Darkland. The most dangerous region of the Mushroom World, named for the darkness that filled it. Of course, this was all due to their king, Bowser Koopa.
Bowser wasn't a terribly hard turtle monster to please. He enjoyed the simple things: Plotting, kidnaping, fighting, that sort of stuff. And yet despite this all, he wasn't satisfied. Something wasn't right. Something was missing.
Was it power? No, he had power. Was it family? No, he had eight children who all loved him. Only one of them actually respected him, though. That certainly was a blow on his self-esteem (if only it was as strong as his shell, he thought) but that was something that he would have to deal with another time.
While he was pondering this, Bowser decided to enter one of the taller towers in the castle to consult his oracle.
"Magikoopa on the wall," he said in his most dramatic voice, "who is the most evil of all?"
"You mean around here?" replied his head wizard, Kamek, who was hanging from the wall, pinned up by a nail.
"Yeah, sure," shrugged Bowser.
"Gannondorf, of course."
"Aww," sighed a dejected Bowser. "I can't compete with that. Let me try something else. Magikoopa on the..."
"Save the verse. Just ask me your question."
"HEY!" Bowser shouted at the indignant wizard. "I am your king! I demand respect! Seriously, man! I'm bummed out..."
"Fine," said Kamek, rolling his eyes (although you couldn't tell because of his white glasses). "I just don't see why I have to be hung up here. It's not very comfortable."
"I wanted to try something new. Now answer my question! Who is the most powerful of all?"
"That would be your 'friend' Peach."
Bowser gasped. "What? Peach? As in Princess Peach Toadstool? The one I'm always kidnaping and stuff?"
"Yes, that would be her."
"But that doesn't make sense! I mean, I...she...I'm confused."
"I understand where you're coming from, your majesty," nodded Kamek. "It really would appear that you should be the more powerful being, judging by your ability to swoop in at any given second to carry her off."
"I know, right?" Bowser flailed his arms. "Heck, anyone can do that! Everyone can! When I don't have her some lusty viking does or whatever! How can she be more powerful than any of us bad guys?"
"Because she possesses the power of love," explained Kamek. "Her heart is pure and tender. That kind of power, that kind of ability is far more amazing than your fire breath or Waluigi's disturbing dance moves."
"You're messing with me, right?" growled Bowser. "I can't believe this. Who's the second most powerful?"
Kamek did some mental calculations. "Peach's love abilities are strong, but you're still built like a tank. I would say that you would come in second place."
Bowser groaned. "First I can't settle the score with a camp full of kids and now I'm trailing behind the pinkest of princesses. I gotta do something."
Kamek smiled sarcastically. "Shall I round up the troops for an ambush?"
"No," growled Bowser. "Enough of this kidnaping stuff. It's too 1985. I'm going for a different route. But it's gonna take some planning..."