The 'Shroom:Issue 138/Strategy Wing
Well everyone, it's been one hell of a ride. Since I took on this team in July 2016, I've done the best I can to make this team fruitful, and I thank all of you for sticking with us. That being said, I would like to take this opportunity to officially pass the torch to Hooded Pitohui (talk) as the third Strategy Wing Director. I have no doubts that he will do a phenomenal job, and I can't wait to see where he takes this team. If any of you want to reach me, feel free to send me a message, but Pitohui is the main man behind this team now. I wish him the best of luck!
In other news, we have a new section debuting this issue! Incidentally, it also has to do with racing, but my good buddy Superchao (talk) has a new section focusing on F-Zero! Please go check it out as it's always a pleasure to see new sections join this team. So take off to the finish line and read all of these sections, as well as vote for your favorites!
Please enjoy this issue of Strategy Wing. Maybe one day you'll see me here again.
Section of the Month
Tips and Challenges
History and Facts
Show me your moves and come on to check out the Blue Falcon man himself.
Racing Like the Staff
Hello readers and welcome to Racing like the Staff, a section where I do 150cc on different Mario Kart games, but the twist is, I take on the Grand Prix by using the combination that a staff and expert staff member used in that Cup. If you're still a little confused, by this I mean if the track is in the Mushroom Cup, then that's the Cup that I race in. Unfortunately, I don't have copies of the Mario Kart games before Mario Kart 7, so it's only that, 8 and Deluxe that will be getting this treatment.
For this section I have gone for the first circuit in my available games. We will be using the combinations that the staff used on Toad Circuit in Mario Kart 7. The normal staff for this track uses the incredibly boring set of Toad with standard parts across the board. The expert staff doesn't really change this up, but they do use Monster tyres instead of the Normal ones.
The stats for Lakitu with the Pipe Frame, Monster tyres and MKTV Parafoil are as follows:
So, with that out of the way, how did I fare?
Dry Dry Desert
I will admit that I didn't get the best of starts, but I still managed to get up to second place before the first set of Item Boxes. However, as I'm more used to inside drifting I messed up going around multiples corners and so I fell down to third place. Thankfully, because of me getting a Red Shell I was able to overtake Shy Guy before the end of the first lap and get myself up into second place. Not far into the second lap, Luigi came out of nowhere, but I managed to stay ahead. Waluigi then ran into a Pokey and I was able to get first place. However, during the oasis portion of the track, Waluigi hit me with a Fire Flower and I fell down to second, by the end of the second lap I was down to fourth as other racers boosted past me using a shortcut. I was able to get myself back up to second through overtakes, but then I collided with a Pokey and fell down to fifth. Thankfully, I was able to boost over the sand pit with a Mushroom. Shy Guy then hit Waluigi with a Red Shell, giving me second, and then through sheer speed alone – which is odd considering the speed stat – I was able to overtake for the win.
Donut Plains 3
I got a way better start for this race, but Shy Guy was able to get ahead of me. He then got a Super Horn, and hit me with it. Thankfully, I was able to keep second and soon caught up again, but a mistake on my part led to me unintentionally using the water shortcut without a Mushroom and I dropped down to fourth place. I got back into third, but then I fell to sixth following a barrage of items hitting me. However, as is the way of Mario Kart, the other racers took themselves out and I was able to get back into second. And before the lap was over, first place was hit with a Blue Shell and I was able to reclaim the lead. Shy Guy challenged me for the lead after the first set of Item Boxes, but he slipstreamed into the Green Shell I was towing behind me. And after that, I faced no further challenges.
Royal Raceway was an incredibly boring race if I'm honest. Waluigi ran into a Banana Peel I was towing behind me not long after the first set of Item Boxes, and after that nothing else happened and I got a very easy win.
Much like Royal Raceway, there isn't much to report on what happened for DK Jungle. I had a nice battle with Waluigi at the start of the race and he got ahead of me, but I was ahead of him just as we exited the Golden Temple. And then it was plain sailing to the finish line.
Due to this combination's low speed and acceleration stats, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to achieve anything, and yet I won every single race, and on Dry Dry Desert I got the win from sheer speed alone. Although I did struggle with the low Handling stat, due to me being more used to inside bikes, it's possible that it was just me misjudging when I should be going into the corners as opposed to struggling with the stats. And seeing as this combination got to be a three-star rating, I can comfortably recommend this as a decent combination to try.
