Google Maps goes 8-bit RPG questing with the Family Computer (NES)


Google's April Fools day joke brings back to life an old gaming system from our childhoods... Commentary by Karn G. Bulsuk The ...

Google's April Fools day joke brings back to life an old gaming system from our childhoods...

Commentary by Karn G. Bulsuk

The world, but not as you know it.
Find lots of landmarks and buildings which have been given the 8-bit treatment here:
Google has truly out-done itself this year with its annual April Fools joke. Apparently, in order to make sure that they bring Google Maps to all computing platforms, they have selected to create a Nintendo Family Computer (that's the NES to all you folks in North America) cartridge, containing a built in modem with dial up capabilities to connect to the internet and download maps, displayed in 8-bit glory.

Apparently the software comes with music from Dragon Quest and RPG-esque characters walking through the maps when you search for directions. The world is, appropriately, populated by castles and towns, while the world's landmarks have been converted into simpler, cartoony versions of themselves. Oh, and they remind you to blow on the cartridge in case the Famicom doesn't load the game up properly.

Did you know that unlike in past years where Google's prank doesn't actually exist, you can actually play around with the 8-bit map at Google Maps? Even street view has been rendered into full pixelated glory.

Play around for yourself:

Update: Looks like the button on Google Maps to access Quest has been taken down, but you can still access the maps from the link above.

Google's official video announcement

All cities have been converted into towns and castles respectively. It's 8-bit Final Fantasy all over again. Also, note that credits also go to Square Enix, suggesting they had a role to play in this.
Well known landmarks from all over the world have also been given their own icons. Other random icons, such as the two guys to the right, also appear. If you look closely at the map surrounding Mount Fuji, you may also notice the cute ghost or two.
Street view has not escaped the pixel treatment, and this image of the Leaning Tower of Pisa looks exactly how it should have looked like, had it been displayed on Nintendo's console 20 years ago.



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Karn Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: Google Maps goes 8-bit RPG questing with the Family Computer (NES)
Google Maps goes 8-bit RPG questing with the Family Computer (NES)
Karn Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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