The 'Shroom:Issue 157/Strategy Wing

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Director Notes

Written by: Hooded Pitohui (talk)

Shroom2018 HoodedPitohui.png

It's April, and somehow this month has simultaneously brought with it a flurry of activity while having far too little activity. This would normally be a time of graduations, of making final memories for students, of, for the rest of us, getting out and enjoying the warming weather and sunnier days. These are difficult times, but I think it's good to keep in mind what we do have. We have the Internet, and all of these platforms that allow us to continue to talk and work together, no matter where we may be in the world. Through that, we can continue to come together to create and to share experiences with one another, just as this community does when crafting The 'Shroom each month. To me, that's comforting, it's a light in the dark, and, on the whole, it's pretty cool.

Speaking of cool, the team here at Strategy Wing have worked hard to put together some pretty cool sections for you. Now, you'll notice that SGoW's Declassified Mario Kart Wii Survival Guide is not present this month, but don't fret. The section is on a bi-monthly schedule, so you'll be seeing it again next month. Between our other four sections, you should have plenty to keep you reading in the meantime!

I'd also encourage you to sign up for a Strategy Wing section yourself! There are some handy examples of sections we've had in the past right in our section on the sign-up page. 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. The range of topics you can cover is very broad. If you're worried about how to take something you're passionate about and turn it into a section that fits on our team, feel free to chat with me and I can help give you some direction.

Okay, I've said enough, between my announcements and sentimental ramblings. For now, go read the sections our writers have prepared for you, and, afterwards, go vote in Mach Speed Mayhem so you can decide which F-Zero racer you read about next month.

Section of the Month

Shy Guy on Wheels (talk) pulls up to the starting line and takes off with a Rocket Start, earning a Section of the Month win for his very first section in The 'Shroom. I want to congratulate him for the accomplishment, as well as Superchao (talk) and ManKoops (talk) for their continued success with their sections. Please be sure to keep voting and encouraging our writers with your feedback!

Place Section Votes % Writer
1st SGoW's Declassified Mario Kart Wii Survival Guide 8 47.06% Shy Guy on Wheels
2nd Mach Speed Mayhem 4 23.53% Superchao
3rd Koops, Your Emblem is on Fire 3 17.65% ManKoops

Tips and Challenges

Not much of a welcoming committee...
[read more]

Will Waluigi Pinball's staff kart leave you pinballing around the track?
[read more]
History and Facts

If you have the fare, PJ will get you there right quick. Though it may not be in one piece...
[read more]

Yoshi876 has purloined some Pokédex entries about Purrloin for this analysis.
[read more]

Koops, Your Emblem is on Fire

Written by: ManKoops (talk)

Yo! Many Yos!

How ya dooin' taday, fewks? Koops here, again, and welcome back to this thing! Last time, we encountered a racist asshole and rescued Ninian, the not slutty dancer from the clutches of THREATENING™ 2-speed Shamans. We also found out that these jerks stole Ninian's ring, and we are now crusading to deliver them justice, because no one steals without serious repercussions right? Don't steal, kids.

The Black Fang Fleas

Now that we have apprehended those thievesies, we can press onward to Caelin! The motherland! Man, what a day! And I am sure everyone will welcome with open arms since we have the Marquess's granddaughter with us!

Ballistic Caelin

Oh boy, that did not go so well as I thought. Looks like we underestimated Lundgren, but! His soldiers probably still really suck, so there's no real danger here, right? As long as we can overpower'em, we'll come out on the other side just fine!

So join me next time as we start on doing just that! See ya next time, my lovely FE slaves!

Kent+Sain lotsa spaghetti.jpg
  • Not nice of Lundgren to welcome us with a ballista party, eh Sain?
  • I hope they run outta arrows!

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.

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. And with the current outbreak forcing all inside, I decided to try and reflect that in any way I could with the Mario Kart track I looked at. And thankfully Mario Kart 7 has a track that takes place entirely indoors, and that is fan-favourite track, Waluigi Pinball. Now sadly, my second favourite Mario character didn't make the cut for this game, so I can't play as the titular Waluigi, at least we got Wario to do it for us though.

