I don't see why it's not a valid criticism so you don't need to be so smart about it. That's not only a significant length of work, it's also probably the hardest puzzle in the level, and of course people are going to try working it out in case it's a flower or something. You shouldn't be so defensive.
I don't think you have to go nuts modifying your level layout that extremely. I think it's more, you have a lot of elaborate and clever optional puzzles in this hack that do reward you with extra lives, but it's usually a solitary bubble, and the thing is, you have other far easier puzzles or hidden areas that reward with more (either directly or indirectly as with a bunch of coins). One thing I haven't seen once in this hack is that cool unused 3UP bubble you found in the game's coding, and I found that kind of odd. Not that you should go throwing them around everywhere, I'm not criticizing this hack for a lack of available lives or anything. But I think it'd work perfectly as a really rare reward for particularly challenging puzzles like this one, or that out-of-the-way crate door in 4-8 I brought up earlier. It'd feel pretty cool to come across in these sorts of instances.
3-Up bubble fetish much?
Cough, anyway, I don't know how to make these. It was only once, that one has appeared in the early version of 2-2, but it actually only gave a 1-Up, afair. So which Sprite would I have to use in order to create one? I've looked for it, but didn't find anything.
I never knew it was only cosmetic. Anyway, I only suggested it because switching flowers around sounded like a pain in the ass but whatever. I guess they never coded it as an actual thing.
EDIT: Nah I meant you, I thought maybe you'd be annoyed moving a flower from somewhere else because then you'd have another empty area or puzzle to worry about where the flower used to be. But maybe not, I honestly didn't remember all the flower positions in that level too well.
Anyway, I only suggested it because switching flowers around sounded like a pain in the ass but whatever.
A pain in the ass for whom? To me, it's not a problem at all to switch Flowers around. Or do you think players would be pissed if they saw the puzzle must be solved for 100%?
As for the thing with the key in Secret 6, there's a way to fix the issue by making the player collect a coin under each respective door after opening one door. But that looks very crappy and also like pointless rooms to a player. I will have to stick with that, though, because Item Memory is weird concerning this issue. Unless it's possible to provoke a flag set using a different method. The room index seems to influence Item Memory, since as I already told, setting the door to the exact same coordinates doesn't set the flags accurately.
I don't know, whether it's easily possible, but Item Memory could be read and if it detects, that one of the doors is already opened, it opens the other one, too, like using a Sprite to arrange that or in order to set the flag on the right place.
I'm surprised you were able to find a fix at all. A little visual/construction sacrifice is worth it if it means not being able to break a huge part of the stage, though. Maybe since this looks like it's probably going to be the only solution you could try to think up ways to spruce the extra rooms/doors or however this is being handled (I'm finding it hard to get an image of what you mean by forcing an extra coin under each door). It'd still feel 'pointless' to a player I guess, but if you could disguise it as an aesthetic setpiece of sorts it wouldn't seem out of place.
Either way it sucks that Item Memory is giving you such a problem with this level. I'm curious, do you have a lot of 'spare room' available with Secret 6? It seems almost like it'd be the absolute limit of how long you can make a level. I mean, it's so huge. But then I'm pretty ignorant of Yoshi's Island hacking so I wouldn't know.
It simply looks crappy, that's it.
Also, I'm really impressed that I was able to give the level such a huge circumference. On the other hand, I hardly used regular coins and refrained from making huge bonuses. In order to test, whether there are Item Memory issues to a level, you must collect every bonus given in a level and check, whether some are missing later on, because their flags are set already.
However, it really is a weird thing. Within a level, an Item Memory index sets flags where you've collected items in a screen. I think it takes up two bytes per flag, one for the X-coordinate, another one for Y screen and maybe the unused four bits for some extra info. I actually thought, that it would just save the positions and then apply it to each level the Item Memory index is used in. But it depends on various things, where the flags are set for levels which share the same index. For example, once the flag was set for room 0x09 at X7C and Y0, while the actual Sprite was in room 0xC0 at X4C and Y1. First I was glad, because I thought I would have found out about it. But a different test did not set a flag there, so the doors were unconnected once again. They must work 100% together or else the player will get stuck. Since there is this crossover issue flags must be set in the actual levels in order to avoid the trick Nintendo implemented (and I think they did this on purpose in order to have many collectible Items in large levels).
Also, what's the deal with Item Memory anyway?
Does the code of each object/sprite set the flags or do they just tell the game "set an Item Memory flag, when a certain thing happens to me"? For example a locked door is like "set an Item Memory flag, once I'm unlocked". I mean, is the set-flag code IN the object's/sprites' code or is it just called by the object/sprite? I guess it's the latter.
I'm asking because maybe a fixed location can be found for the flag of X4C Y1 in room 0xC0 for room 0x09.
I figure I should give my opinion on this hack before you update it next, as when you do it'll probably be the final version. I've 100%ed everything up to the end of world 4 (except land of fatness, which I didn't play much of) so I feel I've played enough to give decent feedback. Here goes!
NITPICKY GRAPHICAL STUFF:
1-8: On one of the sublevels (the one with the bridge I think) you can look up and see some cutoff.
