The 'Shroom:Issue 156/Strategy Wing
Welcome to the March 2020 edition of Strategy Wing, all you readers of The 'Shroom out there. You might have noticed an assortment of new writers joining our ranks this month, and I can proudly announce we have a new writer here in our team, too. Yes, the aptly-named Shy Guy on Wheels (talk) is debuting a new section on Mario Kart Wii. Yes, Mario Kart Wii. No, I didn't know there was still an active community of people playing it, either. But, please, be sure to go and check out SGoW's Declassified Mario Kart Wii Survival Guide.
Now, you'll notice that most of the sections we have in here right now are on the lengthier side, but don't take that as an indication you have to write an essay to write a Strategy Wing section. In fact, there's even some handy examples of short Strategy Wing sections we've had in the past right in our section on the sign-up page. Please, go take a look and sign up! Whether you want to provide strategies and tips for success in some activity you enjoy or you want to take the Mach Speed Mayhem approach and rattle off every detail about some thing that you like, you can find a place in Strategy Wing.
With everything that's going on in the world, be sure to check out not only the strategies we offer here, but strategies and recommendations from your local and national health authorities that'll help you stay healthy. Wash your hands, take care of yourselves, and settle in by reading through the sections we have here for you this month, getting involved in Awards Board and of, course, voting in Mach Speed Mayhem.
Section of the Month
It looks like Yoshi876 (talk) and Superchao (talk) are racing ahead this month after covering strategies for racing on Bowser Castle 1 and detailing the history of F-Zero's Dr. Stewart. The positive reception of racing sections might bode well for Shy Guy on Wheel's new section, but be sure to take time to thank all of Strategy Wing's writers with your votes and direct feedback!
|STRATEGY WING SECTION OF THE MONTH|
|1st||Racing Like the Staff||9||40.00%||Yoshi876|
|2nd||Mach Speed Mayhem||5||25.00%||Superchao|
|3rd||Koops, Your Emblem is on Fire||3||15.00%||ManKoops|
Need to tear through the wild? You might be better off sticking with Rambi...
Koops, Your Emblem is on Fire
Last time, we got a bunch of people and our group of misfits is starting to somewhat look like a small army, and now, it gets even bigger! We also hopefully dealt with the last batch of bandits that dare stand in our way, and Lyn is surprisingly turning into a goddess (told you we were making her our peerless warrior).
Today, we take on both chapters 6 and 7 (in one video, something I shouldn't do again because the upload took longer than how much it's gonna take for Kent to get speed again).
A total of 4 people joined today! Now how about we delve into what these young folk are talented at?
Rath of the Kutolah tribe joins our little ragtag group! A young hired sword from the Kutolah tribe, let's see what he has to offer!
Level 7 Nomad.
Bases and Growths:
HP: 25 (80%)
Str: 8 (50%)
Skl: 9 (40%)
Spd: 10 (50%)
Luck: 5 (30%)
Def: 7 (10%)
Res: 2 (25%)
Con: 8 (+1 Upon Promotion)
Move: 7 (+1 Upon Promotion)
Rath is another mounted unit, but this time a different type. After Cavaliers and Pegasus Knights, we now have Nomads, swift riders of Sacae, who exclusively wield bows (Although that will actually change at some point). Right off the bat, Rath has some decent strength, enough speed to double just about anything that isn't a Merc, and also decently durable. Rath is level 7, ahead of most of our army, and he gives off a good first impression. In fact, of all bow users in this game, he's probably one of the best ones. Even his growths, while not amazing, are still really just what he needs to shine, with an excellent 50% in both strength and speed, so he will become something of a powerhouse later on, although he barely has 10% growth in defense, but since he's got a base of 7 already, it's not a big deal, and his high HP compensates for that rather nicely. All of this isn't to say that he is without flaws, however. For starters, although he has a much better time killing enemies than Wil, him being bow-locked initially still limits his enemy phase combat. But that is not his main issue, as much as the fact that after Lyn mode ends, it will take a very long time for us to recruit him back, and by that time, his stats will look obsolete. Even then, the enemies are still very weak, and many enemy fliers are present around that point in the game, so Rath is still very well salvageable, but you will need to really put your heart and soul into training him so that he can catch up to the rest of your army (Especially since some people may have already started to reach new heights by then). One last thing there is to know about him is that mounted units can pick up people with higher con than themselves. For male mounted units, they can pick up 25-Con and for the females, it's 20-Con. Rath having relatively low constitution as a male mounted unit makes a very reliable Rescue bot, so that is one fact to acknowledge when talking about his utility. Rath is a pretty good unit, but one has to always consider his weaknesses and must take good care of him for him to shine. If you've used Rath through Lyn mode and got some good level-ups, that could alleviate some of his late midgame problems.
