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Featured guide cleanup[edit]

I put in most of my bulletpoints and one of Notmyhandle (talk · contribs)'s bulletpoints; after reviewing the blocks of text from the StrategyWiki:Featured guides entry. Let the collaboration discussion begin! --RAP (talk) 01:37, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, RAP! --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 16:16, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

New features page[edit]

@Ceegers (talk · contribs): I just saw one of the bulletpoints you added: "Fix SNES (and maybe NES) info on Super Mario Advance/New features. I'm fairly certain it's incorrect in particularly the naming, but I need to check." – I have to point out that in making the page, all the comparison content is actually from the Super Mario Advance page (edit in action) with fact checking on the content from videos of longplays. I just transferred all the content into a new page, stripped out the fat to fit in a new table. I'm curious if there's any more differences that I missed that is not trivial for the guide. --RAP (talk) 09:56, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Yeah I noticed while it was still on that page, I just hadn't mentioned anything until now. My official nintendo strategy guide disagrees with some things, but I wanted to thoroughly go through the game and such to catch anything else before changing it. -- Ceegers (talk) 02:53, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Just FYI Ceegers (talk · contribs), from personal experience, multiple official Nintendo publications are inconsistent and disagree with one another. That often makes it tough to cite one official reference. Procyon 02:59, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
These publications do not have to be correct. They just have to sell. They aren't history books or quotes from developers. Just gamers and editors with some inside info. Our guides are better :P --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 16:11, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Ok, so here's the way it looks... Subcon I do not see mentioned anywhere in-game (except to name the creature that comes out of the pipe at the end as subcon, but also one word). In both the NES and SNES instruction manuals, it is one word. Since there is then no change, I have deleted that line on the changes page. The enemy name changes I admit are in the game, however clawgrip and hoopster are labeled as such in the NES instruction manual, contrary to what the credits have. Ostro and Birdo I surprisingly can't really argue, as the NES manual has them flopped as well. The SNES manual doesn't even mention enemies (saving space I'm sure, since it needs to cover 4 games). And of course the strategy guide I mentioned has all those enemies listed the way they are in the GBA version (except Shyguy, that's still one word). I think that due to the disagreement between the included instruction manual and the game, we really don't have a good reason to say that the names changed... more like typos were corrected if anything. If you are going to be picky and mention it, you might want to mention that bob omb has no hyphen in the game (but, again, it does in the instruction manual). -- Ceegers (talk) 06:17, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Interesting thought on the direction: deciding which content to take - take the game's word, or the game manual's word. Canon-speaking wise, it would be a bigger mess when official content like strategy guides mixes the content up wrong, making us question whether to 1) stick with the canon, 2) go by the most recognizable, or 3) accept the alternative name. Personally, I put the game higher than the manual because more people would play the game first than people who would read the manual first; unless of course the game manual is integral to how the game functions and/or enhances the player's experience interacting with the game, like a large book manual on Microsoft Flight Simulator or a large computer RPG back in the days per say. --RAP (talk) 07:40, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
We can, and should, put both in-game and manual content. Just add the manual content after a linebreak, in the same cell. Yes, it will be fatter, but no, that doesn't matter. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 23:00, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, integral to enhance the player's experience to the game, both from the manual and the game. Even little things like the enemies' names and the game's setting make it work. Even though SMB2 is a dolled-up installment, I'm somewhat sad that they didn't make another game solely based on the carrying and throwing mechanic, or even expand the idea of what activities go beyond what SMB2 showed us in the dream world of Subcon. I don't even recall a single platformer game that focuses on this mechanics as far as I know. --RAP (talk) 00:27, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

RAP's inclusion of BS Mario[edit]

