Hooded Pitohui's Shroom Thread

Tsubasa Kazanari

The Blade Which Will Defend the World
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee

Hello, all. Following in the footsteps of other members of the 'Shroom, I decided to set up a thread for my 'Shroom work. As with the threads of others, I intend for this thread to serve as a place in which you all can provide me with feedback, criticisms, suggestions, and ideas. Feel free to share your thoughts on my take on Mario's Boombox or bring any videogame-related songs to my attention that you think should be featured. With that said, I do hope you enjoy the section or, at the least, the music showcased within it.

Mario's Boombox Articles:

Issue 124: Just 3 Days by Mandopony
Issue 125: Pokémon University by Random Encounters
Issue 127: Selections for Halloween
Issue 129: A Musical Retrospective on the Wii U
Issue 131: Dawn of the Third Day by Nathan Sharp
Issue 133: Waltz of the Forest
Issue 135: My Year
Issue 137: Ashley's Song
Issue 139: Selections for Halloween II: Survival Horror (feat. The Living Tombstone and DAGames)
Issue 141: Ultimate Super Smash Bros. Rap

Shop Scout Articles:

Issue 131: Northwinds Mart
Issue 132: Psycho Kamek
Issue 133: Hino Mart
Issue 134: Tangerino Grill
Issue 135: Luigi's Balloon World
Issue 136: Marrymore Wedding Chapel
Issue 137: Golden Pyramid
Issue 138: Chet Rippo
Issue 139: Gadd Science, Incorporated
Issue 140: Lakitu Info Center
Issue 141: Broque Monsieur

The 'Shroom Recap Articles:
Issue 137: Edofenrir & What's On the Box?
Issue 140: Superchao & Interviews

Selling Out Articles:

Issue 138: Selling Out VIII: Twilit Abode

Misc. Articles:

Issue 138: 2018 Awards Reflections
Issue 141: Poll Committee Discussion

Tsubasa Kazanari

The Blade Which Will Defend the World
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
A bit late, but I'm here for the KG, so why not update this now.
https://www.mariowiki.com/The_%27Shroom:Issue_127/Palette_Swap#Mario.27s_Boombox - October 2017

So, I wanted to also take a moment to talk a bit about where this section is going. I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to bring this section back, and I certainly would like to emulate the high-quality work which Walkazo put into making this wonderful section in the first place.

Looking back on my three sections so far, I've realized that, while I like them, I don't quite feel that they're hitting my standards of quality. The two biggest issues I see are wordiness and inexperience with wiki coding (these things ought to have at least one picture, just to make it look nice). So, into the next year, you'll see me working to address those two issues. The wall of text approach, in particular, is something I'm planning on changing. I should be able to introduce a song, keep some brief analysis, and wrap it up in far fewer words than I currently do. It's not that the details are bad; I just know I could be more concise.

Anyway, thank you all for reading what I've done so far. It's a constant work-in-progress but I've loved having this opportunity. December will have a very similar feel to the previous articles (because I'm working on a backlog and won't have time to redo it), but you all will see improvements coming in 2018. I'll find my voice as a Shroom Writer, and hopefully deliver a more enjoyable section to you wonderful readers.

Tsubasa Kazanari

The Blade Which Will Defend the World
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
I'm still updating this thread; it's not completely dead.

Actually, this month I'm excited to announce that I've taken on some expanded roles. I'm now writing Shop Scout, in character as that famous merchant we all love to hate - Flavio. Since this doesn't require as much research and work as Mario's Boombox, I've made this a monthly section. I'm sure I have room to improve, so please let me know if you have any comments or criticism.

Second, though it isn't an actual section, I want to point out that I'm helping out Raregold in creating images for his new section - Selling Out. Go check it out under Fake News; it's worth a read.

Finally, I want to offer a little reflection on Mario's Boombox. This month, I aimed for the conciseness I promised you earlier. I also now have images in both of my sections, and, while I'm still learning a bit of coding for them, you can expect them to be part of my sections in the future. Actually, I hit many of my goals with this month's section, but there was still a link I messed up on. Expect that to get better in the future.

Finally, I do want to note that I have some new songs and artists prepared for Mario's Boombox in the coming months. I know I've featured a song by this month's artist before, but I couldn't help go for the sappy romantic song for Valentine's day. That said, it can be hard work finding videogame inspired songs, so there may be the occasional repeat of an artist, of course with a different song. That's no admission of defeat, though; I love digging up new songs for the section and plan to do so for the foreseeable future.

As always, the OP has links to everything (and one ugly banner and one decent banner), so check out what I have to offer, and please give me suggestions, comments, criticism, and questions. Have a wonderful day!

