Disclaimer: I don't own Mario (big surprise there), I don't even own the title of this fic. – just the plot.
Author's Note: In Super Paper Mario the game Larry Koopa: Zombie Heartbreaker is on Francis (a geeky chameleon boss)'s list of 'things to get'. From what I've heard it's a horror/romance survival/SIMS game, although how THAT works is a mystery to me. Another question that arose in my mind was 'how the heck did Larry manage to get a game based on himself?' This is my answer to the question. (And on a side note, all the stuff about programming and whatnot is not accurate in any way and is not meant to be.)
Larry Koopa: Zombie Heartbreaker
It was an average afternoon in the castle. Bowser and Kammy were off visiting Kamek in the southern fortress to plan another attack on the Mushroom Kingdom. The Koopalings were left out, but by now the elder seven were quite used to it, and were quite happy doing other things.
Ludwig and Larry were the only ones in the throne room when Iggy burst in carrying a thick black book, beaming and out of breath. "Guess what!"
"Vat?" asked Ludwig, still reading his textbook on computer programming.
"My time-travel article's been published in the new edition of Encyclopedia Koopa," announced Iggy, chucking the ten-pound book into Ludwig's chest, knocking him from his perch on the throne's armrest.
"Big deal, you've known about zat for weeks," grumbled Ludwig, picking himself up off the ground and picking up his own book, Computer Programming for Dummies.
"But now the book's actually out! My fellow scientists will soon be reading my work! I'll be famous!"
"Vone article vill not make you a household name," scoffed Ludwig. "You've had plenty of inventions patented, and so have I. King Dad even used a bunch to fight Mario, but our names are hardly up in lights."
"Patents-shmatents, a couple legal documents can't compare to having your name printed in a prestigious book like Encyclopedia Koopa! You're just jealous!" huffed Iggy.
"Vat vould I be jealous of? I've been printed too: dozens of my musical compositions have been published – my vorks have been performed in public all across zee kingdom. I only have to write szree more symphonies in order to break Toadofsky's record!" sneered Ludwig. Iggy had been driving his entire family batty about his article, whether he was fretting about it being accepted or not, or gloating about it when it was.
Iggy opened his mouth to retaliate, but a new voice beat him to it. "Ooh, big deal, some music freaks like your little tunes! And some geeks will read your stupid little article! That hardly makes you guys 'famous'."
Ludwig, Iggy and Larry all turned to the door as Wendy O. Koopa strode in. "I never said I vas famous," muttered Ludwig.
"Yeah, and besides, what makes you such an expert on all this anyway?" growled Iggy.
"Remember this?" said Wendy, whipping a magazine out of her shell. "When I was on the front cover of Teen Troopa Magazine last year. An entire article about me! Pictures galore! Millions of people read this circular, not just a handful of freaks or geeks. And, they actually see my face! That's fame."
"Seeing is believing! But remember when I was on live television?" called Morton as he and Roy entered the throne room, attracted by the commotion. "I was a guest speaker on Ochre Windy's show, remember! That's viewed over in the Mushroom Kingdom, not just Dark Land, I heard some Sarasalanders even get it! It's way more popular than Teen Troopa. Besides, your article may have been flattering, but Ochre herself said I had real talent! I blew them all away! She even said she'd like to have me on the show again! I haven't been invited yet, but it's just a matter of time, it was only a couple years ago, after all, and-"
"Shadup Morty!" interrupted Roy. "Dat show may be international, but Ochre's a Lakitu, and we all know da only reason she had you on da show's cuz of Pops. Same with you Wendy, no one in deir right mind would wanna interview a whiney brat like you unless ol' Bowser make 'em do it unda pain of death!"
"Grr, you're the one who's gonna be dead, Roy!" spat Wendy, stowing her magazine away and getting ready to tear her brother limb-from-limb.
"Hey, whoa sis," said Roy sheepishly, backing away. "It's notin' personal. I mean, we've all been helped out by good ol' King Dad. Fer instance, he's da reason why Lemmy got dat circus gig last month too."
