Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA) – Part 14 – Guffawha Ruins

-Guffawha Ruins-

Now that we’re properly on our way to the Guffawha Ruins, a light panic starts to set in. As you may recall, I simply can’t stand the idea of the brothers having different experience levels. Thankfully, the path to the ruins is completely devoid of enemies. It is however set up as a maze. The narrow passage way between the cliff walls has multiple branching paths. Unfortunately, many of them lead to dead ends and we’ll simple have to turn ourselves around.

Thankfully the maze leading to the ruins isn’t very long. Eventually the path straightens out and there is an odd little stairway followed by a series of small platforms. There are still no enemies or hazards, so it’s unclear what the purpose of these seemingly random obstacles would be. In any case, we just need to continue on our path and we will eventually find ourselves at the entrance of the Guffawha Ruins.

Walking to the center of the ruins, Luigi finds this weird looking red statue. Naturally, he smashes it to pieces without a second thought. For some reason this starts a mini challenge where a blue energy ball starts bouncing on the ground in front of Luigi and he needs to hit it like a baseball when it is at the correct height.

As successfully hitting the blue energy balls, they will start to circle the various statues surrounding him. Clearly our goal is to hit 8 of these blue orbs to activate all 8 of the statues. However, if we accidentally hit a red orb, it will explode and we will have to start the whole process over again.

Once we manage to activate all 8 of the statues, they will start shooting lasers from their foreheads which scares Luigi off. In his absence, the lasers collide in the center, opening a portal in the ground. From this portal eventually arises a happier looking version of the red statue Luigi destroyed. Once it is fully emerged from the ground it opens its smiling mouth to reveal a button just waiting to be pressed.

As you would probably expect by now, pressing the button opens the door to the rest of the ruins. Not far inside, we find out that Luigi wasn’t just the only person available, he is quite literally the only person even capable of entering the ruins. I say that because situated just a few feet past the main entrance is a set of blue orbs that require Luigi’s Thunderhand technique to activate.

The switches open a very ominous, mouth like doorway and grant us access even deeper into the ruins. It takes only a few more steps before we are confronted with the worst possible scenario. The whole rest of the ruins is full of enemies. I can’t do it, I can’t let their experience levels differ!

However, we have no evidence that only Luigi will get experience from these solo battles. So against my better judgement, we engage in battle with the Chuck Guy and Limbo Bro.

Sure enough, Mario and Luigi’s experience levels are now different. I can’t do it! I can’t accept the fact that one of them has more experience than the other!

Death Count: Mario – 5, Luigi – 3, Game Over – 2

There’s only one thing I can do about it. We enter into battle one more time with another Chuck Guy and this time an Oucher Glass. We intentionally don’t dodge any attacks, and simply wait for death to come to us. Good thing there was that save album just a second ago. We’re only going to lose a few minutes of progress.

So, now we know that we can’t get into any battles or it will drive me insane. With that in mind, it has become a sneaking mission. Hug the walls and avoid the enemies. When they see us do our best to dodge their attacks. There aren’t many enemies, so it’s not hard to get past them all.

Thankfully, it seems the Ruins will have a fair amount of puzzles as well as the occasional enemy. The second room tasks us with a rather simple jumping challenge. Hit the !-Block to raise up all the platforms, then we do our best to jump across them. But we have to be quick because they’ll fall to the floor if we stand on them too long.

The next room is another small area with enemies. I thought we had managed to avoid them, but one popped out from behind the pillar and got us. Looks like we’ll have to run from this battle to avoid resetting all together.

After this blunder, I’m grateful for the fact the next area is another rather simple jumping challenge. This time instead of dropping, the various platforms are simply moving in various directions. Some back and forth, others up and down, there are even a few doing circles. Again, this is not a particularly difficult challenge, so it should be easy to make it to the exit.

Beyond this, we finally come to a decent puzzle room. In this room there are several different colored platforms as well as several different colored buttons. Pressing one of the buttons will raise or lower the position of the platforms of the same color. We’ll need to position them just right to continue our climb and make it to the exit.

Once we do manage to get to the top of the platforms, we find the only red switch in the room. Press it to set the red platforms where you need them to be to escape. Then travel all the way back down to the bottom to reposition the green and blue platforms as well to make your way to the exit.

Sneak past a few more enemies, and we’re on our way deeper into the Ruins. Surely the end is near.

Climbing the steps of the next room and we find a lone !-Block just waiting to be struck. Hitting it will awaken a talking stone head who will congratulate “Mr. Mussstache!” for how far he has managed to come.

