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It'sa me, Kaizo Mario!

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Well, I beat Gaia today. Very pleasantly surprised by this game. Really good vanilla hack with some fun, creative setups. I think the difficulty is a bit frontloaded, but overall it's not too bad. Really like this one!

I played a couple of exits of Super Amethyst Rocks, and I'm dying to play more. author bluestraveller is one of the best levels I've played all year. So take that for what it's worth.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I'm gonna be generous to myself and say I finished the second half of Laughter House in 45 minutes. I was on a roll while Snake was streaming earlier, making it as far as the up-pipe one time, but I had to stop to prepare dinner before I could get there again. Came back to it just now and knocked it out, but I'm giving myself credit for about 5 minutes of warmup time that I probably wouldn't have needed if I didn't stop playing earlier. I found the second half of the level a lot harder, especially the transition from the ceiling water onto the mecha koopa onto the disco shell. I also had the mecha koopa and the disco mutually annihilate each other one time, which sure didn't seem fair to me. Managed to avoid the rest of the trolls and get the switch the first time I made it into the pipe. Onward, to Mirkwood!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
The first time I got into the final pipe of Laughter House, I died because I forgot the Mecha-Koopa was one of the ones that wakes up immediately. Nice job avoiding my dumb mistake!

Mirkwood was the first level in the game I was actively dreading, but I thought it turned out to be a lot of fun (alongside Weathertop). I hope it goes that way for you too! Pro tip: the double eat strat in the second half is basically free, so there's no reason not to do it.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Oh yeah, I also started Super Amethyst Rocks! I'm 9 exits in and having a good time. I've enjoyed pretty much everything so far except for the ThirdWall level (sorry, ThirdWall) and the Morsel one (surprising no one). Every section so far has been very short, so even the ones I don't like go by pretty quickly. Looking forward to playing more tomorrow.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Wrapped up Super Ame earlier today. Pretty decent hack! Some of the levels ended up being rather hit-or-miss for me, especially since the setups could occasionally be very hard to read. I've never played any of shovda's other hacks, so maybe I just didn't totally click with her design style, but overall I enjoyed my playthrough. Sections are short so nothing ever gets frustrating for too long. If nothing else, worth playing just to experience all the love and positivity from the community.

Back to figuring out what to play next!
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Over three hours on Mirkwood so far and I'm super fucking done with this level. Made it as far as the fourth yoshi eat once or twice, but the stupid dolphin death block jump is SO HARD that I usually don't get that far. This whole level has been a super slow grind, and I'm finally starting to understand why lincoln hates poison mushrooms as much as he does. I haven't wanted to get out of a level this badly is a while.
 
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lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Sorry you're having a rough time with Mirkwood! If it's any consolation, I think that dolphin jump you're talking about is the hardest thing in the entire level. It killed most of my runs too. But if you can get there, you're almost at the end. I have one piece of advice for the final Yoshi eat that you probably already know, so feel free to ignore if you want, but just in case it saves you some grief: you have to be moving upwards when you eat the last thing (mushroom? koopa? can't remember) to land on the fully grown Yoshi, so you want to delay your jump into it a tiny bit. If you eat it at the apex of your jump, Yoshi will fall before you can land on him.

I learned that particular fact from this level, but it's helped me in other hacks as well.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I appreciate the yoshi reminder; that's a trick I had to contend with at the end of Sidetree, but I probably would have forgotten about it without your tip. Anyway, I can see that I'm getting close to the end of the stage, but the grind has been really long - doubly so because I'm not having much fun with it. It's similar to how I felt about Riptide Slide: I don't enjoy the things the level is asking me to do, so the difficulty just feels punitive. Mentally, I'm still pretty far from the depths that I hit back then, because at least now I have a big chunk of this game completed. GPW2 has been hit-and-miss for me all along, but I've found enough levels that I've enjoyed that I'm motivated to keep going. Weathertop is another one that I'm worried about, at least from an enjoyment standpoint, but I'm legitimately excited to take on late-game challenges like House of the Undying, The Eyrie, Idle Hands and Bowser. Just gotta power through another level or two to get there. Will I be able to finish before the end of the year? It's anyone's guess!
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Went back and finished Weathertop main exit, but whew, it took a while. I got stumped at the very end, so after nearly an hour of that, I gave up and watched a video to see what you have to do. It hadn't occurred to me to make the last jump using the very first of the four fishing boos, by jumping just before it accelerates into position underneath you from behind. I lucked out and nailed it on my next attempt, which was great, but it still wound up being a fairly long level. Now I have the choice between Weathertop Secret and the level that is generally considered the easiest in the game, Danger Zone! I'll try to put in some work on the disco shell first, but at least I have an out if I want a break from that.

