The 'Shroom:Issue 159/Strategy Wing

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Director Notes

Written by: Hooded Pitohui (talk)

Shroom2018 HoodedPitohui.png

Hello to all of you readers of The 'Shroom out there! Welcome to the June issue of The 'Shroom, and welcome to out hero-loving home in Strategy Wing. Yes, that's right. Unlike some team directors who will go unnamed but may or may not resemble a plant, we do not support villainous mischief here in the kind and just Strategy Wing. Er, but you're here for strategies, for tips, tricks, and analysis. If you'd like to show your support for the heroes that we so admire in fiction, check out our inaugural 'Shroomfest.

While you're poking around, be sure to vote in the awards polls, too! They've been out for a week now, but you can vote again every week, and your votes help keep the awards ceremony fresh and interesting each year. The 'Shroom staff and the Awards Committee have worked hard to prepare a document to make voting in the Community Awards, too, so whether you missed it when it was posted or it's been a week and you're ready to vote again, please make sure to give that a read and to vote to show your support for the hard-working members of our community. Voting Strategy Wing for C6 is, might I add, a great idea...

Now, now, the news for Strategy Wing. We have our usual great line-up of sections for you this month. The Declassified Mario Kart Wii Survival Guide ran into some engine troubles once again, and is not in this issue. Rest assured that it will get back on the track eventually, as soon as we can find that Lakitu. For now, though, we have four excellent sections for you to read, so please make sure to go give those a look before you head out! And if you feel inspired after reading them, consider taking a trip to the sign-up page, to see some examples of sections we've had in the past and to find out how to join the team (it's very easy!).

Section of the Month

This month, Mach Speed Mayhem had boost power! Or perhaps it just had the benefit of covering a mysterious performer. Either way, Superchao (talk) raced to victory with his coverage on Spade's history. I'd say all of our writers won this month, though, with those high voting numbers. There's plenty of votes to cast this month, but it only takes a couple of clicks, so please don't forget to show your support by voting in the section of month poll, as well!

STRATEGY WING SECTION OF THE MONTH
Place Section Votes % Writer
1st Mach Speed Mayhem 22 52.38% Superchao
2nd Pokédex Power 9 21.43% Yoshi876
3rd Koops, Your Emblem is on Fire 7 16.67 ManKoops

Tips and Challenges

The end already? Oh, only the end of Lyn mode. Okay.
[read more]

What's the verdict? Is SNES Rainbow Road's Mario Kart 7 staff kart out of this world?
[read more]
History and Facts

I know this is a section run by voters, but how could QQQ not be in the ninth edition...
[read more]

Salazzle take "intoxicating grace" to a whole new level! Do its entries captivate?
[read more]


Koops, Your Emblem is on Fire

Written by: ManKoops (talk)

Part 9: Saluting the Caelin gang...

Howdy Howdy Howdy, everyone! Howzit goin'?

Last time, we got Wallace, we repelled some fog and we defeated General Eagler (and we'll also never know how he was forced to fight us). Also Kent redeemed himself and became God.

Today, we will be wrapping up Lyn's tale. After 10 chapters together, it is finally time to say goodbye temporarily. Today, we defeat LORD LUNDGREN and end his reign of not-very-terror.

And thus ends Lyn's story. This won't be the last we see of her, but for now we part ways. And with that, come my thoughts on Lyn mode.

I find that I... actually like Lyn mode. It opens up with an introduction to Lyn, who is an all-around likable and pretty nice character, and we get to witness her journey to not only prevent the Caelin throne from being usurped, but to save her grandfather and avenge her tribe. It's... a simple story, but I think that, all things considered, it is one of the best bits of story-telling the series has to offer. While I am usually not the biggest fan of avatar units in later games, the avatar here plays as minimal a role as can be, and manages to really immerse you in the adventure all the same. Lyn's tactician, Mark, not showing up on screen just serves as a way to not get in the way of everything happening, while also creating the ideal setup to introduce the player to Fire Emblem (which works well especially since this is the first game to be released overseas) with the occasional "fourth-wall breaks" that the characters make. And it is nice to have a small-scale conflict that doesn't involve the fate of the world or something, and instead settle with a personal story. Watching Lyn grow along the way as she discovers how the world around her operates and her coming to terms with her heritage is one of my personal favorite character arcs for a lord in the series, and that does place her pretty high on my lord tier list. She is my favorite lord in this game, for sure, though. If only she was a better unit.

