PAPER X-NAUT: THE HIDDEN LEGEND
[After making his way through the dreaded Hooktail Castle, X-NAUT got the chance to trounce HOOKTAIL. But even though he was victorious, he had failed to obtain the Crystal Star. But still, his mission has not been in vain. He has learned invaluable information for his master, GRODUS. But just who is this mustachioed man who is after the Crystal Stars? And does he really possess the Magical Map? Yes… X-NAUT’S adventure has only just begun.]
*Prelude Part 1: Return*******************************************************************************************************
(At HOOKTAIL’S room, X-NAUT and PARAKETE are still standing there. HOOKTAIL’S body has disappeared.)
PARAKETE: Whoa… That was crazy, dude… So, what do we do now?
X-NAUT: Well… I remember I need to tell my boss about what I learned. But he’s probably not going to be too happy… But I have a mission, so it needs to be done.
(X-NAUT pulls out his Mailbox DS and flips it open.)
PARAKETE: Hey, whatcha got there? Is that some sort of Mailbox SP or something?
X-NAUT: Actually, it’s a Mailbox DS. I guess it’s pretty advanced.
(X-NAUT pulls out a stylus pen and starts tapping on the bottom screen. Soon, a picture of GRODUS appears on the top screen. X-NAUT salutes.)
X-NAUT: Grodus, sir! I have news.
GRODUS: (through the Mailbox DS) Report at once.
X-NAUT: You know that Crystal Star we thought maybe Hooktail had? Well, someone nabbed it.
GRODUS: What? WHAT did you say? Someone else is after the Crystal Stars? And he defeated that Hooktail creature, you say? SPEAK, soldier!
X-NAUT: Yes, sir. Sorry, sir. There’s more, too. See, according to the report, it was a mustached dude in a red hat and blue overalls who pulled the job.
(X-NAUT presses a button and the picture on the top screen zooms out, revealing a lovely princess in a pink dress with two X-NAUTS nearby.)
GRODUS: (steps forward) Excuse me? Mario?
PRINCESS: (puts a hand to her mouth) Oh no!
GRODUS: Gaack ack ack ack ack! I see… So, you know of this Mario, do you? Hmmm… This fool matters not at all. I’ll know all about him before long, that I promise. I grow bored of talking. Take Princess Peach back to the holding room.
1ST X-NAUT: Yessir!
(The two X-NAUTS walk over to Princess Peach.)
GRODUS: And men! Take good care of Princess Peach. Understand? She is not to be harmed.
1ST X-NAUT: You got it, sir!
(The X-NAUTS salute, turn around and lead PRINCESS PEACH out of the room. The main character X-NAUT closes his Mailbox DS.)
PARAKETE: Whoa. Wicked, man. So that’s your boss? Sir Gordo or something?
X-NAUT: …It’s Sir Grodus.
PARAKETE: Right, man, whatever. And, uh, was I hearing things, or was that Princess Peach who was with him?
X-NAUT: …I guess it was.
PARAKETE: It sounded like she was being treated like a prisoner or something. That ain’t cool, man! I mean, she’s the princess of the whole Mushroom Kingdom! And she’s totally gorgeous! Why would they have her captive like that?
X-NAUT: …I don’t know…
PARAKETE: …You OK, X-dude?
X-NAUT: Uh…I’m just…taking this all in… (takes a deep breath and lets it out) OK, I’m better. Let’s get out of this castle.
(They return to Petalburg, where X-NAUT is met by mayor KROOP and starts talking with him. PARAKETE and YUXETTE are standing by. There is also the town’s newest re-arrival, KOOPLEY.)
KROOP: Oh, X-Nut! You’re back! Did you hear the news? Murphy defeated Hooktail! And look who’s just come back thanks to his efforts! It’s Koops’s father, Koopley!
KOOPLEY: Yep! But, it’s Mario, mayor.
KROOP: Thanks for the compliment, Koopley. They ARE nice eyebrows. But anyways, you helped Murphy, didn’t you X-Nut? You did help him defeat Hooktail and get the Crystal Star?
X-NAUT: …Um, no, not really…
KROOP: I knew you did! You and Murphy make a pretty darn good team, I tell you.
KOOPLEY: (steps forward) Um, mayor? Not to sound disrespectful, but I don’t recall seeing this fellow back at the castle.
KROOP: (turns to KOOPLEY) What? Why not? …Don’t tell me X-Nut didn’t catch up to Murphy in time! …That’s a shame, I suppose. But I guess it means that Murphy defeated Hooktail all by himself! What a hero! (turns to X-NAUT) But you, X-Nut… I was so drawn into Koopley’s return and Koops’s departure that I forgot to mention you to Murphy! Pity he doesn’t know about you…
X-NAUT: Actually, I’m just fine with that. In fact, I think it might be better if Murphy, I mean, Mario doesn’t know I was here.
KROOP: You sure about that? Well, that’s fine then. You’ll always have a spot of credit here at Petalburg! We won’t forget about you, X-Nut!
X-NAUT: Yeah… Thanks.
PARAKETE: You know, X-dude, I’ve been thinking…
(X-NAUT turns to PARAKETE.)
PARAKETE: Well, that whole adventure we had in the castle was pretty fun, wasn’t it? Even though it was kinda pointless, we still got to stomp Hooktail, and that was awesome! My point is, I really enjoyed it. So, uh, what’ll you say to me staying with you dudes a little longer?
X-NAUT: Well, I don’t know. I don’t think Sir Grodus will be too happy with that…
PARAKETE: Yeah, from the looks on that DS thing you had, he’s a pretty tough customer.
X-NAUT: Well, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt for you to stick around. Just as long as you, um, don’t come with us into our base.
PARAKETE: No problem, dudes! You guys are, like, totally the nicest guys someone like me could hope to meet! You’re awesome!
X-NAUT: Yeah. Now let’s head back to the base for a while. Which means, we need to go to the Rogueport Sewers. That’s where the entrance is.
PARAKETE: All righty, dudes, I’m right behind you!
