The 'Shroom:Issue 183/Strategy Wing

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Director's Notes

Written by: Hooded Pitohui (talk)

Shroom 2021 Pitohui.png

Hello, all of you readers of The 'Shroom! We may have a summer-themed issue here, but I assure you that I am not having fun in the sun! It's far too hot for my tastes, and there have hardly been any good storms to make up for the heat. Summer has barely begun, and I'm ready for it to end! Though, I suppose I can bear the sun a little longer. After all, we're celebrating not only summer, but the twentieth anniversary of Super Mario Sunshine, and that's a game dear to my heart. Is it well-designed? Not particularly, no. A fifth of its Shine Sprites are tied to Red Coins. Another fifth are tied to Blue Coins. The Pachinko Machine exists. Still, it has its charming, with its evolving NPC dialogue and cohesive setting. I view it with a healthy dose of nostalgia, it being one of my first videogames. Now and again, I like to pick up a WaveBird and return to Isle Delfino.

You aren't here to read about my thoughts on Super Mario Sunshine, though! You're here to see what the Strategy Wing team has put together for you this month, and, well, the team has put together everything you would expect! Some members of the Strategy Wing team have found clever ways to theme their sections around summer and sun, too. Zelen returns with more On the Origin of Species, taking a trip somewhere special this month. Kinger turns up the heat in Payday 2 and Ray Trace hosts a peculiar pool party.

Unfortunately, Koops had to take the month off, so there will be no Koops, Your Emblem is on Fire this month, but our campaign will continue soon! Likewise, I've had to cancel class this month, so Pitohui's Pokémon Academy is absent, but you can rest assured there will be another session in July!

When you finish reading through Strategy Wing this month, don't forget to go and vote in Mach Speed Mayhem. With only Roger Buster and Clank Hughes left to cover, this is your final opportunity to vote for an F-Zero character, so don't miss it!

That about covers the news here in Strategy Wing, but there's a few special sections I'd like to point you towards, as well. First and foremost, I want to remind you that the Awards polls are open, and you can go and cast your votes in the Community Awards and the Mario Awards and Fail Awards right now! You can vote once a week, so even if you've already voted, be sure to come back after a week has passed. Elsewhere in this issue, we have a set of races for you to read, and a |look at what the cast of the Living Game has been up to since the game's end. There's also the Poll Chairperson Election. I took the seat for the eleventh committee, so, take it from me when I say you should consider a run! Last but not least, you might consider turning up to support your side of choice in the 'Shroomfest. I'm judging the event this month, so I'm looking forward to seeing what creativity everyone pours into the event.

That's quite a bit to take in, isn't it? I'd say it's time I let you get to reading the work of our wonderful Strategy Wing team so that, afterwards, you can take a look at everything else (and vote in Awards!). Find yourself some shade, get yourself a nice chilled drink, and stay cool in the sun as you read!

Section of the Month

It's seems that last month was a month of dos and don'ts! SIMulation and its guide on feeding your Pit Beasts takes first place, while Pitohui's Pokémon Academy and Mach Speed Mayhem, teaching you what not to do when raising an Umbreon or writing Lucy Liberty in the F-Zero anime, respectively, take second and third. Congratulations to all of our writers, and thank you for supporting them with your votes! Please be sure to vote and show your support this month, too, not only in our SOTM poll, but in our Community Awards as well!

Place Section Votes % Writer
1st SIMulation 5 48.46% Ray Trace (talk)
2nd Pitohui's Pokémon Academy 3 23.08% Hooded Pitohui (talk)
3rd Mach Speed Mayhem 2 15.38% Superchao (talk)

Tips and challenges
Meet the Pyro! Oh, wait, wrong game. Well, you can still become a pyromaniac with this guide to incendiary weapons in Payday 2!
A little artifact-hunting, a little sculpting, but, most importantly, we go searching for a familiar sight...
This month, we meet Princess Tomato's sister and are once again denied cool things we find because of Percy.
We ascend an elevator shaft, using a grappling hook and fighting fans on the way!
History and facts
She can sing, she can race, she can... display prejudice towards robots? It's that legendary singer, Kate Alen!
Now, when planning your summer pool parties, you can't forget to build the wall around the pool...

Getting That Payday

Written by: Kinger (talk)

Welcome back, thieves, to Getting That Payday, a Payday 2 Strategy Guide! This month, our issue is themed around summer and Super Mario Sunshine! Now, when I think of summer, I think of how damn hot it is outside! Like, for a northerner, pretty much anything above 30 degrees (Celsius) feels like I'm on fire... Can you guess what we'll be doing to the officers today? If you can't, we're going to be looking at incendiary weapons! (or fire weapons for those who don't know the lingo!). These are great for crowd control and keeping cops distracted, although they come with some small downside like less ammo, and a lower base damage.

Info In case you've never heard of Payday 2, it's a co-op first person shooter about crime. Lots of crime. Crime in the day, crime in the night. Crime at air, land and sea. Theft, murder, drug cooking, you name it, they got it. It's like Breaking Bad up in this shit with all the crimes. Also wearing doge masks. It's also very stupid.

Some men just want to watch the world burn

An unmodified MA-17.
It looks bad because my laptop is bad.

First off are the most classic of flame weapons, the Flamethrower! Looking at our only two options, the Flamethrower Mk.1 is a primary, able to very effectively keep the heat (Ha!) from your allies, although I find the damage to be a bit lackluster compared to regular guns. A weapon I'd suggest you use over it would be the MA-17 Flamethrower. It's pretty much the same weapon as the Mk.1, but with a few key differences that make it (in my opinion) leagues better than its primary counterpart. It has lower total ammo and magazine size (even though it uses tanks of gas rather than magazines), but that is pretty much the only downside compared to the Mk.1. It has 15 Concealment rather than 7 (even if it doesn't matter much as using a flamethrower in stealth is, frankly, pretty stupid), and has many more mods with a changeable barrel, magazine, and gadget, compared to just the magazine with the Mk.1. The biggest difference, however, is the fact that the MA-17 is a secondary. This means alongside your fire-dispenser, you can use something like an Assault Rifle, an LMG, a Sniper Rifle, etc. This is a massive difference and easily makes the MA-17 the better of the two.

