News: 11 March 2016 - Forum Rules

Author Topic: Super Mario Bros 3 Xmas Edition Hack of Super Mario Bros. 3 (Help!)  (Read 4861 times)

prisi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Whats up!
I am not sure, but it looks like World 2 Level 7 has no exit! I hope the author of this hack can help me out.

Thanks for helping!

Quick Curly

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
    • View Profile
Re: Super Mario Bros 3 Xmas Edition Hack of Super Mario Bros. 3 (Help!)
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 12:45:43 pm »
You are indeed correct. I've been playing through this hack and taking notes for most of the levels that I've cleared so far, and the 2-7 level is a dead-end when it comes to trying to complete it. At least it's only an optional level though, but it's one that cannot be completed because the pointer for the end pipe is set to a horizontal exit position of 66, and the connected area has a length of 1F. The player appears in midair, within a nonexistent range in the area. It doesn't work because, while it wasn't intentional, it also wasn't accounted for and fixed accordingly.

I was intending to post a review for the hack, since it was a new SMB3 release; but unfortunately, I'm afraid that I would have to not recommend it in its current state, and I never wanted to be a person who denies a hack because it always came across to me as being overly judgemental and critical on something that an author put countless hours of time and effort into creating, only for someone to come along to put it down after only taking a fraction of the time used to create it to come to such a conclusion. However, hacks have been denied recommendation for much less, and sadly, I don't believe the hack was given the appropriate amount of time and devotion, but rather was rushed to meet a Christmas Day deadline.

The following are my collected notes so far:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The findings in the following notes are not a result of terrible playing. They were intentionally checked in order to determine if the hack was fully edited to account for the majority of a player's potential actions and thought processes.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-3:

- It is a Fortress level, but is using the Level 3 icon on the map.

- The whole platform riding loop is unnecessary since the player can just jump onto the pipe and drop down to the right where the platform would drop them off to anyways.

- Could benefit from a reset point at the start where if you lose the Koopa shell, you're stuck.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-4:

- Spikes and Boomerang Brother do not mix well graphically.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-5:

- It is a Fortress level, but is using the Level 5 icon on the map.

- Weird graphical ending due to the End Card being placed where there is no goal ending background, and with the player walking through solid walls.

- I do like the custom graphics, though.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-6:

- Should be a Mushroom House. If you get the Hammer from 1-6 and then die in another level, you'll get shot back to the island and have no way of getting back to the main land again because the canoe is still at the initial docking point. Therefore, the player will be forever stuck. Not good.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-Hand Trap Level-2:

- Original SMB3 level with unusual palette choices. Could have been changed or just left out.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-End Castle:

- If you die, the Airship appears in its original position, and cannot be reached. Therefore, the player will be forever stuck. Still not good. Things were not all completely edited as they should have been.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2-2:

- Another instance of an ice level where the icy background palette attributes for broken bricks, coins, donut blocks, etc. don't match the new, completely black background palette. (Not the only instance, but I probably won't bother listing each specific case.)

- Blind jump at the end. (Not the only one, but again, I probably won't try to identify them all.)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2-3:

- Conveyor belts don't actually move the player.

- A very big blind jump at the end that forces the player to take a leap of faith. (Okay, maybe I will still declare very significant occurrences.)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2-4:

- A "Bottom post of pipe structure" 3-byte object is in the air, which looks kind of weird.

- More situations where the player needs to use white turtle bricks and be big to break through bricks, and if they screw up, they won't be able to continue.

- The bonus room is the same as the original game, and there's no advantage or benefit for the P-Switch effect to carry back over to the main area.

- The exit pipe from the bonus room is also in the wrong spot, as the player appears out of thin air.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2-5 & 2-Hand Trap Level-1:

- More unchanged levels from the original SMB3. For only being a 4-world hack, it might as well have been even shorter by cutting out all of the unmodified levels.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2-Mushroom House-1:

- To enter the level falling and stumbling upon a bonus area was a nice, unexpected surprise! It's similar to "Luigi's Chronicles 2" where there were special bonus areas in place of regular Mushroom Houses, in which there were multiple possible pipes to choose from, and depending on which one the player chose, they could find hidden extra lives, bonus items, or just a power-up to prepare for the next level. There weren't multiple paths in this bonus area, but it was still a nice welcome following the 2 previous levels which were from the old game.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2-Dungeon-1:

- Star races are nothing new, but again, a nice welcome to get the hack going in presenting more of what it has to offer! Actually, I wished that it had lasted longer before continuing on in a more common level format.

- The regular Plains music didn't seem as fitting here as Fortress music would have been, considering the enemies and the level entry tile.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2-6:

- I really like the palette for this ice level.

- Another star race, but it seems a bit soon, unless it's a world theme, which could work.

- The pipe sends the player to an improper location. There is no pointer for it, and the bonus area unfortunately had no benefit from finding and entering it. The downward pipe used in the level is actually the type used for the worldly Underground bonus areas.

