The Amazing Race:
Nintendo Universe

By Stephen Stephano

12 teams will face off on a dizzying race around the Nintendo universe, through the various nations, peoples, and cities along the way.  The tasks will be intense, the traveling arduous, and the tension palpable.  At the end of the journey lies $5 million in cash, a vacation of a lifetime, and the title of Amazing Race Champions.  This…is the Amazing Race: Nintendo Universe

Here’s your host…Phil Keoghan.


Race Leg #1 – Mushroom World


“Welcome all to The Amazing Race: Nintendo Universe.  In this season of our fabulous show we will take you around the world, to all corners of the gaming world, from its most historical and quaint locals to its most demanding and breathtaking.  Our casting call was far and wide, as well over 300 of your favorite characters sought to be a part of our inaugural season in the pixilated goodness we find ourselves in.  Only 24 will embark on the journey, in 2-person teams.  On this night, we will introduce you to our contestants.


Where we stand now is the Yoshi Green House, a little known relic of Nintendo’s earlier years.  Making its first appearance in Super Mario World in 1991 and referred to then as “Yoshi’s House”, the Yoshi Green House is the home of the leader Yoshi as well as a great number of the dinosaurs, which come in many colors and are indigenous to the island that bears their name.  The original structure was made out of a connection of trees, held together at the base by brick columns.  Many other houses of similar construction were created over the years and were showcased in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island.


To assist me in bringing out our contestants are perhaps Yoshi’s Island’s most revered citizenry – Yoshi and Baby Mario.”


Yoshi and Baby Mario come out, at which point production whispers into Phil’s microphone.  “Oh right, neither one can talk.  Well, we’ll have to do this the old fashioned way. 


“First up, I present to you Team Plumber – from Mushroom Kingdom…Mario and Luigi!

Second, we have Team Primate – from Kongo Jungle…Donkey and Diddy Kong!

Third, it is team Psychic – from Eagleland – Ness and Lucas!

Fourth, we have team Knight – from Gallia – Ike and Lyn!

Fifth, it is team Royalty – from Hyrule – Link and Zelda!

Sixth, we have team Hunter – from Zebes – Samus and Ridley!

Seventh, we have team Villain – from Popstar – Dedede and Metaknight!

Eighth, we have team Starfighter – from Corneria – Fox and Krystal!

Ninth, we have team Freighter – from Hocotate – Olimar and Louie!

Tenth, we have team Daredevil – from Mute City – Captain Falcon and Jody Summer!

Eleventh, it is team Antagonist – from Pallet Town – Ash Ketchum and Gary Oak!

The 12th and final team is team Blur – from Green Hill Zone – Sonic and Tails!”


The 12 teams gather around in the front of the green house, most of whom have big smiles on their faces.


“As you know, the first leg of the race will begin from this spot.  The mat behind you is a map of the Nintendo Universe.  These will serve as the beginning and ending points for all legs of the race.  In each leg of the race you will have to find your way through the country to various locations, and then complete challenges at those locations.  When you do, you’ll receive your next clue and you’ll proceed to the next location.  At the end of each leg you’ll check in at this mat once again.”


“With that, you can come forth and receive your first clue in the clue box here.”


The various teams come forward to receive the clue.

Captain Falcon: You must take the Cheep Cheep Ferry across the sea north to Delfino Plaza.  Once there proceed on foot to Chef Torte’s Pizzeria.”


A few minutes later the teams are given their provisions, food, and money (in this case, coins, since we’re in the mushroom world).  The host and production lines them up on the starting map.


“Racers on your marks…get set…go!”  The host shouts as the Yoshis throw eggs and spit watermelon seeds into the air.  The 12 teams race off the line to the ferry, which is on the beach about a half mile away.  Naturally, the faster teams get there first, and since there are only 3 ships there at any one time, that gives them the advantage.


Sonic/Tails, Fox/Krystal, and Falcon/Summer get there first, and start riding across the sea. 


Sonic: Hey this is pretty easy; those slower teams are no match for us.

