winstein's art that are drawn by him, take a look if you want


Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality

(From left to right:
Bottom row: M.C. Ballyhoo, The Old Psychic Lady*, Beanish Barista*, Mario, Undodog, Vivian, Dr. Waldo Bloom, Stanley, Onnanoko
Middle row: Susanna Ross, Genius Girl*, Mary O., Nina, Yamamura, Edison, Misaki, Soundfrog, Kid, Hösn
Top row: Raccoon*, Jed, Bunsen, Harry, Vic Video, Tiny, White Mage, Dösn)

* I made up names for these characters, which can be found in the Spoiler list.

This piece was done a while ago, but it's only today that I decided to show it off. The reason is that I wanted this to be the first post in a new page, which is why I bided my time to get this ready.

The initial idea is that since WarioWare consists of a well-known character and a bunch of unknowns, a MarioWare equivalent would have a similar idea. So, we have Mario who is the well-known character of the lot, and then his group would be populated with characters who are generally obscure. Thinking about what kind of characters Mario would want to associate with, it occurred to me that since Mario has so many characters, there is a treasure trove of them to pick, and as such it's a matter of handpicking them for Mario's company.

Initially, I wanted Mario to operate a game-producing company like good ol' Wario, and would have named it MarioWare. However, LeftyGreenMario (@Googoogaga Spaghetti) insists that it should have been called MarioMart for the alliteration, and then it kind of stuck because there aren't as many supporters of the MarioWare idea, and so the idea morphed into Mario and crew operating a mall, a highly successful one at that since Mario has experience with managing businesses like his Mario Toy Company. The initial crew also expanded beyond this. To give you an idea, there would have been only four female characters in the planned state, and the crew won't be as diverse as what you see now. Despite the fact that there are 27 characters in the image, I envisioned more than that, but the amount is already too many for me to handle.

Of course, this change would mean that I would tweak or redesign some characters to my liking, so while some are minor like Undodog and Mary O., some with a simple clothing change like Vivian and Soundfrog, and even reimagined ones like Kid, White Mage, and the live action characters. My favourite reimagined characters are Kid because it highlights the idea on a recolour being their own person, though I am partial on Beep-0 because I just like to imagine how a Mario-ised Beep-0 would look like.

The following criteria is ruled out for any character that I pick:
  • A commonly-used popular and established Mario character or generic species (e.g.: Peach, Rosalina, Koopa Troopa). Obviously, Mario himself does not count, as otherwise that would be no MarioMart.
  • A character of a popular Mario species, even if the character itself is underutilised/obscure (e.g.: Toadsworth, Kylie Koopa, Goombella). Humans don't count, otherwise the pickings will be much slimmer.
  • The character is squarely a villain all the way (e.g.: Antasma, Madame Broode). Any foes who are redeemed within the game are OK, such as Vivian who is indeed included.
  • The character did not have some form of encounter with Mario himself (e.g.: Most Luigi's Mansion ghosts, Princess Shokora, Count Cannoli).

That still leaves us with quite an ample selection of characters. There is no hard limit on where the character can come from besides the criteria I mentioned above, so like they can be from the popular Super Mario series, from the lesser-known games, or even from other media like the cartoons and the comics. To be frank, some choices were chosen to have equivalents for WarioWare characters, like how Misaki is picked because of a martial artist character (Young Cricket) and how Hösn & Dösn are picked because of an alien character (Orbulon). That said, it may not be obvious until I mentioned it, but Vivian is picked as Ashley's counterpart for being a character who has sorcery as her specialty and being popular amongst fans from within the group.

If you care to read all this descriptions, feel free to check out the spoiler:
Mario: The star of the show, Mario is the founder and the boss of MarioMart, an up-and-coming mall that was a result of his ingenuity and a desire to bring everyone together for a fun time. Mario's the same as he's always been: being adventurous, brave, curious, resourceful, tolerant, and loyal. Deciding on his team was a bit complicated, for he realised that his best friends got their hands full at that time, so he turned to some less-familiar faces. As Mario has travelled to different locations and partook in different activities, he got to meet a huge host of colourful characters in many of his exploits. Being open-minded, Mario picked a group of them as he starts his own company to put the diverse group of individuals and their unique talents together. When not managing and celebrating with his motley crew, Mario is looking for the next idea to keep his company fresh, as well as dealing with some negotiations.

Gondola (Raccoon): The raccoon who is in charge of the boat tours to which customers will be able to tour around the premises of the mall. As a raccoon who is a master of illusion, they can give the rides some excitement. Gondola might be accompanied by a few other raccoons to help out for the right. Sometimes the ride might get too exciting that the passangers might be endangered, but they will be OK in the end, and the passangers will always declare the ride to be the best ever. Troublemakers should beware, because the raccoon(s) might get back on them.
[Note: Gondola is chosen because it is a boat-themed name]

Jed: This car salesman is in charge of selling all manners of cars, from the regular cars to the smaller go-karts. He is as passionate about selling vehicles to customers as he is in racing, and he has a gold wheel belt to prove it. However, he's also a bit of a reckless but surprisingly effective driver, which makes test driving a huge risk when he's involved.

Bunsen: The robot helper of the company, she is a very versatile and effective role filler or assistant. Her robotics allowed her to do an emergency task, but sometimes Dr. Nerdnick would apply an upgrade that she would need for the task in hand.

Vic Video: A derring-do reporter who will never stop to interview with various talents and famous folks until he's done, he's a bit clumsy and reckless in his attempts to get a word from them, yet he always finds himself lucky to survive the attempt. A running joke is that he sometimes forgot that there is no camera to capture his interview because the cameraman is left behind.

Harry & Tiny: Both of them have the muscle, so they are the designated movers of the company. They specialise in different sports, where Tiny is the golfer while Harry is the tennis player, and they would sometimes argue over the superior sport. When deciding on the sport to play, a running gag is that they ended up playing an entirely different sport and their differences are reconciled when they are of equal match.

Whitney (White Mage): A massage specialist who graduated from the arts of the White Mage, she is very skilled with healing and soothing magic. Every day, there would be at least one person who would need her specialty to cure their pain, which are often a challenge to do. She is peppy and undaunted in her work, but can easily get drained for the work she does, which makes energy drinks her favourite. She had a side talent in the arts of the Blue Mage, where she would imitate the arts of a fellow customer to help out in the next shift.
[Note: Whitney is the name because the Japanese name is Shirona, which is a pun relating to her job (Shiro means white), which is why "Whitney" is chosen.]

Susanna Ross: A talented singer and dancer, Susanna Ross is friends with Pauline and was her original working partner where they collaborated quite a few times. Pauline eventually had some life changes that caused her to rise to super stardom, leaving behind Susanna as she had to move elsewhere to pursue her dreams. She usually had to find a certain something that would inspire confidence within her to act on her own.

Genni (Genius Girl) & Beep-0: As the resident inventor, Genni helps to build effective gadgets to showcase them. Moreover, she is able to perform repairs whenever necessary, though sometimes the necessary repairs may prove to be a challenging task. She is assisted by Beep-0 (who is now Mario-like instead of Rabbid-like) and is her assistant in her inventing endeavours. Beep-0 is similarly out-going, sarcastic, and short-tempered.
[Note: Genni is chosen as the name because it's the closest to the word "genius" as I can think of]

Mary O.: An operator that handles calls, she is very professional and calm even in the face of unreasonable calls. Generally helpful, she will do her best to respond, even if she is not the most experienced person and might sometimes cause misdirection. She is one to have a very strong patience, but woe be it to be the person who deliberately set her off the edge.

