Mushroom Kingdom - Koopa Castle

    A dark castle built atop an active lava flow, Bowser would have no less for his fortress. Guarded by Thwomps, robots, magical traps, and Koopa Elite, this place is impenatrable to all but the most resolute of plumbers, er, heroes. Bowser hatches all of his schemes here, as well as making it the home for himself and his extended family, including his children, who terrorize the countryside freely. If anything in this place is scarier than Bowser, it's them.


In the dark skies overhead, a warp opens, disgorging a diamond-shaped pod. It races down toward the castle, burning as it plunges down through the skies. The whistling noise of its approach is dwarfed by the thundering *waboom* of its impact on the far side of the Smash Arena.

The blackened pod remains closed, as it has on the last occasion it was fired. It smoulders, heated by the lava below.

He may have missed the melee at Hyrule Castle, but apparently the little Hylian isn't going to miss the battle at Bowser's Castle. Arriving through the gates, Link carries the official gear for the Melee over his shoulder as he heads up to the Smash arena, leaping up a few times to get into position.

There's another aerial approach, though this one's a bit more sedate. Arcing down from the dark and stormy skies, a great winged beast descends, spiralling lower and lower into the arena. The closer it gets, the more evident it becomes. It is a gryphon, and on its back is the first Sony Gamemaster. The eagle headed creature lands in a great rustle of feathers, and a clacking of it's massive hooked beak. Corey dismounts and pats the creature on the head fondly before sending it on its way. It flies off with a screeching cry.

Corey moves towards the center of the arena, coat swirling around his ankles in the heated air from the lava pits.

Fortunately for Ziggurat 8 the trip to Koopa Castle was mostly uneventful. Bowser's known for his air superiority, but the various flying Koopa troops left his own flier alone as he made his way there. Apparently the Koopa King is being kind enough to let them hold the match here, and not impede their progress.

(But, due to alt-interaction rules he's not here right NOW)

Ziggy's small shuttle lands through one of the small openings in the ceiling (either by design, or by Bowser's rampage) and he exits, making his way towards the arena. This is it, Melee #3, the finals. The first two fights were fierce, but nothing compared to what THIS will be. He has two Gamemasters to contend with, and a villain who is, if nothing else, known for being as tough as nails. But like them (or, Dual and Station, anyway) he too scrapped his way in two battles against three other opponents and came out on top. Ziggy is also someone to be reckoned with.

Pinned to his uniform is a small doll, which seems to resemble Yuffie in a cheerleading outfit. Inside the doll is a Luck Plus materia which the ninja gave to him last night. Perhaps it'll make a difference.

King K. Rool runs in as fast as he possibly can, which is still not actually very fast. This is partially because he's a really big guy and partially because he has more weapons than he knows what to do with. He has a blunderbuss held onto his back by loops in his jacket. He has a small cannon tucked under his arm. He even has a cutlass shoved in a belt loop, although it mostly appears in danger of tangling up his legs.

Once K. Rool actually enters the arena, he drops the cannon, stops to catch his breath, and then picks it up again. He's ready.

Since it appears everyone is ready.. Link stands up on his little floating platform. "The Melee finale featuring Dual, Station, King K. Rool and Ziggurat 8 will begin now! Winner is the last one standing! Good luck to you all!"

Tossing the officially sanctioned 4 sided die on the fighters, it lands on the image of...


The die is cast. The river is crossed.

Dual explodes through the pod, claws flashing in the hellish red light cast by the lava. He charges across the arena, dragging one claw along the battlements to make a horrible scraping noise and to throw sparks. His eyeless face is locked in a grin, laughter erupting from his body.

He leaps at Station in an altogether predictable, but singularly deadly attack, swiping at Corey's chest with one hand. He rolls down through the strike afterward, standing up like something not accustomed to having only two legs, body leaning awkwardly. "Old model," he says, cryptically.

Dual misses Station with his The slashy attack!

Fire and brimstone. And lava, lots of lava. This castle is more like the hellish afterlife of most religions than a place of residence, but the Koopas are strange folk, from what Ziggy understands. Still, it provides an appropriate location for such an 'epic' fight.

Ziggy watches as Dual launches at Station, and frankly feels a bit relieved. If they don't go after him, he'll let them take care of each other. Might go against the spirit of the Melee, but the First Rule of Survival, and all that...

Ziggy sprints into action, wasting no time, and takes aim at K. Rool. There's little finesse in this first attack, just a quick kick to the face to test KRool's reflexes and reactions.

Ziggurat 8 strikes King K. Rool with his Boot to da Head attack!

<Fac-Palace> Station says, "Sweet mother of....What did they do to Dual?"
<Fac-Palace> Ziggurat 8 says, "I'm... not sure."
<Fac-Palace> Colette Brunel says, "What...What have they done, Station?"
<Fac-Palace> Young Link says, "I-I don't know either.. concentrate on the match!"
<Fac-Palace> Young Link silences the channel so he can remain impartial.

