The Mezunian

Die Positivität ist das Opium des Volkes, aber der Spott ist das Opium der Verrückten

The Legend o’ Legend of the Four Switches: Part 9 – The Warped Void

World J: The Warped Void

Music: “Main Menu”, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!

“It’s just an empty void”. What a great ’scuse to not put any effort into map graphics, like I did throughout this whole hack. The only interesting part is how a lot o’ the level tiles are ?s, making the player figure out how many exits each level has.

I do really like this map song, though.

Easiest Level Ever

Music: “Green Greens”, ’bout every Kirby game

Laziest, too.

Originally this spot held “Let’s Abuse Yoshi”, a level much mo’ clever & fun. I think I replaced it ’cause a few parts were janky — specifically a part where you had to get through a corridor clogged by Chargin’ Chucks using Yoshi’s extra hit point & retrieve him ’fore he goes past the next Chuck. I shouldn’t have; jankiness is better than boring, ’specially for the last world.

  • P-Switch level count: 30 / 50
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 switch: 15
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 o’ the same switch: 8

Stratus Travesty

Music: “Green Greens”, ’bout every Kirby game

Message box: best way to deal with flaws isn’t to fix them, but to point them out so people know I made their experience less enjoyable on purpose & hate me e’en mo’.

See, the trick ’bout the end is that you have to not get hit with the feather the level gives you or you can’t fly & are screwed.

There’s nothing interesting to say ’bout this level. It’s mere OK.

  • P-Switch level count: 30 / 51
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 switch: 15
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 o’ the same switch: 8

Goomba Path

Music: “Enemy Battle”, Super Mario All-Stars: Super Mario Bros. 3 ( Same )

I don’t know what inspired it, but for some reason this world has a bunch o’ levels revolving round a certain enemy. This level focuses on Goombas & resources I ripped off from Super Mario Bros. 3, the 2nd o’ which is a tradition that continues to today in the bosom o’ Boskeopolis Land.

In particular, the “boss” rooms @ the end are a waste o’ time: I just copypastaed so many Goombas that the sprite engine slows to slime, ’cause repetition & slowness are always fun.

I seemed to like puzzles wherein you have to make small jumps under flat platforms to avoid getting stuck in a higher place & having to go back to go back down. I apologize for that.

In my defense, some o’ the running & jumping sections in the low corridors actually looked neat if you knew when to jump. But its been years since then & I’ve lost all my Super Mario World skills & memory for when to jump, so I make it look like shit.

  • P-Switch level count: 30 / 52
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 switch: 15
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 o’ the same switch: 8

Jungle of the Ninji

Music: “Overworld”, New Super Mario Bros.

Replace “Goomba” with “Ninji” & Super Mario Bros. 3 with Super Mario Bros. 2.

¿Did I truly need to make this key require Yoshi, & then force you to ditch him & bring the key all the way to the end? Great: every time I died, I had to go all ’cross the map to get ’nother. ’Nother reason cutting “Let’s Torture Yoshi” was a bad idea.

’Specially since that waterfall jump to the lower mushroom is bullshit. I think I remember adding that midpoint specifically to make that jump less bullshit. ’Cept it’s still bullshit — ’specially for the secret exit — & I should’ve just made it less bullshit. That “Ho, ho, don’t go to high or you have to go back & try ’gain” shit got ol’.

The Ninji “boss” is the dumbest, most trivial fight e’er. & this was a hack wherein a “boss” was a single Goomba as a joke.

  • P-Switch level count: 31 / 53
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 switch: 15
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 o’ the same switch: 8

Killer’s Fun House

Music: “Shy Guy’s Toy Box”, Paper Mario

The strangest time to insist on using Bullet Bill’s Japanese name. I guess I thought it sounded mo’ ironic.

A’least this level is short ’nough to not get annoying. If you only have 1 trick or 2, you should keep your level to 1 trick or 2.

¿What does a fun house with Alfred Chicken & Wario Land 4 bonus tiles have to do with Bullet Bills?

I think this was 1 out o’ quite a few levels wherein I discovered that making you drag the P-switch back to the start was ridiculous, so I made the switch cause some blocks to make the race back after hitting the switch easier. I think it’s better that way.

The saddest part is that this Warped Void enemy “boss” is the best ’mong them — & it’s puzzle is just going in a loop.

