The 'Shroom:Issue 190/Fake News

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Director's Notes

Written by: Waluigi Time (talk)

Shroom2022 WT.png

Hello there, Fake News writers! I would like to welcome you all to 2023, unless, of course, you're reading this from the future, in which case you're probably looking back on this year with fondness, disdain, or just apathy. This is a big year for The 'Shroom, as we'll be celebrating the 200th issue of the paper in November! It'll also be the 200th edition of Fake News, because we've been around since the first issue!

In real Fake News news this month, we have a new News Flush written by Hooded Pitohui (talk)! Additionally, Sport Report has returned from its break last month, so be sure to check it out and see what sporting event ClawgripFan9001 (talk) is covering this time! And read everything else too, of course.

Now let me ask you, what would be a better way to start off the new year than to join the Fake News team? We're always on the lookout for new writers, so if you have any interest at all, please check out our sign up page and send in your application! We also take one-off volunteer sections with no application necessary, with many options like Peddler's Place or Travel Guide open to work with. If that interests you, send it to me privately and I'll help take care of the rest!

Section of the Month

Another great month for Section of the Month engagement, with 67 votes for the second month in a row! Vote totals were really good across all the teams, actually. It makes me really happy to see so many of you reading what we put out and supporting our writers. Anyway, let's get into those results! Racing into first place was Quizmelon (talk) continuing an impressive winning streak with an edition of TV Tomorrow about, well, racing! Consumer Corner took second place with a very spicy new product, proving that celebrity endorsements do in fact work, and in third place, we have Mushroom Tribune with a discussion between Mustard Machine (talk) and Hooded Pitohui (talk) about a proposal for Rabbid citizenship. Thank you all for voting, and keep it up!

Place Section Votes % Writer
1st TV Tomorrow 29 43.28% Quizmelon (talk)
2nd Consumer Corner 12 17.91% Waluigi Time (talk)
3rd Mushroom Tribune 10 14.93% Mustard Machine (talk) and Hooded Pitohui (talk)

News report
Those lawyers must be all dolled up.
We're having a ball on Isle Delfino!
These latest developments aren't exactly amusing.
Entertainment Features
The champion's belt is up for grabs once again!
New year, new TV!

News Flush

Written by: Hooded Pitohui (talk)

Geno Sues Little Fungitown Arcade Over Use of Likeness

A doll appearing to depict Geno appears in Star 'Stache Smash's tutorial.

Lawyers representing one-time hero of the Mushroom Kingdom and warrior from Star Road, Geno, have officially filed a suit against the Little Fungitown Game Arcade in a Beanbean court, alleging that the arcade is using Geno's likeness in its hit Star 'Stache Smash game without authorization. According to Geno's lawyers, a figure "clearly resembling and intended to be" Geno appears in the game's tutorial mode. Geno, who claims to have never authorized the use of his likeness, is requesting that the game immediately be shut down and redesigned without this figure - or any others resembling him.

The arcade's owners previously rebuffed a request to redesign the game which came directly from Geno, arguing that the figure in the game's tutorial did not specifically resemble the warrior from Star Road, but, rather, was only a lighthearted reference to the well-known doll design created by a craftsman Toad in Rose Town and released into the public domain. The owners have not responded directly to requests for comments since the filing of the suit, though they have stated previously that they have "full trust that the legal system would affirm their right to include a figure resembling the popular doll design" in the course of their public dispute with Geno.

When asked for an analysis of the situation, Anasazi, a professor of law at Woohoo University, said this [Ed. Note, the legal name of Geno has been rendered in symbols that approximate the pronunciation of his name]:

So far, we've seen the arcade maintain that the character appearing in the game's tutorial is nothing like ♡♪!? [the legal name of Geno], and that ♡♪!? has no exclusive claim to the Geno doll design. While they are correct, technically speaking, that anyone is free to use the Geno doll design, the sheer degree to which the public associates the doll and its name with ♡♪!? makes it unlikely, in my opinion, that any judge will believe that your average Bean off the street wouldn't associate this character with ♡♪!?. That almost all sellers of this doll market it by bundling it with dolls of Mario and Prince Mallow of Nimbus Land, by referencing ♡♪!? and his adventure, I would say that really strengthens the case against the arcade. Proper interpretation of the "reasonable Bean" doctrine would find that any reasonable Bean would associate this character with ♡♪!?.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of another cross-kingdom suit over unauthorized use of a prominent figure's image, with a suit brought by Prince Peasley of the Beanbean Kingdom against an item shop in Mushroom Castle for unauthorized use of his likeness on a cardboard standee ending in a settlement and an agreement to take down the standee last month.

Sport Report

Written by: ClawgripFan9001 (talk)

Yar, it be good to see ye tune in fer a new issue o' the Sport Report, mateys! Everyone know who I be by now; I be that sports lovin' scallywag, ClawgripFan9001! After me coverage o' that lacrosse event in The Overthere, I spent a good amount o' time butterin' up King Grambi 'til I could go back to the world o' the livin'! After me return to the world o' the livin', I got meself a brand new ship an' set sail fer new shores t'cover sports news on! It be January, which means it be winter, which means it be stinkin' cold, which means I be goin' ta seek the warm lands o' the Mushroom World top ta bottom fer today's sports news!

Me search fer sports news in the warm lands o' the Mushroom World led me ta Isle Delfino, more specifically, Gelato Beach, where I found the locals in the middle o' their winter volleyball tournament! Accordin' to some o' the locals I was able ta interview 'bout the tournament, the tournament is held four times a year, once in winter, once in spring, once in summer, an' once in fall. I also heard from one o' the locals that each volleyball tournament held on Gelato Beach be sponsored by Gadd Science Incorporated, reason bein' 'cause one o' Gadd Science's products, the Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousin' Device, or F.L.U.D.D. fer short helped the great hero Mario save Isle Delfino from the invasion o' the Crown Prince o' the Koopa Kingdom, Bowser Junior. Yar, I s'pose it makes sense fer the company that played a big role in the liberation o' Isle Delfino ta be sponsorin' events on the island. But I be gettin' off track now, lemme get ye the scoop on the tournament itself!

