The 'Shroom:Issue 192/Palette Swap
It's already March! Welcome to a new issue of The 'Shroom!
We are getting ever closer to the release of the Mario Movie. I'm a bit surprised that they moved up the date of release two days, as neither movies nor Nintendo products tend to release on Wednesdays, but either way, we're getting it sooner than expected. I know I've got my ticket all ready, on the big big screen! With all the care that Nintendo and Illumination have put into the advertising, I'm very curious to see what this leads to for other Nintendo properties, especially seeing as how they are rolling out Pokemon merch and food items at the Japanese Nintendo World. We'll have to watch the movie first and see what they bring out next.
This month, we have a new art section for you: Casual Koopa (talk) debuts It's-a Mii!, featuring custom Mii creations from Miitopia. Check out this month's batch of Mario-themed Miis! Mustard Machine (talk) has doubled up for this month with another Random Image of the Month coupled with a new chapter of The Devious Workings of Phineas J. Shoe.
Section of the Month
Results are in for Section of the Month! For the second month in a row with our new comic, The ? Panel, first place is winstein (talk)! Next up, we have a two-way tie for second between Waluigi Time (talk)'s Shmaluigi, Private Investigator and Mustard Machine (talk)'s guest Random Image of the Month. We had a massive turnout this month, so a big thank you to everyone who voted! Please keep it up for this month as well!
|PALETTE SWAP SECTION OF THE MONTH
|The ? Panel
|Shmaluigi, Private Investigator
|Waluigi Time (talk)
|Random Image of the Month
|Mustard Machine (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 Bewitch. If you wish to know more about the creative process, or anything like that, you're welcome to read my commentary as well.
Mother Nature enchants a majestic charm onto her children,
An angelic figure encompassing the awe of beauty.
Father Time casts a hypnotic spell onto his children,
A sacred cadence holding the fabric of reality.
In tandem rests the delicate balance of existence,
Contains all answers of the curious universe.
Birthing stars from dust across every distance,
Ungrateful detractors unequipped to face their curse.
Random Image of the Month
Welcome back to another loosely volunteer-based Random Image of the Month, a section where we delve into the weirder images from the wider Mario universe. This month, we're again staying in the 1980s, a time when Mario went from carpenter to plumber, from good guy to bad guy back to good guy. This was a time where there were, quite frankly, no rules, and merchandise could just do whatever it wanted, it seems. For this month's piece, we're looking at a very special sticker from an early Nagatanien line.
So, like most images covered in section, this image raises more questions than answers! First, that's objectively Princess Peach using the power of Christ to repel that Hammer Brother, right? Like, we can all agree that that's a Christian cross in her hand, right? So does this mean Christianity is a concept in the Mushroom Kingdom? Is Princess Peach a white mage? Does she get her powers through her belief in Jesus Christ? This is a very strange sticker, because, like, did Mario bring Christianity over when he accidentally arrived here from Brooklyn, or did it just always exist in the Mushroom Kingdom? This sticker raises a lot of very confusing religious questions, because outside of the Japanese-only movie, religion is never mentioned in the Mario series, but this sticker definitely implies that, at the very least, the Mushroom Kingdom's royal line not only follows, but gains some sort of magical powers through, the Christian faith.
One thing that is interesting about this is that, even discounting the weird religious aspects of it, this sticker is one of the few (if not the only) depictions of the magical powers Princess Peach canonically has. People forget, but according to the Super Mario Bros. instructional manual, the blocks containing items were supposed to be transformed denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom, and only Princess Peach could save them. This is something that would be immediately forgotten about, of course, but, still we have this Princess Peach forming some sort of barrier to repel a Hammer Brother. It's kind of neat, because it's perhaps the only time Peach was actually depicted as being a mage of some sort before the plot point was just completely forgotten about!
