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頑張れ Aeron - Update 24: Domain of the Yuki-Onnas

StandardKaizo

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Hey, there. It has been a while, but I decided to make a thread to keep you informed about my second and very personal Super Mario World hack: 頑張れ Aeron or Ganbare Aeron. It's a direct sequel to Aeron's Golden Cookie Quest. And it's main goal is to explain some lore stuff that I left unexplained on purpose and also, make a way more challenging hack than the previous one.



Currently, the hack has a demo with three levels. You can check it out here. It is named Aeron Returns, since it was the provisory title back when I prepared a small dose of the hack to release.

This hack is a hybrid of kaizo and standard, that has instant retry, infinite lives and very challenging obstacles and setups. It's the hardest of the hardest of my stuff. It will also contain, or I'll try, to make 10 very tough levels, not counting the initial level (Frozen Hot Springs). I have a warning for console players: Please, be aware, because this hack uses SA-1. I tend to use A LOT of sprites per screen when designing my "obstacle courses".

There is a catch, though. I plan to try to finish this entire project in four months or less. That is because I have a lot of stuff to do in my life next year, like finishing stuff from university which will make it impossible for me to dedicate to SMW Hacking. If all else fail, I'll deliver the hack only with the levels I could finish. I want to push my limits even further and try to deliver a more tougher and fun hack. I won't be able to contribute to SMW Hacking after February 2023. So yeah, this will be an interesting personal challenge.

Compared to the demo I have released, there is a significant ammount of changes in the new version. So let's take a look.

Temple of the Herons



The boss fight arena has been changed drastically. It is way more harder to throw the boss offscreen, although, I'm already working in an anti-cheating mechanism that will PUNISH anyone who throws the boss offscreen. Also, I added a new background. I don't plan to tweak this level anymore, it's 100% complete.

Tanuki's Fun House







A lot of design changes were made. For example, the beginning of the level is quite different. I have reverted the footballs appearance to vanilla ones, since they have a better contrast against the background, but also, because some people confused the fish sprite I have used as the floppy fish sprite. And lastly, our friend, Paozo from Mega Man 9, got a much better dedicated room for him, which is all about fireball excavation. I may still do a few more minor changes. But basically, this level is mostly done and probably won't require any additional tweaks. The music for the bamboo forest part has been changed.

Takamatsu Castle









Most of the level design changes are in the second floor of the castle. Along with battling so the enemies don't touch the skull shaped blocks, the player will have to deal with these "xbox" like blocks which forces spinjump through the entire floor. They are introduced earlier in a small room which also explains the gimmick of the skull blocks.

The background of the third floor has been changed. It currently uses a more accurate version of the Ghost Weil Temple from Battle Mania Daiginjou, which I ripped a time ago.

About the overworld and title screen

And well, lastly I ask for any help I can get. Currently, I need an overworld maker to make two submaps for me. One of them I already drawn and it is this one:



This is the Mutsu Mountainroad Map. It looks a lot bigger than the first game, right? It's in this region that Aeron faces evil yuki-onnas, cooligans and enters a hot spring house in the first game. It's crazy how big this region is in the sequel, right?

As for the names of each location:

Frozen Hot Springs will be the new introductory level.

Frozen Fears is my WLDC level, which will be inserted in the game.

Heron refer to Temple of the Herons.

Tanuki refers to Tanuki's Fun House.

Takamatsu refers to Takamatsu Castle.

Festival refers to A Festival in Space.

The Goddess itself, well, if you have played my WLDC level, you already saw her. She will be one of the main allies in this journey.

As for the Town, it will be a HUB much like Setsuma VIllage from the previous hack.

Mysterious Tunnel I can't reveal what is yet. But I can tell that the last level of this hack will have my MAGL4 incorpored on it.

The second half of the game will have three levels, mostly likely. Along with the final level. But at least 80% of the game is around the Mutsu Mountainroad location.

If anyone interests, you can send a PM here in the site or a DM in the Discord.

Lastly, I need help for the title screen. I need someone who can draw kanji very well to make a memorable title screen logo for my hack.

And that's it for today.
Overworld is mostly finished. I only need to tweak few minor things and do the events for it.







