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It'sa me, Kaizo Mario!

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
To the best of my knowledge, he hasn't mentioned what his next game is gonna be. I checked in on his stream last night and he was grinding for a sub-18 QW2. But I'm not thinking about just volume, though. Even putting aside his impressive collection of world records, Stew also researches and develops strats that nobody else finds or even looks for. He was talking the other day about how a lot of kaizo runners will just grind a game until they can get through it deathless (or close enough), which is typically good enough for a world record since the games are so hard, but they don't necessarily science out new strats. Calco will always be an absolute legend, but there's still room for optimization in his runs (which is why Chambo was able to take the Invictus record, for example).

Either way, I'll be very curious to see what Stew decides to tackle next.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Yeah, there's definitely something to be said for stew's combination of skilled/patient/methodical/diligent. He's been on an absolute tear all year, it's pretty incredible. I'm sure the eventual Calco bop is coming, it'll be a real clash of the titans. I wonder if that's the sort of thing that could motivate Calco to return to kaizo? Having seen his Yoshi's Island run, that dude is clearly a force to be reckoned with.
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Hey, I did it! I beat Storks!

This was definitely the second hardest hack I've beaten, behind Grand Poo World 2. I'm glad to have played it, and that I keep pushing myself as a kaizo player.
apes1.13-210907-155310.png
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Congrats, Snake, that's huge! You're at the threshold of the highest tier of hacks, at least as far as I'm concerned. What would you say was the most difficult part of Storks for you?
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Congrats, Snake, that's huge! You're at the threshold of the highest tier of hacks, at least as far as I'm concerned. What would you say was the most difficult part of Storks for you?
Hmmm...RNG Castle was pretty rough, but I actually think Room 4 of Motor Skills and the switch block tunnel in the Yoshi level were the biggest trouble spots in the game for me.
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Might take a break from kaizo to play a certain cursed Standard hack that's been going around recently. After that? I have some ideas, I'll let y'all know when I start something.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I'm actually not up enough on the standard hack scene to know what you're hinting here. Is it something recent?
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Hey, Thirdwall is playing Storks on Mercy Kill with commentary by Ame! I assume this is of interest to you both, but the show is about halfway over, so you might have to catch the VOD.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I went back and watched TW's second run, Takumi Mario V, and it was even better. It's like Learn 2 Kaizo meets Unintended Behavior! Snake, I feel like this is something that you should play eventually...

Meanwhile, I've sunk at least 2 hours into Purgatory and I have completed...1.5 exits, neither of which I have enjoyed. Considering that the first level is super irritating and the second level is a super irritating dolphin level, the rest of this hack must be incredible if lincoln is still recommending it.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Meanwhile, I've sunk at least 2 hours into Purgatory and I have completed...1.5 exits, neither of which I have enjoyed. Considering that the first level is super irritating and the second level is a super irritating dolphin level, the rest of this hack must be incredible if lincoln is still recommending it.

It's definitely a hack that gets better as it goes along, but the first two levels are indeed a bit rough. However:

For me personally, the third level was where it really picked up, and it stays pretty cool from then on.

But if you're not having a good time, nothing wrong with putting it down.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Because Valdio got so much more support than he planned on, he needs an extra week to finish porting the songs people requested and hide 60 emotes in secret rooms. So we won't be getting Quickie World: With a Vengeance tomorrow, but frankly if he can get all that in after only another week, I'm still gonna be super impressed.

Two more levels (but only one more exit, because switch palaces don't count) deeper into Mostly Harmless, and I've cleared the blue switch path. Somehow I'm 2/3 of the way done! Dino Slide was one of the levels that I was afraid of, since I don't feel like I'm very good at item abuse-type levels, but it actually ended up being pretty fun. And, yet again, it was another level with a very tough first half and a very easy second half. I'll take it! The blue switch palace was also fun, and slightly out of place? I don't mean that in a bad way, it just didn't have the same kind of "every setup is super weird" vibe as the rest of the hack. It was definitely a nice breather!

What was not fun was that for the first 10-15 minutes I was playing Dino Slide, I kept getting phantom left inputs on my controller while I needed to keep a neutral D-pad to maintain a sliding state. I get them occasionally, but I've never seen that many in such a short amount of time. Thankfully they stopped after a relatively short amount of time, but it doesn't really bode well for the long-term health of this controller.
 
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MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Man, you’re making some great progress! What kind of controller are you using right now, PS4?

I’ve played a little farther into Purgatory and I’m starting to enjoy myself. First two levels were long and kind of frustrating, but the next two have been pretty cool. I liked the secret exit to the underground pipe land (with Thousand Year Door music!) and what I’ve played of the one-pump-swim level has felt very creative. Crucially, both are taking me less time than the first two levels, which felt eternal. I’ll keep picking away at it and hope it stays good. Stream-wide, I’m torn on whether I want to try out the early-access version of Quickie when it comes out or set my splits for Super World. It’s exciting to have the chance to play a brand-new Valdio hack, but is it going to be the same without the custom music? Maybe I’ll wait for the final release.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Nah, I've been on the SN30 Pro+. I might switch back to the PS4 controller if this keeps up, though. Or maybe I'll use the spare PS5 controller I had to get in my bundle for kaizo instead! The DualSense does feel pretty nice in the hands.

