Part 3: Update Three: Of Fat Frogs and FireballsWelcome back, everybody. Last time, we got Mario's first weapon and rescued Toad from a bevy of dangerous situations. So, let's get this show on the road.
Last time, we left off just outside of Mushroom Kingdom. Heading in, we past the Item Shop, but we'll stop by there in a little bit.
We pop past the Inn, too, but we don't need it right now.
And here we are at the castle. And yeah, I find it fairly necessary to jump places as often as possible. It just really seems in the spirit of Mario.
Inside the castle, we're greeted by (a?) Toad.
There's actually a reason why I'm riding on Toad's head here; it's not just for my amusement.
This is a secret a lot of people seem to miss. I forget it's there a lot, too.
Scattered throughout the world are 39 hidden treasure chests. There's only one chance to grab this chest, so if you're playing along, be sure to get this chest. It also contains our first Frog Coin, which are green, sexy, and kind of rare. They'll be useful later.
That finely mustachioed Toad must be the Chancellor.
So, let's chat with him.
Sure, I should have transcribed this, but it's one of those lines I felt the need to show.
Mario droops his head here, showing his shame.
: I fear the worst! Could Bowser somehow be behind all of this?
Just the best explanations. Mario says nothing, but speaks volumes.
: Spores alive!!! You're telling us that Bowser has abducted the Princess AGAIN? Nevermind. It will be up to you to enter the keep and rescue Princess Toadstool!
I love how the Chancellor already knows the answer, but seems to ask the question out of habit. I can just imagine his tired tone.
I think the only part of that I would have understood was that Bowser got beat up and Toadstool apparently believes that if they want cake, they should eat cake.
: Mario...her life is in your hands! Please, save our dear Princess!
As we leave to do just that, the Chancellor stops Mario so abruptly, he faceplants.
: I almost forgot! This may not help you, but... Why don't you take it along!
Got a "Map"!
The map will be useless. Thanks, jerkoff.
The Chancellor is kind of an asshole.
: Forgive me. But I can't stop worrying about the Princess... Go to the cellar and prepare for your journey. THe vault guard shall assist you.
Heading back to the previous room, we go through the door to the right.
Popping down this way, we encounter the vault guard.
: Mario! The Chancellor has filled me in! Come. Let me show you around.
Inside of Mushroom Kingdom's prestigious vault is ten coins, a Flower and one of the fancy full-heal Mushrooms. Maybe they should sell Toadstool to Bowser.
Stepping out of the castle, the camera pans down and gives us a shot of a bipedal crocodile shoulder-checking a lady fifteen feet through the air.
Holy shit, The Stuff grew legs.
I guess it's not very good with them yet.
I'd tell you to insert Benny Hill music here, but I find it to be overplayed.
Thank God this game wasn't about Mario gathering a team for an inner-city basketball league. If it was, I think we just found the towel manager.
: B...boohoo...sniffle... I can't cry. Big boys don't cry. But it's just not fair...! What am I gonna do? Waaaaaah!!!
What the fuck kind of warped cry-baby is this?
Oh, it's one that we probably have to go help.
...Oh, boy, I think we just found ourselves a savant.
Perfectly reasonable, I feel.
: Oh yeah! He took it from me! He stole my coin! I chased him, but he's way too fast...
If I was Mario, I would have been pleased as punch to see some sort of a way out.
So, we leap high into the air. Even though we found out earlier that Jump won't hurt Bowser...
Where the hell was that jumping ability two minutes ago? Goddammit, you turd.
: Wow! You're THE Mario? I know all about you! You've got more JUMP in you than a box of frogs! I'm Mallow from Tadpole Pond. I'm a frog, but can you believe it? I can't jump. Embarrassing huh?
My ass you can't jump. I just saw you match Mario.
: How about it, Mario? Will you help me catch that filthy thief?
Of course. Even though I've been ripping on you, I did see you make it start raining by crying. Admittedly, I am curious to see what happens when you drop a deuce.
Mario's a bit more excited about this than I am.
New party member in tow, let's head to the Item Shop.
: Wait until you hear this! You see......
: Wait...I've already heard... Old Frogfucious told me. He seems to know EVERYTHING! Hold on.
: Listen... The truth of the matter is, well, ...um...the coin was stolen.
: WHAT!? Well, if that's the case, I guess we can't trade. What a shame, huh!?
I like the cut of this guy's jib.
: Oh, but there's no need to worry! Mario, here, will help us out!
: 'Zat so? Well, if Mario's on your team, you'll have that coin back in a jiffy! Not so fast! Take this with you. You'll probably need it.
He gives us a Pick Me Up, which acts as a revival item. Generally they're unneeded, but it never hurts to have a few around, I think.
