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  #31  
Old 03-26-2017, 04:20 AM
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Adamski trivia: the transformer named Cosmos, who turns into that same type of UFO, was called "Adams " for the Japanese release.
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  #32  
Old 03-26-2017, 05:56 AM
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Less relevant trivia: McDonald Land once had a character named CosMc. Sorry, I just had to get that out.

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  #33  
Old 03-27-2017, 09:58 AM
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More to the topic of video game stuff, Japanese designers have a funny tendency to dip into western UFO/alien sighting mythology. Things like the Adamski UFO, the Flatwoods monster, and the Hopkinsville goblins show up in a ton of games. I think Flatwoods might have shown up in a Mario game, even, but I can't remember specifically.
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  #34  
Old 03-27-2017, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fanboymaster View Post
Super Mario Land's approximately 8 pieces of Hip Tanaka music are the best Mario songs, fight me.
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  #35  
Old 03-27-2017, 02:09 PM
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  #36  
Old 03-28-2017, 04:55 AM
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Default Super Mario Land, World 3

I love it when running an ostensibly "informative" LP means I learn a bunch of neat things.


Welcome to world 3, Easton Kingdom, home of Moai statues!


Hereís the block of enemies weíll be seeing in this go-round.


The land of moai, including these winged ones, which are called Batadon. They hop merrily along, flapping as they go. A single stomp can take care of one.


Hereís a new bonus stage layout we havenít seen before. Donít touch the spikes.


And amusing note about stomping the Batadons: They sit there flattened for a moment, then flop off the stage with a sinking sound.


Hereís some schmuck bait: You can use a superball to get those coins, but donít try to jump after them.


Except this set. Just jump in and hold right and theyíre safely all yours.


This is the gender-swapped version of Bullet Bill, named Gina. Unlike the Pakkun Flowers, these donít care where Mario is staging. The launchers will rise out of the pipes with Mario on top of them.


Here we have Tokotoko, running stones. Like the Batadons, you can flatten them and theyíll flop away a second later.


Thereís a bit of a gauntlet of enemies here.


This stage is actually really long.


Because the next segment is something completely different: You need to ride these Ganchan bouncing stones over the spike-filled pits. (Touching the spikes means death.)


I lost a couple of lives; fortunately, the respawn point is right at the beginning of the bouncing-rock segment.


You can ride the last rock to this platform to reach the bonus door. I failed to do so.


Map.

Last edited by Beowulf; 03-28-2017 at 06:42 AM. Reason: Fixed a picture.
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  #37  
Old 03-28-2017, 04:56 AM
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Anyways! World 3-2. Itís a waterfall-filled cave.


Full of spiders. Suu descend when you get close, then slowly rise.


If you stomp them, they flatten amusingly.


Note that the waterfalls are just there to look cool. They donít actually do anything.


There are also Kumo, the hopping spiders. Be aware that they can hop forward AND backward in order to chase you. Also, they take two superballs to kill.


Occasionally, stalactites will fall on you. Theyíre small and can be hard to see.


Ginaís here, too.


Then we have another ďride the bouncing rockĒ sequence.


This one is tougher, specifically because of the holes. You need to time your jump off the rock.


Then there are some collapsing platforms to lead you to the end of the level.


And another creative path to the bonus.


Map!
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  #38  
Old 03-28-2017, 04:57 AM
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World 3-3! Here we have a lot of free-floating platforms and these weird moai-totem-poles in the background.


If you can pull off a tricky jump without getting eaten by a Pakkun Flower, thereís a new sort of bonus stage below. It even includes a flower.


Thereís a revisited bonus stage a little further on.


Gotta be careful, here. The lowest platform moves back and forth.


Then a few old friends. Though there hasnít actually been that much game between there and here, weíve seen a noteworthy increase in difficulty from World 2 to World 3. You need to actually know what youíre doing and have good platformer reflexes to get through World 3.


And our boss, the big rocking-throwing moai, Hiyoihoi. Please donít ask me to pronounce that.

Now, what youíre supposed to do is jump on the rocks he throws, jump to the platform above him, and from there grab the axe.


What I did (and is perfectly viable) is run right through him, taking the hit in the process, and got past him that way. (Superballs are also an option, but harder to use because the boulders get in the way.)


Map.


Unfortunately, the Princess is made out of spiders. But weíll save her next time!
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  #39  
Old 03-28-2017, 05:12 AM
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I'm enjoying this trip down memory lane.

Also, the fifth image in the first post of this update is a repeat of the fourth.
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  #40  
Old 03-28-2017, 06:42 AM
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Also, the fifth image in the first post of this update is a repeat of the fourth.
Thanks for catching that. I fixed it.
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  #41  
Old 03-28-2017, 07:00 AM
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World 3 was the first major roadblock in this game for me, and even now when I replay it I usually lose at least one life, especially to the platforming segments in 3-3.

