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Friday, January 3, 2020

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 8: Donny's Abs Wall in Solar Plexia

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - That title isn't even clickbait. It's connecting the dots!

Welcome to the first KoopaTV Fitness Friday of 2020! I went and did the whole Game of THAT Year nominations YESTERDAY so this can still be published on a Friday. I mean, if I didn't do that, it'd ruin my entire fitness schedule, and that's just not good.

It's a Sunday tradition: Not church, but playing Ring Fit Adventure at some point. Oh, and increasing my difficulty level from 26 to... 27! (The maximum is 30, so soon increasing the difficulty level will no longer be a tradition. Actually, the idea of playing a fitness game at the highest difficulty level is quite frightening.) Without having started yet, I'm going to guess World 8 will be dedicated to Armando?

World 8 is called “Tears of Solar Plexia”. I have no idea what that means, but it sounds really cool. It's also raining constantly, which may have something to do with the tears bit. I started talking to a Village Elder to play the first level, and he was doing a ritual dance and referring to the rain as the Tears of Solar Plexia. GUESS I'M RIGHT. Solar Plexia's shrine (it's apparently a goddess?) is where Dragaux happens to be hanging out, so... guess we gotta fight him to continue our stalking campaign, as well as cease the rain. Starting out with Gutterflow Temple! Four observations:
  1. I encounter the first Megaphauna not in a boss fight. It can call in reinforcement enemies... but there's no guarantee anyone will hear the call and come. It can also buff the defence or attack stats of its team
  2. The difficulty level increase from level 26 to level 27 made Yoga Fitness Skills go from requiring 18 repetitions to 20 
  3. Squat-powered vehicles are asinine
  4. Levelling up to level 59 unlocks the Mountain Climber Fit Skill, and I already know very well to avoid those (to the point of cheating through them), even if they have excellent attacking stats (120 for an all-range attack)
Ring Fit Adventure vehicle powered on squats Gutterflow Temple
Couldn't they think of a better mode of transportation? Say, planes?

Anyway, we finish that, and discover in the Town that the (“mistress”) Solar Plexia shrine has a priestess, and a priestess's son. The priestess knows the way to the shrine ('s complicated? Can't I just follow the world map?) and the son is the only one allowed inside the shrine (what did they do before he was born?). I stop by the optional-looking Drench Trench and... not much to say. There's grapes, milk, honey, and vinegar to collect. I'm sure there'll be requests from the town for me to come back there later.

The next level on the actual path to finishing the world is Talisman Trail, which features a tired, sick black guy asking me to collect 20 or more Raindrop items and reach the goal. You don't have to... run a trail to find raindrops, do you? Just... look up in the sky. Outside. Well, we went to the trail, and Ring immediately calls the black guy a liar. It also turns out the trail is mostly swamp we have to knee-lift through. But once we collected 24 Raindrops, the priestess greets us... and she looks like she would be Abdonis's mom. The priestess drops us to a warp zone, and we do nothing with the raindrops since the black guy was a fraud.

I get a nose bleed after completing the four-round Battle Gym. help 

I skipped the cooldown stretch. Apparently, nosebleeds are more likely in dry air environments, and that's more likely to be a problem when you repeatedly breath that dry air in and out of your nose... as you would during extensive exercising. Nosebleeds are apparently also called epistaxis. I don't know if “epistaxi” is the singular form of that or what. But if you rearrange the letters and pretend one of the “i” is really an “l”, you'll get Plexia.

I came back to playing on Tuesday, right before the year changed. 2020 is rough stuff. Does anyone actually like it so far? I don't. Anyway, in the warp zone, after doing the Battle Gym, there's two paths. I'll end up doing everything anyway, but I'll first do the lower path with Springload Shrine. The game recommends that I should be level 56. I'm level 61. I don't know if this is a very sinful thing to do, but one of my favourite things about Ring Fit Adventure is that sometimes you can jump over the enemies that are waiting for you on the course and skip that battle entirely. So I try that at every opportunity. Anyway, the shrine has many squat-activated springs. The water is also green. Ew. Still, skipping that battle makes this quick. The stage is a palette swap of Leap-of-Faith Falls from world 5. I circle back to the upper path, featuring our buddy Thigh Rider (Novice) and Bank Balance (Novice). There's also a Gold Hoplin, which you should also remember gives 500 coins upon defeat if it doesn't run away. I had Pumpkin Soup to DOUBLE that. Yum! Dangling Overpass was simple to go through—more ziplines and some treadmill platforms.

