The 'Shroom:Issue 177/Palette Swap
Happy holidays, all! It's the most wonderful time of the year: the 'Shroom's holiday special issue, featuring Yoshi this month!
Since last issue, I have made absolutely 0 progress on Shining Pearl. It arrived a couple days after release with a cute Turtwig plush keychain from TPC and I put it right on my shelf and resolved to get to it later. Shin Megami Tensei V SLAPS. It slaps so hard. I wasn't expecting it to be this difficult, but I've gotten into a groove and am getting through it bit by bit. The graphics are incredible, the demons each feel unique, you can take a whole party of your favorites all the way up through to the top (your active party size is 24, TWICE the size of Nocturne HD Remaster's) and the music is so atmospheric. Second area in the game has some real bangers, and the boss themes love to thrash or thump the bass in the club. If you like RPGs, definitely pick this one up. The difficulty has been ramped up a bit, but this is one of the best RPGs currently available on the Switch. I can't recommend it enough.
This month, we have some fun Yoshi-themed sections for you, just like the rest of the issue, so I'll let you go check those out. Don't forget to check in with our special staff collab recipe book!
Section of the Month
We've got a big time this time! Sharing the top spot in a four-way tie for first are Waluigi Time (talk) with Shmaluigi, Paranormal Investigator, Booguette's Koopamon, Magolor04726 (talk)'s World of Plight and Waluigi Time (talk)'s Waluigi Time Comic. Following after closely is Goombuigi (talk)'s Super Mario Maker Showcase. Thank you so much to everyone who voted, and please keep it up for the special issue, too!
|Palette Swap SECTION OF THE MONTH|
|1st||Shmaluigi, Private Investigator||5||21.74||Waluigi Time|
|1st||World of Plight||5||21.74||Magolor02647|
|1st||Waluigi Time Comic||5||21.74||Waluigi Time|
|5th||Super Mario Maker Showcase||3||13.04%||Goombuigi|
Drawn and Pressed
The Argyle Sweater is created by Scott Hilburn, which is another comic strip with single-panel humour every day. This comic strip was syndicated in newspapers at around 2008, but the cartoon itself was not originally created around that time. It was created as an indie comic strip on Comics Sherpa at around 2006, where it was presumably very well-liked that it was deemed qualified to be available to the masses in physical print. The name of the comic strip is a bit of an enigma, because the cartoonist practically dodged the question on how he came to name the comic strip, where it basically amounted to how the name sounded right. The outlandish name is up there with Peanuts as a name that doesn't really relate to the comic strip itself.
The influence that The Far Side could not be overstated in the world of comic strips. While it was not the first single-panel comic strip to be made, when the likes of Dennis the Menace, Marmaduke, or Herman were made prior to it, it was basically the first one to host a single panel comic strip for not only the weekdays, but also on Sundays. It was also not the first comic strip dedicated to having unrelated characters and themes day-by-day, as Herman for example already travelled that route. Based on what I have seen, The Far Side excelled in making offbeat humour a form of art, where a panel has strange imagery with an accompanying subtitle to complement the humour. Due to its popularity, every other single-panel comic strip that comes after it are practically assumed to be a "Far Side imitator", even if it's not necessarily the case. Even then, there are some comic strips that basically embraced the similarities between the cartoon and the progenitor, such as the comic strip we are looking at today.
In regards to the similarities between The Argyle Sweater and The Far Side, the cartoonist receives opinions on how similar both cartoons are, and while some are put off from the idea of a comic strip that looks and feels like the retired cartoon, others are openly accepting to that idea, probably because of how there is a lack of The Far Side. In terms of art style, the cartoonist did mention that a similarity that both have is the way the eyes are drawn, although his influences were not limited to that comic, where he also cited New Yorker cartoons, National Lampoon cartoons, and even Jim Meddick's Monty as other sources of inspiration. From what I have seen, another similarity between the two cartoons is that neither cartoonist were considered amazing artists, which makes for drawings that have a certain imperfect charm to them, but as long as the humour shines in their work, it gives a special kind of life to the comic strip. From an article, I have gleaned from it that Mr. Hilburn indeed has a sense of humour (how else would he get a long-running cartoon?), but is not exactly the kind of person who is not known for making snappy comebacks, even if he has a sense of humour. That might be why his first attempt at doing a three-panel comic strip failed.
