The 'Shroom:Issue 200/Pipe Plaza
Well, it's been a heck of a journey but we made it! Issue 200 at last!! I hope you've all been enjoying this jam-packed issue of fun and goodness so far, because there's a lot more where that came from!
It's crazy to think how different things are in my life when comparing now to the time when Issue 100 came out. When Issue 100 came out, I was a cheeky little middle schooler, still fairly fresh-faced in the community, who didn't really know what they were doing in life. Now that it's Issue 200, I'm currently in the middle of my last year of college, currently directing a team in a newspaper I've always admired and enjoyed, and I still don't really know what I'm doing in my life but I can certainly look and act like I do. Some things never change I guess ^^;; My point is, it's been a long road to get from then to now, but I can say with absolute certainty that I'd have it no other way for 200 issues of The 'Shroom.
I want to also take a moment and say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to write something special for this issue. You bet I'm going to read them all before the year's end because I know just how much love and care was put into each one of them.
With that being said, I want all of you reading now to realize that yes, it is very possible to write a section over just about anything. Just take a look at what Pipe Plaza has in store this month! We have triangles, tea, 'Shroom history, and everything in between on top of our usual stuff. If you're looking for a sign to finally write a section about that thing you're really passionate about, this is it. The sign up page is always a click away.
Now, let's ce-ce-celebrate!
Section of the Month
|PIPE PLAZA SECTION OF THE MONTH|
|1st||Poll Committee Discussion||10||50.00%||Fun With Despair (talk)|
|2nd||Community Report||4||20.00%||Waluigi Time (talk)|
|3rd||What's in a Campaign?||3||15.00%||Shoey (talk)|
|3rd||Mario Calendar||3||15.00%||GPM1000 (talk)|
Hello there, 'Shroom readers! Welcome back to Community Report, that chunk of the paper where proposals and featured articles get reported on. I'd like to thank Hooded Pitohui for helping me out with the proposal coverage this month (the 200 grind is real), and Lakituthequick for optimizing this section's coding last month. Most of you probably won't notice, but it feels nice to be efficient. Alright, let's get cracking!
All information is accurate as of November 17, 2023. Proposals marked with an asterisk are updates on ones that were ongoing and covered in the previous issue.
|The Case of Donkey Kong 64 Sub-Areas*||A proposal for determining how to cover sub-areas in Donkey Kong 64 levels to address inconsistency. The proposal had four options to split sub-areas with official names, split all sub-areas with conjectural names as needed, merge all sub-areas, or do nothing. The option to not split any of them won by a single vote. Following this, the two that had articles (Temple with Five Doors and Llama Temple) were merged to the main Angry Aztec article.||DON'T SPLIT 4-0-5-0
|October 10, 2023|
|Rename "Latest portrayal" section in character infobox to "Notable portrayals"||A proposal to expand the portrayal section in infoboxes to include all notable portrayals of the character, inspired by the recent recasting of Mario and Luigi. It proved to be controversial, and the opposition pointed out that what would be considered notable would be very subjective. Ultimately, it failed and no change was made.||FAILED 7-1-10
|October 20, 2023|
|Remove Creeper Launcher link from Princess Daisy's page||A proposal to remove the link to the Daisy enemy variant from Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon from the links at the top of Princess Daisy's page. The proposer argued that it should be removed because the enemy was obscure and doesn't have anything to do with Daisy herself. The rest of the voters opposed on the basis that it was working as intended for readers.||FAILED 1-7
|October 21, 2023|
|Reconsider mainline status of Super Mario Maker, Super Mario Maker 2, and Super Mario Run||A proposal to no longer consider some games as part of the main Super Mario series. The proposal was mainly based an interview for Super Mario Bros. Wonder, where the developers said it was the first new 2D Super Mario Bros. game in 11 years. Options were also provided which would have only excluded Run or the Maker games. The majority of voters opposed making any changes, arguing that Super Mario Bros. is a specific subseries of the mainline games which the developers were referring to.||FAILED 5-16-0-10
|November 7, 2023|
|Make coverage of playable Toads and playable Yoshis consistent with each other||A proposal for consistency between colored playable characters by splitting the Yoshis or merging Blue and Yellow Toad. Various options were provided, including merging the Toads to the article for the Toad character or species. The majority of voters opted for merging the Toads into a shared Blue and Yellow Toad article, but the change has not yet been made.||MERGE TOADS TO A SHARED ARTICLE 2-9-13-1-3
|November 7, 2023|
|Clarify and expand coverage of recurring musical themes||A proposal to expand the criteria for when a recurring theme is eligible for an article. Under the proposal, reuse of the original theme in a new game would count towards eligibility, rather than requiring a new arrangement. Additionally, media other than games that is directly related to the franchise, such as The Super Mario Bros. Movie, would count as well. The majority of voters supported the change, although there was some contention over remakes counting.||PASSED 10-2
|November 7, 2023|
|De-recreate Junior (II) "agresivelly"*||A proposal to merge Pink Donkey Kong Jr. with his non-pink counterpart, overturning the 2015 proposal that split them. The proposer argued that his appearances in singleplayer are still more akin to multiplayer, and that the distinction between the two in the manual is not as concrete as once believed. The proposal had near-unanimous support, some reluctant and some very impassioned. The page has since been merged into the Donkey Kong Jr. Math section of DK Jr.'s page.||PASSED 16-1
|October 11, 2023|
|Merge Super Soda to Fresh Juice*||A proposal to merge Super Soda from Paper Mario with Fresh Juice from The Thousand-Year Door, following an earlier attempt in 2020 that failed to reach consensus. The proposer argued for the merge based on the many identical characteristics, including the same Japanese name. Some voters opposed in case of changes made by the upcoming The Thousand-Year Door remake that may affect coverage, but the proposal was still able to pass. No changes have been made yet.||PASSED 11-5
|October 20, 2023|
|Split the VS. System and Game Boy versions of Golf*||A proposal to split the re-releases of Golf from the original NES version based on sizeable version differences. It passed with unanimous support. Golf now only covers the original NES game, while Stroke & Match Golf and Golf (Game Boy) cover the Vs. System and Game Boy versions.||PASSED 7-0
|October 21, 2023|
|Move Homing Chomp back to Silver Chomp*||A proposal to rename Homing Chomp from Super Mario Galaxy 2 back to the Silver Chomp name. The proposer argued that the Silver Chomp name should take priority because it comes from an in-game source, while Homing Chomp comes from the Mario Portal website. The opposition argued that Silver Chomp is not a proper name, but a generic description of the enemy from a mission title. By the end of the proposal, the opposition gained the majority, leaving the page at its current title.||FAILED 4-8
|October 21, 2023|
|Decide what infobox images to use for Mario Party minigames||A multi-option proposal meant to address the issue of minigames in the Mario Party series having up to four different versions across the franchise. Previous informal discussions had decided to use only an image of the original iteration of a minigame in the infobox, but the proposer argued that this policy does not align with the newest-takes-priority style of the Wiki's naming policy. A number of options were provided, including using only the most recent variant, the original variant, or all variants, as well as making exceptions in certain cases, but ultimately the option to present all iterations in separate infobox tabs gained the most support. Changes have been made to allow for this, but the proposal has yet to be implemented.||HAVE EACH IN A SEPARATE TAB 2-3-0-2-1-6
|October 21, 2023|
|Merge Giant Wiggler with Big Wiggler||A proposal to merge the article for the Giant Wiggler from New Super Mario Bros. for the DS into the Big Wiggler article. The proposer argues that the Giant Wiggler is, effectively, only a generically-described Big Wiggler, and that, with it already having a section on the Big Wiggler article, the information presented is redundant. Discussion was had over whether the Giant Wiggler's role as an ally, rather than an enemy, or its number of segments, were reason to keep it separate, but it was decided that these are too inconsistent across games and large Wigglers to support keeping the article split.||PASSED 9-1
|October 30, 2023|
|Merge Yoshi Racing with List of unreleased media||A proposal to merge the article on Yoshi Racing, a rejected pitch and prototype by Argonaut Games, with the List of unreleased media. The proposer argued there is little likelihood of finding images of the prototype other than a leaked 3D model, and consensus had it that there is not enough available information on the prototype to justify having it on a separate article, leading to a unanimous vote to merge.||PASSED 4-0
|November 4, 2023|
|Expand scope of Paah and/or rename it||A multi-option proposal to refine the scope covered by the "Paah" article, which documents a mechanic in recent Super Mario titles (most prominently the New Super Mario Bros. titles) in which enemies react to certain musical cues. The proposed argued that an article on the "Paah" sound effect and mechanic should not also cover cues which use different instruments, and suggested means to rectify this. Discussion held that the various cues were similar enough in effect to not merit splitting, and that "Paah", as the most well-known cue, adequately covers similar cues created with different instruments, and the option to do nothing won out.||FAILED 1-0-1-6
|November 7, 2023|
|Split Dustmen from Bin||A proposal to split the Dust Men, also known as Bucket Men, enemies in the Game Boy Donkey Kong and the GBA Mario vs. Donkey Kong games from the article for Bins. The proposer argues that Dust Men are enemies, while Bins are objects. The proposal passed with unanimous support.||PASSED 10-0
|November 9, 2023|
|Add playable appearance of a character in their infobox||A proposal to add the first (and possibly latest) playable appearance of a character to the information listed in their infobox. The proposer argues that "firsts", including first playable appearance, are important information for a wiki to present. The opposition cites ambiguity and different interpretations around what counts as a "playable" appearance and argues that noting this information in the body of the page is sufficient. At the time of this writing, opposition leads the options to include only first playable appearance or to include the first and latest playable appearances.||Read more||November 21, 2023|
|Remove Conjectural treasure names from Wario Land stage articles||A proposal to remove the conjectural names given to treasures in Wario Land II stages (initially Wario Land 3 as well, but the option has been withdrawn due to the treasures being named in the Shogakukan guide). The proposer argues that the conjectural names serve no purpose, as the collectible treasures are functionally identical and minor enough that they do not receive their own articles. Supporters argue that these names can be replaced with basic descriptions, and, at the time of this writing, there is unanimous support for removing the names.||Read more||November 17, 2023|
|On merging and/or splitting Super Paper Mario's implied characters||A proposal to address an inconsistency in how characters who only appear posthumously in artwork in Super Paper Mario, the proposer notes that three members of the Tribe of the Ancients are merged onto a single page, but three members of the Croacus line have their own articles. Three options are suggested, these being to either merge the articles on the implied Croacus family members into one page, to split off the implied members of the Tribe of the Ancients, or to merge all implied Super Paper Mario characters to the List of implied characters. At the time of this writing, there is a 4-3-1 vote across those three options.||Read more||November 19, 2023|
|Move Big Magikoopa to Giant Magikoopa||A proposal to rename Big Magikoopa based on the name used in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. Another option to split the Sparks of Hope Giant Magikoopa instead has been provided, which currently holds the majority of votes.||Read more||November 17, 2023|
|Create a table subpage template for Mario Kart 8 navbox||A proposal to add a table subpage to the navbox of Mario Kart 8. The proposer argues that, due to content appearing in multiple versions of Mario Kart 8 (Wii U base game, Wii U DLC, Deluxe base game, Deluxe DLC, it is helpful to indicate which version(s) content appears in through the use of colored icons. Opponents argue that this system does not work effectively for this game due to content "stacking" between each version, and bring up accessibility concerns.||Read more||November 17, 2023|
|Move Toad Minister to Chancellor||A proposal to move "Toad Minister" to "Chancellor". The proposal argues that, due to the name Chancellor being retained in the Super Mario RPG remake, it is the most recent name for the article's subject. At the time of this writing, the proposal has unanimous support.||Read more||November 19, 2023|
|Split Wizakoopa from Kamek||A proposal to split the Magikoopa boss in Super Mario RPG from Kamek's article, on the basis that the remake's English localization renamed the character to Wizakoopa, distancing the character (who always had a unique Japanese name) from Kamek. Supporters argue that this suggests Wizakoopa is meant to be a distinct individual from Kamek, while the opposition holds that the character's Thought Peek quote is evidence he is intended to be Kamek and cites inconsistent Japanese naming as possibly indicating Wizakoopa is an all-new character to the remake.||Read more||November 20, 2023|
|Split Bat-Wario from Vampire Wario and merge it to Bat Wario||A proposal to split Wario Land 3's Bat-Wario form from its linked Vampire Wario form and to merge it with the Bat Wario form from Wario Land 4. The proposer and supporters argue that the Bat-Wario and Bat Wario forms are functionally identical outside of a differing garlic weakness and the ability to transform into Vampire Wario. The opposition argues that Bat Wario is instead a refinement of the Vampire Wario and Bat-Wario forms, and suggest re-merging Bat Wario.||Read more||November 20, 2023|
|Expand the scope of or nix the Hip Koopa filmography||A proposal to determine what to do with an article covering Lemmy's appearances in the DiC cartoons more in-depth. Possible options include expanding the article, replacing it with a similar category, or deleting it. The proposal is currently on its second extension due to lack of votes.||Read more||November 22, 2023|
|Merge Kannonball to Cannonball and Kannon (cannon) to Cannon||A proposal to merge objects from Donkey Kong Country 2 and Donkey Kong Land 2 with the articles for cannons and cannonballs in the broader Mario franchise. The proposer argues that the spelling with a "k" is a stylistic choice and that there are no inherent or functional differences separating these from other cannons and cannonballs. At the time of this writing, the proposal has unanimous support.||Read more||November 22, 2023|
|Merge Metal Ball to Iron Ball||Following up on a proposal which saw Big Steelies renamed to "iron balls", this proposal seeks to merge the various generic iron balls and metal balls which appear across the franchise into one page. Options are provided to merge to metal ball or to merge to iron ball, with the former currently leading and supporters of the option arguing that "metal ball" is the most recent name. There is no opposition as of the time of this writing.||Read more||November 22, 2023|
|Standardize formatting of Super Mario Bros. Wonder course names||A proposal to determine how course supertitles (e.g., "Badge Challenge") in Super Mario Bros. Wonder should be handled and formatted, with options to consider them a part of the course name and use em dashes to represent line breaks, to consider them a part of the course name and indicate their status through a different means, or to not consider them part of the course name. At the time of this writing, there is unanimous support for considering the titles as part of the course name, with the majority of that support preferring formatting with methods other than an em dash.||Read more||November 25, 2023|
