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***CLOSED*** BLDC - Rules and Submissions (Base Rom Updated to v1.03)

Link Thread Closed
Update October 3, 2019 @ 5:40 PM EST: The deadline for BLDC has been extended to October 15, 2019. This is an extra 8 days. See this post for more details.
Update September 24, 2019 @ 11:40 AM EST: Lunar Magic 3.10 was released today. You may continue to use 3.04 or update to 3.10 for your level.
Update August 26, 2019 @ 9:10 PM EST: The Base Rom has been updated to v1.03. The Changelog has been updated in the second post.
Update August 21, 2019 @ 12:00 PM EST: Please do not use ZSNES to test your levels! It does not work with SA-1 roms very well and will likely result in crashes!
Update August 20, 2019 @ 2:45 PM EST: lx5 has given me two .map16 files that will fix a couple unintended errors with his enhanced vanilla blocks. There is no need to update your base rom, just import these two files to Map16 Pages 0 and 1. The files are located here and here. (These files have been included as of Base Rom v1.03)
Update August 18, 2019 @ 9:30 PM EST: The Base Rom has been updated to v1.02. The Changelog will be in the second post. Additionally, you may now use Map16 Pages 8C-8F for custom backgrounds, as preventing their use was an oversight on our part that prevented users from making slight edits to premade backgrounds without copying them due to graphics banks stuff.
Update August 17, 2019 @ 8:45 PM EST: Clarified some fine details in the Graphics Rules regarding tile merges and tile recolors.
Update August 17, 2019 @ 12:00 AM EST: The Base Rom has been updated to v1.01. The Changelog will be in the second post.

Welcome to the Base Rom Level Design Contest! This contest, or BLDC for short, is something I’ve been planning on and off for the last year and a half, and although it was delayed longer than originally anticipated to make room for other contests, I’m happy to finally present it to everyone. So let’s get right into what BLDC truly is.

The core of BLDC is right there in its title: The base rom itself is the heart of the contest. We will provide you a base rom with tons of resources you can choose from to build levels. We’re talking new sprites, blocks, patches, and graphics that you’ll be allowed to use to make levels. The catch is that the vast majority of these custom additions are either things from other 16-bit Mario games, or variations on SMW elements. We didn’t want to start including totally random stuff, so the additions here were hand-picked to really help enhance the usual Mario experience. Most importantly, you won’t be allowed to add anything that’s not in the base rom or resource archive to the rom (other than custom music). This ensures everyone has an equal set of resources to work with.

I want to give an enormous shout-out to Major Flare for helping me put together the base rom, and another one to bebn legg for helping me go through and document a ton of things.

You might be thinking that this sounds a bit like a VLDC, but enhanced, and you wouldn’t be far off thinking that. It kind of occupies a spot somewhere between VLDC’s limits and CLDC’s full freedom to do whatever you want, but I think that’s where the fun will come from. BLDC will give us a chance to host a VLDC-like contest, but with new custom resources that will allow everyone to take their level designs to new heights! So with that all out of the way, let’s get into the fine details of the contest!

By the way, this thread should be used for submissions only. If you want to ask questions or discuss the contest in other ways, please use the Discussion and Questions Thread.

A Quick Note About Collabs:

Like with VLDC11, we don’t currently have plans to compile this into a collab hack. However, it was designed with that eventual possibility in mind, so it could happen in the future. Time will tell.

General/Design Rules:

Please read the rules carefully. This contest may be similar to VLDC11 in some aspects, but the rules will vary significantly.

