Hack Showcase: E.T. Fixed (Atari 2600)

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 additional content, dialogue, graphical and sound improvements. Non-rpgs I try to give a full run to, or at least enough for a solid review. Rpgs I will stick with titles that have enough changes in the beginning to show off, and when I can, show parts later in the games where more differences appear. There may be spoilers in the reviews and videos. Some of these I may stream fully in the future or play on my own. Reviews are open to later revisions due to bug and content updates or me playing them and finding anything new I wish to bring up.

E.T. Fixed was developed with the help of AtariAge users Nukey Shay, Random Terrain, KevinMos3, Iesposta, and Roadrunner to fix a number of problems for this Atari 2600 game known for its bugs. The game isn’t that bad honestly IMO, just plagued with issues. Issues fixed with this hack include the collision detection between E.T. and the wells, not losing life energy when walking or speeding around, recolorings, and more.

A new game mode was added so now there’s 4 game modes to choose from:

  1. FBI and Scientist chasing you
  2. FBI only
  3. Scientist only
  4. Easy Mode with no one after you

With most romhacks, strongly suggested to check out the readme files for advice on the changes to hacks and any gameplay tips, especially with rpgs. Readme files for rpg hacks can contain additional gameplay advice, etc, and it’s worth subscribing to hacks you like on RHDN to keep up with updates for bug fixes, additional content, etc.

SO HOW IS IT? This hack is really well done and makes E.T. much more enjoyable and playable. Being able to fully explore the world, avoiding the humans, and finding the phone pieces and landing spot is more enjoyable without falling into pits every 5 seconds due to bad collision detection or always worried about your energy. Energy is still recharged from eating candy you find and you can still gain an extra life if you revive the wilted flower in a well. You can also speed through the levels and not worry about dying too!

The graphical changes are small, but meaningful. E.T. is no longer pea soup green and he is more of his brown color from the movie, and the FBI agent is more defined too, and Elliot’s stripes show up better on his shirt when you call him or during the ending.

There’s 4 game modes now: FBI and scientist after you, FBI agent only, scientist only, and easy mode with no humans. The scientist mode is newly added for this hack and more enjoyable than the nasty FBI agent stealing your phone parts. The scientist will just carry you back to their lab at least. The spots still remain where you can send the humans home or call Elliot to chase them off.

In conclusion, this hack was really needed. I can still enjoy this game like I did growing up even with the frustration of its execution, but with this hack, it’s less of a chore.



Links: http://www.neocomputer.org/projects/et/ – The Fixed E.T. Project

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