The 'Shroom:Issue 196/Palette Swap

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Director's Notes

Written by: FunkyK38 (talk)

Shroom2017 FunkyK38.png

Hi, everybody! It's July! We've crossed the halfway point of 2023!

A few weeks ago I was finally able to complete Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and honestly, I'm glad I did because the game was really starting to drag on me. Now that I'm through with the final boss, I can move on to my massive backlog of games, including Sonic Frontiers, Bayonetta 3, and finishing Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, plus I can also start up my PS4 and get to work on THOSE ames as well. Phew, I have a lot to do!

We've got our usual lineup for you to read this month, featuring our stellar comics and talented writers! I won't keep you up here any longer, so feel free to dive right in!

Happy reading!


Section of the Month

Here are your Section of the Month results! In first this month is Waluigi Time (talk)'s Waluigi Time Comic, and in a tie for second we have our other monthly comic, winstein (talk)'s The ? Panel and shoey (talk)'s volunteer Random Image of the Month. Thank you everyone for voting, and please keep it up!

Place Section Votes % Writer
1st Waluigi Time Comic 11 29.73% Waluigi Time (talk)
2nd The ? Panel 9 24.32% winstein (talk)
2nd Random Image of the Month 9 24.32% Shoey (talk)

Sink into deep blue
What is this, Metal Gear?
Wonder what we'll Mii this time!
Not so sure that's sanitary...
How many candles should I put on the cake?
Of all the offices in all the world, she walks into mine...

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 Drowning. If you wish to know more about the creative process, or anything like that, you're welcome to read my commentary as well.

Blue Angel

Such a calming serene beauty,
Settling waves into a soft blue.
Creatures sustained by its purity,
Land-dwellers thirst for its clarity.
So much unknown of the deep abyss,
Shifting waters cyclone upwards.
A fixated fascination on a vital source,
Equally angelic as followers meet their maker.

Author Comments
For this poem, obviously the first thing someone might think of for drowning is water. Apparently a terrible way to go for sure although I can't say I've experienced it firsthand. Mainly though I had a fascination with water and it's such an important resource that we need. The contrast between that and the fact that it can be incredibly dangerous in certain situations is what drew my inspiration for this poem.

Random Image of the Month

Written by: Shoey (talk)

Welcome back to Random Image of the Month, The 'Shroom's preeminent volunteer Mario art section. Last month, we successfully willed the Super Mario RPG remake into existence by looking at an image from the original SNES version which featured Mario and Goombas basking in hammer glory. Hopefully my powers were just a one-time thing, because this time we look at an image from all-time terrible game Donkey Kong 64, and I just don't think I could enjoy life knowing that I willed a Donkey Kong 64 remake into existence.

Donkey Kong stands with his back pressed against the wall in a dark, mostly wooden hallway. Diddy Kong stands in front of him. To the left of the image, there is a right-angle turn in the hallway just beyond where Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong are hiding, and approaching from around the corner is a Kremling in a police uniform. The Kremling is approaching the corner and has a flashlight pointed down the hall, towards the viewer. The Kremling is mostly obscured by shadow. In the upper left corner of the image is the Rareware logo.

First off, what a weird thing to give official artwork. There's like a million different minigames and sub-challenges in DK 64 that didn't get artwork, but this the stealth minigame that shows up twice does? It shows up featuring the cop enemies that only appear in this minigame, and "what a weird call" is all I can think. I mean, isn't it weird? Why did this get official artwork over anything else? I guess as far as DK 64 minigames go, this one is probably the most distinct, being a pseudo-stealth minigame where Donkey Kong has to avoid mall cop Kremlings, so I guess if you were going to make official artwork of a DK 64 minigame, you could choose worse!

As for the image, I like it! I like how intimidating the Kremling cop looks, especially because he's about to catch Donkey Kong and Diddy. I mean, look at that ape's arm sticking out! That idiot! I like how the Kremling cop is somewhat obscured in shadow behind his flashlight. I enjoy Donkey Kong in this image, but it's unrealistic. I mean, there's no way Donkey Kong understands the concept of stealth. He would totally just bash this police officer, which, to be honest, judging by his eyes, it looks like he's gonna do the classic "lure a character to you, then bash 'em technique". Maybe he'll even go full-on heist movie and steal the cop's clothes! I do not care for Diddy Kong in this image. I feel like his goofball face ruins the atmosphere of it. Take this seriously, Diddy! You're this close to ending up back in jail! Overall, this is a very fun image that's weird on a basic level, but I still enjoy it greatly and I hope you will too!

