Escape from the Lost Cave (Demo)

Dec 29, 2020 at 11:38 AM
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A short Cave Story mod about a cave and some ghosts.

First ever mod! Decided to try out CS modding recently so this is kinda me experimenting with BL and CSE2.

Dec 29, 2020 at 11:40 AM
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Epic! I'm gonna try it out! :mahin:

I finished this Demo.
Nice Mod! :mahin:
Dec 29, 2020 at 10:12 PM
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decided to give it a go

- oh hey, it actually runs through wine! there's a nice surprise, i can hear the custom music and everything
- your level design/layout is cool so far, esp. for a first mod
- wait, nevermind, whenever i tab back to the mod window it turns black and i have to restart it, guess i won't be writing stream of consciousness style
- [insert a couple minutes of dying to spikes because apparently the part of my brain that's good at cave story hasn't woken up yet this morning]
- i got up to raichu's house and decided to stop there 'cause i have stuff to do, but damn this is really, really solid so far! music's a little repetitive & you spelt 'though' as 'tho' in raichu's initial dialogue, but apart from that, excited to play more later! will either edit this post or make a new one when i get around to it later today
Dec 30, 2020 at 6:20 AM
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Oh hey this is a thing!
feedback because why not
Why is there no readme? At least have one for credits.

Music's cool; I'm assuming you didn't make it (this is your first mod), but it builds a spoopy atmosphere.

You have the Map System from the start...? There's no indication that you have it. I only found it from pressing W just in case.

First area is okay. Very First Cavey, but this *is* the first cave. There's even a semi-secret Life Capsule.
That said... too many spikes. I dunno how hard you want this mod to be, but there's gotta be a better challenge than just putting spikes all over the floors, walls, and ceilings. It's rather unforgiving, too; if you take any damage from the mushrooms, the spikes will instakill you.
In some places, the spikes add a little extra challenge. But sometimes they're a bit hard to notice, since only the tips are red.

This section is particular is just overkill. Not only does it punish you pretty hard for a couple slip-ups, but having spikes on *every* bit of ground just looks tacky. Particularly with the ones the blue arrows are pointing to; there's no gameplay-based reason to have them there.

Another thing, the mushrooms' movement is too random for the first area, especially with 6HP, and especially with all these spikes. In Vanilla, the mushrooms were only in a nearly-flat level. There's quite a few times where a mushroom to randomly walks right under you as you're about to land.

Cool detail in the tiling. Lotsa tileset mixing and cool little alcoves and blocks.
But, it gets a little cluttered. Raichu's house is fine, since you only see some parts. But in the caves, with a bunch of block patterns, eye-blocks, and little alcoves that you can't reach... these details don't serve much of a purpose. There's a reason why almost every indie game has background areas like that fade out, or a bland endless pattern. That way, the player's attention is drawn to what they can interact with; every unique object, detailed pattern, or alcove stands out.
It's not that distracting when playing the mod. The pathways are clear the whole time. So it doesn't really matter to the player... which makes it kinda pointless.
Just don't get carried away and waste hours of development time on tiling environment details. I know I have. IMO, background patterns and unique tiles (like the eye-blocks) should serve the atmosphere, not just for details' sake.
Then again, lots of people probably like that detail. Take it with a grain of salt.

Why are the star blocks here? Like, I see a cool platforming challenge: Jump on the platform with the star blocks, break them, and drop down to the platform with the critter. But it's way faster and easier to just walk through the water.

The chains don't have those little hooks for the bottom, and the fences just get cut off. That stuff is definitely intentional, it just looks strange.

you are after my heart

Puu White jumps in midair when entering. That's cool if intentional, but he never does it again, so maybe not?

Puu White is a bit of a damage sponge if your Blade is Level 1.
Er sorry, "Ghost Foo"

Those big grey blocks have that distinct "smooth pixel art upscale" look and it clashes with the rest of the graphics. Also, the super-cracked blocks seem misleading. In Vanilla, you go through those blocks, and most other games have cracked blocks break when you stand on them.

I don't like the Blade here. It the damage of a LV2 Polar Star, with an equal (or even shorter) range as the original version. The main problem is that LV3 doesn't change anything. Like, the Vanilla LV3 Blade is super situational at best, but there's not even a damage boost or increase in range.
On the upside, Grasstown's enemies are actually a threat now.

The Blade's range is so short, you just can't hit this Mannan. And it seems near-impossible to jump over it.

Power Critters do weird things when when hit ceilings.

Puu Black But White (AKA Ghost Huu) got changed for the... better? Normally his balls fall so fast you can't react to them. But since you took that away, he doesn't have any real attacks aside from stomping on you. You just spam Blade and walk left/right every few seconds.

