November/December 2012 voting

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Prime 2.0

Welcome to the (belated) November/December 2012 SRB2 Official Level Design Contest voting topic! In this contest we have six single player, five match, and three capture the flag entries.

The voting rules have changed, so please read the entire post first!

To vote, play a few games of each stage in a division in the intended gametype for judging, and create a list for each gametype you are voting for arranging the maps in the division from best to worst, with no ties. You are free to vote on your own maps, and may place it at the top of your lists as incentive to vote in the contest. For votes to count, the voter must include every map in a division in their list for that division, including their own if they have one. Votes where the voter obviously did not play the level in its intended gametype, or where the voter did not play the multiplayer maps with other real players will be discarded. Please be as unbiased as possible for the author or the look of the map. It's all about how good the map plays, nothing else.

Although it's not required for votes to count, it's very helpful to make comments about what you liked and didn't like about the map, so the author can improve his skill for future attempts. If your votes are dramatically different from the rest and you don't describe why, you may be asked to justify your reasoning. However, for ease of counting please separate your comments from the list you used to cast your votes.

Judging will end February 15, 2013 at 7 PM local time in the Eastern time zone of the United States. Like the entry deadline, this counts the United States's daylight savings time between March and November. Votes submitted after this time by the forum timestamp will NOT be counted in the tally, so if you want to be counted, don't vote at the last minute. After the deadline, the scores will be tallied as follows:

For each vote, the map ranked first gets n-1 points, where n is the number of maps in the division. Second place gets n-2 points, third gets n-3, all the way down to n-n (zero) points for last. Each vote's points are added together to create that map's final score, and the map with the highest score wins the division!

For a more in-depth explanation of the new voting rules, feel free to read Mystic's original announcement on the change.

The entries are as follows:


Mad Gadget Zone by Simsmagic & Kyasarin
Eggslimer Battle Zone by Boinciel & Prime 2.0
Fire Castle Zone by Profesor Oak
Gleaming Caverns Zone by 742mph
Neo Canyon Zone by Chrome
Thawing Icecap Zone by Scooby Doo


Angel Lava Zone by Ariel & Eva
Generic Canyon Zone by Sryder13
Match Meadow Zone by Chrome
Refrigerator Zone by Zipper
Volcano Valley Zone by CoatRack

Capture the Flag

Mine Maze Zone by Spherallic & CoatRack
Mount Revolvius Zone by Eblo
Final Destination Zone by Scizor300 & Kyasarin


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footure semen
And the votes commence...

1. Neo Canyon Zone by Chrome
Visually pleasing, not stupidly difficult, and more content than what the rest of the division has.
2. Mad Gadget Zone by Simsmagic & Kyasarin
Visually pleasing and fairly difficult. Uses gimmicks not often seen but lacks any sort of further content.
3. Thawing Icecap Zone by Scooby Doo
Not awfully ugly, a fair amount of challenge, but too big, too empty, and I dislike having to fight with the controls because an entire section of the map is thin paths of ice over death pits. Also no Thok barrier.
4. Fire Castle Zone by Profesor Oak
Looks like the average 1.09.4 map and plays like one too.
5. Eggslimer Battle Zone by Boinciel
Not particularly fun, but looks alright.
6. Gleaming JOLLY RANCHER Caverns Zone by 742mph
Visual errors ahoy, absolutely awful enemy placement, and nigh unfair level design at times.

1. Generic Canyon Zone by Sryder13
Not confusing, not terribly open, fairly basic
2. Volcano Valley Zone by CoatRack
Visually pleasing but occasionally confusing
3. Match Meadow Zone by Chrome
Fairly large and I'm pretty much sick of anything GFZ nowadays
4. Refridgerator Zone by Zipper
Gigantic and empty
5. Angel Lava Zone by Ariel & Eva
You tried

1. Final Destination by Scizor300 & Kyasarin
No weapons, Sonic only, Final Destination.
(also getting good at spring-thokking is invaluable here)
2. Mine Maze Zone by Spherallic & CoatRack
Felt really large, even for a 4v4 game
3. Mount Revolvius Zone by Eblo
lol eblo did you even try

I'll probably end up adding more to the comments later.
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Prime 2.0

Due to an error in the original compilation, the multiplayer pack has been re-uploaded. Anyone who downloaded the pack prior to this post should download the new version to ensure consistency with other players.


Probably Responsible

Toxic Plateau > Mad Gadget > Neo Canyon > Gleaming Caverns > Eggslimer Battle > Fire Castle > Thawing Icecap

...I miss the old rating system already. Nothing in this SP division would have gotten over a 5.

Mad Gadget uses but then throws away its gimmicks before fleshing them out, Neo Canyon is easy to get lost in if you take the lower path and is obviously too short, Gleaming Caverns is basically bootleg Radient Caverns only more boring (though at least the 2D segments arn't terrible), Eggslimer Battle feels less like a challenge and more like every attempt at taking down the Egg Slimer's one weakness without even trying to be fun, and both Thawing Iceap and Fire Castle all have too many enemies and hazards, but Thawing Icecap has even MORE of both and is nigh impossible to navigate. Toxic Plateau shined above the rest, however. Mainly because it didn't show up. It had the decency not to be in the contest in the first place!

I could make longer reviews of these, but its midnight over here and I don't really want to do these maps multiple times. At least not alone.
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Internet Explorer

When we're thinking, these new rules were supposed to be for July/August 2012, but it's funny to see they finally accessed to a contest more than one year later. This year after the last contest spent really fast... I didn't even noticed it~

Other than that, I'll keep this post for my future review of the maps, and edit it this week, I may have some time. It looks pretty average, in general, according to the first reviews above~ EDIT : I added my reviews :

Mine Maze Zone, Spherallic & CoatRack > Final Destination Zone, Scizor300 & Kyasarin > Mount Revolvius Zone, Eblo

Volcano Valley Zone, CoatRack > Match Meadow Zone, Chrome > Generic Canyon Zone, Sryder13 > Refrigerator Zone, Zipper > Angel Lava Zone, Ariel, Eva

Single Player
Gleaming Caverns Zone, 742mph > Thawing Icecap Zone, Scooby Doo > Mad Gadget Zone, Simsmagic & Kyasarin > Neo Canyon Zone, Chrome > Fire Castle Zone, Profesor Oak > Eggslimer Battle Zone, Boinciel, Prime 2.0

I still liked the old rating system, so you can also have my marks. And I'll also use half and quarters points since I don't need to follow the old rules saying "only full numbers", since numerical marks aren't counted anymore in the vote. I'm still using my personal notation :
Gameplay /5
Visuals /3
General fun /2

Aaaand reviews below.
Capture The Flag :

There is no photo, this division includes three degrees of map quality.

