The 'Shroom:Issue 170/Strategy Wing

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Director Notes

Written by: Hooded Pitohui (talk)

Shroom 2021 Pitohui.png

Hello, all of you readers of The 'Shroom! I don't have much in the way of announcements for you this month. Unfortunately, Parallax is not present this month, but, to make up for that, you can enjoy reading So You Want to Conquer Japan?, with Shoey returning to us here in Strategy Wing. We're a bit on the smaller side this month, but that simply means there's more reason for you to step up and join the team!

With next month's special issue coming up, this might be a great time for you artistically-inclined folks to think about writing a one-off section here in Strategy Wing, detailing some technique or part of the process you use.

As always, if you have any topic you'd like to write in detail about, take a look at our Sign-up page! We'd be happy to have you join us as a member of the Strategy Wing Team! Whether you want to follow Parallax's example and provide a guide on a topic you know well or you would like to make your own version of Mach Speed Mayhem or Kingdom Battle Ramble to teach us everything about some obscure interest you have, we can find a place for you.

Section of the Month

We send ZelenPixel (talk) and her Kingdom Battle Ramble off with a victory in the Section of the Month voting! Thank you all for continuing to recognize our writers. Please do keep voting in the polls we run, and, when June comes, make sure to show your support by voting for our writers in the Community Awards.

Place Section Votes % Writer
1st Kingdom Battle Ramble 7 36.84% ZelenPixel
2nd Racing Like the Staff 5 26.32% Yoshi876
3rd Mach Speed Mayhem 4 21.05% Superchao

Tips and Challenges

Don't take the City Tripper on the subway.
[read more]
History and Facts

Who needs Tony Stark when there's "Ironman" Neelsen?
[read more]

Racing Like the Staff

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

Hello readers and welcome to Racing Like the Staff, a section where I do 150cc on different Mario Kart games, but the twist is, I take on the Grand Prix by using the combination that a staff and expert staff member used in that Cup. If you're still a little confused, by this I mean if the track is in the Mushroom Cup, then that's the Cup that I race in. Unfortunately, I don't have copies of the Mario Kart games before Mario Kart 7, so it's only that, 8 and Deluxe that will be getting this treatment.

Many of us might have found the joys of working from home over the past year, and so cut down on our subway and tube habits. Others meanwhile would still have needed to travel on them. But hopefully no one had to travel on the Super Bell Subway, as that is one of my least favourite tracks in Mario Kart history. I have never gelled with it, and I doubt I ever will. I'm hoping for a new Mario Kart soon, but I'm hoping this track won't be involved

The combination for the staff for Super Bell Subway is Pink Shy Guy with the City Tripper, Slim tyres and the Super Glider, and the stats are as follows:

  • Speed – Just under three bars
  • Acceleration – Four bars
  • Weight – Two and a half bars
  • Handling – Five bars
  • Grip – Just over three bars

Neo Bowser City

Too. Many. Shells.

Shellmageddon is probably the most accurate way to describe this race, as if there was a Shell on track, it pretty much hit me. It all started after I got myself into second, I thought I'd lined Cat Peach up with my Green Shell, but I hadn't and as it rebounded in various directions, I was its eventual target, and fell behind Princess Peach, Yoshi and even Larry. And every time I began attempting to claw my way up top, either Yoshi would have a Red Shell with my name on it, or a rebounding Green Shell found its way to my bike. But then the Shells began shifting in my favour. While I was down in fifth on the second lap, a Spiny Shell took out Larry and Luigi, and Luigi's Green Shell took away Yoshi's Red Shell as I passed the dino. I got my own Red Shell and took out Cat Peach in the tunnels, before holding my own and getting a hard fought for win.

Ribbon Road

I wasn't expecting Luigi to challenge me for the lead, but that's what the green-hatted plumber ended up doing although he ultimately failed. And unlike last race where every Shell and its dog hit me, I escaped this time, and even falling off after getting a Blooper and an unplanned trick boost on the blue ribbon section didn't stop me from taking a victory.

Super Bell Subway

Super Bell Subway, from Mario Kart 8 - Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 downloadable content.
My disdain for this track knows no bounds.

I was expecting another assault from Luigi, but this time it was Yoshi who jumped the gun and steamed into the lead, and I really mean steamed, at one point he looked to be a quarter of the lap ahead! Thankfully, we caught up with him, but as I lined him up at the end of the lap with a Red Shell, Cat Peach zipped ahead with the shortcut and I hit a Banana, allowing Luigi past. Lightning struck, but I got some Item Boxes and took Luigi out with some Bananas, while Yoshi faltered up ahead with Cat Peach. My saving grace was a Spiny Shell taking her out, and a Mushroom allowing me to use the ending shortcut to cement a solid lead that no one could assail within the final lap.

