In the great kingdom of Mushroom Kingdom, led by the fair Princess Toadstool, better known by her friends as "Peach", there was a so-called evil Koopa, named Bowser, but to you, he is named KING KOOPA! One day, while playing poker with his brother, Wart, he had gained all of his brother's money, and loved it. Wart then took out a special deck of cards that he called Star Cards. He said, "Bowser, this is my last possession in the entire world. I have nothing left. It is extraordinary, and not just a plain old deck o' cards! It has the power of the stars. I have learned naught but that small excript from its royal resting place. One hand. The stakes: my deck of cards... and your CASTLE!"
Bowser bet Wart, because his dear old brother couldn't bluff worth a darn. He won easily. Wart was ruined. Bowser was now the most powerful being who ever lived. He then got a little bit careless. He left the invaluable deck within the hands of a lazy guard named Gimmer. Don't laugh. Okay, it IS funny. Hahahaha! Gimmer! What a LOSER! Uh, oh, ahem. Anyway, on to the story.
Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach sat on the edge of the deck Mario had made for his pad. It was a beautiful, spring day, and they were about to taste Luigi's new secret tomato sauce. He put it on his friends' favorite, appropriate entrees, Peach with a mushroom sub, Mario with lasagna, and Luigi with ravioli. It looked delicious.
"Now, remember," Luigi reminded his subjects, "be HONEST! Imagine if this were JUST a restaurant, and I was not with you.
Mario nodded, along with Peach. "We-a won't let you down!" They took bites of these delicious foodstuffs. It tasted HORRIBLE! Mario's mustache sprung out and zig-zagged, and Peach's hair stood up a bit. Luigi's face turned red. "Uh, Luigi-"
"No, wait," Luigi said, tossing his ravioli aside." Two years, AND IT ALL WENT DOWN THE DRAIN!" Luigi was fuming. Mario comforted him.
"There, there," he said. "Maybe you just added too much... uh... salt? Or forgot some seasonings."
"Yeah," Luigi yielded. "You're right. I don't recall ANY of Mum's Ye Olde Secrete Spice.'
Peach's face went into a more compassionate expression. "It might've just been something knocked down into it. I'll be right back."
* * *
Peach walked into the house, and looked around. She walked over to Luigi's bed, and noticed the plush Mushroom she had given him for his birthday on his bed. She sighed. She heard a noise. "Who's there? Mario? Luigi?" She heard a crash.
"Shoot!" a roaring voice said. "Lemmy! You knucklehead!" It was Roy Koopa. "I oughta smash your face in."
"Nyeh, nyeh!" Lemmy teased. "You can't get me!"
"You're so dead!"
"Quiet! Both of you!" Wendy hissed. "Do you want Toadstool to know we're here?"
Lemmy sighed. "No."
"If I can kill him," Roy said, "then MAYBE I'll make an exception!"
"Do you hear that?" a bubbly voice said, in a weird tone. "It's her!" It was Iggy.
What do they WANT from me? And why are there so many of them?
"Let's GET HER!!!" Roy stampeded across, through the doorway. He saw her. "A-ha! CAUGHT YOU!" he roared.
The Koopalings charged. Peach was overpowered, but was able to punch Iggy into submission. "I surrender!" he screamed. The four made off with Peach. They hopped into their Koopa Kopter, and took off.
"Peach?" Mario said. He was soon shot by a Fuzzy Dart, and couldn't move.
"Nice!" Iggy shouted, as Roy laughed about the perfect shot he'd made.
"Mario?" Luigi asked. He noticed Roy preparing another strike. He dodged out of the way, as a second shot hit his brother. The Koopalings took off, laughing.
"Mario? MARIO!" Luigi shouted at his subdued brother. "Speak to me!"
"My name is Bobbin. Are you my mommy?" he said.
"Those FIENDS!" Luigi shouted. "NO!"
Luigi then sat there, with his strange brother with Fuzzy Fever.
Luigi ran to the gates of Bowser's castle, after a short adventure. It's always at the SAME place. "Here I go!" he said. He pounded at the gate until it opened. He then ran inside... TO ANOTHER GATE! A sleeping Koopa guard sat there. Luigi's bounding in woke him up.
