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ACCEPTED] "Mario's Vanilla Journey" by akacesfan
Forum Index - Valley of Bowser - Moderation Questions - Hacks - ACCEPTED] "Mario's Vanilla Journey" by akacesfan
Pages: « 1 » Link
File Name: Mario's Vanilla Journey - Demo 2.01 (C3 Demo)
Submitted: 2014.07.24 ~ 21:29:33 by akacesfan
Claimed: 2014.07.24 ~ 22:45:43 by Counterfeit
Rating: 0.0
Authors: akacesfan
Demo: Yes
Featured: No
Length: 24 exit(s)
Difficulty: Normal
Description: This is a vanilla hack that has been in the works for about two years. This demo contains three worlds of action packed fun and excitement! Mario will journey through crystalline caverns, verdant grasslands, and sunny beaches.

The gameplay is meant to feel Nintendo-ish. That means that there is a consistent difficulty curve, and nothing too crazy is present. This hack is meant to be played without savestates, so please try to play it without them.
Tags: c3 submission, nintendo-ish, normal, traditional, vanilla
Download: Download - 215.37 KiB
Submission Notes: This fixes the bug with the bonus room that Counterfeit mentioned earlier.

VERSION ONE - DO NOT REVIEW - Removed for faulty overworld exit tile settings
File Name: Mario's Vanilla Journey - Demo 2 (C3 Demo)
Submitted: 2014.07.14 ~ 02:06:34 by akacesfan
Claimed: 2014.07.15 ~ 13:30:00 by Counterfeit
Rating: 0.0
Authors: akacesfan
Demo: Yes
Featured: No
Length: 24 exit(s)
Difficulty: Normal
Description: This is a vanilla hack that has been in the works for about two years. This demo contains three worlds of action packed fun and excitement! Mario will journey through crystalline caverns, verdant grasslands, and sunny beaches.

The gameplay is meant to feel Nintendo-ish. That means that there is a consistent difficulty curve, and nothing too crazy is present. This hack is meant to be played without savestates, so please try to play it without them.

Enjoy, and please leave a review!
Tags: c3 submission, mario, nintendo-ish, normal, traditional, vanilla
Download: Download - 214.75 KiB

VERSION TWO - DO NOT REVIEW: Removed for Bonus Game glitch in Buzzsaw Bastille
File Name: Mario's Vanilla Journey - Demo 2 (C3 Demo)
Submitted: 2014.07.20 ~ 04:17:52 by akacesfan
Claimed: 2014.07.23 ~ 03:26:40 by Counterfeit
Rating: 0.0
Authors: akacesfan
Demo: Yes
Featured: No
Length: 24 exit(s)
Difficulty: Normal
Description: This is a vanilla hack that has been in the works for about two years. This demo contains three worlds of action packed fun and excitement! Mario will journey through crystalline caverns, verdant grasslands, and sunny beaches.

The gameplay is meant to feel Nintendo-ish. That means that there is a consistent difficulty curve, and nothing too crazy is present. This hack is meant to be played without savestates, so please try to play it without them.

Enjoy, and please leave a review!
Tags: c3 submission, nintendo-ish, normal, traditional, vanilla
Download: Download - 215.26 KiB
Submission Notes: Mods, this is the updated version of the demo that fixes some critical glitches. Please remove the other version.
The title screen shows a traditional-style Mario level with admitably a lot of threatlessly-placed enemies and no goal tape at the end. o.o;

The intro is very colorful. Same story, different land: Bowser has invaded and the princess is captured. -.-;

Island Hut tells you to go get rid of Iggy Koopa's castle. The hills look kinda purplish, which looks much better with the green than the default blues.

Placid Plateau has some really moony-looking cave colors... and the exit from that pipe back into the normal level is really really high. Still, I feel like the level otherwise was a good beginning. It's very easy, and deploys one thing of greater complication than the rest of the level for getting into the bonus room. Some of the Dragon Coins were out of the way, but in such a manner that getting them taught the player something new about how the game works.

