The Amazing Race:
Nintendo Universe

By Stephen Stephano


Race Leg #11 – Corneria


“This is Big Blue.  This city, one of the most notable in the F-Zero realm, is an Oceanside mecca filled with skyscrapers, nightlife, and a need for speed.  This bustling metropolis is now the start of the 11th leg, in a race around the world.”


“Fox and Krystal won the last leg, and they will depart first, at 4:47am.”


Fox: I have a good feeling about this Krystal.  I think we’re about to put this thing away.

Krystal: I’m feeling upbeat too Fox.  We’re on a roll. 

Fox: Three, two, one!  **tears open the clue.  Make your way via spaceship to…a ha! 

Krystal: Where are we going?  Tell me, tell me!


Fox shows Krystal the clue.  Her face starts beaming from ear to ear.


Falcon and Summer are the next to depart, at 6:32am.  Fox and Krystal are long gone. 


Falcon: Please don’t be a medieval country…please.  **tears open the clue.  Oh no!

Summer: It’s Hyrule isn’t it? 

Falcon: No, it’s not…but it could be worse. 

Summer: Worse than Hyrule?  Surely you jest. 


At 6:44am, Link and Zelda begin the leg. 


Zelda: Make your way via spaceship to Corneria City! 


“Teams must now make their way to the Big Blue Spaceport, where they will travel across space once again, this time to the capital of Planet Corneria, Corneria City.  Once there, they will proceed to Pepper Interplanetary Park, where they will receive their next clue.”


Link: You’ve got to be kidding me.  More modern technology for us, I guess. 

Zelda: I have a premonition, that they are holding Hyrule for last.  Corneria’s tough though, we’re going to need to be at our best to advance. 

Link: I’m ready.  Let’s do it! 


The trip is long and arduous across deep space.  It takes roughly seven hours, much of it in hyperspace, to cross into the Lylat System.  It is a little after noon when Fox and Krystal land to a hero’s welcome at the spaceport in Corneria City.  Many folks in Corneria have been following the race and cheer on their native son and (almost) native daughter in their quest for the $5 million first prize.


The pair hails a taxi and travels from the spaceport to Pepper Interplanetary Park, where the clue box is visible near a fountain in the center of the park. 


Fox: Go spelunking and find the house of…heh heh.  This leg is going to be so easy.  I know exactly where that is.  Don’t even need the clues for that.

Krystal: Being a mercenary certainly has its perks doesn’t it? 

Fox: Your tone is suggestive and I like it.


“During the Second Androssian War, the planet of Corneria was invaded by the forces of Planet Venom, led by the maniacal scientist Andross.  Prior to the invasion, the residents of Corneria City and other metropolitan areas dug underground, building a series of underground tunnels that eventually developed into cities of their own.  Teams must navigate through these tunnels underneath Corneria City, using an enclosed map to find the House of Pepper, the home where the late patriarch of the Cornerian Army, General Pepper, resided.  Once they have found the house, they will receive their next clue.”


Falcon: Aha!  There’s the clue box!  **tears open the clue.  Go into the underground and find the House of Pepper where you will find your next clue.

Summer: A spices factory underground? 

Falcon: Meh, I don’t know, maybe it’s the entrance to a mine or something. 


Falcon and Summer immediately get lost once into the caves. 


Falcon: We’re looking for a building that is probably black. 

Summer: Well that narrows it down, everything in here is black.  You can’t see much of anything in here, even with lighted helmets on. 

Falcon: I could have sworn we’ve seen that giant mushroom at least three times already.

Summer: Maybe there’s a whole bunch of them in here.

Falcon: I sure hope not…

Link: **tears open clue.  Go into the underground and find the House of Pepper.

Zelda: Looks like we’re going into the underworld.


Several minutes later Link and Zelda are deep into the caverns. 


Link: It’s just like Goron Mines, just without the lava and the magnetic ceilings.


About a minute later, they turn the corner and pass by what appear to be prison cells.  Several fossils of human remains are visible on the rocky ground.


Zelda: Seems more like the Arbiter’s Grounds to me.

