Disclaimer: I don't own Mario, the Super Mario Wiki, or the "Favorite Game" Award, including the results of the poll.
Author's Note: Every year, the Super Mario Wiki celebrates its anniversary with, among other things, a massive awards ceremony. Before the anniversary, users and guests to the wiki vote on a variety of Mario and wiki-related things ranging from favourite games to worst characters, and the votes are tallied up and presented on the anniversary on the wiki's forums (www. marioboards. com). This year, there was a brief scare over whether or not the final presentation was ready and my friend asked me if I could help out, so I wrote this fanfic for the award in question, "Favorite Game". In the end, the original presenter came through, but the folks in charge of the awards decided to include mine as a bonus. However, the story was too large to fit on one post on the forums, so I uploaded it here instead.
A25. Favorite Game (2)
Bowser at the Awards
At the sound of Parakarry's familiar voice, Luigi came trotting out of the house to retrieve the day's letters, grinning with excitement when he saw the stuffed mailbox. "Mario!" he called, carefully scooping everything up and running inside. "Mario! The results are here!"
"Oh yeah!" whooped the other plumber, running over to his brother. "Super Mario Wiki's 7th Anniversary's 6th Annual "Mario Awards" Poll?"
"Whoa hoo! Let's-a see what won favourite game!"
"Wait bro," said Luigi, taking a step back. "Shouldn't we wait until tonight? We should-a be surprised like the-a rest of the kingdom when we announce the-a winners."
"But I don't-a want to wait!"
Luigi opened his mouth to respond, but at that moment, Toad came bursting through the front door screaming. "M-M-M-M-M-M-Mario! Help! B-B-Bowser's captured P-P-P-P-Princess Peach! He's holding her h-hostage inside the c-c-castle!"
"Oh nooo!" cried Mario, immediately bolting for the door.
"Guess you'll have to-a wait to see the results after all, bro," remarked Luigi as he quickly stowed the results letters in his pockets and hurried after Mario, leaving the hyperventilating Toad behind.
Running as fast as they could, the Mario Bros. crossed Toad Town in no time and made their way through the castle grounds. Airships hovered overhead, but surprisingly, no Koopa Troop members tried to stop the duo as they climbed the steps and threw the doors open.
"Marioooo! Heeeelp!" screamed Peach from the other end of the darkened hallway, but when Mario and Luigi neared the throne, the lights were thrown on again.
"Bwa ha ha! I knew you'd fall for it!" gloated Bowser, his hand wrapped around Peach's arm to hold her in place.
"What are you-a doing here, Bowser!?" demanded Mario. "Let her go!"
"Of course – once you hand over the poll results!"
Luigi gasped. "What do you-a want those for?"
"Isn't it obvious? I'm gonna present them! See – I have everything set up." Bowser gestured around the room with his free arm as he spoke. "I've got my kids on camera and light duty, and Kamek's got the fuzzy sound boom thingy. Not to mention our captive audience."
Sure enough, all the Toads in the castle seemed to have been assembled upon some makeshift stand. "Help us Mario!" "HAALP!" "Save us!"
"Shut up!" snarled Bowser. "Does the prompt card say 'cry for help like a bunch of babies'? It better not, or you're fired, Batty!"
"It says 'petrified silence', Your Directorialness," said Kammy plaintively, showing her King the audience prompt card she had been futilely brandishing at the Toads. "It's not my fault they're not listening!"
"Yeah, well, if you were better at hypnotism, we wouldn't need to use those cards at all," countered Bowser.
"Wait, wait, wait, I'm-a still missing something here," interjected Luigi. "Why do you want to present the-a poll results?"
"Well, I think it's only fair that I get to present them. After all, if it weren't for me, there'd be no Mario series – but you guys never invite me to these things!"
"And you blame us for that?" snorted Peach, wrenching free of Bowser's grip. "You're the one who's always kidnapping me and throwing the kingdom into chaos!"
"You don't let that stop you from inviting me to your kart races," argued Bowser, glaring as Peach walked over beside Mario and Luigi.
