Sunday, December 30, 2012

Explaining: Aozora's Adventure and Aozora's Adventure II

I'm certain everyone has seen me bragging on and on about that the two main titles in the Aozora's Adventure series being platformers that play too similarly to the Super Mario games. Well, allow me to spare some details on the concepts.

*Each game has thirteen worlds, eleven standard, and two that are unlocked after the game's main story is finished. Each world has roughly between 10 to 30 main levels (with the 30 limit never being reached), five to twenty secret levels, and three bosses. The extreme number of levels can only be traced back to Mushroom Kingdom Fusion, which Aozora's Adventure draws major inspiration from.

*Melee attacks (punches, kicks, etc.) can be pulled off by the main characters in the second game.

*The first game features single player and two player co-op, either locally or online, while the second game has the above, but expands the number to four locally or six online. Certain enemies and bosses are given attack and/or speed boosts the more players active. Unlike NSMBWii and NSMBU, it is possible for players to be scrolled off without getting killed.

*With the online co-op's "Join" system, it is possible for players to end up in levels they haven't unlocked in the main story by joining another player that has already progressed through most of the game. If the player assists in beating the level, they will not have to replay the level when said player unlocks it in the main game, and they can just skip it, but the level will have to be replayed locally or during a "Host" session to have it count towards his/her game completion percentage.

Two additional modes: Time Attack and Score Attack, are also available, and each come with their own respective leaderboards, with local scores, recent plays, regional best, and worldwide best. The main game also features a highscore feature, but it's only for players that finish the game after getting every Star Coin in the game, calculated based on time taken, number of deaths and continues consumed. Also, each user can register only once per board, excluding on local boards, where the player may input a name of up to thirteen characters, and can wipe individual local highscores or all scores at will without deleting the player's save file(s).
*In Score Attack, Enemy spawners are disabled, and shell-based enemies stay in their spots if scrolled offscreen rather than respawning in their original locations. Dead enemies remain dead even after going into and exiting a bonus room.

*Player characters are given a lifebar represented in percents, which is by default 100%, but can be increased by picking up Heart Containers, with an additional 10% per Heart Container. Mushrooms, Super Mushrooms, and Ultra Mushrooms, as well as Max Hearts, are used to replenish lost energy. Damage taken varies based on the strength of the enemy, attack, or projectile.
 *Health a player sports is carried over from level to level.
 *When a Heart Container is collected for the first time in an specific spot, it becomes a Max Heart on repeated playthroughs.

*1UP Mushrooms are present, but are the rarest types item in the games, as each world has a very scarce amount of 1UPs, and they are either well-hidden or placed in an area that would take great skill to survive and claim the Mushroom. Unlike the Mario games, 1UPs do not respawn when replaying a level after death or completion, being replaced by a single Coin until the player spends time in other levels. The method that determines when a 1UP mushroom will be replenished in a level is based around a 10-barrel Russian Roulette system.
 *In contrast, killing enemies with a large combo or collecting 100 coins no longer awards lives. The former just awards 10,000 in place of 1UPs, while in the case of the latter, plays can stock up to 999,999,999 coins.

*Game Houses and Shops, the former replacing Toad Houses, appear on world maps. In the first game, both are ran by Shelbies (Enemies that behave much like Koopa Troopas), while in the second, in the form of playful cameos, DJ Varcanno of Fuzion Frenzy fame and hardcore shopkeeper Anizawa Meito (made popular by Lucky Star) take on their respective roles. Shops are done in the same vein as Mushroom Kingdom Fusion, but with standard coins as opposed to a second type of currency (Rupees in MKF's case).
 *As the player advances through the game, the number of items sold in shops increases gradually.
 *1UP Mushrooms are the only items that change in price as more are bought at once, increasing in value by 200 coins per 1UP bought. In a similar way to 1UP respawning in main levels, the system that determines when the 1UP mushroom's price drops by 200 is based on a five-barrel Russian Roulette.

