"How are we a-gonna beat up this whole forest mass? Seriously, we need a game plan," Luigi said, all while dodging and punching the eyeballs that kept coming and going.
"I think I got a few things figured out about what we're facing," Yoshi said as he threw another egg at an approaching eyeball. "This guy sees everywhere—obviously since he's got lots of eyes scattered all over the place. Another one is that whenever an eyeball pops out of its socket"—he gestured to another eyeball that popped out of its socket, as if right on cue, and sprouted wings so it could fly close to Birdo, which, luckily, the pink dinosaur managed to poke with her fingers—"a new eye appears in its place, as if it were regenerating." And, as pointed out and described, a new eye appeared in place of the one that popped out and flew toward Birdo.
"Let's add the fact that if we stay still for too long, all the eyes will close in on us and the giant arm will take a swipe," Birdo said.
Luigi groaned. "Oh, just great—so we've got fifty-foot-tall arms up to swipe us if we keep still, and next multiple eyes that a-fly near us like annoying Parakoopas. I wonder how Mario handles going through World One to World Eight all while facing all sorts of weirdos? I get the feeling Nintendo doesn't pay him enough to rescue Peach."
"Heroes always get fame the hard way," Yoshi said.
Luigi laughed, and tensed himself. "That's a-why I'm here."
"We can't just keep moving forever and beating up eyes that will always come back—but if we don't get moving, it won't take long till the eyes center on us and soon the arms will grab us."
"But I happen to notice something while I was up there fifty feet above—all the eyes within the area seem to be forming a shape..."
"And what shape was that?" Birdo asked.
"It sort of looked like...a key..."
"That doesn't make sense," Birdo said. "There are eyes everywhere. I doubt it can form the shape of a key—"
"Hold on, I didn't say it made sense. Before I noticed the pattern, I saw that there were eyes that weren't moving at all. They seemed to be a-holding themselves steady. And so I separated the eyes that were moving and chasing you two and the eyes that were a-still and...I saw a key pattern."
Yoshi's jaw dropped. "Wow, you saw all that while you were up there? And here I thought you were panicking..."
"Try several more years of being constantly captured by Bowser and eventually you'll get somewhere."
Yoshi laughed. "You don't say...?"
"Anyway," Luigi continued, "maybe the best way to defeat this guy is to strike the eyes that form the key shape. I'm just saying. Who knows—maybe those steady eyes don't grow back."
"And you're saying that the eyes that shape a key will help us defeat the monster?"
"It's a-not impossible."
"Now, how can we try to hit the eyes? Shall we stay here and study the eyes? We'll get grabbed." Birdo shook her head.
"Birdo's right. And it's pretty much hard to identify the eyes if we're down here. If we were up—"
"Let's a-get ourselves captured, then."
"Have you lost your mind, Luigi?" Yoshi gasped. "Or has that carbonara gone down the wrong way to your throat?"
"A-no way, pal—in fact, that carbonara had extra cheese in it, too—you said we have no chance being just here, so it's best if we a-get ourselves grabbed and get the spaghetti up there!"
Birdo stared blankly at Luigi.
"That...is totally nuts of you, Luigi," Yoshi said. "But it's probably nuts enough for it to work."
"Good—now let's make those eyes come at us! But we a-need to make sure the fingers don't get us—we a-have to hold on to the hand and not the other way around."
"Got it, Luigi."
They all waited for the eyes to center on them and hopefully for the arm to grab them.
After a while, the trio were surrounded by stares.
Eventually, the same ground-shaking followed, tailed with the fingers rising from the ground.
"On my signal...," Luigi began. Yoshi and Birdo tensed themselves.
"One...," Birdo said.
"Two...," Yoshi said; the massive hand was moving closer toward the three.
"...THREE!" Luigi shouted as all three of them jumped simultaneously and held on to the soil-coated hand. The hand shook back and forth at first, likely trying to shake them off, then it rose back up.
"You a-see it now?" Luigi shouted over the wailing wind.
"I see it!" Yoshi and Birdo screeched at the same time, then Yoshi said alone, "It's exactly like a key!"
"Good—hey, we've got some company!" Birdo pointed at the eyes below, the ones that were outside of the key pattern, and the ones that were popping out of their sockets and flying directly toward them!
"Duh-oh," Luigi groaned. "A-this ain't good."
"Prepare yourselves!" Yoshi shouted.
"I'll take care of that," Birdo said, shooting fire at it from her snout.
"A-take this!" Luigi said as he punched an approaching eye.
"And some more of this!" Birdo said, burning another eye.
"Hey, I got an idea," Yoshi chimed in the middle of Luigi and Birdo's battle scene.
"Yeah? And what's a-that?"
"I'm thinking that maybe we should use these flying eyes to hit at the key-eyes from above. It's practically impossible to hit the key-eyes down there if we're up here."
"Oh, uh, yeah...," Luigi flustered, realizing that little flaw in his plan; he hadn't realized till now that Yoshi was right—though they could see the pattern eyes from above, there was no way to hit them when they were all down below.
"I can suck the approaching eyes in and blow them back out," Birdo said.
"And I can keep throwing eggs till I hit the target," Yoshi added.
"And I...," Luigi said, trailing off as he tried to figure out how could he launch a missile attack on the key-eyes, then he continued, "well, I a-certainly can throw the flying eyes themselves back to the ground! A-that eez gonna pack a punch!"
