The 'Shroom:Issue 168/Strategy Wing

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Director Notes

Written by: Hooded Pitohui (talk)

Shroom 2021 Pitohui.png

Hello, all you readers of 'The 'Shroom out there! Welcome to March's edition of Strategy Wing. Where I am, the temperature is warming, the daylight lasts longer, and the insects are coming out again. It's horrible. It's about time for me to crawl into my dark corner office, turn on the air conditioner, and surround myself with fans and ice. Well... at least the birds are coming back and some of my fellow staff members are benefitting.

Weather aside, there's no news to report this month. We have our usual suite of sections, so I'll leave you to conquer fiefs, blast Rabbids, race, and learn how to make 3D models to your heart's content. Go on and read the great sections our writers have prepared for you this month!

As always, if you have any topic you'd like to write in detail about, take a look at our Sign-up page! We'd be happy to have you join us as a member of the Strategy Wing Team! Whether you want to follow Parallax's example and provide a guide on a topic you know well or you would like to make your own version of Mach Speed Mayhem or Kingdom Battle Ramble to teach us everything about some obscure interest you have, we can find a place for you.

Section of the Month

Congratulations are in order for Yoshi876 (talk) and ZelenPixel (talk) for taking first and second, respectively, for their analysis of the Cat Cruiser's performance and introduction to the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom and her loyal heroic... rabbit. Please do keep supporting the effort our writers put into their sections by giving them you votes!

STRATEGY WING SECTION OF THE MONTH
Place Section Votes % Writer
1st Racing Like the Staff 9 40.91% Yoshi876
2nd Kingdom Battle Ramble 5 22.73% ZelenPixel
3rd Mach Speed Mayhem 4 18.18% Superchao
3rd So You Want to Conquer Japan? 4 18.18% Chester Alan Arthur

Tips and Challenges

Meet a dinosaur, a wild Rabbid, and a baby.
[read more]

This is like a .INFO file for 3D modeling file formats!
[read more]

Do Piranha Plant Pipeway's staff karts go down the drain?
[read more]

Breaking diplomatic alliances for dummies
[read more]
History and Facts

Follow your Super Arrow wherever it points!
[read more]


Kingdom Battle Ramble

Written by: ZelenPixel (talk)

At last someone who is not a mammal!

Here I am! Ya girl! I guess it's time to get done with characters in the base game, huh? But that's not the end for my section just yet, at least for now! This issue we have two green guys again, Yoshi and Rabbid Yoshi, and also another character important to the story I kinda sorta forgot to cover - Spawny!
An additional note, we're gonna start delving into spoilerier territory now, starting from halfway through the third world or so, so avoid reading the story sections if you'd like to not get spoiled!

Rabbid Yoshi

Keep this little beast under control!!! Rabbid Yoshi is probably the stupidest Rabbid out there, which says a lot, and an official figurine description says "Rules don't apply to him, and he prefers shooting before thinking - which usually ends in destruction." His only braincell is dedicated to Mayhem. His eyes also almost never point in the same direction, so that's something! He's encountered halfway through Spooky Trails, the third world in the game, where he seems to just show up at first, but then it turns out that the midboss of the world was using him as a lure!! That's Calavera, and your only method of attacking him appears to be lining up to hit Rabbid Yoshi in particular. Calavera also uses him for the Grenaducks and yelling. So anyway, after defeat, Calavera drops into the well, and Rabbid Yoshi, who doesn't seem to mind all this damage for some reason, proceeds to overexcitedly shoot into the well. Notably, the internal script for this scene also has this: "...Rabbid Yoshi raises his head towards the Heroes. His look is the same as Luigi Death Stare in Mario Kart 8 or worst." According to it, he also gives Mario a big 'ol hug anyway, and that's how he joins the team! He's scary!

Battle

Rabbid Yoshi
Health Points:* 290-420
Area of Movement: 6-9 Cells
Pipe Exit Range: 3-6 Cells
Dash: 20-90 DMG
Team Jump: 6 Cells
Primary weapon: Rumblebang
Secondary weapon: Grenaduck
Outer Shell: 1-2 Hits
-80%-100% WPN/-80%-100 MOV
Cooldown 2-1 Turns
Scaredy Rabbid: Repels opponents
Cooldown 3-1 Turns
*Maximum HP doesn't account for global health upgrades throughout the game

The in-game description states: "Rabbid Yoshi is best utilized lashing out with heavy weapons at long range. His arsenal includes melee skills, solid defense and a cool victory dance." I'll also be honest... I have no idea how to use him? I'll try to write what I know, and note some stuff I've gathered from playing a bunch of some tougher battles, but yeah...

Rabbid Yoshi has pretty good HP (ranking only behind Yoshi and Peach), and movement, except for the Team Jump. His damage also highly varies, but can still be pretty good!

Rabbid Yoshi's Ultra Dash is sort of like Rabbid Peach's Stylish Dash, but slightly weaker and it can hit an additional time, up to five times. It's actually one of the weaker Dashes damage-wise, but consecutive damage can total 450 (versus Rabbid Peach's 400), which is a lot! Reminder, though, you can't Dash the same enemy twice in one turn. The Team Jump, as expected from the Rabbids, is average and has no quirks, but its range is tied with Mario for the lowest!

