Categories > Games > Mario1 Reviews
What exactly goes on in the mind of a wooden doll? In an attempt to relieve himself of tension, Geno wanders outside one night to look at the stars. Peach, who happened to be awake, follows. Appare...
Quick Note: To avoid confusion and to preserve the sanities of the reader and the author, "Princess Toadstool", as called in the game, will be referred to as "Princess Peach." Now, I could go into a little history here, but let's not. XD Let's just say that she was always called Peach, even before "Yoshi Safari" and "Super Mario 64". :D
To Be Real
By: Jigglypuff in Blue Ribbons
/Hush/-it was the general impression of the world right now. The Toads of Seaside Town fell in a deep slumber, along with it, their world. Lights flickered off, and the chattering and pattering of feet was put to a halt. A zephyr flown through the village, whispering a soothing lullaby to a lethargic world. Blackness, darkness, silence; it was the night. Nothing moved-nothing answered. But it wasn't evil, nor did it bespoke of a horrible destiny. Rather, it represented a quiet peace after the sun blanketed itself. Most importantly, it was when the stars appeared, shining their significance upon the sleeping citizens of the Mushroom World.
A wooden doll lay on top of a window sill, his back pressed against the wall. His legs were stretched out along the way; one bent upward with a hand resting on its kneecap. Geno watched the world from that window, observing the silhouettes of the houses and beyond, among other things. He closed his eyes for a second, a rush of tranquility circulating him. It had been a long day today and much had happened through it. Mario and everyone had met up with a pirate captain named Jonathan "Johnny" Jones, who requested a duel solely between him and the red-clad plumber over a Star Piece he owned. The fake villagers of Seaside Town, ala the disguised form of one of Smithy's goons, "Yaridovich", had been thwarted, the true Seasidians freed and the sacrificed Star Piece recovered. Combat was enough to make anyone tired, but rest didn't come easily for the puppet-like being. So there he was for long hours in the night, until he was too fatigued to stare out anymore. It was like a daily routine; everyone nestled under the covers, and there by the window would be he, thinking and watching for time and awakening. It was often late at the night, but what did it matter? It was like having the entire world by yourself.
In ways, the marionette without strings actually had a master. He, a being from the Star Road, had roped himself into a lifeless puppet, giving it a soul and dominating over it in exchange, tugging and slaving orders into the doll-and himself. Suddenly the puppet was the master and the master was the slave-it all contradicted each other and the two wound up as one. Yet, while the doll and star were together as an individual, somewhere there was still that conflict between the puppet and master, fighting for the power of these invisible strings, which secretly had demons clawing their way at the end of each. The doll thought of rest, to simply be oneself and relax. The star however, was on a tight schedule, and he would never forget his mission-that one day he would leave the puppet he breathed life into, and where once harbored a mind and a soul, it was no more than just that-a simple wooden doll. It would be no one without a master now, and would be shelved as a lifeless pawn forever; to be a forgotten memory of what it once was.
Star Hill. There was something funny about seeing it again, if a bit drastic-maybe even sad. It all looked the same: the earth blue as the sky itself, wishes sprinkled about the landscape, and an overall mystical feeling that came out of the place. Waves of nostalgia swept over Geno as he looked around; it was like coming home several weeks later and finding everything to be normal, except for the aura. It was a simple thing like that that turned home into a stranger-it was heaven turned limbo. It was shocking to know that unwanted visitors and such had broken into the Hill: geckos, moles, and thieves pillaged about the area, even the appearance of an occasional Pulsar and Mastadoom, corrupting everything as a devil would to a sanctuary. The star-turned-wishes lay there like diamonds, slowly dulling and losing value because they couldn't be granted anymore-unless, of course, it happened to be by chance. The mysticism was still there, yes... yet now it seemed to casually prepare its own funeral, waiting sadly but doing so with faith, pleasing itself as long as it could before completely being gnawed away. That Star Piece was a cry for help-nobody wanted the land to fade away and the leftover wishes held all the hope that Star Hill had left. Hope that one day, the land would return to its full glory; hope that one day, it wouldn't have to be so sad anymore. Surely, somebody will come and restore order to its world. Somebody, invited strangers, would come as survivors...
"Go get 'em, Geno! You're the main man!"
