I've only been reviewing rom hacks for a short while, and already, I have
seen quite far into the dark depths of the rom hacker's mind. To know that
there are people out that that are able, and indeed eager, to sully some
of the best Nintendo games out there is unsettling to say the least. And
you, the humble reader, have seen the many directions that the rom hacker
will take in profaning a classic game from your childhood; time and time
again, you've seen drug paraphernalia and the word, "fuck," pop up in
places that you would never expect them to appear. You've seen Megaman
with a penis, you've seen a mountain of ass, and you've seen Wilford
Brimley rise and fall... and rise again.
In this case, however, pornography and Metamucil shills are not part of
the prevailing theme. This time around, folks, I bring to the stage a game
that stands as a strong candidate for Ugliest Rom Hack Ever. I won't go
ahead and call it the ugliest because if an uglier one does come along
(and one will, you can count on it.), I'll have to come up with another
title to bestow upon it, and creativity is not my forte.
Without further adieu I present…
I must admit
that I felt a little trepidation at the sight of "Afro Man" framed within
a white ziggurat, but lord knows I've seen worse, so I continued…
This is why game companies hire artists to provide the artwork for their
games, rather than simply letting an elementary school full of liberated
lab monkeys flail at a piece of paper with crayons. To think that Will B
went that extra mile, deciding that just stamping a few crudely drawn rom
hack clichés all over his hack was not enough, rather he thought he should
go ahead and turn the bosses into amorphous blobs and carve their faces up
like crappy, 8-bit jack-o-lanterns, it really makes a statement. That
statement: KILL ME!!!
Well then, let's check it out:
This is your reward for not being put off by the hideous title screen, or
just the knowledge that this is indeed a rom hack. Megaman must be rolling
over in his grave. Our hero, Afroman, has a pair of slick sunglasses and a
big 'fro. Plus, this new, more virulent strain of Megaman has a nasty
facial tick instead of the usual blink, and a pistol instead of an arm
cannon. Well, I suppose "pistol" is a little grandiose term for a black
stick of chewing gum coming out of the stump where his hand should be.
What I found most peculiar about Afroman, moreso than the twitching and
his deformed arm weapon, was the fact that his gun shoots an assortment of
different bullets. Most of the time, Afroman's grotesque prosthetic spews
out a sliver of white, but it fires a bunch of unidentifiable projectiles
on a few occasions. A few dozen occasions. Alright, forget what I said
before. His gun shoots all sorts of crap, and there's no way to tell,
scene-by-scene, what kind of bullet it will launch. What the hell are
these things? A couple of them are sort of like bullets, but then you've
got a little grid, a yin yang, a playing card, and a wad of something. God
only knows what goes on with the inner workings of the Afroman.
Now, from the stage select picture, some of you might be wondering just
what the hell the monster Will B has done to the beloved Megaman boss
characters you so fondly remember from your own days of trying to figure
out why the world's most advanced robot hero can't bend his arm a little
while he shoots. Well, take a look at this:
Top: Gemini Man, Hard Man, Magnet Man, Needle Man.
Bottom: Shadow Man, Snake Man, Spark Man, Top Man.
Not a one of them has escaped the wrath of the tyrant, Will B, and his
copy of MS Paint. I personally think that Top Man got the worst of it, for
while Hard Man has been transformed into a tangerine, and while Magnet Man
has been made very punk, indeed, by his Anarchy hat from Hot Topic, Top
Man has been replaced by an understudy dressed like an 8-bit thug with a
pair of knives and an afro to rival that of our hero. A 'fro that he uses
as a weapon, no less. Still, it's a suitable punishment for being one of
the lamest Megaman villains to date.
While I'm on the topic of bosses and their new fashions, I'd like to
expound a little on Shadow Man and his all black look. I initially thought
that Will B had lost interest in making new boss outfits and decided to
just make him all black, but then, I went to fight him on his own turf
(Shadow Man, that is. I wish I could fight Will B on his own turf):
Picture above is the arena in which you Fight Shadow Man, and believe it
or not, Shadow Man is also pictured above. You know, as if fighting the
guy with Top Man's shitty special attack (A flying pirouette, in case you
were wondering), now I get to spin around in the dark like an idiot and
hope that I collide with him before he shaves off my killer 'do with his
1337 ninja skills. Thank you, Will B.
Oh, but there is an even better example than Shadow Man's unfair
Behold! The new Top Man stage! Man, Will B hates Top Man than anyone I've
ever seen before. Not that I blame him. Too bad he had to go and alienate
himself from all the epileptics that wanted to play his hack. And this is
the last time I'll rip on Top Man (Who is to Megaman villains what Aquaman
is to Superheroes), but still, why did the original Top Man stage have a
bunch of plants and such under glass? I mean, everyone else had a stage
that more or less reflected their particular abilities, like Snake Man's
reptilian stage and Spark Man's fancy electric stage. Instead, all Top Man
has are a couple of flying tops near the end, and a fat guy that fires
tops out of his stomach. What a total loser!
Ahem. Now that that's off my chest…
Just look at what he's done to poor Gemini Man's stage. It used to be such
a wonderful place filled with flashing blocks of god knows what and giant
frog eggs that would hatch and loose a smiling tadpole at you. Now, Will B
has taken it upon himself to sully the night sky by slapping the Spanish
pronoun, "yo," amidst the stars, and putting an abbreviated version of his
name on the flashing blocks of mystery. Alack! Such hubris! And putting yo
(Which is, "I," for those of you that don't habla español. Huh huh) in the
sky. The Latin American Anti-Defamation League will be all over that poor
At this point, I really wanted to stop playing Afroman. It seemed
impossible that any one person would shovel so much bad artwork into a
single hack, and even now, after seeing it firsthand, I try to convince
myself that it was just an illusion; that Megaman is still wearing his
trademark helmet and thousand mile stare. But no, the truth is that
someone did all this, and perhaps our entire society is doomed.
Even Dr. Light and Dr. Wily, the competing geriatric geniuses of robot
men, were not spared:
I have to admit, without their beards, they look much younger. It looks
like they've both cast aside their lab coats in favor of "business casual"
wear, although I can't tell if Dr. Wily is wearing all black, or if his
clothes are simply invisible. It is in that respect that Will B really
makes his audience think.
That about does it for this sorry piece of electronic frottage. In lieu of
witty closing remarks, I leave you with a shot of more Afroman than any
screen should hold at one time:
And a glimpse at Afroman's fake ID.
You too can play Afro Man!
[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE AFRO MAN ROM FOR THE NES!]
[CLICK HERE TO
DOWNLOAD THE NES EMULATOR]
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