Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Thunder Discusses An SMWC Production: World 8


World 8
 
Now that I think about it, I might have been a bit harsh about the last two worlds what with the hack's apathy beginning to slip away. Because I've seen a lot worse. I can think of one major bug that completely upsets this hack, but I'm not gonna get into that until I do World 10, so I'll just have to hold on to that train of thought.

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Well, here we are. This is it, you guys. World 8. Look at those palettes. Listen to the slow-paced custom music. It's pretty traditional how these Mario games and some SMW hacks use a Bowser theme for World 8. Okay, we got eleven stages to go through, one of them being the super-lengthy Bowser's Castle at the end. So here we go.

Confusion Chambers

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You know how I was down on my enthusiasm for signs of improvement in this hack? Well, World 8 doesn't seem to start out very promising. The custom music does seem to fit in with the fact that you're close to the end, but check this out. We've got a Fishin' Boo and some mildly tight spots. Put them together and it's next to impossible to get past without getting hit, even with save states. I know this is World 8 and the difficulty curve is supposed to be forgiving given how far you've come, but this is practically unfair. Two things can be done about this. Either remove the Fishin' Boo entirely or redesign this portion of the level so you're not always hook, line, and sinker. Well, there seems to be a solution to this, and that is to use the silver P-switch you find to get rid of it. But the main purpose is to get past the munchers that block the way. The rest of the level isn't that much better, but there is at least one point of interest. We got items surrounded by blocks, which actually represent what item their corresponding question block contains. Pretty neat, actually.

Amethyst Veins

We're gonna cover the secret exits first. For this level, I have to say there's really nothing worth complaining about, except for the first part of the level where you have to hit a blue P-switch and make a break for it. What happens if you screw up? You'd be forced to commit suicide one way or another. Notice that almost every other part of the level has reset pipes if you mess up at a particular point. Why can't the first section have that? I like that we're now expected to not carry P-switches so much as hit them early and having to run for it. If Confusion Chambers didn't make you catch on, this level certainly will.

Creepy Dark Woods

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Before I get into this level, I wanna point out something. Have you noticed how many of the levels have these midway entrances in the first section with a door or something that leads you onward? Have you seen that in a few levels, this seems to be out in the open where a player can see it? I know, you're probably gonna tell me to keep my trap shut about this because midway entrances are only good for the starting level, but this could have been fixed as well. Because in some levels, World 7's castle for example, there's this kind of custom block that somehow makes the midway entrance start in the exact same level where the entrance, possibly midway, is located. So why couldn't this custom block be used more frequently to cover this up? But pardon me for straying off-topic because I'm supposed to be covering the level itself. Anyways, things are all good here until we get to the next section. That's when it gets really, really irritating. There's plenty of foliage with its layer priority enabled, meaning it blocks your view. This would have been okay, but there's entirely too much of it and there are still plenty of hopping flames and it's damn annoying to not be able to see them and the little flames they leave behind when they leap.

Now I know I sounded mean when I was railing on dead-end levels, but to be honest, I really can't see the relevance of having them in this hack, much less any SMW hack. Let's be reasonable here. How many dead-end levels existed in the original Super Mario World? Yeah, that's right. Only the four Switch Palace levels. And as you know, or should, Top Secret Area doesn't count because there's no level clear event and it's simply a rest stop where you can get some cool stuff and up to 99 lives. So in this hack, all the dead-end levels are good for is adding on the number of exits found.

Rupture in Reality

You know how I said I was a bit hard on SMW Central about World 7? This is why. I did say I've seen a lot worse and this whole level pretty much spells out "What the crap". And I'll tell you why. For one, the level's aesthetics are way too weird for my personal tastes. Why use Blurp graphics for Boos and Eeries? Okay, I completely understand the reason for all this, but did it really have to look so weird? Plus, there's a couple of things I don't get.


"Nothing really tricky here, but it is pretty tough."

What? Make up your mind. Is it hard or not?

"Once you enter the pipe at the very top of the level, DO NOT HEAD LEFT, or you will be teleported back to the first trippy area."

This refers to when you get out of all that weirdness and you find yourself right at the exit. Now, how come this mishap couldn't just be fixed? I seem to recall one or two sections from Sanctuary Fortress remade to treat the magnetic tiles as vines. Why didn't the hackers just make a copy of the level's first section and get rid of the teleport blocks to avoid this altogether? The possibility of having to go through a round of madness altogether is just baloney, so I don't see why this couldn't have been dealt with.

