And finally chapter 13!
Chapter 13: Unlikely Allies
As Luigi made his way back through the tunnels in the mountain, he winced at the aches and pains taking over from his earlier injuries and the fight against Kamek. His adventure in Mount Shroom had taken a lot out of him, but Luigi knew he had to hurry, or else Daisy would begin to worry about him. She was still awaiting his return, after all. The good thing about the situation, however, was that Bowser’s minions seemed to have given up. They were nowhere to be found and the entire area was enveloped in silence. Even Bowser Jr. was gone. Luigi sighed with relief, as he wasn’t sure he could handle any more of them for the time being. What’s more, after following Rosalina’s shortcut, Luigi found himself back under the warm sunlight. The tunnel he had taken led him straight to the mountain trail.***
“Mama mia… Am I glad that’s over,” Luigi opined to himself as he headed off in search of Daisy. He wasn’t exactly sure which direction he had to take from where he’d exited the cave, but Luigi knew that as long as he circled the mountain, he’d find Daisy eventually. He just hoped he hadn’t kept her waiting too long.
Fortunately, Luigi spotted the top of Daisy’s short brown hair down below only minutes later. She sat next to the same waterfall from before, awaiting the green-clad plumber’s return. The only difference was, she was holding a green-colored object in her hands.
“Could it be?” Luigi wondered as he made his way down to her.
When Daisy heard his footsteps, she immediately rose and turned to face him with a smile on her face.
“Luigi! You made it back!”
“Yeah. And I see you found my hat. Thanks!” Luigi replied as he approached her.
“No problem! Here, take it before another breeze blows it away.”
With that, Daisy handed Luigi his hat and watched as he put it back on his head.
“Finally. It felt strange running around without my hat.”
“I can imagine. You and Mario are so used to wearing those things, aren’t you?”
“You can say that again. But, how about we not let him find out I lost mine for awhile, alright?”
“Oh, okay,” Daisy agreed with a giggle.
“Anyway, let’s get out of here. We don’t want to stick around if Bowser’s goons plan on coming back anytime soon.”
With that, the pair headed back in the direction of Toad Town. Although it was late in the night and Luigi had taken longer than expected to retrieve his third Battle Star, he couldn’t help but contemplate where to search next. Four of the known star locations, the sea, an island, a swamp, and a desert, remained unexplored. However, he also knew that his first priority at the moment should be getting both himself and Daisy back to Toad Town and inside the warm castle. Daisy, by now, was likely exhausted and tired, and Luigi even more so due to having worked very hard to come as far as he had. He knew nobody could disagree that he deserved a rest as well. He loathed delaying the rescue of Mario and the others, but anyone knew that an exhausted hero would never succeed in such a task.
Sometime later, the two were able to breathe sighs of relief as Toad Town finally came into view. They quickly rushed towards the castle as quickly as their exhausted legs would carry them, Luigi feeling a rush of excitement flowing through his body. He knew Toadsworth would be very pleased to hear what Luigi had discovered up in Mount Shroom, as it affected the fate of all of Mushroom Kingdom. The elderly Toad himself turned to face Luigi and Daisy moments later as the pair entered the castle doors, having been gazing through the window to keep watch for more of Bowser’s minions.
“Ah, Master Luigi! You succeeded in rescuing Princess Daisy!” Toadsworth cried with relief.
“I sure did. It took some real elbow grease, but a victory’s a victory,” Luigi replied.
“Yeah, he was injured pretty badly after we escaped the cave in the mountain,” Daisy added. “But even then, Luigi gave all those goons a real butt-kicking!”
“Well, I must say, Luigi, I’m very pleased!” Toadsworth commented. “I now have more faith in you than ever.”
“Thanks, Toadsworth. By the way, I made an important discovery while I was up there,” Luigi continued. “You were right. I am the chosen master of the Battle Stars. The Star Tablet inside the peak of Mount Shroom confirms it. It depicted the story of the stars, and in the last panel, I was shown holding all of them above my head.”
“Oh! This is remarkable! I had no doubts at all of this truth.”
