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Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:41 am
by Waddle

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Why hello there, my fellow forum-dwellers. In this topic I'm going to highlight some of my favourite but unfortunately underloved NPCs and, hopefully, explain the reasons why I love them so much. Such reasons might include dumb kaizo tricks I found, glitches that will make you go "goddamnit redigit" or perhaps some really cool gimmicks just waiting to be designed around (or maybe all three at once)! I'll probably update this topic every week, two weeks, whenever I feel like it. You'll be the first to know when I do.

(Older friends can be found tucked away below the New One)

MR. SATURN HIMSELF (<3)
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Mr. Saturn and I go way back. In August of 2016 I made a level by the name of "Saturn Tower", exploring a fraction of what Mr. Saturn is capable of, for back then I was oblivious to its power. Now, I realize its full potential. Mr. Saturn is insanely powerful and, unless it faces a bottomless pit, is pretty much invincible. It can be picked up and thrown to deal damage to enemies quite like veggies but, unlike veggies, it can also walk on its own and will bounce off surfaces.

So are you ready? [ceave voice] leeeeeeeeeeeet's do this

Spoiler: show
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This is possibly one of the most basic applications of Mr. Saturn but it's a cool one nonetheless. You can toss him upwards to hit blocks! Naturally you can also have him bump the side of a block to achieve the same effect. As with any gimmick, of course, you can also take it one (or seven) steps further and create a scenario in which you need to juggle two Mr. Saturns for the following effect:
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But bumping a block from below isn't the only way to bump Mr. Saturn around..
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Indeed, player fireballs can do it also! This gif is from a level where Mr. Saturn constantly acts as if he's underwater, which is why he's slightly floaty (I might release this level somewhat soon so keep your eyeballs peeled for that one). By putting Mr. Saturn in some hazardous terrain, you can force the player to resort to projectiles to move his interplanetary ally around.

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But of course, we don't call him Mr. Saturn for nothing: he is also a lethal weapon.
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This gif unfortunately also highlights one of the problems with Mr. Saturn as a gun substitute: notice how it murders one of the plants entirely? This is because, unlike the veggies, Mr. Saturn has an active hurt box the entire time, even when awkwardly bouncing around on the floor after being thrown. He also, more problematically, retains this active hurt box when held by the player. Yikes.
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But where some see a problem, others see opportunity: given Mr. Saturns immense power and boss-killing prowess, you can now justifiably use bosses as regular enemies in your level to spice up that Mr. Saturn usage!

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So while I have only made levels where Mr. Saturn was the sole focus, get out there and see what you can do with Mr. Saturn in the context of another gimmick!


SMB3 PIPE PIECES (<3)
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Spoiler: show
The SMB3 pipe NPC is an absolutely incredible NPC and there is so much more to it than meets the eye. It cannot be killed and is completely solid, which means it effectively functions as a block that is affected by gravity. It can kill pretty much any hittable NPC as well as the player by crushing them. Moreover, it comes in four (4!) different sizes and even has some wooden variants if that's your thing.

While most of the basic interactions of this NPC have already been explored (think pipes on conveyor belts, pipes as pieces of NPC tanks) there is still SO much potential with these lanky bastards. For example, pipes can make for some fancy switch puzzle-like door contraptions:
Spoiler: show
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In this example, the player has to lower the platforms on both sides before being able to advance. The cool thing about setups like these is that you can expand them to ridiculous scales. In the gif below, the player needs to lower a grand total of seven platforms before being able to escape this pipe-piece-hell they have found themselves in (While recording this gif I accidentally stumbled upon a pretty peculiar interaction: notice how, when Mario collects the goal orb, all of the pipe pieces disappear but the engine blocks stay? Weird.).
Spoiler: show
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But it's not just puzzly doors; by virtue of being affected by gravity, pipe pieces can form all kinds of whacky blockades. Consider the examples below:
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In these somewhat barebones 'survival'-segments, the player has to wait for the pipe pieces to move out of the way so that he can reach the goal. The first gif uses quicksand to achieve this goal. Quicksand is actuallyt another criminally underused tool in SMBX I could talk about for hours. Its low usage is completely understandable, though; navigating it is quite a pain. Despite that, it has some really cool applications outside of slowing you down, such as making these slowly sinking walls!

Earlier in this topic I labeled pipe pieces + conveyor belts as being one of the more "basic" interactions, but the second gif shows that even obvious vanilla NPC combos can make for fresh ideas. Not only do the pipe pieces here serve as a timer: they also provide an interesting challenge in a scrolling floor! Pretty cool stuff.

