Episode 7: The Next Level
Days 12-13

"Peach is gone.....finally!  This game keeps getting better and better," says Ganondorf, rubbing his hands together with a smirk.  "I'm right in the middle of nuclear warfare, and I'm slipping right through the lines of defense on both sides!  I'm just about as safe as anyone in this game, so things are looking up from here!"

Outside, in a small crawl space near the camera room, Krystal excitedly waves to Fox, and he pushes past her and listens--a small hole in the wall provides him with a near-perfect translation of everything Ganondorf is saying.

"The smartest move I made was to screw Fox and help out Link and his crew.  As soon as I've got McCloud under control, I'll be right back over to his side just in time to save his desperate, furry bum from eviction, and we'll weaken down the opposing side again.  I am a genious, and by exploiting the naive simpletons of this house, I've made my way up, up, and up.....and I'll only be elevating from here."

Ganondorf turns to the door, having finished his speech, and exits the room, closing the door softly behind him.  Fox turns around, shaking his head in annoyance, and he and Krystal crawl away from the small hole.

"Is that enough proof?" hisses Krystal.  "Ganondorf's the one that turned, and he's probably dragging Bowser around with every decision he makes."

"I really didn't think he was that far ahead in the game," muses back Fox.  "I always thought Ganondorf was just trailing along on the sidelines.  Now that we know, however, it's time to get him out of this game.  The longer Ganondorf stays in, the more trouble we're going to have built around us."

Then, a sound comes, and the two foxes hush quickly.  Fox crawls back to the hole and listens.  He recognizes the voice speaking as Donkey Kong's.

"I'm getting a little nervous," says Donkey Kong.  "I've sworn alliance to Fox, and I've so far kept my word--everything that Fox does, I do, too, and he makes up all the plans.  But his plans aren't working very well at all anymore, and I'm starting to wonder if I should be jumping ship now..."

Fox choaks back some nasty words and listens carefully, dejected.

"But if I do decide to try changing sides, I'm DEFINATELY not telling Fox, or else he'll have me blown out of the game in an instant.  I'll stick with him for a while longer and see if he straightens things out a little.  Who knows, maybe he'll be Head of the Household this time..."


Noontime comes, and Toad arrives to lead the residents to the challenge.  They greet him in their usual manner, assembled casually in the parlor.

"Greetings, everyone," says Toad, "and I have with me the key to your new room.  But, today's challenge will take place there, so allow me to escort you there."

The group follow Toad into the hall, then down the corridor to a door.  Toad stops in front of it, and inserts the key.

"Is this it?" asks Donkey Kong.

"No, this is the elevator to the roof, from where we'll take the escalator down to the basement, where we'll climb a ladder to the fourth-and-a-halfth floor, and the room is down the hall and to the left," answers back Samus.

"That's what I thought, but I wanted to check first," responds Donkey Kong, seriously, and Zelda spits out a laugh before covering it up quickly.

"......of course this is the room, DK," growls Samus, rolling her eyes.  "I was kidding."

Donkey Kong looks around sheepishly, and it's apparent that everyone is considering exactly how low his intelligence is at the moment, but Toad diverts their attention when he swings the door open.

"Here we are," he says, proudly, as the lights flick on and he leads them into the room.  "The Ball Room."

"Oh!" pipes Zelda, charmed.  "This is beautiful!  I love dancing...."

"Awwww, man!" bellows Bowser, feeling very disappointed.  "There's no lava or spikes or pits or monsters or ANYTHING!  This place is just full of RICH crap!  I hate this place already....."

"I love dancing, too," says Krystal, but the statement is more of a challenge to Zelda than an agreement, and her face backs up her tone of voice.

"Really?  Would you care to try this room out with me right now, then?" asks Captain Falcon, trying to sound casual, yet obviously hopeful.

"No," responds Krystal, breaking Captain Falcon's hopes flatly....and enjoying doing so.

