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It'sa me, Kaizo Mario!

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Well, last night's stream sure was something. Thanks for taking up the swords when it needed to be done, I hadn't expected to attract MoS' attention so quickly. I believe that some people in the community have a kind of auto-ban filter for dealing with him, I'll see if I can get a hold of it to improve future streams. At least I got a couple follows out of the deal? Still, I can honestly say it threw me for a loop seeing him arrive like that. Hopefully he'll decide that my audience is too small to waste his antics on, although I doubt that'll be the case. Just the cost of doing kaizo business, it seems.

On the other hand, some really good stuff happened too: progress was made, cool people stopped by and the pizza wall of fame is now a reality! It feels great to be out of Marathon, I think I needed to see some proof that I can actually play this dang game. Right now, I feel motivated to continue the grind, so hopefully I can get 5-10 exits in before needing a break. Chances are that either Deuce Lair or Toasty Coals will be a big wall, so I might try to fight through one of those and then take a break to play some easier stuff.
 
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lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I don't know much about modding, but maybe his IP address can be banned instead of just playing whack-a-mole with every account? I'm sure Twitch is too dumb to actually let us do anything like that, but who knows.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Guess who's got two sore thumbs and hit the Marathon checkpoint in an hour?

Okay stop guessing, it's me! I put about 20 minutes into the second half but couldn't clear it before I had to make dinner, but I think I'm gonna go back and try to get it after I eat. Seems easier than the first half!
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Yoooooo way to go! Y'all will be beating the game before you know it!

YUMP 2 is going swimmingly. I'm 16 exits in, and I found a branch with a higher concentration of kaizo levels than most. I've been having a lot of fun. I already found Bowser's Castle, so I'm going to go back and play more branches before continuing.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Well, it seemed easier than the first half, but altogether the back of Marathon took me an hour to clear as well. Still, not bad! Less time than the first level of Invictus took me. (GPW2 easier than Invictus, confirmed.) I poked around the beginning of Laser Lifts for a minute but I was pretty fried by then, so I loaded up Kibeth to cool down -- got the first checkpoint in 20 minutes, but then I learned the hard way that Kibeth does not save checkpoints, so I'll have to do that again at some point. Wasn't too bad though.

Still having some trouble getting used to the SNES controller again. Even with a modified grip, my left thumb (where the RSI is) hurts more from playing for a couple of non-consecutive hours than it did playing with the PS4 controller or SN30 Pro+. If this keeps up I may have to consider going for the wireless option just for the sake of my hands. Anyone happen to know if it adds a noticeable amount of lag?
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Welcome to the world of old-school saving! It’s, uh, not great. As for the controller issue, I know lots of people play kaizo using the Bluetooth receiver made by 8bitdo that fits in the SNES controller port. My own experience was with the 2.4 GHz version, which is how I started playing kaizo, but I found it snappy enough. Your TV settings will almost certainly have a bigger impact on latency than the wireless connection to your controller.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
My TV's old enough to not really have settings like that, but good to know that the wireless adapter isn't laggy. We'll see if my hands adapt or if it becomes a sticking point!
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
My old HDTV was from like 2008 and even it had a game mode that significantly reduced lag. Then again, if you aren't tearing your hair out after switching from emulator to the Super Nt, your television must not be too terrible.

I hit up drkrdnk on Twitter to ask about anti-manofsteel technology. Apparently the solution is to mod a user named kryptonite_bot on Twitch, and it will block/ban/otherwise stop alt accounts that have been blocked elsewhere? I can't find a lot of information as to how it all works, but I'm certainly willing to give it a try. What I will say is that we should try to limit our actual discussion of the pest on the stream - I have a feeling he must watch streams pretty frequently and I assume that getting attention is his main goal with all of this. So if it looks like the bot is doing its job, then don't comment on it, and if you see him slip through the cracks then we'll try to deal with it as discreetly as possible. Hopefully any accounts we ban will feed back into the bot, helping others out as well.

