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Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

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CM30
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Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby CM30 » 2 years ago

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/672 ... atitle.png

And here it is. Those who've followed me on other sites have seen the screenshots and posts about it, but here's my Talkhaus topic for Mario's Nightmare Quest.

Aka my current work in progress SMW ROM hack. It's a bit different to others people have made, so read on and find out more...

The Story

One day in the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario and Luigi were travelling home after an adventure. But on the trip to Princess Peach's Castle, a mysterious portal opened up near them and sucked them into a strange and illogical world far, far apart from the reality of the Mushroom World.

Can the bros figure out where they are and find a way back home? And who is trying to attack them anyway?

Of note, neither Bowser, Peach or the Koopalings make any appearances whatsoever. Not one.

Game Structure

The game structure is different, in that it's non linear. There are five worlds accessible from the start of the game. These are simpler areas with less chocolate elements. These then lead to five more worlds, which have more chocolate content. So for instance:

World 1 (grass) -> World 6 (forest)
World 2 (athletic) -> World 7 (desert)
World 3 (snow) -> World 8 (haunted house)
World 4 (water) -> World 9 (Hyrule)
World 5 (war zone) -> World 10 (toy land)

The final world is then unlocked by completing the levels in the other 10 worlds. The switch palaces are purely used for optional bonuses.

Of note, despite some crossover style elements, this is entirely Mario style gameplay and level design. There are no mine carts, no Sky/Marine Pops, no guns, no RPG elements like turn based battles or magic systems, Very few, if any, enemies take more than one or two hits to defeat.

I'm also trying to avoid any ideas already used by Brutal Mario, VIP, ASMT (or its sequel), Mushroom Kingdom Fusion, Mario Fusion Revival, etc.

The Screenshots

Here are some screenshots. Many are outdated, but I couldn't easily replace them with new ones (so try and ignore any glitches, since background issues have probably been fixed since the picture was taken).

Note: They're now in a spoiler. Click to open it, and be prepared to wait about ten minutes for all the pictures to load.
Intro

Before it begins, you journey through part of the Mushroom Kingdom as the intro level. No enemies, but the odd tutorial, Toad, etc.

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(ignore the cut off background, that's been fixed).

World 1 (Grass, athletic)

As you'd expect, world 1 starts off grass themed with simple platforming and very little in the way of difficult enemies.

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World 2 (grass/sky/athletic)

A world of miscellaneous levels, like Donut Plains in Super Mario World. Note how your first water level is here. Or how unlike in most other games, the water levels in this one are often dark, dreary and disturbing rather than peaceful.

The secret level is halloween themed.

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World 3 (mountain, snow)

From the rough mountainside to the snowy mountain topics, the ice world in this game takes the third world slot. Like in NSMB Wii I guess.

The secret level (not shown) has a Christmas theme.

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World 4 (water)

It's not quite as cheery as you'd expect. Why does everyone always expect water levels to be set in the nice and peaceful tropics anyway?

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World 5 (war zone)

Not so much a Mario style cartoony one either. Warning, might be disturbing.

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World 6 (desert)

A barren and lifeless desert region sometimes known as Dire Desert, the area is mostly just sun and sand as far as the eye can see. That said, there is an abandoned town here, as well as a creepy pyramid...

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World 7 (forest)

Forests are usually nice enough places, aren't they? Well, there's something a bit off, a bit creepy about this one...

Maybe it's the ominous looking ghost ship in the middle of nowhere, or the castle with a significant lighting problem...

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World 8 (haunted realm/house)

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World 9 (Hyrule)

Themed after the Zelda series, this is the only actual crossover area in the game. And even then, you mostly don't encounter the main cast of the series, just the extras and enemies...

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World 10 (toy land/world of toys/wacky land/whatever)

For all the other levels that fit nowhere else in the game, it consists mostly of gimmick levels with colourful tilesets and backgrounds and themes ranging from toys to food to springs to abstract landscapes.

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World 11

The finale, with some rather familiar level tiles (which weren't thought possible on the SNES)

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Videos

None, because I know that videos are the surest way to draw attention from the one group you don't want paying attention to your fan projects.

Release Date

The current release date for this project is unknown, but perhaps sometime in 2015 is likely.

Random FAQs

Does this have anything to do with your previous ROM hacks?

No. Mario End Game tried to be like a Japanese hack, and ended up being way too close to Brutal Mario. Mario's Christmas Adventure was a fairly well received seasonal game which tried to play out more like a fan game than ROM hack.

This project is... something else entirely.

It's planned as a fancy yet fairly traditional Mario game which doesn't fall into too many cliches.

