Before I show off the hack proper, I figured I might as well show off my new Nintendo Presents screen. The Gamma Prime logo is inspired by the Transformers Prime series logo. I also decided to try that Nintendo Presents HDMA thing I've seen in several other hacks, figuring it'd be as simple as just putting standard GradientTool gradient code into the correct game mode through UberASM. That's indeed all it took.
Here's the title screen. Like always, it's simple and static. I honestly haven't done a moving title screen since Kola Kingdom Quest, and that title screen was made in late 2013. Static title screens are not only easier to build, but also don't require ZSNES savestates. I've come to pretty much dislike ZSNES. SNES9X SUPERIOR!
The intro screen makes a vague reference to the ill-fated Super Mario Outbreak by mentioning quarantine. Could Outbreak be restarted? Maybe, but it'll likely be a bit simpler and shorter. I did burn out pretty badly early last year and probably was a bit too hasty in starting that project. Stupid coronavirus!
Here's the World 1 map. I went for a slight hybrid of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World style with these. SMB3 inspired the blockiness of the landmasses and the straight paths between levels. Blocky overworlds are only a problem when they're clearly done to be lazy.
World 1-1 - Here We Go
"Here We Go" is probably one of the most cliche names one could give a first level in a Mario game, official or fanmade, but I wanted to make every non-boss level's name a reference to a song I like. In the case of this one, that would be a song by *NSYNC.
World 1-2 - I Wanna Be Down
It took a little while to decide on this name, and part of the process involved either looking through my music library or thinking about the songs therein. I decided from the start that 1-2 would be an underground level. Past name candidates included "Underneath It All" and "6ft. Underground." imamelia said that the former would be better suited for a water level, and I figured the latter would be better for some sort of underground crypt in a world with a haunted theme. I ended up going with the title of Brandy's first hit, "I Wanna Be Down."
World 1-3 - Rex in Effect
Yeah, I recycled this name from World 2-1 of Outbreak, but it fit with the theme of the level and the music-based level naming scheme I have going on here. Sometimes, I opt to use puns and or name the level after a band. Here, I did both. I apologize in advance for the lack of rump shaking.
World 1-4 - Morton Koopa Jr.'s Castle
It's a typical first castle. The first room introduces Goomba-generating pipes and Podoboos in the lava. The second room (pictured here) introduces Thwomps and is a bit more open vertically. Why choose Morton though? The vanilla Morton Boss, which I originally intended to use before realizing that it didn't play nice with the custom Status Bar I'm using, is one of the easiest bosses in SMW. Morton's room is a slight homage to the vanilla boss, and he uses some of its graphics, but he's custom. He's a n00b sprite (I still don't know enough ASM to code my own bosses from scratch) who simply walks around while jumping, speeding up slightly and jumping a bit more frequently as he takes damage. There's also a Podoboo in the room.
World 2 Map
World 2 is the obligatory desert world. Here, you see some graphics that are edits of vanilla graphics. In this case, I used the water level background tiles as the base for the pyramids, and part of the dirt-embedded bushes from GFX15 for the palm trees. All custom graphics are based on vanilla ones to varying degrees.
World 2-1 - Sand in my Shoe
I decided to name this one after one of the many, many
Sonic remixes I have on my computer. In this case, I chose Jose the Bronx Rican's take on Sandopolis Zone.
World 2-1 - Diggin' on You
TLC gets a shout-out in this level's name. This was an easy choice for a level based around the digging mechanic from Super Mario Bros. 2.
World 2-3 - Heat of the Moment
The song this is named after just popped into my head as I began typing this. Deserts are pretty hot, and this part of the desert is probably the hottest as it features lava, Fire Pillars that burst from small divots in the ground, Sumo Bros, and Venus Flyin' Traps. Will you lose your head, lose your mind, and not know what to do, or will you keep your cool?
World 2-4 - Ludwig von Koopa's Castle
Things haven't cooled down much in this castle. Be careful of unusually large flames in the sconces on the pillars. They're Hopping Flames. Since the sconces are actually solid to all sprites, and I'm using the Shell-collectible coins/Yoshi Coins patch, quite a few Yoshi, or rather, Lunar Coins are placed in ways that require using them, along with kicked shells, to be collected.
