-a rom hack of "River City Ransom" for the Nintendo Entertainment System-
review by: Dr. Boogie
Rom hacking is about taking a classic game, switching around the graphics to a bunch of penises, altering the text so that a heroic story becomes one about drugs bestiality, and in general turning fond childhood memories into unrecognizable sewage that serves only to illustrate the emptiness, the sheer depravity, of the author's putrid soul. In short, rom hacking is stupid. Retarded even.
Where others see only rock bottom, however, rom hacker Koko sees a challenge. "You think that's retarded," he scoffs as he scribbles penises onto the pages of a back issue of Highlights for Kids. "I'll show you retarded!!!"
Koko is hoping to capture the distinct humanity and persevering spirit of the mentally handicapped with a thought-provoking bit of social commentary called Retard City Rumble.
It's not really clear whether the entire city is afflicted with Down's Syndrome, or if it's just slang because so many of the people involved (all the men, as it turns out) have some undiagnosed problem. Then again, it could also be referring to the protagonists, Re and Tard.
I had to get to the bottom of this mystery. I decided to go with Re. I assume he's the leader since he got the front portion of the word.
It seems that Re and Tard's school is the latest victim of NTLB (No 'Tard Left Behind). Their unused coloring books have been sent over to neighboring Tard-Dale, where they at least know to stay inside the lines. Re and Tard find out about this misdeed thanks to this handy memo, and so an epic quest begins to find the missing books. Unfortunately, there's a veritable army of Tard-Dale tardos in their way.
Thankfully, the different tard groups are separated by strength and laid out so that you fight the weakest ones first. It would suck to be fighting the "Boneric Turds" one minute, only to be mashed into custard by the "Fagermationals" the next. Suffice to say, the odds are stacked against our heroes.
Their only chance is to start pounding burgers and sushi until their punches and kicks become the stuff of legends, just like in the original River City Ransom. There's just one catch:
What would a rom hack be without altered signage? Sure, here and there you'll find signs proclaiming "poop at work" (not sure if that's a warning or a suggestion), but where the game really shines/shames is the reworked restaurants. You might have some misgivings about entering a shop whose sign proudly declares "Rape", but admit it: behind all the fear and disgust, you're a little curious. If you walk inside, will you be raped? Are they selling rape like a commodity? Can you put out a rape contract on your overbearing boss?
The answer to all those questions is "kinda". All the stores and restaurants, and all the things they sell, have been renamed to better reflect the hacked nature of Retard City. Build up your "Tard Power" by picking up some Boners at the Buttass Shop. And why not work on your fighting techniques by reading up at Homosexua Books? Ass-eye, semen bowl, butt shoes, titty pop, queer pizza, salad anus, all of these are items available for purchase at various spots within the city.
There are a lot of items that have been text-swapped into something dirty, but a few of them are a bit more confusing than dirty. One restaurant boasts "onion poop", while the menu at Hack's Dicken Shack features "Buttasss", "Penonade", and "Dicklamtion". That last one used to be "combination," by the way. My favorite, and the one that actually made me chuckle, was the new lasagna: "analgna".
It's also worth mentioning that one of the new bookstores is Gayboy Dicks Porns. Fans of Koko (Koko Puffs) will recognize this store as belonging to noted pornographer, Gayboy Dicks, who discovered a demon dildo on an Amazonian porn set and was killed for doing so. It's nice to see that the franchise was able to carry on without him.
The graphics and text received some alteration, but there was one other thing that Koko changed: instead of starting out with twenty bucks in your pocket, Koko gives you a staggering $920. The game wasn't that long to begin without, and without having to kill countless gang members to get enough money to boost your punching power with a juicy steak, things really fly by.
Poops is the first name to cross of your list of tough tards. You must defeat him, knowing full well that if you fail, you will most certainly "leave on retarded". A few fists in his big grey eyes later, and you've completed the first step towards retrieving those pilfered coloring books.
What's this? Advice from the teacher's nude girlfriend? As important as this new information was, I couldn't help but notice that Roxy looked a little familiar. Where have I seen her before...
