Saturday, March 23, 2013

Fantasy Smash Bros.: Kuribo's Shoe

Following hotly on the heels of my Ice Flower post is another Fantasy Smash Bros. item, this time the ill-fated Kuribo's Shoe from Super Mario Bros. 3. The item appears only in one level, but it makes that level all the more memorable. While it has largely been relegated to the third act of the Super Mario Bros. franchise and its remakes, the Kuribo's Shoe was actually recently revisited, and this time properly translated as the Goomba's Shoe, in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, bringing some relevance to the item.

For those who aren't familiar with the Kuribo's Shoe (as an aside: "Kuribo" sounds way cooler than "Goomba" and adds a bit of mystique to the shoe. I grew up wondering who on Earth Kuribo was and if he'd ever show up in a future game. My inner child won't let that die.), it's an enormous green boot Mario can steal from Goombas which will protect him from spikes and other hazards which would otherwise cause him great harm. It was also shown to be quite powerful in its only appearance in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 animated series, easily able to stomp enemies flat.

Although with Super Koopa wearing the boot,
I imagine its stink is worse than its stomp.
In Super Smash Bros. the boot would be a bit of an oddity. Whilst wearing the shoe, players are unable to perform any regular or special attacks, taunts, grapples, or ground dodges. Nor are they capable of ledge grabbing (with a few exceptions, which will be noted below.) The only usual action which players can perform whilst wearing Kuribo's Shoe would be shielding, although aerial dodges will also work. The shoe makes up for this with its deadly stomp, which transforms the players jumps into gravitational battering rams. Enemies who happen to be in the air when stomped by the boot will find themselves immediately and mercilessly spiked, while enemies who are already on the ground will be buried or launched depending on their damage percent.

Characters which utilize wings to perform multiple jumps will find that they are now restricted merely to two jumps, but that their second jump is much higher than average. Additionally, Yoshi's fluttering ability and Peach's gliding ability will not work while wearing the shoe. Kirby, King Dedede, and Jigglypuff can all make full advantage of their puff jumps while wearing the boot.

Walking without jumping will cause the player to hop forward with a bit of a kicking motion. Enemies who are unfortunate enough to be caught in this kick will be knocked back a bit and given some damage. This makes approaching the Kurbio's Shoe without an attack strategy a dangerous proposition.

In most instances, utilizing a character's recovery move will release them from the boot, which will either fall off the screen or land for another player to use--unless it has been worn for a long period, in which case it will simply disappear. Exceptions to this rule are characters with tether recoveries, who will still dangle while wearing the boot. They cannot, however, properly edge-grab and will perform a small hop after yanking themselves upward with their tether. In the case of Zero Suit Samus, her down B move will flip her out of the boot. Olimar's standard special will pluck him from the stinky depths, and Ivysaur must be swapped out to escape the shoe.

While it might seem that the boot, at the cost of restriction, transforms players into impenetrable tanks, this is far from the truth. Players can be launched out of the boot just as they can drop any item when beaten severely, and players are also otherwise not invulnerable to attack. A player brandishing Kuribo's Shoe can be knocked about just as easily as before, and the shoe will not protect them from an edge-screen death, or any other unfortunate end. While the item is incredibly powerful and can turn the tides of battle, using it might not be the best choice for some players.

*There is, however, a couple of circumstances where a player would normally take damage that the boot shall protect them from. For starters, the bottom of the shoe is completely impenetrable. This does not necessarily mean that wearers cannot be attacked from below, as they can always be spun by another attack. It does, however, mean that they are capable of blocking all attacks on the bottom of their shoe, including Bob-ombs. They are also able to stand on spike hazards without taking damage. Additionally, a character who has been launched can become a human cannonball if the sole of their shoe happens to contact an enemy Smasher.

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