The 'Shroom:Issue 175/Palette Swap
Welcome to the October issue of The 'Shroom!
Did everybody see that new direct?? We've been spoiled rotten for content- as I'm writing this, Metroid Dread is a week old, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is set to receive a massive DLC update, and Platinum has finally confirmed that Bayonetta 3 is in fact, not dead. Things are looking good! This time next month, I'll be writing about Shin Megami Tensei V while I'm waiting for my copy of Pokemon Shining Pearl to ship from Pokemon Center. It's going to be a busy end of the year, that's for sure.
Lots of news for this month in Palette Swap! We have two writers leaving us, sadly: Chester Alan Arthur (talk) has decided to end the run of The Devious Workings of Phineas J. Shoe, and Stooben Rooben (talk) is going to scale 8-Bit Amphitheater into a guest submission section. Fear not, he will be back with more chiptunes in the future. While GoldenMario 007 is on hiatus, Long John Spaghetti (talk) is starting a new story: Luigi's Requiem. The first chapter is up for you right now, so go check it out!
Section of the Month
Last month didn't feel crowded, but this Section of the Month table sure does! Coming in first once again, we have Waluigi Time (talk), who updated Shmaluigi, Private Investigator with a new chapter concluding the Hidden Mansion arc of the story. Next up is a two-way tie between Magolor04726 (talk)'s latest chapter of World of Plight including a Mewtwo entry and Waluigi Time (talk)'s first Waluigi Time Comic, spotlighting a man made out of goo. After that, we have InsaneBlathers (talk)'s debut section of Pixel Perfect, a pixel art showcase of their work. Following that, we have yet another tie: Booguette's Koopamon chapter, featuring a Koopamon battle between Mario and Luigi; the debut of Shy Guy's Cool and Hot Jams from Shy Guy on Wheels (talk) discussing SEGA composers; and winstein (talk)'s Drawn and Pressed section featuring a collection of side projects by the legendary Jim Davis. Thank you to everyone who voted, and please keep it up for this month as well!
|Palette Swap SECTION OF THE MONTH|
|1st||Shmaluigi, Private Investigator||9||32.14%||Waluigi Time|
|2nd||World of Plight||5||17.86%||Magolor04726|
|2nd||Waluigi Time Comic||5||17.86%||Waluigi Time|
|5th||Shy Guy's Cool and Hot Jams||2||7.14%||Shy Guy on Wheels|
|5th||Drawn and Pressed||2||7.14%||winstein|
What's on the Box?
Hello readers, and welcome back to What's on the Box.
It's Halloween and we have run into the issue that we have covered all of the Luigi's Mansion games, so I really had to dig deep into finding something spooky, and what could be more spooky than the Virtual Boy, a console that gave people headaches and only shipped 80,000 units? Okay, perhaps a lot of things but let's roll with it.
In this section, we will be looking at Mario Clash, a game very similar to the original Mario Bros. game. And the boxart highlights these main similarities with a Sidestepper and Koopa Troopa on display, and much like in the original game, Mario is using the enemies to defeat each other – much to the shock of the nearby Para-Goomba.
What I find interesting about this boxart is all the expressions on display for the characters. Mario looks seething as he chucks the visibly scared Koopa Troopa. And Mario isn't the only angry one there, as the Sidestepper does not look thrilled at what's occurring, looking like it's shouting out in anger at what's about to happen to it. And as aforementioned, the Para-Goomba is looking pretty shocked.
Much like the original Mario Bros. the boxart takes place in the sewers, potentially around the Mushroom Kingdom given what's coming out of those pipes, and that aesthetic is certainly seen, with the location reminding me of the sewers featured in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
Mario Clash is a strong boxart for a console that definitely wasn't strong. Mario might be looking a little violent, but you immediately get the sense of what the game is, and perhaps it may even trigger childhood memories of playing the original Mario Bros. I can't actually find any faults with this boxart, the amount of enemies featured is good, even featuring the main ones known from the game, it's only single-player so Luigi being absent makes absolute sense, and it just looks pretty. If only the Virtual Boy was as good as this boxart.
