The 'Shroom:Issue 168/Palette Swap
Welcome to the March issue of The 'Shroom!
WOW a lot has happened since the last issue came out! Pyra and Mythra were released for Smash, and while they alone are not enough to make me buy DLC pass 2, the whole shebang WAS enough to make me break out my copy of Xenoblade 2...again. I need to finish the first one, still... Speaking of RPGs, how about that big showcase from Pokemon? I'm so psyched to go back to Sinnoh, and Legends: Arceus looks amazing, too. I'm so excited to see where the Pokemon company is going this year! Got my copy of New Snap all preordered and I'm ready to take some pictures!
We've got some great sections for you this month! Everyone did a great job, and I'm excited for you all to read on, so I won't keep you any longer!
Section of the Month
It's a win this month for Lakituthequick (talk), and it's easy to see why: his Site Seeing section last month covered the new website of the Super Mario World theme park in Japan! Next up, we have Magolor04726 (talk), who updated World of Plight with a new chapter featuring a surprise villain. In third is winstein (talk)'s Drawn and Pressed featuring Rose is Rose, appropriate for February. Last but not least, we have a new issue of What's on the Box? with Yoshi876 (talk), where he talked about the boxart of Super Mario Advance. Thank you to everyone who voted, we really appreciate it! Keep it up for this month as well!
|Palette Swap SECTION OF THE MONTH|
|2nd||World of Plight||8||28.57%||Magolor04726|
|3rd||Drawn and Pressed||6||21.43%||winstein|
|4th||What's on the Box?||4||14.29%||Yoshi876|
What's on the Box?
Hello readers, and welcome back to What's on the Box.
As we await the latest entry in the Mario Golf series, I thought now would be a great time to cast our eyes back to one of the first times our favourite Bowser-beating hero took to the fairway in Mario Golf.
This isn't the most interesting boxart that has ever been created, but I do actually quite like what they've gone for with the boxart, with showing the vast majority of the Mario characters simply playing a round of golf.
Along for the ride, we've got Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Bowser, Wario Donkey Kong, Yoshi, and hidden under the red strip on the side Baby Mario. The hiding of Baby Mario is genius, as he's not someone that I would be expecting to show up in a spin-off title like this, well back in the Nintendo 64 days.
Absent from the boxart, however, are the human non-Mario characters, and let's be real, that's a pretty smart move from the artists, given that the likes of those are hardly going to be grabbing anyone's attention. Other than me bringing it up right now, who can honestly say they remembered the existence of Sonny before I brought him up.
This boxart even has some sweet little details that you might miss if you're not looking closely, as there's a Nintendo 64 logo on the golf bag, and one of the clubs even has an adorable fluffy cover on it. Bowser himself is distraught with Mario's swing, presumably means he's heading for a good score, and knowing Mario probably a hole-in-one, and his other main rival Wario is also looking pretty surprised at Mario's swing.
So despite an argument of boring, as the boxart is just simply character standing on your standard gold course, these little details really push it to be better than what you might imagine. There's certainly a lot conveyed on this boxart more than just simply some Mario people playing golf.
Mod of the Month
Another month passes, which leads to another mod presented. This month we'll be looking at Neo Palm Tree Zone by GoldenB4!
Information about Sonic Robo Blast 2
In case if you are not aware, Sonic Robo Blast 2 is a fangame which brings the Classic Sonic gameplay to 3D - quite successfully, at that. The game has been developed for over two decades, and thus the current version is a high-quality, polished, and enjoyable game. It's not complete yet; which is mainly noticeable in the Red Mountain Zone which only has one act as of this issue, but it is nonetheless fantastic, and would be one of my favorite Sonic games if it were official. There's still plenty of good content, even if it's unfinished; there's eight main zones, emblems hidden in each, six playable characters: the usual trio of Sonic, Knuckles and Tails (playable on his own or just as a sidekick) plus Metal Sonic, Nack from Sonic Triple Trouble, and Amy Rose, bonus levels which, while not as good as the main ones do give you more to do, and, most importantly for this section, the ability to be modded. The game has a thriving community, and plenty of mods which, due to being a free game playable on home computers (the game is played with a keyboard and mouse, which takes time to get used but ultimately works), are extremely easy to add.
