Posted by: Smash Daddy | July 24, 2010

The Fall of MYM ~ Plorf

CHAPTER I DENIAL

A red sun falls over a distant land; the nation of Mym, previously basking in glorious victories at battle and technological advancements that put it ahead of competitors the world over, was being invaded. In their bid to capture the heart of the country, the invading force has somehow able to overthrow several of the well-defended cities surrounding the capital with little effort. Now, they were tumbling through on their way to the grand Sandbag Palace, making short work of the previously God-conquering armies. As they watch in horror as their kingdom falls, two old leaders recall the past, wondering how such a misfortune could have become in the Mym, so precious to their hearts.

A golden palace is shown, elevated above a grotesquely large city landscape, covered in hamlets and towns – most of which burning, smoking and general disarray dominates the streets. The camera pans to reveal a small balcony at the very centre of a tower in this, the Sandbag Palace – behind two shadowed figures, there is an emblem of a sandbag. One figure walks out of the dark coverings and into dawn’s deadly red sunlight; MASTER WARLORD flashes across the screen. Covered in Viking-inspired gear, sporting a metal helmet, wide body type and giant axe held in one hand, he grasps the stone-constructed balcony hard enough to cause apparent cracks. He talks solemnly, away from the still-shadowed figure next to him.

“What is the point of such invasion? A peaceful nation, we are! In our bid for the end of the sordidness of war, have we become so complacent to allow this tragedy?” He turns to the more slender, enigmatic male next to him. “Speak, damn it!”

The figure responds. “Yes, quite.” Out of the shadows he comes – KING K. ROOL flashes across the screen. He walks next to Master Warlord, who is now turned to face him. “They soon will be at the castle gates,” he calmly states, clad in his green, Robin Hood-like costume, full with a mask to cover his face, “we meet our deaths personally, or wait for God to strike us down on this balcony. This may be our last choice…” He laughs, “life is indeed too short, eh old chum?”

MW snarls at this comment. “Give up, you may, but I shall never let such vermin as this army control my country,” he starts to make his way back inside the palace, “follow if you have but an ounce of honour left, my friend.”As he leaves, several more figures appear at the side of the door – names flash constantly across the screen – ZASALAMEL, ENVY and ILLIDAN, all getting a frame or two of the cutscene. A door is heard to slam; K. Rool stays on the balcony, turning his attention back from where MW was standing to the chaos below him, as he serenely watches the gates being broken through and dozens of troops being slaughtered at once.

Now inside the palace, suited up with high-class decorations, structure and giant height similar to a cathedral, Warlord turns back to his three soldiers. “My dearest legion – you have surpassed duty, to my side you stayed despite your high pay and the known risk. Consider yourselves all brothers of mine.” All three nod conspicuously, Zasalamel raising a query.

“Sire, we may have waited too long to escape, we must hurry.” Envy jumps in.

“I would have left given the knowledge we’d be trapped in this death trap! With the courtyard a battleground, we can’t exactly sneak out the back. Any suggestions, boss?” Warlord sighs, cocking his head to the side as he hears rustling from the other end of the long hallway.

“First, we fend off these invaders.” The camera zooms in on his face, his teeth grinding together as he grips his axe. “I don’t care if they’re invincible, we shall tear the scourge to pieces!”

———-

Playable Sandbag: Master Warlord
Playable Characters: Envy, Illidan, Zasalamel
Stock: 1 (each)
Music: Normal Battle (FFX)

And so, we begin the first playable section of this story mode! This is a simple walk-off stage with no ceiling, with primids of various different types flooding in from both sides at various intervals – nothing not to simply scoff at with four stocks. To win, simply defeat sixty primids – they will eventually start to come in more constantly, but the number of regular primids will be heightened with the amount of sword, boom, scope, big, metal and fire types appearing one-out-of-five.

Mainly, this section is to help the player get accustomed to controlling a Sandbag and their characters. Rather than the down special that would otherwise change characters, this now sends in one of the followers listed in the top of the section. When pressed, the current sandbag will shield, with avatars of the selectable characters hovering above him to be selected with the control stick and confirming input. Pressing the down special input will de-shield the sandbag with a minor amount of super armour. A sandbag can be re-summoned, however, if the player goes through the stocks of all the characters in order – he will retain whatever percentage he had, but will be unable to re-summon those defeated. For now, this is the full use of the system.

———-

Panting a little, Warlord shakes his head in disbelief of the force encountered – somehow, the group of four has travelled further into the palace, now standing at a great staircase overlooking the grand entrance hall of Sandbag Palace, which displays an enormous wall painting of Phoenix Wright riding a Yoshi on the walls and across the top of the building. The three following MW are surrounded by primid ooze, Illidan rubbing it off of his shoulder and staring over at the entrance – the humongous wooden door is being held back by a brigade of Sloths. Illidan turns to Warlord.

“It appears we are nearing defeat. If they break the door once more, we shan’t be able to push them back. We will be defeated, and Mym will be no more.” To this, Warlord stops resuscitating, straightening up his body and then punching Illidan square in the face, sending him several steps down the staircase, where he lies head up, looking in shock.

“This is my damn palace; I built it with my own damn hands!” He bellows across the room, catching the attention of a few Sloths holding back the door, who react predictably mildly. Warlord turns back, pushing aside Envy as he crashes his axe into the palace wall in anger. “… And I’ll destroy it, if it means keeping it out of the hands of this generic scum! Come, men, the last hope of Mym, we will re-build an even greater palace once the enemy is buried, with a statue for each of you erected in the courtyard!” With that, the three men cheer enthusiastically, joining Warlord in posing for the camera.

———-

Playable Characters: Zasalamel, Envy, Illidan
Stock: 1 (each)
Music: City Under Siege

This stage is simply defence: the area is, again, a walk-off, except this time the only walk-off is to the right. On the left, Warlord is using his axe to break down the wall – very slowly. After one-and-a-half minutes of interrupted hacking, you win. However, at regular intervals, the Sloths will be overwhelmed and the gates will open, letting in a wave of around thirty primids of mostly sword and boom variety. The only way to defeat them is to throw them back out of the door, but this will be difficult, as they will only attack you if there are other primids heading toward or attacking Warlord – their true objective.

