The 'Shroom:Issue 141/Strategy Wing
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Happy holidays from all of us at Strategy Wing! Ultimate is out now and I can say from experience that it's a
Just like Smash Bros., Strategy Wing gets even better as the roster expands, so please consider signing up and writing a section. Ultimate ought to provide plenty of material for a Strategy Wing section, but feel free to pitch any ideas our way that you feel would fit in here. All of that said, first and foremost you ought to read down and enjoy the issue. Have a wonderful holiday and, whether you have it or plan to get it sometime down the road, enjoy Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Section of the Month
A look at Castform's Pokédex entries earns Yoshi876 (talk) a joint first place with Parakoopa144 (talk) and his exploration of Tostarena from Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for the Nintendo Switch. Superchao (talk) takes second with last month's overview of Samurai Goroh. Congratulations to all of our writers. As for readers, be sure to keep voting!
Tips and Challenges
PK144 smashes his way through the highs and lows of three Mario stages in Ultimate.
History and Facts
GPM1000 plays the Ghost of Mario Past and looks at titles from Decembers of yore.
Learn about Blood Falcon, F-Zero's obligatory evil clone of Captain Falcon.
PK144's Course Corner
Hey there, welcome to the third edition of PK144's Course Corner!
Christmas has come once again, and this year it brings us quite the gift, a new Smash Bros. to be exact! Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is upon us, and it tells no lies in its title! This game has seventy-four fighters, with six more to come, and 103 stages, with five more to come! Now, obviously Mario is getting loads of attention with eight fighters, nine with the advent of Piranha Plant, and twenty-two FUCKING STAGES (including Wario and Yoshi series stages). Now while I can't go over all of them. I will go over a handful of them, so let's waste no time, and dig right in!
Lets start simple. This stage is based off of Super Mario Galaxy (2007), and Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010). There are all sorts of cool details, like the Starship Mario in the background, the house from Galaxy 1, and even Lubba. There are ships, planets, it's just gorgeous in general, and nails the look of Galaxy. My issue is, is that it makes me want a Mario Galaxy HD remake, really badly! I can't imagine how Mother fans feel... From a design perspective, this stage is a bit flawed. The whole stage is affected by curved gravity, so don't worry about messing up any of your sick Wolf blaster trick-shots! The design itself is arguably the simplest design in the game, bar Final Destination. At the right there's a yellow platform. At the left there's a red platform that's a bit higher up. Fin. This stage has one fatal flaw however, and that's character balance. Some characters will have a WAY easier time on this stage than others, due to the fact that it's impossible to fall off stage. This means that fighters like Pichu, Mario, and Sonic, who have really good back throws, will dominate here, though characters like Luigi, Samus, Dark Samus, and Link will have some difficulty. Though this might be fun for the player who's using Dr Mario, the poor man using Jigglypuff isn't gonna have much fun fighting his best, before being tossed off stage at 45% like a used tissue. Though Ridley suicide KOs are fun on this stage.
Stage Rating: 6/10
With pretty much every Smash Bros. game, there comes loads of good stages, but then there are a few stinkers in the batch. Some these disasters include Icicle Mountain, Palutena's Temple, Hanenbow, Rumble Falls, and then Mushroomy Kingdom. This stage seems to be often regarded as the magnum opus of trash scrollers, and I can't say I disagree too far. In terms of design, this isn't exactly too creative. It's a 1:1 replica of World 1-1 from Super Mario Bros., with a scrolling screen to make it a fit for Smash Bros. This stage looks extremely bizarre. It's hyperealistic, with the remains of crumbling castles in the background, scuffs and marks across the pipes, and the visible woodgrain of the item blocks. Sakurai also mentioned on the Brawl Dojo, that this is apparently what World 1-1 looks like after being abandoned for 30+ years, which is a tidbit I love to death. The stage isn't too bad to play on, but it has the same issue that The Subspace Emissary had. It feels like a fighting game that's been forced into a platformer that it didn't need to be. Some fun facts about this stage, the pipes are actually gated over, so you can't get down them. Also, in its original state in Brawl, there was a chance that upon loading it, it would load a totally different map, that was World 1-2 from Super Mario Bros. Sadly this secret was lost in the translation to Smash 3DS, then Ultimate.
