The Gauntlet – Super Mario RPG Ep. 24

Welcome back to Save File Plays Super Mario RPG! Last episode, we took on Barrel Volcano. We took on a dragon, a dragon zombie, and a rip-off of the Power Rangers. We also managed to snag the 6th Star Piece! However… we just went through a SKY CASTLE and a VOLCANO. Now, where the heck butt could that last Star Piece be? I guess I should head back and see Mallow’s parents like I said I would.

MUSIC: Nimbus Land

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Turns out I forgot about this surprise chest. Whoops!

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It’s a Frog Coin. It’ll come in handy when I stock up for the last dungeon/battle.

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Mallow: Thank you so much! We were able to rescue my father with the key you gave us!
Guard: Don’t mention it… Besides, it was YOU, who actually rescued him!
Mallow: Good luck in the future!
Guard: Here, this is from me. Please, take it.

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Sweet. This is also the room that the King and Queen were locked in. Bowser should have just broken down the damn door.

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Queen Nimbus: Were you able to find the star, dear?
Mallow: Yeah. The Axem Rangers took it away from us, but… we got it back again!

He says that like she would know who they are… I mean, I had no idea until they introduced themselves.

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King Nimbus: I guess not… You’re… still… missing a piece, I take it.
Queen Nimbus: The last star… Wait! The only place left to look is in Bowser’s Keep!
Mallow: Yeah, we know. But… there’s no way to get in. Believe me, we’ve tried, but…

What? No, we haven’t. I went to Vista Hill ONCE back in episode 2, and haven’t even thought about that place once since. STOP SHOVING YOUR INTENTIONS DOWN MY THROAT, GAME.

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Queen Nimbus: That’s IT, dear! You should use the royal bus!
King Nimbus: Yes, Mallow, the time has come for you to take the bus! Why, when I was your age…
Mallow: Really?! Are you sure it’s all right?
Queen Nimbus: Of course, dear. I’ve ordered the repair man to have it fixed by the time you leave. You simply HAVE to help Mario and the others get that last star!

WHEN DID YOU DO THAT?! YOU’VE BEEN TALKING TO US THE ENTIRE TIME!! DID YOU JUST ASSUME WE’D BE BACK AND YOU COULD BE ALL “WHY DON’T YOU TAKE THE BUS?”

I’m having trouble suspending my disbelief here, is what I’m trying to get across.

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Well, all right, then.

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Let’s go check out this “royal bus.” Must not be very royal if it isn’t even capitalized.

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Mallow: We want to go to Bowser’s Keep… Could you give us a lift, please?
Guard: I’ve heard the story from King Nimbus. You’ll be there in no time! Here it comes, here it comes!

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Well, at least he has a sweet mustache.

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Driver: Oh, it’s purring like a kitten!
Guard: Could you take Prince Mallow to the entrance of Bowser’s Keep?
Driver: Of course! Can’t wait to get this thing running again! Come, Prince, hop on board.

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Wow. I guess… I guess that bus ride is REALLY exciting.

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Why are all of these people just randomly gathered on Vista Hill? How is this news getting out so quickly?

MUSIC: Bowser’s Keep

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Bowser: It’s so nice to be home! Smithy’s gonna pay for stealing my splendid castle from me!

Just for clarity’s sake, I’ve swapped out Geno and Mallow for Toadstool and Bowser. It just seems right, ya know? I mean, it’s BOWSER’S CASTLE. The main Mario cast should be here. Plus, there’s an added benefit to having Bowser in the party while you’re here…

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He makes a majority of the enemies run away. Sure, you miss out on the exp. and coinage, but it makes things move so much faster.

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Woo, Level 23!

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You know, I really HAVE been making it a point to fight every enemy I see, but…

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MY PATIENCE IS STARTING TO WEAR THIN.

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Some new enemies; the Gu Goomba is an upgraded Goomba, but by this point the party is so powerful, they may as well just be regular Goombas.  The Star Cruster is a tougher version of the Krusty from back in the Sunken Ship. It also isn’t intimidated by Bowser. SO THAT MEANS IT JUST GETS TO DIE INSTEAD OF RUNNING AWAY, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAA

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I feel I need to reiterate my point from wayyyyyy back in Episode 1 that rope bridges over lava do not seem like the brightest idea.

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They didn’t even replace this one properly!

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The room that we first encountered Toadstool and Bowser in so long ago is now filled with enemies.

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Tub-O-Troopas are the new Heavy Troopas. Same gimmick; high HP, high defense, and they need a turn before they attack. Like their predecessors, they never get to attack. They also don’t run away when Bowser is present. The smaller green-shelled Koopas, the Malakoopas, DO run away.

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Mario is now the one reaping the benefits of the Exp. Booster. So hopefully he’ll start catching up to Toadstool pretty quickly.

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The Forkies are the newly upgraded version of Jawful. Rather than sleeping, they start off enraptured, but once attacked, they come to their senses. They have access to some hard hitting single target spells like Storm or Blast. Alternatively, they might just stab you with their gigantic fork.

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This is an odd, poorly lit area. There are some enemies scattered about, as well as a chest with a healing Mushroom.

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Uhhhhhh… what? Croco? Mini-boss time?

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Croco: There’s plenty of danger up ahead, so it’s best to save now! You need anything? I’ve got some items to sell!

He… he really does. He sells common items, as well as the Fire Armor, for whatever reason. I don’t really understand his change of heart, but it’s awfully nice of him!

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I DON’T! But YOU might! So here’s the deal: there are 6 doors. 4 of them must be cleared to advance farther into the Keep. Behind 2 of the doors are a long string of battles, behind 2 others are “action” courses (platforming), and behind the other 2 are quizzes or minigames. You get a reward for each door you complete, but you can only do 4. If you want the last 2, you need to come back again and hope you get the other 2 doors. Because they’re arranged randomly. Hopefully I’ll get what I want, because you get some GOOD items for this.

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WHAT’S BEHIND DOOR #1???

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Oh, it’s a battle course. Hmm.

MUSIC: The Gauntlet

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Showing off Bowser’s last spell, Bowser Crush.

Look, it’s hard to make the battles exciting, I’m sorry 😦

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So I’m only going to show off new stuff. There will be a little, I promise.

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Mallow gains a NEW LEVEL. Ha. Ha. Ha.

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Five more levels until Mario is maxed out!

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NO more levels until Toadstool is maxed out! These are her endgame stats.

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A shaman is the last battle? Really?

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Oh.

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Geno reaches Level 24 after slaughtering the shamans.

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YES. WORTH IT. The Star Gun is Geno’s best weapon. I’ll show it off when I swap him back into the party.

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Aaaaaand… DOOR #2!!

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…DAMMIT!

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This is actually very tedious. I mean, I love Exp, but most of the enemies here aren’t even that great. They’re old enemies worth crap for Exp.

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This battle turns out a little interesting, at least…

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So… without any preventative equipment, my entire party got mushroom’d. I had no idea what to do, because the bees weren’t causing enough damage to match the auto-regen that being a mushroom gives you.

But it turns out…

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They just run away, apparently.

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Yay for levels!

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Now, I’m sure we all remember that Box enemies are weak to Jump, right?

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huh, I guess this one is a little tougher.

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He also coughs up a dragon names Bahamutt.

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Not Bad! We’ve also managed to snag Bowser’s best weapon.

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Well, next time, I’ll take on some of the other doors. I hope it turns out well.

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