Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA) – Part 22 – The Final Battle

-The Final Battle-

We’ve finally made it. We’ve defeated all the Koopalings, ventured to the deepest part of Bowser’s Castle, and now we’re ready to fight Bowletta. At least we would be if the bridge weren’t out. Before we have time to start thinking of a way to cross it, we are reminded that there is in fact one other enemy in the Castle we need to worry about. Fawful!

After rising from the lava in a ship resembling his own head, Fawful plans to fully enjoy his moment to bask in the limelight. He makes a spectacle of his appearance, calling upon two Lakitu to literally put him in the spotlight as he makes his grand entrance. Not only that, but he has donned the flashiest outfit we have seen this whole game.

The heat from the light must be going straight to his head, because his monologue is even harder to understand than usual. It feels like he’s propping himself up because he was the one responsible for reviving Cackletta. But at the same time he also seems to be putting himself down because this upcoming battle gives him fear and confusion. At least we can agree on the confusion part.

Thankfully, he stops talking, saving us from any more confusion. He does, however, suddenly grow an antenna and starts launching attacks at our heroes. They run in circles around the platform, but he eventually manages to hit them and the battle has started.

As the battle begins, Fawful continues to send attacks flying at our heroes. However, this attack is no different than the countless fireballs the Koopalings have been spitting out the whole time we’ve been in the Castle. One good hit from the hammer and it just goes flying right back at him.

Unfortunately, taking damage seems to have scared him enough to raise the dome on his mysterious ship. While inside, we don’t appear to have any way of actually inflicting any damage on him.

We try a variety of attacks, but none of them seem to do any good. He eventually continues his taunts before shooting twin eye lasers towards the brothers. So that confirms that the ship isn’t just for protection. We’ll have to figure out how to crack it open, and quick.

Before we can make any progress to that effect, he goes right into another attack. This time spinning rapidly as several pink energy orbs circle around him and slowly expand out to hit us. These can be destroyed with the hammer, but we were unsuccessful in hitting many of them before they hit us.

On the plus side, that attack seems to be the ships fatal flaw. As soon as the attack concluded, the ship was red hot, causing Fawful to escape from it before being burned alive. Now is our chance to get some hits in.

Death Count: Mario – 19, Luigi – 8, Game Over – 5

Of course, even out of the ship, Fawful can be a handful. With his new outfit he can fly high into the air and dive bomb our heroes. Mario wasn’t quick enough to get out of the way, and once again falls in battle. To make it worse, this gives Fawful enough time to once again retreat into the safety of his ship.

Death Count: Mario – 19, Luigi – 9, Game Over – 5

The battle cycle starts anew, with Fawful again shooting eye lasers and our heroes failing to dodge them. Eventually, it is Luigi that ends up falling in battle. But he can be forgiven, he still has half as many deaths that Mario does.

As the battle drags on, Fawful eventually unleashes a clever attack. He launches robots to hover above Mario and Luigi, preventing them from jumping while he charges up his lightning attack. Mario Manages to destroy his robot just in time to avoid the attack, but Luigi was just a slip second too late and took the full force of the hit.

Death Count: Mario – 20, Luigi – 9, Game Over – 5

The attack doesn’t end there however. Once fired, Fawful sweeps the lightning beam back and forth several times. Mario might have avoided the initial hit, but he was taken down again by a later sweep. Luigi survived, but he took significant damage in the process and is barely holding on.

Death Count: Mario – 20, Luigi – 10, Game Over – 5

The battle rages on for nearly 20 minutes, with Luigi falling once more to one of Fawful’s attacks. However, our heroes are stronger than he is, and together they defeat Fawful in the end. At long last, we have seen the last of this annoying henchman.

Just as we thought he was going to vanish away like all the other enemies, Fawful launches one more sneak attack which hits its mark on Mario. He then stands and continues his verbal assault on our heroes.

It seemed as if nothing would even shut him up. But just as we were about to lose hope, Prince Peasley drops from above. With one swift attack , he manages to send Fawful flying across the room. Finally, here at the end of the game, he has done something helpful and we are actually glad to see him.

Then of course he ruins it by talking. He actually manages to be more annoying than Fawful was. Thankfully Fawful had enough energy left to zap Prince Peasley as well. Now I’m conflicted because they’re fighting and I don’t really want either of them to win. Can’t they just take each other out at the same time?

Fawful then recovers and continues his verbal assault, somehow making even less sense than he did before.

Thankfully, by now Mario has recovered from the original sneak attack. While Fawful is blinded by his own laughter, Mario gets behind him and drives him down into the ground like a railroad spike. Somehow Fawful manages to wriggle himself free, but Luigi quickly sends him flying with a hammer swing of his own.

Luigi manages to hit Fawful so hard that he goes flying right out of the mouth of the Castle. He starts to fall to the ground, but to our delight, he never makes it. Instead he explodes in midair, and FINALLY that should be the last time anyone ever calls us “Rat-Finks” again!

With Fawful taken care of, Prince Peasley thanks us for once again saving the day, and thankfully leaves. Once out of sight, the bridge raises and without a doubt Bowletta is waiting for us on the other side of that door.