(YUXETTE disappears and PARAKETE becomes the partner again. He and X-NAUT travel back through Petal Meadows and to the pipe that leads to Rogueport Sewers. Once they’re in the sewers, they hop across the platforms and head towards the underground town. When they get there, X-NAUT and PARAKETE run and fly—X-NAUT runs, PARAKETE flies—over to a building with a locked door.)
X-NAUT: There’s the entrance. (turns to PARAKETE) If you don’t mind just waiting around here for a while…
PARAKETE: Hey, don’t you worry about me, X-dude! I’ll just sit tight until you come back.
(X-NAUT unlocks the door, goes into the building, and locks it again. He emerges from the same room that LORD CRUMP made his entrance from in the X-Naut Fortress. He has YUXETTE by his side. They walk around Sublevel 2, talking to other X-NAUTS. Then they go into SIR GRODUS’S room.)
X-NAUT: Uh, ahem! (salutes) Sir Grodus! I have returned from that special mission!
GRODUS: (turns to X-NAUT) I see. You are the X-Naut who told me someone else was after the Crystal Stars, correct?
X-NAUT: Umm, yes, sir!
GRODUS: Well, I congratulate you on a job well done, soldier. I must confess…that mission I gave you was not real. I’ve already gathered all the information I need on Hooktail Castle and that Crystal Star. That mission was just a test to see how much you could discover on your own. The news you gave me was quite unexpected and quite…helpful. For that, you have passed your first test. I see I was not mistaken when I said you had great promise within you.
X-NAUT: Uh…wow. …Uh, Grodus sir? May I ask a question?
GRODUS: Of course.
X-NAUT: When I was on my Mailbox DS, I saw Princess Peach. What was she doing here? She’s not a prisoner, is she?
GRODUS: Of course not. Princess Peach is a guest of ours, and if you meet her, I expect you to treat her as such. Now why don’t you go find your Chief? He has just been released from probation.
X-NAUT: Umm, OK. Roger, sir. (salutes, turns, and leaves)
*Prelude Part 2: Hanging Around************************************************************************************************
(When X-NAUT and YUXETTE enter into the hallway, the CHIEF’S voice can be heard.)
CHIEF: There you two are!
X-NAUT & YUXETTE: !
(The CHIEF walks over to them.)
CHIEF: So, did you hear? I’m off probation now! Which means…heh heh…I’m in charge of you again! And boy, do I have a job for you! Inside the locker room, there’s a bunch of X-Naut uniforms on the floor that need to be picked up and tossed into the laundry cart! And there’s no better X-Naut for the duty than you! So get to it!
(The CHIEF walks away. X-NAUT and YUXETTE enter the locker room, where there are uniforms lying all over the place. X-NAUT collects every one of them and puts them into the laundry cart. Once that is done, the CHIEF comes in, pushing another cart full of uniforms.)
CHIEF: Good! I see you’re done with that chore. Now I want you to fold and hang every one of these clean uniforms into those lockers!
(The CHIEF pushes the cart with the dirty uniforms out of the room. X-NAUT starts folding and hanging the other uniforms.)
X-NAUT: This stinks…literally. These clean uniforms aren’t much better than the dirty ones.
YUXETTE: (gathers uniforms on top of her head) Yux.
X-NAUT: I wonder if we’ll always have to do dirty jobs like these.
X-NAUT: (folding and hanging) The chief said something the other day about us being low-caste minions. What do you think that means?
YUXETTE: Yux… Yux.
X-NAUT: I see… (folds and hangs another uniform) Hey, Yuxette, have you ever dreamed of someday being…you know, something more?
X-NAUT: You too, huh? I wonder if people with high statuses have easier lives than us.
X-NAUT: (takes a uniform off YUXETTE’S head, folds it, and hangs it) Oh! I just remembered! Parakete! He’s probably still waiting for us!
X-NAUT: Gee, I feel bad making Parakete wait for us… I don’t want to lose one of the only friends I have.
X-NAUT: (puts a uniform back in the cart) We could just visit Parakete for a little while. If we come back here quickly, no one will know we were gone!
YUXETTE: (bounces) Yux!
X-NAUT: All right, what are we waiting for? Let’s go! Quickly and quietly.
(They leave the uniforms behind and exit the room. A few seconds later, the CHIEF enters the room again, looks around, and sees that no one is in the room.)
(Back at Rogueport Sewers, X-NAUT and YUXETTE exit the building. PARAKETE is nowhere to be found.)
YUXETTE: Yux! Yux!
X-NAUT: I know! Parakete’s gone! But where did he go?
(X-NAUT and YUXETTE look around the town. They talk to some folks. A GOOMBA says he saw a PARATROOPA entering HERB T.’S place. They go into the place and find PARAKETE sitting at a table, drinking a Chuckola Cola.)
PARAKETE: (turns to X-NAUT) Oh, hey! X-dude! I was wondering when you’d show up!
(X-NAUT and YUXETTE walk to the table.)
PARAKETE: You should try the Chuckola Cola here, man! It’s awesome! And this place isn’t half-bad, either. I think I just discovered a new hangout!
X-NAUT: Uh, yeah, that’s great, Parakete! I just came to see how you were doing. You seem to be doing just fine.
PARAKETE: Am I ever! And you see that crazy-looking guy over there? His name’s Wonky. He looks weird, but he knows all kinds of stuff! Seriously!
X-NAUT: …Um, OK then.
PARAKETE: Say, X-dude, you’re looking for the Crystal Stars, aren’t you?
X-NAUT: Well, yes. Or, not me exactly, but the organization I work for is.
PARAKETE: Cool. Anyways, you got any idea where the next Crystal Star could be?
X-NAUT: Well, without the Magical Map, we don’t really have a way of finding them. I know that there was that one in Hooktail Castle, and there’s also one in Boggly Woods.
PARAKETE: There is? Why aren’t we looking for it, then?
X-NAUT: I wouldn’t bother. There’s already an X-Naut excavation there, searching for the Crystal Star. I think they’ve got it covered.
PARAKETE: Oh. That’s kind of a bummer, then. We have nothing to do then. ! Unless… X-dude, have you seen Rogueport yet?
X-NAUT: No, not yet.
