Chapter 5: The Ztar’s History
Mario and Luigi go down the river and soon make it to Tadpole Pond. The tadpoles see Mario and start to jump.
Tadpole: Mario! Long time since you’ve been here.
Mario: I’m sorry, but I’m in a bit of a rush. Where is Frogfucius?
Frogfucius: Right here!
Frogfucius floats by, the Lakitu still holding him up.
Frogfucius: So Mario, you want to know about the Ztars?
Mario: How do you know?
Frogfucius: Ho ho ho! Silly child. The waters bring me all the information. Let’s us go to my private island. Tadpoles! Don’t just float there. Make a path.
The tadpoles make a path and Mario and Luigi jump from tadpole to tadpole. They make it to Frogfucius Island.
Frogfucius: So you want to learn more on these Ztars, huh?
Frogfucius: I can only tell you what I can. I hope it is useful. As we all know, Power Stars are made of purity and power. Ztars, however, are twisted and evil. Ztars have been made long before by top Magikoopas. They were mostly used by Dr. Frederick von Koopa or Morton Koopa Sr. However Ztars can be made naturally too, by an occurrence that happens every 100 years. These Ztars, if touched by a normal person, will become evil. If a good-willed person touches a Ztar he will be burned on contact. The most dreadful thing, however, is when a person full of hatred or evil touches it.
Mario: What happens?
But on the inside Mario already knows the answer. Frogfucius pauses for a bit before continuing.
Frogfucius: They lose sight of everything. The Ztar promotes anger and aggression. If such a person touches it they will attack with no concern for others. They will completely destroy anything in their way. However, there is hope. If one equips a Starman they can conquer their foe. It won’t be easy but the Starman can overpower them.
Luigi: The Koopas are gathering large numbers of them! I doubt one Star can defeat Bowser if he has many Ztars.
Frogfucius: With enough damage, those Ztars can be reduced to nothing but dust, as you saw with Belome. You must hurry, Mario Bros, and try to capture these Ztars. I will supply you with this.
Frogfucius hands Mario the Signal Ring.
Frogfucius: It will let out a chime when you are getting near a Ztar. May it serve you well, and good luck.
Mario and Luigi are about to head out when Frogfucius remembers something.
Frogfucius: Mario! If by some chance Bowser does manage to get his claws on many Ztars, hear this. He will be virtually unstoppable. However, whatever you used to defeat him in your latest adventure will serve you well in this adventure. Think about what I said, and again… good luck.
Mario nods and, with Luigi, leaves Tadpole Pond. Frogfucius looks up into the sky and sees shooting stars.
going to need it to stop Bowser this time…
Chapter 6: The Search
Ludwig: The scanners are picking up a wave of negative energy! We must be getting close to a Ztar.
Larry: I’ll use the scopes to see if I can spot it.
Larry brings down a periscope and looks through it.
Larry: Hmm, it look like we are close to Rose Town. Ah!
Ludwig: What is it?
Larry: It’s those miserable Mario Bros!
Ludwig pushes Larry away from the scope and looks in it. He sees them running to Rose Town. Larry gets up.
Larry: You know you could have just said to get out of your way.
Ludwig: No time. If those Mario Bros. are heading this way then they are going to try to stop us.
Larry: Well we can’t let King Dad down. Let’s do a surprise sneak attack on them.
Ludwig: I like your thinking. Deploy the cannons!
Meanwhile at ground level, Mario and Luigi have reached Rose Town.
Mario: The signal is getting stronger. A Ztar has to be here somewhere.
Luigi: Leaping lasagna!
Luigi tackles Mario down.
Mario: What was that for?!
Mario sees Ludwig’s doomship.
Ludwig: Remind me to let you work on your aim more.
Larry: Now they know we’re here!
Ludwig: That Ztar is somewhere in that town. Let’s go!
A rope comes out of the doomship and Larry and Ludwig climb down.
Mario: What do you want?
Ludwig: You can’t stop us this time, Mario.
Ludwig shoots out a fireball. Mario jumps over it and Luigi rolls out of the way.
Larry: Say bye-bye, plumbers.
Larry takes out a Bob-omb launcher and aims at Mario. Larry fires and Mario backflips in order to escape the blast.
Ludwig: Ergh! Forget the plumbers! That Ztar is close by.
They run off while Mario helps his brother up.
Mario: Come on, Luigi, we have to stop them!
They run off after Ludwig and Larry. They see a crater up ahead and in it are the Koopalings.
Ludwig: Be careful not to touch it.
Ludwig pulls out a container and a robotic claw.
Mario: Not so fast!
Mario jumps and lands right on Larry. Larry accidentally pushes the trigger and fires out a Bob-omb straight up. Luigi slams into Ludwig just as he puts the Ztar in the container.
Larry: Look out!
The Bob-omb comes crashing down and- Boom!
The container gets blasted into the Forest Maze. Mario and Luigi land on the ground right next to Ludwig and Larry.
Ludwig: Great going!
Larry: Whatever. Quick, back to the doomship!
They get up and go back to the doomship.
Luigi: Now what do we do, Mario?
Mario: We make sure those Koopaling brats don’t get that Ztar.