Nina: Taking the job as a cashier, she is generally good at the job, save for the customer who would either argue or bargain with her to get their way. She is not afraid to speak her mind and would lash out to any unreasonable customer, if it reached that point.

Edison: An electrician with overgrown hair and covered body, Edison seems to prefer dark places and is normally in unexpected places. He's often caught at very inopportune moments, catching other people at the worst moments when he pops up. While not lurking around, Edison is a very skilled electrician, but sometimes he could get overboard with his solutions.

Misaki: A martial artist that masters a lot of martial arts, he always have a specific martial art skill for anybody who want to learn from him, Plumb-fu being one of them. He is also looking for new challengers to further hone his skills, and some characters may show up to challenge him, like Jinx (Super Mario RPG). He is passionate about martial arts and is somewhat prideful, but is also a graceful loser if he is bested.

Soundfrog: A frog with a passion in music and dancing, he loves to break into a dance and perform beatboxing using various sound effects. He is also a DJ so when there's music and a dance party, he is sure to make his appearance. Rumour says that he wears a jacket to hide a somewhat embarrassing secret.

Kid: He is the sports expert in the company, who is in charge of selling sports equipment and is a jack-of-all-trades in different sports. He used to be a backup player during golf games when he was younger, but this Kid and the lighter-skinned Kid went to different paths in their future careers, with the lighter-skinned Kid still continuing to play golf. Despite the drifting career paths, they are still good friends.

Hösn & Dösn: Both from outer space, they are theme park designers that design attractions for their indoor theme park, to provide an otherworldly experience to customers. They have a strong friendship but are prone to bouts of arguments every now and then when they don't agree with each other. However, they eventually would come to a consensus after a brief respite. At times, Klösn would assist the two and sometimes have to step in to set aside their differences. (Occasional appearance from Klösn)

M.C. Ballyhoo: As his name suggests, he is the Master of Ceremonies. He is accompanied by his trusty hat Big Top, who balances out his over-excited personality. Whenever there is a gathering, he is sure to turn up as the the announcer. He is also the de-facto sportscaster whenever there is a live competition held.

Claire (The Old Psychic Lady): As the one known as "The Old Psychic Lady with the Evil Eye Who Reads Fortunes and Knows Everything Before It Happens", she is the fortune teller who can read fortunes. At times she can get in a trance when reading the fortune of a customer, but her fees would usually be quite high after solving some unfinished business (the fortune-telling is not as exorbitant a price).
[Note: Claire is named after the word "clairvoyant" due to her psychic abilities. I considered using the actress's name but I felt that it would have breached the rule against using real life people]

Java (Beanish Barista): Hailing from the Beanbean Kingdom, he is the barista of the company where he is in charge of brewing coffee to customer and employees alike. He might even experiment with some new coffee concoction, with unintended side effects...
[Note: Java is named after the coffee bean, since the barista is unnamed to my knowledge.]

Yamamura: Yamamura may look like a pigeon, but he is also the team's advisor. He would show up to give some helpful advice to any employees who are in need of some guidance. His known favourite food is edamame, and so will show up when there are some lying around offered by someone in need of help. His cooing can also have a somewhat motivating effect.

Undodog: The guard dog of the group, he is very good at what he does. Whenever an intruder or burglar would try to invade the company, Undodog can somehow undo the work prepared by the intruder to cause them to be caught red-handed. He is sometimes accompanied by several animals like the tortoise, rabbit, and cheetah.

Vivian: Unlike most characters where Mario is the one who picked them to be part of the company, this Shadow Siren offered to join Mario's new company when she heard that he's setting up the company. She had taken a job as a secretary, offering to write letters and notes when necessary, and is surprisingly good at her job. She also writes up contracts that are functionally curses, for breaking the contracts that she writes will jinx the one who did not comply with them, even though the curses are generally non-fatal. The curses are not quite fatal, but scorning Vivian is not recommended either way, as many would soon learn when they tried.

Dr. Waldo Bloom: A doctor that once was the acting doctor in the Mushroom Kingdom, he is hired to be a doctor for the mall as doctors became more common in the Mushroom Kingdom. Despite his eccentric and sometimes ditzy personality, his cures and treatment tend to be very effective, though it might come with certain side effects due to conflicting medical interactions. It is not a good idea to bring him for sports despite always expressing interest in them, lest the games end in a disaster in one for or the other.

Stanley: This gardener uses his expertise in botany to beautify the place, and he keeps a plant called Herman the Sapling as company on several occasions. He often had to deal with arboreal issues, like designing a garden or unexpected issues from plants, pest outbreaks, and even his plant being stolen. This plant can grow to a big size by eating plant food, enabling it to make quick work of many situations.

Onnanoko: The lonely (ghost) girl who haunts the mall and is thus not an actual employee, she may surprise or terrify anybody who is looking to shop. This is accompanied by a second-party who would not believe the tales of the witnesses. Her real name is not known, and it's hinted that knowing her real name has some dire consequences to the one who learns it.

There are also regular customers, and I have taken the trouble to draw a few of them:

(From left to right: Miss Endless, Oogtar, Norman)

I envisioned that the customers themselves are also an eccentric lot. Unlike the crew members, the criteria for what characters are included are more lax, with only the first criteria, famous established characters and generic species, still being enforced (so there still won't be any Bowser, Bowser Jr., generic Goomba, or Toadette in sight for example), though I did not include any in the image, only because it's something I just thought of now.

It's kind of ambitious I know, but the idea just ballooned to something that I enjoyed a lot, which is why there are a lot to show even though my vision is greater than what's presented here. Hope you enjoyed it!

Thank you for reading.


Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
Initially I thought it was a good idea to take up some presentation for the first time since the rushed 2020 one, so you can say I am interested in doing a proper one. Assuming that last year was stacked, I presumed that this year would similarly be stacked, so I didn't quite press the idea when there was seemingly no encouragement. That is, until this happened:


For this Awards Ceremony, I have planned to do the following, despite starting late:
  • F7 - Most Underused Game Mechanic
  • M7 - Favorite 3D Mario Level
  • C7 - Favorite Artist
If you look at the numbers, you can guess the theme I am going for. They all have "7"s, and that started from how F7 was the only unreserved Fail Award, so I thought I would complete the set by picking it. Then comes to deciding the Mario Award, and I initially wanted to select the favourite Mario Party game, but I was eyeing a bit on Favourite 3D Level. With both of them being #7, it would complete the pattern if I picked #7 for the Community Awards, which ended by the Favourite Artist.

What ended up happening is that only done for the first two, while not doing the last one, because by the time I am in the middle of M7, the effective deadline had already passed, so I was not able to do a third presentation. While I have a rough idea on what I wanted to do for the third presentation, I decided not to divulge on it should the opportunity arise for it to be picked again.

In terms of how far the polls are presented, I actually only decided on the top 7 when I see what #7 of F7 is, which is a Mario Party item (Reverse Mushroom). I am an advocate for Mario Party, so I just must present something from Mario Party because it's a under-respected series in general, unlike Super Mario, Mario Kart, and Mario RPG series. This plan would've been the same to the other two as a result.