PARAKETE: Perfecto! Why don’t I take you on a tour? I’ve been to Rogueport before. It’ll be fun! C’mon, let’s go!
(YUXETTE disappears and PARAKETE takes over as partner again. They leave the place and head to the opening in the right. In the next room, there’s a SPINIA and a SPANIA, and also a pipe that goes aboveground. They take the pipe up to the west side of Rogueport.)
THE TICKET TO ROGUES
*Part 1: Rogueport**********************************************************************************************************
(X-NAUT and PARAKETE emerge on top of the pipe near the fountain. They look around the peaceful side of Rogueport.)
PARAKETE: Well, this is Rogueport, X-dude! We’re on the west side.
PARAKETE: Yep, this is definitely the nicer side of Rogueport. The other side is pretty rough.
VOICE: Hey! Get back here, you!
X-NAUT & PARAKETE: (turning towards the voice) !
(They see a BANDIT wearing a red headband and green clothes running down the street. Two PIANTAS are chasing him. They surround him, punch the lights out of him, and flatten him against the ground.)
PIANTA 1: Dat’ll teach you not to steal from da boss!
PIANTA 2: You’re lucky dis time, pal. If it had been da boss himself, you woulda ended up a lot worse.
PIANTA 1: We better not catcha stealin’ on our turf again, punk!
(The PIANTAS take a piece of paper from the BANDIT and run off, leaving him there.)
PARAKETE: Whoa! What a beating, huh? Think that fellow’s OK? Well, that’s Rogueport for you. Even the peaceful side isn’t very peaceful. This area is ruled by the Pianta syndicate. They’re bitter enemies with a band of thieves called the Robbos. Rogueport is practically divided in half over their conflicts. We’d best steer clear of them.
(They hop off the pipe and check out the BANDIT. The BANDIT rises up and looks around.)
PARAKETE: Hey, dude! You OK?
BANDIT: Huh? Who are you two? And why are you looking at me like that?
X-NAUT: Umm, we were just checking to see how you were.
BANDIT: Well, I’m just fine! And you, uh, didn’t see anything! Understand?
X-NAUT: Uh, no.
BANDIT: Just forget I was ever here, OK? And now, if you’ll pardon me, I must be off.
(The BANDIT runs off towards the center of Rogueport. X-NAUT and PARAKETE look on after him.)
PARAKETE: What a weird guy. Why don’t you think he wants us watching him? Maybe we could go spy on him and see what he’s all about.
(They go to the center of Rogueport and talk to some people. One of them tells them that a BANDIT ran over to the east side. X-NAUT and PARAKETE go over there. They find MERLON’S place and PROFESSOR FRANKLY’S place. X-NAUT gives MERLON three Shine Sprites he’s collected, and MERLON powers up his partner YUXETTE. YUXETTE’s HP rises to 15, and she learns the new move Triplicate. This allows YUXETTE to create two MINI-YUXES at one time, but it costs 3 FP. After that, X-NAUT meets GUS, one of the Robbos, at the gate.)
GUS: Whoa! Whoa! Hold up, now! You’re an outsider! Past this point is the turf of Ishnail, head of the Robbos. It’s 10 coins to pass through. You try to pass without paying, and I’m afraid I’ll have to whip you but good.
X-NAUT: Uh… I can take you!
GUS: What? You gotta be kidding. You think you can fight your way past here? I’m gonna make you eat your words, tough guy! Let’s get this party started!
(Of course, that’s not the only solution. X-NAUT could pay if he wanted to, but either way, he needs to get to ISHNAIL’S turf. Battling GUS is a good way to earn Star Points. He’s tough, but X-NAUT tries out his new Seismic Wave move and does some damage. Eventually, GUS is defeated.)
GUS: CRUD! You dumb video-game heroes ALWAYS pull this stuff! It’s RIDICULOUS! You think violence solves everything, don’t you? Huh? DON’T YOU?!?
(GUS runs off. X-NAUT and PARAKETE look around the east side of Rogueport. They turn sideways and slip through a crack in the wall and emerge in a back alley where they find a hidden building. They go inside, and they find ISHNAIL, a couple of CRAWS—including GUS himself—and the BANDIT.)
ISHNAIL: You want somethin’, chump? This is the fortress of the Robbo Thieves. You lost? What business brings a chump like you to a place like this? Say it ain’t vacation.
BANDIT: (walks forward) Hey! You again? Did you follow me here?
ISHNAIL: (turns to the BANDIT) Eh? Bandana, you know these chumps?
BANDANA: Uh, no, not really, Ishnail. Well, I met ‘em once…
PARAKETE: Hey, that’s the Bandit dude who got stomped by the Piantas!
BANDANA: Noooo! Tattletales!
ISHNAIL: What? You got beaten up by them dirty Piantas again? Say you didn’t try to steal from them again? And bungled it up? Again?
BANDANA: Hmph. Yes, Ishnail.
ISHNAIL: Cripes! Bandana, you’re so useless…
BANDANA: It was just a blimp ticket I was trying to steal. No big deal.
ISHNAIL: A blimp ticket? You mean that blimp that goes to Glitzville? The floating city where all the best brawlers fight it out for the sake of bein’ the champ?
BANDANA: Yep, the very one. I was hoping to maybe enter as a fighter and send the fight money I earned over to here, to help you guys out.
ISHNAIL: While that’s mighty thoughtful of you, you’re still the world’s biggest bungler! Can’t you do anything right?
BANDANA: Ulp! I, uh, try to…
PARAKETE: Yeah, uh, well, now that that’s straightened out… Umm, Ishnail, is it? You seem like you’re a dude who knows the town pretty well, so… Know anything about the Crystal Stars?
ISHNAIL: (turns to PARAKETE) What? Crystal Stars? You mean like them things in that old fairy tale? You gotta be nuts, askin’ me about those things! I don’t know nothin’ about ‘em!
BANDANA: Huh? Crystal…Stars…?
(Everyone turns to look at the BANDIT.)
BANDANA: Now that you mention it, there’s something on the champ’s belt in Glitzville that kind of looks like a star made out of crystal.
PARAKETE: Bingo! That must be a Crystal Star! In Glitzville, too! Wow!
