The book


Published in July 1993 by Fantail and written by Todd Strasser, the book is little more than a simple adaptation of the film aimed at a young reading audience. Narration is simplified and minor details are skipped, but the core of the story is there. What makes it notable, however, is the changes; it appears to be based off a longer cut of the movie, and thus includes slightly longer dialogue and alternate takes on scenes, filling in little gaps that the movie left in the finished cut. I won't be covering every single little insignificant change, but just what I think is worth making a note of.



In the movie, Daisy's mother is seen to be in a hurry by leaving her baby at the doorsteps of the church. It's not until she enters the cave that we see Koopa, giving the implication he was just waiting for her. The book states that Koopa is actively chasing her, and actually chases her on the city street briefly, but she flees into the cave and that's where he ambushes her again.



After Mario and Luigi see Scapelli's van outside the restaurant, we're treated to a new scene where they sneak inside and witness Mike and Doug, Scapelli's plumbers doing a sloppy job of fixing the dishwasher. They claim it'll take two days, but Mario believes it's a simple two hour job if done right, though he gets roughed up by Mike. Scapelli is mentioned in a threat, prompting Mario to explain his more personal distaste for the man ("Know him? I grew up with that bum. He ain't a plumber, he's a toxic-waste dumper. He don't know a pipe from a crowbar."), though Mike threatens him and Pascal, the restaurant owner, that their services will be used or there'll be trouble. Pascal gives in, and makes it up to Mario by offering him a free dinner. This explains why they can go to a fancy restaurant with Daisy and Daniella later on despite the fact the first time we see Mario and Luigi it greatly emphasises that they're out of work and have no money, and also gives Scapelli's crew a legitimate reason to be considered an amateurish lot.

Mike and Doug are named as the two plumbers that sabotage the pipes at the excavation site after Luigi and Daisy's date, though in the movie they're only identified as Scapelli's men.



The two brothers have a scene preparing for their date, wherein Mario tells Luigi to stop speaking like a doofus and have some self-esteem about his livelihood, disliking how Luigi looks down on his occupation as a plumber. Mention is made of how Mario wants to marry Daniella, but is reluctant to ask for fear of being turned down. A brief scene afterwards of them picking Daisy up at the excavation site is included, where Iggy and Spike are still stalking her. The bumbling duo's reptilian nature is mentioned (With a flick of his unnaturally long tongue, Spike gobbled [the fly] up.).


The Stomper boots are called "thwomp stompers", lowercase; they retain that title in the movie, but it's only seen as a barely visible billboard (one of the production photos in the book has a more clear shot of the sign). A street vendor namedrops a few creatures from the games as food products ("Hey, gents, get your soiled spiny burger here. I got fried tweeter for twenty Koopons. Or maybe you prefer little wigglers. They're only fifteen."). All creature names (Goomba, Spiny, etc) are in lowercase throughout the book, with the exception of Yoshi and Snifit.
The reason we first see Koopa washing his hands in his office in the movie is explained - his campaign advisor was visiting him, saying he should do something about the fungus and lack of water or else his campaign isn't going to be a positive one, so Koopa chokes him and drops him on the floor, and then moans to Lena about how he had his hands dirtied.



An amusing little change that somehow made it into a kids' book but not the movie. They were surrounded by men wearing gas masks. One of them grabbed Mario and started to pull his trousers open. "Hey!' Mario shouted. 'I don't even let my girlfriend do this!"
The prison scene with Toad is longer, where Mario gets rather cranky about getting into this mess because Luigi wanted to rescue a girl he barely even knew, but when the argument is reversed back at him he claims Daniella wouldn't be stupid enough to get brought to this place. Toad begins a second song ("Sittin' in a cell with two brothers / Listening to them share with each other...") before they're called to see Koopa.

After Toad is made into a Goomba, a technician sneezes, prompting Koopa to make him undergo the de-evolution as well so he won't spread germs around. Rather than become a Goomba, "all that [remains] of the technician [is] a puddle of greenish ooze."
The spelling of de-evolution fluctuates: sometimes it's devolution, sometimes it's de-evolution.



"Sittin' on my butt" is changed to "sitting on my bottom," which is odd given the rest of Luigi's slang remains unchanged, and the few instances of Hell remain intact. It suggests that Luigi, for one sentence only, changes from slang-tastic Brooklynite to sophisticated, posh-sounding aristocrat.


The two of them interrupt Koopa's bath before the Mario brothers have actually plummeted out of the tunnel, so they're just ordered to go there; they're still taken to the de-evolution chamber, though for this reason because Iggy makes bad puns and literally interprets his instructions to "mop up the desert."


Koopa tries to woo Daisy first before Yoshi appears; it's implied that Koopa's got some kinda bizarre charm or something, and Yoshi's appearance snapped her out of it. Spike and Iggy then interrupt, saying they "sent a drone" to the desert and found the empty police car; it's here that they're scolded for not checking the location themselves.


The two plumbers get into a scuffle after Mario's comment of "let's die there!", where he laments he could've been at home with Daniella watching the Knicks (Luigi stared at his brother in disbelief. "You hate the Knicks." "I like 'em now!" Mario shouted.), while Luigi sarcastically apologises for the mess, claiming he made the Koopa crew evil and invented sand, prompting them to throw sand at each other, which is when Iggy and Spike arrive in their dune buggy. Rather than them crashing their buggy, Mario and Luigi just drag them out of it and tie them up without any hassle.