Hello dear readers and welcome to Site Seeing, in which I'll go over some of the websites Nintendo releases to inform the public about their games and series!
Today I have an exceedingly scary site for you to look at: the one for Luigi's Mansion 3!
As we enter today's website, we are immediately introduced to one of the core features in Luigi's Mansion 3, because the hero image pictures Luigi and Gooigi on the sides, with the game's logo in between them. Underneath, we are invited to watch a trailer and informed that the game is now available.
Somewhat unsubtly, the first bit of information following this is the availability of the Multiplayer Pack, which only then is followed by an introduction about The Last Resort, the game's setting. Especially effective at this is a bigger section that shows its appearance change from hotel to uh, haunted hotel, which is overlaid with an invitation. If you are logged into your Nintendo Account, this invitation addresses you with your name. This section links to the Story page.
The next section gives a short introduction to Luigi's gear, courtesy of professor E. Gadd. Gadd is pictured here with the Poltergust G-00 and a Goob to the side, and a video frame that demonstrates a few abilities. This section links to the Gameplay page.
The third section introduces multiplayer, picturing Luigi and Gooigi working together, and a video where multiplayer games are demoed. This section links to the Multiplayer page. The fourth and final big section advertises a creative tool with which one can turn themselves into Luigi and Gooigi, and put them on a themed image. This section links to said tool (which is not linked in the main menu, only here).
At the bottom, a small banner is shown which links to the Buy now page. This banner is present on all pages, in the same position.
The Story page welcomes us once again to The Last Resort. This includes the opening cutscene from the game, as Luigi and co arrive here.
Then, the framing of his friends is shown and King Boo is reintroduced as the culprit, also with the corresponding cutscene.
After a video tour throughout the hotel, there is also a peephole, which once clicked on, opens a large view through the hotel's front door, showing the main hall with Luigi and friends standing around. By moving the mouse around, you can look around a little bit.
The next page, Gameplay, tells us more about professor E. Gadd's creations. The first of these is, of course, Gooigi. In a case of show, don't tell, Gooigi is pictured coming out of a pipe with bars locking it off, clearly phasing through these bars, which is further demonstrated in a video. Another video displays his weakness to water. Linked from this section is Professor E. Gadd's Research Journal, which tells more about the discovery of goo.
After Gooigi, we have the Poltergust G-00. Being a new and improved edition in the Poltergust series, it has new abilities, which are explained with text and footage. This section also has a peephole, which shows Luigi standing in a dark hallway.
Not a gadget, nor made by E. Gadd, but an important gameplay element is Polterpup, who is introduced as well as Luigi's sidekick.
The Multiplayer page tells us more about the co-op features to be found in Luigi's Mansion 3. Most notably, the ScareScraper, a team game, and then ScreamPark, a team versus team game. The former talks a bit about local and online gameplay, the latter tells more about the individual minigames present in this mode. Both also advertise the Multiplayer Pack for additional clothing and minigames.
The last page present in the menu is Buy now, which shows pricing information for the digital download, and offers buttons for retailers in the United States and Canada to get a physical copy. One can also get My Nintendo points for digital downloads.
The Multiplayer Pack has more information about it here too, detailing which features are included in the first and second waves (not sold separately).
There are still two pages remaining that are linked from other places than the main menu. These are the image editor and E. Gadd's journal.
The Image Creator is an interactive tool, which on start gives options to use a square, desktop, or postcard sized artboard to work with. Having chosen this, you can either upload a photo, take one with your device's camera, or skip this step. If you do upload or take a photo, you can crop it and remove the background.
You are then taken to the artboard, with the picture you've taken already added to it, as well as one which has been coloured green to represent a Gooigi version of yourself. On this canvas, you can add various bits of clipart and select a background.
After finishing up, you can download the image.
