Curious Skymachine

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57th : Curious Skymachine

Make a Good 48 Hour Mega Man Level

Keep your eye on the ball, and don't look down.

Curious Skymachine is the 57th place entry in Make a Good 48 Hour Mega Man Level. It is a platforming-centric level that uses Concrete Platforms and Cloud Platforms for various challenges, such as avoiding enemies or jumping into low areas while avoiding bottomless pits. Later on in the level, the Cloud Platforms also act as a smokescreen of sorts, obscuring spikes and requiring memorisation of where they were to avoid being hit. Fortunately, the spikes are all Damage Spikes which deal a set amount of damage instead of instantly killing Mega Man.


The level starts in an area resembling Hornet Man's stage, and introduces both platform gimmicks with simple setups around airborne Hotchkiss'ns and a single Mono Roader. Here there are no pits, allowing Mega Man to familiarise himself with the box assets. If a Concrete Platform flies off by mistake, it can be reset by backtracking and scrolling it back offscreen. Before long, he comes across a single screen with a Concrete Platform, which will carry him up, up, up, into the titular skymachine itself (and the level's first checkpoint). To his left is a tall wall that he can scale with either the Rush Jet or Concrete Shot, leading to a small room with a Tyhorn guarding a W-Tank; defeating the Tyhorn isn't even necessary to obtain it, as it can be safely stood on top of. The level continues with a small appearance of Ou-Ous, followed by a Mono Roader and Hotchkiss'n ambush; Mega Man should have a Charge Shot ready to defeat the former before it spins out.

What follows is a long section which requires platforming up and around both Cloud and Concrete Platforms, while Hotchkiss'ns fly near the top of the screen. Since they're often out of the Mega Buster's range, the Flame Mixer can be used to defend against both them and their projectiles. However, be careful; many platforms are placed near the top of the screen, requiring Mega Man to jump off the top of the screen often. Doing this while the Flame Mixer is active can cause some of the flames to despawn, making it easier for a Hotchkissn's spikes to hit Mega Man. Because of this, the Homing Sniper can hit the enemies from afar before they can get close, and its rate of fire makes it more practical than other weapons like the Rain Flush or Beat (who is best kept in reserve as a safety net if the Beat Rescue has been bought). The Rush Jet can also bypass some sections, though the often chaotic moving platforms make using it without falling off tricky. Partway through the area is an E-Tank above five rising Concrete Platforms, the second of which is placed higher than the rest. Do not jump on this platform, as it will carry the E-Tank offscreen when it rises upwards.

After clearing the platforming gauntlet, Mega Man arrives at the next checkpoint. Down behind a Key Barrier is a screen with four columns of Cloud Platforms, the left two rising while the right two descend. A pit lines the bottom of the screen, and a large overhang prevents Mega Man from riding the falling clouds down to the screen's exit. To get across, either drop to the lowest rising cloud and jump across to a falling cloud where possible, or ride a falling cloud and carefully jump up when it passes into the overhang. Alternatively, if Beat Rescue is available, Mega Man can throw himself into the pit and use Beat to carry him to the other side. The next screen has three columns of descending clouds that obscure a 4x4 square of Damage Spikes; Mega Man can avoid it by jumping up the edges of the clouds to the top of the screen, then jumping across the pit. On the next screen, Mega Man should ride a cloud down as soon as possible to safely pass the wall of Damage Spikes before the clouds hide the safe spot. The Search Snake can roughly mark out the wall, though the clouds being solid interferes with their detection more often than not.

For the rest of the level, Damage Spikes line the ceiling to limit Mega Man's jump height. An Ou-Ou stands guard over a ledge near a Concrete Platform and a set of rising clouds; Mega Man shouldn't go near the former until the Ou-Ou has been destroyed. After a short area with Mono Roaders and Hotchkiss'ns is a single screen with a Key Barrier. On the left are three Concrete Platforms and a key; on the right is a set of Cloud Platforms and a Damage Spike wall. It can be very easy to miss the gap before the clouds cover it while jumping after the key, so either pay close attention or use the Rush Coil to get the key as fast as possible; its bounce stops just short of the spiked ceiling. As a general guide, the gap is positioned one 16x16 tile above the top of the Key Barrier. After that is a Tyhorn with two Cloud Platforms rising upwards, but defeating it should be no issue, especially from afar with weapons like the Homing Sniper.

After one last tight jump across platforms, Mega Man will reach the boss: Guts Man, whose arena has three Damage Spike pits covered by rising Concrete Platforms. These make his earthquakes more dangerous than usual, since if Mega Man is knocked onto one of these platforms, it will carry him into a spiked ceiling while also reducing the amount of safe ground left. Fortunately, Guts Man himself cannot trigger the platforms, though avoiding his attacks is tricky with the lack of stable ground. If Guts Man should fall into a pit, he won't take damage from the spikes, but will remain trapped. This can potentially make the battle easier, but it can also make it harder to avoid the debris from his Super Arm throws, especially if he gets trapped in the middle pit.

