In 2009 one lucky gamer was able to get his hands on the source code for the unfinished Sega Mega Drive port of the Commodore Amiga game Mr Nutz 2: Hoppin' Mad. Unfortunately for the retro gaming community, nobody was able to compile the source code into a playable ROM... at least until now!
Many will remember Mr. Nutz for his fairly average appearance on the Sega Mega Drive, Super Nintendo and Nintendo Game Boy. A year after his first outing, Ocean released a sequel under the name Mr. Nutz: Hoppin' Mad, which despite plans for other ports, remained an exclusive title for the Commodore Amiga.
The sequel which never truly graced the consoles was a step beyond the original, incorporating the speed of Sonic the Hedgehog, a puzzled based mini-map inspired by the overview in Super Mario World, and one incredible soundtrack by Rudolf Stember. Unfortunately console gamers would forever remember the under-loved hero for his lackluster first appearance instead of his second coming.
After the source code for the Sega Mega Drive port of Mr Nutz: Hoppin' Mad appeared online, many began deciphering and attempting to compile the code for all to enjoy. With several files reported to be missing from the developers code, many efforts went amiss before the soon-to-be dormant thread suggested that the anthropomorphic red squirrel would never see the light of day on a 16-bit console.
Three years later and out of nowhere a knight in pixelated armour graced the inactive thread over at AssemblerGames. This user posted a short reply to the thread claiming that the source code was in fact complete and in fully working order, so much so that he was able to post a download link to a fully playable compiled Sega Mega Drive ROM of Mr Nutz: Hoppin' Mad.
While we could end the news post here, it's worth noting that this incredible release still leaves one mystery unsolved. In 2008 another lucky gamer posted on the Digital Press forums that he had obtained a working prototype of Mr Nutz: Hoppin' Mad on the Mega Drive, but was unfortunately unable to share the ROM online due to legal reasons. What he was able to release was screenshots of the game in action, which is where our mystery lies. The title screen present in the recently compiled ROM and that of the working prototype differ greatly, confirming there are in fact two versions of this unreleased game out there.
Mr Nutz: Hoppin' Mad Gameplay Video
(Gameplay video of the Commodore Amiga version)
Get your Mega Everdrive flash cartridges at the ready or load this up in a Sega Mega Drive emulator. You're in for a treat!
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