The 'Shroom:Issue 139/Strategy Wing
It's a new month, there's a new Strategy Wing Director, and there's a wonderful new portrait to the right of this text courtesy of The Pyro Guy (talk). Yes, this October is full of new, but it's still the same old Strategy Wing. Before we get too far, I want to offer thanks to Meta Knight (talk) for all of his dedicated work as Strategy Wing Director. He played a key role in making this team the high-quality read that it is, and I plan to do everything I can to carry his work forward.
It's true that there's plenty of new in Strategy Wing this month, but that doesn't mean we can't have even more additions. If you're interested in writing for Strategy Wing, take a look at our sign-up page and send an application to LudwigVon on our forums. You can pick up existing sections or can introduce new ones. Video games are a great topic, but feel free to analyze other topics or teach us about approaches to other activities. If there's something that you're knowledgeable about and that you enjoy doing, consider turning it into a Strategy Wing section!
Adding another item to the list of new, Parakoopa144 (talk) joins us as the writer of PK144's Course Corner, a new section which analyzes the design of levels, courses, stadiums, and other settings of the Mario franchise. We have a fairly large number of sections this month, including spooky Halloween-themed editions of YoshiFlutterJump's Tips and Tricks and Racing Like the Staff, so please take your time and enjoy the hard work of our writers.
Section of the Month
Yoshi876 (talk) took first place with his experience in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's Banana Cup. Congratulations! A debut section focused on Captain Falcon and an examination of Cubone's Pokédex entries earn Superchao (talk) and Yoshi876 (talk) a joint second and some well-deserved thanks for their excellent work.
Tips and Challenges
Learn about World 1-1 from Super Mario 3D Land with PK144.
History and Facts
Black Shadow casts his darkness over this F-Zero writeup.
PK144's Course Corner
This month in PK144's Course Corner... World 1-1 (Super Mario 3D Land).
Not the World 1-1 you were thinking of! Nope, this opener comes from the 3DS, in all of its 2011, 240p glory. This was the first stage in this weird merger of 2D and 3D Mario, so it had a lot to achieve, and it does it with flying colours. The stage opens with plenty of open space, so you fiddle about with these fancy new controls, as many other Mario games do, like Peach's Garden from Super Mario 64, or more recently, Cap Kingdom from Super Mario Odyssey. This is a design trend that appears in nearly all Mario platformers, and shows no sign of leaving!
The next part of the stage plays like a 2D Mario, only ever needing to diverge off the 2D plain for shortcuts and extra goodies. There are a few jumps for coins, or maybe over a Goomba, but there aren't really any stakes. Then comes our first obstacle, and there are three ways to clear it! Its really not too hard no matter what way you go, and even if you do fail, you can still run around back onto the shore and try again, which is a great way to let new players experiment a bit.
Eventually, you quite literally, hit a wall. And this is the first mandatory instance of using that freaky new third dimension! Once again, there are no stakes for this jump, but I think that was intentional. Upwards, you'll enter an open garden with plenty of open space, and a few baddies to beat. There are even some trees that house goodies to find! This also your first checkpoint, and the first area with real obstacles. The tunnel onwards contains a nasty Tanooki Goomba, and another secret! An elevator, that can only be triggered with the new, redesigned Tanooki Leaf. You don't get a lot up here, a Time Bonus and some coins, but it gives a nice view, and gives the players a big, graceful, elegant, fat, Italian, mid-40 year old hair plumber in a fursuit, glide into the sunset. I shed a tear, I really do.
On to the next area, and this is the final one, and this is the biggest achievement in this level to me, it manages to be not too hard for new players, but also challenge them enough. There's also a set of binoculars which let you watch a Toad... not be very good at grabbing flagpoles. He must not have learned a lot from New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
On this path, there are more baddies, bottomless pits, and even a GIANT FUCKING TANOOKI GOOMBA , or what ever his official name is, we'll call him Bob for now.
After conquering Bob and his Blasted Baddie Brigade, you may shower yourself in gold, and hit that flagpole baby! Or, if you took the other route this final section lets you take, there are tightropes, heights, coins, Leaves, and a super tall height to jump from and glide! Sadly, this means Bob can't even attempt to take Mario's life like Bowser payed him to, so there might be a bit less food on the table in the Bob household tonight. Poor fella.
