The introduction, like Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, begins in story book format but later turns into a scene of what happened before the game officially begins.
I will tell you a tale.
A tale that shook the world.
Thousands of years ago, before you or I were alive...
There was a great power known as Time Travel.
It allowed its weilder to travel to any timeline they pleased.
But this power was soon misused disastrously.
Civilizations fell apart, empires ruled forever.
Entire continents were vanquished.
One man, calling himself a Master of Time Travel...
Contained the power within a pocketwatch.
He used it only for himself, but then things became much worse.
His intentions of universal destruction were made clear.
The worlds' armies gathered together and overthrew the Master...
And locked him in an unescapable jail.
They buried the pocketwatch deep within the ground.
It remained there undisturbed...until today.
A professor Lakitu is seen in a mine with several others. They were all digging in the ground, until someone walked in dragging a cart of explosives. The explosives were set off after all ducked for cover. After the smoke cleared, the miners gathered together and looked at the destruction. Amazingly, the entire area erupted except for one small section. The professor examined the spot and saw a pocketwatch with the words Watch of Eternity enscribed upon them. His eyes gleamed, as he said, "Wonderful. I must tell people about this."
Prologue: Watch Very Closely
The story opens with our favorite mail Koopa, Parakarry, delivering a letter to the Mario home. "Mail call!" he shouts, and then flies off. Our hero, Luigi, steps out and gets the letter from the mailbox. He looks at it and steps back inside. "Hey, bro!" calls Luigi, "look at this letter Toadsworth sent you!" Mario runs into the room and grabs the letter from Luigi's hands. He reads it quickly, says farewell to his brother, and dashes away.
Luigi sits down and picks up the letter. "Seems my big bro is always off on some big adventure," he mutters as he scans the letter. "Peach is captured? Again? Man, no wonder Mario was in such a hurry. What a guy." He leans back in his chair and sighs. "When will I get my chance? I haven't had my own quest since the Marvelous Compass...and no one even cared about that one..." As Luigi broods, he hears a second call from Parakarry. "Mail call...again? Huh, I guess it's Mario's lucky day."
Luigi runs outside and grabs the letter from the mailbox. He steps inside and looks at it. "That's odd...it's addressed to ME this time! What could this be...and who's this even from?" He opens the letter and reads its contents:
Dear Sir Luigi,
I am I, Dr. Lakistein of Moretime City. Recently, my archaeology team found an amazing artifact known as the Watch of Eternity.
I need a special guest of honor for the unveiling ceremony, and you came to mind. Your brother is always off doing some amazing thing, but I have heard of your successes as well. This will be your big shot! Luigi's big break!
Try to catch a plane or something soon. The ceremony will be held in Moretime's main plaza, the one with a fountain. It will be in five days, so arrive soon.
Best of luck,Dr. Lakistein
Luigi stood up in wonder. "He wants me to come to this ceremony? Wow! He's right, a thing like this is my big chance! And with a thing that has as cool of a name as the Watch of Eternity, maybe there's some awesome adventure in store! I accept!" He stuffs the letter into his pocket and races out the door. As he runs to the Mushroom Kingdom airport, the main title of the game scrolls across the screen, and a travel montage of Luigi's flight is shown.
The plane arrives in Moretime City right on time. Luigi stepped off and took in the wonder. "Moretime City..." he muttered, "so this is what a real metropolis looks like! Fantastic!" He heads out of the airport and looks around. "Lakistein said to look for the fountain," he said as he walked off.
Soon he arrived at the plaza. Walking around a bit, Luigi found a Lakitu wearing a bow tie and glasses anxiously hovering near the fountain. Luigi walked over and Lakistein gasped in amazement. “Luigi! You truly arrived!” he said. Luigi nodded. “My bro left on some other journey right when I got your letter.” Lakistein nodded. “I expected so,” he said. “Mario always has his adventures, and although you two are very similarly skilled, you have had substantially fewer wonders in your time. Which is why I called for you and not your red-clad brother. Come with me.”
The two went to a building in the plaza which Lakistein said was his home. Luigi asked, “So what is the Watch of Eternity anyways?” Lakistein opened a closet door and pulled out the Watch. It was shaped like a pocket watch with twelve glowing crystals within. Luigi’s eyes shone. “Beautiful, isn’t it?” Lakistein said. “But it’s purpose is not for decoration or even telling time. This watch...is a time machine.”
