[Hard-Very Hard][Challenge/Playground][KS+] Azure Serenity: The Salty Seas

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Offline Shreeps

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Azure Serenity: Tranquil Dreams is an ongoing rework/expansion to the classic knytt stories level Azure Serenity! (Requires KS+)

Download Newest Version (The Salty Seas) (Dec 31 2022)
https://mega.nz/file/4L92lABT#JBj24BTvMJdu2TT-pjdnalmJ7yDbVkon6zOr9MYw35g

Link to Original 2014 Version:
https://nifflas.lp1.nl/index.php?topic=6215.0

Site with all zones:
https://nocturnalsheepblog.wordpress.com/azure-serenity-tranquil-dreams/

Documentation
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mNLfP0T4rEjX_Bcnah7SfbQiqtAJaBXZdobLXFUTn58/edit#gid=942564888&range=A1

Map (So far)
https://mega.nz/file/EacV2QBC#xqq6oBIs0NOX1sVAS3yqw0t0s2Mk5ErOFsyqfBXcHWo

Video of all Zones and Prototypes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2UfZSQEiIg

Video of The Machine (Azure Edition) playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywCxTIqnVTM

Video of Azure Serenity: Vanilla Lite playthrough:
https://youtu.be/EhTb3Ou_pf8

Video of Prologue playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aopePT4YBzs

Video of Salty Seas playthrough:
https://youtu.be/sSXORE9ubqg

Find The Machine: Azure Edition, and Azure Serenity: Vanilla Lite on knytt levels!

The Machine: Azure Edition
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

Azure Serenity: Vanilla Lite
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

Azure Serenity: The Salty Seas

Game is overall much harder.

Collectables were switched a lot so it's recommended to start a new save for this version.  You can start at the very beginning, the latest area (Salty Seas) or unlock everything with open world mode.

No more freeplay music! (In order to help avoid copyright)  Changed 53 freeplay songs of 61 areas that had resulted in 24 copyright claims.   
Music volumes all readjusted.

Updates to most main continent zones and overhaul (including new zones) for Classic post-eye worlds (Celtic Realm, Fantasy Highlands, Oceanic Dream and Beyond Heaven's Void)
New Interiors/Houses for 20+ mainland zones
Quality of life improvements like Maps to collectables for new and existing zones.
New Creatures/Enemies/Bosses
New boss abilities

New character side missions: Vagabond's Trip, Crystal's Maze, Shreep's Nightmare, Shreep's Super Bounce House
A secret kaizo spike level.

The Salty Seas Expansion -  Collect the 7 Red Pirate Maps and stop the Pirate King in this island/pirate themed side chapter.  Find Crystal at Vigilant Port to begin sailing The Salty Seas…

A Midnight's Wander - New puzzle challenge secret chapter (Hint: can be completed before getting Eye)

New unlocks for open world mode and Salty Seas - Golden creature based powers to make some collectables challenges easier.

Credits/collectables rooms to view remaining collectables then warp to those areas to retrieve them. Also view the prototypes for potential areas/bosses.

Up to 54 Coins/21 Golden Creature/8 Other can be found in story mode.  The rest of the collectables are distributed in open world mode zones.  Suggested to make a 2nd save for open world mode after story mode.













Credits -
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)



Old/Other Tranquil Dreams Screenshots -
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

« Last Edit: May 31, 2023, 15:03:59 by Shreeps »

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Offline SC

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Re: Azure Serenity: Tranquil Dreams
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2019, 17:57:50 »
First things first... wow, this map is huge. I ran it through the KSMapSize tool and it told me that this level had over 100,000 screens. o_o

Second: when I played the level for myself, it had this weird color pallete filter and after several screens of walking left it took me to a screen where I had to choose between 'Story' and 'Free Roam'. Is there a difference between these two choices? If so, then why is that screen not at the beginning of the game? Also, did you choose that color pallete filter on purpose?

Third: When you say 'only the Prologue is complete,' what do you mean by this? Do you mean in terms of content or in terms of story?

Overall, though, this is a really impressive level. I might just have to stream it at some point. ;)

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Offline Shreeps

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Re: Azure Serenity: Tranquil Dreams
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2019, 15:10:09 »
I think there is closer to 3500-4000 but some are placed really far away. 
There are a lot of filtered zones including the one at the start but most of them are later.  Here is what it used to look like:

Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

Story is the normal mode while free roam marks all the chapter flags as completed and gives access to any power-ups.  In the original I used 2 files for these options for the map for people who just wanted to explore more non-linearly early on but now with this choice screen that is no longer necessary.  I just thought it would be cool to have that new intro section to help set the mood and change the original route.   