So what makes this level so good?
This level had a lot to live up to, and it does a near perfect job at turning up the difficulty, just so much that its even remotely challenging. Its a perfect intro to this weird, new, duology, hopefully soon trilogy, of games. It also introduces us to Bob, the poor Goomba who could. May God bless his soul.
Welp, that's a wrap, see ya next month! Make sure to send in any course you want to be featured to me via PM on the boards, and I'll try my best to feature it!
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.
As we're in the month of spookiness, I decided to appropriately theme with spookiness, so this month I bring the staff ghosts from Twisted Mansion from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Like Mario Kart 8, there is no expert staff ghost. However, what we do have is a 200cc ghost, so this section will see me driving under both of these. However, as I cannot drive in 200cc, I will still be testing that combination under the 150cc bar.
And unfortunately, it is only the 200cc that I can show off for this section. Despite trying for a considerable while, I was unable to unlock the Mach 8 that Luigi uses in the normal cc for this track. If I manage to get around to that, I will at least divulge how that went. I do humbly apologise for this.
The 200cc combination for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is King Boo on the Wild Wiggler, with the Sponge tyres and the Flower glider. I'll be honest, I didn't think King Boo would go for the Flower glider, imagined him more with the Bowser Kite, but he does, so that's how we're racing. The stats are as follows:
Much like many other starting races, was quickly up into second place by the first Item Boxes. And thankfully, I was gifted with a Red Shell, so I was able to knock Mario straight out of the way. By the end of the first lap, I had pulled out such a lead that even getting hit by a Red Shell didn't impact my position. I destroyed a Blue Shell on Lap 2, but was finally hit by one on the final lap. Much like the Red Shell, this had no impact on my position and I got home with an easy victory.
Nothing really to report here. I fell down to second place a couple of times on the first lap. The first time was some outside drifting lead to Morton getting ahead, but I got first back on the boost, and then the second time I was hit by a Red Shell just after the market section, but he was immediately hit by one so again I only lost the lead for a few seconds. The only thing to report is that I seemingly decided to experiment with drink driving as I was all over the place on the third lap, even finding a bit of the track in the market section I never knew existed. But even though I was hit by a Blue Shell, I had another easy victory.
Dry Bones briefly overtook me at the start, but the Red Shell I got some dropped him down to second. Other than that, I faced literally no other issues. On the third lap, I had exited the bouncy mansion bit before Dry Bones had even entered the mansion itself, that's how far ahead I was.
Shy Guy Falls
Shy Guy Falls isn't a track I'm great at, even with a combination I'm familiar with, and I proved that almost immediately by driving into a wall and allowing Morton to overtake me. I managed to get him just as we got onto the first waterfall, but he managed to hit a Boost Pad that I didn't putting him back into first. My lap then got worse, as I was hit by his Super Horn coming off of the glide pad and I fell down to fourth. Thankfully, I was able to get back into second by the end of the first lap. And thanks to some nifty drifting, I managed to get first. I stayed in first until the start of the third lap when I was hit by a Red Shell, but I then got some revenge my own Red Shell, reclaimed first and won the race.
I was a little bit worried about using this combination, as I haven't had the best of experiences with handling on the ATVs, but other than Toad Harbour and Shy Guy Falls, I had no issues with controlling this Kart. I even managed to get a three-star rating with it, although I do find Deluxe to be ridiculously easy, so I don't know if I would have been able to replicate this result if I was using it on Mario Kart 8.
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 7. If you've got a combination you'd like me to review next, feel free to private message me on the forums.
YoshiFlutterJump's Tips and Tricks
Hey readers, I'm back! As you may already know, I have switched to a bi-monthly schedule, so expect to see my sections every other month. As we are now in October, I thought about doing something about Luigi's Mansion. One problem though: I haven't played either Luigi's Mansion game. So instead, I've decided to go with something else that still generates horror vibes. Ladies and gentlemen, it's Dark Bloo Inn from Paper Mario: Color Splash!
Dark Bloo Inn is a haunted hotel, with a total of six ghosts scaring the hotel staff out of their wits. Your job is to find them all, and bring them together to have a tea party. But be warned: this level has a time limit, and when the clock in the hotel lobby strikes three, you'll have to start all over, so you'd better work fast. This guide will show you where to find each ghost.
