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The Super Mario Bros. Story
Luigi lunged over a wide crevice and landed on a Goomba on the opposite platform, squashing the small brown creature. “I still don’t understand what you mean by an invisible pipe,” he told Bowser through his walkie-talkie. “I can’t imagine it looking any different than an ordinary pipe.”
Rough static preceded the dragon’s deep voice. “Ever since I joined your side I’ve wanted to teach you about these, so just follow my directions.” After a loud cough he continued, “Luigi, based on your location on the map, it should be coming up in about a mile. I’ll tell you exactly what you need to do when you get there.”
The proximity of Luigi’s destination motivated him to proceed onward. Almost ten minutes later Bowser suddenly broke the silence. “Stop! You’re very close to it. But first you need to hit the item block to the right of you. It contains a fire flower.”
Upon collecting the item, Luigi felt a sudden surge of energy at his finger tips. Jumping off the emptied item block, he landed with one foot on a nearby Koopa and kicked the turtle-like creature off the edge.
Bowser continued, “Part of the reason I chose you for this mission, Luigi, is because you are able to jump higher than Mario.”
Luigi fell back laughing. “Good thing; Mario would never be able to jump on top of this massive brick ledge right in front of me,” he said as he leaped up on top of it.
“Don’t start feeling so superior to Mario. You may have a higher jump, but keep in mind, he could beat you up if he wanted to. In any case, you need to shoot a fireball to your immediate left and you’ll see an odd-looking pipe appear.”
As he clenched his fist and felt the familiar tingle of energy through his fingers, a ball of fire dissipated as it brought to sight a rusty and slightly cracked dark blue pipe. “Mamma mia! How did you know about this?
“Remember, I make these designs. I installed it to connect to my castle in case I ever need to summon my troops back quickly. As you know, Baby Mario is the son of Mario and Peach. Reportedly, he was captured by an unknown betrayer and sent through this pipe. The perpetrator evidently intended to lure Mario into a trap. You will find him in a crib as you enter the castle. Go now.”
Luigi squeezed himself into the pipe, and after crawling several feet in he was shot downwards. A few moments later he emerged in a stone chamber. At last, he had the opportunity to see Bowser’s castle for himself without the thought of actually having to face Bowser. Incessant, high-pitched crying from the next room caught Luigi’s attention.
Understanding the importance of his mission, he quickly rushed into the nearby room and grabbed the tearful Baby Mario, who was lying in a crib. Assuming he could dash out as quickly as he came in, Luigi darted towards the door only to be impeded by two Koopa guards who suddenly emerged form their hiding spots. With Baby Mario in one arm, he slew one of the guards by shooting a fireball with his other hand. The second guard ran in terror when he saw his fallen companion, giving Luigi easy access to the exit. But before he reached the return pipe, the remaining guard hurled a spear which pierced the back of Luigi’s thigh. He gave out a yelp of pain, a noise which only further agitated Baby Mario. Nonetheless, they managed to reach the pipe before the Koopa alerted other authorities.
Relieved to have succeeded in completing the dangerous endeavor, he immediately contacted Bowser once he arrived back. “I barely saved Baby Mario,” panted Luigi. “That was a close one.”
“Excellent,” replied Bowser. “I’m impressed you managed to escape unscathed.”
“Well…let’s just say I made it out alive. I’ll need a mushroom to heal myself.”
“There are plenty at the shop. It’s time for you to head back now.”
Luigi took a deep sigh of relief; his heart stopped racing as Baby Mario finally settled down.
Mario and Peach sat on their back lawn in contemplation of their son’s mysterious disappearance, quietly discussing all possibilities. A figure from the distance sprinted toward them, one which they immediately recognized as Toad’s; his short stature and large, mushroom-shaped head were unmistakable. “Mario! Peach! The most wonderful thing happened recently,” he exclaimed in his high-pitched voice. “I’m pleased to inform you that Luigi found your son on a rescue mission guided by King Bowser.”
Peach kneeled and extended her arms outward to hug Toad. “Oh, bless them! We shan’t be worried any longer.”
