The Heroes made it to the castle as Ridley landed inside it! “This is bad!” gulped Zelda. “They must be in the middle of their search!”
“We must stop them!” declared Link. The Heroes entered the castle gates to find Ganondorf, Ridley, and Dedede talking to Bowser.
“HEY, BOWSER!” called Mario. The four villains turned to see the Heroes.
“You again?!” groaned Ganondorf.
“Can’t you take a hint?!” roared Ridley.
“The only hint we took,” bellowed Donkey Kong as he thumped his chest, “is that your evil needs to be stopped!”
“He’s right!” declared Mario. “Your evil was manageable back in the past, but THIS?! This is just out of control! We won’t give up, though! As long as our hearts are full of light, we will NEVER…”
“Good lord, not another hero speech!” interrupted Dedede. “You Heroes remind me of an outboard motor! All the time, putt putt putt putt putt putt putt putt putt putt!”
“Examined your OWN mouth recently?” grunted Ridley.
“Enough!” roared Bowser. “They’re too late anyway!”
“What?!” yelped Link.
“You heard me!” laughed Bowser. “The guy who organized this alliance, he already burned the book!” To prove his point, Bowser tossed the scorched remains of a book at the Heroes’ feet. “Can’t do much research now, can you?” taunted Bowser. “Your one chance to piece together how the Princesses can be saved, and it’s nothing more than ash!”
“You monster!” snarled Peach.
“I’m gonna enjoy kicking your shell!” growled Daisy as she cracked her knuckles.
“The Princess of a poor kingdom?” laughed Bowser. “You’re not worth the effort to crush.”
“Why you…!!” snarled Daisy.
“Oh, I just remembered,” recalled Bowser. “I think you would remember the person who got us Villains together.”
“…I would?” quizzed Daisy.
“Oh yes, you would,” chuckled a dark voice. Bowser stepped aside to reveal a purple humanoid creature with pointed ears, fangs, and large eyebrows.
“TATANGA?!” yelped Daisy.
“Greetings, my little flower,” chuckled the alien, Tatanga. “I see you’re more proactive in trying to deal with people like me.”
“It serves my people, given our usual environment,” declared Daisy.
“Serves your people?” scoffed Tatanga. “Tripe if I ever heard it! Rulers don’t serve the people; the people serve rulers!”
“Your culture sounds pretty backwards!” snarled Daisy.
“Backwards?!” thundered Tatanga, offended. “Mine is the most advanced in the universe!”
“Tatanga, whatever plan you have, it must stop!” called Terraxila.
“And Ignisarix’s friends arrive,” chuckled Tatanga. “Good, I so wanted all of the Elemental Knights here.” Tatanga then pulled a man in red out from behind him and tossed him towards the Heroes. He looked bloody and bruised.
“Ignisarix!” yelped Ventarix. The Knights dashed towards him to help. The man, Ignisarix, opened his eyes weakly.
“The…the stars…” he gasped.
“Don’t talk, you’re hurt!” begged Aqualixar. She then summoned water and used it to run all over the wounds.
“Deal with the Heroes,” Tatanga directed the four Villains. “I will brook no opposition. Make sure you take their Elemental Stars. We must keep at least one of each type.” He then left through a portal.
“Bowser, you’ve gone too far!” declared Mario.
“What can you do against me now?” laughed Bowser. “Me and my friends gained new powers to crush you!” He then adopted a ready stance like that of one found in Northern Shaolin style. Ganondorf, Dedede, and Ridley adopted stances from the remaining Knight’s fighting styles as well, giving Aqualixar a nasty idea.
“What did Tatanga teach you?!” she demanded.
“Why, how to harness the elements, of course!” laughed Ganondorf. “We’ve learned to master all four of them!”
“Your affinity is too dark to master them!” argued Ventarix. “You couldn’t handle that kind of power!”
“I AM power!” replied Ganondorf before he lashed out with a water whip. The Heroes ducked as the Villains attacked, using the elements to enhance their attacks. Bowser retreated into his shell, spun around and projected fire from the openings, and moved quickly towards the Heroes. Mario and Luigi moved aside, trying to avoid the attack. Ridley simply fired air blast after air blast, buffeting the Heroes with terrible winds. Dedede hammered the ground and created sharp spikes beneath the Heroes’ feet to throw them off balance. Ganondorf slung water into the Heroes’ faces, causing them to cough to try and get water out of their lungs.