"I'm sure that if this were a dancing challenge, several of you would do well," says Toad, as the group quiets down, "but.......it's not."

"What, are we going to see who can spit the farthest or something?" blurts Bowser, skeptically.

"No, that'd be unfair, because the person with the biggest mouth would win," responds Samus, with a wry look, "and there's a certain rule about the Head of the Household being of a certain IQ, I think...."

Bowser is clearly confused and doesn't get her statement at all, but Toad quickly intervenes before any outbreak can start.

"Today's challenge is relatively simple in concept....yet, very difficult to triumph in.  Have any of you ever played musical chairs?"

"Is it anything like Musical Mushroom?" asks Yoshi, faintly remembering a similar game he has played somewhere a while ago...

"This circle in the center of the room represents the Safety Zone," says Toad, pointing out a large circle.  "While the music is playing, no one may stand inside this circle."

"And the last one not standing inside the circle, wins?" asks Bowser, growing hopeful.

"Don't be an idiot," answers back Link, and Bowser only glares at him.

"When the music stops, everyone must race into the circle as fast as possible--the last person to step into the circle is out, and then the music will begin again," continues Toad.  "Each time someone is eliminated, you will all have to move farther away from the circle than before.  By the time only two people remain, you will have to be touching the wall while the music is playing.  Does everyone understand?"

There's some quick discussion, and Bowser raises his hand.

"Can we hit people?" he asks, crossing his fingers.

"No," responds Toad, and Bowser visibly crumbles in dispair.  "Any questions that are above Idiot Level?"

No one raises a hand, and Toad waves them onto the floor.

"Good.  I hope you're all ready to move, then," says Toad, as the residents allign themselves around the circle carefully, each checking their opponents to see how they are measuring up already.  "When the music begins, you must start moving--you can move anywhere on the floor that you want, but if you stop moving, you will be flagged out.  Understand?  On your marks.....get set.........GO!"

Immediately, a familiar song begins to play, and Yoshi grins.

"If only Mario were here," he says, aloud, as the original Super Mario Bros. theme begins to play.

Then, the music stops abruptly.  He, Fox, Krystal, and Zelda rush into the circle immediately.  Link, Samus, Ganondorf, and Captain Falcon follow close behind.

"Get to the circle, get to the circle!" shouts Toad, as Donkey Kong looks around and tramps into the circle quickly.  "Impa and Bowser, one of you is about to be eliminated!"

"I have.....eliminated.......people," says Impa, standing coldly in the corner, seemingly unaware of the game around herself.  Bowser frantically searches around the room before spying the circle and stomping in. 

"Impa, you've been eliminated!" shouts Toad, as Impa looks around strangely.  "Please come stand near me off the floor."

"I have been.......eliminated......" she murmurs.  ".........again........."

She stiffly walks towards Toad, and he quickly blurts, "Er, how about you stay right about there, so you don't block my view.  Okay?  Alright, everyone!  GO!"

A new song begins to play--Hyrule's song--and everyone steps out from the circle quickly.

"Nice choice of music," says Zelda, humming along cheerfully as she trots around the floor.

"Strange, this song sounds somehow familiar...." muses Link, jokingly.

The music screeches to a halt, and Zelda steps into the circle instantly, followed closely by Krystal and Fox.  Link dives into the circle and rolls to his feet, and Yoshi slips and falls as he tries to turn and run for the circle. 

"Into the circle!" cries Toad, as Samus, Donkey Kong, and Ganondorf enter the circle.  "You don't have much time!   Don't let yourself be eliminated!"

Yoshi drags himself to his feet and hops into the circle at the same time as Captain Falcon, and Bowser, facing the wrong way, turns and realizes that he is the only one left on the floor.

"Bowser, you're out of the game," says Toad, as Bowser silently curses himself and stomps off the floor.  "Everyone ready?  Go!"

A jazzy, upbeat song begins to play, and nearly everyone exclaims in unison, "KONGO JUNGLE!"

"Care to dance?" Fox asks Krystal, flashing a charming smile.

