The 'Shroom:Issue 189/Thank You, Ninja Squid!
Thank You, Ninja Squid!
Hello there, 'Shroom readers! Waluigi Time here. It's already been about four months since Ninja Squid, our former Director and longtime Statistics Manager, officially stepped down from his positions. When he first told the rest of The 'Shroom staff that he was planning on retiring earlier this year, one of my first thoughts was that for someone who has poured so much of himself into this community over the years, there was no way I was letting him escape without a big send-off! So, I reached out to various members of the community to offer their contributions, resulting in the special feature you see here today. On behalf of the entire community, Thank You, Ninja Squid!
Hi, NS! I want to give you a huge thank you for everything you’ve done for us on The ‘Shroom this year- you’ve been an amazing director and you and WT have been a great team. You really took into account all of our opinions when you started your campaign, and I really like how you learned from Pitohui's work and forged your own style of working with us. You guys have done really well keeping us organized this year, and I really appreciate you always checking in with us to make sure we’re doing OK before release- it really helps to have you communicating with me every step of the way. You guys planned some amazing events this year for the newspaper and I had a blast! It was a pleasure having you as our director, and I'm sad to see you go. I hope that you are doing well and I wish you the best of luck wherever you decide to go or whatever you decide to do next!
You didn't think you would get to leave without a goodbye, did you, Ninja Squid?
I have had the pleasure of working closely with Ninja Squid since late 2018, and through all of our collaboration, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand how deeply Ninja Squid cares for this community. Reading his articles in Pipe Plaza, submitting applications to him, and having him as a colleague on The 'Shroom staff, I realized quickly that Ninja Squid was professional, courteous, caring, and invested in the roles he had taken on in the community. He strove to provide applicants to the paper with detailed feedback that encouraged them and gave them something substantial to act upon so that they could improve their writing. He regularly chimed in on the forums and on talk pages to encourage others, sharing his thoughts on their projects and threads and becoming a new connection in the community they could hold onto.
I could always see Ninja Squid in the background, dutifully carrying on with his work, a regular friendly face in the community, but it was in 2020 that we were able to forge an ever closer working relationship and friendship. In 2020, Roserade and I assumed the positions of Sub-Director and Director, and as we settled in, we found ourselves talking constantly with Ninja Squid. Whether we were talking about ways we could get this team or that team more attention, looking at new faces in the community and wondering how we could encourage them to check out the paper and help them make some connections in the community, talking through potential policy changes (like winding down Staff Section of the Month), planning out new events, or just cracking jokes together, over the two years I directed the paper, I could expect to exchange messages with Ninja Squid!
I joked with Rose and Ninja Squid plenty that, rather than a duo of Directing Staff, we practically had a trio at the helm! Ninja Squid was indispensable as a driver of energy in the community, as a colleague who could be counted on to lend an extra hand on any project, as a friend who would catch anything slipping through the cracks and stay right on top of taking care of it, and as an innovator unafraid to roll up his sleeves and try something new. It wasn't too long into our term that Rose and I had a group DM which included Ninja Squid, and he was right in the thick of all of the major 'Shroom decisions and discussion.
Of course, on the note of "innovation", it's impossible to send Ninja Squid off without mentioning his most notable creation. Anyone who has enjoyed a 'Shroomfest, you can thank Ninja Squid for coming up with the concept! It was your then-Statistics Manager who racked his brain to come up with new events tethered to The 'Shroom that would give members of the community a way to be involved in an active event, posting together on the forum, and he was the one who took some inspiration from Splatoon and pitched the 'Shroomfest and its basics. He was certainly the heart of the events as they took off, coming up with the stories, making the art, keeping an eye on them as judge and making suggestions to refine the format. While I think it's time now to give the silly contests a break for a spell, I think the first few instances did exactly what Ninja Squid designed them to do and came at the right time. They helped grease the gears in our heads and set the stage for a wider variety of events and special features, from the Community Gallery to trick-or-treating to the Blooper races.
Thank you, NS, for giving so much of your time and energy to the paper, for being so active in suggesting new ideas, regularly participating in staff discussions, and encouraging people to read the paper and apply for it.
Beyond just The 'Shroom, though, thank you for going out of your way to draw community members into activities and to reach out to them and talk to them. From reviving mafia and indulging a bunch of players crafting a narrative (and, with both of those acts, setting the stage for a year chock full of forum games, including some new creations) with Rogues in Rogueport and taking Goombuigi under your wing and giving him a chance to work on large 'Shroom projects to simply taking time to joke around and chat with other folks in the community, you looked out for everyone and gave them opportunities to shake off nerves and jump in so they could get to know folks and build connections. You gave them chances to showcase their creativity. You gave them someone to talk to. You showed them that you cared about what they made and what they had to say, and that might not be a formal project, but, just through that, you did a great deal for the community.