The combination for normal staff for Waluigi Pinball is Wario with the Standard, Slick tyres and the Swoop Glider, and the stats are as follows:

  • Speed – Five bars
  • Acceleration – Two bars
  • Weight – Just over four bars
  • Handling – Just over one bar
  • Off-road – One bar

Koopa Troopa Beach

Before its Mario Kart Tour days.

A lot of times with this section, I've had issues with the speed of a Kart combination, and this time I really didn't. Although my first lap was far from spectacular, seventh by first Item Boxes and about fourth by the time we finished the first lap, I felt speedy. The overtakes I performed weren't (mostly) down to Red Shells, but actual speed. Even when on the final lap, Mario took that shortcut through the rock formation, he was just behind me, and I lost no time from him doing the shortcut, and was easily past him before the gliding section there.

Mario Circuit 2

Despite some attempts from Mario and Luigi, I did manage to keep the lead off the line, but for a while I wasn't able to shake the competition. So when I took a longer line to get some Coins, just before the end of the first lap, both Mario and DK got past me. Thankfully, they were easy pickings, but the Spiny Shell thrown by Metal Mario did throw me. I fell down to fourth place, and although I was soon past Peach and Luigi, catching Mario was a different story. A Mushroom closed up most of the distance, but I only barely squeaked past him just before the finish line to claim the victory.

Coconut Mall

The start of the race at Coconut Mall with Luigi.
An absolute disaster of a start hereHelHelHhell.

Blowing up my engine was not how I planned to start the race, but Triple Mushrooms got me out of a bad situation and up into fourth, while some Red Shells and pure speed did the rest of the groundwork. Although it looked like I was struggling to fully shake Peach on the second lap, she did sink into the distance, but a Spiny Shell on the final lap brought everyone back into contention, with Mario whacking my Kart a few times before I outsped him. I might have raced a little messily afterwards, missing a Dash Panel in the car section, but I still brought home the third win.

Waluigi Pinball

I thought I had an amazing start, but I forgot how in this game you can be overtaken in cannons, and DK, Mario and Metal Mario all passed me. With a whole lot of snaking going on at this point, we were all constantly swapping positions, right until we got into the end of the track where I finally forged a small lead. A Blue Shell allowed DK past, but some poor drifting on his part meant I easily slotted right past him, and unlike other races this time it was a breeze to the finish line.

Given how my last speedy combination for this section went, I wasn't too confident going in with this one, but I loved it. I felt the speed, especially on circuits like Koopa Troopa Beach and Waluigi Pinball, and most things felt effortless. I did have a couple of handling difficulties, especially in the stages of Waluigi Pinball where we were all snaking, but honestly this might be my favourite Mario Kart 7 combination I've done for this section.

The Expert Staff combination for Waluigi Pinball is Wario with the Growlster, Slim tyres and Ghastly Glider. The stats are as follows:

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

Koopa Troopa Beach

Like last time, I was only up to seventh by the time we hit the first Item Boxes, but unlike last time, I actually managed to get one of them, and I was blessed with the Triple Mushrooms. I shot up the ranks, especially after using the shortcut, but halfway around the second lap, Luigi was definitely gaining on the mini-map, it looked like he might be about to tussle with me, but Blooper came along, and the AI always get a bit weird when he comes out, so I extended my lead. Mario was about to try and launch a third lap assault, but a lucky Mushroom in the Item Box meant I could use the shortcut again, and he wasn't even in my dust, he was that far behind.

Mario Circuit 2

Mario Circuit 2 in Mario Kart 7
Mario was no match for me this time around.

Like last time, Mario and Luigi tried challenging for the lead, but both were unsuccessful, but unlike last time this was a romp home. No other racer could ever mount a serious challenge to my lead, and on the third lap, Lakitu, who was in second for most of it, rarely featured on my mini-map.