If Warlord is dealt over 100% damage, he dies and also if six minutes pass, the player fails. Fortunately, each primid has triple as weak knockback, but you can easily deflect them toward Warlord by mistake.

———-

With the wall cracking all over, it suddenly crashes down neatly – revealing a hidden passage behind it. Warlord motions for the group to come over, as inside they find a locked door, which MW opens. Within is a large, uninteresting room, but at the centre a massive stash of Bob-ombs, staring lifelessly out of a big dogpile. Master Warlord turns to the others, a coy smile on his face. “This is it, my brothers. Your service is perhaps the greatest in all of Mym’s history,” he stops abruptly, looking down at his axe, as an almost holy light causes it to sparkle brightly, “I shall end myself here, but keep our heart safe from these invaders.” Illidan coughs, stepping forward out of the group of stunned characters that are beside MW.

“If it will be accepted, I would like to take your place, my master.” Warlord looks puzzled.

“You, service is discharged, if it weren’t obvious enough. Why kill yourself over a trifling matter such as this? Mym may yet be dead at the end of the day, but you would give your life for mine–” Illidan interrupts.

“I have shamed myself deeply, Warlord. You may have raised me with the utmost care, yet I became… weak. Despite your time, even as one of the five Sandbags, who control most of this continent, I have failed. Of all your disciples, I am the first to enter your personal service, but never destined to make a name for myself. I would rather die here in glory than live out my days as a fugitive, if you would be so kind as to allow me.” Envy blows off this comment with a moan.

“Whatever, Illidan – you suck, we get it. Just let the big boss man here get it over with, he wants to die anyway, right?” Warlord backs away slightly, conspicuously re-storing his axe.

“No no, if Illidan wants to do it, he may. I, after all, am the only one capable of building a new Mym better than the last!” MW turns to Illidan, who is apparently unaffected by his chosen fate. “For you, my dearest brother, I shall erect ten statues in honour! Your memory will live in gold!” To this, Illidan replies simply with a shrug.

Next we see Warlord, Zasalamel and Envy in a dark part of the palace, surrounded by crates and abandoned cleaning equipment. The lighting is a dull green, seemingly some kind of basement. Zasalamel speaks. “Sire, from this passage we approach the fifth hidden exit of the castle – the only one that leads to safety outside of–” Warlord interrupts.

“The Sandbag Palace, leading to the mountains – we do not have time to speak, we must hurry to avoid being decimated by the explosion like the fools above us.” As the group makes haste across this area, fighting can be heard above them, with audible grunts from Sloths being heard, along with what is apparently K. Rool’s group – as sonic cries, an angry dog and some very angry purple jelly are fighting all at once. Possibly thinking back to better times, MW thinks of his close friend and fellow Sandbag. ‘I will avenge you, KRool.’ He thinks to himself.

———-

Playable Sandbags: Master Warlord
Playable Characters: Envy, Zasalamel
Stock:
Music: Neclord’s Castle

This stage simply comprises of escaping the passageway in under two minutes – which would seem easy, but you’re always obstructed by breakable creates, sometimes stacking up to the ceiling and a rare group of primid that breaks through the ceiling, locking the otherwise scrolling stage. If you’re caught up by the back of the stage when there are no primids, which moves at Ganondorf’s dashing speed, you fail and the palace is seen exploding with MW’s death cry echoing. This also happens if defeated by the primids, or the two minutes are elapsed.

———-

Slowly, the basement starts to veer off into several paths – becoming narrower and narrower, until the group comes to the end of the basement, which is cluttered with crates, dusted walls and seems to have been hidden for years. The walls are covered with paintings of famous people – a certain professor posing with his genetically-engineered Tiger man, a pair of humanoid Lizards and a half-crocodile, half-dog. There is an eerie silence about the place. They cover each wall, including the end. Zasalamel speaks gently, enunciating.

“Here we are, sire. We can now escape.” Envy looks visibly shaken, desperately looking around the area for the exit.

“Where is it? We’re going to die if we don’t get out right now – let’s get out now!” Warlord responds by turning to Envy and slapping him, a quiet, but angry tone carrying his voice.

“Our only danger at this moment is your lack of self-control, Envy.” The recipient, Envy, responding in an even sharper tone of voice himself.

“Well, I don’t want to fry down here in the dark! Illidan will be blowing up those Bob-ombs any second?” To this, MW shakes his head in disappointment of his ‘brother’s’ genuine disbelief. He walks over to one painting – in this one, a Japanese man stands next to a human-sized sandbag, posing in a rather epic fashion, with red to yellow in the colour spectrum dashed across the canvas to create a sense of grandeur.

“Some said this man, Sakurai, was God…” he turned to his two friends, Envy looking perplexed, but Zasalamel smugly crossing his arms and watching for Envy’s reaction, “… and in times like this, we must look to God for our way out.” As Warlord says this, he rearms himself with his axe, pulling it back and yelling. As he pulls it forward on the painting, he rips through it, revealing it has no back – beyond it is a tight, metallic passage. The homunculus nods affirmably, jumping through the slit enthusiastically, followed slightly later by Warlord and Zasalamel.

Upon entering, it is revealed that this is indeed a long, metallic shaft with a very low ceiling. As MW enters, he turns behind him, revealing a heavy vault door. He motions over the rest of the trio, who then proceeds to push it into place, with a heavy ‘clunk’ being the indicator. “My brothers, we are now only mere hours away from reaching the mountainside – a safe place, where no one will know of but the highest powers in Mym. For now, we are safe.” MW, for the first time, smiles broadly, bringing his hands together for a loud clap that repeats down the long chasm – seemingly infinitely. As he begins this long journey with a first step, Envy and Zasalamel turn to follow.