"Great! Now we all know what we're gonna do," Yoshi said, all tensed up.
"A-let's go and kick some eyeball butt!"
As the eyes kept coming and going, Luigi, Yoshi and Birdo continued hitting at them, all at the same time while launching missile attacks at the key-pattern eyes (and all while being careful not to lose their balance and fall off the giant hand). They sucked in and blew them (in Birdo's part), ate them and used them as eggs (in Yoshi's part), and even luckily grabbed them mid-flight, tore off the wings—positively brutal—and threw them down to plummet to their doom (in Luigi's part).
The fight-slash-strike was difficult, but it was quickly rewarding—after a while, the trio discovered that twenty-five of the twenty-eight key-pattern eyes were taken down and "destroyed"! And, as Luigi had suspected, they were not capable of regenerating.
The trio exchanged grins.
"This is it," Birdo giggled with glee.
"Only three more to go," Yoshi said excitedly.
"A-let's not waste any more time," Luigi suggested.
Using her snout, Birdo sucked in one more approaching fly-eye, and, with all her might, she blew it down so intense that the twenty-sixth key-eye broke off with the shattering noise that could even be heard from up there.
"Three...," Birdo muttered, counting down.
"My turn," Yoshi said, looking above at another approaching fly-eye, taking it in with his tongue, laying it out as an egg, and throwing it hard down, eventually leading the twenty-seventh key-eye to shatter and break with an equally-loud noise.
"Two...," Yoshi half-panted as he continued the countdown.
"Okay, it's up to a-me," Luigi announced, eager that his hunch had been right and that the battle was almost over. He grabbed an incoming eye mid-flight, tore off its wings so it wouldn't escape when he'd throw it, then prepared to deliver the final move that would end the Yoshi Island monstrosity.
Luigi sucked in a deep breath as he began to shout out, "Here we—"
Before he could even move his arm to throw the eye, millions of fly-eyes were unleashed, causing a mass outbreak like a swarm of wild birds that were trying to escape from the sound of a hunter's gun. Within seconds, the view was completely obscured, and neither Yoshi nor Birdo could even see their own hands in front of their faces.
But where was Luigi...?
"Help!" Luigi screamed as soon as the fly-eyes had flown upward and oddly exploded to bits.
"Luigi," Yoshi gasped as he saw his friend hanging by the thumb of the creature on one hand, his other hand keeping a firm grip on the wingless fly-eye.
"Hand on, Luigi, I'll—," Yoshi began to say, but stopped cold when another million fly-eyes flew up on a second swarm to explode. "Ugh, I—I can't see—!"
"I'll save you!"
Luigi started—because that certainly wasn't Yoshi who cried out "I'll save you."
Luigi strained to see among the mass of eyes (part of his mind idled if the riddle had been wrong about "the forest mass" part) and eventually, he saw a pink hand emerge.
Wait, Luigi thought, what...Did I seriously see pink?
The familiar pink snout Luigi'd scorned just this morning emerged as well, and it didn't take long for everything to make sense.
"Birdo?" Luigi asked.
"Yes, Luigi, it's me—hold on to my hand."
Luigi narrowed his eyes as he hesitated just a little, then, knowing that his life was in the line, he held firm to Birdo's hand as the pink dinosaur pulled him up.
"You...a-didn't leave me behind...," Luigi said. Behind him, the second fly-eye swarm was gone.
"Wouldn't dream of it," Birdo replied.
Luigi smiled hesitantly at the pink dinosaur, then glared at the remaining key-pattern eye which was a dot in the middle of the key's head.
"A-here goes...NOTHING!" Luigi shouted as he swung his arm like a baseball pitcher about to throw the ball, and threw his hardest at the twenty-eighth key-pattern eye down in the middle of the key pattern, which produced the loudest sound one could ever hear, louder the ones Birdo and Yoshi had destroyed—and simply because it was the last one.
"One," Luigi finished the countdown with a heavy panting.
Barely a second after the word came out of Luigi's mouth, the soil-coated hand the trio were standing on began to shake, as if it was going through some kind of earthquake, then it...
...crumbled to pieces like loose soil...?
Luigi, Yoshi and Birdo at the same time:
"This ain't good..."
All three shouted at the top of their lungs as they plummeted down from fifty feet above. Birdo closed her eyes, anticipating a waking nightmare, Yoshi squeezed his eyes shut and muttered, "It can't be the end" repeatedly, and Luigi...covered his face with both hands and screamed, "Waaaaah!"
A second of pure, wheezing adrenaline rush—the very same one from the warp cannon Luigi and Yoshi had used earlier—went up, backed up by the sound of the wailing wind, then followed by the ruffling of the bushes.
"Oof," Yoshi panted, fumbling his fingers through the leaves of the bush, "anyone okay?"
"I am," Birdo said, struggling out of the bush.
"Hey," Luigi called, laughing nervously, "My luck seems to be changing for the better..." Then he slipped and fell off the bush, his back flat to the ground. "Ow."
"Is it really done?" Birdo asked quietly.
A smile slowly made its way across Yoshi's face. "It's really, really over, isn't it?"
Luigi, still lying on the ground, looked around for any sign that the creature might still be there, then grinned. "Yes, it's really over, guys."