Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fantasy Smash Bros.: Game & Watch Land

It's not just characters who will be showing up in my Fantasy Smash Bros. events! Here's the first of hopefully many stages that I will/have craft/ed up in the coming months. 

This lovely little monster I like to call: Game & Watch Land. It's inspired by the Game & Watch Gallery series and its modern take on some of Nintendo's earliest titles. This stage was particularly crafted with Game & Watch Gallery 4 in mind. I wasn't able to fit in everything I wanted to, but I feel that the number of platforms and size of the stage itself make up for the lack of added gimmicks.


Originally I had intended to include animatronic Mario characters who would play out their role from the designated titles, but as I started to build the stage I realized that wasn't going to work. Which is unfortunate, because I really like the idea.

The primary influences are the Donkey Kong and Octopus minigames, but the stage also carries elements from Fire Attack, Donkey Kong 3, and Donkey Kong JR. These come together in the three separate "regions" displayed on the stage itself: jungle, sea, and construction. There's also a little bit of a sky region, but not a whole lot.

The vines and ladders can be climbed up by characters, although jumping is probably quicker. The pair of cloud platforms at the top of the stage act very similarly to the ones in the Yoshi Story stage, disappearing when used for too long. Both of the red pipes on the mechanical platform are operational, so players can use them for a quick escape should the need arise. The red tube in the jungle area isn't usable by players, but goombas will occasionally climb out of it and march along the platform, not posing much of a threat.

The main focus, and thing to avoid, here is the Octopus. That little tugboat on the surface of the water chugs along between the two land areas and acts as the only thing stopping players from taking a dip with doom. Once beneath the ocean waves, players move more slowly, but also jump higher. Unfortunately, they're at the mercy of the Octopus, who will reach out with his mighty tentacles to ensnare careless players. If they're even more unfortunate, he'll catapult them right off the reef and into the murky, blue abyss.

I just wanna play tea party!
Other than the Octopus, there isn't a whole lot here that can hurt players, and the level design has a lot to offer virtually all of the character types. There's a fair bit of straight space for larger characters like Bowser to play around in, and platforms the fight-and-flight types like Pit to escape to. There's also enough obstructions that lighter characters should bounce around a bit and last a little longer than on some of the more vacant stages. Like Smashville and Final Destination, most characters should feel right at home in Game & Watch Land!

THE MUSIC

Of course part of a stage's charm is the music! Here's five songs I think probably work best.


Game & Watch Gallery 4's Boxing is probably the closest we're going to get to an official Mario fighter. While the music doesn't exactly get the blood rushing, it's not a terrible song for the stage, and being a fighter of sorts, I thought it would be appropriate.


A short, crazy tune that borders on being a jingle, the second background to the Rain Shower game is fast paced and fitting for frantic battles. This is the kind of song you'd play with the items turned all the way up.


Of course the Octopus is the main focus of the stage, so it wouldn't do to leave out the big guy's anthem.


This is a cool remix of the background music from Fire, done by M3L33MAST3R. The original version of the song was featured in Brawl's Flat Zone 2 stage, but this remix is a lot more Smash friendly. It also helps that Fire is one of the most recognizable Game & Watch titles.


Wrapping things up is this remix from the Mario vs Donkey Kong series, which isn't all that indifferent from Game & Watch and other arcade styled Mario games. This remix is nice and chill, for those who just want to kick back with some friends for some calming knock-outs.

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