Hack Showcase: Swamp Thing Easy (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 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.

Created by Chronix, this hack makes the NES game Swamp Thing a lot more stable and playable, instead of it being a combination of jank and “Nintendo Hard”. Swamp Thing is one of those games that looks good, but plays like toxic waste. This following changes were added:

  • Faster walking
  • Longer jumps
  • Start with 9 lives and 6 hitpoints
  • Start with 20 shots
  • Power Ups give 20 additional shots

SO HOW IS IT? First off, let’s discuss the game itself. The presentation of Swamp Thing is well done. The music and sound effects really fit the mood as do the stage layouts and the use of bold colors, Earth tones, and other effects. That said, the play control, jank, and hitboxes really bring this game down and make Swamp Thing a “Nintendo Hard” game but not in a good way like with the Ninja Gaiden trilogy.

That said, the improvements to Swamp Ting from this hack make this game a lot less of a chore and more playable. Especially when it comes to the excessive platforming areas. Starting with more shots and getting more of them is helpful with keeping your distance attacking enemies, especially the boss fights (except for Skin Man). Better jumping and faster walking mares the platforming a lot easier than being a chore in the original and hoping that you don’t slip off a platform or anything (especially in the last stage). Having 9 lives is helpful since everything can kill you fast in this and you can find yourself being drained of hit points pretty fast before realizing it, especially since i-frames in this game are very short.

All that aside, Swamp Thing is a decent game made better by this hack and not as much of a chore. Just remember continues kick in after fighting the first boss in the cemetery level.

I GIVE SWAMP THING EASY 5 OUT OF 5 SWAMP FLOWERS!!

GAMEPLAY VIDEO:

LINKS:
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4178/ – Swamp Thing Easy

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!

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RPG Hack Showcase: Arcana: Seal of Rimsala (SNES)

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.

Arcana: Seal of Rimsala is a labor of love by Sarah Shinespark to create the definitive version of this forgotten SNES RPG from Hal Labs. Lots of small and big fixes to this game were made to improve and modernize this game, along with various quality of life improvements! 

Features:

  • Faster gameplay, redrawn maps, and a coherent story.
  • Explore remodeled dungeons and search for new items!
  • Overhauled weapons and armor
  • Battle the SOR mascot, Mimic!
  • Undoes 90’s Nintendo censorship
  • One-page level-up screen; no more scrolling!
  • New status screen with stat icons and monster bonuses!
  • Tons of unused content debuting
  • Easter eggs and bug fixes
  • Hundreds of tiny tweaks

New to version 2.1:

  • Quality of Life: The New Game intro can now be skipped through with the A button.
  • Modernization: The menu now opens with the X button.
  • Gameplay: New anti-Human and Anti-Reptile equipment; balance changes
  • Coding: Elemental and race bonuses can now be viewed in the Status screen!
  • Graphics: New elemental icons!
  • Script: Spell and equipment text rewritten for more flavor.
  • Script: Attribute spells now show their element.
  • Balance: Reverted barehanded damage to vanilla.
  • Extras: Added a Monster list, Spell list, and Equipment list in PDF.
  • Extras: Added vanilla lists for reference.

SO HOW IS IT? I never played this when I was younger so I was excited to give this a try. Not to mention I’m not big on first-person dungeon crawlers and trying to follow maps. That said trying this out was an enjoyable experience!

I really enjoyed my time with this hack and want to revisit the game now even though I stink at first-person dungeon crawlers and finding my way around on maps. Text scrolling, transition between screens and going from fighting to walking is faster now with no lap! The fights can still be pretty intense and I do enjoy the battle music! Quality of life features like skipping dialogue and an easier way to open the menu is a must, and I do like the font used in the game!

Dialogue seems a lot cleaner and to the point now, and I like the extra commentary in dialogue scenes and in battle if you get hit with a surprise attack. It’s easier to see what gear upgrades do now with the new icons and screen now and easier to cast spells.

Included with this hack is a plethora of game information also if this is your first time playing this hack, or first time playing Arcana in general with information on your weapons, armor, spells, important characters, a monster lists and a lot more! I wish more hack authors did something like this!

I GIVE ARCANA: SEAL OF RIMSALA 5 OUT OF 5 CARDS!!