So, let's shop! Shirts are armor for Mario, Pants are armor for Mallow. The Jump Shoes are an accessory for Mario that allow him to jump on any enemy, regardless if they are covered in spikes or not, but I don't use Jump often enough to warrant buying it. The Antidote Pin, as you might imagine, prevents Poison. Poison, as in many RPG's, is laughable and not worth worrying about.
Mario's new shirt increases both defenses by 6, while Mallow's new pants increase his defense by 6 and his magic defense by 3. It's a boost Mallow desperately needs.
Attempting to leave town, we're stopped by the most badass Toad around. When asked if he's seen Croco, he doesn't quite prove himself as awesome just yet.
So, now, did Mallow know of Mario's ability to transform like that? Is that one of Mario's rarely used abilities? Or is he just Superman'ing this shit and inventing powers on the fly?
: He's the one who took my coin! Why didn't you stop him?
And the reason why this Toad is so cool!
While I find it a perfectly reasonable excuse, Mario and Mallow disagree.
Croco leaps over us and runs out of town, while neither of our heroes evens attempts to stop him. Suddenly, the bazooka excuse doesn't seem so flimsy.
So we give chase, hunting Croco to Bandit's Way. Or maybe we didn't hunt him and the obvious name gave away where he would flee.
Croco runs off and we give chase, running past some Spikeys.
Well, we fight the Spikeys, but run past their bodies.
Mallow's unarmed attack is to punch them twice, with about all the force you could expect a marshmallow man to put out.
A quick peek at his stats reveals Mario has 16 more attack than Mallow. But, Mallow is only two points behind Mario in magic attack, despite being a level lower. I think we've found his niche.
Mallow's true worth lies in his Special attacks. Most of them hit the entire enemy party and deal lots of damage. He also gets access to plenty of elements, except Fire.
Yeah-hah! I like Mallow as a party-member, and he's not even that bad of a character, really. I just like ripping on him.
In the next area, Croco is putting one of the flower jumper thingies to good use. Even though I'm fairly certain he could just jump up there regularly.
Running across the rock, Croco leaps on some special blocks and steals a coin that should be ours. Jerk!
When jumping on the opposite block here, the first one swings around to form a path across for us. The ground isn't dangerous or anything, but it nets us a few coins and allows us access to the next area.
These platforms show up a few other times.
We spring off this flower to the next area. I'm ready to find Croco and kick his ass.
Croco's a tad arrogant for a purple crocodile.
Honestly, there is nothing I can say to spice up those screen shots. It's an empty area that you just chase Croco through.
How far behind him did he think we were?
If you'd waited only five more seconds, you could have had it. Considering that was one of those moments where we can't move, it would have been perfect.
And what a prize it is in that box. Stars are rare and grant invincibility, along with one other fun feature.
Any enemy you run into is automatically defeated and you gain all the experience you normally would. Stars have a short window of opportunity, but are always given in areas to where you can use them to maximum effect.
Mario's level is nice. I hit the HP bonus here, as it gives him +4 HP. Usually, I like to go with attack, of some sort, for most characters, but four extra HP is nothin' to sneeze at, really.
Mallow's level is nice, too. And so is the bonus +3 Attack and +1 Defense he gets. Since FP is shared through the entire party, I'm hesitant to let one character burn through it all, so having plenty of physical attack is never a bad thing in my book.
There's a second chest floating around here, containing this flower.
And he runs off. Again.
But first, we'll get a quick restore on HP and FP. I just know this guy is going to be a boss fight.
: At this rate, it'll take ya...... 100 more years to catch me!
We repeat the process again, leading to this exchange:
: Ha! Your eyes are much faster than your feet! At this rate, it'll take ya...... 50 more years to catch me!
Chasing Croco isn't particularly interesting in screenshots (or in gameplay, either. His dialog is kind of amusing, though, I find.)
Mallow circles behind him this time, catching Croco in a pincer attack. Looks like it's fight time.
Let's Do This!
Croco isn't a difficult fight. Fire Orb works stupidly well, and when it says, to hit "Y" repeatedly, there's actually a pattern that makes it more effective. If it was just straight tapping to get more fireballs, I probably could have one-shot his ass. By this fight, Mallow should have HP Rain; he won't be useful for much else in the fight, so let him keep HP and FP up, as Croco can do a bit of damage and be dangerous, if you let your HP fall too low. All in all, not a hard fight, but it can be surprising when he heals himself. Not many enemies do that.
Also, that "Got a freebie!" text box that came up? From what I understand, if you hit "X" at the right time after using an item, it's possible to, well, get a freebie of that item. Nice for syrups and healing items, but can also work for Pick Me Ups.
Mallow gains a level after the fight. I'm so proud to see my little magical powerhouse growing!
Too bad it wasn't for his magic attack...
But, letsa go! The trampoline deposits us next to a save point.
And that convenient stopping point is too good for me to pass up.
Tune it next time to see shit go downhill for Mushroom Kingdom!
Also, holy crap, I have art already!? Sweet picture, too.