- Big Picture
- Spider Flowchart
We’ll look at what we’re aiming to do, what inputs we need to have down, and then go through a flowchart of reacting to the spider.
Paragraphs that beginners should consider are marked with ☼.
☼ | The most important thing is to make it across, and that’s not possible from every spider position. Imagining a line from the closest part of the pond to the windmill to the furthest, it’s the back 1/3 that’s dangerous, but even when it’s possible to make it from further back, it leads to a huge hover that loses many seconds. We can make it more safely by:
- Diving onto the spider (also faster), since this gives extra speed.
- Spinning in midair if it looks like we’re falling short, though this is slower – it reduces Mario’s gravity on falling only, so gives a little more air-time but isn’t that useful.
☼ | The next most important thing is your angle of approach onto the spider – this has a big effect where you end up after the jump, and so the hover duration to the windmill. This tests your spatial awareness – to orient yourself, bear in mind the imaginary line from the (lake) entry-point to the corner in the back wall.
Mario can travel along the left shore without influencing the spider, which is faster than air and water-based travel, so for fast execution, it helps to enter the water at the point of the shore closest to the spider.
☼ | Conversely, once in the water, the spider homes in on Mario’s position, which means that baiting it closer to the windmill is a slow but reliable strategy, particularly for handling otherwise slow/difficult/impossible positions. A non-beginner should also foresee when the spider is first triggered by Mario landing in water, as part of the plan.
When deciding between water or air (hover) travel, it tends to be that water is faster but air is easier – when the spider is very close to Mario then air is also faster. Many strategies that are done by quickly diving out of hovers can instead be done by skipping the water re-entry and setting up the final angle onto the spider during the previous hover.
You may need to travel far along the shore to get close to the spider. Travelling far means the spider becomes more likely to shoot off in a different (entirely random) direction, because the travel costs enough time. This can negatively impact the idea of approaching the spider on land first, but can be mollified with spam-sprays from high up, which cover a large area.
The ☼ paragraphs above are all we need to come up with a linear beginner strategy. Make sure to start practising the normal reaction-based strategy detailed below asap, however, since it’s key to getting a good (first) windmill cycle and building consistency on Bianco 2.
Beginner Spider Strategy
Spin-jump-dive off the shore after the waterslide to get close to the back wall, then try to immobilise the spider. You can wait for it to home in, then jump out and hover backwards over it, or if it’s in front of you, jump out and spam-spray while in the air. Try to then swim/hover around to get a good angle on it, then jump, hover (possibly backwards) to give yourself the right spacing and adjust angle, release hover and dive onto it.
There are a number of non-trivial inputs to practise that are used for different spiders.
Water jump-dive (WJD)
This is the fastest method for swimming in the game. Mario can only jump out of the water when the left stick is neutral. As soon as you jump, hold forward and press B – sliding thumb from A to B in 1 frame is ideal. After landing, you can hit neutral again and repeat, but multiple swims are rarely needed in Bianco 2.
Water spam-spray (WSS)
We can exploit the above mechanic to spam-spray without jumping out of the water – we just need to spam-spray while holding up. These are great for immobilising a spider that’s coming towards you from in front.
Spam-spray dive (SSD)
This is the same as the normal movement option for starting a waterslide from a spam-spray while having the spray nozzle active (e.g. used in Ricco 5 and Gelato 1 to clear bloopers/cataquacks). Jump out of the water, hold digital R, then slide thumb from A to B. Doing the spam-spray sooner into the jump will make this move cover more distance, but harder to input.
Spam-spray hover (SSH)
Similarly to SSD: jump out of the water, hold digital R, then slide thumb from A to X. The hover takes a few more frames to come out, so these inputs must be somewhat fast.
Explained with a sample of 20 spider reactions from EquivocalGenius.
The basic flow of a spider segment is recognising its position, doing a jump move accordingly, then recognising its new position and repeating. To try to keep the flowchart understandable, we’ll explicitly specify decisions and optimal movement options (with video examples), then mention modifications.
Before jumping into the water, do 1 or 2 jump-dive-rollouts along the shore to get closer to the spider without entering the water – 1 vs 2 depending on which brings you closest to it. This also buys us time to react to a spider that’s not visible upon approaching the lake because it’s off to the left.
