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Blaster Master: Pimp your Ride

Hack of Blaster Master


Blaster Master: Pimp your Ride, is an assembly hack for the NES platformer Blaster Master. Changes to most of the areas are minor save for areas 1 and 2 tank section, which are re-done. The changes are made to utilize the full effect of the ASM hack, and premise of this hack which is the 8 new additional upgrades the tank can get.

Yes, 8 new upgrades. That means the game has a total of 15 upgrades in all, and almost all of them are going to be needed to finish the game. Along with that are some other ASM changes, one that would need explaining is the gun powerup system. Instead of one gun unit equaling one level, you must collect many gun units to raise you gun power. The upside is that you do not lose your gun level if you get hit or die. This means that any powerup you find will not be wasteful.

There are also other changes as well that will become apparent when you play. This hack was started sometime last spring or summer and deemed complete on December 31 2006. If there are any bugs, don’t hesitate to point them out.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Blaster Master (U) [!].nes - GOODNES 3.14
  • CRC32: 52BCF64A
  • MD5: 9C96408F7A7AA0DA2C3B723759699506
  • SHA-1: ADB89B4923BB34805A39C141BAF227849A27CE41
  • SHA-256: CE7B1CC6BA10E3163781BBFD2F00A8E50FA68529B915C7818E04B126EED862FD




ContributorType of contributionListed credit

User Review Information

I wanted to love this one, but it's just not very good.

Reviewed By: BlazeHeatnix on 21 Mar 2022

This sounded like a great hack. Adding more upgrades to the tank should, on paper, be a good thing. After all, that is the main appeal of the game. But the premise is misleading, and I’ll explain why.

The redesigned Area 1 is not very good. The game starts with a beginner’s trap of an enemy flying right into your face, which sets the tone for the quality of this hack’s design. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to figure out where to go now and I easily got lost, because Area 1 is MUCH bigger now, more than it needs to be really. The area simply isn’t as intuitively designed as the original, where it was easy to build a mental map in your head even if you didn’t have one on hand. This begs for a map.

I know what you’re probably thinking: “You need a map?! You’re not a REAL NES gamer!” But, here’s the thing: the manual for Blaster Master came with maps. You were never supposed to go without at least a general layout of where you were, except for the final area, which is more linear anyway. It would’ve been nice if the author included some maps in the download, but he didn’t, and I spent way too long in the first area of the game trying to find my first upgrade.

But let’s talk about those upgrades. First, the tank. It’s possible to go to Area 2 from the outset, but when you do, you find the tank’s physics are like being underwater. This doesn’t make much logical sense, but basically, you can’t proceed in Area 2 without finding an upgrade that lets you explore it. Ok, so I eventually found the first boss and got Hyper. This upgraded the cannon shot just like the original game. But here, it doesn’t break bricks like the original game, it just makes your shot more powerful against enemies. I assume another upgrade lets you break bricks, so essentially, instead of adding new upgrades, it splits the upgrades that are already there into two.

So after wandering around for what felt like an eternity and making no progress, I went back into Area 2 and lo and behold, I can drive around now. So, apparently upgrading the cannon makes it so I can drive at normal speed. That doesn’t make any sense. How was I supposed to guess that those two things were related? I know it’s an NES game and it doesn’t need to be perfectly logical, but the logical deductions it expects the player to make are pretty farfetched.

The tank ammo has been nerfed to hell too. I understand that maybe the original game gave you too much ammo, but this change felt pointless, and with the scarce ammo drops made even scarcer, it discouraged me from using any of my arsenal at all.

But what kills it for me is the change to the pilot gun system. Now, you need more than one gun powerup to actually upgrade your gun, but the change is permanent even when you take damage. This is evidently the author’s way of “fixing” a problem with the game some people have (I don’t), but it could still work. Unfortunately, it takes way, waaaaaaaay too many powerups to upgrade your gun even once. There’s one that respawns endlessly outside in Area 1, so out of curiosity, I kept grabbing it over and over to see how many it would take. After grabbing it 20(!) times, my gun didn’t even reach level one. That is just too much. If I kept going, I’d be stuck with the same crappy default gun for much of the game and feel like I had no character growth at all, which is the opposite of what this hack should theoretically be doing.

Perhaps if you explored every nook and cranny and every room, you’d be well-upgraded, but for a game that has no password or save system, that’s not a good design choice. Even if it’s temporary, I like knowing that if I’m already prepared, I can head straight to the boss.

I can’t recommend this.

Version 1.1 Recommended - No

User Reviews
I wanted to love this one, but it's just not very good.BlazeHeatnix21 Mar 20221.1No