The 'Shroom:Issue 191/Pipe Plaza
Happy February friends!! I hope your month has been lovely so far. And whether or not you had a Valentine this Valentine's Day, I hope you had a good day then all the same. ^^
On my end, rehearsals for the show I'm working on have been going nicely. I've been asked to do so much research on social customs in the 1920s, surname pronunciations and origins, and famous figures that get one-off mentions, it's crazy... but I'm having a really fun time with it!! Though right now I'm a little scared because we are on the last little stretch before we go into tech rehearsals and it's insane to me that we're already at that point. On an unrelated note, if any of you like snow, come take it away from me. It snowed on Thursday when it hit a high of 50 degrees just on Monday. I am not having a good time. Send help...
We are missing a few of our normal sections this month but that's alright, we've still got some fun and cool things happening here anyways! And you, too, can be part of the fun and cool things just by heading to the sign up page to learn more!!
Enjoy your month so far, and may your weather not be as temperamental as it is for me...
Section of the Month
|PIPE PLAZA SECTION OF THE MONTH|
|1st||Poll Committee Discussion||8||47.06%||Raregold (talk)|
|2nd||NIWA News||5||29.41%||PanchamBro (talk)|
|3rd||What's in a Campaign?||3||17.65%||Mustard Machine (talk)|
Hey it's me PanchamBro. It's time for this month's NIWA News, a section regarding news with each of the 32 members of the Nintendo Independent Wiki Alliance. We'll be going through staff changes and related wiki news over January and into February.
|Вики про Кирби? WiKirby plans to have a Russian version!|
|You heard it here, folks! A referendum in early February has ultimately decided that WiKirby should have a Russian version with 53 in favor of creating the wiki under the WiKirby domain. It is expected for the new Russian version to run seperately to the main WiKirby wiki with its own staff, policies, and enforcement, as with the wikis associated with Super Mario Wiki's Mushroom World Encyclopedia, and the wiki to be called "викирби" and hosted under The OpenWiki Project. Details are a bit muffy, so expect an update to this in the coming months.|
|Zelda Wiki honors Australian Aboriginals with the Aboriginal Flag.|
|After a length discussion on Discord, Zelda Wiki's community has agreed to replace the national flag of Australia with that of the Australian Aboriginal Flag, a change done around Australia Day on January 26th. The community believes that the flag is distinct from the current New Zealand flag, has been officially recognized as a flag for Australia, represents the people that have lived in Australia for centuries, and is less offensive that the Australia Blue Ensign. This suggestion had been put forth by VexIsRed, an editor for Zelda Wiki from Australia. I sincerely hope that what Zelda Wiki has done will not be the only wiki to use the Aboriginal Flag, and it would be encouraging for the other NIWA wikis to discuss this change.|
|Cross-Wiki Week 2022 winners!|
|Finally before I end this section, I would like to publicize the winners of Cross-Wiki Week 2022:
Congrats to both for winning a $20 eShop card!
That's it for any related NIWA news that I could gather for this month's 'Shroom. I'll see you for my next edition of That NIWA List.
That NIWA List
In many of the Nintendo Independent Wiki Alliance wikis, there are plenty of articles that are considered unusual to readers alike. Today, I'll showcase these articles from one of the many Nintendo Independent Wiki Alliance wikis.
This section was inspired by Wikipedia's unusual article page, which documents the most unusual articles documented on the site. Unlike Wikipedia however, the selection of unusual articles here will be decided on a case-by-case basis, whether or not the documented material is weird enough to warrant being on this section.
Oh hey there! Welcome to Paldeaway, your one-stop shop for subs and sandwiches that totally are proven to make you healthy. Come right this way, we have ham, proscuitto, and something totally not cannablistic of all the Klawfs in the world. What's that? You want to have salt in your sandwich? Well then, I guess I'll be happy to add it in your sandwich, but why not indulge a bit and talk about the wonderful world of salt...provided Pokémon fans aren't already salty with Game Freak.