Tsubasa Kazanari

The Blade Which Will Defend the World
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Well, here we are. As usual, I wanted to give you all some updates on my thoughts for my sections. That said, I'm actually going to begin with a bit of personal reflection, so skip down to the last section of this post if you just want the juicy details on my Shop Scout and Mario's Boombox. Or, if you have a suggestion for either section, just skip down and post it. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Reflection Section
So, I already mentioned elsewhere how I drew inspiration from Edo for March 2018 Shop Scout elsewhere, so, since I'm on that train of thought, I wanted to do some personal reflection (but trust me, it's relevant to me as a Shroom Writer, so I'm attaching it to this post). I started visiting the Wiki in around 2007-2008, and for the first few years, I really just browsed the Wiki. That said, I eventually started becoming interested enough in the community to start checking out The 'Shroom and such. So, in late 2009 and early 2010, I started reading the paper, but I still wasn't super interested in the community. I was young, and it just seemed like good entertainment. In 2010, though, there was a section that really changed that. Edo's Fake Game articles on World of Mushroom way back in May of 2010 and June of 2010 got me hooked on the community. I was so interested in who these people were that Edo drew upon as characters, who Edo himself was, and what kind of community could produce stories like that. From there on, I became pretty invested in this community, becoming a near-constant lurking who was always trying to keep up to date with what's going on and who's who (though, as Perch knows from a few conversations with me, my memory has a few big holes in it and I missed quite a few things). I've seen plenty of people, some better-behaved then others, and have really come to respect and (in some cases) look up to many people here. Especially Edo and Walkazo, who were just absolutely my idols for years. I finally worked up the courage to finally join this place about two years ago, but lurker habits die hard. Just this time last year, I was still too nervous to really contribute to anything; never did I think last April that I would have joined a Killing Game and start writing for The 'Shroom. Yet, here I am, and I'm so happy to finally be giving something back to this community who gave me so much over all these years. I'm following in the footsteps of so many great people, and I'm so happy to be doing so.

Whew, almost done with this personal reflection stuff. Before I finish, though, I want to thank a few people. First, I want to thank Raregold, who has always been a great friend and a source of confidence who pushes me to finally jump into activities. Second, I want to thank Meta Knight, who was always willing to answer my questions over these past few years. LB actually did a lot of small things that helped me feel welcome here over the past year, so a thank you to him as well. Of course, I could go on and on with people to thank, but I'll wrap up by just thanking everyone who has made positive contributions to this community over the years!

Shroom Section Discussion
Alright, so on to the actual sections. As I noted elsewhere, I'm really glad to see the more narrative-drive Shop Scout was well-received. I do think it makes the section more entertaining, so I'll try to incorporate more of that into future Shop Scout sections.

I'd say there's been some pretty good improvement with Boombox and Shop Scout over these past few months. On technical issues, I'd say they're pretty well set. No messed-up coding this month, so that's good. I've gotten to the point where they have regular images, too. I think I've found a nice way to make Boombox more concise than when I started, so hopefully that's made it a bit easier of a read.

With technical issues out of the way, my focus for the next few months is improving the writing. I want to get to the point where the sections feel like they have a consistent voice. Just looking over their history, I've realized that the tone and structure has jumped and shifted a lot, and I don't want that. I want readers to have a generally good idea of what to expect from the sections, so I'm going to be thinking about how to standardize the structure and tone of the sections (with allowances to fit their individuals topic, of course). I want Boombox to be semi-formal, because, on one hand, I want to make sure I do a good job of clearly showing off the song's strength through a somewhat professional discussion, but I also want to capture the fact that I'm sharing these songs because I just think they're pretty fun. With Shop Scout, I'm going to try to work on weaving more entertaining narratives into the section, and also be sure that I'm also writing in character. I mean, I've been working off of four-year old memories from my last TTYD playthrough, so perhaps its time that I go back and double-check that I'm accurately capturing the character of Flavio.

To summarize, I'm going to work on creating a more consistent tone and structure for Shop Scout and Mario's Boombox in the future. As always, I look forward to your feedback and suggestions. Do you all have any songs about our Plumber in Green for June? I've got a few ideas up my sleeve, but, if you have a Luigi-centric song, please be sure to share it with me!

Until next time, hopefully I'm providing you with some quality content!

Tsubasa Kazanari

The Blade Which Will Defend the World
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
I normally only update this thread when Boombox comes out, but, I have thoughts to put down this month, so, let's break tradition.

The great thing about writing on a backlog is that, by the time the article comes out, you've already identified a number of problems with your writing that you want to improve. With Shop Scout this month, I want to assure you that this is not going to be the standard length going forward; it ended up being longer than I wanted it to this month.

In all honesty, I had aimed to set up a bit of a twist, if you will. (Oh, don't read further if you haven't read my section this month yet.) I wanted to focus on the steak, but then have the real juice of the story be the antics in the kitchen. I don't feel like there was enough payoff to the setup and I feel like it takes an unreasonably long time to get there considering what little payoff there is. I don't know exactly what went wrong, but that's the guidelines as to how I feel. I should have made the story have a greater payoff and it should have come faster than it did. I'm also not fond of the introductory paragraph. It feels, ah, too wordy and unnecessary. I didn't really intend to set up a story arc as much as to provide an in-story reason for visiting the Tangerino Grill and, down the line, Marrymore Wedding Chapel. I probably could have done so in fewer, less repetitive words. I mean, I basically repeat myself later in the article. Ah well, there's always room for improvement next time. Still, I hope you enjoy this month's Shop Scout.