———-

The action pans to above Mym again, looking down from the Sandbag Palace to the city in front – still amass with primids and other abominations of the invasion. Now it seems like the battle has been lost for the nation, as the amount of fighting begins to lessen. The sun has no fallen; leaving Mym alit by only streets lamps and the odd artillery shot in the dark. Still, an utterly tidy regiment continues to march – their order staying perfectly in-line, despite marching hundreds of meters apart and spread across several streets. These soldiers are mostly composed of scope primids, carrying super scopes pointed to their front. An eerie silence has filled the normally bustling, rustic area of the city, as the quaint houses either side are nearly all destroyed, or still ablaze. The men walk in a formation of three lines, all meticulously uniformed, in faultless rhythm with the march.

Behind them, a trio of characters can be seen – a flash of names pass over the screen; HECTOR and DOPPELORI, surrounding a character in the centre, whose face is shown, but who is yet to be revealed. He looks effeminate in appearance, sporting a pale complexion, a revealing toga-like attire and long, blonde hair. All is well for this brigade, before a primid walks out from an alleyway, carrying a man dressed in a pink suit – the march immediately stops, with the primid throwing the man forward. He quickly pulls himself together, standing up-straight and dusting himself off with a cool expression – MILES EDGEWORTH darts across the screen. Hector motions for the primids to part, as he walks to meet the lawyer.

“Speak your name, Mymian.” Hector spits at Miles, who simply taps his nose in response to this.

“You are not legally entitled to demand my name, officer,” he then folds his arm eponymously, “though I will tell you anyway: Miles Edgeworth, prosecutor for the court.” Soon, the primid who had brought him along describes through hand gestures how Edgeworth had been able to sleuth his way out of being killed on the spot and demanded to be brought to a member of authority. Hector seems amazed, turning to the mysterious figure who is revealed by the stepping aside of Doppelori, seeming to be checking some kind of book. As he scans through the records, it is seen that this is a book of employment; on one side, red names such as, “Phoenix Wright,” “Apollo Justice,” and “Klavier Gavin.” He lightly runs his finger down this side, before swiping it to the other, showing Miles Edgeworth in red. He taps profusely on the scripture.

“Yes,” he softly speaks, his face being revealed as feminine, pale, but scrupulously sculptured, JUNAHU flashes across the screen, “you do exist, Mr. Edgeworth. You’re right here…” He pauses. “But we already have enough lawyers, I’m afraid. Your services won’t be needed anymore in the Subspace.” To this, Miles looks puzzled.

“Won’t be… needed?” He slowly turns his head either way, to see a very tense Hector, and the entire amount of scope primids aiming at him now. Doppelori is shown to be smugly bringing out her bazooka – she steps forward.

“Lord Junahu, I will gladly take care of the pretender.” The camera pans to her weapon. “I’ll make it clean.” Junahu nods, turning away and hiding his face with his left hand.

“As you wish, Doppelori.” As Miles Edgeworth looks positively shaken and desperately waving at the approaching robotic femme fatal to halt, a sort of buzzing can be heard in the background, slowly getting louder. Soon, Edgeworth and Doppelori stop moving, with everyone in the area looking around for this odd noise.

Suddenly, a wave of fire blasts across a group of primids, immediately turning them into sizzling, purple goo – the blast’s trajectory pans back to the top of a building to the right side of the characters on the street; a young man with a dark complexion crouches in hiding, drab in a certain kind of military uniform. ROY MUSTANG shows across the screen, as his hand is shown to emit small embers toward the camera from his glove. Alongside him, an older figure is also kneeling – the father of one of the sandbags – CHRIS LIONHEART flashes across the screen for a moment. Hector immediately leaps back to the side of Junahu, as Doppelori immediately spots the two on the top of the building.

“Looks like we’ve been spotted, commander,” says Roy Mustang, “we just need to lead them a little further in…” Chris nods, gesturing to move out. As they leap from the building, Doppelori’s face is shown in a close-up, angrily popping shots out of her bazooka as scope primids charge after a fleeing Miles Edgeworth.

———-

Playable Sandbags: Chris Lionheart
Playable Characters: Roy Mustang [no Hawkeye]
Stock: 1 (each)
Music: Last Decision

This is where the story mode takes a little bit of a curve upward in terms of difficulty. The area is the street on which the action previously took place – Chris Lionheart uses his moveset and, like Warlord, can switch to Mustang with his down special once, then will return if Mustang is killed. The screen scrolls with you, and you must have it scroll for an equivalent of 350m on the Home Run Contest. However, at the Chrise time, you are being chased by scope primids – these will appear constantly in the left-hand side of the screen, as well as appear randomly in front of you, as the screen always centres you.

At the Chrise time, Miles Edgeworth will be running in the background alongside you, with Doppelori slowly following him with her bazooka. Just to make things more difficult, the bazooka has set points where it will hit down on Edgeworth’s side – who will only walk forward as you do. He cannot go back, and neither can the screen after scrolling. If he is hit by Doppelori’s bazooka more than five times, you get a game over and she’s regularly launching them in front of him. You also get a game over if you the timer counts down from three minutes.

———-

As Doppelori and a now amassed army of primids of all sorts descend upon an apparently cornered Miles Edgeworth, Chris Lionheart and Roy Mustang, all hope seems to be lost. Doppelori sneers, squarely aiming her bazooka at Miles – who backs up to a wall.

“This is not humane! I demand a hearing at your highest court!” Edgeworth begs: only to be mocked by the she-bot.

“In this new paradise free from the Truths, I’ll be your only judge, jury and executioner, lawyer.” To which Miles Edgeworth sheepishly sighs, half out of horror at his impending doom and Doppelori’s horribly-constructed dialogue trees. As the night seems to darken, Chris Lionheart suddenly raises his halberd.

“Now!” He shouts. As said, a sudden ‘whoosh’ carries over Doppelori, as she looks over her head in horror. Ashencroft and Michael [the Arch-Angel] drop an enraged Thrall into the centre of a group of primids, creating a thunderous crater upon landing that sends them flying in all directions. As he picks up his hammer from the ground, he yells for the horde to attack, as the camera pans to a stunned Doppelori who is aiming her bazooka in all directions as a horrendous sound of marching and drums can be heard from all directions.