Man, I'm pretty keen to get back in and finish off Laser Lifts, but I can't afford the sleep debt that inevitably comes with playing this game right now. Maybe on Thursday...
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
My old HDTV was from like 2008 and even it had a game mode that significantly reduced lag. Then again, if you aren't tearing your hair out after switching from emulator to the Super Nt, your television must not be too terrible.
Mine's from 2005! So far lag hasn't been an issue, the improvement over emulation is very real.

I hit up drkrdnk on Twitter to ask about anti-manofsteel technology. Apparently the solution is to mod a user named kryptonite_bot on Twitch, and it will block/ban/otherwise stop alt accounts that have been blocked elsewhere? I can't find a lot of information as to how it all works, but I'm certainly willing to give it a try. What I will say is that we should try to limit our actual discussion of the pest on the stream - I have a feeling he must watch streams pretty frequently and I assume that getting attention is his main goal with all of this. So if it looks like the bot is doing its job, then don't comment on it, and if you see him slip through the cracks then we'll try to deal with it as discreetly as possible. Hopefully any accounts we ban will feed back into the bot, helping others out as well.
Sounds like a good plan to me.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Two hours to get the checkpoint in Laser Lifts tonight, including some really heartbreaking deaths: not only did I die to the kaizo block six times (fully knowing it was there), I actually missed the pipe altogether the first two times I made it over. I also spent about 45 minutes dying at the shell jump before realizing you're supposed to throw it at the left wall instead of the right. But I made it, eventually!

Meanwhile, Stew just got the 100% world record. What's that guy gonna do now?
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Y'all are killing it! I knew you would!

I played a really interesting level in YUMP 2 today. The conceit was built on your coin total. In the first part, if your coin total ever became 0, you die. You start with one coin. So the level becomes about avoiding coins as much as you can so the total doesn't roll over. If you get under 70 coins, you get access to the secret exit, where if your total ever ENDS in 0, you die. This section also introduces green coins which are worth 2. So this part of the level becomes about gathering a total that ends in 9 and grabbing a green coin, skipping 0 and keeping you alive. The first part is very much non-kaizo, as things are more inexact and plenty of powerups are available. The secret exit is definitely kaizo, though, as getting through requires a specific path through the levels. Levels like these are a big reason to play YUMP 2. I'm liking it!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I've seen that Yump level! Pretty neat concept. It's appeared in a couple of other hacks, too. Kuso Ecstasy has a level where you die if you get 100 coins, and on the flipside there's an exit in Dancer where you have you collect 100 coins to gain a mushroom so you can damage boost over some Munchers at the end of the level. But the green coins are unique to the Yump level, at least as far as I've seen.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Ouch, that 6th kaizo block hit must have been rough. I was honestly pretty surprised I managed to avoid it on my second try, since that whole section is so much more precise than it looks. Then again, I also spent twice as long as you on Marathon, so you're still doing pretty well IMO. I will say, though, that I used the right wall for the shell jump. Left wall might be easier, honestly, there was a fairly tricky juke involved when bouncing it to the right.

Snake, have you made it farther into Yump 2 than I did, or did you just take different paths? It sounds like you've found some pretty neat levels, I'd like to play some of them for myself. I kind of wish the game was a little easier at times, because some of the jokey levels can actually be pretty tough to get through (and a few of them are just terrible). Maybe that makes it feel more special when you stumble onto a great one? I'll definitely check out that fishing level secret next time I stream some kaizo, though. Maybe tonight? The usual Wednesday crew doesn't seem to be around for our YouTube stuff today.
 
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SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Different path. I think YUMP as a whole has a reputation for being the jokey hack, but YUMP 2 in particular has some legit great, challenging, creative levels that are worth playing. There's crap in here for certain, I think the good stuff outnumbers it honestly.

In other hack news, a hack I was really looking forward to just dropped. I'll report back on how it is once I've played more.
A Goblin's Quest-210428-011606.png
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Ooh, I've heard a bit about that. Liz doesn't play a lot of kaizo AFAIK, so I think this one is going to feel pretty different from a lot of the hacks that have been released in the last few years.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I'm also super curious about Liz's hack, let us know how it goes! Always fascinating to see what non-kaizo players come up with.
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Yes, this is what it looks like. And yet somehow I don't hate it. I actually like it haha.
A Goblin's Quest-210428-182943.png
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Just polished off Laser Lifts! The second half was much easier than the first, only took an hour and 10 minutes. (Spoiler tags for Mike since he hasn't cleared it yet.) Finding consistent strats for each obstacle felt really good, and I only died to the long fall at the end twice!