F7 - Most Underused Game Mechanic

Waluigi: Thanks for inviting me for cleaning. I've always wanted to see the things you have gathered! ...and also I was bored.
Mario: It's-a no problem. After all, my bro is off to eliminate some strange viruses on his own.
Waluigi: Last I heard from Wario, he's watching some TV but he's not there when I check on him.
Mario: Anyway, all of these-a stuff are are underused so I thought, it's a good day to sort these out! Glad you could help me out, wa-hoo!

Waluigi: Waa-ow, I remember this! The Reverse Mushroom from our days when we were playing on my island! I still can't believe that danged Millennium Star considered you to be more mischievous than me.
Mario: It's just a game, Waluigi!
Waluigi: I wondered why we never see these, or any similar items ever again.
Mario: I have-a to guess that it promotes unsportsmanship, like visiting Boo three times in a row for three turns, or try to take inaccessible routes. Say, didn't you try to do all of those?
Waluigi: What do you think? Of course I do! I do what it takes to win! Like you said, it's just a game!

#7 - Reverse Mushroom (MP3)

Waluigi: Where did you get these bunch of animal figurines? I see a swordfish, an ostrich, a spider among them.
Mario: Oh, you must be referring to Enguarde, Expresso, and Squitter. I got these from-a Donkey Kong or maybe was it Funky Kong-a? But long story short, somehow he's got an excess of these, so he sent Squawks to deliver them to me! They're cool and all, but I don't have-a place to put these Animal Friends on my shelf.
Waluigi: Where's that rhinoceros buddy? I don't see it here.
Mario: That's Rambi. I guess maybe they manage to find a home for good ol' Rambi and even Squawks, but the other animals ended up without a home. It's like they are underused or neglected in Donkey Kong Country or something.

#6 - Animal Friends (DKCR/DKC:TF)

Waluigi: Pictures of Baby Wario and Baby Bowser? And they're riding Yoshis?
Mario: Yep! Kylie Koopa gave me some photo copies when it was brought up in a conversation, but she did not remember what actually happened in the past. it's nice to know that there's proof that even as babies, Wario and Bowser had some help from the Yoshis too, and vice-a-versa.
Waluigi: What kind of help do those babies possibly do for the Yoshis?
Mario: Baby Bowser is like-a Bowser, who breathes-a the fire, which is useful! And then there's-a Baby Wario who only has this handy magnet.
Waluigi: A magnet, really? How did Baby Wario get a magnet?
Mario: Eh... maybe it comes from nowhere. Weirder things have happened. But anyway, they are difficult to cooperate, so even their help were rarer. Who knows how much their help would make the journey easier?
Waluigi: Why did Baby Wario and Baby Bowser have to rely on Yoshis anyway?
Mario: I have no idea, heard something about being linked to this star children thing that Kamek and Bowser were once obsessed with, but I have no idea why they made such a big deal of it.
Waluigi: Weh... everybody better than Waluigi, even from birth.
Mario: Don't worry Waluigi, even if you are not considered "special at birth", you are still a wonderful guy! Don't sweat it.

#5 - Baby Wario/Baby Bowser (YIDS)

Mario: I didn't think it was still here after all these years!
Waluigi: What's so special about that Green Shell, Mario?
Mario: This is a special shell! I used it to surf all day long during my quest to rescue Peach in her own castle! Can you believe it's possible for Peach to be kidnapped in her very own castle?
Waluigi: (Sarcasm) That sounds so unbelievable I don't know what to believe in any more. Peach never invited the great Waluigi to her castle for tasty cake! Now that's unbelievable!
Mario: That was nothing. At least you did not get ambushed by Bowser's minions who cleverly expected us to show up. Thank goodness for Yoshi, or else we'll be locked forever!
Waluigi: But you all got to have fun and even surf on a shell! Now that I think about it. Why didn't you ride on the shell any more?
Mario: Mainly because we got a lot of complaints from the Koopa Troopas about how undignified it is to ride their shells like this, and so we stopped doing this out of consideration.

#4 - Shell riding (SM64/SM64DS)

Mario: What do we have here? A Goomba's Shoe!
Waluigi: That looks so big you can ride on 'em and stomp those enemies flat. That looks like fun too!
Mario: It is fun! Too bad the Goombas have decided to stop using them, but I am lucky to keep one here from my adventure in the Sky Land. It would be a waste for these shoes to go unused, so for my course-constructing initiative, the Goomba's Shoe is part of the toolset, and I even came up with the idea of the fancy stiletto shoe too!
Waluigi: Mind if I keep it?
Mario: I do mind.
Waluigi: Aw...

#3 - Goomba's Shoe (SMB3)

Waluigi: This another shell of yours, Mario?
Mario: Oh yes! That is my shell, and it's not like any Blue Shell either. You can wear it and pretend you are a Koopa Troopa!
Waluigi: Go on.
Mario: You see, I can shield myself from a lot of harm by hiding into it, and when I run fast, I can slide into this shell and viola, I'm unstoppable!
Waluigi: Waah! Hey, watch out!
Mario: Oops, sorry Waluigi, I got carried away. They don't make 'em any more, but maybe I could improvise one of the Koopa shells to do something similar! But don't try to wear it. I don't think you can fit into them!

#2 - Blue Shell (NSMB)

Waluigi: That should be most of the clearing done, Mario.
Mario: Great job, Waluigi! You're a great help!
Waluigi: Hello, what's this?
Mario: A Red Star! It's a gift from the Lumas from by intergalactic travels. This thing allows me to fly without a care! But it's also rare so I must keep it safe.
Waluigi: Imagine how much easier your quest will be if these were more common.
Mario: No doubt about it! Now please hand it over.
Waluigi: Naw... I want to try it!
Mario: (Pulls case from Waluigi) But you shouldn't! You don't even know how to use it!
Waluigi: (Pulls case from Mario his way) Come on! I never even get invited to one of your magnificent adventures, I feel so underutilised myself!
(The case broke open, causing the star to fly all over the place and touch Waluigi, turning him into Flying Waluigi. Waluigi struggled a bit and then floated into the air)[/SIZE]

#1 - Red Star (SMG)

Waluigi: Wah! Mario, how do you control this thing?
Mario: I don't know! It's been so long since I used it I don't remember how!
(Waluigi struggled, and then he flew out of the storage house and high up into the air)
Waluigi: Waaah! It's a zillion feet down from here!
Mario: Waluigi, if you can hear me: don't panic and keep calm! It's only temporary!
(Suddenly, Waluigi turns back to normal)
Waluigi: Now he says it. (Drops down from high up) Waaaaaaah!
(Waluigi drops into the ground, leaving behind an indent shaped like him.)
Mario: (Shrugs) Oh well, there goes my Red Star...
Waluigi: It's okay... Waluigi is okay! I am definitely not dead.