Good lord! Roxy is none other than Prick Slime, the villain from Jomb's own RCR hack, Pussy City Pimps! Longtime readers will recall that Prick was born a woman, but underwent a sex change as part of some convoluted scheme to get back at her boyfriend Alex. Then later, he helped the Tranny Tramps recover the Holy Testes and defeat the Sex God in Tran Tramps: The Family Jewels, after which he had another sex change and is back to being a woman again. And now, apparently, she's living in Retard City and dating a teacher. And to think, there was a time when I would've never had to recall anything from any of the rom hacks I had previously encountered, except when they forced themselves past all the mental blocks I erected to keep me sane.
Lurking around the underpass are Punny and Clits. Clits is a man, and Punny doesn't indulge in any wordplay, so neither nickname really works. Neither are they very challenging, either. Nevertheless, they maintain their defiant spirit, with the defeated Clits yelling, "hey wimp, shampoo my crotch, tardboy!" We'll be seeing more of them.
And the obscenity just keeps on coming, no pun intended. Cocko manages the W.A.N.K. Co. Jizzhouse. Wacks can be found at the Gay Meet Spot. Turd packs them in at the Armwanks Thru-way. Mojo is laying down some pipe in Scattown. Hoor is... "Vacant 3rd Penis Factory"? Anyway, Punny and Clits show up again, only their names are back to being Benny and Clyde, and they don't have anything remarkable to say. "We'll get even now"? How about "we fuck tard ass" instead? Come on, Koko.
Eventually, you make it to Tard-dale, and the real fun begins. And by "fun", I do mean "tard". And by "begins", I also mean "tard". Iwan issues perhaps the most intimidating threat of the whole game as you approach the gate. Otis actively discourages you from scooting on his gym floor. As for Mex, well it wouldn't be a real rom hack without just a sprinkle of racism.
But none of that matters because it's time for the big showdown. First up...
Randy and Andy, aka The Faggon Twins. I think they were called "Tardy" and "Sarn" earlier, but that may have just been some of Koko's signature tard'ed up text editing. In any case, they're the last thing standing between you and a final confrontation with the teacher who stole your coloring books.
My mistake, it's actually Poons, some guy Re and Tard apparently met at a retard convention, or "tard-vention" as Poons calls it. He has your coloring books, and he'll be damned if he'll surrender them without a fight. Thing is, it won't be much of a fight because lead pipe plus the "Grand Fuck" book (not the Kama Sutra) equals an ass-whupping measured in mere seconds.
Poons died from a crushed skull moments after he finished his speech. And then someone named Simon shouts that he won't "tardet" what happened on that rooftop. Weird. Re and Tard are briefly jailed, and all I can think of is how confusing this game would have been if I had chosen to play as Tard. For god's sake, every other word in the game was "tard"!
Koko's text swapping has rendered most of the credits unreadable, but he does give special thanks to some other rom hackers we've featured on the site: Jomb (obviously), Pope Hentai (though there is a conspicuous lack of Wilford Brimley in this hack), and some other hacker named Floppy. I don't know this "Floppy" character, but consider the company he keeps. Probably a douche, that one.
By now, some of you are bound to be unhappy with the lack of significant graphical changes to this particular hack. And what is changed isn't exactly done well:
First and foremost, Koko is a storyteller. Anyone can just turn a sprite's head into a giant penis, but few others would go to the trouble of creating dozens and dozens of fake scatological food items to really give that sense of immersion not found in many hacks. Few others would spend the amount of time required to edit the pages of text needed to turn a story of two high school students on a quest to save their girlfriends into the story of two retarded men beating up scores of other retarded men and eating "cunt paper". Few others would do that, and I am grateful for that.
I will see you in hell, Koko.
Have any questions or comments about this piece?
*** You too can play Retard City Rumble! ***
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Boogie, I have to ask.
In the original River City Ransom, you could find Alex's girlfriend in River City High (go into one of the doors, I think she's on the second floor).
I must know how this got "Tarded" up.
|Is there a technical reason so many people go after River City Rampage for shitty romhacks?|
|I wonder which reform school Koko and Jomb go to...I only say this because I can't imagine them being productive human beings.|
|I left it out because how are you going to top the menu at the Feces Bar with that?|
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