“After them!” roared Bowser. He, the seven Koopalings, and an assortment of minions were chasing Mario and Luigi from their castle. “Don’t let them get away!”
“I’ll demonstrate to you that you can not intrude into my laboratory and pilfer my omnipotent chemicals!” Ludwig screamed.
“He means you can’t steal his Mushroom Kingdom-destroying invention!” Lemmy called.
Luigi looked over his shoulder and yelped. “Mario! They’re gaining! We’re doomed!”
“Don’t worry!” Mario panted. “There’s a river just ahead. We can lose them there.”
“I don’t think we’re going to make it,” Luigi moaned.
Indeed, Roy’s grasping arm was just a few inches short of Luigi’s hat. “I’m gonna get you!” he sneered. And he was right. He ran right into Luigi, and both of them rolled all the way into the water.
“Help! I can’t swim!” Roy cried.
“I can!” grinned Luigi. He swam deeper into the water and began to look for a power-up.
Bowser slapped his forehead. “Ludwig, Morton, go save your brother! Wendy, Larry, go get Luigi! Lemmy, Iggy, you stay with me and chase Mario!”
The Koopalings hurried to do as they were told, but in the process Larry and Morton ran into each other and fell down.
Mario finally reached the water and jumped in. “We made it!” He lifted the vial of dangerous chemicals triumphantly. “The Mushroom Kingdom is saved!”
Bowser was barely able to stop himself from falling in after Mario. “Curses!” he roared. “I can’t swim either!” He looked embarrassingly at Ludwig, who was pulling Roy out of the water. He turned to Lemmy and Iggy. “Can either of you swim?”
“I can swim… but only a little,” admitted Iggy.
“I can usually swim,” Lemmy explained, “but the water is too warm today.”
“Curses!” Bowser again roared. “Ludwig can swim, but I need him to make a new batch of chemicals… that is unless he’s already lost the formula. Morton and Larry are unconscious. So that means Wendy will have to catch both Mario and Luigi.”
“Not a chance!” snapped Wendy, who had stopped to put on a bathing suit and so had yet to reach the water. “I’m too beautiful for such hard work!”
“Do it!” Bowser stomped. “Or I won’t buy you any more dresses.”
Wendy decided to do it. “But I can’t do it all by myself!” she insisted. “I’m going to need some back-up.”
“No problem, Wendy!” Iggy grinned.
“Yeah!” agreed Lemmy. “We’ll stay behind and use radar to tell you what Mario and Luigi are doing, and we’ll send troops, too.”
“Okay,” Wendy gave in. She took a deep breath and dived into the water. Bowser turned to head back towards the castle (to nap). Ludwig followed him, while Roy lay exhausted on the beach. Morton and Larry were still out cold. And Lemmy and Iggy headed to their boat.
By the time Wendy dove into the water, Mario and Luigi had swum way out to sea. “We’ve swum a long way,” panted Luigi.
“Nah, it was only aah!” Mario was cut off when the vial of chemicals he had placed in his pockets scraped against his leg. He winced in pain. “I mean, we’ve only swum maybe 100 yards. It’ll be another 900 or so until we reach the beach.”
“Why don’t we head back the way we came, and take a warp pipe?” whined Luigi, who was beginning to fall behind.
“You could, but you’d need to battle Bowser, those seven pesky Koopalings, and all their minions at once, and without a power-up,” Mario explained.
‘Well, I like that a lot better than swimming 1000 yards,” Luigi decided. He turned around and stopped dead in his tread. “Mario! It’s Wendy!”
“That’s right!” Wendy cackled. “You’re a fish out of water!”
“Shoot!” snapped Mario. “She’s a better swimmer than us!”
“What are we going to do?” gasped Luigi.
Mario looked around. “We’ll lose her in that sunken ship.” He pointed to a wooden ship that had sunken to the bottom of the river. “Come on!”
Mario and Luigi picked up speed and swam for the ship, with Wendy right behind. Swimming frantically, they finally hid behind an old beam. Wendy swam past, and they sighed in relief.
But they weren’t off the hook yet. “Ahoy!” shouted Lemmy, who was steering the Koopa’s ship. “I be Captain Kid!”
