The 'Shroom:Issue 140/Strategy Wing

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Director Notes

Written by: Hooded Pitohui (talk)

Shroom2018 HoodedPitohui.png

Well, it's November, which means the end of this year is rapidly approaching. That said, there's plenty to take in this month. I know some people detest the grey skies and cold rains of November, but I find it to be refreshing, even invigorating. A little chill in the air makes me want to get up and work, which should help me with our upcoming holiday issue, if nothing else.

You'll notice that we don't have as many sections this month, but what we do have should be quite the treat. Our writers put a great deal of care and effort into their sections, and there's still plenty to read. Of course, if you'd like join us and help the team expand even further, you should consider signing up and joining us as a writer. With Super Mario Party's recent release and the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, there are great opportunities to put your own touch on classic sections like Party Trick! and Challenger Approaching. You aren't restricted to existing sections, though, so feel free to apply with a new idea, whether focused on video games or another topic. As you likely know, next month's holiday issue is going to be themed around Super Smash Bros., so don't be afraid to send in a special section about Nintendo's crossover fighting game, either.

With that all said, there's a number of great sections this month. While you read through everything, don't forget to see Superchao's explanation about how you can vote for the F-Zero character to be featured in next month's Mach Speed Mayhem and be sure to go and vote! Whatever your take on the November weather, please take some time to enjoy the work of our writers.

Section of the Month

Congratulations to Superchao (talk) for taking first place with his examination of Black Shadow. Yoshi876 (talk) made it into second place twice, once with his races in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's Flower Cup and again with his look at Croconaw's Pokédex entries. In addition, Parakoopa144 (talk) also takes second place with his analysis of World 1-1 from Super Mario 3D Land. In this season of giving thanks, I offer my thanks to all of our hard-working writers and the readers who support them!

STRATEGY WING SECTION OF THE MONTH
Place Section Votes  % Writer
1st Mach Speed Mayhem 5 29.41% Superchao
2nd Pokédex Power 3 17.65% Yoshi876
2nd PK144's Course Corner 3 17.65% Parakoopa144
2nd Racing Like the Staff 3 17.65% Yoshi876



Tips and Challenges

Get "Ready for Adventure!" in Tostarena with PK144!
[read more]

Yoshi876 drives through autumn leaves on Maple Treeway.
[read more]
History and Facts

Does Goroh have a good grasp on bushido? Find out more about him in this F-Zero writeup.
[read more]

The forecast is calling for a deluge of Pokédex entries.
[read more]


PK144's Course Corner

Written by: Parakoopa144 (talk)


Hello! Welcome to the second edition of PK144's Course Corner!

The Mario series has a lot of memorable locations, whether it be Delfino Plaza, Peach's Castle, or... Acorn Plains? Super Mario Odyssey had a lot of new locations, but without a doubt, the two biggest, and most memorable ones are Tostarena, and New Donk City.

Not even a year later, Captain Toad "explores other systems", and hit the 3DS and Switch, with four new levels based off of Odyssey! These included the Luncheon Kingdom, and the Cascade Kingdom, but most importantly, Tostarena and New Donk City!

While I would like to tackle both of these at some point, for now, let's cover Captain Toad's Tostarenian adventure, "The Secret Of The Inverted Pyramid"!

The Secret Of The Inverted Pyramid
Year: 2018
Game: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS)
Wiki Page: Secret of the Inverted Pyramid

This stage is interesting because it had to juggle two jobs at once. It had to be a well designed, fun level, as with all stages in most games, but it also had to be a good representation of Tostarena. This was a hard task, as Tostarena was originally from Super Mario Odyssey, in the format of a vast, sprawling desert, filled to the brim with things to do, and would take most people upwards of three hours to 100% complete on their first try. Mario is so agile in that game, so he could glide along the sandy desert hills with ease, but here in Captain Toad, it's in the format of a small, no pun intended, sandbox, that would take maybe four minutes to complete 100% on the first run, and the good Captain himself can only pluck turnips, and break into a brisk jog, so some major changes had to be made here!

First, lets tackle how Tostarena was scaled down. In Odyssey, the Sand Kingdom has main areas.
Tostarena Town
Desert Oasis
Moe-Eye Habitat
Northwest Reaches
Jaxi Ruins
Tostarena Ruins
Inverted Pyramid

In Captain Toads depiction of Tostarena however, there is:
Tostarena Ruins
Inverted Pyramid

That's less than 1/3! Some of these removals are particularly puzzling, mainly the colorful Tostarena Town itself, and Desert Oasis, where Captain Toad actually appears in Odyssey!

