Chapter 1: Landing
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.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2- Acclimation
Olimar gets set up at his new place.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Captain’s Log, 01/25 19:07
After yesterday’s crash landing, I was worried about the fate of the poor S.S. Dolphin. Luckily, Master Hand informed me this morning via a phone call that the ship had been repaired, and I needed to come have a look. This was a great thing to wake up to! I know that I win some Pokos by fighting in the tournament, but if the Dolphin had taken too much damage it would’ve cost a fortune and a half to get it working again. I would’ve had to pick between the Dolphin and my company, and I know I would end up having to choose my company. I love the Dolphin, though. It’s always been my partner and it’s helped me through thick and thin, so the news that it wasn’t going to fall apart was something to celebrate.
I wanted to have a look at the ship ASAP, so I threw on my suit and left my room. My room, by the way, is mostly typical hotel fare. A nice bed with brand-new sheets, sparkling clean carpeted floors, a big closet, a sleek nightstand, and even a luxury TV screen. It reminds me of the vacations I used to take with my wife before the kids came along. My kids used to destroy nice hotel rooms like this, so we had to stop going on vacations together until they got a little older. Of course, now that the kids are old enough to be at school most of the day and take care of themselves at home, my wife goes on her own little vacations nearly every day without me…
One thing that is special about my room, as I mentioned in my last entry, is a lack of oxygen. The room’s ventilation system seems to be outfitted with a powerful filtration device that removes oxygen and replaces it with more breathable air. As such, I found a notice on the nightstand that warned me not to bring in any oxygen-breathing fighters into my room. There goes my plan for a dinner party.
Once I entered the hallway outside my room, I surveyed my surroundings and noticed many other doors leading to many other fighters’ rooms. The rooms next to mine had plaques with strange languages written on them, and thankfully each plaque had a second one underneath it that scrolled through other languages. My room is between the rooms of two fighters named “King Dedede” and “Lucario”. I’m shocked that a king is rooming right next to a freight-driving mechanic like me. I’m not sure who the other fighter is, but I’m sure we’ll meet soon. Across the hall is a room belonging to a “Mr. Game and Watch”. Such a long name must mean he’s someone important, like the owner of a company or something. I’ve never been a social butterfly, but I’m excited to meet all these people. Since they’re all coming from different worlds, they must all be completely different. It makes me feel very special yet extremely similar to everyone else.
As I journeyed down the hallway, partially to get to the garage and partially to get a good look around, who else would I run into but Yoshi? The green lizard seemed to light up when it saw me. I hate to apply Hocotatian social cues to an animal, but I swear that it smiled happily, like a person! I gave it a soft pat on its giant, round nose as a way of saying good morning. It seemed pleased. So pleased, in fact, that it squatted right down and, in the middle of the hallway, with no warning, laid a huge egg.
The egg was giant, perfectly smooth, white with green spots, and came out so quickly I could hardly believe my eyes. I’d never seen an animal lay an egg so quickly, efficiently, and painlessly before. When I thought about it, I wondered if Yoshi was perhaps a girl? If it can lay eggs, it must be female, right? Actually, as I found out definitively later, Yoshi is in fact a boy, and all of the Yoshi (it is both his name and his species’ name- not many creatives around here, I guess) can lay eggs regardless of sex. Anyways, it rolled the egg in front of me and made some happy noises, as if it were offering it to me. I wasn’t entirely sure what to do, but before I could decide on anything, it smacked the egg with so much force that the egg cracked! It viciously tore open the egg, plunging its hand inside. I thought I was going to be sick with the thought of Yoshi rummaging around inside its own gamete. Thankfully and mysteriously, Yoshi did not pull out its hand to reveal dripping egg mess. Instead, what it retrieved from the egg was some kind of black glass pane. It thrust the pane at me, and I took it. It seems that Yoshi’s eggs aren’t necessarily eggs, but rather egg-shaped husks that contain previously-swallowed objects. I’ve been here one day and already I’ve seen such wondrous things!
The glass panel I was given is some sort of futuristic device called a “Tablet.” It has a single button on the side that allows me to turn on the display, and once the display is turned on I can perform all manner of mundane tasks on it. I can receive and send e-mails, make phone calls, set alarms, take notes, look at the tournament schedule, look at a map of the campus, read detailed files on each fighter, and communicate with room service as well as Master Hand. It’s a fantastic device! Back on Hocotate, you’d need at least four different appliances to do what this one little machine does. I understand now what Master Hand meant when he said “cutting-edge technology”.
When I turned on the Smash Tablet, I was greeted by a little box of text that said something like “Master Hand requires your presence. Open Maps to see the location.” I touched it with my finger, and the screen quickly changed to a map view of where I was standing. There was a yellow marker on the side of the map that indicated where I needed to be. Being a freight driver and accidental cosmonaut, I know a thing or two about maps! With this new device, I was able to find the garage quickly. I walked through the huge, sprawling mansion that had hundreds of rooms I’ve yet to explore, and I passed by a cafeteria that I could smell even through my suit. I passed through a gorgeous garden with what looked like many hundreds of flowers and assorted plants arranged artfully. There was a huge pond with a bench in front of it, and at the edge of the yard was a giant, towering dome with a vaulted door. The dome itself was covered in a blue tarp, so I couldn’t see what was inside. I’m very interested to see what it is, though, so I’ll return to it later.