It turns out, this stone head is the basis for the rumors of terrible monsters infesting the ruins. Not only that, but the rumors has made their rounds all the way back to this stone head, and he is not particularly pleased with what he is being said about him.

After hearing such vicious rumors about himself, the stone head has become full of anger, but has nowhere to vent his frustrations. Thankfully Luigi is here now, and the stone head enlists our Green Hero’s aid. If Luigi can manage to dodge the stone head’s flames for 30 seconds, that should be enough to calm him down.

In theory, this shouldn’t be a very difficult challenge. All we have to do is dodge for 30 seconds. However, if any of the flames hit Luigi he fails and has to start all over. Likewise, in the very probably event that Luigi falls off the platforms, he will also have to start over.

Our first attempt didn’t go very well. I hadn’t expected the platforms to start scrolling towards the stone head and that threw me off. Within seconds, Luigi is hit with a fireball and has to start the whole thing over again.

Now that we know what we’re up against, the second attempt goes much smoother. It really isn’t very hard to avoid all the fireballs, and even falling off the sides wasn’t as big of an issue as I had anticipated. After 30 seconds pass, we have cleared this challenge and helped the stone head let off some of its built up stress.

After this, the stone head opens the passage to the next room. He then very abruptly claims he is done with us, and advices us to go now. Hmm. Helping a stone head relieve stress and then being told to leave because he’s done with us. I feel dirty about that somehow.

No point worrying about that now, we still have a mission to accomplish. Thankfully, our goal is growing right in the middle of the floor in the next room. Not only that, but there is a yellow warp pipe at the back of the ruins that brings us straight back to Little Fungitown, saving us all the trouble of backtracking through the Ruins again.

Luigi doesn’t waste any time and heads straight back to the embassy. Or at least he tries to. While crossing one of the bridges leading there, he is stopped in his tracks by a bolt of lightning which seems to have come out of nowhere!

Thankfully, he seems to be mostly unfazed by it. He does have the Thunderhand after all, so lightning shouldn’t affect him much at all at this point. The shock does however snap him out of his hypnotic state, leaving him confused and with little memory of his whole trip to the Guffawha Ruins.

This does send him into a mild panic. Since he doesn’t remember going to the ruins, he also doesn’t remember collecting the Crabbie Grass Mario needs. On the spot he starts digging through his suit case. Sure enough, the Crabbie Grass he needs is there, whether he remembers getting it or not.

Likewise, whether he remembers it or not, he did go to the Guffawha Ruins by himself. Such an accomplishment deserves praise worthy of his efforts. If we are to believe this one Toad, Luigi will surly become a legend in Little Fungitown.

There’s no time to let the praise go to his head however. Luigi still has a very important task at hand. He needs to rush off to the embassy and get Mario the medicine he needs before he turns into a bean!

However, a new, even greater problem presents itself before Luigi even makes it to the embassy. A Toad rushes out to Luigi, screaming in panic that something has happened to Princess Peach. Not long after, the area is filled with lightning and briefly engulfed in darkness.

From out of this darkness emerges Peach, riding captive in Bowser’s signature Koopa Clown Car. I guess some partnerships just weren’t meant to last. Clearly Bowser is already right back to his old ways of kidnapping the princess.

Oh, but this isn’t the Bowser we’ve come to know. Not by a long shot. This creature we see before us shall be known as Bowletta!!!

Fawful is quick to join the scene as well and add clarity to the situation. If you’ll recall, Bowser’s damaged body was recently taken over by the disembodied spirit of Cackletta. As such, Bowletta is the unholy fusion of the two villains, possessing the body of Bowser and the mind of Cackletta. It also seems some of Cackletta’s physical traits have manifested themselves on Bowsers body as well to give us the eye bleach inducing character we see here.

With these newly combined physical and mental powers, Bowletta restarts Cackletta’s old plan to awaken the Beanstar. This time however, there will be no need to steal Peach’s voice, because she’ll just steal Peach herself. Peach makes one last attempt to escape the Koopa Clown Car, but it is too late. Bowletta and Fawful quickly fly off with Peach before she or Luigi have a chance to stop them.

There’s no time to waste anymore. Luigi rushes to the embassy to cure Mario of his illness. Once again by his brother’s side, Luigi falls to the floor and breaks down in tears, the stress of the last couple hours finally overtaking him. Meanwhile Mario gets back on his feet and is quickly swept off them again as a Toad explains the unfolding situation.