Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA) – Part 18 – The Yoshi Theater & The Fashion Genius

-The Yoshi Theater & The Fashion Genius-

It’s not completely clear where the next piece of the Beanstar is, so we just start wandering around the northern border of the Beanbean Outskirts for a clue. Eventually we come across the Yoshi Theater. We saw the sign much earlier in the game, but there was another Giant Koopa blocking the path, so we couldn’t check it out back then. However, they’re hardly a problem anymore.

Inside, we catch sight of the Beanstar Piece right away. Some very egg shaped person appears to be using it as a decoration for his sign. We try to go up and talk to him, maybe see if he’ll simply hand it over, but his assistant quickly gets between us. This might just be me talking, but his assistant looks like a very racist depiction of a Chinese person. That aside, he immediately starts accusing us of being up to no good and assumes we’re here to shake down his master for money.

Even with all the false accusations being thrown at our heroes, they still try to calmly explain the situation. Unfortunately, this assistant isn’t going to listen to any of it. It’s just in one ear and out the other before he starts warning his master to not listen to our lies either.

In an unexpected twist, the egg man simply crouches down into his shell and launches himself at his assistant, sending him flying back several feet. All without saying a single word. I’m not entirely sure how to take that, but I’m going to assume this means he’s a man who will listen to actual reason, and not be taken in by sweet talking lies.

After calling his assistant a “Twit”, the egg man turns his attention to our heroes, and introductions are in order. Apparently this is Boddle, younger brother to Bubbles, the legendary Chuckola Cola maker. This brother however has no interest in soda. Instead he has opened his own theater.

He also happens to be the President of the Yoshi Fan Club. Because of this, he has opened this theater specifically for the enjoyment of the Yoshis. I’ll admit, that is the exact opposite of what I assumed Yoshi Theater would be. I thought the Yoshis would be the performers, not the audience.

Now to the heart of the conversation. Our heroes explain that they need the Beanstar Piece that Boddle is using as a decoration on his sign. He considers it for a moment, and ultimately agrees to give it to us. He’ll simply have to decorate the sign with something else.

Of course, there’s a catch. There’s always a catch. If he’s going to give us the Beanstar Piece, he wants something in return to use as decoration for the sign. Specifically, he wants all Seven of the Neon Eggs.

Apparently, if we feed the different Yoshis a specific food, it will make them happy and they will lay a neon egg. All we have to do is find whatever food it is that each Yoshi wants and then feed it to them. Sounds simple enough. Plus I love Yoshi, he’s my favorite Mario Character. So I would give anything to feed them and make them happy.

To make things easier, there just so happens to be an expert inside the theater that knows what kinds of food will make Yoshis the happiest and allow them to lay the Neon Eggs for us. It looks like we’re going to have a bit of a fetch quest here, but I don’t expect it to be too complicated.

Before we go talk to the expert and get this quest underway, I do just want to take a moment to admire and appreciate some of the cameos we see in these posters. First off, it looks like one of the posters is promoting the game itself, since this is the first game in the Mario and Luigi Series. So it’s always fun to see some 4th wall breaking humor. But also you have characters from outside the Mario series entirely with the inclusion of Kirby, as well as the often overlooked Starfy (Here using the Japanese spelling “Stafy”). Rounding it off, we have Wario from what looks like his own Wario Ware spin off series. It really is the little details like this that make me the happiest sometimes.

We’re not really sure where the expert is though, so while we search for him we do talk to some of the Yoshis already in the theater. While most of them are practically dying from hunger, there are a few that are willing to talk to us. Like this one who wishes he could sit on the comfy looking theater chairs, if only his tail didn’t get in the way. You would think a theater built for the entertainment of Yoshis would have taken this into consideration.

In addition to the Yoshis, there are a few Beanish in attendance as well. Yoshis aren’t native to the Beanbean Kingdom, so this theater will be perhaps the only opportunity they will have to see any. As such, it is a bit of a local tourist attraction in its own right because of this. While the Beanish might be overjoyed to see a real live Yoshis, the Yoshis themselves don’t appear to appreciate the extra attention.

