Platform Masters Title
Platform Masters - Will you be the world's next platform master?




Last updated: Feb 1, 2011 (third version)
Level 4 update on Apr 23, 2014 (various new additions, screenshots updated, various updates)



1 What is a level in a video game?



A level, in a video game, is an assembly of game objects in the foreground (good, bad, and indifferent) often with a set course to follow, sometimes with side paths. Each world in Platform Masters has 16 levels and there are over 300 total playable levels. Each level involves a series of platforms (including the all-important goal platform), hazards (like spikes, fires, and mud), enemies (to either defeat or dodge), and collectables (gems, extra lives, and hearts).

2 Types of levels



There are 7 types of levels in Platform Masters.

2.1 Regular levels



Platform Masters has 10 levels that, for a fairly skilled player that knows the way and doesn't use any shortcuts, only take 50 to 100 seconds to complete (getting longer in later worlds). These levels are required in order to progress the story in the game, opening up the boss level to come later on.

2.2 Boss levels



Boss levels are required in order to progress with the game. These are only about 15% of the size of regular levels, but generally take just as long to complete. To complete these levels, the boss simply needs to be defeated. Once the boss is defeated, access to the next world becomes available. Worlds 19 and 20 do not have a boss level.

2.3 Jumbo levels



Jumbo levels are significantly larger in size, covering 4 times the area, but they take relatively 3 times longer to complete. The reason for these levels not needing 4 times the time to complete is because these levels contain more treasures and side routes than regular levels. By treasures, I mean high-scoring objects like diamonds, rare items like 3ups, and more frequent treasure chests. These 3 levels are not required, however, but they are very useful. Worlds 19 and 20 have 4 jumbo levels instead of 3, the extra to replace the missing boss level since worlds 19 and 20 are special.

2.4 Supersize levels



A supersize level is similar to a jumbo level, only far bigger, especially vertically. They cover 8 times the area of a regular level and they take 4 times longer to complete. This single, optional level contains a lot of treasures and side paths, far more than any other type of level. These levels, with the obvious exception of Sentus Caverns, tend to extend far higher than most other level types. What might be 4096x2048 for a regular level is 8192x4096 as a jumbo level and 8192x8192 as a supersize level. These levels tend to be the best way to view the highest reaches in each world. Care to see all the beach detail in Lake Keveran? Play its supersize level and you'll reach for the sky, high above the waves. Later supersize levels played at difficulty 0 gives more than a half hour to complete the otherwise 5- to 8-minute level, among the highest possible maximum time limit.

2.5 Tutorial levels



Tutorial levels explain the basics of all new game play elements in a given world. Tutorial levels also allow you to experiment with the game play 100% risk free. When I mean 100% risk free, I mean it. First, there is no time limit - infinite. Second, you never lose lives - feel free to jump into the bottomless pit, walk through a big spike pit, play in lava, or drown all you want. Tutorial levels are used to learn the basics of game play, including any new elements present in the current world. Unlike the other types of levels, there is an infinite amount of time and lives so you can feel free to experiment and learn the basics, or perform crazy stunts. Unfortunately, any items that are collected have no effect on the main game, thus, any scores, extra lives, etc. have no effect, as if the level was never played. At least the knowledge gained from them is kept. Infinite time is possible on the other 4 types of levels, but how that's done is something you'll need to figure out.

2.6 Developer secrets levels



These are levels exclusive to the deluxe edition. These levels function like tutorial levels only, instead of learning about new game play elements, you learn about how things were put together to make Platform Masters, among other things. They are also set up differently, to quickly get between the various sections.

2.7 Story levels



Story levels are used for story-related events to take place. They cannot be played.

3 Game play



Game play is pretty much the same with each world in each type of playable level. However, depending on the world, some minor variations are present. As each new world comes, new game play elements are added for greater variety but the core concept doesn't change.

3.1 The primary task



the main task in Platform Masters
To clear most levels, reach this different-looking goal platform before time runs out.


Platform Masters has 2 different primary tasks to accomplish, depending on the type of level. Regardless of the task, each level begins on the start platform.



