Hacksterpiece Theatre: Luigi vs. Mario (Mario Adventure 2)

December 14th, 2006 by Benj Edwards

VC&G's Hacksterpiece Theatre[ Hacksterpiece Theatre is a regular column devoted to fun, odd, and interesting retro game hacks. ]

Ever since DahrkDaiz released Mario Adventure over two years ago, fans of the NES hack masterpiece have been ravenously hungry for a sequel. After my coverage of Mario Adventure earlier this year brought the hack back into the public eye, DD and I planned a full-scale release of Mario Adventure 2 on VC&G when it was complete. He sent me a demo version back in March, and as much as I wanted to show it off, I decided to hold off until DD completed the project. Unfortunately, that hold became indefinite as DahrkDaiz abandoned work on Mario Adventure 2 over six months ago and has since moved on to other things. It seemed that the sequel that everyone was waiting for would never see the light of day.

Luigi vs. Mario Title ScreenFast forward to this month: fans of his work have been so persistent in pestering Mr. Daiz about when Mario Adventure 2 would come out that he finally publicly released the incomplete version last week on Acmlm’s Board. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I guess it’s safe to take a look at DahrkDaiz’s masterful, but incomplete sequel to the beloved Mario Adventure.

But wait a minute: Where did all this “Luigi vs. Mario” business come from?

Identity Crisis

Luigi vs. Mario Panda SuitSome of you may be confused by the names I’m throwing around here. The hack featured in this article started out as “Luigi vs. Mario,” but at some point DahrkDaiz decided to use it as the basis of Mario Adventure 2 (likely after seeing the incredible explosion of popularity caused by VC&G’s article on Mario Adventure). From that point on, the hack had an instant identity crisis, because the main concept of Luigi vs. Mario was to have two complete games in parallel — a quest for Mario, and a separate quest for Luigi. That plot wasn’t necessarily appropriate for a sequel to Mario Adventure, so DahrkDaiz began to change various aspects of Luigi vs. Mario to fit its new Mario Adventure 2 title. Luigi vs. Mario is an incredible feat of programming with tons of new features, and ironically, it might have been the incredible depth and ambition of those very features — and the confusion that resulted when he tried to force Luigi vs. Mario into the mold of Mario Adventure 2 — that made DahrkDaiz abandon it earlier this year.

Panda Suit, Anyone?

Luigi vs. Mario Mouser SuitThere are so many incredible new features, power-ups, levels, and elements in Luigi vs. Mario that I’m not quite sure where to begin. Personal highlights for me include the new Mouser and Panda suits. With the Mouser suit, you can throw Bob-ombs, ala Mouser in Super Mario Bros. 2, and with the Panda suit, you can walk upside down on the ceiling in some areas! It’s really absolutely stunning what DahrkDaiz has managed to cram into this hack. Due to the incredible complexity and depth of this hack’s new changes and addition, the game is probably best explained by the author himself. At the bottom of this article, I’ve reproduced the manual that DahrkDaiz created in HTML for Mario Adventure 2 / Luigi vs. Mario, which he sent me back in March 2006. I’ve edited it some and cleaned it up a lot, but otherwise the text remains all his. For now, though, you should get the hack and see it for yourself.

Play the Game

Luigi vs. Mario - World 1You can download a pre-patched version of Luigi vs. Mario here. The game, as it stands in this release, is incomplete and very buggy in some areas, so please keep that in mind. Please don’t complain about any bugs you find to DahrkDaiz, as he has abandoned this project and released it as-is — with no intention of ever finishing it. There are some built in cheats that might help you along, though, if you manage to figure them out — just play around a bit and you’ll probably find them.

Despite its unfinished nature, this hack is a must-see, even if only to experience the new power-ups in action! As always, you will need an emulator such as FCEU to play it. Have fun, and let us know if you discover anything new.

Have you found or made any cool, funny, or weird retro game hacks that you’d like to share? Send ’em along!


DahrkDaiz’s Mario Adventure 2 Manual

[ Note: The following text within this box was written by DahrkDaiz, not VC&G. It is an online reproduction of his Mario Adventure 2 manual. As such, it may contain typos or factual errors. ]

Welcome to Mario Adventure 2!

Mario Adventure 2 (previously called “Luigi vs Mario”) is a remake of the classic game Super Mario Bros. 3. However, it is the sequel to Mario Adventure, another remake done by yours truly. Everything in this hack goes above and beyond any normal hack, even above the previously impressive Mario Adventure. More new enemies, more new items, more new power-ups, more new levels and worlds. Get ready for a massive adventure that with huge possibilites.

From the start.

