-a rom hack of "Monster Party" for the Nintendo Entertainment System-
review by: Dr. Boogie
Over the past few years, we've begun to see an amazing transformation in the rom hacking community. What began as merely changing Mario into a giant penis and laughing with your friends about it has slowly become something almost deserving of respect. Almost. Graphics have been tweaked, music has been rearranged, and stories have been constructed to explain it all. How can rom hackers take their art form to the next level? One word: collaboration.
As we've seen, the typical rom hacker tends to start a project all atwitter about mucking up good old games, but by the time they've reached the end of the game, boredom has welled up within their shriveled, reptilian brains. The boss of the first level might have a giant scrotum in place of legs, but the final boss will just be a scrambled picture resulting from the rom hacker's careless manipulation of the art assets. The trick, then, is to take a single title and parse out the individual levels to different rom hackers. Thus, what we have here is sort of a video game version of the Exquisite Corpse. And much like a corpse, this game will make you want to vomit.
But the least we can do as we look upon this bloated cadaver is to admire the hard work that went into shitting out this opus of a turd that future generations will know by the name "Donner Party". Keep in mind, this hack is about as NSFW as it gets, so consider yourselves warned.
This hack has one hell of a story. Eight pages of the most heinous, vile, disgusting, downright perplexing exposition ever recorded. I had to read the manual in sections, pausing on every other page to wash the taste of bile out of my mouth.
The short version is that those people involved in the real Donner Party ate a number of penises, which led to their male descendants being extraordinarily well-endowed. The focus of our story is on Matt, possessing a 50-inch penis and a mind predisposed toward racism. After his sister spurned his advances and ran off with a Pakistani man, a confused Matt set about clobbering all the black people in the US with his massive manhood. After reaching his goal, he realized that what he was doing was sort of homoerotic, so he had a sex change and became a mermaid...
That's just the lead-in to the second level of the game! And it goes on like this for eight mind-numbly, soul-crushing pages, with each new page an even more tangled mess of racism and genital enhancement than the one before!!
I nearly had a stroke just trying to understand what was going on in the story. Each one of the nine different hackers has their own little story in mind to explain the level they created, and some effort was made to try and incorporate all these explanations into a single, coherent story.
It didn't work.
As if the story the manual presents wasn't confusing enough, the game opens with a version of the story that is simultaneously a condensed version of the original story, and a completely different one. This story explains that Matt had a sex change, then got his penis back from a space faring monster, then chatted with that monster about Lindsey Lohan, then Rodney King granted him the power of flight, and then things get confusing.
I would need flow charts, and a team of linguists and criminal psychologists to fully explain the storyline of this hack. However, I only have enough of a budget for this piece to buy myself a can of off-brand soda. That's why, for the sake of my time and my sanity, I'll be presenting you with the story a piece at a time as we survey this grisly hunk of deviant workmanship one level at a time.
You'll thank me later.
Course 1: "Kill Niggaz!"
By HaxorKyo (with help from Jomb and Dr. Floppy)
Music: "Beautiful People" by Marilyn Manson
For starters, the title card for the level is the last time you'll see the "er" softened on the end of the N-word in this hack. It's a small concession, given that the rest of the level features tap-dancing Bojangles-ish men, immolated black guys shooting watermelons, pissed off-looking streetwalkers, couples having sex in the background, headless dogs, burning trashcans, and stuff that isn't inherently racist, but still feels that way when juxtaposed with the aforementioned watermelon-shooting guy.
You may have noticed the music credit in the above description of the level. That's another feature of Donner Party: hacked music. When I say "hacked music", I don't mean the type of ear-sodomizing keening heard in some of Jomb's later hacks, rather each level contains an 8-bit version of a non-video game song. To their credit, each one sounds remarkably like the original version, albeit shorter.