While this is fire related, I'll cover it with its skill tree.

Next up, we have some various ammo types that deal fire damage, like the Dragon's Breath rounds for shotguns! These give any shotguns fire damage, at the cost of a bit of damage, some accuracy and less backup ammo. Combine the ammo with the Full Auto shotgun mod, and you can have a fire-spitting machine! One shotgun I feel I should highlight is the Steakout 12G, a gun introduced alongside Dragon's Breath rounds in The Butcher's Barbecue Pack. It has excellent ammo, being the highest in the shotgun weapon class, although is does have low damage, and is fully automatic, making it practically perfect for the Dragon's Breath rounds!

The other fiery type of ammo are Incendiary Rounds, which are used with the Grenade Launcher class of weapons. These not only explode, leaving a patch of fire onto the ground, but also remove all damage from the initial blast! Oh, wait, no that's bad. Yeah, the only damage you're going to be doing with these is fire damage. The lasting flames make these amazing for smaller chokepoints, but larger, more open areas makes these only decent. They make a great secondary, though, especially with a weapon that's better at picking off single targets, so that you're not caught off-guard when a larger unit comes in.

Finally, we have the throwable category of this fine guide to nature's most dangerous element. First, we have the Molotov Cocktail. A classic type of grenade, these act similarly to Incendiary Rounds, just with lower damage. Along with them are Incendiary Grenades. These actually deal damage upon exploding, and have a larger radius, however the ground isn't set ablaze, making these great anti-shield tools, rather than being used for keeping chokepoints locked down.

Now, you can now set the world on fire! Now that I'm done writing this, I'm off to go enjoy the sun! Or, more likely, stay inside and play video games. With that, this is professional heister Kinger, signing off.

The Greatest Quest

Written by: The Wandering Shoestrel (talk)

A vaguely medieval bard with a kiwi for a head plays a string instrument while standing to the right of the words "The Greatest Quest" in an old-timey font.

Hello again, yon reader, and welcome back to The Greatest Quest, a tale of the brave Sir Cucumber and his journey to liberate the Salad Kingdom. In our last chapter, the mighty Sir Cucumber and his squire, the humble Percy, returned to Spinach Heights and set out to find the legendary Yam Medallion. This took them through the dreaded maze of the Parsley Forest, where the noble knight, Sir Cucumber slew the terrible beast Saladron and recovered Yam Medallion. With the Yam Medallion in hand, our heroes finally discover the resistance's secret hideout, which is where our story begins. But before that, I believe a song is in order...

♪ They searched through the forest, ♪
♪ Against Saladron they prevailed, ♪
♪ They linked up with the resistance, ♪
♪ This quest they won't fail. ♪

At long last.

Starting the chapter outside a building, checking the vicinity confirms that our heroes have indeed at long last found the secret headquarters of the resistance. The other two options are to check the ivy and the wall, and, I know what you're thinking, and, sadly, no, you cannot take the the ivy, because Percy says it might be poison or whatever. Having spent the last three chapters looking for this, Sir Cucumber decides to move into the base even though Percy isn't so sure it's a great idea. Once inside the base, there are doors on both sides and one down the hall. Sir Cucumber first attempts to enter the room to the left only to find it locked, then goes to the right but he finds that door is also locked. When Percy hits the door, he finds nobody inside. Finally, going down to the door at the end of the hallway, Sir Cucumber and Percy find a door with the sounds of people talking inside of it. Entering the door, our heroes find themselves inside the resistance troops' meeting room, standing face to face with a fresh batch of conscripts. At first, the troops were hostile towards our heroes, demanding to know what they're doing inside the room. Acting quickly to defuse the situation, Sir Cucumber, ever the diplomat, uses the Yam Medallion, presenting it to the troops. With the troops realizing that Sir Cucumber is on their side, Sir Cucumber talks to them again and they begin to reveal their plan before being interrupted by the entrance of a human woman.

This woman reveals herself to be Lisa, daughter of King Broccoli and sister of Princess Tomato. Princess Tomato's sister... Wait. Let's back up a little bit. So King Broccoli has two daughters, and one is a tomato and one is a human human???

C-Can I see a family tree?

You know what? I'm just going to, uh, move past it. Lisa (princess Lisa?) then tells Sir Cucumber that the General of the resistance has a headache and begs Sir Cucumber to help him. While Percy attempts to explain that Sir Cucumber is a knight and not a doctor, Sir Cucumber suddenly remembers the aspirin that was given to him by Mr. Fig, the pharmacist back in Saldoria (it's all connected). Giving Lisa the aspirin, she then gives our heroes her most heartfelt thanks and takes the aspirin to the General. Talking to Lisa again, she tells you the General is still recovering and to come back later. What she means by this is our heroes must completely leave the building, returning to the entrance of the headquarters. Then, they can return to talk to her and she tells them the the General would like to thank them personally.

She leads Sir Cucumber to the dapper General Cantaloupe. Thanking our hero for the aspirin, General Cantaloupe tells our heroes that intel reports say Princess Tomato is being held at Minister Pumpkin's Castle in Sopville.

This is one good-looking Cantaloupe.

He warns Sir Cucumber that if he ventures there he will surely be recognized as the great hero of the resistance, then he gives him the Crest of the Resistance. With the Crest in hand, our heroes return to the hallway before going to the door on the right. Now when Percy hits the door, he finds out that this is Lisa's room and you may now enter it. Talking to Lisa, she says she lost a princess Pendant while she was cleaning and asks Sir Cucumber if he can check the boxes outside.

