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Aeron's Golden Cookie Quest ~ Director's Cut

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Hey, there, folks. It's me, Anorakun, once again. Recently, I've been working hard on ~omh~, Boxman Tano and a small bit in Aeron 2. The latter will take quite a while to be finished. I still need to update the cutscene system, since Daizo released a new version of his cool cutscene UberASM that you can check out here. And also, a lot of text writing revisions, cutscenes, final stage, visual changes and etc.

So, why I decided to update Aeron's Golden Cookie Quest once again? The answer is simple than you might think: the layer 3 border of the overworld was pissing me off. Yeah, that's right. I planned to do a small scale update for it and be done, but as I looked through the entire game, I felt the need of fixing much more stuff.

But before talking about this Director's Cut, I'll give you a brief summary of what's about this hack.

Aeron's Golden Cookie Quest is a Standard Very Hard, focused in Nintendo Hard classic fun precision platforming. My inspirations come from a lot of tough NES and SNES games I've played during my entire life, not only SMW Hacks. It's meant to be as a love letter to these video games, while having my own style.

This hack uses a lot of custom ASM and sprites, but in a more traditional platforming setting. Not that there aren't gimmick or setup focused parts, there are, but the core soul of the hack is it platforming, not any novelty or cool ASM gimmick.

I tend to use a lot of sprites per screen, so for some folks, it may feel like "sprite spam", but it's not. If anything, I think we should abolish this term, since it has been so misused. Sprite spam is just a mess of sprites put in the screen without any thought for the player experience, like, Super Mario Maker levels with a lot of random sprites, Bowsers in flat terrains. So, to clarify, sprite spam does not equal to a lot of sprites in the screen.

Each sprite in the levels has a purpose to serve. They act as obstacles, ways to progress through the level or even, as mere nuisance. So yeah, I'll understand if this Standard: Very Hard may not be everyone's cup of tea, but please understand that my level design requires a bit of planning or figuring out obstacles.

A lot of my romhacking inspiration comes from The Second Reality Project 2 Reloaded. It is the hack that I most played so far.

Not only in level design, but also in aesthetics. FPI is one of my greatest inspirations in terms of level aesthetics. Each level in my hack has a distinct visual that is combined with the music and cutscenes. I do like to integrate gameplay and story together as much as possible.

The worldbuilding, cutscenes and lore have a heavy inspiration in Ganbare Goemon. Mainly in the tone of its presentation. I'm not trying to make a deep story, but rather, I aimed for a wacky comical adventure that goes against the "Mario must save the princess again". A lot of NPCs you'll meet say silly or useful things. And that's part of the charm to me.

Anyway, now let's focus on the update.

What has changed in the Director's Cut?













- Overworld has been overhauled with a new layer 3 border and new icons, which matches how it looks in Ganbare Aeron;
- Landscape in the overworld has been adjusted, as well;
- Various level design changes that aim to improve the flow of the levels;
- 2 songs were replaced and 11 new songs were added;
- NPC sprite has been updated to show a "!" indicator if you can talk with them, this change was directly done after ~omh~'s latest update;
- Added 10 new secret areas. They contain a NPC, which may be helpful, silly or a cameo. And each of these rooms play an unique theme and has, at least, a moon;
- A lot of visual changes in some levels and parts, including new backgrounds to make the hack more charming and much more;
- Cutscenes and dialogues have been rewritten, mostly;
- I've added a new cutscene before the final boss to wrap up the hack better;
- Rebalanced most bosses. The Parodius bosses, in particular, uses a new system made by Daizo Dee Von. This system uses uberasm + blocks and it has been used in ~omh~ and Boxman Tano and The Quest for the VIP Pass. It's perfect for layer 2 bosses. I don't know when it will be released, but I'm sure that Daizo will release it eventually;
- I have changed the HUB of Satsuma Village and Wario appears there too. Wahahaha!
- Some ASM bugfixes for some sprites like the Smart Hot Foot and baseball bat;
- And a lot more changes, please refer to the changelog;

Special thanks to  StayAtHomeStegosaurus for checking the volume mixing and playing through this chunky update.

You can download it here, folks!

Also, alternatively, you can find it at Romhacking.net.

A list of songs used in the hack is also included in the zip file for your listening pleasure, as well. #smrpg{sick}

I hope you enjoy this latest and definitive Aeron's Golden Cookie Quest update as I did putting so much care on it. Now I plan to work back on Ganbare Aeron. Cheers!

Happy C3, everyone. #smrpg{<3}


This is on my short list to play, how could I not try one of the coolest and most unique hacks on the site? You could have told me a team of pros made this 30 years ago, and I'd believe it. I just hope it doesn't kick my ass too hard.
GANYMEDE

Chapter Two: Land of No Shame
Regardless how one feels about constantly having to remoderate the same hack over and over, I believe it is definitely never a bad thing to put out the best version of a hack when you know you can improve it so much thanks to the skills one has developed since it's release. I have certainly wanted to do that for a select number of my own hacks (hello Krack hello 100 Rooms).

Well done on the re-release.
Want progress on 100 Rooms of Enemies: The Nightmare Edition? Go here to see.

(rip my other userbars momentarily)

Thanks for the compliments, Daizo and Ondore's Lies, these words mean a lot to me.#smrpg{:3}

I'm a bit bored and I have still to distribute 3 apples from this thread. How about a little optional challenge to spice things up?

The first three who beat Aeron's Golden Cookie Quest - Director's Cut will receive apples. #smrpg{:D}

Who's up to this silly challenge before the forums close?
Your hack always fascinated me gfx-wise (yes I watch your screenshots from bsky 👀 ). I'll make sure to give it a try, even though I kinda lost my touch at playing very hard hacks lol
Good job on the release! #tb{^V^}
Thanks for your compliment, Wakana. I like to make my hacks to look distinct and unique, so much that folks can bat an eye and say "hey, it's an Anorakun level". And well, speaking of release, this update is also available at Romhacking.net. I've updated the main post with this alternative link.

And well, that's it. Since nobody took the challenge, I'll distribute some berries and wait for the C3 forums to close.

Thanks for everyone who looked and dropped by in this thread.

Happy C3, folks! #smrpg{mlem}


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