ACT 8: BATTLE OF MUSHROOM CITY
The small steamboat arrived back in Mushroom City by dusk. Mario and the party disembarked. They’d had a long day on Lavalava. “Ah man…” Yoshi remarked. “What a day. Into the volcano, one-hundred degree temperature, the battle with a fiery Piranha Plant monster, and the narrowest of escaped. I’m so pooped I could fall sleep right now.”
“Yeah,” agreed Sparkle. “It makes me wonder what we’ll run into tomorrow.”
“I guess-a we might as well check in to the hotel in the city,” said Mario, “since the Darks destroyed my house. But we have to leave first thing in the morning. We don’t want to attract any unwanted company.”
“Namely Dark Paratroopa,” added Shine Guy. “I fear he is at the limit of his patience.”
They were walking to the road. Sparkle looked all around. She had never lay eyes on the big city before. “My,” she remarked. “this land you live in seems very… busy…”
“Busy is-a the word,” replied Mario.
“Busy, but peaceful,” added Yoshi. “… Well, most of the time anyway.”
“It definitely will not be peaceful if Dark Paratroopa shows up again,” said Shine Guy.
The others looked at him. “You must really be worried…” said Sparkle.
“I… yes I am,” Shine Guy replied. “Dark Paratroopa, apart from finding the Power Gems, really wants me dead. I would very much hate to see any of your people be killed because of that.”
“Don’t-a worry,” said Mario. “That won’t happen as long as-a WE’RE on the job! I’m a man of-a my word!” Mario advanced towards the road. “TAXI!” he called.
A taxi drove up. Mario opened the rear door for Yoshi, Shine Guy, and Sparkle, who all got in. Mario got in the front seat, and they drove off. All Shine Guy could do was hope Mario would keep his word.
Dark Paratroopa shot up from his bed. Shine Guy. Shine Guy. He simply couldn’t get Shine Guy out of his head. Many times the white Shyster had thwarted his attacks, and in turn, Dark Master would go nuts all over him. This was the last straw. The next day, he would pay Shine Guy back for all the misery he’d caused him. “Shine Guy,” he said to himself, “you may have won all those times in the past, but tomorrow, I will terminate you. I am a Koopa of my word.”
Dark Paratroopa thought hard. What could he do? Then, he had it. He knew exactly what he would do the next day to finish off Shine Guy. He laughed to himself. “Ah yes!” he bantered. “I WILL terminate you!”
Early the next day, at Bowser’s castle, Blaze was preparing for his attack. “All right, Blaze,” said Bowser. “Everyone else so far couldn’t pull it off. You think you can turn things around?”
“I think so,” Blaze said confidently. Larry and Wendy gulped. He’d have to, or he wouldn’t win. What would happen?
“Blaze,” said Bowser, “of course you know you don’t have a weapon…”
“The weapon I want,” said Blaze, “I’ll find in the Mushroom Kingdom!” Blaze exited. Larry and Wendy kept their fingers crossed, hoping Blaze wouldn’t be victorious.
Later that morning, Mushroom City began to get busy. Many customers were going in and out of the stores, buying various things. One person in particular, big for his age, was walking out of and alley and along the street. Shortly after this person walked away, a woman and her daughter, both Toads, were walking by the alley. The daughter suddenly noticed something strange in the alley. “Mommy,” she said, “why is there a big bowl with a clown face in there?”
The mother stopped. What? she thought. Bowl with a clown face? She looked in the alley. There it was: a large, bowl-shaped object with a clown face and a propeller on the bottom. She shrieked. She knew what it was.
Meanwhile, the large Toad who came out of the alley earlier entered a store. The store was very busy (as were all the other ones). He looked around. There were many items to buy. However, he wasn’t looking to buy. In fact, he wasn’t looking to sell or trade either. He walked up to the desk.
“Can I help you, sir?” asked the cashier.
“Why yes,” said the Toad, whose mouth was strangely not moving. The cashier noticed this and raised a brow. “Do you sell Super Scopes for free?”
The cashier scratched his head. “Uh… sir,” he said, “nobody ever gets things free around here.”
