The 'Shroom:Issue LXX

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Issue LXX January 19th, 2013 About

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The director's address to you about what's been going on behind-the-scenes.
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See our lucky winner for the month, as voted by you!
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The address from the incoming Directors!
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The results from last month's game.
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A series of games and fun sections for readers to participate in.
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The artistic part of the wiki, box-arts, music, comics and more!
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Find out all wiki-related events, news, and statistics.
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Reviews and opinion pieces for games, movies, books, and more.
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A trip into the newspaper's past.
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Each month interviewing one of our users.
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Strategy information for Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
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Miscellaneous information for the Mario Kart series.
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A quirky webcomic for The 'Shroom.
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Dippy talks to one of the community's most popular and well-known members.
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Scarecrow does a top ten of love songs he feels you wouldn't normally see on a top ten list.
[read more]

Director's Notes

Sorry for the briefness of this Director's Notes, but everything I have to say is mentioned in the Directorial Address. Thank you all for coming!

Please check back on February 16th, 2013 for the next issue! Thank you all for reading, and I hope this next year will be great!

Until next month,

Super Mario Bros. (talk)

Section of the Month

Section of the Month - Main Team
Month Issue Section Writer
July 2012 Issue 64 A History of Video Games Toad85 (talk)
August 2012 Issue LXV A History of Video Games Toad85 (talk)
September 2012 Issue LXVI A History of Video Games Toad85 (talk)
October 2012 Issue LXVII A History of Video Games Toad85 (talk)
November 2012 Issue LXVIII Character Comparison Post-Damage Invincibility (talk)
Mario Kart: Wheel Tips Corner Coincollector (talk)
December 2012 Issue LXIX Mario Kart: Wheel Tips Corner Coincollector (talk)

HI, everyone! I'm your still-Statistics-Manager-as-of-this-writing, Tucayo, here to bring you 2012's last Section of the Month winner! I know you are all happy in 2013, but we have to go slightly back in time to crown last month's winner.

Last month we had 16 Main Sections, which is the most we've had since we had 21 on July. We also had a rather-small voting turnout, with only 32 votes on the Main Team poll. We had an average of 53 votes in all our polls, which is not bad, but it's not as good as it could be. Anyway, let's get to the results. With 18.75% of the votes, Coincollector (talk) won his second-in-a-row SOTM and his third all-time. On last month's Mario Kart: Wheel Tips Corner, Coincollector took a different approach than usual, talking about what he would like to see in a future Wii U Mario Kart installment. And let me say this, Nintendo should definitely follow those suggestions.

Following closely, with 12.5% of the votes, we had a tie for second place. Walkazo (talk)'s A Genetic Analysis of the Koopas and Super Mario Bros. (talk)' Thank You got 4 votes each. Both were guest sections.

That's all from me, next month you will probably have someone else bore you with numbers. But, before I leave, I have to remind you to VOTE. It takes on average 2.6 seconds. Voting closes one week before the release of the February issue.

Director's Notes

Super Mario Bros.

Hello everybody, this is Super Mario Bros. (talk) here. I would like to start off by saying that I am deeply humbled and honored to be posting this victory speech up and that I have been entrusted by the community to manage and care for The 'Shroom again for a third year. This election was a very close one: up until the mere final days of the process, my good friend and my opponent Henry Tucayo Clay (talk) and I were constantly switching between first and second place, and even being tied at most points throughout the past month. I would like to thank him for all of his service to the project and for being an honorable opponent in the Director Election.

I like to say that if I were to have ever lost to anybody in the elections, I would prefer that I lose to Tucayo. He has a love and a passion for The 'Shroom perhaps like no other person that I have seen involved in the publication has expressed, and I knew that if he were to have won (which was a very likely scenario), our paper would still have been in good hands. That said, since the election was so close anyway and since he would be able to do more for The 'Shroom in a higher capacity, I would like to announce that I am naming Tucayo as my Co-director for the next year. We both will be able to work together to implement the necessary modifications to the project that will bring a great deal of progress.

The duties of the Sub-director will be assigned to Tucayo. So why not name him Sub-director instead? We decided to do this because we do not want to give the indication that he might only be carrying out those duties that were assigned to the Sub-director or that he will remain mostly behind-the-scenes— we will both be working together to make executive decisions for The 'Shroom and will be the main representatives of the paper, and would both like for there to be the distinction so that this can be recognized.

With the election past us and a brand new year ahead of us, we will start to shift gears in order to start promptly moving forward. I would like to thank all of the writers and staff members that have contributed to The 'Shroom in the past year for making it what it has been, and for providing a great framework for us to build upon for the following months. One of the first things that I should announce is our staff for the next year. Several members of our staff have returned from last year in some form or another, and others felt that it is time for them to move forward with other things in life and whatnot.

Here is our staff roster for the next year:

Name Position
Super Mario Bros. (talk) Director
Henry Tucayo Clay (talk)
RandomYoshi (talk) Statistics Manager
Smasher (talk) Activities Director
MrConcreteDonkey (talk) Fake News Director
Marshal Dan Troop (talk) Fun Stuff Director
FunkyK38 (talk) Music & Artwork Director
Paper Yoshi (talk) Pipe Plaza Director
Crocodile Dippy (talk) Critic Corner Director

The Core Staff will make serious efforts toward revamping the Archive page in order to make navigating through past issues easier. This will include redesigning the table to include more information about each issue to make identifying specific issues or sections quicker. During the process in which we will revamp the Archives page, I would also like to check every issue to find and correct any major technical mistakes that have arisen. It is important that we accomplish this, especially since we will be referring to the archived issues extensively in order to create a program to show more of the history of The 'Shroom for the purposes of allowing people to make more informed votes in the Awards.

Advertising The 'Shroom and promoting it throughout the community has helped increase awareness and interest in the paper. An official effort to advertise and attract attention will be established this year by delegating this responsibility to the Activities Director throughout the next year. Additionally, I would like to take our Subscription service and overhaul it. Firstly, I would like for the {{'Shroombox}} to undergo a redesign to make it look more appealing and to keep that as one means of subscribing and showing support for our publication. Secondly, I would like to make it possible for the readers to subscribe to receive updates about releases and events via wiki talk page, private messages on the forum, and e-mail notifications. A subscription list with the wiki, forum, and e-mail accounts to which updates must be sent will be created and maintained in Google Drive.

As suggested by Ralphfan (talk) during my first term, I would like to see the Core Staff create a Manual of Style for those who apply to be able to read to understand what we expect from applicants when they apply. Coding tips and instructions will be provided to the users so that they may format their own sections properly when they submit their application. Expectations and notices about proper spelling and grammar, a mature and intelligent vocabulary, and section length will also be displayed in said manual. I expect that this will help both applicants and the staff by displaying standards that writers know they must follow before they join our publication, and will give us a standard from which to judge applications and sections.

I will work closely with FunkyK38 (talk) (the Music & Artwork Director) to discuss innovative changes that can be applied to the team in order to foster an environment for its success and its growth. This team should be shifted in a direction that will allow those with artistic/musical talent and appreciation to have a stronger role in shaping our publication. Some things include trying to work with the artists in our community to submit works for the paper, to work with the musicians to submit pieces that they would want everybody to hear, to allow for music reviews in the team, and to work out other ideas that can help us grow the team.

There are many other improvements and projects that we intend to work on in the next year (including redesigning the Single Page, working with Userpedia and the Awards Committee to build stronger relationships with those groups, and reviving The 'Shroom Spotlight), and more news about all of these ideas and such will be brought in as they are accomplished in the coming months.

Thank you all for your support and your dedication. I look forward to making the next year one of the best for our publication.

Yours truly,

Oie SMB.png

Super Mario Bros. (talk), Co-director of The 'Shroom

Henry Tucayo Clay

HI, readers! I'm thesaurus-loving Tucayo, addressing you once again as Director of The Super Mario Wiki's 'Shroom. I did lose the election, I lost it fair and square; but SMB (most kindly) invited me to be his Co-Director. I have no words to thank him; this means a lot to me. And this is just another proof of the great co-worker and friend SMB is.

I would like to thank every single person that voted for me, your votes mean a lot to me. I especially want to thank you in this, my 200th 'Shroom section. I promise I will work hard to make you proud. And, of the persons that voted for me, I want to especially thank one: Super Mario Bros. (talk) This was our third time facing each other in an election, and I have greatly enjoyed all three of them. SMB and I met about 4 years ago, in the Proposals talk page. Our first interaction was maybe not amicable, but we both managed to look past the proposal we were discussing, and we got to know each other. And I have to say, I am really glad I friended him. A couple of months later, SMB came to me with a project that eventually became the Music & Art Sub-Team, and that's how he got his start in The 'Shroom. As of this month, I have worked for over 30 issues with him, and let me tell you, he is the most dedicated person I have ever worked with. He is very responsible, committed, kind and efficient. To put it simply, he is the best Director The 'Shroom could ask for.

That is why, I am extremely happy he invited me to co-direct with him. It will be a huge honor to work by his side, and I am sure the newsletter will greatly benefit from it. And you have seen the staff we have this year; we have the veterans with the experience and the new faces that will bring different ideas into the team. After looking at the Staff we have, I am confident this next year will be the best yet for The 'Shroom. Once again, thanks for your support, and I hope you continue reading us every month.

--Oie tucayo.gif
Henry Tucayo Clay (talk), Co-director of The 'Shroom

Scavenger Hunt

HI, scavengers! I'm your ubiquitous 'Shroom-person, Tucayo, and I am here to share with you the location of all the hidden items in our last issue. In case you don't remember, we had a Scavenger Hunt as part of our Holiday celebrations, and we would prize the user who got to us with all the locations first, so here we go!

Oh, they are telling me no one found the items... Were we that good at hiding them? Well, even if you didn't find them all, I hope you had fun searching for them, since we certainly had fun planning the event. Here are the locations of the hidden items:

  • Stocking: Ask Tucayo's image.
  • Candy cane: The tomahawk on an image from Dippy's Assassin's Creed III review. NOT Tom's mohawk, as I had originally understood.
  • Yoshi's Eggnog: Many readers asked us what this was Well, it's this, and it was hidden in the third set of Christmas lights from the right on the Scavenger Hunt article. Remember how I told you it was somewhere you wouldn't have looked at in the first place? This is an actual recipe, as seen on The Drunken Moogle.
  • Piñata: My Crossword's answers. Come on, wasn't it kinda obvious I would be the one hiding the piñata?
  • Pudding Plum: The first image on Gamefreak's Travel Guide. (One of the "meatballs")
  • Fruitcake: Floating on the second image on Gamefreak's Travel Guide.
  • Menorah: A tricky one, it was hidden on Dippy and 22's Crossword
  • Snowman: Top-left corner on MCD's News Flush.
  • Super Mario Bros. (talk): The Holiday banner on his notes. Banner courtesy of Master Crash (talk).
  • Penguin: Floating on the Music & Art page.
  • Kwanzaa-candle color themes: Probably the trickiest, since it's very likely you had to google what the colors were. The colors were cleverly hidden on the stars in the second image from TFP's review.

As always, feedback is much appreciated. Please share your thoughts on this event on the forum, so we can improve for a potential second Hunt. We hope you didn't go crazy looking for them. And if you did, psychiatrist's on us. Stay tuned for our next event, BYE!

Fake News


Hey guys, and welcome to the first Fake News of 2013! First, I'd like to congratulate whoever won the election, and thank them for keeping me in the core staff.

Next, in terms of staff changes, unfortunately, Travix Man (talk) was fired from writing the Police Blotter, after not submitting anything for three issues with no explanation. It's sad to see him go, but we've got another opening. Oh yeah, I should explain that - if you don't submit anything without good reason for three issues, you'll get fired. If you do give me a reason, I'll extend it to four, with the exception of sections that depend partially on other users (e.g. Ask Tucayo).

December's section of the month was Shop Scout by Gamefreak75 (talk), with 26 votes! Runners-up were the Travel Guide by Gamefreak75 (talk) and Ask Tucayo by Tucayo (talk).

So, that's all for my editorial. Happy new year, and keep reading the Fake News...or else.

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Written by: FakeIco PG6.png Pyro (talk)

Map of Rock-Candy Mines in New Super Mario Bros. U
Yum! Except not.

Hey everybody, it's Pyro, and welcome back to some more Travel Guide! Last time, Gamefreak visited another place much more tasty - er, interesting than mine, so I ate his place and dug deep into Rock-Candy Mines! I tried to eat it, but they don't call it Rock-Candy for nothing.

This place was a very interesting hot spot for me, as it also had the genetically modified Fuzzies I mentioned last time. They just acted stupid. The main attraction of this place is the painfully hidden Star Coins and Secret Exits. I'd go in to detail, but GameXplain is for that.

After watching their "New Super Mario Bros. U - All Rock-Candy Mines Star Coins (30!) & Secret Exits Guide & Walkthrough" video and still failing to find the coins anyways, I checked out the popular Thrilling Spine Coaster. I didn't have to wait long enough, for the only other people there were either Spike Tops or dead. It was disturbing to watch some people drown in poison water while the Spike Tops said "hah hah!".

Shortly after, I paid a visit to Screwtop Tower, which was really a screwy place. The pun was so bad, I was electrocuted by Sumo Bros. thrice. I would've gotten scorched too, but I'm invincible to fire. Well, not really. Okay fine, I got scorched five times.

New Super Mario Bros. U
You may not notice, but there's a Razzoom in there somewhere.

Next, I visited a really excited cliff. It was called "Walking Piranha Plants!". That is not a name. Anyways, I went there and was stalked by the Piranha Plants, Star Coins, corn, Ceiling Cat, Geodudes, and those creepy users who friend request me.

However, my visit was cut short by the fear of being getting fourth-degree burns in Roy's Conveyer Castle. They don't even exist and you can still get them!

So, see you next time, where I visit a painful place and wish incorrect use of the word "irony" could help me. See you next time, and don't friend request me! My talk page is strictly for MCD sending me the 'Shroom warning with the caption being incredibly witty.

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Written by: Yoshi K (talk)

Hello! Welcome back to the next edition of Gamer Guide. Hosted by yours truly, Yoshi K.

This month had a title I found a little bizarre, as it was not something the Mario series usually breaks out with.

General Info: Name: Baby Mario and Luigi: Journey Through Space Console: 3DS

First of all, to pull off moves, you need Gravity Points (GP), you also have to use GP to move! Luckily, you can get coins, and trade your coins for GP.

The bosses were eh,... weird. The bosses that come before the final one are way too easy, but just when you think you can kinda lay back, the ridiculously hard final boss, Constellia, attacks you with who-knows-what.

The plot was the worst part, it was just kind of, Oh-my-god-Constellia-is-attacking-the-Mushroom-Kingdom-Mario-must-save-it-and-stop-Constellia. Uh, OK? Barely any of the bosses are even aligned with Constellia!

Why did I choose this game to review? To show you that not every game is picture-perfect. This gets a 6/10, not exactly a hot buy.

Font SportReport.png

Written by: McZaky29 (talk)

Happy 2013, sports fans! With the new year, new stories come over the horizon, like the following.

With the lockout ending, hockey was once again in full swing. An 4-on-4 exhibition game was held for celebratory measures. The game took place between a team consisting of a Hammer Bro, Ice Bro, Boomerang Bro, and Sledge Bro. A Fire Bro intended to play, but was cut for unknown reasons. The team was dubbed the “Bro Team”. Real original, eh? The opposing team was a group of Shy Guys, the team consisting of a red, yellow, green and purple one. The Masked Marauders, as they called themselves, won the opening face-off. Yellow Shy Guy skated through defenders, and was wide open for a shot. However, his accuracy was crappy less than ideal, missing the net by a good three feet to the left. The puck was recovered by Ice Bro of the Bro Team, and passed down deep into the Marauders’ territory. However, there’s this thing in hockey called “icing” that was called on the Bro Team. Thus, the Marauders got to start inside Bro Team territory. Unfortunately, the opportunity was wasted because Yellow Shy Guy took his second shot of the game. The shot went at such a high speed that it shattered the glass and hit a spectator. The spectator was hospitalized immediately. Back on topic now, the game was like this for the remaining 14 minutes of the 1st period. Yellow Shy Guy took another shot, this time more accurate – it came within 3 feet of the goal. Said player was benched and replaced with a Blue Shy Guy. The game was scoreless at the first intermission.