Big Blue

Like on Ribbon Road, Luigi shot ahead, but this time he really shot ahead. His speed seemed unreal and he started picking up a good lead, and a Banana demoted me to third while I was trying to hit him with a Red Shell, at least Cat Peach was there to take it for me. I did get past Luigi as the water paths branched, but a Red Shell on the gliding section saw me fall just short of the platform and like before he really got ahead. A Spiny Shell took him out for me, but he easily could have won where I did.

The City Tripper started off really good, but on Super Bell Subway and Big Blue my opponents were able to get massive leads at the beginning that could only be stopped by Items. It was possible to pass people with this combination, but it was a lot easier for them to start getting big leads on you while you tried getting yourself in a position to challenge them.

The combination for the staff for Super Bell Subway is Blue Yoshi with the Yoshi Bike, Normal Blue tyres and the Super Glider, and the stats are as follows:

  • Speed – Just over three bars
  • Acceleration – Four bars
  • Weight – Three bars
  • Handling – Four bars
  • Grip – Just under four bars

Neo Bowser City

Despite getting distracted by my cat, I was still up into second by the first set of Item Boxes and the Mushroom allowed me to quickly get past Toad. I thought I might be able to steam ahead to victory, but a Red Shell put a spanner in those works, and it didn't help when I drifted off the track and Toad passed me. I threw my all into the end, but he just pipped me on the finish line.

Ribbon Road

GBA Ribbon Road, anti-gravity section.
Knocking Toad off here was fun.

I didn't get the start I was hoping for, as Toad got ahead and I also fell down to fourth as racers behind got Mushrooms. Pink Gold Peach and Koopa Troopa were only ahead of me for a little bit, and I rammed Toad out the way on the blue ribbon section to claim first. Although Toad kept on my tail, he started falling back and I kept this win.

Super Bell Subway

I got the start that I wanted, although Donkey Kong tried challenging me, and I looked to be able to perhaps keep a lead. But a Red Shell at the start took me down to second, although a Red Shell took Donkey Kong out and subway train took out a challenging Koopa Troopa. But a Spiny Shell locked onto me, and a train hit me allowing Donkey Kong past. A double Mushroom got me past, and I looked like I could keep a lead, but a last-second Spiny Shell allowed Donkey Kong past at the last hurdle.

Big Blue

Big Blue
Where I solidified my lead.

Although I got past Donkey Kong, Koopa Troopa pipped me and a Green Shell hindered my challenge. But we soon caught up, and before we glided down to the second section, I got past the turtle and held onto a solid lead for the win.

At the end of the day, this combination had the Yoshi Bike, so it was always going to get the thumbs up from me. Overall, this combination worked for me, and I enjoyed using it, and I know the things that cost me victory was either my own personal mistakes or just bad luck, and sometimes that's the way of Mario Kart.

So You Want to Conquer Japan?

Written by: Chester Alan Arthur (talk)

Welcome back, 'Shroom readers. It is I, the great general Shoey, fresh from the troop inspection, back and ready for another campaign! Last month, we expanded our empire to four fiefs, and this month we're looking to take some more. For this month, we're going to secure our southern border and wipe out that jerk Imagawa! But first, some nice and subtle shilling for my new Pipe Plaza section What's in a Campaign, a section where I go over the campaigns of robots from the British TV show Robot Wars! Well now that we've got our shilling done, all casual like, too, it's time to experience the joys of war.

Imagawa’s tiny army
The lands of Musashi

So we're going to start our war against Imagawa by invading his territory of Musashi (fief three) and we've got two ways we can go about this. We could either invade from our territory in Shinano (fief sixteen) or from Echigo (fief two). For this battle though, we're going to invade from Echigo and we're gonna do this for two reasons. Reason one: We already have 425,000 troops so we don't need to worry about pulling troops from another fief. Reason two: Echigo is entirely surrounded by our own territory, so, if for some reason we lose this battle, we won't be at risk of having an enemy take our territory when we are weakened. But quite frankly this battle shouldn't be overly hard considering we've got 425,000 soldiers and they have a partly 83,000 (clearly Imagawa has not been properly preparing for war).

