Miss Peach World has finally reached the internet. Rejoice...?
Everyone's favorite unlicensed Famicom Super L.A. Cop has finally appeared online.
A few months ago, I sat down to produce an NES Works Gaiden video about a "controversial" NES game by patron request. My intention had been to put together a synopsis of the works of a publisher like Color Dreams or Hacker International: Companies that worked outside the bounds of Nintendo's licensing program, and also tended to work "blue."
I found myself particularly interested in the strange story of Menace Beach, since that single game spanned three different versions from three different publishers. Not only did it ship from Color Dreams and in a revamped, church-boy-friendly form (as Sunday Funday) once Color Dreams rebranded as Wisdom Tree, it also served as the link between Color Dreams and Hacker International. The Japanese company published it under the name Miss Peach World: Super L.A. Cop for Famicom back in 1991.
I had been passingly familiar with Miss Peach World simply because it shows up in the premium/rare goods showcases at a number of Tokyo retrogame shops, and its cover — which directly parodies the Japanese box for Super Mario Bros. 3 — makes quite an impression. However, I quickly found my plans to make Miss Peach World the linchpin of the video thwarted by logistics: The game itself sells (when you can actually find it) for hundreds of dollars, even incomplete, and, even more surprisingly, the ROM had never been dumped and released onto the internet. It's pretty uncommon to come across a relatively well-known game that actually shipped to retail yet remains undumped 20-plus years into the age of emulation. Surprisingly, though, Miss Peach World turned out to be one of those rare few.
Thankfully, Steve Lin of the Video Game History Foundation happened to have picked up a complete copy of Miss Peach World on a recent trip to Japan and lent the game for the purposes of a Retronauts retrospective:
...and, it turns out, the game wasn't too difficult to dump, given its basis in a known Color Dreams release. Someone else recently found themselves equally surprised at the internet's lack of access to Miss Peach World and decided to create a public dump of the game, which they (fittingly) announced in the Lost Levels forums earlier this week. So, now the internet has access to this very strange little slice of video game history. (While we don't intend to make a practice of promoting ROM distribution on Retronauts, this is one of those edge cases: An unlicensed game by a defunct company... and by many accounts Hacker International took liberties with the game — such as the pervasive nudity — that Color Dreams hadn't sanctioned, making it doubly unauthorized and doubly unlikely to see any kind of "legitimate" reissue ever again.)
So, now the internet's game dudes can produce their own high-definition game capture of Miss Peach World; until now, the only HD material for this game online has been what I captured for the video. Frankly, I didn't have the patience to slog through the final third of the game — shockingly, it is not really all that well-designed, or fun! — so hopefully someone can document the latter portions of the game with better quality than the fuzzy direct feed that currently exists out there. Or not. I don't know that the world is actually clamoring for a comprehensive Let's Play of Miss Peach World. Something to look forward to for next year's Summer Games Done Quick, maybe.
You can download the ROM via Lost Levels, if you want. And if your mom says it's OK.
Also, the instructions, if you find you need them, and can read 日本語:
Yeah, that's the entire instruction manual. High-end production, here.