“… That’s unfortunate, ‘cause I’m broke.”
“Well, if you ain’t got no money, take your broke broke home!”
“… Uh… I know a better way we can handle this.”
The oversized Toad snickered. He then grabbed his head. The cashier raised a brow. The Toad then pulled his head off! The cashier gasped. It wasn’t a head, but a head mask! The “Toad” revealed his true face. Everyone in the store shrieked at the six fangs, flame Mo-hawk, and the scar on his right cheek. The cashier was frozen stiff, as was everyone else. “Bla… Bla… Bla…”
“Bla… Bla… Bla… Blaze!” Blaze snarled. Chills went up the cashier’s spine. “As I was saying,” Blaze continued, slipping his vest off and slinging his shoes off his feet, “how about this… You get me one Super Scope for free, and I won’t fry you all to a crisp! Deal?”
“D…d…deal,” the cashier squeaked. He slowly went to the shelf and got a Super Scope. The cashier suddenly had an idea. When he thought Blaze least expected it, he swiftly turned and pointing the gun at him. “F-f-f-freeze!” he stuttered.
Blaze yawned. The cashier was too shaky to shoot him. Blaze simply snatched the gun out of the cashier’s hands. The cashier immediately ducked, hands on his head. Blaze laughed. “I have a mind to burn you for that pathetic attempt, but I’ve got things to do!” He casually walked to the door. Before leaving, he turned to them. “You never saw me!” he said coldly. The people were still frozen.
As Blaze walked back out, he noticed people running and screaming. Blaze was confused. “… Well… that’s odd,” he said to himself. “They haven’t even seen me yet and they’re already running like scared rabbits…” Blaze looked off to see what the people were running from. Then he saw it… or more appropriately, them. Blaze ducked into the alley where his Clown Copter was parked, and watched as an army of dark-colored troops roared by.
“Those can’t be Bowser’s minions…” he said. “There’s something weird going on here…”
At the Mushroom City Tower Hotel, Mario was just waking up. He looked at the clock. It’s was 11:00 AM Mario jumped. “WAKE UP!” he yelled.
Everyone else jumped up, startled. “Well,” said Sparkle, “that was a rather rude awakening…”
“It’s better than getting a trumpet blown in your ear…” Yoshi mused.
“Excuse-a my rudeness,” said Mario, “but we overslept! We have to get a move on.”
“Mario is right,” agreed Shine Guy. “For all we know, Dark Paratroopa could be on his way here right now.”
“Come on!” said Yoshi. “Hardly anyone gets up THIS early!”
“Early?!” Mario raised a brow. Yoshi shrugged.
Suddenly, an explosion was heard. Everyone jumped. “What the?!” Yoshi said.
Mario went to the window and looked out. Seconds later…
Mario jumped out of the way, seconds before the wall exploded! Everyone shrieked and ducked. When the smoke cleared, they could see that the wall was gone! They could hear people screaming, along with more explosions.
“Oh my gosh!” said Sparkle. “What in the world is going on down there?!”
Shine Guy shivered. “It… It is… him… He is… here!”
“You don’t mean?!” Yoshi said.
“Ah yes!” Dark Paratroopa breathed as he watched the Dark Troopers terrorize the city, destroying and blowing up various things. “I love the sweet sound of people screaming in terror in the morning! Heh heh heh!” Suddenly, he noticed four familiar figures exiting a building to his left. He grinned evilly.
“WHAT IN THE…” Mario said. He looked up. There was Dark Paratroopa, staring down at them. Shine Guy looked pale, though no one could tell through his mask.
“Well well well!” Dark Paratroopa said as the Dark Troopers surrounded them. “Look what we have here! Did you have a good night sleep?”
“Uh…” said Yoshi. “Actually we slept pretty good!”
“Yoshi…” Mario sighed. Yoshi shrugged.
“Well,” continued Dark Paratroopa, “get ready, because we’re about to put all four of you into ETERNAL rest!”
“Fat chance!” Sparkle said, clenching her fists.
“Bold of you to speak out like that,” Dark Paratroopa remarked. “I like that!”
