Been a long time, innit? The promise that I made fell through a long time ago when I lost interest in the story idea and the author wasn't overly concerned. If any of you want to pick it up, it's a DBZ story called "From Enemy to Student" by Genescritor. Its basic premise is an AU where Goku intervenes in Vegeta's attempt to kill Burter, and goes on from there. Some might argue that Ginyu is OOC, and you can negotiate with the author about changing that if they still notice any PM's from the notification in their email.
This update is to show those who watch my profile (instead of specific stories) that I'm still alive. And it'll also show that I'm still active as a writer to have a recent update. I'm working on a comeback, but have been held up due to being back in college. I'll be going through with it, though, hopefully before too long.
Also, while I said however long ago that Heart Containers wouldn't be a thing, I changed my mind since it doesn't make sense for hearts to still restore energy if there are no Heart Containers to increase it. Guess I'll just have to decide how to divvy them up. Without further ado, let's begin.
Chapter 3: Test of Courage
Leaving the light behind, the two's eyes adjusted to the dimmer interior of the Great Deku Tree. While Luigi wasn't familiar with how it was supposed to look like ordinarily, he took it as a bad sign that there were spiderwebs near the top of the central chamber. Ivy and moss clinging to the walls and hanging off the platforms was somewhat normal for a tree, but the webs implied something else was in there with them, and the one sealing the hole in the middle meant it was probably deeper down.
Gulping nervously at the thought of what could make such thick and resilient webs, the plumber followed Link regardless while keeping his eyes and ears open for any trouble. Immediately, some healthier Deku Babas than the ones he'd encountered before sprang up, flexible stems poised as they readied for battle.
'Just like Piranha Plants,' Luigi noted.
Link went for the one on the left while Luigi went right. He easily sidestepped the first bite and elbowed the plant on top of its head, making it hunch over in pain. Jumping up, the plumber then dropped on top of it with his full weight on one foot, making it howl in pain as its stem detached and withered away once Luigi hopped off. The head remained for a moment before shrinking as it turned brittle and brown.
Raising an eyebrow, Luigi picked up the remains and noted that it had a glowing yellow center within the partially split shell.
"That's a Deku Nut," Navi abruptly said right next to the plumber's ear, making him jump a few inches in the air as he yelped in surprise. "You throw it, and it'll make a flash of light to stun the enemy. Pretty decent moves, but a sword makes things quicker."
Luigi then noticed that Link had already cleared out the other two Deku Babas. Pocketing the nut, he followed when Navi directed them to a wall with some vines growing on the surface. After the two of them climbed up, they walked along a platform built into the wall of the tall chamber.
After easily hopping across some gaps, Luigi and Link looked up to see small spider-like monsters with skulls over the tops of their abdomens. There were three in total on the vines, two somewhat low and the other far higher up.
"I could jump to squash the two lower ones, but that top one is a problem," the plumber mused with a frown.
Navi chimed in, "Skullwalltulas. Their bite is way too dangerous if you can't defend yourself while climbing; it's painful enough without taking the fall into account."
Meanwhile, Link had opened the treasure chest at the foot of the vines and pulled out a map that he studied. Silently tracing the path they'd taken so far, he pointed to a door at the end of the platform in an alcove.
"Good idea," Luigi replied. "If there's a map of this place, maybe there's something we can use to take those spiders down."
Crossing the remainder of the walkway, the trio stepped through when the door raised, only to glance back in surprise when it slammed down far harder than it rose with bars now over the way out. From a growth of greenery in the ground, a Mad Scrub rose and ruffled its leaves threateningly.
Luigi whispered, "I've seen one of these; just bounce its attack back to it with your shield."
Link nodded and took the front position as the scrub reared up and spat a seed out of its nozzle-like mouth. The elven boy reflected it by holding his shield and standing firm, the Mad Scrub getting hit in the face. Like Luigi had seen before, it left its nest out of pain and he jumped to attempt taking the plant monster down.
It saw him coming at the last moment and dove, losing its footing and writhing on the ground in fear, as it squeaked out, "Ow-ow-ow! Forgive me, masters! If I give you a clue, will you let me go?"
