One of the saddest things in all the world (of retro videogames) is the beautiful, bittersweet Grim Fandango’s odd resistance to being spit’n’polished into a shinier, more modern form for shinier, more modern graphics cards. I’m afraid I don’t have good news for you, at least not yet, but what I do have is a video demonstrating what a widescreen, upscaled GF might look like were it to ever happen, plus news on a group who are trying their bestest to make this happen.
Oh God, if only. Sadly, that was achieved with video editing software and Photoshop rather than a customised version of the game. It shows what might be, but not what is – and that makes me all :( that it isn’t reality. Cat Racing puzzle aside, Grim Fandango is the Lucasarts game that I’m most fond of – primarily for its style and dialogue. I’d love to see it sprawled elegantly across my 24″ monitor at 1920xwhatever, all crisp and gleaming and, thanks to its abstract character-shapes, probably looking surprisingly contemporary.
The folk at Grim Fandango Deluxe are on the case thanks to Residual, a modern, hardware non-partisan interpreter for Grim and Escape from Monkey Island (and a must if you want to play either of those games on today’s PCs), but they’ve run into some pretty big obstacles. To whit,
“1. Textures — We have found a way to increase the texture quality, but we are still limited by the game’s 8-bit palette. Ideally a 16-bit palette would be supported, allowing for better quality textures.
2. Polygons — We have tools to extract the binary .3do files and convert them to text versions or .obj files, but we don’t have a way of converting them back to text .3do files.
3. Resolution — This particular chestnut still needs to be cracked.”
If you reckon you can help overcome any of that, get in touch with the team here. I guarantee you’ll get thousands of internet hugs if you can make a shinier Fandango a reality.