Of Glitz And Glory. Just a chapter or a frightening metaphor?
Chapter 3 of The Thousand Year Door
sees Mario and friends riding an airship to the floating town of Glitzville. They witness the wrestling tournament at the Glitzpit and see that the next Crystal Star is on the Championship Belt awarded to the winner. It's decided the only way to get it is to fight through the league and take down the current champion. Mario lands a fighting contract with the head of the wrestling league, Grubba under the stage name; "The Great Gonzales." Mario fights up the ranks and rises in popularity but soon strange things happen as a mysterious person named "X" starts sending cryptic messages. Mario and Co. soon find out the star on the belt is a fake. Our heroes eventually discover two of the fighters from the minor league as drained husks in the back of the storeroom! They warn him not to go near the ring after hours. Eavesdropping reveals the true conspiracy at work as it's soon revealed the league promoter Grubba has the real star! His true plot has been using the star to power up an insidious machine that's been draining the life from minor league fighters! This chapter could be seen as a frightening parallel to the entertainment industry and how corrupt it can be. There are many crooked individuals in entertainment like Grubba (albeit not literally draining the life out of their clients) who would take advantage of others and do whatever it takes to make sure they stay on top no matter what no matter who they use.