Remember a while back, how a team project called the ‘URA Zelda Restoration Project’ was being worked on? How it was some strange mod of the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time that would remake the game’s beta content and that of its rumoured (cancelled) sequel and integrate it with some interesting new ideas as well? Or how said game got unceremoniously cancelled after team leader Zeth had a massive falling out with everyone else involved in its design?
Well it seems like someone out there wanted to continue, since Project Beta Triforce seems to be a follow up to the project. Consisting only of the new dungeons and mini dungeons rather than a changed storyline and characters. Project Beta Triforce (or URA Zelda 3.0 as the video labels itself) actually seems to be going quite well, with a significant amount of updates made to the game. Here’s a trailer for it:
So yeah, it’s pretty impressive as far as we can see. You’ve got significant progress on a multitude of new dungeons and mini dungeons, simple puzzles, mini boss fights and other content and unlike the last attempt… this one might actually get finished. Either way, we can’t wait for the game to be released in full, and we will definitely bring you more coverage when we can play through a full version of this hack and see what interesting things are in store.
What do you think about this interesting new mod of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time?
For those who haven’t heard of it already, Lovely Warriors of Friendship is an… interesting crossover fan game based on My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. With characters and story concepts based on everything from Doctor Who to Wario Land to Mega Man and Pokemon, it’s basically a low rent Mushroom Kingdom Fusion clone with all the ambition and about a tenth of the production values. Basically, it’s your typical over the top fan game.
But apparently, someone out there… had their hopes set a bit too high. Why?
Above: Yes, this actually happened. You can tell from the pictures alone that this is not going to pass quality control…
Because in a baffling as heck move, they actually submitted the game to Steam Greenlight. Yes, because as we all know, a mega crossover with about fifty series represented is going to last so long on a paid service when absolutely no permission was gotten from anyone involved in the IPs that make it up. Or when the whole game looks like it was made by a beginner in a basic game maker type program:
The end result was pretty much exactly as you’d expect; the game got taken down via DMCA notice about three minutes after it ended up mentioned on Reddit and other popular social sites. Maybe because someone at Hasbro (or another one of those companies) realised it wasn’t a good idea to let any old Tom, Dick or Harry profit off their work by trying to sell an unathorised fan crossover on Steam.
Either way, don’t try and sell fan games on Steam. Or anywhere else for that matter, since selling the equivalent of fan fiction is even more legally grey than releasing it for free in the first place.
What do you think about this example of utter lunacy?
Well, it seems like history is repeating itself. Because as of today, Mushroom Kingdom Fusion (Revival) is pretty much officially confirmed a dead project, for a second time.
Above: Some screenshots of Mushroom Kingdom Fusion Revival.
This is because Feguelion (main programmer and designer for the rebooted version of the game) has officially quit developing the game. Here’s his last announcement on Fusion Gameworks:
I have decided to retire from active Mushroom Kingdom Fusion: Revival development.
As you know, the community has become much less active than it used to be, and I haven’t got news from most of my contributors in a while. This means I was the only active developer in the coding and level porting departments. I am obviously aware that finishing this project is not possible for a single person in these departments. I have also recently started to lose motivation, and I wish to move onto a new original project because of this and also to have more fun working on it. While this community mostly enjoyed the project, it is not the case on the outside, as I heard some people think reviving MKF is pointless, and that SMF:R is already a good subdued version of it, though I’m aware that SMF:R is more of a recreation of the original concept.
Hopefully in the future other people may pick up this project and continue where it left off, I have released the latest source revision, as well as the source of the Megaman engine WreckingPrograms was developing. They can both be found in the MKF:R source thread.
I realize that I’ve made a mistake, that is not planning the project correctly. I should have tried to gather a team earlier to prevent such scenario from happening. However I don’t regret making this mistake, not only because I can learn from it, but also because thanks to this project I have met some nice people with whom I became close friends.
I hope you will understand my choice, and hopefully I can share my next projects here.
Will anyone continue the project? To be honest, I’m doubtful. No one at Fusion Gameworks has shown any interest in picking it up (especially not original developer JudgeSpear or the other Mario Fusion Revival developers), so it’s likely the project is going to be abandoned for (at least) a very, very long time.