- At least the door worked and was a reward for reaching it, although the bonus area was an original SMB3 level. The return pipe also shot the player out from where there was originally a pipe in the modified area.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2-7:

- Parts of the Underground land like the corner at the start of the main area are cut off, as a result of only just slightly modifying the level from the original.

- The pointer for the end pipe is set to a horizontal exit position of 66, and the connected area has a length of 1F. Basically, entering the pipe leads to an open area in which the player falls to their unavoidable death (unless they're flying from a P-Wing, but that's beside the point).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
General Hack Notes:

- Christmas-themed text changes would have helped to enhance the overall theme of the hack. In addition, the letters could have provided hints for levels or some sort of Christmas-themed story. 2 worlds in, and so far, the only true Christmas references are the snowy hills, the snowflake blocks, and maybe some of the palettes.

- While I personally enjoy unique, odd palette changes and implement them myself, from comments that I've received about my own SMB3 hacks in the past, I feel that it's safe to declare that most people won't consider some of the palette choices in this hack "overall beautiful", unfortunately.

- While I certainly understand the thought process behind darker palettes for the shorter days of winter, I would guess that people would be led to believe that there would be more "day cold" palette themes, like light blue and white, and that the overall appearance would be more cheerful.

- There are quite a few areas and whole levels that have not been modified from the original SMB3. A great method of avoiding this situation is by clearing out all of the original object and enemy data sets and utilizing custom offsets so that you build all of your levels from scratch, and so that there's no possible way that you can base your original level designs off of old ones.

- I believe the moderate difficulty rating is accurate. I personally enjoy more difficult hacks, especially of SMB3. However, I found that there are quite a few situations where, if you don't do something right the first time, there's no return/reset door/pipe to be able to try again, which is unforgiving to the player. Consideration for these potential situations could have been implemented to avoid the possibility of getting stuck or players resorting to using save-states.

- I get the feeling that a lot of the potential situations like palette mismatches, level functions (for example, the conveyor belts in 2-3 that don't actually move the player) etc. weren't noticed because there was not as much of a thorough beta testing phase before the official release as there could have been, which would have been very beneficial.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Personal Message and Final Thoughts:

I stopped playing at World 2 so that I could post my findings so far. I do plan to continue playing through the rest of the hack.

I did jump ahead to the final level of World 4 just to check in advance before posting this, and Bowser's Castle is completely unchanged, as well as the ending. This hack has potential, but a lot of it wasn't even touched, which begs the question why it was submitted anyway, just to beat the deadline of Christmas Day.

If the author would like and/or feel like they could benefit from any guidance with some aspects that they're unfamiliar with like changing the text directly, setting door/pipe pointers, etc. they may please feel free to message or email me any questions that they may have. I will try my best to answer them as best as I can when I have the time to.

I'm not forcefully declaring that the author has to come back to fix up all the issues with this hack. It's truly up to them and their choice whether they try to make this a true Christmas-themed hack, or because Christmas is already done, they decide to move onto another project.

However, if they're interested, motivated, and truly prepared to commit, I feel like I might actually be willing to help "convert" this hack over to a fresh ROM using custom offsets to set up what is already there and completed, so that it can resume from a clean slate. Again, I believe that there's certainly potential for this hack, but that it was definitely rushed. Perhaps with some more care and other hacking hands, this project could be re-released in time for Christmas next year.

MegaEliteGamers

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: Super Mario Bros 3 Xmas Edition Hack of Super Mario Bros. 3 (Help!)
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 07:47:12 pm »
Hey Quick. Fancy meeting you here. I don't mean to come across as negative but maybe like you said before you should focus more on your projects again. Trying to work with others just leads to you having to do most of the work anyways. If you're interested then of course do what you would like but it would suck if you just get taken advantage of again. Not everyone is probably like that but it would be nice if you were able to work with other ROM hackers who would really help you.

Quick Curly

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
    • View Profile
Re: Super Mario Bros 3 Xmas Edition Hack of Super Mario Bros. 3 (Help!)
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2016, 07:56:26 pm »
Hi, MegaEliteGamers. Thank you for your advice and concern. I greatly appreciate it. :)
I am working on my own Kickle Cubicle project again, just so that you know.
I guess that I've just always really hoped that a collaborative hack could work out, so I got sidetracked there for a while. Even so, at least a new hack was produced as a result, one way or another. :thumbsup:
As for SMB3 hacks, I just can't help myself, since it's my favorite game. I see potential in this hack, and my veins and nerves want me to dig into this hack and reassemble it. :P But since it seems like no one else is bothering with this topic, let alone the original author of the hack, I'll try not to worry about it... for now. ;)

xerox519

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Super Mario Bros 3 Xmas Edition Hack of Super Mario Bros. 3 (Help!)
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2016, 01:36:45 pm »
I have read all your comments and appreciate the feedback. I'm quite fascinated by the fact that people actually took the time to play it.. I strongly agree that it was released too early to accommodate for the Holiday but I really wanted to get it out there even if it was in beta.. Quite frankly, the testing was the main reason for its lack of consistency and the remaining glitches..  :o
I'm working to fix up some of the issues mentioned and am working to release a remastered version of the hack..