The second period of hockey action started much like the first period – quiet, scoreless. Hammer Bro finally was able to score a goal for his team, the goal coming from the left side of the rink with 13:37 to go in the second period. The rest of the period was pretty quiet, except for at one point with around 9 minutes in the period. Blue Shy Guy hit Ice Bro in the face with a shot that would have made it in had it not been for Ice Bro. Blue Shy Guy was strangled by Ice Bro, resulting in a power play for the Masked Marauders – 5 minute major for fighting was issued to the Bro Team. With one hundredth of a second remaining on the power play, Green Shy Guy tied the game at one with a very fast shot. The score remained the same throughout the second period.

Period number three started with the score at 1-1. No one knew what the Bro Team changed, but it worked. Within the first ten seconds of the period, Boomerang Bro scored a go-ahead goal. It was no more than two minutes later when Ice Bro put up a goal. With 18 minutes in regulation, the tally was 3-1 Bro Team. The only upside for the Shy Guys in the first half of the third period was that they only allowed 5 goals. Trying to stay optimistic, the team captain stated “at least we didn’t give up 6”. A timeout was called by the Marauders. The timeout apparently did not help, as the Bro Team managed to put up 4 more goals. If its any consolation for the Marauders, they did score a goal – not that it helped. The final score was 10-2. Boomerang Bro of the Bro Team ended out being MVP, with 5 goals. Ice Bro was the only one of the Bro Team except the goalie (Sledge Bro) that didn’t have a hat trick (3 goals, for those who don’t know), with only 2 goals. The other 3 came from Hammer Bro. That’s all I have for this month. See you next time! McZaky29, over and out.

Font AskTucayo.png

Written by: FakeIco Tcy.png Tucayo (talk)

HI, readers! I am your always-ethical whatever-my-rank-is-now, Tucayo, and welcome to Ask Tucayo! I hope everyone had fun during the holidays. And just a reminder to you all, if you forgot to send me my Christmas gift, there's still time to do so. I'll pretend it was under the tree the whole time and I just hadn't noticed it. But I don't get paid to ramble on with stuff you don't care about, so let's get to this month's questions.

Going with the festive mood, Bowser45 asks:

Mr.Jerky Tucky.
Do You do New Years Resolutions?If so what kind have you done?
Hello there. I will probably sound like the New Year's Grinch or something, but I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions. If you want to become a better person, just do so, don't wait until an arbitrary date comes around to change. I do have personal resolutions, but I make them whenever I feel I need to improve, not on a specific date.

Next we have Epic Nitwit, with an important question:

I'm not sure if someone has asked you this before, but what is your overall favorite video game?
Hmmm... I don't think I have been asked on this section before, so thanks for that question. I honestly can't tell you off the op of my head, this requires some thought, so hold on until the answer magically comes to me.




Got it. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, followed closely by Paper Mario and Super Mario World. I'm playing Fallout 3 right now, and I'm really liking it, so when I'm done with it it might join that list. Also, I need to play Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, I think it would also make that list. And my "story" with OoT is a curious one, or something like that. When I first saw the game back in the day, I thought it was boring. I lived with that idea for years, until I saw some "Best Video Games of All-Time" list on some website and saw OoT was at the top of the list. From there I decided to try it (on Virtual Console, since I couldn't get the N64 cartridge), and I didn't regret it. Right after finishing it I proceeded with Majora's Mask, which is also perfect. And, following the ambiguous Zelda timeline, I wanted to play Twilight Princess, but the disc I bought had some glitch that wouldn't let me get past the beginning of the game. Some say that was a blessing from the gods, but I will never know.

Marioman1213 is next, and he asks:

Why did you change your avatar, etc.(Well, besides the fact that Hobbes is awesome)
First of all, for those who don't know, we're talking about the Mario Boards, the wiki's forum. To further explain this, I was named Tucky the Snowman for the holidays, but since everyone was already getting rid of their holiday names, I decided to have mine changed to Hobbes, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. The same uncle that introduced me to video games had the complete C&H collection, so I naturally went on and read them. I immediately loved them. I had wanted to be renamed to Hobbes for a while now, but only last month I got around to asking to be renamed. I really like that theme, so I'll most likely be keeping it for a while.

January is always a lazy month, but I will be waiting for your questions for the February issue! Just send them to me, and remember, you can virtually ask anything. Except that thing you're thinking of, that's just sick. See you next month, BYE!

Fun Stuff

Director Notes

by Gamefreak75 (talk)

Hello readers.

Today, I bring sad news for this is the last issue where I will be serving as Fun Stuff director. After this issue, I will be stepping down and my successor will be….hmm, I hadn't thought of that yet. I will leave that up to MrConcreteDonkey (talk). Send him as many suggestions and angry letters.

Don't cry just yet, though, for I will still write for the 'Shroom. I can see your faces beaming with delight already.

Now I make my escape!

KMA Waddle Dee.png


by Marshal Dan Troop (talk)

Did you know that…:

  1. Kiddy Kong is known as Dinky Kong in Japan?
  2. Sonic and Earthworm Jim both make cameos in DKC2?
  3. Candy Kong and Swanky Kong are the only major Kongs who haven’t been playable in a video game yet?
  4. Paper Mario: Sticker Star is the first Paper Mario game without a level up system?
  5. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is the first Mario game to have DLC?

Guess Who

By Marshal Dan Troop (talk)

  1. Has powerful magic.
  2. Has an army of underlings.
  3. Tries to kidnap babies.
  4. Has both a past and future self.
  5. Recently lost a lot of children.

By Freakworld (talk)
Rules: You'll get 5 hints on a Character, which should be used to guess the answer. This character can be from any part of the Mario, Wario and Donkey Kong Universe. If you scroll down you'll see a little spoiler box, hiding the answer.

  1. So far, this character has only been included in spin-offs.
  2. This character is very tall.
  3. This character is the counterpart to another tall character.
  4. This character has had his first appearance in a game which was not developed by Nintendo only.
  5. This character is the only main human character who hasn't had an appearance as a child/baby yet.

Guess that Game

By Marshal Dan Troop (talk)

  1. Was remade on the DS.
  2. Involved collecting things.
  3. Featured unlockable characters.
  4. The Final Boss must be fought more than once.
  5. Two of the characters in this game go on to star in their own series of games.

By Freakworld (talk)
Rules: Same as in "Guess Who".

  1. This game is part of a sub-series of the main Super Mario series.
  2. This game is the sequel to a SNES title.
  3. This game features some sort of time paradox, causing a certain antagonist to meet his past self.
  4. In this game, most of the main characters are children.
  5. Although Mario is in this game, the real main character (as seen in the game's title) is someone/something else.

Find the Differences

By Pyro (talk)

New Super Mario Bros. U North American box cover




Hiding Koopa

By General bob-omb (talk)
Happy New Year! and what a better way than to spend it with Wario!... err, maybe not. Well, with or without Wario, this year will be interesting. It looks like the Koopa is opting for Wario. Here we go...



Word Search

By Gamefreak75 (talk)

Here are the answers to the last word search:


To celebrate the New Year, why don’t we make word search featuring New Super Mario Bros. *insert something witty here*


Mystery Images

by Tucayo (talk)

Authors note: I actually made three versions of this section, the outcome of the election determined which one you are reading.

HI, beautiful readers! I'm your enraptured (I love that adjective) Co-Director, Tucayo, and welcome to Mystery Images! I already said this in the Directorial Address, but I would like to thank you once again for your support. I have no words to express how much this means to me, so I will leave you with the images. Have fun!

Mi-22 zps9761d04c.png


Music & Artwork

Director's Notes (Smasher (talk))

Welcome everyone to this month's edition of Music & Artwork! I'll start by revealing the Section of the month results. The winner of Section of the Month for the December issue is Stooben Rooben (talk), for his guest section "Christmas in the Key of 2012"! Congratulations, Stoob!

In addition, due to his permanent ban on the forums, Post-Damage Invincibility (talk) will no longer be writing Music Factoid. If you are interested in filling this new vacancy, or if you want to sign up for anything else, please send me a PM on the forums telling me that you are interested in the job.

Alright, that's all I have this month. Enjoy this month's issue.

Character Artwork of the Month (Rise Up Above It (talk))

Captain Falcon

Yes! Character Artwork this month goes to the simple Super Smash Bros. Brawl solo pic of the one and only Captain Falcon. Show him ya moves! Little explanation or rambling is required this month. Just sit back and admire/loathe his macho, macho manliness. (Apologies, this writer may have overdosed on Falcon Punch on their birthday)

Random Image of the Month (Paper Yoshi (talk))

Day at the Races: Four creatures trying their best to race towards the finish; with characters icons next to them that indicate their players' picks on which creature would likely win. From Mario Party 2.

Hello readers, and welcome to the January Issue of Random Image of the Month!

This month's Random Image comes from another Mario Party game, this time Mario Party 2, for the Nintendo 64. It shows Mario, Yoshi, Wario and Luigi playing the Battle minigame Day at the Races.

In Day at the Races, each player chooses a character to represent him or her on the race. The four characters available for players to pick are Whomp, Thwomp, Boo and Bob-omb, each one having their advantages and disadvantages. After the last player chooses his or her character, the race starts. The first one to reach the finish wins the race and the minigame.

Sprite of the Month (FunkyK38 (talk))

This month, I bring you this sprite of the Scutlet boss from Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story! The Scutlet boss from Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story There are just those days when you feel like one of these has just sat on your brain. You can't get any work done, you don't know what to do, your creative block comes back after you've been so productive. I wish I had the cure for you, but I suffer from the same ailment. Maybe we need Mario and Luigi to just come and step on him. Many times.

Pipe Plaza

Director's Notes (Paper Yoshi (talk))

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the January Issue of Pipe Plaza!! Last month's issue was a great one, and I'm sure the readers enjoyed it. Of course, that wouldn't be possible without the continuous support of the Core Staff and all the regular and guest writers, so I would like to thank everyone who contributed in one way or another to the latest Holiday Issue.

Speaking of contributing to the paper, there are still two vacant sections in the Pipe Plaza team, – Featured and Anniversary Announcements – so please be sure to sign up for them!! The application form can be found in the sign up page, so all you need to do is fill it in and PM me your application on the Super Mario Boards. The Core Staff members will then proceed to review it within the following week while voicing their opinions, ultimately deciding if you are fit for the position(s).

Section of the Month

Last month's Section of the Month poll got 22 votes, the same as November.

The December Section of the Month, with 6 votes (27.27% of the total), is...

...Projects Seeking Contributors, for the first time!!!

Projects Seeking Contributors, written by the newest Pipe Plaza member, YoshiKong (talk), covers projects from the Wiki Collaborations forum board and any wiki discussions that need attention. YoshiKong was the first Pipe Plaza writer to be awarded the SOTM prize in his first section.

The second-placed sections were Monthly Report and Mario Calendar, with 5 votes (22.73%), while Upcoming Games got third place, with 3 votes (13.64%). All three sections are written by myself, Paper Yoshi (talk).

And that's all for this month's notes! Now go on to the other sections!

More Info

Monthly Report (Paper Yoshi (talk))

Hello, and welcome to this month's issue of Monthly Report! A new year has started, which means there are twelve months of statistics ahead of us. Here are the wiki's stats for November and December, the last two months of 2012, and January, the first month of 2013, followed by comparisons between those sets of statistics:

(Credit goes to Stooben Rooben (talk) and Super Mario Bros. (talk) for the table coding. Stooben originally created it when writing this section back in Issues XXIII, XXV and XXVI, and SMB based his coding for Issues XXXIX, XL and XLI – which I am using in this issue – off of Stooben's coding.)

January Statistics
Statistic As of 10 January 2013 (13:15)*
Content Pages 12,807
All Pages 95,675
Files 41,120
Edits 1,252,834
Edits per Page 13.09
Registered Users 13,587
Active Users 509
Bots 2
Autopatrolled 37
Patrollers 6
Administrators 12
Bureaucrats 4
Proprietor 1

December Statistics
Statistic As of 10 December 2012 (22:00)*
Content Pages 12,954
All Pages 103,385
Files 40,534
Edits 1,240,103
Edits per Page 11.99
Registered Users 26,144
Active Users 522
Bots 1
Autopatrolled 35
Patrollers 5
Administrators 13
Bureaucrats 4
Proprietor 1

November Statistics
Statistic As of 9 November 2012 (11:45)*
Content Pages 12,613
All Pages 102,507
Files 39,972
Edits 1,225,048
Edits per Page 11.95
Registered Users 25,779
Active Users 454
Bots 1
Autopatrolled 35
Patrollers 5
Administrators 13
Bureaucrats 4
Proprietor 1

December — January Statistics
Statistic As of 10 December 2012 (22:00)* As of 10 January 2013 (13:15)* Percentage Change
Content Pages 12,954 12,807 -1.135%
All Pages 103,385 95,675 -7.457%
Files 40,534 41,120 +1.446%
Edits 1,240,103 1,252,834 +1.027%
Edits per Page 11.99 13.09 +9.174%
Registered Users 26,144 13,587 -48.03%
Active Users 522 509 -2.49%
Bots 1 2 +100%
Autopatrolled 35 37 +5.714%
Patrollers 5 6 +20%
Administrators 13 12 -7.692%
Bureaucrats 4 4 0%
Proprietor 1 1 0%

November — January Statistics
Statistic As of 9 November 2012 (11:45)* As of 10 January 2013 (13:15)* Percentage Change
Content Pages 12,613 12,807 +1.538%
All Pages 102,507 95,675 -6.665%
Files 39,972 41,120 +2.872%
Edits 1,225,048 1,252,834 +2.268%
Edits per Page 11.95 13.09 +9.54%
Registered Users 25,779 13,587 -47.294%
Active Users 454 509 +12.114%
Bots 1 2 +100%
Autopatrolled 35 37 +5.714%
Patrollers 5 6 +20%
Administrators 13 12 -7.692%
Bureaucrats 4 4 0%
Proprietor 1 1 0%
*All times EST.

Community Report (YoshiKong (talk))

Hey and welcome to the Community Report. I'm filling in for Bop1996 this month, as he is busy with school stuff. Hope you're back soon Bop! So to start, these are the most recent changes we have had to Super Mario Wiki Policy.

  • As we now allow anonymous IPs to edit, the Blocking Policy has been updated to suit the new change.
  • The BJAODN rule which discourages user comments below sections has been changed. We are now more lenient on commenting, while still restricting comments which aren't aimed at making the section funnier, as well as back-and-forth exchanges.
  • MarioWiki:Glitch was created. This page provides pointers on how to organize the information present in Glitch pages, and explain in what circumstances a glitch isn't legitimate for coverage on the wiki.
  • The "English and Non-English Sources" section of MarioWiki:Naming was expanded to include standards for page titles when romanizing Japanese.

If you have any questions or concerns about these polices, feel free to post a comment on this forum thread. Next up, these are the most recent proposals which have reached a consensus.

And these are the current proposals in progress.

The following are the most recent changes to user rights.

And that's it for this month's Community Report. We wish you a happy and prosperous 2013, and all the best to Bop1996 with his real life duties.

Forum Update (MrConcreteDonkey (talk))

Hey guys, welcome to the first Forum Update of 2013! Since it's the start of a new year, it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: Happy Haitian Independence Day! I can't help but think there was something else...oh yeah, Coptic and Russian Orthodox Church Christmas! But enough celebration, let's see what went down in December on the Super Mario Boards. Is your blood not boiling with pure excitement?

Top Stories
A new rule has been added! Don't we all love new rules? Rule the sixteenth states:

"Do not bump old topics unless you have something relevant to say or contribute. information irrelevant to the topic or replying to an old quote will be considered spam. As well, do not cause a riot if a user has bumped or created a thread if the said user has something relevant to say. If the user has made a post in an old topic that violates this rule, simply report it to the moderators."

IceShadow1199 was banned permanently on January 3rd. He was banned for violating rule 8 (no flaming, trolling, harassing, racism etc.) after many warnings and temporary bans.

Post-Damage Invincibility was also permanently banned, for obvious trolling and disturbing the peace. He was banned on January 13th.

YamiHoshi earned a temporary ban for infractions on rule 8 (racism) and rule 11 (inappropriate content). She was banned for 30 days, and her ban expires on February 3rd.

A ridiculous amount of new smilies were added. First came :drosh:, which was Neptune99 Dry Bowser with a top hat and monocle:


Next came :drybow:...