We eventually find our expert over on the main stage. He introduces himself as Fava, architect of the theater, and older brother to Castle Town’s greatest intellectual. All of which is great for him, but we came to talk to him for one reason, the Neon Eggs he’s supposed to be an expert on.

He’s a bit surprised to hear us asking about Neon Eggs, not many people know about that side of him. While he does enjoy his titles of architect and intellectual, in reality he is just an old man who loves Neon Eggs. And so we ask the all-important question. What do we need to feed to the Yoshis to get them to lay Neon Eggs?

And the answer is… Bean Fruit… Perhaps… he doesn’t seem too sure about that. Bean Fruit are apparently native to the Beanbean Kingdom and they grow exclusively underground… perhaps. I’m not getting a very good “expert” vibe off of this guy…

Apparently this whole thing is as easy as finding a Bean Fruit, digging it up, and feeding it to a Yoshi. Once fed, the Yoshi will become full and happy and lay a Neon Egg for us.

However, Fava has a confession to make. While he is a self-proclaimed Neon Egg fiend, he has never personally seen a Neon Egg. Not even once. So we’re allowed to be a little skeptical of his advice.

While he has never seen a Neon Egg, he has done extensive research on the location of Bean Fruits. It’s not exact, but he has managed to map out the general location of where he believes there are some Bean Fruits. In his head anyway…

We can’t get the piece of the Beanstar unless we get the Neon Eggs, and we can’t get the Neon Eggs unless we get the Bean Fruits, so we offer to go collect them. Fava is surprised at our offer, but after some consideration, he agrees to tell us where they are and marks their locations on our map. While they are scattered all around, they seem to stay mostly within the outskirts around the Castle Town. So this shouldn’t be too terrible of a task to recover them.

Now that we have a map, he gives us one last piece of advice. We’re to look for suspicious spots surrounded by grass or rocks. I know I’ve seen a few circles of tall grass before but nothing was there at the time. Now that we’ve actually started this quest that might have changed.

With map in hand, we head out towards the nearest Bean Fruit and see what we can find. It doesn’t take us long before we find what I would call a “suspicious spot” and try our luck. Sure enough, we have our first Bean Fruit and confirmation of what we’re even looking for.

From there, we head east to the next closest Bean Fruit. Eventually we are stopped by a fence which doesn’t seem to have any door or alternate route around it. Luigi can tunnel under it of course, but he can’t tunnel across a bridge, so he can’t go very far. Also this save album in what seems like the middle of nowhere is leaving me with a bit of anxiety and dread.

Luigi crosses the bridge alone and happens to spot the next Bean Fruit sitting there in the grass. That’s good news. I was wondering how we would dig up the fruit if Mario wasn’t here to drive Luigi into the ground. Unfortunately, the situation took an immediate nose dive when a Piranha Bean showed up and quickly gobbled up the lone fruit.

We can’t allow that, we NEED to get the Bean Fruit back at any cost. Without any hesitation Luigi jumps into battle solo against the deadly creature. Once again, I really want to point out how much Luigi gets the spotlight in this game. There have been multiple times so far where Luigi has gone solo, but Mario has not had any similar situations (excluding the very beginning tutorial fight against Bowser). Many characters have forgotten or misspoke his name, or don’t know who he is at all, but Luigi is actually a very dependable character. Perhaps even more so than his older brother.

Being that it is a solo battle, we really need to be careful not to take too much damage. There is no back up to revive Luigi if he falls in battle here. And that Piranha Bean seemed quite interested in eating our hero should the opportunity present itself.

Under the same logic, because it is a solo fight, the game developers make it a relatively easy fight. The Piranha Bean only has two attacks. It either spits out a volley of fireballs at Luigi, or it spits up some little Beanish toy thing. I’m not really sure what it is actually. Either way it’s basically the same attack. Just jump to avoid it. Before long, the Piranha Bean is defeated and hopefully we can pull out that Bean Fruit from its belly.

