I really like this idea, but we are gonna need someone to code this sprite. The general idea is Norveg will be in a flying machine. Shooting death rays and other projectiles. Mario will not be able to damage him in this form, but will have to keep running through the level dodging attacks and trying to get away until you reach the end where we can make him crash into a wall or something.
I don't really like those boss battles that consist only in dodging the enemie’s attacks for a certain time; it could be part of the battle, but I think there should be a phase where Mario actually attacks Norveg. Maybe after Norveg's Machine's crashes, both characters engage in a man-to-man (or man-to-rat) battle.
Weeeell, I believe the second phase of the boss was suppose to be Mario chasing after a jet-packing Norveg, which certainly fits that bill (weren't we supposed to get a preview of that, incidentally?). As such, I think it would be appropriate it the first phase were Mario versus a heavily armed Norveg in a large machine, which seems the logical way to start out facing him, as he'd be pretty daft not to take Mario on that way. However, I agree it ought to be a proper battle where Mario can damage the boss directly rather than a dodge-fest, if it's to feel appropriately and satisfyingly final-bossy.
As for the second half of the the stage itself, I don't think Norveg should appear directly in person just quite yet. Having another machine sent after Mario following the tank would work nicely, and it could further be suggested that Norveg is remotely controlling this one, but I'm not so sure he should be personally piloting it himself just yet. From a dramatic perspective, it seems to me to work better if Mario has to make his way through a series of obstacles before reaching the man himself (as seems to be the mood set from the first part of the stage), and the two should have a little face-to-face confrontation (the calm before the storm, if you will) before the final battle takes place. Just having Norveg rush in after our hero in the middle of the stage seems to cut some of the drama and importance out of the final battle, if you ask me. But that's just if you ask me.
Yes, I am still working on this.
I do have the "short" second area pretty much done. The hard part of it is I have so many ideas on what I want to do with this, its hard to get it all in without making the section too long. But anyways here is a beta of the last section. The level is to the right of the starting point in the OW and yes I am aware of the glitched Laser and coin counter gfx, I still have to work on remapping the these...
It's not bad by any means, though I'd say it's probably a bit too short. The Great Wall of Electricity also struck me as a bit odd; I found myself wondering at first if those hanging crates ought not to act as umbrellas, especially considering they have a solid top which could be stood on, suggesting them to have a little more mass and blocking power rather than serving as simple curtains. There seems something fundamentally odd about an object which blocks the electricity when Mario is immediately in front of it but allows the electricity to continue below it (suggesting the box to be positioned in front of the bolts of electricity), yet nevertheless still zappofies Mario if so much as a small portion of his head or feet even slightly peeks out from the safety of the box edge, suggesting box and bolt to exist on the same level in a way that doesn't exactly make logical sense, and indeed reminds that we are not actually interacting with real (or even fantastical) crates and electricity, but are instead dealing with a simple grid of tiles assigned a specific function in a vidya game. Make no mistake, I appreciate the gameplay concept of this section, but as presently realized, it seems decidedly illusion-breaking in the manner an actor in a film bumping into cardboard backdrop with a matte painting on it and causing it to wobble, revealing that lovely twilit mountain vista n background for the fabricated and deceptive 2D image it really is.
Otherwise, the new sublevel seems a good start to the second half, but it still feels as though it needs a little something after it. As things stand, it doesn't quite have that "immediately before final boss" feel to it, and it feels as though we need one final dramatic and somewhat more unique challenge representing the final obstacle that Norveg throws in Mario's path before the latter gets to meet the big cheese face to face. This certainly works as something immediately preceding that last obstacle, but it does not in and of itself feel like that obstacle proper.
I figured that wall of electricity seemed a bit weird the way I had it setup, but I figured I would toss it by everyone else before I got rid of it. The idea behind it was interesting to me and reminded me of one of the storm levels in DKCR when you had to hide behind walls before giant waves knocked you off of the screen.
As for the level length, remember there is alot of level before this section; the beginning part is 18 screens, which leads to an area that is 7 screen, that leads to the tank mini-boss and then comes directly to this area. While this is he final area, SNN wanted me to keep this section somewhat short so we don't have another level that takes 15 mins to get through.
I'll wait for a bit more feed back before I continue on.
I finally got a chance to look at this and it seems challenging and short (a good thing). There was a couple of issues for me with this part of the stage - the last laser shooter I couldn't get it to activate and actually shoot at Mario and with Big Mario he never seemed to get to the Bottom Route when it splits into two. Even with Small Mario it seems really hard.
As far as the lightning section on Screens 5-7, I like the idea of dodging thunder. Though, it seems a little bit awkward, it should probably be more in the direction of Mario goes underneath a box/enemy to avoid the thunder not necessarily through. OR as another alternative, maybe just use Priority to make it seem like Mario is hiding in the box.
Still haven't gotten back nearly enough feed back :/
Anyways, that bottom route is suppose to be a cape only route. Which is why it contains the extra coins and a slightly easier path. I do like the "hiding in the box" thing. I may play around with that and go from there.
Well here is another test version of the last portion of the level, with a bit of a twist. I realized that no one made good use of the Yoshi wing levels at all, so when you start this level (which is the dot on the right on the map) there will be a pipe that Mario is standing on, which will bring you to the original version with a few bugfixes. However, there is a Yoshi in this same area. If you take him and the grab the wings, it will take you to an alternate version of the same level that you must use yoshi to fly through. Test both and tell me what you think.
And yes I am aware of the graphic glitches, I just want to know if this type of thing would work
The normal version is fine; the current form of the Wall-o'-Lightning feels a bit more natural, as well. It still strikes me as though there needs to be at least a brief "final challenge" room after this, however; that is one more room representing Norveg's last security measure, which is in some way quite distinct from all those we've seen throughout the rest of the level, and provides us with a bit of final "Wow'-factor before the battle with the man himself.
The Yoshi version, I admit, I'm a little less fond of, mainly due to Yoshi flight's awkward controls. Yoshi has more trouble hitting the switches than it seems he ought to, and more significantly, when he does hit them, he has a very strong tendency to hit them twice, reactivating the laser, which is likely to call forth quite a number of anti-equine slurs on the player's part. The Wall-o'-Lightning also becomes rather unforgiving due to Yoshi's added size, and the final, low crate provides no protection at all, forcing the player to wait until the last minute in the recessed crate--which also has the effect that the player only has a very brief window to slip past the electrodes of the lower level. The main problem in this version is that it feels as though your biggest enemy is flying Yoshi's awkward controls rather than the environment as such.
That said, I did find it compellingly horrifying how the laser cannons vaporized Yoshi outright, but left Mario intact, leaving him alone and defenseless against steadily advancing obstacles he can no longer conquer solely of his own powers...
To be honest, I'm not sure I like the concept really. The whole thing seems a bit awkward, and the thing at the end (with the lightning) is much easily done with mario rather than Yoshi himself.
I also agree with RN that there should be a challenge room of sorts before the battle. Not sure what that could be though.