I really, really want to knock these three exits out and get into the proper endgame. I feel like I'm about to step into something, shall we say, grander.
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
So I just beat Luminescent! I think this is officially one of my favorite hacks released this year, maybe behind El Dorado, Hark 2, and A Goblin's Quest. Just such a cool set of levels, so clever and smartly designed.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Nice work, both of you! Mike, the disco shell in Weathertop secret shouldn't hold you up too much since you actually know how to ride one. That one shell grab and the door, though...yeah.

I keep going back and forth on whether or not I want to go back to Luminescent. There's so much cool stuff in there, but I know some of the super chocolate parts are just going to frustrate me. Hard to decide how that balances out.

I do need to find a new hack to play, though, because I finished Memento Mori tonight! I mentioned that I'd been playing it in each of your streams, but haven't had a chance to post about it yet. It was a super solid hack, and for the great majority it really pulls off the balancing act of being a satisfying challenge while feeling sick as hell to play through. I cleared it all in four sittings. I have a couple of nits to pick, namely that there's a focus on speed that can occasionally feel a little relentless (it's the kind of hack where you often have to move immediately upon spawning). The last couple of levels are also a very big difficulty spike, which combined with the speed of the levels turns them into a "dying to learn" scenario. That was a little disappointing because I felt like the rest of the hack was extremely readable. Overall I think I'd give it a very solid 7 or 7.5 out of 10. Definitely recommended to you both, just because so much of the hack feels great to play.
 
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MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Man, I really want to get into Luminescent, but I'm in GPW2 jail for now. And I'm pretty motivated to make progress, so I'd better not allow myself to get distracted.

Not quite sure what to recommend for you, lincoln, you've already tried MM and White Castle. Did you play Boogie Wonderland 2.0? Are you feeling brave enough to try Colors? Maybe it's time to run something back? I bet you you could get sub-hour in Quickie 2 on your first attempt back if you tried...
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Stew took down the Invictus 100% world record last night, 33:15. Apparently he was on pace for a 32:xx, but took a bad death in Stellar. Knowing Stew, he'll want to go back and grind the time down even further, if not go after the Any% record. Still, another ridiculously impressive accomplishment to add to his already long list of ridiculously impressive accomplishments.

Also, word on the street is that the hack allegedly by Maddy is floating around now, but it's not gonna be on SMWC. What I've seen looks very tricky, but very clever. Which wouldn't surprise me!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Did you play Boogie Wonderland 2.0? Are you feeling brave enough to try Colors? Maybe it's time to run something back? I bet you you could get sub-hour in Quickie 2 on your first attempt back if you tried...
I already got a sub-hour in Quickie 2! I'm still undecided about Boogie Wonderland or Colors. Leaning towards a "no" on Colors, from what I've seen it looks a bit uneven in a frustrating sort of way. Maybe I will give Boogie a try...
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
There's also Moon and Titan, if you feel like something challenging. People seemed to really like both of those, assuming they had the skills required.

GG to stew for the Invictus record, that's a real feat. That guy is singlehandedly changing the face of kaizo speedrunning, although that's equal parts impressive and scary to me. Not gonna be a lot of room at the top for anyone who isn't really committed at this point!

Very interested to see some of Maddy Thorson's hack, but again, my schedule is booked pretty well until the end of the year.
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
If you're in the market for a hack you can bang out in a couple of sessions, I recommend Gaia. Extremely fun and creative vanilla platforming, exactly your cuppa.

