From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to search

This is LinkTheLefty's Projects page. While there is only have one subject at the moment, this space may have more use in the future.

Boom Boom: Take 2

Ever since the big Boom Boom proposal was enacted in early 2013 that ended up splitting him between a character and species, Mario Wiki has seen some transformative changes here and there. Boom Boom has been in twice the number of original games since then, so I believe it is high time to look at it with renewed interest. This will be a review of the initial analysis and arguments presented by user Walkazo in the two-years-old proposal, and it will conclude with an assessment regarding the necessity of the articles.

  • Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) - Only one Boom Boom is ever seen at a time. The English manual reads: "The Mini-Fortresses are guarded by Boom Boom, a tough servant of Bowser. When you defeat him you get a magic ball..." and "This is the boss that controls the Mini-Fortresses. Boom Boom hurls himself at Mario with his arms swinging. Mario needs to jump on Boom Boom 3 times to defeat him. Be careful, though, Boom Boom gets quicker every time he gets stomped on." - Verdict: Character. - The pluralization of "fortresses" while Boom Boom remains singular supports the idea that he's one guy appearing multiple times, in all the different fortresses. There is no evidence to the contrary.

Thoughts: On its own, this passage seems definite, but there is a broader scope. Yes, Boom Boom is referred to as singular in the Super Mario Bros. 3 manual; however, so is every other enemy in the original manuals. From Goomba to Koopa, Shy Guy to Snifit, and Hammer Brother to Boom Boom. It is true that Boom Boom only ever appears one at a time, but so to do two Hammer Bros., and the wiki is not separating Hammer Bros. between “twins” and “species” (or any of the other enemies based solely around such thin wording). This piece of information is crucial in helping to understand the nature of Boom Boom; it seems this was brought up before, but lost in the lengthy discussion. Verdict: Inconclusive.

  • Nintendo Power Strategy Guide for Super Mario Bros. 3 (NEW) - I'm listing this separately because although this is directly related material, it is not part of the core Super Mario Bros. 3 package and thus supplemental, but it is at least held in higher regard than Prima. For the most part, the guide treats Boom Boom as singular as the manuals have been treating enemies, and at one point suggests that it's a recurring being (BOOM-BOOM’s Back!, pg. 40) -- however, there are a few other areas where the wording suggests there is more than one Boom Boom ("Another BOOM-BOOM waits for you here. He's pretty similar to the last one—so stomp him quick and you won't have any problems." - Beat Another BOOM-BOOM, pg. 19; "It must be because of the cold, but the BOOM-BOOM here doesn't jump much." - BOOM-BOOM’s Cold, pg. 59; "A flying BOOM-BOOM controls this Fortress..." - BOOM-BOOM Is Flighty, pg. 31).

Thoughts: Signs now point to species.

  • Super Mario Advance 4: SMB3 (GBA) - Two Boom Booms appear in the bonus World-e levels Swinging Bars of Doom and Kōri no Toride. The manual's text is the same as SMAS. - Verdict: Still a character, but a second one appears as well, which goes on the species page. - Just because another Boom Boom appears doesn't necessarily mean the other one and all the single Boom Booms aren't still the one guy, although the possibility of them all being different can be brought up on the species page. The character page must also mention the second Boom Boom and the ambiguity.

Thoughts: Now that the full context of the original quote is acknowledged in the open, we can no longer accept this explanation. The fact that two Boom Booms appear at a time is self-evident – perhaps a species was not the intention when Super Mario Bros. 3 was created for the NES, but we absolutely cannot assume that due to the original ambiguity. We can forgive Birdo recurring in the previous title due to the storybook/dream-like setting, but the entertaining idea of an endearingly persistent Boom Boom hustling between crumbled Mushroom World fortresses off-screen is no longer feasible, at least in this version of the game. Verdict: Species.

  • Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition (Wii) - Same as SMAS, but the one piece of fortress text now reads: "Each of these enemy strongholds is guarded by a Boom-Boom. Defeat him to get a magic ball..." - Verdict: Still a character, but it's ambiguous enough to bring up on the species page too. - The "a Boom-Boom" bit cements the idea that there is a Boom Boom species (all the more reason to bring it up on the species page), but whether the Boom Boom in the fortresses is always the one member of the species or different ones each time is unknown, as the use of "him" may just be the writing style. Like the first SMAS, however, there's not enough evidence against it being the one guy, so leave it.

Thoughts: This is similar to the text in the Nintendo Power Strategy Guide. If the quantifier “a” is present, then the ambiguity is simply no longer there. Verdict: Species.

  • Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) - Only one Boom Boom ever appears at a time. The North American website describes Boom Boom and Pom Pom together: "Cruising for a bruising in Bowser's airships, Boom Boom & Pom Pom wait for you in the lower chamber. They may look tough, but they're a bit of a pushover-three quick stomps to the head will take them out." The European website reads: "Boom Booms lie in wait for Mario on the battleship. They'll spin themselves into a frenzy as they try to attack our hero!" The Prima guide apparently uses the singular (I don't have a direct quote for it, however) - Verdict: Species, but ambiguous enough to mention on the character page as well. - The European websites means we have to put it on the species page, but like SMA4, just because there's more than one doesn't mean the Boom Boom isn't present, and the NA website makes it sound more like there's only one, so it deserves a section on the character's page, as long as it also discusses the European take on things.