After making progress you will get to a point where you have to go to the Vigilant Docks to continue any further and this is the end of the prologue.  There you can pick Ch. 1-3 in any order but they are still being worked on.  The chapter gateways activate the completion flag however and so you can travel back easily. Some are prequisite to unlock the next.  To get to Ch. 5 and 7 you need to use the airport in Ch. 2 for example. he stages further in are less finished.  Ch 1, 2, 3, 8 are mostly laid out but missing detail.  4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and on are mostly positioned but incomplete and/or disconnected from the normally accessable areas.  The video and site shows off screens from all zones and you can access many from the collections/credits rooms teleporters. (Requires Eye from any ch.1-3)

Also updated with a link to the original classic version. :)  I'm trying to replace all the songs that would trigger copyright from youtube so just warning not all those songs are out yet.

I'm very excited to see how it will turn out and how much bigger this level will get.

I was wondering if there would be a way to go back to the main hub / world from the final stretch as I was unable to travel back. Unless it's another difference between normal and free roam mode.

Also, since you are talking about chapters, will they be triggered by having the required number of collectibles to go to a whole new area ?

I hope the bosses will be implemented as smoothly as you want it to be !

Good luck for the rest of the rework / expansion !

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Offline Shreeps

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I really enjoyed your playthrough of the original even though I can't speak French XD.

For the original there is a teleporter on the very last screen.  It's pretty hard to see though with the colors and timed nature of that section combined.  I Added an attachment of its exact spot.

The newest version has all the future hubs laid out but still late game zones are not made yet or may not be fully connected to a hub yet. I don’t recommend saving outside of the main hub in future/incomplete chapters in case something gets moved. 

These are not necessarily final and mostly only the chapter requirements are implemented but right now the planned requirements are:
Beat all Prologue bosses and 1 Gold Creature to enter any Chapter 1-3 by boat:
Chapter 1 (Uses Pirate Map Collectibles for access to 7 more new Islands),
Chapter 2 (Gives Computer Chip) or Chapter 3
Completion of any chapter 1, 2 or 3 gives the Eye and allows access to Chapter 4 from the High Dimensional Rift or 6 from Glass Botanical Tower computer.
Chapter 5 from airport requires completion of ALL 3 chapters 1, 2, 3 and 10 Gold Creatures!
Chapter 6 requires 1 Computer Chip from Ch 2 or Ch 5?. (Then 3-4 Computer Chips total to enter Incomprehensibly Consumed Future)
Chapter 7 from airport requires completion of ALL 3 chapters 4, 5, 6 and 20 Gold Creatures!
(Then uses Candle to access Transcendent Plane)
Chapter 8 via Lunar Hangar requires chapter 7 completion. (Uses Fuel Collectibles for access to new planets in 2nd half.  Sometimes multiple planets for 1 fuel.)
Chapter 9 via Immortal Xenogod hub Requires chapter 8 completion and Hologram purchased for undetermined amount of coins.
Chapter 10 via Labyrinth of Coalescence and Alternate Universes B, C and D access requires chapter 9 completion.
Universe 321 Requires 1 Alternate Universe Equation (Gives AU Equation)
Universe 6µ3%N^Q~E#ß Requires 2 Alternate Universe Equations (Gives AU Equation)
Discordant Anomaly Requires 4 Alternate Universe Equations (Gives AU Equation)
Materialized Megaverse Requires 5 Alternate Universe Equation (Gives Dragon Scale)
Anti-matter Aberration Requires 6 Alternate Universe Equation (Gives Dragon Scale)
Alt.sim.exe online requires Computer Chips (From Universe C and 6µ3%N )(Gives AU Equation)
1 Dragon Scale to access Twilight Singularity (From Draconic Dominion) (Gives Dragon Scale)
Chapter 10 completion to access Anxious Anachronism (Gives Candle)
3 Candles to access Primordial Godrealm (From Pureland, Trans. Plane and Anxious Anach.)
7 Candles to access Unsustained Cosmogony (From Godrealm)
Vicarious Prototype requires 7 Alternate Universe Equations (From Universes B, C, D, 321, 6µ3%N^Q~E#ß, Discordant Anomaly, and alt.sim.exe online)
Hyperreal Hyperverse requires 5 Dragon Scale


Then 7 Dragon Scale for whatever is left.   There is a leftover collectible 7 Soul which may come after or I might use them for one of the later chapters like Ch.7 and/or 9.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 12:12:54 by Shreeps »

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Offline ixMarcel

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Whoa, Azure Serenity got DLC?

