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.
Fast 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?
Some 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?
There 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
You 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
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:
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!.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
New Power Ups
With this new adventure comes 5 brand new power-ups. Here's the run down!
- 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.