We also hired Matthew! A cheery thief. His casual demeanor belies his skill. What kind of skill, though?
Level 2 Thief.
Bases and Growths:
HP: 18 (75%)
Str: 4 (30%)
Skl: 4 (40%)
Spd: 11 (70%)
Luck: 2 (50%)
Def: 3 (25%)
Res: 0 (20%)
Con: 7 (+-0 Upon Promotion)
Move: 6 (+-0 Upon Promotion)
Matthew here is our first thief! And as a thief, well, he does exactly what's said on the tin, he specializes in stealing! Thieves are always useful to have around when you need to quickly open a door without trying to look for a key, open chests in certain maps and gain valuable treasure, but what he can also do, he can steal items from enemies who either are as fast or slower than himself. Thanks to him good base speed of 11 and amazing growth of 70%, he is sure to be able to steal whatever you want. Keep in mind that you can't steal weapons, at least not in this game. Only other items like vulneraries and stat boosters. That and lock-picks only have so much uses (15), so keep an eye on that too. Now I just talked about Matthew as a thief, but what about... as an actual combat unit? Well, second most important things to know about thieves is that they are not made for fighting, and in fact they're way safer kept in the back. Matthew only has 3 defense and 18 HP, which, granted, is almost identical to Lyn's durability, but he also has a lower strength growth, and a base of only 4, so even if he were safer on the front-lines, he still wouldn't do that much damage. To give him levels, just feed him off the weakened enemies so that he may get some speed and steal more. He can hold his own against fighters and bandits, due to weapon triangle advantage against axes, but you might want to put him in a forest to even dodge those since his very low luck makes him that much more likely to get hit at first. All in all, Matthew is good to have around, but using him in the wrong way may make him a liability on the battlefield. At worst, he is still an occasionally useful unit who does his job, but not much more.
Adding himself to the back-lines, here we have Nils! A bard possessing arcane powers. Brother of Ninian.
Level 1 Bard.
Bases and Growths:
HP: 14 (85%)
Str: 0 (5%)
Skl: 0 (5%)
Spd: 12 (70%)
Luck: 10 (80%)
Def: 5 (30%)
Res: 4 (70%)
Nils is a bard. Combat is entirely non-existent for one such as he. What bards (and by extension Dancers) are here for, is to pay music for us. And that's a very, very amazing thing to have and it can trivialize certain parts of the game. Playing music to a unit who's used their turn allows them a full other turn the same phase! That opens up a ton of possibilities! You have two injured people but only one healer? Play for the healer, BAM, now you can heal someone else. Or even if there is no healer close enough to heal the person you wanna heal for whatever reason and their situation is critical? Use a vulnerary and play to use another one, recovering 20 HP! Too many enemies than you're comfortable with on player phase and you want a safe enemy phase? Play for you strongest unit! Don't you see? How many scenarios where a bard can really help turn the tables! Nils' stats don't matter, but his high speed and luck ensure that he dodges a lot, and he has a very high resistance growth, along with a decent base, so you could use him to bait magic users later on. Even if Nils can't fight himself, the utility he brings just makes him irreplaceable, and it's as if whatever enemy dies thanks to him playing for someone is a kill for him. Use Nils. Just keep him safe, that's all. Always deploy him or any bard/dancer in the series whenever possible, really.
And finally, volunteering to help us, Lucius, A traveling Acolyte. Gentle and Sincere.
Level 3 Monk
Bases and Growths:
HP: 18 (55%)
Mag: 7 (60%)
Skl: 6 (50%)
Spd: 10 (40%)
Luck: 2 (20%)
Def: 1 (10%)
Res: 6 (60%)
Con: 6 (+1 Upon Promotion)
Move: 5 (+1 Upon Promotion)
Lucius is, technically our second mage (or if you count Serra, our third), and he's pretty good at what he does, actually. Monks and Clerics are classes of the same line, something I'll explain later, but the difference between both classes is that one wields staves, while the other light magic. Light magic is a weaker, but more accurate counterpart to Anima magic. This may make it seem like Lucius pales in comparison to Erk, but he actually might be a better unit overall. For starters, Lucius has higher magic, and higher speed, both of which heavily compensate for the weak nature of light magic. He has a very high magic growth at 60%, and although his speed growth is shaky at best (40%), his base is great for his level so he has no troubles doubling enemies throughout the game. His resistance is also very high this early in the game, and it will stay that way. Sadly, Lucius has one, big, glaring issue. Even if durability on a mage is less important than on a close-range unit, Lucius's defenses and horrendous. He starts with the lowest base defense in the game, and has a very low growth in it at 10%, so he will find it almost impossible to get out of it. What accentuates this issue is his low luck as well, which definitely decreases his evasion. Thankfully, Later on, Lucius will be faster and as such dodgier, but it will still be unwise to put him in enemy range constantly, something I learned the hard way on my first playthrough. Although, like Erk, he gains a nice boon upon promotion (still a subject we have yet to formally talk about) even better than his, and once he promotes, he definitely becomes better as that will definitely help him survive more hits. All things considered, Lucius is just another really good unit in an ocean of good units in a relatively easy game. And there's more to him than I already said, so keep up with the LP to know more!
