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Web Animation / Rise of the Mushroom Kingdom

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Rise of the Mushroom Kingdom is a four part flash movie series featuring the characters and settings from Super Mario Bros.. It was created by the late Randy Solem for his website, Video Game Director's Cuts and has also been featured on Newgrounds.

After Mario is killed by a squadron of Bullet Bills, Luigi leads the citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom on a quest for vengeance against Bowser. As the battle goes on, however, things turn out to be not exactly as they seem...

Inspired by Alexander Leon's equally excellent series Mario Brothers, this series is equally epic in scale, but much lighter in tone, with a good deal of Toilet Humor and Black Comedy in the last episode. It can be seen here on VGDC, here on Newgrounds, or here, on YouTube.

About six years ago, a YouTuber named Asylus created a remastered version of Solem's original movie. The plot is exactly the same, but the following changes were made:

  • A completely different score (still Nintendo-oriented with a few exceptions).
  • Revamped sound effects.
  • A postlude (credits and an ending theme) is added after the final scene.

Depending on the version and editing, the movie runs just under or just over half an hour.

Tropes included in this Video Series:

  • All-Loving Hero: The very beginning shows Mario as this to the Mushroom Kingdom, stopping to do something as simple as helping a little Toad kid who fell off a latter and calling in help for him. This simple compassion alone speaks about just how much the people of the kingdom adored and loved Mario, not just from his countless quests to rescue the princess and save the kingdom, and all the more reason why that they are devastated by his brutal murder and are out for bloody vengeance against the Koopa Kingdom (even though they were innocent).
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  • Almost Dead Guy: Luigi takes the bullet for Mario in Part 3 and lives just long enough to tell him about Wart's plans.
  • Artifact Title: The title of the series refers to the normal citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom mobilizing into a fighting force, with the goal of avenging Mario's murder. After two parts depicting this, the third reveals it was All Just a Dream, and the remaining two parts focus on Mario, Luigi and Peach. The Mushroom Kingdom does no "rising" until the very end, where a force arrives to clean up Wart's minions and fortress after the villain has already been defeated.
  • Big Bad: Bowser kicks off the plot by managing to actually kill Mario with Bullet Bills, and Luigi and the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom are out to avenge him. Except that Wart is the true killer who framed Bowser to get the two kingdoms to destroy each other.
  • Big Damn Heroes: A revived Luigi reveals himself by saving Mario at the last minute in Part 4.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Part 2 ends with the Mushroom Kingdom prevailing against the Koopa Kingdom, but of course it doesn't change the fact that Mario is still dead. Were it not for the Wham Shot we're given at the end of the second installment, and the inclusion of two more chapters, this is likely how the series would have ended. Part 4 in contrast is a much more happy ending, since both Mario AND Luigi are still alive at the end.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Bowser wets himself in terror just before he is Eaten Alive by the baby Yoshis.
  • Camera Abuse: Larry gets blasted into the screen during Part 2.
  • Cliffhanger: The end of Part 2 and beginning of Part 3.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Mario, Luigi, and Bowser's deaths. Mario, one man, is bombarded by Bullet Bills (fired by Wart) before being explosively finished off by a Banzai Bill. After Luigi wakes up to find out it's all about to happen for real, he takes the entire onslaught, and the resulting explosion gruesomely blows him in half. And Bowser is mauled to pieces by a bunch of newly-hatched baby Yoshis. Though like Mario's case, it's doesn't actually happen.
    • And in Part 4 Wart is blown to pieces when a Fire Flower is used to light his flatuence.
    • In the same part, Clawgrip gets boiled alive in a deep vat of water.
  • Dead Hat Shot: Mario's death in Part 1 is symbolized by a slow-motion shot of his falling hat.
  • Due to the Dead:
    • Mario's funeral is attended by many Toads and Yoshis, as well as Luigi and the Princess.
    • During the battle against Bowser's kingdom, many dead fighters from the Mushroom Kingdom can be seen being carried away by their comrades.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The beginning of Part 3 reveals Parts 1 and 2 were Luigi dreaming prophetically.
  • Easter Egg: Specifically if you watched the flash version or not, you could zoom in and read hidden messages left by VGDC, and in the very final part of the very final episode, having your mouse hover over one of the windows would reveal an older toad raping a very young toad, while clicking on it would give you a squishy sound.
  • Foreshadowing: At the beginning of Part 2, Bowser reacts with confusion when he's informed of the incoming attack, hinting that he is not the one who killed Mario.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Tons. There is a guide to them on VGDC.
  • Gasshole: Wart. Word of God implied this is why he hates vegetables so much.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: In Part 2, the scene shifts so that we don't see the worst of Bowser being torn apart by baby Yoshis. We still see bloody body parts, though.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: At the end of Part 2, Luigi visits Mario's grave and places a photo of the two brothers on it.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Poor Luigi gets split in two a Bullet Bill in Part 3, living through it just long enough to tell Mario that Wart was the one who launched the attack.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Bowser is implied to have done one prior to the beginning of the series as he had not attacked the Mushroom Kingdom for quite some time, though he chooses not to take prisoners when the Mushroom Kingdom attacks his castle unprovoked (from his perspective).
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Luigi at the beginning of Part 3. As he's dying, he warns Mario that Wart is trying to assassinate him, so Mario decides not to let him do so without a fight.
  • Neck Snap: The move Luigi uses against a Boom Boom, as he tries to enter the castle's nightclub.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The movie uses sprites from Super Mario World, the Super Mario All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros. 2, and Yoshi's Island, all of which have slightly different art styles.
  • "Psycho" Strings:
    • These play in Part 2 when the baby Yoshis begin to rip Bowser to shreds.
    • They play again in Part 3 when the Phantos kill Mouser.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Subverted. Although most of the background score is identifiable as Nintendo (with a few exceptions), almost none of the music is in the public domain.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: As indicated by the title, the entire series is one of these, with the Mushroom Kingdom battling against Bowser and Wart.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The end of Part 2, when it turns out that Wart killed Mario and Bowser was completely innocent.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Luigi gets to Bowser using the "World -1" trick from Super Mario Bros. and finishes him off by swinging him into the distance, Super Mario 64-style.
    • Mario uses the super jump from Super Mario Bros. 2 in Wart's castle.
    • Mario keeps losing his cap during Part 4, much like in Super Mario 64.
    • Mario's battle against Clawgrip is styled in the same way as Donkey Kong.
    • MC Koopa and Mario's distracting dance are references to Randy Solem's Mack Daddy Mario videos from Video Game Director's Cuts
    • Bowser wetting himself out of fear is another reference to another of Solem's videos.
  • Spiritual Successor: This was directly inspired by Mario Brothers, and indeed, the first two parts are basically a story about Luigi avenging Mario instead of the other way around. However, because of the long gaps between updates, it also became a Spiritual Antithesis, as Mario Brothers is completely hopeless and has an "Everybody Dies" Ending, whereas this series is more idealistic, ending with all the good guys alive, even those who originally died.
  • Time Stands Still: In Part 3, Luigi uses a Stopwatch to freeze time and throw Mario out of the path of the Banzai Bill. Unfortunately, the effect wears off before Luigi himself can get out of the way, resulting in his own death.
  • Toilet Humor:
  • Walking Spoiler: It's essentially impossible to mention Wart without giving away the twist ending to Part 2.
  • Wham Shot: At the end of the second installment, Luigi visits Mario's grave, when another Bullet Bill is fired at him. The shooter is then revealed to be Wart, indicating him as the true culprit behind the death of Mario and not Bowser.