The 'Shroom:Issue 178/Strategy Wing
Written by: Hooded Pitohui (talk)
Hello, readers of The 'Shroom, and welcome to the first edition of Strategy Wing in 2022! We've taken down our old calendars and are now using them as makeshift sheets to write down all sorts of strategies and battle plans. It's what we do here in the Strategy Wing offices! I think I overheard Koops and The Shamancer talking about combining Pokémon and medieval weaponry. It sounds dangerous, but I'm sure they can handle it! Meanwhile, a joint venture between Superchao, with his fast vehicles, and Waluigi Time, with his navigational skills and keen sense of direction, might finally let us find out where in space Zelen is and let us reach her...
Yes, we're off to a productive start here in Strategy Wing this year. Unfortunately, The Shamancer had to take this month off to go out and catch some more monsters, but I Choose You should be back, so don't despair. Likewise, I hear that Superchao had a race to attend, so Mach Speed Mayhem isn't here at the moment, either. Don't worry, though! It, too, is coming back! EDIT: It's back!
If you're ready to join our team and get your year off to a productive start, too, 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 tell us everything about a subject you like with your own version of Mach Speed Mayhem or you'd like to give us a guide to something you enjoy doing, like Waluigi Time is doing, or do something in-between like The Shamancer is doing, we have a place waiting for you!
With that all said, there's some sections you should check out, so scroll down and read!
Section of the Month
Congratulations to The Shamancer (talk) for taking first place in December's Section of the Month poll! Giving readers a cool (get it?) Ice-type for the frigid winter months was a nice touch. Thanks go out to all of the writers who supported Strategy Wing last year, and to all of you who showed you support by voting for our writers last year! Keep it up this year!
|STRATEGY WING SECTION OF THE MONTH|
|1st||I Choose You||4||44.44%||The Shamancer|
|2nd||To Infinity and Beyond||3||33.33%||Waluigi Time|
|3rd||Koops, Your Emblem is on Fire||1||11.11%||Koops|
|3rd||Mach Speed Mayhem||1||11.11%||Superchao|
To Infinity and Beyond
Written by: Waluigi Time (talk)
Greetings space rangers, and welcome back to more Toy Story 2! Last time we covered Construction Yard, and today we'll be moving on to the fifth level, Alleys and Gullies. It requires 4 Pizza Planet Tokens to unlock, so it'll be available to you immediately after leaving Construction Yard. We're still in that part of the game that's more filling in gaps than depicting anything in the movie, but I guess this is closer to the city setting around this point in the film. As always, here's the soundtrack for the level.
Unfortunately, we won't be finishing this level today, because it's the actual first level in the game that you can't complete on your first run through due to requiring multiple items that won't be unlocked until later (Andy's Neighborhood was intended to be the first, but as I mentioned before, with some tricks you can get everything the first time). So today, we'll be collecting the three Pizza Planet Tokens that are accessible right now, and we'll come back for the other two around the middle of the year.
Buzz spawns in pretty much the middle of the level, and first we'll want to head forward a bit to collect the green laser upgrade. It's not too far from the beginning of the level and can be found near some trash cans on the right side of the alleyway. Once you have the upgrade, turn around and head back the other way instead. Also, keep in mind that a large portion of the level is completely inaccessible for now due to item requirements. There's enough coins to give to Hamm in the currently accessible areas, but you'll want to be diligent about collecting them, especially from enemies, if you want to get it the first time here.
Here we'll encounter some interesting new enemies, conjecturally named as always. The first is the Plane Box, a box that spawns an unlimited amount of Model Planes. The box itself has no attacks, though it will occasionally jump to change positions, but it will still damage you if you walk into it. It's surprisingly durable, with even a charged laser taking five hits to defeat it. The Model Planes themselves will fly around in circles, and if Buzz is in range, they'll fly straight towards him. If they hit Buzz, they will explode and be defeated. If you'd prefer not to take damage, any attack will instantly defeat them as well. Only the first two Model Planes defeated and the Plane Box itself will drop coins, so to maximize those, try letting two planes spawn before defeating the box. The other new enemy is the Jetski. They'll move around haphazardly on water and attack by firing cannonballs at Buzz. They're pretty durable too, though not to the degree of the Plane Boxes, being defeated after only two charged laser shots. These are both pretty rare enemy types - the Jetski appears only in this level, and the Plane Boxes do slightly better, appearing in two.
