The 'Shroom:Issue 191/Palette Swap

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Director's Notes

Written by: FunkyK38 (talk)

Shroom2017 FunkyK38.png

The 'Shroom is in the air, and it's February! Welcome back, everyone!

So, that Direct. WOW. We got SO MUCH good stuff. Level 5 made two appearances, which is always a good thing, we got more Xenoblade 3 DLC (Shalvis breakup???), and so much more. I'd give it a 10/10 for Level 5's surprise appearance alone. I'm definitely not going to be hurting for games this year, that's for sure!

This month we have a second submission of Random Image of the Month from Mustard Machine (talk) and I think this one might be a little scarier than last month's was, in my opinion. It's... really something. I'll leave it up to you to decide which one is worse.

There's a lot of good stuff down below, so I won't keep you up here any longer!

Happy reading!


Section of the Month

The first Section of the Month of the new year is here, and we've had a flip this time! Coming in first with his new comic, The ? Panel, is winstein (talk)! Following up is our other comic section, Waluigi Time (talk)'s Waluigi Time Comic, and in third is Waluigi Time's other section, Shmaluigi, Private Investigator. Thank you so much to everyone who voted, and please keep it up for this month as well!

Place Section Votes % Writer
1st The ? Panel 11 32.35% winstein (talk)
2nd Waluigi Time Comic 6 17.65% Waluigi Time (talk)
3rd Shmaluigi, Private Investigator 5 14.71% Waluigi Time (talk)

For the most trustworthy plumbing, call now!
Will the taste of vengeance be bitter or sweet?
More like DEMON Kong, am I right?
Remember to stick to the word count!
"It's been 30 years..."

Site Seeing

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!
This month we will visit one of the freshest sites we will probably ever visit: the one for Super Mario Bros. Plumbing!


A full-page screenshot of the SMB Plumbing website frontpage.

This is mostly a single-page website, with a couple of subpages for specific purposes. Despite its real-business appearance, it contains various easter eggs as well.

At the top of the site is a banner that sticks to the top of the screen while we scroll, which contains the logo, serviceable area, and a phone number. The phone number actually works, and can be called and texted (calling works even outside of the United States, despite what the disclaimer says). Clicking an icon here plays the Nintendo GameCube startup theme.

After a navigation banner, we find the hero section, which contains the logo and slogans, and the television commercial that advertises their business. To the left of it is a picture of Super Mario Bros. Plumbing van next to a manhole, to the right are emblems to indicate their status as "verified super" and having been seen on tv. Clicking the manhole and emblems respectively, a movie poster opens on a new tab, a power-up sound plays, or a Mario Kart countdown plays. At the bottom of all this, three selling points are listed.

The next section is the "about us" section, which has a few sentences describing the brothers and their business, and to the right a picture of Mario and Luigi with their names underneath it. Beneath Mario, an animated badge is displayed that reads "24/7 emergency services!". Clicking this badge emits a stretched flagpole sound.

A review by user SpikeIsCool, displaying one start yellow out of five. The review reads: "There’s no loyalty w/ mario and luigi!!! The SUBPAR Mario Bros used to wrk for me until they decided to break off and start there own bussines…. theyll learn their lesson someday…"
More like "SpikeIsTouchy". And foreshadowing.
An error page, reading "Error 404" at the top, with the subtitle "Looks like something is broken!". At the bottom, three green warp pipes are shown in a row.
Welcome to warp zone!

Next are testimonials. Here, three reviews are shown, one of 5 stars by BrosMom (their mother), one of 1 star by SpikeIsCool (their (former) boss), and a 2-star one by BrKlyn Couple. On top of the section is a broken image, clicking of which brings us to a separate 404 pages with three pipes. Each pipe makes a sound when clicked, and when clicked in a certain order (2, 3, 1), an arranged version of the Super Mario Bros. overworld theme plays.

Breaking up the page is a large red marquee banner with the phone number in it, formatted with the name MARIO in it. Clicking the number will prompt one to call it.

The last section is "Careers", which lists four vacancies: dispatcher, bookkeeper, marketing manager, and driver, each with a little blurb that highlights the small business status of the company. Next to the header, an "apply now" badge is displayed, which takes us to a page that at the time of writing simply contains a "coming soon" text on top of a street background.


A glove resembling Mario's, pointing to the top left.