Rabbid Yoshi's primary weapon is Rumblebang. It's generally kind of like a Blaster, with the exception of a highly varied damage output, as it shoots multiple bullets at once. Because of that, it can range between being slightly weaker than a Blaster, and being the strongest primary weapon! For reference, the strongest Rumblebang's damage ranges 200-350. That's 150 whole points of variability! Every other weapon has only ten points of variation like this, for the record. His secondary weapon is Grenaduck, which I've covered in the previous issue. It's just an explosive with average damage and range. It's also weaker than the Rumblebang is, so it's more useful just for hitting multiple enemies at once. The Super Effects alternate between Push, which just pushes the foe, and Stone, which prevents them for moving for the turn. What I can say regarding this guy is that Stone is, of course, really good! Though Push might be better for certain other situations, depending on what you're going for.
Also, here's a horrible note for you! He stores all the weapons in his mouth and just kinda spits them out as needed. Actually, Yoshi does that too... but that's still gross!

Rabbid Yoshi's first technique is Outer Shell. It's a shield that can completely nullify damage (but not Super Effects) when fully upgraded, but here's a catch - it can only absorb up to two hits before disappearing. It's still really good, though! It makes casually strolling into enemy territory pretty safe too, but still, be careful. While playing, I also noticed Chain Chomps go through it and deal him 75 damage anyway. The cheaters! The second technique is Scaredy Rabbid. He just screams and pushes enemies within range away for a certain distance, basically acting as reverse Magnet Dance/Magnet Groove (one of Rabbid Mario's and Donkey Kong's techniques). It can be paired up with the other heroes' line-of-sight techniques! And probably set up other stuff, like getting them to walk into a sentry. I dunno.

Yoshi

This is where we start to get into the final world stuff, so be careful!!! Yoshi acts like a Yoshi I guess, about what you'd expect, but he does have a lot of really funny voice clips! He is met halfway through the fourth and final world, Lava Pit. After beating the midboss at this point, it explodes and Spawny, who just happened to be there, seemingly falls to his death... but then, Yoshi flutter jumps onto the scene, holding Spawny! It makes sense, you know Yoshi would be the one to take care of a baby! That means he also joins the team very close to the end of the game, and I think that's for good reason.

Battle

Yoshi
Health Points:* 420-550
Area of Movement: 6-8 Cells
Pipe Exit Range: 3-5 Cells
Dash: 20-90 DMG
Ground Pound: 6-8 Cells
30-130 DMG
3-5 AOE Cells
Primary weapon: Rumblebang
Secondary weapon: Rocket
Egg Beater: 100%-150% DMG
Cooldown 3-2 Turns
Super Chance: Super Effect guaranteed
Cooldown 3-2 Turns
*Maximum HP doesn't account for global health upgrades throughout the game

The in-game description states: "Yoshi is a long-range specialist who belongs behind the front lines where he can deliver a power-packed punch from afar. Loves fruit." He can deal high damage to enemies in a pretty big AOE range and guarantee Special Effects!

Yoshi has the second best HP stat, again, behind Peach, and pretty average movement options overall. Not much to say here!

Yoshi's Dash is also tied with a few other heroes for weakest in the game (not counting Donkey Kong Adventure), but the Ground Pound does pretty good damage (though slightly weaker than Mario's Stomp), has an AOE of 5 cells (which is, again, a lot), and is actually really good for destroying cover!! It can still hurt your allies, though, especially with such a range, so be careful there!

Yoshi's primary weapon is, actually, also Rumblebang! I just covered it in Rabbid Yoshi's part, but it's the one that's like the Blaster but with more RNG involved. The secondary one is Rocket, which I've also covered in the second issue, and is also an explosive, though with better damage and range. I just don't get Grenaducks. Likewise, it's also weaker than his Rumblebang. Both weapons alternate between Freeze, which prevents the foe from using their techniques, and Ink, which prevents them from using their weapons. They're not the best Super Effects, but with one of his techniques, I think it's reasonable.

Yoshi's first technique is Egg Beater, just the usual line-of-sight attack. It can only be used once, but does good damage! I'm pretty sure the RNG stuff from the Rumblebang still affects it, though. The second technique is Super Chance, which gives himself and your allies within range a guaranteed critical hit, and thus Super Effect, for the turn. And that's great! It can be used alongside the other heroes' weapons to hit enemies with especially great damage and Super Effects, and basically just wipe the floor with them. Like Mario's M-Power, it's also pretty good at the start of the battle (and, since Mario is required in your team, you can use both!), as long as your heroes are close to each other. The AOE on Super Chance ranges 4-9 cells, by the way!

Spawny

it is baby

Okie-dokie! So this is the important story character I forgot to cover!! So, Spawny is kinda sorta the reason this whole game happened. During the intro, when the random Rabbids just show up in a washing machine and proceed to cause all sorts of havoc, one of them decides to wear the SupaMerge, which just so happened to be here. He accidentally merges a few people into existence (which is how we got Rabbid Peach, for one!!!), and also himself with it, and I guess becomes a baby in the process.

He really doesn't act like a Rabbid at all. He's afraid of so many things, and if he's stressed, it'll cause him to make a merge beam and just keep on merging people into existence. Oh these two things do not mesh well! He also seems to be naïve and incredibly shy. He still gets a friend, though...