We enter the throne room and the first thing that hits us is the absolute silence, somehow more imposing than any background music could be. We approach Bowletta on her thrown, and she doesn’t seem worried at all. In true villain fashion, she simply casually congratulates us on making it this far.

However, our presence here does pose a threat to her plans of conquering not only the Beanbean Kingdom, but the Mushroom Kingdom as well. That is something that simply can’t be tolerated.

Combining her magic with Bowser’s natural powers, Bowletta fills the room with fireballs as she vows to rid the world of the Mario Brothers. They simply have no place in the new kingdom she is building.

Her new kingdom needs only one hero, the Great Bowletta. With one last massive fire blast, the monologue has ended and the battle for the fate of the kingdoms begins.

These floating orbs of fire are named “Flaret” for anyone that cares.

Bowletta begins the battle by shooting off several more fireballs. However, they aren’t what concerns us the most. That would be the collection of fireballs she is creating in front of her. They’re simply floating there, leaving us to wonder what greater attack she is setting up.

For now, we ignore them. Our true target is Bowletta after all. We focus our attacks on her, but in the process we still manage to learn a little bit about the Flarets. Basically, don’t hit them with the hand techniques. It looks like they will simply absorb the attack and heal themselves.

Even beyond that, It doesn’t take long before we start to see how much of a threat those little Flarets actually are. It turns out they’re not meant to attack us directly themselves at all. Instead, Bowletta can reabsorb them, healing herself, and supercharging her for an attack.

Once fully charged, she unleashes a massive fire breath attack which engulfs our heroes. If there’s any silver lining, the attack was so massive it also managed to destroy the other two Flarets that remained.

The battle continues, and eventually Bowletta creates more Flarets to replace the old ones. Not wanting the battle to last forever, we set our sights on destroying them first, before she has the chance to heal herself with them. Thankfully, they are quite fragile and destroy easily to physical attacks.

Unfortunately, we were too slow, and she managed to heal herself with one of them anyway. But rather than the fire breath attack she unleashed before, she goes right into creating more of them.

As the battle goes on, something starts to change in Bowletta. Her whole body turns black and stars start to fly from her mouth. They must have gathered together in the sky, because without warning we are bombarded with a shower of star shaped meteorites.

After several waves of Meteorites, this new found power seems to fade, as she turns back to her normal color. With that, the battle cycle is complete, and we start it up again with a fresh wave of fireballs and Flarets.

After a few cycles, we start to get a feel for the timing of the Meteorites and manage to hit a few of them out of the air. Not only that, but we launch them straight at Bowletta. If we can manage to hit enough of them, they might become the edge we need to win this battle.

It turns out they were. After hitting her enough, she is finally defeated. Our victory dance is short lived however. Without us noticing, a Time Bob-omb seems to have snuck up behind us. Not only that, but it looks like it has already managed to count down to zero!

And thus, our heroes have been tricked. The Time Bob-Omb explodes, and they are defeated.

To add insult to injury, Bowletta then does the unthinkable. She actually EATS the Mario Brothers. Preventing any possible chance they had of ever challenging her rule ever again…

By some miracle, the brothers are still alive, but barely. Good thing Bowletta forgot to chew her food. Unfortunately, Bowletta seems to be fully aware that her meal isn’t quite dead yet. What remains of Cackletta’s spirit then quickly shows up to remedy the situation.

Death Count: Mario – 21, Luigi – 11, Game Over – 6

It is then that we witness the single most annoying boss battle cheap shot low blow additional ranting description attack I have ever see in any game. With only a single HP each, Our Heroes are barely standing. But Cackletta gets to attack first, and she gets to do several broad sweeping attacks capable of hitting both brothers with each swing. Getting hit even once means that brother is down for the count. Obviously, they both got hit at some point during the attack, and it is now a game over.

Death Count: Mario – 25, Luigi – 14, Game Over – 9

To make matters worse, our last save was from BEFORE the Bowletta fight. So we have to do that whole section AGAIN. Multiple times as it turns out, because it was 5 attempts at this before I managed to keep at least one of them alive through this opening attack.

Almost as expected by this point, it’s Luigi that actually manages to survive the attack. He also manages to defend the two of them against Cackletta since for some reason she also gets to have the 2nd attack of the battle as well.

We waste no time reviving Mario, and together the two dig in their heels and defend against Cackletta’s attacks.

Cackletta continues her assault on our heroes, but they fight back the best they can. Eventually they manage to destroy one of Cackletta’s arms. Perhaps the battle is shifting in our favor now.

With only one arm left, Cackletta starts to mix up her attacks. Instead of simply slapping us, she starts spitting massive energy balls our way.

We eventually manage to destroy her other arm as well. With those out of the way, we start focusing our efforts at her head with the hopes of taking her down for good.

Unfortunately for us, in between energy ball attacks, she also manages to heal herself a decent amount. We’ll have to hit her hard or we’ll never end this battle.

We end up taking a red pepper for the first time this whole game. It boosts our attack power but also causes the Heavy G status effect. Thankfully it was just what we needed and we managed to destroy her head as well.

