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ALPHA SPHERE Zero: Rotten Brains

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ALPHA SPHERE Zero: Rotten Brains is the second game in the series. It's a prequel story where you play as the brother of the protagonist of ALPHA SPHERE known as "Mal," going through a typical day in a close-by village. There is talk about a device that brings people back from the dead, which is where the character "Ellie" comes into play. She convinces Mal to test the Alpha Sphere to see if it actually works, which requires falling into a bed of spikes intentionally. The hack is 100% storytelling.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for this game. The hack contain themes of suicide.


  • Prequel to ALPHA SPHERE.
  • First to use a jumpscare with more than 2 frames.
  • It is one of the few SMW ROM Hacks to feature cutscenes outside the possibilities of vwf cutscene tool and vwf dialogues patch.
  • It is one of the few SMW ROM Hacks to feature selective voice acting in a handful of scenes.
  • Still in a 1bit style, and doesn't cheat the two palette rule like some scenes in ALPHA SPHERE.



Norma's brother, currently in a relationship with Ellie. He becomes the first to use the Alpha Sphere.


The protagonist from the previous entry, and also the wife of Doctor Andre.

Doctor Andre

The antagonist from the previous entry, but doesn't look like a horned skeleton. Instead, he looks like how he looked during Ending A of ALPHA SPHERE but in red/black. He's one of Mal's best friends.


Mal's girlfriend, who is eager to test the Alpha Sphere. She claims that it's for Doctor Andre's research.

Fae (The Horse)

Doctor Andre's steed, and family pet. She only communicates her feelings through the way her noises are described.


A darker skinned girl looking for her dad.


A tomgirl who is a "nemesis" to Mal. She wants to play "E#E" (this game's version of Dungeon's and Dragons, or D&D).


A one-eyed girl who dreams to have her eye fixed one day by Doctor Andre. She clings onto hope for as long as she can.


He wants to revive his brother "Ovan," but his love for his wife "Enilum" gets in the way from reviving him. Enilum dies in the middle of the game, which people blame him for the crime. This is evident when Ovan returns from the dead. His name seems to be an anagram for "Mute," in reference to the protagonist from SMW: The After Years. Same goes for Enilum (Lumine).


Snarky punk who wants to be with women. He's a jerk who thinks he's very smart.


Tume's sister, who wants to believe the good that's in her brothers.


Tume's brother, who is revived near the end of the game. He simply wants to comfort Tume in his darkest hours.


Surface Level Details

After Mal's first dive towards the spikes, an image of a brain is shown. It is then that a mysterious box (similar to the teleport from the first game) spits Mal out in front of Norma's home. Norma suggests that Mal see Doctor Andre, to which he becomes curious about the sphere.

Ellie pushes Mal to test the Alpha Sphere again, which concerns Mal but ultimately agrees to do it for Andre's research. The image of the brain returns, this time appearing to be...warped. Mal is teleported more in the middle of the village, closer to the structure that the Alpha Sphere resides. The more times you penetrate yourself, the sadder the village gets as a whole; killers being suspected, people losing hope for the future, and dead bodies are found. A villager named Tume straight up leaves as things get stranger. The time it takes between death and revival of Mal also increases, going from days to even a month. The only person who is reviving him is Ellie's, as confirmed by Doctor Andre during the first death that the Alpha Sphere revives those you loved most (like in ALPHA SPHERE the original). Every time Mal is revived, his pain is washed away with comfort, and it eventually becomes an addiction. By the second death, the doctor learns the truth about the sphere...it can only revive those you loved most...and that's it. Eventually Ellie just goes in the catacombs ahead of you. The third time you die is when things really get spooky...no music, a villager is dead on the ground, your house doesn't seem right. Mal finds himself taking blame for his actions. There is one sign of good news...Norma is wanting to have a child, with a crib being made and everything. But there's only one way this story can go...the catacombs once more. The ambient noise that played before is now a deranged static, with images flashing on screen. Ellie confesses her feelings...the fact she loved Mal because she kept killing him, and she doesn't want to feel this way anymore. But Mal's mental state is too far removed to realize that exactly that means; his perception of death tells that he thinks it's only temporary. He takes what she says as an understanding. So one last time, Ellie promises to bring him back, and Mal takes the dive...

