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What If: Grim Fandango Deluxe

Manny up and release the source code, Lucasarts

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.

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Who am I?

Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

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