“How come I have to be the navigator?” First Mate Iggy whined.
“Because I beat you in the race to the boat!” Captain Kid laughed. “Anyway, you get to use that really cool radar.”
“Yeah, but you get to steer a really cool ship,” sighed First Mate Iggy.
“Never mind!” snapped Captain Kid. “Are you getting any readings?”
“Am I getting any readings?” First Mate Iggy mocked Lemmy. “He looked into the radar. “Yeah!” he suddenly shouted. “They’re hiding in an old sunken ship. Wendy just swam past them.”
“Aargh!” snapped Captain Kid. “It’s a good thing we be here! I am calling Lady Wendy, to let her know she has lost her treasure.”
All the while. Wendy had been searching in vain for Mario and Luigi, who were still hiding behind the beam. “Where are those pests!” she snapped.
Just then, her magic wand rang. She answered it and heard Lemmy say, “Aargh! Your treasure be behind you! Look behind the beam jutting out, or else I’ll have you swab the decks!”
“It’s about time!” Wendy growled. She was just about to cut off the connection, but then added, “And whatever you’re drinking, get rid of it!”
Wendy decided that she needed to ambush Mario and Luigi, so she took a long route so that she was on the other side of the beam. Mario and Luigi were jostling for position, and didn’t notice when Wendy charged. They didn’t notice when she took out a net to catch them in. And they certainly didn’t notice when Wendy pulled out a cementing gun.
Wendy was just about to shoot Mario and Luigi. Suddenly, Luigi turned and saw her. He screamed and fell backwards into the base of the beam. The ship was so old that the beam fell over, right onto Wendy. “Quick, Mario! Let’s get out of here!” Luigi hollered.
“Right with ya, little bro,” Mario followed.
The two plumbers quickly swam from the ship. Wendy, however, was not as lucky. “Get me out of here!” she screamed.
“Uh oh!” First Mate Iggy frowned. He had seen the whole spectacle through the radar. “Wendy is trapped under the beam. And she doesn’t like it.”
“That’s Lady Wendy!” snapped Captain Kid. “Avast me timbers! We must rescue her! But how?”
“Don’t look at me,” First Mate Iggy scoffed. “You’re the captain!”
Captain Kid put his claw on his chin and thought. “I got it! You go in the water and scare the plumbers, and I’ll catch them in this net!”
“I can’t swim,” First Mate Iggy reminded his captain.
“Don’t talk back to the captain!” growled Captain Kid. “You can float, and those lame brains won’t know you can’t swim.
“Your plan won’t save Lady Wendy,” Iggy noted, hoping he wouldn’t have to swim.
“Forget Lady Wendy!” Captain Kid’s eyes gleamed. “We’ll have the treasure!”
“Mario?” asked First Mate Iggy.
“The chemicals!” snapped the captain. “We’ll rule the world! Hardy har har!”
Meanwhile, Mario and Luigi had stopped for a breather. “Do you think we’ve lost her?” asked Luigi.
“Unless she can swim through wood,” Mario nodded.
“How much farther?” Luigi moaned.
“We’re half way through now,” Mario answered. “But the hardest is still to come. There’s a waterfall, and a thin pass between jagged rocks, and I would guess swarms of dangerous fish as well.”
“What?!” shrieked Luigi. “That’s it! Now I’m definitely turning back!”
“Did you know that there is a Koopaling behind you?” asked Mario, calmly.
“Aaaghhh!” Luigi screamed. He swam away from the Koopaling as fast as he could.
“Wait! Luigi! It’s only Iggy!” Mario called in vain. “He can’t swim.”
But Luigi didn’t hear him. He swam right into a net suspended under the water, and was promptly hauled over the side of a ship.
“I was hoping for a bigger catch,” Captain Kid smiled. “But this will do! Now, give me the chemicals!”
“I don’t have your stupid chemicals!” wailed Luigi.
“No?” Captain Kid frowned. “I oughta have you walk the plank, but I’ll just have you swab the decks. Get to work!”
Luigi took a broom and stated swabbing. On the boat, the Koopas were winning.
In the water, however, it was a different story. “I’m sinking!” First Mate Iggy flailed his arms wildly.
