“What just happened to Yoshi’s Island?” Luigi sputtered.
Yoshi was just as flabbergasted as the green plumber. “I—I have no idea.”
“We should see where—” Luigi turned around for the door, only to see that it was now gone.
“The…the door! It’s gone!” Luigi screeched.
“What!” Yoshi screeched in reply.
“But that’s impossible,” Luigi panted. “I mean, we had just a-gone through a door, and it led us here, and now we look behind and it’s gone!”
“What could it mean…?” Yoshi shook his head, confused with what was going on and exasperated with all the confusion everything is giving him. “Could Yoshi’s Island have been…gone?”
Luigi considered that, but he said, “Gone or not, that just won’t explain why or even how could the island have disappeared like it did.”
“Add to that the truth that we’re here in a-what looks a lot like World Seven.”
“You got me there, Luigi.”
“But…since when did a door of just any random house serve as a portal all the way to World Seven?”
Yoshi’s eyes narrowed, then he shook his head. “No, just no.”
Luigi raised an eyebrow. “Oh, you don’t buy it?”
“As a local, I’ve known the ins and outs of the island like the polka dots of a Yoshi egg. And I’m certain that there couldn’t have been a ‘warp zone’ or portal completely hidden in a house like that without me or at least anyone from the island knowing. And everyone didn’t tell me a thing about it when they caught up with us back there at Bowser’s Castle—that means the portal wasn’t anyone’s doing. And not only that…there was something very, very wrong back there at the island. You felt that too, right, pal?”
Luigi just kept quiet. He couldn’t disagree to something he had brought up himself back where they had gone from.
“While it’s true all the other Yoshis are likely back there fending off Bowser’s goons, the way the island was deserted like it was just didn’t feel right. And not only that—”
Yoshi sucked in a shocked breath, Luigi jolted up like he had just received a mild voltage of a shock from beneath.
“It’s that again,” Luigi murmured.
“Some kind of shadow…? At first I might have been able to convince myself what I saw was all a delusion back at Yoshi’s Island. But now, there’s no mistaking it—I really did see something shadow-like flash past us from the corner of my eye,” Yoshi panted.
“Ditto,” Luigi said, looking around back and forth to see who it was. They were about a hundred percent sure now that they weren’t the only ones there.
“Could it have been another one of Bowser’s hallucinations?” Yoshi wondered.
“That’s a possibility,” the green plumber mused. “After all, we have a-gone through a lot of those, right? How I fell into a dream world right here. How we saw those depressing images back at Luigi’s Mansion….”
“What’s to say this isn’t hallucination in itself?”
“Glad to know you’re thinking my way, Yoshi. Now, kick me.”
Yoshi’s eyes bulged at the sudden statement. “Excuse me?”
“Kick me,” Luigi repeated, rolling his eyes at how “slow” his pal was today. He bent over, knees bent, feet apart to show and emphasize what he wanted the green dinosaur to do.
Yoshi took five steps back, stared at the green plumber for who knows how long, and shook his head. He’s probably losing his marbles, he thought to himself.
Luigi cleared his throat, getting impatient.
Yoshi sighed. “I don’t think you’d want that.”
“Look, pal, there’s only one way we get out of a hallucination. And that’s through pain.”
“It doesn’t quite work that way, Luigi.”
“Kick me,” the thin Mario brother repeated, getting exasperated.
“Look, Luigi, this won’t solve—”
“Kick me.” Luigi was definitely making it clear that he wasn’t going to stop pestering Yoshi until he would do as he said.
Yoshi facepalmed himself, then taking a deep breath (as well as giving Luigi an apologetic glance) he delivered a swift yet strong kick that channeled off and smacked right to the buns of the green plumber’s behind.
Luigi’s eyes practically watered. Then he bit his lip, and, with a twisted expression akin to that of sucking lemons…dipped in vinegar.
Luigi squealed a single syllable behind his clenched teeth. And then…
“Yaaaaagh!” he screeched; the way he jumped up at his outburst, one would think he would have all but ricocheted off to space.
Yoshi waited until his friend was finished with the screams and whines. He said smugly, “Hate to disappoint you, Luigi, but we’re still here.”
Luigi gave the dinosaur a disbelieving look. “How eez a-that possible?!”
“Look, we’re just wasting time here,” Yoshi said. “I’m starting to feel like we really are at World Seven. Let’s just head back to Bowser’s Castle. Strange as it is, that ‘portal’ leading us here was a slight convenience to travel time.”
“Okey-dokey,” Luigi panted, rubbing his sore bottom from Yoshi’s massive kick.
As Luigi staggered off, still shaken from the impact of the kick, he lost his balance completely and fell off a cloud.
“Luigi!” Yoshi screeched. Without wasting a second to spare, he ran and lunged after his pal.
It was a strange scene before them. The usual fair, blue skies of World Seven had only gotten dimmer as every second of their fall passed. How long would it take for them to reach the bottom?
It gradually became pitch-black, and as such it also became less and less like World Seven. As they weren’t sure where they were now, they suddenly found themselves landing on a soft cushion.
“A-what…?” Luigi wondered, opening his eyes, thoroughly confused, though a small part of him was grateful they hadn’t landed on hard ground like what was expected.
“Is this…a sofa?” Yoshi stuttered, looking around. He hopped off to realize that they had, indeed, landed on a sofa.
As Luigi got off the sofa, he and Yoshi took a look at their surroundings. Grand but dim walls surrounded them, and as they made their way out through the door, a narrow hallway full of old paintings and head busts greeted them, just as dimly-lit as the room where they had come from.
“Where is this?” Yoshi wondered. The place looked strangely familiar.
