-a rom hack of "Castlevania 2" for the NES-
review by: Dr. Boogie
Ladies and gents, Halloween is upon us once more, and so I bring you a rom
hack that is filled to overflowing with the Halloween spirit: The
spirit of costumes. After all, what is a rom hack but a well-known
game that's been paved over with garbage, just like how a man or woman
wanting to dress up as a zombie must don the obligatory ratty clothing and
fake blood and puss? This hack, however, is a little different from the
standard fair. Different, but still half-assed, like the guy who goes to a
costume party dressed in casual clothes, and says that he's dressed like a
serial killer. "They look just like everyone else," he says, but everyone
knows he just wanted the free food, and was too lazy and self-conscious to
cook up a real costume. They hate him, as well they should, for he is a
Anyway, apart from your typical rom hacker, who slathers his subject with
curse words and crude likenesses of the penis, there are hackers who try
to transform their subjects into something more. Perhaps a hacker will
take the original Donkey Kong, rearrange some of the platforms, and call
it Donkey Kong's Revenge. Another hacker might take some liberties with
the enemies in Super Mario Bros. 2, and call it Super Mario Bros. 4. It's
like a slightly higher level of rom hacking, wherein the hacker has
graduated from smearing crap all over the original game, to just plain
bastardizing it. Take a look at this example of second-tier rom hackery by
Jimw entitled Super Castlevania 2.
I'm not sure if the "Super" means that it's an improved version of
Castlevania II, or if it means that it's the second prequel to Super
Castlevania IV. Then again, Super Castlevania IV was the only Castlevania
with "Super" in the title, so it's really just "Super Castlevania," and so
this hack must be the sequel to that, perhaps. Whatever the case, this
game has all the same great visuals as its SNES counterpart... if you took
those visuals, blew them up to twice their size, removed most of the
colors, and then rubbed your eyes really hard for a full minute. Oh, but
this is only version 0.9. I'm sure they'll have all those bugs worked out
in time for version 1.0. Let's take a look inside:
Oh, look at that. The villagers opted to transform their normal sidewalk
blocks into some faux wooden ones a la Super Mario Bros. 3. Tres chic! And
look, there's Toad. More on him later. First things first, you'll notice
that Simon is no longer wearing his stylish black and red ensemble.
I'm afraid that in the midst of fighting off vampires and demons, some
sick individual has absconded with our hero's pants and shirt sleeves. It
must have happened a while ago, as Simon seems to have gotten a little
sun. I wonder if that's an all-over tan... Anyway, he looks vaguely like
Super Nintendo Simon, so maybe this is supposed to be a sequel to SCV4.
Twice the action, half the graphics! Also, no whip-dangling... if you know
what I mean.
Anyway, the question remains as to why Toad is in this game. Well, he's
not the only one who slipped in. I'll let him explain the reason for all
Yes, many of your favorite Nintendo characters have been sucked into this
rom hack like a crappy knockoff of Super Smash Bros. In this case,
however, they all realize Simon's obvious superiority and are content to
simply wait behind in villages dispensing nonsensical advice. Advice like
Alright then. Granted, it's still not as weird as lines like, "Don't look
into the death star or you will die," but it's close.
It's a parade of bumper sticker sayings. One of the villagers even gives
the old "take me drunk, I'm home" line. Again, the original script in
Castlevania II wasn't exactly compelling cinema, but at least you could
kind of pretend it was related to what you were doing. On the other hand,
it also meant that you had to decipher cryptic remarks like, "Get a Silk
Bag from the Graveyard Duck to live longer," and, "Believe in magic and
you'll be saved."
Jimw even went so far as to change the text in all the hidden clue books
in the game:
Again, it wasn't like the clue books were particularly helpful, but
they're still preferable to a bunch of crappy one-liners. With all these
tired old clichés, I expected to find the one about beauty being in the
eye of the beer-holder. Oh, but my search was in vain. Pity.
Getting back to the characters, our friend Jimw has included quite a few
from the NES, and I've grouped them together based on the game they were
Ol' Jimw dipped deep into the well of Super Mario Bros. 2. All the heroes
are there, with the exception of that pink tart, Peach. She's probably
floating somewhere overhead. Mario will swap important items with you, but
unfortunately, his brother and Toad just putter about spouting T-shirt
slogans. Birdo the egg-spitting dinosaur made it, although he/she had to
sacrifice the ability to spit eggs to gain the ability to hop about
spastically. Eh, I've heard of worse trades. The shyguy, on the other
hand, has picked up lickety speed, probably a byproduct of the shyness. He
even makes a little hop every now and then, although that could just be
him stumbling over his own stubby feet.
Jimw hit up SMB3 for enemies as well:
From the left, a Boomerang brother, a koopa trooper (or "troopa," if you
like), and Larry the koopaling. Sadly, they are all but shadows of their
former selves. After getting stomped on the head by Mario one too many
times, this Boomerang brother has completely forgotten how to throw his
boomerang, and so he has to make due by bludgeoning Simon with his
boomerang instead. And Larry, well he's not quite as tough without that
magic wand he stole. At least he can still breathe fire. The troopa,
though, never really had any powers apart from being able to pop out of
his shell to avoid being crushed to death, and that doesn't really come
into play when whips are involved. Jimw even took the "chomp" out of the
Jimw has clearly played Zelda II before, and he took away more from that
game than just bad memories. Blobs, spiders, and bats help fill out the
quota for irritating enemies, and the knights and moblins show that
they've got pacing back and forth worked down to a science. Meanwhile,
Link appeared every now and then to dispense handy items. He even brought
along the local currency of Hyrule.