Once Mario and gang land in Ancient Gardens at the start of the game, their mission at the time is just to catch Spawny. Unfortunately, late in the world, Bowser Jr. does that first, and gives Spawny his name. You spend most of the game chasing the two, where you can see Junior gradually start to notice and take advantage of the fact that Spawny will merge things together if he's scared enough. On a few occasions, Junior intentionally scares him into merging things! You really just feel sorry for the li'l dude.

Now here's the final world spoilers again, turn back now if you don't wish to see them!!!
Junior finally fights Mario halfway through Lava Pit with the Mecha Jr. and Spawny spends the whole fight stored inside the mech for some reason. After defeat, the mech explodes, and Spawny gets sent into a pit, but Yoshi rescues him outta nowhere! Look, that's exactly what I was talking about earlier! Spawny sticks around with the team for a bit, acting as the escort character like the Toads, and also gets scolded by Beep-0 which is seriously just so mean of him... but then Spawny is suddenly lost.
He's seemingly possessed, and heading towards the Megabug, y'know, that giant glitch vortex that's been looming in the sky the entire game! It has a physical form now, looking like a big 'ol evil ribbon with wings, and uses Spawny's powers to make more enemies to impede the team's progress! It's really not looking good! Bet you didn't expect this game to get so serious! The Megabug also merges with Bowser and possesses him, and thus starts the final boss! After the fight, the Megabug is defeated, and Spawny floats down, finally free. Bowser Jr. is here to gently grab him and hand him to the heroes, and he also apologizes for his actions - about as sincerely as he can, anyway. I'd like to think he regrets intentionally stressing the poor guy out so much, just for his own benefit...
...Man, that ended kinda sad, didn't it? I'd like to mention Peach also holds him like a baby during the ending cutscene. And in an artwork, and a 3D model (sort of a figurine) you can find in-game. Like I said: Mama Peach Real.


Yoshi's article, on the Mario + Rabbids section, says "Notably, Yoshi's voice actor, Kazumi Totaka, provides him with a few cat-like voice clips, which make it sound as if Yoshi is meowing." I love that! I guess it is true, but those aren't voice clips specifically for this game, are they?
So anyway. Next issue we're getting into the Donkey Kong Adventure characters, and I'm pretty excited, considering I've... kinda sorta gotten way more into the Donkey Kong series than Mario + Rabbids over the past few months. I have my excuses, but they're pretty rambly, so I'm not gonna get into that! Regardless, the next issue is gonna be my last one on this section, at least for now. So the next two are Donkey Kong and Rabbid Cranky!

Parallax

Written by: Ray Trace (talk) and Bazooka Mario (talk)

This is a render of Redshift, one of my OCs. I used Marmoset Toolbag for this. He is made specifically for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's UI uses images that are at least 1000px in dimension, so the sizes of these aren't any slouch! Think twice before making your own renders for the game...

Welcome to Parallax. This is a section in Strategy Wing where you will be taught by a Literal Baby In Armor everything you need to know 3D modeling-related (oh and it's co-hosted by a sockpuppet of mine but we don't talk about that). From how to create cubes, to how to create many cubes, and how to make ice cubes out of your cubes, anything dealing with the magical third dimension and how to build and improve your craft regarding it, this is the section you may want to give a go.

Hello there!

Huge apologies for not turning in a section two months ago. It wasn't like I was burnt out from all of that custom modeling! One part of the reason is that my computer died; yes after around 7-10 years of service, my computer's parts started to finally give way, starting with my CPU which was unreliably having trouble booting past POST at points. It served me very well, and it still has fairly decent specs to run most games today, though it may struggle a bit with the most modern of games, such as Metro Exodus. However, powerful computers aren't for running games you know, they are also almost a must if you need go into 3D modeling. And this is especially true in the field of rendering, where getting your highest quality renders out is one of the most intensive tasks your computer can run. I had the experience of rendering even frying my computer because the stock fan was too inadequate to handle the amount of power needed. I have a new computer now, which is pretty much an upgrade in every way, and it comes with nifty RGB lights.

Enough with my personal life. You aren't here for that. What about modeling? Well, I'm still dealing with the fallout of losing my Windows installation, so I lack Maya again. My 3ds Max 2020 is back up and running though (it was a gigantic hassle however, especially with uninstalling it), so that's good. Substance Painter and Marmoset Toolbag aren't up and running yet but I should not have much trouble reinstalling them. Despite all of this, I am not going to miss another month so I'll still cook something up.

File Formats

It should come off as no surprise to you that models come in file formats, as anything. Just like image files, model containers have quite a slew of various properties that make them different from each other, and some formats are more preferred than others. In addition, not unlike Photoshop's own format, each 3D modeling program has its own recognizable extension that'll tell you what program it is built for. However, there are a bunch of generic file formats too that you might be familiar with in your forays with 3D modeling. Take a look at downloading any model off The Model's Resource.

Of course Baby Luigi will be the example character used for this. It's Baby Luigi.

It is almost guaranteed you'll find a model in a .zip archive. Or any similar format that packages files together. Why is that? Well, one of the reasons is that a model needs textures, and model files themselves don't come embedded with textures for you; much of the time, you need to apply them yourself. How you apply them depends on the modeling program used, but in 3ds Max's case, all you have to do is click and drag the corresponding file over the program. 3ds Max supports all the image files you need, if they are .png, .dds, .tga, etc. Same with pretty much any other modeling program, including Maya and Blender. This also includes games that include physical-based rendering textures for engines, and in the case of Nintendo games, console games from Wii U onward will come with extra textures. These are to be used with material files that dictate how a model will light up in a scene, in which I'll cover in another issue.