Ninja Squid, it has been an absolute pleasure to know you and to work with you, and, having seen your dedication, I'm sure that any project and any community will benefit from having you involved. You'll innovate, you'll attract new hands and help new members forge friendships, and you'll continue to push forward everything into which you pour your passion.
Thank you for everything, Ninja Squid, and know we're behind you in whatever you do! Always feel free to pop in and pay us a visit. We want to hear about the accomplishments that are undoubtedly in your near-future!
I am horrible with words, so I'll keep this short and sweet. NS, it was good to have you here as stats manager and handler of 'Shroomfests, and while I'm sure we'll see you around, I want to wish you luck on your endeavours outside of our little community. Have a good one!
I've known NS for a very long time, so much so that it was years before he rebranded himself. Way back at the end of 2017, Tucayo told me that he planned to retire from his position as Statistics Manager. We had open calls for Pipe Plaza Director around then as well, but something about NS stood out to both Perch and myself. It led to me personally inviting him to the Core 'Shroom Staff to serve as the new Statistics Manager, to which he accepted.
As the years followed, NS proved himself to be personable and reliable. I showed him the ropes for what he would be doing, but after that he basically had free reign to do his tasks however he saw fit, and he succeeded in every way. I never had to worry about him because he was always capable, and when I did need something from him he was incredibly professional and I knew that it would be taken care of.
I don't have any stories to share about the period of my retirement considering I wasn't around, but even so it's clear to me that NS continued to be a great guy. He has the positive characteristics that everyone looks for in a colleague, a leader, and a friend.
NS, I am grateful that I got the chance to interact with you. I know that you'll apply the same level of passion that I've seen from you into all of your other aspirations, and I believe you'll succeed because of that. Thank you for everything you've done for this community over the years, I wish you the best in all of your endeavors.
I'll admit that I never spoke much to NS. However, when NS invited me to send in a poll one fateful day, he warmly welcomed me into the greater community, and I would soon see just how much he contributed to The 'Shroom and numerous other venues. NS had (and still has) plenty of work ethic in everything he did, whether it was hosting a Mafia game or introducing the concept of 'Shroomfest to everyone reading the paper, and was willing to help other people in need. I know that NS will be able to do great things in this new chapter of life. Seriously, give this squid a hand.
- “Looks like I made it again into Pipe Plaza, hurray!!!”
- —Ninja Squid, Poll Committee Discussion, Issue 166
|First article:||Community Report, Issue 106|
|Last article:||Staff Notes and Hiding Koopa, Issue 185|
|Sections Written:||Main/Staff: 83
Fake News: 7
Fun Stuff: 85
Pipe Plaza: 60
|Positions held:||Director, Statistics Manager|
HI, everyone! I'm your resurfaced former collaborator, Tucayo, here with a very special edition of Retro Feature dedicated to my great friend and an all-time 'Shroom great, Ninja Squid. NS's history with The 'Shroom begins under the name LudwigVon more than six and a half years ago, in the very distant 2016 writing Community Report, a Pipe Plaza section that detailed the latest happenings in the Wiki, from user promotions and demotions, to passed and on-going Proposals and TPP's. This section of PP had first appeared in 2011 but had been vacant for almost half a year before NS took over it, and he would go on to write it for 19 consecutive issues, turning it into a staple of the team and a key element in WIki news reporting. NS would return one final time to his first section in Issue 142, bringing an updated Community Report now including unimplemented proposals; he would go on to win Section of the Month for this special return, marking also the last appearance to date of this section.
Continuing in everyone's favorite news sub-team, NS took on a couple sections more, such as: New Articles, which he wrote 15 times between 2016 and 2018; Monthly Report, for which he was the writer for 13 issues in 2018-2019; and, one section very close to my heart, The 'Shroom Report, which he wrote five times in 2018, a section which was very linked to his magnificent work as Statistics Manager, which we will cover in just a bit. His turn on Poll Committee Discussion from Issues 131, 153, a co-credited one with Hooded Pitohui on Issue 166 also earned him three SOTM awards.
Moving on to the team for which he did the most work on, in June 2016 NS joined Fun Stuff as the writer for Word Search, one he would write for 19 issues, with the final one being in Special Issue 175. His work on Fun Stuff also included 17 editions of Mystery Images, winning one SOTM in a special return on Issue 135; four editions of Guess Who! for which he holds an impressive SOTM rate of 100%; and, his longest-running section, Hiding Koopa, which he wrote 42 times, winning two SOTM's, one of those in his farewell on Issue 185.