Before falling over dead, the Piranha Bean spits up the little Beanish toy high up into the air. It lands not too far from us and upon closer inspection it seems to be moving. It stands up on its own, and with one hair flick and a ring of sparkles, it is instantly clear that this is somehow the annoying Prince Peasley. What the heck happened to him? Why is he so small? And why did we have to save him (AGAIN!)?

The prince is quick to thank Luigi for rescuing him at least. But appears to be completely unaware that he has somehow shrunk down to a tiny size. Instead he for some reason assumes Luigi has magically grown into a giant.

Prince Peasley obviously isn’t too keen on staying this small forever, and so asks Luigi if he has any ideas how to turn him back to his normal size. Of course, he does have one idea. Hitting Mario with his hammer turns Mario back to his full size. There’s no reason to assume it wouldn’t also work on Prince Peasley. Reluctantly the little prince agrees and gives Luigi the go ahead to hit him with his hammer. Once again, I want to take a moment praise the sprite work in this game. With just a subtle shift of a few pixels you can FEEL the malice Luigi has towards Prince Peasley. You can see he’s going to GREATLY ENJOY the opportunity to bash that self-loving S.O.B. as hard as he can with his hammer, as am I, as should we all.

And so Luigi winds up and bashes the little prince with all his might. I wish we could have hit him more than once, but sometimes you just have to take what you can get. Sure enough, his ego seems to have grown to full size right along with the rest of his body, as he immediately starts talking about his shine.

At the very least, he does offer us a reward for saving him. In this case, he hands us the Bean Fruit we were looking for. While this is helpful to us, I want to point out that Prince Peasley has no way of knowing we need this. He simply gave it to us because he found it inside the Piranha Bean and doesn’t particularly want it.

With that, Prince Peasley summons his flying bean pillow thing and is off. He asks us to give his regards to Mario, who he refers to as “Mr. Red Mustache.”, and taunts that he will be the one to collect the next Beanstar Piece. I’m not sure how he plans to do that. We’ve already gathered 2 of the 4 pieces and are working on the 3rd now. Either way, he is gone, and that is for the best.

Luigi returns to Mario on the other side of the gate, Bean Fruit in hand, and we prepare to head off in search of the next one. That’s when a sudden realization sets in. Luigi just finished a battle on his own and only he got experience from it. Does that mean their experience levels are different now?!

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

No, no, no, NO, NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! THEY CAN’T HAVE DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE LEVELS, I WON’T ALLOW IT!!!! They started with the same experience, and they’ve been together for the whole game. I simply cannot allow them to have different experience levels. There’s only one thing to do, Luigi has to die…for a while… and Mario has to get his experience up without him. They’re only off by 150 exp. That shouldn’t be too hard to bring up.

Since I’ve never allowed either of the brothers to remain dead through the end of the fight, I was never aware of this, but they don’t stay dead. As soon as the battle ends, they are revived to 1 HP. It’s a helpful mechanic if you are playing normally, but for me, right now, that just means we’re going to have to kill Luigi over and over again to get Mario’s Exp up. However, because I’m doing this intentionally, I’m counting this whole training session as a single death for Luigi, otherwise his death count would just skyrocket right now.

After a couple battles, we screw up. We over shot our mark and now Mario has more experience than Luigi. Sure, it’s only 22 exp, but that’s not good enough for me. So now it looks like Mario is going to have to die for a bit and Luigi is going to need to be the one training.

In the middle of our aimless wandering, trying to get their experience levels even again, we just so happen to stumble on a suspicious looking spot in the grass. Sure enough, it’s another one of the Bean Fruits. Well that was easy. Now back to our ongoing OCD meltdown.

Death Count: Mario – 6, Luigi – 5, Game Over – 2

We eventually head back to the Stardust Fields back at the beginning of the game. Here we have the weakest enemies and therefor the smallest amount of experience gained per battle. However, we need to find the right battle to get us back to perfect balance. There is a little bit of back and forth with Mario needing to die, then Luigi needing to die and so on until we find the perfect combination of Exp gap and enemy encounter. But eventually it’s fixed. Mario and Luigi are both back to being at the exact same amount of experience and this meltdown is officially over. Let’s just hope there aren’t any more times when we’ll be forced to fight solo.

