Finding and exploiting hidden features of Animal Crossing’s NES emulator

>While looking for ways to activate the developer menus left over in Animal Crossing, including the NES emulator game selection menu, I found an interesting feature that exists in the original game that was always active, but never used by Nintendo. In addition to the NES/Famicom games that can be obtained in-game, it was possible to load new NES games from the memory card. I was also able to find a way to exploit this ROM loader to patch custom code and data into the game, allowing for code execution via the memory card.

[Incredibly detailed and well-written article](, goes super deep into reverse-engineering the technology.


Unreleased Sim City NES prototype shown on the Internet

[I’ve never wanted any single object more than this one?][link] If there is any decency left in the world this will get dumped and I will get to play it.

I can barely make words about this.

[link]: “Unreleased Sim City NES prototype shown on the Internet”


New 3D Printable Object: NES Cart Covers


I designed [this simple NES cart cover][link] to use as little material as possible, but still be robust enough to print even on janky printers. Hopefully this will help keep your NES carts safe and sound for future generations. It’s available [on thingiverse][thing] for the low price of FREE.

[link]: “NES Cart Cover”
[thing]: “Nintendo Entertainment System Cart Cover (Tender NES)”


DuckTales Remastered announced by Capcom

>[DuckTales Remastered is in development at WayForward Technologies, Capcom announced today during its “World of Capcom” panel at PAX East 2013.][link]
>It will launch this summer for $14.99 on PlayStation Network, 1200 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live Arcade and $15 on the Wii U eShop.

DuckTales is a beloved NES game from an era when almost every licensed title was completely awful. Don’t fuck this up, Capcom.

[link]: “DuckTales Remastered announced by Capcom, launching this summer on XBLA, PSN, Wii U eShop forĀ $15 | Polygon”



[An NES gamepad library for Arduino.][link]

>One use of this is to allow your Arduino access to the status of 8 buttons (up, down, left, right, A, B, START, SELECT) using only 3 digital pins (for STROBE/LATCH, CLOCK, DATA).

3 pins is a tall order on my Arduino Uno, but for the new Due it’s a drop in the bucket. It supposedly works with the [Freedom Stick][freedom], too. Wireless Arduino NES Remote here I come.

[link]: “nespad – NESpad Nintendo game pad library for Arduino – Google Project Hosting”
[freedom]: “Freedom Stick by Camerica”


Metroid Source Code Expanded

[Nine text files in which you will find the complete source code for the original Metroid game for the NES][link]. I assume this is the code for the American NES cart version, and not the slightly superior Japanese FDS version.

[link]: “ – Documents – Metroid Source Code Expanded”


Lost Levels: The Legend of Zelda prototype

[A prototype for one of the most important video games in history][link], with [a meticulous look at the changes][two] between this prototype and the final release.

[link]: “Lost Levels :: View topic – The Legend of Zelda prototype”
[two]: “Legend of Zelda Prototype on The Cutting Room Floor”


Megaman II’s Intro Animation In HTML

Created by yours truly. No Flash, just CSS, HTML5, and jQuery. The animation is very not smooth in Firefox, but works great in Safari and Chrome.

[You can check it out here.][link]

[link]: “Megaman II Intro”

Using the scrollbar to bring the view upward was a stylistic choice, it could’ve just as (if not more) easily done in a single “screen”, but what’s the fun in that? The demo uses the jQuery [backgroundPosition-Effect][plugin] plugin to achieve the parallax scrolling effect, and the new Javascript audio capabilities introduced by the HTML5 group. The timing may not work very well on older machines.

[plugin]: “jQuery Plugins: backgroundPosition-Effect”


Detailed Longplay Annotation of Gimmick! For The NES

[Great use of YouTube’s annotations system][link] for a skillfully-crafted NES game. Could this be the start of a new longplay genre? See also: [Gimmick!][gim] on Wikipedia.

The ROM is available on the web using a simple Google search. I’ll leave you to that.

[gim]:! “Gimmick!”
[link]: “YouTube – Mr. Gimmick – Annotated NES Longplay (Pt. 1/4)”


The Worst Super Mario Player Ever

[An experiment in beating the original Super Mario Bros. for the NES while getting the lowest possible score][link]. This guy managed to do it while only getting 700 points. Just getting one power-up mushroom gives the player 1,000 points, so this is no mean feat.

[link]: “YouTube – Worst Super Mario Player Ever”


LostLevels Dumps Superman Prototype for NES

[Which means you can download it][link]. This Superman is a prototype which was [eventually renamed Sunman][sunman], with the logo changed. [Sunman was never released, but it is fully playable][sunplay]. It is not at all the same [Superman game released by KEMCO for the NES][nes]. Gameplay is very similar to another Sunsoft superhero game [Batman: Return of the Joker][bats].

