The problem here is, of course, the lack of an overall difficulty balance. It looks like you tried to beef up some parts, but other parts remain .. well, very basic for a level this late in the game. Aesthetically, it's beautiful, and it's almost a shame the level doesn't extend into a real candy theme beyond the FG/BG graphics. I have two major suggestions:
1. Push the midpoint closer to the end a few screens, as it feels like it's only 35% of the way through the level right now, and
2. Increase and balance the difficulty in spots.
While I don't think much needs to be redesigned, I think you need to add more that could actually harm the player. Magiluigi's level that was just inserted might be a good level to check out, as he ended up having to increase the difficulty there as well.
Far too easy for the first coin.
It would kind of make sense if those acted like water tiles and you could actually swim up the juice (also this looks incredible).
Shift that cherry to the left one tile.
This coin is kind of basic as well. You literally hit a switch and run left. Surely you can come up with something a little more .. clever?
It's nearly impossible to get back if you don't bring the springboard to here.
So yeah. Focus on increasing the difficulty more, and make your level stand out beyond the graphics. You had a good thing going with the line guides, so maybe build on that a bit more or something. Just .. don't leave us hanging again. You're nearly done, so just work on getting the level polished so we can insert it. I don't want to end up having to drop it on the 24th after all of the work you've put in for it.
- The multi-leveled water room (sublevel 160 primarily) is completely gone in an attempt to shorten the level to a more fitting length.
- Everything post sublevel 164 (then) is gone... somewhat. I couldn't take SNN's suggestion up because of the reason I mentioned in my last post, so started that room over from scratch and made it much shorter compared to last time.
- To compensate for the efforts to cut the level short and the altered final room, the checkpoint (which there is now only one of) now has been moved to the end of level 130 (screen F).
- Message boxes still don't work due to the flashing palette shenanigans occurring with the level.
Gotta agree there with SNN, the level is really way too easy for the most part, while it has the perfect difficulty in other parts (you seem to be a little bit too cautious with the difficulty) and there's some mysterious slowdown at parts that don't even seem to have that many sprites.
These things hurt from the sides despite not looking like they do!!!!!!
ignore this (although it IS a lazy fix)
You're having the same issue as Magiluigi had with these fish, the fast swimming type can be killed, the slow ones can't.
Might want to either delete one of the types or see if putting the jumpable fish one tile down helps anything.
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While comments on the first three rooms are also appreciated, what I'd really like to have is feedback on the (currently unfinished) last vertical section. I'm not at all sure how good it is right now, and I'd really like one or two comments about its general design.
Obviously, I'm going to add a background and leaves to it later - just like in the first section - but I don't really want to do that before I've been reassured the desgn's alright.
(Edit: Yeah, the third SMWC Coin is currently unreachable, and the second one screws up for some reason.)
@Rameau's nephew: You seem to have thought of everything, haven't you?
Good job on the level. It plays and looks very nice, and is very varied. It's really one of the better levels in the hack - comprehensive, not too difficult, and above all, fun. I didn't figure out that you could jump on the ball-spitting flowers until very late in the level, when I didn't see any more of them, but that's very minor.
I think the pipe part of the level was very confusing though, but that's intentional, isn't it?
Here is the halfway mark of my level, in IPS format. Do note that there is some slowdown in the level and the Desert Cat sprite will have a graphical glitch. I am very well aware of that, but probably not of anything else such as unfair difficulty slides and what could make what better, that's why you are here, to make this level better than it is now, it's not just my level anymore, it's the testers! So, please help me out here like you did my previous level and offer as many suggestions you like, the weekend is coming up now so I'll have plenty of time to work further on the level.
Oh, ok. I was just having so much fun with it, but since it was world nine, I thought a long level would be okay, but not too long. I could just call it 3/4ths done then. I'll fix those bugs right away, glad you enjoyed the level!
Plus, there is going to be about 3 Mid points and I still need to make paths for those SMWCoins.
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Just need to make some final tweaks to my level. Some things I haven't fixed are the pallete of the switch when you press it and there is no message. I'm really not sure how to fix those so I kind of need help.
-------------------- Fawful says farewell to all your fink-rat faces forever!
-The third cart has unlimited jumps while you are going up, no idea why (it's pretty fun to do though at the second part though ).
-Mario is going to look weird in the cart, I'm drawing frames for him to replace current method.
-Weird looking thing at the beginning is a door that takes you to the midpoint
I want to know how fun the level design is because after 100 times of playing the same level, I'm starting to feel jaded if players will be able to do this/have fun with this/understand this. Remember, only you can prevent To Land Much Below from returning."
-------------------- I wonder what a HFD opcode would do in ASM...