The 'Shroom:Issue 148/Strategy Wing
I'd like to offer a warm welcome to all of our Strategy Wing readers this July. Well, hopefully it's not too warm, because I can attest that I've had just about enough of this heat, myself. But, the weather where I am is unimportant, because I have a few announcements for you all. To celebrate The 'Shroom's 150th issue, Strategy Wing will be holding a Super Mario Maker 2 contest next month, in issue 149. GBAToad (talk) will be assisting in this endeavor, so be certain to thank him, as well.
All details will be provided when the contest kicks off next month, but the goal of this contest is to give level creators and those who prefer simply playing the creations of others alike a chance to enjoy putting their best levels out to the community, playing through other submissions, and thinking through the work of level design. After all, thinking of how players of all varieties are going to approach a level is something developers do constantly in their work, and, especially if you've read PK144's Course Corner, you know we're always trying to analyze and understand good level design here at Strategy Wing. As I said, there will be more next month, so make certain to come back then. We ought to have our full suite of sections next month, too, so it will be worth your while.
But before you set a reminder in your calendar and click away, please take a moment to look at the three sections we have here this month. We unfortunately don't have the aforementioned PK144's Course Corner this month due to life and the work it entails, but we still have three in-depth examinations of three different series. A great deal of care and detail has gone into making them great reads, so show your thanks to our writers by reading their sections, voting in Section of the Month, voting in Mach Speed Mayhem's forum thread, and, if it strikes you to do so, even shooting them a message about their sections.
And please let me remind you that we're always looking for new analytical or instructional sections for Strategy Wing. If you have any ideas, read through our sign-up page, and send your application to our Statistics Manager, LudwigVon. Don’t hesitate to contact myself or other members of The ‘Shroom Staff if you have any questions!
That's it from me, so get to reading those sections. Now that polls are closed, I look forward to seeing that you all voted Strategy Wing for Favorite 'Shroom Team!
Section of the Month
Meta Knight (talk) takes first place with the details of his quest to find the Copy Essence Deluxe abilities, while Superchao (talk) takes second for his extended examination of Deathborn across F-Zero media. Yoshi876 (talk) managed, meanwhile, to tie himself for third with his analyses of Torchic's Pokédex entries and Piranha Plant Slide's Mario Kart 7 Staff Kart. Thank you for reading these detailed sections, and please continue to vote!
Tips and Challenges
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.
The Lightning Cup from Mario Kart 7 might be one of my favourite selection of tracks. I was never fussed much on SNES Rainbow Road, but I had also been interested in Dino Dino Jungle, and Airship Fortress and Koopa Cape were my favourite courses from their respective games. I recently did a Rainbow Road Staff, so I figured let's actually play as Yoshi considering I'm named after him (at least here on the wiki), and let's look at Dino Dino Jungle.
The combination for normal staff for Dino Dino Jungle is Yoshi with the Egg 1, Roller tyres and Parafoil, and the stats are as follows:
The start was terrible, only really getting me into sixth place, but I managed to pull off a masterful overtake (somehow) and get up to second just before the gliding section. I thought I'd struggle against Mii, but managed to take him out with a Banana before zooming off. Toad overtook me with a Mushroom boost, but I managed to overtake him after a lightning strike in the same place I overtook the racers on the previous lap. After that I managed to hang onto my lead for the finish.
Dino Dino Jungle
For once in this section I managed to keep my lead, but just past the dinosaur, Mii, Toad and Wario all overtook me. I managed to get them on the wooden boards, but Mii was soon out ahead again, but a Green Shell took him down. Just when I thought my lead was safe for more than five seconds, Peach used the shortcut to get ahead. She remained in the lead until the geyser section when I managed to pass her. And following this I didn't see another racer for the rest of the race.
My lead evaporated into sixth place, probably due to the long straight at the start, and after a lot of passing from almost everyone I ended up in first just before the cannon. Like other races, I assumed this would be an easy win, but I didn't count on my own incompetence which saw me drive into a Rocky Wrench and then my own Green Shell, allowing Toad and Peach past. To make it worse, I then drove into the fire allowing Rosalina past. I eventually overtook them before the lap was out, but Toad soon got me, although a Blue Shell dashed his hopes of victory and I managed to somehow pull off a victory.
A mostly easy race in which I lead for its entirety, although I nearly through it away to Wiggler after hitting the Rainbow Thwomps on the final lap, but thankfully I just held on. A few more metres and I would've come second place.
