A Weekend With Pushmo: Castlevania Edition

A Weekend with Pushmo Castlevania

The Pushmo community got a little bit of rebirth with the introduction of a Miiverse community for it last week. And thanks to Miiverse’s feature of letting users post screenshots of their gameplay, primary among the screenshots were QR codes of the puzzles others created. Since I had some, I posted a few. No no, not the NSFW ones, those babies stay here (I’ll get banned either way if I tried). I’m talking about the Metroid pushmo I made, which garnered over 20 Yeahs on Miiverse.  After posting the Metroid, a little flame got re-lit in me to make more pushmos.  I starting sharing some more of the clean pushmos I made, along with a few new ones. This eventually led to me making a bunch from Castlevania.

Before we get to the mostly Castlevania sprites, I should probably show you what I’ve been posting on Miiverse up until then, which include the clean sprites posted in the original NSFW Pushmo article if you’re a prude should you not want to go in there to look for them.

Though if you want, you can go there to find more Pushmos the last time I made some. Though keep in mind, most of the Pushmos in that article are NOT SAFE FOR WORK NOR SHOULD VIEWED THOSE UNDER 18! You’ve been warned. Okay then, here’s a link to the previous Weekend with Pushmo.

Likewise, some of the sprites here are a little NSFW. Not all-out and detailed like last time, but little bit. You’ve seen these before anyway when playing the games in question, so it’s nothing too big. Either way, you’ve been warned, so don’t flog my ass if you see something “offensive

Here’s the aforementioned Metroid I posted.

MetroidAfter that I playtested a few more pushmos I made but never bothered playing through.

Abadox HeroFirst came the Abadox Hero. He and the two others were made some time after the first article. I wanted to stick to making NES sprites for a bit since they were easier to do and the colors didn’t go beyond 10. I would’ve placed the end flag on his head, but his gun looked like a better place to put it. I got the idea from a Mega Man pushmo that had the flag on the buster. And hey, if you wanna talk to me about Abadox, hit up my old Retro Weekend article on the game.

Kim (Conquest of the Crystal Palace) Farron (Conquest of the Crystal Palace)
Click to enlarge

Next came Farron and Kim from Conquest of the Crystal Palace. A funny story about these two. For the longest I couldn’t figure out the name of this game. I remember playing it when I was a kid. I kept thinking “It was a game with rather Chinese themes, first stage was a mountain… I kept dying because of projectiles being thrown from the top at one point…” I eventually gave up. That is until I saw a screenshot and was told that the game was called Conquest of the Crystal Palace.

Golgo 13To hold the community over until the next new Pushmo, I gave them this one from Golgo 13 that I posted in the previous article. And nope, I still don’t remember what her name is. This got 11 Yeahs, which surprised me since it’s a rather simple puzzle of a rather obscure NES game (though the manga and anime is anything but obscure).

Felicia (Cat - Pre Transformation)For reasons that’ll be made clear by the end of this article, I made a pushmo of Felicia… as a cat since Miiverse is run by puritans and kids ruin everything posting normal Felicia would probably be against the Miiverse Code of Conduct. So I opted to only post her cat form. And hey, who doesn’t like cats! I showed a screenshot of me playtesting the puzzle before posting the QR code. If you want the full Felicia, she’s at the bottom.

So I looked at the Pushmos I made and posted so far. They were pretty simple. Compared to the others who posted, it was par for the course. So I wanted to stand out. I looked at my Morrigan, Felicia, and Amphisbaena pushmos (again, look below), and decided I wanted to make more complex pushmos again. Since I was in a slight Castlevania fix, I decided to tackle the detailed sprites of Castlevania, starting with Symphony of the Night.

AlucardFirst came Alucard. I made it quite clear on Miiverse that Playstation era sprites are a pain in the ass since they have way more than 10 colors, the amount Pushmo allows. On top of this, the color palette for making Pushmos is limited compared to the colors the sprites have. The underside of Alucard’s cape for example is sort of a greenish-gray. What Pushmo had was either very gray, or very green. But in the end, I chose red, taking advantage of the fact that Alucard’s cape color changes depending on what he has equipped. So right now he has his Twilight Cloak (which I accidentally called Alucard Cape when I uploaded it).

Maria RenardNext came Maria Renard, all grown up and looking for Richter’s mind-controlled ass. She was actually quite simple, needing only few color adjustments. If you have either the Saturn version of Symphony of the Night or the one that comes with Dracula X Chronicles on the PSP, you can play as Maria after you beat the game. She’s actually quite fast and has some kick ass item crashes. But she has really poor defense, making her quite the glass cannon.

Salem Witch (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night)I then turned my attention to the enemies of Castlevania, starting with the Salem Witch. You remember them right, the ones you encountered in the Abandoned Mine that floated all over the place shooting shit at you jumped from narrow platform to narrow platform. Fun times. I was hoping that, since these were enemies, they wouldn’t be as detailed, i.e. they didn’t have a lot of colors. I still remember the trouble I had with Amphisbaena. That wasn’t the case as the enemies are just as detailed as the main characters.

Bren (Super Turrican)I took a small break from making Castlevania pushmos and turned my attention to Bren from Super Turrican. Honestly, I didn’t know his name was Bren, I just called him that guy from Turrican. The Turrican games are sort of a mix between Metroid, Mega Man, and Contra. The levels tend to be huge and full of secrets. The music though is awesome and classic Chris Huelsbeck. It was one of the reasons I got into Turrican in the first place.