And with that, two other soldiers with one stone! Next time, we retrieve Ninian's little trinket, advance towards Lundgren and hopefully progress! Not a hard task considering the idiots we're up against!
See ya next time!
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.
Today, we're continuing on with our Mario Kart 7 tracks, as the ongoing outbreak means I'm actually in a different place than my consoles. Now, during The 'Shroom's December issue, we focused on Donkey Kong, however, despite doing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe that time around, I didn't do DK Jungle as I didn't have all the parts unlocked that I needed to in order to do that track. However, this isn't the case for Mario Kart 7 and so for this edition, we'll look into DK Jungle.
The combination for normal staff for DK Jungle is Donkey Kong with the Bolt Buggy, Red Monster tyres and the Super Glider, and the stats are as follows:
- Speed – Just under five bars
- Acceleration – One and a half bars
- Weight – Just under five bars
- Handling – One bar
- Off-road – Just over five bars
The start got me up to fifth place and struggling to pass, but things went horribly wrong when I was blown up by a Bob-omb while on the flower, and this dropped me to the back of the pack. The good thing about this combination is that the speed isn't half bad, and before we left the temple, I was back into fifth. Sadly, a Star could only bring me up into fourth, although I was soon challenging for the lead and had it when leaving the temple. A Blue Shell at the start of the lap allowed Koopa Troopa past, and although I fended off Princess Peach, I didn't avoid Luigi. A Banana managed to trip him up, and as Koopa drifted out wide around the Frogoons, I took the lead and kept it until the end.
Rosalina's Ice World
Although I kept my lead at the start, Wario was quickly on my back around the ice slopes, although Princess Peach helped me out by taking him out. But despite this combination's high speed, both Princess Peach and Luigi were able to catch me easily, although Peach took herself out on my Banana, and I threw a Green Shell at Luigi the second he passed. Wario and Princess Peach took it in turns on decreasing my lead before magically slipping away, but my lead was constant in the race.
Like last time, I kept a lead, although racers were immediately very close to me. In fact, by first Item Boxes I was down to fourth, which proved to be a bonus as it got me Triple Mushrooms. This didn't give me an extensive lead, and Koopa Troopa was right on my heels and took first place in the gliding section. Thankfully, we drove under Thwomp and gave me back the lead, but Princess Peach soon took it. I overtook her, but Koopa got me while gliding again, and this time I drove into a Thwomp, putting me into sixth. Despite the speed, Lakitu overtook me, and while I thought I got Wario at one point for fourth, I fell into the lava and went straight into last. And again, speed means nothing with this combination and I failed to catch Mario and finished last.
This was a pretty hit and miss race. It seemed to get off to a good start, with me quickly getting into third, but after falling off as we went down the planet's rings on two separate occasions, things seemed to be going horribly wrong again. A Shiny Shell briefly helped by colliding with Koopa Troopa as he glided allowing me into seventh place. There, speed and a Golden Mushroom got me into fifth, before I powered across the moon to be challenging Wario. I didn't get him in the tube, and Princess Peach went past in the air, but after a Mushroom, in which I barged her off the track, I was catching up with Wario and eventually passed him for a win.
I would give this combination a miss if I were you. Five bars of speed means practically nothing with this combination, I never felt comfortable in a lead, slower Karts were able to gain on straight-road sections, and on Bowser's Castle, it felt like at times I wasn't even moving. Plus, the amount of times this Kart failed to stay on Rainbow Road was embarrassing. Give this all the misses that you can.