Stage Rating: 5/10
Now this is how you make a stage! Out of seven original stages for Ultimate, luckily for us, one of them is based off of New Donk City from Super Mario Odyssey! The stage is very similar to Delfino Plaza and Halberd, having a central platform that takes the players to different areas. This stage shines, in that there is no character imbalance to be seen, and while the idea of a moving stage may be scary, as it could lead to some annoying obstacles, the locations you go to hit the perfect balance of "not too intrusive to get in your way", and "noticeable enough, so that you can use new techniques on the arena". Also, hitting each member of the NDC Band will cause them to start playing, which is fun. The stage also looks great too, with some spot on recreations of locations from Odyssey. I just wish we could see the city in the rain, like when you first visit NDC in Odyssey. That would be beautiful!
Stage Rating: 8/10
And that's a wrap! I was going to do five stages originally, but I've come to the realization that Smash Bros. stage design, is extremely simple, and there's not really a whole lot I can write about it. Anyway, if you have any requests for stage sections, go on ahead and send me a PM on the forums! Merry Christmas!
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.
To tell the truth, this section was originally going to be Mount Wario on Mario Kart 8, and seeing as Mount Wario is an absolutely amazing track, we all would have loved the section. Unfortunately, however, I recently moved house and have yet to set up both my Wii U and Nintendo Switch, so the only console I have lying around is my 3DS. Now, we could do a repeat of last month's section and do the Leaf Cup all over again, but I decided to do instead do Rosalina's Ice World as my combination for this month, so sit back because I had to go through the credits for Mario Kart 7 twice.
The combination for normal staff is Rosalina with the Standard Kart, the Sponge tyres and the Parafoil. Shame that most normal staff ghosts seem to use the Standard Kart body, it's probably one of my least favourite parts. Anyhow, the stats are as follows:
I didn't get off to a great start, as I was only up to sixth by the first set of Item Boxes, and didn't get any as they were all taken. Thankfully, as the other racers took themselves out, I was able to advance, but not as much as I would have liked due to hitting a Tiki Goon. Things then got worse, as before the temple I fell off the track, getting demoted back into sixth place. Skillful driving got me up to fourth as the lap ended, but before I could perform a snaking manoeuvre on Honey Queen, I was hit by lightning. But I did then get the Lucky 7, and using the Star I got into first place, unfortunately Peach stole my Mushroom so I didn't pull out an amazing lead. But the lead I did get meant that when I was hit by a Blue Shell just outside the temple, only Shy Guy could overtake me, despite my fall into the water, and I reclaimed first before the end of the lap. History repeated itself as I finished the third lap, as I was hit by a Blue Shell again in the exact same section. Unfortunately, this retelling wasn't completely faithful, and this time I was unable to overtake Shy Guy before the end of the race.
Rosalina's Ice World
The race went off to a great start, and I quickly got past Shy Guy and into first place. And to top things off, just before the cave section, he drove straight into my Banana. Peach then had the same idea with me, and snaked me, before I hit her Banana, demoting me down to fourth. I managed to get back to third, before resorting to Triple Red Shells, and claiming back first place. Nothing really happened on the second lap, other than me getting revenge on Peach when she tried overtaking and instead drove into my Banana. Victory seemed certain, but near the end of the final lap, I was once hit again by a Blue Shell, and this time Koopa overtook me, and it was too close to the finish to get the place back, so I ended up the bridesmaid once again.
I didn't get the best of starts, and I ended up ending up in fifth just past the first set of Item Boxes. My race then got worse, as I misjudged my position and drove into some lava instead of the platform it was on. Triple Mushrooms proved to be my saving grace for that lap, but just as I used the last one, we were struck by lightning. This blast proved to be a blessing in surprise, as the two in front of me were gliding during that time and fell into the lava, meaning I was able to sail right past them. Peach overtook me at the end section of the second lap, but a Blue Shell had recently been fired, so she didn't keep that first for long. And despite the previous races, this one managed to run smoothly and I got my first victory of the Grand Prix.
There's not a lot to report on for this track. I led from the start, and despite Koopa briefly overtaking during one of the earlier sections, I soon regained the lead and faced no challenges; despite almost an army of Red Shells being launched my way.
Although it's not a combination I would generally use, although I do love my Sponge tyres, I did enjoy this combination. It's a shame that I only got a two-star rating, but considering my start I was half-expecting a one-star rating. I do believe that I would have gotten a three-star rating had it not been for Blue Shells at the end, and I would recommend this combination to anyone, you barely notice the low handling, I even saved myself from driving off track on Rosalina's Ice World at one point despite this low stat.