Salt is one of the many ingredients found in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet used to make sandwiches. A popular food item in the region of Paldea, these sandwiches can be used to provide benefits to catch or spawn rates, rewards for raid battles, and more. To make a sandwich requires the player to run through a custom minigame where the sandwich has to be assembled within 10 minutes, which is how long it takes to make a real-life sandwich and eat it...twice. Players can also select a pre-made recipe if they don't want their Pokémons to feel disappointed of their sandwich creating skills.
Now, while salt can be used in real life as a seasoning for sandwiches and such, in Scarlet and Violet there's a bit of salty lore about this ingredient. The game's description reads this:
A very salty seasoning, unsurprisingly. People quite like the grains of salt that can be gathered from the footprints of particularly jagged Naclstack.
Naclstack, for those unfamilar, sprays salt on their prey to try to dry them up. Basically, people really want to be salty for Naclstack, so much that they follow the footprints of the Pokémon to taste that grain of salt. If all that salt wasn't enough to find in the South Province (Area Two) region, don't worry! You can pay 90 Pokémon dollars at the Artisan Bakery or Aquiesta Supermarket to get that great salty taste!
Think all that salt was worth it? Here's some interesting trivia about this Bulbapedia article. Originally, it served as a redirect to the anime character Santo, who of course is named Salt in Japanese. I suppose such a name was necessary given that Santos voted for Miette in the Dendemille Showcase Rookie Class but she lost to the queen Serena. With the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, the redirect was subsequently removed and now a header is shown on the top of the article. While there are many other ingredients that are questionable at best, salt is one of those ingredients that absolutely takes the crown as one of the weirdest articles to be featured on that NIWA List. Alright, I indulged too much, enjoy your 90 dollar salty sandwich, and don't call me if you start to feel a bit salty about Pokémon.
Poll Committee Discussion
Hello there, 'Shroom readers! Waluigi Time here, covering another tasty batch of main page polls. (Disclaimer: You probably shouldn't try to eat the polls.) We have three polls to cover today, so let's get into it!
Mario platformers typically feature power-ups that grant different abilities, often introducing new ones. How many new power-ups do you like to see in a game? - (Waluigi Time (talk) & Fun With Despair (talk), January 2nd, 2023)
|Mario platformers typically feature power-ups that grant different abilities, often introducing new ones. How many new power-ups do you like to see in a game?|
|I prefer when a game has several new power-ups with some returning power-ups as well. 58.2% (1125 votes)|
|I prefer when a game has one new power-up with a lot of development put into it, with the rest of the power-ups being returning. 18.37% (355 votes)|
|I prefer when a game's power-ups are all or mostly brand new to the franchise. 9.78% (189 votes)|
|I prefer when a game has new power-ups, but I am okay with returning power-ups provided they work differently from before or are introduced to a new format (i.e. 2D power-ups in 3D Mario). 7.14% (138 votes)|
|I have no opinion. 4.5% (87 votes)|
|I prefer to see only returning power-ups in games. 1.24% (24 votes)|
|I don't like power-ups and would prefer to see a game that doesn't have them at all. 0.78% (15 votes)|
|Total Votes: 1,933|
Now that we are over a year in, what is your opinion of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack? - (Fun With Despair (talk), January 16th, 2023)
|Now that we are over a year in, what is your opinion of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack?|
|I pay for the Expansion Pack and enjoy its DLC benefits and retro games, but feel as though it needs more content in either category to justify the cost. 22.18% (389 votes)|
|I do not pay for the Expansion Pack and do not plan on doing so, as I don't feel as though it provides enough retro games or DLC benefits to justify the cost, and in my opinion it likely never will. 22.12% (388 votes)|
|I do not pay for the Expansion Pack, as I don't feel as though it provides enough retro games or DLC benefits to justify the cost, but would if it introduced content that I was interested in. 18.3% (321 votes)|
|I pay for the Expansion Pack and enjoy it, as I feel like it provides enough retro games and DLC benefits to justify the cost. 12.37% (217 votes)|
|I do not have a Nintendo Switch. 7.3% (128 votes)|
|I do not pay for the Expansion Pack as I do not play my Nintendo Switch online or have any interest in online features or downloadable content. 6.78% (119 votes)|
|I do not pay for the Expansion Pack as I do not support paid online features in any form. 6.39% (112 votes)|
