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Super Mario bros. Z

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Sprite animation practice

Posted by Alvin-Earthworm - October 5th, 2013


I may be shooting myself in the foot here, but I felt like sharing this.
As many of you know, on the 9th of October, it will officially be 4 years since I released Super Mario bros Z episode 8 to the masses. It'll also be almost 19 months since I officially laid SMBZ to rest.
But, with the assistance of a friend, I was able to reacquire Flash and felt like trying out sprite animation again to see if I could re-ignite my passion to work on the series. As practice, I remade the first scene of the first episode of SMBZ. After a few months working on and off, this is the result.

Super Mario bros Z Episode 1 Scene 1 Remake

Don't take this as confirmation that I will be working on the series again, but if I did, I would like to remake the series from the ground up. There were numerous things in the older episodes that I felt could have been done better. Namely the fight scenes, the story and the godawful dialogue. Here are some of the key changes I would implement.

1: Mecha Sonic will be replaced by Metallix.
For a supposed upgrade to Metal Sonic, Mecha Sonic was a visual downgrade. The design for Metallix just looks more imposing than the original faceless design. Metallix was going to appear later in the series anyway as Mecha Sonic's perfect form after he got all the Chaos Emeralds.

2: The Pipe maze episode will be removed
The whole episode in general was filler suggested by a fan of the series because I didn't know what to do for the 5th Chaos Emerald. With that said, I feel it was poorly executed on my part. It was too dialogue heavy. It spouted out unnecessary exposition that had no bearing on the plot. And who can forget the ridiculous Deus Ex Machina moment with Kolorado's stopwatch. The 8-bit parts were kinda cool, but to me it couldn't save it from being a bad episode.

3: Captain Basilisx won't be in the remake
While Basilisx was well received by fans, I feel he was shoehorned into the plot. He just showed up out of nowhere with no backstory or buildup. I feel that also distracted from the anticipation of Mecha Mario's appearance and would have undermined the upcoming battle against the Koopalings.

For the time being, these are just ideas. I want to make sure that I would be willing and committed to work on this series again. I don't want to cancel it twice. Until then, enjoy the practice animation.


Comments (119)

I love the new design for Metalix. Very Nice.

Poor little Goomba.

Metallix takes no prisoners.

1. Never heard of Metallix, so I'm interested in it.

2. I actually liked episode seven, but you are right on to points: It was too heavy on dialogue and the stopwatch moment was ridiculous. Even so, I think you sort of removed yourself with your comfort zone and tried something new, at least that's what I think.

3. That's a shame. After what happened on the first scene on episode 9, I was actually hoping to see what would happen to him. He was a pretty badass character.

If I may add something else (if you do plan on re-doing this series that is), consider getting rid of the Axem Rangers X as well. I had almost no idea who they were, so I'm assuming they're characters you created. And if that's the case, then they had almost no back story or development and they seemed nothing more than just random villains who were just there to make some cool action sequences and a reason to find the fourth emerald. That's just my idea.

So anyway, it's nice to hear from you after god knows how long, and it's nice to hear from this series again. I'm sure a lot of people are going to go ape-shit for this begging you to start up this series again but hell, the one thing that matters is that you live! :D Even if you don't restart the series, I just hope you do some sprite animation again. SMBZ wasn't the only thing I like from you. (C is for Cereal made my dayXD)

Actually, the Axem Rangers were from Super Mario RPG on the SNES. They were a team working for the Smithy gang. However, their original sprites were pretty diminutive and hard to work with, so I "upgraded" them.

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvPRkIj8K98

I don't plan on getting rid of them if I remake the series. But the sprites I customized for them are in need of improving. Axem Pink was a pretty bad edit. Also, their presence is to serve as foreshadowing for the second season of SMBZ where Smithy is the main villain.

I'm... I'm speechless! Great work, and that was just practice?!

May I ask, how long did it take you to make this? Both the time you spent working on it, and the actual days, since you started. Just a simple curiosity.

Yeah, it was just a warm up to see if I wanted to get back into sprite animation. Provided I do, I would like to use this scene in the remake.
I started work on it around mid August. Working on it a few hours each week. I can't really hazard a guess about how much time precisely. My job has been taking up a lot of my time as of late, so it took longer than it should have.

It was nice to see the work you did in this practice animation. Hope you can find that right path you want to follow.

Ah, well thanks for clearing that up for me. But I'm still holding on to my opinion on them thinking that they weren't really necessary for the series. I mean they were cool characters and all, but I don't know, they just didn't fit for me.

It makes me very happy that you "may" consider working on SMBZ again. Been a fan since the very beginning of the series and have followed it ever since. I love the design of Metallix, he literally is a perfect representation of Frieza in Dragon Ball Z. (Shows no mercy to anyone in his way.) I do have a question should you have the time to reply. Are there any key sprites that you plan on change? (Sonic, Shadow, Mario, Luigi, etc.) Thanks, and your "animation practice" was absolutely exceptional. Blew my mind. Hope to hear from you again soon! :D

For the most part, I'll be using the same sprites for the main heroes as I did in the older episodes.
It's mostly side characters that will be getting new sprites. Bowser in particular will be using his look from M&L 3.

i guess remaking the series is kinda unecessary, all you need is to do the damn 9th episode

Contrary to popular belief. Episode 9 was NOT going to be the final episode in the series. More like the half way point.