It was like the little boy knew him long before they even met. Somehow it was like they were connected with each other; the doll was originally his, after all. Gaz certainly did have an imagination, and spent a lot of time at home with his plush versions of Mario, Peach, Bowser, and others, acting out his own adventures for them as he went. He felt closest to his wooden doll "Geno" though, and the young boy involved him as much as he could into his plays. Sometimes he would even kick off Mario so his own doll could be the hero. He didn't need to worry about the dark or other things that crawled in the night-he knew with his dolls nearby he would be protected, and "Geno" was a guardian that assured safety for everyone. (Unfortunately, this didn't save him from his mother's wrath when he broke her lamp last week) All this and he never even heard about the Star Road at the time. Meeting the boy for the first time was like seeing an old friend again-like they always had been together, like a child and his not-so-imaginary friend. He admired the star who came to life within the doll, and revered him with faith and confidence, knowing he was real, knowing he was going to find all the Star Pieces, and cheered him on so. Geno nodded in thought and smiled-he was not going to let him down.
There were certainly many other people he met along the way too, and he wasn't about to let the search for the Star Pieces go to waste. He felt especially close to his allies, and not only that, they were getting closer to Smithy and saving the world as well. Mario was bright and cheerful, and led things with such ease that chaos seemed to part in waves and simmer down before him. Mallow gained much more confidence in himself and his abilities, and grown far more mature since they first met. Yes, King Bowser was ruthless and rash, and they all would eventually become enemies again. Yet, he certainly was a powerful addition to the team, and the wooden doll was quite surprised by several occurrences that could be described as honorable, including how the Koopa King treated several ex-members of the Koopa Troop when met up with them. Then there was Princess Peach-while he knew little of her other than what was known at the Star Road, she helped in more ways than he could possibly imagine. Just recently joining Mario and his friends after the events in Marrymore, she still struggled with physical fighting, but had the power to heal everyone with magic-just like an angel that appeared to keep watch over her weary travelers. He would certainly miss them all when they reached the end, including the world he trodden on with them. There were many wonderful, and fascinating, and strange things that they encountered that were far different from home, and for a while felt lost and awkward. Suddenly he was able to see the world differently, only from the eyes of a wooden doll...
Home... that was one price he would have to pay. Once returned to the Star Road, he would leave the wooden doll and never see his friends again-not Mario, not the others, not Gaz, not anyone. This saddened him, and he knew he'd miss them all very much. Yet at the same time, he missed home too, and came so often to the window whenever he could to see the sky. It was the perfect place to assemble his ponderings in the night-not only could he see the world, he could see the stars too, and somehow that brought sense and order back to his mind, soothing him. Even if he grew homesick from reminiscing of the Star Road one night, simply star-gazing brought him near home, if at least for a moment.
There was something unusual about tonight, though-just small parts above the village houses were the stars, which seemed exceptionally bright. Lifting himself off the window sill, Geno quietly made his way down the stairs. Surely it wouldn't hurt much too much to have a closer look. To his convenience, the door was unlocked, so he came out. He too, became a walking silhouette among the buildings, and disappeared just as quickly. He started up the stone stairways, each step making a brief, hollow clap. As soon he reached the top, the wind became more audible, recognized as a lonely and beckoning whisper. Excitedly, it tenderly sent a salty aroma across the wooden doll's face, inviting him before the sea.
Footsteps. He turned his head and it was just that moment his name was called by the same visitor. It turned out to be Princess Peach, and she followed to meet up with him by the shores of the ocean. To suit the needs of the night however, she walked the earth in a long slender nightgown, which gently brushed her legs with each step. Soaked in white, silver, and soft pink, it shimmered brilliantly and though the moon was absent, it was like it commanded its light to come and dance inside that very dress. The crown atop her head had vanished, leaving her with just her long blonde hair. Her arms lay beside her; long, free and ungloved.
"...Princess? What are you doing here this late?" he answered curiously.
"I'm sorry to have followed you," she apologized, her head bowed in embarrassment. "I was having a hard time sleeping, and then I saw you leaving and was wondering where you were going. It would be a while before I'm tired-may I stay here for a while? It looks beautiful tonight."
"Oh, go ahead," he nodded. "I don't mind-you just startled me a bit, is all."
"Okay then. Thank you." she smiled in gratitude and stood beside him, witnessing too the sights that lay before them.
"The sea is quite vast, isn't it?" she commented. "I don't think I've ever seen it this dark before. It's so calm too, and the sky... it's no wonder you've come to this place! It's so beautiful and peaceful here."
"Sometimes, I wonder how the castle is doing, whether Toad, Grandma, Chancellor, and the others are all right. But I didn't want to leave things the way they were, especially with Smithy on his way taking over the world. I know if we stick together we'll put a stop to him, and we'll find all the Star Pieces too. And if anything bad happens to me, I can always count on Mario and the others. And you too..."
