Super Luigi Bros.
The Shaman of Shadows
1-6: The Greenhouse of Horrors!
“This is quite a find Luigi!” praised E. Gadd. “You’ve caught quite an old ghost here. Let’s hurry and store him!”
"Okie dokie, but what about the shadow spirit?” Luigi asked curiously.
“Not to worry, we can filter him out separately!” E. Gadd claimed with a chuckle. “Now, place the nozzle of the poltergust into the Ghost Container. I’ll Portrify Pumpkin Head later. For now, we deal with the shadow spirit!”
Luigi did as he was told and after all was said and done, Pumpkin Head was stored while the shadow spirit was extracted. The shadow spirit was ejected from E. Gadd’s machinery and projected onto the wall. It hopped around in a friendly manner in an attempt to communicate. As they were thinking about the situation, Luigi and the professor heard a knock at the door. “Yes? Merlon is that you?” E. Gadd asked.
The voice on the other side of the door was muffled, but it was indeed Merlon’s. “Yes, may we enter?” he asked loudly.
“Please, come in!” E. Gadd said as he opened the door.
Merlon and Merlessa walked in with a sense of urgency. “I knew I felt something strange!” Merlon claimed as he looked upon the shadow spirit. “That spirit is Mario’s Soul!”
“Great job retrieving it Luigi!” Merlessa congratulated.
“What do we do with it?” E. Gadd asked dumbfounded.
Luigi looked pale, “Yeah, m-my brother’s not... dead... is he?” he said trying to fight the thought.
Merlon chuckled, “No, no, not at all Luigi. He’s under Merloom’s curse.”
“We can’t understand him now, but I got just the thing for that!” Merlessa claimed with a wink. “I’m gonna need some help, so would the Three Musty Fears hiding in Luigi’s shadow please come out?”
Enchanted, the Three Musty Fears appeared and floated above Luigi’s head. “How may we assist you Merlessa?” Greaper asked politely.
“Ask the spirit if he’s willing to ‘haunt’ his brother,” Merlessa said with a quote, end quote expression with her fingers.
“Oh, I think I know where your going with this...,” Greaper said with a smirk. Greaper flew off and joined with the shadow of Mario. Mario’s shadow was still for a few moments until he emerged. “Yeah, he agrees with this he says he’s practically dying to help Luigi, but isn’t sure how.”
“Aww, he must really hate the position he’s in right now,” Dry Bones said with a chuckle.
“That’s brotherly love for ya!” Boo claimed.
“Good, that’s all I need to know,” Merlessa started as she turned to Luigi. “Luigi, stand in the light and project your own shadow so that it stands next to your brother’s.”
E. Gadd moved a lamp behind Luigi and his shadow stood next to Mario’s. Merlessa began a chant with her hands clasped together. A strange wind moved throughout the room and Mario’s shadow overlapped Luigi’s. E. Gadd was astounded, “Incredible, Luigi now casts his brother’s shadow instead of his own!”
Merlon chuckled, “And that’s not all, take a look!” he said as he pointed. Mario emerged as a three dimensional purplish being with glowing yellow eyes.
“Mama mia, what is this?!” said Mario’s shadow as it looked itself over.
Luigi jumped in fright, “Waah!” he screamed.
“Luigi calm down, it’s me Mario!” Mario said trying to calm his brother.
Luigi calmed down as soon as he realized Mario was really before him, “What happened, why do you look like that?” Luigi asked with obvious concern.
“Yes Mario, why don’t you fill us in?” E. Gadd asked with interest.
“We thought you were doomed when Merloom took your soul,” Merlon claimed.
Mario placed his hand underneath his chin, “Hmm, well it happened like this! Merloom tried to use that same tactic to steal Peach’s soul but the crystal ball was too full and it cracked. I was able to escape but Peach is still locked up in some large building with a lot pipes. As I got further away, I got cursed by that wizard and turned into a shadow spirit! All this time I’ve been looking for you Luigi so we could rescue Peach and get my body back!”
“I was hoping for more info, but Peach was there with you? Why?” Merlon asked curiously. “Merloom can’t do anything with her.”
“Oh yeah, and King Boo was there too, he seemed to be wanting something from Merloom!” Mario blurted out.
“KING BOO?!!” everyone shouted.
“Great Scott, King Boo, what dealings does he have with that wizard?!” E. Gadd said with a fright.
“I don’t know all the details, but it looks like they were going to make a trade,” Mario began. “He wanted Merloom’s Crystal Ball for something he called, ‘The Urn of Underland Valley Shadows’!”
Merlon, Merlessa and the Three Musty Fears spit in absolute fear over what they just heard. “The Urn of Underland Valley Shadows?!! If Merloom gets a hold of that artifact his power will increase one hundred fold!” Merlon claimed in fear.
“I knew he was always looking for something powerful, he must really want to undo the prophecy of the Green Thunder!” Merlessa. “He was always paranoid about prophecies!”
