While I wait for Katrina to reappear so I can help her finish Daiyousei (seriously, I might very well be almost done with the sprite conversions by now if I didn't have to replace the sprite tables with defines) and work on my main hack, I've had a couple other hacks in the works. They may or not be finished, and neither of them are in a releasable state (so, sorry, no downloads), but if you care to see what I have so far...
First up is Simplicity Might Work, which, as the name suggests, is intended to be relatively simple to work on. I had originally planned on not using any resources that I had to design myself other than custom bosses, but I ended up breaking that rule. (Though it might be a good idea to go back to it, considering those have been the things that ate up by far the most time....)
Here is part of 1-1. It's pretty straightforward and simple, as first levels usually are. Yes, the world is a grassland.
And 1-2. I decided to palette-swap the Goombas in underground levels a la SMB1, as you can see here.
Another shot of 1-2, this time with Spike Tops.
1-3, which introduces a few new things, such as Banzai Bills (and Rexes).
Here's the first switch palace. Yes, they're in this game. They're actually subsections of other levels this time around rather than being their own levels, though. Hey, it saves on overworld level slots.
Now we're in the circus with 1-4.
Sometimes, you'll be able to change the level to progress or uncover something, such as I did here by pressing a switch that makes blocks appear.
1-5, the first athletic stage.
1-6 brings us back to the circus, but this time we're on a sort of boardwalk (the graphics were Shikaternia's, I think?) and there are Boomerang Bros. and some of Akaginite's numbered platforms.
Oh, and Baron von Zeppelins. Definitely can't forget those.
The World 1 castle is...a castle. Surprise. Also, Roto-Discs that actually have the proper follower tiles (could have sworn I released these to the public, but maybe not?).
The World 1 secret level is all about bouncing!
In fact, even other bouncy things can bounce on things sometimes.
World 2 is supposed to be oriental-themed, but there are so few resources for oriental levels that it's hard to do much with them, so I decided to give this one a minor secondary theme of having a lot of SMB2-related stuff, as you can see in 2-1 here.
...Though 2-2 really doesn't have that. It was surprisingly difficult to find a background for this level, and I'm still not sure the whole setup conveys anything other than an ordinary forest.
Here's a shot of the overworld.
And 2-3. This stage is supposed to have some cherry blossom petal cluster sprites fluttering in the wind, but I think that was only ever a thing in SMWCP2, and the resources for that haven't been released yet.
These flying orbs have basically the same function as the winged clouds in Yoshi's Island, with the addition that their effects are somewhat color-coded. This red one spawns a vine that you need to progress.
Here's the World 2 fortress. They're not (usually?) hidden in this game, but not every world has one (usually, it's a choice between a fortress or a ghost house).
And the boss of such, an elite Birdo that may be familiar to anyone who saw any of my hack Luna Arcana Noctis Aeternae. I didn't show the World 1 castle boss because it's pretty simplistic and boring (easy to code as a result, though).
And finally, 2-4, the first underwater level. Yes, the graphics (and music) were deliberately designed by Gamma V to go together for exactly this archetype and nothing else. I swear this is the last time I ever try to design an oriental world, unless a whole
lot of new graphics and maybe music get submitted for it by the time I want to make another hack that could have one. (Also possibly the last time I make a hack with a Layer 3 status bar...those things are so much more trouble than they're worth.)
Then there is the other hack, Peach's Quest: A Princess Story. It is more complex when it comes to story and game elements, but still less so than my main hack. It stars Peach, who is the playable character in addition to being the protagonist. This hack is actually intended to take place before
the original Super Mario Bros., so the Mario Bros. won't show up in it. Oh, and though I made some significant modifications to the title screen, I won't be showing it this time because I apparently did something to my ROM that glitched the crap out of the title screen. (I didn't show the other one because it's currently unedited.) I actually started this quite a while before the other one, but it's been harder to make reasonable progress on, mainly because of the complexity.
1-1, which is, again, about what one would expect. Notice that the status bar is different, similar to SMB2's with the hearts. The blue stars are the equivalent of Star Coins. (Most of the levels here have all 4 of them collected because I just went back through levels to get the screenshots.)
And this time, 1-2 is the first athletic level.
Here's a bit of 1-3. I also have a video for this level
, though it is a few years old.
This time, there is
a fortress in every world, and this is the first one. It's pretty short.
Fortresses pit you against Kamek, who gains new abilities each successive time. This first battle is pretty easy, though.
1-4, the first underground level. And yes, that is a NSMB2-style block snake there, or at least my attempt at one. They do seem to lag the level up, though...or at least, I assume they do. Actually, quite a few of my levels seem to lag, especially in this particular hack, and it's annoying because I swear I didn't put that many sprites close together...I don't know what's wrong with my ROM...
In addition to the typical Mario-style bonuses (which I actually didn't get a screenshot of either for this hack or the other one...I wasn't sure if they'd be interesting enough?), Peach's Quest has these Donkey Kong Country-style objective-based bonuses that give you a blue star if you complete them. Here, you have to collect all 30 blue coins in 15 seconds.
In addition to changing the title screen, I also replaced the "Mario Start!" intro with a SMB1-esque level preview. Though I still need to figure out how to get it to stay on the screen longer (other than putting a custom object in the level that wastes a ridiculous number of cycles, anyway)...
Sometimes, Peach will find NPCs to talk to along her quest who may have advice for her. I'll probably change the message font, though; this one looks kind of ugly.
Getting into 1-5 proper...well, we were promised Shy Guys and bridges, and indeed we shall have them. Those waterfalls do pull you down as well as act like water (which admittedly might be a thing to change in this part of the level).
Here's the World 1 castle. I may or may not decide to let those platforms match the graphics SMW uses for them in castles; it's not as easy (or at least, as efficient) as you might think with the system I'm using for the sprite graphics in this game.
Welcome to the first main boss battle! The Goomba Bros. are pretty straightforward, but they can headbonk you. They're not dynamic sprites, but they could have been.
Here is the secret level for World 1. It's another circus-ish one, this time themed around various types of cannons. It also has a second section that is inside, and I would provide more screenshots, but in this case, I think the video
speaks for it better.
World 2 is a beach, as you can see from 2-1 here.
2-2 is the first underwater level. Yes, that background does wave back and forth (which is also true for the underwater level in the other hack). I may change how the waviness works, or I may not.
And 2-3 is another athletic level.
The World 2 fortress has you dealing with Layer 2 smashers and climbing nets, as well as smashers going across climbing nets. Only the smashers on the same side of the nets as Peach will interact with her.
In the second section, there are no smashers, but there are more things to watch out for in the water. There's a video for this level
2-4 is a grassland stage set during a thunderstorm.
is why I haven't made any progress on this in a while. These Goomba stack sprites are proving difficult to code. I originally based them on the Pokey disassembly, but that didn't help as much as you'd expect (partly because that doesn't allow for more than 5 Goombas). If I can ever finish these...
2-5 is another underwater one, this time with Bloopers.
Squid launcher! Oh yeah!
Some of the pipes in here will also shoot high-speed Bloopers at you.
Oh, and have an overworld shot for good measure.
So...there you have it. I'll probably continue these hacks, I might or might not finish them, and they will be put on the backburner if I ever get my main one going. As I said, though, they're not really ready for release right now even as demos (for one, you might have noticed some graphical glitches in the screenshots...). But here they are, for what they're worth.