The expert staff combination is Rosalina in the Gherkin (Zucchini), with the Red Monster tyres and the Super glider, and I must say I never expected Rosalina to ever drive with the Red Monster tyres. The stats are as follows:
Start-wise, it went well and I managed to get this monster up into third place, but one of Peach's Bananas spelt the start of a world of woes for me. A combination of hitting stuff and low starting speed demoted me all the way down to sixth, but the combination's impressive speed managed to get me up to second place before the end of temple. I was unable to get Peach, and instead collided with her Green Shell, meaning that I had to waste my Mushroom to get back up to speed. I then entered into an interesting clash with Honey Queen, and despite us both colliding with Tiki Goons, I came out on top. I was about to overtake Peach before the end of the temple, but a Lightning strike spoiled that, but I did manage to get her before the end of the lap. And then, nothing interesting happened and I won the race.
Rosalina's Ice World
I managed to start well, and keep my lead but just as we entered the cave section, Honey Queen hit me with Fireballs and I fell down to third place. Thankfully, she also hit Lakitu with the Fireballs, so I easily reclaimed second. And just as the second lap began, I steered her into my banana and reclaimed first place. Things went smoothly, until I was hit by something on the final lap, and another Fireball slowed me down. Thankfully, despite meeting an icicle, I got the Boost Pads and managed to overtake for the win just before the cave section ended.
I have no idea what happened at the start. One second, I was battling, the next I seemed to have been hit by an armada of objects and found myself all the way down in seventh. Similarly, I was soon back up to third place. This soon went down to fourth though, as I was struck by Lightning during the gliding section. My race didn't immediately get better either as more items hit into me dropping me to fifth. Thankfully, a Star saved my lap, and just as we got onto the final lap, I overtook Lakitu for the lead. And other than a brief spell in second, there was nothing else to note as I won this race as well.
So I found out weight doesn't mean much, as Lakitu and Koopa were able to bash me around, but despite some issues, including dropping down to fifth, I managed to find myself in the lead by the end of the first sector. The second sector went mostly alright, but I was hit by a Fireball, dropping me to second. Thankfully, Peach drove off the track, and I reclaimed my lead and faced no opposition for the final victory.
Despite getting the full three-star rating with this combination, I'm not a fan of it. I've always preferred combinations that favour acceleration, and it is so jarring when you've had to stop to get back to your top speed. It flies on the high points, but it really bogs down a lot.
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, probably. If you've got a combination you'd like me to review next, feel free to private message me on the forums.
Hey everyone, what's up, and happy holidays! Welcome back to Mario Calendar!
Mach Speed Mayhem
Hello, 'Shroom readers! Welcome to the first fan-voted section of Mach Speed Mayhem! I asked who you wanted and you answered in the forum thread, and now I'm here to deliver with the winner of the vote,: Blood Falcon! Blood Falcon is nothing less than Captain Falcon's evil clone, created solely to outdo and replace him - and he's completely fine with doing that!
F-Zero X was the first appearance of Blood Falcon, joining the other 25 racers created for that game. In it, the basics of Blood Falcon's story were laid out, and I do mean basics - the manual didn't have much room to cram in the story of each character. It did tell us who made him, though! Black Shadow, in an effort to defeat Captain Falcon once and for all, created Blood Falcon to be his perfect match. His equal in skill, strength, and capabilities, but not in personality. In order to ensure he focuses entirely on his mission, Blood Falcon is completely evil, dark-hearted and ready to kill Captain Falcon on the orders of his master. Of course, since X doesn't show much of the characters in any way beyond them racing, we don't see this except for the times he tries to attack the Blue Falcon in a race.
F-Zero GX, on the other hand? That's where Blood Falcon gets some interesting screentime. First, his biography in that game expands on when he was created; namely, four years prior to GX as a result of the Huge Accident. This is our first mention of the Huge Accident in Mach Speed Mayhem, but it'll come up multiple times in the future. The details of the Huge Accident are largely unknown, beyond that it was a severe crash that injured many racers and led to temporary suspension of F-Zero races, but it factors into the backstories of several characters. In this case, it matters because of Captain Falcon being injured in the Huge Accident... letting an agent of Black Shadow steal a sample of his DNA. That was all Black Shadow needed to create Blood Falcon, and teach him how to be evil. GX also shows Blood Falcon in the Story Mode as well, in both Chapters 6 and 7. In Chapter 6, he assists Black Shadow in placing a speed-activated bomb on the Blue Falcon, putting Captain Falcon in a dangerous deathtrap. Where people really remember him from, however, is Chapter 7. Like Black Shadow, Blood Falcon is intentionally given an overpowered machine to help him outdo you the entire race - and unlike Black Shadow, there's no easy way to kill him every single time. Either knock him out during the middle of the race by positioning the Blue Falcon juuust right, or outrace him - and on the higher difficulties, he will even sacrifice his own lead to try and crash the Blue Falcon. Just another part of why Chapter 7 is so infamous! Not that Blood Falcon has any loyalty in the Grand Prix mode. In his interviews after the races, he's all too happy to boast about crushing Black Shadow and Captain Falcon both, all in the name of claiming victory. And he suggests there might be other clones out there...