Spectral Abyss

"An unusually cold level for being in a submap full of lava!"

Cold? It doesn't look "cold" to me. Looks more... gloomy. But this level itself introduces a custom block that rapidly drains time. That is to say, while you're in it, the level's timer itself shoots down. Now, I personally find it a bit odd that much of this level appears to float over a gap and still has puddles of water here and there, kind of like airborne pools.

Crystals on Fire

Okay, no complaints with this level either, but I have to wonder if that left-sided wall springboard was set up intentionally to be able to bounce over the top of the screen to where some question blocks are. The Layer 2 lava is a nice effect and it really makes for a proper challenge. Pardon me if I say...props to this level.

Toxic Utilities

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Oh, God, the mistakes in this level! It's unavoidable! Just look, we got wooden spikes behind Layer 1 decoration and a Dry Bones stuck in some foreground. Now I can explain the former mistake easily. Quite frankly, from my point of view, it's not a good idea to stick wooden spikes in positions as seen in this level. Not only do they still block your way, although they look like they don't, but they also still hurt and they're easier to step on. These mistakes are plain to see in this level to the naked eye and really should have been taken care of. As for the level itself, you're not only going to your left and dealing with a difficulty curve as any player would expect for a World 8, but all of a sudden, every few seconds, the lights dim, we hear a sound of thunder, and if Mario's standing on the ground, he gets stunned for a split-second. Talk about rough. Oh, and the green water isn't technically poisonous, but it does drain the level's timer rapidly. Now, in the second section, this is more of a problem because it seems that even while standing on floating platforms this happens (I failed to notice it at first and that sucked). So I'm gonna guess that the custom block that does this drain time effect was placed on the water surface tiles as well as the swimming tiles. This should be considered another mistake because it really isn't necessary if you think about it. In this case, it messes things up because of the possible necessity to dwindle on the floating platforms trying to find a way around the water.

"You should have roughly 100 seconds left by the time you reach the end."

Hmph. Well let me tell you something. For me, that wasn't the case. I...had...less. This level would have been fun, but having the custom block where it need not have been just kills it for me.

Forest's Furnace

"Only you can prevent forest fires!"

Nice Smokey the Bear reference. Well, looks like this is just another straightforward level in comparison to some others. Then again, what more can you expect from a dead-end level, aside from the occasional Chain Chomp that can really be a pain depending on its placements?

Gaijin Cave

You know what's really dumb about this level? I remember that when I played it, I was actually able to fly up with Cape power and get to the goal without having to go through the second section.

"If you really must, you can cheat to the end of the level using the cape."

Okay, this wouldn't be so bad, but it contradicts one of SMW Central's famous tips and just a while back in World 5, we encountered a LevelASM that cancelled flight altogether. So why it couldn't have just been here?

To add insult to injury, even if you go through the second section and end up in the upper section of the first, if you fall and somehow survive, you have to do the hellish part all over again! Who in the blazes has the time to do that? Maybe this is why flight is still possible.

Adventum Terminus

Now we got scientific names for levels. This is new. Welcome to the eighth castle. Okay, I'm liking the foreground and background for this, but what actually bothers me are the rooms in which you have to defeat every single enemy in order to continue. Now, the one thing that's bad about that is that you only get like 99 seconds to do the job. That, and you only get a short supply of throw blocks to use. Remember that custom block in the seventh castle that spawns shells? Why can't those blocks be brought back? You can easily dispatch of a Koopa shell, right? Well, perhaps the reason for the throw blocks is that there's only a chance shells take out a Thwomp, but for subsequent fights you think they wouldn't be a problem. There's also an underwater fight with a Hammer Bro, which is really a problem. And death by lava in the same room? Underwater? Really, how unorthodox is that?

Oh, this last section really heats up the action. There's some kind of ASM effect that causes the spotlight sprite to constantly switch on and off every few seconds. Okay, about time we get something interesting. Wait...no. No, no, no! I take that back! I take it all back! And here's why!

"Being small, or having the yellow switch activated, or both, will help tremendously on this next part. Make a running jump to the right, and then again off the platform you just landed on. Spin jump off the Thwomp's head and around to the top side, this is one of the toughest jumps to make if you are big. If you're big, let him smash you and spin jump on him."

