Alright, who missed me? *no hands go up* Ehh... oh, I concede defeat... I am truly sorry for the wait...
But as for the chapter, today's your lucky day! I've scraped an excuse off the wall how the Smashers plan to return to Melee (temporarily), so glitches there are now available. The newcomers from Brawl are capable of going too, but likewise the veterans from Melee who did not make it, won't appear. Apologies for all the Melee fans put there. The glitch? Well, guess what the first one in the line up is. The title should be self-explanatory...
Black Holed - Part 1
Starring Sheik, Lucas, Peach and Fox
Sheik wandered into the Brawling Chamber, and was greeted with the sight of Falco and Fox poring over something on the control panel on the other side of the room. The two were chatting excitedly, though (she noted with a little bit of wryness) there was also a hint of exasperation lacing it.
She stopped there, unsure of whether to stop and inquire what they were doing or roll her eyes and walk straight back out again. However, before she could make her decision, Fox chose that moment to glance back at the squeak of a foot hitting a tile and blinked at her.
Sheik inwardly cursed herself. Since when had she been so noisy? But once again Fox interrupted her by grinning widely and trotting over to clap her on the back, and saying, "Hey, Sheik! You know what we're doing?"
"I don't really want to know," she said quietly. Fox responded by grinning wider and pulling her over to the console, where Falco was still mulling over what she could now see as a small – what was it, they'd said? – 'computer chip' and how he was supposed to connect the wires snaking out of the terminal to it. The Sheikah had never quite gotten the hang of 'modern' technology.
"It's no fun if you don't guess!" Fox called loudly, dragging her out of her thoughts for the third time in a minute. She glared at him, now rather irate.
"Rigging it so you can win your next match against whoever," she guessed, not putting much effort into it. If Fox was as smart as he was supposed to be, then he would get the hint eventually.
The vixen nodded knowingly. "Well, that too, but what're we really trying to do?"
"Hacking all items on. Or off."
"Trying to be Giga Bowser."
"Yuck! What goes on in your mind?"
"Taunt to get your Final Smash?"
"We did that yesterday. One more go."
"… trying to be the Hulk."
He stared at her for a moment, then erupted into laughter. "Oh, that's a good one! I gotta' get Falco to try that with me!"
Stopping his gales suddenly, he was all business. "'Hem. No, we weren't trying to be Hulk, though that is an awesome idea. Actually, we were trying to go back to Melee's engine system."
Her eyes widened and she went slack-jawed, though her mouth guard prevented him from seeing the latter. He clearly registered her surprise, however, because he grinned again.
"I knew you'd be tempted! Oh, and Falco…"
The bird finally halted his musings to turn around, grumble something incoherent, and pull a tenner out of his jacket pocket, and stuffing it into Fox's outstretched hand before turning around to lean over the console again. The fox was smiling smugly.
"What's that about?" Sheik asked drearily, nodded slightly towards the note.
"What? Oh, that! Oh, you see, me, Peach, you and maybe Marth got nerfed big time when we came to Brawl, right? So, I had this bet with Falco that all those guys – or gals – would join us when they heard about it. Ten quid for me for every veteran that comes, ten quid for him if they can't or don't wanna'."
"I haven't offered to join you…" she noted.
Falco stopped his musings over the console a second time to face Fox again and fold out a wing, smiling profusely. "I'll have mah' money back, please."
"Stupid pigeon…" said the mammal irritably as he handed the note back again.
"… but I'll join you anyway," Sheik finished.
Falco stared at her, shock registering on his face, but his expression darkened at Fox's now even smugger look. The avain thrust the paper back into Fox's hand and spun around to fiddle with the console, scheming darkly and murmuring death threats under his breath.
"One down, two to go. Thanks for the money," Fox seemed about to explode with smugness, before coughing and regaining his composure. Facing her again, he said, "Yeah, so we're going back to Melee. That means everything's back to what it was – L-cancels, wavedashing, SHFFLing, the works… hope you've remembered all that."
"Does Master Hand know about this?"
"Nope. I'm sure he wouldn't mind, though."
"I don't know…" Then she frowned. "Hang on. Someone's listening to us."
Lucas fidgeted nervously and tried to get his ear flat against the door without constantly hearing Ness' conspicuously loud breathing on his cheek. The red hat-capped boy glared at him.
