There are many things I have been doing lately that have slowed down this blog considerably; mostly satisfying activities that may or may not be discussed in a future post to justify my slower publishing rhythm to the few who visit this humble space.
One of the things I had not been doing, though, was playing Super Mario Maker. Thankfully, that has changed over the course of this weekend, during which – due to an extended holiday here in Brazil – I have been able to sit down to play other people’s creations and have a go at the creation tool as well, which is indeed as simple, fun, and incredible as advertised.
Given I have finished my first batch of levels (five of them), I decided to post them here for anyone that is willing to give them a try and, subsequently, curse me; praise me; provide positive feedback; deliver angry rants; or write constructive criticism.
Without further ado, here are my creations, coupled with a few paragraphs commenting on their style, inspiration, and motivation; after all, this writing thing is fun!
My latest level, finished fifteen minutes before I sat down to write this post, and probably my favorite one so far. Since the standard theme for Super Mario Bros. 3 has some incredible colors, I figured it would be suiting to put together a garden-based level centered around piranha plants, wrigglers, vines, mushrooms, and fire flowers (only one of which is obtainable).
The result was an eye-popping color-fest that is relatively easy despite a few tricky platforming segments. I liked the theme I came up with so much I am heavily considering revisiting it on another level down the line.
When I started going through the user-created Super Mario Maker levels I realized lots of them were taking a jab at the Metroid theme. Sadly, not many – if any at all – featured the same mind-twisting backtracking mazes of the franchise. Naturally, I set out to create one myself and Mariotroid turned out to be my first stage.
Mario starts right next to the flag; however, it cannot be reached without a propeller power-up. The solution: head into the cave and acquire a series of items that will slowly allow Mario to progress towards getting the propeller mushrooms.
Like any good Ghost House level, Yoshi’s Missing has plenty of doors that lead to rooms that have nothing truly useful. As an added twist, I have divided the house in three segments; in each of those, players must look for Yoshi – who is hidden in a specific room – so that they can progress to the next portion of the mansion.
Finding the dinosaur gets progressively harder – or at least I think so, and the fact players will occasionally be backtracking within each of the areas of the mansion gives the whole level a bit of a Metroid vibe.
Named after the epic Black Sabbath song (and album) this level is a weird combination of the lava-ridden castle theme and the standard landscape from Super Mario Bros. 3. Mario travels between both realms dealing with enemies and traps that are specific to each. Sadly, though, in the end his journey ends where it had begun: the fiery pits of hell.
Make no mistake, however: the cyclical nature of the journey is neither a philosophical treaty nor a subliminal message. It is like that because, unless I am missing something, Super Mario Maker’s levels must end in the area in which they were started, and given I had set out to create a level that went from the bottom of hell to the very top of heaven, I had started the whole thing down in the bowels of Bowser’s castle.
Given the amount of airship levels currently floating around the Super Mario Maker servers, Nintendo fans have seemingly always dreaming of building one themselves. I joined the club with Bomber Armada. I figured it would be more fun to create a level filled with small connected airships than just a couple of enormous dreadnoughts, so that is what Bomber Armada has come to be.
The level’s main mechanic is finding a canon that is relentlessly spitting out Bob-ombs and then carrying those back to the rock-solid wall that is protecting the pipe that allows Mario to progress.