I love the way they set up the Moai boss battle. If you've made it this far with powerups, you have to make the choice of trying to take the platforming challenge and keep them, or plow right through, losing your powerups in the process.

As a kid most of the time I would try to ride the boulders, but get hit in the process and then try to fall down and rush through the boss before the period of invulnerability wore off.

Oh BTW, I think that "get crushed, then flop off the screen" is common to most of the larger enemies in each world. The hopping flies die like that, for example.
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  #42  
Old 03-28-2017, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
Oh BTW, I think that "get crushed, then flop off the screen" is common to most of the larger enemies in each world. The hopping flies die like that, for example.
Fun fact: these pests are the Fighter Flies from the Mario Bros. arcade game! I wonder if their "falling off the screen" death animation is also supposed to be a callback to Mario Bros.
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  #43  
Old 03-28-2017, 11:24 AM
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Fun fact: these pests are the Fighter Flies from the Mario Bros. arcade game! I wonder if their "falling off the screen" death animation is also supposed to be a callback to Mario Bros.
They totally do look the same, and somehow despite playing both of these games constantly as a kid I only dimly drew this connection.
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  #44  
Old 03-28-2017, 11:31 AM
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Unfortunately, the Princess is made out of spiders.
This is my favorite line ever.
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  #45  
Old 03-28-2017, 11:34 AM
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While any sideways-hopping bug in a Mario game is probably a Fighter Fly, it only just occurred to me that "Fighter Fly" is a wordplay with "Firefly". You can't take the sky from me.
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  #46  
Old 03-28-2017, 05:39 PM
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I remember that the first time I played the waterfall cave I was convinced the waterfall would hurt me. So I jumped around trying to find an invisible block, or a pipe or ANYTHING. No idea why I was so convinced it was an issue.
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  #47  
Old 03-29-2017, 06:43 AM
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To be fair the waterfall sprites are zig-zags that kinda resemble spikes, and video games have trained us to fear anything that's even vaguely pointy.

World 3's spiders are one of my least favorite enemies in a Mario game. Bastards take two superballs, gedouttaheeya with that crap!
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  #48  
Old 03-29-2017, 09:08 AM
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I think this LP is really showing off how distinct these worlds feel. I remember being really excited every time we'd get further to see what wacky setting we'd find next.

I remember world 3 really well. Probably because I played it and lost a lot of lives at this point.
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  #49  
Old 03-30-2017, 03:46 AM
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This LP is giving me a lot of nostalgia. I think this is actually my favorite Gameboy Mario game. But there's a lot of stuff I like in 2 as well. 3's not really a Mario game, so it gets off the hook there.
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  #50  
Old 03-31-2017, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Sensible View Post
Fun fact: these pests are the Fighter Flies from the Mario Bros. arcade game! I wonder if their "falling off the screen" death animation is also supposed to be a callback to Mario Bros.
That is awesome and I never realized that! My mind is blown!
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  #51  
Old 03-31-2017, 06:26 AM
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Default Super Mario Land, World 4


Welcome to Chai Kingdom, the land of tea!


Hereís the final enemy block, so you know what weíre about to run into.






This also seems like as good a time as any to reveal the character/enemy section of the instruction manual.


Note that standing under a Pakkun Flower pipe does NOT stop it from emerging. Also a change from earlier stages that can catch you off-guard.


See these guys, the Pinopi (ďhopping ghosts,Ē if I remember correctly)? They squish like the spiders or moai do, but then, instead of flopping off the screen, they get back up. Thatíll give you a heart attack the first time you see it. (A single superball can kill them for good, though.)


Nokobons, Ginas and regular Pakkun Flowers also populate Chai Kingdom.


Look at those lovely backgrounds. Itís amazing, really, that they put the time and care into them.


This stage feels really long, because they have a number of variants of the enemy combinations to throw at you.


And those are broken up by platforming segments. There are several checkpoints, though.


Hold the B button to run!


Map.
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  #52  
Old 03-31-2017, 06:27 AM
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World 4-2, and another new block scheme!


There walking Pompon Flowers will pause and spit a fireball into the air, which will them come back down. As long as you donít touch the fireball, you can safely stomp the plant.


Advanced platforming.


These Nyolin snakes behave just like Gao from two Worlds ago.


Another split where you can go up if youíre super and down if youíre small. Up is superior in this case, though.


That fireball circles the block itís connected with.


This star is optimally placed to make you be stupid. Youíve passed 90% of the spinning-balls once you grab it, and are getting right into a platforming section that you want to be careful for. I donít know about you, but grabbing a star has never once in my life made me careful.


Seriously, this is not something you want to zoom through. Itís brilliant and cruel.


The combination of spinning-balls and exploding Nokobons really comes into play here, because you need to be super-careful with timing your jumps.


This is actually really easy to maneuver, but itís still really nice design. They didnít skimp on the later stages.


And one last bonus game.


