Hard levels really depend on the level maker designing it. But what each difficult level has in common is that they provide a challenge for people playing it. (Unless said player is very skilled) Some hard levels are just a bunch of hook jumps that have been used many times before, while some hard levels have strange minigames that look very unique, yet very difficult.
What Makes a Level HardEdit
The term "Hard Level" is very ambiguous and many players say it contains different things.
Your Regular, Generic Type of HardEdit
The average player will usually think that a hard level...
- Contains lots of Hook Jumps, especially the One Block Hook Jump.
- Is very long and tedious
- Requires winning many times
- Has one-block wide elevators
- Has many pixel jumps (See "List of Things People Hate")
- Uses many secret bricks
All of these are usually tossed into a hard level that is made by a plain, run-of-the-mill player.
The Original, Unique, Yet Hard TypeEdit
However, someone who is skilled outside of these categories and play expertly designed levels that contain things almost never done in other levels say that a hard level...
- Has challenges very different from all the things a regular player has experienced, making the challenge more difficult due to lack of experience
- This contains "speed control", where the player has to gain momentum, jump off the first platform, then stop for a split-second while the player is still in mid-air, then go forward again, landing on the second platform without hitting the low ceiling above the second platform.
- Unique hard levels may also contain non-stop movement over a large area with blockades, requiring players to run the whole stretch without stopping or getting stopped.
- Contains red herrings
- Contains pixel-perfect timing
- Any of the above, but with any directional gravity arrows in all the empty spaces, making finding or doing the solution more difficult.
Any of these things in either bulleted list can be considered "hard". Note that many inexperienced players who like to make things in the first bulleted list will have a much harder time completing the challenges in the second bulleted list, and therefore the things in the second bulleted list are unfairly dubbed "impossible" by some.
What Doesn't Make a Level HardEdit
Sadly, there are many things in people's levels that they consider "hard" when they are really either aesthics or things that a certain person can't beat, yet many others can. Here are some common misconceptions of "hard" things.
Stairs, while being considered easy by many, can be mistook as hard puzzle types by few. Some people think stairs are hard because there is a key at the end that sends players back to the bottom, or to the nearest "safe" block that isn't a key door. But in reality, stairs are just a race. A competition to see who gets to the end first and gets to move on. Stairs are mistook for hard because players keep getting send back over and over again. Even moreso, players just hold space and go from left to right until they get to the top. When the key gets triggered, players just hold space again when the key doors solidify. Holding space is nowhere near hard, and a hard level shouldn't include stairs unless if there is a new concept hidden within it (Lack of experience makes it harder).
Secret Bricks Blocking Keys, Crowns, etc.Edit
Many new players think that slapping a secret brick in front of a crown so that players can't collect it is "hard". But in reality, that secret brick (and crown) is completely aesthetic. Both of those blocks have nothing to do with the minigame that it's in, except to be used as filler. Filler. In the space where the secret brick is, players can just put a solid, visible block infront of it and it would function exactly the same. Players can't collect the crown, players move on. In other words, secret bricks blocking crowns everywhere doesn't make it hard, it only fills in the empty space that happens to be unused when the minigame is designed, and it's only there to substitute as art as some people say.