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Friday, March 26, 2021

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 33: Older and Stronger

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Getting new Game Gym minigame high scores and ranks.

This week on KoopaTV's Fitness Friday series, I've logged my experiences with World 33: Extra Fitness Lv. 211 in Ring Fit Adventure. This retreads World 10: Grandminion Gauntlet, which is basically a big compilation of Ring Fit Adventure's minigames.

I'm mentioning this upfront because the reason I'm doing this training is to compete in the formerly Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (it's officially still called Tokyo 2020, but let's be real, it's Tokyo 2021) for Team Koopa. You may remember Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as a (bad) minigame compilation. Assuming that the Tokyo 2021 Olympics are most like a minigame compilation, then doing the world based on a minigame compilation seems to be the most effective test of my skills. Therefore, I'm cranking it up from difficulty level 29 to difficulty level 30! That's the highest one! (...Note that the game's difficulty level doesn't impact the minigames in any way.)

On Sunday, the first thing I did was run to General Store Number 29 to buy the Game Machine II, which has the set bonus of increasing experience point gains by 5%. This replaces the much weaker Galactic Jogger set I've been making my go-to outfit for that same set bonus. Or... I tried to buy it, but I need four total Topaz stones and I only have three. (The store also offers the Shadow Jogger II outfit, which requires another Topaz, but it has no set bonus and has the same stats as the Game Machine II, so why would you ever wear it? ...Well, it does have neat aesthetics.) The second thing I did was not start World 33, but run back to World 15: Quizton, to pick up the Persimmon Smoothie recipe I missed on the North Road level. How did I know it's there? ...I looked it up. The Persimmon Smoothie doubles your experience points in a fight when you drink it. It takes four Persimmons to make, and there's no other use for the ingredient in Ring Fit Adventure. (Incidentally, there are Persimmons available to collect in North Road.)

I embedded above how to get to the chest. The reason I missed it to begin with is because of bad game design. Sometimes I compliment Ring Fit Adventure's game design, but in this case, if you skip the blue hook and keep going, you'll go to an orange hook with an alternate path. Only the blue hook has the chest. Games often reward you for being patient and going for the second option, but in this case, you're rewarded for jumping off and going for the very first option presented. Of course, you have absolutely no way of knowing what's behind the other option unless you replay the level, and you have no way of knowing it was something important like a missed smoothie recipe and not just something trifling like money. Bad.

Alright, time to tackle the Game Gyms. First is Gluting Gallery (Advanced), which has a Topaz! And I got in splendid S rank fashion, which I already had. I should note that one of the Grandminions, which are little kids that Guru Andma takes care of (Armie, Gutso, C-C-Calvin, Buttercup, Abigail, and Armanda), are upset that the standards for clearing the Game Gyms are higher in Extra Fitness than Adventure Mode (reflecting they require an A rank for a bonus instead of a mere B rank), which is a nice gameplay-story integration addressing the increased difficulty.

Ring Fit Adventure World 33 Grandminions Game Gym clear ranks Calvin dialogue stutter boy
All of the kids had an appearance at the beginning of the world with a line.
But of course, C-C-Calvin makes the point I point out in my log.
(He clearly didn't get any character development that settled his stutter issues.)

The second Game Gym is Robo-Wrecker (Advanced), offering up a Strength Drink for an A rank. I didn't get a perfect score (that's really hard to do with how fast Phase 2 goes—Phase 1 by itself is 8100 points, though).

Actually, here's a list of what I DON'T yet have an S rank in (I have an A rank in everything by comparison):
  1. Crate Crasher (Advanced)
  2. Bootstrap Tower (Advanced)
  3. Robo-Wrecker (Advanced)
  4. Core Crushing (Beginner)
  5. Core Crushing (Advanced)
  6. Squat Goals (Advanced)
  7. Squattery Wheel (Beginner)
  8. Squattery Wheel (Advanced
For every other minigame, I have perfect scores. Well, the next Game Gym is Squat Goals (Advanced)... let's see if I can perfect it! ......Well, since I'm not streaming myself or anything, I guess you can't really see it. Uh... no, I did not perfect it. I got a mere A rank and a Dragon Fruit for it, as well as more Game Gyms to try.

The next Game Gym is Thigh Rider (Advanced), which I delightfully got 425 coins for passing. You don't even need a perfect score to get an S rank here if you want one. Wish the other games were that generous! Aerochute (Advanced) I screwed up on a bit, but still got an A rank and a Defense Drink.

Finally (for Game Gyms in the main part of the level), there's Core Crushing (Advanced), which you can see from the list above is pretty hard to do extremely well in. I actually did relatively awful (you need to twist your hips to smash a bunch of robots with a ring-powered bat, but some have shields to block one direction so you need to hit from the other direction... and the robots swap which side they're shielding in real time... you also will only get half credit if your twist isn't strong enough), but still got an A rank, good for three Super Arugula Smoothies. I... tried to do it again because I KNOW I can get a higher score, and I got 12,200 points—an all-time high score for me! (And also 2,000 points better than what I just did.) Still good for only an A rank, and I was really EFFICIENT with it this time. Like I was a (game) machine (II) smashing other machines! I tried two MORE times and got 11,500 points each time, and by now, my arms are really, really tired. (My core is fine, so maybe I'm... doing it wrong?)