Mine Maze Zone, Spherallic & CoatRack : 8/10
Gameplay 3.5/5
Visuals 3/3
General fun 1.5/2
After some visitits around, I felt like being in a kind of palace. It looks like a mine where humans would work, if you ask me.
I'm not going to split your hairs about decoration, visual and stuff, my computer's oldness proved that you're good at that. Through, the map is far too big... searching for a first weapon was something, and so is finding the trail between the bases. But there is a lot of work, so I'll be benevolent. Fighting around seems possible, the sectors are even well balanced, well-built.

Final Destination Zone, Scizor300 & Kyasarin : 3.5/10
Gameplay 2/5
Visuals 1.5/3
General fun 0/2
I'm not a SSBB fan, more like MKWii, but it's a level from this game, if I remember correctly... some kind of medium Nimbus Ruins ?
The ring disposition could randomize a bit, come on. Also, I noticed some springs that don't even give enough height to access higher platforms, one of these springs was situated near to the bases, toward a hiiigh platform.
Through, I heard that Kyasarin helped in a better SP map, so I guess I'll enjoy this Mad Gadget.

Mount Revolvius Zone, Eblo : 1/10
Gameplay 0/5
Visuals 1/3
General fun 0/2
Ah, too bad... it looked great when I spawned the first time, and thought it was going to be a jump-fight around a mountain, this idea was interesting... but I'm not going to risk my player's life with bombs and stuff over a giant deathpit, with raising platforms that lead nowhere.

Match :

Quite "okay..." in general. Quite.

Volcano Valley Zone, CoatRack : 7/10
Gameplay 3.5/5
Visuals 2.5/3
General fun 1/2
If Zipper wouldn't have told me it was from Sonic 3D Blast, I'd get confused by this floor texture. Silly me, of course it's from Sonic 3D Blast...
On the fire-based type level, similar to this narrow lava official match (Infernal Cavern if I'm not wrong), it sure follows, but is a little monotonous. It's like, somehow, what I expected. Through, it highly remember me of a Kart stage... I don't remember which one, but I find it very similar.

Match Meadow Zone, Chrome : 5.5/10
Gameplay 2.5/5
Visuals 1/3
General fun 2/2
Hmm-hmm. Actually, if Meadow Jade Match Valley Act 1 would have existed, this would be the Act 2. It reflects some situations taken from both of these levels, with some personal ideas, like the bridge somewhere. In my opinion.
Obviously a little basic, and flat, and boring, and simple, and not-enough-worked-on, and annoying, and hard-to-play-with-sonic, and previsible, and... but, well, I kinda like it a little.

Generic Canyon Zone, Sryder13 : 4.75/10
Gameplay 2.25/5
Visuals 2/3
General fun 0.5/2
Very generic indeed, as most of the Canyon forms are included. Also, I liked to try taking this Scatter Ring Pannel, its position makes it fun to take. We should have more of this.
Through, I noticed too much ring boxes on the second small island near to the automatic ring pannel.
I love the sweet blue colour of the small river on the middle of the map. Splash, splash.

Refrigerator Zone, Zipper : 3/10
Gameplay 1/5
Visuals 1/3
General fun 1/2
Well Zippy this barely looks to a refrigerator~ There are one, or two dark blue rooms, but that's it. Obviously a great name you used to call this desertic rocky mystic building. Talking about mystic, don't make the raising/lowing platform going too fast : I tried spindashing on them, I finished under the platform when this one was raising. Some doom bug or something, I guess. And also, obviously...MAKE THE STUFF AVAILABLE FOR EVERYONE :I, for Grenade Man's sake. I mean how can a Sonic player access easily the Explosive ring ?
(Also, your automatic ring pannel took some day off and digged itself into the ground. Ha hah~~)

Angel Lava Zone, Ariel, Eva : -0/10
Gameplay 0/5
Visuals 0/3
General fun 0/2
"Unplayable or un-playable", the old rating system disapeared so I can call this unplayable on my way. Since the judges are supposed to give helping advice, here's one : don't submit a map if you don't even want to do it for the main purpose, If you know what I mean.

Single Player :
The best part of the contest displays some originalities here and there. I actually enjoyed a lot this SP division, each map without exception, even those at or below 5.

Mad Gadget Zone, Simsmagic & Kyasarin : 6.75/10
Gameplay 3.75/5
Visuals 1.5/3
General fun 1.5/2
That's the other coop-creation of Kyasarin, well it's better than Final Destination- in my opinion. Actually, the levels includes ideas around. Except these blue bouncy platforms that you abused a little, since it's not the funniest idea to play, the others could have been a little extended and in some cases, more challenging (I'm especially referring to the space pass. I mean, the blue square of normal air isn't needed, I can do all the space... pass... before the countdown goes below 3).
I liked the red crawla in the red light at the beginning and the 2D pass (with the idea of these platform going under the slime, and if you wait, enemies will chase you. Great deal there), through watch out with opposite texture colours, putting Red-coloured ERZ texture with Blue-coloured at the same time can be weird for the eyes.

Eggslimer Battle Zone, Boinciel, Prime 2.0 : 3/10
Gameplay 1/5
Visuals 2/3
General fun 0/2
SonicX8000 two posts below presented most of the thing...
I'll add through that this is more for hardcore SRB2 players, and I must admit I love going through the underwater turning narrow rails, even if there isn't any ring, just for the fun. But other than that, yes, it's underwater... to keep it more challenging, but other than that, I can't say anything. Oh, yes, I think I found a texture glitch near an entry of one of the underwater rail cave.