Full results:
#NomineeNumber of votesPercentage of votes
1Red Star (SMG)31625.14%
2Blue Shell (NSMB)20816.55%
3Goomba's Shoe (SMB3)16913.44%
4Shell riding (SM64/SM64DS)897.08%
5Baby Wario/Baby Bowser (YIDS)715.65%
6Animal Friends (DKCR/DKC:TF)685.41%
7Reverse Mushroom (MP3)655.17%
8Matter Splatter (SMG)584.61%
9Super Suction (LM3)493.90%
9Turbo Nozzle (SMS)493.90%
11Spiked ? Block (NSMB)342.70%
12Car Yoshi (SMW2:YI)241.91%
13Blockhopper (NSMB)171.35%
14Arrow Switch (LM)100.80%
15O. Flip (SPM)40.32%
15O. Underwater driving (MK7)40.32%
17O. Boo Mushroom (SMG)30.24%
18O. ! Block10.08%
18O. Anti-gravity (MK8)10.08%
18O. Boost Star (NSMBU)10.08%
18O. Bubble (Mario Kart Tour)10.08%
18O. Caps (SM64DS)10.08%
18O. Changing the environment from hot to cold10.08%
18O. Coloured Shells (SMW)10.08%
18O. Dash Pepper (SMG2)10.08%
18O. Feather (MK8)10.08%
18O. Happiness (YS)10.08%
18O. Mini Mushroom (NSMB)10.08%
18O. Poltergust 3000 elements (LM)10.08%
18O. Poochy (Yoshi series)10.08%
18O. Porcupuffer10.08%
18O. Power Balloons10.08%
18O. Spending coins on minigames or other features10.08%
18O. Thwack (M&L:PiT)10.08%
18O. Two drivers (MK:DD!!)10.08%
18O. Vibes (SPP)10.08%
Total Votes: 1257
results table design (c) pidgey 2015, probably

Thank you for reading.

For this presentation, I have decided that the best way to represent underused mechanics is to have Mario stash items relating to the mechanics in his store house, because I like the idea that Mario likes to keep souvenirs of his past adventures. Another thing I have also decided to add is Waluigi so that Mario and Waluigi can have a conversation with each other, since I've always felt that both Mario and Waluigi hardly interacted so it's an opportunity to write a story of them doing something together. Whether or not anybody thought it's a good idea is another matter, but it's something I wanted to see so that is a valid idea for that reason.

For this short story, I have written the story beats first before I decided to draw the pictures. Given how the story is the core element of this presentation, it would have been enough to just present the story, but I am not the kind of person who would call this enough. Maybe in a pinch when the deadline's too close, but I decided that there should be pictures to accompany the story, and to practise the approach of story + writing which I don't feel like I done much with. The end product of the story was decent, but there were tweaks here and there, such as how Waluigi was originally much nicer compared to the final product, where he is rough around the edges to befit his anti-hero type of character.

Every image is challenging to make, because they all involve the following:
  • Two characters per image (sometimes more)
  • Researching on the appropriate items for underused mechanics
  • Deciding how to best convey the image in a satisfactory way
On the last point, take the "Animal Friends" example: I have ended up with figurines because I think it is super appropriate for the subject matter. In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, there are figurines that Funky Kong provides, so I think it's appropriate that some animal friends were produced but ended up unused because only like two old friends appeared (Squawks and Rambi), and Mario ended up with the excess because there are unused stock and Mario would agree with them. For "Baby Wario and Baby Bowser", Kylie Koopa was decided as the hook because she is one of the few characters to have interacted with both the baby and adult characters without resorting to time travel, and she's a photographer so it's logical that she takes pictures, something that can survive time.

The first two images were done in a day, followed by the following five on another day, and the last three were done on a different day. The script was tweaked a bit every now and then as well. They were completed on the 4th of August. Could more be done with them? Most certainly. I wanted to apply some grey shading for the images, but that ended up not happening because each image is already taxing to finish, and applying shading means more work.

M7 - Favorite 3D Mario Level
Now let's review the list. I've got this list of friends to meet, and the places to go to meet them. Mm-hmm, I see. How much is the estimated time I have got to meet them? Great. Not much time. Luckily, I have a very qualified and accomplished photographer, Lakituthequick, to help me to go to these places. Off I go!

Toy Time Galaxy (SMG): Toadettefan

Gusty Garden Galaxy (SMG): Siy

Bowser's Kingdom (SMO): Ray Trace

Whomp's Fortress/Throwback Galaxy (SM64/SMG2): Lt. John Spaghetton

Wooded Kingdom (SMO): Goombuigi & Flygon64

Bob-omb Battlefield (SM64): Lemwood Lemkins & Turboo

Metro Kingdom (SMO): Hooded Pitohui & Toadbert

Metro Kingdom (SMO) (Another one!): Fawfulthegreat64 & Waluigi Time (and Lakituthequick?)

winstein: Looking at my list, that's it for my itinerary! I've done everything here. Wait a minute! How did you get in this photo when you're the one taking the picture?
Lakituthequick: I'm not called "Lakituthequick" for nothing!
winstein: Oh, of course!

Number of votes
Percentage of votes
1Metro Kingdom (SMO)23118.29%
2Bob-omb Battlefield (SM64)1219.58%
3Wooded Kingdom (SMO)977.68%
4Whomp's Fortress/Throwback Galaxy (SM64/SMG2)735.78%
5Bowser's Kingdom (SMO)715.62%
6Gusty Garden Galaxy (SMG)634.99%
7Toy Time Galaxy (SMG)604.75%
8Mount Must Dash (SM3DW)554.35%
9The Great Tower of Bowser Land (SM3DW)544.28%
10Good Egg Galaxy (SMG)483.80%
11Sirena Beach (SMS)473.72%
12Cosmic Cove Galaxy (SMG2)463.64%
12Delfino Plaza/Airstrip (SMS)463.64%
14Tick Tock Clock (SM64)423.33%
15Sand Kingdom (SMO)413.25%
16Champion's Road (SM3DW)332.61%
17Grandmaster Galaxy (SMG2)262.06%
18Pinna Park (SMS)191.50%
19O. Freezeflame Galaxy (SMG)50.40%
20O. Fluffy Bluff Galaxy (SMG2)40.32%
20O. Luncheon Kingdom (SMO)40.32%
20O. Seaside Kingdom (SMO)40.32%
20O. Super Bell Hill (SM3DW)40.32%
24O. Bowser's Galaxy Generator (SMG2)30.24%
24O. Darker Side (SMO)30.24%
24O. Pianta Village (SMS)30.24%
24O. Space Junk Galaxy (SMG)30.24%
24O. Tiny-Huge Island (SM64)30.24%
29O. Battlerock Galaxy (SMG)20.16%
29O. Beep Block Skyway (SM3DW)20.16%
29O. Bowser in the Sky (SM64)20.16%
29O. Buoy Base Galaxy (SMG)20.16%
29O. Ghostly Galaxy (SMG)20.16%
29O. Mushroom Kingdom (SMO)20.16%
29O. Shadow-Play Alley (SM3DW)20.16%
29O. Sprawling Savanha (SM3DW)20.16%
29O. Twisty Trials Galaxy (SMG2)20.16%
29O. Wet-Dry World (Mario 64)20.16%
39O. Beach Bowl Galaxy (SMG)10.08%
39O. Bianco Hills (SMS)10.08%
39O. Blast Block Skyway (SM3DW)10.08%
39O. Boss Blitz Galaxy (SMG2)10.08%
39O. Bowser's Galaxy Reactor (SMG)10.08%
39O. Cap Kingdom (SMO)10.08%
39O. Cascade Kingdom (SMO)10.08%
39O. Chainlink Charge (SM3DW)10.08%
39O. Chargin' Chuck Blockade (SM3DW)10.08%
39O. Clawswipe Colosseum (SM3DW+BF)10.08%
39O. Cool, Cool Mountain (SM64)10.08%
39O. Fort Fire Bros. (SM3DW)10.08%
39O. Honeyhive Galaxy (SMG)10.08%
39O. Lake Kingdom (SMO)10.08%
39O. Lake Lapcat (SM3DW+BF)10.08%
39O. Lethal Lava Land (SM64)10.08%
39O. Lost Kingdom (SMO)10.08%
39O. Melty Molten Galaxy (SMG)10.08%
39O. Melty Monster Galaxy (SMG2)10.08%
39O. Moon Kingdom (SMO)10.08%
39O. Noki Bay (SMS)10.08%
39O. Rainbow Ride (SM64DS)10.08%
39O. Ricco Harbor (SMS)10.08%
39O. Ruined Kingdom (SMO)10.08%
39O. Shifting Sand Land (SM64)10.08%
39O. Shiverburn Galaxy (SMG2)10.08%
39O. Slipsand Galaxy (SMG2)10.08%
39O. Super Block Land (SM3DW)10.08%
39O. Super Galaxy (SM3DW)10.08%
39O. Wasteland Giga Bell (SM3DW+BF)10.08%
39O. Whomp's Fortress (SM64)10.08%
39O. Wild Glide Galaxy (SMG2)10.08%
39O. World 1-1 (SM3DL)10.08%
39O. World 5-4 (SM3DL)10.08%
Total Votes: 1263
results table design (c) pidgey 2015, probably

