Any and all rights relating to the Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. belong to Nintendo and its affiliates.
Any and all rights relating to Kirby belong to Nintendo, Hal Laboratory, and other affiliates.
Any and all rights relating to Sonic the Hedgehog belong to SEGA and its affiliates.
References to the plot in "Trapped in Termina" and "The Three Oracles" refer to the works of brown phantom. These two works are some of the finest pieces of fanfiction I've ever read. I highly recommend reading them since I will make some references.
Link to his profile: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1634435/brown-phantom
Link to "Trapped in Termina": http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4579411/1/Trapped-in-Termina
Link to "The Three Oracles": http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5673514/1/The-Three-Oracles
For Chapter 7 and on, go to "The Legend of Zelda: Shadow Realm Ch7+"
Prologue: The New Invasion
"Ribbon, be honest," the hero from Pop Star asked while putting a sash on his head. "Does this thing make me look too girly?"
"Kirby, it makes you look ridiculous!" his girlfriend replied.
Kirby blushed. "Ah, well, that's what the head bodyguard of Princess Zelda has to wear."
"Are you sure you're going to show up for that job?"
"Why not?" Kirby asked.
"It's going to be very dangerous," Ribbon answered.
"It's also going to be fun! Besides, you know I can handle myself fine! You remember how I saved Ripple Star from that black hole awhile back, don’t you?" Kirby cheerfully responded.
“How couldn’t I? It was the first time I’d seen you in years! I don’t know if I’d ever want to part ways with you again…”
Kirby stopped for a moment. “I fell the same way, Ribbon, but you know that I have to go to Hyrule, right? I have to go investigate whatever weird frequencies are coming from there.”
Kirby was referring to a strange signal from the faraway kingdom that had appeared on Meta Knight’s radar a few months ago. Though they paid no attention to it at first since it eventually disappeared, it had recently become disruptive for the citizens of Pop Star. Many of them began to have draining nightmares, more severe than the time when the Star Rod went missing from Pop Star’s Fountain of Dreams. Perhaps more disturbing, the mirror that led into the Mirror World had begun to act strangely again. Dark clouds had formed around it carrying an unmistakable sense of malevolence; however, nothing had actually come out of it yet. Meta Knight feared that a dark prophecy was beginning to come true. One with a threat that could possibly wreak havoc in the universe…
“I know Meta Knight and King Dedede would be able to subdue anything that comes from that mirror if it tries to come over to Dream Land. Whatever is making that signal, though, seems to be growing stronger by the day. I have to go check it out, and taking this job will make me less suspicious.”
Ribbon only sighed. "I'm still going to miss you so much."
"Well, have something to remember me by." Kirby kissed her. As he started out, Kirby said one last thing to her. “If you ever get into trouble, don’t hesitate to use the cell phone. It works even across space, so I’ll come straight away if you need any help!” With that, he used his cell phone to summon a warp star and flew away to Hyrule Castle. He didn't notice the dark cloud forming behind him...
The castle was eerily desolate, Kirby noted, as he approached the gates. Suspicious that something was going on, Kirby started up for the main chamber. When Kirby finally found the chamber and entered, he found a dark figure holding an unconscious Zelda by the throat. Kirby flinched; he looked to find other guards, but they, too, were unconscious. An ominous chuckle emanated from the figure. Whoever it was wore regal looking attire that seemed stained somewhat by blood. Something didn't seem right. Kirby looked into the stranger's face and stepped back in shock. The intruder didn't seem to have a face, merely a skull animated by some unknown force.
The interloper let go of the unconscious princess and began to speak to Kirby. "Forgive me for my current appearance," he started. "I have experienced an undesirable turn of events and have not been able to fix myself. In fact, if it weren't for the will of my lord, I would be no more than another body in a grave."
Kirby no longer felt the initial fear that emanated from the intruder, but he remained alert. "My name is Kirby," he stated. "Who exactly are you?"
"Ah, yes. I seem to have forgotten my manners. I– GAAAAH!" The stranger seemed to seize up in pain at that moment. Kirby noticed that his eyes were filled with the most blood-curling shade of red he had ever seen. A new presence had taken over. "Silence!" the newcomer demanded in a sinister tone. "We have no time for this conversation." Obviously he was talking with the other presence that previously occupied him. "We still have much to do and need to get going if we want to complete this return and finally gain enough power to fulfill our destinies." He then turned to Kirby. "YOU!" Kirby almost fell on his back. "If you value the others in this room, you shall obey my commands!"
