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// article by Jeff

What madness is this? First Mega Man creeps up on all the unsuspecting brawlers in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, and now he's rampaging through the Mushroom Kingdom like John McClane on a Sunday bender! What's next? Is he going to start blasting holes in Olive Gardens in the Tri-State area to save the consumer from stale breadstick attacks? Hmmm... now that I mention it...

Mega Man in the Mushroom Kingdom is a hack of the original Mega Man for the NES by "AlexAR", who has also taken on Super Mario Bros. and the first Metroid game in his quest for ultimate hackage. Dr. Wily, annoyed by his consistently high failure rate, has opted to collaborate with Bowser, the legendary arch-nemesis of the Mario Bros., to try and overtake the Mushroom Kingdom instead. Mega Man, upon hearing of such injustice, goes to the Mushroom Kingdom to stop this newly-constructed duo from enacting their plans of domination. And he's probably freaked out because these lands look nothing like his hometown of...

...Monsteropolis. I forgot about that.

Built directly off of Mega Man for the NES, this hack makes many significant changes. Obviously, the graphics have been altered to look more like many of Mario's familiar terrains, including the deserts from Super Mario Bros. 2, the pipe mazes of Super Mario Bros. 3, and even some of the more coastal overworld areas from Super Mario World. The stages have been completely redesigned, making this more than just a mere new overlay. Even the enemies, with the exception of the bosses, now reflect the natural fauna of the Mushroom Kingdom.

Perhaps the most noticeable change that isn't directly in your face is that the game's difficulty has been balanced tremendously. It's no secret that Mega Man was a tough kick in the pants, so it's a breath of fresh air that the bosses have had their power reduced, Mega Man's jumping skills have increased, and the stages are no longer the slog they once were. (Say goodbye to those riding flip platforms from Guts Man's stage: they are G-O-N-E.)

The hack isn't perfect, mind you. I encountered a few glitches along the way, the majority of which are more chuckle-worthy than anything else. For example, in the former Iceman's stage (now "Classic"), you can easily get stuck in mid-air, flailing like mad for no reason. The boss doors tend to glitch out every single time. And during the historic fight against the Yellow Devil, somehow I made the screen turn entirely blue with all objects having only a white outline, as though I was playing the game on an old calculator! Not all glitches are negative or goofy: if you see a 1-Up sitting around, grab it, move off-screen, then come back and it will respawn, giving you essentially an infinite life supply!

Glitches aside, I highly recommend giving this hack a try. Mega Man was in dire need of a re-balance, and Mega Man in the Mushroom Kingdom has not only done that but also provided a very eye-pleasing experience in new territory.


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