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  • Hooktail being a stupefying Wake-Up Call Boss. With or without her weakness figured out, once you've got her on the ropes, she'll try to trick you into letting her go. Deny her attempts again and again, and she'll settle for a last resort — eating the audience. In one fell swoop, Hooktail is back, ready for more, you've lost a huge advantage, and your understanding of how the game is going to work is lying in pieces on the floor.
  • Chapter 3 in its entirety. Battle tournaments, screaming fans, and a super-creepy mystery? Badass.
    • Not to mention getting to name a Badass Adorable Yoshi, and if you know the "waiting how many minutes" trick before running from a Hopeless Boss Fight, you can also get the color you want the Yoshi to be as well.
    • During Mario's stint in the Glitz Pit, the Goomba Bros. welcome him by cheating and jumping Mario and his partner with a First Strike. Now, they're obviously doomed to a quick and painful punishment, and at this point Mario and company will have the power and tools to waste them in one turn, but why waste an Establishing Character Moment? This moment can be made even better by simply guarding and completely No Selling their sneak attack. The most delicious version is, of course, if you superguard the poor bastard. Step aside, punks, the Great Gonzales has come to town.
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    • Also, in the title match with Rawk Hawk, Grubba mentions that Mario has become the fighter who has quickly risen in ranks just shortly after his debut. For reference, many of the fighters are implied to have been around for years and are still stuck at a certain rank.
  • The climax of Keelhaul Key. Two awesome sailing ships, one the high-tech spike covered X-Naut ship, the other a haunted pirate ship commanded by the boss you just beat, face off in the bay and launch a full-on boarding battle, culminating in a boss fight against Lord Crump and his minions in attack formations. Now that is how you finish a chapter!
    Lord Crump: Buh! Buh! Buh-huh-huh! I got ammo to spare! How's THAT for "boom-bassa-boom"?!
    Cortez: You fire cannons here... Without my permission? You have nerve, mortal! *cue epic Big Damn Heroes as the ship bursts through the side of a cliff*
    Lord Crump: WHAT THE...
    • Even more awesome in that the entire crew Mario and co. sailed with joins in the ship battle, and so do all the stragglers that you rescued, including Francesca and Frankie, an innocent newlywed couple!
    • Just preceding that is a moment for Flavio of all people. He scores this moment by successfully convincing Cortez to lend his ship to the cause, by threatening to have Mario beat the ghost pirate up further while he takes the Skull Gem (the source of power of Cortez's ship, stolen from him by Flavio's ancestors long ago) and throws it into the ocean, never to be found. As he himself says, he didn't become the richest man in Rogueport by not knowing how to negotiate.
  • Also the launch of the Big Cannon in Chapter 7.
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    • Plus what's not awesome about fighting a mech in a high tech base on the moon?
  • In Chapter 8 Vivian tells off Beldam, who has been mistreating her all their time together, and fights her alongside Mario.
    Vivian: I'm with Mario all the way! Today, Sis, I am going to punish YOU, do you hear me?
    • Bonus points if the player has Vivian actually in the fight, and then has Vivian beat down Beldam personally.
    • After the fight, there's a more minor one if you "talk" to them with Koops. He says "Let's leave these wimps, Mario." It really shows how much stronger and more confident he is.
  • During the final battle, everyone around the world starts to cheer for Mario. They're on the edge of despair and plunged in darkness, but seeing the Crystal Star show up in their area reminds them of Mario's impact on them in his adventure, and it revitalises their hope. It definitely reflects on the player too— you've come so far, and seeing all these characters rooting for you and showing the progress you've made, is just amazing. It definitely counts as a Tear Jerker and a Heartwarming Moment all at once.
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  • The climax of Chapter 6, in which the little dust bunny things from the day before invade the train and take almost every passenger onto the roof, at which point they merge together. It's Mario vs. a multitentacled monster on the top of a train known for extremely high speeds. Combined with the music, it's absolutely amazing.
  • Any time Mario and company Super Guard successfully, the awesomeness of the SG being directly proportional to the flash and power of the attack. In some cases, there are opportunities for Awesome Moments against weak enemies, such as if Mario Super Guards against the Goomba Bros.' sneak attack during the opening bout of the Glitz Pit. (Depending on the requirements, Mario may be free to whale on them in his next opening turn, which only amplifies his entrance to the put).
  • Chapter 4 gives us Doopliss's Villainous Breakdown. when you tell him his name.
  • Stylish moves. Nearly every player attack has a point at which you can press the A button to add some flair to it. Figuring them out and executing them is fun, and they're useful too, as the crowd loves them, meaning they earn star power. Even better: some stylish moves can be chained to another stylish move.
  • The scene before the final boss. Peach, who has been possessed by the Shadow Queen, is commanded by Grodus, who never learned that Evil Is Not a Toy, to obey him. She then goes and fires a bolt of lightning at him, which leaves NOTHING BUT HIS HEAD. This coming from a Mario game.
    Shadow Peach: You would do well to learn your proper place, slave. No one commands me.

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