Listen up, Nintendo! Take notes and get your checkbooks out, cause I fully expect royalties when you take this plan from me! All I ask for is my name in the credits and to shake Shigeru Miyamoto’s hand.
Detective Pikachu is right around the corner, and it actually looks really good! We’ve got a new trailer out yesterday, and it’s got plenty of fun things that have gotten me more excited. But what I’m even more excited for are the possibilities.
We all know Cinematic Universes are all the rage these days. Marvel has been a huge success, Legendary seems to want to do the same thing with the Godzilla series, and DC is… still around. If done well, they create a series of films that play well together and create a story telling experience unlike any other in cinema.
Which is why I propose that Nintendo throw their hat into the ring!
The upcoming Detective Pikachu movie is a golden opportunity! With this, you can open the door to an experience to surpass even the Marvel Cinematic Universe! People love comic books and super heroes, yes, but do you know what they love more? Nintendo games!
The following is a complete road map to the first phase of the Nintendo Cinematic Universe, or the Smash-Verse if you will. I’ll be sticking strictly to Nintendo properties, though it’s tempting to include the third party characters like Sonic, Snake or Cloud. This series will focus on exclusively Nintendo series.
Detective Pikachu is obviously the first film in the series. At this point, it’s unlikely that the necessary scene of set up for the next movies could be included in there. But never fear! That’s the beauty of special features on the Blu-Ray. Or canon shorts posted online. Or a directors cut. There are a lot of different possible ways of including this is what I’m saying.
The scene is simple. After their adventure ends, Tim and Pikachu return to the apartment, complaining about the mess and how long it will take to clean up. Just as they heave a sigh and lean down to get it cleaned up, a shadowy figure speaks up from the corner. He tells Pikachu that something big is coming, and he’ll need his help, along with the assistance of many other heroes. Emerging from the dark, Masahiro Sakurai asks Pikachu if he’d like to Smash, and we cut to black.
This sets up for the next movie in the series: the Donkey Kong movie. Taking place long before Detective Pikachu, in a far away city simply called “New Donk City”, this movie starts a younger Donkey Kong and a man named Mario. Donkey Kong lives in a circus, where he’s kept far from his natural habitat and his feast of bananas. He’s often made fun of by the circus goers, and his carers don’t seem to care about him any more than they do the dirt beneath their heel.
One day, when Mario and his girlfriend Pauline are visiting the circus, Donkey Kong goes berserk. Using his super strength, he breaks free, kidnaps Pauline, and climbs the top of a nearby tower. Determined to save his girlfriend and stop the now rampaging gorilla, Mario goes on an epic quest up the tower, avoiding all the obstacles sent his way by Kong, as well as the collapsing tower around him, all while trying to keep his positive attitude intact.
In the end, after much trial and tribulation that pushes Mario to his limits, he sends Kong falling to the ground and saves Pauline. Luckily for the ape, his extreme size and durability cushion the blow, and he manages to survive. He’s captured by a mysterious organization with a familiar emblem, and taken away in a giant truck. Mario is approached by a much younger Sakurai, who tells Mario that he’ll keep in touch, and the movie ends with Mario and Pauline walking away from the catastrophe of Kong’s wrath.
Next up, we’re going to turn the clock back even further for the third film: The Legend of Zelda. In terms of plot, this one is the simplest in the series, as we’re essentially just taking it straight from A Link to the Past. A young man named Link, living with his uncle, gets a telepathic distress call from the Princess Zelda, who has been captured by the evil sorcerer Aghanim. To stop him and save Hyrule, Link goes on an epic quest and claims the Master Sword.
Now, for the sake of pacing, we will have to cut a significant sum of the game for the film. Instead of needing to claim the seven crystals by saving the maidens, the movie’s climax is Link’s confrontation with Aghanim after claiming the Master Sword. However, in their battle, both our hero and villain are momentarily transported to the Dark World, which will set up for a later film in the NCU, which we’ll get to in Phase 2 (or the Melee phase, as I like to call it.) We’re also cutting out Ganon from this story, though we’ll tease him in the post credits scene.
Hey, you can’t go using the series main big bad in the first movie! You gotta save that for the right moment!
To end this film, we’re going to take a page from Ocarina of Time (as well as Captain America). Link goes back to return the Master Sword to it’s pedestal and move on with his life. But when he returns the blade to it’s rest, he finds himself resting along with it! Many generations go by before Link finally awakens in the present (specifically, a while after the ending of Detective Pikachu), where he’s picked up by Sakurai, who offers him a home in exchange for his service in an upcoming battle.