Corey stands ready, and it's only years of combat experience that let him dive to the left, wincing at the sounds of heavy claws tearing through cloth as Dual catches the tailof Station's long coat. With practiced ease, the Hamemaster rolls on his shoulder and back up to his feet, using his momentum to spin and face the Dark Gamemaster. "Holy....What did she do to you, Dual?" Station asks, pity and anger filling his voice. "Mother Brain turned you into a monster...I..." Too much. Too close to how he used to be.

Station rises, hands flickering to his belt. The sabers are pulled free and ignited in a stereo burst of a static hiss. Corey springs off the pavement, breaking into a quick run. The violet blade in his right hand is held in a reverse, defensive grip, while the golden weapon in his left is poised to strike. With a flicker of golden light, Station lashes out at Dual, barely able to even look at him.

Station strikes Dual with his First Blood attack!

King K. Rool sets up his small cannon while leaving his oversized blunderbuss and cutlass away. He places it on the ground, pointing it in its little wood frame toward the fight. "Arr, this will give them a surp - "


Ziggurat 8's foot meets King K. Rool's face, hard. Reflexes? What reflexes? Rather than light the cannon, he pulls out his blunderbuss and fires it wildly into the air. A cannonball goes up about forty feet...then arcs back down. Toward Station. "Watch where you're pointin' that foot!"

King K. Rool strikes Station with his It's Like He Doesn't Know How To Aim weak attack!

Link quietly notches down one round, staring at Dual for a moment, but snaps his attention back to making sure there's no cheating in the fight as he waits for the first capusle to fall.

Dual swings his arms around himself, cantering off in a circle-strafe around Station. He moves more like an ape than a man, or a wolf loping around slow, juicy prey. The sounds of the sabers lighting seem to excite him more. He likes it when it's close quarters.

Dual can't shootdodge fast enough, or maybe he /wanted/ to be cut. Hard to say. As he leaps to the side, the swords carve into Dual's midsection, ripping through his jacket and across his arm. He hisses, staggering from the scalding strikes. Grimacing, he throws himself at Station shoulder first, attempting to body-check him hard against one of the towers.

Dual strikes Station with his POW attack!

Dual's monsterous look didn't register with Ziggy right away, if only because he's rarely seen the Gamemaster in person. It's only when Station points it out that he takes notice, especially when he's given a brief moment to pause when K. Rool winds up firing at Station instead of him. A man turned into a mechanical monstrousity, probably against his will. Yeah, that's... familiar.

Ziggy wastes no more time thinking about it, though, the fight is still at hand. K. Rool may have missed the cyborg, but Ziggy's not going to break off of his target THAT easily. The Jack Knife snaps into place, and Ziggy runs back into melee range, slashing at the bulbous croc. He also makes a mental note, K. Rool has bad aim.

Ziggurat 8 strikes King K. Rool with his Up Close and Personal attack!

Corey's on his A-Game. Smash or not, Dual as he is might just fight to kill. Corey's strikes hit ome, and he hops back, ready to defend against whatever it is that the Dark Gamemaster has to offer. This is why Corey doesn't notice the cannon ball. With a yelp as the explosion sends him reeling, he doesn't have time to reset himself for the full on rush from Dual. Crashed into, Station is shoved backwards into one of the stone towers with an audible crack as his vertibrae pop like at the chiropractor.

"I don't know what she did to you, Dual, but no matter what, you didn't deserve this." Intones corey as he gathers his feet underneath him, and pushes himself in an attempt to break free, using his feet on the tower for leverage. He twists in the other Gamemaster's grasp, driving his shoulder upwards at the other Gamemaster's jaw.

Station strikes Dual with his Captain Crunch? Or Is That Just A Cracked Jaw? attack!

King K. Rool really does have bad aim, it's true.

K. Rool staggers backward as he's slashed with the jackknife, waving and flailing. "Argh! Back off, landlubber!" He is a /pirate/, and it's time to make that clear, not that you couldn't guess. Pointing his blunderbuss behind him, he holds a button down as he pulls the trigger, and rather than shoot anything, it begins to vacuum strongly...a stream of bubbling lava is sucked into the gun.

Pointing it forward again, K. Rool closes his eyes before firing - not lava, but a wave of fire, both at Ziggy and his cannon. The fuse sizzles. It'll take a while to burn down.

King K. Rool misses Ziggurat 8 with his It Doesn't Have To Make Sense attack!

So far, so good. No illegal moves, what few there are in these things. Link folds his arms, continuing to watch the developing brawl below as the first capsule to be used in this battle falls towards the ring, bounding off of several platforms before going to..

Dual is shoved back from Station's lunge, bobbling him up onto his feet. Station's punch manages to hit home, but Corey can't seem to get his full weight behind it. The fist to the face is enough to loosen a few teeth, but the former Player doesn't draw blood. The swords are better for that kind of thing.

The metal in his head ringing, Dual grins broadly and throws his head forward at Corey, perhaps before he can get out of range. The headbutt is an up-close-and-personal way of addressing one's issues with others.

Meanwhile, a Mr. Saturn manifests, the capsule bouncing off Dual's back. Dual doesn't seem to be too concerned with it. It starts doing Mr. Saturn things elsewhere.