Before any of the three could answer, it continued, "When you jump off a high cliff, if you tuck yourself forward just right, you will roll on the ground when you land and won't get hurt from the fall. I can't guarantee it will work, though, if the cliff is really, really high, heh-heh!"
The Mad Scrub ran off, disappearing through the ground near some other plants with a parting remark, "Well, try it if you are feeling bold! Wah-ha-hah!"
"Should we trust that scrub?" Navi asked after it had left and the bars on both doors raised. "I mean, he could just be trying to trick you into jumping to your doom."
Link just shrugged with an unsure grunt, but Luigi said, "I know jumping. If you're not sure, you can ride on my back, Link."
With that agreement made, they went into the next room and found it to have a floating square platform with a treasure chest on a cliff at the other side. Link went first and the platform started shaking, but he kept on without hesitation and jumped again, grabbing onto the ledge right before the block fell to the ground below.
As he pulled himself up, Luigi hopped down and went across to the vines on the cliff, climbing up with relative ease. The plumber arrived just in time to see Link reaching into the open treasure chest, pulling out a slingshot and a sack appearing to hold multiple small items from how they rattled with the motion.
"The Fairy Slingshot!" Navi uttered in surprise. "I knew it was one of the Kokiri's treasured weapons, but never figured that the Great Deku Tree was holding onto it. This will take care of small enemies with no trouble; just load a Deku Seed, aim and fire."
Then, when the trio turned around, the fairy zipped over to a ladder suspended by webbing, changing her glow to a vibrant green while calling, "Look!"
Pulling a small yet sturdy-looking seed, Link aimed carefully and shot the ladder, loosening the wooden structure from its bindings until it fell into place against the alcove that housed the door back to the central chamber.
Once they returned, Link took care of the right and the top Skullwalltulas while Luigi jumped up and kicked the left one, squashing it against the wall until it burned into light red flames. With that done, both of them climbed the now safe vines and headed to the third level of the trunk.
Soon after they dropped onto the platform circling the majority of the level, a larger version of the spiders they'd encountered dropped down. Luigi let out a light scream at the eight glowing red eyes of the arachnid since it was almost as long as he was tall, not counting the legs.
But while he had been surprised, Link had drawn his sword and attacked the instant the spider exposed its soft underbelly. A pair of quick stabs had the monster drop down with a short screech and burn into nothingness as well.
"It's just a Skulltula," Navi said in an unimpressed tone while Luigi calmed himself. "Its underside is its weakness."
"Sorry," Luigi muttered. "It surprised me."
The trio proceeded through another door into a room with three circles sunken into the ground. Link pressed a switch to raise them as cylindrical platforms jutting upward, and Luigi noticed an alcove to the side while a treasure chest was on the opposite end from them. The gap was also guarded by a Skulltula.
Taking the chance to prove himself, the plumber said, "You two get the treasure chest; I'll check that hole to the side."
He and Link jumped to the first platform together, but split up with Link going to the higher far cylinder while Luigi made the leap to the side platform with ease. Knowing that the Skulltulas liked to lunge downward, he feinted like he was going to jump, leaning back when the skull-armored spider descended to try biting him only to hit air.
Luigi jumped for real at that point, foot hooking onto the abdomen beside the string of webbing emerging. Kicking backwards as he passed through, the strand broke and the Skulltula was thrown off balance in its fall, landing on its armored back instead of its legs.
After he landed, the plumber jumped back to be over the Skulltula and crushed its underbelly with both feet. Bouncing off afterwards as it burned away, he noticed that the platforms had descended, but went back into the alcove with a simple jump (by he and his brother's standards) to check the inside.
A small treasure chest was a welcome sight, but the small Skulltula skittering on the wall near the ground was not. Bizarrely enough, this one had a golden color.
'Is it one of those rare enemies that gives you more coins- er, Rupees?' Luigi wondered.
Deciding not to let it get away, he punched it once, knocking it off the wall for him to stomp on. After it burned like its brethren, it left behind a vaguely skull-shaped gold token with a slight miasma of blue flame-like energy emitting from it.