  • You are not allowed to add any new resources to the rom. You may only manipulate what is already included with it. The one exception is custom music, to be expanded upon later.
  • You may work with up to one (1) partner.
  • You can use up to 3 sublevels alongside your main level, for a total of 4 levels.
  • You can use up to 24 secondary exits to connect your level and sublevels.
  • Your level may not be more than 600 SMW seconds long. Always assume the player will take slightly more time to complete the level than yourself, and remember that the 600 seconds is a total from beginning to end and doesn’t count dying and restarting at the midpoint.
  • You are not allowed to bypass the 600 second limit in any way. This includes exploits such as setting the Timer to 0 and resetting the Timer when switching sublevels.
  • You are not allowed to have more than one (1) exit to your level. You can use any type of level exit available, but you may not use more than one.
  • You can use one full Map16 page for FG and one for BG, for a total of two full Map16 pages.
  • You are not allowed to modify the first 6 Map16 pages. This means no modifying Map16 pages 0x0 through 0x5. Again, there are no plans at this time for a collab, but if those plans ever change, altering the first six Map16 pages will make assembling a collab much more difficult.
  • You are also not allowed to modify Map16 pages 0x80 through 0x8B. This is where all of the Map16 for inserted custom backgrounds has been added, and modifying this area will break those backgrounds. Please use Map16 pages 0x8C and higher for your custom backgrounds.
  • You are allowed to use custom palettes.
  • You are allowed to change the player palette to match your level atmosphere. However, you must change the player palette for both Mario and Luigi.
  • You are allowed to use ExAnimation.
  • You are free to use switch palace blocks, but if you do, you should include a side level that allows the player to activate them.
  • You are allowed to include Yoshi Coins and 3-Up Moons, but they will not be required collectibles for judges.
  • You may alter the overworld map in your submission, but doing so will have no positive or negative effect on your level’s score.
  • This is more a recommendation than a rule, but I recommend you don't include your name inside the level or intro screen message box, so that judges are less likely to know who made the level when they play.

These rules are very similar to VLDC11’s rules, because fundamentally, the general type of levels you’ll be making here are like those you would find in a VLDC. The big difference comes down to the details and the resources available to you.

If there are any rule updates or clarifications as the contest goes on, a changelog will be posted at the top of this post.

Graphics Rules:

Even though we’re providing a bunch of new graphics to work with, there are still graphics rules to follow. You’ll only be allowed to use and manipulate the graphics found in the original SMW and in the ExGFX files provided. Think VLDC-style graphics manipulation but with new assets. Read on for the fine details:

  • You cannot draw new graphics. You must only manipulate what’s provided to you in the original SMW or the ExGFX files we supply.
  • You can use up to 10 ExGFX files, including layer 3 files.
  • You can mix tilesets together.
  • You can flip and rotate tiles by 90°.
  • You can recolor tiles.
  • You can merge tiles together.
  • You can merge recolored tiles.
  • You can use YY-CHR or another tile editor to convert 4BPP graphics (Layer 1/2 tiles) to 2BPP (Layer 3 tiles) by copy-pasting them. You may also do the reverse and convert tiles from 2BPP to 4BPP.
  • You can't merge already merged tiles. Merging is intended to be only two tiles being put together, not three or more.
  • You can't recolor tiles in a tile editor to adjust which colors are transparent. That goes way too close to straight up redrawing tiles if you're allowed to change around what's transparent in it or not.
  • You can't recolor tiles in a tile editor to reduce the number of overall colors it uses. Similar to the last point, being able to reduce colors on a graphics that much can basically give the same result as drawing new tiles.

In short, with those few exceptions at the bottom of the list, you pretty much have full freedom to manipulate the graphics found in the base rom. Mixing, flipping, rotating, recoloring, and merging are all allowed, just like they were in VLDCX.

The Shared Map16:
We are using the exact same shared Map16 page that VLDC11 and VLDCX used for its base rom so if you’re familiar with that you’ll know exactly what you’re doing. The only difference is that it’s been moved to Map16 Page 0x5 for this contest. To save time and another explanation on my part, I’ll just copy what was said about the page from the VLDCX threads:


You should be familiar with what most of these tiles are - and if you don't, check their "Act as" setting and play around with them - but it's worth noting a few things:

The highlighted part uses BG3 and palette 1 instead of the usual FG3. Palette 2 uses the ground tiles and a few other tiles from the ghost house tileset. So if you want to mix two different tilesets, please prioritize utilizing BG3 so you can make use of this page instead of doing it in your own page and filling up space unnecessarily.