This site has a strong home-made amateurish and slightly dated vibe to it, as if it was indeed made by the Mario Bros. themselves. The site also features a custom cursor, a line drawing of Mario's hand.

The site uses bright colours that match with parts of the Bros.' business. The van's yellow is used for the odd sections and footer background, and red and green are used for buttons, headers, and other accents.

The layout of things is otherwise very simple, which further serves to match the amateur outdated style the site is going for. The animated bits match with early 00's website design, as do the button highlights, and the bold typeface, which is the aptly named Roc Grotesk.

Despite this, the site is responsive, and displays correctly on all screen sizes. As per usual, elements that would otherwise display side-by-side now display on top of each other, with the exception of the testimonials, which can be scrolled with touch.


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.

Where. To. Start! Despite its aimed amateurism, this website uses quite a tech stack under the hood. It is built with Preact, uses tech such as Lottie, is bundled with webpack, and is hosted on Amazon Web Services.

The Powster logotype.

To start with who made this site, as this is actually listed in the site credits at the bottom of each page, it was made by Powster, who have quite a portfolio with big media companies. This is also visible in the way the site is structured, as it appears to be based in an in-house framework to make movie tie-in sites, seemingly dubbed Thundr and/or Bolt. The framework's code shows signs of more features including schedules, countdowns, and age gates, and is probably not usually used to make a site look and act like an in-universe business. This does appear to give flexibility to update the site as the movie's release draws closer, especially as the pages themselves are based on fairly reusable components with easily changed content.

Now, Thundr itself is based on the Preact framework, which is a front-end framework to make web applications with, and advertises itself as a lightweight React alternative. React is an industry standard framework itself, but is comparatively bulky in size.
Frameworks like these abstract some of the handling of updating the interface when data changes in the background, so the developer doesn't have to keep track of everything that needs updating when specific bits of such data change.

An interesting bit of technology used on this website is Lottie, which is a format to store and display vector animations with. Common places to find these are Discord and Telegram stickers, or onboarding animations in mobile apps. On the SMB Plumbing site, however, they are used to animate the manhole and 24/7 badge, and it should animate the pipes on the 404 page, although that appears to be broken. These animations are very simple and could be easily achieved without such a library (saving on file size), but the tech itself is pretty cool nonetheless.

Webpack is a module bundler, which enables a developer to write their code in an organised file-by-file fashion and have it be pre-processed and bundled together into one or several (optimised) files when the application is ready to be released.

Amazon Web Services is a common platform to host all sorts of cloud projects on, among which simple websites such as this one.


This is a very lovely site, clearly built to feel like a simple site the Mario Bros. could have made themselves for their small business. All the small easter eggs make it a great tie-in to the movie, and having the phone number actually connect is straight up awesome. I daresay some of the tech is a bit overkill for what the site is trying to be, but maybe future updates justify this more. Nicely done, Powster!

And with that we are back on schedule! See you again in April!

Meta's Poem

Written by: Meta Knight (talk)

The following poem you're about to read was created during Roserade's (talk) Poemtober 2022. For those unaware, during the month of October, every day you feel like, you create a poem! Each day had a prompt that was a singular word and you could write about however you interpreted it. This poem was written for the theme Vengeance. If you wish to know more about the creative process, or anything like that, you're welcome to read my commentary as well.


The vengeful one hungers an eye to heal a blinded view.
A devout follower diminishing omnipotence of the deity,
Believing he holds the power of judgement over sinners.
Stealing the blessing of free will from his brothers and sisters,
Dwarfing morality for the sake of painting justice in blood.
Sacrificing wisdom to enforce who is deserving of eternal paradise,
Forgetting that the Vengeful One will take his life too.

Author Comments
Similar to the poem I did last month, a lot of my frustrations were the source of inspiration for this piece. Specifically, the idea of people taking justice into their own hands in the name of religion, yet committing such heinous acts on their own. The Vengeful One at the end refers to a spirit that brings the story full circle, since it avenges the people that suffer at the hands of the main individual, so the being at the start falls victim to their own fate.