|Clean up Category:Worms and move it to Category:Annelids||Recognizing that "worm" is a generic descriptor that is applied to many categories of creatures, and recognizing that the category currently includes both creatures similar to segmented worms and creatures similar to caterpillars, which are better classified under the existing "Butterflies and caterpillars" category, this proposal suggests moving caterpillars out of the category and renaming it to "annelids" to make its scope clearer. At the time of this writing, the proposal has unanimous support.||Read more||November 25, 2023|
|Split Legendary treasure, or merge with other relevant article(s)||A proposal to change how the Legendary treasure from Wario Land 4 is handled. The proposer argues that the treasures taken as a whole amount to a plot point to motivate Wario, and have a generic name taken from the in-game newspaper headline. The proposal also notes that it is unclear if the term refers to the treasures obtained from the game's bosses, to the golden treasures also obtained through the course of the game, or both. The proposal offers options for either merging both the boss treasures and golden treasures into the Wario Land series' treasure article, merging both treasure types into the Wario Land 4 article, splitting the boss treasures while merging the golden treasures with the aforementioned treasure article, merging the boss treasures into Wario Land 4 while merging the others into the aforementioned article, or doing nothing. At the time of this writing, the option to merge both types into the broader treasure article has the most support.||Read more||November 24, 2023|
|Merge Fiery Dino Piranha to Dino Piranha or move it to Dino Piranha (Black)||A proposal to merge Fiery Dino Piranha with its regular counterpart. The proposer argues that both bosses are too similar to warrant separate articles, with additional evidence such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the Mario Portal website. Alternatively, the page could be moved to an identifier based on the Mario Portal. The proposal proved to be controversial, with the opposition currently holding a slight lead.||Read more||November 29, 2023|
|Merge Mecha Bowser (the statue from the Mario Kart games, not the robot) to Bowser Statue||A proposal to merge the large, stone Bowser statue which menaces racers in the Mario Kart series into Bowser statue. The proposer argues that the object in question has been referred to as being made of stone on multiple occasions and that it should be considered a continuation of the Bowser statues from Mario Kart 64, rather than a distinct, mechanical entity.||Read more||November 29, 2023|
|Merge Gobblegut (Black) to Gobblegut||A similar proposal for Fiery Dino Piranha, this time for Gobblegut's fiery counterpart. Despite the controversy on the former, the proposal currently has unanimous support.||Read more||November 30, 2023|
|Merge Lakitu in a Pipe with Lakitu||A proposal to merge Lakitu in a Pipe, an article referring to certain pipe-dwelling Lakitu in Super Mario World with the general Lakitu article. The proposal builds upon a previous discussion in which it was noted that the Mario Portal treats Lakitu in a Pipe merely as a Lakitu in a different position, rather than a separate enemy. At the time of this writing, there is unanimous support for the proposal - though multiple voters have expressed that they feel the name Lakitu in a Pipe is humorous, and it has been suggested the article be preserved on BJAODN.||Read more||December 1, 2023|
|Edge||Sparks (talk) nominated the article to be featured after expanding the article. Additional work took place during the nomination, and it received enough support to become featured within less than two weeks of the initial nomination.||PASSED 5-0
|October 20, 2023|
|Diddy Kong Racing||A second attempt to unfeature the article by TheUndescribableGhost (talk), following an attempt earlier this year which failed due to insufficient support. Multiple unresolved issues involving missing or poorly presented content were brought up. This time, the nomination had no opposition and received enough voters to pass.||PASSED 5-0
|November 14, 2023|
And that's everything for this month! Everyone's been pretty busy, it seems. There's going to be another longer than usual gap between issues so we can recharge from Issue 200, so uh... prepare for another long Community Report in December!
Poll Committee Discussion
This time around, I'm not even going to joke about doing the Poll Committee Discussion yet again. Part of it is because I just like doing these, but the other part? Well, it's Issue 200! 200... Isn't that completely wild? That's a ridiculous amount of issues, so much content from so many people over so many years. It's kind of mind-boggling to think about, right? The sense of community needed to keep this kind of thing rolling for so long, I love to see it, and I couldn't be prouder of almost literally everyone I'm close with for making this a reality. I'll fully admit, I haven't really been writing for the 'Shroom very long besides these articles (and that time that (Hypnotoad (talk) let me write a Half-Baked Reviews), mostly for lack of ideas, but as a member of the community, it's brought me great joy over the years, and I hope it continues for a hundred more issues - if not even more.
There's something to be said for a community like this. I say this as a former member of the Awards Committee, and as the Chairperson of the Poll Committee, a position that I admit I probably would have done better with in the long run had I known what I know now. Still, I've seen first-hand the amount of effort that goes into projects like this, like Issue 200, like Awards, and even like every poll that goes live within our own committee. From every random poll, to massive events like Scribble or the Killing Games too, the passion here is unreal. Enough to crack even my own cold, dead heart and make me smile. I love you guys.
You know what else I love though? Our one, singular poll for this term. So enjoy, because short as it may be this discussion wouldn't even be possible without the culminative efforts of everyone who made the 'Shroom what it is today, and everyone who continues to work to put out a quality newsletter every month.
How do you feel about certain playable characters being relegated to "Easy Mode" (Funky Kong, Yoshi, Nabbit, Toadette, etc.)? - (Fun With Despair (talk), October 11th, 2023)
|How do you feel about certain playable characters being relegated to "Easy Mode" (Funky Kong, Yoshi, Nabbit, Toadette, etc.)?|
|I do not like that some characters are easier than others, because I would like to play as the character I want without compromising the game's challenge. 28.01% (1814 votes)|
|I am okay with some characters being easier than others, because it provides gameplay variety and/or allows everyone to play the game. 25.68% (1663 votes)|
|I am glad that some characters are easier than others, as they allow me to just play the game without getting frustrated. 12.83% (831 votes)|
|I think that different characters should have different mechanics, but that they should not be objectively easier than others by a significant degree. 11.56% (749 votes)|
|I do not care if some characters are easier to play than others, as long as no one is forced to use them in multiplayer content (Nabbit, Toadette, etc.) 9.73% (630 votes)|
|I am okay with some characters being easier than others, because I would rather just play as the main protagonist, with other characters playing differently. 5.23% (339 votes)|
|I have no opinion. 4.96% (321 votes)|
|I do not like that some characters are easier than others, because I do not believe that the game should have an easy mode in any form. 2.01% (130 votes)|
|Total Votes: 6,477|
How do you feel about certain playable characters being relegated to "Easy Mode" (Funky Kong, Yoshi, Nabbit, Toadette, etc.)?
Oh boy, Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Again. Yeah, not a surprise that this game is showing up again so soon, it's basically the only real big release of the franchise in forever, at least until the Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars remake that came out a couple days ago. I find this one kind of interesting, because to be honest, it's just a weird kind of subject. People have wanted to play as Yoshi alone for a long time, arguably since Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island back on the SNES, his first real debut appearance in the mainline series, which rather than make him a mainline series mainstay, instead led to a spinoff series consisting of a bunch of mediocre games and then also Yoshi's Woolly World. I've always liked the idea of a mainline platformer having a huge amount of characters to play as, and Wonder delivers.
Or does it?
See, Wonder's got an issue, an issue that 28.01% of our voters agree with: Nintendo's approach to Easy Mode is bad, really bad. For the uninformed, rather than having an easy mode toggleable, or have it work like the historic example of Super Guide where it becomes an option if you die enough, it instead relegates certain characters to the role of "Easy Characters" akin to Nabbit in New Super Luigi U or Toadettein New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, a category that happens to also include both of these characters in the new game, as well as poor old Yoshi himself. While I haven't met a whole lot of Toadette or Nabbit stans over the years, it is important to note that typically players who play these games enjoy being able to play as their favorite characters without having a worse experience because of it, and voters for our top option aren't happy with Nintendo making fan favorites like Yoshi or Funky Kong stuck as the Easy Mode characters, largely invulnerable colossi who can sweep through the entire level with little resistance, despite (at least in Yoshi's case), having a strong gameplay gimmick (unique moveset instead of power-up usage) that could make him a great way to play through the game normally, which is something appreciated in and of itself by 11.56% of our voters who appreciate these unique mechanics while condemning the changes in damage or platforming that comes with them.
Interestingly though, it's a rather close race here, with 25.68% of people actually appreciating the easy mode mechanics due to the increased accessibility that comes with them allowing more people to experience the game, and another 11.56% of people appreciating the easy mode entirely because it lets them play without having a rough time. When combined, you'll find these two opposing factions pretty close, though I have to wonder as to whether the pro-easy-mode audience actually cares about the characters in question being easy, or whether they just appreciate having an easy mode in general, which is something I'd like to hear from our readers about actually. It's relatable in a sense, there's definitely some games that have pissed me off enough to where I just wish I could toggle on an option to not get hit. Regardless, with this in mind I think there's definitely a discussion to be had here, and I think universally a more flexible Easy Mode would be welcome - provided the option exists for those players who just want to to chill.
Of course, this is all well and good, but what if you wanted to play multiplayer games, but a full party was forced to relegate one player or more to the easy character? While this isn't much of an issue with Wonder - having at least four "default-playing" characters available, it did plague older games such as the later New Super Mario Bros. (disambiguation) games, something that 9.73% of players think kind of sucks. I don't really blame them though. I think it's super lame that you're forced to play as an objectively easier character in some scenarios, with invulnerability or other perks, especially as a player who enjoys a challenge, with friends who also enjoy a challenge. It kind of sticks you in a corner, with little options if you just want to play the game your way. Or maybe you just don't care because you play alone primarily, and you're one of the 5.23% who just want to play as Mario and don't care about the rest. You know what though? That's an honest choice. If you just want to pick Mario, who am I to stop you?
Oh, and for the 2.01% who don't think there should be an easy mode at all, just go play Bloodborne or something. Elden Ring came out last year and has a DLC on the way. These are games for little kids man, the real Dark Souls does NOT start here.
While this may have only been a single poll, I'm mostly just happy I could get something - anything - in for Issue 200. In truth, I had greater ideas, flames of ambition that were quickly snuffed out by the weight of reality. Reality, of course, being the insane amount of ball-busting work going into my own Killing Game which I'm hoping to host soon. It's unrelated to the polls, of course, but I'm hoping I can get some people from here to join, provided they are over the age of 18. Not that I really feel the need to shill it in the Poll Committee Discussion of all things, it's just been a long couple of months, long and busy.
I'm just glad I could get something in for Issue 200 in the end, even if it's just a Poll Committee Discussion. I'll see you guys in... 8? 9? years for Issue 300, but until then, I'll probably also see you in several issues between then and now - or at least early next year, when we debut our new and improved Awards Analysis. It's been a long time coming, but what else would be more fitting for the 13th Committee's last hurrah than that, hm? Besides, with how hard several people in this committee have been working on their own Issue 200 articles, it'd be a real scummy move to have anyone dedicate their time to Awards Analysis when such a special issue is on the way.
If you've stuck with me for this long... go read someone else's article already. They deserve it. They all do.
Happy issue 200 everyone!! I can’t believe we finally made it here - 200 issues is an absolutely insane amount. Thinking about the countless hours of work that are put into every single issue of The ‘Shroom is crazy enough, but it’s even crazier to conceptualize the fact that those hours have been put in 200 times. It’s an honor to be part of such an amazing production. Anyways, here is Mario Calendar for issue 200!!
|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|
- November 1
- 1992 (NA): Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (GB)
- 1998 (EU): Game & Watch Gallery 2 (GBC)
- 2000 (JP): Mario Tennis (GBC)
- 2013 (NA): New Super Mario Bros. U + New Super Luigi U (Wii U)
- 2019 (JP): Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Switch)
- November 3
- November 4
- 2005 (EU): Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (GBA)
- 2015 (EU): Photos with Mario (3DS eShop)
- 2016 (NA): Mario Party: Star Rush (3DS)
- November 5
- November 6
- 2009 (NA): Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Wii)
- November 7
- 2003 (JP): Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (GC)
- 2005 (NA):
- 2013 (AU): New Super Mario Bros. U + New Super Luigi U (Wii U)
- 2014 (EU): Ultimate NES Remix (3DS)
- November 8
- 2002 (JP): Mario Party 4 (GC)
- 2004 (NA): Mario Power Tennis (GC)
- 2007 (JP): Mario Party DS (DS)
- 2013 (EU):
- 2014 (AU): Ultimate NES Remix (3DS)
- 2018 (JP): Luigi's Mansion (3DS)
- 2019 (EU/AU): Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Switch)
- November 9
- 2001 (AU): Wario Land 4 (GBA)
- 2013 (AU): Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (Wii U)
- November 10
- November 11
- November 12
- November 13
- November 14
- November 15
- 2004 (NA): Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (GBA)
- 2005 (CHN): Super Smash Bros. (IQ)
- 2009 (NA): New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)
- 2011 (NA): Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Wii)
- 2013 (NA): Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (Wii U)
- November 16
- November 17
- November 18
- 1994 (EU): Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
- 2001 (NA): Luigi's Mansion (GC)
- 2005 (EU):
- 2011 (EU):
- 2012 (NA):
- November 19
- November 20
- November 21
- 1990 (JP): Super Mario World (SNES)
- 1992 (JP):
- 1994 (NA):
- 1995 (JP): Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (SNES)
- 1997 (JP/EU): Diddy Kong Racing (N64)
- 2001 (JP): Super Smash Bros. Melee (GC)
- 2003 (JP): Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA)
- 2004 (NA): Super Mario 64 DS (DS)
- 2010 (NA): Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)
- 2013 (JP): Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
- 2014 (NA): Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (Wii U)
- 2015 (AU): Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash (Wii U)
- November 22
- November 23
- November 24
- November 25
- November 28
- November 29
- November 30
And that’s it for November! This seems like a good time to mention that I wrote a special section for the 200th issue of The ‘Shroom, and I would really appreciate you checking it out and reading it. If you like Mario Calendar, I have a feeling you’re going to like my special section even more. It breaks down the whole year month-by-month and analyzes what makes some months so special in the world of Mario, while others aren’t so much.
