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Super Mario World Hacks → Invictus

Submission Details

Name: Invictus
Author: juzcook
Demo: No
Hall of Fame: Yes
Length: 22 exit(s)
Type: Kaizo: Intermediate
Description: Invictus is a chocolate kaizo hack with a touch of vanilla charm that will challenge even the most experienced players. It aims to be fun, whilst remaining difficult albeit fair. It took the entirety of my free time over the course of nine months to learn and build. Good luck, and enjoy!

This hack features:
- 20 individual, challenging levels with instant retry
- An impressive coded-from-scratch final boss (courtesy of Kaizoman/Thomas)
- A fine assortment of custom assets, including a bangin' soundtrack
- NO hidden blocks. Studies claim fun has increased by 200%!
- Loads of secrets for those who explore a little deeper...

Special thanks to Nexus15, Freakin_HA, HmWhyNot, ChrisG___, White_Moth, Hiro_sofT, DanTheVP, LadiesMan217 and Kaizoman for all of their assistance, patience and hard work in helping me to make this hack a reality. This game wouldn't exist without them.

Official Invictus Trailer:
Tags: asm bosses chocolate gimmick music
Comments: 61 (jump to comments)
5.0 (37 ratings)
No rating
Download 1.47 MiB | 32,357 downloads


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Comments (61)

God Of Fruit Link
I've played a lot of hacks over the years, but this was my favorite one so far. It struck that perfect balance of chocolate and vanilla to keep everything interesting and memorable, while still feeling like SMW. But it's a steady buildup throughout the hack. The first couple levels have some subtle changes to existing blocks/sprites (platforms that fall up, snake block speed changers, etc.), but then this builds up into custom sprites and changes to the level like screen wrap, and finally into full-blown game mechanics like LR switch blocks and motor skills, all building up into a final level that introduces multiple of these gimmicks at once and ending with a custom fight against Kamek that will probably make you throw your PC out the window. But after over 10 hours, I beat him.

In terms of level design, if Nintendo were to put out an official Kaizo Mario game, this is how I imagine it would be. There's so many creative ideas and setups, but also not a lot of traps out of nowhere like invisible blocks. Instead, there's a lot of ways the game allows you to troll yourself even when you have warning. A lot of the traps are avoidable in ways other than just having godly reflexes, and some just involve not being stupid. There's also a good balance between faster paced levels that flow, and slower paced levels where you need to find timing and figure stuff out. Overall, there's a lot of variety and great level design here.

But yeah, this hack is an experience I'll never forget. It pushed me to my limits in terms of skill (at least for now), and I can remember every single level. This hack is a must-play for everyone into Kaizo, whether it's your hardest hack or not.

Overall: 10/10
vedronor Link
After playing several hours of Super Mario Maker 2 I came here to try my first Super Mario World hack. I chose Invictus after watching some YouTubers playing a few minutes of the first stage and I immediately stopped watching to avoid spoilers! I'm not a good player, I spent exactly 6 hours and 43 minutes to beat the first stage! Even though I think this Hack is not for me, I will continue playing, because I was enchanted by the mechanics that are possible here and not in Super Mario Maker 2.
Ryan_FromCanada Link
93 hours later, 6th rom hack, 17 hours on Kamek. It's done. Thank you for making this hack and inspiring me to get into Kaizo. This was one of the most difficult and rewarding things I've ever completed. 10/10 I'll never do the Kamek fight again.
Yumpman22 Link
Amazing hack Juz...10/10
Smackalot Link
Well into 2023, the Legend lives on. I had played through about 15-some-odd Kaizo's before attempting this one, and I was still nervous going into it. Watching some gameplay footage, it was clear Invictus, referred to here and elsewhere as "the highest level of intermediate", would be at the limit of my abilities.

