The Amazing Race:
Nintendo Universe

By Stephen Stephano


Race Leg #4 – Zebes

“This is Mount Dedede.  This grand arena, built by King Dedede and his army of Waddle Dee henchmen, was designed to be the seat of government for all of Dream Land.  It is now the place where we begin the fourth leg, in a race around the world.”


Donkey and Diddy won the last leg, so they will depart first, at 9:03am. 


Donkey: **tears open the clue.  BRIN-STAR! 


“Teams must now hop on a Warpstar Express jet that will take them forty thousand miles across space from Popstar to Zebes.  Once there, there will land in Brinstar Depths.  This SSBB arena within the heavy basaltic area of planet Zebes is where they will find their next clue.”

All the teams end up jetting across space, one after another.  The trip takes approximately nine hours.  DK and Diddy are the first to land, and they take off running for the bright yellow magma pit that lies about a quarter mile from the launch pad.  Fox & Krystal, Mario & Luigi, and Link & Zelda are the next teams to land behind them, about five minutes later.

Fox: A shame that we don’t know what they’re saying, or thinking. How are we supposed to follow them?
Mario: They’re-a rather annoying. Wasn’t-a able to sleep on the ship at any time with them making crazy noises all night.
Link: By the way, where are Metaknight and Dedede? They are supposed to start before us.

Two minutes later Metaknight and Dedede come rambling down the launch pad. Metaknight’s mask has some disfiguration to it and Dedede has a gash across his belly as well as marks on his face and right arm.

Lyn: Rough night ladies?
Dedede: Ah shut up! **takes the clue and they take off
Krystal: What a bother they are. It will be quite satisfying to vanquish them.

Dedede: Did you really have to attack me as soon as we got off the ship. This show’s on television all over the galaxy.
Metaknight: So what? I beat you up in the brawl arena, what makes this any different?
Dedede: We’re supposed to be teammates, not enemies! Besides, I have an image to keep up you know.
Metaknight: As do I.
Dedede: Touche. Anyway, how are we supposed to cross this lava pond anyway?

“Teams must navigate their way across the dastardly Brinstar Depths Lava Field. There are two phases to the crossing. In phase one the teams must cross a series of planks leading into the field. These planks have many obstacles, including tires to step through, walls to climb, several rope swings, and lastly a giant trampoline. At the end of the floating planks is a boating dock. Teams will use their submersible craft to move through the yellow magma, eventually reaching the other end of the field, where they’ll find Zebes Research Center. Once they reach the center’s docking bay, they’ll be given their next clue.”

Link and Zelda take off running toward the magma field. The heat emitting from the surface hardly bothers them given their experience in places like Death Mountain Crater. They quickly catch up with Metaknight and Dedede, again because the latter is slow as molasses. Metaknight quickly glowers as the hero and the princess pass them.

The two primates zoom across the planks. It’s as though the challenge was perfectly set up for them, with bouncing tires and swinging ropes both being common obstructions in the DK Isles. They are way in front when they reach the boat dock. DK puts the key in the ignition, but while he closes the hatch, Diddy takes over the driver’s seat.

DK: Unt-uh! Unt-uh!
Diddy: **smiles menacingly. Whooooww!

The boat takes off quickly as Diddy punches the ignition hard. DK goes flying back into the rear end of the submersible craft as he failed to put on his seatbelt.

Falcon and Summer cross the lava pit quickly, eventually catching Link and Zelda at the thirty foot climbing wall less than a hundred yards from the dock. Three ropes hang down from the top of the wall, and Falcon catches Zelda about ten feet off the ground.

Falcon: Well would you look at old chicken arms here, all dainty and weak in those ivory gloves. I’ve seen pencils wider than that!

Zelda instantly pivots and punches Falcon in the face, surprising him and causing him to lose his grip. Zelda loses her grip as well and the two plunge into the lava. They both bounce off the searing surface twice before landing back at the starting point. Falcon’s bodysuit and Zelda’s dress are soaked briefly but the magma evaporates quickly, leaving behind a stinging residue.

