Hack Showcase: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Redux (N64):

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. Some of these i may stream or play on my own.

Released by Maroc and his team, this hack adds a lot to ocarina of time with quality of life improvements and more. A number of graphics were removed and others restored, the speed of text scrolls a lot faster now along with other gameplay elements. An extra hack called master Quest is included (no idea if it’s like the official Master Quest with the gamecube port) for an additional challenge. This hack can be patched normally or using the Patcher64 program where you can change the hack to your liking, along with changing some colors of link’s clothes and Navi, and change the sounds from objects! Want to make Navi squawk like a chicken instead of saying “Hey listen!”, you can! Note: this review was done with a customized OoT Redux hack patch using the Patcher64 tool.

Main Features:

  • Text speed now goes 2 times as fast as the original, matching Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time 3D.
  • Text revamp, restored and revised based on subsequent releases of Ocarina of Time.
  • Fixed graves behavior like in subsequent versions.
  • Properly center the “Navi” text in the C-Up button.
  • Collecting Gold Skulltulla Tokens no longer freezes the player but allows it to continue moving. This is similar to what happens in Majora’s Mask spider houses.
  • D-PAD can be used to quickly access ocarina and iron/hover boots.
  • Rupee color of the rupee count indicator now changes in color to reflect the wallet upgrade possessed.
  • Stone of Agony now works even without rumble. An icon will appear over the rupee count when in proximity of a hidden grotto.
  • Farore’s Wind does not get dispelled through time travel and can be used independently by child and adult Link.
  • The bunny hood now works like in Majora’s Mask boosting movement speed when worn.
  • Bombchu Bowling prizes now appear in fixed order instead of random (Rotation being: piece of heart, purple rupee, bomb bag capacity upgrade, bombs).
  • Fishing made easier by guaranteeing biting, but keeps the fish size RNG from the original game. Continue reading

Hack Showcase: Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past Redux (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 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. Some of these i may stream or play on my own.

Zelda 3 Redux is another lovely hack released by Shadowone333 and his team. This one is a combination of his team’s work and that of the Link to the Past DX hack by Con and qwertymodo. This one added improvements to the graphics, quality of life features, and restored some censored content from the original release. The FMV opening was also restored!!

Improvements from Link to the Past DX include:

  • All new, CD-quality soundtrack (MSU-1, higan/bsnes or SD2SNES only, requires separate download of soundtrack files)
  • Improved Pegasus boots, turn while running
  • Break pots with sword
  • Collect items with sword
  • Cancel flute transport
  • Death counter no longer increments when selecting “Save and Quit”
  • Use L/R to quickly switch between items
  • Slowdown reduced (FastROM)

Changes made with Redux and more:

  • Change Link’s hair and hat to closely match his original artwork.
  • Change Agahnim colours to match the original red robe and blue skin artwork.
  • Changed Uncle’s sprite to match official artwork.
  • Change the Flute’s name to Ocarina (I don’t know in what world that instrument is a flute). This includes in-game text and Credits name changed too.
  • Change the Good Bee’s name to Golden Bee.
  • Change Faerie to Fairy. This includes in-game text too.
  • Change Pegasus Shoes to Pegasus Boots. This includes in-game text too.
  • Change all the references of the “Wise Men” to “Sages”.
  • Change the layout of the Ice Palace to that of the GBA port. No more going around the entire palace just to get to the next room!
  • King of Hyrule now has a red outfit instead of green to match the rest of the franchise’s Kings of Hyrule (Like Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule from WW).

As of v2.0, the Ice Palace new layout has been fixed to have 3 movable blocks in the new section. There was one movable block unused in one other Dungeon layout found in Room 240. (Why was it there?)

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Hack Showcase: Legend of Zelda 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. Some of these i may stream or play on my own.

Zelda 1 Redux aims to fix and improve a lot of this amazing game with new graphics, font from the Famicom Disk System version, cleaner interface and other quality of life features. Released by Shadowone333 and his team, this hack improves a lot and more on Zelda 1 with different graphics, quality of life improvements, a new overworld map, increased rupee capacity up to 999, slight change in graphics for where to bomb or light a candle, and more! Optional patches include changing some of the graphics and changes back to their original, removing the annoying beeping when low on health and more! I need to give this a try on my own for both quests!