World 3 Map
The hardest thing about making this map was getting it to play the correct music. This hack uses Medic's Submap Split patch, which is supposed to assign a different music track to each of the new submaps created from what used to be the main Overworld. Unfortunately, due to the AddMusic updates that have happened since 2016, that function no longer worked in the patch. I ended up needing to apply the Multiple Songs on Main Map patch to work around that. Even then, the first couple notes of the "default" song would play before switching to the correct song. That was bypassed by setting the LM default to 00. There's still a bit of a delay before the music starts, both on this map and the map of World 1.
World 3-1 - Soak Up the Sun
At first, this level was hampered both by the music issue I was having with the overworld and difficulties with choosing the right enemies to reflect the level's name. I ended up going with the Sleeping Goomba sprite. They'd be the ones soaking up the sun. They probably weren't listening to Sheryl Crow though.
World 3-2 - Underneath It All
The dirt here is based on an upscaling of the background rock pattern. The corals are made of pieces of the moving stone castle block sprite graphics. I guess I forgot to mention that those rejected name candidates for 1-2 would resurface later.
World 3-3 - Under the Bridge
Yeah, I used that name for my OLDC level back in 2017, but that name was lost when I integrated said level into Super Luigi Land. Here, I went with the gimmick of having Pipe Lakitus attacking from under bridges. Here, though, they're not all throwing Spinies. Some throw Bob-Ombs, which can be used to destroy the wooden blocks in the level, potentially allowing access to extra goodies.
3-4 - Wendy O. Koopa's Castle
Here, it may not
be a good idea to let explosions destroy the stone blocks. You could end up impaled by spikes or making the battle with Wendy more challenging than it already is. Wendy's a Mouser reskin, so letting her Bob-Ombs blow up the stone block bridges will make it harder to throw the explosives back at her to do damage.
World 4 Map
I ported/arranged the Pumpkin Zone
theme from Super Mario Land 2 specifically for this map. I haven't decided whether or not to submit it here though. We could use a better, fuller version of that theme than the one we have. As overused as desaturated palettes can be, I think they fit well here.
World 4-1 - Nothing Compares 2 Boo (Alternate Name: I'm So Into Boo)
Boos are everywhere here. Some are even hiding among the stone blocks. In the second segment of the level, dozens of Boos swoop down on you from the canopy if you dawdle too long.
World 4-2 - 6ft. Underground
I did mention using this level name for some sort of spooky underground area. Well, here it is!
World 4-3 - When the Lights Go Out
This level put me at a standstill for longer than I would've liked. Originally, I wanted the enemies to change when the lights went out. Since the UberASM used for the lighting effect has an option to tie it to the P-Switch, I decided that that would be the easiest way to make the lighting effect "change" the environment. For the blocks, this was easy. There are plenty of P-Switch-sensitive blocks here on the site, and I used them. There aren't enough P-sensitive sprites
though. I initially tried using the Conditional Sprite Spawner to achieve the changing sprite effect, but that ended up being less than optimal. I wanted the sprites themselves
to change with the switch. If not all sprites, one would do. I decided on the Fire-Spitting Boo being the one and ended up requesting a Boo sprite that would always chase Mario unless the P-Switch was active and spit fire if the Extra Bit was set. I ended up losing my patience and very nearly losing a friendship in the process. Eventually, though, I decided to scrap that idea when I thought about Phanto. Here was a sprite whose behavior was conditional, and therefore linked to a conditional branch. Conditional branches were the farthest I got when I tried learning ASM back in 2012, and I figured that editing the Phanto sprite to respond based on P-Switch status rather than whether or not Mario was holding a key would be fairly easy. It turned out that it was. All I had to do was nuke all the key-checking code and just replace it with a P-Switch timer check, which could be accomplished in only two lines. Thankfully, the sprite's routine labels were clear enough that I could easily figure out where to go and what parts of the code to change. I ended up getting it working and canceling the request as it was no longer needed. Next time, I'm gonna make a request further in advance of actually making a level. That should give whoever takes it more time to get it done. I'm very impatient and inflexible when it comes to level ideas, and I like to do my levels sequentially. Due to the SMB1-like level progression, there are not alternate paths/levels I could work on while waiting.
"You painted my paint job! PREPARE FOR SURGERY!"
- Knockout ~ Transformers Prime "TMI"