Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]

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Offline Talps

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Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« on: March 09, 2021, 02:18:59 »
I recall a grey warren of silent people, thinking of cold and shadow



Click here to download Petals II

Nine years, eleven months and nine days ago (yes, you're ooooold!), I released my first non-epic-length KS level, 'Petals of a Dying Flower'.

Later I had the idea of rebuilding part of that level with more complex graphics and colours and adding it to a rerelease of the level as a secret bonus. That idea turned into a full recreation of the level, and this is the result. You can decide if it's a sequel or a remake.

Petals II retells the story of a knytt woman setting out from her home in search of something more.

A special mention to Vegetal Gibber who helped me make this level look as lovely as it does, and for coming up with the idea of giving a knytt a lantern to carry her through the dark.

Hope you have fun!

« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 02:22:04 by Talps »

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Offline Polana

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Re: Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2021, 22:10:51 »
Wow, just finished.
When I started playing, I was not very fond of the graphics of the first part and longed for the minimalistic style of first Petals, but I soon started liking it. That blue castle and underground garden are superb. 9/10 would play again.
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

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Offline Purple Ink

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Re: Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2021, 00:38:03 »
Absolutely amazing level, Talps. Awesome graphics, fantastic music, great challenges, sweet COs, and intriguing story. This is definitely your best level so far! :D I really enjoyed that some original screens from the first Petals reappeared here. Really nice to see those challenges again with a fresh coat of paint. The secrets were great too. This level is just about perfect. I have one complaint but I'll spoiler it to not ruin a section of the level for others. So don't read it if you haven't played yet. Or do. I'm not your mom.

Spoiler: Complaint (click to show/hide)

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Offline Talps

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Re: Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2021, 01:24:52 »
Glad you both enjoyed. :)

I'm curious as to which secrets you found, Purple Ink. :P

Spoiler: Polana (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Purple Ink (click to show/hide)

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Offline Purple Ink

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Re: Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2021, 01:43:54 »
I don't know what secrets I found because I don't know how many there are in total. :crazy:

Spoiler: complaint stuff (click to show/hide)

Re: Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2021, 10:39:40 »
I found 2 artifacts (and I now where the 3rd) and 1 golden creature (how many are there?). Good level. Thank you, Talps.

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Offline GrayFace

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Re: Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2021, 14:03:37 »
Great level! As beautiful as it is, some of its problems I'd say are serious. Here are problems I've encountered:
1) You can't explore. That is, you always get blocked by an autosave cutscene or a spiky enemy. You have to guess right which routes won't lead to story progress and manage to always choose them if you want all the secrets. Also, I always get an uneasy feeling when levels have this problem.
2) Getting extremely shortsighted with darkness for a long time. Being so shortsighted doesn't feel good.
These two are the big ones for me, they contribute to 3:
3) Felt monotonous over the course of dark areas despite certain changes in visuals until I get to the last area (before regular ending).
4) Luck-based dark spiders are kinda annoying when you are short-sighted. You can't avoid them meaningfully with all the shirt-sighting darkness and dark background.
I got 3 artifacts on 1st playthrough. Gonna do 2nd.

2nd playthrough: found all I could - 5 artifacts, but only 4 goldens. So, had to cheat a little to get the secret ending. Also used level editor to find how to get the hologram of the last area of the level.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2021, 17:40:53 by GrayFace »

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Offline pfrangip

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Re: Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2021, 20:32:31 »
This is a great level. It was a lot more challenging than I expected! And there was a TON to do! I only found I think two collectibles and two golden creatures. I plan to replay with an eye for exploration.

Spoiler: Ellaboration (click to show/hide)

All in all, I think the original PoaDF will always hold a special place in my heart, and I think both excel at different things.

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Offline Polana

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Re: Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2021, 00:43:10 »
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

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Offline Purple Ink

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Re: Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2021, 02:18:22 »
As I'm replaying it I find myself agreeing with pfrangip. There are a lot of enemies and things. Is it too many? Who's to say but it can distract from the scenery, especially on a second playthrough.

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Offline Comhon

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Re: Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2021, 17:24:43 »
I haven't played the original Petals, so fortunately I don't have to compare it. I loved the mushroom caves part the most, so visually appealing! And the music! The enemies bothered me a bit, but it was the most beautiful area I recently visited in Knytt Stories. I reminded me the feelings having playing the start area of Frozen Mountain 2. When I came back into the plain dark, I felt was very sad this area was over.

I might need an another playthrough, since I did not find all the collectibles. And in the end I was a bit lost in the puzzle, but that was probably issue on my side. Since I wanted to enjoy the level, even if it was hard for me, I splitted the playthrough into a few days - and somehow missed the level exit after finding the last powerup and started backtracking. I thought it would not be a nice experience, but the atmosphere got me again and it completely stopped bothering me. Additionaly I was able to find a few secret locations I completely missed before.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2021, 12:21:15 by Comhon »

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Offline Purple Ink

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Re: Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2021, 05:42:55 »
Finally done my second playthrough. :D I'm pretty sure I found everything.

