Making It Rainfall Week 8: SHMUPs Ahoy!

Monday, January 11th, 2016

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If there’s one level type that really appeals to me as a creator, it’s that of airship levels. There’s something really fun about making aerial dreadnoughts loaded with traps and foes, requiring quick thinking and smooth moves. But as much as I love them, I always have been obsessed with making a particular type of flying level in Super Mario Maker – SHMUP levels. Unfortunately, up until recently, this has been a fleeting dream, since clown cars could navigate but not fire bullets. Enter the Fire Clown Car. It’s like Nintendo was listening to my secret hopes and dreams! Now, everybody can make their own SHMUP levels, and with that in mind, we decided to focus this episode of Making It Rainfall on that theme. There’s a wide range of levels and difficulties here, but they are all well made, challenging and diverse. Best of all, we get a new creator throwing his level into the ring! But that’s enough of my blabber, you want to play some levels, right? Here you go!

Andrew’s Levels

Level 1 – Flutterbounce Skyway
Upload Code: FA45-0000-0168-CF52

Making It Rainfall | Flutterbounce Skyway

Now I’ve never made a scrolling SHMUP level before, so I asked myself, what do I know in Super Mario Maker? Adding wings to everything, that’s what! So I decided to take that, remove the ground, and there you go! Seriously though, I wanted to add a level of challenge, so I added some bouncy objects to make things a little tricky. This is also the first real level I decided to incorporate sound effects and a boss type situation. It’s pretty short, but I hope you like it!


Josh’s Levels

Level 2 – Aerial Parade
Upload Code: F1B8-0000-0166-D82A

Making It Rainfall | Aerial Parade

My goal with this stage was to make a SHMUP that was full of objects you couldn’t easily blast your way through. So expect plenty of cannons, buzzsaws and firebars, with a couple of enemies thrown in to pester you. Make sure you take out those flying Bloopers, too, otherwise the 2nd half of the level may turn into a survival horror situation, with Lovecraftican monstrosities on your tail! The end of the stage will require some fancy flying, at least if you decide to avoid the boss fight instead of just hovering past it carefully.

Level 3 – Bowser’s Minefield
Upload Code: 4C6E-0000-0168-A088

Making It Rainfall | Bowser's Minefield

Think of this one as a Lost Levels version of Aerial Parade. This level is HARD, and thus far, nobody has managed to beat it besides yours truly. This is not a SHMUP you can blast your way through, and it requires good timing and attention to detail. That said, I don’t think this level is unfair, just challenging, so take that how you will. A good level for fans of classic Super Mario 3 airship madness.

Level 4 – Deadland Pit of Despair
Upload Code: C691-0000-0171-A295

Making It Rainfall | Deadland Pit of Despair

This levels doubles as both my latest Deadlands themed stage as well as a SHMUP stage. This one is more of a bullet hell than my others, and the theme is that of a dungeon you have to escape. Be ready to use your charge shot, cause that is the only way you can escape. Can you dodge all the buzzsaws, ghosts and traps ready to keep Mario lost in the Deadlands? Or will he languish forever in this realm of afterlife?

Level 5 – Super M-Type
Upload Code: 5C01-0000-0127-0138

Making It Rainfall | Super M-Type

I actually made this level first, and it is accordingly easier and more full of tricks than my other SHMUP stages. I consciously tried to make this an homage to the R-Type series, with lots of floating vessels, dangerous Piranha Plants and lots of tricky timing. Luckily, there is a checkpoint flag midway through, so you don’t have to beat this in one sitting.


Michael’s Levels

Level 6 – Piranha Plant Smackdown
Upload Code: 3810-0000-0184-12E4

Making It Rainfall | Piranha Plant Smackdown

As you can probably guess, you will be putting the smack down on a lot of piranha plants who apparently think they can stop you. The level is divided into 3 major segments with two checkpoint flags. Some areas also have small cannons so you can’t remove all the enemy fire. That would be too easy! I also worked 2 puzzles into the level in between the flying battle sections so the player gets to rest for a moment after the major bouts of action. I sprinkled a few hidden 1UPs into the level too. I hope you have fun playing it!


Will’s Levels

Level 7 – Bite the Bullet: Smoke&Mirrors
Upload Code: FE33-0000-015D-B9C4

Making It Rainfall | Bite the Bullet

It’s basically a no-nonsense SHMUP level. What I found very interesting is that flying Spinies release their spines in a bullet hell-like pattern, and the Fire Koopa Klown Kar has a pretty nifty charge shot. So I added some neat tricks to go along with that. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!


That’s it for week 8 of Making It Rainfall! Hope you enjoy our crazy SHMUP levels. Please keep reading later this month as we roll out week 9’s batch of levels!

About Josh Speer

Josh Speer is addicted to two things in equal measure : Books and Videogames. He has a degree from the University of Washington in English with an emphasis on writing. He joined Operation Rainfall last year while following it on Facebook. His two giant life goals are to write his own series of fantasy / science fiction novels and to get into the creative side of the video game industry. He is beyond pleased to now have his proverbial foot in the door thanks to the opportunity provided by Oprainfall!