I'm Cartesius and kaizo is my life. I first discovered it in 2014/2015 (I'm not exactly sure) when I saw a youtuber playing it (with savestates, obviously). In the very same day I downloaded it and started playing it myself (also with savestates) and I loved. I played the whole kaizo triology like that and a bunch of other hacks. I found a zip with over 900 SMCs of some old hacks and played a bunch of those for a while.
Shortly after I discovered Lunar Magic and started making stuff. It was mostly trick based "kaizo" levels (At the time I didn't know this label existed) and I played them with heavy savestate usage.
2017 was a very important year because it was the year I reached a good level in English (my native language is Portuguese). As a consequance I started watching english-speaking creators on Youtube, one of which was GrandPOOBear. I first saw him play a hack called "Legends of Mario" and it blew my mind because it was the first time I saw someone play a hack that hard without savestates. I was very excited to try it myself so I downloaded it and played it (this was like February of 2018).
This time I could better undestand SMW Central because I knew English, although I had stumble across it before but the language barrier made it impossible to find my way around (plus I was literally a child)
I played it without savestates and I still remember tha t I died 189 times on level 1 while GrandPOOBear died only 2 times. I noticed a huge gap but decided to continue playing. I didn't make to the end of the hack at the time but this was enough for me to discover the whole community. I joined Discord servers and started watching twitch streamers and getting to know everyone
I started to make a hack around this time (March 2018) but I never finished it. But one very important thing happened: Streamer Glitchcat7 played a demo I made. It was the first time I saw someone playing something I made and it was in front of a bunch of people. It was quite epic. The hack ended up being canceled but one the levels would later be part of my first released hack "Shell's Retriever"
After finishing my first hack I started working on another one but then in April 2019 because of personal problems and general lack of motivation I quit the community for a long time. I only return in May 2020, over a year later. The hack I had started to work in late 2018 was cancelled
When I came back I started working on a sequel to my first hack and actually managed to finish it.
Here you can download the 2 cancelled projects I still have
2018 Cancelled Project (the working title at the time was Super Mario Harder Than It Looks)
2019 Cancelled Project (the working title was Project Parnassus)
Shoutouts to ThirdWall, Glitchcat and LouisDoucet for playtesting even though I ended up never releasing it