Kirby hesitated. He was not used to backing down when a threat was made against him. However, Kirby realized that the power in this stranger was too great to take on alone. He submitted and took instructions before the figure covered the castle in darkness and departed. He immediately regretted his decision. He could only hope that Ribbon was okay…
Chapter 1: Reunion and Separation
Elsewhere in far south Ordon Village, it was an ordinary day for Ilia as she took a stroll around the slowly growing town. Months after Link had defeated Ganondorf and saved Hyrule, he still hadn’t returned from his new journey. She had been the only one to see him off, and she missed him dearly. She worried about him quite often since she did not receive regular correspondence from him. During times like these, she liked to talk to Fado, who was one of the first to notice that Link had left Ordon after making sure all the children were safely back home. They had developed a closer friendship, both eagerly awaiting the day when Link would come back home.
Fado greeted Ilia as soon as she entered the ranch. “Ilia! To what do I owe this pleasure?”
“Hello, Fado. I just wanted someone to talk to.”
Fado smiled. “I could always use the company. I don’t get many visitors, you know.” He noticed the goats shaking. “You know, it seems as if something strange is going on right now. The goats all seem to be acting strange as if there was something in the air…”
For a while, Ilia stayed with Fado, helping him complete his work and talking about the times before the rise of the monsters. Soon, Ilia noticed that the sun was beginning to set. She had stayed a bit too long. “It’s been wonderful talking to you,” she told him. “I think I should get going.”
Fado noticed the sun and agreed. “I think I should be getting the goats in, too. I’ll see you around.”
Ilia nodded and started to leave when she heard a loud voice. “Ms. Ilia! WAAAAAAIT!” The postman appeared, running as fast as he could towards her. Once he got to her, the postman stopped for a moment to rest before continuing. “Greetings, Ms. Ilia! I have come to deliver a letter.” He took out one of the many letters in his bag. “It is a let—HEY!” Before the postman could react, Ilia snatched the letter. She didn’t need to wait for the postman to finish his little spiel because she knew that the letter had to be from Link. “Feeling very feisty today, aren’t you…Well, my business is concluded! Onward to mail!” With that, the postman took off.
Ilia ripped the letter wide open. Eager for the first words from Link in months, she wondered how he had spent the past months.
I’m sorry I haven’t been able to write to you at all these past few months. I have traveled to many different places beyond the kingdom, meeting new people and new challenges everywhere I’ve been. Still, my thoughts always seem to return to you and everyone else back in Ordon Village. Thus, I have decided to come back home to see you and everyone else again. I plan to head for the ranch this evening. Hope to see you then.
Ilia looked up as she finished reading the letter. Immediately, both of them heard a horse’s galloping. It grew louder and louder until Link and Epona became visible. Epona slowed to a trot, and Link jumped off to meet Ilia's embrace.
“Link!” she exclaimed as she met him. They embraced for a few seconds before Fado decided to ruin the moment.
“Link! If you don't mind, I've got to close up. You mind rounding up the goats?” Link looked at him for a moment and sighed. Mounting Epona, he quickly got the goats back in the barn as Fado closed the gates. “Thanks, Link. I think you're meaning to stay awhile. How about helping around tomorrow just like old times?”
“Fado! Link just got back, and you're expecting him to get right back to work?”
Link spoke up. “It's alright, Ilia. We'll have some time to ourselves. And don't worry about it, Fado. Tomorrow, I'm getting right back to work. But tonight, I want to spend some time with Ilia. It's been far too long.” Ilia smiled as Link helped her up onto the saddle. Epona galloped over the fence towards Link's old house. He hoped Mayor Bo wouldn't mind letting his daughter spend one night with her old friend as they caught up on the previous months.
Link woke up ready to get to work. It had been awhile since he had returned home. He knew he was growing closer with his childhood friend, but he chose to take things slowly. There was ample time now that there was no evil threat trying to kill him. Link left much of his adventuring gear in his basement, keeping with him only the necklace Ilia had made him and a sword and shield in case anything came by. He had even put away his tunic. Nothing ever did nowadays, so each day was the same old routine.
It was another ordinary day at the ranch. Still, Link was fine with it. After so much time spent without Ilia, he knew that he needed no more adventure. Sometimes routine got to him and he took trips to Kakariko Village, but he was overall happy with peaceful times.
The day's work done, Link hurried to the lake, not wanting to miss one moment with Ilia. When he arrived, however, he found a familiarly dark figure holding Ilia at sword point. "Surrender your protection over the lake or the girl dies."
"Zant!" Link exclaimed. He was stunned when he recognized the figure's voice. His flesh had completely disappeared, marking him an unnatural skeleton with robes. He did not bother masking his face, a twisted skull reeking of pure evil. “How are you still alive? Midna destroyed you with the Fused Shadows, and I defeated your 'god' already!”