Professor E. Gadd's Research Journal is a themed page with seven entries, taking you through Gadd's process of discovering goo and creating Gooigi. The entries are all supported with photographs and doodles.
It should be noted that this journal precedes Luigi's Mansion 3, and was originally written for the Nintendo 3DS remake of the first Luigi's Mansion, the site of which has been replaced with the one for 3. It was also included in this site to introduce Gooigi's backstory, and an additional chapter was added to hook into the later game.
A very thematic site, and as such, includes plenty of darker colours, greens, and darker green colours. Because of the big orange 3 in the logo, there are also a few orange accents to be found, notably in headers, frames, and frills. Purple is also common. The overarching theme for backgrounds is that they look like various options for wallpaper and cornice borders, with hints of concrete in the very back.
Sections are generally divided with cornice borders, but also with a depiction of the space between floors: empty space between slabs of concrete. What fills up the space differs, all include cobwebs and a stack of skulls, and either have tomatoes, a treasure chest, or mice.
While sections are divided with straight lines, a few boxes and frames notably use skewed lines. This includes buttons, insets about the Multiplayer Pack, and info panels on the Multiplayer and Buy now pages. This fits in with the crookedness of The Last Resort itself.
The top menu is designed to look and feel like goo, in a very interactive way. Idle, it wobbles a bit, but moving over it with the cursor causes it to ripple on impact. This as a whole adds a lot of life to the site.
The Image Creator tool uses the same background elements as the rest of the site, but contained within its frame. Backgrounds found elsewhere on the site can be used for the image as well, and are selectable in a vertical carousel to the right of the artboard.
The journal, while maintaining the same header and footer, uses a very different design. It is designed to look like paper that's gone through a lot, and where E. Gadd has doodled on and taped photos on. There are also stains of goo all over the paper, and unreadable notes.
The photos look like polaroid prints, notably greyscale, but with luminous elements coloured (such as goo, ghosts, and fire).
On small screens such as phones, most elements simply stack on top of each other. A few pieces of artwork simply don't show up, such as King Boo and Hellen Gravely. The goo-ey menu collapses into just the word "Menu", which when tabbed makes the goo expand to reveal the items.
This part may not be of interest to everyone, or may you even understand any of it. But it can be interesting to some people who are curious about some of the technology used to create this site.
This site does not appear to use a greater framework, but uses a number of smaller components that were bundled using webpack. As with plenty of previous sites, it is hosted on Amazon Web Services.
As a direct result of that last thing, the minifying, I haven't been able to track down exactly which components and libraries are used, and whether they are freely available or have been coded specifically for this site. As such, I'm not able to go into those details for this site.
I've previously talked about Amazon Web Services as a large platform for various hosting and cloud solutions. Among those options, a simple static site like this is a straightforward option to choose.
And of course, our trusty canvas returns for the goo-ey menu. Its versatility has no bounds.
If I didn't already like this site, the Lunoman Greenie coffee blend mentioned in E. Gadd's journal would have. Nice theming and design, and although it's mostly static, the videos and menu add a bit of extra life to it. An excellent addition to the site is the Image Creator, which allows for a fair bit of creative freedom, and enabling one to put their own photo on it as well as that photo but goo-ified allows one to make very personalised pictures.
And that's it for the spooky month of October! Back on schedule, which means that I'll see you again in December. Happy Halloween if you celebrate that, and until then!
World of Plight
Preparations for the Halloween party were going smoothly, which was great considering Luigi went missing last time. It would have gone perfectly, until disaster struck.
“WAAAHHHHHHHH!!! There’s no more garlic burrito-o-os!” Wario sobbed.
(Uh, wait, no, not that. Over here.)
“Mister Sakurai!” Chef Kawasaki exclaimed. “We couldn’t find any candy for the party. They were totally out at the store.”
Sakurai face palmed as Swordfighter, Brawler and I watched Wario rush around the cafeteria looking for a trace of his precious burritos. “Of course…” Sakurai groaned. “Now what do we do? We can’t have a party like this without candy!”