What else is in a zip archive? Usually, you will find more than one model file in there. The reason being is to maximize compatibility between programs. Sometimes, a model will import fine in one program, but another program has errors reading it, causing a myriad of issues. Including multiple variations and file formats of the same model has an increased chance your software will read at least one file properly, so that you don't need multiple programs to get a proper read, or use third-party software to change the file format to something your program will read properly (in this case, Noesis for some dae formats). Occasionally, you'll find specific game formats not programmed in the software. One example from games is the .smd format, a format used to compile into a mdoel format for Source games, examples being Left 4 Dead 2 and Team Fortress 2, and for such formats, plugins for your 3D modeling program can be created to read files. Some models can be read through the usage of scripting too, such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's various model formats.

Any nonprogram built format requires the model to be imported into the scene, regardless of any 3D application you use, rather than opening it, similar to how Photoshop works. If you also want to save a model as a particular format, you are also required to export rather than Save as.

Note that this list is not exhaustive; this covers typically the files you will find in video game model sites such as the Model's Resource or anyplace else. There's a gigantic library of files out there that would be too long to cover them all, and the list of stuff you can export with just 3ds Max alone is long and very diverse, covering a huge range of programs. And none of these cover the game specific formats such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's formats (NUMSHB, NUMATB, NUSTKB; almost everything about a model is stored separately: NUMSHB stands for mesh, NUMATB is for material, and NUSTKB is for skeleton, animations are individual files stored completely separately from all else, same with textures) or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's format (everything about a model is stored in an SZS file including skeleton, textures, material, and animations; beware that this SZS is not to be confused with Mario Kart Wii's SZS file, they are entirely different and both require two different applications to use).

List of common file formats
Name Description
OBJ One of the most versatile and common formats around, developed by Wavefront Technologies. The file format is an open-format, further easing its use. Whenever an .obj file is saved, it comes with an .mtl file, which is its material file. The obj file is even readable and editable in a text-based editor such as Notepad. Microsoft's built-in 3D viewer can even open them! The biggest downside obj's have is that they are completely incapable of saving a model's rig, so they are used typically when they are already posed or if you want to share a model to another person, as compatibility issues don't create much problems.
FBX A proprietary file format developed by Kaydara and owned by Autodesk. Unlike obj, it's unreadable in a text-based editor. When exporting from 3ds Max, this is the default export option on first entry, so it is reliable to export between the programs, though Maya and Blender should also have fbx support. The biggest advantage fbx has is that it supports bone data and morph, meaning you can save animations and the like into it. In fact, this is how I obtained models from Dr. Mario World; AssetStudioGUI was able to export models as fbx from the pak file. This is a rare feat to get onto the wiki in terms of ease of access, as obtaining animations and the like typically requires information from reverse engineering proprietary Nintendo formats. Oh did I forget to mention that FBX is also openable in Windows Viewer?
MAX, BLEND, and MB Files generated by 3ds Max, Blender, and Maya respectively whenever you save your model. They are merely your project files. Keep in mind that newer programs can open project files saved by older programs without much hassle, but older programs attempting to open newer files will have much difficulties doing so. Therefore, if working on a project and you, say, I don't know, lost access to a newer program, it helps to have an exported universally accepted file on standby. Remember to save often and make many backups!
DAE A file format developed by the Khronos Group, which is open and is readable in a text-based editor. It was originally intended as a format that can be transported across many applications, and due to its versatility, and as you can see, fulfilled that purpose, though it has fallen out of favor recently as the industry shifted towards FBX and OBJ. Just like FBX, it saves rig data too, so you can have animated models. However, an important distinguishing factor of the DAE format is that it has kinematic and physics support, a rarity among file formats. Many engines also natively support DAE as well, such as Unity and CryEngine 2. However, 3ds Max has its own COLLADA importer, and that could lead to weird jank if exchanged between other programs and vice versa for the COLLADA importer such as Blender from my experience. In modding games, because of how inconsistent the Autodesk .DAE export can be, I occasionally export as FBX from Max, then export as DAE using Noesis for best compatibility, notably with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Tower Unite.
STL Developed by Albert Consulting Group in 1987, this is the format most 3D printers use in order to recreate your model in real life, so therefore, optimized in a specific format that the machine can translate into; it's because of this your model becomes highly tessellated when you export it. STL's also cannot store color information; we don't have affordable technology yet that'll let us print color onto it, so you'll have to manually paint the figure yourself. There's not much else I know for this file other than that, but your program should be able to export it; 3ds Max does have an stl exporter built in as far as I know. Fun fact, in the STL article, there is a built-in 3D model viewer for you to view the 3D model of the Wikipedia logo! Maybe one day, MarioWiki will have its own 3D model viewer for the various characters...?
AI Yes, this is indeed THE Adobe Illustrator format that is importable in 3ds Max and Maya. You may ask, how can a 2D graphic be converted to a 3D model? The answer is simple: converting vectors into splines! This is the best way to easily get real 3D models of various 2D objects such as letters, symbols, or logos; you can use this functionality to make, like, your own Hollywood sign ontop of a hill rather than needing to painstakingly model it.

