May 19th, 2004

FreakyNES Vol. 1

Ninjatron is going to talk about some freaky fighting.

If you grew up in the 80's, then you no doubt have memories of playing video games on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), the international release of the Japanese Famicom video game system. From Mario to Metroid to Megaman, these games and the culture surrounding them became such an ingrained part of the public conscience that the entire generation of video game players can fondly look back at and share. However, unlike so many nostalgia powered websites on the net today, I am not here to talk about any of that. For you see, unbeknownst to most, there exists a seedy underbelly to the world of the Famicom and the NES. It is here where copyrights and quality control have no meaning. It is here where anything can happen. It is here where we shall find...

FreakyNES! The world of Freaky NES games.

W A R N I N G !
The contents of this article are provided "as is" for entertainment purposes only. SykoGrafix.com is not responsible for any part of the video games showcased.
SykoGrafix.com does not officially endorse emulation or piracy. No illegal material is being made available for download on SykoGrafix.com.
Do not under any circumstance ask me to give you these games or where you can obtain them.

Volume 1: 8-Bit Fighting Games!

That's right, fighting games! By the time of the big fighting game boom in the Early-mid 90's, the NES was being fazed out in North America. But elsewhere in the world the NES was still alive and kicking. Well, maybe not so much the NES itself as we know it, but rather illegal clones sold in countries with lax copyright laws. And so, a lot of "original" material was made. And by original, I really mean "pirate". You will not believe the fighting games that were made for the NES!

Street Fighter II

Street Fighter II for NES Street Fighter II for NES Street Fighter II for NES

Yeah, there's an 8-Bit home version of Street Fighter II. Now, I do remember reading that, apparently, Capcom did have plans on releasing Street Fighter II for the NES back in the day, but obviously that did not come to pass. Whether or not this particular version of Street Fighter II has anything to do with that, I don't know, but either way you can bet that Capcom did not see a dime for this pirated game. Pretty cool that it has an inanimate version of the original arcade introduction with the two guys fighting in front of a building, which was absent from the Super NES version of the game.

Street Fighter II for NES Street Fighter II for NES

It doesn't really matter, though, because the game sucks. It's mostly unplayable and overly difficult. The graphics make the game look more like Finger Painting Fighter, but they get the job done, at least. Ryu's fireball attack looks more like a mystical pie throwing attack. There are only 4 playable characters.

Street Fighter II for NES Street Fighter II for NES

It should be painfully obvious by now that the NES just wasn't cut out for a game like Street Fighter 2. Of course, things such as common sense are demons that must be slain by these perpetrators of piracy in their quest to trick people into buying lousy games. I find it funny that YOKO, the company claiming responsibility for this morally dubious software, actually had the guts to copyright it to themselves on the title screen.

Street Fighter II for NES

Street Fighter III

Street Fighter III for NES Street Fighter III for NES

What? Street Fighter III now? III as in three? Well, no, not really. This is really just Street Fighter II with an extra I painted on. In this version, there are 9 characters to chose from, including some of the bosses.

Street Fighter III for NES Street Fighter III for NES

Woah! The graphics here are totally different than that previous Street Fighter, and if you ask me, much better! The sprites are smaller on the screen, but there's better use of colour and detail, and the animation isn't so choppy. It seems to play much better too, though the fighting system still lacks the depth and sophistication of any "real" Street Fighter game. I swear, even on the easiest difficulty setting (assuming it made a difference), I still had to resort to cheap tactics like repeated leg sweeps just to win. Seems as if hitting the opponent 3 or 4 times does about as much damage as them hitting you once. At least special moves seem to be possible instead of just happening by accident.

Street Fighter III for NES Street Fighter III for NES Street Fighter III for NES Street Fighter III for NES

It looks like you can sort-of play as Ken, but you really can't. His portrait is there in the character select screen, but once you start playing he's just Ryu wearing a dark pink gi. So, yeah, this one is not quite as bad, but still, this barely qualifies as being Street Fighter II, let alone the Street Fighter III they're making it out to be. But you ain't seen nothing yet!

Mari Street Fighter III Turbo

Mari Street Fighter III Turbo for NES Mari Street Fighter III Turbo for NES

Um... what the hell is this and how in the hell did Mario get here? It looks like it's that previous Street Fighter III we just looked at, but with some really messed up changes! The character selection screen seems to have been expanded...at first glance. Take another look and you'll see that these are actually the same characters, again and again, but with strange alterations. Check out Blanka wearing glasses! And, yes, you are actually seeing Mario on the upper left and again a few spaces over. Someone actually thought it's be a good idea to put Mario into a Street Fighter game. Just let that sink in for awhile.

Mari Street Fighter III Turbo for NES Mari Street Fighter III Turbo for NESMari Street Fighter III Turbo for NES

And there he is. Convincing, isn't it? It's just a discoloured Super Mario Bros. 3 sprite, badly edited to look like he's punching and kicking, and hacked into the game. The animation is so bad that it's difficult to figure out what he's doing. The animation frame for a flying kick is the same as for a crouching kick, which is also the same for falling on the ground. I am not making this up.

Mari Street Fighter III Turbo for NES Mari Street Fighter III Turbo for NES

And that's not all that's weird here! All of those "other characters" you have to choose from don't quite seem to be their normal Street Fighter selves. In this game, they come in different colours! Not just any colours, though, but fruity inhuman mutant colours! Check out the blue Sagat with bright green shorts! And how about that girly pink Blanka? Of course, the people responsible for this mangled corpse of a game thought "Hey, if we take each character and colour him differently, like, 5 times, then we can say that our game has 5 times as many characters! Oh, but instead of taking the time to pick good colour schemes, let's just melt some old crayons together and use those colours instead!"