As the horde seems to be breaking through the smaller blockades built up toward the city and coming toward the group, another bunch of heroes arrive. A typically slothful Haar flies over the wall where Miles, Chris and Roy are standing, with Sheeda aboard his wyvern, the latter jumping off and immediately running at the primids, killing several at once with swings of her sword. Seeing this, Doppelori – now backing off through the primids as the horde breaks through in front of her – aims her bazooka his way, firing several shots in unison. The camera shows a highly-stretched Haar knocking these away with his axe, with Michael and Ashencroft having to making precarious deflections with their arms on the final two.

Angrily pumping her fist at those airborne, Doppelori retreats even further back, as the group of heroes – now including Roy Mustang, the horde, Haar, Michael, Ashencroft, Sheeda, Thrall, Haar and nameless characters – drive back the primid army.

———-

Playable Sandbags: Chris Lionheart
Playable Characters: Roy Mustang [no Hawkeye], Thrall [basic moveset], Michael, Ashencroft, Sheeda
Stock: 1 (each)
Music: Duel Theme

The stage is the Chrise as the last, but it’s a set walk-off stage with blast zones on either side. Your objective here is to simply survive five waves of enemies, which grow more variable with each successive wave. Chris Lionheart automatically switches to one of his characters and will not be switched to at any point in the first four waves, beginning with Roy Mustang; you will control each character on the list progressively as the current one dies. What’s important to note is, at the Chrise time, every other character will also be on-screen, attacking with the intelligence of a level five AI and taking damage or being capable of being knocked out. Also what you may be keen to note is, no matter how many are killed, the next wave of enemies will come after fifteen seconds no matter how many you have so far defeated, meaning things can get hectic.

The first wave will be a simple twenty-man group of normal primids with a mix of scope and sword primids. The second is a twenty-man group of boom primids – the kind that throw boomerangs – combined with metal primids, who attack at close range. The third wave is a five-man group of big primids alongside five fire primids. The fourth wave is a combination of two big primids, five scope primids, five sword primids, five boom primids and ten normal primids.

The fifth wave is not atypical – only initiated once you’ve defeated the first four waves. At this point, Chris Lionheart jumps into the foreground and takes over, as a short cutscene plays. Doppelori is shown holstering her bazooka, looking rather unabashed about the loss of her troops. The camera angles itself to look behind Chris, where all the other characters start approaching – which Chris responds to by raising his non-halberd holding hand to decree them to desist. As they halt, he picks up his axe and runs forward, past the camera; the fight begins.

You are now in control of Chris Lionheart, with only one stock – Doppelori is how she usually is, but she doesn’t like to fight fair like Chris does. For every twenty-five-percent damage dealt, she will receive a set amount of invincibility as she’s animated gesturing in primids and jumping into the background. At this stage, the equivalent of wave one will descend upon Chris Lionheart – with a slight twist. Like in the previous chase scene, Doppelori will fire her bazooka off-screen, but with the resulting grenade hitting in the foreground. She will position herself to be in-line with Chris, with a slight delay on the firing of the bazooka that makes it predictable to dodge, but difficult when clustered in with primids, who are also dealt damage and knockback by the bazooka shots.

Unlike you, Doppelori has a wall at either blastzone and cannot be defeated, but the match will come to and when she reaches one-hundred-twenty-five-percent nevertheless.

———-

The group backing Chris Lionheart is seen to be celebrating, as Doppelori is seen apparently in pain and winching backward, dropping her bazooka in defeat. Chris turns around to address the others, as Doppelori is seen slyly pulling out a sword from one of the killed primids and lunges toward her maker, Chris, with obvious intent. Fast on his wings, Michael swoops down as the sword is stabbed through his chest, shocking the robotic female enough that she simply stands back as the angel keels over, dying right behind Lionheart.

Quickly shaking off any feelings a mechanical object can have over killing an angel, Doppelori manages to grab her bazooka amidst the confusion, but it is too late for her: Chris Lionheart grabs his halberd and swings it horizontally, beheading Doppelori. The group surrounds the bloodied corpse of Michael, now accompanied by that of the she-bot, emitting numerous sparks around where her body has been severed. Roy Mustang walks over to Michael, kneeling and closing his eye lids. Miles Edgeworth sighs, speaking in a cynical tone.

“This war is a sad state of affairs.” Mustang quickly replies.

“That isn’t the half of it. Mym taken in a day – quicker than any campaign we had taken. Using this scourge as well, including these machines…” He looks over to Doppelori, a withheld anger expressed through his face. Thrall, now mounted on his wolf, has a large amount of orcs in formation behind him: he addresses the group coarsely.

“Master Lionheart,” causing Chris to look over to Thrall, “we must depart quickly; I have no doubts that our ‘rebellion’ will have attracted some unwanted attention.” Chris Lionheart nods – through Thrall, commanding two orcs to carry the remains of Doppelori and Michael somewhere else. As he tries to gather the large, wary brigade into some kind of manageable crowd, he notices the two orcs from prior collapsing from a back-alley unto the street the party is gathered in. Before this progresses any further, the action cuts away.

———-

Playable Characters: Master Warlord
Stock:
Music: The Trials

This part of the chapter is simply to provide a bit of a relax for the player, as you simply control Warlord as he walks down the chasm with Zasalamel and Envy. The conversation continues as you move forward through the metallic tunnel, which goes on for about a minute. MW starts off the conversation. Along the way, small obstacles like formations of crates, a really odd regular primid and such will obfuscate your way, but this isn’t supposed to be difficult.

“I suppose I should tell the two of you about Hyper Ridley, then.” Envy replies.

“You mean that dragon who’s always hanging around the palace? Irritating pet of yours, along with those Sloths you insist on keeping.” Zasalamel then cuts him off.

“What were you saying, sire?” MW sighs, and then continues.

“He isn’t a dragon, or my pet – he’s intelligent and would be kept in the palace. If there’s anyone who deserves to replace the old five, he’s one of them… he’s simply…” Envy replies.

“What?” Again, MW sighs.

“It’s just that the original scriptures clearly state anything above a certain size can’t be considered a servant of a Mymer.” There is a brief silence before Zasalamel replies.

“So what you’re saying is, he’s too big.” To which, MW angrily groans.

“He really isn’t. ‘Tis slanderous propaganda – I argued for years with K. Rool about it,” pausing, “but he wouldn’t listen.” Envy chuckles, replying again.