It's probably not good form to laugh at your own jokes, but for some reason I really enjoy this line from this month's article:
Such foul mockeries of food service professionals who make even the scent of a rotting durian pleasant in comparison!

Luigi will-a-shine next month in Luigi's Boombox and Shop Scout. In other words, I'll be working on revising my two sections for the June issue. I'm feeling pretty good about Mario's Boombox for next month; I think I've found a better way to pay tribute to artists than I have in the past by making sure readers get a better sampling of their musical works and a clearer description of what makers their music unique. Hopefully you all enjoy.

Oh, and a big thanks to Perch, who let me resubmit Shop Scout when I realized I didn't like the image used in the version I wrote initially.

Tsubasa Kazanari

The Blade Which Will Defend the World
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Hey, it’s been a bit since I’ve updated this thread, hasn’t it? Well, to be honest, I don’t have much to say in regards to Shop Scout or Mario’s Boombox, other than the fact that I’m still always open to suggestions, comments, and criticisms.

Oh, and Raregold and I are working on something new, so be looking forward to that potentially in the near future. I've also been working slowly to put together a backlog of articles for Pocket Handbook in Strategy Wing, albeit, I haven't gotten very far, so it might be awhile. I'd very much like to contribute something to that team, but I need to make sure I can actually fit the work into my schedule before I commit, so, we shall see.

Of course, there’s one other thing of mine in The ‘Shroom this month, an art contest entry. It’s technically an Awards activity, but it’s also in The ‘Shroom, so I figure I’ll talk about it a bit here. You can find the entry here or here. As always, I’d appreciate any feedback I receive on it, but there’s also a few things that I thought had the potential to come up that I wanted to clear out right away:

Pitohui’s 2018 Art Contest Entry FAQs
General Questions
Why go with the Polandball theme?
Well, to put it bluntly, I wanted to draw something but I can’t draw. Now, admittedly, I haven’t practiced or put in the hours upon hours of dedicated work required to learn to do so. That said, Polandball is an amateur medium. I mean, it’s hand-drawn MS Paint comics, and while some comic artists do produce really beautiful, hiqh-quality art, it’s also generally considered fine to have fairly poor art.
Didn’t you break the Polandball rules by using the circle and line tools?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I probably broke a few rules of drawing Polandball. Nevertheless, I attempted to work as faithfully as I could to both Polandball (Kazakhstan is a rectangle, for example) and The Thousand Year Door (the battle Bingo icons, for example). My hope is that keen fans of both can recognize little details to make them smile, as well as some of the subtler jokes (looking at you, Bolivia). Even though I used some tools to help me draw straight lines and circles, everything in the comic is still hand-drawn (digitally, albeit). In other words, everything in the comic didn't exist until I drew it for the comic. That said, I worked by creating everything asset individually, then putting them together in comic form, then adding a few extra details as needed. If you, for whatever inconceivable reason, would like to use any of the assets I created for the comic, send me a message and I'll be more than happy to give it to you to use.
Why didn’t you draw any of the other chapters from TTYD?
You know, I did have ideas prepared for the other chapters, but time constraints and a few other issues meant that I decided it best to settle for what you see. If you really want to know about some of the scrapped ideas, you can ask and I’d be more than happy to tell you about them. There’s also some content that changed, too. I originally had Malaysia and Singapore as General White and Goldbob, but changed them to better fit with Mayor Finland, for example.
Goldbob never actually goes to the Fahr Outpost.
True, but I wanted him there, so I bent things a bit.
Bolivia’s flag is wrong!
Yes and no, depending on what you mean. I didn’t use the State flag of Bolivia, but I did use its Civil Flag. Also, speaking of Bolivia, please go read about the Bolivian Navy. You won’t be disappointed.
Where is Ireland in that scene where the Maastricht countries are talking?
I must admit… I somehow forgot to put a quip from Ireland in. Northern Ireland is there as a part of the UK, but the Republic of Ireland is absent. I don’t know how I overlooked it when I put that panel together, and I apologize profusely.
You’ve never heard a Scottish person speak in your life, have you?
Yeah, my Scottish accent in the panel where Scotland speaks is pretty bad…
Your quality control must be horrible, because you didn’t capitalize the word “days” in “Three [D]ays with Taipei.”
I’m so sorry LTQ, I have failed you. Yeah, again, I let that one slip through the cracks. I do feel bad about it, and I offer my apologies.

I've got to say, putting together this piece was extremely fun. It's not very much, especially compared to the other amazing entries in the contest (go look at them!), but I enjoyed the process and am quite proud of the product. My only regret, honestly, might be not making the "Title Screen" fancier and not drawing the ship in Chapter Five as the S.S. Flavion.