In terms of gameplay... there's some issues. Some of these maps are boring, and maybe even annoying at times, but it's undeniable how much Lyn mode can help you later on. The characters we gained here have their stats carry on to the main game when we get them. Skipping Lyn mode gives these units base stats that are either equal or slightly higher than Lyn mode bases, and are usually not as good as what stats you may end up getting should you play through Lyn mode (people like Wil and Florina especially suffer from this), not to mention Lyn herself (her bases are awful if you don't play Lyn mode). And of course at the end of the day, it is a good tutorial for newcomers, and I feel it did a great job at introducing the non-Japanese audiences to the series (I hear the Japanese also really love this game, so win-win). I mean, heck, the series is 30 years old now. It must have made a good impact if that first impression seems to have been able to carry the series this far.

Overall, I really like Lyn mode. I think it's pretty cool. The writing later on can get questionable at times but we will be in for some better map design.

One last goodbye to the Caelin gang for now. Love them. Although don't worry. Kent. Sain. Wil. Florina. And everyone else who helped us. Y'all are amazing. As soon as the very next chapter, we will be seeing some familiar faces again already, albeit most of them will be joining quite a bit later. But for now, stay safe everyone, and take care.

See ya next time as we start off Eliwood's and Hector's journey.

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 social distancing still in place for many of us, although I am aware that situations are always evolving and restrictions are being loosened, I've gone for the most socially distanced course I could think of: Rainbow Road SNES. Now, while the track is narrow, meaning we might have to bunch up together at parts, there's not too many people out in space, so I think we're pretty well covered!

The combination for normal staff for Rainbow Road SNES is Lakitu with the Pipe Frame, Slim tyres and the Super Glider, and the stats are as follows:

  • Speed – Two and a half bars
  • Acceleration – Four and a half bars
  • Weight – Just under bars
  • Handling – Just over four bars
  • Off-road – Three bars

Koopa Cape

The combination was surprisingly quick in this section of the track.

Not my best start, as I was only up to seventh by the first set of Item Boxes, which does seem to be the new norm with this section, but I had easily picked off the rest of the racers to be first by the second set of Item Boxes. I thought I was in for a plain sail, especially after knocking Honey Queen off the first boost with a well placed Banana Peel, but a Spiny Shell hit me, and knocked me off the course, dropping me back to fifth. But it was still easy pickings to get back up to first, but another Spiny Shell ruined the fun, and dropped me down, alongside a Green Shell from Honey Queen, but once again this nippy Kart got back up to first easily. Shy Guy used a Mushroom to briefly pass me during a water section, but Lightning and pure speed from this outraced him, and I won by a comfortable margin.

Dino Dino Jungle

This was not my race at all, I thought I started off really well, but at the dinosaur, I suddenly found myself down in fifth. Positions were swapping constantly, especially with some able to use the shortcut, where I was not, but Princess Peach drifting off got me back into fourth, and a set of Triple Mushrooms got me to second behind Wiggler, who was passed on the bridges. A Spiny Shell moved me back down to third, but I was able to get past everyone, although Wiggler was able to keep up quite well. It looked like I might just eek out the win, but as fate would have it, another Spiny Shell was coming my way, and just before the finish line. Wiggler passed me, but my Green Shell hit him, unfortunately as we'd been sprayed by Blooper ink, I didn't see the geysers about to go off, and yes, I drove straight into it. Shy Guy and an invincible Princess Peach passed us, and I was left in third place.

Airship Fortress

A Spiny Shell was not what I wanted at this pointHelHelHhell.

I thought I had a good start, but I soon found myself lagging behind in fifth, but thankfully Triple Mushrooms got me out of a jam and into a healthy lead. I thought that eventually I was due some plain sailing but Spiny Shells had other ideas, and I was hit by one just as I entered the cannon. Thankfully, my nearest rival, Honey Queen, was a casualty of the blast, and although Princess Peach got ahead of us, she was incredibly slow, so I zipped right past her, and finally had a smooth(ish) journey to the finish line.

Rainbow Road

I'd been waiting for it all Grand Prix, but it finally happened. The race in which I had no Spiny Shells, no challenges from the other drivers, just a clear route to the finish and the win.