“Well, the King of all Boo’s would be the one to ask about that,” said Boo in terror.
“Why does King Boo want Merloom’s Crystal Ball?” Greaper asked bluntly.
Everyone went silent as they had no answer as to why the King of all Boo’s would want a wizard’s crystal ball. Merlon spoke up, “Nevertheless, we’re now running out of time!” he claimed with a sense of urgency. “It’s time to take down the Rag Hag, Luigi! I suggest taking time to visit Merlicity and buying some things before taking her on. Just as a precaution, you know.”
“Okie dokie!” Luigi claimed strongly.
“One thing before you go!” Merlessa said. “Mario, you can help Luigi by interacting with the environment in a number new of ways. I’ll brief you as you go along, but for now just get to the Greenhouse and I’ll do the rest!”
“Thank you!” Mario said as he and the Three Musty Fears retreated into Luigi’s shadow.
Luigi then paid a visit to Merlicity and seen that her shelves were stocked with magical goods, not all things Luigi could use, but they were neat nonetheless. “Ah, what great timing! I’ve just finished taking inventory! So what can I get you handsome?” she asked with a coy tone.
Luigi searched the shelf and found a special green shell, “Perfect, a Noknok Shell!”
“Ah, yes, the Noknok Shell is an enchanted Koopa Shell that returns to its user after being kicked around. It’s perfect for long range combat!” Merlicity explained. Luigi took the shell and he then decided to head to Jinx’s Dojo for some pointer’s on the Noknok Shell.
“The Noknok Shell, is pretty straightforward!” said Jinx straightforwardly. “Aim it at your target and give it a good kick! The enchantment on it will always have it return to you, so kick it as hard as you like! Hmm, now that you have enough weapons and skills, I can teach you how to combine them with the Vibes. Would you like to learn about that?”
“Yes, please!” Luigi urged.
“Fantastic, as you know already, the Thunderhand can be combined with the Rage Vibe, but not the others. This lesson teaches you that your brother’s hammer can be combined with the Gloom Vibe. You’ll be able to throw a fit of flailing hammer swings under that effect! Let’s give it a try!” Jinx said enthusiastically.
“Okie dokie!” Luigi said as he took out the Vibe Shroom and bit into it until he felt sad and gloomy. Tears of sorrow leaked down his cheeks as he took out the hammer and felt like doing nothing more than swinging it in a fit. “Baaah boo hoo!” he screamed as nearly flattened Jinx.
Jinx managed to narrowly avoid the flurry of strikes, “Hey, watch it with that thing will ya! Let’s just move on to the next lesson!” he said flustered.
Luigi sniffled as he paused and took a bite of the Clarity Shroom and his mood became normal. “Huh, I didn’t know I had that in me!” he said.
“Fine, fine, ahem, now this next lesson we’ll combine the Joy Vibe with the Noknok Shell! So go ahead and change your mood!” Jinx instructed.
Luigi did as he was told until he was Joyful. He then took out the Noknok Shell and gave it a kick as Jinx suggested. It was enveloped by a whirlwind as it bounced wildly around the room. “Wahoo!” Luigi cheered.
Jinx also avoided this move narrowly as Luigi caught the shell and returned his mood to normal. “Oh my stars, was that ever close!” Jinx said as he wiped sweat from his brow.
“Ahem, well then, finally your High Jump skill can combine with the Calm Vibe to slow your descent in the air as well as make opponents you land on sleepy and pass out! Give it a try!” Jinx explained.
Luigi followed Jinx’s instructions and he became calm and drowsy. He then let out a big yawn as he crouched and High Jumped to the ceiling. He gently floated back down all while scuttling his feet. Jinx freaked out as he noticed Luigi was going to land on him. “Hey now, wait...!” he said as he was cut off by Luigi stomping on him.
Jinx stumbled around feeling drowsy, “I’m’ma gonna... lay down for a while... that’s all for today...,” he finished as he collapsed onto his futon and passed out with a heavy snore. Luigi returned himself to normal and thanked Jinx and with his mind set, he went outside, took out the Warp Whistle and returned to Mage Land.
*The Haunted Greenhouse*
Luigi appeared at the end of the trail leading from the Pumpkin Gorge and as he gazed just slightly further up the trail, he could see a massive gloomy Greenhouse standing on a cliff overlooking the Forest of the Druids. It was a long and rectangular building with a domed center and a small patio that extended from the dome section. “Here we go!” both Luigi and Mario said in unison.
Luigi trotted up to the entrance and seen it was blocked by a Calm Door. So he took out the Vibe Shroom and took bites until he was calm. He sighed with a breath of calmness and the door echoed him and creaked open. He then entered the Greenhouse with his flashlight lighting his way. Inside, Luigi was astounded by the spaciousness of it. There were rows of plants that were grown for whatever purpose the Rag Hag needed. Luigi proceeded through until he reached the big door at the back of the room. He grabbed the handle, but found it locked. He then heard a rustling behind him as every plant in the room shivered.
