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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 10:58 am 


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Good catch, I forgot to mention the secret room is only ever connected by thin walls 1 tile wide.

You're worried you've seen everything in the game, but have you actually beaten it yet?

Spoiler: show
And beating it means unlocking all 4 seals and completing the secret 6th floor, which never contains a shop or upgrade terminal.

The only bosses that are guaranteed are the final boss on floor 5, and the TLB on floor 6. There are two possible TLBs you face depending on difficulty mode, and there are 3 additional unlockable modes to play with too. Hard mode has heavily altered enemies and bosses including new attacks as well as a completely different TLB fight.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 7:08 pm 


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I got the most enjoyment out of Monolith during peashooter only runs (dont pick up any weapons). With weapons the bosses can become trivial if you happen to get powerful upgrades and you barely see some of their patterns.
Spoiler: show
hard mode TLB anyone?

Peashooter gets rid of that problem along with a lot of the randomness. Shows the game holds up well without roguelike gimmicks.

The Monolith devs designed shmup bosses in Fraxy for years before making this game. I find it really interesting how that community discovered what makes a good shmup from the ground up by experimenting.
It's worth checking out the STG Weekly episode on Fraxy

Monolith is a funny contrast to games like Sine Mora (& Nex Machina?) where a company attempts to make a big shmup without years of experience messing around with boss & enemy patterns, etc. Doesn't matter if the tool to learn that design is something like Fraxy / STGBuilder.


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 7:27 pm 


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Zaarock wrote:
Peashooter gets rid of that problem along with a lot of the randomness. Shows the game holds up well without roguelike gimmicks.


There's also an unlockable seed selector so if you want to play a "fixed" game with the roguelike elements you can just play with the same level code over and over. There's an annoying oversight where if you die and go to the main hub you have to re-enter the seed code again, to avoid this if you die, hit start before the slowmo fades out and select restart.

I'm finding the higher lethality modes make things die way too fast - it's more satisfying and shmuppy for challenge to play at the lowest lethality setting and aim for S-rank hit clears (get hit less than 13 times I think?). The bosses actually last long enough to be troublesome, even with a fairly powerful weapon.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:00 pm 


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beat the Overlord yesterday! I guess that counts as a 1CC? :mrgreen: For the first time in the game I had to switch to my Xbox One controller's d-pad, since I could not get the precision necessary to dodge its attacks with the analog stick. I sorta cheesed it with autobomb, longer invulnerability with hits, and getting extremely lucky with a lot of +5% and +10% damage modifiers, but hey, a win is a win!

I got the seal, and bought another in the shop afterwards. I guess I get the others by playing different difficulties? I don't know if the difficulty upgrade is automatic or I have to toggle it somewhere. The tips about finding secrets made things a lot easier, as well as the sword weapon. The amount of shop items to buy is very robust and makes the game pretty enjoyable to replay (to gain more to buy better weapons).

All in all this is quite the well-made game.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:49 pm 


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EmperorIng wrote:
I guess I get the others by playing different difficulties?

Just keep your eyes peeled... :)
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:46 pm 


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EmperorIng wrote:
I got the seal, and bought another in the shop afterwards. I guess I get the others by playing different difficulties?


You haven't unlocked different difficulty modes yet (it's obvious when you have)... and the other seals are easy to find as long as you keep playing... Major spoilers:

Spoiler: show
1 seal is earned the first time you clear the game. Clearing the game once also spawns the remaining three seals. The first of these is buyable in the store. The second two will be found when exploring the dungeons. They're guaranteed to show up if you haven't gotten them yet since they unlock the true last boss fight which is considered truly beating the game. Just explore the floors thoroughly and you won't miss them.

However, it is recommended you have as much HP and ammo as possible before you try to collect the two seals in the dungeon.

Difficulty modes are unlocked by getting the true ending of the game (that means beating the true last boss). Unlocked modes will appear as selectable in a little metal box beside the jukebox.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:30 pm 


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Just a word of caution after you have all the seals...

Spoiler: show
After beating the fifth boss, you apparently can't backtrack into the fifth floor again -- if you leave the boss room to do so, the game automatically ends with the standard ending.

Found that out the hard way as I sometimes leave the store or weapon room alone before finishing bosses and feel that's an interesting part of the strategy. :?


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:10 pm 


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Too late; I did that last night. :evil:

Man, it feels almost dependent on good item drop luck whether or not I have enough resources to beat the 5th floor boss. I made it to the 6th floor's boss (at least phase 1?), but I was running on fumes by then.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:24 pm 


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Quote:
Too late; I did that last night.


It's an easy mistake to make (and it's a bit unusual in that it's the only floor that behaves this way). However, the game does sort of hint at this happening
Spoiler: show
since the game ended the same way before you unlocked the sealed door, and if you check the map it no longer displays any rooms.


It'll happen once to any new player basically unless you know about it. It's just one of those things.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:17 pm 


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I haven't played games in months and Monolith was very welcoming to play more games again when I have time. Not too heavy on the mind on making 1CC runs, but still have the shmup factor into it. Good purchase.