Dual strikes Station with his Straight Out Of Southwest attack!

Z@@M Z@@M?

Ziggy blinks in surprise as K. Room sucks in lava with his blunderbuss. That's an interesting ability. Before he came to Videoland he would have expected the gun to simply melt, or combust, due to taking in molten lava. But now the cyborg actually predicts what is coming left, a sure sign he's been in Videoland for too long. He nimbly leaps to the side to avoid the flames.

"An interesting trick." Ziggy says. "...but you need to work on your aim." While he's positioned off to the side, Ziggy starts kicking at K. Rool rapidly, fire jetting out of his feet with each strike. No, no one said his own zone's technology made a whole lot of sense either.

Ziggurat 8 strikes King K. Rool with his Cyber Kick attack!

CRACK! Station stumbles under the raw power of Dual's blow. Skin breaks, and blood starts trickling down his face. Hopefully it will stay out of his eyes. Shaking his head and sending little drops of blood flinging about, Corey decides to put a little room between himself and Dual. Almost effortlessly, Corey jumps backwards, feet leading towards the wall of the tower he was rammed into. The instant he connects, he pushes off with a grunt, arcing high over the other Gamemaster's head and twisting in midair. The twist lets him land on his feet, the now tattered cloth of his coat rustling as he settles. The gamemaster starts chanting, a magic circle spilling golden brown light springing up around his feet. Arcane power surges, and Corey swings the violet weapon in Dual's direction. "Grave!" From his feet spring razor spikes of stone, all pointing inwards to meet each other. They travel on a straight path across the arena floor twoards Dual.

Station strikes Dual with his Magic Mojo Pt I: Spells I Learned From Chicks attack!

King K. Rool smokes and smoulders after the fire hits him. His hat, in particular, burns for a few moments before he whips it off, stomping on it to put it out. He still had his crown on underneath. "You burned my hat!" he objects, loudly. "What kind of world is this, where landlubbers can run around burning innocent pirate's hats?" Angrily, King K. Rool whips off his crown, throwing it at Ziggurat 8. Hard.

It boomerangs. King K. Rool catches it on the return, and plants it back on his head. Meanwhile, the fuse gets shorter.
King K. Rool misses Ziggurat 8 with his Crown Boomerang attack!

Link considers for a moment.. well.. Dual didn't touch the capsule. It touched him to activate. Perfectly legal, at least, that's how it appears. Battle on! Burning hats is okay, too.

Station flies over Dual. Dual doesn't turn quickly, still favoring his midsection from the sword hits he took a few moments prior. He tucks and rolls, trying to get out of the way of ...whatever this is. The last time he fought Station, his magic abilities were much more limited.

Dual expects an energy blast and gets the ground erupting around him. He gets cleaved in the legs and feet by the spikes, his head lolling back for a moment. He seems to ... like it.

The Fiend inhales sharply, tenses his body, and rips free of the spikes. The stone shatters and breaks from the torsion put on them, allowing Dual to get back onto flatter ground. Ripped and torn, Dual regards Station for a moment, head tilted just slightly off from him. "Good: good," he mutters.

Abruptly, Dual draws up his pain screams at the heavens, disappearing in a flash of red-black light. He rematerializes directly over Station and slashes down with his claws at his shoulders, finishing with a strike from his feet to try to knock Station prone.

Dual strikes Station with his Cheap Ass Fighting Game Move attack!

Ziggy glances back at Station and Dual's fight as he finishes his kicking combo. He's nearly feels worried for the Light Gamemaster, but he snaps his attention back on K. Rool and berates himself for being distracted. Focus. Finish what you're doing first, then move on. Station is a competant warrior, he can handle Dual. If they can at least take both villains out, then the Palace would have won all three tournaments, regardless of the outcome after that.

As K. Rool rants about losing his hat, Ziggy offers a half-hearted apology. "Sorry." He doesn't really mean it, of course. It's a battle. Still ignoring the cannon Ziggy closes his cybernetic fist. Charging some Electric Ether into it, he slams it down at the ground, sending a shockwave towards the Kremling Ruler.

Ziggurat 8 strikes King K. Rool with his Lightning Fist attack!

Station makes the mistake of looking satisfied at the aftermath of his magic. This is why he looks surprised as Dual howls like a beast and vanishes. Instantly on edge, Corey scans the arena, hunting for his opponant who, promptly drops on him, shredding cloth and flesh like paper, and dropping him to the paving stones with a grunt. Corey's not still for very long, he rolls to the right, trailing scraps of cloth and splotches of blood. It hurts, that means he's still alive. This is good. The Gamemaster stands slowly, panting and occasionally dripping blood from the tip of his nose. "I think I'd rather fight Gameshark," he mutters.

Taking a deep breath, the Paladin draws himself up before charging at Dual once more, right arm thrusting rapidly with the violet saber, glittering white motes of magic trailing from the weapon. Immediately after the barrage stops, Corey snaps his weapon across Dual's body and drives his shoulder towards the other man's torso, an explosion of magical energy and a lion's roar accompanying the motion. If it works, the localized force will send Dual reeling and keep him on the defensive. Then again, the other Gamemaster hasn't been acting predictably all this fight. "Beast Sword Rain!"