The room then suddenly filled up with the same Pumpkin Piranhas he fought in the Gorge. Mario’s shadow emerged, “Let’s go, give’em a good whack with that Noknok Shell Luigi!” suggested Mario.
Luigi changed his vibe to Joy and took the Noknok Shell. A cyclone wrapped around the shell and it hit multiple targets as it rebounded off walls and other targets. This made clearing rooms filled with offenders much easier and timely. Luigi then sucked up any ghosts left behind until one dropped a key. He took the key and the lights turned on and all the plants crumbled into dried dust. “Oh yeah!” said both Mario Bros.
Before Luigi could move, a rumbling shook the ground beneath his feet and the dirt floor opened into a sink hole. Luigi shouted in fear as he descended and landed with a loud thud. He landed in a muddy pit with water leaking in from an ancient pipeline. As he regained his senses, he seen a worn hole in the wall in front of him. “Mama mia, that was some fall!” Luigi moaned.
Mario materialized and tapped on Luigi’s shoulder, “Hey bro, get a load of this! This pipe to our left... must connect to the well where that Pumpkin Head ghost was. This place is pumping in water from that well. Let’s see where it leads!” he suggested.
“Okie dokie!” Luigi agreed. “But first...,” he went on as he poked his eyes down the hole in the wall. The long dirt hole revealed a darkened room that was hard to see into. However, what Luigi did manage to see, spooked him. He made out moving plant-like shadows that seemed to belong to a large plant. “Calamitous clam sauce...,” he said in quiet astonishment.
Greaper appeared to the left of Luigi’s face, “I’ll bet that’s the Rag Hag’s current experiment. I say we kill that plant. It may draw her out of hiding!”
“Oh yeah!” Luigi agreed with a nod. Luigi then jumped up to the wall and began Wall Kicking back and forth until he made it back to the surface. He then used the key he obtained to open the door.
This room was the main room to the greenhouse. It was circular and built up to look like a flower garden. Only this garden had chipped and worn statues of wizards and the plants were overgrown and unkempt. At the center of the room stood a circular fountain with a large obelisk standing in the center. Strange red water poured like a waterfall in front of the obelisk and into the fountain. “What’s with this fountain?” Boo asked rhetorically as he appeared.
“It looks like blood, but its much too thin to be blood,” Luigi deduced with a sigh of relief.
“It must be fertilizer she’s using!” Mario guessed. “Let’s turn off her irrigation system! I have a hunch we’ll find the off switch in the basement!”
With that, Luigi noticed a door on the left side of the room and another door opposite of it. The door on the left side of the building was locked but the door to the right was a Rage Door. Luigi changed his mood to Rage and approached the door and growled fiercely and the door deeply echoed him and opened.
Inside was a dimly lit room that was lit with a strange unnatural black light. Luigi was chilled at the many strange large flowers that were planted in the dirt carrying crates. The crates held one of these massive flowers and were arranged in a way that made the room a maze. Strangely, the rectangular room was filled with this one type of flower. “I wonder what type of flower this is?” Luigi thought out loud. “They look dangerous, I would refrain from touching them...,” Dry Bones suggested.
“Good idea...,” Luigi agreed as he started moving through the maze. Menacing Gold Ghosts and Hanging Ghosts appeared occasionally to spook Luigi and make his trip cumbersome. He dealt with the ghosts carefully as he passed each flower. Strangely, each flower twitched and shivered slightly as he passed them. As he progressed he found blocks that contained coins as well as other treasures hidden in the dead ends. Eventually, he came to the end of the strange maze and found himself at a large water pipe that was churning away. It was the main pipe that connected to the sprinklers above the strange flowers.
“All right Luigi, let’s do what plumbers do best!” Mario said with a thumbs up.
“You got it bro!” Luigi said as he approached the main valve.
As Luigi placed his hands on the valve, he was immediately spooked by two hanging ghosts that dropped down on both his right and left flanks. After the initial shock of being spooked, Luigi retaliated with his flashlight and sucked up the two spooks. This caused the lights in the room to come on and the strange black light to go out. A key dropped from the ceiling stalking ghosts and Luigi picked it up. Luigi then wiped the sweat from his brow and turned the valve. However, the valve would not stay put. “What the? I wonder what went wrong?” he thought out loud as he inspected the pipe more. He then found a secondary valve that was further down the pipe. So, he tried to turn that one as well. Unfortunately, this one too, returned to its normal state.
Luigi tapped his foot in confusion, that is, until Merlessa contacted him in his mind, “Luigi, this is the type of moment where your brother is going to have to help you! Let me explain! Your brother is a shadow spirit that can interact with objects in the physical plane, but he cannot touch living beings. All you need to do is have a light on in the room and cast your brother onto a nearby plane. Then all Mario needs to do is interact with whatever is outside your reach! Go ahead, give it a try. I can see both those valves through your eyes and I’ll just bet they both need to be turned at once!” she explained.
