Okay, time to catch that thieving reptile! In the second area of his level, you are required to jump on the yellow blocks to get to the other side to catch him. But, what’s this?! There’s only two blocks to jump on! Good thing the back on moves to the front when you jump on the one in the front. So, all you have to do to get across is just keep jumping. In the third area, all you have to do is follow Mr. Reptile to the other side. There are some enemies in this area, you can avoid them, but I chose to fight them for the EXP points. I have learned from other RPGs that it’s a good idea to level up while the enemies are weak, because they will get tougher later on.
After going through another area with two treasure chests and some enemies (which I didn’t get a screenshot of), the reptile realizes he’s cornered and decides to hide. He is terrible at hide-and-seek, though. Seriously, he hides out in the open! Anyway, you have to sneak up behind him three times before he admits that you have caught him. Now, I know that this sounds easy, and it is, but it is also pretty annoying. He turns around when you get close, and if you wait to long, he dashes off to another hiding place. This probably would have been a lot easier for me if I had known how to run at this time, but since I didn’t know how to run, I had to walk after the guy. I found out how to run later, though; you press the Y button.
When you finally catch the reptile, he pretends to give up, only to turn around and attack you. He’s not difficult to defeat, however, although he could be annoying if he restores his HP enough. Anyway, when he gets low, he will give Mallow back the coin he stole from him before running off.
After he leaves, you will find a wallet lying on the ground and a spring that will take you back to the first area of the level will appear. After you jump on the spring, it’s just a short walk before you leave the level. On the way there, since I fight almost every enemy I see, Mario leveled up.
Upon returning to Toad Town, you find that it has been completely overrun by Shyguys on pogosticks! The first sign of this you will get is the poor Toad who forgot his bazooka at home being chased by one of the Masked Bouncers. After saving him, he will give you ten coins as thanks.
After that, I went to rescue all the other Toads in Toad Town. I don’t think you have to do this, but I wanted to. I mean, come on! They give you items for crying out loud! That should be incentive enough! By the way, Flower Tabs raise your MP level. MP is required to perform special attacks. A special “Thank you” to Stina for telling me this. It made battles a lot easier.
When you enter the castle, you can talk to the Vault Guard (who will be hiding in the guest room) and he will give you a Wake Up Pin, which prevents you from falling asleep. After that, head to the room on the left from the main hallway. There will be some Toads who need your help in the top room. After you help them they will give you a Flower Tab and inform you that the Chancellor is trapped in the throne room. Alright, I’ll go save him. But if he turns out to be a Sith in disguise, and shocks my with lightning from his hands, I’m blaming you, Bob.
Upon entering the throne room, you find that the Shyguys are being led by a bouncing, talking sword name Mack. I know what you’re thinking, “Mack is the best villain name ever.” Well, you’re right. He wasn’t hard to defeat, however, although it would have been easier if he didn’t have so many bodyguards. After I defeated him, both Mario and Mallow leveled up and learned new moves. Another special “Thank you” to Stina for explaining how those worked to me as well.
After defeating Mack, a blue star shows up at the back of the room. It then flies over to Mario, and you’ve gotten your first Star Piece! Six more to go. You then find the Chancellor cowering in the corner. After the guards return, Mario and the Chancellor are at a loss for what to do next. The Mallow suggests that he and Mario talk to his grandpa because “He knows…EVERYTHING!”
Unfortunately, you have to go through some sewers before you can speak to Mallow’s grandpa. Which brings up the question, why does Nintendo make the sewers so maze-like in Mario games? After wandering around randomly for a while, I found a treasure chest that had a monster inside. After defeating it you get a Trueform Pin. You’re gonna wanna get that pin and equip it, because, believe me, it will save you a lot an annoyance later on. I didn’t equip it when I got it, and that caused me to take longer to get out of there than it would have if I had worn it. During some of the battles in the sewer, Mario leveled up again.
Eventually, I found the right pipe. Inside was a switch that drained the water and allowed me to move on through the level.
After going down a pipe that had previously been underwater, the time had come to fight the boss and get outta here. This is where the Trueform Pin comes in handy. The pin prevents you from turning into a scarecrow or mushroom. At first, I thought that was just silly. But it turns out, this boss has the ability to turn you and your partner into scarecrows! While you’re a scarecrow, you can only use special attacks. And eventually, you’ll run out of MP to perform those attacks. When that happens, you’ll just have to defend until the status condition wears off.
Upon defeating the boss, you find out that he was the only thing keeping the place from flooding! Oops. Mario and Mallow are washed out of the sewer and sent spiraling down a waterfall. Nintendo took this as the opportunity to put a minigame in there. The object of the minigame is to grab as many coins as you can while you fall. If you get sixty of them, the Toad at the bottom will give you a Frog Coin. Unfortunately, I didn’t get sixty coins, but I did nab some of the Frog Coins that are mixed in with the regular coins as I fell down the waterfall. Anyway, when you arrive at where Mallow’s grandpa lives, your first task is to find and talk to him. He then reveals a not-so-shocking fact, Mallow is not actually a frog. Dun dun dun. Apparently, Mallow’s grandpa found him in a basket that had fallen from the waterfall. The name Mallow was written on the baby’s belt, so that is what the grandpa named him. After you talk to Mallow’s grandpa, you can play another minigame of sorts where you have to get the tadpoles to play the right melody in order to inspire a musician that is there at the pond. Upon playing the right song (which a tadpole in another area will tell you), the musician rewards you with an Alto Card. I’m not sure what this does, so I’ll have to look the next time I play. Until next time!