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Hack of the Year
Hack of the Year

Wolfenstein 2600

Wolfenstein 2600

Wolfenstein 2600

Wolfenstein 2600
by Scott Dayton and Robert Mundschau
Original Game: Venture
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What started out as an inspirational idea, soon became one of the best hacks ever created. Robert M and neotokeo2001 have teamed up to reimagine the popular Wolfenstein franchise for the VCS. While it does not attempt to recreate the first person aspect of the original, Wolfenstein 2600 does do a wonderful job of catching the spirit of the game. The hack features all new room and map designs that really make the old Venture Dungeon feel like a Nazi Stronghold! New look enemies and treasures complete the feel almost making you forget that this used to be a game about giant snakes and treasure chests. In this game, you'll encounter classic Wolfenstein foes like attack dogs and Nazi gunmen. You'll also find classic treasures such as chalices and Med Packs (which give you an extra life no less!). As if that was not enough the game also includes an amazing title screen!

This is graphic hacking at its finest and most complete. But the hack is not limited to a simple glamor make-over. The game play of Venture has also undergone a dramatic overhaul as well. Not only do the floors look different, there are now more of them. How many? Telling you would give away the biggest surprise of all, unlike the original Venture, Wolfenstein 2600 actually ENDS! That's right, you CAN escape from Castle Wolfenstein! However, I will tell you, there is a hidden bonus level for those who are very careful. But just because you can get out, doesn't mean it will be easy!

An improved weapon system makes sure you work your way out of the castle. You'll start with a short range knife and upgrade to a gun later, but don't go on a shooting spree, your ammo is limited. Luckily refills are provided. The enemies are smart, and quick and the building layout is against you. One of the most interesting changes is the way the old "hall monsters" from "Venture" have been changed into Nazi guards who actually patrol the hallway! No more mindless meandering about, these troops actually make a routine circuit around a given area, hoping to trap you! Getting from room to room is an adventure all in itself!

There is so much new and different about Wolfenstein 2600 that it almost seems unfair to call it a hack of Venture. Its more like a new game using the old Venture Engine. And that is why it is a part of my personal collection and the Stan Awards Hack of the Year!

Honorable Mentions:
Bottomless Pitfall! Bottomless Pitfall!
by Nukey Shay
Original Game: Pitfall!
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Thought Activision's Pitfall! was perfect the first time around? Maybe so, but with this hack you may change your mind. Bottomless Pitfall! is an exceptional revamp of the Activision classic. You'll no longer be able to take the easy way out by going left from start. Logs now roll in both directions, and when you die, you fall on the side of the screen you entered from. Other amazing features include a limitless adventure, the time counter has been increased to allow 10 hours of game play if you wish, and to make this possible, there are unlimited treasures to collect as well! Harry also now has "hit points." When you hit a log, not only do you lose score, but Harry takes damage. Get rolled over too many times, it's lights out for Harry! All of that, plus the treasures and already incredible backgrounds have gotten a face-lift as well. Pitfall! has never looked so good, since it wowed us back in the day.
Haunted Adventure-Boo! Haunted Adventure-Boo!
by Anthony Wong
Original Game: Adventure
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Your business with Old Man Graves is not done. It's time to go back to the Haunted House and put things right again. Utilizing the incredible "Create Your Own Adventure" editing software (created by Atarius Maximus) to its fullest, Tony has created a much better and more fitting sequel to the Atari classic "Haunted House" (a supposed sequel was created for the 5200 a couple of years back). You'll dig deeper into the story of Old Man Graves and you'll be able to explore more than just the mansion proper, use new items, and encounter new foes. Haunted Adventure is a wonderful blend of two time honored Atari Classics, it will have you revisiting Grave's Mansion on a regular basis.
Invader X Invader X
by neotokeo2001
Original Game: Demon Attack
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Tired of rolling the score on Demon Attack every time you play? Well you'll have that problem no longer. Invader X takes your Demon Attack experience to a whole new level of difficulty. How is that possible? You only get a single point for each Demon you destroy, which means you will be playing for a while. How long can you last against the unrelenting Demon hoard? Its time to find out. Featuring all new character designs, including some incredibly slick new Demons and something called "Stealth Attack," Invader X gives you plenty of eye candy while you are blasted to bits. Already a prolific hacker, neotokeo may have finally found his masterpiece with this one.
PDP Space War PDP Space War
by Rob Mitchell and Thomas Jentzsch
Original Game: Space War
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Were you a fan of the old PDP Space War? Were you less than impressed with the "turn and shoot" Space War for the 2600? Well thanks to Thomas and Rob, your dream of having a PDP style Space War on the VCS is a reality! This total rework of Atari's Space War features smaller ships, new colors, variable shots and gravity effects, and an altered thrust dynamic. You'll think you are back in 1962 in no time!
Westworld Westworld
by neotokeo2001 and Out of Gas
Original Game: Berzerk
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It's an old fashioned "High Noon" shoot out in the techno-Old West. There have been many hacks of Berzerk in the past, but few have looked as smooth as Westworld. The Playfield has been changed to resemble locations and objects from the Old West. The Automazeons have been "duded up" and your player is now a gun slinging cowboy. The colors have been altered to look a bit more rustic as well. A very nice new look for an old stand-by.
Maze Invaders Maze Invaders
by Krytol
Original Game: Ms. Pac-Man
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It wouldn't be a Stan Award Ceremony without a Ms. Pac-man hack. While Maze Invaders is an incredibly simple hack, it's also a lot of fun and extremely well done. Imagine Ms. Pac-man, but with Space Invaders instead of ghosts, and you are not a little round mouth creature, but the shot fired from the player's cannon. Does it make a lot of sense? No. But is it fun? Yes. Run your little dash around the maze, grabbing other dashes, and the occasional fruit Invader, and then, when the time is right, grab the power pellet, turn those Invaders blue, and blast them to bits! The only thing left will be their little antennae.
Dragon Chase Dragon Chase
by neotokeo2001
Original Game: Blue Print
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The Red Dragon has smashed your Dragon blasting cannon. Not only that, but he has hidden the pieces in nearby castles. It is up to you, the amazing alchemist, to reassemble the cannon and blast the Dragon before he makes off with the princess. But beware of the Dragon's Curse, if you fall victim to you, you'll need a healer, fast! Dragon Chase is a fun adaptation of the Blue Print concept. The visual changes are great and it gives the game a more interesting story to play.
Borg Wars Pinball Borg Wars Pinball
by neotokeo2001
Original Game: Midnight Magic
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Who would have thought that of all the endless Borg Wars hacks created this past year, the best one would be a pinball skin? Well it is. The whole "Borg" craze seized the hacking community this past summer and turned out a lot of different hacks with the popular "Borg" enemy from the Star Trek franchise hacked into your favorite games. But none of them are as fun as this one. The "Borg" theme is adapted perfectly to the pinball table format and gives Midnight Magic a new, interesting look. Most of all, the hack makes sense. Pinball machines get new skins all the time, and this "Borg" skin applies nicely to the already rich game play of Midnight Magic.
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