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Mikha

A new interpretation of Mario's story

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A friend of mine and I are working on a game. This will be a Mario rpg, but not like other Mario games. We don't have the necessary skills needed to code the game right now, so we are working on other aspects of the game until I (since I'll be the coder) get educated a bit. My friend will be most involved with the art, and I'll be most involved with the coding and story. We collaborate a lot, but I'm taking the initiative to write the story down. Anyway, here is the intro to the story. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I was awakened by the loud thud my body made as I hit the wet ground. I had just fallen out of some sort of portal that had opened up below my feet just as I felt myself loosing consciousness. “What happened?” I asked as I furiously checked my body for injuries. I didn't find any, and in fact I felt no pain save for the headache caused by my head hitting the ground--which was surprising since I had just fought off a gang of burley thugs not 2 minutes ago. As I got up I found myself in a clearing in the middle of a forest as it started to rain. “What the hell? Where am I?”, I asked myself. I started saying, “This seems so famil-”, but suddenly, a voice appeared behind me and said, “No, this isn't hell, Mario.” I turned around and saw a man standing in the forest, but it was too dark for me to see his face. The man said, “As you will find out later, it is much worse than hell,” and then as suddenly as he appeared, he vanished. My heart began to race as I realized that I wasn't dreaming. This was real. I was starting to think it couldn't get any worse, but then the formerly-gentle rain turned into a downpour and the lightning and thunder was becoming more intense by the second. Then it started. I jerked around to hear a sound coming out of the forest, a sound that was getting more violent by the second. As the sound got louder, the earth quaked more. I felt an intense desire to run, but I was frozen by fear of what might be coming. Up in the lightening-illuminated night-sky I saw what looked like a flock of birds flying away from the sound, but they seemed too big to be birds. Running from the forest came all manner of strange creature, including colorful lizards that ran on two legs. One of these lizards cried out, “It's Mario!” Then from behind them came a monster that seemed like it could only come out of a child's nightmare. A massive green beast with huge fangs and bright red hair screamed, “KILL HIM!”, and in an instant I ran as fast as I could to get away. I wasn't fast enough though, and the lizards caught up to me and one yelled, “Get on me Mario!” I had no time to think, so I leaped onto the lizard's back and held onto him as tightly as I could as he continued running through the forest. I looked behind and saw sword-wielding turtles riding colossal three-horned dinosaurs that I had only seen in movies. They were catching up quickly, with the massive green beast right behind continuously screaming, “KILL HIM! KILL HIM!” As we left the edge of the forest I could see the huge birds get closer, and it became obvious that they weren't birds, they were the same turtles that were chasing us from behind, but with wings! As we continued to run I could see that we were losing ground quickly--from behind we had an army of reptiles, and in front of us we had a cliff! As the flying turtles swooped down to slash us with their swords, the lizards shot their tongues out of their mouths, swallowed the turtles whole and sprouted wings just in time to fall down the cliff and fly to safety, narrowly escaping the enemies from behind. Not all the lizards made it, and they plummeted down the cliff and into the water below along with some of the turtles and dinosaurs. As we flew away, the green beast made the loudest, blood-curdling howl of anger I had ever heard and blew a ball of fire which hit one of the lizards near me. We escaped, just barely. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I plan on translating that into something more readable as a script, but for right now I'd like to have your opinion of the intro and my writing. Let me have it. [Edited by - Mikha on August 16, 2005 3:53:54 PM]

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I meant to post this yesterday (something wrong with some javascript methinks, I couldn't reply), but Mario is writing this in his diary. I suppose it could have some affect on the criticisms of my writing.

Since nobody had anything to say, I suppose I can ask some questions.

Do you think I'm too descriptive at times? Not descriptive enough? In an effort to describe the setting I may have slowed down the action a bit.

Does the action run smoothly and quickly, or are there some rough edges that make it feel weird? I sacrificed descriptions for speed because of the type of scene this is.

You think I should tone down the use of a large vocabulary in these kinds of scenes? On the one hand, it might be distracting if Mario kept saying 'big' for everything, but perhaps it is more distracting the way I am doing it.

Is there something in this that leaves you hanging, expecting more information? I imagine that the first part leaves you asking, "Where is he? How'd he get here?", but that is something that is actually explained at the end of the story.

