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Author: canadianstickdeath
Game: Zelda Classic
Date: Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 1:05 pm

Part of the Series: A Moment in Time

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Description:
Made with ZC Version 2.5. You can get this version from the ZC main site. You'll probably have to update to a more recent version of ZC than the betas I told you to use for my previous ZC levels.

The level 1 cheat code, which allows you to refill your health, among other things, is still "Eyes Yuks Ohm Hutch". If you get stuck, and you probably will, let me know where and I'll bail you out, when I get the chance. I gave you a 1-time-use potion too b/c I'm nice.

You should consider the overworld areas as mostly unfinished.

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dabigkid
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Tuesday, December 16 2014, 3:02 am EST

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I'll check this out soon! After finals are done!
dabigkid
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Friday, January 2 2015, 6:03 pm EST

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This isn't very fun. I don't know how to cut the tree down after the garden puzzle. I also don't know how to open the gate. I don't know if the stuff around the castle on the first floor is relevant at all. I've spent over 30 minutes and I feel like I've made no progress. Not fun. The order of doing things is very hard to figure out.
canadianstickdeath
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Friday, January 2 2015, 8:58 pm EST

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You're right there are too many places you can go and even if you go the right way you probably won't find what you're looking for. Can this be fixed, I'm not sure. At the least I can make the NPC's more helpful.

Anyway to cut down that tree you burn it, you need to find the candle. Candle's in the basement. You will probably find the basement hard to get through, and at the end is a locked door. To find the key, key is also in the basement, but you have to find an invisible path whose existence can only be realized by noticing a discrepancy between the layouts of B2 and B3, or being so lucky as to have one of the enemies decide to walk on it (sorry :/). Have you made much progress in the basement? I feel like if you'd even found the basement you would have mentioned it, so, there's a shutter on a screen with some darknuts, so kill the darknuts.

The guards, except for the one who tells you how to get through the garden, are all correct about the order for hitting the switches that open the shutter which is blocking the rooftop access. If you consider all their clues, you can narrow it down to somewhere around 10 possibilities, which you have to brute-force from there (sorry!!!). But I can definitely make this puzzle easier. You will use the item you found in the garden up on the rooftop to open the sewer gate.

Yeah, there are a couple things in all that that kinda suck... ugh.
dabigkid
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Friday, January 2 2015, 11:47 pm EST

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I figured out how to get to the roof. I think you should say something like "hit the red switch the most amount of times" or "hit the red switch three times" instead of the other hint about the red switch. I know it makes the puzzle sound too obvious.... eh. The puzzle definitely should not be too confusing, and there shouldn't be too many possible options based on the hints. The puzzle being too easy would be a lot better than the puzzle being too hard. If it's easy, worst case scenario is that the player just walks on to the next section and it didn't feel rewarding. Whatever, hopefully the next section is rewarding!!!! If it's too hard, worst case scenario the player simply gets stuck and stops playing!...

All I got is:

1. Roof access, and
2. I figured out how to get to the tree in the garden north east south south but I don't know how to burn it.

By the way, I think once you get past the garden puzzle on the east side, it should stay unlocked because some people like me might do it too early and while it's a very interesting and fun and well-designed puzzle to do the first time (I especially like that there are multiple exits on each side but only one route is correct), doing it a second time is very annoying.

-----

OK, I finally figured out the basement thing. Silly me, just had to clear those darknuts. OK I should have probably realized that because of the closed door on the one hand, but on the other hand I was fixated on the garden/roof stuff and it wasn't immediately obvious that I was supposed to go in that direction and I was able to open that door because that whole area is one big loop that leads back to the entrance.

In addition to the NPC being a little more helpful, if you need to go to the basement first, then maybe you should somehow cut off the roof access to the player. See the thing is, the first thing I see when I walk around the castle are: (1) people talking about the orb puzzle thing that leads to the roof, and (2) the orb puzzle thing that leads to the roof. So my first initial instinct is to solve the puzzle and keep going on from there. That's why I was so lost!

One last bit of whining: the darknuts are reallyyyyyyyyyyyy annoying and unfair on those tight paths because the AI goes directly for you and you can't hookshot their backs. I would maybe somewhere in that area (maybe the room with 3 darknuts?) add a pot or something that 100% of the time drops bombs. You should make it somehow more obvious that

Anyway now that I have basement access, lemme keep going....  
canadianstickdeath
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Friday, January 2 2015, 11:56 pm EST

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I can definitely make getting through easy courtyard permanent.