After dealing with those enemies, you'll find a box and a wooden plank. Rex is here too, if you care for some hints (though he's not as helpful as he could be in this level - he makes no mention that one of the missions needs specific items). Push the plank over to get it out of the way so you can push the box over to the fence and reach the other side into the gully. There's boxes and wooden planks floating through (inexplicably passing through chainlink fences) that you'll need to use to get across and reach the center island. (I remember there being a glitch with the second set of wooden planks that lets you clip through the fence out of bounds, but it's pretty difficult to pull off. It seems more likely to happen by accident than when actually trying to do it.) Anyway, on the center island, you'll find Slinky Dog with another timed challenge. This time, you have 30 seconds to collect five bones just off the edge of the island and return to Slinky. The island is pretty small, so I would argue that this is easier than Slinky's last challenge. Just make sure to time your double jumps properly so that you can get back on the island, otherwise you'll fall in the water, and at that point it's pretty much over, given how much time it'll take you just to get back. Once the challenge is completed, Slinky gives you the first Pizza Planet Token. If you want to collect an extra life, you can cross the planks and boxes over to a lily pad on the other end of the gully. At this point we've done all we can do for now, so climb the stairs to get back to where you entered and leave. By the way, despite being an electronic toy, Buzz suffers no negative effects from being fully submerged in water, besides being slowed down.
After leaving the gully, head back through the alleyway, making sure to take out any enemies on the way for coins. Along the way, you'll encounter Mother Duck, but unfortunately only two of the Ducklings she's looking for are accessible right now, so just ignore her. Near the end of the alleyway, climb onto some boxes and a trash can, where you can grab onto a zipline to slide to some more trash cans on the other end of the alleyway, though be careful to avoid the electrical charges that appear, as these will damage Buzz and knock him off the zipline if he comes into contact with them. Jump to the dumpster and go through the hole in the fence to reach the marketplace. Make sure to sweep across the ground and take out the enemies here for coins. Towards the back, you'll find a battery and an area with some water. Nothing's required in there for now, though you can go into a tunnel to collect an extra life.
Now, turn around and head back to where you came from. On the way, you'll find a box that you can push to reach a table with the Disk Launcher on it. You don't need too many of them (technically you don't need them at all), so the initial ten you get should suffice. Once you have the Disk Launcher, go all the way to the back of the marketplace near where you came in, and climb onto the box and onto the fruit stand. From here, platform across a couple of seesaws, and then you'll see why the Disk Launcher is here - the last new enemy type in this level, the Shield-Bot. These enemies are a little tricky, because they're the only basic enemies that are invulnerable to Buzz's laser - whenever you press the laser button, they'll simply put up their shield. They can only take be defeated by Buzz's spin or stomp attack, as they won't cause them to put up their shields, or the Disk Launcher, which penetrates the shield. When you're in their range, they'll attack by running into you. The Disk Launcher is ideal to defeat them here, and actually it's the only level where both the Disk Launcher and Shield-Bots appear, because this Shield-Bot is on a tiny platform that will make close-quarters physical combat not ideal. Once the Shield-Bot is defeated, you can safely make your way across the the rest of the spinning poles and platforms. At the end is a button that can be stomped to turn on a fan. Before jumping off, turn around and jump on the weight, which like in Andy's House, acts as a trampoline, and use it to jump onto the awning. From here you can jump to the right on top of the umbrellas to grab some more coins. Between cleaning up enemies here and the coins on the umbrella, I just barely got enough to give to Hamm, so jump back down and talk to him under one of the umbrellas for the second Pizza Planet Token.
Now it's time to wrap up that puzzle we started. Push the box you used to get the Disk Launcher back to its original position, and climb onto the table there. A helium pump will now be producing balloons which are blown across a gap by the fan that was turned on earlier. Grab on to the string of one of the balloons and float over to the trash can, where you can collect the third and final Pizza Planet Token that we currently have access to, and exit the level. (Alternatively, this entire puzzle can be cheesed by jumping on the back of one of the posts of the construction barriers blocking off the underwater area - it has a strange hitbox and you can jump onto the air between it and the building to the right, allowing you to climb onto the barrier itself and jump over to the trash can.)
That wraps up Alleys and Gullies for now, and with that, it's already time for a boss level next issue. That feels like it came up kind of fast, to be honest. See you then!
All gameplay screenshots are taken from Nin's playthrough on YouTube.
On the Origin of Species
Written by: ZelenPixel (talk)
Ya girl here! I'm sorry I had to skip December because of exams, and I'm sorry that, even despite taking last month off, this issue is still a little short! Your honor, I keep spending all my free time watching hours-long YouTube videos and talking about Angry Birds. Anyway, here's more Spore, where I continue to ramble about the Stabbies' space adventures! This has been going on for five issues now. Wow. That's actually as long as my previous section lasted!
