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World 1 Boss: Truntec - xlk/Dr. Tapeworm (GFX), Ixtab (ASM)


My my! This is pretty dandy! I actually find myself straying away a lot from the eye - that's a good thing!

At first, it maybe be a bit hard to dodge the root, but once you know how it works, it's all good.

Good ob Ixtab!
The first time I played this, I kicked the boss's arse six ways to next Tuesday within a matter of seconds, which led me to believe it was perhaps a bit too easy.

In several subsequent attempts, however, I found myself between a root and a hard place far too often, leading me to believe the boss was a bit too hard.

What was the deciding factor here? Probably reading GSG's post above. For you see, when I stood near the tree trunk, and waited for all the acorns to come to me, I found the boss too be very, very easy--perhaps too easy, even for World 1. When I moved away from the center, and chased after the acorns, the boss suddenly became much harder--indeed rather too hard for World 1.

Generally, I'd say something needs to be done to keep the player from constantly camping out in the center--maybe some sort of attack that only affects this area. Otherwise, the battle loses a great deal of its excitement and is over far too quickly. On the other hand, measures need to be taken to prevent the battle from becoming too difficult if Mario strays away from the center. I agree that the root needs to stop a bit more before coming out of the ground, as it's far too good at tracking Mario at present, and if the wires decided to come down in an unfavorable arrangement while he's trying to avoid the root, there's not much our hero can do to avoid taking a hit. Similarly, I agree with S.N.N.'s comment that the wires should come down more slowly as well.

Also, on a purely æsthetic note, shouldn't the mechanisation on the trunk perhaps be a little more extensive/asymetrical? Such is the case on the two concept drawings, and I think it's generally a good idea, as having the only real metallic pieces be immediately around the eye gives the curious impression of a tree with a porthole...
What's that claw thing that could be possibly used during the hurt phase and flick/fling/flunk Mario off to the side?
You guys played the 7th ips right? I would really not prefer to make the eye asymmetrical; It was probably the longest thing to code. The speed on thr vines is +-$18. What are these 'measures' you propose? I can only think of making the wires not random.

To keep players from the midle, make the eye bounce mario away, like a note block would.
Also, to reduce dificulty, make the roots take about in between the time they take now and a montymole to jump out.
Your layout has been removed.
Originally posted by Ixtab
You guys played the 7th ips right? I would really not prefer to make the eye asymmetrical;

Nothing would need to be done to the eye itself; I'm just suggesting having slightly more extensive mechanical implants on the tree trunk. It wouldn't need to be part of the eye sprite as such, but a purely decorative touch on layer 1. Indeed, you yourself wouldn't need to worry about it at all; xlk could simply take care of it when making the graphics for the root and so such.

Originally posted by Ixtab
What are these 'measures' you propose? I can only think of making the wires not random.

It almost seems as though the boss needs a different sort of attack in addition to wires from the top and roots from the bottom. As mentioned above, having the claw seen in the concept images appear and grab Mario or swat him away if he lingers too long near the center could be one possibility. Alternatively, perhaps the eye itself (which at present is sort of a pure weak point with no means of self defense) could fire a projectile (say a volley of fireballs or some sumo lightning) if Mario comes with a certain range of it. And making the eye bounce Mario back (in addition to the above) if he collides with it doesn't seem a bad idea either.
i think the bouncing would be best, if anything. four large vines falling from the top seems like enough to worry about. a homing shot would be a bit much with an already 'hard to dodge' root. the problem i have with the claw is that it would look awkward. does it come out from the side of the tree? does it come out at an angle? does it have a linear path of movement? what does it do exactly?

if the problem is the vines don't hit the center of the room, why not just make it so the vines do hit the center? what's the need for an additional attack?

we could always add the wind generator which would force movement.

Originally posted by Ixtab
if the problem is the vines don't hit the center of the room, why not just make it so the vines do hit the center? what's the need for an additional attack?

Variety, mainly; it's always more interesting when a boss seems to have a wider array of attacks to use against our hero. Our tree friend in particular is also a sort of multifunctional fellow, so it makes sense that he would have a variety of abilities to use against Mario.