Link: Don’t even remind me of that place.  Just being in there made my skin crawl.

Zelda: I know what you mean. 

Link: You do? 

Zelda: Well sure.  My ancestors presided over many of the executions there.  While my father was in another kingdom negotiating peace several years before Zant arrived I was tasked with investigating reports that several gerudo tribes had taken up residence in the area.  With many knights at my disposal we cleared through every level of the place. 

Link: What did you think of it?

Zelda: It was as though I was being watched by evil spirits that wanted me dead. 

Link: It’s unnerving, but less so after you’ve been adventuring for years.  You get used to it after a while.  Hey look, there’s the foxes! 


Fox and Krystal run past on the trail, apparently with the next clue in hand.  Link stops for a minute to gather himself.  He gets down on the ground, sniffing the terrain. 


Zelda: What are you doing?  I’m going to burst out laughing.

Link: You should do so more often, it’s good for the soul. 

Zelda: But seriously, what are you doing?

Link: When I was a wolf, I could smell other animals, know their feelings, talk to them, really connect with them and ever since then I still know everything about them.  They went this way!


Link leads Zelda down a zigzagging group of trails for several minutes.  Eventually they reach an opening with many buildings made of solid rock.  The most prominent one rises two stories into the cavern and is at the head of the settlement.  As they get close, the clue box is visible, with the decorated mercenary standing beside it. 


Zelda: Link, that was brilliant.  **tears open the clue.  Blast off to Planet Sauria!

Peppy: Do a barrel roll!


“Teams must now travel back to Corneria City Spaceport, where they’ll board a transfer spacecraft for the Orbital Gate.  After passing through this wormhole, the teams will find themselves in the atmosphere of Planet Sauria.  This planet on the fringes of the Lylat System, is the home of nearly three hundred species of dinosaurs, and was thusly called Dinosaur Planet during the planet’s gravitational breakdown in 2002.  Once here, teams must make their way to Thorntail Hollow, where they will find their next clue.”


Ike and Lady Lyndis reach the tunnel last, but they also have a keen sense of direction.


Lyn: So if we continue downhill, we should find it right?

Ike: Not necessarily.  Settlements underground are usually not too far underground because of the threat of flooding.  You have to be in a spot where you can access water easily, but not close enough to be in range when the water table shifts. 

Lyn: We should probably look for any underground food sources.  Like those mushrooms over there.

Ike: Indeed. 


Meanwhile Captain Falcon and Jody Summer are growing frustrated. 


Summer: Look, yelling at each other isn’t doing us any good!  You’re just so thickheaded that you’re not listening to me!

Falcon: That’s because you don’t know what you’re talking about!

Summer: The settlement is not right next to the lake!  We’ve been around this trail six times already.  They wouldn’t put it in an area where it might flood!

Falcon: It’s not on the ground near the surface either though!  It’s too far from water sources and any bomb worth its weight could blast right through! 


Summer sits down on an azure-colored rock, folding her arms. 


Falcon: Well now that isn’t getting anything done!

Summer: I’m not leaving until you start acting nice to me.


Up ahead at the Orbital Gate, Link and Zelda are about to pass through. 


Link: So what is a wormhole again?

Zelda: A wormhole is a topological feature of space and time that allows an object of certain mass to travel quickly between two specific points in space. 

Link: That’s pretty advanced even for the Lylat System.  Hyrule will probably never acquire that kind of technology. 

Zelda: Actually we have it already.  The Twilight Mirror is a wormhole.

Link: No kidding.

Zelda: Does it not transmit masses directly from Arbiter’s Grounds to Twilight Palace, two highly detached pieces of real estate? 

Link: I guess it does.  That’s ironic, we’ve seen all this advanced technology in the worlds we’ve traveled to that we don’t have, and yet this one is the grandest of them all and we have it already.


Fox and Krystal land at Thorntail Hollow first.  Upon landing, they search for the clue box.  They find it in the corner near where Fox first met Queen Earthwalker nearly a decade ago. 


Fox: **tears open the clue.  Roadblock!  Don’t bug me!  Caution, double roadblock leg, whoever does this roadblock for your team cannot perform the one up ahead.