Here's the deal: The tournament has four teams o' two people competin'. Whichever team manages ta beat the other will advance ta the final round, while the two losin' teams in the first round are forced ta fight it out fer third place. The winner o' the tournament will be rewarded with a gold trophy filled ta the brim with fruits from the local fruit cabana at the edge o' Gelato Beach. Yar, with that outta the way, let's meet the four teams that'll be competin' in today's tournament!

Team One, known as the Pianta Seafarers be made up o' Captain Sherman an' First Mate Gilligan, both hailin' from Ricco Harbor. Accordin' ta First Mate Gilligan, he be competin' 'longside Captain Sherman in today's tournament 'cause the First Mate be admirin' Captain Sherman fer his heroic tale o' the time he saved Ricco Harbor from Gooper Blooper. Yar, that Captain Sherman be a brave one!

Team Two, known as the Noki Guardians be made up o' Noki C an' Noki Doo, both hailin' from Gelato Beach. Accordin' to Noki C, she an' Noki Doo be the guardians o' the Dune Buds that can be found 'round Gelato Beach, an' that they like ta play volleyball in their spare time, hence why they be competin' in today's tournament.

Team Three, known as the Tanooki Tag Team, be made up o' Timothy Tanooki an' his son Thomas Tanooki, both hailin' from Delfino Plaza. They run a shop in Delfino Plaza where one can exchange Shine Sprites fer Blue Coins. Kinda a shady business they be runnin' if ye ask me, but I been told that their business be completely legit.

Finally, we have Team Four, which be known as the Hotel Hustlers, made up o' Pianthony Melchiorri an' Piantonio Cipriani, both hailin' from Sirena Beach! Mr. Melchiorri be the manager o' Sirena Beach's four-star resort known as Hotel Delfino, an' Mr. Cipriani be a bellhop at Hotel Delfino. Both gentlemen like a good game o' volleyball when they not be busy runnin' Hotel Delfino, an' they managed ta find time in their busy schedules ta be at the tournament today.

Yar, now that we've met our teams, it be time ta explain the rules o' the game! We'll be playin' 'til twenty-one points, an' whichever team manages ta be the first ta score twenty-one points wins the first round an' moves on t'wards the final round! Now let us sit back with a tall glass o' fruit punch in our hands an' enjoy a good game o' volleyball!

First up, it be the Pianta Seafarers against the Tanooki Tag Team! The Pianta Seafarers be servin', an' Captain Sherman hits the ball o'er the net an' o'er t'wards the Tanookis' side! Timothy Tanooki be quick ta return the ball o'er the net, promptin' First Mate Gilligan ta hit the ball straight back o'er t'wards the Tanookis' side, with Thomas Tanooki hittin' the ball back o'er t'wards the Seafarers' side, an' this goes back an' forth 'til the Pianta Seafarers manage ta get the ball ta touch down on the Tanookis' side, nettin' them their first points o' the game! 3-0 fer the Seafarers!

Next, Timothy Tanooki picks up the ball, serves, and chucks it o'er the net t'wards the Seafarers' side, with First Mate Gilligan hittin' it back t'wards the Tanookis, an' Thomas Tanooki hits it back o'er the net as Captain Sherman proceeds to spike it back, catchin' the Tanookis off guard as the ball touches down on their side o' the field once more! 6-0 fer the Seafarers!

The Tanookis gonna need ta step up their game if they wanna get their score counter offa the zero mark! This time, Thomas Tanooki picks up the ball, leaps into the air, an' spikes the ball o'er t'wards the Seafarers' side o' the net, leavin' the Seafarers with not enough time ta react, an' the ball touches down on the Seafarers' side o' the field! The score be 6-3!

The rest o' the Seafarers against the Tanookis' game be excitin', but due ta time constraints I can't cover all o' the game, but I can tell ye that the Seafarers managed ta beat the Tanookis with an end score o' 21-15! Yar, the Seafarers congratulate the Tanookis fer a good game, an' the Tanookis show good sportsmanship an' return the congratulations ta the Seafarers!

Now it be time fer the next game in the first round; The Noki Guardians against the Hotel Hustlers! The Noki Guardians be the ones ta serve first, an' Noki C has the ball, so she hops into the air an' hits the ball o'er ta the Hustlers' side! Pianthony Melchiorri hits the ball back, an' Noki Doo hits it back in return, promptin' Piantonio Cipriani ta also hit the ball back o'er the net, an' this once again goes back an' forth 'til the Guardians score the first point, makin' the score scales tip in the Guardians' favor at 3-0!

Pianthony Melchiorri picks up the ball since it landed on the Hustlers' side o' the field, an' with all the strength he can muster, he jumps into the air an' spikes the ball t'wards the Guardians' side, after which Noki C hits it back, an' Piantonio Cipriani slams the ball back again with such strength an' vigor that the Guardians are overwhelmed, tyin' the score at 3-3!

Noki Doo then proceeds ta pick up the ball as he hits it back t'wards the Hustlers' side, with Pianthony Melchiorri bein' quick ta react as he hits the ball back o'er t'wards the Guardians, an' Noki C quickly steps in ta hit the ball back again, with Piantonio Cipriani tappin' the ball back o'er the net again, an' the ball lands on the Guardians' side, tippin' the score scales in the favor o' the Hustlers at 6-3!

Once again, due ta time constraints, I couldn't show ye the entirety of the match 'tween the Guardians an' the Hustlers, but the Guardians managed ta beat the Hustlers with a total score o' 21-18! The Hustlers show good sportsmanship an' congratulate the Guardians on their victory while the Guardians congratulate the Hustlers fer a well played game! That means the final round will go 'tween the Seafarers an' the Guardians while the round fer third place will go 'tween the Tanookis an' the Hustlers!

