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The Smash Freshmen

By Paul Adams

Adventure / Action

Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Newcomer

Super Smash Brothers.

A tournament founded almost four years before by eight of the mightiest warriors from all around the universe: Super Mario of the Mushroom Kingdom, the great ape Donkey Kong, Link the Hero of Time, bounty hunter Samus Aran, Yoshi of Yoshi's Island, Kirby of Dreamland, ace star pilot Fox McCloud, and the electrical Pokémon Pikachu. Ever since then, the tournament had been hosted annually. Each time, the eight founders invited new heroes and warriors from around the universe to compete. This year, the tournament was opening once again. The founders had gathered once again and began making decisions as to the combatants. The first few invitation letters had been sent out and stages were being constructed.

The Smash Grounds loomed in the distance as a lone traveler trudged up the path leading to the front gate. A young boy known only as Villager hiked up his backpack and straightened his hat.

"Here goes nothing," he said to himself. Villager was short, with small legs and a large head. He wore a red shirt and his backpack was full of an assortment of random things he had grabbed from around his house that he thought might be useful. Villager gulped at the sight of the tournament he'd always dreamed of joining. So far, he had always lived a simple life as the only human in a small town full of talking animals. The most exciting thing he had ever done was move to the town. Ever since the tournaments started, he had submitted applications every year with the far-flung dream that he'd ever be considered. Then, two days ago, he received a surprising acceptance letter marked with the smash seal.

Now that he was here, Villager was starting to have second thoughts. He'd always dreamed of holding his own against the greats, but as he got closer and closer he felt hugely outclassed. He honestly wondered if they had gotten his letter mixed up with someone else's. He looked up at the banner over the gate. It was emblazoned with a large circular symbol with an off-center crosshairs. On each side of it were four emblems representing each of the eight founders: A mushroom for Mario, a large DK insignia for Donkey Kong, a triangle made up of three smaller triangles for Link, a circle with a lightning bolt through it for Samus, a spotted egg for Yoshi, a star for Kirby, a wolf silhouette with wings for Fox, and a Poke Ball shape for Pikachu.

Villager stepped up to the gate and tentatively put his hand out to it. He pushed it open, taking his first step inside the Smash Grounds. He gasped as he looked around. The foundations of several stages were already under construction. He could see the four platforms of the original Battlefield nearby. In the sky above floated a reconstruction of Link's home, the Skyloft. In the distance stood a stadium, and next to it was a training studio. A giant base with a skeletal face on the front of it and a large "W" rose menacingly on Villager's left. Far off stood a separate section with stages he couldn't make out. The one stage that really took his breath though was splayed out right in front of him: A large stage that recreated his hometown of Animal Crossing, with a large flat platform hanging above it.

"This is . . . my stage."

A gloved hand placed itself on Villager's shoulder. "Yep, it sure is," a well-known Italian voice said.

Villager turned around to find Mario himself standing behind him. "Mr. Mario, sir!" he said in excitement.

Mario smiled. "Welcome to Super Smash Bros., Villager," he said, shaking Villager's hand. "I'm glad to see you got my letter."

"Yeah, um, I got it," he mumbled.

"Good," Mario said, "We're glad to have you here."

"Yeah, I guess." Villager was once again reminded of how outclassed he felt.

Mario smiled as though he understood what was going through his mind. "You'll do fine. I believe you'll do great things."

"But, you and all the others are so much more experienced," Villager said, "You've all done so much."

"That may be true," Mario said, fixing his hat and stroking his mustache, "But we all started out in the same state you are now. Today is just the start of your adventure. Don't worry too much."

Villager put on a half-hearted smile. "I'll try my best."

"That's a good lad."

A small pink bubble creature with a face and tiny arms waddled up to Mario and tapped him on the shoulder. "Mario, we need your consultation on the new Super Mario stage."

"Yeah, yeah, I'll be right there," Mario said, "Kirby, have you met our newcomer Villager."

Villager's jaw dropped. Now he was standing before two of the founders. Kirby looked Villager up and down, stood on his tiptoes, and waved his little arms above his head. "HI!" he said in his trademark move. Villager gawked speechlessly.

"He . . . he . . . he did the move . . . he said the line . . . he . . . ," Villager stuttered, trying to compose himself while simultaneously geeking out.

Kirby raised an eyebrow at him. "Anyway," Mario said, "Perhaps you should give the kid his dorm number before he passes out."

Kirby nodded. He pulled a key of out thin air and handed it to Villager. "Room 5," he said, "The complex just beyond Dr. Wily's Fortress. You'll be rooming with another newcomer."

"Th—thank . . . you . . . ," Villager mumbled.

"The orientation for newcomers is at six," Mario told him, "See you then. Now, Kirby, let's get to the construction site. I'm thinking something to do with Super Mario Galaxy, maybe some funky effects with the gravity . . . ."

Their voices trailed off as they made their way to one of the distant construction projects, leaving Villager alone. Villager found the complex Kirby had told him about and used the key to open the door to Room 5. As he opened the door, he heard loud noises from inside, as though chunks of metal were being thrown around. Stepping into the room, he discovered it was from his roommate, who was currently digging through a suitcase full of tools and scrap metal.

"Um, excuse me," Villager mumbled.

The roommate looked up. At first glance, he looked like an ordinary human with a completely blue outfit and helmet, but as Villager looked closer, he realized the boy was a robot and his human face was simply synthetic. In the place of a left arm he had a large blue laser cannon.

"Oh, hey," the robot smiled cordially, "How's it going."

"You're Mega Man," Villager stuttered, once again so stunned he could barely speak.

Mega Man blushed a little. "Yep, that's me," he said, "Although, you can call me Rock. Or Mega Man, if you like. It doesn't matter, I'll answer to both. So what do they call you?"

"V-Villager," Villager said, "from Animal Crossing. Don't you work for the Capcom organization, not Nintendo?"

"Yeah," Mega Man replied, "I'm kind of a special guest. Like Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog last year. Remember that."

"Of course," Villager said, "that was the coolest thing ever when they joined last year."

"Well, I'm the next. Nice to be working with you." Mega Man extended his non-gun hand and shook Villager's. "You can pick whichever bed you want. I'm easy as long as I'm near an outlet." He pulled a cord out of his side. "Robot, you know."

"Right," Villager smiled. "Well, I guess I'll take the far bed, then."

"Cool," Mega Man said. He found what he was looking for in his suitcase and flopped onto the other bed. "Good to meet you, Villager."

Villager grinned and hopped onto the next bed. He put his hands behind his head and looked at the ceiling, excitement flowing through him as he imagined what it would be like to finally take part in the greatest tournament in history.

Standing atop the recreation of Dr. Wily's fortress and looking out over the slowly rising Smash Grounds, the evil King Bowser grinned maliciously. The wind blew through his fiery red hair and over his yellow reptilian skin. He pulled absentmindedly at the spiked bands around his neck and wrists and hefted the heavy spiked shell on his back.

"So," he grumbled in his deep gravelly voice, "Mario's starting up another Super Smash Bros. tournament, eh? I think this would be a good opportunity to cause a few problems for my dear old friend."

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