Another thing I'd like to note is just how shocked the Peach at the top of the sticker looks. Look at those eyes. Those are the eyes of someone that can't believe what she's seeing. Also, look at how adorable that Hammer Brother is. Look at how cute he is, desperately trying to bash the Princess with his hammer. It's so cute how he's struggling to throw the hammer. I wonder if he realizes that Peach has cast some sort of barrier spell, or if he just thinks his hammer has gotten really heavy suddenly? That's another great question this sticker just isn't capable of answering, sadly. This is such a wild sticker, because it could only exist exactly when it was created. If this sticker was created at any point but during the first two years after Super Mario Bros. was created, there's no way Princess Peach would be depicted using magic. And she certainly wouldn't be drawing her power from the Christian cross. Of all the stickers in this line, this one is definitely my favorite entirely for the implications that neither the sticker nor the rest of the series will ever bring up again!
Hello, and welcome to a new section here in Palette Swap! This is 'It's-a Mii!,' in which I bring you some Miitopia creations, usually focused on the Mario series, and talk about some relevant things like the creation process and the subject characters.
For our first section, I thought it would be a good start to begin with some iconic Super Mario Wiki faces! Both the Wiki logo and Poochy are a fair ways away from your average human, so they both took quite a few makeup pieces at a much larger scale than usual. It can be hard to work with shapes that are larger than a makeup piece's maximum size, so if you 'really' squint at the larger curves you might notice a bit of wobbling... but let's keep that between us, okay? We'll call it our little secret. The text on the Wiki's logo was particularly tough, too. Its three layers of color make even the very blocky letters a tricky affair, especially wrapping your head around the layers all the pieces are in. I had to abbreviate "SUPER MARIO" to "SM", but I think it still reads well, and I hope you'll agree. Now, normally I'd have more to show you for the month's theme, but that's because I've got something else here for our dear readers...
My Old Collection!
Normally, I'd only be bringing you one set of Miis, and discuss their subjects in more depth. But since this is the first installment, I've got all my old Mario Miis to show you! We've got everyone from Popple to Antasma to Bowser's criminally underrated mech in Star Rush. Iggy Koopa in the top left there was my very first serious project, and. Wow, did I spend a long time on that one. I think the final product still holds up, but since I was getting to grips with the creation tools, it took Many more hours than it would've if I'd made it today. I'm still happy with it, though! Most of these trend towards being made shortly after Miitopia's release date, but a few like the Bowser mech are more recent. Should be more soon, then, with more Mariio-topia on the way! A thanks to all the Shroom's readers for checking out this new section, and I'll be seeing you next month with a new set of Miis!
Shmaluigi, Private Investigator
Brains and Brawn: Part 3
Finally, thanks to all of MY hard work, Shmaluigi was back and unzombified! Just one itsy-bitsy problem... I still had no idea what went down in the first place! Did it really matter anymore? I dunno! But I was still curious, and I probably wasn't gettin' answers anywhere else, so I plopped down in one of Shmaluigi's chairs as he explained what happened that fateful summer.
Shmaluigi rubbed his hand on his forehead. "Okay, well, it started out pretty normal... Although when I was unpacking there was this platypus costume in my luggage? I definitely didn't pack it, or own it, for that matter."
Things were already way off. I'll admit I ain't the world's greatest detective or anything even close to that, but even I know when something's up! Shmaluigi never made it on the cruise, I knew that for a fact. I thought of sayin' something, but I figured I should probably just keep my mouth shut and see where this goes.
Okay, that's not entirely true. I had to say SOMETHING.
"A... platypus costume?"
"Yeah, it'll be important later. So we get settled in, we're all getting the tour of the ship, and then one of the passengers, Ms. Blumenthal, tells everyone that her USB stick is missing. Now, I wasn't planning on doing any detective work, this was supposed to be a vacation, but it is what it is, I thought. Turns out the museum curator stole it and we caught him because he really loves ketchup. He went and made a real mess of things with it."
Okay, I was still skeptical, but I was also gettin' invested in this already. This sloppy ketchup chump reminded me of someone Shmaluigi talked about dealin' with before. "Hey, wasn't that kinda the shtick of that one Bandit guy you caught a couple times? Real easy to catch 'cause he kept spreadin' jelly around, or whatever?"
"Yeah, that's the second criminal I've encountered who practically gave themselves away by smearing condiments all over the crime scene. If I had a Star Coin, you know? Anyway, we tossed him in the brig, and then it seemed like everything was going back to normal. We all got together for dinner, um, Ms. Blumenthal collapsed but it turned out okay I think, then-"
"Wait wait, back up, you kinda glossed over something there," I said, my curiosity piqued. "Tell me more about this dinner! How was it?"
