What do game pirates do when they’ve got too much technical knowledge and not enough products to sell? Simple: they make their own games. “But NowGamer,” we hear you cry. “If they’re making new games, then surely they might as well just become licensed developers?”
The answer, dear reader, is that they often do things that the console manufacturer would never allow. Using characters they don’t own? Check. Gruesome Alien-inspired Mario deaths? Check. Nazi robot dinosaurs? Even that, yes. Here are six example of unlicensed developers going off the deep end…
Rockman & Crystal
So here’s a company called Vast Fame, doing what it does best and ripping off Mega Man. It’s actually a relatively competent job, too – the music makes your ears bleed, sure, but it looks nice and plays okay. But the dialogue, well…
“You every move in my eye, most important is speed in fight,you speed look like static housefly to me”
“Zook~ you want pass through there must ask for my nebula iron drill~ go to die~”
“You are very endeavor, but the game is over, I can’t let you fall my work, go hell~”
Jang Pung 3
Jang Pung 2 was a straight clone of Street Fighter II for the Master System and Game Gear, but Jang Pung 3 was a whole different kettle of fish. It’s an original fighting game with a brand new set of characters, and it’s one of the few worthwhile fighters on the system, competing favourably with licensed games like Mortal Kombat and Masters Of Combat.
But it never could have been released officially, because the plot (which is thankfully stated at the beginning of the game, in English) involves a group of Neo-Nazis creating a robot dinosaur called Sell to take over the world. We’re not making that up.
How do you sell one NES cartridge for $199? Easy, chuck 52 games on it. That was the premise behind Action 52, a noble idea in theory but a lousy one in practice. See, three programmers had three months to actually develop those games, which even on the NES was no time at all. This meant plagiarised music, dodgy coding, and all sorts of reused graphics.
The “highlight” of this cartridge is The Cheetahmen, which was meant to turn into a massive franchise like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Spoiler: it didn’t.