Episode 9: The Fox Hunt Is On
Days 16-18

"Fox better hope and pray that he's the next Head of the House," growls Ganondorf, to the camera, "or his furry hide will be dragged up and down the halls of this place right before we send the little rat out of this dump for good!  There's NO WAY he's getting to the end--I ain't gonna let it happen."

Ganondorf barges out the door--and runs right into Fox.

"Oops, sorry," blurts Fox, but Ganondorf makes no attempt at reconciliation.

"Listen you!" he snarles, sticking a huge green finger in Fox's face, nearly poking him in the eye with it, "I'm not putting up with your crap anymore!  You think you're soooo smart, trying to get Bowser and I to do all your dirty work!  But, to set things straight right here and now, if you get nominated the day after tomorrow, I'm sending your scrawny bum right out those doors over there!  You'd better watch your back, Worm, or I'll be having it for lunch!"

With that, Ganondorf storms off, leaving Fox a little bowled over by the sudden barrage of threats.  Cleaning out an ear with his finger, having heard so many nasty things all at once, Fox enters the Camera Room and closes the door.

"Ganondorf should watch what he's saying to me a little bit closer," says Fox, rather casually, "or else he'll be the next to go.  However, I am feeling a bit more vulnerable than I have been for the past fifteen days.  Having to put Ganondorf on the line last night kind of blew part of my plan to get him lulled into helping take out some enemies before throwing him out the door.  But, that stupid "good reason" rule really caught us all by surprise.  Right now, "Team Fox" is in need of a little extra back up, because, as of right now, we're outnumbered, and if we don't win the challenge, it'll take a miracle for me to be left in this place."


Night falls, and everyone has retreated to their bedrooms for sleep.  It is two o'clock in the morning when something rattles in the room, then tips over and crashes on the floor, waking Yoshi up.  He sits up, his eyes blurry, and quickly scans the room for what has fallen...and what has caused it to.  Something seems to move, and Yoshi's eyes flick to the spot of movement.  A strange shadow disappears from sight, hardly identifiable--to Yoshi, for some reason, the shadow looks very similar to Impa....


The next morning, Fox, Link, Captain Falcon, and Yoshi examine the mess: a shattered flower jar, which has fallen from its perch atop a small pedistal along the wall.

"What do you think caused it to happen?" asks Captain Falcon, scratching his head.

Yoshi bites his tongue, deciding not to say anything.

"The wind, probably," replies Fox, gesturing towards a window that is open a tiny bit at the bottom.  "It *seems* a strong gust of wind might've come last night and forced its way through that crack at the bottom of the window."

"The shattered glass pieces all went this direction, for the most part," adds Link, tracing an imaginary path in the air above the mess.  "That would make sense, since the wind would be blowing it over from that direction."

"It could be termites," ponders Captain Falcon, being serious, as Link and Fox glance at each other.

"I don't think that's it," murmurs Link, rolling his eyes.

"Really?  At any rate, I'll check the pedistal over later today, just in case," replies Captain Falcon, still not convinced.  "But, I'm heading down to breakfast for now."

Captain Falcon leaves, and the other three follow him.  Yoshi wonders exactly what did happen last night, but puts his mind to rest when he reaches the dining table--it is a puzzle that can be solved at another time.


At noon, there comes the familiar knock on the door, and the residents know that it's time for a challenge.  When Bowser opens the door, however, he is shocked to find that Toad has brought someone with him today.

"Hey!  What are you doing here?" blurts Bowser.

"Let him in, Bowser," sighs Zelda.  "Toad always comes at this time to host the challenge, remember?"

"Actually, that's true," says Toad, as he enters with his guest, "but Bowser's not talking about me."

The remaining residents gape at the new visitor in shock.

"Surprised to see your old pal, Donkey Kong?" asks Toad, with a grin.

Donkey Kong smiles a little sheepishly and waves.

"Yes, VERY!" responds Krystal, but she smiles.

"If you recall, DK asked to be taken from the game several days ago after being hurt by Impa.  However, his injuries have healed, and he has asked to continue the game."

Link's mind stumbles in disbelief--the game has changed again! this a fair move?

"Now, I'm sure many of you are thinking now, 'but he quit!  Why can he come back to play?'.....right?"

The residents nod.

