I have been plagued by this question for many years now.
Our tale of mystery begins in the classic Game Boy game, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. It is one of my all-time favorites. There is a sequence, in the village, inside a resident’s house, when Link can use the phone.
He is greeted with a rather strange exchange.
Who the heck is this Bucket Mouse?
This is the only mention the player has of a character named Bucket Mouse in Link’s Awakening. In fact, it’s the only mention of Bucket Mouse in the entire franchise.
Furthermore: It’s the only time Bucket Mouse is named, in any video game, on any platform, whatsoever.
Who is this mysterious figure that is available for phone calls yet has managed to elude our knowledge across the eons of gaming lore and history?
I have always had so many questions about this enigmatic figure. Could Bucket Mouse be of aid in the grand battles of Hyrule? Does she enjoy knitting, or does he perhaps own a classy selection of first-edition hardcovers? Is ‘Bucket’ a nickname, or a true birth name? What color Mouse are we dealing with here, and of what size?
But, wait. Wait. Let us slow down. Take a deep breath.
Perhaps there are clues.
Like this little bit, about old Ulrira.
A Shy Guy, in person?
Wait a second. If old man Ulrira is a Shy Guy, and has Bucket Mouse on speed dial — does this mean that Bucket Mouse is from the same realm as a Shy Guy? In other words, from the realms more associated with the Mushroom Kingdom’s own hero, Mario?
There is precedent, after all, what with Link appearing in Super Mario RPG, and the Chain Chomp in Link’s Awakening, not to mention the whole Smash Bros conundrum of one entire Nintendo Cinematic Universe, and…
Anyway, my point is, if we are dealing with SMB2 specifically: Is this Bucket Mouse?
Mouser = Bucket Mouse, eh? Eh?!
Actually, I have a different theory.
In the American cinematic masterpiece 2 Fast 2 Furious, we are introduced to an intense interrogation technique. While the victim is held down, an antagonist explains the process: A bucket will be placed on his bare belly, with a mouse inside it. Then the flame of a blowtorch will be applied to the side of the metal bucket.
As the temperate inside the bucket rises, the mouse will want to escape. Since it will be unable to claw or bite through the metal sides of the bucket, its only inevitable option is to use its claws and teeth on the bare belly of the victim.
One can imagine the painful outcome, this process of a desperate animal tearing and ripping at the flesh of one’s belly, soon bleeding profusely and exposing sinew and guts alike. Quite a motivational tactic, indeed.
So that’s a Bucket Mouse. I dunno if Ulrira has some old mob ties in his past or what, but his phone dials the number of a vicious little beast who’s been involved in some nasty work. A sadistic torturer. A savage killer.
That’s the Bucket Mouse.