The areas they chose however, have been converted beautifully. Let's look at the main mechanics for both of these areas. Tostarena Ruins, has Bullet Bills to capture and fly around, and Goombas to capture and stack. There's also an icy cold underbelly to this whole area. All three of these are back in the Captain Toad rendition, but now in a different way. The Bullet Bills, instead of being used to grab many of Tostarena's Power Moons, are now a threat, having to be maneuvered around, and sometimes even taken advantage of to nab coins, or even reach the Power Moon at the end of the stage (I love that the Power Stars are now Moons in the Odyssey stages, that's so cool!). The Goombas, while having a sadly minuscule presence, are still here, hiding underground in the Ice Caverns, or running around beneath the Pyramid. Engaging with these guys is totally optional, unlike the Bullet Bills. The icy caves are also back, having you dip in there for a little bit at the start, but then later going head on into the cold, to brave the final sequence of the stage.

The areas around the Inverted Pyramid are very barren in Odyssey, with a few Power Moons here and there, maybe some coins or a Goomba. This is also very similar in the Captain Toad stage, with a few turnips, and two Goombas, just kinda kickin' around.

Now before I analyze the stage, I wanna talk about the really bizarre presentation of this stage. I'd be shocked if you weren't to notice the change in art style from the Wii U era to the Switch Era of Mario, with the Wii U games being more plastic-y, with harder, bolder shapes, and lots of shine. The Switch games, little as there has been, have had realistic textures and objects, with realistic lighting, but everything is still designed and presented in a cartoony way. This is where Captain Toad sits in an interesting spot, as the game was originally released for the Wii U in 2014, before being ported to the 3DS and Switch in 2018. This means that the Tostarena Stage is totally bizarre looking! The stage has realistic textures, with the sand, ice, pyramids, and all of the area itself, but Captain Toad, the Goombas, the Coins, and the Bullet Bills, all have the weird, plastic toy look to them. This is really cool to me, and makes the stage just a little bit more special, in that it represents a pretty drastic shift in art direction for the whole franchise.

I'd be wrong to not mention that its also really cool to see NDC and Tostarena on the 3DS!

The stage opens with that beautiful harmonica, and the player is set on their Tostarenian Conquest! The stage takes place during the first state of the Kingdom, in that there's ice and sand everywhere, which can be seen on this small starting area. This is a good way to kinda just get across the idea of Tostarena to new players, who might not have picked up Odyssey. Your only option is walk forward.

Upon doing this, you'll stroll unto a touchstone, which can then be lifted with a tap of the screen, or a precision-aimed click of the ZR button. This will lead our heavy-handling hero to the next obstacle. This is a tactic which is used A LOT in the New Super Mario Bros. games, almost to the point of total exhaustion. They give the player a safe and easy area to play around with the mechanic, but I would say it's kind of pointless here. This is the first stage AFTER the final showdown with Wingo, so you'd expect something difficult, but it instead chooses to reintroduce a mechanic that has been in play since the second level! It's really unnecessary to design the level like this, but we'll get back to this issue later.

Hot off the heels of that RIVETING Touchstone ride, a sandy pathway lies ahead. There's not really a whole lot here if I'm honest. There's some coins, there's a cool slope I guess, but its generally just a nice area to take in all the.....Tostarenianess about the stage. Anyway, after heading through the arch from the front of the Tostarena Ruins (nice touch), you get BLOWN TO FUCKING PIECES BY A BULLET BILL. I'm sure that if Bullet Bills had mouths, he would smirk as he disembodied that poor man. Well, you'd only get blown to shreds if you're stupid (which this level evidently seems to think you are...), as part of Captain Toads gameplay is to Stop, Look, Listen, LEAVE US KIDS ALONE!... Anyone remember those ads? No? Ok. Anyway, using this games fancy-schmancy camera to peer around the corner, you can dodge the Bullet Bills, by way of a Touchstone of course, and avoid a certain death. This area has one of those cool applications of multi-purpose design! Dodging the Bullet Bills, climbing above them, and lowering yourself into the next area, is all done by way of the same Touchstone! Nice work! (Also this area has one of the easiest Gems in the game, just being sat on a ledge that you'll probably make it to by accident anyway.)