Coconut Mall

I didn't blow up my engine this time, and yet I still had a horrid opening, at one point featuring down in sixth place. A Mushroom through the shop briefly saw me in the lead, but then Bowser and Lakitu took it. I got past them in the bog shopping area, but then Luigi took my lead, and I didn't manage to reclaim it until the car park section. My lead was a tentative one, but did extend into Spiny Shell territory, but after that Spiny Shell I always had Lakitu on my back, and although it looked like he might clinch the lead in the final car park section, he failed and I managed to keep it.

Waluigi Pinball

<small>DS</small> Waluigi Pinball in Mario Kart 7
I always worry about these, but they were no problem this time.

Nothing to report here on a fairly uneventful race, which saw me romp home with a monstrous win.

After the calamities of last month's section, I think this month I have properly redeemed myself, especially with such tremendous wins. Last combination, I was a little unsteady on Mario Circuit 2, but this time it, along with every other race, was a piece of cake. I'd recommend any of the two combination featured here today, the Mario Kart staff really can pick them.

I hope you enjoyed this section, and I'll see you next month. 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)

The arch-nemesis of traffic cops the galaxy over.

Hello, 'Shroom readers! Welcome to the latest edition of Mach Speed Mayhem! And it came with quite a competitive voting session, but it settled on someone by the end, so thanks to the voters you're getting to learn about #38: PJ! One of the ten F-Zero AX debuts, PJ is the fastest - and craziest - taxi driver in the galaxy!

Main Series

PJ makes his debut in F-Zero GX and F-Zero AX as one of the ten new characters created by Sega. Like the other AX racers, you can just play as PJ from the start in F-Zero AX, getting to choose the taxi driver without any hoops. As for F-Zero GX, if you don't transfer him, you'll need to clear Chapter 9 on Very Hard, where Captain Falcon must defeat a staff ghost in a one on one match. By that point, the ghost representing the Creators is skilled enough that it feels like racing against the actual staff, requiring speed and precision for Captain Falcon to survive a course that lacks a single wall along its entire length. But if Falcon can beat this time trial and drive off the gods of his world, you get PJ and his Groovy Taxi! As for PJ himself, he's a cabbie for Galaxy Cab, who don't just take you from street to street, but from planet to planet. PJ's their top earner, and he attempted to use this to get a raise, only for it to turn into a big fight with the owner. That resulted in a temporary suspension, and while trying to figure out what to do to pass the time, PJ discovered F-Zero racing. He immediately put all his life savings into remodeling his beloved taxicab, creating his personal F-Zero machine, and with that and the skills from his taxi driving, he's challenging the latest edition of the F-Zero Grand Prix!

PJ, as a professional, is cheerful and friendly in his interviews. He's happy to explain that he started driving in F-Zero thanks to his pride as a taxi driver, and that he wanted to show his skills to the universe. He's got a taxi driver's mindset; his first plan upon victory is to go over the Groovy Taxi with a fine-toothed comb to make sure that it's in tip-top shape, since a taxi driver is nothing without his car, and he's ready to give a receipt for his prize money. Notably, though, PJ isn't the most law-abiding taxi driver; he mentions that the best thing about F-Zero racing is the lack of speeding violations, and that one of his worst enemies (alongside taxi jams) is the Galactic Space Federation, who have never caught him even once for his many speeding tickets - he's just too fast! Saying that on TV probably ticked off Jody. He's also got problems with drunks and overly handsy couples, considering them to be passengers that make his life harder. On the whole, though, PJ is happy to take anyone who wants a ride in his taxicab. Just keep in mind that to quote PJ himself, his driving is very thrilling!