Thank you for reading.
While doing F7, I decided for M7, I have a great idea to involve the community, and for this, I had to prepare myself by starting sign-ups despite being extremely late, because I believe that the idea that I am going for would be enough time to get it done on time. The sign ups were surprisingly prolific, and despite me mentioning a disclaimer that I might not be able to add everybody, I ended up having space for everyone.

In case you are unaware, my theme is "Photoshoot with friends", and 3D levels are a great way for them to encounter each other. I have decided to add my rendition of Mario as a mall manager in each of them, to give off the sort of friendship across locations. Since I am doing the top 7 locations, there should be enough room for all, I thought.

My basic outline for the process is:
  1. Take screenshots of the level locations
  2. Create a uniform format for each "photo"
  3. Figuring out who goes where
  4. Plan how the characters interact with each other and within the scene
  5. Draw and colour the characters
This is a lot of work, you can imagine, but I feel that the results should be worth it, because anything less would feel more rushed. The difference from the last award is that I decided to take the time to colour the characters because I feel that not colouring them would feel like I am not making full use of others offering a chance to let me use them. The only thing I felt I should have done is to add shadows, and I unfortunately didn't have time for that. Some of them didn't need shadows, but this oversight is more apparent on the ones where shadows should appear.

For Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy's locations, I used screenshots from 3D All-Stars because they are rendered in HD, so their images are clearer. The 64 ones were taken from an internet guide, while the Galaxy ones were taken from Zack Scott videos. Because both of them have Mario in the scene, the characters must be drawn so that Mario is hidden, so as to not ruin the illusion. Super Mario Odyssey, on the other hand, is taken from the Nintendo Switch, where I use invisible Mario so as to not obstruct the scenes. I wasn't sure where to take for New Donk City, so I ended up taking two of them to use, meaning more photos to use.

Each image is 900x600px, whereas the screenshots are each 800x500px, and are cropped to use the best spots.

The order in which they are completed are as follows:
  1. #7 (Toy Time)
  2. #6 (Gusty Garden)
  3. #1B (Metro Kingdom - skyscraper)
  4. #4 (Whomp's Fortress)
  5. #1A (Metro Kingdom - festival) - w/o Lakitu
  6. #3 (Wooded Kingdom)
  7. #2 (Bob-omb Battlefield)
  8. #1A - Added Lakitu
In terms of how I decide who goes where: this is mostly trusting my gut and then deciding on the best interaction. For example, Fawful and Waluigi fits the New Donk City Festival because both are dressed smartly. The only one that were swapped are the Lemmings character and Ray Trace, and I think the swap ended up well for either character. The colouring was also more complex in the later ones, so it's not a surprise some look better than the others based on the order in which they are completed.

The lower-ranked locations would have less characters, so basically one each. The higher-ranked locations have more, so it's 2 characters each basically. Metro Kingdom is #1 and I have two snapshots, so more were fit into them. Lakituthequick was initially cast as an out-of-view character, but I thought it would be a pity that he missed out on the fun, so I decided on a workaround, to justify the inclusion of him, and also to include one last joke before ending the presentation. I have also thought that #8 is appropriate for Lakituthequick because it is Mount Must Dash, but that would involve searching for a screenshot to use and I am already past that stage to go back to, so it's an idea that is discarded.

There would have been some quips between the characters added, but time was running short, so they ended up not being added save for the opening and ending. I guess the images are enough to make this one a memorable presentation.

So there you have it: two presentations in a row. Would I do something for next year? Maybe, but perhaps it should have been done earlier to allow them to be cooked a bit longer, since the ones I did felt undercooked but it seems to still taste good so it's not a total disaster.

Thank you for reading.
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Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
MarioMart's Absentees

When I made the MarioMart concept, I have wanted only Mario to be featured within the established cast, which means that Luigi and the rest of the cast will necessarily be completely absent. But there is a thought that came to me at a time: what if these characters discovered that Mario has a second life that does not involve them?

The inspiration for this comes from the Vibes in Super Princess Peach, where the emotions of the characters are based on each of them. Originally, only Yoshi would have been the satisfied one because I envisioned Yoshi to be the one who is the most content, and Peach would have been envious of Mario doing something, but I was given a suggestion to do something different for her, so that's why she is portrayed differently here. Luigi and Toad, on the other hand, remained intact so they were in dire disappointment and absolute anger respectively.

Colouring is also something I decided to do something new and low-effort, just by merely colouring the background but still allowing the characters to stand out. Perhaps it would have been better if the characters are mono-coloured but different from the background, in their more signature colours where applicable.

30 Animals

A piece that's mainly to practice drawing various animals, and as it turns out, I got 30 of them here!

Both the cat and the snake were the first ones to be drawn, back in 19th May 2021. This meant that the rest came later, and it started with the sheep because I wanted to figure out how to colour wool, which looks more difficult than I imagine. The texture of the wool looks pleasant, so I decided to add to the piece by adding more animals, with both the lizard and the deer being followed up. Every other animal drawn since then has a date, so you can tell that most of them are drawn this month.

I've wanted to have a bit of representation for every type of animal, so that's why there are not just a few types of mammals, but certain reptiles, insects, and fish, as well as a few unusual choices like the finger coral. Now, you might be thinking: Where are the birds? Well, I think if I were to draw birds, they would have taken a separate sheet instead of being with the lot here.

Thank you for reading.


Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
Hey Super Mario Wiki, provide me six random characters to draw!

A couple of months ago, this post was shared. It's basically a drawing of six random Mario characters picked by the Mario Wiki using the "random page" function, and drawing what comes up first. I thought it would be an interesting challenge, so I decided to only finish it now. I did commit to the randomness of the wiki until I got six characters, though it's technically seven of them. You see, my second "character" page is actually the "Parakeet", which is a bit dubious on if it's a character, so I skip it until I got the last of the characters, Prince Pine.

