Alright, so this is basically an enhanced version of the level I wanted to make last year. Working with the cloud tileset can be arduous, but I've managed to regain my motivation and finish up most of the graphical work required. Originally it was just about reversing the cloud palette for a different look, but now I also have layer 2 scrolling up and down, plus layer 3 scrolling slowly to the left. I'll probably play around with placing enemies like lotus plants and bowser statues on the layer 2 clouds so they move in between firing projectiles, and with the power of SA-1, adding in a brigade of super koopas at some point should be manageable.
The dirt decoration comes from the smoke contact graphics in the bottom row of GFX00, and I might add one more shape for variety. The layer 3 clouds are made from the skinny background clouds with thin eyes, but I removed the eyes to fit into the smaller palette space. There are a few tiles I had to edit slightly to alleviate cutoff or jagged corners, but hopefully nothing that will warrant a penalty.
Anyway, I hope it looks pleasant, and I'll try to continue working on this.
Hey, it looks sooo shiny, there is a large difference between that and all those castle-ish levels (no offense).
A small number of people use that cloud tileset, as you said, it could be arduous. I wish you a good luck with that, and I suggest you to put their priority on for even more aesthetic!
Trippy stuff! This one definitely is unique to the rest of the competition, I'd say. You really went to town on the Layer 2 and 3 effects. I'd recommend you do add another shape in the dirt though, just so there is something to break the repeating graphics there.
Thanks for the comments, all! Unfortunately, I'll have to continue working on this toward the end of the month, since I'll be away for a couple of weeks. Just letting everyone know so there are no concerns about a lack of updates. Feel free to remind me if it seems I've forgotten about it, though.
I stopped playing after 3 game overs. This one relied way too much on the power of SA-1 of being able to handle so much shit going on without getting punished by slowdown. It feels like I can't play by rushing unless I know the level by heart, and playing slow gets me ambushed a lot with the addition of the unneeded koopa generator. Half of the sprites in a bunch of the screens shouldn't even be there since they sometimes do a complete block of the obstacle, which requires me to turn, stop and continue on once they get away. A few super koopas and moles were placed in obscure jumps where I thought would be a safe path until I suddenly got killed by an enemy that comes out a very fast speed.
I would detail and show what parts really annoyed me the most, but we're reaching the end of the contest and I don't think you have a necessary amount of time to fix it by then. I will if you really want to though.
NOTE: I just played it again after writing this and beat it on my third try. I think it was just because I memorized most of the stage.
Location: Vanilla Grove Galaxy
Hey, it's done! I was happy to play this level, and I didn't have TOO much trouble with it (still saw game over, though)...however, I will say that the super koopa generator is a significant stressor. Unlike everything else in the level, the super koopas are random and they're hard to plan around. I think the level would be better if you could ditch them and place some other finite and deliberate obstacle instead, but this is more of a suggestion than a "this will definitely make this level better guaranteed 100%" kind of advisory (although the generosity with capes and the vulnerability of several of the enemies to sliding helps). I understand your difficulty style and this level speaks to me in a way that few others do. I really like it. It's also kinda' hard to believe it's as short as it is.
Finally, graphics aside, this level would fit very snuggly in the RttC universe. Good job!