Fox: Yeah, I get you, that giant dragon thing and the bounty hunter in the suit will probably be out first.

Falcon: Their moves are weak.  We’re the best bounty hunters here, aren’t we Jody?

Summer: You bet!


They land on Delfino Plaza and look for the Pizzeria.  Meanwhile six other teams are on their way across the sea.  Just Olimar/Louie, Dedede/Metaknight, and Samus/Ridley are left on the north beach of Yoshi’s Island. 


Dedede: Well this stinks.

Metaknight: If you would move your bulging butt we’d be on that ferry by now!

Dedede: I can’t help it, my stomach hurts, and I beat you at gourmet race!

Metaknight: Only because you’re better at putting things in your mouth!


Olimar: I just hope our suits don’t malfunction…HFP wasn’t too thrilled about us taking off all that work time.

Louie: You think he rigged them to give out on us?

Olimar: I’m just saying.  Nah, you’re probably right…but let’s just take it steady.


At the other end, Fox and Krystal locate the pizzeria first.


“Here we stand at Chef Torte’s Pizzeria, an oracle to quintessential Italian cuisine.  Built from an old structure of sandstone and marble and of European architecture, it is one of the oldest buildings in Delfino and lies right between the Delfino Square and Peach Beach Mario Kart Tracks.  Here, the contestants will have their first task of the leg, in which they must make 40 pizzas, complete with all the fixings, including mushroom world’s well-known staple, red mushrooms.  The pizzas must be declared good by Chef Torte and or his apprentice.  Once 40 pizzas are made, the teams will receive their next clue.”


Jody: Alright, let’s make some pizzas!

Krystal: What’s a pizza?  Never heard of it. 

Captain Falcon: Can’t even read this stupid thing…makes me want to falcon punch it.

Jody Summer: Calm down dear, if you can’t read a book how will we ever win the race?


Despite her early confusion, Krystal picks up the recipe and masters it quickly.  Her and Fox quickly jump out to a lead on the other teams.  This is before Mario and Luigi arrive five minutes later, Link/Zelda and Ness/Lucas right behind them. 


Mario: Okey-dokey, time to show them how it’s done!

Luigi: I'm-a Luigi, number 1 pizza maker!

Mario: Start kneading the dough…I’ve-a got the rest of it!


Mario and Luigi, no doubt because of their affinity for such food, pass all the teams, including Fox and Krystal and complete the 40 pizzas to receive the clue just as the final group arrives from the ferry.


Captain Falcon: Figures that Chef Torte likes all their pizzas! 

Zelda: They just make it look so easy.


Mario: We need to take the Wiggler Bus up to Bandits Way Park.  Let’s go Luigi!


“Teams must now head northward on the bus to Bandit’s Way Park.  This natural preserve to the southwest of Mushroom Kingdom is the home of mushroom world’s most notorious thieves, Croco.  Here the teams will receive their next clue.” 


Luigi: There’s the clue box.  What do we have?  Head to Peach’s Castle Grounds and pick up 20 marked balls or harvest 50 mushrooms at Moo Moo Farm.

Mario: I’m thinking the balls will be easier, let’s go there.


Meanwhile back at the pizza parlor…


Lyn: We’re doing pretty well; we’re catching up to the other teams!  Fetch me the cheese!

Ike: Got it.  I’ll keep kneading the dough.


Across the room, the monkeys are well, monkeying around. 


DK: No banana? **punches into a large bag of cheese, causing it to go everywhere.

Diddy: **Holds two pepperonis up over his eyes, and plays peek-a-boo with DK.    


Across the way, the villains get down to business.


Metaknight: We didn’t so well on the way here Dedede.

Dedede: Sure, but making pizzas, this oughta be easy, we’ll catch up in no time!

Metaknight: What’s a pizza?

Dedede: **rolls eyes… (Are you kidding me, why did I have to be paired with this loser?)


