Super Mario Land - Timelines (1.0) and Illusions (wip)

Started by RyanD, May 27, 2022, 07:27:55 AM

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Hello! This is a Super Mario Land rom hack I've been working on for the past month with Land Forger.

Get the game here!

The tile graphics themselves are unchanged but I tried to make the levels feel as different as I could.

The level editor also lets you use enemies from other worlds that then use graphics from whatever world they're in like loading the plane/missile enemies from the auto scroller stage onto the first stage works but they look like the bug enemies.

The game so far is pretty challenging but I'll likely make changes based off of feedback if something seems too unfair.

At the moment I'm still positioning enemies and testing levels but I'm fairly close to being done. A few stages still need to be finished and I'm experiencing some strange errors like levels being cut in half or power ups being completely swapped with the positions on another stage so I have to keep testing to see if anything becomes corrupted which is making the final steps a bit stressful.

They could be features of the editor that I'm not aware of but I'm having to just make minor changes and many play through tests to make sure things still work like they should.

Also either emulator I'm using seems to cut off the "gameboy" intro so I can't test the hidden 12 gb palettes, instead I tried similar custom colors to test the green and pink palettes. Maybe I'm just not seeing where that can be changed?

Anyways I'm hoping this will feel like some kind of lost direct sequel to the original game! These are some screenshots I posted on twitter, but I can cut them down in size if they're too wide for the forum.

Ok Impala!

This looks really cool! Looking forward to future updates!  :)

The Beaky Buccaneer

Sorry that I can't answer any of your questions, but;

Quote from: RyanD on May 27, 2022, 07:27:55 AM
Anyways I'm hoping this will feel like some kind of lost direct sequel to the original game!
That's what I like to hear! :thumbsup: Super Mario Land is my all-time favourite Mario game, and I never enjoyed its sequels as much as I enjoyed the original - I always wanted a more direct sequel to it, and I always enjoy hacks of the game that go with that angle.

Quote from: RyanD on May 27, 2022, 07:27:55 AM
These are some screenshots I posted on twitter, but I can cut them down in size if they're too wide for the forum.
You've done a really nice job of reusing the tiles to create something new and different - it's looking super-interesting already!


Thank you both!

Glad to hear it's looking interesting! Yeah it's like the first wario land I really liked but then less so for wario land 2, and I do still really like sml 2 which also should have gotten it's own direct sequel, it's like each game in the mario land series should have been it's own series!

With mario Land, I really like the other somewhat indiana jones like games from around that time, Specifically Quackshot, but Bomberman GB had that tone to it too. Really though Donkey Kong for the gb is a big inspiration too, lots of cool worlds that can give you ideas for what could have been done in other games. The iceberg stage in donkey kong made me realize I'd want to try that in mario land, it's a left over idea I'd like to use in a potential second hack since the current one is already full on levels.

Mario land had these black line tiles in world 1 that were only used as an outline for the brick tiles, but with those I was able to draw all kinds of shapes and could make a nice city stage out of it!

I've done a recent google search for a 12 palette gameboy emulator and saw there is one I could try at some point. Just odd that either gameboy advance emulator I have seems to skip that. But when initially trying to capture one of it's palettes by using the custom colors options I'd end up with various results from the color hues being a little off, hard to hand pick them!

I think the one on the left is mostly accurate,

If anyone has any name suggestions I'd like to hear them, I've been thinking of some but none of them really seemed to completely fit.

I've considered Lost Lands which seems to be taken by a fan game.
sml lost levels which is kind of plain but very suitable.
Sml special since super mario bros. special is what reminds me most of this hack.
Sml time zones, timelines, ages, altered lands etc. I can't change the title screen with this tool so the name really hasn't seemed too important to me for now.

Anyways I've still been just adjusting enemy positions and testing levels, I had it cut the next level in half twice recently so I had to redo all the positioning and hope the next time I saved it wouldn't get corrupted the same way. I also have to test areas with the invincibility star because the game can crash if your star runs out while there are too many enemies. Weird little hurdles I think I'm mostly through.

There's also a very strange glitch I've been experimenting with where a block 2 tiles above a warp pipe will cause a random item to spawn, I originally had a diagonal platform appear out of one along with the final boss in a glitched state, and now it just shoots a fireball out that then just flies across the level horizontally, it's pretty fun to try to race through the stage while keeping on screen so I left it in as a fun oddity. There's a lot of gameplay potential with this glitch, specifically if I could get a series of moving platforms to come out of blocks, but it's just too time consuming to adjust and test so I just moved on.

I'll hopefully have a playable build of the game soon for people to try!


Will this be updated to full color or just as-is?


I'd definitely like to look into that at some point but for now it is as is. The game is finished by the way! Just waiting for it to be approved!

The Beaky Buccaneer

Quote from: RyanD on June 16, 2022, 10:08:50 PM
The game is finished by the way! Just waiting for it to be approved!
Fantastic news - can't wait to try it out! :thumbsup:


Thanks everyone who's tried the game so far! Based off feedback I'll likely make an updated version with a few of the rough edges smoothed out at some point.

I've been trying to take a small break from everything but I'm still expanding on the snow levels from time to time. The backgrounds here are a bit busy as well, I'd love to do a colored version of the main game along with this snow stage where I can lower the contrast on certain backgrounds that are a bit too prominent.

2-2 will be a ship stage and 2-3 will be a sunken ship submarine stage with some icebergs.


Some more unfinished screenshots of the new stages.


Here's some recent screenshots. I'm not sure if there's any quick way to make them 2x so here they are as is.


While I do think your attempts to re-contextualize Super Mario Land's base graphics are interesting (and ambitious!), I really, really think you should look into implementing custom artwork. With some of the screens you've posted, it is very hard to distinguish between what's in the foreground and what's background art. The middle screen here in particular:

I don't know what this is going for. It doesn't even look intentional. It looks glitched. Like you got it by running the ROM through a corruptor. It's not readable at all.


It's windows and rooftops, a city. The street and the rooftops are solid. Maybe more comprehensible in black and white, the bright reds and yellows probably don't help.

But yeah the uniform prominence is the main issue. Being able to colorize specific bits and make some bg bits less prominent is all it would likely need, I'd love to make one with original graphics if I could.