“Neither did I! Toadsworth told me about the legend while you were in the forest,” Daisy added with a smile.
“Heh, I see. And believe me, I was surprised,” Luigi replied. “After all, it’s usually Mario who’s in these positions, not me.”
“Very true,” Toadsworth agreed. “By the way, how many of the stars have you found so far?”
“Three, actually. One was in Mount Shroom along with the Star Tablet.”
“Ah, fine job! And one was in the forest as well, correct?”
“Just as I figured. Might I ask out of curiosity where you found the first star?”
“Oh, this place in the canyon called Alvaro Cave.”
On this, Toadsworth froze where he stood and his mouth dropped open.
“A-Alvaro Cave?! Luigi! You are truly incredible!”
“Alvaro Cave has long been regarded as a cursed, dreadful place. Anyone who entered it in the past was never heard from again!”
“Seriously? Mama mia…” Luigi replied, arching an eyebrow in surprise.
“It is true. I am most proud of you. Where are you going to go next?”
“I’m not really sure yet. I was thinking Yoshi’s Island. I have a hunch there’s another star there somewhere. It’s also where I was stranded after Bowser blasted me away, and the Yoshis were more than glad to help me out. I don’t think they’ll hesitate to help me again.”
“I see. That’s a good plan. I can only hope you are right. I fear we have little precious time to spare before Bowser has his way with the others.”
“As do I. Which is why I should get going right now.”
“Now? But Luigi, surely you must be tired by now! Why not go home and rest?”
“Yeah, especially after what you went through back on the mountain,” Daisy added.
“Well, now that you mention it, I am pretty bushed,” Luigi admitted. “I guess I’ll set out for Yoshi’s Island in the morning.”
“Sounds good to me,” Toadsworth replied.
With that, Luigi departed the castle once more and returned to his house for the evening. He hated to delay rescuing the others, but Luigi had faith that they could hold on until he arrived to stop Bowser. When he passed through the front door of his and Mario’s home, Luigi immediately made way for the bedroom. He decided to check on the Poltergust 4000 before turning in, just to be sure it was still safe and sound. After opening the closet’s secret compartment, Luigi was relieved to find it still there and in one piece. It wasn’t likely that he would need to use it again since all of the ghosts had been returned to Professor E. Gadd’s lab, but the plumber knew that anything could happen. After closing the closet, the exhausted Luigi jumped onto his green bed and glanced over at the empty red one.
It felt strange being there without Mario. Luigi guessed it was probably because that he hadn’t had a night in this house without his brother for as long as he could remember. They’d gone through life together, after all. They weren’t just fraternal twin brothers. They were partners and even best friends, despite Luigi’s growing jealousy towards Mario. This train of thought soon led to another, however. As he looked at the vacant bed, Luigi’s facial expression turned into a glare. Maybe this wasn’t so bad after all. With Mario captured, it was his turn to be the big hero. With Mario out of the way, Luigi could take over the spotlight. And with the Battle Stars, he could finally do that. And there was none that could stop him.
“Not even you, “bro,” Luigi uttered as he finally dozed off, sarcastically using the nickname he sometimes addressed Mario by.
The next morning, Luigi felt refreshed and energized. When he hopped out of bed, he knew he was ready to hunt down another Battle Star and eagerly departed the house. He only hoped that this time, nothing would go wrong again while he was gone. If so, well, Luigi could only hope that Daisy and the Toads would be able to handle it until he returned. And if the plumber knew Daisy, she’d take care of things. After all, Bowser Jr. would likely dare not capture her again after the treatment Luigi had given him and Kamek on Mount Shroom. Still, both of them would definitely plot something else to bring Luigi’s quest to an end, and the clad-green plumber had to be prepared. Needless to say, though, Luigi knew he would be. As long as he had faith in the Battle Stars, the stars would continue to serve him well and their power would not fail him. The only thing Luigi worried about now was how Mario and Bowser’s other captives were faring.