I bring this up here because this month is VERY SPECIAL in the world of Mario. I don’t want to say exactly where it falls in my ranking, as that might spoil my special section depending on what order you read them in, but I have no shortage of praise for this month. I don’t want to sound too repetitive, as I go over this month’s releases in detail in my other section, but this is a crazy month. Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart Double Dash, Mario Kart DS, Super Mario World, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Mario 3D World AND a whole lot more all came out this month. Wow.
Not to mention we have two new releases to the Mario family this month! WarioWare: Move It! came out on November 3rd, and Super Mario RPG for the Nintendo Switch came out on the 17th. I haven’t gotten the chance to play either of these, but these are both super special franchises and it makes me very happy to see them release. Anyways, thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next month! Happy 200!
What's in a Campaign?
Hello 'Shroom readers, and welcome to a very special What's In a Campaign?! Why is it special, you ask? Because it's the 200th issue of The 'Shroom! And since this is a very special issue of pomp and grandeur, I figured I needed to cover a robot of significant grandeur. So for this month, we're going to be covering the biggest icon in the history of Robot Wars, the Series 5 run of the hydraulic crushing beak of Razer.
Created by Ian Lewis and Simon Scott, with a third team member named Vincent Blood joining in Series 3, Razer is one of the most dazzling competitors in the history of Robot Wars. Armored with steel and aluminum, Razer was powered by two 24-volt motors, weighed 96 kg, and had a top speed of 11 mph. The wheels, custom-made of aluminum with frames made from titanium, not only gave it increased control, but lowered the already-low ground clearance around the wheels. For this series, the team would also introduce new wheel guards at the front to lower the chance robots pinned by Razer damaging its wheels. But of course, there is also the piece de resistance, that beautiful iconic crushing claw. A hydraulic claw with a pump powered by a 12-volt motor, the claw of Razer had 9 tonnes of crushing power. To put it more simply, at its peak, the claw of Razer could tear through anything. The toughest armor would crack like a lobster shell as the claw tore through its opponents innards. Not only that, but Razer was powerful enough that, when the claw fully tore into an opponent, Razer could lift its opponent off the ground. Once that claw enters its opponent, there's nothing they can do! They're at the mercy of the mighty Razer!
But here's the thing. Other robots, especially after Razer's success, would try out the crushing claw (looking at you Ming 3), but none of them found much success (except Tiberius 3). Why is that? You might ask, and it's good to ask. Well, you see, Razer had a secret weapon: its wedge. We're talking a wedge almost completely on the ground, a wedge narrow enough that, if you accidentally drove up it, you couldn't drive down it. This is a wedge so long that it allowed Razer to scoop up any robot that tried to flee. Razer had what no other crusher would ever feature, a truly unstoppable wedge. If you ended up on the wedge, Razer would punish you severely. But what about the sides, you ask? Aren't they exposed? Yes, you might be thinking that you'll just attack the sides, but that's where Razer's final secret weapon came into play, that of driver Ian Lewis!
Amongst the halls of great drivers, Ian Lewis was one of the best. With him controlling Razer, the robot never exposed its weaknesses. Ian Lewis was a nearly flawless driver and Razer itself controlled so smoothly that landing a single attack on Razer's side was nearly impossible and landing multiple just wasn't going to happen. Finally, rounding out this truly fantastic design, for a self-righter Razer had two wings that would open to right the robot (they would also open them in celebration of great victories)
First appearing in Series 2, Razer hit the ground running, collecting trophies everywhere it went. It started in Series 2 where Razer would be given the Best Design Award. Then in Series 3 Razer would again be given Best Design, but this time they would also add a Pinball Championship to their trophy case. Then they won a combat trophy in the very confusing and bad International League Championship, which was intended to be a pilot episode they show would use to branch into wider market. Before you ask, no, I don't know why they would pick this tournament considering they actually had the First World Championship tournament which was legitimately good and that this one had zero good robots outside of Razer and I guess Diotoir.
Funnily enough, despite the commonly-held narrative that the International League Championship was created to give Razer a combat trophy, that's actually not true. It was actually created to give Cassius a combat trophy, but they pulled out after a safety incident that we've discussed previously, and Razer was placed in instead.
In the International League Tournament, Razer would dominate Diotoir in the finals to capture the crown. Then, in the First World Championship (one of the best tournaments in the history of Robot Wars), Razer started by destroying the UK Champion Chaos 2. They chewed apart top eight finisher 101, and, finally, they defeated Behemoth in a split decision, in a very close fight that's still debated to this day (side note: I think Razer did win the fight simply because the judges' formula at the time heavily weighted damage), to become World Champions. If not for the aforementioned safety incident, Razer would have picked up another trophy. There was supposed to be a Tag Team Terror Tournament, and one of the teams was going to be Panic Attack and Razer, which, yeah, you might as well just have given them the trophy. Finally, in the Series 4 Northern Annihilator, Razer would outlast the axe-lifter combo of Vercingetorix, the piercing spike of Spawn of Scutter, the scoop of Behemoth, the spinning drum of Atila the Drum, and, finally, the lifter of the tiny-but-tough Onslaught to claim the Northern Annihilator championship.
During the final, Razer would even take on the tusks of Matilda, tearing apart the poor House Robot. The point is this that everywhere Razer went, championships followed.
But despite claiming trophies in every tournament they entered, one trophy eluded them, that being the UK Championship. Despite their dominance in every other tournament, Razer had yet to claim a UK Championship. In fact, as of Series 5, Razer hadn't even won a Heat yet! In Series 2, during Razer's first combat fight against Inquisitor, Razer would dominate the fight. But then Razer, with the fight in hand, just kind of broke down! Then, in Series 3, during their Heat Semi-Final match with Aggrobot, a very big, oddly-shaped robot. Razer would again dominate. but because of the shape of Aggrobot, Razer wasn't able to fully get the claw into them. Then its crusher malfunctioned and it lifted Razer's own wheels off the ground. Once again, Razer went out in a fight it was dominating. Then in Series 4, thanks to some late seed shuffling, Razer would be placed in the same Heat as Pussycat. During the Heat Final, the pyramid-shaped Pussycat would tear Razer to pieces, dominating it and giving Razer its first earned combat loss.
This fight against Pussycat would also feature Ian Lewis's famous "Some of us are gentleman" speech, where Ian Lewis would complain about the excessive damage Pussycat did to Razer. Now, this is a speech that I think is hypocritical bullshit. In this exact same Heat, Razer literally pulls the wheels off of Milly Ann Bug one-by-one, and does it long after Milly Ann Bug was eliminated, no less. Regardless, once again Razer has crashed out in the Heats, and once again the UK Championship has eluded them.
Before we continue our story in Series 5, as a reminder, all pictures are sourced from the fantastic Robot Wars Wiki. This month, if you'd like to watch along, we have a full compilation of Razer's Series 5.
Returning in Series 5, Razer was granted the number four seed on the back of their numerous tournament wins throughout the year. Placed into Heat K, Razer's first fight was against the debuting Big Nipper and its unique lifter/crushing claws. The fight (1:57) would start off poorly for Razer. Razer and Big Nipper charge at each other, with Big Nipper getting the immediate advantage, breaking off a piece of Razer's self-righting wings. But from here the fight is all Razer. As Razer has done so many times before, through excellent driving Razer gets to the side of Big Nipper and plunge the crusher deep within the innards of the lifting machine. Razer never lets up on Big Nipper; even when it lets go, it's just so that Razer can get a better position.
Razer, with its claw plunged deep within Big Nipper, lifts up the machine and drags it over the flame pit, hoping to burn out its electronics. Razer lets Big Nipper go, because (I'm pretty sure). at this point in time, you could only pin your opponent for 30 seconds before you needed to let them go. Big Nipper charges Razer with its lifting claws in the air, hoping to block the crushing claw of Razer and push it around, but Razer's claw is just so well designed that it can get into and buckle even the smallest opening in a robot. Razer pushes Big Nipper into the angle grinder, causing sparks to fly (I don't really know what else the angle grinder does, lol). Big Nipper continues to try desperately to use its lifter to block Razer, but Razer manages to get its crusher into the left front wheel hull of Big Nipper, causing it to buckle. Fully in control of the newcomer, Razer drives them into Shunt, who drives his axe into the rookie robot. Big Nipper, by this point, is fully broken down, and Razer goes through to the second round in a dominating effort!
In the second round, Razer faces off with Widow's Revenge in a matchup with some of the worst storytelling in the history of the show. Widow's Revenge was alleged to have been built by the wives and girlfriends of Team Razer, who were upset about how much time the team had spent building robots. This is nonsense! Of the three original members of the team, only Gillie Blood (now Gillie Lewis) was connected to Team Razer, being the fiancé of Ian Lewis and the sister of Vincent Blood. The other two original members, Fiona Mason and Jenny Smith, have nothing to do with team Razer. Although, onscreen, Jenny Smith was ill and was replaced by Vinnie Blood's then girlfriend Emily Cathcart, at least giving them some kind of connect This is some Robot Wars Extreme bullshit!
There's even a skit of the Widow's Revenge team calling out the Razer team with classic marital nonsense. This does nothing for this episode and is just super cringy! It doesn't help that Widow's Revenge is a really bad robot and is probably one of the three worst robots in Series 5 to win a battle! To make matters worse, the bot it beat was, sadly, personal favorite bot Sumpthing ☹. It's a dumb flat box with what looks like a pizza cutter on the front of it, and a rear mounted "rolling pin" spinner on the back. This robot would not have qualified for Series 5 if it didn't have this "storyline" the producers could use.
This fight (7:13), if you can call it one, is all Razer. Razer gets to the side of Widow's Revenge and, on the very first crush, just destroys one of the top armor panels of Widow's Revenge. They don't crush it, mind you; no, they pop it out of place and then crush it!
Razer completely destroys the top armor of Widow's Revenge in two attacks, and, at the same time, these attacks completely immobilize Widow's Revenge. Then there are like two more minutes of Razer and the House Robots destroying this stupid machine as the Widow's Revenge team holds up "anti"-Razer signs and Johnathan Pierce makes marital jokes. Mercifully, this eventually comes to an end and Razer goes through to the Heat Final.
In the Heat Final, Razer would face off against future Nickelodeon Robot Wars Tag Team Terror Champion, Rick, who was honestly very lucky to get this far. Rick actually lost its first fight to Suicidal Tendencies, and only got back into the tournament because Suicidal Tendencies broke down in the pits, allowing Rick to be reinstated into the tournament. A decent little flipper, Rick was an adequate flipper but lacked the power of the truly great flippers. In this Heat Final, Rick is an absolute underdog against the might of Razer, and this is Razer's best chance to finally make it to the Series' Semi-Final.
The fight (12:11) begins with both robots charging at each other. Rick attempts to flip, but Razer has almost zero ground clearance, so the flip doesn't work at all. Razer takes advantage of this failed attack by snagging the left side tire of Rick, plugging its beak deep into Rick's left side. Rick attempts to spin away, but Razer catches them in the right side! Razer just barely misses the tire but tears into the gap between the tire and the body.
Rick attempts to flee, but Razer pursues, getting at the back of Rick and shoving the flipper bot into the wall while driving the crushing claw into the important electronics located in Rick's back. Razer pulls off a plexiglass frame on Rick's back before getting to the front of Rick and digging into Rick's flipper. Rick gets away, but nearly makes a huge error.
Rick fires its flipper and Razer drives in under the open flipper, but can't quite plunge the claw into the exposed electronics. Rick drives into Shunt, who lays axe blows into the back of Rick as Razer goes for the flipper again. Razer drives the claw into the front side of Rick, and it's just so impressive how the crusher claw goes through metal like a knife through butter. Rick can take no more, breaking down on the flame pit as the Refbot counts it out. For the first time in its illustrious career, Razer has made it out of the heats and into the Semi-Finals.
So that was a dominating Heat even if it wasn't against particularly great opponents, which was the style of the original Robot Wars runs. Often, the top 5-6 seeds got placed in Heats full of jobber robots to ensure they'd make it to the Semi-Finals. Placed in Semi-Final 1, Razer's first Semi-Final match was against a much higher breed of competition, the prototypical Brit Flipper and ever present Semi-Finalist, Spawn Again.