Music aside, if you know anything about Monster Party, it's that it had a veritable panoply of goofy bosses, from a singing plant to a corpse that did nothing. Well, the authors of this hack would look downright foolish if they missed such a grand opportunity:
In case you were wondering if there was any incest coming your way in this hack, the manual assures that boss #1 is your sister/girlfriend. She has apparently tricked Matt into thinking he had fathered one of her kids. I guess it's a relief to think it was only one, given that she fights Matt by firing out dozens of kids to bring him down, screaming "OH!" at him all the while.
Next up is a very polite slice of bread wearing a white robe. He gets points for manner, but you need to be much more assertive when dealing with a man with a weaponized cock and a thirst for blood.
Course 2: "Atropy in Entropy"
By Bobbie Doll Blue
Music: "The Mummer's Dance" by Loreena McKennitt
In a level that was surely meant to be entitled "Atrophy in Entropy," Matt decided to have a sex change (and a species change) and went to go swim in the Gulf of Mexico. Wouldn't you know it; his trip coincided with the big BP spill. Now it's time for "Mattina" to bring new meaning to the phrase "top kill".
In spite of working to punish those diabolical BP bastards for oiling up his underwater timeshare, Mattina still faces some stern opposition from oceanic creatures, most notably the disembodied frog head that spits out boner-sporting butterflies:
Don't imagine for a second that this is the most bizarre thing you'll see in this hack.
I'll be deferring to the manual's explanation for a lot of these boss characters. In this case, we have a giant catgirl, because "catgirls and mermaids have a rivalry going back to at least the 1990s". It's not surprising, then, that the catgirl flings cat litter boxes at our hero/heroine. No explanation about the catgirl's foul mouth, nor why she looks like she's ready to have a litter of foulmouthed kittengirls.
If I hadn't gotten a "D" in my last chemistry class, I might have been able to tell you what three chemical compounds will be assaulting you in this later boss fight. I'll just assume they're all petroleum-based.
And you thought you were feeling pain at the pump before. Just like those commercials with the CG gas pump doing nefarious things to your car, this maniacal pump has a good six feet of hose with your name on it. No receipt!
Interesting side note: This level marks another important first, namely the first time Irish folk music has ever been incorporated into a rom hack.
Course 3: "Cocksbad Caverns"
Music: "Come Out and Play" by The Offspring
At the conclusion of the second level, Matt decided to get yet another sex change, this one to undo to the first. Now, though, he looks like a hatless Pillsbury Doughboy in a pink tracksuit. Undeterred by his looking like a complete freak of nature, he decides to head for Cocksbad Caverns. From this point on, the story gets a little hazy. One version says he meditated in the caves and came up with the idea to celebrate all the black people he clobbered with his mammoth member, creating the eponymous Donner Party. Another version says he merely started to hallucinate because of all the noxious gases, hence all the strange creatures running around. That's why I invite you to create your own story from here on, as things are not going to get any clearer.
This level has a very distinct theme. Granted, the whole game has a single, unifying theme: crap. This level, though, has a theme all its own: cock. Cocks in the background, cocks in the foreground, walking on cocks, banging your head on cocks, bashing enemy cocks with your cock. The emphasis on dick is so great that I contracted both penis envy and vagina jealousy.
Assuming you can get through this level without glancing down sadly at your own crotch, here are the bosses you'll be rubbing up against inappropriately:
It's the minotaur from the original game, only now he has a penis. I'm afraid you've set the bar way too high for something like this to fly, kgp4death. He even still says, "mooove it!" You should have at least had him say "fuuuck it!"
Ah, another penis. I feel grounded again. "My legs are asleep," "my balls are asleep," "I'm a giant talking penis that can hop around," what would you expect a rough-looking Johnson like this to say? How about, "Please, kill me!"
Before I tell you what this boss is supposed to be, I want you to write down your own guess on a piece of paper. Give yourself a moment...
Okay, pencils down. If you said, "a blood splatter with two cheerios and an Allen wrench," you're right, but you're mostly wrong. If you said, "a Teletubby," then you are obviously kgp4death and you are disqualified.