Luigi gasped. “This watch...it can take you through time?” he asked, dumbfounded. “Correct!” Lakistein exclaimed. “I haven’t worked out the logistics yet, but I believe it can take you to significant events in the history of everywhere.” He handed the watch to Luigi. “I haven’t tried it myself,” Lakistein said, “but I would like you to try to go back in time.” “Where to? Or, wait, when to?” Luigi asked. “The watch will take you to the time and place you need to be. Go ahead, maybe try rubbing the base of it or something.” Luigi rubbed the base, and then vanished in a cloud of smoke. Lakistein facepalmed. “Drag, I forgot!” he said. “My son was supposed to go with him! Oh well. Next time, I suppose. Good luck, Luigi...whenever you are.”
Luigi found himself in some kind of forest with a path clearing to the right. “Wow,” he said, “out of all the places and times I could’ve been sent, I’m in the middle of nowhere. Sweet.” He looked into the distance and suddenly heard a shout, “Hey, let go of me! Gah! Dad, help!” Whoa, someone’s in trouble! Good thing I’m a hero!” said Luigi, as he rain down the path.
He arrived in a small village populated by Goombas. “Hello!” said a Goomba wearing orange shoes. “Welcome to Goomba Village, stranger. Or, rather, I wish I could welcome you. We’re in a bit of a pickle right now.” “What’s wrong?” asked Luigi. “The Koopa Alliance has been growing stronger,” the Goomba said. “Some freaks came through trying to recruit some of us. No one did, so they attacked quite a few of us. In fact, my son, Goombenny, was taken captive by a few rogue Goombas from a nearby village.” “Don’t worry, sir,” Luigi said. “Where I’m from, I’m a pretty well-known hero. I’ll get your son back.”
Luigi walked through the town and found a pair of Goombas holding a screaming Goomba wearing a green bowler hat upon his head. “Let me go!” the captured Goomba screamed. “I don’t wanna join the Koopa Kong’s army! You guys are twisted!” Luigi was taken aback. “Koopa King...does he mean Bowser? Wow, this should really be Mario’s task then,” he said to himself. The captured Goomba saw Luigi. “Hey, mister!” the Goomba shouted. “I could use a hand here, unless you’re with the King. If so, then get lost!” “No, no, I’m here to help you,” Luigi said. “Oh, you’re gonna take our captured soldier?” one of the kidnapping Goombas said. “Well, buddy boy, you’ll need to go through us first, and we put up a mean fight.” They set down Goombenny, who ran to Luigi’s side, and then they attacked.
What follows is the game’s first battle. The coinciding tutorial is given by Goombenny, who doesn’t fight with Luigi but merely tells him what to do in order to defeat the two Goombas. Said tutorial includes how to jump and hammer. Upon their defeat, Star Points are explained by Goombenny, and the Goombas run away, screaming, “This isn’t over!”
Luigi and Goombenny return to the village. The Goomba with orange shoes, who is also Goombenny’s father, ran up and was extremely happy that he was safe, and said to Luigi, “I owe you my life for saving my son! If there’s anything you need, let me know.” “No, no,” Luigi said, “you don’t need to give me anything. Just glad to help.” Goombenny stepped forward, though. “Luigi, helping you fight off those jerks showed me that I have some confidence and power in me somewhere. I’ve never really felt that before. If I stick with you, I imagine my confidence would build up to extreme levels!” His father agreed, “I think he’s right. You’ve done good to our town, Luigi. Do some more good for my son and allow him to travel with you.” Luigi grinned. “A few traveling companions never hurt anyone. I’d love to hang with you, Goombenny. Welcome aboard!” A tutorial of Goombenny's skills then occured.
Luigi and Goombenny walk back to the spot in the forest where he first came into this timeline. Luigi rubbed the watch's base and the two were sent back to Lakistein's home. Lakistein gasped in amazement. "It worked! You're back at the exact time you left!...and you brought a friend?" he asked. Goombenny introduced himself. Lakistein nodded to him. "Welcome to this century, Goombenny. Hmm...you could use more insight on times before you, as well as this time." Lakistein opened a drawer and handed Goombenny a green textbook. He held it with his invisible arms and said, "Wow, this is extremely detailed! Thank you, doctor!" Lakistein smiled and said "No, thank you. Luigi will need all the help he can get." "What do you mean?" Luigi asked. Lakistein turned and said, "Luigi, you must protect the Watch with your life. That is the task I had in mind calling you to this city."
Suddenly, an explosion was heard outside. The three ran outside and saw a large, dark deity floating above the plaza fountain. The deity turned to Luigi. "Green one," the deity said. "You have the Watch of Eternity on your person. I tracked the time travel energy activate in this city. It appears you have operated it." He stretched out his hand. "Give it to me now, and no one in this town will be hurt." Luigi took a step back. "Lakistein, what do I do?" Lakisten threw a Spiny shell at the deity. "You'll never get the Watch from Luigi!" he shouted. "He's a true hero, I'm certain he'll guard it with his life!"
