Before I even began this latest rom hack review, I remember saying that I
wanted to get away from the multitude of hacks with only minor changes,
such as ďHard-Hat Mario BrothersĒ, and ďMario-has-a-Goatee Brothers.Ē
Hell, I just wanted to find one that wasnít some ten-year-oldís attempt to
improving Super Mario Brothers by turning the goombas into cupcakes, or
giving Luigi some nice Ray-Bans.
Instead, what I found was Mario Dragon, a tribute to Marioís mastery of
the martial arts. It seems that aside from being able to utilize the flora
of the Mushroom Kingdom to power himself up, Mario earned himself a black
belt back in the eighties. Alright, I thought to myself with
uncharacteristic optimism, someone has decided to replace the incorrigible
Billy Lee with the interminable Italian. Perhaps Iíll get to see Toad
somewhere in this hack. I should have known better.
No sign of
change at the title screen, disappointing in part because the rom hacker
didnít take the time to alter the title to reflect his work, but also
because there was no byline to identify the author/perpetrator of this
hack. Looks like this could be chalked up to either laziness, or foresight
on the part of the author for realizing that Nintendo is ever-ready to sue
anyone for just about anything concerning the Mario brothers. The only
real change is that the heart used to identify which mode you want, as
well as to show how experienced you are at stomping Williams and Lindas,
has been changed into a malformed toadstool.
peripherals, letís see how the new Mario looks:
Hey, I like
the new threads, Mario. Black is definitely your color. What I donít like,
however, is that head of yours. Your puffy, disproportionate head was
weird enough before, but now its size fluctuates wildly, and without
warning, writhing and pulsating like a burlap sack full of squirrels
fighting over an acorn. Stand still before I get sick. Still, it isnít the
worst artistís rendition of a famous video game character that Iíve ever
seen. At least the author of this hack managed to keep his new model about
80% stable, without any major foul-ups orÖ
Looks like I
spoke too soon. Itís Billy Leeís evil twin brother, who dresses
exclusively in red, Jimmy Lee! Quick, youíve got to change back into Mario
before anyone notices!! Way to ruin the illusion, Roper. Well, folks,
thatís the kind of quality that you can expect from this particular hack.
Fortunately, more detail was put into making the enemies into shells of
their former selves...
I just donít
knowÖ What the hell was this guy supposed to be? A really fit Shy Guy?
Maybe Bowser just decided to take a power sander to poor Williamís face.
Such is the price of disobedience in the Mushroom Kingdom. To think that
with all the work that went into revamping Billy Lee into Mario Lee, the
author couldnít spend more than a minute to give this guy new face instead
of a paper plate with three dots on it.
you look at this: The author has chosen to replace Lindaís tight spandex
with a modest purple dress. More than that, heís replaced her giant 80ís
hair with a much smaller Ďdo. The hooker boots remain, but still, could
this be the very first instance of a rom hacker actually making a change
that doesnít instantly profane the very name of the game being hacked, or
is this just a case of the author struggling to make even the slightest
change in everything he can think of? I assume the latter. Maybe the
author was trying to make Linda into an evil version of the Princess, the
only female character in the Mario series (unless you count Toad. Thatís
kind of a tricky area).
Now this one
was even more baffling that what had befallen good olí William. As you can
see, Chintai has had his head replaced with a flesh-colored motorcycle
helmet with eyes and a mouth painted on. What in all holy hell could this
possibly be a likeness of? Ok, maybe, JUST maybe, the author wanted this
horrible freak to be the humanoid version of the hard-shelled beetle
things from Super Mario Brothers. Still, thatís a tremendous stretch of my
are all small potatoes compared to what has been done to your favorite
boss and mine, Abobo:
lord! Someone please kill me!!! Abobo has been transformed into the Batman
villain, Clayface. I must admit that I did not see that one coming. Not
since my review of Mauntlet (which Iím sure everyone has committed to
memory) have I seen a rom hacker disgrace so many different copyrighted
characters at once. Then again, it does set this rom apart from all the
others; itís a combination of Double Dragon, Super Mario Brothers, and
Batman. Man, whoíd have thought that those three elements combined would
turn out to be one hell of a crappy rom hack? Bob Kane must be spinning in
And thatís pretty much it for changes made in the hack. The rest of the
changes consist of a few random mushrooms appearing in the first level,
including the barrel weapon, which has been changed into a giant Ďshroom.
As you can see below, however, even that didnít work out too well:
Alright, Iíve had enough of this garbage. Iím going to relax and put in a
little time on good old Game B.
have it: Nothing is sacred in the world of rom hacking. Not even the near
impossible Game B in Double Dragon. The only redeemable quality of this
rom hack that I can think of is that it contains neither errant penises,
nor the overuse of drugs/drug paraphernalia. Except for mushrooms, and
only because they make you grow big and strong really fast. If only the
creator of this hack had left some indication of who he was, or better
still, an address where he could be reached/beaten within an inch of his
life. Oh, well, maybe Iíll get my wish in Mario Dragon II Ė The RevengeÖ
You too can play Mario Dragon!
[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE
MARIO DRAGON ROM FOR THE NES!]
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DOWNLOAD THE NES EMULATOR]
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