Five unnamed baddies in Bowser's Kingdom have been forming a group of their own after having been fed up with Bowser's incompetence and failure. These five unknown enemies, referring to themselves as "The Deadly Alliance", finally make their move to kidnap the Princess. Mario must now hurry to the Quadra Region and save the Princess from this new imposing threat.
Travel through 4 Different Islands and Activate the 4 Main Colored Switches guarded by each member of the Deadly Alliance! Save Peach and Defeat The Deadly Alliance!
-About This Hack-
This hack contains levels with their own unique gimmick. No two levels are quite the same. Once World 1 is complete, you are free to travel to which ever world you wish.
This hack was 3 Years in the making. Its my very first hack and it is one of three in a Trilogy.
-UPDATES #1- 1 - Lots of changes have been made to this hack in terms of its difficulty. Some levels have been made a bit easier and playable for players, while still maintaining its hard difficulty.
2 - some Levels have been shortened, including some Auto-Scrollers, so that they won't be unnecessarily long.
3 - A few bugs and glitches have been fixed. If I missed any, please let me know.
The stage "Juiced Up Joy-Ride"'s starting point was placed incorrectly. I fixed this now.
Okay, so, unfortunately I have to reject this hack for one major reason, and it’s a pretty big one - there are lots and lots of smaller things that I think are noteworthy but not reject-worthy that I’ll mention as well, but bear in mind that I only need you to fix the major thing and I will be happy to accept this hack next time.
The big thing - there are several opportunities to softlock in the World 3 castle, Fraud’s Factory. Ostensibly, you need to keep your power-ups through this level, but it’s easy enough to not have a way to get out of certain parts and not have a way to die. Please go through and add a death block or spike or something so that you don’t have to wait out the timer or reset here. Universal start+select out of a level would also solve this issue.
So, the smaller stuff: This hack is firmly in Standard: Very Hard. It is *very* difficult as the game gets on, especially the extra challenges and the final world. Moreover, you’ve provided no easy save points or an official life farm (I found one myself in a level, which I’m not sure if it was intended or not). I want to mention the last handful of levels in particular:
Juiced Up Joyride: I had to ask someone to look up where the secret exit was in Lunar Magic to find it. This desperately needs better signposting or a hint or *something*.
Hazard Headquarters, Final Frontier, and Deadly Destination: These were difficult because of sprite spam (e.g., *tons* of homing bullets) and mean sprite placement (e.g., Pansers on ledges at a higher elevation from Mario)
Let’s talk about the Castles in each world: You chose a vanilla checkpoint system for your hack, which is fine. However, there’s usually very long sections preceding boss rooms with no checkpoints before the bosses, necessitating long runbacks to bosses. This goes all the way from the World 2 castle and goes on to the end of the game.
The final castle, ???’s Castle, is the most egregious offender of any level with all these regards - spite spam, three sections before the checkpoint, one of which is 1F screens long, and a long runback up to the boss with wild custom sprites and unfortunate sprite placement. The final boss is pretty darn difficult and the slog back to them is rough. For full disclosure, I broke out save states for the last level to give myself a checkpoint for each new section because this would have been a very long grind otherwise.
Another small thing with regard to your custom sprites is that they do not act in expected ways. You can kill the climbing saws in Fraud’s Factory with shells, you can’t spin jump off of boomerangs from the Bros, walking yellow winged koopas are immune to fireballs, spin jumping off of the final boss in their shell hurts you even though you still get the spin off, etc. I *think* these examples are mostly unintended and these are a simple case of not ticking an extra bit when placing them in Lunar Magic. I would suggest going back through your custom sprites and double checking what extra bits you have active or inactive.
There’s some levels with a decent bit of slowdown, particularly the dark levels (e.g., Dead Darkness) or levels with a lot of sprites in them (e.g., Lavender Switch). There isn't a lot of this, but I thought I'd mention it for completeness sake.
Finally, there’s no save after ???’s Castle, which leads to an inability to have 60 exits on the title screen without a manual save elsewhere. This also seems like an oversight (also, your hack name is spelled incorrectly in the credits!)
Okay, those were the major and minor issues, so have some positive ones: I think the levels that focus on platforming were really solid - most of the secret moon levels were actually quite tough and fun, the Gatling Gauntlet was actually really fun after I stopped laughing from the immediate over-the-top-ness of the sprite itself, etc. The aesthetics were smooth as butter; I really enjoyed how the levels looked and what you did with the overworld. Honestly, I overall quite enjoyed this hack except for the stressful castle levels and the second half of the final world.
So here’s my proposal: work out a solution to fix the softlocks in Fraud’s Factory, resubmit as Very Hard, potentially address the unexpected sprite behavior (optional for acceptance but I highly encourage this), and this will be an easy accept upon resubmission. Thanks for the generally good time!