I looked at my companions before stepping up to Sakurai. “Mister Sakurai, I could go get find candy for the group.”
“We’ll go with her!” Swordfighter chimed in.
“With the amount Wario eats, we’ll need three people,” Brawler chuckled.
“I’m… not so sure about tha-.”
“Come on, Sakurai,” Swordfighter interrupted. “We’re the Mii’s. We stick together. If someone in Smash is involved with this, the three of us are either going to all be involved or not at all, so there’s no problem sending us out.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Great defense, SF.”
Brawler nodded. “We’ll go door-to-door and see if anyone has any candy that they’d be willing to hand out. There’s a neighborhood not far from here.”
Sakurai hesitated. “Well, all right. Kawasaki probably has some boxes or something you could use.”
“Better yet,” Kawasaki said, “We have some bags in the kitchen we were going to throw out. You can use those!”
“Great!” I said. “Let’s get to it!”
I knocked on the door, hoping that I wasn’t disturbing the inhabitants too much. A few seconds later, a Sniffit opened the door. “Can I help you?” He asked.
“Hi, I’m Gunner. I’m from Smash Bros. We’re having a Halloween party later, but we don’t have any candy. I was hoping you might have some to spare?”
“Oh, sure, sure, got plenty of stuff saved for later, give me a sec.” He walked back inside.
I glanced across the street at Swordfighter, who was walking down the sidewalk, his bag bulging a little at the bottom. Brawler was further down the street at another house, talking to a Dry Bones with an unusually dark bone tone.
The Sniffit walked back out with a fistful of various candy pieces, which he dropped in my bag. “Enjoy!” he said and closed the door.
I walked further down and knocked on another door. Suddenly, a crackling voice rattled through the door. “There’s a bowl on the porch. Leave me be. I don’t want to see any so-called Dry Bones costumes.”
I turned to the porch and saw a bowl on a small table. “Thank you!” I called as I grabbed a handful and dropped it in my bag. Already I had a sizeable amount. This was looking like it would be a fun night.
Left out again… Would it be too much to ask for a decent costume?! I really feel overlooked… At least I had something to wear to the Halloween party. After our candy run, Brawler, Gunner and I ran back to the Smash Bros. campus. When we walked in the door, it was dead silent. No one was out except the Zelda fighters, and they all seemed to be running towards the hospital wing. Brawler grabbed Toon Link by the arm and asked, “What’s going on?”
“HYAH!” He replied and ran off.
“Maybe you should ask someone who actually talks,” I suggested.
Then Gunner called to Zelda and asked what happened.
“Waluigi was here!”
So apparently Waluigi came back. In the midst of everyone’s costumes, he managed to slip through unnoticed. No one realized he was there until he tripped over Bowser Junior’s Clown Car. He tried dressing as a detective, but his fedora fell off and everyone recognized him almost instantly. When everyone tried to grab him, there was a huge puff of smoke and he vanished. He must have had help from the Magic Master or something. A head count was taken and Sakurai realized that Ganondorf wasn’t there. Everyone fanned out to look and it didn’t take long before he was found unconscious in a storage closet. Sakurai ordered all the Fighters to go back to their rooms and people began to talk about leaving Smash because “home might be safer.”
Ganondorf is in the hospital wing and still hasn’t woken up, and from what we can tell, the remaining portion of the Triforce of Power’s, uh, power has been drained away.
But hey, at least we got some candy for the party.
Hey guys! Mags here. I hope you enjoyed this month’s issue of World of Plight. (I certainly had fun writing it!) If you have any thoughts about the story, contact me on the Mario Boards.
From the Smash Bros. HQ,
Shmaluigi, Private Investigator
It started as a quiet evening in late October. My brother Shmwario invited me to go to a Halloween party earlier, but here I was, sitting alone in my office, having a bowl of Frankentime's Monster Cereal for dinner. Not that I really had a problem with that. Here's the thing, when I'm with a team of investigators trying to bust a mafia, I'll be in the thick of things with the best of them. But an ordinary social gathering? I'm a wallflower. It's just not my scene.
