|forestforgotten.txt||0.69 kB||28 Aug 2016|
|forestforgotten.j2l||forest forgotten||49.44 kB||31 Aug 2016|
|Xargon Gloaming.j2t||Xargon (Gloaming)||106.15 kB||27 May 2004|
|ac-sh2.it||Secret Hours||1608.43 kB||07 Oct 2009|
This (decently large) level was started sometime around 2004 and mostly completed in 2009. It’s being released now because I only just remembered its existence.
Please keep in mind one rule to avoid frustration: when you destroy a trigger crate, you should wait a few seconds to see if another appears, and destroy that one as well. It has been so long since I made this level that I cannot recall why events are handled this way, but that is the way it works.
No one has tested this level except me. If you find any bugs, please call the police.
Long live the green bunny game.
EDIT: I have a fix for the bugs mentioned in Slaz’s excellent review (except the one that wasn’t a bug ;D)
Surely this one too not for a newbie as like me.
Again died a lot, then i figured it eventually. Yet skip many stuff.
Atleast kind of satifiying level for me. Bound me on pc a lot of turn.
This Xargon tileset is pretty decent as i always said.
Liked the Secret Hours song. Good job.
EDIT: The bugs mentioned below have been fixed by the author! The level’s gameplay and features, and thus this review remains the same!
Wow, to see a new level this big by Tik after all this time. What a simple Facebook group can do.. Anyway let’s review this straight and to the point.
After starting this up, I thought this would be a traditional JJ2 level in jungle style. But quickly I realized this was a more non-linear level with puzzles and other knickknacks that keeps it interesting. I normally prefer the linear style level, but this one makes up for it by providing good platforming with vines and boll platforms, and ememies (monkeys, dragonflies, and bats) in every location along with hidden gems and foods. Every platform and corner encourages exploration. Coins are spread out in fun ways too, with some falling from the ceiling. There are not many carrots but the amount of enemies that may drop them makes up for it. There are several savepoints but the fact they reset all items and enemies after dying makes manual savegames a better option. There’s also a single Morph monitor to switch character for specific situations.
Most original part may be the doors spreadout through the level enclosing powerups and more. Paying a higher amount of coins at a special ‘praying’ spot opens better powerups. Or you can pay less for more simple stuff. In the end these powerups may not be too useful (except maybe Bouncers for shooting down items) but getting one feels rewarding enough.
Eyecandy is good, but sometimes it’s quite hard to see what’s in layer 4 and what isn’t, especially with the trees in the forest areas. I really had to try and remember which branches I didn’t fell through. I don’t really like some of the hidden ememies in the tree leaves either, but that may be more of a personal opinion and no flaw in the level.
Only bugs I could find:
1: When exiting the shrine through the warp, it stays dark in the overworld.
2: There’s no next level set so finishing the level will result in a crash.
3: Not sure about this one, but I believe you could get stuck in the ‘pit’ if you run out of bouncer ammo before reaching the end of the blocks.
I highly recommend this level for the advanced and expert players as the puzzles and some platforming can be quite challenging. It’s not often that such a big SP level gets released these days, that alone makes this worth it. Combine that with the sense of exploration and quality of the puzzles and you have a gem of a level!
The irony of Forest Forgotten is that the forest part of it really is better off forgotten.
I’ll explain. The level is divided, like A Generic Single Player Level II, into various biomes, though not as distinctly as in blacky’s take on the same tileset. There’s a leafy forest in the bottom left, a dead forest in the top right, a shrine in the bottom right, and a bunch of vertical spaces, platforms, vines, and grass everywhere else. Most of it’s fairly interesting, but the leafy forest is mostly just aggravating… layer 3 leaves cover up your view of some of JJ2’s most persistent enemies, and there are so many random single food pickups it becomes tedious to try to collect them all. The lack of visibility is the main issue, though. This would be okay as an interlude in the middle of some other level, but here the forest comes right at the beginning—well, depending on which direction you start walking—and gives much the wrong impression for what the rest of the level will be like.
Because I rather liked most of the rest of the level, for all its bizarre design choices. As far as I can tell, the only part of the main level area that’s directly important to completing the level is the ruined shrine in the bottom right. Everything around it—all the grassy platforms, swinging vines, hidden coins, etc.—is there in case you want to beat the level by collecting 40 (mostly hidden, often behind layer 3) coins instead of doing things the more traditional way. Personally I only found 39, but I trust there was another one out there somewhere.
A thought occurs to me that maybe besides the coins, that large area was also there to provide bouncer pickups for accessing the shrine with. In that case, maybe my being able to shoot the toaster powerup through the wall with a bouncer bullet (and thereby gain more than enough ammo to power down through the pit) was a bug, not a clever use of a nearby bouncer pickup to tell me what I was supposed to do. :|
Anyway. I’m not sure this particular brand of non-linear design quite worked for me, mainly because there weren’t a lot of obvious hints pointing the way forward and a lot of the level all looked the same. I had to resort to the tried and true test of looking for uncollected food/undefeated enemies to see if I’d already been somewhere or not. This is a common problem with a lot of sets, but from Xargon I guess I’d have expected more eyecandy diversity.
That confusion aspect is a shame, because when I could tell what was going on, Forest Forgotten was fun, engaging, and creative. Swinging platforms, arrows, animated tiles, crates, and more are all put to good use in puzzles that you’re given just enough information to figure out how to solve. The shrine area sends you on several puzzle-heavy quests in order to smash certain trigger crates before you can beat the level, and they (and the shrine in general) are definitely the most memorable aspects of the level and also where it feels most like a Spaztic work, albeit one that is much fairer than her Mines of Moria ever was. Good fun stuff. The wider exploration areas with all the coins and enemies are close, but there’s something missing that keeps them from feeling quite right.
I don’t know if there was ever a larger story surrounding this level—the shrine at the end stretches on for long enough that I felt it had to be building up to something, but that something never came—but it probably doesn’t really need one. Forest Forgotten is an interesting, often exciting set of ideas that aren’t quite supported by their eyecandy and aren’t quite clearly connected to each other, but definitely worth a play nonetheless.