"Hey! I had the best trapeze act the Cirque de la Lune's seen in a while!"
The group looked up to see Lemmy hanging from the chandelier above their heads. "Wow! How long have you been up there?" asked Morton.
Lemmy shrugged. "I dunno, 'couple hours, maybe more – what time is it?"
"Never mind!" growled Roy. "Da point is, you all got help gettin' where ya are today from Pops. 'Cept me, dat is. I'm famous fer winning da International Arm Wrestling Federation 'tree seasons in a row. Unless Pa rigged all dose contests fer me, it was my physical prowess alone dat got me first place."
"It'd have to, since you don't have any mental prowess," chuckled Wendy.
The others laughed too as Roy seethed angrily, fortunately Junior arrived, preventing the brawl that would have followed otherwise. "What's going on?"
"I just got published in Encyclopedia Koopa" bragged Iggy. "But they're all belittling my accomplishment and getting carried away singing their own praises when it comes to publicity."
"That's stupid, I mean, I'm the only one doing anything significant these days," said Junior coyly.
"What!" growled his brothers and sister.
"Who else helps Papa with kidnapping Mama Peach and fighting mean old Mario? None of you guys. I've never seen your faces on Mushroomian wanted posers, or on the news," boasted Junior.
"We've been helping King Dad since before you vere even an egg!" growled Ludwig.
"Yeah, Daddy has his reasons for leaving us out of his plots," said Wendy. "The fact that you don't know them just goes to show that he doesn't think as highly of you as he does us."
After that remark Junior pounced, Wendy nimbly dodged and Junior crashed into Ludwig who dropped both of the books he was holding. The Encyclopedia Koopa dropped onto Iggy's foot and he yelped in pain, hopping around on his uninjured foot, until he crashed into Morton and Roy. Roy roared in anger and punched Iggy in the stomach, sending him flying into Ludwig Junior and Wendy who were all intent on killing each other. The three of them descended on Iggy, who limped away as fast as he could and attempted to take shelter behind Morton, resulting in a five-Koopaling pileup.
"Yay! Fight! Fight! Fight!" chanted Lemmy from his perch on the chandelier.
"Shadup!" shouted Roy, picking up Ludwig's Computer Programming for Dummies and chucking it at Lemmy, hitting him squarely in the forehead and sending him falling down onto the fight below.
Larry watched from his seat on the throne as Lemmy stumbled out of the brawl in a daze, and spat a huge fireball at Roy, lighting his tail on fire and causing him to run through the rest of his siblings. As the pandemonium escalated, Larry slunk out of the throne room. Usually he would have joined in the fun, but all the talk about fame had got him down in the dumps.
He may be shy, but he still wanted to be remembered. He was smart like Iggy and Ludwig, but he wasn't an inventor, writer or scientist. Larry's strength was dreaming up schemes for world domination, but Junior had filled that niche in the family – being Bowser's favorite had its perks. Larry was a great tennis player, but his shyness prevented him from entering big competitions like Roy, or from putting on shows like Lemmy or Morton.
Larry wasn't sure he could stand being in the public spotlight like Wendy dreamt of, and he was content with being an unknown in the good vs. evil community (less risk of assassination). A modest citation in an encyclopedia would make Larry perfectly happy. A tiny tennis trophy would too, as would hearing people humming his own little ditty, or using some obscure little instrument of his own design. But he wasn't cut out for any of those things. Larry wanted to make a name for himself, but he had no idea how he could do it.
Ludwig closed his book in frustration and pushed himself away from the computer. If he had known computer programming was so tedious, he would have never agreed to help Iggy with it. Ludwig had read Computer Programming for Dummies three times over in the past week, but he still struggled with the 1s and 0s dotting the screen, the lines of garbled codes still baffled him, and patterns in the readouts still refused to show themselves.
"What's wrong?" asked Larry from the doorway.
Ludwig jumped: he had been so busy with the computer he didn't hear the door open. "How long have you been zere?"
Larry shrugged. "A while, but you didn't answer my question."