But b'fore we can get ta the next two rounds o' the tournament, we're gonna take a quick break ta recharge our batteries fer a bit, so I decided ta hit the local Sand Cabana ta grab a bite an' a drink! As I munch on some delicious bananas while enjoyin' a tall glass o' fruit punch, I manage ta get a short interview outta Pianthony Melchiorri, one o' the participants o' the tournament! Durin' the interview, Mr. Melchiorri told me that he's taken up volleyball since his early twenties, and that he be tryin' ta practice the sport every weekend whenever he ain't busy runnin' Hotel Delfino o'er on Sirena Beach! Yar, fer someone in his early ta mid fifties, Mr. Melchiorri be a very fit man!

After about 30 minutes o' break time, our teams are refreshed an' rarin' ta go into the final two matches! First up, it's the match fer third place, which, as I mentioned b'fore, will go 'tween the Tanookis an' the Hustlers! The Tanookis be servin', an' since Thomas Tanooki has the ball, he's the one servin' it! With a skip an' a hop, the wee lad goes airborne an' chucks the ball o'er ta the Hustlers' side o' the net, an' it quickly gets returned ta the Tanookis' side by Piantonio Cipriani, with Timothy Tanooki hittin' it right back in response, an' Pianthony Melchiorri hits it back again b'fore he manages ta touch the ball down on the Tanookis' side o' the field! 3-0 fer the Hustlers!

Timothy Tanooki then proceeds ta pick up the ball an' serves it o'er the net again as Pianthony Melchiorri spikes it back as Thomas Tanooki hits the ball back again with all his might, leavin' the Hustlers unable ta react as the ball touches down on their side o' the field, tyin' up the score at 3-3! But the Hustlers ain't gonna let it bother 'em fer too long as Piantonio Cipriani picks up the ball an' hurls it o'er the net as Timothy Tanooki hits it back as Pianthony Melchiorri jumps in ta block the ball an' send it back o'er ta the Tanookis side, an' the ball touches down as the score becomes 6-3 fer the Hustlers!

The rest o' the match fer third place was an excitin' one, but at the end o' the match, it was the Tanookis that managed ta claim third place with the final score bein' 21-12! Yar, those Tanookis played a very aggressive game, but the Hustlers didn't mind, an' they took last place in a sportsmanlike manner an' congratulated the Tanookis on a job well done!

Next, we have the final match o' the tournament; The match fer first place! It be the Seafarers against the Guardians, an' only one o' these teams will be walkin' outta this tournament victorious! Are ye ready? Ye should be! So, without further ado, here's the final match! The Guardians be servin', an' Noki Doo has the ball, which he proceeds ta chuck o'er the net as First Mate Gilligan moves in ta hit it back, promptin' Noki C ta knock it back o'er the net again as Captain Sherman spikes the ball back again, leavin' the Guardians incapable o' reactin' ta Captain Sherman's play as the ball touches down on the Guardians' side o' the field, puttin' the score at 3-0 fer the Seafarers!

Noki C then picks up the ball an' punts it o'er the net as First Mate Gilligan proceeds ta hit it back o'er the net again, with Noki Doo movin' in ta block the ball an' sent it back o'er ta the Seafarers' side! The Seafarers are left with little time ta respond as the ball touches down on their side o' the field, bringin' the score t'wards a tie at 3-3!

We now fast forward ta the end o' the match, an' the score is currently tied at 18-18. The team that manages ta get the ball ta touch down on the other side o' the net will have won the match an' therefore the entire tournament. Noki Doo has the ball, an' with all his might, he spikes the ball o'er the net, an'...He manages ta get it ta touch down on the other side o' the net since the Seafarers were caught off guard by Noki Doo's play! That's the game! The Noki Guardians have won the tournament!

We then switch ta the awards ceremony, where the top three teams are on the podium! In third place with a bronze medal 'round their necks, we have the Tanooki Tag Team, who are satisfied with their placement in the tournament! In second place with a silver medal 'round their necks, we have the Pianta Seafarers, who are also satisfied with their placement as they show off their silver medals ta the audience! An' finally in first place, we have the Noki Guardians, who are holdin' up the gold trophy that's filled ta the brim with fruits from the local fruit cabana at the edge o' Gelato Beach! Congratulations ta the top three finishers, an' of course a job well done ta the last place finishers fer playin' well too!

Speakin' o' the last place finishers, I tried ta get a hold o' the Hotel Hustlers fer another interview, but unfortunately they had ta abruptly leave Gelato Beach 'cause Pianthony Melchiorri had received word o' Hotel Delfino startin' ta fill up with water after a leak in the hotel's bathrooms occurred! Yar, it be unfortunate, since I really wanted ta get the Hotel Hustlers' thoughts on their experience in the tournament, but I understand that emergencies in the workplace be more important! Maybe next time I'll be able ta get a hold o' the losers fer another interview again! But that be all the time we have fer today's sports news, mateys! I be seein' ya next time live from Mushroom City fer probably the biggest sports event o' the year! 'Til then, keep the sports spirit alive, yar?

Mushroom Tribune

Written by: Mustard Machine (talk) and Hooded Pitohui (talk)

This article sourced from the Mushroom Tribune, a sister publication serving the Toad Town metropolitan area with local news which goes uncovered by the national networks.

Kingdom's Largest Amusement Park Announces Closure

The park's Slidin' the Slopes racing maze

In news that may sadden many, World-e, the kingdom's largest amusement park, officially announced that it will not be reopening for the summer season. Beginning operation on July 11th 2003, World-e billed itself as not only the kingdom's largest theme park, but also a celebration of all things Mario. A sprawling labyrinth of a park, World-e boasted twenty-eight interactive attractions to explore, five historical recreations of Mario's first defeat of Bowser, and, finally, three full arcade mushroom houses. World-e set out to combine elements from four of legendary hero Mario's greatest adventures. Attractions included: Rich with Ropes, a rope maze where the guests attempted to avoid Hoopsters; Slidin' the Slopes, a racing area where guests ran up triangle blocks in a maze and competed to solve the maze in the shortest time; and even Bowser's Last Stand, a full siege on Bowser's Castle where, at the end, guests who completed a gauntlet could battle against Bowser (played by a cast member, of course). For years, World-e was considered the gold standard of amusement parks, bringing fun and joy to citizens from across the kingdom.