These are just the extra common ones I have actually encountered. I haven't even touched up on other common model formats such as 3DS, IGES, STEP, and VRML, and I haven't even discussed formats that can be opened in 3ds Max and Maya that I'm very familiar with, the SMD format, a model format used by Source engine which supports bone data and is primarily used to feed to a studiomdl.exe compiler to generate mdl and other files depending on what you wrote in the command instruction file for it. But that's a topic outside of this scope.

Some Extra Fun Stuff

  • The Most Common 3D File Formats - An article I've read while I was researching the formats. If you're interested in further details about not just the ones I listed, but the history behind such formats, extra information behind what makes a format desirable, as well as old formats such as 3DS, this is an article you can read!
  • Essential Guide to 3D File Formats - Like the Wikipedia article, also contains a list of formats and extra information such as which format you should opt for and technical differences between open and proprietary formats.

.END

S'yeah, that'll be all. Not too overwhelming like the last time I wrote for Parallax, which I undertook some gigantic modeling project and now I am unable to access that model file at all unless I reinstall Maya 2017 and over, or if someone has Maya 2017. I still hope I can make work with just 3ds Max, as I depend on Maya to make models. I did hear Blender has a good sculpting functionality though...hmmm....anyway, I'll see you next month in April!

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.

We might be on Deluxe for this month's edition, but I would just like to note how Mario Kart 7 brought in some really good tracks, like its edition of Rainbow Road, Alpine Pass, Koopa City, and it had an extremely strong retro track selection as well. But it had its fair of duds, and one of those is Piranha Plant Pipeway, and honestly I should've gotten this track out of the way a lot sooner than I did, so let's get it done now!

The combination for the staff for Piranha Plant Pipeway is Ludwig with the Jet Bike, Slim tyres and the Super Glider, and the stats are as follows:

  • Speed – Just over four bars
  • Acceleration – Two and a half bars
  • Weight – Just over three bars
  • Handling – Just under four bars
  • Grip – Just over two bars

Tick-Tock Clock

Oddly, I never drove into this.

I might've gotten my best ever start with this combination in this section's history as I zoomed all the way up to second by the first set of Item Boxes, and swiftly dispatched Bowser Jr. with a Red Shell. I did think at some points during the rest of the race, I'd have noting else to report, but a Blooper took me off course and I fell down, and a Red Shell brought Bowser Jr. back into play. Had the Spiny Shell launched on the final lap had enough time to hit me, I do think Bowser Jr. might've overtaken me, and perhaps even Villager in third as well.

Piranha Plant Pipeway

Bowser Jr. got ahead of me at the start, and I missed with a Red Shell, but then got a slipstream. Although this was immediately nullified as I ran into a wall, but Bowser Jr. soon fell to my speed. But this track was not my friend, as I fell down before the water section on the second lap, allowing Villager past, and then he whacked me with a Red Shell allowing Bowser Jr. past. We both passed Villager while underwater, and I got past Bowser Jr. after he finished gliding. The track continued to be a thorn in my side, as I ran into a Goomba and then a Blooper nearly had me off-track, allowing Villager past. For some reason, he was incredibly slow in the underwater section, and I got past him, before somehow messing up the glide and falling down. A Spiny Shell allowed Villager and Wario through, but at least Wario took himself out on a Banana so I only finished in second.

Grumble Volcano

A lot of good racing happened here.

I thought I would shoot past Villager at the start, but Bowser Jr. and Wario beat me to it, and some weird steering meant I failed to pass Wario until just before the lava platforms after exiting the volcano. We carved out a bit of a lead until a Spiny Shell slowed me down and Bowser Jr. and presumably Wario shot past me. But as it was a split path, I got past Wario, or Villager whoever it may have been, and it was only Bowser Jr. ahead of me, and I passed him on the first split path, and this time I kept the lead.

Rainbow Road

I thought I'd be a goner during this race as I was hit with two Red Shells in the early parts of the race, dropping me down to fifth place behind Pink Gold Peach. She was easy enough to pick off, and Villager also fell quickly, before Wario's Red Shell took out Bowser Jr., and I zipped past them both for the win.

I think I use the Jet Bike a lot for online as I STILL haven't unlocked the Yoshi Bike, my personal choice. And evidently I like the combination, I may have missed the win on Piranha Plant Slide, but I feel that was down to my own stupid mistakes, as I generally fall off somewhere on this map, and a last minute Spiny Shell. Yes, Wario hit a Banana, but I did feel I was gaining on him anyhow.

The expert staff combination for the staff for Piranha Plant Pipeway is Wendy with Mr. Scooty, Metal tyres and the Peach Parasol, and the stats are as follows:

  • Speed – Just over two bars
  • Acceleration – Just over four bars
  • Weight – Two and a half bars
  • Handling – Four and a half bars
  • Grip – Just under three bars

Tick-Tock Clock

Like last time, Mr. Scooty got me up into second place, but as I kept missing Item Boxes, I was failing to catch up to Villager. A Red Shell also put me down to third place behind Daisy, and the pair started pulling away. I did start gaining, jumped past Princess Daisy just after she launched a Red Shell at Villager, knocking him out of my way. After that, there's nothing to report and I romped home to a good win, even after a Spiny Shell.