Random Image of the Month

Written by: Mustard Machine (talk)

Hello, Palette Swap readers, and welcome to another Random Image of the Month, a section where I occasionally show you readers the weird and wonderful images the Mario Wiki has to offer! It's kind of like Site Seeing, but with a much simpler focus. For this month, we turn to the dark lawless time known as the early 1980s, a chaotic time where companies rose and fell, where, at one point in time, there were nine different videogame consoles on sale at one time. But for this section, we're focusing on the Intellivision and, more specifically, the European box art for the Intellivision port of the hit game Donkey Kong.

A poster for the Intellevision Donkey Kong port is shown. Central to the poster is a blue void with red girders criss-crossing it. The girders are connected by ladders, some of which are broken. On one of the girders, a woman, Pauline, is in a yellow cage. She is guarded by a large menacing ape, Donkey Kong, baring his fangs and throwing a silver barrel. Donkey Kong throws the barrel at a man, Mario, here depicted as a chiseled, comic book superhero-esque man with a full head of black hair. Mario wields a hammer with a thick golden block for a head. Centered near the top is the text "Donkey Kong", followed by "Nintendo (TM)", followed by a banner reading "based on the real arcade game". In the bottom left corner, text reads "CBS Electronics Video Game Cartridge for the Intellevision Master Component. In the bottom right are words reading "CBS Electronics".

Right off the bat, I love that it says "based on the real arcade game" in big bold letters. I understand why they did it, since the early era of videogames was basically a wild wild west where things like IP rights barely existed. Whenever there was a popular arcade game, you best believe that there were tons of cheap knock offs that would litter videogame systems, deceiving unsuspecting customers into purchasing them. Donkey Kong was no exception to this, with a number of knockoffs flooding the market. Titles like Wally Kong, Killer Gorillas, and Crazy Kong II (which, interestingly enough, the first Crazy Kong was actually officially licensed, but only in Japan, but that's a story for a latter day) tried to trick consumers into thinking they were related to Donkey Kong. Because of this, it's totally understandable that the developers of this game would want to broadcast that it is, in fact, the real Donkey Kong, brought to home console. But that doesn't mean I don't find the idea of being like "yeah, this is the real Donkey Kong, unlike all those FAKES" to be a hilarious concept.

Another thing is that, in the days before gaming media really existed, companies would often make their box art something ridiculously epic that didn't have anything to do with what the game actually looked like. And, goddamn it, does this box art perfectly capture that spirit, because this boxart looks more like an action movie poster as opposed to a videogame boxart. There's the Tron-esque construction zone hellscape that appears to be in some sort of dimension that consists of constructions beams. There's even the cage Pauline is in, which looks more like it's made of pure energy as opposed to regular metal (also it's funny, because she isn't even in a cage at any point in Donkey Kong)! Then there's Donkey Kong, who, rather than looking like a silly cartoon ape, instead looks like a realistic, highly-threatening ape. I can't get over how much he looks like a real killer gorilla, a gorilla that could just as easily attempt to maul Mario to death if the barrels fail him. This version of Donkey Kong kicks ass and I love it.

Of course, none of this compares to the art's depiction of the most famous video game character, Mario. Rather then depicting him as his usual self, the portly friendly carpenter, this version of Mario has the looks of a chiseled action movie star. He has beautiful long black hair, unobstructed by Mario's famous hat. He has a chiseled handsome face that looks like it could be the face of the star of any 80s B action movie. Finally, we have his hammer. Instead of the oversized mallet that's found in the game, in this game, Mario apparently wields the goddamn hammer of Thor and is about to bash in King Kong's skull. This is the kind of hero I could see people getting behind. Rather than a portly blue collar hero, we instead have a hero that looks like he wouldn't be out of place in an ancient Greek story. It's awesome. Out of all the things this art has to offer, I love this version of Mario the most.

This box art rules! There's something to be said for the way it draws in your attention with its heavy focus on action that makes the game look way more epic than it really is. For those of you who don't know, as a comparison, Donkey Kong on the Intellivision looks like this"

A screenshot from the Intellevision port of Donkey Kong is shown. The graphics are crude, with a simple color palette and characters like Donkey Kong, Mario, and Pauline being represented by abstract blocky shapes.

So this box art, while amazing, has really nothing to do with the product it's designed to sell. Even if you had the greatest imagination in the world, you'd still come away being like "yeah, these two things aren't related." But I think it gets the job done. Are you telling me if you saw that box art on a store shelf, you wouldn't buy it? That's right, of course you would! This is a great box art. In fact, it's probably the best box art in Mario history, because it just oozes classic B action movie style and I love it.

