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Hacked Rom Reviews!

-a rom hack of "Castlevania" for the NES-
review by: Dr. Boogie

I’ve often said in the past that the average rom hacker is little more than a simpering 12-year-old looking to “improve” upon old NES games by filling them with drugs, cursing, and of course, the genitals. Perhaps the very reason that they are prone to penile placement is that these things are among the chief concerns in their underdeveloped minds. If that is the case, then it should come as no surprise that there would be a hack or two out there that deals with one of the most prominent edifices in the adolescent mind: school.

The unfortunate victim of today’s hack is one Simon Belmont. A talking farm animal named “chipgnn” took it upon himself to strip the game of its original gothic feel and shellac it with a veneer of academia. The end result is another bastardization of a classic game, called Schoolvania.

I learned this IN SCHOOL!!!

Being that he was a medieval peasant, good ol’ Simon probably never went to school. Maybe whip school, but I’m not counting technical institutes. In a way, by playing this hack, you’ll be taking a look at what his school might’ve looked like if he had had time for fancy book-learnin’. Yes, if you can convince yourself of that, you might even be able to play this hack for more than five minutes.

Like any inner city school, really.

Here’s a shot of Simon standing at the entrance of Transylvania University. And what a proud day it was for young Simon, as he would soon be making new friends among the living dead and other horrible creatures enrolled therein. Unfortunately, the school was in dire need of renovation. The all-zombie track team discovered that the hard way as they all went rank and file into one of the hundreds of gaping holes found throughout the school.

We just had a stupid pioneer.

Here, we have a shot of Simon admiring the school symbol and mascot of the football team, the Transylvania University fighting hover panthers. Sadly, he never made the team due to an ankle injury he got after he fell into one of the school’s many holes. The administration really should have made more room in the budget for building maintenance.

He's missing the forest for the brown and green columns.

The campus had a lovely view of the surrounding countryside. Among the more spectacular sights are the Pillar Woods and a breathtaking view of Mount “M.” Both are equal in majesty, but so, too, are they equal in the astonishing number of dangerous holes strewn about them. Simon didn’t mind this, though; he had plenty of practice avoiding the countless pits in between his classes and his dorm.

Science without dank is like bread without butter.

Chem lab was Simon’s least favorite class. He was never one for the sciences, and his teacher, Mr. Red Skeleton, [insert rimshot sound] was constantly on him about remembering to clean up the test tubes. Of course, that was just on the few occasions that Simon could understand what he was saying through that thick accent of his. Hard to believe that they would let someone teach when they barely speak the language, Simon used to say.


Simon had no love for the students in the Theater department. Their boisterous, garish ways made him feel less secure about his own armored skirt and headband, and so he took out his pent-up frustrations on whichever thespians crossed his path.

Well, that was fun. I’d love to go on with this whole “Simon at school” spiel and show the business college and office of the dean, but unfortunately, I ran into some trouble. Literally:

Go borrow a ladder from the janitor.

Our friend chipgnn, in his infinite wisdom, decided to place some additional blocks in such a way that you can’t finish the level. It was bad enough that he fuglied up all the backgrounds and made virtually every platform two blocks wide so that a single hit will almost always launch you into a pit. I guess the wall that ultimately ends your quest is supposed to be symbolic of the restrictive job market that awaits graduates. Or maybe he’s just a fucking moron. Either way, I’m just glad that I didn’t have to play this especially irritating hack anymore. I leave you with a yearbook photo of Simon falling down one of the thousands of holes that the author chose to insert into the game:

Should've put a railing around that...

Dr. Boogie

*** You too can play Schoolvania! ***



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