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Well, I just played your game for four straight hours. I HAD to beat it with no deaths, and when I did I wanted to screenshot it for you, but while I was basking in the glory the message disappeared! Please, make it so you have to click out of that! People are still coming off of their adrenaline highs and wont be able to focus enough haha.

Anyways, if you couldn't tell, I love your game. Samurai Lantern is probably one of my favorite games of the year (Honestly. This game is fantastic.). It's so tightly focused and so good at what it does! The screen shake when you hit an enemy, the excellent stage set-ups (I love how the stages wrap around and how that affects enemy pathing. It was brilliant when I figured that out.), the gorgeous retro graphics. I even enjoy the three stage length. This game is like portal where it doesn't stay too long, it just puts forth all its ideas in a coherent fashion and lets the player decide how long they want to spend with it. It's simple and quick, and that is what makes it good for spending hours on.

I'm hesitant to even offer suggestions because this game is beautiful just the way it is, but if I could offer three things, it would be these:

1) I'm just going to echo what other folks have said about the arrow keys on the controller. Please make that an option. I had more than a few deaths due to analog stick inaccuracy.

2) An optional speedrunning timer and a local best times list would be fantastic. This game is going to live on my desktop now and I'd love some kind of persistent score tracking.

3) I know I said its short length is a plus, but any way to get new levels in there would be awesome. Maybe some sort of rudimentary level editor or something along those lines. I'd love to play with all kinds of different set ups well past the three you've included.

P.S. Thanks for making this game. I don't know if it will be widely liked, but just know at least one person loves it. I'm going to shoot you some money when my next paycheck comes in so you can keep up this quality work. Cheers!

Wow this is an amazing comment! Thank you so much! I really do like all your feedback and I feel I must give answers to all of your points.

It's great that you beat the game! 4 hours?! Nice! I've still not been able to do a no death run yet :D. You make a good point about the message disappearing and I'll be sure to make it so the player has to press a key to go back to the main menu!

I've seen the other messages regarding making the d-pad move the player and I'll be implementing that next update (whenever that is).

A speedrunner timer is good but it would be persistent. What I mean by this is when you close the game, your time will be lost. The reason it will be this way is because I have no idea how to save things when the game closes :D. So you might have to make your own .txt and write down your times. I'll also be adding a death counter!

I will 100% be adding new levels to the game! I've already got 2 in the making and I might add a third. So I hope you enjoy them when they come out! (You will have to re-download the game from the same link when the updated version is out)

I'm really glad you had so much fun playing the game! That's really awesome!

Yeah, stats when you die would be cool, even if they're not persistent. Time, deaths, kills (for both enemy types?), maybe total lanterns collected? "500/45 lanterns" would be amusing.

As for saving/loading, you're using GameMaker, right? I think you can just do ini_open('stats.ini'), ini_read_real(section, key, value), ini_write_real(section, key, value), ini_close(), and you can also store strings. Docs at

Also I wonder if you should switch the second and third levels: I find the second one to be the hardest. There's nowhere safe to stand; the blue enemies jump high enough to miss your sword when jumping onto the starting platform, and you often have to go through the danger zone at the edges where enemies can wrap and the timing is hardest to predict. You have to judge how fast the enemies are moving relative to the saw blades and whether to kill them and then jump the saw blade or to jump the saw blade, turn around and then kill them. And you have to be very diligent about keeping the enemy population down or you get into difficult situations.

Whereas on the third level you can safely stand by the door and kill all comers. If you stand on the edge of that platform you can reach the blue guys before they make their first jump. From the second platforms on the edges you can get *almost* everybody: you can hit the blue guys as they jump in or as they jump up to where you're standing, you can get the blue guys on the long middle platform; the only real danger is the floating heads coming in from the edge. And you can make it to the top edge platform in a single jump, so the only time you even have to go on the one with the saw blade platform is if a lantern drops there. The only thing the saw blades really do is make it dangerous to jump when you're on the door platform, but you have no reason to ever jump from there, except out to the edge platforms where you're mostly out of the way of the saw blades anyway. And even if you let some guys go by, it's no big deal; they're mostly out of your way and you can just kill everyone coming in and wait for a good opportunity to clip the missed ones from one of the edge platforms.

Can you tell I've spent *way* too much time playing this? :)