The 'Shroom:Issue 105/Strategy Wing
Vill zhe deliqvent who keeps sabotaging my computer vorkstation kindly go eqvalize themselves?!?!
In the news this month, Strategy Wing has finally recruited a new columnist! Roy Koopa (talk) has joined our roster of writers, presenting us with his new section, Insider 64. In his debut section, he discusses a rather quirky glitch from Super Mario 64. Be sure to check out his submission!
'Shroom Mafia III is still a thing, and has taken a number of interesting turns this month. A fair number of Mafia have died, although the Innocents are obviously not of the woods yet. Additionally, a secret faction, known as the Phantoms, was revealed a few phases back. Something spooky, just in time for...New Year's. Nice. Anyway, I have a very important and long-overdue update to tend to. I have not had the chance to post and send out results due a large number of factors, but I would like to say that I'll finally be doing so the day after this issue's release. I apologize to any players and invested viewers that have had to wait so long to see Night 9's end.
Section of the Month
A big congratulations to Yoshi876 (talk) for taking first place in November's Section of the Month poll! His Wheel Tips Corner submission last month covered such diverse topics as the Super Blooper, Music Park, and Kalimari Desert. Crocodile Dippy (talk) claims second place with her always-elaborate Pocket Handbook, which detailed the stylish Starmie. Rounding things out in third is Paper Yoshi (talk), whose Mario Calendar submissions are some of the most reliable material around. Congrats to all three of you!
Tips and Challenges
Read some DKC3 cheats, then be on your merry way!
Get in on this holiday season's Koolest Karts!
Knock 'em dead with a glitch that hasn't surfaced since the great blizzard of '64!
From the Mushroom Vaults
Happy holidays, kind readers! Welcome to 2015's holiday edition of From the Mushroom Vaults, where I detail tips, tricks, cheats, secrets, walkthroughs, and anything else in that very diverse family tree. In this particular edition, I will be covering how to perform a series of cheats, including one particularly festive one that you may enjoy. The game I am covering this month is an oldie, but a goody.
The final installment of the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy, this 1996 gem will be the focus of today's section. Like pretty much anything else Rare put out (especially during that time), the game itself is incredibly fun and well-constructed on all fronts. But you didn't come here to listen to me talk about how fun it is, you came here to CHEAT.
"Cheat". That's a five-letter word. Probably not coincidentally, each cheat code I'll be sharing with you for this game is also five-letters long. If anything, that makes them quite easy to keep track of, though. Let's get to it, then!
Now, in order to enter any of these cheat codes, you must press a specific series of buttons while on the file select screen:
If you've done this successfully, you should see a prompt at the top that says "enter code", while the file select screen will have five blank characters for you to fill in (the same as if you were starting a new file and naming it). At this point, you can enter your cheat and choose which save file you'd like to start with (you can even create a new one and still use your cheat).
First up, is the MUSIC cheat. Entering these five letters will take you to a static-laden screen called "Dixie Kong's Music Test". From here, you have free access to 35 songs from the game, including tracks that are normally hidden or can only be heard under special circumstances. You can listen to them for as long as you like, and you can change which songs you want to hear at any time with ease. While it's not something most people would probably spend a lot of time on, it is a really great way to listen to some of your favorite tracks right from the game, without worry of having to concentrate on playing while listening. By the way, that TV on the Music Test screen is the one in Wrinkly's Save Cave.
Second, is a spectacularly cliche code that does exactly what you'll think it does when I tell you its five letters: LIVES. Yes, that's right. Free lives! And not just a few — fifty! This can be extremely useful if you just want to cruise around the levels without care, or if you're struggling with some areas and need a boost to keep you from getting too aggravated (at least until the results screen at the end of the game calls you a Cheatin' Chump).
Next, a very simple cheat: COLOR. This one simply changes the color of Dixie and Kiddy Kong. While their attire is normally pink and blue (respectively), this cheat will change those colors to purple and green (again, respectively). It's nothing special, and has no other affect on the game, but it can still be a rewarding cheat for those who have played the game many times and would welcome a subtle visual change.