Cerulean Cave allows me to carry Buzzy Beetles into areas without the proper graphics loaded for them, resulting in a glitch. There were two paths out from the first cave section, both accessible with the P-switch. The main difference is the items/coins along the way but they both led you to the midway point. This level utilizes generic cave enemies really well, such as the Swoopers, and while marginally more challenging than the last level, it's still easy and accessible to people who want something on par with Super Mario World's difficulty. (It was brought to my attention that a group of users were saying, "Hey, how come everyone makes hard hacks? There's not a lot of good-quality easy stuff out there."

Sunset Skies is the title screen level and the first stage with a secret exit. There's some disinfo in the message box, though: on an actual controller, you don't press B to pick up a throw block; it's X or Y. The secret exit leads me to Sunny Shrubs. Overall, I liked this level and I like the way you set up the Dragon Coins.

Lakeside Fortress has a bunch of small rooms populated with either Koopas or Ball & Chains. The Dragon Coins are fun to get and the level structure makes for fun platforming, but the level is fundamentally very simple.

Sunny Shrubs is a very non-linear forest-styled level that makes use of expanding turn block bridges. Each divergence has something different to offer and always leads back to the same path heading in the same direction to avoid confusion.

Lavender Lake has my favorite palette ever in a vanilla hack. The layer 3 tide sets up jumping fish to harass you, and the platforms just fall straight down rather than predictably floating in the water. The underwater portion turns this linear level into a non-linear one and offers a cool way of getting a Dragon Coin, once again... or if you choose to carry the P-switch, it leads you to the secret exit instead! The sculpting of this underwater portion is appealing.

Yellow Switch borrows the idea from the original level, and puts you on a bridge of used blocks, and gives you a few platforms above from which you'll be able to get the coins. Don't slip up or you will DIE in this bonus world! Good job on the yellows... it keeps the bright, happy look of Mario games, but without being strong like a lot of people tend to make it when they go for the bright yellows.

#1 Island Castle is a great blend of ideas from castles 1 and 3 of the original SMW. The layer 2 scrolling land opens and closes paths and makes for risky Dragon Coins, but its execution is a little less strong than #3 Lemmy's Castle. I feel like the integration of nets in the second scrolling room could've been better, not just because of the fact that Mario didn't scroll with the nets but it also feels like the scrolling and obstructions had no impact on you going from net to block to net. I also don't think that the background palette was suitable for the backdrop color; either the black should be a medium-dark brown or the yellow should be somewhat darker to suit the black in all applicable rooms.

Tropical Trek introduces Volcano Lotuses and chain-jumping across flying enemies, but the main path and a lot of the structure, atmosphere, and concepts are the same as the first levels. The difficulty remains unchanged. The music is what defines this as a world 2 level.

Porpoise Playground is a beach level, but its background is more suggestive of a desert... I think that you ought to add the cutscene water, and turn the background hills light green to make them seem like big, distant islands. One major problem I encountered was how easy it was to swim under the level and avoid the level's use of dolphins. The yellow switch blocks changed little bits of how the level played out, nullifying some muncher dangers. The underwater part was engaging and overtook the namesake of the level, which applied really to only the first room.

Flooded Fortress doesn't have the most appealing background; I feel like it should be a deep aqua since it looks more like ice. It confused me a little because the midway entrance room had the same palette as underwater but it wasn't water at all. The level felt a little dragged out, even if the design was good. It didn't deviate until the pre-boss room with all the Torpedo Teds. Again, the creativity with the Dragon Coin makes the room: it lures you to the top where you have to carefully pass back down through the barrage of Teds and move on to the boss.

Dino Domain introduces the cape, and mandates it to fully explore the level's little bonuses. In addition, the Yellow Switch is necessary to have gotten for all the Dragon Coins in this level. Despite the common use of Dino Rhino and Dino Torch, I don't feel like the terrain did them justice in making them threatening. This level was all about the cape.

#2 Coastal Castle focuses more on fireballs and wooden spikes, although the terrain doesn't let the spikes work to their fullest potential because there's almost always space to easily navigate around them. The upside is you don't have to endure the waits commonly associated with them. There are some hidden blocks you need to reveal to continue moving forward or to get all the Dragon Coins.

