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It'sa me, Kaizo Mario!

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
For me, the soundtrack is a reason not to play it. No way am I gonna listen to fake breathing sounds for hours at a time.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I'm all out of Nightmare Cafes! Cafe X is done, and with it the entire series. I could feel that Lush was trying to make this one more difficult -- there are a few more precision rooms than the other hacks -- but there wasn't anything remotely like Mad with Kaizo Power. If we're being honest, I surprised myself a little bit at how effortless a lot of this hack felt. Even though it was roughly twice as long as the others, it still went down in about 90 minutes. There were a few rooms I cleared on the first try that definitely would've taken me much longer if the me from a few months ago was playing.

Did I need to play all ten Nightmare Cafes? Probably not, there isn't a ton of variation between them. But they're quick, and they're fun, and I enjoyed my time. Now I really don't know what to play next! I feel like the fire hose of hack releases this year started off with has finally slowed back down to normal, but nothing I've seen lately has been calling out to me either. Part of me is tempted by Mostly Harmless, but I have a feeling that some of those levels (I'm looking at you, cloud level) will probably make me throw my controller through the TV.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
The nightmare is over! For now…

I can’t remember, did you try Lush’s most recent single-screen kaizo?
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
That was great, probably your best article yet! I’m impressed that you went back as far as Sinc-X, that’s some old-school kaizo right there. And the fact that you will be sharing Hot Drinks with everyone who reads the article? Well, that’s downright humanitarian of you.

The Nightmare continues over here, with NCs VI and VII in the can. VI was a lot of fun, but fairly unremarkable, I finished it in a very standard 45 minutes and had a great time. VII started out easy until I got to that one room (about half the Nightmare Cafés seem to have one room that ends up taking way longer than the rest). In this case, it was a room where you have to use a spring to jump through a one-tile gap in a tall wall - made difficult because the gap is at a height that is quite challenging to obtain. After spending 10 minutes trying to pull it off, then another 5 looking for hidden blocks and pipes (these hacks are getting trollier as they go on), I watched drkrdnk’s video to see what to do. Turns out you can get some in-between jump heights off a spring by jumping just after Mario leaves contact with it? I didn’t know about that, maybe it’s covered in one of the later Learn 2 Kaizo levels that I never got around to. Anyway, that one room aside, it was great fun and had maybe the best soundtrack to date. It would be cool if Lush eventually posted a combined soundtrack video for the series.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
In this case, it was a room where you have to use a spring to jump through a one-tile gap in a tall wall - made difficult because the gap is at a height that is quite challenging to obtain. After spending 10 minutes trying to pull it off, then another 5 looking for hidden blocks and pipes (these hacks are getting trollier as they go on), I watched drkrdnk’s video to see what to do.
I watched exactly the same video to get through exactly the same room. Woof. If it helps, I'm pretty sure that was the last of Those One Rooms in the series.

Snake, I just told you this in Mike's stream, but the article is great and I'm proud of you. You let the subjects speak for themselves while explaining enough in between the quotes to keep everything flowing, and the whole thing is super approachable for people who've never played a single hack. I also really enjoyed the reminder at the end that Super Mario World is out now.

The video of that Sinc-X tune with the oscilloscope was pretty interesting -- it really showcases how much these folks can do with just 8 channels. I also thought it was interesting that he switches what channel certain instruments are on every so often, I wonder if there's a technical reason for that? Knowing nothing about how porting works, I'd imagine it'd be easier to stay consistent just from a workflow perspective, but I'm absolutely just guessing.
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
As I said in chat, I started playing The Darkside Remastered, and while it's fun enough, the myriad Morsel references made me go, wait, I should play an actual Morsel game instead of something that's so referential to his works. So I started up Storks again and cleared the high jump block level, putting me at 9 exits. Now I'm dealing with some Rude Lines, so we'll see how that goes.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
You're getting so close to the end now! Not too many exits between that one and RNG Castle, right?