Space Stage (yet again)
Last issue (in November), we did more Adventures, allied more empires, went to war with some mean empire that kept demanding money from us, terraformed the planets of all our colonies, and even encountered the Grox! That is about where I left it last time. Our empire said that there's something in the center of the galaxy that the Grox seem to be defending. I actually know what they're hiding! I never went there, though, despite the fact that I grew up on the game, and like... Even my sister, who played the game much less, got to the galaxy center, I recall! How odd that must be, right? Me, the Actual Spore Creature for whom Spore is her favorite game who's played it for thousands of hours at this point? Never got to the galaxy center? I'll try to, finally, for the first time in my life, reach it for this section! But I'll keep putting this off for a while.
I guess I'm gonna do some terraforming, but for my allies this time, since I've terraformed all my colonies already. This is for the Terra-Wrangler badge! With the Cloud Accumulator/Vacuum and the Heat/Refrigeration Rays, terraforming should be more satisfying now. I've decided to pick up needed species off of one of my allies' home planets and I picked up carnivores (which there are three species of) instead of herbivores (which there are six species of) way too many times! I've upped the T-score of a colony of those same allies to T3. I then attempt to do the same with a random tribe of Furbies near my home system, realize they don't even have enough wildlife for T2, then I get a bunch of transmissions from once, including my colony being raided, some guys asking money, and some guys declaring they're at war with me. Okay then! The attackers were actually the other empire that went in war with me first. They were dealt with fairly easily. I asked my allies to get one of their systems as revenge!
I decide to look at the civilization planet near my home system. I still have slots to fill out for it too, so no terraforming, but this is quite a beautiful little planet! I've decided to just terraform another one of my allies' planets instead, to T1. Did that, went around in search of scientist empires to give this Book of Science artifact to, also found an empire which says, and I quote, "We, the Fluttershy Empire follow the Scrolls of Life". Fitting? I had to save my allies from an ecodisaster. I finally found scientists. Can you tell Space Stage is uneventful right now?
It appears I haven't done the Concert in the Park adventure yet. Alright then, going to go find a Bard empire to give it to me! Found 'em, and they're a creature I made recently that I really like too! The empire's briefing of the mission is "I just recieved a top priority emergency distress signal from Colonel Farkus. He's putting on a rock concert in the park and his lead singer is...huh? Wait a section! This isn't an emergency! How many times do I have to tell Farkus not to call me on my hotline? Uhh...could you do me a favor and take care of this?", which explains the adventure pretty well. This dialogue is actually really funny, I've never seen it before!
So this adventure is really simple! Colonel Jim Farkus tells us that he's "the manager, record producer and concert organizer for some of the most famous entertainers in the galaxy.... Including the one and only Shmelvin!". Yes that's the name! This guy and his backup singers had a bit of a fight this morning and they're threatening to disband mere hours before the concert, and you have to get them to like each other. Colonel tells us to look for Lotta Pipes first. Passerby in the town hint at her location, but their hints aren't necessary since the game just tells you where she is anyways. Lotta tells us that she's up for getting back together, but we should help her rehearsal first, which just consists of befriending her and adding her to our squad like we do when allying creatures in the Creature Stage. This one is just given to you for free, since she has level 1 Sing as to not lock any captain out of completing the adventure if they happen to have low social skills. There's a reason this is the only Maxis adventure where you have to ally anyone!
We then talk to Shmelvin through this Squawk Box near his fancy mansion house. Lotta apologizes and Shmelvin also feels sorry about the whole argument, but says the band isn't the same without Kat Waller, so we have to go get her too. Both Shmelvin and Kat refer to the captain as Lotta's "little friend", even though Lucks is definitely as tall as the backup singers are. They're shorter than Shmelvin, though. Anyway, we have to help Kat with her rehearsal too, which is even easier since Lotta also joins in with singing, and we go talk to Shmelvin again! He calls Lucks a strange little creature, too!
I had to lead Shmelvin to Jim Farkus again, but I decided to just go off and find this Spoffit with its own little stage. I'm surprised Shmelvin, who was following me, didn't get stuck somewhere along the way, considering how this game can be sometimes. Jim Farkus is really excited about you saving the band and likely his career, and says he has a debt to the player that can't be repaid... so he just won't. He just lets the captain view the concert for a few seconds before the game boots you out of the adventure. Shmelvin, once again, says "Thanks, strange little creature! This show is for you!", ignoring how Lucks is, if not taller, then at least longer than he is. They also got on stage for no reason during the performance, why not! Anyway, this bard empire also went from neutral to loving me, as these people keep doing sometimes. This is the last Maxis adventure I'll be able to participate in with Lucks! At least with what comes with the DLC itself, anyway. I think there's some stuff you can find on the Sporepedia as you can with any player-made adventure!