WATER is our next cheat, which is a neat little cheat that lets you skip past some incredible challenges. After entering the code, if you swim behind the waterfall that is pictured (to the lower-right), you will gain access to one of those crystal minigames. If you manage to complete it successfully, you will rewarded with 85 Bonus Coins. These are used to pay Boomer to open up a new level of Krematoa. Admittedly, if you approach him after winning the 85 Bonus Coins from this cheat, he'll be completely flabbergasted at you having all those coins. It's as if he knows you shouldn't have them...
I guess that's it for the images off to the right, but that's not it for the codes just yet. Now, we have HARDR. ...Wait, is that a word? I feel like there's a letter missing, but I'm too tired to tell which one... Anyway, this cheat, as you may have guessed from reading it aloud, makes the game a bit harder. It removes 29 of the game's DK Barrels, but as a trade-off, when you complete the game, you will be awarded with 104% instead of 103%. Every percent makes a difference! This cheat will only work if you use it before starting a new file, though.
Continuing off of the previous cheat, we also have TUFST, which...also isn't a word, but it sounds like "toughest" if you say it out loud, which is good enough for me. Like the HARDR cheat, this one will only work if you use it before starting a new file. This one is not lying about how difficult it makes the game. It removes every DK Barrel in the game except for four (which, I believe, are all required to complete their respective levels), and it replaces every single Check-Point Barrel with a Banana Bunch. That's pretty brutal. If you complete the game after activating this cheat on your file, you will be awarded with a 105% completion rating, the highest possible.
A counterpoint to these previous two cheats, is the ASAVE cheat. This one activates auto-save, meaning your game will automatically be saved after every level you beat. Pretty cool, huh? Unfortunately, if you enter this cheat before starting a new file, you will be deemed a Cheatin' Chump at the end of the game.
Finally, but possibly most exciting of all, is our holiday-themed cheat: MERRY. Yes, the very same one used in that gif up there. If you enter this before loading or starting your game, you will activate some neat little Christmas-themed secrets. The "Collect ___ Stars", and "Collect ___ Bananas" bonus rooms will feature significant visual and auditory changes. The stars that you would normally collect, are instead Christmas ornaments — those spherical ones you'd find on trees. The bananas, on the other hand, are transformed into little blue presents trimmed with yellow ribbons. The icing on the cake is that the music is also holiday-themed; the music that plays during the bonus room will feature bells and other typical Christmas sounds that honestly just make this a charming little code to play around with during the festive season. If you'd like to see what those bonus rooms look like with the MERRY cheat activated, look no further than the two gifs below:
So yeah, it's definitely pretty cool that the developers took the time to put all of those little secrets in there, especially Merry Mode, which seemed to receive the greatest amount of detail (even if those details were simple sprite and audio swaps). I should note that these cheat codes won't work with the GBA port of the game. That game has its own cheat codes that I may or may not cover in a future issue.
I suppose that's it for this month! I hope you find some entertainment out of those cheats. Happy holidays!
Mario Kart: Wheel Tips Corner
Hello 'Shroom racers! And welcome to Mario Kart Wheel Tips Corner, here I plan to give you just some extra tips to help you with your racing, or just some changes in a track that might catch you off guard if you aren't prepared for them. So the lights are out, let's start racing.
You can't race if you don't have a Kart to do it in, so in this section I'll give you some facts about a Kart, Bike or ATV that you can use hopefully for racing success.
This month's Kool Kart was quite the chore to find, due to the fact that I tried making it Christmas-themed, and the Mario Kart series isn't particularly well known for its Christmas aspect, which is a shame actually. Anyway, I decided to go with the Prancer, because it's the closest I could get, what with horses sort of pulling a Kart. Sadly, however, the Prancer gives absolutely no stat boosts whatsoever, which means if you're looking for good acceleration with this Kart, you'll be looking for characters (usually those on the Lighter side) or tyres which will give you the boost. The same applies for all stat boosts, so if you're using this Kart, it'll only be for the aesthetics.
Retro tracks are now a huge portion of the Mario Kart games, typically amounting to half the courses in the game. But usually these courses change some things up, so in this section I'll help you find out "What's Changed" in the retro tracks.
This month I decided to go for the track that first appeared in Mario Kart 64, before making its reappearance in Mario Kart Wii, Sherbet Land (the one with the penguins). First things first, the graphics are much improved, the water now looks crisp and blue rather than an oil leak, and all the jagged edges look like they're supposed to be there rather than being a graphical limitation. Near the location of the hidden Item Boxes is a trick ramp (demonstrated above), which allows for an extra speed boost. Dash panels have also been added inside the cave portion of the track.
