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Hacked Rom Reviews!

Super Bald Bros 1-3!
-rom hacks of "Super Mario Bros 1-3" for the NES-
review by: FatSatan

Doctor Phil Billy Zane Barbapapa

It is a well-known fact that bald people are wiser, faster and inherently more talented than the hair-sporting majority. Doctor Phil, Billy Zane, Barbapapa - all illustrious names and, not so coincidentally, all bald. Indeed, scientists have been saying for years that the unsightly dead cell matter we grow on our scalps interferes with thought processes and robs us of our potential omnipotence. One can only pray that those bad sci-fi movies are right, and we'll all do away with the concept of hair some day in the future.

a respected scientist
Dr. Mr. Dr. Vic Gruff, professor in the study of hair and freelance proctologist
"Hair is the mould of the human body. Shave your nipples, kids."

Throughout history, men and women have managed to combine things into a greater whole. George Washington Carver took peanuts and butter and made peanut butter. Benjamin Franklin took kites and lightning and found a creative new way of committing suicide. And five years ago, a hacker by the screenname of DCR rose to combine the elements of Super Mario Bros... and baldness. DCR, undoubtedly bald him(?)self, went to work on the unforgettable NES Super Mario Bros Trilogy and removed the main characters' hats, exposing shiny skin for the very first time. I don't think I'm alone in saying that I've dreamt about this particular feature since I was a young lad.

Egads! He's bald!

Let's start things off with the Genesis of the series, Super Bald Bros. 1. Note the fact that the logo has not just been modified, it has been removed. Leaves the start screen a bit empty, doesn't it? Sort of... bald? That's right! This is obviously a clever analogy to the hair-impaired nature of our heroes. No, it's not laziness! Don't be stupid. You're stupid. Stop being stupid!

Evidently, DCR didn't feel ready to sign his work yet in this early phase of his would-be successful hacking career. Nevertheless, this epic hack that pours new energy and magical playability into an otherwise dusty old game can't be ignored as one of his masterpieces. So let's examine more closely.

Powered up to uber-bald!

Early into the game, it becomes clear that we're not dealing with any run-of-the-mill hackjob here. Mario's chromedome is sculpted to a rounded perfection that is so stunning you'll forget you're playing an 8-bit game. Better get out a pair of sunglasses, because you'll be seeing spots for hours on end after a round of Bald Bros.

Luigi's bald too!
Luigi's bald too!? I was as surprised as you are!
This hacker really left no stone unturned!

Blinding baldness-speed screws up the graphics!

As you play through this hack, you'll feel certain differences with the old school Mario... in fact, the game's physics have gone madder than a bat that's been legally declared insane and is found on a brutal murder scene wielding a plastic salad fork and saying "Do these pants make me look like Erik Estrada?". No longer obstructed by wind resistance and friction, Mario will flash across the screen. And you'd best have a powerful system to support all this, because the particle effects and texture lighting will be off the hook. As seen in the screenshot above, the graphics can go a little dodgy without a powerful 3D card. But getting one is so worth it!

Witness the awesome power of BALD.

Gifted with mystical fun, exciting new antics and strangely erotic baldness (well, I think so anyway), Super Bald Bros. 1 is definitely one hack you must check out. Sure, a more critical point of view might lead to the conclusion that the only modified aspect of this game is a bunch of god damn baldies, but why sulk? Instead, recognize DCR's hard work and creative effort in this -dare I say- godlike hack. Let me stress again, Mario and Luigi are bald at all times. It's not like you're granted a quick peek at their naked skulltops before they slap their hats back on again. They're not like that. Never before was there a more complete outlet for the hair-impaired.

Faster than a balding bullet.
But wait! There's yet more baldness to explore!

Yup, he's still bald...

Bring out the shears and oil up that creepy head-massager machine that secretly implants alien bugs in your brain, it's time for another round of baffling baldiliciousness! This time DCR decided to not only add the word "bald" at a -somewhat illogical- place on the start screen, but he also left his signature on the hack! A most exciting new experience awaits us, though I have to say, after Super Bald Bros. 1, this one left me a little disappointed... but don't throw bricks through my bedroom window just yet - hear me out.