This next spot is really cool, as it's multiple choice! Upon lowering yourself into the icy depths of the Sand Kingdom, you ponder, what magical entities could lay in these frosty ravines? As the lair is revealed your retinas are met with the grim image of.... a Touchstone that elevates you out of there and into the next area. Well that was easy! Now while you could choose to just leave the cavern and continue back to the sand, there is more to find. You'll probably notice that Goomba off to the right, guarding his loot, so you can take him out really easily, as there's a set of three... Turnip Leaves?... by your entrance, two of which being a coin, the other being a Turnip which can be used to wipe him out, and take that golden shower baby!... Part of me regrets writing that. For more attentive players, you can take a brief detour, even DEEPER into the underground, by moving the Touchstone you used to get in here back up, revealing a passage way, which will toss you way deeper into the ruins, feed you a Gold Mushroom, then throw you back up, nothing too exciting. Though that is a fourth use for that Touchstone!

Seeing the sunlight once again, Captain Toad must trek through moderate expanses of thin-sand and pointless enemies to make it out of this one! There's not a whole lot here, but that was kinda the point, as this area near the base of the Inverted Pyramid is very similar in Odyssey. There's some Turnips, some Goombas, not a whole lot else. Continuing down the main path, we have to either chase or be chased by a Bullet Bill. Not too hard to avoid, but its a cool way to implement the enemy in a new way, along with steering the player in the direction of the level with its positioning. At the end of the runway we come upon a Touchstone, which has a few uses. The main one is to walk onto it, and give it a poke to move to the next obstacle, Though if you lift it, and then run into it, you'll find a Gem stuck in the side of the cliff. I feel like they could of hid this in a bit more of a creative, and possibly more challenging way, as its the same secret they used for the Gold Mushroom earlier. Another thing you can do with this Touchstone, is kill that Bullet Bill by stomping on him, which is...fun? I guess.

This next obstacle, is quite frankly, bland and boring. Theres a moving platform you can walk onto, that will carry you to atop the arch near the beginning of the level. There's some coins and a infinitely respawning Turnip here.Then you walk onto... another moving platform. BUT WAIT, there's bricks that stand in your way! To get out of this, you'll have to!.... walk around them. Then you walk onto another platform. And then you walk onto the Pyramid. You can throw a Turnip to get a Gem. Yahoo. It's strikingly obvious that the level designers, just did not know how to get Captain Toad on top of the Pyramid, so they just kinda, move him there. There's no interesting, or cool level design choices, its just moving platforms. And these platforms never appear again! I get that these are supposed to be the platforms which lead to the Moe-Eye Habitat, but they really, didn't need to be here. And the worst of it is, what other magical, moving object is in this level already, and is the main gimmick, AND is the way you even get to this section? The Touchstones! If they didn't wanna do that, why not have a single moving platform instead of three of them, that just waste your time. This section is the rock bottom of the stage in terms of design, but when you're at rock bottom, things can only go up, so lets move on to the next part!

Once we lazily stroll onto the Inverted Pyramid, we can see a really good view of the level! Also, the Pyramid is really detailed, as it's even missing one of it's Jaxis that sit in each corner, which is the same in Odyssey until you collect the Power Moon that you receive for riding one into that corner. You can also cheat the third Gem by standing on the border of the Pyramid and chucking a Turnip from there, so you don't even have to do that awful last section's Gem challenge! In the corner of the Pyramid is a blue lever, which upon being pulled, does a BUNCH of stuff! I'm guessing someone just told an awful joke, because it breaks the ice that is keeping the Pyramid tethered to the ground allowing it make like a gamer and RISE UP, revealing a pit that leads us to the next section. It also changes the area to night time, which is gorgeous, and kinda makes me wish the whole stage would look like that! It even changes the music to that beautiful Tostarena Night Time theme. Lovely. This is all done to replicate the second part of the Sand Kingdom's main story, where it switches to night time, switches to this music, and the Pyramid rises, so that you can go the Deepest Underground and fight Knucklotec. This very well done in Captain Toad, and its a really sweet touch.

Heading down the sandy chute, we are faced, with the final challenge of this stage! This will test all we know! We have walked behind Bullet Bills! We have poked things! We have stood on platforms that move! We are ready! First though, the Moon beam is coming from a pile of sand. Now if this is a Moon beam, that means there's a Moon in the sand. If Captain could just take off his GODDAMN BACKPACK FOR ONCE, MAYBE HE COULD GET IT, BUT NOOOOOO WAY. I'M CAPTAIN TOAD, AND I NEED ALL OF THIS EQUIPMENT, EVEN THOUGH I'VE MADE IT THROUGH 70 FUCKING LEVELS WITHOUT ANY OF IT. WHY ARE YOU SO THRAN?..... ahem. Behind there's a Mushroom to prepare us for the task ahead, and we begin our final section of Tostarena.