From the start of the game you will be faced with a decision: play as Luigi or play as Mario. Pressing select will toggle between each of the characters:

Selecting Luigi

Selecting Mario

Be wise, though, each character has their own powers and completely different sets of worlds. Some worlds are harder for Mario, some harder for Luigi, you decide who to play as!.

World Select

The World Select screen lets you choose which world you play next. You must complete more worlds to open up the paths to other worlds. You can toggle your character by pressing [A] on the Start tile (only works on this screen).

Luigi starting out

Luigi having completed more worlds

Brother differences

Luigi is not just a pallete swapped character in this hack. Luigi has his own unique set of sprites and abilities.

Luigi has a longer, higher, floatier jump than his brother. Often found in SMB2 and SMB2 Japan, Luigi can scale a bit higher in this hack.

Comparison of jump height

Fireballs and Boomerang are limited to 2 at a time for Mario, but Luigi has overcome that limit and can throw up to 5 fireballs or boomerangs at once.

Luigi throwing more than 2 fireballs at a time


Mario and Luigi come with a different set of special abilities. Mario can keep an item in reserve with the improved item box from Mario Adventure. If you have a current power up (“big” is Super Mario) and you grab another power up, then the current one will be stored away in your reserve box, just like in Super Mario World/Mario Adventure. However, in this hack, pressing select does not induce an instant change. Instead, it will cause the sprite to be thrown into the air and forced to be caught by the player.

Mario with a Raccoon Suit, Fire Flower in reserve

Pressing select throws the item

Catching it gives you the Fire Suit, storing the Super Leaf in reserve

Note: The game will not show your current reserved power-up on the map screen because that is reserved to show certain items will be in effect for the next level

In addition to this, Mario can do power-up skipping. If you are small and grab a power-up that’s higher than a Mushroom, you will skip to that power-up. Luigi, however, cannot do this.

Luigi has the ability to use “equipped” items. Items that are equipped from the map screen and used at any time inside the level. The amount of uses an equipped item has will display over the P-Meter.

Current equipped item and amount of uses left

New Power Ups

With this new adventure comes 5 brand new power-ups. Here’s the run down!

Returning list:

  • Mushroom
  • Fire Power
  • Raccoon Suit

New to the series are:
Mouser Suit: The Mouser suit lets you create Bob-ombs out of thin air by holding the [Up] button and pressing [B]. Be quick to throw this bomb before it goes off in your hands! You can create and throw up to two at once (if there are a lot of enemies on the screen, you may not be able to create any at all!)
Also, by holding [Up] when jumping, you can perform a spin jump. This attack can destroy many of the enemies not normally stompable.

Producing a Bob-omb

Kicking the Bob-omb at an enemy

Panda Suit: The Panda suit allows the player the ability to walk on the ceiling! This can be very handing when you want to skip a group of enemies or look for certain hidden secrets. To do this, hold [Up] and [A] when touching a ceiling to “stick” to the ceiling. Continue to hold [A] to stay on the ceiling.
Just like the Mouser Suit, you can hold [Up] when jumping to perform a different kind of spin jump. This jump protects the player from landing on a harmful enemy or spikes. Landing on something that can’t be killed will result in the player “bouncing” off it, much like the Super Mario World spin jump.

Clinging to the ceiling to avoid an enemy

Boomerang Suit: The Boomerang suit is derived from the Hammer Bros. suit. This suit has a few extra powers. For one, this suit is completely fireball proof. No longer do you need to “duck” to have this shield, you can run right through fireballs. Instead of throwing hammers, this suit has you throwing Boomerangs. Finally, this suit protects you from lava.

Throwing boomerangs and standing on lava

Star Suit (LUIGI ONLY): The Star suit looks similiar to the Raccoon suit, but with a purple palette instead. However, the powers it comes with go beyond a normal Raccoon. By standing still, you can build up your P-Meter simply by holding [B].
What makes this suit really shine is the Star mode. Holding [Down] and pressing [B] and continuously holding [B] will turn Luigi into a rotating Star. In this mode, you are completely invincible. Also, you can destroy bricks and Super Mario World style blocks by simplying moving on top of them. You can only be in this mode for a limited amount of time and you cannot jump. Also, in this mode, your timer counts down much faster, so it’s with its drawbacks!

Going into Star mode and breaking a SMW style block

Star mode, about to hit a Buzzy Beetle

Ice Suit (MARIO ONLY): The Ice suit is another unique power, this one being only for Mario. With this, you will throw ice balls instead of fireballs. When an ice ball hits an enemy, it turns into a frozen coin. You can pick this frozen coin up and toss it at other enemies or against a wall to free the coin inside. The Ice suit also allows you to freeze coins in place, turning them into Frozen Coin blocks, which can be picked up and thrown.

