Hack Showcase: Legend of Zelda 2 Redux (NES)

Hack Showcases and RPG Hack Showcases are a series where I show off various game and rpg hacks. I try to stick with hacks that improve gameplay or add quality of life features, completely or partially change the plot and characters, along with dialogue, graphical and sound improvements. I try to stick with games that have enough changes in the beginning to show off, and when I can, try to show parts later in titles. There may be spoilers in the reviews and videos. Some of these I may stream or play on my own.

Zelda 2 Redux by ShadowOne333 aims to make a number of improvements to Zelda 2 for the NES, known as the black sheep of the Zelda family due to it’s higher difficulty, change from overhead to side-scrolling format and more. A lot of quality of life improvements were added too, along with optional patches to change your gaming experience to the definitive version of Zelda 2. I had finished this myself a couple years ago, after never finishing it as a kid for various reasons. Discovering this made me smile and I wanted to see what this hack was all about! ShadowOne333 is also the brains behind other Zelda redux patches for Link’s Awakening DX for Gameboy and Link to the Past for SNES. This hack was finally released after a long time in October 2020, with an update in December 2020 to bring this hack to version 2.3.

The changelog for this hack is extensive! And there’s a large assortment of optional patches to improve upon the Redux experience more!

  • Changes to the Life Meter HUD: Should have hearts now instead of the old bars it had for a life meter
  • Reworked HUD to be more in-line with other Zelda titles. It also looks much better to the eye now and is more streamlined
  • Added 1/4 heart gauge by IcePenguin. Now the life meter is reduced by 1/4 parts instead of the original sliding bar, effectively letting you know exactly how much health (no longer will the meter show no life with Link still alive)
  • Reworked title screen. Now the Sword in it is the same as the one in the original US boxart, and also the scrolling text of the title screen has been entirely rewritten to be more in-line with the canon story of Zelda II
  • Manual Save Feature: You can now save the game by Pausing and then pressing Up+A on the Pause screen (both in side-scroll pause and overworld pause!)
  • Manual saves no longer count towards the Death counter in the Selection screen! Now only Game Overs should increment that counter
  • Implemented @njosro’s Restart in Current Palace patch (as a bonus) 😛
  • Link now has a Blue and Red tunic! Upon using the Shield spell with a Defense level between 1-4, you’ll get the Blue tunic. Once you get up to level 5-8 of Defense, you will get the Red tunic Continue reading

Faxanadu (NES) Review

Faxanadu was released for the Famicom in 1987, and for the NES in 1989 by Hudson Soft. This is an action-adventure game like Zelda 2. It’s a spinoff of Xanadu, the 2nd game in the long running Dragon Slayer RPG series in Japan by Falcom. Your hero returns home and find sit ruined due to a war between the dwarves and elves at the World Tree, started when the Evil One emerged from a meteorite. You travel the World Tree, fighting monsters and collecting gear in the towns you find along with magic and keys to be able to proceed. You have a life and magic bar, which decreases as you use magic and take damage. Enemies can drop gold or bread, bread refills your life. In towns you can refill your life at a price along with getting items and saving your game via password and getting a title from speaking to a Guru. Doctors (and “Nurse Boy”) can refill your health completely in towns too. This is one those early NES games with a long password of various characters that you need to write down properly.

I never played this game as a kid or teen, I discovered this some years ago when i got into NES emulation via my Dreamcast and loved it. I recently rediscovered how good and charming this title is earlier this current year from some friends, and gave it another playthrough which rekindled the magic of this hidden gem of a game, and i picked up a complete copy of it for my collection!

Continue reading

Streaming Theme Nights

So I’ve done a number of streaming theme nights over the year when i remember, etc. I’ve had fun doing all of them and gonna continue them and managed to write the 5 down so I can consolidate any ideas into them and so on. The 5 I’ve done and also did blog posts regarding:

  • Retrorevisited
  • Mega man derusting
  • System discovery
  • Hack showcases
  • Variety theme nights

So I figured as part of an end of year cleanup with my blog to jot the point of the 5, newest one being System Discovery. These blurbs are actually from the italic intros for some of those blog posts so they’ll look the same, i just expanded a number of them.

Continue reading

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PSX) Review

Released in 1997, SOTN is a direct sequel to Castlevania Rondo of Blood, which at the time hadn’t gotten a proper US release. In this one, Richter Belmont has disappeared and Castlevania itself reappeared 4 years after the events of Rondo of Blood. Alucard, Dracula’s son last seen in Castlevania 3, awakens to discover what has happened with the help of an older maria from the previous game. This is the first of the Metroidvania style games, where the player explores an entire castle, gains new abilities, and fights bosses to uncover the plot. A second mode letting you play as Richter in a traditional Castlevania is opened up upon finishing the game. The game sports an amazing soundtrack and a number of dialogue scenes with voice acting (even if it is cheesy). SOTN wasn’t a big hit at first, until critic scores and word of mouth raised its status among gamers, prompting a number of re-releases.

Continue reading

Retrorevisited: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1-4 (NES & SNES)

Retrorevisited is a stream series where I revisit a game or a game series i haven’t played in over 10 or 20 years. I’ll go through to try see what i remember until a game over or I run out of continues. In some cases muscle memory may slowly return, in others probably not. This is a chance for me to revisit games of my youth that i enjoyed have or had at one point and bring more to the retro community with mini-reviews of them too. If I decide to play one later and do a full review, parts of the mini-review would be incorporated into it. Depending on the playstyle and graphics of the games the review will either be mini-reviews or one about all games in this session.

Like most kids in the 80’s, I grew up on the first TMNT cartoon, and the first NES title. Even back then I figured there was quite a bit off with it, especially the challenge and jankiness. Like most kids and teens, my friends and I devoured the 2 arcade titles, and loved the home versions for the NES and SNES, and even liked TMNT3 which built on the brawler style and wasn’t based on an arcade title. So in my retrorevisited video, TMNT 1 I limped my way to stage 3, TMNT 2 and 3 I made it to stage 3 also! TMNT 4 I made it to stage 5! Both TMNT2 and 3 have hidden codes to increase lives, difficulty and a stage select.

I recently played through the Famicom TMNT2 (called TMNT in Japan) and TMNT3 (called TMNT2) there, and there are a number of difficulty, graphical and gameplay changes worth looking up too.

Continue reading

Tecmo Super Bowl Sundays 2020 Hack (NES)

So for fun I streamed a season playing the Tecmo Super Bowl 2020 hack as the 49ers. This hack is an updated roster for the start of the 2020 NFL season, some improved ai and more. I’m a big fan of the orginial 1991 Tecmo Super Bowl and it was fun playing this! Many games went better than others, worse games due to opponent ai and some bad choices and limped my way into the playoffs. Everything changed in the playoffs and tore my way to a Super Bowl victory against the Raiders! Also did a Pro Bowl game as the NFC and tore it up there too.

You can see all the game results here and my final record for the 2020 season here:

Here’s the playlist for the 2020 season from my youtube videos:

You can get the rom hack here:

Tecmo Super Bowl 2020 – SBlueman Edition (Updated 8/4/20)

If you enjoy reading any of my content and hearing of my nerdy adventures, feel free to share my posts on social media or leave me a comment. I would be forever grateful if you supported me via my Cash App or buy me a coffee via Ko-Fi. All donations are very welcomed and appreciated. I earn no income from this blog and this will help me continue in providing content and fulfilling my dreams. Thanks!