In this small section I give you a way to shave a few seconds off your time, whether you know about it or not. Be warned, most of these shortcuts will require a Mushroom.
This issue I bring you a shortcut from DK Pass. Just after the rolling snowball section, the track bends around a small hill, if you use a Mushroom you can cross over the hill, cutting the corner. What you can also do is find a secret Item Box, which will yield either a Star, Mushroom, Triple Mushroom or a Red Shell. This shortcut can be performed in Mario Kart 7 as well, it's just you're more likely to only get one Mushroom for all your efforts.
Glitch of the Month
Hello there, readers, and welcome to Glitch of the Month. Anyway, titles are lame. I'm Roy Koopa (call me Roy!), and I'll be your writer. If you want me to, you can PM me and I'll tell you my wiki life story. I say "wiki" because my real life story would get rather boring after, like, five minutes.
So, back on topic. Since, like, 2011, I've always been fascinated with weird happenings in games. Yes, I'm talking about glitches. The art of glitching (v., "glitching" — to perform a glitch in-game) is a delicate one. You could be off by, like, uhhh, an inch-or-so and the glitch will fail. Trust me, I've seen this more than enough myself.
Sure! I have a pretty easy glitch that you can do one of two methods. It involves...dying.
This is the first method. There are two possible ways of getting on top of the castle: the hard way, where you earn all the Stars and go into the cannon, or the other hard way, where use the "Climb the Castle without 120 Stars" glitch. Yes, use a glitch to help accomplish another glitch. For the next step, refer to "The Glitch" header below.
Toad's Tool 64 Method
This is the second method. Open Toad's Tool 64. You should come straight to the Castle Grounds map. Find the grates that are on top of the cannon and move them anywhere else. For the next step, keep reading.
Once you're on top of the castle, head to the corner you would have hit using the "Climb the Castle" glitch. In other words, the one to the back-right. Fall off the edge (optional), and jump to the right until you can't go any further. Get onto the ledge (this may take a few tries) and press A. You should lose a life, and Mario should lose his hat. If this didn't happen, just try again.
Technique of the Month
One of RandomYoshi (talk)'s favorite techniques is the one I'll be addressing here: the wall jump. I find that the wall jump is hard, especially in Hazy Maze Cave when you're trying to get the Watch for Rolling Rocks Star. Wall jumping has easy controls, but actually accomplishing a wall jump is much easier in the remake because Mario slides on the wall, whereas in the original, if you miss the jump, that's the end of any chance you had to do a wall jump. The technique is simple: just jump at a wall, press A when you hit the wall, and repeat.
Now, I have to talk about things that nobody wants, but constantly happen. First off, if you don't time the A-button press correctly, Mario bumps the wall and falls down. The solution lies in one aspect, and that would be practice. Find some spot like Cool, Cool, Mountain or the aforementioned Hazy Maze Cave, and just keep wall jumping until you have the timing down.
Second, if you don't aim correctly, you'll miss what you're aiming for and have to start again. I can tell you from my personal experience that the camera angle probably isn't going to help. As you might have guessed, you can fix that by changing the camera position. Sometimes that may not be possible, but if you keep trying, you should get it.
I'll summarize by giving you a word and a phrase from what I've written: Practice" and "Keep Trying. Just like I took eight years to get a 100 score for every game in one day of bowling, you can take even eight minutes—if that's what it takes—to get your technique down.
Yes, I'm afraid it is, but I'll be back next month with another edition of Insider 64!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree~ Thy hammer’s unrelenting~ Hello and welcome once again to another pretentious instalment of Pocket Handbook, where I tell you what to do in your Pokémon games or you’ll regret it. Since ‘tis the holiday season, I figured I’d cover the most obvious choice for the month and elaborate on the hit or miss Christmas tree lookalike, Abomasnow!
