Paper Mario – Celestial Legends
DISCLAIMER: The following is a fanfiction of the Paper Mario series. I do not own any of the characters or species that belong to Nintendo. I do, however, own the Celestial Legends Story and other related things. Please show your support and play the original Paper Mario games.
QUICK NOTE: From here on out, The Fake Queen Saku (a.k.a. Princess Peach) will be called Queen Saku, while the real one will be called by her middle name, Samantha.
Final Chapter: The Celestial Legend Unfolds, Part 9
Last time on Celestial Legends...our heroes’ worst fears had been realized. Saku had finally ascended to godhood, thanks to the misguided Celestial Mother. Her first act was to turn on the very being who had granted her wish, absorbing the Celestial Mother to increase her power even further than before - and her next goals are wiping out Mario and his friends, destroying the world, and conquering all creation (in that order)! Despite the odds, the group refused to back down, and so the final battle for the fate of the universe began!
Celestial Saku: Ahahahahaha! Come and meet your final end, fools!
Bowser: Not before we knock you down a peg!
Samantha: Yes…we won’t let you spread your evil across the world! For everyone who fought to help us get this far…we can’t give up!
Mario jumped in agreement before summoning Squorp to analyze Celestial Saku.
Squorp: ...SCAN COMPLETE. I am detecting three separate power signatures. CREATURE 1: Celestial Saku. Queen Saku’s “goddess” form. She has gained untold power in this state, enhanced even further by her Darkron corruption and the absorption of the Celestial Spirit of Creation.
Bowser: Yeah, I think we saw that bit with our own two eyes! Skip ahead to the important stuff!
Squorp: STATS: 400 HP, 40 ATK, ?? DEF. ATTACKS: Hand of The Goddess/Celestial Fortitude/Arc Light/Celestial Veil/Shinedown. ANALYSIS: Despite her dark appearance, most of Celestial Saku’s abilities are light-based. Her basic attack, Hand of the Goddess, has no special effects, but deals impressive damage. Celestial Fortitude halves all damage taken to herself and her allies, even with buffs. Arc Light summons 6 spheres of light that will float above the field for the remainder of the battle; when the party is finished their turn, a random target will be hit by an arc laser. This attack deals 25 points of damage and cannot be blocked. I am also detecting a high concentration of energy around her body - all attacks aimed at her will be reduced to 1 HP damage.
Bowser: WHAT?! That is so not fair! Next you’ll tell us she has some kind of mega-flashy ultimate attack or something…
Squorp: ...Affirmative. Her Celestial Veil enables her to absorb attacks for two turns - on her next turn, she will use that stored energy to perform her ultimate attack: Shinedown. The more she is attacked, the stronger the attack becomes. Exercise extreme caution while developing a strategy to defeat this corrupt goddess.
Mario nodded warily; in contrast, his partners looked utterly dismayed.
Samantha: I...I can’t believe this is happening….she’s got exactly what she wanted….
Bowser: Urgh….to think I would actually fail...even with the bozo good guys...
Mario shook his head, stating that they were going to win
Bowser: Did those mustache hairs grow straight into your brain or something?! Look at what we’re up against! She’s bigger than I was during that “tried to take over the galaxy” plan! And if Robo-squid’s analysis is any indication, she’s as powerful as I am handsome!
Deciding not to comment on the last point, Mario told his arch-rival that they had come too far and sacrificed too much to lose at the very end of their quest. He reminded his friends that the fate of the world was depending on them; if they lost to Celestial Saku, she would proceed to dominate and destroy the entire galaxy.
Samantha: Bowser, despite the odds; Mario’s right! So much is on the line! Besides, wasn’t it you that once said that you wouldn’t back down or surrender to anyone? Don’t tell me that the great King Koopa is afraid?
As Samantha expected, Bowser immediately bristled at that.
Bowser: WHAAAT?! Me, the great and awesome King Bowser, afraid? Bwahahahaha! Good one, Sammy - there ain’t no one and nothing that can make me back down!
Samantha: Then what do you say we finally put an end to this so called “Goddess” and her evil?
Bowser: ...I got one word for ya: SHOWTIME!
Celestial Saku: Ugh…delusional and annoying. Very well then…come and meet your deaths face-to-face, fools!
Mario unhesitatingly obliged, using his Ultra Hammer to deal 12 HP damage to Celestial Saku’s right hand. Samantha and Bowser followed Mario’s lead, using an Infinity Bolt and Bowsageddon, respectively. The former did a full 7 HP of damage, but the latter only did 15 HP, due to the hand’s DEF of 2.
Bowser: Aww, crud! That might not have been my smartest move…
Celestial Saku: And the overgrown tortoise finally realizes his failings…just in time to perish!
The newly-minted goddess raised both hands into the air as golden light shone between them. After shaping the energy into a giant fist, Celestial Saku slammed it onto Bowser’s head, leaving him as flat as a pancake on the ground. Taken by surprise, Bowser lost 40 HP before popping back to normal and snarling indignantly.
Bowser: OWWW! That hurt, you power-mad princess punk!
Celestial Saku: Your insolence will only make your demise even more painful!
Celestial Saku raised her left hand and jabbed her index finger at Mario. The heroic plumber guarded himself, losing only 10 HP to the strike, but he was surprised at the force behind the simple gesture. Celestial Saku frowned before using her right hand to slap Mario, but he guarded again to reduce the damage to 10 HP once more.
Samantha: If I didn’t know her better, I’d be stunned at how nonchalant she is. As it is…I’m just insulted!