Interestingly, despite being currently suspended from Galaxy Cab, PJ is happy to provide quite a bit of advertising for the company. He's still wearing their uniform, and when Mr. Zero complements his outfit, he doesn't hesitate in stating that not only is this the Galaxy Cab uniform, but that the star badge is for being their best driver. His message to his TV fans is the Galaxy Cab advertising pitch, telling them to call Galaxy Cab when they want to go out and promising them their ride of their life. He's even left a Galaxy Cab display on top of the Groovy Taxi! It might seem odd that he's busy shilling the cab company after they suspended him for an argument, but if you think about it, it actually gives PJ solid negotiation material - after all, what if he starts driving for the competition and giving them that much advertising? Somehow I think not only will PJ get a raise, but he might get his other request - a bigger cab, which he's asked for because some of his passengers go up to 30 meters tall. Don't ask me how they fit in the old one... Unlike every other AX racer, PJ makes a minor cameo in the GX Story Mode. While he never brings the Groovy Taxi out to race, the cabbie can be seen in the cutscene after beating Chapter 3, as one of the people reacting with frustration due to Falcon's odds-defying victory. Guess we know who he didn't bet on.


PJ's personal ride, the Groovy Taxi, is his ride both at work and in F-Zero. Starting as an ordinary interplanetary taxicab, it belongs to PJ himself, so when he decided to enter F-Zero during his suspension, he simply outfitted it for the F-Zero Grand Prix! Notably, it retains many features from its previous life as a taxicab. The color scheme is obvious enough, but small details like the car being the only F-Zero machine with more than one seat, the Galaxy Cab advertisement, the front grille and red rear lights... they're all very clear signs that this vehicle was previously street legal before being upgraded. In fact, the vehicle description says that PJ hasn't even removed the meter, and it calculates a fare for every F-Zero race he participates in. Wonder how big that gets, considering the speeds he reaches? With listed stats of B body, D boost, and B grip - can't have THAT good a boost, since the taxi industry (allegedly) won't tolerate reckless driving - it sounds like a weaker Blue Falcon... and in gameplay terms, it's pretty much that. The boost isn't as bad as listed, but the grip is somewhat weaker, as it tends to break on sharp turns; if you're going to send PJ to victory, make sure your turns are pretty light. All in all, it's one of those cars you use more for the aesthetic and personal preference than for guaranteed victory.

It's time to make some grooooovy money! Are ya ready!?

Other Information

If you've read my previous sections, you know that a couple of the F-Zero racers are wholesale references to other franchises - Mr. EAD to Mario, and James McCloud to Star Fox. Well, for AX, Sega decided they wanted to get in on the fun as well! And as a result, PJ is one giant walking reference to Sega's Crazy Taxi series. An entire franchise of games about driving a taxi cab that ignores speed limits, roads, objects, and anything else for the sole goal of getting a passenger to the destination as fast as possible? That sounds a lot like PJ. In Crazy Taxi itself, your passengers only care about speed, paying you bigger fares for getting there faster even if you demolished half the city on the way, and as we know, PJ's many speeding violations haven't dampened his earnings one bit. Even PJ's personal theme music in F-Zero GX sounds like something that could fit into the series, going well with the other tunes that play as you drive around to deliver passengers. It's pretty clear Sega wanted to get their own driving franchise some representation in F-Zero, and honestly, I can't blame them!

Interestingly, the Groovy Taxi has an actual license plate you can view in-game. It says "AV" on top, and then the main license number is "D*00152". It wouldn't surprise me if the AV stood for Amusement Vision, the Sega group that created both GX and AX, but I have no idea what the rest means. Some significant date? A staff injoke? Just a random number? Who knows. That covers everything I've got to say on PJ, so go ahead and swing by the thread to tell me who gets covered in May!

Pokédex Power

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

It's a Devious Pokémon, like a lot of real-life cats.

Hello everyone, it's me, Yoshi876 again with a new edition of Pokédex Power, the section written by the person who has been playing a lot of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games during this lockdown, mainly Explorers of Darkness and Super Mystery Dungeon as those were the ones I had on me. I find it weird that whenever I do a Mystery Dungeon game, I'm pretty much always a Water-type. For Red Rescue Team I am a Mudkip, for Explorers of Darkness I'm a Squirtle and for Super Mystery Dungeon I'm a Totodile. The only exception to this is Explorers of Sky in which I'm a Phanphy.