That's not to say the closure was completely unexpected to those paying close attention to the park. While it's true that World-e oftentimes boasted of having higher attendance than any park in the kingdom, industry insiders had noted that attendance had actually been dropping at a rate of about 5% each year since its peak in 2013. Even before the closure, rumors had floated that World-e was in trouble because, while its massive amount of attractions was its biggest strength, it was also its biggest weakness since the many attractions required thousands of coins in overhead costs. We attempted to reach out to the World-e management, who had nothing more to comment, but a former executive did agree to speak with us under the guise of anonymity.

Truthfully, even at its peak, World-e was always on shaky ground. I mean, from the beginning, the park was a logistical nightmare. Because of the expansive nature of the park, with elements from so many Mario adventures, the profit margins were never that great even when there were millions of guests each year. I mean, think about it, you've got to ship in hundreds upon thousands of power-ups each month just to keep the attractions running, and things like Cape Feathers aren't cheap, you know? Then you've got to factor in maintenance costs to fix things like making sure the falling platforms fall at just the right time. Or to make sure the music blocks give the guest just the right amount of bounce. Then there's the red tape, and, let me tell you, that's a killer. Each attraction needed to be inspected monthly to make sure things like the the spikes in PR Treacherous Halls weren't sharp enough to hurt people, or that the water in An Aqueous Adventure had the right amount of oxygen so that guests could breath it. Each one of these inspections cost coin, and, if you fail? The expense of getting any of these attractions back into working order was huge. You gotta pay your design team to figure out what went wrong, then you gotta pay your maintenance to fix it, and finally you gotta pay for the inspectors to come back and inspect it again. All of this was hard to afford even when the park was doing peak business. So you can see how drops in attendance would make operating it untenable.

Still, other critics have pointed to another reason for World-e's failure, that being the controversial Advance Coins initiative. Since its opening, World-e always had a tiered pricing structure, with different attractions costing different amount of coins depending on an attraction's ranking on a five-star system. Five-star attractions, such as Para Beetle Challenge, an attraction where guests attempt to cross the sky by jumping from Para-Beetle to Para-Beetle, being the most expensive. A two-star attraction such as Vegetable Volley, where guests attempted to defeat as many "enemies" as possible with vegetables, scoring points based on how many they could defeat with a single vegetable, cost considerably less. While never a super popular concept, guests had seemingly accepted its premise and still flocked the gates, that is, until 2016, when World-e announced its new Advance Coin initiative. No longer could you simply spend Mushroom Kingdom coins or any other coins, for that matter. Instead, you now had to convert your money into Advance Coins that could only be spent at the park and could not be converted back to regular money when you left. This initiative was roundly panned and sent attendance plummeting by 15% in 2016 compared to 2015's numbers. While the park quickly reversed its decision, the damage was done and the park would never see another increase in attendance. For more perspective on these sad but predictable developments, we have longtime contributors Hooded Pitohui and Shoey.

Shoey To me, the failure of World-e is a cautionary tale about the dangers of resting on your laurels. For years World-e had advertised itself as the world's largest amusement park and this was certainly true, but that fact itself is deceptive. While World-e was in fact larger than every other park in the kingdom, its real problems weren't in size, but rather innovation. Think about it. Over the last 15 years, what has World-e added that would get people excited? That's right, nothing! Over the last 15 years, there have been zero major additions to the park. The last major additions to the park were the three PR attractions (PR of course standing for Perfectly Radical) that were advertised as being extreme attractions for the most hardcore of guests. But after that? Nothing! Not a single major attraction has been built since then! To me, the owners thought that just having the world's largest amusement park would be enough, and that was certainly true for a while. But you can't stop innovating! Look at Baby Park, most famous for its insane seven lap go-karting course and its flagship rollercoaster, The Yoshi Island Experience. They're constantly trying to add new attractions such as Poochy's Treasure Hunt, an attraction where guests use Poochy-shaped metal detectors to look for buried treasure. Or take Toad's Midway Madness, which just recently announced a new attraction called "Toad's Mini Rocket Ride," where guests can take a Mini Mushroom before riding a simulated rocketship ride. The point is that these parks are constantly innovating, constantly adding new attractions to entice guests to return, whereas World-e just wasn't. Instead of innovating, instead of pushing new ideas, World-e just kept rolling out the same things year after year! And don't get me wrong, a lot of these were, in fact, great! But they can only stay great for so long. You can only roll the same things out for so long before the consumer just doesn't respond to it. Were there other mistakes? Sure, for example, we all agree the Advance Coins initiative was a colossal failure which did a lot of damage to the World-e brand, and, yes, some found the tiered pricing structure to be overly confusing, but, to me, the real downfall of World-e was simply that its management team allowed it to become stale.
Hooded Pitohui As you might expect, Shoey, I am saddened, but not surprised. Anyone observing the industry would have told you that the park was headed for this ignoble end, including, off the record, the park's own management team. Industry insiders and analysts could see this coming a mile away, and, to me, that should lead to a question. If everyone could see that World-e was in dire straits, why was nothing done about this? Why, aside from its disastrous Advance Coin experiment, did the park's management team not do more to shore up the park's financial standing? Was the risk of World-e losing its reputation as the kingdom's largest amusement park really so great that the park couldn't have shuttered some of its attractions to reduce overhead costs? Surely, there was something else for the park to boast of in its advertisements. Why were the efforts to expand the park's gift shops and food stalls - which could have taken the place of shuttered attractions - so paltry? Why, when, as you and many others have observed, other parks were demonstrating the importance of innovating, did World-e go without new attractions? What I see here are significant failures to address World-e's issues, which is a shame not only for the families with fond memories of the park, but for the park's many employees and even the businesses that have supplied the park. You don't think that losing a customer with orders on this scale will result in power-up production companies resorting to layoffs? Please! The story of World-e is a story of failure at the highest levels, and, while many are going to be out of their jobs as a result, the park's owners have been able to write off thousands of coins in taxes each year since 2014 thanks to the park operating at a loss. Is that fair? It's not, which is why we need a full investigation into the failure of World-e. At the least, it will create a case study that other businesses can use to sound alarm bells, and, should it uncover that owners and management deliberately kept the park running for the purpose of tax avoidance, it may even go further. An investigation into World-e's failure might bring justice.