I wasn't sure what it was about this night in particular, but I was pretty bored, almost to the point of regretting turning down the invitation. Not quite, but almost. My phone rang earlier and I was hoping it would be someone with a case, but it was just a telemarketer. Rats...
As I sat there eating my cereal, feeling as though I could die of boredom any second, my phone started to ring. "Shmaluigi, private investigator."
I was greeted by a familiar voice. "Hello, Shmaluigi? This is Magolor."
"Ah, hello Mr. Magolor! How can Shmaluigi help you?"
"I... have a bit of a problem. See, I run a company called M-corporated, and we produce all kinds of products. We have a few warehouses here in New Wikisburg and the surrounding areas, but I've been getting reports that one of them is... haunted. It's absurd, but the handful of workers there are scared out of their wits and refuse to come into work until I do something about it. I sent my head of security to check it out last night, but he hasn't come back. He left at the end of his shift around seven PM and didn't come in today. He's never missed a day of work, so I'm worried something may have happened to him. I was hoping you could check it out."
"Absolutely! Shmaluigi's on the case."
"Great! Can you come down to our headquarters so I can give you more details?"
"Sure thing, Shmaluigi will be there as soon as possible. See you in a bit."
I sat down in Mr. Magolor's office as he explained more details. "Thank you for coming on such short notice. The warehouse is on the north side of the city. It's quite large and it's our most valuable one, because it contains the majority of our unreleased products."
"Unreleased products, eh? Interesting..."
"Yes, it's very important. Now, Dryvint really stands out from most Dry Bones'. His skin- uh, bone color is darker than most and he's cracked all over. He's also missing his right eye."
"Dry Bones... Dark... Cracked... Missing eye... Alright, got it," I said as I wrote down the description in my notebook.
"I can have someone drive you to the warehouse, if you like."
"Oh, that would be great, thank you."
The driver stopped as we pulled up outside of the warehouse. Mr. Magolor wasn't kidding when he said this place was big. Trying to find one guy in this place looked like it was going to be a bit of a challenge, to say the least.
"This is our stop," the driver said.
"Well, here goes nothing," I said as I got out of the car and made my way towards the warehouse. I was skeptical that this place was actually haunted, but hey, Shmaluigi's not afraid of ghosts! I'm not like that scaredy cat Luigi!
It was pretty dark inside, not particularly surprising since Mr. Magolor said the workers refused to come back. Luckily, a good private investigator is always prepared, so I pulled my flashlight out of my pocket and started exploring. I didn't see anything of note yet, mostly just the standard fare you'd expect from a warehouse. More specifically, boxes. Lots of boxes. There didn't seem to be any paranormal activity going on in here though, at least not as far as I could tell.
As I continued to explore the warehouse, a Boo suddenly appeared in front of me. I was startled at first, and instinctively pointed my flashlight at it, but it didn't react at all. Upon closer inspection, I realized that this was no real Boo, merely a projection on the wall. Looks like my instincts were right, this whole haunting thing was just some sort of hoax. But who was behind it?
"Ooh, a projection, very scary," I said sarcastically, hopefully loud enough for whoever was pulling the strings around here to hear me.
I pressed on, determined to get to the bottom of this. Then as I turned a corner, a group of mummified Toads jumped out - Mummy-Me! Ack, I hate these things! I don't care all that much about the whole mummy thing to be honest, I just really, REALLY don't like those creeps that mimick your every movement. It's just so off-putting! Seriously, who does that? I turned around and ran away as fast as I could, but as I did, I tripped over a Jack O'Goomba and landed in some cobwebs, taking them down with me as I hit the floor. I got back up and noticed what appeared to be a giant Scuttlebug above me. Nope, nope, NOPE, I didn't care if that was just a decoration or not, I was out of there! Maybe there was something to this haunting thing after all.