"Why am I not surprised that's the part you fixated on... Um, it was pretty good. Mr. Sholmes made fish and chips."
"Fish n' chips? Like, actual chips or fries?"
"Good to know."
"Can I continue with the rest of the story now?" he asked.
"Yeah, go ahead."
"Alright, so as I was saying, the next day we woke up and found out that the museum curator, Dr. Acraman, was dead, and this lousy little jackalope called MB-K showed up and forced everyone on board into a Killing Game, so... things went downhill from there, as you can probably guess. We had a good group, though," Shmaluigi smiled for the first time during his story. I guess he was reminiscing about the other people there. "We managed to solve most of the cases, actually. If that bunch was at Fred Pasture, Morris definitely wouldn't have gotten away with what he did... Mr. Sholmes had a pretty creative theory about something to do with a cannon, but it turned out that Acraman ate poisoned cookies made by Ms. Chalice and keeled over. I, um, I tasted some hand sanitizer trying to solve that one... Not one of my proudest moments."
Blech! I cringed just thinkin' about that.
"Was it, like... flavored?" I asked, overcome by morbid curiosity.
"It's not meant for consumption, why would it be flavored?"
"Uh... I dunno."
"So that night I ran into Ms. Geist and Moretti, and I guess I interrupted them and it was really awkward, but get this, they thought I was old! Can you believe it?"
"What? That's crazy!"
"I mean, I didn't think I looked old... Anyway, after that night I thought I'd try the platypus costume on for fun, after all it seemed like it was my size, and then things got," he paused for a moment, "well, even weirder than they already were, I suppose. There were some shenanigans with a vacuum cleaner and a ball pit-"
"Spent too much time at the ship's bar, eh?"
"What? No. Although I can't say I felt like I was in my right mind at the time. After that night I kept having... odd thoughts. It got worse as the days went on, but I'll get back to that. So the next morning we found Ms. Koyanskaya was murdered, we ran around burning practically everything on the ship trying to reenact what happened, and everyone got convinced the platypus was involved, only they didn't know that the platypus was me. We didn't quite get that one right, unfortunately... Also, I hate the smell of bleach now," as he mentioned it, he grimaced.
"So first you're drinkin' hand sanitizer and the next day you all turn into a buncha pyromaniacs," I noted. "Sounds like Killing Games make people real weird."
"Um, yeah, yeah you could say that. That night I decided to meet up with Ms. Geist and Moretti again, because I figured if I apparently seem so old, maybe it wasn't a bad idea to find out what's 'in' these days. It was pretty helpful, although I admit it's all a bit daunting, you know? I hope nothing bad happened to those two... They both seemed nice. They taught me all about Insta...tock, I think it was?"
Now, if y'ask me, all that fancypants technology stuff is for chumps. Look, I enjoy a good garlic burrito as much as the next guy, probably way more, but I ain't going on the internet and postin' pictures of it, and I don't care about seein' yours either!
"So anyway, we found out that Mr. Brennan was the real culprit the previous day, and the next day he wound up dead, so I guess he got what was coming to him? But then it also turned out that the first mate, Mr. DeMorge, killed the real captain of the ship and took over before we even got there, so we caught him and MB-K decided to just free him from the game for some reason. But we were at sea, so he just ran off and... I don't know what else happened with him. Anyway we found out that Mr. Scarre, the ship's bartender, was the culprit."
I felt like I was on a rollercoaster. I didn't even know who any of these names belonged to, though I had a feelin' that even if I did, I'd still be confused. I just kinda nodded along and pretended like I wasn't hopelessly lost.
"Then on the fourth night, well..." Shmaluigi's expression became a lot more grim. "You know who Dr. Coyle is, right?"
"Umm," I scratched my chin in thought, "yeah, yeah, mad scientist lady, freaky arms, right?"
"Right. Well, she was on board, and most of those odd thoughts I mentioned earlier involved her. I want to think it had something to do with that stupid platypus costume, but I'm probably just kidding myself... Maybe I cracked under the pressure, I don't know. I thought I could get through it, that I could stop it without any bloodshed, but, I... I... I..."
