Kappy’s Spotlight — Mega Jump

It’s that time again: #KappySpotlight time, where I talk about badges/items/partners/etc… that are generally seen as “bad” and not used very often by challenge runners. I dive deeper into why they’re perceived the way they are with some cool strategies centered around them mixed in! Today, I’ll be covering my first badge in 64, and probably the worst Jump badge of them all in said game — MEGA JUMP!!

Mega_jump_badge
BP Cost: 3
FP Cost: 6
Move: Deals Jump (3+3) + 4 damage to a single enemy.
Glitz Pit Rank: F

Mega Jump is one of the last badges you get in Paper Mario 64. You get it in Chapter 7, and while it has the “Jump is a Hammer” property of Power Jump and an added 2 damage compared to that badge, it costs triple the FP of Power Jump and triple the BP. Triple the FP and BP for +2 damage? Yeah, it’s easy to see why challenge runners don’t really use the move often. And by the time you get it, you’ve got basically every option that outclasses it. When you can just Power Bounce (or even Power Jump!), it’s tough to compete, especially when the other two are just so much more FP efficient. However, if you’ve got a lot of FP to spare, you can make some use of that extra damage.

CRYSTAL KING STRAT

15 HP, 40 FP
BADGES: Mega Jump, All or Nothing, Power Plus, Last Stand, Damage Dodge x2, Flower Saver, Mega Rush (27 BP. 30 with HP Plus)

ITEMS: Shooting Star

T1: Mega Jump (60), Electro Dash (55) [Guard 2]
T2: Mega Jump (45), Electro Dash (40)
T3: Turbo Charge, Do Nothing
T4: Mega Jump (25), Electro Dash (20)
T5 or T6: Mega Jump (5), Electro Dash [potential KO]If heal T4 & T5

T7: Jump (6), Do Nothing
T8: Shooting Star [KO]

This is actually a pretty cool strat, but look at how much FP you need! Crystal King has 70 HP, 6 ATK, and 2 DEF. Despite these actually pretty good stats, he’s a huge pushover with easy-to-abuse AI, meaning we can destroy him with Mega Jump provided we have the FP. This strategy also nicely showcases the power of Peril combined with Last Stand in 64.
The goal of this strategy was to get rid of the RNG that Crystal King has for healing with Mega Jump and Electro Dash. Let’s start with the setup. Turns 1 & 2, we just Mega Jump and Electro Dash for 15 damage per turn. At base, Mega Jump deals 10 damage. With Crystal King’s DEF, we’re at 8, so we equip a Power Plus and All or Nothing to get that back up to 10. Now, Crystal King uses Bit Spit if he has Ice Bits on the field, which he does Turn 1. We take 4 damage each from those without guarding. With guarding, we take 1. So, we get hit by one then Guard two of them for (4+1+1) damage to be at 9 HP. Turn 2, Crystal King will summon Ice Bits. Turn 3, we set up Mario with Turbo Charge so that Mario will be dealing 15 damage instead of 14 damage in Peril. Mario does nothing to ensure Crystal King doesn’t try to heal just yet. He’ll use the Ice Bit Spit attack. We don’t guard any attacks, putting Mario at 5 HP with the first Ice Bit. Now that Mario’s at 5 HP, Last Stand kicks in, which means the other two Ice Bit attacks deal 2 damage instead of 4. With those two 2 damage attacks, Mario’s gone from 9 HP to 1 HP, putting us in Peril.Turn 4, we begin our manipulation and continue on this path until Crystal King is KO’d. On Turn 4, Crystal King is triggered to use Ice Beam. If he heals, we just Mega Jump and Electro Dash again Turn 5, and if he heals again after that, we Mega Jump and Electro Dash Turn 6, then take the guaranteed Ice Beam and do it again. Turn 7, Turbo Charge wears off, so we Jump and Do Nothing. At this point, Crystal King can either Ice Beam or create 3 clones. To circumvent the cloning, we use a Shooting Star to guarantee he gets hit and is KO’d. if he uses Ice Beam earlier, then we KO him earlier. Perfect damage and a lot of Mega Jump — nice! If you wanted, you could have 45 FP and not need a Flower Saver. I just liked being able to fit in 30 BP perfectly if HP Plus is used.

