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Old-School Level Design Contest 2023 - Rules & Submissions

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Hey everyone, welcome to the third Old-School Level Design Contest! For those unfamiliar with this contest, it's like VLDC but with more strict rules. That means, absolutely no custom resources. All you have to work with is Lunar Magic with your own creativity and design skills. Most of the restrictions are the same as the last contest, but this year we're including the acceptance of kaizo levels along with a few tweaks to the rules. You can still only submit one level. Additionally, as with last OLDC, we are considering making another compilation hack of this contest. More details on that will be given after results come out.


  • Submitting a Standard or Kaizo level 1. You cannot submit one of each type.
  • Working with a partner, but only one (1) submission is still permitted for the two of you.
  • Using Lunar Magic's "FastROM" in your level to improve performance.
  • Applying the remove lives tweak, or using a life farm is encouraged. You can use this baserom if you don't want to bother to apply the tweak or making a lives farm.
  • You can use a max of five (5) sub-levels in your entry: the main level + 4 sublevels. This is for a compilation's sake. Entries with more than 5 may be disqualified.
  • Only one (1) exit is permitted.
  • Levels must be completable in under 5 minutes in a theoretical deathless playthrough.

  • No custom patches*, music, blocks, sprites, UberASM, etc. This includes enhancement patches like SA-1 or Super FX.
  • Using any tool to edit your entry other than Lunar Magic.
  • (Re-)inserting GFX or ExGFX into your ROM. Consider the #lm{extgfx}#lm{insgfx}#lm{extexgfx}#lm{insexgfx} buttons off-limits.
  • Graphics bypassing. The #lm{sgfxby} Super GFX Bypass, #lm{l3gfxby} Layer 3 GFX/Tilemap Bypass, or other legacy bypass dialogs are disallowed. Only the original tilesets listed in the #lm{gfxby} Graphics Index are allowed.
  • Editing colors in the global palette or enabling a custom palette for your level in the #lm{pal} Palette Editor. Use the original palette presets only.
  • Editing or creating any Map16 tiles using the #lm{16x} 16x16 Tile Map Editor. You are allowed to use Direct Map16 Access to place individual Map16 tiles into your level, but only original game tiles from the first 2 pages.
  • Enabling the "Enable advanced bypass settings for Layer 3" setting in the #lm{props} Change Layer 3 Settings dialog.
  • Editing the background tilemap manually using the #lm{bg} Background Layer 2 Editor. However, you are allowed to use it to copy a background tilemap from another level used in the original game.
  • Using custom or editing the original ExAnimation. Both #lm{exan} Level ExAnimation and #lm{exang} Global ExAnimation are off-limits.
  • Changing any settings in the #lm{aniset} Edit Animation Settings dialog.

*aside from the allowed Infinite lives tweak

Forbidden Lunar Magic 3.0+ Features
  • Changing the "Horizontal Level Mode" options in header properties #lm{MARIO69} . This includes the checkbox for viewing the bottom row of tiles.
  • Editing the "Sprite Vertical Spawn Range" for horizontal levels or enabling Smart Spawning in sprite header properties #lm{sprhead}.
  • Using the redirect the Midway Entrance to another level option in entrance properities #lm{1door}.
  • Enabling the "Use separate settings for layer 2 scroll" feature. #lm{othprops} (LM 3.40+)
  • Any Overworld Actions, including exiting to the Overworld found in the #lm{2door} Modify Secondary Entrances dialog.
  • Tide Act as feature found in #lm{props} Change Layer 3 Settings dialog.
  • Using the placeable Throw block sprite, 53 now in #lm{sprites} the Add Sprites window. (LM 3.40+)

Lunar Magic Considerations
You may be inclined, given the theme of the contest, to use Lunar Magic 2.x (or older). We strongly encourage not using them as bugs in those versions as well as changes made in the 3.x versions make them incompatible when trying to assemble a compilation of levels. Please use Lunar Magic 3.0 or newer when making your entry or the very latest available version as that will be used to make the compilation.

Kaizo Level Requirements
  • Game Over is not permitted. If you are not using infinite lives, make sure to provide a life farm.
  • Range from Kaizo: Beginner to Kaizo: Expert and the levels must be completable without the use of tools.
  • Glitches are permitted, as long as they can be reliably executed without the use of tools.
  • Do not exceed a reasonable demand of the player. Judges will have the final authority to determine whether an entry is excessive as it relates to difficulty, and possibly up for disqualification. Any such decision regarding disqualification will be made unanimously.
  • In general, make sure to follow the hack guidelines for submitting Kaizo (see below).

Do not try to look for loopholes or exploits for your entry. We want people to be working in good faith, and if the judges feel you are exploiting the rules, then that could lead to disqualification!