As for me, my next hack is going to be friend of the stream hwailaluta's Toadette's Kaizo Tuesday. It's marked as Kaizo: Expert, so we'll see how long I last.
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Toadette verdict so far: An extreme shitkicker, but a really good one. I think I found my next kaizo grind.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
So Super Sonic Save the World World is out and it's definitely something. Everything that I've seen of it has been super chocolately and extremely galaxy-brain. I'm not going to lie, my jaw hit the floor when Maddy busted out the DOOM chaingun in one level.

Anyway, I've been told this hack isn't available from a website, but that you've got to get it from someone. I could start logging into Discord servers, but I have a feeling I might not need to that far, am I right?
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
So Super Sonic Save the World World is out and it's definitely something. Everything that I've seen of it has been super chocolately and extremely galaxy-brain. I'm not going to lie, my jaw hit the floor when Alleged Creator busted out the DOOM chaingun in one level.
Believe it or not, the chaingun has appeared in standard hacks.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
You've definitely had your fill of soup!

Haven't played any kaizo since Saturday, but I did play a little Cybernator on my "new" CRT on Sunday, in honor of Danger Zone. I think I actually like the DanTheVP version of that track better than the original!

I watched drkrdnk streaming a bit of SMW Remade From Memory, and it was honestly pretty impressive how close to the original game it was. The music is probably the most obviously divergent thing about it, with some delightfully weird variations here and there.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
@SilentSnake, I need you to tell me how to clear an obstacle in Gaia, because as far as I can tell this setup is broken:


It looks like that mushroom is supposed to come up above the death blocks, but it never does. It just stays stuck there, the shell loops around indefinitely, and I can't do anything except die. I know this hack made it through moderation, so clearly I'm missing something. What do?

Edit: after a lot of frustration I figured it out. There's a section leading up to this where you get a mushroom and I thought you were supposed to use it to damage boost, but you're actually supposed to escort it through a couple of screens before grabbing it. The mushroom in my screenshot above turns into a cape if you're already big.
 
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lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Alright, Gaia is finished. Unfortunately I didn't end up being too into this one -- the first half was decent, pretty easy to read and it felt good to make fast progress, but the second half felt very unpolished. A lot of the setups feel unwieldy, or like they just barely work. It got to the point where I was occasionally wondering if the game had any playtesters, but there were four of them in the credits. I also felt like a lot of the time the game couldn't decide whether it wanted you to be going fast or slow, and a lot of sections ended up being slow. In the end it was fine, I'm happy to have cleared another hack, but I don't think I'd recommend it.

I started SMW Remade from Memory with my Mario-loving (but non-kaizo-playing) best friend last night, and we had a really good time. It really is like the uncanny valley of vanilla SMW. We flew through a lot of the game but got brickwalled at Roy's Castle, which is both much harder and meaner than the original level. Kind of an unpleasant difficulty spike, but overall I'm loving the hack. Will probably continue through the rest on my own.

Also, Snake, I just watched that last clip you posted, and holy shit that is some gameplay, my dude. Well done!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Started up Boogie Wonderland today, having a good time so far! I'm four exits in. It's definitely much tighter than the other hacks I've been playing recently, so I've had to get used to that again, but I think it's easier than GPW2 (probably because the sections are shorter).

The first secret exit you come across has some throw block abuse involved (lots of dropping blocks to kill sprites instead of throwing them), and I ended up enjoying it by a surprising amount. It just felt really good to execute. As long as the difficulty doesn't ramp up too heavily, I'm looking forward to the rest of the hack.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I finished House of the Undying! I found it to be a very fun, technically challenging level, but the two main sections were each marred by One Bad Trick. The block grab in the first half was bad enough, but the janky vertical climb in the second half was just maddening. There are like 4 distinct ways to fail that section, and 2 of them (either going too quickly or causing the screen to scroll to the left) felt totally unfair to me. That said, the movement in both halves was super fun, and I never got too salty about the jank. The boss fight was a fun little snack at the end, and my total time for the level was a little over 5 hours. There's something about playing a flashy, challenging level like that that really makes you feel like you've made it as a kaizo player. Thinking back to the first time I saw GPW2 played, this is exactly the kind of stage that I would have thought I'd never be able to master. It's pretty nice to have proven myself wrong!

Of course, we all know what comes next - if all goes according to plan, tonight I will be embarking on one of the most intimidating levels in all of kaizo. Pretty excited, but also a little nervous!
 
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