I have started to play this game due to some weird inside joke and I've come to discover something about the game that is rather interesting. I'm certain that I am not the first person to notice this but I expect that this might be useful for someone taking a crack at this game for the first time.
This is just based on the first dungeon, using the following order:
• San Francisco
This order is very important as I will explain in a moment.
Based on the order, here are the maps for each city and where items are placed, what info booth is where, and where the pipes go:
The diamond shapes are for the street it sits on; the Koopa with the item is on that street somewhere. The circles are the pipes themselves and the hexagons are the "info booths" where Peach resides.
Why this order matters is that while the pipes and info booths remain static, the placement of Koopas with items will change if you do the cities in a different order! This means that there are a lot of possible paths to completing this game.
I wasn't ready to let this go to bed. An interesting question came up elsewhere last night: how does the PRNG work? Does it matter if the city is somewhere in order or does it matter about what cities were played before in what order?
Here's San Francisco when played first:
I came up with two orders to answer the first question: does it matter in what order? Here's how I did them:
Nairobi -> Rome -> San Francisco
This way I had two unique cities, leaving San Francisco as the third. Here's how San Francisco appeared with each of those two orders (top-right with city order):
So city order does dictate the placement of items within the game. Interestingly, by playing Nairobi and then Rome before going to San Francisco means that SF becomes easier than playing it doing Moscow and Beijing before.
So now that we know that order does matter, does it matter what order we play those cities in before? Let's check that out by reversing Rome's and Nairobi's places:
Yep! It does matter. I'd argue that it gets worse than the Moscow and Beijing route too.
What this means that we have five cities in the first dungeon, meaning that there are 25 possibilities for just this first part of the game alone. We also have two more dungeons to go before finishing the game.
I'm going to see what it does behind the scenes because this is super wild.