Nevertheless, through patience and persistence I was able to get through it in a weekend. Make no mistake, it is very difficult. Sewer Smashin' was probably the biggest roadblock for me, but this hack is so FUN and well crafted (the music!) it made retrying difficult sections more of a fun experience than a frustrating one. Lake Bodom felt unusually fun to play for a tight water level. The artistry and aesthetics of Frostbite was absolutely beautiful, and it was really fun - something ice levels don't always pull off. The Difficulty really ramps up with Stellar, the first level to
require 6 button inputs.
The Final level Invictus devilishly combines
6 button inputs with motor skills
, really the ultimate test that pushes this game toward the expert category.

I had seen so many comments about the Kamek fight, but for me personally the Boo fight before it was sooo much more difficult. The Kamek fight was
just dodging attacks
- which I guess made it feel easier psychologically.

Creative level design, custom mechanics, and a lot of tight but fair spaces, with the end of Sewer Smashin' being a possible exception. In short, everything we've come to expect in a modern hack.

This was a shell jump away from expert difficulty, but don't let that discourage you. Get some Kaizos under your belt, and then take the journey and claim your rite of passage. The legend of Invictus awaits. 5/5
peacefulmeadows Link
Great Hack.

Looking forward to your next one, Juzcook.
KazakhGuy Link
All 22 exits
Retr0_Dave Link
Not much of a review needed. As advertised, this is one of the most popular hacks on here for a reason.

After playing it myself, I felt it was very well made, and is instantly in my top 3 Hacks. I feel this is a great test for players to see if they’re ready to make the cross over from Intermediate into Expert difficulty hacks.

Final Rating = 5/5 - A Must Play

bonjoursauce Link
Invictus is a must-play hack. A true rite of passage for anyone who considers they are ready to take it to the next level. To date, unless I'm mistaken, this is the most downloaded/played (kaizo-like) hack on SMWcentral. Rest assured, all promises and expectations about this hack will be met and fulfilled.

After a few more traditional levels that serve as appetizers, including the incomparable One By One, things slowly but surely get tougher. With Built To Fall, we realize that we will be dealing with long technical sections, but always really pleasant to play and showcasing a surgically thought out flow.

Then come the big guns: Lake Bodom (a water level whose slower pace is really interesting) and Cemetery Bloom (a super tight ghost house with trolls that make you question your interest in kaizo). There we realize that we are in the highest shelf of the intermediate category and that even if we shout loudly, our mother is never gonna come pick us up.

After that there's a good old skytree level (Die-Tree) and when we finally reach the H, things seem to want to calm down a bit. Until Rise Again, where the chocolate part of Invictus begins to assert itself in this level which features "double jumps".

Chocolate is also in Biohazard: vertical screen wrap and sawrfing are on the menu. I hope you sharpened your fingers. Kamek Woods sets the stage for the grand finale with more classic platforming and a super tight blind finale which is, let's face it, a little frustrating.

The progression continues with Stellar which introduces a new gimmick: you can activate and deactivate blocks with the L and R buttons.

Absolute Power more than deserves its name. We are introduced to motor skills (we can change the nature of the jump during the jump) and when we finally overcome this big piece of meat, we are really sated and we feel absolutely powerful!

Koopa Road, which I loved, with its perfect homage to the 8-3 level of SMB1 is a kind of warning: from now on it's going to be seriously tight and hard. Continue at your own risk.

Then the final castle, Invictus. 3 delicious sections that bring together the previous gimmicks, namely motor skills and L+R to activate or deactivate blocks. All at the same time, a melting pot for the fingers and the brain.

But that's not all. You still have to beat Kamek. A LONG, very long, boss that challenges you to survive its various attacks and phases for ~90 seconds and then - finally - gives you a tiny opportunity to defeat him.

An incredible hack that allows you to perfect and hone your skills while giving you a lot of self-confidence. When you finish certain levels, it feels like you could do ANYTHING! Almost.