"I'd love to," replies Krystal, taking his hand and beginning to swing dance with McCloud to the music.

"Strange....this song sounds somehow familiar...." muses Donkey Kong, trying to make the same joke as Link has already made.  He waits for everyone to laugh....but nobody does, and he shuts up.

The music ends, and Yoshi and Zelda scramble into the center.

"Ah, well.  Parting is such sweet sorrow," muses Fox, releasing Krystal's hand.  "It was fun while it lasted."

He, Zelda, and Link enter the center simultaneously, and Ganondorf sprints for the center...but falls on the slippery surface.  Donkey Kong scampers in, hot on the heels of Captain Falcon, and Ganondorf looks up and snaps his fingers in frustration as he sees that he is out.

"Ganondorf, you've been knocked out of it," says Toad, as Fox and Krystal flash a look of understanding and glee.  "The music will now resume!"

The theme from Yoshi's Island plays, and Ganondorf takes advantage of his being out to try and rally some friends behind himself.  He turns to Impa, who is staring straight forewards at the game.

"So, do you ever dance?" he asks, trying to be friendly.

"I use.....an axe...." answers Impa, not looking at anything in particular.  "I use it.......to chop chop chop.............chop chop chop......"

Ganondorf's friendly side shrinks back, and he slowly and carefully turns back around, edging away from Impa slightly.  The music stops, and there's another wild scramble before Donkey Kong stumbles off the floor, slipping and falling as he exits the game.

"Here goes the next song," warns Toad, as the music plays.  "Come out to the white tile at least!  Anyone who is standing in the black while the music is playing will be taken out of the game immediately!"

The residents still in the game quickly shift outwards from the center even further, carefully avoiding stepping too close to the middle as they move about.

"Careful, man--she's CRAZED....," hisses Ganondorf, to Donkey Kong, as Bowser attempts to communicate with Impa.

"EVER THINK OF BUILDING A CASTLE? asks Bowser, loudly and slowly.

"I have built.....an axe," responds Impa.  "And it was.....good.......for chop chop chop......."

"......that's it, you're freakier than they said you were," blurts Bowser, stumbling away from her.

The music stops, and there's a mad dash for the center, which is further away than before.  Link dives, but can't make it to the middle and is out.  He joins the others on the side as a new song begins, the Luigi's Mansion theme.

"Stay out of the black!" warns Toad, as Captain Falcon stumbles and begins to lose his balance, right on the line between tiles.  "Captain Falcon, if you fall, you'll be out!"

Captain Falcon waves his arms wildly, but can't stop himself and falls onto the floor, landing on black tile.

"Captain Falcon is out, but we will continue this song," says Toad, as Captain Falcon exits the floor.  "Keep moving."

"Talk about an annoying song..." grumbles Samus, as the music continues.

Before she realizes what is happening, however, the music has ended, and the other four players are lunging for the center.  She takes off as fast as she can, but is already too late and is the last to reach the center.

"Samus is out, and we're into the Final Elimination rounds!" says Toad.  "This music will be a bit more distracting, and the four of you left will have to stand PAST the white AND black tiles, all the way out towards the walls.  Here we go!"

The Planet Zebes theme from Smash Brothers begins to play, and Samus pounds a fist on the wall in annoyance.

"I knew I'd go out just too soon!" she growls.

Fox, Yoshi, Krystal, and Zelda listen closely to the music, trying to anticipate when it will end.  Fox begins to ignore his surroundings, and focuses on the music as best he can, hoping to spring at the exact moment that the melody ends.  However, he forgets to watch where he is walking, and suddenly finds himself stumbling through the corner of the forbidden white tile.

"Fox, you've stepped into the white tile--you're out," says Toad, as the music stops playing.  "Since the music stopped, while start the next song."

"Shoot," growls Fox, walking off the floor.  "I concentrated too hard...on the wrong thing..."

"Hey, it happens to the best of us," says Donkey Kong, causing a snicker from Link down the line.