Sprite credits: Sonik (tSR), Lakituthequick

Mushroom Kingdom Smackdown

Written by: Waluigi Time (talk)

Welcome back to Mushroom Kingdom Smackdown, the only fighting tournament that's celebrating the one-year anniversary of its one-year anniversary! Sure, any old fighting tournament can celebrate a two-year anniversary, but how about a one-year anniversary of a one-year anniversary? Now that's original! I'm still your host, Waluigi Time, and luckily no one's tried to off me, so that's always nice. You probably know what's happening today - it's the 2023 Ultimate Smackdown Championship! All twelve of our winners from the past year are back today for another shot at being this year's Mushroom Kingdom Smackdown Champion! Will our current champion, Captain Fishook, be able to hold on to his title, or is it someone else's turn to wear the champion's belt? Let's find out!

For those who weren't here last year, either because you just missed it or are actually a baby and weren't born yet, here's how this thing will work! The championship will consist of nine matches, the first six being one-on-one fights, the following two matches being semifinal matches featuring the three winners of the initial rounds, and finally, one last match between the two remaining fighters to win it all!

Our first fighter today is... What, he's not here? He's peddling stuff to the audience again, okay. Get him over here!

As I was saying, over here we've got the All-Smiles Salesman, the Perky Peddler, give a big hand to the return of FRIENDLY FLOYD! Back in September, Floyd's suitcase full of stuff tripped up Groove Guy's groove and brought him to victory! Can he sell us a repeat performance?


Our next fighter is also all-smiles, but nowhere near as friendly! It's the Marauder of Marrow, the Skeletal Spirit of the Seven Seas, CORTEZ! His last voyage in October plundered victory from the Phantom of the Bwahpera, and also plundered the souls of the audience. We'll try not to let that one happen again.


Alright then! In the interest of time, I will once again be sparing you my predictions, so here we go! Match 1: Friendly Floyd vs. Cortez!

I shouldn't have expected any different, Floyd is starting off the match by trying to sell a carton of milk to the fearsome skeletal pirate! I suppose it is good for the bones, after all. Cortez is having none of Floyd's pitch and stabs the carton with his rapier, causing all the milk to drain out! Floyd looks sad now, and pulls a wrench out of his suitcase which he uses to whack Cortez right on the forehead! He's stunned, and Floyd takes the opportunity to put on... an entire suit of armor?! If I know Floyd, that's probably both a defensive move and an attempt to sell Cortez more potent weaponry. Floyd is just about suited up by the time Cortez gets his bearings straight, and we get a good demonstration of its capabilities with a horizontal swing of Cortez's sword! Which is... Not as great as you'd expect, actually. It certainly protected him, but Cortez and his weaponry are a lot bigger than Floyd, so he's not having too difficult of a time shoving him around the ring. Floyd decides to try and sell Cortez a... freaking bazooka?! Is that even legal?? Does- does he have a license for this? Cortez instead ignores him and manages to get rid of Floyd's helmet with his hook, as Floyd "demonstrates" the bazooka's firepower by firing it directly at Cortez! Bones fly all over the place and Cortez collapses, but I think we all know you can't take him down that easily! Cortez returns in his serpentine form, and before Floyd can react, he deals a nasty headbutt to the salesman! Actually, uh, I don't think he's getting up from that one. I think we need medical attention, but in the meantime, Cortez moves ahead to the semifinals!

Are ya ready, audience? It's time for more pirates! Give it up for the Pinchin' Pirates, the Crustacean Corsair, the SCURVY CREW! This crabby crew managed to plunder- wait, I already used that line. Uh, well, they beat King Zing back in July with all that weaponry. It'll be nice to commentate a match with them without a grouchy old ape yelling in my ear the whole time.


You know what the natural enemy of crabs is? Flowers. Just kidding. Maybe we'll find out, because here comes the Bloom of Battle, the Seed-Spitting Shooter, FLIFIT! Flifit was able to win our March match against Yakkey that turned out to be a lot more one-sided than I expected! And by one-sided I mean Yakkey probably never really had a chance. Let's see how Flifit fares against a more threatening foe!

Sprite of a Flifit from Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey

Let's get on with it! Match 2: Scurvy Crew vs. Flifit!

Okay, starting things off, the Scurvy Crew stack up into attack position! They're heading towards Flifit, and... this might actually be a really quick match, now that I think about it. But as they close in, Flifit fires a Sneed at them, toppling over the stack! That could buy it some time, but those crustaceans aren't going to stay down long. Flifit tries rapid-firing more Sneeds at the Scurvy Crew while they're down, but it's going to take a lot to stay on top of the game! Their tough exteriors are well-suited for the barrage. Oh, here comes that ambiguously-allowed Snifit again to water Flifit and keep its energy up as it fires. The three of them manage to get back up, but this time they don't stack up, forcing Flifit to continue dividing its attention between them! Smart move! Though Flifit seems to be focusing most of its attention on keeping back Greenbeard and, uh, whatever the blue one is called. I guess it's not too afraid of that fork. The Sneeds are joining in too, spitting seeds of their own at the Scurvy Crew, but it doesn't seem to be doing much. Keeping up with these guys is taking a lot of Flifit's energy, and even then they're still gaining on it, managing to bat away some of the Sneeds with their weapons! The Snifit comes in for a second watering, but the yellow one swings at Flifit with their fork! It's actually not very effective... The rest of the Scurvy Crew catches up as well, and the watering can is too little, too late! One swing of the sword and Flifit is cut down! The Scurvy Crew wins and will move on to the semifinals!

