It's still not the best way to "hide" collectables.
I get why you do it, but if you find an interesting mini challenge to get it, like a small side room, going with the theme of your level for this dragon coin, is not only much more interesting, but also doesn't force a second (or even third) visit after getting the switch.
Some people may want to avoid getting switch palaces so they can play the "hard" versions of the entries. These people would have to activate the switch palace, get your secondary exit, then go back and deactivate the switch palace. Just sayin.
because it's a superficial substitute for effort and looks lazy as hell, because the only skill involved in it involves me going off and hitting a switch and coming back.
Plus it's frustrating because collectibles like lives or yoshi coins should represent some kind of challenge to the player, or feel like a reward. If I can only beat that level with 4 dragon coins regardless of how well I played the rest of it, it's annoying because my grabbing that coin has nothing to do with my actual skill set. It's not a reward to land on a switch block and grab a collectible, it's just incidental.
So while thinking up what I was gonna do for my next section, I realized that there's a problem: What happens if you take a hit?
I'm gonna have to put munchers throughout all the falling sections because if you fall and there's no solid object then you're just gonna fall before you can get your second cape and you'll probably die. Any recommendations on what to do here?
Just a thought, it might be kinda neat to take the Muncher idea and run a bit further with it. For example, reskin Thwimps to look like Munchers (ExAnimate them so they animate properly) and then put them in the middle of a group of regular Munchers, so then they leap out toward the player. Of course, it should be indicated in some way, and ideally introduced in a fairly safe way the first time. But hey, it gives the level a more dynamic feeling than just dodging static obstacles.
Or hell, you could move the background to layer 3 and even introduce some layer 2 scrolling to have them move around a bit (and put the guide coins on layer 2 so they move with the obstacles).
I don't know, just some ideas to make this level stand out a bit more.
I like the idea, but I'm starting to rethink this entire level.
I need to think about it before I totally change the dynamic of the level, but here's what I'm thinking: Turn the level into a castle level and use the layer 2 elevator gimmick I mentioned earlier. That would make it much easier to design around, and it'd still be fast paced and interesting.