Waluigi Time Comic

Drawn by: Waluigi Time (talk)


The ? Panel

Drawn by: winstein (talk)

Q Panel 2 - Waiting Room.png

Shmaluigi, Private Investigator

Written by: Waluigi Time (talk)


Brains and Brawn: Part 2

So... It's been a weird few months. First Shmaluigi goes missing on vacation, and now he washes up as a zombie! At least he's not goin' after brains or anything, for now. Now, I dunno much about zombies, but I imagine turnin' one back ain't too hard. Right? Sure, there's not much on the internet about it, but that doesn't mean anything. Maybe it's just so easy-peasy no one's bothered writin' it down, or something.


Ah, who am I kidding, this is gonna be a real mess. My brother's gonna owe me big time after this!

Oh, and in case you were wonderin', I haven't been gettin' any cases all this time. I don't really mind all that much, I haven't been in a good mental state to take 'em on anyway, but c'mon, they could at least ask! You tellin' me everyone in this city's been relyin' on that green bean?

Well, y'know how they say something's always in the last place you're lookin' for it? I decided it would be a good idea to avoid that problem by not overlookin' the most obvious solution, so it's time for a trip to good old JojaMart!

"Good old" just bein' an expression of course. I know how my brother feels about that place, but what are you gonna do.

But as it turns out, tryin' to lead a zombie anywhere is like... Y'know those quests in video games where you gotta escort an NPC? Yeah, imagine that, but the NPC's got the attention span of a gnat. This time Shmaluigi's attention was focused on what I gotta describe as one of the most ordinary brick walls I've seen in my life.

"Hey! Over here!" I said, snapping my fingers to get Shmaluigi's attention. "C'mon, we're going to JojaMart!"

He didn't say anything, but his eyebrows furrowed when I mentioned that place. Good to know he's still in there somewhere.

We finally got around to JojaMart, several uninteresting distractions later. There was some pre-recorded announcement playin' over the intercom when we came in, ramblin' on about... something or other. I wasn't payin' much attention. All I know is I didn't hear the word garlic, so it probably wasn't too important.

"Hey, you there!" hollered a Goomba in a Joja uniform, "No shoes, no service!"

"Whaddaya mean? I'm wearin 'em!" I shouted back.

"I meant him!"

I looked down at Shmaluigi's feet, and sure enough, he wasn't wearin' any shoes. Huh.

"How'd ya like a faceful of fist?" I said, and moved on. I wasn't about to get into a spat with some underpaid store clerk, I had more important things to do with my time.

I decided that the best place to look for a solution would be the pharmacy aisle. Maybe they had some sort of anti-zombification cream, or a pill, or... gummies, I dunno. I rummaged through the different boxes and tubes and stuff lined up on the shelf tryin' to find anything that was what I was after. Didn't care much about puttin' them back in their proper places, though. They gotta justify payin' those guys who go around recombobulatin' everything, so if you think about it, I'm creatin' jobs!

"Excuse me, sir," came a voice from behind me. I turned around, and there was some stooge wearing glasses ploddin' up to me! I recognized him from the dartboard in Shmaluigi's apartment, must be that Morris guy he keeps talkin' about. "A member of our family informed me you may not be one-hundred percent satisfied with your experience here today." Family, huh? Whoever this guy's family was, he sure must not like 'em, the way he drew out the word like he was ready to punish someone. "Is there anything I can personally assist you with today to make sure your needs are m- Aiyee!?"

Never knew it was possible for a corporate Goonie to squeal like a Mouser, but you learn something new everyday.

He composed himself, wiping off his glasses and doin' a double-take. What? The sight of the great Shmwario that exciting?

"Excuse me, please, sir. I'm required to ask, have you brought a corpse into our store? We serve the undead the same low prices as the living, but we have a strict no-decaying property on store grounds!"

I just decided to ignore all that corporate nonsense. He's got eyes, he doesn't need me to spell it out for him. "Hey, aren't you Morris?"

I looked back at Shmaluigi. He seemed real ticked off after this guy showed up, for a zombie anyway. I thought I'd better keep an eye on him to make sure he wasn't gonna bite his arm off or somethin'.

