ACT 11: SHINE VS DARK: SHINE’S TIME TO SHINE/THE TRUTH ABOUT PARATROOPA
Donkey Kong rowed onto the beach. The group disembarked the boat to greet the environment that surrounded them. The environment, much to everyone’s surprise, was much larger than usual. In fact, everything was four times as big as normal.
“Woah!” Sparkle remarked. “Talk about larger than life…”
“… What is this place?” Yoshi asked.
Mario pondered as he put his backpack on. When he was sure he knew where they were, he answered. “… I think this is-a the Giant Kingdom… literaly the biggest island on-a the map…”
Shine Guy gazed around at the king-sized terrain that lay before them. “I never thought I would see anything larger than Dark Master himself…” he said.
“… Err… How big is he?” Yoshi asked.
“… Hmm…” He looked around for something to compare sizes with. “He is about as large as that hill…” Shine Guy pointed to a nearly hill, very large in size and about the size of Yoob).
Yoshi stared blankly. “Wow… That’s pretty darn big… I’ve seen bigger though…” He then thought of his first adventure, way back when Mario was just a baby. He and the other Yoshis outbattled several enlarged enemies. The most memorable, however, was the glowing yellow-eyed, hulking monstrosity that was Bowser. What an intense battle that was.
“Well?” Donkey Kong spoke. “We go now?”
“Uh… We go now…” Mario answered, and immediately he thought, What am I saying? “Okay, Shine Guy. Lead-a the way!”
The Shyster nodded, and, following his senses of power, started forward. The others followed.
As they ventured forward, Shine Guy began to develop another sense. This one, however, was not a good one. In fact, it felt more like a warning.
Elsewhere on the island, Dark Paratroopa materialized in the middle of a large (and I do mean large) forest. He looked around, slightly amazed at how large the trees appeared to be. “Hm…” he said. “Strange place…”
Seconds later, the brainwashed Blaze Koopa, Shadow Flame, materialized next to him. He looked all around at the huge surroundings. “… Uh… Are we shrunk?” he asked.
Dark Paratroopa groaned after hearing the question, then turned sharply to the burly Koopa and spoke irritably to him. “No, you idiot! Everything’s bigger than usual!”
After hearing the insult, Flame growled under his breath. I’d sure love to set his shell on fire… he thought.
Flame snapped out of his thoughts and turned to the Paratroopa. “… What?”
“Come on! We have Gems to find! They’ll be easy to snatch now that…” he stopped, when he suddenly had a sense. It wasn’t a good sense (in the eyes of a baddie). Now feeling the brunt of this sense, he clutched his fists in extreme fury. “No… no! NO!” he yelled. “It can’t be! It’s not possible! No! No! NO!”
“No no no, what?” Flame said, shrugging and raising a brow. “What’s yer problem?!”
Paratroopa didn’t answer immediately. He just stood there, his shell turned to Flame, his eyes glowing red with fury and hatred. Nothing was heard from his mouth. All that could be heard was the chirping bird in the trees and the distant roar of thunder from a brewing storm. After a moment, he spoke, in a cold, angry voice.
“My problem… is still living…”
Shine Guy followed his senses across the plains of tall grass, with several trees scattered here and there. The further he proceeded, however, the more he began to worry. He is here… he thought. I just know it…
Behind him, the rest of the group conversed. Mario and Donkey Kong, as unlikely as it looked, were having a friendly chat. “So how has-a everything been on your island?” Mario asked.
“Kremlings attack days ago,” Donkey answered. “Donkey, Diddy, Tiny, Lanky, Chunky beat Kremlings up good!”
“Coincidentally, Luigi’s-a beating up Koopas right now in-a the Mushroom Kingdom. I hope he’s-a doing fine.”
Yoshi looked up at the dark clouds looming overhead. “Looks like we’re gonna get some rain…” he said to Diddy.
“Yeah,” Diddy agreed.
Sparkle wasn’t conversing with anyone at the moment. She lagged at the back of the group, seemingly deep in thought.
Shine Guy stopped at the top of a hill, overlooking a small (not really small) village. The others came up behind him. Shine Guy stared down at the village, then turned to face the group. “The Pink Gem is somewhere in that village,” he said to them. “We must find it and leave quickly. If Dark Paratroopa were to show up, it would put the villagers in danger.”
Everyone looked at each other. “Diddy not see what problem is?” the ape kid spoke. “Village guys four times bigger than Paratroopa…”
“Yeah…” added Yoshi. “They could easily squash him.”
“I could kill myself for admitting this, but Dark Paratroopa has the potential to take down others larger than him. I suppose I could say the same for that spiky, fanged Koopa who is accompanying him…”
“Well, things would be a lot different if we-a knocked Blaze back into his-a right mind… But then… that could be a challenge…”
“Even so, it is still best that we hurry so as to avoid any intense battles within the village. Let us go!” Shine Guy sprinted down the hill. The others followed. However, the hill was so large that they couldn’t slow themselves down going downhill. Then, Sparkle tripped, tumbling forwards into Diddy, who ran into Yoshi, who ran into Donkey, who ran into Mario.
Shine Guy reached the bottom of the hill. He looked around in the village. The houses and other buildings were very large. A few people (mostly Toads and Koopas) could be seen walking around. As described by Diddy, they were four times bigger than usual. “This village is small, yet large,” Shine Guy said to the others. “It is best that we split up to cover more ground…”
“But… umph… we’re gonna stick out… umph… like sore toes… umph…” Yoshi groaned. “Get off me, Donkey!”
