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Once again, it is time for the Star Festival and Princess Peach sends Mario a letter:
Would you like to see the stars with me on my balcony? It would be so relaxing to sit back and enjoy the night, because after all, this only happens once in a lifetime (or so they say, I've seen that blue-dressed lady about ten times in the last five years!).
Oh, and I have cake.
With warm regards,
Princess Peach Toadstool
Mario sets off into the night, Toads celebrating and collecting Star Bits. Mario decides to collect some too along the way, to give Princess Peach as a gift. Eventually, Mario reaches the castle and goes inside.
To his horror, he sees Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings holding the Toad Brigade, Luigi, and Princess Peach hostage on the balcony. Jr. tells Mario that he couldn't have done it without his new friend, and as Jr. holds up a new wand, just like the other Koopalings, Mario is shocked to see Young Master Luma inside the wand, pounding and spinning against the glass for help.
Jr. and the Koopalings laugh as they are pulled up to an Airship by Boom Boom, Pom Pom, and none other than Bowser himself. Bowser roars at Mario, saying that he will never save the Princess and the Brigade, not even Luigi. With that, the Airships leave Mushroom World and set off to the center of the universe.
Mario thinks it's all over, and cradles his head in his hands when suddenly a flash of light appears. In front of Mario, who looks up in surprise, is Rosalina, Polari, Lubba, and the Red Luma. The four tell Mario that it is not over, and he can still get Luma, at the very most, for the others are chained up. The Red Luma once again gives Mario the power of the Red Star, stating that this time, its powers will stay with you until you get hurt, not when you touch a Launch Star or water. Mario however, can't spin without Luma, and thus Polari inhabits him, saying, however, that he is old and the spin may not work sometimes, so use it wisely. And thus, Mario sets off, hoping to find the lost Luma.
Mario catches up with the airships and navigates through them, defeating multiple Goombas and Koopa Troopas along the way. Eventually, he reaches Bowser Jr., who tells Mario that the others are already gone, and the Koopalings pass by with the captives. Jr., however, sees Mario make a run for them and challenges him to a battle, which Mario wins. Jr. is stunned long enough for Mario to break his wand, releasing the trapped Luma. Luma thanks Mario and gives him a Red Power Star, which allows Mario to fly again. The two fly away with Polari at their side, while Bowser Jr. yells at them to get back.
The three arrive at the Comet Observatory, which once again is blacked out. The three watch the Power Star go into the Beacon, lighting it with red fire. Rosalina and Lubba arrive, thanking Mario for giving power to the observatory. They tell Mario that the Toad Brigade is being held captive by Larry Koopa, and that galaxy can be accessed by the Terrace, which has just opened up with the Red Power Star's power. Rosalina agrees to rename the Observatory to the Comet Mario and redesigns it, as long as Mario is on the ship. Thus, Mario goes into the Terrace to begin his quest.
After collecting 7 Power Stars, Mario faces Larry Koopa in his "galaxy", named Larry's Lava Lair. Behind him, caged up, is none other than the Toad Brigade. Mario defeats Larry, and the Koopaling reluctantly releases the Brigade and speeds off in a Koopa Clown Car. The Brigade gives Mario a Grand Star and Mario goes back to the Comet Mario with the Toad Brigade.
After beating Wendy O. Koopa on her airship in Sky High Galaxy, Rosalina and Lubba alert Mario that Iggy Koopa that Iggy Koopa is holding Luigi hostage in his castle. Mario goes there and gets him back. Luigi is playable after beating Iggy.
After beating Ludwig von Koopa, Rosalina, Lubba, and Polari tell Mario (or Luigi) that with 80 stars, the Comet Mario can fly to the center of the universe to save Princess Peach. Once the player collects 80 stars, Comet Mario becomes fully functional and speeds off to the center of the universe. Upon entering, the player goes through a painful obstacle course (as before) but it is shorter, and before long faces Bowser and Bowser Jr., who have the Red Grand Star in a strong, Bullet Bill-proof glass ball. In a much smaller, but just as strong glass ball, is Princess Peach.
Bowser and Bowser Jr. fight Mario in a similar manner as Super Mario Sunshine, with Mario having to ground-pound the cracks in the glass balls: three on Peach's, three on the Grand Star's. After this is done, both glass balls explode, and Mario sets out to grab them. However, another figure drops from above and crashes onto the ground below, sending the Red Grand Star and Peach out of sight.
The Koopa, with the colors of Morton Koopa Jr. but the looks of Bowser, tells Mario that he is Morton Koopa Sr. and the ultimate reason behind Jr.'s return, Peach's, the Brigade's, and Luigi's capture, and the events of the entire series. He challenges Mario/Luigi to a fight, and, without waiting for an answer, gravity makes the two fall onto a planet. The entire battle consists of the past two final battles (SMG+SMG2), plus one new one, but with Sr. instead of Bowser. The last part is a 3D version of Bowser's fight in NSMB2, except instead of being inside a castle, this one is in deep space. Sr. breathes silver fire and throws silver sledgehammers, and the player must sneak underneath the Koopa to hit the switch. After that, Sr. falls down out of sight, but thanks to the Koopalings, Jr. and Bowser, Sr. is brought back up, in the exact same size as he was fought in SMG2, and Mario must go up to hit the switch. Sr. and the other Koopas are seen falling down, and as Mario/Luigi watches, he sees that he is above Mushroom World. Suddenly, he falls onto the Gate Planet, where the Red Grand Star, Peach, Rosalina, Lubba, Polari, the Toad Brigade, and Luigi/Mario are waiting. They all thank the plumber for restoring order to the universe, and give him the Red Grand Star. Upon collecting it, everyone gains the ability to fly and they all return to the Mushroom World while the credits roll.
