|File Name:||😰The End: The hardest hack that will ever be made.😨|
|Description:||This will be the hardest hack that will ever be made. It's not a Kaizo hack, it's not a Pit hack. It's a God hack... and it's the first of its kind. It's **The End** of all pit hacks as we know them. |
If you disagree, go ahead and prove us wrong. But until someone else can beat this, others can only make hacks equally difficult, or completely impossible. There is nothing in between.
Completion video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jap5zVVWZfw
Creation of this hack took roughly 4 years, with the completed run totaling 3.6 million re-records. The theme of the hack is that Mario must venture deeper and deeper through the rings of hell, to get Yoshi from the deepest pits where you threw him into. The hack starts at a nearly impossible difficulty and gets progressively harder with each room. The last two rooms took over 600 hours to plan, build, test and complete, despite only being only 1 minute long.
* All coins (reskinned as Yellow Glowing Balls) must be collected, or you will die at random checks throughout the levels.
|Tags:||asm, earth bound, earthbound, exgfx, exgfx animated, gimmick, glitch, glitch abuse, glitches, hdma, hell, horror, huge level, less exgfx, mario, music, music custom, no boss, original characters, original gfx mix, original graphics, original objects, original sprite mix, traditional, vanilla, variety|
Let me start by noting that this hack clearly violates the following core rule.
After channeling the player/Mario through the hack creator's interpretation of the nine circles of hell, the hack just ends on a cement platform, with 81 custom blocks that don't do anything and a message box floating around. Hitting the message box will tell the player that the hack is unfinished and the player will be teleported to the main overworld, where an eternal bonus game awaits.
Even if we ignore that more work should've been put into the presentation here, it also means that the hack has no objectively defined "end goal". Simply waiting in the first screen will cause the "Display Message 1" sprite to spawn its message, and the player will get warped to a submap, where they will be trapped in Yoshi's house. It is unclear to me why being trapped in a bonus game is preferable over being trapped in Yoshi's house.
Lastly, the coin gimmick which is described in the hack's description was never implemented, so that collecting all the coins is a meaningless exercise. (In fact, given that the breaks give ways to collect more coins than the creators ever intended, it is questionable what "all the coins" even means, but this is besides the point.)
The hack also rather clearly violates the following rule.
While the number of rooms with serious breaks is not too bad (10/14 rooms get played more or less as intended, if we ignore the problems with the coin gimmick), especially the break that allows you to skip rooms 5+6 is very easy to discover (just don't lose the cape in room 4) and completely invalidates any level design in these two rooms.
Perhaps more subjectively, but not less importantly, the hack violates the following rule.
While the hack under discussion is a pit hack, this does not exempt it from this rule. Hacks submitted to this section should attempt to be fun, or at the very least respect the players time. This hack does not do that, and this seems to be by design rather than an accident. Let me give a concrete example here.
In the seventh room, a custom sprite is introduced which randomly spawns balls on which you have to spinjump to progress. The problem here is that the way these balls are spawned is in fact random, i.e. dependent on SMW's RNG routine. From the way the room is built, it is clear that there is only one RNG seed that will allow the player to play the room the intended way (6382), so that the player has to ensure that the RNG routine is called exactly 672 times prior to entering the room. This, on its own, is not a serious problem, as a TASer can be reasonably expected to figure this out (although it would be nice to provide the custom sprite code if figuring this out is actually intended...). However, the last spot where the player can meaningfully influence how many times the RNG routine was called until this point is in the second room, and moreover, the rooms inbetween rooms 2 and 7 very subtly use RNG to affect how certain custom sprites move. This means that even if the player now goes back to the second room and changes their inputs there, the inputs for rooms 3+4 will now be useless, forcing the player to play rooms 3+4 essentially twice. This is what I mean when I say "does not respect the players' time". (Of course, I as the player did none of that, but that's just because room 5 was so breakable...).
To summarize the above example: The creators used a custom sprite which heavily calls RNG, and then built the rooms around the specific RNG state they had after clearing the previous rooms, without giving the player a good way of influencing the RNG. This occurs twice over the course of the hack (in rooms 7+8). Moreover, room 13 has the exact same situation but with a vanilla sprite instead (the flopping fish). It is abundantly clear from playing the hack that this was not a deliberate design decision which the creators intended to be an interesting challenge for the player. Rather, it is the product of the creators not caring about their hack being fun when actually played.
There are more design decisions in this hack which also make it seem like the player experience was not a major factor of consideration when making this hack (e.g. the path of the bottom-most red shell at the end of room 2, several occurences of blocks looking like custom blocks but acting like something completely unrelated,...). There is a pattern here, leading me to believe that this hack was never meant to be played. The statements of the creators surrounding this hack ("unbeatable", "only run that will ever exist", etc.) support this hypothesis. But if the hack is not meant to be played, there is no point in hosting it here.