May 15th 2005

FreakyNES Vol.2

Ninjatron is going to talk about some crazy running and jumping.

While the Nintendo Entertainment System and the classic games surrounding it are such a huge part of the popular culture of the times for those who grew up in that era, there is a world of deceit and treachery that most people are unaware of. A world of piracy, where Asian bootleggers have twisted video games to create their own bizarre mutations! In my first installment, I exposed the secret corruption festering underneath fighting games made for the NES and its Japanese cousin, the Famicom. Now, it is time once again to dive into this seedy underbelly of 8-bit chaos. For 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: Pirated Platformers!

Back in the day, platform games were the bread and butter of the business. These games are all about running and jumping while skillfully avoiding enemies, traps, and chasms. Most of the time these games feature marketable characters, as personified in such franchises as Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, and Megaman. The following games contain all the earmarks of an old school NES platformer, and some of them may actually look familiar at first glance. However, sinister secrets lie beneath the surface of these seemingly innocent games, illegally headlined by some of the video game industry's most beloved marquee characters!

Rocman X

Rocman X for NES

Common sense tells me that by "Rocman" they actually mean "Rockman", and Rockman is, of course, the original Japanese name for the character we know as Megaman. Rockman starred in several sequels and spin-offs, and one of those spin-offs was the Rockman X series. Now, I'm not a big Megaman fan, but even I know that Rockman X was a Super NES game, not an NES game. So what exactly is this, then? The title screen looks like a modified graphic lifted from a legitimate Rockman game, but the game itself isn't quite like anything The Blue Bomber has ever been in, on any system!

Rocman X for NES Rocman X for NES Rocman X for NES

Leave the title screen on and don't press any buttons for awhile and we actually get a story with this knockoff! And it contains some wonderfully awkward use of the English Language! How exciting! The Mayor of Gadem City is holding a cocktail party to celebrate the city's centennial, but Miss Lucy is Kidnapped by...

Rocman X for NES Rocman X for NES Rocman X for NES

This guy! Doesn't he just look so evil without a neck? Nice shades. He's "The God" of the invincible Paulungtang Organization, and in addition to being threatening, he's telling us more than anyone really ought to know about his personal life. He demands 20 Billion Dollars a year to fund his organization's activities, and starts to sabotage the city. But have no fear, here comes...

Rocman X for NES

This guy? Who the hell is this? Well, that's sure as hell not Rockman! It's Rocman X, and any similarities between him and the real Rockman are either purely coincidentally or purposely put there to confuse people that this might actually be a good game. Doesn't that completely round helmet look so intimidating?

Rocman X for NES Rocman X for NES

Well, is it a good game? No, not really. That really shouldn't surprise anyone. However, what is surprising is that while there are some similarities, it's not a pirated version of Rockman X. The graphics and gameplay are completely original. They pretty much suck, but hey, originality should count for something, right? Instead of shooting enemies, you've got a crappy boomerang that you can slowly throw. None of the enemies could be destroyed with one hit, making the game very tedious. I find it really interesting that, in this game where you are supposed to be saving the city from a greedy extortionist, you actually collect money. You can't do anything with it, but it's there!

Rocman X for NES Rocman X for NES

The game starts with a stage select screen, letting you pick from 3 different levels. The first 2 levels were so difficult and boring that I didn't bother to go very far in either of them. But with the third one, I don't know what the hell happened here! It starts out fine, but as you start to walk forward, the whole game starts to fall apart! Reality becomes distorted as things appear out of nowhere and become colours that they should not be! Obviously this was not supposed to happen, and while it added some entertainment value, it pretty much made the game unplayable because you couldn't even see what the hell you're doing! Why has the ground become clouds?

Rocman X for NES

While playing this game I encountered several pits that seemed impossible to get across. There's supposed to be a technique to dash over the gaps you can't jump, but I just couldn't be bothered to figure it out. So Rocman X kept on falling, and in the pit he can stay for all I care. Bastard.

Rockman 5

Rockman 5 for NES

From the title, you'd think that this game was harmless enough. You'd think that this was just the 5th entry in the long running Rockman/Megaman series. And that's exactly what these pirates would want you to think. You'd be wrong though. Very wrong. And once the intro sequence starts up, it becomes quite apparent that there's something awfully fishy going on here.

Rockman 5 for NES Rockman 5 for NES

Ummm... ok. This seems familiar, yet I don't think this is something I've ever seen associated with a Megaman game. No, this is...

Rockman 5 for NES Rockman 5 for NES

Darkwing Duck! Oh good golly. What the hell is he doing here? No, Darkwing isn't actually in this game. These images are just leftover scraps from the butchering this game underwent to dress it up as a Megaman game.

Rockman 5 for NES Rockman 5 for NES

So Rockman 5 is really just Capcom's NES Darkwing Duck game, but with the Darkwing Duck sprite replaced with this orange Megaman. A vain attempt at pawning off this Frankenstein's monster as a brand new adventure for Rockman. This probably would have worked a lot better if they actually put some effort into it and removed all the references to Darkwing Duck. I mean, it's pretty hard to take this seriously as a Megaman game when the screen shoves a big freakin' duck bill in your face!

Darkwing Duck's famous expression was "Let's get Dangerous!" Thinking about how this game came into existence is dangerous enough. And this next game does something that's just as bad.

Tiny Mario Adventures

Tiny Mario Adventures for NES

Oh, wow. This title screen just fills me with so much promise and anticipation! Since the title screen is glitchy to the point of being completely illegible, the name "Tiny Mario Adventures" is just a creation of whichever unfortunate soul originally dug this game out from black market obscurity. Anyone want to take a guess at what this game actually is?

