Midbus is a major antagonist in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story and its remake. He is a brawny, unintelligent, pig-like creature that acts as Fawful's chief minion. Midbus's name is a pun on the phrase "mid boss". Midbus fights Bowser three times during the course of the game (the third time as Blizzard Midbus, his powered-up form); the first two fights are the only ones where Mario and Luigi do not assist in the battle.
Midbus resembles a pink boar with armadillo-esque armor and a snout-like tattoo on each shoulder. Midbus is similar to Bowser in build and temperament, making him a foil as well as a rival to the Koopa King; his Blizzard Midbus form is an elemental contrast to Bowser's fiery attacks, and the snout-shaped emblem on his shoulders even somewhat resembles the Koopa King's own emblem. Akin to Fawful's tendency to speak in Engrish, Midbus speaks in a rudimentary manner, often using short and simple phrases and sentences; he also gives unnecessarily long names to the various weapons he uses (for example, he refers to Junker as "Super Ultra Great Mega Trashy Monster Junker Bot").
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story / Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey
After Bowser inhales Princess Peach, Starlow, the Mario Bros., and everyone else present in Peach's Castle's Conference Hall, he falls unconscious. Fawful calls Midbus over, who responds from off-screen. Sometime later, when Bowser finally meets Fawful in Cavi Cape, Fawful details his plan to take over the Mushroom Kingdom (including taking over his castle) before summoning Midbus. The minion's nonsensical speech enrages Bowser, and the two fight; during the battle, Fawful unintentionally teaches Bowser how to use his action commands while trying to give Midbus advice. Due to the effects of the Vacuum Mushroom, Bowser ends up feeling weakened, and Midbus tells him to work on his skills before the evil duo leaves. The pair then complete the takeover of Bowser's Castle, and Fawful puts him in charge of Bowser's Castle, now his secondary base, along with Bowser's brainwashed and converted minions.
Later in Dimble Wood, Bowser happens upon the trio of Private Goomp, Corporal Paraplonk and Sergeant Guy, who explain that Midbus and Fawful launched a massive attack on his castle. Bowser them obtains a Banzai Bill from Wiggler for the cannon that the trio had salvaged, and fires it directly at the castle. A pair of Goombas alert Midbus to the oncoming projectile, and he orders them to "do the thing", propelling the castle into the air and towards Dimble Wood, where he lands the castle on top of Bowser. The Mario Bros. enter the Rump Command and provide Bowser with a shot of adrenaline that turns him giant, surprising Midbus and starting the game's first Giant Bowser fight. Fawful's chief minion deploys several squadrons of troops during the battle itself.
After being defeated, he accuses Bowser of cheating only to be blasted with fiery breath, and demands that Bowser return to normal size before retreating and flying the castle away. Later on, the Koopa King travels through Bowser Path and eventually nears his badly-damaged flying castle. Midbus taunts Bowser before launching an enormous iron ball at him, who is able to toss it back at him with the assistance of Mario and Luigi in the game's fourth Arm Center segment, which damages it even further and forces Midbus to finally land the castle. Inside the castle - now a gigantic theater in which Fawful is preparing a grand show of some kind - Bowser enters the main auditorium and complains that there are no seats open. This allows Fawful to set Bowser up with a "VIP treatment" that soon launches him onto the stage as the show's "special guest", with Midbus being slated to fight the Koopa King in a caged match; the remake does not include the cage in this scene. Bowser decides to take him on and give the audience a "REAL show".
Upon defeating Midbus, two Goombas pull the dazed minion off stage as Bowser is rewarded with a banquet, though he is forcibly overfed and ends up stuck in the floor. Shortly after, Midbus and Fawful return to the stuck Bowser, where they are seen on the floor underneath him in the Bob-omb Storage Depot. After Fawful uses a ray gun to extract Princess Peach from Bowser, Midbus then brings out a treadmill and sets it under Bowser before walking off, with Fawful trailing behind and asking him to help carry Princess Peach (to no avail). Bowser finally falls through, landing on the treadmill and setting off a chain of events that ends with him being blown far away into an underground tunnel.
Much later in the game, the Mario Bros. and Starlow are in a junkyard within Princess Peach's Castle, which Fawful had taken over. As Starlow comments that there's nothing but trash, Midbus appears on a flying platform and declares they will go no further. Claiming that the Dark Star will eventually awaken, he pulls out a remote and assembles a trash robot to attack the Mario Bros.; unfortunately, Junker's unresponsiveness frustrates him into breaking the remote, causing it to go haywire before actually attacking them. He then leaves the robot to its task and flies away, though the Mario Bros. defeat it and cause it to go on a rampage afterward, destroying itself in the process.