3.2 Difficulty



Most games tend have 3 difficulty settings, some, particularly fighters, as many as 5 (from what I can recall back in the 1990s when I last saw a fighting game in sufficient detail). Platform Masters has far more - 9. Difficulty is based on a scale from 0 to 8. As difficulty decreases, enemies and hazards take less HP away, more time is available to complete a level, but the slower the scoring is. The speed that moving platforms and enemies move at cannot be affected by difficulty due to this game's physics. If you jump on a platform that's moving up, the speed of the platform plus the speed of your jump combine to make for even higher jumps and thus opening up possible shortcuts. A faster platform will only allow for higher jumps which makes higher difficulties pointless in some levels.

3.3 Completing levels



Once a level is completed, the score will increase. There are several fields present.



You might be thinking that playing at a higher difficulty will result in less points. That's actually very rarely true, even for the time bonus. A sapphire at difficulty 0 is only worth 100 points, but that same sapphire at difficulty 5 is worth 5000 and you'll find plenty of sapphires along the way. That's like collecting 50 sapphires at once! A defeated enemy with 10 HP gives 500 points at difficulty 0 on average, but that same enemy gives 50,000 points at difficulty 6. That's like defeating 100 of such an enemy at the same time!

You might also think that the time bonus is sacrificed because time is so limited at higher difficulty settings. You'd be surprised as to just how false that is and here's a table listing the scores for the same level where it takes 60 seconds to complete it each time. Keep in mind that further bonuses from items, enemies, and others are not included in this and they'll only magnify the score even more.

Proof that higher difficulties provide higher time bonuses despite the reduced time
DiffTime to
complete
level
Time
remaining
Time bonusMultFinal score
(time only)
02602001,000,0001x1,000,000
1206.362146.362731,8102x1,463,620
2163.79103.79518,9505x2,594,750
313070350,00010x3,500,000
4103.18143.181215,90520x4,318,100
581.89521.895109,47550x5,473,750
665525,000100x2,500,000
751.591Time over0200x0
840.947Time over0500x0


Notice how difficulty 5 actually gives the greatest actual score in this case? You'll run out of time with difficulty settings 7 and 8 so no score is given. Despite having almost no time left over on difficulty 6, you still get 2 1/2 times the points, thanks to the massive 100x multiplier.

The reason behind this is because of the different scales. For every 3 difficulty settings higher, time is only cut in half but the scoring is 10 times bigger, effectively a 5x difference. So, what might be 1000 points at difficulty 3 is about that of 5000 on difficulty 3 and 25,000 on difficulty 6, in a sense.

3.4 Deaths



There are 5 ways for the character to die in Platform Masters.



Any time a death occurs in any type of level except boss levels, you will be returned to where the start platform is and the level must be replayed from the beginning. Coins collected from treasure chests are lost and must be obtained again and their effects will be lost until recollected. Fortunately, the 10 required levels are generally quite short so there isn't much progress lost. Once a level is completed however, all progress with it is saved.

When a death occurs in a boss level, the boss level does not restart from the beginning, rather, a 5-second time penalty is applied. The exception to this rule is if you've run out of time or a death will cause the time to run out - the boss level must be replayed from the beginning in that case.

3.5 Enemies



Scattered throughout the levels are an assortment of enemies. Enemies come in all sorts of types but they're defeated in 5 ways (ordered most effective to least effective):



The amount of HP taken away is based on the "power" stat. A "power" stat of 5 means that 5 HP will be taken away from the enemy. When the enemy's HP drops to or below 0, the enemy is defeated and you will earn points on the "enemy bonus" field. Jumping on top of an enemy or casting an energy beam at it will deplete the enemy's HP. Here's a few examples of enemies and what they do (note: behavior details may change slightly until they've been added in):



There are several other types of enemies present, each with strengths and weaknesses. Some enemies sacrifice power for swiftness making it more difficult to dodge these, like the spider versus the snake. A few use projectiles or strike from a distance but have very limited movement, such as the cannon, and biting flower. Others prefer intelligence and power but are extremely vulnerable and take very few hits to defeat, such as the pirahna and clown.

3.6 Game over



When all lives are lost (1 life remains and it gets lost), game over occurs. All of the points obtained will be lost and stats will weaken (but never any lower than the game-starting limit), but there are an infinite number of continues. Grabbing extra lives and scoring big will help. Pick an easy level and repeatedly play it to get some extra lives.

4 Game objects



There are dozens of objects in Platform Masters, some useful, some not, and a few that are a mix. Here's a detailed list for the game's objects.