|I pay for the Expansion Pack because I already pay for Nintendo Switch Online and may as well pay extra for additional content. 4.56% (80 votes)|
|Total Votes: 1,754|
With Nintendo releasing the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Pass Wave 3 recently, how pleased are you with the Booster Pass so far? (Cosmic Cowboy (talk), January 30th, 2023)
|With Nintendo releasing the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Pass Wave 3 recently, how pleased are you with the Booster Pass so far?|
|I am fine with it, although I wished the Booster Pass added different types of content, such as kart parts or characters. 47.16% (1,063 votes)|
|I am perfectly happy with the Booster Pass. 32.39% (730 votes)|
|I have no opinion. 8.34% (188 votes)|
|I am not happy with the Booster Pass, and I wish that Nintendo focus on developing an entirely new Mario Kart game. 4.97% (112 votes)|
|I am fine with it, although I wish the course selection for the waves was different. 4.48% (101 votes)|
|I am not happy with the Booster Pass, and I wish that Nintendo had done DLC differently for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. 2.66% (60 votes)|
|Total Votes: 2,254|
Mario platformers typically feature power-ups that grant different abilities, often introducing new ones. How many new power-ups do you like to see in a game?
This first one is a collaboration between myself and our Chairperson, Fun With Despair (talk), and I think it's safe to say there's a clear winner here! In first place, with a whopping 58.2% of the vote, is a preference for a mix of new and returning power-ups. New Super Mario Bros. Wii came to mind when coming up with this option, with several returning power-ups and the debuts of Propeller Mario, Ice Mario (well, kind of), and Penguin Mario. I'm not all that surprised that the majority of voters went for this option, although I definitely didn't expect it to dominate the poll like this. It's nice to see power-ups that you're used to, but new ones provide opportunities for interesting new gameplay, so might as well have the best of both worlds, right?
Of course, there's always the concern of quantity over quality. In a distant second place, 18.37% of voters preferred having only one new power-up among a slate of other returning power-ups. While there's less variety with this option, it gives the developers a chance to really focus in on the new power-up, making it more interesting than it may have been if they had to split their attention, and making it easier to balance the game around it. At least in theory, anyway. I'm not sure Gold Mario necessarily ticks all those boxes.
We've already gotten through over 3/4 of the voters, but there's still five options left, so it's all very minority opinions from here. 9.78% of the voters said they'd prefer a game that features only new power-ups, or at least mostly new. This is actually quite the rarity in the franchise. In the mainline platformers that have had power-ups, the only game I can think of that actually did a clean slate is Super Mario 64. Games that have had a majority of new power-ups have generally been early on in a gameplay style, like Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario Galaxy. I wouldn't expect this to happen again anytime soon, and if it does, it would probably accompany a dramatic shift in gameplay. So, sorry to the 189 people who voted for this.
Next up, 7.14% of voters said they prefer new power-ups, but they're also cool with returning power-ups being used in a new way. Interestingly, although this was a relative minority in the final results, this option turned out to be pretty popular in our Poll Discussion thread on the forums, where everyone who commented was supportive of this option to some degree! One of those was our Chairperson himself, who noted that something as simple as a power-up like the Fire Flower jumping from a 2D to 3D game can change things up enough to make it feel like a new experience anyway. Another commenter expressed the opinion that although new power-ups can be interesting, if there's not a lot of effort put into them, it's better to focus on updating the old ones to make them feel fresh.
Getting towards the bottom here, 4.5% of voters just didn't have an opinion at all. Maybe they've never really thought about it much and aren't sure, or they just don't really care about the specifics as long as the game is fun. 1.24% said they'd prefer to only see returning power-ups in a game. That might seem kind of weird, but maybe they think Nintendo's just better off sticking with what works, or would rather see the design of the levels themselves carry the game than the abilities you get. Finally, 0.78% of voters - just 15 of them! - don't like power-ups at all and would rather see a game without them. While there have been a couple of games that did this, Sunshine and Odyssey shifting their attention to F.L.U.D.D. and Cappy instead of power-ups, the amount of people who outright dislike the concept seems to be very few.
