Back to the Classics

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Back to the Classics


Spud Alpha

Latest version




Production status




Back to the Classics is Spud Alpha's first complete hack. It is entirely vanilla. It was created between April 2009 and December 2010.


History of the Hack

This is Spud Alpha's first complete hack, and his pride and joy. Spud first began creating it in the early spring months of 2009(most likely April), and completed the hack in the late winter months of 2010. The hack was released in late 2010, and rereleased in early 2011, fixing a few errors. Since then the hack has received positive and negative comments, mostly complimenting the palettes, use of vanilla graphics, and level design, and criticizing the unfairness in some castles and bosses.

The spirit of this hack was born many years ago, long before Spud Alpha began hacking. Spud Alpha sketched a rough map, which he wanted one day to make into a SMW hack. He liked this overworld, so once he started hacking he wanted to create the hack. The original "Back to the Classics" was the first SMW hack Spud worked on, which was mainly simple SMW level edits with decent custom palettes. What became the current Back to the Classics was slated to be a sequel to that ROM. When Spud's computer crashed, and Spud lost all of the current hacks he was working on, he began work on what became the full-fledged, released Back to the Classics.

The first level Spud created for the hack was entitled "Peppermint Pass". It did not appear in the hack. The next level Spud Alpha created was entitled "Seacliff Stretch" (originally called "Seashell Shores 1-1" or "Inland Rock Formations"), where Spud Alpha made use of slope tiles to place bushes on rock formations. Spud Alpha was inspired(by himself) at that moment to make the entire hack use unique, never-before-seen usages of vanilla resources.

The hack uses no ExGFX. At the time, Spud Alpha thought using ExGFX, even to combine SMW tiles into one file, was not vanilla. The hack was created with Lunar Magic version 1.63, which was actually made around 2005 or 2006.


  • (S) - Secret level (follows the level which unlocks it).
  • (O) - Optional level.

World 1: Seashell Shores

This is the first world, an ocean themed world. It contains these levels:

  • Seacliff Stretch: the first level in the hack. A simple, short, grassy, seacliff level. Its secret exit unlocks the level Cargoship Crash.
  • (S) Cargoship Crash: A torn up ship, halfway sunken.
  • Mushroom Mile: a mushroom/lineguide level. Has some complicated fungus structures, and a cloud-shaped lineguide section.
  • Seashell Shores: a sunset beach level with a tide.
  • (O) Blueberry Beach: a blue island.
  • Screwy Sandcastle: Iggy's large fortress constructed out of sand.

World 2: Lush Land

A forest themed map.

  • Timber Trail: a simple forest.
  • Acorn Island: an island in a small lake cursed to eternal autumn.
  • (O) Lush Land: a clearing in the forest.
  • Fearful Forest: a haunted, purple forest. Houses a... house. A ghost house, that is. A Big Boo battle finishes the level off.
  • (S) Caramel Countryside: a sunset plain outside of the forest.
  • Petrified Palace: a quite hard level. A castle made out of petrified wood.

World 3: Lost Lake

A lake that takes place in the highlands of Vanilla Island.

  • (O) Cliffside Climb: an optional level. Mario must be small to play this. A mountain with many tiny passages in it. Quite easy. This is many peoples' favorite level in the hack.
  • Noontime Knoll: a plain with some weird green plants in the ground.
  • Serene Seabed: a level with 2 sections. The first is a calm, blue seabed. The second is a plain, which you must flood to reach the goal.
  • Lost Lake: a nice looking lake. Has day and night time versions, the latter being much more difficult.
  • (S) Foreign Frenzy: a level that takes place in a foreign land, the Mildew Kingdom, which has different races of Koopas and other enemies.
  • Flooded Fortress: a mossy, flooded fortress.

World 4: Peppermint Pass

A snowy world atop a high mountain.

  • Meltwater Mere: a level with drastic weather. Enter pipes to change the weather between warm/melty, to cold/freezy, in order to pass obstacles.
  • Peppermint Pass: a simple, short, fun level. There's a star at the beginning, and ? blocks along the level which give you a star if you're invincible, and a coin if you aren't.
  • Polar Path: a level where the door to the next room is static and follows you where you go.
  • (S) Gradient Garden: a silhouette style garden. This level's palette is based on 2 gradients, one for the foreground and one for the sprites.
  • (O) Snowy Summit: an awkward, snowy summit. Floating, swim-in-able water diamonds float around.
  • Frostbiten Fort: a level with a name typo. It should be "Frostbitten" fortress. A frozen fort of ice.

World 5: Cloudy Corner

The only world not to take its name from a level within it. A sky world.

  • Sunset Skies: a trek through fluffy, pink clouds.
  • (O) Storm Scuttle: a level taking place on top of storm clouds. Sumo koopas or whatever they're called upon clouds, stomping and creating lightning provide the explanation of where lightning comes from.
  • Terrifying Tower: a ghostly tower. You constantly must go in and out of it, although many people confuse it for going to a "nighttime" version of the level.
  • (S) Celestial Sea: a commonly missed level. Half of it's a mountain, but it's mostly open air full of floating water to swim in, providing some fun gimmicks.
  • Wonder Woods: a forest in the sky. Trees break through the clouds.
  • Cosmos Castle: an epic castle. The first section is a castle of clouds. You rise to an airship. Then, you plunge down to the boss room. The boss is common considered unfair.

World 6: Shadow Symphony

The final world, a land of eternal night.

  • Gloomy Grove: the title screen level, a gloomy grove with cleverly made vanilla trees.
  • Moonbow Mines: a neon wire-frame rainbow cave.
  • Volcanic Vale: the first area is a plain above volcanic caverns, littered with ash. The second is a trek through the volcanic, crystal-dotted caves themselves.
  • (O) Shadow Symphony: a night-time grassy cliff level. Has a very intricate secret exit.
  • (S) Mangled Memories: a level with 5 rooms(besides the intro and goal rooms): a swamp, a forest, a dark plain, a snowy mountain, and a ghostly sky.
  • Spitfire Spire: the final level of the hack, a fiery castle with many little subrooms. Been criticized for being unfair, and ends in a very unfair boss fight.


  • This hack was based off an overworld Spud Alpha drew sometime in, like, 2007 or something.
  • The level Noontime Knoll is the first level Spud Alpha created for the hack that actually appeared in it.
  • Foreign Frenzy's overworld is SMW's map scaled down.
  • There is one optional level per world, and also one secret level per world. There are 6 levels per world altogether.
  • The level Mangled Memories is supposed to have a room dedicated to each world(except the last world), mashed up with the night/unpleasant theme of the world it takes place in.
  • Each world has a name. Most worlds take their name from a certain level in that specific world(like how some albums are named after a song in them).
  • Before Spud decided the first few levels he randomly mapped out would be put into the hack he planned, Back to the Classics, the folder with this ROM was called "Wowsers". It still is.
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