The 'Shroom:Issue LXXXII/Interview
Hello, 'Shroom readers! For the first month of the new year, and my next streak of interviews and traditionally bad introductions, I'm interviewing Wiki Sysop and outgoing 'Shroom Spotlight Manager YoshiKong! I would say more but I kind of have to rush this one!
Superchao: Hello, 'Shroom readers! As the first interview of the new year, I'm interrogating our outgoing Spotlight Manager, YoshiKong!
Superchao: Since 90% of your stuff to talk about has to do with the wiki, we might as well start on that subject. How'd you find it?
YoshiKong: Well I believe it was early September, 2011. One day I was playing Mario Party DS, and I was curious about all the unlockables. So as you would, I shot off a Google search and one of the first results was an article here.
YoshiKong: The article was "List of Collectibles from Mario Party DS".
YoshiKong: After finding the info I wanted, I began to look around the rest of the website, and I saw myself contributing to some of the article.
YoshiKong: So I registered.
Superchao: Wait, did we have IP editing back then...?
YoshiKong: I don't believe so.
Superchao: Then how did you contribute, unless you meant see yourself as in see yourself in the future :V
YoshiKong: Yup! :V
Superchao: Well that explains it.
Superchao: What articles did you start out on?
YoshiKong: I same across a PipeProject (remember those?) focusing on the game Wario Land 4, which was one of my favorite games to play at the time.
YoshiKong: That that was a major project which occupied me for over a year.
Superchao: People remember PipeProjects?
Superchao: Also everyone seems to love Wario Land 4. I really need to play it one of these days.
YoshiKong: There was a hell of a lot to do, the article was initially in really bad shape. There were dozens of articles to create, and those which were created needed an overhaul of a rewrite.
Superchao: Ooh, what was it like? Tell me more details
YoshiKong: It's a great game, many things to document and so much replayability. I wrote up a checklist on what to do for the article, and I slowly worked myself through it.
YoshiKong: I remember my first article I created was "Golden Passage", but Lindsay151 deleted it because it was too short.
Superchao: Well, I meant of the bad shape it was in. So we can contrast the Before YoshiKong era and After YoshiKong era
YoshiKong: Ah, okay.
YoshiKong: This was a revision about half a month before I registered: http://www.mariowiki.com/index.php?title=Wario_Land_4&oldid=1136602 The story and gameplay elements was really lacking. Most of the key features of the game weren't even mentioned, and likewise didn't have any articles to match.
Superchao: Yeah, I can see the problem. So I assume the project is what got you to stay?
Superchao: ...Out of curiosity, how old was the PipeProject?
YoshiKong: Yeah, it kept me occupied for a long time. I did contribute to other minor projects along the may, but this was always my main focus.
YoshiKong: The PipeProject on Wario Land 4, if I recall correctly, had been there for a while before I came across it.
Superchao: Sadly, it sounds pretty accurate. I remember that many people (including me) would just stick the PipeProject badge on their userpage and then do zero contribution.
YoshiKong: Agreed. PipeProjects overall, didn't work out very well.
YoshiKong: Well-meaning users posted them, but rarely nothing major was done.
Superchao: I think the problem was a lack of direction... But we can talk about this more when we get to discussing the Spotlight.
Superchao: For now, more wiki history! What did you do after completing said project? Just hang around and edit in general?
YoshiKong: Well, I nominated Wario Land 4 for Featured Article status around late 2012, but it didn't pass. And other things caught my attention since, so to this day I'm not satisfied it's complete.
YoshiKong: I mainly picked up new projects through recent changes, and discussions with other users.
YoshiKong: I recall heavily contributing to tables on articles (I like tables!).
YoshiKong: And then I found a passion in images.
Superchao: Oh? Tell us more about said image passion.
YoshiKong: Well I registered for press access sometime last year, and I found that waiting for and obtaining new high res artwork straight from the horse's mouth (Nintendo) was very thrilling.
YoshiKong: A webmaster of a dedicated Nintendo media repository, PidgiNet, gave me further press access to different regions of Nintendo.
Superchao: I didn't know you could actually do that if you weren't major press.
