Link deftly dodged another of Mario's fireballs as he makes a sword-first dive towards the plumber. Mario rolls to the side and comes back with a blast of FLUDD to Link's face, buying him time to charge at him. All the while, Pit and Yoshi try to plead with the two to stop.
"Guys, we don't have time for this!" exclaimed Pit.
"He's right! We need to keep after the ones behind all this!" added Yoshi.
But the two continued to ignore them, focused on their duel. Finally, the two went at each other with a flying kick. Their blows connected and both of them ran out of stamina, falling unconscious on the ground. As Yoshi and Pit come in to pick them up, a cart comes careening in from the distance, King Dedede at the helm.
"Yes, even more for my collection!" he said to himself.
Deftly zooming in, King Dedede managed to nab both of the unconscious fighters. Before the king could enjoy his new fighters any more, Kirby popped up on the machine's handle. With a swipe of his Cutter, Kirby slashed off the arm, causing Mario and Link to drop down.
Seeing a chance, Pit took a shot at the cart's engine with his arrows. The shot held true and took it out, causing the machine to smoke as it careened off into the distance.
"Thanks for the assist, Kirby," said Pit. "By the way, have you seen Peach around? We ran into a double of her and Mario's more than a little upset over that."
"Peach? Oh no, I left her behind to go after Dedede!" exclaimed Kirby.
At this point, Mario and Link regained consciousness.
"Did someone mention Peach?" asked Mario.
"We think King Dedede got her," answered Pit. "If we hurry, we can still catch him."
"All right. Let's-a call a truce for now," said Mario. "At least until we-a get one of our girls back."
"Deal," replied Link. "Now, let's get moving!"
The five quickly give chase, eventually reaching the cart at the entrance to a nearby cave. Following the long and treacherous path inside the cave, they soon reached one of King Dedede's castles as the Halbred passed ominously overhead.
Back in the Command Center, Ganondorf was hard at work.
"Bowser, do you read me? Come in, Bowser."
The image of Bowser appeared on the main view screen.
"Yeah, what is it?" asked Bowser.
"Zelda has been located near your position. Go and retrieve her."
"What for?" asked Bowser. "Isn't just Peach fine?"
"We should have them both to be sure," said Ganondorf. "Orders are orders."
"Yeah, yeah," grumbled Bowser.
He then headed out, taking his troops and closing communications. Ganondorf smiled to himself.
"Yes, things are going just fine," he said to himself. "Now, how to deal with that Ancient Minister..."
"...so when the chaos started, my Ivysaur and Charizard went missing," explained Red as he and Lucas approached some mountain ruins. "If what I've heard is correct, they should be somewhere around here."
"I hope we find them soon," said Lucas. "We could use the extra help."
"And you will-a need all that you can-a get!"
Leaping down from the mountain ruins entrance was Wario, who landed with a thud before Red and Lucas.
"It's him!" gasped Lucas. "The one who turned Ness into a statue!"
"That's-a right, kid," said Wario. "Now, I'm-a gonna get you for the guy who-a hired me!"
Feeling courage and the desire for vengeance swell within him, Lucas warmed up his PSI powers. Red pulled out his Squirtle and the battle began. Wario went at the two with his Wario Bike, but they managed to dodge. Squirtle went into a Withdraw and flung himself at Wario. Wario made a quick dodge and Lucas took the opportunity, hitting him with his PK Thunder.
Wario recovered from his shock and hit Lucas with a running tackle with surprising speed. As he moved in to follow up on that, Squirtle caught his attention with a spurt of Water Gun to the backside. That drew Wario's attention long enough for Lucas to recover and use a series of punches and kicks on him. Wario then put the Bite on Lucas, only to lose his grip when Squirtle used its Waterfall attack on him.
Moving in on Squirtle, Wario grabbed it and smashed it into the ground. While he did that, Lucas froze him with a blast of PK Freeze, buying the two some time to wail on him. Wario eventually broke free, but was significantly injured from the attacks. Finally, with a mighty smash to the head from Lucas' stick, Wario went out cold and fell to the ground. Red and Lucas enjoy a brief victory, only for Lucas to realize that Ness was nowhere to be found. He sighed in frustration.