“Crazy wizard architecture!” Luigi said with a shrug as he stood against the valve that was closest to the light. Mario then took over and cast himself onto the wall. He then grabbed the other valve and the two both turned the valves until a satisfying click could be heard. Both valves locked in place and the water stopped running. “All right, we did it bro!” Luigi cheered.
“We’re one step closer Weeg!” Mario encouraged.
Luigi about faced and proceeded to the flower maze only to find the plants moving slightly as if waiting for something. These plants were active now that the lights were on and they didn’t seem happy that heir water source was turned off. They resembled Crazee Dayzees, but their petals were dark red and their eyes were dilated and had a pin prick size red pupil deeply set in those black eyes.
Greaper stopped Luigi in a panic, “Don’t get near these. There’s a sign here that tells us what these are. It’s written in the Mage Land characters, but I can read it,” he warned as he read the sign. Greaper read, “Mayzee Dayzee, Warning, getting to close will result in immediate mauling followed by death!”
Boo appeared and shied away from the Mayzze Dayzze’s long blank stare and creepy smile. “Uh, let’s get outta this room, like now! Do you see any alternate routes to take?”
Luigi looked around the room and gazed at the sprinklers above. “Yep, I have an idea!” Luigi said confidently as he High Jumped to the pipes above. Every Mayzee Dayzee in the room followed him with their creepy gaze. Luigi then began to balance himself as he carefully walked back to the door.
Some time passed as Luigi was almost home free. He nearly slipped a couple of times and when he thought he was going to fall, the Mayzee Dayzees would shiver in anticipation. Luckily, Luigi made it back and left the room.
As he passed by the fountain, Luigi could see it had not changed. He quickly pressed on and unlocked the other door and entered. Inside was a room filled with little black piranha plants. “Mama mia Mario, would you look at all the Munchers!” Luigi said astonished.
“Mama mia, I’ve seen pipes with lesser clogs!” Mario pointed out.
Dry Bones appeared at Luigi’s right, “So, what will you do now Mr. Green? This particular breed can’t be harmed by a whole lot of things.”
“Hmm,” Luigi pondered as he inspected the room carefully. “Let’s see, the walls and ceiling are clear, made of glass, but the floor have these little guys planted very neatly along nearly every inch of the surface. The pipes of the irrigation system are close to the walls and stand vertically as well as horizontally. Hey bro, I think its time we try that new technique we have been working on!” Luigi said with a clenched fist.
“Huh, but Luigi, you have a harder time with that move than me!” Mario protested. “Your shoes are so bald on the bottom, how can you be sure you won’t slip up?”
“It’ll be fine bro, as long as I can build up enough speed I should be okay!” Luigi reassured.
“That’s right, Luigi is a better runner than me and has more stamina and durability, but I still worry. It’s only going to take one slip with those cruddy shoes of his!” Mario thought hoping his brother would be fine.
Luigi, made a mad dash from the door and headed straight for the open left wall. “Behold, the Mario brothers new technique! The Wall Dash!” he shouted with a jump to the wall. Like a ninja, Luigi ran vertically across the wall while leaving his left hand to skim the wall for extra balance. Just before Luigi began to lose his footing, he spin jumped to the vertical pipe and clung to it like a fireman’s pole. “Yes, Luigi got it!”
“Nice one, Weeg!” Mario cheered. “And here I thought we weren’t ready for that one yet!”
Luigi gave his brother a thumb’s up with a chuckle and then began changing positions on the pipe. He jumped from the pipe and used the thin sprinkler pipe running along the ceiling like a pair of monkey bars. He then swung from that pipe to another vertical pipe. From that vertical pipe, Luigi faced the right wall and jumped to it. Upon reaching it, he rebounded with a Wall Kick and then Scuttle Jumped to safety on the other side of the room. Luigi gave himself a cheer for a job well done and Mario cheered along with him. There cheering however, was cut short as a large blue ghost appeared. Luigi howled in fright and by reflex flashed his Thunderhand which stunned it. He then promptly sucked it up and the lights came on. The door behind the ghost was a Joy Door. Luigi changed his Vibe and entered the door. It was a stairwell to the basement.
The basement was very dark, so much so, that nothing was visible. Luigi shined his flashlight and he could see nothing but pipelines and massive vines. Gulping with anticipation, he followed the vines to the source. His eyes widened with fear as the light revealed a massive version of a Pumpkin Piranha. “Oh no, a ‘Pumpking’ Pirahna!” Luigi joked with a moan as it opened its fiery eyes.
“Luigi, let’s smash that overgrown squash!” Mario said confidently.
“Here I go!” Luigi said as his waist was grabbed by a vine. “Uh-oh!” he gasped as he was tossed across the room and collided with a strange machine. Luigi shook it off and turned around to get a good look at what he collided with. “Mario look, it’s the machine that controls the environment in this place!”