Would recommend.
100% clears first playthrough video :
Quasar Link
Difficulty Hard Game/Kaizo
pzyko103 Link
Amazing hack. Thanks for this one, Juz!
Cal-of-Gearva Link
Hey, I have a quick question for anyone with the answer: is there somewhere where I can download the patch used in the level "One by One" to simulate a room-based level? Thanks so much!
TheHandsomeMan Link
What an amazing game this is. I imagine a small child (we'll call him Timothy) spending all day in front of an Invictus arcade cabinet. The neighborhood had no faith in him. Every day, he would gather aluminum cans on the way to town, selling each for a nickel. Upon entering the arcade, he would shamble up to the cabinet, his pockets jingling with coins, to find sweaty buttons and a nutrition-deprived casual collapsed in the corner. Chin up, little Timmy. Don't let the flame die out.
TheNikoShow Link
Beating this hack was one of my favorite experiences in gaming. Thank you for such an amazing hack Juz.
RetroGamingSweden Link
One day.. I'll beat the first level.
One day..
ZX497 Link
Everything an SMW kaizo hack should be.
Kaizoman Link
Hi Juz i want to say that this is my favourite hack and plus i watch your channel. iv been there since the first week and i want to tell you a good job on it and the awsome effort you put in this awsome hack. also can you please tell me where you got the lr on/off block and the motor skills patches form please. Kaizo hi. 😁
protopizza Link
Wanting to beat Invictus was one of the reasons I got into Kaizo at all, and completing it was an incredible experience. I think looking at hacks now you can easily the sheer influence of Invictus. It absolutely lives up to the hype. My favorite level was Plumber's Nightmare, but honestly every level in this one is great.

I've uploaded a video showing just a clean, no-commentary clear for each exit here.
Panther-T Link
Amazing hack. Kamek made me a salty piece of shit, but every level was super fun. Great job!

Quality: 5/5; Difficulty: 8/10
MarsAmPear Link
Invictus lives up to its iconic status in every way. It's surprisingly approachable but still offers a formidable final world unlike that of any intermediate kaizo hack. As a whole it was a spectacular challenge and I admittedly got a little emotional when I finally won.
Sethix Link
This is my first ever hack, been great for getting into the scene so far, bout halfway and it's been a blast! Been a difficult challenge but pretty fair so far.
dynamo man Link
Hi Juz i want to say that this is my favourite hack and plus i watch your channel. iv been there since the first week and i want to tell you a good job on it and the awsome effort you put in this awsome hack. also can you please tell me where you got the lr on/off block and the motor skills patches form please. Dyname hi.
xxmagegagexx Link
Love this hack! I definitely recommend it for people with a couple medium level hacks under their belt.

The only bad things I have to say about it are: There were a few "oi" moments,
and Kamek is pretty rough.
Sariel Lupus Link
Simply the best hack I've ever seen. I can't play kaizo very well yet, but watching this and discover that hack was AWESOME.
TrendzAndz Link
This was one of my favorite hacks and the hardest I have beat yet. The aesthetics and the levels are full of great platforming and interesting mechanics. Even the water level was extremely enjoyable. I played version 1.1, since there were some luck based things corrected (so I was told).
Alxetiger Link
I remember when every single YTer/streamer was playing this. I wish i was good enough to as well
DefybyDefault Link
I came back to this after sitting on it for 2 years and boy am I glad I did. Some of the best level design I've ever seen. It actually made me enjoy motor skills.
trettergeorge Link
great hack
Lotica Link
For the longest time, Kaizo hacks seemed to be pretty stale. They just didn't offer enough playability and resorted to impossible obstacles that only a TAS would solve, but even then, that wasn't fun. This made Invictus a big surprise. Being bad at Kaizo hacks, the gameplay, while difficult, was doable and even when I did suck immensely, it wasn't like games such as Dark Souls where getting back to where you were wasn't tedious (Thanks to the retry system). The gimmicks are pretty cool and are used sparingly instead of going all in. The music is also implemented quite well, actually going with the flow of the levels.

