Marker Man Misadventures 4
Welcome to world 3. The reason why I thought this world is going to be more exciting is because the cutscene that introduced world 3 involved marker man being chased down by a giant boulder. Oh yes. I will be so excited if we are going to see boulders.
Another strange thing about this world is the background music kind of sounds like the song Eleanor Rigby using plucking string instruments, which I do not mind. At least I wouldn't mind if the looping time wasn't only nine seconds long.
Looks like my earlier theory is true, in that enemies in later worlds deal more damage. Shoe boy deals 3 damage now. Yay for scaling! There's not too much going on here, except for the massive swimming pool and the giant chain of disappearing blocks near the top right of the map. You basically have only one chance to make it to the other side because the blocks don't reappear. Just use the trick of placing a line on top of the blocks and you'll be fine.
There's a pretty nasty fall at the start of the level. Technically survivable, but probably not worth the risk. This is another 3 exit level, and all of the exits take you like 10 levels in the future. Ohhhhh boy there is so much splitting going on. I hope I am able to find out all the possibilities using my only 4 save files, or else I'll have to start one over from the beginning.
Oh boy, more splitting! I have a feeling the more splitting that happens, the more times levels will be revisited, assuming the developers only really planned out 15-20 levels for this world. Anyways, this level feels like too many other levels I've played. The only arguably distinguishing feature of this level is the slightly symmetric bouncy area in the beginning. You have to be pretty careless to die here.
It can be broken up into three sections. The first section is a long and uninteresting pathway that can be passed quickly using the speed power up. The second section is a giant lake and bouncy platform section at the bottom. The third section is a purely vertical platforming challenge. Not much else to say about it.
I do not understand how the save system works in Marker Man. If you play a level, use or gain some markers, then quit the game, you would expect Marker Man's markers to revert back to the number before you started playing that level. That is not what happens. Those markers you have when you exit are the ones you end up with when starting the level again. But that is only if you exit through the in-game pause menu. If you force shut off the game, then you end up with the markers you had before you started the level! Anyways, there's three more branching paths and also zombies now. Yay.
One last stupid thing. I tried drawing partial shapes, like a letter L, and it can be interpreted as a circle, a rectangle, or a triangle! So much for a faster method of drawing shapes. There must be a better way to reliably draw a rectangle….
It roams around like most other enemies, only it is much more dangerous for two reasons. The first reason is that the damage is a lot higher, similar to the spiky shoe boy's damage in that you can die in like a second. The second reason is that it is the height of Marker Man, meaning that Marker Man cannot just jump over it like with most of the other enemies. Oh, never mind… yes you can still jump over them. Their hitbox only covers the lower half of their body for some strange reason. They also make a really strange sound when you touch them. Sure, okay.
This level is slightly harder because of two sections. There is a moving platform halfway through the level that you cannot simply jump to, and placing a walkway to it won't work because it will just move out of the way. I ended up drawing a tall rectangle on the platform underneath so that I was close and high enough to jump to it when it came down. The other part is near the end where you have to climb up to the exit. This climb is difficult because of the platform directly above marker man. There is no way to build a shape that sticks on a wall so that marker man can climb up it without it falling over. I have designed a strategy for this section below. Or you could just use the super jump power…. you cheater. The level itself is alright, I guess. Still disappointed that there are no boulders.
They are almost equivalent to the zombie, as far as I can tell. Tall, low hit box, and high damage per second. The only difference is that the zombie likes to stop or turn around occasionally, and the mushrooms are constantly walking between two specific points.
Well, the least I could do is thank whoever made this level, because this was MUCH easier to map out than all the other levels in this world. This is a simple, linear area with useless fish and some water. Enjoy the simplicity while it lasts.
Our first water enemy! Well…. less of an enemy and more of an obstacle? It moves and pushes marker man around, but doesn't actually deal any damage. I guess watch out if you're building in the water for some reason?
Oh, so they didn't forget the raccoons. This level is kind of a mess. Long, uninteresting hallways followed by tall, uninteresting platform scattering. But hey, there's a bonus level exit here!
This is a very short, linear level. The spike walls are easy enough to dodge if you are using the speed power up. The problem is that dumb pendulum near the end. If you manage to get on the platform underneath the pendulum, it can't actually push you off at that point. Just be aware that it has a stupidly large hitbox.
Star Spike Wall
A reskin of the regular spike wall.
This was a huge surprise for me. The part that sticks out swings back and forth angrily and has a huge hitbox for some reason. Both the pendulum and the non moving block on top should not be touched, as it pushes marker man away violently, and considering where this enemy is, that's definitely not a good thing. Even though the indication of getting hurt happens, this enemy actually does no damage.
