Chapter 2 Script
Super Mario Bros. in Neo Bowser City – Chapter 2: “Toad Tales”
Nintendo Force #2: March/April 2013 – David Oxford – 1/14/13
[ ] are around parts of dialogue which can be cut for space.
Opening with a splash panel which takes up the top 2/3 of the page (as in the majority [entirety?] of Super Mario Adventure comics in NP). At the top of the panel should be the “Super Mario Bros. in Neo Bowser City” logo. Thinking of a horizontal version to take up less room, maybe with “Super Mario Bros. on the left, “in” in the middle, and stacking the “Neo Bowser City” logo on the right with “Neo” on top of “Bowser City,” similar to how “Super” rests on top of “Mario Bros.”, but with the same fonts as before, to keep the feeling of the two being alien to each other, yet together.
Not sure if we should bother with the “Nintendo Force presents” bit, since we didn’t before.
Lower part of the panel: Title logo for “Toad Tales.” Thinking the two words could be stacked.
Considered having some quick profile pics at the bottom with short descriptions, but since we only have two characters appearing in this one from the last (Koopatrols aside), may forgo it this time.
As for the panel itself, we find ourselves on a street outside an alleyway with an empty item block and a trash can. A Hammer Brother from the Bros. Brigade is ordering a squadron of Koopatrols as they pass by in their hunt for the Mario Bros.
Caption: When the Mario Bros. returned home from Dinosaur Land, they were surprised to find themselves lost in a giant city… one ruled by Bowser! Outnumbered and overpowered, the Marios are now on the run…
“Keep searching, Koopatrols!” the Hammer Brother yells out. “We’ve been on their trail for hours, they can’t have gotten far! If we don’t find those Mario Bros., Ludwig will have my hammers!”
After the patrol passes, Mario and Luigi peek out from their hiding spots; Mario carefully peers over the used item block (roughly his height/width) with a determined expression, while Luigi peeks up out of the trash can with the lid on his head, a more worried look on his face.
The two begin to converse in the alley. “We can’t keep this up,” Mario says. “We don’t have anywhere to go, we haven’t seen any power-ups for miles, and we can’t just leave without helping the Princess!”
“I still don’t get it!” exclaims Luigi. “We were only gone a couple of weeks, and half of that was spent chasing down Bowser. How could THIS happen?!” A voice calls out to them from the shadows. “Psst!”
“Hey, guys, over here!” The Bros. turn and together exclaim “Toad!” as they see the Mushroom Retainer’s head poking up from a manhole.
Another voice from outside the alley is heard: “Hey, I think I heard something over here! Let’s check it out!”
Toad tells the Bros. “Quick! Down here, before they see you!”
The Bros. duck into the sewer with Toad, the manhole cover closing just before the returning patrol can see them.
Wide panel to give us a good look at the underground sewers, while Mario and Luigi both give Toad a big hug. “Toad!” they exclaim. “You’re okay!”
As he dusts himself off, Toad says “Yeah, but no thanks to you guys… no offense. Where have you two been?!”
“Us?” Mario asks. “We only went to Dinosaur Land for a vacation with the Princess!”
“Yeah,” Luigi adds. “It’s not like we were gone for long.”
“Long?!” Toad replies. “You’ve been missing for YEARS!”
“YEARS?!” the Bros. exclaim, shock across their faces.
At this point, a small “talking heads” approach can be used to show who is saying what while the focus of the panel is on showing the events which transpired.
“Things were nice and peaceful for a while after you left, but then Bowser [and his Koopalings] attacked! Without you guys to fight them off [like you always do], they just rolled in and took over the entire kingdom! Without the Princess here, nothing stopped him from claiming himself as the new ruler [and building this city]!”
“Oh, this is bad…” Luigi laments.
“We tried to fight back,” Toad continues, “but they were too much [for us]! Bowser made sure all of the blocks [around] were tapped of their power-ups, and turned any Toad who didn’t submit to him into this… [this] fungus!”
Toad holds up the Bros.’ tool belts, one in each hand. “I managed to get a hold of these, in case you guys ever returned. I knew you’d need something to help you fight back, and without any Super Mushrooms or Fire Flowers…”
[Let’s either add “Our tool belts!” before the “That’s great! Thanks, Toad!” part, or replace “That’s great!” with it.
Or maybe we should cut the mushrooms/flowers part, since we’ve already established that everything has been purged, and put it there. So it would run like:
Toad: “I managed to get a hold of these, in case you guys ever returned. I knew you’d need something to help you fight back…”
Marios (off-panel): “Our tool belts!” ]
“That’s great! Thanks, Toad!” Mario says as he and Luigi put on their tool belts.
Luigi: “Yeah, but we still need to find some answers.”
Mario: “Like how we can reach Bowser and rescue the Princess.”
Toad: “Bowser’s got the Princess?! Again?! [(aside) It's like this is turning into a cheap running gag or something...(/aside) Anyway,] I bet she’s been taken to Koopa Tower in the middle of the city! But you’ll never get in there, especially with the Koopa Troop guarding it! That place is like a fortress’s fortress!”
Mario: “Someone must know a way to get into the tower!”
Luigi: (quivering) “Preferably someone not made of metal…”
Toad: “Hmm what about Iggy? I’ve been keeping tabs on him for a while, hoping to dig up something useful. He’s probably in his lab…”
Establishing shot of Iggy’s lab at Koopa University. The Marios are climbing out of the manhole while Toad is already out, having led the way. Caption: “…at Koopsford* University!” Second caption: “To be continued…”
* Writer’s Note: We played around with different names here, and Mark suggested “Blocksford University” as a nod to the real-life Oxford University, and to some other guy. I liked it, so we went with that in the final.