So because we're planning on invading fief seven shortly after we take fief three, we're going invade three with 400,000 soldiers. Quite frankly, this battle is going to be a route. We're going to position our strongest units - the cavalry and the rifle - right up front and, since we invaded from the direct north, we're able to just put them right in front of the enemy. We had a bit of a stroke of luck in this fight, since the daimyo himself was in that fief, so, after slaughtering his rifle unit with our cavalry, I positioned our rifle unit directly in front of the daimyo, causing them to flee in the face of our army. So with that we've conquered Musashi, and, funnily enough ,we entered the battle with 400,000 troops and left the fight with 420,000 troops, proving the logic of not slaughtering everything in our path (there is no sense in killing a surrendering foe!).

Another Imagawa tiny army
The lands of Suruga

Unfortunately for our boys, there's gonna be no time for them to rest, because, rather then giving Imagawa a chance to rebuild, we're going to turn around and immediately invade his last remaining territory, the land of Suruga. Again we're going to invade from Musashi because Musashi is entirely surrounded by our territory, so if things go wrong we minimize our risk of retaliation by who we're invading. But again I don't think this is going to be a problem considering Imagawa only has an army of 117,000 soldiers.

Because I love overkill, we're going to invade with 410,000 troops. Once again, the side we've invaded from has worked out in our favor! Because we invaded from the right side of the field, we only have to break through one enemy unit (and an infantry unit at that) rather then having to go through the possible three enemy units we would have if we had invaded through the left. Before I land the killing blow, I just want to say that this is one of my favorite fiefs for early game play. See, when you get invaded (or when you're invading) you only have thirty days (or until you run out of rice). If you don't defeat the enemy daimyo or if they don't defeat you within that time limit, you lose and the enemy gets all your soldiers (or vice versa). So, with this fief, if you get invaded, you can whittle the enemy down to two or three units, then you can just circle around that little mountain area with your general and the enemy will never successfully track you down, so you'll win by default. Anyways, back to our battle, it's another route except I did make one error and I accidentally threw our cavalry unit down in the wrong spot, so we'll have to take the enemy out with our rifle unit. It's an easy victory and, with that, Suruga is ours with a very small casualty rate (we entered the battle with 410,000 troops and thanks to our enemy's defections we left the battle with 398,000 troops!)

I think that's a good place to end for this month. We've eliminated that mean jerk Imagawa, taken his land, and secured the southern border of our ever-expanding empire. Canonically speaking, this is our quickest section to date, taking place over only two in game seasons, giving our enemies little time to react to our blitzkrieg like expansion. Next month, I believe we'll be paying our old friend Oda Nobunaga, namesake of this game, a visit... and, by visit, I mean warring! But before we go, let's look at the map.

Status of Japan


As you can see the only real change is that we've fully incorporated Imagawa's territories into our realm. Other than that, Japan has not changed, but don't worry. Next month, we'll fix that!

Mach Speed Mayhem

Written by: Superchao (talk)

Age before beauty, so he should always be in first, right?

Hello, 'Shroom readers! Once again, I am here to provide you with the content you want! In this case, that's an article about the oldest normal human living man in the F-Zero Grand Prix - #23: Silver Neelsen! It took him long enough, but don't worry - this is one guy who's used to waiting!

Main Series

Once again, introduced like many others in F-Zero X, Silver Neelsen got the bare minimum of characterization there, just enough to know something about why he's racing. In this case... because he's stubborn! Despite being in his nineties and never winning a Grand Prix once in his long, long career - outright racing more than anyone else, even though people rag on him for being an old, old man. It doesn't help that he's got a "kids these days" attitude towards the new machines, still focusing on his ol' reliable, the Night Thunder. All of that means that he doesn't have many friends among the racing circuit, but that won't stop him! F-Zero GX is happy to expand on this, confirming that he's considering retirement as he approaches triple digits in age, but "Ironman Silver", as he's known, might just stick it out as long as he can. He's a cranky old man, but at heart, still a good guy.

In the interviews, all of them get to show that rarest of things - how Silver Neelsen acts if he finally wins. And boy, is he happy to brag about it! He'll be opening an entire museum to him with the prize money, getting a movie made of his life, and throwing an absolutely massive 99th birthday party. Not that he thinks of himself as old - he's 98 years young, thanks to laughing a lot! Though his memory isn't the best. Still, he's got a lot of energy left to race with, and in fact, winning changes his decision entirely. Rather than go out on top, he'd like to just keep racing right up until he drops dead - and Neelsen won't even let that stop him, since he'll just keep on racing in the afterlife. If The Skull is any indication, that really isn't a barrier to entry!

Knight Rider went a little differently in this universe.

