The 'Shroom:Issue 133/Palette Swap
Happy April, everyone! I hope your weather is better than mine has been. Recently I started a new job, and it's kept me pretty busy, but not too busy for the 'Shroom!
Section of the Month
Lots of votes again this month! Thanks so much for showing our writers so much support, and keep it up! Yoshi 876 (talk) cops another win for his What's on the Box? section on Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story!
What's on the Box?
Hello readers, and welcome back to What's on the Box.
For the past few months, we've been stuck in a rut with looking at boring boxarts, but this month we may have potentially broken the trend. I'm not saying that this boxart is amazing, but it certainly has a lot more going on in it, then most of the recent boxarts we've looked at have.
Despite this being the 33rd outing of this section under my stewardship, we've never actually taken a look at the boxart for a Mario Golf game, I also think this might be the first time where we've actually taken a look at a GameCube game as well.
On the game's boxart, Mario can be seen hitting a golf ball, presumably on Peach's Castle Grounds, as that course features the tall mushrooms and Chain Chomps that we can see on the boxart, but unfortunately that's all it manages to feature. And that is a shame, because from looking through the game's own wiki page it could have potentially featured more.
Peach's Castle Grounds is an odd choice to have as the cover course, considering how far into the game it is actually unlocked, perhaps it might have been better to have feature Lakitu Valley or Cheep Cheep Falls. That said, I do understand why Peach's Castle Grounds was used instead, as the two aforementioned courses don't seem to have many obstacles, and plus Peach's Castle Ground does have massive toadstools on it, which coincide with the game's actual name.
The main issue I have with this boxart however, is that it only features Mario. The game has 16 different characters, 18 if you count the two you can transfer over, surely it wouldn't hurt to feature some of them on as well? I can understand missing off Bowser Jr. or Petey Piranha as they weren't series stalwarts at that time, although their popularity was rising as they continued to appear in many GameCube games, but surely characters like Luigi or Princess Peach, or even Princess Daisy could have appeared on the boxart. This is especially noticeable since Mario Golf for the Nintendo 64 managed to feature various different Mario characters on its boxart, although looking at the previous Mario Golf boxarts, it was more commonplace to just feature Mario.
Ongoing Fan Projects
Fans of Super Mario are likely to know the works of Yoko Shimomura, who composes the music for the Mario & Luigi RPG series and composed the music for Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Much of her work has become well-known and respected, but her piece from the Forest Maze in Super Mario RPG stands out as one of the most memorable. The Forest Maze theme is one of those compositions that just gets stuck in the heads of players, which may have also been the case for the creators of this month’s featured song, “Waltz of the Forest”. It’s a clever take on a famous piece which takes the Forest Maze theme and adds lyrics and an animation to it.
“Waltz of the Forest” began, oddly enough, as a meme. The video’s creation in 2011 was preceded by an early remix of the Forest Maze theme created in 2004. In that year, Newgrounds user DJ XBrav posted a remix of the Forest Maze theme with lyrics, calling his song “Geno’s Forest”. This version of the song was simple but charming, with just a few verses which were somewhat related to Super Mario RPG and a few rap sections which listed some of the game’s items. The song began to spread around the Internet, earning a number of parodies, remixes, and edits. In 2007, Martine Hagwall created his own version of the song with extended lyrics and Grant Kirbopher created an animated video to accompany. Out of this collaboration was born “Rawest Forest”. After a few years, Kirbopher returned and, with support from a few other collaborators, created an updated song and video entitled “Waltz of the Forest”. If you want to squeeze out a little more information about the song’s history, check out its article on “Know Your Meme”, the site where I shamelessly gathered my information for this article.
That being said, I didn’t decide to showcase this song based off of its history. The song and accompanying video pack in quite a few references to Super Mario RPG and, to be honest, turn the Forest Maze theme into even more of an earworm than it already is. The lyrics contain numerous references to the game which inspired the song. The rap sections in the older versions of the song have been trimmed down, and the only major rapping section in the song is a summary of the game in four lines. Some of the vocal sections make reference to the elements of exploration and mystery throughout the game. Having had a chance to play through the game on Virtual Console, I understand the statement that “There are many secrets in this land, / up in the clouds or beneath the sand.” From Grate Guy’s Casino to hidden equipment, the game has secrets and hidden items everywhere, sometimes requiring obscure sequences of events or highly creative players willing to look for not-so-obvious secrets. This mystery is a part of the game’s charm, though it can be understandably frustrating at times. This is reflected well in the statement that “Deep within this labyrinth there is place, / if you go looking you might go insane.”
Of course, with this song, focusing on the lyrics alone don’t do it justice. There’s an amazing animation that accompanies this song. The animation is just packed with references to the game, some obvious and some obscure. There is a section of the animation which includes large numbers of the game’s friendly characters, while another has the entire lineup of the game’s major bosses. To understand some of the references, like the sudden appearance of a Hidon, viewers may have had to have played or watched the game, but even viewers with only a secondhand knowledge of the game will pick up on at least a few of the references. Overall, the animation is packed with great references to its source game and is often paired with the lyrics in such a way that those references are enhanced.
All of that said, give a listen to “Waltz of the Forest.” If you know Super Mario RPG, you’ll absolutely love how well this video expands on the Forest Maze theme and incorporates reference after reference to the game. Even if you’ve never heard of the game, listen to the song; you’ll still find it difficult to get out of your head.
HI, everyone! I'm your unique writer, Tucayo, here with the April installment of Take Cover!. We have two great covers up ahead, so turn your volume up and read on.