with a Color Splash.

Shadhema feels great being accepted by Prism Island’s people after so long. Turning to the sky, she also thanks Aace, Shroomsday, Sporepocalypse, Starmageddon, Huey, and even Mario for their help. They say if one were to look up that day, you would see those guys looking down in peace, and Mario jumping up.

Ending

Nighttime approaches. Everyone is celebrating!

Edwin is giving and receiving coins alongside a dancing Marirana and Suebelle.

Louis and Orion chat with Mawk and Pawk Hawk.

O’Chunks and Nastasia sit atop a square tree, with Nastasia close to O’Chunks.

Nya talks with Caapri, while Baabeaussa and Pirra T do likewise.

Kidd and Leblaanc are walking together…and Billy catches up, awake and happy! Enerr T joyously walks aside Billy.

Luigi and Daisy are hanging out with the relaxed Bakke T, Bella T, Chef Vinachio, and Keirf.

Sledge is juggling in front of some younger Rescue Squad members.

Robin watches from the east entrance, content, when shlke unexpectedly gets a headache. A blue portal with a six-eyed mark appears under shklim, taking Robin back likely to shklis own dimension. As Robin is drawn into the portal, the memories of Prism Island within shklim crack apart.

One last night SWITCH

On the top veranda, Mario, Peach, Toadsworth and Shadhema are watching the festivities. Admiring their handiwork, Peach and Toadsworth are gleeful with the peace returning to Prism Island. Regardless, Toadsworth still misses his mechsuit. Sympathizing with the old Toad, Shadhema mentions it’s good to see everyone celebrate on her island before “we” head back to the Decal Lands. She then opens her ends, emitting red time energy, and cryptically assuring Toadsworth while the suit is gone, she’ll give him the gift of a little more time.

Peach is surprised Shadhema will continue doing Sticker Fest. Explaining herself, Shadhema lets Peach and the others know Merluvlee is putting her in charge of the celebration- therefore, Shadhema will pose as the Sticker Comet from now on. The Eclipse Princess demonstrates this, shifting between her Space and Time forms, before cycling to the look of the Sticker Comet. As one other surprise, Shadhema shifts back into Kersti, showing she can still take that look, before returning to her real form.

This prompts the obvious question from Toadsworth- will Shadhema and Merluvlee tell the inhabitants of Sticker Star the truth of their being? Shadhema confirms, and also elaborates she and Merluvlee will bring back everyone who wants to return to their homes. Relieved, Peach thanks Mario and Toadsworth, promising in front of her elderly vassal she’ll thank Mario’s partners too.

Everyone’s attention is drawn to the night horizon. Several of Shroomsday’s minions are flying in orbs, towards space. When Toadsworth inquires where they’re off to, Shadhema reveals she and Merluvlee found the remaining Shroom monsters a new home on a dark, uninhabited planet with the essential nutrients to their growth. The reason they’re being moved is since with Shroomsday/Cursedy gone, there’s no reason for his offspring to linger on the Mushroom World anymore.

Even after Shroomsday’s minions exit the atmosphere, though, Mario still looks towards the night sky. After a moment, Peach realizes Mario is thinking about Huey. Shadhema reflects on Mario’s feelings, until she arrives at the right choice of words…

“Even if I’m no longer coming here…

Even if he’s stuck with Splotchleek for awhile…

I know my detective buddy is watching over all of Prism Island…

I know he’s happy.”

“I can feel it.”

Recut credits 1 SWITCH

Recut credits 2- Louis and his dad SWITCH

Recut credits 3- The Deeps and Birdo SWITCH

Recut credits 4- Ancient Beasts

Parade time! The next day, the inhabitants of Prism Island get together and build a flotilla of parade floats. Upon finishing, they lead and drive the floats around the island, for all to watch and admire. Princess also returns to give Orion a lift, and Louis runs after them. Some remaining Koopaling and Musketeer troops also help out with the parade. Out of a sense of obligation, the islanders even construct floats in the images of Aace, Shroomsday, Sporepocalypse and the Koopalings.

Recut credits 5- Unfinished business

That said, as night approaches, Mario swears he can hear Kammy Koopa and Kamek somewhere, despite not seeing them on the island. In addition, for one brief moment, Mario swears he sees a shadow of Bowser and another oddly familiar face battling a large opponent. It, too, reminds Mario an awful lot of someone- in this case, Shroomsday, but stronger.

Equally as quick, Mario shakes off this feeling. He’s just imagining things- yeah, that’s it. All is as it should be, with him, Peach and Toadsworth waving from their boat-based float. Oh, and the sensation of several names scrolling upwards, possibly relevant to observers on another plane of existence.

Postgame- Before, Yet After the End

In another timeline where Mario defeated Shadhema yet didn’t pick her up for some reason, he and the others find themselves back in Port Prisma. As the group puzzles why they’re here, a red time energy glows overhead. Toadsworth, in his car, emerges to see what the hubbub is. The red time energy spurs a kindly mother of the stars to laugh quietly.

