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Video Game / Make a Good Level X

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The Make a Good Level Contest X, or MaGLX for short, is a Talkhaus level contest that is played by raocow. The contest is made through the Super Mario Bros. X engine and has had two installments in the series, with a third currently in development.

The main gimmick of the contest is that instead of just submitting any old level, five madlib level names are randomly generated and given to the participant for use. Both contests have had levels that ignored the gimmick, but using your level names is a major part of your score. The second contest also changed it up by also restricting you to two random characters. The second contest also added a secondary contest, MaFAB (Make a Fun Awesome Boss), which gave you a full hand of Magic: The Gathering cards to work with.

The first contest, with 134 entries, ran in March 2014 and lasted for two months. The second one, with 272 levels and 31 bosses submitted, started in July 2015 and lasted for nearly half a year. The second one is notable for being the first major episode to feature LunaLua, a system that allows users to write code for virtually anything that can be run in SMBX levels. The second contest also had to be split into two different episodes due to its massive size, and the two episodes are linked with LunaLua. Due to its Talkhaus origins, the game also features elements from A Super Mario Thing as well.


You can watch raocow's LP of MaGLX1 here, and his LP of MaGLX2 here. MaGLX1 note  is available for download here.

Both games contain examples of:

  • 100% Completion: The first contest unlocks a postgame with around a dozen extra levels by judges, Talkhaus admins, and special guests if you get all ~160 stars in the main game. The second contest also has a postgame like this, but with even more levels by some of raocow's favourite video- and game creators and a bunch of levels introducing the characters that are added in SMBX 2.0.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: There's one post-game level in the original and two in the second game that use the Memory Lane flavor, reusing the levels but with a few remixes. One of the two in MaGLX 2 ("MaGLX Redux") is also a Nostalgia Level as it refers to levels from MaGLX 1.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature:
    • Both contests feature a storage room with every single powerup and mount inside. There is also an option to turn off the powerups once entering the level, making this moot.
    • The second contest adds a switch in the Control Room that allows infinite lives.
    • The Improved Hub version of the first contest adds a cannon of Dragon Coins to the storage room, allowing you to rack up lives extremely quickly.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Playthrough-wise, raocow usually plays an average of 2 levels per day (1 if it's really long, 3 if the levels are relatively short). Seeing how raocow's playthroughs are done before the episodes are released to the general public, feels like this for the contest in general.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Both contests' postgame feature an incredibly hard All the Worlds Are a Stage remix level made by 8flight.
  • Bullet Hell: Numerous levels inflict this, to the point of them becoming a running gag within the contest. The most infamous examples are "A Waltz in the Scarlet Devil Mansion" and "Koopa Devil Mansion" from the first contest, and "Woebegone Cheep Cheep of the Scarlet Devil Mansion Volcano" from the second contest.
  • Cool Ship: The Yacht of Opinions, which is featured as the main hub in the first contest (floating in space) and the second hub (on land) in the second contest.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: With infinite 1-Up rooms in the hubs and even a few levels, it's pretty easy to exploit this.
  • Guide Dang It!: A few of the secret stars are in completely absurd locations. In MaGLX2 and the Improved Hub for MaGLX1, the judges stand next to levels to warn you about a lot of these.
    • "Suddenly and Inadvertently Climb" from the first contest - jump over the pipe at the end of the first section.
    • "Valhalla Night" from the first contest - jump off the cliff at the very end of the level.
    • "Brutally Invitation From The Mushroom Kingdom" from the second contest - jump and hold 'Up' on a random ceiling tile near two hearts near the midpoint. The creator intended that star not to be there and was actually trying to get rid of it.
    • "The Morose Tale of Dr. Phanto" from the second contest - hidden in a random block above the midpoint. However, the creator has stated that this star was not intentional and they thought that the SMW star was an invincibility star.
  • Joke Level: Much so in the second contest, but there were a lot of joke levels in the lower tier categories. A very notorious example is "Mission: Proud Sky".
  • Marathon Level: As levels have no length limit, some levels have lasted longer than others to the frustration of raocow and Horikawa. Some notable examples include "Swimming in the Sinking Ocean", aka "the Atlantis level", and "A Dreamland Castle Ship" from the first contest, and "Demonic Gathering", "Hey Buddy! Get Your Rip Van Fish Off My Keep", and "Personally, I Think Mario is Missing is a Very Observant and Fantastic Experience. I Captured That Here" from the second contest.
    • The postgame for the second game has THREE relay levels (collaboration levels made by numerous users with one screen each, based off the A2XT relay level) in the final tier: The SMBX Community one ("Juxtaposition"), the talkhaus one ("You Only Have Yourself to Blame"), and the MaFAB one.
  • Negative Continuity: Due to the nature of some of the levels, character deaths (especially major ones) in the levels shouldn't be regarded as anything too serious, most of them will usually appear in the next level.
  • Obvious Beta:
    • "River" from the first contest is an incredibly short level ending with a star and a sign saying that the creator couldn't struggle with the SMBX editor any more
    • "Woebegone Cheep Cheep of the Scarlet Devil Mansion Volcano" is an insanely hard and generally unpolished level that lacks a midpoint, and includes a message box from the creator saying the level wasn't finished properly.
    • "I Read in a Book That In Shadow Moses, Oceans Are More Like Manors" cuts off at the midpoint, with an unfinished area with tiles scattered everywhere and a message from the creator saying that they ran out of time to finish the level.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted in a rare level case. The first contest had two levels named "The Ghostly Lake", and the second contest has multiple levels with the same name, notably "Spiny Castle", "I Liked SMB2", and "Forest".
  • Special Guest: Other notable Lets-Players will submit stuff to the postgame as well. It has occurred in both contests.