The GX story mode also gives him a focus chapter, that being Chapter 3. When Captain Falcon shows up at the bar for the BET race, he walks in on Silver Neelsen complaining about the size of the bets compared to his ONE COIN. Recognizing Falcon on sight, Neelsen realizes this is the chance for a great powerplay. He makes an old man's last request to Falcon - enter the BET Race as a strange random entrant, and with the bets being massively against him, they'll be rich! And it actually works. Falcon as Famicom has the skills to overcome a 2560 to 1 chance, turning Silver Neelsen's ONE COIN into bags of cash for both of them! It turns out it wasn't Neelsen's last request, though - he shows up again in Chapter 7, fine and dandy and ready to try and win the big race himself! Unfortunately, it doesn't happen. Maybe next race, old-timer!

Neelsen's machine, the Night Thunder, is a classic. Made by his dear childhood friend Gold Hand, it carries his spirit... literally. Though Gold passed away long ago, his emotions and knowledge were translated into the navigation system of the Night Thunder, creating an AI with one goal; to help Silver finally get that long-deserved win. It's got a B body, an A boost, and an E grip, and hoo boy does it show it in X. The Night Thunder is incredibly slidey, skidding around the course in nearly uncontrollable fashion. If you CAN control it, though, the sheer levels of sliding it has going on make it a top-rank machine, often used for world record-level performance! It's been somewhat nerfed in GX, but even then, the boost is incredible, and the lack of grip can be manipulated to your advantage. It's a very hard machine to handle, but an old veteran like Silver is the perfect pilot for the job!

Make sure you get my good side. Oh wait, I only have good sides!
Age took everything from him. Even his belt buckle!

GP Legend series

In F-Zero: GP Legend, Silver Neelsen gets that most minor of roles, a single-episode character of the day. Too old to carry any more than that... Our old man makes his debut trying his best in his latest race, but crashing into Jack Levin and wiping both of them out in one go. Not only does this mean Jack's lost to his rival Rick once again, but Neelsen's pissed - that was race 7776, and he was expecting it to be his big comeback! He takes it out on Jack, before telling him he's picked up on Jack's problems, mysteriously telling him to meet him at the practice course to learn the truth. The rest of the Mobile Task Force is happy to look up Silver Neelsen for Jack, confirming he's raced more than anyone, as well as a mysterious red racer that's been winning a lot lately.

As Jack goes through Neelsen's training, he tries his best to figure out just why he's been losing to Rick the whole time, but no matter what he tries he can't outdo Neelsen in practice laps. Silver tries to tell Jack he's just being a mirror of the old man's young self, but Jack's focused on learning how to beat Rick, which is what lets Jack unlock Neelsen's backstory cutscene. Neelsen was once focused on a racer, too - his greatest rival, Anthony Ropkin. They dueled time after time, Neelsen never gaining the win, only for tragic circumstance to cut it short - Neelsen and Ropkin both crashed on the same day, one in practice and the other in the race, and Silver never saw his fated rival again. The lesson he gives is to focus on the race, before going off to a park...

Where he promptly sees his fated rival again! Anthony shows up, telling Neelsen he'd been put in cryogenics for years to recover, and that it's time to settle the score properly. That's enough to reignite Neelsen's racing spirit, and allow him to impart his final lesson to Jack - focusing solely on overcoming someone else is a recipe for failure, and to win he needs to put all others out of his mind. The day of the race of the day arrives, with Rick, Jack, Ropkin, and Neelsen all raring to go in one way or another, ready to put it on the line. It's Jack who really clicks, though; using everything he learned makes it easy to catch up, and he surpasses the other three in a photo finish! Neelsen talks about how nice his final race was... until a crowd of adoring fangirls show up to admire his performance, even if it was only fourth place. So hey, maybe that whole rekindled racing spirit thing can keep going - can't turn down Ropkin's rematch! Old men and their wily ways.

Neelsen also appears in both of the GBA anime tie-in games. F-Zero: GP Legend doesn't feature him in anything, but he stands out for being one of the e-Reader racers in the Japanese version! If you wanted to play Neelsen on your Japanese copy of GP Legend at all, you'd have to go out and get the e-Reader and his card. With the e-Reader a flop overseas, the Night Thunder was added to the game proper with a regular unlock condition - better than some e-Reader elements ever got in English. F-Zero Climax mentions in its bio for Neelsen that though many racers write him off as a nagging old man, Captain Falcon has plenty of respect for him. Even an elite racer understands the value of experience!

That's all for this old dude. It's time to pop over and tell me who I'm writing about in June!

The 'Shroom: Issue 170
Staff sections Staff NotesThe 'Shroom Spotlight
Features Fake NewsFun StuffPalette SwapPipe PlazaCritic CornerStrategy Wing
Specials Ultimate Location Battle