I'm glad Purgatory has picked up for you! From where you are now, the hack only gets better. It's got a lot of levels that I distinctly remember, which doesn't always happen even if I like a hack. I really think you'll be pleasantly surprised by everything coming up. Although:

I liked the secret exit to the underground pipe land (with Thousand Year Door music!)

I must inform you that the secret exit music is from Fester's Quest, which was another one of those Sunsoft NES games that had a much better soundtrack than you'd expect.

I'm gonna wait until QW:WaV is fully finished before I play it. I've got plenty of other stuff going on right now, another week will basically be nothing.
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Well, I decided to go back to Comfort Zone after months away being stuck on the third exit, and got through that and half of the next one. It doesn't seem so insurmountable anymore, so I must be getting better.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Oh, let me know how you find it now that you've beaten things like GPW2 and Storks! I've considered going back to Comfort Zone at some point too, especially since I'll have gotten some serious hacks under my belt by then. Once I've beaten Mostly Harmless I imagine the tightness of Comfort Zone will seem way more manageable.
 
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MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Just played my fourth run of Super World and I managed to get my time down to 53 minutes! Not particularly impressive as times go, but it’s 30 minutes faster than my previous run and - critically - it’s under an hour. At this rate I’m hoping to hit sub-30 fairly soon, though to be fair, that’s still a good 6 minutes over the slowest run on the leaderboard. Not a lot of people running this one!

I’m still playing (and enjoying!) Purgatory, but man did the forest level with all the pencils kick my ass. I wasn’t even mad about it, but it really felt like it shouldn’t have taken as long as it did.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Nice work bringing that Super World time down! Feels like you're gonna get to sub-30 pretty quckly. And yeah, that pencil level in Purgatory is a lot tougher than it looks. I remember that one took me a little while too.

In other speedrun news, Superben got second place in Kaizo 1 (with a 14:20) when no one was looking. He said the difference between that run and the world record was one dumb death, so now he's gunning for Calco's spot at the top. Can't wait to see him do it.

I'm at 14.5 exits in Mostly Harmless, the end is near! I just have the second half of Lava Lift (with the cool layer 2 rope), the red switch palace, and then the two final levels. Unfortunately, I'm terrified of everything from the red switch palace onwards. I know that one is going to be really rough, since it's an item abuse level with Yoshis and keys. I'm just gonna have to go into it with that knowledge, and accept that it'll take however long it takes. I'd really like to finish the hack this week if I can, but who knows. At least I won't have to grind the final boss fight for 9 hours...

My friggin' controller cost me my first good attempt at the Lava Lift midway -- once you make it into the pipe at the end of the first section, you enter a falling section where you just have to hold jump without touching the D-pad so avoid some Podaboos that are moving to the sides as you fall. The checkpoint is through another pipe at the bottom. Naturally, that's exactly when it decided to throw me a phantom left input, which was enough to give Mario just a little bit of momentum and push him into a Podaboo. Luckily it didn't take more than a few minutes to get back there and get through, but it was pretty upsetting. That's probably gonna push me to stop using this controller once and for all. I wish 8bitDo had sent me a replacement D-pad...uh, pad, when they sent replacement button pads, but I'm honestly not even sure if that would fix it. I think it's time to relegate this one to more casual gameplay only.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
That's great for Ben! And, uh, just in time, since stew has already come within seconds of retaking the Hark 2 any% record from him. Poor Ben, stew is just merciless. In other news, watching stew run Hark 2 has made it clear to me that I need a break before going back to that game. World 1 jail *shudder*.

Sorry to hear about your controller woes. Are you using the 8BitDo Bluetooth adapter for the Super Nt? If so, you at least have a pretty huge choice in possible replacements. I recently got an Xbox Series X controller for PC, and while I haven't tried it for kaizo, it seems to be a pretty nice controller. The throw on the buttons has been shortened, and that was my only real gripe about the previous generation of Xbox controller. Of course, the d-pad is a clicky octagon, so that might be a dealbreaker. Seems to be quite responsive, for what that's worth. Definitely try out your PS5 controller, though, that might be a good solution! And if all else fails, SFC controllers aren't that expensive on eBay, I think.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Yeah, it's the Retro Receiver or whatever they call it. Should work with just about any Bluetooth controller. I've never used an Xbox controller of any kind, so I don't know what those are like, but the DualSense so far has been a good fit for my hands. That's gonna be the first thing I try, though I am a little concerned about the battery life. Maybe it'll last longer if there's no fancy vibration stuff going on. In any case, I'm definitely not going to get a SFC controller, the SNES controller causing me actual hand pain is why I stopped using it in the first place!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Well, the red switch palace was exactly as hard as I thought it was gonna be, but what I wasn't factoring in was how short it was. Even with the difficulty, I managed to get it done in a cool 50 minutes. Not even an hour! There've only been two levels in this hack so far that I've beaten in under an hour, so it felt great to have one of them be the level I was most afraid of.