Finally, :metal: and :blooper: were added.

metalmario.gif blooper.png

Also, the forum logo was covered in snow for the festive season:


Doesn't it make you feel...uncomfortably cold?

In December, a vastly uninteresting number of 512 topics were made, bringing the entire total for 2012 to 7114, which is the highest total for a year so far. 24405 posts, which was the lowest amount of 2012, were made, bringing the total for the year to 350459. 21 new users joined, bringing the total to 410. And the most online was 119, the highest of the year being 282, in October, for some reason. Seriously, nothing ever happens in October.

Smasher (Smasher (talk)) – 41163
MCS (Mileycyrussoulja (talk)) – 27922
Ralph (Ralphfan (talk)) – 27327
E-102 Gamma (UltraMario3000 (talk))– 22885
Gundam Tanaka (Nabber (talk)) – 20389
Nagito Komaeda (Lily (talk)) – 18475
Staraptor (Superjeff64 (talk)) – 17039

Baby Luigi (BabyLuigiOnFire (talk)) – 16281
Solar Blaze (SolarBlaze (talk)) – 15984
Cornelius Van Wyck Lawrence
(Marshal Dan Troop (talk)) – 14046

Mason (Puddin (talk)) – 669
Ralph (Ralphfan (talk)) – 587

Nabber (Nabber (talk)) – 500
ugozima (Aiko Heiwa (talk)) – 494
Lario (Lario (talk))– 490
Doomie (MST3K (talk)) – 426

Pyro (Pyro (talk)) – 422
New Super Mario (New Super Mario (talk)) – 418
E-102 Gamma (UltraMario3000 (talk)) – 361
FireUmbreon (EctoBiologist (talk)) – 353

Uniju (Uniju :D (talk)) – 225d 14h 4m
Northern Verve (SonicMario (talk)) – 212d 14h 10m
Smasher (Smasher (talk))– 205d 12m
Doomie (MST3K (talk)) – 198d 11h 21m
Mason Vorhees (Puddin (talk)) – 174d 23h 52m
Chilly (Gamefreak75 (talk)) – 170d 20h 44m
Christian Brutal Sniper (Marcelagus (talk)) – 163d 19h 33m
Cornelius Van Wyck Lawrence (Marshal Dan Troop (talk)) – 154d 2h 49m
Herr Shyguy (Shyguy27 (talk)) – 137d 5h 28m
Super Mario Bros. (Super Mario Bros. (talk)) – 135d 16h 39m

Green signifies the user is at a higher position than last month.
Blue signifies the user is at the same position as last month.
Red signifies the user is at a lower position than last month.
Bold signifies the user is a new entry to the top 10. Italics signify the user is banned.

Mafia and Forum Games
Currently ongoing Mafias are Yoshi K's Yoshi K Mafia, Pyro's Volcano Mafia, Epic Nitwit's Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure Mafia. Other ongoing games include Nagito Komaeda's (Lily) User Big Brother 4 (currently at week 9), Smasher's Vote to Win: Forum Choice V and the Undertaker's (GutsehMan) Vote to Redemption 2.

  • Sonia Nevermind's (Rocker64) Post-Apocalypse Mafia was won by GreenDisaster and the Savages...that sounds like a good name for a band.
  • The Innocents won New Super Yoshi's Paper Mario Mafia.
  • Nagito Komaeda's Kid Icarus: Uprising Mafia was won by the Underworld Army.
  • GreenDisaster's DigiMafia Adventure was won by the Innocents.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door won Rocket J. Squirrel's (Magikrazy) Gamecube Vote to Win.

Yep, that's all for December, and most of January too. But don't tell anyone that. I'd lose all credibility and turn into Huckleberry Hound. And you don't want that, do you? Goodbye, and Happy Uniting of Moldavia and Wallachia Under the Same Ruler in 1859 Day!

Projects Seeking Contributors (YoshiKong (talk))

Hey and what's up? Welcome to Projects Seeking Contributors. This section will bring attention to any new and active projects on the wiki where input and general discussion are needed. Let's start with the most active and recent projects seen on the Wiki Collaborations forum board.

Topic Started by... Description
Request: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Stage Icons LTIan
LTIan (talk)
A request for several different stage icon sprites from the game New Super Mario Bros. 2, which are to be uploaded onto the wiki.
Unused files MCS
Mileycyrussoulja (talk)
There are currently hundreds of unused files on the wiki that shouldn't be there. Help us decide what can be done with them!
Words consistently used wrong on the wiki Glowsquid
Glowsquid (talk)
This thread brings attention to several words where the meaning is being misinterpreted on the wiki's articles, such as "prequel" and "remake".
Collab/Request - PMSS List of Stickers, Kersti's Tattles, Level Info Pyro
Pyro (talk)
The article Paper Mario: Sticker Star is currently missing much needed info and images about the Stickers, Kersti's advice and levels seen in the game. Help us out!
Collab: Good writing Enobarbus
Bop1996 (talk)
A collaboration to rewrite and bring attention to poorly written articles which go against the policy MarioWiki:Good writing.
Request: Bigger Pictures of the following things LTIan
LTIan (talk)
A request to obtain larger images of those seen in the thread, which are to be uploaded onto the wiki.
Request: NSMB2 World Maps LTIan
LTIan (talk)
A request for the world maps found in the New Super Mario Bros. 2 official Prima game guide.
Discuss: New and Returning enemies NSY
NSY (talk)
Discuss how we could organize the "Enemies" section on the articles of recent Mario games, beside splitting them into "New" and "Returning" enemies.
Bad Walkthrough-style Writing Enobarbus
Bop1996 (talk)
A collaboration to improve articles which are currently poorly written in a walkthrough-style matter, such as this for example.
Collaboration: Unstubify Knife
Knife (talk)
A collaboration to help clear the stub list, which is currently at around 160 articles.

And that's it for the forum's Wiki Collaborations. Once again, see the forum board for the complete list. Next up, we have the discussions which are currently taking place on article talk pages. These can be seen at Category:Talk pages with unresolved issues. The list is as follows.

Talk page discussion Started by... Description
Talk:Blue Toad (Super Mario Galaxy) Banon (talk) Discuss the official name for the Blue Toad which appears in the Super Mario Galaxy series.
Talk:Game & Watch Collection Banon (talk) Discuss whether the article Game & Watch Collection (which actually also gives partial coverage to its sequel Game & Watch Collection 2, as it is not directly related to the Mario series), should be organized into a series article.
Talk:Green Boo Banon (talk) Discuss whether the names Green Boo, Red Boo and Black Boo (seen in Super Mario Bros. Deluxe) are official names.
Talk:List of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door beta elements Glowsquid (talk) A source is requested for a piece of info regarding a "sick status effect" seen on the beta elements page of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
Talk:Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters Baconator (talk) Help us find the correct release date for the game Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters. It is believed to be around 1993-1994.
Talk:Planet Bomber 1337star (talk) Discuss whether the article Planet Bomber should be moved to Bomberland, as that is the title seen in Mario media such as the game Wario Blast: Featuring Bomberman!.
Talk:Reversible Platform Banon (talk) Rename the article Reversible Platform (which came from a French translation) to the more suitable translation Flip-Swap Platform.
Talk:Roof Bop1996 (talk) Discuss possible ways to split Roof into more appearance-specific articles.
File talk:SM64DS-First Floor Map.GIF Megadardery (talk) There are two versions of a picture which maps out the first floor of Peach's Castle in Super Mario 64 DS. Help us decide which one to keep and which one to delete.
Talk:Spiny Shell (Mario Kart) Banon (talk) Discuss whether the article Spiny Shell (Mario Kart) be moved to a non-identifier title, while the currently named article Spiny Shell be given the identifier title.
Template talk:World Banon (talk) Template:World is currently missing several icons from recent games. As a temporary substitute, said icons are being reused from past games. Please help up obtain and upload these icons!

And that's all for this months Projects Seeking Contributors. If you think you could help out with any of the issues above, please take part in the said discussion taking place. We'll be updating this section next issue with any new discussions that need attention.


Tip of the Month (FunkyK38 (talk))

To help keep your account safe from hackers, choose a difficult password to replicate. "Mario165" would not be the best choice, but "MaRiO36lUiGi92" would be a good choice. Mixing capitals and lowercase letters and adding numbers are both good ways to keep your account safe. If a difficult password doesn't work for you, try changing your password once in a while.

Mario Calendar (Paper Yoshi (talk))

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Mario Calendar! It may look like this issue isn't special at all, but this is the first January Mario Calendar I write for the paper, so I guess that counts as being somewhat special. The list is rather short, but many well-known games were released sometime during January. These are the Mario, DK, Yoshi and Wario games released in the first month of the calendar year:

Abb. Region
NA North America
JP Japan
EU Europe
AU Australia/New Zealand
KO Republic of Korea

And that's all for now! I'll see you again right away, in Upcoming Games, so keep reading!!

Upcoming Games (Paper Yoshi (talk))

Hello, fellow 'Shroomers, and welcome to another issue of Upcoming Games!! This month, we'll take a quick look at the next installment of the WarioWare series, Game & Wario, which is set to be released in all regions by March 2013. It was covered by the President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, in a Japanese Nintendo Direct video posted last month.

Fruit, one the minigames in Game & Wario

Game & Wario, the ninth WarioWare game, will include 16 minigames, which will support up to five players. Additionally, every minigame will involve the Wii U GamePad in a certain way. In his Nintendo Direct video, Mr. Iwata focuses on two of those minigames. The first one, called Fruit, was featured in Part 2 of our 2012 Special E3 Coverage. It pits one player against a team of 1-4 players. The single player must choose a character to be the "thief"; he or she will then proceed to walk around town and steal fruit discreetly while the other players, the "detectives", try to spot him or her on the TV screen. After the time runs out, each "detective" must try to guess who is the "thief" by taking the GamePad and choosing one of the suspects.

The other game featured in the video is called Gamer. It is a single player minigame in which the player controls 9-Volt. 9-Volt wants to play video games on bed, but his mother won't allow him to do so. Thus, the player is tasked with playing WarioWare-styled microgames on the GamePad while paying attention to the TV screen to make sure 9-Volt's mother isn't nearby. If she comes into the bedroom to see if 9-Volt is sleeping, the player must put the GamePad away. The game ends when 9-Volt is caught playing games on bed or when he runs out of lives in his own game.

Nintendo eShop

Three Mario games have been released for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console since the last issue. The Game Boy Color version of Wario Land II and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, for the Nintendo Entertainment System, were released in North America on December 20th and 27th, respectively, while Super Mario Bros. 3, also for the NES, was released in Japan on January 1st, 2013, the first day of the year.

Release Dates

  • Game & Wario: Wii U launch window
  • Wario Land II (GBC) – 3DS Virtual Console
    • North America: December 20th, 2012
  • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (NES) – 3DS Virtual Console
    • North America: December 27th, 2012
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) – 3DS Virtual Console
    • Japan: January 1st, 2013

And that's all for the first Pipe Plaza of the year! See you in February!!

"Stay tuned to Upcoming Games for news on the games you'll be playing soon!"

Critic Corner

Director's Notes

Crocodile Dippy (talk)

So in case some of you haven't been keeping up, Marshal Dan Troop (talk) resigned from Virtual Console Reviews, and marioboy14 (talk) was fired from Marioverse Reviews. While we still have two Non-Marioverse Reviews sections, we have no reviews covering Mario games anymore, so it'd be great if we got that corrected sometime soon. You know, just in case any of you are interested.

Potentially, this could be the last issue in which I'm a core staff member, meaning someone else could be directing Critic Corner for 2013. That's only a possibility, of course; whoever wins the election may want me back, who knows? Either way, it's been a great experience for me, and hopefully it has been for you blokes too. Now I'm going to go back to sippin' tinnies on me verandah now, January is a hot month where I am.

Critic Corner Section of the Month

Tinnies can wait, here's the results of last month's section of the month, although a somewhat predictable result with Should Have Been by MrConcreteDonkey (talk) winning by a landslide! He went over his thoughts on Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, which I found a bizarre choice since Christmas isn't cold, it's always really hot.

And runners-up were meself for my guest section of Marioverse Reviews blasting Paper Mario: Sticker Star, and Marshal Dan Troop (talk) for his review of Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom in Virtual Console Reviews. And no one cared.

1) Should Have Been (MrConcreteDonkey (talk)) – 14 votes (%46.67)
2) Marioverse Reviews (Crocodile Dippy (talk)) – 7 votes (%23.33)
3) Virtual Console Reviews (Marshal Dan Troop (talk)) – 5 votes (%16.67)

Mario Reviews
Non-Mario Game Reviews

Dippy uses his Level 3 Super to take down PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
[read more]

Xluidi runs down his top five games of 2012.
[read more]
Opinion Pieces

Dippy tips his hat to his favourite games of 2012.
[read more]
Non-Game Reviews

Crocodile Style Reviews

Crocodile Dippy (talk)

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
Developer SuperBot Entertainment
Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform(s) PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
Genres Fighting, party
ESRB:T - Teen
PEGI:12 - Twelve years and older
ACB:PG - Parental Guidance
Available From

This should come as no great surprise to anyone who has crossed me on an internet forum before, but I'm not exactly much of a fighter. I can argue and whinge, but when time comes to throw punches I'm better off just bending over and taking it good up the arse, which naturally makes it difficult for me to enjoy the Fighting game genre. I understand the appeal of doing nothing more than beating the ever-loving shit out of your mates and/or petty grudges from your oh-so magnificent social life, but I think I'm the wrong kind of person for randomly mashing the controller until its reduced to fine plastic paste on the off-chance it might possibly allow you to use the simplest special attack.

I generally try to avoid discussing fighting games for that reason, but from an outsider’s perspective, things look a little bleak. Every few years I come back around to the neighbourhood for a humble visit and see ol' Steve McFighter wearing increasingly obnoxious shirts and indulging in bizarre street performances aside an upside-down bowler hat, and it makes me deeply concerned for his well-being. I mean, when was the last time a new fighting IP broke ground in the industry and made a real commercial dent that wasn't sold on the tits of 2D anime girls? Seems like a lot of developers have decided to take the mascot fighter route, perhaps because nostalgia has proven itself to sell far better than a stripper made of pavlova, or maybe that's just my fantasy. And if it worked for Nintendo, Marvel, Capcom, and Namco, it'll damn well bloody work for Sony, even if they have to tack as many extraneous “brotastic” words to the name until it starts to sound more like a fucking arraignment instead.

The only reason anyone should even care about this game.

So on that we have PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, which by this point is probably far more accurately known as Sony Smash Bros, and let's not kid ourselves here. As I said in my E3 article last year it was inevitable that Sony would eventually jump on the bandwagon of crossover fighters, it's just hilarious how late they actually are to the party no one ever invited them to seeing as how their main competitor has already had three hugely successful releases under their belt and has absolutely no reason to be worried about a rival equivalent with almost fifteen years of catching up to do and a pool of far less iconic characters. Because as much as it pains me to say it, Sony are nurturers of well-known brand names, not well-known characters; after all, everyone knows Twisted Metal and KillZone, but how many people who aren't core fans know who Sweet Tooth and Radec are? Oh but I'm sure everyone was anointing Sony's feet with the finest of Syrian perfumes and ointments to have Toro the Cat added as a playable character.

I've never actually thought about it before, but Sony has been making a far stronger effort to market and establish brand new IP over the past ten years than Nintendo, who have largely been spending that time hazed out on the couch subsisting on cocaine and jelly beans. Although Sony did have to outsource for third-party characters to fill up their roster which probably made things extremely awkward when the mascot to one of their most beloved third-party franchises was already snatched away by Nintendo. You know those school soccer games where the two captains have to take turns picking the other students until the only one left is the kid who eats polyester and stares at people in the toilets? That's pretty much what happened to Sony with Raiden.

Yeah, this speaks for itself, really.

Four paragraphs in and I've barely even spoken about the game, but I find the surrounding politics far more interesting than the sleepy dross of the game itself. It's a mascot fighter designed for nostalgic pillocks who just want to see their favourite characters beat each other up, possessing the same no-brainer gameplay of Super Smash Bros. wherein you just wail on everything until gravity gives up on them and turns them into the space shuttle Challenger. Except actually this time it's wailing on everything for twenty minutes to fill up a metre that allows you to use a Super attack, which is kind of like a Fatality but instead it's the only way to get any kills. Ignoring that this basically boils any sort of strategy and player skill down to arbitrary attrition based more around who can unlock the omega awesome super move first; it's just an absolute fucking drag.

