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|The Mushroom Kingdom Ends With You|
|Developer(s)||Black Diamond Games|
|Story, Badge Basher|
|Media Included||DS Cartridge|
The game's story follows Mario over the course of the three weeks that he plays the Game, paired with partners Luigi, Peach, and Wario for each week, respectively. Mario is confused at first, lacking knowledge of how he died or how he arrived at the UG. As he develops friendships with his partners and starts to understand the rules of the Game, he recalls small details of his death; eventually, he recognizes that he was shot at by Sho Koopinamimoto, one of the Reapers he faced during the Game. After the first week, only Luigi is allowed to return to the living, and he promises to meet Neku at the statue of Koopiko. However, Luigi has become what Mario values most, and he is used as his entry fee for the second week. At the end of the second week, Peach seemingly sacrifices herself to save Mario from a bomb created by Koopinamimoto.
Due to Mario and Peach bending the rules for the game, the game is ruled null and Mario is forced to replay the game a third time. His entry fee this time is all of the other players, meaning Mario cannot form any pacts and stands no chance against the Noise. However, Wario immediately defects from the Reapers and rejoins Mario. Mario and Wario find that the Reapers and the entire population of Mushibuya are wearing special red pins that cause them to think the same harmonious thoughts. Without any missions to complete, the two venture to the fabled "Mushibuya River", which Peach was looking for during the second week. At the river, they find Megoomi Kitaniji , the Game's Conductor. Kitaniji explains that he created the red pins in an attempt to remake The Mushroom Kingdom, which the Composer challenged him to do; if he fails, Mushibuya will be erased.
At that moment, Peach reappears and reveals herself to be the Composer. Peach returns the missing part of Mario's memory of death: Peach herself shot Mario, choosing him to be her proxy in his challenge with Kitaniji. Koopinamimoto, who had been trying to usurp the position of Composer, was trying to kill Peach in his weakened state as a Koopa. After failing to defeat Mario by using his friends against him, she gives Mario one last challenge: To fire upon Peach to determine the fate of the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario is too conflicted to make a choice, and is shot down by Peach. Mariofinds himself once again at the scramble crossing, confused by events.
The game's credits show scenes seven days later. Mario meets Luigi, and Wario by the statue of Koopiko, indicating that Mario and his friends have finally been returned to the RG. Secret reports that can be obtained by completing additional missions after beating the game reveal that Peach, after seeing the change in personality of Mario over the weeks of playing the game, decides to spare Mushibuya and the Mushroom Kingdom, now believing the world to be ideal.
The player assumes the role of Mario. Computer-controlled characters make up the rest of the cast, which includes Players who are paired with Mario. In the first Game, he is paired with his brother Luigi, who's memories of Mario were his price of entry for the Game. Subsequently, Mario's partner is Princess Peach, who died as Mario's entry fee. Mario's final partner is Wario. Wario became a Reaper for purely selfish reasons, as he wanted the power that comes with the job. K. Hanekoma, the Producer, and a koopa who helps out the Players is another major character.
Besides the Composer and the Conductor, there are other high-ranking Reapers. For each week of the Game, Game Masters are assigned by the Conductor to lead the opposition to the Players. Of the Game Masters opposing Mario, Sho Koopinamimoto is the most dangerous. He willingly circumvents the rules in an attempt to supplant the Composer. Participating in the Games with the aim of earning promotions for their performance, the Reapers' goal is to ascend to the highest form of spiritual existence, the Angels. Angels supervise the Games and if the stakes of a Game are particularly high, they send down one of their own to serve as the Producer. For the three weeks of the game's story, K. Hanekoma is the Producer. Disguised as a Mushibuya cafe owner, he guides new players and narrates the "Secret Reports" that are obtained by completing additional missions after completing the game.
The Mushroom Kingdom Ends with You is an action role-playing game, arranged into three chapters following the three weeks that Mario is involved in the Reaper's Game, with each chapter further divided by each day of the week. The player controls Mario and his partner as they explore Mushibuya to complete each day's mission. Although most missions require completion within a certain time for Mario and his partner, this timer is not correlated to the passage of time for the player.
Mushibuya is divided into several districts, some of which may be inaccessible on certain days or blocked by a wall that can only be removed by satisfying the request of a nearby Reaper, such as erasing Noise symbols, putting on a certain brand of clothing, or bringing an item. Mario can scan the area by activating a special badge. This scan reveals the thoughts of the non-player characters in the Realground and memes, which may help to progress the plot. The scan also reveals random Noise symbols that drift about the area, or in some cases, float around a specific character. The player initiates a battle by touching Noise symbols; each symbol constitutes one round of battle. Selecting more than one Noise symbol at a time results in a multi-round battle that gradually increases in difficulty with each round, but conversely leads to greater rewards upon success. Altering the difficulty of the Noise and the amount of health for Mario and his partner also alter the benefits conferred.
After completing the game, the player can return to any day in the story and play those events again, keeping the characters' current statistics and inventory. "Secret Reports", written segments that reveal background elements of the story, can be unlocked through this mode by completing specific missions during each day.Completing the game allows the player to access "Another Day" from the game's menus, an additional day of missions that explains certain events related to the main storyline. The Mushroom Kingdom Ends with You has one minigame called Badge Basher that can be played against computer opponents or with up to 3 others via a wireless connection.
The Mushroom Kingdom Ends with You features "psych badges", decorative pins which possess powers that only Mario can activate while wearing them. Psych badges are used for combat, for "Badge Basher", or as trade value for money or equipment. Most pins, particularly those used in combat, can become more powerful as the player accumulates "Badge Points" (BP) which can also lead to evolution of the badges into more potent versions. Badge Points are commonly earned through battle, but can also be earned through a period of inactivity with the game, or by interacting with other DS players or random wireless sources. Each of these methods influences the growth of badges within the game.
The game's combat system is called the Stride Cross Battle System. The combat takes place across both screens on the DS, with Mario on the touchscreen and his partner on the top screen, representing the different "zones" of the same local area; the two characters battle the same enemies that exist in both "zones" simultaneously. Mario and his partner are synchronized during battle; they share the same health bar so that even if one character does not take any damage, the pair can fail in battle if the other takes too much.A red "light puck" will pass between the characters during battle; when the character has this puck, the damage they inflict is increased. The movement of the light puck is determined by the "sync ratio" between Mario and his partner; the puck stays longer with the character with higher ratios. The player can equip Mario and his partner with clothing that can alter the light puck's speed.
The player controls Mario by performing touchscreen actions based on the currently equipped badges. These actions may include slashing across an enemy, tapping the screen rapidly to fire bullets, or holding down on an enemy to inflict damage. Other pins need to be touched to activate them, such as for health restoration. Each pin has a limited number of uses before it must recharge for a certain time. Other pins may only be used a fixed number of times during a series of battles, and do not recharge until the battle sequence is over. Mario can only be equipped with a maximum of two pins at the game's start; this can eventually be upgraded to a maximum of six.
Mario's partner on the top screen can be controlled by the player or the game itself. Each of Mario's partners has a card game-based mechanic; for example, Luigi's card game requires the player to match face-down playing cards with either a Mushroom, Fire Flower, or Star. The partner can make a basic attack after the player navigates through a pathway of arrows to select one of several shown cards using the directional pad or face buttons. By navigating to a card that fits within the card game rules, the player earns a star. Once enough stars are collected, the player can launch a powerful "Fusion" attack using both Mario and his partner through the "Harmonizer Pin" that appears on the upper right of the touchscreen (assuming that the player has not rearranged where it's displayed). The player can also help the partner character dodge attacks.