“Don’t start that with me! I was just freed from your control two days ago, and I will never become the monster I was again!”
“Heh heh! You’re cute when you’re mad! You know, you should be thankful! Dark Master could’ve had you killed at the time, after all! You’re lucky to still be alive!”
Sparkle was filled with rage. He clenched her teeth, growling under her breath.
“Well?!” said Dark Paratroopa. “Are we gonna do this or what?! ATTACK!”
The Troopers did just that.
MINIBOSS!!!: Dark Paratroopa and Dark Troopers
The group split up.
Mario punched away several purple Goombas as they charged at him. He picked up one Goomba and threw him into another. Mario suddenly spotted a purple shell coming at him out of the corner of his eye. Mario jumped to avoid it. Several Koopa Troopas then came sliding at him at full speed. Mario jumped and bounced across the tops of the shells. After clearing the shells, Mario was almost hit by a flying hammer. He turned to see several purple Hammer Brothers, hammers drawn. Mario took out his own hammer. The Hammer Brothers swiftly began throwing their hammers at the plumber, who simply knocked them away hit his own. Mario began hitting the hammers back at the Hammer Brothers, hitting a few of them. Suddenly, a shadow came over him. Mario whipped around to see a Sledge Brother.
Yoshi swallowed a Koopa Shell, then spat it back at a group of charging Goombas, knocking them away like bowling pins. A purple Spiny Egg suddenly fell at his feet, then another, then one more. The Spinies got up, then slowly advanced toward Yoshi. Yoshi launched his tongue at one and swallowed it, then spat it upward at the Lakitus overhead. One Lakitu was hit and knocked out of his black cloud. Yoshi swallowed the other two Spinies and spat them upwards at the other Lakitus, hitting one, but missing the other. A spiky ball suddenly bounced past him. Yoshi turned, and there was a Ptooie.
Two Boomerang Brothers charged at Shine Guy from opposite sides, throwing boomerangs. Shine Guy ducked, allowing the boomerangs to fly over his head and back at the Boomerang Brothers, as they both got hit in the face. Shine Guy got back up and stared. How did that happen? he thought.
The enraged Sparkle kicked a Hammer Brother in the stomach. Two Koopas charged at her from opposite sides. Sparkle jumped and kicked her legs in opposite directions, knocking away both Koopas. Sparkle launched her tongue at a Goomba and swallowed it, making an egg. She hurled the egg at an oncoming Paragoomba, who was knocked to the ground. Sparkle ducked to avoid another Paragoomba, then swallowed the Paragoomba while his back was turned. Sparkle made another egg, then hurled it at a purple Swooper.
Dark Paratroopa was looking on at Sparkle. “Heh heh!” he laughed. “You’ve got some fight in you!” Sparkle angrily turned to the Paratroopa, who was laughing hard. Dark Paratroopa was too busy laughing to notice an egg flying at him. Dark Paratroopa was snapped out of his laughter after getting hit by the egg. He put his hands on his head, then stared down at Sparkle. “Yep,” said Dark Paratroopa. “You’ve got some fight!”
Mario ducked to avoid the flying sledgehammer. Mario jumped at the Sledge Brother and punched him in the face. The Sledge Brother yelled, then stomped as Mario landed. Mario was slightly thrown off by the small shockwave, but recovered, only for a sledgehammer to knock his hat off. Mario stared at his hat on the ground, then whipped around to the Sledge Brother with a furious visage. He jumped and swung his hammer, slamming the Sledge Brother hard in the face The Sledge Brother yelled even louder. Mario grabbed his cap and put it back on. “Nobody touches-a the cap,” he said, adjusting his cap to where his eyes were in shadow.
Shine Guy backed up as a Hammer Brother prepared to throw a hammer at him. “Say goodnight!” the Hammer Brother taunted. Shine Guy thought to himself. I cannot let anyone get killed because of me. That is it! No more running from danger! I must stand and fight! I do not favor violence, but if I must, I must! He then did something no one thought he’d do. He jumped on the Hammer Brother and grabbed his helmet. The surprised Hammer Brother viciously tried to shake the Shyster off. Shine Guy then grabbed the Hammer Brother’s beak and tried to twist it. “OWOWOWOWOWOW!” cried the Hammer Brother. Shine Guy jumped off and watched as the Hammer Brother began rolling on the ground, his hands on his beak. Shine Guy was surprised himself. I cannot believe I actually had the nerve to do that he thought.