Shine Guy turned around to see what Yoshi was groaning about. He could see his companions all piled up at the bottom of the hill. Shine Guy groaned himself. “Well…” he replied to Yoshi, “just… keep a low profile and you will blend in…”
Dark Paratroopa materialized just outside the village. He looked around with a cold, furious visage. He’s here… he thought. And I’ll destroy him even if I kill myself in the process… It’s why I’m here…
Flame materialized seconds later. He also looked around. “Dang… Even the civilization is large…” he remarked.
“Forget the civilization!” Paratroopa snapped. “We’re here for more important things! We’re not tourists on a vacation!”
“Hey! Chill!” Flame reacted. “It was just a remark! You act like I just insulted your father or something…”
Paratroopa froze, then turned to Flame. “Then you would’ve insulted Dark Master…”
“… You’re kidding… right?”
“… No…” came the reply. Flame opened his mouth to say something, but Dark Paratroopa put his hand up to stop him. “No time for pointless chatting! We have work to do!”
“Right… We gotta find that Gem…”
“Excuse me? WE? I don’t think so! YOU will find the Gem!”
“But that’s your job! I shouldn’t be doing it for you!”
Immediately Dark Paratroopa blasted him with a lightning bolt. Flame fell back, then rubbed his head. He then threw his hands up, in a way that meant “What was that for?!”
Dark Paratroopa stood over him, his face shadowed, his eyes glowing red. “My job…” he spoke in a cold voice, “…is to end the existence of Shine Guy’s generation! Now you go do your job, and I’ll do mine! Am I clear?” Flame shrugged, then nodded. “Good!” Paratroopa finished. He teleported away.
Flame got to his feet and shook himself off. Why do I feel like I shouldn’t be taking orders from that guy…? he thought. He teleported.
Mario was speaking with a Koopa who was about the size of Kent C Koopa. Mario took one of the Power Gems, the Red Gem, out of his backpack and showed it to the Koopa. “Have-a you seen a pink one like it?” Mario asked.
“Hmm… Nope… Sorry, shortstuff…” he said.
“Ah… It’s-a fine…”
The Koopa walked away, leaving Mario thinking, Shortstuff?!
Donkey peered inside the oversized trash cans lining the paths in front of the houses, but could find nothing. He opened another trash can. Though he didn’t find a Gem, he did find a half-eaten banana. Donkey decided not to let it go to waste.
Meanwhile, inside a house, a Toad girl was staring out the front window at Donkey eating the banana. “Hey Mom!” he called. “There’s a brown ape with a tie eating our garbage!”
Her mother, who was cooking dinner, sighed, shaking her head. That girl’s got such a good imagination… she thought.
After finishing off the banana, Donkey continued forward, peering inside every trash can he could find. However, unbeknownst to him, back in the trash can from which he found the banana, he had missed something deep within the garbage.
Yoshi peered inside a small space between two houses. He saw nothing, then continued down the path.
Seconds later, Flame materialized in the very spot Yoshi had been standing, though he didn’t see Yoshi walking away. He looked in the alley, but could see no Gem. Sheesh… he thought. Dark Paratroopa can sense the Gems. Why can’t HE do this? He teleported away.
Shine Guy walked through a space between two buildings. He was just about to take a right when he spotted Dark Paratroopa, glancing around with his back turned. Shine Guy gasped and hid behind the building. He watched the Paratroopa anxiously, hoping he wouldn’t turn and come his way.
Much to Shine Guy’s relief, Paratroopa teleported. The Shyster had no idea where, but decided not to worry. He walked out of the alley and down the path.
Sparkle looked all around her as she walked down the path. Ahead, he could see Diddy, crawling across the ground and sniffing. She walked up to him. “Any luck?” she asked.
Diddy looked up. “Nope,” he answered.
Sparkle frowned, not happy with the answer. “Ah… well… Keep searching…”
They continued about their ways, passing each other in opposite directions.
Mario was searching in one of the alleys. Come on… he thought. Where is it?! He was startled by the suddenly roar of the thunder overhead. Rain?! Great… That’s all I need… Immediately after he spoke, Shadow Flame materialized in front of him! Mario jumped. The rain was really all I needed!
“I knew I’d find you sooner or later!” Flame spoke sinisterly. “I couldn’t find the Pink Gem, so I think I’ll just settle for all the Gems you already have, if you’ll kindly hand them over!”
“Over my dead body!” Mario snapped back.
“I can arrange that!”
Donkey, after enjoying the (rather disgusting) banana, walked down the path. Suddenly he heard an explosion, and it wasn’t thunder. He spotted a column of smoke rising into the air, then saw Mario go flying out of an alley ahead. He quickly jumped to his feet, narrowly avoiding a purple fireball. Shadow Flame then jumped out of the alley. Donkey rushed towards them to help.
“Give me that bag if you want to live!” Flame yelled.
“If you want it so bad,” Mario retorted, “then TAKE it-a from me!”
Flame shrugged. “Okay!” he said as Donkey came up, followed by Yoshi, who had heard the commotion and just arrived on the scene.
BOSS!!!: Shadow Flame/Blaze Koopa
Donkey jumped at Flame, who ran under him and spat a fireball at Mario. Mario dodged it and jumped at Flame, swinging his hammer. Flame dodged Mario, with the hammer grazing through his hair. Yoshi ran and fluttered up to Flame, who knocked him back. Mario jumped back at Flame with his hammer, swinging into the side of the Koopa’s head. Flame’s head was rocked, but he recovered.
