The Dark Star is the final antagonist in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story and its remake, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey. It is a sentient artifact of incredible dark power that Fawful seeks out to aid in his quest for global domination, with the second half of the game focusing on Mario, Luigi, and Bowser each trying to stop both him and the evil artifact. The Dark Star first appears as a medium-sized violet orb, with a red-eyed black star similar to a Ztar on the front.
As a boss, the Dark Star gives the most experience points of any enemy in the game when defeated. A more powerful variant, Dark Star X, can be fought in The Gauntlet after Mario and Luigi first defeat the Dark Star.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
Long before the events of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, the Dark Star was discovered by Toad archaeologists in the Mushroom Kingdom. Shortly after it was discovered, the Dark Star viciously attacked the kingdom, but was sealed away by the Star Sprites and kept beneath the depths of the world in Toad Town. It was said that if any great evil being found the Dark Star and allowed it to attack the kingdom once again, the evil entity would receive enormous power and will rule the world, plunging it into darkness. No one can break the seal on the Dark Star, except for the Mushroom Kingdom's ruler, Princess Peach.
Fawful plots to use the artifact in order to fulfill his plans for global domination. He removes Peach from Bowser's body and kidnaps her, allowing him to break the seal on the Dark Star, which he steals from the Toad Town Caves after circumventing the security system. Fawful first uses its power to barricade the entrance to Peach's Castle, allowing him to use it as a stronghold. Mario and Luigi eventually assemble all three Star Cures from the Star Sages into the Miracle Cure, using it to break the barricade, as well as curing the blorbs that Fawful had created earlier; this allows them, and later Bowser, to infiltrate the castle in order to stop Fawful and the Dark Star.
Fawful then places the Dark Star into a machine that he designed to transfer Princess Peach's power into it, which would awaken it and allow him to harness its power; when Bowser finally confronts Fawful and Midbus, Fawful turns his minion into Blizzard Midbus to stop the Koopa King. Once Bowser defeats Midbus, however, Fawful then attempts to absorb the Dark Star's power; while doing so, Bowser seemingly punches through him, causing him to vanish. As Bowser laughs at how good it feels "finally punching out that weirdo", the Dark Star, partially drained of its power, awakens and escapes from the machine, circling Bowser before forcing its way down his throat and into his chest; this causes Bowser to experience heartburn-like pains, which he relieves by inhaling some of the frigid air from Blizzard Midbus's snout, allowing Mario, Luigi, and Starlow to enter the previously inaccessible Airway in pursuit of the Dark Star.
Within the Airway, the Mario Bros. repeatedly try and fail to trap the Dark Star, which eludes their grasp by copying Bowser's DNA in order to enhance its own powers (and Starlow soon begins to suspect as much). Eventually, the Mario Bros. confront the Dark Star at the very back of the Airway and battle it; despite the Bros. defeating the Dark Star, it simply escapes from Bowser's body and transforms into a Bowser-esque apparition.
When Dark Fawful is defeated by Bowser and flees the Conference Hall, Dark Bowser inhales him; the Dark Star inside his body merges with Fawful's bug form, completing Dark Bowser and creating the Dark Star Core; this is not revealed until the final battle. When Dark Bowser is KOd, the Dark Star Core's powers allow him to recover and double in size; once Bowser punches the enlarged Dark Bowser's stomach, he expels Dark Fawful, who Bowser can then inhale into his body. Within Bowser's body, Mario and Luigi confront Dark Fawful, who transforms into the Dark Star Core, and manage to progressively weaken them before attacking the Dark Star directly, eventually defeating them both.
After the Dark Star Core takes enough damage, it explodes inside Bowser's body, which causes Dark Bowser to become unstable and allows Bowser to finish him off. Dark Bowser then reverts back into the Dark Star, which rises above Peach's Castle and explodes, restoring the Mushroom Kingdom to normal. Dark Fawful manages to survive long enough to make one last attempt at destroying Mario and Luigi, but his self-destructing undoes the effects of the Vacuum Mushroom Fawful had given Bowser at the very beginning, expelling Mario, Luigi and the Toads from Bowser's body.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey
In addition to reprising its role in the Nintendo 3DS remake, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey, the Dark Star is indirectly referenced in Bowser Jr.'s Journey, with Dark Bowser's spread of darkness occurring around the time Bowser Jr., the Koopalings, and Kamek arrived to stop the Best Fitness Friends at Bowser's Castle. The group also witnesses the Dark Star's ultimate destruction at Bowser's hands from afar, shortly after the Best Fitness Friends are themselves defeated.