Dark Paratroopa had seen it too. “Did he just…?” he asked himself.
Yoshi swallowed a spiky ball, then spat it back at the Ptooie. The Ptooie dodged it, then jumped at Yoshi, snapping his jaws. Yoshi ducked, then turned just as the Ptooie swiftly spat another spiked ball. Yoshi dodged it, and launched his tongue at the Ptooie. The Ptooie bit it. Yoshi yelled loudly and retracted his tongue. The Ptooie jumped at Yoshi again. Yoshi, now promising himself never to try to swallow a Piranha Plant again, jumped and pounded on the Ptooie’s head. The Ptooie was out.
Yoshi turned to see a spiky, armored shell sliding at him. Yoshi dodged it, and saw several Koopatrols charging at him. Yoshi swallowed the first Koopatrol (he tried notto let the pain in his ue get to him) and spat him back at the others, hitting two of them. Another Spiny Egg dropped in front of him, right in the path of the oncoming Koopatrols. The Spiny began to advance toward Yoshi, when it turned and noticed the Koopatrols charging directly at him and Yoshi. The Spiny squealed. The first Koopatrol tripped on the Spiny, and the rest all piled on top. Yoshi just stared. Well, that was pretty stupid, he thought.
Mario knocked away the many boomerangs and hammers as they flew at him. Suddenly, fireballs flew past him. Mario looked ahead to see four Fire Brothers coming at him, spitting fireballs. Mario tried to dodged, but his sleeve was set on fire. Mario began rolling on the ground. He continued to roll until the fire was out. Mario got back up, then turned to the Fire Brothers, fire in his eyes. He charged at them, then began whacking them away like golf balls.
Sparkle kicked away another Koopa, then grabbed a Paragoomba as it was swooping in on her. She threw the Paragoomba at a charging Boomerang Brother, knocking them both out. A Hammer Brother snuck up behind her and tried to hit her with a hammer. Sparkle noticed this out of the corner of his eye. She ducked to avoid the hammer, then kicked the Hammer Brother in the face. Another Koopa tried to grab her, but Sparkle turned to him, slapped him hard in the face six times, and kicked him away. A purple Bandit jumped on her back, but Sparkle reached back, grabbed him, and threw him forward, sending the Bandit flying into a Fire Brother.
Mario knocked away another Fire Brother. Just as he knocked away the last Fire Brother, the same Sledge Brother from earlier grabbed him from behind and threw him into the air. While airborne, one of the Power Gems Mario had, the Purple Gem, fell out of his pocket and landed in the street. Mario took no notice. He landed on top of the car, crushing the roof. Mario lay dazed, bruised, and in pain. A piece of metal had cut into his arm. He winced. Yoshi ran over to him. “Mario!” he cried. “Are you okay?!”
“My… arm… hurts…” Mario groaned.
Unfortunately, though Mario didn’t see the Gem fall out of his pocket, Dark Paratroopa did! He flew down to it and picked it up. “Ah… What do you know?” he said to himself, staring at the glistening purple piece of jewelry. “Won’t Dark Master be pleased!”
Shine Guy tackled a Goomba and jumped up as a Koopa came at him. Shine Guy stuck his arms out in front just as the Koopa reached him. Shine Guy’s hands ended up going straight into the Koopa’s eyes. The Koopa fell on the ground, yelling in pain. Shine Guy was all too surprised at himself. He found it hard to believe he was doing such things.
“Not bad for someone who doesn’t believe in violence!” said a voice. Shine Guy looked up to see Dark Paratroopa hovering just above him.
“I must do what I must do!” Shine Guy retorted.
“Really?” said Dark Paratroopa. “What would your people say if they saw you doing this?”
“You know your side of the land doesn’t favor violence! You’re only making yourself a disgrace to the Light World!”