Classic royalty, always making the commoners dig through their garbage.
Blech, no. Get it away..

Unable to deny the request of an innocent, the heroic Knight gladly agrees. Returning to the entrance of the base, for some reason, our heroes need to look around in order to find the very obvious boxes outside the base. Checking the box twice reveals a shiny object, and checking the object will reveal that it's Lisa's lost pendant. Taking the pendant, Sir Cucumber then returns it to Lisa. As thank,s Lisa asks if you've heard of the Dice-O Matic, the most powerful weapon in the land. Having never heard of this weapon, Sir Cucumber returns to the soldiers, where looking at them reveals that, from left to right that they are: a Major, Captain, Sergeant, and Chief. Talking to each one of them Sir Cucumber, learns of a beast called Bananada that lives near Peanut village and supposedly has the Dice-O Matic.

With this new info, Sir Cucumber and Percy return to the hallway and attempt to go into the left door, as it's the only one they haven't been in. Outside the left door sits the horrifying Grapy. Grapy tells our heroes that this is a very important room and he can't let you in.


But checking Grapy has Percy reveal to Sir Cucumber that Grapy has a weakness for Grape Juice. Remembering that he purchased Grape Juice back at the Juice Shop in Saldoria (bet you forgot about that), and not one to shy away from dirty tactics, Sir Cucumber gives Grapy his Grape Juice as a bit of a way for Grapy to wet his beak, if you catch my drift. Ecstatic, Grapy thanks Sir Cucumber, but he only gives him a Clover Juice for his trouble, telling him he can't let him in without permission. Frustrated that his bribe didn't work and deciding that he should probably just try going up the chain of command, Sir Cucumber and Percy return to Lisa's room, who after talking to our heroes, grants them permission to enter the armaments room and take anything they want! Checking out the armaments room, oh man, there's everything a soldier could dream of! There's a cannon, black beans (ammo for said cannon), a sword, nut bombs, a machine gun, and, again, a fucking cannon! Unfortunately, the sword is only ceremonial and there's no ammo for the machine gun and, perhaps most disappointing of all, that weakling Percy isn't strong enough to lift the cannon.

Dejected, Sir Cucumber grabs a couple of nut bombs and some black peas. Now armed with bombs, Lisa tells our heroes to talk to the Chief soldier to find out our next assignment. Talking to the Chief, he gives us the following orders.

  1. Head through the Carrot Plateau and into Peanut Village.
  2. Find the cave of the Bananada.
  3. Defeat the Bananada and claim its Dice-O Matic.
  4. Bring the Dice-O Matic back to the resistance base.

Sir Cucumber fearlessly and courageously accepts this mission and heads towards the village from the back entrance, stoically prepared to meet what could be the most dangerous enemy yet.

However, that will sadly be a tale for another day. It has been a long trek, but our heroes have finally joined up with the resistance, combining forces on this most noble of quest. Not only that, but our heroes have been given a tip on a weapon that might just tip the battle in their favor. I hope you will return next month for what is sure to be an epic chapter of The Greatest Quest, but, before we go, I believe another song is in order.

♪ Met the Princess' sister, ♪
♪ A blond human female, ♪
♪ We head off to Peanut Village, ♪
♪ The Bananada we will whale! ♪

To Infinity and Beyond

Written by: Waluigi Time (talk)

Welcome to another installment of Toy Story 2, space rangers! It's time to start another new zone today, and we're getting closer to the end, because it's the second-to-last one. At this point in the film, after finding no sign of Woody at Al's Toy Barn, the toys follow Al to his apartment building, climbing through the ventilation systems and elevator shaft to reach the top floor. And that's exactly where the next level, Elevator Hop, takes us! It's unlocked once we get 18 Pizza Planet Tokens, so it'll immediately be available after finishing Toy Barn Encounter. And of course, level music, you probably know the drill by now.

We really got the shaft.

So we start things off at the bottom of the elevator shaft, and at first glance we have four different paths to pick from, but only one of them is actually important for now, and it's the one directly behind you when you start the level. However, the path to the right has a single coin that's going to be more difficult to get once we do something specific, so if you want to grab it now and get a head start on your coins, might as well. Anyway, head to the back to get into the electrical room. For some reason, most of the floor is covered in water, and considering this is the electrical room, that's not good! Electric sparks will zip across the floor from the equipment in the room, and they'll hurt Buzz if he touches them. What you want to do here is swing across the poles to be able to reach the top of the equipment. It can be a bit tricky, just make sure to double jump with good timing. There's sparks on the poles too though, but it shouldn't be an issue since you won't be on them too long. At the end, you'll find Hamm on the right side, but we're not even close to being ready for him yet, so head to the left instead, jumping across the equipment. At the end is a zipline to take you to the other end of the room, with yet more equipment, and at the end you'll find a baby mouse and Mr. Potato Head's foot, so get both of those and head back out.

Who's going to foot the bill for this?

With Mr. Potato Head's foot collected, we can go see him in the path on the other end of the room. By returning his foot, he'll allow us to use the Grappling Hook, which is without a doubt, the most important item in the game. It only appears in two levels, this one and Alleys and Gullies, but it's required for Pizza Planet Tokens in both of them. In fact, it's a requirement for all of the Pizza Planet Tokens in this level, because there's no way to progress any further without it, so you'll need it to get any further in the game. As for the item itself, when you pick it up, you'll get 5 uses of the Grappling Hook, up to a maximum of 10. There's special targets throughout the level, and by targeting them in visor view and using the fire button, Buzz will fire the Grappling Hook and pull himself up to it, allowing him to reach areas you couldn't otherwise. There's nowhere else to go but up now, so head behind Mr. Potato Head to pick up the Grappling Hook and try it out. (There's two in a row here, but you can actually ignore the first one and grapple straight to the second.)