NS also was a part of our Fake News team for seven issues between 2021 and 2022, writing The Odyssey of a Squid, a masterful section showing the detailed journal of a visit to Rogueport, which if you haven't read you definitely should, you can find the sequential installments it in issues 167, 168, 170, 171, 174, 176, and 180. Wrapping up on his work as a writer, in Main/Staff sections his first foray was as member of the Eight Poll Committee on our Awards Analysis, a first-of-its-kind project detailing the results of the 2017 Mario and Fail Awards and providing our insight into them. Other sections under his name include the Special Super Mario Odyssey Travel Guide written by the Core Staff for Issue 150, the Ultimate Location Battle he made with Goombuigi (talk) which ran for four months and in which Metro Kingdom reigned supreme as the best location in the Mario franchise, and of course, his remarkable work along with Hooded Pitohui (talk) and Roserade (talk) on creating what has since become a standard of The 'Shroom, the 'Shroomfest, a very fun open debate on topics as varied as Heroes vs Villains, Sunlight vs Moonlight, or even Chickens vs Pigs. In my opinion, this has been one of the greatest additions to the newsletter in recent years. All this, naturally, in addition to several Staff notes, addresses, and others.
But wait, there's more! In addition to his brilliant work as a writer and event host, NS has of course excelled in two key positions within our Core Staff; Director and Statistics Manager. Beginning chronologically, NS took over the Stats Manager position from yours truly back in February 2018, a position he held continuously for a staggering 55 issues, marking by far the longest service of anyone in that role and also representing one of the largest continuous Core Staff tenures in 'Shroom history. His work as Stats Manager was nothing short of spectacular; I am particularly familiar with the amount of work required in this position, from updating our various historic sheets, to tallying SOTM votes, to the extremely time-consuming job that is preparing End-of-Year Awards, and I can confidently say he has been the best Stats Manager in the history of our newsletter. All his terrific work in this role laid the groundwork for him to become 'Shroom Director in 2022, along with Waluigi Time (talk) as his running mate; his years of service to The 'Shroom have also been recognized in the form of (so far):
- Winner of the only Diamond Poochy Award to date in recognition of his above-and-beyond work in the paper for the creation of the 'Shroomfest
- Five Diamond Yoshi Awards
- Five Diamond Toad Awards
- Two Diamond Mario Awards
- One Diamond Bowser Award
- Four Golden Bowser Awards
- Four Golden Peach Awards
- One Golden Toad Award
- One Golden Mario Award
- 2017 Favorite New 'Shroom Writer
So, without further ado, please enjoy one of NS's SOTM-winning Guess Who!'s, this one from Issue 158, May 2020:
Written by: Bowser
Bwa ha ha ha! Happy times indeed! It's time for a Bowser Minigame! I kicked out that so-called Ninja Squid (talk) loser of this section. Now, it's MINE! Bwahaha! Welcome to Bowser's Super Duper Hard Guess Who: Special Edition!! You won't be able to beat this at ALL! Gwah ha ha ha!
If you think you are brave enough try it, like a certain irritable plumber, then go ahead, but don't come cry to me if you loose! In any case, this is all about my best minions.
|Bowser's Invincible Powerful Koopa Troop|
- Instead of shooting magic blasts from her wand, she prefers to throw candy rings. I bet she has a sweet tooth.
- According to her company name that can be seen in Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, she is into interior decorating. Would you dare let her decorate your house?
- She considers Princess Peach and Princess Daisy as her rivals. Perhaps she just dislike royalty, or she's just jealous (On her case, it's probably the latter).
- He's so mad! They build our houses, our castles. They pave our roads, and still we walk all over them! In the future, you better thanks them!
- Do this sentence sound familiar to you? Well, in Super Mario Galaxy 2, he is tired of this speech.
- After getting three ground pounds on his back, he realized that he is just a stepping stone, after all. No need for thanks anymore!
- She is engaged in a magical duel again Jr. Troopa in the ending parade of the first game she appeared... only for both to end up burnt by Bowser's fire breath. Ouch!
- According the herself, she is a beautiful Koopa with a beautiful name. Uh... no comment.
- In Goombella's tattle of her, it is questioned if she have has hard time enduring Bowser, or rather Bowser is having a hard time enduring her. What's your guess on it?
Bonus Round: Quotes Only
- "Leave my mama alone, you bad man!"
- "That's right! My pops is better than everyone! Hahahaha!"
- "Some day...when I'm bigger... I wanna fight that Mario again!"
Round 1: Wendy O. Koopa!
Round 2: Whomp King!
Round 3: Kammy Koopa!
Bonus Round: Bowser Jr.!
My wanderings are over... Play those other minigames in this page to regain your wits! Good luck in your travels! Bowser's magic is best!!! BWAHAHA!
I have given you the facts, the history, the throwback section, but now it's time to speak from the heart; thank you, NS (or LV as I first came to know you), for all your work through the years; The 'Shroom is undoubtedly left a better place thanks to your dedication, passion, and hard work. It was an absolute pleasure working alongside you here and in the Poll Committee and I am proud to call you my friend. I wish you all the best in all aspects of your life; enjoy, make the most out of every moment, and know that you'll always have a special place in here. BYE!