ISHNAIL: Bandana, you loudmouth! I would’ve charged them 64 coins for that piece of info!
BANDANA: Ooops, sorry, Ishnail.
ISHNAIL: I’ve heard enough out of that trap of yours for one day! (turns to X-NAUT and PARAKETE) And don’t get your hopes up yet, you chumps! You need to take a blimp to get to Glitzville, ‘cause the city floats in the sky!
X-NAUT: Fine, we’ll just go get one.
ISHNAIL: Sorry, bigshot. All the tickets sold out already.
PARAKETE: What? There’s not a single ticket left? …Man, that bites. There has to be SOMEWHERE we can get a ticket!
ISHNAIL: …Well, there’s always someone who runs through the tickets, but the only person who does that around here…is that lyin’, cheatin’, stealin’, no-good jerky-for-brains, Don Pianta! He’s the leader of that cursed Pianta syndicate, the root of all greed an’ selfishness! Most of us thieves end up poor as dirt, never catchin’ a break ‘cause of that guy! He even demands protection money from us!
X-NAUT: So…how do we get in touch with him?
ISHNAIL: What?!? Now you want to meet up with that crumb? Even after all I’ve told you?
ISHNAIL: Fine, Mr. Insensitive Jerk. I’ll tell you how to meet up with Don Scumbag. But it will cost you 64 coins! No way around it, this time!
X-NAUT: What? 64 coins? I don’t have that much!
ISHNAIL: Then get lost, chump! You’ve spent enough time here, anyway!
*Part 2: Don Pianta**********************************************************************************************************
(X-NAUT and PARAKETE leave the hideout. They look at each other.)
PARAKETE: Tough luck, man. That Ishnail’s a cheap old snail… Oh well. Better luck next time, huh? We’ll check out Glitzville some other day. (turns around) Now, where were we before this jamboree started… Oh yeah, the tour. So, uh, let’s check out harbor, X-dude. This way, man.
(As they slip through the crack again and head back the way they came, X-Naut gets an e-mail. He checks his Mailbox DS. It turns out to be the premiere issue of the RDM service. After reading it, X-NAUT and PARAKETE go to the harbor, where they see two PIANTAS. One of them is a woman dressed in a sunbonnet and a white, collared dress. The other is a man with dark blue shades and a white suit.)
X-NAUT: Uh, excuse me…are you Piantas?
WOMAN: (turns to X-NAUT) Well, of course we are, plain as day! And who might you be?
X-NAUT: I’m…X-Naut. So if you’re Piantas, that must mean you’re part of the Pianta Syndicate, right?
WOMAN: Oh no! Don’t tell me you’ve come looking for us!
X-NAUT: N-no! Well, not exactly… See, I was wondering if you could tell me how to meet with Don Pianta.
WOMAN: You…you want to meet Daddy? Why?!?
X-NAUT: I was hoping to get a ticket to the blimp that flies to Glitzville.
WOMAN: Oh… I see. (turns to the man beside her) Oh, what should we do, Frankie? I don’t want to look rude, but if we tell them how to meet Daddy, they might tell him that they saw us here!
FRANKIE: Take it easy, sweet pea. Dey look like honest folk. They don’t even know da boss yet. I say we trust ‘em. (walks to X-NAUT and PARAKETE) Look here, guys. We’ll tell you how to meet da boss, but you gotta promise me somethin’.
X-NAUT: What is it?
FRANKIE: If you meet da boss, you gotta swear not to tell them dat you saw Francesca and me here.
PARAKETE: Why not, man?
FRANKIE: We can’t tell you.
X-NAUT: …All right. I swear I won’t tell them anything.
FRANKIE: You better not. Now listen closely… (edges in close) To enter da office of da boss, you gotta go to da Westside Goods. Den you’ve gotta buy a Dried Shroom and a Dizzy Dial, in that order. Remember dat. Den, da receptionist will ask you what your favorite color is. You answer “yellow”. Got dat? Yellow. See, “yellow” is da password dat’ll get ya into contact wid’ da boss.
FRANKIE: Now get goin’.
(X-NAUT heads back to the west side of Rogueport and goes into the Westside Goods. He buys a Dried Shroom and a Dizzy Dial. PEEKA, a cute BOO with kitty ears, is the shopkeeper.)
PEEKA: Aw, thanks so much! Yeah, yeah… Here we go. All righty, Mister. What’s your favorite color?
PEEKA: Yep. That’s it. You check out. You know the password. So, um, you must be an acquaintance of Don Pianta! Good for you.
(PEEKA floats over to a door on the far side of the shop. She whispers something, and the door unlocks. PEEKA turns back to X-NAUT.)
PEEKA: All right, you can go through the door. Go on with your bad self.
(PEEKA floats back to her position and X-NAUT goes through the door. He appears outside. He goes up a flight of stairs and enters another door. Inside, they find the two PIANTAS that beat up the BANDIT, VINNY and TONY, along with DON PIANTA himself. X-NAUT and PARAKETE talk to DON PIANTA.)
DON PIANTA: Eh? Who might you two be? An’ whadda you doin’ here? You’re lucky to catch me in a good mood. You got somethin’ to say? Say it, just don’t spray it.
X-NAUT: Uh… We came here because we need a ticket to Glitzville.
DON PIANTA: What? You want a… You want me to give you a ticket for da blimp? Oh ho ho! Dat’s funny! You know why? It takes some guts to ask me for dat. I’m Don Pianta! I make bawlin’ kids cry!
VINNY: (steps forward) You want I should arrange for a stretcher, Boss? Dis weirdo’s askin’ for one!
TONY: (steps forward) You like pain, funny guy? If not, you’d better not be lookin’ for trouble like dis!
DON PIANTA: Hold up, dere, boys. I like dis kid’s gumption. He just came to talk, right? Dat ain’t a crime. We don’t even know these two’s story yet! So, you really want a ticket to Glitzville, fella? Badly?
DON PIANTA: Well den, you gotta have a reason for wantin’ to go to Glitzville. Tell me.
X-NAUT: Well, um, you see… I have my own boss, and, uh, he…really wants me to enter as a fighter and win that champ’s belt.