In this fight (17:43), Razer has a number of advantages over Spawn Again. Spawn Again is a big robot, so there's a lot of area for Razer to crush. Spawn Again is also a pretty standard wedge flipper, which mostly relies on getting under robots, and, well, Razer has almost zero ground clearance, so it's going to be hard for Spawn Again to get under them. Finally, Spawn Again is famous for breaking down at the drop of the hat, which isn't going to bode well against a robot with damage potential of Razer! The fight begins and the two robots charge at each other, and Razer just catches Spawn Again by the flipper, and they just slice through the flipping panel of Spawn Again with their claw.
Spawn Again is helpless as Razer just slices through various parts of Spawn Again, preventing them from getting away. But, finally, Spawn Again does manage to just barely get away, only for Razer to come right back in on the attack, plunging its claw into the side of Spawn Again. Oh, and Shunt's back again, laying into Spawn Again with its axe. Man, this has to be a record for relevant House Robot moments in a What's in a Campaign? section. There's a pretty great moment where Spawn Again is stuck in the CPZ, getting attacked by Razer, Shunt, and SGT. Bash all at the same time. Spawn Again is surprisingly still mobile at this point and attempts to put some distance between itself and Razer, but, by the point, the flipper isn't working, so Spawn Again tries a classic desperation tactic. They activate the pit release button, hoping that they can get Razer into the pit. But I think they might have hit the button too hard? They slam into it, then they back up a little bit, and then they're just dead. I don't know if they actually broke down, because Razer pits them shortly after that. But I think they did? Not that it matters, because Razer moves on to the second round of the Semi-Finals with another dominant performance.
One fight away from the Grand Finals, Razer's next opponent is one of the few non-seeded robots to make the Semi-Finals in Heat 5. Who is it? It's the custom vertical flywheel, S3. So this fight, on paper, is actually pretty even, because Razer's armor isn't very strong, and it's always been weak to spinners. It just always kind of had the "luck" to never face off against a strong one, and, make no mistake, S3 is a very good spinner bot. In its Heat, S3 tore through former Semi-Finalists Plunderbird 5 and Mousetrap (the number twenty seed), with the damage to Plunderbird 5 being so severe that, after the fight, Plunderbird team captain Mike Onslow would joke he now had a clusterbot. S3 would then go on to defeat the number five seed and reigning third-place robot, Stinger, in its Heat Final. So S3 was a very formidable bot, but, on the other hand, S3 is very long and its length means there are a lot of places where Razer can get its crusher into. Plus, the blade area is fairly small, so there's a good chance Razer, with its great maneuverability and excellent driver, will be able to simply drive around the blade. That's what it's going to come down to, because S3's blade could tear Razer up, but if Razer can avoid the blade, it should be able to pierce S3 quite easily.
The fight (22:16) starts with the two robots sizing each other up. They charge at each other but Razer, who is just so well-driven, manages to avoid the blade of S3 and hit the right side of the spinner bot, pushing S3 into the CPZ. Razer drives the crushing claw into the side of S3 as goddamn Shunt, who is here again, plunges its axe into S3. It's a thing of beauty! Not only does Razer go right through S3, but then they pick them up and they're driving them around, leaving S3 unable to do anything. S3's wheels are moving furiously, but they can't even hope to get away from Razer. Finally, the motors on S3 start smoking as Razer holds them over the flame pit.
The weapon motor has burned out as S3 continues to try and fight Razer (thanks to the pin rule, Razer had to let them go). S3 can't do anything, though, and, while the fight technically goes to the judges because Razer never lands the kill shot, it's only legally a judges' decision, and the judges easily send Razer through into the Grand Finals!
Joining Razer in the Grand Final, we have:
Hypno-Disc - Making their third straight Grand Final appearance, the destructive disc of Hypno-Disc had previously finished 2nd in Series 3 and 4th in Series 4. To get here, Hypno-Disc defeated both Atomic and Bulldog Breed in its heat, damaging them so badly that both robots had to pull out of the Extreme Annihilator. In the Semi-Finals, they defeated Firestorm, avenging their first fight before landing a OHKO on Dominator 2 in their second fight. Hypno-Disc, one of the most terrifying robots in all of the wars, is looking for not only its first UK Championship, but its first tournament win of any kind!
Firestorm - This unique front-hinge flipper is making its second-ever Grand Final appearance, having finished joint third in Series 3. One of the most consistent robots in the history of Robot Wars, Firestorm got here by defeating Series 2 Champion Panic Attack, as well as Wheely Big Cheese, in the Semi-Final loser's melee. It then went on to defeat Series 4 runner up Pussycat in the Semi-Final second round fight. Firestorm, who has up until this point never failed to reach the Semi-Final (and in fact would never fail), is, like Hypno-Disc, looking for its first UK Championship.
Bigger Brother - The unseeded surprise of Series 5, Bigger Brother a very unique front arm flipper with a heavily armored body. It made the Grand Final by getting through a murderer's row of opponents. They defeated the seventeenth seeded Sprinter, the eighth seeded 3 Stegs to Heaven, and the unseeded but terrifying S3. Then their path here involved defeating Chaos 2, the number one seed and two-time reigning champion, by knockout in their second Semi-Final match. Bigger Brother is hoping to cap off perhaps the biggest Cinderella run in Robot Wars history with the UK Championship.
Now, the producers are very smart people. They looked at these four remaining robots and realized correctly that what the people really wanted was a championship match between Razer and Hypno-Disc. This is a correct conclusion. It would be the biggest dream match in the history of the show, fought for the grandest prize of them all. So, there was no way that Razer and Hypno-Disc were going to face off in the first round of the Grand Final. Planning to have these stars face off in the championship match, Hypno-Disc would be placed against Bigger Brother, and Razer would be faced with Firestorm. Razer has a definite advantage against Firestorm, because Firestorm is very flat, and, once again, they're a flipper and Razer just doesn't have very much ground clearance. So, like every time Razer faces off against a flipper, it's very hard for them to do anything to Razer.
In the Grand Final (27:21), Razer would take the advantage immediately, with Firestorm driving up the wedge of Razer, allowing Razer to plunge the claw deep within Firestorm's flipper panel. Firestorm attempts to use the flipper to push the claw of Razer out, but they just aren't lined up enough for that.
Razer crumples and buckles the insides of Firestorm, and each time Firestorm manages to escape, Razer immediately catches them again. Firestorm escapes again though, and charges at Razer. The force of this attack manages to put the flipping panel of Firestorm back into place as the two robots slam into the pit release button. Firestorm then goes on the attack, driving the length of the arena to attack the side of Razer, slamming them into the angle grinder. For a brief moment, it looks like it's happening again, that the force of this attack has caused Razer to break down. It looks like, once again, mechanical failures will cost Razer the UK Championship.
But luckily for Razer, that's not what happens; instead, they were simply stuck on the angle grinder, which the rules say cannot be the cause of your immobilization. The rules being what they are, the Refbot comes in and gets them unstuck. The two robots stare each other down and once again charge at each other. Once again, Razer gets their claw into the flipper of Firestorm, but this time they don't get Firestorm off their wheels, and Firestorm, while caught, is actually in control. Firestorm hits the gas, driving Razer forward and coming mere inches away from putting them in the pit as they instead push them into the wall. Again, Firestorm drives the length of the arena to attack Razer, and again they hit Razer head-on, letting them once again push Razer around. They come inches away from pitting Razer yet again as they push them into the CPZ.
On three different occasions during this sequence, Firestorm nearly pits Razer, but they just can't get them down there. Razer flees, trying to put some distance between themselves and Firestorm, but Firestorm, sensing blood, keeps up the attack, slamming them into the wall again. By this point, the beak of Razer is barley working, but it works just enough to capture Firestorm in its grasps. The problem is that it's not working enough to tear through Firestorm. The fight goes to the judges as Razer drives Firestorm around the arena. It's an incredibly close call, and, honestly, if this was judged on modern rules (which give the most points to aggression), I think Firestorm might have taken it. But damage is most heavily-weighted in the classic series, so, in a very close decision, the judges - I think, correctly - go for Razer, sending them into the championship round.
So it's finally time for the dream match, right? It's time for the ultimate fight between Razer and Hypno-Disc to crown not only the UK Championship but also to prove who was the better bot once and for all! Sadly no! Hypno-Disc, in one of the biggest upsets of all time and in one of the greatest fights in Robot Wars history, loses to Bigger Brother after spending the majority of the fight just battering it, even severing its flipping arm. Under a vicious assault, Bigger Brother, the most armored flipper, never breaks down, and Hypno-Disc begins to slow down under the force of its own attacks. This allows Bigger Brother to pit Hypno-Disc, defeating them in a stunning upset and bringing the unseeded machine into the championship match. After the match, in a great showing of the robot community's spirit, every team helped repair Bigger Brother for its match against Razer. Even team Hypno-Disc, who they had just beaten, helped them get ready for the championship match. The only team that didn't help was team Razer, not because they weren't sporting people, but they kind of just had their own robot to fix!
I'd love to tell you that the championship match was a brilliant, unforgettable fight, but it wasn't! I don't think really Bigger Brother could beat Razer even if it was working at 100%. Bigger Brother may be heavily armored, but that leaves a lot of area for Razer to get into, so Razer, much like actually happens in this fight, would have no problem crushing it.
As the fight begins, Bigger Brother is repaired, but it's clearly not working at max functionality. The whole fight is just Razer dominating crushing Bigger Brother's armor. Bigger Brother doesn't even successfully launch an attack! The fight goes to the judges, but it's a one-sided affair and is honestly pretty boring, which is a shame, because the rest of the Grand Final was so good. Obviously, the judges give the fight to Razer, and, just like that, Razer, after three series of hurt and grief, after years of winning everything but the big one, is the UK Champion!
Razer would continue to appear in Robot Wars after Series 5 and would continue to dominate. Appearing in Robot Wars: Extreme 1 which was filmed alongside Series 5, Razer would add both another World Championship and the All-Stars Championship to their trophy case. Then, in Series 6, Razer would finish runner-up in the UK Championship after losing a very controversial battle to Tornado. Razer would make their last classic series appearances in Robot Wars: Extreme 2, where they would pick up their 2nd All-Stars Championship before falling in the second round of the European Championship to Tornado in another very controversial fight.
Unfortunately, that last fight against Tornado would not only be the last appearance of Razer in the classic series, but it would also lead to the breakup of the team in general. You see, the judges awarded the fight to Razer, but Vinnie Blood and Simon Scott felt this was incorrect. What happened was Tornado and Razer ended up pinned together and cease was called. Vinnie Blood and Simon Scott felt this was unfair because Razer was actually immobilized and they felt that Refbot should have freed Tornado. Because of this, they voted to forfeit the victory. But Ian Lewis disagreed, and, in another unfortunate moment of his temper getting the better of him, told Vinnie Blood that his vote shouldn't count because he didn't help build Razer. Although Ian Lewis later apologized for his remark, Vinnie Blood decided not to return to the team and the team decided not to enter Series 7. Razer did enter Series 8 for some reason? But by that point a design like Razer was never going to be competitive. Armor was way stronger and the weapons were way more destructive. Razer ended up falling in the first round but they went out in the best way possible, via mutual kill with their old foes, the Pussycat team.
Razer is the most iconic, most successful robot in Robot Wars history. It says something that Razer genuinely could have won five straight UK Championships. If they had ironed out the reliability issues, they win Series 2 in a walk, and, in Series 3, they beat Chaos 2 outright in the World Championship. Series 4 is trickier because they do just get outright beaten by Pussycat, and, as, Robot Wars: Extreme showed when Pussycat again defeated Razer in their vengeance battle, that wasn't a fluke. Then, I'd argue that the judges were wrong in Series 6 and that Razer should have been the champion of Series 6. Razer truly had no equal in the classic series. Really, beginning in Series 4 and all the way up to its final appearance in Extreme 2, only two robots managed to defeat them in that time, those being Pussycat and Tornado. Every other competitor fell to them. Almost every tournament they entered they won.
Razer was in a class of its own, with the precision weapon, the unbeatable design, and the fantastic driving. The only robot outside of Pussycat that I think would have been the equal to Razer was probably Hypno-Disc. That is, unfortunately, a fight we never managed to get, but I just believe that Hypno-Disc, with its big disc, would have pretty easily beaten Razer which was always weak to discs. But we never got that fight, and, if you look at results, Razer did a lot better than Hypno-Disc. Razer is absolutely the most iconic robot in the history of UK Robot combat. If you know any robots from this era, you probably either know Hypno-Disc or you know Razer, two robots with iconic looks and iconic fights.
That's going to be it for this month's What's in a Campaign?. Join us next month when we cover another robot.
Hello, 'Shroom readers! My name is Mario jc, I'm a bureaucrat on the Super Mario Wiki, and it's a privilege that the fine folks of the 'Shroom have invited me to be a small part of the 200th issue celebration. My focus has mostly been on the wiki, so this is actually my first time writing something for the newspaper. Even so, I've always respected the amount of informative and entertaining content the writers and staff have delivered throughout the years, and it's great to see that it's still going strong after 16 years. I hope what I've tried to contribute to this milestone celebration will be almost as informative (and maybe interesting) as well.