Now, Mario Kart 8 doesn't actually have Expert Staff, but it does have the Kart of Champions, which I will be using instead. And boy does everything change, the Kart of Champions set-up is Morton with the Gold Standard, Cyber Slick tires and Cloud Glider. The stats are as follows:
Dry Dry Desert
The speed really isn't lying here, as I was straight up to second place by the first set of Item Boxes. Through the Item Box, I got a Piranha Plant, but that ended up to be a double-edged sword as I ended up going off multiple times due to the poor handling. Because of the handling issues, I was down to fourth when we reached the sand pit. However, I managed to get a Mushroom to go across it, and following the oasis section I was in third. I was able to then get into first through the use of a Fire Flower, but I ended up drifting into a Pokey and got knocked down again. A Mushroom got me over the sand pit, but then I drifted into the sand and lost first again. After getting hit by a Red Shell, I fell down to fifth place, but I was able to reclaim fourth by the end of the lap. Through the speed of this combination I was up into first by the time we got to the sand pit, and with no challenges before the finish line, I claimed victory.
Donut Plains 3
Despite getting a really good start, I was hit by a barrage of items and before we even got into the water I was down to seventh place. I managed to get Triple Red Shells, and these got me into third place by the end of the lap. I then got a Mushroom, and cut a grass section nearly getting me into first place. However, some poor drifting got me onto the grass and as everyone behind me got Triple Mushrooms I was down to fifth by the end of the second lap. Some speed helped, but even after a Triple Red Shell, all I could manage on the final lap was third place.
Much like last time on Royal Raceway, there's not much to report. I had a drawn-out battle with Wario for the lead, and I got it in the air. And although on the second lap I ended up on the grass as I avoided a Banana, nothing of note happened for the rest of the race.
I kept the lead at the start, but I was hit by a Red Shell and demoted down to third place. I was able to get my lead back just after the first set of Item Boxes on the second lap as second place took first out with a Red Shell. I was then able to carve out such a lead that being hit by a Blue Shell didn't matter. But on the third lap when I was hit by a Green Shell before the Boost Pads on the Golden Temple I was put down to second. But I was able to get my lead back before we left the temple and I then went on to win.
Truthfully, I wasn't a fan of this combination. The speed was incredible, and I was able to get some decent leads when I was ahead, but I can't get over the handling issues. It's possible it was just me messing up again, but this one felt worse than the Lakitu combination to the point I was worried about going around any corner. The one star rating is testament to the fact that I really struggled with this combination. If you're going to race like the staff on Donut Plains 3, I'd recommend going for the Lakitu combination over the Morton one, the Morton bites too hard if you mess up.
I hope you enjoyed this section, and I'll see you next month where I'll take a look at a combination from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. If you've got a combination you'd like me to review next, feel free to private message me on the forums.
Mach Speed Mayhem
Hello, 'Shroom readers! It's good old Superchao here, with the first edition of what I hope to make into a long-running Strategy Wing section! As you might have guessed by the name, this section centers around F-Zero. Each month, I'm going to take one character from the franchise, and discuss and analyze them. How'd different games treat them? How were they in the anime, if they even appeared? What's their car like?
Of course, there's only one person we could ever possibly kick off a section like this with. For my debut section, I'm going to feature #07: Captain Falcon! The most iconic F-Zero character by a ridiculously high order of magnitude, Captain Falcon and the Blue Falcon are for many people the only aspects they know about F-Zero, thanks to his appearance in Super Smash Brothers from the very first game on to Smash Ultimate. Even from his very first appearance as one of only four racers in the F-Zero game on SNES, he was already being presented as the face of the franchise. It's his car on the front of the box, with Samurai Goroh seen chasing after him. The manual gave him a small bio... and I do mean small, as it boils down to "he's a bounty hunter and otherwise a mystery." The SNES manual also included a comic to get readers excited for F-Zero, and of course, it starred Captain Falcon. Even in his first appearance, he was being portrayed as the man who gets things done, as he catches two criminals, shows up Samurai Goroh, and still makes it back in time for his race. It's clear that from the starts, Captain Falcon is basically going for the mysterious badass archetype, rather like Samus. They're both bounty hunters, too! The comic would even introduce the Falcon Flyer transport ship, which only shows up a few times later in F-Zero related media.
