|Somari the Adventurer|
|Publisher||Ge De Industry Co.|
|Sound engine||Hummer Sound Engine|
|Alternate names/hacks|| Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 3D Blast 5, Sonic 5,|
Sonic 3D Blast 6, Sonic & Knuckles 5, Family Kid,
Doraemon, The Hummer
Somari (音速瑪莉, Yīnsù mǎ lì) (full title: Somari the Adventurer) is a pirated port of Sonic the Hedgehog, made for the Famicom by Hummer Team under their Somari Team alias and published by Ge De Industry Co.
Somari is a well-known pirated Famicom port of Sonic the Hedgehog featuring Mario in place of Sonic, and is known to have been made by Hummer Team. This game also includes the Spin Dash, a move introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Also notable is the usage of the Special Stage and the background graphics for Green Hill Zone from the Master System version of Sonic 1, almost certainly due to hardware limitations of the Famicom.
All of the zones from the Mega Drive version are included, with the exception of Scrap Brain Zone. The controls are similar to Sonic the Hedgehog, albeit including the Spin Dash and Somari suddenly slowing down when going into a jump depending on what speed he's going at, a problem also encountered in Hummer Team's Famicom port of Super Mario World. Oddly, the game includes loops and ramps, although these have somewhat glitchy programming such as the player being able to get permanently stuck on a loop if hit by a badnik as well as passing through one ring when the player runs through it, a glitch also present in Jurassic Boy 2 by Sachen. Also, unlike Sonic 1, while rolling you cannot control yourself at all.
Somari is considered to be significantly more difficult than Sonic 1 due to the enemies always respawning in the same places whenever they appear on the screen, poor programming and physics, as well as a lack of continues and checkpoints. The level design is somewhat flawed, from frequently repeating areas of zones, most noticeably in Marble Zone and Labyrinth Zone, to inescapable pits in Green Hill Zone. However, in some versions you can't get out as the timer resets to 9:00 whenever it expires. Unlike the Mega Drive version, there's only one ending in this game which shows Dr. Robotnik juggling the Chaos Emeralds, which is odd considering that they're nowhere else to be found in the game.
The graphics are mostly taken from Sonic the Hedgehog for the Mega Drive, with a few exceptions. The background for Green Hill Zone and the Special Stage graphics are from the Master System version, the sprite of Somari is an edited version of Mario's sprite from Super Mario Bros. 3 and some other graphics were modified on the title screen; namely the removal of the Sega copyright on the emblem and in the bottom right corner, the edit in the title to read Somari and Sonic himself being replaced with Mario in the same pose. The "Sonic Team Presents" screen from the original was also modified to read "Somari Team Presents". The music is mostly taken from the same game, although in much lower quality as well as the Special Stage music being remade from the Master System version.
Somari has been hacked to produce many other games (the Sonic games are in the order that they were released):
- Sonic the Hedgehog/Sonic 3D Blast 5 (Identical to Sonic the Hedgehog but you start in Spring Yard Zone and the title screen has been redrawn. Published under NT)
- Sonic and Knuckles 5 (Uses Sonic & Knuckles' title screen and music, the game starts in Spring Yard Zone. Published under NT)
- Sonic 3D Blast 6 (uses Sonic 3D Blast's title screen and start screen, starts off in Marble Zone. Published under NT)
- Family Kid (Replaces Mario with an original character. Published by Family TSI Ltd)
- Doraemon (Replaces most of the graphics and music to be more Doraemon themed. Published by Waixing)
- The Hummer (Hacks done by ex-Hummer Team members which replace the title screen, the main character and alter the graphics)
Sonic the Hedgehog Hacks
Sonic the Hedgehog (better known as Sonic 3D Blast 5) was the first to be released, with the title screen graphics being replaced and the "Somari Team Presents" screen being removed. The first version known to be released is called Sonic 3D Blast 5, although it could have been released under a different name earlier. A couple of bugs in the game were fixed, like the inescapable pits in Green Hill Zone, as well as the addition of rings on the starting point of its first act, despite the game starting at the Spring Yard Zone with the earlier zones being available only through the level select cheat. A hack of this exists which adds a 5 on the title screen. This incarnation of Somari is relatively common on multicarts, especially those made by J.Y. Company. An actual recording of this game working on a Famicom clone can be seen here.
Sonic & Knuckles 5 (also known as Super Sonic 5 1997) changes the title screen graphics and music in an attempt to copy Sonic & Knuckles.
They match quite well, but they're in lower quality and the theme song is much faster than it should be. Like as Sonic 3D Blast 5, the player starts off at Spring Yard Zone. On Sonic & Knuckles 5's title screen, Knuckles is there but doesn't make an appearance in the actual game.
Sonic 3D Blast 6 was based on Sonic & Knuckles 5. While the title screen graphics are ported from Sonic 3D Blast and a "Start" screen (based on S3DB's main menu) was added between levels, the theme song is reused from Sonic & Knuckles 5. This time, the player starts at Marble Zone. Also notable is that when doing a soft reset on this hack, the title screen switches between its normal state and some garbled graphics, which is likely a result of removing Somari's title screen graphics and the game switching between two CHR banks, one of which is not meant to be used in this hack.
The names on the level selection screen no longer correlate with the actual zones. For example, whenever the player picks the Final Zone, the game brings them to Special Stage instead.
