Initiation is the name of the Prologue chapter in The Battle Arena. It goes into how the Battle Arena begins, who Master Hand selects to serve him, and even goes into the "reward" for winning the tournament.
Master Hand is floating on Final Destination. He has just been defeated by a Smasher, and he is upset about it. He turns into a fist, and pounds the ground with rage that he has once again lost to the Smashers. Soon after, he stops pounding the ground and snaps his finger. He clearly came up with an idea!
Master Hand floats at incredible speed to a notebook, complete with a pen on it. Master Hand snaps his finger again, and the notebook opens. He grabs the pen and begins to write, as he laughs an evil laugh...
After writing several different letters, each the same, he snaps his finger once again, as the letters dissapear. Master Hand sent a challenge to each of the Smashers (except the playable characters listed above). He then opened the notebook once again, and wrote a different letter, to a select few Smashers. Two images appear at this time, one which shows the first letter he wrote (addressed to Mario), and the other showing the second (addressed to Bowser).
You have been invited to a very special tournament! The best of the best are showing up here. The reward for winning is spectacular! If you want to fight with the best of the best, don't hesitate! Join now!
. . .
You are receiving this letter from Master Hand. I am holding a tournament where the greatest fighters of all time are showing... But that's not why I'm holding it. I want to defeat these "heroic' smashers, and I'm sure you do, too. Join the tournament, and I'll grant you strength! Together, we'll defeat them all! I'll even let you defeat your own evemy! We'll all win!
. . .
The one flaw with these letters is that there's no address to where the Smashers needed to go! Realizing this before he sent them all, Master Hand included a map to the Battle Arena with each note he sent. To the few villains, however, he sent a map which lead to his lair.
Pan to Bowser's Castle, where Bowser is reading the note. A Goomba attempts to peek over his shoulder, but Bowser smacks him out of the way as he continues to read it. Bowser reads the last line, and smirks. After roaring a loud roar of excitement, he calls for the Koopa Clown Car and flies away, headstrong. Bowser Jr. can be seen running below him, presumably going to the tournament via the regular note.
The camera then pans to Ganondorf, who is reading the letter as well. Unlike Bowser, who completely approved of the note, had no emotion on his face, other than interest. He drops the note, and simply walks off.
Next we see Ridley, reading over the note next to some sort of pod. In the pod is what appears to be some sort of Space Pirate, although what it is is very unclear. Ridley has a similar reaction to Bowser, as he furiously flies out of his lair without even as much as telling his own men where he's going. Unlike Bowser, though, he at least left a note behind. Before Ridley flies away, you can see torn pieces of paper on the ground, which, if lined up, read Justin Bailey.
The camera then pans to Marx, who is bouncing on his ball. He is reading the note, which is lying on the ground. He seems rather bored with the note, and more interested with his ball, until he notices the sentence, "I'll grant you strength!". Marx is reminded of when he ruled Popstar, and instantly bounces off to Master Hand's lair (taking both the map and the note with him).
Master Hand is then shown waiting for his selected Smashers to arrive. Bowser arrives first, who greets Master Hand with a pound, which doesn't sit well with Master Hand. Ganondorf and Ridley arrive next; Bowser is enraged to see Ganondorf there, and a fight almost erupts between the two until Ridley claws the two of them, as a sign of stopping them. Mewtwo then teleports into the room, almost as if he knew about the letter without even reading it. Fawful soon after jumps out of the Koopa Clown Car; Bowser's reaction is quite comical. It's never explained how Fawful even got inside of the Car, though.
Master Hand then points away from the Smashers, as the five see a long obstacle course ahead. There are several enemies that Master Hand created; they're pretty weak, but they're mostly there to test the Smashers. The five agree and charge forward.
- Level Type: Platformer
- Difficulty: *
You choose here who you want to start with. It doesn't effect the story at all in terms of who you choose. The level itself will be shown in the future.
As the five reach the end, Master Hand congratulates them on a job well done. He then snaps his finger, as the five receive more power than ever. Master Hand then tells them his plan to defeat the Smashers via The Battle Arena; even Ganondorf admits the plan isn't a bad one. The group returns to the entrance, and prepare to leave...
But before they can, in bounces Marx, who's method of transportation (a bouncing ball) is quite bad. Bowser mocks him for looking "cute and pathetic", which angers Marx. Master Hand decides to test Marx to see if he's worthy: He has to fight a randomly selected Smasher in his current form before Master Hand gives him power. Marx agrees to this, as Master Hand randomly selects someone. You cannot get Bowser from this.
- Level Type: Fighter
- Fawful: **
- Ridley: **
- Ganondorf: ***
- Mewtwo: ****
Fawful and Ridley don't put up much of a fight, even powered up. The AI can't utilize Fawful's strengths at the current level of difficulty, and Ridley can't handle Marx very well. Ganondorf isn't much harder, although due to his insane power (which is made even stronger), he can easily score a K.O., even on Marx. Mewtwo is the hardest, although even then that isn't saying much. Just beware of his dangerous moves, and the battle should be won with ease.
Master Hand congratulates Marx on his victory, and grants him the power that he had as the "Ruler of Popstar". After explaining their plan to Marx, the group of villains then leave for the Battle Arena, where the fight would begin...
...But they didn't expect so many people there already! With a quick glance, it would seem as if everyone was there. But Bowser looks upset; he can tell that Mario isn't there. This upsets Fawful, as well, since he isn't fond of Mario, either, and wants to see him defeated. Master Hand decides to send Fawful to get Mario, which doesn't amuse Fawful. He decides to go anyway, in hopes of possibly defeating Mario with his new power; if he lost, he'd go "Mr. Nice Fawful" and explain to them about the Battle Arena. Fawful laughed with chortles and flew away for the Mushroom Kingdom.
- When the Battle Arena was first created, this chapter didn't exist.
- This is the only level that cannot be accessed a second time until you clear The Battle Arena.
- Originally, Master Hand was supposed to immediatelly choose Ganondorf to be his "second in command".
- This occurs before the events of Marx Soul, but after the events of Milky Way Wishes.
- When this chapter was first released, Marx's first form (the bouncing ball one) had not been revealed yet.