Review One thing that I love about bringing old stages back is when a previously 2D stage gets to be playable in 3D - such as with the first three zones in Sonic Generations. It literally gives another perspective on the stage, viewing it in a new light. This stage tries to do the same type of thing, turning Palm Tree Panic from Sonic CD into something more three-dimensional.
Graphically speaking, this stage is gorgeous. The textures are straight from, or at least similar to that of the original game, and it works well in Sonic Robo Blast 2, and the bright colorful atmosphere is cozy and comfortable especially given that the main game's zones are mostly bleak and grey. The stage also uses music from Sonic CD, which helps pump you up. I especially like the detail of the goal post actually being textured after the sign you'll use to go between the past, present, and future in the original game, though unfortunately such a mechanic is not implemented for this mod.
Onto the level design. The first thing you'll likely notice is how open and multiple-pathed the zone is. Like many good Sonic levels, there's many different paths and secrets to find, leading to a stage which is far more replayable than most level mods for the game. Unfortunately, there is a problem with the fact that, while the stage's textures are good, there's often no notable landmarks or natural-implemented pointers, leading to a level which is easy to get lost in. On my first playthrough I spent minutes thinking I was advancing only to be going around in circles; compare this to the main game stages which contain many paths but almost always have a clear way forward. The stage's enemies are mostly turrets, tank enemies from the first level in the main game, and crab enemies from the main game's water level, and while they are generally well-placed I can't help but wish that the creator of this mod made an effort to mod in some of the enemies from Sonic CD's Palm Tree Panic Zone, or to at least retexture some enemies.
As a whole, this level is rather open and fun to explore and navigate - albeit with the hiccup of a lack of direction. It doesn't necessarily do an amazing job of turning the original stage into 3D while still introducing new elements to keep the experience fresh (the actual level design is nothing like the original stage), but it is nonetheless a fun level on its own.
World of Plight
Magolor04726 (Continued from last month)
As we hunched behind a stack of boxes in a hall, we could see everything in the room. In front of a large screen stood a human-esque robot who was observing several charts and graphs displayed on the monitor. And there, next to him, stood Waluigi.
Dr. Mario gasped. “The traitor!” he hissed.
I hesitated. “I mean, we don’t know he turned traitor. He may be forced down here against his will.”
“… he won’t be very happy unless you can round up more Fighters.” The robot said.
“You think I don’t know that?!” Waluigi retorted, “Now that they know I’ve betrayed them all, alarms will go up the minute I step back into Smash.”
Link tapped me on the shoulder. “You were saying?” I sighed.
“Well,” Waluigi continued, “At least I was able to snag Ganon’s power.”
The robot grunted. “You took a mere fraction of his power. And besides, in order to properly steal his whole store of power you would need to take the Triforce of Power, and last I checked,” he gave Waluigi a sideways look and a smirk, “You aren’t strong enough to handle the magnitude of such an artifact.”
(This answers what happened to Ganondorf, but it also brings up three new questions: How did Waluigi steal the power? Is he going back for more? And if so, how is he going to do it when he can’t be seen?)
“Wah!” Waluigi gasped. He spun the robot towards him and poked him in the chest with a long finger. “Are you insulting me?”
“Well, Beanpole is finally catching on.” the robot drawled.
“WAH!” Waluigi reared back a fist, about to punch the robot, when a terrific flash erupted underneath their feet, pushing both of them back. A large black top hat emerged from the floor, followed by the rest of the Magic Master, who held his hands out to keep them away from each other. When Waluigi gave him a death glare, he flicked his hand and handed Waluigi a card that he produced out of nowhere. Waluigi looked it over and crumpled it up, muttering under his breath as he kicked it away.
“What was that all about?” Link asked.