"That's the kicker," says Toad, all smiles.  "He can't.  DK is, with my permission, "breaking back into" the house, and, in doing so, the game.  For the rest of the game, Donkey Kong will not be able to win any of the challenges or become the Head of the Household.  Nor can he win the entire game.  He can, however, still vote for others and BE voted BY others.  That means, he's either an asset to you or a liability, depending on whether he's on your side.  He might just be the swing vote you need to stay in the game, so it might be worth taking our pal Donkey here aside on occaision to talk some stratagey.  Now, onto today's challenge."

Toad leads the group through the doors, into the back hall.  He follows it a short ways, then turns and opens a door, handing Link the key.

"Guys," says Toad, escorting the bedazzled group in, "welcome to the Video Game Lounge."

A spacious, very comfortable lounge lies around the residents, containing sofas, pillows, stereo systems, television sets, and--of course--video games.  Arcade machines line two of the walls, and every Nintendo system can be found at least twice around the room, along with a huge collection of popular games and accessories.

"It's......beautiful!" cries Captain Falcon, obviously enthrilled.

"Alright!  Now I'll finally get to trash that dumpy plumber once and for all!" roars Bowser, brimming with pleasure.

"This room, along with all these games, is now at your disposal," says Toad.  "And, today, we'll be using that TV right in the middle here, so follow me over."

The group shuffles over behind Toad, gathering close enough to see the screen.  Toad smirks and pulls out from a small wooden box a Nintendo GameCube and several controllers--the group cheer in glee and show their appreciation through applause.

"Now, today's challenge will test how well you video game characters play video games!  You can obviously take it in real life....but can you top the rest in the virtual world?  Today's game of choice will be......"

Toad draws out Super Smash Brothers Melee from the box and inserts the disc.

"Here's how things will work," says Toad, setting up the game as he explains the rules.  "We're going to have a Smash Brothers Melee tournament for today's challenge.  We'll start out in 4-man Free For Alls, then move up to 2-man duels.  The last player in the tournament wins the Power Bracelets, and will be the Head of the Household.  Sound easy enough?"

The group nods, eager to play.

"You'll all be using Wavebird Wireless controllers, and the match will be a simple one-stock, no-time match.  The stages will be set to random, as will the items.  The first four players up are Zelda, Fox, Bowser, and Captain Falcon."

Each character immediately choose themselves to play as, confident.  The battle begins, and Bowser and Zelda are quick to aim towards Fox.  Captain Falcon, confused about where his character is located, accidentally runs off the edge of the stage and dies.

"Captain Falcon, you've been eliminated!" says Toad, as Captain Falcon realizes what has happened.

"Oh, crud!" he grumbles, feeling stupid.

Despite Zelda's strategic moves and Bowser's frantic button mashing, Fox easily evades all attacks, and with a nice combination of moves, smashes Zelda out of the screen.

"Zelda is down, and we're watching Bowser versus Fox now!" says Toad, as Bowser sticks his tongue out the side of his mouth and jams buttons as fast and hard as possible.  Seconds later, however, Fox plants a strong hit from behind, and Bowser is taken out.  "Fox is the winner!"

"Can't touch this..." sneers Fox, blowing off his thumbs as he sets down his controller.

"I can break it, though," growls Bowser, taking a menacing step forwards.

"Next match is Link, Yoshi, Krystal, and Ganondorf," says Toad, as the entrants take up their controllers.  "Select your characters."

"Gotta stick with my man in green," says Link, placing his icon on his picture.

"Wow, I feel really offended," snorts Krystal, realizing that she is not a playable character.  "I guess I'll take a page from Fox, then--if he won once...."

"You're going down, Shrimpy," sneers Ganondorf, quickly choosing himself.

Everyone looks at Yoshi, as he thinks for a second before scrolling to Kirby and selecting him.

"Kirby has a diverse range of moves, and has superb recovery abilities that are easily superior to my own," explains Yoshi, but nobody seems to understand, and they simply shrug in confusion at each other.

The match begins, and Ganondorf and Link attack each other.

"YOU'RE MINE!" screeches Ganondorf, grabbing a Beam Sword and chucking it.

Link skillfully dodges the sword, however, and it instead smashes into Krystal's character, sending Fox flying off screen.

"Krystal, you're out!" says Toad, as Krystal sets down her controller and cooly flips back her hair.

"That's okay," she says, glancing around slyly at the other residents.  "I don't like this game, anyways--there's not enough good characters..."

"Oooo, she'll die for that one," glowers Bowser.

"Aargh!" yelps Link, as Ganondorf sends him flying far over the edge with a punch.

