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Prior to the events of the game, the ringmaster of the Glitz Pit, Grubba, used the Gold Star to power a machine that lets him suck out the life force of the fighters to power up his own. Upon entering the Glitz Pit, Mario and his partners witness a fight between The Koopinator and Rawk Hawk, which the latter wins and receives a belt with the Gold Star on it. With their objective in sight, Mario and his friends climb up the ranks of the Glitz Pit, only to find that the Gold Star on Rawk Hawk's belt is fake. After claiming the champion title themselves, Mario discovers that Grubba has the Gold Star and confronts him in battle, where he fights in a powered-up form known as Macho Grubba. After being defeated, Grubba's assistant, Jolene gives Mario the real Gold Star as thanks. The Gold Star teaches Mario the move Power Lift to use in battles.
The fake Gold Star appears later in Bowser's intermission following Chapter 6, where he discovers Rawk Hawk's secret training facility. Confusing the fake with the real thing, he attempts to steal it, but Rawk Hawk shows up to stop him. As Bowser fights him off, Kammy Koopa is knocked into the fake Gold Star, which breaks it, and Rawk Hawk tells Bowser who has the real one, calling Mario by his stage name "Gonzales".
During the final battle with the Shadow Queen, when the Crystal Stars spread out to the locations in which they were found, the Gold Star returns to Glitzville, where Jolene and the Glitz Pit fighters, consisting of Rawk Hawk, the Armored Harriers, and Shellshock of the Shellshockers, cheer on Mario and his team just before they defeat the Shadow Queen.
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