Mari Street Fighter III Turbo for NES Mari Street Fighter III Turbo for NES Mari Street Fighter III Turbo for NES Mari Street Fighter III Turbo for NES Mari Street Fighter III Turbo for NES Mari Street Fighter III Turbo for NES Mari Street Fighter III Turbo for NES

Good lord, just look at that. Makes my eyes want to stab my brain. I really have a hard time thinking that these people had no idea how weird the junk they were working on really is. How could they not know that, some day, an insane ninja would make fun of their work over the Internet? And then there's Mario. I mean, sure, if you're going to spit on one copyright, then sure, why not spit on two? But that doesn't mean you should make it suck! Interesting idea in theory, very poor in execution. I suppose that's what makes it so funny. But that's not the end of the story, as another game takes that concept and greatly expands on it.

Kart Fighter

Kart Fighter for NES

This is not a licensed Nintendo game! I repeat, this is NOT a licensed Nintendo game! But this game IS real! This is a completely original game in which players duke it out Street Fighter style with the cast of Super Mario Kart. While this is certainly not an official Nintendo product, the quality is pretty high. It may not be saying much, but Kart Fighter has got to be the best unlicenced NES game ever.

Kart Fighter for NES

The character selection consists of Mari (Mario), Luigi, Yossy (Yoshi), Kinopio (Toad's Japanese name), Nokonoko (Koopa Troopa's Japanese name), Donkey (Donkey Kong), Koopa (Bowser), and Peach. As you can tell, spelling the characters' names correctly wasn't high on the list of priorities, and any names that happen to be spelled correctly must be purely coincidental, but all the characters are there and are looking more or less like you'd expect them to. Except for Peach, who's dress was severely shortened, no doubt in order to conform with what people expect from ladies in fighting games. Speaking of shortened, isn't Bowser supposed to be bigger than Mario? In fact, shouldn't he at least be bigger than Toad? What happened there?

Kart Fighter for NES Kart Fighter for NES

The graphics are quite interesting, as they really captured the look and feel of the Nintendo universe without stealing from other games. most of the artwork seems original, though I wouldn't put it past them to have stolen some of the backgrounds. The character sprites are fairly large on the screen, and the backgrounds are detailed with imagery similar to what you might actually find in a real Mario game. The music is a bit weird. It sounds very happy and not at all like something that you'd fight along with. I didn't recognize any actual Nintendo tunes.

Kart Fighter for NES Kart Fighter for NES

Probably the most shocking thing about this game, aside the fact that it exists, is that it actually plays pretty well. Most unlicensed pirate games are put together rather shoddily, but this one is half-way decent. Don't get me wrong, it's still rough around the edges and no where near the quality of an actual Nintendo game, but still, for a fighting game running on NES technology, it's not too bad at all. Which is more than I can say for this next piece of work.

World Heroes 2

World Heroes 2 for NES

So I'm thinking, ok... World Heroes 2 was an arcade fighting game by SNK, so that means that this is going to be another pirated hackjob badly ported to the NES like so many others, right? That would be a fair assumption. Well, once I started to play, it didn't take long to realize how wrong I was, and the results were downright flabbergasting. That's right, I actually used the word flabbergasting.

World Heroes 2 for NES World Heroes 2 for NES

Huh? Sonic the Hedgehog? Mario? Ninja Turtles music? All these characters? What's going on here? Is this a dream?

No. This is a NIGHTMARE.

World Heroes 2 for NES

Created by a company called "CONY", this game is almost to surreal to believe. Just look at the character selection and see for yourself. There's Ryu, Chun Li, and M. Bison (Known as Vega in Japan) from Street Fighter 2, Mike Haggar from Final Fight, Andy Bogard and Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury, some Spanish bullfighting dude called Yeain who I think is also from Fatal Fury, Mario and Bowser (called "Kupa" here) from Nintendo, Sonic the Hedgehog from Sega, Goku from Dragonball Z, and last but not least, a Ninja Turtle. All in the same game! Not only does this game absolutely shatter the most basic concepts of copyright law, it also not-so-subtly raises its middle finger in the general direction of the broken pieces! Think of the potential matchups. Sonic vs Mario! Goku vs Ryu! Leonardo vs Bowser! It's complete chaos!

World Heroes 2 for NES World Heroes 2 for NES

The artwork in this game seems to be a mixture of stolen graphics from games these characters originate from, and some brand new artwork made just for this game. So it's full of seams, but what the hell, it's got personality, I'll give it that much. It's a big mishmash of styles with fluctuating degrees of quality. Some of the backgrounds are quite interesting, particularly Mario's with Koopas dancing on top of clouds. Mario's looking like he's been heavily dipping into the Mushroom Kingdom's lasagna deposits, by the way. What a porker!

World Heroes 2 for NES World Heroes 2 for NES

So I bet you're thinking "Wow! That's amazing!" and yes, it would be, if it were not for one small detail: This game is terrible! It's next to impossible to win a fight. The control is poor, the graphics are glitchy, and the music is obnoxious. There are special moves, most of which seem to make sense with the characters, but good luck pulling them off. This game is the digital equivalent of taking your most favorite foods, all the way from breakfast to dessert, and mixing them up into a disgusting lumpy sludge. The ingredients might be good on their own, but you wouldn't really want to eat that, would you? Believe me, you don't want to play this game. The only redeeming value is how freakin' weird it is.

World Heroes 2 for NES World Heroes 2 for NES
I know, guys. My head hurts too. Better play some Super Smash Bros. to make the pain go away.

This isn't even the half of the crazy, messed up NES games that are out there. You'll be seeing more in the next installment of FreakyNES!

Sayonara.


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