First we are met with a Bullet Bill, and I'm guessing Captain must have a pretty sizable bounty on his head, because these wankers really seem to want him dead. Its the same as earlier, where we chase or be chased by him, and are met with another Touchstone, which can just be walked through, or lowered into a pile of dosh. Its the same secret idea, and its gotten a little repetitive at this point, but its harmless enough I guess. Then, lastly, we can lay our eyes on that beautiful Power Moon, and all that lay between us is, three Touchstones, and another set of Bullet Bills, sent by the Bob's Trust to feed his family. I would almost have the Captain killed for such a noble cause, but I'm afraid our friend Bob will have to wait. This puzzle is easy, all you have to do is lower the last one to be rid of those pesky bricks, lower yourself into the Bill's lair with the first Touchstone, evade the Bullets with the middle one, before raising yourself up to the glorious green Power Moon with that last one once more. There's not really a whole lot to be said about this room. It fleshes out the mechanic of using Touchstones to dodge Bullet Bills not too much so that its confusing, but not too little so that its too easy. It's a more complex puzzle, that uses mechanics that have practiced the entire stage, and its a fitting end. Also get this, y'know that Touchstone just before this last puzzle? That's the same Touchstone as the one outside the Inverted Pyramid that takes us to that dreadful moving platform section. And the first of the three in the final puzzle? Its the Touchstone as the very first one we used in the level! Excellent touch!

So, in conclusion, what do I think of this stage? It has some wonderful presentation, good music from the game its based on, and some tight level design, but fails from being generally, a bit too easy for this late in the game, and also has some repetitive tactics for secret hiding. (they do the thing with hiding secrets on the underside of Touchstones three times.) Its a great homage to a great level, from a great game, but it could use some tightening up.

This ends my look at "Secret Of The Inverted Pyramid" from Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Thanks for reading! Tune in next week where I'll take a look at maybe a handful of Smash Bros. stages, from the new game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! If you have any level or stage suggestions, please DM them to me on the forums!

Goodnight!

Racing Like the Staff

Written By: Yoshi876 (talk)

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 midst of the Autumn season, I thought the best track to highlight this would be Maple Treeway, where leaves are falling everywhere. On the whole, I liked the Leaf Cup from Mario Kart 7, reading about Kalimari Desert and Daisy Cruiser on the wiki before the game was announced really made me want to try these out, and DK Pass wasn't a bad course on Mario Kart DS. The only track I didn't like, ironically enough given this section, was Maple Treeway. I could never do it well on Mario Kart Wii and it is one of my weaker tracks on Mario Kart 7 as well.

The combination for normal staff is Wiggler with the Standard Kart, the Wooden tyres and the Super glider. The stats are as follows:

  • Speed – Just over three bars
  • Acceleration – Three bars
  • Weight – Just over three bars
  • Handling – Just under four bars
  • Off-road – Just under four bars

Kalimari Desert

I'm still dumbstruck that I ran into the train.

I don't think I got off to the best start here, and I was only up to fourth by the first Item Boxes. The Super Leaf didn't know much, apart from hit Wario but I was a little stupid and ran into the train. This didn't affect my position at the time, but I did soon drop to third, but being in the slipstream allowed me to pull ahead, and I remained ahead for the rest of the lap. And by lap, I mean race. I never pulled out an impressive lead, but at the same time I was never under threat.

DK Pass

Although I had a good start, I did drop to fourth briefly, although I was able to get up to first just after the first set of Item Boxes. Everything seemed to be going well, but Rosalina lobbed a Blue Shell my way, and I also fell off the cliff because of the explosion dropped me down to fifth. But some good drifts on my part did get me back to first because the track turned to snow. The rest of the race was a challenge as Koopa hit me with another Blue Shell dropping me to fourth, but I managed to get back into first by overtaking Shy Guy around the final corner. Didn't even need the Mushroom I had.

Daisy Cruiser

This seems to be my worst section of the track.

This was a really difficult race for me, due to items. I ended up down in fourth by the swimming pool section, but was able to overtake around all the tables, although Shy Guy got me in the final part of the lap with a Triple Green Shell. It was all downhill from there and I ended up down in seventh after some items, and I think I may have not been pressing my accelerator down all the way. I was only in sixth when we reached the final lap. But there things took a little turn for the better, although I wasted my Mushrooms my hitting a wall, a Bob-omb got me into fourth, and then Triple Mushroom meant I flew over Shy Guy and Yoshi for an, admittedly, undeserved win.

