Super Mario Infinity 2: The Cursed Gem
|Super Mario Infinity 2: The Cursed Gem|
"Super Mario +-Infinity 2" 1.2
Super Mario Infinity 2's first level was started shortly before its prequel was first released, but Reading truly started working on it in November 2006. The hack was released for the first time on August 25, 2007, along with a bugfix of Super Mario Infinity. Reading fixed several problems in the hack over the next few weeks, releasing the supposedly final version on September 8, 2007.
Super Mario Infinity 2 was revised along with its prequel for the large "Super Mario -Infinity" revision. The game's level design was made more accessible, custom music was added, and certain minor aspects of the plot were changed, such as a few details in the natives' backstory.
Super Mario Infinity 2 has been described as the longest hack ever released. It takes more time to complete than its prequel, as described by Tatrion, who has "played RPGs that take less time than this game".
Super Mario Infinity 2 contains 11 worlds, 93 levels and 114 exits. As in its prequel, the levels are much longer than typical SMW levels. The themes used in this game are similarly diverse as in the original. Some levels feature minor RPG elements; for example, to reach Lemmy's Castle, the player must first explore the outside of the castle and learn that they must reach the Temple of Terror to unlock the castle.
The game's overworld lies inside a magical stone called the Cursed Gem. Despite this fact, the overworld is a lush area with several mountains, valleys, and other features, and unlike its prequel, there is not a single vast ocean that contains the landforms.
This game, like its prequel, has many custom graphics, both ripped and original. Many graphics from SMI are reused in this hack, such as the basic ground, but several new graphics are introduced as well.
Again, as in its prequel, Super Mario Infinity 2 uses new technical modifications such as custom blocks, sprites, and music.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
After the Mario brothers entered the room the natives were in, they informed him that the Cursed Gem contained the magic time bomb created by Black Plague. Bowser's spell had fully worn off by now, but Mario and Luigi didn't have time to ask questions before they were magically pulled into the Gem.
Inside the Cursed Gem, Dark Merlinius observed what was happening from his prison in the Temple of Terror. Since he had been possesed by Black Plague and was not truly evil, he tried to cause Mario and Luigi's deaths so that they could reach Vacant Void and stop the bomb before it was too late. Although Bowser had lost the Magic Wand, he still retained some of the technology he had created with it, and had already constructed a new hideout for himself. Knowing that the heroes would likely defeat Bowser, he manipulated Kamek and The Big Boo, causing them to become angry over their mistreatment and how they had been forced to build Bowser's Base, in an effort to create more obstacles that could increase Mario and Luigi's chances of being killed in some way. The two minions plotted to overthrow Bowser by building a hideout behind his and planning to destroy Bowser's hideout. Kamek lied to Bowser and told him that the bomb was located behind Bowser's hideout. Bowser's scouts searched for a way to escape the Cursed Gem, and Bowser grew increasingly worried about when the bomb would explode. Kamek and The Big Boo guarded the the activation of the Temple of Terror with a password Bowser had used; this would allow Dark Merlinius to be freed even if Mario and Luigi passed all of the obstacles, and he could then kill them.
Mario and Luigi appeared in Verdant Valley, the first area they would visit. After discovering Bowser's Outpost and a castle, they suspected that Bowser had escaped into the Gem. They traveled through several more areas, eventually reaching Lemmy's Castle in an underground area called Rocky Ruins. The castle could not be entered unless the blocks barring the entrance were removed, and the switch to do that was located in the Temple of Terror. In the Temple, Mario and Luigi discovered an inscription that told about how the Vengeans, led by Black Plague, had invaded Sea Spot, and how Black Plague had fought the native leader for the Cursed Gem; however, since the natives had not known that Dark Merlinius was actually Black Plague, the demon was not mentioned. The natives also did not know the bomb's true range; they assumed it was meant to destroy the world, when actually it would only destroy Sea Spot and allow Black Plague to safely escape.
