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Layla: The Iris Missions

Hack of Layla

Description:

Chinelkov Manitokha once again threatens the galaxy with his army of mutant Chimairan. This time, it’s up to Iris to stop him! (Okay, Layla can come along too, if she must).

Layla: The Iris Missions is a complete overhaul of the Famicom game Layla. It features all-new levels, altered graphics, an original and much-expanded soundtrack, and many tweaks to game mechanics, with the goal of creating a more modern game experience without compromising the core grabbing-cake-and-ice-cream-on-roller-skates gameplay.

Includes action, puzzles, robot mascots, and absolutely no bonus stages!

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Country: Japan
  • MD5 7a1232559a7349579816814e63d52d0a
  • SHA-1 668b885abf865b74f84c221fa2cc4c9ae58d1b98
  • SHA-256 959ba4cfb8fad791e2d8f65bfa0c9cf0edc39c4aa82bd50e46ee42a689a43e5a
  • Layla (J) [!] (GoodNES 3.14)
  • This patch should be applied to a headered ROM.

Links:

Screenshots:


Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
SupperHacking

User Review Information

What an improvement!

Reviewed By: Preki on 23 Nov 2018

It’s been over a year since I played this one (as well as the original game) and I should have posted this review much earlier.

First of all - hacking a quite obscure game with little to no documentation is quite a feat on its own, especially when vast amount of changes is taken into account. I’d call The Iris Missions a quasi-sequel to the base game.

The original Layla has many shortcomings but once you familiarize yourself with the game it’s actually enjoyable. Well, except for the music, which is a far cry from what one can hear in The Iris Missions. It’s amazing especially because sound drivers weren’t particuralry good in dB-SOFT’s games, yet you managed to compose a bunch of catchy tunes. It’s not Tim Follin, it’s not Naoki Kodaka, but it’s definitely one of the best NES/FC vanilla soundtracks (ie. without expansion chips) I’ve ever heard. In fact, I wouldn’t discover either this hack or Layla if I wouldn’t come across this sountrack on grad1u52’s YouTube channel.

Secondly, numerous anti-frustration features are a big part why this hack is a big deal. Bonus stages were boring and had no purpose, I’m glad these were removed. And who wasn’t killed by that tornado on their first playthrough? Respawning at a checkpoint eases things a lot, though in the last mission it shouldn’t reset these barriers - deactivating them in the first place is a tough task.

I like the level design for the most part, every one of them has an individual gimmick like letter-coded maze, jumping course or the secret level. My only issue is with the eight mission, where jumping becomes notably tough thanks to ceilings placed just above character’s head. It’s sometimes a gamble whether you’re going to make it or not. Generally I hate when platform games do this kind of thing (hello Turrican).

As good as this hack is, I really miss stocking up on ammo for guns. This mechanic forced players to conserve their ammo rather than going mindlessly guns blazing, which is especially true for the machine gun and energy knives, with the latter being able to pierce through walls, making them too overpowered.

There are a few more things this game could have had added or modified, but considering how much effort was to hack a largely undocumented, little-known game, The Iris Missions is one heck of a modification and every fan of action platformers out there should give it a try.

PS. I’ve included a little footnote about this hack in a review of Layla at Hardcore Gaming 101, hoping that more people will play it.

Version 3.0 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
Very cool, especially the soundtrack!Ra22609 Aug 20203.0Yes
Very tricky jump physicsmarco7502 Jul 20203.0Yes
What an improvement!Preki23 Nov 20183.0Yes