Ugh, I was going to try to avoid mentioning BS Super Mario Bros. USA, that's kind of a mess. At best, it could be an additional entry in the version differences page. But due to the nature of BS titles, it's really hard for anyone to actually experience the content of the games properly, so there's no much point covering it in great detail. Procyon 01:29, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Curious, checking Template:Unplayable; I don't think it would fit the criteria because the ROM dump exists, but the audio content is absent due to the nature of how Satellaview functions as playing the game is limited by a certain amount of time. If the game is not in complete form, would it be considered Template:Unplayable regardless whether or not the game is playable without additional audio content, or potential content tied to the service that is not present in the ROM (there is no info on the result of collecting all the gold statues as far as I recall)? Would Template:Unplayable section be more appropriate?
There are pieces of recorded content dedicated to the game out there, even the appropriate ROMs, but the only missing pieces upon browsing around the game are the audio content (VGM that isn't possible to process on the Super Famicom, and dialogue when the character sprites at the top left pop up). I do not intend to frustrate you Procyon (talk · contribs), I want Super Mario Bros. 2 and subsequent versions to gain feature guide status with the highest possible caliber of work done to it in order for StrategyWiki to represent the best of our work; even if Super Mario Advance is less played than Super Mario Bros. 2, and BS Super Mario USA is vastly played less than the Advance version.
However, as Notmyhandle (talk · contribs) said back in StrategyWiki:Featured guides/Current requests on 17:28, 19 March 2014 (UTC):
"It is better if we upgrade a guide that deserves it to featured, then if the compilation or shared ToC title also, eventually gets it, then the original featured front page blurb can be modified." The purpose of a featured guide is not only to show best of what StrategyWiki's collaborated work provides, but also give users who need help on the game the highest quality of assistance provided to the user. Since BS Super Mario USA is only played by so few people in the world, it would be regretful if Super Mario Bros. 2 and subsequent guides (which includes the BS version) would be held back indefinitely due to BS Super Mario USA not being remotely covered with subsequent info. The wiki's task is to help users, not hinder them.
To wrap it up, personally, I want the guide to have the most complete info in their hands, but not at the expense of users outside of StrategyWiki to look help elsewhere, and the people actively seeking other websites that are worth contributing to be recognized for the work they would provide as well (like me). Although we'll be waiting for additional responses, I can remove that bulletpoint for you if you want. ;-) --RAP (talk) 03:57, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Ugh. I really don't want another title throwing another challenge in our progress towards SMB2 getting featured. We should just make a main page, slap on unplayable (unless you count emulation, which I see going on with YouTube videos), and then add an extra page like "BS Super Mario USA tips" which can be like a mini-guide page. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 15:34, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

The manual[edit]

You can view the manual, here:

@Procyon (talk · contribs): hey Proc, do you think its fair use to use the art from this manual? The images of Mario's actions and all of the enemy artwork is great! --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 20:31, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

I was definitely going to suggest adding artwork to increase the quality of the guide even further, but it slipped past my mind. You could use the artwork provided in MarioWiki instead. --RAP (talk) 20:54, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
For future reference, they maintain a really good archive of NES manual scans on nintendoage.com. I am completely all for incorporating artwork from the manual directly into our guide. I don't have the time to take that on right now as I'm devoting my free time to revamping the Pokemon GSC guide. The only thing I would counsel at this time, is to perhaps put a footnote about that "8bit gang" stuff that came from the US manual, because I have no idea how canon that is, versus the silly idea of some North American marketing person. To be honest, I never heard of it until you brought it up. For one thing, I didn't think "8-bit" was a thing until "16-bit" was a thing, and then 8-bit was just used as distinction. Procyon 23:48, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
I sort of failed to answer the original question. Yes, I think using the artwork would be considered fair use. A) that kind of artwork was often used in promotional materials. B) we're not misrepresenting the product. And c) we're not charging people to see the artwork, so I think we're ok. The worst that can happen is Nintendo asks us to take it down, and then we comply. They certainly haven't minded us using the Pokemon art. Procyon 23:53, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure they WANT us to share this stuff. I will add references for the 8bit stuff and link to the manual/page number. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 00:49, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Procyon (talk · contribs): Proc, do you have the SMB2 cart/instruction booklet? In the nintendoage scan, their resolution is tiny and I want to get the icons off of page 5 (which is a bit muddled in their scan). digitpress's scan is pretty good so I may go with that one. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 18:36, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Geez, you know, believe it or not, I think I do have it downstairs in the basement. I've hoarded just about every piece of video game paraphernalia I've ever owned in my life. That includes roughly around 100 NES manuals. PM me on my talk page and let me know what else you'd like, if anything. I'll do what I can to scan them over the weekend. Procyon 00:31, 4 April 2014 (UTC) (BTW, if I'm not mistaken, those icons on page 5 are just slightly zoomed out and cropped shots of the heads on page 9.)
That's great! I know how time consuming scanning is, so I understand if you can't do it all, but these are the pages that would be great in hi-rez so we can pull out the art: 5-10, 11-14, 20, 23-28. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 03:05, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
You probably don't have this, but the Super Mario Advance manual appears to have no scans on the net as far as the first few pages of Google results are concerned. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 03:20, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
@User:Notmyhandle: here you go, head over to [1] to grab the scans I did. I think they're plenty big, I scanned them at 600 dpi. You'll definitely need to shrink them down to something more usable, but at least the size will give you a lot of flexibility. I didn't do the enemies because, frankly, I think the enemy page is already too busy. But if you really want them done, let me know. Procyon 20:13, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Procyon (talk · contribs)! And yes, please on the enemy pages. I am going to do an overhaul on the boss page and change them to separate headered sections instead of the compact table. A simple gallery will be a nice addition for each boss. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 15:48, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
OK NMH, refresh the link, and there should be three new scans there for you. Enjoy :) Procyon 18:44, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Basket found[edit]