F-Zero X would expand on this... in a way. The expansion it gave was more mystery - Falcon lives on a private set of islands, and he spends most of his time there practicing with the Blue Falcon. The only things we learned about him is that he keeps himself secret in order to avoid revengeful attackers, and that he might have been an officer in the police force. Interestingly, around this time, the name "Douglas Jay Falcon" manifested on the internet from uncertain sources. For years this was considered to be Falcon's canon name, but the diggings of various people have found no solid evidence that it is... although the original F-Zero X site has been lost to time. Perhaps it really did have the name, or perhaps it was a fan creation. We might never know, unfortunately.
When F-Zero GX and F-Zero AX hit, Falcon really got his time in the spotlight. Beforehand, while the main character and with a newcomer friendly ride, he was still only one of four or six default racers. GX truly made him the main character, by making him the star of and only playable character in story mode. The man races his archnemesis, his archnemesis' boss, and what's basically God, and wins every time, because he's just that good! Really, between GX, Smash, and the anime, it was no wonder he got his reputation. Impressively, GX made him the main character while still keeping him an enigma - we don't know who he is, where he's from, or what his life was. We just know that Captain Falcon is the best damn racer around. This tendency of the series to keep its main character history-free extends into Smash, but not the anime.
Captain Falcon's machine, the Blue Falcon, has one of the more straightforward designs to go with his main character status. It's pretty reminsicent of a jet, matching well with the high-octane stylings of F-Zero. At the speeds they're going, it's more like flying than driving, after all! The Blue Falcon is generally designed as an all-rounder in every game that it's in, and is always one of the first vehicles you have available to use. In that regard, the Blue Falcon makes a good way to get into the series, allowing someone to get used to an all-rounder type of car, before moving on to the more varied cars available besides it. Especially in the later games, when choice can get a little ridiculous, it's nice to have the blue flyer to fall back on.
In the anime series, F-Zero: The Legend of Falcon (known as F-Zero: GP Legend for the ill-fated US dub), Captain Falcon was... not the main character! Surprisingly enough. The anime creators chose to keep Falcon as an ally of justice operating in the background, always with the implication he knows more than you, and often coming out of nowhere to achieve victory over Black Shadow and his goons or simply to outdo our main character and drive him to move on further. For most of the early part of the series, this is all we know about Captain Falcon, even as he slowly reveals his deep knowledge of the mysteries surrounding the series, such as instantly knowing what the "Reactor Might" (a major macguffin) is and why it's critically important.
Later in the series, a series of revelations sets Captain Falcon up to even greater heights than F-Zero GX did. Not only is the title of Captain Falcon a legacy, passed down from person to person, but the current Captain Falcon is actually the brother of major character Jody Summer, and he's also been Burt Lemming, the friendly coffeehouse owner who most of the cast visit on a regular basis. All of this pales in comparison to the reveal that Captain Falcon is emblematic of the forces of light, and he needs help to finally triumph over evil - even the GX games just had him be a racer and a bounty hunter rather than a full-on universe saving superhero! Unless the whole deal with racing the Devil and then God counts. Of course, Falcon saves the day by punching Black Shadow so hard everything explodes, but ten to one you knew this already. By creating a full identity for Captain Falcon and giving him this over-the-top role, the anime chooses to replace mystery with mystique of incredible feats and importance. If it worked... well, that's for you to think about. Personally, though, I somewhat prefer our man of mystery, though I see why that wouldn't have been feasible in a limited, complete continuity like an anime series.
And then there's Super Smash Bros. Definitely the reason most people still know Captain Falcon and F-Zero in the first place (I'm not ashamed to admit Melee was what introduced me to him), Captain Falcon has been in every game in the series, and is still the only F-Zero rep as of this writing. As he was from a racing game, he had no fighting moves of his own, resulting in Sakurai creating his moveset from whole cloth, and in the process creating an icon. Smash giving Falcon the FALCON PUNCH and FALCON KICK, two iconic and memorable moves, helped define Falcon for far more people than those who knew of him primarily as a racer. In some regards, Falcon's smash appearances have overshadowed his F-Zero appearances, especially with the series on its current hiatus. You'll see Falcon doing a Falcon Punch a lot more than you'll see him driving the Blue Falcon, to the point where when the anime had him finish Black Shadow off with the Falcon Punch. The only time F-Zero referenced Smash... not that it had that many chances.