Matches can take forever since most of the basic Super attacks are terrible, and only about half of the level three ones are of any use. Fat Princess or Ratchet's level three Supers are as reliable for racking up kills as a fat cat is as a pack mule, while you may as well just not even bother defending yourself when someone uses Cole or Sly Cooper's. You could always argue that as just being a matter of skill difference, but if anyone can honest to goodness find a way to defend the decision to make a few of the level three Supers instantly kill every other fighter on the map no matter what, then I will personally spend the money to fly over to your house and castrate you because you are a fuckwit.

This Super is effectively the same as Kratos' strongest one, showing that the snacks in the meeting room ran out fairly early.

So with that ends all I can honestly think of that's any kind of interesting to talk about. Everything else is just familiar territory; generic challenge mode, repetitive arcade mode campaigns that go nowhere, online functionality barred by the bloody online pass system again. Thaaaaaat's pretty much it, actually, they don't even have an encyclopaedia or a trophy bonus feature to educate people on all the games and characters represented in the title so it's not even a good insight into the company's history. I know that these games are usually only sold on spectacle rather than genuine substance, but you can at least be ambitious with your spectacle! As overbloated and repetitive a mess as Brawl's story campaign was, at least it was something quirky and interesting that could keep people's attention beyond the prospect of hurting the mascot of your least favourite franchise. There's being a little underweight, and then there's pathetically dragging your corpse-like body through the hallways to scrounge off the dirty crumbs of the meaty feast that your other, much more respectable associates already finished eating hours before.

I find something has gone wrong with my gaming experience when I'm actually looking forward to turning the console off and getting ready for work, and keep in mind that I clean toilets for a living. It's laggy, uninspired, hastily made, and as unintuitive as fighting games get, and the sheer lack of content gives one the impression it was all designed by the director's son in a single afternoon to save on labour costs. Having said that, it's at least made me remember to revisit several lovely games from my childhood like Ape Escape and MedEvil, so consider that a point in its favour. But with how little effort seems to have been put in, I find myself wondering why a mere museum display of far better releases would sell for full retail price when you could get a far more pleasing experience from sticking your head in a freezer for a few hours then smashing it against the pavement for the bargain basement price of not having to play Sony Smash Bros. and a missing thalamus.

The 'Shroom: Crocodile Style Reviews
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
AssassinsCreedRevelations Icon.png
Assassin's Creed: Revelations
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Okami Icon.png
NeverDead Icon.png
AsurasWrath Icon.png
Kid Icarus: Uprising and Asura's Wrath
IAmAlive Icon.png
I Am Alive and Journey
Prototype2 Icon.png
Prototype 2
DragonsDogma Icon.png
Dragon's Dogma
SpecOpsTheLine Icon.png
Spec Ops: The Line
DarksidersII Icon.png
Darksiders II
SleepingDogs Icon.png
Sleeping Dogs
Dishonored Icon.png
AssassinsCreedIII Icon.png
Assassin's Creed III
PlayStationAllStarsBattleRoyale Icon.png
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
MediEvil Icon.png
DeadSpace3 Icon.png
Dead Space 3 and Crysis 3
TombRaider Icon.png
Tomb Raider
BioShockInfinite Icon.png
BioShock Infinite
MetroLastLight Icon.png
Metro: Last Light
RememberMe Icon.png
Remember Me
TheLastofUs Icon.png
The Last of Us
StateofDecay Icon.png
State of Decay and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
HalfLife Icon.png
Half-Life series
MonsterHunter4Ultimate Icon.png
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
DarkestDungeon Icon.png
Darkest Dungeon and Hand of Fate
Bloodborne Icon.png
TheWitcher3WildHunt Icon.png
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Splatoon Icon.png
LifeIsStrange Icon.png
Life Is Strange
UntilDawn Icon.png
Until Dawn
MadMax Icon.png
Mad Max
GuitarHeroLive Icon.png
Guitar Hero Live and Rock Band 4
AssassinsCreedSyndicate Icon.png
Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
Fallout4 Icon.png
Fallout 4
Ico Icon.png
Ico and Shadow of the Colossus
FarCryPrimal Icon.png
Far Cry: Primal

Caiman Gamin'

Xluidi (talk)

So, the holidays have passed and I’m guessing everyone is having a great time just playing with their new toys, I’m guessing. The beginning of the New Year means a lot of things, but one of my favorites is always the game of the year lists websites post, because for the most part they always show me some awesome game I may have missed that year. That said, turns out this year it’s my turn to do one of these lists, so below you’ll find my favorite games released on the year of 2012. However, keep in mind my guidelines for the list:

  • I’m using the North American release dates, so if the game already came out in other region years ago, or the game hasn’t been released in your country yet, keep this in mind.
  • NEW GAMES ONLY, no remakes or ports. That means no Batman Arkham City Armored Edition or Devil May Cry HD Collection or things like that.
  • I only have at my disposal a Wii (no Wii U), a Playstation 3, a Nintendo 3DS, a Playstation Vita and a somewhat old PC, meaning no Nintendoland or Xbox games, sorry.
  • No one is paying me to do these, meaning all the games I could review these year came out of my pocket, so games like Dishonored are excluded by the fact that they cost too much or I had other priorities.

With that out of the way, let’s start with number 5:

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First off, let's start with some context. Spec Ops: The Line is a third person shooter made by some guys (Yager Development), supposed to be another game in the Spec Ops franchise, the game ends up being more or less completely unrelated to the others. If you want more details on it, my boss Crocodile Dippy wrote a review of it earlier this year.

The reason why this game is making my list is simply the story. Now, some of you people may be starting to shout “BUT GAMEPLAY IS ALL THAT MATTERS YOU IDIOT! CARING TOO MUCH ABOUT THE STORY IS WHAT’S MAKING THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY A CLUSTERF-“. Now, normally I would agree with you, but this game is not focused on being the best shooter ever, it knows that going against Call of Duty or Battlefield would be a big mistake, so instead the developers have focused on delivering a top-notch story that makes the player see the truth behind their power fantasies and AM3RICA FUCK YEAH games, a story that makes you actually think “…why the fuck am I doing this?” and shows you the reality of what being a super soldier that survives everything and supposedly is always right would be.

The gameplay, while fun, is just the means to an end. It just serves to make the later story moments more shocking and true. While you may be thinking “If I wanted to pay for a good story, I would get a goddamn book, now let me jump n' shoot”, the thing is that this story wouldn't work on any other medium. Now, as a rebuttal to that, you'll think “But, the story is based on a book that was already adapted into a movie!”, but the truth is that the story on Spec Ops is not really all that related to neither Heart of Darkness nor Apocalypse Now apart from certain non-important points. Without the interactive parts in which you're shooting people or punching them or rocking out to The Doors while doing the other two things the story wouldn't be as effective as it is in subverting the player's expectations nor showing its message.

To conclude this entry, more or less, this is one of those games that doesn't need great gameplay, and while the gameplay that it has is decent and serves its purpose of not boring me or making me want to play another game, the reason why it's number 5 on my list is because it is one of those few games that nail the story, and atmosphere to almost perfect levels, and it's certainly one of my picks from this year, and I really recommend you pick it up, I'm pretty sure it's gotten to 15$ levels of cheap, and for that price you won't regret it.

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Same as before, first let's introduce this title, but more fully this time since no one reviewed it previously. Gravity Rush is a new IP made by Sony Japan for the Playstation Vita, released in June of this year. The game is about a woman named Kat who one day wakes up not remembering who she is (where have I heard that one before?) or why she is where she is, and suddenly BAM! gravity powers. You see, she has a cat companion named Dusty that grants her the power to control the direction in which gravity goes, along with the usual super strength, combat abilities and power to pick up stuff. What follows is a tale of why she's there, meeting some really unusual characters along the way and doing awesome superhero stuff.

In case [[The 'Shroom:Issue LIX/Caiman Gamin'|my first review] didn't clue you in, I'm a superhero fan (not necessarily a comic fan, just the concept of them), so finding a good superhero game is always a delight for me. The actual gameplay is a delight, with fully responsive controls that never feel like a chore and combat that doesn't get boring and the graphics are really good, with the cel-shading adding a ton of style to the already good gothic-inspired town.

Now, why is this game in the #4 spot? Simply put, it's the complete opposite of why Spec Ops up there is in the list: it has awesome gameplay. Sure, the story is a fun ride that doesn't make me vomit, but this year I've yet to find a game that lets me just more or less fly around its city doing whatever I want without feeling bored. Like I said, the controls are mostly perfect, the only thing to blame is the Vita itself, and it's somewhat unresponsive shoulder buttons, and when you decide to go and be Peter Pan, flying all over the rooftops, suddenly seeing something you like and then stopping and quickly changing the gravity to whatever you want in one quick move, you just feel happy that finally one game has nailed the feeling of freedom that flying deserves. The game also has charm coming out of its ass, with Kat being a really likeable protagonist (again, total opposite of Spec Ops), and almost everyone you meet having some kind of charm to them. There's also a ton of content, including costumes and challenge missions, and even though the main story is completed quickly, it's still an enjoyable experience. In short, it's a great game and worthy of the number 4 spot on this list.

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Writing something coherent is hard, I know because I've spent the better part of the past few days trying to put how I feel about video games into words, and that's something the video game industry hasn’t given a shit about since the beginning of time. Sure, there have been a few exceptions like BioWare pre-2012, Valve, or Square before going completely insane sometime in the late 90s, but for the most part they've been ignored because most of the people in charge of the game industry think only pew pew pew games will sell, so they eventually also turn into mindless shells of their past.

That's where The Walking Dead comes to save the day. This is it, a game that just goes “Story is all that matters and we've chosen video games because it'll enhance our story” and actually delivers on the promise of being a mature story that takes itself seriously. But first, CONTEXT TIME. The Walking Dead is a comic and TV series made by Robert Kirkman around the year 2003 and published by Image Comics. It was a great success, so AMC TV, already famous because of series like Breaking Bad and Mad Men, came swooping down and said “let's make this shit a successful TV show” and so they did and it's now going for the 4th season. The comic and TV deal with the adventures of a cop named Rick Grimes in a zombie apocalypse, however I guess it got special because it doesn't actually treat the zombies as much of a hassle, but more or less focuses on the relationships between people and how society changes when zombies come.

Fast forward to the year 2012, now it's Telltale Games' turn at turning the franchise into a cash cow by turning it into another form of entertainment: video games. Now, Telltale has already done successful adaptation of comics and movies, including Back to the Future and Sam and Max, but their most recent work was a really bad QTE-fest named Jurassic Park, so everyone is cautious about this game. Fast forward to the end of the same year, and it's become clear that Telltale made one of the finest games of the year, and it's now my turn to say why. (context time OUT)

First off, the game stars a *gasp* black guy named Lee (I put gasp because, really, when was the last time you didn't play as a bald white guy?) Turns out he did something bad and is now going to jail, when suddenly ZOMBIES. So he escapes the police car, kills police zombie, and eventually meets up with an eight year old named Clementine, and he decides, since her parents are probably dead, that they should team up because it's better for survival. That's more or less the only thing on the plot that I'll say here, because everything else could be considered spoilers. However, I CAN speak about why the story ends up being effective. To start, like I said earlier, zombies are considered mostly a minor nuisance, like I imagine they would be in real life, and the real problems come from the fact that, since most people are now zombies, food, gas, and other vital things for living are going extinct, and society has mostly crumbled, so other human beings end up being the problem for your survival. This leads to a really gripping story, because you choose what your character says most of the time and other characters would react mostly how anyone would, and unlike other choice-system based games, your decisions don't just affect one side or the other of an imaginary bar that once filled will unlock shit, but are always equally valid things to say or do that just impacts how other characters react to you. Unlike other choice-system based games, there's also the fact that, without spoiling anything, there's shit that IS going to happen because you can't control the relationships between other two characters, so you are not the master of the universe and everything you do affects it.

The other incredibly beautiful aspect of this game is Clementine, to keep it simple. This is a great-written character: smart, resourceful, brave, without feeling like a load, but still being a normal kid that you protect not because you NEED to or the game FORCES you to, but because you WANT to protect her. By the end, I found myself not making choices based on what will benefit me more, but on what will benefit her, because in the end she's a kid that has all her life ahead of her, so if the zombie apocalypse ends someday (Image Comics runs out of business), she can actually live. You may be thinking “bro it's just a video game chill”, but that's how I genuinely felt, and a testament to the Telltale writer's abilities to make a story worth listening to. I could go on, praising how the adventure game puzzles never feel like something incredibly complex that would never work in real life, how (almost) every scene feels perfectly paced, or how FUCK THE ENDING (but in a good way, not a Mass Effect 3 way), but Word is telling me that I've almost spent 900 words talking about it, so let's move on to the next entry.

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Holy shit guys, an actual, normal game in a Nintendo system in a top 5 games made for a Nintendo-dedicated website! You see, that's the beauty of it, Kid Icarus doesn't feel like a normal Nintendo game (in a good way), and that's why it's almost the best game I played in 2012 (that was made in 2012), and it's a shame most people are turned away from it because of its control scheme, because after 2 or 3 missions I was already a pro at it, without even using the ridiculous stand.

So, for those who don't know, Kid Icarus was a franchise made by Metroid creator Gunpei Yokio, back in those NES days in which Nintendo actually was completely cool with making new IPs (I'm an hypocrite for saying that, because this same game was actually a completely new game before they slapped the Kid Icarus name on it), and people liked it but no one ever got past the first stage, so that's how the main Kid Icarus theme is now the Underworld theme. But, apart from a minor sequel on the Game Boy, the franchise laid dead until Masahiro Sakurai, creator of the Smash series, while making Brawl came and said “well that's a bitching character, that pit guy, let's completely redesign him and put him in the game”, which revived him in the eyes of the public. And now, 25 years after his last title, the same guy, now leader of Sora Ltd., made him a new game.

Why do I like this game? Well, to put it simple, I've never seen a game so happy to just…exist. It just takes itself seriously and at the same time pokes fun at almost every trope in itself, which is delivered by excellent dialogue and voice acting, which is really unusual for a Nintendo game, but when Nintendo wants to do something right, they fucking blow it though the roof. But, in an action game like this, the gameplay IS actually the most important thing, and Sakurai clearly didn't forget that. From the fast-paced flying sections to the also fast-paced ground sections, every single part of the 25-chapter (opps) package feels tight and it shows that a lot of care was put into every single section of the game. There’s also a shitton of replay value, with an actually pretty fun multiplayer that pits (heh) you against other players using your personalized loadout, to the hundreds of weapons you can find, to the nine difficulty levels the game provides for single-player, it is a really great package. Now, I know compared to the entry above it seems like I really don't have anything to say about the game, but that's the thing: I could talk about the entry above a lot because analyzing a story and their characters and why it affected me is easy, but more or less the only thing I can say about this game is that it's REALLY really fun. How would you describe fun? That's up to you. For me, simply the wonderful presentation, the happy-to-be-alive tone, the fun dialogue between missions, and the tight gameplay makes it a wonderful pick for number 2, even if I can't exactly describe why.

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I actually don't know how to properly express myself for the most important entry. Just fucking go play it. Buy a Playstation 3 if you need to, or go to a friend's house while he's not there and play it. My point is, this is not a game that you could talk about because it just isn't the same as playing it. You know how I said up there that I couldn't describe why Kid Icarus' gameplay was fun apart from a simple “because it is”? Well, apply that to the whole game and that's more or less Journey. It is, like the title says, a journey, a unique experience.

OK so what is it about? That I may be about to say. Journey is a game by ThatGameCompany released this year for Playstation 3. In it, you play as a robed red figure that has one goal: reach the top of the mountain, so that's what you need to do, by going though some puzzles in about 7 different stages. What makes it unique is its simplicity: you only have two actions apart from moving: jump/fly when your magical scarf has magic left, and sing, which attracts things that refill your magic and is the only communication in the games' most important aspect: multiplayer.