Fire Castle Zone, Profesor Oak : 5/10
Gameplay 2.5/5
Visuals 1/3
General fun 1.5/2
Okay first I spawn in a wrong angle. Or at least not the best angle. Also the fire texture of the "river" in front of the castle seems limited, the texture isn't completly shown... and I noticed some fire-textures grounds later in the castle that don't hurt, you forgot to turn them mean toward the player.
Out of that, going on the positive now, I think it's your first map, and I found it not bad, should I even say, interesting as a challenge to take up. Since there's no checkpoints, I remember the second time I played it (I died because of the Jet-[thing] spam the first time >~>), I didn't had any rings when I was to the ...exploding shield, and I had to finish the castle, the fire falls and all, and killing the Robothoods around without any second chance before dieing. It was nice... the music, also, "Pokemonish" (not sure, but it looks that style to me) fits greatly. A little old and museum music that I find fitting.

Gleaming Caverns Zone, 742mph : 7.5/10
Gameplay 2.5/5
Visuals 3/3
General fun 2/2
Surprising is how your progressed so fast in my view, 742mph. From that squarry space base you made a long time ago, I have... something, now, in front of my eyes.
I saw several times the "flashy-crystal-in-a-cave" effect, but this one is just flashy as the light. When jumping on these crystals and stuff, I really felt illuminated by the wealth of the stones (still waiting for someone to make a cave COMPLETLY illuminated by these luminous stones, through :I). You also had the idea to share some sunset outside with it to make it different from the generic crystal-cave maps, which I appreciate.
Through, the gameplay isn't the best around, by starting with Zoom tubes. These are a little annoying when they're used too much times, and I encounter several of them... which started to annoy me. If it's about getting to 2D/3D mode, there are also some creative ways to do so. Then, these drilling enemies may fit in the atmosfear, but not really with the famous "can only be killed by spindash" rule. The level is about staying on each platform safely, except if I plan on getting a fire bath. So I ended up killing some of them by doing on-site spindash, like to kill the egg guards... and we know there's something wrong if the player is annoyed if he/she's spindashing on-site. [...]~ Also, jump jump jump fall ohmy why is there a crumbling crystal there so fall fall jump jump spin spin.
Finally, avoid placing these drilling enemies around checkpoints. Also, the last checkpoint isn't needed, or should be deplaced earlier... because the distance between the last checkpoint and the flag is way too short. >~>

Neo Canyon Zone, Chrome : 6.5/10
Gameplay 3/5
Visuals 3/3
General fun 0.5/2
...Neo is the word. Maybe, modern... I should have liked this map, it reminds me of one of my old maps, Lost Feelings Island, but I don't enjoy it perfectly.
The first time I played it, the map looked long even for a demo (this is positive) ; but I finally get lost in an underwater very tiny trap sector I couldn't escape from (I can't exactly situate it for the moment), so I had to restart the map, and the second time, I didn't bounced on the Robothood to continue my way, but instead I took the cave path below, I must admit that the waterfall and water heights are beautiful, but this cave pass was really short. I finished the level below one minute the first time I travelled along this one. The outside pass sure is beautiful, also it contains some stuff like these air particles, and rocky decorations, along with big lakes of deep water. And the general harmony of the map is eye candy. Haven't anything to complain about...
Through, don't take this wrong, but some stuff sounds more snob than "neo", I'm especially thinking about the 2.1 monitors boxes. These aren't "Neo", these are "modern/updated 2.1ish stuff". "Neo" should rather include the Canyon being new, without affecting the monitors, that by the way, are changed into 2.1 mode stuff except the Extra Life.
Other than that, obviously, the level is a little short. Of course, it's a demo, according to your subtitle~

Thawing Icecap Zone, Scooby Doo : 7/10
Gameplay 2/5
Visuals 3/3
General fun 2/2
I'll go on my intuition for this map and talk about it since my mind told me that I'm pleased with this one.
Yes, I know that the building itself isn't the most organized and genius one, like that wall without thok barrier that you should have checked, I mean it doesn't looks invisible, except if you had some problems in the editor with it. I encountered a lot of shield, some spams of things around, above and below, a giant tree with an 1-UP, an useless waterpass and some chaotic landscapes, and so much else. Don't see me like an art criticaster that find the root of the universe and everything of everything in a blanky blank page, but I like this "stage". It's a little special. To be honest, it scares me, unconsciously, like if it was a creepypasta. Maybe is it because of that strange (which seems to be a...) dark icy music... (also, if someone knows its name, please tell me it). Coupled with some of the maker's weird ideas from time to time, it become harmoniously creepy ; I'd especially refer to this pass with slippy ice trails over a pit. It looks a kind of silencious "gallery of ice". Finally, I didn't had the time to listen to, but I noticed the Speed Shoes music changed. I think you did great on that.
The place itself needs a lot of work through. It's not the kind of thing you make in minutes in your editor. Some people are saying Sonic can't make it, it's wrong, since I did.
Others are complaining about the lags and building, on my old computer I didn't get any lags, except if you're trying to provoke them ? And yes, the building may contains mistakes, but anyway you're among the new mappers, so there's nothing wrong with making some faults around if you're trying to give some fun to others when mapping.

I ended voting on the SP maps, which make me feel better, and I will finally conclude by saying that this OLDC was actually... between okay and good.

I wish I could have more time to have a contest with you guys, it's been a while I wasn't around~
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If I keep moving, they won't know
Uh, do those maps even need a kind of review?
I certainly doubt that. :/

D00D64 said:
Nothing in this SP division would have gotten over a 5.

Neo Canyon>Mad Gadget>Gleaming Caverns>Fire Castle>Egg Slimer Battle>Thawing Icecap

Neo Canyone was decent, Mad Gadget could do some more work and Gleaming Caverns has heck of repetitive gimmicks and cheap enemies. Then the awful part comes. Fire Castle I didn't even complete for the lack of clues where exactly to go. Egg Slimer Battle is an awful boss map and I don't want it there and Thawing Icecap is just a big no. End of story.


Graphic & Sprite Modder.
Well... time to vote.