Spoiler: secret stuff (click to show/hide)

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Offline Mitorun

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Re: Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2021, 14:48:34 »
The first level was memorable and atmospheric. The second one complements and reveals it well. Perhaps I will add both to the list of selected levels of "KS". Now, still in the process of the game, I wanted to write that I found the "void" on the screen "x1005x971" (when you play it again, you can jump to the screen above)

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Offline SC

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Re: Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2021, 00:26:34 »
Well, I finally completed this level start to finish (and to other finish), so I think it's about time I give my two cents on this level: it's good. It's really, really, good.

Petals II is a nice-looking, yet challenging level that definitely lives up to its predecessor. (Although to be honest, I hadn't even played Petals I until a few weeks ago when the new patch for it dropped. Despite being in the KS community since around 2011, it must have missed my radar somehow.)

I can tell there was quite a bit of time and care put into each of the areas, both graphics-wise and challenge-wise. I feel this level's difficulty toes the line between Hard and Very Hard, and while I was able to complete it all the way through, I won't lie and I'll say that there were quite a few screens that gave me some trouble the first few times around. It's a beast of a level, but if you're an experienced KS player (or platformer fan in general), it is definitely worth playing.

Spoiler: Secrets!!!!! (click to show/hide)

All in all, this level proves that Talps has still got it. I will be adding this level to Juniverse as soon as I can!  :^^:

EDIT: Forgot to mention, but I actually quite liked the chase section/"hive", as it were. Quite challenging, but quite fun, imo. Keeps ya on your toes. :P
« Last Edit: March 29, 2021, 02:09:29 by SC »

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Offline Talps

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Re: Petals II [KS+ Hard/Large/Scenic]
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2021, 02:08:00 »
Thanks for your feedback, all. I can see that this level is proving a bit divisive, with some who loved it and others, less so. I took some risks with the design and tried to evoke certain feelings for the player; it sounds like that for some people I really hit the mark, and for others I missed it wildly. but I appreciate all of you playing my level and taking the time to let me know your thoughts!

I wasn't sure if I should rank this as Hard or Very Hard. I probably ought to have gone with the latter; this was originally designed to be hidden content in PoaDF so when I started planning and working on it, I was happy to set the difficulty bar a bit higher than is usual for me.

A couple of lessons I will take forward:
  • I often find it frustrating in games when you are struggling to find the correct way forward and end up stumbling into a secret area (or even a glitch) instead. In particular the way the Ruins were based on PoaDF, but explored in a different way, caused this problem for people, and I recognise I got the balance a bit wrong at times.
  • In retrospect the final area seems to confuse people, maybe just because it's a bit out of character with the rest of the level. Having made it from a map, I can safely say it is much easier with a map! One of those designer-knowledge-versus-player-knowledge things.
  • After Eurydice I did promise no more invisible mazes. I don't think I quite broke that promise. :P I wanted to create an atmosphere of tension in the Hive, to try and create an actual sense of threat and maybe even some fear. It was an experiment, and a risky one. And a bit of a genre-skip from the usual KS fare.
I agree that the atmosphere drifted a long way from that of PoaDF. And this probably does stand better when not considered from the shadow of the original. The arty minimalism was a big part of the original, letting the player project their own imagination into the level. Petals II is more defined and grounded. Playing the original, I get a feeling of things... opening out as you explore each area, like a cone starting narrow at the bottom and getting wider as you come closer to the surface. I don't get the same sensation from this, maybe due in part to the stronger difficulty curve.


And 'cus some people have asked, here are some hints about secrets. I'd recommend not looking at these unless you're really stuck (or really can't be bothered to figure it all out).
Spoiler: Clues to secrets (click to show/hide)

Greyface, given you've found the secret end, you probably realise now why exploration was limited in places.

Pfrangip, fact of debatable interest: I can actually tell you precisely when my design style became much busier; it was after crossing the bridge and going through the small cave in I Chased the Moon. The screens beyond that cave are a lot more kinetic than the screens before it, and that's been my pattern ever since. Also, I can usually get past the dark dragon in the Hive in one or two attempts. If it had killed me more I probably would have removed it; one of us got extremes of luck.

Polana, naah, just sounded like you were making a joke. :)

Mitorun, eugh, there's always one you miss! That'll be fixed if I release another version. Glad you enjoyed.

Congrats to everyone who uncovered all the secrets (even if you did have to do some dirty rotten cheatin' :P). This community is brilliant and wonderful, and I hope I can keep sharing brilliant and wonderful creations with you all. 8)
« Last Edit: March 29, 2021, 02:14:45 by Talps »