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Hacked Rom Reviews!

Knife Boy
-a rom hack of "Paper Boy" for the NES-
review by: -RoG-

At some point in our lives, we've all wondered what it would be like to just go riding around on a bike while throwing knives at everyone and everything in the neighborhood, right? Right!? Ok, well maybe not all of us have thought about doing that, but some guy out there decided to take it one step further. He hacked the NES rom of "Paper Boy", a classic game where it is your mission to deliver papers in one of the most dysfunctional neighborhoods on earth. So what huge changes did he make to the game? Hardly any, well except that he changed the graphic of the newspapers into a bloody knife! And by changing that one single graphic, he decided the game needed a brand new title. KNIFE BOY!

Amazing Knife Boy Kills! Why? Cuz he's AMAZING!

Notice that the guy was too lazy to change the paper in his hand to a knife? Notice that he didn't change the "Hero Paperboy Stops Theif!" sub-headline to say "Knifeboy"? This here is the pinnacle of ROM hacking folks. Ok, even though the guy who did this was obviously lazy (and on heavy medication), it still sounds like an interesting enough game. I mean come on, the "AMAZING KNIFEBOY KILLS!" headline is enough to gain anybody's interest! So we decide to play...

How many killers?

Look at that bloody knife graphic! I cannot even fathom the amount of time he must have spent working on that beauty. As you can see, you are no longer a paper delivery boy. You are a "killer". A knife-throwing KILLER! Now there's a few things you'll definitely need to know before you begin your psycho knife-wielding frenzy.

Awww. It's like Mr. Rogers neighborhood!

Here is your paper, er, knife route. In the original paper boy game it showed the houses that were "subscribers" and "non-subscribers". In Knife Boy, however, you're either throwing knives at "Assassins" or "Civilians". I'd like to know what neighborhood in the U.S.A. this is where 50% of the homeowners are assassins. Actually, I know of a few places in Philly that would probably fit that mold.

Throw that knife like a mofo, Knife Boy!

Anyway, you need to "deliver" these bloody knives to the assassins by throwing them onto their doorsteps or into their mailboxes. Sounds a lot more exciting than some stupid paper boy job right?

10 knives worth o' throwin' fun! A stack o' papers... er... knives!

As you can imagine, you can only carry but so many bloody knives at once. You start off with 10 and once you run out, you'll have to pick up some more knives. And guess what, the genius who created this game drew a knife on top of a new stack of newspapers so you can get more knives! He didn't even erase the old newspaper stack graphic, he just plopped a knife right on top of it. And while we're on the topic of the knives, where is the blood on them coming from? Did Knife Boy kill someone? Is Knife Boy one of those self-inflicted-pain freaks that enjoys cutting himself up? Where the hell is all that blood coming from?! I guess we'll never know.

Delivering bloody knives to assassins might sound like a great job, but it's not all fun and games. There are many obstacles that you, Knife Boy, will have to overcome to deliver these bloody knives. And if you're not careful, these obstacles will knock you on your ass. Let's examine some of them:

Arooo? Arf? Moo?
Obstacle #1: Angry Puppy

The angry puppy chases after you whenever you go near his dog house. I'm assuming it's because he can smell the blood on the knives and thinks you have food. You can either try speeding by him or throw a bloody knife at him. Of course, nothing really happens to the dog (or any of the other obstacles) when it gets hit with a knife. It just freezes. No blood. No gore. No cool yelping-in-pain sound effects. It just... freezes.

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A!
Obstacle #2: Construction Worker

When he's not dancing to the "YMCA" theme song, the Construction Worker guy is hard at work driving that jackhammer of his deep into the concrete. But if you run into him, he'll stop you cold in your tracks. So just move over to the side and speed on by him. If you want, you can throw a bloody knife at him to interrupt his hard work. Good times, good times...

Damned kids!
Obstacle #3: Damned Kids

Every neighborhood has its share of annoying kids, and this place is no exception. There's a kid who's not allowed to go into the street, so he just pulls up onto the sidewalk on his "Big Wheels" (THE ride to have if you were a kid in the 80's) and gets in your way. He's pretty easy to avoid, but then there's that damned skateboarding kid. He thinks he's all slick speeding down the sidewalk and he'll plow right into you. Now in real life, if a guy on a skateboard was headed for a guy on a bike, the guy on the skateboard would be the one in pain. But, apparently our Knife Boy is a real wimp cuz if he makes contact with the skater, Knife Boy gets knocked down. Makes perfect sense to me...

