Once upon a time...
A great, shining Koopa knight stood amongst the stars. His polished, golden armor glinted off space and reflected beams of hope, wonder, and gold paint down the cliff he stood upon so valiantly.
But alas! The knight was tired.
"That war was very tiring!" he said, wiping the sweat from his forehead.
... Anyway, he sniffed and snuffled before he realized that his nose was very stuffy. Reaching into his shell, he pulled out the most noble of all tissues: The Royal Hanky! It was emblazoned with the insignia of Bowser's army, with stains from various foods highlighting its magical glow.
He brought the paper up
to his nose... and blew with all his might! And then he sneezed!
What a wondrous sneeze it was! Chunks of phlegm flew across the wind, the honking of the effort echoing down the landscape! In all the moments of Dark Land's outskirts, none seemed so grand in its obscurity!
The Koopa Knight lifted
his hanky off of his face, wiping his nose on his sleeve. He stared at
the rag from under his helmet, disgusted at the sight of it. Suddenly,
as the knight went to sneeze again, he lost his footing. Behind him, a
Goomba pushed him angrily, lines of fury shown on the little tyke’s face.
"WHAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..." The knight's yells were heard by no one as he fell down the steep cliff...
Morning peaked, the gloomy skies of Bowser's Kingdom not marring the sun's rays outside of Dark Land. The rocky terrain around the bottom of the cliff smoothed out as it panned, grass flowing into trees. Just past a few of those trees, voices were heard yelling to each other.
"DUDE!" The Red Koopa Bro's
distinct headband and shell were covered in dirt as he fell down, his attempts
at catching up with his brothers having failed as Green chuckled slightly
and Yellow ran ahead. Red got up, not waiting to brush the dust off of
him as he chased them, his frown different from the grins his brothers
"DUDE! GREEN! NOT COOL!" The Koopa had finally gotten within reaching range of his brother, who waved a wallet around in the air.
"C'mon, Bro, you gotta outrun
me!" Green hopped over a rock, letting Red stub his toe on it and howl
Both drew a blank face as they heard Yellow's distinctly higher voice yell for them up ahead.
"Dudes! DUUUUDES!" Green dropped the wallet, Red sweeping it up before both of them stumbled ahead. Red started to wonder when the word “dude” had become their only means of talking.
All three brothers stopped
and stared in awe at the strange sight before them.
The Koopa Knight from the other section lay unconscious, his armor dirt-speckled and his hanky laying on the ground, almost inviting the Koopa Bros. to look at it.
Yellow squealed, retreating back a few steps. A feral-looking Goomba, gritting his fangs and growling, approached the Koopa Knight.
"GASP, THAT DUDE MUST HAVE KILLED HIM!" Red hollered, making the Goomba look over, uninterested but slightly annoyed.
Green, mustering his courage, ran forward and punted the creature, sending it squealing through the air.
After Red and Yellow spent a moment basking in Green's unimpressive show of strength, all three turned their gazes to the tissue lying before them. Red was finally the one to pick it up.
"Dudes... I think... this is... A TREASURE MAP!" He waved it in the air, whooping, while Yellow pondered.
"Hmmm... That Goomba must have known the knight dude had a treasure map, so he killed him! We got here just in the nick of time! Sweeeeeeeet!" He high-fived Red, who looked at Green expectedly.
Green huddled with them, examining the “artifact”. "Woah! Check out those splotches!" He pointed at the various colored smears all over the paper.
The Bowser symbol fed their ambitions, the group thinking that maybe it was part of some super secret mission the knight was sent on. "Wowee! Imagine what types of riches we'll get if we turn this in to Bowser!" Yellow squealed with delight as Red and Green joined in his excitement.
"Yeah! We'll be back in his favor!"
"He'll let us see whatever it leads to!"
"Maybe he's the only one that can decipher it!"
The group exchanged ideas before Green leapt up unexpectedly.
"Someone better go tell Black," he said, pointing towards the woods.
Red groaned and ran off, not sure what their most eccentric brother would think of this…
Now, before I continue, let's zoom ahead to where the Koopa Bros’ 4th member, Black, sits.
Black sat on an old stump, his black shell and dark headband blending in with the shadows around him. He looked wistfully at the small pond before him, his hands hanging loosely at his sides and the rest of his body completely still. He heard a gurgling sound. He looked down, half-heartedly interested in the sight of a bubble popping on the perfect surface of the water. He sighed with peace of mind... and also shut his eyes from boredom.
Or at least, he WAS peaceful until a shriek made him snap back awake. He glanced about before he felt hands grab his shell from behind and start shaking him madly, making even his brain rattle in his skull.