Map.
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  #53  
Old 03-31-2017, 06:29 AM
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And here we are, back in the saddle of the magnificent SKY POP. It handles just like the sub, actually, and itís just as fun.


There are still mushrooms (one is in that block right in front of me), but now you need to catch them, because thereís no floor for them to land on.


The Chickens look like theyíre going to fly in a straight line, but theyíll do a dip once halfway across the screen.


These Rocketon fighter planes, on the other hand, will shoot Ginas behind them once they pass you.


The Chikakas are invulnerable to everything except stars. And impressively, thereís a star to be had. Shmup invincibility is ridiculous.


Then we get into this area, which has unbreakable walls you need to steer around.


If you want coins, go for it! Just donít get so distracted by them that you forget to shoot yourself an exit.


You need to race through these tunnels lest you get squished by the screen scroll.


The final checkpoint is right before here, and if you go up at this intersection, you can score a mushroom before the boss.


I think this is the only place in the game these fists appear. They donít even get an enemy entry, and they canít (to my knowledge) be destroyed.


And then the World boss: Brokinton, a cloud who spits birds at you.


ďRelease the clouds! And the birds! And the clouds with birds in their mouths so when they bark they spit birds at you!Ē


Just dodge the Chickens and shoot him a lot. If he gets up close, donít be afraid to move right until he retreats. I donít have much strategy beyond that.
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  #54  
Old 03-31-2017, 06:30 AM
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Then the real boss: Tatanga!


He shoots big balls that split into three smaller balls, and he shoots lots of them.


I find that if you concentrate on dodging and just keep shooting, you can survive and heíll eventually go down.


And hereís the final map.


Oh, Daisy.


We win!


So we climb into the Rocket-Pop and fly off into the sunset.


And the credits roll. Some of the Greats, here.








The end.


If you restart after beating the game once, there are actually more enemies the second time through. To my knowledge nothing else changes, so Iím not going to bother trying to show that off.

Short and sweet, right? Of course, as everyone here knows, the sub-half-hour of playtime to play through perfectly is preceded by hours and hours of screwing up and getting frustrated and learning tricks.

Iím sure I have some more things to talk about, though. Stay tuned!
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  #55  
Old 03-31-2017, 07:20 AM
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Putting a star just before a difficult platforming section is exactly the kind of understated level design I love about Super Mario Land.

The Pionpi are based on Chinese ghosts/vampires, down to the whole "hops to get you" thing. They're common in Asian movies and games. The NES game Phantom Fighter is about guys who hunt them down, for example.

If you unload a heckton of bullets into Chikako, you can actually kill them. This tends to let the other enemies swarm you, though.

The "look at the bullets and keep firing" strategy for Tatanga is exactly how I did it as a kid, and I feel like my approach was so specific that I must have read it from a Jeff Rovin book or the Game Boy Player's Guide or something.

What a great game. Thanks for doing this LP.
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  #56  
Old 03-31-2017, 07:46 AM
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It's been a long while since I've replayed this, but reading your LP brought back some memories! Thanks, Beowulf!
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  #57  
Old 03-31-2017, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
The Pionpi are based on Chinese ghosts/vampires, down to the whole "hops to get you" thing. They're common in Asian movies and games. The NES game Phantom Fighter is about guys who hunt them down, for example.
Jiangshi. Spelunky has them in the graveyard level, Order of Ecclesia has one as an optional boss, and they show up as "hopping vampires" in Ghost Stories.
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  #58  
Old 03-31-2017, 10:55 AM
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There's also one in the Touhous. Forget which game they introduced her tho
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  #59  
Old 03-31-2017, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beowulf View Post
It's always nice to see hazardsóin this case, spikesóused this way in games. They pose no threat since you can't possibly reach them, but seeing them there tells you you're in a dangerous, fortified area.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
The Pionpi are based on Chinese ghosts/vampires, down to the whole "hops to get you" thing. They're common in Asian movies and games. The NES game Phantom Fighter is about guys who hunt them down, for example.
Phantom Fighter is in fact an adaptation of Mr. Vampire, the 1985 film that popularized the modern depiction of jiangshi.





The Japanese form of "jiangshi" is "kyonshii," so the name Pionpi ("pyonpii") is playing with tható"pyon" carrying the image of hopping around.

I kind of love that the final world of the game is just another themed world, and that it just happens to be the China-themed one. That bit of happenstance also led to Pionpi, a mindless hopping vampire-zombie, being depicted as Tatanga's savvy second-in-command in the Valiant comic.

Thanks for another great LP, Beowulf!
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  #60  
Old 03-31-2017, 12:12 PM
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Phantom Fighter is in fact an adaptation of Mr. Vampire, the 1985 film that popularized the modern depiction of jiangshi.
Yeah! I remember reading about that. Wasn't there another film also called Mr. Vampire too? I remember something convoluted about this, I think from one of the Chrontendo videos.
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