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:11 am 


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Do you ever get to fight the seal-unlocking bosses again, or is it just once and done? Seems like a waste of fine bosses.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:13 am 


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Once and done. You'd have to restart a save file, beat the game, then fight them on second run.
Spoiler: show
The shop boss is difficult to beat without taking damage so that at least explains why he doesn't show up in subsequent runs, as you have to physically collect the seal during the fight which usually results in some collision damage. The other guy is neat, but yeah, he's a one-off. The TLB and final floor makes up for it!
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:29 am 


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I beat the TLB on Normal a few nights ago. I had the sword because none of my options were as good. I beat it with 1HP left. A real nail-biter; I thought I had cashed out by then, but that bullet-canceling effect saved my butt.

I am pleased to see hard mode changes all the BGM - a real nice touch! I don't know if I'll rush to beat that with the same urgency though, since it's taken me about a dozen hours to get this far.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:13 pm 


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EmperorIng wrote:
I am pleased to see hard mode changes all the BGM - a real nice touch!


Spoiler: show
It doesn't. It's just floor 1 that's got a new theme in Hard Mode to get you psyched up.

There is, however, and entirely new TLB to face to obtain the true ending.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:17 am 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
The only outright bad thing I dislike is that, like Judgement Silversword, the player ship is on the top layer (as opposed to enemy bullets). For small hitbox games especially, this is somewhat detrimental since there's a gap where a bullet can pass under your ship without hitting you, but be hidden. It's not super problematic in Monolith since the player sprite is quite small, but still.

It makes the hard mode final boss's final attack especially tricky.

Precision dodging while focusing on a reticule is really tough, this game needs keyboard customization in twin-stick mode real badly.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:26 pm 


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I'd also be interested in seeing a "twin stick" keyboard mode where you can use arrows + numpad insert on pinkie to dash and WASD for 8 way firing or such. I am not fond of arena shooters that use WASD + mouse reticule to aim either.

Quote:
It makes the hard mode final boss's final attack especially tricky.


It definitely does if a slow bullet goes under your ship sprite and you lose track of it just before it touches your hitbox.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:27 am 


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Got the game on sale yesterday (4€ on Steam). It is a blast, thank you guys for this topic, which encouraged me to get it :)
I have beaten the base boss and
Spoiler: show
am currently collecting the runes. I have also beaten the shopkeeper once. I guess once I get all the runes I will get access to the hidden levels / bosses and higher difficulty unlock.


edit: wish I could put only "spoiling" stuff in spoiling tags, cannot due to the way the spoiler tag cuts posts :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:11 pm 


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Just dropped on GOG.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:52 am 


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I had seen this hyped here (and other places) before, but passed because I didn't really want another giant-pixeled, ugly, "retro" shooter. But, I had $4 left on a pre-paid card and the hype was strong...

And... it's a indie, rouge-like version of Kokuga. And it's pretty fun if I could stand looking at it/listening to it. Part of the reason Kokuga is enjoyable is because it looks cool and has a great soundtrack, when you remove those elements you're sort of putting your indie version of the game you're emulating behind the eight-ball from jump street. Which is something I don't understand why you would want to do.

So i have a feeling it's going to occupy the same dark corner of my HD as Steredenn, a game that's really fun in concept except for the fact that I hate looking at it, therefore I don't play it as much as I want to.

In a nutshell: PLEASE end this giant-pixeled, ugly, "retro" trend now


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:07 pm 


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Are we playing the same game? It's possible to have gross retro aesthetics but Monolith's art and music are both perfect and beautiful to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:29 pm 


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Monolith's art style could be a little better (the color tones in some areas are kind of eye-straining after a while), but I'll still take 2D graphics over 3D polygons. Games with 2-dimensional gameplay deserve hand-drawn 2D art. The push to make everything 3D was always a big mistake for the 2D scrolling shooter genre.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:13 pm 


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Quote:
In a nutshell: PLEASE end this giant-pixeled, ugly, "retro" trend now


Monolith's tight, stylish graphical design including its purposeful limitation of colour palettes looks just fine, and the problem is with you, not the game.

And then there's the "it's just like Kokuga" comment; there are many top down shmups that are twin stick with 360 degree aiming or even more basic 8-way shooting and tons of variation in the genre. Roguelike action games have been a thing for quite some time now, even before Monolith, just Monolith is designed to be very much a shmup in its bullet pattern designs. Kokuga is a very different game and does not feel at all like Monolith aside from them both being top-down shmups with multidirectional shooting.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:37 pm 


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And to be honest, while I like Kokuga, it has a very bland and clinical art style (and the see-through grids are just sorta puzzling to me), whereas Monolith, despite being aesthetically a mish-mosh, has a lot more personality and charm.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:12 am 


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Jeez, what was I thinking? It's nothing like Kokuga. That whole "top-down, free scolling, multi direction shooter in a confined rooms" was throwing me. Now I see the myriad of differences. And ugly? It's beautiful. Stunning, even (no one mentioned the music so I guess that still sucks...). The egg is certainly on my face. Thanks guys.