A visual of the brain returns, but this time it's completely shattered, or it's fenced off. Instead of returning to the gameplay, you instead return to the 4 dead bodies of Mal and Ellie looking over them. She smiles, and the screen scrolls to reveal another man. She no longer loves Mal. The next screen has the phrase "優先順位が変更された" written in Japanese, roughly translating to "priority has been changed," as in the priority of Ellie's love has changed, and the sphere recognizes it. It is a machine, as revealed in the director's cut of ALPHA SPHERE. It falling from the sky is probably referencing the fact it's actually alien technology, or at the very least on another level of technology. The lettering is even moving like a DVD Player or Windows screensaver, further communicating the "computery" aspect of the sphere. But then you control Mal again, except he's inverted kinda like when Norma roamed the earth after her final death. Mal tries to run to the right, not being hurt by the spikes since it seems like this is him dead. But then the game freezes, and finds himself being dragged backwards as a loud distorted version of the main theme plays. As it turns out, not just one but three "Jinkers" are found in the last few frames of being dragged backwards. An image of a tombstone is shown, with "The End" alongside the phrase "NO REST ONLY MAL-FUN." This would be the end of the game, except if you press any button here you'll get an image of a rotten corpse. If you press a button again, the corpse will shout "I WILL PERGE THOSE ROTTEN BRAINS!" as if their voice is struggling to scream. The next screen has "inverted palette" Mal wait in a screen featuring Sephiroth's theme. If you wait a bit, the text will pop up and tease ALPHA SPHERE 2, claiming that it is now in development. Wait a bit more, and you'll get further confirmation of Mal's fate with the phrase "The body was never found." BUT! There is one more secret post-ending screen. If you hold down for 5 seconds like in SMB3, you'll fall through the floor and get a black screen. Another voice speaks, this time sounding much more robotic than the monster's. This being is talking to a character named "Jinker Nuts," where he says "Jinker Nuts...execute all of them. Things have gone too far. I'll deal with Bolts later." Bolts is referring to Jinker Bolts, the same one from the previous entry.

Events that take place after the story

This isn't where the story the game presents ends. There are a number of secret cutscenes all relating to a bush a character named Hase stands beside. The missing berries represents a little known secret in the previous game where if you hold down in the middle of the bush like with SMB3's white platforms, you'll get a secret scene involving events prior to ALPHA SPHERE. Doing it here does the same thing, except this time it's events that take place after. The first scene simply just tells you to go to Andre's Home first. After doing that, this second one has a playable Norma once again, looking a bit cleaner in design. We're in Andre's Home, but this time there's a secret basement. We go through the small corridor, only to see Doctor Andre facing off against...a monster. This creature has the bodies of Mal (you can tell because of the very middle of the sprite being the black shirt with a red overshirt), stitched together to create a being with 4 legs, 4 torsos, 6 arms, and one head that's actually 4 heads mashed together. Apparently this...thing is Dr Andre's mistake. We're not given too much context to this creature. Some theorize that this thing is MAL-FUN, the very same corpse that was seen at the end of the game. We're not given too much context before we're being chased by this being. If you get caught, a 4-frame jumpscare plays with shaking, and the phrase "I did this to myself." is shown...probably in reference to how Mal literally did this to himself. If you wait a tiny bit, this aftermath screen shows a single frame of the jumpscare, but dithered. This same image is actually used during the final catacombs walk for the flashing images. But if you do escape, Norma finds herself back in the village...but all the villagers we've met during the game are all dead. Norma shouts to Andre, wondering where he is. She almost makes it to the catacombs, but a Jinker shows up to grab her. This robot prepares a spiked limb, and stabs it through Norma, ending her life. The game over sound from ALPHA SPHERE plays.

