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Mario comes to the Asphalt Desert, a huge expanse of blacktop inhabited with Pokeys, Dry Bones and Vultars (a vulture-like species, like Buzzar). The heat is overwhelming for the plumber, but he must carry on, especially as he sees the Micro Zone ahead, a magnificent fortress disguised as a house. But just as he is to reach the Micro Zone, he sees a brawl between a Spiny and a Buzzy Beetle. The two notice Mario, and attack him. After Mario deals a beating to the two, they continue their fighting, which apparently has to do with a feud between the Buzzy Beetles and the Spinies. Apparently the heads of the Micro Zone, the Lakitus, are throwing Buzzy Beetles instead of Spinies due to their more resistant shells. The Spinies used to live in the Lakitu Sky, where King Lakitu ruled. But ever since they were kicked out, there’s been no safe place- the Lawn Jungles are overrun by Toy DKs, the Big Freezer has a vicious Freezy syndicate, and the Spooky Attic has far too many Boos. Mario continues on, and finally sets foot into the Micro Zone.

The Micro Zone is protected by a huge, insurmountable fence, but there is a weak point. The team is able to climb the side of the Great Mailbox and enter out the back. They begin the treacherous climb, and eventually make it to the entrance of the Mailbox. But then Goombierre brings up that Lakitus are normally very bright, and would probably have some beast in it. Mario gathers up all his courage and opens the mailbox to find…Luigi? Luigi is sitting there, huddled up in fear. He looks to Mario and gives huge gratitude, but then suggests the possibility that he isn’t Mario. It’s easy to see Luigi is freaked out from the Micro Zone in general, and says that the only way to prove that it is the real Mario is if he beats Luigi in a battle. The plumber is a bit skeptical at first, but agrees and beats Luigi. After recovering, Luigi joins your party. With new courage, the foursome jump down the Great Mailbox and land flat in the Lawn Jungles.

The Lawn Jungles are infested with all sorts of insect enemies, and, as the Spiny in the Asphalt Desert said, Toy DKs. All these fierce enemies pose as a threat to Mario and Luigi’s survival in the Micro Zone, and it appears quite a few Buzzy Beetles patrol the jungles as well. After some time, a whole Toy DK squadron comes and attacks Mario. He barely manages to defeat the mechanical menaces, and it turns out that these were the ultimate defense for Buzzy Hill, the home of the Buzzy Beetles.

Upon approaching Buzzy Hill, they meet a Spiny named Spirell, who happened to be the same Spiny fighting with the Buzzy Beetle earlier. He says he would like to join your team. He has the ability to roll up into a ball, and Mario can kick him around and throw him places to activate switches. The two proceed into Buzzy Hill, and with Spirell and Luigi’s help, they can proceed further into the Buzzy fortress. After battling endless Buzzy Beetles and some brainwashed Spinies, the team comes to the chief Buzzy Beetle, known as Mega Buzzy. They engage in a battle, and Mario emerges as the victor. The team proceeds on, and find a secret tunnel that leads to the Micro Zone itself, the gigantic house.

On the inside, the Micro Zone looks like, well, a house. Spirell says the Lakitu castle is on top of the house, and that a secret exit through the Spooky Attic will lead them straight to the cloudy castle. The team looks around for an entrance to the Spooky Attic, and they see one on top of the Big Freezer. But in order to get there, they must cross the Tile Plains, go into the Plasma Palace (“disguised” as a TV), and climb the Magnet Cliffs. The Tile Plains are mostly empty, but a few Fuzzies hop around, and occasionally a giant broom comes in and sweeps everyone up. Despite all this, Mario manages to make it to the entrance of the Plasma Palace.

The Plasma Palace is filled with dangerous traps, plus a few Lava Bubbles and Sparkys. The first half is mostly on a gigantic circuit board, where Mario meets another spirit who grants him the Flip Dimensional ability, where Mario can flip over areas of the wall or floor to discover secrets. The second half is in a dangerous sea of plasma, and at the end Mario finds King Spark, ruler of all Sparkys. He tells Mario of the four elemental kings: King Spark the king of electricity, Mega Buzzy the king of earth, Big Freezy the king of ice, and King Lakitu the king of air. He then says only the legendary hero of the ages could ever defeat all four kings, and Mario, fitting the mold for a lot of legendary heroes, battles King Spark and defeats him. King Spark dismisses Mario, telling him of the upcoming end of endings, where a single enemy will overturn the world, and only Mario can stop him. He then says three cryptic words: “The darkness within…”

The Magnet Cliffs were a set of magnets on the side of the Big Freezer. Mario could see a path that led to the entrance of the Big Freezer. Shy Guys ran amok here, for some odd reason wearing cowboy hats. Mario battled his way through the cliffs until he met up with an old enemy: Wario. Wario says he was here to meet Big Freezy, but has enough time to pound Mario to the ground. Wario and Mario battle and Wario loses once again. He runs off, saying that he’ll have his revenge. After this, it was only a short walk to the Big Freezer.

