This is a relatively lengthy castle level of medium difficulty.
The main path is relatively ordinary, but pretty spacious for a castle level. Shortcut switches make getting back easier if you fall off (unless you die, of course). The second part is outside, but that shouldn't change much gameplay-wise. Thwomps, love frogs, goopas and banana snakes are the most common enemies in this section.
The secondary path is a bit harder, less straightforward, vaguely creepy and significantly weirder. It's mostly themed around generators of unusual kinds; the rooms are relatively short, but individually challenging and kind of puzzly. There's a few sequential rooms, then a midpoint. The rooms after the midpoint can be completed in any order (except for one, which is always last); at the end, there's a boss fight, but it shouldn't be an issue and probably shouldn't count as one for level allocation purposes. Bats and shamans are significantly more common here.
This level contains a few hidden powerups and eastereggs as well...
- Cape flight lets you bypass part of the outside section.
- The toad in the elevator tends to glitch through the floor. The elevator section is still kinda bland. (I don't want to add enemies - the idea was to parody elevator sections by having friendly NPCs rush you, but that didn't quite work out - and I can't think of other ways to make it interesting)
- There's a theoretically infinite life farming spot, but it's slow and boring, so I'm not sure if people would bother with using it in the first place.
- There's a large hideous cutoff thing for joke purposes. If that's overused/objectionable, I'll have to replace it.
I accept. A hard level for both exits. The thwomp-kill puzzle isn't exactly the most intuitive thing, though. Also it takes a weird little jump thing to get off the elevator. Even with these issues I think the level is acceptable, but I am not sure what other people will think.
I have mixed feelings about this level. I thought the main level (Leek) was pretty fantastic, while the SMW gate exit has several errors that detract from the gameplay. I think bullet points might help a lot here:
- Like I said the main level is pretty great. Lots of different paths can open depending on what character you choose, and it's really fun to play. The only thing I would probably change is the location of the purple switch, since it's in a bit of an unknown position and kind of acts like a mid-point for the player if the fall down.
- The first part of the secret exit, the thwomp room, can be done easily, or painfully. Anything can go wrong due to the awkward nature of shells as well as if the player is able to reach and keep the leaf hidden in the SMB2 plant. Like Lv27 said it's not the most intuitive.
- The endless swarm of bats seems kind of ridiculous, it would be really fun if you didn't to start everything over when you die. It's right before the mid-point too which makes it more agonizing when you die. It's still a fun section though and kind of wish it was just this room.
- Now one of my biggest problems with the secret exit is that it's too difficult in the strangest ways. After the mid-point is where this problem appears the most.
- The left door is probably my least favorite. Having generated skull raft npcs is a bit of a bad idea, due to skull raft npcs being the most 'unstable' of SMBX's npcs. It's really easy to fall in the lava/spikes (which is kind of confusing to determine the difference between them), and to make things worse, the fact that they just spawn right above you (or from the right) makes jumping partially random. The generators are a bit too fast for the player and it just makes it difficult.
- The middle door is strange, due to the random invisible cement blocks you need to hit. One a player's 1st try in this part, they'll more than likely not know of it's existence, the obstacle is a bit unfair due to the player not knowing about it and would probably get hit by a skeleton. Make an indication it's there.
- The right most door has some hammer bros that are either really easy to dodge or are really hard to dodge. Some will jump off the platform they're on while others on right in you're way (the second lowest one comes to mind). This section is just as risky as the other three sections.
- Another thing I dislike about the secret, is it's lack of conveyance. There's not a lot to help the player of what to do next. Suddenly I'm in an elevator with random obstacles appearing through it. And after I defeat the boss, this is where things get obnoxious/confusing. The 1st time I got to it, I was confused what to do with the key. Tossed it, and realized it was fake. Went through the door, was confused on what to do, got teleported by the strange leek thing (I guess?), saw another fake key, and tossed it again. However, when I went through the dark area again, for some reason that allowed me to destroy the key. But I didn't realize this until I came out of the dark area again grabbed the key and ran straight into the lava (which was fake before). This pissed me off since it's a bit of a cheap death due to a lack of telling the player what to do other than "destroy it."
- The second time I got to the boss, everything was glitched out and the bat cannon didn't appear. I got permanently trapped on the left side of the elevator.
While the main level is great, the secret is unfair and glicthed out. I'll approve it only with major changes to the secret exit since it's holding back the rest of the level.
-sturgyman 11:56 AM 9/16/2013 (MDT)
I honestly don't think the secret is as bad as Sturgy makes it out to be. Few changes I would make though:
- In Section 11, Increase the delay for the bat generators
- In Section 1, have the stairs right by the enterance extend 3 blocks offscreen
- In Secion 10, replace the Turn Blocks with regular destroyable blocks
- Make it more clear that the Bones in Section 13 will hurt you
- Make the Bananasnakes in the Secret area not movable
- In Section 14, Move the first Skull Raft generator down a few tiles, so you're less likley to hit your head on a Rkull that's spawning
- Use a Mushroom Block instead of a veggie for they key. It's easier
- Add coins in secion 15, ormake the invisible blocks visible.
Approved with these slight, mminor changes. -SAJewers | 21:31 ADT, September 24, 2013
- Music: "Dungeons - Ruin Type 1" from Wild Arms 2, by Michiko Naruke
- "Knight Corridor/Pillared Hall/The Haunted Hall" from Super Castlevania IV, by Masanori Oodachi
- "Land of the Stone Tablet/Lithography Area" from Suikoden III, by Michiru Yamane
- "Summon the Rawk" by Kevin MacLeod, sped up and overdriven
- "The Jaws of Ice" from Xenogears, by Yasunori Mitsuda (pitch lowered, sped up)