Summer: Falcon are you okay? That was quite a fall.
Falcon: Yeah I’m good. Princess has a temper, that’s all. Let’s go.

Link: You gave him a nice bump on the nose there Zel.
Zelda: It’s not the first time I’ve beaten him up. I shouldn’t lose my temper so easily though, it’s not proper and ladylike. I’m sorry Link.
Link: Don’t worry about it. Besides…
Zelda: Besides what?
Link: I kinda like it when you’re angry.

Diddy continues to fly across the lava filled lake, driving like a complete and utter maniac. Before long, the Zebes Research Center begins to rise up from the horizon. But amid the splashing of the magma over the ship’s canopy, Diddy doesn’t realize just how quickly the building is approaching. Seeing that they are likely to crash, DK finally summons the strength to move against the force of gravity, and hits the emergency stop button near the exit door. This causes Diddy and Donkey to both do a faceplant against the front windshield as the ship careens wildly out of control, flipping over eight times before finally coming to a rest on top of a dock.

Donkey: **Gun-Graaawl! **Taauugh, taaaugh!
Diddy: **Unh, ooh, ooh, ohh, ohh!

The two primates think they are in good fortune before they realize that their access on the surface is restricted, and that they must enter the facility through the docking bay beneath the lava surface. Making matters worse, the crash has busted a hole in their canopy, meaning they must fix up the ship first.

Mario: Come on Luigi, the foxes are-a past us! We can still beat the little kids!

Luigi strains with the effort but eventually makes it up the wall. They make their way to the docks and head out to the ship dock.

Ike: Lyn you’re almost there! Hang in there you’re going to make it!

Lady Lyndis struggles hard with the rope, hard enough that her hands are calloused with from the strain. Finally she reaches the top. Ness and Lucas and Olimar and Louie are the only teams behind them and due to their relatively light weight, they make their way up the rope wall with lightning speed and efficiency. All the teams are now at the boat dock.

Diddy and Donkey watch as two teams pass them and enter the docking bay inside the research facility. They have plugged the hole in the canopy with a heavy basalt rock, but have another problem, they can’t push the ship off of the dock and back into the magma! For five minutes they push and push, but move it mere inches. A third team arrives on the scene. Finally, Donkey Kong blows his top and donkey punches the back of the ship. The impact gashes a large indentation into the ship but knocks the ship into the yellowish murk. The primates power the ship back up and enter the facility right along side three other teams.

Due to super driving abilities, Captain Falcon and Jody Summer arrive at the facility first. They enter a large docking bay and disembark, receiving their clue.

Summer: Detour, herd the metroids or mix the chemicals!
Falcon: I hate metroids, and we’re pretty good at chemistry in Port Town to create these great F-Zero cars. Let’s do the mixing.
Summer: Very well.

“Teams must now head to either the mixing room of the research facility, or the nature preserve at the facility’s left end. In the mixing room, teams must mix up fifty batches of phazon antidote. Phazon, a radioactive substance first discovered on Tallon IV, is a dastardly concoction first utilized by space pirates during the Prime era. The batches of antidote are beaker-sized, and are created from three elements unique to Zebes.

In the nature preserve, the teams must race to catch and herd a group of escaped Metroid creatures. Metroids, the jellyfish-like creatures found throughout the Zebes region as well as other planets and meteors in the system, are a danger to life and property and are generally vulnerable only to cold. The teams must herd them with large nets and bring them to the icebox at the center of the preserve.

Once teams mix up 50 batches of phazon antidote, or rounded up 20 metroids, they will be handed their next clue.”

Right behind Falcon and Summer are Krystal and Fox. They head for the nature preserve. Behind them is Dedede and Metaknight, who elect to head for the mixing room. Other teams come streaming in right behind them as the race is very tight.

Inside the mixing room there is a chemistry laboratory with ten tables, along with the headmaster’s desk at the front and a walk-in shower in the back. There are scientists in white coats and gloves throughout the room, and the teams must wear similar garb within the lab.