Now, there are a couple other places you can use Mega Jump, and that’s against Hallway Bowser and Final Bowser. Given that both can get rid of Water Block/Cloud Nine/Turbo Charge, as well as having an extremely punishing 3-cap most of the time for Power Bounce, you can get around the same damage over time with Mega Jump, even if you’re Power Bouncing in Peril, especially since it can be hard to maintain if you’re not great at Guarding Bowser’s attacks. Other than that, I see no reason to try and use this in normal battles., It’s likely overkill and just a waste of FP.

All in all, Mega Jump comes way too late to really be useful, but try it out next time you’re fighting Final Bowser! You might be surprised. As always, feel free to use the strategy I made or adapt it into something yourself! I’ll be doing a vote for my next spotlight, so please be sure to follow me on Twitter or join my Discord server to get notified when I ask for suggestions!!

Just Sayin’
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Paper Mario Talks — How To Break Combat (64): Status

In Paper Mario, there are six kinds of status that the player can inflict on an enemy (Dizzy, Stop, Paralyze, Sleep, Shrink, Attack Down). Let’s take a look at them and how to inflict them!

Attack Down – Reduces an enemy’s attack by 3 for 4 turns. [Chill Out]
Dizzy – Opponent cannot move for x turns (varies by enemy). [Dizzy Dial, Dizzy Shell, Dizzy Stomp]
Paralyze – Opponent cannot move for x turns (varies by enemy). [Power Shock, Mega Shock]
Shrink – Opponent’s damage is halved for x turns. [Shrink Stomp]
Sleep – Opponent cannot move for x turns (varies by enemy). [Sleepy Sheep, Sleep Stomp, Lullaby]
Stop – Opponent cannot move for x turns (varies by enemy). [Stop Watch, Time Out]

For your information, the range of status where it lasts for x turns can vary from 1 – 4 turns.

Of these six, four of them do the exact same thing – hinder an enemy from moving. Without any differences (attacking a sleeping opponent does not wake them up, for instance), these statuses all cripple opponents in the same way, making combat in 64 very simple – find an enemy’s weakness to an immobilizing status and exploit it.

While I enjoy using status, and I consider knowing when and where to utilize status as a key element in strategy in Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the monotony of what status do in 64 makes combat really easy. Furthermore, because so many status do the same thing, you can effectively lock an enemy into status and prevent them from ever attacking if they’re weak to two different kinds or very weak to one. Compare this to TTYD, where Dizzy no longer immobilizes enemies, Paralyze doesn’t exist, and enemies can wake from Sleep after being attacked; there’s much more variety, and you can’t really prevent enemies from attacking.

Now, while status is pretty broken in 64, the ability to inflict the same condition with so many different status does have its few benefits, but that mostly applies to challenge running. If you’re trying to inflict status to start setting up with, say, Super Jump Charge, you can cycle between an item/badge and Dizzy Shell or Power Shock to try and get a status inflicted sooner. It’s a cool concept, but that’s really all I find cool about the monotony of status in 64. This specific brand of status monotony is also why really hardcore challenges can be beaten in 64.

Let’s take a small turn and focus on the other two status, Shrink and Attack Down, which both reduce damage Mario takes. As you saw in my previous post, Chill Out’s Attack Down status is ridiculous. For 4 turns, an enemy has -3 ATK. That’s a big deal for the Tank Mario build and for just longevity in general. It cripples enemies in a different way. Sure, they can attack, but doing no damage is the same as not attacking at all (except for the ones that inflict status on Mario, but let’s not talk about those…). To supplement Tank Mario even more is Shrink, which halves an enemy’s damage. Halves. That’s Last Stand without having Last Stand active! With Last Stand and Shrink active, you’d be hard-pressed to find something that can damage Mario besides Final Bowser.

Speaking of… I find Bowser really interesting. Up until Bowser, every enemy in the game is stuck with their fate when inflicted with status. Bowser can remove status from himself (including Attack Down!!) with the Star Rod buff, and is the only enemy capable of removing status on Mario and his Partners. The entire game, you’re used to being able to do pretty much whatever you want, and then Bowser turns that on its head. It’s probably why I find him such a fun and interesting boss, and also why he really ramps up the difficulty curve when it comes to challenge running. But, we can talk about Bowser another time.

Anyway, the bottom line is…status is broken in 64. Even superbosses in Paper Mario: Pro Mode can’t prevent you from status-locking them. And while it’s cool to do that and be rewarded for using different status, I wish there had been more variety because just selecting a different item to do the same thing to an enemy can get a little stale.

Just Sayin’