The Dark Star now has its own boss battle theme called "Destroy the Dark Power!", and is one of two such bosses to be given a new theme, with the other being Dark Fawful; however, Dark Star X still uses the standard boss theme.
In battle, the Dark Star cannot usually be damaged. To expose its vulnerability, the Mario Bros. must destroy the Dark Satellmites that surround it. With sufficient damage, the Dark Satellmites will use a Kamikaze attack that consists of throwing a bomb at one Mario brother, and throwing their own body at the other. Ordinarily, both will miss, but either brother can attack the projectile launched at him. If the bomb is attacked, it will explode, doing damage to either Mario or Luigi. If the Satellmite is attacked, it will be knocked flying into the Dark Star, which in the original game pierces its' invulnerability and damages it. After being hit in such a way twice, the Star will become vulnerable and immobile for a turn. The bomb is replaced by an orb of energy in the remake.
One of the Dark Star's attacks consists of it splitting into five (or seven, with sufficient damage) as a thick fog fills the battlefield. Each Dark Star then flies slowly at Mario or Luigi, vanishing into the fog as it draws near. Mario and Luigi must then counter this attack by using their hammers on the hidden fake Dark Stars exactly 2 seconds after they disappear.
In another attack, the Dark Star will shine a bright light at Mario and Luigi, causing their shadows to come to life. The shadows will then move in a circle around the Dark Star, which will attack them with beams of electricity. The Mario Bros. must jump to avoid the electricity that the Dark Star shoots, as any damage done to the shadows will hurt the real Mario Bros. as well.
The Dark Star may also send red and green energy balls into the air. It will then fly through these balls in order, sending them at the correspondingly colored Mario Bro. They may be avoided by jumping.
When the Dark Star is immobilized, it will shoot out a simple laser at Mario or Luigi, depending on who attacked it last.
After receiving sufficient damage, the Dark Star will use a laser attack that fills up the entire touch screen. Starlow will appear just before this attack activates, suggesting that Mario and Luigi grab on to her. When they do so, Starlow will fly up in the air (top screen) therefore avoiding the attack. After the attack is through, the Dark Star will look up and attempt to ram into Starlow. The Bros. must release their hold on Starlow to avoid making contact with the Dark Star. This attack deals massive damage and can inflict the Poison status.
Just before it is defeated, the Dark Star will use a vacuum attack on both Mario and Luigi. This must be countered by pressing and repeatedly or the brothers will take massive damage. After it uses this attack, the Dark Star is defeated.
When first seen, both in cutscenes and the overworld, the Dark Star is a medium-sized violet orb with a black star on the front that possesses red eyes; while conscious, the orb grows large spikes that rotate around it, giving it a sun-like appearance. In the remake, its eyes flicker as part of its in-battle animation. The Dark Star begins to take on a similar appearance to Bowser while copying his DNA, slowly transforming into Dark Bowser.
When encountered later as part of the final battle, the Dark Star appears as a spiky black orb with a white-eyed violet star, situated on top of Dark Fawful's antenna. In this state, the Dark Star seems to be partly synchronized with Fawful, closing its corresponding eye when the Mario Bros. shatter each of Fawful's lenses. After Dark Bowser is defeated and dissolves, the Dark Star makes one last appearance before exploding, taking the form a blackish-purple star with black eyes, a weak purple aura, and a weary expression; in the remake, it reverts to its initial state prior to exploding, though it retains the weakened purple aura.
The Dark Star does not have any form of dialogue in the game or exhibit any concrete personality until it begins its transformation into Dark Bowser. However, when fought as the Dark Star Core, it is implied to act against Fawful's wishes when fleeing back into Dark Bowser during the fight, based on Fawful's expression.
Powers and abilities
The Dark Star is said to have incredible dark powers, which it used to threaten the Mushroom Kingdom before being sealed away. It is capable of taking on the form and appearance of others, such as Bowser, by copying their DNA. It can also create smaller minions known as Dark Satellmites, and likely also created some of the enemies within the Airway, specifically Air Cheeps, Stonks and Air Cannons (which all have a similar black star on their faces). The Dark Star later merges with Dark Fawful to form the core of Dark Bowser; they can revive Dark Bowser when he is knocked out, and can escape from Bowser's body and back to Dark Bowser during the fight. The Dark Star has an ambiguous amount of control over the Core form, based on Fawful's upset expression when they flee despite him exhibiting control of the Core elsewhere. Its defeat by the Mario Bros. causes Dark Bowser to become unstable, allowing Bowser to both defeat him and destroy the Dark Star for good.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey
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