Throwing an ice ball

Producing a frozen coin block

Smash it against a wall to free the coin

Normal ole coins…

Now Ice Mario has frozen the outside block of them!

Frozen Coins

There are two types of frozen coins:

These coins are frozen solid. They can only be freed with a fireball from the Fire suit. The coins even remain blue after melted.

These coins are frozen but not completely. They can be melted with a fireball or picked up and thrown against a wall or enemy to free the coin inside.

! Switches

! Switches are similiar to the P-switch in SMB3. However, these have an added effect. They will make some blocks hollow and others solid. Yellow dashed blocks become solid, where as blow ! blocks become hollow.



The ! switch also turns enemies into Red coins in most stages, but some stages it won’t. Red coins are worth 5 normal coins, so catch as many of these as you can!

Shell kickng

With this adventure, you can kick a shell upwards to hit blocks high in the sky by holding [Up] when kicking it. However, you cannot catch a shell once it has been kicked, so beware of it coming back down! The speed the shell moves in any direction (except up) is relative to the speed you are moving. So the faster you move, the faster the shell moves when kicking it in the air.

Kicking a shell into the air

Inventory Items

Mushroom – Gives you Super Power.
Fire Flower – Gives you Fire Power.
Super Leaf – Gives you Raccoon Power.
Mouser Suit – Gives you Mouser Power.
Panda Suit – Gives you Panda Power.
Boomerang Suit – Gives you Boomerang Power
Level Clearance – Equip this to clear the next “normal” level you enter.
Power Bag (LUIGI ONLY) – This item gives you up to 5 uses. With this equipped, press [Select] to take Luigi’s current power away and store it in your inventory box. This can be useful in a level with a hidden suit, you can use it to stock up the good things.
Starman Equip (LUIGI ONLY) – This item gives lets you use a Starman any time in a level by pressing [Select]. This can be useful for tough boss fights or hard parts of a level.
! Switch Equip (LUIGI ONLY) – This actives a ! switch anywhere in the level by pressing [Select]. Useful to get to places unreachable without a ! switch, or to ride an area of enemies. This item will over ride a level that doesn’t allow enemies to be turned into coins, so becareful if you need a shell for the level later on!
Key – Use this to unlock locks on the map screen. These are given to you by defeating a Boom-boom from a Fortress. Re-entering a castle and beating a Boom-boom will not yield another key. If you replay a world and try to earn keys, you will be stripped of them when you beat the world and return to the World select menu, so don’t try cheating!
Mega Star (MARIO ONLY) – This Starman gives Mario invincibility for an entire level.
Safety Wings (DUAL EFFECT) -Mario- This item is the same as the P-Wing in SMB3. -Luigi- This works like the feather in Kid Icarus: if you fall into a pit, you be changed into Raccoon Luigi, thrown into the air and given flying time so that you may fly back to safety.
POW Block (LUIGI ONLY) – Equip this once for use 2 times. Equip it multiple times for up to 9 uses. Pressing [Select] with this will destroy all the enemies nearby, except for bosses.
Hearts (MARIO ONLY) – These give Mario protection from damage for 3 hearts. They work just like they do in Super Mario Bros. 2. Your World indicater will change into a Heart icon showing number of hits left when this is used.
Kuribo’s Shoe (MARIO ONLY) – This gives Mario Kuribo’s shoe for one stage only.
Stop watch (LUIGI ONLY) – This gives Luigi the Stop Watch. Press [Select] anytime in a level to freeze all enemies on the screen for a very short amount of time. You can equip this item multiple times for a greater effect. The Item amount indicator acts as a multiplier. You can equip this item up to 8 times for 8 times the effect.
Ice Flower (MARIO ONLY) – This gives Mario Ice powers.
Star Feater (LUIGI ONLY) – This gives Luigi Star powers.
Fire Storm (MARIO ONLY) – This makes fireballs rain from the sky for an entire level. However, if Mario has Ice Powers, this causes Ice balls to rain from the sky instead.

With all these items, you may think that you’ll fill up your boxes pretty quick. But I’ve expanded the system to have 7 item boxes, giving you the ability to have 49 items at once, 21 more than before, so space shouldn’t be an issue.

