The World (What's Left of It)-Life
For those that remain obedient, life isn't actually too hard once you get down to it. Everyone from the age of twelve and up is given a job. Families live in pre-fab apartments for free and are given two 'meal tickets' each day to spend on food. Water is free. Electricity and heat are provided to each family in certain amounts for each month, though these allotments are rather pitiful at best unless one wants to spend money on more. People do not get paid for working. Instead, each working family member is given an allotment of coins each week. Differing amounts of money are subtracted for any missed work, poor attendance, or bad behavior. Since only the 'bare essentials' are provided, people are often forced to spend coins in Bowser Approved (tm) stores for clothing, fuel, work equipment mandatory for their job, medicine, toiletries, or extra electric and heat privileges. Modern conveniences like television, air conditioning, toys and the like are prohibitively expensive and only for the wealthy. Families can also spend coins to go to events like races, shows, or plays, which are sometimes the only entertainment a family will get.
Work begins at 6AM or 8AM, depending on the job and people work in eight or twelve hour shifts, six days a week. Salary depends on job. The rich are generally Bowser supporters and often make their livings running Bowser Approved (tm) shops or are the people in charge of services. Communication is heavily restricted to law enforcement personnel, the rich, or other people that absolutely need it. Commoners have no access to radio or telephones of any kind. Communication between cities is non-existent, leaving each city deaf to what is going on outside their borders. This way, Bowser can more readily control the flow of information.-Crime
Crime is drastically reduced, thanks to near constant video and audio surveillance. Any criminals are brutally and immediately punished with no trial. Gangs and criminals still exist, of course. They vary from misguided and angry, rebelious youths, to people who genuinely want to cause trouble and anarchy. Crimes are rarely comitted on main streets in public view, as these areas contain the most cameras and law enforcement presence. In the back alleys and side streets, however, criminals run more rampant. Small gangs mug people on their way home from work, stealing any coins or meal tickets they might have. There are no criminal investigations to speak of - if you die on the street, that's it. If you're lucky, a sanitation worker will find and burn your body. Then they will send your family a bill for the burning. -Territory
Bowser has conquered most of the known world. Since communication is outlawed, it is nearly impossible to tell the status of what is going on where. Only large criminal enterprises and TOAD have any kind of communication between places and even then, it's bare bones at best. Through information gathering, it's been learned that the entirety of the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas are gone. These states were wiped out what can only be described as a 'Dark Bomb' during the early days of Bowser's invasion. The blast wiped out the middle of the country and eradicated most of the US Army as Bowser made his push westward. As a result, there is almost nothing left but blackened wasteland devoid of almost all life, save for the blackened, re-animated corpses and skeletons of the dead. This collection of damned states is now called the Dry Dry Wasteland. The east coast is Bowser's main stronghold, with his capital being New York City, New York. Or, as he now calls it, "World 8". The west coast is also under control, though that far from his main stronghold, his grasp is weaker there. The rest of the world is assumed to be conquered as well, though it's almost impossible to say for sure.
Factions (Join One!)-Koopa Troop
The turtle-like minions of Bowser. The ones that came through the pipes with him are far more bestial in nature now. They are large, hulking bruisers measuring between six and eight feet tall on average. They do not seem to have a defined gender. They lack shells and instead now have armored plates on various parts of their body; shoulders, chest, back, and knees. Very strong, intelligent, and skilled with melee weapons. They used to be Bowser's main police force and his top tier minions, until the Koopa King figured out how to use Dark Star Energy to create Shy Guys (see the below entry). This has caused a rift between the Koopa Troop and their master and some of them threaten to rebel. They now find themselves relegated to low-ranking police force positions such as beat cops, or labor positions that require heavy lifting.
Not to be confused with humans from Earth that became more turtle-like during the merger of worlds. Earthlings simply developed a pasty green or yellow skin pigmentation, lost all the hair on their heads, and developed tougher skin. Normal Koopa Troop call these mutated humans 'soft bellies' as a derogatory remark.