The long titles are an extra bonus,, since a good ammount of japanese video games, animes and media have very long name when translated to English, so why not make something fun using this silly concept? Very lenghty level names because they sound fun and awesome. The level structure is already pre-defined, so hopefully, I can finish this hack before C3. It looks different compared to my concept, but it was a necessary evil, so I cut time in making another map. Every level of this hack is in this submap. #smrpg{sick}
Beautiful map, I hope it will be on C3 I am counting on you Anorakun!



List Soundtrack - List Hacks

Mega Man X3 OSTs
I have updated some block graphics (I took them from the Romhack Races Baserom ver. 4.11).





The background of one section of Tanuki's Fun House has been changed. It uses a new purple color, which is a bit more pleasant to the eyes.



And lastly, each level will have a secret area which will award you a moon. If you hear:

"You' ve got a secret bonus point!"

Then it means you have found one of the secret areas.

I won't elaborate further, since I want to keep them SECRET. Good luck finding them. I might put an overworld indicator if I manage to solve some asm issues.
I have more updates regarding the hack, some minor changes, others are significant changes.

NEW TITLE SCREEN



Ganbare Aeron has a new title screen. The only thing missing is the title logo, which will be made by a very reliable friend of mine. It will appear on the top right part, so it does not ruin the composition of the background.

OVERWORLD CHANGES



Thanks to the immense help of Kevin, I was able to combine the overworld indicators patch from the site with his uberasm retry system, and also, with a one file, one player he released here.

Now each level (except the final one) has a moon counter, which will indicate if you have found a secret area. Like I mentioned in the previous post, if you find a secret area, you will hear "You've got a secret bonus point!". These secrets will be very hidden, so I'm not sharing any of them here. Perhaps an optional reward will be available if you find all these secret areas? Who knows?

The second addition is the DKC2 navigation arrow patch, which will be useful for this overworld, which does not have a lot of decoration, in reference to the source material: Ganbare Goemon 2: Kiteretsu Shougun Magginesu.

A NEW SECTION FOR THE MURASAME CASTLE





A more cookie-like section with hungry chomp sharks has been added to the main level. Other minor changes include a tweaked boss fight for the level and a fun fox mask before the boss room.

THE "SECRET" EXIT OF HERON TEMPLE HAS BEEN FINISHED






The main gimmick of this tunnel part are these mean blue spinies which can pop out of nowhere to hinder the player progress. It is a very short tunnel section, with vertical wrap and deadly item gates. Since it is a bit trolley in nature, I have made it a very short level. It can be only accessed after beating the Festival in Space, though.

MINOR GRAPHIC UPDATE FOR INFINITE THROW BLOCKS



With the intent of making the hack more accessible for even more folks, I have added graphics from Romhack Races Baserom. I have done it previously with the mario solid blocks and the brick blocks. But now the infinite throw blocks have updated graphics as well.

I take this block design choice very seriously, since this hack has been becoming partly kaizo and having some familiar visual information could help people to fare better in the hack.

My main objective right now is to start and finish the first two levels. Hopefully, I can make steady progress in the upcoming week.
I'm working now in the first level of the hack, since Temple of the Herons has been moved to be the fourth level. I plan it to start harder than Aeron's Golden Cookie Quest, but easier than the level mentioned previously.

Here is a small preview of it:





Now I'm working in the second level of the hack, here is a small preview of it:



And that's it for now.
The intro cutscenes are finished.



With that out of the way, I plan to finish the second level of my hack, which is halfway done. Hopefully I finish it and start the third level in the next week.












Stage 2 is finished. Now moving on to the third stage of the hack.
I'm working on the third stage: Devil's Frozen Laboratories, an industrial level which will have different unique floors, like, very different areas of the same "factory". The inspiration of this design came from the Grunty Industries stage of Banjo-Tooie. So far, I have two planned floors:

- Waste Disposal Plant;
- Freezing Chamber;

Here are some screenshots from the first half of the level:













Small update. The title screen logo is finally finished.



I had to change the title to 華麗 Aeron (Karei Aeron), which means Gorgeous / Splendid Aeron, which is a more wacky title. Not due to wackiness that I changed the title, it was due to space limitations. With that out of the way, I'm just waiting for a port and the title screen will be done.
amazing title and fantastic too! #smrpg{<3}



List Soundtrack - List Hacks

Mega Man X3 OSTs
Mostly done with the third level. I only have to finish the floor 1F and make the boss. Then I'll add cutscenes to level 4,5, and 6. And decide if there will be a seventh level, before working on the final one.

