-a rom hack of "Adventure
Island" for the NES-
review by: Dr. Boogie
Wilford Brimley. What can I say about this man, NO, this legend? Lover of
oats, patron saint of the Quakers, diabetic old-timer, he is more than
just these things. His fame and cult status has even transferred into the
festering world of rom hacking. In the past, we've brought you such
classics as Wilford Brimley Battle, and
Wilford Kong. Now, I have the
distinct… something, of presenting you with the cult figure's latest
venture, Wilford Island.
This particular hack was done by Pope Hentai, the same die-hard Brimley
fan who cranked out the Wilford Brimley Battle hack. This time around,
he's laid his grubby mitts on the popular deserted island simulation,
Adventure Island. As Wilford Brimley, you'll be trekking across the isle
in pursuit of the witch doctor who stole something even more precious than
your girlfriend: your oats.
You'll still be collecting fruit along the way in order to keep yourself
going, though. Man cannot live on fiber alone. However, you'll be facing
all new perils that the hero from the original game could never overcome.
Also, you'll occasionally lay an egg or two just like in the original. I
don't know if that's supposed to be a product of the all-fruit diet or
There he is, in all his smooth-chested glory. Perhaps this is supposed to
be the Wilford of years long past, back when he was a virile young man. I
think it's a fair likeness; the smile that warms the hearts of children
everywhere, the alert eyes scanning the horizon for danger, the scrabbling
feet anxious to meet the next challenge, it's all indicative of the
oatmeal-loving man in question. Plus, no feathered hair and ballcap like
the original protagonist.
Just as Mario wielded a giant spoon against Wilford, so must Wilford hurl
a spoonful of oats at his enemies. Granted, if he were indeed after a
witch doctor who stole his oats, it doesn't make much sense for him to be
tossing his emergency stash away by the spoonful. Whatever the reason, the
giant spoon, or the oats, or perhaps the combination of the two, proves a
sufficient deterrent to even the most stalwart of foes.
And speaking of foes, let's take a look at what Pope Hentai's done with
the original cast of wild animals and dangerous mollusks:
The first step towards becoming the number one breakfast choice is
eliminating the competition. To that end, Wilford will be facing down a
number of rival cereals, all of which come with a self-stirring spoon.
They're still beta testing it, though, so you'll have plenty of
opportunities to scoop out the heathen grains and sugars with your
old-fashion analogue spoon, just as God intended it.
And it's not just the cereal itself that you'll need to overcome. These
mascots are no pushovers. Your regular spoon will simply bounce right off
of them. Fortunately, Brimley is a sprightly old-timer, and hopping over
giant shredded wheat is no problem for him. Luckily for him,
anthropomorphic mascots are exceptionally stupid. Why do you think the
Kool-Aid Man was always busting through walls?
This guy was just a little confusing. I guess he escaped from the Wilford
Brimley Battle hack, and was hoping to find some peace and quiet on the
island. Well, no such luck. His stubby arms and fish-like complexion are
no match for an expertly-aimed spoon. Pay no attention to the fact that
he's shaking. I'd be scared too if a shirtless Wilford Brimley was coming
There's even been some mechanized units deployed against the Oatmeal
Champion. At first, I wasn't exactly sure what these things were supposed
to be, but then, it became all too clear: They're the latest incarnation
of the California Raisins. Instead of singing about what was heard through
a vine full of their healthy, unshriveled brethren, they've developed
airborne capabilities and an attitude born from years of sharing the
spotlight with those Quakers and their oats. Their evil grins and soulless
eyes may drive you insane and leave you helpless against their whirling
Here's where we start to see the typical rom hacker laziness start to
creep in. Those first few levels were magical, and the author got a chance
to apply all his great ideas to the game. Now, though, several levels have
passed, and this whole experience is starting to feel more like a chore.
Eventually, just like the saying, the hacker quits when it stops being
fun, and that's when you start getting stuff like smiley faces. Still, it
is better than penises and swastikas.
I'll admit that I have seen those giant Hershey's Kisses before, but I've
never seen any that would leap at you if you got too close. Not sure what
Hershey's beef with Brimley is, but I'm sure it's a good'un. One doesn't
create a line of jumping chocolates over something minor. Maybe Brimley
coined the phrase "Hershey Highway."
One of the ghosts from Pacman. Not much to see here, either. It's a good
thing that this particular ghost is blue, though. Otherwise, ol' Brimley
would have no chance of defeating it. Why, he'd have to hope that one of
the eggs he laid contained a power pellet… if you know what I mean.
Of course, even the most competent rom hackers have to pay homage to the
rom hacking tradition. Just as the Evil Dead hack contained a single
reference to fellatio, Wilford Island has these: black and red babies. To
be fair, it's possible that I'm just assuming the worst, that these are
supposed to be some kind of tribute to the rom hacking tradition of
racism. Then again, I've never heard of the stereotype that black infants
can spring out of the water like dolphins. Maybe that's something they
learned from the red babies.
This was a particularly unusual enemy. I gave the hacker points for
originality for concocting the bikini-wearing pig. However, it was not
until much later that I learned the pig was actually in the original.
Adventure Island is quite a difficult game, you see, but thanks to the
miracle of the save state, I am now able to share such delightful tidbits
as the beach-going swine with you, my gentle audience.
Pope Hentai also took the liberty of Quaker-ing up the couple of power-ups
in the game.
You can boost your end of the level "oat fiber" bonus by grabbing the
grinning Quaker head. I thought it was a bit much to include the cutaway
portion of the neck and spine on the Quaker's head. Hopefully, Wilford is
just going to give the severed head a decent burial. Then again, the fiber
bonus suggests that he has something more sinister in mind. Soylent Oats,
On occasion, you may be lucky enough to find an egg that will loose the
flying Quaker head, a second and far less intimidating disembodied head
than the one which gives you extra fiber. With it, you will have all the
powers of the Society of Friends, including, but not limited to, immunity
to fire and pointy rocks. The lover of the Quaker community is fleeting,
however, and the jaunty head will only protect for a short while as a
reward for freeing him from his yolky prison.
Despite the embarrassing smiles and colored babies, the hacker shows that
he didn't give up completely by providing several unique designs of the
witch doctor's head.
you beat the witch doctor, his head would detach from his body, transform
into a new head, and fly off. I suspect that the two heads that look like
animals may have been in the original, but that game is very long and
aggravating, and I had my fill of it from playing the hack. If you should
find out the truth yourself, give yourself a hearty slap on the back for
Once you defeat the witch doctor for the eighth and final time, you'll
finally get your well-deserved reward:
that's why Brimley was collecting all that fruit. That sly dog. I wonder
where he was keeping all that fruit in his measly loincloth. Oh well, the
last thing I need to see in this rom hack is any penis, let alone Wilford
Brimley's. And so, until next time, remember that being creative is more
than just taking the hard work of dozens of artists, programmers, and
writers, and filling it with racism and bizarre symbolism.