Station strikes Dual with his Magic Mojo Pt. II: Stuff I Learned From Reta--Idealistic Kids attack!

King K. Rool is used to shockwaves, and he even jumps it. It works well except for the fact that he doesn't really jump very high unless he really winds up for it; King K. Rool falls back down onto the shockwave, which bowls him over. He rolls quite a ways.

Fortunately, King K. Rool can get up quickly from a downed position, which he does, still waving that blunderbuss menacingly. He points it at Ziggurat 8, and fires with a loud /bang/ and flash of gunpowder! This time, out comes a barrel, flying straight at Ziggurat 8. When it hits him, or the ground, it breaks, revealing a round cannonball. Why he didn't just shoot the cannonball is a mystery.

King K. Rool misses Ziggurat 8 with his Watch Out, I Have Barrels attack!

And this round brings out a Pokeball! It drops in from seemingly nowhere, bouncing around, ricocheting off of a Koopa's shell, and the judge Link watches it head towards..
                                   Ziggurat 8                                  

Dual is too close to break out of Station's fierce combo. He is carved by the violent saber, being knocked back step by step from the onslaught. The explosive combo breaker sends Dual tumbling, throwing him against another wall with a thundering shudder. He slumps forward from the impact, seemingly winded --

He smiles, teeth darkened with his own blood.

Dual flips forward in a series of rapid, acrobatic movements. He spins up into the air, fanning out his finger-claws, and surges down at Station like a bloodied, rag-covered cuisinart.

Yes, yes K Rool does indeed have barrels and cannon balls.. Ziggy also has metal legs. He punts the cannonball to the side like one would kick a soccer ball. And he's about to run back into melee range when a Pokeball rolls to his feet.

He remembers his previous fights, and he knows that Pokemon can be a mixed bag. However given how the fight has gone so far, he decides he can take the chance. Snatching the pokeball up, he presses the button to open it, and points at K Rool. "...Go."

He'd make a boring pokemon trainer.

In a flash of white light, the Pokemon materializes.

Out pops a Venusaur! "Venus.. venusaur!" It starts to shake itself and stomps the ground, rupturing and breaking it all around the Croc king, before it vanishes again.

Young Link strikes King K. Rool with his Venusaur - Earthquake! attack!

So this is what being the victim of the Magna Blender is like. Rocked from the raw violence of Dual's assault, Corey reels, coat nothing more than tatters of wool, various wounds bleeding through the remains of his shirt. The blood from his forehead wound still flows and has started to dry as it fans out across his face, making him look ghoulish, and hearkening back to the old days. Suddenly, it all doesn't really hurt anymore. He can feel his blood leaking from wounds, and he knows it should hurt, but it just doesn't.

Struggling back to a good footing, Station backs away from the beast that used to be Dual. Magic swirls around the gamemaster, setting his coat tatters swirling and flaring with it. He flings his hand, sword and all, towards Dual and shouts, "Fira!" Flame comes from nothing in a searing inferno. Beasts fear fire, right?

Station strikes Dual with his Black Mage Style attack!

Frankly, King K. Rool is getting his butt kicked. The Pokemon comes out, and he looks at it funny for a couple seconds before remembering that yes, they do attack you. That's when he tries to run, but not fast enough; the Earthquake comes and trips him, not to mention bounces him around a bit.

King K. Rool finally comes to a stop near his cannon. Yes, that cannon, the one he lit so long ago. He knows a good idea when he sees one! Smacking it with his foot as he gets up, he spins it to face the way he came, and then lets it fire at Ziggurat 8.

It fires one very large cannonball almost the size of a beachball. This weapon, being somewhat unwieldy, flies poorly. Fortunately, it explodes halfway there into three soccerball-sized projectiles, more cannonballs - but these ones have spikes. They orbit around a point between them, flying through the air in blatant violation of the laws of physics.

King K. Rool misses Ziggurat 8 with his My Cannons Are Better Than Your Cannons smash attack!

And soon after the Pokeball, a second item follows, as the wandering Mr. Saturn finally walks off the screen -- only to be replaced by a second item container, this one seemingly heading for:

                                   Ziggurat 8                                  

Dual is invigorated by the blood. He too is becoming more and more damaged, bleeding and leaking from numerous wounds internal and external. But he keeps going, continuing to fight onward. Dual spits some ichor up from something ruptured within him as he finishes the strike, then laughs.

The fire tears into Dual. He bellows in pain, the flames ripping up through his flesh. A horrible burning smell rises up from the impact point, the burning creature advancing on Station all the while.

Dual lunges at Station when he gets near enough, throwing a broad, sweeping slash toward Station's shoulders and neck. As he strikes, he keeps closing, body gradually being extinguished by the passing of the magical energy.

Dual strikes Station with his S.C.I.O.N.S... attack!