This is actually a next-to-impossible jump and even if you succeed as small Mario, how do they expect you to survive after this? And you only get, what, only 150 seconds to get to the boss door? This is unfair! This is just unfair! Sorry to go on a rant again, but what were the level designers thinking?! Seriously this time! How do they expect players to get through this awful mess in such a short amount of time?! It's preposterous! Why couldn't there be 300 seconds or something?! Doing that hell jump in the beginning would probably cost enough time as is. I've stressed this before, but anyone could play this hack, but it seems that more often than not, it seems to be directed towards only SMW Central users because of their so-called experience with these sort of things. Really, I don't believe this. Okay, enough with this. It's time to get on to the boss.

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Hey, look! It's Tap Tap the Red Nose! Yep, he qualifies as a giant-sized enemy too!

"Has he lost his mind? Can he see or is he blind? Can he walk at all, or if he moves will he fall?"

Wait, what? You're rhyming? Who do you think you are, Zecora? Anyways, let's fight Tap Tap! As expected, you have to beat him the same way as always, by knocking him into lava (or luring depending on how stupid he is). To do that, you spin jump and break the turn blocks over the lava and use throw blocks to knock him in. There's just a couple of issues, though.

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Perhaps Tap Tap the Red Nose is smiling because he's not alone, but rather accompanied by the hordes of spikes moving up and down. Perhaps Tap Tap is grinning because you won't be able to beat him if you're small. Perhaps Tap Tap is smirking because he believes you'll run out of power-ups before you can find a way to defeat him. But it's my turn to smile because I've found just about everything wrong with this.

"Sometimes, a warning sound will be heard, and you can pretty much kiss your life goodbye, as a whole lot of spikes comes from above and below at once."

See? This makes it sound like the spike hell thing is completely unavoidable, which it nearly is. Now, the level designers did come up with a way to get more power-ups if there were none left in the room. There's a pipe at the top of the room that you can go up and by getting past a bunch of Chucks, you can get one power-up, but you have only 99 seconds to make it back. The battle with Tap Tap has unlimited time, although you really can't dodge the spike hell forever. The real problem I see with this is using turn blocks to block the lava. Why couldn't the hackers have used those cool colored blocks and the shell spawning blocks from World 7's castle? It is possible to create a formation of sorts that can block the lava and also make it possible to beat him even if you're small Mario without having to abandon the arena to get more stuff and possibly die on the way there. So... what was stopping them? Okay, that should be all eight castles, but... what's this? No egg. No egg! Wait a minute! You don't get an egg for clearing this level! Not that it matters, because it never shows that you actually obtain an egg anyway, and there's the possibly of skipping the castles of Worlds 4 and 6 to consider. Either way, guess what this means... the last egg is within the bowels of Bowser's Castle. So Bowser himself has the last egg. Well... this is it. The time has come... to bring this to a close. Let's all go... to Bowser's Castle.

Bowser's Castle

Okay, here we are. The first few sections are nothing short of anything we're already familiar with, so hardly anything would surprise us at this point. In the dark maze-like room, if you're using a ZSNES, you could press the number 2 keyboard to disable Layer 2 visibility to cheat and easily find your way through. It's actually a funny thing. Oh, but there's one section where you have to fly up with Cape power and glide between rows of munchers without getting hit. Doesn't this go against one of those SMW Central tips as well? Let's see, what was it again?

Tip: Don't make levels where you need to fly through the entire level with a cape while dodging enemies. It's very cheap.

Oh, I see, the entire level. Hmm, I guess the level designers knew what they were doing this time. The section seems short enough. The last section before the boss is considerably chaotic, but at least it's expectant for a prelude to a final boss. Now let's go confront Bowser!

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Hmm, Bowser is easy... almost too easy, even. All you gotta do here is push him around by jumping on him. By knocking him into the lava, you win. Except that Bowser's got a few tricks up his sleeve. He fires various kinds of projectile attacks, does high jumps, and summons Albatoss bombers. But apart from that, no big deal. You can beat him.

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Of course something's gotta give because this "final boss" was so easy to beat, right? So that means this level's not over yet! Not by a long shot! Okay, from here on out, for the sake of things, I'm gonna mark the remainder of this discussion as a spoiler in cases there happens to be anyone with the faint of heart remaining who hasn't gone through this hack's entirety.

WARNING! SPOILERS!  This post contains spoilers regarding the Super Mario World hack "An SMWC Production".  View at your own risk, or try not to look for that matter, if you want to play the hack and find out for yourself what happens.


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See, what happens is Mario gathers all eight eggs, when suddenly they start grouping together like Chaos Emeralds and create some kind of electromagnetic storm, and...

