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NES Hacking: 2019 Year In Review


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Jun 3, 2019
AG Join Date
Jun 23, 2010
I've thrown this up on a couple forums already, but since not everyone is everywhere like me, here it is....

I periodically check the wondrous compilation site www.romhacking.net for various translations and hacks of old-school games. NES is primarily what I look for there, as the scene is basically unlike any other. Here are some recent ones from this year that caught my eye, and were not another Zelda/SMB/Mega-Man hack...

One category that pops up a lot are older games being converted to MMC5 from MMC1, for better performance. This has been done more and more for early SNES games, which had slowdown. I'm not sure if there's a point for these NES games. Compatibility with emulators is sketchy though. Games converted include Double Dragon (link), Journey to Silius (link), Castlevania II (link), Dragon Warrior (link), Dragon Warrior II (link), Dragon Warrior III (link), Monster Party (link), Predator (link), Dick Tracy (link), The Goonies II (link), Top Gun (link)

Here's a fascinating one, a hack of Mottomo Abunai Deka (link). This is a game based on a Japanese TV show; however, the show is actually a rip-off of Miami Vice, the 80's hit! The author used an English translation of the original game, and changed the font, pieces of dialogue, and even changed sprites and cut scenes! Talk about what-if.


Then we have Mr. Gimmick, a Japanese game that features a character which behaves a heck of a lot like Kirby, which appeared for the first time in 1992 as well. So somebody hacked Gimmick into Kirby, of course (link)


There's probably no single BIGGER comic book character these days than Deadpool. Even though the first appearance was back in 1991, a fairly well done and reviewed hack was released that uses Ninja Gaiden (link). It's a fullscale image hack complete with DP-centric cutscenes!


A real stinker on the NES was Activision's port of Ghostbusters; awful game. Well it was hacked a few times, culminating in Ghostbusters Remastered (The Real) (link), which best I can tell, seems to use sprites from Famicom game The New Ghostbusters 2, while making performance, control, bug, and gameplay corrections.


Battle City, which I think is now working in the Everdrive N8, was modded to run with the 4-player devices (link)


How about a big graphical update to a "Big Trouble in Little China" hack of Bad Dudes? You betcha (link)!


Did you know that Sunsoft was going to release a game based on The Terminator? The license went to Mindscape, which sold a pile of crap. Sunsoft released their game (with changes) as Journey to Silius. Well, there have been several releases of the hack to transform it "back" into the one based on the Arnie hit. Here's the latest, which was well received (link).


One of the best NES hackers goes by the handle "pacsacdave," including several I've already listed, and a cute one he did was to add Mario Kart sprites to R.C. Pro-Am (link)!

pacsacdave also translated quite a few games to English. From Japanese included Pizza Pop! (link), Famicom Wars (link), and Nantettatte!! Baseball (link). He also did Chinese bootlegs like Tom & Jerry 3 (link), The Legend of Zelda: San Shen Zhi Li (link), and Bio Hazard (link).


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