Multiplayer in Journey is a unique experience. (It's of the co-op kind, so don't expect to strangle anyone to death with your scarf.) First off, I suppose you would expect to see who you're playing with, but the game doesn't actually show you who the other robed figure is…so you would expect to be like “meh, this anonymous guy over here, what the hell do I care about him?”, but you actually just end up being partners with the person, simply because the simple controls and premise makes screwing up mostly impossible, and being close to your partner actually refills your magic gauge. So, the experience ends up being one of bonding, because you end up experiencing a really nice journey with your new friend, and at least in my opinion, the game eliminates the need for communication, because your actions always speak louder than words.

I swear I would like to describe this game better, but I seriously can't find the words to describe something so beautiful. Like, say you're an astronaut and you see planet Earth in all its might. You could try to describe the experience, but you know that the English language is not enough to properly express how it feels, and that's honestly how I think about Journey. Everything about it: the artstyle, the soundtrack, the design, everything blends in to create a wonderful experience that just reminds me just how awesome video games can be. That is why it's my pick for the number 1 spot.

I really should make a video review someday...

Dippy's Matilda

Crocodile Dippy (talk)

Hey guys, hope you're enjoying the New Year! I have too, what with all the 2012 releases I've had to catch up with in order to make this month's section concerning my Top 5 Games of 2012. I'd say 2012 has been one of the most important years for gaming, displaying a tremendous deal of maturation in the way games as an artistic medium are being treated to deliver important messages about us as people and the world around us; the sexism debate has finally become something everyone is taking seriously now, which will do wonders for opening this medium up to everyone without discrimination or exception; and we've also formally entered into the next generation of gaming with the Wii U released at the tail end of the year, and the announcement of two Android-based consoles, and Valve's PC console. But at the heart of that news rests the games themselves, so on that let's honour those games of 2012 that have made impressive strides in the industry, whether that be by innovating gameplay, story, characterisation, writing, aesthetics, what have you.

Keep in mind this is only games I've played, so I'll just say early that some releases getting huge accolades that I've not yet had a chance to sink my teeth into; Far Cry 3, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Mass Effect 3, Hitman Absolution, and Torchlight 2. Right then, let's go.

Also, credit for the images goes to Hypnotoad (talk) (also known as Anton, PsychoKamek, and Politoed). Thank you so much for doing these, they look amazing.


Developer: Klei Entertainment It's probably universally known by this point that my favourite video game genre is stealth, but it's become a bit of a rarity to find true stealth experiences that balance the formula perfectly. Enter Mark of the Ninja, a small but wonderfully designed independent title that shows one of the best understandings of what makes an engaging stealth game.

It's everything a stealth game should be, with large, sprawling levels for the player to decide the best form of approach, various ways to take out or creep past enemies so players can decide for themselves how violent they wish to be, clear indicators of sound and visibility; all within a simple 2D sidescrolling platformer perspective. Every resource the developers had was pooled into building up on the core stealth mechanic to make the experience as rigid, flowing, and focussed as possible, with the equation including progressing through corridors and rooftops, hooking on to ledges, sticking to the shadows, moving through vents, and employing special equipment to either distract or kill enemies, with enough challenges to make it hugely satisfying to accomplish a level with a No Kill and No Detection bonus.

I can think of few games that would be a better entry into the stealth genre for gamers who've never tried out a stealth release before, and I know for sure it'd be a great intro for this site due to everyone's familiarity with side-scrolling platformers. It plays absolutely amazingly and looks pretty good to boot, so definitely try it out if you want to take a break from charging in to battle. It's cheap, too, so no excuses!
Mark of the Ninja
Genre(s): Stealth, platform
Platform(s): XBox 360 (XBox Live Arcade), Microsoft Windows (Steam)
ESRB:M - Mature
PEGI:16 - Sixteen years and older
ACB:M - Mature
USK:16 - Sixteen years and older


Developer: Arkane Studios I went into Dishonored not expecting much at all, but little did I realise it would be one of the most enjoyable triple-A releases of the year. Not quite understanding characterisation and writing was a major thorn in the game's side, but the beautiful, unique world with rich geographical and socio-political detail was only the beginning of what I found so endearing about this release.

Borrowing heavily from the non-linear action role-playing games of the early 2000s such as Thief and Deus Ex, Dishonored delivers a solid open-ended experience in which the player's freedom is expressed through exploration and varying options. Admittedly the binary morals choice is shallow and adds very little to the game, but it's effectively just framing the various methods of accomplishing the missions as the player is given enough power-ups and equipment to decide whether they want to go in full-force, take the stealthy approach (either by killing, passively neutralising, or going completely undetected), through trickery and deceit, or even by summoning a horde of monstrous rodents to devour enemies alive.

It's gruesome in many ways, but the option to do the altruistic thing and spare their lives is what makes this game feel really open to the player and their own choices. The story isn't much to speak of, but it's told well enough to maintain the player's interest, and it does an amazing job at framing the sublime gameplay mechanics. I'd put Dishonored higher on the list if the characters and morals choice weren't so shallow, but definitely give Dishonored the respect it deserves, if not just for being a great stress relief.
Genre(s): Stealth, action role-playing game
Platform(s): PlayStation 3, XBox 360, Microsoft Windows
ESRB:M - Mature
PEGI:18 - Eighteen years and older
CERO:Z - Eighteen years and older
ACB:MA15+ - Fifteen years and older


Developer: Telltale Games The Walking Dead isn't a game with a particularly impressive pedigree behind it, but Telltale took the stale zombie genre and realised that competing with other action-based zombie games would be ludicrous, so they instead filled the niche of emotional character-driven games focussing on the struggles one would realistically face in a zombie apocalypse. And boy does it pull it off, displaying a fantastic understanding of how to make a point and click adventure engaging in the modern world, and how to be a genuinely emotional and tearjerking experience that doesn't have to rely on cheap thrills.

Focussing on a core cast of colourful, developed characters, the player, through the shady but likeable protagonist Lee Everett, is put into various scenarios where their own personal philosophies are challenged with the full knowledge that your actions mean the difference between life and death for the other characters. Conversations are flowing, alternating between slow-paced, quiet conversations to the really tense and panic-stricken arguments, forcing the player to make swift and difficult decisions on a whim, some of which they may regret later on. But there are no right or wrong choices, just inevitable consequences of your actions that you'll have to deal with.

With enough believability and realism in the atmosphere and the way its characters and their struggles are portrayed, these are challenges that test you directly as a person, not as a player. At the heart of all this rests Clementine who remains one of the best-written and most compelling child characters in any medium. This is a game that does everything a good interactive drama should do, pulling all the punches for the long-since stale point and click adventure genre to truly meet brand new potential. If you're a fan of brilliant narrative and developed characters in an interactive medium, you'll be doing yourself a great disservice by not trying out The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead
Genre(s): Point and click adventure, survival horror
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Mac, PlayStation 3, XBox 360, iOS
ESRB:M - Mature
PEGI:18 - Eighteen years and older
USK:18 - Eighteen years and older


Developer: ThatGameCompany Talk of games being a new, albeit infant, art form has grown increasingly prevalent in the industry over the years, but people stereotype so-called “art games” as being overly pretentious and incomprehensibly abstract to the point of meaninglessness, and there's certainly truth to that. But this is why Journey gets this high on my list for defying that and proving how you can perfectly reconcile player engagement and a deep, meaningful experience.

Effectively a game about walking around a variety of environments, Journey manages to keep itself engaging not only from its air of modest elegance and the existence of an overarching goal ensuring players know there's a point to their journey, but by actually being a game even with its minimalistic approach, with puzzles, platforming, and probably the greatest aspect of it, the simple player interaction aspect. With a streamlined approach to multiplayer hurling away identity and formal communication, the game displays the enjoyment of simply being with another person, adventuring with them, and sharing their experiences, all through the gameplay mechanics alone. You can even guide newer players through the game if you're so inclined, all of which comes together to create a true emotional attachment to your fellow players, as if you've made a truly positive difference in the lives and experiences of other people, an effort I think deserves all the respect in the world.

A gorgeous look, a gorgeous sound – which is being nominated for a grammy award, mind you – a gorgeous atmosphere, a gorgeous tone, and overall a gorgeous everything, this is a game that shows just how sweet, endearing, and meaningful a game can be while still being fun. It's not a game that can be fully appreciated through second-hand knowledge, definitely try it out for yourself if you have a PlayStation 3, it's worth every cent.
Genre(s): Adventure
Platform(s): PlayStation 3 (PlayStation Network)
ESRB:E - Everyone
PEGI:7 - Seven years and older
CERO:A - All ages
ACB:G - General

And from there, we get to witness my all-time favourite of this year! A game that gave me just as strong an emotional response as Journey, but on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, and also one that made a far more profound statement on the nature of the gaming medium as it stands. Without further ado, that absolutely sublime release is…


Developer: Yager Development I think most people on this site can agree that military shooters are stagnant and offensively tedious these days, spouting paranoid fantasies of American dominance and superiority over everyone else through sheer firepower alone, removing themselves so far from the truth of war. Which makes it a momentous occasion that this year saw the release of Spec Ops: The Line, a game of admittedly rather dull, tiresome gameplay that only aided the harshly critical socio-political commentary the game made about military shooters and the general apathy and disrespect gamers display towards the real nature and horrors of warfare. This was made effective by establishing the message as a direct personal experience with the player rather than something that we're just supposed to empathise with, allowing Spec Ops to shine as a true gem of interactive narrative.

Spec Ops is a game that, even half a year after its initial release, I'm still able to get into deep discussion about concerning the hidden meanings and clever subtleties that all went into making this the most profound gaming experience I've ever had in my sixteen years as an avid gamer. A fantastic story with a brilliant character arch illustrating the genuine mental damage and post-traumatic stress that real warfare can cause, all this is expressed through the players actions, implicitly putting forth the question of how far you're willing to go to become a hero, how far from reality you're willing to push serious world issues just to validate your need for purpose.

It might sound a bit silly when written here, but trust me, the execution is beyond description. At this point I'm gushing, but that's why this game is so fantastic; I can still keep talking about it so ardently long after its release. It's not a very fun game in the conventional sense, but being one of the most engaging and interesting video game releases ever made is more than enough to justify playing it, and it would be a great insult to the guys at Yager to dismiss Spec Ops: The Line. It's a fantastic game, and absolutely deserves to be played.
Spec Ops: The Line
Genre(s): Third-person shooter, drama
Platform(s): PlayStation 3, XBox 360, Microsoft Windows
ESRB:M - Mature
PEGI:18 - Eighteen years and older
ACB:MA15+ - Fifteen years and older
USK:18 - Eighteen years and older

Retro Feature

by Tucayo (talk)
“And to those of you who have lost faith in The 'Shroom, I say the following: FAIL
Stooben Rooben, Director's Notes, Issue XXIII
Stooben Rooben
Shroom 70 002.PNG
First article: FTMV, Issue XI
Last article: Interview/Christmas in the Key of 2012, Issue LXIX
Sections Written: Main/Staff: 44
Fake News: 9
Music & Art: 1
Positions held: Director, Sub-Director, Fake News Director, Affiliates Manager

HI, readers! I am… Well, at the moment of writing this I don't even know what I am. But anyway, welcome to this year's first installment of Retro Feature! The writers I had previously covered in this section had been either veteran writers who have been missing for years or "recent" writers who stopped writing in these past years. Can we have both qualities in just one writer? Of course we can! That writer is none other than Stooben Rooben (talk), who left his job as our interviewer last month and is one of the two users to whom I greatly owe my 'Shroom career.

If you were to tell the history of The 'Shroom, you wouldn't be able to do it without mentioning Stooben several times. Lemonface, as he was called at the time, joined the Super Mario Wiki on November 14th, 2007. A month after joining, Stooben signed up to write From the Mushroom Vaults and added a User of the Month section to the Sign-Up page. He was accepted as the FTMV writer and started on Issue XI, but his other section was declined by Wayoshi. Now, you probably remember from when I talked about 3Dejong the lack of writers the Fake News sub-team had, which caused there not be Fake News on Issues X and XI. After those two months, the Fake News sub-team had its largest issue so far, with the help of Stooben, who took over the Obituaries. One issue later, 3Dejong left Stooben in charge of the Fake News; and, after a rather quiet first month, Stoob managed to put the original sub-team back on track. Stoob directed Issues XIII to XVIII, but a hiatus made him leave his job as Fake News Director, leaving the team back in 3Dejong (talk)'s hands, who wouldn't release a single issue, due to him not receiving any sections. 3Dejong called it quits a few days before release, and Stoob was asked to return as Fake News Director in December, but no more Fake News were released that year. Since most of the writers in the team hadn't sent a section in months, Stooben proceeded to clear out most of them.

He would go on to write FTMV for 16 straight issues, making it – at the time – the section to appear on the most issues. After Glowsquid's term ended, the second Director Election took place. This election faced Stooben with then-Sub-Director, Marcelagus (talk); Fun Stuff writer, Tucayo (talk) (that's me!); and some random guy who decided to run. That election would eventually result in the election with the highest voter turnout, as well as the most lop-sided one. Stooben got 47 votes, easily defeating Marcelagus (who got 3 votes), lucas64bat (who got no votes), and myself (I got 5 votes).

Big changes came during Stooben's term. During his first month, he promoted the then-called Fun Section to the Fun Stuff Sub-Team we have now, appointing Z3r0 Tw0 (talk) as the first FS Director. Stooben had many plans for the newsletter, but Real Life stuff forced him to put them briefly on hold, as the first of the Stooben-Tucayo switches happened before Issue XXV. Stooben acted as Sub-Director for the next three issues, even writing Monthly Report for February and April, and then returned to the Director's office. While his second term only lasted one month, Stooben approved the Music & Art sub-team before switching positions with me again. The creation of the Core Staff, as proposed by Stooben, along with our underground board in the forums, greatly simplified planning and discussion. That, I believe, was one of the best contributions to the administrative side of the newsletter. For the rest of the year, Stooben stayed as Sub-Director, greatly helping plan and release our first Special Issue and our surprise Holiday Issue. But, most importantly, Stooben was the main driving force in the biggest overhaul The 'Shroom has ever had. This overhaul greatly helped The 'Shroom get back to the spotlight, and took care of most of the problems aggravating us. Section limits were established, our focus was shifted to Wiki News, entertainment sections were trimmed, higher standards were set, the Editor-in-Chief was reinstated, lateness was no longer tolerated, the Sign-Up page was massively rearranged and activity standards were set for the Core Staff.

“I will make sure that every writer's work is appreciated. Our writers do things out of the goodness of their heart — it's completely voluntary.”
Stooben Rooben, 2009 Director Election

That turned out to be a major turning point for The 'Shroom. Stooben also established the basis for the End-of-Year awards, 'Shroom Awards, the various events, the current Poll system and the application process, all of which are key elements of the newsletter nowadays. After all those changes, the 2009 Director Election came, this time Stooben was facing then-Director, Tucayo; and then Pipe Plaza Director, Super Mario Bros. (talk). With 21 votes, Stooben also won this election, and so he returned to the Director's chair. 2010 was basically a continuation of the changes that started in 2009, making The 'Shroom grow more than ever. During the course of the year, Stooben wrote his first Interview, section he last wrote on our previous issue. For the most part of his term, Stoob held the record for most Main Team sections, always writing high-quality sections, which makes my job of choosing one article to show you much more difficult. 2010 ended, and with that came another election, but Stooben decided not to run again, taking a short break from the newsletter. In May 2012, Stooben returned as the first Affiliates Manager, and held the position for the rest of the term. A month after that, he returned to the Interview section, winning a SOTM Award on his first month. He would write 8 more interviews before resigning from the position.

I could go on for days detailing Stoob's career on the SMW Community, but this section has to end eventually. So, without further ado, here is Stooben's FTMV from Issue XVI, where he gave readers tips on the various RPG's of the Marioverse. Enjoy!

Tips, Secrets, Hints, and Cheats for Mario's games!

Cheats: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES) Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars boxart

The start of Mario RPGs was released in 1996; it was very popular, lots of people liked it, it's being released on the Virtual Console in Japan, blah blah blah... Okay, let's just cut right to the chase and skip the boring history lesson. I'm going to tell you how to get an infinite amount of coins.

When you are heading towards Rosa town, enter the area where there's a load of Shy Guys by treasure boxes. Go to the bottom-right exit. Hit the box next to the door to receive many coins, but do not completely empty it. Go back through the exit, and reenter the exit once more; keep hitting the box as I mentioned before, without draining it of coins. Repeat and rinse until you have all the coins you want!