Celestial Saku: Ha ha ha ha haaa! Why are you surprised? You are nothing but Goombas to be squashed under my heel before I conquer the entire universe!
Bowser: Oh please…you don’t even have heels anymore, Queen God-Dumbo!
Celestial Saku: ……...I’m not even going to listen to your babbling at this point.
Mario rolled his eyes before sending Squorp to analyze the second energy signature - Saku’s left hand.
Squorp: ...SCAN COMPLETE. CREATURE 2: Cosmos Hand. Celestial Saku’s left hand. It will attack independently of her main body, essentially giving her an extra turn - fortunately, it can also be destroyed independently of her body. STATS: 150 HP, 15 ATK, 2 DEF. ATTACKS: Cosmic Poke/Omen Snap/Fearful Snap/Manipulative Snap/Meteor Snap. ANALYSIS: The Cosmos Hand’s basic attack is the Cosmic Poke, but it will usually call its offensive and debilitating magic with a snap of its fingers. The Omen Snap can randomly inflict any negative effect (including Hurt and Detonate), the Fearful Snap inflicts Fear, and the Manipulative Snap will cause the affected to become confused. All three attacks have a chance to penetrate your guards - have anti-ailment measures ready at all times.
Samantha *sarcastic*: Spectacular. And I thought Infinipliss’s Hatred Cannon was bad enough…
Squorp: The Cosmos Hand’s ultimate attack is its Meteor Snap, which hits everyone for high damage. Disable this hand to reduce Celestial Saku’s offensive threat.
Celestial Saku: How in the name of all things does that little bucket of bolts even know all this?! I should be utterly incomprehensible to any of your pitiful toys!
Mario shrugged as he used an Infinity Smash to deal 18 HP damage to both of Celestial Saku’s hands - however, the goddess herself only lost 1 HP. Samantha followed up with a 7 HP-Infinity Bolt, but Bowser opted to use a Mega Syrup to restore the party’s FP.
Celestial Saku: Foolish mortal ants! Your bites barely scratch my skin - and your very beings will burn for your insolence! Behold a taste of my true power!
The deified Infinity Queen used her Hand of the Goddess on Samantha, but she guarded to reduce the damage to 35 HP. However, Celestial Saku only smiled evilly as the aura around her hands intensified.
Celestial Saku: Let’s instill a proper sense of fear in you, shall we?
The Cosmos Hand snapped its fingers, creating a wave of light with a vague screeching noise. The heroes blocked in time to reduce the damage to 10 HP each, but Bowser still suffered from the Fear ailment.
Bowser: AAAAAAAARGH!!! Okay, I lied - I am very much terrified right now!
Samantha: …Somehow, I feel as though I’ve tempted fate.
Celestial Saku: Ha ha ha ha haaa! Much better - now that bone-headed Koopa understands just what you insolent fools have gotten yourselves into! And that’s not all…
With a snap of her right hand’s fingers, Celestial Saku surrounded herself in a purple light. Squorp beeped as he detected a change in the opponent.
Squorp: WARNING. I am detecting new energies within Celestial Saku. Her ATK has increased by 5, and her NUM has risen, allowing her to attack twice per turn.
Bowser: You mean she’s even more powerful now?!?! Waaaaaaah! WE’RE DOOOOOMED!!!
Mario glanced at the panicking Bowser while asking Squorp to analyze the last remaining energy signature.
Squorp: ...SCAN COMPLETE. CREATURE 3: Oberon Hand. Celestial Saku’s right hand. It will attack independently of her main bo-
Samantha: Yes, I think we figured that out. Separate from the main body, attacks on its own…what else can it do besides slap us and boost Saku’s stats?
Squorp: STATS: 150 HP, 15 ATK, 2 DEF. ATTACKS: Glittering Slap/Healing Twirl/Celestial Guidance/Goddess Barrier. ANALYSIS: The Oberon Hand can attack with Glittering Slap, but its specialty is supporting its master. It can heal Celestial Saku, randomly increase two of her stats, or surround her in a barrier; the latter’s purpose is unknown. The Oberon Hand’s assistance will greatly increase Celestial Saku’s longevity. Destroying it will greatly increase her vulnerability, but be wary of the Cosmos Hand as well.
Samantha: Sounds like we’d better do something about that right hand of hers. Mario, switch Bowser out for someone else - we need to go all-out on Saku before the Oberon Hand makes her even stronger still!
Mario nodded and switched Bowser for Luigi. The green-clad plumber looked nervous as he eyed the opposition, but his eyes gleamed with determination as he stood behind his brother.
Luigi: Don’t worry bro! I’ve got your back - let’s bring Peach back to her senses together!
Celestial Saku: Another fool approaches…and just as worthless as the last! Switch all you want, you red-clad rat - you’ll only delay the inevitable!
Luigi: Eesh…and I thought Bowser loved to rant. Let’s-a-go, bro!
Mario smiled at Luigi before using another Infinity Smash on Celestial Saku, dealing 1 point of damage to her and 18 to her hands. Samantha opted to use her Goddess Call, while Luigi’s Super Jump hit the Oberon Hand for another 10 HP. Celestial Saku’s right hand was taking a beating, but its master only snorted derisively.
Celestial Saku: I see what you’re doing, but it’s not going to help!
With her NUM boosted, Celestial Saku began her turn by throwing another Hand of the Goddess attack on Samantha. The Infinity Queen’s guard and raised DEF negated some of the damage, but she still lost 37 HP thanks to Celestial Saku’s boosted ATK. For her second turn, the dark goddess focused her powers into her Oberon Hand, creating an intense golden glow around it.