“Hmm, let’s mess with it!” Mario suggested with a grin.
The massive monster shined Luigi with his fiery colored emissions from its eyes and mouth. This allowed Mario to be projected as a shadow spirit onto the machine behind Luigi. “Keep him busy, Weeg! I’m gonna tinker with this thing!” Mario instructed. The machine began making strange noises as Mario began to interact with it.
The Pumpking Piranha lashed out at Luigi with one of its huge roots. Thankfully, Luigi caught the massive vine and held on tight. “Just make it quick bro! I can’t hold on to this forever!” Luigi said hurriedly.
“Got it, I think this thing is a dehumidifier of sorts!” Mario said as the machine began to glow. The damp air began to change instantly. The machine then began to vibrate and shake violently. “Oh no, I overloaded it, take cover Weeg!” Mario warned.
Before Luigi could react, the Pumpking Piranha lifted him up and swallowed him whole all while making a satisfied moan. Unfortunately for him though, the atmosphere control machine began to dehydrate the room at an accelerated rate until finally, it ruptured and exploded releasing a massive heat wave into the room. When it cleared, the lights came on and the room was dryer than a desert and the Pumpking Piranha was a dried husk. It turned into a dried gourd. The dried husk then burst open as Luigi emerged. “Hmm, that was strange, but it seemed to have worked!” he said happily as the lights came on.
“Are you all right, bro?” Mario asked worriedly.
“A little parched, but I’m fine, now where’s that irrigation pump?” Luigi asked rhetorically as he looked around. Luigi did a 180 degree turn and found a massive pump-like machine with all sorts of pipelines leading to it and from it. “Bingo, jackpot!” he laughed. He approached the machine and turned the master valve off and then proceeded to break it off. “That should do it Mario!” he said with a thumbs up.
“Right, now let’s head back and see what that all changed!” Mario suggested with curiosity.
Back in the main room, the waterfall completely stopped and revealed a massive painting. The painting was of a huge beautiful tree in the center of a meadow that was by extension surrounded by a thick forest. “A painting? I was hoping something else was going to happen!” Luigi said distressed.
“Not so fast bro, this painting looks a lot like the one’s that were in Peach’s Castle!” Mario analyzed. “I’m betting, we can enter this painting and it’ll lead us straight to the Rag Hag!”
Luigi snapped his fingers, “All right, Luigi do it!”
Greaper and the rest of the Fears appeared behind them, “Be careful with the Rag Hag Luigi, I sense some strong spiritual energy from within that painting!” Greaper warned.
“Well she is a ‘master’ Druid after all. What did you expect?” Boo followed.
“Let’s mosey, I really wanna see why she’s called ‘The Rag Hag’!” Dry Bones urged.
“Okie dokie! Let’s go!” the Mario Bros. said in unison as Luigi rushed into the painting with a long jump. Sure enough, the painting reacted like someone jumping into a pool. When the waves settled the picture changed from its serene look to one of death.
*The Rag Hag’s Lair*
Luigi dropped from te sky, landing hard on the mushy dirt. Luigi looked around but could see nothing but lush thick grass and a massive tree that stood before him. In the distance a wizard was chanting and dancing at the base of the tree. “Weeg, that must be the Rag Hag! Let’s go give her a taste of pasta power!” Mario said eagerly.
“Let’s go!” Luigi followed as he dashed up to the wizard.
The wizard stopped her chanting and dancing in an instant and turned to face the brothers. Her appearance was strange in comparison to what they’ve encountered so far. She didn’t appear to be zombified at all and was quite stunning. Her cherry blossom colored hair framed her face with two plush tassel-like sideburns and her bangs nearly covered her glowing yellow eyes. She wore the traditional green robes that all other druids wore alongside a white and pink colored kimono styled garment underneath the open robes. Finally, she wore a crystal ball around her neck that was made from amber.
“Oh, hello, who are you and... how did you find me here?” she asked in a gentle manner.
Luigi scratched his head underneath his cap, “Hmm, um, do you happen to know of a druid called ‘The Rag Hag’?”
“Rag Hag...?” she asked as she shot Luigi a scowl. “Is that what they are calling me now? What a boorish and rude nickname! I may use ragweed in many spells but I am by no means a ‘hag’! My name is Merlana!”
The voice of Dry Bones whispered, “This is the Rag Hag? I thought she was supposed to be butt-ugly!”
Mario stretched himself over Luigi’s shoulder to get a closer look at her. He wore a slight mocking expression, “Your pretty..., but your no Princess Peach!” said Mario with a shrug. The Rag Hag gave him a quizzical stare.
“Mario I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know who Peach is...,” Luigi said embarrassed.
“Ahem, either way you’re the one responsible for making a mess of the forest outside aren’t you?” Mario accused.