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Woooooooaaaaaahhhh! They get zapped! And they're transported to...

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The Void. Is that it? Hey, wait. Let's just backtrack to a few seconds ago, shall we? See what graphics were used for Mario and Luigi when they got zapped. They used their death expressions. Was that all they could think of? I hate to nitpick here, but Mario and Luigi are actually big in all these cut scenes, so...why did they have to do this?

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Notice how in many of these cut scenes we see different facial expressions on the characters. So my question is, why couldn't the hackers do something with big Mario and Luigi whenever something big and surprising happens, like put shocked faces on them? It's not like it would have been that hard or anything.

Moving on to this, now Bowser's decided to raise the stakes by daring Mario and Luigi to come and find him at the end of the void, which they do. But first...


"this is the most excruciating area of the whole hack. A series of mini-levels representing all of the worlds of the hack, trials that must be overcome before the true final showdown. In between doing rooms, you can die to go out and get more powerups and stuff to get the edge on the next one. Use this to your advantage."

Yep, you'd better believe it. This alone is reason numero uno why Bowser's Castle is easily the longest level in the game. Thankfully, that good ol' custom block that provides midways is always there for you each and every time on the chance you end up dying or you're just in need of more power-ups. And no thanks to some of the layouts in the rooms, you're gonna need extras! All right, I'll go over these as quickly as I can.

The Grasslands Void should be your first one because it explains what to do as long as you're here. Gather the eight orbs to open the main door. And they mean that too. Okay, let's pretend you only decide to come to this first leftmost room instinctively, thus... oh, never mind, screw that. I'm just gonna continue with this. Well, not only is solid foreground not too much differentiated with passable foreground, but Layer 2 moves just like a background would. The orbs are some kind of custom sprites that are saved into the game's .srm file, which also triggers another custom sprite in front of the corresponding door. That means that once a room is cleared, you can never enter it again. This includes subsequent trips, if for some crazy reason you want to do Bowser's Castle all over again.

The Mountains Void should be next and it basically uses an ON/OFF animation setting which is triggered whenever you press the A button to do a spin jump. Pretty cool, actually.

The Cavern Void, definitely the longest of the sections. You have to find five blue P-switches scattered across the section and use them to turn blocks into coins. The problem is, there are invisble blocks and spikes littering the place and only when they animate can you see them for a split-second. The one part that I can really complain about is this spike hanging over a block with only three 16x16 spaces in between. Tried as I did, even ducking and jumping at my slightest, I was still unable to squeeze through without getting hit. So who's to say this doesn't pose a problem if you're small Mario? It can easily cost a player a life and they'd have to do this section all over again. And there's another issue as well.


"Careful though, you can get trapped in between the blocks if you don't have sufficient p-switches to hit."

That's not all that can get trapped. The P-switches can as well, but only if you're really insensible. Either way, getting caught would mean the only way out would be to die at the hands of invisible spikes! But seriously, this is not a section anyone would want to have to redo, me especially. So it could have been fixed, adjusted, made better, whatever you call it. I know that thanks to the custom midway block you can always return here with more power-ups, but it's still frustrating to have to put up with, especially if the quickest way you can think of is splurging at Toad Town's shop.

At the start of the Ice Void, jump down and to the left early to get the P-switch. You'll need it to cross a gap. But you know what? That's pretty much it. The rest is just stuff you should know how to deal with.

Oh, now this is a nightmare. The Sky Void has one major flaw in it and that is that you could possibly get trapped. There's a pit with a Dry Bones and a Bowser statue spewing fireballs somewhat overhead. If you're in the pit, just call it quits, cause there's no way out, even more so if you lack Cape power. This should have been fixed! Why didn't these level designers take every contingency into consideration?! You gotta admit, it sure seems like that. The somewhat optical illusion effects here are a positive, though. Not to mention, it's impossible to miss collecting the orb here.

The Desert Void is another straightforward section dealing with an all-too-familiar difficulty curve. Nothing you haven't dealt with.

The Islands Void could take longer if you haven't got the right power-ups.


"Take a fire flower, it will prove useful, and be VERY careful not to get hit.

If you're small, you'll have to redo the whole room."

Yeah, that sounds very encouraging, doesn't it?

The Volcano Void is likely the one you'll do last, and while there's nothing too out-of-the-ordinary, it does have a shitload of enemies. There's a part where coins clearly spell out a hint that a P-switch has to be hit at that particular point, so it's obvious that bringing a P-switch from a little further onward is the solution. That's about it, but it is strongly advised to take extreme caution all the way to the end.

