If you’ve got a bit of time on your hands, an old NES and a CRT TV you don’t mind hacking with a bit, you’ve got all the ingredients to play Backwards Mario.
We’re not just talking about playing the game level-by-level starting at World 8-4 and going backwards, we mean playing a completely accurate mirrored version of the game – with a controller that makes sense!
The project is actually a neat little pair of hacks, as developed by JJ. He says it took him about 30 minutes and has effectively doubled his NES games library.
It’s a “simple” matter of taking the back off of your CRT, finding the magnetic ring that aims the electron gun, and then reversing the left and right wires. (This will completely reverse the video display, so don’t try it on a box that’s still used as a TV!) Then, take your NES joypad and swap the Left and Right buttons by reversing the traces. Re-assemble them both, and – if you did it properly – you should have a reversed screen, and a controller that still makes sense to a human. (Make sure you know which one is your backwards-joypad though, trying to use it on a normal TV will result in Mario running the wrong way!)
Then, you can play on your “all-new” set of Mario levels – or any other game that uses the NES. While you might have played the original levels to death, how do you think you’ll go scrolling right-to-left?