Little did Luigi know, he had recently bought himself more time to put an end to the Koopa King’s plans. With the Boos eliminated from his army, Bowser needed to take more time to rebuild his forces and delay the construction of his ultimate weapon, which was meant to conduct Mario’s destruction. The furious Koopa King stomped his way into the chamber of his fortress which held Mario, Peach, and the cursed Yoshi, and had also served as a place for Bowser to cool his temper when he needed. After all, he could not think straight when he was so angry, and he needed a new plan to get Luigi out of his way. Yet, not even Kamek possessing Rosalina had managed to best the green-clad plumber, so this was easier said than done. Mario merely snickered as he watched the Koopa King storm inside the room.
“Heh. From the look on your face, I’m going to guess that my brother is giving you quite a hard time,” Mario inferred, a grin on his face.
“Hmph,” Bowser roared. “I will admit, he has forced me to postpone your destruction because much of my army has been diminished. I guess my giant bob-omb couldn’t blast him far enough!”
“I knew it. He’s proving you wrong, isn’t he?”
“Ha! Luigi might have earned you at least a few more days of life, but he just got lucky! Had I known that he was the one depicted in that stupid legend, and not you, that annoying green insect would be squished by now! RRRG!”
“Legend?” Mario wondered, his eyes widening.
“What do you mean?” Peach inquired.
“Ha, like I’m going to tell you anything about it!” Bowser cackled. “You’ve lucked out this time, but mark my words, I’m not through just yet!”
With that, the Koopa King stormed back out of the room, his anger having been calmed by some newfound motivation.
“What legend could Bowser have been talking about?” Peach wondered.
“I haven’t the slightest idea,” Mario admitted. “But from what he said, it sounded like he had seen Luigi in a picture, but thought it was me. That would explain why he went to such lengths to imprison us.”
“Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Oh, I just wish we could learn more about it…”
“So do I. To think that my brother is part of a legend…”
While Mario and Peach contemplated this surprising discovery, Luigi was making his way back towards the boat he had originally used to return to the mainland from Yoshi’s Island. If he was able to use it to do that, then it could get him back to the island. And since the plumber had already used this route once before, it was easy for him to navigate his way back towards the shore. Unfortunately, the sight he beheld when he arrived at the correct spot wasn’t what he was expecting at all. Sitting at the edge of the shore where he had left it was his boat, only it was smashed into two pieces. The oars had also been broken. It looked as if Luigi had driven a Super Punch into it himself, only this obviously wasn’t the case.
“Oh, that’s terrific,” Luigi grumbled angrily, figuring that this was the handiwork of more of Bowser’s minions. “Now what am I going to do?”
Luigi merely stood there until his gaze found a path blocked by a fallen tree. It was the same one he had seen the first time he’d arrived from Yoshi’s Island. Figuring it wouldn’t hurt to do a little exploring since he could now bust his way through the tree using a Super Punch, Luigi approached it. He then launched his punch right into the trunk, breaking it apart and creating a passage for him. Not long after he had resumed his journey, however, Luigi soon heard rustling in some nearby bushes. Without warning, a group of Koopas and Hammer Bros had jumped out of the underbrush, ultimately surrounding him. Luigi had grown strong thanks to the Battle Stars as well as his own cunning, but he had never needed to face this many enemies at once before.
“Aw give me a break…” Luigi uttered in annoyance as the creatures closed in on him. He then recalled a special technique he and Mario had been able to use while in outer space. They only knew it because the Lumas, the star folk that Rosalina cared for, had granted it to them, but perhaps Luigi could duplicate it using the Battle Stars.
“Well, it’s worth a shot.”
With that, Luigi charged into a fierce spin, his fists raised outward. However, though he had only intended to spin once, Luigi found himself rotating several times in a row, and as he did so, a fierce and windy tornado erupted from his body. The force of the cyclone had been strong enough to launch all of Luigi’s adversaries back into the distance, screams echoing from each of their mouths. When he had finally come to a halt, Luigi was slightly dizzy. When he regained his senses, he froze where he stood.
“Mama mia! That was awesome!” he exclaimed happily. “These Battle Stars just get better and better. I think I’ll call that the Luigi Cyclone! Yahoo!”