All of this issue up to this point was written sometime in November, and it's now late December. I'm great (sarcasm) at spending my free time, evidently. I went on a planet called Phyluma, which is in the Civilization Stage itself. What's neat is that, if you stick around long enough, you can watch the cities on a civilized planet take over each other slowly, just like in the actual Civilization Stage! It seems like the city names will randomize on each planet visit, though, but not the city colors or their factions! I'm currently watching a military nation being swiftly taken over by a religious nation while another economist nation trades with them. We've got everything! The religious nation won that with no trouble, actually leaving only two nations on the entire planet. Seems like they're going for the trader nation too, so let's assume they win that and get to own the whole five cities on the entire planet.
Oh yeah, I also had to defend my colony from some mean guys, and another empire of mean guys also decided they're at war with me now because I refused to give them money for the longest time. Well, whatever! I'd take some excitement in the stage because it's kinda boring, actually! Let's buy a Monolith. I can place this on a planet with creatures (or tribes, or civilizations) on it and it'll slowly uplift itself and also become a space empire! This doesn't happen naturally, only with Monoliths. I've picked a decently nice system, away from already existing empires (otherwise the new empire may not get any chance to grow), which has a planet with pink spice on it. The planet is T0, unfortunately! I can terraform it with no trouble, at least! Using the Sporepedia, you can navigate to the entry of some planet, click to view its card, and press a button in the bottom right to track it. The system with this planet will now be marked, allowing you to find it easily at any time.
I'm cooling down the planet and raising the atmosphere, and then placing down the flora and fauna once it gets to T1. I have to get some more creatures and plants for higher terrascores, though! I can go pilfer them from my allies' home planets; I'm sure they won't mind. I then get two of my colonies attacked at once, what fun. I asked my allies to go attack the colonies of the mean guys and then went back to terraforming! I've finished picking up the extra flora and fauna I needed, with care taken to ensure I got some species I like, and then had to run off in order to pick two slightly different plants because I already had them on this planet, and now it's at T3! I had to run off to protect my colony again before I could place the Monolith. This empire that's mean to me sure is small and VERY aggressive because they won't leave me alone! Shoutouts to the Uber Turret, by the way. It's a big help in situations like this!
Now, going back to the planet, you can ensure the monolith uplifts a specific creature species by placing it near said species, so let's try it out. I picked these shark dinosaur guys I made some recently that I really like! I'm gonna keep this planet tracked and then check on it every once in a while, or the game will just notify me of it, I guess. Eventually I should see the results! For now, let's hunt for artifacts! I also got a notification about pirates plundering one of my colonies, and another notification mere seconds later that they're not plundering it anymore. Well then! I also went through a wormhole in order to get fresh unexplored systems to pick up artifacts from. Curiously, while I was going through the wormhole, the name it was showing me while I hovered over it actually showed the name of the wormhole I exited out of before I've technically entered the other one! So, evidently, it teleports you before the wormhole traveling cutscene even begins playing. I then get informed the planet I uplifed is now in Tribal Stage!
Anyway, the wormhole put me near some other save games. All three of them were previous playthroughs I got to Space Stage with, and one of them is actually a Knight empire, so they get spectacular lighting in the communication screen! AI Knight empires are never encountered, aside from save games which have this archetype, so functionally they're the same as Warrior empires. I check back on the planet I put the monolith on, and, indeed, there's a tribe of shark guys now! There are numerous little villages scattered across the entire continent. I can't go for long without having one of my colonies attacked again, and I've been noticing a trend that these mean empires just won't leave specifically my blue spice colony alone. What did it do to you, huh? It's just the same rather small empire (now with three systems) every time, too. This time I'm gonna attack them back MYSELF! Maybe it'll scare them out of attacking my colony ever again.
So I'm taking over their homeworld in response. They have a lot of cities on here, so I have to be careful and ensure the cities get taken over, but not just entirely destroyed. I also lost most of my ally ships in the process, sadly. I did, for some reason, end up destroying two of the cities too - I think the key is to just leave their buildings be and only go for the city hall! I had to retreat in order to heal and get my ally ships back and apparently I have to defend my colonies again. Guess what, the blue spice colony got attacked by the same empire I've just been fighting! Also the shark guys are at the Civ stage (that's what the notification said)! Indeed, we have a bunch of cities here, with some music I recognized from one of the Spore prototypes! I got a stronger weapon too, so let's get back to taking over that homeworld.