I'd never expect that to happen. Amazing!
I'm going to sink my teeth into this

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Offline trilby93

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Nightmare
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2019, 01:38:48 »
Hey! Haven’t posted in ages here haha.

Anyway I was enjoying this level but I seem to have gotten stuck in the nightmare house! Do I need the blue and purple keys to leave?

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Offline Shreeps

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That is an in progress zone that won't be done until between Ch. 3-4.   I didn't mean to let players get stuck or save there, oops.   I've updated it so you should always be able to escape that area.

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Offline trilby93

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Ahhh thank you! I’m not back to exploring! Much appreciated:)

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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First things first... wow, this map is huge. I ran it through the KSMapSize tool and it told me that this level had over 100,000 screens. o_o

That's... weird. I know there's a bug in the KS editor that sometimes causes the Map.bin file to contain a lot of filler data, and this results in an abnormally big screen count when using my tool or KSLC. It doesn't seem to be the case here, though (I get a total count of 7032 screens). Maybe you ran the tool on the .knytt.bin file, instead of the Map.bin file inside the level folder...?

To be honest, I'd probably think the program was broken if I saw a total count of 7000+ and I didn't already know that's the correct amount :whoa:   This is a really ambitious project. Best of luck with this!
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline SC

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Maybe you ran the tool on the .knytt.bin file, instead of the Map.bin file inside the level folder...?

Oh. Yeah, that's uh. Probably what happened. Oops. >_>

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Offline Shreeps

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Dec 31st 2022
First post updated and 5 New Things:

1. The Machine (Azure Edition) - A reskin of The Machine using remixes from Azure Serenity.
2. Azure Serenity: Vanilla Lite - An old short version of Azure Serenity using just the original areas.
3. Azure Serenity: Tranquil Dreams - Update/revamp to most zones including 53 new songs.
4. The Salty Seas Expansion -  An island/pirate themed side chapter.
5. A Midnight's Wander - New puzzle challenge secret chapter

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Offline kilicool64

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I don't know if you're interested in fixing bugs in Vanilla Lite, considering that level is flawed by design. But if you are, you can reach two void screens by jumping off of this platform. If this oversight existed in the actual prototypes of Azure Serenity, I guess it can stay for historic reasons.

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Offline kilicool64

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So I finished most of what this level has to offer at the moment, not counting the incomplete chapters. I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with it.

In many ways, this is an extremely impressive effort. I recently played the original Azure Serenity and thought it was decent, but it definitely favored quantity over quality. This remake rectifies that quite effectively, with its hub retaining most of the original areas, but giving them far more polish, in addition to various new locations. There are a few spots here and there that I thought were still a bit underdeveloped, but for the most part, the level's world is far more memorable now, thanks to it looking a lot better and giving you more to do. It's no longer just a quick sightseeing trip through tons of different locations. It sounds quite nice as well. I wasn't the biggest fan of most of the Freeplay music, so I mostly prefer the replacements or at least found them equal in quality, though there were a few that were kind of weak.

The concept of individual chapters is also fascinating. With only one of them properly implemented so far, it doesn't really work at the moment, but if this level gets finished, it could make for a really interesting experience to alternate exploration of the massive hub with occasional adventures into entirely new places. The magic spells are also intriguing. Again, with only one of them available at the moment, this concept doesn't really work currently, but being rewarded for completing chapters with the ability to occasionally make certain challenges easier sounds like an interesting way to implement long term progression.

But in terms of difficulty, this level is clearly aimed at more skilled players than myself. It's certainly harder than Gustav's Retribution. I don't really mind there being a constant element of danger, as it helps ensure that you can't just quickly walk past locations without anything really happening in them. And there were some occasional challenges that were tough but gave me the feeling that I could master them (for instance, I was handling the early parts of Shreep's Fungeon pretty well). But a lot of them were quite frustrating for me. There are some serious difficulty spikes from time to time that truly drove me insane.