From the Changelog:

  • MMC1 and MMC5 versions. This was done so that users that want to go the reproduction cartridge route, can use the MMC1 version (and for compatibility sake). For emulation, any of the two versions can be interchanged.
  • Save manually with Up+A when in the Items Subscreen
  • Reworked heart HUD to match Zelda 2 Redux
  • Relocalization of the game’s script to better match the Japanese release, or have better hints altogether. Based on the Legends of Localization book/webpage (Except the two iconic “Take this” and “It’s a secret” lines)
  • Make the Blue tunic more vibrant
  • Increment the initial bomb max. amount to 10 instead of 8
  • Increment the bomb upgrades by 10 instead of the original 4. First upgrade should give you 20 bombs, second will be 30.
  • Faster text printing
  • Modify the Sword beam to only be active when at full health/heart, and stop shooting when the life gets to 3/4 of a heart
  • Modify certain item names to better match subsequent official names in the franchise (Rupee, Fairy, Heart Container, etc.)
  • Change the Red and Blue rings to Red and Blue tunics
  • Introduction text rewrite
  • Reimplementation of the warning screen from version PRG1 upon Game Over / Saving
  • Slight modifications to the title screen to give the “ZELDA” title a red color (modified fading palettes to match this change too)
  • Possibly also add a breakable tile hint for overworld tiles
  • Automap Plus, but modify it to have 1/4 heart decrements instead of 1/8 (this is needed in order to make space in sprite PPU for the next point (#3)
  • Visible hint for breakable walls in Dungeons (already implemented, just need sprite space for the left walls)
  • Remove the 1 Rupee flashing (couldn’t be made green due to palette limitations) Continue reading

Hack Showcase: Mega Man 2 Megamix

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. Some of these i may stream or play on my own.

The Mega Man 2 Megamix hack is a suite of 4 different hacks put together along with other changes by DannyPlaysSomeGames. This is very well done and adds a lot to MM2 in terms of changing your usual stretegies when you would play, along with making some things easier and bringing a few features in line with the later NES titles. The hack features and other changes include:

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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. 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

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.

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RPG Hack Showcase: Final Fantasy 2: Threat from Within Part 1

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. Some of these i may stream or play on my own.

FF2: Threat From Within part 1 is a hack that has been in the making for a long time. The first part of a 4 part(?) series, this one takes place 40 years after the events of FF2/4, and 20 years after the events of The After Years, in a time where the crystals lost their power after Zeromus was defeated and the second moon left Earth’s orbit. In the years since, King Edge has been rebuilding Eblan and established the Royal Eblana Mercenary Army (REMA), a ninja force for hire, to help with problems around the world. Edge’s son Furio is about to set off on his first mission, which will set off a chain of events that will endanger the entire world, yet again.

More information from romhacking.net: The gameplay will be familiar but the story is brand new and there are many new gameplay mechanics, including:

  • Limit Breaks
  • Hirable Mercenary Characters
  • Chocobo “Hunting”
  • Epic Choices – Decisions the player can make to alter how the events of the game play out

… And more!

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RPG Hack Showcase: FF4 Darkness Within

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. Some of these i may stream or play on my own.

Darkness Within is a FF4 hack by Rynzer completed in 2019. This hack starts out very dark where Palom and Parom are killed by baron soldiers and Cecil is killed during the assault on Mysidia for the crystal there. You end up in the underworld doing tasks for the King of the Underworld to restore your soul. From there the plot proceeds partly like it would in the vanilla game, but in a different order, just like you did the underworld missions when you started. Party members you know and love will join at different times and sometimes have a new ability than the original title with a number of other twists.

