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Two discussion questions regarding SMW's original sprites

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Here's two questions that popped into my mind:

1. Which of the original sprites do you find the most troublesome - that is, which of them do you "fear" the most when playing a level?
2. Which of the original sprites do you struggle to find a use for when you're designing levels?

To answer those with my own opinion:

1. The Pitching Chuck and Punting Chuck tie for me. The baseballs from the Pitching Chuck can literally fill a screen (especially if two are present), making them a nightmare to deal with. As for the Punting Chuck .. it's mostly due to the sporadic nature of the football. Since it can randomly bounce either high or low, there are times where it really depends on luck as to whether or not you'll get hit.

A special mention goes out to the Fishing Lakitu, just because it's a nightmare to deal with in hacks. Hell, it was a nightmare to deal with in the original game too.

2. I've always struggled to find a use for the Boo ring. AxemJinx once mentioned in a previous post that the key to using a Boo ring properly is to mix in other obstacles so the player is not simply waiting around. While I agree with this, I still think it ultimately boils down to waiting for the ring regardless. I also find both the Dino-Rhino/Dino-Torch difficult to use creatively, especially since the former is such a slow sprite to begin with. It's fairly easy to bypass it entirely, rendering the threat pointless.

What about you?
Originally posted by S.N.N.
1. Which of the original sprites do you find the most troublesome - that is, which of them do you "fear" the most when playing a level?

I suppose it would be the Fishing Boo. It's ridicuosly hard to avoid and he travels with Mario all the time; you can't run from him. It's a tough sprite indeed.

Originally posted by S.N.N.
2. Which of the original sprites do you struggle to find a use for when you're designing levels?

You took my answer from my mouth, the Dino Rhinos and Dino Torches are really hard to use, especially since they won't let much graphic space for other sprites to use, making it very difficult to make a varied level with them.


Can't think of anything else... I'll just edit the post when I think of more.
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1) The punting Chuck, by far. That's one of the reasons RttC is so challenging. The footballs bounce high and low in no particular order. Also, Lakitu, because it's a mook maker and the mooks it produces cannot be jumped on. Any enemy generator as well (Cheep Cheep, Bullet Bill) because they're wildly unpredictable and tend to add the "scary" type of difficulty especially in athletic type levels (what I mean is a feeling similar to when you're playing a 3D platformer and you're on a narrow ledge high above the ground. I hate you, Tall Tall Mountain).
2) Wigglers, definitely. Jumping on them across a Muncher pit seems to be the only way I can think of to make them at least the least bit challenging. Also, fast autoscroll, at least in non-Kaizo. In a non-Kaizo setting, you can't even do it very long because Mario will eventually not be able to jump, and you probably have to use teleport blocks at the end. In Kaizo, creativity can be hard.
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1. The Fishin' Boo. Most levels have it at ground level making it so you're always jumping through the rod. At least with the Fishin' Lakitu you get a 1up for taking the bait. Meaning there's not a whole load of threat if you die.

2. Probably the Banzai Bill. Custom Banzai Bill shooters are fine but otherwise just coming right at you out of nowhere... It just feels obscure and out of place. Having said that I don't have too much trouble getting it to feel remotely right.
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1. I used to be scared as hell of the Porcu-Puffer, but you can easily spin-jump it. Another one would be any of the Chucks. I just feel powerless without fireballs.

2. Bowser and Peach *shot*
1. Fishin' Boo is the Hell for me, since we don't kill something that is already dead.

2. Probally the Banzai Bills or Dino Rhinos.
1. Boo Bosses because 9 times out of 10 there's some stupid gimmick added on to make grabbing the throw blocks difficult to the point of just being stupid. Either that, or there's no challenge at all making it totally pointless. Nothing to fear, but just unfavorable to come across
2. Boo Rings because as S.N.N. said there's no real way to make one without it just boiling down to waiting, although to be fair that also goes for moving platforms, just not in as serious a case.
...actually, except for stone and normal boos I find it pretty hard to justify using any other ghost house sprites, particularly fishing boo and those green balls. The fishing boo is hated by everybody and I have no creative gimmick to use him for, and those big balls are just annoying to work with imo.
I'll post more later but yeah.
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1. Pitchin' Chucks: Once first seeing them in Donut Plains 1, I could tell the game's difficulty was picking up. The frequency and amount of baseballs they throw, combined with the fact that they jump along with Mario made them tricky enemies to avoid. They weren't overly daunting in Donut Plains 1, but having them littered across several levels in the Special World, particularly Tubular, attributed to much of the world's difficulty. Although, they have become one of my favorite enemies in designing hacks due to their sheer difficulty.

2. Goombas: I really have little interest in using them throughout levels, as they're very basic and nonthreatening enemies. Given the fact that I, along with many others, try to make hacks harder than the original SMW, these serve little purpose. At least with Koopas, you can use their shells for puzzles and whatnot, and they come in a few more menacing varieties.
1. Fishin' Boo. Especially due to that flame being something you can't spin jump on for no explainable reason, and because his movement pattern is just annoying as hell. Also, P Balloons because so many try to rip off Tubular, and even the original is damn hard.

2. Boo Rings. Why? Because they're cluster sprites, and no sprite tile limits (at least if you're using the wrong version) doesn't work with them at all. They're also as said pretty hard to design levels around.
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As for Mario's Nightmare Quest? Well, it's currently on Fusion Gameworks, ROM Hacking.net or the GCN at the moment.
1:
Urchin, Rip van Fish, Torpedo Ted: These enemies are all very tough to deal with in water situations, and are always a cause of grief for me.