While this comic strip is technically single-panel, the comic strip is in reality constructed as a free canvas, where it might even be split to multiple panels within the space to build up to a punchline, or to offer multiple jokes on a common theme. It could be spread in multiple panels, or it could be a single panel with several funny background details. In this way, it doesn't really feel restricted except the space, because one might not what to expect in the next cartoon. The cartoons also have a good degree of common types of humour, which range from puns, parodies, and even twists. The cartoons aren't exactly known to be deep in terms of the jokes compared to The Far Side (which has a huge scientific slant, I noticed), but as a simple comic format, it works because of how bite-sized they are. With The Far Side, the humour is pretty deep and might even go over the heads, which certainly is the case for me where I was wondering what's the deal with it when I first read it. On the other hand, The Argyle Sweater is easier to digest between the simplistic stylings and the more direct humour, so it was with how I understood the appeal of it that allowed The Far Side's humour to click with me. In this way, there is an appeal to imitators of an older work, due to how they are able to approach a work in a different direction, and thus be more easily enjoyed in a way that the other work might not be.
This cartoon is perhaps not for everybody, especially for those looking for something to ponder, but there is merit for something simpler and sillier. In fact, not every cartoon has to be the best thing ever or to top the best works available. Sometimes it just helps to make a work as enjoyable as possible, because there will be someone who would enjoy it.
The Argyle Sweater can be read at https://www.gocomics.com/theargylesweater.
Thank you for reading.
Written by: Lakituthequick (talk)
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 we will visit a site which is very thematic for this month's issue indeed: the Yoshi's Crafted World website!
This site is structurally very similar to a bunch of sites we've previously covered, in that it has a front page that summarises each of the subpages, and each page goes into a specific subject about the game.
When we open the site, we are greeted by a colourful diorama of crafted elements you can also find in the game. This makes up the hero, which also has the game's logo large in the centre with Yoshi and a Poochy pup, who look like they burst through the cardboard background. Below this we have multicoloured cardboard and a piece of paper which summarised the game.
Moving down, the first major element we see is a video preview from the game in the background of a play button, which plays the game's trailer.
We then get into the different sections that warm you up for the subpages. Because these use similar elements as their subpages, I'll describe them side by side instead of doing the homepage first and the subpages after.
Before moving on, there is one section on this page that doesn't correspond to a subpage, which is the bottommost one. This section explains a small 'quest' on this site, which is finding the three Poochy pups, which can earn you My Nintendo points. Unfortunately, this is not available outside of North and South America, although the quest can still be played.
All pages end with a diorama with a sign pointing to the next page.
The first section is about "a new adventure", which announces the ways the game can be played, starring artwork of Yoshi. Its corresponding page is titled "Story", although despite this name, only one small sentence talks about that, and the rest is about the puzzles, environment, and the ways of playing (easy/normal mode and single-/multiplayer). These feature a few video frames showing some gameplay, and the multiplayer one has a play button for a more detailed video.
This page closes off with the first Poochy pup 'hiding' behind cardboard bushes.
The second section is "friends and foes", and features Yoshi preparing to throw an egg towards a stack of Shy Guys. In the background is a short clip of Yoshi riding Poochy. We are linked to the "Characters" page, which features the same clip as hero video followed by an introduction. The page then details the Yoshis (with a lot of them pictured), Poochy and pups, the Blockafellers, Kamek and Baby Bowser, and then a selection of enemies (Shy Guys, Fooly Flowers, Goonies, and Little Mousers).
This page also closes with a Poochy pup, hidden behind a cardboard zipper.
Thirdly, a section that introduces the front and flip-sides of levels, starring airborne Shy Guys. This links to "Explore the world", which talks about how the levels are built from household objects, aforementioned flip-side, and surprises hiding there. The page doesn't end here, but I'll get back on that in a moment.
The fourth section on the main page talks about "all the goodies" that can be collected in-game. Its link also goes to "Explore the world", but scrolls down to the designated part about collectibles, which is where we left off in the last paragraph. This section indeed talks about various collectible items, such as hearts, coins, flowers, and Poochy pups.
The next thing that can be collected is costumes, which also act as armour, and can be unlocked through gameplay or amiibo.
Finally, this page ends with the last Poochy pup hiding behind boards with Shy Guys painted on. This part is neat in that when you click or tap, you throw an egg in that direction, which knocks the boards over when hit.
Fifth, we are invited to use the Crafty Collage Maker, which indeed links to a tool with which you can, indeed, make collages using paper cut into shapes of items and characters, as well as a few other elements like a calendar and a todo list. The artboards can be shaped to desktop, letter, and square sizes, and can be exported as a JPEG file. This tool is not unsimilar to the one used in the site for Luigi's Mansion 3, which I covered two months ago.
