[Challenge, Hard/Very Hard, Large] Pale Imitation - The Healer (GFfix)

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Offline GrayFace

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Hi. The Healer is a fabulous level, but when I played it I was annoyed by certain bad design choices. This is a version tweaked to my liking.

Download v1.0.3

Changes:
  • There was a white dead end area with an auto-save shift. If you get there, you could get out only with cheats. There was an auto-save shift in white area at x1042y999 and you couldn't get back the way you got in. If you got there before going left you had to go all hard long way there once again.
  • Yellow key was unreachable after defeating the boss in dark castle.
  • Difficulty of bosses tuned down.
  • Many voids and wall-swims fixed.
  • Now you can continue playing after you've gotten to the ending.
  • There may be other changes that I don't remember.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2020, 07:02:25 by GrayFace »

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Offline GrayFace

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I've updated the level. I've changed the white area at x1042y999 a bit and fixed a wall-swim if you go left from x1040y1004 before opening the door at x1039y1004.

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Offline egomassive

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I never finished this level because of challenges that I felt were not only very hard, but poorly made. I've really wanted to finish it because of the quality cutscenes and intriguing story. Thanks for making this!

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Offline saba

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I never finished either. I felt it had a serious lack of save points. Usually there would be five or six very challenging screens after another without any saves and it just became so frustrating having to go through the same things again and again. There were a lot of these flowers, making it kind of random if you got through or not. Also, I got stuck at the mountain at some point and couldn't get out. Is that the dead end area you were talking about? Because I did have to cheat to get out.

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Offline GrayFace

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Probably it is. It's white and it loops. The way there goes through a Sticky/NoJump wall-swim that makes an effect of slow upwards floating. Actually there's an exit from there, but it involves invisible things in the air.

I remember adding one save point in the dark castle, one in the not-really-a-dead-end white area and auto-save shifts for bosses. Maybe I've added more, but most save points are the same. This came as a result of me playing the level and I wanted to experience the original difficulty, except the places where I felt it was too much.

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Offline bradf

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It is surprising to see my old level! I'm somewhat embarrassed that it is still being played!

GrayFace's edits are most likely a sensible addition, as I recall it was unnecessarily difficult. I got carried away by some of the enemy placement. It was originally intended to be an exploration level rather than a challenge level!

To be honest I think I actually left it unfinished. It's been a long time since i've looked at it but I remember there was going to be a purpose to that sky castle area, but it ended up being a pointless secret area.

Also I recall there were several hidden "bad" endings - one apocalyptic ending and a strange underground ending.

I am now overcome with tearful nostalgia and (unrelated) hunger pangs.

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Offline egomassive

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...I'm somewhat embarrassed that it is still being played!...

This was in danger of becoming a lost level, but people still look for it because people still recommend it. Glad to hear you don't mind GrayFace's tweaks. It's a shame that it was never completely finished, but with some adjustments hopefully it won't be easily forgotten.

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Offline GrayFace

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I've revisited the level and tweaked it more. Added some more save spots. Added one secret that relies upon you first getting to one of originally present secrets. Fixed some minor errors like wall-swims.

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Offline pfrangip

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I'm not sure what version of this I played, but I loved the cutscenes and bossfights, but disliked a lot of the stretches without saves.

I'll play this version and let you know what I think.

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Offline pfrangip

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I believe this level still needs some updates; specifically, some more savepoints. I don't [typically] play with cheats and I am still finding some frustrating challenges.

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Offline GrayFace

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Re: [Challenge, Hard/Very Hard, Large] Pale Imitation - The Healer (GFfix)
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2020, 17:47:10 »
I believe this level still needs some updates; specifically, some more savepoints. I don't [typically] play with cheats and I am still finding some frustrating challenges.
I'd like to know where. Take note of such places (I use Print Screen in KS Ex for this and look up coordinates in savegame later, but make sure you save after taking a screenshot).

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Offline Talps

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Re: [Challenge, Hard/Very Hard, Large] Pale Imitation - The Healer (GFfix)
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2020, 12:11:29 »
That was a mixed experience. The cutscenes were gorgeous but gameplay was often frustrating. The central cavern using Markham Carroll's tileset in particular ground my nerves down early on, with excessive use of no-climb tiles combined with an awkward tileset, and using the same tiles as foreground and background.

Throughout the level I found the same issue, that it seemed the designer didn't realise that players wouldn't have the same foreknowledge he(?) had; they wouldn't know where invisible things were, or the best way through challenges, or even which rambling areas could be explored once and left behind or would need to be revisited, or even which could be ignored entirely. There were a lot of tantalising unreachable ledges that, upon revisiting with more upgrades, proved to be empty dead ends or unclimbable.

Eventually I found I had all the upgrades and all the keys I seemed to need, so I quit exploring and headed for the ending I'd been signposted to, leaving a lot of the map unexplored.

Spoiler: Story spoilers (click to show/hide)

Also, this level needs at least twice as many save points as it currently has.

There is positive. Apart from the number of times the same tiles are used as foreground and background, there are some fun areas, good aesthetics, and there are a lot of interesting ideas - though large sections of the level are totally redundant; if this was split into two separate levels with their own stories (and more of those beautiful cutscenes) I think you'd get two stronger experiences.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2020, 12:17:08 by Talps »

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Offline pfrangip

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Re: [Challenge, Hard/Very Hard, Large] Pale Imitation - The Healer (GFfix)
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2020, 16:18:54 »
@Talps

Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

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Offline Talps

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Re: [Challenge, Hard/Very Hard, Large] Pale Imitation - The Healer (GFfix)
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2020, 16:36:33 »
I had a look in to the world folder after playing and didn't see that cutscene...