Maple Treeway

Maple Treeway is a track I really don't like, and all the reasons why piled in here. I was only first at the start of the race, after that a slew of items demoted me down and down the order, and I was just unable to catch up at any time, not even a Lucky 7 helped because of a Lightning Bolt. I consider it a small miracle that I actually managed to get fourth, because that was only through overtaking Daisy just before the finish line.

I was expecting a little bit more from this combination considering it had very well-rounded stats. Although speed was its downfall, I was still expecting to be able to take out a lead if possible and yet what actually happened was I would generally be ahead, but not by much, or in the latter two cases rarely at all. But I think this combination deserved more than the one-star rating I got, and I would recommend it to people to try out.

The expert staff combination is Wiggler in the Egg 1, with the Sponge tyres and the Flower glider, much like what King Boo used in Twisted Mansion for 200cc. The stats are as follows:

  • Speed – Just over three bars
  • Acceleration – Just under four bars
  • Weight – Just over two bars
  • Handling – Just over two bars
  • Off-road – Just under four bars

Kalimari Desert

It wasn't my best start, but thanks to a Mushroom I was soon up into first, although I did miss the shortcut out. Another thing that helped in my lead was just making it past the second train while no one else did. However, my lead wasn't absolute and Yoshi was able to keep up with me, and so when I was hit by a Blue Shell on the final lap he was able to claim the lead. I started catching, and just had enough track left to pip him to the post, but in a real-life sports event that would have required a photo finish.

DK Pass

Blue Shells don't massively hurt in this section.

Driving off the cliff at the start was not my smartest move, and as a result I did drop down to seventh, and was only able to reclaim the lead after the first set of Item Boxes on the second lap. From there, I did manage to pull out somewhat of a lead, but a Blue Shell and a Green Shell and Bullet Bill dropped me to fourth place, although I got that back near the top of the mountain. And then I faced no difficulties, after pulling out a banana just before a Red Shell, and Yoshi driving straight into a giant snowball.

Daisy Cruiser

This was a poor race from me to be honest, I dropped down to fourth, and then only got Super Leaves as my item. I dropped and gained places numerous times, and although I was close to reclaiming the lead at the start of the final lap, two Red Shells ended my dreams and I could never catch up to Yoshi, although I kept second place.

Maple Treeway

Surprised I wasn't hit by a lightning bolt given my luck.

I was never too far away with disaster on this track. I ended up down in last place just before the cannon due to a mixture of items, but I was able to fight back to fifth, and then exploit the shortcut at the start of the second lap to get into first. But this was short-lived as I drove straight into a Green Shell and dropped all the way to last. A Star got me back into fourth, and it was using the shortcut again that got me back into first. And this time, I actually managed to stay there.

Given the handling of this combination, I wasn't expecting it to be able to do a lot, but I was pleasantly surprised to find myself quite enjoying it. I can't put my failing on Daisy Cruiser down to anything this combination did, and again I feel like the two-star rating I got here didn't accurately reflect the way this combination worked. Overall, two very good combination that the staff used for Maple Treeway and I would recommend either of these.

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. 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

Written by: Superchao (talk)

Fun fact: his shirt reads "violent".

Hello, 'Shroom readers! It's your friendly neighborhood Superchao here, ready for the next edition of Mach Speed Mayhem! And this time around, I'm bringing you one more handpicked choice of racer. Like Captain Falcon and Black Shadow, he's one of the few who's well-known even outside of the F-Zero series itself. I knew people would probably vote him in quickly, so I decided to get him out of the way. Today, we're going to take a long look at #05: Samurai Goroh!

I'll get you next time, Gadget!

Originally appearing in F-Zero on the SNES, Samurai Goroh was one of the four racers available, although in-game he was never named or shown - like everyone in that game, you only knew you were driving the Fire Stingray. The manual's comic shed a bit more light on him and gave him his design - he's a samurai-themed bounty hunter and bandit leader, and a rival to Captain Falcon who makes his base in the Red Canyon area. His rivalry leads him to chase down Falcon and try to steal a bounty from him, but Falcon outwits him and escapes, leading them to compete in the F-Zero Grand Prix. Interestingly, while Falcon's outfit would undergo some redesigns later on, a lot of Goroh's basics would remain the same - his design doesn't change at all over the years, his rivalry with Falcon and his bounty hunting profession remain the same, and Red Canyon even stays as his base of operations.

