11. Terrible Torture
"...OK, guys, the joke's over now so if you would just untie me..."
"GRAWH! Don't look at me! What makes you think I've done this? If I was going to do a joke, it wouldn't be this crap. And it would be more evil."
"Hey! I've got to get back to the castle; Toadsworth going to be worried sick!"
"I blame you for this, bro." Luigi narrowed his eyes at his older brother who was trying and failing to wrench himself free. In any case, the ropes were held in place by magic and no amount of wriggling was going to get him out.
"What did I do?" said Mario angrily. "I swear to goodness that I didn't do anything! OK, so I don't know how me, you, Peach, Bowser, Toad and Yoshi managed to end up tied against this rather comfortable sofa in front of a massive widescreen television but it can't be for any good reasons!"
"I am concerned as to why anybody would want us here in the first place," said Toad. "I mean, I'm no big hero like you lot and Yoshi here was just visiting. Just what were you doing in the kitchen earlier anyway?"
Yoshi was decent enough to look guilty. "I was searching for some Peach Cake. It's supposed to be really tasty and-"
"THE CAKE IS A LIE!" screamed Toad. Peach slapped him. No more cake for Toad.
"What do you suppose is going to be shown?" asked Mario. "I bet you 10 coins that it is going to be an announcement from some crazy, megalomaniac bugger who wants to take over the world and everything, you can't do anything, I am the winner, hahahahaha, blah, blah, blah."
"Personally, seeing as I'm stuck here," said Bowser. "I'm hoping to catch some of that X-rated stuff." He chuckled evilly to himself, with Peach thankfully unaware as she argued with Toad and Yoshi over the finer points of cake.
"'Blue-shelled Lovers' and 'Hot, Sexy, Bob-ombs?'" said Luigi knowledgeably.
"LUIGI!" shouted Mario, aghast.
"What?" said Luigi with only a trace of a blush. "I can read TV magazines you know!"
"MWHAHAHAHA!" cackled a voice out of thin air. "Fear me as I lead you to your doom; as I watch you all tremble before my mightiness! As I deliver unto you the punishment that you all deserve!"
A shadow materialised upwards from the carpet and with a deafening crack of energy and a flash of bright green light, changed into a more solid figure, one that they all recognised except Yoshi. It gently fingered a red pendant that hung around its neck on a chain and it also wore a dark blue robe. The figure was wearing a glistening crown as well; something that Bowser was not amused by. He tried to breathe fire at it but there was a magical barrier in the way. Dammit.
"EEK!" cried Yoshi. "It's a horrible warty toad!"
"No," said Toad, clearly offended. "It's a horrible warty frog. Get it right."
"Wart?" said Mario, confused. "What the hell are you doing here? You were supposed to be a one-time villain."
The figure was indeed, Wart; spurned villain of the ages and master magician. He had brought them all here for a very good reason and they were not leaving until justice had been carried out.
"Yes! It is I, Wart! And at last, I am here to unleash my revenge against all of you!"
"Oh, come on!" snapped Bowser. "You aren't still sore over the whole villainy business are you? I mean, just because I'm the President of the Awesome Villains Club and you're not but hey! You're still part of it so what are you complaining about?"
"I'm a villain; it's practically my job to complain!" Wart snapped. "Anyway, I'm a far better villain than you'll ever be! You still haven't managed to kidnap the Princess and keep her kidnapped for pity's sake. Why I was dropped over the likes of you, I'll never know. So I absolutely hate you!"
Bowser gave him the thumbs up. "Very villain-like. Love it."
"Shut up. And I don't like you," he said to Peach. "Because you helped to defeat me even though you get kidnapped every other time!"
"Charmed, I'm sure," said Peach.
"And I hate Toad because he reminds me of vegetables, I hate Mario because he gets all of the attention and I don't. ("Hear, hear," Luigi muttered.) And I hate Luigi because he is Mario's brother and wears cooler green than me and came up with the idea on how to beat me in the first place!"
"Yes, well, you would install a machine that spits out veggies in your own boss room," said Luigi.
"What did I do?" cried Yoshi. "I've never even met you or heard of you before!"