Just as they enter the Big Freezer, they notice a gang of Freezies attacking a Bumpty. Mario steps in and scares off the Freezies. The Bumpty gives his thanks and runs off, and the group continues through the Big Freezer. It seems to be a city entirely made out of ice and filled with rogue Freezies and a few Bumpty gangsters. After a while they reach the Freezy syndicate’s headquarters, where the Big Freezy resides. Seeing that they must help the poor citizens of this city, they go in to try and give Big Freezy a piece of their mind. They beat the Freezy guards at the door, and enter the headquarters. Inside is even colder than it was outside, and the team has a temperature meter. If they stay still too long, they will freeze and lose HP. They find the door to Big Freezy’s room, but it is frozen shut. They look around and find that there is a thermostat somewhere in the building. It seems to be heavily guarded, but traps are no match for Mario. They turn the thermostat all the way up, and immediately everything melts. They rush to Big Freezy and tell him to stop terrorizing the town. But Big Freezy is at an advantage because he has his own personal thermostat, and so the temperature outside does not affect him. The team battles him and stops his cruel reign once and for all. Mario proceeds on after the citizens of the Big Freezer give their eternal thanks.

Mario then proceeds to the Spooky Attic, the last stop before the Lakitu Castle. Mario sees the secret exit: a cannon which shoots him out the window and straight outside Lakitu Castle. The only way to get to that cannon is to take a lift car which leads straight there. Mario boards the lift car after paying 50 coins, but in the middle of the journey it gets attacked by Boos. Mario does a brave move, and climbs on the outside of the lift car to reach the back, where all the Boos are attacking. They all form together to make the Super Atomic Boo, and Mario has no choice but to defeat this gigantic spook. After a long and harsh battle, Mario drives off the Boos and the lift car can proceed as normal. It stops at the cannon, and Mario hops in while a friendly local Bob-Omb lights it for him. Mario blasts off and, with a spectacular crashing of the window, lands in the cloudy palace known as Lakitu Castle.

Mario storms the castle, overturning all the Lakitus in his way. With the support of all the Spinies, Freezies and Bumptys, Mario braves the castle’s traps and eventually makes it to the big boss himself, King Lakitu. The huge king rises up, and takes Mario with him for a battle on his own cloud. The king’s main attack is throwing Buzzy Beetles, which actually do minimal damage to the plumber. Mario gets the king in an outrage on the verge of defeat, and he refuses to fall. Eventually, though, King Lakitu is beaten, and he agrees to allow the Spinies to stay in Lakitu Castle. Spirell refuses, though, saying he’d rather like to be on an adventure than stay there. With that, the chapter ends.

The scene goes back to Bowser’s Castle, where we once again see from the point of view of Peach. She goes to the door to find that it’s open. She wanders throughout the castle, and overhears something about an Element Star, and that the jewel on her brooch is actually a piece of it! But then she hears a strange noise above her, and before she can look, it’s gone. She goes back up the stairs to the tower, and the scene fades away…

Another monologue comes, same as the last one. It says:

“We went down into the hole, and found that all the bulb creatures were disintegrated. The hole went deep, and we could feel the heat of our radioactive core. In fact, some of the pieces of that spacecraft were inside the core. We kept studying it, and found that those pieces were made of some metallic substance that reacted with many chemicals. Then we found a more grim truth.

“The core was to explode in ten days.”

The scene goes back to the entrance of Lakitu Castle, where everyone is bidding Mario and Spirell farewell. King Lakitu opens up a blue pipe, and says there are plenty more in the Micro Zone, including one at the Great Mailbox, one at Buzzy Hill, one at Plasma Palace, one in the Big Freezer, and one in the Spooky Attic. Mario goes down the blue pipe and back into Toad Town, to find a huge surprise: the whole town has been ravaged. Mario wanders the streets, filled with unconscious Toads. With Luigi’s Super jump, the team is able to reach a key to a locked house. They enter the house to meet an old enemy: Doopliss. However, he has settled and now runs a shop where he’ll transform into any boss you’ve battled before. Mario asks Doopliss of what happened, and he says a mysterious group of criminals came and attacked the town, looking for Mario and Luigi. They went into the Moonview Woods, a place of eternal midnight. Beyond there is an old laboratory, the Underground Lab. Mario and his crew set off for Moonview Woods to stop this rogue band…and to truly start their adventure.

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