I thought I would struggle with this combination, but I really liked it. I was able to win convincingly with it, and able to drive in the way I wanted, except for when I decided driving into Rocky Wrenches was a good idea…
The 200cc combination is Yoshi with the Egg 1, Monster tyres and Parafoil. The stats are as follows:
Although my start was a lot better, with me getting into fifth, the happiness was short-lived as I realised my competitors were getting away from me. A Triple Red Shell was only enough to get me past Peach and Wiggler, who passed me with a Mushroom boost anyway. Another Red Shell eliminated Donkey Kong, and I managed to overtake Wiggler while under Blooper ink, but I only managed to get past Toad due to a Blue Shell. I kept my lead, although Toad quickly closed up, but a Blue Shell took me out, thankfully Toad decided driving into a Goomba was the best course of action and I managed to retake for the lead, which I just about managed to clinch from Donkey Kong.
Dino Dino Jungle
How did I win this race? Through a lot of luck. I messed up my start, dropping me down to sixth place, and through the use of some Mushrooms and a Starman I got myself into fifth, more allowed me to use the shortcut elevating me to first, but I messed that up as well, gliding down the dinosaur and out of bounds, dropping me to last. Mushrooms allowed me to climb the ranks and use the shortcut again, getting me into third. I then managed to overtake Donkey Kong just before the Items, and Wiggler decided to continuously drive into the dinosaur's foot, gifting me first. Another Mushroom allowed me to exploit the shortcut again and get my win.
I wanted to write I kept my lead, and despite a large fracas, I did… until Toad hit me with a Tanooki Tail putting me down to sixth. Mushrooms and drifting got me back into the lead in the castle section, and I managed to fend off attacks, although my lead never felt comfortable.
A lead lost again, and this time an unintended slipstream sent me off the edge and into sixth. Some nifty drifting got me a lead again, but just before the end of the second lap I was squished by a Rainbow Thwomp and Wiggler overtook. We duelled valiantly, but I fell off the track and he won, leaving me second.
Terrible combination, the first was so much better. I struggled with speed, positioning, it rarely felt like I was able to overtake, more like the opponents slowed down. I felt at ease with the first combination, even on Rainbow Road, but here I managed to fall off. Likewise, the other combination I could see myself gaining, here it felt a lot more like luck. Use the first combo, not this one.
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, probably. If you've got a combination you'd like me to review next, feel free to private message me on the forums.
Mach Speed Mayhem
Hello, 'Shroom readers, and welcome to the latest issue of Mach Speed Mayhem! This one came with quite a race, the final vote tally setting a record on both sides at 11 to 10. But ultimately, only one could pull ahead and win the writeup spot for Issue 148, and that's none other than #18: Beastman! Also known by his nickname of Captain Falcon In A Lizard Suit. Shoutout to Martini for helping me identify a mistranslation in the subs for Beastman's episode and ensuring I could avoid any misinformation creeping into the section.
Beastman is one of the many racers who made their first appearance in F-Zero X on the N64. As always, we didn't know much about him back then - all we knew is that his childhood had the fun formative experience of nearly getting eaten by a giant alligator. It was inspirational, though! In retaliation, he turned himself into a slayer of beasts, one who entered the Grand Prix all to advertise his services. If he wins, he'll be able to tell the whole world to call him for beast extermination! When he came back for F-Zero GX with a few slight design changes, the game elaborated quite a bit on what's up with Beastman. First, it was apparently a crocodile and not an alligator that attacked him as a kid, and it happened on the planet White, which a few F-Zero games have visited in the form of White Land. His desire to hunt beasts stems from protecting others, and he's got a really big secret... he's actually really shy. Part of why he dressed up as a dinosaur and gave himself such an imposing look was to hide his nature. Beastman apparently isn't a name he picked, either, instead one given to him over time for all his exploits and hunts. Eventually, he ran out of beasts on his own planet, and that's why he went to the Grand Prix - to advertise himself to the masses and perhaps gain new work. However, when he got there, he ran into Bio Rex for the first time. Immediately, Beastman decided that it was all up to him to ensure the spectators and other racers were safe from such a dangerous beast, and now he races to stop Bio Rex!
Beastman's interviews in GX are a pretty interesting lot, really. For example, that helmet of his? It's from the biggest beast he took down so far - possibly the gator or croc that attacked him as a kid. His next plan is to turn Bio Rex into a helmet... He also shills his services on live TV, and brags about his superhuman speed and reflexes - dude's very proud of himself, but he's really proud of his car too. He rejects money, as he considers it something that will dull his reflexes, and admits his interest in hot saunas - the best post-race relaxation! On top of that, he feels like F-Zero and hunting beasts are similar enough to explain why he won, and his hope for the future is the complete elimination of all wild animals. Take them down or cage them, just tame nature - so says Beastman! It's a surprise he's been so effective at beast hunting, though, since he reveals that he got his skills from buying used gym gear and taking a correspondence karate course. Yet, it still works. Additionally, when he signs an autograph... he does it by kicking the autograph board. Don't ask me. As for the F-Zero GX story mode, Beastman makes two appearances there. Like a few others we've seen, Beastman is one of the 12 competitors in Chapter 3's Bet Race - perhaps he's chasing Bio Rex, who's also in the Bet Race? He shows up again in Chapter 7, helping to fill out the 30-car field, but that's it for his role in Story Mode - he's nothing special in Chapter 7, unfortunately.