Anyway, there are 4 Bean Fruits left for us to find, so we waste no more time and head towards the lone fruit in the Northwest corner of the map. It doesn’t take us long before we find what we’re looking for. And with that only the 3 Bean Fruits across the southern border remain.

Heading due south from the last Bean Fruit, it doesn’t take us any time at all to find the next one. It’s clearly buried at the top of this platform. So one Spin Jump and a hammering later, Luigi is emerging from the ground with our 5th Bean Fruit.

Excluding out Meltdown, we’ve been making great time rounding up all of these Bean Fruits. Unfortunately, this is where we hit a bit of a wall. After much searching, we are fairly certain the next Bean Fruit is to the left of these rocks. Unfortunately, our hammers are not strong enough to break these particular rocks. So it looks like we might have to make another visit to the Hammerhead Bros. It’s been long enough now since the last time they upgraded our hammers. So it’s probably about time they do it again.

Since we can’t get this one now, we move on to the next Bean Fruit. This one, like most of the others, is sitting right out in plain sight for us, so it’s easy to get, and leaves us with only that one piece left to claim.

So left with no other Bean Fruits to find, we head on over to the Hammerhead Bros. to see if they can upgrade out hammers again. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like they’re willing to yet. They just keep telling us to come back later.

If that’s the case, then I guess we have to give up on the Bean Fruits all together for the moment. There is one other Beanstar Piece we can go after next. Maybe we’re trying to do them out of order. With that in mind, we head south towards the final piece, push aside a Boo Statue with Luigi’s Thunderhand ability, and watch as the bridge to the next piece rises out of the water.

Before crossing it however, we take a moment to examine a nearby sign to see what we’re getting ourselves into. Apparently Harhall, the Fashion Genius, is hiring “Splart Assistants”. According to the sign, their duties will include “Drinking/Pumping Water”. Well that sounds like all the times we engorge Mario with water. So this shouldn’t be too hard. The signs even say he will reward us with “A strange Bean-like thing that fell from the sky.”

Along the way we get a glimpse of the Beanstar Piece locked up in a cage. Wonderful conformation that the “Bean-like thing” really is the Beanstar Piece we’re looking for. We also get to witness two of Harhall’s current assistants running for their lives. First a younger Beanish complaining about having to work with “Explosive colors”, whatever that means. Then we see a much older Beanish complaining that he drank too much water. That at least shouldn’t be a problem for Mario. It never seems to be too much for him.

Finally, we get to meet Harhall in person. It really only takes one glance to know he (I’m assuming he, I can’t really tell) is a fashionista. We’ve really never seen another Beanish quite like Harhall in all our time here in the Beanbean Kingdom. Upon noticing our heroes, and after complaining about the previous riffraff, the usual introductions are in order. Of course, Harhall refers to himself as a genius designer, but also he informs us that he is also Bleetch, apparently a pseudonym he goes by.

After a small outburst demanding if we had heard of him, to which we lie and claim we have, Harhall continues under the assumption that we want the assistant jobs he posted about. He then reaffirms what the sign told us earlier. If we do a good enough job, he will pay us with “A bean-like thing that cascaded down from the heavens!” To which he means the Beanstar Piece, in case anyone couldn’t follow that.

Without much hesitation, we get right to work helping Harhall. Though it isn’t immediately clear what we’re supposed to be doing. For a brief moment a few multi colored flying Bomb-ombs popped out of the yellow pipes ahead, but they quickly went back into hiding. I’m sure we’ll figure out what that was about it just a moment. First things first, we are instructed to get ourselves a drink so we can become a proper Splart water pump.

Once Mario is big and full with water, he gets into position and the explanation starts in earnest. Apparently our first task is to simply dye the fabric that is hanging across the way. Sounds simple enough.