Slogra (Super Castlevania IV) zlCfzRZ45ywiyNmov8
Click to enlarge

Moving back to Castlevania, I decided to try and make a few bosses. The first ones that came to mind were Slogra and Gaibon. Doing one but not the other was simply not an option since both of these guys tend to be seen together. I was thinking of using their Symphony of the Night sprites like I’ve been doing so far. Nope! They had a lot of colors, way to much to change to fit the 10-color limit. So I moved to their Super Castlevania IV sprites since they’re SNES sprites, thus closer to the color limit. Begin as detailed as they were, focus was key as it was very easy to either lose where I was or rush ahead and make a huge error.

zlCfzRZ47lABfTPKWUI then wanted to try out Death as he appeared in Symphony of the Night. The weird thing though is that he seems to have two sprites. There’s the one from his cutscene early in the game, and the one when you fight him. Very weird. Either way, I chose the one from his boss fight. At first glance, I thought he’d be a pain to playtest, but I was able to get the flag without any gadgets.

zlCfzRaAce0xSOClsXThen a user named Nightnova requested that I do one of Gabriel Belmont from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Since he was a 3D model from the get go, I wondered how this was gonna work. I asked if he knew of any sprites made of him, to which he directed me to one from Pixel Joint by a user named Pyramid Head. It looked quite nice (better than the other ones I found), though it had a lot of colors. Had to make some sacrifices on hair and face detail, but the rest looks alright.

zlCfzRaDYcEO85LUdXAnd finally, on Miiverse at least, I decided to wrap things up with Princess Peach. Now for this one, I wanted to do something different. Many in the Pushmo community have made Peach pushmos using sprites from the original SMB, SMB2, SMB3, SMW, Super Princes Peach, Mario & Luigi, etc. So I thought… what about All-Stars? Y’know, how she appears in the title screen. She’s cartoon-y, so she shouldn’t have a lot of detail. Right? Bullshit! Had to make a lot of color changes to fit the limit… again. I also had to move the flag a little to the left since it would be impossible to get without a gadget.

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And now the stuff that won’t go up on Miiverse, but will instead stay here.

FeliciaRoughly after I finished the first article, I wondered if I could do some fighting game sprites. I remember a funny comment people made about Morrigan’s Darkstalkers sprite constantly being used in crossovers that featured more detailed sprites, most glaring being Capcom vs. SNK. Remembering this, I wondered if it would be right up my alley for a Pushmo. And yes, yes it does. With Felicia here, I only had to change out a few colors. Everything else remained intact.

MorriganNow that I remember, Capcom had gone for a more anime style for their fighting games, most notable being Darkstalkers and Street Fighter Alpha. So while the sprites looked simpler due to the style choice, it improved the animation quality. It might’ve been that animation that probably helped Capcom when they went back to that detailed style with Street Fighter III. So for me, it meant easier Pushmos.

Morrigan (2)I’m wondering if I shrunk the sprites a bit to fit in the assets. It’s been a while since I made these, so I don’t remember if I shrunk them or not.

AmphisbaenaThis too was made after the first article, the first Castlevania sprite I made. Amphisbaena (or Diplocephalus as it’s called in Symphony of the Night) is that scorpion looking enemy with the woman for a tail that shoots fireballs. Er, this thing. I tried to incorporate the tail part that leads to the monster, but I ran out of colors and had to leave it out. Shame too, might’ve been pretty dope. This also was my first inkling that enemy sprite might’ve been complex. Though I gave it the benefit of the doubt since this was one of the bigger enemies you’d encounter.

Succubus (Order of Ecclesia)This one I remember trying to shrink to incorporate the whole sprite. I didn’t quite learn yet that sometimes it’s better to just use a piece of a sprite rather than the whole thing. So I opted to keep just part of the sprite.

LorelaiAnd now for something more recent. This is probably the saddest ommissions I had to do in all of the Pushmos I’ve done. Lorelei, as she appears in Order of Ecclesia, has a big ass fish attached to her. If I kept both parts, this would mean less detail for both. This is made worse by the fact that this is post-Playstation, and sprite limitations have pretty much been lifted. So sadly the fish had to go. But I digress. She has some awesome hair, definitely the highlight of making this Pushmo.

Succubus (Symphony of the Night)Here’s Succubus again, pre-demotion to mook. The sprite I found of her was somewhat in pieces. In other words, she would have these awesome poses, but not have her wings attached. This was the only one with her wings still attached. In Symphony of the Night, she invaded Alucard’s dream, impersonating his mother and trying to convince him to kill the humans for burning her at the stake. This is one of the first times you hear fear in Alucard’s voice. Upon defeat, Alucard reminds Succubus that those who die in the dreamworld are doomed to wander for all eternity.

AlrauneAlraune, a.k.a. Alura Une, a.k.a Venus Weed, was a rather tough enemy in Symphony of the Night. If she wasn’t raising vines off the ground, she was throwing roses your way. And they all hit quite hard. Even getting close to her was tough. It was worse if there were two of them since there’d be vines everywhere.

Frozen ShadeI’ve been wanting to do a Frozen Shade pushmo for a while since this is one of the more memorable enemies to me. But when I looked at her sprite sheet, I realized that her standard pose makes for a rather boring pushmo. I usually use the idle poses for enemies since they’re the most recognizable. But I feel that Frozen Shade’s attacking pose is just as memorable and a bit more exciting.

And that’s all. I wonder what other series I can do Pushmos of. Hmm… well until next time.

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