"Make a Good Level X" contains examples of:

  • Cool Ship: A Dreamland Castle Ship
  • Epic Fail: In "A Dreamland Castle Ship", raocow messes up the first jump and dies. Repeatedly.
  • Eldritch Location: The true setting for 'My Own Take on Bowser's Back Door', which is a bizarre Waluigi-like zone.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: "I Hate Assassinating When It's So Pleasant Out Like This" involves deactivating "security coins" by killing far-away enemies with a limited supply of ice blocks.
  • Womb Level: The first place level of the contest, "Ocean Fish House" takes place inside of a giant fish.

"Make a Good Level X 2" contains examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: The second half of "OH NO! WHAT'S HAPPENING! I'M ACORN AND I'M DEAD!" gives you a rapid-firing palmtree gun.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Many examples of this, due to how easy it is to replace player characters in SMBX. A common replacement is Sheath, from raocow's webcomic Artificial Time XS and A Super Mario Thing. There are a few other examples, as well, such as playing as a sunglasses-donning Toad in "Hey Buddy! Get Your Rex Off My Savannah".
    • The third tier of the Moon world (the second part of the postgame) is this, as a promotion for Super Mario Bros X 2.0. The new characters shown were Rosalina, Ninja Bomberman, Wario, Bowser, Solid Snake, Zelda, Mega Man, and Samus.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: World 18, the Party Room, involves entering cakes that have eyes and a :3 face to get to the levels.
  • Ascended Extra: The MAFAB contest was an ascended version of a joke "Make a Good Boss" Contest of the first Make a Good Level X postgame.
  • Bad Future: 37th place, "Personally, I Believe Mario is Missing is an Observant and Fantastic Experience. I Captured That Here", takes place in an eroded Mushroom Kingdom based on the Mushroomy Kingdom stage from Super Smash Bros..
  • Call-Back:
    • A couple of the worlds in the second contest are callbacks to a few of the levels of the first contest.
    • The Demo note  Counter from A Super Mario Thing returns.
  • Cool Train
    • The MaGLX 2 Hype Train, which was initially a one-off post on the Talkhaus forums that was liked by raocow, so a SMBX styled train was made with a lot of Talkhaus members, judges, and other important elements. The Hype Train is the animated cover for the game, and even features Disgruntledgammler as the head for the train.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: 210th place, "Suitably Reign the Lakitus", is riddled with ridiculous typos in almost every single line of dialogue. For example, a Toad at the end says "harray" instead of "hooray".
  • Serial Escalation: MaGLX 2 had roughly twice as many entrants as last contest. Including the entries for MaFaB, the total number of entries was enough to necessitate two episodes linked together by LunaLua.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Zbambabar (the creepy Kirby from Super Talking Time Bros 2) says that he killed one of the bosses, saying that it wasn't a match compared to Majin Buu.
    • 'The Last Chance of Dr. Bowser' tries to have a Mega Man feel to it.
    • 'My name is Pharaoh man; I wear nice shoes!' is a huge one to Pharaoh Man's level from Mega Man 4.
    • Wow! Heavy Troopa Arrest Lava Lotuses' is a huge one to Five Nights at Freddy's.
    • 'Shy Guy Are Supposed to Be Deep! Why Are You Being So Fat?!?' is a one to Shy Guy's Toybox in the first Paper Mario.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: "My name is Pharaoh Man; I wear nice shoes!" replicates Mega Man, with Toad being able to shoot infinite fireballs, and having 28 health and knockback. The level even recreates Yoku Blocks with Lua!
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: "Did You Know in Kingdom Hearts They Had Chain Chomps?" has a random segment of this towards the end. You even get a Chain Chomp orbital powerup!
  • Victory Fakeout: The ending of "Lakitus are Supposed To Be CROOKED! Why are You Being So Literate?!" has a fake ending star that triggers a joke boss fight against "King Lakitu".
  • Womb Level: Several levels from the episode involve intestines or insides of some creature in some fashion. A notable example is the 7th place level, "Well Shucks, I Never Expected King Dedede to be So Deserted".

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