*Single Player Maps*
Name: Neo Canyon Zone
Author: Chrome
Comment: Fairly short, but it's quite a good one. Didn't really get lost much, maybe because I stayed on the upper route or something.
Name: Mad Gadget Zone
Author: Simsmagic & Kyasarin
Comment: Seems decently difficult, I kinda had trouble with that one section where this platform comes out of the ground near some Egg-Shield Bots and you can't tell when it it'll come up. Also... that one Zoomtube before the 2D area seems to be broken sometimes...
Name: Gleaming Caverns Zone
Author: 742mph
Comment: Crystals... everywhere, also... one of the 2D sections with a checkpoint doesn't work correctly when you respawn as you can bypass the 2D Mode trigger. Otherwise a decent map.
Name: Eggslimer Battle Zone
Author: Boinciel & Prime 2.0
Comment: Erm... it's the Egg Slimer, with spikes and moves faster upon each hit with water & platforms that fall to reach it, that's all I can say, really.
Name: Thawing Icecap Zone
Author: Scooby Doo
Comment: At the start it lags due to the fire turrets, then again... it lags whenever there's too many of them. Otherwise it plays up alright until I get to a point where you're required to use Whirlwind Shields to get by, and Sonic users that fail to do so have no choice but to die in order to have them respawn. By the way... no Thok Barrier will lead to bad things which I didn't know until about near the end with some Detons & Speed Shoes and well...
Name: Fire Castle Zone
Author: Profesor Oak
Comment: I... really don't know what to say about this one other than Jetty Gunner Spam with a Armageddon Shield which leads to tons of points. It just feels like a 1.09.4 kind of map.


I think that's all the Single-Player maps. Hopefully I didn't miss any.


Well, our Angel Lava is terrible.
It's more Volcano Island with Deep Sea Textures :D

Generic Canyon >Match Meadow > Volcano Valley > Refridgerator.
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Oh what the hell
Eva! You add the wrong MusicSlot! Instead of 145 you gave 143! :/

And voting:

Generic Canyon Zone > Volcano Valley Zone > Match Meadow Zone > Angel Lava > Refridgerator.


Maybe out of retirement?
Neo Canyon > Mad Gadget > Gleaming Caverns > Fire Castle > Eggslimer Battle > Thawing Icecap
Generic Canyon > Match Meadow > Volcano Valley > Refrigerator > Angel Lava
Mine Maze > Mount Revolvius > Final Destination

And now for the reviews. The SP stages even get (possibly too generous) scores on the old voting scale. The multiplayer stages don't because I always had a hard time putting a number on those.

Neo Canyon Zone by Chrome - 6/10
This looks very much like you rushed it to get a "demo" out in time for the contest. Which is a pity, because with some polish this could really have been something. You have some pretty good gimmicks that are combined in interesting ways(although you repeated the fan gimmick a bit too often without adding anything new to it), and it certainly had quite a bit of replay value thanks to plenty of secrets and different paths. What hurts it is the lack of direction. Unlike others, I didn't actually get lost, but there were many instances where I might as well have. I like it as much as anybody when paths are interconnected or stacked on top of each other, but it can't come at the cost of clarity. And of course, the level is over before it really begins, which I assume is because it's not actually finished. If you improve the clarity of what's already there and come up with some fresh ideas to finish the level, I'm sure this will turn out fine. One random bug that I found: On the upper path, there is a pool of water with a current that pushes you away from the ledge, but it has no animation, so I assumed it was stationary until I jumped into it. Might wanna fix that.

Mad Gadget Zone by Simsmagic & Kyasarin - 6/10
You certainly had the best ideas of anyone in this contest, but you didn't really make use of them. A lot of the stuff was uncreatively rehashed from THZ and ERZ (although I thought the glass panels in the turret room were a nice visual), and the original ideas (especially the bouncy pads and the gravity changer) were never used to their full potential. What a shame. Oh, and it wasn't entirely clear that that conveyor belt at the beginning was sending me into a pit. I thought the arrow meant there was some kind of alternate path there if only I jumped to the left, whereas it really meant I should take the exit right before that.

Gleaming Caverns Zone - 3/10
I already gave you my critique months ago when you submitted this, but allow me to recapitulate: For all the problems that your previous maps had, they at least showed that you had some ideas. Here, though, the old problems still persist and on top of that you didn't even come up with any ideas at all. Pretty much the entire level consists of jumping across arbitrarily placed platforms (some of which crumble) over a lava pit while dodging enemies that are either obnoxiously placed or attack you before you can spot them. The result is the rare kind of map that manages to be extremely dull and annoying at the same time. Here's the thing about platforming: You need to make it engaging. By itself, jumping from platform to platform is kind of a dull activity. Imagine a Mario level that consists of nothing but a huge staircase where you must jump from step to step. Your level was like that. But how can you make it engaging? Well, for one thing an interesting environment wouldn't hurt. Then, you need to incorporate your platforming into said environment. The fewer unique ideas you have, the harder it is to make the whole thing engaging despite that. If you don't have ANY unique ideas (like your level), the only way to pull it off is to make the level so interesting from an architectural point of view that the player is so awestruck by his environment that he doesn't even notice he's not doing anything particularly interesting action-wise. This does work (Spherallic is very slowly working on a level like that, but even that map has some interesting platforming going on), but it's very hard to pull off. The (usually more desirable) alternative is of course to come up with enough good gimmicks to make the level interesting by virtue of that. What you shouldn't do, however, is what you did: Slapping some platforms over a pit, drawing a rectangular room around it and calling it a day.

Fire Castle Zone by Profesor Oak - 2/10
Okay, this is obviously your first level, which explains why it feels more like a mapper's training ground than an actual level. The best advice I can give you is this: What makes a level good isn't how much different stuff you can put into it. It's whether or not that stuff is fun for the player. Being ambushed by an armada of enemies while searching around for the exit? Not fun. That spring that you had to spindash into in order to avoid the low ceiling above you? That was kind of fun. Jumping through five consecutive lava curtains that are going way too fast? Not fun. Jumping through one well-timed lava curtain? Now that could be fun. Every time you have an idea, ask yourself: Will it be fun for the player? If you think it will, implement it, but make sure to have other people test it and give you their opinion. If you think it won't or if your testers told you it isn't, try to find modify it so that it becomes more interesting, or if that doesn't work, remove it. And don't be discouraged, you did manage to avoid quite a few mistakes that beginners often make: Your path layout was clear and straightforward, your rooms weren't cramped in any way (although some of them were a bit too empty in relation to their size) and you placed hidden items throughout your level, which were neither too hard to find nor completely obvious. What you should never ever do though is to have the same level element act in different ways throughout the level. Either make all of your lava solid or make all of it liquid, because right now the player has no way of knowing what will happen if he falls into it.