"That's different," she said, turning to face the Koopa King once more. "And besides, it's not your series – it's Mario's series. He's the hero."
"But a series is only as strong as its villain: everyone likes the antagonists more than the squeaky-clean protagonists, don't you read fanfiction?"
"That's not true," protested Luigi. "We all have-a fans."
"Yeah, even Luigi," nodded Mario.
"And there's plenty of Mario games that you're not in," said Peach. "You weren't in anything that came out before Super Mario Bros."
"Yeah, but that was the game that made it big," countered Bowser.
"You weren't in-a Super Mario Bros. 2," said Luigi.
"That was one game-"
"Or the-a Super Mario Land games," added Mario. "Or the Dr. Mario series."
"There was just a Bowser suit in Luigi's Mansion," noted Luigi.
"That still counts!"
"Most of the Game & Watch Gallery minigames don't involve you at all," said Peach.
"That doesn't count!"
"And don't forget the-a-"
"ENOUGH!" bellowed Bowser. "The point is, I'm in all the good games – all the one's that'll have been voted for as the 'Favourite Games', I'm sure. So just hand over the letter. I don't care about the others, but that presentation's mine!"
"No way-a Bowser!" said Mario, getting into a fighting stance. "That award's-a gonna be announced tonight, when all our-a friends are here, not you!"
"Yeah," nodded Luigi. "We're not gonna let you-a cheat Daisy out of being part of the presentation. Or-a Donkey Kong, or Yoshi, or Wario-"
"Wario?" snorted Bowser. "So Wario's your friend now but not me? I don't see him helping you lot save the world in any of those RPGs..."
"He hasn't been an antagonist in any RPGs either," huffed Peach.
"But he has his own series – they all do, even though they've been in way less games than me," muttered Bowser darkly.
"Daisy doesn't have a series of her own," corrected Luigi.
"Then let her read the favourite Party, Kart and sports games awards – but no one's getting to do this award but me. So hand it over!"
"Why? We already have-a Peach back, so what do you have-a now?"
"A giant army, a flotilla or airships and more Bob-ombs and Bullet Bills than you can shake a plunger at," said Bowser, smirking. "If you send me blasting off again, I'll order them to level the entire castle – then you won't be able to hold your awards show either. Gwa ha ha ha haaa!"
"Hmm, he does have a point – usually we've-a taken care of his troops before we-a take him down," frowned Luigi.
"C'mon Luigi, don't-a give up. Let's-a-go: we can-a stop him."
"Mario, wait, why risk it?" said Peach, putting her hand on Mario's arm. "I don't want Bowser to hurt anyone by destroying the castle, and the entire kingdom's been looking forwards to the awards show for months…" she looked up at Bowser. "If you present the 'Favourite Game' award, do you promise to leave and let the rest of the show go as planned tonight?"
Bowser shrugged. "Sure – all the other awards suck compared to this one anyway."
"They do no-" Luigi was cut-off mid-protest by Peach's arm being jabbed into his ribs.
"Don't encourage him," she whispered. "Now, give me the letter." Taking the results from Luigi, she marched back towards Bowser, handing them off with a scowl.
Bowser grinned toothily and ripped the letter open. Pausing only to let Junior shine a spotlight on him, and to make sure all seven Koopalings had their cameras trained on him, Bowser cleared his throat and began. "Okay, so the winner is-"
"Wait!" cried Mario, Luigi and Peach.
"You can't-a say the winner first – you need to build up to it," instructed Mario.
"Honestly, didn't you watch the presentations last year?" said Peach.
"No," snorted Bowser. "But fine, we'll do it your way. So tied for last place, at one vote each, are-"
"Wait!" cried Mario, Luigi and Peach.
"You aren't-a going through the write-in votes, are you?" asked Luigi.
"How many write-in names are there?" asked Peach.
Bowser paused for a moment to count, and then looked back up at the humans. "32."
"That's-a way too many to go through one-by-a-one," said Mario.