"Stop being so loud!" he whispered hoarsely.
Lucas winced. "Well… aren't they going to hear that too?"
"It'll be your fault! You caused me to say it!" Ness' arguments were rather childish, even for his age. Lucas did not bother to point out that if Ness hadn't spoken, they wouldn't have been heard anyway, but he didn't want to ruin his friendship. The newcomer wasn't quite sure if Ness' eavesdropping skills were as good as he'd claimed them to be, though…
'They won't hear us," Ness interjected reassuringly.
Right on cue, the door they were leaning on suddenly swung on its hinges and fell inwards. The two boys, with nothing to balance them, fell with it. But before Lucas' head could meet the cold tiled floor of the Chamber, it impacted with something much softer and thinner, almost like a rod. Ness, sadly, had no such luck.
Propping himself up on his hands, with the terrifying realisation that he had landed on someone's right leg, the boy craned his neck painfully as high as he could go to meet eyes with none other than Sheik, who had one hand on the door handle and her head was inclined down at his own. Her uncovered red eye was locked menacingly on his own. It was scary.
Before he could swallow the huge lump in his throat and make a hurried apology, Sheik made a rare noise of amusement and cocked her head playfully. "You two are trying to eavesdrop on someone who does it all the time, you realise."
"It was Ness' idea!" he squeaked, springing up, panic stricken. "He heard you talking about Melee and how he'd really wanted to go back to it and then he started talking about Fox's infinites and how unfair it'd be if we all went back to it and how you were top tier and then he suggested we listen in on you and see if we could stop you somehow by seeing what you were talking about-"
He was stopped by Sheik, who leaned down and placed a delicate finger to his lips. He stopped suddenly, his heart pounding. The woman rolled her eyes at him, looking weary. "Alright, I get it. No need to asphyxiate yourself about it. I'm not going to punish you."
She released her finger. Lucas exhaled and inhaled explosively, panting from his over-exertion.
Ness' just managed to pull himself from his forced sleep and blinked groggily at the two. "Whuh? Whaddeye miss?"
The ninja swept around and held him up by the head. "You troublemaker. You were bad enough in Melee – there is absolutely no need to start spreading it to other people. Toon Link's already spent enough time with you."
"It was his idea!" Ness pointed a finger accusingly at Lucas, all drowsyNess (haha) gone.
"I'm not stupid. Your heart-rate increased and your pupils dilated. I know you're lying."
"Hey!" Lucas jumped at the sudden arrival of Fox from the back of the room, who he hadn't seen earlier. "What's going on here, then?"
Sheik glanced at him. "An eavesdropper. Of all things."
Fox tutted and frowned at Ness. "Oh, he's been doing it ever since the first tournament. You'll live with it eventually."
"You're just the same!" Ness shot back. "You're going back to Melee so that you can be top-tier again."
"No complaints with that," Fox replied, looking pleased. "And you don't want to go back because you would be exactly the same. What does it matter? The tournament's not going to go backwards, regardless of whether people want to or not. I'm only going for the nolstalgia – and the technical stuff. Not that you'd know."
"Of course I know," Ness scoffed, though there was the faintest hint of hesitance.
"Alright then! Tell me what hitstun and hitlag is." Fox was quite clearly enjoying his mental torture.
"Alright, I give!" Ness squeaked. "But seriously, who cares about that shi-"
"Oi." Sheik shook the boy, still confined in her grip. "This isn't rated K+ for nothing. No foul language."
Ness stared openly at her. "You're bonkers, woman."
"If you say so." She dropped the protesting kid on the floor unceremoniously and pushed him outside, shutting the door behind him.
Lucas sighed and scratched the back of his neck with a hand. "What is it with him?"
Fox shrugged and strode back to the couch in the observation part of the room, Sheik and Lucas following. The screens were showing, interestingly, the Melee stage selection screen. "Meh. Child's thing. Typical, isn't it? Nobody really cares about the new physics and everything, it's all about the winning."
"Hitstun and hitlag," Lucas murmured. "Isn't that when the victim and attacker freeze when they connect a powerful attack?"
"What?" Fox raised his eyebrows at him. "You know that stuff?"