Mario pulls out two Feathers. He takes one and gives the other one to Luigi. They each dawn a cape and fly into the Forest Maze.
Larry: The Marios have gone inside the Forest Maze.
Ludwig: That Mario knows the Forest Maze like the back of a wrench. We’ll have to open fire.
Ludwig: No buts! Don’t worry about the forest, it will surely be fine. Now activate the Banzai Bill Blaster!
In the forest…
Luigi: You know where we are going, Mario?
Mario: Take it easy, Luigi. We’ll find that Ztar.
Luigi: Yeah, but these Mushrooms with arms are giving me the creeps.
Mario: Straight ahead.
Right next to a wooden stump is the container holding the Ztar. Mario swoops down and grabs it.
Mario: Now let’s head back up and stop tho-
An explosion in the Forest Maze knocks Mario and Luigi away, taking out their capes.
Larry: Now that was a big explosion.
Ludwig: Yes, well it doesn’t appear that the Ztar is in that area. Prepare to fire again!
Larry: How much forest are we going to destroy?!
Ludwig: Until we find that Ztar or hit the Mario Bros!
Luigi: My back.
Mario: Forget your back, look!
Mario points at the doomship and the enormous Banzai Bill Blaster.
Luigi: We can’t fight that kind of firepower!
Mario: Run! They’re preparing to fire again!
Another Banzai Bill is fired and crashes into the Forest Maze. Another ear-piercing explosion is heard and the Mario Bros. get blown away again.
Larry: Oh, those poor trees…
Ludwig: I don’t like this any better than you…*sigh* But we have to get those Ztars.
Larry: Well in that case, there it is!
Ludwig goes back to the periscope and sees the container on top of a surviving tree. Meanwhile Mario and Luigi get back up.
Mario: Uh oh.
A robot claw deploys out of the doomship and is heading towards the Ztar.
Luigi: They’re going to get the Ztar, Mario!
Mario: Not on your lasagna-loving life. Quick, Luigi, give me a boost!
Mario jumps on Luigi and Luigi runs to the tree. However the claw has already got the container and is retracting.
Luigi jumps as high as he can towards the claw. Mario jumps off and grabs onto the claw.
Ludwig: That plumber grabbed onto the claw and is now trying to pry the Ztar away!
Larry: I’ll go stop him!
Ludwig: Okay. I’ll turn this doomship around.
Ludwig goes to the wheel and Larry goes up to the deck.
Larry: Hey, plumber!
Mario stops and jumps out of the Bob-omb’s way.
Larry: Let’s play tennis. Sudden death!
Larry throws another Bob-omb in the air and hits it with his tennis racket. Mario jumps out of the way and takes out a Fire Flower. He starts throwing out fireballs as Larry deflects them with his tennis racket.
Ludwig: Looks like my little bro could use a hand.
Ludwig walks away from the periscope and goes to his minions.
Ludwig: Deploy the Bill Blasters!
Hammer Bro: Yes sir!
Mario and Larry get startled as the deck starts to shake. Out of the deck arise 3 Bill Blasters.
Larry: I don’t need help! I can take this plumber by myself!
Larry charges at Mario but Mario jumps and stomps on him. Larry falls to the floor but quickly gets back up. The Bill Blasters start firing out homing Bullet Bills. Mario runs in Larry’s direction and jumps. The Bullet Bills head straight towards Larry.
Larry: Oh yeah, like I’m that stupid.
Larry hits the Bullet Bills away with his tennis racket. They hit the deck and explode, shaking the doomship.
Ludwig: That idiot! Damage report.
Paragoomba: Well there’s a lot of holes on the deck.
Mario jumps towards Larry but this time he thinks fast. Larry hides in his shell and Mario lands on his spiked shell.
Mario falls down and Larry spins around the deck. He slams into Mario and he goes flying across the deck. Three more homing Bullet Bills are fired and head towards Mario. Mario gets up and quickly starts running. Larry gets in his way and Mario trips. The Bullets are headed his way and so is Larry. Mario thinks fast and jumps. Larry crashes into the Bullet Bills and an explosion occurs.
Ludwig: Uh oh…
Mario lands on his feet and looks at the cloud of smoke. A Bob-omb pierces the smoke and hits Mario square in the chest. The explosion sends Mario flying out of the doomship.
Ludwig: Well played, Brother.
Larry struggles as he walks back to the control room.
Ludwig: I say, dear Brother, your stamina surprises me.
Larry collapses onto the floor.
Ludwig: Oh no! Forget the Ztars, I have to get you back to Koopa Castle and quick!
Ludwig runs back to the wheel as some Koopa Troopas take Larry to a bed.
Luigi runs and catches his falling brother.
Luigi: Bro, what happened to you?
Mario: No time… The koopalings got away so we… have to find the next Ztar…
Luigi: But Mario, you’re hurt. We need to get you to a Toad House right away.
Mario gets out of Luigi’s arms and starts walking.
Mario: No, I have to stop Bowser. Now come on, let’s-a go!
Mario starts running and Luigi shrugs. He starts running after his brother as they head towards the nearest warp pipe…
To Be Continued...
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