8 July 2016

Famicom Bootleg Oddities #1: An unusual Chip'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 cart

Hello everyone!
I decided to start a little thingy on my blog, called "Famicom Bootleg Oddities", that mostly covers some really odd pirate carts that were released for Nintendo Famicom, either old carts (which would be more often) or maybe some new carts too. There might be more things that I'll attempt to cover under this topic.
For now, we'll get to one cartridge that I mentioned in April 2016 pickups, and that is...
What apparently looks to be Chip'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 bootleg from mid-90s, with C-D2 ID.
Usually under this cartridge, you wouldn't expect anything strange, there would be just a Japanese version with removed copyrights and 9 extra lives. In fact, I used to have similar cartidge to this one before.
You wouldn't expect anything strange about this cartidge, until you open it up to see the PCB, and then start this cartridge on your console.

When opening this cartridge, I saw this: 

Yeah, the cartridge was quite heavy, it had two chips and one glob in the middle. Looks suspiciously interesting. Considering that this is a later release (C-D2), there would usually be 3 glob PCB or something like that (it's not 100% true information, but that's what I've seen from most bootleg cartridges with A-B1, that were sold in Russia back in mid-90s).

Upon starting up this cartridge, we get to see this:
The changed Capcom logo
There should also be a copyright image, but I forgot to take a picture of it. It basically says something like 1994 by Mali and Lugi

As we get to the title screen, we see this:
Oh my...! This is actually another hack with Mario in it! And it's called "Mali Lugi Super Mari Mari 2", according to the title screen...
Wow... I am speechless about it.
And fun fact is that the regular opening theme is playing here!
I am even afraid to imagine what a 6-year old kid, for example, back then would think when he got this cartridge with a really odd hack like this.

And the hacking job, as you would probably expect, is really lazy.
In fact, it's on par Super Mario 14, where only very few sprites were changed to the ones from Mario game, and they called it a day.

Here's how the beginning demo looks like, before you start playing an actual level:
I am guessing that pirates didn't even bother changing any text, so they left it exactly the same, as it was in original version.
Anyone, who knows Japanese, will understand it, and probably find out, that this was unhacked at all.

Upon starting the game, we see this:
We see that we already have 5 hits at the start. To my knowledge, we had only 3 in original game. That's already nice, so we don't have to get too many RR icons and then receive a few big RR icons, just so you can get a few extra hits. Upon pausing the game to see how many lifes there are, you see this thingy:
There are 19 lifes, so we get a few more extra lives, than even in pirated version.
But here's one funny thing:
If you get extra life, you won't receive it in-game, but if you lose extra life, the number of lifes will decrease.
Apparently, 9 extra lifes is the maximum amount of lifes that you can get in the game, apparently...
Sadly, the only enemy that was replaced here, is the one at the beginning: it was changed to Yoshi.
And... that's all!
I played through the first stage, and found out that there is nothing else changed, besides main character and only one enemy.
As I said earlier, I tried to get a few extra lifes in the bonus game, and lost an extra life before, but I didn't get any new lifes counted.
Unfortunately, nothing else was added in next stages... :/
So, here you have this weird-ass and somewhat rare Mario hack on Famicom.

I am not sure if this hack was dumped in any way or not. If not, then maybe, my cartridge will be sent for ROM dump, but don't expect it to happen too soon.
Thanks for checking this post out. If you are interested, then maybe later, there will be more posts "Famicom Bootleg Oddities" here on my blog. Look forward to those! ;)

UPD (04.02.2017): I've made the playthrough of this hack quite recently, and so you can check it out more in-depth, and see all the changes for yourself via video. :D

Also, as it turns out, this is how the original label for Mali Lugi Super Mari 2 looked like!
However, it's still a mystery to me, how this hack got on my cartridge... Considering that on 98%-99% copies with C-D2 label, there would be the regular unhacked version of Chip'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2.
(C) AlexSRMD Productions (2016)

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