Eggslimer Battle Zone by Boinciel & Prime 2.0 - 2/10
I still don't know if this is a joke or if I just don't get it, but what I do know is that it isn't fun in the slightest, and the crumbling platforms make it even more annoying. Prime 2.0, I know you love the Egg Slimer, but I did expect a bit more from you. But for what it's worth, it was kind of funny when I lured the Egg Slimer into one of the tunnels in the pinch phase and it kept hitting the ceiling.

Thawing Icecap Zone by Scooby Doo - 1/10
From the lack of a thok barrier, inexplicable dead ends and a general lack of direction to springs that send me to my death unless I backpedal, tiny slippery platforms over death pits, detons that come RIGHT AT ME, completely obnoxious flamethrower patterns (the part where a spring led right into them was especially egregious) and enemy spam, it seems like the entire level was specifically engineered to kill and/or annoy me. There were some terrible levels in this contest, but none of them went quite as much out of their way to do everything wrong that you possibly can as this one.

In summary, Neo Canyon and Mad Gadget were decent but stayed way beneath their potential, and the rest seemed to try and outdo each other in coming up with the most bizarre ways of ruining your level. I think it's pretty clear that this will remain the last contest before 2.1 comes out.

EDIT: And unbeknownst to me until now, Mystic had already canceled it before I said that.

Generic Canyon Zone by Sryder13
Not much to say here. It was a solid stage, and the big room with the sniping tower and the river running through it allowed for some interesting fights. The cave with the bomb ring was also interesting (although maybe a bit too open to use the bomb ring to its full potential?), but it did feel a bit like you called it a day there and decided that a bunch of rudimentary corridors will do for the rest of the stage. Not that this was particularly problematic, but I feel that a bit more content around the parts with the rail ring could have added some variety to the stage.

Valley Jade Match Meadow Zone by Chrome
Honestly, this felt a lot closer to Jade Valley (and a touch of Desolate Twilight) than Meadow Match in style due to that centerpiece. Of course it can't help but be inferior to Jade Valley, but it's by no means bad. I liked how much you managed to cram into such a small arena by layering stuff on top of each other, and I particularly enjoyed that you couldn't reach the higher levels of the stage from the area with the small pond - you had to traverse around the stage. Two things bugged me: In the centerpiece, it was very easy to overshoot on the red springs and fall back down if you were pressing the forward button. And I didn't like how you tucked away the rail panel in some remote underwater spot. That part of the stage was pretty much ignored in general, so maybe you shouldn't make that pond as deep.

Volcano Valley Zone by CoatRack
Also not bad, but I feel like you made a mistake with the flamethrowers. The reason they work in Infernal Cavern is because that's a tight, enclosed level. You know exactly where the flamethrowers are and which part of the path they "guard". This level is so open and "unstructured" that everybody just kind of wandered about, not knowing what to do or where to go and running right into the flamethrowers. Tighten up and streamline the outdoor sections a bit and this should no longer be a problem. I also felt that too many interesting items and areas were rather difficult to reach, via lots pf springs and small platforms.

Refrigerator Zone by Zipper
It's cases like this one that are really unfortunate: So much ambition, yet so little success. I really would like to reward your effort, but unfortunately the level just doesn't play well at all. The biggest problem is that you made your rooms expansive both horizontally and vertically. As a result, my opponents could be anywhere, and even if we're in the same room, we have almost no opportunity to hit each other because there's just so much empty space between us. A good Match map must restrict the space as just the right spots so that players actually get to have some confrontation. But there were other problems: Long detours are problematic. Sometimes they can be a good thing, such as when you hide a powerful weapon away from where the main action is happening. But even then the detour shouldn't be too long. In a map that is already too expansive, it didn't do you any good to have such detours in three of the four rooms.

The quicksand pit in one of the rooms was a very bad idea. If you're gonna have the player drop down that far from the ground level, either give him a quick and convenient way to escape or have the common courtesy to kill him, but don't let him scramble about in quicksand. Another problem was the lack of rings. I mean, there were rings, but you had to go out of their way to get them. It's vital that you supply lots of rings that the player will inevitably pick by just walking through the stage. Of course this is hard in a level that has way too much space, but if you don't do it, the results are even more catastrophic. And last (and admittedly least), why would you make your platforms so oddly shaped? Besides looking awful, this makes it harder for the player to see what is platform and what is pit. The last thing you would want to do in a Match stage is confuse the player with regard to his surroundings.

Angel Lava Zone by Ariel & Eva
I have a lot of goodwill for people who have just begun mapping, but if you're not even gonna read the level design 101...

Mine Maze Zone by Spherallic & CoatRack
Impressive work, but what else did I expect from a Coat/Spherallic collaboration? My one gripe is that you went a bit overboard with all the nooks and crannies in the level. As much fun as it was in H&S, I could practically hide forever as a flag carrier. And I think the main path in the centerpiece could benefit from some clarity. That one jump over the water and beneath the bridge isn't as obvious as it should be.

Mount Revolvius Zone by Eblo
Scroll down a few posts for my comments on this level.

Final Destination Zone by Scizor300 & Kyasarin
Spring-thokking? Really? Did you have nothing more irritating in store for us? Otherwise it's pretty much Metal Star Zone without sniper towers, weapon rings or anything else that might possibly make some difference for better or worse. It's just really dull.
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Here is my list. I will add more reasons later, due to time constraints.

Fire Castle: For obvious reasons!
Neo Canyon: Nice, roomy, and green. Also platforming! Lots to explore, high path, underwater path, oh and I found that Whirlwind shield.
Mad Gadget: Just plain fun! Gimmicks to keep you busy!
Gleaming Caverns: So pretty. I would have had more fun though, but I will explain why tonight.
Thawing Icecap: More effort went here than a boss battle. TOO MANY ENEMIES, no thok barrier. Difficult jumps. I also saw rings floating on the ceiling!
Eggslimer Battle: Just a boss battle in a square room. The paths were OK, as they gave rings. Underwater was annoying.


aka Sutekh94
Hey, the OLDC's back! yay

Single Player:
Neo Canyon > Gleaming Caverns > Mad Gadget > Eggslimer Battle > Fire Castle > Thawing Icecap

Generic Canyon > Match Meadow > Volcano Valley > Refrigerator > Angel Lava

Mine Maze > Final Destination > Mt. Revolvius

And now for some more detailed thoughts...