No need to vent about this level.

At this point, the level becomes incredibly linear for a while while you make your way through the ventilation shaft. Elevator Hop is probably the most linearly designed level in the entire game, while the rest have a more sandbox feel. There's not a whole lot to say here regarding the layout, just run forward and look up to find a grapple target whenever you reach a dead end. Luckily, they're very generous with the Grappling Hook restocks, so you won't be running out. One thing of note, however, is that we encounter a new enemy type! Apparently the Laser-Bots and Shield-Bots weren't enough here. Enter the (conjecturally named) Rattlesnake. They're kind of like a tougher version of the Spring-Bot, with a very similar attack pattern of doing nothing but jumping toward you, but they're a little harder to defeat. The easiest method is a charged laser shot followed up by any attack you feel like using.

Looks like we'll have to grapple with some issues.

At the end of the first stretch of vent you'll come to a new obstacle placed at the grapple target, a burner that periodically turns on and off. Obviously Buzz getting melted (or at least taking damage) isn't ideal, so you'll want to be careful to avoid the fire while grappling. You'll continue to find these by some of the targets as you make your way up. Speaking of up, once you get past those, you'll find the green laser upgrade for this level. Just past that, turn to the left, where you'll find Rex and the second baby mouse. You can jump out of the shaft here on top of the stationary elevators, but I don't see much point in doing that, so just ignore it and continue back onto the main path. After a while, you'll encounter fans at the grapple points that turn on and off and push you back. They won't actually push you off the platform, so you won't lose any progress, they just exist to slow you down and be annoying since you can't really target the grapple points above while they're activated.

Not a very user-friendly interface.

Finally, we reach the top of the elevator shaft and emerge in the control room! You'll find a lever here, and it's very important to stomp this. It activates the fan in the left path at the bottom of the elevator shaft, creating a shortcut back up to the control room. (You can also go back down by moving into the corners. Or just jumping down the elevator shaft and listening to Buzz yell, that works too.) It's a question of when, not if, you'll end up back down there, so make sure to do this. You'll also find Mother Mouse here, but we don't have all the baby mice yet, so we can't help her. What you do want to do is climb up onto the desk and head over to the control panel. There's three colored wires here, and each one is controlled by a button that moves two of them. One moves blue up and red down, one moves green up and blue down, and one moves red up and green down. From what I can tell, it's the same layout everytime - just hit the right button followed by the middle button, and the puzzle's already solved. Once you get all of them aligned, the large door will open, the elevators will start up, and a Pizza Planet Token will appear. (For some reason, they have a shiny texture that's unique to this level.) Before grabbing it though, there's a baby mice on the ceiling that you'll need to jump off of the control panel to be able to collect. This particular one is probably one of the two most annoying collectibles in the game - the baby mice move around a lot, so you might think you're about to get it and it leaves, or you could just do a poorly timed double jump, hit your head on the ceiling, and miss. The other most annoying collectible is one of the other baby mice in this level. Hooray!

This level really scales the heights.

Now that the elevators are activated, grab the Pizza Planet Token and head out there. There's two sets that move in different patterns, so you'll have to jump between the two to reach the top of the elevator shaft. At the top, there's three different vents, but the most important one to go to first is the one on the opposite side from where the control room was. In here, you'll find the fourth baby mouse, and another shortcut lever. This one turns on the fan in the right path at the bottom, which will allow you to get all the way back up here very easily, eliminating the hopping back and forth on the elevators (see where the level gets its name?). With that activated, head back onto the top of the elevator of your choosing, and pick another vent. My personal suggestion is to do the one on the right (relative to how you enter from the control room) first for convenience, but it doesn't really matter which one.

Not your friendly neighborhood spider, man.

This vent has a fan that leads up to an arena where we'll face this level's boss, the Spider Gunro. And oh man... If the Dinosaur from Al's Toy Barn is the most pathetic boss in the game, this guy is a close second. It's a shame, because it actually has a pretty interesting fight. Its main attack is that it will fire a rocket at you from its cannon. However, after a short time, the fans on the ground will temporarily turn on, raising both Buzz and the Spider Gunro into the air. Buzz is totally vulnerable and unable to attack while this happens, but the Spider Gunro gains a new attack and shoots balls of web at you. If they hit the floor, they'll create webs that stay there and damage Buzz. There's also a potential hazard in the form of a hole in the middle of the arena that leads back into the elevator shaft. The Spider Gunro can't fall down though and will just levitate over it (maybe the implication is that it's hanging by a web from the ceiling when it does this, but they don't show anything like that). But if you have the green laser upgrade, you can just hold the button down and whale on the poor guy, and it's dead in seconds before any of that comes into play, and you'll maybe take one hit from it. I had to purposefully hold back during the fight just to refresh my memory on everything that it's able to do (as well as for the Buzz Lightyear Buggy fight in Al's Space Land, though I neglected to mention it in that issue). It's kind of unfortunate how they made what's honestly a pretty unique fight and then it ended up being so easy to demolish that you probably won't even see it if you know what you're doing. Anyway, once you deplete its health, the Spider Gunro boss explodes and drops a coin (as I mentioned in Construction Yard, most bosses don't do this) and leaves the Pizza Planet Token behind. Collect it and jump down the hole, preferably landing on top of one of the elevators to easily make it over to the other vent.

The tokens are rebelling!