Underneath the tool, other Yoshi-related activities from Play Nintendo are listed and advertised. As we've already found all Poochy pups, the bottom of this page shows the pups, Poochy, and Yoshi in their paper cutout form.
Finally, the sixth item advertises the available free demo, and stars a pink and green yoshi, and a Nintendo Switch on a stick, to advertise the availability of co-op in this demo. Unlike the other sections, the button here doesn't link to the related page, but instead tries to download the demo to your Switch. This fails for me, which is likely because I don't live in America.
We can still go to the related page by clicking on "Buy now" in the menu. This page lists the physical and digital versions of the full game, and is themed after the game's space levels.
Arts and crafts. That summarises this site's direction of design. Most if not all elements are made out of cardboard and paper, and some elements hang by wire.
While green is the primary colour, it's not overwhelming, as the site overall uses a range of different bright colours such as blue, yellow, purple, and red. Backgrounds use these colours as well as beige and brown, and use paper or cardboard textures.
Elements that are not made out of paper are only characters, enemies, items, and some real life depictions (such as amiibo, the Nintendo Switch, and hands holding Joy-Con).
Sections are divided mostly by having them be different pieces of cut cardboard that alternate with paper backdrops. The top of the cardboard plates are decorated by scribbles of eggs, flowers, stars, butterflies, and fish. Within sections, boxes with a specific topic can be either on light paper with coloured paper underneath, or on a piece of coloured cardboard.
Buttons use a neat design that flips over when hovered and reveal their back. It is revealed that the paper on the front of the button is folded around the edges, revealing the bare cardboard on the back when it flips over. In addition, the arrow consists of two small triangles that displace in opposite directions after it flips.
Specific designs are the diorama of a grass themed level and a space theme. The grassland theme features Shy Guys, balloons, and Winged Clouds, the space theme focuses on planets and satellites hanging by thread. Flying objects are animated and float a bit, space objects swing by their threads. The grass theme is used in the hero banner and at the bottom of each page, while the space theme is also used on the hero banner, and then as a whole on the "Buy now" page.
A bit of trivia I have glossed over in the past is why a hero image or banner is called a "hero". This is actually a term loaned from theatre; a hero prop is a (main) prop that is more detailed than others, because it will get more focus from multiple and/or closer angles. This is more or less the same for hero images in web design, they tend to be more detailed and are certainly more prominent.
Font families used on this site include Dosis, used in headings and buttons, and Open Sans, used for body text.
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.
Normally this is where I summarise the main components of the site in one or two sentences, but this site is a little difficult to summarise concisely. This is because it's built out of several components that are either Nintendo's own or not widely used (if anything, I've never heard of them before, not even in passing). What I can directly tell you is that it is hosted on Amazon Web Services, commonly used by Nintendo sites.
First of all, I want to quickly mention the existence of source maps. As I mentioned in the previous edition, in web development we (often) make use of module bundlers and minifiers, which takes all of our neatly organised code and makes a small, efficient, and utterly unreadable bundle out of it. Something that can be made in this process are source maps, which is a translation between the two from which the original code can be rebuilt and sourced.
Usually, these are not needed in production and can be safely left out, but for this website, they have been helpfully left in, which allowed me to make a more detailed analysis of the used components as it recovered the original, unmangled code.
A few packages surfaced from this, such as several from We The Collective, web components library Lit, and Nintendo's own nclood library.
We The Collective is a marketing firm with a bunch of open source libraries. It's not unreasonable to think they are the ones that developed this site, as they have worked with Pokémon before, but I cannot affirm this.
The main libraries used here are wtc-controller-element and a modified version of wtc-controller-viewports, which are used to abstract the logic behind some interactive elements on the site.
Lit is a web components library that allows the developer to write new HTML tags with custom logic, but abstracts the boilerplate code away that comes with that task. For this website, it is only used for the buttons to retailers for the physical version of Yoshi's Crafted World, which I daresay completely nullifies its use as there now is an entire library in the mix for five small buttons.
Nclood, which is a pun on "include" and the N for Nintendo, is a library that includes a bunch of commonly required features that are used on Nintendo's sites. This includes things like accounts, eShop connections, metrics, and social media, but also more standard things like navigation menus, headers, and footers.
Wew, that was a lot of technical analysis for a change! As for the site, I like it. It's colourful, aesthetically pleasing, and lively with all the little animations. Like Luigi's Mansion 3, the Collage Maker is a fun thing to play with, although it's not as expansive as the former one's.
If anything, the use of some libraries on the technical end is not something I'd go for, but in the end the site isn't really hindered by it.