Also, the purple triangles are there to indicate that every tile in the two bottom lines is tile 1EB, the tile that you put below a triangle to make it function.

Music Rules:

Custom music is fully allowed. You can use up to 4 different songs in your entry and you can enable sound effect echoes if you choose. However, if you want to use custom music, you MUST use AddmusicK and make sure you insert the sound effect files we supply. Additionally, if you want to use sound effect echoes, you will need to use UberASMTool to do it. We’ve provided codes for the tool for you to use. Do NOT add additional codes.

Here are the soundtracks from VLDC7, VLDC8, VLDC9 and VLDC11 if you wish to use any of the VLDC OSTs in your level.

The Base Rom:

Submitting a level that was made without using the base rom will result in disqualification!

The following fix patches are used:

SA-1 has been applied, as well as the More Sprites Patch. We are also including Infinite Lives in the base rom to make judging and playing levels easier.

The Resources
The number of custom resources added are too many to list here, but let me give you a sample of some of the bigger things you’ll have at your disposal.

“But FP, what about X sprite or Y graphics? Why isn’t that included?”
Well, we tried to include a lot of things that were evolutions of existing vanilla sprites and graphics. In the case of sprites or ASM
, conflicts sometimes arose and we had to make decisions between which items we wanted to include. For example, while we really wanted to include Sprites on Platforms, we were unable to make it work properly in the time we had available to build the base rom. In other cases, we simply ran out of time to include more items because we had to focus on testing to make sure what we had already was working properly. In the future, should we run BLDC again, we will definitely consider adding additional new sprites, graphics, and more.

Speaking of conflicts, let me make a quick note about the status bar. For BLDC we will be using a modified version of the vanilla status bar, not any kind of custom or sprite status bar. This does mean that certain layer 3 backgrounds will have issues with the status bar, but there was no other way for us to insert a sprite bar without conflicting with some of the larger custom items we’re using.

Download the BLDC Base Rom Archive (v1.03) - Updated August 26, 2019
Reminder: You must use the either Lunar Magic 3.04 or 3.10 with the base rom to avoid major glitches. - Updated September 24, 2019.

Also, since we're using SA-1, remember to set the Sprite Header in #lm{sprhead} to 0x08 so that you can use the More Sprites Patch, which increases maximum sprites on screen to 20.

Additionally, do NOT use ZSNES for testing! It is not very compatible with SA-1 roms and you will likely experience a variety of crashes if you test using it!


The four judges for the contest will be Noivern, Teyla, Sinc-X, and S.N.N. We also have a backup judge lined up in case they are needed. There won’t be a “Meet the Judges” type of thread for this contest to discourage participants from making levels specifically for the judges. Instead, we want to encourage everyone to make the levels that they want to make and have fun doing so.

Scoring and Prizes:

Design: 60 Points
How well-designed is the level? Is it overall fun to play? How well does it execute its theme, gimmicks and level setups? Is the difficulty consistent or is it frustrating or boring? Does the level function properly or are there issues such as unintended slowdown?

Creativity: 30 Points
Does the level present any unique or interesting ideas using the resources that have been provided? Does it have any original, nice setups? Is the theme/gimmick innovative?

Aesthetics: 10 Points
How does the level look aesthetically? Are the palettes pleasing to the eye? Is it polished? Does the music fit? Is the music a nuisance to gameplay? Are there any broken sound effects or samples?

The total score will be out of 100 points.

The Top 3 entries will receive brand new BLDC trophies (currently being worked on) and a game prize of their choosing from our list of game download codes.
The rest of the Top 10 will receive a BLDC Top 10 trophy (also currently being worked on).