“Come on!” Flame taunted. “You can do better than that!”
“Yes!” Yoshi retorted. “We can! YAH!” Yoshi jumped back at Flame, kicking him in the face. Flame shook it off, grabbed Yoshi, and slammed him to the ground. Mario saw this and charged at Flame with his hammer, but was knocked ten feet backwards by a fireball.
Donkey roared loudly and jumped high towards Flame, who retreated into his shell and jumped at Donkey, spikes first. Donkey grabbed the shell and slammed it to the ground. Flame popped back out. “That was a nice move, only I didn’t feel it!”
“FEEL THIS!!!” Donkey bellowed. He jumped at Flame and pounded his fists. Flame dodged him, only to get kicked by Yoshi again. Flame staggered, then was punched in the stomach by Mario. Flame simply stood back up as if he hadn’t been touched.
“This is so boring…” Flame yawned. He knocked Mario back with a fireball, and shell-attacked Yoshi, knocking him to the ground. He popped back out and went for Donkey, charging at him while spitting multiple fireballs. Donkey jumped over one fireball, ran past another, and ducked under yet another, the flame nearly touching the hairs on his head. Donkey jumped at Flame, who jumped to the side. “Should you really be wearing that fur?” Flame yelled. “It looks flammable!”
“I SMASH YOU, TURTLE!” Donkey snapped back. He jumped back at Flame with clenched fists and tried to pound Flame, but missed.
Shine Guy was still looking around for the Pink Gem. His senses, oddly to him, were leading him towards a trash can (strangely, it was the very same one from which Donkey had gotten the banana). “Strange…” he said to himself. “I can feel it… coming from this direction…” He strolled towards the trash can. “Yes… yes! It is definitely here! I have found it!” Reaching the trash can, he jumped up on the rim (the trash can was oversized) and, with a slight struggle, lifted the lid off. He then began digging through the garbage.
Inside the house next to him, the same little girl from before was staring out the window at Shine Guy. “Hey Mom!” he called. “Now there’s a Shy Guy digging through our garbage!”
Her mother slapped her forehead and groaned.
Shine Guy dug through the garbage until he finally found a glowing pink piece of jewelry. “Yes! I have found it!” He dug his way back out of the trash can… and into trouble…
Shine Guy shivered upon hearing the cold voice. A shadow came over him. He slowly turned around to meet a stare of angry red eyes staring back at him through a pair of sunglasses. The thunder raging from the brewing storm overhead made the Paratroopa look even more intimidating. Shine Guy swallowed hard.
“How…?” Dark Paratroopa spoke. “I gave you the deadliest lightning bolt possible… You were supposed to be DEAD!!!”
Shine Guy paid his attention to the balls of electricity forming in each hand. He glanced back up at the winged Koopa with a stern look on his face (though his face could not be seen). “Do your worst!” he said bravely. “But I cannot let you have this Gem!”
“It’s not the Gem I want.”
“… Then what is it you want?”
“I… want… you… DEAD!!!”
Shine Guy leapt from the trash can just as Dark Paratroopa blasted both his lightning bolts. Shine Guy quickly stood back up and faced Paratroopa. “So… all this is about me?” he said.
“I will kill you… I will end your generation… I will finish what I should’ve done years ago…”
Dark Paratroopa was more than serious. He was almost losing it. Towards Shine Guy, he had the attitude of Gaara. He wanted nothing more than Shine Guy’s lifeless carcass. After all, it was his job… it was his purpose…
Shine Guy looked around. None of his companions were present. Suddenly he heard an explosion coming from the other side of the village. They both looked up to see a column of smoke in the air.
“Heh… Sounds like Shadow Flame’s taking good care of your buddies!” Dark Paratroopa snarled to the Shyster. “Looks like it’s just you… and me!”
Shine Guy shivered again. What chance would he stand, especially with no defense whatsoever? He swallowed hard. He didn’t want to have a battle in the village, but he had no choice. Besides, another fight had already ensued at the other side of the village.
“… All right…” Shine Guy said. “I… I fear you not… I can take you…” Immediately after he spoke, he thought, What am I saying…?
Sparkle and Diddy had just arrived on the scene, just in time to see Yoshi land on his stomach, right at their feet. “Yoshi…?” Sparkle said.
Yoshi stood to his feet. “Uh… Hey, guys…” he panted. “Join the brawl…”
A metal hammer also landed at their feet. Yoshi picked it up. “Oh great…” he muttered. “Mario!”
--was getting choked by Flame. Mario gasped for air and tried to speak. “*cough* Blaze! *gack* What’s-a gotten into you?! *wheeze*”
Flame raised a brow. “… Why do you keep calling me that?” he asked. “Just curious…”
“Listen *wheeze* to me!” Mario gasped. Flame loosened his grip. “Your name is-a Blaze Koopa! You are with-a the Koopa Troop, not the Dark Troop! You-a follow King Bowser, not Dark Master!”
Flame stared at him, then threw him down. “What?” he said. “As familiar as all that malarkey sounds, it’s all nothing but a lot off… malarkey!” He turned to the others. “Anyway, is there not one of you guys who can lay a good hit on me?!” He was immediately slugged by Donkey Kong. Flame went sailing backwards into a house, bursting through the wall.
The residents of the house, an elderly Toad and his wife, looked down at him lying on the floor. Flame looked up at them. “… Uh… Am I in time for dinner?”
Yoshi looked at the hole made by Flame. “… Woah… Nice move, DK!” he remarked.