I was just thinking that perhaps I should change the format a bit to reflect the nature of a diary. I've never kept a diary myself (although I've meant to), so that could be why I didn't think of this sooner.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Mikha
I was awakened by the loud thud my body made as I hit the wet ground. I had just fallen out of some sort of portal that had opened up below my feet just as I felt myself loosing consciousness. “What happened?” I asked as I furiously checked my body for injuries. I didn't find any, and in fact I felt no pain save for the headache caused by my head hitting the ground--which was surprising since I had just fought off a gang of burley thugs not 2 minutes ago.


This paragraph seems harder to read that the rest of your story. Try telling it in cronilogical order and see if it's more clear. I found I had to read it slower and think about it backwards.

Quote:
Original post by Mikha
I looked behind and saw sword-wielding turtles riding colossal three-horned dinosaurs that I had only seen in movies.


I guess this is my personal opinion, but I think the fact that mario watches movies (let alone about dinosaurs) rather odd. If your basing it on Nintendo's creation of marios world, I'd suggest relating it to something mario saw in kingdom X.

So far so good though. Please continue to post more of your story.

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I wrote up more of the backstory and modified some of the formatting and writing. I fixed the first paragraph as well. While I was writing the backstory I decided I needed to look up how to make decent dialogue and monologue, so I google some classical short stories and read a few of them to get the feel for what good dialogue is like. I also decided that I won't be recording Mario as he writes his diary, but rather while he writes an autobiography that includes many quotes from his diary. Basically, Mario is filling in all the blanks that his diary left.

Quote:
Quote:
July 5th, 1985

Today the world lost its most noble citizen. Rospo, the man I considered my father, is gone, murdered by heartless thugs who wanted his money. Pauline is devastated, she is now alone, the last in her family. I can't imagine her pain at this moment.

Luigi didn't seem as upset as I would have expected. He is probably hiding his heartache, just like he has done since we left home so long ago. I'm worried about him, but Rospo whispered something to me before he died, something I can't stop thinking about:

“Mario, take care of my little girl for me. Don't worry about Luigi, he'll be just fine. His battle will soon be over.”

The funeral is in 2 days, but I'm not sure if I don't think I can go to it.
The bastards who did this to him will pay.


I took Rospo's death badly. When I got home to my small apartment in Brooklyn, I sat on the couch, stared at the ceiling, and drowned my sorrows in alcohol. After a while of that, I decided to write this diary entry, and at the end vowed vengeance against those who killed Rospo, but I never pursued that cause any farther than on writing. All I did for the next two days was work and drink, and I drank a lot more than I worked. I didn't even go to the funeral, I just sat on my couch, drank and stared at the ceiling. Later after the funeral, Luigi came to my apartment, pounded on the door and said, “Mario, open up! Mario! Let me in! Why didn't you come Mario? WHY?!” I didn't answer; I just kept thinking about what Rospo had said to me.

“Take care of Pauline? She's an adult, let her take care of herself.” I said to myself, but as soon as I uttered those words I felt a sharp pain in my stomach. I couldn't believe I just said that, that I would just let Pauline fend for herself instead of taking care of her like Rospo asked me to do on his death bed. How could I ignore the request of a dying man that was like a father to me? He looked out for me, why shouldn't I look out for his daughter? How could I not go to his funeral?

I rocked back and forth on the edge of the couch as I squeezed the bottle of beer in my hand as hard as I could and whispered, “I'm horrible...I'm horrible...how...how could I...”

“HOW COULD I?!” I screamed as I leaped from the couch, shattered the bottle of beer against the wall, destroyed the tv, couch, table, lamp, anything around me. As I stared at the destruction I had brought upon myself, I collapsed on my hands and knees and wept.

“...how could I...how could I...” I kept repeating.
I got up, put on my coat, and walked to the bar; I had broken every bottle of alcohol I had. I sat down on a bench and ordered my drink.
“A whiskey, bartender.”