Course 4: "Fuck UoP"
Music: "Guile's Theme" by Yoko Shimomura, Isao Abe, and Yoshihiro Sakaguchi
They say Guile's Theme goes with anything. It seems I've found the one thing it doesn't go with: a romp through a shitty-looking bathroom in a rom hack.
I believe the setup for this particular level is that Matt invites the title characters from the infamous Atari game, Custer's Revenge, to join his Donner Party. En route, Custer has to take a bathroom break at the only rest stop available: the University of Pency.
I hate to come down on one rom hacker in particular (I like to think I hate all rom hackers equally), but the bathrooms at the U of P seem to be a cut below what the rest of the hackers in this hack are turning out.
You've got bathroom stalls that feature rotating blocks of graffiti, but that's about it. Enemies consist of a floating rock and some crude renderings of Tifa from Final Fantasy VII. In fact, Pattywick seems to have an undue fixation on FF7 that really shines through in his level.
Case in point, the bosses:
More crappy Tifa drawings, along with a plea for someone to do a hack of FF7. I've seen rom hackers insert words (mostly of the four-letter variety) into sprites before, but never a directionless request like this. "Rape" I understand, but there are places to make requests like that. For instance, the site that sponsored this damn hack in the first place!
I wasn't even aware that the U of P was a real place until this one came up. Not sure what Pattywick's big hangup is with that place, but he does spend a lot of time bitching about it, both here and in the manual. Also, more crummy Tifa drawings. Great.
Well, we've made virtually every other enemy in the level into Tifa from FF7, why not close things out by making the last boss Tifa as well? "Because that would be stupid," is the answer to that question, but here we are. As if the other renditions weren't murky enough, this one allegedly features tentacle porn. I wasn't totally convinced at first, but if you squint really hard and rub your eyes... you'll still be surprised at was a crappy job Pattywick did with this level. And given the level of shit we seen thusfar, that's saying something.
Course 5: "The Fame Monster"
By Locke NES
Music: "Alejandro" and "Pokerface" by Lady Gaga
Would it surprise you to learn that Lady Gaga figures prominently in this level?
Indeed, most of what's in this level has to do with the oddly-dressed pop star: the poker hand enemy, the bosses, the hidden penis, everything except for one enemy that looks like Luigi, and the player character. This time, you control Tardy the Tiger (son of mascot Tony the Tiger and, presumably, some female tiger mascot with a missing chromosome). He's a huge Lady Gaga fan/stalker, and he happened to come across an invite to the Donner Party in Gaga's trash. Now he's dead set on getting her in her finest meat dress and escorting her to the party.
This level is surprisingly well done, in spite of the fact that it's about an anthropomorphic tiger who lashes playing cards with his engorged penis. Just look at the detail on that giant shaft as it penetrates the surface of the water! Ah, the grandeur of nature. The only downside is that it looks like there's a giant laser blast traveling across the sky through the entire stage. Luckily, the manual has a perfectly reasonable explanation for that: "it's just the official flag of transsexuals."
Though not as concise as "watch me dance," the message is still the same: wait for them to burn themselves out doing their carefully choreographed arm-waving routine. Can you resist the temptation to slap them with Tardy's meat? Will you let them "Just Dance"?
Gaga herself finally steps in to defeat Tardy and put an end to this "Bad Romance". This could be the fight of the century! Call your mother on the "Telephone"! Permanently squatting has done nothing to lessen her star power. In fact, she fights by shooting stars out of her bra. Why? Because she was "Born This Way"...
Course 6: "House of the Angels"
By Squadala Man
Music: "Theme of Laura" (Silent Hill 2) by Akira Yamaoka, and "Vampire Killer" (Castlevania) by Kinuyo Yamashita
Believe it or not, the setup for this level makes even less sense than anything up 'til now. Because Squadala Man wanted so badly for Wilford Brimley to be in this game, he created a story wherein Wilford is a gay Nazi drug addict who got drunk/stoned and invited himself to Matt's party. Somehow, Daleks and tiny meteors became involved, possibly because of hallucinations on Wilford's part.