Mad Gadget Zone, by Simsmagic & Kyasarin

It's got some interesting gimmicks, but the rest of it's pretty average. Some gimmicks are rehashed from official maps (the THZ2-esque turret room, for example). Some of the other gimmicks here (the gravity changer) aren't really well-utilized. If you can flesh out the map a bit and make better use of the better gimmicks, you've got a nice map with lots of good gimmicks.

Eggslimer Battle Zone Act 7, by Boinciel & Prime 2.0

An Eggslimer boss with the most annoying map layout ever. Crumbling platforms and almost-useless tunnels = nope. Even the Eggslimer as it is here wasn't fun to fight at all.

Fire Castle Zone Act 2, by Professor Oak

The first thing you have to do to fix this map is to tone the number of enemies way down. The second thing to do is see if you can add some sense to this map. The first time I played this map I really didn't know where to go because some of the paths you have to take to finish the level are kinda hidden. The lava in the falling lava section should be slowed down quite a bit, and the jetty gunner spam room is rendered somewhat pointless by an armageddon shield.

Gleaming Caverns Zone, by 742mph

Hey, it's Radiant Caverns! Well, that with some really annoying platforming sections. All in all it feels really repetitive and a bit cheap thanks to the atrocious enemy placement. Top it off with some visual quirks and you have Radiant Caverns's long lost brother.

...At least it looks halfway decent.

Neo Canyon Zone Act 1, by Chrome

It's a shame that this is just a demo, because so much more could be done with this map. As it is, it's not bad and not confusing to navigate. Lots of different paths to explore in addition to some secrets makes this my pick to win the OLDC.

Thawing Icecap Zone, by Scooby Doo

Take everything I said about Fire Castle, magnify it by a ton, and you have this map. If they taught SRB2 mapping in schools, this very map would a good example if what not to do when making an SRB2 map.
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i would rather not
Mad Gadget > Neo Canyon > Gleaming Caverns > Eggslimer Battle > Fire Castle > Thawing Icecap

Mad Gadget: A Love Story
Kyasarin did a great job of making the level stand out aesthetically, so if there's a particularly impressive looking room it was probably her doing, not mine.

Mad Gadget is a level I've been working on and off for about 6 months now, losing interest than regaining it then losing it again. It was meant for several OLDCs in the past but shelved when I couldn't get it done in time. For this one, however, I decided I should finish it. And then I fell into a dangerous cycle of distractions, procrastinations, and other things in my life taking priority. It turns out going to school full time and working 35 hours a week kind of kills most of the free time that I had. As such, progress on MG was very slow for several weeks; hell, for the longest period of time the gravity flipping hallway was the last part of the level simply because I had no motivation to make anything else. I had to sit down and force myself to make progress.

And even then it was all for naught; I ran out of time. The last two rooms were completed a week before the deadline, and the morning of the 31st (I had to go into work at 1pm that day until 11 at night) was spent frantically trying to make the level acceptable for a release. I really wanted to use that time to make one final room; something that would use all of the gimmicks found in the level as one final gauntlet for the player. As previously stated though, I ran out of time. Minutes before I left, the ending room was drawn, the file was zipped and shoved into the submissions box.

I'm not happy with its current state. Believe me. I know more can be done with this level, and I want to finish it for real. This is not an ending. I want to go back, fix up some of the gimmicks to play better and look better, and add that final room that I've been meaning to. Only then will I consider this level fully complete.

Neo Canyon: A Taste of Things Already Past
Gleaming Caverns: Mystery and Intrigue in the Glowing Crystals
Eggslimer Battle: Dr. Eggman Strikes Back For the First Time!
Fire Castle: Furious Flaming Fox Fires Faux-Pas From Fist
Thawing Icecap: <Insert Subtitle Here>
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Official Community CoatRack
Sonic Team Junior
Neo Canyon > Mad Gadget > Gleaming Caverns > Eggslimer Battle > Fire Castle > Thawing Icecap

Volcano Valley Zone > Generic Canyon Zone > Match Meadow Zone > Angel Lava > Refrigerator

Mine Maze Zone > Mount Revolvius Zone > Final Destination Zone


Comments will come later, this OLDC left me disappointed after how long I waited to play one. I just hope things will pick up when the OLDC starts up again, and not get worse.
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Monster Iestyn

Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️
Single Player Division:

Neo Canyon Zone
Mad Gadget Zone
Gleaming Caverns Zone
Fire Castle Zone
Thawing Icecap Zone
Eggslimer Battle Zone

Neo Canyon Zone by Chrome:
Unlike the rest of the entries here, this actually has some replay value, despite the fact it's so short. I mean, it has multiple paths to play through, and it looks like it's also explorable to an extent.

One thing that bugs me though is that Robo-Hood placed on the platform mid-way to the upper path. It just seems placed there to annoy you. Another is that short fan particle generator segment over what looks like a death pit, which reeks of filler really.

Hands down best entry of the SP division otherwise IMO. Pity it couldn't have been more though.

Mad Gadget Zone by Simsmagic & Kyasarin:
This is a fairly good entry too, but it falls short of first in my list because of a number of things:

With every instance of the THZ goop in the level I can't help being annoyed when I fall into it and find it's much deeper than I thought, causing me to panic and look for the way out. Probably wouldn't have been as annoying if it was transparent at least. Those sections with the platforms that went under the goop just made this all the more worse.

It's been mentioned the level isn't actually "finished", and it clearly shows in the second half of it, which sharply detracts from the visuals leaving almost bare-bones gameplay to run through after the turret room. Liked the Gravity Hoops cameo though, pity that couldn't have been more. =(

Gleaming Caverns Zone by 742mph:
This map is sort of okay, but is loaded with flaws in places. Visuals are blatantly ripping off Radiant Caverns. Drillakilla featuring half-way isn't really that exciting, since it's just an extra-annoying edition of the crawla, especially in the platforming sections. The most annoying gimmick of all was the crumble-on-touch platforms - seriously, why? The 2D sections were okay, but don't have much to show. Final room seems a bit rushed compared to the rest, why a simple lava room with many platforms that you have to wait so long to get on to finish the map?

