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Winter C3 2021 Content Spotlight
Ultima's Ports and Original Compositions!
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Discussion: "Which levels really suck?"
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - SMW Central Production 1.5 - Discussion: "Which levels really suck?"
Pages: « 1 2 3 » Link
Title is blunt.

Before we start, I'd like to get some discussion going on the following:

-Which levels absolutely cannot be salvaged? As in, which ones should we outright remove from the original game?
-Which levels COULD be salvaged with a bit of work?
-Which levels are too long?
-Which levels are inappropriately placed (eg. a world 2 level that should be in world 7, etc).

...and anything else you'd like to discuss. There are definitely going to be level slots open for new levels, but before we get there, we need to talk about the current project.

Go nuts!
First!

This is what I recall from when I played the hack in 2011:

Too long/hard:
-Football Cayon (could be placed later in game)
-Rupture in reality (this needs to be redone)
-Weeaboo Manor (could be placed later in game)
-Bowser's Castle (although I wouldn't mind if the void is separated from this).
-Zephyr Manor (again, could be placed in the later game, but still needs to be toned down)

I can't recall specific examples of item babysitting right now, except one of the grass levels in world 7 (Shoreline Woods). There was also a ghost house level in world 6 that felt really empty (Buried Graveyard).

Edit: remembered Adventum Terminus thanks to MrDeePay, that level was also empty in some parts mostly at the beginning and in the long-jump segments.
First that springs to mind: I think cave of lost pride can be fixed by just moving the midpoint to right before the vine climbing area. And probably being moved to a different world...

Football Canyon needs to replace the Chuck "puzzle" with some other way to get the key, but otherwise is a reasonable level I think.

World one is surprisingly reasonable, but there's a big problem with garden path being after the secret exit, because it is an intensely easy level when the levels around the time you can get to it are stupid hard
First things that come to mind:

Oh Man! It's Hell would pretty much need to be redone entirely, since it's just about nothing but pointless item carrying.

Zephyr Manor desperately needs another midpoint or two, or alternatively just cutting out a few rooms.

Snowflake Cavern is a way too long mess of mostly entirely unrelated rooms; I think this too could benefit from just getting rid of a few.

Rupture in Reality needs to have the Eerie generator removed from the second half.

That path to the secret exit in Football Canyon should have the wind part removed, since pressing down to fall through it is completely unintuitive and isn't alluded to anywhere ingame. I think there are a few rooms that could be cut here, too.

Sinister Dungeon should probably have its control reversing gimmick removed.

Creepy Dark Woods needs to have its second half redone; hiding hopping flames behind layer priority is just kind of awful.

The cave void and mountain void needs to be reduced in length, and the forest void needs to have its Map16 settings fixed. And the void hub should be condensed so that it doesn't take so long to traverse.

Unearthly Hollow should have the back-and-forth "puzzle" for the springboard at the start removed.

My cave fortress level should have the two paths switched; put the homing Thwomp room on the secret exit path, and the elevator on the normal path.

The precision required for Into the Water's secret exit is way too high.

I think Cave of Elements is missing a midpoint entirely?

To Land Much Below needs to have its time limit increased for the rushing parts; 20 seconds is just barely enough if you know exactly what you're doing.

Boreal Bastille's boss needs a better aiming routine, since the battle required getting the boss to hit a target with its projectile.

I recall seeing complaints about The Counterfort outright crashing on people?

Wild Wet Castle's boss battle drags on for way too long.

Orbital Fortress's midpoint should be moved earlier in the level (or I should actually design a proper second half to it, like I was intending to at some point)

The Marine Pop in Sizzling Spires has all-around awful interaction with both objects and sprites, if I recall correctly.

Asteroid Belt has those weird glitchy-looking asteroid platform due to the graphics being saved in the wrong format.