Zant didn't move. “So you think...your efforts were in vain, and we won't be worrying about her anymore...”
“What?” Link drew his sword, but, at that moment, Zant struck Ilia. Her screams of pain were intolerable to Link.
"Let me ask you again. Surrender your protection over the lake or the girl dies."
"Link!" Ilia screamed. As blood started trickling down her body, Link saw no choice to save her but complying with the evil being. He lied down, hands behind his back and sword on the ground.
"A wise move, hero." Zant raised his hands into the air, and the light started flowing into them. "My victory shall be won, and my lord and god shall rise again." Those were the last words Link heard before he fell unconscious.
Chapter 2: Plumbers in the Desert
Meanwhile, in the Gerudo Desert, two brothers from a distant galaxy were taking refuge in a cave after a fall from space. The darkness that surrounded them was mitigated by the light that the white being, Baby Luma, was emitting.
"Mario," the taller one with a green hat said, "I think Bowser was able to escape."
"He won't get away from us for long," the famous plumber replied. "He never does."
"Yeah, but what was that thing that chased us earlier?"
Mario only shrugged; his memory was still a bit fuzzy due to the fall. Sometime before, it had been the same old routine in the Mushroom Kingdom. As he and Luigi were taking a stroll around the countryside, the two heard a loud scream come from Peach’s Castle. He recalled that they were then chasing Bowser on board the Starship Mario when a mysterious craft appeared. Mario barely noticed it when it fired a strange ray, disintegrating the ship in an instant. He did not know what happened to Lubba or the rest of the Lumas on the ship.
The Luma spoke up. "I don't know. You know, we’re lucky to have landed on a planet with a stable atmosphere. I just hope we can get off this planet soon so we can find Mama…"
Mario took a look around the cavern and found a letter lying upon a giant rock. "This is as far as you two will get this time!" the letter read. "You two have no idea of my master plan. This time I will win! BWAHAHAHAHA!"
Mario showed the note to Luigi. When he had finished reading it, he looked more nervous than before.
“What are we going to do?” he stammered.
Before he could answer, Mario noticed two dark figures coming into the cave. He looked Luigi in the eye for a moment. The two exchanged an infinitesimal nod before they sprang at the intruders, hoping to drive them off so they could obtain another moment’s rest. Beating them easily, they then heard a voice coming from deeper in the cave.
“Well done, heroes from another galaxy,” the voice said. It was a woman's voice with a calm and soothing quality. “The courage in both of you seems to be a force that may yet prevent the prophecy from coming true. I have something with me that may help you in your journey. However, I want to test your power, wisdom, and courage in order to make sure you are ready for the fight ahead. It will be like none you've ever faced before. One of you may attempt my trials. If you succeed, the reward will most certainly help you save not only your loved ones or this world, but also the universe as a whole.”
Luigi looked at Mario. “You go on ahead, bro. You've got more experience in this kind of thing. I'll stand guard and make sure none of those monsters come back.”
Mario nodded. The Luma went back under Mario's cap, and he entered the first room, ready for whatever trials awaited. In the first room, he saw a weak-looking goblin monster called a Bokoblin. He easily beat it and moved on to the second room, where there were only a few rats and bat monsters called Keese. The next few rooms had plants called Deku Babas, spiders called Skullatas, goblin archers called Bulbin, and torch slugs. In the seventh room, Mario finally found a few enemies worth fighting: Fire Keese and fire-breathing lizards called Dodongos. They held out longer than the other enemies had, but Mario still defeated them relatively easily. The next room had smaller spiders called Tektites. The ninth room contained more Bulbin archers and a few weapon wielding lizards called Lizalfos.
After defeating these enemies, Mario opened the door to the tenth room, wondering what sort of enemy would lie in this room. Inside he saw a strange spring with a magic feel to it. When he approached it, a light began to shine. Mario looked away for a moment before his eyes adjusted to the light. Once he became aware of his surroundings, he noticed that a woman was standing in front of him. She had long, light blue hair and wings on her back. She carried a soothing aura that made him feel more comfortable.
“Welcome, Hero, to the Cave of Ordeals,” she said. “I am the Great Fairy. I reign over all fairies of this realm as their queen. In praise of your efforts so far, I offer you this.” The Great Fairy raised her arms, and a light appeared from above. Something began to fall into Mario's hands. When the light faded, he saw part of a Grand Star. Mario's starship required those things for power, but he knew that this small piece could power it. “I'm sure you already know what this is supposed to be. You need to return to your journey through the stars, but you will need a great power to do that. I could take you back to the surface right now, or you can continue through my trials by going through that door. Mind you, I want to fully test your skills, and this cave extends far below where we are right now. If I returned you right now, you'd have to face those same trials all over again, so I'd keep going. Unless you're tired already...”