Next up, for the fourth film in the series, we’ll be taking to the stars! It’s time for the Metroid movie!
The story is simple. Samus Aran, a lone bounty hunter, carves her way through planet Zebes on her way to the Mother Brain and the Metroids. As she murders her way through the planet, the audience is treated to brief flashbacks of her past, which led her to this point. These will include Ridley’s murder of her family (which is the only appearance of Ridley in this film, as he’ll be saved for later as well), her Chozo training, her time with Adam in the Galactic Federation, as well as the fall of the Chozo and the betrayal of the Mother Brain, as written in the Metroid manga.
After a long and exhausting journey, Samus blasts through the Metroids and comes face to face with Mother Brain herself, who pushes Samus to the brink of death. However, Samus pulls through and squeezes out a tight victory. The Space Pirate base begins to collapse, and the film’s climax concludes in a grand and super tense escape scene. In the falling action, Samus claims her reward from the Galactic Federation, and she flies off towards her next adventure.
This leads us to the climax of the NCU’s first phase. A big cross-over film simply called ‘Super Smash Bros.” This will be the first big meeting of our Nintendo heroes on the big screen, but it will be far from the last.
The film opens with a simple prologue setting up the conflict. Shortly after the events of Metroid, Samus arrives at a damaged space station, with the only survivor being one of Samus’s former comrades from the Federation. They tell her about the strange creature that tore the station apart before dying, and Samus vows vengeance. Following in pursuit, she finds herself face to face with a giant white hand floating through space, and she goes in to attack. The hand proves too much for her to handle, and her ship is greatly damaged, but Samus manages to escape and land on a nearby asteroid. As she runs diagnostics on her ship, she plots out the creatures course based on it’s current path, deducing that it’s heading towards a planet called Earth.
We then cut to a disgruntled Mario, who looks far worse than he did in the Donkey Kong movie. He and Pauline have broken up, as Mario’s battle with Kong has changed him, and his once positive and happy go lucky attitude has become a rare occurance. Now he works as a simple plumber in the capital city of the Mushroom Kingdom, neighbor to Hyrule and far from New Donk City, his former home. After a particularly messy job, Mario returns to his dingy apartment. But his plans are cut short, as a familiar figure is currently sat in his chair: Masahiro Sakurai.
Sakurai reminds him that he said he’d be in touch, and he offers Mario a chance to be more than a simple plumber. He hands him a file labeled “Master Hand”, and he tells Mario that he’s assembling a team of heroes to combat the mysterious threat. Mario initially isn’t interested, but the potential thrill of a new adventure is too much for him to resist, and he reluctantly joins up with the team.
After this, we reunite with Link, who has been honing his swordsmanship alone in the room provided to him by Sakurai in a special facility. He’s struggled to adjust to modern life, as it’s so drastically different from the Hyrule he knew way back when. From what he’s read, Hyrule is still around, and it’s still holding to many of the traditions he knew back in the day. But it’s certainly been touched by the modern era, which makes him afraid to return to it.
One day, before Link begins his exercises, he’s approached by Sakurai. He asks if the hero intends to spend the rest of his days in isolation rather than exploring the new world, and Link expresses little interest in this, claiming that this world isn’t for him. Offering him a chance to make it his own, Sakurai leaves a copy of the Master Hand file on the ground and leaves the Hylian alone.
We then rejoin Pikachu and Tim, who have been running a PI business since the end of Detective Pikachu. They’ve been pretty successful up to this point, but none of their jobs have been as grand or exciting as their first outing. Luckily for them, a new adventure is coming onto their doorstep: a group of Greninja, stragglers from their first adventure, attack, forcing Tim and Pikachu into action. After defeating their assailants (or running away and being saved), they’re approached by Sakurai, who offers them the thrill they’ve been looking for.
After this, we get the first scene of our heroes coming together (save Samus, as she’s still in space) in a special facility owned by Sakurai simply called “Final Destination”. Here, they discuss the oncoming threat of the strange monster, whom they’ve code-named the Master Hand. They tell them that the creature will be arriving in Hyrule in a few hours, and they’ll be sent to deal with the threat.
