“Pi’illo Island… I wonder what it’s gonna look like,” Little Apper said. “Will there be fruit?” Mario walked over to the Yoshi princess, who was half his height. “I imagine so, bambina,” Mario said, patting her head. “Especially if Yoshis are welcome.”
“Pi’illo Island…Can’t say I’ve heard of it,” Toadsworth said. “Princess! I feel rather uneasy about this trip! We still have time, let’s return home!” Broggy, who brought them the invitation, barked angrily at Toadsworth, stopping him. It then turned around to reveal a TV screen in its back, which showed the sender of the invitation Dr. Snoozemore. “Oh? Who is this?” Peach asked.
“Mm-yes, hello. Nice meeting you. I am the proprietor of Pi’illo Island! I am Doctor Snoozemore anzzz…” Snoozemore began before falling asleep.
“Is he asleep?” Toadsworth asked. Snoozemore immediately woke up. “Oh, please excuse me! As you may have already guessed, I am researching the science of sleep. Mm-yes, and on Pi’illo Island…there is a special power that makes you sleep soundzzzz…”
“He…fell asleep again,” Little Apper said.
“A special sleep power? What poppycock! Scoundrel, wake up and explain yourself!” Toadsworth said angrily. Snoozemore woke up again. “Mm-yes, this is no time for a lecture. Now, I ask that you relax… Be at ease until you reach the island and enjoy your trip… Yes, relax with the dog…and your fellow passengers…and that other passenger…he is interesting.” Snoozemore fell asleep before he could say anything else.
As everyone wondered what he meant, a pillow fell out of the sky. “What is THAT?!” Toadsworth asked. The pillow turned into a cloud of gas that tried to grab both princesses. Everyone dodged its attacks, causing Luigi to almost fall overboard and the cloud reveal itself to be a huge vampire. “Mario!” Peach shouted as she held Little Apper close. “We need to help Luigi!” Mario ran to go help Luigi, but was blocked by the vampire. “Out of my way!” Mario shouted angrily. The vampire screeched at him angrily. “Okay fine! You asked for it!” He jumped on top of the monster’s head, causing it to flee and attack the blimp. As everyone free fell, the blimp crashed into the Blimport of the island.
“WAAAAH!” Little Apper shouted, waking up. Peach ran over to her. “It’s okay, sweetie! We’re here safely,” she said. “Come on. Mario, dear? Could you help Luigi?” She picked the Yoshi up and they joined the group. “Welcome to Pi’illo Island,” one of the tour guides said to them. “We’ve been waiting for you to arrive! Allow us to show you around. Let’s head to Pi’illo Castle.”
“Wait a moment!” Toadsworth said. “I understand the proprietor is one Dr. Snoozemore, correct? Humph! Yes, well, Princess Peach and her heir Little Apper traveled far for this visit… And I must say I find it a touch rude that he’s not present to greet us!”
“Please, Toadsworth, it’s no matter…” Peach said.
“Ah, yes! That’s reminds me I should’ve mentioned! Regrettably, Dr. Snoozemore is away on a business errand. He’s travelling far and wide to spread the word about our island! You know, to boost tourism. As such, he asked that I mention that it will be a short while before he can greet you in person. I’ll meet you just down the road.” The tour guide walked ahead. “Ooh, how very exciting! Let’s go everyone!” Peach said. She, Toadsworth, and the Toads walked ahead. “Will Luigi be okay?” Little Apper asked. Mario looked at the passed out Luigi. “He’ll be fine. He’s taken worse. Luigi will join us when he gets up.”
“Apper!” Peach called affectionately. Little Apper ran over to Peach’s side. “Such a curious little Yoshi. I want you to stay right by me, okay? No wandering off!” They came to two floor panels with a check and an x on the river walk. “Oh? What’s this?” Peach asked. Mario caught up to them. “Did I miss anything?” he asked.
“Peoples!” Broque Monsieur shouted to the group. “You wish to see zee Pi’illo Castle, honh?”
“You desire…zee coins?!”
"You feel…zee Passions?”