Onto his car. The Blood Hawk is Blood Falcon's personal ride, and since he's a clone of Captain Falcon, you might expect his car to also be a clone of the Blue Falcon - a Red Falcon, perhaps? You'd be wrong. That was, however, the original plan! Black Shadow's minions realized during the process that they weren't going to beat Captain Falcon with his own car, so they modified the Blood Hawk to have a more powerful boost. This did, however, sacrifice some grip power... and by some, I mean a lot. The Blood Hawk is notable in both X and GX as being one of the slipperiest cars around, prone to sliding on almost any turn. Of course, in the hands of someone good enough to master this sliding, the car can put out great performances; in F-Zero X, the Blood Hawk has gained multiple world records through it! It's outclassed by other cars in GX, but it can still pay off once someone overcomes the learning curve. Oh, and I know the car says Hell Hawk. Hell Hawk is the Japanese name, but NOA decided not to name it Hell, and thus we got the Blood Hawk in all American F-Zero games.
Naturally, Blood Falcon would appear in the anime. You can't pass up something as obvious as EVIL CLONES when you're writing anime scripts! However, rather than being a regular character, Blood Falcon is the first example of a character of the day in the F-Zero anime. Admittedly, in his case, that's five days, but he doesn't appear regularly. He only shows up with any kind of a speaking role in five episodes, which means I can actually talk about all of them individually! His first episode is in the second half of the series, after a two-parter that ends with Black Shadow obtaining Dr. Stewart's medical research. Using that, he creates Blood Falcon and sends him out to challenge and defeat Captain Falcon, and while Blood Falcon does get close to winning, his machine can't take the strain and crashes at the last minute. Before anyone can interrogate him, though, the Blood Hawk violently explodes and kills him. Thanks to being a clone, though, he's back the very next episode - in fact, the previous episode ended with a shot of Blood Falcons in tubes. He's not the focus, but he appears in the final stretch of the episode when the writers realized they should have some more action. Using the Blood Hawk, he trounces almost all of the heroes, before being tricked into driving off a cliff and exploding again.
The next episode, we see Blood Falcon, his brother, his brother, his brother... in fact, this episode features an impressive nineteen Blood Falcons, created by using the Reactor Might macguffin for mass production, who infiltrate a race in disguise to overwhelm the five real racers who were still in the field. And look, they even have color-coded scarves! That's great. This actually ends up being a ruse by Black Shadow, though - he dumps Captain Falcon, Rick Wheeler, and the nineteen Blood Falcons into a dark world where he already sent Zoda. Three of them are wrecked by our heroes, while Zoda uses his Reactor Might to absorb the other sixteen and become Hyper Zoda, because he can do that. Thanks to this, the Blood Falcon survival rate remains at an acceptable 0%.
After this episode, Blood Falcon would take a break, until he finally comes back several episodes later when the last Reactor Might is found (the second of two to not already be in someone's possession at the start of the series...) Tasked by Black Shadow to retrieve it for his own use, Blood Falcon heads to another planet, finds the Reactor Might, and calls Captain Falcon and Rick Wheeler to challenge them for their Reactor Mights. Ultimately, the combined power of the Rick, Falcon, and Blood Reactor Mights opens a wormhole that dumps both Captain Falcon and Blood Falcon into it, to their seeming demise. This is immediately followed by an episode where Black Shadow decides to solve a problem by throwing another Blood Falcon at it, this one capable of shapeshifting into different disguises by taking on a liquid metal form. He replaces the chief of the Mobile Task Force and temporarily impersonates other good guys, sowing distrust and discord until he's exposed. Then he just tries to kill everyone and gets blown up by getting driven into a burning building. The fact that Blood Falcon is back after he fell into a wormhole is taken as evidence of his escape and that Captain Falcon could have escaped... despite the fact that he's a clone and they saw nineteen Blood Falcons at once in a previous episode.