I haven't seen Darkside Remastered, but I watched Juz's playthrough of the original version on YouTube and it looked very tough. Is the updated one as tight?
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Just just posted his playthrough of Nightmare Café V on YouTube and he got the five-football room that stymied me for 20 minutes on his first try. I am blind with rage.

Anyway, I’ve played through NC VIII. They’re still great.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Honestly, I’m trying not to burn through them too quickly. Being able to have a self-contained kaizo experience in 45 minutes is so nice, I’ll be kind of sad once they’re all done. Plus, they’re easy enough that my kid doesn’t lose patience when I play them on the living room TV with the Super Nt. So he’s been watching me play them, and then we’ll watch videos of other people (usually Juz) playing them too. It’s been pretty great! I was skeptical when Lush put out a dozen hacks in as many weeks, but this kind of serial platforming experience has been tons of fun.
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
You're getting so close to the end now! Not too many exits between that one and RNG Castle, right?

I haven't seen Darkside Remastered, but I watched Juz's playthrough of the original version on YouTube and it looked very tough. Is the updated one as tight?
Well I believe there's 17 exits, so I'm at least more than halfway through. Update: I got through the rude lines, and it was a ton of fun. Now I'm on conveyor ropes, which is...kinda annoying to be honest. They can't all be winners, I guess.

The Darkside Remastered is tight, but not quite Morsel tight even though it tries to be.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Well I believe there's 17 exits, so I'm at least more than halfway through. Update: I got through the rude lines, and it was a ton of fun. Now I'm on conveyor ropes, which is...kinda annoying to be honest. They can't all be winners, I guess.

The Darkside Remastered is tight, but not quite Morsel tight even though it tries to be.
Oh, I thought "rude lines" meant the conveyor rope level. Which one is rude lines?
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Honestly, I’m trying not to burn through them too quickly. Being able to have a self-contained kaizo experience in 45 minutes is so nice, I’ll be kind of sad once they’re all done. Plus, they’re easy enough that my kid doesn’t lose patience when I play them on the living room TV with the Super Nt. So he’s been watching me play them, and then we’ll watch videos of other people (usually Juz) playing them too. It’s been pretty great! I was skeptical when Lush put out a dozen hacks in as many weeks, but this kind of serial platforming experience has been tons of fun.
Oh yeah, I didn't mean right this second. Just in the general sense, if you're still enjoying them, keep it going whenever you feel like it.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Ohhh, that level. Rude Lines has maybe the single scariest speed strat that stew developed for the whole game!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
That level indeed. I don't usually understand when people say that watching kaizo makes them anxious, but when I see people play the fast platforms level...I do.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
So I can't say that I know exactly when I first started playing kaizo, but I do know that it was roughly a year ago. And I think that tonight, I'm going to have a one-year kaizoversary stream, where I go back and revisit some of the most important games that I played over the year! A look back on favorite hacks, levels and tunes.

Most importantly, I think it might finally be time for me to complete Test #5...
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Stew just got his GPW Duology run, closing out his efforts with a completely absurd 1:31:45 (42 minutes in GPW1, 49 in GPW2). With that, he's finally moving on from the series. And he's moving on to...Quickie World 2. It's gonna be nuts if and when he takes those records.
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
I got through the fire flower level in Storks, which makes 12 exits down. Now I'm on the falling throw block level, which is really tough but really creative. I'm getting there.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Go Snake! Stonk it good!

Oh man, stew runs of QW2? Now that's gonna be interesting. I wonder if he'll find some revolutionary new strats? Quickie 2 is one of the only kaizo hacks to have a pretty sizeable leaderboard, so he won't be able to snag the record without applying some of his trademark science.

UPDATE: I finished Unintended Behavior! I had to look up the solutions to two of the rooms in the final level, since I didn't have you guys around to help me figure them out, but I got the rest on my own. Aside from a couple of too-fiddly yoshi sections, it was a really fun, weird hack and I'm glad I played it. Will this help me in future kaizos? Maaaaaaaaaybe. If nothing else, I'll have a slightly better idea of how to approach some off-kilter sections in future games. At the very least, it's broadened my horizons as to what is possible - and what can be fun - in a kaizo hack.
 