The third map previously had a glitch where coming from the second map, you spawned in the pipe to the left of Red-Hot Recesses, which left you stuck in world 3 eternally. In the latest version, we are brought to a pipe from which we can enter the cave, and all exits and path reveal settings are in working order.

Chuck Cavern is a very pretty translucent cave level which emphasizes use of various Chucks and their footballs in strategic areas while maintaining a very straightforward, rather simple layout. I loved the secret exit setup - it had a nice flow and presentation.

Buzzsaw Bastille's level design does a really good job of utilizing one single concept with the Grinders and how to use them to spin jump to hidden locations (and then mandates you do it to get to the end of the level, and chain your bounces to reach the ultimate prize.) In this version of the demo, the bonus game glitch has been fixed. It's also worth noting that the bonus game in general no longer has the scrolling problem.

Clammy Cave is reminiscent of Vanilla Dome 2 in the sense that it's a half-water cave level with P-switch shenanigans and a side of vine. This one is a little heavier on P-switch but for exploration purposes not pertaining to a secret exit. P-switches reveal a lot of paths and soften up a lot of blocks into coins, letting you get Dragon Coins and bonus rooms.

Red-Hot Recesses is an awkward lava level at the beginning of an ice world. The normal exit leads left and reveals the missing path, but the level dot is still hidden. The secret exit reveals the Blue Switch, but you can't use the path.

Spooky Sanctuary is an item puzzle ghost house that schools you in hidden doors. The final door is hidden inside an o-shape of coins, so if you make the mistake of collecting the bottom coin, you had to redo that puzzle -- I liked this idea.

Slim Shaft is the level between S.N.N.'s legs that nobody wanted to see. This cave level is tight, but actually fast-moving because it feels like the ceilings are still contoured to your movements, if that makes sense. The Spike Tops and the space make the level more meant for spin jumping through than anything else.

#3 Cavern Castle is a mini Top Secret Area end-of-demo level.

This hack is really fun. It feels more like the old-school, classic vanilla SMW hacks in that there's nothing terribly gaudy and it's just straight-up level design with pretty palettes. The soundtrack is full of cute music and SMW remixes, with the occasional tough track (e.g. world 3's map.) The fortresses and castles mostly use a subtle theme scarcely seen in any other hack. It's a fresh pick of songs and they all seem stylistically consistent.

Difficulty: Easy... so far anyways

Just look above you...
If it's something that can be stopped, then just try to stop it!
Mario's Vanilla Journey - akacesfan
Started by reviewing a few levels, then started to only review a few levels that were worth noting a few things.

Title Screen
A nice beginning. I would say try interact with the environment more if you are going to do so later on in the sequence. Right now, Mario just walks blindly then all of a sudden he picks up a shell and starts going backwards and even grabs a one up. That all happens towards the second half of the sequence, which nobody would really watch. Try to spice it up a bit more. Otherwise, it's fine.

Intro Screen
The ol' bush cutoff bug happens here. I haven't hacked in a while so I don't remember how to fix it or what the problem is originally. Just note that it's there. Not a removal reason.

Placid Plateau
This is a pretty fun level. Nothing much to say about it, since it's a pretty good opening level to a hack. If I were to say one thing, it's a tiny bit short, but that's probably just me, since I don't know how long the other levels in this hack are in comparison. I would also say that power-ups are a tiny bit too plentiful in this level. Maybe remove one powerup block.

Cerulean Cavern
This level was very bland, to put it straight. Nothing stood out in this level. It was extremely short, I felt. Shorter than the first, and it was pretty linear too. I do like how you had to take one path specifically for all the dragon coins, though. That was a pretty nice touch.

Sunset Skies
I would say that this level was the best so far (though, I've only played 2 levels). I can see why it was used as the intro screen. Overall, the music set the pace of the level, and made it just enjoyable to play. The secret exit wasn't too hard to find, nor was it very simple, as the player would have to go out of their way to grab a shell.