More importantly, though, Squadala Man has gone for a more traditional approach to his rom hacking. Drugs, gayness, Nazis, 'betes, all the classic tropes are there. Note how the author has subtly inserted curse words into the level architecture. Notice also how Wilford is attacked by flying green swords, animated pairs of red pants, and a giant upright loaf of whole grain bread. And at times, Wilford will change into a misshapen blue building with alien writing along the top. Later, while perusing the manual, I discovered that the many of the sprites you'll see in this level are supposedly references to Dr. Who, including the bread monster that is apparently a Dalek.
This first boss is also from the Dr. Who-iverse. I'll take Squadala Man's word for it. All I know about Dr. Who is that it features a man traveling around in a high tech phone booth. Sound familiar? I wonder if the creators of Bill and Ted will sue...
Course 8: "Escape from Ke$ha's Anus"
By Dr. Floppy
Music: "Backstabber" by Ke$ha
Who is Kesha, you ask? You may remember her as the musical artist who gave us such memorable songs as "Tik Tok", and such memorable quotes as, "I try not to let my vagina hang out." Oh, if only she had been as concerned with the back as the front.
Thanks to that carelessness, Level 7 takes place entirely within Kesha's labyrinthine bowels. The exact circumstances of this new setting seem to be up for debate, as the manual presents two different scenarios by which you would find yourself in Kesha's colon: either Matt was shrunk by those killer angel thing from Level 6 and was eaten by Kesha while swimming around in her cereal, or Chris-chan, a giant nerd who has trouble not posting embarrassing photos/emails/videos on the internet, went to a Kesha concert and was accidentally swallowed up after Kesha slipped and fell on him. I am leaning towards the former since it requires less outside reading to understand.
Whichever version you prefer, the end result is still you running around a pulsating intestinal maze. You expect resistance from jalapenos, giant pieces of corn, and rampaging spermatozoa.
You can also expect to lose your mind trying to keep track of the different routes through the level, especially when you have to find a hidden door nestled deep in a field of pure epilepsy:
All of a sudden, I wish I was back in that crappy bathroom at the U of P.
He's Judas, the Prius. There's not much for me to add here. He races back and forth across the screen, desperately looking for an electrical outlet. Fortunately, this hybrid's top speed isn't all that high, so you shouldn't have any trouble taking him down.
As if things weren't confusing enough with the pervious boss being a talking car; now you have to deal with the Danish cartoon of the Muslim prophet, Muhammad, with a bomb for a turban. Is this how that story was finally laid to rest? Oh, I hope Kesha's anus is strong enough to withstand a deluge of angry letters.
Hey, why not close out the level battling a giant, ribald Miley Cyrus? What, that doesn't make any sense, you say? Well why should things start making sense, now, huh? If you ask me, it makes too much sense that Miley Cyrus would be guard the exit from Kesha's bowels. I mean, what if you had gotten stuck in her anus while trying to escape Kesha's?
We are through the looking glass, people.
Course 8: "White Gold"
Music: "AIDS Panic in Titan Land" by Jomb and Dr. Floppy
What can I say about Jomb... the man knows his stuff. Some people think outside the box, but Jomb thinks INSIDE the box. Specifically, he thinks inside the box of a giant, bent-over woman that makes up a large part of his level. Therein, you control Eeb, a young Ethiopian boy on a quest to wipe out AIDS using the only known cure: tons of cash. To get the cash, he harvests titan jizz. "Sperm is worth money," the manual explains, "that's why it's kept in a bank." Fortunately, Eeb's friend, the Anti-christ, knows of a valley full of titans and their highly-marketable man gravy.
Clearly, the stars of the show are the giant lady parts that you must enter to find the elusive spunk (and be warned: you'll need to look both high and low, front and back, if you know what I mean). Apart from those, and the spitted babies, and the penis waterfall, and the towering titan handmaidens, the level is actually pretty plain. The real disappointment, however, is that Eeb handles rather poorly compared to the other characters. Moving to the right is no problem, but when Eeb walks to the left, it's like he's walking on two broken legs. Worse yet, the powerup that... well... powers you up, instead slows Eeb down substantially. Believe me, you do not want to be dragging ass (metaphorically or literally) in a jizz hunt.
