290: Fucking Blue Shells

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Fucking Blue Shells
You can evade blue shells in Double Dash, but it is deep magic.
Title text: You can evade blue shells in Double Dash, but it is deep magic.


Sometimes, something suddenly goes wrong, and you can only shout obscenities at it. For instance, when the dog bites, when the bee stings, something unexpected happens, or a program crashes (e.g. a segfault), the victim often reacts by swearing.

For Randall, however, profanities are caused mostly by blue shells in the video game Mario Kart. The blue shells, when fired, target the player currently in first place and stop them cold. In a close game near the end of the race, a player can go from first to an unrecoverable last in one hit.

The title text refers to the "Double Dash" installment of Mario Kart. This includes a technique to avoid being hit by a blue shell, but it requires skillful timing to accomplish. The term "deep magic" comes from computer programmer slang. Interestingly, with a boost mushroom in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8 (and the so-called "Super-Horn" in the latter), it is also possible (with accurate timing) to escape blue shells.


My Profanity Usage By Cause:
[A pie chart is shown.]
[Injury is about 2.5% of pie chart.]
[Irony is about 2.5% of pie chart.]
[Misc is about 2.5% of pie chart.]
[Segfaults is about 10% of pie chart.]
[Mario Kart is about 82.5% of pie chart.]

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I see Randall has yet to master the art of snaking. Davidy22 (talk) 00:23, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

As an aside, in my case at least, stubbed toes result in more swearing than broken bones. Having broken seven, I'm somewhat of an authority on the matter. 15:18, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm confused about how you can even break 7 bones. Beanie (talk) 10:55, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
Just a little oopsie. Psychoticpotato (talk) 13:52, 21 May 2024 (UTC)

That's odd, to my recollection the use of the term "Deep Magic" in programming was a reference to the Narnia novels, as in "deep magic from the dawn of time". This isn't specified in the Jargon File? I'm quite certain that's how I heard it explained, circa 1986. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I believe that the proper way to play mkart at 200 ccs is to swear nonstop while you race and your kart refuses to turn, and then watching the highlight reel and laughing at your complete failure. RedHatGuy68 (talk) 02:07, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

(laughs) -- Z1mp0st0rz (talk) 18:24, 23 April 2024 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Actual transcript of my first I've seconds on Rainbow Road: Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. FUUUUUUUUUK. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shiii-iii-iii-iiit! 19:32, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

Did you mean "five"? -- Z1mp0st0rz (talk) 18:24, 23 April 2024 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Fuck.This is completely true, as I play Mario Kart 7, and I swear every time 1 of those Blue Shells hit me.I never get them, but everybody else gets them. 14:07, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Note: The blue shell dodge with mushroom is (supposedly) possible in Mario Kart 8 as well. 03:15, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

You can also use the Super Horn in 8, and the POW Block in Wii. I'm not sure about 7 or ones before Wii though. 09:19, 17 June 2023 (UTC)
BLUE SHELLS DO NOT EXIST IN THE ARCADE GAME. -- Z1mp0st0rz (talk) 18:24, 23 April 2024 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

xkcd volume 0 (book)

This strip appears on page 100012, along with 5 QR codes stacked vertically on the left. They read

Toad's Factory 2:00.776

Coconut Mall 2:08.147

DK Summit 2:03.351

DK Mountain (DD): 1:59.814

Thanks, David and Ashley. (talk) 23:52, 11 January 2024 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)