Since my last article about Mario Maker 2 on the site, I have made three levels, one in December, one in January, and one just yesterday in March. The most important of these is the one from January, for I finally finished my Super World! To reprise, it is a Super World of eight required levels, all adapted from that game I designed on paper as a kid, Castle Siege. It took some time, but the last, eighth level of the Super World is finally done. I put a lot of work into the level so I really hope people play it eventually, it’s worth the effort. As for the other two levels, the first is my least interesting level. The second, most recent stage is a better one well worth a try.
Jumps and Flight (Mario World) – I made this level in December, and it’s one of my easiest and simplest stages. That doesn’t mean it is easy, though; it’s at least Normal in challenge. It’s just quite straightforward, and without much in the way of nice environments or such. This is a short-ish stage. You just jump between small donut block platforms for the first half of the level, then navigate a fairly standard P-balloon path between spike walls in the second half. There is a checkpoint between the halves. The level has a clear but no likes and i get it, not sure if I’d heart this level either… I mean, it’s fine, but nothing special. Jump, then fly.
I made this because I wanted to make a level but wasn’t feeling my best so I just put something together quickly that I could clear easily. I chose this setting because I wanted to make a Mario World level finally, so I did. I mean, Super Mario World is my favorite 2d platformer ever, not Mario 3. And yet the vast majority of my levels in this game are Marios 1 or 3, and this is my only Mario World level. Honestly, one reason for that is because the simplicity of the NES games is appealing; there is no need to account for spin jumps or such in the NES games, or 3D World, which I also have made several levels in. I might try making a level with that stuff later, but for now I haven’t. And that is fine, I like the levels I have made. After all, I love Mario 3’s visuals and gameplay, I just always disliked how excessively short its levels are… a problem I have certainly corrected, heh. This level is not long though, unlike some of my others. Play it if you want, I guess. Code N0Y-X4C-96G.
2-4: Your Castle at Last! (Mario 3) – This level I made in January, and I spent a good week and a half or more working on the stage. First, building this stage took a while, but then clearing it while editing many parts of the level as I made clear-check attempts took much longer. I am glad I spent so much time on it, though, because I think I fixed all of the potential issues that would have existed had I uploaded it earlier.
This is a fairly complex level made up of three sections. This level is on the long side — my clear check time is 4:43 — but hey, it’s the last level of the Super World, it better be challenging and a memorable journey! I think that while frustrating at points, it is one of my best levels. The checkpoints are basically perfectly placed as well. Each of the three sections of the level is different –the first a platforming challenge; the second a few tricky jumps and then a battle against a lot of enemies; and the last, the final battle against Bowser, followed with the concluding section celebrating your victory. The first section is reasonably similar to my original concept, but the second is mostly new and the third a mostly traditional, though difficulty-increased, Mario 3 Bowser fight. After that is the conclusion. And since this level ends the game, there is a good-sized conclusion at the end to enjoy. Time-wise, that third part actually takes the longest to get through. Bowser’s RNG can be frustrating as you wait for him to attack at the right spots to break through the floor. I think that was the right choice for a boss battle though, it works well. It’s really satisfying when you get him to beat himself! Clearing this level was pretty hard for me, but it’d be a much less frustrating task for anybody else in one key respect, you don’t need to beat the level from the beginning without dying. That was what I had the most trouble with here; once I finally did that, beating it from the checkpoints took much less time.
So what is this level? It is your final trip to rescue your besieged castle from the enemy leader at its gates. First, you cross a bridge over the poisoned lake in front of the castle. Note, this is a night forest level. That is relevant at times. In this section, you jump between bridge sections, avoiding fireballs while fighting or avoiding some enemies. There’s just one mushroom at the start, but that’s enough for this part. After the checkpoint, which is about 40 seconds into the level on average, there is one final tough jumping section, first. This jump is partially blind, but I couldn’t come up with a better way to make it happen. I did mark with coins where to go. You can see the area you need to drop to, it’s just on the bottom of your screen.