Anyhow, that’s it for now. I can expand on more as it comes up. Thank you to those of you reading my sections and viewing my other work! I hope you look forward to my Awards Presentations on the 17th of August. I’ve got two of my own I’m working on, but I’m also collaborating with my partner Raregold and the wonderful Smash artist and newly minted 3D modeler Koops on two others. It’s a pleasure to contribute something, so I hope it turns out well.

Oh, and also, my favorite reaction:
Nabber said:
Pitohui im suing you for making me read the phrase "want to sniff my louisiana"
What can I say? It's hot, moist, and putrid...

Tsubasa Kazanari

The Blade Which Will Defend the World
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Ahahaha, it’s been some time since I’ve updated this, hasn’t it? I guess I have a lot to say now, so get ready for a ride. You know, it was unintentional and served a very practical purpose, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more succinct description of me as the “Warning: Long” that Anton put on my Art Contest entry, so, for those of you reading this, here’s you heads-up, this update is going to be:

Warning: Long

First, let’s talk about what’s new with me and The ‘Shroom. First, if you haven’t seen it yet, I’m now the Strategy Wing Director. I’m absolutely honored to be working with the rest of the Core Staff and our wonderful Strategy Wing writers to make The ‘Shroom the best it can be. A thanks to Meta Knight, who has led SW to new heights and had an extremely productive tenure which laid the groundwork for the Team. I’ll do my best to carry his work forward. If you have absolutely any tips, criticisms, or comments you want to pass along to me as they relate to my role as SW Director, please let me know. If you happen to write for SW already and you’re reading this, please feel free to reach out to me should you need anything, and, if you’d like tell me if you’d like to receive reminders for sections on the forums, Wiki, or both! I’ll be contacting you about this soon, anyways, so, even if you don’t read this, don’t worry!

And if you don’t write for SW, I highly encourage you to consider joining us! I’ll have more to say about this at a later time, but one goal of mine is to expand how people approach SW. It’s definitely always going to retain a focus on videogames, but, that’s not all it has to be. If you have anything you’re passionate about and you’d like to tell us a little more about how to approach it or about how it works, that’s exactly what we’re looking for! Do you want to tell us about making an art piece? Writing a good story? Setting up a Dungeons and Dragons campaign or being a DM? Building a game? Making a 3D model? Something else that I don’t even know about? Well, consider turning it into a SW section. If you have an idea but you’re unsure, feel free to reach out to me, as well. I’m here to assist, after all. I’ve actually already started speaking to a few of you about potential sections and I’m quite excited to see what you do with them!

Anyhow, on the topic of new sections, I’m co-writing one! Raregold and I are now writing The ‘Shroom Recap (giddit? Because mushroom caps…?) in Pipe Plaza! We hope you enjoyed the first issue. If you have any thoughts on it, feel free to send them our way. It’s a time intensive section, what with sifting through all these old sections, but it’s an absolute joy to research and write. Finding the process that worked well for us and getting a little practice before writing it on a regular basis was the point behind debuting it early. Barring any unexpected issues, we’re looking quite forward to the start of its regular publication in November (this is starting to sound like a Nintendo Direct… maybe I should start writing these updates in that style… ahahah).

Oh, and, if you’re wondering, for some reason, “Will Recap get a banner in this thread?”, the answer is no. I made the first two banners because I had just found GIMP and I was trying to play around with dump projects to learn how to work it. Those banners look quite awful, for a reason. I debated on removing them, but, then again, a record of old shames is a record of progress.

Moving on, I wrote Selling Out this month! Raregold had been planning for some time to take a break this month while he settled in at college, so he asked me to write it for him this month. Of course, I hope that it didn’t feel too different from his approach. I actually went through quite a bit of editing to make sure I did certain things he specifically asked of me. Also, fun fact, I spent an unusually great deal of time making sure the scale on the blueprints was accurate and corresponded to the stated square footage. Like, I went unit by unit in GIMP, measuring out everything. I also used a reference home on a real estate listing to make pricing and other information at least somewhat accurate. Raregold has been telling me that he’s itching to write the section again, so, do look forward to his triumphant return next month!

So, Mario’s Boombox, eh? I don’t actually have one this month, but I did last month. If I can be a bit self-indulgent, I have to say that last month’s is the best one I’ve written so far. I really felt like it came together well, and I was able to decently well teach people about the featured musician. Of course, he doesn’t do much with vocal music, but he did have some that I could use as the featured song. That’s a question I have for you all, actually. I’ve been restricting myself to featuring songs and artists that are 1) original, 2) video-game focused, and 3) vocal. I don’t currently have plans to do remixes and covers, since I figure that would be Tucky’s domain if he ever wanted to do videogame things, but… would you like to see covers and remixes of videogame music in the section? Or should Mario’s Boombox remain dedicated to original, vocal songs? Tell me what you think. And, of course, if you ever have a suggestion for an artist or song for me to cover, please let me know! I have a que, but I’m always looking to expand it. Poor planning on my part when I started with the section (where I should have covered an artist at a time, like I’ve done in the past two sections) means my que is a little shorter than I’d like right now.