While F-Zero X didn't edit Samurai Goroh's backstory, it definitely expanded on it. The most significant change was introducing his ex-partner and now rival, Antonio Guster, as a different driver while filling the roster up from 4 to 30. Guster was Goroh's longtime bounty hunter/bandit buddy, his right-hand man. Then, for reasons unknown, Goroh left him to be captured by the cops. (The space cops.) Guster made his escape and now seeks only to gain revenge on Goroh, who for his part, continues to race F-Zero for the primary purpose of defeating and showing up Captain Falcon. Doesn't matter how, he just wants to wreck Falcon! As an interesting side-note, Samurai Goroh is one of the only three characters who got a redesign and a super version of their machine in the F-Zero X Expansion Kit, getting a biker-style outfit with his Super Stingray. Captain Falcon was the second (my apologies for not covering that in his section), and the third... you'll see!

More like Biker Goroh

F-Zero GX and F-Zero AX would both give expansions to the Goroh Lore (Loreoh?) in some way of their own. GX took advantage of his existing rivalry with Captain Falcon to make an entire story mode chapter about it! Chapter 2 of Story Mode is about Falcon Falcon driving into an ambush set up for him in Red Canyon, where Goroh challenges him to a race. After all, he knows the rule here in Red Canyon - if you lose the race, YOU FORFEIT YOUR MACHINE! The race itself for the chapter is a straight shot to the finish, all about outdoing Goroh while dodging the eight million rocks the course is hurling at you. Goroh gets his comeuppance when the Fire Stingray explodes upon defeat, but he does make a return for the Grand Prix, along with everyone else in the original thirty - fittingly, he's one of the most aggressive drivers there. Beyond that, he's just one of the four default racers in GX, and his post-race interviews are all Goroh talking about how absolutely great he is. Nothing too special. However, AX gave us a big surprise with its ten new racers - One of them is his son, Daigoroh! I won't touch on Daigoroh too much here, but the kid themes himself around Goroh and has a lot of respect for him. Apparently Goroh isn't totally hopeless - heck, Princia Ramode thinks he's very appealing. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose! Goroh would also get to appear as playable in AX as one of the original four racers, while every X-debuting racer was tossed from playable in AX.

Real men drive pink.

His machine, the Fire Stingray, is designed for slow startup and high max speed. In the original SNES game, it was the heaviest machine with the highest max speed, giving it low acceleration but letting it really get going once it had enough time. Not that the weight was a help when it came to shoving others around, though - the SNES game was pretty unfriendly to people trying to win through violence. It's F-Zero X where the machine really got its unique identity, as a tough machine with a strong grip, letting it take corners effectively while also withstanding hits upon its frame. The main drawback is the weak boost - the Fire Stingray doesn't have a good booster, meaning that once YOU GOT BOOST POWER your rivals can boost past it effectively. It retains the low acceleration and high max speed, taking some time to get up to gear but leaving other racers in the dust once it's successfully caught up well. While the Fire Stingray lacks any special backstory in the games, it gets one in the anime - Samurai Goroh's wife, Lisa Brilliant, designed and colored it, while he did the same for her machine.

Look at that chin. Look at it!

Speaking of the anime, F-Zero: GP Legend keeps Samurai Goroh as a important recurring character... but rewrites quite a bit about him! First of all, he becomes much more of the Noble Bandit archetype, dropping his more jerkass tendencies from the games and instead making him an ally on the other side of the law. Most of his appearances are about him fighting off a more evil threat, such as Antonio Guster, a set of anime-original bandits, or Dark Million. He also gains a bunch more connections, such as having his crew of bandits actually made into characters, or getting his wife Lisa Brilliant introduced as an F-Zero racer. Unfortunately, different continuities means that Lisa Brilliant isn't the mother of Daigoroh, or we'd know his whole family. And finally, he has NO connection with Captain Falcon! Not a bit. Instead, Goroh is presented as both a rival to and friend of main character Rick Wheeler, the two of them gradually forging an odd friendship over the course of the series. In the final episodes, Goroh is even the one who helps Rick prepare to face his destiny with Captain Falcon and Black Shadow. Also he looks a lot more ruggedly handsome in the anime - guess they felt his game design wouldn't fly that well with making him one of the good guys, or something. Goroh doesn't show up THAT regularly, but he gets multiple episodes about him and plays a major role in a few others, so they didn't completely bury the rival of Captain Falcon.

Oh, and we can't forget Super Smash Bros. Samurai Goroh shows up in Brawl, getting an Assist Trophy appearance and making him the only F-Zero character besides Captain Falcon to have a Smash Bros appearance... I shouldn't have done BOTH of them before the Smash special, should I? Oh well. Anyhow, he keeps this role in Wii U/3DS and in Ultimate, showing up for the purposes of hacking and slashing at your opponents. He also showed up in the intro of Melee, getting run off the track by Falcon. It's a shame he's not playable, but we're lucky we even keep what F-Zero stuff we have, with how much the series is in stasis...