As for his car, the Hyper Speeder is a neat case of character interconnection! When Beastman was busy exterminating alien beasts in a wild jungle, he found the wreckage of an ancient fighter craft. Shot down long ago in some interplanetary war, the jet had laid there ever since. Beastman retrieved it and took it to fellow F-Zero racer and machine engineer Dr. Clash, who put his skill and mind into remodeling the wrecked jet into a fully functional F-Zero machine. It saved Beastman some money, too, not having to build one from scratch. Once Dr. Clash was done, he'd made a machine quite different from his own Crazy Bear, the Hyper Speeder coming out with C body, C boost, and A grip. In F-Zero X, this is a solid machine - the high grip makes it easy to handle sharp corners, while the machine's good top speed keeps it from falling behind and the boost is good enough to work with. When it shifted over to F-Zero GX... if anything, the Hyper Speeder ended up even more useful! The GX incarnation of Beastman's machine combines a high top speed with a high grip and a surprisingly good boost to allow for a strong machine that's all about going fast. It's not perfect, though - the Hyper Speeder's greatest weakness is easily acceleration. If Beastman's car loses speed, it's very difficult to get any of it back, so it performs best on courses like Trident or Intersection that are all about maintaining speed on a long straight course. The body isn't that good either, so overall, the best way to play Beastman is to Not Crash.
GP Legend series
In the F-Zero GP Legend anime, Beastman gets to appear... for exactly one episode. And he doesn't even get the episode to himself! Beastman and Leon are crammed together in episode 27, the only time they're relevant all series, so I'll be approaching this one a bit uniquely; talking about things from Beastman's side for this article, and then the other side whenever we cover Leon.
Beastman first meets the Mobile Task Force when he shows up at their base, plops himself into Lucy Liberty's seat, and gets into a bit of a row with Jack Levin. In response to Lucy telling him to please move, Beastman threatens her with a whip and laughs at the entire Mobile Task Force, and Jody has to stop Rick from punching his lights out. So, not the best first impression. Jody explains that he's here to capture any beasts working for Black Shadow, preferring to go after the minions rather than the big guys at the top. Bio Rex gets namedropped as a particular target. Beastman promptly reveals that he works alone, and tells Rick to shove it when the two of them try to team up for reconnaissance, before driving off into the distance to do his own thing.
The next time anyone sees Beastman is when he shows up at the Falcon House for coffee, and meets Leon, who is a werewolf rather than a wolfman in this continuity. Since he's human, Leon isn't an obvious beast, but Beastman still has a suspicion. He begins to question Leon, but Lucy moves in to his defense, and before he can pursue the matter further he gets the news of exactly who he's after - Bio Rex! Beastman and Rick promptly chase Bio Rex down, but he escapes... not that Beastman is too fussed. He'll get him later. The next night, Beastman is on a stakeout, Rick questioning the purpose - until they both hear a wolf's howl. They chase down the howl, to find Leon in his wolfman form (not that either of them knows it's actually Leon). When Leon escapes, Beastman explains that his family was killed by a wild beast when he was young, and this wolfman is very clearly one of those beasts - ones he thought were long extinct! Later on, Bio Rex says that Beastman has been a constant thorn in the side of Dark Million, and he and Miss Killer make a plan to fight him.
Then it's time for the Race of the DayTM. During said race, Beastman constantly pursues Bio Rex with single-minded determination, until Bio Rex manages to distract him by crashing Lucy's car. In order to help Lucy, Leon turns into his wolfman form and flips the car back up properly, drawing the attention of Beastman. It's only Rick stepping in and calling out his priorities that gets Beastman to back off, and the beast hunter climbs into the Hyper Speeder and drives out of the race and out of the series, never to be seen again in the anime. He doesn't even get anything interesting in F-Zero GP Legend or F-Zero Climax for the GBA, being a totally unimportant racer in the first and having a bio that just retreads his GX bio in the latter. The Hyper Speeder even lost its connection to Dr. Clash!