The continuing endurance of Captain Falcon's reception is a testament to the power of Smash Bros, and the way that even when a series falls off the map, it can be kept alive through other methods. Despite the fact that F-Zero has not had a new installment in 14 years, Falcon continues to appear regularly in Smash, still with his true identity unknown - Smash has never acknowledged the anime continuity in any way. People are still introduced to F-Zero by seeing this guy in Smash, following up on his source material, and then trying it themselves and enjoying it. That's how I got into F-Zero, even if I haven't played any games beyond the SNES original yet. And who knows - Pit's appearance in Brawl helped him get Uprising, so maybe someday the continued draw of fans will eventually get us a new F-Zero!
Or at least another character in Smash. Please, Sakurai. Please.
Anyhow, that's all for the opening section of Mach Speed Mayhem! I hope you enjoyed, and whether you did or not, I'll be here next month. I've got 46 more characters to talk about, so you and I are going to be going through this list for a long time!
Hey, what's up! GPM here with another Mario Calendar! This section lists all the games that have come out in history during the month of publication. This means that today, I'll be listing the Mario games that have come out in September. So, let's go!
Hello everyone, it's me, Yoshi876 again with a new edition of Pokédex Power, the section written by the person who still has no idea what to think to Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee. I mean, the more I see of it, the more I want it, but at the same time I can't get over the wild Pokémon situation, and I'd prefer normal Pokémon gameplay as opposed to Pokémon Go gameplay.
And this month that links works reasonably well. As much as we're not looking at either Pikachu or Eevee, but we are looking at a Pokémon that was introduced in the Kanto region and has its own army fans, and that's Cubone. We also remember Cubone, if only for its tragic backstory in Pokémon Red, Blue & Yellow in which its mother is murdered by Team Rocket before proceeding to haunt Pokémon Tower. At least I don't have to worry about any Pokémon haunting my laptop as I write this section.
As much as I do like Cubone and its evolution, I don't have any memories of properly using it. The only memory I can manage to muster of my Cubone usage is Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team in which one of my playthroughs I ended up becoming a Cubone. But as Ground types are weak to Ice, I didn't get very far as Articuno kept destroying me. I always did struggle with that boss.
Generation I does an admirable job at setting out Cubone, but it only seems to focus in on one fact, that of its skull helmet. Yes, because of the entries we learn what exactly the skull is, the sentimental value that it has for Cubone and why it wears it. But after that, all we find out is that no one knows what its true face looks like and the skull has some musical properties as it can transform Cubone's crying into a sad melody.
Again, Generation II just focuses on the dead mother fact. The only thing we learn is that the skull rattles when Cubone cries and that its mother died in birth. However, this brings forward an issue. The entries almost make it out like Cubone is just a singular entry, surely all Marowak don't die giving birth to Cubone?
And again, we just get to another generation with nothing really new. Other than Cubone seeing a likeness of Marowak in the full moon, and it staining its skull through crying – not that you can tell anyway from official artwork – we learn nothing new.
Generation IV usually manages to add something new, but instead it just copies the same facts from previous generations.
Nothing new from Generation V.
See above summary paragraph.
Generation VII at least tries to make some new ground with Cubone's entries. Yes, we still get the same dead mother facts, but Sun and Ultra Sun cover some new ground with putting Cubone into a Pokemon environment. From their entries we learn that Mandibuzz hunt Cubone and are able to find them through the crying, although on an evolutionary basis this does bring up an issue. Surely some Cubone would learn that they're not hunted when they don't cry at night and thus are able to protect themselves from Mandibuzz. Moon also covers a little bit of new ground, by telling us that Cubone evolves once it comes to terms with the death of its parent. At least that's not a requirement in the games…
Conclusion Cubone's entries are pretty poor. They had the potential to be interesting, but for the first six generations all we got was slightly reworded or just plain copies of the original entries. I know why Cubone has a skull on its head, but I have no idea as to why it carries a bone. Does that come its dead mother as well? How did it learn to throw it? What is the bone used for, hunting prey or knocking fruit loose from trees? And something else that would be a great link to the Pokémon world is whether having a Trainer can help Cubone cope with the grief of losing its mother.