The two combatants each stand on a platform that is connected to a timer and a balloon that corresponds to the character's color (for example, Mario has a red balloon, Yoshi has green, and Koopa Kid has orange). The timer counts down from ten seconds while pumping a balloon. The goal is to ground-pound the platform as close to 0:00 seconds as possible. The player who is closer to 0:00 seconds is the winner. The losing player's timer changes to XX:XX, and their balloon bursts, sending the losing player flying offscreen. Additionally, if the player fails to ground-pound before the timer hits zero, the timer shows XX:XX.
It is possible to end in a draw. Both players must stop the timer at the exact time, or both must fail to ground-pound before the timer hits zero. In this case, both timers change to XX:XX, and both balloons burst before "DRAW" appears on the screen.
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