“Mess? Excuse me, but I am arranging that forest into a much nicer assortment of plants!” Merlana replied harshly.
“Trust me lady, you and I have completely different ideas when it comes to beauty!” Luigi snarked.
“Yeah, and me and my bro here have come by to stop what you and your master, Merloom are doing!” Mario boasted.
Merlana was now agitated, “Eh, my beloved Merloom?! You intend to fight us?! Humph, I try to make the forest beautiful and everyone has a hissy fit! I should have known a couple of 8-bit lunk heads like you could never appreciate what I’ve done! It looks like I’ll have to explain it to you! You see this wonderful tree behind me? It’s a wonderful tree called ‘The Tree of Life’! It’s the main flower in my arrangement. When you choose flowers for an arrangement you must have a main one that others compliment! This tree requires a massive amount of nutrients to grow to full potential so I’ve been feeding it the fertile nutrients from the Forest of the Druids. The forest may die as a result but it’ll make a perfect arrangement. Just think about it! The entire forest dies and then it surrounds the Tree of Life at the very center, creating a magnificent contrast between life and death! Ho, ho, ho, ho---!” she laughed haughtily while placing her hand over her mouth.
Mario paused for a second and gazed upwards at the tree. He then faced Merlana with a rather blank expression. “Your tree’s ugly...,” Mario said bluntly.
“W-w-w-w-whaaat!” cried out Merlana. “How dare you-! What would you two know about flowers?! What are you guys anyway? You look like garbage disposal slaves!”
“Well, we’re not slaves, but removing clogs of garbage is kinda something we are good at!” Mario said with a grin. “And that’s why we’re here! You see that man behind me? My little bro. He’s gonna stomp you into the afterlife!”
“Come again?!” Luigi said astonished. “Bro, what are doing?”
Mario came close to Luigi and whispered to him, “Relax bro, I’m talking you up! She’ll be shaking in her shoes in no time!”
Before Mario could instigate anymore, Merlana was already boiling, “So..., you think your such hot stuff? Well then, let’s play a little game!” Merlana said as she whipped out eight magical cards. She approached a stump and placed the small deck onto it. “You know, we wizards use a lot of cards in our spells. Well, let’s try your luck! I’m going to pick four cards and so will you. After that, the game will begin and I will eliminate you with the power that’s imbued into each card!”
Luigi approached the stump while Mario whispered to him, “Ha, see, gambling is another strong suit of yours Luigi, you got this!” he encouraged.
Merlana shuffled the cards quickly and then laid them out on the stump in two rows of four. “I’ll go first and pick a card. You pick one after me. We’ll take turns until we each have four in our hands. Then you may use the power of each card in any order you choose but only after the other has made their play! I’ll pick this one!” she explained as she picked up a card.
Luigi tried to find a weakness in her expression but her cold eyes did not budge. Luigi chose a card and Merlana followed immediately. Luigi carefully chose another card. Merlana wasted no time in choosing her next card. Luigi chose carefully between the three last cards and Merlana wasted no time choosing her final card. The last card automatically went to Luigi out of process of elimination.
Merlana began laughing lowly with her head down as Mario and Luigi looked at the cards they got. “Did you get anything good?” Mario asked as he looked over his brother’s shoulder.
Luigi held all four cards in his hand, “Hmm, a Mini Mushroom, a 1-Up Mushroom, a Poison Mushroom and... a plain Mushroom?” he said strangely.
“That’s not too bad, what do you think Luigi?” Mario said confidently.
Luigi sighed, “I think I got every card she wanted me to have...”
Merlana floated backwards even while still giggling, “You are so right, Green Man, and now I’m gonna feed you to my flora! My first card is... the Ghost Shroom!” she said holding the magic card up to Luigi. In an instant flash of light, Ghost Shrooms came by the dozen and began speeding after Luigi.
“Wah! Oh wait, Ghost Shrooms!” Luigi said as he pointed the nozzle of the Poltergust downward and began sucking up the Ghost Shrooms one by one. This strategy worked until one of them bounced off of another and bit down hard on Luigi’s arm. “Yeow! Why you little-!” he cursed as he wildly sucked up the rest of the Ghost Shrooms. Merlana was slack jawed at what just happened. Luigi took the plain Mushroom card out of his pocket, “Let’s use this to clear up those flesh wounds!” he smiled as the card produced a Mushroom. Luigi happily munched it down.
Merlana smiled evilly, “Ha, this exchange is over..! Huh...?” she paused in bewilderment.
“That Mushroom tasted kinda funny, but it still did the trick all right!” Luigi smiled.
“Why, what’s going on? You were supposed to become a Mushroom when you ate that!” Merlana said in distress.
“Huh, I thought that Mushroom tasted funny!” Luigi said irately. “But I’m wearing a Trueform Badge, so my shape doesn’t change!” he said pointing to the badge that was pinned to his overalls.
“You sneaky little sewer rat!” Merlana cursed as she stamped the ground with her feet.