After reaching Ambient Island, the Mario Bros. encountered another message from the natives in a fortress. It explained that Bowser's hideout could be reached by finding the seventh castle, and also told them about how Bowser had used the Cursed Gem in his castle to try and kill the heroes. The castle was located on the frozen outer reaches of the Cursed Gem, and once they defeated the Koopa Kid, the path to Bowser's new hideout became availible. Mario and Luigi descended to the hideout ("Down the Falls") and eventually reached the firey headquarters. They read several messages about how Bowser's scouts were searching for a way out of the Cursed Gem. Kamek and The Big Boo helped Bowser in trying to destroy the heroes, but they prevailed and eventually reached Bowser's Castle.
Just before fighting Bowser, they read a message he had written to his minions. It acknowledged all of his minion's failures, and Bowser had also started to wonder if hating Mario and Luigi was worth it anymore. They entered Bowser's room, and Luigi confronted Bowser about the message and how he was beginning to hate them less strongly. Bowser admitted this, but stated that they were still arch-enemies. Mario, seeing Bowser's potential weakness, suggested that he join forces with them and try to stop the time bomb, to save all of their lives and the world. Bowser considered the offer, but then declined, refusing to join Mario again. He then battled them atop his castle. During the fight, the Bros. could see that someone was crying for help inside Bowser's Clown Copter, and strange particles of energy were appearing over it; Bowser had discovered the plan of Kamek and The Big Boo, and had captured Kamek. After Mario and Luigi defeated Bowser, Kamek vanished to the hideout he shared with The Big Boo, and Bowser flew off in his Clown Copter, crash-landed, and died.
The Mario brothers went behind Bowser's Castle, expecting to find the time bomb, but they instead found Kamek and The Big Boo's hideout. The minions explained to them that they now lead Bowser's army and about their plan to destroy him, which ended up succeeding, albeit in a different manner than they planned. They also said that they knew where the bomb was, and mockingly invited the heroes to come to their castle to find out. When they did, they fought Kamek and the Big Boo, but not before the Big Boo revealed a secret about the castle, named Partnership Evil. The minions were under the control of Dark Merlinius, who was using them to help his plan. After defeating them, Mario and Luigi found the exit leading to Bowser's Prison, which guarded Yoshi. A message in Bowser's Prison gave another secret about Partnership Evil, detailing the password used to guard the orb. They collected the orb, which rose the Temple of Terror from Rocky Ruins onto an island above sea level.
Dark Merlinius's backup plan went into action as they found the Green, Blue, Red, and Yellow Shrines, which cleared the path to the Temple of Terror. Upon entering the Temple again, the Bros. discovered the Pit of 100 Terrors. After fighting their way through it, they were suddenly thrown into a strange void of sparkling lights; this action had released Dark Merlinius from his prison. Not knowing what happened, the Bros. exited the Temple. Kamek tried one last time to stop Mario and Luigi with a giant airship. After defeating Kamek and falling to the ground below, Dark Merlinius appeared and told them that he was the one they had freed. He summoned blades that stabbed Mario and Luigi through their hearts, killing them.
Mario and Luigi awoke in Vacant Void. Not knowing where they were, they were confused until Dark Merlinius came to them again. He explained that he was not evil and was trying to get them killed by using Kamek and The Big Boo so that the Mario Bros. would reach Vacant Void and be able to stop the bomb. He told them that the time bomb was located in Time Bomb Tower, on the far side of Vacant Void, and about how Black Plague was the one truly responsible for the invasion, detailing the backstory of Black Plague and the native invasion. After his speech, the brothers found Bowser, who had appeared here after dying in his hideout. Mario explained the situation to him, and they then set off for Time Bomb Tower. After traveling through Vacant Void, they encountered the souls of a few Sea Spot natives who had been killed while trying to find the bomb.
