Captain’s Log, 01/24 21:05
Today I arrived at the “Smash Mansion” as scheduled by the mysterious Master Hand. The trip was incredibly difficult on the poor S.S. Dolphin, so much so that some of its parts flew off when I entered this planet’s atmosphere. I was stranded for quite some time… as usual.
Before I go on explaining my most recent escapades, I guess I should write some more about how I was invited here. It all happened so quickly. Between the packing, saying goodbyes, and getting the President’s permission to come here, I didn’t have time to write anything down as it happened. So, it goes like this:
It began about half a year after I came home from recovering the alien treasures with Louie. The debt had been paid off, and after a few weeks of working overtime, I was able to buy back the S.S. Dolphin from the impound lot. I was lucky- the ship was about to be stripped for parts when I got there! Everything was looking up and getting back to normal, with me making good time on my deliveries and Louie getting into trouble every few days. Until…
I was approached suddenly after one of my deliveries by what appeared to be a Pikmin! I was about to jump back into the Dolphin when I saw it. I was completely befuddled, because I’d made many deliveries to this planet before and had never seen a Pikmin on it, let alone such a strange one. It appeared to be a white Pikmin, but with one key difference: it had five fingers on each hand! How was it able to survive in an oxygen-free atmosphere? Why did it need five fingers? Why was it travelling alone when Pikmin are usually found in small packs? Curious, I allowed it to come into the ship with me. I let it sit in the copilot seat, making it the first Pikmin to be honored in such a way. I was kind of thrilled, really, because if there were Pikmin that could live without oxygen, it meant that Pikmin might have a chance of surviving on Hocotate! I could see Pikmin without having to go to another planet! Sadly, my dreams were short lived. Once the Pikmin got settled into the copilot’s seat and we were on the way back to Hocotate, it began to speak in a deep man’s voice!
“Thank you for welcoming me, Captain Olimar,” He said. I thought maybe I was hallucinating, or I’d left some music playing. But he kept going!
“I understand that my voice may surprise you. It’s unusual for a Pikmin to speak, correct? I’ve seen your dimension before, but only from the outside.”
I wish I could put the audio recording into this document. I bought a new Interstellar Radio a few months ago that came with a flight recorder, so I was able to listen to the strange Pikmin’s voice over and over. I may have gotten a bit carried away.
“It may come as no surprise to know that I’m not really a Pikmin. I’m only taking the form of one so as not to startle you. I see my plan was a bit flawed, though… I can feel you balking from back here.” Well, he was right. I thought my eyes might fall out of my head, they were so wide.
“I’ve come to propose something to you. A vacation of sorts.” This is what really got me listening. I hadn’t been on vacation since before my first crash landing. I tried to keep my imagination on a leash, but I admit the first thing I thought of was lying in the sun at the beach with my wife. I really wasn’t ready for the actual proposal:
“Where I’m from, there’s a tournament called Super Smash Brothers. It’s an interdimensional fight to the top with contenders from all over the multiverse. Hundreds of possible matchups, items that can give you an edge, no limits... do you like fighting, Captain? It’s entirely recreational, of course. No bad blood between anyone… well, none that didn’t exist already. And we use cutting edge medical and virtual technology to ensure the good health of every fighter. It’s quite astounding, and I’d love to have you take part this year. It’s our third tourney, nicknamed ‘Brawl’. Are you interested?”
I felt deflated. A weird Pikmin comes on my ship and tells me he wants me to go off to another planet to fight people? I’ve never been in a real fight before. I’ve gotten in my share of lover’s quarrels, but I’d sooner plant myself in the ground than plant my hands on another person. Of course I’ve dealt with Bulborbs and other wild animals, but that’s different. I was going to reject the proposal immediately when I suddenly got a phone call from the President. The Dolphin implored me to pick it up, as it was apparently urgent. I picked it up and received some awful news.
“Olimar, Olimar! It’s me! Ohhh, just terrible, I’ve got terrible news…” I heard him sniffling, “Olimar… we’re ruined! It’s over for Hocotate Freight!”
Apparently, the President had ignored some very serious warnings from the Health Department while he was trying to figure out the whole debt situation months ago. He’d gotten a yellow slip that cautioned of mold and water damage in the building that holds our Pikpik carrots… which he promptly ignored while he accompanied me to find Louie. He forgot about it and eventually that yellow slip turned into a red slip. The building where we held all of our freight was completely condemned. With no sanitary place to hold our carrots, we didn’t have much to ship. Hocotate’s best (and really only) export is our Pikpik carrots, and they all had to be thrown out and the building condemned.
I asked what would happen to the company, and the President despaired, “we’re ruined! There’s nothing left to ship, and we can’t take incoming oo! What’s more, the building is so far gone that when I got an estimate for how much it would cost to fix it, they said… they said it would cost nearly 50,000 Pokos to get it up to code! I already had to spend our safety net on paying the Health Department fines… It’s over!”