This isn't a combination deserved that win on Dino Dino Jungle, it was flawless for me. Despite the speed being on the lower scale of things, it rarely felt slow, always zippy. The starts could've been better, but I feel that all the woes I experienced with this combination came from Spiny Shells as opposed it. If I didn't dislike the Pipe Frame in general, I could see myself using this, but obviously my personal bias against a Kart shouldn't dissuade you from using it.

The Expert Staff combination for SNES Rainbow Road is Lakitu with the Cloud 9, Roller tyres and Parafoil. The stats are as follows:

  • Speed – Just under two bars
  • Acceleration – Just over five bars
  • Weight – Just under one bar
  • Handling – Five and a half bars
  • Off-road – Just under three bars

Koopa Cape

I was expecting an uphill battle with combination, but ended up one place higher than normal, sixth, by the first set of Item Boxes. From there, for some reason half the rest of the racers went really wide just as we entered the flowing water section, so I was easily past them, and Triple Red Shells warded off major threats for a while. I never had to test the theory, but I feel that I was a Spiny Shell ahead of the pack for most of the race.

Dino Dino Jungle

Although I never benefitted from this shortcut, a lot of others did.

A good start was beneficial, and this time everyone wasn't swapping and changing positions like no tomorrow, although Honey Queen did benefit from the shortcut, and it took me a little bit into the second lap to get past her. Things looked set, but on the final lap, Wario got rid of all my defences with a series of Red Shells, before passing me while I had a Tanooki Leaf, and hitting me with a Fireball. Toad also got past using the shortcut, but got held up on the dinosaur, and I managed to slot past Wario for the win, but had I made the mistake with the geyser again, it might've been second for me.

Airship Fortress

Don't drink orange juice and play Mario Kart kids! I spilt some on me and it slightly threw me off on the first lap, hitting a variety of walls. Thankfully this never let anyone past, other than at the start, but Donkey Kong sorted himself out. But on the second lap, Yoshi decided to make my race harder – you'd think he would be nice, given he's my favourite character – and like last time, a Spiny Shell hit me in the cannon, and then a Green Shell hit me, just for that little bit extra. This left me in sixth, and with Honey Queen and Donkey Kong getting slipstreams, I struggled to pass them for fourth. Thankfully, Honey Queen was dispatched with a Red Shell, Wario slowed down due to Blooper ink, and Donkey Kong met a Rocky Wrench, and I sailed past them, and took home another victory.

Rainbow Road

A close battle… was never had on this track.

Much like last time, I was able to zoom off into the distance and leave all the other racers choking on my (space)dust. At one point, I fell off the track, and Donkey Kong was so far behind, he did not even come close to the overtake.

I thought it would be an upward struggle with this combination, but like the first time around, this one is surprisingly fast. It won all four tracks, and won Koopa Cape Rainbow Road without any of the other racers anywhere nearby. And while things got a little hairy on Dino Dino Jungle and Airship Fortress, this was mainly down to shortcuts and distractions; I would recommend either of the combinations that I used in this section for people looking to race better.

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

Mach Speed Mayhem

Written by: Superchao (talk)

Welcome to the world of yesteryear!

Hello, 'Shroom readers! Welcome back to what is definitely the Year of AX at this point. When we're six months in and four of those six have been AX racers, what other conclusion can I draw as I write about #39: QQQ? This robot might be high-tech by our standards, but it's surprisingly low-tech according to the future. Still, that doesn't stop it from participating in the F-Zero Grand Prix!

Main Series

As with the other F-Zero AX debuts, QQQ is available from the start in the arcade version. In the console version, you've got two ways to unlock this particular machine. The first, of course, is transferring from AX, but the second is clearing Chapter 3 of Story Mode on Very Hard. The bet race doesn't change in number of laps or number of opponents or anything like that, but the racers you're up against grow more aggressive and difficult - especially money-hungry Billy and his infinite boost power. But if Captain Falcon Famicom can overcome the 2560 to 1 odds, you'll get to take home QQQ and the prize money both! Now, onto the robot itself. After it was abandoned in a junk heap, Phoenix - a space police detective from the future - dug through the heap, and found the damaged, buried QQQ. He retrieved it, fixed it up, and took it on as a sidekick, and now they fight crime! While the robot's body is considered out of date and obsolete, its brain is top of the line, and even by 26th century standards, QQQ's artificial intelligence is cutting-edge! Although, there's one piece of information buried deep within its AI that QQQ can't remember. It knows it's there, frustrating and aggravating the robot - whatever it is, it's incredibly important. But unless someone can fix up QQQ, it'll never be able to figure it out.