Edging a finger closer to make sure that it wouldn't burn him, Luigi tentatively picked it up to look at it before Navi's voice interrupted him from a distance.
"Hey! Are you done in there, or what?" she called irately from outside the alcove.
Deciding to pocket it in his left side next to his coins and Rupees, Luigi hurriedly opened the treasure chest to find a red Valentine heart. The instant he touched it, the item vanished as he received a boost of energy. He felt like his stamina had been topped off and deduced that it would also heal minor injuries; he had experience with health and energy boosters.
Jumping out and immediately jumping up the shorter cliff to the room's entrance to land beside Link and Navi, Luigi nodded to show he was ready.
"Finally!" the fairy said. "Did you find anything?"
"Just a heart that topped off my energy and this," Luigi said, pulling out the golden skull token.
Navi looked at it, "A Gold Skulltula token. Somebody's been cursed for a while now, and these golden spiders' life force is linked to it. If one got all the way out here, there could be dozens more all over. Keep an eye out for them; the tokens can be used to break the curse."
At that point, Luigi noticed that the door was open again, "Did it open when we killed the enemies?"
Link wordlessly pointed at a lit torch and pulled up a Deku Stick that notably had a blackened tip with the wood being shorter than before.
Luigi was curious how there could be lit torches already inside the Great Deku Tree, but since the protector of the forest was clearly magical in nature, he decided to just not question it. He came from a world where several different climates were right next to each other with instant transition over borders, one of which had people living on clouds; he had little room to talk about logic.
When they exited, Link stabbed another Skulltula, causing it to try retreating only for Luigi to be above it and break the web strand, causing it to fall down the entire chamber to the web below. Link seemed to get an idea and took a few steps back before running to jump off the ledge.
Luigi hurriedly grabbed him by the back of his tunic before he could reach the end, "Whoa-whoa-whoa, what are you doing?"
"Wait, I think I see!" Navi chimed in. "Link's plan is to jump straight on the web from up here to stretch it to the breaking point since his sword can't cut those thick silk strands."
The plumber's jaw dropped at such a reckless idea, and he looked at Link only to receive a nod of confirmation.
Shaking his head while pinching the bridge of his large nose, Luigi said, "All right. Get on my back, Link. I've been journeying with my brother a few times now, and high jumps are our specialty, so I stand a better chance of landing uninjured."
Link was hesitant, but complied when Luigi stooped down, holding onto the back of his overalls where the straps met for safety. The plumber hopped in place slightly, adjusting to the forest boy's weight, before looking down. Gulping and taking a deep breath, Luigi rested a hand on his hat to hold it in place and jumped, making sure to line himself up with the web.
As his feet hit the web, he squatted down to put as much force in his landing as he could, the silk stretching downward for an extended time before it broke in the center, leaving behind a mass of torn webbing as they descended underground. Luigi saw water coming up fast and took a deep breath, but it turned out to be largely unnecessary since the level was barely above his head and he could easily see a shallow end with a platform nearby once the bubbles of his splash cleared up.
Walking over, he put the half-soggy Link on the platform first before climbing out himself. As Luigi wrung out his hat, the two of them looked around. Unlike the wood of the previous levels, this one was made of dirt, which made sense considering they were under the Great Deku Tree now. He also spotted that there were giant webs here too, with one blocking a door, and a couple of Gold Skulltulas.
"This must be the space where the Great Deku Tree's roots go," Luigi mused while putting his only slightly damp hat back on. "Explains all the water."
Navi descended from above, having been left behind as her companions' drop accelerated, zipping over once she saw them drying out on the platform. As she went to Luigi, Link took the time to shoot a Gold Skulltula on the vines leading back up and then climb to get the token.
"Have you two found a way forward?" she asked.
Luigi saw a switch beside him and stepped on it, lighting a flame atop a pillar of yellow stone. With that, he said, "Pretty sure these webs can be burned, and since we're in a dirt room instead of a wood one, it should be safe."
Link nodded after he dropped back down from the vines and pulled out the Deku Stick he'd used previously, also pointing past Luigi at the other Golden Skulltula on the bars of a tunnel the water flowed down.
