The True Arena, part 2

        When I left off, I’d finished talking about Masked Dedede, leaving three bosses remaining in the True Arena. In order to make it this far, one has to be very careful, and very capable at blocking and dodging. And as you might expect, the next boss, Wham Bam Jewel, is very good at punishing those who lack that finesse.
        Wham Bam Jewel is the powered up version of Wham Bam Rock, who first appeared in the Great Cave Offensive as the final boss. He also reappears in the Arena. Wham Bam Jewel, on the other hand, appears in the new mode Helper To Hero. In this mode, rather than playing as Kirby, you play as one of his helpers you can summon via sacrificing an ability. For instance, getting rid of the Hammer ability will summon a friendly version of Bonkers, the mini-boss who usually grants you the power. In this mode, your chosen Helper must battle through thirteen bosses picked from The Arena in a certain order.
        Helpers throughout the rest of the game are useful in some cases, especially if you have a second player controlling them, but in terms of single player use they are mostly useful in normal situations, not boss ones. In boss fights they actually made the boss take less damage per hit, and hit them at the wrong time- such as when you’re about to hit the boss with something stronger, meaning they can really make things harder sometimes.
        In any case, the Helpers here work similar to Kirby, except they permanently have their own ability. In some cases this makes Helper to Hero easy- the Plasma Wisp, for instance, can float freely, unlike Kirby, and that makes it very easy to charge up its attacks to do more damage, and hit from a safe range. Sirmirror’s attacks not only have some range, but reflect projectiles, and his guard blocks damage completely and reflects attacks back at their sender.
        Others may not be so easy to work with- Rocky, for instance, may have good strength and defensive ability, but he can only harm an enemy with his Stone ability if he can jump over them- not so easy with bosses that move around a lot. Plus, if they stay in place after being hit, he cannot change back so he can attack again without being harmed. Still, all of them have their various strengths and weaknesses, and they just take some getting used to.
        In any case, after twelve battles in Helper to Hero, your character will face off with Wham Bam Rock. This entity lurks in the background, watching you, while sending out his rocky hands to damage you with various attacks. He’s actually the inspiration for Master Hand, and it shows- his attacks include fists slams, palm slams, grabbing you, punches, all staple moves of Master Hand. He can also shake the cave to make rocks fall down. The only way to harm him is my attacking his hand as he attacks, and he will get faster and more deadly as the battle progresses.
        However, once you beat him, you must then face Wham Bam Jewel instantly afterward, with no breaks to heal or prepare yourself at all. Luckily, it’s an easy adjustment- he moves much as his predecessor did. But his attacks hit a little harder, he takes less damage, and he has some new moves at his disposal. One such move is what I can only call a sort of rocket punch- his fist appears on the top left or right, shakes, then fires off, spinning and going down to hit anything on the ground before shooting back up to the other side‘s top. The way to dodge that is to either be floating in front of the fist- counter-intuitive, which is the idea- or to be standing under it.
        He will also have his hand float across the battlefield dropping bombs, and one final trick- he will make a finger gun and fire. While at first this is easy to dodge, as he takes more damage he will have the hand follow you a bit to try and make sure you get hit. It’s kind of strange, though, that Wham Bam Rock inspired Master Hand, and then Wham Bam Jewel two new attacks from Master and Crazy Hand.
        In any case, if you can beat Rock, you can beat Jewel, it just requires a little more caution and time. I honestly feel he is less dangerous in the True Arena than in Helper To Hero, mostly because in the True Arena you face Jewel on his own, but in Helper To Hero you face him immediately after Rock. But that’s just Wham Bam Jewel being less dangerous- the True Arena is still by far the worse set of fights to go through.
        And to empathize my point, the next boss, the semi-final bout, is against Galacta Knight. I mentioned him briefly in my article on Meta Knight, but I only said that he is the final boss of Meta Knightmare Ultra. Going into further detail, he is described as the universe’s greatest warrior, and as revealed in a later game where he was unsealed again, the one doing the unsealing casually said he might “destroy a planet or two”.
        In battle, he has similar abilities as Meta Knight, but much stronger and more difficult. He also floats constantly, granting him more free movement. In addition to the attacks you’d expect a better Meta Knight to have, he can also temporarily leave the battle, summoning knight minions to attack the player for him. He only returns once they are beaten.