Shine Guy stopped. After a few moments, he fell to his knees. He… He is right… he thought.
Sparkle was watching this. “Shine Guy!” he said. “Don’t listen to him! He’s trying to throw you off guard!”
“Your world would never forgive you!” Dark Paratroopa continued. “You have set an example in the past, but now look at you!”
“Shine Guy!” Sparkle yelled.
Shine Guy was hearing two different things at one. Was he doing the right thing, or wasn’t he? Shine Guy’s mind began to spin in circles.
Dark Paratroopa smirked evilly. I have him now! he thought. Tightly clutching the Purple Gem in his hand and concentrating on the power, he began to glow. He stretched his hand towards Shine Guy. A ball of energy began to form in the palm of his hand.
“SHINE GUY!” Sparkle cried. But Shine Guy didn’t hear Sparkle. He didn’t know what to think anymore. He was so confused.
The ball of energy in Dark Paratroopa’s hand began to get larger and larger. “Goodbye, Shine Guy!” Dark Paratroopa said. Sparkle shut her eyes.
Sparkle opened her eyes. There was Dark Paratroopa, lying on the ground, with the Purple Gem sitting next to him. Standing over him was someone who looked a bit like Mario, but wore green and was taller, with an “L” initial on his hat.
“Luigi!” Mario said. “What kept ya?!”
“I-a had a little traffic trouble,” said Luigi, picking up the Gem. “But I made it! Oh by-a the way, I believe you-a dropped this.” Luigi handed the Gem to Mario, who was surprised.
“… Hm…” he said. “Guess I lost it when-a the Sledge Brother threw me on top of-a the car…”
A relieved Sparkle went over a confused Shine Guy. She put her hand on his back. “Shine Guy,” she said, “it’s okay.”
“… No… It is not,” Shine Guy moaned without lifting his head. “I am giving our kind a bad name.”
“Shine Guy, you’re doing what’s necessary to save the world from destruction. There’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t ever listen to Dark Paratroopa. He’s only using this to trick you.”
Shine Guy paused and, as if something inside him was simply switched back, he was back in his right mind. “Yes,” he said. “I must do what I must do!”
Dark Paratroopa slowly got back up, dazed and surprised. He noticed he had a shoeprint on his beak from where Luigi had kicked him. He looked around and noticed all his minions were out. He growled angrily, then turned to Luigi. “I had him dead…” he said coldly. “AND YOU MESSED ME UP!!!” He blasted a lightning bolt at Luigi, who barely dodged. He glared at Shine Guy. “You got lucky!” he snapped. “If that sausage over there hadn’t butted in, you would’ve been dead!”
“Yes!” said Shine Guy. “And for that, I thank you, Luigi.”
“No problem,” replied Luigi. He turned to Dark Paratroopa. “AND-A WHO ARE-A YOU CALLING A SAUSAGE?!”
“You! THAT’S who!” Dark Paratroopa snapped.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!” someone yelled.
“WATCH IT!!!” someone else yelled. “Ba-KAWK!!!”
Everyone looked up to see a blue-shelled Paratroopa flying by overhead, followed by a chicken and several blue energy shots.
“What was THAT all about?!” asked Yoshi.
“Parakarry and Flapps!” said Luigi. “There must-a be more trouble coming!”
“Where did those blue shots come from?” asked Sparkle.
“Only one thing can-a make shots like-a that,” answered Mario. “A Super Scope!”
“Why do I feel like I’m about to get shot in the back of the head?” Yoshi asked sarcastically. Immediately after Yoshi spoke, it happened. The blue shot came out of nowhere and hit Yoshi in the back of the head. Yoshi yelled and fell to the ground in pain. “I knew that was gonna happen!” Yoshi said. “Ugh… My head…”
“Oops! My bad, Yosh!” said a voice. “Eh heh heh heh!”
Everyone turned to see a large, red Koopa coming towards them, holding a Super Scope.
“… Blaze Koopa!” Luigi said, surprised. “What are YOU doing here?!”
“Same reason as the rest of the Koopas would come here!” Blaze mused. “To wipe you out!”
“Hey, I remember this guy!” said Yoshi. “Let’s take him!”
