If you're going to do level hacking in SMB2, I highly recommend using SMB2Edit made by dtothefourth. It's the most recent and feature rich utility for hacking SMB2; you can even edit the character physics and create custom sprites.
He has confirmed that he intends to create a music editor for SMB2 as well, so keep an eye out for that.
Moo_Moony is a Twitch Streamer and also a pecan lover! But Tashiro64, the creator of this Hack which is also a Twitch Streamer was just sick of all these pecans.. So he stole them! Moony can't stand it and decided to go to Tashiro's Castle to get them back!
This rom hack has a lot of easter eggs about Moo_Moony and Tashiro but you don't have to understand everything
Available in English and French!
This hack was submitted as "Very Hard", but the actual overall difficulty was nearer to "Kaizo: Light", and nearly "Kaizo: Hard" due to the last level alone. Below I'll try to list as many reasons as I can why I am rejecting this hack:
- Floating munchers in nearly every level; for ceiling munchers, you can flip them on the Y-axis in Map16, and for the muncher "towers", they either could all be death blocks, or they don't need to all be munchers (could replace a lot of them with other solid blocks, or just build some nice ceilings). Floating munchers look very messy and indicates that you didn't put much effort into making your levels look nice.
- Various cut-off; such as in "Pecans Land #2" where a vine grows and eats the whole side of a semi-solid ground mass, or in "Tashiro's Castle" where there is unnecessary formations of ground under the lava, or those 2 blocks near the end that are just castle floor blocks attached to a wall.
- There are many blind drops/jumps; essentially, what I mean by this is that there are many sections where the player has to fall blindly without seeing ground, and hope they land somewhere safe (often coming out of some difficult obstacle), and there are also sections where the player has to run and jump off a ledge without being able to see horizontally what they're jumping into. This is just generally bad practice for level design; players should be able to see at all times what is coming up next no matter the difficulty of the hack.
- Troll goal; there was one part where I had to jump to the next ledge to what I thought was the goal. It was not; it just dropped me off a ledge and killed me. Again, the intended solution was to blind fall to a ledge that wasn't visible on screen. This is just generally bad practice. There are very few situations where a fake goal belongs in a level, and this was not one of them; especially when the player can't even see the intended solution.
- Long item escorts; there were a few levels where it was required to escort an item an annoying amount of distance (in one case 7 screens) through the level. Item escorts are not always a bad thing in kaizo levels, but generally the player is doing something with the item during that time and/or they don't have it for an absurd amount of time just to have it.
- In "Pecans House", in what I am called the "Hallway of Floating Munchers", the intended solution was to climb a fence and navigate through tight muncher gaps. That fence is extremely hard to see as it blends in with the background. I died there several times before I accidentally pushed up and discovered the climbable fence.
- Random block spam in various levels. The most notable case of this was in the last level "Tashiro's Castle" at the end where it looks like no real thought was put into the dispersion of all of those green star blocks meant to block the player's path.
- The overworld player sprite didn't seem like it was finished. The player sprite is basically Mario, but with no hat and black hair, but the overworld sprite still had a few pixels of Mario's red hat for some reason.
- There were a good number of overworld tiles that were wrong; while some tiles were yellow, many were red although there was only one exit in each of those levels. Red level tiles are generally reserved for levels that have 2 exits. The level tile for "Pecan Land #3" was a pool of water, but there wasn't a drop of water to be found in that level.
- It was entirely unnecessary to have a tight timer on all the "Shiny Pecan" levels and call them speedruns. Aside from a couple sections where the player could potentially rest, the entirety of those levels were tight kaizo-style platforming that didn't benefit at all from having the extra pressure of a tight timer.
- Most levels play like kaizo levels that were created and tested with savestates due to how awkward and precise most jumps and obstacles were.
- The final level "Tashiro's Castle"; this level was entirely too difficult. This level is the biggest reason why I believe this hack wasn't completed toolless by the creator to assure that obstacles were reasonable. The entire level is 1F screens long, there's a single midway on screen 0E (which is the only thing saving this from being considered "Kaizo: Hard"), and right after said midway, there is a section that, to the best of my ability to sight read, was not passable by anything other than a midair p-switch jump in order to reach and collect a spring. Most of my time on this level was spent farming midair p-switch jumps to get that spring just to die near the end due to an extremely tight ball 'n' chain spinjump transfer. This is just not at all reasonable for a "Kaizo: Light" hack, let alone a "Very Hard" hack. Most people are not going to be as persistent as I was in farming a frame perfect trick, and that alone is reason enough for rejection.
Now, that all being said, there were a couple points in this hack that I kinda enjoyed. However, most of it was just very frustrating as it didn't feel like any care was put into properly testing and quality assurance for the player. There is potential in here somewhere for an okay "Kaizo: Light" hack, but it would require extensive time, testing, adjustment, peer feedback, and attention to detail in terms of graphics.
This is my first Hack. It's just a short vanilla one, but I hope you can have some 20 minutes fun with it!
Story: "Mario and Luigi found the map of a mysterious old pirate treasure! Let's go find it in this amazing island!"
TIP: You can safely follow any coin line. There is no trolling in this game.
Special thanks to:
-Mario Hacks Discord Server
Let me start off by saying this hack was a great 20 minute normal hack just as advertised. I have no complaints as far as gameplay, and it's a refreshing bit of smooth sailing (ha) for your first hack, and I strongly encourage you to resubmit.
However, there are a couple reasons why I'm rejecting that are easy fixes; the main one being that the Bonus Game (level 0) is broken. When I entered the Bonus Game, I was able to scroll the screen to the right showing the cut-off edge of the room, and a wrap-around of the bonus game. All you need to do is go into level 0, and resize the bottom of the level so that it's not overflowing onto the top of screen 01.
The other reason, though not at major, is that in the level "Captain Barry Ship", I was able to get on top of the level, though the camera isn't set to scroll up to due to the conflict it would have with the tides, and all of a sudden I died from... something. When I checked in Lunar Magic, I noticed some spikes up there. Probably best to remove those so the player doesn't do what I did and die without knowing why.
Other than that, but not included in the reasons why I'm rejecting this submission, I did notice a little bit of graphical cut-off is a few places. First, in the overworld, the path that's drawn in the water on [Event: 0x7 Step: 0x1] has a dot on the far right that gets cut off in-game that makes the path appear broken, the dotted path that appears on the same tile as the level "Urchin Sea" in [Event: 0x5 Step: 0x4] doesn't need the dotted path as they appear cut-off, and the two events tiles that appear on the same tile as the level "Captain Barry Ship" have dotted paths on [Event: 0x4 Step: 0x3] & [Event: 0x6 Step: 0x4] that don't show after the level appears, but don't need to be there all the same. The last instance of cut-off occurred in the level "Sparky Cave"; it the secret exit room, there's a section where the layer 2 scrolling rope appears in pieces. It's not a huge deal, and it didn't really bother me at all, but those small pieces of rope are technically a graphical cut-off as they aren't attacked to anything.
So, as I said, this was a fine hack to sit down and unwind with for 20 minutes, very glad you decided to submit it. But please fix the two main things that I listed, and consider looking into some of the graphical cut-off. I really hope you resubmit, because I'd love to see this hack on SMW Central in the Normal difficulty.