Those of you well acquainted with the rom hack reviews will undoubtedly have recognized a few of the earlier level authors as being responsible for some of the reprehensible garbage we've "featured" on the site in the past. You may be wondering, "hey, this hack has all these other perverted poindexters. What about Koko?" Well, Koko was originally involved with the collaboration, but he had to drop out due to some personal stuff. Jomb understood, and there are no hard feelings.
Okay, maybe there are a few hard feelings. The loping humanoid ape boss, Koko, doesn't so much "attack" you, as he does "skitter off into the corner and die after a few hits". If nothing else, he at least served as inspiration for part of the hack.
Eeb's competition for titan sperm really heats up with the introduction of "The Cum Witch". Her title suggests that jizz has some sort of magical potency, but she fights Eeb using an army of flying child slaves. Does her fierce command of white magic grant her the ability to fly? Who cares, it's too late in the game for silly exposition.
Eeb's sperm hunting has ultimately led him to a bank heist. A sperm bank heist. The teller isn't keen on giving Eeb any freebies, but since his attack strategy involves flinging sperm at the ceiling, hoping one will eventually hit Eeb, it's easy to see who will come out on top (no pun intended).
At last, the time has come for the final battle. Mano a mano, man to man, just Matt versus whoever the overarching villain of the story was supposed to be. Let the games begin:
Music: "Crucified" by Army of Lovers
A klansman versus a black guy in a giant bucket of KFC? A stereotypical racist guy battling a stereotypical black guy? Is this some kind of racist dream/nightmare?
Matt hasn't actually killed every black person in the world. In fact, he's black himself! Or maybe not, that effect disappears pretty quickly. Point is, all of that was a dream. Or just some of it was a dream, I'm not really sure. If nothing else, I'm sure the trip through Kesha's anus was a dream (how'd that car get in there). What's real is that Matt is in jail for one of the murders he actually did commit, and talk about serendipity, his cellmate is one of the very black people he's so fond of. I love a happy ending.
And so our story comes to a close. The credits roll, and special thanks are given to those hackers who worked so hard to produce such crap. Special jeers, meanwhile, are given out to Billy Causey Jr., who is apparently a crummy guitar player with a drug problem, and Koko, who bailed on Level 7 and left Dr. Floppy holding the bag. Most importantly, the credits note that the nude rendition of Miley Cyrus in Level 7 was made in late November of last year, so with any luck, no one involved in the creation of this hack will be going to jail, even if they really deserve it.
Frankly, I'm speechless. Donner Party simultaneously represents a new high and a new low in the world of rom hacking. If rom hackers truly can work together, that means we could be looking at a whole new world of terrible. Now, the shittiness of one rom hacker can be combined with the shittiness of another, thus creating a brand new kind of shittiness from the mixture of their individual shittiness. The future looks bleak. God is dead, and all I can do is shiver with terror at the thought of things actually escalating beyond where they are now. Can things possibly get worse? If so, we are all well and truly fucked. God damn you, Jomb.
Incidentally, if you are interested in checking out any of the contributing hackers' other works, the manual contains teaser images for a number of them, including Obscenia, an original adventure game created by Jomb that I fully intended to cover on the site when he sent it our way over a year ago. Oh, time makes fools of us all.
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*** You too can play Donner Party! ***
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out:
It's also worth noting that this is the first rom hack we've covered where some of the art was so depraved as to require some minor censorship.
Trust me, it's better this way than having someone glance over your shoulder and see a picture of a giant, gaping anus.
While I'm more than grateful for the hallowed distinction of being the first ROM Hacker to be censored by I-Mockery, I must contend that Miss Cyrus' anus is anything *but* gaping.
Pert, yes. At times, even supple. But never, ever "gaping".
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