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Luigi & The Toasty Cake by TheGamerDani

File Name: Luigi & The Toasty Cake
Submitted: 03-09-2016 08:08:15 PM by TheGamerDani
Authors: TheGamerDani
Demo: No
Featured: No
Length: 98 exit(s)
Difficulty: Hard
Description: "It's Mario's birthday. Peach wants to make a special cake, called Toasty Cake, just for him. She asks Luigi to help her and they go to a weird place to get the Toasty Eggs. Sadly, Bowser discovers their plan and decides to kidnap Peach after they got their first egg.
Can our green hero save the day?"
I've been discontinuously working on this hack since late 2012. I was alone in the project so I had a lot of difficulties, but I'm glad I can finally release it.
The difficulty is mostly hard and not exactly gradual, but I hope the hack enjoyable anyway.
Also English is not my native language, but the text should be understandable.
Feel free to contact me if you come across bugs or typos.
Features:
- 98 Exits
- Two patches with different language (English is the default one, the Italian patch is marked as such)
- Two playable characters with different abilities, Luigi and Waluigi (uses second controller)
- Main story levels with weird gimmicks
- Star Road with Remix Levels
- Special World with Remake Levels
Have fun and give feedback if possible!
Okay, this hack is clearly a first run in Lunar Magic from the author. There is more than one major issue, as well as other minor-but-still-relevant ones, that made me reject the hack. Let's get to the most important ones first:

- The hack doesn't work on accurate emulators! Using snes9x, or any other emulator different to zsnes, makes the hack break in certain places. Examples are when you win at "Blacksmith's house", or if you die at "Cubic castle". I'd blame the use of addmusic4; get over it, use AddmusicK, since it's designed in a way that hacks can't possibly break on accurate emulators due to music.
- I can't get past "Spiral Castle" after clearing it, due to broken OW events. Talking with the other mod who gave this a go, apparently he managed to get past it, while I didn't. Looking how you've set OW events, this was bound to happen: I basically cleared certain exits and secret exits in a way that some of them triggered the event that was supposed to happen in the 4th castle. The same event doesn't get triggered twice, thus, I'm unable to play the levels after the 4th castle despite I passed it. I can't suggest you much other than trying to arrange your ow events in a better way. Yours seemed pretty chaotic; try following the player's path: for example, level 1 triggers event 1, level 2 triggers event 2, etc... Watch out for levels with secret exits, since they will trigger event "n" and "n+1" (where "n" is the event number).
- The overall design isn't acceptable. Common flaws explained below.
Many many levels felt like you just selected a certain tile and spammed it trough the whole level. An example is this part, where you used vine tiles in a boring and very weird way.
Other levels instead, felt pretty boring and extremly linear, without much going on. As in, flat lands with very few pits and very few enemies to deal with; the thing the player mostly does is to press the right button and avoiding enemies.
Rarely you include gimmicks, a bright example is the level with the DKC rocket barrel... yet, you still use the gimmick in a lazy way. The level which had it was frustrating as hell, since you spammed the section with many enemies, tough to avoid, and if you touch one of them, you instantly die. Again, spamming elements trough the level isn't how design works.
I could point out much more, but I'm instead linking you this tutorial, a guide which will hopefully give you tips for a better design. Another thing I beg you to do with your future hacks is to GET TESTERS: your hack felt like it wasn't tested, at all. Since I'm pretty sure you didn't know about it, you must test/get testers for your hack before you submit it, making sure that everything works as intended, listening to your testers' feedback and applying the suggestions they give you. All this will grant a better hack, much more enjoyable than this version I played, for sure. Only after this very important step you can go ahead and submit your .ips/.bps patch in the hacks section.

Now, pointing out other issues. Again, since I had troubles with ow events, I didn't get to play the full hack, so refer to the type of error and edits all the similar situations of it.

- This is a bad thing to do. Also called as "Big Mario discrimination", you're not supposed to take forced hits to access a level.
- One of the proofs that you didn't test your hack. If I get the yoshi coin down here, I can't jump high enough to get on that moving block.
- Cutoff. One of the most common errors your hack has. Avoid making gfx end suddently; it looks awful.
- This part would be classified as "kaizo". It's impossible to clear this part without cheats or Yoshi (which breaks the whole concept of this part, lol); I'd totally blame the low ceiling, since shell jumping is technically possible. Yet, I'd make this part much, MUCH shorter.
- This castle felt awfully familiar. Are you sure you're making your levels from scratch? You should delete everything in a level before starting to make yours.
- More cutoff.
- This is also a pretty catastrophic cutoff.
- Another common error your hack has is about palettes, aka colors. Look how those pipes are looking bad, as well as some holes in the BG.
- The animated blocks at the end of the line guides messed up here. Try changing the level's gfx header.
- One more design flaw. Levels with "tight spaces" aren't really liked by most players, since they don't give enough room to perform actions. It's not necessarily a bad thing in certain circumstances, but this mostly leads to levels which are badly designed. An example is here. Due to how tight the space is, I'm forced to die here.
- This just blew my mind... Unless that's a sort of pixel art, I have no idea what and why you did this. It's super confusing to get what's solid and what's not.


That's all, I guess. In short:
- Get testers, collect their feedback and apply the suggested changes in your hack.
- Learn what good design is by reading the tutorial I linked you and by playing some of our accepted hacks.

I'd personally suggest you to start over. With all the suggestions you got with this removal, try making a hack which follows the guidelines. While you work on it, feel free to make a WIP thread here, so that other users can give you feedback basing on what you'll post in your thread (it can be pics, vids of levels, demo .ips, and so on).
Good luck with your future hacks.