The deity deflected the Spiny and grinned slightly. "Perhaps you'll change your mind," the deity said, "when you see what leverage I have against you." He snapped his fingers and a cage appeared floatig in the air. Within the cage was a young Lakitu with blue hair and a terrified expression on his face. Lakistein suddenly backed off. "Lukas!" he shouted. "How could you kidnap my son, you maniac?!" The deity shrugged. "Leonard Lakistein, you have much to learn." He turned to Luigi once more. "So...Luigi..." he said. "You can give me the Watch now, and your friend's son shall be returned with no harm. Or, if you defy me, this city shall burn. The choice is yours."
Luigi and Goombenny stepped forward. "You'll never get the Watch from me!" Luigi shouted. "If you can easily do this much damage without it, who knows what you'll do with the Watch!" The deity shot a bolt of lightning their way, striking them both to the ground. "People of Moretime!" the deity shouted. "Know that it was this man's arrogance that caused you all this destruction!"
Before Luigi could be harmed any further, however, he began to glow. Lakistein gasped. "The Watch!" he exclaimed. "Combined with the twelved Hour Crystals within and your faith in it, you're protected from this beast's wrath!" A beam of light was sent from the Watch to the deity, striking him to the ground. "I may not be able to steal the watch at this time," he said, "but I can take its power!" He sent a beam of darkness at the Watch and its glow slowly faded. "Know that the Master of Time shall return, and take what is rightfully his!" he shouted. He vanished, causing Lukas within his cage to fall to the ground and fall open.
Lakistein hurried over to Lukas and helped him up. "Wow..." Lukas said slowly, "That guy's a total pain." "How did he capture you?" Luigi asked. "I don't know," Lukas replied. "One minute I was safe and sound sitting in the underground part of town. The next, that evil warlord had me in a cage!" Lakistein thought for a moment. "Did you say the underground area? That could be a Time Spot!" Lakistein noticed the others' confusion at that term and then explained: "Time Spots are locations around town where time travel could occur. My home is one. This underground area may be another. And this spot by the fountain the Master of Time vanished from...this could be one more."
The area in question had a blue glow. "Yes, this is it," Lakistein said. "Lukas, travel with Luigi. He may need your assistance at times. Besides, you must be ready in case this deity attacks again." "Gladly," Lukas said. "I want revenge against that guy for kidnapping me." Luigi shook his hand. "Welcome aboard!" Luigi said. A tutorial of Lukas's skills then occured.
Luigi pulled out the Watch. "So, how do I go back in time?" he asked. "Well, that's the problem. My studies of the Watch have confirmed that in order to power it, you need to fill it with crystals called Second Shards. To travel to one of the Hour Crystals' timelines, you need to fill it with one box's worth of Shards. One box contains roughly 3,600 small crystals, hence that many seconds in an hour." Lakistein led the group to a pipe near the fountain. "The underground area should have a box of Shards somewhere. When you've obtained it, return to the surface."
In the underground area, Lukas said, "I think there was some kind of box near where I was earlier. Follow me!" He ran ahead and out of the room. Luigi followed him, only to find himself face to face with the Master of Time. "Ah, Luigi," the Master said. "I was under the belief that you'd come down here." "What do you want, you...you time travelling ghost person?!" Luigi shouted. "I've made it clear that I want the Watch," the Master said, "but I'd be willing to stand a challenge. If you and your friends can best me in battle, I will leave for now and give you this box of Second Shards I found. If you lose, the Watch is mine."
"What do we do, Luigi" Goombenny asked. "Yeah, this guy could totally destroy us," Lukas added. "If you do not accept a fair fight, I will take the Watch by any means necessary," the Master interjected. "I guess we have no choice," Luigi said. "We need to fight him. The prologue's boss battle then commenced against the Master of Time.
Upon victory, the Master said, "Well done. I look forward to future, inevitable battles with you." He then vanished. The spot he was hovering above stopped glowing blue. Luigi picked up the box, emptied its contents into the Watch, and then returned to the fountain. Lakistein said, "Ah, excellent! Do you see the Watch? The crystal between 12 o'clock and 1 o'clock is glowing. This must be your destination." Luigi nodded and walked to the glowing spot of the ground, held the Watch above his head, and vanished. Lakistein grinned and said, "Good luck, my son."