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Action 52 (NES)

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Title Screen

Action 52

Developer: Active Enterprises
Publisher: Active Enterprises
Platform: Unlicensed NES
Released in US: September 1991


AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
CodeIcon.png This game has unused code.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.


BugsIcon.png This game has a bugs page

Action 52 is a terrible unlicensed cartridge containing 52 terrible games, a bundle which retailed for $200. If you played each game for a week, it would be the worst year of your life.

Make your selection, now.

Hmmm...
To do:
Add the info from this video.

Cheetahmen

Apollo Cutscene

Action52ApolloCutscene.png

In Cheetahmen, each character has its own introductory cutscene. However, the cutscene for Apollo appears to have no text accompanied with the obligatory image. This is because Active forgot to put the alphabet characters next to the image tiles in the ROM. The unused text can be found in a memory viewer during the cutscene and Levels 5 and 6 of Cheetahmen:

APOLLO IS THE MASTER OF THE
CROSSBOW. USE THE CROSSBOW TO
DEFEAT THE ENEMIES ON THE LAST
TWO LEVELS AND GET DR. MORBIS

French Baker

Unused Title Screen

Mentos: The French Baker

French Baker has an unused, near-complete title screen using the Cheetahmen II font. It can be seen in the PPU as French Baker is loading.

Alternate Version

Hmmm...
To do:
Does the game crash due to a side-effect of the hacking done to play the unused version? Also, describe how to make this version playable.

For some reason, the code for French Baker is present twice in the ROM, once in its own PRG bank and once in the same PRG bank as Shooting Gallery and They Came. The latter appears to be an early version of the same game. It's noticeably glitchier as it crashes whenever a projectile goes offscreen or you pause the game. It also contains different sound effects and an extra song on level 1 that is unused elsewhere. The hidden title screen graphics aren't used though.

(Source: Cheetahmen92)

Evil Empire

Unused Title Screen/Font

EvilEmpireTitleA52.png

Like the example above, Evil Empire also has an unused title screen.

Action52-evilmpr.png

There is also an alternate font containing the letters "EVILMPR" in that order, which also went unused.

A52 EE numbers.png

A set of numbers similar to the title font above, but lacking the shadow.

A52 EE dragon.png

A large dragon/roc/genie included with the enemies. Possibly a boss, as it is close to 20 times the size of everything else in the game. The manual refers to a great genie, but whether or not this is it is unclear as it doesn't look much like anything. It's not known what palette it would have used.

Aerobics 52

Unused frames for the player/enemies, from left to right:

  • Possible jumping frames. The player uses no special animation in-game.
  • Holding something in a pose similar to the enemies on flying carpets
  • An animation for climbing the ropes? The final uses the same animation for all ladder types.
  • Maybe a climbing animation for the chains?

A52 EE ghostbullet.png

The genie bullets have a left-facing orientation, but only the right-facing one is used in-game regardless of the direction a bullet is fired.

A52 EE ghostpot.png

The genie pots have three frames with different levels of smoke. The one with the least smoke isn't used.

Rocket Jockey

Unused Level 3

Unused level 3.

Setting the value of RAM address $338 to 02 (or using the Game Genie code ZAOEAPAA) at the Rocket Jockey menu will bring the player to Level 3. This is a semi-playable level with a wrongly colored background and sprites that glitch out when certain enemies appear. There are also mountains in the background that don't appear elsewhere in the game, as well as projectiles that spawn periodically.

Ooze

Completion Message

Maybe it locks up because they knew they didn't *have* $104,000?

There was a contest planned where anyone who could beat Level 5 of Ooze would be entered into a drawing for $104,000. However, because this game is awful, Ooze locks up on Level 2 and hence it's impossible to complete. As all the game's text is in plain ASCII, the message and "personal code" can easily be seen at 0x157BC0 in a hex editor:

CONGRATULATIONS!
YOU MAY HAVE JUST WON...
TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH OF THIS
SCREEN AND SEND TO THE
ADDRESS LISTED IN THE RULES
AND REGULATIONS. YOUR PERSONAL CODE:
7A3H9J0P2R4A2C7S

A52 Oz Frogs.png

This frog-like enemy appears twice with different palette indexes, as do many enemies in other games. None of the palettes match it very well.

Unused Level 8

The unused Level 8.

Setting the value of RAM address $338 to 07 (or using the Game Genie code YENEGAAA) at the Ooze menu will bring the player to Level 8. This level is set in a different environment than the rest of the levels, taking place in the outdoors, with pink oozy things and the giant water droplets from Level 1. There's also a 1-Up which can't be collected. This was intended to be the last level before seeing the screen above.

Billy Bob

There are a whopping 11 unused levels for Billy Bob, all of them inaccessible by normal means because of a bankswitch bug (the bytes written to direct page 0xFE and 0xFF, which trigger the bankswitch, are switched by accident, meaning the bank switch fails). Even if you beat all of the levels, the game will crash because of another bankswitch gone wrong. This game is the first one in the ROM, even if it isn't the first one numbered on the list. However, there are only four that can be accessed with the hex editor, but it won't be done in the same fashion as the unused levels in Ooze and Rocket Jockey. Also, expect this process to take a few tries, and have a save state of the game selection screen ready if you make a mistake. Go to the game selection screen and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the RAM list. On address 0xFFE3 and 0xFFF3 (meaning they are right on top of one another), you will see just one "L". Highlight one of the "L"s and tap the spacebar fast and the game will boot up a green level in Billy Bob, without you picking the game. Do this again right after the level loads and the game will boot up a level with a pink color scheme, not used in any of the used levels. Do this one more time, and another green level will boot up. After this, there are no more. There is another pink level right after the first one labeled "Level 2", accessed after the first one's exit. After this, there are no more. The five pictures below are in order from the first level to the fourth level that can be accessed in this way.

