Sebastian Staacks is a coder and good old fashioned tinkerer, his blog should have From LED cubes to automatic irrigation systems for lawns, he is full of technological curiosity. Now, Staacks has upped the nostalgia considerably, first, creating WiFi Game Boy cartridges, and now, managing to get Grand Theft Auto 5 and Doom to run on Nintendo’s classic hardware.
“A few weeks ago, I created a Game Boy cassette with built-in WiFi,” Staacks wrote. “Now I teach it to stream video and play games at full resolution. 20 fps. On the original unmodified Game Boy.”
Staacks has a technical article on how he did it here, and a simpler video explainer where you can see the game running on the hardware. Apparently, that’s what it looked like: an all-around cabaret tech showcase running on 1989 hardware that was unfairly mocked as outdated even when it was released. In other words, absolute magic.
The video below begins when Staacks is showing a demo of the game on the device.
The original Game Boy screen was clearly not up to the task, especially when it came to contrast. Another reason to be jealous of Staacks is that he has his hands on a pocket that has an incredible screen below showing how the WiFi cart trickery looks on that display.
My WiFI cartridge on the @analogue Pocket. It works out of the box, but there’s a small timing issue: these level glitches don’t exist on the original #gameboy. Still, I’m impressed that the Pocket is so close to the original. https://t.co/tBC05jGYBP pic.twitter.com/sU9B2BikO2January 15, 2022
Grand Theft Auto 5 is clearly the highlight here because, wow. Staacks’ WiFi carts come with instructions for others to build their own, and one of his followers naturally came across Doom, a perennial favorite.
“With this new demo,” Staacks wrote, “many of the other demos are pretty much out of date. I can display anything, and I can control anything that can be displayed and controlled on my PC. Of course, the interface and graphics are It’s pretty much unusable this way, so some specialized implementation might still be interesting. Also, I’m not touching audio here, which unfortunately was a big oversight when I designed this cartridge.
Schematics, source code and detailed instructions can be found here.