The Expert Staff combination for DK Jungle is Donkey Kong with the Standard, Wooden tyres and Swoop Glider. The stats are as follows:
- Speed – Just over three bars
- Acceleration – Just over three bars
- Weight – Three bars
- Handling – Just under four bars
- Off-road – Just under four bars
Like last time, I was only up to fifth by the time we hit the first Item Boxes, but unlike last time, Princess Peach took out Bowser with Triple Green Shells and I wasn't hit by a Bob-omb. I also got some amazing distance from the flower jump and up into third, and as Wiggler took himself out on a Tiki Goon, I was up into second. However, Koopa Troopa had a good lead on me that only Wario's Blue Shell could help me with. After this, I sailed into a victory, other then when I was hit by a Blue Shell and Koopa got past me. Thankfully, I had a Red Shell just for the occasion and the race was mine.
Rosalina's Ice World
We got off to a good start, fending the other off easily, but as we passed Penguin houses, Bowser and Koopa Troopa were fast approaching, but while Bowser hit my Banana, Koopa sailed past me, and off into the front. I did manage a pass, but a Blue Shell, Lightning and being ran over by Wario really didn't help my causes. Subsequently driving into a lot of icicles didn't help much either, but as Lucky 7 did bring me up into second. But even though being midway through the race, Koopa was too far ahead and no matter what I tried, he won.
I was hoping to get into the lead from my start, but Koopa kept it, and everyone else around me seemed to nail there's as I was quickly down to sixth position. I gained some places, but still struggled to get the lead until the third lap when I finally overtook Koopa. Sadly, this was not to be as a Blue Shell hit me, and took that lead away from me. Not only did Koopa get me, but so did Wario and Wiggler, and before the end of the race, I could only get Wiggler.
The race got off fine, until Koopa hit me with a Tanooki Tail and dropped me down to sixth, a position not foreign to me at this point. However, after drifting through the rings and waiting for the perfect time to unleash my Triple Mushrooms, I took the lead. As always, Koopa was on me, and overtook on the moon but then I got ahead of him, but then he overtook again and so on and so forth. The constant switching ended in my favour when I took the win, but given he had the better track record than me throughout the four races he grabbed the gold cup.
I feel that although I finished second – perhaps for the first time in this section's history – this wasn't the combination that deserved it. The speed felt more assured than the other one, but for whatever reason, I just couldn't keep that speedy turtle behind me, he was on my back constantly, whereas speedier characters were often times nowhere to be seen.
I hope you enjoyed this section, and I'll see you next month where I'll take a look at a combination hopefully from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. If you've got a combination you'd like me to review next, feel free to private message me on the forums.
SGoW's Declassified Mario Kart Wii Survival Guide
Have you ever played a race in Mario Kart Wii online, and asked yourself on of these following questions:
Well fear not, as I shall help you on this journey to play
the objectively greatest game ever made Mario Kart Wii!
The first thing you need to know when playing a game is how to play it. You're not going to dive into the deep end of the pool the first time you go swimming, and the same applies to video games. You're going to want to learn the basics in the shallow end, then slowly transition to the deep end. In Mario Kart, Time Trials will serve as the shallow section of the pool. It's generally a place to practise your skills, learn the tracks, and just mess about.
Mario Kart's control are basic. Hold A to Drive, the Left Stick to turn, R in tandem with the Left Stick to Drift, and L to use Items. You can press B to brake but no-one does that. As you drift, sparks will appear at the wheels of your vehicle, release R when they appear to get a boost. Blue Sparks mean you'll get a standard Mini-Turbo, while Orange Sparks mean you'll get a Super Mini-Turbo. Bikes can't get Super Mini-Turbos, but that's their only flaw. Holding L with certain items will cause them to dragged behind you, causing Red Shells to hit that item instead of you.
Mario Kart Wii is different from its predecessors however, as you can now use the D-Pad to perform some new tricks. In mid-air press any direction and you'll get a boost when you land, while on the ground Bikes can perform a wheelie by pressing up, which will make the bike go faster. Pretty radical if you ask me. Wheelies are actually fairly important, and alongside another new feature called inside drifting (or "Hang-On" if you're a certain Mario related wiki), make Bikes an important choice if you want to be the best. It's important to note that only nine bikes actually have this feature, the other nine are useless. Right now the only Bikes you have that matter are the medium weight Mach Bike, and the heavy weight Flame Runner/Bowser Bike, the latter of which is the best vehicle in the game for reasons I'll get onto later. It's also worth noting that you also start off with the light weight Bullet Bike, but as light weight characters are rather lacking in terms of stats that actually matter, I wouldn't recommend using it.
Finally I'd like to mention the Standstill Mini-Turbo mechanic, by holding down B/R and A at the same time when you're not moving, your
kart bike will start to charge a Mini-Turbo. Release B/R after blue sparks appear at the wheels to go to full speed, alongside a boost. This mechanic makes the acceleration stat redundant, which is something that I'll talk about later.