Krystal: I’ll do this one Fox.  **reads the back half of the clue.  Make your way to Thorntail Store and collect ten green scarabs from the arena without getting tagged by any of the purple scarabs.  If you are tagged you must start the challenge over.

Fox: I wonder what the second roadblock is…maybe a snowmobile race down Ice Mountain.


Ike and Lady Lyndis reach the Pepper House. 


Peppy: Do a barrel roll!

Ike: Barrel roll?  But you’re a rabbit.

Peppy: I’m a hare, not a rabbit you jackwagon.

Ike: Now you listen here you scaly old bunny, I’m a legend in my own country, I’d have you diced to pieces in seconds.

Peppy: One does not pitch swords at a man with a gatling gun.

Ike: But…

Lyn: Ike, don’t get yourself worked up, wit was never your strong suit.  Thank you Mr. Hare, we’ll be seeing ourselves out now. 


Fox and Krystal make their way into Thorntail Store, where they are greeted by the haggy, old ShopKeeper.


ShopKeeper: Step right up!  Collect ten scarabs for the next clue…yes!

Fox: I always hated this mongrel. 


Krystal takes her first attempt.  She is able to successfully navigate through the purple scarabs on the first pass, picking up five green scarabs.  However, the purple scarabs spread out and move in unpredictable directions on the return pass, resulting in her getting tagged on her left foot.


ShopKeeper: No good!  You must try again!


Fox turns around and sees Link and Zelda enter the Scarab Room. 


Fox: Uh oh, looks like we got company!


Link takes the next attempt, but he makes a similar error as Krystal, not recognizing the unpredictable pattern of the purple scarabs, and he also gets tagged. 


ShopKeeper: No good!  You must try again!

Link: Does the merchant always talk with such an annoying voice?

Fox & Krystal: YES


Krystal fares much better on her second attempt, evading the purple scarabs with such agile cuts and jukes.  On the third trip through the circle, she grabs the eighth and ninth scarabs.  The purple scarabs group up and try to surround her, but she is able to broad jump over them to the tenth scarab and victory. 


ShopKeeper: You performed very admirably!  Here you go!

Krystal: Head back to the transport ship and travel back through the Orbital Gate, then fly through the Meteo Asteroid Warp to Katina Frontline Base, where you’ll find your next clue!

Fox: Katina, very nice.  Let’s go!


“Teams must now head back into space, traveling from Sauria back through the Orbital Gate, then heading into Meteo Asteroid Field.  Once there, the teams must fly through a series of seven circular gates to open a warp tunnel leading them to planet Katina.  Once on Katina’s surface, they must proceed to Katina Frontline Base, where they will receive their next clue.”


Zelda: Link we’re still in good shape, just try to win this time.


Link struggles on the second attempt, getting tagged.  He is tagged on the third and fourth attempts as well.  The trouble is that he is not as quick or agile as Krystal, making the challenge difficult for him to complete.  After the fourth attempt he sits down for a while. 


Zelda: Don’t be discouraged, you can do this.  The other teams haven’t arrived yet. 


Link turns back to see Ike and Lady Lyndis arriving at the store. 


Link: Something tells me you didn’t prophesize that!

Ike: Alright Lyn, use your quickness as much as you can, that’s the only way to win.  I’m really glad I didn’t pick to do this one!


Lyn takes her first shot at the scarab challenge, but after several passes around the circular arena, she is cornered by the bugs.  Incredibly, she does a high jump and manages to get out from around them.  She swings her arms and runs hard for the remaining scarabs, who have luckily bunched in one corner of the arena.  She quickly scoops them up before the purple ones converge on her. 


ShopKeeper: Magnificent!  You pass!

Link: Figures she would use her sudden sword slash jumping technique.  That hurts like a mother too when your opponent gets her as an assist trophy. 

Zelda: You don’t have to tell me, I’ve felt the end of her blade as well.  It’s hard to evade.


Fox and Krystal advance to Katina Frontline Base.  They spot the clue box just outside the walls of the fortress.