Oh, man! After all this trouble, it's still not over yet? Why can't we just move on to this final showdown already? Apparently going around collecting orbs wasn't good enough, was it? Well, you're dealing with the SMW Central elusive Divine Koopas and Fallen Koopas! Wow... I never would have guessed that these guys ever made it in. The best choice I think is to simply try to pass them if you can.

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Aw, geez! Just when I thought I'd see the last of them, the Reggie Bills are back! But that's not all! Look, there's this invisible floor beneath the timed lift. Wait, what the hell? Why does this exist? Was it supposed to be removed? Is this some kind of joke? Didn't another SMW Central tip clearly say:

Tip: The lowest row of 16x16 tiles in a level do not appear. Avoid having a low platform that looks like a bottomless pit.

So why is this here? This is why I say this hack contradicts SMW Central tips in general. Because they give you advice on what not to do and this group collaboration goes and does the exact opposite! Man, just how much hypocrisy can this hack shove in?

Next section up, think fast or you're dead! After that, you pretty much need to follow the coins to figure out where to go next. When you bounce off an enemy, you only get one shot to get across, so no playing dumb here!

Afterwards, you finally get to confront Bowser again, who decides to reveal his new evil plan.

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...the hell? Fetish? Really? Should that word even be used in an SMW hack? I mean, a bit of mild language isn't exactly that bad, but there are other kinds of words that really aren't meant to fit in with an SMW hack much less any Mario game. But enough of that. Can't do anything about it anyway.

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Bowser
Case-in-point. You want to know what that means, Mario? It means that you and your brother just ran around the Mushroom Kingdom and delivered the eggs I wanted straight to my castle. You see, I've been after those eggs for a while. I read that...

Luigi
You READ?

Bowser
...OK, I didn't read it, Kamek did. And he's the one who came up with the plan. But that doesn't matter. Those eggs contained an ancient and cursed power. If all eight were brought together, a rift in space and time would open! My minions set up work at the castles and tried to find them, but we didn't come up with anything for a while, so I figured, why not let Mario and Luigi do my dirty work? I knew you needed eggs for Peach's little birthday bash, so I issued that dare and got you guys to bring all the eggs where I wanted them - right here! Once I had them all, I activated my sweet little electro...uh, electro...magnetic? Yeah. That device. That baby absorbed all of the energy from the eggs and brought it to ME! Look at what I can do now!


Hold on, wait a minute here. Something's not quite right about Bowser's little tale. He said he was looking for the eggs, but didn't he technically already have them when he issued that dare in the beginning? Weren't his minions guarding them?


Luigi
No, hang on a second. Listen to this. Apparently, Bowser announced that he's in possession of these "legendary" eggs better than any other eggs in the Mushroom Kingdom. He's beefed up all his troops and defenses and he's daring us, the Mario Brothers, to come and get the eggs from his eight castles.

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If Bowser really wanted his eggs, why didn't his minions just deliver them to him? Well, apparently he wanted to sucker Mario into doing it for him, and look. He's offering to let him off the hook in exchange for giving up his reputation. Yeah, like Mr. Nintendo is gonna do that. Fortunately, Luigi catches on to the continuity error and concludes that none other than Bowser's virtual reality project is the source of the Void! Wow, who'd have thought it? Wait, we should have seen this coming, right?

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After all, Toadsworth did mention it in World 5 and Mario and Luigi got to explore its base of operations.

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But, speaking of Toadsworth, Bowser still has one trick left up his sleeve (and by trick, I mean literally). He attempts to trick the Mario brothers into believing Toadsworth fell to his death and summons his ghost for the almighty ultimate battle! And yet again, no one bothered to create shocked expressions for big Mario and Luigi. Not to mention Mario's palette used is a bit weird.

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The true final battle pits Mario against... Toadsworth's Ghost. You know, I'm gonna let Vic Rattlehead explain this because I'm supposed to be discussing this.


"This is a very different fight from all the other ones. You're always small, but you have a lifebar instead of the usual 'get hit with no powerup and die' gameplay mechanic. The lifebar can be broken up in to 10 pieces, therefore, you have 10 units of life. All attacks, except for the laser, will do just 1 unit of damage, while the laser does 3."