Which brings us to the end of this edition, and the end of this year! Merry Christmas, and a happy new year! I'll be right back at ya in February. Have a good one.
Waluigi Time Comic
Drawn by: Waluigi Time (talk)
World of Plight
Written by: Magolor04726 (talk)
(Special thanks to Long John Spaghetti for creating the Mushroom City Car Wash. Without it, I would never have created the amazing character called Azcron.)
“OK, where to start…?”
Sakurai, the remaining Fighters, and I had gathered around a table in the cafeteria as I began to explain about our unmasked villain.
“His name is Azcron. I’m honestly surprised that none of you have ever heard of him. But consider yourself lucky; many people have suffered at his hands.”
“What exactly is he?” Marth asked.
“Someone very evil. He travels through the universe stealing the power of others.”
“Power?” Snake asked. “Political? Electrical?”
“No, like, their abilities. Say, um, Sonic. If he stole your power, you wouldn’t have your super speed anymore, or any other abilities. In fact, you’d be worse off than if you had never had them at all. He essentially takes their abilities for himself and leaves his victims on death’s door.”
Link snapped backwards and smacked his forehead with his hand. “Ganondorf!” he exclaimed.
“Exactly!” I said, pointing at him. “Ganondorf likely still has the Triforce of Power, but the power has been drained out of it along with any that was in him.”
“Where did he get this ability?” Ryu asked. “Surely he wasn’t born with it.”
“He actually was,” I continued, “He came from a planet of people like him. People who draw energy. They could, say, draw energy from a tree and give it to their sick friend or maybe from food on the table. Whatever the case was, the whole planet was very prosperous. Then, he came along with the ability to take not only energy, but power. He stole the power of everyone on the planet, destroyed it, and now travels, looking for more power.
“Then one day, he came to this weird, ruined kingdom. It consisted of one city, and the king was there. His name was Dragnorian and he was an ancient dragon who could assume the form of a man and the wielder of a group of artifacts called the King’s Raiment’s. What was so odd was that instead of fighting, they became friends and Dragnorian helped Azcron construct a robot assistant. No one knows the robot’s name.”
A look of spontaneous comprehension crossed Mario’s face and he slammed the table. “The clawed hand and rusty voice last year!”
I looked at him for a moment, trying to remember what he was talking about. “YES!” I shouted, having located the memory. “Holy COW. I actually got attacked by Azcron’s right hand bot, oh my gosh. Uh, anyways, Azcron’s been all over the place. It’s unbelievable what he’s done.”
“Wait,” Little Mac interjected, “does that mean that he has the power of several other people?”
I nodded gravely. “Lots, actually. You need to be ready for anything. Additionally, no one has ever seen Azcron’s face. He always wears a hood and there’s this odd mist that surrounds him almost constantly.”
“We’ll have to face this guy on our own?” Sora asked. “I just got here!”
“No, I made a call. Help is coming.”
“Uh huh,” said Snake, “and how do you know all this about him? It seems a little too convenient that one of us happens to know all about this guy.”
“Well… let’s just say that I’ve encountered him before. He took a lot from me and I’m worried that if we don’t stop him here, he’ll have enough power to basically rule the known and unknown universe.”
“Don’t they always?” Fox asked.
“This guy is immensely strong. He’s not a threat to be taken lightly. You’ll need all of your combined strength to take him out and even then it might not be enough.”
Suddenly, there was a buzz over the speakers. “Mr. Sakurai? There’s, um, an odd man outside asking to enter.”
“An odd man?”
I grinned. “That’ll be Falon. He runs a group called the I.P.P.”
Pit furrowed his brow. “The what?”
“We are the Intergalactic Police Protectors,” a voice said. I turned around and a man with blonde hair in a suit walked in. “And I am Falon, head of the organization.”
“Wait,” Sakurai said standing up, “How-.”
“Your companion, Mr. 04726 called us saying that Azcron was involved in your recent issues. We’ve been tracking Azcron for years now, but he’s always been one step ahead of us.”
“Hold on,” Mario said, “All that time tracking him and you haven’t-a caught him? How do we know you aren’t actually working for Azcron?”
“The I.P.P. is dedicated to defeating evil across the universe,” he replied, “Many have been employed by us at some point, including your companion Meta Knight.”
“Eh,” Brawler interjected, “Meta Knight was once involved with running a newspaper somewhere, this isn’t too new.”
“Sounds fine to me,” Link said, “But you’ll excuse me if I’m a little wary.”
“Completely understandable, considering everything you have recently undergone.” Falon said.
