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Hacked Rom Reviews!
 

 

Korn-Fu
-a rom hack of "Kung-Fu" for the NES-
review by: Dr. Boogie



Hey, remember that band, Korn? Remember how you used to love their music? Remember how you swore you'd be a die-hard fan forever? Remember how you wanted to make a rom hack in their honor, but then decided against it because you didn't know the first thing about rom hacking and understood that you'd only be embarrassing yourself and the band you loved so much? If you do remember that, you're one step ahead of the unnamed author of our latest featured rom hack, Korn-Fu.

He got the "yeck" part right.

Note the craftsmanship and effort put into the new title screen. Does it say "Korn-Fu" in the big logo? No, but it doesn't have to; look at how many times a smaller "KoRn" has been worked into the banner. And look, a lot of extra X's thrown in just for the hell of it. Marvelous.

Also take note that the author has changed the letters "I" and "R" to "Fu" and "ck," respectively. The result is that "Irem" becomes "FuckEM" in what can only be described as an homage to all the other rom hacks that have come before this one. Plus, in true rom hacker spirit, the author chose not to address the fact that he changed ALL occurrences of "I" and "R" to the letters you need to make "fuck", and so you have strange, foreign-sounding words like "PLAYeck" and "NfuNTENDO". A most ingenious or apathy and sloth.

Eager for more, I chose to start a "1 PLAYeck Game".

He's got a Geordi La Forge visor.

Behold, the new and "improved" Thomas. I assume he is supposed to be one of the Korn members. I can't say which one, but I suspect he must be the only one without the dreadlocks. Good choice. Those things would've really interfered with his Korn-Fu fighting, far more than his black cowboy boots and equally black mittens, and certainly more than the black line that runs down his pant leg and blinks in and out of existence as he moves.

Anyone got a light?

He smokes, but only while on the attack. That, however, is something that is wholly unique to Korn.

The bad guys smoke all the time:

His forehead protrudes ever so slightly.

The grabber guy loves his track pants, and loves Jesus so much that he got a tattoo of a cross on both the top and underside of his arms. Still, he might fight better if he wasn't worried about his cigarette falling out of his mouth. The other lackeys have figured this out without much trouble:

It's the Cross and Barbed Wire Tattoo gang!

The author has transformed the knife-thrower into some sort of sai guy. Not really sure if that's a reference to Korn or not, as I'm not aware of any band members being into sai. Maybe one of them just liked that movie Elektra. After all, she had a pair of sai in that movie, so... well, that's all I've got. What do you think?

There's no stopping him!

I'm sorry, you just can't improve on the midget. Did Korn ever employ a midget for their live events? I think they did a song about kids, that's pretty close to a midget, right? Right.

Nice tiara.

Hmm: track pants, bicep tattoos. Yep, nothing new here. Are those horns on his head, or is he just in need of better highlights? Oh, how the questions abound.

Boomerang Man, aka Bill Bandana.

Sure, he may look just like the other guys, with the arm tatts and pants. However, instead of boomerangs, this guy throws razor-sharp plantains!

Nah, I'm just pulling your leg. Plantains aren't that aerodynamic, though in past experiences, I've found them to be quite sharp.

Is that the Oscar statue?

Here, we can start to see the author's will start to break down. He's wondering what he's gotten himself into. Suddenly, this whole rom hacking thing has turned into a whole lot of work, even for a game that can be beaten in around 10 minutes. Does he have what it takes to continue on, despite half-assing his way up to this point? Sort of. However, he has begun to half-ass his already half-assed attempts, leaving him operating at quarter-ass capacity. For reference, the average amount of a person's buttocks showcased by lowrider jeans is roughly one quarter of an ass.

Behold, the flaming eye!

And there it is: The author's spirit is completely broken, and so we see the end of his attempts at editing the enemies. I know I said earlier that you just can't improve on the midgets in the game, and apparently, the midget wizard is no exception.

Luckily, the author manages to summon up ever last shred of his interest in order to thrust forth a brand new final boss for the game:

He and Thomas shop at the same store for their boots.

I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am enjoying dreaming about Skittles and a world without rom hacks. Ok, let's see: He has the white man's dreadlocks, so that narrows it down to at least three possible band members. I'm going to go ahead and guess that it's supposed to be lead singer Jonathan Davis. He's the lead singer, so I assume that he holds a special position in the author's heart. It only makes sense that he wind up a boss character.

I suppose it's also worth noting (interesting side note: as I was typing out "worth noting" just now, I accidentally typed out "worth nothing". Freudian slip, I guess) that the author swapped out a few things in the environment as well:

"A", Mr. Cunningham!

The author also went to the trouble of replacing the otherwise unremarkable filigree in the ceiling with large block letters. As I made my way through the stage, I noticed that these letters go all the way to the end of the stage and, when taken together, spell "Adidas." Indeed, the new Thomas was wearing some fancy new kicks, but they didn't exactly look like the Adidas brand to me. The tracksuits, maybe, but that's about it. A quick Wikipedia search told me that Korn actually had a song called, "A.D.I.D.A.S." Unfortunately, it was only a quick search, and my perilously short attention span ran dry before I could learn the meaning behind this acronym. I believe it had something to do with dreaming about soccer.

More unusual than that little addition is something that the author added to the very beginning of each stage:

Do the spiral shuffle!

In adding a bunch of spirals to the floorboards, the author has somehow attached the floor to Thomas as he walks onto the scene at the beginning of the level. Thankfully, he's able to shake it off before he really has to get down to business, but it does make you wonder if the original floor in Kung-Fu was stuck to Thomas at the start of each new level. I mean, it just had a solid black line running horizontally across its surface, so there was no way to tell if it was staying in place or not; it could have been on Thomas' heels the whole time, in which case our hack author has in fact fixed a long-standing problem! Sure, it could happen.

That's about all he did as far as changing the environment goes. Beyond that, all he did was put a never-ending "Korn" crawl along the underside of the levels, and slap a ton of X's into the previously empty space around your score, lives, etc.

At this point, I didn't think there was anything in this rom that could surprise me. It was pretty much standard fare as far as rom hacks go, with nothing overly remarkable about it. That all changed when I saw the new "rescue Sylvia" cutscene:

Save her from that Irish villian, Mick X!

At first, I didn't think anything about the naked girl in the chair, but then I realized something: the author of this rom hack is actually stealing an idea from another rom hacker! I'm referring, of course, to a rom hack I covered a few years back called Cum Fu. Now, it isn't a flat-out copy-and-paste, as this Sylvia is a little better proportioned and is wearing shoes, but it's still awfully coincidental. It would seem that this particular rom hacker by not only corrupting the original game, but by going the extra mile and corrupting the work of other rom hackers!! It's another first for the rom hacking scene.

In closing, I'd like to leave you with the final change that the author made to this game: in the original Kung-Fu, once you beat the game, you could go through and beat it again, and the game would track the number of times you did this. Our friendly neighborhood rom hacker has decided to remove this aspect by changing the game so that it crashes the moment you get to the ending screen. It's another relatively unique move in this very inauspicious rom hack. And so, enjoy the last screen that Thomas and "SYLVfuA" will ever experience.

A loving moment frozen forever in time.

Have any questions or comments about this piece?

No, this is not a message to you groupies out there.
Email Dr. Boogie


*** You too can play Korn-Fu! ***

[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD KORN-FU ROM FOR THE NES!]

[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE NES EMULATOR]


If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out:


TOM SERVO!
("Mega Man 3" Rom Hack)


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