The base form is Snover, a cute little coniferous shrub that prefers mild weather over the blistering colds its type is often associated with, descending to lower reaches of its mountain homes during Winter and making tasty treats for itself in the Spring. Abomasnow, on the other hand, is big, chunky fellow sits right at home in the midst of a hailstorm, whipping up blizzards on a daily basis to shroud itself and residing peacefully in cold mountains away from human society. This very secluded, hidden nature probably earned it a solid place in Pokémon folklore, where it's been viewed as "The Ice Monster" and "The Abominable Snowman," titles that most certainly do not befit this (mostly) gentle giant. In the weather-dominated meta of Generation V, Abomasnow possessed the niche as the sole bearer of the Snow Warning ability, which automatically summoned the Hail effect indefinitely until someone else used a weather-summoning move or had a weather-dampening ability. Unfortunately, however, the kind of team you were able to build off this was fairly limited, and it never saw the high tier glory of its other weather-inducing peers. With the nerfs to weather effects in Generation VI, things were looking grim for this snow angel, but I'm here to tell you exactly why Abomasnow can still be a valuable offensive asset to your team.
Now, Abomasnow has fairly balanced stats across the board outside its sub-par Speed, which is often detrimental to any Pokémon as it means they fail to excel at anything in particular. Abomasnow's efficient offensive stats, however, allows it to run as a mixed attacker, or a dedicated physical or special attacker, which is helped by a diverse movepool that grants it great coverage on both attacking stats. Its defenses are... passable, although given its already atrocious defensive typing, I wouldn't be overestimating its ability to take hits even with recovery available to it. While its speed is going to put a massive dent on its ability to dish out damage, especially if facing against swift damage-dealers, it does allow it to win weather wars fairly easily as the 'Mon that moves last is the one whose weather ability activates. All in all, kind of a weird stat spread for this ice monster, so let's instead look at the moveset I give my Abomasnow - nicknamed Obamasnow because of course it is - which... is kind of very, very standard for a mixed attacker set:
Blizzard is the core move in this set and in Special Attacker sets, as it's an immensely powerful STAB move which gains a %100 accuracy buff in Hail weather, and also has a (small) chance of freezing the target. Wood Hammer is for Grass-type STAB coverage, being a devastating Physical-attack that can put a big dent in even bulky Water, Ground, or Rock-types... at the cost of a chunk of Abomasnow's own health, which can prove problematic in the long-term if it's not carrying any reliable regeneration. Focus Blast is a bit of a risky option given its inaccuracy, but it's a very powerful Special move from one of the best offensive types in the game, and gives Abomasnow an answer to Steel-type or Ice-type Pokémon that otherwise wall its STAB coverage, although Earthquake can work just as well if you're willing to give up the extra Special Attack coverage. Finally, we have Ice Shard, a reasonably strong move that allows Abomasnow to bypass its poor speed to get that last attack off on its opponent, or even to grant it revenge killing potential.
As I said earlier, Abomasnow's choice of moves is very broad, which can make it a bit of a surprise opponent for unprepared foes. Giga Drain can be used in place of Wood Hammer if you're gearing for Special offense and also need more reliable recovery, especially if you're not running Leftovers for that extra regen. If you're going full physical, you can replace Blizzard with Avalanche to take advantage of Abomasnow's low speed, as it'll double in power if it's been damaged in the same turn. Again, if you're aiming for physical damage, Brick Break can take the place of Focus Blast for your Fighting-type coverage, offering the added bonus of breaking down Light Screen and Reflect if your foe is barrier-scumming. Abomasnow can also benefit from running Rock Slide, which can super-effectively hit Flying, Fire, and Bug-types that may otherwise pose a threat to the tree beast, although due to its speed it won't be able to take advantage of the flinch effect that comes with the move. On the special side, Abomasnow has access to Shadow Ball, which isn't the most fantastic option in its arsenal but can help if you have a threatening Psychic-type Pokémon to fight against. Abomasnow can also benefit from Swords Dance to make it a physical powerhouse if it's given the room to set itself up, or Growth if it wants to tank up a bit, although that move is most useful in Sun teams, so you'd best hope your opponent is giving you the space to build up its defenses. A lot of its other options, such as Iron Tail, Water Pulse, and even Outrage (seriously, what?) are kinda niche at best and don't provide it with enough varying coverage that its other moves don't already offer, and then some.