YoshiKong: Initially I used a guest login for Nintendo of America, but after becoming an admin at PidgiNet, I was provided with registered logins used by the staff on that site.
YoshiKong: It was a very good experience, as on MarioWiki I was usually the first to upload the new artwork.
Superchao: Out of curiosity, what is PidgiNet? Just lots and lots of images?
YoshiKong: http://pidgi.net/ It's a Nintendo press site and media depository.
Superchao: Ah, I see. Why not talk about how you got involved over there?
YoshiKong: Well I met the webmaster, Immewnity, through MarioWiki. And we began talking and soon enough I found myself contributing to his wiki, where we store nothing but images.
Superchao: Drat, the plan to spread misinformation about there being no wikis outside of MarioWiki and you will die cold and alone if you leave us failed.
Superchao: Now how will we keep other wikis from stealign away our editors?
YoshiKong: Lol. Before then, MarioWiki was the only wiki I ever contributed to, so it was good to have a passion in helping build something else.
Superchao: On the note of MarioWiki, when did your Road to Adminship start?
YoshiKong: I believe I was nominated for Patroller by Walkazo, around boxing day 2012.
Superchao: was it for your undying support of boxes
YoshiKong: I've yet to find out.
Superchao: Hahaha, do you seriously not know why you were promoted?
YoshiKong: Lol, I'm just messing with you. On the nominations thread in the admin board, Walkazo wrote I was hard working and stuff. :P
Superchao: That's what it always is. Was this before or after you started doing image stuff, outta curiosity?
YoshiKong: Around the same time I believe. But I think really built on my knowledge on different file types, image editing etc. after I became an admin.
Superchao: Probably because that's when they start making sure you know everything
Superchao: (I wouldn't know lol)
YoshiKong: Yeah, the admins at the time used very harsh torture methods and blackmail.
YoshiKong: And rations were limited.
YoshiKong: And I never received my check in the mail. :(
Superchao: Well, once you got to be a Sysop, didn't you get to inflict pain on others?
Superchao: I'm sure that helped!
YoshiKong: It eased the pain a little!
Superchao: so why'd they make you higher level
YoshiKong: Glowsquid nominated me in May 2013, said I was "more than ready" and that my recent contributions speak for themselves.
Superchao: I guess the recent contributions of yoshikong are my next interviewee.
YoshiKong: Personally I think it's mainly because I kept up a consistent high level of activity, but I had a lot of free time back then.
Superchao: So what'd ya change between then and then, anyway? Just getting into images and the like?
YoshiKong: Yeah, mass image re-uploading and replacing kept me occupied.
Superchao: Occupy YoshiKong Street
YoshiKong: But I still contributed to other projects, mainly one found in the Wiki Collaborations Board.
YoshiKong: That was my favorite forum board at a time.
Superchao: I should check that board out occasionally!
Superchao: Did you dump it, abandon it and run off with a trollop of a board
YoshiKong: I eventually ran off with a board of studies instead.
Superchao: How shameful. The high society papers will be up in arms over this, you know.
YoshiKong: I think my level of activity has been falling recently, unfortunately.
Superchao: Is life happening to get in the way?
YoshiKong: Yeah, I'm beginning to realize that there are many, more important ways I could be managing my time. With tasks that may take priority over internet.
Superchao: >take priority over internet
Superchao: SHUN THE NONBELIEVER
YoshiKong: I think I will go sit on the chair of shame.
YoshiKong: And wear a dunce hat.
YoshiKong: If no one minds.
Superchao: Don't worry, I can interview you while you sit just the same.
Superchao: So, since you're the person who singlehandedly rescued the 'Shroom Spotlight project from being a footnote on the annals of 'Shroom history...
Superchao: Why not tell us about that?
YoshiKong: Sure. Well Spotlight was initially an occasional 'Shroom section back in 2010 when Marioguy1 and Xzelion wrote it.
YoshiKong: It never really gained any input from the community, and it was eventually forgotten about after both managers retired.
YoshiKong: Around March 2012, I believe it was Shoey who brought it up in a Shroom Staff meeting, since he PM'd me on the forums that he knows a perfect position for me.
