For the last day or so, ROM Hacking.net has been available online. A main hub for the modding community with thousands of hacks of classic games available to download, the site is basically seen as the centre of the whole community. It’s a site no one expected to go down, and people haven’t taken it well as a result.
As a result, people are now looking on social media sites for answers. Where it seems there are two pages talking about the site’s closure. These pages (like the one on Twitter) imply that Nintendo was behind the whole thing. That thanks to the site hosting mods of classic Nintendo games, the company was threatening to sue the site and its creator pulled it down as a result.
It’s a typical yet scary message. The kind we saw with AM2R and Pokemon Uranium, as well as various other projects since.
But here’s the thing.
It’s also completely false. Why?
Because ROM Hacking.net does not use social networking sites at the moment. There are no links to them on its site, the admin has said he has no interest in the services and the only off site ‘discussion’ portals mentioned are via IRC and Discord.
In other words? The social media pages for ROM Hacking.net are fakes. They’re hoaxes by trolls to trick the unwary, as mentioned in the official IRC chat.
Instead, the actual reasons for the site’s downtime are likely a lot more standard. Like say, the site’s admin being snowed in. Or him having forgotten to pay the hosting bills this month. In other words, typical admin related errors on websites.
The fake ‘legal threats’ posts on the other hand are (apparently) by trolls from another popular ROM hacking website. One that’s on bad terms with the ROM Hacking.net community and wants to make the situation look as hopeless as possible. It’s like the whole Jason Allen thing we had going on a while back. Except you know, with the affected fan game host being a fake rather than the ‘lawyer’.
So yeah, don’t believe these pages. They’re not affiliated with the site, and have no insight into why it’s currently unavailable. Instead, check out the site’s Discord here and IRC chat room here. That’s where you’ll find real updates about the site’s situation.
Just a quick warning message, to avoid fake news getting spread any further.
It’s been on the cards for a while, and we’ve hinted about it in the past already. But now, it’s finally happened. Gaming Reinvented and Gaming Latest have now merged.
So what does this mean for you as a user?
Well, a few things really. Firstly, the forums will now entirely reside on the Gaming Latest domain rather than the Gaming Reinvented one. They’ll still have the same content and many of the same staff (like myself), but the domain and hosting will be under Demon Skeith’s control instead of mine.
And there’s a good reason I’ve done that. Namely, I don’t have the time and energy to keep running a large gaming forum.
I mean sure, I can run a smaller one. Something like Wario Forums where the amount of daily effort needed for generating content and keeping out troublemakers is greatly reduced. That’s well within my capabilities at the moment.
But for a big, nearly big board level community with hundreds of thousands of posts and many thousands of members, that’s just a bit too much for me at the moment. I’ve got a startup to get going, events to attend, news to post on this site and marketing to do on social media. Adding ‘large community management’ to the list is just too much stress.
So I’ve decided that we can now focus on what we do best instead. I can worry how to run a great news site, whereas Demon Skeith can worry about the general forum management aspect. It’s a simple deal really.
As well as one that will help the site immensely. Why?
Because now Gaming Reinvented is the official news site for Gaming Latest too. It’s where members are encouraged to submit gaming content in the form of articles, it’s going to have various articles posted to the forums via RSS, etc. This will bring more attention to our platform, and allow for fun contests like this one.
Where you’re rewarded with eShop/Steam/Xbox Live credits for writing the best articles for the site.
So yeah, the merge is now active. However, that’s not the only thing that is here.
Oh no, we’ve also been working on improving another feature. What is it?
The comments system.
Yeah, as you can tell, we’re now running a new comments system with far better features than before. This system (called wpDiscuz) basically acts like a self hosted version of Disqus.
Except you know, without the annoying forced ads. Or recommended articles shoved at the end.
And it has tons of cool features. For example, you can now upvote and downvote comments like on Reddit:
Subscribe to comments on a per article basis, with replies sent through email.
As well as other additions we’ll be adding on soon. Like the ability to use @ tags like on Twitter, or the ability to post videos and other media directly in the comments section. It’s much more stylish and useful than the bland old WordPress default, and will hopefully make commenting less of a chore in general.
So enjoy the site everyone! It’s now aligned with a new gaming community, has a new comments system and will have numerous other neat features in future as well.
So, do you like Conker’s Bad Fur Day? Ever wish you could play a sequel in the same style complete with video game parodies and concepts?
Well, don’t rely on Microsoft for that one. They’ve basically forgotten about Conker by this point, having gave him a half done port of the original and a hololens test called Young Conker as the only new games in the series.
But there’s still hope. Why? Because as of today, a very interesting hack of The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past has released on ROM Hacking.net. Titled Conker’s High Rule Tail, the game turns Link’s quest into a Conker game complete with a ton of video game references and amusing dialogue. Making it a sort of cross between Fur Day and Pocket Tales in the process.
