Setup: Yes, You Actually Need to Prepare for This…
The puzzle piece in question is relatively early in Blazing Oasis, which is the reason for this ridiculous set of steps in the first place.
1. First, pick whatever kart combo has a speed advantage, since that’s really the most important part in all of this. I don’t believe the character makes much of a difference here, but I went with Garfield himself for the glorious meme status and the “whoop-whoops” to keep me sane.
2. Set the race to 50cc, as we’ll be needing to easily manipulate our positioning throughout this valiant attempt. Once the race starts, immediately fall to last place and grab one of the first sets of items. We’re looking for Lasagna to be our first pickup, so falling into last place is necessary to basically ensure a boost item. Since Garfield Kart doesn’t allow you to swap your item placements once you have them like in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, it’s imperative that you get Lasagna first! If you get anything else (yes, even the perfume) then restart the race. Lasagna is going to be the only thing that will give enough boost, just like in real life.
3. Once you have that precious RNG Lasagna, hang onto it and quickly make your way past the rest of the racers until you’re in at least first or second place. We now want to be in a better position to try for a Spring item. If you got a multi-item Lasagna earlier, you can use it to help get into first, but it isn’t necessary. Just make sure you hang onto only one Lasagna and rid yourself of the excess ones here. Along the way, you’ll come across two curves that lead up a hill, then a drop off an edge that brings you to a sandy area where you typically figure eight through different paths in order to progress. Right after that edge is where the puzzle piece floats. Off to the left, behind some level geometry and invisible walls that will respawn you back to ground if you even think about approaching them the wrong way. Whoever decided to put that piece there, I hope you’re happy in your mansion, living off that sweet, sweet Garfield Kart money.
4. Now I want to stress this next part: SKIP THE ITEMS IN THIS FIGURE EIGHT AREA! I have no idea why, but I very rarely, if ever, was able to get a Spring from any of these. Instead, bypass them and you’ll eventually exit this area and see a pair of boosters in front of you. Hit those boosters and go for the next set of items. Again, no idea why, but the middlemost ones usually yielded a Spring for me. It could be that by this point I was much further ahead in first place, but either way it worked more often. Not all the time, but enough. If you get anything else… you know the drill. Restart and try again.
5. If the planets align and you manage to have both a Lasagna and a Spring, wipe the sweat from your palms and light some stress release candles. You’ve only got one chance to attempt this nonsense before having to restart again.
Lasagna Cat: The Re-Puzzling
This is it. Time to separate the men from the boys in this game for small children. No real steps here, just raw skill and determination!
Make your way through the race until you get to lap 2, but be wary of something before doing so: As you may or may not know, falling off cliffs is the only way to lose your items, so treat any edges like that one kid who ate pencil erasers in elementary school and keep your distance. On top of this, the racers behind you will likely have some items they’re gonna be hunting you down with at this point. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but this level has a segment with some boost jumps where, if you’re incredibly unlucky, you could get hit mid-jump and plummet into the respawn area below. It happened to me more than once, so best to let them fire off their arsenals or pass you entirely if you want to be doubly safe. You don’t even need to finish the level once you get the piece, so let them have their little race while you focus on more important things like digital puzzle pieces.
With that out of the way, we’re onto lap 2 and coming up to the location of the puzzle piece mentioned in the earlier section. Once you round that second curve, do not, and I repeat, DO NOT try and approach the jump on the left side. You’ll hit the invisible wall and lose your items, forcing a restart. Instead, go around the curve at normal speed, use the Lasagna boost slightly early to give it time to activate, and then position yourself so you’re coming at the jump from an angle. Basically jump in the middle, but facing slightly left. Use the Spring right before the edge, aim well, and don’t be a big stupid like me and accidentally hit the button to hop instead of using your item… multiple times.
That’s all there really is to it. The only reason this is such a difficult piece to reach is because the game rarely grants you the exact two items you need in order to reach it. It’s a combination that, when playing properly, is unlikely because you’ll almost never go from first place to a drastically lower position and get lucky enough to get them both… AND get lucky enough to get them both in the right order.. It’s also in an area where it takes more skill than usual to reach, but you can’t practice said skill since you need the items to do so. It’s a catch-22, or should I say… a cat-22?
I feel good about what I’ve done here.
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