It's-a Mii!

Written by: Casual Koopa (talk)

Welcome back to Its-a-Mii! As I'm sure all of our readers new, we have new information about the Mario series! As such, this month's theme is Super Mario Bros. Wonder!

All-Natural Mario

I don't play Pikmin, but imagine I made a clever joke about Pikmin 4 and the flowers

You know, I always figured I would never do a "standard" Mario. Everyone else had already done most of the common Mario forms both before and better than I could. But now I am rewarded for my persistence! I get first crack at Elephant Mario, and I wouldn't be surprised if I'm the only one to try it. Would you believe the Wonder Flower was the hardest of these? Look at the star-like shapes on it. Doesn't that seem like a shape that would be included in the editor? Well, turns out, it isn't. Except it IS, but ONLY as one of those bizarre eye pieces that puts a shape in a circle, and you can only recolor the circle. So if you didnt want that shape to be solid black, you're out of luck! Naturally, that's not what I wanted here, so I had to make each star out of four separate crescents. The other two were pretty simple: the glasses layer really comes in handy for symmetrical designs!

That's this month's It's-a-Mii! Shorter instance this time, on account of I have other 'Shroom work to push towards. Also, did any of you watch the movie I recommended last time? I suppose it's not the easiest thing to respond to over a newsletter, but please psychically beam me your responses. I'll be happy if even one person liked it. Either way, It's-a-Mii will return next month! See you then!

Waluigi Time Comic

Drawn by: Waluigi Time (talk)


The ? Panel

Drawn by: winstein (talk)

Q Panel 7 - Mario's Confusing Birthday.png

Shmaluigi, Private Investigator

Written by: Waluigi Time (talk)


The Wildflower: Part 1

That day began like so many others. I hadn't had much to do since my last big case wrapped up. No clients, no leads on any pet projects of my own. Just a whole lot of sitting in my office waiting for someone to show up. As I sipped my coffee, I wondered what the other investigators in the city were up to, if anything. Maybe this was the vacation I needed, because last summer's definitely wasn't it, I thought. Had I only known when I woke up that morning what was going to happen next. That was the day that she showed up.

I knew she was trouble the moment walked in. Her fedora tilted in a way that covered her face in shadow. Brown hair flowed out from beneath it and stopped at her shoulders. The trenchcoat she wore gave way to a pair of legs that could've jumped out of an old black-and-white noir film. Fitting, given the circumstances. Her appearance was almost uncanny to me, in the sense that she looked familiar, though I couldn't quite place where from, yet at the same time... different.

Oh, and did I forget to mention the bulbous nose and bushy mustache? Yep. Another one of those types.

"Hi," she began, lifting her fedora and allowing the light to shine on a pair of blue eyes piercing through thick glasses. "I'm Shmaisy."

"What can Shmaluigi do for you, ma'am?"

"First of all," she said, walking toward the front window, "you can cut the third-person nonsense before I take it out on that big chin of yours."

As she finished speaking, she pulled the cord on the blinds, shutting out the rest of the city. She certainly had her dramatic timing down, but I couldn't say it helped my uneasiness.

"Er, whatever you say..."

She walked over to me, and I expected her to sit down in the chair like most people. She was not like most people, and sat on top of my desk instead. The thing's certainly solid construction - I experienced its weight firsthand when Shmwario dropped it on my foot when I was moving into this place - but I still had to wonder if it was strong enough to support a fully grown human.

She didn't look at me as she spoke, her vision trailing off toward nowhere in particular. "Let me cut to the chase, detective. I... don't think I'm exactly from this world of yours."

Well, this got weird.

"I was just minding my own business, living life, and then one day, I wake up in this land full of reptiles and... weird fungus people. Under normal circumstances I'd think, you know, maybe I blacked out and wound up somewhere I've never heard of, or something. But no. I couldn't find a single trace remaining of the life I knew before. Everything I tried, either gone entirely as if it never existed or oddly familiar, yet twisted into something distinct nonetheless. I thought that maybe I was hallucinating, but it persisted. I've been here for months, running myself ragged looking for answers."

I might've dismissed her as being crazy, if what she said didn't seem so eerily familiar. I thought of the fateful cruise I took last summer that, as far as I could tell, never actually existed.