Random Smash Item: Bob-Omb (+FMV)

Ziggy FINALLY takes notice of the cannon. Or, perhaps, he has been taking notice of it all along, and simply only LOOKED like he ignored it? Well, whichever it is, when it fires he quickly jumps out of the way, narrowly escaping becoming one of those circus freaks that can be shot in the stomach.

As another capsule lands near him, Ziggy wastes no time picking it up. His luck has been... ridiculously good so far. He really must thank Yuffie for that good luck charm. As he opens the capsule, he is greeted with a giant Bob-Omb. He's familiar with the lethal wind up toys, but he's never actually USED one. A bit unfamiliar with how to properly activate it, he simply decides to send it in K. Rool's direction via high-powered, flaming kick.

Unfortunately for the cyborg he's close enough to the blast radius that he is dizzied by the explosion, one way or the other.

Ziggurat 8 strikes King K. Rool with his HE'S GOT A BOB-OMB!!!!!!! finisher attack, but is stunned by the effort!

Dual's strikes hit home, ripping through flesh with little resistance. Blood spouts, flesh rips, and it generally looks unhealthy. The gamemaster actually staggers, blood trickling from the corner of his mouth as he pants. He retreats, jogging backwards in a manner that would be painful if he could feel it. "This...This isn't over!"

Corey grips his blades tightly for a split second while he thinks of his next course of action. With a flourish, the gamemaster jams the tips of his blades into the stone where they sit, as he draws on his innate powers over magic. Splayig his hands wide, twin spheres form, one a burning red, the other a blinding white. Corey chants in some arcane language, calling on powers from Elsewhere as the spheres start burning brighter and brighter. With intensity rivalling that of the sun at noon, a great magic circle springs up beneath Station's feet, lines tracing in in racing blades of white and runes burning the same.

Somewhere, there's a cut away picture of Station's eyes, blood trickling between them as they're narrowed in determination. Back in reality, Station flings his hands together, forcing the twin spheres to become one, seemingly against their will, as arcane power arcs up his arms and across his body as they resist. The two balls fling from his hands, arcing through the air to impact near the Dark Gamemaster's feet, the raw magical energies exploding with horrific violence in a swirling conflageration of orange and white.

Station misses Dual with his Hi-Ougi: Holy Flare smash attack!

King K. Rool's face splits into a broad and quite unpleasant grin as he sees the Bob-Omb. As it comes at him, he brings his blunderbuss in front of him, vacuuming it right up! There is a metallic clang inside. "See? Now who's laughing, you metal-legged landlubber?" K. Rool points the blunderbuss at Ziggy, then pulls the trigger. "Right back at you!"

It clicks.

K. Rool pauses, then pulls it again.

It clicks again. Something metallic grinds. It's really wedged in there against something.

He reaches in with one hand to knock it free, looking in, and of course, the Bob-Omb takes /exactly/ that opportunity to explode. It leaves him with a thick layer of soot over his entire upper body, no hat, no crown, and his jacket blown back. It also launches a shower of cannonballs and barrels into the air, flying in crazy loops and arcs. Some of them even come back down.

King K. Rool strikes Ziggurat 8 with his Falling Junk attack!
You have taken 20 damage.

Round 7... 2 more rounds until a +capsule!

Dual keeps going, even seeing the spheres form. The heat from the magic buffets against his body. Dual stares eyelessly on, continuing to advance. The circle surges up around him, making Dual stumble back. It's incredibly powerful, this magic, and on some level Dual fears it.

The huge arcane strike powers down at Dual. Dual disappears within the cloud of light and smoke, his shadow seemingly disintegrating through the intense luminscence. The castle thunders, the walls shaking. It's apocalyptic. It's stunning.

It wasn't enough.

Dual charges forward, moving to ram Station again. This time, he transfers all of his motion into Station or whatever he hits, springing back afterward. His hand, guided by instinct, moves back behind his back. He goes for The Stick.

Dual strikes Station with his The Setup attack!
Station has been knocked out!

The falling junk pelts Ziggy a number of times. It damages the cyborg quite a bit, but it also snaps him out of his daze.

Glancing over in alarm he seems Dual charge at Station. Things don't look good for the Light Gamemaster, Ziggy has to take K Rool out NOW if he's going to have any hope. Else, his luck may be about to end.

Charging forward, Ziggy snaps the Jack Knife back into place, and leaps at K. Rool. Just as it appears he's going to land on the Kremling King, one of his feet slams down on the ground, and the cyborg starts rotating rapidly in place, with the blade extended. The whirling vortex slices at the air in front of him, and hopefully does a good job of kutting Krool up.

Ziggurat 8 misses King K. Rool with his Cyclone attack!

There's a horrific CRACK as Dual rams into Station. He's shocked that his full release of his awesome power did absolutely nothing to the monster that once was, and may still be, Isaac Stewart. The beast rams into Corey and sends him sailing right into a pillar, where he slumps over, inert.

The Mr. Saturn wanders over to him, and prods him with his nose with a questioning, "Z@@M?'