Morel Mountain is also missing a midpoint. (at least I think that's the one; the level I'm thinking of is designed by imamelia)

(to be edited as I remember things)

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Interesting idea. I might be able to help out in this, considering I have free time. The first things that come to mind, though, are those:

Rupture in Reality would be slightly better if the difficulty was toned down a bit - the way it is now is ridiculously hard for a level of the lava world; the first room that comes before the layer 2 rooms was decent, but what comes afterwards is a higher step on difficulty (no offense, raocow...).

I'd say to replace the way to get the secret exit on Football Canyon (aka the Chuck bit) with something else. The level was cool otherwise.

The Mole boss should be kept. It was very cool.

I'll edit this post when I think of more.
I was literally thinking about when the next time we have another collab was earlier today.

And just yesterday was when I was doing a TON of research on SMWCP.

And I am currently in the process of playing through SMWCP (still on Unearthly Hollows)

This is certainly a surprising thing to happen all of a sudden. Although it's not from scratch, it will definitely be neat to see at least somewhat of a collab thing from the beginning onward.

Did the PM I sent you earlier have anything to do with your inspiration for this?

But as for the actual question, although I don't have too much experience with the hack yet, I can say that there needs to be a bit of changing to make this hack perfect. From the looks of it, a lot of things were changed from the original plan (such as the lakitu in Ulti's level, the infamous "Football Canyon" level being just another idea with a chuck section added to it, Ersan's boss put in the first castle, etc.)

Anyways, all I can really say too much about now, is that I really hope this doesn't fail, or end up taking forever and being a frustration.

Good luck, I'll update this post/make a new one when I finish the hack.

Extras



I should have something witty to put here (even if it's just to update dated info), shouldn't I?

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THIS POST IS A WORK IN PROGRESS.

This list ignores several levels that don't necessarily fall under any of the questions you asked, but to be honest, well over half of the levels need to be redone to a considerable extent. If you want me to, I can take a direct general approach with all of them and list general flaws with each level. Would you like that instead?

Originally posted by S.N.N.
-Which levels absolutely cannot be salvaged? As in, which ones should we outright remove from the original game?


Cave of Lost Pride
Confusion Chambers
Hydro Hills
Into the Water!
Oh Man! It's Hell!
Permafrost Caverns
Rupture in Reality
Snowflake Cavern
Spectral Abyss
Unearthly Hollow
Void: Cave
Void: Grass
Wild Wet Castle

Quote
-Which levels COULD be salvaged with a bit of work?


Adventum Terminus
Bowser's Castle
Chateau of Storms
Creepy Dark Woods
Dark Depths
Football Canyon
Sinister Dungeon
To Land Much Below!
Weeaboo Manor
Void: Desert
Void: Fire
Void: Water
Zephyr Manor

Quote
-Which levels are too long?


Arbiter's Grounds
Bowser's Castle
Chateau of Storms
Football Canyon
Void: Desert

Quote
-Which levels are inappropriately placed (eg. a world 2 level that should be in world 7, etc).


Football Canyon
Garden Path (kinda)
Morel Mountain
Sinister Dungeon (remove the gimmick and move it back to where it was)
Treacherous Tower (move it back to where it was)
Weeaboo Manor


BONUS ROUND! Levels that aren't necessarily incapable of being salvaged, but could be completely redone anyway.

- Artic Fortress
- Big Baddie Cave
- Buzzy Bridge
- Catacomb Calamity
- Danger Mines
- Frigid Ice Cave
- Gramen Terra
- Nippy Expanse
- oh god brambles
- P-Switch Peak
- Underground Falls

For the levels that are declared non-salvageable, we should at least try to cater to the original by having a new author redesign the level with the "good" things in mind, be it graphics or ideas. Also, maybe we should include which levels had questionable gimmicks or bosses.

I am stoked to fix up my level (it's not only the 20 seconds thing that needs to be fixed) and get this project going. (In before "ASMT:Better Rerun Addition" announced [I'd actually enjoy that too])

Edit: Will multi-midway points be considered for this version for all levels that could use it?

