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Video Game / ROM Check Fail

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ROM Check Fail is a fangame that takes a handful of games from the arcade era and mixes them together. The experience is somewhat similar to WarioWare, in that you must adjust to rapidly changing playing styles. Every few seconds, your character and the enemies on the screen will change. At one second you may be Mario doing battle with a pack of Space Invaders, and the next you're the car from Spy Hunter blasting ghosts from Gauntlet. Unlike WarioWare, there is a single goal that remains the same in each stage: Clear all the enemies on the screen. The game continues for 20 screens, and upon completion, starts it all over again, raising the speed each time.


An addictive game with pick-up-and-play gameplay reminiscent of the early arcade and Atari console days. It can be played here. In 2016, Farbs also released ROM Check GO!, a variation of the game that lets you change characters at will.

This game provides examples of:

  • Hitbox Dissonance: It's unpredictable having to destroy a Qix with Link or having to avoid one with Pac-Man when he's not powered up, for example.
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  • Interface Screw: Sometimes a level can finish right when the game tries to switch themes, leaving the text garbled until the next switch happens.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Due to how the game is designed, you can often die for no fault of your own. For example, those immobile blocks from Breakout can suddenly turn into hordes of enemies, leaving you completely unable to escape.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder: Your character, in all iterations.
  • Poison Mushroom: The Space Invaders ship. Woe betide you if you receive this while an enemy is headed for you from the sides or below.
    • Rather annoying if you are stuck in the air and all the things you need to kill are goombas.
  • Scoring Points: The entire point of the game.
  • Shout-Out: The entire game, especially the phrase "Princess is in a faster castle!"
  • Title Drop: In the very first screen:
    RAM Check: OK
    ROM Check: FAIL
  • Unwinnable by Design: If the roulette gives you the Space Invaders ship with enemies on the same line as you, you're dead. Pray you roll something better before you run out of lives.
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  • A Winner Is You: After beating all 20 stages, you're booted back to the beginning to try again. You are also treated to a rapidly flashing display of classic end screens, many of which fall under this category.
  • Wrap Around: The player and enemies (especially falling Goombas) can go past the bottom of the screen and appear at the top. However, this only works in that single direction.


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