"Why, yes, sir. I am Morris, regional manager for the New Wikisburg region. And you, I take it, are an associate of..." he scanned Shmaluigi again, squinting. "...Mr. Shmaluigi? He looks unwell... Might I suggest our newest skincare product line, the BirdO'lea lotion? It's a bargain price for hiding ghastly pallor! And should you purchase a membership, you can bundle it with a can of our banana-scented air freshener in a buy one, get one half off deal! I assure you, it will disguise any odor."

I scowled at him. I may not have a personal history with this clown, but anyone who messes with my brother messes with me. "Yeah, that's right. Y'know bub, I oughta punch you in the mouth for what went down at that pasture."

"I understand that Mr. Shmaluigi encountered some... difficulties, during the inconclusive investigation at our now-prosperous Joja Pasture. It's truly regrettable, but it's no excuse for violence, sir. Why, if you continue to threaten violence..." he glanced down at Shmaluigi's feet as he trailed off. He thought he was real slick, but I could see his hand move down to his pocket. "...and our policy on footwear, I'll be regretfully forced to ask you to leave the premises."

I pushed aside the thoughts I had of using Morris as a makeshift accordion. "Yeah, yeah, whatever. Listen, ya got anything here for un-zombifyin' zombies?"

"Of course, sir. We're able to meet any need that you may have. That's why, as they say, life's better with Joja! I recommend our Medishroom Salve. You'll find it one more aisle over. Regulations require we label it a cosmetic, you understand. The blend of 1-Up Mushrooms and Crabbie Grass will relieve any ailment. Though I must advise you that any matters related to the satisfaction guarantee printed on the box should be discussed with the manufacturer, not with us."

Shmaluigi seemed like he was gettin' pretty antsy, and about that time, started stumbling towards Morris. "WAAH!" Luckily for Morris, I was pretty easily able to hold him back with my arm. Shmaluigi's never been much in the strength department, and bein' a zombie made him a lot more stupid, so I assume the novel idea of walkin' around the obstacle didn't occur to him.

"Well, I think that's our cue to scram!" I said, tryin' to avoid any more problems than we already had. "C'mon Shmaluigi, let's leave this guy to his corporate stooging."

I spun Shmaluigi around, hoping he'd follow me and ignore Morris. Worked like a charm! Maybe if this private investigator stuff didn't pan out I could go into zombie training.


"Please remember to wear shoes upon returning, Mr. Shmaluigiiiii," was all I heard as we hurried off.

We got back to Shmaluigi's place, and I was way past ready to try out this salve. "Alright, let's see what this baby can do! I wonder how much of it you're s'posed to use..."

The directions on the back of the tube were pretty useless, with nothin' about recommended use for zombies, of course. "Eh, I'll just wing it."

I popped open the cap, but the opening you were supposed to squeeze the stuff out of looked real small. I didn't feel like dealin' with that so I just twisted the whole lid off and started pourin' it on Shmaluigi's face. He didn't seem to care much.

It wasn't long before I ended up usin' the whole tube, you know, just to make sure we weren't under-treatin' it or anything. And hey, if there's more of it, it goes faster!

"Ba-da-boom, that oughta do it!"


"I dunno how long this is supposed to take, so I'm just gonna watch TV to kill some time, and you can... stare at whatever you feel like starin' at, I guess."

A few episodes later, nothing was changing, and I was starting to get the feeling that I'd been had. I was gonna have to give that Morris guy a piece of my mind later... But for now, I got more important stuff to work on.

My next idea was to go check out the archives at The 'Shroom. Maybe there was something in there that could help...

I ended up gettin' stuck in a conversation with some flashy-lookin' Toad, goin' on and on about how great it is to write for The 'Shroom. Yeah, I get it, but I'm kinda busy here, alright? Even tried to rope Shmaluigi into it, talkin' about how there's room for zombie writers on the staff.

Once we broke away from that guy, I went straight for the archives. Opened the door, and...

Man, it's dusty in here! Kinda ironic, there's feather dusters hangin' on the wall but these shelves are totally filthy! And... maid outfits, for some reason.

Aside from the whole dust sitch, this room was filled with shelves of boxes... and boxes... and boxes.

"Ugh, there's gotta be thousands of articles in here! This is gonna take forever," I grumbled.

Well, better get to it...

I felt like I spent two whole days in there, and ya wanna know what The 'Shroom has to say about zombies? Not much! Found some reviews about zombie movies by that Van Shoeul guy though, but that ain't gonna be useful here.