<Fac-Palace> Ziggurat 8 says, "....Station has been taken out."
<Fac-Palace> Paula says, "..oh no! Be careful, Mr. Ziggy."
<Fac-Palace> Ziggurat 8 says, "Dual and K. Rool both remain, but they appear to be substantially damaged. I'm relatively unharmed. Not to quote a cliche, but it's not over yet."
<Fac-Palace> The Hero of Spielburg says, "Struggle on, Ziggurat."
<Fac-Palace> Gex as that guy from all the Adam Sandler movies, "You CAN DO EEET!"
<Fac-Palace> Ziggurat 8 says, ".... thanks."
<Fac-Palace> Gex says, "Welcome!"

King K. Rool is actually /on/ the ball for a change. He hustles out of range of the cyclone-Ziggy, running at his top (slow) speed. It is, however, still enough. Barely.

Turning around after a few seconds of running, King K. Rool points the blunderbuss at the spinning cyborg. Without bothering to say anything witty, he pulls the trigger again with the loud boom of gunpowder firing. Inexplicably, a blue cloud swirls out, drifting closer to Ziggurat 8 - and whatever it touches freezes, although not for long.

King K. Rool strikes Ziggurat 8 with his Back To Not Making Sense stun attack!

Dual rams Station. He goes down for the count. He screeches in victory, claws splaying. The Stick is forgotten. Instead, he turns ...

Ziggurat. He can sense that K. Rool is badly injured, but Ziggy is fresh meat. A new challenge. As he is frozen, now is the time to strike.

Dual vaults in toward Ziggy, slashing at his back with his claws. His hot breath strikes down the neck of the other cyborg, the smell of burning hair and fat lingering around the badly damaged Gamemaster.

Dual strikes Ziggurat 8 with his slashy slashy attack!
You have taken 17 damage.

Ziggy's cyclone is rudely interupted by K. Rool's blue cloud. He stops his spin cold, and is held in place long enough for Dual to strike. Ice, he doesn't do well against ice.

Dual's blade cuts into the cyborg's back, slicing both metal and flesh. But this snaps Ziggy out of the frozen prison, and he instictively leaps away from Dual. His eyes dart back and forth between the two. Desipte his relatively good condition he now has to face two opponents. His good luck seems to be gone.

After spending a split second thinking about it (good ol' cyborg brain) Ziggy decides to launch himself towards Dual. He's by far the most lethal one, as K. Rool has proven himself to be quite the bad shot. Raising his Jack Knife, he slashes vertically and then horizontally at Dual in rapid succession, so fast it almost looks like just one strike.

Ziggurat 8 strikes Dual with his Cross Lancer attack!

King K. Rool stays back. He knows he's not real good close in, and he has his blunderbuss (which, amazingly, is still working after having a Bob-Omb go off inside). He's set! Hanging back, King K. Rool picks his target by the simplest system around.

He fires at random into the melee, using spiralling barrels. Who's it going to hit? King K. Rool has absolutely no idea.

King K. Rool misses Ziggurat 8 with his Barrels! attack!

And with round nine, here comes the capsule -- this one seems to favor...

                                   King K. Rool                                 

Dual gets stabbed repeatedly by Ziggy. The blade carves through bone and flesh, and Ziggy is sprayed with red-black drops of ... something. It's unpleasant. Ziggy wants to get it off himself.

Dual grits his teeth and focuses his will. Some barrels fly by him, and he smashes them out of the air with his fists. He keeps advancing on Ziggy, bearing his bloody teeth, and lunges at him once more. He slashes at his stomach and chest, trying to dig into his entrails.

Dual strikes Ziggurat 8 with his RIP AND TEAR attack!
You have taken 11 damage.

Random Smash Item: Home Run Bat (+homerun)

Dual's black blood IS quite unpleasent, even Ziggy's disciplined mine can't help but instinctively wish to brush it aside, which he does for a moment. Dual's following frenzied attack causes Ziggy to retreat backward quickly. Dual is dangerous in close melee, making the rest of this fight perilous, as Ziggy is best suited for melee.

As Ziggy dashes back he almost trips in the barrel K. Rool fired. Since the cyborg has already built up a bit of momentum moving backward, he keeps on moving towards K. Rool. Faster, faster, faster, just as he gets close enough he makes a small hop to deliver a quick spinning kick to Rool's snout. Though if he misses he'll be in prime Homerun range.

Ziggurat 8 strikes King K. Rool with his Spinning Zig Kick attack!
King K. Rool has been knocked out!

Random Pokeball: Celebi - Celebi Catcher Bonus

King K. Rool sees a capsule coming toward him. He likes loot. Out comes the vacuum again; K. Rool picks it out of the air before it's sucked in. He opens it and...

It's the bat. The glorious, wonderous bat. "With this, I will be invincible!" he declares, holding it up in the air. "King K. Rool stands victori - "


K. Rool, hit in the snout, rolls over backwards. He is, after all, mostly spherical. The bat goes flying into the air, to end up wherever it does. The pirate king doesn't get up.

Dual has an opening. He extends his hand, the claws retracting. The bat, Army of Darkness style, connects with his hand. He swishes it down, drawing the Stick with his other hand. It feels ... right, somehow, to do this.

Dual charges in hard and fast, swinging the bat at Ziggy's midsection. He attempts to pop him up, setting up for...something.

