Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA) – Part 12 – Teehee Valley

-Teehee Valley-

We leave the Castle Town out the east exit and head north to meet up with Peach at the entrance to Teehee Valley. Along the way we happen to pass by this gate with a blue orb activator in front of it. Even with Princess Peach waiting, we couldn’t help but see where this path goes. After a few twists and turns, we eventually find ourselves in front of what looks like another Bonus Dungeon Cave.

Quite to our surprise, it’s not a Bonus Dungeon after all. Turns out the Hammer Head Brothers have relocated from their old workshop up in Hoohoo Village and are now living in this cave to the northeast of the castle. Doesn’t sound like a good plan to me since they need the Hoohoo Blocks from the top of the mountain to make things with…but it’s their lives, not mine.

After a few pleasantries and explaining how the new location is much bigger than their old one, they offer to reforge our hammers into even stronger hammers. We have seen a few rocks already that have been too hard to break, plus it’s free, how could we possibly refuse such an offer?

The two get right to work making the hammers even stronger than before. In no time, they are done, and our heroes now have the more powerful Super Hammers to aid them in their journey.

The brothers advise us to test out the new hammers on a couple of rocks they have in the corner. With the Super Hammer we can now break apart the Grey Rocks in addition to the Brown Rocks we were already able to break. Unfortunately we still can’t break apart the Black Rocks. The Green Hammerhead Brother mentioned that if we come back later they might be able to upgrade the hammers again, so we’ll just have to wait I guess.

Just past the rock we were able to break is a Thwomp we’ll want to revisit at some point. He mentions testing our luck for 200 coins, so I think it must be some kind of mini game. Unfortunately we don’t have 200 coins at the moment, so we can’t play his game right now.

With nothing more to do in the Hammerhead Bros. shop, we leave and continue heading north to Teehee Valley. Turns out our little detour was actually quite necessary for our progress. It would seem a Super Rockslide has placed a Super Rock right in the middle of the path to Teehee Valley. Without a Super Hammer to break it, we’d have no way of meeting up with Princess Peach on the other side. But thankfully we’ve already got the Super Hammer, so this rock is no problem at all. SUPER!

That doesn’t stop us from pretending the path is impassable and trying to find another way around anyway, for the sake of exploration. Just east of the entrance is a small step like hill with a platform not too far away. Thinking maybe we can get to Teehee Valley that way instead, we decide to check it out. Unfortunately all we find is an old Beanish talking about how he used to tickle his friends when they had water in their mouths.

Of course, that’s not just some throwaway comment. It’s actually the hint we need to solve what turns out to be a Bonus Puzzle. Scattered around the area are little saplings in their little patches of dirt. If you engorge Mario with water and use that to water the plants, they will instantly grow into giant flowers that can be used as platforms.

Really there is only one flower you need to grow, and that is the top center of the six flowers in the area. Using that flower as a platform you can reach the Monty Mole waiting to give you your prize. For this one we actually get two prizes, a Red Pepper and a Green Pepper. The Red Pepper can be used to raise Mario and Luigi’s attack power, with the side effect of making them heavier. The green pepper on the other hand will raise their defense and also make them lighter. So if you were to eat the two back to back, you would actually have increased attack and defense with no side effects. We’ll definitely want to hold on to these for later.

I guess there isn’t going to be an alternate path in Teehee Valley, in truth I never really thought there would be, so it’s time to go break that rock and meet up with Princess Peach. Since that rock was in the way and no one could get past it, it’s not surprising that we are the first ones here. However, Peach and Toadsworth are right behind us, so we don’t have to wait for long.

Now that we’re all here, we can set out through Teehee Valley and on to Little Fungitown. Toadsworth is of course still very protective of Peach and tells us to “take the utmost, most diligent, sincerest care of Princess Peach!!!” The 3 exclamation marks are how you know he means business. Peach on the other hand is her usual carefree self and just seems happy to be on her way to see her people.

In fact, Princess Peach takes the lead as we walk head into Teehee Valley, and for now everything seems to be fine. But then Toadsworth has to ruin it with his foreboding thought feeling like he forgot to tell us something. That never turns out well for anyone involved.

