You know, I thought I knew what to expect when I signed up for the business of reviewing rom hacks for I-Mockery. Emotional revulsion, complete and utter disappointment in the human race, occasionally walking up with a taste in my mouth that can't possibly be what I think it is. One thing I didn't expect in my youthful naiveté, was actual physical harm. OK, so rom hacks have inflicted their fair share of mental damage on me. Yes, I sometimes lie awake at night with the thought that actual people created these hacks. Yes, I keep Kevorkian's phone number on speed dial now, just in case. And yes, I am no longer capable of performing sexually unless I imagine a giant, pixelated penis dressed in a Klan robe, shouting obscenities at me
while smoking a joint. Stop me if I'm getting too personal. How could I have guessed that somewhere out there, there's a rom hacker trying to kill me and anyone else foolish enough to play his infernal creation?
When I received this rom hack, entitled "Disco Mario", I figured this couldn't be too bad. Perhaps this was just one of the seven million rom hacks out there with Mario sporting a fro and sunglasses. Maybe I'd be pleasantly surprised with an actual funky disco theme to the characters and backgrounds. Neither of which turned out to be true.
I suppose it would be beneficial if I explained the unusual format of this review. You see, whenever I'm playing a new rom hack, I write up my observations as I go along, and compile those later on into a regular review. I do this because it's not uncommon for my mind to erase every last memory of playing said rom hack directly afterwards, in an act of self-preservation. In this case, I decided not to refine the review, partly because I thought it would lose its message, partly because I really didn't want to go back and face the pain again. Proceed if you must, but don't say I didn't warn you.
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Precautions to take during use
Sunday, July 27th - 3:29 pm
Starting review of Disco Mario, a rom hack of Super Mario Bros 2. The title screen looks slightly screwed up. I suppose I can expect another hack done by someone with no clue what they were doing. Oh, my life is hell. Why did I have to kill those children for looking at me cross-eyed? And how long is
-RoG- going to hold that over me?*
*note to self: omit that 'detail' from the final review.
I believe my suspicions were correct. The character edits are pathetic and wholly inconsistent. Mario's face appears to be a soot-stained smiley, Luigi a block-shaped punk, Toad's cranial liquids appear to have sagged into his face, and Peach is... wearing sunglasses. I'm almost afraid to pick one. Providing some relief, when I do pick one, the old character briefly appears, unscathed, to wave at me. So far we've established this hacker is both artistically impotent and not very thorough. I guess I've got my hands on yet another generic hack. Time to start playing.
Holy shit. Finally the black spots in front of my eyes have started to dissipate and I can see well enough to type again. It appears I underestimated my subject hacker. For reasons I can't possibly fathom, he's turned all the background tiles into blindingly flashing kaleidoscopes. Is he actively trying to make this game unplayable? I suppose I should press on to find out.
It's tricky, but I think I have my twitching eye under control. I don't think the flashing's going to end anytime soon. Whatever possessed this person to create such an unplayable hack is beyond me, but what really baffles me is that they chose to release it on the web.
As an inquisitive man, but not a Spanish one, I have to wonder if this
hacker had the slightest understanding of what he was looking at while
changing the original game's graphics. It's more like he inserted all the
pretty colors taught to him in special finger-painting class. Only briefly flickering images of the original doors, grass and cherries hint at what their function is. And you have to stare at them long to make sure of that. Hmm. Funny. There's foam coming out of my mouth.
Of course, no hack is complete without its share of mysterious messages. "WHO?" is declared on various poles I come across. Perhaps this refers to musical band the Who, though I don't think they had much to do with disco. I feel a tremendous headache coming on, so I think I'll try to beat this game nice and quick.
OK. After the projectile vomiting started, I considered giving this review up. But I'm better now. That is to say, as soon as this tingling in my left arm starts to subside. Oh. There goes another vein in my eyeball. Well, through all the commotion, I failed to immediately notice something awkward about the characters. Not that they look
embarrassingly plain and created with no expectation of end results whatsoever, but that they look absolutely nothing like their select screen alter egos. Now Mario appears to be the block-headed punk instead of Luigi. Luigi, in turn, has had to sacrifice his moustache for an afro hairdo. Toad looks to be a ghost, and Peach dons a trashy dress and a boob-job. The question "why?" seems so pointless to ask at this point, so I'll try to get a little further into the game.
At this point I'm typing with one hand because the left side of my body has stopped functioning. I'm sure it'll subside in a while. No biggie. In the meantime, I'm becoming aware that the changes to this hack don't stretch very far. Save that the background remains utterly fucked up at all times, there's a precious few changed enemies and platform tiles.
I'm starting to get the hang of this now. I just need to rest for a while before playing and I'll be a-OK. And the sparkly screens provide an extra challenge to an otherwise beatable game. What more could a persno want/? wELL, mybe thier eyesigt back. MIne appeers to have jusst stopppd funvtioning adn its making typinng sorta hard. I Sure hhope this isnt permanenent.
See, that just goes to show what a positive attitude towards a rom hack'll get you. Having slept, or rather lost consciousness for several hours, I've managed to recover a little and get ahead in the game once again. The only thing bothering me now is that either my clock is screwed up, or I'm no longer capable of telling time and seeing the color blue. You'd be surprised at how many uses that color has. To my disappointment, none of the bosses are changed,
nor are any enemies beyond the first level. That's not much of a reward for besting these utterly unplayable stages.
I'm beginning to get some creeping suspicions about the motives behind this hack, next to just creeping hallucinations of spiders all around my room. At least, I hope they're hallucinations. They look pretty lifelike. But back to my first point, I suspect that maybe the hacker was so frustrated with his anti-talent, that he chose to mar his own work beyond recognition, thus hiding the deformed fruits of his hacking. More specifically, the characters. Had I done something that awful to Tweeter or Birdo, I wouldn't want anyone to know about it either. Gah! Spiders! GET OFF! EEEYAAAAAAAAH
One of my hands tried to strangle me. I've had to tie it to my leg using my belt. I've heard of instances like this in psychology, where the subconscious mind takes control of an appendage in an attempt to stop the conscious mind from harming the body any further. An insane theory, of course. My hand tried to hurt me because it's a bad, nasty hand. I'll wait till it's not looking at me and then I'll chew it off. What was I doing again? Oh yes, still playing this rom hack. My nose is bleeding. I don't know if this is because of the flashing imagery or not, but I thought you'd like to know. I've become aware of the fact that if I manage to beat this game, I will be king of the world and master of sausages. How futile a thing like a rom hack review can seem when you come to a revelation like that. Hah!
I've been spared from total oblivion. While doing a patented "happy dance" after beating world 6, I fell down the stairs and came to my senses. With two shattered ankles I dragged myself back into my room and shut off the NES emulator. The doctor says my brain came very close to exploding due to the constant exposure to flickering images, and he's pretty sure the tumor will fall off on its own sooner or later. Then again, his breath did smell distinctly of scotch. I guess that concludes my review of an utterly unplayable rom hack by a sadistic monster whose name or hacker alias I would like to know, to pay him back for the experience. It was a harsh lesson, one I don't recommend you to learn for yourself. Stay away from Disco Mario. There is evil
in there that does not sleep...
You too can play Disco Mario (at your own risk)!
[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE DISCO MARIO ROM FOR THE NES!]
[CLICK HERE TO
DOWNLOAD THE NES EMULATOR]
(DISCLAIMER: I-Mockery.com takes no responsibility for loss of motor
psychotic tendencies, or complete neural paralysis as a result of playing Disco
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