[Reusable] Mystic Realm v.4.6 (scr_mysticrealm.wad)

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Ice

Pretty chill guy
CL4WIgDr.png


So um, are the floors of Starlight Palace Zone supposed to be the orange version of this texture? (And yes, I lost all my rings immediately after this screenshot was taken)
 

MR L

Member
It is fun however the main issue would probably be the exploration in the 1st zone. Many people see a 1st zone as a tutorial or a start to the game but in Mystic Realm its very difficult to find even the finish (which I have beaten the final boss no damage on my second try). I would recommend maybe making the 1st zone thinner. However the rest of it has aged quite well
 
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Mario A. Roach

¡Reremy
It is fun however the main issue would probably be the exploration in the 1st zone. Many people see a 1st zone as a tutorial or a start to the game but in Mystic Realm its very difficult to find even the finish (which I have beaten the final boss no damage on my second try). I would recommend maybe making the 1st zone thinner. However the rest of it has aged quite well

It doesn't come to hard if you see it as an expansion to the old game, it really does a good job imagining if SRB2 had other stages 'cause most of the maps are stylized as if they were from the actual game; even some of them are in the actual game!
My point is: You don't need a tutorial if you already played SRB2, this follows the same rules as the main game; not adding new gimmick but following the games as it seems to add new stages.
 

Ice

Pretty chill guy
I did always find it kinda odd that the first level leads you to a pool where, if you're like me, you assume the rest of the level is beyond the tunnel under the water. Then you get confused looking for the exit down there and very probably drown. I know it happened to me the first few times I played Mystic Realm, and even sometimes when I came back to Mystic Realm after a while of not playing it.
 

Mystic

Member
Mystic Realm is really dated level design, so some of the stages have some definite issues with getting lost. Probably the worst is Jade Coast 2 having that spring that leads to a life box directly over the starting area, and if you fall you have to redo basically the entire stage.

I may correct some of the most awful parts someday, but the pack was designed with the intent that it assumes you're just going to explore and figure it out when you get lost, because we all know it's going to happen occasionally.
 

Rumia1

Backseat Developer
I must admit that Mystic Realm is one of my least favorite map packs due to how utterly annoying it is at how lost you can get and how often it happened as a first time player, but that doesn't mean there aren't still some cool ideas in here.

I would love to see a remade version someday that not only fixes the poor design choices, but also updates it to modern standards using slopes and whatnot and seeing what you've learned after all this time. I know that's a huge undertaking especially considering what other work you have but I do think it would truly be spectacular to see.

If you were to do anything with this I would reccomend removing pain water from all portions of the pack, it's just such a bad mechanic to begin with...
 

Mystic

Member
While it would be neat to properly update it, I think at a certain point this is level design from 15 years ago and it shows it in a lot of ways, so that effort would be far better spent on making new content instead. The overuse of pain water is a practical reality of how few features SRB2 had at the time to differentiate stages from each other, and back then I tried to come up with different ways to punish the player in each stage. This is why painful liquids and death pits are so prevalent, and of course heavy enemy usage throughout.

While I certainly won't excuse Midnight Freeze's stupid use of pain on what looks like ordinary water, or Nitric Citadel's literal death pit liquid (which was the worst idea in the entire package), I think it's not surprising that some mechanics got used so much when my toolset was so small, and overall I think I did a decent job of providing as much variety as I could given my limitations at the time. It's just a shame a few of my ideas worked out so badly in hindsight.
 

glaber

Emblem Radar Ready
if you won't excuese it for Midnight Freeze, then I will. It's frozen water, what were we suppose to expect in a snow stage?
 

Rumia1

Backseat Developer
Umm, non-painful water, like literally every official Sonic title ever. Getting out of water in time for a countdown when you have no air bubbles is a good enough motivator and scary enough as is, adding a constant need to collect rings after you're knocked back in the hurt animation in addition to NEEDING air bubbles is just over the top. When you're good enough at the stage, you should be able to breeze through sections like these. Instead, at any skill level, you're asking the player to have rings in the first place, jump in the water, get MORE rings quick enough so you don't die, and then run towards an air source because in the time it took you to find more rings you've been drowning this whole time.
 

Mystic

Member
It's frozen water, what were we suppose to expect in a snow stage?
Obviously it should behave in a manner that everyone expects the same result. It doesn't.

One of the core problems with Mystic Realm overall is that there's no consistency to how hazards behave. It's impossible to tell whether or not something will hurt you until you touch it. For instance, Mudhole Karst features mud that hurts you for some reason, but Verdant Forest features dirty, brown water that doesn't hurt you. One of the key things of a good design is that players will inherently just know that something is bad and they shouldn't touch it. Mystic Realm fails this pretty utterly and completely.

Now, I'm not saying that the design here was inherently flawed from the start. I'm saying that if something was going to hurt you, it should be clearly bad to touch. Lava is the best example of an obviously bad hazard, but spikes, brightly-colored slime, crushers, and bottomless pits are other good examples. Nobody is going to touch any of those and be surprised when bad things happen to them. If I was going to properly correct Mystic Realm, then these issues would be the front and center problems that need to be addressed.
 

Ezer'Arch

ArchPack is out
For instance, Mudhole Karst features mud that hurts you for some reason,
Too transparent, it looks like dirty water rather than mud. After getting hurt a few times and not figuring out what was that, I used to think it was some sort of hot or boiling water, but the GFZ-esque scenery doesn't match.
 
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Mystic

Member
Nah, just supposed to be mud. Oddly transparent, and even more oddly painful, dealing non-elemental damage that triggers the instant you touch it, to boot.

I remember someone recently asked about development history and I didn't remember much, so it might be interesting to dig through old documentation and talk about it, as somebody might find it interesting. Basically the emerald stages were a super late addition and were made super quick. 4.0 didn't even feature Starlight Palace and just had a placeholder room for it. Hence, a lot of the ideas in those stages were really mediocre and undercooked. Some of them actually turned out pretty neat despite that, but Mudhole Karst is a perfect example of just a bad idea being badly implemented.
 

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