I've asked myself this question a few times but I can't quite wrap my head around it: Why do we like kaizo?
Why do we enjoy spending hours on end playing levels with tools to slow the game down and use cheats (savestates) to succeed? Not that that's a bad thing, but it deeply confuses me, and I was wondering if you guys had any ideas.
personally, i'm of the understanding that kaizo is creativity outside the bounds of conventional level design, allowing one to implement creative ideas that would be considered 'unfair' or 'unfun' if it were in a normal difficulty hack.
i'm sure some of you have different reasons, but i'm pretty sure i got the general gist of it.
It has this way of not being very frustrating no matter how excruciating you make the difficulty. For the most part the difficulty is laughable instead of being truly maddening. In some levels Mario has to do all these things that explaining would not make sense outside of context. Stuff that would make the things mentioned in this thread seem realistic. TAW's are like a video game circus that attracts gamers to your channel.
It also somehow feels enough like a subgenre to feel less stale than regular hacking, and since I don't think anyone would want to pay money for a hard-type Kaizo difficulty game, it somehow feels not quite as much like 'piracy.' I don't have to burden myself with the thought of "oh, I'm making this game that has better level design and creativity than Nintendo did with SMW, and it's free."
It opens more doors for creative ideas and is fun to build and test more so than non-Kaizo hacks. You can think of gimmicks that are usually unfitting for a hack of a normal difficulty, appealing a different audience. Abusing a plethora of glitches to my advantage is another reason I like making such hacks, since there are a lot of possibilities to execute and put my effort into.
The very creative setups I create tend to be confusing at first. So, people will have to go through trial and error before figuring out what to do. Normal people don't like trial and error, so it gets in this kaizo subforum
Asking why we like Kaizo, well it's like asking a bird why it likes to fly, or why Americans like cheeseburgers, or why grass likes being green. Actually, idk where I was going with this
Honestly, Kaizo is just more fun and interesting for me to both play and make, as well as watch people play. Of course, I also like non-kaizo levels that are really interesting, like morsel and worldpeace's JUMP levels for example (and many of the JUMP levels are like easy levels with Kaizo styled design). I just get easily bored of the whole "jump over goombas and hit ? blocks" design, although I can appreciate a good story and aesthetics in these more boring levels.
I like watching people play savestateless Kaizo. It's so exciting to finally beat an insanely hard level. Like the excitement of watching Panga finally beat Val's Airspace, or Linkdead finally beating Mario On Ice, you don't get that excitement in normal hacks.
Designing Kaizo lets me make really fun, trollish things that I can't get away with in normal hacks, like a flying fish coming out of nowhere right at the end of the level to kill Mario.
As far as slowdown and savestate abuse with pit hack stuff, I like watching the end result after all the work, the end resulting movie is almost like an art.
I like to make silly things happen that normally wouldn't be possible if you were actually being considered decent with your diffficulty, and when taken out of context, sound extremely suspicious and/or disgusting.
The nefarious placement of everything makes it extremely pleasing to the eyes to see this fat plumber man sprite jumping around. I mean, I know plumbers, and I don't think any of them have ever encountered 73 killer plants and had to use a key to jump across them and carry the key just to survive while working on a broken pipe, I mean come on
I think GBreeze already said something about this, now that I actually read his post, but trolling the player of your level is more fun than I would ever had imagined, and I thought it would probably be aggravating, until I played an SMW hack, which the first one I played was the original Kaizo Mario. (some take this "troll" aspect a bit further than that one, though) Kaizo feels like a masochistic and sadistic type of art, one that most people would find painful and saddening to make, but fun to watch, or on the left end of the spectrum, fun and pleasuring to play, and fun to watch, like the "Kaizo lovers" that we're talking about. Kaizo triggers the "holyshitcoolbeans" reflex, and you feel really good about something.
I like kaizo because it offers a new kind challenge that is distinct from regular hacks. However, kaizo hard and pit hacks are usually too much for me. Another reason why I love kaizo, is because it enables the use of certain things that aren't normally seen in regular hacks, like glitches.
It's an interesting new difficulty of expanding your own ideas when making such a level. The difficulty is enough for me to make the hack even enjoyable. You're not restrained, and there are always creative gimmicks you can make from all sorts of stuff. (Sorry, been months since I used SMW terms, I forgot most of them.)
Personally I like Kaizo because it really feels like a competition between the levelmaker and the player - the levelmaker is trying to make challenging levels while still making sure they are possible, and the player is trying to find the easiest path through the obstacles. This knife's edge balacing act cannot be found in regular hacks. Also over the years Kaizo really became a habit, these days whenever I look at a regular level it feels like everybody involved is holding back somehow, like it could be a challenging Kaizo level but they left out all the challenging bits.
-------------------- Of course you should fight fire with fire, you should fight everything with fire.
I've got interested in kaizo hacks, because I was thinking they cheat, indeed, but I was suddenly wrong. Then I wanted to show that's impossible to play without savestates and slowdown. When I learned that they just record the movies, I've decided my own, too.Any reason as to why 7 Up has different logos in USA and the rest of the world?
This can be split up into a few categories for me: watching vs. playing, and TAS vs. not TAS.
As for watching: I like to see just how creatively devious the level designers can be. There are a lot of levels/hacks that make me go "WOW how did they think of that?" or "WOW they really know the ins an outs of the SMW engine!" Also seeing somebody complete a difficult kaizo hack, tool assisted or not is a satisfying experience in itself. Like watching skilled gymnasts in the Olympics. Especially people like Dode and Poo who speedrun these games without tools.
As for playing: I like testing and pushing the limits of my skill and dexterity. I will usually run through a game the first time with savestates, just to see all that it has to offer. Playing lets you really get to know a hack in the way that watching clear videos does not. You really appreciate the effort that goes into beating and creating the levels. If I like the hack, and I think it is possible, I will attempt to beat it with as few saves as possible, to really push my skill to that next level. Seeing the progress in my abilities is very satisfying.
I have only just started getting into creating levels myself, and that is a whole new thing unto itself. It is a great way to express my creativity and learn about lunar magic and SMW as well as giving me more perspective on other creator's work.