I feel as though maybe this is old news, and in many respects it is, but BLACK BASTARD (what a goddamn name!) now has two games, Hack9 and Hacker9 listed for download from itch.io I think. That’s what I’m gonna link right here, and I might even bother to confirm that I’m linking the English versions:
Also, for those who find the game frustratingly difficult I have created a hacked save file (As of 20200812 and probably prior to that this link is broken. I’ll work on getting that fixed. Very sorry.) (get it here [Thanks to OldCoder for the hosting]). It provides more in-game money than one could ever possibly need and starts you off having already purchased and used all of the HP and MP Booster items being sold by the vendor inside of the Battleship you start off in.
I’ll try to add some pictures here at some point, because this game is certainly easy on the eyes. Later I’ll link a few salient YouTube videos in English and Japanese. Edit: I never did this. So lame.
You may or may not recall Hack9 from roughly 10 years back. The readme.txt files I linked list the original release dates! Hacker9 is more recent. I get the sense that Hacker9 may have been released simultaneously in Japanese in English last year (2017).
Thanks to @creep, I know that this game first came to my awareness from this IndieGames Blog post from back in August 2008. To this day, this is still about the only discussion of this game that I’ve been able to find, and it looks as though a few of the commenting users may have some viable walkthrough fodder/strategies to impart, granted it’s interspersed with just the sort of woeful ignorance one would expect of the comment section of a video games blog.
I used to think it a bit strange that these games were represented as Cave Story mods, but looking at the readme.txt for Hack9, it appears that may be spot-on, as it clearly mentions Daisuke Amaya and Cave Story. The Hack9 readme.txt also mentions bullet physics and box2D, but it’s not entirely clear how much of a part the bullet physics play in any aspect of the games.
The use of Box2D is pretty obvious from the way items in the world go rotating and flipping all over the place when touched. It’s interesting to note from older videos of Hack9 on NicoNico that the game did not always use Box2D. At some point it is apparent that wahiko94 (aka BLACK BASTARD) must have back ported the Hacker9 engine to be the base engine for Hack9.
The translations appear to be relatively fresh. I think the Hack9 English translation is copyrighted for 2018 and Hacker9 with a copyright date of 2017 (copyright is, naturally, assigned to, “BRACK BASTARD” thereby perpetuating stereotypes persisting from the apparent inability of the Japanese language to differentiate ‘R’ and ‘L’ sounds). So, these seem to be fresh. I sure wasn’t able to find much of anything by searching these forums anyway.
Those details aside, the games are rather Metroidvania-esque. More specifically they feel a whole Hell of a lot like a blisteringly difficult variation on Cave Story. I have yet to compare the cave tile sets to see whether or not the author borrowed any actual art from CS. That said, the way the protagonist of the two Hack[er]9 games, whose name appears to be Snort (wow :3 what a name, yo), controls very similarly to Quote from Cave Story. The only definitive difference is that Snort seems to have a certain inertia when changing directions on the ground. Maybe Quote had that too? I haven’t played CS in forever, since it doesn’t look as though the old, free-to-download binary from Pixel’s site works on my copy of Windows 10 (or maybe any copy at all; either that or Pixel switched the download up with something he scrogged the graphics on).
Did I mention the difficulty of the Hack[er]9 games, because it is noteworthy? If you’re pondering trying to play these games on, say, a laptop keyboard, I’ll go ahead and spoil it for you: it’s not worth it. The game, particularly at the start, requires a rather rigorous grasp over the fundamentals of side-scrolling platforming if you want to prevail. Further challenges arise given that the only affordable weapon at the start is a weak, diminutive combat knife. Thus far, the strategy I have in mind for defeating the soldiers involves a lot of jumping around to dodge bullets from one side of a soldier to the other while swapping directions and ultimately hovering within knife range. I imagine this will lead to some tedious grinding, at least with Hack9, to acquire enough currency to afford the basic pistol. The upgrade path in Hacker9 is not yet clear to me since the vendor only seems to be carrying knives in his inventory at the start of the game.
I also can’t tell how one increases one’s max HP.
It’s also not especially clear what MP does. The flavor text of background objects suggest to me that perhaps MP is ammunition? These don’t look, at a glance, like games that would have any sort of “magic” type of system.
The flavor of the game that I’ve been able to absorb thus far gives the game a sort of Metal Gear Solid meets side-scrolling Metroidvania with a bit of Moe protagonist undertones. There’s clearly a story to both games, but I haven’t really absorbed much of either one outside of the background related with white text on a solid black background at the start of each game. I can say, definitively, that they appear to be distinct games with distinct storylines. Their relationship to each other beyond a shared set of NPCs, Snort, enemies, and large swathes of level designs and art assets is not clear to me in the slightest.
If I get hold of a game controller and some means of recording my screen I may attempt an English walkthrough or a nice, quiet, low-commentary (or no-commentary) Let’s Play. That said, if anyone with a more sonorous voice and/or the platformer skills to pay these bills wants to preempt me on this point then by all means, have at it. Just, y’know, try not to spend the whole time quoting your favorite memes or somesuch (though quoting these so-called “birb memes” is okay by me, just a little bit).
Anyway, let’s talk about these games because I’m pretty excited about this. I recently spent 4 months without the Internet, and during that time I got all hyped up for the release of Mother 4, only to discover that, in fact, it hadn’t been released at all. But now this is here, so life has meaning again, almost!
There are also such games as ＨＥＫＡＴＯＮＣＨＥＩＲ, Ghost9, Ghost92, Ghost93, Ghost94, Ghost94 2, and the forthcoming Ghost9 Solid. I have yet to mess with any of them at all, as they’re not translated and thus ultimately unknowable to me.
I’ll just edit this if I can think of anything more I want to type here.