“This is Luigi’s Mansion,” the green plumber stated matter-of-factly.
Yoshi spun around with shock. “What? That can’t be true—” But as he said the words, Luigi’s statement had sunk in with sense, as much as he hated to admit it. The place was exactly as he had remembered it, with all its creepy, grandeur glory, even if the fact that they had just technically fallen from the sky and had landed on a sofa within a mansion was entirely illogical.
“And I don’t have my Poltergust,” Yoshi said. “Actually, we both don’t. We gave them back to Professor E. Gadd.”
Luigi looked around, back and forth with narrowed eyes. “Hmm. That’s strange.”
“I don’t see a single ghost, nor do I even hear something that can give proof to me that there is a ghost. It’s silent—too silent. Just like how it was back at Yoshi’s Island and World Seven.”
“There’s something wrong about it that you can’t just put a finger on,” Yoshi agreed. “But…didn’t defeating King Boo put an end to those ghosts?”
“Even so, there should always be something paranormal going on, and there would still be even a few of the ghosts lingering around.” Luigi was silent for a while. “I know, let’s try to see if Professor E. Gadd is still there at the lab,” he suggested.
The green dinosaur nodded. “Of course, he might be able to explain what all this means. And he wasn’t there at Bowser’s Castle, so there’s a high chance he’s still here, and we can approach him.”
And with that, the duo ran outside the mansion (without encountering even a single ghost, which in its eeriness they tried to ignore) and easily found the professor’s lab. They rushed past the door and stormed off toward the huge monitor where the professor inevitably was.
“Professor,” Luigi called out, glad he saw Professor E. Gadd’s distinct figure sitting on the chair.
He and Yoshi stopped and stayed behind, pouring out all the details of how the door from solving the labyrinth of Bowser’s Castle led them to Yoshi’s Island, then how a random house in the village served as a portal to World Seven, and finally how they had fallen from the sky and landed inside Luigi’s Mansion, on a sofa, no less.
“And that’s that,” Luigi concluded, exhaling from the rush of his words and hoping the professor understood them despite how fast and how rushed they trilled their statements.
Oddly, they got no response of any sort from the professor. His figure remained silent and unmoving on the chair, as if he had never heard them at all nor noticed the fact they had gotten in his lab.
“Uh, professor?” The silence and lack of acknowledgement for their presence was really getting to Yoshi. “Hey, uh, did you even hear at least a word of what we had just said?”
Nothing followed—the same silence ensued.
Luigi gulped. “I don’t suppose we talked too fast that he didn’t understand a thing?”
“Maybe?” Yoshi suggested, unsure of himself. Sure, he likely couldn’t understand it, but it didn’t explain why he was so stiff and silent.
“Hey, Professor,” Luigi began, deliberately taking steps toward the professor so he could understand why he wasn’t moving or making a single sound at all. For his sake he had hoped the professor was just sleeping silently, despite the fact he was known to snore….
Luigi jumped at what greeted him. It wasn’t the professor—just a shadow-like creature that assumed his shape and figure. It gave the plumber a sharp glance with red eyes of an eerie glow, and, as far as shadows go, rushed past Luigi and moved along the walls as a two-dimensional figure should.
Yoshi gasped. “What is happening here?!”
Snarky laughter was heard echoing within the lab.
“Who in the—?” Luigi looked around. The lab seemed to be fading! He and Yoshi made their way toward the door and out the lab, but the exit was gone.
Knowing they were in one way or another trapped inside, they tensed and braced themselves for whatever was to come.
“Huh,” a malicious yet familiar voice said (where had Yoshi and Luigi heard that before among their previous journeys?) as the lab continued to fade into nonexistence. “Had fun? I was just toying with you, and you all were too slow to figure out that it was me.”
The lab shifted all of a sudden to the familiar walls that was the interior of Bowser’s Castle.
The two looked around, gaping, taken aghast by the fact they were back to their original purpose since starting the quest.
“I must congratulate you for beating your adversaries and making it this far, but as King Bowser himself is concerned, this is as far as you can go.”
The figure who had just spoken, as well as laughed at them emerged from the dark corner of the room, and eventually they found out who I was—and narrowed hostile eyes at him.
“Kamek,” Yoshi spat, clearly pissed.
“Out to trick us, were you?” Luigi snarled.
The Koopa who was Bowser’s right-hand man gave a sheepish grin in return, as if he were utterly oblivious to the hostility the duo were giving him. “Oh no more tricks—I’ve already had my fun with you two. It was great to see your confused faces when I ‘warped’ you all from place to place.”
Luigi didn’t say anything; both he and Yoshi kept their glare toward Kamek.
“King Bowser gave me strict orders to do whatever I please with you—which means that I can choose to annihilate you both completely, which is exactly as I’ll do.” He snickered. “Now, let’s dance!”
And with the wave of his rod, the shadow-like figure that had assumed Professor E. Gadd’s form earlier emerged, split into three, and had begun to assume forms of their own….
Luigi and Yoshi blanched as they saw what forms they had taken—one shadow looked exactly like the soil-like creature back at Yoshi’s Island; the second assumed a shadowy form of Lakithunder, whom they had fought back at World Seven; the third shifted to what could be passed off as King Boo’s shadow doppelganger.
The duo were at loss for words when they saw that the very creatures they had battled to get them to where they were now were the very same ones Kamek had chosen to fight by his side on his mission to take them down.
They still remained motionless from the shock, even while Kamek’s magic had shifted their surroundings to an open battlefield.
As the green plumber and the green dinosaur gave Kamek and his shadow underlings a blank stare, the latter smirked as he rode on his broom and hovered above the ground.
“Now let’s go all-out,” he said.