"And I hate you because you don't know me and you're their friend," said Wart.
"Oh, great, thanks a bloody bunch..."
"So what mastery of villainy are you planning?" questioned Bowser. "Torture by magic? Lava pits? Great chainsaws of destruction? Chain Chomps?"
"Death by chocolate?" asked Yoshi hopefully.
"It's obviously to do with the TV," said Mario. "He's gonna show us a documentary saying how totally boring and useless he is. I'm scared now!"
Wart whipped out a remote control and switched the TV on. He whizzed the adverts on his specially-made DVD before reaching the Episode Selection and Play All screen. Some ultra-cheesy music played in the background. Mario and Luigi were the first to realise exactly what was currently showing and they blanched. Mario was really scared now. Luigi was as pale as a Boo.
"Y-y-you wouldn't," Mario stuttered. Wart grinned nastily.
"Oh, I would," he said. "And Bowser even managed to steal my minions from me in this! Well, I'm getting back at you, you know. And after the cartoons comes the film."
Everybody suddenly knew what he was talking about and they screamed for mercy. This torture was going to be too horrible to contemplate, especially for the brothers as they were in more episodes than the others. Wart cackled even more madly.
"I have also warped time around this space so that I can fit every last episode and the film in just two hours. I have other business you know and if time ran normally, it would take too long so I do hope you enjoy this spectacle. Oh, and if you keep trying to cover your eyes or ears, my magic will force your arms by their sides." Wart laughed and turned the volume up a little. "Goodbye for now!"
Wart vanished from the spot just as the first episode began to roll on the screen. Yoshi saw a bowl of fruit on his left and quickly snaffled it up; he needed something to take his mind of the terror and he had only been in thirteen of them.
"Bastard..." muttered Bowser.
"Why us?" moaned Luigi. "I'm never gonna live this down!"
"Who on earth made these?" asked Toad, trembling all over.
"Dunno. From some parallel dimension I think where they don't have a clue about us. At all," Mario grimaced. "And for some reason, they thought that we came from a place called Brooklyn."
"Which is ridiculous," growled Luigi. "We were born and bred in the Mushroom Kingdom and we're proud of it!"
"Yeah, and Kamek tried to kidnap you two when you were babies," said Peach.
"Precisely," said Luigi. "You wouldn't get a Magikoopa in Brooklyn anyway."
"Oh, please no..." groaned Mario. "The voice is entirely wrong. I sound like I smoke twenty a day."
When the live action scene and the song of ultra-cheesiness came on; everybody stared at the screen with morbid fascination. Yoshi thanked the heavens that he wasn't in too many episodes. Peach, Bowser and Toad equally thanked the heavens that they weren't in the live-action scenes. Mario and Luigi gaped on, unable to believe what they were hearing or seeing:
"Hey paisanos! It's the Super Mario Brothers Super Show!
We're the Mario Brothers, and plumbing's our game
We're not like the others who get all the fame
If your sink is in trouble, you can call us on the double
We're faster than the others, you'll be hooked on the Brothers Unh!
H-hooked on the Brothers
Gimme gimme, gimme gimme
Yo, you're in for a treat, so hang on to your seat
Get ready for adventure and remarkable feats
You'll meet Koopas, the Troopas, the Princess, and the others
Hangin' with the plumbers, you'll be hooked on the brothers, to the brink!
I say a h-h-h-h-hooked on the brothers!
It's the Mario Brothers and plumbin's their game
Found the secret warp zone while working on the drain
Lend the princess a hand in the Mushroom Land.
Comin' atcha with the plumbers, you'll be hooked on the brothers!
Nooooooooow, Evil Koopa and his Troopas are up to misbehavin'
They kidnapped the princess; Mushroom Land needs savin'
Abusin' and confusin' everybody he discovers
They can't help but be hooked on the brothers! Unh!"
Mario and Luigi slowly breathed out the fear and embarrassment that was growing rapidly. But there was more of that to come.
"What. The. Hell. Was. That?" said Toad.
"I feel for you, guys, seriously," said Yoshi.
