Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mario and the Chronicle King

Hey, all you Super Mario World fans out there! Have you ever heard of SMW Central? It's a web site dedicated to hacking into the game's ROM files with many different programs and creating custom versions of the original game. Many hacks nowadays include the use of custom graphics, sprites, and music from other games, with Mario (and sometimes Luigi) starring as the playable characters. A few hacks completely change the playable characters and in even rarer cases, the ASM (assembler) is changed, meaning a part of Super Mario World's inner workings is reprogrammed.

Apparently, there are Japanese hackers out there as well, and they hack into Super Mario World with lots of knowledge on ASM. Because of this, their hacks sometimes come out better than the ones that hackers on SMW Central can create. We are blown away at these Japanese hacks, but I personally noticed that some of them make Princess Peach and Luigi enemies of Mario in many ways. This usually puts a twist into hack plots, as normally they are the two people Mario cares for the most.

I first heard about SMW Central while I was foolishly looking for a way to design custom levels for Super Mario Bros. and ended up learning about Lunar Magic, the program that hacks into Super Mario World's level and overworld design. The hack known as Super Demo World: The Legend Continues gave me a whole new look at Super Mario World, as it was designed to demonstrate how well Lunar Magic can remodify the original game. Inspired, I began my own project, which went through several versions before I finally came up with an official title - Mario and the Chronicle King. Although my original intention was to use Lunar Magic to make my own custom levels as difficult as possible, the title fits more towards my custom storyline, in which Mario goes to a distant land for a challenging workout to lose weight, but finds himself caught in an epic event that covers an ancient history never heard before and learns of a fabled figure known as the mysterious Chronicle King.

One thing to note about SMW Central is that they don't aim to distribute copyrighted material, but to honor a classic Super Nintendo video game. Therefore, I once again disclaim all material used to create my hack. The site also discusses hacking into Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.

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