I ran through the first door I could find and locked it behind me. Now that's probably the kind of thing that gets you killed in horror movies, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Better than staying out there with Mummy-Me and giant Scuttlebugs, anyway... After taking a moment to catch my breath, I looked around the room for anything of interest. For some reason, there was an opened pack of toilet paper, which struck me as odd since this room wasn't a supply closet or anything. I continued looking around and found packages of Halloween decorations, some empty and some still unopened. Fake cobwebs, smoke machines, even a giant Scuttlebug prop. This whole thing had to be fake! I should have stuck with my instincts after all. Now I just had to figure out what they were doing there and find this Dryvint guy.
As I turned around to go back out there and face those phony spooks, I saw a hand crawling across the floor.
"AHHH! Wait a minute... Dryvint?"
The hand gave me a thumbs up in response. Well, I found part of Dryvint at least.
"The name's Shmaluigi. Mr. Magolor hired him to get to the bottom of things here. Mind giving him some help?"
Dryvint's hand gave me another thumbs up and started pointing back toward the door. I picked it up to carry with me. This was kind of weird, I've never worked with just part of somebody before.
I went back out there and was greeted by the group of so-called Mummy-Me from earlier. I wasn't having any of their nonsense this time, so I grabbed the toilet paper and yanked it off of one of them, revealing an ordinary Toad. Shocker.
"Uh, heh heh, this is awkward," the Toad said just before running off somewhere, quickly followed by the other costumed Toads.
Nice try, Shmaluigi's too smart for you! Heh heh heh. I went through the warehouse, following the directions Dryvint's hand was giving me. I passed more projections of Boos and Peepas, Toads dressed as Mummy-Me, Goombas dressed as Jack O'Goombas, and even a few Koopa Troopas in Dry Bones costumes. They're a lot easier to ignore when you know they're just weirdos in costumes.
Eventually, I was led into another room, and Dryvint started pointing at a box. I got it open and sure enough, the rest of Dryvint was in there. Good thing Dry Bones don't need to breathe...
"CLAH! Clackety clink clunk. Clicker clack clack clonk clacety cluck. (AH! Thank you, sir. Agh, I was overpowered when I came to investigate this place. A troop of those Mummy-Me imposters found me and one rammed into my body, sending my parts everywhere. Thankfully, they missed my hand, and it found you.)"
"Here Mr. Dryvint, let Shmaluigi give you a hand, heh heh," I said, giving his hand back to him.
"Ah ha," he wheezed in fake laughter, "Clack. Clunk click clonk. (Certainly haven’t heard that before. Thanks.)"
"No problem at all, Mr. Dryvint. Thanks for your help, too. Now let's get things cleaned up in here."
After wrapping things up at the warehouse, Mr. Dryvint and I returned to Mr. Magolor's office.
"So, turns out the warehouse just got taken over by a gang of criminals doing some shady black market activities and trying to keep people out of their business by scaring them off with a fake haunting. We got everything cleaned up and they'll be doing some time in prison, so your workers should be able to come back in tomorrow morning," I said.
"Clack clunk clack! Clickety clock clunk, clunk clack. (Those imposters were a disgrace to the Koopa Troop. Dry Bones may fall apart under pressure, but a real Bones always gets back up.)"
Magolor chuckled. "Thanks for your help Shmaluigi."
"No trouble at all Mr. Magolor, Shmaluigi was happy to do it. He's glad things worked out."
"Oh, before I forget, you remember the, uh, other issue I told you about? Any chance you could help with that?"
"Yeah, Shmaluigi thinks he can definitely get around to that sometime. See you then."
I shook hands with Mr. Magolor and Mr. Dryvint and took my leave. That night certainly turned around quick for me. One thing's for sure when you're a private investigator, it's never dull for very long.
Thanks for reading this one-off Halloween special of Shmaluigi, Private Investigator! Next month marks the beginning of another story arc, so be sure to check it out. Special thanks to Magolor04726 for writing dialogue for himself and Dryvint, along with helping with the section in general.