GAMEPLAY VIDEO:

LINKS:
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4505/ – Arcana: Seal of Rimsala

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!

Hack Showcase: Zelda Ancient Dungeon (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 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.

Ampoly created an amazing Zelda hack that makes going through dungeons reminiscent of a Rogue-type game with randomized dungeons (think Hades, the Ancient Dungeon in Lufia 2, or Diablo). Crawling through the dungeons you fight your way to find items to proceed even further! Definitely check out the readme file included with the path for tips! Features include:

  • Roguelike Gameplay: Every playthrough is different and it is all included directly in the ROM file. No external randomization programs needed, just load and play!
  • Dynamic Enemy Loading: Normally the overworld and each dungeon has a specific set of enemies available. In Ancient Dungeon, new enemies are loaded dynamically during every room transition. This means there are no restrictions in the combinations of enemies you may encounter in the dungeon.
  • Additional Item Abilities: Some special items, like the raft, have no use in the dungeons and are not included in this hack. However the items that are included may have some additional utility in this romhack. For example, the stepladder still lets you walk on water spaces, and in this romhack it also adds extra rooms to the pool of available rooms. There may even be some secret features out there for you to discover!
  • Other Secrets: Only the most intrepid explorers will uncover further mysteries the Ancient Dungeon has to offer!

SO HOW IS IT? Ancient Dungeon is certainly a new way to play Zelda and very engaging and fun too! You’ll start with the basic items and 3 hearts and have to proceed deeper into the dungeons (there’s a number in the top portion of the screen telling you how many rooms you’ve progressed) you’ll fight more and more enemies and basically anything you pick up is yours: hearts, bombs, rupees. Fighting some groups of enemies or even bosses may reward you with an extra Heart Container or a new item or power up to progress deeper. Some Old Men will sell you useful items with the money you earned, effectively making the dungeon tougher. Getting a Candle, Stepladder and so on will change up the dungeon rooms and enemies so you’ll need said item (ie: darkened rooms).

This hack can be very mean too if rng goes against you with enemies, boss fights (especially Gleeock fights!!) and item drops. The game can be really rough at the start as you progress through the dungeon until you get any sort of powerups, and doesn’t help that the Magic Shield can be a rare drop and may not show up in your seed. Once you get going through it’ll be a lot of fun and try using your items out because some of them work in different ways than vanilla Zelda 1! Once you find an item or get it at the item shop, it’s gone. You can get caught at an item shop with not having enough money to buy an item that you’ll need which really sucks (hint: reload a save state cause cost will change and some rooms and bosses can change too since it seems they’re not entirely preloaded). Hearing the boss breathing means any room you go to next will be a boss fight.

If I had to really give it any negatives it’s the difficulty can be pretty intense at the beginning and even late in the dungeon when you’re really powered up. One wrong move and you’re dead, especially if you have a Gleeock as your next boss and you’re still pretty weak. I wish the color of the dungeon did change at some point instead of the dark blue, maybe every 50 rooms. I highly recommend this!

I GIVE ZELDA ANICENT DUNGEON 5 OUT OF 5 TRIFORCE PIECES!!

GAMEPLAY VIDEO:

LINKS:
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/7358/ – Zelda Ancient Dungeon

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!

Hack Showcase: TMNT Shredder’s Re-Revenge (Sega Genesis)

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.

Created by Savok with help from others, this aims to be the ultimate of the TMNT/Streets of Rage 2 hacks. Using a new storyline, all the graphics were changed to be TMNT-related. You have all 4 Turtles, Casey Jones, April, and Splinter, Foot Soldiers and well known enemies from the cartoon as bosses and more! This hack uses the graphics from the Steam game TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge and more:

Features:

  • Replaced all characters, all enemies and all bosses.
  • Added shadow for all characters, all enemies and all bosses.
  • Some enemies have new attacks, that will surprise experienced players.
  • Characters replaced by Raph, Leo, Donnie, Mikey, April O’Neil, Splinter and Casey Jones.
  • All seven playable characters can jump further while running
  • All of the characters attacks are similar to those from TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge.
  • The game has juggling for both players and enemies.
  • Players can recover from a hit by pressing the jump button upon landing (as in SOR4)
  • The command to run (f, f) becomes more sensitive.
  • All playable characters can jump further while running.
  • You can use the Offensive Special while running
  • Added 6-Button gamepad Support. Uppercut now is Y-button.
  • Friendly fire is disabled.
  • Added new sounds for players and enemies.
  • A new plot has been written for the game.
  • Changed the title screen
  • Changed all Story Screen in the game
  • For the first time in sor2 hacking, switching between normal and turbo mode has been added to the option
  • Added turbo mode

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Super Ghouls & Ghosts Restoration & Super Arthur Hacks (SNES)

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.

