Boss Revisions


Hey folks,

I couldn’t help but notice that as it stands, a few of the bosses don’t seem to be too threatening.

Mainly, the Milgram Slab. For a boss in the final area of the game, he’s kind of a pushover. He’s slow, he’s easy to dodge, he’s extremely easy to injure, and he goes down pretty quickly.

Off the top of my head, I can think of three ways to make him more of a challenge:

  1. If you’re standing on the ground when he does his smash attack, you get stunned.
  2. Harmul debris falls from the ceiling when he smashes.
  3. He can jump higher, allowing him to smash from further away and thus making him harder to dodge (inspiration: Bowser from SMB3).


Kitty Robot goes down a little too easily as well. Some suggestions:

-Milgram Block dispenser is just a little bit too convenient. Either reduce their spawn frequency, or remove them altogether and give him some other attack that produces ammunition for Frogatto (like how the Kitty Airplane leaves unexploded missiles that can be thrown back at him).
-Missiles are too easy to dodge. Perhaps they could use a slight homing capability?
-Jump function doesn’t seem to do much. Either give him the stun feature I recommended for Milgram Slab, or make him more aggressive (i.e., he jumps AT Frogatto).
-Possible additional attack: a bum rush. He can telegraph it with a few seconds of windup, and then he charges forward until he hits the wall. Only way to dodge it is with a well-timed wall-jump (this would require moving the gate that closes before the fight to the edge of the wall so that Frogatto can’t jump back on the ledge until the fight is over).
-Frogatto can just stand on his head and he’ll run around and do nothing indefinitely. Perhaps, after a few seconds of that, he can rocket upwards and smash into the ceiling (if this proves self-destructive, it would also be a satisfying alternate way to defeat him).


You can spam those purple guided shots while standing on his head, to great effect.
Fun Fact: You could once take a ride in that vehicle of his.


Quiet, you! I’m trying to come up with ways to make these bosses MORE challenging. You’re not helping :stuck_out_tongue:


Sword Kitty’s a pretty cool boss, but I would recommend the player not be able to damage him while he’s charging up his attack. It makes him a sitting duck, especially since hitting him interrupts his attack.

On Challenging, you might consider making him only vulnerable while his sword is stuck in the wall. This would be a more intense scenario of being completely outmatched by an enemy that you’re slowly luring to his demise. Also, on challenging he should probably spend less time charging up his attacks. As it stands, Frogatto can be safely behind him well before he even dashes.


Good ideas.


Taking another look at Sword Kitty, I think the major reason he’s not very threatening is because nearly all of his attacks require a long charge-up time. The only time he hits me is when he does his quick jumping attack. And he doesn’t do that often, which means that I can usually just walk up to him and stare at him until he starts preparing a dash attack, at which point I have 2-3 seconds to jump out of the way.

The most important change I’ll suggest is that Sword Kitty should definitely just have a basic sword-swing move for when you get too close to him. On Challenging, though, I’d recommend he chase the player around a bit more; pacing about doesn’t really fit with how angry he is.

I suggested earlier that he not be vulnerable while he’s charging up his attacks, but an alternative is that he attacks you in other more dangerous ways more often, and you have to dodge him until he decides to use his chargeup attack. Then, that 3-second charge time changes from a glaring weakness to the player’s only chance for recourse.

Or, for a less effort-intensive change, just lower the chargeup time and have him only be vulnerable while his sword is stuck in the wall.


From a discussion about the sword-kitty, with Actionjack/Phanterm:

The biggest problem is that the current ministun he gets from being jumped on makes him far too vulnerable during the lulls between charges - the main conceit in the fight is that he should only have a small window of vulnerability after using a major attack against you, but the general vulnerability he has to being stomped on ends up “taking over” the fight, and becoming the primary way you damage him.

So generally speaking, we’re going to make it so the player can’t do that. We’re definitely going to make it so any attempt by the player to jump on the kitty’s head is pre-empted by an attack that renders the entirety of the kitty damaging (probably some new spinning attack). We might just make him flat-out invincible during this time.

Overall, we’re going to have several primary “behavior modes”:
– the current long-distance charge
– the current long-distance jump
– a new mode where he simply jogs quickly-ish towards the player, in order to his new spinning attack
– a possible new move where he throws daggers from a distance - possibly either jumping into the air to deliver them, or retreating from the player to deliver them


My son says that the first boss in the git version (airplane kitty) is way too hard. He’s been playing the release version of Frogatto for quite awhile now and has completed it several times. Now he can’t get by the first boss. He says you have to have perfect technique and even if you make a single mistake you can’t win. You can’t dodge his fire spread attack and his swoop attack, the only time you can hit him, is way too fast. With only two hearts, you can’t take enough damage without getting killed.