Summer: So what are the directions?
Falcon: I can’t read them, it’s a bunch of gibberish.
Summer: That’s because somebody scribbled all over this one…there’s a clean book on the desk straight ahead.
Falcon: Alright, so in the beaker we need to take 200 milliliters of enteron, mix it with 8 grams of palzion, and then take 50 milliliters of tankezium along with one drop of phazon itself.
Summer: There will be a reaction when we add everything up yes?
Falcon: Geez woman it’s not like I’ve ever done this before! We’ll just have to find out. I’d sure like to know what the shower is for though.

Meanwhile, over at the nature preserve, the teams find that catching metroids is harder than it looks. Well, except for one team.

Krystal: **dumps metroid into icebox. How many have you caught Fox?
Fox: Three so far.
Krystal: Heh. I’ve got five. You’re getting slower.
Fox: Just as long as we stay ahead of the other teams. I don’t think they’ve caught any yet. Here help me get that one.

Fox sneaks up behind a metroid atop a grassy knoll. Krystal moves quickly up from the valley near the icebox. Just as Fox jumps down with the net it senses his presence and lashes out to attack. Fox is taken by surprise and it latches onto his chest, draining his energy. Seeing this, Krystal takes out her blaster and shoots it. It falls to the ground and she quickly scoops it up in the net.

Fox: Thanks. I didn’t expect it to do that.
Krystal: That’s six to three now Fox.
Fox: Well aren’t you the teasing one today. Just be thankful that I helped you get that one.
Krystal: You should be thankful I didn’t miss.
Fox: Do you ever?
Krystal: Only if I want to.

At the docking bay, the remaining teams have arrived. Olimar and Louie head for the nature preserve while Ness and Lucas move quickly to the mixing room.

Ness: Alright, we need some eye drops of phazon, and enteron, and palzion, and…
Lucas: Chill Ness, I got this. This is basic chemistry, my favorite. It might be yours too if you didn’t spend so much time doodling and causing trouble in class.
Ness: **picks up a washbottle and shoots Lucas in the face. Ness starts laughing uncontrollably and the other scientists in the room chuckle as well.
Lucas: That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Can we get down to business please?
Ness: Oh alright. You’re only good at chemistry because you cheat on tests.
Lucas: I do not!
Ness: Do too!

Falcon: Man I love these kids. They’ll never catch us like this. We’re already on number 8.

Falcon is quickly proven wrong. Despite their initial quarrel, the two kids from Onett move quickly, stirring up thirty solutions in a little under fifteen minutes to take the lead. Seeing their success, Falcon begins to get frustrated. In his attempt to move faster, he mistakenly adds the tankezium liquid before the palzion. Upon adding the drop of phazon to the mix, the beaker explodes, splashing liquid all over him and Jody.

Jody: Good going genious!

**AAANT, AAANT, AAANT!! Buzzers blare from all over the room and immediately large men in hazmat suits grab Falcon and Summer and throw them into the walk-in shower, turning on the water quickly.

Falcon: Now I know what the shower is for…

Back at the nature preserve, Mario and Luigi talk strategy with Link and Zelda. Seeing the struggles of the other teams, they decide to move in waves and attempt to circle whole groups of metroids, possibly five or six at a pack. They scatter quickly once approached, but the tactic usually yields two of three at a time.

Mario: See-a what a little teamwork can produce?
Zelda: We may be against one another in the race, but we can still help each other.
Luigi: There’s-another group of them. Six-a metroids to the left!
Link: Be careful for the lunge, they might come forward to attack like before. Zelda, use your magic spell to keep them at bay.

With the help of Zelda’s magic, the group is protected from the metroids’ frontal assault, and the whole group is captured.