Overall, Invictus is my favorite Kaizo hack for not only being fun, but it feels like an approachable game for even the worst of Kaizo players. I recommend it highly! :)
Gavinicus Link
Amazing hack, one of the all-time bests.
red_trochee Link
Stunning. The level of professionalism is off the charts. Got to be one of my favorite platformers of all time. Thank you!!
KazakhGuy Link
SethOsDotEXE Link
Super fun and challenging. Level design was very interesting with chocolate mechanics implemented in creative ways. Good job Juzcook
RetroSwim Link
A solid 3/10 juzSmug ;)
viniciuskombat Link
koopa road Kreygasm 5/5
hazy_ Link
i watched this game be ran at gdq and it is NOT A LITE KAIZO

(rip grammer)
Yoshioshi Link
I can't even get to the first checkpoint in the first level!
Nowieso Link
When's 1.1?
zfleeman Link
I saw v1.1 played on GPB's stream, and I couldn't find it, but juz pointed me to his discord where you can find a v1.1 copy. It will land here 'eventually.' idk if I should have shared this.
Kimota Link
I found a frustrating bug in the last level. If you start/select out of the final boss, then reenter the level, the two cement platforms that normally rise from the bottom of the screen at the start of the second phase do not appear, so you can't win. It remains like this on all retries, and even if you start/select again and visit a different level, when you return, the fight will still be unwinnable. The only solution I could find is to reset and play the entire level again. I have tested this twice on SNES9x and it happened both times. Janky hack, mate.

While I've greatly enjoyed this game, I hope at some point you will upload a version with a checkpoint saver. Losing your progress on a long level with multiple sections is absolutely brutal for a noob like me.
 Pokemon Hacker Link
The design looks insane, in a good way
rymdkarl Link
This was the hack that made me decide to play and not only watch Kaizo on YouTube. After a few months of practice beating a handful of easier Kaizo hacks have I now also beaten this BEAUTIFUL game.

5/5 absolutely amazing! <3
Svorass Link
Kamek got me sour at the end, but it's still an easy 5/5.

Favorite levels were Built to Fall and Absolute Power. Everyone and their mother now seems to have a motor skills level in their hack thanks to Invictus. Thanks Juz?
ViniciusPlays Link
Tytov Link
this is the stuff im coming here for
UghRochester Link
The hack wants me to have a Tim Tam.
Fink Link
Surely one of the greatest chocolate Kaizo hacks ever made. ALl in all very fair, could not find anything voerly jank yet. Can't wait to finish it, enjoyed every last bit of it so far!
electronicLogic Link
Good stuff.
NovaX81 Link
Amazing hack. Do you have an OST list anywhere? Some of the music selections were so fantastic.
TheOldThunder Link
This is a great hack, very creative. Enjoying my time with it so far.

Bug: in level 2, sometimes the second block snake does not show up at all. it's not that big a deal though
bolop700 Link
An absolutely amazing hack that was extremely enjoyable to play.
Thanks for all the hard work that went into this.

double_pmcl Link
Yo, this is a really amazing hack. I really like it and also with
this awesome asm stuff too. I can definitely say a must try
hack, definitely.
falkenste1n Link
great hack.. its so impressive what kaizo has become nowadays
Dode Link
This ranks up there as one of my favorite hacks of all time. It's got a really innovative blend of style that presents a tough challenge without getting tedious. Great work!
duders Link
Yeah, this hack is amazing. Just play it.
 Linkdeadx2 Link
What can I say, this hack is awesome. Definitely one of the best kaizo hacks I've played. Great job Juz!
Sweetdude Link
This hack really pushes the limit of smw and is just overall awesome with all the kaizo tech that is presented here, this hack is totally 3/10 material, may I even say... 4/10?
This looks really, really good!
 Eevee Link
Was this the one I've saw you streaming the creation of before? Glad to see it's coming along ^^
B2De Link
 Linkdeadx2 Link
waiting for 1.2