You'll find the first ghost near Room 201...er, where Room 201 should be. You'll see a cart moving by itself; use your paint hammer to reveal the ghost. He is looking for Room 201, which, oddly enough, seems to be missing. However, if you use Cutout in that area, the door to Room 201 will appear, and the ghost will unload his luggage and head over to the tea party.
The second ghost is lurking in Room 202. The door seems to be locked, meaning you can't get in. But wait...there is a way! Head upstairs to room 302, then hammer the bed aside to reveal a hole in the floor. Fall through the hole to get inside Room 202. You will see some mysterious movements near the back corner of the room; whack the area with your paint hammer to reveal a ghost. The ghost is feeling for his glasses, but you know something he doesn't: the glasses are right on his head! Hammer the ghost, and he will be able to see again. He will thank you and be on his way. Don't forget to unlock the door!
Speaking of which, there's another ghost you'll have to head to Room 302 for. You'll find a ghost in the library in the lobby, pulling on some super-thick book. He's looking for a certain book, which is missing from the library. Head over to Room 302 to find a Toad reading--or rather, trying to read--a colorless book. Paint the book with your paint hammer, and the Toad will say that the book is boring and that you can take it. Give your newly-acquired tea recipe book to the ghost in the library, and he will be off to the tea party.
As soon as you enter Room 203, you will see a Shy Guy stealing some invisible object, known simply as "it". A ghost is shaking the railings, and he does not look happy. Head to the lobby, and exit via the right-side door. You will find a Shady Sledge Bro., and you will have to battle him to proceed. After defeating him, you will be able to acquire "it". Return to room 203, and talk to the ghost there. He will then place "it" on a table, and head to the tea party. Curious what "it" is? Smack the table with your paint hammer, and a Yoshi will appear. You can try to ride him, but then he'll run off to the Emerald Circus and you won't see him again for quite a while.
Upon entering Room 303, you will find a colorless birdcage. There is a ghost standing next to it. Smack both the ghost and the cage with your paint hammer. The ghost will then complain that his "red bird" has flown the coop. Grab the birdcage and head outside. You will see a Toad setting up some birdseed to lure the bird. After talking to him, you will place the birdcage down, and suddenly the "red bird", who turns out to be a Koopa Paratroopa, will fly in. As the Toad stands watching in awe, return to room 303 to get the ghost back to the dining room.
Getting the final ghost in Room 301 is as complex as it gets. You won't be able to get this ghost immediately upon entering the level, so you'll have to wait a bit. Notice the ringing phone in the lobby, receiving a bunch of calls from Room 301? That is none other than the final ghost. When the clock strikes two, enter Room 301 and smack your paint hammer against the phone. You will reveal a ghost trying to call service in the lobby. Go to the linen closet in the library, and pull out the sheet. There are a lot of Shy Guys here, so you'll have to fight them before proceeding. After defeating them, return to Room 301 to replace his bed sheets. He will thank you and head to the dining room.
Now all six Toads are gathered in the dining room, and the clock reads 2:55. However, before they can have their tea party, they need a teapot. A hotel staff member looks for a teapot and fails to find it, although he does find a Mini Paint Star. After collecting it, you will then have to find the teapot in Plum Park, which will be discussed another time. Once you recover the teapot, return to Dark Bloo Inn. The hotel will be restored to normal, and you will get an extra battle card slot as a reward. Congratulations!
I hope this guide helped you beat Dark Bloo Inn. But before I forget, forum user Parakoopa144 suggested that I share a certain infinite 1-Up trick in World 3-3 in Super Mario Advance. Note that this only works in Super Mario Advance; if you have either the NES or SNES version, you're out of luck. After entering the second door in the level, you'll see a third door on a high platform. Ride one of the Ninjis, and squat jump off of them to enter the door. Head to the top of the area to grab a Koopa shell, but don't go through the door. Instead, head back down while still carrying the shell, and when you reach the bottom of the area, throw the shell. Shy Guys will then walk into that area and fall for your trap, and before you know it, you'll have enough lives to survive any trial this game throws at you. Here's a video of the trick in action (courtesy of Wildgoosespeeder (talk)).
Well, that's all for this month. Come back in December for another issue of Tips and Tricks. Bye for now!