The plumber looked at it and nodded, "All right. I saw a ledge between here and the door in the water; you can walk on it to get across without the torch going out, but you'll have to jump once you're close."
With that, they split up briefly, Link lighting the stick while Luigi dropped back into the water without a care for his still soaked overalls. Since the spider was above the shallow end, it was only a matter of jumping to kick it down and then crush it beneath the water. Reaching down afterwards, Luigi fished the token out and moved to meet back up with Link as the boy burned the web away.
They passed through to find another Mad Scrub, but Link defeated it and Luigi grabbed it before it could get away. Squirming in Luigi's grip, it said, "Please forgive me, Masters! I'll never do it again! If you spare me, I'll teach you something cool."
The two paid attention as the scrub continued, "You will never beat my brothers up ahead unless you punish them in the proper order. The order is 2, 3, 1. Twenty-three is number one!"
Running off towards the door, the plant being muttered, "Do you think I'm a traitor?"
After Link grabbed a heart that had been left behind by the scrub, he aimed his slingshot and hit a silver eye set in a rhombus above the sealed door forward. The metallic eye shut, revealing it to be a switch as the bars raised up.
"How'd you know to do that?" Luigi asked.
Link shrugged. He'd figured that either it was a switch or someone was watching them—either way, it deserved a pellet to the eye.
They went into the next room to find a somewhat deep pool with a platform moving back and forth as it floated on the surface and a rolling bar studded with spikes in the center, with barely enough space for the platform to go under.
"Listen," Navi called. "After you get into the water, you can dive down for a short time. I bet there are some interesting things underwater."
Luigi did a few stretches and said, "I can handle underwater. My brother and I trained for deep sea diving and breath control after our adventures started. We've swam across whole lakes and stretches of ocean."
With a deep breath, he dove into the water and swam around, looking for anything out of the ordinary. Finding a switch, he pressed it and noticed the water level go down above him. Breaching the surface, he noticed that it was safe for Link to pass the spiked bar now since it went right over his head. Luigi dove back down and squatted on the bottom before pushing with his legs to zip through the water as he kept up his speed with the short time before he breached the surface again, shooting out and landing on his feet at the ledge to the way forward before he shook the excess water off his clothes.
Noticing Link killing a Skulltula, Luigi moved to the side when he noticed a block in a rut beneath the alcove up above. While he could make the jump easily, he didn't want to leave Link to solve the puzzle himself.
Pushing the block with ease, Luigi set it in place for Link to climb on and then followed him up in two easy jumps. The next room had one lit torch and two unlit ones along with a Deku Baba as the door slammed shut behind them with bars.
"You handle the torches, I can take the plant," Luigi offered.
As Link took out the significantly shortened Deku Stick, Luigi walked over to the monster, the Deku Baba lunging at him only to miss as he sidestepped. An uppercut made it stiffly stand upright and Luigi delivered another rising punch as he jumped, taking its head clean off and leaving its stem to become a new stick. Thinking it over, Luigi decided to pocket it with his power-ups. A torch could come in handy later, and it's not like he didn't have room.
'Peach, these magic pockets for our clothes will always be the best gift you ever gave us,' Luigi thought with a smile as the whole stick slid into his pocket without any bulging. He also had his back pocket, but that one was usually reserved for if either of them found a hammer to use as a weapon, like Mario when he told him about his adventure to repair the Star Road. (1)
Luigi perked up when he heard the bars raise up, and followed Link to the next chamber. A Skulltula hung above the alcove they were in, but it was facing away from them, so Link fired two quick shots of his Fairy Slingshot to kill it. They proceeded as it burned away and found a lit torch along with two passageways blocked by webs.
As Link proceeded towards the torch, both their attention was drawn by a wet thud. For an instant, a pink sphere was visible, but it uncurled with the apparent impact as the membrane fell away to reveal a two-legged monster with a large green eye.
Luigi glanced up, mouth curling in horror and disgust as he saw two more eggs latched onto the ceiling. At least, he assumed they were eggs.