Admittedly, none of them are meant to be my best, but I decided to do what I can with each of them. Namely, each of them have a unique background to give them a bit of flair, which is not what the original post did (it uses a shared background across all panels),

Naturally, the characters are drawn in the proper order, but the other stuff is not straightforward. Namely, when it comes to completing the art through colouring and drawing the background, the bottom row gets done first from left to right. The top row would be next, but it might be surprising to know that Micki was not started until the others are completed. This has the advantage of applying the best practice in completing that panel. Finally, the Parakeet prompt is applied on the banner, as a form of acknowledgement that I got it, so it doesn't go to waste.

Each of the characters present their own challenge, though I admit that Micki is probably overall the easiest, and not Air Cannon. The reason is that Air Cannon uses a different perspective, which made it not that easy to complete. Paper Kamek's challenge comes from imagining the paper-thin character in a believable way, Hot Roderick is due to a general lack of reference to the character design and the fact that there's a vehicle. Prince Pine has even less reference due to how there's only a sprite, and finally Gooper Blooper is known for its size.

While the result is satisfactory, I admittedly did not think it's all that when others did theirs more professionally. The post I referenced looked much better, as well as probably any others who's taken the challenge. I guess what I am saying is that it's probably not the best thing to happen in the world, though, when it's acknowledged that it's good, that's really nice to know.

Mario-Styled Woman

This was an image that I have drawn many years ago and was shared in a Discord that is currently defunct, but it's not lost! Here's a character design of what I think a woman might look like if it were to keep the cartoony look of Mario design. Why did I take this on? Let's just say that the design of female human characters in the Mario series is incredibly limited, where all of them are practically dolls with not much variety, though Daisy is probably the one that deviated the most but not by much.

Speaking of, I am kind of interested in doing a series of designs that take after Mario character designs for different occupations. The commitment would be huge, so if there's interest, that should be enough reason to give it a go.

Thank you for reading.


Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
Conversation of Four Friends

A recent piece that I've finished, it depicts four characters talking to each other in a sort-of dynamic way. This time, I decided to use paint for the art that minimises the use of lines to give a painterly style, which is different from my usual fare. One of the inspirations would come from Super Mario Odyssey's concept art, which did not go into much detail as ideas are portrayed with enough detail to get the idea across, namely this one here depicting Mario and Peach in a gazebo with some tea.

What do I think of the end result? Well, it looked kind of too similar to the time I drew a piece of Mario and Waluigi during the winter pastime, though I admit that it looks less (how should I put it?) "artificial" so I suppose that's a good sign that it's better. There was not much thought for the background because unlike the characters, I did not prepare the line art, so it's practically made up on the fly to allow the characters to stand out in case they have white outlines, especially when gloves and white caps are involved. I think my favourite part of the background is the sky because of its blend of different colours instead of being a monocolour with different tones. Because I have settled for the evening sky, I added a bit of orange tint on the characters and the fence because I kind of like giving a light tint on objects based on the light.

Moreover, some might wonder why I picked these characters to have a conversation with each other. The simple reason is that these four characters are very prone to getting denigrated by fans, so I want to draw something where they enjoy an activity with each other. Besides, I don't think there are much fan art that has Mario, Daisy, Waluigi, and Toad together specifically. Initially it would originally be just three of them, but I decided to add a fourth (that would be the Toad) after I thought of how he's also one character to get disparaged, whereas Wario is never disparaged by fans, so he's not really given a thought of.

Also, @Pellucid Pastel Prison mentioned a comment on how "they finished golfing", which I never considered. I suppose it does look like it, and the swing acting that Daisy did reinforces that interpretation.

Garfield Hugs Real Pooky

This is a piece of art that I have done a long while ago, during my early stint with Krita. This is basically a tracing of what I drew on paper about Garfield hugging a Pooky that came to life like a stuffed animal becoming real. The characters were not given much detail beyond simple shading and light source (shadow), and the background uses simple lines to do the job. It would be interesting to go back to Garfield one day, because there can never be enough appreciative Garfield fan art due to the glut of caustic anti-fan art.

Thank you for reading.


Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
I've wanted to write about this year's Scribble Showdown, but didn't get the chance. Now that the year's almost over, I feel that I need to finish it before it creeps over.

Before that, I should point out that I have made a couple of changes. The first change is that I decided on a different colour. Instead of Windsor ( #3C0878 ), I have now changed the colour to Deep Periwinkle ( #5453A6 ). Once again, that colour has a "win" in its name like my username, but the most important reason is that the shade of purple is lighter, which contrasts better with black than the last colour, even though having two dark colours have their advantages. The second change is that I decided to use Krita as my art program of choice instead of GIMP, because the latter is just not optimised for art. For example, it doesn't detect the drawing tablet unless you start the program, and another thing is how it doesn't have tools made for art like drawing rectangles and circles (not that those are used here, but it's to illustrate how GIMP is not really suited for drawing.

With that said, let's get on with it!


For my first ever round, I decided to take advantage of the freedom of Krita and make it a quick one. It doesn't seem like it, but this took 1.5 hours to finish, and is the shortest of them all to finish. Part of the speed is due to my opponent, who I feel I would handily outvote, so this was finished quickly to save the best for later.

I decided on a Yoshi theme because of how Yoshi has those baseball-themed enemies, so it's a natural fit for Yoshi's team to face off against bandits, since bandits are Yoshi's opponents in his games too.Baby Mario is added because he's got baseball experience.

I've thought about sneaking in MarioMart stuff, but I guess it's just not feasible most of the time, so this is the only submission with that reference.

Cannonball, as in the Mario Wiki, could be the cannons and the cannonballs themselves. After seeing Luigi being in cannonball pose (Super Mario Maker), I had the idea of doing a pool scene where the characters cannonball into the pool.

The actual cannonballs that you can stomp are only added later because I was concerned that just the pool stuff would not be easy to comprehend the topic, so it was added to strengthen the topic in hand.

My opponent is the comedically on-point Hearts, so this one has a caption that resembles an offbeat humour to accompany the image. In this case, it's "On this day, Wario was banned at the pool". I don't know how much it factored into winning, but I like to think it gives me a fighting chance.

Given Kamek's propensity in enlarging regular enemies to make them fight against Yoshi, I knew I wanted to do this. As such, we have enemies ranging from most Yoshi games where Kamek is involved in enlarging (Yoshi's Story doesn't have Kamek's involvement, so they're not included). Kamek is front and centre among his large army.

Facing off against the army are a bunch of Yoshis as expected, but I also added some Birdos for their association with Yoshi, as well as some Poochys and a Baby Mario to join in the resistance. Of course, a bonus Mario is there because Mario's a supportive kind of guy.

The image is notably lacking in Baby Bowser, but for good reason. Firstly, I know that Baby Bowser will be one of the prompts, so it won't interfere with what another matchup is doing. Another reason, perhaps the more important one, is that if Baby Bowser is present, Kamek will likely be overshadowed like in the games.

The result turned out well, but at the same time, time consuming. In fact, from here on, the submissions are 3+ hour work, indicating a lot more effort compared to previous ones.

