That's right, it's a fanfic AND a logic puzzle. Gwa ha ha! (Honestly, I think it's a better logic puzzle than it is a fanfic, but YMMV.
“Grape!” said a dog named Peanut as he shook the slumbering cat in her bed to awaken her, interrupting what otherwise would have been a very relaxing afternoon nap. “They're here! They're here!”
“What the. . .?” Grape said, dazed. “Peanut, how many times must I tell you that I actually like
naps, particularly uninterrupted ones?”
“Come here, quick, Grape!” Peanut urged, pulling her paw. “It's time!”
“Time for what?” Grape said as she somewhat reluctantly followed Peanut to the front door. Three of the neighborhood dogs – Fox, Tarot, and Tiger – and three of the neighborhood cats – Marvin, Maxwell, and Sabrina – were there. “Come on in!” Peanut said. “We'll be ready for the tournament soon.”
“What tournament?” Grape asked. “What's going on?”
“You don't remember?” Peanut replied. “I told you last week I wanted to host a small Mario Kart tournament, and asked if you wanted to participate in it, and you said yes!”
“How come I don't recall this?”
“Come on! I know you were in the middle of a nap when I told you about it, and you sounded kind of groggy, and then you went right back to sleep, but that shouldn't affect your ability to remember it!”
“Look, I'll participate in the tournament, but please let me rest for five more minutes first.”
“All right!” Peanut said, wagging his tail.
Twelve minutes later (nobody had bothered to keep track of the time), Grape was awake and ready. “All right,” Peanut said, “I only have enough batteries for two Wii remotes, so we'll have to face off in one-on-one matches!” He pointed to a picture of the tournament bracket.
“As you can see,” Peanut said, “we start with eight players, and over the course of the tournament, we'll have a bunch of races, the winners will advance to the next round, and then we'll have one winner at the end. Any questions?”
“Did you really have to explain such a simple tournament format?” Marvin asked.
“Of course!” Peanut said. “Explanations are fun.”
“If explanations are fun,” Grape asked, “will you please explain why you wake me up for no good reason all the time?”
“No comment, NEXT!”
“May I raid your cookie jar?” Tiger asked.
“Absolutely not!” Peanut said. “Mom and Dad won't let you guys come back ever again if you do.”
“What's the prize we're playing for?” Maxwell asked.
“Bragging rights, dignity, and having the rest of us bow at your feet begging for mercy!” Peanut said.
“Also, if I win, then you have to never wake me up again for the next three months,” Grape added, blowing a raspberry at Peanut.
“In that case, if I
have to stop inviting Maxwell to play dates!” Peanut said, returning the raspberry.
“Hey! I didn't mean to spark a controversy!” Maxwell said, mildly upset.
Nobody spoke; there were no more questions. “All right, then!” Peanut said. “Let's begin!” Thus, the eight pets engaged in Mario Kart. By perusing the story below and using your brain, you can determine which pets played in each race, which pet won each race, and who the champion was.
Peanut grabbed eight playing cards, from Ace through 8, and shuffled them. “I thought we were going to play Mario Kart, not poker,” Fox said.
“This isn't a game!” Peanut said. “We're merely determining our order in the tournament bracket. You each pick a card, and whoever has the Ace is player 1. Whoever has the 2 is player 2, and will race against player 1 in race 1. If you draw the 3, you're player 3, and so on.”
“I'll take the first card!” Tiger said, rushing to grab a card.
“Don't be so frenzied and rushed!” Tarot said. “It's a bad omen.” She waved her paws over the cards for a few seconds, channeling the spirits to help her choose a card. She flipped hers over. “See, Tiger, the number on my card is 3 higher than yours. 3 is a lucky number; this is a good omen.”
“Omen, schmomen!” Fox said as he chose a card. “It doesn't matter what card you get if you're bad at Mario Kart.”
Sabrina selected her card. “See, Fox? The number on my card is exactly two times that on your card. And 2 is also a lucky number, and a good omen.”
“If 2's such a lucky number,” Grape said, “then let me punch you two times
in your superstitious face
“Chill out, Grape!” Peanut said. “Mario Kart was never meant to be this violent.”
The remaining participants selected their cards without a hassle. Peanut wrote the participants' names on the tournament bracket, put the Mario Kart game in the Wii, and produced the two Wii remotes, allowing the tournament proper to commence.
