Sega Genesis/Mega Drive ROM hacks are now available in the Steam Workshop

Hack Sonic 3D to feature Rom the Vacuous Spider please

Sega has added Steam Workshop support for Sega Genesis & Mega Drive Classics, allowing ROM hackers to make their work easily available to everyone.

The update comes as part of a massive revamp of Classics that introduces a full 3D menu based on a rank ‘90s bedroom. While being able to faff about with cartridges is cool, it’s the ROM hacks that are by far the most exciting thing here.

ROM hacks are where people (much cleverer than I am) take a standard .rom file and tinker with it to make reworked or even entirely new versions of a game. It’s like your regular game modding in a lot of ways, except it’s never been officially supported or condoned by publishers. Until now, that is.

The workshop is already bursting with all kinds of hacks for all sorts of games, and some of them are pretty well-known. Most of them are, admittedly, Sonic hacks, such Knuckles In Sonic 1, but there’s also things like Gunstar Heroes – Chill Edition and Streets of Rage 2 Except It Makes That Weird Tim Allen Noise When People Die. Iconic.

Of course, people are already testing the limits of what can and can’t be uploaded. Duke Nukem 3D, the individual Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, and Puyo-Pop have all been added as “hacks” to pre-existing games. It’ll be interesting to see where Sega draws the line between legitimate ROM hacks and copyright infringement, or even if they will at all.

These are exciting times, that’s for sure. Time for me to go play every Sonic 2 mod out there!

Joe Parlock