“You’re asking me?” Pit answered.
“Fine,” Waluigi grumbled, “I’ll get some more Fighters. But your boss better come through on his part of the deal!”
The robot glanced at Waluigi and rolled his eyes. “You doubt the word of my superior?”
Well, I thought, that tells us they aren’t working alone.
“Wait, who’s their superior?” Pit asked.
No one answered.
The robot walked away from the screen and over to the large vat in the center of the room. He pressed a button at a control panel in front of it and a large glass cylinder with some sort of dome shaped device protruding from the side emerged from the floor. After the robot barked an order, a Lakitu and a Waddle Doo hefted a large tube and dragged it over to the glass tube. After shoving it into a hole in the side, a Rocky Wrench came over and adjusted the edges, tightening the tube in place. On the other side of the lab, twin doors opened up and two Koopa Paratroopas flew in, carrying…
“LU-” Dr. Mario started to shout before Link slapped a hand over his mouth and pulled him behind a large box labeled “Circuit boards and stroganoff.”
Oh NO! I thought as the robot pulled the dome down on top of a green hat.
“We gotta do something!” Pit hissed, drawing his bow back.
The robot pushed a button and the blue liquid poured into the cylinder, sending energy through the dome. Suddenly, the dome electrified, shocking the victim, who let out a blood curdling shriek. “AYIIIIIII!”
We watched as the liquid in the cylinder drained rapidly while slowly changing to a green hue. Suddenly, the charge stopped, the dome loosened, and Luigi fell over unconscious. The Koopa Paratroopas lifted him up and out of the room.
“This is insane,” Pit muttered.
“It’s inhumane,” Link replied.
“Ooh, nice word,” I added.
The remaining green liquid drained out through a tube and into a small green vial near the control panel. The robot picked up the vial and tapped it with one of his claw-like fingers. It glowed brighter as he swirled it around. A malicious smile spread across his metallic face.
“OK,” Pit whispered, “now what? What should we do?”
I scanned the room. “Well… I don’t think that- GOOMBA.” We pressed our bodies against the wall as a Goomba waddled by balancing a box on its head. After it went past, I continued. “I don’t think there’s anything we should do. I mean, what would jumping in accomplish? They would know that we know where their hideout is. I think we should come back with reinforcements.”
Dr. Mario nodded. “That sounds better than running in with no regard for whether we would succeed or even survive.”
We all whirled around to see a yellow blur fly by us and into the open, spitting smoke in our faces.
To be continued!
Have the foolish actions of Wario doomed our heroes? Will they never see the light of day? Is this the end of World of Plight?!
Of course not. I’m here writing, so clearly I lived to tell the tale.
Welcome to Smash, Pyra and Mythra! I hope you two have a great time here!
If you have any leads for me, contact me on the Mario Boards!
Planning the attack,
Drawn and Pressed
Bizarro (stylised as BiZaRrO) follows in the path of gag-a-day single panel comic strips popularised by The Far Side, in which there's no continuity between the comics so anything goes as far as the cartoon is concerned, even parodies. Much like the revered single-panel comic strip, Bizarro's distinct style and trademark elements gives it a personality that makes the cartoons easy to identify. Despite sharing the same name, this comic strip is completely unrelated to the Superman character of the same name. To my knowledge, I don't think the Superman character ever appeared in this comic strip although Superman himself did (even if he did, the name conflict will make it very difficult to find).
Created by Dan Piraro back in 21 January 1985, this comic strip started in the now-defunct Chronicle Features syndicate before moving to Universal Press Syndicate, and then finally ended up at King Features Syndicate. I do wonder if the switching of syndicates meant that it's difficult to find old cartoons in the 80's. In any case, given the similar formats both The Far Side and Bizarro adopt, it's interesting to know that Bizarro practically replaced The Far Side in the first two syndicates (the second one was because the latter's run ended), and is likely why this cartoon had a high adoption rate from the get-go. Indeed, I have to imagine to a non-negligible amount of people, this cartoon filled the void of the venerable The Far Side. While both cartoons have something in common in their histories, I have to say that Bizarro really stood out from the several single-panel cartoons. With that said, because I only knew of the appeal of The Far Side as an adult (but only after seeing the appeal of The Argyle Sweater,) I preferred Bizarro by default since I was exposed to it for far longer.