In the left vent, you'll meet Father Mouse, who has this level's race challenge. When you talk to him, he'll challenge you to make it to the bottom of the vent before the Pizza Planet Token, and a timer will begin for 37 seconds. It's pretty much a race against the clock as much as it is against the Token itself (and no, you can't collect the Token during the race, unfortunately). The trick here is that, while you're sliding down the vent, you need to avoid the holes, which will drop you off at different points earlier in the level. You don't automatically lose by falling down these, and you can still get the Token if you're able to get to the end, but for the most part, you probably won't have enough time. Either way, it's not all that difficult, just make sure to be sparing with your jumps and double jumps and only use them when necessary, as they'll slow you down. You'll come out at the end right in front of Mr. Potato Head, and if you beat the timer, the Token will fall down at the end and be able to be collected.

Bringing elevator the bacon.

While I was going down the slide, I collected 50 coins, so as long as we're here, might as well drop by Hamm and get the Pizza Planet Token from him. At this point, we've explored the entire level, but if you've been vigilant, you may have noticed we're still missing the fifth baby mouse. So where is it? Well, this is that other annoying one. Head back up the shortcut to the control room, and jump down onto the elevators. The baby mouse is on the wall down below from the control room door, so you'll need to make a leap of faith to grab it. I'd say it's less difficult to collect than the one on the control room ceiling, but what makes it just as annoying is that if you miss, it's a much longer trip back up than it is there. So, now that we have all five, use the shortcut one last time, talk to Mother Mouse, and get the last Pizza Planet Token.

Well, that's that! Next time, we'll actually be taking a detour. I did mention that the Grappling Hook was required in Alleys and Gullies, and now that we have that (and the Rocket Boots), we can finally collect the last two Pizza Planet Tokens there that have been eluding us for so long. See you then!

Gameplay screenshots are taken from Nin's playthrough on YouTube.

Mach Speed Mayhem

Written by: Superchao (talk)

The Down With Pants Act of 2561 finally rendered pants illegal.

Hello, 'Shroom readers! Welcome back to one of the very last Mach Speed Mayhem sections! I know I keep pointing that out but it's weird to be almost done. For this month, the penultimate reader vote decided that #12: Kate Alen was the one to see. So let's take a ride into the future... a future of no pants. None!!

She's a maniac, maniac, that's for sure...
Please do not take her to Funkytown. She would like to leave.

Main Series

Kate debuted in F-Zero X, helping round out the roster like so many others - they really had to come up with a lot here, after all. And, uh... we got nothing on her in X. I mean nothing. Her entire bio is that she's a popular singer and dancer who's decided to race, and she'll debut this season. That's it! Thanks team. Appreciate the knowledge. Thankfully, F-Zero GX gives her a proper biography with some real information! She's a mega hit, a singer known the world over, enough that she's been repeatedly invited to sing at the opening ceremonies of many F-Zero races. She's seen enough F-Zero that the sheer speed and adrenaline of the races have gotten to her, and for that reason she's just gonna go ahead and get in there. What's better than watching? Driving!

When brought to the interview booth by Mr. Zero, Kate's happy to shill herself like any other winner. Her rivals better hope they're important enough to fit into her schedule, for example. She's got a big desire to balance both careers, since she plans to use her victory as inspiration for a new song, and says that burning passion is what lies behind both victory on the circuit and performing under the spotlight. Surprisingly, though, she definitely likes the F-Zero circuit better! She says that she finds winning F-Zero a bigger thrill than topping the charts, confirms her true life dream was entering a race, and has already booked herself for the next Grand Prix. Went from performing at a Red Canyon concert, to winning at the Grand Prix! ...Probably destructively, considering she says accidents are part and parcel of the charm of the Grand Prix. Speaking of which, the GX story mode doesn't have much with Kate, being just another person who appears in the big Chapter 7 race. Gotta amp those numbers up!


Onto her machine! The Super Piranha is Kate's personal ride, commissioned from Team Power Boys with her music money. Built to her personal specifications, this includes a hi-fi soundproofed cockpit. Kate doesn't want to hear the race during the race, so she's blocked engine noise and outside sounds to focus entirely on driving. Her machine's listed stats are B Body, C Boost, and B Grip, an all-around layout. In F-Zero X, this translates to a useful, if unexceptional, machine, with no real standout points. In GX, this is translated to good acceleration and some interesting cornering, with the tradeoff of low top speed, low body, and mediocre boost. This is one diva who doesn't seem to have come out on top in the big jump, unfortunately. Maybe next F-Zero will finally have consistent stats...

GP Legend series

Kate appears in a couple episodes of the F-Zero GP Legend anime. Making her debut very early on, even! Kate is actually the first true Character of the Day, where they get a single focus episode and maybe a cameo role or two; in her case, it's all the way back in episode 6. First met by Jody Summer, Kate confirms that Zoda asked her about fixing races. She told him to buzz off, and then tells the Mobile Task Force to buzz off as well, not wanting to just let other people tell her what to do. Her manager, Gordon - a close friend of John Tanaka's - gets Rick Wheeler and Mr. EAD sent over as her bodyguards. It's an excellent concert, but hard to appreciate when you're busy watching every inch of the concert hall. Rick, Kate, and EAD head out for a ride afterwards, the two bodyguards watching closely and nearly getting scrambled by some drones from Dark Million.

Afterwards, Kate thanks EAD... and then incapacitates him, taking advantage of his android nature to get at his memory so she can learn who they are. Once she does, she thanks them now that she can finally trust them, and calls EAD just a robot as she returns the core. Robophobia continues, since Kate can't understand why EAD doesn't hold her attack against her, and dismisses him questioning why she hates singing as just him being a non-understanding robot. Gordon fills us in - burned by the manipulative nature of show business, the innocent young Kate who started out became cynical and hard-edged, in part because most people try only to use her or get at her money. And since Kate believes the Task Force is just using her as bait for Zoda, she decides to just run straight out of there.

