A lighter, shorter kaizo rom hack featuring 12(ish) exits.
MidKaizo is a mostly vanilla rom hack with a few custom blocks and sprites, all matching the original SMW aesthetic. This hack takes a smaller set of techniques and incorporates them in different ways. No 200 IQ setups here. Some levels are longer, some are shorter.
Thwomp Noir felt like the most balanced level of consistent difficulty throughout the whole level, so I based most level on a scale from it's difficulty. Over and Under felt like the hardest level in the hack, but other levels would have a random difficulty spike in the level.
I generally like most of the level, and I wasn't frustrated while playing the hack. My favorite levels was Thwomp Noir, Brown Town, A New Day, and the second half of Minnesota's normal exit.
>When I got to the end of the first section of A New Day I was wonder why there was that many koopas on screen without lagging the game out. When I tried to test it on my SuperNT I got the "Expansions Not Supported" message which tells me this hack is using SA-!. Put that in your release notes and add the correct tags when submitting this for moderation.
>Since there's a level where there's a chain of jumps resulting in multiple 1-ups I would recommend inserting code to fix this issue. The code that I'm providing takes out the number and X, but there is other code to just has the lives set to a number that never changes or I've seen infinity symbols
>The final exit count is 11. If you want it to reflect 12 have an Orb or Goal Tape in the credits.
>Part of the ocean isn't filled in.
>Since the final level is at the beginning of the world, I would suggest adding the Overworld Speed Changer patch to the hack. This would save the player some overall time.
>There's also a autosave patch by Alcaro that makes the game save after every movement on the overworld without the save prompt appearing
A Familiar Tune - A little harder that Thwomp Noir
>The first trick was the hardest in the level, so I decided to see if I could cheese it. I was able to leave the shell and just go under the level
Where I was on the Rope:
Going under the level:
Continuing the level:
>Because the ropes make this an auto-movement level the P-Switch added no urgency. The P-Switch timer ends well past the last set of coins
A New Day - somewhat easy
>When Mario is in air while carrying a shell it's very common to have the shell collide into another sprite while airborne. Most of my deaths in this first half was because of the shells colliding.
>When the player loads into the second half the background starts to the right, and then centers itself. I don't know if this is because of horizontal wrapping levels
>This section is confusing to figure out. The previous section the player is doing a bunch of jumps to the right, so the player's first reaction is to keep going right thinking they need to keep the speed. It took me a few tries to go to the left.
>In this section it's hard to know what's going on, because the screen scrolls at that section. To get a first cycle the player has to jump to that section and throw the shell to the left before the screen fully scrolls
>The up pipe is dangerously close to the sop of the screen. It's barely noticeable on a flat monitor, and if the player is on a CRT they might not even see it. The only way to get the screen to scroll is to get p-speed so that Mario jumps high enough to see the pipe
Thwomp Noir - medium
>The music choice is odd giving what the name is and and the aesthetics of the level. I was first playing it on mute for about 10 minutes, and decided to unmute to see what the song was, and I was surprised it was such a happy sounding song. I was expecting some sort of dark song.
>The poles with the munchers under them are super dark, and blends into the background. When I first got into the level I stared at the screen pretty closely to see if the muncher was floating or if it was on something.
>The dark muncher was confusing at first to know that was an indicator to trigger the Thwomp
>The hardest thing about the level was knowing which direction the Thwomp would go at any time. Since there was no arrow indicators most of the progression through the level was learn by dying. There wasn't many sections with multiple Thwomps, but in those sections it's harder to predict which way they will go.
>I'm neutral on end goal trolls, but giving what level I was playing I knew there would be one. I didn't feel any need to run towards the goal, so I walked to the goal; and avoided the Thwomps.
Brown Town - Secret
>I would suggest to have a checkpoint for this room, because giving that the secret pipe is kind of deep in the level restarting the whole level is rough; or have the secret exit at the beginning of the room. The very first thing I did when I entered the level was ride my platform up to see what was there.
>The player can get the the secret room as small Mario, and there's no way to know if the mushroom is needed until the very last section.
>It's easy to get into the secret pipe when it's off screen and not enter. When this happens there's always a chance that the spiny can hit Mario.
>It was unclear that the brown coin meant to spin giving that there was no message saying so or prior coin indicator
>There's no indication on how to get to the platform after the 3 Eeries. The amount of times I overshot or undershot the platform was a lot
>It's rough to complete this section without missing the platform, not getting the slide, or hitting the muncher to the right of the platform.
Yoshi's Bane - Easy, but it felt like I cheesed most of the baby yoshi eating section
>The player can bypass eating most of the sprites that are meant for eating.