"There's gotta be something in here," I said to myself.

I scratched my beard, and the first thing I thought was that it's been a real long time since I shaved. Maybe I should get on that. But the second thing I thought of was that scientist guy I ran across in a couple articles, W. P. Hoodington. Seems like a real big nerd if you ask me, but maybe he could help?

"Alright Shmaluigi, I got another idea, c'mon!"

I didn't hear any zombie groans and looked around the room. Looks like he slipped away while I was readin' all those articles... Whoops. Now I had to-


Nevermind, found him.

Our trip over to Hoodington's lab made me realize something. Herding zombies is the worst thing you can ever do. Really. I hate this. Shmaluigi's gonna owe me a year's worth of favors, at least!

I walked up to the door, and it wasn't locked or anything, so I just decided to let myself in. There were a bunch of weird sciencey doodads all over the place. Reminded me of high school. Yuck! Although, if Shmaluigi wasn't practically mindless right now, it would've been a good time to reminisce over that lab accident all those years ago. I barely got out of bein' expelled for that one, but man, it was funny!

Ah, anyway... I found Hoodington, pokin' at a Lil Sparky with a metal rod for some reason. Scientists are a real weird bunch.

"Hey, you tryin' to get electrocuted or something?" I asked him.

"Ah? Oh, hello! No, no, I have no reason to anticipate an electric shock. While it appears that Lil Sparkies can normally control their electrical discharges except in cases where they are in contact with metal, I have no reason to fear. These gloves that you see upon my claws are heavy-duty insulators. As long as I wear them, the risks are minimal. On the contrary, the moment I remove them, like... s... so..."

"Uh, isn't that gonna-"


The rod he was holding dropped to the ground, makin' a real loud clangy noise. Even Shmaluigi flinched! When the guy was finally done havin' more electricity than a New Donk power plant run through him, he slumped onto the ground, then slowly pulled himself back up.

"And youse schee, shoung Schoombu... Ahem. Ahem. There we are. A firsthand account of the uncontrolled forced discharge of a Lil Sparky! This could be groundbreaking!" he started lookin' around the room like he was lookin' for somebody, then ran over to me. "We must repeat that at once to increase our sample size! The mysteries of the wild call us!"

"Whoa! Hang on, before you go fryin' yourself again, I got a job I was wonderin' if you could help with."

"Ah... Yes, I suppose I can wait until my assistant returns. What can I do for you? Do you need an introduction to the wonders of nature? For a conference, perhaps? A presentation to a member of the Mushroom Parliament? A birthday party?"

"Well, I was kinda hopin' you would know how to un-zombify my brother here," I said, pushing Shmaluigi forward for emphasis. He flailed around a bit and landed facefirst on the floor. "Whoops."

"Unzombification, you say?" The doc looked over my bro closely, a little too closely, if you ask me. The only one who should be poking at my brother through a glove is me! "The characteristic firmness of the flesh associated with contact with the saliva of Skeleton Birds is absent... The signature stiffness of Pionpi movement is absent... Could there be fungal infiltration...?"

He sounded like he was speakin' a foreign language. "Can you put that in non-nerd terms?"

"This cause of his zombification isn't immediately clear to me. I'll need to examine him more closely. Help me prop him up in this chair, and I'll begin a proper examination."

"Alright, up and at 'em." I pulled Shmaluigi up, since he still hadn't seen it fit to get up off the floor, and helped get him into the chair.

The doc took hours. In the meantime, I decided to keep myself occupied by poking around the lab. He's got a lot of stuff you'd expect a biology nerd to have, like this model of a Bone Piranha Plant. Bone Piranha Plants... I always thought those things were weird! Why's a plant got a skeleton? That's just all kinds of wrong! And what's with these leaves? Leaves aren't bones! They're leaves! Seriously, what's the-


Well, you know, that was clearly a poorly built model anyway! You move one of the leaves just a little bit, and the whole thing comes fallin' apart! I just hope the doc didn't hear all that clatterin'...

So I got to spend some time puttin' that thing back together. Tryin' to, anyway. It's more complicated than it looks, so I just got it to a state of "yeah, this is good enough, I guess" and dumped the rest of the pieces on the table.

Guess I probably shouldn't touch things. Y'know, uh, I think I'd be better off watchin' those Deep Cheeps.