Fire Castle Zone by Professor Oak:
First maps are generally awful - this one is not quite as bad as some others I've played in the past, but it still has plenty of bad points. It's also shorter than you'd expect a level like this to be, but maybe it's just as well?

For a start, detons chasing you in a dark corridor isn't really a great gimmick, even if THZ2 itself uses it. The area afterwards has a really bad sense of direction - once you've dealt with the mass attack of Jettysyns it takes you some time to find out the exit is hidden in one of the cells anyway. The rapid falling lava blocks are really unfair if you hadn't already grabbed an Elemental Shield in the previous section. The mass of enemies in the hidden area leading to said shield isn't really a great idea either, as much as you clearly intended to have them guarding this "valuable treasure" (which really isn't that hard to get even with them in the way anyway).

Otherwise I guess this level is at least decently playable, nor totally repulsive to play, lacking though it may be. Same can't be said to a number of SP entries I've seen before.

Thawing Icecap Zone by Scooby Doo:
And then we have this level. Most that's going for this is that it's actually playable and not too cramped or open-spaced, but that's about it.

To start off with, that 1-up clearly demonstrates this level hasn't even got a thok barrier, as you easily slip right through the back wall of that dead end. That can't be good. Why are you using so many mines to block the player's path? A few along the side should be just enough, honestly. Misfiring springs are not fun at all, there's no way to tell that you'll need to hold back on that diagonal yellow spring in the underwater under-an-ice-block segment unless you've played this stage before! And then there's that other spring later on, firing you in a way that has you barely to the platform at all... if you do miss (which is pretty easy to do), you end up having to replay the whole lava-and-ice segment again, which is rather frustrating even if you did grab the handy elemental shield on the way up the first time round. I also hear a spring also sent you right into a flame jet, which is rather silly, though I couldn't experience this annoyance thanks to the Elemental Shield. =P The fact you have so many flame jets in a few areas there and there lags those of the level quite a bit too.

Then we have this massive labyrinth of ice paths, which is just inexcusable in a number of ways. It's difficult to tell ice-floor from ice-wall, making it very easy to fall down and die here on your first time, which is really cheap and annoying. It's also really easy to get lost here on your first time, which while seemingly intentional also kills the fun for the player in being here. First time I tried this section I fell down into the death pit so much I resorted to noclip+god to try and get out (yes I know it's cheating, but I just can't help it when I can't play a level is frustrating enough), but even that was difficult. x_x

Really, this level isn't anywhere near the worst SP entry ever, but it's terribly flawed even so. Better luck next time, I guess.

Eggslimer Battle Zone by Boinciel & Prime 2.0:
No, just no. Thawing Icecap is an actual level to play in, while this is at most just an Egg Slimer edit placed in a rather annoying arena. I know you two can do better than this, Boin + Prime. =/
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Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️

Neo Canyon > Gleaming Caverns > Mad Gadget > Fire Castle >Thawing Icecap > Eggslimer Battle

Not much to comment on Neo Canyon, other than it not being completely finished. I had one more path split planned before the end, but other things came up and I never got time to finish it. Simple as that.

Gleaming Caverns was interesting, but cramped like you're previous level. It also had really irritating jumps that required step up to finish the job. The transparent platforms that shattered were poorly executed. You need to show the player what's going to happen without punishing them for the mistake if they get it wrong, otherwise it will just feel like cheap difficulty.

Mad Gadget was just one gimmick in an ugly room after another, although the gravity switch was interesting, it was the only thing that caught my eye. The bouncing platforms have no limit, so you only need one to reach the entrance to the next room, killing a potentially fun gimmick.

Fire Castle was a mess of various things, lack of direction being the major downfall. Enemy spam being another, and non lethal fire being the last point.

Thawing Icecap was also a mess, but with included ice that caused you to go even faster than you should, along with a lack of thok barrier that makes for a mostly unejoyable experience.

Eggslimer Battle: First comes laughter, then comes sadness, then comes rage.


'That brit'
Kart Krew™️
Single Player:
1. Neo Canyon Zone by Chrome
2. Mad Gadget Zone by Simsmagic & Kyasarin
3. Gleaming Caverns Zone by 742mph
4. Fire Castle Zone by Profesor Oak
5. Eggslimer Battle Zone by Boinciel & Prime 2.0
6. Thawing Icecap Zone by Scooby Doo

I have nothing to say about the Single Player entries that hasn't already been said. Read other reviews about these because they'll be more in-depth than anything I could produce.

1. Generic Canyon Zone by Me
2. Match Meadow Zone by Chrome
3. Volcano Valley Zone by CoatRack
4. Refrigerator Zone by Zipper
5. Angel Lava Zone by Ariel & Eva

Well then, let's see how my first Match map ever turns out. :P

I am always going to prefer Match Meadow over Meadow Match simply because Meadow Match is still a boring thokfest that is way too simple.
However, assuming you're trying to create a good Meadow Match alternative, I think the one patch of water should be less deep and there should be more methods of escape, as you can only get out one way at the moment and I imagine it'd be easy for someone to trap you in there.

While I wanted to place Volcano Valley higher, I just found that I had to be way too careful not to hit any fire/lava. This meant that I had slow down dramatically a lot of the time and was wide open to attack.

Refrigerator Zone is simply way too large for its own good, means Sonic can avoid everything much easier, and unless you're in a very big game you're likely to lose people very often and not be able to find anyone.

I don't think Angel Lava does much, if anything right for a match map unfortunately. It's way too small and as a result everything is placed way too close together. The lava doesn't hurt you and there's random death pits placed which don't look right in the lava as they are. Match also usually needs very different areas so that one player can't easily get all the weapon rings and dominate the map, which this severely lacks because it really is just a small square with some platforms.

1. Mine Maze Zone by Spherallic & CoatRack
2. Mount Revolvius Zone by Eblo
3. Final Destination Zone by Scizor300 & Kyasarin

Mine Maze Zone is a great map for CTF that is very detailed and quite large. The size of it though could be considered a bad point, since in a 4v4 game it was very easy to lose everyone else or just run straight past them. I'm guessing the map will work better if there's an 8v8 game. It also has many places to hide so you could have some fun in it in H&S if you wanted too.