Piranha Plant Slide

One of my least favourite tracks.

For once, I managed to keep a lead, and I thought I could be on for a good win, but things started to fall apart on the second lap as Red Shells and Piranha Plants all hit me, but a Mushroom allowed me to get past just before we went underwater, and a slipstream on Villager got me into first and I defended this until the end.

Grumble Volcano

Villager shot ahead at the start, but a branching path allowed me to reclaim first place, and then it really was just a breeze to the end of the race. Even if the Spiny Shell had hit me before the finish line, I imagine I still would've won with the gap I had to Princess Peach.

Rainbow Road

A slipstream here finished the race.

Much like before, Villager shot ahead, but after a slipstream he went into my dust and I didn't see a single soul for the rest of the race.

I'm really not a fan of outside drifting bikes, and honestly this was no exception. I did decent with it, and I could recommend this combination for people, but I hated drifting with the bike, cancelling many as I felt as I was about to hit straight into a wall.

So You Want to Conquer Japan?

Written by: Chester Alan Arthur (talk)

Welcome back 'Shroom readers to another issue of So You Want to Conquer Japan? Last month we began the steps of unifying Japan under our righteous rule, and this month we’re going to continue taking steps to cement our rule. But before that, I have to address the charges leveled against me in this month's News Flush. These charges (no doubt concocted by disgruntled Draq supporters) are spurious, scandalous, and libelous. All the votes acquired for Super Arrow through my efforts were collected through legal methods by valid members of this community and were sanctioned by Blocky himself. I cannot stress that fact enough; these so called "bribes" that they speak of were nothing more then perfectly legal donations to causes my constituents supported, and this "Boss Shoe" charge was nothing more than a disgusting attack on an honest consultant such as myself. I'm disheartened that Doomhiker (no doubt goaded by noted Draq supporter and current 'Shroom director Hooded) would allow such spurious notions to be published in this newspaper, and I will be filling a formal complaint and will be demanding a formal apology for the publishing of this slander. Congratulations Fake News! This month you've truly lived up to your name!

So, before we get into what I was planning on discussing - that being the benefits of having more then one fief at our control - we have to instead fix a problem I accidentally made on my own. At some point Lord Tokugawa (green) of Mino (fief nine) offered me 1,300 gold for my daughter's hand in marriage. So obviously being that it's 1560 and I have, in-game unlimited daughters, I accepted his deal. Buuuut, then I found out that doing so created a diplomatic alliance that I wasn't allowed to betray, making Tokugawa’s fiefs unconquerable. So, I had to get a little tricky to get them to break the alliance. The plan I came up with was that I would invade Shinano (fief sixteen) with the full force of our army in Kaga (fief four) with the hope that, by leaving only a nominal force in Kaga, Tokugawa would invada Kaga, thus breaking the alliance.

So we're going to send 300,000 soldiers into Shinano, leaving only 11,000 to defend Kaga. Now, one thing I'd like to point out is the benefit from invading from Kaga over Echigo (fief two), because, as previously stated, the direction you attack from is going to determine which part of the map you can put troops on, and when it comes to defense the enemy always places their troops in the same spots.

Invading from Kaga
Invading from Echigo.
And as you can see from the images (which are not from this battle but rather two other test battles I did) of our invasion, invading from Kaga puts us on the left side of the map and invading from Echigo has us invading from the right. As you can see, invading from Kaga gives us the benefit of allowing us to bypass both the rifle unit, which is the most powerful unit, and the bigger infantry unit. So for this invasion we're going to place our cavalry and rifle units as close to the the enemy's castle as possible, and then we're just going to slaughter everything in our way until we get to the castle. Now luckily it turns out the Imagawa himself was in this fief, so, as soon as our troops border his castle, he fled, giving us the victory and control of Shinano.

As luck would have it, the plan worked perfectly, because the very next turn Tokugawa invaded Kaga and defeated the nominal force there, thus breaking out alliance and making him and his territory free game. Another good thing about this is that, because we only had a small amount of troops in Kaga, Tokugawa only invaded with a small force himself. Then, as if by the gods punishing him for his treachery, Kaga was immediately hit by a plague epidemic, making Tokugawa’s pitiful force even smaller. We're going to immediately invade and immediately retake our lost territory since the plague has all but wiped out the enemy forced in Kaga. With that, we've managed to get ourselves out of a sticky diplomatic situation as well as take a little more territory, so now we're going to talk about the benefits of having said territory.

The biggest benefit to having more territory is that for each territory you have you get an individual turn for that territory. In other words, the more territory you have, the more things you get to do each season. The other benefit is that having more territory means you have more resources at your disposal. Now that we've got four fiefs at our disposal, we can expand our armies in four different places, get taxes in four different places, and get rice in four different places. We also get the benefit of giving ourselves more opportunities to see the merchant, and thus more opportunities to sell rice and buy arms. Also, the fewer borders we have means the fewer chances for our enemies to take our territory; in turn, the fewer borders you have, the less troops you need to keep in your fief.

Now that we have an empire, the send and move options are going to be more important then ever. The move option allows you to move soldiers from fief to fief, but only if they neighbor the fief you’re trying to send them to.

