February 6, 2012
Now you're playing with SPAAAAAAACE!
(A montage of shots of this comic are shown as Linkara gives a recap of it)
Linkara (v/o): To be fair, though, a more accurate title would be "Super Mario Land: The Comic", since, despite it being called "Game Boy", the main focus was on the epic struggle of Mario and his mortal enemy, the one who keeps returning to menace him, Bows– erm, I mean, Tatanga the Space Lord! The plot involved a jackass named Herman unwittingly opening up a portal to Captain N's Video Land or something that allowed Tatanga and his army to invade. Fortunately, a pair of kids was on hand to repel the invader with their own Game Boy, summoning Mario to force Tatanga back into his pixelated domain. However, the kids realized that Tatanga may one day find another way to escape, so they vowed to tell every kid they knew about this incident!
Linkara: The two children were then placed in heavy psychiatric care as they kept yelling at their friends about how Tatanga was coming to eat their souls. So let's continue the story by digging into (holds up today's comic) "Gameboy #2".
(AT4W title sequence plays; title card has the end theme from From the Earth To the Moon playing in the background. Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): Our cover starts us off (dramatically, voice echoing) IN SPAAAAAAACE! We see a spacesuit attached to a shuttle, with Mario floating around inside the helmet.
Linkara: The beta version of Mario Galaxy was weird.
Linkara (v/o): This is actually a pretty decent cover, since I honestly want to know what the hell the deal is with this.
(The comic opens to the first page)
Linkara (v/o): We open at an airport, where a stewardess is talking to a mother and her daughters, one of whom is playing on a Game Boy.
(Cut to 90s Kid standing there)
90s Kid: (confused) A chick who plays video games? This comic is just unrealistic!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): The family is traveling to Florida to see the kids' grandmother, with the littlest girl being obsessed with space flight... or rather, it's only the littlest girl, Tannis [Rhodes], who's going. The stewardess offers Tannis the chance to go onto the plane early and check out the cockpit. Ah, 1991, a more innocent and trusting time, especially with mothers who let their eleven-year-old kids go with a stranger and on their own on a flight.
Mother: That's so exciting! Isn't this exciting, Rebecca?!
Linkara: (as mother) Isn't it exciting that you don't get to see the cockpit of the plane?
Linkara (v/o): The other daughter's reaction is a lot more believable: just continuing to play Super Mario Land on her Game Boy. We cut back to our old pal, Herman, who's not in good shape. He's talking to his mother on the phone while wearing an absolutely hideous yellow-and-polka-dotted shirt, which will only get sillier-looking when he puts a jacket over it later. His mother wonders why he hasn't talked to her in two weeks... Isn't that how it always is with parents? ...and he explains that he's been in the apartment the whole time.
Herman's mother: (on phone) Herman, I know something's wrong! There's nothing you can't tell your mother, sweetheart!
Linkara: (as Herman's mother) Was it the veterans asking for quarters, dear? I know they send you into a mad rage.
Herman: All right, Mama...but just hear me out, okay? I mean... it's all so strange...
Linkara: (as Herman's mother) Oh, it's not that strange, dear. It happens to every boy when they grow up.
Herman: I got a Game Boy, Ma--it's one of those little video games--and there's a little man inside of it named Tatanga, and he needs my help to get out.
Linkara: Okay, I know I used this joke already in the last Game Boy review, but I think it bears repeating here...
(Cut to a clip of Invader Zim)
Dib's father: My poor, insane son.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Herman says that Tatanga is doing something weird to him.
(Cut to a clip of an episode of The Simpsons)
Ralph Wiggum: He told me to burn things.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): His mother tells him that he sounds crazy and that he should get rid of the Game Boy and come back home to her. This was just the clue stick Herman needed to be hit with, so he decides to get rid of the Game Boy. He gives it to two kids who were annoying him earlier... which surprises me, since I just assume he'd smash it as give it away. Herman is kind of an inconsistent character in this book, alternating between jackass and decent. I'm not sure if that makes him a well-rounded character or just poorly written. Still, it seems to work, as he starts feeling better, but then is attacked by purple energy bubbles around his head and proceeds towards an electronic store. Fortunately for him, there's a brick nearby that he uses to smash the display and steal a Game Boy. Some cops try to stop him, but he manages to knock them out.
