Chapter 1 Script

Super Mario Bros. in Neo Bowser City – Chapter 1: “Arrival”
Nintendo Force #1 – David Oxford – 10/29/12
PGS: 7


PANEL 1 – SPLASH PANEL – Classic view of DINOSAUR LAND, ideally reflecting the “finished game” version, if possible, over the top 2/3 of the page. In the top-left corner, we have the “Nintendo Force presents…” logo.

Beneath that, we have a text box establishing the land as “Dinosaur Land, after the events of Super Mario World.” (or alternately, “after Bowser’s defeat.”)

PANEL 2 – MARIO, LUIGI, and PRINCESS PEACH are gathered around a normal green pipe with some suitcases, bags, and things. All are happy as they are just finishing up their vacation, and several YOSHIS of different colors have gathered to see their new friends off.

After fighting Bowser again, a vacation’s just what I needed! But I’m ready to get back home to the Mushroom Kingdom!

You said it, bro! After two weeks, I’ll bet we have a million calls waiting for us!

PANEL 3 – Same layout as the previous panel. PRINCESS is already most of the way into the warp pipe, with LUIGI close behind. MARIO is waving to the YOSHIS as he says one last good-bye.

So long, everybody! Maybe we’ll get to visit again sometime soon! See you next time!

PANEL 4 – Same shot as the previous two panels. MARIO finally jumps into the pipe after the others, with his word balloon trailing after.

Here we goooo~!


PANEL 1 – 3/4 overheard shot. MARIO exits the warp pipe back in the Mushroom Kingdom. Or at least, what he still thinks is the Mushroom Kingdom. LUIGI and PRINCESS PEACH have arrived only moments prior, and both are taken aback and in awe at the site spread out before them. MARIO is still focused on them, while they are looking at a slight angle up and towards the viewer/”camera.”

Hey guys, what’s…

PANEL 2 – Close up on MARIO as he looks up and out over what lies before him at the same angle as the others, speechless.


PANEL 3 – SPLASH PAGE across pages two and three. We’re behind MARIO, LUIGI, and PRINCESS, seeing what they see as the vast expanse of what is now NEO BOWSER CITY spreads out before them. The weather is stormy and raining, with most light being provided by the neon lights of the city and the occasional bolt of lightning in the sky. Overall, it should stand as a stark contrast to the sunny natural setting of DINOSAUR LAND we just saw.

Standing prominently in the center of it all is KOOPA TOWER, a huge fortress-like skyscraper, acting as a focal point of the shot and the city around it. And it is clearly BOWSER’S tower, as it bears his insignia atop it. The tower itself could have a wall around its outer perimeter (if you think it would fit).

If possible, a few sights from upcoming chapters can be shown, such as [spoilers omitted]. BOWSER propaganda depicting him as leader is welcome, too, especially if inspired by the movie (ask for references if needed).

In addition to the NEO BOWSER CITY visuals from Mario Kart 7, there is the stringy fungus draped, hanging, and growing around the city as well, though it may not be as apparent from this shot.

At the bottom of PAGE THREE, we have the logo which follows on from the “Nintendo Force presents…” logo on the first page, reading “SUPER MARIO BROS. in NEO BOWSER CITY” Ideally, the fonts for “SUPER MARIO BROS.” is distinct from the “NEO BOWSER CITY” font, thus giving a further impression of the MARIOS being in an environment foreign to them.

…going on…?

Writer’s Mock-up:



PANEL 1 – MARIO, LUIGI, and PRINCESS PEACH are walking down one of the main streets of NEO BOWSER CITY, trying to take in everything while still in disbelief at what they are seeing. Citizens of the city (KOOPA TROOPAS, GOOMBAS, etc.) are keeping their distance as the trio walks on, eyes on the interlopers with looks of fear, concern, worry, etc.


I don’t get it! We were supposed to arrive back in the Mushroom Kingdom! What is this place?

Maybe someone messed with that pipe’s plumbing?

I’m more worried about the way everyone is acting…

PANEL 2 – Close-up of the side of PRINCESS PEACH’S face to the left side, to give us an idea of what she’s looking at. Citizens continue to act awkward around the group; hiding, running, ducking into their shells and nearby buildings, etc.

We just got here, and everyone is acting afraid of us.

And I wonder if there are any Toads here?

PANEL 3 – From behind, we see LUIGI pointing ahead of him towards an incoming squad of KOOPA TROOP soldiers (KOOPATROL, BROS. BRIGADE, MECHA-GOOMBAS) with a panicked look on his face. MARIO has a similar look of concern on his face, while PEACH is quickly turning her head from where she was looking in the last panel to see what LUIGI is talking about.

Uh, Princess? I think we have bigger things to worry about right now!

PANEL 4 – MARIO is turning to look behind them, when he sees more of the KOOPA TROOP coming from the opposite direction.

They’re coming up behind us, too!

PANEL 5 – (stretched across the bottom of page four) We see a top-down view of the city street. A crowd of troops on the left side and on the right, with a large open area around the MARIO BROS. and the PRINCESS (who are indistinct in this shot, save for their isolation between the sides of troops). There may be some alleyways between the buildings, but nothing immediately accessible. Some air support (LAKITU Cloud Copters? Do we want to use those?) is flying above, closer to the viewer.

(8) (from a pointy burst-style word balloon in large letters)


PANEL 1 – MARIO and LUIGI stand defensively in profile on either side of PRINCESS PEACH; MARIO on the left of the panel, LUIGI on the right, ready to face the KOOPA TROOP.