This is where conflict arises between our heroes. Mario and Pikachu (with poor Tim in tow) are eager to see some action, but Link is firm in his stance: he will not go to Hyrule. This frustrates Mario, and the two argue, only stopping when Pikachu and Tim step between them. Defeated, Mario and Pikachu (and poor Tim) head to Hyrule without Link, leaving the hero on ice.
They arrive in Hyrule shortly before Master Hand arrives, but they don’t have much time before the monstrous appendage goes on his rampage. The battle quickly escalates, and our heroes are pushed to the brink. Just as they seem defeated, Samus arrives, chasing Master Hand away with a powerful blast from her ship. Before she can pursue, the hand strikes her out of the air, putting the Gunship out of commission.
With nowhere else to go, and realizing that she can’t kill Master Hand alone, Samus joins Mario, Pikachu and Tim and return to Final Destination. Mario blames Link for their defeat, telling him that they might have had a chance if he were there backing them up, but Samus and Tim tell him off, and he storms away. Hurt by the plumber’s words, Link goes off on his own as well. Now alone with Pikachu, Tim and Sakurai, Samus asks for the break down on what’s happening and what their plan is.
What the heroes don’t know, however, is that the Master Hand has followed our heroes back to their home base. Striking at the building, the Hand does massive damage, and he busts an imprisoned Donkey Kong free. Naturally a little upset over having been imprisoned all these years, Kong goes on a rampage through the facility, coming face to face with Link, who jumps into action in self defense.
Samus, Pikachu and Tim also leap into action, coming face to face once again with the Master Hand, who wipes the floor with them. Mario charges in to help, but he gets side tracked by the rampaging Kong. He is initially paralyzed by the sight of him, and Kong is also less than happy to see the plumber. Luckily, Link is there to save the day, and he manages to subdue Kong with the power of the Master Sword. However, the Master Hand still proves too strong and wipes the floor with our heroes before vanishing into the sky.
With all their resources seemingly destroyed, all seems lost for our heroes. And with Kong on the brink of awakening again, they fear that the battle will only get worse. However, Pikachu has an idea, and he tells them to leave the ape to him and Tim.
Meanwhile, Mario and Link have it out in regards to their feud. The two bring out the worst in each other, then the best in each other. Through the resolution of their conflict, Mario finds his happy spirit again, and Link decides to try being the courageous hero once again.
Elsewhere, Kong has just woken up, and Samus is keeping a cautious gun to his head. However, Pikachu tries to communicate and discovers that he is, in fact, capable of it. The two manage to find a common ground, and they convince Kong to assist them. Though the ape is reluctant to work with the plumber, the promise of freedom is too alluring to him.
With the team finally assembled, they’re sent after the Master Hand, who is heading to the largest city in the world: New Donk. Upon hearing this, Mario is less than joyous to go, but he’s less than eager to let the Hylian make fun of him. With what few resources they have left, they head out towards the final battle.
The rest is standard. They fight the Master Hand, who puts up a greater fight than ever before, and they manage to squeeze out a tight victory. Samus fixes her ship and flies off, Mario decides to stick around the Mushroom Kingdom with a new lease on life, Link musters the courage to go back to Hyrule, Pikachu and Tim go back to their detective work with a new addition to their resume, and Donkey Kong goes to a remote tropical island to live in peace.
But wait! Phase 1 isn’t done yet! We still have one last set up before we move on. Somewhere, in the darkest depths of space, we see a faint glimmer of light. Slowly, this light expands, drowning the darkness of space in the radiance. But just as the silhouette of a now familiar villain appears, we cut to black, and the movie ends.
There ya go, Nintendo. I’ve plotted out the single greatest Cinematic Universe ever. Just for you guys. You can have the whole thing. Hell, I’ll plan out the Melee, Brawl, and Ultimate Phases.
Eh, who am I kidding? I’m gonna do it anyways. I have too many other characters that I want to play around with. But don’t worry, you can have those ideas too. I’m a generous man.
In case you can’t tell after reading through all of this, let me clarify two things. One: this is the single longest joke I have ever written. Not a particularly funny wrong one, I’ll admit. But you know as well as I do that you’d watch this, joke or not.
Two: I’m stupid excited for that Detective Pikachu movie. That new trailer put the biggest grin on my face I’ve ever had (which was mildly embarrassing, since I was at work when I watched it). I will do everything in my power to get a good seat on opening night, and if not then, as soon as I can. You can fully expect a full review of the film as soon as possible.
But if it doesn’t mark the start of the NCU, I’m gonna be pissed.