"Yeaaaahhhhhhh? Whaddaya want?" he said.
"You got any glazed do- WAIT! That's not right! Gotta... lay off the Weird Al. I want to enter the castle," Luigi blurted.
"No! We're out of gl- I mean... uh... no."
"Look, I guess I'm gonna have to take you out, if you persist."
"Let me in!"
The Koopa attacked Luigi with a lance. Luigi easily brushed it aside. He broke it like a twig. "High quality weapons? NOT!"
"Eh... I'll just use Bowser's Star Cards! He gave them to ME!" the guard - apparently Gimmer - shouted. He reached into a sack that rested near his lawn chair. "A-ha!" He held the cards up. Suddenly, a raven swooped down, and took the entire deck! "WHAT?!" Gimmer shouted in dismay. "NO! He's gonna kill me!"
Luigi walked to the gate. He rattled it and shook it, but to no avail.
"You need the key to get in, and only I have it."
"No problem," Luigi laughed. "I'll just JUMP!"
"You jest! Go ahead, try!" Luigi jumped up, and slammed his head on a barrier. "See?"
"Gimme the key!"
"NO! I can tell Bowser, and he'll roast your Princess Apple!"
"Peach, it's PEACH!"
"So?" Gimmer looked around. "Look, I'll cut you a deal. I will give you the key... But you must retrieve the deck!"
Luigi hesitated... "Deal." Luigi didn't want to work with scoundrels, but he had no choice...
Gimmer looked at Luigi, who was standing there. "Well? Get a move one, or we BOTH lose!"
Luigi cocked his head. "Um, don't you think a map is needed?"
"Ah, of course," Gimmer chuckled. "How foolish of m- GET OUT!!!"
Luigi scowled at the foul Koopa, and stalked off.
* * *
Luigi traveled to a nearby town of the Shrooms, called Shroomopolis. It was NOT an "opolis" worthy town. It was very very small, and looked quiet. In fact, any Toad should wish themselves to live there. It was peaceful, especially considering the little Koopa Attack of '02 that occured. Luigi was surprised by its condition. Luigi knew that this was home to a map-making Toad named Map R. It was a strange name, but his parents were out of ideas. They only had two kids, though. Luigi traversed the road to the Shroom's house, and knocked. A booming voice inquired, "Who dares disturb me?"
"A man on the way to restoring this kingdom to peace!" Luigi replied.
"Mario? Come in! No, wait... GREEN MARIO! How are you? Enter! Wait..." A pounding noise was heard, and then a large crash. "AGH! Stars above!" The pounding was there again, then the noise of a door unlocking, then more pounding. The pounding stopped, and there was a long pause. "Buuuuuzzzz!" Map R. shouted.
Luigi scuttled through the door. "Howdy!" he said.
"Hello," Map said, spinning his chair around, "Green Mario!"
"No, pretty sure it's Green Mario."
"Ah, never mind."
"So," Map said, anxiously, "what can I do for you, Ol' Green?"
Luigi rolled his eyes. "I need a map."
"So does everyone else! What kind of map are you interested in?"
"Well..." Luigi began. He then explained the complete predicament.
"Hm. Well, I know where that Raven went. I saw one fitting that exact description an hour ago. He went west! Since there's only the Creep's Cove near to the west of us, I suppose that is where he went."
"Could I have the map?" Luigi inquired.
"Hm, hmmm, hmmmmm, ergh... Yeah," Map finally said. "But the thing is, I need money to make these maps."
"Fifty coins. Shroom coins. Not those Mario coins." Map leaned forward. "Do you have any?"
"What do those look like, again?"
"Oh, just power-ups on them."
"Of course!" Luigi said. "Why wouldn't I? My bro went on a quest, and brought back a load of them!" Luigi pulled out a sack of Shroom coins, and handed them over.
"Let's see... Mushrooms are one, Flowers are five, Leaves are ten, Hammers are Twenty, Flag Poles are... fifty... This'll do!" He took the entire sack, containing 300 Shroom coins. Luigi scowled. "Hey, snooze you lose!" He handed Luigi his map, and so the journey began.
To Be Continued...
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