A common misconception with these games is that Somari was released after the Sonic the Hedgehog hacks. Not so, because while Somari was definitely released in 1994 (with development starting in 1993), the others were made afterwards and contain some unused graphics from it. (Such as Somari's titles and the unused "Mario" title) Many enemies in the game use Somari's color palette which makes them use the right colors when compared to the first Sonic the Hedgehog. However, in the hacks they appear blue instead. These hacks are also known to have been done by Hummer Team themselves as their own hack, The Hummer, is based on one of the later iterations of them.
Family Kid is a basic hack of Somari, replacing the "Somari Team Presents" screen with the Family logo (which appears in several other pirates, except smaller) and Mario with Family Kid, presumably named after Family TSI Ltd. who published it. However, they didn't change the signpost graphics which still have Mario's face on them. As well as this, Family Kid's left leg and a part of his head in his standing sprite is missing in some versions for unknown reasons. It's unknown when this hack was made, but it was released on a 2-in-1 multicart along with Aladdin 4. (hack of Aladdin)
Doraemon was made by Waixing and it's probably the most extensive hack. Somari is replaced by Doraemon, the character from the manga/anime of the same name. With the exception of the Final Zone, the level designs are completely different and most of the graphics and music have been redone. However, it should be noted that like many of Waixing's games from the time many graphics are stolen from other games including Little Samson, Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu, Wacky Races, Aladdin (the cobras under the spikes in the first zone) and Chip and Dale 2. Somewhat notably, in a similar way to Sonic Triple Trouble on the Game Gear you lose 20 rings when hit and not all of them like Somari did (but only 3 still fly out) and unlike him, Doraemon can't drown underwater. The Special Stage was omitted entirely although still accessible through save state hacking; it includes the music and graphics from the original level, although the background is grey as opposed to black for unknown reasons.
The Hummer AKA 超速悍馬 (Chāosù Hànmǎ) is a hack of Somari (Possibly after Sonic & Knuckles 5) released in Super New Year Cart 15-in-1 by 鴻景 (Hong Jing). This hack replaces the title screen, with the one used here having an original character possibly modeled after Sonic the Hedgehog, a logo in English and Chinese and some graphics reused from Final Zone. The main character's sprite is different in this hack and some of the backgrounds are recolored. This game might be a hack of Sonic & Knuckles 5 as it uses the same music on the title screen and they both start in Spring Yard Zone.
Another Somari hack starring the Hummer was released and is known only to exist on the Samuri 60-in-1, where the background graphics are almost completely different. This particular version has each act split up into separate games (Star Light Act 3 is on there twice while Green Hill Act 3, Labyrinth Act 2 and the Final Zone all go unused) and the title cards are removed. The music is also somewhat glitched.
The Hummer himself also appears on various games for the Samuri, acting as a mascot for Hummer Team.
- Suponev made a quick look at Somari in Dendy: The New Reality (perhaps, it's one of the few Hummer Team's games that got a spotlight in here, alongside Street Fighter II), noting that the port is somewhat accurate to its' predecessor, Sonic the Hedgehog. It was happened in episode 11.
- A level-by-level walkthrough has been given in one of the issues of Great Dragon.
- Among the amateur reviewers, this game usually gets mixed reviews. For instance, this one mentions that it's barely playable and the graphics suffered a lot, although it has good music and may amuse die-hard retrogamers.
Main article: Somari/gallery
- The trademark for this game (森瑪麗) was filed in 1993, less than a month after "Sonimari" (most likely a working title for the game). It was also trademarked by a company called Ge De Industry Co., who likely distributed it.
- The level select screen can be accessed by a cheat code at the title screen: Left, Down, B, A, Right, Up, A, B, Up, Down, Up, Down for Somari, the Sonic hacks, and Family Kid; A, B, Select, Up, Down, Left, Right, A for Doraemon.
- The Special Stage is misspelled as "Spacial Stage" on the level select screen and "Special Zone" on the title cards. Also, Spring Yard Zone is misspelled as "Spring Yand Zone" on the level select screen. These spelling errors are present in all of the hacks, with the exception of Doraemon which is in Chinese instead.
- There are unused tiles in the Somari ROM which have the banner on the title screen read "Mario" instead of "Somari". This was most likely a development name at the time because the title doesn't seem to fit in with the banner.
- Somari Team is spelled "Someri Team" on one of the cartridge arts, with the same cart having a 1994 copyright. This spelling is also used on the circuit board and cartridge art of AV Bishoujo Senshi Girl Fighting.
- There is a hack of Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis where Sonic is replaced with Somari but not much is known. The origin is known to be New Zealand. A related hack of the legitimate Mega Drive game made by Darkon replaced Sonic with a custom Mario sprite and giving him the ability to Spin Dash, the palettes are messed up in this version such as Robotnik being blue along with other red enemies.
- You can get 255 lives in the game if you beat a level but at the same time die from a time out (10:00). Your life counter will say 0 and everything after that will be all tiles.
- This game and some of its hacks are common on J.Y. Company's later multicarts, typically Sonic 3D Blast 5.
- Even though Somari's shoes are based off Tails' shoes from the Sonic series, the sprite of Somari taking in air from a air bubble in Labyrinth Zone depicts him with Sonic's striped shoes.The shoe difference is also noticeable on the cartridge and the box art.
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