Let’s be honest, Mario is about as far removed from Half-Life’s silent protagonist as you can get. And yet, this didn’t stop one modder ring from bringing Mario and Gordon Freeman together in the strangest possible way.
Introducing Block Mesa, a Super Mario 64 ROM hack from Fazana. This hack was made for the Simple Flips Crossover competition over on Romhacking.com, and although I’m not sure if it won, it sure seems like it should have.
"Mario heads to work one day, expecting regular gaming shenanigans, but suddenly unusual circumstances arise from a cursed Xbox 360," reads the ROM hack’s description. "You must fight, move, and survive your way through the changed Block Mesa complex, and find a way to stop the invasion of outer world beings."
Sounds a lot like Half-Life, right? Well, there are certainly plenty of similarities. The game starts with Mario on a tram entering Block Mesa, and the scientists (or perhaps scien-Toads) all have the scrunched-up faces of a Half-Life scientist instead of the usual two dots for eyes. Barney the security guard is a Koopa Trooper, while the goombas are nowhere to be seen.
Things kind of go off the rails just as soon as you insert that enormous Halo 3 disc into that equally enormous Xbox 360. After that, Mario gets an arsenal of Half-Life weapons (including the Gluon Gun and Freeman’s iconic crowbar) and then uses them to fight off Team Fortress 2 soldiers to save Block Mesa.
As noted by Fazana, the ROM Hack requires Mupen64 or Parallel Launcher to work, and it's also console compatible if you've got a hacked N64. Fazana promises "excellent performance throughout," but maybe don't set your expectations too high–this is a ROM hack, after all. Head on over to Romhacking.com to download Block Mesa and try if for yourself.
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