- “Aaaaalrighty, time for me to pack my stuff and my katana. A new odyssey is awaiting for me outside! Farewell!”
- —Ninja Squid, Staff Notes, Issue 185
If there were two words I could use to describe Ninja Squid, it would be “community innovator.” Few people in recent memory have actively sought out new ways to engage with the extended community as he has, and I have to commend him for his efforts and successes. I first started working with him on the Poll Committee, and immediately I could sense the drive and commitment he carried for the people here. This sense only continued when I stepped into directorship for The ‘Shroom, and even while he moves away from his formal positions, his actions and ideas can still be held all throughout the community. Engaging the ‘Shroom readers in such a unique way with ‘Shroomfest, and actively encouraging the formation of other new activities; revitalizing the Mafia scene with Rogues in Rogueport; finding those little moments of engagement and joking with his fellow forumgoers… It’s genuinely hard to grapple with the idea of losing such a significant community pillar, but I trust in the foundation that NS has laid for everyone here, and the encouragement I’m certain he will continue to give.
To you directly, NS, thank you so much for your time with us. From every huge discussion to small aside, you have been a joy to know closely, and I’m very thankful to have gotten to share in leadership with you. No matter how long you’re away, you’ll always have a place here. Good luck out there, you shadowy soldier you. You’re going to continue to do great things.
So, NS and I actually had a bit of interaction even before I got more involved in the community, back when he was active on the wiki. From time to time I find myself stumbling across an old discussion or proposal that we both participated in, so that's always fun, knowing where we ended up. As a funny coincidence, I also found an old Community Report from Issue 142 that NS wrote where I was mentioned for starting a proposal. Maybe we were more closely linked than we thought?
The real story, of course, gets started in late 2020. Despite being on the wiki for a very long time, I was a forum newcomer, with an account not even a month old at this point. I wanted to get more involved in the community, and I was kicking around the idea of applying to write for The 'Shroom, but I was hesitant because, you know, anxiety and stuff. NS was the first to encourage me to apply (he even beat Pitohui by 8 minutes - never underestimate the speed of a ninja!) so a few days later I sent him my first ever 'Shroom application, and that was that!
Over the next year, we got to interact a lot more, through chatting on Discord and such, and I came to consider him one of my best friends in this community. He was always very supportive and fun to talk to, and I appreciated having someone who enabled my shenanigans a little bit (even if it did result in us getting Shbig Changes - no regrets!!). And of course, I owe a lot to NS for asking me to be his Sub-Director and giving me the opportunity to be part of The 'Shroom as a staff member, which I've loved doing. As we worked together leading up to and throughout the term, I got to see firsthand just how much effort he put in, and I feel very privileged that we got to be colleagues, even if it was only for a relatively short time.
Also, I'd like to bring up Rogues in Rogueport for a minute, because that had a way bigger impact than I think anyone would have expected. On the surface, it was just NS doing what he always did, hosting a fun, simple game for the members of the community to enjoy. But at the time, Mafia had been dormant on the Boards for years, and this managed to spark a renewed interest in the game that brought on both veterans and newcomers, and has seen an additional 8 games hosted since. We've even seen brand new strategy game formats emerge too, like Revin's Murder Party and Snack's Living Game. And of course, Rogues in Rogueport also introduced roleplaying as a common thing in Mafia, which was a huge factor in the community character fad over the past nearly two years, to the point where we even made a new Community Award just for that. And all of that can reasonably be traced back to NS kicking things off!
So once again, thank you, NS, both for being an amazing friend and for pouring so much of yourself into this community for so long. You will definitely be missed here, but the impact and legacy you have left will never be forgotten. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, and if your performance here is anything to go by, I know you'll do great!
(Oh, and don't worry, the secret plans are safe with me.)
Oh sweet Ninja Squid, how are we meant to go on without running our excellent paper and keeping an eye across all the stats. Although our interactions may have been limited, I am still incredibly grateful for you always keeping me around despite long hiatuses and being most unreachable! I also highly valued you as a poll committee chairman and perhaps more importantly, as a Ludwig von Koopa stan (the correct opinion to have on this matter btw). I imagine had we had genuine time together, we very well would have bonded over the lovable Koopaling! I wish you the best for your future, I know you have it well in hand!
|The 'Shroom: Issue 189|
|Staff sections||Staff Notes • The 'Shroom Spotlight • End-of-the-Year Awards • Director Election • The 'Shroom Holiday Scavenger|
|Features||Fake News • Fun Stuff • Palette Swap • Pipe Plaza • Critic Corner • Strategy Wing|
|Specials||Thank You, Ninja Squid! • PC Election Proposal|