Oh wow, that's a lot of Sneeds, actually. Uh, give us a minute while we get these cleaned up, okay?


And we're back! Okay, next up, it's the Tired Terrapin, the Footsoldier of Fatigue, SNOOZA KOOPA! Last June, Snooza Koopa was able to pierce the defenses of the mysterious Hinokuri2 to take home the Mushroom Kingdom Smackdown Beach Bash Cup! ...Or at least that's what would've happened if Il Piantissimo didn't run off with it. But hey, maybe a champion's belt would be a nice substitute?

Snooza Koopa

Alright everyone, you know him, you love him, you're scared to death of him if you know what's good for you, coming back for his third appearance in Mushroom Kingdom Smackdown is our reigning champion, the Paranormal Predator, the Spook of the Seven Seas, CAPTAIN FISHOOK!!! There's no shortage of piratey opponents for him here today, but is he going to remain the champ, or will he end up walking the plank? Metaphorically, of course.


Without further ado, Match 3: Snooza Koopa vs. Captain Fishook!

Captain Fishook kicks it off with his classic move, possessing the floor of the ring and creating a gaping mouth full of pointy teeth! He's moving towards Snooza Koopa who is, uh, just sleeping... Hopefully it wakes up soon or we'll have another Goomba vs. Thwomp match on our hands! Meanwhile, ghosts are hurling explosive barrels around the ring with no real purpose. There's always something interesting going on here at Smackdown. Oh good, the sound of the barrels woke up Snooza Koopa! Finally, we get to see some action in this match! As Fishook approaches, Snooza Koopa leaps into the air to attack, and... hurls itself right into Fishook's mouth? Okay, maybe that wasn't a good opponent to use your "jump and drop down on top of them" attack on, just saying. Well, Fishook spits out the defeated Koopa and will move on to the semifinals!

We're halfway through the first round now, and here's someone I'm sure you've all been waiting to see! It's the Turtley Titan, the Tremendous Terrapin, GRUNT! His fight against Dr. Mario back in May sent the poor doctor down to the basement! He could definitely be a tough force to deal with in this tournament, assuming he's been keeping up on his training regiment.


It's going to be a tough one though, because I've matched him up against one of my personal favorites, the Purple Prodigy, the Sultan of Sports, WALUIGI! He won April's Smackdown match... Well, it was more like a tennis match against the Fog Imposter, but a match is a match, right? Either way, he'll be doing a lot more actual fighting this time! I don't think Grunt is up for a round of golf.

Artwork of Waluigi in Super Mario Party (also used in Mario Party Superstars)

This is going to be a good one, folks! Match 4: Grunt vs. Waluigi!

Waluigi starts off the match by taunting Grunt, pointing at him and laughing! You gotta love Waluigi's flair, but I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to do that myself. Grunt doesn't care too much for the showboating and just stomps over to him. But wait, it wasn't just a taunt, it was a tactical taunt! Waluigi leaps into the air to do his famous stomp leap attack, but... it doesn't work!! Grunt is totally unaffected, and grabs Waluigi in retaliation! He slams the poor guy into the floor, picks him back up again, and tosses him across the ring! As if Waluigi doesn't suffer enough already! You know, in hindsight, I'm not sure how he thought that would do anything to Grunt considering how skinny his legs are. The purple sports star gets up and brushes himself off, and... he's taunting Grunt again! Grunt heads back over to him, and I'm not sure if it's because he's falling for the taunt or because he just needs to be up close to do anything to him. Grunt gets in range and tries to punch Waluigi, but he jumps out of the way at the last second, pulls out his trusty tennis racket, and clobbers Grunt over the head with it! The strings were torn to ribbons pretty much instantly, and Grunt looks less hurt and a lot more ticked off as he snaps what's left of the tennis racket to pieces and throws it out of the ring! Waluigi has the good sense to run away, though. It looks like he has another trick up his sleeves, as he's just pulled out a lit Bob-omb! He tosses it at Grunt, but Grunt turns around and bashes it with his shell, sending it back at Waluigi! He's not able to get out of the way in time and it blows up in his face! The poor man can't catch a break... It looks like Waluigi's down for real this time, which means Grunt moves on to the semifinals!

Who's ready for the sound of scraping metal? I hope you are, because our next fighter is the Mechanical Monster, the Titanium Turtle, ROBOT MONSTER TROOPA! We've gotten this thing fixed up back to prime condition following its scrap with Colonel Pluck back in February.


You know what's better than scraping metal? Even more scraping metal! We've also got the World-Invading Warlord, the Master of Machines, SMITHY! This mechanical menace won our November match, knocking Chakron off-balance just in the nick of time. He's definitely in for more of a fight today!


Let's get those gears grinding! Match 5: Robot Monster Troopa vs. Smithy!

Robot Monster Troopa stomps over toward Smithy, as the clash of mechanical titans looms! Smithy prepares for battle by switching to his trusty tank head, and immediately blasts the Troopa! It's too slow to get out of the way in time, making it a direct hit! Ah, don't count the Troopa out yet, though, it's still got some pretty beefy defenses to work with. Smithy fires off a couple extra cheap shots as the Troopa approaches, and now it's time to stop playing the ranged game! Smithy changes up his strategy and switches into the defensive Tank Head, right as the Robot Monster Troopa smashes him in the face with its fist! Luckily for Smithy, the form change mitigates most of the damage. Troopa continues to shove its clawed fists into Smithy's face and wear down his defenses, but Smithy retaliates by swinging his sledgehammer into it - or at least he tries to, but the Troopa grabs it, and the two of them are now wrestling for control of the sledgehammer! This is going to be tricky for Smithy, as without the sledgehammer at his disposal, he's stuck in his weakest form offensively! But wait a minute, Smithy makes a sacrifice play here! He lets the Troopa smash him in the face with his own sledgehammer, but he's able to use it to switch back to the tank head! Smithy quickly fires off the dreaded Magnum attack, immediately obliterating what's left of the Robot Monster Troopa! What a play! Smithy qualifies for the semifinals!

