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Late Night with Tabuu and Mason/S01E05
The studio lights turned on, and, just as quickly, flashed back off.
There was a familiar growl, and the sound of a light switch being furiously flipped.
The lights continued to flicker repeatedly until, finally, they came on permanently- illuminating the stage where the hosts’ chairs remained untouched, with a bloodstain on the floor.
Tabuu and Mason stood in the aisle leading up to the stage. Tabuu looked grumpy and exhausted, and Mason was tenderly clutching the back of his scaly head, light pains from his head injuries still lingering.
"We’re back in business?" asked Toadbert, entering from the door behind them.
"Yup." Tabuu grumbled, not at all excited at the prospect.
A Thwomp fell from the ceiling, flattening Mason. "And better than ever!" the Magikoopa squeaked.
"...That point is up for debate." Tabuu said.
The hosts had returned to their chairs and the broadcast had started.
"Hello and welcome." Tabuu said.
"To Late Night!" Mason cheered.
"Uh..." Mason wormed his way out from under the Thwomp, "...What is our topic for today? The awards?"
"Not necessarily," Tabuu said, "We aren’t covering all those results. God no. Instead, we’re talking about what the Awards celebrate...MarioWiki’s anniversary!"
"Happy birthday, dear MarioWiki?" Mason piped in a singsong voice.
Tabuu glared at him.
"You’re no fun." the Magikoopa sighed.
"Anyways," Tabuu said, "Today, I’ll be reviewing..." Tabuu’s voice trailed off.
"...You’ll be reviewing?"
"...All this time, and you still don’t know what you’re going to review?"
"Welcome to my world." Mason said.
"It’s cold and lonely," Tabuu sighed, leaning back into his chair, "Just like what I’m reviewing. Guise. What’re you reviewing, Mase?"
"Sounds ambitious." Tabuu smirked.
"Oh baby. Anyways, MarioWiki’s anniversary is upon us! What do you have to say about this matter, Mase?"
"I think if I were to forget MarioWiki’s anniversary she would dump me..."
"I think that goes for most people dating a toucan fetishist, Mase. Anyways, I feel...old." Tabuu tugged on his black robes, "And yes, I see the irony in that statement."
"You should feel old! I don’t know about the wiki, but I’ve only been around the boards for three years... wait, has it really been three years?" The Magikoopa counted his stubby fingers. "Tabuu, how many years are there between July thirty-first of ‘09 to mid-August of 2012?"
"Uh, one! I think. I failed second grade. You’ve been here for three years. Three and a month, yeah. Take that, Ms. Pooley. Told you I could do basic Math!"
"So Tabuu, looking back at when you first joined the wiki and the forums, are you glad you did? How do you think your life would have gone if you had never stepped foot into Wikisburg?"
"Well," Tabuu said, "Significantly better." He paused. "I’m joking, I’m joking. This place changed my life. I discovered my passion for writing, my attraction to both genders, and, perhaps most importantly, my fetish for organization and tyranny over the less experienced. How about you, Mase?"
"Hmm. Before I joined this community, I only made an idiot of myself in a few select places. But thanks to the wonders of social communication, I’ve not only learned how to also make an idiot of myself here, but all across the globe!" Mason smiled proudly.
"It really is a beautiful thing." Tabuu gave a nostalgic sigh. "How do you think the community’s going to go, moving forward? Personally, I’m hoping for more drunken parties."
"I can only pray that everyone will accept Toucan Sam as their lord and savior."
Tabuu frowned. "But what about Poochy?"
"If Poochy is the One True God then may He strike me down now!"
"You had that one coming, Mase. With all of that over and done with, let’s get to my review."
"Today," Tabuu said, "I’m reviewing Guise, a story by Mastablasta. While I have previously reviewed this story in The Disconnected during its last run, I reviewed it in its early form- unedited, unupdated. Since then, the author went back and greatly revised much of her work- and added to it, as well."