YoshiKong: Shoey acted as the backbone of the revival of the project, as he pushed to get the project a new manager to run and revamp it.
Superchao: Wait, you sure it was March 2012?
Superchao: But yeah, I remember that Spotlight of old was pretty much "Let's do this!" *does nothing*
YoshiKong: Oh snap, I mean March 2013.
Superchao: Yeah that was a bit confusing lol
YoshiKong: Anyway, Shoey nominated me for some insane reason, and it was decided by the 'Shroom Staff that Spotlight manager should be made a staff position. I accepted the position and I found myself part of the 'Shroom Core Staff.
YoshiKong: I introduced a lot of changes to the project, rather than pick up from the trend that Marioguy1 and Xzelion began.
YoshiKong: For the first few months, input was shaky. But statistically, it grew over time.
Superchao: How would you contrast your spotlight version with theirs?
Superchao: As in, what were the major changes you made
YoshiKong: Well, they would just say "The focus for this month is Super Mario Galaxy!" and not give any advice on how the article could be improved.
YoshiKong: For the first few months, I would also select one article, but give in-depth tips for what and how it could be improved.
Superchao: Hahaha, yeah, lemme go check
YoshiKong: First Spotlight article written by me http://www.mariowiki.com/The_%27Shroom:Issue_LXXIII/The_%27Shroom_Spotlight
Superchao: Much better than the old "So, without further adue, this month's spotlight game is: Super Mario Galaxy."
YoshiKong: Turns out that the one-article thing didn't turn out as well as I hoped. I feel that I was dumping an overwhelming amount of work on the community.
YoshiKong: So instead I chose four, smaller articles. Each with a specific problem.
Superchao: It's probably easier to get people to work when they have specific goals rather than just "make it better!"
Superchao: And that's been your modus operandi since, right?
YoshiKong: Yes it had. And the turnout for it was much better, I believe because it may appeal to a wider audience with their different specialties and interests.
YoshiKong: Such as rewriting, adding images, etc.
Superchao: Maybe that was the issue with the old PipeProjects, or maybe the problem there was that they were all too ambitious.
Superchao: Covering entire ranges of articles, for example
YoshiKong: Yes. I think the main difference between PipeProjects and Spotlight, is that projects are much more manageable.
Superchao: As was annouced in this issue, you're retiring and leaving the Spotlight section to your two chosen successors.
Superchao: May I ask what specific qualities led you to think GBAToad and Yoshi876 would be good for this project?
YoshiKong: I've found friendship group in these users, and we often have PM group chats on the forums. They're both intelligent, mature and highly committed to the wiki and the Spotlight project.
YoshiKong: And I feel that they will do great with the section now in their hands, co-writing it to a high standard.
YoshiKong: I wish them both the best of luck.
Superchao: Well, those two come with high recommendations, then.
Superchao: Even if they'll have some big shoes to fill!
YoshiKong: I'm sure they'll do great.
Superchao: High praise, indeed.
Superchao: Now let's talk about some more casual things!
Superchao: For example: What would you say are some of your favorite Mario games?
Superchao: Obviously Wario Land 4 is one, considering the earlier part of our interview as to how it's the entire reason you're here right now.
YoshiKong: I've really enjoyed the Donkey Kong Country series on the Game Boy Advance.
Superchao: Oh? Why's that?
YoshiKong: I just love the gameplay and art style. But nowadays it's more nostalgia.
Superchao: Well, I've heard DKC get a lot of praise in general. It's a popular series, to be sure.
Superchao: ...Actually, now i'm curious. What was your first system/games? The GBA?
YoshiKong: I was one of those kids who didn't play video games until they were around nine years old. It was one of the most popular subjects to talk about back then at school, and naturally I felt left out.
YoshiKong: So that Christmas, I asked for a Game Boy Advance and some games.
Superchao: Hahahaha, I get what you mean. I didn't get into Pokemon until a year or so after everyone else at school had.
Superchao: Which games did you get, then?
YoshiKong: I actually received a Game Boy Micro, which could still play GBA games. I got a lot of second hand games, meaning that many of them didn't come with a box or instruction manual: just the cartridge.
