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It'sa me, Kaizo Mario!

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Hell, I would take an entire hack based around the snakey block/P-switch section of the ultimate level, it was incredibly cool.
I still think about this section all the damn time. Such a cool part.

Anyway, congrats on the clear! I'm really glad you stuck it out to the final levels, because I knew you'd like them. For what it's worth, you're not the only one who felt that way about the hack (I remember someone left a comment on the original SMW Central listing saying as much). Either way, I hope you enjoyed your time with it and I'm looking forward to seeing what you pick up next.

I had something bizarre happen in one of the background songs of Peachy Moat World, and I'm wondering if either of you might know why. So in the Ultra Star level, they used a sweet Hooded Edge port of a Sonic & Knuckles 3 track that appears in a bunch of hacks, specifically this one:


That should autoplay at 28:29, but if not, that's the tune. It was mostly fine, but the weird thing is that when the main theme repeated (as it does around 29:39), it would play in a completely different key than the background chords. It's like one of them was a half-step higher than the other, but only for that specific section. The rest of the song was fine. It was absolutely baffling, and more than a little distracting. What could even cause this? It's my understanding that SPCs can't play other notes beyond what's written in their text files. It wasn't even solved by rebooting the console, as I played half the level (plus secret exit) yesterday, and the second half today. It's fine in the Youtube video above and in the song's listing on SMW Central too.

As for the game itself, I'm getting closer to the credits. Right now I'm at 26.5 exits, halfway through the moon physics level. While I still find this mechanic to be the kind of chocolate I absolutely hate (let me play Mario! Don't change the basic rules!), I will begrudingly admit that at least the first half wasn't as bad as I feared. The setups are pretty readable and not super tight, with the exception of the two falling shell jumps you have to do. Once I figured out how to do them they weren't so bad -- you have to keep moving to the right after you throw, unlike a regular shell jump where you typically need to maintain your X position, but at no point does the level actually tell you that. I had to do a lot of trial and error, ultimately watching someone else's clear video to put the pieces together. Hopefully the second half sticks to a similar difficulty level. After that, I've just got two exits left (though the final level is long enough to be two by itself). I was on vacation this past week and I'm back to work tomorrow, but I should be able to wrap the whole thing up before the week's out.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
So I have very little knowledge about how Super Nintendo music functions, but I have definitely heard tracks that sounded completely wrong in a few hacks (mostly stuff I've seen played by other people, not that I've played myself). One thing I noticed was that the melody repeat at 29:39 isn't in the same key as it is at the top of the song, it has been modulated. Maybe the sequencing got messed up so that the lead part was modulated, but the backing track was playing from the start, so they weren't in the same key? It could also just be a glitch, like that one weird note in the second level of Ako 2 or the strange echo that you get in Roll the Bones in QW2 on occasion. I have a feeling that kaizo hacks stretch the SNES hardware to the breaking point, resulting in some unintended audio artifacts. Just look (or rather listen) to the jumping sounds in Rise Again in Invictus!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Yeah, something that was supposed to follow a key change just...didn't. I've run into audio errors before, but nothing quite like this. It just struck me as very odd how specific and reproducible it was, since the other things you mention happen more or less at random. This was one particular section of the song, the same part every time. Baffling.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Speaking of kaizo music, I have got to figure out what the song is that plays in the second level of Ako 2. It's been stuck in my head for days!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Isn't there a soundtrack list readme included in the zip file? I thought that was the case but I can't actually check right now.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
There probably is, but I'm at work and like half the internet is blocked here (including SMWCentral). I'll figure it out once I get home.

ETA: Found it! As with many of the tracks that I've discovered through kaizo hacks, I find myself actually preferring the SMW version over the original. But feel free to judge for yourself! Here's the original:

And I'm pretty sure this is the version in Akogare 2:
 
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lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I like the SMW port better too, the original feels kind of grating but the SNES instrumentation makes it way more pleasantly mellow.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Truly in awe of your accomplishment. I don't know anything about this DLC either, so do let us know what the deal is!
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Hey, I think this is a good time to take stock of how far we've come.

lincoln, you're pretty much the master of running and jumping among us, beating GPW2 100 hours faster than me. And you're still casually killing hacks like they're nothing. That's pretty impressive.

Mike, you're the speed king among us, working hard at going fast in these games, which is not easy. And as much as you say that you have trouble reading setups, you've improved so much since you started.

Proud of y'all.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
And you're undaunted by any hack, no matter how weird or difficult it might be! I am consistently impressed at the varied, formidable challenges you undertake.

I'm not going to lie, lately I've really been feeling the amount of progress I've made in the last year. Caradhras was a tough level, but it always felt surmountable, and the final stages in Ako 2 were tough, but not scary or discouraging. Last night's stream was also pretty satisfying, I found my rate of progress in both Unintended Behavior and NC2 to be quite brisk. Practice: it actually does make perfect!
 
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lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Shucks, that is a hell of a compliment that I almost certainly don't deserve. I'm still pretty sure I'm bad at kaizo, but I will keep trying to get better. Snake, I'm forever in awe of how fearless you are in your hack choices, and even moreso by the fact that no matter how challenging they are, you always come back in no time at all to tell us how you've conquered them. You're the biggest brain among us and you've got the skills to prove it.

And Mike, everything Snake said about you is spot on. I already told you that I'm proud of how far you've come in your speedruns, and you're also a much better player than you give yourself credit for. You're gonna crush the rest of GPW2 when you're ready and I'm psyched to watch you take down Super World and Purgatory too.