“Sir!” another voice said. A Luma wearing a police officer hat had flown in and saluted Falon.
“What is it, Commander Luma?”
“We’ve got something in the hall!”
We followed Falon into the entrance area and a Goron with a headset held up a detector of some kind. “I found somethin’! Power-site readin’s! He was HERE!”
“Or, at the very least, he gave them to someone else to use,” Commander Luma added.
“Power-what now?” I asked.
“Power-sites,” Falon explained, “They originate from a world with a rather dysfunctional timeline. They usually leech the power from people in a similar manner to Azcron and convert it into energy to sustain themselves. They are almost extinct and won’t be missed, but this particular breed… it’s quite dangerous. They surround Azcron and make up the mist that keeps people from seeing any part of him. They seem to sustain themselves by the overwhelming power he has accumulated, but he appears to somehow use their power to amplify his own abilities.”
My face scrunched into an expression of shock and dismay. “Great. Just great…”
“So what is our plan?” Simon asked. “We have no information on where this Azcron may be.”
“We do,” Falon said. “Our scanners picked up a massive spike in energy readings in a land called Karkaton, a desolate landscape of lava and ash. There was once a castle there, but it’s been replaced with a massive tower almost ten times the size of the castle.”
“The Magic Master is there?” Gunner asked.
“We believe so. And if he’s taken them all there, then Azcron is there, or will be.”
“We’ve got some preparation to do, then,” I said. “We’ve got to get those Fighters out! Are your agents coming?”
“Our mobile headquarters, the StarStream is on its way, but it won’t be here for some time.”
“We don’t have time to lose!” Fox exclaimed. “We have to go now before Azcron takes their power!”
“It’s likely too late,” Falon said, “But you can regain their power. If you defeat Azcron, the power may be restored to the Fighters, and anyone else he has stolen from.”
Sakurai nodded. “Very well. You will all go to Karkaton and face Azcron. But you must be ready for anything. We’ll send you all back to your respective worlds to gather your strength, items, and any information you can get. You have 24 hours.”
The group dispersed, everyone ready to head back to their home world for preparations.
“Sir?” I said, approaching Sakurai. “I have an idea that may help.”
“And that is?”
Hey guys! Thanks for reading this month’s issue of World of Plight! I hope you enjoyed learning about our unmasked villain. Stay tuned for next month, as preparations begin for the storming of the castle! (It also marks the last entry written by a Fighter! BIG changes are coming to the story!) If you have any questions, comments, or leads, shoot them at me on the Mario Boards.
Behind the scenes,
Shmaluigi, Private Investigator
Written by: Waluigi Time (talk) and Magolor04726 (talk)
Diamond in the Rough: Part 2
Well, today was certainly taking a strange turn. After practically being kidnapped by Mr. Montgomery's lackey, here I was in his office, agreeing to investigate the case of a stolen diamond necklace. The pay was substantial and I desperately needed to cover this month's rent, so it could be worse, I guess. Now it was time to get to work.
I started by asking Mr. Montgomery a few questions. "Who would you consider to be the most likely suspects? And remember to consider means, motive, and alibi."
He sat back and thought for a moment. I took the time to pull out my notebook and pencil, prepared to take notes. "There's my butler, Kyle. He's the Koopa who brought you up here. I believe Barker also knew of the safe – he's my most trusted employee besides Kyle – and there's also the maid, Belle. She's the one who found me unconscious. Lastly, my brother, Jonathan. He essentially runs the place when I'm away, so he naturally knows about the safe. It could be any one of them, but they will have to have had an accomplice."
I stared at my notes for a moment. "You won't mind Shmaluigi interrogating your workers right now, would you?"
"Of course not," he said, "anything to get my necklace back as soon as possible."
"Good. I assume you won't want Shmaluigi using your office for interrogations, so is there another room he could use?"
"Yes," he said as he got up from his chair, and I followed suit. "There's a room on this floor I use to read in my spare time, you're welcome to carry out investigations there."
We walked out and he showed me a room with even more bookcases and several chairs gathered around a fireplace. I nodded. "This will do. Can you send your staff in one at a time?"
He nodded and walked out. I walked up to a shelf and observed the various titles. I pulled a book off the shelf labeled The Life and Times of Prince Peasley when the door opened and Kyle walked in. "Mr. Kyle?" I asked, returning the book to its original spot and sitting down in a chair.
He nodded. "How can I be of assistance?"
"Shmaluigi needs to ask you some questions," I said as he sat in a chair across from me. "What do you know about Mr. Montgomery's necklace?"