Falling in the bush immediately after this sequence will show the first screen of of the village, with a bunch of dead Normas piled ontop of the remains of Mal's home. The monster is slowly approaching the bodies, and a black screen is present with it talking. It's the same voice as the corpse, though it's not shouting this time. It simply says "I'm sorry Norma...you're suffering a fate worse than death! [cries (or laugh?)]" This seems to take place during the events of ALPHA SPHERE, since a similar scene is a secret in that game, just without the monster. Both scenes can be canon, as the previous one could just a moment in time when the monster didn't show up yet.

If you manage to get ontop of the structure near the catacombs near the end of the game, you get an image of a giant sphere with a J on it called "THE MOON THAT DOESN'T FEEL." Sephiroth's theme is played again, probably indicating that the theme represents the Jinkers, or that the moon plays a key part of ALPHA SPHERE 2's story.


MAL-FUN, Mal and the Monster

For those who found all the secrets, these three details seem to be tied together. The "MAL-FUN" name is only seen on the gravestone, and the corpse is a different image compared to the jumpscares. This could just be an inconsistency in part of Daizo Dee Von, since the series has a lot of stock images downgraded to a 2bit style and warped in some way. It's also the case where the voice is the same as the corpse, which is strong evidence of the two being the same creature. Mal's name is part of the name "normal," like Norma's name is, but it also takes from "malfunction" like MAL-FUN's name. People seem to be in agreement that they are connected, but until ALPHA SPHERE 2 releases, it can only be speculation.

Who created the Monster / Dr Andre's Mistake

It's heavily suggested that it was the Jinkers who created it, but it also seems to contradict with what Doctor Andre since he says that it's his mistake. It's worth noting that the mistake Andre made with the monster doesn't necessarily relate to it's creation. There is a cut sequence of text left in the game suggesting that the doctor is supposed to help the monster, but he ran away. The canonicity of this line is questionable at best, as it's only viewable through Lunar Magic. It's definitely not too out of the ordinary for ROM Hacks to hide secrets in the editor (see: ['the]) so it's also not entirely off the table.


Victim 89 only makes a single frame appearence in an easter egg screen. The image is taken from a real life photo of the user "Chaser the Ultimate Gamer" or "Scooter102089" with the titular eyes and black tears. This character isn't seen anywhere else in the game, but it could still be canon and might suggest that there are way more people that aren't seen.

The Last Jinker

We know of Jinker Bolts and Jinker Nuts, but the Jinker that kills Norma isn't named or spoken out loud. His stand-out feature is he has a single eye shaped like an "X" and has a slightly altered shade. We don't even know if there's only three Jinkers, though in ALPHA SPHERE there is a secret message that refers to himself and the two others. Some could say his name is "Jinker Screw," to fit with the "nail" motif of the characters' names. With that theming however, he could also be called "Jinker Washer," "Jinker Rivet," "Jinker Anchor," "Jinker Pin," or other possibilities.

Enilum's murder

Enilum is an unseen villager of the land who dies in the middle of the game. A lot of the villagers seem to point at Tume for the murder. If you check the bush throughout the game, the final prompt mentions the silver debris on the ground.


It's definitely not as popular as ALPHA SPHERE, but those who played it enjoy the world building added to the series. With a lot of new characters, as well as questions from the first game being answered, people seem satisfied. There are some people on Romhacking.net who took slight offence to the subject matter, but this and ALPHA SPHERE were submitted at the same time on the site so both games had the complaints.

One thing that was clear is the fact this game, while having some very creepy scenes, isn't nearly as scary as the previous entry. The tech behind it is impressive, but the game is more focused on the story over the horror. A lot of the secrets were also kept super hidden, so a lot of the best moments aren't actually played by the public.

Overall though, Daizo Dee Von is still pretty happy about the game. He does feel the pressure of delivering with the sequel, but has already teased some aspects of it. We'll have to wait until ALPHA SPHERE 2 releases to get the complete story...or just ask more questions.