Mach Speed Mayhem
Hello, 'Shroom readers, and welcome back to the second edition of Mach Speed Mayhem, and the first edition written after I got my own copy of F-Zero GX! As one of the starting three sections, this one wasn't reader-decided. Don't worry, just give it a couple months! But I wanted some time to get used to everything. So I decided what better way to follow up the hero of the story, with the closest thing to the big bad of the F-Zero franchise? For that reason, today we're discussing #30: Black Shadow!
First introduced in F-Zero X, Black Shadow didn't stand out that much in that game. Certainly, his backstory was impressive - he was a cold-blooded king of evil, with a legion of followers! Captain Falcon had taken down many of his minions over the years, and now Black Shadow was mad! So he entered the F-Zero race to, quote, "kill Captain Falcon in front of his legions of adoring fans". You'd expect something like that to be relevant, huh? Well... no. Not in this game. The nature of it - entirely focused on Grand Prix, with no real story mode to it - meant that Black Shadow didn't get to enact any sorts of evil or do anything evil. Like everyone else in the game. However, Black Shadow does get a machine that feels very fitting to his evil nature! I'll talk about the Black Bull in a little while, but first we need to discuss the next big game.
F-Zero GX decided to really play up and play down Black Shadow's evil nature at the same time, with its Story Mode. His backstory remained the same - big bad evil dude who is big, bad, and evil. His post-race interviews when you win the Grand Prix mode are all about how evil he is, although he does respect the interviewer - he even gives Mr. Zero an offer to work for him! Story Mode has Black Shadow as the big threat at the Grand Prix, actively trying to kill Captain Falcon in multiple ways - chapters 5, 6, and 7 are all about him trying to blow up Captain Falcon, blow up Captain Falcon, and beat him in a race! So that's the playing up. The playing down comes when never before seen character Deathborn shows up, scares the pants off Black Shadow, and after Chapter 7 banishes him to THE EDGE OF THE GALAXY for failure. So... apparently Black Shadow has been working for this guy the whole time? Yeah, it's a little silly to build up your guy at the expense of the preexisting big bad, since it creates the tone that Black Shadow is a mere mook, rather than a boss of evil. Still, Deathborn only gets one chapter to Black Shadow's three, so who's the real winner here?
Interestingly, in the arcade game F-Zero AX... Black Shadow isn't available at all. It's just the original four racers of Captain Falcon, Samurai Goroh, Dr. Stewart, and Pico, and the ten new AX racers. While it makes perfect sense (they wanted to keep it at a low count due to being an arcade game, while pushing their new guys, and the original four are always available at the start), it's interesting how role in-universe does not trump the out of universe importance of being one of the first characters.
Then there's his car, the Black Bull. It looks built like a tank, and that's because it is! The Black Bull is THE heaviest machine, bar none, in F-Zero X, and is second-heaviest out of the 41 in F-Zero GX when you take into account all the AX racers. Naturally, this means it controls like a brick, and is up there as one of the least newcomer-friendly machines in the game. Try to use the Black Bull right away and you're going to watch yourself make friends with every single wall on the course... as I learned the hard way. Gotta get good to touch the big bad's racer. However, if you can get used to it, it becomes a juggernaut of destruction. As the heaviest of heavyweights, the Black Bull is great for running other people off the road - and since F-Zero considers that a perfectly valid tactic, it's entirely viable to get the Black Bull and finish in 1st out of a field of 10 rather than 30. It's also got a tankard of speed behind all that size, and if you can get it up to speed it can set record-breaking times. There's a reason it shows up for multiple staff ghosts in GX!
In the anime, meanwhile... forget this Deathborn fella. Black Shadow is THE big bad. As the leader of Dark Million (his in-game "evil organization" given a name and an identity), he's got a handful of the canon characters under his banner, as well as an anime original and an endless legion of interchangeable and disposable robotic mooks. Interestingly, none of the members of Dark Million (except for Blood Falcon) were affiliated with Black Shadow in the games, but the same is true of the heroes of the Mobile Task Force we'll discuss in future installments. The anime needed some clear cut good guys and bad guys as opposed to "Captain Falcon vs. Black Shadow and everyone else does their own thing", so it's a pretty understandable change to lump various characters under the good and evil banners... even if a few of the individual characters being made evil felt rather silly as picks for it.