Luigi: Momma Mia Link! That was incredible, pretty good!
Link: It’s pretty similar to catching poes.
Mario: Toads?
Link: No, poes. They are essentially ghosts that have failed to pass to the other side. They have been known to ambush travelers in Hyrule Field and in the graveyard, mostly at night.
Luigi: So-a poes are like boos?
Zelda: What’s a boo?
Mario: They are white ghosts with facial features, they’re-all over the Valley of Bowser.
Zelda: I’ve heard scary stories about that place, glad we haven’t had to travel there.
Luigi: It’s not so bad anymore. Before Smithy invaded it was nasty, but Bowser’s softened it up.
Link: **dumps group into icebox. Between our groups we have 31 now. 9 more to go!
Mario: Okey dokey!

Fox and Krystal complete the Metroid collection about the same time Ness and Lucas complete the chemical beaker challenge.

Krystal: It’s a roadblock.
Fox: Who’s ready to suit up?

“Teams must now head from the research center by armored federation vehicle about 8 miles north, to the Zebes Federation Installation. This installation, constructed in 1987, is a giant proving ground for new federation armies. Here infantry are trained and new weapons are tested. At this installation, one of the team members will proceed to the armory, where they will find armored bodysuits with a gun attached to one of the arms. With this at their disposal, they will proceed to the Maze, where they must take out 10 robots with their blaster. For every time the team member is shot, their suit and gun will shut down for fifteen seconds. After tagging ten robots, the teams will receive their next clue.”

Krystal: I’ll do this challenge. Besides, Samus’s suit wouldn’t fit you as well.
Fox: Fine by me. Get in there and blast those robots, just the way I showed you.

Ness: We should u-turn somebody.
Lucas: Who do we u-turn?
Ness: Well Dedede and Metaknight were already u-turned so it can’t be them. Hey I know.
Lucas: **grins. Payback for all those brawl matches! I like it.

Back at the nature preserve, one of the teams has taken a decidedly different approach to collecting the Metroids.

Donkey Kong: Gon-grawl! **punches the metroid, sending it flying directly toward Lady Lyndis, who sees it latch onto her leg.

Lyn: Oh, oh, get it off! Eww!
Ike: **skewers it with his sword. Hmm, it looks like it’s dead. Well, that’s one for us.
Diddy: **steals it from Ike, puts it into his hat and runs toward the icebox
Ike: You’re going to pay for that! **starts running after Diddy

Zelda and Link arrive at the detour spot. They expect to be headed forward, only to find out that they have been u-turned by Ness and Lucas.

Link: We’ve been u-turned by the Onett team. Those little rats!
Zelda: It seems the little ones are quite mischievous. Don’t worry, I know how we can get revenge on those tyrants. Come on.

Up ahead in the maze, Krystal finds several targets quickly. In fact, the challenge seems to be right up her alley. She dodges the robotic attackers with ease.

Fox: Krystal’s doing really well out there. She’s really a natural. Look at that, she just took down that one from long range! It must be the training she does with her staff.

Meanwhile Lucas is having some difficulty. His shots are errant and his suit has been deactivated several times already.

Ness: Come on Lucas! Use your aiming sight, it’s just like using your hands for energy!

Meanwhile, Mario, Diddy Kong, Olimar, and Jody Summer all hit the maze at the same time as a nasty surprise is released upon the competitors!

Meta Ridley: RAWR!!

Meta Ridley runs into the maze, cornering the combatants and knocking them backward with his vicious tail as well as some frontal attacks. Mario is knocked unconscious from a nasty shot to the head, cracking part of his suit’s helmet. Olimar is upended as well while running away into an alley. He does not get up immediately, and when he does, he does so favoring his right leg. Meta Ridley then turns around and heads for Krystal, but the blue fox sees it coming, and ducks the tail whip before leaping into the air and delivering a vicious shot to the mouth. After getting behind the beast, she tags two robots and then leaps to tag a third, nabbing her the amount necessary to complete the challenge. She races for the end of the maze before Meta Ridley tackles her. Out of instinct, Fox immediately runs into the maze and delivers a shot to Meta Ridley’s head, knocking him unconscious.

Krystal: You saved me Fox!
Fox: I’ll probably get us a time penalty for that but I don’t care. Great shooting!