During the fight, there will be blocks falling at you, and will stun you when they hit the ground, on top of removing a unit of health. Sometime, a Fuzzy will fall out of the sky. To hurt him, you need to grab the Fuzzy (Toadsworth's Fuzzy require 3 spin jump) and throw at him. Sometimes Toadsworth will fly off screen to the right and fires laser. The arrow at the side indicates where it starts, and it will move down from there, and then back up. Most of the time you're completely safe from this attack on the lower platform. Finally, Toadsworth himself will throw Fuzzies every so often, which you must spin jump on 3 times to knock out, which you can then throw back at him. After enough Fuzzies have been crammed down his spectral throat, he's dead! Again! ... But not for long.

Well, the only thing "washed up" with this is that sometimes when a Fuzzy falls, it can bonk Toadsworth on the head for a hit. Also, since he moves around the screen, he could also run into one.

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But let's just go on to Phase 2, which seems to be the only Mode 7 battle in the whole hack and... whoa, who's been pumping Toadsworth full of steroids? Wait, I know who that really is. It's Samson from Chou Aniki Bakuretsu Ranto Hen, and believe it or not, this is not entirely an original creation, save for the mustache obviously. I seem to recall this Samson Toad appearing in some other hack. Yes, it was "Brutal Mario", the hack created by the Japanese user Carol. Well, no matter because this ASM really surprised me. I was amazed that anyone on SMW Central actually had the talent and skills for this kind of programming. It's insanely awesome! Now, here's how to beat it.


"This time, you'll fights the Chou Aniki version of Toadsworths, and he is more stronger, but your health bar has been filled up by 5 units. The stage is a bit different too, this time there are 3 platforms, and a Fuzzy in the middle which you can't jump on, as well as the falling bricks from the last stage. Toadsworth will float down from the top of the arena, and err, dispense a Fuzzy while striking a pose. Same deal as the last thrown Fuzzies, spin jump 3x to knock it out, and toss it at him. Fuzzies do random damage, ranging from 1 to 4 units of life. After he drops out a Fuzzy, sometimes he will fly off the screen. He'll be coming back from the right side, much, much larger than before, and very quickly. You have to jump over him, or suffer massive damage. Standing on the leftmost platform will almost ensure you never get within reach of Toadsworth, but you have almost no chance at dodging the bricks. If you can't do this, you can just touch the Fuzzy in the middle and use your invincibility to let him pass by, taking less damage than you would if Toadsworth himself hit you. If you're very lucky, Toadsworth will go down with just 3 Fuzzies, but he's more likely to take 4 or 5 if you aren't lucky enough. Good luck, he's not easy!"


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After all this ASM excitement (which believe me, this hack really needed), the Mario brothers accuse Bowser of trickery again.


Luigi
Honestly, EGGS giving you the power to control life and death? Isn't this getting just a LITTLE ridiculous now?

Yeah, I'll say.

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Anyways, Bowser accepts defeat and surrenders the eggs so Mario can finally bake that cake for Princess Peach.

WOW!! THAT WAS THE MOST AWESOME PART OF THIS HACK EVER!!

... ...

...Whew! That felt good. About time this hack did something worthy, so good it really makes me wonder why the little tidbits that I considered flaws could have just been fixed on the turn of a dime. And who'd have thought to have some incarnation of Toadsworth pose as a final boss? The hackers must have played the Paper Mario series or something to be inspired. So here's the review. Most of World 8 was still not good. There were still things that could have been done to simplify it and make it better, despite that the difficulty curve was meant to be challenging at this point. But for the time being, all bets are off when it comes to the awesome ASM that was shoved in for the Toadsworth's Ghost boss. Man, what a fight! And let me tell you something before I forget. I know the Bowser boss was considerably easy, but in all honesty, I really wanted the custom sprite for my collection. I left posts on SMW Central, dropped all kinds of hints, but it never seemed to make it there. I could have used it for something. I mean really.

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Well, I guess this is it. All Mario has to do is return to Peach's Castle and present her with her birthday cake, which in turns marks the end of the game. The credits roll, but... hold on a second! The hack's not over yet! We still have two more worlds to go through! For starters, I have yet to cover the sewers that create the shortcuts.

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And remember the spacesuit, which requires that you get all eight eggs as well? Or in simpler terms, clear Bowser's Castle. Well, the spacesuit must have some ties to this Special World or something. You know, all this and I still have one question.

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I started wondering since all the times I did "Stump Petuni" in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. What happened to Luigi? Does Mario really like, care about, or love Peach even a little more than his dear brother Luigi? There, I said it.

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