Suddenly, a fireball came swiftly flying out through the hole, barely missing Yoshi, who was startled by the fireball whizzing by him so suddenly. The fireball went flying into a house, blowing a hole in the front wall and setting the house on fire. The residents of the house, a male Koopa and his two boys, came running out of the house in a fright. Flame walked out through the hole in the first house and watched as the house burned, the roof falling in. He shrugged. “Oops…” he said, rolling his eyes. “Clumsy me…” There was an obvious hint of “I don’t really care” in Flame’s voice.
Mario pondered. He’s definitely not in his right mind! Mario thought. This needs to end before the village is destroyed! To Mario’s relief, it began to rain, which put out the fire.
“Blaze!” Yoshi cried. “What’s wrong with you?!”
Flame groaned, slapping his forehead. “Stop calling me that!”
“What’s happened to him?” Yoshi asked.
Sparkle walked up to him. “I can answer that…” Sparkle said. “It’s Dark Master’s brainwashing haze. It happened to me when I became Ultraviolet.”
“Well, how do we get him back in his right mind?” Yoshi asked.
Mario began to think about that question. Suddenly, he remembered their battle with Sparkle in her Ultraviolet form. The eyes… the big yellow eyes… that was her weak point… then it must be Flame’s weak point, too.
“Everyone! Catch!” Mario called. He took the Power Gems out of his backpack (which was lying on the ground after Flame choked him), then tossed them to his companions: Yellow Gem for Donkey, Red Gem for Yoshi, Purple for Diddy, and Orange for himself.
“Wait!” Yoshi cried. “Sparkle doesn’t have one!”
“That’s okay!” said Sparkle. “I need to find Shine Guy and make sure he’s—” She was interrupted by an explosion, followed by a clash of lightning! Sparkle could see a pillar of smoke rising into the air. He gasped.
“Better hurry!” Diddy said. “Shine Guy need help!”
Sparkle, without a moment’s hesitation, ran off to the source of the explosion.
Mario, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, and Diddy all turned to Flame. “All right, Blaze!” Mario yelled. “It’s-a time we set you straight! Aim for the eyes, guys!”
Flame backed up. “… Wait…” he said. “I was supposed to be looking for the Pink one of those! I’m outta luck…”
BOSS!!!: Dark Paratroopa
Dark Paratroopa blasted another lightning bolt at Shine Guy, followed closely by another, then another, and yet another. He was hopping mad. He wanted Shine Guy dead, right now, and he would stop at nothing to accomplish his goal.
Shine Guy frantically jumped left and right to avoid the lightning bolts. This was it. It was a do or die situation. He was all alone battling Dark Paratroopa. Either he would triumph, or his adversary would. He wished that the latter would not happen.
… Wait… he thought. What am I so frightened about? I am holding a power-granting jewel. I can just power myself up and blow him away… But wait… That’s not me… I detest violence…! But… no… I must do what I must do!
“SHINE GUY!!!” called a familiar voice. Shine Guy looked ahead, and Dark Paratroopa whipped around, to see Sparkle. “Paratroopa! If you lay one finger on him, I’ll—”
“You’ll what?” Dark Paratroopa interrupted coldly. “You best not interfere, if you know what’s good for you!”
“I’m warning you!” Sparkle snapped. “Leave him alone!”
“Sparkle! Please!” Shine Guy said. “I do not want to see you get hurt!”
Dark Paratroopa rolled his eyes. “You leave me with no choice!” He stretched his hand in Sparkle’s direction and blasted lightning at her. Sparkle screamed as she was knocked to the ground, dazed.
“NO!!! SPARKLE!!!” Shine Guy cried.
Dark Paratroopa laughed evilly, then turned to Shine Guy. “As for you!” He suddenly blasted him with a swift lightning bolt. Shine Guy flew backwards, dropping the Gem.
Shine Guy struggled to his feet, only to see Dark Paratroopa picking up the Gem. He held it tightly in his hand. “No…” Shine Guy shrieked. “It is going to happen!”
Dark Paratroopa stared down at the Gem he held in his hand, then looked at Shine Guy menacingly, his teeth clenched, with a cold red stare. “You die!” he said. The Gem began to glow.
Then, much to his surprise, he didn’t glow. In fact, he did, but in an evil dark purple color. He felt more power than usual rushing into him. His skin and shell color began to darken, even darker than a Shady Koopa. His eyes glowed even more. He hovered upward, lightning flashing all around him.
Shine Guy watched blankly, as did Sparkle, who had just got back to her feet. Shine Guy knew he was near powerless to the Paratroopa. Nevertheless, he stood up on his own feet to him.
“Shine Guy!” Sparkle cried.
“Sparkle…” said Shine Guy to the Yoster. “It is best that I handle this myself.” He turned to Dark Paratroopa. “You may be more powerful than before!” he said. “But I still fear you not, and nobody treats my friend that way!”
Dark Paratroopa stared down at Shine Guy. “I must say,” he said coldly, “that was very bold of you. However, that doesn’t change a thing!” A pair of purple balls of energy began to form in each hand. “Today, I end your generation! It’s my job! It’s my purpose! It’s the very reason I exist!” Thunder roared immediately after he spoke.
“… What?” Shine Guy was shocked to hear that last sentence. The reason for his existence was to kill him? Was this true? Shine Guy didn’t think so.
Then, it happened again. Shine Guy was in the darkness yet again. The light began to appear. “Shine Guy…” came the voice.
“Father!” Shine Guy cried.
“It is time…”
Shine Guy found himself back in reality, but he felt different. He began to glow in a bright white color. Sparkle stared in amazement, while Dark Paratroopa stared with shock. “What in the world?!” he yelled.