Each normal galaxy has at least 2 normal stars, with the possibility of a secret star. Two comets are also included in the package (for normal only). Bonus Galaxies have a normal star and comet star, while Boss Galaxies have a Grand Star and a Comet Star (excluding Bowser's Universe Generator). The Trial Galaxies only have one star, however. Terrace:
Green Grass Galaxy: Just your average, basic first galaxy. Bosses: Petey Piranha. Power-ups: None.
Yoshi Falls Galaxy: The first galaxy with Yoshi, and based off the MKDS track. Bosses: Birdo. Power-ups: Yoshi.
Gold Mine Galaxy: Originated from the MKWii track. Bosses: Wario. Power-ups: Gold Flower.
Bonus: Flipswitch Galaxy: Based off of Flip-Swap and Flip-Out Galaxy. Boss: None. Power-ups: None.
Boss: Larry's Lava Lair: Grand Star mission! Bosses: Larry Koopa. Power-ups: None.
Kongo Kraze Galaxy: Based on DK series. Bosses: King K. Rool. Power-ups: Rock Mushroom.
Cotton Cloudy Galaxy: Just your average cloud galaxy. Bosses: Cloudius. Power-ups: Cloud Flower
Bright Beach Galaxy: Just your average beach galaxy. Bosses: King Cat Aquack. Power-ups: F.L.U.D.D.
Bonus: Rolling Pinball Galaxy: The return of the Star Ball! Boss: Waluigi. Power-ups: None.
Boss: Morton's Mega Mash-up: The return of...Boss: MEGALEG. Power-ups: Bullet-Mario.
Supermighty Galaxy: Similar to Supermassive. Bosses: 8-Bit False Bowser, Boom Boom. PW: Classic Mushroom
Spooky Sunset Galaxy: Remake of Sirena Beach. Bosses: Manta Ray. Power-ups: F.L.U.D.D, Yoshi.
Sky High Galaxy: Your average sky world, except in 3D. Bosses: King Duppy, Wendy O. Koopa. PW: Red Star, Cloud Flower
Bonus: Custard Cream Galaxy: Similar to Sweet Sweet. Boss: None. PW: None.
Boss: Iggy's Icicle Castle: Your average ice fight, except in 3D and fighting...Boss: Iggy Koopa. PW: Ice Flower.
Melty Frozen Galaxy: Spoof of Melty Molten. Bosses: Fiery Peewee Piranha, King Cinder. PW: Ice Flower, Fire Flower
Falcon Flying Galaxy: Based on the F-Zero series. Bosses: Captain Falcon, Roy Koopa. PW: F.L.U.D.D, Red Star.
Bob-Omb Blast Galaxy: Remake of Bob-Omb Battlefield from SM64. Bosses: King Bob-Omb. PW: Classic Mushroom, Red Star
Bonus: Rocky Road Galaxy: Similar to Melty Monster's Star 2. Boss: None. PW: Rock Mushroom.
Boss: Lemmy's Bouncy Brawl: Just your average, 3D ball fight with...Boss: Lemmy Koopa. PW: Fire Flower, Ice Flower.
Metal Mischief Galaxy: Similar to Toy Time. Bosses: Mecha-Bowser (SMS), Metal Mario (character). PW: Metal Mushroom.
Nighty Night Galaxy: Remake of World 1 from SMB2, but 3D. Bosses: Pom Pom, Wart. PW: Classic Mushroom.
Great Gelato Galaxy: Remake of Gelato Beach from SMS. Bosses: Giant Wiggler. PW: F.L.U.D.D., Yoshi.
Bonus: Rolling Rainbow Galaxy: Star Ball time! Boss: None. PW: None.
Boss: Ludwig's Lazy Lift: Sky fightin' time! Boss: Ludwig von Koopa. PW: Bullet-Mario.
Gold Power Galaxy: Just an awesome golden galaxy! Bosses: Gold Wario. PW: Gold Flower
Triforce Terror Galaxy: Based on The Legend of Zelda series. Bosses: Ganondorf. PW: Fire Flower, Metal Mushroom, Classic Mushroom. (NOTE: this is the only galaxy where power-ups can be combined)
Green Greens Galaxy: Based on the Kirby series. Bosses: Meta Knight, King Dedede. PW: Cloud Flower.
Bonus: Menacing Mansion Galaxy: Beware... Boss: King Boo. PW: None.
Bonus: Good Egg Galaxy: Yep, it's back. Boss: Dino Piranha. PW: None.
Rolled-Out Galaxy: Star Ball. Boss: None. PW: None.
Subspace Mission Galaxy: He awaits you... Boss: Master Hand. PW: Classic Mushroom.
Red Race Galaxy: Oh yeah. Boss: Red Luma. PW: Red Star.
Mushroom World: Where the Mushroom Kingdom is. Boss: Bowser Jr. PW: Red Star.
Boss: Bowser's Universe Generator: The final boss(es). Bosses: Bowser, Bowser Jr., Morton Koopa Sr.
Green Stars appear after the player has collected 120 stars and beaten Bowser's Universe Generator again. After 120 Green Stars are collected, the final galaxy is accessible.
Grand Finish Galaxy: The final galaxy, featuring challenges similar to Grandmaster. Boss: None. PW: All.
Mario has many different power-ups in this game. A few of them are new, but some old ones that weren't used as much got the glory this time.
The Red Star, which transforms Mario into Flying Mario, is first found in Mushroom World, in the first mission, Luma's Rescue. The power-up has been altered from the first game, allowing you to touch Launch Stars, water, and to keep it until you get hurt, and thus the power-up no longer has a time-limit on it. An example of this is when you reach Jr. (cutscene), and he casts a magical spell at you so you lose the power-up.
Appears in: Grand Finale, Sky High, Falcon Flying, Bob-Omb Blast. TBC...