[link]: “Lost Levels :: View topic – 24 new dumps, including 2 unreleased games”
[nes]: “Superman for the NES”
[sunman]: “Sunman”
[sunplay]: “Sunman on LostLevels”
[bats]: “Batman: Return of the Joker”


Mike Tyson’s Intergalactic Power Punch ROM Released

[The unreleased sequel to Punch Out!!][link], now available for download or purchase in the form of [a reproduction cart][cart].

[link]: “GameSetWatch – Mike Tyson’s Intergalactic Power Punch ROM Released”
[cart]: “Mike Tyson’s Intergalactic Power Punch”


This Isn’t Pop: When Video Game Music Inspired By Popular Music Is A Little Too Inspired

*This is a post carried-over from the blog archives on, my previous site.*

Video games have a long and storied history of borrowing heavily from popular music. This post will be updated with samples as I get them suggested to me, which you can do using the information above this post. In each case I have used less than 20 seconds of the songs in question, which I believe to be covered under fair use. If you want to hear the whole song, buy it. I will not provide you with any of them, so don’t ask.

### Mega Man X2’s Neon Tiger Stage Music .vs. Guns n’ Roses’ “My Michelle”

[Here is the audio file for comparison][gnrfile]. First you will hear a snippet from Neon Tiger’s theme, then a small pause, then a snippet from My Michelle. You can, of course, purchase the Guns n’ Roses album [Appetite for Destruction][appe] from This, and the following two suggestions, come from [this blog post][post1].

[post1]: “Megaman and 80s music”
[gnrfile]: “GNR .vs. Mega Man”
[appe]: “Appetite for Destruction on amazon mp3”

### Mega Man 1’s ElecMan Theme .vs. Journey’s “Faithfully”

[Here is the audio file for comparison][jour]. Again, you will hear ElecMan’s music first, then a pause, then Journey. You can (and I encourage you to) purchase [Journey’s Greatest Hits album][jouralbum] from Amazon.

[jour]: “ElecMan .vs. Faithfully”
[jouralbum]: “Journey’s Greatest Hits on Amazon mp3”

### Mega Man 2’s Flash Man Theme .vs. Chicago’s “I’m A Man”

[Here is the audio file for comparison.][chicago] You can purchase [Chicago’s Greatest Hits][chihits] on Amazon. It’s a good investment.

[chicago]: “Flash Man .vs. Chicago”
[chihits]: “Chicago’s Greatest Hits on Amazon mp3”

### Robo’s Theme (Chrono Trigger) .vs. Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”

[Here is the audio file for comparison][roboast]. Yes, it was only a matter of time before this descended into a Rick Roll. This one is a bit more tenuous, but it’s definitely noticeable. I would say it’s more of a case of borrowing than the previous tracks, which are a bit more blatant. I heartily suggest you [purchase Chrono Trigger][ct] if you have never played it. It’s my favorite RPG of all time. The composer of the piece, Yasunori Mitsuda, also did [the soundtrack for Chrono Cross][ccost], which is one of the most lush and beautiful game sound tracks ever.

[roboast]: “Robo’s Theme .vs. Rick Astley”
[ct]: “Chrono Trigger of Nintendo DS on”
[ccost]: “Chrono Cross soundtrack”

### Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES) Stage 5 Overworld .vs. The Beatles’ “Come Together”

[Here is the audio file for comparison][tmntbeat]. This is another fairly blatant one, though it’s got some nice touches, and is part of one of the great Konami NES soundtracks.

[tmntbeat]: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles .vs. The Beatles”

### DOOM (1 & 2) .vs. Various Metal Bands

[Here’s a youtube video][doom] comparing various songs from the smash-hit first person shooter DOOM to various songs from the likes of Metallica, Pantera, et. al.

[doom]: “DOOM .vs. Metal”

### Wild ARMs Overworld Theme .vs. Ennio Morricone’s “The Ecstasy of Gold”

[Here is the audio file for comparison][wildarms]. This one is maybe the most blatant thus far, especially considering the desert context. Morricone wrote the scores for many great westerns, most famously [The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly][gbu].

[wildarms]: “Wild ARMs .vs. Ennio Morricone”
[gbu]: “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly”

### California Games (NES) Title Theme .vs. Louie, Louie

[Here is the audio file for comparison][louie]. I have a feeling that the basic structure of Louie, Louie is subject of a lot of game homage. [Louie, Louie is a most infamous song][louiewik], with the version done by The Kingsmen making them the subject of an FBI investigation.

[louie]: “California Games .vs. Louie, Louie”
[louiewik]: “Louie, Louie on Wikipedia”