Thoughts: I agree, except I'm not yet convinced it is strong enough for a split.

  • New Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U) - Multiple Boom Booms appear on the overworld map at once. I couldn't find any info on him from either English website. I don't have a direct quote from the Prima guide either. - Verdict: Species, and could mention here that he might be in the game. - It has to go on the species page, and there's even less wiggle room than SM3DL to justify saying the specific character's involved, but since people will probably come here expecting something, a one-liner about the possibility with {{main}} leading back to the species page wouldn't be unreasonable.

Thoughts: Having more than Boom Boom appearing on-screen at once (particularly between Acorn Plains, Sparkling Waters, Soda Jungle, and Rock-Candy Mines) directly reinforces the newer depiction in Super Mario Advance 4. There is still no sign of a Boom Boom character here or anywhere so far. Verdict: Species.

  • The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 (TV show) - Singular Boom Booms appear in four episodes, only producing roaring sounds and doing nothing but attacking Mario and company (or fleeing lava, in one case). Dialogue referring to them is limited to: "let's show that big bad Boom Boom...", "here's a little something to keep you (Mario) company", "Mario, he's getting angry". Verdict: Species. - The Boom Booms aren't treated as characters, but as generic enemies, and do not even seem able to speak. The one use of "he" is just a speaking style (like how people often call animals "he" or "she" rather than "it").

Thoughts: The fact that only one appears at a time (according to the above) suggests this is a bit more vague. I find it a little contradictory that similar language that arrived at the initial “character” conclusion in the game is now being used to go the complete opposite side of the spectrum. However, I have to agree that the script suggests Boom Boom is thought of in animalistic terms. Verdict: Technically inconclusive, but implied species.

  • Nintendo Adventure Books (comic) - There is an item called "Boom Boom's socks" - Verdict: Character. - Like the film, it's SMB3-based, but while it could be a "Kuribo's Shoe" kinda deal, overall, it's way more likely to be referring to a character's socks than socks worn by a species as a whole.

Thoughts: If we already realize that there exist items such as “Goomba's Shoe” and “Lakitu's Cloud” (also derived from Super Mario Bros. 3 like most of the Nintendo Comics System story elements), then we cannot claim to make a judgment on this one. Verdict: Inconclusive.

(I've skipped the film and Super Paper Mario since they're relative footnotes and don't really affect this.)

Now that the early 2013 conclusions have been called into question, let us also consider Boom Boom in more recent appearances...

  • New Super Luigi U – For obvious reasons, Boom Boom is portrayed identically as in New Super Mario Bros. U. There are no other official references we can utilize. Verdict: Species.
  • Super Mario 3D World – Boom Boom's depiction here is more or less the same as in Super Mario 3D Land; however, I don't have any website data to go off on. Verdict: Inconclusive.
  • Puzzle & Dragon: Super Mario Bros. Edition – In theory, this would be perhaps the best in-game source to look for any hint of a Boom Boom character due to the more involved storyline than in the traditional platformers. However, there is still disappointment: again, every single enemy variety is referred to in singular as it has been in the past, and Boom Boom is not referred to by name by any of the characters in the script. However, Boom Boom is one of the enemies that can face himself in the post-game, so that answers that. Verdict: Species.

Taking all of the above into deliberation, it is clear that there is no official basis for two separate articles: Boom Boom may have been vague many times, but he has never existed as both a character and a species. In fact-based conscience, we cannot artificially extend his individuality.


What about Pom Pom?

What about her? This proposal only concerns the Boom Boom articles. Currently, I'm inclined to agree with the wiki's portrayal: Pom Pom is said to be a notable female Boom Boom of the Koopa army. Either way, that is a completely separate discussion beyond my reach and therefore irrelevant.

What about organization?

What organization? Out of all the so-called “species characters” in the Mario series, Boom Boom is by far the most tenuous. Just look at the ridiculous overlap in the articles and the lack of solid commitment on the subject. I sense a lot of appeasement, but the point of a proposal is to put our foot down, not be willy-nilly about it. No, we can't take the path to please everyone in the name of self-described non-bias, because hypothetical circumstances and insubstantial syntax was the entire basis of the split and will continue to be if we let it go unchecked.

Isn't this a retcon?

How? It can only be a retcon if it was an established fact to begin with, or at any point. All the conclusions from our evidence point to ambiguity until fairly recent. This isn't like the Koopalings, in which there is a definitive and unambiguous “when Miyamoto opened his mouth” moment where we can no longer say the Koopalings are Bowser's children. As it stands, Boom Boom as a legitimate character only ever existed in the minds of the fanbase. It's borderline (if not entirely) fanon that was merely a veil of poor word choice this whole time.

What happens if we agree?

If the proposal is successful, then the solution is straightforward and very firm: Boom Boom's species article will be merged into the plain one, and it will be considered a species. Frankly, it is far better to take a stand rather than try to appeal to both camps.

What happens if we disagree?

Well, nothing. The articles continue to be in spite of all this, the people will have spoken, and we'll just keep clinging onto the faint hope that Nintendo will release a clear statement someday. We need to throw away our childhood preferences and favoritism, and truthfully ask ourselves – taking all of the above into account, and relying on hard facts over raw feelings and conjecture, is this really good for modern Mario Wiki?