Here’s a trailer showing the game in action:
As well as the page on ROM Hacking.net where you can download the game:
It’s a pretty interesting project, as you can see in the links above. For example, the game’s assortment of parodies now includes Super Mario Bros, Resident Evil and Star Wars among many others, along with new items and abilities you might not expect to see in such a game.
There’s also a fancy MSU-1 soundtrack too. This lets the game run MP3 quality music on a SNES, with the songs in question often being taken from the games and sources it parodies. Like Super Mario 64 and the Pokemon series.
So yeah, it’s an intriguing idea for a fan game. However, there’s still something a tad off about this one.
And I think that might be just how ‘obvious’ the parodies are here. Yeah I know, parodies nowadays seem to be a whole lot less subtle than they were in the 90s. Heck, those ‘parody’ films by Seltzer and Friedberg are literally just a bunch of references without any real humour at all!
But Conker’s Bad Fur Day wasn’t really like this. It had parodies, sure. The Matrix, Saving Private Ryan and A Clockwork Orange were made fun of in different sections of the game. That’s fair enough.
However, they were done in the game’s own style. It wasn’t a direct parody of Saving Private Ryan or Apocalypse now, it was Conker and the squirrels in a war against the Tediz. It wasn’t literally Conker in the Matrix vs Agent Smith, it was Conker and Berri raiding the Federal Reserve in the style of The Matrix. With the sole exception of the final boss (who looked exactly like a Xenomorph from Alien), it’s very rare that the game never puts its own twist on the setup or joke.
This game on the other hand… it feels like Conker going on a crossover spree complete with the exact same characters, enemies and concepts as the games he’s parodying. Not all of it mind you (the hub worlds do put their own spin on a lot of things). Just enough of it that it feels more like Mushroom Kingdom Fusion than Conker at some points.
Still, it’s not a bad game. No, it’s an amazing game, and one of the best mods of A Link to the Past ever released on the internet. So if you want a great new 2D Zelda experience on the SNES, or you want a new Conker’s Pocket Tales/Fur Day hybrid, this is ideal for you. Heck, it’s a million miles better than Young Conker that’s for sure!
So go and check it out. It’s an interesting game and mod that pushes the SNES Zelda title to its limits, and a good follow up for fans of the Conker series.
Conker’s High Rule Tail Released (ROM Hacking.net)
As anyone who’s visited this site a fair bit now knows, Nintendo has not been too good to fan game developers. They’ve shut down AM2R and Pokemon Uranium, causing massive amounts of controversy online. ROM hacks and ROM hack videos have been occasionally targeted and taken down, like Pokemon Prism. Basically, if something uses Nintendo’s IPs, the chances of it being taken down are significantly higher than they were in the past.
Fortunately though, Mother 4 was not an example here. Nintendo has never targeted it with a DMCA notice. They’ve never asked the team to stop development. And heck, despite tons of media coverage and hype across the internet, no one at Nintendo seems to be bothered in the slightest by the game.
But the developers are still wary about the possibility of a takedown. So guess what?
They’ve decided to rebrand the game entirely. Now, Mother 4 is no longer an Earthbound fan game following on from Mother 3, but a brand new title entirely. Basically, it’s now the Yooka-Laylee to Mother 3’s Banjo-Kazooie. A very similar game with similar ideas but enough originality to not be an outright clone.
Here’s the post about it from the Mother 4 subreddit:
So, this project started a long time ago and leadership has changed hands a number of times. has been worked on by different groups. Over time it has grown/changed from a Mother 3 imitation to something more original. It changed multiple times, and today we’re announcing one more big change.
Yes, we are rebranding…
No! We haven’t [been hit by a DMCA notice]. This change is one part preventative measure, following several large fan project takedowns, and two parts acknowledging what we’ve actually been making – and what we’ve been making is a celebration of the games that meant a lot to us growing up, something familiar but also different. The game has grown up with us. We want to share that…
Most things will stay the same! This is still the story of Travis and his friends fighting the mysterious Modern Men. Leo still lights his smokes with paranormal fire. However, if something is associated with the official Mother games, it won’t be in this one. Mr. Saturn? Bon voyage, amigo. The title will also be changing.
As you can tell, it’s not actually as much of a change as you’d think. Yeah you’re gonna lose a few familiar faces. Like the Mr. Saturn characters from the series (or other elements taken wholesale from past games). But for the most part, the rebranded Mother 4 is basically the same as the original one. Just with a safer name and enough originality that Nintendo won’t demand the project gets taken off the internet.
It’s a smart move, and one that allows the project to have a happy future without fear of take downs. Can’t really hate that.
But still, what do you think of the matter? Are you happy that Mother 4 is now an original game instead of a Mother fan game? Or do you wish they’d stuck to making a simple sequel to the series you know and love?
Post your thoughts here or on social media today!
Today’s Announcement (Mother 4 subreddit)
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