"Gah-ha!  Victory is mine!" laughs Ganondorf, as Yoshi uses Kirby's rock ability to crush his character's skull.  "Wha-....WHY YOU LITTLE-"

"Victory doesn't come cheap," says Link, with a grin, as his character returns to the stage...Ganondorf's, however, disappears into the distance.

"Agreed," says Yoshi.

"Ganondorf, you're out!  We're down to two!"

Ganondorf sets down his controller, and grumpily awaits his next chance to play.

Link attempts to pull of a running slash, but Yoshi's Kirby rolls past the charging attack with ease.  Dodging attacks left and right, the on-screen Kirby flips back further and further, drawing Link closer and closer.

"Fancy moves, but your puffball is in my sights, and I'm taking it out!" snorts Link, making his character leap into the air high above the Kirby's head.  The on-screen Link draws its sword and plunges downwards at the Kirby, preparing to stab it from above.

With a sudden button press, the Kirby rolls aside, and the Link's sword sticks into the soft dirt--another miss.

"What the-"

Yoshi deftly presses another button, and, with a lightning-like strike, the Kirby knocks Link's Link out of the screen--there's a hollow scream as it disappears from site and the match ends.

"Yoshi wins!" cries Toad, as Yoshi sets down his controller casually.  "We have our deciding match!"

Fox grabs his controller and moves up to take the seat beside Yoshi.  They exchange a handshake, but it's apparent to everyone--even Toad--that this is not the good-will battle that it appears to be.

"This is for the honor of being Head of the Household!" reminds Toad, as both players prepare for the match.  "And here we go..."

The match begins, and Fox immediately rushes his character in with a blistering amount of attacks all being set off at the same time!  Yoshi's Kirby twists and dodges between the flurry of punches, kicks, and blasts before making a swift counter that knocks its foe across the stage and onto its back.

"You dodged all that?  Cheap!" snarles Fox, through gritted teeth, as his character hops back up and prepares for another onslaught.

"Cheap?  I call it "talent", myself," growls Link.

"If it was cheap, then you should easily defeat me with your pure skill, right?" asks Yoshi, slyly, as his Kirby bounces past lasers and items being shot and thrown everywhere.

A single punch lands on the Kirby, and it sails out of the arena, disappearing off the edge of the screen before recovering.

"Ha!  Take that!" snaps Fox, pointing a finger at the screen in furious glee.

"Good move," says Yoshi, struggling to get his Kirby back to the stage--Yoshi's character uses the last of its jumps and plummets towards the bottom of the screen before, in a last ditch-effort, Yoshi presses several buttons and the Kirby pulls out a blade and leaps into the air--as it comes down, the Kirby snags onto the edge of the arena and pulls itself back up onto solid ground.

"Ugh!  I almost had you that time!" snorts Fox, fuming.  "You won't be so lucky THIS time!"

His character lunges wildly at the Kirby with sonic speed...and the Kirby suddenly twirls around, just as the on-screen Fox reaches out to grab the Kirby for the kill.

Fox watches in disbelief as the speedy on-screen character rushes past the dodging Kirby and sails over the edge of the arena to its doom.  A shriek of surprise and pain ring out from the television as the Fox hits the bottom of the screen, and the match is over.

"YOSHI IS OUR WINNER!" roars Toad, as Yoshi's supporters let out a cry of excitement and joy.

"WAY TO GO, YOSHI!" roars Ganondorf, clapping a huge hand on the dino's shoulder.  "Looks like we'll be having FOX TONIGHT!"

Fox can only glare sourly and toss his controller down.  He silently approaches Krystal.

"We need a move," he hisses to her, as Ganondorf and Bowser dance and cheer with Link, Yoshi, and Zelda.  "And I think the Kong will need to play a role in it..."


Ganondorf awakens in the night, unable to sleep.  He arrises and heads down to the lounge silently.  Grabbing a book off the shelf, he sits down and begins to read.  Before long, his concentration is broken by the sound of another's voice.

"Couldn't sleep well?" asks the voice of another resident, as Ganondorf's eyes jerk away from the page, looking to the shadows where the sound has come from. 

The speaker walks forwards, revealing himself in the room's light.

"Figures.  Neither could I."

"What do you want, you little slimeball?" snarles Ganondorf, as Fox stops near him, a somewhat-distant look across Fox's face.  "You can't worm your way our of eviction, you know.  Everybody hates you!  Me, most of all!"

"But that's just it," protests Fox, looking with a strange expression at Ganondorf. 

