Mystic Realm

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Mystic Realm title screen

Mystic Realm is a level pack by Mystic. It is one of the oldest level packs for SRB2, being first released as Mystic Level Pack in 2003. In the following years, it grew into a large-scale level pack with seven main zones, various hidden levels and an original soundtrack that has since been incorporated into the game proper. Mystic Realm was especially popular in the Final Demo era, when it was by far the largest collection of Single Player levels for SRB2, exceeding even the game's own Single Player campaign.

Mystic Realm was completed in 2006, and it has only been updated since then to keep it compatible with the current version of SRB2. These updates add no new content and preserve the pack in its original form, except for a few minor adjustments. A more extensive overhaul that makes use of assets in newer SRB2 versions was begun after the release of SRB2 v2.0, but development for it is now on hold.

Current release information

Levels

Main article: Mystic Realm/Levels

Mystic Realm's main campaign consists of seven zones with three acts each, except for the final zone, which has four acts. A small temple structure called the Mystic Temple is hidden in the second act of each zone. If the player steps on the platform in its center and then completes the level normally, they will be warped to the emerald stage for the zone. The emerald stages are regular Single Player levels with a similar but slightly different theme than the zones they belong to. Near the exit, they contain a Chaos Emerald. Note that the player has to explicitly pick up the emerald; merely finishing the stage will not award it to the player. After finishing an emerald stage, the player advances to the third act of the original zone. The game is automatically saved upon entering an emerald stage.

On top of the regular levels, there are several unlockable bonus stages. If the player collects all seven Chaos Emeralds as Sonic, the final boss fight will be changed to a teleporter that leads to two bonus zones, Prismatic Angel Zone and Mystic Realm Zone. Once beaten, these levels are accessible from the Secrets menu. Another level, Golden Sands Zone, can be unlocked by collecting 20 emblems. An archive that contains old versions of the Mystic Realm stages as well as several scrapped levels can be unlocked by collecting 40 emblems. Mystic Realm contains 75 emblems in total: One emblem for each character is hidden in every non-boss level, including the emerald stages. Further emblems are hidden in some of the unlockable levels. Extra emblems are awarded for completing the game and completing it with all Chaos Emeralds, respectively.

Between v4.1 and v4.3, multiplayer levels were also included with Mystic Realm – by v4.3, there were six levels for Match and two for CTF. These were a mix of levels from old versions of SRB2 itself and the OLDC. Some of them were later added to SRB2 itself in v1.09.4.

Unlockables

  • Sound Test: Can be unlocked by beating the Single Player campaign, just like in SRB2 itself.
  • Golden Sands Zone: A Single Player level that was entered into the January/February 2006 OLDC. Can be unlocked by collecting 20 emblems.
  • Mystic Realm Archive: A collection of old versions of the Mystic Realm stages and levels used in old versions of Mystic Realm. Can be unlocked by collecting 40 emblems.
  • Pandora's Box: Can be unlocked by collecting all emblems, just like in SRB2 itself.
  • Level Select: Allows access to all Single Player levels, including emerald stages. Can be unlocked by collecting all emblems.

v4.4 and v4.5 of Mystic Realm included two more unlockables: Second Quest was a duplicate of the Single Player campaign with different texturing, different Mystic Temple locations, and additional enemies. Lock-On added Mystic Realm's levels to the end of SRB2's Single Player campaign, allowing the player to play both in succession. Both unlockables were removed in v4.6.

History

The first release (v1.0) of Mystic Realm was made in 2003, under the name Mystic Level Pack. At the time, the purpose of the pack was simply to expand SRB2's Single Player campaign by adding custom levels onto the end. In its first incarnation, the pack included three full-length zones: Crawla Isle Zone (now known as Jade Coast Zone), Verdant Forest Zone and Aerial Garden Zone. A second release (v2.0), this time under the name Mystic Way, added Flame Rift Zone. A third release (v3.0) was made on January 1st, 2004, the same day that SRB2 v1.08 was released. It added Midnight Freeze Zone and renamed the pack to Mystic Realm. A final boss fight called Mystic Realm Zone was also added in this version, replacing an earlier boss fight called Final Zone.

Mystic Realm v4.0 was released on September 11th, 2005, the same day as SRB2 v1.09. It expanded Mystic Realm from an extension of SRB2's Single Player campaign to a stand-alone level pack. SRB2's official levels were removed were removed from the level progression, while two new zones were added: Tempest Valley Zone and Sunken Plant Zone. Crawla Isle Zone was renamed to Jade Coast Zone and many of the existing levels were revamped. Emerald stages and the Mystic Temple mechanism for entering them were also added in this version, as were Prismatic Angel Zone and a remade Mystic Realm Zone as Sonic-only extra levels. Other additions intended to transform Mystic Realm into a stand-alone experience included emblems, a custom title screen and a custom soundtrack.

Several updates were released in the following months. Aside from fixes and improvements to the existing levels, these updates also added a selection of Match and CTF levels. The final content update, v4.4, was released on December 17th, 2006. It introduced proper unlockables, which at the time included a level select, Lock-On, the archives, Second Quest and Golden Sands Zone. In previous versions, the archives had only been accessible from a hidden level called Warp Zone, while Golden Sands Zone had only been available in multiplayer gametypes. The archives were expanded by adding the original version of Flame Rift Zone, old Special Stages and cutscenes giving commentary about the stages. More emblems were added to pack, increasing the total number from 50 to 75. Two custom bosses were added: the Egg Fighter was used in Aerial Garden Zone Act 4 and Prismatic Angel Zone Act 3, while the Egg Mobile X was used in Mystic Realm Zone, which was also expanded. The Match and CTF stages added between v4.1 and v4.3 were removed.

v4.5 and v4.6 were released to update Mystic Realm for SRB2 v2.0 and v2.1, respectively. They added no new content, but included some minor adjustments. v4.6 changed the unlockable structure: The Second Quest and Lock-On unlockables were removed, replacing them with SRB2's standard Sound Test and Pandora's Box unlockables. Prismatic Angel Zone and Mystic Realm Zone were also now added to the Secrets menu after being completed.

After the release of SRB2 v2.0, community member Neo Chaotikal began a more extensive update of Mystic Realm, called Neo Mystic Realm, which made use of assets added to SRB2 in v2.0. Neo Mystic Realm merged each original zone with its corresponding emerald stage into a single level, similar to how Aerial Garden Zone now appears in SRB2 itself. Mystic later took over the project, but never finished it, and it is no longer being worked on.

  Modifications [view]
v2.1 Acid MissileDumbventureMystic RealmSRB2KartTortured Planet
v2.0 Botanic SerenitySRB2CBSRB2 RidersXSRB2
v1.09.4 Blue HeavenShufflarB2SRB2JTE
v1.08 SA-SRB2SPMoves