Suddenly, Toadsworth changes from his car form into mecha mode! Huey is amazed Toadsworth knew about this before himself, only for Toadsworth to find suspicion in this development. In the end, Toadsworth finds the mode a welcome gift, and P8R8D3 more and more interesting by the minute.

Quickly testing this mode out on the field, Toadsworth’s Robot Mode offers more height when riding- but that’s really it. The battlefield is where Robot Mode really shines, as Toadsworth replenishes even more paint than before. It’s also simple switching between Car and Robot Mode, the same as switching between other partners.

Something compels Mario to head for the Post Office. This compulsion rings true, for Pesshi has a rather unusual letter addressed to Mario. It’s from Sporepocalypse, written 200 years ago just for this occasion. Attached to the letter is a strange Six-Eyed Mark. According to the letter, the creature who ended Sporepocalypse’s game left the mark behind as it was driven back to its home dimension. To this day, the Six-Eyed Mark still radiates a malicious energy- what Sporepocalypse wants is for Mario to bring the Mark to the Timespace Pod and purge the evil within. There’s also a secret message summed up as “Sporepocalypse lied to Starmageddon for Mario’s sake.”

The team purchases the highest grade Battle Cards, then returns to Dark Bloo Inn’s Timespace Pod. Before Mario fights whoever bears the Mark, he decides to try out Aace’s Journal first- something he could have done before fighting Shadhema. Barring some stat increases putting Aace on par with the EX Koopalings, the battle is the same as the one in the Koopalings’ Castle Basement. For defeating Aace EX, Mario receives Aace’s Saber, making Musketeer enemies drop their enemy cards twice as fast.

Now for the Six-Eyed Mark…

The Timespace Pod brings Mario to the roads of Prism Island. Mario and, oddly, Robin, are antsy at this location- who could they fight here?

In answer, a mammoth-sized blue portal appears. From out of the portal, the long neck of an undead dragon emerges, its six eyes peering down at the plumber. When the dragon sees Robin, it becomes much more alert. Robin, meanwhile, glares as shkle calls the dragon by a name.

“Grima.”

Grima battle SWITCH A

Grima battle SWITCH B

The name of Grima’s game is weakening its prey and preventing them from saving themselves. Alongside a powerful Bite and an OP Expiration Breath, Grima can use Hawkeye Flash to prevent Mario’s blocking from reducing damage inflicted next turn, effectively doubling the power of Grima’s next attack! Equally worrisome is the insectoid wyvern’s Dragonskin Flash, halving the damage it takes for three turns. Combined with nearly four digits of calculable health, and the Fell Dragon is one tough customer- it’s even stronger than Shadhema!

One point of grotesqueness Mario learns about Grima comes from jumping on the back of Grima’s helmet. After doing this twice in one turn, Mario nearly barfs when he learns the “dragon” has a little friend under his upper jaw, in the form of a human face! The face unnerves Mario, leers at him, and even sticks out its own tongue in mockery at one point. Finding the inner Grima creepy and just plain rude, Mario and Robin change their strategy to keep the face only a fanatic could love exposed to damage.

After so many turns, Grima falls in combat. However, Mario and Robin still feel a malevolent presence as the Timespace Pod brings them back to their own dimension. Wondering what it could mean, the Timespace Pod gives Mario the vengeful Grima Mask Artifact for his “victory”. Equipping the Grima Mask allows Mario to use 1 extra card next turn for every 2 hits he takes on the enemies’ turn.

To take their mind off Grima, the team travels Prism Island, to find any remaining Colorless Spots and test out their new abilities. Toadsworth’s Robot Mode especially cuts down the time painting everything in. Weirdly, several Koopatrols and the stronger Shroom minions roam in areas they definitely hadn’t before.

Oh well- stronger enemies equal more EXP Hammers. Because of such a fact, Mario maxes out his HP and Paint in little time.

Feeling refreshed, Mario heads back to the Post Office some time later. There’s another letter waiting for him.

It’s drenched in black paint. The only thing not covered in the stuff is…a globe of Prism Island, merely labeled “Another”. Except…while there are a variety of species and genders in the diorama…Memphawks, Vellbex and Brustaches aren’t present. Only Toads, Piantas and Lakitus.

What?

Mystified by such a weird gift, Mario and friends retreat back to Dark Bloo’s Pod. Inserting the Another into the Pod’s DNA reader, the team are brought to the Koopalings’ Castle.

Except the Pod reads “Dark Bowser’s Castle” as the destination. How odd…

And then the change makes sense, when, in the throne of the other Koopalings’ Castle, Mario and friends see a face they haven’t encountered in-person…Bowser. Like the title infers, the Bowz is covered in black paint. Though Mario and Huey are confused whether this is Splotchleek or- and it gives Huey terror to consider it- a second Black Paint entity, they press on anyways.

