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Special commands and generators
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Is there a list of exactly what all the special commands and generators do? Some of them are pretty self-explanatory, like the flying fish generator, but some are trickier. For example, what exactly do the different Layer 2 Smash commands do on each screen? (I know somebody made a list of these somewhere, but I can't find it.) And what path do each of the four auto-scrolling commands follow? I would like to have a complete list of all these special commands, if anybody could direct me to one. (And I doubt I'm the only one who would like to know.)
Well, I do know that there's a list of layer 2 smash screen functions right in the documents section, but that's all I can tell you for now.
I found a list of all of the Layer 2 commands in the "How To Create Quality Hacks" sticky:

Originally posted by S-a-n-t-a-l-e-x-99
The Layer 2 sprite commands have limits. Know them!

NOTICE: The following was found using half-assed research. Please correct me if I screwed up something.
  • All Layer 2 Smash and Scroll commands can be used when Layer 2 is a background. In fact, the original game used a Layer 2 Scroll 1 Range=5 command in room 4 of Bowser's Castle.
  • If you put a Midway Gate or pipe exit, or if you have a Ghost House with multiple entrances, make sure to have a Layer 2 command at every possible entrance. Otherwise, Layer 2 will do nothing!!!
  • Layer 2 Smash 1: Objects on screens 0 and 0x1 smash down every 5 seconds after they reset. Objects on screens 0x2-0x4 do nothing. Objects on screens 0x5-0x7 smash down immediately after they reset and get shifted down about a row from where you place them in Lunar Magic. Objects on screen 0x8 do nothing. Objects on screens 0x9 to the end smash very quickly and get shifted down about five rows from where you place them in Lunar Magic. This is why I don't make many levels that use the Smash 1 setting. X(
  • Layer 2 Smash 2: No shifting, thank God, but that says nothing about what you DO have to put up with. Objects on screens 0 through 0x3 hesitate a little, smash, reset, wait 5 seconds, then repeat. Objects on screen 0x4 do nothing. Objects on screens 0x5-0x8 hesitate, smash, reset, and repeat immediately. Screens 0x9 and 0xA are rest zones, and then objects on screens 0xB to the end hesitate and smash very quickly.
  • Layer 2 Smash 3: The easiest to use, but also the most boring. Objects on all screens hesitate, move very slowly, then smash.
  • Layer 2 Scroll (all of them): The position you put the objects in in Lunar Magic represents the peak of their scroll. Also, the "Range" number on the sprite command represents how many rows they move.
  • Layer 2 Scroll 1: If the range is 12, you must click on the door with the 1 on it, go to Layer 1,2 initial position, and select "BG=00". Otherwise, you'll get garbage. Also, everything shifts down 1 row from where you put it.
  • Layer 2 Scroll 4: If you use "Smash Range=11", then all you're getting is a glorified Layer 2 Smash 1 command that works for the whole level and doesn't shift anything.
  • Layer 2 Falls: Layer 2 horizontal AND vertical scrolling must both be on "none". This command will cause you to get stuck on the first screen, and layer 2 will just fall a bit. I really don't know what use this command would have.
  • Layer 2 Scroll Sideways: Can only be used on vertical levels. The level won't scroll horizontally. The Sideways Short command will only scroll things the length of your emulator, but the Sideways Long command will scroll things the entire horizontal length of the level.
  • Layer 2 On/Off: Make sure to put an On/Off Switch when you use this!!! Especially if spikes are involved...! :O
  • Layer 2 Sink/Rise (all of them): Will not do anything on Screen 0. There is also a limit to how far everything sinks/rises. The range for Layer 2 Sink Short is about two screens, then a one-screen break, then another four screens, and then they stay sunk. Needless to say, don't expect many Layer 2 Sink levels in my hack. The range for Layer 2 Sink Long is the whole entire length of the level! When you use Layer 2 Rise Up, the place you put objects in with Lunar Magic represents the highest point that they'll rise. They'll be set about 12 rows lower than that when you encounter them in the game. The range for Layer 2 Rise Up is the same as Layer 2 Sink Short. And finally, Layer 2 Give Some is completely useless. It just causes Layer 2 to hesitate a little when you step on it, then reset when you step off.

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Thank you. This is just what I needed. I knew I'd seen that list somewhere.

So just out of curiosity, is it possible to make layer 2 scroll continuously? In other words, it scrolls down until it is out of sight, and then reappears at the top of the screen and continues scrolling down? (Or goes the other way and continuously scrolls up.) I think I actually did this by accident once when I forgot to set layer 2 vertical scrolling to none in a level that used a layer 2 scroll command, but as I recall, Mario didn't interact with layer 2. All that happened was that I got garbled graphics in layer 2 and unbearable slowdown. Somebody should make a custom sprite that does this, just for fun.

Oh, I almost forgot: Does anybody know what all the auto-scrolling commands do? For instance, the Auto-Scroll Special 1-A goes horizontal for a while, then starts going vertically, then goes back to horizontally, and then starts going diagonally downward, as I recall, but what about the seven or so other auto-scrolling commands? (This isn't terribly important, since I hate auto-scrolling levels and would probably never use them in my hack, but I am curious to know what all those auto-scroll commands do exactly.)

ZOMG someone quoted one of my posts! :D I feel so special now. xD

But seriously...yeah, what I said back then pretty much tells you what you need to know about Layer 2.

As for's the short list:
  • Autoscroll Special 1 was used in Donut Plains 2. And, as far as I can tell, it's the only way to use autoscroll with a Layer 2 level.
  • Autoscroll Special 1A was used in the Yoshi's Wings level at Level C8.
  • Autoscroll Special 4 was used in Butter Bridge 1.

The other options weren't used, so you're on your own there. D: I did make a test level in my hack to see what the other options did out of curiosity, though, and here's what I got:
  • Autoscroll Special 2: Hugged the contours of my level in a way by scrolling up and down wherever there were slopes, but stopped at screen 0x7.
  • Autoscroll Special 2A: Scrolls up and down continuously, almost like a SMB3 Doomship level. I tried to find the limits, but because most of my level is on the ground and not in the air, I had to eat a blue shell with Yoshi. I got as far as the Midway Gate (which was at screen 0x9), and then Yoshi swallowed the shell and I died. D:
  • Autoscroll Special 3: Seemingly similar to Special 2. Scrolled up gradually, then scrolled back down halfway. Stopped at screen 0x7.

All Autoscroll Special variants require you click the Mario head and set Layer 1 to "No Vertical or Horizontal Scroll". Also, Autoscroll Special 1, 1A, and 3 require you click the swimming fish and set Layer 2 to "H-Scroll: None; V-Scroll: None". IMO, these commands are a bitch to hack for, so you're better off just using sprite F3.


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