"I suppose," shrugged Bowser. "After all, I'm not here to advertise half your games."
"Actually, it's more like a seventh," said Peach. "Not including re-releases, cameos and guest appearances, there's 211 Mario games, by my count. Even without the Donkey Kong, Yoshi and Wario games, it only drops down to 165. And if you go so far as to ignore remakes or compilations too, it's still about 146."
"But there's a lot of crappy and obscure games in there – if you strip all those out and only look at the legit titles, Mario's only got-"
"113 games," finished Peach. "Of course, what I consider to be 'crappy' or 'obscure' isn't necessarily the same as other folks…"
Bowser, Mario and Luigi all looked at the princess for a beat.
"Where are you even getting this info?" asked Bowser.
"The Super Mario Wiki, where else?" smiled Peach.
"Uh huh… And Kamek says I waste too much time on the computer…"
"Be quiet, Kamek – sound guys are supposed to be recording noise, not making it!" growled Bowser, before turning back to one of the cameras. "Okay, so I guess I'll only be reading the top… uh…" after pausing to count again, Bowser continued. "The top 13 games. Out of 113. Or 213, or something. I dunno, out of way too many games."
"So much for wanting to take credit for my-a series' success," smirked Mario. "You should be-a happy there's so many games."
"Yeah, hundreds of games, and yet you couldn't swing a starring role for me?"
"Not this again," sighed Peach.
"You-a got your name in the last-a Mario & Luigi game," said Mario.
"I suppose – and it was one of the write-ins… Are you sure I shouldn't read them out?"
"Yes, just-a skip to the-a main 13," said Luigi.
"You suuure? Luigi's Mansion is one of the other write-ins," said Bowser, smirking at the man in green.
"Really? How many votes did it get?"
"Luigi, focus! Bowser, just get on with it already!" cried Peach exasperatedly.
"Sheesh, fine. Has anyone ever told you that you've got a pretty nice temper for someone who's supposedly sweet and loving and all that guck? …I like it!"
Peach rolled her eyes as the King of the Koopas winked at her before turning back to the cameras.
Okay, now we're rolling! So in 13th place, with less than 2% of the vote, is Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga."
"Aw man, that low? But that was the-a one that introduced Fawful, and-a launched our great little sub-series," bemoaned Luigi.
"Psh, I know why it got so low: I spent most of the game running around with amnesia, or worse!"
"Please, don't-a remind us," winced Mario.
"Gladly," said Bowser. "Next is number 12: with 2.5% of the votes, it's Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars. Oh come on! That game was great – I was a playable character and everything! What more could you ask for?"
"Maybe they were disappointed that-a Luigi wasn't playable too," ventured the second-banana Mario Bro.
"I-a doubt it," said Mario.
"Okay, so next up, at 11th place with over 4% of the votes, it's the original Paper Mario."
"That was a good game," commented Peach.
"Yeah, one of my better takeover schemes," agreed Bowser.
"Actually, I meant that like Superstar Saga, this was a game that launched a series. And, while my role wasn't as big as it was in the first RPG, at least I still got to provide a support role for Mario. I got to sneak around your castle and-"
"And peep at my diary? Yeah, real helpful," snorted Bowser.
"Don't be a spoil sport Bowser – that part was-a great!" chuckled Mario.
"Hey, reading-a diaries is no laughing matter," said Luigi.
"Oh yeah, reading yours was-a fun too, Luigi."
Mario's brother scowled and looked back at Bowser. "Hurry, move on to the next one!"
"No one orders me around," huffed the Koopa King. "Just for that, I'm doing two at once – they're pretty close anyway. Number 10 is Super Mario Bros. 3, with 82 votes, and number 9 is Super Mario World, with 83 votes."
"Mama mia! A one-vote difference?" gasped Mario.
"Just goes to show that every vote matters," said Peach, ever the politician – even though her position wasn't actually contingent on voting.