“That…is…ENOUGH!” roared Andrew as he took out his Krak-on Roller and activated its old ability, the Kraken Squid Form. This form, however, looked different. While he was a massive squid, he was making deep trenches in the earth as he spun. The sudden tremors caused the Villains to lose their balance. Samus then automatically moved like Aqualixar to lash out with water. Rosalina then spun to make a small tornado to bring Ridley down. Mario then held back the fire erupting from Bowser’s shell and turned it against all the Villains. Ignisarix then stood up, fully healed. He then showed off a greater mastery of fire by putting out Bowser’s flames, then launching fire from the ground to beat the Villains back.
“We cannot win in these conditions! Retreat!” called Ganondorf as he summoned a portal to wherever their base of operations was. The Heroes panted as they looked around, confirming that the battle was over. Zelda then collapsed.
“We failed,” she mumbled. “We’ll never get started properly! We’ll never be able to piece together the story of the Elemental Princesses!”
“What’s the big deal?” asked Ventarix. “That book can be fixed.”
“It’s ashes!” protested Link. “I doubt even your fire friend can fix it!”
“Not alone, no,” replied Ignisarix. “But, with my fellow Knights and an Elemental Star of each type, we can bring it back, even update it with current information.”
“…Do you have the Fire Star?” asked Donkey Kong. “Because we’ve got the other three Elemental Stars.”
“They could touch them safely as well,” recalled Terraxila. “Given that a few of them just discovered that they could use the elements, I’d say that explains why.”
“But that was an accident,” replied Andrew.
“Perhaps,” remarked Ignisarix, “but accidents like that tend to show that you have the affinity towards the Elements.”
“So, what, that means we can use the elements like you?” asked Daisy.
“That’s part of the meaning,” answered Ventarix. “The other part is that each of you can use all four elements.”
“…All four of them?” repeated Peach.
“But, first, we need to fix the book,” declared Ignisarix. He then pulled out a red star. “Now, we need to find the rest.”
“Not really,” countered Rosalina as the Heroes pulled out the other Elemental Stars.
“Then repairs will be made,” chuckled Ignisarix. The Elemental Stars were given to the Knights and they took the ruined book in their hands.
“With this spell declared,” the Knights chanted, “let this knowledge be repaired!” The stars then glowed a bright white as they orbited the book, taking it high into the air and making it glow. The lights then combined and glowed brighter than ever. The light then died down and the book was looking much better as it floated down. The cover was brown with gold trim and each of the Elemental Stars laid into it.
“All fixed and updated,” declared Terraxila.
“So, what’s next?” asked Luigi.
“We read,” answered Rosalina as she opened the book and read it aloud. “‘Water, earth, fire, air. Long ago, the four Elemental Princesses, masters of the elements, considered each other a friend and ruled the cosmos in harmony with each other. Then, everything changed when a Palndrani from the Fire Princess’ sector of space named Tatanga set his plan into motion and attacked! Planting lies in the heads of each Princess, he quickly sowed discord throughout the universe and started kidnapping other princesses, hoping to find the one that would grant him the power of the stars, thus giving him a direct path to the elements. Only a group of 18 Heroes, Masters of all four elements, could stop them. But, when the universe needed them most, they vanished. When the Princesses closed their borders, Tatanga neared victory. But, 31 years ago, he lost his chance and so pursued another plan.’”
“Mario, we met Tatanga 31 years ago,” reminded Daisy.
“Yeah,” recalled Mario. “I guess beating him back had more of an effect than I thought.”
“…You beat Tatanga back?!” yelped Ventarix.
“How?!” inquired Terraxila. “It would take an entire fleet to beat him back!”
“Well, if the story was right and he was looking for a princess that was blessed by the stars,” mused Daisy, “he got the wrong one. That’s Peach here. I was blessed AFTER that incident. He never showed his face until today.”
“Then he botched his original plan,” realized Ignisarix. “He’s desperate enough gaining the Elemental Grand Stars!”
“That’s not good,” gulped Rosalina before she continued reading. “‘The Princesses, as guardians of the most powerful of Elemental Stars, the Elemental Grand Stars, held power beyond what any mortal would dare dream of. They had all sworn to their respective parents to never let the Elemental Grand Stars come together unless in the direst of circumstances. Tatanga didn’t heed the warnings and launched a plan to bring the Elemental Grand Stars together to become the absolute ruler of all. He would have the power to do so as he is one of a few to learn how to use all four elements so quickly. Unfortunately, that is because his affinity for the elements is dark as he believes light to be too blinding.’”
