What started off a joke hack has become so much more.
Everybody knows that Omochao is annoying, but only one man has the balls to make an entire ROM hack out of it. Sonic the Hedgehog: Omochao Edition is an exercise in obnoxious from Sonic Retro staffer Cinossu that injects Sonic Team’s favorite floating tutorial into the classic Sonic experience. While many people will be initially turned off by Omochao’s presence, there is much more to this hack than meets the eye, as it fundamentally changes the entire Sonic the Hedgehog experience.
The hack’s premise is to avoid being annoyed. See that ring? Don’t touch it. See that badnik? Don’t touch it. If you do, Omochao will pause the game to inform you of your miniscule accomplishment and play the 1-up fanfare. With every object you touch, the fanfare becomes longer and longer, making you reach for your emulator’s fast-forward key. There have been many “don’t touch stuff” Sonic hacks in the past, requiring players to have lightning-quick Sonic skills and an intense amount of patience, but this one bests them all.
At this point, you’ll either be so annoyed that you switch off or be compelled to power through Green Hill without touching anything to collect the game’s medals and rewards. While it sounds impossible in theory, Cinossu and his testers have been thorough, finding the optimal paths that require the least amount of item contact. There is a way to beat the stages, but you have to stop, think and be smart about it, using the tight controls and level design present in the original Sonic the Hedgehog. If there is a section where item contact is necessary, the game gives you an “Omochao Protective Shield” that allows you to progress without being disturbed.
Also, check out this “perfect” run of Labyrinth Zone.
Sonic the Hedgehog: Omochao Edition is more than a novelty, as it brings more than a patronizing robot to the table. You’ll be able to select any stage from the outset (presented in a well-designed hub world) and medals and rewards for perfect play. If you can get over the initial annoyance of the hack, the additions and improvements reward players for dedicated play and elevates this hack above other “joke” hacks that lose their appeal after a few minutes. Future updates will give Omochao a voice through Cinossu’s SonMP3 plug-in, additional levels and Retro Channel support, allowing players to share their frustration online.
As noted, this hack is not for everyone, but if you want to give it a shot and avoid Omochao, here’s what triggers his prompts:
- Collecting Rings
- Item Monitors (doubly bad, as each individual item inside will also bring up a message)
- Invincibility Running Out
- Power Sneakers Running Out
- Extra Lives
- Destroying Badniks
- Bouncing on Springs
- Stepping on or Pushing Objects on Buttons
- Getting Hit
- Getting Killed
- Getting Game Over (will also eject you from the level and reset your saved Emerald Count)
- Getting Time Over (will also eject you from the level)
- Touching Lamp Posts
- Getting the Giant Ring (without a protection shield)
- Finishing the Act (without a protection shield)
- Finishing the Zone (without a protection shield)
- Hitting the Boss (without a protection shield)
- Defeating the Boss (without a protection shield)
- Getting in that Last Hit (without a protection shield)
- Collecting a Chaos Emerald
- Touching a GOAL Sign
Good luck. Download and learn more about Sonic the Hedgehog: Omochao Edition here.