I joined the wiki in early 2010, and, like most of you, the reason I joined was because I was a Mario fan who liked to write about the series. As a kid, I liked documenting different things about my favourite games like characters, levels, and even mini-walkthroughs in Word files (essentially a personal mini-encyclopaedia) and owned and read guides for some of those games, so both of these definitely inspired me to start editing the wiki. Since then, I've enjoyed editing in my spare time and finding things to add or improve upon as I played the games.
For this section, I'd like to share seven editing tips that have been useful to me throughout my time on the wiki and helped me improve as an editor - both ones for when I was starting out and ones I still follow - to any relatively new editors who happen to read this, and I hope they'd be helpful to you in some way, too!
- Write what you know: I sometimes get the question "What should I do on the wiki?" from users starting out, and this is usually my number-one answer: write what you know and enjoy most about the Mario series. It might seem obvious, but writing about the games you know well and the games you find the most fun really is the best way to start out on the wiki. Most of us joined because there's at least one Mario game that we hold as a favourite, so this is a chance to put your knowledge of that game to use, find articles related to that game, and see what you can add. One of my earliest experiences on the wiki was creating a bunch of articles for the microgames in WarioWare: Touched! and Smooth Moves since I loved the replay value of those games, after finding that they were lacking them despite being old games. However, there may be some games that have pretty comprehensive coverage, which leads to the next point...
- Find a gap: Every game is not going to have all of its information perfectly noted down; there's often bound to be something that's missing or can be improved upon. If there's a particular game you're familiar with like the back of your hand, chances are you might find something that the wiki doesn't know about, but you do. It can be an obscure thing or method you discovered, or just something you think no one's added yet. Find something that you can add, or see if something already there can be done better, like turning a list into a table or uploading higher-quality images. A few months into my time on the wiki, I was really into Super Paper Mario and noticed the Catch Card list didn't note down specific locations for where certain cards can be found, so I decided to fill those in. If no one's done it yet, do it yourself!
- Get the jump on the new games: If there's a game that just came out or is relatively new that you've been playing, jump in and help out with gathering information on it! Documenting all of the content of a new game like enemies and levels takes some time, even with many users working on them, so you're more likely to find something to add. This may even be a game that came out a few years ago where information on it might still be lacking, especially if it's not very popular. My favourite articles that I've created were some of the levels for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, which was two years old and missing level articles at the time, just because I loved playing through the levels and admiring the graphics, design, and music of each one. Try looking back at games from recent years and see which ones stand out to you that might be missing information.
- Look at other articles: Now you've found an article to make. You can always read help and policy pages like the Manual of Style to get started, but another effective way of familiarising yourself with the article creation process is just by looking at how other articles are written. If you're creating a level article, take a look at another level article. Look at what infobox and layout to use and what navigation templates and categories to include, understand which parts of the text are formatted differently, then replace the information with yours. You can use other articles as templates (or have an empty template on a text document handy) when creating similar articles, which is more efficient and something I do whenever I create articles in the same category. As you spend more time browsing through articles on the wiki and understanding how they work, you'll get more and more used to the writing style and start to incorporate it into your own writing.
- Look at your own articles: Since this is a wiki, other users will be able to see and edit your work. Once you've created your article, you might call it a day and leave it at that, but come back to it a day (or even a few hours) later, not just to admire your work (and rightfully so; you just published an article, so be proud of that), but also to see if any changes were made to it. Seeing what improvements other users made to your article is a good way to learn what you were missing or what you did wrong and improve upon it for next time, and shows that you're diligent enough to review your past work. This also goes for smaller edits that you've made on a variety of articles; if you get the chance, consider looking back through your recent contributions to see if anything changed.
- Keep a draft off-site: This applies to whenever you're creating a large article or making a bulky edit. The wiki text editor isn't infallible; sometimes the editing session may run out, the connection may cut off for some reason as you hit one of the three buttons, or there's an edit conflict, possibly causing the editor to reset and everything you've written to be lost when you try to go back. To avoid this, I occasionally copy and paste what I've written to a separate text editor outside of the wiki (like Notepad) and save it, or, if you don't need to preview your work on the fly, draft everything on a text editor first. (If you're writing on a Word file or Google Doc, just remember to turn off smart quotes, since those won't work with formatting that uses straight quotes.) Whenever I'm writing directly on the wiki, I always make it a habit to Ctrl+C everything I've written before I click a button, just in case; that way, if something happens, I can just quickly Ctrl+V it back.
- Do quick checks: Once you really start getting the hang of editing, you'll find that you'll be able to do things on the wiki much faster, though this also makes it easy to sometimes do them a bit rushed. Usually after I make an edit, I tend to quickly scroll down to the part I changed, check for any errors that I would have made specific to that edit, then move on. Most of the time, the mistake will stand out, like a red link or incorrect formatting. It doesn't take too much time to do a quick glance over your edit before leaving the page, and it'll quickly become routine and feel like no time at all the more you do it.
The 'Shroom Report
Hello there, 'Shroom readers, and welcome to a special edition of The 'Shroom Report, a section recording neat writer milestones! It was previously written quite a while ago by Tucayo and later Ninja Squid, so thanks to them for laying the groundwork here! I'm bucking the trend of the Statistics Manager writing this, but just because I don't have the position that doesn't mean I can't like spreadsheets and watching numbers go up. Speaking of the Statistics Manager, thanks to Meta Knight for diligently maintaining our spreadsheets, as without his work gathering this data would be prohibitively tedious and you wouldn't be reading this right now. Shoutout to Lakituthequick as well for the optimized table coding seen here and in Community Report.
So here's a quick rundown on how this will work. First-Time Writers lists everyone who wrote their first section for The 'Shroom in that period. Milestones lists writers who reached every 25 sections in a sub-team and every 50 sections overall (if multiple milestones were reached in the same area, only the most recent one is listed). Finally, Most Sections Written lists the current record holders overall. Unlike previous editions, this will cover every issue released this year from 190 to 199. The perks of being a special one-off!
|Casual Koopa (talk)||Issue 192 - It's-a Mii!|
|TheBlueCatMenace (talk)||Issue 196 - The Sunshine Travel Guide|
|RHG1951 (talk)||Issue 198 - The 'Shroom Spotlight|
|FunkyK38 (talk)||50 Critic Corner sections|
|GPM1000 (talk)||50 overall sections|
|Hooded Pitohui (talk)||25 Pipe Plaza sections|
|250 overall sections|
|Koops (talk)||25 Strategy Wing sections|
|MarioMorty (talk)||25 Fun Stuff sections|
|MCD (talk)||50 Critic Corner sections|
|Meta Knight (talk)||150 overall sections|
|Roserade (talk)||50 Fun Stuff sections|
|Shoey (talk)||50 Fake News sections|
|25 Pipe Plaza sections|
|25 Critic Corner sections|
|300 overall sections|
|Waluigi Time (talk)||100 Fake News sections|
|50 Palette Swap sections|
|25 Strategy Wing sections|
|250 overall sections|
|Yoshi876 (talk)||125 Main/Staff sections|
|Team||Writer||Number of Sections|
|Main/Staff||Henry Tucayo Clay (talk)||142|
|Fake News||MCD (talk)||146|
|Fun Stuff||Shoey (talk)||124|
|Palette Swap||FunkyK38 (talk)||189|
|Pipe Plaza||Yoshi876 (talk)||128|
|Critic Corner||Hypnotoad (talk)||170|
|Strategy Wing||Yoshi876 (talk)||115|
|Yoshi876 writing the most Strategy Wing sections makes him the only writer to currently hold the record in a sub-team that they never directed.|
The 'Shroom Recap
Hello, all of you readers of The 'Shroom, and welcome back to The 'Shroom Recap! For those of you who don't remember this section from when it ran a few years ago, here, we take a comprehensive look back on a writer's entire history with The 'Shroom. Now, you might be asking "why bring this section back now?". Well, the answer is that it's a special occasion, and I'm not talking about the big 200 milestone. With the release of this issue, we've also unveiled our overhauled archives, with a new system of presenting old issues in place that ought to make it much easier to find specific sections or writers from the past. In light of that, it seemed like a fine time to return to a section built around cracking open dusty old pages in the archives!
For this (one-off... for now) return, what better subject is there than the man who made the archives overhaul possible, current Statistics Manager and familiar face, Meta Knight (talk)? Since joining the paper in 2015, Meta Knight has worn many hats (or maybe that's many masks...), sliding into a number of staff positions. In perhaps his most prominent role of all, Meta Knight helmed the paper for two full years, bringing a quiet steadiness befitting of his fictional namesake to his term and steering The 'Shroom out of a bit of turbulence. To focus solely on his time as Director would sell short the great number of sections he has written over the years, though, so let's get into looking at the full breadth of Meta Knight's contributions!
2015 (Issue XCIV - Issue 105): Humble Beginnings
|Fun Stuff||It's aMAZEing||104-105|
While it has had periods of absence, it's strange to think about Fun Stuff without It's aMAZEing, isn't it? At least a little bit? It feels like a Fun Stuff staple, a simple, enjoyable maze to complete. Maybe that's why it's a tad surprising to realize that it only debuted in issue 104, when it was first brought to The 'Shroom as a brand-new section idea from Meta Knight! Right at the tail end of 2015, Meta Knight, a member of the Mafia Hosts Guild at that point in time, joined the Fun Stuff team with a maze patterned after a Super Leaf. He followed it up in issue 105 with an Ice Flower maze for the winter holidays, and that was that for 2015.
He may have only fit a few sections into the year, but It's aMAZEing would be a sign of things to come, an early indication of Meta Knight's penchant for coming up with brand new ideas for sections.
2016 (Issue 106 - Issue 117): A Galactic Expedition to Sub-Directorship
|Strategy Wing Director||112-117|
|Fun Stuff||It's aMAZEing||106-117|
|Critic Corner||Meta Knight's Boss Battle Reviews||107-117|
|Strategy Wing||Director's Notes||112-117|
|Galactic Expedition||112, 114, 116-117|
|Specials||Walkazo Tributes Gallery||111|
Over the course of his first full year with The 'Shroom, Meta Knight's role with The 'Shroom would expand significantly, with some of his most recognizable sections debuting as Meta Knight added Meta Knight's Boss Battle Reviews, Party Trick!, and Galactic Expedition to his repertoire of regular submissions and with Meta Knight taking on a staff position.
Amidst all the additions, though, It's aMAZEing continued on as well, appearing in all twelve of the year's issues as Meta Knight brought mazes themed after Paper Mario-style Lava Bubbles, Mr. Blizzards, a Jack o' Goomba, Wiggler, and even the Triforce (for the Zelda and Pokémon-themed issue 107). It's worth noting that the section received a bit of an upgrade in issue 109. Where all the way through 108 the solution image was provided as a link, starting in issue 109, the solution image was moved into a collapsible table so that it could be revealed without requiring readers to navigate to another page. Of particular note, not only does issue 112's maze (the Lava Bubble) feature a star as the goal, in the style of Super Mario 64, but it also has the arrow indicating the start of the maze set on fire. Issue 114's maze also does something rather unique, looking like a simple circle with a maze, but using the trail through the maze to reveal a mushroom image!
While continuing on with his mazes, Meta Knight forayed into Critic Corner, launching the fairly self-explanatory Meta Knight's Boss Battle Reviews, with a review of the battle against Red in Pokémon Gold and Silver and their remakes to match (half of) the theme in issue 107. For the rest of the year, he'd give his opinions on various boss battles on Moldorm from A Link to the Past, Cortez from The Thousand-Year Door, Baby Bowser from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, and even a monstrous version of Spider-Man's foe Doc Ock. Rather than just comment on the battles and gameplay, he usually commented on the lead-up to the bosses, focusing in on the atmosphere and the personality of the bosses and how effectively they set the stage for a memorable battle.
Shortly after Meta Knight picked up his Critic Corner section, two new staff positions opened up with the resignations of Crocodile Dippy (talk) and Stooben Rooben (talk) from Critic Corner and Strategy Wing. Meta Knight applied for the position of Strategy Wing Director with two fully fleshed-out ideas for new sections for the team, and, so, come issue 112, The 'Shroom got not only a new Team Director, but also the bi-monthly Galactic Expedition and monthly Party Trick! (don't forget the exclamation point!). The former section would see, for the rest of this year, Meta Knight walking readers through the original Metroid, getting as far as defeating Kraid to end off the year. The latter section, (co-written with Pi in issue 113 and 114) would provide some tips for assorted Mario Party minigames and board maps, highlighting notable features of the latter such as Toad's Midway Madness' spinning teacups and Clockwork Castle's unique Bowser/DK mechanics.
Meta Knight would also sprinkle a few special submissions throughout the year, including December's Robotic Rush, a guide to reaching and defeating Mega Man bosses that kicked off by featuring Blizzard Man to go with the winter season. Near the year's end, however, came a surprise. After Super Mario Bros. (talk) resigned post-issue 111, Pi stepped into the Director's chair, with Superchao (talk) coming along as his Sub-Director, but, starting with issue 115, Pi disappeared. By issue 118, Superchao officially moved up to fill Pi's absence, and he brought Meta Knight with him, making Meta Knight the Sub-Director starting in issue 117! Or, well, issue 117 is when it was made official, with Meta Knight writing the Sub-Director's notes, but you'll notice that Meta Knight is credited as Sub-Director even in issue 115, as he was already stepping up as Superchao's de facto Sub-Director. Come December, Meta Knight and Superchao would run in the Director Election, swapping their roles. Their campaign unopposed, Meta Knight would head into 2017 as the new Director of The 'Shroom!