Shmaluigi tensed up a lot, like, a LOT, as if he was thinkin' about it for the first time. He looked like he was gonna shatter all the bones in his hands with how tightly his fists were clenched.
He took a deep breath and composed himself. "The whole thing was... a blur. I tried to tell myself afterwards... Maybe this wasn't so bad? If it wasn't her, it was going to be someone else. Maybe, you know, maybe taking down a villain would be a good use of all this chaos. But I think... I think I was just trying to justify what I did wrong. And the investigation the next day... I didn't even think about it in the moment, my stomach was in knots all day. They, um, they got me, though. MB-K put these little bracelets on everyone to make them comply with the game, and boy were those things good at executions. I'm... glad about it, in a weird way. If anyone else had taken the fall for what I did... I don't think I could live with myself. I barely can now."
I wasn't sure what to say, really. I'm only slightly less of a metaphorical bulldozer emotionally than I am physically, but I had to say something.
"Look, bro, you did what you had to do. I can tell you that you held out a lot longer than I woulda in a situation like that. We can't all be Swooperman, y'know?"
I hoped tossing in a reference to a comic book character would lighten things up, but he didn't seem to react.
Y'know how in Jenga you don't wanna pull out the pieces on the bottom 'cause the whole thing's gonna topple over? Well, at this point I thought I kinda had to do that, so to speak.
"Maybe I, uh, shouldn't say this, but... I called the cruise line when you didn't come back, bro. They said you never showed up."
Shmaluigi turned away from the window he was blankly starin' out of and looked at me. "What? That's impossible. You called Starline?"
"Y- whoa whoa whoa, no. It was, uh," I went over to Shmaluigi's desk and dug out the months-old reservations. "Noble Clipper, that's it."
I handed the papers to Shmaluigi. He looked at them with the most confused expression I'd seen in a long time. "Wh- Noble Clipper Cruises... Then... How did I get on the Circinus? And... why didn't I notice it was a totally different cruise line?!"
Here's a little known thing about my brother. He's real good as a private investigator, but when he's not actively in mystery solvin' mode, some of the most obvious things can fly right by 'im. In hindsight, I'm not all that surprised he didn't notice he was on the wrong cruise line here, but that didn't answer how they let him on.
"Y-you know what, this is a headache for another time," Shmaluigi said, setting the paper down and rubbing his eyes under his glasses. "Right now, I'm more concerned with what happened to everyone else on board. Some of them had to have made it out, right?"
Shmaluigi got up and nearly toppled over. I got to him just in time. "Whoa! Remember what the doc said about walkin'?"
I helped Shmaluigi over to his desk. He logged onto his computer and did some internet searchin'.
"Starline, S.S. Circinus... There's... there's nothing?"
I looked at the search results myself. As far as the internet was concerned, this "Starline Cruises" was totally non-existent.
"Was any of this... even real? No, no, it had to be real," Shmaluigi mumbled, staring in disbelief at the computer screen.
"Maybe you had a dream or hallucinated, or somethin'?" I suggested.
"How do you explain what we just went through if none of this was real?!"
"Okay, yeah, you got me there, it was a longshot. So... what are you thinkin'?"
"I... I don't know. This might take a while to unravel," Shmaluigi said, putting his hand to his chin. "I have to find out what happened to everyone else. There's no way that was all just in my head."
"Well, if you need any help from your big bro, my schedule's wide open, unfortunately."
We sat in silence for a few minutes, before Shmaluigi spoke up again.
"You know... Ms. Skye wanted to investigate the Killing Games, but now that I've experienced... whatever that was, I'm grateful she never did," he said, looking at Skye's picture on his desk. "I've spent a lot of time busting up mafias, and those are no picnic, but... you know who your enemies are. Well, you don't know, but, they're working together, they're trying to deceive you from the start. With these... your closest ally today could be tomorrow's chief suspect, and then you're sending them to their untimely end next thing you know. And there's no warning that it'll happen. There's no organized crime, no good guys vs. bad guys, just a bunch of more-or-less innocent bystanders trapped in the most horrible circumstances out of their control. It's... it's horrible, Shmwario. I used to want to investigate a Killing Game to continue Ms. Skye's legacy, but now... I don't want to touch one of them with a ten-foot pole. I wouldn't wish that on anyone, not even my worst enemy, as much as I despise that mole... I can't let another one of these happen."