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Alright, that's it for all the good ideas: now we're getting into the 𝔀𝓱𝓪𝓬𝓴𝔂 shit. For as awesome as pipe pieces are, they're also really really buggy at times. And it's awesome. Most of the weird interactions with this NPC have to do with clipping through it. Being a solid but also movable NPC is just a recipe for disaster, it would seem. The easiest clipping trick is the following:
Spoiler: show
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By placing a pipe piece on these 1f0 tiles (or gliding blocks), the NPC seems to retain some kind of momentum and, upon jumping into it from below, spits out the player at the left or right edge depending on which one the player is closest to.

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Spoiler: show
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This second clip is really quite similar, but instead of using 1f0s to retain momentum it uses the actual momentum of the pipe. Note how Mario doesn't seem to take any damage in this gif, but the tanooki suit has suddenly vanished by the time Mario finds himself stuck inside the wall...

The final trick I want to mention here has to do with invisible blocks and is perhaps my favourite trick with these NPCs:
Spoiler: show
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And finally, if somehow your desire for pipe piece application has not been sated quite yet: in the spoiler below you'll find one of my newer levels, which combines some of the tricks in this level in a pretty unique way!
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So yeah! That's all for now. Rest assured that pipe pieces are gonna be brought up again in this thread (if I do indeed continue making these). In any case, I hope you've acquired some new ideas and, more importantly, reasons to use pipe pieces!

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:46 am
by MmmMario
Wow I am now enlightened.

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:47 am
by Enjl
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Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:47 am
by MmmMario
Is this how they make weighed platforms, which move other blocks too?

Added in 1 minute 7 seconds:
No Enjl not those pipe pieces. Warp Zone only.

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:05 am
by Waddle
Enjl wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:47 am
Spoiler: show
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game theory: these pipes clip you into the ground and spit you out in the next world as opposed to properly warping

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:54 am
by Taycamgame
Ah, i remember that level's switch production. Looks pretty neat!
This topic's idea is actually really good, certainly a lot of interactions i wouldn't have thought of! This has a lot of potential, looking forward to more!

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:01 am
by MmmMario
Do the ridable rocket parts next please!

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:35 am
by FlatKiwi
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Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:06 am
by Eri7
Waddle, this topic is really useful. I like it how you can teach the community about these cool interactions with underused npcs. I am excited for the upcoming updates as it can spark a lot of new ideas for many people which will spawn a lot of new creative levels. Also i love the level you made involving the pipes.

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:53 am
by Core
This is cool, interaction and usage especially.

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:57 am
by AndrewPixel
In these contraptions it seems impossible for Mario to escape, but well, it's actually surprisingly simple. Hooray!

(someone please get the reference)

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:39 am
by 1AmPlayer
I am now taught by your wisdom. I might try this sometime.

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:41 am
by Taycamgame
AndrewPixel wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:57 am
In these contraptions it seems impossible for Mario to escape, but well, it's actually surprisingly simple. Hooray!

(someone please get the reference)
Had the voice of him in my head when reading lol, it's Ceave Gaming. Actually can't wait to see what ridiculously smart contraptions he can design in SMM2.
Come to mention it, the Ceave of Mario Maker is basically the equivalent of the Waddle of SMBX.
Back on topic though, these are some quite interesting setups and ideas with pipes. What have you got planned for next time?

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:02 am
by GforGoomba
Mr. Saturn and Bob-omb Buddy is underused, are there any good uses for them?

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:27 am
by Eri7
GforGoomba wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:02 am
Mr. Saturn and Bob-omb Buddy is underused, are there any good uses for them?
Flatkiwi designed a cool level around Mr.Saturn so yes there are but isn't the bom-omb buddy the friendly npc? Idk about those as they offer like zero interactions.

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:33 am
by Taycamgame
Eri7 wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:27 am
GforGoomba wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:02 am
Mr. Saturn and Bob-omb Buddy is underused, are there any good uses for them?
Flatkiwi designed a cool level around Mr.Saturn so yes there are but isn't the bom-omb buddy the friendly npc? Idk about those as they offer like zero interactions.
Though i suppose friendly npcs could be wired up to trigger something when the player talks to them, much like an RPG.

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:09 am
by Electriking
Taycamgame wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:33 am
Eri7 wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:27 am
GforGoomba wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:02 am
Mr. Saturn and Bob-omb Buddy is underused, are there any good uses for them?
Flatkiwi designed a cool level around Mr.Saturn so yes there are but isn't the bom-omb buddy the friendly npc? Idk about those as they offer like zero interactions.
Though i suppose friendly npcs could be wired up to trigger something when the player talks to them, much like an RPG.
Bob-omb buddy has as much potential as any other friendly NPC, so how much it is used does not matter here.

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:32 am
by Neonlila
Hey, when's the next one coming out :O

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:28 am
by Waddle
Soon.

Re: Waddle's Friends: A topic about underappreciated NPCs

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:13 am
by Scroll
This is a very useful topic. Waiting for the next part too!