This broke my heart and irritated me at the same time. I could go back to PNF-404 to try and dig up more treasures, but I’d already dug up all the ones I’d seen- there was no guarantee that there would be enough treasure to save us again. I wanted to say something, but before I could open my mouth, I heard a voice quite close to me. The mysterious Pikmin appeared in the cockpit, right next to my feet!
“You know,” he said, “the Super Smash Brothers tournament awards large cash prizes for each match won. You could win fifty thousand Pokos in a matter of days. You’d even have a nice big nest egg to send to your wife. I’m sure she’d appreciate some shopping money to ease her worries.”
It seemed like this weird Pikmin knew everything about me. It was strangely enticing. Not knowing what else to do, and being apparently unemployed at the moment, I agreed on one condition: I needed to bring Pikmin with me. I, like the Pikmin themselves, am not so good at fighting. But together we can accomplish great things, like earning enough Pokos to save my company from shutting down (again). The mysterious Pikmin agreed. He introduced himself as Master Hand and let the President know that “Captain Olimar has everything under control and will be in touch soon.” I wouldn’t understand why he called himself Master Hand until later.
Apparently the Super Smash Brothers tournaments have been happening for a long time. It started with just a few close friends sparring for fun. The cash prizes weren’t added until the second installment, and apparently my entrance would be made in this new, third installment. The fights aren’t staged, but they do have some incredibly futuristic technology that ensures nobody gets hurt too badly, which put me at ease. The fights are broadcast across the multiverse, but only certain people will be able to tune in. Master Hand offered to make sure my kids wouldn’t see the fights, but I declined. I really want to make my family proud of me. Sure I bring in the Pokos, but I’m also a brave and strong fighter! I hope so, that is.
Anyway, from there it was a whirlwind. Master Hand instructed me to pack everything I would need for an extended stay at the “Smash Mansion,” a huge and luxurious dormitory built specifically for the event. He gave me two days to do this. It was really stressful. I’d like to meet another fighter here who’s had to explain this whole situation to his family, assuage any of their worries without knowing any details, pack his things, and say goodbye in only two days. It was hard to think of it as a “vacation” when it was so draining before I even got there.
That brings me to just this morning, when I boarded the Dolphin and input the coordinates for Master Hand’s world. They were strange, impossible coordinates. It was like it was located in an entirely different plane of existence. Nonetheless, the Dolphin came through and brought me here via one of its signature crash landings, depositing me in the middle of a grassy green field. The planet was full of oxygen, and I was terrified that the Dolphin’s life support systems might fail. Luckily, I was saved after only a few hours of plodding around helplessly.
The creature that saved me wasn’t a Pikmin. This time, it was a large, smiling, green-and-white lizard wearing orange shoes. It made some concerned-sounding noises when it found me. It didn’t fit the criteria for any of the zoological families the Dolphin had ever identified on PNF-404 (probably because we only ever encountered insect families). Whatever species it belonged to, it was very friendly. It investigated me and touched my space suit gently, not seeming like it wanted to eat me or anything like that. Eventually the creature did the unthinkable- it turned around and knelt down, allowing me to climb atop its back! I was astounded! I guess I really do have a way with wildlife. I carefully climbed on, and it took off at a remarkable pace. I felt a little motion sick, actually.
The lizard took me all the way back to the Smash Mansion. It’s huge. I’ll have to describe it in more detail some other time. When I arrived there, the creature was excited to show me to my room! It grabbed my arm with its primitive hand and lead me up several floors and through many hallways, all the way to a door with my name displayed on an electronic plaque near the top. My name was on it in Hocotatian, but it also displayed in a few other languages that I’d never seen before. The lizard gave me what looked like a grin and rolled a long, bright red tongue out of its mouth while I stared at the door. The tongue held a plastic rectangle in its sticky grip- luckily this suit has gloves. Apparently this card is used to unlock doors here, as the lizard showed me by yanking my card-holding hand in front of a little black box above the doorknob. I was able to get inside safely. I wish I could’ve asked that helpful fellow what its name was. It kept making this sound like “Yoshi, yoooshiii!” Naming animals after the sounds they make seems a little juvenile, but for now that’s what I’ll stick with. Yoshi was the first friend I made here at Smash Mansion.
Master Hand contacted me a few minutes ago via my suit’s communicator to apologize for not making note of my situation soon enough. He told me that the Dolphin is in an on-site garage, getting fixed up. He told me lots of other things about where to find food, first aid, and the garage, but I felt just so exhausted. It felt like one of those conversations with my son where I just say “yeah, yep, mm-hmm” to get through it. Really the only thing I caught was that apparently my room is the only room in the Mansion without oxygen. So of course when we were done talking I threw off my suit and collapsed in bed. The beds here are really quite special, by the way. Or maybe I’m just that tired.
Well, that’s the story of how I got here. The official tournament starts in a week, and there’s still so much I don’t know. I don’t know where my Pikmin are, I don’t know what Yoshi is, I don’t know how to contact my family, I don’t know where all the facilities are… I’ll figure it out in the morning. I’m pooped.