"Well, then let's make sure it doesn't."
Hey, Waluigi Time here! Not sure why you'd expect anyone else. Thanks for reading the latest installment and the conclusion of the Brains and Brawn arc! Although, there's a lot left to deal with, but that's a story for another time. For now, everything's basically back as it should be, kind of! Next month, we're back to things from Shmaluigi's point of view, so hopefully I'll see you then!
Tonight, Luigi’s got himself into trouble!! Imprisoned in Bowser’s basement, he needs to find a way to fight his way out and go back to the Mushroom Kingdom!! Will he be successful?! Find out tonight on STORYCENTRAL!!
Luigi groaned, slowly regaining consciousness. He blinked, finding himself in a small, claustrophobic room. The only light came through the window, reinforced by steel bars. Luigi sprang up, panicking.
“O- Oh no!! I- Is this Bowser’s Castle?! Oh, no! I got captured!!”
Luigi ran over to his cell door, pounding on it.
“HEY!! LEMME OUTTA HERE!!” He wailed.
To his amazement, the door swung open with a large creak. Luigi jolted, quickly sprinting out. He had to get out of this prison as soon as possible, and he couldn't just stand still. The creaking of his door had probably alerted the guards. There was no time to waste, so he started running.
There were no footsteps behind him, amazingly enough. Luigi thought that it must be his lucky day. That or he really wasn't wanted here at all. Perhaps this was just some awful mistake. But why would they keep Luigi locked up? What did they want with him anyway?
Luigi stopped short when he realized that he didn't even know. If they had captured him so easily, why didn't they capture Mario and the Princess, too? His thoughts were interrupted when he realized he had stopped moving, quickly ducking into the nearest room: the kitchen. Panting heavily, Luigi looked around for something, ANYTHING, that might help him...
"Aha!" Luigi dashed over to the stove, grabbing a metal saucepan off of it, "T- This'll do for a weapon!"
He gulped, dashing back out of the kitchen. He could hear distant voices now, realizing he was almost at the front entrance of the prison. He gulped, gazing out the window. There must've been the entire Koopa Troop, just waiting for him.
"I- I'll have to gun it, they'll surely catch me if I just stand still!" The plumber nodded, realizing that he needed to escape NOW!
The trip across the courtyard took less than two minutes. And Luigi didn't even look like he had broken a sweat, although his heart felt about to explode out of his chest from all the adrenaline pumping through his body. It seemed as though the Koopas hadn't even done anything to stop him. Not that Luigi could complain about that. He found himself face to face with a warp pipe, and reacting on pure instinct, quickly hopped down the pipe, prompting him to scream as he was whisked down into the sewers.
Luigi crashed into the river of surprisingly clean water, losing his grip on the saucepan as he quickly swam up to the walkway, coughing up water as he pulled himself up onto the floor, laying down to regain his composure. At least now, he had time to think. To wonder what exactly happened to him. What had caused him to suddenly find himself in such an unexpected place? Why was he now stuck down here, far away from home? The last thing he recalled, he was just relaxing at home with Mario. But it seemed...off. Their house seemed so different, and Mario looked different. But it was still their house, and Mario was still Mario. Maybe he was remembering wrong? Nothing made any sense to Luigi at the moment. He needed to rest, and figure out what was going on, before he figured anything else out.
The two brothers sighed, walking through their door as they sighed, clutching their toolboxes in their hands.
"Yeesh..." Luigi groaned, rubbing his head, "What a day."
Mario nodded, "Yeah, you can say that agaaaa..."
The elder brother's voice trailed off, noticing his brother's situation.
Luigi nodded, seeming almost ashamed of his ailment.
Mario sighed, walking to the bathroom, "Hey, relax, Luigi. I'll just get some more medicine for 'ya."
"Maybe I should see the doctor. I've been having these headaches for weeks now!" Luigi complained, sitting down on the couch.
