Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Kooperhorn 2

Building off of the ideas I introduced in Kooperhorn 1. While this one isn't as elegant as that one (in my opinion) the puzzle-solving is hopefully more rewarding, and the three-act-structure still in place.

Course ID: A276-0000-00F2-13B9
Difficulty: It's not trying to kill you but it might well could by accident.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Parabeetles, Parakoopas and P-Switches

I have now uploaded 29 levels, just one shy of my current upload limit.  My star count is just 25 away from the next medal though so I'll probably just slow down a bit and let stars accumulate for now.  In the meantime, allow me to introduce my latest three courses:

A good pick for the hardest level in Super Mario Bros. 3 would be 5-6, or "that damn Parabeetle level."  It's the only level in Mario 3 to use that enemy.  Why they decided it had to be in Mario Maker on the basis of one use I'm not sure, but it's certainly interesting.

Parabeetles don't "stomp" when jumped on, but instead bear Mario's weight and carry him along.  More than that, the creature takes that as a signal to start flapping harder, and begins to soar up into the sky, whether you want it to or not.

This course is my homage to that level.  Naturally it has to use the Mario 3 game rules, even though I usually stick with Super Mario Bros style unless something about the level's gimmick demands otherwise.  I offer the following advice, which will make this course much easier: if you jump in place on a Parabeetle regularly, you can not only prevent it from ascending, but even cause it to slightly decrease in height.  With that knowledge, you may have a chance.

The Opposite Of Bird

I have a soft spot for Green Parakoopas.  Although they have wings, they just can't quite get the hang of that flying thing, and are stuck with great flapping bounces along the ground.  Unchained Chomps (seen previously in Time For Walkies) work similarly, but faster, not bouncing as high, and ordinarily invulnerable.  All of these things make Green Parakoopas more interesting, plus when you stomp one twice it leaves a shell, which of course has its own implications.

There are actually no explicitly placed Parakoopas in this level, though.  All the enemies are delivered via Lakitus floating high up off the screen.  As the level continues, more Lakitus show up, and eventually the turtle rain becomes a torrent.  You can still make it though though, by collecting powerups and making use of what shelter you can find.  It's kind of like No Shelter From The Goomba Rain in that regard, but much more random.  The presence of a mid-level checkpoint makes this course much easier.  Not only does it let you pick up from halfway through if you lose a life, but the earlier Lakitus won't be throwing turtles at you, so the green flapping hailstorm will be less severe in that case.

One more note that might help you out: Costume Mario cannot wear a shell helmet.

Chaos Theory: P-Switches

Ah, I finally returned to the Chaos Theory concept.  In fact, a lot of my levels make use of chaos in one way or another.  That's chaos in the mathematical sense, where small differences in state can have great effects on the world.  Here, those differences in state are those of P-Switches.

Many levels put P-Switches someplace where you have to work to get them, and then they change the world in some way that makes it possible to proceed.  Not this one, no sir.  P-Switches are placed often and in easy reach, but you don't have to hit any of them.  But neither is this a course where you're trying, necessarily, to avoid them.

What P-Switches do here is change things up.  Hitting a P-Switch will manipulate the world so that some challenges disappear, but others reveal themselves.  The course is not any harder, generally, one way or another, but it is different, and in a variety of ways.  Not all of these changes are immediately obvious, either.  In other words, depending on whether you have switches active at different times, you'll face different challenges.  I can say, however, that the moment when the P-Switch effect begins or ends is a little more dangerous, so be careful when a switch is about to expire.

Another interesting thing about this level is it has a special hidden route for people who are lucky enough to find an early Weird Mushroom.  Although I think it might be possible for the route to be reached without one.  See if you can reach it!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Breaking levels

I seriously LOVE moments like this.

(I suspect in this case, Brett may have jumped on a sideways spiny. Mario mechanics are much more complex than they initially seem!)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

MeFi Mario Maker RSS Feed

Using state-of-the-art decade old technology, we now have RSS and Atom feeds in the sidebar!  People still use RSS these days don't they?  Well I know I do.  Now you can keep up with all the horrifying levels we make slightly more easily.

Man, RSS in 2015.  We are hopelessly behind the social media times.  It's almost like we have a BLOG or somthin.  Why don't we post these things on My TweetSpaceBookR like all the hip twelve-year-olds are doing?

Time For Walkies

Time For Walkies

The starring enemies in this course are unchained Chain Chomps.  I discovered something interesting about them.  Once they emerge into a course, their motions are not generally affected by Mario's position -- unless he collides with one that is, enemies will change direction in order to bite you.  But mostly they just happily bounce along not caring about you at all!  They will bounce off of other Chomps though.

This level sends them through predetermined pathways dictated by blocks in their way.  They don't go through any seriously convoluted routes, but they keep respawning from pipes.  It's best to leap over them as they overtake you, then continue on.

One thing I'm particularly proud of here is the wide array of ways you can tackle this course.  There are progressive powerups that help you along the primary route.  There is a secret sky route you can use if you happen to find a Weird Mushroom (there's one in a hidden block at the start), that has lots of long, long jumps, some of which can only be made with Weird Mushroom assistance, but of course if you fall out you still might be able to land somewhere in the normal course and finish it that way.  There's both a Star and a Shoe Goomba (shoes can stomp Chomps) in hidden blocks shortly after the main checkpoint, and there's a P-Switch that makes the last part easier if you're fast enough.  There's also a pipe midway through that leads through a short underground section that poses its own challenge, but if you take it you'll have to bypass both the Star and the P-Switch.

I don't have a very good handle on how difficult most people will find this course.  I think it's relatively easy, but I made it a bit easier right before uploading to remove some one-block landing spots right at the start that I find no problem, but I've come to realize might be troublesome for ordinary players.  Chomps are intended to be the main problem here anyway.  I predict it will end up with about a 8-9% clear rate.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Inside The Mighty Goomba Machine

Inside The Mighty Goomba Machine

Welcome to the Mushroom Kingdom's famous Goomba Machine.  We aren't sure if it's designed, made, operated or powered by Goombas, or if it makes them either as part of its designed function or as a byproduct.  One must still admit that it is majestic to behold. 

Do not worry about the guard dogs outside, they have no way to get to us.  But please stay with the tour group, as the inner workings of the machine are still dangerous and we wouldn't want a repeat of last week's unfortunate accident....


No, I have not given up on making Mario levels, my standards have just gotten to the point where I'm getting pickier about what I choose to upload.  You could think of this as a reprise of No Shelter From The Goomba Rain, but it's much more cramped and less random.  I'd actually like for it to be more random, but it is difficult to introduce chaos into Mario's systems.  (One of the few good ways I've discovered is via Lakitu, but of course they have to be used carefully lest you hand the player a key to making most of your level optional.)

Hitting the blocks that enemies are standing on to take them out is an essential part of this level, even more essential than in Goomba Rain.  There are three major rooms, with a checkpoint before the third.  That third room is more of a general situation to figure out than an explicitly designed puzzle, and the checkpoint facilitates trying different strategies to overcome it.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


I just re-uploaded all my courses with the new checkpoints. Phew! Was fun to run through all my old stuff again. If you've ever thought they were too hard, give 'em another try.

(Example level: The Anti-P Consortium -- 6632-0000-00D8-2BD3)


Simple, Impossible

Simple, Impossible - A659-0000-00D7-8CFF

A one block level that is quite irritating. I'm not sure why I made this but I did.