Pitchin' Chuck: Same reasons everyone else has provided

2:

Boo Ring: Same reasons everyone else has provided

Para-Goomba/Para-Bobomb: 9 times out of 10, you don't even realize these are falling from the sky, so unless you flood the screen with enemies or otherwise make the player slow down significantly, they're not a viable threat.
1.
The Fishin' Boo is an enemy that requires the player to either stay low, or be able to leap between the Boo and the flame. It's very tricky to deal with, and it very nearly commands the design of the level where it appears just to accommodate its erratic movement and disjointed hitbox.

The Sumo Bro. I tend to have very little difficulty with, but due to its nature, it at least has the capacity to be a very tough enemy to deal with. Basically, if the player is put into a moment of pause, the flames of the Sumo can be readily used to exploit that vulnerability. This is especially the case where the Sumo is put into an area where they cannot be reached easily, if at all.

2.
I honestly don't really have much of an answer outside of what everyone else said; mainly Boo Rings and Dino-Rhinos.

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1. Fishin' boo (Even one fishin' boo can be annoying to dodge due to the unpredictive motion of the flame!)
2. Cheep Cheep (I usually find myself randomly placing this enemy without thought of level design)
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I really don't have that much of a problem with Fishin' Boo. The main problem is usually how he's placed in levels in hacks. Sometimes he's placed too low so the player will have a hell of a time avoiding the flame, otherwise it's just running forward then stepping back for me and I can avoid him somewhat easily.

1. It would have to be a tie between Torpedo Teds & Hopping Flames. They're always almost placed in water levels (Heck, I still use them in water levels as well.) so it kind of makes them even more difficult to avoid and some even seem to be spammed through out the level. They can hurt you from any time the torpedo is lowering so while up close, you'd have to swim like 3-4 tiles under. I always found this quite annoying to deal with and most of the time it can be the death of me while playing savestatless.

Hopping Flame: Hops across a pretty good distance and at a pretty good speed while leaving small little flames behind per jump, and sometimes have the tendency to change to the direction your in. What more can I complain about?

Originally posted by Jacob
2. Goombas: I really have little interest in using them throughout levels, as they're very basic and nonthreatening enemies. Given the fact that I, along with many others, try to make hacks harder than the original SMW, these serve little purpose. At least with Koopas, you can use their shells for puzzles and whatnot, and they come in a few more menacing varieties.


Pretty much agree with this. Unless they're used in World 1, they're really no threat at all in later levels really. These guys I probably use the least out of all the originals. (Kind of by far as well.)


2. Ninji & Pipe Dwelling Lakitu: I've been able to use pretty much most of the enemies in a threatening way all expect Ninji. They're just far too easy to deal with. They jump in 3 different heights but they're so small and most players seem to have fast enough reactions to just simply jump on them and kill them with no harm at all. I try placing multiple Ninji's together but I find myself jumping on one Ninji to the other without a problem. I just find it hard to place them in spots that can make them be somewhat tricky to avoid.

Pipe Dwelling Lakitus, if placed in a level normally, they're just way too slow and easy to see coming. I've watched how long they take to actually throw out a spiny and they give way too much time to jump on them in my opinion. I feel I have to place them in clever spots from them to actually be threatening, which is kind of difficult for me.
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1. TORPEDO TED

I fucking hate Soda Lake.

2. Torpedo Ted, again.

He's friggin' cheap.
1. Defiantly a tie between the Pitching Chuck and Fishing Lakitu, as people have mentioned above.

2. I haven't been a hacker long enough to use all of the original sprites, but I usually don't have trouble with sprite placement, actually (it's more a motivational and "What to do next" thing for me).

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1. Fishin' Boo (random movement and the "homing" factor), Porcu-Puffer (same reasons of the Fishin' Boo PLUS the fact that it's always used in water/tide levels), Torpedo Ted, Magikoopa and Hopping Flame (these last 3 can be really dangerous depending on the level design).

2. Bubble Goombas, because when you pop the bubble, the Goomba will fall but it won't hurt you immediately, and it's not hard to avoid. Maybe the only way to turn them into a real threat is to place some kinds of obstacles to slow the player down, but I have no idea what those could be.
For 1, I think I'm going to have to go with the random Bullet Bill and Eerie generators. The fact that you can't predict where the sprites will spawn at all is just inherently annoying and means that you have to slow down all the time to make sure you don't get a bullet spawned right in your face in the middle of a jump, and in levels where you can't take your time and/or with a lot of narrow passages, unlucky spawn positions can easily create flat out unwinnable situations. (Case in point: Rupture in Reality from the first SMWCP.) Although I don't inherently have anything against the fixed pattern bullet generators, since those are actually predictable.

As for 2, giving a single answer is a bit harder, since I'm rather bad at varying my sprite usage (see: just about every single contest entry and collab level I've ever submitted), and there are several sprite sets I'm fairly certain that I've never actually designed a level with. I think I'll pick the Bob-Omb, though; its behaviour isn't much more threatening than a standard Goomba, and the fact that you can just sit out of range and wait for it to blow up makes it a rather inefficient obstacle at best.
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1. Fishin' Boo, same reasons as everyone above, and, most probably, the Bowling Balls that Bowser throws, because they are immense and can be a little hard to avoid.
2. Umm... can't pick a choice, but I'll either say Dino Rhino and Dino Torch, same reason as SNN.
1. Fishin' Boo. They're annoying but the way people put them in hacks.. ugh. Puntin' Chuck comes close.

2. Bob-omb for the same reasons yoshicookiezeus stated. That's why I coded my own ones a long time ago.
This is one of the easiest questions I've ever seen.

Fishing Boo. He CANNOT be killed and you can't touch his flame on a hook in any way.

Fishing Boo. What I just said. I just can't use him without him annoying me.
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