>Eating the kicked shell felt impossible to get, so I ate the kicking koopa
>After eating the kicking koopa I respawned the shell, and got p-speed to get the height to eat the shell
>Since the green liquid was water I ate the piranha plants
>I never ate the small naked koopas to get yoshi. the order I went was Kicking koopa(or shell), Flyingi koopa, Flying koopa, Piranha, Piranha
>After beating the switch palace you can add to "Direction to enable when normal exit is used" to Down, so that the player gets moved back to the previous level
Brown Town - Normal Exit - First section is about the same as Thowmp Noir but harder, but I cheesed the second section
>In the first section hitting a one tile ON/OFF block from p-speed is fairly rough on the player
>In the second half I wasn't able to have the turn block be in the opened position, so I scraped the wall and landed on one pixel; and waited for them to reopen
>I was able to cheese the whole last section by landing on the wall to stop my momentum. After that I spawned an Eerie from the left, and rode him to victory
Over and Under - Hardest
>The first set of blocks were hard to land on after hitting the ON/OFF block. I would suggest adding a third to the left
>For the ON/OFF block that you throw the shell up to, this trick is probably the hardest thing in the whole level. It's super hard to hit that block, catch it, and land back on the numbered platform. I would suggest moving it to the right side or have a row of ON/OFF blocks
>There is pipe cutoff
>The hardest part of the second section was getting under the 1 tile gaps. If the player doesn't jump at the right moment the lava will steal some of the jump and make it impossible to get to the piranha
>The chuck isn't doing much in this section. He doesn't cause any danger to the player even if they do this final section slow
>In the final section, I kind of knew it was the goal area, and there wasn't any obstacles to hit multiple ON/OFF blocks, so I never felt the need to hit the final ON/OFF block.
>Laser will like that level, but it was odd that it was a throw away level especially giving the trouble went through for getting the song. I'm also bias to cape, so my comments might not be shared by others
>My suggestion is if you want to go with the "Cape Sucks" theme I would start the level with the "Cape Sucks" setup, then force the player into Fire Flower, and have some sort of Fire Flower level. If you go down this route you'll have to cheese proof the section, so that good cape player cant get past it.
Minnesota - Normal Exit - About the same as Thowmp Noir, but a tad bit easier
>There's slight inconsitenties with where the player jumps from on the first two jumps. On the first jump Mario has to be super close to the muncher, and on the second jump Mario has to be further back. Mario has to jump right after the last muncher in the tunnel
>In the second room it was hard to figure out the order of operations on how to get past the 3rd row of munchers. The top left muncher on the 3rd row damaged me a lot even though I knew how to get through this section. Once I figured out the timing to get everything on a first cycle the room flowed pretty well.
>I would recommend to make every muncher that isn't meant for damage boosting an Instant Death Muncher of a different color throughout the whole level. Once the player takes damage they have to wait after I-frames to kill themselves. This was a concern of mine in Brown Town, but the player could always jump into a pit.
Minnesota - Secret Exit - Slightly easy
>Finding this secret exit was harder than finding the secret exit in Brown Town. I don't know if it could be put anywhere else in the main level because of how the level is set up, but it was an observation of mine. The only place I could see putting it is somewhere at the shell jump area, because that's an area where the player has to stop momentum from being shot.
>The only thing that I see in this section is that there's lava cutoff in the first level before entering the pipe
Yellow Mellow - Medium
>Dealing with the second Disco Shell was the hardest part of this level, but as a whole it didn't feel too bad
>On the 2nd Disco Shell section you don't really need the extra ground after the munchers. I just kept riding the disco shell
>Same comment about the green palace, you can add to "Direction to enable when normal exit is used" to Left
A Dead End
>This level isn't really needed if the player already gets the switch palaces. I would add some sort of message at the end of switch palaces saying something about being one step closer to the final battle. I would assume most players would go into The End Game, and see that they need the switch palaces.
The End Game - easier than Thwomp Noir
>Something is creating random sounds in the level. It's happening when I'm switching jumps, but I don't know if it's because of the lightning or the song
>Because this is a Motor Skills level you can always do random stuff mid-air. In the first room I could bypass the last Flying Koopa in the chain, and land on the Thwomp.
>I would make sure Wall Clips is disabled, because through out my game play I would randomly lose a jump from wall clips
>Giving that the description of the hack said it was mostly vanilla with a few custom blocks and sprites I was thrown off by the second half of A New Day. When I entered this level I was sitting there for a bit trying to understand the jumps. Horizontal screen wrap isn't vanilla, so the player might also get confused when entering this room.
>This is also true for The End Game. By the time I got to this level the shock of that kind of chocolate didn't surprise me. Both levels were good, but the player expectations going into the hack is different than what is presented.
A side note on Brown Town vs. Minnesota
>The main reason why the 1 tile tricks were hard in Brown Town was because it wasn't an ice level. Having P-speed and preforming a 1 tile land to a slide and to a 1 tile jump is why it was harder.
@Mav - I'll retest the updated hack once you're ready, but it's best to make all the changes you want; and then have me test it. Also if some of my recommendations you don't want to fix then that's fine, just let me know what you did change. I'm just here to report issues not force you to fix them.
One other thing I thought about after I posted the initial feedback is that under the current overworld layout the only difference between 100% and any% is half of a level. If you plan on this hack being ran then it would be odd to have two categories that close in time