Fox:  Roadblock!  It’s a Starfox Assault!  Fox starts grinning manically.


“This is Katina Frontline Base, the Cornerian Army’s biggest foreign army depot in the Lylat System.  This base, rebuilt just in time for the Aparoid Infestation of 2004, spans over several acres at the confluence of grasslands and desert areas of Katina’s surface.  Once here, the members of the teams that did not complete the roadblock on planet Sauria will face each other in a battle to the finish.  The team that wins the battle will be able to proceed immediately, while the others must yield for 5, 10, and 15 minutes based on their finish position.


Krystal:  Oh goodness, what are you going to do? 

Fox: I’m going to wreak some havoc.  But wait…it says that you have to wait until all of the other teams have arrived?! 

Krystal: Wait let me read this…It’s a Starfox Assault.  One member of each team will put on a laser-resistant bodysuit and fight the other team members in a battle complete with all Starfox mercenary weaponry, including blasters, gatling guns, mines, arwings, and landmasters. 

Fox: Well this stinks, the other teams are going to catch up now.

Krystal: Fox…is there any doubt in your mind as to who is going to win this roadblock?  Because if there is then I don’t even know you.

Fox: You’re right.  This is a formality.  Here we should hang out in the grasslands near the base while the others catch up.


Ike and Lyn show up at the base about 4 in the afternoon.  Link and Zelda come in about 15 minutes behind them.  The three teams hang out in the grassy scrubland near the base.  The time goes by slowly as the great red star of Lylat, Solar, begins to set in the west.   


Ike: Where are the racers at? 

Fox: I don’t know, they must have gotten lost in the cave or something.

Zelda: I say we team up to take them out.


Everybody turns around and looks incredulously at Zelda. 


Zelda: What, was it something I said?

Lyn: You, the great bastion of wisdom and civility, suggesting that we gang up on another team?  Please do explain yourself.

Zelda: Lyn…don’t you remember back to the last leg, when you crashed because Louie was spun around backwards on the track in Mute City? 

Lyn: Yeah, what about it? 

Zelda: Well Louie didn’t spin out on his own, he was purposely rammed by Falcon.  You two collided at high speeds and one of you could have been seriously hurt, or worse.  That was an act of malice, one that I think we should punish him for. 

Fox: Well, Falcon is just like the two of us, he was just doing what would get him the money.

Krystal: Fox I agree with you but I have to admit, that was a move of malice by Falcon.  Louie could’ve been killed. 

Ike: How do we know you’re not just scared because you have to go into the base and fight with all these modern weapons and you wouldn’t stand a chance? 

Zelda: You don’t.


The other teams think about it for a minute.  Solar continues its descent.  


Night falls as Falcon and Summer finally arrive at the Frontline Base. 


Summer: Well, we’re pretty much out at this point anyway, so let’s just finish this out the best we can.  Who knows, maybe this will be a non-elimination leg? 

Falcon: We pretty much have to hope for that at this point.  Our getting lost in those caves really killed our chances.  And then those dinosaurs blocking our way back to the ship…what was that about?  It was as though they were trying to make us lose. 

Fox: Where ya been all day ladies? 

Falcon: Shut up Fox…wait, Fox?  What are you doing here?  You were hours ahead of us.

Ike: We couldn’t start this roadblock until all the teams showed up.  Lucky you.

Falcon: Indeed.


Ike turns back to Zelda and winks.  Zelda tries not to show any emotion, but a twinge of redness is visible on her cheeks. 


Right before the start of the battle, they are briefed by the leader of Katina Base, Bill Gray, and the leader of Zoness Base, Katt Monroe.


Bill:  Fox, Ike, Falcon, Zelda, welcome to Katina Frontline Base.  Your objective in this mission is to defeat your opponents.  You do that by powering down their laser and bomb-resistant suits.  All of you have been issued a suit and helmet.  This is special issue gear that will reflect all actual damage from the weapons used.  You will experience all of the normal feelings of a Lylatian space battle, such as recoil from shots and energy from explosives, but you won’t feel any actual pain.  You have all been issued blaster guns and several grenades, which are standard-issue Cornerian  and Star Fox team weaponry.  When you enter Katina Frontline Base, you will notice that other weapons, like the Gatling Gun and the Smart Bomb Launcher are strewn about.  You may collect and utilize these at your own risk.