"BLACK! WAKE UP!" Red screeched into his brother's ear, familiar enough with his lazy tendencies.
"AHH!" Black yelled, unsure of what was going on as his world was sent up and down, up and down...
"WAKE UP, DUDE!"
"AHH! AHH! RED?!"
"WAKEY WAKEY! WE FOUND SOMETHING COOL!"
"I'M UP!" Black slipped out of his brother's grasp and tumbled onto the dirt, gasping to regain control of his body. He glared at Red, who was hopping up and down like he’d wet himself, pointing in a random direction.
"... WHAT?!" Black yelled, a little angry at his brother's vague purpose.
"C'mon, dude, look at what
WE found! It's a treasure map!" Red hadn't finished his second word when
he grabbed Black by the tail and started dragging him back to the site.
Black had to admire his bro’s unusual display of strength when he was excited.
Red stopped dragging his brother, letting him tend to the scrapes on the back of his head, and ran over to the other two brothers, who were still scrutinizing the “map”.
"See, dude? A TREASURE MAP!" Red yanked it from Green's hands and waved it around happily. Black stared at it for a long time, unable to focus on it while it was moving.
"... Stop waving. I can't see it." Red complied without a word, but soon Yellow and Green hopped in with their own giddiness at their find.
"TREASURE MAP!" Green yelled at his brother, who flinched and wiped the spit off his face, trying to get back up
"YEAH! IT LEADS TO TREASURE!" Yellow followed his brother’s example.
"PROBABLY LEAD TO TREASURE!"
"AND WE'LL FIND IT!" Red finished off the barrage of screaming with a fist pump.
Black, now on his feet, looked at the “map” skeptically. All he saw was a damp rag with gross splotches all over it. "... That's not a treasure map. It looks like a tissue." He spoke plainly, already starting to waddle back to his spot of relaxation. Red grabbed a shoulder and spun him back around.
"Oh, c'mon, Bro! You're so negative! This IS a treasure map! And WE'RE GOING TO GO GET THE TREASURE!" he yelled, Green and Yellow providing backup encouragement with short little “dude”s and “yeah”s. A thought occurred to Black all of a sudden.
"If that has Bowser's symbol on it, shouldn't we give it to him?"
The other three Bros. stopped, a distinct blow to their plans throwing them off their game.
"Oh... Yeah... That's what we were talking about before..." Yellow kicked a pebble near him, looking downward solemnly.
"Yeah... We'd get...back under Bowser's supervision..." Green sniffled and looked at a wall.
"Just like we planned before... I guess we got caught up in... treasure..." Red's downcast eyes looked at Black, searching for pity.
Black rolled his own eyes and released a breath. "All right, let's go find the treasur-" he started. Green slapped him on the back, whooping with excitement while Yellow hopped up and down and Red examined the paper with a smile, already walking along the cliff's bottom.
"ADVENTURE! ADVENTURE! ADVENTURE! GO GO GO!" All three brothers cheered and walked in a march, with nothing but their hopes and dreams to guide them.
Black looked at their backs. His gaze rested on the knight they just passed up. "..." He said nothing as he leaned down and tore a piece of metal off the knight's armor, putting it right above the Koopa's nostrils. It shown cloudy with breath. "Definitely alive..." he said to himself, shaking his head at his brothers’ stupidity.
Suddenly, a thought occurred to him. Whistling to himself and checking to make sure nobody was around, he took off the knight's helmet and checked his pockets, pulling out a fat wallet and some weird stamp. He plodded after his bros, stuffing the golden helmet into his shell, with no bulge to betray what he had taken.
Meanwhile... back at Bowser's Castle...
Bowser's big, thundering footsteps were mirrored by tiny, fast paced ones. "Dad! C'mon, why can't I go?" Koopa Kid whined from under King Koopa's intimidating size. His evil record was pretty much just making Mario and his friends’ vacation lousy with his various Mario Party scenarios, and when he heard that the whole Royal Koopa family was going on a sweet vacay to the Waffle Kingdom, he assumed he'd get a free pass. He’d thought wrong.
"Listen, K.K, someone's gotta watch over the minions and the castle while we're gone! Sorry, son, but that's just how it is! Kamek's here to help you anyway, so stop complainin'!" Bowser growled from above, looking down on the distraught Koopa.
"But... but... you're just saying that because you don't want people to know I'm related to you!" K.K. grasped at straws for reasons and insults, hoping to get his father to relent.
"People may not know that you're my son, and why is that a BAD thing? All the other Koopalings get attacked daily while you can just sit in your room and play board games with nobody interrupting! You see... me and the other kids need this vacation more than you! And the costs for tickets to the Waffle Kingdom are through the roof. Just business."