RIP Mushroom Kingdom Fusion. It was bad enough when you were cancelled the first time around, but now it seems like there’s no hope left at all. Perhaps this old ‘mega crossover’ concept was just too ambitious for a hobbyist made fan game. Maybe fan games just don’t draw the development teams and resources they used to. Or perhaps it’s just fate that large scale fan works tend to remain unfinished for eternity. Either way, maybe someone here might be interested in continuing it at some point.
Or maybe this is simply it for the game in general.
If you’ve been reading the gaming news recently, you’ve probably seen all the articles about Valve’s failed ‘paid video game mods’ controversy. Put simply, they added a feature to Steam that let video game modders charge for their work, and then caused such a split in public opinion that the feature was then canned after literally less than 24 hours.
But while this tale was an interesting one to read about, I’m going to come out and say it now:
I do not like the idea of paid video game mods. And I really, really don’t see much good coming from being able to pay for fan made modifications of existing games.
Now, some may ask why I feel this way. Indeed, some may especially ask it given my involvement in the ROM hacking and fan game scenes for the Mario and Zelda franchises. Heck, if I was playing a ton of PC games, I would probably be making video game mods all the time, given my involvement in the console game equivalent scenes.
But even with all that in mind, I don’t want to see paid modifications of video games. Or for the modding scenes to go all ‘professional’ like some people seem to advocate. Why? Well, here are some reasons…
1. Charging for Mods Disincentives Sharing Resources
Firstly, have you seen how many great websites exist to share resources for game mods? You’ve not only got general ones like Nexus Mods, but also game specific ones like various ones for Doom wads and others for games as obscure as Jurassic Park Trespasser.
Above: Yes, this actually exists.
Add in the ROM hacking and fan game scene sites, and that’s a lot of great free resources you can find after just a minute or two using Google.
But do you know why they’re so common?
Because people are involved for reasons involving a passion for the subject. Because the people involved in this scene want to help people, and with no money involved, do so by making it easier for other people to make their own games.
But what happens if the scene starts going paid?
Answer? The potential loss of all these free tools and resources. After all, why give out for free what you can sell for a large amount of money? Or for that matter, why give out stuff free if people are only going to use it in paid releases and give you zero credit in the process?
The idea of paid mods disincentives people from sharing things like tools, models, textures and other resources for use within the modding scene. And given that these things existing is one of the elements that makes such scenes so successful in the first place…
2. Many Great Mods aren’t ‘Above Board’
Another reason I don’t trust the idea of paid mods, is because it could theoretically stop the release of the super successful mods that are based around referencing other works.
For example, Skyrim had a Lord of the Rings mod, one that basically changed the entire setting to Middle Earth. Think either the Tolkien estate or Warner Brothers gave permission for that?
Above: Many good examples
Or how about the old Doom wad based on Batman? That was fantastic, yet it’d never be something you could release in a ‘paid’ environment. The copyright and trademark lawyers would smash it to pieces within hours…
And the list goes on. Super Smash Bros? Has tons of custom characters, stages, songs and other things that the original owners likely never gave permission to include in the game.
And outside of those types of game mods, you get the ROM hacking world. Brutal Mario is pretty much 99% crossover content:
None of that was licensed by anyone.
So why is this a problem? Why is it an issue to have ‘crossover’ mods and content if they’re not sold?
Because if other mods are sold, various legal issues could crop up about what the developers are responsible for. If that leads people to believe they ‘encouraged’ the Lord of Rings mod for Skyrim, someone involved with the IP could go after the developer for it. And then there’s the dangerous possibility that they could force ALL mods to be released only via some ‘official’ platform, which would then kill these mods off altogether. Do we really want to lose all the great wish fulfilment crossover/total conversion game mods that are out there just so more minor stuff can sold for a couple of bucks?
Recreating Super Mario 64 in another engine is not something that’s particularly rare. Indeed, we’ve had at least three projects attempting to remake the game in either Unreal Engine or Unity since at least 2012 or so, with one of them already having been shut down.
But here’s a slightly more interesting one. Behold Super Mario 64 as recreated in the Unreal Engine. Or more precisely… as recreated with pretty much entirely stock models and textures:
As you can see, it looks pretty damn amazing regardless of how un Mario like the assets are. I mean yes, they clash like hell with Mario’s character model and don’t remotely resemble anything from a Mario game.