Celestial Saku: Your attacks mean nothing to a goddess! Celestial Fortitude!
With that invocation, the glow around the Oberon Hand suddenly resolved into a bubble of pure light, appearing almost like smoky golden glass if not for the aura of power emanating from it.
Luigi: Uh oh…now we’re only gonna do half damage to that hand for a while!
To make matters worse, the Cosmos Hand used its Omen Snap on Luigi, hitting him for 5 HP and inflicting Anti-Flower despite his guard. The Oberon Hand finished things up by using Goddess Barrier on the Cosmos Hand, surrounding it in an aura resembling a spiked ball.
Luigi: Aw man, this is bad! Both hands are protected…and I’ve lost my special attacks, too!
Samantha: Arrogant as she is, Saku is certainly putting her new power to good use.
Luigi: Well, I guess there’s no big deal. We can take this opportunity to heal up.
Samantha: Leave it to me!
The purple-haired woman used a Mega Shroom on herself and Mario to restore their HP, shortly before Mario used a Double Donut on himself to boost his NUM. On her second turn, Samantha used the party’s second-to-last Mega Syrup to restore their FP before Defending herself. Luigi finished things by using Defend as well.
Celestial Saku: Hmhmhmhm…your efforts are futile! Healing yourself will only delay your inevitable destruction!
To prove her point, Celestial Saku used a double Hand of the Goddess on Mario. The heroic plumber blocked both hits, but Saku’s enhanced ATK meant that he still lost a grand total of 80 HP! Celestial Saku cackled evilly as Mario visibly staggered from the forceful double hit.
Celestial Saku: Ha ha ha ha ha! Now do you see, mortal?! Anything you do, I can sweep away in a matter of seconds! It’s utterly useless to challenge me! Tremble before my divine strength!
The dark goddess cackled again as her Cosmos Hand used Fearful Snap on Mario. To her surprise, the red-clad hero blocked the attack (losing only 8 HP) and evaded the Fear status as well.
Celestial Saku: ...Hm. Still defiant, are we? You truly are an idiot of epic proportions, aren’t you? Perhaps I need to further illustrate how helpless you truly are!
Celestial Saku raised her Oberon Hand and twirled its index finger in a circle. This created a spiral of sparkling golden light over the hand, restoring 35 HP to it.
Luigi: Uh oh…That hand just went and healed itself! And with that damage-halving shield over it, I dunno if we can wear it down at this rate!
Samantha: We have to keep trying! She has to have some kind of weakness!
Forcing down her own feelings of unease, Samantha used a double Infinity Bolt on the Oberon Hand. To her dismay, each bolt only did 4 HP damage, thanks to Celestial Fortitude.
Samantha: Ugh! That barely did anything to the hand! Mario, we need to fight fire with fire!
Mario nodded, immediately recognizing what Samantha meant. He immediately summoned the Celestial Spirit of Nature, surprising Celestial Saku.
Celestial Saku: What?! You’re still supporting these mortal imbeciles?!
Spirit of Nature: Of course. They have earned the right to use our power - unlike you, who relied on luck, misdirection, and the actions of others!
Celestial Saku: Grrrr…do not mock a goddess, you little weed!
The Spirit of Nature did not respond as she used her power to shield the heroes. However, Mario was far from finished; on his second turn, he used Fire Hammer on Oberon Hand. Although this only did 3 HP damage, it also Burned the hand.
Luigi: Nice one, bro! That should help wear it down a little!
Samantha smiled in agreement before hitting the Oberon Hand with another Infinity Bolt, dealing another 4 HP damage. For her second action, she used another Defend; Luigi followed suit as he continued waiting for Anti-Flower to wear off.
Celestial Saku: ...Hmph. I don’t know what you fools are planning, but it's not going to save you! I’ve already seen the flaw in your strategies!
With that, Celestial Saku again targeted Mario with a double Hand of the Goddess. Although the first attack was negated by the Spirit of Nature’s power, Mario still had to block the second hit, losing 40 HP once again. Luigi gulped as his brother visibly staggered from the mighty blow.
Luigi: Aah! B-b-bro!
The Cosmos Hand opted to use its Meteor Snap, summoning white-glowing asteroids to smash into the group. The meteors heading for Samantha and Luigi were negated by the Spirit of Nature’s mystical shield, but Mario took the full brunt of the spell - even though he guarded, he lost 35 HP, leaving him with only 7!
Samantha: Oh no…Mario’s running out of steam!
Fortunately for Mario, the Oberon Hand opted to target Samantha with its Glittering Slap, dealing 10 points of damage. After that, the Oberon Hand lost 1 HP to its Burn, the Cosmos Hand’s Goddess Barrier vanished, and Celestial Saku’s stats returned to normal.
Luigi: Phew…I thought you were done for, bro!
Despite being severely weakened, Mario managed to give his younger brother a thumbs-up as Samantha noticed the disappearance of the Cosmos Hand’s protection.
Samantha: Look! The left hand’s shield is gone! Now’s our chance - let’s focus our attacks on that hand!
With her final dose of Goddess Call, Samantha threw a double Queen’s Wrath at Celestial Saku. This did 26 HP of damage to the Cosmos Hand, 12 HP to the Oberon Hand, and 2 to the evil goddess herself. Mario followed up with a double Infinity Smash to hit Saku and her hands for 2, 36, and 18 HP, respectively.
Celestial Saku: Argh! You miserable mortals begin to test my patience!
Samantha: Save the whining for after this!