Finally, she turned to look at me. "And then, after all this, who do I find but you. Shmaluigi, private investigator. Talk about familiarity twisted. You have to realize how uncanny the similarities between us are, right?"

"Wouldn't be the first time," I mumbled. I'd encountered more than a few copycats before, though this was certainly an odd situation that didn't compare to any of those.

"I've been watching you for some time, but I just can't figure out what your deal is, how you fit into this puzzle. Like, what, is this a simulation or something? Are you some important person I was supposed to find to move on from this? I just don't get it."

"Well, I don't have any big secrets about the universe and I had no idea who you were before you walked through that door, if that answers your question."

"Figures." She turned her gaze away again and pulled a cigarette from her trenchcoat. "If I didn't know any better, I'd think the Golden Phanto put you here to torment me. A few more months here and maybe I'll go crazy enough to actually believe it."

Wait a minute, did I just hear that right? The Golden Phanto was a name I hadn't heard since that cruise. A thief who, despite their notoriety, I was unable to find any trace of, nor could I find any evidence of the bizarre online following they managed to acquire. Just like everything else I encountered that summer... Wherever she came from, the odds that Shmaisy knew the same Phanto seemed impossible.

"Did you say the Golden Phanto?" I asked.

She lit the cigarette and put it in her mouth. "Yeah. What's it to you?"

"I think I know who they are."

Apparently, I caught her off guard. Almost immediately after I said it, she accidentally inhaled a large puff of smoke and had a coughing fit. Finally, she recovered. "What- no, don't toy with me, Shmaluigi. You don't know the Golden Phanto, you couldn't. I looked for them, they don't exist here. All that's left of them in this world are flying masks."

"Infamous thief? Steals priceless treasures? ...Overly dedicated internet following?" I could see Shmaisy's expression turn sour as I mentioned that last one.

"Yeah, that's them alright," she said, "I couldn't find any trace of that obnoxious Phandom, either. I'd say good riddance, if I had any idea what was actually going on here. What a nemesis I picked."

Say what you will about Monty Brando, but at least that guy doesn't have a bunch of people writing internet fanfictions about him for reasons I couldn't comprehend. Not that I know of, at least. I'm not sure I could stomach that.

"This is going to sound crazy-"

"Look, I just came into your office and rambled about how I came from a completely different reality," Shmaisy interrupted, "I don't think anything's going to sound crazy to me anymore. Spill."

"I'm pretty sure I've been to your world. I don't have a clue how I got there, or how I got back, all I know is nothing that happened there really seemed to exist here. I still haven't figured out what to make of it, but now that you showed up..."

I paused in thought for a moment. "Okay, here's the thing. I still have unfinished business wherever you came from, and I'm almost certain the Phanto was around then. Depending on how things went down, something very interesting could have happened, so... How about I try to help you get back to where you came from, and I'll see what I can do about the Phanto. In exchange, I want your help with an investigation of my own on the other side. Do we have a deal?"

Did I think this was a good idea? Well, not really, I still didn't fully trust Shmaisy, but to paraphrase the old saying, curiosity killed the private investigator. Plus, I didn't really want to find out what would happen if I turned her down.

There was silence for a moment, then she extended her hand. "Well, I don't have anything to lose. Deal."

A handshake sealed it, and now I was officially on quite possibly the weirdest case of my career. Never would I have expected to say that about a case that didn't involve Waluigi Time.

"So, where do you suggest we start, detective?" she asked.

I opened my mouth to speak, only to find no words. It was at that exact moment that I realized I may have bitten off more than I could chew. Call it a delayed reaction.

"Well, we just have to, er, find someone who knows about warping through realities, you know, and uh..."

At that moment, my stammering was interrupted by someone barging through my door who definitely did not know anything about warping through realities.

"Hey bro! Guess what I just found!"

"Not now, Shmwario..."

"Oh, am I interruptin' something? Who's the dame?"

"There's two of you? This really is getting out of hand," Shmaisy commented.

"You don't know the half of it," I replied, "this is my brother Shmwario."

"Hi, I'm Shmaisy."

"Hey. Anyway, you gotta check this out bro! It's a great new roadside attraction, we gotta go see it!" Shmwario exclaimed, waving the latest issue of The 'Shroom in his hand.

"Can't you see that I'm in the middle of something right now? I don't have time to worry about visiting a tourist trap!"

"Fine then! I can see when I'm not wanted," Shmwario turned around and stormed off with a huff, mumbling under his breath. "I'll just visit the interdimensional portal all by myself!"