I decided, now that all of the Game Gyms are done, to go back to Squat Goals (Advanced) and S rank that once and for all. And I tried... a LOT of times. The key is recognising how much power you want to be charging on the jump pad, and knowing that you can still collect tokens even if it looks like they've gone past you already, since your character's body frame is wider than the centre jump pad power metre. You can also begin charging up the jump pad by squatting in real life before your character actually lands on it.

Ring Fit Adventure Squat Goals advanced Game Gym jump launch pad charging metre mid-air
I'm on my way down from my jump and already charging up my squat power despite not being on the bottom contraption.
...It makes no sense in terms of physics, but it's definitely a strategy you need to think about to S rank Squat Goals.

A perfect score is 18,300 points (18,200, or missing one token, is still an A rank), and you'll need 13,500 points to get that as you reach the part at the end where it expects you to spam full-powered squat jumps to collect the tokens coming from the left and the right.

...I couldn't get the S rank. My highest was the 18,200. I decided to stop trying to S rank Squat Goals because I was drenched in sweat and my knees hurt (after nearly 400 squats later), along with my arms from the failed attempts at S ranking Core Crushing.

To reiterate, I've completed the six Game Gyms in World 33. I could go right for the miniboss and boss fights, but how about that warp zone? What's there? Well, there's two entrances but they both really go to the same interconnected place.

Ring Fit Adventure World 33 warp zone area
We'll be clearing this whole area for Monday. There's a top row, a middle row, and a bottom row.

Monday! From the top left of the screenshot above down... The first level is Floating Waterway. I'm glad I didn't, say, do this on the same day I tried (and failed) to get an S rank in Squat Goals, because between all of the squat-powered swings and the squat-opened Treasure Chaser (which contained 100 coins), there was... a lot of squats. The overworld Treasure Chest at the top contained... five Watermelons. Then in the middle row of the warp zone, I took on two Gold Hoplins and got 2000 coins (1000 (500 per Gold Hoplin) * 2, the multiplier from a smoothie bonus). Then I took on two Rare Hoplins, which I got 2000 experience from (1000 per Rare Hoplin... I didn't drink, say, a Persimmon smoothie to boost this since it's quite frankly not the best place for experience). Afterwards, the level at the bottom row was Fusion Waterway. This apparently fused several squat-powered rail cart sections (one of which involved fleeing from Robbin crows) with one very short Overhead Ring Pull pulley part. I've now done so many squats in this game I earned the Squat Conqueror title (for doing 3000 or more cumulative squats). Even though I'm... physically tired, I'm still doing the four-round Battle Gym (which is where you'll want to drink the Persimmon Smoothie—which will basically give enough experience you're practically guaranteed to level up). For completing the Battle Gym, they gave me a Skill Drink. Finally, the overworld Treasure Chest at the bottom contains one Topaz, which is exactly what I need to finish the Shadow Jogger II set (the pants). GOOD NIGHT. I NEED A SHOWER.

After... not having the time on Tuesday, I next turned on Ring Fit Adventure on Wednesday. The first thing I did was go to Squat Goals (Advanced) and on my second try, I S ranked it with 18,300 points. BOOYAH. That makes me feel fantastic. The Title for this achievement is “Hop till you Drop”! (I wish it included the exclamation point in the title, but alas...) I got inspired and headed to World 30: Extra Fitness Lv. 198 to attempt to S rank Core Crushing (Novice). If I could get closer than I ever have before in the Advanced difficulty, surely I could clear its easier version? I got an S rank in that too, reaching 13,100 points (a nearly 2,500 point improvement from my last high score!), which notably wasn't the last robot available, so you don't have to be “perfect” but just “fast and optimal enough.” ...Which might just be perfection, I dunno. That earned me the “Pro Slugger” title.

I'm feeling really good about myself, so let's advance the storyline. I headed over to the Finishing School, where Guru Andma admires her Grandminions and how much stronger they're growing up to be. (Which is contrary to what they were telling me at the beginning of the level...) Therefore, to avoid the Grandminions somehow outdoing us (even though Grandminion C-C-Colin couldn't even get an A rank on what I just S ranked!) she decides to impose a new challenge to me, which is to defeat her using only the specified Green Fit Skills. ...Which is far from a new challenge, since this exact challenge was imposed to me back in World 29: Extra Fitness Lv. 195 against Ball, her pet Green Sufferfish. In fact, the list of available Fit Skills is EXACTLY the same as then, and since I already provided the list at that link, I'm not repeating the list in this article, too.