To one of my critics, removing all data from a particular level is a good idea indeed but it can also make things more unpredictable as to how far you can go before going over your limits then crashing and interfering with other levels..

As you realize, I didn't put too much effort into the ship levels, this is because I'm really not into those but should probably at least do more editing. Removing all objects from those particular levels are a bit more complex, and you do need to know where Mario will start and mesh with the scrolling platform if you wish..
Right now, I'm not really spending too much time on it because I'm doing yet another hack, a sorta watered down version of the Quantum Realm making it an easier hack..

Quick Curly

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
    • View Profile
Re: Super Mario Bros 3 Xmas Edition Hack of Super Mario Bros. 3 (Help!)
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2016, 01:47:41 pm »
To one of my critics, removing all data from a particular level is a good idea indeed but it can also make things more unpredictable as to how far you can go before going over your limits then crashing and interfering with other levels..

This isn't entirely true. Yes, this is the case if you're clearing out the original levels through SMB3 Workshop before you edit them. However, what I was suggesting in my previous post was completely clearing out all of the levels in the ROM through a hex editor, not through SMB3 Workshop, and then building levels completely from scratch. Over the years, I've referred to this method as "custom offsets", because you aren't actually using the offsets for your levels that the original game used for its levels. This is what I do for all my SMB3 hacks now, and I'm doing it with a Kickle Cubicle level hack that I'm currently working on, too.

You need to be patient and organized, but ultimately, this option eliminates both potential problems of attempted new level designs too closely resembling levels from the original game, because they're still there in front of you to refer to and possibly even just move a few objects around (as was the case with some levels in your hack), and as you mentioned, the possibility of overwriting another level by exceeding the original limits for objects and/or enemies by even one byte.

The following posts go into further detail about the method, with clearing out the Object Set and enemy data ranges, and keeping track of the offsets for your own levels in an easily accessible notebook or text file:

Re: Super Mario Bros 3 (New inventory item help?)
Re: Super Mario Bros 3 level from scratch.

Removing all objects from those particular levels are a bit more complex, and you do need to know where Mario will start and mesh with the scrolling platform if you wish..

A tip is setting the current level that you're editing to the 1-1 pointer through the SMB3 Map Editor, and then when you set the starting position for Mario in SMB3 Workshop, place the object that he should be standing on as a test, save, and then open your ROM up in an emulator to test out where he starts. If he starts falling, move the object in SMB3 Workshop, save, and then test it again until you get it right. It shouldn't take more than a couple minutes, and then once Mario's starting position works with the level design that you have in mind, you can proceed with actually building it, and then you can test it once you're done. After making sure that your new level works right, you can move on to the next one. Follow the same formula: Set your current level to the 1-1 map pointer, and then work on it through SMB3 Workshop.

As for some simple Christmas-themed ideas that could be implemented to maybe serve as a little humor with the hack, I decided to explore the devious motives of a Grinch-like Bowser who would rather ruin the holidays for everyone else than have to deal with the Boo Diddleys of Christmas.



Bowser: "It's been the joy of my season screwing around with your little friend!"
Mario: "And you kidnapped Princess Peach again, too!"
Bowser: "I did? Oh, yeah..."

An ASM hack would have to be implemented to use different messages for each world, but it would be doable.

I'm sure that you or other Romhacking.net members could come up with better and funnier ideas than I can, but I'm just trying to help better visualize what I was mentioned before about how I see a lot of potential with this hack, and would look forward to the possibilities being explored more thoroughly as it relates to both Christmas and the Mushroom Kingdom. The ending could be modified similar to Present Panic - A Christmas Adventure, just as the other text and Princess' letters could be edited, to represent a Christmas theme and story.

I haven't worked on SMB3 for some time and haven't really been in the SMB3 hacking mood for a while now, but I can try my best to help provide you with insight for any other questions that you may have. Hopefully others will chime in, too. It's great to meet and communicate with you directly, and hear that you're still working on your SMB3 hacks. Hopefully we'll see you around. Best of luck. :beer:

xerox519

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Super Mario Bros 3 Xmas Edition Hack of Super Mario Bros. 3 (Help!)
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2016, 07:20:47 pm »
Hey guys, just wanted to let you know I'm working on it and releasing a newer version soon; some of the levels are slightly changed with more features, more pipe entries in levels with pointers, glitches that I was aware of but didn't take the time to fix, and more levels overall. Hopefully I can get some edited text to work.  :)

Please be patient. I do hope you enjoyed the beta edition at this point.. It's taken me some time because I've been awfully busy lately..