Mason shuffled in his seat.
"The problem that many writers of serious Userpedian fiction come across is this: how do I make a world that fits the mood of my story and is believable? In some cases, it goes unexplained: in those, it’s usually safe to assume it’s the exact same seen in most of our sprite comics. In others, like my own stories and Coded Logs, it blends technology and some magical elements to explain itself and what goes on- and, while similar in execution, Mastablasta’s version of the Wiki World is, in my honest opinion, the best version I’ve ever seen." Tabuu looked at the smartphone in his hand before continuing.
"The story was started because she felt that bots were underrepresented in Userpedia fiction- this, strictly speaking, is true- even in Coded Logs, bots were ignored entirely. In Guise, they take center stage as two robotic twins modeled after the Mario Brothers- a female named Aria, modeled after Mario; and a male named Louis, modeled after Luigi. I’m not going to explain Guise and how its world works- that’s the author’s job, not mine- but I highly recommend that you read this story because it has some of the best world-building I’ve ever seen in a fantasy fiction, period.
"She handles her characters fairly well- including her author avatar, who generally stays out of the spotlight but is also a genuinely likable character, with her own inherent flaws. YellowYoshi, Porplemontage and even Zero are depicted quite well- with the last, I usually have a problem with how he’s depicted in Userpedia fiction, especially his own. The reason behind this is that I feel somebody that hasn’t been a part of this community that long is getting a bigger fictional role than veterans that have contributed much more to the Wiki than he has- this isn’t a personal attack against Zero or anything- but it’s a bit of a bother to see sometimes. Mastablasta, however, handled his depiction perfectly- without taking away the Zero Corps, which is what I usually found to be the biggest problem. The Zero Corps serves the same role in Guise as it does in his own fiction- hi-tech weapon manufacturer and all- but at the same time, it shows that system being broken through by people more experienced than he- and his inexperience with the Wiki’s history is what leads to the event that kick-starts the real plot into action. It’s a wonderful way to handle his character without overstating his importance- and I doubt he had any complaints to make."
"Guise hasn’t been updated in a while, but I won’t be letting it fall into hiatus again. Check that shit out. Review it. Force the author to make some more. I honestly believe Guise to be one of the best fictions on Userpedia- it’s one of my favorites, alongside The Battle for Mikea, Corruption, Vengeance, and it’s only truly seconded by Coded Logs. I give Guise a perfect ten out of ten- it’s a masterpiece, and I highly recommend you read it."
"And now," Mason said, "It's time for Mason’s Comic Review! The first issue (of the first chapter) of Journey to the Real World begins with over-resized Mushroom sprites..."
"Hey," Tabuu cut in, "You got a problem with badly resized mushroom sprites?"
"Anyway," Mason continued, "They go on and on for the entire first comic talking about their sprites... and in the next comic... NOTHING MOVES. All the author did was change the text around!"
"In the third comic, they continue talk about how they're going to change their sprites... and that's pretty much it."
"So," Tabuu smirked, "what rating will you give this comic?"
"To tell you the truth, I don't want to be too harsh. I think MushroomMan3 should refrain from resizing sprites, or at least keep them at even scales like 2x or 3x. Another thing this comic lacks is backgrounds. I find it difficult to stay interested in poorly resized SMAS sprites."
"So I'm going to mark this comic as 'incomplete.' Hopefully you can make these improvements by Issue 4..."
Mason began to fall into a slumber but quickly jolted awake. "And now," he said, his voice growing louder, "It’s time for..."
"Our interview!" Tabuu cut in, "Neurario, have a seat!"
The orange Lucario entered from backstage and sat himself into the pink love chair from the previous episode. "Hi," he said, "It's good to be here."
"It's great to have you here!" cheered Mason with a not-at-all psychotic grin.
"Mason," Tabuu said, "You take the first question. I like to put you into awkward positions."
"Won't comment on that." Neurario muttered.
