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Monday, February 10, 2020

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 13: Where in El Dorago is Lord Dragaux?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...In the fog?

Normally, KoopaTV's Fitness Friday series are supposed to be published on... Fridays. Last Friday, we faced a difficulty with Facebook and Nintendo Switch screenshot sharing, which continues to this day. (We're working around it with Twitter.) Still, regardless of when these come out, expect in-depth coverage of my playthrough, on a week-by-week basis, of Ring Fit Adventure as I try to get in better shape for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. By the way, by necessity, KoopaTV's fitness log series totally spoils the story of Ring Fit Adventure, and may spoil gameplay too. You better be alright with that.

I had a crisis over the weekend (February 1–2). I ran out of milk. You can't expect me to FUNCTION without milk, you know. I only got 37th out of 533 in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open February 2020 due to contending with a severe milk shortage. It's more difficult than dealing with post-traumatic Pichu combos. Anyway, that's why I didn't play Ring Fit Adventure on Sunday. I will say, though, playing high-level Super Smash Bros. Ultimate works up a sweat all by itself.

But on Monday (February 3), I went to the store and bought milk. BACK IN BUSINESS. Where did we leave off from last week's (week 12's) fitness log...? Ah, World 13: El Dorago. Looks like this:

Ring Fit Adventure El Dorago World 13 overworld map
The state of World 13: El Dorago, at the start of me playing on February 3, 2020.
I'm still on difficulty level 29.

Let's try that bottom-left spot... This Dragaux Stadium is littered with squat-powered springs... and your spring-induced height gets reset if you take a breather and stop squatting. Argh, physics.

By the end of it, we encounter...

...Dragaux himself? You mean this isn't a matter of playing through all of the stages on the map and THEN the real one gets unlocked? Oh, crap, I must be sequence-breaking here. Noo! It's time for a boss fight, and this time, Dragaux is balancing on a Blue Puffersquish just like how he was as the boss of World 10. Ugh, you have no idea how tempted I am to exit out of this boss fight and reset and go play the other Dragaux Stadiums, but I DON'T want to do all of those squats again. I'll just have to fight Dragaux, even if much earlier than I expected.

Ring Fit Adventure Dragaux El Dorago boss fight blue puffersquish sneeze face
It's slightly easier to see it in motion, but Dragaux looks like he's sneezing whenever he gets hit.

While on the Blue Puffersquish, Dragaux didn't do much of anything interesting. He either laid on the ball and punched me, or he bounced on the Puffersquish to have it blast a liquid at me. At half health, Dragaux lost his balance and fell off, prompting us to do an Overhead Knee Lift Rush (running in place) for extra damage. Dragaux declares we're annoying, abandons everything he last said to us about improving his brain muscles, and returned to his stupid ways of having his super-attack be throwing 1 HP wooden crates at us that we can break with air blasts. Though he did throw a lot more crates than normal... and to be quite frank, my Ring-Con was out of sync during this so I couldn't strike a lot down. Still, since the crates contained hearts in them, I wasn't in danger of death. Same goes with the rest of the fight, where Dragaux was more concerned with gushing over his muscles (in a way similar to how I gush over my writing ability) than fighting me.

With Dragaux defeated, the game wants to railroad me to World 14. But I only have 50% of El Dorago complete because I picked the correct Dragaux Stadium so early. I better do the rest of it.

First of all, there's an open request from the underground Battle Gym guy. The Gym Fanatic. He wants me to complete it with only Abs skills for 500 coins. I succeeded, and in only six turns, thanks to chugging several Banana Smoothies (which increase Abs power). Then, I checked out the Dragaux Stadium to the right of where Dragaux was, and it was just a series of push-block exercises on conveyor belts. No puzzle elements involved. There are no more Mini Dragaux Statues or enemies at all, making it just a matter of going through the course. That also means I can't get the Dragaux Statue Core item to complete the Stone Dragon outfit set. Am I locked out of this content?!

I go to bed Monday night with that on my mind. I'll clear the rest of this dreaded world tomorrow... 

Tuesday here. That top-row, right-side Dragaux Stadium is nothing but over two minutes on a squat-powered vehicle. Awful. The one to the left is just running against giant conveyor belts. Ugh. Behind the Gold Hoplin fight on the bottom right of the map is the Game Gym for Smack Back (Advanced), where if I complete it, I get Tricep Kickback Lv.2. (An Arms/red Fit Skill with three-range and 240 base power.) Since we haven't encountered the Advanced version of Smack Back before, the main difference is the presence of two golden robots who will appear and throw many frisbees at you, instead of only one like the other bots. If you manage to hit back all of these, you get 300 points for that bot. Actually, I'm not sure how it works, because the first golden bot threw 13, and the second threw 14. I A-ranked it the first time.