For her second turn, Samantha used another double Queen’s Wrath, leaving the party with 9 FP; however, the resulting damage left the Cosmos Hand with only 26 HP and the Oberon Hand with 44 HP (sadly, Celestial Saku was still at 392, thanks to her incredible mystic defenses). Still suffering from Anti-Flower, Luigi opted to use his basic Jump, hitting the Cosmos Hand twice for a total of 12 HP. Celestial Saku growled in her throat as she registered the serious damage done to her hands.
Celestial Saku: ...Hmm. Perhaps I haven’t given you enough credit - even in the face of absolute power, you can still put up a brave defense. But that’s fine; you’re only giving me an excuse to unleash the true extent of my power against you!
The heroes tensed as Celestial Saku crossed her arms in front of her body and began focusing her power. The Celestial Orb on her crown glowed brightly, forcing Mario and his friends to look away.
Celestial Saku: Bask in my true radiance! Celestial Veil!
When the light faded enough for the heroes to look at their foe once again, they saw that Celestial Saku had surrounded herself in a wispy golden aura, almost appearing like a sheet of gossamer silk. Her hands didn’t attack this turn, although the Oberon Hand still lost 1 HP from its Burn as its Celestial Fortitude wore off.
Luigi: Whoa. What the heck is that?
Mario thought back to Squorp’s analysis and told his brother that Celestial Saku was preparing her ultimate attack - any attacks they performed on her now would increase the damage output, while the damage of the attack itself would be spread between Saku herself and her two hands.
Luigi: Oh no! That means we have to worry about powering her up while trying to finish off her hands! And we were so close to beating the left hand, too…
Samantha: Well, at least your Anti-Flower has worn off…but our FP is really low!
Mario considered the situation for a moment before coming to a decision; they needed to take out Celestial Saku’s hands immediately. He told Luigi and Samantha to attack Celestial Saku with whatever they had left and leave the rest to him.
Luigi: Bro…are you sure about this? We’re gonna take a huge hit from Celestial Saku if we can’t beat her here and now…
Samantha: And considering how little damage we’ve done to her main body, I doubt we’ll beat her before she charges up.
Mario told his allies that he knew the risks, but he was certain that they could do a lot of damage to Celestial Saku before she could unleash her Shinedown attack. Luigi and Samantha exchanged looks before nodding determinedly.
Luigi: Alright, bro. If you’re sure this’ll work, I’m with you!
Samantha: That goes double for me! You haven’t led us astray yet, and you won’t start now!
Mario thanked his partners for their faith before allowing Luigi to take point.
Luigi: Alright, Ms. Brainwashed-Into-Being-Evil Princess-turned-Celestial, take this!
Celestial Saku: For the last blasted time, I am not a brainwashed prin- Aagh!
Luigi interrupted Celestial Saku’s rant with his Rain of Green attack, hitting all three enemies at once (and thereby negating the Celestial Veil’s damage dispersion effect). Although Celestial Saku lost only 1 HP, both of her hands took 16 points of damage - just barely enough to finish off the Cosmos Hand.
Luigi: Yippee! That’s one hand down and out!
Celestial Saku snarled in pain and disbelief as her left arm shone brightly before shattering like glass and dissolving into thin air.
Celestial Saku: Gahh! Impossible…you actually managed to hurt me!
Samantha: I guess not even a goddess is immune to our strength. *to Luigi* Nice shot, Luigi!
Luigi: Aah, it wasn’t that awesome. We still have one hand and a ticked-off Celestial to worry about…
Mario nodded in agreement as Samantha used her Infinity Bolt on the Oberon Hand. As expected, the Celestial Veil absorbed the damage and redistributed half to Celestial Saku, causing her to lose another 1 HP while her remaining hand took 3 points of damage.
Samantha: Oh boy…I don’t know if we can take out the other hand before Celestial Saku’s charged up!
Mario reassured Samantha that they could do it before hitting Celestial Saku with a double Ultra Hammer attack. As Mario planned, the Celestial Veil halved the damage between the dark goddess and her hand, dealing 2 damage and 10 damage, respectively. Celestial Saku’s lip curled scornfully behind her shield as pain shot through her Oberon Hand.
Celestial Saku: Your efforts are futile! Your attacks only enhance my own power - in the end, your demise will only be all the more painful!
The demonic goddess laughed mockingly as she continued focusing her power, causing her Celestial Veil to glow even more brightly. Other than that, she took no action on her turn as her Oberon Hand lost one more HP to its Burn.
Squorp: WARNING! WARNING! Celestial energy readings exceeding scanning limits. Probability of attack next turn: 99.9%.
Luigi glanced back at his brother nervously, but Mario only nodded reassuringly.
Luigi: Samantha, keep at her! I think my bro’s got a plan!
Samantha nodded as she and Luigi used their basic attacks on the Oberon Hand. The result was 3 points of damage to Celestial Saku and 12 points to the Oberon Hand, leaving it on the verge of defeat.
Samantha: Alright Mario, if you have a plan, now’s the time to use it!
The red-clad plumber gave Samantha a thumbs-up as he summoned the Celestial Spirit of Blessing once again. The wave of spirit-charged water depleted the last of the Oberon Hand’s HP, causing it to meet the same explosive fate as the Cosmos Hand. Celestial Saku gritted her teeth as another wave of pain shot through her body, but she quickly composed herself with a harsh laugh.
Celestial Saku: Grrr… Not bad, heroes...but destroying my arms is all you’ll do! You’ve used your last turn to finish my Oberon Hand, and now you’re wide open for my final att-
The newly-armless deity froze mid-sentence as Mario brought out the Spirit of Nature, shielding himself and his friends with another field of magic flowers. The red-clad plumber allowed himself a small smirk of triumph as the second Celestial Orb disappeared back into energy.