Surprisingly, the F-Zero GX bio just tells us immediately what that information is. Namely, QQQ is from the 29th century, like Phoenix himself is. The two of them came together three centuries back in time to pursue an unknown criminal, but for whatever reason, QQQ was thrown onto the scrap heap - perhaps captured by the criminal? - and that damaged its memory. While QQQ is equipped with the necessary hardware for time travel, it can't use it unless it remembers that it's here and how to use it. We'll need another game to see if QQQ and Phoenix can return to the future... but, hey, at least it's doing pretty well here! The interviews provide some interesting details, as well. For example, did you know that QQQ was originally a robot for landmine detection and disposal? Mr. Zero does, now! QQQ also cites Captain Falcon as his racing coach of sorts - more specifically, it analyzed Falcon's style, used the data, and claimed victory with its own take on it.

You gotta roll roll roll...

One thing that really shows through in the interviews is that QQQ has cripplingly low self-esteem. It barely believes that it's won, it cites its luck and the other racers being off their game as the main reason it was able to claim victory, and when described as the new F-Zero hero, reinforces that it's merely a robot. It does have some small pools of confidence, though. It'll still take on its rivals as long as it has battery power - though it does say it needs a recharge for a low battery as part of its post-race plans, so maybe not RIGHT away. It also chalks up its driving technique to not hitting the walls and using the booster, even saying that's not very difficult. You'd be surprised! Finally, QQQ's got an interesting hobby - it likes to spend its free time shopping for custom parts. Not just to improve the machine, but to upgrade and modify its own chassis. The advantages of having a modular body!

Speaking of that machine, QQQ's Rolling Turtle is another modified preexisting object. But rather than a jet plane or a space taxi, this machine was previously a military satellite! Phoenix picked it up from the waste management facility and proceeded to rework it into a machine so that QQQ could join him in his mission - for whatever reason, being able to pilot an F-Zero machine is very important to Phoenix's time chase. Thanks to being a rebuilt military device, the Rolling Turtle's built from some highly durable pieces, and its listed stats are an A body, D boost, and B grip. Surprisingly, the inaccuracy is largely in the boost! While the body isn't quite as strong as listed, it's still durable, and the grip is very good. The Rolling Turtle won't roll off course! The boost is actually better than listed, too, though the tradeoff is that QQQ has some terrible acceleration. Interestingly, it's the only car where the driver is visible as part of the model, rather than as a separate model inside the car, with QQQ plugging itself into the top of the Rolling Turtle. When the car appears on the interview stage for Mr. Zero's GREAT MACHINE comment, it actually has to be positioned differently from all the others to avoid showing the second QQQ!

Q Races Q Robots Q Cars

Other Information

Who's ready for a lesson in phonetics? You see, QQQ is the target of a bunch of number play that has both an English and Japanese version. As can be seen when you compare them, in English, the numeral "9" and the lowercase letter "q" look pretty similar depending on how you write them - and the font that F-Zero GX displays pilot profile names in actually emphasizes that (while keeping them distinct from actual 9s). In Japanese, nine is pronounced "kyu", which is very similar to "q", enough to create homonyms. The makers of GX and AX had some fun with this - QQQ's machine is listed as weighing 999 kilograms... or in other terms, QQQ kilograms, and it's one of only two machines that has a weight not a multiple of 10. Additionally, as can be seen in his picture up there, QQQ's chest writes its name as Q3, which can be inverted into 3Q - or in other terms, its car number, 39. Finally, this one is me stretching things, but I wouldn't be surprised if the involvement of 3 in QQQ's name is why it's specifically unlocked via Chapter 3 of Story Mode.

With all my conspiracy theorizing out of the way, that finishes up this article. Now get in there and pick who I cover for July's Dr. Mario issue!

Pokédex Power

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

It's a Toxic Lizard Pokémon, not that I really care, I'll never see one anyway.

Hello everyone, it's me, Yoshi876 again with a new edition of Pokédex Power, the section written by the person who does not understand how Tropius isn't a Fossil Pokémon, the big grass sauropod is literally a dinosaur, and yet somehow survived while its Ice-type brethren, Amaura and Aurorus didn't survive. What makes this thing the even more jarring is that Generation III did introduce new Fossil Pokémon, and to be honest, they're quite dull while Tropius isn't.