2017 (Issue 118 - Issue 129): Taking the Helm and Winding Down Sections
|Strategy Wing Director||118-129|
|Fun Stuff||It's aMAZEing||118-124|
|KenKen||126 & 128|
|Pipe Plaza||Poll Committee Discussion||129|
|Critic Corner||Meta Knight's Boss Battle Reviews||118-124|
|Strategy Wing||Director's Notes||118-129|
|Galactic Expedition||118, 120, 122, 125-126, & 128-129|
|Party Trick!||118-123, 125-126, 128-129|
|Specials||Counting 120 Green Stars||120|
|Meta Knight's Awards Reflections||126|
|Community Awards X||126|
This year would get off to a busy start for Meta Knight as he balanced his work as Director with continuing his four regular sections. Over the course of the year, he'd make seven more mazes for It's aMAZEing, including a heart from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! for Valentine's Day in February's issue 119, Bowser adorned with glasses (requested by Anton, with Meta Knight opening requests in issue 120) in issue 122, and Wario's fist for the Wario-themed issue 123. Meta Knight finished off his run of the section in issue 124 with a basketball, citing a lack of time for the section as his reason for resigning.
Likewise, after covering a suite of Mario bosses ranging from the Koopa Bros. (119) to Bouldergeist (121) to Wario (123), Meta Knight would bring his boss battle reviews to an end in issue 124 due to a lack of time, finishing off with a review of fan-favorite boss, Dark Bowser from Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.
That other Meta Knight staple, Party Trick!, would miss a couple issues during the year, but would continue on through to the very end of the year. Though Pi-less, it picked up a one-off co-writer in the form of GBA (talk) in issue 123, honoring the issue's Wario theme by having GBA cover Gold Digger and Global Warning from the WarioWare series while Meta Knight covered Wario's Battle Canyon from the original Mario Party. While no other editions of the section would dip into WarioWare, Meta Knight covered plenty of Mario Party throughout the year, even dipping into various requests as he went over Deep Bloober Sea, Castaway Bay, and Shy Guy's Jungle Jam. Issue 129 came along, themed around a farewell to Nintendo's ill-fated Wii U, and Meta Knight covered the Bowser Minigames from the Wii U title Mario Party 10. There wasn't any indication this would be the last edition of Party Trick!, and, in fact, the edition ended with an appeal for requests. Despite this, issue 129 marked the end of Meta Knight's run with the section... a strangely fitting quiet end, considering the Wii U's similar fate.
In contrast to the other three long-running sections. Galactic Expedition carried on through all of 2017, with a total of seven issues through the year. Mother Brain went down in defeat and the Metroid walkthrough ended in issue 118, but Meta Knight continued on and started a walkthrough of Metroid II: Return of Samus in issue 120, taking a brief pause in issue 122 to explain some of the game's features before picking up with the walkthrough in issue 124. By the end of the year, only twenty-two Metroids remained and Meta Knight was finishing off area three of the game!
Over the course of the year, Meta Knight dabbled in a few other sections, analyzing polls on the then-recently-released Super Mario Odyssey and the news that Nintendo was collaborating with Illumination (my, where does the time go) in Pipe Plaza, detailing the location of every single Green Star in Super Mario Galaxy 2, and trying out a fun, new (to The 'Shroom) numbers-and-math puzzle in his KenKen section in Fun Stuff. I'd be remiss not to mention the quality of his Directorship, too. After a somewhat turbulent 2016, Meta Knight stayed in his role as Director for the entire year, tempering the "bigger and bigger" drive that had taken root after issue 100 and specifically aiming for a more relaxed year. He opted to stick with only two special issues for the year, the summer and holiday specials, to help ease some of the pressure on the staff and writers, while also suggesting that some issues (like issue 120) could be lightly themed without being turned into full-on specials. With the Wario-themed issue 123 and the Wii U celebrated in issue 129, Meta Knight delivered on his promise of relaxing things without compromising the quality of the paper!
2018 (Issue 130 - Issue 141): A Quiet Second Year
|Strategy Wing Director||130-138|
|Critic Corner||Critic Corner Reviews 2017||130|
|Strategy Wing||Director's Notes||130-133 & 135-138|
|Galactic Expedition||132 & 136|
|Card Games on Pokéballs||133|
|Specials||Community Awards Dossier||135|
|Community Awards XI||138|
With a year of experience under his belt and fewer sections to juggle going into the new year, one would expect a quiet 2018 for Meta Knight, and, indeed, that is mostly what he had. The year did begin with an unusual experience, though - the race against DraggadonYoshi! Right at the end of 2017, bleeding into the start of 2018, Meta Knight and Superchao again ran in the Director election, but, this time around, they had an opponent! A user by the name of DraggadonYoshi, who had no previous experience with The 'Shroom, entered the race, leading to an election and debate with some peculiar moments. I won't go into much detail, but I will say that the debate led to the jocular tradition of asking every Director and Sub-Director candidate about baked goods and how they would prepare them, and also that, ultimately, Meta Knight won by a landslide.
After that rambunctious election, the year did settle down, with Meta Knight staying the course and keeping the relaxed pace of the previous year, focusing on gradual improvement to the paper, like scaling up the paper's text in issue 132 to improve readability. Just like in the previous year, Meta Knight stuck to a schedule of a summer special and a winter special, producing the Luigi-themed issue 135 and the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate-themed issue 141. That's not to say that this year brought no changes, though! Right at the start of the year, Meta Knight brought on TPG (talk) as a new Pipe Plaza Director, brought Ninja Squid (talk) (then known as LudwigVon) on as Statistics Manager, and created the Website Manager position for Lakiuthequick (talk), and I think it's safe to say those decisions really laid the groundwork for future growth and improvement!
Speaking of changes, the year brought some changes to Strategy Wing, too, with two editions of Galactic Expedition to close out Meta Knight's playthrough of Metroid II. With issue 136, Meta Knight closed the book on his Strategy Wing section, and, soon after that, Meta Knight soon closed the book on his time directing Strategy Wing, stepping down after issue 138 released. I hear he was quite a helpful fellow in getting his successor settled into the position, which ought to be acknowledged, but, well, if you're reading this section, you probably don't know about that guy...
While not tackling as many as in previous years, Meta Knight wrote and contributed to a few specials throughout 2018, though, being one of the users to submit his feelings on the previous year to Critic Corner Reviews 2017, assisting Geeky in reviewing three episodes from across the DIC Mario cartoons in G. TV, putting together the Community Awards Dossier, and offering up a lesson in the basics of the Pokémon Trading Card Game in a special Strategy Wing one-off called Card Games on Pokéballs.
Overall, it was a steady, productive year for Meta Knight. Looking at his sections, though, it's not hard to see that he was (very understandbly) winding down his committments and stepping back. A few months after stepping down as Strategy Wing Director, Meta Knight announced he would not be running for Director again for the 2019 term, stepping aside for new candidates. With no staff positions, and no ongoing sections, 2019 was, at the time, looking to be an even quieter year for Meta Knight as Raregold took up the Directorship for the coming year.
2019 (Issue 142 - Issue 153): Transition to Retirement
|Strategy Wing||Meta Knight's Dream Land Journal||144-145, 147, & 150|
Meta Knight's first year post-Directorship would bring but one surprise. After finishing out his term and helping to get Raregold and Geeky settled in as the new Directing Staff duo in issue 142, Meta Knight took an issue off altogether before making a return to Strategy Wing! In Meta Knight's Dream Land Journal, Meta Knight assumed the persona of his namesake Kirby character and took readers through his adventures in... well... Dream Land. Issue 144 and issue 145 featured him uncovering all of the switches in Kirby's Adventure, while issue 147 and the finale in issue 150 documented his quest to assist Kirby by locating all nineteen of the Copy Essense Deluxes in the Milky Way Wishes mode of Kirby Super Star.
Unfortunately, that would be Meta Knight's last section for quite some time to come. For the rest of 2019, all of 2020, and all of 2021, Meta Knight was fully retired from The 'Shroom. That wouldn't be the last the paper would see of him, though! No, much like his namesake, watching over Kirby and Popstar, Meta Knight would wait in parts unknown, swooping in with sword in hand when the paper needed him again in 2022!
2022 (Issue 178 - Issue 189): Returning as Statistics Manager
|Staff Position||Statistics Manager||186-189|
|Specials||Thank You, Ninja Squid||189|
In August of 2022, in the Staff Notes of issue 185, 'Shroom Director and long-time Statistics Manager Ninja Squid announced he would be stepping down as Director and retiring from the community altogether. While Sub-Director Waluigi Time slid into the Director Seat, and Roserade once again became Sub-Director, applications were opened up for the now-vacant Statistics Manager position. After reviewing the applicants, ultimately, Meta Knight, returning from his long break, was chosen for the position! He had to get started quickly, though, with the End-of-the-Year Awards right on the horizon. He also took some time to contribute to the tribute and farewell to his predecessor (who he appointed while Director, no less!).
All the while, he was already hard at work cleaning up and improving The 'Shroom's spreadsheets and taking applications (in fact, he took five between coming on and the year ending) courteously, with an eye towards helping potential writers. His return would lead into an even busier 2023, especially with issue 200 looming on the horizon.
2023 (Issue 190 - Issue 200): New Sections Abound
|Staff Position||Statistics Manager||190-200|
|Staff||Issue 200: Open Call||191|
|Issue 200: Open Reminder||197|
|Fake News||News Flush||200|
|Fun Stuff||Logic Puzzle||200|
|Palette Swap||Meta's Poem||190-200|
|Pipe Plaza||An Overview of Triangles||200|
|Critic Corner||Sonic Origin Rankings||200|
|Strategy Wing||Galactic Expedition||200|
|Specials||So, You've Summoned a Persona||200|
As Statistics Manager in a year with a milestone as big as issue 200, Meta Knight had quite a bit of work to do over the course of 2023, pitching in to send out reminders for issue 200, keeping tabs on applications for issue 200, suggesting a number of ideas, putting out special staff sections to encourage readers to submit, compiling data on the Section of the Month winners over the last one-hundred issues, and more, all on top of his regular duties as Statistics Manager. Yet, through it all, he not only made time to overhaul the archives, but also to write a number of special sections for the big milestone and to keep up with a new regular section!
Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, though. At the year's outset, Meta Knight started a new section in Palette Swap, with Meta's Poem being his first regular section in over three years. It has a simple premise; Meta Knight presents a poem he has written and offers some authorial commentary on it, but the poems, as poems are wont to do, have good depth to them, enhanced by his commentary.
In addition to this poetry, Meta Knight prepared a host of special sections for issue 200, from a puzzle in which you use your logical skill to help Bowser sort out his minions in Fun Stuff to the grand return (as a volunteer section) of his signature classic, Galactic Expedition. Perhaps like Samus herself, Galactic Expedition has some mixed DNA, seeing as how its new focus on boss battles vaguely calls to mind that other Meta Knight classic, Meta Knight's Boss Battle Reviews. On top of all of this, though, in So, You've Summoned a Persona, well... actually, I think it's best if you see that one for yourself without any hint, but, suffice to say, it's a very high-effort spectacle!
With that, we have covered everything Meta Knight has done in The 'Shroom! Or, well, rather, we've covered everything for now. The year isn't over, and he's still Statistics Manager, so there's every reason to believe he'll keep adding on to his list of accomplishments for the foreseeable future. Now that we've unmasked this masked warrior and seen his 'Shroom-y history, give him a shout out when you see him around, and be sure to give him your hearty thanks for his work on the archives and on issue 200!
Forgotten Stars of a Golden Age
Hello and welcome to the first-ever Forgotten Stars of a Golden Age, a brand new bi-monthly section all about, well, forgotten characters from the Golden Age of Animation. The Golden Age of Animation, for those of you who don't know, refers to a period generally agreed to start in 1928, when sound cartoons first started to become feasible. It refers to an era before television, during which cartoons were featured in movie theaters as things that were shown before movies. Many of the most iconic animated characters and the most famous cartoon companies got their start making pre-movie animation during this time, such as Disney, Warner Bros., and Looney Tunes, but these now-famous studios weren't the only studios making cartoons at this time. There were a number of other studios making cartoons, each with their own style and stars. There was Pat Sullivan with Felix the Cat and his magic bag. There was Fleischer Studios with such stars as Popeye the Sailor Man and Betty Boop. There was even Terrytoons with the super-strong Mighty Mouse. This era produced dozens of famous and iconic characters who would go on to be in entertainment and popular culture for decades to come, but, for every character that would catch on, there were many that did not catch on. For every Donald Duck, there was a Flip the Frog. That's what this section is going to look at. I'm going to be looking at various characters from this age that have been forgotten over time, starting with a three-part special on probably the second biggest company of the era, Looney Tunes, and their quest for a star.
When you think of the first Looney Tunes character, who do you think of? Do you think of stars such as the stuttering, straight pig Porky Pig? Do you think of the egotistical screwball Daffy Duck? Or do you think of Looney Tunes' most famous character, the carrot-munching trickster Bugs Bunny? You probably do, since those are some of the most well-known characters in the Looney Tunes roster. While these are some of the earliest and most well-known stars of the Looney Tunes roster, did you know that the Looney Tunes brand actually predates every single one of those characters? Of those three, the earliest to appear is Porky Pig, first appearing in the 1935 cartoon I Haven't Got a Hat, but Looney Tunes started in 1930, with its first character (and the subject of this section) "Bosko The Talk-Ink Kid" who starred in the very first Looney Tunes cartoon, Sinkin' in the Bathtub.