Tips: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA) North American box art of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

I've only recently bought this game, and already it's one of my favorite games. This game is also notable for revolutionizing the style of game sprites. Okay, now that I've bragged with how epicly awesome this game is, I'll tell you today's tip. So, you're fighting Cackletta for the first time and you're having trouble grilling her cheese, right? Then, it must be when she splits into three different entities. Right? RIGHT?! HAH! I though so... anyway, when she's cloned herself to have two duplicates, it's actually quite easy to tell the real Cackletta apart from the bologna cronies. When she attacks, one clone will raise her right arm, another will lift her left arm, and the third will lift both arms. Attack the Cackletta that raises both hands to damage her. Then, just keep doing so until the old hag disintegrates!

Hints: Super Paper Mario (Wii) Super Paper Mario North American cover art

Did you know that you can infinitely stay in a 3D flip? Well, all you have to do is get Mario's catch card from the bottom of Flopside's Pit of 100 Trials. Good luck beating Shadoo though...

Secrets: Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GC) North American box art for Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

There's not one thing that sucks about this game, in my opinion. It's one of the greatest Mario games ever. The graphics are also pretty awesome. Wait, what am I talking about? This isn't the Review section!

Well, as you may or may not know, this game is jam-packed with Easter Eggs. Having played the game almost thirty times, I've probably found close to everything hidden in the game. One of my favorite secrets of the game is the NES reference in the game. This can only be performed only once in the entire game. When in the X-Naut Fortress, head for the ventilator shaft. Drop through the vents into the dressing room (where you played as Peach earlier). When you open the curtain...

...HOLY CRAP! You're in 8-bit! :O It doesn't last when you leave the room though, so be sure to get the best out of it while you can.

Well, I hope you enjoyed RPG Month!

In Closing

As you can see, most of what you see now was influenced by Stooben Rooben in one way or another. Except for the staff's submarine, I bought that one on my own. So I believe it's perfectly safe to say this: The 'Shroom wouldn't be where it is now without Stoob. Actually, many aspects of the Super Mario Wiki community wouldn't be where they are now if it weren't for him. Thanks, Stooby.


by Superchao (talk)

Greetings, Shroom readers! I'm Superchao, your new interview guy. Since Mr. Rooben has stepped down from his post due to lack of time, I'm trying to fill his giant shoes.

This month, I'm interviewing Bop1996, the newest Wiki Sysop on the block. Bop is a likeable guy, well known for his skill in rewriting certain infamous articles (such as several Luigi's Mansion ones). He's also been writing for the 'Shroom for several months, doing the Wiki Update section of Pipe Plaza. Besides that, he's rather known for being a huge Metroid and Retsupuare fan, and a popular user on both the forum and the chatroom.

But you didn't come here to read my summaries, you came here to read the interview:

The Interview

Me: Hello, 'Shroom readers! I'm your new interviewer host guy, Superchao!
Me: Here with me today is Bop1996. Say hi to the readers, will you?
Bop: hi
Me: So, let's start things off with our traditional opener.
Me: Bop, how did you find the wiki and decide to join it?
Bop: I believe I found it while googling for Mario information, and started using it regularly.
Bop: At one point, I found that I had information the wiki didn't, so I created an account and added it.
Me: If I may ask, what /was/ the information you signed up to add?
Bop: Something about Cosmic Clones and how they move exactly how Mario did even if he's completely changed the level, I believe
Me: Oh, yeah. That got me too.
Me: How do you wall jump off thin air seriously
Bop: I thought it was worth adding, s'yeah.
Me: Simple enough. So, who was your first friend here, anyway?
Bop: Probably Mario4Ever, if I recall correctly.
Me: You two are quite a pair. Did you become pals through common interests, or something else?
Bop: That, and a combination of both of us wanting someone to bounce ideas off of for creating an article we worked on.
Me: Makes sense to me. You guys have collaborated on multiple articles, after all.
Me: You're one of the newer users here, right?
Bop: Ehh, I've been around on the wiki since May 2010, so I guess compared to an ancient veteran of all events past, present, and future, I'm relatively new.
Me: None can escape my sheer oldness. *shakes cane*
Me: The point of this is: Are there ever any old retired users who you see stuff by and think "Man, it's too bad I was never around when they were. I'd have liked to meet them"?
Bop: Ehhh, most of the interesting ones are still active in the community if not the wiki.
Bop: Although given how much Shoey likes Time Q, I'd kinda like to see whether he's really as awesome as Shoey claims.
Me: I never really met Time Q, we didn't have reason to talk much. Sorry I can't help.
Me: ...wasn't his main interaction with shoey a six-month banning
Bop: Yes.
Bop: Shoey claims Time Q banned him in such an amazing manner it left an indelible impression on him.
Me: That's our Shoey, I guess.
Bop: Yes, that's our Shoey.
Me: You seem to get along really well with Shoey. Is wiki editing a contribution to that?
Bop: Part of it, and part of it is that we both understand each other's quirks quite well, and it generally leads to more pleasant conversations and good times.
Me: I'm glad to hear it.
Me: So on the note of Mario games, do you have a favorite?
Bop: Ehhh, probably 64, but I haven't actually really played through most of the old classics, so I don't have a great sample size or anything.
Me: How about for non-Mario?
Bop: Chrono Trigger or Metroid Prime.
Me: Actually, let's talk Metroid for a bit.
Me: You and MST3K are probably our community's biggest - or at least most obvious - Metroid fans.
Me: What draws you to the series?
Bop: Well, I personally really love the way most games in the series place you in complete control of your own fate, in a hostile alien world, full of interesting things that you can actually /do/.
Me: And I assume that is one of the reasons you're Not A Fan of Other M, considering it pretty much... does the exact opposite.
Bop: Well, as much as I hate Other M's story, I can't really claim to have much knowledge of Other M from a gameplay perspective, other than the fact that it has about as much cutscene as the entire rest of the series combined.
Bop: But yeah, I don't like it when a Metroid game takes you out of control.
Bop: And so the whole Federation orders thing usually feels like a letdown.
Me: Was that a problem when playing either Prime 2 or Prime 3?
Bop: Prime 2 wasn't nearly as bad, but Prime 3 suffered pretty heavily from it, except in Skytown, which was tellingly the best area of the game.
Bop: The same goes for Fusion, in which the endgame content is significantly better than the beginning.
Me: So to move back to the topic of the wiki. You've been promoted twice over, to patroller and to sysop.
Me: What was it like each time?
Bop: Well, the first promotion was a pretty big step up, what with suddenly having actual responsibility for the first time since joining. It definitely caused me to evaluate what I'd done here as a whole and see things from a larger perspective.
Bop: My second promotion, at least from my standpoint, was a bit more like having a few more buttons to push, and going back to being Shoey's favorite person to ask when he can't do something.
Me: It seems one of your biggest contributions is article overhauls. For example, fixing up the Daisy article.
Me: Is there a particular motivation that drives you to overhaul articles? Not that I'm complaining, of course.
Bop: Part of it's the fact that mass-scale removal of giant piles of idiocy is something I discovered I was good at, and part of it is that I actually have a lot of fun making fun of the things that I find.
Me: Heheh, yeah. There was a lot to talk about with the Daisy article, wasn't there.
Me: Is there anything you feel is your biggest and most important contribution?
Bop: Probably what I did to the Daisy article, tbh, because that's a very prominent page and all that.
Me: ...Was there opposition to your actions?
Bop: No, not really, I had a pretty large group of people in IRC who were laughing at what I removed/providing other voices so it wasn't just me, so it went pretty smoothly.
Me: Yeah, I remember that. It was enjoyable.
Me: So on the note of writing things. You seem to have a talent for creative writing, judging by all the "Monobop executions" you've done. How did you discover it, if I may ask?
Bop: You kept asking me how I would execute people, so I started getting the methodology down to a science, and then I figured out how to encapsulate that in a write-up through practice.
Me: Well, uh. I'm glad I could help you find your skill, then? I'm not really sure how to reply to that, sorry.
Me: Maybe we should just move on to the next question?
Bop: That works.
Me: Right, so. You're definitely a common cohost in the mafia section. What makes you interested in doing so?
Bop: Well, I've found that cohosting with someone that knows what they're doing is generally a good experience, and I usually seem to be in the right place at the right time for some reason.
Me: Do you like playing mafia or hosting mafia more?
Bop: Probably playing, since I get to actually utilize logic and such.
Me: So we've discussed wiki and video games. Any other hobbies you happen to have?
Bop: Well, I really enjoy reading good books, advanced math, and robotics.
Me: Books are definitely a good point.
Me: Math... I'd probably enjoy more if it wasn't frying my brain right now. <_>
Me: What kind of books, if I may ask?
Bop: Good books mostly, but I enjoy epic poetry, mystery novels, and philosophic dialogues the most.
Me: >Mystery novels
Me: Bop confirmed for good taste.
Me: Well, I'm running out of things to talk about. So now for the most important and essential question of all:
Me: Is this the last question?
Bop: That depends on whether you plan on asking another question during the course of the ensuing close of this article, during which you will inevitably attempt to outwit me with words into having whatever answer I give be wrong.
Me: ...
Me: It's no good if you already know my plan ahead of time.
Me: Seriously, though. Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed, and taking the time to get this done!
Bop: You're welcome, it was fun.

In Closing

While he hasn't been here as long as some other members, Bop has certainly established himself as an integral part of the community. He's been a major help to the wiki, and he's been a friendly fellow in all three branches. If you get the chance, you should certainly try to talk to Bop - especially if you like Metroid, Zelda, Retsupurae, or any of his other interests.

Brawl Tactics

by FunkyK38 (talk)

Hello, Brawlers, welcome to this month's edition of BRAWL TACTICS!

This month, i will be wrapping up my three-month series on the Pokemon Trainer with his last Pokemon, Charizard!

Charizard is a large, fairly heavy Pokemon. Since it has wings, it has the ability to fly and it can also glide on its wings. Its jump is fairly good for its weight, but it's a pretty slow character overall.

Charizard's Standard Special is Flamethrower. In the Pokemon series, this is your next step up from Ember, pretty much. In Brawl, it's a charged up version of Bowser's Fire Breath. It reaches a bit further and does more damage. I would recommend using this move when you are surrounded and your foes are closing in one you. If you get a good enough rhythm going with your button-pressing, you can scorch your foes with an almost unending stream of fire.

Charizard's Side Special is Rock Smash. In the Pokemon series, this move used to be an HM move, which meant you could use it to smash rocks outside of battle and couldn't forget the move to make room for a new one. Now it's just a TM. But anyways, this move is not exactly what you might think it is. Charizard does not pull out a rock and smash an opponent with it. Rather, it pulls out a rock, smashes it, and the shrapnel is what will hit your opponents. It doesn't fly too terrible far, so this is another move to use when your opponent is close by. Although it doesn't have a big range, this move can be quite powerful if you're not careful, so watch out for it.

Charizard's Up Special is Fly. In the Pokemon series, this move is an HM. You can use it outside of battle it fly to any Pokemon Center that you have already visited before. Whether that is outside of Mt. Moon, the Pokemon league, or Victory Road, Fly will take you there. In Brawl, this move can be used as a final jump if you run out of jumps trying to get back to a ledge. You won't get a lot of range on it, so don't rely on it too much. Rather, it would be more useful during battle. You can drag your opponent upwards with it, so try a combo with Flamethrower or Rock Smash to take the damage all the way.

Charizard's Down Special is Pokemon Change. You will switch Charizard for Squirtle during this move or Venusaur for Charizard during this move.

Charizard contributes to the Triple Finish Final Smash by firing Fire Blasts at your opponent. In the Pokemon Series, Fire Blast is one of the highest Fire-type moves your Pokemon can learn. In Brawl, Charizard will fire the move at about 30 degrees to the horizontal, which is just enough to catch you as you're trying to avoid it and pull you in so the others can have a go at you. I would stay at least 20 feet away from this move until everything dies down.

That's all for me this month, Brawlers! Hope you have been inspired to break out your G1 Pokemon and have a ball! See you next month on Brawl Tactics!

Mario Kart: Wheel Tips Corner

by Coincollector (talk)

Welcome Mario Karters to the Mario Kart: Wheel Tips Corner. We begin this new year with a race course coming from Mario Kart 7: Cheep Cheep Lagoon.

Cheep Cheep Lagoon
Looks like an underwater paradise, with Cheep-cheeps flying like birds... I say, swimming like fishes.

Cheep Cheep Lagoon (Also known as Cheep Cheep Cape in PAL regions) is the third race course of the Mushroom Cup in Mario Kart 7. The course is located in a coastal area, almost similar to several beach courses from previous Mario Kart games such as Cheep Cheep Beach or Peach Beach.

However the course differs a bit from the others, in that racers don't race on land, over soft and white sands, but in water. That's right. In previous Mario Kart games, the water from those beach courses was a big obstacle, able to slow down any vehicle that tried to go into the deep and eventually got stuck, so that Lakitu had to get you away from the peril. In conclusion, you must be away from the water. Now in Mario Kart 7, water is an elemental part of the course, and instead of slowing you down and drowning your kart, it notably changes the behavior of the vehicle. It sticks out a propeller from behind to turn it in a little submarine and changes the stats of the vehicle and the surrounding's physics a bit as you run over the bed. And don't worry, Lakitu will not have to rescue you if you're in the water, except if you fall into one of the bottomless pits that are found underwater. To resume, if you see a body of water in the track... prepare to dive!

Although not all bodies of water of other courses are accessible, and when that happens, Lakitu again will have to get you back to the road.

Get back to the topic. Cheep Cheep Lagoon has many parts of the track located underwater, so racers must enter the bodies of water to keep it up. This is the first course overall to introduce these kind of tracks.

It's time to wash the Kart while taking a ride.

The track begins on the land over a road of soil and grass with lush palm trees, bushes and kiosks with Miis looking at the race. The road bends instantly to the right with the first set of Item Boxes and then goes straight to the pier with a boost pad at the end that leads all the racers to the water. A big signal ahead of the pier indicates that racers will follow the race underwater now, so don't be afraid of the water right now. Once you submerge, you'll find a wide track in the bed of the water as you fall slowly to the bottom. The track here has tall bumps that can be used to perform tricks. The course underwater has Cheep-Cheeps swimming over the track and sea weeds in the middle of it. Fortunately they're not a real threat. The real obstacles are the Clampies that lie on the sides of the track. Clampies remain immobile, but can reveal pretty Coins and Item Boxes when they open their valves. The problem is that if you get one of them, it's possible that the Clampies suddenly shut their valves and you get trapped or bowl over. The track bends slowly to the right, tapers and goes uphill to send the racers back to the surface. Now on land, racers will find a cove that also has a body of water inside. Racers may enter the water again and perform a trick over a ramp located to the right side of the course, or take flight and go over the water by taking the left side of the road that has the blue pad to activate the vehicle's glider. Notice that the right side is wide while the left is narrow. Taking the narrow path to take off can be sometimes dangerous as you can be pushed away and fall to the water and never get the desired boost. A row of three Item Boxes can be found at the end of the right side while the left has single one. There are some more Item Boxes underwater and next to the two stretches. Underwater, the track is infested with a pair of Sidesteppers that can spin the kart out of control if they're hit. Over the water, players that are flying must avoid the stalactites protruding from the ceiling of the cove as they can stop your speed and deactivate the glider and, consecuently, fall to the water. This part ends quickly returning the racers to the surface and the exit of the cove, while at the same time you and the other racers run over a pair of boost pads found underwater. The track then bends to the right so that racers can go straight and see the finish line to complete the lap.

The schedule for today includes a trip through the course riding your personalized kart and scuba diving while riding your personalized kart.

The course has some shortcuts that players can take advantage. One is a road next to the main one in the first underwater area. If players go far to the right, they'll land there and then follow that path. This stretch is narrow, slightly curled and has pronounced bumps which can be easy to fall off to the main route, or also fall to a bottomless pit to the right of the path. Specialized racers can overcome this and use these bumps to do tricks and jump over the gaps to cut even more time and reach the end of the path that abruptly ends in a wall, and racers must return to the main road swerving to the left. The second shortcut is much simpler. The last corner near the finish line contains a small portion of grass that can be trespassed easily if you have a Mushroom or a Star.

And that's all for today, ladies and gents. Hope you liked this issue of the Mario Kart: Wheel Tips Corner. Additionally, many thanks for the prize of the 'Shroom Awards and congratulations to the other users that also deserved their prize for their awesome work. See ya.