The PSI boy nodded.
"Hmm. Alright then. Ten questions. Tell me what a L-cancel stands for."
Sheik shook her head. "That's Melee, Fox. You can't expect him to know that."
Now it was Sheik's turn to raise her eyebrows at him. Lucas felt a twinge of pride at having surprised the two veterans.
"Okay, smarty pants. Koopa Hopping." Fox had crossed his arms and was smiling.
"Bowser double jumps, then uses his Flying Slam, and he can jump again without technically touching the ground."
"Hoy! This kid's good. Alright, Zap Jump."
Lucas grinned. "I use my midair jump, then PK Fire right after. I shoot upwards a lot higher than my usual jump."
"A cheap tactic at that… Cape Glide. And Cape Rape. That's two questions, by the way."
"Mario uses his Cape just before he goes off an edge, and he'll levitate out a good distance. And… uh, Cape Rape's when he uses his Cape on Meta Knight when he reappears after using Dimensional Cape… I think. He'll either go flying backwards in an arc or forwards incredibly fast."
"You jump off the edge and use your reflector. You'll semi-spike any opponent quite powerfully. At any percentage."
"Gee, thanks! Uhh… Jab Fake."
"You do the first one or two hits of your jab, then cancel it with your shield. Then you can do any other attack while the opponent's stunned."
"You knock an opponent straight down very quickly."
"You cancel landing lag when you hit the floor while tumbling. You'll do a handstand or something similar, and you're invincible while doing it."
"Last question… aha. Wavedashing."
Lucas shrugged. "You use an airdodge into the ground. You'll slide a good distance, which you can use for movement if your dash is slow and traction is low."
Fox clapped the boy on the back, grinning like a shark. Sheik's uncovered eye was narrowed slightly, but she was clearly impressed, and it was from amusement.
The vixen laughed. "Hey Falco! We got ourselves a child genius here!"
"Eh?" Falco's Brooklyn-like accent was a noticeable contrast to everyone else's. "Say that again?"
"I said, 'we've got a child genius here'. Geez! Where do you keep your ears?"
The bird looked up, a stoic expression on his face. "Trade secret, sorry. And the genius thing, it's, uhh, cool. Gimme' a hand here, will you? I can't get the blimmin' teleporters to work."
"Amateur," Lucas just heard Fox mutter. The mammal marched over to the panel, leaned over and resumed the same level of incoherent mumbling that he'd heard outside the door.
A fraction of a second later, the teleporters lit up with their respective colours. Fox straightened from his hunched position and glowered at Falco, a flabbergasted look on his features.
"Hey," Falco squeaked, holding his wings up in defence, "Don't kill me for that! That matter projector thing is complex!"
"You're off your game, Falco!" Fox admonished, shaking his head vigorously. "Are you losing your technical knowhow or something?"
"You're the one lower in the tiers," he countered. "Something must have gone wrong with you too, right?"
Fox raised a finger and opened his mouth to make a point, but then lowered it, looking sheepish. "That's a touchy subject."
"Ignoring Foxy," the bird started, now addressing Lucas and Sheik, "we can now go back to Melee's game system whenever we want. You wanna' go now, or what?"
Sheik immediately walked quickly into one teleporter, Falco and Fox shrugging and following as well. The three glanced at Lucas, who was still standing outside, biting his lip. Fox blinked and looked at Falco, Sheik, then back to Lucas. "Hey, kid, you don't wanna' come too?"
The boy shifted uneasily and bit his tongue lightly. "N-no, it's just that I'm not used to anything other than Brawl-"
"Silly!" Fox strode forward and wrapped his arms around him, steering him into the last empty teleporter. "You don't get anywhere in life if you don't get new experiences!"
Without waiting for a response from the kid, Fox spun around and went over to the console again, and pressed a button. Dashing back to his red teleporter, the doors closed on each and the light became blindingly bright, as it usually did.
"I'm sorry?" Marth seemed slightly skeptical.
"I said he's going back to Melee," Ness insisted.
Peach watched the dubious exchange with faint amusement, her hands clutched in front of her. Marth was biting his lower lip, obviously struggling to come to terms with what Ness was eagerly trying to get across. The conversation continued for a few tens of seconds more.