By now I have 25 minutes of in-game exercise, which is a lot and I should stop. I checked my nose, and no blood. ...I do want to keep going... Select World claims I only have 39% completion of World 8, which much of the remaining percentage being unfulfilled requests from town. I must keep playing! And the next level has the lying black man in a shrine... it's really Abdonis in disguise! It turns out that the Tears of Solar Plexia is really Lord Dragaux's bath water, and he's taking a shower. I guess Solar Plexia is an Instagram model or something. Anyway, we must “Confront Abdonis!” in Secluded Shrine Approach. Do I feel like doing a boss battle? ...I MUST FEEL LIKE IT. CHAAAARGE! Wearing my fully-completed Mustard Skeleton set, which despite being yellow, offers no set bonuses at all, especially none relating to yellow Abs Fit Skills.

Ring Fit Adventure Abdonis winking shirtless unzipped jacket perfect wall of abs

(By the way, this makes a lot of sense for why the priestess looks like she'd be Abdonis's mom...) 

Abdonis really, really likes flashing off his abs. His jacket exists to be unzipped (I'm not sure it even can fit him if it does get zipped?), and he likes to shake his abs around. He ended up shooting his six-pack at me as a super energy blast, but I deflected it with my own abs energy blast by doing a seated forward press (sit the floor, spread your legs, and squeeze the Ring-Con downward), which knocked him out after four turns of smoothie-powered abs attacks. Fun mechanics fact: The smoothie buffs last three turns, and some of the stronger Fit Skills like Leg Raise have a 3-turn recharge period. However, one of the skill tree abilities gives a random chance to get a consecutive extra turn after doing an attack. It turns out this extra turn extends the smoothie buff (so it lasted four turns—the extra turn does not count as a turn for how long your buffs last), and I could use Leg Raise again (so the extra turn counts as a turn for the purpose of recharging used Fit Skills).

Ring Fit Adventure Abdonis oof straight abdominals boss fight
His straight abdominals are so shaken, they're going to turn into gay abdominals.

Alright, that's way more than enough for today, even if I only have 43% completion. I anticipate I'll be doing many town requests in the next few days, but it's 2020 in 20 minutes. I should... tend to that. Time might screw up without me watching the festivities. I mean, it was worth it two years ago due to a conspiracy...

...Nah, Fox News didn't even cover the festivities. Not sure why. Anyway, Wednesday! Coming back to the country from the warp zone, there's a new treasure chest with the Leg Scissors Fit Skill (yellow/abs, 135 attack, and 3 range) and I tested it in the four-round Battle Gym leading up to Dragaux Stadium. (There's TWO Battle Gyms in World 8!) Strangely, instead of Ring saying “one, two!” he declares, “uno, dos!” My language settings are in English, though. The stage leading up to Dragaux Stadium is Solar Plexia Archway, which is a rain-filled palette-swap of other stages I've encountered multiple times before. While playing, I got to level 65, which not only gave me an extra heart (for a total of 7) and the Overhead Side Bend recovery Fit Skill, but I unlocked a significantly expanded skill tree of unlockables! An overwhelming quantity, actually, and with greatly-increased resources (skill points and coins) to get things. Oh boy...

Ring Fit Adventure expanded Spend Skill Points tree unlocked
(This is the in-game graphic explaining the expanded skill tree; doesn't reflect my own skill tree or point/gold count.)