        As the battle rages on he moves faster, of course, and unleashes a few new attacks- causing flame pillars to rise up, which luckily you can see where they will be, and to fire out a giant beam that will spin across the stage, either clockwise or counterclockwise. His most deadly attack is quite simple, however. He briefly stops moving before suddenly lunging forward, stabbing in front of him. If you get caught in this, you won’t be knocked back, ensuring you’re trapped in the attack, which will take away half your health when all is said and done. Absurdly powerful attacks aside, he can be beaten, just as Meta Knight can, but it is far, far from easy. However, if you can beat him, you’ll come to the final battle.
        For the final, most difficult challenge in the game, you face Marx once again, for the last time. Oh, who’s Marx? He’s the final boss of Milky Way Wishes. He was once an ordinary fellow, until he orchestrated a plan to get the sun and moon ti fight, prompting Kirby to summon the wish granting machine, Nova, to fix it. Marx then kicks Kirby aside, wishes to take over the world, and transforms. He was beaten by Kirby in the end, and he was sent flying into Nova, seemingly destroying the machine and himself.
        However, we see in a cutscene in the True Arena that the villain is still alive, having absorbed what was left of Nova to power himself up, becoming Marx Soul. Or maybe he really was dead, given we don’t see him moving until he transformed… Either way, you might have noticed a trend here- all of the bosses in the True Arena, save Kabula, are all stronger versions of previous ones, in some way or another. Marx Soul certainly fits this, and he is much, much stronger than he was before.
        All of his attacks are powered up in some way, but since I haven’t gone over Marx before, it’s the perfect time to list them out. His first move has him fire out cutters in all directions, which return to him. As Marx Soul, the attack hits twice. Luckily it isn’t actually stronger, and can be blocked. If you have a distance ability, like Plasma, then this might be a good time to hit him.
        Occasionally he will go off-screen, and seeds will drop down. These will hurt you if you touch them. After landing, the seeds will sprout leafy pillars, so don’t stand over them. As Marx Soul, he drops six seeds instead of four, and the pillars are twice as big, and sprout blooms in places that do more damage. Luckily these pillars only last a couple of seconds.
        After using that attack, Marx will appear as a shadow following Kirby. Keep running around, and don’t let him get under you, because in a few seconds he’ll pop up. Luckily his wings don’t hurt you, or dodging would be impossible. It hurts even if you guard, so don’t bother. As Marx Soul, he flies up higher, comes up faster, and does more damage.
        He will also occasionally just fly from one spot to another, which is an indicator that he will be using his ice bomb attack. He spits out a bomb, which, after landing, will fire out waves of ice along the ground. As Marx Soul, he moves more, and the bomb can explode preemptively if you’re off the ground.
        He has two other attacks which I can only call unnerving. Namely, his face will appear, just barely poking into the screen, before he jumps out and fires a barrage of blades stretching across the screen. Just float to dodge it, and if you can, get behind him to do some damage. Secondly, he will teleport right next to you, do nothing for a moment, then suddenly fire out a giant laser so powerful the recoil sends him off-screen. Both moves are larger and more powerful as Marx Soul.
        One attack that remains unchanged his is strongest move in his original form, where he splits in half, revealing a portal. If you’re too close you’ll be pulled into what I can only call a realm of explosions. When Kirby falls out again, he’ll be missing a third of his health. As I said, the attack is unchanged, so just stay away from him when he does it and you’ll be fine. What has changed is that it’s not his strongest move anymore.
        He now has two new moves where he splits himself in half yet again, but the two halves change into pink and blue portions, which, depending on how they act, you can figure out what move it is. If they seem to bubble before splitting into several small orbs that fly up off-screen, then run to a corner and guard. The balls will rain down, but with any luck most or all will miss you.
        As he loses health though he will pull out a new move, where the two halves turn into pink and blue fireballs that shoot off to the left and right. They will then come out as giant meteors that cover half the screen. One will shoot along the top half, and the other will cover the bottom just afterward. As for how to dodge this, the left meteor will come from the top half, and the pink one always shoots out first. So from that you can figure out how to dodge. And no, you can’t block it.
        It’s a very, very hard fight, not made any easier by all the one’s preceding it, but as I can attest by writing this, it can be done! Marx gets more and more erratic as the fight goes on, teleporting about, but battling his original incarnation gives you a good idea of his cues, and the new attacks aren’t exactly fast.
        And so, that ends The True Arena, and with it Kirby Super Star Ultra. I hope you enjoyed, my dear readers. Next time I’ll be back with something a little… darker.

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