Lakeside Fortress
This level was a lot longer than the others, and I feel it is a pretty big spike in difficulty compared to the levels right before. Try to tone down the use of enemies in this just a bit, as the difficulty curve is just a tad too high at the moment. The levels up to now were very easy. Also, after this level, the music seems to cut out on the overworld. Sounds still play, so no removal reason yet (it would definitely be bad if the game crashed).

Lavender Lake
I would suggest adding some blue blocks in the water segment to make it go by a bit faster. It definitely felt more dragged out than it had to, personally. I did like your secret exit. If the player wanted to collect the dragon coins, they would have to waste the P-switch and go around for a second time.

Yellow Switch
I would suggest moving everything up one block and then adding note blocks under the brown block platform. This makes it so that the level is more of a bonus rather than a wrong-step-and-you-die bonus.

#1 Island Castle
It wasn't a bad level, though, there were too many segments. I felt you wanted to have the player experience everything, but in order to make levels fun, you need to have a specific gimmick throughout the level. It went from normal level, to scrolling, to climbing, and back to scrolling. It could have been executed better.

During the scrolling section, I would say that you should make the player have to be more patient, because I could easily run through everything, as the platforms stopped right above the lava for some of them. Barely any platforms went under the surface.

Another minor nitpick I have is that there is a downwards moving escalator on screen 04 of Sublevel 39. It is the only escalator block in the entire level, and it just struck me as awkward. Overall, this level could use improvements to be more organized, but it wasn't so bad that the hack should be removed.

Porpoise Playground
It struck me as weird that this level mainly was above ground, yet the tile is in the ocean. Not a big deal. Just something I'd like to point out.

Flooded Fortress
Sort of the same thing as #1 Castle. The torpedo ted section felt forced and it didn't add anything but annoyance since Torpedo teds are hard to navigate around mostly. It was also short.

For the rest of the level, the ball and chain was a bit tricky to navigate around, and the entire level basically was based around them. It was definitely a spike in difficulty, but not too big.

Dino Domain
There is a mushroom before the midway point. Generally this isn't needed, as if the player is small, they'd become big with the midway point. If the player wants both mushrooms, they would get the midway point first, then the mushroom, which is why it should be put after if you do do this. If the player has a fire flower, they would not need the mushroom. I would suggest removing the mushroom. Other than that, it was a pretty fun level.

#2 Coastal Castle
Fun level. Definitely an improvement from #1, as it sort of stuck with a gimmick. No super-harsh level changes. Also, why does the teleport pipe after the level lead to an island where we then have to go into the cave? Shouldn't it have just led straight to the cave? Us players are quite lazy, you know.

Chuck Cavern
I'd definitely suggest having the message block that teaches the player to scroll the screen in this level. This is because it's possible to kill the chuck and manage to screw yourself until you scroll the screen right to the next chuck at the beginning.

Another thing I'd like to say about this level is that the secret exit is a bit demanding. To get the key, you need to make a semi-difficult jump, because football height varies. Then, you need to be big for the next pipe. Maybe simplify it somehow. Definitely don't get rid of the turn blocks, because then the pipe may be hard to find. Maybe make use of the chucks and have them break the blocks for you to run through.

Red-Hot Recesses
Maybe instead of outright giving the solution to the secret exit, make the player figure it out themselves. For example, remove the message block, then add coins under the first set of invisible note blocks. That way it's more of a secret, as secret exits should be.

Buzzsaw Bastille
The saws can be killed if you slide. When they are killed, they appear as glitched. Try to avoid having saws go on areas with slopes, or apply some sort of fix so this doesn't happen.

Secondly, remove the moon. Moons should be used as rewards, yes, but not rewards for doing hard work. Original moons were found by luck. The player clearly knew that there was land beyond the saws he could spin jump off of. If you do remove the moon, be sure to make the spin jump part before the final dragon coin a bit easier, since it is three for a single coin. This could potentially be a removal reason, however, I'll let it go, considering the levels are pretty good so far.

Also, finishing this level confirmed that the music on the overworld cuts out after the reznor battles.