Luigi nodded. "Yeah, and I can-a understand why they're so close. They're-a both amazing games, that added so much to the-a Mario series. Without SMW, there'd-a be no Yoshi, and SMB3 was simply an iconic game. The recent Super Mario games in particular owe a lot to-a them, with their Raccoon Leaves, and-a Tanooki Suits, and-"
"And the Koopalings," interjected Bowser, to the approving cheers of his offspring from behind their cameras. "Anyway, moving on to 8th place, we have Mario Kart Wii, with 86 votes – just barely pulling ahead of those last two… Get it? Because it's a racing game!"
"Don't explain the joke, Bowser," sighed Peach.
"Whatever," said Bowser, waving off the princess's criticism. "Anyway, this game's weird because I'm in it twice: as myself, and as Dry Bowser. And you three and Daisy all had your baby forms racing around with you, too, didn't you? It's not the first time a Mario Kart game had fun with time-travel, of course… Come to think of it, lots of spin-offs really screw with the timeline, don't they? How does that work, again?"
"A wizard-a did it," deadpanned Mario.
"Is that true, Kamek? You brought us back in time for Yoshi's Island DS – did you go back without me and bring the babies back to the future?"
"No," said Kamek.
"How did you do that, anyway, while we're on the subject. I've always wanted to know," interrupted Peach.
"With a DeLorean," said Kamek.
"I thought we just re-used the Timulator from Mario's Time Machine?" frowned Bowser. "Anyway, we're getting off topic. Next up is lucky number 7: it's another photo-finish, but New Super Mario Bros. Wii managed to beat out Mario Kart Wii by a single point, finishing with 87 votes."
"Mama mia, another close-a call!" said Mario.
"It would have been more interesting if there was a tie, instead of two one-point differences," scowled Bowser.
"Whatever – I'm-a glad NSMBWii got 7th. I mean, simultaneous four-a-player platforming? That's-a pretty cool!" said Luigi.
"The Toads always got in the way of my-a jumps," complained Mario.
"You just don't-a jump high enough," teased Luigi.
"I liked my part – I trashed my castle, but it was worth it," grinned Bowser. "Number 6 is Super Mario Sunshine, which netted 108 votes, despite the cruddy voice acting."
"I didn't think it was so bad," said Peach.
"Yeah, well I do, and this is my presentation, so shut your trap."
"I liked-a using F.L.U.D.D. – it made the jumps-a way easier. Not that they're-a hard for me under normal conditions, of course," bragged Mario.
"Well, I-a thought it was the weakest of all the 3D sidescrollers," snorted Luigi.
"That's just-a because they left you out of it," said Mario, punching his brother in the arm good-naturedly.
"You'll like the next one, Mr. Green Bean: with 117, or just under 8% of the votes, Super Mario Galaxy clocks in at 5th place. You're in that one, right?"
"Yeah," said Luigi.
"But it-a was the gravity mechanics that won the vote, not-a Luigi," asserted Mario. "Or maybe it was-a Rosalina."
"Or the sheer magnitude of my plan to create my own galaxy – ya gotta admit, it was a pretty big step up from just going after the weeny little Mushroom Kingdom."
"Yes, and it failed all the more spectacularly too," smirked Peach.
Bowser growled and turned back to the cameras. "Number 4 is Super Mario 64, with, appropriately enough, 120 votes."
"You're-a making that up," said Mario.
"Please, would I lie about something like this?"
"You-a lie about everything!"
"At least I have more personality than a tomato," countered Bowser.
"You take that back – my bro has-a plenty of depth," said Luigi.
"Especially in game number 3: Super Mario 3D Land, coming home with 127 votes."
"Don't-a change the subject, you bad Bowser!"
"The last few games were all pretty close," mused Peach. "117, 120, 127…"
"Now-a you're changing the subject," whined Luigi.
"It's okay-a Luigi: I'd-a rather talk about the results anyway. I think SM3DL did-a so well because of the stereoscopic-a 3D technology. SM64 changed-a platforming by introducing three-a-dimensional movement, but the third dimension didn't a truly arrive until this a game, whoa hoo!"