*The worlds in each game are based on the following themes:
 *Aozora's Aventure:

  1. Park City Zone- A mostly grass-themed world that takes place around and inside a small city. Boss is Ciber.
  2. Blue Metropolis Zone- A large city with some futuristic aspects thrown in, and a large suspended highway. Boss is Moriya.
  3. Palm Beach Zone- A futuristic beach that later on evolves into a magical world built with gemstones. Boss is Kokoro.
  4. Woody Jungle Zone- A series of islands with beaches and tropical rainforests spread throughout. Boss is Beta.
  5. Cloud Beanstalk Zone- A fantasy world in the sky, with many futuristic buildings and grassland areas. Boss is Redd.
  6. Casino Palace Zone- A large city set at nightime, with many gambling themes. Boss is Higure.
  7. Sky Battleship Zone- Another sky-themed world, this time on a large heavily-armored battleship flying high above the clouds, and even in them. Specific levels take place inside the battleship, with mechanical themes present throughout. Boss is Britly.
  8. Frozen Factory Zone- A world that first begins as a snow-themed world, before progressing to a fire/lava themed world once inside it's factory, then going back to snow. Boss is Zidra.
  9. Ruined Badlands Zone- Begins out in the desert, then enters a post-apocalyptic city. Boss is Simon.
  10. Cosmic Chase Zone- An outer-space world that features some galactic cities and machinery encased in domes, as the player chases Joker's castle.
  11. Joker's Castle- A castle in deep space that serves as the top-secret base of the professional assassins, the A.C.E.S.

 *Aozora's Advneture II:

  1. White City Zone- A world that begins with a park and then a beach level, and from there on combines grass, urban, and snow themes, with night approaching quickly the further the player goes. Boss is Masayoshi.
  2. Buccaneer Grotto Zone- A pirate-themed world with many wooden structures and a good number of cave and underwater levels. Boss is Chinatsu.
  3. Metal Desert Zone- A desert world that brings forth many themes of ancient architecture, before throwing players into a gem mine/digging site. Boss is Girou.
  4. Lantern Carnival Zone- A Japanese-esque world at nighttime, during a major festival, with some forest areas, and a large pagoda. Boss is Saniko.
  5. Wave Cruiser Zone- Begins with a beach area at sunset, before progressing into a large cruise ship in daytime; combining both aquatic and mechanical themes. Boss is Fayato.
  6. Canyon Highway Zone- Mixes themes of canyons and mines, eventually leading into a near-apocalyptic city. Boss is Kazuhiko.
  7. Onyx Skyscraper Zone- Another large futuristic city at night, even more advanced than any seen before it, complete with a huge skyscraper. Boss is Bachi.
  8. Blood Mountain Zone- A fire/lava themed world taking around and inside an active volcano with construction occurring on the volcano's surface and a large factory built inside. For the conclusion of the world, the player boards an airborne battleship for the third and final time. Boss is Sharkane with Grip and Gnear.
  9. Crystal Clockwork Zone- A snow/ice-themed world with a few towns present, concludes inside a large factory that sports a giant clock at the peak. Boss is Mignoette.
  10. Rocket Galaxy Zone- Takes place in outer space, but now on the surface of small planets and futuristic buildings.
  11. Joker's Castle 2- Successor to the first Joker's Castle, with even more deadly traps.
 *In the case of both games, World 12 is a secret world with exactly eleven levels, each level becomes playable if all the Star Coins of the corresponding numbered world are completed, with an extra twelfth level becoming accessible once all 11 worlds are cleared of Star Coins. Completing World 12 with every Star Coin from said world allows the player to visit the "Master World", a thirteenth world that in the first game is opened similarly to Thirdspace from the well-known Super Mario World ROM hack The Second Reality Project Reloaded, while in the second it's opened automatically upon inspecting a gate in World 9 unseen previously.

*Powerups in Aozora's Adventure use pseudo-custom graphics from the Mario games or any other source, (keep in mind I'm not selling my game ideas) and the number of powerups represented continuously get bigger with each game. See for yourself.
The powerups themselves are not only based on Mario, but also the first Wario Land, the Kirby series, Rayman 3, and One Piece. Oh, and a bunch of retooled custom Mario powerups from Fantendo.

*The three bosses in each world, two mini bosses, and a main world boss, are fought alike a boss from the Mega Man games, complete with the screen-long hallway to the boss enclosed with one-way doors. None of them sport weaknesses, but some power ups may allow the player(s) to inflict damage faster than others. Boss levels would first begin with a short prelude level in vain to the third acts from the Sonic games on the Game Gear, usually with a few coins or a power up during the short run before the hallway. The end of World 11 features a boss rush with the main world bosses from the first nine worlds, again done in Mega Man style with the teleporters and extra health following each boss. At least no boss dies in three stomps (oh yeah you can stomp bosses too, but they're quite quick and may knock you aside if you stomp too often at once).

I'm sure some of you could link this to the term "Design by committee", but if the guys at FusionFangaming could pull something like this off with hundreds of levels and abilities, why shouldn't I? :/

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