Back in the chemistry lab, Zelda and Link struggle initially, before they realize that Ness and Lucas inadvertently left some notes on the desk they used earlier. Using these scrawls, the hyrulians quickly move through the second end of the detour and grab the next clue.

With Meta Ridley out of the picture, the contestants settle down to some degree and start tagging their robotic prey. Diddy Kong, very proficient in close quarters shooting thanks to his practicing with popguns, has moved within one robot of finishing. With a strong move around the corner to avoid one of the sentries, he sneaks up behind another and tags it with ease. The monkey quickly runs out of the maze and receives the clue.

Diddy: Ooh! Ooh! Aaah! Aaah!

“Teams must now head on foot down the basalt flats trail. About a mile away lies Frigate Orpheon SSBB Arena. This brawl arena, one of the most unique in the Nintendo universe, has the ability to turn upside down as well as change its form during contests. This arena is the pit stop for this leg of the race. The last team to check in here, may be eliminated.”

The final three teams have now entered the maze. The leg is very close, with only 8 targets separating 3rd place Jody Summer from last place Link. Without warning, a group of federation troops and a corresponding group of space pirates enter the arena. They fight against one another, but their shots work the same as the robots and disable the competitors’ suits.

Lyn: It’s gotten very congested down there. Hang in there Ike!
Luigi: You’re-a correct Lyn, there’s enemies all over the place. At least Mario seems to be-a coming around after that dragon hit him earlier.

Indeed, Mario is moving around gingerly. He crouches into a corner and picks off one robot from long range before getting tagged himself.

Mario: Momma-mia…I could use a mushroom right now. Not…feeling…well.

With so much chaos going on in the arena, Olimar elects to hang close to Ike, who as the biggest competitor in the maze acts practically as a shield for the captain.

Louie: I knew Olimar could fight, but this is crazy. There’s guys everywhere!

Meanwhile on the basalt trail, Fox and Krystal put the finishing touches on a winning leg. They enter Frigate Orpheon and see Samus Aran standing next to Phil, flanked by several other federation troops in the middle of the arena.

Samus: Welcome to Planet Zebes.
Fox & Krystal: Thank you Samus.

“Fox and Krystal, you are team #1.”

Fox & Krystal: All right! **they hug one other, then awkwardly back away, apparently surprised by their sudden emotion.

“As the winners of this leg of the race you have each won $25000 in your native currency, courtesy of our friends at Al’s Hardware. Because if it ain’t from Al’s, you got screwed.”

Fox: Very good, we’ll be able to put this toward getting Great Fox’s boosters fixed.
Krystal: I think we could use a boost in some other areas too Fox.
Fox: Like what? **Fox realizes what she means and blushes. Samus allows herself to giggle, just a little.

Back in the maze, Olimar continues to use his defense strategy, and finishes about the same time as Metaknight, whose speed came in handy during the challenge. They both take their clues and dash off down the path toward the other finishers. Lucas, Link, Ike, and Mario are the remaining teams in the maze.

Lucas, scared out of his mind by Meta Ridley and thinking he is going to return at some point, continues to be thrown out of sorts by the constant fighting around him. He hardly moves, and when he does quickly gets cornered and shot by robots, disabling his suit.

Ness: Oh, this isn’t good. Cmon Lucas! Fight!
Zelda: I have faith in him. He’ll find a way to get through and get the robots.
Ness: You think so?
Zelda: I know so. It just won’t be until after Link does.
Ness: You think you’re so pretty and so smart, don’t you?
Zelda: Link and I must be, you wouldn’t have u-turned us otherwise.
Ness: **looks down, obviously feeling guilt at their earlier maneuver.

Slowed up by DK and Dedede during the final mile run to the pit stop, Metaknight and Diddy can only watch as Olimar/Louie and Falcon/Summer pass them. It’s a mad race to the line. They each enter the arena simultaneously but Falcon trips on the entryway, allowing Olimar/Louie to finish 2nd.

“You’ve had a bit of trouble this leg haven’t you?”