“Dark can be just as bad,” remarked Diddy Kong.
“‘Only with the Heroes and the fully powered Knights of the Elements can restore balance to the universe,’” Rosalina read on, “‘but, after the Knights pleaded with the Princesses to restore contact with one another, they were exiled and their Armor Rings scattered across space. One may only hope that the Princesses will see sense.’ My friends, you were exiled?!”
“I’m sorry we didn’t tell you,” answered Terraxila, “but we had barely any resources when we were told to leave our sectors of space. We couldn’t scrounge up enough equipment to tell you.”
“I’m sorry that you had to suffer that way,” sympathized Rosalina. “If you want sanctuary, the Comet Observatory is more than welcome to have you.” That was when she got an idea. “…In fact, the Observatory may JUST be what we need to stop the Villains.”
“Rosalina, not to sound rude or anything,” interjected Luigi, “but, while it IS big, the Observatory isn’t exactly accommodating for all of us, especially with four new friends.”
“Wait a sec!” called Ventarix.
“Oh, yeah,” realized Rosalina. “Even if we added the Starship Mario, that’s still not enough for all of us.”
“All of us?!” repeated Ventarix.
“Come now, Rosalina,” remarked Aqualixar, “you didn’t think the Villains would force us to this place, would you?”
“Remember the Observatories you helped us build?” reminded Ignisarix.
“Of course!” realized Rosalina. “They can link up to the Comet Observatory and we can get star maps of each sectors’ galaxies!”
“Hang on!” argued Ventarix.
“And, with the Starship Mario,” offered Mario, “we can add more galaxies and have a bigger map of the universe!”
“You lot aren’t coming with us!” shouted Ventarix.
“Oh, yes they are!” argued Terraxila. “Their archenemies are working with Tatanga and the Red one has done battle with him once and survived! They ARE coming with us.”
“Let’s put it to a vote!” declared Ventarix. “All those in favor of getting this done without deadweight, say aye! Aye! All against?”
“Nay!” called her fellow Knights.
“Looks like we’re NOT leaving them behind!” remarked Ignisarix. Ventarix rolled her eyes.
“Then it’s settled!” declared Rosalina. “We shall unite the Observatories and the Starship Mario to act as our base of operations!” She waved her wand and the Heroes and Knights disappeared in a beam of light.
Ganondorf played a large pipe organ in the Villains’ main base of operations. He was really into playing his haunting music as he failed to notice Tatanga enter the room. He only stopped when he was tapped on the shoulder. “Ah, enjoying this?” Ganondorf asked. “It’s my own composition.”
“That fight was ridiculous and appalling!” snarled Tatanga. “You failed to stop the Heroes!”
“I fail to see the issue,” remarked Ganondorf as he took a chalice of a crimson liquid. “We destroyed the book AND ruined their only chance to get any advantage over us.”
“I destroyed the book,” corrected Tatanga as Ganondorf drank, “and the issue is that you failed to take the Elemental Stars! Now that book is repaired, and the Heroes most likely have a means of pursuing us across the universe! Ganondorf, I’m going to replace you!” Ganondorf spat out his drink at the news.
“You can’t replace me!” he spluttered. “I’m the only one worthy enough to be second in command!”
“Ganondorf, you have never been more wrong,” growled Tatanga. “Allow me to present your replacement, King Bowser Koopa!” Bowser then stomped in.
“How’s it hanging, Ganny?” laughed the Koopa King. “Looks like you’re taking orders from ME this time, not the other way around!”
“I have to take orders from this lout?!” protested Ganondorf.
“He DOES have a record of taking Power Stars,” replied Tatanga.
“They’re quite different from the Elemental Stars!” argued Ganondorf.
“Oddly enough, Power Stars can be found all over the universe,” answered Tatanga. “Heck, one of the Heroes uses Power Stars to fuel her Observatory. The Elemental Stars are nothing more than Power Stars that utilize the Elements.”
“And we’re already finding other Elemental Stars after a little tweaking of the sensors,” reported Bowser. “We’re ready to claim them.”
“Then let’s do so!” declared Tatanga. “Order our fleet to move out!”
“As you wish, Tatanga,” replied Bowser. As they moved to the door, Bowser couldn’t resist a parting shot towards Ganondorf. “Sorry, Ganny,” he chuckled, “but it’s time for someone with a little military know-how to lead us to victory.” He then left.
“…Mark my words, Koopa!” growled Ganondorf, “I WILL reclaim my rightful place as your master!”