The Pits

by Iggy Pattel (talk)
Pits banner.JPG

Seriously, why does Yoshi leave during the ghost house? That's when you need him most...

Special Interview: Meet the Stooben

by Crocodile Dippy (talk)

What, you want an intro? Bug off, it was pain enough doing an interview in the first place. You know what I would much rather be doing than formatting this interview and writing this stupid intro blurb? Playing MediEvil. Or even Crysis 2. Anything else but this, really, because this is dumb; you'll learn all you need about my interviewee if you just read, so go ahead and read and leave me to my jawless devices.

Crocodile Dippy: Hello 'Shroom readers, stockholders, and monitor-blocking cats alike! It's your ever-grating, but oh-so charming Critic Corner director (unless the new 'Shroom director kicks me out next month, please oh god don't fire me I have a crocodile wife and three rifles!) Crocodile Dippy here, with a very special beginning to 'Shroom 2013! With the departure of our beloved Interviews writer Stooben Rooben (talk) from this position, I've decided that his amazing term deserves a powerful end, and so I figured that he should be interviewed. Even after all these interviews he's done, no one has ever expressed interest in his life, so it's time we stop being so selfish and honour the little guy!
Crocodile Dippy: So give a warm welcome to... huh... where is he? Stooben? Where'd you go?
Stooben: You' on me.
Stooben: :(
Crocodile Dippy: Crikey, sorry, mate! I thought you were an absurdly large blueberry, my bad.
Stooben: No worries! I get that a lot.
Stooben: Anyway, hello 'Shroom readers! Remember me? Of course you do!
Stooben: do, don't you?
Crocodile Dippy: If you don't, then get the hell out of my office. Close the page, I don't need your kind of scum stinking up the text here.
Crocodile Dippy: Sorry about that, Stooben. Some people have no respect!
Stooben: Thanks for clearing out the trash! I mean...uh...
Stooben: What am I doing here, anyway?
Crocodile Dippy: *locks door*
Crocodile Dippy: You're being interviewed! There is no escape!
Stooben: Curses! You've cut me off from my endless supply of throwaway mountains! Now I have no defense...
Stooben: What are you going to do to me?!
Crocodile Dippy: I am going... to ask you questions!
Crocodile Dippy: Bwahahahaha!
Stooben: no, not that! anything but...
Stooben: wait, that's not scary
Crocodile Dippy: It was either this or being stuck in a room with a moose.
Stooben: Canada must be smaller than I remember...
Crocodile Dippy: And on that stereotypical note, we begin our inquiries.
Crocodile Dippy: So Stooben! How are you?
Stooben: I am well! Enjoying some much needed time off from the studio (interviews, ya know)... Time which I am spending participating in Hat War II.
Stooben: Although, I haven't taken a break from studios entirely... I still have music to make. Christmas songs don't make themselves, these days...
Crocodile Dippy: Ah, your lovely Christmas song ushering in the holiday spirit of doom, blood, and destruction. A fun little preview: that won the Music and Artwork SOTM.
Stooben: Oh wow. I'm flattered! I figured I'd never see another award after the 21st of December...
Stooben: Boy, was I wrong.
Stooben: In all seriousness, I am grateful for the award. It's quite an honor.
Crocodile Dippy: While we're talking about your music, many of our users may not know that you actually compose music under the moniker 'Solitary Confinement', and that you've released a few songs already. How about sharing with the readers what it's like making music, and what it usually takes to get it the way you want it?
Stooben: Oh wow. I could babble forever about my music. There's absolutely nothing like composing an entire piece yourself. The guitar, drums, bass, vocals, lyrics, progression, production... I have so much fun creating songs, but that doesn't mean it isn't a lot of work. I don't think I've ever spent so much time dedicated to something like this. It can take up to well over a couple hundred hours to complete an entire piece, from beginning the composition, to writing the lyrics, to finishing the production and mixing.
Stooben: I have a spare bedroom that I do all my work in. It's really nothing special, and neither is the studio equipment I work with (a device that plugs into my laptop's USB port and is able to record every sound and note I make). So, the actual atmosphere I have to work with can be pretty aggravating... Having a 6'x8' area to record everything in can be very stressful and aggravating at times.
Stooben: Especially with all the 30' chords and wires I have to deal with, haha.
Stooben: I record basically everything in my free time off of work, then handle production late at night while most people are sleeping (since it's a quiet process, unlike playing instruments).
Stooben: Usually after about a month's straight work, a song is finished. I immediately copyright it, and then usually show it to a few close friends before uploading it to my Reverbnation profile and spreading the news on Facebook and Twitter.
Stooben: That may sound like a long time, but bear in mind it's just 1 person doing, like, a 15-person job. It's really my favorite thing, I do though. I don't imagine I'll ever stop recording music now that I know how.
Stooben: I'd even say it was a life-changing experience, as cheesy as that sounds.
Crocodile Dippy: A wonderful answer! I think it's a first for this section to get this sort of insight in to the actual recording and production process of music
Crocodile Dippy: It's great to see you doing the best with the equipment you have. I've grown up with a similar mentality of doing what you can with what life gives you. Life gives you lemons, make life take the lemons back.
Crocodile Dippy: I mean, make lemonade.
Crocodile Dippy: Now that we know why you love making music so much, how about an insight into why you love music so much in the first place?
Stooben: that's a tough question to answer. I've always been listening to music, as far back as I can remember. The Beatles were the first group I really got into, because my parents loved them and actually owned their entire discography. Well, every major album release, anyway. I've always had fond associations with music, and honestly very few bad ones.
Stooben: My dad also plays guitar, and I was always fascinated with the instrument growing up. At an older age, other mediums such as karaoke and the Guitar Hero/Rock Band franchise helped solidify my interest in learning about more music and instrumentation as a whole.
Stooben: Silly as it may be, those games did help me initially get a grip on how to keep rhythm.
Crocodile Dippy: Probably gave you a unique grip on it, considering that professional guitarists suck at Guitar Hero and Rock Band
Stooben: Hehe, I hadn't considered that. I should host a Rock Band party one day and invite famous musicians. Then I can beat their scores and mock them!
Crocodile Dippy: Then Kerry King will smash your head in with a hammer, probably under the pretext of you being Wiccan.
Stooben: I wouldn't expect he would be giving me a Hammer-Smashed Face.
Stooben: Perhaps I should say a protection spell...
Crocodile Dippy: Cast the spell Eaten Back to Life. It's the best kind of spell because it makes no sense.
Stooben: lol
Stooben: That sounds painful.
Crocodile Dippy: On the exact opposite note of pain, what is your favourite music genre? I can't imagine it being brvtal death metal.
Stooben: Dubstep. No, but seriously, I guess I would have to say progressive rock is my favorite genre. Pink Floyd is my all-time favorite band; I love just about everything they've done, their progressions, experimentations, and wonderful melodies.
Stooben: But many of my other favorite artists, such as Rush, Peter Gabriel, Electric Light Orchestra (easily my #2 favorite band...though sometimes they are my favorite and Pink Floyd is second), and Yes.
Stooben: Also, Jethro Tull, but I don't want to hurt their feelings by calling them prog.
Crocodile Dippy: Goddammit, now all I can think about is the image of dubstep Pink Floyd.
Crocodile Dippy: "I have become comfortably numb, numb, numb, numb, numbnumbnumbnumb n-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-numb... (HAHAHAHA) wub wub WUB"
Stooben: Let's get Lindsey Stirling to save the day.
Crocodile Dippy: That's a question for later, dammit. You're going too far ahead!
Crocodile Dippy: Let me push this back a bit; I absolutely love Pink Floyd. The only album of theirs I have currently is Dark Side of the Moon, but I have listened to The Wall in its entirety via the film adaptation.
Crocodile Dippy: Which I recall you and Groden being fans of. Gamefreak too, but who cares about him.
Stooben: The movie was totally weird, but I did indeed like it. Watched it with Groden through streaming one night. Granted, it has one of the best movie soundtracks ever, so brownie points there. But the entirety of the film was artful and unlike anything else I've seen before.
Stooben: The animation bits were great too.
Stooben: Probably my favorite parts of the actual film, if only for their imagination.
Crocodile Dippy: Yeah, it was certainly a gruesomely beautiful film.
Crocodile Dippy: I was going to ask who your favourite band is, but you've already answered that, you tiny jerk.
Stooben: *jerk chuckle*
Crocodile Dippy: Wipe that smug smirk off your face, chuckles. You're stuck in this room until the interview is over.
Crocodile Dippy: So moving on, is there any recent artist you'd love to see get more support?
Stooben: Hm, good question. Off the top of my head, as far as small-time indie artists go, I enjoy Anchorage Alaska. They're a rock group that try interesting formulas involving sitar, bongos, dulcimer, oud (i believe), and other world instruments you don't typically hear in rock music. They also revolve around a lot of vocal harmonies in some songs, such as "Banjo in Kashmir".
Stooben: You can hear some of their stuff here: http: // www . reverbnation . com / anchorage (Editor's note: Link split up due to wiki's spam filter.)
Stooben: For more popular artists that are recent, I think I'd have to say Bon Iver is my favorite from the last couple years. While I enjoyed their first album and it's stripped-down acoustic folk sound, I enjoy their second album much, much more. It's full of rich textures of guitars, violins, drums (2 simultaneous players!), keyboards, brass instruments, and layered vocal harmonies. "Perth", "Towers", and "Calgary", I think are my favorite of their songs, though the entire album of 'Bon Iver, Bon Iver' is truly beautiful.
Stooben: (that was a hard choice to make off the top of my head. damn yooouuuu)
Crocodile Dippy: I told you this would be a truly dismal, horrific experience.
Crocodile Dippy: Bet you wish you chose Canada now.
Stooben: Yes. >:(
Crocodile Dippy: Those are some interesting choices. I have heard of Bon Iver before, mostly due to Scarecrow's constant pluggings, but I've not had a chance to listen to their work yet. Anchorage Alaska is a new one to me, however; I'll probably be giving that a try sometime, because I cannot accept the position of not having listened to a band before!
Crocodile Dippy: But hopefully this interview gets them a bit more attention.
Stooben: You? Not hearing of a band?
Stooben: Surely, you jest!
Crocodile Dippy: I know, it's ridiculous. I must not be throwing enough piss at people.
Crocodile Dippy: Speaking of which, you're well-known around the community for being an avid Team Fortress 2 player alongside the #mariowiki crew. While I don't personally need someone to tell me why the game is so fantastic, would you care to elaborate on why you love the game so much?
Stooben: The multiplayer experience is my favorite part of the entire game, without a doubt. Though I think having a private server to practice and play on with friends has spoiled me a bit, I love the feeling of teamwork in this game, especially when your plans actually work. Saving people as a Medic that are an inch from death, saving a friendly Engineer's sentry from being destroyed as a Pyro, taking down enemy nests while being pocketed (that is, followed constantly) by a's all very rewarding.
Stooben: Though, normal public servers lack this coordiation and it can get frustrating.
Stooben: Oh, I forgot to mention how fun it is to extinguish burning teammates with your own piss, as Sniper.
Stooben: because yes
Stooben: I also thoroughly enjoy all of the personalities of TF2's characters. It's really hard for me to pick a favorite amongst them
Crocodile Dippy: As a dedicated Sniper in Team Fortress 2, I can confirm that it is indeed a truly satisfying experience to throw piss at people.
Crocodile Dippy: It should be noted that Stooben has been playing Team Fortress 2 since the beginning of this interview, which should tell you all you need to know about his love for the game.
Stooben: It seems I am not the only one in this interview who cannot resist TF2's charms...
Crocodile Dippy: I just want to troll with Jarate+Tribalman's Shiv. F*** pubs.
Crocodile Dippy: Oh oops, I'll probably censor that when I edit this.
Crocodile Dippy: Quick, think of something witty to say to distract from the dirty language.
Stooben: We lost! I blame your potty-mouth.
Crocodile Dippy: I blame Martiniman and Groden counter-trolling.
Crocodile Dippy: Let's wage pocket war against them.
Stooben: this can only end badly
Stooben: for them!
Crocodile Dippy: If we don't make it through this interview, the readers will know why.
Stooben: oh god
Stooben: so much...FIRE
Crocodile Dippy: Which is what I'll be if I don't get a move on with this interview.
Stooben: Tough bosses you got there, son
Crocodile Dippy: I don't know who my next boss is! God help me now!
Crocodile Dippy: So anyway, we know why you love Team Fortress 2, but why do you love games in general? What makes them so thrilling for you?
Stooben: Some people like to read books for an escape. A vast world full of characters you grow attachments to, where there are all sorts of choices for the protagonist to make.
Stooben: That's kind of what games are for me. I enjoy delving into a world where I can make those choices and interact with those characters.
Stooben: did we die again
Crocodile Dippy: Shush.
Crocodile Dippy: That's effectively what I love about games too. I think I've told you this before, but you should definitely check out The Walking Dead. It's a perfect example of interactive narrative.
Stooben: I can not wait 'til I am able to play that. Stupid laptop.
Crocodile Dippy: From there, I'll ask what your favourite video game is and why. Aside from Team Fortress 2.
Stooben: These questions are so evil. I hate you. ;-;
Crocodile Dippy: The next Saw movie stars me.
Stooben: oh god not those movies
Stooben: My first response would be Rock Band 3, but I think that's an unfair choice due to my bias towards music.
Stooben: This may be rather out-of-left-field, but I think I'd have to say my favorite non-TF2, non-music oriented game, is Gran Turismo 4. Though I absolutely love the entire series of games, I love the fourth installment because of it's massive selection of cars in the game (over 700 different models from around the world from over 100 years' time), the beautiful graphics in its many courses, and it's very brutal opponent AI.
Stooben: There are a ridiculous amount of unlockables, and much to do with multiplayer, though I haven't had many people to play with. I guess there aren't many people who like racing games. :P
Stooben: You can even unlock Jay Leno's Tank Car and the Delorean. With their original specs. It's amazing.
Crocodile Dippy: Can you travel through time?
Stooben: Well, there's a weird glitch that will make the entire course's graphics turn into a blur streak.
Stooben: Kind of resembles time travel.
Stooben: (a subject I am most certainly proficient in)
Crocodile Dippy: I will say that is a rather unorthodox choice, but it's nice to see variety on this site. I am fond of racing games, but I suck so much at them! Probably reflecting my driving ability in real life.
Crocodile Dippy: What is your take on Lancias?
Stooben: Hehe, I'm sure you are not that bad.
Stooben: Also, I find they are rather tough to handle in the games. But I am not sure if that's the case in real life.
Stooben: They DO make great rally cars on snow courses, though!
Crocodile Dippy: Who cares how they control? They're the sexiest thing on the planet.
Stooben: Oh goodness yes. I adore their designs. Especially their rears. that disturbing?
Crocodile Dippy: The next director will probably be getting some emails concerning this, but I know what you mean regardless.
Crocodile Dippy: Moving on to something less creepy, let's turn back to what is usually the first question you ask; how did you find the wiki?
Stooben: Google. I was trying to find information about Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, I believe. Twas a long while ago, so I can't remember for sure. I remember joining the wiki and fixing a few typos and incorrect information in some of the TTYD articles. I also created some articles about enemy objects in Mario Kart: Double Dash.
Stooben: I had actually run across the wiki nearly two years prior to that, but I didn't know it was a website you could contribute to, so I didn't sign up at the time.
Crocodile Dippy: Stooby the Nooby
Crocodile Dippy: Can't really say Stoob the Boob, now can I?
Stooben: Not if you value your job!
Crocodile Dippy: Which I clearly don't.
Crocodile Dippy: Who was the first person you spoke to when you joined?
Stooben: Wayoshi, methinks. But that was over how I couldn't create a "User of the Month" section because of community rage.
Stooben: The first person I had an actual conversation with? Master Crash.
Stooben: It's so awesome that he's still around, considering he was pretty old-school even when I joined.
Crocodile Dippy: You know all about me and Crash's history. Or at least the current result of it.
Crocodile Dippy: He's a great person, now if only he'd stop being so awful.
Stooben: you loooove him
Crocodile Dippy: Getting Crash to stop being so lazy and do a music and artwork section for the 'Shroom will be the death of me.
Crocodile Dippy: It's amazing that your oldest friend here is still around, however.
Crocodile Dippy: Not quite so amazing that your first interaction had to be with Wayoshi.
Stooben: It certainly wasn't pleasant.
Crocodile Dippy: Never is with him.
Crocodile Dippy: Apologies to you if you're reading this, Wayoshi, but you are horrid at first impressions. And second impressions. Really, any impression.
Stooben: He's too busy watching The Price Is Right or something to be reading this. :P
Crocodile Dippy: On the note of bureaucrats, you've so far had the third longest run as a bureaucrat, after Coincollector and Porplemontage (arguable if the latter counts). What was it like being promoted to that position?
Stooben: I had only been a Sysop for, like, 2 months by the time I was promoted, so it was certainly unexpected. The responsibilities greatly increased with the position, so it's not just about promoting and renaming people.
Stooben: Though promoting someone is a damn cool feeling.
Stooben: It's honestly not such a bad gig, but you definitely have to have a lot of time to dedicate to the wiki and how everything runs.
Stooben: As far as policies go.
Stooben: Most editing stays the same, though. Just go about making your normal contributions to the encyclopedia part of the site. Nothing to see here.
Crocodile Dippy: Doesn't sound quite as arduous as many admins and regular users sometimes ponder. Would you ever wish for those days back?
Stooben: It's definitely a lot of responsibility. Don't let my short statements fool you.
Stooben: You have to make contributions pretty much daily. If not to the wiki, then to the Wiki Admins board on the forum, where all the wiki decisions are discussed.
Stooben: If I ever had the time for it again, sure. I'd probably take the responsibility on again. But I wouldn't want those responsbilities stacked with 'Shroom duties, forum modding, and running other websites at the same time, all together.
Stooben: That's just too much.
Stooben: forum moderating, i mean. not modding. Lol
Crocodile Dippy: Hack every forum moderator to be Randy Savage.
Crocodile Dippy: Speaking of your other duties, you were also the director of the 'Shroom for the better part of two years. Widely considered two of the most important years in the development of the newsletter, in fact. How was that experience for you?
Stooben: Pretty taxing at times, especially near release dates, but it was certainly a responsibility I enjoyed. Improving the writing standards for sections, the number of sections, and branching out content to not be strictly 'Mario'... A lot of changes happened then, but I couldn't have done even half of them without the help of my staff. Especially Tucayo during my inactive bouts.
Stooben: I think the 'Shroom calendar was introduced around then.
Stooben: Of course, these are all things SMB and his staff have improved upon GREATLY. I never expected The 'Shroom would be where it's at now, and man is it awesome to see.
Stooben: I quite enjoyed my time as Director and wouldn't trade those days for anything
Crocodile Dippy: I just wish I was around during those days. I was away in my room sulking and listening to awful emo metal at that time, I think.
Stooben: oh noooo, not those days
Stooben: Emo metal is bad for you
Crocodile Dippy: Goddamn it is. Glad I got away from it.
Crocodile Dippy: You speak highly of Tucayo during your terms, especially given that he covered for you plenty of times. What was it like working with him as your sub-director?
Crocodile Dippy: A very topical question, as well, given his candidacy for the 'Shroom Director position for 2013.
Stooben: I think he was more responsible and timely with getting everyone sections together, sending out warnings, and putting the actual issues up for release. He was certainly always very motivated, especially with new features and new writers being introduced to The 'Shroom.
Crocodile Dippy: But he never introduced Free Taco Month.
Crocodile Dippy: What a shame.
Stooben: Ooooh, how could I forget that? He better get around to that. >:(
Crocodile Dippy: If he wins, that is.
Crocodile Dippy: It's a tight one this year. And even though this is going out when the results are finalised, we obviously don't know how it's going to turn out at the time of this interview.
Stooben: I think it's still 14 - 14, which is the tightest I've ever seen any election here
Stooben: So what do we get if SMB wins? A drive-thru orange juice stand? I'm not sure which delicious food he stands for...
Crocodile Dippy: He stands for the letter A.
Stooben: That's not tasty.
Crocodile Dippy: It could be!
Crocodile Dippy: What's also tasty is The Xephyr Board, a semi-private forum founded by you that's become the residence of many a retired user. What compelled you to create the board, and what's it been like managing it?
Stooben: If I recall, I created it because I (and some other users) had grown a bit tired of the super-strict rules of both the MarioWiki and Userpedia forums at the time. I wanted a place where we could all chill out and talk about whatever we wanted to without having the mods bust our chops. Then again, I was one of the mods. Doesn't mean I didn't want to just let my hair down once in a while, though. :P
Crocodile Dippy: You created it alongside Volke, correct?
Crocodile Dippy: Or Zero Two, as he's likely more known by our readers.
Stooben: Managing it is easy enough... Pay the bills and keep the software up-to-date. The place is sleepy, so it doesn't really need moderating like a busy forum. People usually keep the peace there, too.
Stooben: And yes, that is correct. Volke and I created it originally on Invisionfree ( a free forum-hosting software), but we eventually moved to SMF as it was something more customizable, and a software I was also more familiar with.
Stooben: I probably made owning the place sound really boring... Haha, I do enjoy being able to keep everything running, though, even if I don't post much there these days.
Crocodile Dippy: It's a quiet forum, which suits most of us.
Crocodile Dippy: It's enjoyed a rather notorious reputation for many years, however. Do you feel that's died down a bit in recent years?
Stooben: Yeah. Some of us used to be really aggressive and use Xephyr to gripe about users behind their backs (yes, even me!). But I think the community there hasn't been that way in well over a year, probably more like two.
Stooben: I think we're a pleasant crowd to be around now. We just joke around and talk about normal stuff.
Crocodile Dippy: Actually talking about Xephyr Board being a resting spot for retired users has reminded me; are there any AWOL users you really miss?
Stooben: Stumpers, I think would be who I miss most. He was just a really nice guy to talk to and work with. He was also one of my 'Crat bros, along with Time Q. (We all got promoted on the same night.)
Stooben: I also miss Time Q for similar reasons. Another very nice, level-headed guy. I admired their edits, too.
Stooben: Oh, and of course Xzelion... That pretzel-loving fool.
Crocodile Dippy: You can still contact Xzelion through Crash, at least.
Crocodile Dippy: I've done it every so often.
Crocodile Dippy: Usually we talk about the latest games coming out, seems we're both interested in The Last of Us.
Crocodile Dippy: I do remember Stumpers well, though. He was a lovely person to talk to, a true friend. I think everyone misses him, actually.
Crocodile Dippy: I didn't have much to do with Time Q, though, so I can't really comment.
Crocodile Dippy: I know he had interesting music tastes.
Stooben: Stumpers was indeed a good friend to many. I hope spme day he will make a return if only for a week or so
Stooben: Time Q... I surprisingly don't remember much about his musical tastes, aside from that he liked Muse a LOT.
Stooben: I will have to start abusing Crash as a contact to Xzelion, too.
Crocodile Dippy: Moving away from the Wiki for a bit now, what other personal interests do you have outside music and gaming?
Stooben: Photography, though I'm by no means a professional. I enjoy taking pictures of landscapes and people and sometimes just random objects. I've also made a few light paintings by take pictures of neon signs at night; I reduce the camera's shutter speed greatly, then move the camera around in all sorts of directions while the picture is being taken. Usually it takes about 5-7 seconds before the pictures is finally taken...and by then, it looks like a digital Pollock piece. Totally screwy with colors everywhere, but it looks cool.
Stooben: I also enjoy cooking quite a lot. I experiment with all sorts of flavors in the kitchen. I can definitely hold my own when it comes to cooking, but cooking beef properly...that still gives me the hardest time to this day.
Crocodile Dippy: Doing better than me. The best I can do is make pasta. Which I don't mind.
Crocodile Dippy: Photography is a fascinating hobby, I especially love scenic photos. Sounds like you've created a few intriguing pieces, you'll have to show us all some of it someday. If you're at all interested in learning more about photography you should definitely have a chat with Anton; it's one of his primary studies at the moment.
Stooben: Anton did tell me about that early last year. I was quite fascinated in what he had to say. I've seen some of his photographs, and he definitely has a far better eye than I. :P
Stooben: I may have to ask him some questions if I start wanting to experiment with picture-taking some more.
Crocodile Dippy: He's always happy to yammer on about the things he loves doing, so you're in luck.
Stooben: Sounds like me, lol
Crocodile Dippy: Well shit, seems we've been going on for a long time. You've got an interesting history on this site, mate. A wonder it's been you that's been doing all the interviews; they're all less interesting than you.
Stooben: Nawww. I think many people have done more intriguing things around the wiki and have equally fascinating hobbies.
Stooben: (was that too modest)
Crocodile Dippy: You are a pansy, goddammit. Forget I even said anything.
Stooben: i will have your job for this
Stooben: ...wait...i already did...
Crocodile Dippy: I have nothing left to lose!
Crocodile Dippy: And so, we end this on one final question.
Crocodile Dippy: Is this the last question? Or is this just fantasy?
Stooben: This question is making me feel caught in a landslide... Is there no escape from reality?!
Crocodile Dippy: Open your eyes, look up the skies and seeee... me, because I'm so much taller than you.
Stooben: You mean ol' crocodile man.
Stooben: To give you serious answer, I think it was impossible for that to be the last question. Not only because you asked another question right afterwards, but because I am certain you will ask even more questions in the future.
Stooben: So it is very, very far from the last question.
Crocodile Dippy: Silly Stooben, none of this even happened. We're all dead. Since December 21st, in fact.
Stooben: My dreams! My future! All gone! :(
Stooben: How did we die?
Crocodile Dippy: Custard comet.
Crocodile Dippy: It smothered the world in its gooey, delicious horror.
Stooben: That's not the jelly donut death I wanted, but I suppose it will do.
Crocodile Dippy: Welp folks, I ran out of material the second this interview started, so best we wrap this up now.
Crocodile Dippy: Thank you for taking several hours out of your morning to be trapped in a room filled with vague, stupid questions.
Crocodile Dippy: You may go now.
Stooben: Don't I get a prize moose or something?
Crocodile Dippy: Don't push your luck, or you'll be ficking up pirple flowers
Stooben: They will look absolutely smashing on my majestic pirple mountains
Crocodile Dippy: Good, now leave my office! I have very important things to do, like sleeping and preparing my Jarate!
Stooben: Sounds exhausting! But I should do one of those things too...
Stooben: Seeya around, 'Shroomigos.
Stooben: And thanks for the interview, Crocodile Man.
Crocodile Dippy: Get. Out.
Crocodile Dippy: Don't make me get the Sydney Sleeper out.
Stooben: *runs*
Stooben: *steals moose*
Stooben: *keeps running*
Crocodile Dippy: YOU BETTER RUN
Crocodile Dippy: As should this interview. GOODBYE, READERS! THANKS FOR... READING!

