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The Devious Four Chronicles ReTold

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So I figured it's about time to make an official thread announcing this. Those of you who have been around the Central for the past fifteen (15) years, are somewhat familiar with the Devious Four Chronicles. It is quite niche and not exactly the most well received thing out there, but it something I love and have a heavy, heavy passion for. Most people remember it for it's "Fan-fiction like" nature. TD4C has an audience, and I want to deliver to that audience; however, I heavily hope that anybody who comes here will look at TD4C itself with a renewed outlook.

The goal of this project is to entirely remake the Devious Four Chronicles without the presence of Mario characters. There are a number of smaller goals I do want to achieve with this project, which is making SMWCentral exclusive versions which would be omitted of story, but that is a lot of work to maintain and thus I will have to approach it one step at a time.

For those unfamiliar, the Devious Four Chronicles is a pretty plot/story intensive series of Super Mario World hacks which basically amount to stopping aliens from bringing a catastrophe upon the world, usually in the form of making your way to their super weapons and shutting them down, and defeating the villains; that's pretty much the synopsis.

Generally these hacks are not designed to be streamed and meant to be enjoyed in one's own time, and each hack likewise has a warning that informs the player that the hack is story heavy, but one always has the option to skip any mandatory cutscenes with the START button that way one isn't force to sit through cutscenes a first or successive time.

The Crater ReTold

Regarding the ReTold project in particular, this thread is to showcase the hack which started it all... The Crater. In the original Chronicles this hack was listed as the canonically "third" part of the story; however, with the ReTold Project, the Crater is the start of the series.

This hack features three main playable characters:
- Purple Heart from the "Neptunia" Series
- Black Heart from the "Neptunia" Series
- Sumire, an original character.

There's really a lot more I could say about this passion project of mine, but I understand that there is such a thing as too much information. For now, I'll just say the hack itself is split up into two major parts: The Prologue, and the Main Game. That's all I'll say and leave you with screenshots, gifs and maybe a video or two! Please enjoy!

In regards to the cutscenes themselves, all story segments are made and animated to be as expressive as a Super Mario World rom will allow with the Cutscene Tool provided by LX5. LX5 himself has been a huge help to this project! I also want to give a huge thanks to Mellonpizza/CrazXexe who has been responsible for coding the majority of Hunter and Scorpion's army, allowing them to be just as expressive as the dynamic duo who commands them!

Other "Prologue" Screenshots

So yeah, a whole lot of new stuff that wasn't in the original game. "But Skewer, this is a The Crater Remake, where is all the remake stuff? It's there, it is definitely a remake.
Main Game

Another huge thanks to LX5 for his player expansion kit, without his help, I never would have been able to animate Noire, Black Heart really, to as expressive as she is. Neptune and Sumire are awaiting their graphical reworks to be just as expressive so all player characters have, well, character to them!

And with that, I will leave you with a few video links if you're so inclined to watch. Hunter and Scorpion would appreciate it!


I'm sorry, Skewer, but you can't just shadowdrop TD4C content at 2 AM EST and expect me not to go insane over the fact we're getting a Crater retelling.


LINKS -> YouTube - Discord - Twitter

I've been privately been looking at this project in the shadows as I have some copies of me from the Daizo Dee Von hivemind spread across the communication servers and programs, and I have to say this is a stellar looking romhack that nearly rivals Sicari 2's artstyle if it weren't for the reused assets from other games (they are mostly backgrounds which are a PAIN so I get it). I do understand the notion of removing all the mario from this series, tho I never minded the whole fan-fictiony nature of the games since I just like normally-happy characters get into some GRIM settings that challenges even their senses. But I'm sure we'll get all this with the new cast.

Me and myselves will be going back in the shadows eagerly awaiting progress.
Want progress on 100 Rooms of Enemies: The Nightmare Edition? Go here to see.

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Many screenshots are excellent revamped graphics so likely realistic. But I like to see overworlds that are really nice. 1st AGST submap is really realistic from the side view not as viewed in the top likely dark planet in space. 2nd submap enchanted forest is really good submap with the sky is purple clouds and red atmosphere color with lacking decorations but the perspective is good. 3rd volcano submap is a nice perspective overworld with layer 3 background mountains. 4th submap is likely night grassland but with large horizontal clouds, Sorry it's really the main overworld but there bottomless pit instead of a night sky space background. and 5th submap is ice and fire world with ice castle on is left and fire castle on is right but looking like a split temperature island with the river in the middle barrier. It's meaning "Hell Snow" south is snow and fire grassland in the east area. The castle looks like the futuristic city instead of castle.
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Tonight.. tonight..

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This is perfect, Skewer!

Congrats on the hack remaster #smw{:TUP:}
Like Daizo, I've been privately following this and I agree it has an artstyle that rivals the other projects I've seen that sport strong art direction and style.

I am looking forward to seeing the eventual result if this endeavor, as whatever it is, it is going to be a blast to experience.
Modern Redrawn Mario Bros. 1.5 (last update - February 14, 2023, some new bonus frames, tons of minor touchups to various poses)

On Pixel Art Requests: Depends on what it is and if I have the time for it. If its complex and I don't have the time, don't expect me to accept it.