Onlooker: Is that Herman? Herman Smirch?!
Linkara: The Herman Smirch?! Dude, we gotta get his autograph!
Linkara (v/o): I guess that Game Boy he stole just happened to have a Super Mario Land cartridge inside of it, since Herman manages to open the portal again and Tatanga's army comes bursting out of the thing.
Pionpi: Lord Tatanga wishes to conquer another world in this dimension!
Linkara: Another world? Dude, you screwed the pooch the first time. You need to have actually conquered one thing before you can say you want another.
Herman: Why me? Why is this happening to me?
(A snippet of Simple Plan's "Untitled" plays)
Simple Plan: (singing) How could this happen to me? / I've made my mistakes...
Linkara (v/o): And like last time, Tatanga is accompanied by the captive Daisy.
Daisy: Unchain me! Free me! You know I'll never consent to marry you--! So free me, or, or...
Tatanga: You will feel better once you have had a vacation. The giant will lead us to a suitable world. I will conquer it. Then, you will have fun. This will make you happier.
Linkara: Dude, nobody likes to admit when a relationship isn't working, but you are so damn clueless it's just annoying. Get the hell over it already and find someone who is turned on by conquerors.
Linkara (v/o): Or, Daisy, maybe you should make more of an effort to escape here. I know he has loyal forces at his command all around you, and he's kind of stupid, but maybe he'll get a clue if you knee him in the groin or something. I'm just saying, you can stand to be a little proactive yourself here. Actions speak louder than words.
Pionpi: Speak, giant! Where is the best world for a vacation?
Linkara: (looks around silently, trying to think of something) Well...
(Cut to a clip of a commercial for Six Flags is shown, showing Mr. Six, the dancing old man. Then cut back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Actually, Herman suggests Disney World, and we cut to them toppling a bus.
Herman: That was the only way to the airport!!
Pionpi: The vehicle's pilot refused us entry!
(Cut to a clip of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, showing Kirk and Spock getting off a bus)
Spock: What does it mean, "exact change"? (Kirk shrugs)
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Instead, they steal a semi truck and force Herman to drive them there. Um, they have spaceships and little planes. What the hell do they need another vehicle for? The assembled armada arrives at the airport. I love alliteration.
Herman: I got you this far, Tatanga, but I can't afford to buy plane tickets to Florida!
Tatanga: Field Marshal Pionpi! Make travel arrangements!
Pionpi: Yes, my lord.
Linkara: (as Pionpi, pretending to speak on a phone) Hello, Travelocity? I need a flight and hotel package for about... four dozen bees, some octopi, that Easter Island statue-looking thing...
Linkara (v/o): Somehow, they apparently made it past the gates since Tatanga spots an airplane out a window and orders his forces to seize control of it. And what a coinkydink! This is the same plane where Tannis is playing around in the cockpit.
Tannis: (to pilot) And that's the altimeter, and that's the airspeed indicator...
Pilot: Very good, young lady!
(Cut to a clip of an episode of The Simpsons, showing Bart Simpson in the cockpit of a plane)
Pilot: Would you like to see where we hang our coats?
Bart: No, thank you. I'd rather push this button. (pushes a red button)
(In the plane, all the oxygen masks drop down from the overhead compartment. When Homer sees what happened, he screams)
Homer: WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): She's lead back to her seat, but Herman and Tatanga's forces arrive on the plane. They storm the cockpit.
Pilot: What is this?
Herman: It's um...a hijacking. Better do as they say! They can blow this whole plane to smithereens!
Linkara: A dark cloud over the World Trade Towers in the first issue; now hijacking an airplane in this one? This comic is seriously trolling me!
Linkara (v/o): Tatanga, in what I'm sure was an intentionally hilarious scene, orders the flight crew to take him to Disney World. Soon after, the plane is in the air. Geez, that must have been a weird message to air traffic control: "Um, we're being hijacked by bees, my God." And Tannis says she knows exactly what's going on.
Tannis: Tatanga comes out of a Game Boy. If you know how, you can get Super Mario out, too, to chase Tatanga away! I know 'cause some kid at school told my sister Rebecca.
Linkara: (as Tannis) Then they got dragged away kicking and screaming by men in white coats. It was weird.
