The 'Shroom:Issue 104/Super Mario Maker Challenge Results
The smell of rotting pumpkin fills the air, and I'm sure you all know what that means. It's time to officially announce the winners of The 'Shroom's Spooky Halloween Super Mario Maker Challenge!
For our humble wiki-bound readers who have never even glanced at the link to Super Mario Maker contest for the past month wherein all participants were led to a dimly lit room one-by-one, forcibly bound to a chair, given a Wii U GamePad and were told to create the most spooky Halloween-themed Super Mario Maker course they could think of before the room filled with water. As expected, the results were fantastic! We had a total of 9 survivors, and all of their courses were an absolute treat to play. In particular, I found myself grinning at Shoey's course, who literally wrote the word SPOOKY in hard blocks, covered the course with Boos and made you play as Waluigi. An absolutely traumatising experience, and while playable Waluigi is usually the bargaining point for which I'd consider awarding all of the tokens towards, there were other great levels that had to be considered. Each one of the nine submitted courses had memorable moments, and that made it extremely difficult to choose three winners, but after much thought, I decided on three courses that I felt not only embraced the theme of Halloween and spookiness, but were all-around fantastically designed and creative to boot. So without further ado, here are the results!on the left-hand side of this page, The 'Shroom has been hosting a
In third place, we have Nysic (talk) and their course The Ghost Airship (559F-0000-00D7-646F). What starts out as a simple Airship level littered with Dry Bones quickly transitions to a haunted Ghost House filled to the brim with Bill Blasters and Boos. The level is simple for the most part, only really escalating in difficulty at the very end with a bit of precarious platforming between flying blocks. But, what I love the most about Nysic's level is that it maintains a constant theme, that being an abandoned airship that's been seized by a group of Boos, and all of the little details put into the level evoke this brilliantly. The Ghost House portion of the course is filled with Bill Blasters (some of which even fire Boos), Burners, and Cannons, enemies common for an Airship level but uncommon for a Ghost House, and the inclusion of multiple Vines and mushroom platforms helps emphasize that the Airship is so old and abandoned that plants have begun growing on it. A lot of care has gone into ensuring that the Ghost House part of the level feels like an Airship level, and the little touches here and there are great (the checkpoint on the mast of the Airship was a nice touch). All-in-all, Nysic has done an excellent job with designing a haunted Airship, and that nabs them third place and 6 'Shroom Tokens for their efforts.
Taking second place is Cirdec (talk) with his course The stiletto house (393B-0000-00DC-0CAD), a Ghost House/Castle themed-course that focuses on use of those horrifying red Goomba's Stilettos to cross a variety of hazards. The level starts out with the hauntingly fitting setting of the SMB3 Ghost House (and that music hnng), and teaches Mario how to use the stiletto to overcome simple puzzles that will be used later in the level, such as walking on spikes, stomping on Boos, ground pounding, and abandoning the shoe like a Yoshi to gain an extra jump. Once the level has finished its lessons, it moves onto the more challenging applications of them, which involve crossing a huge pit of lava (I might add, the screaming sound effect that plays when you ditch the stiletto at this point was amusing) and climbing rising spike platforms while being inhibited by Boos. When I first cleared this part of the course, I was caught off guard by how simple and fast the whole level seemed (especially in comparison to some of Cirdec's other courses) because almost immediately afterward comes the black background of the end of the level. However, Cirdec completely surprised me by having the end goal blocked by Munchers, and with no stilettos in sight, I had to progress to another Castle section which was far more difficult than any of the previous sections in order to obtain another stiletto, clear the Munchers from the end goal, and finish the level. It was an ingenious twist, and coupled with the escalating challenge present in the rest of the level (all themed around a single red boot, no less), Cirdec receives second place and 8 'Shroom Tokens.
And last of all, in first place, we have resident bottle-of-soda-with-no-ice fantanoice with her course Frantic Fleet (CC60-0000-00DB-72AE). Another Ghost House/Airship hybrid, what are the odds? The level switches between simple puzzle solving in a Ghost House setting and platforming in an Airship setting at a moment’s notice, but what separates Fanta's course from the other entries is the addition of a reduced time limit. As any 'Shroom writer can testify towards, nothing is more terrifying than an approaching deadline, and Fanta's course clearly demonstrates this. Enemies have been strategically placed to deliberately waste your limited time—for instance, a Boo which almost immediately covers a door you must re-enter a few times, easily knocking off a few precious seconds as you play peek-a-boo to move it away. Once you've suffered at least three heart attacks from trying to reach the sole checkpoint within enough time, the level then chucks a boss battle with a Koopa Clown Car-bound Bowser Jr. at you, who you're forced to defeat in record time to reach the final part of the level, a nerve-wracking patience test in which you must wait for a Bob-omb to destroy a wall made out of Brick Blocks so you can reach the exit. It's the perfect finish to a level designed entirely to make you nervous and hurried with your actions, and the heartbeat sound-effect that overlays this part really hammers it in. Overall, 'Frantic Fleet' is a panic-attack disguised as a unique, well-designed and thematically spooky Mario level, and for that, it takes first place and a whopping 12 'Shroom Tokens.
And there you have it! I'd like to emphasize that everyone should be proud of their submissions, because each level I played was fantastic. The full list of courses (including the winners themselves) can be found here, so if you'd like to play all of the entries then enter the 16-digit codes into the game's search function and prepare to be spooked! With that, The 'Shroom's first-ever Super Mario Maker contest draws to a close. We'll be hosting another contest similar to this one for the Holiday issue, so stay tuned for more details at a later date!