Super Ghouls & Ghosts Restoration by SCD aims to remove most of the slowdown that hindered (or helped depending on your playstyle) of the original game, along with restoring religious content back to the game such as the crosses in level 1. There’s also a hidden menu by holding L and pressing Start.

The Super Arthur SGnG hack by Lufia aims to do the following:

  • Power decrementation on hit (return to previous armor)
  • Weapon collecting and switching between them with the L/R buttons
  • Shields that will not break by blocking with them
  • A slightly slower timer

Again this can be combined with the previously mentioned Restoration hack.

SO HOW IS IT? This hack really does help level the playing field with this tough game, no matter what difficulty you play on! For the record, playing this hack was my first real time playing Super Ghouls n Ghosts fully, first run went pretty badly, loop 2 went much better in some spots, worse in others. Satan fight wasn’t easy.

In terms of the Restoration hack, the slowdown removed really does help when fighting off the legions of Hell, and making tricky jumps and fighting bosses. In some cases of early SNES titles the slowdown can help, in other cases it impedes you since it sets off while you’re making a jump or fighting something and it throws you off. With this hack, no slowdown and you can fight your way without the game itself impeding your progress!

Adding the Super Arthur hack to it is where things really shine. Being able to keep all the weapons you find, and change them on the fly really will change your strategy for progressing through levels and fighting enemies, especially Red Devils and bosses. Being able to switch them is especially useful when you can use magic with the Gold Armors and need a different attack or finding hidden chests! Armor decrementation will give Arthur essentially 4 hit points if you have the Gold Armor, getting hit by enemies downgrades it to the Green Armor, then the Silver, then your boxers then death. It makes the game feel like the hit point system of the Sega Master System GnG which is a favorite of mine! Having a slower timer means you can take more time to explore and fight enemies, though lagging in places can still cause enemies to gather around you to move in for the kill. Shields don’t break when you block with them gives Arthur more time to kill things and stay alive just a little bit longer. The game can still throw the kitchen sink at you in terms of enemies or navigating the landscapes, but this gives you more of a chance to proceed or learn your way through levels.

I highly recommend both these hacks together if you’re a master of Super GnG or just a novice! It’ll change your outlook and the way you play this, leveling the playing field somewhat on any difficulty level! You can play these hacks separately or together as i did!

I GIVE THE SUPER GHOULS & GHOSTS RESTORATION AND SUPER ARTHUR HACKS 5 OUT OF 5 GOLD ARMORS!!

GAMEPLAY VIDEO:

LINKS:
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2893/ – Super Arthur Hack
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/3473/ – Restoration Hack

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!

Retrorevisited: Shinobi Series

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 still have or had at one point, playing them with and without nostalgia goggles, and do with mini-reviews of them too. If I decide to play any fully later and do a full review, parts of the mini-review would be incorporated into it. Depending on the playstyle or system, games reviewed will either be mini-reviews or one about all games in this session.  

The Shinobi series from Sega started with the arcade game and grew into a franchise with multiple ports of the arcade game on systems, and various sequels for the Sega Genesis and new editions for more modern systems. Great graphics and music, tough action and gameplay define the Shinobi series throughout the series. Some games added to the series while others took a slightly different route, but all games are still tough.

For this Retrorevisited I tried out the Sega Master System ports of the arcade Shinobi, then Revenge of Shinobi (ver 1 with Batman and Godzilla still as bosses), Shadow Dancer, and Shinobi 3 for the Sega Genesis.

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Retrorevisited: Mario Kart (snes, gba, n64)

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 still have or had at one point, playing them with and without nostalgia goggles, and do with mini-reviews of them too. If I decide to play any fully later and do a full review, parts of the mini-review would be incorporated into it. Depending on the playstyle or system, games reviewed will either be mini-reviews or one about all games in this session.  