Flame narrowly dodged an energy shot from Donkey, then another from Yoshi, then yet another from Diddy. Flame spat four fireballs at them, which slowed them down slightly, but they continued to walk toward him. Flame backed up, then stumbled and fell. He looked up at Mario, who stood over him. “Crud…” Flame muttered.
“Blaze…” Mario said, “I’m only helping you by doing this!”
“Stop calling me—” He was interrupted by Mario blasting him in his yellow eyes. Flame cried in pain. Seconds later, there was a bright light, exactly like the one they saw after defeating Violet/Sparkle. Everyone was temporarily blinded. When the light faded, Flame was gone, and in his place was a large Koopa with a red shell, flame hair, a scar, and gloves (though he always wore those).
A moment later, the Koopa’s purple eyes twitched and opened. He slowly sat up, rubbing his head. “Ugh…” he groaned. “How weird was that…?”
Mario took his arm to help him up. “Are-a you okay?” he asked.
Blaze shot his eyes up at Mario and jerked his hand away. “No touching, buddy!” he snapped.
“He’s fine…” Yoshi said, rolling his eyes.
“Do you remember anything about being Shadow Flame?” Mario asked.
“Strange…” Blaze said. “Like, I knew what was going on, but I couldn’t control myself…”
“Well, you’re fine now…” Mario said.
Blaze crossed his arms and grunted. “Eh… I guess I should thank you…” he said through gritted teeth. He was about to say more, when he turned his attention to the many flashes of lightning coming from one spot in the sky around a small, purple, hovering figure. He could also see a column of light next to the figure, coming from the ground. Both seemed to be at the other side of the village. “… Woah…” he said. “What is going on up there?!”
Everyone turned to look at the light and lightning Blaze saw.
Shine Guy slowly began to lift up into the air, glowing brightly. He could feel power flowing into him. Why? The answer was all in his head. He floated up to the same height as Dark Paratroopa, who stared blankly. “How?!” he cried. “How did you suddenly gain such power?!”
“My father may be dead!” said Shine Guy. “But his essence is still alive within me!”
“Even so!” Dark Paratroopa snapped. “I will destroy you once and for all!” Lightning clashed around him. Thunder roared. He blasted both of his energy orbs at Shine Guy, who quickly caught this by shooting his own energy into Dark Paratroopa’s. The light and dark beams of energy hit, pushing against each other. The Shyster and Paratroopa struggled to force their beams toward each other.
“Who told you your purpose for existing was to end my generation?!” Shine Guy said.
“Dark Master! Who else?!” Dark Paratroopa snapped back. “And once I do, the Gems will be ours, we will rule all with the treasure of the land, I’ll finally be rid of you, and Dark Master will love me!” His beam began to force its way towards Shine Guy, who tried hard to force it back.
Shine Guy’s interest grew, mainly because he wasn’t so sure if this really was the reason for Dark Paratroopa’s existence. “Tell me more!” he said. “What else did Dark Master tell you?”
“My generation’s purpose is to destroy yours! For that reason, I’m gonna finish what my ancestors couldn’t!”
The two beams were now equal. “Dark Master is a potential liar!” Shine Guy yelled. “You had no generation!”
Dark Paratroopa was blank yet again. “What?! You’re lying! Dark Master knows my purpose! As cruel as he is, I know him like a father!” Dark Paratroopa’s thoughts, however, nearly contradicted his words.
“Some father you have!” Shine Guy’s beam began to move closer to Dark Paratroopa. “What kind of father lies to you and uses you for his own greedy reasons?! You never had a generation. I remember! You practically came from nowhere! He filled your mind with nothing but lies! He is only using you to gain power! All he wants is the Power Gems! All he wants is the world in his grasp!”
Dark Paratroopa forced his beam back towards Shine Guy. “LIAR!!!” he bellowed.
On the ground, Sparkle was getting an eyeful of this. Come on, Shine! she thought. Don’t let him beat you! Don’t let him beat you!
Mario and company came up. “Sparkle!” Mario called. “What’s-a going on here?!”
“Shine Guy’s finally gained his powers!” Sparkle said.
“… Powers?!” Yoshi asked.
“Heh… This looks interesting…” Blaze said, watching the battle high above.
Sparkle stared at Blaze. “Is he…?”
“He’s back…” said Yoshi. “And that’s half good, half bad…”
“Go Shine Guy!” Diddy cheered. “Beat turtle up good!”
Shine Guy could hear the cheers from below. He forced his beam closer and closer to Dark Paratroopa. “Dark Master is using you! You have no generation, and your… purpose… is not… too… destroy… my… GENERATION!!!” Shine Guy’s beam reached Dark Paratroopa and gave him a painful jolt. Dark Paratroopa’s own beam stopped, and he plummeted downward towards the ground.
The Paratroopa landed hard on the ground near Sparkle. Upon impact, the Pink Gem popped out of his hand and bounced away from him, landing at Mario’s feet. Mario picked it up. “That’s another Gem for us!” he said.
Blaze eyed the Gem suspiciously. Hey… he thought. I’ve seen one of those before!
Shine Guy floated down to the ground as the storm began to subside. Everyone else ran up to him. “Shine Guy!” Yoshi said, a surprised look on his face. “That was amazing!” Donkey Kong nodded
“Shine Guy awesome!” Diddy said.
“How did-a you do it?” Mario asked with wonder.