But we're not looking at any of those Pokémon this time around, in fact we're not even looking at a Water-type, this time we're going to be looking at a Dark-type, and if you've looked in the little box over there, I'm guessing you might know that we're looking at Purrloin this time.

Although I love real-life cats, I don't think I've extensively used them in the game. I believe that I have trained a Purrloin in Black 2 and evolved it into Liepard, but it doesn't really stick in my mind. And as I stopped watching the anime after the Best Wishes saga, I haven't encountered Purrloin there so I don't have any anecdotes to share on that front, I'm afraid. But can Purrloin make up with that with its Pokédex entries? Let's find out…

Generation V

Pokémon Black They steal from people for fun, but their victims can't help but forgive them. Their deceptively cute act is perfect.
Pokémon White Its cute act is a ruse. When victims let down their guard, they find their items taken. It attacks with sharp claws.
Pokémon Black 2 Their cute act is a ruse. They trick people and steal their valuables just to see the looks on their faces.
Pokémon White 2 Their cute act is a ruse. They trick people and steal their valuables just to see the looks on their faces.

If you learn anything from this generation about Purrloin, it is that the Pokémon is a thief. In fact, from the sounds of it, this Pokémon loves stealing, and it definitely taps into its Dark-type cunning by putting up this cute act to steal things. But one thing that baffles me about the Black entry is this whole forgiveness thing. Do they see the Purrloin and are like 'Although you stole from me, you are cute, so you can keep my stuff'? I also wonder what items the Purrloin takes, is it just money, or does it steal things like potions and evolutionary stones? Or have we been thrown into the real-world here, and it might snatch a phone off of someone? But one thing that's certain is that they attack with sharp claws, not big meaty ones, and I'm sure anyone on the end of those claws will certainly feel a sting, having been on the end of my real-life cats' claws sometimes. I do find it amusing that between White and Black and White 2 the Pokédex writers felt the need to change 'Its' to 'Their', it's those little details that really matter.

Generation VI

Pokémon X Its cute act is a ruse. When victims let down their guard, they find their items taken. It attacks with sharp claws.
Pokémon Y They steal from people for fun, but their victims can't help but forgive them. Their deceptively cute act is perfect.
Pokémon Omega Ruby Its cute act is a ruse. When victims let down their guard, they find their items taken. It attacks with sharp claws.
Pokémon Alpha Sapphire They steal from people for fun, but their victims can't help but forgive them. Their deceptively cute act is perfect.

I guess a Purrloin came over and stole the new entries so they had to reuse old ones.

Generation VIII

Pokémon Sword It steals things from people just to amuse itself with their frustration. A rivalry exists between this Pokémon and Nickit.
Pokémon Shield Opponents that get drawn in by its adorable behaviour come away with stinging scratches from its claws and stinging pride from its laughter.

Given the Sword entry, I'm a lot less willing to believe the entry from Black that says their cute act exempts them angry people, if a Pokémon is stealing my stuff explicitly to see me annoyed, I'm getting annoyed, I'm not forgiving it just because it's cute. I do like the mention of Nickit, and I do wish that Purrloin showed up in its entries, especially as I'd love to know more about this rivalry, especially since both Pokémon are known thieves. And this Pokémon sure sounds callous in its battles, laughing at the opponents it's clawed, and I imagine it gives the same treatment to those who try and reclaim their items but are unsuccessful.

Conclusion I think the Generation VIII entries are the strongest for Purrloin, which is strange as often times, Pokédex entries have seemed to have gotten worse as the generations went by. But here, I have a clear sense of what Purrloin is like as a battler, and what the Pokémon is like when it's in the wild. Generation V is also a solid set of entries, and it felt nit-picky to find flaws in those entries. All in all, while I'm not sure what Purrloin is like in the games, I can say it has pretty good Pokédex entries.

The 'Shroom: Issue 157
Staff sections Staff NotesThe 'Shroom Spotlight
Features Fake NewsFun StuffPalette SwapPipe PlazaCritic CornerStrategy Wing
Specials ACNH Photo Contest