All in all, Samurai Goroh is really a cornerstone of the series. There's a reason I did him third without asking, and that's because I knew he'd be one of the most recognizable faces. I'd like to see him and Falcon finally settle it in a future F-Zero game someday! And with our discussion about Goroh completed... it's time for you to come in, loyal readers! From here on out, except for special issues, I won't be deciding who comes next for each edition of Mach Speed Mayhem. That's up to you! Just vote that I've created for this purpose by posting who you'd like to see in the next issue. Voting will last until December 8th, at which point I'll call the tally for the character with the most votes and lock them in as my December writeup. I look forward to you guys showing me just who you wanna see earlier rather than later, and providing you with that character. So don't delay, vote today!

Pokédex Power

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

It's a Weather Pokémon, although cellular or downright strange would also work.

Hello everyone, it's me, Yoshi876 again with a new edition of Pokédex Power, the section written by the person who the other day was experiencing weather that literally could not decide what it wanted to do. We would be getting rain showers that would last for literally 20 seconds, before loads of shining sunlight. So, with weather conditions being that changeable, I figured there was only Pokémon that I could analyse for this month's Pokédex Power: Castform.

I love Castform as a Pokémon. As much as I love Pokémon that are based off of real-world animals or objects, I love it when the creators come up with something so far-removed from what you're expecting. And Generation III was really good with this, with Absol the disaster-predicting Pokémon to the ancient Baltoy and Claydol to Shiftry. And of course, Castform, the Pokémon that changes form according to the weather.

But despite my love of Castform's concept, I rarely find myself using it. I think it's because I generally shy away from using normal types, but I did train a Castform up in Pokémon Black 2 as one of the key components for my Dragon-gym-slaying team. And I must say, Castform performed admirably, although maybe I should've changed the weather to get some Ice-STAB. But I've said it many a time, I might like a Pokémon, but that doesn't always translate into liking its Pokédex entries.

Generation III

Pokémon Ruby Castform's appearance changes with the weather. This Pokémon gained the ability to use the vast power of nature to protect its tiny body.
Pokémon Sapphire Castform borrows the power of nature to transform itself into guises of the sun, rain clouds, and snow clouds. This Pokémon's feelings change with the weather.
Pokémon Emerald It alters its form depending on the weather. Changes in the climate such as the temperature and humidity appear to affect its cellular structure.
Pokémon FireRed It has the ability to change its form into the sun, the rain, or a snow cloud, depending on the weather.
Pokémon LeafGreen It has the ability to change its form into the sun, the rain, or a snow cloud, depending on the weather.

With Castform's main draw being its ability to change forms according to the weather, it's really no surprise to see it take front and centre in its Pokédex entries. But I have issues with the use of the word “gained” I could totally see this being an evolutionary thing, but when I see gained I imagine Castform going on some sort of quest from the Weather Gods and be given that as a reward. I'd also like to know a little bit more on how its feelings change with the weather, like does it get hot-headed when the sun, for example? Other than that, it's a great start to its entries.

Generation IV

Pokémon Diamond Its appearance changes with the weather. Recently, its molecules were found to be just like water.
Pokémon Pearl Its appearance changes with the weather. Recently, its molecules were found to be just like water.
Pokémon Platinum Its appearance changes with the weather. Recently, its molecules were found to be just like water.
Pokémon HeartGold This Pokémon can change its cells, taking different forms based on the temperature and humidity.
Pokémon SoulSilver This Pokémon can change its cells, taking different forms based on the temperature and humidity.

It's interesting to see that Pokédex entries suggest a lot of research is being carried out on Castform as we now have more understanding on its molecular make-up. Perhaps this is what allows it to change its weather form when the temperature and humidity is correct. Sadly, we don't get a lot extra on this.

Generation V

Pokémon Black Its appearance changes with the weather. Recently, its molecules were found to be just like water.
Pokémon White Its appearance changes with the weather. Recently, its molecules were found to be just like water.
Pokémon Black 2 Temperature and weather affect its cellular structure, so this Pokémon changes form according to the weather.
Pokémon White 2 Temperature and weather affect its cellular structure, so this Pokémon changes form according to the weather.

Although Black and White 2 are technically written different from the previous Pokédex entries, nothing new is actually added.