It's certainly nowhere near as blatant as James McCloud with Star Fox or Mr. EAD with Mario, but Beastman might be somewhat inspired by Batman. He's got a similar aesthetic but with lizards instead of bats, and a somwhat similar backstory of a traumatic childhood event leading him to take up fighting the source of his trauma, whether it be criminals or beasts. Heck, in the anime they even upgraded it to losing his family to beasts, just like how Batman lost his to crime. So while I certainly can't say it for sure, I wouldn't be surprised if there was SOME level of connection there.
Interestingly, Beastman has a unique pilot profile video in F-Zero GX. You see, all 41 pilots have a unique video sequence unlocked by using that pilot in their default car to clear Master Mode. Beastman's is the only video to be completely animated in a hand-drawn 2D style from start to finish, everyone else either being full 3D animation, or a mix of 2D and 3D - and even then it's usually just 2D backgrounds and side characters, with Deathborn being the only other pilot to be 2D animated for half of his video. Said video has Beastman running around on rooftops and buildings like a crimefighter, so perhaps more credence to the Batman shoutout theory? Anyhow, that sums up everything I've got to say about Lizard Falcon. Check out the forum thread if you want to pick my August writeup!
Hello everyone, it's me, Yoshi876 again with a new edition of Pokédex Power, the section written by the person who has seen so much Pokémon-related news, even though you have seen it as well. But for starters, I am so glad I'm getting Pokémon Shield just so I can face the Ghost-gym. Because if you know me and Pokémon, you know I love my ghosts.
As for the new Pokémon, Corviknight is the one that has most of my attention, I love its design, and I so hope to use it a lot on my team. But I feel my love for it has outshone every other Pokémon, Wooloo is very sweet, but I don't love it as much as many others; I don't care much for Gossifleur or Eldegoss, I feel like I could like Dreadnaw depending on what it's like in-game; I'm not massively into dogs so Yamper doesn't interest me much, although I do generally have a soft spot for Electric-type Pokémon, I so wanted Impidimp to be a Ghost, but there's the possibility I'll fall in love with it; not sure on how I feel about Alcremie, I'm hoping Duraludon has good Pokédex entries with its closeness to Tyranitar; and I find myself eyeing up Rolycoly due to its similarities to Gigalith, a Pokémon I loved in Black. As for the legendaries, I feel like they're the worst we've ever been offered, design-wise. But maybe I'll be proven wrong.
This month's edition has nothing to do with the new Pokémon, unsurprisingly given the game isn't out yet, and who knows maybe it won't even feature in the Galar Pokédex, but it has featured in others, and given that Summer brings lots of bees, I decided to look at Combee.
I have used Combee in Black 2, and although early on in the game it's a reasonable Pokémon, as mine didn't evolve into Vespiquen, it didn't get any stat boosts and as such is a little bit difficult to train as levels go higher. So, good for early-game(ish), avoid in later game parts. But should its Pokédex be avoided? Well, let's find out.
Let's start by addressing the elephant in the room. When Generation I had Pokémon like Dugtrio and Magneton it always explained why they were together, sadly Generation IV doesn't really give an explanation, bar born that way. That is a feasible explanation, but why are three, seemingly sentient, bees all one creature, instead of it just being one bee? I also have confusion as to whether the Combee collect the honey for a Vespiquen, or for the entire colony of Combee. I would rail on about how does the honey please Vespiquen, but that would be suited for an analysis of her Pokédex entries. However, Generation IV isn't entirely bad, as I really like the sleeping together fact. It's nice to see the design of the honeycomb shape wasn't just a coincidence, and actually does have a purpose for the bee, although I would assume they slept in the Vespiquen. And boy, with a thousand that is a massive colony, and probably close to actual bee numbers.
I almost wish Generation V stuck with its usual spiel and fail to include new entries, due to one small incident. The colony size has now been downgraded to 100 instead of 1000, and that is a very substantial drop. Are Combee incredibly endangered in Unova, hence the drop? Or did a Pokédex writer just let a typo slip by?
Generation VI does keep with its usual spiel and include no new Pokédex entries.
Conclusion What these entries do right is show off the relation between Combee and its evolved form Vespiquen, and show how they live with the honey and how they can form together to make a hive. What it does horribly wrong is somehow downgrade its colony-size, either through a small oversight or an endangered fact they failed to give, which would've been a really cool fact had they included it. Where they could improve, perhaps explaining how Combee defend themselves from attacks, I imagine forming into a large beehive creature could scare away some foes. And as much as they haven't found themselves with bear-like Pokémon in the game they appeared in, perhaps a future entry could focus on whether Combee are often attacked by things like Teddiursa or Ursaring seeking out honey.