And for our last match of the first round, here comes the King of Awesome, the Boss of Bwahaha, LEGO® BOWSER! Great, now I have to contend with the legal department at LEGO® again... Anyway, uh, this particular Bowser took on all five of the Axem Rangers back in August and stomped 'em all!

"The Mighty Bowser" LEGO Super Mario buildable figure

Time for the last introduction of the tournament! You should remember this one pretty well because you just saw him, it's the Prince of the Koopas himself, the Tiny Turtle Terror, BOWSER JR.! Okay, so I thought making him fight the likeness of his dad would be funny. Sue me. (Don't actually sue me) Bowser Jr. won our December demolition derby, using all the tricks of his Junior Clown Car against Dribble & Spitz!

Artwork of Bowser Jr. in Mario Party: Star Rush

It's a royal clash, kind of! Match 6: LEGO® Bowser vs. Bowser Jr.!

Bowser Jr.'s opting not to use his Junior Clown Car for now, and instead fight the LEGO® version of his father on foot. Hopefully that decision doesn't backfire, it wouldn't be good if Bowser got his LEGO® brick claws on that! Bowser Jr. tosses a Koopa shell at Bowser that he got from nowhere in particular, but Bowser just crushes it with his LEGO® foot. So much for that game plan! Bowser charges forward, and Jr. seems to feel that he's out of options already, as he's hopping into the Junior Clown Car and taking to the skies. Bowser spits fireballs up at him, but Jr. counters and melts them with his own fireballs! As it turns out, regular fire beats LEGO® fire every time. Bowser Jr. pulls out a Bob-omb and tosses it down below, where it explodes spectacularly and scatters LEGO® bricks all over the place! Doesn't look like Bowser lost anything too important though, but I wouldn't pay retail price for him in this state. He retaliates by jumping up and grabbing the Junior Clown Car, slowly but surely dragging it back down to the ground with his weight! With quick thinking, Jr. uses the Clown Car's claw to hold Bowser in place, and starts punching him with its boxing gloves! Look at all those LEGO® bricks fly! With a flurry of rapid-fire punches, pretty much all of the pieces making up LEGO® Bowser end up being knocked outside of the ring, and that's a win for Bowser Jr.! To the semifinals he goes, and as a matter of fact, it's time to get into those right now!

Half of the fighters go home, or uh, a mix of going home or going in for medical attention and/or repairs, and the other half remain! Let's kick the semifinals off with a pirate fight! Match 7: Cortez vs. Scurvy Crew vs. Captain Fishook!

As you can expect by now, Captain Fishook starts off by possessing the floor yet again! The barrel-throwing ghosts are here too, for good measure. Both Cortez and the Scurvy Crew seem to be ignoring each other for now, recognizing the captain as the bigger threat. And they should, he's the champion, after all! Fishook is also ignoring the Scurvy Crew in favor of moving towards Cortez - poor guys, they're the small fries here. But that works to their advantage, as they're each able to roll the explosive barrels into Fishook's mouth virtually unopposed! KABOOM! Fishook is forced out of the floor and he is out for blood now! Still going after Cortez, though... He swings his hook at the skeleton, and Cortez responds in kind, interlocking both of their hooks! Unlike Fishook, Cortez still has plenty of weaponry to work with and knocks him away with his sword, sending the ghostly shark spinning across the ring! He plants his hook into the ring floor to keep himself oriented, and the Scurvy Crew take the opportunity to attack... but unfortunately for them they all just phase through him. As we all know, though, ghost does a lot better against ghost, and Cortez lunges forward with all four of his weapons! Fishook frees himself and gets out of the way just in time though, instead leaving the Scurvy Crew as the recipients of Cortez's full fury! And there they go...

It's just shark on skeleton now, and Fishook goes back to his old strategy, ring floor, barrel ghosts, yadda yadda. Cortez makes quick work of it though, using all four of his arms to knock the barrels into Fishook's mouth! Explosively forced out from the ring again, Fishook rushes towards Cortez with his hook, but the skeleton quickly pulls out the pride of his horde - the Skull Gem! The gem gives off a brilliant shine, blinding the captain and stunning him! Cortez unleashes all four weapons on Fishook at once, and with his, uh, otherworldly skeleton powers, vanquishes the captain! The champion has been defeated, and Cortez gets a shot at the finals!

Well, for a final match, we need a second finalist, so let's find out who that's going to be! Match 8: Grunt vs. Smithy vs. Bowser Jr.!

Bowser Jr. already looks like he knows not to mess with Grunt, but Smithy's looking a little more confident after his defeat of the Robot Monster Troopa. Jr. hops in his Clown Car and flies out of reach, leaving Grunt and Smithy to deal with each other for the time being as he tosses shells from above. Smithy doesn't seem like he's having any of that though, and unleashes a powerful Meteor Swarm spell! Grunt retreats into his shell to avoid taking damage, but Jr. has nowhere to go amongst the flurry of stars and gets knocked around quite a bit up there! Grunt emerges from his shell as Smithy switches to his magic head, which is still one of the weirdest things I've seen ever. But before he can fire off a spell, Jr. swoops in and attacks Smithy with the Clown Car's drill! Smithy retaliates with a Dark Star spell, knocking the Koopa prince from his Clown Car and out of commission!

But now he's got himself in a 1v1 against Grunt... who is right next to him, actually, and punches Smithy in the face! You can tell he wasn't expecting how powerful Grunt actually is! Smithy quickly switches into his tank form, and uh oh... He fires the Magnum attack on Grunt at point blank range! That means Smithy- WHAT? Grunt just tanked the hit!! It didn't affect him at all! Smithy is clearly shocked and quickly switches into his mask form for some much needed protection, and Grunt begins going to town on it! Even all that defense can't keep up with Grunt's offensive, and Smithy collapses! Grunt wins the match and moves on to the finals!