The next song starts playing--the Pokemon battle theme, and the remaining three players try hard not to be distracted by its sudden accents and beats.  Yoshi steps near to the white tile, but makes sure to keep his balance and avoid being eliminated by the same means as Fox or Captain Falcon.  The music ends, and he makes a dash for the center.....but, somehow, Zelda and Krystal have already beaten him there, and he lets out a breath of impressment as he shakes his head and leaves the floor.

"Good run," he says, surprised at the speed of his two female opponents.  "I didn't see that one coming..."

"Join the club," replies Fox.

"Alright, this is the final round," says Toad.  "The song will be very difficult to keep tabs on, and you MUST be touching the wall at all times while the music is playing!  If you let go early, you will lose, so there's a lot at stake here!  Also, remember to keep moving, even while you keep your hand on the wall!  This is to be Head of the Household, and have the power over who might be leaving tomorrow!  Are you both ready?"

Zelda gulps and nods carefully, and Krystal focuses and nods as well.  Both plant a hand on the wall at the same time.

"Alright, then we shall begin the final round!"

The music begins--it is the Dream Land theme, and its roaring music and tremendous, thundering drum beats cause most everyone eliminated to completely become transfixed on the music playing.  As the sound swells, Zelda and Krystal begin to slide carefully along the wall, trying hard not to be distracted by the booming music playing.

"Keep your hands on the wall," says Toad.

Zelda concentrates and blocks out the music.  She glares across the room at Krystal, who glares back.  Krystal begins to carefully dance along the wall, throwing in small hops and twirls in time with the music--she is obviously challenging Zelda's own abilities to both dance and keep track of the music.  Zelda frowns and attempts to outdo Krystal, carefully leaping and spinning along the wall as well, keeping attention on the music as well.

"Ooo......they're good," muses Link, as both girls attempt to outdo the other and begin to dance faster, leap higher, and spin quicker, all while carefully keeping a hand, toe, or elbow against the wall.

"Don't get carried away, Zelda," Zelda thinks to herself, trying hard to calm herself down enough to keep thinking straight.  "She's just trying to get you to forget about the music.  Don't do anything brash or stupid.  Just keep moving....."

Zelda focuses hard on the music, still dancing, and slowly closes her eyes, placing all her attention on the music playing.  Her mind races as she instinctively moves to the sound, and she skims through the song as she knows it, locating exactly where the music might stop.  She forgets about the game, about Krystal, and about everyone in the room--she becomes totally absorbed in finding the exact moment at which the music ends.  And then, in a flash of an instant, her hand comes off the wall, and her eyes open wide in terror.  She is running for the center, yet she has no recollection of the music having stopped....and yet, somehow, the music is no longer playing, and all the residents are shouting and screaming.  She has perfectly anticipated the end of the song....but, as she trots into the center, she gasps and her eyes fall.  Krystal, too, has anticipated the cut in the music, and is already waiting in the center for her.

"Krystal is the winner, and Head of the Household!" shouts Toad, as a crestfallen Zelda looks down at the floor in humiliation and failure.  "Krystal, here are the Power Bracelets--remember to protect them well, for they are yours to wear to voting."

Krytal smiles, beaming a victorious, triuphant smirk, and she cannot help but feel a bit of pity for Zelda.

"She never stood a chance," Krystal says to Fox, as they go to embrace in a hug, "against a ballet veteran.  Such a shame..."


"That was quite a show you two put on for us," laughs Link, causing Zelda to flush in embarrassment.  "I thought one of you was about to explode..."

"Oh, well, Krystal's obviously the better of us," blurts Zelda.

"......obviously......." says Krystal, a little too low to be heard.

"Krystal's had a lot of experience in dancing," says Fox, as Krystal gives him a little bit of a disappointed look, hoping she could escape with unquestioned honor.  "She's practiced just about every form of dance there is to know.  And ten years of ballet never hurts, either."

