Handheld Underground

Zook to the Future

posted by taizou @ 2024-05-01 00:00:00 Dumps

Back in 2007, the dumping group Sky League announced a certain game to be released on May 1st of that year.

But that release never happened. And the game has remained elusive. Until now! 17 years later to the day, we can finally bring you:

路克英雄傳3 / Lu Ke Ying Xiong Chuan 3 / Zook Hero 3
aka SUPER洛克人 / Super Luo Ke Ren / Super Rockman

Dumped by dhx and yy小龙虾, many thanks to you both!

This is a game with many names, but the one that might have grabbed your attention is "Zook Hero 3". That would make it the third entry in Vast Fame's Zook series! Vast Fame themselves had released Zook Hero Z and Zook Hero 2 for GBC, and then Zook Man ZX4 for GBA, and that was it. But that seems to leave a gap in the numbering, doesn't it? So is this a long-lost game from Vast Fame?

Well... not exactly. The team that stepped up to fill the gap was not Vast Fame themselves, but Sintax. So this is a Zook game, but it's not exactly a true Zook game. As far as I can tell, Sintax probably had permission to make it; they had a relationship with Vast Fame, being part of the same group of companies linked to Gamtec, and there is precedent of their collaboration in the form of Sintax's GBA titles, which made use of Vast Fame's sound driver and music. Also, if there was any doubt that it is supposed to be a Zook game, and not just another Mega Man clone, the box for the Taiwanese release of the game actually says "Zook Hero" in English.

This game was released in 2004, when Sintax was past their prime, but hadn't quite descended into the lows they'd reach in the subsequent years. Accordingly, it does make a serviceable effort to mimic Mega Man (but not Mega Man X) gameplay, and makes the fairly neat addition of a Metroid-style morph ball move. But it inevitably doesn't come anywhere close to reaching the high standards of Vast Fame's original Zook games. The music is taken directly from the official Game Boy Mega Man 2, so it at least comes from an appropriate source, but that is considered one of the poorer soundtracks in the series and again it doesn't really match up to Yishen Liao's work on the original Zook games.

Of course, Sintax would never pass up an opportunity to recycle a game, and this one would be reworked into the already-dumped Metal Slug game Yuenan Zhanyi X, but that version is actually cut-down and simplified from the original, lacking a stage select, save system and subscreen. Another reskin based on Crazy Arcade retained these elements. however. Sintax would then go onto produce a more tenuously-linked fifth game, Luo Ke Ying Xiong EXE5 aka Luo Ke Ren X5, which was simply a reskin of their previous Castlevania title.

But, regardless of quality, this is still a semi-official entry in one of the most famous unlicensed Game Boy series, and undeniably a significant work as a result, with a ROM dump being sought-after ever since it was first teased by Sky League. So I'm incredibly grateful to both dhx and yy小龙虾 for making it possible to bring this game back to the world, and finally fill a longstanding gap in the Game Boy canon.

Note that in this case, we don't have a raw dump, only a pre-cracked version. In order to play it on hhugboy you'll need to set unlicensed compatibility mode to "disabled", as it's not able to auto-detect that it's not protected. Other emulators and flash carts should support it with no problems.


Lu Ke Ying Xiong Chuan 3 (Unl) (Chn) [C] [Cracked].zip


We also have some scans from yy小龙虾, this is the mainland Chinese "Super Rockman" release. The title screen and game content is identical in all versions.



1posted by yy小龙虾 @ 2024-05-01 00:09:37

Thank you Taizou.

2posted by CRAZY @ 2024-05-01 01:44:53



3posted by ? @ 2024-05-01 06:47:19


4posted by taizou @ 2024-05-01 11:33:18

@CRAZY Please don't comment on a release post just to complain about some other game not being released. I'll ban people who persist with doing this from now on

5posted by Smedis2 @ 2024-05-01 12:40:28

i heard this was getting released literally like 2-3 days after i started showing interest in it again lmao. truly i manifested it.

Cowboy Zain will live in my head rent free from this day onwards

6posted by ThatOneEnder @ 2024-05-01 18:40:41

This is an amazing find!! These designs are so goofy, I love this.

8posted by CaptainScabs @ 2024-05-02 01:02:02

I actually remember seeing this one in a flea market as a kid, the guy selling them had a copy of Thunder Blast Man (with MegaMan X Command Mission box art) which I bought and several others.

Nice to see it finally dumped.

9posted by MegaMan52 (YouTube/Video Game Sage) @ 2024-05-02 17:50:50

Pretty cool. I have Zook Hero Z and Rockman DX3 (Zook Hero 2), and other Mega Man bootlegs like Mega Man II and Rockman 8 (with an orange label). Been wanting to play this one for a while now, even if it may not be as good. Would like to find the cartridge someday. For now, though, I guess I'll play it on a GameCube via the Visual Boy Advance GX Emulator.

10posted by loxx @ 2024-05-05 00:33:57

Thanks for sharing and nice documentation 🎉🎉🎉

11posted by Cris_Kaiju @ 2024-05-06 03:31:35

( / o v o)/ <3

12posted by Ooh La La @ 2024-05-06 12:47:26

Yeeeeeeeaaaah! Another one, thanks!

They missed the opportunity to combine all these games into a single multi-language cartridge way back then.

13posted by Ritz @ 2024-05-09 18:49:08

Yo, I just learned about this today, but thanks for doing it. I love the MegaMan series, so it's nice to have more games even if it's a hack. I am so excited to play this on my Miyoo later 🤤

14posted by Chris Clarence @ 2024-05-14 20:18:45

I am very confused? They realese this Game after Zook Hero 4? Or (maybe) it was shelf for like 3 years and then they released it?

15posted by Roma @ 2024-05-17 09:02:31

Приятно ты вернулся с редкой игрой

16posted by S.A.O. @ 2024-05-18 14:03:10

I know I'm late but pretty please can someone translate the chinese text to English, I wanna work on remaking the zook hero games and make a sequel to them so I wanna know the story.

17posted by ? @ 2024-06-25 04:09:35

very coollio

18posted by KarPops @ 2024-07-09 03:17:28

Hello Taizou! I just came to thank you for doing this magnificent project for the preservation of these bootlegs as well as the development of a dedicated emulator for them, I hope it's going well for you, good luck

19posted by Sigma @ 2024-07-15 22:10:48

Мною недавно было найдено пиратская игра про Гарри поттера точнее пиратский перевод на китайский игры по гарри поттеру 2 вместо оригинального титульного экрана плохо оцифрованая обложка hp 1 для ps1

20posted by Sigma @ 2024-07-15 22:11:19

Жаль нельзя приложить фото