He takes a step closer, almost as if he is the one in control of the discussion.  Ganondorf feels just slightly uncomfortable at Fox's confidence.

"You can't tell me you aren't waiting to chop the necks of Link and Yoshi at your best chance, now, can you?" asks Fox, cocking his head sideways.

Ganondorf frowns but does not respond.  Fox breaks a slight arogant one.

"You haven't thought this out at all, have you!  You've been playing brainlessly.....even less so than those other fools!  They're using you, Ganon my friend!  They're using you to eliminate me!"

"We share a common belief--that being that while you're around, this game is harder for all of us to play," growls Ganondorf.

"Have you considered what step you take from here forwards, though?" asks Fox, his eyes gleaming brightly.  "Hmmm?  Have you considered this, Ganondorf?  You don't actually believe they'll keep you after I'm gone, do you?"

Ganondorf snorts and tries to ignore Fox's words.

"What reason would they, anyways?  You, like me, are a threat to them and their success in this game."

Fox leans close, the light bouncing across his face.

"We must band together, or surely as I speak to you now, we'll both be eliminated in short order.  This game is the weak against the strong.....and we, my friend, are the strong."

Ganondorf's mind whirls as he tries to block out Fox's words.  Fox smiles--his words have sunk in and taken meaning to Ganondorf.

"Keep this in mind when you vote tomorrow," sneers Fox, backing away.  "Because if you don't, it'll be you following me out the door, and the weak shall prevail.  Don't forget....."

Fox drifts away into the shadows with a soft 'goodnight', and Ganondorf drops the book into his lap, lost in thought.  It isn't long before Ganondorf can no longer keep himself awake, and he drifts off to sleep again.


"Don't blow your votes, Yoshi," Link says, as the household bustles to prepare for voting the next morning.  "Remember, one for Fox and one for Krystal--it's not worth trying to play the game straight-forward if you'll put yourself out doing it!"

"Right," mumbles Yoshi, although he doesn't seem to really be understanding Link's words amidst the chaos taking place as everyone scrambles to gather each other for a last minute discussion.

"We're taking out Fox," Zelda reminds him.  "But if we put a target on Krystal, she'll be forced to keep herself out of the lines of fire for a while."

Link claps a hand down on Ganondorf's shoulder, who seems tired from the night and somewhat lost in a train of thought.

"Hey, man, you all set?" asks Link, in a friendly manner, as he catches Ganondorf's attention.

Ganondorf snaps awake, surprised, then mumbles his response with a slight smile.  Inside, however, his thoughts have been wavered, and he's feeling confused about where he now stands in the game.

In the parlor, Fox approaches Krystal, who is sitting, waiting for the festivities to begin.

"Well?" asks Krystal, in a hushed voice.

"I've done all I can, now it's time to see where the seeds fall," responds Fox, as the two embrace in a tight hug.  "If it should come down to the two of us....may the other of us win it all for us both."

"Agreed," says Krystal, feeling depressed by what feels like a goodbye for one of them.

"I think we may have the support needed to advance in the game now," hisses Fox.  "But I guess we'll find out in a matter of minutes."

The group assembles, several people still with a lost look on their faces.  Yoshi is among them, but he tries to speak with an appearance of strength.

"Well, we all hate being here, but it's time to do some voting I guess," he says, looking around rather timidly at the group surrounding him.  "My first nominee today is Fox McCloud."

Fox raises his hands a little as if he knew it was coming all along--in truth, he would have been shocked had his name not come up.

"Sorry, Fox, but we need trustworthy people around us, and we can't depend on you to help those of us who don't want to play the game that way."

"Then perhaps you should do a little bit of soul-searching within your own little SWAT team," retorts Fox, with a clever sneer on his face.

Link and Zelda exchange questioning glances.

"My second nomination," continues Yoshi, beginning to sweat.  It's apparent he hasn't decided whom he will choose yet.

"C'mon, pick Krystal, Yoshi!" thinks Zelda, wishing she could help speak for the dino.

" Donkey Kong," finishes Yoshi, blurting the words forth like a cannonball.

"What?" gapes Link, almost standing up in shock--Zelda grabs his hand and pulls him back down, but she, too, is obviously not pleased.

"What'd I ever do?" growls Donkey Kong, as Fox and Krystal exchange relieved glances.