But we're not looking at Tropius this time around, I just like ranting about unrelated Pokémon, as frequent readers of this section should well know. This time we're looking at a Pokémon that I believe is a fan favourite from the seventh generation: the intoxicating Salazzle. Now, I haven't played that far into Moon, although had the lockdown not happened I probably would have by now, but even if I had completed Moon, I doubt I would have had expose to Salazzle. Much like with Vespiquen, I never find the female in the species that I need to, and I feel like these Pokémon are a bit of a poor more from developers. I get that they're cool, and Salazzle's design and typing is amazing, but making these obscure and difficult evolution methods kind of defeats the purpose of completing the Pokédex, I have this same issue with Sirfetch'd.

So, as I'm sure you've figured out by now, I haven't trained Salazzle, so I can't really say what it's like, but Salandit has really interested me, so if I did somehow manage to get myself a female Salandit, I'd definitely use Salazzle. But does that mean that I'll like its Pokédex entries? Let's find out…

Generation VII

Pokémon Sun For some reason, only females have been found. It creates a reverse harem of male Salandit that it lives with.
Pokémon Moon Filled with pheromones, its poisonous gas can be diluted to use in the production of luscious perfumes.
Pokémon Ultra Sun Salazzle lives deep in caves and forces the Salandit it has attracted with its pheromones to serve it.
Pokémon Ultra Moon It punishes Salandit that couldn't bring it food with a fierce slap of its flame-spewing palm.

Generation VII does a decent introduction of Salazzle, and its first entry is steeped in mystery. Why is that only female Salazzle exist? Although I have no definitive proof, and it certainly doesn't come from the Pokédex, but perhaps it's the pheromones that it exudes. It's possible that the pheromones trigger something within the male Salandit that prevent it from evolving, as well as captivating it, especially since it's quite unclear how the pheromones hypnotise the Salandit. Of course, as UltraMoon puts it, being a male Salandit under a Salazzle's spell isn't always a great thing, especially if you fail to please it, sort of reminds me of that dragon from the first How to Train Your Dragon film. Other than that, there's a general habitat fact about Salazzle living in caves, although it can be found in Lush Jungle in UltraSun and UltraMoon. But the final fact we're looking at is the small interaction with humans, and it's not an uncommon fact in which its scent can be used in perfumes. It's a shame this is the main interaction with humans fact, as I feel like quite a few Poison-types, or some Grass-types, throw this fact up; that said, the only on that immediately leaps to mind is how its poison affects humans, but everyone knows we've read this kind of fact before with other Poison-types.

Generation VIII

Pokémon Sword Only female Salazzle exist. They emit a gas laden with pheromones to captivate male Salandit.
Pokémon Shield The winner of competitions between Salazzle is decided by which one has the most male Salandit with it.

The Sword fact is just a repeat of what we already know, so there's nothing new with this entry, but we do have a new entry from Shield, as the size of the harem that Salazzle has decides competitions between the two. But what are these competitions for? The obvious choice would be territory, but perhaps it could be in regards to prey that has been caught, and who has the rights to either first course or the entire prey. But given this is not defined, it's incredibly unclear, and I feel makes this set of entries quite weak. Only maybe five to ten more words, and Shield could've rescued a forgettable generation.

Conclusion Generation VII does a good job at introducing us to the idea of Salazzle, even if it deals a lot with these pheromones, which is mentioned or implied in the vast majority of its entries. UltraMoon is honestly quite a boring entry, and I would've much preferred something a lot more interesting, perhaps exploring my theory, or at least mentioning that some research is ongoing as to why this is; we know there are scientists dedicated to Pokémon research so mentioning this wouldn't come from a random place. Generation VIII really could've capitalised on some solid entries, but falls away given repeated information or an entry that leaves far too much up in the air. For future entries for Salazzle, we should definitely look into what causes the Salandit to worship it, and what Salazzle do when they meet others of the same species, perhaps they might try and win over the other Salazzle's Salandit, this does strike me as a Pokémon that would try and steal off of other Salazzle to increase its harem.

The 'Shroom: Issue 159
Staff sections Staff NotesThe 'Shroom Spotlight'ShroomfestPoll Committee DiscussionPoll Chairperson Election
Features Fake NewsFun StuffPalette SwapPipe PlazaCritic CornerStrategy Wing
Specials Community Awards DossierFeedback Survey Analysis

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