"Oh, is that how you're so flexible and fast?" asks Yoshi, surprised.  "I've always thought you were pretty agile for an everyday average person...."

"Well, I -am- the best there is at it, I guess," she concedes, obviously feeling very proud.

Zelda looks down at her lap quietly, and Yoshi quietly goes back to eating without further complimenting or questioning Krystal.

"So, Impa, have you ever danced?" asks Link.

"Link, don't go there!" hisses Ganondorf, making a motion as if to cut his throat.

"I have......chop chop chop........with my axe......." replies Impa, completely devoid of expression.

"That's it!" blurts Donkey Kong, jumping up in annoyance.  "DO YOU REALIZE HOW ANNOYING IT IS TO CONSTANTLY BE TALKING ABOUT AXES?!"

An uneasy tension goes around the table, and nobody dares to say anything.


Donkey Kong wheezes in a breath, visibly shaking in a mix of fury and terror as he points a finger down the table at Impa, who has suddenly turned rigid as a plank of wood.  Everyone seated at the table tries to think of something to say, do, or stare at, but nothing comes to mind.  Impa's face stretches awkwardly in anger as she suddenly throws aside her seat and stands up menacingly.

"HOW DARE......YOU MAKE FUN........OF MYSELF!" she roars, suddenly stepping up onto the table, knocking plates and food everywhere.  "YOU......HAVE INSULTED ME!"

"Whoa whoa whoa, take it easy there, Impa!" blurts Fox, as he attempts to catch several dishes and glasses being knocked off the table.

"Just calm down!" pleads Zelda.

"YOU......HAVE MADE FUN!" roars Impa, stomping down the length of the table towards Donkey Kong.  "NOW....YOU WILL BE.....ELIMINATED!"

"Just sit back down and relaxe!" coaxes Yoshi, desperately.

"Come on, just-"

Impa suddenly kicks Donkey Kong in the face, knocking him to the table abruptly.  Zelda lets out a shriek of fear, and throws her hands over her mouth.  Captain Falcon looks across the table at Yoshi, who nods urgently.  Both of them stand up quickly.

"ELIMINATED!  ELIMINATED............CHOP CHOP CHOP!" roars Impa, suddenly drawing a pair of knives, evidentally stolen out of the kitchen, and raising them in a very threatening fashion.


"I don't think I'll ever clear that picture out of my head," moans Yoshi, recounting the incident to the camera as he thinks back to earlier that evening.  "....the moment she grabbed out those knives, everything went chaotic.  Zelda screamed, Samus leaped up with her cannon aimed, and then, Captain Falcon and I jumped up onto the table, on either side of Impa.  I don't remember everything exactly as it happened......  I grabbed one of her arms, Falcon grabbed the other, and we just hurled her off of the table.  One of the knives fell out of her hand and actually landed on Captain Falcon's foot, but it only knicked his toe a little.  Impa landed on the other knife--she cut her arm a little, and it must've hurt just landing like that from being thrown off the table, but as soon as she hit the ground, she was suddenly completely silent...  Together, Falcon and I dragged her off to the Parlor and helped bandage up the cut on her arm, and she kind of went into a little world of her own for a while there...I'm not sure if she was zoned out from all the excitement, or if she was just sulking--or maybe even plotting all of our deaths--but she hasn't said another word since.  Granted, nobody's willing to sit in there with her now, for fear of being knifed from behind, but we already sent out an emergency message to Toad, and he should be arriving within fifteen minutes to take care of things from here.  I can still hardly believe we threw Impa off the table like that, but considering what might have happened had we not, I guess things would've been a lot worse..."

Yoshi exits the camera room, and stops beside Captain Falcon.

"Dude, how's she doing?" asks Yoshi, looking past Captain Falcon at Impa, who is still staring blankly ahead at nothing, as she has been for the last hour.

"Still hasn't said anything, and she hasn't moved in forever," replies Captain Falcon.  ".........do you think she's dead?"