With a revised plot comes new dialogue and other changes to the gameplay and other mechanics. Some spells that you could target on all enemies can now only target one enemy, different consumables replace some from the original, and now you only have to buy 1 arrow and you’ll not run out! Enemies were rebalanced or nerfed depending on where you are in the story, and this hack can be hard! Especially in the beginning when you’re still doing the underworld stuff. Continue reading

Hack Showcase: Mega Man X in Sonic 2 Review (Sega Genesis)

Mega Man X in Sonic 2 is a Sonic 2 hack which allows you to play as X in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 stages that was made by Pacca at SHC 2018 (Sonic Hacking Contest 2018). I discovered this by accident a few nights ago on YouTube and I love it! This began as a simple swap of Sonic for Mega man X and evolved into its own full-fledged game. X has a stage select of all the Sonic 2 stages, and the game also has all of X’s upgrades hidden in 4 stages, and 8 different heart tanks to increase your life bar. The upgrades do the same as they would in the X series: armor decreases your damage, boots for dashing, X-Buster upgrade for stronger shots. Not sure about the helmet in this hack. You’ll fight through the stages as X shooting enemies to free the animals and fighting Robotnik. Defeating Robotnik gains you a new weapon like in the X series! You can return to stages after finishing them and game over doesn’t mean starting over again from the beginning! No bonus stages though. The power-ups from Sonic 2 were replaced with X’s energy and weapon energy power-ups in the tv monitors, but the speed shoes and shield remain. And look for cameos by Zero too!

So how is it? This hack is a lot of fun and merges Mega Man X with Sonic 2 in such a fun way! X replaces Sonic in all the levels, but everything else about Sonic 2 remains the same: enemies, rings, Robotnik too. Rings really only count for points since hitting checkpoints don’t trigger bonus stages and there’s no Chaos Emeralds in play here. Having X as a ranged fighter against enemies and the boss fights makes this hack easier than Sonic 2 itself since you don’t have to spin close to ko anything. Wall sliding and climbing in this lets you find any of the secrets or hidden heart tanks and X’s upgrades. 4 of the levels has X’s upgrades, and all the stages have a heart tank, usually in Act 2. Boss fights play out the same but after completion you gain a new special weapon like in a Mega Man classic series title. The weapons have their uses places but you still may find yourself using the X-Buster regardless, moreso with some forms of Robotnik.

Like I mentioned before, the stage select screen is based on the first X title and you can enter the 8 stages of Sonic 2 in any order. Game over doesn’t mean a complete restart like in Sonic 2, you keep any upgrades and gear and can go back to a stage to try again. You can re-enter finished stages to pick up any upgrades you missed, and earning continues are the same as in Sonic 2 by scoring enough points when you finish an act (symbol for continues is classic Mega Man). Using a continue doesn’t refill your special weapon energy completely though, so if you get stuck on a boss and need that special weapon you may have to just game over to reset all your energy. Monitors for weapon and energy refills do respawn after losing a life or restarting with a continue though.

I can’t really say much bad about this…this is how you do a hack where you put in a different character than normal. X really changes the game in your play style and how you fight enemies and Robotnik. It’s part Sonic, part MMX! Kinda sad the title screen wasn’t changed much, but keep an eye out for Zero too! Really only downside is some jank when you get stuck in a hidden cave sometimes where the graphics kinda break up, and some the animations of X don’t match what’s going on screen when you have to interact with an object (like grabbing a vine).

I GIVE THIS 5 OUT OF 5 RINGS!!

GAMEPLAY VIDEO:

Links:
https://mike64.itch.io/mmx-in-sonic-2 – Download it here
https://sonichacking.org/vault/ – Sonic Hacking Contest Vault

 

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RPG Hack Showcase: Final Fantasy C2 (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 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. Some of these i may stream or play on my own.

Final Fantasy C2 was originally released in 2016 by Naka no Hito. This hack is special as it takes the Super Famicom Final Fantasy 4 and transforms it beautifully into an updated version of Final Fantasy 2, the black sheep of the FF games originally release don the NES, and later ported to PSX, GBA, and PSP. The Professional Japanese-to-English localizer Clyde “Tomato” Mandelin, who is known for making the fan English patch for the GBA Mother 3 who runs the Legends of Localization website, dropped an English patch for Final Fantasy C2 recently in 2 different flavors!

There is a version A and version B of this patch. Version A uses the original hack’s FF4’s graphics. Version B changes the enemies FF4 enemies into that of enemies in FF2 with upgraded graphics. Tomato even recommends most people to play version B (version B is the one I played for this review.) A readme file included shows how to patch the hack if you’re not familiar with using ips files, along with a number of other changes including: quality of life improvements, a 5 member party with party swapping late in the game, new spells and gear, a treasure tracker just for fun, and more! Links to a news article about this hack and the website to download this included at the end of this page.

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