Grim Fandango Gets New-Fangled At Last, But…

By Alec Meer on June 10th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Also in ‘hey, PS4, get orf moi land‘ news, it seems Sony’s latest under-telly monolith has managed to hoover up a surprise remastered version of beautifully bittersweet, death-themed adventure game Grim Fandango. No fair – so many of us PC types have been desperately wailing for these last ten years or so. The last great LucasArts game would enormously benefit from some modern spit’n'polish, especially to see its wonderful, weird scenes looking sharp and clear on our big, high res screens. To think that we may be denied it on our PCs is heartbreaking.

Fortunately, I spotted an update from Tim Schafer on the matter, clarifying that PS4 won’t be the only platform, when I was only halfway through necking that bottle of bleach, so perhaps I’ll be out of hospital in time to play the strongly-implied PC version.

Admittedly “Talk about other platforms soon!” is all we’ve got to go on, but the main thing is that it means no doors are shut. Also, news that this is a licensing collaboration between Double Fine and Disney is extremely exciting – perhaps the new LucasArts owners will prove fairly liberal about giving access to the older gaming jewels in their titanic crown.

The re-release was revealed as part of Sony’s E3 conference, but again that’s just where it’s getting its initial promotional boost – I’m sure this will arrive on PC too. Whether before, simultaneous to or after the PS4 version we just don’t know yet.

There’s also no word on just what will be involved in the re-release on any platform, but I’m absolutely certain that releasing even a 15-year-old game on a next Jennifer console will necessitate a graphical upgrade (specifically resolution) and a control overhaul. Limitations in both regards have held Grim Fandangao back from the fan modernisation projects that its 2D predecessors have enjoyed. That said, a recentish mod has done some splendid things with the game’s notorious shopping trolley controls.

Ah, the thought of playing Grim with sharp edges and non-batshit controls is delectable. Though I’ll still scream blue murder about the cat racing puzzle, naturally.

Very important P.S. – the above image is not from whatever this remastering turns out to be, it’s from an attempted fan overhaul a few years back. But relevantly illustrative, no?

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42 Comments »

  1. Winged Nazgul says:

    Grim looking pretty sharp there.

  2. grechzoo says:

    um… other platform….knowing disney mean, ipad and iphone surely.

    it all depends on the amount of sony involvement in this project, in the conference they made it sound like this is only happening because of Sony great partnership with Disney.

    if thats the case, the only other consoles this will be on will be mobile i expect.

    if the deal is DF and disney only then for sure pc will be on the cards. lets just hope thats the case.

  3. grechzoo says:

    um… other platform….knowing disney mean, ipad and iphone surely.

    it all depends on the amount of sony involvement in this project, in the conference they made it sound like this is only happening because of Sony great partnership with Disney.

    if thats the case, the only other consoles this will be on will be mobile i expect.

    if the deal is DF and disney only then for sure pc will be on the cards. lets just hope thats the case.

    • rockman29 says:

      Do you think Shafer would agree to this if it couldn’t come to PC?

      I know Sony isn’t the most popular around here, but they helped Dark Souls series come to fruition on multiple platforms as well.

      This game will come to PC, read Shafer’s responses!

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Sony also has some pretty large PC presence, what with Everquest, Planetside and the likes. I’d even say they’re closer to the PC as a platform than Microsoft right now.

      • mrmalodor says:

        Schafer also made a deal to keep Brutal Legend console exclusive for like 5 years.

        As for Sony, they didn’t help Dark Souls come to PC. From did that.

        So I guess we may get to play this timeless PC classic on PC in just 5 years! :)

        • JP says:

          “Schafer also made a deal to keep Brutal Legend console exclusive for like 5 years.”

          That is completely false.

      • Artea says:

        Sony had nothing to do with Dark Souls. You must be referring to Demon’s Souls, which was – and still is – a PS3 exclusive.

  4. marach says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney interactive’s twitter feed didn’t get it’s most @ messages ever over this. People were not happy when they didn’t come out and say it was also on PC (and tbh they still haven’t confirmed it which is causing DF all kinds of problems on their forums)

  5. amateurviking says:

    I think Sony might be paying for this? Or bit of it? (also GRIM on Vita sounds ace).

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Yes, Tim thanks Sony for their help in making this happen. He also replies “please read all my tweets” to people raging at him about a PC version on Twitter.

    • marach says:

      We know Tim would like it to be multi-platform but right now all we know is it’s on Sony platforms, everyone else is waiting on “later”.

  6. grimdanfango says:

    Fantastic news. My #1 top-of-the-all-time-greats-list game.

    Back in my penniless teens, I never actually bought the damned thing, only grabbed a copy off a friend. I’ve been buying everything Double Fine has ever made since though, by way of recompense to Tim Schafer. So I’m rather glad to hear he’s involved in this. At last I can show my direct appreciation for this incredible game to its original creators!

    It’ll be great to have a crisped up version too :-)

  7. SurprisedMan says:

    I suspect it’s part of the deal that Double Fine isn’t allowed to announce other platforms yet.

    But judging by Tim’s tweets and responses to tweets from concerned PC users, he’s basically implying that there will be a PC version as hard as he possibly can without actually saying ‘YES OF COURSE THERE WILL BE’

    Exclusivity is annoying, obviously, especially when wrapped up in this annoying vagueness about what they can announce. But I heavily suspect that it’s the only way this game would ever have got remastered. Yesterday I would have told you it’s almost impossible. I would have laughed at the possibility.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      People don’t learn. The majority of the time an exclusive announcement and/or release for a console is followed up shortly after by being announced/released for PC. Used as a tool to drum up hype and sales for the console, especially given how new they are its understandable Sony would want to do that. Yet every time people go batshit crazy when the PC version isn’t announced INSTANTLY. It’s really ridiculous.