These are all of the basic mechanics of Mario Kart Wii. I'd recommend choosing a character from rows 3-6, selecting one of the two vehicle that I just mentioned (Mach Bike for 3-4, Flame Runner for 5-6), and to start practising in Time Trials so you can get used to how to game plays. After you've got used to gameplay, you're going to need to decide what stat you value the most. To decide this your going to need to understand which stats are important, so that's what I'll spend the majority of the next section discussing.
Determines your maximum speed, obviously very important.
Determines how heavy you are. This will decide who gets pushed away when two vehicles hit each other, and how long you spend in the air. As being in the air is slower, this stat is a helpful one to have.
This stat determines how fast you get to your top speed. I mentioned the Standstill Min-Turbo earlier, and unless your playing the Quacker, that method is always faster. The only time this is useful is when you get hit by a Banana, or go Off-Road without a Mushroom, any other situation will cause you to lose almost all of your speed.
Determines how sharp your turns are when not drifting. As you'll be drifting around turns more often then just turning around them, this stat only really matters for helping you to adjust your position on straights. A bike has a small hitbox however, so a low handling stat will barely affect you when driving on one.
Determines how sharp your turns are when drifting. I just mentioned that you'll be drifting a lot, so this stat will be very important for getting tighter lines around turns.
Determines how much speed is lost when going Off-Road. Only useful on tracks with ice, as it also determines how much you slide while driving on it.
Determines how powerful the boost you get after a drift is. The difference this has is actually rather big, so having a high Mini-Turbo stat really helps.
So that's each stat and what they do. Speed and Drift are the two most important stats, Mini-Turbo and Weight are also fairly good stats to have, while Off-Road and Acceleration barely matter, and Handling was probably put in by the developers as a joke.
I think it's about time I addressed the elephant in the room, one of the more commonly cited reasons for Mario Kart Wii's poor balancing, Inside Drifting. Is it as broken as it's made out to be? Absolutely. Inside Drifting Bikes have a tighter arc when drifting, meaning that they'll go around turns faster. Alongside that, Inside Drifting Bikes leans inwards when drifting, rather then having the back go out like Karts and Outside Drifting Bikes. This means that with Inside Drift, the hitbox of the Bike stay the same while drifting. It's important to note that only bikes have Inside Drift, and even then, only half of them do. They aren't distributed between weight classes evenly either, Light Weights have four, Medium Weights have three, and Heavy Weights have two. This will become important once you understand how weight classes work.
Characters are evenly distributed into three weight classes, Light, Medium and Heavy. Each class has a set of twelve vehicles, six karts and six bikes. The three classes excel in different stats, Light in Handling and Acceleration, Heavy in Speed and Weight, and Medium generally has balanced stats. Remember that Speed and Weight are important stats, while Handling and Acceleration aren't. This means Light Weight vehicles are some of the worst in the game, as they have poor stats in the areas that matter.
I mentioned earlier that the Mach Bike and Flame Runner/Bowser Bike are some of the best vehicles in the game, and that's because they have everything that's needed to be good. They're both Inside Drifting Bikes with a high Speed, Drift, Weight and Mini-Turbo stat. The Mach Bike has a higher Drift and Mini-Turbo stat, while the Flame Runner/Bowser Bike has a higher Speed and Weight stat, so choose the one with the stats you value more. Speed is generally valued the most, so that's why you'll see a lot of people using the latter online. There are two other vehicles which are somewhat frequently used, those being the Spear/Torpedo and the Dolphin Dasher. The former is the fastest Bike in the game, meaning it's used frequently in Time Trials, but as it has a low Drift stat you'll be hard pressed to find someone using it online. The latter of the two Bikes is an interesting case. The Dolphin Dasher appears to have a decent Speed stat, a good weight stat and a bad Drift stat, however when you dive into the games code you'll find out that it actually has a good Drift stat. A strange choice by the developers to lie to the player (the stats seen above are the ones displayed for the Dolphin Dasher). While the both the Spear/Torpedo and Dolphin Dasher are good vehicles, the Mach Bike and Flame Runner/Bowser Bike beat them out where it matters, making them the superior options in most cases.
I've only mentioned four out of the five vehicles, and I've said the least viable for last. The Sneakster/Nitrocycle is a weird vehicle. It's not bad, it's just outclassed by the other four options in almost every way. Think of it as the Medium Weight equivalent to the Spear/Torpedo, a fast vehicle with a bad Drift stat, and that's it's first issue. It amounts to a worse version of a vehicle that barely gets used in the first place. Another issue is that it's Speed stat is barely any better then the Flame Runner/Bowser Bike, so why use it when you can use a vehicle with a similar speed and a far better drift? It's definitely an odd case, and you'll almost never see it used online.
