Inside the Esoteric Beast (ID : 405378)

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Matz
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:23 pm

Inside the Esoteric Beast (ID : 405378)

Post by Matz » Sat May 23, 2020 1:04 pm

Inside the Esoteric Beast

Id: 405378

Link: https://megamanmaker.com/?level=405378


Where there was once a peaceful forest, there is now a giant beast that seems to have made the place its home. Surely a giant monster like that can't be natural right? There is only one way to find out: play as Megaman and investigate the insides of the beast. Unfortunately not everything seems to be friendly inside the beast, and Megaman will have to fight his way through three sections, each with their own unique miniboss. Defeat all three of them, and unlock the access to the core of the beast. You might find secrets on your way.
(Warning: the beast may not be 100% anatomically correct.)


A medium sized level, that shouldn't be too difficult. Play as Megaman, sliding in all his glory and start with only the Mega Buster and MM4 charge system.
Don't worry though, you'll unlock several other weapons on your way, each miniboss has its own weapon to unlock and there may even be a secret weapon hidden somewhere.

(Spoilers)Minimap (Without secret rooms): https://i.imgur.com/ObVPOr6.png
(Spoilers)Minimap (With secret rooms): https://i.imgur.com/qf3gBiq.png

Screenshots:
Image

Extra optional challenges (Not doable all at once):
  • Pick up all collectables (3 E-tanks and one secret weapon)
  • Finish the level using only the Mega Buster
  • Finish the level using only the Mega Buster and without charging it
  • Finish the level without taking damage (Restart from checkpoint upon taking damage)

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RushJet-Adapter
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri May 22, 2020 7:06 am

Re: Inside the Esoteric Beast (ID : 405378)

Post by RushJet-Adapter » Sun May 24, 2020 8:43 am

The Level was fun, even though it was kinda short if you ask me, but I don't mind the length all too much.

I liked the boss fights with Plant Man and Skull Man, I found them as a nice spin on those bosses. I do think the flame section was probably the weakest out of the three, I didn't care much for the Flame Man fight, which I as rather bland, but I do like the idea of a horizontal fire stage though. The stage looked nice overall, it gives itself that nice "Inside the body of a Monster feel," end quote. I enjoyed finding the secrets, I liked how they required the weapons that you obtained from the bosses. The final boss isn't really my cup of tea, but I don't mind it that much.

Overall I had fun with this level, I would like seeing this kind of level again, but for what it is, it's quite decent.
'Ello I'm RushJet-Adapter, also known as Jet-Adapter in MegaMaker.

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Matz
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:23 pm

Re: Inside the Esoteric Beast (ID : 405378)

Post by Matz » Sun May 24, 2020 11:06 am

RushJet-Adapter wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 8:43 am
The Level was fun, even though it was kinda short if you ask me, but I don't mind the length all too much.

I liked the boss fights with Plant Man and Skull Man, I found them as a nice spin on those bosses. I do think the flame section was probably the weakest out of the three, I didn't care much for the Flame Man fight, which I as rather bland, but I do like the idea of a horizontal fire stage though. The stage looked nice overall, it gives itself that nice "Inside the body of a Monster feel," end quote. I enjoyed finding the secrets, I liked how they required the weapons that you obtained from the bosses. The final boss isn't really my cup of tea, but I don't mind it that much.

Overall I had fun with this level, I would like seeing this kind of level again, but for what it is, it's quite decent.
First off thank you for playing the level and giving me your feedback on it.

I guess the level is somewhat short huh? It's not really shorter in total screens than a more traditional level though, it's just less linear. I didn't want to make the subsections too long, because I didn't want to put checkpoints before the minibosses, in order to make dying to them somewhat punishing but not frustratingly punishing.
Best way I would describe those types of levels, is a mini-Metroidvania I guess.

As for the flame section, I have to agree its the weakest, it's the last one of the 3 I made, and the one I was the least inspired for. Same somewhat goes for the Flame Man fight, I tried putting in Flame Pillars, but since they block shots, they didn't make for a super fun fight and I couldn't find a way to integrate the section gimmicks into the fight other than just using oil which ultimately just serves as a "not right at the start of the fight spike".