Mario and Luigi climbed the treacherous Time Bomb Tower, finally confronting Black Plague at the top. They fought the ghost-like demon in several rooms with help from attacking blocks Dark Merlinius conjured. The demon eventually told the heroes that the bomb would explode in 50 seconds. The Bros. quickly managed to defeat him and shut off the bomb. Dark Merlinius gave them instructions to return to Verdant Valley to find the way out of the Cursed Gem. Bowser and his minions also took this route, and they escaped the Cursed Gem, having saved the world once more.
Spoilers end here.
Super Mario Infinity 2 has recieved many positive comments; despite this, there have been complaints that the difficulty level is too high. However, the level design, plot, and overworld have generally been complimented, much like the original Super Mario Infinity.
Similarities to Super Mario Infinity
SMI2 bears several resemblances to the first hack.
•As should be expected, the game is very long and difficult, even more so than SMI1.
•The plot continues directly from the ending of SMI1.
•Several graphics, such as the basic ground and the mushroom platforms, are identical to those in the prequel.
•World 1 contains four normal levels followed by a castle, with the third level (Verdant Valley 3)'s secret exit leading to a secret level, similar to Sea Spot in the original.
•In the original, the Koopa Kids in the seven castles were in the order from SMB3, not SMW, and they are also in this arrangement for the sequel.
•SMI2's world names are alliterative as in the original.
•Both hacks feature Star Trinkets as a replacement for Dragon Coins, although they have a larger purpose in SMI2.
•Both hacks feature a sort of intermission between Worlds 6 and 7. However, in the original there was a single level, Glacier Mountain, wheras the sequel contains the multi-level Ambient Island, which resembles a World in itself, even having a Fortress at the end that resembles a World castle.
•The Island Fortress contains a long, blank hallway that eventually contains a brick background and magic blasts, and this is followed a pipe leading to a white room that explains part of the storyline. This is almost identical to the same kind of rooms used in Lemmy's Castle in SMI.
•World 7 in both hacks is a sky/ice area; SMI1 contained Galactic Glacier, and SMI2 featured Frozen Frame.
•After World 7, both hacks have very long levels in which Mario must descend below the ocean to find Bowser's hideout. This level is Dark Depths in the first game and Down the Falls in the second, and the levels themselves resemble each other, both of them containing a fiery part at the end.
•The third normal level of World 8 (Bowser's Boiler 3 and Bowser's Bastion 3) in both hacks are more difficult remakes of the hacks' respective first levels. They also contain similar hazards; Bowser's Boiler 3 has invisible spikes that could be noticed by observing the enemies, and Bowser's Bastion 3's hazards are fake coins and items that hurt you if you touch them.
•The Ghost Houses in World 8 of the two hacks are similar, being based on finding four coloredÂ ! Blocks to unlock doors.
•Bowser's Boiler 5 in the prequel consisted of a Yoshi's Island 1-based area, followed by a remake of Donut Plains 1, SMB3 1-1, SMB1 1-1, an area based on Donkey Kong, and finally an area based on Pong. Bowser's Bastion 5 in the sequel follows the same concept, starting with the exact same Yoshi's Island 1 area, but then goes into Funky, SMB3 Bowser's Castle, SMB1 8-4, and a different area based on Donkey Kong. This is followed by an almost identical Pong area, except for the "ball" being closer to the other "paddle".
•In SMI1, beating Bowser in World 8 and in SMI2, beating Kamek and The Big Boo in World 9 is not the true end of the game. There are a few levels in each hack whose secret exits cannot be cleared without Yoshi, who the player recieves after the "false ending" of both hacks by following a clue. These levels unlock the route to the Star Gateway in SMI1, and allow access to the levels on Shrine Island in SMI2.
•Both hacks have a level in which the player must activate brown block trains, wait for them to pass through several screens of cement blocks, and then hit a P-Switch to create a tunnel. This level is Glacier Secret 3 in SMI1 and the Yellow Shrine in SMI2.