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Hacked Rom Reviews!

Coke Head: Junkie!
-a rom hack of "Codename: Viper" for the NES-
review by: Dr. Boogie

In the past, I’ve often said that rom hacks are generally about genitalia, racism, or drugs. In the spirit of the latter, I bring you Coke Head: Junkie, formerly Code Name: Viper, a game where you single-handedly take down a drug syndicate in South America by rescuing hapless civilians and shooting hundreds of soldiers that came onto the scene via Indiana Jones-style rotating walls. Anyway, let’s get this shameless display of modern immaturity over with.

It only gets better from here...

Ah, a lovely remake of the original title screen, the paramount of the rom hacker’s craft. Demonstrating foresight, the author of the hack has chosen not to reveal a name, or email address, or anything else that can be used to prove that they were involved in the inception of this particular hack. I’d like to dwell on this title screen for as long as possible, as it portends a tragic story of one man’s struggle to create an innovative rom hack, and ultimately his decision to settle for making a hack that delivers pot humor that was rejected by the writers of High Times magazine for being “too stupid.” Well, moving on…

Don't let that bong fool you.  He's a brilliant strategist.

Now, it’s time for a briefing from your very commanding superior. Someone has “gaffled” your stash! Well you know what that means: time to grab your “gats,” hop in your “helicopter,” and go down to “South America” to "ungaffle" your stash from the offending "stash gafflers". Fortunately, you kept a single roach in your mouth for just such an occasion. We can only hope that it will last you until you can recover your stash.

An inspirational message of hope.

Wow, after an introduction like that, I am psyched about this whole drug recapture operation! Also, note that the player icon in the corner has been altered so he has a joint instead of a gun. You still have your standard issue “gats,” though I almost expected the hack’s author to replace the guns with some sort of joint rifle, or replace the bullets with puffs of smoke that you blow at the enemies. I guess those wouldn’t make sense, given that the plot is about you trying to retrieve your swindled pot, and you wouldn’t want to go around sharing what little you have left with these bud-burglars. “Bud-burglars”? What’s wrong with me!? Anyway, it just gets better from there once you start slipping into the rotating walls to check for hostages as you would in the original game:

wee! wee! wee! wee! wee! wee!
Are you sensing a theme here?
(editor's note: even though this is how these guys look in the original game, I swear they're naked!)

What’s that, my little liberated hostage friends, you want to tell me something? “Smoke dope”? Oh, I’m afraid I can’t do that right now; I’m down to my last joint thanks to those jerks who stole my precious stash. Maybe later. Boy, that third hostage doesn’t look so good. I guess he should have stopped smoking when he started to skeletonize. Ah, there’s a single joint hiding in this spinning wall. Good, now I’ll have more time to search for the stash before I start to lose my nice high. Ooh, look, an authentic South American bong! I can use this to… refill my pistol ammo. Hey, a syringe! Now I… have machine gun ammo? Wait, look! That guy is toking up, too! He must be one of the good guys! And he has the precious stash! Now I can go home and smoke dope like those hostages were telling me…

He pulled the pin on that bag of weed!  RUN!!! He pulled the pin on that bag of weed!  RUN!!!

Of course it's the best, can't you tell by the look on his face?

Or… throw the stash at a door and watch it explode? Whatever. After selflessly using your last remaining pot to blow upon the door, you enter and toke up with the prisoner. Once the bong runs out, though, you’re back on the road, searching for more pot just like a regular pothead, only you don’t have to fence VCRs and work at Spencer Gifts so that you’ll have money to buy pot. No, you’re back on the trail with another piece of a letter that will reveal the leader of the organization that did you a tremendous disservice by gaffling your precious stash.

Well, that does it. It just goes on and on from there. I will say this about the author: he didn’t give up after the first few levels. The drug paraphernalia that’s worked into the background like a Where’s Waldo book for junkies goes on all the way until the very end, which you’ll see if you can stomach the bland, repetitive gameplay of Coke Head: Junkie for that long. Even the "Game Over" screen bears some of the rom hacker’s laconic eloquence:

Wish I had fewer credits.

Well said. I, of course, chose not to continue. And now, a message for all the future rom hackers of the world: there is a special place in hell for rom hackers who churn out steaming piles such as this, where you will be jabbed in the eyes daily with the various syringes, inverted crosses, and penises that you fill your roms with, and the only thing you’ll do day in and day out is play other insipid rom hacks by other rom hackers who will soon be sharing your spot in hell. Enjoy.

Yes, I sleep with my ass up in the air every day.
Dr. Boogie

You too can play Coke Head: Junkie!



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