Celestial Saku: WHAT?! How did you…?!
Mario explained that he was wearing the Celestial Wrath badge, which allowed him to use two Celestials in one turn.
Luigi: Oh, I get it! That was Mario’s plan all along - use the Celestials to both finish off the hand and protect us from Saku’s attack! Good thinking, bro!
Celestial Saku gaped for a second longer before giving an incredulous laugh.
Celestial Saku: Ah…hahahaha…HAHAHAHA! You think that you’re safe?! I have the power of the greatest Celestial of all, remember? With this power…NOTHING is safe from me!
The corrupted goddess began charging her energy once again, causing the Celestial Veil to vanish into a blazing aura resembling the sun itself. The emblem of the Celestial Mother appeared behind her body, along with four wings of brilliant white light.
Celestial Saku: VANISH INTO THE LIGHT! ULTIMATE POWER…SHINEDOWN!!!
Samantha: Oh dear…Hang on, everyone!
The three heroes covered their eyes and braced their bodies as Celestial Saku unleashed a massive laser from the orb on her crown. The entire tower shook as waves of light surged outward for miles - had anything been at that height, it would have been utterly levelled. However, when the intense light faded and the dust settled, the heroes were still standing, protected by the Spirit of Nature’s power. Good thing too, since all that attacking they had done during the Celestial Veil phase had pumped up Shinedown’s power to a whopping 146!!!
Luigi: Whoa…that was intense! Are you okay, bro?!
Although Mario was still weak from the beating he’d taken earlier, he managed a happy jump as the last of the Celestial energy around him vanished. Samantha wiped her brow as she straightened up and regarded her allies.
Samantha: I’ll be honest; I think my life flashed before my eyes back there. If we hadn’t blocked that blast, we’d probably be feeling that one for years.
Celestial Saku’s jaw dropped when she saw her foes still standing.
Celestial Saku: IMPOSSIBLE!! You should be nothing but ashes on the wind!
Samantha: What did I tell you, Peach? Your power is vast…but we will not allow you to win!
Celestial Saku: Grrrrr…You dare compare yourselves to me?! A bunch of mortal ants against a GODDESS?! I am unstoppable now…And for the last time, my name is NOT PEACH!!!
Vanessa: You’re not looking very unstoppable right now, “Notpeach”. In fact...I’d say you’ve been……
Greg: …Vanessa, please tell me the next word isn’t “disarmed”.
Vanessa: No! I was gonna call her…“hARMless”.
Betty: Boooo! Bowser’s jokes are way better than that one!
This comment elicited another yelp from the Koopa King, who was still suffering from Fear.
Bowser: Eeeeek! Don’t bring attention to me!
General Guy: Bad puns aside…your reign is over before it even begins, Saku! Surrender now and hand over the Celestial Mother!
Celestial Saku laughed incredulously as she floated higher into the air, her tentacles twitching spasmodically as her rage peaked.
Celestial Saku: You think you can command me? A goddess does not answer to a mortal general! A goddess answers to NO ONE! I AM THE ABSOLUTE POWER!!! I AM THE RULER OF THE UNIVERSE!!! I AM…...I…….I…...I...
Suddenly, Celestial Saku doubled over, as though a giant fist had punched her right in the gut. Her tentacles convulsed and writhed as she wobbled in the air, groaning in sudden discomfort.
Celestial Saku: Huuurrkk… W...wh...what is...AAARRGGGHH!!!!!!
The heroes stared at Celestial Saku as she reared back and howled in pain.
Samantha: ...?! What in the world?! What’s going on with Saku?!
General Guy was about to respond, when his commlink beeped with a message from Kaiser.
General Guy: …? *activates commlink* General Guy here. What’s wrong, Kaiser?
Kaiser: General Guy! The home base is picking up new readings! The purple smoke from the Infinity Empire is beginning to gain altitude, and their Darkron-powered soldiers and weaponry are shutting down!
Vick: I noticed it as well - the Elites are just keeling over and vomiting purple smog. It looks like every bit of Darkron in the continent is evacuating from its vessels-
Kaiser: -and it’s all converging on your position!
The heroes raced to the sides of the tower, where they beheld a scene of chaos. The Infinity Fleet was falling from the sky, their lights flickering out as Darkron vapor poured from every seam. The falling ships were quickly swallowed up by the enormous cloud of purple fog surrounding the tower; which, the heroes noted, was rapidly rising towards them.
Crawsby: What in tarnation?!
Bowser: AAAAAAARGH! The Darkron is coming! THE DARKRON IS COMING!!!
Luigi: Mama mia! Are the Ztars coming to help Saku by possessing us?!
Samantha: Not on my watch! Stay close to me, everyone!
The group gathered around Samantha as she summoned a barrier around them to try and block the incoming Darkron. However, the vapor did not attempt to envelop them - instead, it compressed into several tendrils of smoke that shot straight past the roof of the tower and converged directly above Celestial Saku.
Betty: What the heck is that dark stuff doing? Shouldn’t it be trying to corrupt us right now?
Before anyone could answer, the Celestial Orbs emerged from Mario’s body. To the group’s surprise, the Celestial Spirits appeared before them.
Spirit of Blessing: That’s because we are protecting you. Our divine power is immune to the influence of the Ztars… Unfortunately, it seems that Saku is not so fortunate.
Bronco: Well! Talk about a stroke of luck!