"I'm sorry, you found a secret warp zone in somebody's bath?" said Bowser disbelieving. "And they called me Koopa! I am Bowser! Almighty King of the Koopas! And I am not green like a toad!"
"This is going to kill me..." said Mario as their 'lives' as plumbers in Brooklyn played out on screen. "My reputation as a hero will be flushed down the toilet at this rate."
"Please don't make any plumbing references," said Luigi.
"I hate to say this you two, but on there, you are really ugly," said Peach, wrinkling her nose.
"Glad you said that," said Mario. "Because if you thought they looked good, I swear that Bowser should set fire to me."
"I would but I can't!" cried Bowser.
Time crawled painfully slowly and as the live-action ended; the cartoon sequence then appeared in all of its garish glory.
"Do I look fat to you?" asked Toad out loud.
"Hey, I knocked all of the Koopas out and the title goes around you and already they're like: 'Yay, Mario!'" muttered Luigi. "If I'm going to suffer this then at least I want some recognition for doing something useful."
"And you're complaining about it?" said Mario.
"Well, this goes into real life as well, you glory-hog."
"OK, Birdo does not fly," said Yoshi. "She can do a lot of things but flying isn't one of them!"
"The colours of our clothes are the wrong way around too," said Luigi.
Suddenly, a table stuffed with food and drink appeared before them. Thankful for this, everybody dived in and found the note saying: 'Hey, I'm not that cruel.'
"OK, this is the way to go when it comes to goddamn evil plots," said Bowser as he chomped on a chicken leg. "I'd like to file this for future reference but it would mean mortifying myself too and that's a big no-no."
"I don't need a Plumber's Log," said Mario. "Who on earth would be so cheap as to use a thing like that? Hero's Log, I can get but Plumber's Log? How lame can you get?"
A few episodes passed with varying but always incredibly high levels of embarrassment and ultra-cheesiness. By the time Episode 6, The Great Gladiator Gig made its unwelcome appearance; Mario tried to hide his face with his cap. Unfortunately, it was blasted off after approximately 1.3 seconds. Luigi shook his head in utter disbelief at the wrongness of it all. Bowser tried to set fire to the TV when his visage appeared wearing a purple gladiator robe of some sort. He looked ugly and green all over too. Toad took out his camera and snapped it.
"This will teach you not to keep attacking us!" said Toad severely. "I'll... I'll photocopy it and show it to your minions!"
"Do that you little pipsqueak and I'll photocopy you lot, put them all over my castle so my minions can laugh themselves to death and play darts with them!"
One of Wart's minions, Tryclyde, came out holding a pitchfork in one of its mouths whilst the onscreen Mario spoke to his brother, Weegee. Luigi's eye twitched.
"If anyone calls me by that name, they are dead," he growled.
"Hey, whoa, take it easy," said Yoshi with a mouth full of grapes. "This is killing me watching this anyway!"
"Has anyone considered the thought that THERE AREN'T ANY OTHER TOADS ABOUT?" Toad screamed. "This is supposed to be the Mushroom Kingdom after all!"
"Hate to break it to you but we're not in the Mushroom Kingdom anymore," said Luigi. "And Mario, why are you so obsessed with food in these cartoons?"
Mario stared at the bowl of spaghetti on screen and in his hands then threw it away saying: "I don't feel so hungry anymore..."
"OK, so there are Toads," said Toad when they had reached the episode Jungle Fever. "But they look even worse than me!"
"God, I feel sorry for those Shy Guys," said Yoshi. "They look nowhere tasty enough to eat! But they do look kinda flabby..."
"Excuse me?" asked Peach. "But I'm still actually a princess in this so why am I traipsing around the entire country when I should be safe in Toadtown governing and things like that? And why is the witch doctor wearing white gloves and yet he is half-naked?"
"She has a point," said Bowser. "And why on earth do you guys wear white gloves anyway?"
"Trade secret," said Mario.
"We have hidden powers," said Luigi. "You do not want us to unleash them."
"No, of course not," grumbled Bowser. "Like you haven't handed me my shell already..."
"Whatever these guys got paid to do this for, it clearly wasn't enough," said Mario. "I don't know what's happened to your voices and seriously, whatever ever has happened to my handsome, melodic voice..." Luigi gagged on his drink although Mario didn't take notice of him.