“Mama mia...” was all Mario could let out after hearing the last line spoken in such a teasing manner. He was disappointed that the Grand Star had been split into pieces and that it would probably take a long time before he would see the sun again. Still, he had to get the full Grand Star; he couldn't let Bowser win without a fight. Gathering himself, Mario proceeded through the door, hoping that the next set of rooms would be as easy as the first set...
Chapter 3: The Trap of Shadows
In a forest thousands of light-years away, Zant was running with a demonic fury. In his possession were the seven Chaos Emeralds, jewels of nearly limitless power. And yet, he was running away from someone still. The voice in his head was angry. Why can't you just get him? The Chaos Emeralds are ours. He doesn't have the ability to fight back.
"My master, Ganondorf," he said aloud as he released a walls of fire, rock, and lasers behind him. "I'm trying. But I just can't stop him!"
As if on cue, a spiky, blue blur dashed over the walls and continued pursuing Zant. "Hey, you undead freak!" the famous hedgehog, Sonic, yelled. "Get back here with the Chaos Emeralds!"
Zant was as aggravated as his master. Giant walls of stone, huge lasers, barrages of swords, nothing could hit that annoying little hedgehog. “What more can I possibly do, my lord?”
Look, there, the voice beckoned. Zant heeded this advice and noticed a pink hedgehog following behind Sonic at nearly the same speed.
"The one time Sonic actually took me out to dinner, and you have to steal the Emeralds!" Amy Rose hollered. “You're going to pay for this!”
Oh great, he thought. Why did she have to follow me here? Sonic turned around, "Amy! I told you to stay back at the restaurant!"
"Well, how was I supposed to know you weren't just trying to get away from me again?" she countered. “Just for once, I'd like to have a nice time without some maniac ruining it all!”
"Hey, that's no excuse to follow me! Besides, it's dangerous to just follow me around everywhere. Don't you see all the stuff this guy is hurling at me?"
All of a sudden, Amy's look of annoyance at Sonic changed into panic. "Sonic! Watch out in front of you!"
"Huh?" Sonic turned around one second too late. A mysterious, dark energy engulfed him, immobilizing him in an instant. Sonic struggled against the energy to no avail. “What’s the big idea coming over here and taking the Chaos Emeralds anyway?”
Sonic heard a short scream, and then Zant appeared in from of him, carrying an unconscious Amy. “We have no further use for you. Be gone.” Zant moved his arm, and, in an instant, a void engulfed Sonic, leaving no trace behind.”
Well done, my most loyal servant, the voice in Zant’s mind delightedly. Now, with a suitable vessel and the energy of these artifacts, my plan can proceed. With that, Zant’s body dissolved into darkness before shooting up into space.
Chapter 4: A New Friend in the Castle
Link awoke in a familiarly small cell. He saw his arm was covered in fur, as well as the rest of his body. He knew he was a wolf once more. A large fetter was attached to each of his legs, probably whatever came to put him there wanted to make sure he didn't escape. The cell was much darker than it had been before. There was no light to be seen anywhere, but, being a wolf now, it did not matter to him.
Link soon turned his attention to a small figure above. It seemed to be shivering in fear of something. Link barked at it, announcing his consciousness to the stranger. It seemed to be star shaped and had black skin. It looked somewhat pudgy, though Link couldn't tell since he was unfamiliar with this type of creature. As it came closer, he could tell that it was very curious and excited to see him.
"Oh!" the small figure said. "A new prisoner! Now I won't die of loneliness!" It proceeded to release the shackles on Link’s legs. After he gave it a puzzled look, it continued. "Oh, where are my manners? My name is Polari. I'm named after Mama's eldest Luma! I live in an observatory with her and the other Lumas! What's your name?"
Suspicious of the strange creature, Link gave a low growl. The black star seemed unfazed. "Grrrrrrrr? That sounds like a silly name to me!" Realizing this creature meant no harm, Link stopped growling and looked at the strange Polari more intently. "That's better! Want to tell me something about yourself?" Link continued to stare at the creature. “You don’t talk much, do you? Oh, well."
Link heard some heavy footsteps approaching the cell. Two towering figures appeared, more ominous than the variety of monsters Link had encountered before. Link assumed they were the guards since they used keys to open the cell door. Without warning, one of them lunged at Link while the other one sprang for the Luma. Link managed to jump out of the way, but Polari was not so lucky. “Urgh…help…” was all the Luma could let out as it was being squeezed by the figure. Link growled as he sped towards the aggressor when the other monster grabbed Link and began tightening its grip. As Link struggled, a light began to shine on Link’s right paw. His attacker was momentarily stunned, long enough for Link to bite into its arm and hurl it up and down. He released the first monster and dealt with the second one the same way, freeing Polari in the process.