This is the first level where I was actually like "hey, this is pretty cool". The new enemy is weak, but the fact that its spears transfer momentum allows for some interesting experimentation. Unfortunately, the spear doesn't seem to have enough momentum for some lolphysics such as launching my character across the map, but it does provide for some potential fun building problems if the spears can knock them down.
I added some pink line connections in this level to show which platform pairs belonged to each other because the cluster of moving platforms at the right side of the map looked confusing otherwise.
These are enemies that hide in bushes and can attack by throwing a spear horizontally to the left or right. Their sight range reaches outside the camera view and the spears they throw appear to travel in a straight line infinitely. Fortunately the spears only do 3 damage, but a good way to avoid damage is to draw an object between marker man and the spear so that the object soaks up the damage.
There are two very interesting properties about the spear. The first thing is that the spear transfers its momentum to any drawn objects on hit; the drawn shape will get pushed quite a bit from the collision. The second thing is that the spear actually starts at 0 velocity and accelerates as it flies through the air. This means that the farther a shape is away from where the spear spawned, the more force will be put on that object on collision. This brings up an interesting strategy where a shape, if drawn so that it is directly on top of the spear spawning location, will soak up the spear and not move, thus preventing that spear from doing any damage to the player. Standing directly on top of the bush also prevents the spear thrower from coming out.
There are zombies everywhere and two exits will take you backwards. Have fun! It's actually the exit that takes the least amount of effort to get to that is the "correct" one. Is that a pattern with levels that have exits that take you backwards? I want to say it is. I'm too lazy to check that.
I don't know what else to say about this level, so I will instead say something that I learned about the game. There is a way to completely negate fall damage! For some reason, if marker man lands on a drawn object, no damage is taken. This could be really powerful if the player can tactically drop lines in front of a long fall and can ensure that marker man will land on that line and survive. That would've made my life so much easier for some of the levels…
There is basically no reason to take the right side. Use a super jump power and just climb the left side all the way up, collecting all those juicy markers. Yes, I did abuse copying and pasting parts of the map to help finish mapping this level. I bet the developers did the same thing.
There is finally an interesting use for the spear throwers. At the beginning of the level in the pit it is very difficult to get back up. The reason for this is the spear thrower on the left is tactically placed so that its spears will hit any lines you draw against the wall on the way back up and end up falling through the hole underneath it. The simplest solution is to place a rectangle large enough so that it cannot fall into the hole and stays where it's at. There's only a couple a cases where this happens, but it's a lot more engaging than whatever else is going on with this game. Anyways, it's a pretty simple level with lots of sweet loot under the water, AND an exit to the third dog level!
So the chompers are back! That's cool. Remember how they did 1 damage every frame? Yeah, well that damage has scaled up with the world as well. Now it's 3 damage per frame. It hurts.
The exit is actually a little tough to find! You basically have to use the camera panning feature in order to notice that there is a hole high in the tree from the platform with the marker. With how short the level is it feels like the game just wants me to leave the level as quickly as possible. Fine by me! I'll take an easy drawing.
Very short, and even easier than the last one. Alright game, jeez, I'll go back to level 34.
I want to create a narrative for this level that this is in fact a testing area for the developers, and they just added it to the game because they didn't feel like making a fully fleshed out level. Therefore, level 38. I guess the same argument could be made for level 36 and level 37. Hmm.
Hey look a level.
The third dog level! Finally. I noticed I got way too good at compacting the levels, because this is a REALLY small image. This level is vertical-based and utilizes a lot of seesaws. One interesting thing about the seesaws is that marker man has a weight that influences the platforms, but any shape drawn on a seesaw somehow overrides the weight of marker man completely. This means that a small line can be put on one of the seesaws and it will send the platform that marker man stands on upwards. A fast reaction is needed because stepping on the platform beforehand causes the second platform to raise to a point where a shape cannot be drawn on it. I consider this one of the most difficult levels in the game so far due to the dexterity required to placing weights on platforms and taking care not to get trapped on a seesaw platform in a hole. There are only 2 seesaw pairs, which is basically 4 columns to go through before the difficulty eases and the level ends!
And you know what? THERE WAS NOT A SINGLE BOULDER IN THIS WORLD. I AM SO UPSET BY THAT. I think that's the main problem with this game. It has so much potential, like with the boulders and the drawing abilities and the switches and the enemies, but it almost never combines them in any interesting way. There are moments of synergy between enemy placement and level design but the occurrence is so rare it feels like those moments happens purely by accident and not by intention. I almost want to just make a level myself so I can use all the elements available to their fullest potential. But I guess I'll settle for World 4 for now.
Oh yeah. World map time. There were so many branches so this picture is a mess. I don't know graph theory, okay? I don't know how to untangle all of this or if it is even possible. I had to go online to find a directed graph creator just so I can figure out the best way to show all this information. The things I do for this game…
Each update in the future will now encompass an entire world. So next time… World 4!