Two of the dogs were set to participate in race 1, and thus took possession of the Wii remotes. Meanwhile, the other players (the four cats, and the other two dogs) eagerly watched, looking forward to their turns. “Sabrina,” Grape asked, “You're psychic. Am I going to win the tournament?”
“Not if I can help it, of course!” Sabrina replied. “Actually, I don't know who's going to win. My psychic powers aren't that
“Well, that was useless!” Grape said.
After the first race was over, the Wii remotes were passed on to the next two players, who were both cats. While the other pets spectated, Grape, who still hadn't had her turn yet, decided to try to solicit a prediction from someone else. “Hey, Tarot!” she called. “Who's going to win this tournament?”
“I have no clue!” Tarot replied. “However, I do predict that this will be the last race in the whole tournament between two pets of the same species.” This prediction would later prove to be true.
Grape heaved a sigh. “You and Sabrina are the two most useless psychics ever.”
Soon, race 2 had ended, and the controllers were passed off again to the players in race 3. One player had been ahead for almost the entirety of this third race, but in a come-from-behind victory, the other player was fortunate enough to get a blue shell and hit the leader with it just a very short distance away from the finish line. The loser proceeded to utter some words that cannot be reproduced on a PG-13 forum, and which I will therefore abstain from quoting; suffice it to say that those words were uttered very loudly, and in a frustrated tone.
The beginning of the next race was stalled by the blue shell victim being unwilling to relinquish the Wii remote; however, after being allowed enough time to calm down (after all, it's only a game, and having everyone else kneeling at your feet begging for mercy isn't that
important, in the grand scheme of things, right?), the pet holding that Wii remote finally allowed the last two players to have it so they could begin race 4. Race 4 was completely free of blue shells, swears words, and heart attacks; the winner of race 4 had a name with fewer letters in it than the name of the loser.
Races 5 and 6 were also uneventful, as far as Mario Kart races go – that is to say, some characters sped along a track and used a bunch of items, just like every Mario Kart race. (This was a necessary consequence of the fact that the author is far more skilled at writing logic problems than at writing stories with an ounce of dramatic tension.)
After these races were done, the pets decided to take a break and consume some refreshments before commencing the final race. “I'm so sad that I've been eliminated from the tournament,” Grape said. “I was so
hoping I could win so that Peanut can let me rest peacefully for once!”
“You think you
have it bad?” Peanut responded. He, too, had been eliminated from the tournament. “I was hoping to win so that Max can't ruin another play date!”
“Look, guys!” Maxwell (who had previously participated in an odd-numbered race) said. “Why don't you two simply compromise? Peanut, let Grape take an uninterrupted nap, and I promise I'll never accept an invitation from Grape to a play date, ever again!”
“No!” Grape cried. She embraced Maxwell in a hug, and wept on his shoulder.
Peanut saw this, and he, too, cried. “Grape. . . I'm sorry. I shouldn't have been so insensitive. Listen, you can have Maxwell over whenever you want, and I'll not wake you up for a month. You don't have to do anything for me.”
Grape let go of Maxwell and hugged Peanut. “Hey, even though you have your idiosyncrasies, like waking me up when I'd really
prefer to sleep, and even though we fight sometimes, I'll always love you like a brother. That's what matters most.”
Marvin was moved to tears by this touching moment. “Awww, isn't it just adorable when brothers and sisters make up?”
Tiger was munching some potato chips. “Yeah, sure, whatever.”
Fox finished his glass of water. “So,” he said, “who's ready to either participate in or spectate on, as the case may be, the final race of the tournament?”
“I am!” everybody else said in unison.
The final race took place on Rainbow Road. The author didn't specify what tracks the other races were on, because it was important neither to the story nor the puzzle, but since the author felt that it would be symbolic to have the final race on the final track, he specified that. “Rainbow Road is such a beautiful track,” Peanut said. “It's a shame I'm not racing on it right now.”
“Hey, when the tournament's over and everyone's gone, you can play Rainbow Road whenever you want!” Grape said. “It's our
“I know that, but. . . it would have been awesome to be able to play it in the tournament.”
A few minutes later, the race was over. Peanut walked up to the winner and said, “Well, you really played a good game of Mario Kart. You outdid me in the race you and I had, and now I have no choice but to crown you the champion of Mario Kart!” Peanut crowned the winner with a paper sack with a crown drawn on it; by now, you have enough information to fill in the entire tournament bracket above, including the champion's name.Disclaimer: This fanfic was written before Tarot made her appearance in the Imaginate, Too! story arc. Adherence to canon = very no.