When Link drew his sword, Luigi urgently called, "I've got this! Smash the eggs on the ceiling before they hatch!"
The elven boy looked up at that point and his eyes widened with a surprised grunt as he sheathed his sword and took out his slingshot.
As the monster's eye turned red and it readied to lunge, Luigi intervened with a jump kick to the monster's side. It landed awkwardly before managing to roll and get its feet under it, but Luigi had already jumped again to squish the central body, its eye bulging outward slightly from the pressure before it limply fell and burned away in blue flames.
He looked to see Link standing a slight distance away from two half-formed insect monsters that were still partially in their eggs as they burned away.
"What were those things?" Luigi asked in shock since the danger had passed.
"I… I don't know," Navi admitted in shock. "But those must be part of the curse that's making the Great Deku Tree suffer. And they're already down here among his roots; this is bad!" (2)
Link's expression was grimly serious as he took out a fresh Deku Stick and lit it before running to burn both of the webs. After peeking down one to find it a dead end with the stone cracked, Link moved to the other that had a narrow passage he began to crawl through.
Navi looked between Luigi and the hole before saying, "I think you're too big. Maybe wait here?"
She went through herself, but was almost immediately sent back with an annoyed groan under her breath as the fairy reported, "Ugh, apparently this leads back into the central chamber with all the water; just go back there and we can meet up."
Luigi nodded and left in a light jog to retrace his steps, bypassing any remaining obstacles with his jumping ability. Still, while he knew he didn't make the best first impression with Navi, the plumber couldn't help but think she had some specific reason for being so rude even if he didn't know why.
By the time he returned to the designated chamber, Link had pushed a large block down and lit a Deku Stick to burn away a web blocking a hole deeper down into the ground. He silently waved Luigi to cross the chamber, and the plumber did so, jumping straight from the platform he was on to the block and hopping up to the raised block of stone Link was on.
Looking down the hole and seeing water in the distance below, Luigi sighed and then nodded to Link. The two jumped down at the same time, landing with a splash that absorbed most of their impact shortly before they bounced off the bottom of the somewhat shallow pool. Luigi stood up to wade through while Link swam to the nearby bank.
A trio of Mad Scrubs rose at the same time, and Link blocked the center one's seed to richochet back, followed by the rightmost one's. Both of them froze with a blue aura enveloping them, and Luigi had been waiting by the left one – making it hide simply by standing right next to it – before grabbing the bundle of leaves that made up its hair.
As he uprooted it, the plant monster kicked futilely when it was torn from its shelter, "How did you know our secret?! How irritating! It's so annoying that I'm going to reveal the secret of Queen Gohma to you!"
Luigi raised an eyebrow and put the Mad Scrub down, but this didn't stop the creature's rant, "In order to administer the coup de grace to Queen Gohma, strike with your sword while she's stunned!"
Then it seemed to realize what it had just let slip, running away with its companions as it muttered, "Oh, Queenie… Sorry about that!"
"Queen Gohma…" Navi muttered in dread as the bars over the way forward lifted with the Mad Scrubs' departure. "So now we have a name for this 'curse.'"
Luigi crossed his arms, "But why would these Mad Scrubs help us if they refer to her as their queen? All of the minions my brother and I have dealt with were loyal to their king, even disguising themselves as him with magic to fight us in various decoy castles."
"Fear, carelessness—loyalty of species, perhaps," Navi listed. "The Great Deku Tree is the guardian of the forest, maybe even Mad Scrubs don't want him to die since that would be bad for the Lost Woods as a whole. Or maybe they were threatened; this monster sounds like the kind that would do that."
Link cleared his throat, getting both their attention as he already had his sword and shield drawn, gesturing to the door where Queen Gohma almost certainly dwelled unless she was further down.
"Right," Navi said. "We shouldn't waste time; every second could count."
The trio moved through the door and the corridor it led to, not surprised when a slab of earth slammed closed and sealed them inside once they were past it. The chamber was roughly circular with wooden pillar-like structures that Link and Luigi realized were roots of the Great Deku Tree. Even more worryingly, they had gouges carved into them as if something had been crawling up and down them while claws dug into the wooden exterior.