Brave soldiers marching to the front
So if you're trying to send soldiers to shore up the defenses of a fief or bolster the offensive capability of another, you use the move option to send them soldiers. The send option allows you to send rice and gold from fief to fief, which is important because you need both rice and gold to feed and fund, respectively, an army. Watch out, though, because it is possible to lose those resources to bandits... Which is a major bummer if you sent a lot.
Intel from Musashi
I'm not entirely sure what determines when bandits strike, but I believe it's based on the town rating. The cool thing about these options is that there's no delay in them happening. So if it's, let's say, Spring and you send troops from Noto (fief one) to Kaga (fief four), as long as Noto took its turn before Kaga, you can use those troops you sent in the same turn. These two options are going to make our conquests a lot easier, because as we take more territory and eliminate more borders we're going to be able to send the resources from territories we no longer need them in into fiefs on front line! For right now, we basically have two feeder territories: Noto, which has no borders, and Echigo which only has the border of Musashi (fief three). Consulting with our spies, we can see that there are only 59,000 troops in Musashi. Because of this, that means we really only need to keep about 40,000 soldiers in Echigo to win a defensive war or about 70,000 troops to prevent a war altogether (plus with only 59,000 troops Musashi is totally next on the list to be conquered). So, Noto is going to become a complete feeder with the bulk of itss rice, troops, and gold being sent to the front line of Kaga and throughout the rest of our future empire, and soon our home fief will also be relegated to feeder status once we take Musashi from Imagawa.

Status of Japan

I think that will be a good stopping place for this month. We've established a plan for how to manage our territories and began the process of picking out the next territories to take. Although not a lot has changed on the territory board let's go ahead and give a quick update on where things stand in Japan.

The state of Japan
  • We (pink) have gained a fief bringing us to four fiefs.
  • Tokugawa (green) Still has control of four fiefs but has foolishly broken their alliance with us.
  • Nobunaga (red) stands pat with two fiefs
  • Fiefs Ashikaga of Omi (brown/eleven) and Chokei of Iga (purple/twelve) still maintain independence
  • Tsutsu (blue) maintains his grip on the west
  • Imagawa (cream) has been reduced to two fiefs (and soon zero fiefs)

Next month, we'll be going back on the war path and expanding our empire.

Mach Speed Mayhem

Written by: Superchao (talk)

Protecting the world from the evil forces of evil!

Hello, 'Shroom readers! If you don't read the Mach Speed Mayhem forum thread, you really should. This month's decision was reached through lyin', lootin', and stealin' - Cap'n Skurvy would be proud! But at the end of the day, only one could stand tall for this month. And this time around, it was #20: Super Arrow, defender of Earth! Here to stop Zoda and his evil, Super Arrow will do that however is needed... through racing!

Main Series

Owls, everyone is fond of owls...

Debuting in F-Zero X, Super Arrow has entered the F-Zero Grand Prix for one reason and one reason only. Namely, chasing down his legendary arch-enemy! Super Arrow and his wife Mrs. Arrow have long opposed the evil schemes and plans of the deep villain Zoda. At the time of X, Zoda entered the Grand Prix, and in order to stop him, Super Arrow and his wife have entered as well! And besides that and his very, very obvious superhero aesthetic, we... don't have much of anything about him. At all. It's F-Zero GX that once again takes the base character and gives us a lot of development! Super Arrow has been doing superheroics for years, constantly saving the day and ensuring that everyone is protected from Zoda. He'd never raced once before, not once! But there wasn't a choice, so with the support of his loving wife, he learned how to race on the fly, and used his undefined superpowers to keep up with his archrival. And since Zoda has entered again, Super Arrow is back, because he refuses to let Zoda win!

As a proud superhero, Super Arrow's interviews are exactly what you'd expect. He's an F-Zero racer for JUSTICE AND GALACTIC PEACE, and his machine is his SWORD OF JUSTICE! He plans to eliminate all evil afterwards, he fights better with strong rivals, and he's gotta hide his secret identity under a mask because of course he does. His owl companion brings him good luck and they're always together, and he's signed plenty of autographs in the past. He's basically Superman but he's F-Zero, though we never do learn his powers... and the wages of being a hero of justice are tragically low. Which is why he has a 40-year loan on his F-Zero machine. He's happy to talk up his wife, though! According to Super Arrow, Mrs. Arrow is definitely the faster racer (though he's scared to say she isn't), and she's the one who taught him all about how to race in the F-Zero Grand Prix. She also manages the Arrow finances, considering he asks for a raise in an allowance after his victory. Gotta pay off the machine somehow!

In the F-Zero GX story mode, Super Arrow makes a couple appearances. He and his wife can be seen at the bar in Chapter 3's opening scene, Super Arrow getting into a dispute with Zoda and the two of them nearly coming to blows. They decide to settle it on the track instead, as Super Arrow is one of the twelve participants to join the Bet Race. While his car isn't on the level of Billy's infinite boost power, he's still pretty persistent, and will often be on your back if Billy threw himself off the track. He makes his less spectacular return in Chapter 7, the big race, where he joins the rest of the 30-car field to try and claim the prize. Not much to say about him here, he's a pretty middle of the road racer. Unfortunately, he was not the one to defeat Black Shadow, Deathborn, and The Creators, because even superpowers aren't enough to let you get past Captain Falcon.