As the title implies, the comic's main attraction is surreality. As the author puts it: "Bizarro is about the incredibly surreal things that happen to all of us in our so-called 'normal' lives". Every comic has some form of scenario where the characters behave in a certain manner that is out of the ordinary, whether it's as simple as an unusual quip from a character or an entirely out-of-this-world occurrence. Pop culture and celebrities are not out of the picture in the topic of humour, nor are the use of puns to facilitate a surreal scenario. One thing to note about this cartoon is how the original creator is a vegan and supports animal rights, which is reflected in some of the cartoons made, and that goes to show that a cartoon and its creator is intertwined (especially if it's made by one person). As of now, Piraro isn't the only one who does the cartoon, as a cartoonist who goes by the name of Wayno does duties for it as well. The artwork for this comic is also a high point, where the characters and background pack enough detail to give it a lush look, and it's especially helped when colour comes into play to give it a great look.
As mentioned earlier, Bizarro has trademark elements, which in this case are symbols littered across every cartoon (from a certain time onward) for readers to find. I remembered noticing that every cartoon have recurring symbols, and when I did, every cartoon is an exercise of finding the symbols, which made this comic strip an added flavour beyond the joke presented. Among the few symbols within the cartoon include a crown, a pipe, a rabbit's head, an eyeball, a slice of pie and an alien in a spaceship. On the website of the author, these symbols have their own titles, such as the crown being called the "Crown of Power" and the pie slice being called the "Pie of Opportunity". Of note are two symbols, which are represented as K2 and O2. The former basically represents Piraro's children's names whose names begin with "K" while the latter represents the wife he remarried (only known as Olive Oyl). Even though the symbols are a little more than funny curiosities, they have some flowery descriptions on the website to convince readers of their significance, so it's like written lore for the cartoon. In later years, a number is added in each cartoon to signify the amount of symbols tucked away in the panel, probably to save readers' time by not scrutinising more than necessary.
The creator has a blog on the Bizarro website, and one of the topics that was mentioned is this. The recurring symbols are brought up when it comes to cartooning, in which Piraro compared to how profitable Peanuts and Garfield are compared to his cartoon, in which they made a huge fortune compared to the average cartoonist, which he attributed to those cartoons having licensable characters (something that Bizarro lacks). He considered having recurring characters like the average cartoon, but eventually came to the conclusion that doing so would betray his passion for cartooning as it would be unbearable to do the same thing for years, so instead, he chose the path of non-sequitur cartooning and let fate and hard work be his guide. Eventually he was able to make a living by doing this cartoon. In the very same blog, he expressed utmost respect for Peanuts due to the clever humour and Schulz being a hard worker within his profession, while also deriding Garfield for the consistent gags and delegation of cartooning duties, even expressing that Jim Davis does not deserve to have this success in light of what Peanuts achieved. I admit that I am saddened when I read this, but I suppose that this is a natural takeaway from a cartoonist who treats his cartoon as art.
As a player in the single-panel comic strip world, Bizarro is a very nice comic strip to go through because it is different enough from The Far Side to stand out, from the detailed artwork to the symbols hidden within each cartoon and the sense of humour.
Bizarro can be read at: https://www.comicskingdom.com/bizarro. Note that because it's on Comics Kingdom, a regular user cannot view more than a week's worth of comic strips.
Thank you for reading.
|The 'Shroom: Issue 168|
|Staff sections||Staff Notes • The 'Shroom Spotlight • 'Shroomfest|
|Features||Fake News • Fun Stuff • Palette Swap • Pipe Plaza • Critic Corner • Strategy Wing|
|Specials||Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury Photo Contest • 64 Wars: A Battle for Sales|