How difficult is this game?

It's meant to be fairly easy. Lots of power ups and checkpoints exist, and neither Elite Koopas, Homing Bullet Bills or N00b bosses are present. Yes really. It's a whole SMW ROM hack with both chocolate content and ZERO homing bullets.

I'm really, really trying to avoid the ridiculously high level of difficulty that was the main issue people had with Mario End Game.

Is this a crossover?

Sort of, but not really.

It's basically like the SMW equivalent of Super Mario Fusion Revival; a game where Mario and co explore unusual worlds loosely inspired by other series but with entirely traditional Mario style gameplay.

So in other words, you'll see levels which feel like they're from a familiar series, but they won't be explicitly designed as the same place, and the gameplay will never stop being Mario style platforming.

So yeah,there's my latest project. Thoughts?

Other topics:

http://www.fusiongameworks.net/smf/inde ... 669.0.html

https://www.the-gcn.com/topic/2875-mari ... are-quest/

http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.p ... 888.0.html
Last edited by CM30 on 11 Dec 2014, 22:29, edited 2 times in total.

Buried Alive
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby Buried Alive » 2 years ago

This is looking nice. I haven't see a nice looking hack like this in a while. Awesome. I am looking forward to playing this.

CM30
Posts: 132
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby CM30 » 2 years ago

Buried Alive wrote:This is looking nice. I haven't see a nice looking hack like this in a while. Awesome. I am looking forward to playing this.
Thanks Buried Alive!

I'm hoping to make a game that people like for being its own thing, like SMW YEAHH, Brutal Mario, the VIP series, etc. Not a clone of another hack, not one inspired by anything else in the scene. Just a ROM hack which tries new ideas and makes people see that the format still has life left in it.

CM30
Posts: 132
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby CM30 » 2 years ago

Well, it's not dead yet:

Note: Pictures in spoiler...
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Last edited by CM30 on 11 Dec 2014, 22:30, edited 1 time in total.

Slit08
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby Slit08 » 2 years ago

Man I'm looking forward to this and hope to see a playable demo soon. :)
[ img ]http://www.loadthegame.com/wp-content/u ... 4jun14.jpg[/ img ]

Night comes and with it terrible horrors.

The hunt begins!

CM30
Posts: 132
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby CM30 » 2 years ago

Slit08 wrote:Man I'm looking forward to this and hope to see a playable demo soon. :)
A demo is coming soon, although I sadly don't think it'll be ready by C3 or whatever.

I have some new works in progress to show though:

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Mostly previews of some Wario Land themed levels I'm working on. Interestingly enough, I actually replace the global graphics in these types of levels. So for example, the coins are replaced with animated Wario Land ones, the blocks by Wario Land ones, etc. It's kind of cool what turning off animations and replacing bits of FG 1 can do, and I'm surprised few people do this on a per level or world basis.

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Alice
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby Alice » 2 years ago

Any chance you can throw the screenshots in the OP into spoilers? They make it really annoying to try to read the newest posts while the page is loading and it seems to take quite awhile to actually finish loading.

CM30
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby CM30 » 2 years ago

The pictures are now in spoiler tags, so the page is easier to read.

On another note... We're still looking for any decent ASM coders who could take over from dahnamics (who's officially quit SMW hacking as of about two weeks ago). Nothing ridiculously complex is necessarily needed, just some standard enemies for themed levels, in the style of those from Mushroom Kingdom Fusion and Mario Fusion Revival.

Other things we might be looking for:

1. Spriters, for the few places in which useful ripped graphics don't seem to exist in any large quantity. Like for Zelda themed levels,

2, Beta testers, to make sure any major bugs are caught before the demo's release and to make sure the level design is actually fun.

3. Music porters, to turn some of those awesome new MIDIS on VG Music in SMW custom songs.

Other than that, we should be mostly good. Next time, we hope to show:

1. A rocket barrel level, with layer 2 gimmicks and fairly quick scrolling (ala Donkey Kong Country Returns and Tropical Freeze)
2. Space flight, for the end of the world 1 bonus level
3. The halloween and christmas inspired bonus levels. Very festive all around.
4. At least one actual ghost house that isn't Hellfire Haunt (as in, that's entirely ghost house themed)
5. The rest of the early worlds in general.

CM30
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby CM30 » 2 years ago

A few minor updates:

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CM30
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby CM30 » 2 years ago

Oh yeah, forgot to post the new overworld submap pictures:

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Now just maps for Toy Land and Hyrule remain. Dunno what I'll use for them.