DON PIANTA: Is dat true?
PARAKETE: Sure is! So how’s about it? Can we get ourselves a ticket?
DON PIANTA: Well, I suppose I could give you dis here ticket… But what would I get in return, huh? You’ve gotta do a little favor for me before you get dis ticket!
X-NAUT: …Umm, OK, what’s the favor?
DON PIANTA: I dunno. I don’t have anything dat needs to be done. You’re da one who wants dis ticket, so you think of somethin’!
X-NAUT: …………Uh, I can’t…
PARAKETE: Nope! I’ve got nothing! So what happens?
DON PIANTA: Nothing, eh? I’ll tell you what happens, den! Boys, take ‘em outta here!
VINNY: You got it, Boss!
(The PIANTAS surround X-NAUT and PARAKETE, who are looking frantic. A moment later, the front door of the Westside Goods opens, and X-NAUT and PARAKETE are tossed out.)
TONY: And stay out!
(The door closes. X-NAUT and PARAKETE get to their feet.)
PARAKETE: Man… That was brutal.
X-NAUT: Well, so much for that.
*Part 3: New Strategy********************************************************************************************************
(They walk back to the harbor, where FRANCESCA and FRANKIE are still waiting.)
FRANKIE: So, did you get a ticket from da boss?
(X-NAUT shakes his head.)
FRANKIE: Is dat so? He booted you out, eh? Sorry to hear dat.
FRANCESCA: Oh, Daddy! Why do you have to be so mean? …Um, did he mention anything about us? You didn’t go back on your promise, did you?
(X-NAUT shakes his head.)
FRANCESCA: What a relief! Thank you so much!
FRANKIE: Looks like I was right about you. True to your word. I only wish dere was more we could do to help you… But, see here…Francesca and I have decided to elope.
FRANCESCA: (turns to FRANKIE) Frankie!!!
FRANKIE: It’s OK, puddin’ pie. We can trust ‘em. ...So yeah, dat’s our secret. We just reserved for a boat, and now we’re waiting. I don’t think anyone else knows yet, so keep a lid on it, will you?
VOICE: Hey, X-Naut guy!
(It turns out to be the voice of JR. TROOPA. He is standing in the middle of the harbor, pointing at X-NAUT.)
JR. TROOPA: You! X-Naut! It’s me again, Jr. Troopa! I came here to search around Rogueport, ‘cause that was my order. And look what I find! Not the person I was told to search for, but someone I still wanted to see!
PARAKETE: Yo, X-dude. You know this little man?
JR. TROOPA: You remember me, don’t you, X-Naut guy? Don’t tell me you’d forget a face like this!
X-NAUT: Yes, I remember you…
JR. TROOPA: Aha! See? Nobody can forget me! I make a lasting impression! Anyways, I haven’t forgotten that beating you gave me before! Now it’s payback time!
(JR. TROOPA charges forward and the second battle with him begins. This time, he has max HP of 15, an attack of 2, and a defense of 1.)
JR. TROOPA: Hahahahahaha! Wait ‘til you see this new trick up my sleeve! (withdraws into his eggshell) Hahahahaha! Like this solid defense? Let’s see you damage me now, tough guy!
(X-NAUT and PARAKETE attack JR. TROOPA. Whenever JR. TROOPA attacks, he always withdraws into his shell afterward. Nevertheless, X-NAUT and PARAKETE’S attacks are too powerful for his meager defense. Eventually, JR. TROOPA collapses.)
JR. TROOPA: Uuuuuuurgh… I can’t believe I just lost again…
(JR. TROOPA just lies on the ground in a daze. Suddenly, another voice speaks.)
VOICE: Hey! You two! Over there!
(It turns out to be the voice of ISHNAIL. He walks forward with the BANDIT beside him.)
ISHNAIL: Whoo! What a beating! You got some skills, I see! You’re the chump who’s lookin’ for Crystal Stars, right?
FRANKIE: Hey, you’re Ishnail! Da leader of dem Robbos! What’re you doin’ out here in public?
ISHNAIL: (looks at FRANKIE) I was just about to ask you the same thing! But if you don’t tell, then I won’t tell!
ISHNAIL: (turns back to X-NAUT) Well, if you’re searching for them fairy tale thingies, then you must do a lot of travelin’, right? Then I have a favor to ask of you. Would you take this miserable excuse for a thief along with you? Yeah, I bet you know, but his name’s Bandana. So far, he’s screwed up every burglary he’s ever attempted! So as a result, I’m sendin’ him somewheres to get some discipline. I think it might help him and us Robbos if he spent some time away from Rogueport. But the guy wouldn’t last two days on his own. And seein’ as you both travel and fight, you might do him some good, too! So, will you take him off my hands?
X-NAUT: Sure, he can come along.
ISHNAIL: Excellent! Now go on, Bandana! Get lost…err…I mean, travelin’! And don’t bother comin’ back until you become a better thief!
(ISHNAIL walks off. BANDANA walks over to X-NAUT and PARAKETE.)
BANDANA: Uh, hi there, folks. Sorry about the whole…being forced in thing. Hope it doesn’t bother you all.
X-NAUT: Nah, it’s no bother. Really! I’m sure if you stick with us, everything will be OK.
BANDANA: Eh? Really? Gee, you guys are swell! Thanks!
(BANDANA joined X-NAUT’S party! BANDANA’S abilities: a Primer. BANDANA can pull out a sheet of paper and cover himself and X-NAUT with it! The paper will take on the look of the surroundings, camouflaging them from enemies! Once the danger has passed, BANDANA can put away the paper. Also, if there is any other similar wallpaper nearby, BANDANA’S paper will stick to them! Then, when BANDANA pulls off his paper, he’ll also pull off the sticking paper! In battle, BANDANA can attack enemies and steal a coin in the process with his Knock Off! He can also pull out his wallpaper and hide behind it with his Cloak ability, but it costs 1 FP. PARAKETE disappears and BANDANA becomes the partner.)
BANDANA: So, sorry about calling you a tattletale back then. So, umm, where are we headed? To Glitzville, right?