Judge Comments[edit]

Judge Comments
ParmaJon ParmaJon ParmaJon : 54 / 100
Design Creativity Function Fun Aesthetic
17 / 35 8 / 15 10 / 10 11 / 25 8 / 15

I can't say that I had much fun with this level. Two major things brought it down for me.

1. The checkpoints. They aren't aggressively awful, but they are far enough apart that the first couple screens of every section got boring from doing them over and over, and I just felt like I needed to practice the last few screens.

2. So much of the level has awkward jumps. Jumps that don't feel like the major challenge but just are frustrating enough to send you back to the checkpoint over and over. To go along with this, a lot of the level was instant death based as so many enemies are just there to knock you off the cloud platforms. Otherwise, the parts with the super fast generating clouds were really cool, and honestly the highlight of the level. The midboss that shot rocks onto the clouds and changed where it landed was a really good use of that. The level sure isn't awful, but I really didn't have a lot of fun playing it due to the repetitiveness and stupid deaths.

PKWeegee PKWeegee PKWeeGee : 76 / 100
Design Creativity Function Fun Aesthetic
24 / 35 13 / 15 10 / 10 18 / 25 11 / 15

I quite enjoyed this one. It supplied a lot of fun and creative platforming challenges, combining its two main gimmicks together very well. I especially liked how the clouds were used to make a dense "fog" to hide away spikes. The beginning part was also really cool, how you rose up to the Skymachine, and the sky got darker. That also served as the separation point between tutorial and actual level, which was a neat way of handling it. Overall, solid work.

M-Jacq M-Jacq M-Jacq : 45 / 100
Design Creativity Function Fun Aesthetic
10 / 35 9 / 15 10 / 10 6 / 25 10 / 15

Most of this level's problems boil down to poor usage of the cloud platforms. The segments where they're spammed to the point where you can't see what's behind them, and you have to remember where behind the "fog of platforms" the spikes are - well, that's kind of clever, but not very fun. The rest of the level, however, falters by seemingly failing to take their horizontal movement into account - meaning you'll often miss jumps or get directed into a Hotchkissin's line of fire unless you're lucky. The level hits its nadir with the miniboss fight, where getting hit gives you a random chance of being knocked off a platform and into a pit, then having to waste a minute getting back to that point. In general this level felt checkpoint light, even though strictly speaking it observed standard screen counts - I think that's a consequence of how much of the level, especially in the second half, is over instant death. Honestly, the best thing about the level is probably the "cutscene" towards the beginning. That was cute - I did like the idea that you're taking a trip into the sky and onto some cool rocket ship thing. Only problem is, the level itself didn't really deliver on that promise. It might have been cool if you'd held off slightly on plunging the player into the sky, and had an airship aesthetic on what would then become the second half of the level. (Certainly truer to the level's name.)

Freems Freems Freems : 52 / 100
Design Creativity Function Fun Aesthetic
17 / 35 12 / 15 6 / 10 9 / 25 8 / 15

What a strange level. The first chunk introduced its gimmicks well enough, if not a little cut and dry but once we get to what I presume is the sky machine, things get weird. Most challenges become surprisingly ignorable or easily exploited (a set of three Concrete Platforms to grab a key but really only the bottom one is required at all) or just bizarre (a section with nothing much more than three up moving Concrete blocks... already at the top of the screen with no other obstacles). And when there was an actual platforming challenge such as some Snake Man Cloud platforming, there was at least one incident where the Concrete Blocks ahead of me just refused to spawn on one playthrough. But when I died it spawned just fine. The usage of keys was also surprisingly pointless. There might have been one jump where the arc to get the key was important but usually it was just a quick and mindless detour. And while it is a creative idea to create a neverending barrage of clouds... using them to hide spikes, instadeath or no is pretty lame no matter which way you slice it. As an aside, while including your gimmick in your boss fight isn't a bad idea on paper, having it pretty much boil down to "these parts of the boss room are unusable to you!" doesn't make fighting any boss more fun. Really, you nailed the title. It sure is... curious. Definitely a level that could become so much more with more fine tuning and testing.


  • All Ou-Ous in Curious Skymachine have their HP values lowered from 9 to 7; as this is their only appearance in MaG48HMML, this means their default HP amount is unused in that game.
  • Although every visible spike in the level is a Damage Spike, a few instant death spikes are present but invisible; all of them are behind the left wall of the level's second checkpoint, and will kill the player if they reach it by flying under the platform with the Rush Jet.
  • The second path in the boss corridor is purely decorative as part of Guts Man's entrance and cannot be accessed.

Make a Good 48 Hour Mega Man Level - Tier 6
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