Mushroom Houses

Just like in Mario Adventure, you can collect more than 100 coins in Mario Adventure 2. Your limit is now only 999, but with these, you can actually BUY items, not just play a game to earn a random one. There are three shop types: common, Mario only and Luigi only. Common shops sell basic power ups (suits). Mario only shops sell items that only Mario can use. Luigi only shops sell items only Luigi can use. You will not find a Mario only shop in one of Luigi’s worlds and vice versa. Inside a Shop, you have 6 chests. The first item listed will be in the first chest, the second item listed in the 2nd chest (going right), and so on. If you do not have enough coins for the item listed, pressing B in front of that chest does nothing. If you don’t have enough coins for any chests, you can exit the shop through either of the side doors.

Luigi in the Common Shop

Luigi in his exclusive shop

Mario in his exclusive shop

Goal Cards & Bonus Games

Goal cards are back in this Mario Adventure, however, they will not give you extra lives for collecting three. Instead, you will collect two “junk” cards, the third card will be of use. After completing a third stage, the third card you get will determine what bonus game you will play. Mushroom takes you to the icey coin catching stage, Flower will take you to massive coin collecting stage and Star will take you to pipe guessing game. There’s also a 4th goal card type: the Leaf card. This type has been undetermined as to what game it takes you to for now, so for the time being, it takes you to the Mushroom game.

Grabbing a 3rd goal card, ready for the bonus game

This is the Mushoom game. Catch the falling coins. The more coins you collect, the better your prize. After 30 seconds are up, or if you fall into the gap, the game ends and your prize falls below. Some prizes differ for Mario and Luigi.
This game comes to an end, too bad

This is the Flower game. The Firestorm power is automatically induced here and fireballs rain down to melt the frozen coins. Collect as many as you can in 60 seconds.

This is the Star game. There are 6 sideways pipes, you must figure out which one lets you go into it before time runs out. The faster you find it, the more 1-Ups will you find on the other side.

36 Responses to “Hacksterpiece Theatre: Luigi vs. Mario (Mario Adventure 2)”

  1. Decepcionado Says:

    It is too bad that this hack is dead, I was really looking foward to the final product. This would have been the greatest hack next to Sliver X’s Dragoon X Omega II. It’s still a good hack, but I’m sure many people were waiting for it to be finished. ;_;

  2. J. Lilja Says:

    I know I sure was looking forward to it. Word was that this hack would be able to play on real nes-hardware, and if there is one thing I’ve been looking forward to it would be to be able to play a brand new super mario game at home in front of the tv. DahrkDaiz is the greatest smb-hacker of all times, and its a real shame he won’t finish his work on this game. Suppose it is a lot of work, and I can understand that it is exhausting for one person to do all by himself, but still.. its a damn shame. I just wish that someone with the same skills (if there is anybody) would finish this hack. It would be a great step for mankind.

    Yours sincerelly //J. Lilja from sweden

  3. DTW Says:

    I am having problems with Worlds 6 and 7. After the first pipes on the maps nothing happens.

  4. Decepcionado Says:

    J. Lilja: On that message board called Acmlm’s Board, another ROM hacker by the name of Googie offered to make levels for DahrkDaiz. So hopefully this hack can be finished in the future, if more people would chip in to make levels for the hack I guess all DahrkDaiz has to do is fix all the bugs. The hack is too good to let die. T_T’

  5. JOE Says:

    i know the cheats for this games if u guys dont know here it is.(All cheats are used at title menu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    A.Press the key u set as “B”
    B.Press the key u set as “A”
    C.Press the key u set as “UP” around a couple of times.


  6. JOE Says:

    if u have any other cheats plz post them on this website page!!!TY!

  7. coisweetness Says:

    how do you configure the nes controller?

  8. C'MON MAN Says:


  9. Ryan Archer Says:

    I’m a great when it comes to Rom Hacking, but if the person who associated with DahrkDaiz would e-mail me at Gfunk1987@hotmail.com I would be able to add on to Luigi vs Mario and complete the ROM, So please e-mail me soon and we could keep in touch and I would be willing to finish the rom if that’s ok with you and DahrkDaiz.

  10. John Jonesq Says:

    That is a great hack! Someone should seriously finish it!!

  11. Playerpawi Says:

    It won’t let me go on a lvl! I tried pressing nearly every key! Why isn’t there the controls on the manual? Plz reply

  12. Super dario232 Says:

    Yo can you play it online? Gosh it looks fun give me the link to the game okay?

  13. MarkLiberator Says:


  14. MarkLiberator Says:

    I am seriously willing to pay $$$ to anyone who can finish this materpiece. I thought the first one may have been the BEST VIDEO GAME EVER. The levels that are finished are too awsome to let die. Any news on ‘Googie’ or anyone else working on finishing it?

  15. gameboyguy9409 Says:

    This game has serious pontential! Somebody HAS to finish it!