As the bartender poured my glass, I looked to over to my left and saw Pauline and Luigi at one of the corner tables. I hadn't seen Pauline drink before, let alone in a bar. I thought of going over and apologizing, but I was too ashamed of not going to the funeral. I just kept drinking and ordering whiskey, occasionally glancing over at Pauline and Luigi. After about my 4th shot, I looked over and saw Pauline get out of her chair and run out of the bar, but Luigi stayed behind. Something was obviously wrong, so I decided to follow her and keep track of her. As I got out of the bar I realized that it was nighttime. Pauline was still wearing the black dress she had on at the funeral, which made it difficult to see her as she walked down the sidewalk. I knew it was dangerous to be walking in Brooklyn at nighttime, so I tried to stay as close as possible without her seeing me. I kept following her for at least 10 minutes, until I lost her as she took a corner. I got worried and started to run down the sidewalk to try to catch up to her; I thought she might have already turned another corner before I turned the last one, but when I got to the other corner I couldn't see her anywhere. She didn't live in Brooklyn, so I knew something was wrong.

I ran back to see if I had missed a turn somewhere that she could had taken, and as I got close to an alleyway I could hear some shuffling and muffled voices coming from the alleyway. When I got to the alley I saw what looked like 4, maybe 5, figures in the alley with two on the ground, and suddenly heard a woman's voice trying to scream. It was Pauline!
“Get away from her!” I yelled as I ran to save her. The men turned around and ran at me, knives in hand.
Pauline cried, “Mario!” The sound of her voice sobered me up nearly instantly, and just before I fought in the 5-to-1 battle against the gang, I yelled, “Pauline, run and get help!”, but she was frozen in terror and couldn't move at all.

These alley thugs, typical of stupid criminals, took turns fighting me as if they were competing to see who could kill me first. Each time they took a turn they wounded me with their daggers, but I ignored the pain completely and kept fighting to save Pauline.
As I continued to fight, I heard another voice coming out of the alley scream, “Mario!”

It was Luigi!

“Luigi, help!”

Two of the thugs ran towards Luigi, leaving me with only 3 of them to deal with. Now it was not only Pauline that I was defending, it was my little brother as well. With a rush of adrenalin that I had never felt before in my entire life, I fought back with every fiber of my being to protect my brother and Pauline. With every ounce of strength I had left I fought the thugs and mercilessly shattered their bodies, but as the last of the three that I fought fell, the other two came to defend them. I grabbed one of the daggers that the thugs had and fell the other two with swift jabs to their stomachs and throats. As the carnage ended I looked at what had happened and saw Luigi lying on the ground, motionless. I wanted to run and see if he was alright, but I couldn't. I couldn't move at all. I turned my head and saw Pauline stand up and come walking towards me, “Is he O.K.?” she asked. As I turned my head and stared at Luigi lying on the ground I began to feel lightheaded. I looked at the ground under my feet and saw something; a hole in the ground like a portal with bright colors flashing out of it opened up beneath my feet and I fell in.
And so it began.


Quote:
July 7th, 1985
Something happened. I don't know how it happened, but after I saved Pauline from a gang I fell through some portal in the ground. It was like I was dreaming as I fell through the portal. I could see things, like memories of the past playing like a film in a movie theatre, and I could hear the sounds coming from each picture. Some of the things I saw didn't look familiar. I saw Pauline wearing white gloves, a pink dress and a crown, like she was a queen or something. Oh how I miss her. I don't even know if she is ok. I hope she could help Luigi. Please God let them be ok.

So many things happened after I came out of the portal. I found Rospo! He is alive! He told me I am in some place called the Mushroom Kingdom. Rospo told me that the Mushroom Kingdom has been at war with an army of mercenaries called the Koop Troop and the Koop Troop has been slowly destroying cities and enslaving or killing their inhabitants. Rospo told me about the leader of the Koop Troop, Bowser. From the description that Rospo gave me about Bowser, he sounds like the beast I saw in the forest that I landed in after I fell out of the portal.

I have to get some rest. Rospo said that I need to start some sort of training. Typical of Rospo, he still speaks in riddles. I have no idea what this training is about or why I need it or what he wants me to do now. I'll figure everything out in the morning.


Like my diary says, when I fell into that portal it felt like a dream. I was completely disoriented and I still felt lightheaded as I fell through the portal. I was like a rag doll falling in slow motion through the portal, and I kept seeing movies of my past play out all around me. I saw Luigi and myself running through the wheat field at home in Italy; I saw myself at my 16th birthday with just Rospo, Pauline and Luigi there to sing happy birthday to me; I saw Luigi and myself leaving our parents and getting on that boat that took us to America; I saw Pauline and myself watching a scary movie at night when we were young; but then I saw something I didn't recognize.