Now that we are over a year in, what is your opinion of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack?
Ah yes, good old Nintendo Switch Online, one of Nintendo's top 5 most controversial decisions if the Fail Awards are any indication. With it being over a year since Nintendo decided it would be a great idea to squeeze even more money out of the people who are already paying for basic online services, Fun With Despair brings us this poll to check in on how people are feeling about it now.
The top two options are actually neck and neck, separated by only a single vote! (Makes me wonder if any poll has ever ended in a tie.) With 22.18% of the vote, the one that comes out on top is those who are paying for the Expansion Pack, and while they enjoy its offerings, they feel like the amount of content doesn't justify its price yet. A few weeks after we ran this poll, Nintendo announced that they'd be adding Game Boy Advance games to the Expansion Pack as well, so I'd be curious to see if that would make a sizeable dent in this, but I'd have to guess it probably doesn't. (One commenter did say they'd be more interested if it had GBA games though, so who knows?) For an expansion that's more than double the price of the base online subscription, you'd think it would have a lot more to offer. Maybe if we could get all of Nintendo's other consoles in here, then we'd be talking. (Although, I don't think there'd be any hard feelings if they skipped the Virtual Boy.)
Just one vote behind that is the people who haven't bought it because they don't think it justifies the price, and don't expect any additional content to make them reconsider that. Maybe they'd like consoles that aren't currently available, but don't expect them to ever be added. We're nearly six years into the Switch's lifespan and we're just now getting GBA games on here, so it's not at all unreasonable to expect that we might not even see Gamecube make the cut before Nintendo decides to roll out the Switch's successor (and probably start from square one with just NES games, for some reason). Or maybe there's just not any retro content they can think of that would make it worth buying, even if it was included. Or they could be anticipating Nintendo deciding to lock further consoles behind an additional, more expensive expansion.
An additional 18.3% of voters picked pretty much the same thing, although they're open to buying it in the future if it adds content that they're interested in. There's plenty of content left in Nintendo's catalog that would be a worthwhile addition, with no way to access it if you don't want to pay ridiculous aftermarket prices or resort to... questionable methods. With that in mind, there could be a lot of potential customers that are just one or two additions away from being willing to pay for it. I imagine adding Gamecube games in particular would drum up a lot of interest, as they were completely skipped on the old Virtual Console.
Well, with over half of the voters covered already, we finally get to the 12.37% of voters who pay for it and actually think it's worth the money. Value is, of course, relative, and this is the first time that popular games like Banjo-Kazooie, GoldenEye 007, and the original Mario Party have been available on Nintendo hardware since their initial release. If you've been really itching to play those games in the modern era and haven't had the opportunity, the price tag might be a bit easier to swallow. You might not even need to renew the subscription if you have the time to dedicate to playthroughs of whatever you're interested in. (The debate over how much older games are actually worth rages on, however.)
7.3% of voters don't have a Switch at all, and have no opinion on the matter. 6.78% aren't interested in the Expansion Pack because they either don't use the online features of the Switch at all or just don't have enough interest in them to find this worth paying for. An additional 6.39% don't support the inclusion of paid online features at all. Finally, 4.56% of the voters just pay for the Expansion Pack because they're already paying for Switch Online anyway, so they figure they might as well pay the full price for all the content Nintendo has to offer. I'm not surprised that this option is so low, as it's quite a steep price increase. If the Expansion Pack were only $10 more or so, then I could see this option being more popular.
Either way, the result of this poll is pretty clear. Whether they decided to buy it or not, the vast majority of voters just don't think the Expansion Pack is worth its current price tag. About 62% of voters outright said they don't think it's worth it, compared to only 12% who did, with the remaining options covering different reasons for paying or not.
With Nintendo releasing the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Pass Wave 3 recently, how pleased are you with the Booster Pass so far?