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En Gardevoir
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby En Gardevoir » 2 years ago

Whoah I didn't know you're the on who created Mario End Game.
Keep it up man, and judging from your screenshots, I love playing this hack when it hits FINAL.
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THE BANNERS ARE OUTDATED!!
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CM30
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby CM30 » 2 years ago

En Gardevoir wrote:Whoah I didn't know you're the on who created Mario End Game.
Keep it up man, and judging from your screenshots, I love playing this hack when it hits FINAL.
Thanks!

And I like to forget Mario End Game to be honest. Too unbalanced in difficulty.

Some updates:

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It's slowly getting there, but damn, the game seems to have more and more content every time.

CM30
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby CM30 » 2 years ago

Oh hey, a very non traditional level concept:

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An actual Zelda style dungeon in a SMW hack?

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ano0maly
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby ano0maly » 2 years ago

amazing and a half
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Image << Click!

Fan of the following:
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En Gardevoir
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby En Gardevoir » 2 years ago

wow, you're just outwitting yourself with this level.
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THE BANNERS ARE OUTDATED!!
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CM30
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby CM30 » 2 years ago

You haven't seen anything yet. There will be a level in Castlevania Symphony of the Night style, complete with Metroidvania style gameplay after this one (well, about five levels after).

And then a boss fight with three phases and a custom ending.

Slit08
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby Slit08 » 2 years ago

Hey there.

I've got two suggestions for ice world levels, as I am a huge fan of ice themed levels:

1.) A DKC 2 ice cavern: You could use the awesome tileset and background from Donkey Kong Country 2. World 6 had these ice cavern levels, that you might remember if you've played the game. I suggest making a level with water that you can freeze like in DKC 2. Basically there are these animals (that are also in Brutal Mario's 2nd stage of world 8) that you need to jump onto so that they freeze the water. You must then rush over the frozen water quickly before it unfreezes again.
Also you could use the awesome and calm music from DKC 2.

2.) A fortress or castle level using the ice palace set from Act Raiser 2 that is also prominent in the final Bowser Castle level of Brutal Mario.
[ img ]http://www.loadthegame.com/wp-content/u ... 4jun14.jpg[/ img ]

Night comes and with it terrible horrors.

The hunt begins!

CM30
Posts: 132
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby CM30 » 2 years ago

Slit08 wrote:Hey there.

I've got two suggestions for ice world levels, as I am a huge fan of ice themed levels:

1.) A DKC 2 ice cavern: You could use the awesome tileset and background from Donkey Kong Country 2. World 6 had these ice cavern levels, that you might remember if you've played the game. I suggest making a level with water that you can freeze like in DKC 2. Basically there are these animals (that are also in Brutal Mario's 2nd stage of world 8) that you need to jump onto so that they freeze the water. You must then rush over the frozen water quickly before it unfreezes again.
Also you could use the awesome and calm music from DKC 2.

2.) A fortress or castle level using the ice palace set from Act Raiser 2 that is also prominent in the final Bowser Castle level of Brutal Mario.
Thanks for the suggestions!

I have to say, I'm a bit hesitant to use anything found in Brutal Mario as a way to avoid getting seen as some sort of copycat, but I'm interested by some of your ideas regardless.

The ice cavern is possible, although whether I can include it depends on both whether I have enough room left in the ROM afterwards and whether I can find that one Japanese hack that already ripped that tileset (to save myself having to try and assemble it a second time). If so, it might be possible, a DKC 2 style ice level is remarkably rare in the world of SMW hacking.

The Act Raiser 2 concept is... less so. I like the tileset and I have ripped it myself, but I worry that any usage of it would be seen as a bit too close to the final level in Brutal Mario. There's also the fact that I already set up an ice castle level and a bunch of other ice stages, so I'd need to make room for a fortress as well.

That said, thanks for the ideas, and I will say this:

What I include depends on how much I can fit in. If every idea I'm currently planning can fit into the ROM, then I'll expand the earlier worlds to add more levels and gameplay.

So if the level 70 odd levels the game currently has are working out, then it'll go up to about 96-100 levels. And so on.

That said, some minor progress:

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Slit08
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby Slit08 » 2 years ago

Without any bad intentions I still want to warn you about the guy who offered you his help, someone who claims to be the maker of Brutal Mario, carol.
I think that your hack is going to be really, really good, the screenshots speak for themselves on that regard. However, I doubt that carol, the real carol would help out for this hack and design new custom bosses for your project.
From what I heard this guy is super busy (some sources claimed he would finally try to finish Brutal Mario/ Super Kitiku World) and I wonder why he would help you with your hack if he even doesn't want to help out on VIP 6. Don't get me wrong, that's not meant in a mean way as I once again believe that your project will end up pretty good but he's a Japanese guy, so I don't see why he would rather help out on a Non-Japanese hack than the possibly largest collaborative Mario hack in the Japanese SMW community.