For wiki articles as prompts, this is probably not a bad thing to get. However, my opponent this time is the incredibly artistic Gabumon, and unfortunately the most difficult one. He feels similarly, so the concern goes both ways, which is kind of assuring.

This time, I decided to do something slightly different: a comic. Instead of a battle of who has the best artwork, I decided that I wanted to have something that could be better appreciated in its own way. I came up with the comic on Luigi being appreciated, because really, Luigi's always treated well (compared to Mario anyway).

My opponent ended up winning, though, in a more brilliant work on what could be described as "The Epidemic of Luigi" than the year of Luigi.

I may not have won the last one, but it's not over, for my opponent is another contender! I initially wanted to switch to a traditional art format since my opponent is one of the few traditional art participants, but problem is, I don't have the colour for it, so I stuck with what I always do.

For "Your Glory", I have used Mario because he's always been a character who has the star power, towering over any other video game character. For this image, I picked out Sonic and Final Fantasy since both have crossover histories with Mario.

There are a bevy of characters from the three series, though some I added in to refer to previous works, namely Baby Mario and Luigi. I do think the shading is really a highlight, because of how brilliant of a focus it sets up Mario to be, while everyone else has a lot of dark shading behind them. Overall, I think it turned out well.

It just couldn't have ended any better than this.
Finally, this is more of a bonus than a serious submission. You see, before I start to do any of these scribbles, I would refer to past works and see what I like, and dabble a bit on the styles on what I see in them. A warm up, you can say.

Did any of these come into play? I don't really feel like it most of the time. So like the one with the spinning sphere? None of the submissions utilise motion in its art, so it feels more like a treat than something to be seriously submitted. By hey! Maybe one can study these and see what works in another round of Scribbles, in case of another.

The switch to using Krita proves to be a highlight, although some of the rough edges from using GIMP that result in a unique artistic look is lost. Basically, every piece of art is smoother than ever, which gives it a more consistent look, but the unrefined likes through the use of GIMP had me enjoying them a bit. I don't think I would ever go back to that though, because the pros of using a program made for drawing outweighs one that is mainly used for photoshopping.

If there's one thing I can say that is the most time-consuming aspect in each submission, it's that they tend to include a lot of characters. Character art is kind of taxing if there's too many and they are not simple abstract stuff, which would go a long way to explain why the first one has the least time spent, since it also has the least amount of detailed characters drawn specifically for it.

I may not have won the entire thing, but I think it's a blessing in disguise because that means I didn't need to host this, given how there's an unwritten tradition that the winner will have to host the next one, as even Gabumon swears by in case he ended up winning. Still, the amount of work produced is really satisfying and it's good to see them being almost equally being enjoyed, since the analytics show that all my submissions have almost equal enjoyability, whereas many participants have one work each that stands out from the rest.

Let's see where the next one takes us...

Thank you for reading.


Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
The Spirit of Christmas Kart Racing

Months before the 189th issue of The Shroom, I was requested to make a banner for the momentous issue about the topic of Mario Kart and the festivity of Christmas, The outline of the image, relating to Mario (with Santa outfit) in a sled with Poochy in reindeer antlers, along with a race track in the background is suggested by @Waluigi Time, but the actual image was not started until the issue's deadline is creeping, which is to say it was only started after the previous issue's release. In fact, for this issue alone, I did work for three things: one for this header that you see, one for my usual article that I feel the need to take a break from this time, and another image that I won't post here just yet.

Instead of making everything Toad, I decided to embrace the wider Mario species, because I think diversity is important, and is reflected here. Not only is there a token Toad character, but there are also some friendly faces like the Penguin, a Yoshi, and some species that are known to be in good terms with Mario like Koopa Troopa and Lakitu. I probably should have added a foreground character at the bottom right, but it's really a thought I have after that issue was published, so it's kind of late for it.

The stylistic choice that I have here is a result of drawing experiments that I am satisfied with. The style that I have picked is the penciled look, basically as if I drew this with colour pencils for the most part. Not everything of course, namely the logo, but I like the pencil look. It gives the image a bit of cozy authenticity that a clean digital look might not capture, and it's followed by the shading lines. These lines are drawn like as if the image won't have colour, to give it a shaded look even when it's added, similar to comics drawn in ink. I figured that it would still look nice when coupled with colour shading.

For the colouring, I have decided on giving some white glow, because I just love the illuminating effect it portrays, which works appropriately for the theme, so like you can see Toad's helmet having the shine, or how the top of several things have a white surface. It's not easy to notice, but I added a bit of glow in the outlines to let the characters stand out a bit, and while it's not perfect all around, like near the feet, I think it's not entirely ugly, especially the parts at the top. I should point out that I forgotten to add some shadows, which is probably a result of being in a hurry to get everything done in time.

The end result is not bad, I guess, but it's certainly got room for improvement.

Character Portrayals from a Time Capsule back in 2011

Do you know about the image from the first post where I drew Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Rosalina, and so on? That was part of the collection of four images where I drew a bunch of Mario characters, and this is the rest of them, all three images! I feel like perhaps the time is right to bask the more amateurish attempts in drawing these characters by yours truly. It provides a different look on how certain characters were drawn, and I might not draw them like before. In fact, you might even see them in this thread, like Plum, Pauline, and even Poochy! It must be noted that I had to practice drawing selected characters until I got a good look, so they aren't like first attempts. I feel like the colouring style is kind of good, and I should use it again.

With that said, I probably won't be redrawing certain characters that you see. For example, I feel like I may not be drawing Jimmy T. (or any of the WarioWare crew except Wario) ever again, after the disappointment that Waluigi is seemingly unwelcomed in WarioWare. If I were to know about Ashley's popularity back then, she would've been the one who represented the branch, but alas, it was not something I know about back then. Rosalina I am ambivalent on redrawing because of a specific Smash fan art about Rosalina drinking Daisy's tears (basically an assertion of dominance in a humiliating way, meant to taunt people who had hopes). Even after I had assurance that Smash's ruthless fans aren't indicative of the character's status, I don't feel like I am out of the woods just yet.

Oh yeah, something I should note, which is about Peach. I didn't finish the colouring of Peach, but my elder sister instead did the colouring. I wasn't quite fond of Peach, it has to be noted. I think she liked the character, which is why I was surprised to see that in a photo last year, her daughter wore a shirt with an image of Peach, and personally? I was a bit embarrassed and also at the same time in acceptance that Mario is very much more widespread in acceptance. I don't know about you, but personally it's feels very strange to see Mario being appreciated, and I probably might have only go to watch the film on my own without my family because I am rather withdrawn about being a Mario fan in a lot of ways (e.g.: Mario is a video game franchise first and foremost for an exclusive console, having opinions on characters that aren't popular). I feel like I am warming up to Peach nowadays.

Oh yeah! I feel like Baby Luigi might rag on me for drawing Baby Mario, but well, I figured that Baby Mario was the best to represent Yoshi's Island (besides Poochy) and I think also the babies.

Thank you for reading.
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Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
Multi-Character Variety in the Games

For this month, I have decided to change gears and do something completely different from The Shroom, doing cartoons instead of writing for another comic strip. While I didn't run out of material, they are indeed a hassle to write because the amount of research combined with an apparent general lack of interest made it feel unrewarding to do. So instead, I decided to do what I do better: drawing art or comics.