“Wait, Yoshi!” said Mario. “This guy is a lot tougher than he looks.”
“You know,” said Blaze, “I never did thank you guys for helping me win back my good name!”
“… Well, whatever… Anyway, this is different. I’m gonna blast you all to Kingdom Come!”
“I should like to see you try!” retorted Sparkle.
“Easy,” said Luigi. “It’s not a good idea to use that phrase with this guy.”
This is such a waste of my time, Dark Paratroopa thought. Maybe I should just kill all six of them now…
“Well?” said Blaze. “Are we gonna do this, or are we gonna do this?”
“Uh… We’re gonna do this?” said Yoshi. Everyone stared at him. Yoshi shrugged.
“… I’ll take that as a yes…” said Blaze, “even though it was a rhetorical question…”
BOSS!!!: Blaze Koopa
Blaze blasted at the group, who all jumped out of the way- all except for Dark Paratroopa, who was hit by the shots at full force. Dark Paratroopa was knocked far back. He shook himself, then looked at Blaze. “HEY!!! WATCH IT!!!” Dark Paratroopa bellowed.
“Hey!” Blaze retorted. “If you don’t want me to send your pretty little shell home in the casket, then stay out of my—” He was interrupted by Mario’s foot. Blaze staggered back, but recovered. He blasted at Mario, then noticed Yoshi coming at him from his right. Yoshi jumped at him, but Blaze knocked him away. Luigi charged at him, but Blaze swung the gun backwards, hitting Luigi in the nose. Luigi yelled, and Blaze punched him back. Sparkle ran at Blaze and jumped at him, but Blaze ducked, allowing Sparkle to fly over his head. “I can’t treat a lady like a bull’s-eye,” Blaze laughed.
Sparkle dusted herself off, then glared at Blaze. “Gee…” she said sarcastically, “you’re such a gentleman…”
Mario jumped at Blaze with his hammer held high. Blaze grabbed the hammer as Mario brought it down and stripped it away. When Mario landed, he was hit in the back of the head by his own hammer. Mario fell to the ground, slightly dazed. Luigi, after recovering from the nose strike, ran at Blaze and tackled him. Blaze rolled his eyes and kicked Luigi off. While Luigi was up, Blaze blew his cap off. The surprised Luigi fell onto his back. He put his cap back on. “Do not touch-a the cap!” Luigi said. Blaze stared at Luigi, then reached forward and barely touched Luigi’s cap. Luigi growled. “You really have a lot of nerve…” he said through gritted teeth.
He DOES have nerve… Dark Paratroopa thought as he looked on.
“Thanks for the-OOF!” Blaze was interrupted by Yoshi’s kick. Blaze went sliding onto his shell. He got back up, only for Mario to take his Super Scope away. “How do YOU like it when someone takes something from you?” Mario said, pointing the gun at Blaze.
Blaze calmly dusted himself off. Then he looked at Mario. “Dude,” he said, “would you mind giving me my gun back?”
“Yes! I do!” Mario snapped. “You know, I-a bet you didn’t even pay-a for it!”
“… And I don’t plan to. But listen here, if I can’t have that gun back, neither can anyone else!” He blew a string of fire at the gun, setting it on fire. Mario dropped it, clutching his burnt hand. He watched as the gun burned to ashes. Mario stared at the remains of the gun, then gave Blaze a nervous look. Blaze laughed.
“Don’t get me wrong,” Blaze mused. “I’m a supporter of capitalism. Now where was I…? Oh yeah… TAKE THIS!!!” As soon as Blaze spoke, Mario jumped to the side, narrowly dodging a fireball. Mario tried to punch Blaze, but was knocked back. Blaze turned to Luigi, who got an anime sweatdrop. Blaze charged at him. Luigi dodged him, then grabbed his tail, tripping Blaze. Luigi began to swing the oversized Koopa around. He swung around seven times before letting go, sending Blaze flying into the same car, shell first, and crushing the driver side door. Luigi stared. “… Oops…” he sputtered.