With slightly more knowledge on how to properly take over cities, and more tools to repair my fleet's health when necessary, I'm ready to keep going! And yeah, this colony is mine now. I'm keeping the silly buildings the same, because I think I can have little a singular colony where the city hall is Bomb (from Angry Birds). I may have destroyed two cities in the process, but this is still a colony I now own that has seven cities at all, more than the three you can ever get normally, and is not my homeworld! This should be really good for large quantities of red spice! It can hold up to seventy maximum!!! I've put all the buildings on all the cities in place finally, and now this planet can start producing ludicrous amounts of red spice I won't know what to do with.
Also, the empire who is now at two systems left, because I just took over their home system? Yeah they're still trying to attack my colonies, but at least they went for a different one this time? I have no idea how I haven't intimidated them with what I just did. At least the constant attacks on my colony are really helping me rank up my Body Guard badge, as I have to keep defending them! Anyway, I picked up some spice from my colonies in the order of the rainbow, and it looks lovely. Also the mean guys are left at one colony now, as I got my allies to take over their other one. Will that intimidate them enough? I also check on my shark people, and their cities have stayed the same so far. I guess progress on them being captured by each other only goes on while you're on the actual planet itself. I'm hoping they become a space empire soon enough, I think it's been a while!
...Oh wait. Wasn't I artifact hunting near a wormhole? Gosh, I'm good at being distracted. As soon as I leave the shark guys became a space empire! Couldn't you have done that sooner, guys? Anyway, I gotta get some artifact for them as a welcome gift! I found Book of Science Pt. 3, and, as it turns out, the shark guys are traders and not scientists. Never mind, then! I'm gonna do a mission for them instead. I get some weird adventure to do that is also just something I made years ago and forgot to lock the captain on. Anyway, just like the other traders, these ones also flirt with Lucks constantly, so that's something! Their empire also expanded to another system in front of my very eyes, so that's good for them! You go, shark guys!
Alright. What was I doing again? I appear to be really close to the Title of Omnipotent, so that's nice! I don't think I unlock anything for it, but hey! Time to look for artifacts, though. "Beware: Stealing objects from other planets angers the local empire", I'm warned, as if this civilization (not even a space one!) of Pacman-like people will care I yoinked a fancy ecologist scroll rock? That's not to say that isn't a fair point generally, though. I keep finding philosophy-related scrolls/whatever for some reason? At least I saw a solar system that has 3 T1 planets with animal life, and another one where its only two planets both had animal life! Finally, after five scrolls in a row, I found... The Fossil That Everybody Finds, and then an Ancient Flyswatter... and another scroll/tablet/thing... I had to rush to my colony to defend them from some mean guys again, and I might as well ask my allies to attack them back! I tried to fly around and sell my artifacts, but had to rush back to save my allies from an ecodisaster, then sold them the rest of the artifacts and some spice!
Let's see what badges I can do to get this rank, at least. I can reasonably get Collector by discovering artifacts, I can get Diplomat for just one more alliance, Explorer for discovering just eight more systems, Jack Of All Trades for buying another four tools, Missionista for completing missions (I'm a while off though), Terra-Wrangler for terraforming, Traveler for contacting another five empires, and Zoologist for filling out five more ecosystems. You know which of these is really easy right now! I found a Scientist empire AFTER I sold that scientist artifact to not-scientists. Whoops! I earned the Traveler 4 badge though, and the Explorer 4 badge just one visit after! I allied one (1) guy and was told "Congratulations! You have reached the highest level of accomplishment. You have earned the title of Omnipotent! Well done!"
What the game doesn't tell you is it actually unlocks a fifth fleet slot. So, sure! Let's get my shark friends in there! To continue the nonsense that is the ships this game tends to generate, their ship happens to be a lightsaber. All six of my allies have ships that are completely just not ships at all and it's hilarious. I also asked for missions from the shark guys, and they just requested me to retrieve a llama statue from a nearby planet, and retrieve crowns from three nearby planets and then send them to another empire, which, this time, was one that likes me! I also got a Jack Of All Trades badge from buying a bunch of stuff from them.
Back at the shark guys, I click the Trade option and get immediately hit with some different music. There's a chance the Trade screen will play the M.U.L.E. theme, which is also available in adventures! It seems like EA likes to reference the other games they published here - this game uses a song from the first The Sims game, a song from SSX 3, The Urbz: Sims in the City, SimCity 4, and probably more! Back to Spore, I allied another empire and they actually have a ship, somewhat? Finally! Took them long enough! Let's work on the Missionista badge, then? I need to complete sixteen more missions for Missionista 5, which will get me a whole bunch of tools. Oh yeah! I didn't ever mention you unlock tools through unlocking badges, and you can unlock pretty much everything pretty freely because tools tend to require just one of two or so badges to unlock? I like that, actually.