When they heard rustling movements, similar to the Mad Scrubs but of a different pitch, both fighters looked around. They didn't see anything, but remembered that the newborn insects had been incubated and hatched from the ceiling.
Both looked up and flinched at the sight of a glowing yellow eye with a green iris surrounding a wide red pupil and two other compound pupils above and below the main one. Worse, while the monster attached to the eye had been crawling about with its chitinous limbs focused on some task, it abruptly turned to them as they made eye contact, the eyeball rolling backwards in an entire revolution.
Scurrying along the ceiling on what turned out to be more damaged roots as Link and Luigi's eyes adjusted, the insectoid monster dropped in front of them to reveal its full grotesque form. Like its children, it had two giant legs for locomotion that were tipped with ferocious claws. The thorax was almost round, but covered in dense armor as mandibles dangled from a mouth situated beneath its bulbous eye. Two vestigial legs that the monster could still move were tipped with crab-like claws that represented another means of attack, and it balanced on its abdomen that ended with a pinched opening as it reared up with a raspy roar. All four of its legs were moving in clear readiness to tear the two before it to shreds.
Surging forward much faster than before on its two main legs, Gohma reared up as her eye turned red. Link raised his shield as she slammed down, being knocked back but otherwise fine aside from some scuffmarks from the landing. Luigi had jumped to the side, dodging entirely, but quickly returned to make sure Link was all right.
"Its eye turns red when it attacks, just like the other creatures!" Navi called urgently. "If you can catch it off guard, you should be able to stun it!"
Luigi patted Link and said, "I'll try to get you that distraction; be ready."
The plumber rushed the armored arachnid from where they had been, Gohma rearing up again, but this time Luigi was ready as he dodged to the side and then jumped onto her back. The monster let out a confused growl that quickly gave way to rage as she thrashed about and tried to grab him with her upper claws.
Luigi dodged and grabbed one of the limbs as he reached into his pocket with his free hand to pull out a Super Mushroom. While his brother and he usually ate the magical food items whole since adventuring burnt energy, one bite was all that was needed to release the power in a hurry. As he did so, the plumber grew around twice as big with his clothes accommodating his new size. Now able to pin the other small arm underfoot, he grappled with the one in his hand with both now.
Gohma roared and continued thrashing, but its cries increased in pitch a moment before Luigi ripped the arm off the monster, making it fall to the ground in pain as its now green eye shook about unseeing from disorientation.
Luigi jumped off, landing with a loud thud, as Link surged forward and delivered a couple of slashes to Gohma's spinning eye. A pair of cuts were gouged into the sensitive flesh before the one-eyed spider shut it and backed away to one of the root pillars, blood leaving a trail of drops from its missing limb.
"What on Din's earth did you just eat?!" Navi demanded.
The grown plumber popped the rest of the now relatively small mushroom into his mouth for a pick-me-up as he watched Gohma closely, "Magic is in more than just this place; think of it like those Hearts, except with a strength boost, and you get a Super Mushroom."
Seeing that Gohma was still on the ceiling with her eye red and abdomen writhing, Luigi glanced at Link to see that he was already priming a shot on the Fairy Slingshot. A precise hit to her already damaged eye made the arachnid screech out again as she fell straight to the ground. This time, Link jumped and drove the short blade right into the middle, the wide central pupil happening to line up right at the time of impact and allowing the blade to sink in. The Queen Gohma let out a high-pitched shriek as it reared up, throwing Link away as tears and blood ran out of its abused eye with the sword still lodged in it.
Falling dead to the ground, the monster began burning away into blue flames, the Kokiri Sword dropping to the ground as the flesh surrounding it disappeared. A larger dark pink heart wrapped in a blue frame materialized on the ground where it disappeared, a blue ring of light appearing nearby as well.
"That's a Heart Container," Navi explained, still sneaking glances at Luigi's enlarged form. "Not only will it completely restore your life energy, but it will permanently grant more and allow a person to fight longer and take more damage before falling."
Luigi immediately said, "You did good work, Link. You take it."