Thankfully he remembers what it is pretty quickly and rushes to tell us. We hadn’t gone far, so he is able to catch up to us and stop us without much difficulty.

Unfortunately, Peach must not have heard him when he showed up and she kept walking away. It was only a few seconds, but that was apparently long enough for her to be kidnapped by a couple of Gritty Goombas. Not only did they capture the princess within seconds, they also managed to tie her up and were prepared enough to have a nice comfy pillow to carry her away on. She is a princess after all. You must treat her with care even when you’re kidnapping her. This is actually all doubly impressive seeing as Goombas don’t have hands. How could they have possible tied her up in the first place.

After seeing what happened, Toadsworth explains to us that if we let Peach out of our sight for even a second, she’ll get kidnapped instantly. Are we serious right now, prone to kidnapping is now an official character trait of Peach’s? I mean, yeah she gets kidnapped all the time, but until now I never blamed that on Peach. She’s a Princess, people want to kidnap princesses. That’s not the Princess’s fault. But apparently in Peach’s case it is. Some people can’t eat peanuts or they’ll die, Peach can’t be left alone for 3 seconds or she’ll be kidnapped. It’s a medical condition apparently.

Once we rescue Princess Peach, we’ll have to keep a close eye on her. If she starts getting too far ahead of us, Toadsworth has instructed us to talk to her and tell her that she is to turn around and go back the way she came. Which I guess is going to be vital information going forward.

We take a quick moment to look at the Map of Teehee Valley to see how far we’ll have to escort Peach before we make it to Little Fungitown. It doesn’t look too far, but I’m sure it’s going to feel like it’s a lot farther if we have to constantly be protecting her. First things first, we need to follow Peach down the Yellow Pipe and rescue her from her captors.

Inside the pipe is actually a small living area where a couple of Gritty Goombas have set Peach up on a small shrine. It’s hard to tell if they plan to worship her or try to sacrifice her, but best not to wait and find out. So we whack the little Goombas on the head and enter battle. Surprisingly the Gritty Goomba we attacked ends up being joined in battle by a pair of Spiky Snifits.

Even with the extra muscle, they are all easily defeated, and our heroes are able to rescue Princess Peach. All is once again well, and we can continue our journey to Little Fungitown.

Turns out we’re going to have to take a very proactive approach to protecting Peach. It’s not enough to just watch her. If an enemy so much as touches her, she’ll be instantly kidnapped, even if you’re standing right there ready to enter battle for her. Looks like we’re heading right back into that yellow pipe. We barely made it 10 feet before she was kidnapped again.

Peach, baby, I love you. I get that you’re a strong independent woman, and as royalty you have the right to do whatever you want. But please, I’m begging you, just for the next few minutes, can you please just stick close to Mario and Luigi so you don’t get kidnapped?

So by now it’s obvious that Peach isn’t going to make this trip through Teehee Valley easy for us at all. She has her predetermined path she is going to walk and she is not going to deviate from that path for any reason. So that’s fine, we just have to stick close to her the whole time. But then there’s another catch. Even if she’s RIGHT BEHIND US when we leave the area, this will count as taking our eyes off her and she will be kidnapped again and we’ll have to start ALL OVER AGAIN!

To prevent this, we must wait for peach to make it to the exit first. Only then will we be allowed to continue to the next area. Here, we find another quirk about Princess Peach. In this next area is a closed gate that prevents Peach from walking along her predetermined path. If we don’t open this gate fast enough, she will actually turn herself around and start walking the way she came.

This is easy enough to correct. Just go talk to her and explain that she needs to go back the other way. Then quickly open the gate so she doesn’t get stopped again. Do this and we can all continue on to the next area.

Unfortunately, you may have noticed my mistake from the last screenshot there. That’s right. I stupidly walked 2 steps ahead of Peach and left the area before she said it was ok. This of course caused her to be kidnapped for the 4th time now. Thankfully, each area seems to have its own yellow pipe she gets kidnapped into, so we don’t lose too much progress.

We drop down yet another yellow pipe to rescue Peach yet again. This time we remember to wait for her to take that very last tiny little step that makes all the difference between progress and another kidnapping. Only now that Peach says we can move forward can we actually move forward.