After Link finished off the two monsters, he looked up and saw Polari staring at the mark on his paw. “That looks like…the Triforce of Courage! That means…you’re Link, right?” Link nodded. “Oh! I can't believe I'm meeting you in person! Mama told us many stories about the Hero from the distant kingdom of Hyrule!” Polari paused for a moment. “Hey, do you mind if I tag along with you for a while? I want to find my Mama, and I think I might be able to help you.” Link nodded immediately. Though he didn’t really think he’d need this stranger’s help, he was willing to help the little guy out.
“Great!” Polari exclaimed. “First, we should head for the top of this place. There’s someone up there who can help us get out of here, right?” Link nodded again, remembering how Princess Zelda had provided help the first times he had met her. There was probably a secret passageway of some sort to allow them to escape. “The door’s open thanks to those two, so we should get going!” Link nodded once more, and the two proceeded to leave the chamber behind. As they left, they didn't notice that the two guards seemed to fade away...
As they ascended the tower, Polari told Link a little more about himself. “I've lived on the Comet Observatory all my life with Mama looking after all of us Lumas. We're all her children, and we live a peaceful existence traveling throughout the universe. In the recent past, however, we'd been attacked twice by an evil guy by the name of Bowser. He called himself the Koopa King, and he tried to use the power of the observatory, the Power Stars, for his own selfish purposes. Both times, however, a plumber from Mama's favorite planet named Mario stopped him from succeeding. Unfortunately, he returned once more with far more power than before, and, this time, Mario failed to stop him. Mama was forced to surrender to him. Many of the Lumas were sent all over the universe, and I don't know what he plans to do to Mama...”
The Luma paused as Link jumped through the roof to the second tower. “You know, you're a legendary hero to those who know your story. Someone once said, 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going.' I have a strong feeling that there's nothing that's gonna stop you from getting things done. Anyways, I think I've talked a bit too much. Don't you have anything to say at all?”
Link looked at him quizzically and barked. Polari sighed. “Alright, then. I guess you don't have much to say when you're a wolf. But I better get at least a word out of you when you return to normal!” Polari looked up. “I guess we're going up now. Race you to the top!” With that, he started floating to the top as Link chased after him.
Chapter 5: A Reason to Rise
Deep in the dark void, Sonic started to regain consciousness.
“Ugh…where am I?”
Sonic slowly opened his eyes. He glanced around to see if there was anything at all he could recognize, but, even if there was, all that surrounded him was darkness. Sonic felt like all the strength he had been sapped away from him. The paralyzing force, while not as strong as before, still was powerful enough to stop Sonic from having any thoughts of trying to escape.
A calm voice emanated from somewhere in the darkness. “You cannot escape this realm. Do not struggle, little hedgehog. You will be spending the rest of your life here.”
Sonic was drifting away. “Rest…of…my…life…” he murmured. While he knew that giving up without a fight was absolutely absurd, he felt like he was losing all motivation to resist this dark entity. As the remainder of his energy slowly drained away, Sonic wasn’t sure if he even wanted to try to escape this, slowly coming to terms with death.
Suddenly, he heard a shriek from far away. It lasted but a brief moment, but Sonic understood it right away. “Amy!”
Immediately, the other voice returned, more panicked this time. “It doesn’t matter! There’s no point in trying to help her.”
It was no use for the voice. Sonic’s strength started to return. He had to try and save Amy from whatever was going on. “No way! I’m not giving up!”
Now the voice was angry. “Then, die!”
“Whoa!” Suddenly, the invisible grip holding Sonic in place faded, and he began to fall. “Is that all?” Sonic yelled as he fell. “You’re just going to make me plummet to a death I can’t see? Lame!”
Immediately, Sonic hit the ground. Just as he had hoped, his words were infuriating whoever was speaking. “Enough of this! You think you’re so clever! Fine! Then, enjoy a death you can see!” Light suddenly entered the area, and Sonic saw before his eyes an astoundingly large, dark mass. It appeared as some sort of spider-like being, and there seemed to be something inherently malevolent about it. On what appeared to be its head were some sort of deep red pieces of metal.