Link seemed hesitant, but nodded, stepping forward and holding the Heart Container for a moment before it disappeared into bright red energy that flowed down his arms and into his body.
As they approached the circle of light, Navi tentatively asked, "Is there a way to, I don't know, turn this off? You might cause a panic if you're seen like this by the Kokiri."
"I'd rather not," Luigi answered as he stepped into the light with Link. "I only have one other Super Mushroom, and I can't find them just anywhere around here. I'll have to make this form last as long as I can."
The blue glow shone brighter as it became a full pillar of light instead of a ring. Link and Luigi felt a floating sensation and looked up as they were lifted off the ground and brought to the ceiling. As they approached, the light grew brighter until they couldn't see.
When their vision returned, they were descending again, the underground scenery replaced with the Great Deku Tree's meadow, the wise old tree before them once again with his mouth still open.
"Well done, Link… And Luigi, I thank thee for heeding this old tree's request…" the Great Deku Tree said in a voice as tired as before. "Thou hath verily demonstrated thy courage… I knew that thine combined strength wouldst allow thee to carry out my wishes…"
The arboreal guardian then continued in a more solemn, but still winded voice, "Now, I have yet more to tell ye both, wouldst thou listen…"
Link sat down, and Luigi followed shortly after, his large size apparently not worth noting to the Great Deku Tree.
"Now… listen carefully… A wicked man of the desert cast this dreadful curse upon me… This evil man ceaselessly uses his vile, sorcerous powers in his search for the Sacred Realm that is connected to Hyrule… For it is in that Sacred Realm that one will find the divine relic, the Triforce, which contains the essence of the gods…"
Luigi's eyes widened as the Great Deku Tree went on to describe how the Golden Goddesses shaped the land from its primordial state, breathing life and order into it as well. And the trio of remnants known as the Triforce that they left behind… He was no stranger to magic since the Mushroom Kingdom had plenty, but this was on another level. The plumber shuddered to think what Bowser would do with that kind of power.
The Great Deku Tree's tone grew more urgent, "Thou must never allow the desert man in black armor to lay his hands on the sacred Triforce… Thou must never suffer that man, with his evil heart, to enter the Sacred Realm of Legend… That evil man who cast the death curse upon me and sapped my power…"
"Death curse?!" Luigi repeated, standing up. "But we killed Queen Gohma! Shouldn't that-"
"Be calm, Luigi…" the Great Deku Tree replied. "Thou and Link did what I asked of ye, since that foul insect would have searched my whole corpse for what that man desired… Because of the curse he laid on me, my end is nigh… It was linked to the monster's life force, verily, but while thine valiant efforts were not in vain… I was doomed before you started…"
Navi flew up, calling out, "Great Deku Tree, please! What about the forest?"
"Kokiri Forest and the surrounding Lost Woods have long since become self-sustaining in their magical properties… Though the monsters within may attempt to menace… My children know how to handle them and shall remain safe from those without… They shall live on…" the guardian replied calmly. "Yes, I will pass away soon… But do not grieve for me… For I have been able to tell you of these important matters… This is Hyrule's final hope…"
Link stood up, sullen but resolved as the Great Deku Tree addressed him, "Link… Go now to Hyrule Castle… There, thou will surely meet the Princess of Destiny…
"Luigi…" The plumber was equally somber, but listened as he was told, "As I said before… I believe the goddesses' actions are at work through you… As my last request… accompany Link, and help him through the trials ye both shall surely face…"
Sniffling, Luigi nodded. He had no reason to stay, and if he was going to search for a way home, he should honor the Great Deku Tree's dying wish first.
"Take this stone with you…" the guardian of the forest entreated. "The stone that man wanted so much, that he cast the curse on me…"
A ball of green light appeared on the tree's brow before flaring outward in a blinding flash. When it disappeared, floating above Link's hands was a round emerald with golden filigree on its cut surface in a swirl and a thicker border of gold surrounding the lower half of the border and most of one side with the other upper corner exposing the emerald. With an extra point jutting outward off to the lower part of the side where the border rose all the way to the top, the gem looked very much like a seed and resembled the emblem on Link's Deku Shield, the entire gemstone shining with a green radiance.
