Change Games with ROM Hacks

Is your favorite game growing a little tedious? Mod it!

After many hours, days, months, and years of playing your favorite classic video game, you may become a little bored. The sequel just wasn’t as good, and you’ve played all the levels over and over. Don’t give up. With the help of PC-based tools and a little creativity, you may be able to make entire new gaming vistas by hacking existing classic games.

These tools take the original game and modify it to produce a patch file you can apply to the existing ROM for a whole new play experience ( [Hack #71] ). Some hackers have even added functionality to the game levels while changing content.


Please note that the normal caveat to ROMs and emulators applies ( [Hack #1] ). You may feel morally justified in buying a game and adapting a version of its ROM on your PC, but many console manufacturers feel that this violates their copyright and licensing terms. Double that caveat for applying ROM hacks.

The Best Individual ROM Hacks Ever

Even in the shady underworld of the ROM hacker, there’s a lot of innovation and high-quality work that improves already excellent games. Sometimes this is only tweaking, but often these hacks completely change the gameplay experience, creating effectively new games. Here are some of my favorite ROM hacks:

To show off the functionality of the great Super Mario World editor Lunar Magic, the creators have ...

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