YoshiKong: Amongst them were Pokemon Ruby, Super Mario World and an addictive Beyblade game.
Superchao: Wait, the Game Boy Micro played GBA?
YoshiKong: Yep. But they didn't play the original Game Boy games or Game Boy Color.
YoshiKong: Meaning I couldn't play one of the games I got.
Superchao: So basically, it was technically the Game Boy Advance Micro.
Superchao: And all this time I thought it was, well, Game Boy.
YoshiKong: Pretty much. The screen was tiny!
Superchao: Well it was Micro
YoshiKong: It did the job.
Superchao: Out of curiosity, which game couldn't you play?
YoshiKong: It was a Pokemon Pinball game, I think.
YoshiKong: I assume Santa just bought things at random which said "Game Boy" on it, without checking compatibility.
Superchao: To be fair, he's like a thousand now. Can't expect the old guy to keep up with every new game system, can we?
Superchao: So how well did Super Mario World turn out to be for you?
YoshiKong: For a time I actually competed with a friend at school, seeing who could find the most exits.
Superchao: Ooh, who won?
YoshiKong: I think I got most of them, asides from a prick somewhere in the Forest of Illusion.
YoshiKong: I found it later on when I discovered internet walkthroughs.
Superchao: Hahahaha, congrats on that. The Forest was always really annoying anyway.
Superchao: Considering half of the exits were redundant
Superchao: I did kind of like how finding them all was basically "mario supports deforestation"
Superchao: Out of curiosity, besides SMW, DKC, and WL4, any other real standout Mario games for one reason or another?
YoshiKong: Well, at that same friend's house I played Super Mario 64 DS. For some reason, that game was the epitome of my virtual focuses at the time.
YoshiKong: Getting each star was like, some sort of wonderful achievement.
Superchao: So what about getting every star?
YoshiKong: I don't think I found them all in the end.
Superchao: Aw, that's too bad. I'm sure you'll do it if you ever try again!
Superchao: The castle stars can definitely be annoying...
Superchao: What'd you like about 64 DS, anyway? The exploration and all that?
YoshiKong: The exploration, sense of personal achievement, and how it left the player with a choice on what to do next. Unlike many other games, where the player must follow a strict path.
Superchao: Mhm, I liked that about both 64 and Sunshine, how relatively nonlinear they were.
Superchao: Too bad we didn't get that for Galaxy as much.
YoshiKong: Hm, agreed. I didn't play Galaxy until a long time after playing SM64DS, however.
Superchao: What did you think of it, out of curiosity?
YoshiKong: I thought it was a beautiful game. Very unique and enjoyable gameplay, while providing tonnes of re-playability. So it's hard to get bored with.
Superchao: Unless you're stuck on one last start! :V
Superchao: But yeah, it's definitely a pretty good game.
Superchao: Some very memoriable galaxies too
YoshiKong: Toy Time Galaxy!
Superchao: I was thinking of less painful memories than that, but whatever floats your boat
YoshiKong: Whatever soothes your soul.
Superchao: Now, for the opposite end.
Superchao: Are there any Mario games that sapped your soul? That crushed your spirit? Or in less overly dramatic terms you just disliked
YoshiKong: That spawn of evil, known as Yoshi's Universal Gravitation.
Superchao: I barely know the first thing about it. What's so awful?
YoshiKong: It was a GBA game with a built-in tilt tensor, where tilting the GBA during gameplay could affect the gravity. While I enjoyed the cute graphics to an extent, I don't feel as if the tilt mechanism worked very well with a platformer.
Superchao: Did it make it playable?
Superchao: ...Actually, didn't they keep that for the DS too? Or did Touch and Go do things different
YoshiKong: It was playable, to an extent. But it got a little frustrating at times. I believe Touch and Go used the microphone to blow up balloons or something. I'm not too sure.
Superchao: It seems like they enjoy making overuse of the special features in the Yoshi games, doesn't it.
YoshiKong: I feel that the Yoshi series market is where developers test obscure new features of gameplay, and they don't always work.