Hm, ? is he playing with a keyboard or a gamepad? What difficulty is he playing it on?


He plays with a keyboard on Casual.


Yeah, the git version is, rather emphatically, considered work-in-progress. In order to really reap the benefits of source control (constant backup, etc), we really can’t keep the git version unbroken - i.e. we can’t wait until things are in an ideal “as we had intended” state before committing; frequently I just commit stuff at the end of a night’s work.

So, I do apologize, but them’s the breaks. I really appreciate the testing! :slight_smile:

1] the fire spread indeed was un-dodgeable, and we didn’t intend that. That rendered the fight nigh-unbeatable.

2] the swoop attack seems to us to actually be fairly easy to dodge - I think we need more warning that it’s going to happen (you can’t dodge by the time it appears onscreen, you had to anticipate he’s going to do it and dodge slightly before). However, since the boss follows a strict sequence, you can just count down to it (it’s every fourth pass), spit the shot, and jump.

Now, that said - that’s our impression, but we’re known for being poor judges of just how insanely hard it is to control videogames for most people - for himself, your son’s impression is entirely valid, and casual is aimed at folks like him. We may figure out a way to nerf down that swoop-attack on casual. Probably slowing it down would suffice.


I know that the git version isn’t complete :wink: We like trying things out though. What’s the point of running Archlinux if you can’t live on the edge once in awhile.
We were playing the devel version of Battle for Wesnoth for months before 1.10 came out. They loved it when I told them there was something new. They love the devel cycle of Frogatto for the same reason and really appreciate all the work you guys do.
I’ll recompile from git sometime next week and see how things go then. Where is the best place to give feedback about git gameplay? IRC?


Yup, #frogatto on is the place.

(And yeah, my above explanation was just a “pretty sure this guy knows, but juuuust in case…” bit of boilerplate, really.)


Most activity around 5:00PM - 12:00PM PST, I estimate, though it’s more and less of an all-day thing on weekends. Do drop by; it’d be nice to talk to you. :slight_smile:


Just to give you some feedback on difficulty levels: Frogatto is the first platformer I’ve ever played, and it took me quite a few tries to figure out the bridge fight and solve it - same for the kitty in the elder’s house. The group by the gate was comparatively easy after that. So, I think for the easy mode the bridge fight should stay as in the release version, in the harder setting you can of course make it harder than it is in the release version IMO, as long as it’s still beatable.


Sweet! Welcome to the genre. :smiley: Feedback is always welcome, since we’re so inured to our own game we can’t really judge it’s difficulty anymore.

Do you know what version you’re playing? (Or, do you know where you got it from?)


I started playing with the release candidates (1.3.x) to test my translation and then bought the first gold release from the Humble Store.

I never played a platformer before, so I died quite a lot in easy mode - especially at the bridge and then at the big house, and then again in the woods and the last cave level. I think it’s OK that it isn’t just one challenging learning curve from screen to screen, because that means you can take a bit of a breather sometimes and advance in the story.

After playing the game a few times, I managed to finish it in the challenging mode as well, although I still have difficulty to get enough coordination to jump between the small moving platforms, and I still really suck at the arcade mode.

Generally, I think easy mode should stay as it is for noobs like me, and then you can tweak the challenging mode for the geeks :smiley:

If the 2 modes differ too much, it might be a good idea to have an intermediate level, but I don’t know if you guys have the development resources/time available to create & balance that.


We’ve tried to make the game a bit unpredictable, difficulty-wise… the next release should be a bit more polished in that regard, though. :-\

Three difficulty levels was actually our original idea; rather by default I think. We went with two modes because we were finding that the intermediate mode didn’t have enough differentiation. I agree easy mode should be easy, but hard mode should be possible! Sod the geeks, I need to be able to play it! Difficulty-wise, we are aiming our ‘hard’ to be reasonably possible for someone who enjoys platformers on a regular basis. Roughly the video-game equivalent of a soft-boiled egg. :smiley:

(For comparison, I Wanna Be The Guy is a teak model of an egg. You’ll scratch the surface… but good luck getting through it.)


As I said, I liked it that the difficulty isn’t always just steadily increasing. Allows you to take a bit of a breather and enjoy the story & scenery. And the callenges are varied too - precision jumping vs. fighting, selecting the best weapon…