“YEAH! Get on with it!”
“Zen off we go! To the 612th Pi’illo Island Welcome Quiz! Allez! Let us not delay, honh? Zis is Pi’illo Island’s Welcome Quiz! I am, how you say, zee MC…I am also zee tour guide! Zat squarish fellow in the golden hue! Zat is moi, Broque Monseuir!”
“Not this guy again,” Little Apper groaned in her native tongue.
“Well, trés jolie Princess Peach! And other less jolie people, also…” Broque Monsieur said. “Honh? Ah! You over there! In zee red, with zee moustache!” Mario pointed at himself in confusion. “Oui! I feel we have met before, vous and moi…But zis does not matter, for now is island-game time!” He then pulled out a coin. “You crave zis, honh? Oui. Zen answer correctly! Ah, but do not fear zee failure! There is no penalty for wrongness! At worst, you will learn zee fun island facts and win a coin or deux! Zis sounds like zee pinnacle of fun welcome activity, oui?”
“How delightful! What fun!” Peach said cheerfully.
“Oui, what fun indeed, honh?! Zen let zee fun begin! For zee appetizer…zee check-x quiz!” The group played the quiz, with Mario winning the most coins. Broque Monsieur walked ahead down the river walk. “Yes, we should hasten to Pi’illo Castle as well,” Peach said. They followed after him to a large cage. “I don’t like this, Mama,” Little Apper said to Peach after the gate closed behind them. “I smell evil!”
“I’m sure it’s alright,” Peach said. “Maybe it’s customary.”
“Oh hoh! Impressive to see you come zis far! I applaud zee spirit…” Broque Monsieur said. An evil aura was coming from him. “But zee happy times, zey end right NOW! Now is supper time! And zee supper…is you!” Little Apper growled angrily. “I knew it!” she said angrily.
“Ah oui. Zat is why we brought you here! You will be served to zee hungry monsters! Viola!” Out of the cage came two small monsters. “Mario, look out!” Peach shouted, holding Little Apper close. Mario nodded. “I’ve got this!” Little Apper tried to help him by launching her tongue at one of the monsters, only to spit it out in disgust. “These guys taste like sweaty socks!” she said. Mario jumped on both monsters. “There! Anything else?” Mario asked.
“What is the meaning of this? He can’t possibly mean to feed us to monsters!” Peach squeaked. “
“If so, Princess, then we are in dire straits, indeed!” Toadsworth said. “Master Mario! Things have taken a turn for the rather dangerous! I and my sturdy cohorts will stay here and protect the Princesses! Let’s see you run ahead and see what’s what?”
“Okay then!” Mario said.
“There’s a good lad!”
“Be safe, Mario!” Peach said. Mario ran ahead while Little Apper picked up Luigi’s scent approaching. Without anyone noticing, she ran back down the river walk. “Luigi!” Little Apper yapped cheerfully. Luigi was a little beat up, since some of the monsters headed his way. “Hey,” he said, petting the Yoshi’s head. “Don’t worry about me. Go on ahead and find your mother.” She offered him a ride on her back; even though he was almost triple her height. He climbed on and they caught up with everyone else in front of the castle. “I can walk from here,” Luigi said with a smile. “Good girl.” She let him down off of her and climbed back under his hat.
“There you two are!” Mario said. “Geez, looking a little rough, aren’t you, Weege?” Luigi looked at himself and smiled. “Uh, yea. A few monsters were heading towards the welcoming committee. Not long after I got them, Little Apper found me and helped me get over here!”
“Well, I’m glad you made it on time,” Peach said. “We were worried you’d never show!” Luigi’s face turned red. “But of course, Peach,” Luigi said, trying to find words to say.
“Monsieur Luigi, he enjoyed the same quiz on the way here. Zat is right, oui monsieur?” Broque Monsieur asked.
