The Bangai-O Spirits level editor is one of easiest, most intuitive tools for designing levels… once you get the hang of it. Simply attempting to make a decent level for yourself is the really only thing you have to do to learn most of the ins and outs of the Edit Mode. The game sort of just throws you into the deep end though, and there are a few important points it fails to mention. I’ll try to list as many helpful things as I can:
- Remember Geometry? The first step to making a stage is choosing the size of it. The unit of measurement used here is a single length of your DS screen (the longer one). So a 1X1 size stage is actually a little taller than the size of your screen because the DS screen is not a square. The ‘FIX’ unit is simply the width of your DS screen (the smaller one), thereby creating an environment with no vertical scrolling. Choosing a size for your level is by no means permanent, so if you’re unsure about what you have in mind for your level, make a big rectangle so you can start out unfettered.
- Before you start worrying about what should go where, keep in mind that you have powerful editing tools at your disposal. Since you can cut, copy, paste and flip anything horizontally or vertically, there is really no excuse for not putting an idea straight down, anywhere.
- You’re going to want to test play your level a lot. One of the first things you should do is place a Core or a Box somewhere in the corner, make it a target, and forget about it. Now you can play around in your work in progress. Moving on…
- When cutting or copying, start from the upper left hand corner of the segment and move diagonally right and down. Going the opposite way will highlight everything away from the spot you started from. This is also useful.
- The shoulder buttons can make your life a lot easier. The R button is a shortcut to the undo/redo function. Holding the L button transforms the stylus from the pen into the ‘eyedropper.’ Touching an existing background (BG) element or object (OBJ) with the eyedropper primes the pen to write with whatever you just touched so you don’t have to mess around with the menu window.
- So you’ve decided you want to re-size your level after a while. The 3X3 square grid on the menu refers to the starting point and direction in which the stage will expand to the the desired dimensions. It cannot expand beyond this 3X3 grid. For example, if you pick the bottom right hand square, the re-sizer will start at the bottom right corner of your existing level and expand up and to the left in the new amount of units (screens) that you determined. Anything that already fits into the new dimensions will be preserved while the rest will be lost (you can always undo). Dialing up the ‘screen’ grid can help you manage how much space you will need or can afford to lose.
- Ball, WoodBox, RockBox, Life1&2 and BombBox are the only OBJs affected by gravity.
- Putting Spawners and Lasers over indestructible BG elements will make them invinsible to your attacks. You will need to make sure that the BG element is not obstructing the actual laser fire.
- Any OBJ will respawn as long as it is at least right up against (see #7) or touching a spawner. The same OBJ will not spawn again if the orginal OBJ is still alive. This is where putting multiple OBJs on one Spawner comes into play. These OBJs will spawn in the location you left the OBJ (on or against the Spawner) and in the order in which you placed them on the Spawner in Edit Mode (phew…).
- Are EX attacks overwhelming the subtle nuances of your level? Put some Cores up to reflect them back. Careful placement of FastBots, NinjaBots, BatBots and some bosses is also a good way to make sure someone can’t just muscle their way through.
- You cannot place the Box and BoxFrame wherever you want. For obvious reasons, they are locked to a grid and can only be moved 2 spaces at a time. Keep this in mind if you wish to cut and paste a section involving them.
- You want to put a lot of Gates in your huge level? Prepare to become frustrated. Simply put: Gates do what Gates do, not what you want them to do. Gates respond to anything from the OBJ menu that can be blown up (Ball, Box and RockBox cannot be blown up). This includes your indestructible Spawners/Lasers, all the Cores you put up to block EX attacks and the WoodBoxes, Huts and Prefabs you used for decoration. This can be hard to wrap your head around sometimes.
- If you use a long fuse to open a far away passage on your level, consider using carefully spaced Bombs to eliminate some of the boring downtime.
- An enemy will do the same amount of damage regardless of its size. A half sized enemy can take the same amount of punishment as its normal sized counterpart. A 2X size baddie, however, can take twice the damage.
- Bonus! Did you know that you can play any of your saved replays on any level? Bangai-O will reenact the replay but in a totally different setting. This means you could build a series of levels where the idea is to beat them all with a single replay.
Did I forget anything?