I want to warn you because there's the chance that this guy, who claims to be carol, might be an imposter and that he just wants to get his false name listed on the credits. I'd be careful on that end. ;) And you are pretty good at making stuff without him anyways. ;)
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Night comes and with it terrible horrors.

The hunt begins!

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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby KobaBeach » 2 years ago

Slit08 wrote:I want to warn you because there's the chance that this guy, who claims to be carol, might be an imposter and that he just wants to get his false name listed on the credits. I'd be careful on that end. ;) And you are pretty good at making stuff without him anyways. ;)
Carol contacted CM30 with their new email (they changed email due to spam)
CM30 PMed me about it

It's the real deal, don't worry

You see, CM30 sent them a message some weeks ago (to their old xrea.com email) about some dude on youtube who went all "hey guys im a brootell merry-o tester im for realz believe me pls"

Carol replied by sending him a message confirming that the guy on Youtube was a blatant liar (also they mentioned someone named Adam (the SMWC mod?) for some reason?) along with their new email address and the recent - two weeks old by now - Brutal Mario demo that had the new version of stage 1-1

The new email address is being kept private btw, the only people who know it are CM30 and Buried Alive/Theonesuperx (and most likely some japanese hackers Carol is friends with)

Also when they said that they're not working on VIP6 i'm pretty sure they only meant for now
They might only work on the endbosses, like with VIP3 and VIP4
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Slit08
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby Slit08 » 2 years ago

Oh okay, in this case awesome that he offered you his help. :) That's some honour. :)
Also why did you refer to carol as "they"?
[ img ]http://www.loadthegame.com/wp-content/u ... 4jun14.jpg[/ img ]

Night comes and with it terrible horrors.

The hunt begins!

CM30
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby CM30 » 2 years ago

Slit08 wrote:Oh okay, in this case awesome that he offered you his help. :) That's some honour. :)
Also why did you refer to carol as "they"?
Yeah, it's pretty surprising if I do say so myself. And awesome at the same time, given how even SMW Central couldn't get that kind of favour...

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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby KobaBeach » 2 years ago

Slit08 wrote:Also why did you refer to carol as "they"?
I'm not really sure if they're a guy or a girl or whatever

So I just used gender neutral pronouns
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Slit08
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Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby Slit08 » 2 years ago

I see. :) Well maybe carol is part of Anonymous or even better - the Illuminati. :shock:

It would be even more awesome if carol would be willing to actually play your hack and give you valuable info. After all he improved his level design skills a lot. After I watched a video of the new 1-1 in Brutal Mario I have to say that I'm impressed, not only by his usual skills of ASM that can be found in said stage but also by the overall design which is miles better than what it used to be.
[ img ]http://www.loadthegame.com/wp-content/u ... 4jun14.jpg[/ img ]

Night comes and with it terrible horrors.

The hunt begins!

CM30
Posts: 132
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: Mario's Nightmare Quest; My Third and Final SMW Hack

Postby CM30 » 2 years ago

Slit08 wrote:I see. :) Well maybe carol is part of Anonymous or even better - the Illuminati. :shock:

It would be even more awesome if carol would be willing to actually play your hack and give you valuable info. After all he improved his level design skills a lot. After I watched a video of the new 1-1 in Brutal Mario I have to say that I'm impressed, not only by his usual skills of ASM that can be found in said stage but also by the overall design which is miles better than what it used to be.
Given that I sent carol an early baserom of Mario's Nightmare Quest a few days ago, he'll have the perfect opportunity to try it. And again when I send the C3 demo around June.

Surprisingly, he did actually play my last SMW hack. Back when Mario End Game was still a thing, I send him a demo, and his feedback was that the aesthetics were nice but the game would have been better if I'd used more original/unique bosses/ASM. Which is a fair comment, I think I took way too much inspiration from Brutal Mario back then.

But I suspect feedback will be better for this game. It's more original, uses less from other popular games/ROM hacks and hopefully has much better level/game design in general. Even more so when I replace and revamp some of the more boring levels, like the sky level in world 1, the cave level in world 2 and both normal desert levels (I think I didn't do enough to make 'em stand out).

Edit: On another note, I have to wonder whether my Brutal Mario review may have inspired the improved level design in the last few demos or so. Like how a lot of Nightmare Quest's improvements have been inspired by SMCsLevelEngine's reviews of my past projects.


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