As Link solemnly put the stone into his pack, the Great Deku Tree's voice became quieter, "The future depends upon thee, Link and Luigi… Thou art courageous… Navi the fairy… Help them to carry out my will… I entreat ye… Navi… Good…bye…"
The leaves of the Great Deku Tree began withering and turning brown as they gradually fell, the guardian's bark turning grey with audible creaking as he petrified at an accelerated rate.
As the trio watched in a moment of silence for the Great Deku Tree, Navi was the first to recover as she said, "Let's go to Hyrule Castle."
While they left, she drifted behind to look one last time as she quietly said, "Goodbye… Great Deku Tree…"
Link and Luigi found themselves alone for a moment, but the latter figured that Navi needed a moment since she was close to the Great Deku Tree as well. The young boy next to him, after all, was very dour and only continuing with the last wish of the forest guardian as a motivation.
Unfortunately, it turned out they weren't the only ones in the narrow passage between the glade and village proper.
Mido was in their path and looked past them to the petrified Great Deku Tree, "What did you do?!"
Before either of them could say anything, the Kokiri pulled Link away and stood between him and Luigi as if protecting the other child.
"I knew you couldn't be trusted!" Mido barked. "You have some kind of magic that made you like this! You killed the Great Deku Tree!"
Link started saying, "No, it was-"
"You're right," Luigi said abruptly. He closed his eyes while continuing, "Even with this power, I couldn't save him. The Great Deku Tree depended on me, believed that I was sent for a reason, and I failed him."
If anything, Mido grew madder and drew a Deku Stick while shouting, "Get out of our forest, adult!"
Luigi raised his hands to show he wouldn't resist, despite the clear difference in size and power between him and Mido. Walking in the direction he was prodded while Link was left behind, other Kokiri stared in confusion at the scene of a giant man being forced through to an exit towards his right from the path to the Great Deku Tree.
The plumber was escorted to a denser part of the forest and Mido gave him another jab with the stick for good measure, "Either go back to the rest of the world or get lost! I don't care which!"
Knowing what would happen if he got lost from Fado's story, he instead sat down to wait for Link and Navi. He had managed to make it so Link could come back to the forest one day, but knew that they both along with Navi had a mission to see through. As if proving his point, the fairy arrived first, hovering nearby.
"You didn't have to do that," she said.
Luigi shook his head, "Mido already doesn't trust me. If he wants to pin the blame on me alone instead of both Link and me, then fine. Link will be able to come back home."
Navi sighed, "Yeah, but there are no easy ways to Hyrule Field from here, and you certainly can't go back through the village after that scene."
Hovering in place for a bit, she eventually asked, "You said you're good at swimming, right?"
And there we go. While watching a video playthrough of the Great Deku Tree's inside, I realized that Luigi can break a lot of the puzzles in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time with his jumping prowess, the only problem being locked doors, otherwise blocked passages, and/or not knowing which way to go in-universe.
This is probably the longest chapter yet, but it felt right to cover all of it at once—the dungeon, Gohma, and the Great Deku Tree's death with the fallout thereof. Hope you all enjoyed it, and I'll be keeping track of certain things here at the bottom as well.
'Til next time.
1. Ocarina of Time was released in late 1998, while Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was released in mid-1996, so the events of that game have already happened in this story and others before the release of OoT will be acknowledgeable by Luigi. If you want to look up which ones apply, feel free to check the release timeline.
2. Since the curse was attached to Gohma's life force and inflicted by Ganondorf, it could be implied that she and her offspring would be whole new creations and thus outside of Navi's scope of knowledge. The fact that no others appear elsewhere in the original Ocarina of Time game supports this, though they do in Dodongo's Cavern for Master Quest.
Link: 4 Hearts
Luigi: 5 Hearts [Super Mushroom active]
Link: Kokiri Sword, Deku Shield, Kokiri Tunic/Hat, Fairy Slingshot
Luigi: Magic Overalls (Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, Cape Feather, Deku Nut, Deku Stick, ?), Lucky Hat