"Or everyone voted for it because it's new and exciting," shrugged Bowser. "But you can't accuse our 2nd place finalist of that: with 189, or 12.8% of the votes, it's Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Personally, I prefer Super Paper Mario, but-"
"What! But it's-a not even a proper RPG! You just-a like it because you're in that one more. Same with you, Luigi."
"But I didn't-a say anything!"
"Mario's right – who doesn't like PM:TTYD?" interjected Peach. "With a colourful cast, a good plot with some nice twists, pleasant music and fun gameplay, what's not to love?"
"Its mouthful of a name?" suggested Bowser.
"You're-a clutching at straws," grinned Mario.
"Fine," sighed Bowser. "I suppose it is a good game. I mean, I did like my parts, even though they weren't nearly long enough. And that pervy computer guy – I liked him too. Gwa ha ha! Only a criminal mastermind could peep at Peach in the shower and not get slap-" With a resounding 'BONG', Peach's frying pan made contact with the Koopa King's scull.
"A slap would have been too gentle for a comment like that," smiled Peach, walking over to retrieve her frying pan while the Toads in the stands cheered.
"Good aim!" "Saaaave us!" "That'll show 'im!"
"Ow, that hurt!" moaned Bowser, rubbing the red lump on his forehead. "And you lot, shut up! You're not supposed to cheer until after I've read the winner of the poll. Kammy, get that 'silent anticipation' prompt card out, pronto! Ludwig, drum roll please!" As the eldest Koopaling did as he was told and the youngest dimmed all the lights except the spotlight trained on his father, Bowser cleared his throat. "And now, without further ado, I give you the winner of the 6th Annual Super Mario Wiki "Favorite Game" Award… Barely beating out TTYD with four more votes… Giving it a total of 193… Netting 13% of the 1477 votes cast in this poll… It's… Super Mario Galaxy 2!"
Afraid for their safety if they disobeyed, the Toads in the crowd cheered along with the Koopas, while Mario, Luigi and Peach clapped politely. But Bowser himself was frowning. "Really? They picked this as their favourite? But it's just the first SMG with some extra stuff thrown in. It's like a bonus disk, but sold separately to ramp the price up!"
"Oh no-a Bowser, it's a whole new game! All the amazing things they couldn't-a fit into the first SMG, they put into this extra helping of fun."
"Exactly – extra helping. It should be bonus material."
"By your logic, all sequels should be bonus materials," argued Peach. "But this was different – it had new levels, a new plot."
"A crappy plot, you mean. It was totally half-a-"
"In your opinion, I for one liked-a Lubba," protested Mario. "He made a spaceship of my-a face! Wasn't that-a cool?"
"But it had Yoshi, and-a better gameplay," added Luigi. "They-a perfected the Galaxy formula and gave us a game that was even-a better than the predecessor – that's-a why it won instead of the original SMG."
"It's also newer," smirked Bowser.
"You already said that-a, Bowser!" said Mario. "Now, you're-a done your presentation, and a deal's a deal, so let's-a-go. We need to prepare for the-a rest of the presentations."
"Fine, I'll leave," said Bowser, but before anyone could react, he had fired a blast of lightning clear through the stained glass window. On his cue, massive chains came bursting down through the roof, embedding themselves around the cameras and their Koopaling crew, uprooting the ground in a solid block when they were pulled taught.
"Oh noooo! Stop-a Bowser!" cried Mario in anger, dashing towards Bowser.
"Bwa ha ha, Peach just said I had to leave – but she didn't say what state I had to leave the castle in! Gwa ha haaaa!" Blocking Mario with a burst of fire, Bowser, leapt onto the airborne piece of ground next to the cameras, Kammy and Kamek flying up with him as the rest of the Koopa Troop scurried for the doors, headed for the airships outside.
"Look out!" screamed Peach as pieces of the roof came crashing down, but between her, Mario and Luigi, they were able to deflect all the chunks headed for the tied-up Toads. Unfortunately, it kept them too busy to go after Bowser, and soon, he and his armada had vanished behind the dust cloud.