“Oui, zat is right. Now, Messieurs Mario and Luigi, you won some coins in zee quiz, is zat correct.” Mario and Luigi nodded and showed the gathered 50 coins. “But zis sum is a bit meager, no? Perhaps a petit game to fatten zee wallets? Before you answer, know zis. Zee game is easy and quick.” Mario and Luigi nodded. When they saw that the game was bashing blocks to move and elevator up, they accepted and left Little Apper with Peach. At the end of the game, they had doubled their money and the party went into the castle.
“Look! It’s Starlow!” Peach said. “Hey!”
“Peach! Toadsworth! Baby Yoshi!” Starlow said.
“You were invited to the island as well?” Peach asked.
“That’s right. I came all the way here to represent the star sprites. Hello Yello!”
“Oh ho! Hello yello, indeed! You seem as peppy as ever!” Toadsworth said. Little Apper began to sniff at Starlow before licking her. “Uh, yes. Good to see you too, Yoshi. Gross…”
“Hey Starlow, I’m sure you remember us,” Mario said.
“Mario! It’s been so long! I haven’t seen you since our last adventure! I imagine Princess Peach is relieved to have you around!”
“Hey Starlow!” Luigi said, trying to dodge what Starlow had said.
“Oh, hey Luigi. Haven’t seen you in a while either. Of course, I’m sure it’s a relief to have you around as well…” Luigi looked over at Peach, a blush spreading across his face. “I mean, I would say that, but seriously! Just…LOOK at you! You look totally ragged! Did you get mugged or something? And you just got here! How did you get so run down?”
“I’ll have you know that Luigi saved the welcoming committee from some monsters, Starlow!” Little Apper said in her native tongue, coming to Luigi’s defense. “And all on his own! That is pretty awesome!”
“If you say so, Yoshi… You just keep idolizing him,” she said back. After the group dispersed to look around Luigi walked over to Little Apper. “Thanks, but you really didn’t have to do that. I can defend my own honor,” Luigi said. He then looked at Peach, who smiled brightly and waved at him. He waved back, a blush across his face. “You okay, little bro?” Mario asked, placing a hand on his brother’s shoulder.
“Uh…yeah, I’m okay,” he said. “Let’s look around.” Little Apper climbed onto Luigi’s shoulder and they began to walk around. “What’s her deal anyway,” Little Apper asked.
“Whose? Starlow’s? I thought you like her,” Mario said.
“She keeps calling me ‘Yoshi’ and she has no respect for Luigi, who we both know is awesome!” Luigi was slightly embarrassed at her compliment. “Maybe she doesn’t know that yet. Try putting yourself in her shoes. You may just learn something new. And next time you see her, just talk with her. You might be surprised,” Mario said.
The group gathered to watch an introductory video to the island, which Little Apper didn’t pay any attention to until Peach and Toadsworth were sent into the darker parts of the castle with a trap. “What happened!” Little Apper asked. “Hey! Blockhead! What did you do with my Mama?!”
“Why is there a moving rocket platform there in the first place?” Starlow asked.
“Ah, oui. I must tell you, back zere we found an ancient hidden area. That platform was only recently installed for zee exploring. But it is in zee testing phase. Or at least it was… Zee pressure of zee petit footsies activated zee mechanism, honh?” Broque Monsieur said.
“YEAH AND?!” Little Apper asked. “Mama might be in danger! And I’m going after her!” Starlow nodded in agreement. “I’m with Yoshi! Mario! Luigi! Let’s go!” They got onto the platform, which shot them into the bowels of the castle and into a wall. “Owww…” Mario said. “So, which way did they go, Apper?” Little Apper shook off her injuries and began to sniff around. “Will he be able to find Peach?” Starlow asked.
“Yea, Little Apper is very well trained in tracking,” Luigi said. “She’ll smell her way to Peach if she has to.” Little Apper sniffed her way to what looked like a wall. “Uh, Yoshi—sorry, Little Apper—that’s a wall,” Starlow said.