The couple that races together...

Onto his machine! The King Meteor was developed as one of a pair, along with Mrs. Arrow's Queen Meteor. Their creator, Professor Hollow, is a longtime friend and trusted ally - in fact, he's the one who made their super suits and whatever secret gadgets the Arrows have lying around. Super Arrow's was designed as a lighter version of his wife's machine, the Queen Meteor actually the original and the King Meteor a derivative. The base stats are an E body, a B boost, and a B grip, and it's a top quality machine in the X days! Generally considered one of the best machines, the combination of quick turns and solid boost and grip allows people to make strong performances with the machine. GX slightly downgrades it, as while the body and boost are pretty accurate, the handling receives a nerf, and the top speed isn't the best. It's still workable, though, the King Meteor a viable choice for higher level play. I should know, I've used it!

The most impressive he looks all series.

GP Legend series

Poor Super Arrow. Poor, poor Super Arrow. Our heroic defender of Earth has Zoda for an archrival, but the anime wanted to give him to Rick Wheeler instead. What's a writer to do? Well, if you're the F-Zero anime... you make him into a bumbling comic relief character. Super Arrow gets a few major appearances, and in each and every one, his role is clear - a big buffoon who's there to fail hilariously. His debut episode starts with him crashing into a wall while trying to knock Rick out of contention during a race, and then ambushing some punks and flubbing his dramatic entrance to land on his ass instead. The punks nearly beat him up until being chased off by Rick, which doesn't bode well for Super Arrow's character trajectory. During the rest of the episode, Super Arrow gets trapped (though in fairness, so do Rick and his wife), fails to escape (twice!), has a random dream sequence about escaping, and finally accomplishes something by helping provide a crucial distraction so that Rick can take down Michael Chain. An unceremonious start.

Luckily for him, he gets to be slightly competent and effective in his next episode... where Miss Killer recruits him, in disguise as a tragic heroine, to teach her the skills to overcome Rick and the others on the track. She even credits him with being highly talented, just also a moron. Super Arrow is certainly happy to defend her, deflecting the accusations from Rick and Lucy Liberty that perhaps maybe she's a Dark Million agent and he shouldn't be helping her out - a crying woman should always be defended by a hero! Over the course of the episode, as Super Arrow seeks to find a way for "Sophia" to claim victory, he evaluates various concepts and ideas on his own merit, though the powerful combo attack of using the energy of two machines to launch a third ahead is suggested by Miss Killer to Super Arrow. He does, however, get to name it - behold, the Sandwich Burst! It doesn't help that Mrs. Arrow is growing suspicious of this current setup. After all, her husband is running around with a different woman and not explaining his plans!

It all comes to a head on the racetrack, where Super Arrow is able to position Rick into the right spot for them to activate the Sandwich Burst and launch Miss Killer ahead. However, Mrs. Arrow shows up to properly defend justice, getting her husband to unintentionally help her to launch Rick ahead. This prevents Miss Killer from winning the race for Dark Million, and the Arrows have a heart to heart afterwards. They're upfront about their feelings, and come to a resolution - next time, Super Arrow will help his wife win! We actually do get to see this in action. In the next appearance of the Arrows, Super Arrow has decided to skip out on the cold race in White Land... 'cause it's too cold. However, his feelings change when a critical difference happens - his wife has gone missing while preparing for the race! Naturally, he turns to his best friend, Rick! Who helps him under duress.

Why are you even here!?

The two of them explore White Land, during which they find a couple major revelations, such as that Zoda is trying to take over the planet's weather control system, and that Super Arrow can't even handle Dark Million generic goons. He does manage to stumble across his wife, and rescues her before showing up to help divert an attack that would have taken out Rick. For some reason, though, it's Captain Falcon who shows up and saves the day... by throwing dynamite at Zoda. And leaving. He doesn't even appear in this episode otherwise. Thanks...? Anyhow, the race finally happens, and ultimately Super Arrow and Rick are both taken out. The former doesn't mind, though. After all, the winner is his lovely wife - he couldn't be a happier man! After this episode, Super Arrow goes on to make a few more cameos in the series, but he never plays another important role. Oddly, he gets added to a reworked version of the opening in episode 40 and on... despite not having anything more than split-second blink and you'll miss it appearances from then on.

F-Zero Climax gives us a little info on Super Arrow. As we saw in the show, while he's clumsy and blundering, he gets through thanks to his strength and kindness. His owl is a talking robot owl, and his machine was designed to mimic the Queen Meteor thanks to Mrs. Arrow being the experienced pilot. Interestingly, when it comes to the owl, it was never named in the original anime script, but it was in the Climax bio - and in the dub, romanizing the name to Zuck. The question becomes, where'd the dubbers get the info? Probably from character sheets, but it's still neat to see this attention to detail and usage of the original material.

That's all I've got on Super Arrow, there's really no other info I can think to add beyond the obvious "yeah he's very clearly a western comic book superhero top to bottom". So, get yourself over to the forum thread, and let's see what madness we get up to this time around!

The 'Shroom: Issue 168
Staff sections Staff NotesThe 'Shroom Spotlight'Shroomfest
Features Fake NewsFun StuffPalette SwapPipe PlazaCritic CornerStrategy Wing
Specials Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury Photo Contest64 Wars: A Battle for Sales