As for the final boss, I can see why it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, as its definitely a difficulty spike compared to the rest of the level. One thing that makes the fight easier and that may not be clear to everyone is that climbing on the ladders, put you just high enough to not be hit by the spread of the lightning, making for a great hiding spot.

Still glad you enjoyed the level : )

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RushJet-Adapter
Posts: 24
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Re: Inside the Esoteric Beast (ID : 405378)

Post by RushJet-Adapter » Sun May 24, 2020 2:22 pm

Matz wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 11:06 am
RushJet-Adapter wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 8:43 am
The Level was fun, even though it was kinda short if you ask me, but I don't mind the length all too much.

I liked the boss fights with Plant Man and Skull Man, I found them as a nice spin on those bosses. I do think the flame section was probably the weakest out of the three, I didn't care much for the Flame Man fight, which I as rather bland, but I do like the idea of a horizontal fire stage though. The stage looked nice overall, it gives itself that nice "Inside the body of a Monster feel," end quote. I enjoyed finding the secrets, I liked how they required the weapons that you obtained from the bosses. The final boss isn't really my cup of tea, but I don't mind it that much.

Overall I had fun with this level, I would like seeing this kind of level again, but for what it is, it's quite decent.
First off thank you for playing the level and giving me your feedback on it.

I guess the level is somewhat short huh? It's not really shorter in total screens than a more traditional level though, it's just less linear. I didn't want to make the subsections too long, because I didn't want to put checkpoints before the minibosses, in order to make dying to them somewhat punishing but not frustratingly punishing.
Best way I would describe those types of levels, is a mini-Metroidvania I guess.

As for the flame section, I have to agree its the weakest, it's the last one of the 3 I made, and the one I was the least inspired for. Same somewhat goes for the Flame Man fight, I tried putting in Flame Pillars, but since they block shots, they didn't make for a super fun fight and I couldn't find a way to integrate the section gimmicks into the fight other than just using oil which ultimately just serves as a "not right at the start of the fight spike".

As for the final boss, I can see why it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, as its definitely a difficulty spike compared to the rest of the level. One thing that makes the fight easier and that may not be clear to everyone is that climbing on the ladders, put you just high enough to not be hit by the spread of the lightning, making for a great hiding spot.

Still glad you enjoyed the level : )
Thank you too for responding!
I do think my feedback wasn't all that good, since I think it wasn't constructed all that well (this is technically my first time giving Level feedback on this Forum,) also I didn't even notice the ladders, I think thought that was decoration, but I do think other people might think on using the ladder when I come to think about it. Mini-Metroidvania is probably the best way to describe this level, and I do think you're right about the length, since if it would be at least a few screens longer, and also have no checkpoints in-between, yeah that would be quite painful dying to the mini-boss, so I guess the length isn't all too bad, than I last thought.
Anyways I don't have anything much too add, so that's about it.
'Ello I'm RushJet-Adapter, also known as Jet-Adapter in MegaMaker.

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memelord69
Posts: 559
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Inside the Esoteric Beast (ID : 405378)

Post by memelord69 » Wed May 27, 2020 8:00 pm

I generally liked the level for the most part. It did a very good job at encouraging exploration. I really like how you hid the bouncing ball weapon thing.

The acid section had a few problems imo. First, those spikes in there are almost hiding. I'm not sure if that was your intention, but I definitely slammed into spikes I couldn't even see lol. The PlantMan boss in this section also had some issues. I noticed that it was often the case that he'd just do his attack pattern underwater, making it impossible for you to fight back half the time. The weakness gets around this, but if we *need* the weakness, then it defeats the purpose of having the level be open.

The way the secrets are laid out is also linear and has a "correct" solution. If we do the bone section first, for the Wheel Cutter, then fire for the secret weapon and Oil Slider, and then acid for the secret there, then poke our head back into the bone section with cKick, we get all the items. That whole cycle is a "correct" solution. If we do the acid first, then the fire, then the bones, then we've gotta backtrack through everything to get the secrets. This reverse cycle is the worst possibility for the player. Then there are the combinations in between. Imo, have the secrets require us to zigzag between sections, instead of having a linear solution

The SheepMan fight was a mess and I just closed out the level tbh. I died by accident once and ran out of energy for the weakness. Using Buster only, I hit them for like 3 damage each before dying. It's full spam, and the background and flashing foreground don't help with visibility at all. It's a very abrupt ending to a level that otherwise flowed very well.