It was Pauline as an adult, wearing a pink gown I had never seen before. I'd remember seeing Pauline in a dress like that—she was amazing. She had white gloves and a crown on as well, and her hair was brilliant shiny gold. She seemed so happy; I had never seen her smile like that before in my life. This was so familiar, and yet so foreign. I could have been in that moment forever, but it would not last.

As I continued to fall, everything went black; I lost consciousness, but then...

*splash*

I woke up in a shallow pool of muddy water in the grass. I had just fallen out of the portal and hit the ground. I checked my body, but all the stab wounds and bruises were gone, like they hadn't even been there. My cloths were undamaged. I felt no pain save for a slight headache from hitting the ground. You wouldn't have been able to tell that I had fought off a gang of thugs just 1 minute previous. I felt like I was dreaming; it was all so unreal.

“What the?” I said, as I got up. I found myself in a clearing in the middle of a forest at night as it began to rain.

“What the hell? Where am I? This seems so-”

“No, this isn't hell, Mario.” a voice from behind me said. I turned around and saw a man standing in the forest, but it was too dark for me to see his face.
“As you will find out later, it is much worse than hell,” and then as suddenly as he appeared, he vanished.

My heart began to race as I came to the realization that I wasn't dreaming. This was real.

“Who..was..that?”

The once gentle drizzle of rain that greeted me in that place transformed into a storm with torrents of water and booming thunder and lightning. I jerked around to hear a sound coming out of the forest, a sound that was getting more violent by the second; as the sound got louder, the earth quaked more. I felt an intense desire to run, but my legs were frozen in fear of what might be approaching. Up in the lightning-illuminated night-sky I saw what looked like a flock of birds flying away from the sound, but they seemed too big to be birds. Running from the forest came all manner of strange creature, including colorful lizards that ran on two legs.

One of these lizards cried out, “It's Mario!” Then from behind them raged a monster that seemed like it could only come out of a child's nightmare.
“KILL HIM!” screamed the massive green beast with huge fangs and flaming red hair.

In an instant my legs thawed; I ran as fast as I could to escape. The lizards caught up to me and one yelled, “Get on me Mario!” I had no time to think, so I leaped onto the lizard's back and held onto him as tightly as I could as he and his companions dashed through the forest.

I looked behind and saw sword-wielding turtles riding colossal three-horned dinosaurs that I had only seen in movies. They were catching up quickly, with the massive green beast right behind continuously screaming, “KILL HIM! KILL HIM!”

As we left the edge of the forest I could see the huge birds in the sky getting closer and it became obvious that they weren't birds; they were the same turtles that were chasing us from behind, but with wings!

As we continued to run I could see that we were losing ground quickly—from behind we had an army of reptiles, and in front of us we had a cliff! As the flying turtles swooped down to slash us with their swords, the lizards shot their tongues out of their mouths, swallowed the turtles whole and sprouted wings just in time to fall down the cliff and fly to safety, narrowly escaping the enemies from behind. Not all the lizards made it, and they plummeted down the cliff and into the water below along with some of the turtles and dinosaurs. As we flew away, the green beast made the loudest, blood-curdling howl of anger I had ever heard and blew a ball of fire which scorched one of the lizards near me. We had just barely escaped.


I read the faq and I know about the rule of not quoting too much from a story, but I think this is limited enough in its scope to get by.

Tell me what you think.

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If you want to keep the Mario feel of the game you really have to keep things simple. And if you want to make the game have the mario RPG you need to put a lot emphasis on body language and movement.

Not criticising your writing skills because it's really not my place to do so but when it comes to Mario you need a light hearted, short, and to the point story. So what you wrote isn't necessarily bad but you'd need to have most of it cut out to have mario fall with a loud "falling" noise have him hit the floor, get up, shake his head frantically, make him look around confused, maybe have him say "mamamia!" (hehehe) and then have the dialog between him and the mystery man.

If you play Mario RPG you'll notice he doesn't say a word in the whole game.

