Turn Your Old-School 2D Games Into 3D Creations With This Emulator

This Firefox app still has some bug but serves as a good proof of concept.

Whether it’s the return of vinyl or forgotten fashion statements, retro items and activities always seem to find their way back into culture. The problem is, users want improvements on the original.

Nowhere is this more pervasive than video games, where die hard fans clamor for the nostalgia of pixilated fun — but perhaps, could do without the janky cartridges and stiff joysticks.

Vietnamese hobbyist Trần Vũ Trúc found a new way to innovate the two-bit genre through a Firefox web emulator that transforms 2D games into three-dimensional ones, all while maintaining that vintage pixilation. The emulator applies a slight pop to the graphics that pushes the environment into the foreground, exposing more detail hidden around corners and under platforms.

The emulator applies the effect on the fly to any ROM stored on a hard drive or in the cloud. The problem is, it’s still not all the fast or reliable yet. Many users report glitches, stuttering, and general visual defects. Not all games are working yet, but Vũ Trúc’s YouTube beta video shows Contra, Dr. Mario, Mega Man, Zelda 2, Super Mario 3, Castlevania, and more working relatively well.

While it only works on Firefox, the creator says he’s developing a downloadable version for Windows. (Hopefully some of the bugs will be fixed by the time that version debuts).

Despite the bugs, this hobbyist’s creation is solid proof of what can still be done to update old pixelated games.

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