Gotta hack ’em all.
Despite a recent cease-and-desist order from Nintendo to the developers of Pokémon Prism, the highly anticipated fan-made game is in the hands–well, hard drives–of players worldwide.
Creator Adam “Koolboyman” Vierra actually complied with the cease-and-desist last week, just days before the ROM hack was set to release. He took down the Pokémon Prism website and announced work on the game would stop, so fans thought the project was gone for good. However, some overeager hackers had another plan.
The day after Koolboyman took the Pokémon Prism files down, they surfaced on 4chan with a README file, where the hackers stated their case.
“[We are a] group of people interested in seeing ROM hacks succeed,” the message from the leakers reads. “This project grew in popularity enough to make us interested in it, and the letter from Nintendo got us in action.”
For those who might not know, Pokémon Prism is a ROM hack of Pokémon Crystal. Koolboyman’s intent for Prism was to completely change the game’s experience in a whole new region. He and his team also added character customization, the ability to play as your Pokémon, new Abnormal, Gas, and Sound-type monsters, and more.
The files distributed on 4chan aren’t exactly what Pokémon Prism would have been if released by Koolboyman. The leakers altered the code and removed credits to avoid legal issues for the Prism devs. They replaced the credits with a “thank you” to the fans who made the ROM possible.
“We would like the original developers to be recognized for what they did,” the leakers said. “However, leaving their names in puts them at an unnecessary risk.”
Pokémon Prism has been received very well by fans, the game’s subbreddit and other social media buzzing with praise. Some Let’s Plays have already gone up to give fans who might be wary of downloading the ROM a feel for the gameplay. I’m sure the internet will by hyped over Prism for some time to come.