I'm playing through Super Mario Advance currently with help from the walkthrough, and as my previous edit shows, I've found the so-called basket, which appears to be a random item block. Strangely, there really is no documentation about the existence of this item that I can find, not even Mariowiki lists it. Is there any official name for this item? T.testLP(talk) 16:58, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Crystal Ball info?[edit]

I'm sorry, I'm trying very hard not to gripe about some of the changes, but I really have to question the wisdom of mentioning what to do with the Crystal Ball at the end of every stage that contains one. In general, once something has been explained once and established for the reader, it seems like you don't really need to mention it over and over again. At best, it's a little annoying, and at worst, it's kind of insulting. Like, you don't mention that you can pull grass out of the ground on every stage, or that you can safely jump on enemies every stage. So why explain how the crystal ball works every stage? I dunno, maybe I'm making too big a deal about it. Procyon 23:41, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Most people only read one or two pages for the content that they need. Mentioning the crystal ball helps to indicate where it is located and helps to visually align the text to the maps we have provided. It is also an easy visual reference to find where you are at, since the ball in any of the thumbnailed maps is like 2x2 pixels and very hard to see without pushing your face up to the screen. We repeat our birdo sections, and other repeat bosses, and info about the rooms where Phantos/keys lay. One "obvious" sentence doesn't hurt. It would be more odd if we didn't talk about the end of the level. We have never had a policy of excluding content because it is too obvious. The sentences clearly describe necessary points. It also validates that our guide pages are complete (people can tell where the level ends based on the final content). It also provides a break for readers, since the crystal ball is usually a safe place to stand near. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 23:52, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
I get subconsciously defensive over criticism, so I am trying to compare crystal ball info to this diff. Zageron basically repeated all of the info already on the page, which is why I reverted his edit. That is different than stating it in the first place. In SMB2, no info about the ball is mentioned in most areas. Also, our text does not always line up closely with the map of where the ball is located (which goes back to the advantage of visually identifying your place in the text with the nice icon of the crystal ball in-line with the text). --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 23:57, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
Believe me, NMH, I completely understand your reaction. It's akin to how I've felt with some of the changes made to the guide. Though I may not agree with all of them, I have to accept that if you or someone else feels that they are a good idea, they're probably right. That being said, I've been concerned that this guide is "kitchen sinking". It's very difficult to find that sweet spot that sits right between "too little information" and "too much information." Although we are usually working hard to prevent the former, it feels to me like this guide may be headed down the path of the latter. That's just my gut reaction. I could very well be wrong about that. I'm just throwing my $0.02 out there, and if everyone is like, "go away Procyon," that's cool. In general, I'm actually very pleased with 90% of the changes since the to-do list started, it's just that other 10% that I have a strong reaction to. Procyon 00:21, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Ok, what else are you thinking about? Also, can you either create the page for, or provide a rationale for the exclusion of BS Super Mario Bros. USA? In regards to the todo point "Add info regarding BS Super Mario Bros. USA." --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 00:30, 25 April 2014 (UTC)