The garbage men are explicitly called Snifits, and their vehicles "sludge-gulpers." A fair bit of interesting history to Dinohattan is revealed.

On the way they passed a huge greenish statue of a woman wearing a spiked crown and holding one hand high above her head. Mario and Luigi pulled off their gas masks and stared at it.
'What's that?' Mario asked. 'It looks almost familiar.'
'The Statue of Repression,' Iggy said. 'It's Koopa's droll paean to his neofascist monarchy.'
'Koopa the Self-referential, as it were,' Spike added with a smirk.
'What is all this Koopa—the-blank stuff?' Luigi asked. 'We've seen posters for Koopa the Sportsman, Koopa the Cruel, Koopa the Stud. Doesn't anybody run against this guy?'
'Koopa the Sensitive ran four years ago,' Spike said. 'He got only two per cent of the vote.'
'If he's so unpopular, can't someone run against him?' Luigi asked.
'Not possible,' said Iggy.
'So you can elect anyone, so long as it's Koopa?' Mario guessed.
'Precisely,' said Spike.
'What kind of system is that?' Luigi asked.
'Democracy,' said Iggy.
'What was it like before Koopa?' Mario asked.
'Oh, it was lovely,' Iggy sighed. 'Under the velvet glove of our philosopher King Bowser. Water flowed. We were free.'
'Then why do you put up with this now?' Luigi asked, gesturing towards the crumbling, fungus-covered city they had just entered.
'Actually, we never really thought about it,' Spike said.
'Come to think of it,' Iggy said, 'it has become a rather cruel, oppressive place, hasn't it?'



Iggy and Spike more explicitly denounce Koopa: Iggy and Spike had got drunk and were now standing on the bar, doing an anti-Koopa rap song.


Toad is explicitly mentioned as the Goomba who gets Daisy some vegetables, but otherwise has no significance in this scene since he isn't set on fire to act as a distraction; Iggy and Spike simply wriggle out of the Goombas' grasp and follow Daisy. Daisy's father is then said to be the aforementioned Bowser ('But Princess Daisy, may I present your father.' 'Our patriarch,' Iggy added. 'King Bowser.'), while the movie offers no surname for her or her family. Iggy and Spike leave the room, but since the book doesn't include the scene of them after the credits, they simply disappear from the rest of the story.
When the Mario brothers encounter the chasm, Luigi expresses that he finally has pride in his family and livelihood now, prompting Mario to say "I'd hug you, but that'd make you an only child." A similar line exists in the movie ("I'd high-five you...") though it's just because Luigi caught him rather than anything mushy.
Mario planned to take Daniella to the roller derby in the book, rather than Wrestlemania. Luigi and Daisy are kidnapped while Mario is still present, though Luigi urges him to run and rescue Daniella instead.



Daniella has a cute line before she returns to Brooklyn: 'Tell Mario...' she began, wishing she could protect her boyfriend somehow. Then she shook her head. 'Forget it. He never listens to anything.'
Toad distracts the Goombas with his harmonica and prompts them to dance, even though the elevator sequence is missing the dancing part, so it comes across as a little cheap. Well, more so.

In the movie, Scapelli randomly comments "these guys will do anything for publicity" after the Twin Towers morph into the Koopa Towers, though the book gives context for it - the Our Miraculous World crew are at the excavation site interviewing the Brooklyn girls who explain they were rescued from the parallel world by the Mario brothers. We do see Daniella pointing at the towers before they change with the Our Miraculous World host beside her, but no actual interviewing is seen.

During Koopa and Mario's scuffle at the site, they start exchanging fisticuffs after Koopa loses his gun, whereas the movie has them being warped back to Koopa's world immediately after.
Koopa devolving into goop is described in more detail, saying he literally evolves backwards, into fish, algae and whatnot, before finally goop. The fungus is then said to disappear (All over the square the fungus receded, pulling itself backwards, disappearing into cracks. Splash. The dried-out, fungus-clogged water fountain gushed to life.), but despite the fact the brothers are introduced to Daisy's fungus father, no mention is made of what happens to him.



Mario (right) and Luigi, Brooklyn's best plumbers.

The first photo features dirty dishes to the far right, implying this is of the scene inside Pascal's restaurant.


Daisy is escorted to Koopa's chambers by Hark, a goomba.

"Daisy is escorted to Koopa's chambers by Hark, a goomba." That's clearly Toad. Hark is a leftover from an early draft of the movie (see the 1992 script) who filled the role of the Goomba Toad.


Koopa feels the effects of the merge.

Koopa is on the overpass when the merge occurs, not in the bucket. I'm guessing the gloves are either for the dissolving effect, or an unpainted prop that looks a little better on film.



Todd Strasser has written many award-winning novels for young and teenage readers, including The Accident and Friends Till the End. He is a frequent speaker at middle schools, junior highs, and conferences in the USA. He likes to fish, play tennis, and spend time with his wife and two children. He and Mario recently visited Dinosaur Land, but they never made it out of the Forest of Illusion.

Sucks to be Todd.