  16. Iceman404 Says:

    Someone please finish!!!! alot of people are waiting DarhkHaiz dont let this go to waste

  17. Bonusrock Says:

    THE BEST HACK EVR. sumone take MarkLiberator’s offer and finish it! the glithes make it harder,but the creativity is parfect!

  18. liam Says:


  19. liam Says:

    can you tell me the download link please

  20. Pwing400 Says:

    So I downloaded Mario Adventure 1 & 2, but in both of them I can barely jump! Is it some thing to do with NEStopia? Do you have a solution!?!?!?

  21. Benj Edwards Says:

    Pwing, try turning off turbo mode — the mode where a button is rapidly registered when the button is held down. That might be what’s going on.

  22. liam Says:

    Pwing400 where do you get Mario Adventure 2?

  23. Tom Says:

    As far as I know DD is working on the Ultimate SMB3 Editor, which you can find the info here…


    No download yet, but yeah that’s what he’s doing right now…

  24. mario super fan Says:

    Why not create SMA3 Team m Vs Team W that woulde be sooooooooooooo cool!!! actually try that prity please

  25. mkman Says:

    ?????????????????????????????????? Anybody there?????????????????????

  26. NWP's 1UPDude Says:

    Awesome game.
    Seems like the ol’ NES can take a punch…

  27. zx Says:

    shut up mario super fan. This hack is great and its so hard that it keeps you hooked on.

  28. mariomaster3000 Says:

    this game is the best nes hack of all time! i just wanted everyone to know that you can play this on your tv screen with a joypad- kinda like the nes. just get the fceu ultra emulator for the wii, set it up, and play on your tv. its better like this and the game actually works!

  29. Da1213 Says:

    In FCEU emulator, with load a pallete, first change “All Usable Files(*.pal)” to “All Files(*.*)” .
    Then open any file and you have a whole new set of colors.

  30. Jeffrey Says:

    I’ll give you five bucks if you finish this hack

  31. MooT Booxlé Says:

    I really want somebody to finish this hack!!!
    I think I may like the original Mario Adventure better though…
    what I’ve played of this game so far has been, to me, extremely difficult!
    I’m not one of those crazy super-hard-game addicts though. I want it to be fun, enjoyable, and challenging enough to keep me interested, but not enough to make me frustrated and angry. The first game/hack was easier than this one in my opinion! However, that could be just due to it not being quite finished.
    It might have been a dumb move to try to squeeze the Luigi vs. Mario concept into a title called Mario Adventure 2…maybe if he hadn’t tried to do that we would have been enjoying a fully-finished game entitled Luigi vs. Mario and to heck with the sequel title…it’s a whole ‘nother concept.

  32. Ryan Says:

    Ok. So I just completed Mario Adventure 1 for the second time. I’m a US Marine on deployment in Japan with nothing better to do than to play my NES emulator during my down time…When I searched DahrkDaiz to see if he had any more masterpieces to offer, I about pissed my pants when I saw Luigi vs Mario…but UNFINISHED?! NOOOOOOOOOO! Somebody should kidnap his ass, put a gun to his head, and force him to finish. You should always finish what you start, DahrkDaiz…your fans are foaming at the mouth, man! Anyways, fml.
    On a lighter note, anyone have any suggestions of good nes hacks, or links to find them??? Semper Fi

  33. Scott4 Says:

    @J. Lilja You can via the homebrew channel on the Wii and downloading FCE GX.

  34. C64 Thumps NES Says:

    Hey mr. Gung-Ho Ryan, put your gun back in your pants. He did it for fun, not for money or adulation, if he wants to stop it’s his right to do so, he’s not under contract. Be grateful he even released the unfinished version!

    Most likely he got a job in industry from the amazing work he did with with MA1 (and 2) and has to get on with some real work now, not to mention being in a tough legal position to resume messing about with Nintendo’s IP.

    Kind of like the time I found former Commodore 64 pirate copying software author Kevin Pickell working in a cubicle in Electronic Arts Canada. He didn’t even want to talk about Super-Kwik Copy. hehe.

  35. hdofu Says:

    Well it is sad this one is unfinished but he is well at work on Mario Adventure 3 (no he didn’t get out of the hacking game but he did have major events in his life that sidetracked him but he had been very hard at work on 3), just check out his latest channel on youtube and his Facebook fan page for the game for the latest demo which is also amazing

  36. farva Says:

    I’ve discovered a Game Genie code that helps with a particular glitch. If you find yourself at a point (e.g. world 2 red mushroom house) where your only option (besides the level you just completed) is to enter the N Spade card game (which is broken and freezes), you can use the code EOLLLL, re-enter the level you just completed, and jump on an enemy. You’ll glitch back to the world select screen without losing your progress.

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