“Now, destroy him!” The giant monster obeyed, raising its right hand into a fist and slamming it to the ground where Sonic was standing, but he easily jumped out of the way. It then continued smashing away at Sonic as he continued to evade its attacks. An idea came to him; when the monster thrusted its left hand at him, Sonic jumped right onto its arm. Before it could react, Sonic boosted towards the creature’s head and inflicted damage to the monster, apparent by the cracks on the helmet with some light beginning to shine from it. It began to writhe in pain, signaling that he had found its weak point. Acting quickly, Sonic sped up the other arm, ramming into the head again. Light now began to shine more strongly than before, and the monster started behaving irrationally, striking anywhere it felt harm could come from. Now, Sonic rushed towards it at full speed, jumping right at the head when the monster regained its composure and crushed Sonic in mid-air. Or it would have if Sonic weren’t going so fast that he broke right through, striking at the head one last time.
The monster howled in pain as light enveloped its whole body. Sonic looked on as the monster’s body dissolved into the light as the large helmet fell and broke apart into several different pieces. The voice was evidently upset. “It seems as if manipulating the power of the Fused Shadows diminished its power. Fine then. We’ll just take them away for our own purposes.” Three of the fragments immediately vanished. “That one you can keep. It’s not like you’ll ever make it out of my realm. We have more important things to deal with than one puny hedgehog. Have a nice death!”
Sonic paid little attention to the voice; he had heard far too many death threats to take any of them seriously anymore. As he approached the final fragment of the helmet, he noticed a small being wearing it and moaning silently. “Yo, are you okay?” Sonic called out to it.
Slowly, the figure stood up with a hand to its head. “What happened?” it muttered. Sonic noted a tone of regret in the feminine voice.
“You mind telling me what you were doing attacking me?”
“Who are you?” the figure questioned.
“I’m Sonic. Sonic the Hedgehog! Where I’m from, I’m the most famous hero around! And you still haven’t answered my question. For that matter, who are you?”
The figure smiled a bit. “You seem to be trustworthy. My name is Midna. If I was attacking you, I do apologize. I think I was being controlled by the same person who once again took over this realm.” She paused to sigh. “It seems I have failed as a leader twice now.”
“Hm?” Sonic interjected.
“Oh, nothing. I was just thinking aloud.”
“Well, okay then,” Sonic said. “Do you know where we are?”
“This is the Twilight Realm. Or at least it was before Zant returned from the dead and turned it into this realm of shadows.”
“Zant! You mean that undead guy with completely unnatural powers?”
Midna looked at Sonic suspiciously. “You’ve met him before?”
“Yeah. I was chasing him when suddenly he stopped me completely still, kidnapped my…friend, and then sent me here.”
Midna relaxed. “So, it seems like you have a bone to pick with Zant, too. Tell you what. I’ll help you find a way out of here if you let me tag along for a while. Do we have a deal?”
Sonic hesitated for a moment. He wasn’t sure if he should trust this person who had just tried to kill him only a few minutes before. However, he quickly decided that it was a risk he was willing to take to get Amy back. “Alright, then. It’s a deal.”
“Good. Now, hold still. This might feel a little bit strange the first time around.”
“Wait, what do you…WHOA!” In an instant, Sonic felt himself dissolve into particles as Midna teleported him elsewhere.
Chapter 6: Quest for the Ancient Treasure
Kirby sighed as he brought a meal to the top of the tower where its new head resided. He wasn’t sure exactly how long he had been there, serving a “master” who merely ate and slept, the two activities Kirby enjoyed doing most when he wasn't busy fighting evil. While he loathed his menial chores around the castle, he continued to repeat to himself that the lives of those in the castle and those around Castle Town relied on his obedience to the nominal ruler of the castle and the higher power behind him. The time would come when he could spring to action. He only hoped that it would come soon.
When Kirby entered the tower’s upper room, he noticed that the head of the castle was not at the table awaiting his meal. Instead, he was lying unconscious beside a wolf and a black Luma. They did not notice Kirby at first. “Huh,” the black Luma began, “I was sure we would’ve found Princess Zelda up here. Isn’t this the same room you got to the last time you were here, Link?” The wolf nodded in agreement. “Instead, there was this guy. Oh, well. Sorry to get your hopes up about getting out of here.”
“Excuse me,” Kirby announced. The two turned towards the pink puff. “Who are you?”
The Luma approached Kirby. “My name is Polari, and this is Link.”
Link glared sternly at Kirby, but Kirby smiled. “Link, is it? I’ve heard of you during training for this post. Yes, Princess Zelda spoke highly of the hero who defeated Ganondorf. It's very nice to meet you. My name is Kirby.”
“Kirby?” Polari remarked in mild surprise. “Aren’t you from Pop Star?” Kirby nodded. “What are you doing here in Hyrule?”