Interested in an audio version of this story? Check out Magolor04726's Shmaluigi, Private Investigator YouTube channel! New videos are uploaded shortly after the release of each issue of The 'Shroom, and you can also catch up on all the other stories so far.
Written by: Booguette
File 3: First Steps to Completing the Koopadex
“You did it, Fire Bro!” Said Mario.
“Aw, man. I can’t believe I lost.” Said Luigi. “Ah well. I’m gonna go train my Koopamon more. Sme-“
“Luigi, wait,” said Professor E. Gadd, “come back, please. I have something important to say to both of you.”
“Sorry Gramps! Shell ya later!”
“Hmph. So arrogant,” said E. Gadd.
“What were you going to tell us, Professor?” Inquired Mario.
“Well, it would require Luigi to be here, and it’s time for my cooki- I mean, my tea break anyway. See you later, Mario. Feel free to leave for your journey anytime.”
After Professor E. Gadd left for his “tea” break, Mario saw nothing else to do but set out for Route One. There he caught a Parabeetle and a Goomba. He also met a toad that worked at a Toad Mart.
“Toad Marts are convenience stores that sell helpful items such as Super Mushrooms and Koopaballs.” Explained the toad. ”You’ll find one in nearly every city. We also conduct deliveries. Right now I’m delivering something to Professor E. Gadd in Power-up town. Well, see you in a Toad Mart! Bye!” And with that the toad left.
Next, Mario came upon 1-Up City. There was a Koopamon Gym (a place where Koopamon Trainers go to test their Koopamon’s strength and battle skill against Gym Leaders) but the Gym Leader had been absent for a while and still was. Mario visited the Toad Mart to stock up on Super Mushrooms (which heal Koopamon) and Koopaballs.
After this he headed on to Route 2. There he fought a trainer with a Green Koopa Troopa. Upon defeating the trainer, Mario asked him where he could catch a Green Koopa Troopa. The trainer told him to look on Route 22, left of 1-Up City. Mario went there and caught what a Green Koopa Troopa.
After this he headed back to Route 2 and took his first few steps into 1-Up Forest.
“I believe in you, Luigi”.
That’s what my brother used to say to me all the time.
“I believe in you, Luigi”.
I always thought that it was funny in a sort of weird, ironic sense. How could somebody believe in me when I didn’t even believe in myself? What made it worse is that my brother was none other than Mario. Mario, hero of the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario, champion of justice. Mario, the guy who’s the best at literally everything and anything. And then there was me, the bumbling brotherly sidekick, Luigi. I was held in high regard, too, but nowhere near as high as Mario. Everybody loved Mario. I couldn’t complain about my old life too much, though. Whenever I was down, I had Mario at my back, ready to support me whenever needed.
But, good things can’t last forever. One day, Bowser, the evil King of Koopas, attacked again. Nothing Mario and I couldn’t handle. Or so we thought. This time, Bowser wasn’t the comedic villain we all loved to hate. This time, Bowser meant business. He absolutely destroyed Mario in battle, and for good measure, he slaughtered Mario where he lied. It was a gruesome sight, seeing my brother laying in a pool of his own blood, barely able to recognize him. It was all up to me now. I was the only one who could defeat Bowser.
I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t bring myself to face Bowser. I picked up Mario’s corpse and ran. If I couldn’t avenge him, the least I could do was give him a proper burial. As I ran, tears trickling down my face, I could hear Bowser laughing behind me, boasting to himself about his victory. I could never forget that laugh. It haunts me. It still does.
“Bwahahaha!! That’s right! Run away, green man! Your brother can’t save you now!”
I wanted to run forever, until I collapsed from exhaustion. Instead, I ran back to our house. I placed Mario inside while I dug his grave outside. It was dark and stormy, but that didn’t stop me. It took me what seemed like forever, but I did it. I even made him a gravestone.
‘Here lies Mario. Brother, Friend, and Hero. May he rest in peace.’
That’s what I engraved for his epitaph. I think that was fitting. Short, yet fitting.