The jump after that is trickier, but it’s not as hard as what you face after that: a battle against enemy forces. Here, you get a frog suit, and there are several more around the area. You fight against Bowser Jr. and a bunch of troops in a mushroom forest garden, including Hammer Bros. and Magikoopas. I recommend going up to get the frog suit guarded by the two Hammer Bros. on the gate into the garden; it’s worth it to get rid of them. For this battle, you just need to kill Bowser Jr. to continue, but most of the other foes will need to go to get him. I strongly recommend staying up high and not going down into the bottom of the garden. Once you complete this, you get the second checkpoint and face Bowser. As I said, it’s a conventional Mario 3 Bowser fight, so you have to get him to break a floor. I did add a few fireballs on certain tiles to make things a little tougher, but that’s it. There are several frog suits in this area to give you additional hits, and yes, I needed them.
After you beat him, there’s one last little run back to the castle’s back door, and you win. Make sure to hit the P-switch that opens the door, then get to it! It’s on the bottom of the garden. I tried to make this clear with some notes made of coins. Working on this part of the level actually took a lot of time. It may have made a lot more sense, level design wise, to just have the door after Bowser connect to the castle for your victory, but the problem is that that doesn’t make sense in the stage map — the castle’s back door has to be in the garden, so you have to backtrack back to it. So I added one-way gates and markers and such to try to help people figure out where to go, I hope it’s not confusing. Just remember, again, to hit a P-switch and grab a star and you’ll be fine.
As anyone who plays the level hopefully will realize, during the process of making this level I decided to use frog suit powerups to represent your allied forces. They should be knights, but there is no way to represent that in Mario Maker 2, really. I think using frog suits works reasonably well. Touching them saves them, essentially. They were going to defend the castle to the last. Fortunately, you saved the day, and all of them, first. Or you would if anyone completes the stage… sadly, maybe seven weeks later it is still uncleared. I really hope that changes, it’s such an interesting stage! Code 7YM-8KL-0CG.
And lastly for now, over the last two days I made this level. It’s another 3D World level, using a mechanic I haven’t really put in my other two 3D World levels before but makes for some interesting jumping challenges.
Cat Claw Clinging (3D World) – This level is a Super Mario 3D World stage all about the cat suit’s ability to hang on metal grilles and trees. This is my first level with a clear condition, and I use the don’t touch the ground one. When used to make levels where you have to stay on the ground, Don’t Touch the Ground is insufferably tedious… but when used the opposite way, such as here, it’s great! For the most part this is a platformer stage about jumping between places you can grab on to that would work with or without the clear condition, but there are some points where the clear condition matters and makes the stage harder. I think it’s a pretty well-made stage with a good challenge level. It’s tough, but not one of my hardest levels, certainly. It’s not easier but is a lot less challenging than my last stage. And at a clear check time of only 53 second it’s one of my shorter levels too. I had fun laying out the obstacles and grilles and such. The level is mostly just ‘learn the jumps’, but one part is a bit tricky — the level is mostly another of my enemy-free stages, but one section has enemies: you have to bounce on bees through one part. It’s a bit tricky because you have to line up the jumps just right or you will get hit and fall.
And on that note, I decided to fully mark out where to jump from in this level with coins. I’m inconsistent at whether to mark jumps or not; for the most part, I think that as long as a jump is visible and not something off screen, you should be able to do it without the additional help of an indicator. Indicators on jumps are a difficulty-reducing crutch often used by Mario Maker creators that Nintendo would never use so blatantly in one of their games. However, there are a few parts of this stage where I thought marking the jump points would be very helpful to reduce player frustration. And once I had started, I decided to just continue on and add coins between every platform. Why not.
Oh, this level makes frequent use of a move not listed on the controls page: if you start a cat claw dive with R, then hit the R button again while in the dive, you will cancel it and return to a normal jump. You can’t do another dive without landing or grabbing on to something, though. I use this feature a bunch of times for maneuvering around obstacles. I decided to put in a hint room at the start saying to press R in a dive to cancel it, for anyone who is playing the level but doesn’t know that. Sure, at this point maybe all of the few people playing this level already know that, but I’d rather help people out. This level can be frustrating, but it’s the good kind of platformer frustration that, when paired with Mario’s exceptional controls and design, is so much fun to work your way through. Code: D9L-F3K-PMG