General Guy: But wait. How are you immune and not Saku? She’s become a Celestial like you all.
Spirit of Superiority: Psssh! That loser? Please. She’s about as Celestial as Triumph is as good at reciting the Celestial Pledge.
Spirit of Triumph: Heeeey! >=c
Spirit of Nature: Saku does have the power of a Celestial through her foul wish and the stolen strength of our mother, but it has been corrupted by her evil heart and the Darkron within her. Instead of defending her from the influence of the Ztars, her might only serves to draw them to her - a cruel, self-absorbed monster such as her is like a royal feast to them!
Spirit of Justice: Ha! Royal…I get it!
The heroes nod in understanding, only for Crawsby to realize something.
Crawsby: Wait one syrup-chuggin’ second! If Saku’s turned inta a giant Darkron beacon…could dat mean she’s gonna absorb all dat Ztar-power inta herself?!
Spirit of Destruction: Probably. Between her rage at you for hindering her, her innate lust for power, and the Darkron already within her, she would be the perfect vessel for the entirety of the dark energy that has driven her thus far.
Betty: B-but if that’s true, then…uh oh! Look!
The heroes and spirits turned back to see their fears confirmed; the massive cloud of Darkron above the tower was now surging into Celestial Saku’s body. The evil goddess’s power flared even as she screamed in agony, making her entire body shine brilliant white.
Celestial Saku: EEEYAAAAAAAAAUUUUGH!!! GRRAAAAAAAARRRGH!!!!
Saku’s echoing voice slowly distorted into a deep growl as her aura turned an all-too-familiar shade of purple. Her hair began to slough off as her armor and face began to crack.
Bowser: OOOHH NOOOOOOOO!!! This is gonna be BAAAAAD!
Squorp: WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! Extreme danger! Darkron radiation and Celestial energy are both approaching critical levels! New energy readings detected - unable to identify! Error! Error! ErrorErrorErrorErro- *kzzt*
The small robot buzzed and sparked as the sheer power around him wreaked havoc on his systems. Meanwhile, the glow around Celestial Saku became too bright to look at, concealing her form completely before releasing a massive pillar of purple light that stretched down to the ground and up into space. Waves of pure darkness erupted from both ends of the pillar, enveloping the entire planet in eerie fog.
Vanessa: What’s going on?!?!
Spirit of Honor: Hold fast and muster your courage! The true battle for the fate of the universe…begins now!
After what felt like an eternity, the light faded, leaving the group facing what was left of Celestial Saku. The transformation had left her even worse for the wear than before - most of her hair was gone, and parts of her armor had broken off entirely. Half of the skin on her face had peeled away, exposing pulsating flesh, a jagged mouth, and a jet-black eye with a red pupil. Most horrific of all were the masses of Hollow Crystals erupting from all over Saku’s body, similar to Infinipliss - they poked out of her chest, her face, and her crown, with a particularly large mass of crystals replacing the tentacles on her lower body.
Luigi: Holy Shroom Steaks! She looks even more evil than before!
Samantha: My goodness…is this the ultimate fate of all who succumb to Darkron corruption?!
Crawsby: Yikes! Saku’s seen better days, dat’s fer sure…
Greg: Hate to say it, Crawsby, but…I don’t think Saku’s home anymore.
???: RAAAAAAARRRRGGGHH!!!! DD…..DAAARRKK..NNEEEESSS….CCOO..N…..SSUU..MMEEESS…..E….VEEERRYYY...TTTHIII..NNNGGG!!!!!
Bowser: Oh geez!! Sh-she even sounds creepy too!!!
Vanessa: So it seems the Ztars’ plan is being set in full motion....I hate to say it….but I think we’ve lost this one….
Globobob: What………..???? But………………...we…………...can’t……………..lose!
Vanessa: Globobob! We could barely scratch Saku in the last form! What makes you think we’ll even stand a chance against this?!
Luigi: And we threw everything we had into just destroying her hands…I don’t think we’ve got enough strength left to finish the job!
Samantha: I’m afraid you’re right. This beast has become too powerful for our own good...This’ll only become a fool's errand…
Bronco: So...that’s it then….we lost...
Mario looked between his friends, seeing the despair on their faces. He wanted desperately to reassure them that they could win...but not even he could see how they could stand up to the Darkron-infected goddess before them. Just when he was about to admit defeat, the Celestial Spirits formed a circle overhead, shining a bright light.
Spirit of Blessing: Heroes...it is not over. You can indeed slay this corrupted dark beast. The answer...is us.
Spirit of Technology: MY CALCULATIONS INDICATE THAT CELESTIAL POWER IS EFFECTIVE AGAINST DARK POWER. AS SUCH, CELESTIAL POWER TRANSFER WILL RESULT IN THE SAME FOR MORTAL TARGETS.
Spirit of Superiority: For those who don’t speak robo-nerd... If we give you our power; you’ll be able to kick this Boogey Monster reject back to the darkest pits of...the darkest pits!
Spirit of Judging: In other wordssssssssss, to beat a Celesssssstial; you mussssssssst fight like a Celesssssssstial. And we can enable you to do sssssso.
The heroes looked at each other and back at the Celestials, utterly stunned by this new revelation.
Samantha: You can really do that…? But how?!
Spirit of Destruction: We are the children of the Mother of Creation. We’ve been together, grown up together, fought together, and learned together throughout our years. Our eternal bond can make us do extraordinary things. Transferring our powers onto mortals was one of those things.
Vanessa: So...you're saying you’ll help us fight?
