Bowletta/Cackletta Soul

        A while ago, I talked about Cackletta, the main antagonist from Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga. I mentioned that she wasn’t gone for good, so today I’ll be covering what happened to her afterward, and the eventual rematch between her and the Mario Bros.
        So, getting straight into it, when we left off Cackletta was defeated, her essence stored by her minion Fawful in his headgear. Prince Peasley sent him flying out of the building when he tried to attack the brothers, and they went on with their adventure, trying to find the missing Beanstar.
        They get in a fight with two thieves trying to steal it, and the Beanstar ends up flying high into the air, with all four clinging to it, eventually falling off before the magical star split into four pieces that fall around the kingdom. Mario and Luigi end up returning to Beanbean Castle, where they hear that Princess Peach is going to arrive in the kingdom and they go to prepare for her arrival.
        Meanwhile, we cut to the border between the kingdoms, and find Bowser there unconscious. Fawful limps into the scene and asks Cackletta if “this guy will do”. She says that anyone would work at this point, and her spirit comes out of the headgear, flying into Bowser and possessing him.
        We cut back to Mario and Luigi, who meet Peach. To their surprise, she seems to have her own voice, even though they never took it back from Cackletta. She reveals that Prince Peasley told her about Cackletta coming for her voice ahead of time, so she was able to switch herself with an impostor, meaning that Cackletta never stood a chance of using the Beanstar at all.
        In any case, since she’s here in the Beanbean Kingdom, she decides to see a bit of the place, and wants to visit Little Fungitown. However, when they arrive there, she is kidnapped by the newly created Bowletta, Cackletta controlling Bowser’s body. She flees with the princess to Joke’s End, an icy palace across the sea, and sends the brothers a message that she is willing to trade the princess for the Beanstar, telling them where to meet her.
        After a series of side-quests to get the Beanstar pieces, the two make their way to Joke’s End with the Beanstar, as well as a fake one to fool the villains with… which raises the question of why they brought the real one at all, but oh well. Fawful sees through the ruse immediately and snatches the real one, meaning the villains have what they want, at least for the moment. However, Mario comes up with a bold plan.
        He gives chase after Fawful, and Bowletta mocks him for trying to trick her, gloating that now she has everything she needs to conquer the world, but then Mario starts laughing. A second Princess Peach walks out from behind Mario, telling the confused villains that the princess they have is a fake. Bowletta fails for this hook line and sinker, dropping the princess she’s holding and snatching the second one. It is only when she’s aboard her airship that she realizes this princess was the true fake, and in fact is Luigi somehow passing off as her by hiding his mustache with his hand. Luigi manages to escape their clutches, grab the Beanstar, and escape to safety.
        It seems Bowletta is well and truly thwarted this time- She doesn’t have the Beanstar or the means to use it, and now both will be back under guard, impossible for her to acquire. She has no way at all to peruse her goal- but this doesn’t seem to so much as give her pause, and she immediately orders Fawful to turn the ship around and head into the Mushroom Kingdom.
        The brothers soon see why- so Bowletta can return with Bowser’s floating castle and rain destruction down on the Beanbean Kingdom, obliterating the castle town yet again, with the obvious intent to keep it up until the entire kingdom submits to her rule. Thus, the bros go off to stop her once again, fighting their way through the Koopalings, Fawful, and finally reach Bowletta for the final battle.
        While Bowser may have been a tutorial boss in this game, Bowletta is anything but. Her first and perhaps strongest attack is to charge up a massive fire blast, while blocks appear over the bros’ heads. They need to jump and hit the blocks five times to destroy them, and do it quickly so they can jump over her flames.
        Secondly, she can shoot out smaller fireballs, but only a few are actually aimed at you- three of them will hit the ground in front of her, making temporary minions called Flarets. These little fireballs cannot be jumped on, requiring the hammer to hurt. If left alone, they will be absorbed by Bowletta to regain health, so they have to be destroyed. Luckily, her giant flame attack destroys them too. Oh, and if you are curious, yes, Mario’s fire attacks will heal her as well.
        For her last attack, Bowletta will turn into a darker form and rain stars down on the bros. Red ones will land on Mario, green on Luigi, while the purple ones are just distractions. If you knock the stars away with the hammer, they will hurt Bowletta instead. Also, while she is in this state, she will hurt you if you jump on her, provided you don’t have a badge to protect you from spikes and such.
        While she only has three moves, as she did in her previous form, Bowletta can certainly dish out a lot of damage, though she has surprisingly little health for a final boss- because she is not truly the final boss. When beaten, she will feign defeat, when in reality she had a Time Bom’ set up to take out the bros. when their guards are down. With the two knocked unconscious, she devours them both.
        When they wake up, they are inside Bowser’s body, and find themselves face to face with Cackletta’s Soul, the true final boss.  The battle starts with you at a tremendous disadvantage- you’re down to one health, and Cackletta will likely strike first. If you die here, of course, you’ll have to get through the Bowletta fight all over again.
        In any case, Cackletta’s Soul is a very difficult enemy for a number of reasons, not the least because her hands and head are all separate targets, and you have to take out all three to get a chance to damage her heart, which is the actual thing that must be destroyed to win. All three limbs have their own attributes- the left arm uses fire, right uses lightning, and are harmed by the opposite, while the head is harmed by both elements greatly, but cannot normally be targeted by your elemental attacks.
        Both arms can move in close to smack you, forcing you to knock them back with hammer blows, swing around, forcing you to jump over them, create a circle of fire to be jumped over, or a ball of electricity to be knocked away. The head can heal or buff either arm or itself to do more damage, and create a giant ball of energy that much be knocked away four times with a hammer.
        Destroying all three limbs will reveal the heart so you can attack it, but as soon as her turn rolls around, the heart will regenerate all three limbs. It will stick around for a couple of turns afterward, and will heal or revive any destroyed limbs in that time, so you’d best keeps attacking it instead. Once it vanishes, the limbs have to be destroyed again to reveal it. Also, while the heart is at ground level so you can use elemental attacks on it, it will be healed by both elements, so don’t bother.
        As the heart takes more damage, Cackletta will pull out more tricks. First the hands’ elemental attacks will be stronger, the fire ring lasting longer and the lightning ball having to be knocked away three times instead of two. Her hand smack attack will have the arms twitch as they close in to throw off your timing. She will also summon a ghostly apparition of Fawful to shoot at you, which you have to destroy with a hammer swing when it gets in close.
        Next she will add eye lasers, with the twist that she will telegraph the move with where she’s looking- down meaning she will shoot the ground, so you should jump, and up meaning the air. After she looks, time will stop briefly before she fires, so you should move directly after she shows where she will fire.
        Finally, when near death she will pull out a very bizarre move where orbs of energy will appear all over, mostly blue harmless ones, but every now and then a red or green one will appear to indicate which brother is in danger, after which the orb will launch itself at said brother, forcing them to hammer it back at Cackletta‘s limbs.
        The fire and lightning attacks will only get stronger from there, her physical attacks will get longer and more unpredictable, and she will stop using the energy orb and Fawful attacks entirely in favor of the eye lasers and multi-orb attack.
        Compared to the last two fights with Cackletta- actually, compared to most of the game, this is a very, very large amount of attacks to deal with, making for a stressful battle against a constantly regenerating foe. However, so long as you can keep attacking the heart, eventually you will defeat her. With her soul destroyed, Cackletta is finally no more, Bowser is freed from her control, and the threat she posed is gone forever.
        So, that’s that for this two part final battle. I hope you enjoyed, everyone, and I’ll see you next time.

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