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I wonder what a HFD opcode would do in ASM...
Gonna throw my own opinions out there too. Not a completed list, but a good start:

SCRAP ENTIRELY:
(either due to too many resources wasted or generally "off" design)
Cave of Lost Pride
Buried Graveyard
Unearthly Hollow
Snowflake Cavern
Sand Castle of Doom
Nippy Expanse
Into the Water
Permafrost Cavern
Spectral Abyss
Wild Wet Castle
Oh Man! It's Hell
Chateau of Storms
Void: Cave

SALVAGE:
(reduce the length or chop some sections)
Zephyr Manor
To Land Much Below
Adventum Terminus
Treacherous Tower

OTHER NOTES:
-Make "Switch of Many Hues" the last switch palace. It's too hard for where it is.
-Move "Sinister Dungeon" to world 1, remove the dumb gimmick.
-Move "Weeaboo Manor" to a later world.

Quote

Edit: Will multi-midway points be considered for this version for all levels that could use it?


Yes.
I think DeePay already mentioned all of the levels that immediately came to mind after seeing this thread, but one other thing to consider will definitely be the bosses. The giant spiny, koopa troopa, deedle ball (the world 5 boss, I forget what it's actually called), Anya the Piranha, Bowser, Toadsworth, and Megadmin all need to be toned down and/or rebalanced.

EDIT: Oh yay, a ninja thread about bosses popped up!

Also, even though people seemed to like my levels, I'll take the chance to give them a comb over and apply what I've learned toward them in the nearly five years (!) since I made them.

EDIT: About the switch palaces, it's kinda' weird because two of them function as they did in SMW while the other two are made to challenge the player. Perhaps making them more consistent with each other would be a thing to consider. Currently, though, if Switch of Many Hues is moved to world 7, then the old Disco Switch needs to be the third switch palace in order to adhere to an increasing difficulty curve.
UNFINISHED POST

Football Canyon: Leod's infamous first level.
Aside from the Chuck puzzle in the first half, leave that as is. The second half however changes everything. This second part just felt annoying and confusing to play, and also out of place. Keys were being used as something other than secret exits, and I'm sure that the level can be tweaked to allow for changing the key graphic to look like a block instead - since leod's intent is to cross a gap with that key. The part I hated wasn't even about the footballs.

Cave of Lost Pride: TheGamer had a horrible habit of using claustrophobic spaces, dragging things on for too long, and carrying stuff over half the time you were playing. Not to mention the midpoint was placed at about 5/6ths of the way through, and the arcade Tetris section (although very creative) seems almost impossible.

Zephyr Manor: Just foop this level. The whole thing is too hard / long for being placed in World 4. In a savestatelss run through this hack, this level had me looking for ways to have a metal dice / circulating fan with pen attached hold the jump button while I was AFK so I could get infinite coins from the coin block in Toad Town. After getting the 1000 coins needed to get a 1-UP and try again, I just lost it, and again, back to the coin farm!

To Land Much Below: The 20 second part requires too much accuracy to get done right. Bumping it up to 25-30 seconds could do. the second half is a lot more normal / easier.

Wild Wet Castle: This level was at least 3 times longer than it should have been. The boss also drags on.

Cave of Elements: "You're... in... the way, in a spectacular way...♪~ *dies* ...DAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!" With the level's length and little room for error in relation to that length, even Raocow could lose his patience after retrying it so many times.

Confusion Chambers: I don't remember this one, but I don't remember liking it.

Rupture in Reality: Raocow always went too far when it came to making levels. This one was no exception. At least it's on the secret path and in World 8 however.

The Grass Void: Falling through some seemingly solid trees. Mindfuck.

The Cave Void: TheGamer goes ballistic with item ferrying and making the level take forever. Not to mention these switches go off if you try to grab them while jumping on them, increasing your risk of fucking it all up.
I'll be updating this post with things that come to mind. Also, I won't be mentioning any levels that should be immediately nuked, so everything I put here will assume that we're keeping the level.