Luigi happily continued to follow the beach path. Now, between power ups and the three attacks granted to him by the Battle Stars, the Super Punch, Super Jump, and Luigi Cyclone, the green-clad plumber felt like he could take on anything Bowser dished out at him and then some. Somehow, Luigi also felt that the Luigi Cyclone would be the final technique the stars gave him, but it didn’t matter. The move was able to wipe out several enemies all at once. The plumber knew that he didn’t have the stamina to use it repeatedly, and would have to recharge the attack after using it, but even so. It would come in handy at the right moments, for sure.
Luigi’s thoughts were interrupted, however, when he heard a pair of gruff, deep voices nearby. He paused and began to listen to them further, only to find his smile turning upside down when he found that these voices were quite familiar.
“Oh no…” he groaned. “Don’t tell me it’s those two…”
Luigi then dashed into the underbrush nearby and followed the voices as quietly as he could. Moments later, he found his suspicion confirmed much to his dismay. Standing next to a yellow and purple boat that was twice the size of Luigi’s old rowboat were none other than the Wario brothers, Wario and Waluigi. These two, while they never worked for Bowser as far as the Mario brothers knew, were long time rivals of Mario and Luigi, and always strived to best them in anything that they did, with the exception of certain heroics. Wario, the shorter and chubbier of the two, and his younger brother, the tall and quite skinny Waluigi, couldn’t care less how the Mushroom Kingdom faired against Bowser’s antics as long as it didn’t negatively affect them.
This time, Wario and Waluigi appeared to be arguing, and Luigi considered swiping the boat so he could get to Yoshi’s Island. He quickly scrapped the idea, however, when he noticed that the brothers had an issue of their own to deal with. The boat’s motor was lying on the ground nearby, smoking and dented beyond repair. Luigi could’ve still used the boat, if only his oars weren’t busted. So much for that idea, Luigi thought in frustration. He wondered if the Koopas and Hammer Bros he’d met earlier were responsible for the damage to both boats.
“But we’ve got to do something about this!” Waluigi shouted impatiently. “Someone else could find that treasure before we do!”
“I know, I know! Give me time to think, will ya?!” Wario retorted, scratching the top of his head. “Bowser’s lackies aren’t getting away with this!”
Luigi then found himself smiling. Perhaps these two could actually be of use to him. He then stepped out of the underbrush to make himself known.
“Heh, having some trouble?” the plumber inquired rhetorically, folding his arms.
“What the—?!” Wario gasped, jumping. “Well! If it isn’t Mario’s cowardly klutz of a brother!”
“Yeah, scared of anything lately?” Waluigi taunted.
Luigi merely grumbled. Wario’s score had always been primarily with Mario, so that left Waluigi to constantly bully Luigi. As a result, Luigi grew to hate him the most out of the two. Today, however, the green-clad plumber need not worry about whatever either Wario or Waluigi said. With his power, he could flatten these two in a matter of seconds if he wanted.
“Actually, I’m not,” Luigi calmly replied.
“Hahaha! Like we’re going to believe that!” Wario countered. “You’re nothing without Mario!”
“Yeah!” Waluigi added with a cackle. “Say, where is the red shorty anyway?”
Luigi merely chuckled. These two did not realize what trouble they’d be in if they continued to torment him.
“Ah, well, I suppose there’s no harm in telling you,” he replied. “Bowser captured him.”
At that, the Wario brothers froze where they stood.
“Haha, you mean he actually lost?” Wario replied. “Wow. Just wow.”
“I know, right?” Waluigi agreed. “Never thought we’d see the day.”
“Neither did I, actually,” Luigi added. “By the way, I’m on a quest to rescue him, but I need to get to Yoshi’s Island. But Bowser’s goons smashed my boat too. He’s caused trouble for all three of us, so why not call a temporary truce?”
“And why should we help you?” Wario inquired. “And even if we wanted to, our motor is busted. We wanted to go find some sunken treasure, but the boat’s useless, thanks to that brute’s annoying minions.”