Try to not enter the water by accident; if the spider is in the middle, baiting it brings it too close, so it’d have to be baited back, which would lose tons of time. You can grind along the wall while jumping/diving to take it safely, and won’t bonk unless your angle is very aggressive.
Next, we pick between three strategies, which will each get a section. From here on out, we’ll split things up into “moves”, each corresponding to a single jump, possible hover, and (re-)entry into the water. We pick the strategy depending on where the spider is.
Move 1: spin-jump-dive straight towards the spider. This is the fastest overall option.
As you approach, you can decide to land the rollout in the water to bait the spider, or not. This early bait strategy will make the spider charge towards you, so it gets further from the windmill, so the hover will be longer and the strat overall slower. However, it prevents the spider from going off on one while you’re approaching it in the air, making the later movement safer. If baiting, make sure the spider isn’t too close to Mario in the first place so you can maintain safe spacing.
Move 2: now, we react to the distance of the spider from Mario’s landing position.
- close/baited: if the spider was baited and it’s coming at you, or you landed right in front of it, then immobilise it with a water spam-spray (WSS). Examples: #12, #18.
- medium: usually, approach + immobilse it with a spam-spray dive (SSD) – this move covers a large area with the spam-spray. Examples: #1, #4, #11.
- far: approach it with a water jump-dive (WJD), baiting it in doing so, and immobilise with WSS upon landing. Example: #2.
Move 3 (finish): you’re close enough to the spider to jump and dive onto it.
- If you don’t need to adjust angle, then the timing of the dive after the jump determines the distance of the jump-dive (remember to hold up as soon as airborne).
- If you do, then jump and hover immediately – you may also need to hover forward some distance if you fell short.
Move 1: jump off the shore and spam-spray hover (SSH) to immobilise the spider, then change direction mid-hover to react to where it’s moved to, then dive (or rather, usually dive – more on the exceptions in a bit).
This is best in this region because the spider is either:
- too close to the left shore for a spaced spin-jump-dive approach (or close enough that an accidental bait from the rollout would pull it behind Mario);
- so far along the shore (you did 2 jump-dive-rollouts) that it’s about to skate off in a random direction – the airborne spam-spray’s wide area covers the spider’s rng options, and the hover lets you catch it.
Move 2: a few things may have happened:
- normally: with the spider far enough from the left shore, this move places Mario heading towards the spider with enough space to finish by jumping out, possibly hovering to adjust angle, then diving. Examples: #3, #6, #13, #17, #19, #20.
- far/active spider: if the spider is too far away, or wasn’t immobilised by the spam-spray, landing baits it, and it can be finished in the manner of rushdown moves 2 and 3 (see above), whereby you WSS, SSD, or jump-dive+WSS towards it depending on your distance from it after landing, then jump and dive. Example: #8.
- bad spider improv: [advanced only] if the spider is getting too close to the left shore – zone B/C in the diagram – then it can take some fairly difficult improvisation to deal with it, in particular:
- insta-dive: instead of diving into the water for move 1, dive straight onto the spider after fully adjusting the angle of the hover from the SSH. Examples: #7, #14, #16.
- three-point turn: hover on top of the spider at loosely the right angle, then back-hover and refine angle, then dive onto it. Example: #5.
Modifications for intermediate/beginner level:
- The range of spiders you would insta-dive onto increases to beyond just those with bad positions – the region moves much further right. This increases the amount of time spent hovering, which, while losing a few seconds, still lets you catch a decent windmill cycle, and gives you much more time to react and line up the angle.
- You would do the spiders in zone B/C using the bait strat (see next section).
In this region, we give up on the spider’s position and bait it close to the windmill; this is very slow. In zone C, it’s impossible to jump from the spider to the windmill, and in zone B/C, it’s hard to adjust the angle using the zone-B strat (previous section), so we opted for an easier option. After one jump-dive-rollout along the shore, at which point you’ve decided to bait the spider:
- Spin-jump-dive directly towards the windmill (the bait starts upon landing).
- WJD further towards the windmill.
- Jump emptily out of the water while waiting for the spider to arrive.
- Jump, hover backwards over the spider, and if you immobilise it, hover forward, adjust angle, and dive onto it. If you fail to immobilise it then you’d drop down and improvise using WSS, or jump + spam-spray, then jump-hover-dive as usual. Example: #9.