You must submit your entry as a .bps file. Submitting an .ips file will result in disqualification! You can put your .bps file in a .zip or 7-zip archive if you want. For ease of submission and judge access, you should upload it to your personal File Bin on the site. The .bps file should be created using a clean Super Mario World rom, using Floating IPS.

Submit your level in this thread. If you're updating your entry, EDIT YOUR POST! Double posts in this thread will be deleted.

You are allowed to make a thread for your level in the contest subforum, but you must post your final level in this thread in order for it to be judged.

[Updated] Deadline:

October 15, 2019, at 17:59:59 UTC


You are allowed:
  • to work with 1 partner
  • 1 main level and a maximum of 3 sublevels
  • 1 exit of any type you choose
  • a maximum of 24 secondary exits
  • a maximum of 10 ExGFX files (for graphics and layer 3)
  • to use custom palettes
  • to mix tilesets together, flip, rotate, recolor and merge tiles.
  • one Map16 page for your FG and another for your BG.
  • to use custom music
  • to create a thread to show off your level

You are not allowed to:
  • modify the first 6 pages of the Map16 (pages 0-5)
  • make your level longer than 600 SMW seconds
  • set the Timer to 0 seconds
  • to reset the Timer when changing sublevels
  • to have 2 or more exits
  • insert anything that isn’t already included in the base rom, except music
  • use the 8x8 editor, YY-CHR or any other tool to modify the graphics beyond what has been allowed
  • manually edit the graphics that have been provided
  • submit an old level you released somewhere else previously
  • submit a level that was not made using the provided base rom

I hope you all enjoy participating in BLDC! I’ve been really excited to introduce this contest to the site, so let’s make it a good one. Happy Hacking!
BLDC Changelog:

v1.03 (August 26, 2019)
+ Fixed a crash with Spike Tops caused by using a wrong version of a fix patch for them that was not properly SA-1 compatible.
+ Fixed an oversight in a patch that would cause unintended behaviors in specific hurt player situations.
+ Inserted lx5's Page 0 and Page 1 Map16 fix files. They should fix his enhanced vanilla blocks.
+ Fixed a graphics remapping oversight with the sprite bubbles pop visual effect.
+ Minor fixes to the .ssc file to fix the Punchy sprite positions. (This will have no effect on their positions in-game since it's just a visual update for how they display in Lunar Magic.)

v1.02 (August 18, 2019)
+ "Move Layer 3 to Subscreen Fix" successfully applied. A big shout-out to lx5 for providing a working version for SA-1 ROMs.
+ Mini Mario interaction with sprites fixed.
+ Mini-Mario can now travel through small screen-scrolling pipes.
+ Silver POW Doors fixed.
+ Made a small adjustment on the Shared Map16 Page 5 to restore missing tiles for the top of the left-facing arrow sign (tiles 550 and 551). Had to move another piece of the arrow signs down to unused tiles on tiles 5C1 and 5C2 to make it fit.
+ Updated the .ssc for the SMM2 Tracker Block to document that it has Extension Field options.
+ Some of the blocks that can be collected with powerups were updated.
+ Corrected the Pendulum Firebar and Roto-Disc being mapped to the wrong tiles. Insert ExGFXA7 to SP3 to use them properly.
+ ExGFXAA has been properly inserted into the base rom. This file was included in 1.00 and contains the extra graphics for GHB's screen-scrolling pipes but was only visible to users who performed a Quick Insert on their level because while it had been tested, it never made its way into the actual 1.00 patch. Doing a Quick Insert would have inserted it correctly. This has been corrected and it is in the base rom by default now.
+ .ssc file completed. All sprites should now display graphics in the editor.

v1.01 (August 17, 2019)
+ Firebar graphics have been remapped to be global, and are located within GFX00
+ Poison Mushrooms and P-Balloons are no longer glitched.
+ A .pal and .palmask file have been supplied to fix the palettes on the Cloud Flower, Hammer Suit, Ice Flower, and iceballs. they use colors 8-B on palette rows C and D. The .pal and .palmask files are currently present in the "Powerups Palette" folder.
+ Updated the .dsc file to correct the Donut Lift Block's tooltip. (It uses ExGFX 10B, not 107)
+ Updated the .dsc and .ssc files regarding the fact Poison Mushrooms are now usable. Also, added some more sprite GFX display.
+ Added ExGFX10D for the Boo Door sprite.
+ Updated info in the "What's What - Graphics" file for ExGFX10D and ExGFXFFF.