I got a mission to go to some adventure, had to run off and defend my colony, and also defended my allies from mean guys while I was at it, then completed the adventure by just entering and immediately leaving, did some other missions. I also completed ecosystems because, why not? I got the Zoologist 4 badge, found out shark guys have three empires now, and I completed their colonies' ecosystems too, found a strange new empire with three systems I somehow hadn't encountered before despite it not being far from my own colonies (also they're ALSO warriors. Like there hasn't been enough already)...
I finally remembered about my missions thing, then I get sent to another adventure with a one-letter name that has nothing than a holdable little plant on it. I get sent to an adventure I've already done, so I just speedrun past it (as well as I can, because, at the end, this guy has to get to another guy on their own and I can't do anything about it so I just flied around the planet and listened to some nice music). Another adventure that I got was just a copy of Adventure Town except with no tasks, so you get to just wander around (curiously enough, the dialogue is also in English now, even though my game definitely wasn't at the time I made this). The guys I took the mission from said something amazing (see image), and I finally get to do some mission that isn't an adventure I can just leave immediately. These guys tasked me with finding a fancy scepter. It turned out to be right next to a tribe village! I got the Gopher 2 badge, too!
I think I'll leave it here, because I'm writing this right before the deadline and it's getting late and I want to do something else before bed. I'll have more next month, hopefully!
Koops, Your Emblem is on Fire
Hey! Hi! Hope you guys had a great Christmas and a likewise great start of the New Year. You guys ready?
Also yes I get it, last month was the Yoshi issue, not this one, no need to point it out over my audio (While recording this I thought it was the case)... Speaking of which, while I was recording, work was being done around the apartment, so I had to keep my voice down, so I apologize for that in advance. Monthly gimmick!
Disclaimer: It is possible that at the time of this section being published, the second video might still not be done processing because YouTube takes its time. If so, you shouldn't have to wait too long, I hope. If not, then great, we can forget I wrote this.
We got three new units in the span of these two chapters. Shall we?
A somber girl. Quiet, but filled with a solemn energy.
She's the same unit as Nils. They share stats and growths and level, everything but name and class name (Ninian's a Dancer, not a Bard) I suppose. One thing that does need to be mentioned about Ninian is that she has Ninis' Grace in her inventory. We will see a few more rings like it as we go on but none are that useful until the final chapter where you can do cool shit with them. Enemies just aren't strong enough until then.
A paladin in service to House Pherae. Modest and polite.
Level 1 Paladin.
HP: 28 (75%)
Str: 13 (30%)
Skl: 12 (35%)
Spd: 16 (50%)
Luck: 10 (45%)
Def: 8 (20%)
Res: 6 (25%)
Weapon Ranks: A Swords, B Lances, D Axes.
Isadora is a statistically interesting unit compared to her peers, which I guess is only normal considering her status as the only female unit in the game that belongs to the cavalier class line. Regardless, Isadora possesses bulk comparable to Legault, as well as good speed comparable to a level 15>1 promoted Kent, and decent strength comparable to a level 20 Fiora. This allows her to perform nicely as a combat unit right off the bat, though she isn't quite as untouchable as Marcus is, not only arriving later than he does and as such fighting stronger enemies, but also due to her own defenses being inferior. Mind you, she doesn't care about that too much, given general enemy quality. So right off the bat she has it pretty easy.
Isadora possesses one major flaw, however, that being her very low con of 6. It makes it so that she will always suffer some speed penalty of some kind from any weapon that isn't a slim weapon or an iron sword. Luckily, she doesn't care much about that either, but it will come as an issue when the need to fix her average strength arises. Her weapon ranks are however satisfactory so she can at least use a good number of said weapons. The main issue that this poses for Isadora is the fact that due to this, she needs specific weapons to handle different kinds of enemies, as well as having a tougher time using 1-2 range, given that javelins and hand axes have 11-12 weight respectively. Isadora is a unit around whom trading is near essential to use her at her full potential. her low con does net her a good 14 aid stat, though there aren't many essential player units that heavy, so she can stand to use a body ring to up her con to 8, allowing her easy use of iron lances and select other weapons.
All in all, Isadora is pretty good, she simply requires slightly more insight into what resources should be given to her in order for her to truly show her worth.
Useless fun fact: While Isadora is the only female character in all of Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword who is able to use axes, she is not the first in the series to have this distinction; Machyua from Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 is the one to hold that title instead.