X-NAUT: Well, that was our plan, but we couldn’t talk Don Pianta into giving us a ticket.
BANDANA: What? Don Pianta wouldn’t give you a ticket? Oh, well that stinks. Well…since I’m with you now, we can always try to steal it!
FRANKIE: Nuh-uh. I know you. Da boss won’t tolerate you stealin’ from him anymore.
BANDANA: Yeah, I know. I was just kidding. I’ve already tried at least five times. But then again, I was always by myself back then. If we could just work together somehow… (looks around) Hey, um, what’s-your-name? Well, since you have an X on your clothes there, how about I call you X-buddy? This isn’t exactly the best place to discuss a topic like this… So, know any places that we can make plans away from the townsfolk?
X-NAUT: Hmm… You know, there is one place. It’s down in Rogueport Sewers. It’s seems to be a pretty nice hangout, according to my friend Parakete.
BANDANA: Sounds good! So, just lead the way there!
(X-NAUT and BANDANA leave the harbor, with FRANKIE and FRANCESCA wishing them luck and JR. TROOPA still lying on the ground. They walk back through the central shopping area and back to the west side. They drop through the sewer hole and go back to the town. They enter HERB T.’S place.)
BANDANA: Hey, this place! Good choice, X-buddy! These other customers are used to schemers like us.
(X-NAUT and BANDANA take a seat.)
BANDANA: So the question is…how do we get a ticket from Don Pianta?
X-NAUT: We tried asking for it, but Don Pianta says he won’t give us a ticket unless we do something helpful for him. We couldn’t think of anything.
BANDANA: Hmm… Then I guess we have no choice but to steal it from him! But how?
X-NAUT & BANDANA: …………
WONKY: Uh huh huh huh huh huh! Trying to get at Don Pianta, are you?
X-NAUT & BANDANA: !
(They turn and look at WONKY. WONKY turns to them.)
WONKY: Sorry, but I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation. So, you’re trying to get a ticket from Don Pianta? Well, I know some things about that guy, but it doesn’t really have anything to do with what you’re planning. But who knows? The information I have might come in handy for you! But of course, I won’t tell you it unless you pay me 5 coins!
X-NAUT: All right, I’ll pay you. (gives WONKY 5 coins)
WONKY: I’ve heard that Don Pianta is an iron-fisted mob boss, but I also hear he has a daughter named Francesca. Don Pianta has a soft spot for his daughter. Why, I’m sure that if he thought Francesca was in trouble, he’d go running for her as fast as his legs could carry him!
BANDANA: We already know Francesca…but I didn’t know Don Pianta cared so much for her.
WONKY: There’s more, too. I hear that before Frankie, someone liked Francesca so much that he invented a badge with her voice on it! But he hid this badge down in the Pit of 100 Trials. Have you heard about it? It’s a long, fierce pit that extends deep underground. It’s dangerous, but on every 10th level, there’s a reward. And that badge is one of those rewards! And that…is…that! If there’s anything else you need, just ask old Wonky!
X-NAUT: All that way just for a badge that has Francesca’s voice on it? Sounds kind of pointless to me…
BANDANA: Hmmm… I think I may be coming up with an idea, X-buddy.
(X-NAUT turns to BANDANA.)
BANDANA: I may not be the greatest thief, but I’m a good planner! …I think. Listen, I think I know how we can use that badge to get our ticket! It’s kind of complicated, so listen well.
(BANDANA talks to X-NAUT across the table. X-NAUT nods and BANDANA continues talking.)
*Part 4: Trials of the Undergound************************************************************************************************
(Later, they exit HERB T.’S place.)
BANDANA: First of all, we need to get that badge. Which means, it’s off to the Pit of 100 Trials!
X-NAUT: Gee, that…is one complicated plan.
BANDANA: Sure it’s complicated, but it’ll work! …I hope.
(X-NAUT and BANDANA head back to the room underneath the west side. They go down through a pipe and emerge in a corridor. After battling some GOOMBAS, they find some wallpaper covering the wall. BANDANA attaches his own roll of paper and peels away the wallpaper, revealing a tunnel with a pipe in it. They go down the pipe to the entrance of the Pit of 100 Trials. They go down the pipe in there and emerge in the 1st level of the pit. They battle a GLOOMBA, a stronger version of a GOOMBA, and another pipe leading down appears. They go down to the 2nd level and battle a SPINIA. When they win, the next pipe appears. They keep going down, battling GLOOMBAS, SPINIAS, SPANIAS, FUZZIES, and DULL BONES. Eventually, they reach Level 10, where a treasure chest sits. X-NAUT opens the chest and finds the Attack FX V badge.)
BANDANA: Way to go, X-buddy! Now, let’s get back to the surface.
(X-NAUT and BANDANA take a pipe back up to the entrance of the pit. They go into the next room, which happens to be the room with the Thousand-Year Door.)
BANDANA: ! Whoa, X-buddy! Look at that!
(The Thousand-Year Door looms powerfully before them.)
BANDANA: Could that be…the Thousand-Year Door spoken of in legends?
X-NAUT: It sure is.
(They walk closer to the door. When they reach the pedestal, BANDANA speaks again.)
BANDANA: Wow… I never believed the legends were true, but now I see…
X-NAUT: So, this is the Thousand-Year Door… A legendary treasure is said to lie behind it. But the door will only open when the seven Crystal Stars are exposed to it.
BANDANA: Hey, X-buddy, are you after that treasure? You are searching for the Crystal Stars, aren’t you?
X-NAUT: No, the treasure doesn’t interest me. But my boss, Sir Grodus, seems to want that treasure.
X-NAUT & BANDANA: !
(X-NAUT and BANDANA turn to the source of the voice. A GOOMBA girl walks up to them.)
GOOMBA: What are you doing here? That door is a sacred relic of an ancient civilization!
X-NAUT: Huh? An ancient civilization?
BANDANA: Just who are you?
GOOMBA: Oh, just a lover of history. Are you interested in the Thousand-Year Door as well?
X-NAUT: Well, it sort of intrigues me.
GOOMBA: Sounds like you appreciate ancient wonders like I do. Very well, I’ll let you by this once. (looks around) Oh dear.
