Last week, the animator, hacker, and all-around creative troublemaker Jeff Hong wowed the Internet with the release of Punktendo, an online Nintendo emulator with punk rock versions of classic games. What does that even mean, you ask? It means he replaced the characters in games like Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man with iconic punk musicians, created amazing mashup cover art, and made it all available to play for free from the comfort of your own home or at your office desk while hiding from your boss. Super Mario Bros. became Super Mikey Erg!, with the Ergs! frontman taking over for Mario, Mega Man became DAN ZIG with Danzig’s Glenn Danzig, Kung Fu turned into Milo-Fu with Milo from The Descendants, Popeye just turned gay, and so on.
This is just the most recent cultural icon-busting project from Hong, who is also the man behind Disney Unhappily Ever After, which recasts well known Disney characters in deliciously dark and cynical situations. Hong says he learned how to change the sprites in video games by using online resources, and can do it in a couple days now.
Since the the idea is so bizarre and has left a lot of readers wondering what Punktendo games are really like, we rolled up our sleeves and took on the important task of playing and ranking every game Hong has put out so far. Here’s what we thought.