Katt: Your life meter is displayed on your belt.  When you run out of life, your suit will deactivate and you will be unable to move until the battle ends.  The first person to be eliminated during battle will have to yield for 30 minutes once the battle ends.  The second person eliminated will yield for 20, and the last eliminated will yield for 10.  The winner will be allowed to proceed directly to the Pit Stop.


Falcon: Whoa, didn’t know that.  This is even bigger than I thought. 

Fox: You’re dead meat pal.

Falcon: Bring it!  I’m going to get revenge on you for your beating me in Mute City!

Fox: Dream on.  You’re in my world now, bogey.


The four enter Katina Base and make their way into one of four circles spread out in the cardinal directions.  Fox enters the orange circle in the north, Falcon takes the blue circle in the east, Ike takes the red circle in the south, and Zelda lines up in the purple circle to the west.  From the roof of the base, Bill and Katt give the countdown, and shoot off a smart bomb to signify the start.  At the start, Zelda immediately takes off running toward the interior of the base.  Ike does the same.  Fox and Falcon don’t waste any time though, and run directly toward one another. 


Falcon: Come get some!


Falcon tosses several grenades toward a staircase where Fox appeared to be headed toward.  The grenades detonated, but there was no sign of Fox on the other side.  Falcon climbs the staircase toward the roof of the base to get a better view.  Nobody is in sight. 


Falcon: Where did he go?  And where are the others?


Falcon gets down from the roof and moves discreetly along the edge of the base building.  He wonders if he was chasing a mirage in the darkness.  Thinking that lasers and weapons of all kinds would be lighting up the skies of Katina, the quiet is unnerving. 


Falcon: They must be hiding inside the base somewhere.  I have to find them. 


Falcon enters the base and moves quickly through the hallways, tiptoeing his way to not make much noise.  He clears one hallway, then another, before making it down to a control room.  There he makes a discovery while looking at projection screen. 


Falcon: Hey, it’s a map of the base.  And the blue dot, that’s me!  I just have to find the other dots. 


Falcon looks briefly over the screen before realizes the other dots all moving toward him from the right.  He is aware of the danger but is already in the crosshairs of Ike and Zelda. 


Zelda: Stay close to me Ike!

Ike: I’ll try to keep up!


Zelda takes aim with her blaster and connects several times as Falcon beats a hasty retreat out of the base.  Ike shoots several times as well but his aim is more wild.  Realizing this, Falcon retreats behind a staircase and tries to turn a defensive situation into an offensive one by ambushing the ambushers.  He pops out unexpectedly and blasts away at the two attackers. 


Falcon: How do you like me now!!


Ike and Zelda take several hits before beating a hasty retreat back into the safety of the base.  Falcon is about to pursue them when a sudden barrage of gatling gun fire rains down on him from behind.  He turns around to respond but sees Fox tossing the gun to the ground, pulling out a smart bomb launcher. 


Fox: Sorry to jet, but I’m in a hurry.


Fox fires the bomb, which detonates and tosses Falcon like a rag doll through the air over the roof.  He lands hard and finds that he cannot get up.  His life meter is empty. 


Falcon: I hate you Fox!  Arrggh!


With Falcon eliminated, Fox enters the interior of the base.  Ike and Zelda continue to team together in an effort to stay alive, but with barely any knowledge of the futuristic world and weaponry around them, it doesn’t take long for Fox to eliminate them both. 


Fox: Well that was fun. 

Zelda: It was certainly an adrenaline rush.  So this is how your people fight your battles?

Fox: Sometimes, when we don’t have Landmaster tanks or Arwing spaceships. 

Ike: Did you like how we smoked out Falcon from the inside of the base? 

Fox: Actually that wasn’t how we drew it up, but that was a great tactical move.  You must have great experience in interior warfare. 

Ike: I’ve fought in enough cramped houses and castles to know about it. 

