Elden Ring is a colossal open-world game full of unique bosses, esoteric quests, and mysterious secrets. What would the Game Boy version of that play like? One fan is determined to find out.
A Twitch user who goes by shintendoTV announced their intention with a recent teaser trailer that blew up on the Elden Ring subreddit (via IGN). It shows ye Tarnished rolling through 8-bit recreations of the early part of the game. Eventually, the player encounters a Grafted Scion who looks like a scrapped Pokémon. Then a “You Died” screen appears. “Should’ve thrown a pokeball at that mf,” quipped one person on the subreddit.
ShintendoTV is using retro game creation software GB Studio 3.0 for the project and streaming development on Twitch where you can watch them build up the world tile-by-tile. The hope is for a playable version of Limgrave, Elden Ring’s starting area, by the end of May. FromSoftware’s version is bursting with so much stuff players haven’t had a problem burning hour after hour discovering all it has to offer. We’ll see if ShintendoTV’s demake manages to be similarly dense. They recently announced the addition of working Tree Sentinels.
Part of the allure of demakes is taking something modern and huge and giving it a veneer of nostalgia and simplicity. Interestingly, the thing ShintendoTV’s project reminds me of most so far is Final Fantasy Adventure, the confusingly named first entry in Square Enix’s Mana series. The 1991 Zelda-like for Game Boy also took place in a vast, open world full of weird NPCs to talk to and character builds to level up.
There aren’t many similarly complex demakes out there (one notable exception is a PS1-looking version of Bloodborne complete with kart racing), but if any modern game can command one it’s Elden Ring. The latest Soulsborne is already beloved by critics, far and away the best-selling game of the year so far, and even generating its own lore outside of the game as people encounter real-life legends in its online multiplayer mode.