Archive for June, 2006

Hacksterpiece Theatre: The Lost Hacks of DahrkDaiz, Part 1 (Mario Seasons)

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

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

Hello, friends. Welcome to my new regular column on VC&G, Hacksterpiece Theatre, where I hope to profile for you the best, worst, and most interesting retro game hacks in existence.

Mario SeasonsBack in March on Vintage Computing and Gaming, I profiled what I called “The Best NES Game Hack of All Time,” Mario Adventure. Shortly after the hack exploded across the Net, I tracked down the author of that masterful piece of SMB3 modification and conducted an interview with him. He goes by the name “DahrkDaiz” in the online retro hacking community, and it is my belief that he is likely the most talented NES game hacker out there today. After many conversations with him about hacking, he agreed to send me some of his earlier NES game hacks that have been relatively “lost” as of late. And by lost, I mean that they were once available for download on his site, but have not been for quite some time. In this inaugural column of HT, and the first in a series of “Lost Hacks of DahrkDaiz,” I’ll be profiling one of his earliest hacks, Mario Seasons.

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Retro Scan of the Week: Bill Cosby and the TI-99/4A

Monday, June 5th, 2006
Bill Cosby TI-99/4A Ad

Upon looking at this ad, I find myself wondering if Bill Cosby ever actually used a TI-99/4A. No, wait…has he ever owned one? Was it a gift from Texas Instruments for being their spokesman? Does he still have one sitting in his closet/attic/basement somewhere, or did he yard sale it in ’89? Did he ever turn it on? Did Bill Cosby ever write a BASIC program? Did he ever balance his budget with Household Budget Management? Did he play Munch Man or Alpiner? Did he curse the TI-99/4A joysticks for being terrible and throw them against the wall when he lost?

If you prick Bill Cosby, does he not bleed JELLO?

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Think Commodore: A New Commodore Site for Mac Users

Monday, June 5th, 2006

Think Commodore WebsiteSøren Ladegaard recently sent me news of his new Commodore-related website. Sure, there are plenty of Commodore-dedicated sites out there, but this one has a twist — it’s geared exclusively towards Apple Macintosh users. He writes:

I have created a website called Think Commodore. It’s about everything Commodore 64 & Amiga such as emulation, games, demos, music etc. from a Macintosh perspective. While there are tons of sites about Commodore emulation for Windows users you’ll be surprised of the amount of sites along the lines of “last update 2002, Mac OS 8.5 required etc.” That’s why I decided to do a Commodore emulation site that’s 100% up-to-date.

I’ve created a real nice and active forum too. I was fed up with posting “Any Mac users out there?” on all the popular Commodore forums. Here’s your chance to join a Commodore forum where every user is a Mac user.

After poking around the site myself, I find it quite nicely designed and very informative. If you’re a Mac user and you love Commodore computers, be sure to check it out (

Lessons from the Master: The Zen of Enduro Racer

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

Enduro RacerMy absolute favorite Sega Master System game is Enduro Racer. It’s based on a Sega arcade title of the same name, but the play style is completely different. Instead of the “behind the rider” view of the arcade, you get a 2/3 overhead view of the action. The coolest thing about the SMS version Enduro Racer are the bike upgrades — there’s something really satisfying about souping up your motorcycle with an improved “suspension” and watching it soar over the strategically placed ramps on the course. And who can forget “engine,” which makes your bike run so fast that it can be hard for your brain and fingers to keep up (Note: if you get that upgrade you should avoid the ramps). Sega Control StickI always play the game with the Sega Control Stick, which I feel makes quick maneuvering around obstacles easier. It also somehow adds to the motorcycle feel of the game. That’s about the only time my Sega Control Stick ever gets used.

The biggest bummer regarding Enduro Racer is the fact that there are only five tracks. In the course of the game, you play the tracks twice: once with only one opponent (a car or another motorcycle), and again with two opponents at a time. But when it’s all over, there’s quite a surprise treat at the end. Think of it as a little philosophy, Enduro Racer-style. Let’s take a look at what happens when the credits roll.

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