Finally, courtesy of Cosmic Cowboy (talk), we have a very interestingly timed poll about the only Mario game Nintendo seems to be working on these days, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and its Booster Pass! Like the NSO poll, this is another one that checks in on something that's been out for a while to gauge what the community thinks about it. You may recall that the Booster Pass had a bit of a rocky start, so let's see how people are feeling now.
After the last poll, we're back to having a clear winner, though not one that totally dominates the results this time. 47.16% of voters are fine with the current quality and offerings of the Booster Pass, but they wished it had other types of content beyond just race courses. Drivers, kart parts, items, and even other side modes could all be on the table. Interestingly enough, while this poll was running, Nintendo actually did just that! (Are they watching our polls? Hm...) Earlier this month it was announced that Wave 4 of the Booster Pass will add Birdo as a driver, with eight other color swaps of her. Almost six years after launch and the game's finally getting its first DLC character. We'll have to keep our eyes peeled to see what else Nintendo adds in the remaining waves. This is definitely going to be a topic worth revisiting in the future, maybe later this year once all the waves are out.
An additional 32.39% of voters are perfectly satisfied with the Booster Pass as-is. I don't have the game myself, but I have to admit it looks pretty fun. The initial complaints about the Tour art style have mostly subsided, so either it's something that's been fixed going forward, or people are just used to it. It's worth noting, however, that one commenter, despite voting for this option, would still have preferred a sequel instead. I'd be curious how many others in this total are happy with the offering but still would've rather had something else.
Looks like Nintendo managed to hit the mark mostly, because from here we have a big drop. 8.34% had no opinion, and most of these are probably just people who don't actually have the game.
4.97% aren't satisfied and wish that Nintendo had put their resources towards making a new Mario Kart game instead. I think that's perfectly fair, as this isn't even a title developed for the Switch, but just a Wii U port. While Deluxe did come up with some additions, most notably a Battle Mode much closer to the previous entries, we've had the same base for almost 9 years! Fun With Despair commented that the game is starting to feel stale, with new courses not doing much to freshen up the experience at this point, and being skeptical whether going farther and adding new drivers or karts would help at all.
4.48% are happy with the Booster Pass, though they said that they'd like a different selection of courses. Only 24 courses have been added so far, with some of them being brand new, and with the vast amount of courses throughout the history of the series (I'm not going digging for exact numbers, sorry), it's to be expected that there's going to be a lot of people out there whose favorite courses didn't make the cut. This doesn't seem to be a major point of contention for too many people, though.
Finally, 2.66% aren't satisfied, and would have preferred different ways of implementing DLC into the game. Considering that even a lot of the voters who were happy with the Booster Pass thought that other types of content would improve it, some people are likely to feel less charitable towards it. I'm surprised that this one ended up being last, though.
Wow that's a lot of poll. Definitely an interesting mix this month, though! Well, keep voting in our polls, and we'll keep discussing them. And maybe Nintendo will keep dropping announcements that could affect the results while they're running, who knows!
Happy February everyone! I know it’s not strictly Mario related, but how about that Nintendo Direct?? It seems like it really had something for everyone, from Tears of the Kingdom to Pikmin 4. And how better to follow up a Nintendo Direct than with your monthly dose of Mario Calendar??
|ALL||All Regions (JP/NA/EU/AU)|
|NES||Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Famicom||Family Computer Disk System|
|SNES||Super Nintendo Entertainment System|
|GBC||Game Boy Color|
|GBA||Game Boy Advance|
|Wii VC||Nintendo Wii Virtual Console|
|3DS VC||Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console|
|Wii U VC||Nintendo Wii U Virtual Console|
|G&W||Game and Watch|
|64DD||Nintendo 64 Disk Drive|
|MS-DOS||Microsoft Disk Operating System|
|TI-99||Texas Instruments TI-99/4A|
- February 3
- February 4
- February 5
- February 7
- February 8
- February 9
- February 10
- February 11
- February 12
- February 13
- 2014 (JP): Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)
- February 14
- February 16
- 2007 (EU): Mario Hoops 3-on-3 (DS)
- February 18
- February 19
- 1994 (JP): Wario's Woods (NES)
- February 21
- February 22
- 2014 (AU): Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)
- February 23
- February 27
- 2006 (NA): Super Princess Peach (DS)
There’s really not a whole lot to this month, but two things stuck out to me! First of all, we got to make an addition to the calendar this month with the release of Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games on the Nintendo Switch Online service! If anyone’s curious, the Mario-related games that are available to play on these services at the time of writing this are Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Game & Watch Gallery 3 and Wario Land 3 for the Game Boy, and Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for the Game Boy Advance. More will be added over time, but these are what we have on release!
