“Let’s a-go!” Luigi said as he and Yoshi made their way toward the door plainly waiting at the end of the hallway.
The green plumber, not wasting a second to spare, opened—well, more like yanked—the door open, and they both rushed to whatever was waiting at the other side.
To their surprise, what waited for them at the other side was a totally different scenery—so different that it made them wonder if they were still inside Bowser’s Castle.
“Are…are we still in Bowser’s Castle…?” Luigi wondered. Their surroundings were so unlike the hot and deathlike interior of the Koopa King’s domain—right now the main elements that made up their environment were green, lots of green. Grass, trees—a forest, to be exact.
“How did we end up in a forest…?” Yoshi gasped, asking the exact same question in Luigi’s head. Then he narrowed his eyes. “Hold on—there’s something about this forest that’s so familiar….” He took a closer look at the trees and then he exchanged a shocked look with Luigi, who looked just as shocked as the former.
“Yoshi’s Island!” they gasped in unison.
“But…what are we doing here?” Luigi shook his head in disbelief. “More than that, why did the door direct us here?”
There were no answers.
“Well, anyway,” Yoshi said quickly, squaring his shoulders, “let’s just get back—” His sentence was cut short when he realized that the door that led them to the place was gone.
“Oh no,” Luigi said in a strained voice. “This can’t be good—how do we get back?!”
“I…don’t know,” Yoshi said in a mumble. “But I’m pretty sure if that door led us here, then I’m sure we can find another way to get back. I don’t think warp zones and portals will have to be only one-way passages.”
Luigi huffed; the sound made it clear that he wasn’t in any way assured or reassured by what his pal had said. But then he decided that it was better than staying and mulling over about the door’s absence.
“Okay, let’s do it your way, Yoshi,” Luigi said finally. “But first—let’s try to get out of here.”
Yoshi nodded. “Well, we could get back to the village, which isn’t that far, but I doubt we’ll be seeing any other Yoshis other than me since, well…” He trailed off, and I immediately the thin Mario bro realized his friend’s hesitation.
All the other Yoshis of the Island were back outside the castle, battling the multitude of Bowser’s army alongside Birdo and her friends—they’d chosen to hold them back, to buy time for the two of them.
And they weren’t going to waste the time they had bought for them. Nor would they want to even think about whether Birdo, her friends and all the other Yoshis made it or not.
“Come on, pal,” Luigi said, forcibly pulling himself from the worrisome reverie they were about to have. “Let’s try to make our way out of this mess—” Then he sucked in a sharp breath and turned his head quickly to the side.
Yoshi was surprised at the sudden change of Luigi’s expression. “Luigi? What’s wrong?”
“I thought I just saw something,” Luigi muttered, narrowing his eyes at the direction where he had sworn he saw something make a sudden movement. “Something moved—it was like there was something here that a-wasn’t here before….”
“The soil-monster with the key-eyes…?” Yoshi guessed.
Luigi shook his head. “That a-can’t be—we defeated it for good. The riddle we got that a-led us to World Seven proved that. And we only get riddles when we defeat the main objective of the riddle.”
Yoshi didn’t argue after that—Luigi was right. And not only that, he could feel the same thing Luigi had moments until now—there really was something in the Island that hadn’t been there before. The place was the same, the scenery was the same, but…there was something that changed.
Suddenly both Luigi and Yoshi felt like they weren’t alone in the forest of Yoshi’s Island.
Was there something—or someone—else there at the forest with them?
Luigi sighed—it was very much like Bowser to not give them a hint for solving the riddle of the labyrinth without yielding to them an equally puzzling riddle in return; the whole fact that the door had led them to Yoshi’s Island, where they had fought the first of the baddies Bowser had hurled at them, was a riddle in itself.
The two made their way toward the village, but as soon as they got there, they could tell something had changed.
Although the village looked exactly as they had left it, and nothing had changed physically, Luigi and Yoshi could tell something was very, very wrong.
“Hey, everyone,” Yoshi called out, just to test out and, hopefully, prove that there was nothing wrong with what greeted him and Luigi when they went to the village.
Nothing replied, nor acknowledged Yoshi’s words, save Luigi, who had been looking around with a worried and tense look on his face.
“It’s like a freaking ghost town here,” Luigi commented after moments of silence. “Everything’s practically deserted.”
“Where is every—,” Yoshi started to say, only to answer his own question in the same instant. That was right—everyone had gone with Birdo to fight Bowser’s army. They had all paved way for him and Luigi to face Bowser themselves.
And now here we are, several miles away and practically back to zero, Yoshi sighed, unwilling to think of what all his fellow Yoshis had risked just to even help him and Luigi go past Bowser’s army and finally enter the castle.
It was then that the green dinosaur stormed off to the nearest house he saw.
Luigi noticed him. “What do you think you’re doing, pal?”
Yoshi was at loss for words. “I—I don’t know, Luigi. I…I just want to see if everyone is gone….”
“You witnessed it yourself back at the castle, Yoshi—they all came. Let’s leave and go back there. We shouldn’t dawdle around here.”
“I—I—I-I don’t know. I just….”
“Come on, Yoshi.”
“W-wait, just let me—”
As Yoshi opened the door of the house and stepped inside, with Luigi following suit, they gasped—what was this?
“Clouds?” Luigi was clearly as shocked as his friend beside him. Where had the door led them now?