"Nah, but it's possible we gave her something of a shock when we threw her off the table," answers Yoshi, finally cracking a slight smile at Captain Falcon's extreme explanation for Impa's lack of movement.  "I think she'll be just fine.....I mean, relative to how she was before...."

"I don't know about Donkey Kong," says Captain Falcon.  "He was in a ton of pain, and last I checked, he had to be helped from the table to a bed.  I hear he might've even broken his jawbone...."

"Mmm.....he might not be long for this game," thinks Yoshi, aloud.

"He wants to quit," Captain Falcon informs Yoshi.  "He's hardly able to talk, but one of the first things he said, I think, was that he was leaving."

The door swings open with a certain air of urgency, and Toad enters the mansion, looking first at Impa, then at Captain Falcon and Yoshi.

"I assume you guys have been keeping wraps on this situation for a while now?" he asks, approaching the two and speaking somewhat quietly.

"Yeah, she's been sitting still for a long time, though," says Captain Falcon.

"Well I'm glad you called me," says Toad, "because nobody can stay in this game who acts as dangerous as that.  She'll be leaving the game shortly.  And about Donkey Kong?"

"I think he'll be leaving, also," says Yoshi.

"DK, too?"

"Well, you see, he took a rather hard kick to the jaw," explains Captain Falcon, "and when he got hit, he slammed his jawbone into the table.  He had to be helped from the table, and has been laying in bed for the past hour."

"He wants to quit," Yoshi says, finally being frank with Toad.  "And, if I may say so, I don't think I'd blame him.  We have no idea how serious his injury is, but if it's a cracked jawbone, he won't be talking for weeks, and he won't be able to eat anything that's not through a straw."

"The choice is totally his," adds Captain Falcon, "but I don't see much of a point in him staying if he can't even be making plans with any of us."

Toad nods as he takes all this in, then leaves the room to go see DK.  Yoshi and Captain Falcon stand alone in silence, carefully keeping an eye on Impa.  Finally, several minutes later, Toad reenters the room, followed by Donkey Kong, whose jaw has swollen up tremendously.  DK is clutching his suitcase, and looks as if he is in great pain.

"Donkey Kong has asked to be removed from the game," says Toad, as the remaining inhabitants file into the Parlor, carefully avoiding eye contact with Impa.....not, of course, that she would have noticed them being there.  "His request will be honored, and he will receive medical treament immediately upon leaving the house.  Impa will also be leaving, on account of violating the rules."

The group nods, understanding the reasoning behind both evictions.

"Voting tomorrow will be cancelled, and Krystal will keep the Power Bracelets--there will be no challenge the day following, either, although a room will be awarded to you.  If any of you would like to say goodbye to either of these people, please do so now."

There is a chorus of "goodbyes" to Donkey Kong, who holds up his hand soberly, doing his best to say goodbye back without using words.  No one, however, says goodbye to Impa, but she doesn't seem to realize what is going on, anyways.

"Best wishes to get yourselves back on track after this incident," says Toad, taking Impa by the hand and leading her towards the door, "and I will see you all in two days to give you the keys to your next room.  Goodnight."

Toad pulls Impa out the door, and Donkey Kong follows.  The door closes, and the remaining residents slowly make their way to bed for the night, hardly able to grasp what has happened that has turned the game around so dramatically.

On the next episode of Nintendo Big Brother...
With two less players in the game, and a new low met, the game is about to become a lot more complex...and far more tricky than ever before.  An ally from both sides has been lost, and every resident now holds a one-in-nine chance at being the ultimate Head of the Household.  And with two days free without a vote or challenge, everyone will have plenty of time to turn the game to their own advantage.  But that time might be of no use to anyone when the ghosts of Luigi's Mansion make a return appearance....  How can the residents bounce back from this experienece?   Can new alliances be forged from the depths of old ones, over a period of two days?  Will the ghosts of Luigi's Mansion disrupt the game and the plans being made?  All will be revealed in the next episode!
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