Finally, he showed his face, lookin' real chipper for someone who's been starin' at a zombie this whole time.

"I've referenced every known source of zombification in the Mushroom Kingdom. I've even searched electronic archives of magical tomes from long ago. And I can safely say, the cause of your brother's zombification has never before been documented in the literature! Your brother will have a new means of zombification named after him! He'll be described in the most prestigious journals of the biological sciences! They may even send photographers from The 'Shroom! The unknown, only partially neutralized toxin in his cells may yet guide us in our journey to create synthetic zombificiation proteins once we understand exactly what it reacts with and elucidate its properties further!"

I stared blankly at him. "...What?"

"Hmm... How to explain it...? I identified an unknown toxin in your brother's cells. This toxin, when isolated, induces rapid cell death, or so that's what tests on tissue samples indicated. However, not all of the isolated substance caused cellular death. It appears that some of the toxin has reacted with another substance. I was unable to identify the product of that reaction or the mechanism of the reaction, but by adding a mixture of Life Mushrooms, Life Shrooms, and Star Candies to tissue samples exposed to the active toxin, I was able to partially arrest and, remarkably, reverse, the cellular death, with the partially alive, partially dead cells resembling the cells of your brother."

"In fewer words," he went on, "someone poisoned your brother, but something caused a partial reversal of the poison's effects. He may need multiple rounds of treatment, but I should be able to purge the remaining toxin, and from there, this mixture that I have created should finish the revival process. Can you come back in forty-eight hours? I'll place emergency orders. That Anna should be able to procure the materials quickly enough..."

"Okay, I got no idea what any of that means, but you sound pretty sure of yourself, so I guess we'll go with that," I replied, then turned to Shmaluigi. "Alright bro, I'm gonna leave you here with this guy for a while, and he's gonna get ya all fixed up. Don't bite anybody or anything or you'll have me to talk to."


The next two days were some of the best I've had in months! Finally, I wasn't tryin' to track down my brother or un-zombify him. All was right with the world, 'cept for the things that aren't, and also that this ordeal wasn't finished yet, but things were finally lookin' up. I even took the time to shave! Why keep the face of the great Shmwario covered with all that hair any longer, eh? Kept the mustache, of course. You don't mess with perfection.

Anyway, the doc called me up and told me everything was taken care of, so I made my way on over there.

"We've done it! Thanks to the efforts of Young Goombuigi, who came in on his days off, we've reversed your brother's zombification. The wonders of modern biological and medical knowledge are boundless."

Shmaluigi stepped forward, wearin' one of those medical gowns they make you put on at the hospital or somethin'. I try to avoid 'em best I can. The only thing they find at the doctor is problems! But he wasn't lookin' all gross and decayish anymore, so that's good.

"Hey bro, you don't look half bad!" I exclaimed. Figured I should probably save the "you don't look half good either" bit for a more appropriate time.

"Now, he may feel weak and have difficulty walking on his own for a week," the doc cautioned, "Give him support, make sure his diet provides all recommended nutrients, and return in a week for a follow-up, and he should recover well."

"Thanks doc, you're one in a million!" I took the doc's hand and shook it, probably a lot more vigorously than he expected.

"Aha, yes, well, it's my pleasure to engender an interest in the natural world in the public."

"Man, you say a lot of weird words," I said, "Alright bro, let's get outta here, I think you and I got a lot of catchin' up to do."

"Yeah, definitely," he said. "Shmaluigi hears you went to a lot of trouble for him."

"Ah, well, just bein' the world's best brother, bwahaha!"

"You're going to milk this as much as you possibly can, aren't you?"

"You better believe it."

"It's been too long since I've worn this," Shmaluigi said, buttoning his trenchcoat. He seemed pretty happy to be back in his old digs after all this time, but somethin' seemed off.

"Okay bro, I gotta know, what the heck happened?"

Shmaluigi sighed. "You might want to sit down, this is going to take some time to explain..."

To be continued...

Hey we got Shmaluigi back! Who could've seen that coming. We're not quite done though, we still have to find out exactly what went down over the summer. Well, at least some of you probably know already, but whether you do or not, join me next month for the conclusion of this arc! Special thanks to Hooded Pitohui for writing the dialogue for Morris and W. P. Hoodington!

The 'Shroom: Issue 191
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