Shine Guy looked up at Mario. “As I said to Dark Paratroopa,” he said, “my father’s essence still lives within me. And also, in my generation…” He paused. He hadn’t told them that part of it all yet.
“Yes?” Mario said.
Shine Guy sighed. “Sooner or later… I shall have to tell you the entire story…”
Blaze, after doing something that no one saw, walked over to the downed Paratroopa and held him up by the neck. Dark Paratroopa noticed Blaze’s eyes were no longer yellow, but now had purple pupils. Just by looking at his eyes, Dark Paratroopa could tell what happened, and all he could say was “… Dang it…”
Blaze grit his teeth. “You tricked me!” he growled.
Dark Paratroopa developed an anime sweatdrop. “… Now… uh… let’s not get rash here…” he said nervously. “You wouldn’t punch someone with glasses on… would you?”
“Does this answer your question?” Blaze punched the Paratroopa swiftly in the beak, sending him flying onto his shell.
“… Ouch…” Yoshi remarked.
“Well…” said Donkey, “guess we go back to boat?”
“No need,” said Mario. “I’ve been here-a several times. There are pipes leading from here to the Seaside Kingdom.”
“Good!” Yoshi mused. “I’ve had enough cruises for one vacation…”
Mario laughed at the remark. “While we’re there…” he continued, “maybe-a we can spend the night in Seaside Town.”
“Lead the way, Mario,” said Yoshi.
The group started towards the exit to the village. Blaze shrugged and decided to follow.
Meanwhile, Dark Paratroopa was left dazed and surprised, with a nosebleed. He struggled to his feet. He looked around, but Shine Guy and the others were long gone. He couldn’t believe what had just happened. Shine Guy had all of a sudden become as powerful as him. He had no idea how… but wait… the Shyster had told him about his father’s essence… his generation. This had never happened with Paratroopa… Maybe Shine Guy was right… Maybe Paratroopa had no generation after all…
But wait… Why should he believe his most-hated enemy… his sworn enemy? He had a job. He had a purpose. He had a destiny… But then… Shine Guy wasn’t the lying type, as much as he hated to admit it… Then again… he could’ve been lying. Maybe he was only trying to trick him in order to throw him off his guard… But then again… Shine Guy never played dirty… Paratroopa wasn’t sure what to think. He then began to wonder about other things. Shadow Flame… he had lost him… How could he explain this to Dark Master…?
… Dark Master? Shine Guy had also mentioned that the Darkest of the Dark had only been using him. He thought about this. As many times as he had tried to kill Shine Guy, Dark Master seemingly didn’t care. It may’ve been only because he kept failing, but wait… he had killed him one day ago, though it wasn’t quite successful. Oh well, it was close enough, yet Dark Master waved it off.
“I don’t see how you could possibly foul up.”
Dark Paratroopa growled with hatred after remembering that insult. He didn’t quite believe Shine Guy completely, he was certain Dark Master was right about his generation… if he really had one.
Nevertheless, Dark Master was still a miserable toad…
Mario exited the pipe. He looked around at the many spots of water scattered across the terrain. Yoshi exited the pipe behind him.
“Yep…” said Mario. “This is-a the Water Kingdom all right…”
“So, which way to Seaside Town?” Yoshi asked as Shine Guy climbed out of the pipe.
“… Should be west from this area…” Mario said, trying to remember the kingdom. Sparkle climbed up from the pipe, followed closely by Diddy.
“That was quite a howl back there…” Sparkle said. “I was thinking about paying Paratroopa back for striking me, but it seems the big red guy took care of it already…”
“Actually, I think he only punched him out for his own reason…” said Yoshi, as Donkey Kong reached the pipe rim but got stuck in it.
“Oh…” said Sparkle. “In that case, I still owe him a smack…”
“Uh… Donkey stuck…” the ape whimpered. “Someone help Donkey…”
“Move it, fuzz head!” Blaze roared from within the pipe. Donkey felt a push, then a punch, then a huge shove. Donkey Kong was forced through the pipe, and Blaze followed him out.
“Thanks…” said Donkey. “… Wait… FUZZ HEAD?!”
“Yeah! FUZZ HEAD!!!”
Donkey and Blaze dove at each other and began to wrestle. The others watched. Mario hung his head, Yoshi raised a brow, Shine Guy looked up at Sparkle, who shrugged, and Diddy simply coughed.
Mario walked into the middle of the fight and pried them apart. “Okay! Break it up-a, guys!”
Blaze and Donkey glared at each other furiously.
“Come on, guys,” said Mario. “We’ll-a have to get to Seaside Town before it gets dark.”
“You guys do what you want,” said Blaze. “I’m just gonna go find the nearest pipe to Dark Land.” He walked off. Unknown to everyone else, he was snickering about something.
“Let him go…” Mario said.
“I suppose…” said Yoshi. “Before we go, let’s have a look at all the Gems we’ve collected.”
Mario took the backpack off and set it on the ground. He opened it and examined their Gems. “Okay,” he said. “So we wrestled the Yellow Gem from Tutankoopa, outfought King Boo and Boolossus for the Purple Gem, found the Orange Gem under the sea, fought past Lava Piranha to the…” he stopped, when he noticed the Red Gem was gone! “What?! It’s-a disappeared!”
“How?!” Yoshi shrieked. “It was in there!”
“… Dark Paratroopa?” Sparkle asked.
“No… It could not have been…” Shine Guy answered. “Paratroopa would have gone for all five of them.”
“This-a can’t be right…” said Mario. “I know I put them in here just after we used them on Blaze…” He paused. “… BLAZE!!!”