4-6: In the last room, vines are in front of Yoshi but behind the platforms (which are behind yoshi). If you overlap both of them at once you can see cutoff.
I wasn't sure if this game had custom palettes until I actually heard someone say that it does. It says a lot that the palettes you chose feel so natural that I didn't even notice they were there!
1-6: The hidden flower is too hard to find. I searched for 30-60 minutes before ctrl+fing through the thread and seeing that the solution was "just jump around until you find the invisible thing". Lame!
3-8: This hack has had some really tense moments that feel very rewarding when you get through them. The Pirahna plant boss is the best example of this that I can think of: after struggling with him and dying some, I felt basically a constant surge of joy on the run that I beat him, as I really felt like I'd mastered fighting him. Fantastic job on making him so fun with such a simple addition.
3-S: How is one supposed to get under the first island thing? I just repeatedly flung myself into the water at weird angles and it worked after like 50 times. Same thing goes for 4-8, with the flower behind the one-way gate. Is this what's intended, or am I missing something?
A suggestion for Soopa Koopa: Is it possible to make him get out of his "lost balance" animation faster? He's really fun to fight if you egg him all 3 times in quick succession, and it'd be cool to make the player actually get good at fighting him in this way. Ideally he'd start out normal and regain balance faster after each time you ground pound him.
There were a couple more awesomely tense moments in the last two levels I played, 4-E and 4-S. These two are due to great midpoint placement: The chomp race of 4-E is tense as hell since the player has to do the whole chomp room, and the room with the last midpoint in 4-S feels the same way due to lava being all over the place. I hope this trend continues in the later levels!
General: I feel you've overused the "darkness" effect. It feels like you've used it in 10 different levels by now, and most of the time it doesn't add much to the levels its in, it just annoys the player since they have to be more cautious. It feels cheap. An example of GOOD use of the darkness effect is in 4-S: the darkness obscures lava, meaning the player has to watch out for the absence of ground, and due to the autoscroll, the player HAS to recognize this quickly. This is an area where darkness is a completely legitimate source of difficulty, and I don't think any other dark level has felt that way, though at least a few levels can stand to remain dark due to aesthetics alone.
Those are my thoughts thus far. I've focused more on negative than positive because it's easier to take note of things I don't like when I like the vast majority of what's in the game. I know everything I've said here (besides the cutoff stuff) is subjective, but I hope you'll agree with at least some of it, and I especially hope you'll look into the Soopa Koopa change. Great job on your hack, and I look forward to whatever you make in the future!
Okay, I feel like an idiot, I'm missing two red coins in 1-5, and I have absolutely no idea where they could be. I've thoroughly searched the level twice, brushed myself up against every wall, and jumped into every single pit, and I've found nothing. I'm starting to think that they're just not spawning for some reason.
1-8 - Has been fixed
4-6 - I don't really understand what you mean (screenshot, pls)
5-1 - Has been fixed
1-6 - Sorry for that, I'll somehow animate the player to jump there.
3-S - You seem to be not too good when it comes to diving. No problem to me. Also, yeah, it is the intended solution to dive.
4-8 - Editing Soopa Koopa himself is a really good idea. I would also place blue death-spikes on top of the room, but Mode7 doesn't allow for them.
Darkness - Yeah, I admit it. But it's kind of like with Tap-Tap: The things I hated/feared most in the original Yoshi's Island I now love most. (Aside from that, some of the Darkness-effects aren't even a challenge; I mean the ones where you still can see everything)
@Yoshis Fan: Thanks. Turns out I was missing the Fly Guy in the seventh picture, (he's actually pretty fast, so he probably left while I was dealing with the Piranha Plant, and I just never noticed him) and the one in between the two spiked logs. (I figured one was there, but I wanted to find the other one first)
The flowers are always the culprit for me, for some reason I can't seem to find one of them. In 6-6, when you exit the room with the Key in it there's a long passageway up with a ledge. Is that where the last flower is hidden. I just can't seem to get up there even with a Shy Guy, the Bats to generate, or Bubbles. Is there something I'm missing here?
As a side note, I thought it was really clever to change the code for those minigames. So far I'm really enjoying it, I can't wait to see what 6-E and 6-S bring.
That Flower in 6-6 was really hard for me to get. What I had to do was bring a bubble in Yoshi's mouth. I blew out bubbles, quickly grabbed another bubble then bounced off the first bubble and then I blew out the second bubble and bounced off that one. I then found myself on a wooden ledge. I'm not sure if that was the intended solution.
I'm currently on 6-8 with 30/30 stars, 20/20 Red Coins but 2/5 Flowers.
That flower's actually easy... well, it's not easy, the difficulty comes from getting a bubble that far. But the jump itself is. You guys are using the bubbles wrong. What you want to do is point Yoshi's head up and spit the bubbles vertically, then jump at the same time. Yoshi will hit every bubble in quick succession and get a huge jump. You don't need to time this or do any tricky positioning, it works every time. Just face Yoshi left so he bounces toward the ledge and not away from it to make things easier.