"Oooh, that Bowser! He's-a gonna pay for this!" seethed Mario, fire dancing around his fists.
"Mario, wait!" Peach hurried over to the plumber before he could take off in pursuit of the Koopas. "We don't have time to worry about Bowser now. We have to prepare for the rest of the awards ceremony."
"But the-a castle's ruined," said Mario.
"We can hold the party in the garden," smiled Peach. "There's supposed to be some shooting stars visible tonight and everything – it'll be beautiful."
"But-a Bowser's spoiled the best award. It was-a supposed to be the grand finale!"
"It's not the results that matter, Mario," smiled Peach.
"Yes it is," said Luigi.
"No, it's not," insisted Peach. "It's the presentation that matters. It doesn't matter if Bowser already told everyone what games won – we can still hold our awards presentation like we planned. With all our friends, and guests who actually want to be there cheering for us."
"Bowser did-a leave the results letter behind," said Luigi, walking up with the piece of slightly-charred paper. "And in a way, we should be-a glad the one time his-a plan worked out, it was just over an awards show, and not-a world domination."
Mario chuckled. "That-a Bowser! He can't even-a win right! And he-a wonders why he doesn't get his own games!"
Laughing, the trio started picking their way out of the rubble, quickly joined by a still-panicking Toad. Seeing the destruction of the castle from across town, he had come running as fast as his little legs could carry him, but he needn't have worried. Two-hundred some-odd games later and it's still all's well that ends well in the Mushroom Kingdom, and if Nintendo has anything to say about it, it'll probably stay that way for hundreds more to come.
A25. Favorite Game [1477 votes]
Super Mario Galaxy 2 - 193 (13.07%)
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - 189 (12.80%)
Super Mario 3D Land - 127 (8.60%)
Super Mario 64 - 120 (8.12%)
Super Mario Galaxy - 117 (7.92%)
Super Mario Sunshine - 108 (7.31%)
New Super Mario Bros. Wii - 87 (7.31%)
Mario Kart Wii - 86 (5.82%)
Super Mario World - 83 (5.62%)
Super Mario Bros. 3 - 82 (5.55%)
Paper Mario - 64 (4.33%)
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - 37 (2.51%)
Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga - 29 (1.96%)
O. Super Paper Mario - 23 (1.56%)
O. Luigi's Mansion - 13 (0.88%)
O. Mario Kart 7 - 13 (0.88%)
O. Super Smash Bros. Brawl - 12 (0.81%)
O. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story - 11 (0.74%)
O. Yoshi's Island - 11 (0.74%)
O. Mario Party 9 - 9 (0.61%)
O. Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time - 7 (0.47%)
O. New Super Mario Bros - 6 (0.41%)
O. Super Mario Bros. 2 - 6 (0.41%)
O. Mario Kart: Double Dash - 5 (0.34%)
O. Mario Strikers Charged - 5 (0.34%)
O. Super Mario Bros. - 4 (0.27%)
O. Mario Kart DS - 3 (0.20%)
O. Mario Super Sluggers - 3 (0.20%)
O. Mario Tennis Open - 3 (0.20%)
O. Super Princess Peach - 3 (0.20%)
O. Super Smash Bros. - 2 (0.14%)
O. Mario Tennis (N64) - 2 (0.14%)
O. WarioWare: Smooth Moves - 2 (0.14%)
O. Game & Watch Gallery - 1 (0.07%)
O. Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour - 1 (0.07%)
O. Mario Kart 64 - 1 (0.07%)
O. Mario Party 5 - 1 (0.07%)
O. Mario Party 7 - 1 (0.07%)
O. Mario Superstar Baseball - 1 (0.07%)
O. Mario Teaches Typing 2 - 1 (0.07%)
O. Mario Tennis: Power Tour - 1 (0.07%)
O. Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels - 1 (0.07%)
O. Super Mario Kart - 1 (0.07%)
O. Super Smash Bros. Melee - 1 (0.07%)
O. Yoshi's Story - 1 (0.07%)