I'll just stay in my manhole if you don't mind...
Obstacle #4: Scared Manhole Guy

Now this is the first sane person in the game that I've seen so far. Scared Manhole Guy is obviously terrified. And why shouldn't he be? He lives in a neighborhood with a 50% assassin population and a crazy-knife-throwing guy that rides by on a bike every day. You bet your ass I'd be hiding down there in the sewers with him if I lived there. Don't worry Scared Manhole Guy, I know where you're comin' from pal!

Stop throwing knives at me!
Obstacle #5: The Roller-Pin lady

Some people in this neighborhood surprisingly don't take too kindly knife-throwing. In fact, some of them will come chasing you down. There is one old lady who comes storming out of her kitchen, with a heavy roller-pin in hand, when you throw a knife at her house. And she will keep on chasing you for a while, so you had better throw some knives at her or else you will receive one hell of a beating like this:

Come here you little punk!

Doesn't look too fun does it? So throw some knives at her to stop her in her tracks or it's curtains for you, Knife Boy! CURTAINS!

Old School!!!
Obstacle #6: The Break-dancer

This guy is nuts. He's either break-dancing, suffering from a killer wedgie, or having a heart attack, I'm not sure which. Whatever the case may be, he's decided to put on this show for everybody to see right in the middle of the sidewalk and he WILL knock you down if you get in his way. So by all means, let the man dance. It's a free country.

Tornado Alert! Tornado Alert!
Obstacle #7: The Mini-Tornado

Maybe that break-dancer was so fast that he was able to dance up a storm: LITERALLY. Out from behind you will come a mini-tornado that for some reason or another, has a magnetic attraction to you. There's no real way to stop these things, just ride your bike as fast as you can. Once the tornado hits another obstacle, it will stop. As you can see, the tornado just messed up the break-dancer. Ha Ha Ha! Poor bastard.

Hi there, I'm Death. How ya doin?
Obstacle #7: Death Himself

I guess it's not surprising that the ultimate assassin, Death himself, lives in this insane neighborhood. Well, it's either Death or just some lunatic who likes to dress up in a cloak and hood and walk out into the yard with a huge scythe. Perhaps he's come out to congratulate you on a job well done. Perhaps he's come to rip out your eyes and eat your bike. I really don't know. Just stay the hell away from him.

There are plenty of  other obstacles that can mess you up. Cars, sewer grates, fences, you name it. So be careful where you go. Don't worry though, it's not all stress. There's plenty of fun things to do in the game. Just look!

Look at all the bloody knives! weee!

You can laugh as you throw a ton of bloody knives at one poor bastards house. FUN!

Knife boy loves to throw knives at tombstones!

You can defile the graves of the dead! FUN!

The obstacle course! Fun for Knife Boy! FUN!

You can test your knife-throwing skills in the obstacle course! FUN!

Bloody Knife subscribers?

You can laugh at all of the people that cancel their bloody knife subscriptions!
Actually, who the hell would want bloody knives delivered to their homes?
Oh yeah, assassins. Right. I forgot. (sigh)

Knife Boy was an "interesting" experience. It showed me that you can edit one single graphic in a game and then name it something completely different and call it your own. Well, everybody will think you're an idiot if you do that, but the point is you CAN do that if you want. If I had to choose between playing Paper Boy or Knife Boy, I'd probably have to go with the latter. I don't know, I guess there's some kind of allure when it comes to the idea of riding your bike through a neighborhood while hurling bloody knives everywhere. So that's Knife Boy in a nutshell. It's you vs. one hell of a screwy neighborhood. Think you can cut it? Get it? CUT it? You throw knives! CUT IT? Get it!??? Eh??? Nevermind...

Knife Boy calls it quits!

Sounds like a good idea to me.

I'm dancin' like a monkey!

You too can play Knife Boy!



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