Don’t worry, Princess! We won’t let anyone through!

You’ll be safe as long as you stick with us!

PANEL 2 – Same shot as before, only now all we see of PRINCESS PEACH is the bottom of her dress (and perhaps a bit of her shoes hanging down) as she is lifted up by an off-panel force.

PANEL 3 – Same shot again, though if you’re into the anime thing, maybe a sweatdrop on each MARIO BROTHER’S head/face as they realize something’s wrong.


PANEL 4 – SPLASH PANEL as we see BOWSER with his new wings hovering over the pair, PRINCESS PEACH firmly in his grasp (perhaps under an arm, reaching out to the MARIOS). Bowser has an evil, joyous, cackling expression on his face as we see the MARIO BROS. gaping up at him in disbelief (perhaps with a Super Mario Adventures-styled bug-eyed expression? See: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Personally, I think we should leave the waistcoat off for now, maybe make this the one shot to show off some of the damage he’s taken from his battles with the MARIO BROS. and conquering the kingdom. We can tone it down later, but for now, we want to strike a fearsome image.

(3) BOWSER (jagged burst balloon or like a sound effect across the top of the panel)

Mario! Luigi!

PANEL 5 – View from above BOWSER’s front (on the right of the panel) as he looks down at the MARIO BROS. below (on the left).

I was wondering if you would ever show up! And now that you have, I finally have everything I need to make my control of this kingdom absolute!

PANEL 6 – Mirror view of last panel, only now BOWSER (left) is addressing his troops on the right.

The rest of you… I have other things to attend to, so make sure they don’t get out of here alive!

PANEL 7 – From ground level behind the MARIO BROS., we see BOWSER flying off with PRINCESS PEACH away from them as the KOOPA TROOP is visible in the background. BOWSER cackles all the while.


PANEL 1 – MARIO begins the chase, dragging LUIGI along by the hand.

C’mon, Luigi! We can’t let Bowser get away!

PANEL 2 – MARIO and LUIGI come to a sudden, screeching halt as they remember they’re surrounded, with LUDWIG VON KOOPA standing tall and imposing over the BROS. in front of the KOOPA TROOP. Remember that LUDWIG should be bordering on BOWSER’s height, much like in SMB3.


Going so soon? I don’t think so… MECHA-GOOMBAS!

PANEL 3 – As MARIO and LUIGI back away slightly, a pair of robotic GOOMBAS emerge from the KOOPA TROOP, eyes fixed on the BROS. They should be a decent height; not quite as tall as MARIO or LUIGI, but more than half their height.

PANEL 4 – After taking only a moment to see what they’re up against, MARIO leaps into action with LUIGI close behind as they jump and prepare to stomp the MECHA-GOOMBAS.

It’ll take more than your tin-plated toadies to stop us, Ludwig!

Let’s go, bro!

PANEL 5 – MARIO and LUIGI come down on top of the MECHA-GOOMBAS with a loud “THUD” sound.

PANEL 6 – MARIO and LUIGI are standing in a stomping position atop the decidedly UNstomped MECHA-GOOMBAS, looking nonplussed.


This usually works…

PANEL 7 – (split?) The MECHA-GOOMBAS open up to reveal weaponry: One deploys a SMB3 Airship-style cannon on a robotic arm right in MARIO’s face, while the other produces a spiked ball-and-chain it begins to whirl overhead.


PANEL 8 – MARIO and LUIGI leap off their respective MECHA-GOOMBAS, not a moment too soon as the spiked ball-and-chain crunches the cannon MECHA-GOOMBA and the cannon blasts the spiked ball-and-chain MECHA-GOOMBA.


PANEL 9 – MARIO lands in a ready stance, while LUIGI’s is a little less graceful, but none the worse for wear.

That wasn’t so bad! Who’s next?


PANEL 1 – LUDWIG points at MARIO and LUIGI, ordering KOOPATROLs (spikes gleaming) to move in.


Show these two bumblers they aren’t quite as sharp as they think they are, and make sure they get the point!

PANEL 2 – MARIO prepares to leap in for round two, but LUIGI grabs a hold of him (perhaps by wrapping his arms around MARIO’s leg?) to stop him. MARIO is looking back at LUIGI, surprised.

Luigi! What’re you doing?!

PANEL 3 – LUIGI, ever practical, shows a worried/panicked expression on his face as he pleads for MARIO to listen to reason.

Mario, just look at those things!

We’d never get past their spikes, and even if we did, they can’t be any easier to stomp than those Goombas were!

PANEL 4 – MARIO looks back at the incoming KOOPATROLs, their spikes still gleaming, with a conflicted look on his face. He doesn’t want to run, but reluctantly accepts/realizes that LUIGI is right.

(4) LUIGI (off-panel)
…we can’t stay here!

PANEL 5 – MARIO spots an unguarded alleyway, their only means of escape.

You’re right…

PANEL 6 – MARIO suddenly grabs LUIGI’s hand again and darts for the alleyway; LUIGI is being dragged along so quickly his feet aren’t even touching the ground, his legs trailing behind them.

…let’s-a go!

PANEL 7 – SPLASH PANEL across the bottom of the page as MARIO and LUIGI (who now has his footing) run through the alleyway towards the viewer, the KOOPA TROOP hot behind them with LUDWIG ordering their pursuit.

(7) LUDWIG (large jagged balloon across the top of the panel with large, bold, italicized text)

(8) TEXT BOX (lower right of the panel)

To be continued…