A ghost then appeared in a nearby lantern. “Again they come…Poor fools…Look upon the ghost that haunts this castle…My name, whispered in horror, is Smoldergeist..Long have I wandered these dark passages…And long have I guarded these hidden ways…None may pass through what lies ahead…You must suffer the fate of all intruders! Those who trespass meet…THIS!” Monsters like the ones before dropped in front of Mario and Luigi, who took them down. The “wall” disappeared, revealing more of the secret passageway. They followed Little Apper until they got to Peach and Toadsworth, who were surrounded by multiples of Smoldergeist.
“Peach!” Mario and Luigi shouted, scaring away the ghosts. Peach uncovered her eyes. “Mario! Luigi! Thank you for saving us! I’m so relieved,” she said.
“Master Mario! Master Luigi! That was a close shave! We fled to this chamber, but were surrounded,” Toadsworth said.
“I’m glad you’re okay,” Starlow said. “But danger aside…This place is mysterious, huh?”
“True,” Peach said. “And that thing over there…Such strange architecture…I wonder what it is.” Mario and Luigi walked over to what Peach was talking about. “It looks like a pillow,” Mario said. “Weird.”
Little Apper picked up the rock pillow, causing Smoldergeist to reappear and attack them. Leaving Little Apper with the pillow, Mario and Luigi fought Smoldergeist, sending it away. “Why did you take that, Apper?” Mario asked. “You could’ve gotten yourself hurt!”
“It’s weird,” Little Apper said as she curled up on the pillow. “I think that there’s something more to this stone pillow. We should keep it with us. Maybe show it to Broque Monsieur.” Luigi took the pillow from her. “I’ll carry it, then. Let’s get out of here.”
They found a worker, who was surprised to see them come out from the darkest parts of the castle. “Oh wow…How did you guys come out from back there?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” Luigi said. “But, we found this.” He showed the worker the pillow they found. “Wow! Could that be…it? The thing people whisper might be in the castle? The TREASURE?! How did you even get that? Where did you find it? Well, hey, you ought to just scoot on to our collection room! That’ll be the perfect place to display the treasure!”
Mario, Luigi, Starlow and Little Apper walked into the collection room, which was filled with artifacts of the ancient Pi’illo civilization. “So many old looking things! What is this place?” Starlow asked.
“Zis is well done! You bring back zee treasure from zee castle depths, honh? Incroyable!” Broque Monsieur said as he approached them. “Zis is zee collection room…Oui, where we keep zee items excavated from zee island!”
“Collection room? This isn’t just junk?”
“JUNK?! Non non non! Au contraire, zee items in zis room are so very precious! Zey all dat back to zee period of zee Pi’illo Kingdom! Oui, oui! Only VIPs in here, honh? No rabbles allowed, honh? And I say zis: Zee treasure you found… We will display zis here as well, oui.”
“Huh? Mario and Luigi found it here, remember? Can’t they keep it? Hey, Luigi! Stop fidgeting!”
“Hey, look at this,” Luigi said, noticing a bed.
“So then this is…an ancient bed?” Starlow asked.
“Oui, if you have fatigue, you can rest on zat bed.”
Luigi set the pillow onto the bed and laid down on it, falling asleep instantly with Little Apper climbing back into his hat. “Oh! Monsieur Luigi! Zis thing under your head! Zee pattern is quite ornate, oui? It may be of zee Pi’illo Kingdom. Could it be…ze pillow zat zee prince was using?!”
“Luigi? Luigi? Are you asleep?” Mario asked. “Out like a light.”
“Zat is crazy! Zis man falls asleep in an instant using the treasure as a pillow! Zis Luigi is extraordinary, honh? Zis is a man of consequence! Allors…PEOPLES! Please enjoy zis collection room!”
“Oh my! Perhaps this is the collection room?” Peach asked as she walked in. “There do appear to be many interesting artifacts.” She looked over to see Luigi asleep. She smiled as she walked over to his side, only to see something wrong. “Mario! Come quick! There’s something wrong with Luigi!”
A portal glowing many colors appeared above him. “What could that be?” Peach asked.
“I daresay it’s coming from Master Luigi’s head,” Toadsworth said.
An arm shot out of the portal and grabbed Peach, dragging her in. Mario angrily jumped in after her, not looking back to see if anyone else followed.