ALPHA SPHERE is a unique Super Mario World ROM hack and the 1st place entry of SMW Central's 2019 "Halloween Level Design Contest". Instead of the Mario characters, the hack has an original world and plot; you play as a woman named Norma on a mission to escape from Dr. Faux Andre, her demented husband, stumbling upon an ancient relic on the way.
The story takes place after an unspecified apocalypse has wiped out humanity, save for Norma and Andre. Residing in an abandoned factory, Andre wants to save humanity by procreating with Norma, but she is hesitant. He increasingly refuses to take no for an answer and tries to pressure her into it. One night, Norma attempts suicide, but fails, instead coming across an artifact called the Alpha Sphere. Andre claims this could be the key to saving humanity, and implores Norma to put it back where she found it. She can either obey... or set out to provide it a new home, and escape Dr. Andre once and for all.
Download the hack here.
ALPHA SPHERE provides examples of the following tropes:
- Adam and Eve Plot: Dr. Andre seeks to reproduce with Norma to repopulate humanity after an unspecified apocalypse. Unfortunately for him, she is rather reluctant, and he is not willing to take no for an answer.
- After the End: The story takes place after an unspecified event has wiped out most of humanity, with only Norma and Dr. Andre left.
- Big Bad: Dr. Faux Andre is the protagonist Norma's abusive husband who tries to pressure her into sex to repopulate humanity, and will try to rape her if she attempts escape.
- Darker and Edgier: Than the original Super Mario World. This game is a horror game that takes place After the End, and concerns the two leads trying to repopulate humanity, but Dr. Andre subjects his wife Norma to Domestic Abuse.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The entire game is in red and white bar Ending A.
- Downer Ending: Basically all of the endings.
- In Ending Z, Dr. Andre catches and successfully rapes Norma.
- In Ending A, Norma successfully commits suicide, and because she destroyed the Alpha Sphere, Dr. Andre cannot revive her any more, leading him to regret what he has done.
- In Ending J, Norma defeats Dr. Andre, but in the process squanders any last chance they have at repopulating the world... and then Jinker Bolts, who is implied to be the one who exterminated humanity, appears, and the end cuts off there.
- In Ending B, Norma obeys Dr. Andre and gives in to his desires, no longer being afraid... but given that he has been abusing and pressuring her into sex, this can hardly be called a straight happy end.
- Jump Scare: During Ending Z
- Multiple Endings:
- ENDING Z is achieved by failing to outrun Dr. Andre during his boss fight. His jumpscare will appear, and Dr. Andre is successful at "saving humanity".
- ENDING A is achieved by outlasting the boss fight. Dr. Andre has revealed before the fight that by destroying the Alpha Sphere he can no longer revive Norma, and so that's why he goes after her forcibly. By getting to the end, Norma falls in a lava pit. Because of the destruction of the Alpha Sphere, Dr. Andre fails his mission to save humanity, and expresses that he regrets what he has done out of rage.
- ENDING J is achieved by either dropping or throwing rings at Dr. Andre until he is defeated. He expresses that if Norma would rather doom humanity than save it, then so be it. The credits roll in this ending, but it doesn't last as a new character approaches: a robot named Jinker Bolts. The final screen has Jinker Bolts saying "Happy Halloween!".
- ENDING B is achieved by simply putting the Alpha Sphere back in the stronghold. She will walk away, and the ending reveals two of the same image of a flower being cut by a pair of scissors representing Norma no longer of being afraid to be deflowered by Dr. Andre.
- In the director's cut, the relic itself talks to Norma in third person, and proceeds to destroy itself, causing the entire thing to fall in the process.
- The game over sample comes from Withered Bonnie in Ultimate Custom Night pitched down with a pitch modulation enabled.
- In the director's cut, When Norma falls in the pit at the end of the boss fight, Dr. Andre actually screams out "NOOO!" This sample was taken from the famous "NO GOD!" scene from the TV series The Office.
- Starts with a Suicide: Norma, after speaking with Dr. Andre, attempts to fall off a cliff to escape his Domestic Abuse. She lands on black, invisible ground, leading her to the titular Alpha Sphere.