Friday, November 20, 2015

Hey, I Made Some Mario Maker Stages!

So I bought Mario Maker last month. Not just to feed my horrible amiibo addiction. I was quite excited about getting in there and playing other people's levels; something I've really enjoyed for the most part, though for every stage I like there are at least twenty that either play themselves, deliberately troll you or revolve around insanely obtuse puzzle-solving.

The part of the game I really didn't expect to mess with much though was the level creation. To be honest, I just didn't think I'd be cut out for it. I didn't think I'd know where to put anything. I didn't think I'd have any good ideas for levels whatsoever. Sitting down with the game for the first time though, I found that actually, I did know what to do. It was almost like I'd played an obscene amount of Mario in the last nineteen years, like I'd been in training for this exact moment since I picked up a SNES controller to play Super Mario World for the first time in 1996. It was like the "I know kung fu" scene in The Matrix. But cooler.

Now I'm eight levels deep into my Mario making adventure and while there aren't any revolutionary concepts to be found in any of them, I think I've generally made some good, solid, Mario-ass Mario levels, as the guys at Giant Bomb would put it. Let's take a look at them (and reuse a lot of content I've already posted on GAF, Tumblr and elsewhere. Yay, blogging! :D).

Take the High Road - 1CCE-0000-0048-6B18

So unlike quite a few people, I didn't just take the tutorial level the game has you build and upload it as is (No, I'm not kidding!). Instead, I cleared away that stuff and got to work on this short little stage.
The idea of this stage is that it can be cleared with a non-stop chain of jumps (off of enemies) from the first goomba, on to the flag pole. At least that's the idea. Trying it again six weeks after I made it, I'm having some real trouble nailing it. :D (Maybe all those horror movies and candy bars have rotted my brain.) Even without those impressive acrobatics, this should still be clearable, as long as long as you do take the "high road" and avoid the paragoomba nightmare in the lower part of the level (an area the name of the level tells you to avoid, but people still keep going in there :D).

Red Shell Well - E62D-0000-0069-53B5

Working with the second set of unlocked tools (If you don't know, most of the creation tools are locked in Mario Maker to begin with. I can see what they were going for, but it's kind of a bad set-up.), my second stage was a slightly longer, but more conventional underground one. There are few tricky jumps in here, but nothing super crazy.

Watch Out, Lakitu's About - BA1E-0000-006A-426D

This one though is a bit of a step up in difficulty from my first two. You've got a couple of lakitus to deal with (one might not be as bad as the other though), a bunch of moving platforms and a fair bit of SMB World 8-style gap traversal. This is also the first level I included any meaningful secret in. That I'll leave up to you to find though.

Submerged Kingdom - 9101-0000-0072-F27C

The idea behind this level is that it was a ground stage that's been flooded. Now there are shoals of cheep cheeps to contend with as well as the original goombas and koopas. It looks tougher than it is. Then again, it too forever for this to go beyond 0 clears, so maybe not. :D

Recently Drained - C666-0000-0073-45DE

It might be a bit rich putting this up as a distinct level when this is 99.999% Submerged Kingdom with the theme changed from underwater to ground. :D.  I just wanted to make sure that that stage could actually be cleared as a ground stage for authenticity’s sake, and it was kind of fun. Cheap, sloppy, but kind of fun, so I put it up as well. Now it’s both more popular and has a higher clear rate than the original version. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Kuribo’s Hideaway - F73D-0000-007D-BABC

My first foray into SMB 3, this was also my first castle stage (No, wait! Oh, they’re gone.) I really tried to make this feel as much like an authentic Mario 3 fortress as I could, and what Mario 3 stage would be complete without a few fun secrets?

Justin knows what’s up.

As did the producers on GameCenter CX, apparently. :D It made it into a group of ten foreign courses on a recent live challenge. Sadly, Arino didn't go for it, but hey, it was awesome just to be selected.

Giants Rule - AA63-0000-0092-A8BD

Yeah, there’s no way I wasn’t going to make a giant-themed SMB3 level when given the means to do so. I’m slightly disappointed that I wasn’t able to put giant blocks in here, but other than that, I’m really pleased with how this stage turned out: big-ass enemies; of course a kuribo’s shoe; a challenging little icy sub area (if you can reach it). Rumours even speak of a mysterious prison in the sky…

Go, Mario! Find the Secret Base! - 4515-0000-00F0-DE96

And here's my latest level. Moving from Mario 3 to Mario World, the main area in this I’d compare to say, Donut Plains 4 in Mario World proper. It’s made up of a lot of smaller platforms, with some tricky enemies to deal with, and a bit of conveyor belt/track-type business towards the end.

However, if you do as the (very DBZ-inspired) name suggests and find the entrance to the (admittedly not very well-hidden) secret base, you’ll end up in a airship sub area that’s a whole other level in itself. While this area isn’t up there with the most difficult Mario Maker's Course World has to offer, it’s certainly the hardest bit of a level I’ve put together so far, culminating in a battle with a very well-guarded Bowser Jr. Magikoopas; hammer brothers; homing bullets; cannons: the works!

Having finished this after the recent patch, I put in a couple of checkpoints in here too and, continuing to escalate from those few coins in the sky at the beginning of Watch Out, Lakitu's About (Oops, spoilers!), I crammed both areas as full of secrets as I could. I heard that there might even be a way to skip a significant portion of the airship area. Well, less heard, more deliberately put in. :D

That's all for now. For my latest levels (presuming I don't sudden abandon this, like quite a few other things :D), you can check out my page on Mario Maker Hub or my profile on Nintendo's shiny new Super Mario Maker Bookmark site.

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