Sometimes the anime was pretty dumb. (Captain Falcon escaped, of course, because he's Captain Falcon).
Finally, just like Samurai Goroh, Blood Falcon has the distinction of appearing outside of F-Zero itself! ...Kinda sorta. In Super Smash Bros, ever since the very first game, one of Captain Falcon's alternate costumes has been a Blood Falcon palette. Not only does he have the helmet, gloves, jacket and entire outfit colored in Blood Falcon's colors, but from Melee on, Captain Falcon's regular costumes have had the Blue Falcon depicted on the back of his jacket (which can also be seen in GX). For the Blood Falcon costume, it changes to a 25 with a skull and the words Blood Hawk on the back, making it even clearer that it's explicitly Blood Falcon and not just Blood-colored Captain Falcon alt. As usual, it says Hell Hawk in all the Japanese Smash releases to match the Japanese name of the car, and has been changed in every game from Melee through Ultimate to match the name we know for Blood Falcon's car. That's all we get of him in Smash, besides trophies and spirits - he would have made a good Echo fighter in Ultimate as Falcon's literal clone, but alas it was not to be.
Thanks for reading the section! If you'd like to decide who I discuss in the January edition of Mach Speed Mayhem, please vote in the section's forum thread. Voting will close January 5th, so make sure you get your vote in before that happens if you want to influence who shows up next!
Hello everyone, it's me, Yoshi876 again with a new edition of Pokédex Power, the section written by the person who promised you spookiness for Halloween and will deliver as this month we are going to be looking at Froslass. Froslass was introduced when Generation IV decided that almost every Pokémon going should have another evolution, so what Froslass is is the female equivalent of a Glalie, except so so much better.
Froslass is an interesting Pokémon, as I do love my Ghost-types, as my forum nickname may slightly give away, and Froslass is not an exception. However, I don't get the point of Froslass, and I think it might've worked better as a standalone Pokémon as opposed to another evolution of Snorunt. And fun fact, with me covering Froslass in this edition, it's the first time that we've covered another Pokémon in the same evolutionary line.
I don't think I've ever used a Froslass, and similarly I stopped watching the anime at around Generation IV so I never really saw Froslass in the anime, so I can't pass a lot of judgement on how I think it is in the games or anime. It was a fun capture in Pokémon Ranger 2 though.
The Pokédex entries for Froslass start off reasonably well. We learn that it can shoot ice, the rough temperature that it the ice is, and some rumours as to how it came to be. The hollow body fact is interesting, mainly because why does Froslass need to eat if it's hollow? The food would just surely fall through it, unless like many other Ghost-types, it's feeding on souls and life energy, which would make sense as Froslass then proceeds to store their bodies as some macabre decoration. But now I want to know a bit more about why it does this. I would prefer it if the temperature could remain consistent, we're only a generation in and it already can't decide that temperature its breath should be. And the HeartGold and SoulSilver just further fuel my belief that Froslass should be a standalone Pokemon, as the legend would be interesting if we didn't already know that it evolved from a Snorunt.
Generation V copies some Generation IV entries as per usual, but they could've made it interesting by stealing the legend entry instead of the breath one.
At least we got the legend fact this time around.
Sun further adds to the decoration fact, by saying that it freezes both Pokémon and humans that it likes, so maybe in Generation IV it was thought that Froslass preyed on them, but instead it just wants them as some grotesque version of Madame Tussauds. Ultra Sun continues this trend by saying that it targets only “handsome” men, and let me tell you honey, I think I might be a Froslass based on my dating preferences. Moon however goes against my previous analysis by saying it does feed on the men, although perhaps it feeds and then stores, which would make some form of sense. Moon also really makes me wish Froslass was a standalone Pokémon again, although possessing an icicle is a pretty poor reason to be a Pokémon, although I'm fairly certain that's how the sandcastle ones came about. Ultra Moon is a nice spooky entry to end the year on. So remember dear readers, if there's a blizzard outside, and you're handsome there could be a Froslass at your door. Or me.
Conclusion This a turn up for the books, I like the Pokédex entries for Froslass. Yes, it starts off a tiny shaky with confusion over its breath temperature, but everything else is quite interesting, and I want to learn more about the lore surrounding this Pokémon. Yes, the entries would work better if this wasn't a Snorunt evolution, but even that I can't hold against Froslass. I'll see you in the New Year, fellow readers. Have a good Christmas and!