Blaze was laughing. In his hand he held the Red Gem. He thought to himself. Though he had been in Dark Master’s control all that time, he remembered. He held the Gem up and stared at it as he walked. “So there’s ten of these, eh?” he said to himself. “And they all grant power… Wait until Bowser gets an eyeful of THIS!”
“Where is he?!” Yoshi yelled. “That sneaky little…”
“Blaze not be too far!” said Donkey. “We find Blaze! We SMASH Blaze!”
“No we will not…” said Shine Guy. Everyone stared at him blankly. “He may have snatched one Gem away from us, but it is best that we focus on the two Gems that are still yet to be found, Blue and Green. Now is not the time to worry about retrieving the other Gems from our adversaries… Besides, we still have the Pink Gem as a failsafe…”
“Shine Guy’s right,” said Mario. “We’ll-a just have-a to be patient.”
Everyone else looked at each other, then nodded.
“Okay,” said Mario. “Let’s-a head to Seaside Town. It’s-a getting dark…”
The group headed west.
Dark Master was hopping mad. His yellow eyes glowed with extreme fury. Dark Paratroopa was almost tempted to teleport away at that moment. He couldn’t stand to see Dark Master so furious. However, he decided against it. Teleporting while Dark Master was speaking would only make him even angrier.
Dark Master stood up from his throne and stomped towards Paratroopa, who began to back up. Dark Master grabbed Paratroopa and began to squeeze in his fist. Paratroopa struggled for breath. Dark Master roared in his face. “YOU LOST THE PINK GEM AND LOST SHADOW FLAME?! FIRST YOU LOSE ULTRAVIOLET, AND NOW THIS!!! YOU ARE A MISERABLE EXCUSE FOR A RIGHT HAND!!!”
Dark Paratroopa was so scared he almost couldn’t speak.
“YOU LISTEN TO ME!!! IF YOU DON’T BRING ME THOSE GEMS, I’LL ZAP YOU INTO NOTHING!!! IS THAT CLEAR?!”
Dark Paratroopa forced himself to answer. Not responding was another one of the many things that would flare Dark Master’s temper. “Y-y-yes… M-M-Master…” he squeaked.
“Good!” Dark Master dropped him. Dark Paratroopa hit the floor with a thud. “NOW GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!!! Just looking at you sickens me!”
Without a moment’s hesitation, Dark Paratroopa teleported away.
Dark Master stomped back to his throne and sat back down, mentally grumbling. A Paratroopa?! he thought. Dark Master, what were you thinking?!
Meanwhile, Dark Paratroopa had gone back to his private room. He plopped down on his (rather uncomfortable) bed. He began to think about what Dark Master had just said.
“IF YOU DON’T BRING ME THOSE GEMS, I’LL ZAP YOU INTO NOTHING!!!”
Immediately after digesting the quote, Shine Guy’s words came to mind.
“What kind of father lies to you and uses you for his own greedy reasons?! You never had a generation. I remember! You practically came out of nowhere! He filled your mind with nothing but lies! He is only using you to gain power! All he wants is the Power Gems! All he wants is the world in his grasp!”
This was so confusing.
It was dusk. The group had arrived in Seaside Town. They were just entering the inn. Mario went to the front desk. “Room for-a six, please?” he said to the clerk (a Toad).
“Sure…” said the clerk. “But there are only two beds per room, and all but one of the rooms are occupied.”
Mario thought for a moment, then looked at the clerk again. “We’ll-a take that last room, but can we get a few extra bed-a sheets?”
“Certainly!” said the clerk. “Ten coins please?” Mario paid up. “Your room is number 009. Thank you for choosing Seaside Town Inn! Enjoy your stay!”
The group headed to their room.
Mario opened the door to their room. Inside was not exactly what they expected. The beds were not made, the walls were chipped, and nearly half the ceiling was covered in mildew.
“Well… this is-a not so classy…” said Mario. “But oh well…”
“Easy for you to say…” said Yoshi, his hands covering his nostrils. “My nose is sensitive, and that mildew smells bad!”
“Let us all at least try to get some rest…” said Shine Guy, “despite the stench…”
A maid came up holding a stack of four folded bed sheets. “You wanted extra sheets?” she asked.
“Yes,” said Mario. “Thank you…”
The maid nodded. “Enjoy your stay!” She gave Mario the bed sheets and walked away.
“… Eh… We’ll try…” said Mario, looking up at the mildew. “Okay… I’ll-a take this bed, Shine Guy takes-a the other. Diddy can sleep on the other end of-a my bed, and Sparkle on the end of-a Shine Guy’s. Yoshi and Donkey… you’ll just have-a to sleep on-a the floor…”
“Why Donkey not get bed?” Donkey muttered.
“Because you’ll smash it…” Mario said, tossing a folded sheet to Donkey, who sighed.
Mario tossed the other sheets to Yoshi, Diddy, and Sparkle. Donkey unfolded his and dragged it to a space on the other side of the room. Shine Guy climbed into one bed, with Sparkle getting on the other end. Shine Guy decided he didn’t quite like this arrangement. “If you want this bed,” he said to Sparkle, “you can have it.”
Sparkle was wide-eyed. “… Why… thank you,” she said. The two swapped positions.
Mario slipped his shoes off and climbed into the other bed, while Diddy climbed onto the end in his sheet and Yoshi lay down in the space between the two beds. “So…” said Yoshi, “we have four Gems, the Darks have three, Blaze stole one, and two more are still missing. Who knows what’ll happen…”
“Yep…” Mario said, yawning. He was about to lie back when… “… Wait… Shine Guy, wasn’t there something-a you wanted to tell us?”