A deserter from Bern's wyvern riders. Prideful.
Level 7 Wyvern Rider.
HP: 28 ~ 33 (80%)
Str: 11 ~ 14 (50%)
Skl: 8 ~ 10 (50%)
Spd: 7 ~ 9 (45%)
Luck: 7 ~ 8 (20%)
Def: 10 ~ 12 (30%)
Res: 1 ~ 3 (20%)
Con: 9 (+1 Upon Promotion)
Move: 7 (+1 Upon Promotion)
Weapon Ranks: B Lances. (E Swords, +40 Lances Upon Promotion.)
Our first Wyvern Rider, and third overall flier, Heath, has joined the group. Heath sports decent strength and defense, suffering however from low speed, so in essence, you could call him a less statistically extreme armor knight that flies. Luckily for him, enemies in the midgame start thinking "wouldn't it be funny if all we had was steel weapons?" and as such all weigh themselves down to oblivion, unless of course they're mercenaries or armor knights (the latter of which are slow anyway to begin with though so it doesn't help them). Due to this, Heath has a much easier time than it seems catching up in the speed department, especially considering he has a good enough growth to simply grow out of it, not to mention you could always spare him a speedwing given no one else needs it very badly.
An advantage Heath exhibits over his pegasus-riding friends is decent starting bulk. While Fiora at base could take something of a beating, she definitely could not do it the same way Heath does. While Heath does have to deal with stronger weapons on enemies for his jointime, he's bulky enough to be ok with it. And unlike the Pegasus knights, Heath has a con stat that actually exists, allowing him more flexibility in what he can use without getting weighed down. He has an impressive starting B rank in lances too, bringing him close to be able to use almost every single lance in the game.
Heath's only real issue kinda just comes from the fact that he joins at a point where you might just not need him. Florina being our first flier meant that although she wasn't very good at combat, there were still places where having a flying unit was useful, and Fiora merely just helped patch her little sister's weaknesses. Heath however, only serves as an additional flier, and not a very necessary unit to use either. By this point, if you've trained either Florina or Fiora, they might already be above his level, which isn't to say you couldn't just use all three, but Heath's value as a unit definitely seems dull in comparison. Had he joined back in chapter 15, where he was present in that cutscene, he'd be a much more valuable unit. AS it stands, he's still very solid, and while the next map is full of mages who shred him if they gang up on him, he'll still be a good contributor due to terrain... you'll see what I mean when we get there. To put it simply, Heath absolutely is a worthy investment, one that you can live without with more ease than either other flier, but a good unit nonetheless who's no slouch himself. He has cool hair too, so that's a bonus.
With that, chapters 20 and 21 have been annexed. Join me next time as we enter... the desert. See you people then.
Mach Speed Mayhem
Hello, 'Shroom readers! Welcome to the final year of Mach Speed Mayhem, because I'm going to run out of characters to write about by the end of it! What a journey it's been, huh? But first, we gotta continue our way there, with another of the anime-only racers, #32: Miss Killer! Because gender balance doesn't apply just to the heroes.
GP Legend series
Introduced a few episodes into the series, the first thing Rick Wheeler notices about this strange woman he meets one day is that she looks a lot like his girlfriend from 150 years ago, before the cryofreezing. Haruka Misaki was going steady with him, but then the wrench of being thrown through time got in the way... regardless, he meets "Sophia", who tells him of her tragic sob story. Ready to help, Rick makes conversation, only for the name of Haruka to trigger a dark magic curse that The Skull had set up! "Sophia" makes her move, but even weakened by dark magic, Rick is able to fight back and make the save. When Miss Killer realizes backup is arriving, she escapes to rejoin the Dark Million team and receives her proper introduction!
Going forward, Miss Killer establishes herself as the clear third member of Dark Million's core, alongside Zoda and Black Shadow. She's easily able to snipe at Zoda, mocking him gleefully any time he slips up. She sets up several schemes of her own for victory and the organization's success, ranging from recruiting Octoman to help her steal classic cars, to manipulating Super Arrow into creating a new super move with her, to kidnapping the other women so she can win the Ladies' Race. However, while she's got her own plans, it's the introduction of the Reactor Might that changes the dynamic. When Zoda is temporarily removed from the narrative by dumping him into Dark Space, she starts taking full lead on all the plans, rigging as much as she can in her favor with the help of others like The Skull and Blood Falcon. Zoda's return as Hyper Zoda creates a power struggle, Miss Killer and Zoda consistently trying to win both Black Shadow and the other Dark Million members over to their sides.