The Mario Kart series has been a long running popular series since the first game was released for the SNES. Since then there’s been a Mario Kart game for every Nintendo system, with various improvements to gameplay, racers, power-ups, tracks and more. Series is so popular it started the “kart racing” genre!

For this edition of Retrorevisited, I started with the SNES Super Mario Kart, then tried out for the first time the GBA edition and finished with the n64 Mario Kart, which is the one i have the most experience with. GameCube was supposed to be a 4th title, but it didn’t work well while streaming so I had to drop it. I played as Luigi (my fav!) and did Mushroom and Flower Cup runs in all 3 games.

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Final Fantasy 6: Beyond Chaos Randomizer (SNES)

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.

The FF6 Beyond Chaos randomizer is one of the most in-depth randomizers for any game. BC was originally developed by Abyssonym, then maintained by SubtractionSoup, now maintained by DarkSlash88 and available on Github. Nearly everything is randomized, including treasure, enemies, colors, graphics, character abilities, music, sprites, and more. The program will give you a list when you load up the program of different flags to add to your seed. Flags being different changes from graphics, skills, magic, scenarios and more! The main game flags are as follows:

o Shuffle characters’ in-battle commands
w Generate new commands for characters, replacing old commands.
z Always have “Sprint Shoes” effect.
b Make the game more balanced by removing exploits such as Joker Doom, Vanish/Doom, and the Evade/Mblock bug.
m Randomize enemy stats.
c Randomize palettes and names of various things.
i Randomize the stats of equippable items.
q Randomize what equipment each character can wear and character stats.
e Randomize esper spells and levelup bonuses.
t Randomize treasure, including chests, colosseum, shops, and enemy drops.
u Umaro risk. (Random character will be berserk)
l Randomize blitz inputs.
n Randomize window background colors.
f Randomize enemy formations.
s Swap character graphics around.
p Randomize the palettes of spells and weapon animations.
d Randomize final dungeon.
a Organize rages alphabetically (default)
h Organize rages by highest level first
g Randomize dances
k Randomize the clock in Zozo

You can also set BC to different types of games as well along with playing the main game, such as an Ancient Cave type game based off the randomized Ancient Cave in Lufia 2, Only fight the 8 Dragons and more. This randomizer is highly customizable for a tough and possibly fun game!

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.

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Hack Showcase: Mega Man 2 Sliding & Charging Hack (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 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.

Mega Man 2 Sliding & Charging by Kujakiller adds a Mega Buster charge and sliding mechanic to Mega Man 2 and Rock Man 2. The Buster charge works and looks as it does in Mega Man 5, and the sliding mechanic works based on Mega Man 3. You can also change your weapons hitting the select button. As of this writing, version 1.2 is out with the additional fixes:

  • Various bugfixes, added support for the MM2 randomizer
  • Flashman battle, opening/closing menu while he freezes you
  • Switching Flash Stopper to other weapon at Mecha Dragon boss autoscroll
  • Touching energy drops when sliding won’t “auto jump”
  • Fixed graphics corruption with select button

For the record, when I streamed this, I patched my copy of Mega Man 2 with the “don’t lose e-tanks at game over” patch already on and worked perfectly!

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Legend of Zelda 1 White Sword/Blue Ring Both Quests Run

When I was a kid I was able to do a run of Zelda 1 in both quests only getting the White Sword and Blue Ring upgrades, instead of going for the Red Ring in Death Mountain and the Master Sword in the Graveyard. It was tough, but I managed to do it. Years later I remembered I used to do this and wanted to stream me preforming this feat for prosperity. I did a Zelda 1 1st Quest run and 2nd Quest run on stream and now I can share the full videos of the run and how I won for the record.

Both runs had their ups and downs. I had a few dumb deaths in the first half of the First Quest, and managed to not get a game over again until Death Mountain. Was nice with the First Quest that I can go get bombs early, 2 Heart Containers and the White Sword before i even start the dungeons! Can’t do really do that with the Second! The Second Quest I forgot how especially rough it could be even out of the gate. Hit some walls at the 2nd and 7th Dungeons, and of course Death Mountain in both Quests.

1ST QUEST:

2ND QUEST:

If anyone’s interested also, I made a victory video for fighting and beating Ganon in both quests:

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.