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Video Game / Super Mario And The Dismal Heart

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Super Mario and the Dismal Heart is a Super Mario Bros. fangame. It takes place after Super Paper Mario, and as such contains spoilers for that game.

One day, Mario is asked by Princess Peach to find a jigsaw puzzle for her to do, as she likes puzzles. But as he sets out to do so, Count Bleck returns and recruits the Koopalings into helping him take over the world, having taken over the Mushroom Kingdom and kidnapped Peach. It is up to Mario to collect the magical puzzle pieces to break Bleck's spell, defeat the Koopalings, take back the Kingdom and Peach, stop Bleck's plan to destroy and recreate the world, and figure out why Bleck, who had redeemed himself, is evil again.

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This fangame contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Count Bleck, as in his home game, is friendly despite being evil. He treats the Koopalings well, and just before fighting Mario, he warns him to not let his guard down.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Count Bleck takes over the Mushroom Kingdom while Mario is gone, and it becomes the final world of the game.
  • Antagonist Title: The Dismal Heart is the true Big Bad of the game as the Artifact of Doom that corrupted Count Bleck into turning evil again.
  • Artifact of Doom: The titular Dismal Heart is an artifact similar to the Chaos Heart, as it corrupts anyone who comes in contact with it.
  • Artistic License – Politics: Count Bleck bribes Wendy into fighting Mario by promising to buy her the USA. Becoming president requires a lot more than money, and even then it will not give one total control over the country, as the system of checks and balances is specifically meant to prevent this. Of course, it is likely that Bleck knew this and lied to exploit Wendy's ignorance.
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  • Big Bad: Count Bleck returns and has taken over the Mushroom Kingdom, kidnapped the princess, and recruited the Koopalings to help him destroy and recreate the world, and Mario must stop him. However, it is revealed after beating him that the titular Dismal Heart corrupted him into turning evil again.
  • Big "NO!": Count Bleck screams this when he is defeated, followed by “This can’t be happening!”
  • Blow You Away: One of Wendy's attacks is to create a small tornado and throw it at Mario.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Count Bleck bribes Wendy into fighting Mario by promising to buy Mario Fan Games Galaxy, the site in which the game was hosted, for her.
  • Foreshadowing: Roy, just before his boss fight, says that he is in charge of Bowser's Castle while his dad is away, making one wonder just where Bowser is and why he is absent in all this. As it turns out, he is in Castle Bleck, which he took over.
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  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The 34 puzzle pieces scattered around each level. Getting them is actually mandatory to fighting Count Bleck, as without them, the door to his lair cannot be accessed.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Bowser himself fought Count Bleck over the Dismal Heart and took over Castle Bleck, making him indirectly responsible for the plot, but he is mainly in the background while the Dismal Heart, possessing Bleck, is the Big Bad.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Bowser turns out to be the Greater-Scope Villain of the game, having taken over Castle Bleck after fighting with Bleck over the Dismal Heart and losing.
  • The Namesake: For almost the whole game, the Dismal Heart never appears and is never mentioned. It is only until the very end that it is revealed to be the Artifact of Doom responsible for Count Bleck's return to evil.
  • Not Me This Time: Mario initially thinks that, since the Koopalings are attacking him, Bowser must be behind it as usual. Only later does he learn that none other than Count Bleck was the one who sent the Koopalings after Mario. Subverted when it turns out that Bowser and Bleck fought over the Dismal Heart, making Bowser at least partially responsible for the plot.
  • Ocular Gushers: Lemmy emits streams of tears whenever he is hit in his boss fight. Wendy and Roy also do this, but their streams are smaller.
  • Shout-Out: Count Bleck bribes Wendy with buying her ownership of the USA, a reference to the The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode Reptiles in the Rose Garden where Kootie Pie (Wendy's cartoon counterpart) takes over America.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Mario in canon is mostly a Heroic Mime, only speaking occasionally, but here he has a short monologue at the beginning of Worlds 2 through 5.
  • This Cannot Be!: When finally defeated, after he lets out a Big "NO!", Count Bleck says “this can’t be happening!”
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Mushroom Kingdom after being taken by Count Bleck is now a dark, foggy realm with many tough enemies, and the final level is Peach's castle, a temple-like area.
  • True Final Boss: Bowser, the Greater-Scope Villain who took over Castle Bleck, was planned to be this as the boss of World 9, but development was abandoned before World 9 was fully complete.
  • Villain Team-Up: Minor example, but Count Bleck bribes the Koopalings into helping him with his plans of conquest.
  • Villain Teleportation: As in his home game, Count Bleck can teleport, and does so in his boss fight, leaving behind a block every time he does so.
  • Warmup Boss: Morton J. Koopa is the first of the Koopalings fought.
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