Tendril is a great name! But unfortunately I have to stick with tentacle since “Flaahgra Tentacle” is the official title of the creature in Metroid Prime. (Yes, for some reason they’re a species in the logbook )
The tentacle’s usefulness depends on how well you can wield it. Some find it too weak, others love it, but you can only go so far without having to stock up on the other panels. From what I’ve seen, people who get in the 30,000s and 40,000s find some kind of balance between all of the upgrades.
By the way, have you tried a tentacle-only run once the goofy fish appear? You might get to see the other three distractions.
I’ve thought about the possibility of continuing work on DYF. There were a lot of ideas I dropped for the sake of time. My goal for these tech demos is to push my engine to more and more advanced levels, closer to what would be needed to make full Metroidvania games, and I don’t think DYF has much left to offer in that respect. Everything that would be needed to expand the replayability, like hundreds of crate events, multiple locations, a campaign mode, play style bonuses, different run types, etc. is all just more graphics and game scripts. So I think I have to set it aside to keep moving forward. Maybe I’ll come back to it someday