But one big difference between Guru Andma and Ball is that she will continually spam the super attacks from fellow Masters Armando (a giant red energy arm requiring a Front Press defence for 36 seconds), Abdonis (a giant yellow energy chest requiring a Seated Forward Press defence for 36 seconds), and Allegra (a giant blue energy leg requiring a Squat defence for 36 painful seconds). Another difference is that Guru Andma does not have any weakness you can exploit for effective damage, not that you can use anything but Yoga Poses anyway. While this makes her...bulkier than her fellow Masters, since she'll be taking THREE deflected super attacks, it sort of balances out. Guru Andma really thought she could beat us, but... she didn't come close.

Ring Fit Adventure Guru Andma watch out kid threatening grandma yoga ball
“Watch out, kid.” - Guru Andma
This is destined to be a reaction image/meme, so feel free to use it like that.

So... all that leaves in World 33 is Dragaux! ...But first I went to the previous world, World 32: Extra Fitness Lv. 207, and thought it'd be fun to at least try Squattery Wheel (Novice) again. To my surprise, I S ranked it on my first try, getting TWO titles: “Vase Virtuoso” (for S ranking Squattery Wheel) and “Game MVP” (for S ranking all Novice-difficulty minigames)! I'm quite satisfied with today. Maybe it technically wasn't a WORK-OUT but I feel very accomplished. Not sure why I was able to clear these minigames with S ranks on my first or second try tonight but not when continually grinding at them all focused-like.

On Thursday, it was a beautiful day outside, so I took a walk for about 45 minutes. Walking is fine and a Pikmin app won't improve it. My main problems with the walk were the number of dangerous barking animals that people keep for pets. Those things increase my anxiety levels tremendously in what should've otherwise been a stress-relieving activity.

On Friday, I charged into Dragaux Stadium, which mostly involved an Overhead Ring Pull zip-line for most of the level, culminating in a Dragaux boss fight. He asked Ring how old he is... Ring didn't know. Dragaux then replied that he (Dragaux) didn't know his own age, either! (Dragaux must be thinking about old age due to Guru Andma.)

Ring Fit Adventure Dragaux asks how old are you now
I'm not telling you. (But he was asking Ring, not me.)

The fight involves Dragaux balancing on a Blue Puffersquish... you know, to demonstrate his mastery of balance. (Guru Andma is the Master of balance.) You can't target the Blue Puffersquish, but I should note that this gives Dragaux unique damaged animations compared to when he's on his feet.

Ring Fit Adventure Dragaux Blue Puffersquish balance ball attack squish sit on World 33
This isn't a damaged animation, but this is also Dragaux's unique attack compared to all of his other boss battles.
(It's also offensively non-threatening. I took less than one heart damage, total, in the whole fight.)

I guess the whole first half of the fight is a joke fight, because Dragaux is actually too preoccupied with his balance to focus on attacking you during his turns. (In the rare event he does attack, he has the Puffersquish do it, see above.) But once he got below half health, he stumbled off the Puffersquish (giving you a free rush attack), and then he fights with his normal punches. No super attacks or anything interesting after he's off the Puffersquish. (You also don't get experience credit for the Puffersquish, but Dragaux gives plenty... as well as the many Fit Skills you'll use, since Dragaux is a non-threatening HP sponge that will require a lot of hits before he goes down.)

Ring Fit Adventure Dragaux fell collapsed World 33 boss battle
The ensuing Rush Attack does less damage than any given Fit Skill, so Ring is greatly exaggerating about the seriousness of the damage.
But it IS a guaranteed Rush (as opposed to it normally being luck-based), so it's basically OUR super attack against Dragaux.

Dragaux dropped 1200 coins (2400 for me since I used a money-doubling smoothie) and a Topaz stone at the end of the fight, saying it doesn't matter how old we are, but even if we're old, it's better to be proud of it than try to hide it. He then flew away, ending our time in World 33: Extra Fitness Lv. 211. ...Whatever.

(I'm personally not proud of MY age!)

Ring Fit Adventure Week World 33 Extra Fitness Lv. 211 exercise log
Not included in this is the extensive walk I took on Thursday.
Also, this would've been substantially shorter if I wasn't grinding for good minigame ranks, and didn't backtrack to World 15 at the start.
(Yes, just Dragaux Stadium alone took 19 minutes on Friday. HP sponge.)

Oh, and for the record, here's the new list of Game Gyms I haven't yet S ranked:
  1. Crate Crasher (Advanced)
  2. Bootstrap Tower (Advanced)
  3. Robo-Wrecker (Advanced)
  4. Core Crushing (Advanced)
  5. Squattery Wheel (Advanced)

Ludwig should probably go on more walks, but he can hear the Chain Chomps howling, so that really doesn't sound like a pleasant idea. Feel free to comment if you have any minigame tips you'd like to share... or if you'd like a more detailed explainer of a given minigame, since Ludwig assumed you knew how they work because he's explained them all in-depth in prior fitness logs.

In Week 34, Ludwig S ranked another Advanced minigame from that list.
Ludwig S ranked Squattery Wheel in Week 36.
In Week 40, Ludwig S ranked both Bootstrap Tower and Robo-Wrecker, leaving one Game Gym left.
It's back to this place in World 56, where it's deemed to be recess.

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