<metadesc>Beginner's Guide to Kaizo Romhacks</metadesc> Readers who are interested in playing kaizo Super Mario World romhacks should read this in order to understand what is necessary in order to legally acquire, patch, and play them.
Before playing hacks, it is important to understand the mindset and mentality necessary to play kaizo hacks. For the vast majority of players, kaizo hacks represent the highest difficulty level of platforming they will ever play. Additionally, many people are introduced to hacks by speedrunners and playthroughs on YouTube and Twitch, which masks the intense practice and repetition needed to create that content.
Everyone that plays kaizo, including you, will fail, and fail repeatedly. The games are designed to be brutally difficult, with multiple obstacles and setups that are intended to punish assumptions and deliberately mislead the player. The gratification of beating, and then mastering, a kaizo hack only comes from the effort and practice necessary to do so.
Vanilla Super Mario World
Regardless of hack, all kaizo SMW hacks build on the foundation of physics and design of the original (vanilla) Super Mario World game. A strong familiarity of the mechanics and interactions between and in vanilla SMW is highly recommended before attempting to play kaizo romhacks, regardless of hack difficulty, in order to better understand the movement the game is asking you to perform.
While simply playing the original game will build familiarity and experience, GlitchCat7 recommends the following drills when playing vanilla Super Mario World in order to build kaizo-specific skills:
- Double-tap all jumps. Attempt all yumps.
- Train by landing only on the corners of everything.
- Always be carrying an object with you.
- Never let go of the run button for general movement.
- If you can bounce off an enemy, do it - the floor is lava, stay off as best you can.
- Jump a lot of gaps with spin jumps even if you don't have to.
- Snipe enemies with fire and spin-kill them with capes.
- If you ever fly, do spin flight, turnarounds, try to hit enemies while maintaining flight, try to dodge things while flying, do dive bombs under or around obstacles, do cape-cancels, etc. (courtesy of Seathorne)
Downloading and Patching Hacks
In order to play any romhack, you must legally own a cartridge of Super Mario World and create a backup file of the ROM of that cartridge. It is illegal to host or distribute ROMs of games online, and it is illegal to download the ROM of a game you do not legally own. The only legal way to acquire a ROM of Super Mario World is to purchase it, and create a backup file yourself.
Romhacks of Super Mario World are saved, shared, and downloaded as patch files - .bps is the most common. To apply a patch, download Floating IPS, then run the program. Direct the program to your legal copy of Super Mario World, then specify the patch you wish to apply to your ROM and save the new ROM.
Playing on Emulator
In order to play romhacks on a computer, you need to download an emulator that can play Super Nintendo ROMs. With some exceptions, any reputable emulator will be able to play romhacks.
Options for emulator include: - RetroArch (Windows / mac OS / Linux / xBox / PS / iOS / Android) - Snex9X (PC) - bsnes (PC) - BizHawk (Windows / Unix)
Hacks can be played via keyboard or using the controller of your choice.
Playing on Console
In order to play romhacks on original Super Nintendo hardware, you must acquire either a custom-made cartridge containing the romhack (rare) or a flash cartridge that will allow you to play files off of an SD card. A flash cartridge will allow you to easily load multiple hacks onto a single cartridge. Note that many modern TVs and monitors do not accommodate the A/V output of original hardware, and additional hardware may be required to connect original hardware to modern screens.
The most common SNES flash cart is the FXPAK Pro, built by krikkz and sold by krikkz and through other online vendors.
An alternative to original hardware is Analogue’s Super NT, which emulates the original hardware and can be directly connected via HDMI to modern screens. Custom firmware will allow users to play files directly off of an SD card, but at this time there is not guaranteed support for all romhacks through this method. The most direct way to play romhacks on a modern screen with guaranteed support is through a combination of a Super NT and a flash cartridge.
In addition to the individual pages here, these hacks are built to be played as tutorials for an introduction to various concepts, skills and idioms within the kaizo romhacking environment.
Below are suggestions for hacks that are more accessible than others for players new to kaizo. Please note that, while these are considered easier than other hacks, they are still kaizo and should not be taken lightly.