Secondly, this was a very Donkey Kong-heavy month!! Within this month we had Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, DK: King of Swing, Diddy Kong Racing DS, Donkey Kong Barrel Blast, a GBA Donkey Kong port, and Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze! I’m not sure why Nintendo likes Donkey Kong in February so much, but I am here for it. We had the Year of Luigi, can we have the month of Donkey Kong???
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this month’s edition of Mario Calendar! I’m going to try to do a little more analysis/commentary from now on, since it gets pretty repetitive to just read the games that came out month after month. Anyways, I hope you have a fantastic rest of your month, and I will see you in March!
What's in a Campaign?
Hello Pipe Plaza readers, and welcome back to What's in a Campaign?, The 'Shroom's premier (and only!) Robot Wars section. Last month, we took a little break from the heavyweight division and looked at the run of antweight legend Anty B. This month, we not only return to the heavyweight division, but we also return to the main UK Championship as we look at the Series 7 run of Tsunami.
One of the many foreign robots to compete in the Series 7 UK Championship, Tsunami was originally built for the German Robot Wars TV show. The German Robot Wars was an attempt by Robot Wars producer Mentorn to branch the Robot Wars name into other countries. One of three attempts to branch the Robot Wars name, along with the Dutch Robot Wars and Robot Wars Extreme Warriors (a series broadcast for the United States), these spinoffs were still filmed in the UK at the Robot Wars Arena but were intended to be broadcast in their respective countries. Both the Dutch version and Extreme Warriors were moderately successful, managing to both last two seasons, with the second seasons even featuring expanded tournaments. The German Robot Wars, however, was by far the least successful of the attempts. Interestingly, the 2002 German Robot Wars was actually the second attempt at a German spin off, with the first one being tried in 2000 but only seeing four entrants. Obviously that attempt was canceled, but Mentorn was nice enough to let the four teams compete in a special German melee to be broadcast as part of Robot Wars Extreme 1, so their efforts weren't totally wasted. In 2002, the competition managed to get off the ground, but would only feature twelve competitors, and, of the twelve, only nine were actually from Germany, with robots from the Netherlands and Switzerland being used to round out numbers. In the German Robot Wars, representing Bavaria, Tsunami did very well, placing second after being defeated by the spinning blades of Black Hole in a unanimous jury's decision (the German Robot Wars renamed judge's decision for some reason). After that, with the German Robot Wars, over Tsunami would attempt to enter Series 7 of Robot Wars back in the UK.
Captained by Eric Ehrensberger along with teammate Jochen Wittman (a third teammate, Thomas Stigler, only appeared in the German spin off), Tsunami was a flipper bot capable of throwing a 99kg robot three meters in the air. Originally, Tsunami had a more standard, simplistic flipper design, being a standard long wedge flipper with a picture of a tsunami painted on the side. Their flipper was still very effective and they had the lowest ground clearance of any robot in the German Robot Wars, but their armor wasn't particularly strong and that proved to be their undoing in the finals against Black Hole. For Series 7, the team went with a more interesting design. Now rounder with stronger titanium armor and powered by two 750 watt electric motors, Tsunami had a very fast 30mph top speed. Tsunami also had an improved full-pressure flipping system, making their flipper one of the most powerful in the seventh wars, although this does come at the cost of using much more CO2 on each flip. Basically, the team managed to use their time not competing to make Tsunami, a robot that was already pretty good, even better.
As a reminder, all pictures are sourced from the fantastic Robot Wars Wiki. If you'd like to watch any of these fights, check out this video. Time stamps are provided in the section.