Bowser, who had been trapped in a safe a long while after his last encounter with Midbus and freed by Junker's post-defeat rampage, eventually catches up with Midbus and Fawful in Peach's Castl; he finds the pair transferring Princess Peach's power into the Dark Star to awaken it, and Midbus alerts Fawful to Bowser's arrival and demands to take him on for a third time. Fawful contemplates assisting Midbus in the battle, but notes that he is prideful, and instead elects to use his ray gun to transform him into Blizzard Midbus. The new Midbus then faces off against Bowser, boasting that he will end his long journey, but is defeated once more and frozen up to his neck in a block of ice while constantly exhaling cold breath. Bowser then uses the frosty air to relieve chest pain within his body from the awakened Dark Star entering it and assimilating his DNA; the Mario Bros. must use the cold air to traverse the Airway and hunt it down. Midbus remains frozen to the spot for the rest of the game, and it is unknown what happens to him after Fawful and the Dark Star are defeated for good.
Midbus also appears in the game's remake, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey, serving the same role as he did in the original. He also has a minor role alongside Fawful in Bowser Jr.'s Journey. At one point, he is insultingly referred to as slow by Dieter of the Best Fitness Friends, much to his chagrin. A Nintendo Dream article reveals that the Best Fitness Friends are the same species as Midbus.
Bowser's first fight against Midbus acts as a tutorial boss for the Koopa King, where the only move he performs is curling into a ball and rolling towards Bowser. At the beginning, Fawful warns Midbus about Bowser's punch, going into detail in a way that displays how the move's action command works. On his turn, Bowser can wind up his punch and deal more damage by pressing as late as possible, while avoiding waiting too long and losing his balance (with Fawful's warnings showing the proper timing). The same is done for Bowser's counterattack punch (though he can use this prior to the tutorial if Midbus goes first). After Midbus takes enough damage, the fight ends when he uses a Ground Pound-like attack that Bowser cannot counter; while this does not KO him, the Vacuum Mushroom's effects begin to weaken Bowser, leaving him unable to continue.
During the second battle, Midbus uses a wider variety of attacks; in the remake, he gains the Fury status after losing half his HP like most bosses, increasing the damage he deals. The Ground Pound-style move seen in the first battle returns: Midbus rolls up and belly flop several times before rolling directly above Bowser, who can now counter by ducking so that Midbus lands on his spiky shell and takes damage. Midbus may also land in front of him, creating a shockwave that can confuse Bowser or flip him over; Bowser must counter by punching Midbus just before he lands.
Midbus can run off-screen to grab a wrecking ball and return while swinging it rapidly. As Midbus approaches Bowser, he must duck and hold his position for a few seconds while Midbus swings the ball over him at a higher speed. If Bowser is hit or successfully dodges, Midbus continues spinning back, with the wrecking ball raised up high or angled low, before throwing it at Bowser. If the ball is up high, Bowser must duck the attack, and if angled low, Bowser must punch it away as it bounces towards him; being hit by the wrecking ball toss can render Bowser dizzy. In the remake, Midbus takes a couple of swings to pick up speed, usually meaning that Bowser must manually duck each one before holding his position for the longer swing.
Midbus has a third attack where he takes a deep breath, puffing himself up, and walks forward before storing energy for a massive uppercut, signified by him flashing. Bowser must rapidly punch Midbus's stomach to cancel the attack before he winds up and gets the punch off; if he fails to do so and the attack lands, it sends him flying upward, with Bowser taking heavy damage and possibly becoming dizzy or flipped over upon landing. Successfully countering causes Midbus to grab his belly in pain, and Bowser can land another counter punch as he stumbles forward briefly before returning to his position; in the remake, a successful counter now damages Midbus.
The audience will interact with both Midbus and Bowser during the fight: if Midbus lands any of his attacks on Bowser, they throw him coins (which are useless to him) and food, while if Bowser performs an "Excellent" action command on Midbus with any move (unless it KOs him), he will only receive six coins. The food remains on the stage, and Midbus eats it during his turn, while Bowser can punch the food off stage or inhale it to eat for himself, which will anger Midbus; donuts heal 10 HP, the cakes heal 20 HP, and the meat heals 50 HP and raises power for a few turns.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story / Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey
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