"The one that was stolen?"
He shook his head. "It's terrible that it was stolen. It was his most prized possession. I believe he said it's valued in the millions."
I continued to jot down notes as he elaborated.
"He won it in..." he paused in thought for a moment. "An auction, I believe, several years ago. He keeps it in his safe at all times, and not many people know about the safe."
"What about you? Where were you last night?"
"I was retired for the night," he said, "I was driving home at the time, and arrived at my house at around 10:50."
"Where do you live?"
"In a small house about twenty minutes from here."
I tapped the book with my pencil. "How much are you paid?"
"Enough to pay the bills and to satisfy the missus."
I sat and thought for a moment. "Thank you Mr. Kyle. Can you ask Ms. Belle to come in please?"
He nodded and stood up. "Of course, Mr. Shmaluigi," he said as he walked out.
A few seconds later, a Hooski walked into the room holding a feather duster. Before I could say anything, she suddenly shoved the duster in my face! Surprised, I opened my mouth to protest, which proved to be a mistake. I started coughing violently, feathers clogging my mouth and airway.
"Goodness me," she exclaimed, "Mr. Shmaluigi, you are filthy!"
She proceeded to clean my hat, shoulders, knees, and shoes while I cleared my lungs of dust. "There." She nodded satisfied, and sat in a chair opposite me. Once I had finished coughing, I picked up my pencil and notebook.
"Ms. Belle," I started, before allowing one more explosive cough to escape my mouth before clearing my throat. "Er, what can you tell Shmaluigi about last night?"
"Well, The Andy Goomba Show was on a rerun on channel 138 and they were playing my favorite episode where Barney-"
"About Mr. Montgomery!" I exclaimed, a bit irritated. I had the feeling that this particular interrogation was going to be more difficult than the first.
"Oh! Why didn't you say so?"
I blinked. "Well?"
"The master was in his office as usual, and by the time I left, he was still there."
"When did you leave?"
"Oh, around six or seven o'clock."
"Where were you at around, say, 10:30 PM?"
She thought for a moment. "I was seeing the last of my guests out."
"Oh yes, I host a book club. We all read a book and meet to discuss it from eight to ten o'clock, but we ran a little late last night," she laughed, "Barney did the most hilarious thing-"
I quickly realized that if I let her go on, I'd be here for a couple hours learning about the intricacies of The Andy Goomba Show. "Um, moving on, what happened when you arrived here this morning?"
She stopped and thought. "Well, I went straight to work, cleaning the house. When I found the master, I thought he had simply fallen asleep, so I left him alone. When I told Mr. Kyle not to go in, he promptly did so and shouted for me to phone the hospital after entering."
I raised my eyebrows and changed the subject. "And, how much are you paid?"
"Well, there is this one dress that's just lovely that I've been hoping to get, but I haven't had the money for some time, but OH, wouldn't it be just lovely to have."
This lady is a few Goombas short of a tower, I thought. "Thank you Ms. Belle. If Barker is out there, can you ask him to come in?"
She stood up. "Of course."
As I looked back down at my notes, she suddenly began dusting my notebook. "Ms. Belle!"
"All right dearie, all right!" she exclaimed before leaving in a huff while muttering, "I just thought it was a little dusty."
I circled something and jotted down a couple more notes as Barker walked in and hopped into a chair. We stared at each other for a few moments. I cleared my throat and began the questioning.
"Mr. Barker, where were you last night at 10:30?"
He stared at me for a moment. "Home."
"Oookay, well, what do you know about Mr. Montgomery's necklace?"
He stared at me again. "It's da boss'. It's ugly. I've stood guard by it a couple times during some parties he's hosted."
I bit down on the eraser of my pencil with my lips before continuing. "What happened this morning?"
"Da boss was knocked out. He went into a flurry looking for people to help. Sent me to get you."
"Hmm. How much are you paid?"
"Thank you, Mr. Barker."
He stood up without another word and walked out. At the same time, Mr. Montgomery walked in. "Was that all of them?"
"Yeah," I said, "but Shmaluigi needs to know something. Where is your brother right now?"
He thought for a moment. "I believe he runs a fitness center in New Wikisburg. Jonathan's House of Weights."
I arched an eyebrow. "Really?"
"Yes, I got all the brains, he got all the brawn."
"Alright. Shmaluigi will head over there straight away." I started to walk out when I stopped and turned. "Um, can Shmaluigi get one of your employees to drive him, or at least borrow a car? Shmaluigi was kidnapped to get here."
He laughed and opened the study's door. "KYLE!" he yelled down the hall.