“So, what, your pet dragon can’t be let in your room and you’re pissed?” MW groans again, this time more apathetically, causing a slight break.

“Nevermind, just keep him in mind.”

———-

As Warlord’s party approaches a bright light, the camera pans to their front – Envy and Zasalamel stand back in awe as a shadow protrudes over the trio, in the shape of a dragon. Smirking, Warlord walks toward it. A large dragon, purple, buckled in with highly-advanced armour plating and yet still behaving perfectly naturally. It seemed docile in nature, perched on the ground outside of the tunnel. Above and around Ridley, high, green peaks can be seen, with an ominously grey sky overcasting the dawn. Zasalamel walks out besides Warlord, shaking his head wittingly.

“So, this is… Hyper Ridley – master, this kind of sorcery is beyond even you.” Envy buts in, shoulder barging past both of them and inspecting the dragon, whose head is raised to a height beyond any in the group; the homunculus snarls.

“Where the hell would you get one of those things? Looks like some kind of mechanical toy.” He grabs one of the large, steel wings, trying to pull it out of its enveloped in the dragon’s body. Stunning two of the group, it reacts by flapping it away and causing Envy to fluster around before falling to the ground. It looks down and squints at Envy, its face close to his.

“I’m no ‘thing,’” to which HYPER RIDLEY flashes across the screen, “… and we’re short on time.” He turns to face the opposite direction of the tunnel, prodding the ground with his talons. “I’ve scouted ahead… we’re okay, for now, but there’s no telling how the invaders will do next.” Warlord nods, pointing to a trail leading up the mountains.

“Indeed, we must make great haste toward the reserve camp. Marth shall meet us there.” HR nods, with both of MW’s followers simply nodding along in bemusement at this point. As they set off, Envy again tries to fondle HR by attempting to mount him, being budged off and directing the group’s attention toward him. Envy smacks the dragon in the side, causing it to swipe at him and nearly take his head off.

“Fuckin’ stupid piece of metal needs some manners—” Zasalamel interrupts.

“We don’t ride our friends, Envy.”

The group, all rather tired-looking at this point and unsure of their standing, begin making their way over the mountain. Warlord can be heard thinking to himself, ‘I just know he’s behind this, but I can’t tell Ridley or Marth, they would only think me some kind of fool. I must conceal this hunch; I sense danger ahead, we must persist with a clear mind.’ Truly, MW is correct, as the camera pans to a crevasse on the side of a nearby mountain, a boy with headphones can be seen stood eerily in static, his eyes squinting as the camera zooms in on him.

———-

Playable Sandbags: Master Warlord
Playable Characters: Envy, Zasalamel, Hyper Ridley
Stock: 4
Music: Bran Bal

For now, HR functions as one of Warlord’s characters. This level consists of diagonal levels, gradually turning from a dark-ish green, hilly texture to a snowy one, and then eventually the snow itself is a tell that you’re coming to the end of the level. Your objective is to get to the top, having to make several precarious jumps, making HR favourable due to his glide. At around halfway through, the floor becomes completely ice and thus the relevant physics take place, making it harder for heavier characters. It’s simply platforming, but is made tougher by the four areas in which play will stop when a foe appears; every stage here is a run-off.

The first is Sandshrew, who digs his way out of the ground right at the area in which you would generally believe you jump from, hitting back any players who don’t dodge or jump – you can’t die here, you’ll just be pushed back to the battlefield. Fortunately, Sandshrew’s moveset is altered as to not allow him to camp so much – turning into more of a boss moveset, as he telegraphs where he’s going to dig up from with an alteration of the ground appearing there. After he has lost 50%, though, the camera pans to the area in front, where Sandshrew mistakenly digs through the ground and off the side of the mountain, falling limp as he does.

The next area, when the ground is more covered in snow, is where Metal Man appears. Again,  he tells you when he’s coming pretty badly by throwing a slower-than-usual cog down into an already suspicious-looking mound of snow. After this, the cog disappears and the robot master appears on-screen, just as a bout of heavy snow occurs. For the first time, the snow plays a significant role here – random buildings up of it will start to create mounds, in which Metal Man can stash his cogs by throwing them there. Any attack will break off parts of these, but these will then start to build up too. They will remain there until either the mound is attacked or a character falls into it, being damaged and having to mad-jump out, made difficult by the snow making you twice as heavy when jumping. Nevertheless, when Metal Man has been dealt 100%, the snow will stop – he jumps back, raises a cog above his head and fails miserably, slipping on ice and off of the mountain akin to Sandshrew.

Later still, the group runs into a sculpture shaped like Kingdra. And yes, indeed, the screen stops, forcing players to hit the sculpture to progress – and out pops the Pokémon. Kingdra’s moveset is bolstered by how water interacts with the sudden downpour of snow, as all water shot will freeze in the air, causing flinching and eventually freezing opponents in place. Kingdra can also shoot her water guns at the mounds of snow to make them slightly bigger every time. After 100%, though, Kingdra will attempt to shoot water, but recoil on accident, flying off camera: this shot of water becomes a section of ice crucial to progression. At the end of it, the path continues and you can see a frozen-solid Pokémon of obvious type stuck to the floor.

The final battle take place as the path starts to take a more straightforward turn, requiring you to jump up several narrow, vertical spaces. At the top, the path starts veering wildly downward, as an Onix appears in the midst of insane amounts of snow, causing snow build-up all over the screen. Onix can use this snow as a means to dig and hide in, and you’re pretty much forced to follow, as your one little uncovered stand pits you as a sitting duck against Onix’s attacks. Within the snow, if you fall all the way down, you lose a stock as you fall through. You have infinite jumps and can get to the top similarly to how you can within water physics, but you must also concentrate on Onix. He has the severe advantage of being able to move quickly through the snow. The objective here isn’t to cause damage, though – after twenty seconds, the snow will stop falling, meaning that you must force Onix to use up all of the snow in a way that leaves him falling down the crevasse. Evidently, at the same time, he will be trying to kill you, so it won’t be easy – the amount of space available to you gradually becomes smaller and smaller.