And it all comes down to this... The final match! One fighter will go home with the champion's belt, and the other... well, they won't. That's kind of how this works. Match 9: Cortez vs. Grunt!

Cortez pulls out all of his weapons again, and Grunt flexes his muscles in a "come at me" sort of way. This is going to be a good one! Cortez swings at Grunt with his sword, but his shell's just too tough for it! Grunt wrestles the sword from Cortez's grasp and snaps it in half!!! Cortez tries again with each of his other weapons, only to find the same thing - it has no effect on Grunt, and he breaks every single one of them! Cortez is left entirely unarmed! Grunt smirks as he stomps toward the skeletal pirate and punches him right in the spine, making him collapse into a pile of bones! Cortez rises again in his serpentine form, and he's not going to pull any punches - he immediately goes for a headbutt attack, but Grunt ducks his head into his shell just in time - and then quickly re-emerges, instead hitting Cortez with his OWN headbutt! Cortez recoils and opts instead to charge up a different attack as Grunt approaches on his own! Cortez tosses a charged bone at Grunt, which actually seems to slow him down, though only a little! Grunt continues his approach nevertheless, and pulls on Cortez's ribcage - that looks painful - and crushes the gem inside to dust within his fist! Cortez once again falls to pieces and rises one last time in his final form, a disembodied head! He animates all of his old weapons to help, but unfortunately, they're all still broken. I'm sure Grunt won't mind breaking them again, though. Cortez sends all of the pieces of his weapons at Grunt in what is basically a stall attempt at this point, but it's no use - Grunt makes his way through the volley of pointy things and punches the skeleton right in the nose, knocking him down for good!

And with that, Grunt is the new champion of Mushroom Kingdom Smackdown! I'm sure his promoter will be commenting on that in the near future...

Well, thank you very much for watching the tournament! We'll be returning to our normal operations next time, so don't forget to send in your suggestions if you have someone you want to get in the ring next month!

Now I just have to work out a deal using Grunt's likeness in promotional materials... Where did I put O'Dell's phone number, again?

TV Tomorrow

Written by: Quizmelon (talk)

Three weeks into 2023, and I am proud to say I haven’t yet broken any of my three New Year’s Resolutions to improve the quality of my writing. I haven’t used any minor curse words for effect; I haven’t done any triadic listing; and I’ve completely sworn off semicolons… damn it! Well, hopefully your resolutions are going better than mine. To be honest I’m not sure why I gave up semicolons anyway; I love them more than my own as-yet-unconceived children. And triadic listing is built into the very three-act-structure of my regular column. Evidently I was dooming myself from the start. Hmm. Well, please distract yourself from my psychoanalytic dwellings on self-sabotage with the first TV Tomorrow televisual triple threat of the two thousandth and twenty third year of the Common Era!

Deepening the moral texture of its source material, MKBC1’s Cursa explores its titular character’s origins.

New: Cursa
MKBC1, 10pm
Genre: Dark origin story spin-off drama

Following the immense popularity of Sparks of Hope (which, I should point out for the sake of my worldbuilding, is fully fictional within this column’s conception of the Mario universe, because Rabbids aren’t real), the stage was obviously set for a whole bunch of spin-off media. Chief among them is the snappily-titled Cursa, exploring the murky origins of Sparks of Hope’s villain in its early years as a recently-sentient galactic entity as it forges a path for itself in the universe. Though it plays havoc with the game’s pre-established continuity, the edgier tone, powerful performances, and permeating aura of philosophical mystery make it a uniquely watchable experience nonetheless.

Artwork of Daisy in Mario Party Superstars
The perfect showcase for its host’s abilities, Hi, I’m Daisy!! airs at 9pm tomorrow.

Hi, I’m Daisy!!
The Party Channel, 9pm
Genre: Late-night talk show

Once upon a time Tumble was the king of the chaotic late-night TV scene on the Party Channel; but his Tumble Show has now been firmly eclipsed by Hi, I’m Daisy!! Now in its fourth year, the show’s host, Sarasaland princess Daisy, conducts proceedings in an anarchic and comically egocentric manner, managing impressively to keep the show’s vibe constantly upbeat and fun while never making her celebrity guests feel alienated or bewildered (something Tumble often struggled with). Tomorrow night features Daisy’s longtime friend Toadette as well as celebrity chef Shimi, and they’re both sure to be enthusiastic participants in the chaos.

Two white pigeons in Cloud Kingdom
Enjoy the well-written, thought-provoking humour of Pigeon Conversations on the Party Channel from 6pm.

Pigeon Conversations
The Party Channel, throughout the evening from 6pm
Genre: Experimental comedic shorts

What? Two TV Tomorrow recommendations from the Party Channel? Strange but true. I know this can be quite an MKBC-centric column, and to be fair they do dominate the Mushroom Kingdom TV market, but its longtime youth-oriented competitor has been impressing recently with some more thoughtful programming. This month, as interstitials between evening programming, they’re airing Pigeon Conversations, a series of a hundred or so experimental comedy shorts made by pigeon filmmaker Yamamura, each one focusing on a short conversation between two pigeons perched on a cloud. Some are absurdist; some are philosophical; some are bittersweet; damn, I’ve just broken all my resolutions again. But all of them are funny, and it’s well worth tuning into the Party Channel to catch one and see what you get.

Well, I’ve had time to think about why I selected resolutions I would obviously end up breaking, and I’ve come to the firm conclusion that I did it so that I would have a relatively amusing introduction for this column. And what are resolutions for apart from to be broken for other people’s entertainment? I’m just a part of the New Year cultural spirit. Hope the rest of 2023 is tolerable, and I’ll see you in February!

The 'Shroom: Issue 190
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