To accomplish this task, we need to shoot out the water and hit the flying Bomb-ombs, which are apparently called Designbombs, to color the fabric. What’s more, Harhall explains that hitting two Designbombs at the same time will cause the fabric to become a combination of the two colors. You know, red and blue make purple, that kind of thing.

Once the base color is set, it’s time to choose a design. This is done in pretty much the same way as coloring was. Except instead of a regular Designbomb, we are shooting at Artsy Bombs, which come is a variety of different patterns.

It should be pretty obvious, but the design on the artsy bombs we hit will end up altering the design on the clothes. So far it seems pretty straight forward.

There are three different patters to choose from. Tropical, Polka-dots, and Checkered. However, there is a secret fourth options. If we manage to hit two of them at the same time, the pattern will always result in a Star. That keeps it simply. I can’t imagine trying to combine patterns the same way as colors.

So yeah, that’s about it for explanation. All we have to do is decorate the clothes to match the design request that Harhall gives us. I’ve played several web games with similar premises, and this one doesn’t seem nearly as complicated. This should be an easy task to complete. Plus we only need to make 4 outfits, and the Beanstar is ours.

The first outfit is simple. Harhall doesn’t care what we do, as long as it’s red. So one red Designbomb, and a checkered pattern later, we have our first outfit done. Since you can’t see it with still pictures, I want to tell you that this task is actually much easier than some of the other water shooting tasks we’ve had. Here, as soon as we shoot the water, all the Designbombs stop moving. So there is no shooting early and hoping to hit our target. Just wait until everything is lined up and let the water fly.

The next outfit is a bit more specific, but no more difficult. This time Harhall wants a yellow outfit with Checkers. Well that’s pretty much what we did last time, just with yellow.

Next comes the first request for a mixed color. Purple with Polka-dots. I wouldn’t exactly call this hard, but the somewhat random flying pattern of the Designbombs means we’ll have to wait some time before the Blue and Red Designbombs are lined up perfectly in front of us. This one takes a few attempts before we get it right, but still only about 2 minutes total to get it.

And now, the final challenge. Harhall wants a Brown outfit with a star. Brown? How do we make brown? I guess mix all 3 colors together? Amazingly, getting them all lined up didn’t take any time at all. Right when they emerge from the pipes, they’re already so closely packed together that they don’t have time to get out of each other’s way. And since we need to hit at least two of the artsy bombs, we just follow the same method and end up launching all 3 of them at the outfit as well to make the star.

Just like that, we have the third piece of the Beanstar. Now all that remains is getting to that last Bean Fruit. I wonder if NOW the Hammerhead Bros. will upgrade our hammers. If not, I’m not sure what more we have to do.

When the Hammer Bros. once again turn us away, so I guess I was wrong on the location. We head back to the area around the last Bean Fruit and take one more good look around. That’s when we spotted this weaker rock blocking a section we haven’t been to yet. And right there is where the final Bean Fruit was hiding the whole time.

Now that we have ALL the Bean Fruits there are to find, we head back to the Yoshi Theater and start handing them out to the hungry Yoshis. At this point, they’re happy to eat anything at all, but they seem especially happy with the Bean Fruits. Apparently they taste like beans at first, but then the fruit flavor starts to ooze out. Interesting. Not sure if I would want to eat one, but definitely interesting.

One by one we go around to all the different Yoshis, and one by one they all eat the Bean Fruits and lay a different color Neon Egg for us. Before long we have a full collection of them, one in every color of the rainbow.

We head back to Boddle and hand over the Neon Eggs for him to use to decorate his sign. It’s amazing how there were seven different color Neon Eggs to find and also seven spots for decorations on the sign. Sometimes things just work out that way I guess…

Now fully decorated, Boddle hangs the sign up above the main entrance, and the theater construction is now officially complete. As promised, he turns over the Beanstar Piece he was previously using as a decoration to our heroes. With that final piece, we have now collected all of the fragmented pieces of the Beanstar. Hopefully someone knows of a way to put them back together now?