Mario walked back into the room, pill bottle in hand, "Yeah, tell you what. The first day we don't have any work, I'll drive ya to the hospital. Does that sound good?"
Luigi simply nodded, making a 'mhm' sound. Mario handed Luigi a small pill from the bottle, which the green-clad plumber promptly swallowed.
"There ya go," said Mario, "Just take it easy, okay, Luigi?"
Luigi nodded, not saying anything else. After a few moments passed, Mario started to yawn, stretching out his arms and legs while his brother took a look at him with tired eyes. Mario sighed, getting up from the couch.
"Well...I still have some stuff to do. I'll check our schedule and make a day for us to go to the doctors." He looked at Luigi with a soft smile, patting his shoulder as he left the room.
As soon as the door closed, Luigi let out an obnoxious moan, putting his face into his pillow and shaking his head.
"...whhyyyyyyyyy?" Luigi moaned.
What’s going on with Luigi?! Why is Bowser after him? And, maybe less importantly, what’s with his strange headaches?? Make sure to tune in next time to TERMINAL 7, only on YOUR StoryCentral!!
The Devious Workings of Phineas J. Shoe
MEANWHILE, SOMEWHERE LOCATED DEEP WITHIN A SECRET UNDERGROUND MANOR, TUCKED WITHIN AN EVEN MORE SECRET BREAKFAST NOOK, THAT RETURNING ROUGE, DR. PHINEAS J. SHOE, AND HIS ASSISTANT, THE NEWLY INAUGURATED AWARDS DIRECTOR, ROSE, ARE ENJOYING A NICE BREAKFAST WHEN SUDDENLY THEY HEAR A TAP ON THE WINDOW.
"Do you hear that, sir?" Rose asks as the tapping continues.
"What are you talking about, Rose?" Phineas asks, putting strawberry jam on his toast.
"I'm pretty sure I heard a tapping noise coming from the window," Rose says, standing up.
"Rose, you're being ridiculous, you fool. We're hundreds of miles underground. There's no way that anything could be tapping at the window," Phineas says in a huff.
As the two argue, from the window comes another "TAP TAP TAP!"
"Sir, I really think something is at the window," Rose says, heading to the window.
Before Phineas can respond, the tapping noise gets louder "TAP TAP, Squawk! Let me in!" a voice calls from the window. With this, Rose peers out the window.
"Rose, I'm telling you, there's nothing at that window," Phineas says ignoring the obvious noises.
Rose opens the window and in flies in a large black parrot, holding a note in its talons "SQUAWK! MESSAGE FROM THE KAPPIN!" the bird screeches, dropping the note on the table before flying away.
"A BIRD?! I HATE BIRDS! ROSE, THROW THAT NOTE AWAY!" Phineas screams, slamming his fists on the table.
"Sir, are you sure? It's addressed to you," Rose asks, pointing to the note's seal, which says "to Phineas".
"OF COURSE I'M SURE, YOU FOOL! THAT NOTE CAME FROM A BIRD! NOTHING GOOD EVER COMES FROM A BIRD," Phineas screams louder, his slamming getting more violent.
The force of Phineas's slams causes the seal to break and the note unfurls.
AVAST, YE SCURVY DOGS! IT BE I, KAPTAIN K. ROOL, SCOURGE OF THE GLOOMY GALLEON, MOST FEARSOME PIRATE IN ALL OF KROCODILE ISLE! ME AND MY CREW BE PLOTTING TO KIDNAP THAT VARMINT DONKEY KONG SO WE MAY FINALLY KLAIM THE KONGS' BANANA HOARD. FOR THIS, I BE NEEDING THE MOST POWERFUL MOST PIRATE-THEMED WEAPON YOU KAN KREATE. FOR PAYMENT, I BE OFFERING A BOUNTIFUL TREASURE OF 75 KREMKOINS. SIGNED, KAPTAIN K. ROOL, KAPTAIN OF ALL KREMLINGS
"75 Kremkoins! Rose, do you realize what we could do with 75 Kremkoins? WRITE BACK TO THE CAPTAIN AT ONCE AND LET HIM KNOW WE ACCEPT!" Phineas exclaims, his fury subsiding as he hops up excitedly.