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lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Oh man, stew runs of QW2? Now that's gonna be interesting. I wonder if he'll find some revolutionary new strats?
He already found one, in Field of Dreams -- you know the second jump, where you have to go from the rotating platforms at the start to the winged blocks so you can jump up and hit the coin block to knock the shell down? Turns out if you're good enough, you can hit the coin block directly from the winged platforms with a well-timed spin jump, which allows you to get over to the secret exit nearly a whole second faster. That doesn't sound like much, but in a game as optimized as QW2, little edges like that really add up.

Anyway, big congrats on finishing Unintended Behavior! It's such a cool, weird beast. I learned a bunch just from the few levels I saw you playing, so I'm sure you came away from it with a ton of new knowledge too.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
You guys I Learned 2 Kaizo!!!

…almost. I went back to my save on the Super Nt and completed Test #5, which was an extremely satisfying thing to do after such a long time. Then I just…kept going. I did a midair spring jump. I did a midair shell jump with and without P-speed. I did some frankly very useful cape practice, even if there wasn’t a whole lot in there I didn’t already know. I made it as far as the final castle…but I couldn’t seal the deal on the last room. You know, the one where you have to do a p-speed midair shell jump, a midair spring jump and then a double shell jump all in a row? After who knows how long, I had to pack it in and go to bed, which means I’m also going to lose my checkpoint in the castle. The worst part is that it wasn’t even the spring jump that really held me up, it was the damn double shell jump. I must have made it there a dozen times, but every time I tensed up and choked. I’ll have to come back to it tomorrow, because I really really would like to finish this hack almost exactly a year after starting it. And I’ve gotta be honest, all this shell/spring midair practice is probably pretty good for me. I’ll definitely appreciate it if I ever make it as far as the 1000 Halls in GPW2.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
You can do it! Just remember the golden rule of shell jumps: clamp your thumb on the B button at all times.

Midair spring jumps suck, and thankfully you don't really see them in any hacks these days. Even the GlitchCat7-style shell midairs you have to do at the end of Thousand Halls are free, you just let go of the D-pad when Mario hits the shell and hold right again when you jump off of it. (I time it to with the sound effects of Mario interacting with the shell: let go of D-pad on the first sound, re-press on the second sound.)
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Midair spring jumps do suck, but part of me is glad to have a reason to practice them for a bit. As I played L2K last night, I found myself regretting that I didn't return to it sooner - there's a lot of neat stuff in the later levels! Even though I hope to never find a midair in an actual hack (aside from the "free" ones), I think it's good for my kaizo education to have at least pulled them off a handful of times. And rehashing my flight fundamentals is always good practice, especially since I've enjoyed flying the few times I've done it in kaizo hacks and I might eventually try some of the tougher cape hacks.

Gotta knuckle down and push through this last section so I can say I've finished Learn 2 Kaizo for real. It's going to be a little painful, but the worst should be behind me now that I can get the spring jump about 1 in 5 attempts.
 
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lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Yeah, it's definitely good to know how to do, even if you'll probably never have to do them again after this. And you're pretty much guaranteed to never have to do an actual shell midair (the one they do in vanilla speedruns that L2K lets you skip, not the free P-speed kind). The spring jump in the final level is easily the hardest part -- you've got this!

After some hemming and hawing, I started Mostly Harmless today and cleared the first level. It took about an hour, and it was tough. It's pretty clear from the get-go that this is a very input-specific hack. I'm gonna keep going for now, but we'll see how far I get. At least the part where you have to spin with P-speed across 7 or 8 Spineys at the end of the first level was a lot easier than it looked. I have a feeling the rest of the game is going to be exactly as hard as it looks.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Hey, an hour for a level in a hack that difficult isn't bad at all! I hope you enjoy it, I get the impression that hack flew under the radar, but was appreciated by those good enough to tackle it.
 
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