Onix’s fall causes an audible ‘crash,’ allowing for several large boulders to drop and de-obscure the path, letting you jump across them to finally get above the clouds into sunlight.

———-

Hyper Ridley is the first to break past the clouds in this cutscene, as the group reaches the peak of the mountain. They look out over toward a forest, eclipsed by shadow, which follows on beyond the fog that protrudes over the skyline and into the horizon, eventually obfuscating their view. Master Warlord grunts, motioning over Hyper Ridley; the other members of the group also crowd around, noticeably cold.

“A sight of unusual leisure, this peak usually a vantage point now but a tunnel of ice,” – in particular, Hyper Ridley seems to start scanning the area directly around them: he stares stoically at Warlord, who simply replies with a similar gaze, “We are in the presence of a great monster of the realm.” He talks more quietly, as loud, low-toned chuckling can be heard from around the area. Warlord snarls in an irritated fashion at this noise, causing the group to scupper slightly as he turns, his self now searching the immediate area. “Don’t panic… Ridley, you know what to do.” To this, the mecha dragon nods, taking flight and quickly making his way toward the forest, then swooping down in a descent that leads him to rocket past it and beyond.

At this moment, the group hurriedly prepares itself upon seeing two canvas shoes rip through the fog, followed by an ordinary-looking pair of jeans, a white t-shirt and a rather smug-expressed face, donning a set of large headphones. This figure was slowly falling to their very ground, with a purple balloon allowing him such elevation and floating ability. As he cocks his head up, the camera zooms in yet again – PLORF flashes across the screen. Landing, he takes a pin out from under his apparently tight jeans, as he steadfastly flings it over his shoulder – popping and instantly killing Drifblim before it can get its own introduction. He smirks, looking over at the rather unaffected trio of Master Warlord, Zasalamel and Envy, who breaks a momentary silence.

“So, this… kid… is a monster?” He claps sarcastically, literally beating himself over the head for a small amount of time. “How stupid is it to say some kid like this has some kind of ‘wrath’ that makes him a monster – no offence sire, but he’s a pipsqueak.” As Envy confidently walks forward, Warlord puts out a hand to stop him.

“Take my word for it – the child is a monster indeed. Locked away in the mountain, by the guard of our destination city’s finest mages… I have no idea how it escaped.” He again turns his attention to Plorf, who is playfully toying with the pin by sliding it between his fingers, while still concentrating on Warlord with a frightening frown on his face. Suddenly, he flicks the pin in the air – it expands to insane levels, eventually melting in mid-air and transforming into various fluid shapes. This metal eventually expands into a definable shape – that of an aircraft. It shines brightly for a moment, as Plorf jumps his utmost to reach it in the air, a flash of light keeping its sight obscured briefly from the player. Zasalamel has a look of horror on his face.

“What the hell… is this? It looks similar to what I have seen of the distant future.” Warlord grabs his axe tightly, lifting it high above his head and spitting on the ground next to him.

“Brace yourselves.” He says.

———-

BOSS: JET FIGHTER PLORF
HEALTH: 100% (Plorf), 100% (Shotzos), 50% (Drifblims)
Playable Sandbags: Master Warlord
Playable Characters: Envy, Zasalamel
Stocks: 2 (each)
Music: Bitter Dance

This fight takes place on top of the mountain – it’s as you can imagine, with an area equivalent to final destination as the flat part, and parts that spike downward after that for around half that length on each side before being covered in fog, this representing the blast zone. Plorf will begin by hovering over the stage as seen in his position in the above image, looking down at the player while his Shotzo fires at undetermined points – usually once per second. These shots fire a cannon ball each time toward the player’s last location, which explode on impact with the stage for a small explosion, dealing 30% damage and knocking out, on this stage, at around 75%, though this is generally avoidable.

After doing this for about fifteen seconds, Plorf’s Shotzos will retract – to reveal the propellers. He slowly descends onto the stage within half-a-second, dealing flinching damage of 40% to anyone on the flat part of the stage at this point. He will then fly into the screen, with a ‘zoom’ sound becoming progressively louder. After 4-5 seconds, he will either come from the left or right of the stage, flying horizontally across at triple the speed of Sonic’s dash. At this point, Hyper Ridley will be seen on the top right of the screen, just in a position so that the player can jump up to him – who will then be elevated above where Plorf attacks and dropped down afterward, when Plorf returns to his old pattern of using Shotzos.

The trick here is to trick Ridley into hovering down to get you – the mecha dragon will slowly hover lower and lower as you jump up close to him. If you can get him to collide with Plorf, one of his propellers will be seen exploding on collision with Ridley – who simply shields the impact with his wing. When Plorf returns to his normal position, one his wings – depending on whether he flew from left or right – will be apparently all burned up, making him slightly dip down in that direction. At this point you can attack him more easily, as he hovers around three stage builder’s blocks above the stage on that side, but he now sways more violently from side to side. At this point, the rate in which Plorf fires Shotzos is increased to once per ¾ of a second rather than one, and they fire two cannons per shot – now directed where the player is and slightly ahead of them, obviously making things far tougher for them. After dealing 100%, this Shotzo will explode, completely destroying this side of the plane.

After this, Plorf will start to perform his sweep from either side of the screen every five seconds, and perform it with start lag of only a second or two. There’s also no Hyper Ridley to save you. However, for the other five seconds, Plorf simply drifts as far away from the player as possible, while also dipping toward whichever side is missing a propeller – making it difficult for players. You can’t, in fact, damage Plorf himself at this point – your aim is to climb on top of the plane and attempt to attack the Drifblim on the same side as the broken propeller. What with the plane flying off very soon into this stage of the fight, you’ll have to be fast, but with just 50% health, this shouldn’t take long – soon it will pop, causing the plane to crash down to the flat stage. Jump when you hit the ground, or you become dizzy for as long as a shield break and the cycle resets. At this point, Plorf’s expression on the face looks dizzy – attack him now, and the fight will progress after you’ve dealt 50% damage to him, otherwise the cycle will reset.