However, we could only wish it was that easy. Reduced to only a torso, Cackletta’s heart starts beating, possibly for the first time in years. With this new blood flow she manages to regrow all of her lost limbs, shattering our hopes and dreams in the process. This is going to be a very long fight after all.

We also see some new attacks from her. Her right hand is apparently capable to calling down lightning balls which will roll around between our heroes. Meanwhile her left hand will summon some living fire which swirls around the brothers trying to consume them.

Death Count: Mario – 26, Luigi – 15, Game Over – 10

Unfortunately, Cackletta ends up being too much for them, and they once again fall in battle. Let’s hope we can make it past that first attack again…

Death Count: Mario – 29, Luigi – 18, Game Over – 12

It takes a couple attempts, and a few equipment changes, but we finally make our way back through to this part of the battle. This time, we start focusing our attacks directly at her heart. If we can destroy that, hopefully the rest will follow.

Unfortunately, Cackletta seems to have caught onto our plan. Shortly into our assault on her heart, she pulls it back into her chest where we can’t target it anymore.

At this point, we’re about 30 minutes into this battle, and it doesn’t feel like we’re making any progress. So we decide to switch it up and try out some of those Bros. Attacks we’ve avoided for pretty much the whole game. Mario’s Fire Bros. attack appears to be fairly effective. Relatively simple too. Mario just lobs some fireballs to Luigi and he hits them with his hammer towards Cackletta.

We must be making some progress now, because we’re starting to see Cackletta bring out new attacks as well. At one point she created a clone of Fawful which shot energy blasts at our heroes and then laughed in their face when they got hit by them. Thankfully one good hammer swing was enough to destroy these clones. And here we thought we’d already seen the last of Fawful.

Not to be outdone, the Mario brothers manage to up their game as well. After using the Fire Bros. attack so many times this battle, they actually learn the secret to the advanced technique. Sure, there were a few mishaps along the way, but they learned from them.

In its advance form, Mario will bump the fireballs up into the air after Luigi hits them, causing them to collect and grow into a single massive fireball. Once all the fireballs are collected, Mario then jumps up and spikes it in Cackletta’s face for massive damage.

However, Cackletta isn’t going down without a fight either. Almost 45 minutes into the fight, Cackletta brings out a yet unseen eye laser attack. We’ve seen several laser attacks throughout our adventure, but none like this. In addition to shooting her eye lasers, she also manages to freeze time, preventing any chance of dodging. We actually need to dodge BEFORE she starts the attack and freezes time in order to avoid it.

That’s not her only new attack either. She has also modified her energy ball attack so that she produces multiple smaller balls at a time instead of one big ball. Most of these disappear before they actually hit their target, but they cause a distraction, pulling attention away from the ones that do pose a threat.

The fighting drags on for over an hour. Both sides are exhausted. But finally, our heroes land the killing blow, and the spirit of Cackletta is defeated! Outside, Bowletta can only stand in terror as she feels something has gone wrong.

One after the other Bowletta coughs up the Mario Brothers and is herself defeated as well.

Bowletta falls to the ground, struggling to breath. It’s inconceivable to her. How could she have possibly been defeated?

Having lost what remained of her powers, Cackletta’s spirit finally loses its hold on Bowser’s body. It is forced out and fades away to nothingness. Without Cackletta’s spirit inside him, Bowser also returns to his normal self, though still unconscious from the previous battle.

Of course, Prince Peasley has to rush in and ruin our moment of victory. Rather than being given a quiet moment to reflect on the last hour of hard fighting, he informs us that he has rigged the castle with explosives and we should probably run for our lives.

We’re given only 3 minutes to find our way to the entrance again. Seeing as the door the Koopalings first emerged from opened up after our battle, we figure it must be a shortcut. It’s not going to be a straight shot though. In addition to being a twisting mess of stairs and hallways, there are also moments when Luigi must climb into a barrel so Mario can press buttons on the wall.

It is a very short path though, and we make it to the entrance with time to spare. Unfortunately, no one thought to warn Bowser. I mean, he was unconscious on the floor, and it’s not like we could have carried him with us or something….

And so, Bowser’s Castle explodes and falls into the ocean below with a splash. The force of which seems to have flushed Bowser from the throne room and high up into the air where he crashes into the game screen.

With that, the kingdom is finally safe. Cackletta has been defeated, Bowser is taken care of, and the Beanstar is back where it belongs. Yep, I think everything has been wrapped up nicely for once. With that said, Queen Bean and Lady Lima are kind enough to give us the red carpet treatment as they see us off at the airport back to the Mushroom Kingdom.

Overcome with emotions, Lady Lima and Toadsworth give each other a big hug goodbye. Luigi likewise goes in for a hug with Prince Peasley, but is promptly rejected as the Prince takes the spotlight for himself.

To his credit, he does offer us a rather large parting gift which surprises everyone.

At long last, everyone can relax and enjoy the flight home. And since it wouldn’t fit inside the plane, we have to tow the present behind us. That’s too bad, because we find out Bowser is actually inside the box, catching a cold in the high altitude.

Thanks for joining us on this adventure… Which apparently was all just a movie playing at the Yoshi Theater…