Quest for the Missing Hataka Nightcrawler's first ROM Hack from 1996!
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This page offers a tiny slice of history and trivia for those interested in Nightcrawler's roots in the ROM hacking world. 'Quest for the Missing Hat' certainly looks like something that fell off the newbie truck by todays' standards, however back in 1996, it was a well rounded hack. It was in that year that Nightcrawler first got his start in the ROM hacking world. The concept of being able to play old classics via emulation on the PC was a novel concept, but soon after, Nightcrawler learned of a concept even more incredible that would end up spawning a hobby lasting over 10 years! That concept was ROM hacking.
Nightcrawler was fascinated that it was now possible to modify a classic game like Super Mario Brothers and turn it into his own creation! Nightcrawler searched the net far and wide to find information and hacks other people had done. ROM hacking was pretty new at this time, information was scarce, and tools were even scarcer. Armed with a hex editor and pencil and paper, Nightcrawler went to work.
While there were other Mario Hacks in existance at the time, the Mario hack boom of the mid 90's was just starting to take off. Very few had changed the text or done extensive editing of the graphics. Nightcrawler used a paper and pencil to map out a text table to assist in hex editing the text. It was the text editing experience that later led to Nightcrawler's involvement in the Translation Community one year later.
'Quest for the Missing Hat' included redone graphics for enemies,graphics, power-ups and more. Mario is even in a short sleeve shirt and shorts! There was also new ending text. It was a solid hack for it's time, and may not have aged well. However, 'Quest for the Missing Hat' deserves a place in history as the the ultimate roots for Nightcrawler, Translation Corporation, and the web that was spun from there.