Toad and Peach... not bald?

It's just that I had high expectations for this one. Everyone knows that, for their second adventure, Mario and Luigi are joined by the courageous Toad and the lovely Princess Peach. And alright, the brothers' baldness still leaves nothing to the imagination. But just why aren't their friends appearing in the same fashion? Toad is still wearing his hat (unless that thing's grown to his skull, in which case I wholeheartedly apologize), and Peach just has a full head of hair! It's almost... blasphemous. But alright.

Full-on view of Mario's sparkly noggin.

Granted, the hack's lighting effects are once again revolutionary. And they do empower the game with a rich aura of dominance that inspires confidence into bald men walking in the sun everywhere. But I miss the classic feel of the first Bald Bros... the innocence.

Magic potion... or hair tonic?

And really, was a little creativity, a little renewing, too much to ask? Was it that hard to do something more with the graphics? Couldn't this magic flask have been edited to look like a bottle of scalp polish, or even hair tonic?

Blinding baldness blast! Well, yeah, there was a bomb present, too.

The enhanced physics are still present, and Mario's new ranged kill attacks are truly staggering when witnessed the first time. But after that it gets kind of old. It's hard to stay satisfied when you keep staring at the same bald head all the time.

Luigi's still bald too!
Believe it or not - Luigi is still bald, too. Yup.

More sparklicious baldiness... but at what cost?

In looking at the big picture, one can tell that the shine, pardon the pun, of the Bald Bros series is starting to fade. Lack of innovation is starting to be a drag on these hacks. Really dude, DCR. Come on. You can't just ride the wave of a single success like this. At one point in life, baldness just isn't enough anymore.

Alright, we get the picture.     Classic bald bashing fun... but it's just not the same.
Well... time for more supercataracticbixbyalecbaldwinosius bald glee. I guess.

It's time for Super Bald Bros. 3, an electromagnetically spectacular... aw, screw it. Just look at this shit. What the hell has DCR done? He's single-handedly destroyed everything the Super Bald Bros. series stand for. Come on. Look at that title screen. The letters "Mario" have been replaced with "Bald", but the letters don't even look like the originals! What kind of crap is he trying to pull? And look - he's left his signature again, but it's the exact same year he made Super Bald Bros. 2 in! Kinda speaks of the effort he poured into this one, huh?

Gifted with flight by aerodynamic law... gee, original.     Bald raccoons. Right. Excuse me while I shoot myself.

As you can see, Mario and Luigi are... still... bald. And that's where it ends. Gone are the ingenious graphics and the dynamic physics that made Super Mario Bros. 1 such a fast-paced, fun play. If only more daring new ideas had been added to this hack, like - swapping the timer with a Testosterone Meter that's rapidly running out. Mario has the new ability to defy gravity by the sheer power of aerodynamics, but really... how many times haven't we seen that before? Effectively dealing a death blow to this already lousy hack, Mario's raccoon form isn't bald on the map screen. I mean, really. How low can you go, DCR? Neglect to even perfect your baldification of this game? What's the matter? Gave up halfway through when the effort seemed to great?

I HAVE THE POWER!     Toad tries to shield his already incinerated retinas.

As much as it pains me to say it, this hack is the undeniable death of the Super Bald Bros series. As soon as Mario suits up in his Tanooki, Frog or Hammer form, the baldness is once again covered by fabric, which is exactly what we Bald Bros fans were trying to avoid with the original series. It just hurts so much because I know DCR could have kept up the high standard of the first game had he put his back into it more. I'll just have to accept that some things aren't meant to last, and I'll always treasure the moments I had with Super Bald Bros. 1.

Farewell, Bald Bros. You will not be forgotten.

Hey look, it's Dennis Franz!

You too can play Super Bald Bros 1-3!



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