Yeah I was originally gonna mention cutting off access to places but I didn't want to suggest b/c rearranging stuff is harder than changing the text :p.

I could change the rooftop puzzle but I'd rather change the solution completely if you don't like it as is. Any suggestions for interesting clues?

A pot that drops bombs everytime is easier said than done. I mean, it can be done, but it's not as easy as you might think.

Those darknuts go down pretty easy if you know you can hit them while they're walking towards you by facing sideways.
dabigkid
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Saturday, January 3 2015, 12:10 am EST

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You can do that with darknuts? Boo I didn't know. Is that a known Zelda trick? >_> Well that's a bummer about the pots that always drop bombs. I've seen similar things to that in actual Zelda games so I thought it would be easy. That's kind of a bummer because if you could do that easily, it would mean you could keep all the darknuts so the level is interesting but not painfully frustrating for people like me who didn't know that little darknut sword trick.

Yeah I guess you should change the puzzle solution completely. I can't think of any cool way to structure it, but if I come up with something I'll let you know. It's tricky coming up with something that's cool, fun, challenging yet not frustrating, has one or a small number of unique solutions.... yeah.

Also:

Spoiler:


I'll get back to you later when I get stuck or when I finish it! I can't wait to see what else you have in store!
dabigkid
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Saturday, January 3 2015, 12:16 am EST

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As you can tell from my current critiques and from my past ones too, I'm kind of a stickler for easing things out. It's not that I don't like me a good challenge. I just like to point out where, in my personal experience, I cross the line from being challenge to becoming frustrated. And as more people play-test your levels, if everyone ends up agreeing with me on a segment then it means it is too challenging. And if I'm the only one who agrees, it just means I'm dumb, har har.
canadianstickdeath
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Saturday, January 3 2015, 12:21 am EST

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That's a known Zelda trick however, in the original LoZ, your sword doesn't slash, only stabs, so it's harder to do.

The way to get 100% bomb drop is to change the item drop set of one of the combo types, either permanently altering what, say, the flower combos drop, or by using a script to change it temporarily or something. Perhaps I could make an enemy, b/c I can assign bomb drops to them easily... I think I could implement that, an invisible enemy that doesn't move, layer it on top of a pot...

I know some of those darknuts are unfair, with them hiding under the ground above you, but I can't really change their spawn positions so easily (script required), and I wanted enemies to be both above and below...

*crosses fingers* please don't struggle too much with falling off in the basement plzplzplz.
dabigkid
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Saturday, January 3 2015, 12:24 am EST

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An invisible enemy on top of a pot. Daaaaaaaang, now that's creative :O

Oh lemme just say, I think you're in a good spot with your designing despite all my critiquing. I'M CRITIQUING OUT OF LOVE NOT OUT OF HATE <3 errr... anyway, I think it's better to take something that's too hard and make it easier than it is to take something that's too easy and make it harder. Things that are too hard are impossible to play, things that are easy aren't even worth playing, and I think you're actually really close to the sweet spot considering that you haven't gotten anyone else to play this level yet. Getting that sweet spot completely on your own without any play-testing is next to impossible for something as massive as a Zelda dungeon.
canadianstickdeath
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Saturday, January 3 2015, 1:01 am EST

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Zelda Classic is (somewhat annoyingly) full of all those kinds of tricks. I'm not totally familiar with them all. I'm don't know that that's gonna work but I could try... There's already a chest with bombs, I could just make it more rupees yeah.

Let me tell you a trick, about over/under bridges. They're implemented with screen secrets and carryovers. What's happening is there's invisible triggers you walk over, that either trigger or reset the screen's "secrets triggered" state. When you trigger it, it removes the floors above you and places an exact copy of that below you, and state carry overs make it apply to every over/under screen. It's a time-consuming process.