  • P-Switch level count: 32 / 54
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 switch: 16
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 o’ the same switch: 9

Lunaria

Music: “Title Theme”, SimCity ( SNES )

This was originally going to be the 1st level o’ the scrapped space world, the remnants o’ which can be seen in the map on the 1st post. The other planned levels, scrapped ’cause they sucked unbelievably, were a level where you had to swim through thin shafts ’tween walls o’ lava with a glowing rocky background called “Helios”, a lablike level with lots o’ shitty layer-2 shenanegans involving lava walls repainted green called “Cryogian”, whatever that’s s’posed to mean, & what would’ve been a haunted, darker-tinted moon level if I’d been able to think o’ mo’ than a straight path with a boo here & there called “Hades”.

I don’t know why I e’en bothered to keep “Lunaria”, since it sucks too — just not as hard as the others. The only original idea was having the secret exit in the Yoshi-wings section, & e’en that had the hitbox jank o’ totally-not-munchers & Yoshi caused by the programmers only intending for them to be used on the ground & not realizing that hacky rom hackers would want to spread them everywhere like weeds. Precise jumps o’er totally-not-munchers is hardly new, nor are Lotus Plants & Baseball Charlies, which are all o’er this world. This is, I believe, the only level in this hack that uses Monty Mole, simply ’cause I hadn’t thought to use them till then ( it’s funny how I took the time to look up patches & custom blocks on SMW Central for new gimmicks, but neglected a bunch o’ sprites, blocks, & general features already in the vanilla game ); but I don’t do anything with them, ¿so who cares?

Extra note: as noted ’bove, this level uses the title screen music from SimCity ( ’twas ’tween that & “The Moon” from Duck Tales; I figured this was the less cliché choice ). I was thinking how I should’ve chosen the SimCity menu theme for the title screen o’ this game ’stead o’ that metal Super Mario Bros. remix popularized by ASMT. It’s not as if the title screen needs to long a song, anyway. In my defense, I chose to use that song before that hack came out ( though the hack that rendition was actually made for, Cool or Cruel, which didn’t get nearly as much attention, already was ).

  • P-Switch level count: 32 / 55
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 switch: 16
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 o’ the same switch: 9

Autumn Hills

Music: “Enemy Battle”, Super Mario All-Stars: Super Mario Bros. 3 ( Same )

Actually, you’d probably see brown grass in summer mo’ than autumn.

Speaking o’ neglected sprites, here’s those Chocolate Island dinos, used nowhere else. ( To be fair, ¿didn’t the real Super Mario World only use them in 2 levels? )

This level bugs me, ’cause its gimmick is ruined by its placement. Its gimmick is that, ’less you’re great with the cape, you need a blue Yoshi to get through, as there’s only a Yellow Koopa… but you’re guaranteed to have a blue Yoshi to get here ’cause the route to here is that Yoshi-wings secret exit that turns Yoshi blue.

This is also why my hack in general has so many bugs: I refused to make limiting choices, like making Yoshis & capes not stay with you after levels, which many hack makers recommend: I wanted to exploit as many stupid weird things as possible, including having a level wherein you needed to get a Yoshi from a totally different level.

  • P-Switch level count: 32 / 56
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 switch: 16
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 o’ the same switch: 9

Attic Antics

Music: “No Eating Crackers in the Theater”, Mother 3 / “Shy Guy’s Toy Box”, Paper Mario

That’s some Rareware level naming there.

Didn’t know ’bout this horrendous game-breaking glitch with the midpoint. For those who don’t know, Super Mario World can easily kill you don’t put the camera’s vertical starting position near where you start. This is a common glitch in Super Mario World hacking. Now with a greater understand o’ game development & just looking @ how you die, I’d guess it’s not caused just by the camera not being where you are but probably caused by your character or the blocks below them not having collision detection while offscreen, causing your character to fall into the ground; when the camera catches up to them they’re already embedded in the ground. Now that they’re on-camera, collision detection resumes; but since you’re inside the ground, the game kills you, as it usually does when you’re smashed in solid blocks.

The 1st half o’ this level’s quite lame. The Piranha Plant section’s nothing new; & the part after that is full o’ filler & enemies that can fall on your head from offscreen. I love how I bothered to put all those blocks on the street in that middle area in some futile attempt to prevent flying, when you can easily fly from the very beginning & fly o’er the whole room.

I actually didn’t know ’bout the trick o’ jumping off Yoshi to reach the goal to skip the entire 2nd room all throughout development; I only learned ’bout it while watching a Let’s Play o’ this hack.