Mario grabbed Iggy by his hair. “Give back Luigi, or I’ll let go!”
“Lemmy! Help!” First Mate Iggy cried.
Captain Kid looked over the side of his ship and peered around. “Lemmy? Who’s that?” he asked. He shrugged, then went away.
Iggy tried to look innocent. Mario glared at him, then dropped him. “Two Koopalings down, five to go,” he grinned. “Two Koopalings very down,” he added.
“What about me?!” Luigi called from the ship.
“Luigi! I’m coming!” Mario swam as quickly as he could towards the Koopa’s ship.
“Not so fast!” Captain Kid laughed as he reappeared at the side of the ship. When Mario got close, he dropped an anchor right on the plumber’s head. Mario spun head over heals towards the bottom of the water.
Fortunately, Lemmy had not dropped the anchor quite right, and Mario was just barely able to squirm out from underneath the anchor before he hit bottom. Unfortunately, Captain Kid took the opportunity to steer the ship – and Luigi – far away.
Mario swam to the surface and chased after the ship, but it was a hopeless battle. “I’ll never catch him this way!” he moaned.
Captain Kid wasn’t happy with his predicament either. “I’ll never kill him this way!” Then, smiling, Captain Kid opened a hatch on his ship, and out swam…
“Big Bertha!” Mario screamed. Quickly, he turned course and swam the other way. Mario was swimming quickly, but even though he swam in and around the various seaweed plants and the shorelines, the huge fish continued to catch up. It again looked like Mario was finished, when suddenly he found a piece of green sitting on top of the water. It looked like a lily pad, but it was actually a Frog Suit! “Frog Mario!” cheered the happy plumber. He hastily put on the suit and sped away from the fish.
Mario had been having luck so far that day, but that luck suddenly took a turn for the worst. A Koopaling was watching Mario and Big Bertha from the beach. It was Roy! Unknown to any of the other Koopalings, Roy was actually a very good swimmer. He pretended he couldn’t swim because he thought swimming was girlish, and he wanted to have Wendy pull him out of the water. Since Ludwig had been the one to pull him out, Roy was feeling very aggressive. And he wasn’t going to let Mario get away.
Roy pulled out his magic wand and shot a beam straight at Mario. “Ha ha! Turn about is fair play!” he laughed.
Mario gasped as his frog power disappeared. The gasp was the last reaction that Mario would ever give. Because at that moment, Big Bertha caught up to him, opened her mouth wide, and swallowed him whole.
Roy gasped as well. “Was I wrong to do such an evil deed?” he asked himself. Then he smiled evilly. “Nah!”
Meanwhile, Captain Kid decided that Luigi was doing a lousy job of swabbing the deck, and, when Luigi wasn’t looking, he crept up behind him and stuffed him into a straight jacket. “Aargh! You are as bad as scurvy! Now you’ve got to walk the plank!”
“Couldn’t we discuss this, like civilized uh… civilians?” Luigi whimpered.
“I’m a pirate!” snapped Captain Kid. “So off you go!”
Captain Kid shoved the desperately crying Luigi overboard. Since Luigi was tied up tight in the straight jacket, and since he wasn’t Houdini, the only thing he could do was sink.
It looked like it was the end of the Mario Brothers… and the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario had been fish food, and not very tasty at that. Luigi was in the process of drowning. And, back at Koopa Castle…
“Eureka!” Ludwig shouted. He ran gleefully from his lab to Bowser’s throne room. “I just replicated the formula,” he explained to the groggy king.
“That’s nice,” Bowser yawned. “Now… what did you say it was?”
Ludwig sighed. “This mixture will disintegrate any matter it comes into contact with… except of course for this bottle, which I devised from another material I invented. And except for that despised chemical, H2O.”
Bowser pretended to understand and to be interested. Then he went back to sleep. Ludwig sat at a desk behind Bowser’s throne and started drawing up battle plans – which, over Bowser’s loud snoring, was no easy task.
Meanwhile, Luigi had been holding his breath and falling through the water. He had been falling for at least five minutes, and had, at best, one minute of air left. Even if he were to escape the straight jacket, he still would never reach the surface in time. He was a goner.