The claw would certainly be the mostly logistically complicated extra attack, though also potentially the most memorable. As for its arrangement, I sort of imagine the upper segment coming off at an angle, and the lower segment of hanging straight down. Of course, other angles might be needed when it's extending out to grab, swat. Things could be simplified a bit by having it apparently be on a sort of rail as seen in the concept image at the start of the thread, allowing it to flip from side to side, apparently going behind the tree, or its movement patter could even primarily involve it rotating quickly around the tree in a circles to bat Mario out of the way. In any event, it's true that it certainly would be the more complicated solution to the issue (if possibly also the most awesome).

four large vines falling from the top seems like enough to worry about. a homing shot would be a bit much with an already 'hard to dodge' root.]

I didn't particularly imagine the eye producing a homing shot, but rather emitting a projectile/group of projectiles which travel across a fixed area in the center if Mario lingers there too long (hence the suggestion of sumo lightning falling down and inflaming the center of the arena, or a volley of fireballs extending outwards diagonally from the eye), thus compelling him to move away. If the player stays away from the center more, the projectiles would no longer be such a serious problem, though the vines would correspondingly become a much bigger one (whereas staying in the center more makes the vines a smaller problem, but the projectiles a bigger one). This way, the boss would appear to be using different strategies depending on which approach Mario takes, making the battle feel a touch more interesting.

An (intermittent) wind generator could possibly work as a solution, though the one thing that concerns me is that it feels a bit disconnected as an attack. Though the eye could flash or something though to suggest the tree is summoning an oncoming gust...

i'm very not pleased with this boss compared to my other ones; you make a good point in that it lacks variety. still, the claw seems overly complicated. the sumo fire seems like the best solution (sumo fire + wind maybe?) but i wonder if that would cause the game to lag.

should vine and root speed still be slowed? and are we talking literal speed of them moving down and up or the frequency in which they appear?

I was talking about the literal speed of them when I made that comment. You have very little time to react, and that's pretty harsh for a world 1 boss.
Well...if we could make the arena a bit bigger (one screen more on each side, or something) we could have a wind blowing Mario away, with stuff flying towards and are easy to dodge. Ladida's cluster sprites will be awesome here.
big arena

unless you can get more than one other person to want this i'm not doing it. almost every aspect of this boss is set to specific area in the level; i would essentially have to start from scratch.

and speaking of wanting more than one person's input, i would like that for the decision as to add the sumo fire, wind, both or none.

here's the slowest version yet. i made them retract faster; i think it looks better.

How about during the hurt phase, where the quake happens, Mario is bounce to the right or left? It's certainly makes "more" sense, IMO.
After looking at this boss, it is much better than before, the vines and roots come out more slowly and for the first boss, it's good. There's maybe two things to consider.

1. The vines look strange when they extend as far down as they can go (mostly the top part). They kind of detach from the branch when they go down as far as they can. Just add one more block's worth of branches above them and they'll look much better.

2. At this point, this boss is 100% attack and 0% defense to me. If the roots and vines are retracting and are off the screen, the boss is 100% vulnerable to any attack. Something that would prevent Mario from getting a hit in sometimes would be good, like a shield that covers up the eye half of the time.

As far as other attacks, for me adding one or not is based on everyone else. I'm not sure the Sumo Fire would work because trees and fire don't really come together. The Wind idea is fine and/or a Leaves attack (via Extended Sprites) would be fine.
The eye has closing frames, just thought I should point this out, as it could be a possible defense.
Also, how about having the vines and roots speed up as the battle advances?
Your layout has been removed.
So have you fixed this up yet Ixtab? You're nearly done, so don't bail on us now.
OK, got an idea for GFX for the roots and some other stuff.
Hopefully this weekend/next week I'll have time, lately I'm having many exams #w{x(}
Your layout has been removed.
Originally posted by S.N.N.
So have you fixed this up yet Ixtab? You're nearly done, so don't bail on us now.

fixed up what?

if you mean the the vines detaching from the leaves, yes. if you mean adding the fire, wind, bouncing or increase in speed, no.

I meant cstutor's suggestions (unless you feel it's ready at this point, in which case you can PM me the files and I'll go ahead and insert it into the base ROM).
All of the stuff for this hack looks really cool. Truntec is pretty cool as well, reminds me of clanky woods! I'd like to throw in an idea for his design. I was thinking he could have to branches sticking of his sides that would transition into claws. Of course you don’t have to do that. This hack just has my creative juices flowing.