Kirby hesitated, not knowing whether it was safe or not to continue talking. After determining it was safe, he continued. “All right, I’m not supposed to tell anyone, but I have a feeling I can trust you two. Yes, I am from Pop Star, a planet far, far away from here. I’ve come to Hyrule because of some dark energy that seem to be originating somewhere near here. Initially, I had thought that they were nothing. They had appeared months ago and disappeared spontaneously. I suppose that its disappearance was because of you, Link.
“Anyway, the energy returned, coinciding with problems on Pop Star. I came to investigate, hoping to find the cause of these problems. As you can see, I haven't been able to do that, and I'm not at all pleased with myself. You both are worried about people close to you, right? So am I. I can get you out of the castle, but there's something I think will be necessary later. It's an ancient treasure the Royal Family has kept ever since it was used to save this land from tyranny long ago. Can you help me find it?” Link nodded.
“Great! The path begins through that fireplace. Follow me.” Kirby pressed a switch beneath a table, and the fireplace slid into the wall, revealing a passageway. Kirby entered first, followed by Link and Polari.
As they continued through the passageway, more of those monsters appeared. Kirby was concerned that the treasure might already be lost to the evil entity. What would happen then? At this time, Polari broke the silence. “Say, Kirby...how come you were still in the castle? I'd have thought a hero like you would have already defeated whatever took over this place.”
Kirby looked at Polari for a moment. “Sorry to disappoint you, but I didn't. I disappointed myself, too, because I knew that I could have defeated him. However, the lives of everyone in the castle were in danger, including that of Princess Zelda. Sometimes, a hero has to know when to bide his time in order to save others until the right time comes.”
“Other people...where are they? Link and I didn't encounter any other people around here.”
Kirby sighed. “The guards did not react well to losing the light. Twilight was one thing. This is completely different. Link, you remember how people under twilight became spirits, losing their physical forms?” Link nodded. “This is much worse. I'm not sure what exactly it is; I can only call it...shadow. The guards...they were transformed into soldiers for his army...
What?! Link couldn't believe that it was possible. The monsters he had fought to get out of the cell were Hylian guards...
Polari was confused. “If the guards were ordinary people turned into monsters, how come neither of us have changed? I know Link's Triforce protects him from losing his senses.”
“I guess this...shadow only affects the people from this world,” Kirby responded. “Still, I don't think we'd be safe forever. I'd expect that this shadow will probably spread throughout the universe if left unchecked...”
“Well, then,” Polari remarked, “we'd better hurry to whatever we're supposed to be looking for! What was it again?”
“You sure are curious about things, aren't you?” Kirby noted. “It's an ancient instrument infused with the power of time itself. I never learned its exact origins, but I can say that it was entrusted by a member of the Royal Family to a young boy a long time ago.”
“Hm...I remember my Mama told me a story about it, but I don't remember it fully. What about you, Link?”
Link shook his head in denial. He had no idea what they were talking about, and he didn't care much at that moment. They had to get going fast, and he dashed ahead. The other two took his cue and sped up, ending the conversation for now.
Eventually, Kirby, Link, and Polari found themselves in front of a large door. “Alright, this is where it is,” Kirby said. “I can only hope that the treasure is still there...” Kirby took out the key he had been given when he had completed training. He placed it in the lock and turned it. The lock fell, and the door opened. “Shall we?”
As they entered, the door sealed behind them. Link noticed a treasure chest. There has to be something in there. Link instinctively ran towards it, hoping that they could actually get what they were looking for without facing any sort of fight. Unfortunately, the chest was a trap; once Link reached it, it released a force field that surrounded him. Dammit! I can't believe I fell for that!
Kirby became alert to any changes in the environment, knowing that there was definitely something waiting in the darkness. He quickly jumped back as something with a sword struck the ground before him. Polari exerted more energy to allow Kirby to see the foe. It appeared to be Kirby's size, except with a sword and a familiar mask.
Kirby couldn't believe his eyes. “Meta Knight! What are you doing here?”
The figure responded. “Kirby! Stop this at once! You don't know what you're doing with these two! They are villainous beings who are coaxing you into rash actions! Do not forget about the lives you are entrusted to protect here and at home!”
“What?!” Polari exclaimed. “We're no evil beings! I'm a Luma and Link is...”
“Silence! I have no patience for cowardly liars. I will stop you before you try to hinder Kirby and me any further.” Kirby watched in silence as the figure took his sword from the ground and struck at the Luma. Polari dodged and tried to get away.
“You'd hurt an innocent Luma like me to achieve your own ends?!” Polari let out as he tried to escape. “You're a monster!”