Superchao: Meanwhile the Wario series market is where
they don't give us any new platformers for a long time :< they just try unique gameplay styles without features! Or something.
YoshiKong: >they don't give us any new platformers for a long time
YoshiKong: I think that may be due to the low sales of the last game in the series, "Wario Land: Shake It!!"
YoshiKong: I believe it was a lifetime sales of 50,000 in the US.
Superchao: Yeah, but it's still disappointing. I hold out hope regardless, anyway.
Superchao: Just like I believe in a Super Mario Sunshine remake. YA GOTTA BELIEVE
YoshiKong: I'd love them to make a Wario Land 5, on a handheld. And forget about the obscure Shake It.
Superchao: Honestly, the Wario series seems like one of those that's better suited for handhelds, anyway.
Superchao: Master of Disguise was good too, imo.
YoshiKong: Never played it. What was it like?
Superchao: Had a strong emphasis on form shifting, so it was similar to what I know about WL2/3/4. Definitely a big focus on the touchscreen - and the puzzles for EVERY treasure chest got annoying - but overall the actual gameplay part was pretty solid.
YoshiKong: There were a handful of Wario games which were very underrated.
YoshiKong: Virtual Boy Wario Land, for one.
Superchao: Oh? You hear so much about the Virtual Boy being bad that nobody seems to talk about individual games being good.
YoshiKong: I have actually grown to love the history of the Virtual Boy. I downloaded a ROM (sue me) sometime last year for VBWL. I didn't really expect much, because at the time I was part of that oblivious prejudice about the obscure system.
Superchao: Oh, you should tell us more. It's not often you hear anything about the VB other than "it sucked"
YoshiKong: It was actually a really good game, it surprised me.
YoshiKong: Well it was developed by Gunpei Yokoi, who with a team of developers, was a project which occupied them for over three and a half years.
YoshiKong: It was around 1994, and as the system release date drew nearer, the main advertising gimmick was that the system was 3D "Virtual Reality".
Superchao: Sorta like how we came back to 3D 17 years later
YoshiKong: Yeah. Way back then, Nintendo thought of the Virtual Boy as "true 3D", where in actual fact few of the games took advantage of it, beyond the occasional novelty of some object flying at you.
Superchao: Not that most of the 3DS games take much advantage of it, considering how I leave the 3D off 99% of the time >_> YoshiKong: I usually leave the 3D feature off myself.
YoshiKong: Additionally, Nintendo severely overestimated sales of the Virtual Boy system, meaning that there are many still available online today.
YoshiKong: I've considered getting one imported, but after thinking about it for a while, I've decided that I don't think it's worth the money.
Superchao: Yeah, probably not. As underappreciated as the games might be... it'll still strain your eyes some.
Superchao: Probably won't cause them to fall out though. Hopefully.
YoshiKong: I've made a topic about the system on Mario Boards, curious if there was anyone there who has actually played the system.
YoshiKong: I was met with bias opinions, and didn't find anyone who has actually played one.
Superchao: Like how Hotel Mario always wins Worst Game?
Superchao: Well, I think we might have exhausted completely your store of Mario games to talk about.
Superchao: What other video game series are you a big fan of?
YoshiKong: For a time, I was into Pokemon. But I haven't played any generations beyond Emerald.
Superchao: Ah, what killed the magic?
Superchao: Me, I'm still at Gen V. I'll finish you sometime, HeartGold and White!
YoshiKong: What killed the magic? I believe it was because when all the new generations began to come out, I was still playing Game Boy Advance. And eventually when I got a 3DS much later on, I never really got back into the series enough to buy the new ones.
Superchao: Ah, I get whatcha mean. Probably dosn't help that you have to keep track of like 700 pokemon now.
YoshiKong: True. Is it even possibly nowadays to complete the National Dex without hacks?
Superchao: Not yet, because Pokemon Bank isn't out. Everyone is sad.
YoshiKong: If I could suggest an idea for a future Pokemon game, is to merge all regions into one game. The player is able to travel between the different regions.
YoshiKong: And likewise, make it a little easier to complete the National Dex.
Superchao: That'd be cool, but the problem is it would be insanely, insanely larger.