There are only two available abilities on Abomasnow, the first being its standard Snow Warning ability which is most common to see on it due to how much Abomasnow benefits from Hail, but its hidden ability is Soundproof, which doesn't exactly provide it with a tremendous deal of practical use but can be alright if your opponent is running Bug Buzz, since that's kind of a scary attack against Abomasnow. I'd honestly stick with Snow Warning just because it's more generally useful. Leftovers is the most obvious Item choice for Abomasnow, since a Pokémon with that many weaknesses and a recoil move like Wood Hammer is most definitely in dire need of some added recovery, but if you're going full offense without any of set-up moves, then an Assault Vest can prove useful in amplifying Abomasnow's Special Defense. This is actually particularly good on Abomasnow since it allows it to play to its strengths, since most of its resistances are more prominently Specially-focused and you'll probably be playing around that to keep Abomasnow away from any of its more notorious threats. Pure utility Abomasnow's are rare and, err... largely inefficient due to its disappointing range of Status moves, but if you're just using Abomasnow as a means to give something like a Walrein or Snow Cloak Froslass more to work with, then just toss an Icy Rock on the tosser to prolong the effects of Hail. It's not really ideal, but don't let me stifle your creativity. If all else fails, there's one final trick up Abomasnow's snow-covered sleeves...
Yup, Mega Abomasnow, one of the most ludicrously designed mega evolutions that trades off even more speed to become an absolute tank, with an incredible Attack and Special Attack stat bolstered by its now considerable defenses, turning an otherwise niche powerhouse into a much more formidable offensive threat. For the most part, Mega Abomasnow runs the same sort of moveset as its normal form, but its stat changes encourage a slightly different playstyle, almost all revolving around its altered speed stat. Being even slower may make it seem an even more risky Pokémon to use, but this makes its usage of Avalanche far more relevant as it'll now hit harder and is almost guaranteed to hit for the bonus damage, whilst also making Ice Shard an even more deadly toy to play with. Trick Room strategies now become even more useful to Mega Abomasnow, as it'll therefore outspeed pretty much anything... aside from maybe Mega Steelix, Escavalier, and Mega Camerupt, but if you know your opponent is running any of those, you wouldn't be picking Abomasnow in the first place. Err, anyway, this switch-up of priority can turn Mega Abomasnow from a lumbering tank with a few too many weak points, into a bloody avalanche that's capable of mowing down anything that doesn't hard-resist it.
The biggest issues here, of course, are that you won't have any reliable recovery outside of Giga Drain, since it needs to carry Abomasnowite to mega evolve. This puts it in the same boat as Mega Altaria in that despite its defenses, its tankability should not be overestimated, but Mega Abomasnow sits in an even worse position since Mega Altaria at least has Roost to keep it consistently healthy. This is to say nothing of Abomasnow and its mega evolution's insane number of weaknesses, clocking in at a total of seven very common weaknesses without even the myriad of resistances that otherwise justifies very vulnerable Pokémon:
Abomasnow suffers immensely against Fire-type Pokémon, being x4 weak to their attacks while being walled by them completely if its not running Earthquake, and even then they're likely to be outsped. Heatran in particular will just ignore everything Abomasnow throws at it. Likewise, Stealth Rock harms Abomasnow's ability to switch in for revenge kills or to refresh the duration of Hail, which means Abomasnow needs to be run alongside a Pokémon that can effectively remove hazards with Rapid Spin, but at that point you're just wasting valuable turns on switch-ins. Steel-types are somewhat of a double-edged sword, since they wall Abomasnow's STAB moves and some like Escavalier and especially Scizor will be able to rip the poor tree to shreds in retaliation, but often lack the raw power needed to break down a Mega Abomasnow, and as most Steel-types are primarily used for switching in to threats, they won't appreciate the free Earthquake good Abomasnow players will have used in prediction. Of course, the biggest threat comes from 'mons like Blaziken and Monferno... beware the blazing kicks and punches of justice. All that having been said, Abomasnow and its mega evolution can very much break down walls and prove a major offensive obstacle to unprepared teams, and while it can be seen as sort of a "niche" pick, the ability to reliably call upon a snowstorm and decimate foes with fully accurate Blizzards is in and of itself a dangerous combo to behold. If none of that is doin' anything for you, then you can always just throw some sparkly shit onto it and use it as a glorified Christmas tree, I'm sure it won't find that aggravating at all.
Hey there, and welcome to the very last Mario Calendar of the year!! Since I still have no news on this section, let's jump straight to the list of Mario-related games released sometime during December!!
And that concludes the 2015 Mario Calendar!! Writing this section once again has been a nice experience, and I'm looking forward to doing so for the sixth year in a row in 2016!! See you then!!