Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA) – Part 11 – Beanbean Airport

-Beanbean Airport-

Satisfied with our restocking and subsequent exploration of the kingdom, we finally head south to the Beanbean Airport to greet Princess Peach upon her arrival. Curiously, there is no direct path to the airport. There are however two Blue Orbs lining the path I believe would lead to the airport. Activating these orbs causes a bridge to appear which sure enough leads to the airport. From a game perspective, that’s an acceptable locked door for an open world like this. You don’t want people to go places before they’re supposed to. However, from a world building perspective, this renders the airport inaccessible to anyone that doesn’t have the now legendary Thunderhand power. So basically, no one is allowed to use the Airport.

Despite the only bridge to the airport being out, there are already a handful of people roaming around the main lobby. The first person we meet is a small child that informs us Princess Peach’s plane appears to be running late. Then there’s a jerk Paparazzi over in the corner who plans to make some big bucks selling photos of Princess Peach as she gets off the plane.

Adding even more mystery to how these people got here without a bridge, one of the staff members informs us that the airport isn’t even flying any planes at the moment because they’re all grounded for repairs. Thankfully one of Lady Lima’s assistants finds us and informs us that Lady Lima is looking for us out on the runway ahead.

We find Lady Lima quite literally standing in the middle of the runway ahead, not exactly the safest place to be standing. She informs us that the Queen was quite happy with our performance at the Hooniversity. Even though everything went sideways and the Beanstar exploded into pieces. Anyway, she goes on to inform us that there has been a slight problem with the plans to welcome Princess Peach as her plane lands.

Apparently the runway is currently infested with a growth of Piranha Plants, making it impossible for Princess Peach’s plane to even consider landing here. While Mario works out the details with Lady Lima, Luigi just jumps right in and tries to rip the things from the ground. Unsuccessfully I might add.

When asked why no one bothered to fix the runway until now, Lady Lima simply explains that it wasn’t a priority until now. What with Cackletta trying to steal the Beanstar and take over the world, no one really cared that the Airport was in disrepair. No one was planning to travel anyway.

But now that Peach is already in the air and on her way here, we need to take care of this right away. Unfortunately, it looks like Luigi has already given up, called it a day, made himself a nice cup of tea, and forgetting about the whole thing. That’s some impressive Mario Bros. work ethic for you…

Anyway, once Lady Lima leaves, the two do actually get right to work clearing out the Piranha Plants. I won’t bore you with the details of every fight, since they’re not very interesting on their own. However I do want to point out something I found out. Apparently if you overcharge the hand attacks, they’ll blow up in your face. Just something to keep in mind.

After taking out a couple of them, Lady Lima calls us over to tell us our efforts are basically pointless. While we may be doing a good job defeating the heads that sprout up, they’ll simply grow back if we don’t do anything about the roots.

As we explore the runway trying to think of a way to kill off the roots, we come across this botanist who gives us a wonderful hint. Apparently the Piranha Plants are excellent at storing water. So much so that they will actually hide underground to avoid being shocked by lighting when they’re wet.

Now that we know that, the solution to this puzzle becomes immediately clear. While exploring earlier, we noticed a couple of water sheds where Mario can engorge himself with water. Then we simply spray that water onto the Piranha Plants to make them swell up with water as well.

Then all we have to do is switch over to Luigi so he can use his Thunderhand to shock it all the way to its roots. The shock actually ends up travelling all the way back to the huge and mysterious egg growing in the middle of the runway.

We continue to go around shocking all the Piranha Plants we see. Each time watching as it sends a shock back to the egg, killing the root, and causing the egg to crack just a little more. Once all the roots are gone, the egg hatches open to show a very large and very angry Piranha Plant waiting for us.

And so our epic battle against the Mom Piranha begins. She’s not alone however. Just as the Botanist said, the smaller Piranha Plants grow back almost instantly. They’re easy enough to deal with though. They don’t have much health and their tiny fireballs are easy enough to dodge. The same cannot be said for the Mom Piranha’s Massive energy ball.

It doesn’t take long before the battle takes an unexpected turn. After attacking the Mom Piranha with a critically damaging Thunderhand, she sprouted up two new smaller Piranha Plants. Except instead of the typical red plants we’re used to seeing, these ones were blue. The Mom Piranha also changed color to match her new children. What’s interesting is that this isn’t just a simple color change. These new blue Piranha Plants actually shoot balls of lightning instead of the usual fireballs. To make matters worse, it also looks like the Mom Piranha is also healing herself after every turn now.

Taking a moment to reflect on the battle so far, this is really the first boss battle where we have needed to be aware of the elements associated with our attacks. When the Piranha Plants are blue, Mario’s Firebrand will deal critical damage while Luigi’s Thunderhand will actually end up healing them. Likewise when the Piranha Plants are Red these effects will be reversed, with Mario’s Firebrand healing and Luigi’s Thunderhand doing the critical damage. If we don’t keep that in mind we can really screw ourselves over.

As the battle progresses, the Mom Piranha Plant starts becoming more and more aggressive and unpredictable. At times she will sprout two different color Piranha Plants at the same time to try to confuse us. When that doesn’t work, she’ll actually rush towards us and try to swipe us herself with her roots.

Eventually, the hard fought battle comes to an end with our heroes victorious. Out of strength, the Mom Piranha slumps over on the ground before shriveling up into a harmless little flower barely noticeable on the runway.