Splotchleek Bowser

Like what their other selves did, Mario and friends discover Bowser isn’t himself, fight him for a bit, watch him get bigger thanks to this other black paint entity asserting control, watch Huey restore himself, block his attacks (now more Bowser-themed), and seal all the black paint present away. Unlike the being who would become Splotchleek Bossblob, Black Bowser has no time powers- only space, confirming Emerald’s hypothesis from earlier. He also brings some back-up in the form of Black Bubbles. But they’re dealt with.

The experience makes Mario think, as he receives the Black Paint Cape Artifact for defeating Black Bowser. It’s just what he needs for possible engagements with Shroom minions and Splotchleek, for it halves damage from both kinds of foes.

The boon of the Black Paint Cape inspires Mario to wear it, as the team returns to see Shadhema, only to be ambushed by Splotchleek’s Koopaling All-Stars. But you just read that part, so little reason to repeat it again. In fact, the Black Paint Cape reduces the damage the possessed punks and punkette inflict greatly.

There is one difference from the main timeline. When Splotchleek Bossblob makes a go at freezing Huey, Toadsworth’s Robot Mode interrupts with egg whites and Robin his “surprising” Flametongue. Together, this ends up compromising Splotchleek Bossblob’s battle prowess much further and avoiding a heap of trauma.

Much later, after Shadhema turns good forever and the night festival occurs, Toadsworth’s total bliss ensures Shadhema needs not perform any time shenanigans. And all was well.

One question burns through Mario’s head, though. It’s a question many Mushroom World inhabitants have wondered at some point in their life. Kamek’s asked it several times. Peach ponders the question as she builds up defenses. And now, with no trouble in sight, Mario must ask…

“Where-a in the world was-a Bowser?”

EX Mode

PAPER BOWSER COLOR SMASH

EX Mode Prologue

A few days ago…

Bowser in the cave SWITCH

Inside an unknown green cavern, the Koopa King Bowser rises from an explained slumber. Trying to remember how he got here, Bowser clicks in on the absence of his most loyal followers. The only company he has is himself…

…and an unknown voice, one which Bowser senses some familiarity with! The Koopa King is frustrated with the voice’s crypticness, and also unintimidated from the unknown speaker’s origins of being created by the ruler to the heavens.

When Bowser boasts he could take on anyone, the voice decides to engage in a little “game” with Bowser. A warp hole phases into existence, and the voice challenges Bowser to follow the many holes to Prism Island’s most powerful battlers. Up for a challenge and not wanting to be shown up by his faceless foe, Bowser accepts.

EX Mode Stage 1

Sacred Forest

A few days ago…

Bowser emerges from the red warp hole into the Sacred Forest’s deepest grove. The Koopa King’s attention is drawn ASAP to a Green Paint Star nearby. Before he can claim it, two Boos and two Boosketeers float in. Unaware of the Musketeers’ exact membership, Bowser orders who he assumes are his henchghosts to help him grab the Paint Star. It’s then Bowser is enlightened to the Boos’ allegiance, and the large Koopa’s first battle commences.

At the beginning of the battle, one of the Boos slinks to the ground due to eating too many square apples beforehand. Bowser seizes this chance to warm-up with a punch and end the Boo’s embarrassment. Their ally slain, the other Boo returns to the air to stay out of Bowser’s punch range. What the Boo fails to account for is Bowser’s Ground Pound attack, flattening the ghost to nothing. Only two Boosketeers remain, and they raise their swords up to ensure Bowser is injured if he tries another aerial assault. The thing is Bowser’s a fire-breathing turtle dragon ox, all he needs to scorch both their tails at once.

The Boosketeers admit defeat, floating off to warn Khairacles of Bowser’s arrival. Basking in his win, Bowser grabs the Paint Star, awaiting his full reward. However, a purple vine swats Bowser away from the star, which in turn is encased in a purple crystal. Agitated at his reward denied, Bowser calls out the voice for moving the goalpost in such a fashion. The voice only responds the stars aren’t part of Bowser’s challenge- instead, the Koopa King must use purple warp holes to navigate the environment, right over the small warp pipe. Bowser takes this as a fat joke, while the voice insists Bowser’s head alone is too big. Incensed by this, Bowser’s negativity towards the voice increases.

The next warp hole takes Bowser to the first tiny area of the forest. The spiked turtle isn’t happy at the uneventful locales he’s been transported to, not helped by the voice dishing out more threatening insults before Bowser can.

As Bowser grows more annoyed at his malicious benefactor, the voice of a very small child asks who Bowser is talking to. The King of turtles is surprised to see Gulliv T. Since Bowser has better things to do than listen to Gulliv T’s story, the giant shelled villain breathes fire at the little guy, causing the Toad boy to run off.

Color Smash rules SWITCH

An attempt to learn why only Bowser can hear the voice yields no real response- just a promise that Bowser’s face will be priceless. Now no longer interested in the voice, Bowser gives