"It's just zee programming I'm trying to help Iggy visz."
"Our resident world-famous auteur? Help?" said Larry sarcastically. It had been three days since the Encyclopedia Koopa came out, and Iggy still hadn't gotten over it. He forced everyone he met to read the article, from Magikoopas to Boos to Shy Gal maids. It didn't matter if they could understand what they were looking at as long as they could read the name of the author at the top of the page.
Ludwig chuckled, "I agreed to help him before he mounted his high horse, and I vill not go back on my promise. At least, not if I can help it – zis programming is qvite difficult."
"Oh?" said Larry quietly, walking over to Ludwig and looking at the computer screen. "Are you looking for patterns?"
"Yes, zat is part of it. Zen I have to understand zee patterns, and zee codes, and zen write new codes, and make new patterns to make a program for Iggy's invention to put into practice," explained Ludwig.
"Hmm, what about that pattern: '10010'? It's repeated over and over in this block," said Larry, pointing to a corner of the screen.
Ludwig wheeled his chair over and squinted at the screen for a minute, before his face lit up. "So it is! I have been staring at zis screen for an hour and I didn't see it! You have a real aptitude for zis, Larry."
"Thanks," murmured Larry. "But, uh, what does the pattern mean?"
"Darned if I know," chuckled Ludwig. "But I have a feeling you may be able to make it out – it's all here in zis book."
"But, if it's all there, why don't you understand it?" asked Larry as Ludwig handed him Computer Programming for Dummies.
"It just doesn't click in my mind – not like music or hardware. Vee all have our strengzs, and zis isn't vone of mine."
"Hmm…" said Larry sympathetically. He knew about strengths and weaknesses all too well.
"But, I sink it may be vone of yours," continued Ludwig.
"Huh?" asked Larry, having tuned out for a moment.
"Programming. You had to have been interested in vat I vas doing to have sat around vatching me stare at my computer screen for, as you put it, 'a vile'. And you vere able to spot zat pattern in no time at all."
"It was just a lucky guess," said Larry, shaking his head.
"Even so, browse srough zee book. Who knows, you just might enjoy it – and understand it too. Zen you can help Iggy instead of me. Perhaps you can even get a mention in zee patent, assuming zee invention is patented," said Ludwig. He had noticed that Larry had been a bit gloomy since the incident in the throne room, and figured he could use a distraction.
Larry opened the book and quickly thumbed through the pages. It did look interesting – maybe he had finally found his claim to fame. "Thanks, Luddy," he said, jogging out of his oldest brother's room.
"My pleasure," called Ludwig, thinking to himself: and by zee looks of it, yours too.
Larry read the book nonstop over the next few days. Most of it made perfect sense in his mind, and anything that didn't he reread over and over until it did. In no time at all he had learned the ins and outs of computer programming, completing Iggy's problem within the week. The bespectacled Koopaling had been surprised to say the least, but quite thankful. Unfortunately, the invention, while elaborate, wasn't one of his best, and was never patented, but Larry didn't mind. He had found a new gift, and he had a better way of getting famous with it.
Two months later, as Bowser, Kammy and Kamek made their final preparations for their long-awaited stealth-attack, Iggy once again burst into the throne room, out of breath. But instead of being happy, he was shocked about something, and in his hand was a newspaper, not the Encyclopedia Koopa.
"Ugh, what is it now, Iggy?" asked Wendy from the throne. Five of her brothers also looked up with interest; Larry was the only Koopaling not present.
"This!" he exclaimed, holding up the newspaper so everyone could see. It was the A&E section of the Koopa Chronicle, and on the front page was the box art for the newest and hottest videogame of the year: Larry Koopa: Zombie Heartbreaker.
The six Koopalings gaped at it. The picture was of Larry, but he was taller and had longer limbs. His hair was scruffier and kept out of his eyes with a bandana. He was holding a futuristic-looking ray gun in his hands, firing a beam of light at a horde of zombified creatures form various species, all dripping green ooze. Behind him crouched various frightened girls, also from different species.