I sat there in the rain, wailing. Calling out for Mario to come back, even though I knew he couldn’t. He couldn’t help anybody anymore. Not that I could do much better. Without Mario to comfort me, I couldn’t face Bowser. I didn’t have the guts to. I wish I did, because as soon as Mario and I were out of the picture, he set his plan into action. He forced the Princess to marry him, which ‘legally’ placed him into power. He instantly put his minions to work transforming the Mushroom Kingdom into a place of horror, it’s size the same as his ego. He turned the Kingdom into Neo Bowser City, a futuristic place of despair. Our house was hidden enough in order to be overlooked in the construction, resting in the middle of a thick forest. I sometimes set foot in Neo Bowser City. I don’t want to, but I have to if I don’t want to starve to death. Even in Bowser’s Dystopian City, grocery stores still exist. As I walk through the foggy and dimly lit streets, I can feel the eyes of the Toads, my former allies, looking at me with anger. They blame me. I would too. I deserve this. I deserve to be judged. To be mocked. To forever be known as the reason for the destruction of the Mushroom Kingdom.
My name is Luigi, and this is my story.
I looked up at the flashy neon sign of the supermarket. Jojamart. It’s the only privately-owned store chain in this city, and that’s only because the owner shills out big bucks to Bowser. I owe that man my life, because Jojamart is the only store in this damn place where I can shop without fear of being arrested. Bowser put me on the most wanted list, just in case, so I always had to watch my back when I went into the city. I sighed, put the hood of my jacket over my head, and walked into Jojamart.
I combed through the aisles, looking for anything worth eating that was on sale. Keeping a job when you’re a wanted criminal is a lot harder than the movies make it out to be. As such, I had a very limited budget. I picked out some cheap ramen and a few small bottles of peanut butter and made my way to the self check-out. I scanned my items, inserted my cash, and high-tailed it out of there. I didn’t want to be in the city any longer than I absolutely had to. As I made my way to city limits, I slowed down at the sight of the Elite Guard. As the name implied, they were the best in Bowser’s forces. He always kept some at border checkpoints, as to not let criminals like myself in or out. Luckily for me, they worked odd hours, so they were almost always asleep. All I had to do was not make any noise and I was home free.
Why even have a border patrol when all they do is sleep? I thought to myself, subconsciously knowing that I didn’t want that to change.
I made my way through the thick woods and back to my house. The familiar sight of Mario’s grave greeted me.
“I’m back, Mario.” I said dully, talking to the stone.
I opened the door, laying the bag of groceries on the kitchen counter. I went over to sit in my chair to cry. I always found myself crying at home. While I cried, I blamed myself for all of my troubles.
What could I have done differently? Should I have fought Bowser?
These are the thoughts that filled my head.
Is there still something I can do?
That last thought caught me off guard. I hadn’t had a thought like that in ages. I got up from my hair and looked at myself in the bathroom mirror. My mustache wasn’t as well-kept as it used to be, looking a bit droopy, and my hair was in a similar state, much longer and scruffy-looking.
Is there still something I can do?
The thought echoed in my mind. I grabbed a pair of scissors and a tube of hair gel out from a drawer and immediately set to work. Even though I knew I would be even more recognizable like this, I didn’t care. I almost wanted Bowser to know what I was going to do. Once I was done, I took another look at myself. My mustache was restored to its former glory, though I would have to see a professional barber about the rest of my hair. I smirked at myself in the mirror.
I’m coming for you, Bowser.
I grabbed my old hammer from under my bed and set off for Neo Bowser City.
|The 'Shroom: Issue 175|
|Staff sections||Staff Notes • The 'Shroom Spotlight|
|Features||Fake News • Fun Stuff • Palette Swap • Pipe Plaza • Critic Corner • Strategy Wing|
|Specials||Awards Analysis • Trick-Or-Treating With The 'Shroom • Wahn Special 'Shroom Song • Waluigi Time's Writer Testimonials|