Ring Fit Adventure El Dorago battle gym owner accept every request
Also, I'm really curious if I'm a female adventurer if the dialogue starts with “Girl, you sure like to sweat.”

Immediately after doing so, I got a request from the Game Gym owner (erroneously called a Battle Gym Owner, unless she has a portfolio of gyms across a wide variety of types) challenging me to clear it again, this time without taking any damage. That basically means I have to hit back every frisbee, which is a prerequisite to a perfect score. The one difference between that challenge and a perfect score is that, for a perfect, you must hit each frisbee with enough force that it will be smacked back to the robot who hit it. In “take no damage”, you must simply deflect the frisbee with any force necessary. But I hit back all of the frisbees with enough force on my first try anyway... and only got an A-rank. What? How do I S-rank it? I got a Skill Drink as a reward, though.

As for what's behind the Rare (silver) Hoplin? A Fitness Gym offering the Posture Set, and more importantly, the shoes for the Peacock Contender outfit, which will give my Yoga Fit Skills a boost. I want this! But this Fitness Gym looks hard... here's what it consists of, featuring Fit Skills of all types:
  1. Overhead Bend (x26)—This is the Japanese bowing Fit Skill, and appropriately, it's yellow (Abs). I know I made that joke 10 weeks ago, (and in the photo caption above) but that was during a time where an 80 base power Fit Skill was the strongest might we could muster. Anyway, this should be easy to get 100 points on.
  2. Overhead Arm Spin (x58)—This Arms (red) Fit Skill is one where I'm not sure how to get a perfect score. You're supposed to hold the Ring-Con above your head and revolve your arms counter-clockwise with your head in the centre. I think it's more likely to give higher points if you hold the Ring-Con at a slant, rather than flat, though Tipp the example guy seems to be holding it flat.
  3. Thigh Press (x26)—This fan favourite Legs (blue) Fit Skill has you hold the Ring-Con between your thighs while your butt is on the ground. Press them together and release. Make sure the Ring-Con doesn't fall. You can use your hand.
  4. Hip Lift (x26)—You need to lay down with your back on the ground, and maintain the Ring-Con between your thighs again. Lift your hips up and down. A Legs Fit Skill. From what I can tell, you're graded based on how flat your legs are (specifically the one with the Leg-Strap), with 40 degrees being desirable. You can actually sit down, set the Ring-Con on the floor, and only extend/contract the leg with the Leg-Strap and get 100 points every time.
  5. Tree Pose (x24)—Hope I don't need to explain this again, but you can be as liberal as you want with your legs (you're supposed to stand on one and bend the other against the standing leg) as long as you're doing the arms-bending correct and slowly. Then you'll get 100 points.
The last request of World 13 is to do the above all over again, but have an average score of 90 points or higher, which is what I already got the first time. The reward is the brand-new Guava Smoothie, which revives you with 4.5 hearts after you get knocked out. (As opposed to 4 hearts with the Peach Smoothie, and 5 hearts with the Watermelon Smoothie.) I doubt I'll ever use this. And that's enough for Tuesday. World 14 looks to be massive, so we'll begin that in earnest next time.

Next time is Thursday, because I had to skip Wednesday due to having that cavity appointment I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. All of that anesthesia can take the energy from a guy. Now we begin World 14: Moppets Gone Missing. It's a very foggy, big world with unique overworld music. The first level is Missed Highway, which... apparently has GHOSTS.

Ring Fit Adventure Moppets Gone Missing Stray Ghost boo
Ring at first doesn't believe in ghosts, despite him literally being a magic ring with supernatural powers.

The fog extends to within the level, limiting the draw distance. And, perhaps fitting of the eerie nature, we're introduced to the next level of enemy: The Cobalt Hoplin, which has its own dark aura. Ring theorises this is a direct result of Dragaux's increasing power. It's far more durable than the Blue Hoplin from the beginning of the game, by about a factor of 10. Fortunately, I know all about cobalt stuff, as the former guardian of Fort Cobalt.

Ring Fit Adventure World 14 Cobalt Hoplin new color stronger enemy
From left to right:
Cobalt Hoplin A, Blue Hoplin, Cobalt Hoplin B. You can see the newer colours have a dark influence aura.

Weirdly enough, the next level is a Game Gym—Bootstrap Tower (Novice). Novice?  In World 14? Ah, but there's a twist. It's the same level format as Bootstrap Tower (Novice) from many worlds ago, but now there's... FOG! Still, I cleared it, and received a “Cabbage Soy Potage” recipe, which doesn't sound edible. It doubles ingredient drops during a course, much like Sesame Smoothie.