  8. DrMcCoy says:

    They should talk to the ResidualVM people. Maybe contract them to iron out bugs, even.

    And then use ResidualVM as a base for a multi-platform Grim Fandango rerelease.

    • Shadowcat says:

      I really really hope they’re involving the ResidualVM folks; but I also fear it’s unlikely :/

      Note that rendering in higher resolutions is very much on the cards for RVM. If you compile it from source, then you can do this already (but with expected issues, which is why they don’t provide the option yet). See https://github.com/residualvm/residualvm/issues/428

    • LionsPhil says:

      I have more meagre hopes, in that this re-release doesn’t trigger any large corporate monoliths to try to lawyer the project to death.

    • disconnect says:

      We’d like to interface with the post-release community for Grim Fandango to utilise some of their enhancements.

  9. Penguin_Factory says:

    The announcement made it sound (although they didn’t actually say) that Sony is ponying up money for this, which doesn’t preclude a PC release- Sony does release things for PC- but I wouldn’t be surprised if the PS4 and/or Vita get a nice long window of exclusivity.

    • welverin says:

      I believe they helped fund Joe Danger and that made the rounds, so there’s no reason for this to not do so as well.

      and from the PS Blog post:
      ‘New audiences and dedicated fans alike will now have the opportunity to play the original classic, remastered for modern platforms.’

      So, yeah, it’s definitely going to be on more than just the PS4.

  10. OctoStepdad says:

    Can’t wait to play this on a PC and hopefully it does well so Disney will start allowing releases of other classics from LucasArts.

    I never heard/got a chance to play them back then. My days were filled with sonic & nba jam when I was a kid.

  11. somnolentsurfer says:

    I don’t imagine Disney are being very liberal with their IP at all. I suspect a good deal of money has changed hands, hence Sony’s involvement. It’s nice that they’re prepared to license of this stuff at all, but lets be honest, if they were actually being nice they’d allow creators to own their work.

  12. LuNatic says:

    Day of the Tentacle, please.

    • pilouuuu says:

      I’d love that to happen, especially considering that the HD edition was almost finished when Lucasarts dumbly decided to cancel it. Maybe they still have the code somewhere?

  13. Arglebargle says:

    What a tremendous score and music for Grim Fandango. I have the extended CD versions of it, and they did a stellar job. As I understand it, recorded live with a ton of top San Francisco players.

    • itsbenderingtime says:

      I hope they re-release that CD someday. I had to use a utility to rip all the music off the game CDs, and even though you can get more music that way, they’re all designed to be looped, so none of them end properly. I would like to buy it, but not at the prices that you have to pay if you want it now.

  14. Jackablade says:

    Will be interesting to see how they rework the art. The art style seems like it’d be fairly resistant to too much in the way of increased polygon detail.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      Glottis could use some extra polygons, but mostly its clever use of the technology of the time has helped it to age well. Re-rendered cutscenes would be nice, as they’re compressed hard to fit everything on just two CDs. (One of few games where the cutscenes look worse than the in-game graphics, except for the fact that the camera moves.) But yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how much they rework. I expect (and want) them to tread carefully.

      I’ve already bought it twice (once new, and then again as part of a bundle to get The Dig), but if done well and priced right, I might well get the remastered version too. I don’t hesitate to call it one of the best games ever made.

      • Malibu Stacey says:

        (One of few games where the cutscenes look worse than the in-game graphics, except for the fact that the camera moves.)

        Either you’re playing modern PC games on a really shitty GPU or you’re not playing many modern PC games which were also released on consoles because that my friend couldn’t be further from the truth.

      • somnolentsurfer says:

        I doubt they have the files to re render all the backgrounds and cutscenes (certainly Ragnar Tornquist as said they don’t have it for The Longest Journey). They’ll have to make them anew as with the Monkey Island special editions.

  15. Monkeh says:

    So happy! Getting this on my Vita. :)

  16. Sinomatic says:

    That window of exclusivity better not be too long. Some of us have been waiting for this for way too long already.

  17. rocketman71 says:

    Still waiting for them to fix Iron Brigade before they get another € from me.

    • SurprisedMan says:

      Iron Brigade is one of the few titles that DF have made in the last few years where they don’t have much of a say, because the IP is owned by Microsoft as part of the publishing deal (generally their policy is to retain IP). It’s very likely the decision over whether to do anything about Iron Brigade on PC and the GFWL nonsense (which I assume is what you’re referring to), or the decision to do it that way in the first place was and still is entirely out of their hands.

      So it may be worth cutting them some slack on that one.

  18. Sidewinder says:

    After SecuROM destroyed my CD burner when I tried to play Master of Orion 3 (the day after it came out; I didn’t know any better), I was rather cross at Sony. When destroyed my DVD burner when I tried to play Spore (also the day after it came out), I realized they had no regard for me at all and, pending a refund, an apology, and a public declaration that they’d never let malware like that bear their name again, started a boycott.

    But what do you know? I guess I CAN be more annoyed with them.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      You’re more annoyed with Sony for helping DF make a GF update than you were for having two optical drives destroyed? I can’t make sense of your comment.

  19. P.Funk says:

    I still have the original box. My favourite game ever. The CD sleeve is a work of art on its own.

    http://www.grim-fandango.com/media/collecting/sleeve-inside-400.jpg

  20. HisDivineOrder says:

    Sounds great if PC can get the version we want and deserve. Makes it all worthwhile.

    It’d be better still if this is the beginning of Disney trotting out all the old Lucasarts games for Telltale-like updates.

  21. -funkstar- says:

    Oh, god, the cat racing puzzle. And the signpost puzzle. Goddamn those were some right bastards!