"What should I tell him we're going to be creating for him, sir?" Rose asks, writing up a response.
"NEVERMIND THAT RIGHT NOW, YOU FOOL! JUST TELL HIM WE'LL BE CREATING THE ULTIMATE PIRATE WEAPON AND THAT IT WILL BE READY IN TWO WEEKS!" Phineas snaps, thinking about the fortune he's about to receive.
"Yes sir," Rose says, rolling his eyes as he finishes the response.
ONE WEEK LATER
We cut back to extra secret breakfast nook, where Phineas J. Shoe and Rose are again enjoying breakfast.
"Uh, sir, don't you think you should be working on that Kaptain's weapon?" Rose asks, concerned.
"Hmmmm, I suppose you are right, Rose. But what should my genius build? The perfect weapon, a combination of both deadly force and pirate theatrics..." Phineas says, falling deep into thought.
"Well, how about flintlock pistols? Those are pretty pirate," Rose suggests.
Phineas ponders the suggestion. "Hmmmm. Rose, that's pretty piratey, but flintlocks are so puny. They're hardly a match for the hulking ape Donkey Kong," Phineas replies with a rare reasonable statement.
"Well, how about a cannon? You can't go wrong with a cannon!" Rose helpfully suggests, with slightly less enthusiasm.
"Hmmm... A cannon is plenty powerful, but is it really a pirate-themed weapon? I mean, you think about it, cannons were used by everyone from pirates to navies to even people on land," Phineas replies with a second straight reasonable statement (a new record!).
After being shot down twice, Rose begins to get annoyed "Well, how about a blunderbuss then? It's basically a pirate shotgun, sir," he says, giving his final recommendation.
Phineas ponders this for a second. "OF COURSE, ROSE! I'VE GOT IT! A BLUNDERBUSS! THINK ABOUT IT! WHAT IS A BLUNDERBUSS BUT A PIRATE THEMED SHOTGUN?" he exclaims triumphantly.
Rose begins to say something, but, realizing that it's just not worth it, simply tells Phineas a blunderbuss is a brilliant idea.
"OF COURSE IT'S A BRILLIANT IDEA! I AM A GENIUS, AFTER ALL! NOW, ROSE, QUICKLY! MAKE HASTE! RUN INTO TOWN AND GET ME TEN POUNDS OF TIN; A SHOP VAC; BLUE, RED, AND, PURPLE FOOD COLORING; AND, FINALLY, SOME OF THOSE SPIKED TRACKS FROM A SET OF GOLF SHOES," Phineas commands as he starts scribbling down blueprints.
ONE (MORE) WEEK LATER
We pan into the lab, where Phineas and Rose are putting the finishing touches on the blunderbuss. Outside, we see two figures approaching the manor, one being a familiar bird and the other being a hulking figure holding a spiked club. "SQUAWK! KNOCK ON THE DOOR, KUDGEL," the bird squawks out. Nodding, the hulking Kremling swings his club, knocking the door down with one swing.
"Rose, go see who is at the door," Phineas says inattentively, lost in his work.
The hulking Kremling and the bird enter the lab. "Uh, sir, I don't think I need to check the door," Rose says, taking a step back as he sees the approaching figures.
"WHAT? WHY NOT!" Phineas snaps, turning around and coming to face-to-face with the bird and the Kremling now towering over him.
"SQUAWK! HERE FOR THE WEAPON! SQUAWK," the bird chirps out.
"O-O-Of course," Phineas gulps, before pointing at the club-wielding Kremling. "A-A-And what is he here for?"
"HERE IN CASE YOU LIED, SQUAWK," the bird threatens, beating its wings uncomfortably close to Phineas' face.
Phineas fearfully motions for Rose to bring in a presentation.
"As you can see, we've created a special all-purpose blunderbuss that can fire both spiked Kannonballs and regular Kannonballs," Phineas begins. "It also can be loaded up with these three special chemical compounds. The first one, blue, will freeze in place any enemy that it hits. The second one, red, will slow your enemy down. Finally, the purple will disorientate them. Because of all the features in this gun, a regular gunpowder-based ignition system just wouldn't work, so instead I've crafted a tiny air-powered internal combustion system. Because it's air-powered, you will need to periodically replenish the air, so I've also included a special vacuum-powered system that will let you suck in air as needed. Now you might think this is a weakness, but it's not, because the force of the air will suck your enemies towards you. So to turn what could have been a strength into a weakness, we've fortified the base of this blunderbuss with a special tin alloy that will really pack a punch if you strike someone with it," Phineas explains as Rose demonstrates, firing upon and whacking a straw-filled dummy.