The Funky KongsBowser, who has a boost of 2, Rosalina, who has a boost of 3, and Funky Kong, who has a boost of 4. Of course Bowser and Rosalina are sometimes used instead of Funky, as the former has a Weight boost, and the latter has a Mini-Turbo boost.
I mentioned earlier the Mach Bike is also a popular choice, but as that's a Medium Weight vehicle an entirely different set of characters can use it. The most frequently used is Daisy, as she has a Speed boost of 4, the highest of the weight class. They'e are two other character who have a Speed boost, those being Luigi and Peach, both of which have a boost of 2. Luigi has a Weight boost, and Peach has a Drift boost, so that makes up for the lower boost to their Speed stat.
That's pretty much everything you need to know to understand the state of Mario Kart Wii's meta, why it's in that state. Join me next time where I may talk about the Tracks and Ultra-Shortcuts, if that ever happens.
Mach Speed Mayhem
Hello, 'Shroom readers! Welcome once more to Mach Speed Mayhem, which has become my personal favorite section to write! Overall, I mean. It'd be cheating if I said it was my favorite right now. This month, we're checking in on #N/A: Mr. Zero, F-Zero's most important NPC! His NPC status is why I prefix his name with not applicable; with no car, there's no car number. He can't even call dibs on 0, considering Deathborn and Rick Wheeler beat him to that number!
Mr. Zero represents our fifth and final trip back to the days of the original F-Zero game for the SNES. While we've already covered all four playable characters for that game, Mr. Zero also originated in that game, in the comic included in the pack-in manual! Already with his iconic headset and green hair, Mr. Zero shows up doing what he does best: commentary. He gives quick overviews of each of the four drivers as the comic introduces them on the racetrack, and hypes up the crowd, ready to get them excited for the race. Unfortunately, due to the same technical limitations that mean none of the drivers appear in the actual game, Mr. Zero is nowhere to be seen outside of the manual itself. That'd be slightly remedied in F-Zero X, at least! There, you actually hear in-race commentary, such as RIGHT ON! YOU'RE WAY OUT IN FRONT! An unidentified figure also appears on the countdown that shows up at the start of each race, but since that has a completely different headset, looking more like a robot than our commentator friend... I personally doubt it's meant to be Mr. Zero. But you can decide for yourself!
In F-Zero GX, though, Mr. Zero would get the starring role that made him worthy of an individual coverage in Mach Speed Mayhem, as well as being named for the first time in the series. There, he returns as the commentator, his voice telling you that YOU GOT BOOST POWER or informing you when you went OFF COURSE! His commentary duties also expanded, as any time you select a machine in GX, Mr. Zero dramatically tells you it's the BLUE FALCON or the BLACK BULL or whichever one it is. But that's just a side role. The real focus of Mr. Zero in F-Zero GX? The interviews. I've consistently brought them up, as they're a vital source of minor, unexpected character details. But now it's time for the mechanical details! Whenever you win a Grand Prix cup as a character driving their own car (so, not a custom machine), Mr. Zero will interview them, asking one question and getting one line of dialogue in return. This is also where Mr. Zero is first named, the opening of the interview having a text banner that explicitly says he's Mr. Zero. He was totally nameless in the SNES days!
Mr. Zero's questions and the color of his suit change on each difficulty level, so I'll quickly run down the basics here!
- On Novice, Mr. Zero asks "Congratulations on your stunning victory!", "Can you tell us why you became an F-Zero racer?", and "That's a great machine you've got there." in his bright green suit. Basic questions, designed to get a quick glimpse of personality.
- On Standard, Mr. Zero asks "What was the key to your victory?", "Your rivals are howling for revenge!", and "A message for all your TV fans out there?" while clad in a dark purple suit. He's starting to dig deeper, bringing up how they think of themselves and others on the air.
- On Expert, Mr. Zero asks "The winner of the Expert Class. Congratulations!", "What are your plans, now that you've won?", and "How will you use the one billion space credits in prize money?", wearing a maroon suit while he's at it. Setting out a couple specific scenarios!
- Finally, on Master, Mr. Zero asks "May I have your autograph, Champ?"... and then he has six individual questions! Mr. Zero's questions on Master differ by racer to allow him to ask very specific things, such as asking Captain Falcon "Will you let us see your face?", Samurai Goroh "Are you really the boss of a gang of thieves?", and Black Shadow "Do you have a message for Captain Falcon?". He also puts on a spic and span white suit to ask these unique questions!
