Tech

This remake of Portal runs on real Nintendo 64 hardware.

In short: Programmer James Lambert is working on a remake of Portal that runs on real Nintendo 64 hardware, which is an impressive feat given the complexity of Valve’s puzzle platformer. The latest video in the Portal demake series is the first to show a working portal gun with recursive portal rendering.

It’s still a little rough around the edges, but there’s a good reason for that. Lambert said he wants to make sure the N64 can even create portals before trying to do something he knows he can do.

Now that he knows the N64 will do the job, he can add more details to convey the effect, such as the gun firing animation and portal growth. Audio will also make a big difference.

Lambert wasn’t sure how many levels he could get into the portal, though even two would put too much strain on the hardware. However, in testing, it was able to go through up to 15 layers without any noticeable slowdowns. It’s largely pointless to go any deeper since the last layer is only a few pixels wide, but it’s impressive nonetheless.

Portal appeared as part of The Orange Box compilation in late 2007 for the Xbox 360 and Windows PC, more than five years after Nintendo’s 64-bit home console was discontinued.

Lambert posted the latest build on Github for those who are interested in giving it a spin. According to him, the next update should be much bigger.

Meanwhile, Nintendo is working on Portal: Companion Collection for the Switch. The bundle includes Portal and Portal 2 and should be available later this year.

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Image credit: Joshua Sukoff


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