Linkara (v/o): Tatanga, annoyed that it's taking so long to reach Florida, orders his minions to start upgrading the ship – while it's in the air. Tatanga is not exactly the greatest intellectual challenge Mario ever faced, was he? Tannis, for no particular reason, blurts out...
Tannis: The Space Shuttle goes five miles a second!
Linkara: (annoyed) KID, DO NOT HELP THE EVIL SPACE LORD.
Linkara (v/o): And then of course, Tatanga orders her to tell them where the Space Shuttle is. Good one, kid! Some time later, the plane is literally hovering in the air... It's explained later that Tatanga's corps of engineers was able to do that. ...and they dump off the flight crew, now having assumed control of the plane. They arrive at NASA and are just somehow able to get onto the Space Shuttle without anyone stopping them.
(Cut to a clip of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang watching Night of the Blood Beast, showing a character trying to start up a car)
Tom Servo: This was back when NASA was family-owned and operated.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Nothing can spoil Tannis' good time, though, as she happily slips down the emergency slide with a "WHEEEEE-E!" They take a look at the Space Shuttle, and apparently, this artwork was so important that we couldn't let the speech balloon get in the way of it, since the text is just printed over it. Tatanga's corps of engineers is really damn fast, too, since Pionpi says they'll be finished modifying the thing with new technology in mere moments. And like the first issue, it was necessary for this to be split into two parts, since now Part 2 begins with the Space Shuttle just taking off, while the NASA people, who all wear the exact same combination of jeans and blue shirts, look on helplessly.
NASA person: I think someone just stole the Space Shuttle!
Linkara: (as the NASA person) You know, it just goes to show, we planned billions of contingencies in case anything on the shuttle happens to fail, but we never write a procedure for what happens if someone steals the ground and sends it up under its own power!
Linkara (v/o): Thanks to the power of... whatever the hell bullcrap the ship is now powered by, the Space Shuttle starts ascending and soon enters orbit. It suddenly occurs to Tannis that this situation is friggin' scary.
Herman: You practically asked for this, you little brat--!
Linkara (v/o): And I hate to agree with Herman on this one, but, uh, yeah. Yeah, she kind of did, since she was the one who decided to talk to about the Space Shuttle for no reason at all. However, Herman softens up when she starts crying and he gives her his jacket since she feels cold. Herman is called away by Tatanga, but then Tannis discovers his Game Boy in the jacket's pocket. Tatanga, looking out a window, demands to know what the Earth is.
Herman: You--You mean...the Earth? The world?
Tatanga: All...one...world? A conquest... worthy of Tatanga!
Linkara: I've gotta say, I don't quite remember (holds up one hand) "From the Earth To the Moon" ever covering this little incident.
Linkara (v/o): Meanwhile, Tannis has slipped below and is trying to play Super Mario Land to summon Mario, but unfortunately, she's not good enough. Somehow, she manages to access the shuttle's communication system and calls NASA. It's a good thing they have the best and the brightest to handle this situation.
(Cut to a clip of Airplane II)
Commander Murdock (William Shatner): I want a six-foot trench dug around the entire base. Fill it with gasoline.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, she tells them who she is, and NASA, apparently briefed about the plane hijacking, recognizes her and they start talking to her. After another scene of Daisy refusing Tatanga, we go right back to Tannis talking to NASA. They've patched her through to her mother, and she demands to talk to her sister. Tannis says she needs to know how to get Mario through the first three worlds, and naturally, her mom is incredulous at this. However, after Tannis threatens to shut off the radio, her mother capitulates, and a few minutes later, the sister is explaining what to do.
Tannis: Why couldn't I be rescued by something out of Tetris?! I can play that game!
Linkara: You know, since the last Game Boy review, (holds up a Super Mario Land cartridge) I have played Super Mario Land. It's just a fun platformer. Did you really need somebody to talk you through "go to the right, jump on the monsters, and don't go into the pits"?
Linkara (v/o): Tannis gets through it just as Tatanga and his forces find her, and whatever the hell needs to happen to get Mario out is done, letting him pop out of the Game Boy.
Mario: Boy, I thought you were never going to get me past that Nokobon!