Finally, Shop Scout. I want to say once more that I really liked how last month’s turned out. It was actually my favorite since I did Pyscho Kamek way back when, and, though I hate to admit it, I think I actually liked it more than this month’s article. Speaking of this month’s article, I tried something a little different. Rather than explicitly state every element of the story, I wanted to experiment with a little more subtlety. I don’t know how well I did, so, if you walked away realizing that:

Chet and Dazzle are running a scheme together. They don’t really use Star Pieces. Dazzle collects Star Pieces for them to sell off to Sarasaland together by trading for badges, and Chet collects coins from his customers that Dazzle uses to buy more badges. They use the Star Pieces and coins to support each other’s schemes and ultimately profit by sending off the Star Pieces.

Then I did well. If you didn’t get any of that, then I have some work to do yet!

I also have a question about Shop Scout for the readers. What are your feelings on Flavio? I know I can’t write him very well, or at least not true to canon. When I initially signed on to Shop Scout, the idea emerged from me and Raregold joking about how humorous it would for someone like Flavio to write a self-help book or advice column. After I decided that he’d probably write something relating to business, I applied to Shop Scout. But… after my first article went up, I realized that Flavio’s personality alone wasn’t bringing the humour to the section I thought it would. I didn’t find it entertaining, and I didn’t like that. So, I rewrote my planned second second issue on Little Fungitown, and I made it much more story-driven. I thought it came out much better, and I’ve tried to emphasize an entertaining story first and foremost since then. But, with the focus on the story, I don’t know if Flavio adds anything to the section. So, that’s where you tell me! Do you like having Flavio around and think he adds something entertaining to the section with his personality? Do you think it reads like bad fanfiction and I should write him out and just go with a more neutral character or build my own (like Koops did in Travel Guide or Edo made with Koohitsu)? Tell me how you feel about Flavio, and I’ll take it into account. Or maybe you think the storytelling needs work and I’m not very entertaining. Tell me that, too! I’m always open to feedback. Your words are the best way for me to improve, though, I’m always trying to find areas of weakness and improve upon them, even in absence of feedback.

Anyhow, I think that’s everything. That wasn’t too long, I think. Thanks for reading, and have a grand day!

Tsubasa Kazanari

The Blade Which Will Defend the World
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Well, October has arrived and I have words about my sections. First, if you find Shop Scout disappointing this month, I want to apologize and take a moment to recognize that it ended up taking a very different direction than it has in the past few months. I had an early start on it, gave myself plenty of time, and did everything as I normally do, but… I honestly had a bad bit of writer’s block with it this month. I wrote a number of drafts that I was unhappy with and didn’t see through to completion. Eventually, I started writing about Gadd Science, Incorporated and took a bit of a satirical approach with the Game Boy Horror and Dual Scream and I found it rather enjoyable. I thought it was at least somewhat entertaining, and then I had the idea to bring the Gaddgets into it, and I started feeling like I was finding a solid section. Yet, continuing the draft, I wasn’t able to carry that momentum forward like I would have liked. The rest of the section fell into place, yes, but I’m not entirely satisfied with it.

Please don’t take that the wrong way, though. I submitted the section, so I’m certainly going to stand by it. I did try to make it entertaining, I believe at least some parts are entertaining, and I hope you find it enjoyable. This is simply a recognition that, while I stand by what I wrote and feel it’s a decent section, I’m not entirely happy with how it turned out and want to improve upon that in the future. I would have preferred to continue with the narrative focus that I have had in the past few months. That all said, though, there’s plenty of interesting businesses left in the Mushroom World, no? I don’t think that I’m quite out of stories…

Oh, and, I suppose that because this issue of Shop Scout has a bit more social satire, I should suggest that you don’t read too much into my views in the section. The mindset that I have as my headcanon for Flavio and that I try to enter into when I’m writing Shop Scout is something separate from my actual mindset. I doubt that would be much of an issue, but, remember, Shop Scout is just a section for entertainment. You probably shouldn’t be reading that far into it in the first place… but, then again, who am I to judge how someone chooses to interact with art? In all seriousness, just do remember it's all in good fun aimed at our favorite yellow-skinned, Skull Gem-owning trader from Rogueport.

That all said, let’s move on to a more positive topic, I’m rather pleased all-around with how Boombox turned out this month. It resembles earlier editions a little more, in the fact that it covers multiple artists and has some selections from artists I covered before. That was a quirk of this issue, and not something that I plan to continue with, but, I feel like I was able to handle it better this time than I was in the past. I wanted to focus on DAGames and The Living Tombstone, but I added the other songs from Mandopony and Brentalfloss because I wasn’t happy with just those two. I have, of course, my own opinions on the songs I feature, and, speaking honestly, I don’t particularly find the songs by DAGames and The Living Tombstone enjoyable. They’re still good pieces that may appeal to other people’s tastes and reflect a great deal of effort, so I wanted to feature them and expose more people to them. I will admit, though, that "1000 Doors" has really grown on me. I had never heard of Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion before I started researching for this issue of Boombox, but it really intrigued me. Those of you who know me a bit know that I have a tendency to fixate on certain new media I encounter, and I dive deep into it in an attempt to learn everything about it. For better or for worse, this game shows that I’ll do that even for a survival horror game with a smaller emphasis on plot. Ahahaha, could Spooky appear in some other capacity? Does that thought generate despair for you? Stay tuned to find out… Returning to Boombox proper, though, I have something thematically-fitting for our December issue, so please do look forward to that.