Donkey Kong: Gon-grawl! Gon-grawl!  **Accidentally knocks over a big bag of flour, drenching Dedede in total whiteness.  Dedede gazes at DK with a murderous look on his face.


Fox and Krystal make it to Bandit’s Way. 


Fox: Detour!  Pick balls or pick shrooms!


This challenge is a detour.  At a detour, teams are given the choice between two tasks to complete; they only need to complete one to move forward unless they are u-turned by another team.  If a team is u-turned, they will need to complete both tasks to move forward.  A team can only u-turn another team once in the race, so teams will have to consider at what point to use it.”


Fox: Golf ball collecting or mushroom harvesting.  Which should we do?

Krystal: I don’t know much about either…it’s your decision Fox.

Fox: Let’s do the balls, it’s probably not that hard. 


“Peach’s Castle Grounds Golf Club, the oldest private golf club in the Nintendo World, features a championship level 18-hole layout, complete with chain chomps lining the fairways.  In the detour challenge, teams will need to go to the driving range, and pick up specially marked balls with the Amazing Race logo on them.  Thirty players will be hitting the balls at the same time, so teams will have to avoid the balls as they are hit.”


Mario: Look out Luigi!

Luigi: **moves just before a ball hits him in the face.  Well, this is-a more a-dangerous than I thought Mario.  How many do we have?

Mario: I’ve got 4 so far.  We need twenty.  **dodges another ball.  Fox and his lady friend have arrived, we need to move. 


Back at the pizza parlor…


Lucas:  Get me the pizza sauce, I’m out! 

Ness: I can’t reach it, it’s too high!

Lucas: PK Freeze!  **ice goes atop the refrigerator and freezes the sauce vat, dropping it to the ground, where the ice breaks.  A piece slides into Ridley and knocks him over. 

Ridley: RAWR!  **comes after Lucas who cowers in the corner while Samus tries to stop her partner from eating him. 

Samus: Sorry, he’s a bit territorial.  (Couldn’t I have a partner who’s…I don’t know…human?)


Link and Zelda reach Bandit’s Way in fifth place.


Zelda: We have to choose between picking golf balls or picking mushrooms.

Link: Let’s go for the farm, I’m good at farming tasks.


“Moo Moo Farm, one of the largest agricultural preserves in the gaming universe and home to the Mario Kart track of the same name, is where nearly 20% of the mushrooms in Mushroom Kingdom are produced.  At this juncture, the workers will dump the mushrooms onto a giant turntable, and the teams will have to activate a giant rake to sweep them into their basket.  Normal mushrooms are worth 1 point, special golden mushrooms are worth 3, but some of the vegetables are poisonous, which subtract 3 points.  Once a team reaches 50 points, they will be given their next clue.”


Zelda: You’re right Link; you’re a natural at this.  We’ve already got 34.  We might be able to win this leg if we keep at it.

Link: Just keep pointing them out.  See there’s a golden one!  **Link activates the crane and rakes in the golden mushroom plus 2 other regular mushrooms. 

Zelda: You’re amazing!  That’s 5 in one shot!

Link: Well, it’s not like I didn’t work hard every day when I was in Ordona…


Ash and Gary are in 6th place when they find the clue box at Bandit’s Way.  That’s when they find something that nobody else has seen, a special path leading behind the clue box.  The two trainers follow it to a bushy area where a second clue box lies. 


Ash: Fast Forward?  Whoa, they didn’t talk about this in the production meeting.

Gary: Well let’s see what it is.  Take the tram to Toad’s Midway and ride the roller coaster!

Ash: Sweet, I love roller coasters.  Let’s go!


“In many stages, there is a fast forward challenge, in which the first team to correctly complete the fast forward can skip straight ahead to the finish of the current leg, called the Pit Stop.  The site of this leg’s Fast Forward is Toad’s Midway Amusement Park.  This park, which doubles as a Mario Party Board Map, is home to over 30 rides and attractions, including the biggest roller coaster in the mushroom world, called Toad’s Turnpike.  On the roller coaster, the teams will have to hold two ice cream cones in their hands and not lose any of the scoops while going around the course, which includes two loops.  Teams can pick up a scoop if it lands in their lap, but if it falls out of the car they fail the challenge. 