When I finally made it to the garage, a strange little creature came to greet me. It was a little biped covered in a red blanket that wore a creepy white mask and a thin belt around its waist. The mask had huge, gaping eyeholes and a small mouth hole, but I didn’t see any eyes or a mouth… the creature seemed friendly enough, though, so I followed it as it took me to see my S.S. Dolphin. It looked great, even better than when it had come here! Somehow they knew exactly what it needed! My joy was interrupted by the sight of something unsettling- A giant, floating, gloved hand hovering next to my ship. No, really! That’s what Master Hand is- he’s a big hand! Like I said, naming conventions here are less than creative.
Master Hand had told me about his true identity a few times in the days leading up to my arrival, but I guess I didn’t take him seriously enough, because seeing him like that gave me the creeps.
Anyways, he let me know that since I hadn’t been properly introduced into the Mansion like the other fighters, I was missing a few things that I needed, which is why he sent Yoshi to give me my Tablet this morning. First, he gave me a small, black device to put in my ear canal. It’s a translator that can translate every spoken language at the Mansion into Hocotatian! Isn’t that mind boggling? I wonder if I can bring this device home to help me decipher my kids’ weekly slang…
The other device he gave me was a proper room key card. Apparently the one Yoshi gave me yesterday was an emergency master key card, which can be used to open any locked room door one time. I’m glad I didn’t need to go back into my room after I’d headed out.
The key card to my room also functions as a bank card. I can pay for extra food, drinks, and souvenirs with the card, and it gets taken out of my Poko payment at the end of the tournament. Systems like these always remind me of my wife- she’ll put everything on the card and say things like, “We don’t have to pay for it until later, it’s fine!” I hope I can keep my composure with the power this little card gives me. On the other hand, I can’t wait to buy some treasures for my family. I’ll definitely be stopping by the gift shop soon.
Finally, Master Hand let me know that most of the food here is safe for me to eat. Almost all of the food here is preserved with nitrogen instead of oxygen, and as long as I eat slowly and in moderation my body should be able to filter out the small amount of oxygen found in most foods. It wasn’t something I thought about a lot, but it put me at ease anyways. The smell of that cafeteria was tantalizing, after all.
In the end, Master Hand told me that any other info I needed would be on the Tablet. He said that if I needed help, any of the staff walking around could help me. I learned that many of the staff belong to a species of creature called “Shy Guys,” including the little masked man I saw earlier. The Shy Guys are friendly and intelligent, but my translator won’t be able to translate their speech, so I’ll have to make do with my words.
It was quite a big fiasco, and as I left I felt a sense of relief so light and airy that I thought I might fall over. At the same time, I was exhausted. I went straight from the garage to my quarters without visiting the cafeteria or the strange dome first. I was certainly hungry, but a good captain always packs food rations! I ate a few meal bars by myself in my room before settling down to explore my Tablet and flip through TV channels. As I was tinkering with the different apps, particularly the room service app (I admit I was still peckish), I heard a little chime when a banner came down from the top of the screen. A notice that I’d received my first email… from a stranger! I’ll record what it says here:
I received news of your exciting arrival this morning from Master Hand. From the bottom of my heart, welcome to the Super Smash Brothers Mansion.
Tomorrow afternoon there will be a reception to commemorate the arrival of every new fighter in this year’s tournament.
It will be held in the Grand Ceremonies Hall in the left wing of the Mansion, starting at one. There will be food, drink, music, and games for all.
I would be very grateful if you came. Everybody is excited to meet you.
Princess Toadstool – Peach
Well, that’s the first time I’ve been invited to a party since high school. I want to be excited, but instead I’m nervous. I’ll surely go, but I just don’t know what to expect. So far, the only friend I have is Yoshi. What if everyone is already in groups? What if I can’t find my way in? What if I’ll end up sitting alone in the back with the sandwich my mom packed me while everyone else eats candy and chips?!
… I’m getting ahead of myself. I should go to sleep before I catastrophize any more. That is, if I can sleep- it sounds like one of my neighbors, King Dedede I presume, just got home. Every step he takes makes a really loud “PLAP” sound on the ground, like he’s walking around on huge webbed feet or something. Like some kind of extremely fat penguin or duck. Well, I’ll have to get used to it. For the Pokos!
No, I didn’t forget about my pressing workplace emergency for an entire day! Never!
I'm really sorry that this chapter took so long to come out and is also super long. I don't really have an excuse except that I work a lot. I want to write more Smash fics, so thank you for being patient with me. Next chapter hopefully soon.