Luigi knew it, and decided to take one last look at the world. All he could see was blue, just blue everywhere. All of a sudden, everything around him looked green. At first, Luigi thought it was just his eyes getting blurred from the water. A second later, however, he heard a familiar sound. It was the sound of warping.
Luigi felt a great ray of hope. ‘If only this pipe brings me to some place above water,’ he thought, ‘I’ll be okay!’ He couldn’t even conceive what would happen if the pipe brought him into more water, or didn’t warp at all.
The warp seemed to take hours to Luigi, although warping only takes about a second. When the warp was done, Luigi took a deep breath. He found himself somewhere not in the water. He didn’t know where, but at least he was alive.
Back above the water, Captain Kid had finally stopped laughing at the evil he had done. He decided that instead of going right back to the castle, he would take over the Mushroom Kingdom instead. ‘But,’ he thought, ‘all this pirating has made me tired. I will go on my conquest after I take a nap.’ The captain dropped his anchor and lay down.
Roy wasn’t done being evil either. He decided he would take the Big Bertha and put it in his private aquarium, so that he would always have Mario’s dead body near him. Like Lemmy, Big Bertha, after having a huge meal, had stopped to take a nap. Carefully, Roy jumped across some rocks, getting closer and closer to the large fish.
“Where am I?” Luigi asked no one in particular. He couldn’t move anything but his head, and he saw that he was in some kind of ancient city. It looked surprisingly like Dome City, but Luigi knew that couldn’t be possible, since Dome City had been destroyed years ago and was now the site of the Princess’s Castle.
After a few minutes, some one came into Luigi’s view. He looked like a cave man, but he was small and, with large glasses covering his eyes and several books in his arms, looked very intelligent. Luigi watched wondering as the figure slowly approached him.
The figure looked at Luigi as if trying to figure him out, but before too long a knowing gleam came to his eyes. “Welcome, Luigi,” the figure smiled. He did not seem to speak like a cave man.
“Hi!” Luigi also smiled. Then he frowned. “How did you know my name?”
“I know all,” the figure replied. He must have seen Luigi’s surprise in his enlarged eyes. “You will want to know where you are, how you got here, and how to save the Mushroom Kingdom… and also how to get out of the jacket,” the figure prophesized.
“That’s for sure,” Luigi nodded. Still, the figure had yet to say anything to prove that he really knew all.
The figure bent down and started to loosen Luigi’s straight jacket. “Welcome to the city of Mushantis,” he said.
“What?!” Luigi bolted. The loosened jacket ripped off. “THE city of Mushantis?”
“The one and only,” the figure nodded.
“I never thought it was real!” Luigi gasped, amazed. “How did I get here? Who are you? When-“
“Hold it, hold it!” the figure soothed. “I will get to all your questions.” He paused for a breath. “Now, when you were thrown overboard by Lemmy Koopa, you fell down into our secret warp pipe. That pipe connects our city to the Mushroom Kingdom. But because it is so far underwater, no mortal has ever found it before. At least, not for almost 5,000 years.”
“The city is 5,000 years old?” Luigi gasped. “Wow!”
the figure continued. “At that time, we were a small city about 500 yards
away from the capital, Dome City. The city was in a deep valley, and there
was a constant threat of flooding. Because of this, protective walls were
built around the city, to keep out the water. This worked for a while,
but one day there was a massive flood, like no one had ever seen before.
The walls were knocked over and we were buried by our own walls. By luck
of fate, however, the walls kept the water above them from seeping into
the city. We were safe, but buried.
We had lots of live stock and fertile land, and were able to survive throughout the years below the Mushroom Kingdom’s surface. With nothing else to occupy our time, we developed many scholars, inventors, and sages. From these, we learned much knowledge and magic. It may not look like it, but our city is very technologically advanced. To amuse ourselves, we use devices to gain even more information from all over the world - yours and others. We believe we are the most advanced civilization in any world.”
Luigi opened his mouth to ask a question, but the figure stopped him. “We never go to the Mushroom Kingdom through our warp pipe because we would be seen as freaks and our city would be found and ruined. You, however, I know can be trusted. And it is for this reason that I will not only release you but give you a special item as well.”