Anyway, this:
Quote:
but I'll still take 2D graphics over 3D polygons. Games with 2-dimensional gameplay deserve hand-drawn 2D art. The push to make everything 3D was always a big mistake for the 2D scrolling shooter genre.


I have not a problem with 2D or even the sturdy, stalwart pixel that has served me and the industry at large well for many a year. My problem is with the giant 'look how fucking retro we are' sub-2600 pixel courtesy of a Unity plug-in (hell, I would feel better if they actually drew with pixels rather than just "pixelating" a PNG. At least that's some dedication). It's ugly, it's played, it's over. I'm working on the first ASCII shmup, because I'm always a step ahead.


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:08 am 


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m.sniffles.esq wrote:
I have not a problem with 2D or even the sturdy, stalwart pixel that has served me and the industry at large well for many a year. My problem is with the giant 'look how fucking retro we are' sub-2600 pixel courtesy of a Unity plug-in (hell, I would feel better if they actually drew with pixels rather than just "pixelating" a PNG. At least that's some dedication). It's ugly, it's played, it's over. I'm working on the first ASCII shmup, because I'm always a step ahead.

  • Monolith isn't made with Unity.
  • I hope "sub-2600" is meant to be an exaggeration because if it's not then I doubt you've ever seen a 2600 game.
  • What makes you think they didn't hand-pixel the sprites?
  • ASCII shmups already exist, sorry you're late to the game.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:50 am 


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List tags and everything...

Quote:
Monolith isn't made with Unity.

Wow, really? Learn something everyday...

Quote:
I hope "sub-2600" is meant to be an exaggeration because if it's not then I doubt you've ever seen a 2600 game.


Nope,, never have. Only heard the tales around pool halls and locker rooms. Is it as big as they say it is? (the pixels)

Quote:
What makes you think they didn't hand-pixel the sprites?

And they programed it in BASIC. And I have a bridge for sale, prime downtown location. Are we still talking about this?

Quote:
ASCII shmups already exist, sorry you're late to the game.

Yeah, I guess we still are.

Anyway, fun game. It's a pity the went the trendy route and made it ugly.
I feel like I may have said that before.


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:08 am 


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So are you just upset that the game's graphical resolution is low? You realize that the amount of work involved in carefully hand placing pixels expands exponentially with resolution, right? This is the main reason that developers moved to 3D rendering for 2D games in the late '90s, and why now even stalwarts of 2D art like SNK finally gave up on high-resolution 2D graphics. And yet, nothing any high-resolution 3D artist has made since the '90s has managed to match the exquisite style of the comparatively simple 320x240-resolution Metal Slug. How can this be?

More developers and players need to understand the work involved in hand-drawn graphics and accept that low resolution isn't bad. Deliberately constraining the relative resolution of art and then upscaling it is the only way to make the work of hand-drawn 2D graphics manageable, especially for small developers. Otherwise the alternative is 3D graphics with little soul like Kokuga. This doesn't mean we should settle for everything having the pixel density of a 2600 game, but at least pick a reasonable expectation for small developers. Monolith could do with a little more color but its graphics otherwise have a lot of character.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:33 pm 


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MathU wrote:
And yet, nothing any high-resolution 3D artist has made since the '90s has managed to match the exquisite style of the comparatively simple 320x240-resolution Metal Slug. How can this be?


Hear, hear. And as someone who has only recently started playing Metal Slug, its art is indisputably an example of some of the best pixel art in any arcade game ever due to the sheer detail and quality of the animations. Monolith has the same care and attention in its artwork, evidenced by the quality of the background, animation, and enemy designs, regardless of whether or not its artistic style is to your personal tastes.

Quote:
Stunning, even (no one mentioned the music so I guess that still sucks...).


colour_thief wrote:
Are we playing the same game? It's possible to have gross retro aesthetics but Monolith's art and music are both perfect and beautiful to me.


You don't have the basic reading skills to back up that arrogance of yours. You also apparently lack the ability to use a search engine based on your claim you're the first person to have thought of making an ASCII art text-based shmup, of which I found at least 3 after a few minutes of searching.

Quote:
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Joined: 31 Jan 2019
Posts: 43


Just in case you weren't aware, this thread is for discussing Monolith. It's not for to spam with your useless shitposting. Go away.

edit: You're not worth bumping the thread to respond to your inane nonsense. This isn't about disagreement or even your laughable complaints about Monolith's art and music style not being to your taste, or worse, thinking it's remotely comparable in gameplay to Kokuga just because both have multidirectional aiming (never mind that Kokuga's feels completely different). Fine, you don't like Monolith, whatever, play something else.

It's your attitude problem that's obnoxious and you making incorrect assertions about about what game engine the game is (it's GameMaker Studio) while acting like you're some super innovative genuins for (not) being the first to think to make an ASCII shmup. Coming from a relatively new account with no real credibility, it's pretty brazen of you to act like you're hot shit when you're spouting nonsense like this and expect to be taken seriously whilst essentially derailing the game discussion thread.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:21 pm 


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Monolith?

Yeah.

It's okay.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:57 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo basically wrote:
Your post history is bad, therefore X...

Come on it's fine to disagree but can't we do better than these sorts of arguments?
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