1 Standard levels range from Easy to Very Hard, while Kaizo levels can go from Beginner to Expert. Regarding kaizo difficulty, we encourage you design a level that is completable without tools, considering we are not allowing the retry patch.


Since we will need multiple files for the compilation, please upload your submission as a ZIP file or similar including the following:

  • Your submission as a BPS file (not IPS); not doing so will disqualify your level. Do not submit a ROM or you will be hit with a site infraction, according to the site rules!
  • A text file detailing if your level has Yoshi Coins or 3-UP moons.
  • MWL files of your level and all sublevels necessary.
  • If you used Message Boxes, another text file containing those messages.
  • If you are submitting a kaizo entry, provide a link to a clear video in your submission post (not in the ZIP file). For standard entries clear videos are not obligatory.
  • Mention in your submission post which type of entry you are submitting (standard or kaizo).

Make sure your submission is anonymized for the judges (i.e. name does not appear anywhere). Pseudonyms are allowed.


Since we are allowing kaizo in this contest, we will have two separate judge line-ups:

Final scores will be also separated within the two mentioned categories (standard and kaizo), which the rubric for both will be the following:

  • Design: 65 Points
    How well-designed is the level? Is it overall fun to play? How well does it execute its theme, gimmicks and level setups? Is the difficulty consistent or is it frustrating or boring? Does the level function properly or are there issues such as unintended slowdown?
  • Creativity: 35 Points
    Does the level present any unique or interesting ideas using SMW’s resources? Does it have any original, nice setups? Is the theme/gimmick innovative?

Total: 100 points

Keep in mind: if a submitted standard level is determined to be kaizo it will be passed over to the other judge team and judged as such. Also, in both categories judges reserve the right to not complete an entry if it is determined to be unreasonable or excessively demanding, in which case it can be put forward for disqualification (which as stated above requires unanimity).


For the top three there are the gold, silver and bronze OLDC trophies. All other entrants will get the participant trophy and our judges will also get a trophy for their profiles.


You can ask any questions in the Discord channel (#oldc-discussion) or the Discussion thread. Please keep this thread to submissions only.

Submissions are open until Monday, October 23, which means you have about:

That should be everything, have fun with the contest!
My Entry

Clear Video

Approximate Difficulty: Standard: Hard

YouTube 12DenviantArtSoundCloudGitHubSERENITY
heres my entry

not sure on the difficulty, so here's a clear video just in case!

enjoy #smrpg{<3}
hi i'm making freak city and idk when i'll be finished <3
Chuck Buddies
Clear video
Genre: Standard

I have a Discord server as well! (by joining, you agree to the rules)
Basically, I believe in peace and bashing two bricks together.

Here is my entry

rank: standard, very hard

video: link

<<<[Full Release: Unknown...But at least this year...I'm sorry...]
(userbar by tahixham)


Check my file in progress and contact me by using Discord!
Hey! here are my entry!

Oh... From the "README" file (I forgot add this lol):

10.- This entry have a difficult: Standard: Medium!

So... Yeah! More information in the included "README" file!

This entry doesn't "work" properly on ZMZ due to the way this particular emulator displays colors. Since SNES doesn't actually have a pure white color (only #F8F8F8), emulators typically scale #F8F8F8 up to #FFFFFF and everything darker accordingly, whereas ZMZ displays the colors exactly.
Now free of cheese!
ENTRY v2.0

GENRE: Standard

Desperately in need of feedback, if you can do so, it would be appreciated thanks!
Here mine. I named it "Woods of Peril".

- Current game playing: Final Fantasy VII Rebirth (PS5)
- Last game completed: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC)

Currently working on The Mario's Greatest Adventure, Mario & Stitch: Part I and Super Mario World Re: Master Quest 1. My next projects will be Mario & Stitch: Part II, Mario & Stitch: Part III (MSU-1 only)
List Graphics. OLDC 2021.Online BG Ripper.

Standard very hard with kaizo elements

updated after testing (shoutouts to patcdr and 7up)
I suck at ASM and AMK
Hurt adventure
initial version:
clear video:

I do not know whether the level is standard or kaizo
Revealed to None as Thee "Three Block Formation", In An All Changing Shape and the Birthing Paraiso


i request the full title to be used for judging, sheets, and compilation please

level files & shit | level video


Standart: Hard, Standart: Very Hard
Now that I've started working, I won't be able to be as active as before. This is really very sad and depressing for me.

▬ good old days 4 (14/? level(s) completed)
▬ dumb 2 - strange levels in my notepad (22/62 level(s) completed)
By the way my Youtube channel
Lime Stone Cowboy

Standard. Difficulty is subjective.


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