In the qualifiers, Tsunami faced off against Robot Wars veteran Shredder Evolution and Series 6 failed qualifier Woden. Tsunami would actually lose this battle by a judge's decision after Shredder Evolution KO'd Woden, but Tsunami would still qualify for Series 7 after being given a discretionary placement. Placed in Heat F, Tsunami's first round opponents were the newcomer, the bot with spinning blades known as Diabolus; the veteran Major Tom, now sporting a box wedge and clamper (but still having their famous toy head); and, finally, seeded number eleven, X-Terminator, who for this series ditched the often sub-par axe/lifter setup in favor of a new vertical spinning disc.
The fight (1:20) starts brilliantly for Tsunami as they immediately manage a flip on Diabolus before getting under the side of Major Tom and throwing them clear out of the arena. As this is happening, X-Terminator is showing the power of its new weapons, tearing apart Diabolus, even ripping off its top armor before leaving it immobilized on the arena wall.
Tsunami, looking to impress, then gets under Diabolus and throws it out of the arena as well. All in all, the fight lasted only 36 seconds (a record for fights that required more than one immobilization), and, with two outta's (that is, having thrown two robots out of the arena), Tsunami had a very impressive UK debut.
In the second round, Tsunami faced off against the flipper/crusher of Constrictor. In this fight (4:45), Tsunami would continue its domination. The fight starts with Constrictor missing a flip, and Tsunami immediately makes them pay, throwing them into the air and letting them crash into the ground. Tsunami would then get easily under Constrictor again, but, this time, it didn't flip them. Instead, it just pushed them around until Constrictor managed to escape. Tsunami wouldn't fail again though, as, the next time they got under them, they easily flipped Constrictor into the air, causing them to spin in the air before crashing down.
Constrictor then fails to self-right, which doesn't immobilize them because they're invertible, but it does mean they can no longer use their weapons against Tsunami. Not that it would matter, because, with Constrictor now upside down, Tsunami easily takes advantage of Constrictor's now higher ground clearance, easily getting under them and tossing them out of the arena, earning their third outta in only two fights.
Through to the heat final with an impressive three outta's, Tsunami would face off against their co-winner from round one, X-Terminator. This is a very tough fight for Tsunami because that blade of X-Terminator is very deadly, having ripped apart Diabolus and the flipper machine Killer Carrot 2, but there are some weaknesses that Tsunami should be able to exploit. Firstly, X-Terminator is a very slow machine, only capable of moving at 9mph compared to Tsunami's 30mph. In addition, between the blade and X-Terminator's side skirts, there's actually a decent amount of ground clearance for Tsunami to exploit. Finally, X-Terminator has self-righting spikes on the side (basically, inside the decorative spike, there are spikes that shoot out if the robot lands on its side), but X-Terminator cannot self-right if it lands on its top. It'll be difficult and one wrong move could spell Tsunami's end, but with the right amount of skill and luck, they should be able to win this fight and go onto the semi-finals.
The fight (8:58) starts out very tentative for both robots, with X-Terminator attempting to get its blade up to speed and Tsunami trying to map out the perfect flip. X-Terminator starts as the aggressor, slowly moving towards Tsunami as the German machine attempts to maneuver to X-Terminator's side. X-Terminator gets the first strike, digging its blade into the back of Tsunami, causing Tsunami to flee to the arena corner. X-Terminator charges, but the more nimble Tsunami manages to dodge the blade again and manages to get under the front of X-Terminator, avoiding the deadly blade. Then, bam! Tsunami launches its flipper, toppling the seeded machine over. X-Terminator fires its side spikes, hopping to self-right, but they mistime it. Instead of self-righting, they end up flipped upside down with the momentum of their own blade digging into the ground, propelling them towards the pit. Tsunami has won! X-Terminator cannot self-right! The German machine has toppled the favored X-Terminator and will be moving on to the Semi-Finals! At least, that's what should happen...