Tiny Mario Adventures for NES Tiny Mario Adventures for NES

Yeah, big surprise. These pirates took Konami's Tiny Toon Adventures game for the NES and replaced Buster Bunny with a Super Mario sprite and tried to pass it off as a brand new Mario game. How nice of them to dress Mario up in a new pink outfit too. And we all know how much Mario loves carrots. Must be a new weight loss plan.

Tiny Mario Adventures for NES

And now I've collected an icon and transformed into Plucky Duck. So much for this nonsense!

Finding games that have the sprite of the main character replaced by that of the main character of another game is very common in the world of underground NES games like these. It's like these games are pretending to be different games. But the disguise becomes completely transparent once you start playing, because even though they might look different, they play exactly the same way and bring nothing new to the table. And in several cases, these games end up playing much worse because with all the hacking they did to change a few things around, they probably also messed up something important in there! Most of these games are full of glitches and graphical errors.

And now, to make the impossible into the possible, here comes this game.

Sonic 3D Blast 5

Sonic 3D Blast for NES

Sonic. Sonic the Freaking Hedgehog. For Nintendo. Yeah. Nowadays this may not seem like such a big deal, because Sega has published several games on the GameCube and Gameboy Advance in recent years. But, in the early days, Sega and Nintendo were the bitterest of enemies and there was no chance in hell that a huge Sega character like Sonic would ever appear on a Nintendo system. So leave those inventive bootleggers to fill in that gap and put a Sonic game on the NES, leaving Nintendo and Sega out of the loop and the entire population of rational thinkers completely bewildered.

Sonic 3D Blast for NES Sonic 3D Blast for NES

Despite this game being distributed under the name "Sonic 3D Blast 5", this game is most certainly not "3D". In fact, it doesn't really "Blast" either, moving much slower than you'd expect from a Sonic game. And why they are calling it "5", I do not know. I think it's just some random number they pulled out of nowhere and stuck on the title of the cartridge label to make the game seem cool.

Sonic 3D Blast for NES Sonic 3D Blast for NES Sonic 3D Blast for NES

But it is Sonic, and not some original Sonic-esque game, nor a different game with a Sonic sprite hacked into it. I don't know which Sonic this is based on, but since it's been ported over from the 16-bit Genesis/Mega Drive to the less powerful 8-bit NES/Famicom hardware, don't assume that this is a completely authentic Sonic experience. The control isn't nearly as precise as a game like this should be. Something just feels "off" about it. I suppose they did the best they could with what they had, though, so it's not too bad.

Sonic 3D Blast for NES Sonic 3D Blast for NES Sonic 3D Blast for NES

This is Sonic on the NES for crying out loud! This is so unthinkable, it's crazy! If there had to be an illegally produced Sonic game on the NES, than this isn't so bad in execution. More than anything it gets points just for being so damn wrong in concept alone! But, as if this wasn't weird enough, this final entry is a game that completely defiles all that is natural in the universe.

Somari

Somari for NES

Oh my goodness.

There isn't much one can say to explain what this game is exactly, except to say that this is, essentially, a Sonic The Hedgehog game, but made for the NES, with Mario replacing Sonic. Obviously neither Nintendo nor Sega had anything to do with this game. No, this demon-spawn is yet another product of those wacky pirates, whose creativity is only matched by their unprofessionalism.

Somari for NES Somari for NES

Naturally, Somari is not as fast as the legitimate Sonic games for the Genesis/Mega Drive. Actually, it's slightly slower than the above Sonic game. But otherwise it has all the trappings of the real Sonic games. The level design, the rings, the loops, the enemies, it's all there. But, personally, I really don't like Sonic games, so that means I don't really like Somari that much. It's an interesting oddity, but not a game I'd ever want to spend hours trying to finish. So if I say that many of the game's flaws are actually flaws of the Sonic formula, than maybe if you like the Sonic games you'll like this game too. Or maybe it's just another unpolished piece of junk made by unscrupulous individuals trying to take money away from people who don't know any better. Regardless, the result sure is trippy!

Somari for NES Somari for NES

Just look at these pictures and ask yourself "How can such a thing exist in our reality!" It is just not meant to be, I tell you!

Somari for NES Somari for NES Somari for NES

As you can see, the sprite for "Somari" is originally from Super Mario Bros. 3, but modified and with some additional frames of animation based on Sonic's moves. He's even got Sonic's shoes. And yes, you do get to fight Sonic's enemy, Dr. Whateverhisnameisnow. If you can stand to play that long, that is.

Thus ends another FreakyNES. You may be asking yourself right about now why such games exist, or perhaps why you had never heard of them until reading this. These are the wrong questions to ask. The correct question you should be asking is "Why does Ninjatron torture himself by playing and reviewing these awful games?" Do I derive a sadistic form of pleasure from subjecting myself to this? Or perhaps I enjoy hunting the little nuggets of humor out from the miserable dreck and polishing them off for the amusement of others. But I like to think that I'm doing this for a noble cause. While what I've done here may look like a lot of fun, I play these games so that you don't have to! Because, even if you think you want to play these games, believe me, you don't!

You've been warned! And yes, I have even more! So until next time...

Game Over!

Sayonara.

Please share your thoughts on this article and anything else related to Nintendo games on the message board, and sign up to the mailing list to be alerted when the next volume of FreakyNES has been made available!


Back to Articles.

-home- -about- -forums- -faq- -contact- -guestbook- -links-
Any and all original content on this web page, including text and graphics, are SykoGrafix Inc. Any other copyrights mentioned on any part of this website are their respective owners. No part of this website's content may be reproduced by any means anywhere else in the entire universe without prior consent. Please contact Ninjatron with any related questions.