I talked to andy on IRC the other day, and he said he was still interested in drawing this (coding is entirely done for it and it's already in the base ROM, in case people didn't know that). Something tells me he's not going to find time to get around to it though, so if anyone else wants to take it up (unless he suddenly produces something), now would be a good time to do so.
The original version is on the left, mine is on the right. The intention is for it to look sort of heiroglyphic. I'm going to futz with the palettes a bit and see if I can get some more range for better shading and the like.
Furthermore, the pyramid hat looks a little bulky and oversized on the slimmer version; it might be worth making just a touch smaller, which would also have the side effect of allowing Madam Mau to be a few pixels taller.
Hmm. The animation frames used strike me as somewhat unfitting for the actual movements the boss performs. You seem to have given the boss what would likely well as a walking animation, yet she doesn't actually do any walking--whenever she's above ground, she's always standing in place, which, combined with the aforementioned animation, gives the curious impression that she's grooving to the beat. The blinking, furthermore, is probably not a great idea with the current graphics routine; it occurs far too rapidly, making it look something like a muscular tic. Admittedly, I could always rescript our proud pyramid guardian to be a tweaker dancing fiend, but I suspect such a reinterpretation may meet with some opposition among the general public.
Also, I think it might be a good idea to see if the pallete could be altered someone to provide a little more contrast in the shading; some of the tones used seem a little too similar to me, giving the impression of flatness. Alternatively or in addition, might it not be possible to tweak the sprite to use different palette say for the head (or snake staff head) and body? That might help to circumvent the insufficient number of colors issue...
I'm going to agree with RN. The movements just don't seem to match well with what's going on attacks wise and they are a little bit too rapid. The walking in place is awkward probably should just be standing still would suffice the problem. Madam Mau's movement before throwing the ball and dropping the ceiling blocks seem to be about the same and it's a little bit hard to distinguish between. Would having Madam Mau raising her staff and having it blink colors for dropping blocks look better than just blinking colors?
Per the comments, I fixed up the animations and put the blinking in the right spot - if it makes sense, I thought the animation was 1-blink-3-1-blink-3 when in reality it was 1-blink-3-blink-1-blink-3-blink-1, etc. I've also minimized her running in place and darkened her palette. I might change the staff animations yet, based on the last suggestion, but I want to see what SNN thinks, too.