The Homebrew Corner – Fix-It-Felix Jr. for the Sega Genesis
Wreck-It Ralph was a popular movie among the retrogaming community. Disney did some interesting things to help promote it. A custom arcade cabinet was built for the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo. There is a Flash, iOS, and Android version of the game the movie centers around. It’s no surprise homebrew developers would tackle Fix-It Felix Jr., a game within a movie, and port it to a retro console. To be honest, I thought the NES would be the first console to see a Fix-It Felix port. Who knows, there may be someone out there tackling an NES port as we speak.
In the mean time, there are two Sega Genesis ports of Fix-It Felix. One of the ports is by a Japanese homebrewer who runs a site called “Future Driver.” The other port is by NintendoAge forum user dra600n, who is working on another Sega Genesis homebrew called Affinity:Sorrow, featured on his website Airwalk Studios. Both versions of Fix-It Felix are fantastic, with the latter of the two ports being the most complete.
“This was coded from the ground up, so I would hope people would respect the hard work that went into developing this and wouldn’t 1.) dump the rom, and 2.) release it if they did dump it.”
- dra600n, NintendoAge Forums, June 7th 2013
The Airwalk Studios version of Fix-It Felix – as we’ll refer to it, has not been released as a downloadable ROM. It is closer to the iOS official release of Fix-It Felix when compared to the Future Driver version. The developer has asked that no one attempts to dump the ROM, as a lot of hard work went into making it. So what’s the point of making a homebrew game if he plans on not releasing it? The most obvious reason is copyright, or maybe he wanted to prove he could do it. So far he has stated he doesn’t owe anybody an explanation. He has however profited from it, auctioning off 50 cartridges, and keeping an extra one he made for himself.
“The way I see it, if I don’t make the profits, someone else will.”
- dra600n, NintendoAge Forums, Sept 1st, 2013
The auction featured cartridges, complete with an instruction manual, and hard plastic casing. There are boxed versions that resemble the later Sega Genesis releases. The 50th copy consists of a limited edition insert, and Wreck-It Ralph dog tag. Some auction winners have since sold off their copies. On average people have paid more than $100 to obtain them. Each copy is unique for being either a complete, or beta version of the game. If the price is right, you might be able convince the developer to give you an extra copy.
The Japanese homebrewer of the Future Driver website had a different approach for his version of Fix-It Felix. An early version of his game can be downloaded and played on a Genesis emulator. What makes this version unique is it doesn’t try to copy the iOS version, but instead dares to be different. It reminds me of the early days of gaming where a port was usually unique depending on the platform it targeted.
The Future Driver version of Fix-It Felix Jr. lacks music, and other game play features. You can control Felix Jr, who can jump to each window ledge. The goal is to fix every window Wreck-It Ralph has broken, while avoiding bricks he hurls at you. The game is like a mash-up of Donkey Kong and the NES classic Wrecking Crew. When all the windows are repaired you’ve completed the level. The game ends as a Wreck-It Ralph fan would expect, then abruptly restarts.
If you are lucky enough to snag a complete version of the Airwalk Studio Fix-It Felix, congratulations, there are all sorts of goodies awaiting. For the rest of us there is the Future Dev version, that will hopefully see a day where it is completed. The last version was released back in March of 2013. For those who can’t wait, and want to play a complete homebrew version of Fix-It Felix Jr., there is always the Atari 2600 Fix-It Felix Sr., but that’s better saved for another day; or maybe not, who knows.
1. dra600n. “FA: 3 Fix-It Felix Jr. CIB’s for the Sega Genesis.” NintendoAge Forums. 7, June 2013. Web 20, Oct 2013.
2. n.a. “MD / FIX IT FELIX JR. MD”. Future Dev. n.d. Web 20, Oct 2013.