Sadly, we don’t make much more progress before she is kidnapped yet again. This time however it was entirely our fault. I had Mario swing his hammer way too early, missing the enemy completely. In the time it took for him to recover and try another attack, it was too late. Princess Peach had already been captured yet again.

Peach being kidnapped might not be entirely a bad thing right now. This new area seems to have a bit of a puzzle to it, so it might be beneficial to scope out the area now while we can. In addition to the handful of enemies, there is a staircase in the center of the area that has a breakable rock on it. There’s nothing else up on the platform, so I’m not sure what good the rock served. There are also a pair of buttons on the walls that most likely have some kind of control over the next gate.

Turns out this first button drops a barrel at the top of the center platform. We must need that in order to press the other button. No point using it now though, we’ll just break it if we try to move it. Instead, let’s go get Peach and see if we can get her through this area safely. Turns out, we can’t. A Gritty Goomba must have been hiding behind the tall center platform where we couldn’t see it, and ends up kidnapping Peach AGAIN (Twice more actually)!

One more try. Rescue Princess Peach. Press the Button. Get the barrel. Press the other button. Open the gate. Move on to the next area. Done! You really can’t make this easy for us, can you Princess…

But apparently she CAN make it worse. Due to some fumbling getting Luigi out of the barrel, Princess Peach ends up walking ahead just far enough to be out of sight. Despite the fact that she is standing at the exit ready to tell us we have finished this area and can go onto the next, she is kidnapped YET AGAIN! For those of you keeping track, this brings us up to 8 kidnappings in the last roughly 10 minutes. At this point I’m considering not untying her when we rescue her again. It would be so much easier to just carry her the rest of the way to Little Fungitown. Once more we rescue Peach, and this time we finally make it all the way through this area.

We choose to stick close to Peach ourselves as we explore the new area and figure out what we’re supposed to do. It looks like there are a bunch of platforms we’ll have to spin jump between in this area, eventually leading to an !-Block to open the door. This looks kind of complicated, but at least we’re almost to Little Fungitown now.

We convince Peach to walk back to the beginning or the area so we can reset and start over. Unfortunately for us, we fumble for a bit too long trying to toggle the Bros Action, and Peach ends up walking out of sight before we can get up the first platform. Of course, this means she is once again kidnapped.

We rescue Peach yet again, High jump up to the platform, and start Spin Jumping across the platforms. We barely manage to keep up with Peach as we go. In fact, she reaches the gate slightly before we reach the switch. This ends up working in our favor, because she turns herself around and starts walking back towards us instead of continuing away and getting kidnapped again.

It looks like we have made it to Little Fungitown at last. After transitioning to the next area, Peach walks ahead and reads the posted signs directing us to the Immigration Office. She warns us not to let our guard down and walks ahead to the town entrance. Actually that was kind of an ominous warning from her. Now that I think about it, that save album is kind of threatening as well…

Sure enough, we hear the now too familiar scream from Peach just moments later. Looks like she wanted to round this little journey off to a solid 10 kidnappings. To our surprise, it’s not one of the Gritty Goombas trying to grab her this time. It turns out to be some kind of walking dirt pile with a little tree growing on top of it.

Being this close to Little Fungitown, Peach’s scream ends up alerting a couple of Toads guarding the entrance. Unfortunately, they appear to be cowards and do nothing to help. They’re simply too scared by the size of the monster, and rightfully accept that there’s nothing they can do.

Lucky for them, and most specifically Peach, the Mario Brothers are still right behind her. They rush out to the rescue and the Toad Guards instantly recognize the hero of the Mushroom Kingdom. Looks like it’s their lucky day.

Peach calls out for help and the monster sets its sights on new targets. Looks like we have a boss battle on our hands. …Now that I think about it, I didn’t take the opportunity to save… I hope we don’t die!

The battle starts, and we learn 2 things right away. First, this creature is called Trunkle. Second, it has ridiculously high defense. Mario’s Firebrand attack only did about 10 damage while Luigi’s attacks are only doing about 4. For comparison, Luigi’s attacks were doing on average 25 damage to the normal enemies before, with Mario dealing critical damage in the area of 55 damage. If our attacks are that weak, this is going to be a long fight.