Plorf shakes himself off. With both sides of the plane destroyed, he slowly starts to transform again. At this point, his body becomes a hitbox similar to Zero Suit Samus’s final smash – but only the facial part of the plane. After a few seconds of impenetrability, Plorf will swoop up into the air, showing himself off for a few seconds – it’s Plorf’s fatal jet mode!

Plorf will now solely fly across the screen from side-to-side, with his mouth opened widely and wailing “Shotzo” whenever he hits a player. However, if hit, he will recoil enough for the player to jump over him when he continues his flight. Simply continue hitting him and you win the fight proper – Plorf seen being knocked off course into the background, crashing beneath the clouds.

———-

The group now looks much worn out – Master Warlord seems uncharacteristically anxious. Hyper Ridley slowly flutters down from the heavens besides the heroes, cocking his head high enough to look down over where Plorf had landed. Making a sound somewhat similar to a sigh, he turns to Warlord.

“There’s no trace of a crash, I predict we will see it again.” Warlord finally puts away his axe onto the scabbard on his back, oddly grasping his chin and gawping over at a nearby mountain – where Plorf had been perched earlier, watching the protagonists.

“… This magic, on my name it’s…!” MW’s eyes widen. Zasalamel, as calm as ever, points down toward the end of the mountains and the beginning of the forest.

“Our destination, correct?” The group collectively nods, bar Envy. Confusedly, he gestures to Ridley in a sort of ‘what the hell,’ kind of way. HR stares back blankly, leading to Envy replying in a huff.

“Well, I know the creepy paedophile in the cloak is as in the dark as I am, but I’m not following any of you fuckers until you tell me what the hell that… thing was!” To this, Warlord immediately starts talking about the mountain he’s looking at.

“This mountain, I fell many beasts and locked them all here. It was a project of mine, you could say,” he pauses, shaking his head and now facing the group with a look of horror, “his name was once Plorf, but black magic corrupted him. No longer could be carve, bend, construct the marvels he once could, so he turned on us all. I fought them all to death, but Plorf his self was locked away. It’s just a little ironic as a story, so it pains me to talk about it.” With that, Warlord looks relieved. HR chortles, preparing to make flight down the mountain. The homunculus, still confused, is an observer as everyone else starts to exit the mountain without him.

“So… wait… hey, wait the hell up!”

———-

Cutting back to Chris Lionheart’s group, they are all extremely silent, cautiously watching each other’s sides as an enemy attack seems inevitable. Suddenly, Ashencroft – hovering slightly in the air – is hit by a three-wave boomerang barrage, sending him crashing to the floor. Almost immediately after, a large amount of super scope blasts hits the centre of the group – catching Sheeda off-guard and sending the already fragile formation into chaos.

Haar robustly takes to the air, ascending beyond the walls of Mym and noting the direction of the enemy – pointing in the opposite way to which they were prior trailed by Doppelori’s gang. “There!” The group, now in tatters, readies themselves individually, but is again confused by the sound of marching from their rear – the primid army; a gaze of terror on his face, Haar looks to be priming to note the direction of this enemy. However, as soon as changing direction, he’s shot down with yet another barrage of boomerangs and scope blasts, causing his wyvern to cry in extreme ecstasy, and Haar to be bucked off his mount, falling for a great ‘thud’ on the stone ground; no encore. The wyvern joins him on the floor shortly after.

The group noticeably torn between these two opponents, primids start to flood out of the alleyways. The camera pans to a Birdseye view, showing that they are completely surrounded. All armed with scopes and boomerangs, the henchmen stop a few feet away, bulking out their numbers into the hundreds and filling out the now lamp-lit street. They all aim their weapons toward the protagonists. With no flying allies to their name anymore and wholly outnumbered, Chris gives the signal to surrender, as every member in the group drops their respective weapons to the floor.

A feint sound of clapping; out of an inconspicuous alley comes Junahu, with an uncomfortable Hector in tow. He smirks, brushing aside primids as he comes face-to-face with Chris. He takes a deep breath before speaking.

“Ah, one of the original five sandbags – what the chances we would meet in the battlefield are would elude even me, but I would say they were particularly low. Though you made no dent on our advance, thus the waste of life was entirely pointless.” Chris grits his teeth, but Thrall angrily rebuts in his stead.

“What would a poser like you know about a warrior’s death in battle – you use these lifeless puppets to fight your battles!” To this, Junahu smugly looks on, with no reply incoming. An odd silence falls over the proceedings, before an oddly shaken Hector glances around the battlefield rather searchingly.

“Where is General Doppelori?” Junahu spats at Hector swiftly, his back turned to his accomplice. The group surrounding Chris starts to grab for their weapons.

“Use your head – that thing would be screaming at us constantly if it had won,” as he says this, he pulls a pistol-like weapon out of his toga attire, shooting several orcs in an instant, causing the protagonists to halt any attempts at re-arming, “it doesn’t take a genius, like myself, to destroy something so invalidated as a piece of gutter trash: Doppelori is evidently dead, they most likely carried it off somewhere.”

Hector seems genuinely concerned. “Doppelori was with us since the beginning – not a ‘piece of gutter trash,’ whatever you mean by that–” Junahu turns to Hector, bowing his head and pulling his gun into contact with his partner’s forehead.

“Oh, there are so many fine examples I could use.” Again visibly stunned, Hector nervously looks away, motioning for another battalion of regular primids to enter the street, taking away an irate Thrall alongside his horde and the rest of the group, including Miles Edgeworth, but leaving Roy Mustang. Chris Lionheart groans in humiliation, catching Junahu’s attention, who has taken out his record book again, crossing out names.

“By the Highest order, I am supposed to kill you on sight, as one of the original five sandbags.” He sighs, closing his book in one hand. “However, there’s some fun to be had out of you. Decisions, decisions.” Junahu holds his head in one hand, with his record book in the other, deliberating – after a few moments, he points at Hector. “Let’s test your loyalty,” he then gestures at Roy Mustang, “you shall fight for your master’s life. If you lose, I’ll kill him – if you don’t lose, I’ll set you both free.” Hector shakes his head in annoyance, readying his axe. Likewise, Roy Mustang strikes a pose with his gloved hand.