Spirit of Justice: Hahaha! A true hero of Justice never backs down from a fight! Especially one where the fate of the world is at stake! Superior species or no - and to be honest, I still kinda question Mom’s judgement there - we’re in this fight together!
Mario gave a thumbs-up as his way of showing thanks for all of the hard work and help the Spirits have been to them.
Spirit of Blessing: Mario...since day one; I had full hope that you would be the one to save this world from the evils of the Infinity Empire and the Ztars. The others didn’t always believe me, but by coming this far, you have proven my brothers and sisters wrong. And now, in this final struggle; my family and I will do what we promised to do...fight alongside you all. I, The Spirit of Blessing; Purifier of Water, will bless you all with the soothing calm waters and wash away any threats…
Spirit of Judgement: My job issssssssssss to judge thossssssssse worthy to live in the new world our mother createsssssssssss in the new cycle. Though the time hassssssssss not yet come for the new world; you lot have sssssshown me that you are more than worthy. And to fight alongsssssssside you isssssssss indeed an honor. I, The Sssssspirit of Judgement; Juror of the Dead, ssssssshall lay down the gavel and aid you by ssssssending thissssssss beassssst where all unworthy creaturessssssss truly belong.
Spirit Of Nature: When I was but a child, I was always convinced that you mortals were the enemy to Nature. Killing what made the planet so beautiful in the first place...but when I first met you, Mario, you once told me something that changed my view points about mortals and the evils of technology. When I asked you if Machines or Nature was better; you told me that both matter to the world. And then I understood that Nature and Machines have one thing in common; they both keep the world alive. Without either one of them, the world would fall into. Realizing this, I’ve grown to understand a new kind of nature...the nature of mortal lives. There are mortals who rely on nature and machines. For giving me this new mindset, I’ve grown to respect and adore you mortals even more; despite the others who take advantage of the planet. This planet’s beauty cannot vanish into a cloak of darkness - I, The Spirit of Nature; Protector of Plantation, will not allow any more harm to come to the mortal world!
Spirit of Honor: When it comes to being a hero, bravery and honor is a must. Without these, thou art doomed to fail. But what happens when thou knows you cannot win? Doth thou surrender and go home? In this instance, nay! It is not Honorable to surrender. I would rather die a hero than live a coward. And if thou art on the same boat as thy; then let us join together and fight! I, The Spirit of Honor; Guardian of the Earth, shall stand and fight for thou as your noble knight in shining armor!
Spirit of Justice: I was a fool to ever trust Saku. Blessing and the others warned me. But I let my heroic arrogance get the better of me. I realize now that I am not the hero I once was. But! That’ll change today! Because of people like you, Mario and friends, I have an opportunity to reclaim my title! I, the Spirit of Justice; Hero of Fire, will achieve this great victory with my friends and family!
Spirit of Superiority: Gonna be honest with ya Mario. When I first heard of ya from the others; I didn’t think you was all that. Heck, I thought you was just another show-off like me. But sweet pillars of light did you prove me wrong! But hey, that’s what happens when you're like me. I admit that I can tend to be very arrogant and brash...and I tend to brag A LOT...but what people don’t realize is that I really do care...I love my family, but I don’t always know how to say it. My superiority complex is just my way of hiding it...but I shouldn’t. That’s wrong of me. And yet, you guys managed to put up with me when I was… Heh. Inferior or not, you’re alright in my book. So as such; I, The Spirit of Superiority; The Angel of Light, am gonna stick with you guys to the very end. Let’s give this “goddess” a real beat down!
Spirit of Triumph: This adventure was quite the test, and you heroes have done your best. Fighting and fighting, pushing and winning. All to keep the flow for a new beginning. No matter what struggles come your way, you have shown that you are here to stay.You impressed me, heroes, even shocked me at times; You showed no trouble in making foes pay for their crimes. As the Spirit of Triumph; Champion of the Frost, this battle is surely not lost. So let us stand together on this final day, and give these monsters a debt they will pay!...with their lives!
Spirit of Technology: MARIO. WHEN WE FIRST MET, THIS UNIT COULD ONLY SCAN YOUR ABILITIES AND HISTORY. I ONLY IDENTIFIED THE DEPTH OF YOUR COURAGE AND BRAVERY THROUGH OBSERVATION OF YOUR battle AGAINST THE INFINITY EMPIRE. YOU FIGHT FOR YOUR OWN DIRECTIVES, AS OPPOSED TO WHAT MOST ROBOTIC UNITS. I MAYBE A MACHINE, BUT I AM ALSO A GENIUS. SCANS INDICA….NO….NO MORE SCANS...NO MORE CALCULATIONS! I AM BEYOND JUST A MACHINE! I AM A SPIRIT! THE SPIRIT OF TECHNOLOGY, GENIUS OF THE FUTURE. I WILL FOLLOW MY OWN DIRECTIVES AND LIVE LIFE AS A FREE MACHINE. AND TO START, I WILL HELP IN AIDING THE DEFEAT OF THIS FALSE GODDESS!
Spirit of Destruction: Mario……..Do you know what my job is…?
Mario nods slowly, answering that his job was to wipe out and destroy existence.
Spirit of Destruction: So...you have done your homework. That is correct...I am the one who ends everything. I am the catalyst for all things armageddon. Only through the will of our mother will the world cease to exist by my hands.......and that is where the problem lies. The world will soon come to an end….and neither I nor my mother has permitted this. This...false goddess dares to stand in the way of the cycle of life. And as such, I will not allow this! Mario….I may look like a scary almighty monster who brings about the end of the world...but when you get past that...I’m just as noble and kind hearted as you. After all the times Saku has used my power against you, it’s only fitting that I apologize by lending my strength to you to ensure that you can return the favor! I….The Spirit of Destruction; Bringer of the End, shall aid you to show this monster what happens when you tangle with the cycle of life!
