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// article by SoyBomb

Have you ever been playing a puzzle game like Dr. Mario and thought to yourself, "Gee, this sure isn't outdated enough"? That was certainly going through the mind of at least one youthful renegade hacker going under the name of "Tempes". He believed that the mania of Dr. Mario would be improved by changing all of the graphics to represent the past, specifically the time period of the stereotypical 80s "neon" era in a remake he calls "Dr. Mario - Crystal Clear". Most things have been altered, and the backgrounds of the game are now entirely black to accommodate the new flashy colours.

It wasn't just a change to bright yellows, red, and blues that makes this hack. There have been other modifications, perhaps the most notable being to Mario himself. He certainly doesn't resemble a doctor any longer... or even Mario for that matter! With a white outline over the black background (or "blackground"), he's just a standard plump cartoonish character with a giant T on his chest. Wait... T... could this be... Tempes himself standing in for the doc? Perhaps he should have changed the logo name to Dr. Tempes while he was at it! The font has also been changed from the standard NES fare to a thinner one, although certain letters (T, U, and L, at least) are thicker than the others for reasons unknown. The viruses themselves, normally seen under a magnifying glass while you play, have been visually altered to look more like wacky flailing Tetris pieces and cubic globs. The viruses in the play area are now little orbs. Heck, I don't even know if they can be considered viruses anymore. They're just... DOTS.

But I wanted to push this game and see how far Tempes would go to make this a complete hack. I wanted to know if he had changed the ending to something a little more style-laden. Originally, if you completed Level 20 on High speed, you would get to see an image of a large tree with three coloured viruses staring up in the sky, perhaps waxing philosophical or just waiting for a mothership to take them home. So I bore down and, after much downing of hot chocolate and associated sweating fits, I completed the deadly Level 20 and was moistly anticipating something fresh... but no. The ending wasn't touched. It's exactly the same, and I nearly lost my mind finding this out (completing Level 20 on High is no relaxing feat).

Hmph. Here are a few screenshots to show off the maximum radness:

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