Blue Switch
Glitched note block tiles. It is very easy to fix. This is definitely better than the yellow switch palace, though, since you cannot die in this.

#3 Cavern Castle
Completely blank level. Died immediately. Maybe add an End of Demo message or stop the player from being able to go in.

Final thoughts
Overall, this hack is relatively normal. It's definitely just as simple as Super Mario World. The atmosphere throughout felt pretty good. Though, the first two levels were pretty short compared to the rest. I would definitely say to try focus less on aesthetics and try to focus on better level design. A few of the levels were pretty reminiscent of the original SMW, like Clammy Cave had the P-switch things, and Tropical Trek had Donut Plains 1 elements. All the levels felt pretty simple. They were linear, and had very little challenge. Even the ghost house level was straightforward, pretty much. I just entered doors that I felt I should have entered. All the doors that were invisible and blocks that appeared led to the ending, which isn't always what you want to do.

The hack was extremely easy, this was due to the excess amount of power-ups. Tone it down a lot, because it will still be relatively easy with the lesser amount of power-ups.

Difficulty: Easy
Verdict: Accepted
I actually caught the issue about the empty castle #3 a few hours after I uploaded version 2.01. I've already submitted the new version that fixes this issue (version 2.02). Can people just review that new version so that way we don't have to restart the moderation process?

Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Really, don't worry about the castle. It's not a removal reason, nor is fixing a single thing grounds for restarting the entire process (not that it was restarted in the first place). Everything for your hack is going to be posted in this thread.
Nice hack here. Even if not a fan of vanilla hack, I enjoyed playing this demo.

The level design is good, varied and pretty fun to go trough. Most of your levels aim for a linear type, and even if it's pretty easy to make them boring, you managed to introduce good and diversified sections everytime. I appreciated the difficulty curve in particular: I really felt the game getting more and more challengy as I went forward, even if it's not noticeable immediately. Overall, a good job from this point of view.

The aesthetics are appealing, good and very well used. It's impressive to see what a hacker can do with just the original SMW graphics. This is your case, I believe. I appreciated your palette work in this hack, which is always pleasant to see and, indeed, appealing. No big complaints here, maybe a few BG palettes needed more work to fit better with the FG, but that's a subjective judgement.

No misc issues, I haven't found any worth of mention.

The difficulty is easy, with a lovely difficult curve.

Overall, I'd accept this hack. Another clear example of what a good vanilla hack should be. Good luck with the development of this hack~
I played this hack and it was quite fun. I like vanilla hacks, so I enjoyed playing this.

Your design is good and varied. Every level shows a different palette and theme and the first levels were a very nice introduction to this hack. Your palettes were nice, some of them were also very nicely done, but a few also looked a little wacky. Maybe that's just me. The difficulty curve is good, and it goes more challenging in progress. It starts out easy and goes more to a medium-ish difficulty. Your aesthetics are nice. Pretty SMW-ish, but nicely used with varied terrain. Some of the message boxes were telling us about obvious things from SMW (i.e. spinies are sharp), but you don't have to remove them. I guess this hack ends on the W3 castle, as I fell into a hole and died when I entered it.

Your OW looked okay, but I quite disliked the grass palette in W1/W2. I think it'd look better with sligthly darker spots, also the cliffs in W2 should be more brown-ish. Not a removal reason, but I think it could be good to change them a bit, so they would look nicer. The W3 OW and palette was fine, though.

I liked the music choices in your hack. Some of the songs are underused which is a good thing. Some of the songs were new like the athletic remix. It was catchy and I liked it a lot.

Overall, this hack is worth being accepted. It's a really enjoyable and fun vanilla hack. I'm definitely waiting for a new demo (or final release) of this hack, I really liked it.

Difficulty: I'd say easy. It was getting more to normal in W3, but it has many powerups and bonuses, making this hack a bit easier, so yeah... I'd say easy.

Nice job!
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Forum Index - Valley of Bowser - Moderation Questions - Hacks - ACCEPTED] "Mario's Vanilla Journey" by akacesfan

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