Geno nodded silently. The princess cocked her head to the side, concern written across her face. She felt captivated by the wooden doll for some reason; an aura of serenity embraced her, including those of patience and wisdom whenever she was near him. Curiosity bloomed about the princess, and nostalgia came sweeping in memories long stored in the back of her mind. She didn't know whether it was his odd child-like appearance that made her feel that way, or the mysteriousness that seemed to loom over him. If anything, she wanted to get to know him better; there had to be more to the star that enwrapped himself within the doll. Perhaps it wasn't a good time to do so, yet to see him look so depressed worried her...
"Is there something wrong?"
"Oh-nothing. I'm okay."
"Are you sure? You look sad for some reason."
"Really, it's nothing." He shook his head. "I... I was just thinking about the Star Road, that's all."
The two didn't talk for a while afterwards. They stood beside each other and relaxed, both watching the ocean and the sky. The two sights seemed to contradict themselves, yet mirror one another:
The sea was normally described as thunderous and angry, constantly raging and crashing upon the shores and hating the land-/resenting/ it. Yet the waves ushered softly against the small promontory, this one ashamed and remorseful of all the fury it had burned upon that rock. It was a rippling black quilt; drowning the flames and anger beneath. Nothing could be reached beyond the sea; it was nothing more than a frozen blockade telling you had reached the end of the world-an apathetic, boundless one. Yet, it was the same place Johnny and his crew emerged from once more, and the evil that fallen upon its shores was that of Yaridovich-a dark, proud glow seemed to illuminate from that.
Ghostly-dark clouds wisped about the horizon, spreading like fields of violet snow. Yet, it couldn't go any further; it was no more than a shadow against the great sky itself. There was a single, tiny, glittering orb above, and several more like it circling around. The more one watched, the more they appeared, multiplying and frolicking the sky like white rabbits. Eventually, they had taken over the void that was the black sky; all but whatever little space the clouds had left. Each of these stars was unique: some were smaller, others larger. There were dull ones, and those whose light made the shadows cower. There were lone stars too, and those that bunched together and created clusters of constellations. There were all these orbs up there, shining and smiling beyond a field of gloom. Such joy they were, and so magical and free...
"Geno? Do you mind if I ask you something-about the Star Road?"
"You don't have to tell me if you don't want to or anything... I was just curious about what it looked like, is all."
"Oh, it's beautiful up there, Princess..." he replied raptly. "I don't know if I could describe much though..."
"Don't worry about it." she smiled. "You can tell me as much or as little as you want. I won't mind-either way, I'd have something to think of the Road by."
The princess seated in the grass and waited with anticipation, her fingers crossed and resting in her lap.
"Let's see... where to begin?" he started. "Well...let's say you're in this huge golden world that has rainbow smatterings here and there, these spots in which hold the Star Road together. You see many fountains about, springing pure, crystal-clear water and tiny stars along with it. The land is one with outer space, meaning you could see your world from above, and that would include comets, planets, and asteroids, among other things."
"There are many different kinds of stars, including those in the fountains and the sky, and then there are those like me; there is a sanctuary overlooking the Road, and that's where we gathered wishes from all around to transform them into shooting stars. Another sanctuary, which is something even I know little about, is a very secret place-no one except those who enter it knows where it is. This is where stars of much larger importance gather, called Star Spirits, and every wish is transported to them first. The reason why is because it's their job to inspect them-to be sure they didn't have selfish or wicked intentions inside before passing them on to us. Sometimes though, on a very rare occasion, a wish could be so important or immense that only the Star Spirits have the power to make it true..."
"One of the most amazing things about the Star Road is when you're granting wishes. Once they've been approved and turned into shooting stars, we set them off and let them go-Star Hill was right below us, and that's where they all tumbled. It's the most dazzling sight, Princess-just watching them fall is some of the most fascinating things I've ever witnessed. Knowing I was also doing something wonderful and good in the process brings me so much joy I cannot say it in words, even if I tried."
Geno paused for a moment and stared at the ground. His eyes were sad and wistful when he continued:
"...We were the first to witness what Smithy planned for everyone, up here and in the world below. When that huge sword struck through the Star Road, it was true that plenty of complications arose because of it. But it wasn't just the damage of the Road either-there was so much more to it than that. It all happened so quickly when it passed through, and there were some fellow stars I knew that ever since the crash, I never saw them again. Whether they died, turned into monsters, or just plain disappeared, I don't know. It lasted for what seemed to be several seconds, but it was plenty enough to cause much destruction and pain, and to know that Smithy was the one behind all this. It affected us all greatly one way or another-it become something we would never forget. Not only that, we knew that the Star Road had been torn up, and none of us would be able to grant wishes until it was repaired. Yet, no one knew where its pieces had flown off to, and until then, there was nothing to keep the Road held together..."