Created by former Disney employes Rudolf Ising and Hugh Harman, Bosko first appeared in an interesting pitch reel titled Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid, which was a mixture of animation and live action. In this reel, character co-creator Rudolf Ising finds himself bothered and harassed by his new drawing, a character named Bosko, who is a young African-American man… or was he an inkspot? The answer to that is somewhat unclear, but we'll get into that later! This first cartoon was one of the most important cartoons in animation history, because it was the first cartoon to prominently feature synchronized speech.
The cartoon itself is nothing special by today's standards. It's all about Bosko attempting to entertain the audience through a variety of songs and dances, until, eventually, he has annoyed Rudolf so much with his horrible singing that Rudolf sucks him back into his pen. This pitch, while never played in theaters (and which was in fact considered lost for decades), sufficiently impressed Leon Schlesinger, a relative of the Warner Brothers who worked as a producer under his family. He signed Hugh and Rudolf to make cartoons for Warner Brothers. Sticking with Bosko a follow up cartoon was commissioned, this one to be played in theaters. This would be the very first Looney Tunes cartoon, Sinkin in the Bathtub.
Released in April of 1930, Sinkin' in the Bathtub would introduce most of the elements that would persist in Bosko cartoons. Bosko's own Minnie Mouse, Honey, is introduced as Bosko's recurring girlfriend. An irritable unnamed goat appears in a brief gag, eating the flowers Bosko has brought for Honey, only for Bosko to respond by kicking the goat in the butt and sending the goat on his way. This goat would go on to appear in a few of the early shorts, acting as an adversary for Bosko. The plot (if you can call it one) is very simple. Bosko wakes up, gets ready for a date with Honey, then goes on the date with Honey.
Along the way, a number of gags happen, all of them music-based because Bosko lives in a world of music. Everything in Bosko's world can be played like an instrument, so almost all the gags are centered around music. There are a number of classic cartoon gags in this cartoon, such as the character splitting into multiple little versions of themselves or being able to stretch things that can't be stretched. There's a lot of what would become pretty standard music-based gags, such as playing something, like a deck, like a piano. There's a nice little sequence where Honey, to drown out Bosko's terrible horn playing, pours her bath water into the horn. This causes bubbles to rise up which Honey then dances off of to get to Bosko. Throughout the cartoon, various instrumental versions of "Tiptoe Through the Window" are played by the characters. This is something that would be in every Bosko cartoon. Since they had access to Warner Bros. music library and equipment, they were able to incorporate better music and more well-known songs into their cartoons, as opposed to Disney, who, at the time, didn't have access to a vast music library. The cartoon ends on a pretty slapstick-heavy set-up. Bosko and Honey end up plunging off a cliff after Bosko falls out of the car. They land in a pond where Bosko plays some lilypads like an instrument, then the cartoon ends with them singing and hugging. After the cartoon, Bosko does the first of what would be one of Looney Tunes' most famous bits, the "That's all folks!" ending.
The cartoon was a hit and, for and for the next three years, Bosko would be the star of Looney Tunes, going on to star in thirty-eight more cartoons for Warner Bros. Later cartoons would add Bruno the dog, who basically served as Bosko's Pluto, as well as Wilbur, Honey's pet kitten who would serve as an annoyance to Bosko in a number of strips and is the closest thing to an recurring antagonist. All of these cartoons follow the formula from the first cartoon. They almost all have very weak, bordering on no-plot, storylines while focusing on a mixture of slapstick and music-based gags using popular songs of the era. One notable exception to this is 1931's Bosko the Doughboy, which, while still a music-based cartoon, has a plot based around Bosko trying to survive the trenches of WWI. Bosko the Doughboy is probably the best of what I saw of the Bosko cartoons, because at least something happens.
A lot of these, like Hold Anything or The Booze Hands High, I would honestly say nothing happens in them. There is no plot; it's just a series of gags happening as Bosko just kind of does whatever he's doing. So, from a modern perspective, these cartoons are very difficult to watch, because they're honestly pretty boring. I was planning on watching every Bosko cartoon for this, and I just couldn't because they're so boring. I think I watched ten, and, while they can be mildly interesting, you're just not going to get a lot out of them unless you really appreciate old-style cartoons. Even then, there are quite frankly better cartoons out there.
It doesn't help that Bosko really isn't a character. He's essentially a classical everyman in these cartoons. He's got a generic, upbeat, and cheerful personality, and he can be plugged into any situation. The problem is that Bosko doesn't have an adversary; he's almost never fighting against something. It's not like Mickey or Felix the Cat, where you have these kind of everyman cartoon where, say, Mickey goes on a date with Minnie Mouse but where there are also cartoons where, like, Pete kidnaps Minnie so there are some sort of stakes. Instead, it's all just Bosko doing whatever job the cartoon calls for. As an example, in Bosko's Store, Bosko owns a store, big surprise. But that's it! There's no plot, and there are no stakes. It's just Bosko running a store and along the way gags happen. A lot of these cartoons, since they don't have conflict, kind of just end, and you're sitting there going "huh, that did just happen, I guess".
Despite this, Bosko was, for a time, really popular and was a genuine rival to Mickey Mouse. I mean, there's a reason that they made thirty-seven cartoons using him. Unfortunately, by the end, whatever rivalry there was between Bosko and Mickey Mouse became as one-sided as the rivalry between Bonk and Mario. The problem, in my opinion, is that a lot of the early advantages that Bosko held, such as the access to better sound equipment and more popular music, became less relevant as animation progressed. Bosko never evolves under the Looney Tunes umbrella even through his final cartoon, Bosko's Picture Show.
It's still basically an animated music video, and I think by that point, the people just weren't as into that as they were three years ago. Cartoons had honestly gotten past the point where you could wow people with gags like "WHOAA WEEE, THAT GUY'S PLAYING A SHOWER STREAM LIKE A HARP!". I don't think the public was really interested in that kind of cartoon, because to be honest, they'd already seen it. When Bosko first came on the scene, that style was novel and exciting, but it had been three years with no development. The bloom, as they say, was quite simply off the rose. Bosko was still popular; it was just a diminished popularity.
Not helping matters was the fact that Leon Schlesinger was notoriously cheap, and Hugh and Rudolf were making cartoons on a far smaller budget than their rivals. They had a budget of only $6,000 per cartoon, as opposed to Walt Disney's $10,000 a cartoon. Fed up with the lack of financial resources, Hugh and Rudolf would end their relationship with Leon Schlesinger and Warner Bros. in 1933. Now, here's the thing. Hugh and Rudolf had worked with Walt Disney on the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons and saw firsthand what not having the copyright on your character could do. Walt Disney, who had left to make his own studio, found he couldn't make Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons anymore because he didn't have the copyright on it. So, Hugh and Rudolf, being the smart men they were, actually owned the copyright on Bosko. They, when they left Warner Bros., were able to take Bosko with them, and take him they did! Down to rival studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) they took him, where Bosko was set to be the centerpiece of MGM's new cartoon brand, Happy Harmonies.
Under the Happy Harmonies umbrella, Hugh and Rudolf would release nine cartoons staring Bosko. The first two, Bosko's Parlor Tricks and Hey Hey Fever, are pretty much the same as the Looney Tunes Bosko cartoons. While they feature better animation and they're now in color, they suffer from having little plot and weak gags centered around music. After Hey Hey Fever, Bosko, along with Honey, would be given a drastic redesign. Instead of being the vaguely African-American inkspot Bosko was originally, Bosko has now been redesigned into a realistic African-American child.
This is a very strange redesign, because, like, they're almost different characters. But they kept the names and even Bosko's dog Bruno would make appearances, so I assume they're supposed to be the same character. Wilbur the cat would be dropped, though, much to the disappointment of the truly dozens of people who cared. I don't really know why you'd go with such an extreme redesign. Like, Bosko was still a name with recognition! There's a reason MGM wanted him as kind of the centerpiece character for their series, so I don't see why you'd want to give him a redesign that basically makes a separate character.
This redesigned Bosko would star in only seven cartoons. The first four are pretty "meh". They're slow-paced and they don't have particularly strong gags. It's really just two kids and their dog hanging out and getting into "mischief." There's still a musical element to the cartoons, but it's nowhere near the focus that it was in the Looney Tunes cartoons. I don't know if these first four shorts are better than the Looney Tunes cartoons? They look better, true; the animation is nicer and they're in color. In terms of the cartoons themselves, though, they're just boring. They have very simple gags and very little plot, and, even though there are only four, it was kind of a slog to get through them.
The final three cartoons, I think, are the strongest in the entire Bosko lineup. Now under the branding of Little Ol' Bosko, these three cartoons drop Honey and Bruno and focus solely on Bosko. Bosko, still in his African-American child design, is for the first time given a genuine characterization, now being a boy with an overactive imagination. It's weird, though, because it's the exact same plot in each cartoon. Each cartoon opens with Bosko being given a bag of cookies by his Mammy and being told to bring them to his grandmother.
Each cartoon has Bosko imagine he is on a grand adventure, defending the cookies from musical, cookie-loving giant frogs taking various guises. Each cartoon has Bosko sing the same song at the beginning:
Straight to grandma's here I go. / Take the cookies to her front door.
Music and dancing returns to the forefront of these cartoons and serve, along with the repeating plot, as the focal point of the cartoons. In addition to the song Bosko sings as the start of each cartoon, the leader of the frogs sings a refrain that appears in every cartoon.
We can't have no Grandma's cookies today! No Grandma's cookies so the little man say!
While these cartoons all share the same basic plot, I think they're easily the best of the Bosko series. They're vividly animated and they have the strongest character work in the series. I also think the musical elements work the best here, because the song they're singing is directly connected to the plot. It's the frogs singing and dancing about taking the cookies while Bosko sings and dances about how they can't have the cookies. All the elements just work the best put together like this and make for some pretty creative little cartoons. I actually liked rewatching them, unlike all the other Bosko cartoons I watched for research purposes, so there's that!
Unfortunately for Bosko, these cartoons did not do well, and Bosko's theatrical career would end in 1938 following the release of Little Ol' Bosko In Bagdad. While that would pretty much end Bosko's active career, he would still be a fixture of television being packaged with other Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons until the early 90s. In 1992, when Nickelodeon had the rights to air Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, the packages were updated and the black-and-white shorts were removed from circulation in order to air more cartoons starring more popular cartoons. Despite being removed from being actively aired, Bosko managed to have a little bit of a resurgence in the 90s, being featured on both Tiny Toons Adventures and Animaniacs.
Bosko and Honey both appear as central characters in the Tiny Toons Adventures episode Fields of Honey, where they were reimagined as dogs because their original designs could be considered offensive (more on that in a second). Which, I don't know, to me personally that sounds more racist then if they just kept their designs. His final appearance would be in the Animaniacs episode The Girl With the Googily Goop, where he makes a cameo parking his car.
So with Bosko's career now complete, we can finally get to the real questions! Is Bosko a racist character? The answer? Yes, but no, but yes! So, first, what Bosko is supposed to be, let's talk about that. It's not a debate, because that would imply people care, but, according to Hugh and Rudolf, Bosko wasn't necessarily supposed to be African-American, instead being more of a ink creature. But that's not true though! Bosko is literally copyrighted as a "Negro Boy," and Hugh and Rudolf also said he was supposed to be an animated Al Jolson from The Jazz Singer. Also, when he gets redesigned, it's as an African-American child, so, yes Bosko, despite some revisionism by his creators, is in fact an African-American.
But whether or not he's a racist character, that's a little different. In his first two cartoons, he's, objectively speaking, a racist character. He talks in the stereotypical stuttering, broken-English-style southern "negro" dialect that was popular with blackface vaudeville performers. But, after that, not really. His voice is changed to a more high-pitched voice that resembles Mickey Mouse's, and they drop the original Al Jolson/blackface vaudeville character for more of a Mickey Mouse-style everyman. The fact that he's African American isn't used for gags, outside of only a few times, like in Bosko the Doughboy, where they do both a blackface and a mammy gag, or one really unfortunate "gag" in his third cartoon, Congo Jazz, where he lines up with a monkey and gorilla and they all look identical, only being differentiated by their heights. Outside of that, they never really delved into negative stereotypes about African-Americans. Even when he gets redesigned and there is a little more racism to it, with him now having a Mammy and speaking in a more broken dialect, I think there's nuance to it. I think there are racist elements to Bosko, but if you compare it to the standards of the time, it's probably one of, if not the, least racist portrayals of African-Americans in the 30s. He doesn't play dice, he doesn't chase women, and he doesn't eat watermelon. Instead, he's mostly portrayed as either an everyman or a child who just so happens to be African-American. Like I said, the answer is complicated, because there are definitely racist elements to Bosko, but, if I compare it to the times, it's probably the most positive portrayal of African Americans from the period.
Bosko today is mostly forgotten, which makes sense. His cartoons weren't the strongest, and viewed through a modern lens they're pretty boring. Plus, with that design and the racist elements of the character, it would be very hard to bring him back today, not that I think they would, because Bosko, like his successor Buddy, is just kind of a boring character. There's no real reason to use Bosko in anything, because the fact is that we have better, more recognizable characters. But of the forgotten early cartoon characters, Bosko is probably one of the most well-known for one simple reason, and that is his place in the history of a famous brand. He is, in fact, the original Looney Tunes character, so you can't tell the story of the second-most well-known cartoon brand without him. So he always has that eternal connection that later forgotten stars like Buddy or Goopy Gear lack. Because of this, Bosko cartoons are frequently released on DVD collections, with Bosko himself even appearing on the cover of the Golden Collection Volume 6 alongside a number of major Looney Tunes stars. So, yeah, while Bosko is forgotten by all but dedicated Golden Era Cartoon fans, because he's the first Looney Tunes character, he has a little bit of recognition that future forgotten stars will never be able to match.
