Best of ND 2010: In Memoriam

Honoring a few of the brave soldiers who fell in the never-ending war against Mario.

By Kevin Knezevic. Posted 12/28/2010 16:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Super Princess Peach Artwork - Sad Goomba

Best of Nintendojo 2010 Award Badge
This story was selected as one of our best from 2010. It was originally published on December 10, 2010 during Issue 27: March of the Minions.

Death is an inevitable part of war, but its regularity does little to temper the sting of loss or comfort those most affected by its occurrence. Friends, family, lovers– these are the ones who really lose the most during a time of conflict, for if you could ask any of the soldiers we are honoring today, each one would say the same thing: I have given my life for a cause I believed in, and my only regret is not being able to give more.

Their sacrifices, tragic as they may be, were for the noblest of causes, and we should not be mournful. No, let us not dwell on their deaths but honor the price these soldiers paid in the pursuit of an ideal, and let us always remember all they had given for the betterment of the Dark Land.

Boom Boom

Boom Boom

Bradley Koopenberg, better known to his adversaries as Boom Boom, was a general in the Koopa Troop during the Dark Land’s third war with the Mushroom Kingdom. A skilled practitioner of koopoeira and other martial arts, Boom Boom quickly rose through the ranks of Bowser’s army, gaining the attention and favor of his overlord for his battle prowess and selfless displays of bravery. In the heat of combat, Boom Boom would overwhelm his enemies with his immense strength and sophisticated footwork, often proving to be the deciding factor in many a battle’s outcome.

During the struggle, Boom Boom was charged with the defense of Koopa territory against Mushroom retaliation. Even in the face of overwhelming odds, he held his ground with a firm resolution, and he is renowned for his legendary confrontations with Mario. Unfortunately, despite his most valiant efforts, a single miscalculation proved to be Boom Boom’s undoing, and he ultimately fell victim to the indiscriminate heel of the plumber’s boot.

Boom Boom was posthumously awarded the Purple Claw for his sacrifice in the name of the Koopa cause. He remains an image of strength and loyalty to all of Koopakind, a revered warrior and a model of heroism that will be honored for many generations to come.


REZNOR (Reconnaissance Engagement and Zonal Negotiation Operative Rank) was the collective name of the Koopa Troop’s triceratops squad during the siege of Dinosaur Land. Specializing in infiltration tactics, REZNOR units were responsible for establishing Koopa strongholds in various portions of the island, utilizing their innocuous appearances to cross over enemy lines undetected. Once fortresses were constructed, REZNOR troops became responsible for the deployment of soldiers in the surrounding lands and were even granted the authority to issue tactical commands in the absence of a Koopaling General.

In preparation for Mario’s inevitable counterattack, Koopa engineers devised and implemented a series of traps in the command chamber of each fortress. Upon activation, the floor of the chamber would begin to systematically disintegrate, revealing a pool of lava beneath. In addition, each REZNOR unit guarding the fortress would be perched upon a rotating platform, a simple but effective means of disorienting the invading party while simultaneously protecting the soldiers from falling to their demise. In an unforeseeable turn of events, however, Mario leveraged these preparations to his own advantage, utilizing the momentum of the platforms to more easily propel the REZNOR troops themselves into the molten pit.

Tragically, news of this tactical flaw was slow to travel between Koopa outposts, and each REZNOR squad was dispatched in the same manner. None survived the conflict, but the memory of all they had accomplished in the name of the Dark Land lives on.

Captain Chuck

Chargin' Chuck

Quarterback of the Chargin’ Chucks Koopa platoon, Captain Chuck was an instrumental figure in the siege of Dinosaur Land and the subsequent war with Jewelry Land. An upstart commander with a promising future, Captain Chuck ranked among King Bowser’s most loyal subordinates. He eagerly fought alongside his men on the front lines, placing the well-being of his soldiers above all other concerns.

Captain Chuck won a string of important battles in the early portion of the war, but unfortunately, he was severely injured in a confrontation with Mario and had to be transported home for medical attention. Without his leadership, the Chargin’ Chucks suffered enormous casualties, and by the end of the conflict he was the sole survivor of his platoon.

Hardened by the loss of his men, Captain Chuck swore revenge against the Mario Bros. With a renewed passion, he increased his training regimen dramatically, adding two hundred more pounds of muscle to his already-impressive frame. His single-minded devotion toward this goal quickly attracted Bowser’s attention, and he was handpicked by the King of Koopas to lead a new troop of soldiers into Jewelry Land.

Under Captain Chuck’s command, battles were quick and decisive, and much of Jewelry Land was subjugated with little difficulty. Mushroom reinforcements, led by Mario and Yoshi, were soon brought in to repel the Koopa Troop, but they were far outnumbered. Word of the plumber’s arrival soon reached Captain Chuck’s ears, and, eager to avenge his fallen comrades, he met the two on the battlefield. He engaged the duo with an unrestrained flurry of explosives, and the battle raged on for hours. At length, however, his equipment failed to protect him from the devastating firepower of Mario’s Super Scope, and he was ultimately slain.

Captain Chuck’s body was returned to the Dark Land. He is interred in the Koopa National Cemetery alongside his fallen teammates, a poignant reunion for one of the Koopa Troop’s greatest war heroes.



An oft-forgotten military figure, Octopot was the lieutenant-commander of Bowser’s naval forces in Jewelry Land. He was an invaluable asset to the Koopa Troop for his ability to instantaneously propagate infantry units within his porcelain shell, effectively supplying the army with an endless amount of soldiers.

Stationed off of Crescent Coast, Octopot valiantly launched a preemptive attack on Mario and Yoshi in an effort to stem their assistance. Unfortunately, the battle proved to be a one-sided massacre: innumerable octopi were killed in the struggle, and Octopot himself was punctured repeatedly by blasts of Mario’s Super Scope, crumbling to pieces from all of the wounds he sustained. His defeat was a crushing blow to the Koopa Troop, and without his propagative abilities the army was drastically shorthanded. His defeat marked the turning point in the war, and Jewelry Land was liberated soon afterward.

Despite all attempts, the shattered remains of Octopot’s ceramic body were never successfully dredged from the ocean floor. He is regarded by many as a military failure and ultimately the reason for the Dark Land’s loss, but this opinion does nothing to take away from the bravery and initiative he displayed when he challenged Mario. He was among the most valiant soldiers to ever serve the Koopa Troop, and today we honor him like the true hero he was.

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