BANDANA: What’s the matter?
GOOMBA: (turns to him) I seem to have dropped my locket somewhere. It’s really important to me. I MUST have it back!
BANDANA: (steps forward) Don’t worry! We’ll help you locate your lost locket! We can drop our plan for a little while, right, X-buddy?
X-NAUT: (turns to BANDANA) Fine with me.
GOOMBA: Wow, you guys are suckers—I mean, really generous! Thanks a lot!
(X-NAUT and BANDANA exit the Thousand-Year Door room with the GOOMBA following them. They enter another part of Rogueport Sewers where they stomp some SPINIAS. X-NAUT activates a switch and some stairs appear. They run up the stairs to find a doorway at the top. Inside is a small room with something lying on the ground. X-NAUT goes up to it and obtains the Locket of Wisdom.)
GOOMBA: Whoa! You found it! Yes! Oh, man, I owe you BIG!
(X-NAUT hands the Locket of Wisdom to the GOOMBA.)
GOOMBA: YESSSSSSSSS! Thank… Ha! Thank NOTHING! Whee hee! Foooooools!
(The GOOMBA transforms into purple wallpaper just like the TOAD at Hooktail Castle. X-NAUT finds himself facing another SPIRIT.)
SPIRIT: Boy, you guys are dense! You shouldn’t be so eager to help a perfect stranger! If you do, terrible things can happen to you! Allow me to set an example! Prepare to be cursed beyond any curse that’s ever cursed you! Buggly-wuggly-WOOOOOOO! You’re cursed!
(Lights flash and X-NAUT gets cursed again.)
SPIRIT: Whee hee hee hee hee! Enjoy that curse, sucker! You got what you deserved!!! You wanna know about the sweet curse I just dropped? Then listen well! From now on, whenever you turn paperlike in certain areas, you’ll turn into a paper airplane! Whee hee! Trembling yet? Suffer the rest of your days under my terrible curse! Oh, I can’t help but chortle! You’re DOOMED! Who curses like me? NO ONE!
(A panel with a triangle symbol appears in front of X-NAUT.)
SPIRIT: But I’m still unsatisfied. I need to see your misery to truly appreciate it! Ready? If you stand on an airplane panel like this one, the floor will start to glow.
(X-NAUT steps onto the airplane panel and it starts glowing.)
SPIRIT: All right, you’re on the panel. Now try turning into a piece of paper! And bam! You’re a paper airplane!
(X-NAUT turns into a piece of paper and folds into a paper airplane. He starts gliding downward.)
SPIRIT: The worst part of this curse is that you must aim your nose up and down to steer! I suppose that if you got good at it, you might fly a long way, but that’s the ONLY good thing. So, be honest. Isn’t this curse just about the worst thing you can possibly imagine?
SPIRIT: Whee hee hee hee hee hee! If you stop yourself, you MIGHT return to normal! Maybe!
(X-NAUT unfolds back into himself.)
SPIRIT: Farewell, you foolish fool! Whee hee hee hee!
(The wallpaper crumples up and disappears. X-NAUT and BANDANA look at each other.)
BANDANA: …Uh, OK, what was with that girl? …Well, whatever, but now, back to our plan! Now we need to go back to the west side of Rogueport. And if you haven’t equipped that badge yet, X-buddy, now’s the time to do so!
(So X-NAUT equips the Attack FX V badge, and they make their way up to the surface. Eventually, they reach the east surface of Rogueport, and then they make their way towards the west side. Once they get there, BANDANA turns to X-NAUT again.)
BANDANA: All right, now it’s time for the major part of the plan. This is where all that we’ve done comes into play. Here’s what you’ve got to do, and you’ve got to do it perfectly!
*Part 5: The Pianta Syndicate***************************************************************************************************
(Later, X-NAUT is standing in the middle of the street. BANDANA is gone, and YUXETTE is out instead.)
X-NAUT: Gee whiz, I sure hope this plan works, because if it doesn’t, we’ll be in deep trouble. (turns to YUXETTE) All right, Yuxette! Let’s do it just like we rehearsed it!
(YUXETTE creates a MINI-YUX, which produces a barrier around YUXETTE. X-NAUT readies himself, and then he hurls himself into YUXETTE’s shield. X-NAUT bounces off, but the sound effect of his attack is changed into FRANCESCA’S voice.)
VOICE: Tee hee hee! ♥
X-NAUT: …Huh. So that’s what it sounds like… I wonder if that was loud enough. We’d better do it again.
(X-NAUT slams into YUXETTE’s shield again and again. Each time, the badge takes effect by changing the sound effects of X-NAUT’s attacks into FRANCESCA’S giggles. Meanwhile, in DON PIANTA’s office, DON PIANTA is having a chat with VINNY and TONY.)
DON PIANTA: WHAAAT?!? You’re sayin’ dat my daughter Francesca an’ Frankie have gone missing?
VINNY: Yeah, Boss. We’re sorry, Boss. But we haven’t seen ‘em at all lately.
TONY: But I’m sure they’re around somewhere, Boss. Dey can’t be too far away.
DON PIANTA: (jumps) Den what’re you two waiting for? Find ‘em NOW!
VINNY & TONY: Yes, boss!
(The PIANTAS run off. DON PIANTA turns around and sits for a while.)
DON PIANTA: Frankie… I wonder if he…eloped wid’ my daughter…
(The PIANTAS suddenly run back in.)
DON PIANTA: (turns around) You boys back already? Did you find ‘em?
TONY: Not yet, Boss, but, uh, we think you might want to hear dis.
DON PIANTA: Eh? What is it now?
(DON PIANTA follows the two PIANTAS outside. They climb down the stairs and enter the Westside Goods through the back door. Then, BANDANA emerges from behind his camouflage paper.)
BANDANA: Well, so far, so good.
(BANDANA walks into DON PIANTA’S now-empty office. Back in the center of the east side, the PIANTAS and DON PIANTA emerge from the store. The cries of a woman can be heard.)
VINNY: Hear dat, boss?
DON PIANTA: Yes! Why, could those cries belong to… Francesca?!? Get over dere, boys!