Finally, because I apparently decided to unconsciously arrange this post so that optimism and positivity increased as you descend down the page, I have an update on Recap. Raregold and I are indeed planning to fully launch it in November! I’ve spoken with some of you about initial plans, but I must report that our original plans have changed a bit. Raregold felt that the section would work best as a bi-monthly section, so that is what it will be. We’ve also shuffled the first few users and sections we’re going to cover around a little. This is mainly because we originally planned to cover 876 with the full debut, but we realized he, as the largest user feature we could cover at this time, would better be saved. I suggested December since it would be a great addition to the big holiday issue, but unless we decide to do an extra edition, we wouldn’t be writing it that month. Still, since we’ll have plenty of time to work on it throughout December, expect Yoshi876 to be the user feature to kick off 2019! As for what section we’ll be doing with him and what combination we have planned for next month… well, we’ll leave that as a surprise for now.

In any case, I do believe that’s all I have for this month. As always, any comments, criticisms, questions, suggestions for topics to cover, or what may have you are appreciated and are taken seriously. I’m always looking to improve, so don’t be afraid to give me your honest thoughts on anything I’m doing.

Also, I want to take one more opportunity to thank TPG for the gorgeous staff portrait. It’s quite humbling to have him make something so wonderful, and I’ll be the first to admit I was giddy like a youth on Christmas morning when I saw it. It’s a dream come true to be part of The ‘Shroom, the paper I had read every month for years now, at this level. .

Okay clearly I lied, since I’m not done. Since you’ve read all this way, why not have a general fun fact? Why did I choose a Toady for my OC? Well, I was quite well aware that it helped to have some sort of representation in this community, and when I started becoming more active, I decided to get my affairs in order and settle on one. I debated between my two favorite Mario species, Toadies and Nokis. Why do I like Toadies, you ask? Well, I think they’re underappreciated little cuties who are studious and hard-working. They don’t mind working in the background and don’t need much in the way of recognition, so long as they can learn, study, and improve. I imagine they must be the apprentice of Magikoopa, or, as I characterize it, they’re like the graduate students of the Koopa Troop’s esteemed mages. Then again, have they been associated with any Magikoopa besides Kamek? Oh, oh, and, there’s one more thing to consider. Toadies have these cute oversized robes, and how notable that, rather than a separate hat like Magikoopa, Toadies’ robes go over their head with a hood. Why, if there were some Toady called Pitohui, wouldn’t that make it…

A Hooded Pitohui?

Ahahahaha, and with that horrid joke (that I actually considered when settling on the Toady) provided for those of you who cared to read this far, now I am actually finished. Again, comments or suggestions are most welcome. Until the next time, have a grand day!

Tsubasa Kazanari

The Blade Which Will Defend the World
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Well, here we are in November. In exciting news, we can officially say that The ‘Shroom Recap is underway for a bi-monthly schedule into 2019. As a matter of fact, we even have a tentative plan for the users and sections to be covered in next year’s six issues. You might notice that this issue goes further in depth with the Main/Staff sections than the initial trial issue from a few months back, which is something that we plan to keep going forward. All in all, look forward to it and feel free to send any feedback my way or Raregold’s way. I should say, it’s actually quite enjoyable to write. There’s something about looking at the spreadsheets and digging into the archives.

Now, on Shop Scout, if you’ll indulge me, I want to talk a bit about how it came together this month. I’m the kind of person to schedule in time for work on my ‘Shroom and community commitments well in advance, but those blocks of time are flexible. This month, between Recap taking up additional time and finding that, due to a bit of a crunch period with university work and other ongoings, my time for writing Shop Scout became more and more limited. It was at the point where, before release, I genuinely believed I wouldn’t have time to get it in and said as much. And then, late this week, everything was covered in ice and I found that I had a very little bit of extra time. I decided that, if I could, I was going to get Shop Scout done during that time. I had already started on the section, but most of it was still in the form of a planned story. Unfortunately, I realized that, were I going to tell the story I had planned, I would run out of time well before I finished writing. So, I scrapped the story I had planned out and decided to see if I could press myself to write something entertaining in a short time, which really meant that I needed to see if I could shorten the length up significantly. It was a fun challenge, actually, and it’s the first time I’ve really pushed myself to see if I could do a short Shop Scout since I wrote about Hino Mart. Interestingly enough, even as I wrote the revised version, I did a bit of revision when I felt like I needed to rewrite Flavio’s concerns about the Lakitu. The initial version sounded a bit too much like the ramblings of a conspiracy theorist denouncing the control of the media by a particular group, which, while I suppose in the context of the Lakitu and the fantasy of the Mushroom World, is humourous in itself, wasn’t really what I was going for. Oh, and as for that one Lakitu in the image…? I’m not completely sure myself what’s going on there. I started to put parts of the sprite together just to see what would result, and the result I came up with was so incongruous with the rest of the image that it seemed perfect for Fake News. Anyhow, that’s how it came about this month, in case you were wondering why it was uncharacteristically short outside of the in-universe reasons.