Anyways, that's just what I think :P

Good luck and I hope your project goes well :)

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Most of this writing will actually be boiled down to about what you say it should be when it is translated to a game script. I have to write the story down like this so that I can continue with the story. I can't just make up different parts of a story willy nilly, I need to go in a sequencial order and make it natural. I guess what I mean is that the story needs to be organic and a bit spontaneous, not artificial and rigidly planned to meet X Y Z requirements.

This game won't be like other Mario games, it will be a more *wait for it...* mature Mario game. I was actually inspired to do this game after I saw another project start with the intent to 'mature' Mario, but it wasn't just a less kiddy, simple game (or FPS mod, or flash movie, or what ever it is today), it was turning into a M/AO rated game for the hardcore "Mario needs to be mature, let's add blood and cursing and rape scenes" crowd. Granted, it has now become a bit more grounded (no more rape scene), but it is going into a vastly different direction from what I imagined a mature Mario game would be like. They want a horror game with Mario. I want to tell Mario's story in a way that is both 'Mario' in a fantasy world sense, and also make it feel natural and real, like it could actually be possible for this to happen to him. While the other project goes into painful detail to explain how Mario can jump so high, I'll be making a story that is a Mario story with realistic and mature elements in it. I don't want to spoil the Mario 'feel', I just want to expand his horizons and really tell his story.

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My 2 cents: Develop your characters naturally, along-side the story. Trying to go for a "Mario-like Feel" limits you in what kinds of things you can portray; it limits the possibilities for character development, plot lines, dialog.

Overall it's good - I like it, and it's a great start. I love the Mario platformer series, but I'd play a serious Mario RPG as well. Part of Mario's appeal is the simple, good-natured innocence of his character, and it fits well with the designs that they've had so far (plus, he's a hit with kids, so that makes Nintendo happy). But that also introduces void, an empty place within Mario that I think many people would like to see. I've grown up with his carefree Stooge-like behaviour, but it does leave a little wanting (although he was his most stylish in Mario Smash Bros., imo).

When it comes down to it, I don't he's got what it takes to be a bad-ass renegade, he's got too big of a heart; but that doesn't mean he's not struggling with internal strife all the time. Hey, it takes work to care about people that much.

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Thanks for the comments stylin. Mario isn't going to be a big bad renegade, he's going to sort of grow into a hero, but at first he's going to be uneasy about the whole thing, and he's going to be emotionally occupied by what has happened to Luigi and Pauline after he left. In a sense, the characters in the story are allegorically speaking to Mario about himself or how he perceives others. You can get an idea of what Rospo was like, or how Mario perceived him to be at least, by how Toadwise acts. It's going to be fun to do this.

I've been running into some difficulties with the story, though. I decided that I should read up on how to write novels (since it seems that's where I am headed), and I found this http://teenwriting.about.com/cs/ht.htm

The problem I am facing is with the way in which the story is narrated. Mario is writting an autobiography of sorts. That's alright as far as it goes, but that leaves very little room to explore subplots, such as with the princess or Bowser. Mario could retell things that the princess told him, for example, but Bowser certainly wouldn't. I'm trying to think of some plot device I can use to explore subplots of other characters without it feeling wrong in an autobiography (maybe other people have diaries that Mario reads at will, but that seems a bit off). I may end up changing from the first person to the third person and tell the story a bit differently, but I really wanted to make this a journey focusing on Mario, with subplots only to tell crucial parts of the story which explain why certain things happen. Or maybe it's best not to explain why everything happens? Sometimes people don't always know why something happened, so why should Mario? Arg. When the story is translated into a game, it will probably be a lot easier to explore subplots without it feeling awkward. At least I hope so.

Another problem I'm facing is an exciting one, but difficult to handle. There are points in the story at which the story can take many different twists and turns. I have to explore the potential for each possible direction the story can take. It's time consuming, but only because there are so many possibilites.

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Well why don't you have a cloud guy with a camera show Mario a bunch of scenes :)

He could be some kind of private eye... Do you know which Mario character I'm talking about? That would be very Mario-ish :)

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That's an awesome idea! Ya, Lakitu is his name.

Another thing I forgot to mention, which seems appropriate now, is that none of the 'races' or species of characters in the story are completely good or bad. That is, you'll see bad Yoshi and good Koopas, a bit like there were good Koopas and Goombas in Paper Mario.

So at some point Mario needs to befriend a Lakitu. Sounds like a plan to me. Thanks!

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