"I feel that you gave up on this game when you asked to leave," replies Yoshi, a stronger tone in his voice.  "And by giving up on the game, you gave up on us.  To come back later when you're feeling better is like joining a team only when your teammates are paying you cash to do it--neither represent a genuine desire to help.  I believe that we should be rid of anyone who's only out to play this game through the easiest stretches."

"Yoshi!" thinks Zelda, biting her lip in disappointment at having lost their chance to target Krystal.

"You've heard my nominations--it's time to vote," says Yoshi, standing up and exiting the room.

Inside the Camera Room, he writes Fox's name down and raises it to the camera.

"You're a dasterdly player and a real competitor, but I don't like a lier, a sneak, or a thief," he says, folding his vote and inserting it.  "So, just between us two, good riddance."

He returns, and Link enters, casting the same vote.

"Fox, your time is up, pal.  I thought people like you went to prison, but apparently some of you crooks slip by on occaision, I guess...."

Eventually, Fox steps up and leaves the room to cast his own vote.  Not surprisingly, he writes DK's name on his paper.

"Like my lucky Get Out Of Jail Free card, you came right when I need you exploit," leers Fox, folding the vote.  "Hopefully this gives me enough of a boost to have made your martyr worth it for the cause.  The ends justify the means, after all...."

He exits the room and sits down again.  As Ganondorf rises to go cast his vote, he says quietly, "Time to see what you believe....."

Ganondorf stops rigidly as the words float past, just too silent to be heard by anyone other than himself, but he continues walking a second later.  His steps are slightly more in resemblance of staggers as he enters the Camera Room and closes the door behind him. 

Minutes go by.  Zelda looks at the wooden door to the Camera Room.  It appears to be doomed to remain shut for minutes to come still.

"My, Ganondorf's been gone a while," she murmurs, a hint of fear in her voice.

Finally, Ganondorf emerges slowly.  He sits down calmly, but it's apparent he's been sweating.

There is absolute silence.  Then, Toad enters the room--under his hand is the jar of votes.

"There are two names in this jar," says Toad, taking the lid off carefully.  "One of those names will be the player who leaves the game today.  The other name will remain in the house for at least two more days...but perhaps no more than that, if his actions do not change.  Without further ado...."

Toad pulls the first vote, turning it as he reads the name: "Fox."

Fox nods, his face unchanging.

"The second vote: Donkey Kong."

DK frowns, annoyed at making it back into the game only to be targeted for elimination again.

"The third against Fox."

Fox remains calm, but Krystal grabs his hand and clutches it tight.


She squeezes his hand harder, apparently fearful of losing him.

"......Donkey Kong....."

The room is terribly silent, and the tension hangs in the air like a thick sheet of fog.  Nervous glances are exchanged, wondering who might have voted for whom, and why.

Toad pauses for a long moment as he reads the next vote, then turns it slowly.

"....Donkey Kong....."

Yoshi closes his eyes, knowing that at least one of his teammates has lost some faith in him for having made his decision to go for a moral decision in nominating Donkey Kong over Krystal.  Perhaps this time, being the honest man will cost him the game.

"We're tied at 3 votes apiece.  The next vote is for Fox."

Fox feels his hand shaking and realizes that it's not because of any fear he may have--Krystal is shivering rapidly, shaking his hand nervously as she grips it tighter still.

Toad draws out the next vote and drops it back in accidentally.

"Whoops....hold on a second..."

Krystal closes her eyes and holds Fox's hand tighter.

"Hold on....this vote doesn't want to be read, I guess," jokes Toad, apparently having troubles reading the vote.  "It won't open."

Krystal clenches her eyes shut and only listens as the sound of paper unfolding reaches her ears and she waits for Toad's voice.

"........Donkey Kong."

Krystal's eyes open again, and she realizes that Toad has read another vote for Donkey Kong.  One vote remains, and it will decide who goes and who stays.

Toad pulls the final vote dramatically, then flips it open for himself before revealing it to the group.

"....good game.  Unfortunately, it's Game Over for you.  Grab your things and head's time."

Without saying a word, Donkey Kong takes his bag and leaves the house and its residents.....for a second time.

On the next episode of Nintendo Big Brother...
Fox's mind tricks have somehow kept him in the game again, and he might just turn the tables on his opponents!  But when one player does the unthinkable in order to rig the voting, the game will finally test how far every individual trusts the others....and how far each individual will go to win the entire game.  Has Ganondorf become another of Fox's drones?  Will the game change hands again to favour those close to the end?  How far will each player go to obtain victory?  All will be revealed in the next episode!
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