Fox leaves the base to rendezvous with Krystal at the clue box.  She tears open the clue. 

Krystal: Drive a landmaster tank to the next Pit Stop, Katina Pyramid.  The first three teams to make it to the Pit Stop will race to the finish line for 5 million dollars!


“Teams must now hop into a Star Fox team-issue Landmaster tank and navigate across the scrubland to Katina Pyramid.  This pyramid, constructed in 1997, was the original home of the Cornerian forces on Planet Katina, and a vital outpost during the Second Androssian War.  It is now the Pit Stop for this leg of the race.  The last team to check in here…WILL be eliminated.


Fox: Put this thing into overdrive Krystal!  We’re on our way to victory!


About ten minutes later, the two foxes drive up to the pyramid.  They immediately notice Slippy Toad, and Falco Lombardi standing next to Phil.  As they set their feet on the mat of the Nintendo Universe, they share high fives and hugs with their Star Fox Team comrades. 


Slippy: Welcome to Planet Katina:

Fox: It is a pleasure, Slip.


“Fox and Krystal…for the 2nd leg in a row and for the fourth time in the race you are team #1!”


Fox hoists Krystal into the air as they let out a shout, eventually bringing her to sit on his shoulders.  Slippy and Falco clap for them, proud smiles on their faces. 


“I have great news.  As the winners of this leg of the race, you have made it to the final leg, where you will race to the finish line for 5 million dollars!  Also, you have won a trip for two from Koopa Air, and you will be traveling to Sauria’s Cape Claw!”


Krystal’s face immediately beams with excitement. 


“You’ll spend five nights at the Earthwalker’s Oceanside Retreat, right on the shores of Cape Claw.  You’ll spend days snorkeling and diving in the ocean, nights feasting on some of the finest dining on Planet Sauria, and you’ll also snowmobile down the slopes of Ice Mountain, tour the Ocean Force Point Temple, and be guests of Prince Tricky Earthwalker at a royal dinner at the Walled City Palace.”


Krystal: A royal visit with Tricky?  Fox I think I just died and went to heaven.  This is amazing!

Fox: Just think of how amazing the prize will be if we win the final leg.

Krystal: I can’t even imagine it being better than this one…


About fifteen minutes after Fox and Krystal, Ike and Lyn arrive. 


“Ike and Lyn, you are team #2.”


Ike and Lyn embrace one another.  The happiness on their faces is evident. 


“As the second team to arrive, you have made it to the final leg, you will be racing to the finish line for 5 million dollars.”


Ike: We’ve really grown up a lot on this journey.  We’ve had good legs and bad, but we’ve managed to get through it.

Lyn: The two of us have really grown closer throughout the race.  We have great trust for one another and we know that together we can do just about anything.


“It’s been a positive experience then.”


Ike: It’ll be more positive if we win the 5 million.  **laughs


The third team disembarks from their Landmaster about fifteen minutes later.  They are somewhat nervous as they approach the mat. 


“Link and Zelda.”


Zelda: Yes Phil? 


“It was a tough leg, but you two have made it, you are team #3.  And I have more good news…you will be one of the three teams racing to the finish line for 5 million dollars.” 


Zelda immediately leaps into Link’s arms, the two embracing one another firmly, not even making a sound.  They passionately kiss, which causes Slippy to turn around and hurl.  He runs off from the mat as production crews come to clean up the mess. 


The final team comes trudging up toward the pyramid.  They are already resigned to their fate.


Falco: Welcome to Planet Katina!


“Falcon and Summer.  I am sorry to say that you are the last team to arrive.  And I’m very sorry to say that you have been eliminated from the race.”


Falcon: This is so hard, because I’m not used to losing.  It just wasn’t our day today.


“What happened?”


Summer: We got lost in the caves, and then a stampede of dinosaurs stopped us when we were on Planet Sauria.  We had another chance in the roadblock but the others ganged up on Falcon.


“So the other teams played the game?”


Falcon: They sure did.  They sure did…


Results for Leg #11 –

1.Fox & Krystal

2.Ike & Lyn

3.Link & Zelda

4.Falcon & Summer (eliminated)



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