Kirby broke his silence. “You're right, Polari. I don't think this is Meta Knight. I know that he is a very chivalrous being who would never fight dirty. You didn't even offer Polari a chance to defend himself! I bet you're Meta Knight's evil copy, Dark Meta Knight!”
The figure laughed for a moment. “Very deductive...you have certainly become wiser since we last met, Kirby. As I recall, it took four of you to actually defeat me and my old master, Dark Mind. However, I've been given an even greater power, and you're all alone. I suggest that you surrender quietly, and no one gets hurt.”
“Not happening! There's a time to surrender and a time to fight. Now is my time to fight! Bring it on!”
The figure laughed again. “Well said! It will be my pleasure to defeat you here and now.” Dark Meta Knight began to swing at Kirby. Seeing that Kirby was easily evading him, Dark Meta Knight summoned four swords and sent them towards Kirby. Kirby dodged the first three and faced the fourth. Before it could cause any damage, he inhaled deeply, sucking the final sword into his mouth.
Kirby swallowed, filling him with power. A sword appeared in his right hand, and a green cap replaced his sash. Dark Meta Knight ran towards Kirby, and Kirby countered with his sword. Kirby easily overpowered his foe and landed a few blows before Dark Meta Knight disappeared. He reappeared above Kirby, hoping to land a strike from above. Kirby parried the sword and landed a few more blows.
Dark Meta Knight disappeared again. “It seems your strength has grown much since we last met. It is time to unleash the full might of my new power!” The force field around Link disappeared as Dark Meta Knight reappeared above the party. The shadows in the room flowed into him, and he transformed into a giant. “BEHOLD, THE POWER OF SHADOW META KNIGHT!” he bellowed.
Kirby seemed unfazed. “The bigger they are, the harder they fall! You know what that means, Link? Let's take him down!” Link nodded and began to run towards the left foot while Kirby headed towards the right. Their giant foe attempted to crush them, but they were too quick for him. Link dug deep into the foot while Kirby hacked away at the other. The giant fell, and the two continued to give him hell. After repeating this a few more times, the giant gave a final shriek of pain before breaking apart and fading away and leaving behind a Heart Container.
Kirby saw a new treasure chest appear. He opened it, revealing the treasure inside. It was a small, blue item that seemed to exude a strangely calming aura. Polari became excited. “Oh! It's the Ocarina of Time! So that's what was hiding in here!
Kirby nodded. “Yes. Are you familiar with this story, Link?”
Link did not reply; he did not know much about the stories of ancient Hyrule. Few knew about them even in those days, fewer still who were living. Rusl occasionally told stories based on the knowledge he collected from his periodic trips around Hyrule, but it never formed a full story.
“Well, I might as well tell you about it. A long time ago during a war for control over Hyrule, a Hylian mother entrusted her only son to a forest entity known as the Great Deku Tree. After the mother's death and the resolution to the war, the boy was raised along with the children of the forest, known as the Kokiri. One day, the boy had a particularly strong premonition about a man who threatened the balance of the world. The boy then set off on a journey to warn the Royal Family. The princess believed him because she had had similar premonitions. She sent him on a quest for the sacred jewels of the Kokiri, Gorons, and Zora in order to stop the man from achieving his goals. She entrusted him with the Ocarina of Time in order to gain entry into the inner chamber of the Temple of Time so he could draw the Master Sword, open the Sacred Realm, and get to the Triforce before the man could stop him.
“But, the boy played right into the villain's trap. The Master Sword sealed the boy's soul inside because he was not old enough to be called the Hero of Time. By the time the boy had awoken, the man had succeeded in conquering Hyrule, slowly turning it into a land of chaos. However, the boy adapted to these circumstances, defeating the man's forces throughout the land. He was able to defeat the man, and then he returned to his own time with no record left of his journey except his memories and his desire to change the future.”
Link wondered to himself as he heard the story. There was something about it that seemed awfully familiar to him, but he couldn't put his paw on it. He took the Heart Container, indicating that story time was over.
“Oh, right,” Kirby said. “Yes, there will be a time for stories later. Now, we need to get going.” Kirby took out a cell phone and pressed a button. A star came from out of the ceiling and approached the party. “Our ride's here, so we should head for your home, Link. I have a feeling that you'd like to get there as soon as possible. Hop on!” The three jumped on to the Warp Star, and it flew out towards Ordon Province, leaving the castle behind.
How do you like the story so far? This work is far from complete, so, if you have anything to say to me in great detail, e-mail Kirby . Reviews very much appreciated. Since this piece is getting really big, here's a link to the next chapters: "The Legend of Zelda: Shadow Realm Ch7+"