An Overview of Triangles
This is going to be a controversial piece, so I fully anticipate a majority of people will skip this. If you're brave enough to read on, then in this segment we're going to talk about triangles. There are so many interesting applications regarding the properties of triangles whether you realize it or not, and they appear everywhere. So much so that the field of Trigonometry comes from a Greek phrase that translates to "measuring triangles". A subject dreaded by high schoolers, the goal of this section is to demonstrate some concepts in such a way that you'll learn something new. If you end up finding this piece interesting, that's a bonus!
Setting the Stage
Trigonometry often deals with taking what little information you have, and expanding upon it to figure out everything else. While trig is a large branch of mathematics that studies all sorts of shapes and types of triangles, we're going to focus on right triangles specifically. Simply put, a right triangle is a triangle where one angle is 90°. As a friendly reminder, all angles in a triangle will add up to 180°, which pops up a lot when trying to figure things out. Additionally, just in case you've never seen a right triangle before (which I'm sure you have), the longest side is called the hypotenuse.
When students start off learning about Trigonometry, it isn't too long before being introduced to the main functions: sine (sin), cosine (cos), and tangent (tan). I'll emphasize that these are functions. This means that there's a formula behind each of them, so you input something to get out an output value. In these instances, you provide an angle, and the result gives you a number between -1 and 1. As far as what the output actually means, it has to do with something called the "Unit Circle". It's a bit off topic to the current discussion, but I'll give an incredibly brief explanation if you're interested. For now, when utilizing these functions, you can just use the corresponding sin, cos, and tan buttons on a calculator to figure out for instance. It is possible to calculate the values by hand if you want, but that's even more of a tangent.
Now, whenever you place a point on the circle, the radius from the origin to that point will always be 1. It's easiest to see when looking at the points (0, 1), (1, 0), (-1, 0), and (0, -1), because those are 1 coordinate point away, but the same is true everywhere. To bring this back to the trig functions: sin(x) returns the y-coordinate of this radius, cos(x) returns the x-coordinate, and tan(x) returns the slope of the radius. You can even draw in a triangle by making use of the x-axis! The following diagram shows this concept in action:
This is also why if you plot sin(x), or cos(x), the result is that you have an oscillating line that never stays outside the range of -1 and 1, because x represents an angle width, and the coordinate points stay on the circle no matter how big the angle gets.
SOH - CAH - TOA
Let's observe the following triangle, which I've labeled for you:
SOH - CAH - TOA is an acronym which maps out each trig function to a ratio between two sides on the triangle. Sine-Opposite-Hypotenuse, Cosine-Adjacent-Hypotenuse, Tangent-Opposite-Adjacent. A pneumonic if you will. The following equations can be built off of this:
Applying this to the template above, sin(θ) = BC / AC, cos(θ) = AB / AC, and tan(θ) = BC / AB. We can also figure out the missing angle if by utilizing the Angle Sum Property: 180° - 90° - θ = ∠BCA. If you wanted to apply the trig functions from that angle instead, you would need to use the appropriate trig function, then adjust which sides you use in your ratio. Luckily, there's an easy way to remember which is which: SOH-CAH-TOA!
An Actual Example
Let's take the same triangle, but instead give some values:
We will utilize SOH-CAH-TOA to set up some algebraic expressions. The goal is to find A, side B, and angle α. The last one is the easiest one to solve for, but let's solve for the sides first. We know one of them has a length of 10, so it's best to use a trig function that includes this particular side. This side is opposite the 65° angle because it's directly across. Therefore, it's best to use both sine and tangent, because both of those trig functions involve the opposite side. Following that, the ratios from SOH-CAH-TOA would be the following: sin(65°) = 10 / B, and tan(65°) = 10 / A. Simply solve for your unknown variables and you're golden!
Side A is approximately 4.6631 units, and B is approximately 11.0338 units. We'll figure out angle α by applying the Angle Sum Property: 180° - 90° - 65° = 25°. Also, I'll mention that when dealing with right triangles, since you already know that one of the angles is 90°, the other two must also add up to 90°. This means, the Angle Sum Property can be quickened with just 90° - 65°, and you'll get the same result of 25°. You could then, if you want to, use different trig functions with angle α instead. You would use cosine and tangent, because the side we know (10) is adjacent to angle α.
As you can see, the results are exactly the same, with side A at 4.6631 units, and B 11.0338. This confirms that we did everything correctly, but if you're super duper unsure, you can check with the Pythagorean Theorem:
This triangle has officially been solved! Every side and angle has been correctly identified. We took just a single angle, a lone side, and used it to compute the rest.
Real World Usages
What really is a triangle? A shape that's made up of three sides, but that also means a side of three points. You can take any three points, from anything, make a triangle out of it, and solve for it. Sometimes, you only need two points, and can create a right triangle based on that. This pops up a lot in architecture, engineering, etc. You never know when you might be in a situation where you have two points, you need to measure something, but you don't necessarily have all the pieces, or when something is too large to the point where physically measuring is just not feasible. You don't even necessarily need a right triangle to apply these concepts, because you can just make one!
No matter how big a shape you have, it can just be cut up into smaller triangles. Then those triangles can be cut up into right triangles, etc. There are advanced techniques to figure out all the information without a right triangle, and we haven't covered what to do if you aren't given an angle. Admittedly, trigonometry isn't going to help you file your taxes, nor is it something that's going to be useful to compute on the fly because no one wants nor should calculate sin/cos/tan values by hand. Personally, as I've stated, I just love the feeling of putting together pieces of information from nothing, so that's the real appeal of trig for me. If you've made it to the end of this section, I hope you learned something new, or found something interesting.
Before I sign off here, I'd like to provide a couple example problems just in case you'd like to give it a whirl yourself. Good luck and thanks for checking this lesson out!
Dogs in Nintendo Games
Dogs are considered man's best friend - and Nintendo showed it countless times over the years. We've always seen dogs over and over again in Nintendo's titles, and this is a perfect moment to get to know them all!
Isabelle is the optimistic, hard-working secretary who'll do her best to make sure you can be the best mayor of your town.
|Source:||Animal Crossing series|
Bill is a bulldog and an old friend of Fox McCloud. Also an ace pilot, commanding two squadrons stationed on the planet Katina.
|Source:||Star Fox 64|
Vince’s pooch isn’t really that important, but you’ll see him on loading screens in the Art Academy series. He is also the subject of Lesson 8 in the first game.
And lots and lots of Animal Crossing villagers, Nintendogs breeds, and Pokémon…
There's too many to cover all of them in one go...
Whew, that was quite a bunch! And we've had such different dogs too... a secretary, former baseball player, pets, a driver and a pilot! Thanks Nintendo, for the wonderful characters you've created over the decades (but please next time swap the animals with something else I am tired of dogs).
And That's the Tea: An Intro to the Loaded Tea Craze
Loaded teas. I’m sure you’ve seen these colorful drinks all over various social media. They always have fun names and come in a bunch of different flavor and color combinations. But what are they exactly, and how did they grow in popularity so quickly?
A loaded tea is basically just a fancy energy drink. At its most basic level, it consists of four ingredients: tea powder, an energy stick mix, flavoring, and water. There are other ingredients that can be added for extra benefits, but we’ll get to those later. The idea behind the drink is to give you caffeine but not a caffeine crash, like many popular energy drinks do. This is because caffeine works in different ways depending on the form in which you consume it. Energy drinks, energy stick mixes, and pre-workout are examples of synthetic caffeine, which has an immediate release and has the tendency to cause caffeine crashes. Tea and coffee are examples of natural caffeine, which has an extended release effect. Since loaded teas contain both types of caffeine, they work together to give drinkers the caffeine they want while avoiding the crash they don’t.
If you’re reading this and you live in the USA, there’s a pretty good chance you have a store in your area called “Blank” Nutrition. The “blank” can be pretty much anything the owner thinks sounds cool - some of the examples I’ve seen in my state are Top Shelf Nutrition, Switch Nutrition, Ignite Nutrition, and my own hometown’s Untamed Nutrition. The name possibilities are almost endless, but all of these stores have one thing in common: they sell protein shakes and loaded teas to the general public. Normally this would not be an issue, but there is another, much worse thing that most of these stores have in common. Almost all of them use products sold by Herbalife, one of the most notorious multi-level marketing companies in recent years. Herbalife is a company that focuses primarily on weight loss and dietary supplements, which makes it the perfect culprit behind all these nutrition shops. Many of the customers who enter these nutrition shops don’t initially know about their ties to Herbalife. Some may never find out. Some only find out after multiple trips - and by that point it’s entirely possible that they’ve become loyal customers. Some find out and they don’t have a single care about the fact - as long as they can get their shakes and teas, they don’t have an issue.
“Zange, how do these multi-level marketing companies work?” BOY AM I GLAD YOU ASKED! So, there are people who sell and promote products for the company - those are called distributors. They’re also supposed to encourage others to sign up and become distributors themselves. Once a distributor has recruited new distributors, they become an upline, and the people they’ve recruited become downlines. Distributors only make a significant amount of money once they become uplines, at which point they earn a fraction of whatever sales their downlines make. It is NOT a sustainable business model. Even if your downlines don’t back out once they realize that it’s not worth so much effort for so little money, there’s only so many people a distributor can recruit into their “tree”, so once you’re out of people to recruit then what the heck are you supposed to do??? On top of that, at least with this particular company, once you’re in as a distributor it’s very cult-like. It HAS to be Herbalife that you’re using in your daily routine, or it’s no good. VERY “my way or the highway”-type vibes happening here.
Unfortunately, even with the nastiness of the multi-level marketing company behind them, these nutrition shops still prevail. There are two reasons why I believe this to be the case. First, many of these shops have a very prevalent presence on social media. I swear just about every nutrition shop in my state has their own Facebook page promoting the drinks of the month or daily and weekly specials. Some are even starting to branch out to Instagram as well. Either way, followers are bound to see near daily posts of colorful and yummy looking drinks, and if something sticks out to them that comes across their feed, they’re more likely to go to the shop to buy that thing. The other reason - the people that work in these shops are just so darn nice!!! Genuinely, the lady that runs the nutrition shop back in my hometown is one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. The workers are just SO personable and easy to talk to that it really makes you want to keep coming back. Kudos to them for having great customer service because it really makes you want to go back and spend more money in their shops so you can talk to them more. Guilty as charged because I did that a LOT over the summer and my wallet certainly felt it…
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet about these drinks is pricing. For sake of simplicity I’m going to use prices of loaded teas at the nutrition shop in my hometown, as pricing may differ depending on who owns the store. The most basic option - a 24 oz loaded tea - will run you $6. For an extra dollar, you can upgrade to a 32 oz. The most premium option is what’s called a “fully loaded” tea. They only come in 32 oz, and come with two different boosters. These boosters include but are not limited to: two different types of beverage mix (that contain protein), collagen (promoted as a “beauty booster”), a supplement claimed to improve heart health, “hydration”, “focus”, and “immunity”. These premium drinks cost a whole $11!!!! Paying this much for a 32 oz colorful drink is highly questionable, especially considering there have been instances of some of these boosters being called into question for their purpose, primarily the heart health supplement. The bottom line is, do NOT buy these drinks from nutrition shops! Not only are they extremely expensive for what they are and what they provide, you are also supporting an MLM company.
“But Zange,” you may ask, “why are you telling us about these drinks if you don’t want us to buy them?” Well, I’m glad you asked! This is becoming more well-known across the internet by the day, but it is possible to buy similar ingredients to what the nutrition shops use in order to make your own loaded teas at home. As I said earlier, you only really need tea powder, energy stick mix, flavoring, and water.
For the tea powder, it is recommended that you buy this from Amazon or the online retailer of your choice, but the rest of these you should be able to buy in stores. Lipton is the only brand of tea powder readily available in most stores and unfortunately, that brand is not great for loaded teas because of the low caffeine content. I would encourage you, if you choose to make your own at home, to do your own research on brands of tea powder to use for loaded teas. For the energy stick mix, the most widely recommended brand is 4C Energy Rush. This is the most comparable to Herbalife’s Liftoff, which is what the nutrition shops use. Both have very similar flavor offerings (and honestly for the flavors that 4C doesn’t have, it’s very easy to make them using 4C with a little extra flavor powder), caffeine content, and B vitamins. If you can’t find these, another option is Walmart’s Great Value brand energy drink mix. Just keep in mind that if you absolutely NEED those B vitamins that the Walmart mixes don’t have those. The flavorings will absolutely be the easiest thing to find because just about EVERY grocery store and dollar store carries these. If you’ve ever seen a box of drink mix packets that says “Singles to Go!” or “On the Go!” on them, these are some of the ones you want. Walmart also has many flavors available under their own brand. Dupes for some of the boosters, like the collagen powder and protein beverage mix, also exist and can easily be found if you do your own research. Coming from someone who has made loaded teas at home for nearly a year now: the initial investment into buying ingredients can be a bit costly if you buy too much at once, but in the long run, making your own loaded teas is INFINITELY cheaper than buying them from the shops.
As you can see, I’ve made many different recipes and they’re actually quite fun to make!
I hope this has been a helpful introduction to the world of loaded teas, and if you’re intrigued by these drinks, maybe you can go on your own journey to make them at home.