Luigi took the opportunity to take a bit from the Vibe Shroom until he became enraged. He then lunged at Merlana with the Raging Thunderhand and began to pummel her into the ground. When he took a moment to catch his breath she was buried underneath the soil. As expected she rose from the dirt seething with anger, “Fine let’s see you try that again!” she threatened.
Luigi was more than angry enough to comply as he took another lunge at her. She summoned the power of her next card and Luigi was repelled via a lightning strike from Merlana’s body. “What the..?!” Luigi shouted as he tumbled backwards.
“Ha, taste the electric shield from my Volt Shroom! Those electric attacks of yours can’t even touch me now, no matter how angry you are!” Merlana explained while laughing boastfully.
Luigi cleared his head with the Clarity Shroom. “Okay then, let’s see you enjoy your own medicine!” he said as he held up the Poison Mushroom card. It produced a sickly purple mushroom that headed straight for Merlana.
“I was hoping you’d use that one, sorry but it won’t work on me!” Merlana said as she held up another one of her cards. “I don’t know how you managed to find a Vibe Shroom and the Clarity Shroom, but I’ve decided that you don’t deserve such things, so I’m taking it away from you! Go, Reverse Mushroom!” she bellowed.
The light teal mushroom emerged from its card and collided with the Poison Mushroom and Luigi freaked out. The Poison Mushroom now began chasing Luigi down. Once he gained enough distance however, he turned on it and began to suck it up with his Poltergust. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a bad decision as it burst into spores upon being squashed by the nozzle. Luigi was smothered by the spores of poison. “Oh, no, Luigi!” Mario shouted in terror.
Merlana laughed, “No matter how strong you are you can’t train your organs and the poison of that mushroom will cause those to liquify! So you’d better do something before that happens!”
Mario attempted to retaliate by swinging his fists in the air angrily, but he couldn’t get very far from Luigi. Luigi pulled out the 1-Up Mushroom card fully knowing that Merlana was expecting him too. “Bottoms up!” Luigi said as he swallowed the life giving mushroom. In an instant, he felt the poison clear from his body and his strength restored to a degree.
“I don’t get it Weeg, why give you the 1-Up?” Mario asked quizzically.
“My guess is... the undead can’t use them and since she made me use it so soon, I’m guessing she thinks her last card is her trump card!” Luigi deduced.
“Well get ready bro cause I think she’s up to bat!” Mario warned.
Indeed, Merlana held forth her last and finally card and it was the worst one possible for Luigi. It was a Mega Mushroom. Merlana devoured the shroom and she began growing several times her original size. “Oh no..., one stomp from that and I’m doomed!” Luigi said as he took off running.
“Run, run, run little human!” Merlana taunted.
Luigi held up the Mini Mushroom card in disgust, “How is this supposed to help me now? Even if her power runs out she can still stomp me in one blow if I use this!” he thought.
Luigi ran around the meadow as fast as he could while being chased by Merlana until he passed the stump again. Mario caught his brothers attention by tapping Luigi on the shoulder, “Luigi, use the Mini Mushroom! There’s a hole in that stump!”
“Well, I don’t have any other choice!” Luigi said as he used the card and swallowed the Mini Mushroom. He shrunk down to a fraction of his size and entered the hole in the stump.
Merlana rose her foot over the stump, “Hide if you want it makes no difference!” she said as she stomped on the stump. It was pressed into the ground like a cork into a bottle.
Luigi fell into a small tunnel that led underground and eventually into a small cave with two ‘?’ Blocks and a new block he hasn’t seen before in his travels through Mage Land.
The block was a red colored ‘!” Block. Boo materialized, “Hey, doesn’t that block have the same ‘!’ as the switch in that Switch Palace you pressed? Let’s hit it and see what goodies we find!” he laughed giddily.
Merlana began shrinking down to her original size, “Well, that was fun, I needed a break. As I said though, they are now fertilizer for my tree.”
As Merlana finished her sentence, the ground began to rumble and the stump began rising from the ground. Merlana gasped in terror as the ground erupted with green colored flames. Luigi emerged from the ground with green overalls, white cap and undershirt. He held a green fireball that was the size of a basketball on his right index finger. “Playtime is over Merlana...,” Luigi said with a now determined expression glued to his face.
“Good going bro! Fire Luigi is just what the doctor ordered!” Mario encouraged strongly.
Merlana rose to her feet, seething, “A Fire Flower? I thought I got rid of those nasty little weeds! Well it doesn’t really matter. Fine, I guess playtime is indeed over. You want to see my master druid magic? Then I’ll show it to you!” she said as she began to show her true colors.
“No matter what, this will be over in a flash!” Luigi said cheerfully as he clenched the fireball in his hand, causing it to emit through his fingers.