I've been dreading Riptide Slide ever since I decided I was going to play this hack, though. I'm done with GPW2 for today, so it'll be up to Future Me to decide if it's as bad as Present Me fears.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Well, I made it to the checkpoint in Riptide Slide after only 50 minutes (take that Mike!), but I'm getting annihilated by the fish gates now. Snake, if you have any advice for how to consistently get through them, I'm all ears.

I really wish there was another checkpoint after the second section. I can do that part more or less consistently, but having to do that entire thing just to die at the fish gates over and over again is really demotivating.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Hey, you were cheating off my hard-earned progress! I'll come back to the game and show you all, get ready for some first-try fish gates. I will say that Barb has a tendency to not checkpoint at screen transitions, which I'm not a fan of. The first section in the Eyrie is a super-long two-parter that I'm kind of dreading for that reason. A pipe or door should always take you to a checkpoint! Unless you're in a ghost house or something.

I'm a little annoyed with Kibeth right now, because I got the (extremely annoying) checkpoint in the motor skills level, but I had to stop playing before finishing it, so I'll have to do it again next time. Gotta say, guys, I really think motor skills is just not for me. It's too fiddly, and it messes up all of the instinctual regrabbing I've been training myself to do for 8 months now.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I'll come back to the game and show you all, get ready for some first-try fish gates.
If you make it through the fish gates on your first try, I will quit playing this game forever.

Also oh no, Kibeth has a motor skills level? Nobody wants that. Is there anyone who actually likes motor skills? It seems like most people's reactions are something like "Oh, I have to do motor skills now. *sigh* Okay." Who gets excited about this? (Don't say Morsel.)

I don't hate motor skills, but I definitely don't enjoy it either. I'd rank it slightly above the bad Invictus double jump ASM, though.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Also oh no, Kibeth has a motor skills level? Nobody wants that. Is there anyone who actually likes motor skills? It seems like most people's reactions are something like "Oh, I have to do motor skills now. *sigh* Okay." Who gets excited about this? (Don't say Morsel.)

I don't hate motor skills, but I definitely don't enjoy it either. I'd rank it slightly above the bad Invictus double jump ASM, though.
I don't know if I'd go so far as to say I hate motor skills, but I definitely find them pretty annoying. I agree that the Invictus double jump is the worse ASM of the two, but Rise Again was a lot easier than Absolute Power, so it didn't leave the same kind of scars*. The Kibeth level is, of course, an order of magnitude easier than that, but it's still challenging and it does have a very irritating checkpoint. It's too bad that it's buried this far into the game, especially since the previous level (Visce) was really weird and unique in a way that I can totally get behind. I was maybe entertaining thoughts of running Kibeth, but a penultimate level with motor skills? That's even worse than Sidetree.

*I do not know when I will get over Absolute Power, or even if I will get over Absolute Power. That level changed me, man.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
That's even worse than Sidetree.
I learned from watching Juz's Hark 2 playthrough on Youtube that he originally wanted the second half of Die-Tree to be a sidetree, but he couldn't figure out how to do it. Count your blessings, I guess.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
GET FUCKED FISH GATES

(by which I mean I finished Riptide Slide, not that I'm salty*)

Second half ended up taking about two hours in all, which is honestly not as bad as I thought? That was split evenly between today and yesterday. Once I was able to get a consistent strategy for the gates, the rest of the level after that wasn't terrible. Pretty much all of the deaths there were my fault, I just had to stay focused.

Probably going to switch to Kibeth if I play more tonight, I feel like one GPW2 section per day is healthy.