“A special item?” asked Luigi. “Why would I need that?”
“Luigi, Mario has been eaten by a large fish, and Bowser and his Koopalings are only footsteps away from taking over the Mushroom Kingdom – and they’d be closer if they weren’t all napping,” the figure explained. “Now take this.” The figure held out a bag full of round objects that looked like green peas.
“No thanks, I hate green food,” Luigi waved the bag away.
The figure shook his head, then continued calmly. “Luigi, these are Super Strength Beans, and they are better than any power-up any Mushroomer has ever heard of. When you eat a Bean, for one full hour you will be three times as strong as you usually are. In addition, any harm done to you will be reflected back into your attacker. They are like your Power Star, but much, much better.”
Luigi took the bag slowly, while shaking his head. “I don’t know,” he frowned.
“Luigi, it will work,” assured the figure. “Now, go save your brother… and the Mushroom Kingdom.”
Luigi turned to go, as did the figure. “Wait!” Luigi called, whirling around. “What is your name?”
The figure seemed to chuckle a little to himself as he continued walking away.
Luigi shrugged and jumped back into the secret warp pipe. Soon he found himself back in the water. “Uh oh!” he frowned. “I’ll never be able to swim to the surface!” Remembering the Beans, Luigi opened the bag and popped one into his mouth. Suddenly, Luigi was full of a super power. Feeling great, he wanted to shout out his power. But what was it called? Super Invincible Luigi? Strong Luigi? “Mystical Luigi!” the plumber cheered.
Fast as lightening, Luigi swam to the surface, where he found Roy two stones from the sleeping Big Bertha and Mario, and Lemmy on board the Koopa’s ship nearby. Luigi jumped to the rocks and punched Roy as hard as he could. Roy, with broken glasses, groaned and fell unconscious into the water.
Roy’s groan woke Big Bertha, who instantly tried to eat Luigi. But when her teeth tried to pierce Luigi, she suddenly found herself being eaten by an unknown force. Screeching in pain and in fear, the Big Bertha self destructed, leaving Mario’s unconscious form falling through the water.
Luigi, who’s power, if anything, was growing, scooped his brother from out of the water and, with Mario tucked safely under one arm, raced towards Lemmy’s ship. At that time, Captain Kid was just waking up. He looked over the side of his ship and saw Luigi speeding towards him. “Avast me timbers!” he yelled. “Man the-“
But that was as far as Lemmy got. Luigi rammed into the ship at full speed, and the ship, although anchored to the riverbed, was pushed over the nearby waterfall Mario had said was between them and shore.
Luigi was in no mood to stop his Koopa-bashing spree. He still had at least fifty minutes of power left. He raced towards the beach he and Mario had originally come from. When he arrived, still full of power, he decided to use the Koopa’s own chemicals to destroy them. Luigi wasn’t sure how he knew the chemical was a powerful acid, but he did.
Luigi poured a drop of the chemicals he had taken from Mario’s pocket on Larry and Morton, who were still unconscious. Soon, nothing remained but ash. Then, leaving Mario on the beach, he raced towards Koopa Castle and threw the contents of the vial to its highest tower. Ravagingly, the acid devoured the castle brick by brick. Ludwig and Bowser were caught completely by surprise, and were disintegrated along with the castle, Ludwig’s only surviving vial of chemicals, and the chemical’s ingredients.
Finally spent, Luigi lugged Mario home. Unfortunately, he didn’t notice that he was leaving a trail of Beans behind him. And he didn’t notice when the waves washed the Beans away, never to be seen again.
Luigi later told Mario about Mushantis, about the Super Strength Beans, and about how he defeated the Koopas. Of course, Mario didn’t believe him. And, of course, the Koopas weren’t really dead. They would eventually (soon) attempt another dastardly deed.
Luigi never saw Mushantis, the mysterious figure, or a Super Strength Bean ever again. But, for some reason, Luigi seemed to be stronger, smarter, and more confident than ever before. Even stranger, Mario seemed to lose intelligence, until Luigi was the better (but less famous) plumber. The city of Mushantis had left a permanent legacy on the Mushroom Kingdom.
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