Have you been playing N++? It’s hard, innit? Well, here’s some bad news: beating the game is the easy bit. Yep, according the game’s creators at Metanet Software, there are secrets that make N++ much more difficult.
“If you complete the regular Solo game and collect enough gold, you’ll start to see some strange codes appear, brimming with intrigue and possibility, indicating that there’s more than meets the eye,” Metanet tells Siliconera.
You can see the codes at the bottom of screen when playing a level. There’s one circled in yellow in the screenshot below, for example.
Metanet has decided to reveal the existence of these secrets as people are steadily beginning to unravel them for themselves. Most recently, Twitch streamer Aweinstock has been decoding and understanding what these secrets are. What he’s discovered is that, if you successfully complete enough secret challenges, you start to unlock hidden secret levels that are extra challenging mutations of previous levels.
Metanet says that beating the main game only gets you 25 percent completion and so this is what it meant when saying N++ could last you a lifetime previously.
“Our goal with the secrets was to elevate the modern idea of hardcore platformers that N helped usher in 11 long years ago, and really underline how different N++ is with a series of elegantly layered challenges, hidden in plain sight, so that every player can find something that appeals to them, whatever their skill level,” Metanet said. “Plus, we love secrets (especially the ones in Super Mario World) and wanted to really bump up the level of intrigue and satisfaction in N++.
You can see Aweinstock complete one of the secret challenges in N++ in the video below. It requires you to activate all the mines and avoid all gold by the time you reach the exit. This gives the code: G–t++
“Designing each secret challenge required us to think about each level in a new and interesting way, considering the purpose and position of all the objects and enemies within it from a new perspective and with a new goal in mind,” Metanet continues. “We then repeatedly playtested, assuming the perspective of a variety of players and tweaking positions and dynamics until succeeding at each challenge felt great.”
As a result of this, each level in N++ is said to have several different layers of win states, and you can explore them all on your own, testing your skills. For Metanet, it’s a way of letting you focus on what you like most about N++. If it’s the pixel-perfect platforming challenges then you can try those out. Or if it’s the fast-flowing movement then you can focus on that.
“We think that this sort of thoughtful, empathic design empowers and supports players, whatever their goal, and is a large part of why N++ is so rewarding to play,” Metanet said.