First off, if you are interested in experiencing first-hand how the boss works and do now want it to be spoiled for you, I'd like to ask that you please leave now. This will go in-depth into how each and every one of this boss's attacks work and may spoil your enjoyment (though you should've known that coming in here).
This boss has four different attack patterns, three of which leave him vulnerable, though at any given health level only one of which can actually be used to hurt him (I'll elaborate later). Before every attack, he will fly off the top of the screen before beginning (with possible the exception of #1). The attacks are as follows:
1. The most generic attack, he will summon goombas, koopas, spinies, or whatever from the sky that will go after Mario. The goombas and koopas cannot
be thrown to hurt the boss; any attempt will have him fly out of the way.
2. He appears on either the left or right side of the screen (whichever Mario is farthest from) and will summon bullet bills to fire at Mario. They will fire at his current height at a rate of 1 per second or so. This will keep going until Mario jumps on the boss's head. If this was the attack he was vulnerable to, then he will be hit, otherwise he will fly off just before Mario lands his attack. Note that the bullets will be fired several blocks away from the edge of the screen, giving Mario time to dodge the attack when he would otherwise be too close to do so.
3. He flies across the screen twice from opposite ends of the screen in a similar manner to the Jeptaks. If this is the attack he was vulnerable to for this round, he can be jumped on by Mario. Otherwise, he will be carrying a spiny on his back for safety and any attempt at jumping on him will end up...about as well as you'd expect.
4. He flies straight down and smashes into the blimp, causing a huge shockwave that will launch Mario straight up and give him his chance to attack the boss. See this GIF I made a while ago for how this would play out:
(For obvious reasons, please ignore the "artwork".)
If this was the attack he was vulnerable to, the boss won't have seen Mario fly above him and will be hit, otherwise he'll be expecting it and move out of the way accordingly.
So, a given attack pattern might look like this:
Smash attack. Mario attempts to jump on him, but the boss dodges. This was not his "vulnerable" attack.
Jeptak attack. The boss is not carrying a spiny, so Mario attacks. This was his "vulnerable" attack.
Jeptak attack. This time the boss is carrying a spiny, so Mario does not attack. This was not his "vulnerable" attack.
Bullet attack. Mario successfully lands a hit on the boss. This was his "vulnerable" attack.
Jeptak attack. The boss is carrying a spiny, so he cannot be hit. This was not his "vulnerable" attack.
Smash attack. Mario lands the final hit, defeating the boss. This was his "vulnerable" attack.
As for the boss's graphical design, I refer you to Smallhacker's drawing:
In terms of sprite work I would need, at the very least, poses for (in the attack order above):
- Floating idly with his feet swinging lazily back and forth.
- Summoning enemies, which would either involve looking to the sky with his hands above him, grabbing the enemies from hammerspace behind his back, or pointing in Mario's direction before zooming vertically offscreen.
- Floating close to the ground holding a remote used to control the bullet bills.
- Zooming left and right, drawn in a style similar to the jeptaks.
- Smashing into the ground, probably in a ground-pound manner. Also needed would be poses for him looking confusedly for Mario on the ground (if he is vulnerable this round), or looking up at Mario (if he is not vulnerable this round).
- A defeated pose.
However, I'd like to ask that nobody start spriting these yet, as nothing has been finalized, and I don't want our hard-working spriters wasting their time. I would, however, appreciate feedback on what I have so far, ideas for possible names, etc.