Tips, Guidelines and Things You Should Be Aware Of:

Since this is the first contest we’ve hosted centered around the use of a base rom, and since I’ve spread around knowledge of this contest to some locations outside our site, I figured it would be a good idea to post some general tips related to the contest and basic custom block/sprite usage in case some of you are unfamiliar with these aspects of SMW hacking. Even if you know what you’re doing, you should still read this post because there are specific things you should be aware of when building your level using this base rom.

If you’re newer to SMW hacking and don’t know how to insert Custom Sprites, click “Show” on this Collapse tag to learn how.

  • The “What’s What - [Blocks/ExAnimation/Graphics/Sprites].txt” files will give you lists and details about each of those topics. Reference these files in conjunction with hover tooltips in Lunar Magic to get the most out of the resources provided.
  • lx5 has a wiki page with descriptions and functions for his Powerups Patch that you can read here.
  • He also has a number of gifs of the powerups in action in his Summer C3 thread.
  • If you want to see descriptions of custom blocks and sprites in Lunar Magic, your rom and the .dsc, .ssc, .m16, and .s16 files provided must all share the same file name. By default, naming your rom “BLDC.smc” will make them all work together. Note that the .ssc, .m16 and .s16 files don’t set up all of the in-editor graphics for custom sprites, only some of them due to time constraints on our end. All custom sprites do include tooltip information, however.
  • There are many different custom blocks and sprites inserted into the base rom. Be sure to read the tooltips to learn about what they do.
  • Many custom blocks on Page 0x2 and 0x3 will not have graphics by default, or may have been set to palette rows you don’t want. If you want to use them, you should make a new Map16 Object with the graphics and palettes you’d like and set its “Act as” setting to be equal to the block number you want to use.
  • The sprites for the Donut Lift Block and On/Off block have been added to GFX 00 and GFX 01 respectively. The Donut Lift Block object graphics are located in ExGFX 10B and take the place of GFX 17, replacing the Glass Block’s graphics. As long as you load the object graphics for them into your level, you will be able to use Donut Lift Blocks and On/Off Blocks without needing a custom sprite ExGFX file.
  • By default, the Cloud Coin that spawns when Yoshi eats two Pink Berries has been overwritten to make space for other global sprite graphics. Don’t use it without accounting for this change.
  • *Important Note*: When you place ? Blocks or Turn Blocks with powerups in them, do not use the ? Blocks in the “Standard Objects” list. Only use the ? Blocks and Turn Blocks found on Direct Map16 Page 0x1 for vanilla powerups and 0x2 for custom powerups. This is a quirk with the Powerups Patch, and may cause unintended effects due to the dynamically-loading nature of the patch.
  • Do not allow more than 3 or 4 different powerups to exist in the same general location. Due to the dynamic handling of powerups from the Powerups Patch, having too many in one location will start causing graphical errors. This includes vanilla powerups and things like stars and 1ups.
  • The Poison Mushroom is broken. Do not use it, or the blocks that spawn it. The Poison Mushroom is no longer broken. You should be able to use it with no issue now.
  • While we have included a variety of foregrounds and backgrounds to choose from, we only took the time to set up the map16 for backgrounds. This is because we assumed that many people will likely spend time creating their own custom foregrounds. Backgrounds were the more pressing resource to set up ahead of time. To see what graphics exist in the rom, please read the included “What’s What - Graphics.txt”.
  • To load a custom background, go to File > Open Level From File… and select the file in the “Sample Levels” folder that you want to use. *Important Note*: Many of these Sample Levels will default to opening on Level 105. To avoid overwriting your level in progress when opening up the Sample Levels, you may wish to build your level on something other than Level 105. Make sure you back up your level before opening Sample Levels just to be safe.
  • If you want to use GHB’s Screen Scrolling Pipes, load ExGFX A8 into FG1, ExGFX A9 into FG3, and ExGFX AA into BG3.
  • P-Switch doors, One-Way Blocks, On/Off Blocks, and Coin Outlines are all globally animated, but this does mean they take up some space in BG3. If you’re using a background that requires the space used by these global tiles, you can disable them by clicking the #lm{aniset} button and unchecking the box that says “enable Lunar Magic’s global animations”. If you still need those blocks for your level after including your background on BG3, you can ExAnimate them on a level-by-level basis. Their graphics are stored in ExGFX 60.
  • You’ll probably notice a 6-digit Coin Counter in the status bar replacing the Score Counter. This is just a little bit of forward-thinking for us should we ever compile this contest into a full hack. Maybe we’ll be able to use Coins in a shop of some kind! For the purposes of the contest and creating your levels however, it won’t really affect anything.
  • With as many resources in the base rom as there are, there may still be conflicts and bugs that we didn’t catch in testing. If you discover anything broken, report it to us in the Discussion thread! We’ll try and fix it and put out a base rom update if possible.
  • If you want to use LMSW to play your level using LM's internal emulator, you'll need to download the version of LMSW that's currently under moderation by clicking here.
My level: Bro's Plains