K.K. stopped walking and thought for a moment. When his dad wanted to, he could be a smooth debater.
A blinding thunderbolt of realization hit him.
K.K. instantly changed his attitude. "Darn, King Dad, I guess you're right. Oh gee whilickers, I hope you guys have a fun time! I'll pass the time by playing Klue or something. Go have fun, you crazy dudes you!" He was practically shoving his dad out the door to the Kopter Platform. Bowser frowned in surprise, but shrugged it off. A change of heart seemed good.
"Uhhh... Kay. Bye, son. You know me and your mom love you. If she hadn't gone on ahead of us, I bet she'd give you a hug. Well... BYE." Bowser hopped into the Super-Sized Klown Kopter filled to the brink with screaming Koopalings. As it took off, K.K. got a glimpse of Larry's sinister smile and Jr's tongue being stuck out at the window.
"Yes...YES! AHAHA! Now I have the WHOLE PLACE TO MYSELF!" K.K. laughed maniacally, closing the door behind him carefully as he walked back to the inside of the castle.
A hundred gazes locked with his as he looked down the hallway. Koopa minions whispered to each other, completely frozen in place, while Koopatrol guards stared intently.
"... W-what?" K.K. stammered, unsure what was going on.
It was finally a small Goomba that shouted out the war cry.
"YEAH THEY'RE GONE! WE HAVE THE WHOLE PLACE TO OURSELVES!"
The minions exploded into chaos, the guards dropping their weapons and running off while servants and stewards whooped crazily, grabbing all sorts of party equipment from their rooms and running down to the mess hall.
"Waaaaaaiiiiii- Aw, shoot." K.K scratched his head. He didn't see THAT coming. He shook his head, but kept walking towards his own room.
A flash of blue blurred his vision before Kamek stood right before him. "Master K.K. We need to talk." The Magikoopa spoke intensely, making Koopa Kid jump a foot from surprise.
"What NOW?" he spoke, tired of all the havoc.
"Come with me." Kamek made a flash of black appear before K.K. found himself in the mage’s study.
The books lining the walls were dusty with age, and various vats and strange gizmos were strewn across the floor. Kamek was holding something out to K.K. It appeared to be a normal letter, but there was a sense of urgency on his face.
"... Get FedExor for stuff like that," K.K. dully said. He knew it wasn't for him, and he didn't plan on delivering mail.
Kamek shook his head. "You don't understand... This is an alliance proposal with the Rebel Base in the Mushroom Kingdom. If they don't get it, we'll have another fight on our hands," the wizened old man spoke, seemingly worried about the situation.
"... So what? We fight all the time!" Koopa Kid again resumed his walk towards the door. Kamek swooshed into his path. "But these rebels have found a secret way to build doomships. Big ones. King Bowser WANTS that technology, so he's trying to ally with them. But there's a problem..."
K.K. started to say “What?” when Kamek resumed his speech. "The soldier we sent on the mission to pass on the letter, Kappa, is unresponsive on his tracker beacon and is in a comatose state. Luckily, I had a spell to transport all small things he was carrying back to me. However, the stamp never returned, and he planned on waiting until the last minute to stamp the peace treaty with the Bowser Insignia. He never got to it. Without this letter stamped, the Rebels will take it as a trick and strike. So I need you-"
K.K. cut him off, shaking his head insanely and running away. "NO WAY! I am NOT getting involved with a mission! Get another knight to do that stuff!" he screamed. He stopped moving when he realized that he was kicking his legs in midair, not actually moving. Stupid magic...
Kamek sighed. "Don't be so immature-"
"Shush. The minions have devolved into chaos, as you saw. You're the only one I can trust to go to Kappa's fallen site, bring his body back, and find the stamp and properly deliver this letter!"
K.K. was let down, and he plopped on his stomach, gasping from the sudden pain. He got up groggily. "All right... Fine... Gimme the letter." He snatched the letter from Kamek's hands, walking off and not wanting to see the mage’s pleased grin. He stopped at the doorframe.
"Wait... Did Kappa have a wallet?" He glanced back at Kamek to see his reaction.
Kamek furrowed his brow and went into a state of deep thought. "Yes... I think he did…"
"Now why didn't THAT come back, hmmm? That classifies as a small item."
"I'm not sure. It's possible it was taken off his bod-"
"Yeah right, you greedy old coot. Fine. Keep it for now, but I wanna split when I get back, kay?"
K.K. walked down the hallway, ignoring Kamek's frustrated attempts at getting the Koopa to believe he didn't steal it.