Merlana released her true power and both her and the environment changed drastically. Merlana herself now showed her undead state and her tree was now a sickly shade of grey with blood red leaves. The grass beneath their feet vanished and the ground cracked it became so dry. Dry Bones’s voice was filled with excitement, “Ohh, there we go! She now fits her nickname!”
“Now you’ll see the beauty of my arrangement!” Merlana howled malevolently. She chanted a spell, “Sun Flash!” she announced as several thin beams came from the sky.
“No problem, Pumpkin Head had a spell just like this!” Luigi said as he effortlessly dodged the beams and volleyed fireballs through the chaos. Merlana screamed in horror as she was engulfed in green flames.
She quickly put herself out and growled in anger. “How can a human deal this kind of damage?!” she said astounded. “I think you need to slow down! Or better yet, since you love to run so much, why don’t you try this spell on for size! Amber Splash!” she chanted. She expelled a massive glob of amber sap from her mouth.
Luigi didn’t have time to dodge the unpredictable attack and he was covered in the sweet sticky sap. “Eww, gross!” Luigi cringed. Then, Luigi instantly heard a buzzing noise come from above him, “What’s that?!” he said looking up. A swarm of infatuated Buzzers emerged from the tree’s canopy to come after Luigi.
Merlana continued to chant as enemies grew from the ground. Plant creatures sprung up all around. An army consisting of artichoke-like creatures named Artichokers, carrot-like creatures with faces like a Halloween jack-o-lantern called Carriboscis, stump-like creatures called Stumpets and the Pumpkin Piranha’s from earlier swarmed the field en masse. “Weeg, whack those Stumpets with your fireballs, they explode with a Backfire technique that destroys everything around it when you do that!” Mario claimed.
“Luigi do it!” he replied. Luigi jumped into the air and fired fireballs at the Stumpets. They began exploding like volcanoes and the other creatures also caught fire. Luigi then began dodging the Buzzers and retaliating with fireballs.
Luigi defeated all of Merlana’s summons, “What is this?! Why is this happening?” Merlana said in distress. “Stay away from me!” she panicked as she began summoning waves of poisonous thorns like the one’s Pumpkin Head used.
Luigi jumped and leaped over these walls of thorns. Luigi then went for the Vibe Shroom in his pocket, but when he pulled it out he noticed it had wilted into a Dried Shroom. The Shroom of Clarity also dried out. “Oh, no! The Poison Mushroom must have destroyed them! So that’s what she meant when she said she would take them from me...” Luigi thought sadly. “I guess I have to finish this with fire!”
Merlana grew desperate, “That does it! Only my finest spell will place an end to you! Get ready..., for my Celestial Force spell! It is the most powerful spell we druids use!” she finished as she began chanting with her wrinkled hands in the air. Luigi rushed toward her, “It’s useless! You can’t dodge this!” she threatened as she completed her chant.
Luigi smiled as he tightened his legs for a High Jump. Just as Merlana unleashed a powerful wave of multicolored energy, Luigi unleashed his High Jump and leaped over the massive wave as Merlana could only look on in awe as her best spell was wasted. As Luigi feel from the sky, he pointed his fingers downward and threw volleys of fireballs down on her. Her body was engulfed in flames as she cursed her bad luck.
When Luigi landed and his flames extinguished, Merlana slumped backward and she fell to her knees with her face to the sky. She was defeated, “I know who you are now..., you’re the Green Thunder aren’t you...? Who would have thought you would be human and not a wizard at all... Fine Green Thunder, I am defeated, I go willingly...,” she said with a new sense of sadness.
Luigi gave her a look of pity as he aimed the Poltergust at her. As he turned it on, Merlana’s body deteriorated until spirit and all was sucked into the vacuum. However, unlike any ghost he had vanquished before, a bright light erupted from the nozzle as what seemed like reality itself was being pulled into it. When it faded, Luigi opened his eyes and found himself back in the greenhouse. It was now filled with beautiful lush flora. Luigi smiled and left to go see the outside world. Sure enough, the Forest of the Druids had been restored. Luigi smiled as he looked at the bright fresh pumpkins, the healthy soil, and the full thick pine trees. Merlana’s cursed had been lifted.
*Back at the Druid Village*
“Thank you, sir, you have done us a most great favor! We are in your debt!” the Druid Elder claimed as he shook Luigi’s hand erratically with joy.
The entire village cheered for their new hero and Luigi wasn’t sure how to respond. Mario’s shadow appeared back to back with Luigi. “Do you see that bro? They’re cheering for you this time, not me. To be honest, I am a little jealous!” he chuckled.
The Elder turned to Luigi once more, “Good sir, I know you’re in a hurry, so we won’t keep you any longer. We can take care of things from here concerning Merloom. With the Rag Hag’s cursed lifted we can do our jobs and fight death with life. Good luck, Green Thunder...!” he said with tears in his eyes.
“Take care of yourselves!” Luigi said all teary eyed as he took out the Warp Whistle. With that he blew the whistle and headed back to Monstro Town.
*End of Chapter*