But, of course, there’s one more thing I need to discuss. While it wasn’t announced, I’ve informed MCD that next month’s Shop Scout will be my last for the time being. I’m retiring from the section because, while I’ve greatly enjoyed writing it, my time is more limited and, in honesty, I think I’d like to pivot to other sections. I’ve got Recap set up for next year, and I’d like to see if I can pick up at least one other section as next year gets underway so I can continue writing at least something every month. Plus, I fear that if I try to keep Shop Scout going for too long, I’ll run out of good ideas and the stories might begin to feel stale, so I’d rather go out on a high note. So, I’m going to put my energy into coming up with and writing a very grand finale indeed for the section. I don’t have it all fully planned out yet, but I’m going to work very hard on it. If you have any suggestions or things you want to see, though, there’s still time to suggest things so I can consider if they can be worked in or not. On a similar note, I’m also currently planning to bring my tenure with Mario’s Boombox to a close in February. The choice to step away from that is in part because I want to try other sections and need to free up time to do so, but also because I don’t have much content left to cover. I have two new artists prepared for December and for February, but after that, I don’t have anything left to cover on my list. As I leave these sections, though, I’m not opposed to the idea of coming back to them in the future, whether one-off submissions or shorter stints. It’s been grand, but we’ll see where I go next in terms of sections.

Of course, I’d love to see someone else try their hand at the sections, too! If you’ve ever thought about joining and think you could do something with Boombox of Shop Scout, you ought to go for it! ...Not that there’s likely anyone new out there reading this, but you never know…

Anyhow, other than that, I’ll update the lists and leave you with that. For next month, I have something fitting for the Smash Bros. theme planned for Boombox and I do hope to deliver something spectacular and entertaining for Flavio’s final misadventure!

Tsubasa Kazanari

The Blade Which Will Defend the World
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
A few days late, but it’s time for the the last update to this thread this year. To begin, I ought to address the unfortunate fact that I’m leaving Shop Scout. I’ve had a grand time writing the section and I must admit that it’s turned out much better than I thought it would’ve, but I felt like this was a good time to bring it to a close. In all honesty, it’s not so much about a lack of time or desire to write the section; rather, I’ve become a bit worried that it might get to feeling too repetitive or I might run out of ideas that feel interesting or entertaining. I might be selling myself short by saying that, but, still, I’d rather end the section on what I feel is a high note than drag it in and let seasonal rot set in. That said, who knows what the future holds! I might return to it someday, though not for awhile at least.

Now, onto the finale itself… I don’t know if I nailed the feeling of a finale, but I am rather happy with how this final story unfolded. I decided early on (before I even settled on December being the last issue) that I wanted to do Broque Monsieur’s Shop and that I wanted to do something with blocks. Thinking about the topic for some time, I realized that I could tie the blocks back to the old Fake News running gag of Gamefreak75 and his Brick Blocks. Perhaps it was more fun for me, a nerd when it comes to the history of The ‘Shroom, than it was for you, but I hope readers did find it a treat. When I have to turn to something different to close the section out, why not add my own twist and close out an old “plot thread” of Fake News, after all? Of course, I tried to not rely completely on people understanding the reference, so hopefully you found the section decent even if you had no idea what I was referencing. I also have to say that I enjoyed how it ended up with elements from many of the previous stories. I wasn’t intentionally writing it that way, but when I look back at it I see some of Psycho Kamek and Chet Rippo (in the odd hermit dabbling in magic as well as the magical worldbuilding with blocks much like I did with Star Points and Star Pieces), Luigi and his Balloon World (some of the more philosophical discussion on the role of the merchant), the Golden Pyramid adventure (the very brief section where I dispose of Broggy because I didn’t feel like writing much about him but I felt obligated to acknowledge his existence), and E. Gadd’s Garage (the technology in the Mushroom World elements). I suppose I might be reading too deeply into my own writing here, but the Final Exam Boss and All The World Are a Stage tropes have always ranked among my favorites. Call it cliche if you wish, but I think it’s the absolute best when a finale or last level or what have you is packed with little callbacks and the return of elements from throughout the whole work because it makes you feel that every little bit leading up to the end was important. It gives you a chance to remember and reflect on the memories you’ve made - the locations you’ve been to, the skills you’ve learned, the people you’ve met, the stories you’ve seen unfold. If that’s not one of the great joys of fiction, I don’t know what is!