Superchao: Considering we've got six whole regions with eight gyms each and all.
Superchao: Sooner or later you'll hit the level cap.
YoshiKong: Hmm, I'm sure there could be a work-around that.
YoshiKong: Also they should stop at 1000 pokemans
Superchao: Well, they only added like seventy this gen. If they stretch it out they could get it up to like Gen XV on that alone
Superchao: ...Maybe not /that/ far.
YoshiKong: Well they'll run out of ideas eventually.
Superchao: Everyone already says they have, after all!
YoshiKong: I think the starters look worse every generation.
YoshiKong: Might be an unpopular opinion, I dunno.
Superchao: It all depends on where you look, really.
Superchao: Moving away from video games, I'd like to ask you a question about your homeland.
Superchao: Is it true that Australia is a giant deathtrap?
YoshiKong: Yeah we ride kangaroos to school, which is more eco-friendly. But we have to avoid the crocs and stray dingos who eat babies while watching the cricket and eating pavlova.
Superchao: What's pavlova?
Superchao: I see!
Superchao: So really, what's it like in Aussieland?
YoshiKong: The weather is really nice at the moment. I've been to the beach twice this week.
YoshiKong: Hard to believe people are freezing elsewhere.
Superchao: That's what I always think during my summer!
YoshiKong: It also has a downside, as work only sometimes puts the air conditioner on...
Superchao: What kind of work is it, anyway?
YoshiKong: Lol, a fish and chip joint.
YoshiKong: Ya gotta start somewhere!
Superchao: I'm sure you will eventually run a fast food empire and be interviewed by someone much more high profile than me.
Superchao: Any hobbies you wanna talk about, in particular?
YoshiKong: I love collecting vinyl records.
Superchao: Oh? Why's that?
YoshiKong: They're beginning to come back into fashion. The long playing records represented an era when music was... less disposable. People actually sat down to listen, rather than treating music as a backdrop to the rest of life!
YoshiKong: I got a new record player for Christmas, after my old one got busted a long time ago.
Superchao: I dunno, music makes a pretty useful backdrop. It helps me with work, at least.
YoshiKong: It does. But there's nothing like coming home after a long day and putting on a record.
Superchao: I wouldn't know, sadly. Our record player is long dead.
YoshiKong: They sell them new, with some nice modern features.
YoshiKong: Like being able to digitalize the audio to a computer.
Superchao: Technology marches on!
YoshiKong: No matter how hard man tries, they can't kill off records!
Superchao: Well they lasted better than 8-tracks.
Superchao: Anyhow, since you've said it in this month's issue, it's time for a big question.
Superchao: Why are you retiring from the Wiki?
YoshiKong: Many reasons.
YoshiKong: The fact that the coming first term of Year 11 seems really daunting, and this place takes up a lot of my time.
Superchao: It does for many people, doesn't it.
YoshiKong: Also the fact that, I thinking about when I'll eventually "grow out" of this place. And I think I'll choose closer to now than later.
YoshiKong: And the fact that asides from school, there are many things in life which have grabbed my attention. And I need to sort out my priorities when managing my time.
Superchao: I'm curious what you mean by "grow out" of here, honestly.
YoshiKong: Well, I doubt I could stay within the community all my life.
Superchao: Yeah, I just feel it's a little silly to assume you have to leave soon. But whatever floats your boat.
YoshiKong: But still it seems a little sad to leave the community I have spend so much time with, forming relations and collaborating on projects.
YoshiKong: I'll still appear occasionally, but obviously I doubt I could maintain the activity I once had.
Superchao: At least you'll leave on good terms, as opposed to certain other cases.
YoshiKong: Yeah, there are some who've left in shame.
Superchao: And on that note, I must ask: Is this the last question?
YoshiKong: Is it?
Superchao: Do you know?
YoshiKong: Thanks for the great interview?
Superchao: You too?
YoshiKong's wiki career has been a pretty strong one; he's revived the 'Shroom Spotlight, lended a hand in many wiki projects, and been a well-known member of the community to boot. While he's retiring very soon, his time on the wiki will definitely be remembered in a positive light, as will his legacy in the spotlight.
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