Ash: Aaaahhh!  Woooohooo!

Gary: Oh crap.

Ash: What?  Don’t tell me you…

Gary: I did.

Ash: Oh great!  Now we came out here for nothing and we have to go back!

Gary: I’m still a better trainer than you!

Ash: If we get eliminated first leg, I’m sending Charizard over and burning up all your clothes and your stupid car!

Gary: Simmer down Ash; you’re just jealous because your mom likes a Mr Mime more than you.

Ash: Why you little!

Ash and Gary start fighting as the ride comes to a stop, and production has to break them up.


Back at the golf course…

Krystal: That’s 20.  Fox we have it, let’s get the clue!

Fox: **grabs the clue.  It’s a roadblock clue.  “Who’s ready to get airborne?”

Krystal: Wow, nice one for us…I think you should do it though.

Fox: Definitely.


“Teams must now proceed to Royal Raceway Mario Kart Track, where one of the two team members must complete this leg’s roadblock challenge.  In a roadblock, only one of the team’s members can work toward completing the challenge, without help from their partner.  On this track, built in 1997 and featured in Mario Kart 64, racers must strap themselves into a standard edition Mario Kart car and race three laps around the track, avoiding the other random karts driving about as well as all the assorted items that can slow you down.  The track is best known for its giant ramp jump that leads across the moat and over toward Peach’s Castle.  Once racers complete 3 laps, they will receive their next clue.”


Mario: I’m-a going to catch you Fox!” **pulls out a red shell.  The shell homes in on Fox’s kart and hits, causing him to tumble off onto the grass and down the slope into the water.

Luigi: Nice-a-shot Mario.  Now hit that hill and we’ll be on our way!


Back at the golf course, Olimar and Louie are picking up the golf balls.


Olimar: **golf ball bounces off his helmet.  (Good thing I have this thing, these golf balls would really hurt otherwise.  Due to their suits and protective helmets, Louie and Olimar surge through the challenge and pick up ground.  They head off for Royal Raceway.  Right behind them are Dedede and Metaknight.  But when the latter team reaches the route information marker…they find that they have been u-turned.


Dedede: son of a…who u-turned us?  **sees the pictures of Sonic and Tails.  Why those little twerps!

Metaknight:  We’ll show them…but another time.  We have some mushroom picking to do.


Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong finally have the 40 pizzas made and are in last place reaching Bandit’s Way. 



Diddy: **jumps up and down pointing toward the bushy area with the fast forward clue.  DK passes Diddy and opens the clue. 

DK: **smiles big, showing all his teeth. 


Diddy and DK, due to their climbing and vine-swinging abilities, know exactly how to keep the ice cream on their cones despite looping upside down.  They successfully complete the challenge, and Diddy throws his hat up in the air and DK claps as they are handed their clue.


“Teams must now head on foot right down the road to Peach’s Castle.  This castle, perhaps the most recognizable building in the Nintendo universe, was originally created in 1985 from a heavy brown quartzite rock and appeared in Super Mario Brothers.  The old castle eventually became difficult to maintain, and the modern castle was built of a pristine ivory marble.  It was completed in 1996 and appeared first in Super Mario 64.  The castle serves as the Pit Stop for this leg of the race.  The last team to arrive here…may be eliminated.”


Back at the Mario Kart track, Mario finishes far ahead of Fox, and grabs his clue.  Mario and Luigi take off for Peach’s Castle.  About halfway up the road, they see the two Kongs approaching from the other direction.  It turns into a footrace to see who will reach the castle first.


Meanwhile back at Moo Moo Farm…


Samus: No Ridley, you press the red button here use the crane…no no that’s the blue one that’s the rotator…oh for goodness sake just let me figure it out.  There we go, that’s one.  **notices that Ridley has eaten the mushroom out of the basket.  Ridley!  Don’t eat the mushrooms!  We need to put 50 of them in the basket, are you listening to me?!