"I was just devastated something like this would happen-anytime, anywhere, to anybody. I couldn't stop thinking about the crash since, and I wanted to do something that would repair the damage and bring wishes and peace back. That's why I'm here, borrowing the form of this doll-finding all seven Star Pieces won't be easy, but if it meant fixing the Star Road and making things right again, it's a journey I am willing to take."
The princess closed her eyes, ruminating all she had been told about the Star Road, imagining just what sort of place it had been, following its importance. She felt excitement jump in her when Geno spoke of the shooting stars, and how they all fell upon Star Hill. She cringed from the impact made after the sword crashed-how not only it affected him, but everyone else too, even if one never heard of the Star Road. Her breath was taken away, and she stared at the wooden doll, completely in astonishment.
"Geno, I... I don't know what to say."
"A lot has happened, that's for sure." he nodded. "I must say though, that despite everything that's happened in the past, things are getting better. The Star Road will recover, and I owe it all to you, Mario, Mallow, and Bowser too-you guys helped me out of more jams than I can count, and who knows? If it weren't for you all, my search would've ended as quickly as it began, in the Forest Maze before Bowyer. We've only done so much together, and now we've only got two Star Pieces left! Thank you for all the help you've given me, and I'll do what I can for you guys too!"
"It's nothing really...we wanted to stop Smithy, didn't we? And we are! Well, step by step, I mean."
The wooden doll chuckled. "Yeah... we are."
She giggled. Then she stopped with a shocked look. "Oh my! Well, we aught to go back to the inn now. It's very late..."
If indeed, it was late-the sky was a slight shade darker, and fatigue leaned over the two like a rain-cloud. With half-closed eyes and a yawn, the princess stood up and made her way towards the hotel, insomnia cured and ready for a good night's sleep. She was, however, called back by Geno midway.
"What? But I-"
"For coming. For following me and wanting to talk to me tonight. There were quite some things on my mind before, and now I... I don't know how I'd feel by now if you hadn't been here."
Peach started back toward the wooden doll again, facing him once more.
"I don't know what I've done to make you happy," she said. "But whatever I did, I'm glad you're okay now. If you ever want to talk to me again, I'll be more than happy to-I'll be waiting with open arms and ears! This may not be much, but... take it as good luck for all future travels-it'll be a big day tomorrow."
She bent forward and kissed him on the cheek. The wooden doll became very still, timidly lifting his fingers to caress the very area her lips touched in his already-blushing face. The princess went ahead and waved to him by the stairways, beaming with contentment and anticipation.
"Let's go! I'll see you at the hotel!"
He smiled and nodded, following her.
A/N: Whoa, my spacing is all weird. o.O And my grammar still sucks. XD Ah well, nothing's perfect. I'm fully aware that this fic takes place right after Yaridovich's defeat, (as stated ten billion times in the fic. XD) but before Monstro Town, yet Bowser meets up with old members of the Koopa Troop before Mario and the gang even reach there. But hey, you never know-it's likely they met up with a few runaways that got lost along the path or something, so it wouldn't be too AUish. XD Anyway, I've wanted to write something like this for a VERY long time. I absolutely adored Geno from SMRPG, and found him a very interesting and intelligent character that knows how to kick some tail. :D Unfortunately, it was hard for me to find much fanfiction about him, let alone any good ones. Those I did happened to like however, were usually only about a page long, which made me sad. Thus, after much planning, brainstorming, and hard work replaying SMRPG and taking notes, (and procrastinating in all these aspects too. XD), I brought my fanficcing fingers together, the computer and Microsoft Word, and typed away on the computer. After what seems to be a week later, (including revision) PACHING! There you have the results and you've just about finished reading them. (/Roald Dahl ending rip-off) Well, almost. XD
Some of you will probably give me odd looks for one of the brief, final scenes of the fanfic, where there was that kiss (on the cheek, nonetheless). For some reason, I thought it would be cute for Geno and Peach to be together, even though in this fic there wasn't any serious romantic tension or anything like that. Now, it would be pointless to say that I've considered them from how they interact in the game, because they hardly do at all, if barely. Now before you throw stones at me, let me explain-it's their personalities that drew me to them. There is Peach, who is all light-hearted, and then there's Geno, who is more serious and down-to-earth. (No pun intended! [is bricked]) Yet, they aren't complete foils of each other either, which makes it all flow and mesh together in a positive way-Peach seemed like the type Geno would trust and feel comfortable around, whereas Peach looked up to him for his wisdom and understanding. I find the relationship a cute concept, and found it something worth thinking about and experimenting in fanfiction. :D
I've put as much effort into this fic as I could, and I must say that I'm proud of the results. Critique away! I'll bring you some Cricket Jam if I like your review enough. Oh alright, fine-how about a Carbo Cookie, then? :D