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The Minefield
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a168/ltsplurge/MF5.png
World -1-S1

Time Unlimited

Universe Based On Minesweeper

Level Designer Lars Luron

Exits 1

Mini-Boss(es) None

Boss(es) Evil Otto

Difficulty Hard

Introduced in Game Version v0.4 Beta

The Minefield is the first secret level created for World -1, the Minus World.

Originally passed off as an April Fools' prank by its creator, Lars Luron, The Minefield is a puzzle-based level based on the well-known Windows game Minesweeper. The Minefield has almost no enemies, few items or powerups, and no time limit. Rather than being a standard platforming stage, the level forces the player to resort to logical thinking in order to progress through the stage.

The ground here is made up entirely of a variety of gray tiles. These tiles are either blank, have a number on them, or have a landmine attached to them. In addition, many of the tiles, including most of the terrain's surface, have a beveled cover on them, preventing the player from seeing what is on the tiles underneath. Stepping on a covered tile instantly removes the cover. Uncovering a blank or number tile is harmless, but uncovering a mine tile will instantly cause the mine to detonate, injuring the player. Also, the mine explosions will completely ignore the mercy invincibility players gain temporarily after being damaged, preventing players from trying to use that time to rush forward without solving the puzzle element. There are also smaller, exposed mines floating in the air throughout the stage, but these ones only do regular damage. Much of the air over the level has these mines scattered through it, to prevent players from attempting to fly past the stage.

The way to proceed through the level is by using logical thinking. The number on the numbered tiles indicates how many of the other tiles directly adjacent to it contain mines. If say, you encounter a tile with a "1" on it, and it is surrounded by 7 blank, uncovered tiles and 1 covered tile, then it is certain that the covered tile contains a mine. The numbers also count "flagged" tiles; covered tiles marked with a flag on them. These tiles contain mines, but are locked and cannot be uncovered, making them safe to walk on. To avoid forcing the player to resort to random guesswork, all mine tiles not on the surface of the terrain have been flagged. Using the various number tiles, and the position of the flagged tiles, the player must deduce which covered tiles are safe to step on in order to move forward, and which tiles contain landmines.

At the end of the stage, the player will jump down a mine-lined shaft, and find themselves on a platform with all the mines flagged. They will soon find themselves facing against the level boss: Evil Otto, from the classic arcade game Berzerk, who was posing as the smiley face that normally adorned the reset button in pre-Vista versions of Minesweeper. Evil Otto possesses a variety of attacks, such as bouncing around the arena trying to land on the player, summoning Berzerk cyborgs as backup (which can be picked up and thrown at Otto for extra damage), and creating a hail of mines raining from above. However, Evil Otto is completely invulnerable to stomps, projectiles, and other standard forms of attacks. He can only be harmed by either throwing one of his own summoned minions at him, or by using the terrain to the player's advantage, and luring him into using his special ground-smash attack on one of the flagged mine tiles on the ground, which will explode from the shock. After taking enough damage, Otto will spiral back into the center of the room and explode, ending the level.

Trivia

The Minefield was originally announced on April Fools' Day, and was actually part of an elaborate April Fools' prank. The prank itself was sort of a reversal- the level was announced in such a way as to make the community think it was a hoax, only for it to actually show up in the upcoming v0.4 beta release. Indeed, the majority of the community was fooled.

What helped the illusion was that the Boss battle had not yet been completed at that point, and so the screenshots of the battle needed to be faked; a few people were quick to point out that the Mario sprites used for the boss screens were not wearing gloves. Also, the authentic screenshots were not taken on the same run through the level, causing a number of discrepancies such as one screen displaying a smaller score than the one before it, even though the two screens appeared to be displaying events in sequence.

(In reality, in the previous screenshot the player had picked up some extra points due to a bug with the tile covers, which caused them to sometimes drop currency when removed. This bug had been fixed before the later screenshot had been taken.)

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