Blaze shook himself off and stood back up. He had a scratch on his shoulder. He looked at the car. “Man…” he said. “Imagine explaining THIS to your insurance…” He turned to see Sparkle charging towards him. When Sparkle was five feet away, Blaze jumped to the left, while Sparkle kept running straight into the car. Blaze laughed. “Like I said,” he laughed, “I can’t treat a lady rough!” Sparkle got back up. She had a scratch on her nose from running into the crushed metal. “You should put some antiseptic on that,” Blaze mused, sticking his fist back to hit Yoshi, who charged at him from behind before meeting Blaze’s fist.
“Look who’s talking!” Sparkle retorted, staring at the scratch on Blaze’s shoulder.
Dark Paratroopa looked on. I’m beginning to like this guy… he thought.
“Come on!” Blaze said as he yawned. “This is getting lame!” He walked over to a parking meter, grabbed it, and pulled it up from the ground. He walked over to Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Sparkle, who all backed up.
Dark Paratroopa was blank. … Yes… he thought. He might actually be of some use to me!
Shine Guy watched as Blaze knocked Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi into a wall with the meter (he left Sparkle alone). That phrase went through Shine Guy’s head again. I must do what it must do!
“You… you brute!” Sparkle scolded.
“Thanks for the complement!” said Blaze. “Eh heh heh heh! Now let’s see… how can I get you in the least violent way possible… ? Ah, whatever…” He raised the meter. Sparkle shut her eyes and put her hands on her head.
However, instead of feeling a painful blow to the head, she heard “Wha? HEY! GET OFF MY HEAD!!!” Sparkle opened her eyes to see Shine Guy on Blaze’s head, covering his eyes.
“LEAVE HER ALONE!!!” Shine Guy yelled. Blaze shook viciously to throw the Shyster off.
Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi finally recovered, just in time to see Shine Guy being thrown to the ground. “Okay…” said Blaze. “Now where was I before that rude interruption? Oh yeah, I was- AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGAGAGAGAGAGAGAGAGAGAGAG!!!” He was interrupted again, by Dark Paratroopa, who electrocuted him. Everyone else stared.
“… Dark Paratroopa…?” said Shine Guy.
“Don’t ask if I just saved your life!” snapped Dark Paratroopa. “And I may have, but that wasn’t my intent!” He walked up to the unconscious Koopa and grabbed his hand. “So I didn’t get a Gem from you! Oh well! This guy will do!” He glared at Shine Guy, who shivered. “Next time, Shine Guy,” he hissed, “I’ll kill you!” He teleported away with Blaze.
“What do you-a suppose he-a wanted Blaze for?” asked Luigi.
“I’m not so sure…” answered Mario. “But I don’t think it’s-a good. We’d better leave; everywhere we-a go, that Paratroopa pops in and out of-a nowhere and causes-a mayhem. Besides, there are four Gems still out there.”
“Good luck,” Luigi said.
“Take care, Luigi!” said Yoshi.
Mario, Yoshi, Shine Guy, and Sparkle left (with Shine Guy riding on Sparkle), while Luigi was left wondering why the Koopas had been attacking for seven consecutive days.
“MY CAR!!!” someone yelled.
Luigi jumped and ran away.
Mario and company were walking down the city street. Sparkle turned back to look at Shine Guy. “Shine Guy?” she said. Shine Guy looked at her. “Thanks for saving my life.”
“Not at all,” said Shine Guy happily. “After all, I must do what I must do.”
Meanwhile, the spectating Lakitu was on top of a building. He radioed in to Bowser.
“Yes?” Bowser answered.
“Sir,” said a Lakitu, “that was a show!”
“Did he win?”
Laughing and cheering was heard. Bowser was surprised. “Oh… wow… I really thought he’d pull it off! What happened?”
“Well, Blaze had them, but then there was this Paratroopa, and he zapped Blaze with lightning and knocked him out, then he teleported away with him!”
“… Yeah… I’m not believing a word you’re saying right now.”
“Wendy, you go tomorrow!”
Bowser hung up. The Lakitu sighed.
“Hello? Hey! Wake up! I didn’t bring you all the way over here to die!”
