-a rom hack of "Fester's Quest" for the NES-
review by: Dr. Boogie
In the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System, we saw a number of truly original games. In between those, however, there were a number of games inexplicably made from old American TV shows, like The Lone Ranger and Mission: Impossible. Entertaining, yes, and it was all the more interesting to see a Japanese developer present their video game take on a few snippets of Americana. One such snippet involved taking the Addams Family franchise and turning it into a top-down shooter called "Fester's Quest".
It was kind of a fun game. You were Uncle Fester and you fought aliens. Granted, they might as well have packaged the game with an autofire controller because if you didn't have one, you were likely to lose a thumb. Also, it was more than a little annoying that you could only take a few hits before dying, and upon doing so, you would have the start the game over from the very beginning. I suppose it was all in line with the Family's grotesque sense of humor. Speaking of grotesque senses of humor, a grotesque creature that seems to be named "Shitdic" has taken that tooth-grinding game and tarted it up for his own perverse enjoyment, calling his sloppy hodgepodge "Fucker's Quest".
The title screen is often the earliest warning you'll get when dealing with a rom hacker. The amount of effort they expend here is almost certainly a sign of what they've done within the game itself. What do you see when you look at this screen? Perhaps you just see the festively-colored title card. Perhaps you also see that the author of this hack has inserted "fuck" a few times into a few of the letters, along with a lesser known expletive, "fukers". I see none of these things. When I look at this screenshot, and I see "Shitdic" in the corner, and I see more rambling crap about the prevalence of ass rape on the following legals screen, I see desperation. I see a man trying to reach out and communicate with other human beings, but failing miserably because he communicates not with words, but with misspelled obscenities and poorly-drawn asses, as you'll see later. I also see that this is going to suck, but I'll let you be the judge of that.
Let's take a look at the intro:
Ah, yes. A splotchy fat man reclining in the nude with his oddly-shaped member in one hand, and his stubby, T-Rex arm resting at his side. He looks surprised, as anyone would if they were to see that large chunks of their torso were missing. Again, I say "desperation", but you're certainly entitled to your opinion.
After the intro, you're given the choice between two equally rewarding options: "fight", or "fuck," with a little wall appearing in the place of the rest of the letters that would normally go on to spell "continue". Let's get it over with, shall we?
Fester has shed his black poncho and now intends to take on the other-worldly forces stalkers. Note his tiny, 8-bit wang, flabby buttocks, and most disturbing of all, the bicycle horn. It's very Freudian of our friend, Shitdic, to include such a ribald juxtaposition. And look, Shitdic has changed all the power-ups, too:
Instead of a lightbulb, you've got a blue rocketship. And keys, well, those are now pure, unadulterated "gay". Perhaps they're spare keys you can use to enter of the home of basketball player, Rudy Gay? Ah, such questions. Oh, and also, Fester's currency of choice, the almighty dollar, has been subbed out with "shit". Fat lot of good that will do him. What can you get with a handful of orange "shit"?
Oh, I see.
Fester (or Fucker, as I suppose I should call him now) still gets some support from the Family, only now, they less creepy and kooky, and much more ooky.
They'd normally give you stuff when you stopped by to visit, but now, they just insult/harm you. Sometimes, you can pick out a word that matches up with the new labels Shitdic put on the usable power-ups in the game (lightbulbs became "bells", dollars became "fucks" instead of, say, "shits", etc), but surprisingly, Mama giving you AIDS does not translate to an increase in your supply of "A.I.D" (dynamite), but rather an increase to your "balls" (nooses). Perhaps an increase in your "balls" is meant to symbolize how you've been emboldened by your contracting of the AIDS, and now you no longer feel shame telling the rest of the Family about it? Just another one of the many questions posed by this particular hack. Here's another one:
Why does Fester (yes, he's Fester once more) throw his poncho back on when the time comes to fight one of the alien conquerors? Modesty? A chill in the air? No, my friends, this is just another example of that recurring trait in all of rom hackers, that one personality flaw that leads to the inevitable, and merciful, end of the rom hack: laziness. The author has spent all of his best ideas turning lightbulbs in penises and gun power-ups into "fuk", and now he begins to understand that there is so much more left for him to change. At first, he changes an enemy:
Fantastic, he thinks. I've changed this strange space polyp into an inflatable penis. I'm a genius. And so he tries his hand at another:
Then, he looks into changing yet another, but gets a little distracted along the way:
Then, he realizes that there are many more enemies that must changed for this hack of his to be complete. The burden becomes too great. The author relinquishes control of his sprite editor, and trusts that the work he has done so far will carry through to the end of the game.
He is wrong.
But we must not blame the author, you see. His is a kind of man that basks in mediocrity. The kind of man that stoops down to pay homage to the lowest common denominator, while simultaneously mooning the rest of us. The kind of man who lies on the couch eating potato chips dipped in ranch dressing and, upon spilling some on his shirt, simply shrugs and goes on eating. He is lazy, yes, but his laziness has delivered us from the god-awful fruits of his, let's say, "labor". And so, I once again tip my hat and spit in the face of another rom hacker. You have besmirched an old favorite, but at least you were too damn lazy to completely ruin it. Bravo.
Have any questions or comments about this piece?
*** You too can play Fucker's Quest! ***
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