The title of this feature didn't take long to be thought of. In fact, when I wanted to tell the managers of the digital magazine that I didn't think of a title, this was what came to mind because it combines the random feature of the cartoon and something distinctly Mario-related. The ? Panel also has the word "panel", which is perfect for encapsulating a comic strip panel like feature.

As for this cartoon... this was an idea that I thought of many months ago, and in fact I already had a draft. The issue was that I didn't feel like finishing it, until the day I decided to start a new feature. The characters were originally going to be completely silhouettes, but the problem I noticed is that doing completely silhouettes made them look a bit off-model, so the best way to do a more accurate one is to draw the model completely. I kind of liked the white outline look, so it stuck. The scenery is completely simple to get to the point but still making it in-theme for the character.

The choice to depict characters in silhouettes is deliberate. It does make sense for Donkey Kong Country's case with its high-contrast levels, but I carried this to everybody to highlight how distinct every character looks besides the last one. The only thing Luigi's Mansion's playable characters are differentiated by are the colour and texture, and by stripping away these distinctions, I highlighted how uniform all the playable characters are compared to the other series.

Let's hope for more of these to come, which would be the main monthly feature!

Pizza Parlor Pac-k

For a while ago, I have wanted to do art for a very overlooked Pac-Man game: Pac-Man Pizza Parlor! This is what is known as the "casual PC game", which are games that don't demand high specs and are cheaper than the more mainstream PC games, and are in fact what games like Bejeweled and Diner Dash are. They are made to be fun without breaking the bank, and I suspect that Namco-Bandai wanted a piece of the pie, which is why they made this game.

As for the game itself, it's a very unique idea to have customer management like Diner Dash and the maze gameplay that Pac-Man is known for, but while individually, each are simple enough, the game is actually pretty complex to play because you have to manage two of these at the same time. It's like how it can be complex to alternate between rock & paper on one hand and alternate between rock, paper, and scissors on the other hand (an example Miyamoto used to explain how multiple simple concepts can become complex, in an interview related to Super Mario 3D Land, if I recall correctly). The characters mark yet another departure from Pac-Man, because in that game, Pac-Man comes from an arcade machine and the characters are mostly human people that we'll never see again (like many Pac-Man's extended casts; the four main ghosts are the only constant).

In this art, I decided to use the same set up as the Scribbles, where the lines do not have any anti-alias, giving it a very rough-edged look, because I wanted to see how they look like without constraints on colours. Even the lines are coloured according to the fill, giving it a more overall colourful look. The shading even goes towards the lines, to add to the colourful look. Most of it aren't black, except Pac-Man's mouth who I felt that I should've made a bit less black, but it's considered finished now. Finally, I coloured the blackground with a dark look to allow the characters to stand out well.

I suspect that this is the first Pizza Parlor fan art, and if not the only one, it would be a very rare one. So one can't say that no Pac-Man Pizza Parlor fan art!

Thank you for reading.


Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality

For this month's Shroom strip, I have converted an idea that I had wanted to do an article for into a cartoon. The idea for an article I wanted to do was to highlight the various enemies that have only appeared in one Mario game (remakes don't count) and make them wait for their turn. Some of them even have been waiting for decades at this point, so you really have to wonder if they're bored by this at that point.

Enemies shown include: Buster Beetle, Tweeter, Hot Foot, Ostro, Strollin' Stu, Dino Torch, Mega Mole, Digga, Plurp, Flaptack, Spindrift, Electrokoopa, Splunkin, Chuckya, Snailicorn, Bonefin, Poink, Smeech, Klamber, and Wallop. That's a lot of enemies that only saw a single use! In terms of games, Super Mario Galaxy has to have the toughest to pick, only because many were reused in Super Mario Galaxy 2, so that's why there's only one. Also, I wanted to stop at Super Mario Galaxy 2 but I remembered I wanted to include Wallop, so it ended up being Super Mario 3D Land. Boom Boom was added because I can't find an enemy that was gone for so long but revived, except Boom Boom who came back in said 3D Land. I feel like I am straddling the line of inconsistency, but I hope it's not too bad.

As you can see, I decided to reuse the same style I used as last month. The reason for this is that the file size ended up being low as a result, probably for the lack of aliasing, which might have increase the amount of colours and thus increasing the size as a result. I might not necessarily reuse the same art style but it's probably my primary one because of the efficiency in memory.

EDIT (21/2/2023): I think I didn't do enough with the shadows, like the fact that some of the enemies are behind the wall, so there should be some shadows to showcase depth. Maybe I could have added an extra foot for Hot Foot.

Buster Beetle's angry expression is inspired by how I used to imagine how they look like from the sprite. It's basically one of those "personal interpretation sprites" that are very amusing to learn about.

Mario de Mambo

This is a picture I drew that involves Mario in the same pose as Wario in the Wario de Mambo microgame. Obviously everything Wario here is changed to Mario, including the face and the emblem. I just like to see Mario doing the wacky stuff that Wario does, you know?

Anyway, there's not much else to say, except that it's the avatar that I have used in a few places.

Thank you for reading.
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Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
L Is Not Real. Hope Springs Eternal

The strip above was not originally the strip I planned to submit for this month's Shroom, but time constraints meant that it is put at the forefront while the one I actually planned to do will be done for the next one.

The inspiration for this comic is that I have some stray thoughts about how "L is not real", and what happens if Luigi had to admit it. What resulted was that he would instead declare himself as "Muigi" instead of wallowing in pity, which I'd imagine is the most obvious conclusion. This idea sounded funny in my head, so that's why this comic was made. A scenario is needed to make the phrase conceivable and based on the origin of "L is real", the courtyard in Peach's Castle is the most reasonable basis for the setting. The fact that the plaque could read "Eternal Star" just adds to the idea. The funny thing is, I was afraid the script may be cheesy, but I will let the comic do the talking to see if it's enjoyable.

The big reason I wanted to do this is to make strong use of monochrome, where two of the panels are dominantly black and two are dominantly white, like a checkered pattern. I feel that I did this fine, but I am also not completely certain if I succeed. Given the strong monochrome, the colours are mainly used for contrast, so if something's black, then the lines need to be white and vice-versa. The contrast permeates most of the drawing, which is clear by the shadows, as in they are white on what would be a "black" panel and vice-versa. And then there is the thing about adding colour. To make certain features stand out, colour is added to the caps to indicate difference. I am not sure what this is called in art theory, but I am sure there's something in the books that elucidates on this.

As to how it could be improved, it's difficult to say, but perhaps one way to do it is to add a bit more shadows, like the wall in the fourth panel.

Where There's Smoke...

An old piece of art I have drawn, this is based on a rather amusing spliced phrase that I heard. If you know, I don't think I need to explain what that phrase is, or where the individual parts of the phrase came about. Read the title and then this image's name, and then you may see that phrase.

What is just needed to be known is that I have the image in my head because the phrase is nonsensical, and so I imagine this plays out if it were to be pictured. I guess it can be pictured as a dissuasion for the habit of smoking, but that wasn't quite my main intention.

Sometimes I do submit art I drawn and then take a picture of them. I used to think that they may not look nice if I do that, but I think that with the right tools like using ink pen, it could still look good. What do you think? Is it good to show more physical art, or best to stick mainly on digital?

Thank you for reading.