Thought I'd start seeing what I could come up with for Mario 3's sprite.
I managed to make the frame of his walk cycle that they use for his idle stance look a little more natural when he's not moving while still looking like a natural part of the walk cycle. I hope it looks alright.
And since some things look better in motion than they do as static images...
I hope it looks good. I've been trying to take everyone's criticisms into account so it will look as good as possible.
Well, I finally discovered this project, and I'm impressed. One of my childhood fears was Dry Bones in SMB3 (NES), and your version brings the enemy surprisingly close to 5-year-old me's perception of it, to the point where I actually remembered being afraid of it in the first place. I was a little on the fence about changing the transformed kings, but thinking about it, it does make them stand out a bit more, and assuming the Koopalings decide the form the kings turn into, this makes them a little more creative than just looking at their father's minions and saying "this'll work." Though I really don't like the new Phanto. I did some digging, and it turns out the docile-looking Phanto actually comes from Yume Koujou: Doki Doki Panic, which SMB2 is essentially a ROM hack of. The conversion from DDP to SMB2 changed the sprite to be more menacing, but left the artwork untouched. Still, if you really want to be a stickler for original artwork, the Super Mario Bros. Super Show had its own version of Phanto that incorporated elements from both the Japanese artwork and the American sprite, pictured below.
It's nice to hear you like Dry Bones. I had some doubts about how it came out. Those darned koopa shaped enemies are the bane of my existence. I still think it needs tweaking.
I don't think i'll be taking any inspiration from the Mario cartoons, although I have secretly wanted to make a hack based on the Mario cartoons. But I wouldn't be satisfied with just a simple reskinning. Hopefully the people working on MushRoms can make some progress by the time this project is done so I can not only make more Mario All-Stars hacks, but people will be able to use my sprites in their projects if they'd like.
As for Phanto, I'm so conflicted about it. I really do think the original sprite looks much better and as you said, the artwork was based on Doki Doki Panic. That being said, when it came time to draw new art for Mario All-Stars, they still based it on the original sprite, so I don't know. I think that's going to be another thing for the polls to decide before I finish this project.
Tweaked this a bit more. I made his head rotate with his body (like in the remade sprites and future games). Someone commented that my previous one looked flat, and I think this solves it, while still being super faithful to the original. I actually kind of wish they had kept this type of walk cycle in the later 2D games instead of just making him kind of waddle.
And I agree with you, the waddle is so strange and has been a real obstacle in making new Mario sprites with natural looking movements. It basically forced me to make minimal changes to the bodies of Mario and Luigi in SMB2, and will probably be an obstacle if I decide to power through Super Mario World. I hope my experimenting with Mario 3's walk cycle looks decent.