You see, X-Terminator truly is stuck; they cannot self-right. If Tsunami just leaves them alone, the fight is over. But that's not what happens. Instead, in probably the greatest example of hubris in the history of Robot Wars, Tsunami just can't help themselves but to try for their fourth outta.
The first flip nearly rights X-Terminator but leaves them pinned to the wall. Unfortunately, Tsunami does not see this as a sign to leave well enough alone and goes in for another flip. This flip, thanks in part to the awkward shape of X-Terminator and Tsunami's own limited CO2 supply, does not send X-Terminator out of the arena and instead puts the seeded machine back on their wheels. Realizing their mistake, Tsunami flees, trying to get in position for another flip. But it's no use. X-Terminator strikes them on their side, causing Tsunami to completely roll over. X-Terminator doesn't back off, striking them again as Tsunami now desperately flees. X-Terminator strikes again, sending Tsunami over. Tsunami self-rights before attempting a desperate attack on X-Terminator that misses. X-Terminator then moves in for the kill, once again flipping Tsunami over with the sheer force of their blade. This time, Tsunami does not self-right, and X-Terminator lands charge after charge into Tsunami, now smoking and pinned to the arena wall.
The fight ends with X-Terminator doing what Tsunami couldn't. In one final charge, with the power of a 15kg blade spinning at 1,500 rpms, X-Terminator sends Tsunami out of the arena and out of the competition.
Tsunami is another classic "what if" story in Robot Wars history, but it might be one of the saddest stories out there. This isn't a robot that suffered a random breakdown in a fight it was dominating, like Fluffy versus Pussycat in Series 5, or a robot that was defeated by a one-in-a-million strike like Hypno-Disc versus Pussycat in Series 4. Instead, this was a robot who had, put simply, beaten their opponent before letting them back into the fight as a result of their own desire for a more glorious victory. Who knows how well Tsunami could have done in Series 7 had they simply left the beaten X-Terminator alone? Personally, I think they'd have easily made the grand final, because I think they could easily defeat the two robots X-Terminator faced (St. Aggro and Bulldog Breed) on their way to their own grand final appearance. I don't think that Tsunami could have beaten Typhoon 2, because Typhoon 2 was basically one big spinner and it didn't take as long to speed up as X-Terminator did, but I also don't think it would have been impossible for Tsunami to have won that fight and to make it to the championship round (where they would be crushed by Storm 2, as all robots, except Typhoon 2, would have been). Instead, however, Tsunami wound up just another robot who crashed out before they should have, with the worst part being that, this time, it was their own damn fault.
The cancellation of Robot Wars after Series 7 ended not only the televised career of Tsunami, but basically Tsunami under its original team. The robot would make a few appearances on the live circuit before being sold to Team Flatliner, who were also a German team. Under them, Tsunami would continue to appear on live circuits, most notably winning a special European championship, beating fellow Series 7 flipper Gravity in a 2013 Robot Wars Live event. Tsunami is a tragic tale, because Tsunami should have been part of the new breed that Series 7 had introduced. More so than any series since Series 4, Series 7 represented a huge shift in the Robot Wars scene. A lot of the old veterans that had dominated heats had retired. In their place were a series of newcomers like Tsunami, Gravity, and Typhoon 2, along with veterans who had been good (but not great) finally fully coming into their own such as Atomic, Bulldog Breed, and X-Terminator. Unfortunately for these robots, Robot Wars was canceled after Series 7, so instead of ushering in a new era of robot combat, these robots instead were simply the last competitors of a once great show. Who knows, maybe if Robot Wars wasn't canceled, robots like Tsunami would be looked at like greats, like equals of robots such as Chaos 2 and Firestorm. Instead, what should have been the start of a promising Robot Wars career was instead a bitter "what could have been".
Now that we've gotten the melancholy out of the way, I think that's as good of place as ever to end. Join me next month as we take a look at another thrilling Robot Wars competitor in What's in a Campaign?.
|The 'Shroom: Issue 191|
|Staff sections||Staff Notes • The 'Shroom Spotlight • Issue 200: Open Call|
|Features||Fake News • Fun Stuff • Palette Swap • Pipe Plaza • Critic Corner • Strategy Wing|