There's a good chance I'll have this hack finished by the end of the week, which is exciting. Just two more levels to go, although the cape stuff at the end of the penultimate level is a little scary too. Overall I'm feeling good coming into the home stretch! If nothing else, this hack has been a pretty big self-confidence boost. Hopefully I'll be able to wrap it up in time to play Quickie World: With a Vengeance as soon as that drops.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
That’s one of the few levels I can remember clearly, because it was so damn scary-looking. Great work!

Just caught Barb playing Super World, which he apparently missed when it first came out. He liked it! Also his blind playthrough was almost as fast as my fifth run of the game, which clocked in at 43 minutes. I don’t think we’ll have too much trouble getting sub-30, anyway. It really is a good hack, too - aside from the awful water level and the finicky boo lasers in the second level, there really isn’t much to complain about. Won’t be improving my time soon, though, because I’m going to BC for 6 days! And they don’t have kaizo over there, in case you didn’t know.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Nexus level down! The cape section at the end was really tough, but mercifully short. Even so, the whole level took me just under 2 hours, with the second half taking a solid hour and 30 minutes of that time. Just the final castle to go, I may beat this tomorrow!

Before anyone asks, I will not be doing Fish%. I've earned the right to roll the credits, damn it.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Doesn’t failing fish% mean just running out the clock and trying the fight again? You could have it break bad a few times and still get your credits I think.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Doesn’t failing fish% mean just running out the clock and trying the fight again? You could have it break bad a few times and still get your credits I think.
To the best of my knowledge, the final checkpoint in the level is at the beginning of the fifth room in the castle. There's one on screen when you enter the room with the boss door, but you can't get it -- there are kaizo blocks in the way. I don't know if the game checkpoints you automatically when you enter that room, but 1) I wasn't going to risk having to do the final room again to find out and 2) it's a moot point because hey, I beat Mostly Harmless tonight! The final castle took three hours in all. The first two rooms took about 10 minutes each, which gave me some hope, but the last three got way harder. I probably should've split this into two days, but I was feeling determined and I pushed through.

This hack was really something else. Aside from the early frustration (and late frustration -- the last two levels are tough), I ended up really enjoying it. ThirdWall is a really idiosyncratic designer, and he's made so many creative levels while staying almost entirely vanilla. Yes, the setups are frequently fucked up, and you're asked to perform the platonic ideal of whatever fucked up trick you're supposed to do, but accepting that meant that it really stretched my abilities as a player too. Much like Invictus and GPW2 before it, Mostly Harmless has made me a better player. I wasn't sure if I could handle some of the obstacles in this game when I started, but just like beating Sawrfing Castle for the first time, it still feels great to come out of a hack demonstrably better than when you went in. It'd be nice if I could finish a hard hack in less than 30-40 hours, but I guess that's the next step.

So after all that, would I recommend this hack to you guys? Yes, but with caveats. The bottom line is that it's a solid hack full of really weird, really creative setups, and I know that's something you both value. I think you'll really like it, but you have to be up for the challenge first. I don't know if it's harder than GPW2 necessarily, but it's at least in the neighborhood. While the levels are shorter in Mostly Harmless, I think it asks more from the player in those short levels, so it's hard to compare the two. Really, it's hard to compare Mostly Harmless to any other hack I've played, which is a testament to ThirdWall's level design.

Yeah! I've been watching Slop_core playtest/speedrun* this on and off all week, and it looks absolutely wild. I'm not gonna play it right away (and I'm not sure if I even want to, to be honest) but I think it's gonna be a big hit in the community. Seems like a lot of the bigger streamers were super into it, which will probably get a bunch of other people to play it too. Which is great! I want to see ThirdWall get a bunch of praise for his design chops since Mostly Harmless probably flew under the radar for a lot of the community.

I haven't picked a hack to play next, but my own one year kaizoversary is coming up next week, and there's something I'd like to do to celebrate. More on that as we get closer, but for now let's just say I have some unfinished business from the early days.

*I don't know where Slop ended his stream tonight, but his last PB I saw was 12:30 or so and he's pushing for sub-10. The hack looks super hard, so this is really impressive.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Also, I don't know who needs to see this, but maybe someone else will appreciate this Barb meme as much as I did.

 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I don’t know where that meme comes from, nor what it really means.

I am pretty curious about your kaizo-versary project, though. I can’t think of a lot of games that you’ve left half-finished. Is it Comfort Zone? I assume you could take care of that one relatively easily now.

ALSO did you guys see this write up Glitchcat did on the origins of kaizo? It goes back a lot farther than 2007!
 
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lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I don’t know where that meme comes from, nor what it really means.
Have you not seen Jaws? "You've got city hands, boy. Been counting money all your life."

Anyway, that write-up looks awesome and I can't wait to dig into it when I have more time. Thanks for the link, I didn't even know it was a thing!
 
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