The next level is a filler one called Misty Corridor. I bet it's also foggy. It is. And here, I discover the Ochre Hoplin, the powered-up version of the Yellow Hoplin. There's also the Corn Potage recipe and the Corn Soup recipe, which increase Yellow Fit Skill attack power by TWO up arrows instead of just one. Must be very good. Yes, we now have corn as an ingredient, along with grapefruit, cinnamon, and pineapple. Wiktionary states a potage is “[a] thick creamy soup.”

The game allows us access to a warp zone, which I'll take since it warps to the same screen but an otherwise-inaccessible cluster of four overworld spaces. One is the warp zone back, the second is a level (Steadfast Road), the third is a Fitness Gym, and the fourth is a treasure chest. Steadfast Road involves the Overhead Side Bend trolley... in the fog. Ew. It also features the Red Hoplin's upgrade: Garnet Hoplin.

The Fitness Gym is for the Abs Set. ...Amazingly, that hasn't seen a set we've had to deal with yet.

  1. Knee-to-Chest (x26)—An easy Abs Fit Skill where you sit on the floor and just contract your knees towards your chest, hold it, and then extend them out. Should get 100 points every time.
  2. Plank (x26)—A demonic Abs Fit Skill where you almost lie flat on the ground (backside up) except your toes and your elbows are keeping you up. No looking at the screen. Raise your butt up like a triangle, hold it up, and then flatten out. You should get 100 points every time, but several times on the way down I just laid down on the floor, exhausted. The Leg-Strap wants to know if your leg is at an angle and then if it's flat. I hate planks.
  3. Leg Raise (x26)—Another Abs Fit Skill. Lie your butt on the floor and raise your legs up, hold them, and then lower them to the ground. Should be 100 points every time as well. Normally not hard to do, but after planks, definitely.
  4. Seated Forward Press (x26)—This is normally an HP-restorative Abs Fit Skill during normal Adventure Mode. You finally get to use the Ring-Con again as you spread your legs out on the floor and press the Ring-Con down in front of you with both of your hands.You're measured solely on the Ring-Con being pressed down, so it should be simple to get 100 points each repetition.
  5. Boat Pose (x14)—This one is a Yoga Fit Skill where you don't look at the screen. Using your butt as the anchor, you simultaneously lower your legs forward while lowering your head back, while keeping the Ring-Con above your head.
I got 100 points for each repetition, so I perfected the Abs Set. ...Still, it's exhausting. I levelled up to level 125, which increased my heart value by 1, and that also unlocked the Open & Close Leg Raise Lv. 2, a complex and high-value recovery Fit Skill that I'll never need to use. For passing the Fitness Gym, I unlocked the recipe for the Grapefruit Smoothie, which asks for 2 Grapefruit and 1 Fig (ain't got a fig) to get my Yellow Fit Skill attack power ↑↑ AND recharge my skills. As for that treasure chest? It contains the Russian Twist Lv.2, which is a 100 base power improvement over the original Russian Twist (making it a 3-turn recharge, 235 base attack, 5-range, Abs Fit Skill). That's certainly worth it. It fits with many of the recipes here increasing the power of yellow Fit Skills.

Now that we're done with the warp zone, the next level, which is a story-progressing one, is called Invisible Temple. We're asked to “Chase after the ghost!” which is haunting Ring and scaring him too. Ring claims he remembers Invisible Temple and enjoyed it a lot time ago, but now it's “bleah.” As far as I can tell, it's a very foggy replica of Tornado Temple from World 12. The level has an Ochre Kennelbell enemy, demonstrating that the stronger-colour variants aren't just limited to Hoplins. Getting through here leads us to the second half of the world, though we're far, far from halfway done with the content.

Ring Fit Adventure exercise log week 13
It was a three-day week? Oof. Well, I deserve it.
...I do deserve it, right?

I didn't play on Friday due to reasons already explained.

Tune in to Week 14's log (which should still be published on Friday) to figure out the identity of these stray ghosts, and/or what a moppet is. Though it's entirely possible that the story just never addresses that, in which case this teaser would be FAKE NEWS. Still, that whole world should be completed by the conclusion of Week 14. Or even possibly sooner.

Week 14's log is over here, published on Friday.
Thanks to this Week 13 log, Ludwig knows immediately where Dragaux is in World 36 when they revisit El Dorago.
Ludwig has some different and also similar takes on the foggy World 14 when he revisits it for World 37.

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