Did I just hear that right? There was no way... I grabbed the back of his coat to stop him from leaving.

"Hang on, did you say interdimensional portal?"

"Oh, now you wanna see it?"

I took the paper from him, noticing that the whole thing now smelled like garlic. Not a big surprise. There was a full-page ad for Grunkle Science's "amazing interdimensional travel portal", accompanied by fine print so minuscule that I actually had to go and grab my magnifying glass out of my desk to read it. It was a none-too-reassuring statement that the destination and return trip weren't guaranteed. Charming. The more I looked at it, the less promising it seemed, but it was probably the best course of action I had, considering it was the only one. Chaos Town... I had never been there myself, but from what I'd heard about it, it seemed like it lived up to its name.

"I'm not sure how this is going to turn out, but it seems worth looking at, at least. You up for it, Shmaisy?"

"Hm... Yeah, sure."

"So we're goin'?" Shmwario asked.

"We're going," I replied.

"Oh yeah, roadtrip time! Alright, I gotta go run to JojaMart and grab some snacks for us!"

"Wait, Shmwario-"

Before I could stop him, he was out the door and long gone.

"He's interesting," Shmaisy said.

"He's family," I replied. Then again, what's the difference?

With Shmwario gone and all business taken care of up to this point, the silence was awkward and deafening. I figured that I should probably make small talk with Shmaisy...

"So... The Golden Phanto, huh? How did that all start, if you don't mind me asking? Do you two have some history?"

"Hm? Oh, no, not really. I call the Phanto my arch-nemesis, but to be honest, I'm not sure they even know I exist. I lived with my cousin growing up, see, and her family did very well for themselves. But that kind of lifestyle just wasn't for me, I needed to do something. I watched probably too many noir movies, so," then she tugged at her fedora. I got the message. "After the Phanto came on the scene, my cousin eventually found herself with one of those dreaded calling cards. She asked me about it, so they became my personal boogeyman of sorts. I didn't care so much about it then... These days I'm more ticked off that I still haven't been able to track the crook down. Or that anyone hasn't been able to, for that matter."

"Well, you're in good company having a slippery arch-nemesis. I've spent my entire career primarily chasing after one guy. Monty Brando, he's probably the most influential mafia boss around here."

"So, what's your story?"

"It's not exactly what I would consider first meeting small talk."


Well, that killed a few minutes. Knowing how my brother can be on a snack run, I had a feeling it was going to be a while...

Eventually, Shmwario returned carrying several JojaMart bags filled with junk food. "Alright guys, let's get movin'!"

We all went over to the nearby parking garage, piled in my car, and I got directions on my phone to Chaos Town. Not long after we left, Shmwario had already torn open every bag, box, can, and what-have-you that he got from JojaMart.

The trip was a pretty uneventful one. Maybe there was interesting scenery, I don't know. My eyes were fixed on the road straight ahead, but my mind was elsewhere. I wasn't sure how Shmaisy felt, and Shmwario probably wasn't too concerned, but for my part, there was certainly some trepidation. I was unsure about what was going to happen with all of this. Would it even work? I didn't really want to end up stranded in a completely foreign world, or possibly worse, just end up maimed by the transportation process. And even if everything went perfectly, I hadn't even thought about how things would go once we got to the other side, or what I would find. I almost wondered if not knowing the outcome of that cruise was better than whatever the truth was. That thought quickly disappeared as I remembered how much I'd agonized over it the past year or so.

Finally, we arrived in Chaos Town, just as Shmwario finished off what was left of the roadtrip snacks. They never stood a chance. I continued to drive through town until we arrived at the Grunkle Science building, a small, run-down laboratory with tacky homemade signage. 'The Interdimensional Joyride by Grunkle Science: We put the getaway in dimensional gateway!', it read.

"I take it this isn't exactly a professional operation," Shmaisy commented as she looked out the window. I wasn't exactly sure what being an amateur would entail in a field as complicated as interdimensional travel, then quickly decided that I didn't really want to think about it.

The three of us got out of the car and entered the laboratory, finding the inside in the same run-down state as the outside, though relatively clutter-free, at least. Then we encountered the proprietor of the establishment, an older man about in his 60's, if I had to guess. He appeared studious, but at the same time gave me the impression that he wouldn't hesitate to pick your pockets if you met him in a dark alley. The duality of man...