The bird looks at the blunderbuss for a minute, then speaks. "SQUAWK! WEAPON IS ACCEPTABLE! KUDGEL, PAY THE MAN," it chirps.
Kudgel looks at the sack full of Kremkoins before looking back at Phineas. "First Mate Screech, I don't see why we don't just bash little man," he suggests as an alternative. "Then we could have money and gun," he says, holding his club menacingly, causing Phineas to take a step behind Rose.
"SQUAWK! KAPTAIN HOOK ALWAYS KEEPS HIS WORD. IT'S IN THE BOOK! THAT'S WHAT THE KAPPIN SAID," Screech squawks out, ordering Kudgel to pay Phineas. Kudgel then reluctantly hands over the sack full of Kremkoins as the two take the gun and go on their way.
"LOOK AT THIS, ROSE! 75 KREMKOINS! WE'RE RICH! RICH! RICH!" Phineas happily counts his newly gotten fortune as Rose, deep in thought, looks at the now-broken entrance.
"Sir?" Rose asks.
"Hmmm? What is it?" Phineas replies, mesmerized by the treasure in front of him.
Rose hesitates for a second, wondering if what he's thinking is even worth saying. Finally, Rose decides to shoot his shot. "Sir, it's just... Aren't you worried that the gun's requirement for airflow might end up seriously impacting its combat potential?"
"Rose, what are you babbling on about? My design is perfect!" Phineas exclaims, staring at the Koins he has earned.
"Well, it's just, sir, if someone were to throw something into the blunderbuss while it's sucking in new air, couldn't said object end up lodged inside the gun's combustion system, causing, essentially, a backdraft of air, and wouldn't this backdraft also cause the ignition system to malfunction, causing an explosion that would go off right in the face of whoever's holding it?" Rose explains.
Hearing his genius being questioned, Phineas snaps back. "WHAT PART OF 'MY DESIGN IS PERFECT' DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND, ROSE? NOW QUIT WASTING TIME AND GO FIX THAT DOOR!" Phineas yells, pointing at the broken entrance. Hearing this, Rose sighs and rolls his eyes before grabbing a spackling knife and some spackle."
TWO WEEKS LATER
We pan into Phineas J. Shoe in his private aquarium, happily feeding his pet fish. "YES, LITTLE BLOUPER, EAT UP. GROW BIG AND STRONG FOR DADDY."
Suddenly, his peaceful relaxation is ended as Rose runs into the room, holding a newspaper. "SIR, DID YOU SEE TODAY'S MUSHROOM TRIBUNE?" Rose yells as he throws the paper on the ground.
Phineas looks at the Mushroom Tribune; the headline reads "CROCODILE ISLE SINKS EXPERTS DISAGREE ON CAUSE".
"Boy, I'd sure hate to be the banker left carrying the bag on those Kremkoins you exchanged," Rose says, laughing.
"Yes, of course. ...well, why?" Phineas asks, trying to hide the fact that he doesn't understand.
"Well Kremkoins were the currency of the Crocodile Isle. With the Crocodile Isle gone, the Kremkoins won't have any value, because there isn't a nation backing them," Rose explains.
"Yes, of course," Phineas begins, chuckling to himself, "the foolish pitiful bankerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..." Suddenly, Phineas' mind turns to his office, where, on his desk sits a large sack of Kremkoins with a note saying "Remember to exchange for Mushroom Coins".
Phineas slams his hands on the table. "NOOOOOOOO! DAMN YOU, DONKEY KONGGGGGGGGGGG," he screams in a tearful rage as we fade to black.
|The 'Shroom: Issue 192
|Staff Notes • The 'Shroom Spotlight
|Fake News • Fun Stuff • Palette Swap • Pipe Plaza • Critic Corner • Strategy Wing