Unfortunately for her, Zoda has other plans! Showing up in the Death Anchor, he, Bio Rex, and Octoman knock her machine out of commission, before Zoda challenges her one last time to work for Dark Million. When she says no, he decides to just make matters simple, and stab her! The stab is blocked by Mr. EAD, Zoda getting chased down by Rick and Jody while EAD stays to protect her - not out of the mission's requirements, but just to save her from being used as a tool. Zoda even tries to run her down with the Death Anchor, but EAD sacrifices his body and his memory core to protect Kate, forcing Zoda into a retreat and leaving Kate with nothing but sorrow and understanding. She steps on stage once more, and though EAD doesn't remember her music after his rebuilding, she's still got the soul back in her singing thanks to him.

Kate goes on to make two more appearances after this. The first one is a minor cameo at the end of John Tanaka's focus episode about escaping from Pico's assassination attempts. She comes out to greet the Mobile Task Force, ready to fulfill Tanaka's dreams... only to beeline straight for Rick and EAD, and spend time with them while Tanaka chases hopelessly after her. The second appearance is the Ladies' Race. You've all heard me talk about it before - all-woman episode of the anime with some... unfortunate stereotypes and implications. Kate gets kidnapped like the other ladies, joins in the catfighting, and on the racetrack makes sure to knock Lisa Brilliant out of the race, only to be bombarded by Lisa's space pirate ship. Really, I've talked enough about this episode at this point. It's just very 2000s "haha women catfighting, so scary, so impossible to understand" and we can move past it!

Appearing in the two GBA spinoff games, Kate gets a bit of info in her F-Zero Climax bio. Interestingly, we learn more new info about her machine than about the woman herself. The anime timeline Super Piranha had Kate play a much bigger role in its design, in everything from performance to safety to looks. Clash can absolutely point it out as an amateur's machine, but it holds up in a race. Maybe Kate's just got a knack for this!

Alright! That covers Kate. Only two characters remain. Which means... this is it. This, my friends, is the final Mach Speed Mayhem vote. (Unless F-Zero SX gets new characters, but it won't.) So! Do me a favor and go vote, for this is the last time I will ask you!


Written by: Ray Trace (talk)

How To Properly Enjoy Yourself At The Pool In 4 Easy Steps

As summer rolls around, the swimming pool remains one of the most consistent and best ways to kill off Sims in the fastest fashion[1] and is memed everywhere for a reason. This guide will instruct players how to kill Sims with a swimming pool in The Sims 4.[2]

You can build your swimming pools to be anything. However, with a little bit of cc (custom content), this little dungeon bath is a little closer to what our vision of a swimming pool should look like.

Swimming pools originally weren't in the base game in The Sims 4 but were added as a free patch in Patch 7, November 4, 2014. Prior to that date, players had a little bit more trouble killing off Sims, as starvation took a while to get to, death from old age requires even more time,[3] and death by emotion can be difficult to witness.[4] As a result, you do not require any expansion packs to kill Sims in a swimming pool.

This pool already has an unwilling victim doing the laps but I threw in Wario's Friend in here just for good measure. In addition, my game happened to be 11 pm in the evening, so it paints a slightly different picture on what you expect a typical summer pool party to look like.

1.Either find a community lot with a pool, or build one yourself.[5] Either way works. You can build a pool that is just a simple square or just find one, however finding a pre-made pool lot may require expansion packs. Bathe de Rille from Windenburg is used here, which requires the Get Together expansion.[6]

  • Building pools is easy, they function in the same manner as building any old regular room, except they are technically basements flooded with water.[7]
  • You can even add pools to existing lots if you want. Even the most unfitting lots such as parks can have 4x4 tile pools in the middle of nowhere.[8]
Ah yes the classic "walls randomly appear around the pool" scenario most Sims have probably experienced at least once in their life. Fun fact: they can even get nightmares about drowning in pools without ladders, so that fear has been embedded in their DNA.

2.Build walls around it.[9] This is to ensure trapped Sims cannot escape should their necessary needs drop too low. WARNING: The Classic Method of Pooling™ doesn't work in this game![10] Also, building a diving platform helps to your pool helps: it can propel your Sims into the pool, but Sims can't get out of it still.

  • You can change the walls to a fence, so the victims would be more easily visible, especially if you decided to bring a spectator Sim like I did. The best fence to use? The Hazard Tape fence from Get Famous, since it doesn't look like an obstructive obstacle but Sims still cannot get around it regardless.[11]
Ulmer Violet now just watching the time pass by on his phone. The paparazzi also decided to pay him a visit so forcing them into playing death animations is how I say hello back to them.
Wario's Friend, Wario, some townie, and some random child without a parent now suddenly feel very very tired....

3.Wait until the swimming Sims' energy gets drained.[12] Depending on how awake they are, this may take a while. We will speed this process up using cheats, most importantly, using the Deprive Energy functionality from Sacrificial's The Sims 4 Sim Torments mod. Another method to drain energy quicker is using the UI Cheats Extension mod by weerbesu and clicking and dragging the energy meter until it is zero.

  • Should you want to drown Sims at your own house, you can simply resume your day to day habits while prisoner Sims can meticulously watch their energy get drained. This is great for their cardio after all.
Ulmer is immediately grossed out by Wario's corpse, this child is nonchalantly swimming near the mass of drowned victims, and the Grim Reaper going...oh my god why did seven Sims all just die simultaneously, why did they all decide to Sim when they are critically exhausted?

4.Watch the drownings![13] Everyone in the pool except the child died extremely quickly as soon as I deprived their energy, and the game's camera went crazy going to every Sim on the pool, which was seven of them. We were hoping the child Sim would drown too but, unfortunately, this did not occur. After this this event, the Grim Reaper will have to reap every dead Sim's soul individually which may take some time and leaves a lot of crying Sims.

And with that, you now know how to properly enjoy being at a swimming pool.