You guys are the best. I'm glad we have this kaizo crew.
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Hey, I beat the Let's Give Up DLC! Turns out it's one level long and called Dive Tree, which tells you everything you need to know about the level. Very fun! Also, notably, this is DLC 1, so I expect more coming in the future.

Also, in a development that should make lincoln happy, I started Purgatory last night and cleared 5 exits. Really fun so far! The levels keep getting more creative, and I love the flow of the platforming. Gonna keep playing.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I have some contacts in Hotel Mario, across the street. They can hook us up with dealer uniforms and IDs, but they won’t hold up to close scrutiny. Pack a fire flower in case things go wrong.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Well, the madman finally did it. After 33 days of grinding, Stew not only took the Grand Poo World 100% world record (by something like a minute and 20 seconds), afterwards he decided to go for the Any% record too and got it on his first try. And then immediately jumped into a runback to bring his time down further. What a legend.

As for me, I finished Peachy Moat World tonight! The penultimate level has three sections; I'd left off after clearing the second part last night since it was getting late and I had to be up early today, but the final section only took about 5-10 minutes. Onto the last level! I took the right-side path, because the left-side started with a double jump room and I immediately noped out. The five rooms themselves weren't actually that bad (the motor skills one was a bit tough, but a couple of them felt pretty free), I cleared them in maybe 45-50 minutes, but the underwater autoscroller Big Boo took me just under an hour. That was kind of a drag, but the final boss after? Five minutes. I spent four of those minutes jumping around like a dummy on the disco shell, but once I realized I needed to be doing smaller hops I cleared it really quickly. I'm not gonna lie, I thought that boss was gonna be a lot harder!

On the whole, I really enjoyed this hack and I'd recommend it to you both. While there were a few levels in the late game that were notably tougher than the rest (usually involving some kind of chocolate mechanic), I think the game's reputation for having a massive difficulty spike is actually hyperbole. After rolling the credits I feel confident in saying this is easier than Invictus, start to finish. I'm not sure it needed to be 29 exits, but I can probably count the levels I didn't like on one hand. That's a pretty good ratio of wheat to chaff!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Aw c'mon man. I just got my master of running and jumping title, and now you're gonna take it away from me already?
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Ha ha I’m not even surprised. Anyway, I just played three more Nightmare Cafés!

NCIII - SMB2 ninjis ahoy! Took a while to get used to those, but overall I enjoyed the custom sprites. Makes me want more Peach floating in kaizo, though I might live to regret saying that. I managed to luck my way through the disco shell/key room fairly quickly, so this one took me about 45 minutes.

NCIV - The easiest one yet! Finished it in about half an hour and immediately moved on to…

NCV - WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK is happening in the room with five footballs? I must have spent 20 minutes in that damn place, trying to find a pattern that would let me run under all five balls. Finally managed to kill the middle one after way too many tries, then VERY CAREFULLY got to the end without dying. I would like to never play anything like that room again, please.

Aside from that one terrible room, I love playing these and I love watching other people play them, too. They’re light, quirky and fun! I think I enjoy single-room hacks enough that I’ll dip into Mad With Kaizo Power later on. For now, though, I’m going on kaizo break for a 4-day weekend in the country.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
NCV - WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK is happening in the room with five footballs?
Oh god, I immediately knew which room this was as soon as I read this. That room sucks for sure. Funny that you went for killing the middle football, the only one I killed was the final one in front of the door. But yeah, good hacks aside from stuff like that, and I'm excited for you to start MwKP!
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I actually tried to kill the middle football and failed like 20 times. Then I spent 15 minutes seeing if I could either run under the first four and kill the fifth, or else run under all five and sneak into the door quickly. After getting completely fed up with that, I went back to trying to spin jump the third one and got it fairly quickly. Thank god I managed to close the deal on that life, I was about to lose it.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I didn’t even think it was possible to take the third one slowly, since it only has one tile’s worth of headroom and it bounces quicker than the others. And any time I did manage to sneak under it, I was going so fast that I couldn’t stop cleanly between the next ones. Maybe there’s an easy/consistent way to do that room, but I sure didn’t find it.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Cleared Nightmare Cafe IX today, it was actually the easiest one yet! According to its description on SMW Central, it's got 101 rooms, but I cleared the whole thing in about 45-50 minutes. Most rooms went down on the first or second attempts, I don't think any of them took more than five.

One more to go, then I need to figure out what to play next.
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
So I should explain that I started playing The Reeling the other day for laughs, and also because I wanted to listen to the song. But it became clear after some playing that I was making tangible progress, and before I knew it, I could see the H, then the goal tape. So I figured, I can actually do this. And I did.

In the meanwhile, I beat Nightmare cafes up to VI. Still fun, still easy, still satisfying. I also started O'Ghim, which is a tough hack, but the levels are short, so that compensates. I like it so far!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Speaking of Casio, looks like Kezcade got a new world record over the weekend. I'm so impressed at how many people have managed to grind that hack down.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I’m especially impressed at how fast Kez took the record, I know Purps worked on that grind for a long time. Kezcade is good at Mario: who knew?

Snake, that soundtrack is absolutely an acceptable reason to play Casio. If I ever decide to make an attempt at that hack, the music will undoubtedly keep me going for longer than I would otherwise.

No Kaizo for me, I’m in the country! And I might be about to buy a car?
 
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