What, are you still here? Didn't you learn about how important, influential, and radical Stooben is? If you didn't, then go back and read over this interview again, you lowly maggots! You will not have dinner until you learn some respect, soldier! Now get the hell back in there and learn to appreciate those who've poured their heart and soul into this website and its community before you were learning what the minor edit button even does! Teeeeeen HUT!

A Pretentious List of the Ten Greatest Love Songs

by Scarecrow von Steuben (talk)

Perhaps this was not a very good idea for a 'Shroom article. I came up with it and compiled most of the songs shortly after I was approached to do an article. Last year I forgot to turn mine in so I didn't get it included, and I was certain that this year would be different! Of course, here it is, over a week since the deadline, and I'm only just now turning it in, so maybe it won't be accepted after all. (Editor's note: The section was submitted late for the Holiday Issue, so it was included in the January issue instead.) If it is, though- ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, A Pretentious List of The Ten Greatest Love Songs You Won't Find On Most List Of The Ten Greatest Love Songs.

10. Blur - Yuko and Hiro
This is one of my favorite Blur songs. It's one of their most underrated, too. It tells a sad little story about two overworked Japanese co-workers who fall in love but can never see each other because of how much work they have to do... well, okay, when you write it out like that it sounds incredibly dumb. But when you're listening to Damon Albarn sing about it over a slow drum machine and off-key synths, it's pretty powerful, because Damon Albarn is great.

9. Frank Ocean - Pyramids
I'm still trying to get into Frank Ocean's critically acclaimed debut Channel ORANGE. Most of the songs on it haven't really grabbed me yet, but this one sure did. It's ten minutes long and uses pharaoahs as a metaphor for modern-day pimps, and also there's something about falling in love with a stripper. Better than it sounds.

8. Daft Punk - Digital Love
Everybody loves Daft Punk, right? This song actually has very little lyrical content, with just one verse sung at the very beginning of the song and a few lines repeated at the end. Still, it's a great song. You've probably heard it, because it is Daft Punk, and if you don't like Daft Punk, what sort of person are you?

7. Burial - Near Dark
There are only two lines in this song, pitch shifted and sampled from some anonymous R-n-B song (Wikipedia is of no help to me in identifying it). These vocals are combined with lo-fi drums, subtle washes of synth, and not much else, but it all comes together just right to be one of my favorite songs of all time. The singer is saying "I can't take my eyes off you" but if you listen to it sideways it sounds sort of like "I can't see my asshole" (as Youtube commentors have been quick to point out on the video for the song) so that should provide some enjoyment for the more cynical among you.

6. REM - You Are The Everything
This song has some of my favorite lyrics of all time. They are incredibly corny, but they're still really powerful, and the fact is, everybody needs some corniness in their life. The vocals rarely stop at all throughout the song (only once, to be exact), so it gives the impression that Stipe is letting everything out at once without any filter or worrying about what it sounds like or what people will say about it.

5. Thom Yorke - Atoms for Peace
This is probably one of the most upbeat songs that's ever come out of Radiohead or its members. It's actually supposed to be from the perspective of Yorke's wife (according to an interview I read a while ago and half-remember) telling him to get himself together. But the lyrics are vague enough that it could really be for or from anybody. The vocal delivery is rather angsty, of course, this being Thom Yorke, but the melody is beautiful and that bouncy, happy little keyboard loop gives the song a certain energy and joy.

4. Arcade Fire - Crown of Love
And on the flipside of "Atoms for Peace" is "Crown of Love," an incredibly bleak and violent song that uses cancer and eyeball mutilation as metaphors for unrequited love. But this all fits in perfectly with the themes of the album it's on, Funeral, which is a loose concept album about kids and teenagers dealing with death. It's not particularly angry or loud, just exhausted and bitter-sounding... and thus manages to convey the helplessness and anger of being a teenager while still maintaining a degree of subtlety and intelligence (Korn and Limp Bizkit, take notes). There are also some pretty thinly-veiled references to masturbation in there, too, for those of you who are still reading this mostly because of the "I can't see my asshole" thing from #7.

3. Bon Iver - Calgary
I like this song a lot, and it's going to be hard to write about it without lapsing into Pitchfork-ey pretentiousness. But here I go: This is a really beautiful song. It has no chorus and no repetition of lyrics, simply a series of verses that slowly build up into the uplifting climax. This song may not be your thing if you're not into weird metaphors and falsetto vocals. There, I'm quitting while I'm ahead.

2. Smashing Pumpkins - Luna
This is the last song on Siamese Dream and a personal favorite. It starts off acoustic and eventually grows and builds into the sort of big, unashamedly romantic ballad that the Pumpkins did so well. I really don't know how else to describe this song, it's great and you should listen to it.

1. Sufjan Stevens - Casimir Pulaski Day
Cancer is so often used to pull heartstrings in cheesy movies and tv shows that it's almost surprising to find a powerful, realistic depiction of the illness in art or entertainment. But this song pulls it off. The narrator's girlfriend has cancer, and then she dies. That's basically the whole song, right there, and it sounds incredibly glurgey written out like that. But "Casimir Pulaski Day" succeeds because it includes the little details, the things that anybody who's lost a friend or family member to a drawn-out terminal disease can identify with- the prayers for recovery, the moment when it hits you that it's really going to happen even after you thought you had dealt with your grief already, the misdirected anger at God, the weird sort of quiet that settles over the house- and some of unique things that make the listener feel like these people are real and have their own quirks and interests. It is a very sad song and if you listen to it you will probably be sad too. Unless you're the guy who listened to "Crown of Love" and "Near Dark" because of the masturbation and misheard references to assholes, respectively, in which case you will probably think this song is gay.

So that's my list. I wrote it after several days of very little sleep so that's my excuse if it sucks.