FLAMING SNOT!!! What in the name of Magikoopa happened here? This thing is incredible!! I admit I haven't really been fair, showing the worst hacks first, but if you were writing this, what would YOU have done? Too bad it isn't quite finished yet. You might notice there's no title on the title screen.

The majority of graphics in what little lies here are lavishly rendered, and there's even an attempt to create an original opening beyond the usual exposition panel. This isn't finished either, though, and the scroll zooms by in half of a second, incomplete. What's Bowser's only hope?

This is equally impressive..."just another Mario hack" my foot. Even more surprising was the fact that after I played it, I found out I've known the guy who programmed it for years. When I saw the name "Juggling Joker" I thought nah, that can't be the same guy...then it turned out it was. He's even the moderator on the SMW World hacking board of ACMLM, the home for rom hackers. I had no idea of any of this until I mentioned this hack in an AIM chat and asked if "Juggling Joker" was a reference to anything, because apparently two Net users had the same name. They didn't. He can explain more about this game than I can, probably, so let's put him on...

JJ: "It all started with the vain hope that I could replace every single graphic in the game with stuff I drew myself. What you see is a result. This is actually an old, crappier version of my hack. I would hazard a guess that it is about 17 times better now that I've completely rehauled the graphics. I don't like to brag, but hell yeah I'm awesome."

Now I'll tell what I know of the others....

Mario's Chance: I don't know much about this one specifically, but it doesn't surprise me. Since Lunar Magic (the SMW editor) hit the scene, every idiot with a computer and a rom has put out his own rom hack. These usually fall into two categories: So easy it hurts, and so hard that your face explodes. There is, unfortunately, no happy medium.

Chaos Complexx: Haha, this hack is awesome. Around last April Fool's Day, a bunch of hackers thought it might be a good idea to make "joke hacks" or "hacks that are so intentionally messed up it's funny". If I remember correctly, if you play this one until the Donut Plains, the joke is revealed in a text box.

Super Wario World: You might think this is a hack along Chaos Complexx's lines. You would be way, WAY wrong. This guy made like 50 hacks of equal or lesser quality than this one. Play them at your own risk. Seriously.

Atma's Hack (the first one on the second page): The graphics are pretty (not custom by the way, but ripped), no doubt about that, but gameplay is really bad in this one. It's a perfect example of failed potential. Atma still hangs around the scene, but I don't think he's released anything recently, so this is as good as it gets.

Oh yeah, and "known" is the grammatically correct usage here, not "knew." You might want to fix that sometime...

*cough*... that's not the most embarassing typo I've made. I'm like a typo machine.

Super Mario's Crystal Island Adventure has another few interesting ideas. That's a cool shot, though I don't know where Mario is. If it's part of the island, why are there Mario-esque statues? Maybe it's like all those old cartoons where someone meets a group of natives and they bow to him because his appearance coincidentally resembles the statue of their deity. Then they live off the con for a few months until they have to stop a volcano from exploding and start panicking, but stop the volcano through sheer comedic luck and....yeah, let's move on....

The "power-up station," here the Crash Site, also lets you go back to switch palaces (which you can normally only go to once). The only places you could save your game in SMW were by finishing a Switch Palace, or a castle. The Dreamcast has no save states, so this wireup is appreciated....

THIS one is exactly like the original, except you play as a shell-less Koopa. Will Peach still kiss your nose?

In Super Mario Story, you have to apparently prevent Big Boo from taking off in his new battleship. This only has one level finished, but it's an interesting one....

It's a recreation of the very first Super Mario Bros. level! Ahtough the hacker couldn't seem to make his custom bricks hittable for some reason.

If you say so. To get the full comedic effect, you have to be able to see the Zycloboo's head. He's got one interesting hacked face...

Training?? Mario didn' need no steenking training! The ability to eat flowers and shoot fireballs out your nose as a side effect can only come from birth. And I was going to point out the illogicality of the American Flag being on the title screen of a Japanese game series, but then I remembered Mario is supposed to have come from Brooklyn. If he did any training in between plumbing jobs, it would have to be there.

So Mario must have enlisted in a "superhero training camp," which I'm sure is in New York somewhere. And these exercise grounds must have been in Central Park because there's no other place with that much green in it.

Waaaait...a Dude Ranch?? Where the heck IS he? Pretty tough challenges though. Can Mario leap those four cactuses successfully? Aw, guess not.

"Password Entry" is interesting; it's just an area with three pipes and the letters A, B and C by each one. I'm not going to play long enough to see what the password is; there's no guarantee the game was programmed that far. And that Shy Guy exploded like a Bob-Omb.

This one's simply called "SMW: The Hack." In addition to assuming your name is "Granthis" and you weren't born on Earth, Yoshi has been "capured to."

This is just what's been done with Super Mario World; there are even more hacks for NES titles. Stay tuned for more showcases soon, and in the meantime, don't eat wild mushrooms.


"Advertising will in the future become more and more intelligent in tone. It will seek to influence demand by argument instead of clamor...cheap attention-calling tricks will be wholly replaced, as they are already being replaced, by serious expression."

--from T. Baron Russell's 1905 book A Hundred Years Hence