A second splinter faction are The Magikoopas; highly intelligent Koopa with control over the Dark Star's energies. These are usually squad leaders, or sit in various command centers, or in other positions of power. They are much more loyal to Bowser than their less intelligent brethren. -Shy Guys
Shortly after wresting control of the east coast, Bowser used his control over the Dark Star to combine it's power with human technology. The result was Dark Essence, a sticky, tar-like substance that warps whatever it touches. He injects humans (or whatever he can find) with it, causing them to mutate into horrific abominations with supernatural strength and durability. They are mindless, obedient hulks. The drawback is that after the change they cannot live without the substance, necessitating the use of face-obscuring masks that feed (literally) the substance to them. It can often be seen dripping from the eye or mouth holes of the masks, or in the case of older Shy Guys, from their very pores. Shy Guys are often surgically enhanced or mutated in various ways, allowing them to easily fit into a variety of jobs or positions. They are now Bowser's main police force, dispatching 'justice' with brutal efficiency. Sometimes when someone goes missing on the street, they're spotted later (through a distinguishing characteristic like a tattoo or birth mark) as a Shy Guy.-Bullet Bills
Automaton created by Bowser's loyal Magikoopas, a deadly combination of human technology and Dark Star magic. These bots are tall and thin, with spindly limbs and tough outer torso and head armor. All black, save for a shark's grin painted on the face and glowing red eyes. They usually dress in cloaks to hide themselves and the cloaks are designed with light-bending technology to allow them to blend into the background. Self-aware, but loyal to Bowser, they are used as assassins to take out troublesome targets, or as guards in extremely sensitive areas. They wield a variety of blades and firearms with deadly efficiency. -Thwomps
Once stationary rock traps, upon entering our dimension they became something more. Now they are humanoid rock people with no defined gender. They only exist as hulking stone men with sloping brows, massive limbs, spiked fists, and low intelligence. Even more dense than a Koopa, they are simply relegated to low-level construction and other laborious tasks. On occasion, they bounce or guard the door at any Bowser-owned establishment. Too stupid to rebel, they are a mainstay in Bowser's army. The few smart enough to make it into Bowser's military ranks often come into battle armed with hand-held Bob-Ombs, since they are immune to the small explosions they cause.
Humans have merged with them, too, giving the unfortunate human a dull grey skin tone and patches of rocky flesh on their bodies. Any hair at all on a Thwomp'd human is rare, since their skin is so tough it prohibits most hair growth. Thankfully, the regular Thwomps are too stupid to discriminate against their new human cousins. -Red Shell Guild
A guild of mercenaries and smugglers run by Wario, they make immense amounts of money trafficking contraband to those that will pay for it. They often work in secret and hardly anyone sees their operatives in action. Money is left at specific drop points along with an order, then the next day the goods are delivered to that spot. No one messes with the process. People that swipe the money or goods tend to disappear and end up being fished out of the sea about a week later. Not exactly 'good guys', but they hate Bowser with a passion, so they're not quite evil either. Their operatives wear red and the guild symbol is a red shell backed by two daggers. -TOAD
Tactical Operatives for Armed Defiance. The rebel group run by Princess Daisy. They seek to overthrow Bowser, or at least undermine his operations. Their goal is the complete liberation of humanity, but they are vastly outnumbered by Bowser's forces, so they take any victory they can get. TOAD accepts anyone that wishes to fight. They usually keep their actions low-key, as they are always being hunted by Bowser's police force. Their uniforms are blue and white, and their symbol is a blue mushroom. NPC's (Mysterious!)-Mario
Faced with the death of his brother and his own failure to stop Bowser from getting hold of all the stars, Mario has gone into seclusion. He is dark, brooding, and unwilling to help the resistance fight. He feels he has lost everything worth fighting for in his life. He has moved to the Dry Dry Wasteland and somehow managed to survive out there. His natural fighting talents, jumping ability, and knowledge of Bowser's methods would make him an invaluable ally, but he has refused any contact with TOAD.-Luigi
Presumed dead, devoured by Bowser just as the Koopa King absorbed the Dark Star into himself. Yet, rumors persist that he roams the streets, calling himself 'Mr. L' and simply watching, waiting. Dressed in green and always wearing sunglasses, he emits a sense of menace and hatred that keeps everyone from asking too many questions. He seems to harbor some deep, unknowable power.-Wario
The often put-upon anti-hero, Wario has come through to our world and thrived in the new economy. He runs the docks and shipyard in World 8 and the Red Shell Guild on the side. He makes mountains of money doing both, but nobody seems to know what he does with it all. On again/off again ally of TOAD when it best suits him. At his core, he's not that bad of a guy, he just harbors an insane love of money and profit. Hates Bowser just as much as everyone else. -Peach
We don't talk about Peach.-Daisy
Former Princess and leader of TOAD, Daisy is a headstrong young woman who is just as capable on the front lines of a firefight as she is behind the lines, planning key strategy. She has taught herself quite a bit over the years, partly out of necessity, partly out of desire to be less of a damsel in distress and more of a self-rescuing princess. Noble and kind, she is looked upon as an underground symbol of the revolution and of everything humanity should strive to be.