The goal of Black Shadow in the anime starts off left vague and nebulous, although at least the reason for all the racing is made clear - namely, Dark Million needs money! ...Admittedly, why they need money so badly and why they need it from racing is never entirely clear. It's pretty transparently just an excuse for having the F-Zero races in the cartoon. Black Shadow himself is kept to a minimum in the first half of the series, only showing up to give orders and race once or twice - every time he joins the race, he's a destructive juggernaut. Zoda and Miss Killer, his two minions, really carry the cartoon at first, but that changes in the latter half of the series. Various revelations are made (he wants the Reactor Mights! He's using them for his own machine! Everything was part of his plan, of course! He wants to make a universe full of evil!) and it all boils down to him versus Falcon and Rick Wheeler. Whereupon he's falcon punched so hard he explodes. Still, the anime, in my opinion, best captured Black Shadow as the big lord of evil. Having him only race on occasion was a good way to keep his mystique without forcing losses or making the main characters jobbers, and he's well-established as a devious planner. ...It was probably a bit much to make him the embodiment of darkness to Falcon's embodiment of light, though.
As for the games based on the anime, Black Shadow naturally gets some spotlight there. Hilariously enough, the story mode in F-Zero: GP Legend (the game) has different stories for various characters, and Black Shadow is one of those to get his own story. Unsurprisingly, his storyline is about conquering the universe for evil, because he's evil. And he does it in the end! Good for him. F-Zero Climax... I'm afraid nobody really knows that much about it, including me! What little I do know tells me that it's just back to regular racing, so there's not much to say about Black Shadow in there that I haven't covered in the rest of the article.
Ultimately, Black Shadow is definitely a good pick for a big, iconic face of the series. He's not on the same level as Falcon, but he's up there! There's probably one other character on the same level... but we'll see them next month. For now, I hope you enjoyed learning about Falcon's evil archnemesis, and remember that whenever he wins, this is a victory for evil!
Hello, and it's GPM here with a spooky 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 October. 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 thought that for Halloween we should look at not a Ghost-type Pokémon, but a Water-type one instead, because everyone knows that water is the scariest Pokémon type? Yes, most of their entries don't deal with trivial things like soul eating and life draining, instead focusing on things like love and mating. Oh, maybe Water-types aren't that scary after all.
I would usually go for a Ghost-type for Halloween month, but I really needed to fit a Generation II Pokemon in somewhere, and sadly this was the only Generation II month that was left. However, in cartoons we see plenty of children dress up as crocodiles or lizards for Halloween, so I wouldn't say that this month's choice is wildly off the mark.
Growing up, I would always pick the Totodile line, mainly because of my love for Water-types. So naturally, I've used Croconaw numerous times, although it was only when I got around to writing this section that I realised that its name wasn't Crocnaw, so I guess I'm the fool here. Nowadays though, I typically go for the Cyndaquil line, but that's not to say that I don't still love Croconaw.
We get off to a shaky start to Croconaw's Pokédex entries. We mainly focus on Croconaw's fangs, learning how many they have, that they grow back reasonably quickly after falling out and how they're arranged in its mouth. But other than that, we don't learn anything. The main glaring thing for me, is what does a Croconaw prey on? We don't learn if it's a freshwater or a saltwater crocodile, so we can't really limit its prey options down.
Again Croconaw's fangs are the only talking point about this Pokémon. Although it is certainly nice to see an expansion on the how the fangs are shaped, there's nothing else to add.
Repeats of fang facts a plenty.
Nothing new from Generation V.
Maybe the real Halloween trick is how boring Croconaw's Pokédex entries are...
Conclusion Putting it bluntly, Croconaw might have the most boring set of Pokédex entries that I have done for this section. Here, we have starter Pokémon, and yet the only thing we actually learn about it has to do with its fangs. I'm not saying that the fangs are a non-important aspect of Croconaw, as they're clearly not, but I'm sat here yearning to learn something else about it. What does it prey on? What sort of water does Croconaw live in? What prompts it to evolve and does it live in packs or on its own? Why didn't I just review a Ghost-type Pokémon this month, it would have been much better looking at spooky facts rather than the same one repeated five generations in a row.