“Yes, I’ve heard the stories. ‘Monsters,’ hah! ‘Crazed warriors,’ hah! Even this so-called ‘king of Koopas’ is nothing when compared to the military might of our own kingdom. You can rest easy tonight, Mushroom Kingdom, knowing that I, you’re king, am watching over you personally!”
-King Ramses Toadstool II addressing his kingdom, October 22nd, 1325 of the third age.
“Why yes, I recall the events quite well.” The older man shifted uncomfortably in his chair, then finally settled down. “I’d known their mother for quite some time. She was a lovely young woman, and her death was tragic. We never found the father, so we decided to raise the kids ourselves.”
The man shifted again. He’d never been interviewed before, not on TV anyway, and the fact that he was seemed almost surreal to him. “You know,” he began again, this time looking directly at the camera, something he’d been told many times specifically not to do. “I never expected such great things from those two.”
“What do you mean?” Jill Giez, better known as Gaze, asked of the man. She was the most famous women in news today, partly because she was good at it, but mostly because she was good looking.
He was Saint Marques Aspen, the owner of an orphanage that was closed down so long ago. His withered, tired face shifted slightly as he smiled at his own memories. “Those two. All they did was sit around and watch some old movie- uh, Donkey Kong was the name of it. Yeah, that was it.” He paused and took a quick drink of coffee. “They even took their names from that movie, since we just called ‘em ‘red’ and ‘Green,’ most of the time.”
Everyone in the room laughed at that one. The sound guy brought the boom mike into the picture, causing the camera man to wave at him to get it out, which he quickly did. Through it all, they kept on laughing. No one had suspected that the ‘heroes’ of the kingdom to have such mundane names as ‘Red’ and ‘Green.’ But then, no one had expected them to have names like ‘Mario’ and ‘Luigi,’ either.
“And that was all they did, too! They just sat there and watched that movie over and over again, and when the cassette tape wore down and broke, they saved up every coin they could get to buy a new one! And when the VCR broke, they bought one of those too!”
The TV flickered as Mario shut it off, standing up off the couch quickly and taking a sip of his drink, laughing. “Screw you, old man.” He snickered. “Screw you.” he laughed as he walked into the next room, leaving Luigi there to turn the TV back on and change the channel to something more interesting. He hadn’t cared about a documentary covering their adventure anyways. He knew how they had lived, and having some guy narrating it with his super-deep voice didn’t make it any more interesting.
“Hey Mario, what channel was that Beat down show on?” Luigi called nonchalantly.
“Is that all you can think about right now, TV?” Mario laughed as he entered the room fixing his new dress shirt so that it fit properly. Like most of his clothing, the shirt was a deep black with red trim.
“Should I consider watching something else?” Luigi laughed a little. He had changed already and wore a matching dress shirt, his with dark green trim. He stood and fixed it so that it didn’t look so ragged, brushed the front off and looked up at his brother. “Suitable?”
“You forgot the crystal.”
Luigi looked around for a moment, noticing nothing remotely similar to the crystal in his brothers wrecked room. After a split-second of looking, he checked his pocket, and from it pulled out a small crystal on a long leather string, which he tied around his neck, to match his brother’s. When he was done, he stared at his brother blankly and said “Are you happy now?”
Mario laughed a little as he opened the door, revealing the massive main room of the castle, which their- or at least Mario’s, with Luigi’s being next door- room was situated at the far end of. “No. You know me, I’m never happy.” He laughed again as he adjusted the crystal the way someone would adjust a tie.
“Yeah, I know.” Luigi responded as he checked to make sure he had all of the note cards for his speech. Seeing his brother do it, Mario instinctively checked his own pockets for the same thing. “You’re not-happy-’bout-nuttin!” Luigi laughed at the old joke, developed by the same man who they had seen on the news mere minutes ago, and they would see again when they arrived in the main room of the castle.
Mario laughed as well, having not expected the joke. He stifled his laughter quickly, knowing they had little time and couldn’t afford to be late. “Ready?” “Yeah.” Luigi said as he began to walk towards Mario. “Oh, wait- hats!” Luigi snapped his fingers at the same time as Mario, then stormed into Mario’s small kitchen, where the two hats sat on the table, as though so engaged in conversation they had failed to notice they were needed. Luigi scooped the two up, tossed one to Mario, the slipped his own onto his head, but quickly removed it in favor of carrying it the way his brother was.
The two walked down the hallways of the castle at a moderate pace, past various servants and guards, all of whom either bowed or told them politely where they were going. Not that they really needed telling, they had only been to there upwards of twenty times for various events and occasions. This, however, would be the first time he was going to tell them exactly what went on during that first journey.
The brothers entered the sitting room of the castle unceremoniously, strolling in like nothing at all was happening. In the room there were only three guards, all of them people Mario knew from his short time here at the castle, standing against the far wall.
The furniture in the room had been rearranged for this interview, with two long couches facing each other over a table. The table itself was almost completely occupied by an audio recording machine, while a cameraman on the other side of the far couch preoccupied themselves with adjusting the camera.
On the couch himself was a man Mario didn’t recognize, but Luigi had told him that he was famous on the late night news, not that it meant much to either of them. The couch closest to Mario, however, was occupied by the average-built body of the young Knight Toad, who apparently had arrived on time.
The brothers greeted the interviewer, Toad, as well as King, Queen and Princess Toadstool before taking a seat beside Toad on the first couch. Mario sat on the edge, hanging off of it slightly, and Luigi took a spot in the middle, sitting in his usual hunched manner. The King sat at a large chair slightly to the side of the couches and angled toward Mario, while the Queen and Princess stood next to him.
After some brief chatter from the crew, the camera man counted down to rolling, and gave a thumbs-up to the interviewer to signal that all was good.
“Good evening, I’m Samuel Campbell.” The man began, facing the camera that had managed to position itself behind Mario. “And tonight, we’re going inside. Tonight we’re going to find out exactly what happened on the first adventure, ever, of the Super Mario Bros.” Samuel turned back to the Mario Bros. “What can you tell us? How did the adventure start?” At first, no one answered. Samuel gave a hand motion for them to begin, but they still didn’t. After another moment of waiting, one of them finally spoke.
“It was two days before the castle was attacked for the first time.” Mario said coolly. He breathed on his right fist like he was trying to warm it, despite the fact that he was wearing a glove. “And this guy was trying to offer me a job I didn’t want. That’s how we got involved in all this. We took a job we didn’t want, two days before the world ended…..”