The 2nd portion’s all right. I like the idea o’ using grabbable items to reach a vine — I just wish I did mo’ with it. Also, ¿why’s there a vine in an attic? ¿Mold? ¿Why are some o’ the walls infested with Munchers? Obviously ’cause everything else in Dinosaur World is.

  • P-Switch level count: 32 / 57
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 switch: 16
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 o’ the same switch: 9

Also, while we leave the mainland for good, I need to finally address some weird glitch wherein Luigi’s palette delays changing when returning to the o’erworld from a dark level…

Unforunately, the only way I can address it is with a silly meme:

Golden Bomb Mines

Music: “Mt. Moon”, Pokémon Red & Blue Versions

I remember liking this level a lot near the end o’ development, e’en though I didn’t remember much ’bout actually developing it. There was just something ’bout the trickiness o’ those slopes.

Maybe I was in a bad mood, — not helped by how late this update was coming — but I was less enamored this time. Those slopes seem less “tricky” now & mo’ “inconsistent”.

That said, I’d still call this level better than what we’ve seen so far in this world. In fact, it’s ironic that I was in an impatient mood while recording these next few videos, as looking back, these are some o’ the strongest levels.

This level does have cruft, though. ¿What’s the point o’ the water section? ¿To show off that it’s gold?

& ’course, we have this “boss” which is the same as the Goomba “boss”, but e’en less tricky, since it’s just straight right ’stead o’ going upward.

  • P-Switch level count: 32 / 58
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 switch: 16
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 o’ the same switch: 9

Twinkle Twinkle

Music: “Casino Night Zone”, Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Well, maybe not that strong…

The 1st half’s solid. I remember when late in development I considered that jump off the Yellow Koopas to be the hardest jump in the game ( now we see that that clearly goes to that 1st slope jump in “Golden Bomb Mines” ).

The 2nd half, though. “¿Wouldn’t it be delightful if you had to slowly bounce through small passageways walled in all directions by bouncy blocks like the padding o’ a mental ward?” Actually, I do like how those Koopas always find a way to bounce up into that powerup area you’d think would be safe. I ’specially like how I didn’t design that on purpose @ all — I was as delightfully surprised when I ran into it back when I was developing this.

Something that had ne’er happened to me till now: not getting all the coins on that brown block wall. You can see the point where Luigi matches my expression: freezing in stoic horror as my mind slowly reeled the possibility that I’d have to start all o’er. But, to my own surprise, I was able to fly through.

The rest is just filler meant to be funnier mo’ than fun — just like “Death Desert”. Particular example: the brown blocks @ the end that are s’posed to make you go, “Fuck, ¡I missed a P-switch? Better go all the way back…” only for the solution to be mo’ hidden blocks.

& as an extra hilarious joke, Luigi falls off the ending platform during the victory march, but doesn’t quite reach the bottom ( which would kill him & steal ’way his victory in what is popularly called a “kaizo trap” after an infamous level in that infamous hack ) before the level ends. That was a big gimmick o’ this hack: teasing kaizo without actually giving it, which was probably fresher in a time when kaizo hacks were still the standard, like… maybe the 1st year o’ this hack’s development.

  • P-Switch level count: 33 / 59
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 switch: 16
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 o’ the same switch: 9

Persistence of Time

Music: “Peanut Plain”, Kirby Super Star

Here’s where I was inconsistent: ¿remember how I just recently said I refused to limit myself to keeping Yoshi out o’ levels he clearly didn’t belong ( like “Attic Antics” )? & yet I refused to apply the patch that allowed you to have mo’ than 19 characters per name ( well, without smushing letter together in hardcoded graphics, like the original Super Mario World did for “Forest of Illusions”’s names ), e’en though I wanted longer names. Here’s an example wherein I not only wanted it to have the word “the” & have it be “Persistence of Memory”, which is what the Dali painting’s actually called, but wanted it to be in its original Spanish, “La persistència de la memòria”, which would’ve been e’en harder to fit.

History repeats itself as I procrastinate allowing Boskeopolis Land to have levels that go beyond 1 line…

The note ’bout there being 1 o’ each color Yoshi is interesting ( not the least the fact that it’s wrong: you can also get a Blue Yoshi from that wings section o’ “Lunaria” ): you can’t 100% the game without finding the Yellow & Blue Yoshis, so they’re not all that secret. Only the Red Yoshi, which I showed off up ’bove the beginning o’ the 1st level, is truly secret.