In the end, Luigi takes the honor of dealing the finishing blow by… sitting on it. You’re an odd one Luigi. Regardless, the Piranha Plant infestation is gone for good, and the runway is clear for Peach to land her plane.

We make it back to the runway entrance where Lady Lima is waiting to congratulate us as well as welcome Princess Peach. Turns out we cleared the runway just in time. We were barely off the runway by the time Peach’s plane came in for its landing.

We don’t get to see Peach actually step off of the plane, instead we shift setting and have already arrived back at the Beanbean Castle Court Gardens where Princess Peach is about to greet the people of her neighboring kingdom. While this would normally be a touching occasion, Mario and Luigi instantly start panicking. If you’ll remember, Peach’s voice was switched with an explosive vocabulary and everything she says ends up exploding!

Amazingly, she ends up speaking normally, without a single bomb being dropped. I guess we must have freed her voice when the Peach Bots were all destroyed or something.

Peach expresses her thanks to our heroes and is relieved to see that they are both safe. Though not as relieved as the two brothers appear to be to see that Peach has her normal voice back. They’re in such shock that Peach appears to be laughing at their reactions.

It just so happens, Peach has a very good reason to be laughing at our Heroes. As Toadsworth begins to explain, Peach’s voice was never actually stolen in the first place. How is that even possible? And if it is possible, why were we forced to go on this dangerous adventure? EVERYTHING WE KNOW IS A LIE!

Unable to hold back his ego, Prince Peasley comes around the corner to continue the story Toadsworth has started. Apparently the Beanbean kingdom knew all about Cackletta’s plan to steal Peach’s voice and so they raced ahead to warn her of the coming threat. So when Cackletta came and stole Peach’s voice, they were actually stealing the voice of a body double while the real Peach hid behind the curtains with Toadsworth.

So who was filling in as Peach and had their voice stolen you may ask? Well, that would be none other than series regular Birdo. He/She looks just like Peach, don’t you agree? Ok, so clearly Birdo was wearing a very elaborate disguise to pretend to be Peach, and we’re grateful for it. Because of this switch, the Beanstar went crazy and Cackletta’s plans were ruined.

The queen shows up as Birdo runs off screen, affectionately trying to kiss some of the palace staff. The Beanbean Royals had hinted before that we shouldn’t worry, and that they knew things would work out. Now we know why they were so confident.

Peach goes on to thank the Mario Brothers for all they have done to try to help her, even if it was ultimately pointless. Apparently she had intended to tell us the truth when we first arrived at the Castle, but she never had a chance. With Bowser showing up and reacting the way he did, everyone was on the Koopa Cruiser heading to the Beanbean Kingdom before anything could be done. I call BS on that story, Toadsworth stopped us to give us some money and a suitcase. He could have easily told us not to worry, but whatever I’m not going to be bitter about it.

Either way, things worked out for the best. Because we were there, not only were Cackletta’s plans ruined, but she was also defeated and basically killed. Sure, she seems to have possibly taken over Bowser’s body since then, and is possibly stronger and more dangerous than before… but let’s not think about that right now. Right now it is time for victory poses.

Once everything calms down, the prince takes us aside to talk about what happened to the Beanstar. Since it was destroyed, there are currently no signs of where it might have ended up. However, we were able to see that it broke up into only four pieces which must have landed somewhere in the Beanbean Kingdom.

Given how powerful the Beanstar is, it’s not safe to just leave it out there unguarded, even if it is in pieces. With that in mind, the prince takes it upon himself to find all the pieces and bring them back to the castle where they will be safe. While he does that, he suggests we go sightseeing with Peach. It’s rare for her to be in the Beanbean Kingdom after all, and we’ve done enough to deserve a brief vacation.

With that, Prince Peasley leaves us to go off on his own adventure. We, on the other hand, meet up with Peach in the throne room as she is talking to the queen. Turns out there is a town in the Beanbean Kingdom called Little Fungitown where immigrants from the Mushroom Kingdom live. As Princess of the Mushroom Kingdom, Peach would like to visit her people who have moved so far from home.

As nice as that sounds, Queen Bean is quick to inform us that it would be dangerous for Peach to travel there on her own. Apparently Little Fungitown is located at the other end of Teehee Valley, which just so happens to be filled with vile monsters. Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds a bit racist and discriminatory to have immigrants all live in the worst, most dangerous part of the entire kingdom. Then again, didn’t the Hammer Brothers say no one has ever crossed the border before us? Are all these Toads undocumented?

Toadsworth, caring more for the Princess’s safety than the possibility of Toads illegally fleeing the country, insists the whole thing would be out of the question. If the journey is going to be this dangerous, it is no place for a Princess to go. However, Peach has her heart set on visiting her people. And just look at her, how could you possibly say no to her.

Apparently Luigi has no problem telling her no. Mario is quick to change his mind however, a hammer to the head has a way of doing that.

And so, with BOTH of the Mario Brothers completely mutually agreeing to protect Peach, Toadsworth finally agrees to allow Peach to visit Little Fungitown. He’ll take care of all the arrangements and we’ll all meet up at the entrance to Teehee Valley.

Princess Peach then graciously takes her leave of the Queen and heads off with Toadsworth to prepare for their travels. As Princess Peach leaves, even Queen Bean is taken aback by how beautiful, wise and courageous Princess Peach really is. She admits she is quite impressed with her, and entrusts her safekeeping to our heroes as they head off to Little Fungitown.