Meanwhile, Rick continues to ponder how Miss Killer is actually the spitting image of Haruka. What is it? What could it mean? Well, he gets some payoff when it turns out Alias, the kid saved in the Roger Buster and Draq episode, is the descendant of one of Haruka's friends, and said friend left a diary. After Zoda (in the past, human) put Rick in cryofreeze, Haruka decided to chase him down when the police were failing to do so. According to the diary, the cops finally left their big trap for Zoda and his men, which consisted of cryofreezing them in one go and then just locking them away forever, because who needs due process in 2051? Regardless, Haruka mysteriously disappeared after this, with nobody ever entirely sure what happened to her... that is, until out of nowhere Zoda's Reactor Might decides to activate its Deus Ex Machina power and tell him Haruka was there when he got frozen. Hmmst.
Zoda proceeds to jam the Haruka Vision into Rick's mind, and Rick becomes convinced that Miss Killer might actually be Haruka, although this is somewhat stymied by the part where she still worships the ground Black Shadow walks on, ignoring Rick at every turn. The turning point comes when Zoda and Miss Killer both believe Black Shadow is dead, and he uses his Reactor Might to awaken her memories of being Haruka, before outing her identity to the rest of Dark Million. The two get into a dispute over if Zoda is telling the truth that she's Rick's girlfriend or not, and that forces Miss Killer to go all-in on stopping him, capturing him after the Race of the Day to drag him to the Dark Million base. Beating the shit out of Rick is enough to help her realize yeah, she IS Haruka - but now Rick is fully convinced she isn't, and even when she helps him make an escape from Dark Million's base, he's convinced she is pure evil. So naturally, next episode is all about Rick going "I'm sure glad she wasn't Haruka" and Miss Killer getting pushed by Black Shadow to throw away being anything else. What a guy. Even ends with Rick going "so you ARE Haruka" and Miss Killer going "nope".
After this, we get a few episodes working on the Zoda and Berserker sub-arcs, Miss Killer just hanging around awkwardly. Then, though, we get the important moment - she decides to hack into Black Shadow's computer and learn the full truth! Breaking in, she gains information on the Reactor Might plan, and gives it to Rick... though Zoda's obtained all the information on her betrayal of Dark Million. He quickly tips it to Black Shadow, but the leader is happy to let Haruka ensure the information gets into Rick's hands, before tossing her into a cryopod and kicking her out into space. Enjoy floating forever! Luckily for Haruka, Samurai Goroh's team happens to pick up on the pod and take it into storage, and when Zoda arrives to yank her back with him, they hold him off, allowing Rick to show up and finally have his long, long-awaited reunion with her!
Then Black Shadow shows up and kidnaps her, freezing her in carbonite for the climax of the show. Oops. On the plus side, Falcon is able to rescue her during the climax, which allows for Rick to put his full force into defeating Black Shadow once and for all. Now free of Black Shadow forever, Rick proposes to Haruka properly, allowing them to finally get together. And we see her one more time after the timeskip in the epilogue, where she's taken over Falcon House. While the new Captain Falcon is away, his wife will be the best bartender out there!
There's not much to talk about regarding her in the GBA games, unfortunately. Despite being a major antagonist, since F-Zero GP Legend showed up so early in the production run, Miss Killer doesn't get much focus - in fact, in the Japanese version, she was one of the e-reader exclusive racers! Luckily for American players, the e-reader's failure meant she'd be added to the game itself over here. F-Zero Climax gave her a bio that just said "she's mysterious! find out more!" It did, however, give her machine a good rundown! It's Black Shadow's big personal project. He spent a million on it, and he spent plenty of time teaching her how to drive. Guy really put a lot into the "Fuck With Rick Thanks To Having His Girlfriend" plan, huh?
Like Rick Wheeler, Miss Killer actually received a dub name change! In her case, it wasn't to make a Japanese name sound more English - in fact, Haruka kept her name - It was because of standards and practices meaning they couldn't use words like die, death, or kill. As a result, she was changed to the less-fitting Luna Ryder in the English version of the anime. Interestingly, this only applied to the anime; the F-Zero GP Legend game instead chose to just name her Haruka Misaki from the beginning... or, thanks to some confusion over name order, she was Misaki Haruka. Still, it's a surprising spoiler!
That's all for January, thanks for reading the late section! I'll see you in February for the next round!
|The 'Shroom: Issue 178|
|Staff sections||Staff Notes • The 'Shroom Spotlight • 'Shroomfest Highlights • Directorial Address|
|Features||Fake News • Fun Stuff • Palette Swap • Pipe Plaza • Critic Corner • Strategy Wing|