At least Trunkle doesn’t seem to be as bad offensively as he is defensively. Its go-to attack seems to be fairly simple. It winds up its arm and then rolls its own hands towards our heroes like a bowling ball. Even with such a big wind up, it rolls fairly slowly, and it easy to smash with the hammer before it makes any contact.

After a short while, we see another of its attacks, this one much more threatening. It will start inhaling like a vacuum, sucking in anything nearby. Our heroes of course are at no risk from this attack, but the Gritty Goombas in the area can’t say the same. Their tiny bodies are drawn helplessly into Trunkle’s mouth, damaging the Mario Brothers from behind and they are drawn in. To make matters worse, Trunkle actually heals from eating these poor Goombas. With how little damage we’re already doing, the odds of us winning this battle are not in our favor.

As Trunkle repeats its attack, it starts to pull in more than just Goombas. In fact, we start seeing a variety of mushrooms get sucking in as well. There are green mushrooms, which appear to be poisonous as well at red and white healing mushrooms which restore a small amount of health. Obviously we want to try to collect all the healing mushrooms while allowing Trunkle to eat all the poisonous ones. That’s going to be our only chance of taking him down.

Other than the rare occasion where Trunkle winds up both arms in order to attack both brothers at once, these are the only attacks we really see. Still, with our small damage and Trunkle’s healing, this is a long, rather difficult battle for us. Add to that the fact that we forgot to save before this battle, and we actually have a lot on the line right now.

After enough damage has been down, Trunkle breaks up into 4 smaller versions of himself. When this happens, we need a sharp eye to see that one of them actually has the orange fruit from the tree in its mouth. This one is basically the “Real” one while the others are just clones. Unfortunately, they don’t keep this formation long, as they jump up into the air shortly after, mixing themselves up.

If we end up attacking any of the fake Trunkles, we do no damage, and have basically wasted our turn. We do however flatten the fake that we attack, leaving us with one less choice for the next time.

These mini Trunkles are not helpless however. When their turns come around, they’re more than willing to dish out the pain themselves. Sometimes they might roll at us like the bowling ball attacks from earlier. Other times they’ll dig underground, popping up in front of us and punching us with both fists.

Death Count: Mario – 5, Luigi – 2, Game Over – 1

We do eventually find the one holding the fruit, unfortunately Luigi falls shortly after this. For now, reviving Luigi is going to have to be our top priority. We simply can’t expect to beat Trunkle with just Mario.

With that in mind, Mario jams a 1-UP mushroom into this brother’s mouth, and Luigi is back on his feet in no time. However, a new problem arises. Apparently if we take too long to defeat the small Trunkles, they will actually recombine into their larger form, and the battle starts all over again.

Now that we know what to expect, the fight goes much faster this time. In just a few turns Trunkle has broken back up into its smaller selves. We even manage to keep track of which one is the real one this time. With both brother at nearly full health, we give our undivided attention to chipping away at the Mini Trunkle’s health until FINALLY it is defeated.

Now that that monster is gone, Princess Peach can let out a sigh of relief. She is safe once more, and hopefully that will be the last thing we need to save her from before we FINALLY make it to Little Fungitown.

The two Toad Guards, seeing that the monster is gone, also finally decide to come out and welcome us. Apparently Trunkle had been a problem for a while, but it’s gone now. All thanks to the Mario Brothers. What would they have done if we hadn’t just happened to come around?

They finally welcome us to Little Fungitown, and tell us they had been told to expect our arrival. I’m not sure exactly how they found out we were coming. The whole thing was decided on one of Peach’s whims, and it doesn’t seem like they would have been able to send a messenger ahead of us. Anyway, they insist we use the lift in back since apparently Little Fungitown is elevated safely above the rest of Teehee Valley and the dangers therein.

At the very least, Peach seems to be happy that we’ve finally arrived and is excited to see what the town looks like. So we all climb aboard the lift and ride it up to town. After all the trouble Peach gave us just to get here, this had better be worth it…