One of the other episodes they watched was titled 'Count Koopula.' Normally, Luigi wasn't too keen on the horror films so when Bowser's minions became 'monsters' (something which Bowser practically sobbed at) and the wine that was spilled (at least they thought it was wine), looked an awful lot like blood, Luigi wasn't best amused. Still, at least Toad had a somewhat epic looking stance while holding a bottle although he could also have achieved that whilst drunk; a state which he wanted to visit right now.
"Hey, your Goombas are zombies," Toad commented. Bowser sobbed even more.
"I hate leaks, somebody call me a plumber!" warbled the on-screen Mario. Mario face-palmed himself while Luigi could not help but grin at it. "They look like they're water-boarding me..." he groaned.
Sometime later, Toad whooped cheerfully. "Now that's the first series finished!"
"Yeah, but we've still got a crap load more to suffer through," snarled Bowser. "And what the f*** have they done to my kids! Why? WHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?"
"You're still in the cartoons, Toad," said Peach.
"At least there aren't any more live-action sequences," Mario remarked. Everybody muttered in agreement over this.
"Hey, we wouldn't argue like that..." said Luigi as the episode 'Oh, Brother' rolled on screen almost devilishly. "We would argue over important stuff like you not letting me go on an adventure with you because you're such a glory-hog and you like the red carpet treatment all to yourself."
"Yeah, that's true," said Mario before he realised what Luigi said. "Hey, do you want me to pull your moustache in the way you're pulling mine on there? Because I will!"
Luigi covered his own luxurious moustache. "No way, I'm proud of this."
Bowser took out a notebook and began scribbling down some new plot ideas despite their complete and utter ludicrousness such as the brain-washing helmet device that his son, 'Kookie Von Koopa' had made. Hell, it would probably blow on the first try.
"Now that's just bloody weird..." Mario muttered. "I mean, you wouldn't need to do that if you wanted me to fix your plumbing. All you have to do is ask and pay."
"Yeah, but I'm President of the Awesome Villains' Club. We don't pay for anything. Well, hardly anything."
"Least I did some rescuing," said Luigi. "The cartoons can't be too bad then."
"Whoa! Luigi!" said Mario suddenly very concerned. "This stuff must be turning your head! Are you feeling alright? You must be a bit woozy. We need a doctor. Oh damn, we can't... Still, I'm worried for you, Luigi. Seriously, are you OK?" Mario placed a hand across Luigi's forehead to check his temperature.
"No," said Luigi. "I feel like I'm going mad!"
"You're not the only one," moaned Yoshi. "And I'm not even in these!"
Everybody tried to watch through the rest of the episodes and then up came 'Life's Ruff.' It was clear to Luigi that since his brother didn't turn up on the screen in the first minute that meant...
"Oh my god!" cried Mario ecstatically. "I'm not actually in this one! I'M NOT IN THIS ONE! PRAISE BE GRAMBI! HALLELUIAH!" Mario started celebrating wildly whilst Luigi covered his face in complete and utter embarrassment. "I'm not in this onnnne! I'm not in this onnnne!" he chanted.
"Shut up!" snapped Luigi. "I get turned into a dog in this. A dog."
"A rough-looking one too but hey, life's rough!" Mario nearly keeled over laughing. Luigi punched him and they both started fighting. Peach sighed melodramatically and slapped them both.
Now Toad started celebrating when the series had finished and he found out that he wasn't in the next lot but he couldn't quite put his groove on due to lack of space. Still, he cheered and whooped. Yoshi sobbed when he realised that it was his turn of torment next.
"I sound like a baby! And my snout looks really weird! What have we done to deserve this?" Nobody said anything but Mario started sniggering as they were watching 'Fire Sale' and everyone was falling and it seriously looked like he was looking up Peach's dress. Fortunately, Peach was too busy comforting Yoshi to notice this. Then the on-screen Luigi seemed to plummet to his doom.
"Oh, great, you kill me," said Luigi. "Thanks a bunch, Mario."
"It gets you out of the episode," said Mario. "You're welcome."