Dual strikes Ziggurat 8 with his I'm Batman attack!
You have taken 21 damage.

<Fac-Palace> Ziggurat 8 says, "K. Rool is down---*WHACK*"
<Fac-Palace> Gex | Sports Crowd Cheering.

Ziggy watches K. Rool tumble away, and the bat fly into the air. He's about to run after it, when a Pokeball comes within range. It's closer, so he goes for that instead.

Just as he picks it up, though, Dual is suddenly in melee range once more. Unable to react in time Ziggy is nailed by the bat, and sent into the air. But he still has the Pokeball. Twisting in mid-air, he aims the device down towards Dual. "...Go!"

Whatever it is, hopefully it can get him from this position. Ziggy starts to descend, in either case, if Dual has a follow-up in mind.

And with that, a small green Pokemon pops out. It flies towards Dual, and around him a few times as the Celebi exudes a peaceful, calm aura. Then it takes off, racing into the sky. No attack.

This is where Ziggy would say 'Oh ****' if he were the type of person who said things like that.

The Bat dissolves after Dual knocks Ziggy up. He draws the crowbar, bringing it up into his other hand, and spins it as he jumps.

Dual brings both his arms back, his body surrounded in a red-black aura. His body and mind start to really synchronize, even through the awesome amount of pain he's in from all of the stab and slash wounds. He starts to turn in the air, drawing upon the Will. It's all or nothing now.

"DE-KU-DO!" Dual shouts, swinging out with both Stick and crowbar to attempt to smite Ziggy into orbit.

Dual strikes Ziggurat 8 with his Dekudo: Back To Basics smash attack!
You have taken 31 damage.

Ziggy is sent flying from Dual's attack, though he collides with one of the tall pillars in the arena, and is saved from being sent out of bounds. Now the cyborg is in bad condition, the tide of things has quickly turned, it seems. But, Ziggy is not out just yet.

Recovering his senses just in time, Ziggy kicks off from the pillar, leaping into the air, even well above Dual. Fire Ether charges in his legs, and after a moment he blasts giant balls of fire down at Dual with his feet. The attack looks silly, but it is surprisingly potented. The final ball which is formed is sent down at Dual with a bit of a spinning kick, before Ziggy lands back on the ground below. Beaten and battered, but still with some fight in him.

Ziggurat 8 strikes Dual with his Meteor Shot smash attack!

Link watches this capusle head down towards Ziggurat this time. The fight seems to be getting better and better as it goes along.

Dual screams as he lands the blow, landing hard afterward. The Stick extinguishes, the Overdrive spent. He grits his teeth in frustration and holsters it, barely seeing the Fire Ethers coming.

Dual is pummeled by the blasts of fire. He stumbles back, smote again and again and again. Fire rips up through his body. He's got to be about spent.

But Dual /does not stop/. He screeches and leaps up into the air, wall-jumping from tower to tower, and attempts to slam Ziggy down into the lava with the crook of his crowbar.

Dual strikes Ziggurat 8 with his Go DOWN! attack!
You have taken 18 damage.

Just as Ziggy lands from his attack, Dual checks him. Ziggy goes flying, unable to stop Dual's momentum, and is cast over the edge!


Ziggy's cybernetic hand has grasped onto it. Though given the amount of damage he's recieved he may not be able to hold on. But this is when a capsle falls from the sky, and hits Ziggy's head. He grabs it with his free hand... this turns out to be his blessing.

He'll have to thank Yuffie later.

The capsule opens, and a Heart Container is released, showering the Cyborg with healing power. Refreshed and renewed, Ziggy places one leg against the side of the platform, and casts himself upward. Flying through the air he lands behind Dual, most of the damage he's recieved up to this point having melted away. He faces Dual, eyes burning with resolve. He's ready to end this.

Ziggurat 8 restores Ziggurat 8 with a Heart Container.
You have been healed by 50%.

Random Pokeball: Venusaur - Earthquake

The heart container only enrages Dual further. He turns, snarling as the pink-red energy swirls around his opponent. He beats on his chest and roars, charging in at Ziggy once again. He's bloody, torn up, still smoking from the fire blasts -- parts of his body are broken, his hands and feet are going numb, and sooner than later he's going to crash.

But Dual /will/ /not/ /stop/. He swings with his crowbar like a madman, even as the Pokeball comes down, trying to use naked force to bring Zig down.

Dual strikes Ziggurat 8 with his Wham wham wham wham wham attack!
You have taken 21 damage.

Ziggy perhaps tried to be too intimidating, as he finds himself unable to dodge in time as Dual comes at him. But he's still in relatively decent condition. He's able to take the brunt of the attack. As the Pokeball comes down, Ziggy snatches it without breaking his gaze on Dual.

"I don't know what has become of you, Gamemaster Dual, but I can say this feral nature doesn't suit you. You're monsterous, you're powerful, but you also gave something up in return. I can speak with experience, losing part of one's humanity has a much higher toll than it first seems."

Snide speech aside, Ziggy aims the Pokeball at Dual and clicks the button. "...go."