Interestingly, Mr. Zero's master-level questions can also show up on lower difficulty levels! Specifically, beating the two secret cups - Diamond and AX - on any lower difficulty level puts one of the seven Master questions up as a choice, alongside the three regular questions for that level.
While he might look like the picture of professionalism, Mr. Zero does have emotions like the rest of us, and we can see one of those in full demonstration on the stage: Fear. Five specific racers put fear into Mr. Zero's heart - the evil leader Black Shadow, the violent clone Blood Falcon, the ruthless conqueror Deathborn, the psychotic hitman Pico, and the crazed supervillain Zoda. During the interviews for all of those, Mr. Zero's animations notably change, going from his normal confident posture to a cowering tremble. His voice also becomes filled with a fearful stutter, and even some of his dialogue changes, such as saying "We'll risk our lives to interview the champion!" and losing the "I'd love to ride in one of those machines just once in my life" and "I'd like to present this autograph to one lucky viewer" lines that normally go with the machine and autograph questions. However, he's perfectly fine with the skeletal but friendly racer The Skull and the white-collar mega-criminal Don Genie, indicating that his fear is not based on simple appearance or criminal actions but actually worrying he'll get beaten up right there on stage.
Some of Mr. Zero's interviews were actually censored for the NTSC release! Certain lines were cut due to the subjects they touched upon, but thanks to GX being English voice acted from the beginning, we have them already translated for us. Here's a rundown of which ones got scrapped, and the likely reasons why!
- Baba: "The winner of the Expert Class. Congratulations!" and "What a powerful, dynamic performance you gave us today!" Baba's answers of "The F-Zero goddess wins again!" and "Never underestimate a man in drag!" were both removed, since a man in drag and NoA in 2004 just didn't mesh.
- Pico: "That's a great machine you've got there." Pico's reply of "Ahahahaha! Faster than a speeding bullet!" is sliced out - worries about the Superman reference? Just not wanting bullets mentioned? Iunno.
- Roger Buster: "How will you use the one billion space credits in prize money?" This one only had a minor word-swap, changing "First of all, on a nice, cold beer" to be a nice cold drink. No drunken driving allowed!
- Black Shadow: "Your rivals are howling for revenge!" Black Shadow declares "I'll send you straight to hell! It will be painless, I promise you..." and apparently that was too much!
- Digi-Boy: "Do you believe in God?" Digi-Boy's atheistic reply is the main factor here, as he rhetorically asks "Who believes in such illusions?"
Interestingly, Mr. Zero gets some good respect from the racers. It's rare that they directly address him, but Black Shadow calls him brave for asking about his mask, while Captain Falcon says that Mr. Zero is sharp and would make a good racer if he tried. Perhaps someday, we'll see what Mr. Zero can do on the track as well as off the track!
GP Legend series
Mr. Zero actually made the jump to the GP Legend anime, receiving one of the more drastic redesigns in the series - his new, wilder, much different headset, his hair now combed down rather than sticking up, and even switching his headset to the other side of his face. But his real change? Personality! Mr. Zero in the games is relatively calm when we see him, sometimes getting excited during the buildup to a race but otherwise focused more on the information. Mr. Zero in the anime, however, takes on that classic shonen role - the character who overdramatically screams out what exactly is happening every time we cut to the action! He commentates on every single race with any sort of sanction, no matter how dangerous they may be. Meteors raining down? Lava bubbling up? Inside a fortress for something explicitly called a Death Race? Mr. Zero will be there, and he will scream at the top of his lungs exactly what's going on so that we, the audience, can keep up with it.
Compared to the games, however, he doesn't get much if anything in the way of character interaction. Too busy hanging out in his UFO and not doing any post-race interviews, Mr. Zero spends all his time on the sidelines. One of the end of episode "here's some fun facts!" segments, however, does bring him up. Bart informs us that Mr. Zero wears shoes shaped like F-Zero machines, and that he's done the commentary for every single race. Every one of them, ever. The first race, many years ago, still had Mr. Zero there! ...Though considering the picture Bart confirms this with is a gag one of Mr. Zero with Silver Neelsen, Captain Falcon, and Black Shadow, one might need to take this with a grain of salt. Unfortunately for our desire to learn the lore, Mr. Zero doesn't make any in-person appearances in either F-Zero GP Legend or F-Zero Climax for the GBA, leaving us without extra details on our favorite announcer. At least he's busy delivering information as you play along - how else would you know when you activated BOOST FIRE if not for his words?
That brings our article to an end - I don't really have anything to say on Other Information, so I won't be including the heading. The same will hold true in the future for any character who has reason to lack Main Series, GP Legend series, or Other Information headings. So head on over to the thread, and post or send me your vote for April. That's it, everyone! We'll see you at the next Mach Speed Mayhem!