“When will they be back?” Mario asked inquisitively. The plumber’s question was answered when he caught sight of his brother emerging from the surrounding trees in the opposite direction from which Toad had come. For the next several minutes, the group of four rejoiced over Luigi’s safe return with a still alive and healthy Baby Mario. Toad squealed with elation and Peach cried tears of joy as Mario and Luigi shared a brotherly hug. Baby Mario, who had cheered up considerably, was now giggling with glee.
After the initial euphoria, Mario finally asked, “Who captured him?”
“I talked to Bowser on the way back and he’s not quite sure,” Luigi responded.
Toad shook his head in disappointment. “It’s a shame, for it has been nearly a full year since we’ve made peace with the King. Who would’ve guessed that a citizen of the new Mushroom Kingdom would rebel?”
Mario nodded his head in agreement with Toad. “One thing’s for certain: I need to train my abilities for a new quest. Starting tomorrow, I will train on the free, safe battlegrounds Bowser has designed for me to use at my leisure.”
Peach’s eyes conveyed pride in her husband and understanding of his duty to Mushroom Kingdom. “Don’t worry, Mario. You’ve always been a wonderful hero.”
Luigi and Toad as well gave him a few words of support and encouragement before they departed. With the sun setting, Mario picked up his son in his arms and headed back inside with Peach, acknowledging his mixed emotions.
The next day, Mario enjoyed the cool breeze of the wind as he entered the first battleground. Mushroom Kingdom was as beautiful as ever today with its lush green mountains, tall trees, and clear blue sky. As he stepped off the brick pathway and onto the field he prepared a clever attack. In these practice battlegrounds Bowser had nullified the enemies’ attack power so that the trainee wouldn’t get hurt. Mario smiled, knowing that the pressure was off.
Preparing with a running start, Mario jumped on a Koopa and rode its shell for several yards before he approached a brick wall. He jumped off the shell, which crashed into the wall, stomped on several Goombas in a row, one, two, three, and landed directly on a Spiny.
“Ouch!” cried Mario as he fell to the ground, clenching his wounded foot. He scrambled away from the spike-shelled creature which had just injured him and called out, “Paratroopa!” About half a minute later the winged Koopa came to Mario’s aid. “Would you be so kind as to fly me back to the mushroom shop, where I may be healed?”
“Sure thing, pal.”
Hopping from one leg onto his back, Paratroopa flapped his wings and took off, heading straight for the main part of town.
At the local mushroom shop, customers of a long line scattered about as Mario staggered through the door. No one would dare block the way for their most beloved hero, especially when he was injured. Mario fingered the coins he had collected in his pocket as he surveyed the menu. He had just enough money to get what he wanted. “I’d like to buy the Super Shroom.”
“That’ll be fifty coins, Mario,” said Toadette, the wife of Toad. She handed her customer a large blue mushroom, and Mario immediately devoured it. “Feeling better?”
“Much,” Mario replied, licking his lips. “Thank you, Toadette.” Having consumed such a delicious snack, Mario began to feel relaxed and content. He decided to rest on the nearby sofa for weary visitors. While regaining his strength and finding a comfortable position for his foot, a bizarre spectacle from outside caught his attention. “You didn’t accidentally put poison into the Super Shroom, did you?” he asked Toadette. “I think I’m seeing things.”
“Oh Mario, you know that if there was poison around I’d make sure it didn’t get into any of our food,” she replied.
“But I must be hallucinating. I could’ve sworn I saw a thick cloud pass the window at fifty miles an hour.”
Toadette scratched her head in bewilderment. “You should ask Bowser; he knows all about the peculiarities of Mushroom Kingdom. In fact, he’ll be here any minute. He ordered a super large mushroom pie, and I asked him to pick it up around this time.”
Familiar heavy footsteps grew louder as the front door swung open. “I’m here!” Bowser roared. “I expect that my order is ready for pickup?”
“Absolutely, King Bowser,” Toadette answered as she bowed to the King. “Mario is on the couch over there wanting to discuss a strange phenomenon with you.” Bowser stomped from the delivery counter to the table next to the couch on which Mario lay.
“Bowser, I’d like to ask you about your knowledge of oddities in our land.” As he continued to tell Bowser of the same experience that he told Toadette, the dragon’s countenance became one of increasing interest.
Bowser cleared his throat and responded, “I believe your story, Mario. It makes perfect sense to me; just this morning when I issued a roll call of all the citizens of Mushroom Kingdom, one in particular was missing. It was Lakitu, the Koopa who rides a cloud.”