Spirit of Blessing: As you can see Mario...we are with you ‘till the end. Let us all band together and fight for the future of the universe!
The Celestial Spirits bodies began to glow a bright light of their respective colors. In an instance, a beautiful radiant rainbow showers the heroes, healing their wounds and curing their ailments..
Bowser: Whoa! What’s going on?! I…I...I suddenly feel brave and awesome again!
Luigi: My wounds are...disappearing! As if they never existed!
Betty: It’s the Celestials! They’re gifting us with their power!
By the time the light faded, the party’s HP, FP, and CP had been restored to its maximum state, all Negative Ailments had been removed, and all items that were previously used in the fights against Saku and Celestial Saku had been restored. To top it off, the heroes felt new strength surging into them; now, they had the power to finally pierce Saku’s magic defenses!
Wow-ow-ow-ow...deus ex ma-a-a-achina much?
Well, they are divine beings. What did you expect?
I expe-e-e-ect you’re going to die-ie-ie alone and unloved for pulling thi-i-i-is one out of your behind like the useless little dirtba-a-a-ag you ar-
*blows off rocket launcher* Ehh...where were we?
Celestial Spirits: May the creator shine upon you on your final battle.
The Spirits revert back to their physical forms and return to Mario’s possession. The heroes were still a bit stunned by the new power flowing through them, but Samantha quickly snapped them out of their dazes.
Samantha: Everyone! This is it! This may be just what we needed to defeat Saku once and for all!
???: SAAAKU?! SAKU IS ALREADY DEAD! NOW...THERE IS ONLY DARKNESS!
Bowser: Oooh geez. Classic super villain alert.
General Guy: That’s hypocritical, coming from you.
Bowser: Oh, come on! When’s the last time I said something that cheesy?!
If General Guy had visible eyes, he would have rolled them in exasperation as Crawsby pointed his spear at the former Queen Saku.
Crawsby: Alright, missy - if you ain’t Saku, who in de name o’ Grainy Gulch are ya?
???: I AM THE HARBINGER OF THE FALL OF LIGHT...THE HERALD OF THE ZTARS’ TRUE CONQUEST OF THIS UNIVERSE...THE CHAMPION OF THE ALMIGHTY KING NECRO! THE ABSOLUTE QUEEN OF DARKNESS, WHO WILL REIGN OVER ALL CREATION…DARKREINA!!!
Vanessa: ...That is a stupid name…
Bronco: Sure is...but I’m a bit more worried about what she said before that. If I heard her right…
Greg: Yes. It seems that Peach is even further gone than before - she’s abandoned humanity entirely! The Darkron is firmly in the driver’s seat, so to speak...and it sounds like it’s brought her completely over to the Ztars’ cause!
Darkreina: MUH HUH HUH HUH HUH…AND WHY WOULDN’T I SERVE THE ZTARS?! THEY ARE THE SUPREME RULERS OF ALL - THE ABSOLUTE PINNACLE OF LIFE IN THIS - OR ANY - UNIVERSE! YOU MORTAL FOOLS ARE NOTHING MORE THAN VESSELS TO THEIR LIMITLESS DARK POWER!
Samantha: That’s a lie! The Ztars are nothing but parasites, doing their evil deeds by possessing others - including you! We will not allow them to return from beyond the pale!
Darkreina replied with a booming, demonic laugh as she descended beside the tower, putting herself at eye level with the defiant heroes.
Darkreina: GHAAAR HAR HAR HAR HAR! YOU’RE ALREADY TOO LATE! THIS WORLD WILL BE THE SEED FROM WHICH THE ZTARS RETURN TO THEIR FULL DARK GLORY! AND THAT SEED WILL GROW...FROM THE CORPSES OF EVERYONE UPON THIS PLANET!!!
Luigi: Not if we have anything to say about it! We’re gonna stop you and the Ztars, and then bring you back to your true self!
Darkreina: WEEE.. SHALL SEE, WON’T WE!? COME! FIGHT ME!
The heroes were slightly taken aback by Darkreina’s sudden challenge.
Betty: ...Wow, really? No more bragging about your superiority? No gloating about the futility of our fight? Not even asking how we’re gonna kick your spiky purple behind from here to the ground?
Darkreina: TALK IS WASTED ON INFERIOR BEINGS SUCH AS YOU! THE SOONER WE FIGHT, THE SOONER YOU’LL DIE - AND THE SOONER I CAN OVERRUN THE UNIVERSE IN DARKNESS AND DESPAIR!!!
Mario frowned behind his mustache - he could sense something off about Darkreina’s words. Nonetheless, he told his friends that the plan hadn’t changed - they needed to stop the now badly-corrupted Saku to save the world from her tyrannical reign.
General Guy: You’re right, Mario. This is it, everyone! We must stop Saku and the Darkron here and now! We have the power - we need to use it to finally put an end to this nightmare!
The others nodded with renewed determination as Darkreina rose back into the air over the tower, ready to fight. At last, the long-awaited battle for the fate of the universe has begun. With both sides empowered by immense supernatural might, an epic final clash is all but assured...but can Mario and Co. stop the Darkron-enhanced Saku before she brings back the Ztars?
Find out as we begin the big finale...of Celestial Legends.
-TO BE CONCLUDED-