Kyle came running up the stairs, out of breath. "*huff* Yes, *puff* sir? *Gasp!*"
"Get Heavy to drive Detective Shmaluigi to my brother's building of work."
"Of course sir." He turned to me. "Follow me, if you will."
We walked out the front door as Mr. Montgomery called, "Don't forget, you may have to use words with less than three syllables with him!"
An hour later, after stopping at the Club Sandwich Shop for a quick bite, I walked into Jonathan's House of Weights. Dusk was setting in, and the whole room glowed orange from the reflecting sun off of all of the metal machines. The place was empty, except for a Beanish in the corner lifting weights. He was surprisingly muscular for a Bean, and he wore a blue sleeveless shirt. I walked over and asked, "Are you Jonathan Morris?" He didn't respond. Upon closer inspection, he was wearing wireless earbuds. I tapped his shoulder. He looked up, set down the weights, and pulled out one bud.
"What's up, dude?" He sounded almost like one of those hip surfers, I thought.
"Are you Jonathan Morris?" I repeated.
"Absolutely. What can I do for you?"
"Your brother, Montgomery, has been robbed."
"What?!" he exclaimed. "That's awful."
"Uh-huh. Shmaluigi is a private investigator hired by him, and if you don't mind, he needs to ask you a few questions."
He looked surprised for a moment. "He hired you? Uh, not at all, go ahead, man."
I eyed him for a moment before pulling out my notebook and pencil before continuing, "Where were you last night at around 10:30?"
"I was at home watchin' The Andy Goomba Show. They had my favorite episode on rerun."
Does everybody watch that show? "Hmm... was anyone with you?"
"Nah, I don't have people at my place past nine, not even my girlfriend."
"Alrighty..." There was a brief silence as I took notes. "Can I ask, how much do you make here?"
"Well," he rubbed the back of his neck, "not much, to be honest. It's barely enough to pay the bills, and even then I'm usually late on the rent at my apartment."
Now this guy I can relate to, I thought. "Okay, and Montgomery said that you basically run his business when he's away. Is that true?"
He thought for a moment. "Yeah, I guess. It's the family business, so dad taught me some jewelry junk before he passed away so now I step in for him whenever he's off vacationing."
"So you would know how to access his safes."
"Yeah, I guess."
"Can you tell Shmaluigi anything about the necklace that was stolen? It was your brother's most treasured item."
"Oh, must have been that necklace he got at an auction. He told me about it a couple years ago, but all I know is that he got it in an auction and that it was pricey. Can't help you there."
"Ah. Okay. Well, that's all. Thank you, Mr. Jonathan."
"No problem," he shook my hand and looked around, "I guess I better close up."
As I walked out, he called after me, "It's a real shame about the diamond necklace. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help."
"Will do," I replied and closed the front door.
The sun was going down and street lights were starting to flicker on. I slid into the car and tapped Heavy on the shoulder. "Just drop Shmaluigi off at his place, and you can tell Mr. Montgomery he'll resume work tomorrow."
He simply nodded and put the car into drive. As the skyscrapers of the New Wikisburg skyline flew past, I read over my notes, unsure of what to make of the case. Everyone seemed to have an alibi, lack means or a motive, but not all three. Jonathan at the moment had means, motive, and no alibi, making him the most likely suspect, but I would have to go over the crime scene the next day when I had proper supplies.
Heavy dropped me off outside my building and I told him to pick me up tomorrow at nine. He nodded, rumbled "Good night, Mr. Shmaluigi," and drove off.
Once upstairs, I took out a briefcase and set it by the door, ready for the next day. I glanced at the clock. 8:38 PM. There was still time to read the paper and eat dinner. I pulled a sandwich covered with plastic wrap out of the fridge and took a bite before opening the paper. After I flipped to the crossword, I grabbed my pencil and looked at five, across. Seven letters, the third letter is a, and the hint is "shiny." Diamond. I slammed the paper down and walked into the bathroom. I needed to get my mind off the case for now. As I turned the shower on, something about the word diamond nagged in the back of my head, but I couldn't think of it. I went to bed with the same nagging, but I brushed it away and went to sleep.
The next morning, as I poured myself a bowl of Waluigi Time Cereal, the word "diamond" slammed into my brain and my whole body snapped upright, sending cereal bits and mayonnaise flying through the air. "DIAMOND!" I shouted. I rushed to the phone and called Mr. Montgomery's mansion. Kyle picked up.
"Tell Heavy not to pick Shmaluigi up, he's had a break in the case!" I slammed the phone down, grabbed my hat, coat, and briefcase, and rushed out the door, flying past Ms. Broxy.