With the Archway complete, that leaves the only things left for World 8 being every single request in the world, and Dragaux Stadium. I'm going to tell you how I do all of the requests via list format, so you can visually appreciate how many dang problems these people have. The first four were pre-Dragaux, and the rest were post-Dragaux, since they didn't appear until after I went to Dragaux Stadium:
  1. Village Elder's “Ah! Woe is me.” request. Wants a Super Cress Smoothie, which is required as an offering for Solar Plexia or she'll destroy the village or something. Received two Emeralds and eternal gratitude
  2. Game Gym Counter's “Looking for a challenge?” request. If I get 8000 points in 30 seconds for Crate Crasher (Novice), I get a very, very valuable Peach Yogurt. I easily got 16000 points... which is more than my record in 60 seconds. Huh?
  3. Battle Gym Counter robot's “It's now or never!” request. Defeat the Battle Gym (in the warp zone) with a Great! ratio of 85% or more to get yet another Peach Yogurt.
  4. (Florida) Man's “I wanna jog in the rain.” stating he can jog through Drench Trench in 80 seconds and I can't. Well, I obviously can—I jogged through it in 65 seconds and he gave me an Emerald.
  5. Priestess wants me to run through Talisman Trail without using any smoothies, since she can't go to the shrine herself for some reason. Gives a Defense Drink on reward
  6. Man's “Sorry to fob this on you” request to destroy 50 or more crates at Solar Plexia Archway. Gives 400 coins. Upon completing this, the Village Elder noticed that Man was pawning off his responsibilities to strangers, and chastised him for it
  7. Honey wants some new clothes. If you wear the Spring Dancer set, she gives you 400 coins and thanks for you the bright fashion inspiration
  8. Game Gym Counter's “Looking for a challenge?” request to “land between 500 and 1000 points” at the landing strip at the end in Thigh Rider (Novice), which is a poor score. Reward? Two Emeralds
  9. The second Battle Gym Counter robot's “It's now or never!” request. This time, the wrinkle is to defeat it in 10 turns, which one should be doing anyway, even if it's 4 rounds long. 400 coins await me for completing it, so I did, in 6 turns
  10. Game Gym Counter's “Looking for a challenge?” request to “Score at least 3000 points within 45 seconds!” for Bank Balance, for a Strength Drink
You might ask me, “Ludwig, what do ingredients like Emeralds, Pearls, and Phosphophyllites do? You don't make smoothies with them.” Well, their description says they are stones that Honey of the General Store collects, and they're also necessary to purchase some items. They have a high sell value, but even though I have a bunch of each, I'm scared to tell them for quick money because maybe they'll sell an item in the store later that requires me to pay them in many stones instead of just money, and for all I know, these stones are of limited quantity.

I skipped Thursday festivities due to... well, paying attention to breaking news rather than exercising. But Friday? Right to Dragaux Stadium, with a bunch of squat-operated swings held by giant Dragaux busts. Dragaux is pleased with his recent shower, while Ring vows to not bathe until the people of the kingdom are safe. ...I don't have to operate based off Ring's shower schedule, right?

Ring Fit Adventure Dragaux yawning Tears of Solar Plexia shower bath
Having just finished his shower, Dragaux apparently wants to sleep. Why don't we just let him?

Dragaux's battle strategy is to have two Scuttlebell +s for three-heart-damaging punches, as well as a Matta Ray and a Megaphauna on opposite sides to heal and buff him, respectively. That makes it pretty hard to decide what to target, especially when I only brought one five-range Fit Skill, the weak Overhead Hip Shake. I decided buffs are a greater threat to me than healing, and went for that side first with my three-range Fit Skills. Dragaux actually double-punched me to one heart left, but then he got mad, and did his super attack of throwing wooden crates with hearts at me. Unlike before, this time they were somewhat of a threat, due to him throwing three at a time. Still ended with full health by the end, though.

One of the skills from the skill tree I got is the Seated Ring Raise, which is one of the rhythm-y Fit Skills (thus many repetitions) where you sit down with your knees bent (feet still on floor) and “raise up!” or “lower down” the Ring-Con above your head or in front of you. It's supposed to work your abs, I guess, but it works my arms more than anything else.

After beating Dragaux, levelling up twice due to drinking the doubled-experience soup (and finally gaining the Tree Pose at level 68 that was foreshadowed in Week 5), he flies off, injured, but he stole one of Ring's powers from Solar Plexia, who has the physical form of a crying girl. With her power stolen, it's still raining. Abdonis confirms the Priestess is his mom, but she refuses to side with him and Lord Dragaux, leaving Abdonis feeling betrayed. Meanwhile, my question about Emeralds is somewhat answered with new items opening in the General Store—the Cinder Beetle set (set bonus is attack power +5) and the Silver Cocoon set (set bonus is defence +5), and each set requires 4 Emeralds to purchase between the top, bottom, and shoes. Oh, and a lot of gold.

Ring Fit Adventure Priestess Tears of Solar Plexia Donnt Abdonis sweet buff boy
Wait, his name is Donny? And he has a perfect WALL?
It all makes sense... Though I'd expect Abdonis to be orange.

I did the rest of the requests (see items 5 through 10 above) and 100%'d World 8! Awesome work, me! That's enough for this week! 

Ring Fit Adventure week world 8 exercise log times
These sessions are lasting a lot longer than they used to, and I'm not necessarily a fan of that.

Ludwig is tired after going through this world, but at least it's done. Should he split these up into five days of exercise instead of four? Should he just stop trying to complete entire worlds in one week? Or should he embrace his longer work-out times? By the way, Armando is going to appear in World 9. Ludwig was a world off.

Jumping over enemies is directly encouraged in World 9.
Were you wondering what happened to Solar Plexia? She's still crying by World 31.


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