You succeeded massively with giving us a sense of exploration and atmosphere.
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Matz
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:23 pm

Re: Inside the Esoteric Beast (ID : 405378)

Post by Matz » Thu May 28, 2020 9:47 pm

memelord69 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 8:00 pm
I generally liked the level for the most part. It did a very good job at encouraging exploration. I really like how you hid the bouncing ball weapon thing.

The acid section had a few problems imo. First, those spikes in there are almost hiding. I'm not sure if that was your intention, but I definitely slammed into spikes I couldn't even see lol. The PlantMan boss in this section also had some issues. I noticed that it was often the case that he'd just do his attack pattern underwater, making it impossible for you to fight back half the time. The weakness gets around this, but if we *need* the weakness, then it defeats the purpose of having the level be open.

The way the secrets are laid out is also linear and has a "correct" solution. If we do the bone section first, for the Wheel Cutter, then fire for the secret weapon and Oil Slider, and then acid for the secret there, then poke our head back into the bone section with cKick, we get all the items. That whole cycle is a "correct" solution. If we do the acid first, then the fire, then the bones, then we've gotta backtrack through everything to get the secrets. This reverse cycle is the worst possibility for the player. Then there are the combinations in between. Imo, have the secrets require us to zigzag between sections, instead of having a linear solution

The SheepMan fight was a mess and I just closed out the level tbh. I died by accident once and ran out of energy for the weakness. Using Buster only, I hit them for like 3 damage each before dying. It's full spam, and the background and flashing foreground don't help with visibility at all. It's a very abrupt ending to a level that otherwise flowed very well.

You succeeded massively with giving us a sense of exploration and atmosphere.
Again, first off thank you for playing the level and giving me your feedback. I'll try to adress all your points.

The spikes in the acid section, apart from the ones in the secret room were mostly placed as decoration and I placed them in such a way that the player should go out of their way to jump into them. I guess they could fit too much into the aesthetic, but at the same time I think they are still noticeable.
Plantman can indeed enter a pattern of doing his attacks underwater, but if you let him fully run up against the wall, he should always jump out and land on ladders, that's the "easy" way of breaking that pattern, and I thought it would happen somewhat naturally without the player needing to go out of their way in order for that to that to happen. I guess if you keep dodging him the same way, and he keeps attacking you the same way, that might lead to that "always in the water" part.

For the secrets, I of course intended each one to require a specific power up, while at the same time not using the lazy option of weapon blocks. Something worth noting is that you can at any point into any section fully backtrack to the "hub".
Your "correct" solution was actually not the one I used the most, I usually started the weakness chain at the Acid section since cKick is the most versatile weapon of the level.
I indeed intended for the level to feature backtracking if the player wanted all the secrets, I wanted to give that "Ooooooh, so that's how I get that" feeling. I think by that nature the secrets aren't too linear, since you get the choice of order of sections, need to somewhat explore or even notice details in order to even discover some of them and if you want them all you need to backtrack at some point.

As for the Sheepmen fight, it's indeed a big difficulty spike in the level, there used to be a weapon energy refiller right before the fight, but I removed it. Maybe I should have left it there.
I did manage to defeat them buster only with only a few hits multiple times during playtesting though, as I noted above, by climbing the ladders you get into a very nice safe spot from the thunder, and if a sheepman drops down and gets under a tile, he will be somewhat stuck for a while down there, and that makes him a lot more vulnerable than normal. Also both drop a large health pickup, so focusing on one should give you enough leeway for the other one and be multiple hits away from danger.
I really wanted to have a double robotmaster fight as a final boss, in order for the final bossfight to differ from minibosses, and I honestly thought that I managed to hit a good "Difficult but fair" bossfight, so I find it a bit sad that you saw it as undodgeable spam.
I also was pretty generous on E tanks if you get all the secrets, in order to make that bossfight somewhat easier for the ones that might not be that good at it.

Anyway, again thank you for playing the level and giving me your honest feedback, too bad you got too frustrated towards the end of the level.

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