And out comes.. yet another Venusaur? What the hell is it with Ziggy and the green Pokemon tonight? It lands on the ground, stomping around hard and fast as it crushes the ground between itself and Dual, kicking up lava and rocks.

Young Link strikes Dual with his Venusaur - Earthquake! attack!

Dual keeps swinging, punctuating each strike with a word.


A wall of lava and rocks hit Dual. He screams, blinded with pain, and staggers forward. He sinks to his knees for a moment, struggling to stand back up. He spits something foul on the ground, lurching back to his feet. He turns the crowbar around like a spear, closing on Ziggurat. Each word, a step. "Don't. TALK. Like. You. KNOW. ME!"

Dual attempts to drive his crowbar down into Ziggurat's heart, blade first, in a strike hard enough to make the castle shake.

Dual misses Ziggurat 8 with his Let's End This smash attack!

As Dual's first flurry of strikes are launched at him Ziggy parries them all effectively with his Jack Knife. Getting the enemy riled up is another ideal strategy, though Ziggy still meant what he said.

"I know myself. I also lost much of my humanity. It may not have been by the same means, but the result was not unsimilar to what has happened to you."

As Dual's final strike plummets downward, Ziggy blocks it again, with the Jack Knife, then leaps back. "However, I have had 100 years to come to terms with what happened to me, and even still I have my demons. Whatever has become you, you have a long road ahead before you'll have peace."

Charging his fist with Electric Ether again, he sends a magnetic wave into the air, picking up whatever loose bits of metal which are scattered throughout the area. They all gather into one big clump in the air above Dual, and form into a giant blade. "For what it's worth, I wish you luck. It's not an easy journey. But what you need first is time alone to think about it, quietly." Lowering his fist quickly, the giant electric blade slams downward.

Ziggurat 8 strikes Dual with his Executioner smash attack!
Dual has been knocked out!

Well, that would settle that.. Link waves a flag. "...Ziggurat 8 wins!" he announces. How the hell that happened, Link will wonder for /years/. Maybe Yuffie's gift did help.

Dual drives his crowbar into the castle floor. It pulverizes a stone. Bits of falling rock knock out a Koopa Troopa below. He works on pulling it out during Ziggy's lengthy discussion, and manages to free it just as the electric blade powers into him.

Dual gets carved almost in two from the strike. Even his seemingly unstoppable systems have limits. He sprays a small cloud of ichor as he staggers back, freeing himself from the blade. He still stands immediately after the hit, running off something ... maybe guts. Maybe the light of humanity.

Nah, he's just pissed off. As he starts to fall down into the lava, he gives suitable last words.

"F***. You. Little. B****."

The humanoid sinks down into the lava, fire belching up as he disappears into the deadly molten rock. Is it over? Probably not. But for now, Ziggy has won.

<Fac-Palace> Ziggurat 8 says, "Dual has been dispatched. It appears I win."
<Fac-Palace> The Hero of Spielburg says, "Congratulation!"
<Fac-Palace> Gex says, "Go Ziggy... Go Ziggy... It's Ya' Birthday... Get Busy...."
<Fac-Palace> Paula says, "Yay!"
<Fac-Palace> Etoile Rosenqueen applauds.
<Fac-Palace> Young Link says, "Congratulations.. those were some weird draws you were getting."
<Fac-Palace> Gex says, "... What are we talking about anyway?"
<Fac-Palace> Ziggurat 8 says, "...I had a good luck charm."
<Fac-Palace> Gex says, "One or two bowls?"

Dual falls. Ziggy would be in worse condition were it not for that Heart Container. It seems... luck saved him this night.

Luck is not something he likes to rely on, but tonight he cannot deny its impact.

Brushing himself off a bit he tests a few of his systems. Cybernetics mostly ok, some damage that can be repaired with rest and tuning. Some internal organs punctured, but that's nothing healing ether and nanomachines can't fix. He's good.

Station, on the other hand, is not. If he needs the help, Ziggy gives him a lift back to the Palace. If not, he returns on his own.

He gets the inkling he'll hear from Dual again someday. He doesn't seem the type to take a loss lying down.

<InterZone Chatter> King Bowser says, "Ok ok, congratulations, etc etc, freakin goody two shoes. Now, you all got 30 seconds to get outta my castle arena <InterZone Chatter> Young Link says, "We're gone!"
<InterZone Chatter> Gex says, "Chomp it.  Chomp It Good."
<InterZone Chatter> King Bowser KA-THUNK "...actually, I just released em, but they'll take 30 seconds or so to get there, dang slowbies."

========================= Insert Coin Message Board ==========================
Message: 8/6                       Posted        Author
The Battles Conclude...            Mon Aug 07    The Man in Black
    And so, X triumphs against King Bowser and Ziggurat 8 bests Station, King K. Rool, and Dual.

    But wait! The battles are NOT over! There are three matches remaining with our bold and brave winners...

    Etoile Rosenqueen, Megaman X, and Ja- ...Ziggurat 8... there is a special match waiting for each of you... if you are brave enough.

    Congratulations to all fighters!

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