"How is this possible?" gasped Wendy after a moment.
"He must've programmed it himself," said Ludwig, clearly impressed.
"But what exactly is it?" asked Junior.
"Oh! I bet it's a gnarly RPG where you have to run around and kill zombies, saving girls and stuff. But then, you have to fight the queen of the zombies and save a princess, but the princess is a zombie too: the zombie princess. Then-"
"Shadup Morton!" growled Roy.
"Actually…" said Iggy, turning the page to the article. "It says here that it's a sort of day-in-the-life game, where you go around and meet people, with the added twist of running an anti-zombie agency."
"Like Dims and Boobusters squished together! That's awesome!" said Lemmy.
Just then Larry walked in, and was swiftly surrounded by his siblings, their praises, and their questions filling the air.
"Wait ta go Larry!"
"I told you zat you had zee aptitude for programming!"
"How'd you think of such a good idea?"
"I thought you were too shy to do this sorta thing."
"Why did you make yourself sexy? You're too young to think like that!"
"So are you."
"So, it's unhealthy for any of us to think like that, sis: Luddy's only ten and the rest of us haven't even hit double-digits. Dragon-Koopas may age mentally way faster than we do physically, but still. If you keep this up you'll be a nymphomaniac long before you can even physically-"
"Morton!" groaned a chorus of Koopalings.
"Vait! Everyone, qviet! Give Larry some space and stop bickering!" exclaimed Ludwig.
"Thanks," said Larry sheepishly.
"We still want our questions answered," said Wendy.
"Okay," muttered Larry. "Well, after Ludwig helped me realize I was good at programming I decided to make a video game. I thought a survival/day-in-the-life, horror/romance game would be new and interesting, so I made one."
"Where'd you get the money to start it all up?" asked Lemmy.
"I borrowed some of King Dad's, but don't worry, I already made enough to pay him back."
"Wait, how did you get Daddy to give you money?" asked Wendy, curiously.
"I waited until he got bored with the original sneak-attack plan and kidnapped Peach, then when she was screaming in his ear, I asked him. He couldn't hear what I said, but he was too busy to care, and after Mario beat him, he was too tired to remember I asked him anything."
"Wow, I've totally got to remember that trick," said Wendy grinning.
"I got a question," huffed Roy. "Why'd ya make yerself da title characta?"
"I wanted to be famous like you guys," said Larry, avoiding eye contact with any of his siblings. "I want people to remember my name – to think of me as more than just one of Bowser's eight children. Of course, I wanted the game to appeal to other people too, so I had to make my character a bit more, uhhh… aesthetically pleasing, and a bit cooler than I am. But I don't mind, I only want people to know my name anyway: if they know my face, I'd have to face roaring fans in the streets, and that's no fun."
"Speak for yourself," huffed Wendy.
"I still don't get it," said Iggy. "Why didn't you just include yourself in the credits over and over, I mean, you did everything yourself, right?"
"I did," said Larry. "But the whole point of this was so people would hear about me, and no one reads the credits."
Written by: Walkazo
Proofreaders: Walkazo's Mom and Dad
Beta proofreader: Pantaro Paratroopa (Walkazo's little brother)
Concept by: Walkazo
Based on text from Super Paper Mario
Research provided by Wikipedia, Super Mario Wiki, and other Internet sources
Thanks to: Nintendo, for creating the Mario series; Wikipedia, for all its recent, yet unreliable information; the Super Mario Wiki, for its slightly less unreliable information; Google, for being an awesome search engine; and of course, Walkazo's brain, I, Walkazo couldn't have done it without you.
Bigger thanks to: fanfiction-dot-net for giving me a place to post all my stories.
Even Bigger Thanks to: The people who actually bothered to read all this (both the fic. and the credits), it's people like you who keep us writers going, be you writers in your own rights, or just readers (and hopefully all reviewers, hint, hint).
Biggest Thanks to: salmon, just because its 1:30 in the morning and my mind's gone 'bye bye'.
The Real End