Hello everyone, it's me, Yoshi876 again with a new edition of Pokédex Power, the section written by the person who once tried training a Combee in the higher levels, it didn't work well, to be completely honest. Might've been a different story if I had a female Combee and it evolved into Vespiquen, but alas, it did not.
Although like most of my opening skits, we're not actually looking at a Combee, although we are still in the same generation. This time, we will be looking at Torterra, the fully evolved form of Turtwig, who is one of Generation IV's Starter Pokémon. It was also used by Paul in the anime, if I remember correctly, and had a role in Detective Pikachu when it did almost become continent-sized. It was definitely one big turtle when it made its appearance in that film.
Although I do typically like a Grass-type Starter Pokémon, I love using Bulbasaur, Snivy and Treecko, as the Water-type Starter was a penguin in Generation IV, I was legally obligated to choose Piplup as my Sinnoh region Pokémon, and so I have never used a Torterra at all. The only main recollection of the Pokémon I have is the aforementioned appearances in TV and film, but at least it had a kind heart in the anime, briefly leaving Paul in order to help Ash's Grotle train after losing its speed. As I've never experienced Torterra, am I missing out on its Pokédex entries? Let's find out…
|Pokémon Diamond||Small Pokémon occasionally gather on its unmoving back to begin building their nests.|
|Pokémon Pearl||Groups of this Pokémon migrating in search of water have been mistaken for "moving forests."|
|Pokémon Platinum||Some Pokémon are born on a Torterra's back and spend their entire life there.|
|Pokémon HeartGold||Ancient people imagined that beneath the ground, a gigantic Torterra dwelled.|
|Pokémon SoulSilver||Ancient people imagined that beneath the ground, a gigantic Torterra dwelled.|
Sadly, this is the only set of entries that one can critique this time around, due to Generation V and Generation VI just stealing old ones, and that's a real shame, because if they'd made new entries and kept them to the quality that these ones have, then we would have some pretty cool entries for Torterra. To start with Diamond and Platinum I can totally picture those entries in my heads. I can easily see a small flock of Starly or some Burmy just living on Torterra due to the massive tree and mountains that populate its shell, if it had some form of small brook then it would be believable that they didn't need to leave either. And although my imagination says Starly and Burmy, it might've been nice for the Pokédex to maybe name one species that might live on it, but that's a small nitpick. Pearl isn't amazing, although again, I can easily see why they'd be mistaken for such, big tree and all. But now we move onto HeartGold and SoulSilver and I am in love with these entries. You might note in the little box at the start of this section I mock the idea of Torterra being the Continent Pokémon, due to it obviously not being the size of a continent, but this entry explains why it is called so. And to add onto that, it reminds me of the Terry Pratchett Discworld novels in which the world is flat and seated on the backs of four elephants, which further stand on the shell of a massive turtle floating through space. I mean, if the entry threw in a Donphan reference, then it might just be the most perfect Pokédex entry ever.
|Pokémon Black||Some Pokémon are born on a Torterra's back and spend their entire life there.|
|Pokémon White||Some Pokémon are born on a Torterra's back and spend their entire life there.|
|Pokémon Black 2||Some Pokémon are born on a Torterra's back and spend their entire life there.|
|Pokémon White 2||Some Pokémon are born on a Torterra's back and spend their entire life there.|
I really liked the HeartGold and SoulSilver entry, and would've much preferred that to be the entry stolen for this generation.
|Pokémon X||Ancient people imagined that beneath the ground, a gigantic Torterra dwelled.|
|Pokémon Y||Small Pokémon occasionally gather on its unmoving back to begin building their nests.|
|Pokémon Omega Ruby||Ancient people imagined that beneath the ground, a gigantic Torterra dwelled.|
|Pokémon Alpha Sapphire||Small Pokémon occasionally gather on its unmoving back to begin building their nests.|
I mean, at least this generation did bring back that amazing HeartGold and SoulSilver entry.
Conclusion We can only judge Torterra on the Generation IV entries, and honestly, it's a hit. Pearl is the weakest of the entries, but it makes perfect sense given how it might look. I would've thought that Diamond and Platinum would've been the best of the bunch here, but they are blown out of the water with the creativity of the entry for HeartGold and SoulSilver. It might even have blown all the other Pokédex entries we've examined over the years out of the water.
|The 'Shroom: Issue 156|
|Staff sections||Staff Notes • The 'Shroom Spotlight|
|Features||Fake News • Fun Stuff • Palette Swap • Pipe Plaza • Critic Corner • Strategy Wing|