The hardest individual challenge I encountered was probably the final phase of the Silver Priestess battle. The only solution I managed to find was to glide through two of the fakes from the top and then try to hit the real Silver Priestess. I couldn't really find any way to intentionally dodge the side shooters, especially since I needed to be extremely quick to pull it off before the flames were shot again. So it was largely just a matter of waiting for the perfect RNG. But the area I struggled with the most overall may have been Crystal's Maze. It wasn't too hard to reach Crystal, but I completely lost my way on the return trip and was forced to endlessly walk through the maze at random and waste a lot of effort overcoming challenges that proved unnecessary before I finally managed to somehow get out of there again.

As for other bits of feedback, while this isn't as much of an issue as in the original, there are still some overly bright or dark areas that suffer from poor visibility. Chapter 1's finale in particular was a real eye strain at times. I spent a long time trying to climb up the wall in the hope of finding something up there. I'm not sure if you actually can go all the way up before defeating the Silver Priestess, but if it's possible, I certainly didn't manage, as the tiles at the top were virtually invisible.

Also, there are still some voidscreens (or should I say whitescreens). The vast majority are the result of many places not being quite umbrella-proof. They're usually harmless, but I found two instances that actually let me go out of bounds (one of them was in the space area near the top of the hub). And two of the map cutscenes from the level previews are broken and send you to a whitescreen (I believe one of them was in Cinder Ravine's preview). I had to edit my save to get out of there.

Furthermore, this is a pet peeve of mine, but in levels that give you the map powerup, I like to completely fill out the map to make sure I've seen everything. The original had many screens that were impossible to mark, either because entering them resulted in certain death or because they were unreachable. The remake seems to have intentionally made some design changes to make it possible to survive various screens that previously killed you, but there are still plenty of unsurvivable ones, especially in Chapter 1, and a few unreachable ones. It can hinder the process of backtracking through old areas for the sake of cleaning them up, since I often can't remember if unmarked screens are actually places I missed or if they simply can't be marked. If you have any interest in rectifying this, I can share my save file. I was pretty thorough in filling out the map, so most of the screens that are left should be unmarkable.

Also, it wasn't a good idea to have the boss at the bottom of the ocean award you a golden creature. Since those have no flags, the level can't remember that it got defeated. What's more, the route to this boss has multiple obstacles that make it impossible to manually backtrack out of there, so if you return there, your only way out is through a rematch.

Finally, the only piece of fully implemented content I have yet to complete is A Midnight's Wander. It's an interesting idea that's a nice change of pace, but I can't say I like the execution.

Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

Until someone can explain what I'm doing wrong, I'm completely stuck here.

Despite my best efforts, it seems I once again ended up writing a lot more about what I didn't like. I hope this doesn't come off as more negative than I intended. I still really enjoyed the core concept of this level and I'm very much looking forward to seeing more progress. If this level ever gets finished, it's going to be an insane achievement that really pushes KS to its limits. It's just a bit too hardcore for me to really fall in love with it.

Edit: Just a quick note, since I saw you do sub-optimal umbrella gliding in your playthrough of Gustav's Retribution. You can glide further by holding S. It's effective enough to traverse just as many empty screens horizontally as vertically. If you actually didn't know about that, then that explains some of the whitescreens I found here.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2023, 11:22:50 by kilicool64 »

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Offline pacifishi

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Kilicool64 inspired me to (re)play this level in another thread so here's my thoughts:

I selected the option to start at the newest content (i.e. the apocalypse guild / pirate themed hub) so my review only pertains to that.

There's many aspects of this level that reappear in Gustav's Retribution and it's cool to see the similarities!

I'll always proclaim my love for levels that use the KS+ minimap, so thank you for including that. Likewise, the sub-level maps that can be found were very helpful, though finding and remembering the screens with the maps was occasionally a struggle. Two big roadblocks for me were 1) finding a coin for the wizard's spell and 2) finding the 6th(?) map, both leading to a LOT of back tracking.  (The hub info center in GR was a big improvement on this).

I'd rate the boss fights at a very-hard/lunatic-at-times level. With the sheer amount of random projectile enemies, it often felt very luck dependent. The levels themselves were engaging and I didn't feel like they were padded out just to increase the size.

I wasn't as big of a fan of the keys (mostly having to remember which subworld I saw the key doors in for future use). I ended up stopping after getting the red key. I never did figure out what those scrolls were (that say "you don't have the required rank") but these might not yet be implemented?

Ditto what Kilicool64 said about some screens being impossible to mark. Seeing those unmarked screens in edges of the minimap made it tough to know if I truly completed the areas. 

Overall I really enjoyed this, and like I said, Gustav's Retribution took many of these ideas and made them better.