Back to the gate we go!
In the next area, I'm now stuck...how to cross this one?
If Mario falls, a bouncepad at the bottom bounces him back to the same area again!
I figure it out quickly: All I have to do is jump on the double nut to move it to the other side, and slowly inch my way there to prevent any falls!
On the other side now, where there's a save block, and I save since my Pi's getting exhausted trying to run the game...
There's a Glum Reaper floating around in between the next nut-and-bolt bridge...
With care, I cross, and I fall, worried that I might get into another encounter with the monster!
On the second try, I get into one battle, where one of them uses their Scythe to KO Peach!
I use a Pick Me Up to revive Peach!
I finish crossing only to encounter a puddle, which is actually an Ameboid!
Aside: I noticed just now that the Ameboid looks like a Goomba...
That was easy!
Now where to cross next?
I head southeast...
After getting into another battle with more Glum Reapers, Peach levels up!
In the next chamber, there's a switch button, and plenty of Ameboids dropping from the ledge, and bouncing around! I turn back, and head for the switch button!
I stomp on the switch, opening a passage! I head forward, where a save block is, along with a hidden chest block!
I search for the chest block, which has a mushroom restoring our health, and save at this point.
Out of curiosity, I have Mario move on ahead, where there's a bouncepad and a chest block...
...containing an Ultra Hammer!
I check the stats for the Ultra Hammer, but it's weaker than the Lazy Shell Mario has now...I'll probably sell this one.
I have Mario cross through the nut-and-bolt bridge...
Takes me a few tries to make it, and to take the bouncepad beyond.
The bouncepad takes us down below to the deeper depths of the rift...
A large alarm clock embedded in the floor rings, startling Mario!
The clock's bells ring, shouting "It's 'Mario'!" They're not happy about us being here, and a boss fight ensues!
So Count Down and the Ding-a-Lings (the bells) are the bosses...
I have the whole party attack the Count, but the bells have other ideas...
One of them tolls a Doom Reverb for Bowser.
Count Down keeps a really tight schedule...for every "hour," or turn, they use a certain spell!
They recover health at 3:00...
I have the party focus on the left bell in the next turn!
One of them rings a Roulette on us, landing on Bowser!
Other attacks they have are Dark Star so far...
At 5:00, the Count lulls everyone into sleep with Aurora Flash, and a Fear Roulette and one hit strikes both Mario and Peach down!
This time, I switch Bowser out and put Geno in.
I have Geno boost Mario's attack, and with a rightly timed button press, his defense as well! But, how are we going to counter against their Roulette and Doom?
After a few turns of attacks, the right bell casts Spore Chimes, turning Peach into a mushroom!
At 6:00, the Count "fully recovers" the left bell...but only 300 HP!
Eventually, we take care of the left bell...
At 7:00, the Count Water Blasts us!
The Fear Roulette strikes, KO'ing Mario!
At 9:00, the Count takes a break...
Peach gets turned into a scarecrow by the bell on the right!
At 10:00, the Count uses Petal Blast, and turn almost everyone into mushrooms!
I have Peach recover everyone!
At high noon, the Count uses Corona!
Another Roulette takes out Geno! Lucky, Peach's revive spell costs as little as 2 FP!
I boost Mario and have Mario finish off the right bell.
Now it's the Count who's left standing...
And in a few turns of the clock, everyone gets turned into mushrooms via Petal Blast, unable to move!
The Count's clock keeps ticking until Geno changes back!
I use up the last Able Juice to recover Peach, and Mario turns back just in time!
I have Geno boost Mario's attack and defense!
The battle continues, and eventually, the Count literally loses face!
Peach levels up! I boost her physical stats!
In the place of the vanquished Count Down, there's a save block in the corner, and a bouncepad further east...I save here again.
Looks like there's no going back after this, huh? At the worst time too, since I'm almost out of Pick Me Ups and I have no Able Juices left...