Update (1.0.1): One of the pipes before the midway is now a reset pipe, should you wait the P-switch to run out or lose it, and one of the airship tiles was slighly changed. Also added Map16 files.

Update (1.0.2): Status bar priority in the main level now fixed, but Mario now goes behind the BG due to the level mode being changed to 0E, and some Jumping Piranha Plants were removed, with some enemies being added in a few sections. The BG Map16 was moved to page 8F, and you now can't get the second Yoshi Coin without using the On-Off block.

Heres my submission.Name: Floodful Beach.
Update 1.0: Submission Added.
Update 1.1 Added Powerups.

I hope it gets a good amount of points.
It's a forest/ruins level centered on Chomp Rocks. It uses my VLDCX Ruins Remix for its music, so at least that song gets used in some sort of level contest.
Quintesson Judge: Silence, or you will be held in contempt of this court!
Hot Rod: I have nothing but contempt for this court!
- Transformers the Movie (1986)
As some of you guys probably know, I'm planning on making a new hack in the future to "replace" the one I never finished (which was Mario & Luigi's Double Trouble), and I figured, this contest would be a great time to give you guys a little preview of what will be in my new hack. Here's my level, Jumpopolis.

It's a sky level with plenty of mushroom scales and line guided sprites.
bubble butt

updated 10/15
My Level: The Ruins of Time
What do you think of Time Travel?
*Version 1.3!
If you have already played this level, give it another shot! There have been minor graphical and level updates to make this as enjoyable as possible!

Userbar made by Green Jerry

"Some men just want to watch the world burn"
"Not all pie sitters cry."
-James Morgan McGill
well here's my level go n' around

I don't know if it'll be fixed but there was an issue where the projectile coins wouldn't spawn when you go to a different room, thankfully it doesn't break anything.
just one submission
night grassy mountain 1: semi-difficulty level and with caves
update 1.1:
-fixed warp pipe to bonus level has working
-reduced difficulty
-fixed stuck in muncher over yoshi coin has conveyor belt
-fixed major bugs

*how to play: go to right from starting point on map screen
Neon Peridot's YouTube Channel
Military Wall March
100% Orange Juice Playthrough:

VLDC9 Playthrough:

How SA-1 work with ExGFX, Pixi Sprite Tool, and all that.
My released ROM hack: Yoshi Saves Summer Vacation
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