The Outer Wall is pretty cool; especially when you go deeper into the wall for a bit of platforming. Nice touch with the Hoppers in the Inner Wall; I almost didn't notice they had normal gravity. And I like the fight with the Piece of Soul. The changes to Ballos make him manageable with your not-so-good weapons.

"rised from their graves"
it's "rose"

And that's the demo. Yay for credits!
This is really good for a first mod. The graphics and music aren't the most unique out there, but I like them. Story is mostly an excuse for cave-ing to happen. Its main issue is the weak weapons. My advice would be to give the LV3 Blade and Phantom a bit more range, and maybe a damage boost for the Blade.
Dec 30, 2020 at 11:46 AM
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All right, I've seen some feedback from CSMC too and I think the weapon problem boils down to one thing:

There is a long range weapon, but I was always wondering if it's too hidden. During playtesting periods most of my playtesters found it without me hinting it. So I didn't think it's much of a problem.

Apparently it is. Oh well. I'll take note of that and do something about it.

The weapon is here btw


Power Critters do weird things when when hit ceilings.
I had to change the Power Critter code because of another more common bug with them where they slid on the ground. I'll look into the ceiling problem.
Dec 30, 2020 at 5:34 PM
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I've so far gotten to the third boss (without beating it), here are my thoughts.
The first cave is pretty good. The abundance of spikes makes me think that this is designed as a really hard mod. Is this true?
The lore so far is also pretty neat. I wonder how much the weapons master said about not trusting others is true, so I wonder if we'll later find out that some of the things the NPCs say are false.
The rest of the levels are fine, in my opinion. The abundance of enemies is not too big of an issue.

I'm personally not a fan that there are no save points before bosses. I believe the punishment of having to redo a boss for failing at it is good enough. Having the player go through some of the areas again is tedious.
The second boss in combination with the blade is not fun imo.
I feel like it should have been communicated that the Phantom has limited ammo. I'm used to thinking that the snake is infinite that I switched to it and used it on the enemies without realizing that it's limited until after I ran out. At that point I had no more ways to recover my ammo due to the earthquake, and I could have really used it on the third boss (which is really hard with just the blade).

I experienced a bug in one attempt where the third boss ended up flying off-screen without coming back.
Dec 30, 2020 at 6:14 PM
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I experienced a bug in one attempt where the third boss ended up flying off-screen without coming back.
God dammit I thought I fixed that

Also to everyone questioning the difficulty I'd say it's supposed to be Labyrinth-tier. Not sure if that would necessarily mean "hard"
Jan 6, 2021 at 3:11 AM
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finally sat down to play the rest of this!

- ok so i beat the first boss but it would certainly benefit from a save point right before or less health - i think this was mentioned either here or the CSMC but it's a huge damage sponge if you have lvl. 1 blade (and even with the lvl 2 it's still got a little too much HP for a first boss)

- the screen still turns black when i tab back in... it's definitely a wine issue but goddamn my muscle memory for making me tab out right after beating the first boss, i had to restart & go fight it again. that being said, the save/HP dropping down after you beat it is certainly appreciated.

- less spike pits please, it's extremely frustrating being knocked down into a pit by an enemy and dying - this is a problem in the first area with the mushrooms as well as the graveyard

- graveyard music & tileset is pretty nice, the shack could use a HP refill though

- the bridge tiles in heaven's bridge could be brightened up a little, it's a bit hard to read against the background. also, less critter spam - the big ones especially are frustrating to fight in the cramped environment

- the spooky eyeball NPCs are interesting, i'm liking the lore, some alternate dialogue would be nice so you don't have to sit through all their text again (and also i want to know more lmao)


- not much to say about the outer wall area, i liked the background a lot

- the final boss design is super cool, it reminds me of dark matter from kirby! i liked the fight as well

- construction ghost got a laugh out of me

tdlr: extremely impressive for a first mod, good visuals, interesting plot so far but could use more thought in enemy/hazard placement, as well as more save/refill points before bosses
Jan 6, 2021 at 12:46 PM
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i played bread's mod
i think it needs memes
level 3 blade is just..
for some reason bread included me as an NPC
music is good, even though 2dbro made it
i'm currently at the outer wall
i think it's a good mod
Jan 7, 2021 at 10:33 PM
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Played the mod, and it's a lot more than I expected.

Unlike mods that start before, during or after the events of Cave Story, the way the game starts in a completely different area is something I'd like to see more. similar to
the ruins in Undertale
where the game starts in a large area with the same tile types.
The gameplay does tend to get quite tedious, and there are a few rough patches, but it's a great first mod!

Also, is it me, or does the mod have a Cave Story beta vibe? Maybe it's just the blue text box, the white Balrog and how Raichu reminds me of the mimiga from Cave Story beta.