“Well, for one thing, I could go get you a new motor,” Luigi replied. “Provided that you keep your word that you’ll help me out, that is. Also, if Mario isn’t around, you can’t compete with him anymore, can you?”
“Grr…” Wario uttered. “You have a point. But what if we didn’t keep our end of the bargain?”
Luigi then glared at him, plucked both brothers by the collars of their shirts, and forced Waluigi to the sand on his knees due to his height. Both brothers soon squealed with fear.
“If you even so much as try something so foolish, then you clowns are going to have more to worry about than a busted motor!” Luigi threatened. “So you both had better be here when I get back, or you’ll be very sorry!”
“Waah! O-Okay, okay! You win!” Wario gave in, his body trembling. “We’ll help you, I promise! Just let us go!”
“Good,” Luigi replied and threw Waluigi to the ground, then Wario right into his brother. “You can start by telling me where you got the boat.”
“Uh, uh, the beach shop somewhere up that way,” Waluigi stammered as he pointed in the direction Luigi had been heading. “The Toad running it might have extra motors.”
“W-What he said!” Wario seconded. “It’s the truth, we swear!”
“It better be,” Luigi replied hotly and walked past the brothers. He wasn’t kidding either. It felt good to finally teach the brutes a lesson. Still, he was glad that they saw things his way. Wario and Waluigi were annoying, rather greedy, and troublesome, but at least they never stooped to the level of Bowser. All they really wanted was to be wealthy and be better than the Mario brothers at everything. The Koopa King wanted to take over the kingdom and take Peach as his queen, and that was enough for the Mario brothers to handle, especially with the current situation.
In truth, however, Luigi knew Wario and Waluigi had been telling the truth about the beach shop from the beginning. He’d been there a few times before, and they did indeed sell and rent boats. Luigi merely pretended not to know just to get the two brothers more riled up. It wasn’t like they didn’t deserve it, after all. Luigi snickered as he thought of how they were probably wondering how he’d gotten so strong. Around ten minutes after he’d left the Wario brothers, Luigi could see the beach shop in the distance. He quickly approached it in hopes that the Toad who ran it would give him a spare motor despite that it was for Wario and Waluigi’s boat. The Mario brothers weren’t the only ones who didn’t like them, after all. Yet, they had a right to buy what they wanted as long as they could afford it and the Toads had to abide by that. Luigi just had to hope he had enough money to buy a motor.
When Luigi reached the front door of the shop, however, he nearly jumped. Several shouts echoed from the back of the building and then a loud crash made the plumber topple over.
“Stop! Thieves!” a voice yelled from inside. Several cackles echoed soon after, then faded away. Luigi quickly bolted inside the shop, figuring Bowser’s minions must have struck again.
“Hey! What’s going on in here?” he inquired.
“Dang it, a customer,” the same voice from before replied. “I’m coming.”
The owner of the shop soon emerged from a giant hole in the back wall of the building.
“Ah, you’re Luigi,” the owner identified. “What can I do for you?”
“Yeah. Did you just get robbed?” Luigi inquired.
“I sure did. Those stupid creatures just came out of nowhere and busted through the wall!” the owner explained.
“I see. I came to get a boat motor. I need one to get to Yoshi’s Island. The boat I’ll be taking recently had its motor destroyed.”
“Wha—? That wouldn’t happen to be the same boat those Wario brothers bought awhile back, now would it?”
“…As a matter of fact, it is, but it wasn’t their fault. Bowser’s minions attacked them, or so they claim. I convinced them to give me a ride to Yoshi’s Island if I brought back a spare motor.”
“Oh, I see. I’m afraid you’re just a tad too late. I had one motor left, but that was the one piece of merchandise those robbers made off with.”
“What?! Well that’s just great,” Luigi opined in frustration. First his boat is trashed, then the spare motor is stolen. These urchins were really beginning to get on his nerves.
“I know, I wish there was something else I could do.”
“Don’t worry, I may as well go get the motor back. I’m not getting to that island otherwise.”