Ah, sweet payola. And you don't need to snuff any candles to get rich.
The original Metroid gets the treatment as well. Even more surprising is
that these two are a lot like they were in Metroid, except that you don't
need missiles to kill them. They may seem weaker, but that's because in
Metroid, they only had to face down ray guns and explosives, and not the
Vampire Killer! And that's saying nothing about the holy water.
Speaking of holy water, look who decided to show up in church:
I didn't know Samus was a Latin name.
Unfortunately, there was no love for Kid Icarus. Eggplant wizard guy can't
turn anyone into eggplants, and poor Pit only has one frame of animation,
which makes him not animated at all, really. On a side note, there are
some pretty wild Greek myths, but I don't remember hearing the one about
the eggplant wizard.
And then there's the one-shot cameos. The fighter from the first Final
Fantasy (insert "irony" emoticon) takes the place of the ferryman and
asks, "Simon, have you seen the other light warriors?" Kirby, perhaps the
only other game character with the chutzpah to foil Dracula on a regular
basis, just belts out slogans like Toad and Luigi. Alex, on the other
hand, will sell you all of the useful items you'll need to combat Drac,
which means he'll finally start his game with enough money to buy a pair
of Texas Boots and a book on Dragon Feet. You hear that, Slick? Your days
are numbered, and once he figures out how to convert rupees to dollars,
This character was in one of the Megaman
games. I can't remember which, on
account of him having an extremely small part, but on the other hand, they
say there are no small parts, only small actors. That's the case here, as
he used to have several more gilded trashcans stacked above and below his
face. On the upshot, he's more mobile, and he can now shoot fairly
He's not the only Megaman character to make a special appearance, however.
Check out the new Death:
It's Dr. Wily, and this time he demonstrates that he doesn't need a fancy
UFO to float around. And he can shoot energy pellets too! He made it out
the best of all the guest stars, even securing a spot as a boss character
instead of a lowly lackey. The other boss character, and the final boss
before Dracula himself, is yet another character from SMB2:
Phanto, the key-seeking mask, was apparently the understudy for the
original boss, the Crying Mask. He's just as ineffective as his
predecessor, though. It doesn't matter that he drops exploding keys on
you, when you hardly have to move at all to hit him. Not that Dracula
himself was any tougher.
That said, the least Jimw could do was change the endings, and that he
Oh good. Everything is finally back to normal, apart from Simon's skimpy
new outfit. I assume that will be fixed by the end of Super Castlevania 3.
Of course, that's just the best ending:
By the way, the line about Dracula flying all over the place was both
funny, and the truth.
In all fairness, you really do have to drag ass to get the last ending. Of
course, it probably took a lot longer back in the day when everyone was
trying to make sense of those villagers and their obscure remarks.
So what have we learned from Super Castlevania 2? Well, this hack was all
about sacrifice. All these other were willing to sacrifice their natural
abilities, all for the chance to appear alongside the Legendary Belmondo
himself, Simon Belmont, and even he was willing to sacrifice his pants in
order to stop Dracula yet again. We also learned the dangers of copyright
infringement. Believe me, if you thought Nintendo hated people who
download roms of their games, you should see their policy regarding those
that hack their games. It explains why the next version of Super
Castlevania 2 has yet to be released even nine years after version 0.9.
You will be missed Jimw. Not by me, or by anyone who ever played
Castlevania II – Simon's Quest, but by someone probably. Whoever it is,
they will also not be missed by me.
YOU FOUND SCARY-ASS TRADING CARD #7!
COLLECT ALL 12 FOR A SURPRISE!
*copy this URL
down, you'll need it once you've found all 12 cards!*
His real name is Lawrence Rory Guy, but that's hardly a spine tingling
a handle as Angus Scrimm, is it? And even a creepy Moniker like
that has nothing on "The Tall Man". And he isn't even that tall, just
6' 4"! But oh my Lord, if you saw Phantasm when you were a kid (and I
did, at a drive in, no less) he had to be 9' 9" of pure terror. That
voice, like a wire brush being dragged through blood soaked gravel,
those merciless floating chrome spheres, the eye brow raised at least
a quarter inch higher than Leonard Nimoy ever raised his... The Tall
Man is one of the few modern movie monsters that continued to frighten
little kids (especially anyone who was a boooyyyyyyyy!) long
after the movie was over.
Find all 12 "Scary-Ass
Trading Cards" this October (2006) and you'll not only get a
special 13th card emailed to you, but you'll automatically be
entered to win a Halloween prize pack from I-Mockery! Cards will
be placed in random new I-Mockery articles during the month of
October. Simply copy the URLs of each card down into a text file
whenever you find them.
Once you have
collected the URLs of all 12 cards, simply email them to
email@example.com with the subject line
"I-Mockery's Scary-Assed Trading Cards!" and you will have the
special 13th card emailed to you and you'll be entered to win a
Halloween prize pack which may include masks, DVDs and more!
You must send in your emails by November
5th, 2006 to qualify!
NOT email the actual card
graphics to us. We only want you to email us the URLs of
the 12 cards which you can find directly underneath them.
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