"Hey, don't worry about it," said Red. "I'm sure he's all right. Maybe Wario left him in the ruins somewhere."
"Yeah, that's a good point," said Lucas.
"Let's keep going," added Red.
"Yes...yes, very good," mused King Dedede.
Back in his personal fortress, King Dedede took a moment to admire the Luigi, Ness and Zelda trophies he'd acquired.
"You three shall my first line of defense against the...glowy...butterfly man. Okay, so it's not very dramatic, but that's not the point! Now for your equipment."
Taking out several badges modeled after his face, King Dedede placed one each on Ness and Luigi. As he prepared to place one on Zelda, he realized he didn't have any more to spare. He only had three in his possession, with the hopes of getting Kirby and Meta Knight to help him with this. With a sigh, he took his own badge and placed it on Zelda, realizing she'd need it more.
All of a sudden, the castle's very foundation began to shake. Before King Dedede knew what was happening, he was struck by a Trophy Stand and turned into a trophy like the others. The stand came from above, where Bowser and his Koopa Troop had bashed a hole in the ceiling.
"Bwa-ha-ha! Perfect!" gloated Bowser.
Dropping to the floor, Bowser spotted the arm of the Zelda trophy in the rubble. Having found what he came for, he snatched it up and darted through the back door, his troops following after. The remaining trophies were left behind, buried under the rubble.
Shortly after that, the group of Mario, Link, Kirby, Yoshi and Pit arrived on the scene. Unaware of the other statues buried in the rubble, they quickly inspected the back of the castle, still believing themselves to be after King Dedede. They soon find themselves in another cave, this one populated by the forces of Bowser that had fallen behind.
"What's with all the Koopa Troop members down here?" asked Pit as he knocked away a Bullet Bill.
"Bowser was always more of-a the princess kidnapping type," said Mario. "He might have-a joined forces with King Dedede."
"That King Dedede is really nasty to have joined up with Bowser!" exclaimed Kirby.
Bowser, not known for his speed, was heading out to where his Clown Car was parked. Mario was quick to move and leapt towards Bowser to strike with his plumber's punch. Bowser moved fast and whipped out the Zelda trophy as a shield, forcing Mario to cut it short.
Link went next with an arrow shot. Its flight managed to knock Bowser off balance, as well as knock the Timed Badge off of Zelda's trophy. Bowser seemed to be at a disadvantage and falls off the cliff, but it was merely an act as he wound up in his Clown Car. Beside him was the trophy of Peach.
"Ha, now Ganondorf and I both have our own princesses!" chortled Bowser. "Maybe he'll finally stop bossing me around for a bit!"
Laughing all the while, Bowser flew off to safety while the others could only look onward.
"Mama mia! We've lost-a them both!" exclaimed Mario.
"I can't believe he got both of them," said Link. "We should have been trying to solve this at the root problem instead of just worrying about our own needs."
"You're-a right. I'm sorry, Link," added Mario.
"And I'm sorry too," replied Link as they shook hands.
Meanwhile, Kirby was more interested in the Timed Badge dropped by Zelda. Hungry from all the running around, he promptly ate it.
"Ick, that was nasty," he said to himself.
"All right, men...you know what must be done," said the Ancient Minster with reluctance.
"Yes, sir," replied the R.O.B.s.
With another Subspace Bomb set up near King Dedede's castle, the R.O.B.s began the activation sequence. Getting back to a safe distance, the Ancient Minister watched as a last service to his men as the bomb detonated. In seconds, the castle and all inside were hurtled into the nothingness.
"To think...all this because of that one person," mused the Ancient Minister. "I know not his name and still, he managed to do all this to my people."
His role fulfilled for now, he set back off to the floating island.
Back in the command center, Ganondorf opened up a line of communication. The image of the Master Hand appeared on-screen, revealing him in a dark void while giving his trademark laugh.
"Very creepy, sir," said Ganondorf.
"Why, thank you," replied Master Hand. "Do you have something to report?"
"Yes, sir, it concerns the Ancient Minister. He seems to growing more distraught at our cause. It may only be a matter of time before it turns into outright defiance."
"Very well. Begin preparations for the Subspace Gunship. We shall teach him the price for disobedience."