Falcon: Yeah it all started in the lab, I mixed one of the solutions wrong and I…
Summer: Won’t be needing to take any more showers for a while.
Falcon: Yeah, that’s exactly what I was going for…

Coming up next down the trail are the remaining teams, the primates finishing just in front of the villains from Popstar.

Meanwhile back in the maze, each of the teams needs three more targets to advance. The pressure is on. Link and Mario find themselves surrounded by sentries and both are disabled. They run away and into a dead end where Ike is hiding. He tags his 8th robot just as they arrive.

Ike: Link, I thought you guys were way ahead of us.
Link: **huff, puff – we were ahead before he decided to u-turn us. **points at Lucas, who is disabled by a federation trooper
Mario: That-a wasn’t very nice.
Ike: Yeah, not a chivalrous move.
Link: I say we team up…protect each other, get these remaining robots and get out of here in one piece before that dragon comes back to life. We’ll let you guys finish in front of us.
Ike: That sounds good to me. Let’s do it.
Mario: Teamwork helped with the metroids, it’ll-a help here too. Good thinking Link.

With the three competitors teaming up, they protect each other’s blind sides and complete the challenge within minutes, all the while Lucas continues to flail and fail on his own, his nerves only rising with each failure.

The three teams run down the trail together, occasionally looking back to see if Ness and Lucas were closing in. They enter the arena as one.

“Mario and Luigi, you are team number 6. Lyn and Ike, you are team number 7. And Link and Zelda, it wasn’t looking good for you, but you’ve made it through, you are team number 8.”

Zelda: Yeah, it was a very tough leg and we got u-turned. But we got our revenge, mostly because Link and I trusted one another and he listened to me.

(Flashback to the chemistry lab)

Zelda: Link, we haven’t had a combat challenge in this leg yet, I would be very surprised if the roadblock wasn’t combat-related. You just know that Lucas and Ness won’t perform well if it is.
Link: Do you think we can catch up and pass them.
Zelda: When you get to the challenge, tell the other teams about the u-turn. The other teams have been annoyed with them since the meteor building challenge in Onett, they’ll team up with you to defeat them.
Link: I take it I’m doing the fighting.
Zelda: You have to, they won’t listen to me…I’m too smart and they’ll view me as manipulative.
Link: Okay, I trust you.

(Back to real time)

“Well that was quite a plan, and it looks like it worked.”

Luigi: They-a couldn’t have done it without us, but they-a helped us in the Metroid challenge.

“So there’s interaction and teamwork going on out there between the teams? Very interesting.”

Ike: It’s a competition, but you help each other when you can. It’s just the right thing to do.”

About thirty minutes later, Ness and Lucas enter the arena. Lucas looks absolutely dejected and about ready to cry.

Samus: Welcome to Planet Zebes.
Ness: Thank you Samus.

Ness and Lucas, I’m sorry to say that you are the last team to arrive.”

Lucas: It’s all my fault. We had a big lead and I couldn’t do the shooting.
Ness: You know, we gave it our best and even u-turned a team, but they did well to fight back. I guess it just wasn’t our day.

“Indeed it wasn’t. But there’s always another day.”

Lucas: Just not for us. **Tears forming in his eyes

“Wrong. This is a non-elimination leg.

Lucas’s face goes from distraught to elation. He immediately hugs Ness and starts screaming like a little girl. Samus smiles as does Ness.

“As you know, you two will have to complete a hazard challenge in the next leg, and you will be relieved of your money and provisions…but you are still alive in the game.”

Ness: Thank you, we will come back stronger from this. Won’t we Lucas? Lucas?
Lucas: **runs in from the back and tackles Samus, still shouting like an idiot. He grins when he notices his position.
Samus: If only federation troopers were this adorable.

Leg #4 Results:

1st – Fox and Krystal
2nd – Olimar and Louie
3rd – Falcon and Summer
4th – Donkey and Diddy
5th – Metaknight and Dedede
6th – Mario and Luigi
7th – Ike and Lyn
8th – Link and Zelda
9th – Ness and Lucas (revived – non-elimination leg)



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