  1. ^ Mods and cheats of course speed everything up but you can make a mod for practically anything in the game.
  2. ^ We're aware swimming pools can be used for other recreational purposes but those are not the primary reason we build swimming pools in our lots.
  3. ^ That method is the most tried and true reliable measure to kill everyone.
  4. ^ You either have to piss them off, embarrass them, or make them laugh their lungs out.
  5. ^ You need a pool to kill Sims with a pool, sparky!
  6. ^ What else is Get Together used for? Only a minority of players use the functionality of making clubs. People bought this pack just for Windenburg's pre-made pool to kill their Sims in.
  7. ^ You actually CAN flood basements with water via terrain tools in a recent patch that adds pond functionality. Whether that is intentional or not is up for debate but it sure is a cool thing you can wade through flooded bathrooms!
  8. ^ In fact, when it comes to building pools, building random highly cramped 4x4 pools is the way to go.
  9. ^ Everyone knows that building walls is as simple as clicking and dragging a "wall" around the length of the pool in Build mode!
  10. ^ Since the The Sims 3, Sims can simply climb out of the pool without requiring a ladder! This is a giant no-no when you want to kill the Sims trapped in the pool.
  11. ^ Some Sims can teleport through walls however, but we have yet to hear of a single case of a Sim escaping a pool by teleportation, so Spellcasters and Vampires cannot hope for that.
  12. ^ Waiting might be the most boring thing to ever do but it helps build patience.
  13. ^ You can tell Sims are drowning because the game will notify you and the camera will pan over to the drowning Sim.

On the Origin of Species

Written by: ZelenPixel (talk)

Hey there! Happy Pride month! We're here for more of the Stabbies' adventures in Spore! Had to skip again because of exams, but I'm free now so I'm continuing. I don't have anything to say related to Super Mario Sunshine in this issue (I mean it's a Spore thing what did you expect), I'll just say I like and dislike this game at the same time somehow.

Space Stage yet again

Last issue, I was just working on badges yet again. Honestly, that's gonna be the main thing I do for the while! Oh yeah, I also kept having to defend Umielvin, one of my red spice colonies. Anyway, I left off in the middle of an artifact hunt, so that's what I'm gonna continue doing. I'm currently at 76/100 unique artifacts needed for the Collector 5 badge!

Visited and unvisited systems

Visiting unvisited systems is just really satisfying if you have it set so visited systems are marked. Visited systems get marked with a little square, so you're just covering more stars with these squares. It's pretty nice! Unvisited systems are the ones getting you artifacts the most often, too, so you're encouraged to cover them in little squares. You can set the little squares to not show, too, I normally have this off when not artifact hunting!


I found a neat little system with three types of gas giant colors! I'm not sure how unusual that is, but I don't really pay attention. One planet on this system also had the "Super Old Clay Pot". Playing again after... a couple months, I find another Scroll of Order III (I had one in my inventory already), found The Fossil That Everybody Finds, sold a bunch of stuff to a random nearby Shaman empire and remarked upon how they sound like they speak backwards, got attacked by pirates who happen to be using the same ship as one of my allies, the usual. I sure am getting a lot of duplicate artifacts, and various archetype-related ones that I can't just sell off to any random empire...

I did get a unique one finally! 84/100 now. And another duplicate of a thing that already was in my inventory, and it somehow happened to be one that sells for a lot! That's a bit impressive since there are, like, 130 artifacts (that you can pick up off of planets) out there! I get pirates plundering my colony, but I think the Uber Turret can take care of that, so I'm not bothering for now. Indeed, the raid ends after a few seconds.

Found out another thing about the controls. The Spore Guide says "Use CTRL + or - to power jump to the planetary, solar or galactic view", and I tried it out since having to scroll to zoom in (you can just use the spacebar to zoom out) is a bit inconvenient. Turns out this is a bit clunky too. But I have learned something new about the game, and that's just neat! Reminds me of some stuff the manual mentioned that I didn't know before. Oh, this planet had two artifacts and one of them was unique! I see some of the NPC empires are fighting with each other, so that's interesting too.

Also blurry because of the depth of field setting

Picked up the Sporehenge off the ground and that was mildly funny. I got really close to the moon on this other planet and saw just how pixelated its texture was. And I do mean close. I literally clipped into it when zooming out of the planet. Zooming into the moon itself and getting just close enough to the planet it orbits was also fascinating. It's wild that it's legitimately just that close! If you go to any planet that orbits a gas giant, you can very easily clip into the gas giant too! Even before you're at the height point where scrolling up any further will make you exit the planet view. I also noticed gas giants aren't very solid and have a fuzzy edge to them, which makes sense since they're covered in, naturally, a whole lot of gas.

I got a transmission from "the Pikachu Empire". Oh, the Pikachus are zealots. Sure, let's make them mad by existing nearby before I even consider talking to them! I watched as their ships just kind of orbited near me while I was just hovering over a planet and then a star. After a couple flights, they finally start attacking me, so not long after now they're completely mad at me! Turns out I'm pretty close to getting Warmonger 5, I only need to start two more wars (read: piss off two more empires) before I get it!

It's like a portal

Oh, the Pikachu home planet has yellow radar waves? Sure, let's come yoink whatever they have and then hightail it! No fights, just taking their goodies for money. And a couple trees by accident. They happened to have two artifacts, lucky! I also went to another empire to patch up and also sold a few artifacts. Back to artifact hunting! If there's a planet that's really close to the sun, you can get somewhat close to the sun yourself too, though not as much as nearby planets or gas giants. I'm not sure you can even clip through it if you exit the planet. Oh well! You can clip your camera through the sun in the solar view and have the screen turn pitch white, just for a funny, and then watch that disappear once you just take a screenshot (while paused) and now you get a sort of solar ring (actually glowy effects surrounding the star).