Blaze slowly woke up. He rubbed his head. A purple Paratroopa was standing over him. “Ugh… Wha… Where am I…? Who am I?”
The Paratroopa thought to himself. Great… I gave him amnesia with that blast… Oh well, at least he won’t get suspicious…
Blaze looked around. The area was very dark and ominous. In front of him was a huge, dark castle. He looked back. They were on a large mountain, overlooking the huge valley below. One half of the valley was dark, the other half light. Blaze stood up. “What is this place?” he asked.
“Welcome to the Land of Light and Darkness, my friend!” said the Paratroopa.
Blaze turned to him. “… Who are you?”
“I am called Dark Paratroopa,” the Paratroopa answered.
“Might you know what I’m doing here?”
“Come inside with me and you’ll find out.” Dark Paratroopa motioned him to follow him into the castle. Blaze scratched his head, then followed.
They entered the castle. Blaze looked all around. The halls were very dark except for the torches with red flames lined across the halls. Blaze followed Dark Paratroopa up a huge flight of oversized stairs. This place is huge… Blaze thought.
The two reached a huge door at the top of the stairs. Dark Paratroopa banged on the door. “ENTER!” said a booming voice. Blaze was slightly startled. Dark Paratroopa opened the door. They both entered. Blaze was shocked to see a huge, dark Magikoopa sitting on his throne.
“My you’re back early…” the Dark Magikoopa remarked. “Have you found any Gems?”
Blaze raised a brow. Gems…? he thought.
Dark Paratroopa sighed. “Not yet, Master…” he said. He suddenly noticed his master clutching his throne’s arms in anger. “Now don’t lose it, Master!’ he said quickly. “I’m going back out.”
“I should hope so! You’re wasting precious… Wait… Who is this?”
Dark Paratroopa smirked sinisterly. “Someone who I think can be a big help!”
Dark Paratroopa sighed again. He flew up to the Dark Magikoopa and whispered in his ear. “He has amnesia,” he explained. “Play along.”
“Ah… But can he fight?”
“Try him. I think you’ll be surprised.”
The Magikoopa thought. Maybe it couldn’t hurt.
Blaze was scratching his head, wondering what was going on.
“I NEED FOUR SLEDGE BROTHERS IN HERE!!!” the Magikoopa bellowed.
Immediately, four Sledge Brothers materialized in the room. Blaze turned and gasped. “What the…” he said.
“Not to worry,” said the Magikoopa. “We’re only putting you through a little test. ATTACK HIM!!!”
The Sledge Brothers did so. One Sledge Brother charged at Blaze and threw a sledgehammer at him. Blaze ducked, then grabbed the Sledge Brother. The surprised Sledge Brother yelled as he felt his whole body being lifted up and slammed to the floor. The next Sledge Brother jumped and stomped. Blaze was slightly thrown off by the shockwaves. He jumped at the Sledge Brother and punched him hard in the face. The Sledge Brother yelled loudly. The third ran at Blaze and grabbed him, holding him up by the neck. Blaze coughed and wheezed, then kicked the Sledge Brother in the stomach. The Sledge Brother fell back. The last one charged at Blaze nonstop. “Great…” Blaze said to himself. “What now?”
“Just take a deep, hard breath and watch what happens!” Dark Paratroopa called. Blaze shrugged. He inhaled, then let out a huge breath, blowing a wave of fire at the Sledge Brother and scorching him. Blaze was confused. “… Woah…” he said. “Didn’t know I could do that…”
The Magikoopa was surprised. “Hmm…” he said. “This Koopa impresses even me!”
“Oh… You liked that?” Blaze said, scratching the back of his neck. “… Uh… Who are you anyway?”
“You may call me… Dark Master. You now serve me as your undisputed master, is that clear?”
“… Eh… Fair enough…”
“Excellent,” he said. A dark purple mist began to flow from Dark Master towards Blaze. It surrounded him. Blaze began to feel power flowing into him. “Might I ask,” said Dark Master, “do you have a name?”
“… Uh… If I do…” answered Blaze through the mist, “I can’t remember what it is…”
“Well… from this day forth… you will be known as… Shadow Flame.”
“Yes, my Master.”