Part 1 felt like one long tutorial, with some bits of story thrown in; most bosses had one purpose, teach Bowser or the Mario brothers some tricks in-battle. And then, so many elements of the Mushroom Kingdom, and even elements inside Bowser’s body, that were there to only provide more tutorials… I swear, we had more freedom in Superstar Saga. At least, the teachings were spaced out, the new powers were unlocked as the adventure went. Here, there are so many things that the player must be taught that it feels like an endless stream of teachers.
|"Si, si! I dink ze dog houzz I order was two smoll for|
Broggy. Pardonnez-moi, I must ask you for your coins."
|Using Goombas to kill|
a Goomba. How cruel.
|Stimulate those muscles!|
Gee, just how many roots
are keeping that carrot so
firmly into the ground?
|Guess playing Tetris with Tetrads made of carrots|
will be another day.
So, in the next minute, we complete the mini-game (which is unskippable, because of story bullcrap, and you’re pretty much stuck until you complete it), and the Bowser asks for the Banzai Bill. At first, the Wiggler claims he doesn’t know what Bowser is talking about. Then, it gets angry at the turtle-dragon for “contaminating” the garden, then pulling out the carrot and eating it. Granted, pulling it out wasn’t smart… But YOU were the one to make me eat it, you little asshole! Now, with all due respect, jackass Wiggler, I cordially invite you to fuck off. But of course, because this is a Wiggler and we can’t have a Mario & Luigi game without a boss battle against a Wiggler, we end up fighting that stupid caterpillar gone red with anger.
God damn it, why is there always something like this in the Mario games to piss me off?
|Wigglers are, without a doubt, some of the most badass|
insects of the Mushroom Kingdom. So many of them are
|Wigglers may be badass, but there are other bugs in the|
Kingdom who are even MORE badass.
When Durmite is beaten, it becomes a teensy-weensy worm and flees. Chasing after it, the brothers wind up attacked by Bowser’s anti-bodies (known as Biffidus) and end up lower inside the Nerve Cluster. Yeah, those are not the only nerves that are being played with around here… Mario and Luigi also find in there Doctor Toadbert, and Luigi activates something that opens a way out of the Nerve Cluster for them and gives Bowser a boost in power – now when he punches while moving, he can give a powered punch that can destroy even stronger stones! Thank God this wasn’t a three-minute tutorial!
With this newfound ability, we make our way back to the clearing, where we stuff the Banzai Bill into the cannon and fire it up towards Bowser’s Castle. I can’t help but have this nagging impression that something’s gonna go wrong… I mean, it’s not like the Castle can avoid that bullet, right?
…Holy shit inside the castle Midbus ordered Goombas around and they activated stuff and the Castle rose up like a rocket and the Banzai Bill completely missed it dammit I knew we should have used a Missile Bill those never miss but at the time of that game I think Missile Banzai Bills didn’t exist yet and now the Castle is flying towards the forest and now it’s over Bowser and his three Generals and SPLAT
No, of course it’s not really the end. Come on, this is Bowser we’re talking about, the guy who routinely comes back from crushing defeats at the hands of Mario and possibly Luigi, the guy who came back from more lava pits than one can count, the guy who got crushed by his own castle multiple times already. The guy who would not even stay dead after being thrown into the SUN. Only comic book supervillains have that luck. And, ostensibly, Ganondorf, but whatever.
Gotta give it to Fawful though, he’s an incredibly good villain. Ranks right up there on the Pantheon of the smartest Nintendo villains. The origins of his takeover don’t entirely make sense, but afterwards, he is always many steps ahead of Bowser. Upgrading the castle, using it to fight, brainwashing most of Bowser’s army, taking Mario and Luigi (mostly) out of the picture… and of course, he got himself a lackey with physical power that rivals that of the turtle-dragon himself. Cackletta was nothing compared to this. We still got to learn whether he’s after something greater, because it's a common trait of Mario RPG villains to be seeking an ultimate source of magical power, but till then, wow, I’m impressed. The only reason Fawful can’t go “Checkmate” is that Mario and Luigi are manipulating Bowser’s insides in ways that the spiral glasses savant couldn’t ever predict and tossing a spiked shell spanner into his plans. Definitely a better villain than Dimentio if you ask me.
By the way, how do we get out of this situation? Mario and Luigi head into the zone that opened, the Rump Command. You heard that right: The plumbers will save their enemy’s ass… by doing stuff in Bowser’s ass. Christ, the double entendres will become inevitable. In Canadian French, it’s even worse, the zone is called “Cul-de-sac”. It normally means “Dead end”, but it also literally contains the word for “ass”. Not butt, not bottom, not rump, not bum or booty, not any of the family-friendly terms… No, no, the word “ass”. They got away with using a dirtier word on an all-ages product. Still, you gotta wonder how much it must hurt to pull out such a huge deus ex machina out of Bowser’s, well.... bum. Alright, let’s get to the bottom of this and have some butt action! ….Goddammit! I’m not doing this on purpose, I swear!
|And of course, every opponent Bowser faces in this mode|
will be a building or a vehicle. Never another giant
living creature. Missed opportunity there, Nintendo.
The battle opened up a path, which Bowser can now use to go towards his castle. He hurries through a field, then reaches his domain. Of course, to make sure Bowser can’t come into the castle, Midbus orders the mooks around to make the castle take flight again; thus, Bowser has to explore the area to find a way to shoot the castle down. In this area, there are dozens of Chain Chomps possessed by Fawful-looking worms. Fawful really did hypnotize all of Bowser’s army! Worse even, there are Fawful patrollers flying over them, and in a battle they’ll call more Chain Chomps, so you HAVE to inhale those patrollers and have Mario and Luigi beat them, if you want the battle to end.
|Basically, we're turning Bowser into the Hulk,|
and future fights against him be damned!
...If he gets too powerful, we're so screwed.
The show starts, and Fawful presents his guest for tonight’s show: Bowser himself! The King gets thrown onto the stage, then Midbus shows up, then a cage falls on the two of them – preventing an escape. This is it, Bowser versus Midbus. The boss battle we had been waiting for! It’s a hard one, as Midbus has some very strong attacks, all of which can be pretty hard to avoid if you don’t know the tricks. Thankfully, once you’ve learned the patterns, he’s fairly simple.
Bowser has won, Fawful shows up to command a standing ovation from the minions
watching the show, but Bowser tries to get into a fight with him. Fawful,
having planned that, claims that the prize for the turtle-dragon's victory is none other than a
buffet! So Bowser is redirected to the dining room, where numerous gigantic
plates full of food await him. Thus, Bowser starts eating, and eating, and
eating… When he’s full, he tries to stop, but the Boos guarding the entrance
start force-feeding him. More food, more food, more food. It would almost be
funny if it wasn’t so fucked up! They completely fatten up the Koopa King, with
an endless stream of food… The Boos only stop after Bowser has become such a
gigantic slob that he can barely walk.
|Never trust a Boo. Even if they're on your side.|
Phew! It’s just that. For a moment, I was afraid we’d get a rerun of the Yoshi’s Island TV ad.
Seriously, who the fuck thought it was a good idea to show this in an ad for kids?
Bowser has become too heavy for the floor he’s on, so he falls through and winds up stuck in it. He contacts Starlow to help him…
I think that’s where I’m gonna stop for today. How about we continue this next Friday? Sounds good?