Meanwhile, on the Royal Raceway track, Link duels with Ness. 


Ness: **drops a banana peel into Link’s path.  Take that pretty boy!

Link’s kart spins around for several seconds and then starts moving again.  He picks up a golden mushroom from an item block and uses it to surge right past Ness. 

Link: Mushrooms are for adults only kid…ha ha!


Near the end of the track, Link looks to finish ahead of the rest but suddenly a blue flying shell comes flying after him.  The explosion rockets him high up into the air and into the water. 


Link: Din!  Now I’m all wet.  As he waits for Lakitu to pull him out, he sees Captain Falcon riding past. 

Captain Falcon: Get out the way…medieval fief! (These cars aren’t as good as ours in Port Town, but these items rock!)


At Peach’s Castle Grounds, Mario and Luigi enter the castle foyer.  There is no sign of Donkey and Diddy although they cannot be sure that they didn’t find a shortcut to beat them to the Pit Stop.  At the Pit Stop is the mat with the map of the Nintendo Universe on it.  Toad and Toadette stand on either side of the mat, with host Phil Keoghan standing next to Princess Peach.


Princess Peach: Welcome to Mushroom Kingdom. **curtsies


“Mario and Luigi”


Mario/Luigi: Yes…


“Congratulations…you are team #1.”


Mario/Luigi: YEAH!!  The two start high-fiving each other. 

Luigi: I'mma-Luigi, number 1!


“Mario and Luigi, as the winners of this leg of the race…you two will receive free food courtesy of Chef Torte’s Pizzeria for a year…plus a pair of limited edition, 2011 custom Mario Karts!


Mario: Momma Mia Luigi!

Luigi: Daisy will be very happy to learn this…we’ll drive around town in style first day after the race ends. 


Mario looks adoringly at Peach, who gives him a wink. 


Donkey and Diddy come down the path about a minute later.


“Donkey and Diddy Kong…you are team #2.”


DK and Diddy high-five one another as Toadette and Toad both hand them banana splits with mushrooms in the middle. 


Meanwhile back at the track, Metaknight duels with Gary.


Gary: You’re going down, mask brain!  **Grabs a green shell and throws it Metaknight. 

Metaknight: We’ll see about you…prima donna punk.  **takes out a lightning bolt, which shocks Gary and turns him small.  Gary falls behind quickly, to the point that Ness appears behind him and runs him over, making him flat as a pancake. 


Gary: Yikes, this isn’t good.


The teams continue to stream into the castle one by one.  Before long only a few teams remain to be checked in.  Ike and Lady Lyndis come across the cobblestone bridge and into the castle with clearly nervous looks on their faces.  They fear the worst.


Peach: Welcome to Mushroom Kingdom. 


“Ike and Lyn.”


Lyn: Yes…(gosh I hope we’re not last)


“You are team #8.”


Ike/Lyn: Whew!  The two turn to hug one another as they find relief that they are advancing. 


With the sun setting in the background, the remaining teams file in.  One last team straggles home in last place, their fate unknown. 


Peach: Welcome to Mushroom Kingdom.


Thank you.


“Samus and Ridley…I’m sorry to say that you are the last team to arrive.  I am sorry to report that you have been eliminated from the race.”


Samus turns away from Phil and hands Peach a spark ball and whispers something in her ear.  She then blasts Ridley straight out of the castle doorway with her gun.


Samus: The producers can fix your doorway, Peach.  Keep the change you filthy animals!


Leg 1 roundup –

1st – Mario/Luigi

2nd – DK/Diddy

3rd – Fox/Krystal

4th – Falcon/Summer

5th – Sonic/Tails

6th – Olimar/Louie

7th – Link/Zelda

8th – Ike/Lyn

9th – Metaknight/Dedede

10th – Ness/Lucas

11th – Gary/Ash

12th – Samus/Ridley (eliminated)



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