"Nu-huh," said Toad, who was happy now that he knew he was no longer in the cartoons. "You can't actually die, you'll be rescued.
"Oh, whoop-de-doo," said Luigi in the most sarcastic tone possible.
"There aren't any cave people in Dinosaur Land!" screeched Yoshi. "What kind of idiot came up with this? There are no cave people! They look human and we know there are hardly any humans on this planet, at all! And with very good reason! Oh- er, no offence guys..."
"None taken," said Mario, Luigi and Peach.
"Hurrah! The last episode!" Bowser announced. "Except there's still the film to come..."
"'Mama Luigi?'" groaned Luigi. "Oh, give me a break. Sheesh, Yoshi's a bit old for bedtime stories anyway!
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" Mario laughed manically. "Mama Luigi! Mama Luigi! Mama Luigi! Oh, that's priceless! That's genius! I'm gonna make that an internet meme!"
"King Mario of Cramalot," said Luigi. Mario shut up.
"You're a greedy sod, Yoshi," said Toad. "Do you know that?"
"Thanks a lot..."
Finally, the credits rolled the cartoon and everybody cheered. Mario and Luigi hugged each other whilst Toad opened a bottle of champagne and started glugging it down. However...
"MWAHAHAHA!" echoed the voice of Wart. "Don't forget, you still have the Super Mario Bros. film to watch! My torture of you is not over until the fat plumber sings!" Everybody stared at Mario who stared back blankly.
"Sing, goddamn it Mario, SING!" shouted Bowser.
"It was an expression!" cried Mario, wringing his hands desperately. "I can't do anything about this any more than you can!"
"So we have to sit through this one as well..." mumbled Yoshi.
"Hope I don't have a big part..." sighed Toad.
The film, in a nutshell, was pure suicidal mortification. Mario and Luigi were once again, cast in Brooklyn only this time, Mario was a hell of a lot older than Luigi and was balding. Luigi was so young as to not have a moustache, something that Luigi thought was the most horrific thing in the entire film.
They ended up in the Mushroom Kingdom by ways not of a secret warp zone in a bathroom but by going through a strange dimension. Peach wept over the fact that she was cast as 'Daisy' (entirely wrong) and that the Mushroom Kingdom was really an industrial wasteland, a sacrilege to their beautiful home. Where in the heck were the Toads and the Koopas and everything? Toad gasped when his on-screen equivalent appeared looking like a human of all things.
Then when they saw the Goombas for the first time... everybody wished for the return of the Zombie Goombas again, it was horrendous. Bowser was shocked into silence upon the fact that he also appeared human, reptilian-like but human. He was also rather seedy, saying things like, "I love mud, it's dirty and it's clean." Bowser started twitching madly. Toad had to cover up Yoshi's eyes when what was quite frankly a brown, reject dinosaur appeared to represent Yoshi who wasn't even in that particular adventure. Luigi was finally losing it as his character had a developing romance with 'Daisy' which resulted in even more screen time for him, including kissing scenes and for some reason, him parading about without his shirt in the so-called Koopahari Desert. Mario fainted when his character attempted to get some important item of a woman he was dancing with and he had to grab the thing with his teeth and it lay just above her bosom. So much for the PG rating. Both of the brothers were terribly offended by the fact that they were wearing special boots for their jumping, pah! They did not need special jumping boots. And there was a scene involving the Goombas and the Mario Brothers in an elevator which was so hilariously bad that even Toad (whose charcter had got turned into a 10-foot Goomba earlier), had to chuckle or cry or both.
In the end, Bowser got turned into a dinosaur by his own de-evolution device before being turned into a primordial puddle of slime. Mario and Luigi had saved the day, Toad got turned back into what he was from that horrible Goomba and Yoshi was still as ugly as ever but at least he wasn't stabbed in the end. As the credits ran, the magic barrier was broken allowing them all to move again. Mario ran around the room screaming whilst Luigi simply laughed insanely. Toad and Yoshi wept profusely; Peach prayed that they would never have to see that lot again while Bowser set fire to the TV and destroyed it utterly.
Wart cackled in the background. It had been a good day for him.