Perhaps you picked up on some of that in Shop Scout this month, perhaps not. It doesn’t much matter. In the end, all I hope is that you enjoyed the December issue and really Shop Scout as a whole. I’ve had fun writing it and, really, I’ve challenged myself with it and grown as a writer for it. I feel pretty good about where it’s been over the past eleven months, with ten solid editions (the first back in February is, in my mind, a false start). Thank you all for indulging me and reading the section! If anyone out there is looking for an opportunity to jump into The ‘Shroom, do think about creating a new Strategy Wing section trying your hand at Shop Scout. After all, you ought to find your own style for it and I’m curious to see how the next writer handles the section!

Anyhow, that aside, how about a brief note on Mario’s Boombox? This month, I covered Zach Boucher. To be perfectly and brutally honest… I’m not much of a fan. I like the first “Ultimate Super Smash Bros. Rap,” but the rest of his works don’t really do it for me. Still, I wanted to feature him because his music isn’t exactly bad and there might be people who like it. Uh, unfortunately, I’m also planning to wrap up Mario’s Boombox in February. This one is more due to lack of content to cover. I haven’t found as much lately and, while I’m sure there’s more out there, I’d rather take a break from the section and build up a new backlog of artists than scramble for someone new each month and let the articles suffer for it. That said, Boombox is definitely one of those sections that, when I have enough to write about, I can assure you I want to return to it. That said, I’m sure I’ll have a long reflective wrap-up post about Boombox in February, so we’ll save more of that discussion for later.

Ahahaha, it’s a shame, really. I didn’t originally plan to end these sections so close to one another. I originally envisioned Shop Scout at least lasting a year, through to February, and perhaps longer, and Boombox I didn’t really come in with a timetable for. So, am I pulling back? Absolutely not! First, I have Recap to keep working on through 2019 and beyond! Secondly, I’d like to get an early start this year on some new sections in January and February. Do I know what those sections are yet? Unfortunately not. They might be something completely new, or I might work on picking up more existing sections. Perhaps I should take up a section in Strategy Wing? I did start on Pocket Handbook a few months back, though I never made it very far due to other matters taking priority. If I do that, though, I might favour working on a new section for the Team. I don’t really want to leave Palette Swap, either, so I’d be interested in picking up another section there. Critic Corner is an appealing Team, as well, though I’m not completely sure what I would review yet. And, that said, I’m not opposed to Fake News or Fun Stuff either. Well, I guess this means I need to do some thinking and planning so I can start quickly. As always, I maintain this thread to offer an opportunity for people share the feedback, criticisms, and thoughts (as well as have a nice collection of what I’ve written). That said, if you have something to say about how I did with Shop Scout and Boombox or if you perhaps have a section that you think I ought to do something with, let me know! I’d appreciate hearing from you.

Ah, I’m almost finished now, but I do want to just take a moment to look at where I am now. It’s the end of 2019. At this time last year, I was only just getting to know most of you in The ‘Shroom Killing Game and had been writing for The ‘Shroom for only a short time. Now, twelve months later I’m Strategy Wing Director and I’m able to look proudly back on the improvement visible in Shop Scout and especially Mario’s Boombox. I had the opportunity to participate in plenty of Awards festivities. I made a few presentations, tried to host a tourney, had a much better run (well, I still died N1 in the first mansion, never voted for the correct killer while I was alive, and was executed for my murder of Alex, but it went much more smoothly!) in Awards KG II, and even went ahead and made something for the Art Contest. I’m working on the Poll Committee with a great small group of users and enjoying seeing you all react to our polls each month in Poll Talk (I do try and take note of criticism so we can address issues, as well). On Discord and through Ask threads and Mindless Junk, I’ve been able to banter and chat with plenty of folks. Actually, I’ve met people here and through other users on Discord and even from sites like Minus World, come to think of it. Like always, I’ve been able to look forward to reading all of the wonderful work in The ‘Shroom each month and the artwork that you share through the Boards. Thanks to some of your spurring me on, I’ve tried a number of new things and learned new skills I wouldn’t have this year - including such trivial yet exciting things as watching an anime series and using GIMP extensively and larger things like teaching me quite a bit more about tabletop and other role-playing games. I was even able to help out the Wiki (a very small bit) with a Spotlight goal and working with Turboo on the Luigi’s Mansion Remake. Most importantly, though, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to many of you rather extensively and making some wonderful close friends on this site. To friends here I’ve spoken to extensively this year, I want to say that it’s been my great pleasure to get to know you and speak with you.

You know I’m a hopeless sentimentalist, so I ought to end this before I go on. If I could make a list of everyone I wanted to say something to without inevitably leaving one or more people off, I would. But, in lack of that, let me just thank all of you for making my 2018 a wonderful year! I hope I’ve been able to repay you in kind.

So, what does the future hold? I don’t know, but hopefully I can keep getting to know more of you. Perhaps I’ll be a bit better about being the one to reach out? Well, whatever the case, I can at least tell you two things that will happen in the near future, before 218 ends. At some point this week, you can expect one more announcement from me related to The ‘Shroom, though it won’t be in this thread! Less exciting for you all, perhaps, the second thing is that I have a scavenger hunt to go and do now!