Arbiter's Grounds has already been mentioned as being too long, but I also want throw in that the second half of the level feels completely disjointed from the first half, and in many ways the rest of the world as well. Piloting Squawks around has nothing to do with anything and I personally don't think that section had any business being there, on top of it being really hard and a pain to replay upon losing to the boss (though multiple midpoints will fix the latter issue).

EDIT: Additionally, since this level is supposed to be a reference to a dungeon from Twilight Princess, the background should probably reflect the in-door nature of that place in the second half of the level, as well. Just an aesthetic touch.

Cave of Elements is really rough, too long, and as TLMB said, I believe it lacks a midpoint. it also has a redundant Yoshi filter at the beginning when I'm pretty sure the hack already has Counter Break Y implemented. Some toning down needs to be done here and a few jumps need to be less claustrophobic, among other things.

Dark Depths is too dark for its own good along with many of the areas being overly constrictive, forcing a lot of waiting. Also, the spotlight gimmick is gameplay inconsistent because it doesn't hide the urchins, but it does hide other sprites like the Rip Van Fish, confounding player expectations. Spotlight also makes it really easy to get hit by Torpedo Teds when swimming upward.

Dinosaur Reef would have been very easy to break by swimming below it, but lava tiles were placed to insta-kill Mario if the player tries to do that. I think this could be handled with a little more tact, but it's admittedly minor in the face of a lot of other offenders.
The only two levels that come to me are Nimbus Ascent and Rupture in Reality. I think Nimbus ascent can be worked around, perhaps a different gimmick. The time gimmick was not entirely cool, and was a little bit annoying at times.

Rupture in Reality needs to be scraped. Too difficult for a World 7 level. I see that difficult being in post-game.
The only level I remember is the first castle, in which you have to collect 5 coins.

THe gimmicks are interestings, but.... it so damn hard for a first castle in my opinion. I had to use savestates. :/

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Oh god, I'm updating both of my levels. I like the ideas I had, but christ they were annoying, hard, and ill serviced.
I made a sub section for a level in world 2 (the original level was too short so SNN wanted to add a sub section to it to lengthen it out a bit) and while it's not bad or buggy or anything like that whatsoever I would like to remake it if that's fine since it sucks IMO, especially considering my level standards have changed a lot. I would look up which level I made a section for but I'm at work and I don't even have SMWCP anymore anyways
Originally posted by reghrhre
I would look up which level I made a section for but I'm at work and I don't even have SMWCP anymore anyways

The level is Hydro Hills. :)

Extras



I should have something witty to put here (even if it's just to update dated info), shouldn't I?

Advertising Space

Hydro Hills should be replaced, too. Too "bleh". I'll update my post shortly to include some other levels.

Oh Lord not hydro hills :-( my eyes bleed
Disclaimer: I only played through the first four worlds of this hack. It's nearly impossible to play this in its current state without using savestates.

Anyways, these levels need to be fixed...

Treacherous Tower: This is way, way too difficult for a first castle. It seems a bit stingy on the powerups, and the boss is ridiculously hard.

Weeaboo Manor: The first half of the level was fine. It was the second half puzzle involving item babysitting that I found to be incredibly annoying.

Grinder Castle: Again, the first half of this level is fine. It's the second half puzzle involving the koopa that makes me want to tear my hair out.

Cave of Lost Pride: I don't really need to repeat the reasons why it sucks, but I think it needs to be scrapped. I really don't think it can be salvaged. It's difficult, but it's not the fair type of difficult. It relies on surprises too much, honestly. There's no way to properly fix the level without gutting it.

Unearthly Hollow: This can be salvaged if the item babysitting near the beginning is removed. Other than that, it's a decent level.

Switch of Many Hues: To be clear, I don't think the level necessarily sucks. I just don't think that this switch fits in with the rest of them. This is the only one that makes you work for it, and honestly, the puzzle is frustrating. I tried to do a second savestateless run of this hack and this level was the one that made me give up my run. Honestly, this level is frustrating and annoying. I'd be okay with scrapping it.

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Pages: « 1 2 3 » Link
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - SMW Central Production 1.5 - Discussion: "Which levels really suck?"

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