There will probably have to be an info shop that hints at that hidden pathway in the basement, otherwise you wouldn't even know to look for it. You can notice it if you're observant, but for this you have to be a little too observant...
dabigkid
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Sunday, January 4 2015, 9:33 pm EST

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I didn't even get that far to be honest. Yesterday I recorded myself playing and saying what I was thinking for like 15 minutes unscripted if you're interested in that. It's kinda boring though.
canadianstickdeath
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Sunday, January 4 2015, 10:14 pm EST

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Yeah I wouldn't mind seeing that.
dabigkid
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Sunday, January 4 2015, 10:29 pm EST

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alright, i'll upload it when i get home (i'm out and about right now). just so you know what to expect, basically it's just me getting stuck at one point in the dungeon, giving a couple suggestions, and complaining about how the pathing makes one section feel really unfair even though conceptually it's not that hard of a section.
dabigkid
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Tuesday, January 6 2015, 12:38 am EST

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oh no, you can hardly hear my voice in the video v__v but i mean, you can kinda just skip through it and see where I'm struggling, I guess? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTQKB7d3gOA
canadianstickdeath
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Tuesday, January 6 2015, 4:46 am EST

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Video is private.
dabigkid
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Thursday, January 8 2015, 2:25 pm EST

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oh oops, i changed it ^_^
canadianstickdeath
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Thursday, January 8 2015, 9:50 pm EST

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You don't have to reset the room on the switch puzzle. It resets itself properly; even if you hit the red and it's wrong, it counts it as the first switch for entering the code correctly.

You're not audible at all, but I caught the words "almost impossible" while the darknut was coming up to you on this one screen. What you can do is turn sideways to hit him once, and then while he's blinking you can run right through. Worth noting that stunned enemies can't hurt you either. Because of the weird way the over/under paths are implemented, I'm not sure how easy it will be to move that guy, but I'll look into it. I'd rather move him than get rid of him completely. Obviously you could just take another route and avoid having to deal with that guy at all. Actually, getting to the basement is shorter if you go around the right side of the first floor, not the left.

At one point you were complaining about pressing down and then you fell off even though the warps to the lower floor were to your left. This is because link adheres to a grid, he can only turn every 1/2 block. You walked a bit past the place where you wanted to go down, so pressing down aligned you the next halfblock instead, and in doing so made you touch the warp to the lower floor. If you find yourself in a position where you think pressing a direction is going to make this happen, you could maybe try pressing away from the edge instead. I think that's the only way out, though I haven't tried it to be sure it actually works. ZC could use some dedicated pitwarp physics, but alas it does not, so I guess everybody just kinda puts up with it working like this. I guess the only option is to take it a bit easier on the player.

This grid movement thing in general I think is something you're not used to and is what's causing the most problems getting through this section. When turning, you need to press the next direction between one halfblock to the next, releasing the previous button you were holding immediately after. That's the original LoZ's movement :/. I could turn on diagonal movement, though I have absolutely no idea what kind of affect that will have... ZC wasn't originally designed with diagonal movement in mind, so those types of features tend to be partially implemented or glitchy, though I guess diagonal movement probably works fine, so long as your quest was designed to use it from the start. I suspect aligning yourself to get through narrow passages will be unnecessarily difficult...

You don't have a shield on this one screen, making it a lot harder than it ought to be... Other than opening the shutter to the basement and getting the compass, you haven't made any progress (aside from knowing the solution to some of the later puzzles), so it might be worth starting over to get the shield and potion back. In theory, in a full quest, you'd be able to go and buy replacements, but I felt it'd be weird if every dungeon I made had a shop in it like the others all have. I guess I should have squeezed one in somewhere and just removed it from the final quest. I will remove that like like from the first leg, and also I think I will remove the fireball shooter from that screen since it's pretty annoying to dodge without a shield. The best chance you have I think is, if a fireball is coming at you at a bad time, leave and come back and hopefully the fireball shooter will cooperate the next time around. I will also see about widening the paths on that screen or adding some railings or something.

I pretty-much just forgot to put pots in the basement. I'll add some. It'll probably be a week or two before I will get around to making any of these changes.

The screen with the spikes there requires quite a lot of patience to make wait for the enemies to get close so you can clear them out. You don't want to be moving around and fighting the enemies with all those spikes right there. I will decrease the number of spikes on the screen, though, to give you a bit more room to move around.