———-
BOSS: HECTOR
HEALTH: 150% (Hector)
Playable Characters: Roy Mustang
Stock: 100%
Music: Middle Boss Battle

This is a rather simple bit of gameplay – you play as Roy Mustang, against Hector. The stage is a dimly-lit Mym street, as with before, but with both ends lined with primids, preventing a walk-off. Similarly, though it’s not apparent, there is a ceiling above the screen, meaning you’ll have to reduce Hector’s health to 0% to win. Due to the walls, Hector’s pushing-back mechanic can easily prop you against the wall – with half of Mustang’s moveset gone, you’ll obviously have a hard time winning this fight. Even worse, once you’ve dealt 50% damage to Hector, he falls to one knee in pain – Junahu, now in the background, angrily stomps on the ground and raises his hand into some odd shape, summoning a magical shield around Hector. For the next ten seconds, the screen will be flooded by primids of every variety.

———-

A short interlude here – Junahu is seen behind Hector, a smirk on his face highlighting the shot as Mustang is seemingly injured and backing away from the primids. Unexpectedly, a shot rings out on the battlefield, as the camera zooms off far off into the background – prone on a rather obscured building sits Hawkeye, slowly adjusting a sniper rifle in her arms. Junahu is then seen screaming and holding his shoulder, turning abruptly to scan a rather pitifully empty sky. Hector, now out of his bubble, looks perhaps joyful to be out of it, shoving several primids out of his way. Knowingly, Mustang chuckles, bringing his right arm back in a brew of flames as another shot is seen penetrating the skull of a nearby primid.

———-

Continuing with the fight where it left off, you now have access to your neutral special – only without Hawkeye hanging out in the background. Hector will regularly be encased in a magical shield if he begins to “lose” the match, becoming frustrated by their appearance. At this point, you’re forced to fight wave after wave of enemies, unless you’re able to shoot Junahu in using your neutral special. Obviously, you need space and time in which to accomplish this, so it’s not easy at all. Once Hector’s down to 50%, Junahu is seen signalling his army wildly in the background, as the primids on either side of the stage back off. For this period, the stage becomes a walk-off – again, with Hector’s constant pushing back effect this most definitely favours him. However, it is very much possible to win this fight and when you’ve reduced Hector’s health to 0%, the fight ends.

———-

Roy Mustang extinguishes a light on his fingertip with a simple swipe of his hand, smirking as the defeated Hector drops his axe to the floor, falling and panting in agony on all fours. Junahu, seemingly cool after this setback, motions for the primids to bring over Chris Lionheart, who has a proud look upon his face. Junahu walks with the group over to Hector – the two have a cold exchange of glances, before he then walks over to Mustang.

“I’m sorry that you’ve had to break orders, ‘lord,’ I was only going easy on your friend over there with the axe.” Says Mustang as he sneers at Junahu, who responds in kind with his own discourse.

“Oh, but you’re wrong, my fiery little fiend,” he quickly pulls his pistol up to Chris Lionheart’s back, shooting several times and causing the sandbag to drop to his death, “I’ve set him free, and now I shall you.” He snarls, holstering his pistol with a tight grip and aiming right at Mustang’s face. Roy’s eyes turn to his side, as Riza expectedly shoots the gun right out of Junahu’s hand. As he reaches down to pick up another from within a robe, a rather odd slicing sound is heard – an axe in his back, as he stretches out in pain for his back with both hands, but his reach is obviously far too short and slow to do anything about it; he too tumbles down beside Chris.

Hector runs up to the corpse, pulling out his weapon and quickly making work of the surrounding primids, making his way through the crowd as Mustang reluctantly leaves his master on the floor, following behind the axe wielder. Riza Hawkeye is seen briefly, following along the duo and firing sporadically.

———-

The scene shifts to a rather dark setting, as the insides of the Sandbag Palace are notably ‘blackened’ by the explosion caused by Bob-Ombs, but the structure somehow remains intact. Through the huge gates walks a shadowed figure – behind him another shadowed figure, surrounded by smaller creatures. As they approach the large stairs leading up into the private quarters of the castle, they begin ripping down the pictures on the walls, the paintings and any otherwise nefarious art that can be seen. As the first person begins climbing the stairs with the second, the monsters remain, now plastering over the walls with other pictures – for now blanketed by the dim nature of the palace. Slowly, light starts to break through cracks created by the explosion, revealing the new décor to be none other than pictures of Smash Bros. characters such as Mario, Link and Donkey Kong.

A long throne room is now seen, with the two figures still in shadow. One sits on the throne, while the other kneels to him below. The throne-sitter speaks.

“So, I see the ‘Warlord’ one escaped…”

“Yes,” he pauses, bowing his head slightly, “I know of where he went, and what his actions will be, the consequences of which shall surely play into our hands, my liege.”  The figure in the throne is shown budging slightly. His build his slender, rather ordinary, his posture suggesting some kind of suit.

“It is fine; we have much to do in this city first!”

“Of course. We have already begun the transmogrifications of the creations.” The figure on the throne chuckles to his self, pausing before he replies.

“… You still have not been using my gift, have you? Why is that?”

“I do not need your assistance, my liege. I am perfectly able by myself.” The ‘king’ shuffles in an irritated fashion, his voice becomes sharper.

“Only because you use those ridiculous creations… soon you won’t have a choice, so be prepared, Hood.” Robin Hood nods, still covered by shadow, his true identity a mystery.

“Aye aye.”

———-

Movesets used:

The Sandbags, Roy Mustang, Thrall by Chris Lionheart
Zasalamel, Envy, Illidan
by Master Warlord
Hector, Doppelori
by Junahu
Miles Edgeworth
by TWILTHERO
Hyper Ridley
by Hyper_Ridley
Sandshrew, Metal Man, Kingdra, Onix
by Plorf

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Responses

  1. awesome

  2. You totally didn’t credit Bob-Omb under the movesets used section. (WARY)

  3. ‘Sigh’ Have things really degraded so far in my prolonged absence? Good job SD.

  4. Gameplay-wise, I would have to point out that arbitrary lose conditions you have only a cursory control over (Miles Edgeworth dies == game over) are the most frustrating thing you can encounter in a game.


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