Everyone looked at Shine Guy, who sat up. “… Oh yes… My generation… There is actually much more to the story… Gather.”
Everyone sat in a circle in the middle of the floor. “Hold hands and close your eyes,” said Shine Guy. They all did so. As Shine Guy closed his, he spoke to his father through his thoughts. “Father…” he spoke, “I ask you now… inform my companions of our generation…”
Though no one could see because their eyes were closed, the spirit of Glow Guy, Shine Guy’s father, phased up in the center of the circle. Everyone listened carefully as the spirit began.
“Our generation lives for one purpose and one purpose only: to guard the powerful treasure that gives our land life. Throughout the past thousand years, the many guardians of this treasure were born and have passed. They guarded the treasure with their very lives, protecting it from any evil that would wish to control it.
“The ten Power Gems keep the treasure stable in power, preventing it from overpowering. However, in the hands of evil, the Power Gems, linked with the treasure, could lead to catastrophic happenings. Whoever controls the Power Gems, controls the treasure. Whoever controls the treasure, could very well control the world.
“Then one day, everything changed. The ancestors of the current Dark ruler attacked the land. The guardians of the treasure fought hard. However, the Darks gained control of the treasure, rotting it to the core. In order to prevent world chaos, the guardians, using the Power Gems, locked the treasure away in the altar. This ended the battle, but the land was halved. One side of the land was light, where the peaceful and non-violent lived. The other side was dark; the people were hostile and violent. Thus the land became known as The Land of Light and Darkness.
“Ever since, the guardians of the treasure work even harder to protect the treasure from the Dark Forces, who now try to find the ten Power Gems in order to regain control of the treasure.
“And to you, my dear son, show no fear. Do whatever it takes to retrieve the Gems and prevent world corruption.”
The spirit disappeared. Everyone opened their eyes.
“Wow…” remarked Yoshi. “If this treasure is really that powerful… I’d hate to think of what would happen if Bowser ever gained that much power…”
“Bowser conquered the galaxy-a once,” said Mario. “But it-a won’t happen again…” He turned to Shine Guy. “So… let-a me get this straight… You are the latest generation of the guardians?”
“That is correct, and as guardian, it is my duty to find all the Gems and guard the treasure.”
“Then why Shine Guy not guard treasure now?” Diddy asked.
“As my father said, the treasure can only be released with all the Power Gems. That is why Dark Master wants them so badly.”
“Well then,” said Sparkle, “I guess it’s back to work tomorrow…” They all laughed.
“Well, let’s-a get some shuteye…” said Mario. He climbed into his bed, while everyone else covered up in their sheets.
Sparkle was about to close her eyes, when she thought about something. She quickly sat up. “Shine Guy?” she whispered.
The Shyster wasn’t quite asleep yet, and sat up upon hearing the Yoster. “Yes Sparkle?”
“Dark Paratroopa said something about it being his duty to destroy your generation. Is that true?”
“As I told him, Paratroopa never had his own generation… Err… Well, he actually did… but… he had no… Well…” Shine Guy paused to gather up his words before speaking again. “I’d have to tell him about his father… his true father…”
It was about midnight when Blaze finally made it back to Bowser’s Keep. After crossing the bridge over the lava moat, he found the front door guards (Koopatrols) fast asleep. He shook his head in disgust, then continued into the castle.
After walking through numerous hallways, he reached the large, red door to Bowser’s bedroom. The guards in that wing were also asleep. He snickered. “Lazy bums…” he laughed softly. He entered Bowser’s room, where he could hear the rather loud snoring of his big bad bud. He walked along the king-sized bed to Bowser. “Hey, dude?” he whispered. Bowser was still asleep. “Bowser?” Still no answer. Blaze became impatient.
The Koopa King practically jumped up from his bed, though that wasn’t possible with his bulky build. Bowser rubbed his eyes. “WHAT IN THE NAME OF MORTON ARE YOU—” He stopped when he saw Blaze.
“… Oh… It’s you… Do you know what time it is?! How did you get back here anyway?”
Blaze rubbed the back of his neck. “I’ve been through a lot these past two days…” he said. “I was fighting Mario first thing. Next thing I knew, I was following some Paratroopa with lightning power. Not only that but…”
Bowser went into a trance, unable to hear Blaze speaking. The Lakitu was telling the truth… he thought.
“But I’m back now…” Blaze finished. “And look what I snatched…” He held up the Red Gem.
Bowser was wide-eyed. “… Another one?!” he said, shocked. He took it from Blaze and held it up. “Where are these jewels coming from?!”
Blaze shrugged. “I can barely remember a thing…” he said.
The guards (a Koopa Troopa, a Paragoomba, and two Boomerang Brothers), who woke up after hearing Bowser’s roars, barged in. “Sir!” said the Troopa. “Is everything all right?”
Blaze and Bowser turned to them sharply. “GET BACK TO YOUR POSTS!!!” they ordered in unison.
“Yessir!” the guards said in unison. They quickly ran away.
“This doubles the stakes for BJ and Larry!” said Bowser, staring at the Gem. “Everyone else missed out… Too bad…”
“Uh… Since I came back, do I get another turn?”
“Dang… Oh well, I’m going up. I need rest, dude…” Blaze left the room, while Bowser went back to counting sheep.
Blaze slowly headed up the stairs. He was so tired, he had forgotten. There was still something more he had to inform Bowser about the Gem.