Since I have had some free time in the last month and GM studio has now become much more stable and useable, I decided it is time to port the engine over to it. This involved not only removing any obsolete commands from 8.1 no longer supported in GM:S but also working around a great # of issues that GM:S has versus 8.1 such as execution order, me having to make my own room transition now, surfaces being handled differently, the various display issues that GM:S has (which are SUPPOSEDLY going to be fixed in the next release), screen refresh being removed, and the countless other things that got broken in changing over to studio.
However, even with all of its issues I have to say that I am liking studio so far. The new debugger is VERY helpful, using shaders allowed me to cut out a TON of sprites, and I like the inclusion of texture pages. I am looking forward to more flash support so that I can play videos again in it, and also for native spine support which will allow me to quickly and easily design enemies like blade, gurkha, hammer, galamoth etc.
I also began working on the castle entrance which was quite a task considering that it uses 8 parallax layers, has a lightning effect in some rooms, and also has a special effect to make one of the rooms dark (which took some effort to get working right when a room transition was thrown into the mix), and that I will have to rearrange quite a bit of stuff in it. I also took care of the water in the stage and about 6 rooms in it (one of which was expanded some).