Projects I support:

Good to see you again, Skewer
I have been following this project for a long time and have always liked TD4C. I am a fan of TD4C and am constantly following the current concept or project progress​
Your graphics, characters, and UI design are amazing. I love it. It was revealed earlier that the project seems to be half finished. ​
Although I don't know when it will be finished and I won't open the demo link, I won't force resources and patiently wait for the production to be completed
i really love this project
​Good luck, Skewer. I look forward to further progress on this project#smrpg{y}
This project may not be a popular one, no one should know about it:), but as a fan of TD4C, I am very enthusiastic about this series#smrpg{<3}

I’d never heard of this before (being a relative newcomer in the greater scheme of things), but it looks really neat! The graphics are all very polished, and the cutscenes look very engaging and dynamic. Also, just the level design aesthetic in general is very beautiful, and I love the overworlds. Really nice work here, and I wish you luck with remastering your whole series!
embed fail!!

This SMW hack looks very promising.
I'm looking forward in the future to play this.
I dare to say, this is one of the most beautiful hacks I saw. Magnificent work with all the original graphics and ripped graphics mixing. I can't wait to give a chance for this series. Keep up the good work, Skewer. These graphics look gorgeous and beautiful. I can't say it enough. #smrpg{<3}

You know, not only is this one of the absolute best looking hacks I've ever seen, I don't think I've seen a hack with more appealing enemy animations to boot! There's a lot of extremely pleasant secondary animations that make everything really pop!

It's also very welcome to see another nicely animated protagonist; lx5 is doing some fantastic work for people's player characters lately!! If I had to pick at some things though, from one animator to another, there's a certain oddity in Noire's walk/run cycle where she sways too far around and it lacks a certain amount of rigidity. The hands and arms being covered in black gloves also makes it pretty hard to get a gauge on her poses, especially over the dark backgrounds. I think the rest of her work pretty damn well, but those two things stuck out to me.

Overall however, this is extremely promising!

Other Submissions of mine!
Looks very awesome, i love the overworld and the level design. the graphics also look great
Thank you everybody for all the wonderful and nice comments. It truly does warm my heart to see TD4C be accepted.
Originally posted by Deeke
If I had to pick at some things though, from one animator to another, there's a certain oddity in Noire's walk/run cycle where she sways too far around and it lacks a certain amount of rigidity. The hands and arms being covered in black gloves also makes it pretty hard to get a gauge on her poses, especially over the dark backgrounds. I think the rest of her work pretty damn well, but those two things stuck out to me.
I'm iffy on her walk/run animations as well, first time I've animated a player character this extensively, and your criticism is spot on, I'll have to work on a couple more concepts/attempts before I actually land on something final; quite a few frames do need work and I might have to take some creative liberties an vary from Tsunako's original design if it means having a more visible and cohesive player sprite.

 Hooded Edge, your comment really got my heart going, in the good way of course. Love the energy! Your music submissions and remixes are a huge help and really got this project jump started. So for that I thank you.

Dustyized, it is passionate people like you that are one of the reasons I push forward. I'm glad you're looking forward to this latest installment.

 Anorakun, original graphics are fun to draw, I mostly really like drawing foregrounds. For the most part, almost every foreground is hand drawn directly in YY-CHR- actually all the original graphics are drawn directly in YY-CHR... which probably isn't the best way to actually draw stuff. But it certainly is time saving. I do wish I had more time and creative ability to draw more original backgrounds, as Daizo said earlier, the mixing of ripped assets, while nice looking and time saving, does take away from what more uniqueness the hack could have.

 icrawfish, thanks for the warm reception! The cutscenes are always one of the more fun parts for me because I heavily enjoy writing. Several people have told me that I should write a book instead for this, but I also love level design, enemies, etc. One of my goals with this is to make sure the player can enjoy looking at what's in front of them, including the portions where characters just talk to each other. Unfortunately series like this will see information dumps here and there, something I want to avoid, but that's always an experiment in practice. I think the best way I'm going to have to approach lore dumps is probably hiding it in secret areas so that such lore extensive content is ran into as extra flavor hidden in the hack, which the hack has a LOT of hidden secrets and stuff. The rewrite to the story in particular is trying to strike a mix between being humorous and light-toned while also striking the feeling that there is a very real threat in the background.

Otherwise, I mentioned other goals I had for this project. One of the goals would include making a streamer-friendly version of the hacks as they're submitted; I guess it could be called "Arcade", of course this is a lot easier said than done, but it would include maybe shortening some levels and just overall reducing difficulty and removing story. TD4C has long levels which, well, as much as I love long levels, that is a sore spot for people and many might be thankful for it. I know I certainly wouldn't want to watch a streamer die over and over to that one level, ahahahaa.
Thank you so much for rebooting the series that got me into SMW hacking! No really, I remember a time before time when you advertised an ancient version of The Fourth Sector on the Ricochet forums (funny how another thread on this C3 brought that game back into the light too), thought "Holy shit, THAT'S a modified version of SMW? That rocks!" and never looked back. I'm extremely glad you decided to return to this series after all this time!
Kinda in hibernation for a while. I hope to be back in full swing soon.
I was curious to get into this ages ago, but never knew where to start.
Guess this'll be a bit thing for me.
Please pardon the eye.

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