I can't believe it's been 4 years already since the last episode, moreso how many years it has been since you started this series!
But I can still remember clearly how I heard about SMBZ in the first place and what a fan I was since then. Good times, good times.

And it just happened that I found myself in some phase where I just had to do all the old things that I did in the past, so I decided to visit your old Newsground page again to watch the old episodes. What joy it was when I read your new entry!
Just call me a bootlicker, but I decided to finally create an account, inter alia just to tell you this.
I really hope you get your passion back for animating and maybe even the series!

Kind regards! =D

Just exactly how many people are asking/telling you to resume, not remake the series already?

That was a pretty good remake you did there.
And while I was reading on the "Key Changes" you want to make.
First part: Hope you have more fun with Metallix. Mecha Sonic was getting kinda dull (in my opinion).
Second part: I agree that it was too "Dialogue Heavy" and the stopwatch moment was weird. But the idea of the 8-bit world was pretty cool.
and the Third part: Oh well, He was an awesome character.

And I don't mind if you want to remake the whole thing. If that's how you feel then that's fine with me.
(\ -Good Luck- /)

I only liked Basilisx because of his snakish accent. But if you're gonna omit him as well... that's pretty much okay with me.

If sprite animation is still not your thing, you do NOT have to work on it if you don't want to.

Another thing, your reattempt at sprite animation was still EPIC! I can't even believe your skills haven't dulled in age! I so admire you for wanting to do a reboot.

I hope you continue the series, but you dont have to if you dont want...
I wonder how this post still wasnt flooded with people asking to you to continue the series....
Well, good luck on whatever you do :D

OMG!!! More More MOREEE!!!! Please!!! It's Amazing!!! And also if you can finish the story!!!

OK, my response to the planned changes:
1: Very nice improvement from ol' Mecha Moron (see what I did there?). Looking forward to that!
2: I can understand that the Pipe Maze episode had lots of banter, but that doesn't make it a bad episode. If anything, it brings more detail into your customized Mushroom Kingdom, making it feel more alive. Also, I can easily praise the humor in that episode, which made me crack up very much. If you would at least consider reworking it into something more action-based, that would improve it without sacrificing the detail you put into it. Just so you know, because it's not as bad as you think.
3: Basilisx really did feel like he was shoehorned into the plot, and it doesn't help that his motivation is to avenge a very generic Koopa (which was one of the fence-climbing ones, so Mario really couldn't kick his shell into other Koopas, as Basilisx claimed). So if your desire is to be rid of him, be my guest. He really doesn't have much to live for anyway.
As for remaking the entire series... I'm not going to dissuade you from the idea (because that means the aforementioned changes would never come to pass), but I'll tell you this: I hope you know what you're doing. You had a lot of plans for this series before you put it to rest, and remaking the series from the ground up sounds like a lot of extra work. You don't want that workload discouraging you to the point of giving up a second time, because that'd haunt you for the rest of your days. To quote Johnny from the Super Gaming Bros., "NEVER underestimate your workload, folks. It can bite you in the ass!" So make sure you're ready for this, because it's gonna be rough.
With that said, I'll retire to my base now, looking forward to more exciting news like this one. Good luck in your future endeavors, Mr. Haynes, and until next time, this has been Mr. Br, Supreme Commander of the Multiverse Protection Force, signing off.

Alvin, the remakw looks awesome! And you can't even imagine how much i'm happy that you'll continueSMBZ, but now you are going to remake all the old episodes? Isn't it a waste of time for you?

It's great to see the first scene again done with all the knowledge you have now. I was real disappointed when you discontinued the series, but I can completely understand why you did it and I respect you for coming out and telling everyone.

I can't wait to see more of your work and, hopefully, some new SMBZ eps done in your improved style. I'm loving the new sprite of Metallix. If there's anything I can do to help, I'd really love to try.

Episode 7 wasn't that bad, it just felt too much like filler. I liked the inclusion of the Minus World as a sort of mythology gag. Just trim out all the filler and boring dialogue and it could be a great episode.

You'll be combining Episodes 1 and 2 as you originally planned before, right?

That's the intention.

Man alvin i like your work and its funny i stumbled upon it by accident when i was some dumb 10 year old squecker in 2009 but thats not the point, the point is i liked your work and i really felt ashmed when you cancelled it but what i do like bout a cancelled series that´s plot heavy is that you can speculate what could have happened and then seing the opening you made, it just made me speculate even more, i would like to see it finished even if you do lay it down again no prob i actually was planing on making a resumed series for "My own enjoyment" cause i would proboly not put it up cause imaginating is fun but making your imagination real is better hope the best of luck and thanks for making my pre-teen years the most interesting of my life. Im around 15 years old right now and your series inspired me alot i think i would have nevered touched flash if it was not for you

p.s. If you read this and for anyone else reading sorry for the bad spelling english not my first language

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