First green level First pink level; That pink thing right above the ground is an explosion of sorts that is glitched, using the spear tiles, when you kill a bird. Second pink level; MWAHAHAHAHAhahahahaha... Second pink level; Decorative door. Second green level; Those torches are missing their animations, so they are static.

There is something special about these levels... Billy Bob himself actually had two voice clips for climbing and dying! Every level here but the first green one featured his voice clips. They were not used in the used levels.


(Source: KungFuFurby, SultanofSwag89)

Unused Graphics

Ninja Assault

The final boss of Ninja Assault

Ninja Assault's third and final level is plagued by graphical errors, which renders the graphics for the final boss unseen in any sensible manner during normal gameplay. Turns out it was a dragon.

A52 ninja assault fire.png

There are also graphics for what may be a fire attack for the boss. The dragon doesn't actually do anything in-game except move in a triangle. The palette might not be accurate.

Lollipops

A52Lollipops.png

This stickman with a bunch of frames can be found in the graphics for Lollipops.

Sharks

A52Sharks.png

These snake-looking things are found in the graphics for Sharks.

Hambo

A52Hambo.png

These powerup graphics seem to be for Hambo, but the game only gives you one type of item, a 1-up.

G-Force Fighter

A52Gforce.png

This small guy and...thing can be found in G-Force Fighter's graphics.

Micro Mike

A52haha.png

A cloud of smoke (?) with the words "ha ha" twice.

Streemerz

A52Streemerz.png

A smiley face. Everything you touch in the game gives you a frowny face and does damage to you (enemies, magic wands, bunnies, bags of money). It would seem that picking up money wasn't meant to be harmful after all!

Illuminator

A52 IL 9volt.pngA52 IL otherbattery.png

Two battery sprites. The manual refers to collecting batteries, but none appear in-game.

A52 IL hearts.png

Some hearts.

A52 illuminator girl.png

By glitching the game with 001A:54, you can get these unused girl sprites to appear fully assembled and character mapped.

Silver Sword

A52 SS swordorientations.png

Additional orientations for the player sword projectiles. The game uses the up and/or right-facing ones for all directions.

A52 SS Glowydude.png

A set of player sprites with a glow-like effect. The left and right orientations are incomplete.

Mash Man

A realization of his poor fashion choices, perhaps?

A hurt sprite for Mash Man.

A52 MM eyeframe.png

The eye enemies aren't animated, but there are three frames for them. The red and blue ones use one frame, and the pink uses another, leaving this one unused. The colored parts are actually repeated three times (they use the same outlines), once for each version. Therefore 2 out of three frames for every one are unused, but aside from the red and blue enemies missing a single pixel tile from the frame the pink one uses they are identical.

A52 MM bgufos.png

Found among the background tiles. There are no spherical buildings in the game otherwise.

Space Dreams

A52 SD playersquash.png

A frame of the player pacifier with the "head" squashed.

meep

A plant enemy. It doesn't fit any palette all that well.

Haunted Hill/Halls

Sprites so poorly drawn they can drive a man mad

What might be another ghost.

A52 HH playerturn.png

A sprite of the player turning.

A52 HH robebloke.png

Someone in a hooded robe. It doesn't have any animation but it does have death frames.

Operation Full Moon

A52 OFM antennae.png

The antennas from the player rover. The rover has its antennas baked into the graphics, not overlayed. There aren't graphics for a back-facing antenna for the rover.

A52 OFM undecipherablethings.png

Some object twice. The different colors would be used for palette swaps.

Star Evil

A52 SE shipbits.png

Although Star Evil is a vertical shooter, a few of the ships have partial horizontal versions. Some missing parts may have been filled by mirroring the graphics that are present, but even then some ships would be incomplete and/or missing the left orientation.

Miscellaneous

A52F321.png

These tiles are repeated multiple times in the ROM and were used to test animations.

Warps

Slashers

If you enter the second door in the second level it will warp you to level 3.

Cheetahmen

The second waterfall of the first level and the second pit in levels 3 and 5 act as warps, taking you to a room with a 1-up before taking you to the next level. The warps in level 5 (most of the pits) do not work properly and instead of warping you to the next level, they take you to a glitched room in which you fall and die until you run out of lives.

Copyright Notice

One for Active Enterprises, possibly for the sound driver, is at offset 0x80034:

Copyright 1991 ACTIVE ENTERPRISES All Rights
Reserved by Author  Driver  Version 2.09x

Menu Template

Due to the way the Action 52 cart handles bank-switching, a few games had to be split up into two or more parts. Each of these parts is essentially a standalone game (hence why you can't exit Billy Bob from level 3 onwards) and is based on the same code template as every other game on the cart. As a result, several ROM banks contain a default menu template:

GAME NAME
ONE PLAYER
TWO PLAYER
MAIN MENU

This unused template is present eight times in the ROM, at 0x74C9, 0xF4C9, 0x4DC66, 0x555F6, 0x5E1B2, 0x654F2, 0x6DD82, and 0x1774C9.