"Okay," said Mason, scratching his chin, "Let’s see..."
After a moment of awkward silence, he said: "So tell us Neu, what do you think about the current state of Userpedia?" He blinked, and there was the sound of a building crashing outside. It shook the Earth.
"Well," Neurario said, not questioning this turn of events, "It's been taking some steps behind the scenes toward improving activity, but at the moment it's definitely a lot quieter than it used to be. Could be a good or bad thing." He shrugged. "It doesn't really help that I haven't contributed in quite a while either..."
"I know how that goes." Mason sighed sadly.
"Eh," Tabuu waved a hand dismissively, "You've been busy. Userpedia will probably get more activity when and if we get more people interested. And now, my question: what's your favorite work on Userpedia?"
"Well," Neu rolled his eyes, "I know Tabuu is practically begging for me to name Aviate... which I will admit has more of a story than most used to have, but honestly, I can't say for sure. There are just so many stories out there now that are great in terms of plot and character development that I can't really name one specifically."
Mason grinned, showing his teeth.
"You don't have to say how awesome my stories are on my show. It'd look like I'm egotistic or something!" Tabuu said, egotistically. "Another question," he added, "Who is Adriels?"
"Adriels is actually an interesting story." Neurario said, "A long time ago I used to be really into Half-Life 2 Deathmatch, and I played on one particular server that was all about co-operating to complete challenges. I was a regular at the time, and so was he. He heard that I was planning to get a subdomain- I think I had one of those weird free hosters- and he offered some space on his own domain. So I had my own subdomain for a while. Then when UP was in trouble, a couple of people remembered that I had one and asked me to talk to Adriels. And well, the rest is history. UP as a wiki came back to life and I did whatever crap I was doing back then."
"So Neurario, even though I've been here for a few years, I still don't know much about you and your coffee." Mason leaned forward. "Care to fill me in?"
"I'll admit that it's a bit of a real-world addiction I have." Neurario explained, "Me and my Dad have this brand of iced coffee that we always drink. I think the actual association with me and coffee though came from a forum RP on a forum that I had running wherein it was established that I worked in a cafe. No, I don't have a problem. I can quit whenever I want."
"Caffeine is a hell of a drug." Tabuu stated.
"Can I have some of your coffee?" Mason asked.
"Go right ahead. I did actually bring some today to drink, since you guys were kind enough to get me here." The lucario conjured two steaming mugs out of nowhere, both of which were taken by the hosts.
"I hate coffee," Tabuu said, "But this is...magnificent."
"Needs more crushed Froot Loops!" Mason declared.
"Neurario," Tabuu asked, "Does Mason's Toucan fetishism disturb you?"
Neurario shifted awkwardly in his seat. "I'm not really in a position to comment on that." he said.
"Fetishes aside, what do you think of our studio? Or the love chair that we still have, that, sometimes, Mason sits on and caresses when he goes to sleep at night?"
"It's, ah... different to what I was expecting. I can tell you've made an effort to not look amateur." Neu acknowledged.
"Uh, thanks!" Mason said, "The studio funds only required Tabuu to murder-"
"Nobody!" he harshly interrupted, "I'm a law-abiding citizen!"
"Alrighty." Mason said, "Why don't you ask Neurario another question?"
"Neurario, do you have any plans for a return to Userpedia fiction?" Tabuu asked.
"Well I do kind of want to continue the story of Mikea, I just need to re-immerse myself in that world and actually write..." Neu sighed.
"Just start writing," Tabuu said, sipping idly, "It'll all come back to you as you go, I promise."
Mason looked around nervously. "Um, Tabuu?" he asked, hesitantly, "Are you thinking it's about time to end the interview soon? You know... without me dying?"
Tabuu gave a sigh. "Yeah," he said sadly, "That's fine. Later, Neu."
The Lucario walked offstage and the hosts sipped at their coffee until the broadcast cut off.