*What I am salty about is getting up-piped the first time I made it to the end of the level.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I spent a few more hours with GPW2, and it's a little hard to admit this, but...I don't think I'm having much fun with it. Despite my promises of first-try fish gate, I didn't even see the fish gates last night - it took me another hour and a half to get the checkpoint and then I spent 50 minutes learning the muncher corridor before stopping for the day. One could generously assume that I'm on track to have three levels finished in about 10 hours time, if I don't hit any major snags (or fish) in the second half. Now, there are two ways to look at that: on one hand, it's a really hard game and that's a reasonable amount of progress for the time invested, considering the difficulty. But on the other hand, this is only the beginning of the game, I have nearly complete foreknowledge of the levels and I haven't even gotten to the hard part yet. There's nothing wrong with grinding a tough level for a long time, but the simple fact is that I'm not enjoying the process. I don't know if it's Barb's level design that doesn't agree with me, if I'm disappointed by the total lack of surprises, or if I'm just not good enough to progress quickly. My level of patience is higher than it used to be, but if I don't see a checkpoint or an exit after about 90 minutes I start to get really burned out. With the trajectory I'm on right now, I'm looking at multiple levels that will take 6+ hours to finish (if not double digits) and I'm not sure I'm here for that right now.

That said, I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel just yet. I'm going to finish Riptide Slide and at least dip into Caradhras - if nothing else, I think that's one of the easier levels in the game? But if I have another session like the one last night, I'm going to take it as a sign that I'm not ready for GPW2 yet. The smart move might just be to play a few more intermediate-level hacks (I'm thinking Ako 2, Sweet and Sour, Riff 1/2 or Peachy Moat) and return to this game in 2-3 months. Admitting this to myself has been surprisingly difficult; GPW2 is the Mount Everest of kaizo games, held up almost unanimously as the pinnacle of the genre. But if I can't find the fun in it soon, then I'm not going to subject myself to 100 hours of grind just for the sake of saying I beat it. If nothing else, it'll be there when I'm ready for it.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Not every hack is for everyone, and there's nothing wrong with stopping if you're not having fun. Why put a ton of time into something if you're not getting anything back out of it? I totally support putting the game on pause and coming back after getting some other hacks under your belt if that's what you wanna do! Like you said, it'll be there when you're ready.

Having said that, I definitely would not call either of the Riff games intermediate-level. I think they're probably just as hard as GPW2, though Riff 1 does at least have shorter sections. Some of those sections look completely miserable, though. I'm not saying you shouldn't play them if you're interested, I just think it's especially important to temper expectations with kaizo hacks.
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Mike, don’t even worry about back burnering it. There was a reason I shelved Comfort Zone before, after all. You gotta do what’s fun for you, and with what you feel ready for.

What I will say is that Ako 2 took me a bit longer to beat than Invictus, though that might just have been a me thing. Take it for what you will.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Thanks for the support, guys. Ako 2 and the Riff games are both things I’m considering, expressly because I do want to challenge myself...just maybe a hair less than GPW2. If Riff is similar in difficulty but has shorter sections then that might be a good way to go, but I haven’t really decided what my plan is yet. Gonna finish Riptide Slide and then we’ll see where we’re at. I’ve just never heard of someone dropping Grand Poo World partway through before, so it feels a little weird to do it.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I’ve just never heard of someone dropping Grand Poo World partway through before, so it feels a little weird to do it.
I guarantee you are not the first person to do this.

Anyway, you already know I recommend Ako 2 highly, but play whatever seems fun!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Making slow but steady progress through GPW2. Polished off the Thalassophobia secret exit today, though it took much longer than I expected (just shy of two hours, including the half hour I spent getting to the autoscroller). I keep seeing Stew stand on the spikes in the section with the two jumping fish, but I died when I tried it. Maybe that's something Barb fixed in 1.1 and Stew is playing on 1.0? Who knows. Either way, I'm not really excited to go back and do the main exit since I'm Just Not Into Water Levels. Man, between Riptide Slide, Caradhras, and Thalassophobia all in a row, I'm really itching to play a level where I can just run and jump normally again in this game.

Anyway, I still felt like playing after I was done there, so I finished up Kibeth Takes a Walk. (Before you guys go and get any more ideas about me being good, the Rock Gym still took me an hour, so I'm pretty sure we're still on a pretty even playing field.) I really liked this hack! Relatively short levels with cool setups, and a difficulty level that was kind of perfect as a cooldown after finishing a GPW2 section. I'm gonna need another hack to fill that slot now!
 
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