Spreaking o’ the Yoshi section, its layout is odd. There’s just ’nough Koopas to feed Yoshi & leave 1 mo’. Knowing me, you’d think I’d leave just ’nough with none extra. The blocks are also setup so that it’s as awkward as possible to feed Yoshi, which I guess was the point, since I for some reason thought “awkward” meant “challenging”. ’Course it wouldn’t be LOTFS level without that awkward design leading to some hilarious glitches that kill you instantly. LOTFS teases you with intentional kaizo bullshit but doesn’t deliver, but does deliver kaizo bullshit by pure accident.

“HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME” is a reference to a line spoken a few times from a poem by T.S. Eliot called “The Wasteland”, a famous example o’ modernist poetry ’mong the literati. Despite said popularity with serious literati, the all-caps & lack o’ punctuation are true to the poem — ’cept LOTFS actually adds punctuation: the original line said “ITS”, not “IT’S”. ’Cause o’ this, I was always surprised “HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME” ne’er became a meme.

In the earlier 2012 version o’ this hack, this level had a blander background & “Green Greens” music. I always wanted this level to have “Gourmet Race”, what with the focus on speed, but there was no rendition on SMW Central & I was too incompetent to make any decent renditions, as my attempt @ “Sea Turtle Rock” showed. I later found “Peanut Plains” & settled for that, since ’twas close & was a’least mo’ fast-paced than “Green Greens”.

I think this is 1 o’ my better-designed levels. It’s full o’ things that can delay you; but if you’re clever, you can speed them up. For instance, you can actually jump o’er the Pokeys with precise jumps, skipping the delay o’ eating them, & you can skip building some o’ the bridge o’er the Lotus Plant if you know that you can run o’er block-wide gaps by holding the jump button.

2 flaws: I remember the goal being higher up, requiring you to hop off flying Koopas to reach it. Maybe I thought that was too hard, but I think it makes for better design. I also think the time’s not nearly tight ’nough: I wasn’t e’en going all that fast & I made it to the end with 50 whole seconds left. I think I wanted to time it so that the timer kept reaching 100 seconds so the song would keep getting faster & faster, thanks to the famous Funky glitch.

  • P-Switch level count: 33 / 60
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 switch: 16
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 o’ the same switch: 9

Touchdown

Music: “Flower Garden”, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

The trick with this level was that I simply didn’t add a normal exit & set the normal exit to have no event. Thus, while most levels have no secret exits, this is the only level in this hack to have only a “secret exit”.

This was ’nother level I always liked, though it has its problems, too. That message box in the middle with the reset pipe is there ’cause some glitch I couldn’t figure out would sometimes cause the vine block to not make a vine when hit by the Rainbow Koopa, forcing you to warp to refresh the map.

There’s something to be said ’bout the oddness o’ this level’s layout. It’s s’posed to be a long stretch o’ a football field, only to be full o’ pipes. I guess that was the point. Strangely, despite this, the level does stay rather focused on the theme o’ Chargin’ Chucks & pipes & Piranha Plants. Then ’gain, ¿doesn’t most o’ this hack focus on those enemies?

¿Is that Muncher jump in the middle that I kept getting hit by e’en possible to make if big? I couldn’t do it @ all in my recent attempts.

  • P-Switch level count: 33 / 61
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 switch: 16
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 o’ the same switch: 9

Wonka Factory

Music: “Fear Factory”, Donkey Kong Country

After 2 strong levels we get a meh level. Clearly the aesthetics & the underutilized mechanics o’ conveyor belts & Li’l Sparkys masquerading as Super Mario Bros. 2 Sparks were s’posed to carry this level. Most o’ the 1st room is easily-dodged enemies on conveyor belts, with the only difficulty being the silly 1-tile conveyor jumps, & most o’ the 2nd room are easily-dodged Thwomps & Ball-’n-Chains, with the conveyor belts not doing much to change anything. Finally there’s ’nother autoscroller with unpredictable Podobos. The most interesting part is Wendy being a boss ( ¿Why didn’t I call this “Wendy’s Factory”? ¿Did I think nobody would get the reference or did I want her to be a surprise? ), marred by a wonky camera.

  • P-Switch level count: 33 / 62
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 switch: 16
  • Levels with mo’ than 1 o’ the same switch: 9

@ this point we’ve reached 84 exits ( & 62 levels, oddly, which means I must’ve miscounted somewhere, ’cause I remember there being only 60 levels ). That leaves 1 mo’: the aptly-named “The Last Levels”. As the plural “levels” indicates, it’s a big exit, which I’ll go into next update.

Posted in Legend of the Four Switches, My Crimes Gainst Art, Video Games