The next room with the conveyers you got hit off so quickly. You always either get knockback forward or backward of the direction you're facing (usually backward), so your best bet, whenever enemies are around is to never face in a direction that would result in you getting knocked off in the event that you take a hit. This room just take it easy and throw the boomerang around until the keese are all dead, and then run the conveyer. Be careful not to let the weird movement as you cross the conveyers mess you up. At the start of the next screen is a guardrail which is designed to prevent you from being able to walk off the top floor and land on the blocks on the floor below. Once you pass that guardrail, you've completed the first lag. You will see the return teleporter there. There's a block that can be pushed on the lower floor which is permanent and can be used as a shortcut after the next time you die. I should make it more apparent which blocks can be pushed as I do not want people to not realize the shortcuts exist, so I will put arrows on those blocks.

I'm just going to reiterate this because I do something terrible in the 2nd leg and I want you to be aware of it b/c something obviously has to change here and I'm not entirely sure what, but there's a section with a secret path where you walk on an invisible floor. If you had the lens of truth you'd actually be able to see it and it looks pretty cool. I think what I might do is make the first few tiles of the floor be visible. Actually I think that would fix the section up quite nicely? Maybe go a bit farther and make it visible until a bit on the 2nd screen, and put a darknut walking around so that you know there's floor there somewhere and don't just turn around. Anyway, it's the screen with the chest, I think there's rupees inside, and the path goes off to the left. When you fall, look at the ground on the lower floor to see where the path is.

As for adding some sort of puzzle to that section, well, the 2nd act of the dungeon is a puzzle section. And there is a block puzzle in the basement already. I will think about it though. I'm not really sure how it would work. You know what, feel free to use the cheats to help you pass the first leg so you can try the rest of it while I get around to making some of those changes. And if you give up completely please at least watch the video of the whole thing, lol. That was still a pretty-cool watch even though I couldn't really hear anything you were saying.
dabigkid
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Friday, January 9 2015, 12:04 am EST

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Thanks for writing all of that out! I might end up using that cheat, yeah.

Getting past the darknut is "almost impossible" because it requires not only a cheap trick that not all people know, but on top of that it requires absolute completely perfect precision in executing that trick. Meh. I mean you can see that I got past it as it ran toward me... once. So I know how to do it, but it's damn hard and annoying.

Remember here I'm not terrible at video games. I'm not the best, but I'm not terrible either. If I struggled this much and gave up out of frustration, I guarantee you that many other people who try your level will do the same. Just saying. I appreciate the advice and I'll use it to navigate further through the level so I can continue play-testing, but I don't think the average player will want to read a whole essay just to traverse through the first 6 minutes of your level. Depends on what you're trying to go for, but... I think that would be the case.

Sorry I didn't test/adjust the sound before I started recording! Usually my sound is perfectly balanced fine for when I record Hearthstone or Dota. >_>; Anyway even if the puzzle stuff is in the 2nd part you could still consider doing it for the 1st... puzzles are fun!!!! or maybe that's just me.
canadianstickdeath
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Friday, January 9 2015, 2:10 am EST

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Actually it's only 4 minutes :p.

I just wanted to make sure you'd be able to get through it yeah.
canadianstickdeath
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Tuesday, May 26 2015, 1:40 pm EST

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Update. Here's changes:

- The Wooden Arrow, which used to be in your starting inventory, has been swapped with the Blue Candle. This makes it so all that stuff that hits you in the face as soon as you enter the castle is now the first thing that you are actually supposed to do. Finished by putting the lower basement behind a Big Key door so that you can't do it until later. It was one of the harder portions of the dungeon anyway.
- In general, the lower basement was made much easier, by making the upper floor wider, adding railings, reducing the number and severity of the enemies, and adding in some pots. Still pretty hard, though.
- Also, I put arrows on the blocks which you can push to make a shortcut, so that you would know for sure what they were for and hopefully remember to push them whenever you make progress.
- For the purpose of this individual level upload, added a link to the shop from level 3 to the Overworld so you can buy a sheild if you have $$$. (You might want to hang onto your $$$ if you can.) I made the shield a little cheaper than it was in Level 3, at least. You can find it one screen to the right of the initial starting screen.

Spoiler:


Edit: Rather than wait for DBK to complain, I made a handful of other changes.
Edit2: Updated again :p. Last time for a while unless somebody tells me to change something.

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