Linkara: So, what would happen if there were, like, (holds up three fingers) three Game Boys playing Super Mario Land at once with this situation? Would three Marios pop out? How does this alternate video game dimension work?
Linkara (v/o): Unfortunately, Mario is outnumbered and they quickly capture him. Instead of just stabbing him to death or something, they shove him inside a spacesuit and eject him into space, probably not aware of the air hose attaching the suit to the shuttle. However, Mario is undeterred, going through the internal hoses and wires inside the suit, looking for an escape. Tatanga wants to know who's responsible for bringing Mario here, and Herman, back to being a jackass, quickly points the finger at Tannis. However, the discussion is tabled as the shuttle has started to lose orbit.
Pionpi: Our equipment--! It's shorting out! Our anti-gravity and thrusters are gone!
(Cut to another clip of Airplane II)
Murdock: Oh, cut the bleeding heart crap, will ya?
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): It turns out Mario, after climbing through the air hose, returned here and started sabotaging the shuttle. Tatanga orders his forces to retreat back into the game, but since Tannis is holding the Game Boy, they can't go through. Mind you, if I were her, I'd pull out the cartridge as extra insurance, but what do I know? Instead, Tatanga orders his engineers to repair the anti-gravity systems, and they manage to succeed... somewhat. The shuttle still crashes, but much more softly. We'll forget that they probably should have burned up in the atmosphere if they weren't on a decent trajectory. Anyway, Pionpi says they can attack Mario now, but Daisy feigns being injured in the crash, so Tatanga orders them all to retreat back into the Game Boy.
Mario: I've got to go back to Sarasaland before the warp closes, so I can continue the war against Tatanga-- but are you okay?
Tannis: I've been to space!
(Cut to a clip of the game Portal 2)
Core: Space space wanna go to space. Orbit. Space orbit. In my spacesuit.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Tannis gives Herman his jacket back, and he quickly exits. And so, our comic ends with us learn that they in fact crashed into Disneyland*, where a much more horrifying fate than being killed in the vacuum of space awaits them: the It's a Small World ride! (a dramatic sting plays)
- NOTE: Shouldn't they have crashed into Disney World, since they took off from Florida?
Linkara: (holding up comic) This comic is stupid, and I love it.
Linkara (v/o): Like the first issue, it's really enjoyable in just how completely idiotic it is, from the ridiculous premise to the massive leaps in logic. If there's one disappointing thing about it, it's that Mario didn't really fight anybody this time. He just floated around and then sabotaged the Space Shuttle. Speaking of, that shuttle crash probably killed a whole bunch of people.
Linkara: And yet, after all of that, I still don't get what the hell (points to comic) this thing is called "Gameboy" when it's only about Super Mario Land. (shrugs) Go figure. (tosses comic aside, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll, to the end theme from From the Earth To the Moon)
Tannis later became an astronaut and battled Tatanga several more times on the surface of the moon alongside Space Lancer Steve.
(Stinger: A commercial for Super Mario Land on the Game Boy is shown. It begins with UFOs invading a city, while people run in fear)
Person: The Martians are coming!
(Then Mario flies by in an airplane and starts shooting at the UFOs)
Commercial announcer: Yes, and Mario is your only hope!
(Footage of the game is shown, along with a boy playing the game on his Game Boy)
Announcer: Team up with him in the new Super Mario Land! Guide him on the new Nintendo Game Boy.
(Stop-motion animations of Mario in the game's various locales are shown, accompanied by matching gameplay footage)
Announcer: Challenge the mysteries and terrors of Ancient Egypt! Battle all the horrors of the deep! Master all the weird worlds to give Mario a happy ending...
(Now Mario and Princess Daisy are seen sitting together on top of a plane piloted by another loving couple, who lean on each other's heads, while Mario and Daisy wave)
Announcer: ...and make your world a better place!
(Cut to the game displayed alongside various other Game Boy games, with the Game Boy console sliding into frame)
Announcer: New Super Mario Land and other exciting games for Game Boy!
(Now cut to the Nintendo logo)
(Below it, the slogan of the day is shown)
Announcer: Now you're playing with power!
(Mario flies by on a play, with a banner flying from the tail reading "Portable Power" on it. The banner detaches from the plane to cover the slogan)
Announcer: Portable power!