At once, everything began to fit together in Mario’s conception of recent events. Lakitu threw Spinies, so it was no mystery why Mario had gotten hurt unexpectedly. And as for Baby Mario, Lakitu’s cloud would be the perfect place for a kidnapper to hide a baby while avoiding detection.
Later in the evening, Mario returned to the battleground and headed for the group of item blocks. He collected a cape for flying in case he found himself free falling, as well as a fire flower so he would have a convenient means to attack Lakitu. Upon gathering his personal items, Mario headed for the Yoshi nest. His small dinosaur friend greeted Mario with his usual amicable demeanor. Mario explained to Yoshi how he and Bowser had identified the previously unknown betrayer and added, “ For this battle you will need to get wings and fire-breathing ability.” Obedient to his master, Yoshi charged out into the battleground and swallowed a red-shelled Koopa with wings to obtain the abilities Mario had requested. “Very good, Yoshi. You remember the scent of Lakitu, right?”
Yoshi nodded his head up and down several times. Predicting his battle strategy, Mario soon realized that Yoshi’s inability to speak, to only make unique, quack-like sounds could prove to be a disadvantage; for the best chances of success, it would help for both lines of communication to be open.
“It’s time for us to depart, my good friend,” said Mario as he hopped on Yoshi’s back. “Let us be off!” And with that command, Yoshi soared into the evening sky. Mario held on tightly, anticipating the battle soon yet to come. Possessing an acute sense of smell, Yoshi flew swiftly and in a straight direction. As they approached Bowser’s castle, he suddenly soared into the clouds above.
In the midst of these clouds Mario spotted a thicker cloud moving about with great speed. Riding it was none other than the now hated Lakitu. But realizing that the sky was getting darker by the minute, he gave his companion the word. “Hey Yoshi, quickly give us some light, will you?” Several flames shot from the dinosaur’s mouth which struck several trees below, brightening up the dimming evening sky.
The betrayer swerved toward Mario and shot him a threatening stare. “I am the great Lakitu, champion of the skies! Because I am fast, airborne, and intelligent, there is no better ruler of Mushroom Kingdom. But you, Mario, pose a threat to my power, so I must do away with you!” With this declaration he launched five Spinies towards Mario in rapid succession. Panicking, Mario realized that he had no room to move about in the sky - nor could he stay in the same position. In a gut reaction he bent over, covering his head with his hands.
He was lucky - but only for the moment. One Spiny ripped his cape, while another one pierced Yoshi’s right side. Unable to support Mario, Yoshi tumbled backwards, sending Mario falling towards the ground. With a ripped cape, Mario felt truly helpless. Falling ever farther, he shut his eyes and prepared for imminent death.
Suddenly, he felt an impact. But he was not dead, for it was a soft, gentle impact. He opened his eyes and found himself right back on Yoshi, who swerved upwards just before Mario reached the ground. He breathed a massive sigh of relief, and once he regained his composure he told Yoshi, “The surest way to defeat Lakitu is for you to scorch him with your flames.”
But as they approached Lakitu, Mario heard Yoshi only make abrupt exhalations. It became clear to him that Yoshi’s fire-breathing abilities had diminished for the moment because he was out of breath. Taking immediate action he commanded, “Straight forward, Yoshi, we won’t let him get away.” Before Lakitu could unleash another Spiny, Mario stretched forward, aimed carefully, and shot three fireballs directly at his cloud. The second one of these struck its target, melting the cloud as an unmistakable look of horror consumed Lakitu’s expression.
“You can’t do this to me, Mario!” he yelled. “You and your pest of a winged dinosaur! You….” Lakitu’s voice trailed off as he plummeted downwards. His shouting ceased completely when the flames of a burning tree consumed his body.
Mario patted his loyal companion on the head. “We did it, my friend. You and I are unstoppable against any evil forces.” Yoshi gave an appreciative sigh, knowing as well as Mario that Mushroom Kingdom was safe once again. “Now we rule the sky, but I’ve never had much interest in being a king. I think of ourselves just as heroes.” A wide grin of pride spread across Yoshi’s face as he flew Mario away from Bowser’s castle. Descending from the skies, Mario acknowledged that the most suitable rules may be the ones who have little desire for power.