Well, it has been a while since I shared some updates here. I finished level 3 already, including the boss. The next step is to make new make cutscenes for this level and the other ones that are without any.

But well, I decided to expand the trials of Yuki-Onna Domains, since I felt it was too short in content in terms of gameplay, here is some new rooms of it:







I also made some level design changes to Heron Temple, Tanuki's Fun House and Muramase Castle, so these levels are even harder, please take a look:









Since it was moved to be the fourth level, instead of the first one, mushroom will be required for the first section. Don't worry, a NPC will be there to give you some wacky lore and the info about needing the powerup to proceed.









The background got its color changed so the player can see Aeron sliding much better. Also because the new color is much better. Some setups were made harder and now, Aeron and Paozo (the funny elephant) have a funny quick dialogue.









To make better use of the Hot-Lipped Blargg, I reworked this part to use vines, since the player will be forced to get through the one tile tunnel, while timing correctly when to grab and jump off the vine, so they don't get toast by the funny dragon Blargg. I also made the ending slightly harder. And now the player not only has to go non-stop, avoid the swan (bat) and blargg, but also climb the wall before the bob-omb explode.
Perhaps, I have been delaying the inevitable. The project is stuck in development hell, not because of the lack of ideas, I have plenty of stuff that I want to implement, but I'm not satisfied with my current skills. For my vision to be complete, I would need certain ASM knowledge that is far beyond than what I know. Also it will need some musics that were never ported before, because I care too much in matching aesthetics with gameplay and graphics as best as possible. So I'm considering the possibility of releasing this hack incomplete as it is, instead of bothering completing it.

I'm unsure of what course of action to take, but I feel inclined to just release what I have only. If I do that, I'll exclude the lore bits and keep only the levels. Otherwise, I'll try to finish this project that became too ambitious for its own good. Sometimes it is too late to realize that some stuff is more than you can handle.

And because we have a lot of amazing creators and persons more creative than me in the community, a zombie release doesn't sound too bad, to be honest. For now, I haven't decided anything.
So, not much else to report except a few level design adjustments that are very minimal to be worthy to showcase, but anyway, here is something else I wanted for so long and thanks to Heitor Porfirio, I was able to do it. You can find these funny looking pipes here!

Behold. Powerup filter pipes. They remove your current (and most of the time, mandatory to advance) powerup.








Sorry for the lack of updates, I have been ironing out a lot of gameplay related stuff, doing some minor level tweaks and lastly, working on the cutscenes of six levels. I still haven't made any progress with the final level and its cutscenes. Anyway, here is a small peek of one of the cutscenes I'm writing for the fourth level of the hack:



Since there are six finished levels, once I finish every cutscene for them, I'll work hard on the final level (including its lore and final boss). So I hope you can wait a bit more for upcoming updates.


Hello Anorakun!

I ended up liking your hack a lot, and even with a little slow process, I hope it's very successful.

Now, when I was playing the Demo from Aeron Returns, in the last level, where there's a part where you can't let the grinder touch the skull block, and I think you'd have to break the brick blocks.

But when I try to break one of them, the game just freezes, and I had to get a "koopa shell" a little way back to break the brick blocks to continue.

Have you thought of a solution yet?
Originally posted by Heitor Porfirio

But when I try to break one of them, the game just freezes, and I had to get a "koopa shell" a little way back to break the brick blocks to continue.

Have you thought of a solution yet?


I already replaced these blocks with better ones that don't cause this issue and I adjusted the setup to make clear that the shell is needed. So no need for worry, I'm working hard on this hack so I won't ever need to update it due to oversights, breaks, freezes, cheeses or softlocks.

Thanks for playing the demo. Be aware that the difficulty of the level may change in the final release.




Due to some annoying technical problems with the normal exit icon of the Overworld indicators patch, I replaced it with a golden arrow, which will show all the time, pointing towardsthe moon icon or secret exit icon, if the level has any.

I also drew some small simple icons for the overworld border: Aeron's mask, a heart and a key.


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StandardKaizo