“I understand, but are you sure you want to help those brothers?”
“Yeah, I should. They’re a pain to deal with at times, but not even they deserve to get heckled by Bowser.”
“Well, I guess you’re right about that. Well, good luck in any case!”
With that, Luigi departed the shop through the hole in the wall, hoping he could catch the thieves before they got too far away.
The path Luigi followed led him back towards the foothills of Mount Shroom, though to a different side of the mountain than where he had gone the first time. Within minutes, he found himself at a wide river, likely the same one that led to the waterfall where Daisy had waited for him. There was a metal drawbridge as well, but was not lowered, and the edges of the river were too high for Luigi to climb from in the water. Luigi then caught a glimpse of a large group of Hammer Bros, Boomerang Bros, Bob-omb Bros, Goombas, Piranha plants, Wigglers, and other sorts of enemies beyond the other side. The thieves that stole the motor were likely among them. Before he could wonder how he was going to defeat all of these adversaries, however, Luigi spotted the control box for the drawbridge nearby. Unfortunately, it had been smashed to the ground.
“Oh for crying out loud!” Luigi opined in annoyance. “What am I supposed to do now?”
The plumber sighed and glanced around. A Super Punch would probably destroy the bridge right out. Moments later, Luigi spotted what appeared to be a mushroom-shaped rock sitting to the far left of the bridge. He curiously approached it. It appeared to be a power-up, but Luigi wasn’t impressed.
“Really? A rock?” he uttered. “Sigh… What have I got to lose?”
With that, he picked up the Rock Mushroom and gobbled it down. Suddenly, the fabric of Luigi’s cap turned to rock and his overalls became brown instead of blue.
“…Alright, what in the Mushroom Kingdom is this?” he wondered in irritation. His gaze soon reached the drawbridge once more and his eyebrows rose.
“Wait a second…”
Luigi then ran back in front of the bridge and turned to face it. He jumped in the air, but this time, he did not come back down. Instead, his body became incased in a large boulder and rolled right into the erect drawbridge. The force of the impact was so great, that the bridge was forced to descend. The way it was constructed caused the other half to lower with it. Luigi’s boulder was shattered upon impact, but a smile was left on his face nonetheless.
“That’s what I’m talking about,” he uttered proudly. He then assumed his boulder form once more to bowl over the enemies waiting for him on the other side.
“Yahoo!” the plumber shouted joyously as his targets were squashed one by one. The path turned out to be a dead end aside from a side route that led up Mount Shroom, so Luigi was able to finish every single one of the creatures easily. He spotted the Bob-omb Bro carrying the stolen motor at the head of the pack and flattened him last. The motor merely dropped to the ground afterward while Luigi collided with a nearby cliff in order to break out of the boulder. Thankfully, he managed not to crush the motor in the process, and once he was on foot again, Luigi quickly scooped it up and began making his way back to the boat shop.
After dashing back across the bridge and down the wooded path again, Luigi turned to see if he was being pursued by any enemies he might have somehow missed. Thankfully, he was alone and remained that way until he reentered the boat shop itself. The shopkeeper awaited him inside and approached as the plumber stopped to catch his breath.
“Ah, Luigi! You got the motor back!” the shopkeeper said excitedly. “Thanks so much!”
“No problem,” Luigi replied and set the motor down.
“Eh? Is that outfit some kind of power-up?”
“Actually, yeah. So, how much is this motor?”
“Oh, don’t worry about that. You look like you went through a good bit to get the motor back, so you can have it as a reward.”
“Really? Thanks! That’ll really help me out.”
“But of course.”
With that, Luigi took the motor again and exited the shop through the front door, hoping that the shopkeeper would be able to repair the damage to the building. The plumber then approached the shore, as he recalled that water could also disable power-ups that he and Mario used to fight off Bowser’s minions. After stepping inside the cool ocean blue and ridding himself of the Rock Mushroom’s effects, Luigi headed back to where Wario and Waluigi awaited him. At last, the next destination was Yoshi’s Island, and hopefully a fourth Battle Star to add to the plumber’s collection.