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[FEATURED] 'the by Medic, Torchkas, underway
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Forum Graveyard - Featured Hacks - [FEATURED] 'the by Medic, Torchkas, underway
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Link to submission.

WARNING: Review may contain spoilers. Don't read this if you're afraid of them!

I heard a lot about this hack when it was submitted and accepted. It looked really good from the screens, but for many reasons, I wasn't able to find the time to properly play this. I recall going trough the first jumpscare, then called it quits. But today, after a pretty lengthy play, I can now state I played the best horror/creepy hack ever.

There are litterally not many creepy hacks out there. Most of them are always happy, super colorful, beautiful scenarios, and so on. Others can be a little bit darker than the usual, but the kind of hack keeps the same most of the times: you, the player, going trough levels, finding normal/secret exits, defeating bad buddies, keeping going until final boss, beat final boss, end game.
This hack aims to be something totally different: as for the external look, it's dark, it makes you feel uncomfortable. While in the beginning it looks like the generic hack but with extra care in graphics, once you keep going for a few screens, you'll figure out that something isn't right; this hack breaks the usual schemes, with blood, disturbing messages and endings that just make you keep wondering if there's more of it, if there are more pieces of this complex puzzle of apparently meaningless hints.
It really does a magnificent job in conveying this weird, mysterious atmosphere, thanks to the wonderful work with the graphics, with the audio effects and "musics", and with the cryptic messages the game throws at you frequently. As said already, the messages do seem pretty random and nonsensed on a first look (some were hilarious, I think there was one saying "let's make it big again" lmao ;) ... ok sorry I'm lewd), but they're useful if you really want to discover what this hack is made of. This is probably what I liked most of this hack: it feels like the hack is talking to you, trying to communicate and giving hints that will eventually lead you to find out more. Yes, reading what I just wrote freaks me out, lol.

The only thing I disliked here: dem unnecessary long corridors. I'll compare the "outer" part of the level with said corridors (the glitchy one and the water one).
For how limited mechanics got here (no running/spin jumping), the outer part still manages to entertain the player. This, because of how the work with the foreground has been done: you can jump on ledges, you can take multiple paths, even with the linearity of the level, and it keeps the player busy. Meanwhile, tension builds up, with the dynamic elements such as blood drops, the princess moving fast and appearing, and so on. Trust me, the outer parts made me feel more tense than in the silly corridors.
The long corridors are, instead, bypassable in a certain sense. I won't hide that, while searching for more secrets, and going in the same corridors over and over again, I fast forwarded them until the messages popped out. Why I did that? This happens because of the FG not being "interesting" enough: it's, infact, just a straight line of plain ground, you only have to keep the right button pressed until you get out. I wonder how this could've worked if the corridors also had a similar fg work like the ouside part of the hack. It would probably make the whole hack better, but that's my opinion of course.

In conclusion, I just loved this. This is probably the best creepy hack ever created. Thus, my opinion for it would be to feature it. This should be an example of how a creepy hack should be like. If I have to think of a very good hack to suggest, which aims to be horror-like, I'd suggest this one.

What about your opinion instead? Go ahead and give yours!

Deadline: 10th September
'the was a great play through, I feel the users involved put forth the effort and creativity to make it as creepy as they have. It's good, it's well put together, functional, and unique.
This hack was much better than you average creepypasta which just relies on some semi-scary stories to be frightening. Rather, this one doesn't give you any readmes with the story pretold, you have to go and put the pieces together yourself.
The overall atmosphere in this hack alone is just downright bone chilling, not to mention the graphics and eastereggs when trying to find and put together the story.
So yeah... feature

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I was actually a tester of this so unfortunately, I didn't get the experience of going in completely blind, but that said, I can still see it for what it is, and that is what's by far the most professional of the "2spooky4me" hacks we have seen.

Rather than put you through fast paced overly complicated level design where you jump on enemies and stuff, the hack's main goal is to rather set up the atmosphere and world around it, while leading you through an experience. There is an overarching plot to the hack that you have to figure it out yourself, and while I did get pretty far in solving it, I wasn't able to put all of the pieces together. You'll have to bug me again Underway lol.

The ASM and sound design is very good. Props to Torchkas for helping to create such an ambience. It really adds a new layer to what unfolds rather than other hacks of this kind which usually opt for just no music at all, or the default ghost house theme. It made me feel a bit more than creeped lol. As for ASM, it's used in a way that helps to tell the story - I especially like how the messages you see are randomised. This encourages multiple playthroughs to see if you've found all of the clues, and that's my final point:

The mystery and intrigue behind this hack really does encourage multiple playthroughs. I played through at least five times (maybe more) just when I was testing for Underway aha, and that was after I'd gave my feedback.

So yeah - definitely something memorable, and definitely a feature on my part.
it's definitely experimental.

it doesn't have a whole lot of content. there are maybe 7 or 8 sublevels accessible without cheating, and the gameplay is heavily watered down, even for a mario game. not even mentioning the dodging thing you need to pass in order to continue the hack.

but gameplay is not really what it's going for, the primary focus of the hack is obviously atmosphere. it's full of cryptic text boxes with ambiguous subject matter, the graphical appearance of the hack is often unsettling, the music is creepy, and all of it comes together to create a very, very unique hack, and the effect it has on your nerves is powerful.

it's a fascinating proof-of-concept that shows just what a truly creepy hack can be. i'd say feature simply on the grounds that it is so creative and effective at what it sets out to do.
I've got various endings while playing it but I feel I'm missing something...
I think I've played the hack enough to give my thoughts on it, however, I'm still playing so I'll possibly update my review sometime close if I find new things.

~

This hack is amazing. It's got me very uncomfortable playing in the begin but as I kept playing and discovering new things I began to feel very interested on finding more endings and secrets, which unfortunately I didn't manage to so far. What's got me even more interested on replaying it and trying to find more secrets is that some of the messages throughout the hack seem to be randomized - it's got me to get together pieces of information it gives. I haven't tried opening the ROM in Lunar Magic to find more hints yet... maybe I'll do eventually if I don't find more things on my own.

Basically saying what everyone's already said, the atmosphere is excellent. It's definitely given me chills all the time and always got me to do things I hadn't tried yet, which got me to realise there are plenty of things hidden in the levels. Touches like
the bones falling from the leaves, Peach randomly appearing in the begin level
and the amazing work with sounds creeped me out often. I didn't mind the fact you couldn't run nor slide in levels, I actually thoughts this helps making the player feel uncomfortable playing it which is probably something the hack aimed for.

If there's something that annoyed me a little bit, they were the two softlocks this hack has that sometimes get my emulator to crash (I've played this on Snes9x). Other than that, I have no complaints.

~

This hack is still a mystery to me, but it's probably the most unique hack I've played so far, creepy and very memorable.

Totally a feature vote from me. It would be a shame if this hack wasn't featured.
Guess the overall opinion is pretty obvious.
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