(VINNY and TONY run over to where X-NAUT and YUXETTE are, ushering all the townsfolk away.)
VINNY & TONY: All right, clear out! Move aside, folks! Outta the way! Dis here area is under…uh, investigation or somethin’…
(All the townspeople move away from the area except for X-NAUT and YUXETTE, who are still playing their part of the plan. X-NAUT is getting tired from all the tackling, but he slams into the barrier again, which sounds the badge.)
VINNY: (looks at the two remaining people) Hey! Didn’t you hear us? We told you to…
TONY: Wait! Dat sound’s coming from dem!
VINNY: (gives TONY a quick look, turns back to X-NAUT and YUXETTE, and jumps) You’re right! And dey’re da ones we booted out earlier!
TONY: Hey! You two!
(X-NAUT and YUXETTE stop and look at the PIANTAS. The PIANTAS walk over to them.)
VINNY: What do you think you’re doin’? Making dem noises and stuff!
TONY: We’re in da middle of a search, here! Were you playin’ some kind of joke on us? Well, it ain’t funny!
VINNY: You’d better go home, ‘cause if we hear ya playing games again, we’ll pound ya again! An’ trust me, you won’t like it as much da second time.
(Meanwhile, DON PIANTA is watching by the entrance to the shop. BANDANA suddenly walks out, holding a blimp ticket. He bumps into the back of DON PIANTA.)
BANDANA: Oops! Pardon me.
(DON PIANTA turns around to face BANDANA.)
BANDANA & DON PIANTA: !
BANDANA: Aaah! It’s you!
DON PIANTA: Hey! It’s you!
(BANDANA scurries towards the center of the east side and hides behind X-NAUT. DON PIANTA runs over to them.)
DON PIANTA: You tryin’ to steal one of my tickets again, punk? Dat’s da sixth time! An’ I bet you played a part in dis scheme, too! Is dat right, Costume Freak?
BANDANA: Sorry, X-buddy. I guess I goofed again.
DON PIANTA: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!! Usin’ my daughter’s voice as a diversion… Dat crosses da line! You ain’t gonna get away with dis, you scum! Get ‘em, boys!
VINNY & TONY: Yes, Boss!
(The two PIANTAS close in on X-NAUT, YUXETTE, and BANDANA. Then, the boss battle between X-NAUT and VINNY, TONY, and DON PIANTA begins. VINNY and TONY each have a max HP of 15, an attack of 3, and a defense of 0. DON PIANTA has a max HP of 20, an attack of 4, and a defense of 0. X-NAUT starts the battle with yuxette as his partner.)
DON PIANTA: You’re gonna regret pullin’ dis stunt on me! It’s time for you face da wrath of the Don of Untimely Death! Vinny! Tony! Let’s make ‘em pay!
VINNY: Yes, Boss!
TONY: Got it, Boss!
(It’s a rough battle, but X-NAUT’s First-Aid and Seismic Wave come in handy, along with BANDANA’S Cloak. He focuses his efforts on VINNY and TONY first.)
DON PIANTA: Hey, boys! Pick up da slack! You ain’t gonna let dis chump make a mockery of da Pianta syndicate, are you?
VINNY: No way, Boss!
TONY: We’ll take care of him, Boss!
(The battle continues. Eventually, the two PIANTAS fall.)
VINNY: Uuugh! Sorry, Boss!
TONY: Aaargh! Forgive me, Boss!
DON PIANTA: Bleah! You’re tougher dan you look, fella! But dat’s never stopped Don Pianta before! I’ll make sure you get your just desserts for yer scam!
(With the PIANTAS down, DON PIANTA becomes the center of attention. X-NAUT and BANDANA whale on him, and he eventually collapses.)
DON PIANTA: Doh! I can’t believe it! You actually beat me! But dat’s impossible!
(X-NAUT and BANDANA have won the fight.)
DON PIANTA: I still can’t believe you beat all of us Piantas… We’re supposed to be tough! …But I guess you were tougher. Although I still won’t forgive you for dat phony sound trick.
X-NAUT: But we just wanted the ticket to Glitzville!
DON PIANTA: Yeah? You really wanted it DAT badly? …Fine den. Keep it.
DON PIANTA: Not like it makes a difference. I still got plenty more tickets. And seein’ as dat you beat us Piantas, you’d be perfect for Glitzville! But, uh, you keep dat a secret, OK? And also, if you utter so much as a single word about defeating us, I swear we’ll pulverize you ‘til we can’t pulverize no more!
DON PIANTA: Good! Den, keep your ticket and we’ll just forget dis ever happened, OK? (turns to VINNY and TONY) You two!
VINNY & TONY: !
DON PIANTA: We’re gettin’ sloppy. Time to get ourselves some serious training done!
VINNY: Yes, Boss!
TONY: You got it, Boss!
(VINNY and TONY walk away, but DON PIANTA stops and turns back to X-NAUT)
DON PIANTA: You can bet your money that da Pianta syndicate will be back and better dan ever. So…I don’t ever wanna see you stealin’ from me again! You hear me? Don’t come back!
(DON PIANTA leaves. X-NAUT and BANDANA look at each other.)
BANDANA: Wow! Incredible! We actually got the ticket from Don Pianta! Amazing! Maybe he’s not as bad as the Ishnail says he is… Ahem. Anyways, I guess this rightfully belongs to you, X-buddy.
(BANDANA hands the ticket to X-NAUT, and X-NAUT finally obtains the Blimp Ticket! X-NAUT puts the ticket away. Suddenly, more lights start shining around X-NAUT.)
BANDANA: Huh? What the…?
(Another piece of X-Naut’s memory is restored! X-Naut’s Star Power is now 3! And X-Naut remembered the special move Time Out!)
END OF CHAPTER
[After an almost successful theft, X-Naut finally showed Don Pianta who was da boss. Fortunately, Don Pianta was gracious enough to let X-Naut keep the blimp ticket. Now, with the ticket, X-Naut can finally travel to Glitzville, where another Crystal Star is. With his hopes high, X-Naut heads to the blimp with his new pal, Bandana. Will X-Naut be able to snatch the Crystal Star before this Mario?]