Mount Revolvius, despite seeming to be horrifically unbalanced in every way, is actually quite fun as a sort of defense/offense CTF. For normal CTF it completely falls flat on it's face, since the only practical way for the red team to reach the top is to fly as tails because of the tricky platforming. When the Blue team can just jump down to the bottom and teleport back up. However in the game I found that if the red team just tries to defend the flag more using the fact that they have more rings and have a closer bomb weapon panel, a good amount of enjoyment could be gotten out of it. While any tails users try and get to the top to the blue flag, sonic and knuckles users could desperately try and defend the flag from getting to the teleporter using the bomb rings from the Blue team who can get down to their base so quickly. One thing that falters this slightly is the recycler on the one platform though, because then the blue team can get the bomb rings easier.

I don't know if Final Destination is supposed to be a joke or not, but I didn't find it very fun or funny having only regular rings and being forceskinned.


Dutch word-doer
SP: Neo Canyon Zone > Mad Gadget Zone > Gleaming Caverns Zone > Fire Castle Zone > Thawing Icecap Zone > Eggslimer Battle???!!!

CTF: Mine Maze Zone > Final Destination > Mount Revolvious Zone

Match: Match Meadow Zone > Generic Canyon Zone > Volcano Valley Zone > Refridgerator > Angel Lava

Also some numbering like SpiritCrusher because I like numbers:

Neo Canyon Zone - 7/10

I like this level alot, lots of openness, fun to explore and looks good as well.

Mad Gadget Zone - 6/10

I really like how you've used the gimmicks in this level, but it's a real shame that you didn't expand on them like has been said before.

Gleaming Caverns Repetitive-And-Annoying-Platforming-Zone - 4/10

Jump, jump, jump, miss, lose rings, jump, jump, OH THAT WAS A FAKE PLATFORM, get back, jump, jump, get knocked off of platform by badly placed enemies, die.

Fire Castle Zone - 3/10

This really does feel like one of those good 'ol 1.09.4 maps. Except this one isnt all that good and really average, and has erratic lava behaviour. And why does the lava look so weird anyway? It does not look like the lava in RVZ, for example.

Thawing Icecap Zone - 1/10

Yes, lets spam flame jets which cause horrible lag when they all go off at the same time and slippery ice paths above a death pit. And then there's the fact that you can just walk through the wall behind the 1-up with no effort at all.

Eggslimer Battle!!! - 1/10

I think that what Chrome said perfectly describes this level, but really, I would've expected something better than this.


Mine Maze Zone #3 - 7/10

This level was pretty good as it is, with lots of secrets and good gameplay, although sometimes it was a bit hard to find you way through it.

Final Destination - 4/10

Meh. No weapon rings or boxes make this level feel really bland and boring, like it was done as a rushjob or something.

Mount Revolvious Zone Blue Team Jumps Down to Win Zone - 1/10

What. Ok, I will admit that there is some novelty value to this map once you play it a few times, but I think most players wouldn't consider staying on this map for more than one round.

Match Meadow Zone - 7/10

I liked this level alot, theres lots elevation and lots of room for jumping around and shooting stuff.

Generic Canyon Zone - 7/10

This map has a nice amount of openness and the weapons are placed pretty good as well.

Volcano Valley Zone - 5/10

Ok, I get what you're trying to do with all the lava and flamethrowers around but they're simply too annoying to have a good game of Match without getting hit all the time.

Refridgerator Furnace Zone - 3/10

Well, like has been said earlier this level is way too open which makes finding rings and weapons way too hard.

Angel Lava Zone Obviously Never Seen A Match Level Zone - Level Design 101/10

This is a truly marvelous example of how not to make a Match level. Actually, if you'd make the lava damaging this would make decent boss level instead.
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Maybe out of retirement?
I would like to say a few words in defense of Mount Revolvius Zone. At first I was ready to dismiss it as ridiculous garbage too because, as multiple people have pointed out, "blue team jumps down to win". Then we played a netgame with it, and voila: The red team won with a score of something like 15-9! And we had fun! So we started thinking; how does this level manage to be fun despite doing everything wrong?

Well, first of all you have to realize that the blue team has no rings. There are a few rings scattered around the platforms that lead to the blue base, but those are really close to the red base, and if you try to get them you put yourself in great danger. So basically, the blue team was trying to jump down to the red flag and into the teleporter as quickly as possible, all the while holding no rings. One hit and they would die. So what the red team did is position some people with lots of rings next to the flag and the teleporter to snipe anybody who was trying to steal the flag. I was on both sides on the fight during that netgame, and I must say that standing next to the teleporter and sniping flag carriers as they come in from above was great fun, and so was trying to make a perfect jump into the teleporter as the flag carrier to minimize my chances at getting hit. Because due to the level's setup, one hit means death and no hit means a point for the blue team.

So trying to prevent the blue team from scoring isn't all that hard as it looks on first glance. You will occasionally mess up and allow the blue team a capture, but most of the time you will snipe them right down while they're defenseless. But what about the red team scoring itself? Well, this is a bit trickier. You need Tails players, because Sonic and Knuckles have pretty much no chance to ever make it up there. But once you've made it, all you have to do is take the flag and jump back down to your base. The blue team can't stop you - they have no rings! Of course there are other things you can do. The blue team could send some Tails players down to get some rings, come back up and shoot any red player who tries to steal the flag. They could also try to collect a few rings and kill the red team's "snipers" so that the flag carrier can get through. Or they could hit the recycler monitor on the path to the top, so that their teammates get some of the red team's bomb rings. Or the red team could position another "sniper" at the teleporter's destination point to shoot unsuspecting flag carriers who think they've made it right in the face. Or...

As you can see, there's a lot more to this stage than simply "blue team jumps down to win". A red team that knows what it's doing can own the blue team big time. It might not be perfectly balanced (the blue team does have an advantage, as evidenced by the second round where we all switched teams and they beat us 15-0 - partially because we were too stupid to even try capturing their flag), and I suspect it's the kind of stage that loses its allure pretty quickly because it gets repetitive once you get the hang of it, but we all had a lot of fun trying to come up with the best strategy to overcome our particular team's disadvantages. The map's real flaw, I would say, is that climbing up the mountain and trying to land on that elevator is a pretty dull activity.
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