"Rent, Shmaluigi! I expect it this weekend!" she called after me.
In my head at least, there was no time to stop at the parking garage to pick up my car. I dashed down the sidewalk, my mind racing.
To be continued...
Thanks for reading the continuation of the Diamond in the Rough arc! Has Shmaluigi cracked the case? Who knows. I do, but I'm not telling you now. You'll have to read the conclusion in the January issue to find out! Once again, a big thanks to Magolor04726 for coming up with the original story and providing a lot of the writing here.
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 5: Expecting Mario’s First Gym Battle? TOO BAD. YOSHI TIME.
So, last time, Mario was about to go into the Koopamon Gym and the part in his first gym battle. But alas, this month’s issue is Yoshi themed, and I couldn’t pass this opportunity up. Sorry to leave you on a cliffhanger, dear readers. So, let’s skip ahead to when Mario was in Ice Flower city, preparing for his 2nd gym battle.(Spoiler alert Mario caught a Luma while exploring Mount Power Moon)
So Mario was taking a little stroll through Ice flower City and talking to someone about the gym leader and asking for tips on battling them when the earth started trembling.
“What’s that?” Asked Mario.
“Oh no,” said the Toad. “It’s him!”
“Him? Him who?”
“That Yoshi!” said the man as he ran away.
“What yo-AAAAH!” A Yoshi was running straight at Mario and proceeded to trample him. “Uuuuuuuuugh…Now I see the problem.”
“So that one Yoshi always comes to town and eats all the fruit and steals your coins?” Mario was talking to some of the villagers of Ice Flower City.
“Yes!” Said the Toad from earlier. “And it’s SO ANNOYING!”
“Has the gym leader tried to stop it?” Asked Mario.
“Yes,” said a Toad. ”But it was too fast for her to catch up with.”
“I see.” Said Mario. “In that case, sounds like I’ll have to do this myself." So Mario went to go and think how he could catch the Yoshi, and came up with some plans.
Attempt 1: Mario decided that stopping the Yoshi would be the best course of action, so he got some rope and tied it between one house and the other, hoping to trip the Yoshi. Eventually the Yoshi was headed for the rope and Mario waited anxiously to see what happened. The Yoshi was getting closer…and closer…and closer…and away. The Yoshi was running so fast that it just snapped the rope. “Shoot.” Said Mario.
Attempt 2: After going back to the drawing board, Mario decided that maybe using normal force wasn’t enough, that he needed some special kind of force. The plan he came up with was before the Yoshi went by, he would call out the Luma that he caught on Mt. Power Moon use reflect. So, as the Yoshi was getting closer, he called out the Luma. “Luma, use Reflect!” A rainbow, see-through wall appeared in front of it. The Yoshi was getting closer…and closer…and closer…and made the reflect shatter into pieces and launching the Luma sky-high, getting the Luma slightly closer to the stars, where it desired to be.
Attempt 3: After hours and hours of thinking, Mario realized that the only way to stop its movement was to get in into a Koopaball. He had to throw it at just the right time for it to hit the Yoshi, a frame-perfect throw. He got into his position. He tried and tried and tried, for almost twice as long as he had to think to come up with the plan. However, after all that trial and error, he hit the Yoshi. It came out quickly, but it had stopped running. “Fire Bro, use Fireball!” Said Mario, calling out his Koopamon. However, the Yoshi used eggroll to cancel it out and hit the Fire Bro at the same time. It was a hard battle, and the Yoshi was able to take out both Mario’s Fire Bro and Parabeetle. However, Mario finally defeated it with his Luma.
“You did it!” Cried out he villagers. And they all cheered and thanked Mario, because that Yoshi had been a real troublemaker. However, Mario had new plans. He went over to the Yoshi, who was recovering, and asked “Do you want to come with me?”
“I could really use a strong Koopamon like you. All you have to do is touch this Koopaball.” Said Mario, holding one up.
“Yoshi Yoshi!” Said the Yoshi enthusiastically. And then it tapped its big round nose on the ball, and became a part of Mario’s team.
I really hope all of you enjoyed this special, I enjoyed making it. See you next time!
|The 'Shroom: Issue 177|
|Staff sections||Staff Notes • The 'Shroom Spotlight • End-of-the-Year Awards • Director Election • 'Shroomfest|
|Features||Fake News • Fun Stuff • Palette Swap • Pipe Plaza • Critic Corner • Strategy Wing|
|Specials||The 'Shroom Staff Recipe Book • Special Thanks|