"Ah... welcome, intrepid travelers... to the Interdimensional Joyride! The name's Fordley. Do you dream of what other worlds could be like? Do you long to explore the furthest reaches of realities, going where you previously thought only existed in the realm of your own imagination?"

He leaned in towards Shmwario and lowered his voice slightly. "...Do you wanna go commit crimes and ruin a whole world with no repercussions and be home in time for dinner? Then you've come to the right place!" he said, winking at Shmwario and then patting him on the back.

He moved back to the center of the room, making a grand, theatrical gesture towards a slightly dirty, probably functional machine. "Wherever you wanna go, you name it and I'll get you there! So, where are you looking to go? Judging by the look of you, maybe you wanna solve some crimes, in which case, boy do I have somewhere for you... A lot of somewheres, actually. Ones that I definitely had nothing to do with."

"Well, here's the situation, Mr. Fordley," I said, "Shmaluigi's client here found herself a bit misplaced, shall we say, and we're trying to get back to where she came from."

"Hmm, a specific drop-off point, eh...? I can arrange that... it'll cost ya extra, though. Ever since that red rodent put this town into and then out of a dimensional fissure, it's been real hard to get anywhere specific without an anchoring point from that dimension... if you're not careful, you'll end up in some weird world where you meet yourself, but you've been split into identical twins, and..." Mr. Fordley shuddered, as if horrible memories were momentarily flooding into his mind. "...Nevermind all that. I'll need a sample from the girl so we can use its dimensional signature to pinpoint a space-time tunnel that's spatially compatible with the machine. A spit sample should do the trick."

Shmaisy looked at the cup, an expression of disdain covering her face. "You're serious?"

"Hey, less talking, more spitting, lady!"

"The things I have to do..."

She turned away from us to, er, deposit the sample, then handed the cup over to Mr. Fordley.

"I don't get what the big deal is," Shmwario commented.

"Probably because you have all the social graces of a Moo Moo," I replied.

"Everyone knows manners are for chumps, bro," he said, then began to dig inside his ear.

"Alright, the pathway has been plotted, and you'll get there in no time flat. Of course, I'll be collecting your fee up front, because, uh... we need it to keep the lights on, you know?"

"Oh, right," I opened my wallet and ended up dumping out all the coins I had on me. Had Shmaisy not been mostly carrying currency that was worthless in this world, I would've made her pay for at least half...

"Now, if you'll just sign here..."

Mr. Fordley dropped a stack of papers in front of each of us, and these were definitely... thorough. There were waivers protecting Grunkle Science from liability for where we end up, any of our actions on the other side, anything extra that comes back from the other side, the success or lack thereof of a return trip... It may as well have been one sheet of paper that said 'whatever happens, it's not my problem'.

"I feel like I'm donating a kidney," Shmaisy said.

Shmwario blazed through his stack pretty quick, and I had the feeling that he didn't actually read any of them. Shmaisy and I both took a little longer with ours.

"Alright, chumps, let's get this show on the road!" Mr. Fordley exclaimed.

He directed us into the middle of a circle with a bunch of ray gun-looking things pointed at it. A strange black and purple substance that reminded me of outer space flowed through them. Unsure of its origins, I wondered if maybe a doctor's appointment was in order after this... Mr. Fordley chuckled to himself as he pushed buttons, flipped switches, and pulled levers, soon building up and culminating in a maniacal outburst of laughter. The machine rattled with increasing intensity as more and more power rushed through, revealing loose screws that began to free themselves. I had no idea what I was getting into, and I wasn't sure I wanted to find out anymore, but before I could object to anything, Mr. Fordley raised his hand towards a big red button, comical in size.

"Have fun, kids! And remember... NO REFUNDS!"

The ray guns immediately lit up and shot beams at the circle we were standing in, creating a portal directly beneath us. There was no time to react before the three of us fell through and hurtled through dimensions. All that was left was to wait and see what was on the other side.

To be continued...

Shmaisy finally finds herself on the scene... Thanks for reading the beginning of this new arc! I think this one is going to be quite the ride, so I hope you enjoy it. I'd like to give special thanks to Reverse Input for helping me with the Chaos Town parts and writing Fordley's dialogue! Next month, we'll find out where that portal actually takes them, and hopefully I'll see you then.

The 'Shroom: Issue 196
Staff sections Staff NotesThe 'Shroom Spotlight
Features Fake NewsFun StuffPalette SwapPipe PlazaCritic CornerStrategy Wing