Generation VI

Pokémon X This Pokémon can change its cells, taking different forms based on the temperature and humidity.
Pokémon Y This Pokémon can change its cells, taking different forms based on the temperature and humidity.
Pokémon Omega Ruby Castform's appearance changes with the weather. This Pokémon gained the ability to use the vast power of nature to protect its tiny body.
Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Castform borrows the power of nature to transform itself into guises of the sun, rain clouds, and snow-clouds. This Pokémon's feelings change with the weather.

Has Generation VI ever added anything different?

Generation VII

Pokémon Sun It changes its form depending on the weather. Changes in the temperature or humidity appear to affect its cellular structure.
Pokémon Moon Its form changes on its own, due to its cells' sensitive reactions to temperature and humidity.
Pokémon Ultra Sun Although its form changes with the weather, that is apparently the result of a chemical reaction and not the result of its own free will.
Pokémon Ultra Moon Its form changes according to the weather. The rougher conditions get, the rougher Castform's disposition!

Sun is just a Pokedex entry we've read many a time, but the rest do attempt to spice some things up. Both Moon and Ultra Sun give further explanation as to why Castform changes, putting it down to a chemical reaction within its cells, and Ultra Moon goes back to one of Castform's original entries by further explaining its emotions over this. So Sunny Castform seems to be happy, as rough weather conditions really only happen with heavy rainstorms or snowstorms. So at least in Summer, we get a happy Castform.

Sunny Form

Pokémon Sun This is the form Castform takes on the brightest of days. Its skin is unexpectedly hot to the touch, so approach with care.
Pokémon Moon This is Castform's form when basking in fair weather. Its body is warm and toasty.
Pokémon Ultra Sun This is the form Castform takes on bright days. In an experiment where Castform was placed in front of a heater, it didn't change to this form.
Pokémon Ultra Moon Castform changes to this form when it basks in bright sunlight! When you touch its glowing skin, it feels all dried out!

Ordinarily, Pokédex Power would be ending right around now, but instead Generation VII also gives us insight into all of Castform's different forms, starting with the Sunny form. That said though, Sunny Castform can't seem to decide what it is. It's either unexpectedly hot, or warm and toasty or all dried out. I'm not disputing that it's all of these things, I just don't feel like warm and toasty go with all dried out. And also, this “unexpectedly hot” thing annoys me. It looks like a sun, who on earth is not expecting this thing to be hot? If you touch it and burn yourself, you deserve to be burnt! Ultra Sun offers an interesting insight into Castform study, with it not changing in front of the heater. So perhaps it can sense something in the air currents as well that triggers its transformation instead of man-made interference.

Rainy Form

Pokémon Sun This is the form Castform takes when soaked with rain. When its body is compressed, water will seep out as if from a sponge.
Pokémon Moon This is Castform's form during a downpour of rain. Its body retains moisture and gets slippery.
Pokémon Ultra Sun Castform changes to this form when rain hits it. Its body is soft and slightly swollen with water.
Pokémon Ultra Moon This is Castform's form when pelted by rain. In an experiment where it was placed in a shower, this Pokémon didn't change to this form.

Ultra Moon looks at another experiment, similar to the Sunny form one. As for the other entries, they're quite cool, if similar. I can actually picture someone squishing a Castform and it seeping water out, though I hope people aren't actually using it as a cleaning sponge

Snowy Form

Pokémon Sun This is the form Castform takes when covered in snow. Its body becomes an ice-like material, with a temperature near 23 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pokémon Moon This is Castform's form when caught in a hailstorm. Its cold skin is smooth as ice.
Pokémon Ultra Sun This is the form Castform takes when hit by hail. In an experiment where it was placed in a freezer, it didn't change to this form.
Pokémon Ultra Moon This is Castform's form when caught in a hailstorm. Its whole body is chilled, and its skin is partially frozen!

Much like the previous forms, there is an experiment one in here. Though I fail to see the excitement with Ultra Moon, should it really be that surprising that what has now become an Ice-type Pokémon has skin like ice? I don't think these entries are as good as the other form entries, but they're an entertaining read at least.

Conclusion Castform's main entries, unsurprisingly, focus on its body-changing ability, and yet the generations that didn't just rehash old entries were always able to add new things onto it, like it was a Pokémon under research and having new discoveries published. But with always being the focus, it did run the risk of being one-note, but thankfully Generation VII was able to fix that by adding in entries on all its weather forms. Ice is probably the weakest entries, as there's nothing interesting about it being Ice, then it's the Sun form, with the Rain form giving us the best entries. Though honestly people, do not go using your Castform as a sponge.

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