Below Kryll Level Batch 1

Advanced Moves Boot Camp / Dash ‘N’ Slash / Flying Lesson

Below Kryll Title Screen

Official Site || Steam Page

As this is the first set of player-created Below Kryll levels I’ll be covering, I wanted to show off some of my favorite ‘tutorial’ stages. These areas are each designed either to focus upon fully utilizing a single ability or to actively teach you advanced techniques which many of the hardest stages expect you to be familiar with while still being challenging stages in their own right.

Please note that there are some slowdown issues in these videos which I was not able to resolve in time for this recording and the game normally runs at a faster speed. I’ll be looking into ways to fix these issues for future Below Kryll videos and will hopefully have them resolved very soon.

Advanced Moves Boot Camp by Zubit (1w14)

This is the oldest stage of the lot and the only one which is blatantly designed as a tutorial, though it is still entertaining and can be tricky in its own right. It was made before air dashing was implemented into the game, but the two primary techniques it teaches you, extending your jump’s horizontal distance with Death from Above and performing a long jump by lunging off of ectoplasm cubes, are necessary for completing a significant number of stages in the second layer. Even though air dashing can be used to trivialize this stage, many difficult, newer stages combine these techniques with air dashing. The instructor is also set up to give additional tips with more details on how to perform these actions if you get stuck on a particular segment for too long.

Flying Lesson by Mostro (7w9)

Speaking of stages which expect you to utilize air dashing alongside other techniques, here’s one now. Flying Lesson keeps things simple with the focus placed entirely upon covering huge gaps with Mitsu’s ability to temporarily cancel his vertical movement when he hits an enemy in midair. It can take a good number of tries to fully clear this stage, especially if you aren’t used to utilizing this particular technique, but making it to the end of a gap feels immensely satisfying. It’s definitely a difficult stage, but things are nicely balanced out by tying the upper level of Enuras (the giant frogs) to the respawn point and by giving you the option to talk to Mitsu’s master a second time to access a much easier path, though one which does not allow you to collect all of the shurikens.

Dash ‘N’ Slash by Ikami (21e9)

Dash ‘N’ Slash is more of a fully-realized stage than the other two, but it’s one which was made around the time the ability to dash was added to Below Kryll and still serves to this day as one of the best illustrations of how this technique can be utilized. It starts with simple (though rather difficult) jumps in which you need to use the dash to get around a low ceiling or just cover a large amount of space, but the second half throws enemies into the mix. What’s particularly nice about this stage is how it gradually builds up to tying everything together by first making you use the air dash to perform tricky jumps at the top of the stage, then moving on to teaching you how to use the instant-recovery gained from killing enemies to cover large amounts of ground in a short time or to cross gaps where a single dash alone would not suffice, and then finally forcing players to overcome all of these challenges simultaneously if they want the final shuriken.

Below Kryll Title Screen

Below Kryll

Official Site || Steam Page || Steam Demo Page

With all the love that Super Mario Maker has gotten, it’s a bit of a surprise that Below Kryll hasn’t become a bit more well-known than it currently is as the player-created platforming world of the latter in many ways rivals the former. Like Fraxy, this is a game focused almost entirely around content created by the players themselves, and we’ll be looking at some individual stages made by the community down the road, so I’ll be covering both the actual gameplay and the editor itself in this article.
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Mahou Warrior Dragon

Mahou Warrior

Game Jolt Page

If GIGADEEP serves as the perfect example of what can be done with the Mega Man formula when balanced design is thrown out the window in favor of fast, chaotic gameplay, then Mahou Warrior serves as an example of what happens when you focus on specific parts of that formula and push them to their limits. Though the gameplay and many of the mechanics may be familiar, the ways in which the obstacles you encounter are used and combined are frequently innovative and surprising.
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GIGADEEP Stage Select

GIGADEEP

Official Site (Japanese) || Official Free Soundtrack

Just like its fully-capitalized name, there is nothing graceful nor elegant about GIGADEEP. Nearly everything part of this game is sloppy, loud, frantically kinetic, and, of course, ridiculously entertaining. There is a real sense of energy to this Mega Man X-inspired action platformer that I have rarely seen matched and, even with some glaring balance issues, I find myself going back to this game at least once every year.
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