"So Fox is trying to go back to Melee's way? So what?" Marth was nodding very slowly.
"Don't you get it? If he does that he'll be top tier again…" Ness trailed off, realising stupidly what he was trying to get at.
The prince smiled. "Ness, there is no need to be stressed. Master Hand is not about to go back mid-tournament. What were you worried about anyway?"
"I think it was insecurity," Peach offered mildly, stepping forwards to join the duo.
Ness looked at her, miffed. "You were nerfed too. Why aren't either of you going?"
"Well, I'm fine right here," Marth stated confidently. "I don't really see the point in going back to a playstyle which I likely won't be using again. Do you see?"
Peach gave them both a dazzling smile. "What he said. And I have to cook sometimes, too, though Toon Link does some of that for me as well."
"Wait, Twink cooks?" Ness was disbelieving.
"Yes. And don't call people names," she scolded. "But he's actually quite good at it. He can make a chilli con carne without ruining the saucepans now, at least. And his noodles are quite the delicacy! I never thought adding hot dog sausages would be so tasty!"
Marth shook his head. "Those things are unhealthy for you, you know. I would much rather add some mussels and spring onions to it. Pleasantly chewy while still keeping that soy sauce flavour that I like about the dish."
"True, but seafood's expensive. Hot dog sausages are rather cheap for their quantity. And compared to other sausages, they've got a very smooth texture."
"Dude, aren't you supposed to, like, put HD sausages in a bun and put ketchup and mustard on it?"
Peach cocked her head. "You can go visit the lounge if you want HD. The TV's very good at displaying it."
Marth facepalmed. "Peach, my dear, that is terrible."
"Spur of the moment."
"Whatev'." Ness skipped away to the door. "I'm off to go play 'Splosion Man for a while."
Marth followed, his face brightening. "Have you defeated the first boss yet?"
"It's stupid! I keep getting hit by those stupid lasers and stupid missiles and that stupid flick…"
Peach waited until the two were out of earshot before putting the back of her hand to her chin and laughing delicately like she was renowned to do so.
So Fox and co. are going back to Melee? Sounds interesting… but I have lunch to make now! I'll see if I can't join some time later this week…
Fox shook his head to remove the dizziness he'd long since forgotten from Melee's teleporter system, the blurred scenery reforming itself into Hyrule Temple, unchanged since its inception.
Glancing down at his waist, he could see that his Reflector had vanished, which was good. Pulling out his blaster he could see as well that it was slightly bulkier, with a stronger but less efficient power source, meaning shots with more variation in damage but longer lasting overall. All he needed was some proof that the others had pulled through too…
Falco pulled himself up above the column in front of him, as close to a smile as he could get with a beak. He too appeared slightly less detailed than in Brawl, confirming that the softmod for Melee had worked.
"Feels good to be back again." Fox turned to see Sheik daintily observing three needles in her hand. Her body was much less feminine now, more muscular, and her lone red eye seemed a much deeper red than usual. Her braid was no longer there, replaced by the cropped blond hair fringing her head bandages.
The mammal grinned at her. "Too right! I feel like wavedashing all over again!"
"You do that." Sheik's voice had deepened faintly too, and it was laced with amusement. "I'm going to start practicing for a while."
He blinked. "Wait, you seen Lucas anywhere?"
Sheik turned and both looked up to see said PSI boy hanging his head over the edge of the platform above. His head seemed much smaller than usual, and his hair appeared somewhat stiffer and less prominent.
"Get down from there," Sheik faked scolding. "Young children should stay away from ungrabbable ledges, you know!"
"Yes ma'am!" Fox wasn't quite sure if Lucas had gotten the joke, but the boy still lightly hovered down to more solid ground cushioned by PSI hexagons. After that the child looked around, frowning.
"It doesn't look any different…"
"'Course not!" Fox stepped around the Sheikah and knelt down to Lucas' eye level. "But things only look different."
The boy kicked the ground nervously. "So… h-how do you do wavedashing, then?"
Fox grinned. "Aight, let's start with the basic bits first. First, you gotta' short hop…"
So, there you have it! This is only the first half of the epic glitch, however, so expect the real action to pop up next chappie. But enough talking from me, you've probably got things to do, so I'll waste your time no longer. See ya'll!