Looks like I accidentally had war declared on me by an empire I didn't even realize was getting mad at me at all (last I checked they were neutral with me). It's all just really funny, because they can't do a thing about me once I leave their general vicinity, since their empires are nowhere close any of my colonies! They can't do much to me even when currently attacking me, since they do very little damage to my ship. I also found a planet called Spidora, which is a cool name! And then I found another one called Spida-3 (which has a civilization of Pinkie Pies on it).

The pirate ships this time were my recreations of the starting Human ship from Starbound, which is interesting! It's also mildly funny considering Starbound DOES have pirate ships and none of them are like that. They do exclusively contain humans, though, so that part's accurate. Now this time the pirates are a bunch of templates for making a lightsaber., and then, again, a bunch of Serperiors.

That's odd. I assumed that if a solar system has two planets with yellow radar waves, that means one's guaranteed to have a pirate ambush and the other one an artifact, but they were both pirate ambushes this time! Huh! Was I just getting lucky before? I did find a civilization with a creature I only made a few days ago. I decided to cut the artifact hunting for now; I was apparently gone for so long that my home planet had fifteen spice waiting for me - kind of a lot considering the abysmal spice production that your home planet always has.

You're on one of these right now!

I sold off my artifacts and the spice I gathered, then found a Planet Color Reset, which I forgot was even a thing! It's a general Planet Coloring Tool, and restores the planet's original atmosphere, land and water colors. Neat! I'm at 88/100 artifacts, and unsure what to do for now. I guess I could fly around and find another empire to get mad at me so I can get Warmonger 5, so let's go do that. I went through a wormhole and found some zealots, so it's time to fly around in their general vicinity. Let's look for artifacts while we're there. Getting them mad at me was harder than I expected; I think I shouldn't have been nice to them when talking to them...

I did find a rather neat planet here. It's a blue spice planet, with blue land, blue skies and blue seas, orbiting a blue star, and also it's a cube planet! Oh, that's better, I found a warrior empire and this time I'm going to be mean to them! Umielvin got plundered by pirates, whatever, what's done within a few seconds, basically the moment I get Warmonger 5! Time to hightail it again!

Actual surface of Venus, for some reason

You know what I wanna do? Find Earth! The game features our very Sun somewhere in the game as an Easter egg, and you can get to it! There's a couple of guides out there on the Internet, and I followed one from the Spore Wiki, which is just referencing your ship's coordinates and going through wormholes until you're close enough to the system. After a few wormhole travels, I landed somewhere at angle 285.76, which is close enough to where I need. Turns out, this general area happens to be full of my other savegames! I had no idea any of them were so close to our very own Solar system! One of them is even still trading with another empire, judging by the ships traveling back and forth!

Extremely close to one of my savegames (again, I had no idea it was this close), here it is. The Sol itself. Every major planet is represented, including, of course, our very own moon, and even a couple of the other moons (Titan and Ganymede to be exact)! These are the largest moons in the Solar System, so it makes sense. I'm not sure how accurate they are, considering Titan is the only known moon with a dense atmosphere, while it has almost none in Spore. Venus is oddly covered in water, it's more water than land for some reason. Other planets' layouts seem accurate (curiously, rather flat looking compared to regular Spore planets), and, of course, there's the Earth!

Earth map!

Our planet here is a T1 planet with a very dense atmosphere, average temperature. and only containing plants on it with no animals. The three plant species are very green, naturally, though it's kind of funny they didn't use the few plants that particularly resemble completely regular Earth plants. The layout is accurate, though none of the biomes are represented (because of the way Spore is), and also it's really tiny.

Antarctica sure is looking green today.

It's worth noting that not only are there no sapient species (despite it matching the layout of current-day Earth), there's just no animals either. Apparently, there's a chance for it to have one random herbivore species, but I don't have any here. It's a bit somber. Nobody knows what happened to our species or if we were even there to begin with. Curiously enough, if you terraform Earth to T3, it will, for some strange reason. turn pink. Also, I forgot to mention, but there's no Pluto here, and the system overall seems to have more planets (moons included) than the game generates normally. You can also colonize the Earth yourself, though it'll probably mess up the planet's layout.


It's time to leave Earth with Return Ticket. It's just... so fun that such an Easter egg even exists! There's a good attention to detail here! Now I don't know what to do, so let's grind the Planet Artiste badge. It's really easy; you just use any of the planet sculpting or coloring tools on a certain number of planets to get it. I'm also going through a black hole to do it, since I don't want to affect any of the planets close to me, which I would like to preserve as-is.

A mess and a half

What's funny is that you can change the sky color of a planet that has no atmosphere! I did that while being zapped by pirates. Any tool use counts towards the badge, turns out, so you can just mess up the same planet until you get it. If you do it fast enough, you can get many pretty color particles! Mostly if you color the sky: if you color the land or water, the particles spread far too quickly across the whole planet, so you don't get the same pretty show. Same with the Planet Color Reset, which I also used anyways.

Sculpting tools can't be reversed I don't think, so let's sculpt it in a somewhat pretty way. There's a description there that reads "Use on a planet to terrasculpt crystal plateau", no dot or articles included. I covered this part of the planet with crystal stuff, this other part with tentacle stuff, this other part with chocolate stuff (formations that look like candy which is very cute), this other part with gear stuff, this other part with "cute" stuff (mostly flower shapes). For some reason, the Cute Seas ended up incredibly deep, much deeper than any other body of water on the planet. There's also the normal Terra sculpting tools, which are purchasable from empires.

There's also the general tools to raise, lower, or level terrain, which I used to make this one sea over there even lower, or at least the area near it. I might as well also color the planet again while I'm there. Now I've completely messed up this singular planet, and I'm still nowhere near Planet Artiste 4, let alone 5. Huh! Well I'll work on this more later then. This is a shorter issue, but maybe that's for the better, considering they tend to get kind of lengthy! I just want to do and play other stuff. See you next month, hopefully!

The 'Shroom: Issue 183
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