Become An Internet Explorer in Mozilla’s BrowserQuest

Find me the oracle known as Google
I remember back in the 1.0 days of internet browsers. When I needed it to do anything, I’d have to install toolbars, plug-ins, all kinds of additions that had nothing to do with slowly downloading images of Agent Scully or e-mailing people I didn’t know about my feelings. Nowadays, I can see Scully in the blink of an eye, I have no emotions, and browsers can play games with barely a hitch. To prove just how far they’ve come, Mozilla has just released BrowserQuest: a cute HTML 5 powered MMORPG.

Now apparently this is quite the thing: having a fairly large MMO running natively in the browser. Being a PC gamer, I thought I saw something like this everyday, but I guess I’m so used to Flash that I forget that it’s not the browser doing it all on its own.

It’s a Zelda inspired action RPG: you wander, collect weapons and whack things over the head until they die and drop loot. You might have to remind yourself that it’s an impressive tech demo, but it’s nonetheless charming, with some witty NPC chat and funny references. As a proof of concept, I’d have made it sparklier, but I might just be jaded. I did enjoy wandering and whacking.

If you have Internet Explorer, here’s a video of the game.

Why? Here’s a screenshot of it In the most recent version of IE.

What is it Microsoft do again?

Everyone else: Safari, Opera, Chrome and Firefox, have fun.


  1. lordcooper says:

    IE still exists?

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Yes, it is for downloading another browser.

    • LionsPhil says:

      IE’s improving at a rate of knots, in fact. Microsoft finally woke up to the fact that letting IE6 rot completely failed to snuff out the web, and are into their panicked catch-up mode.

      The last time they had one of those was when Linux rattled their cage, and gave us XP. I wouldn’t be surprised if IE is actually looking an attractive proposition too, if you can get over the fear and doubt of security reputation past.

      • NYMinuteMan says:

        Think so too. Internet Explorer 9 is quite alright. You can use AdBlock’s filter lists, and while the preferences menu is terrible, the main interface is slick. Microsoft is catching up with SOME standards and it’s pretty safe too (considering the market share).

      • Boozebeard says:

        Yep, IE9 is actually really nice. Only reason I use other browsers is for better extensions. If i’m using a public computer likes the ones on campus I just use IE9 though.

        • kimadactyl says:

          Nice, but terrible HTML5 support so feels like we’re still back in 2002 making CSS replacements for IE6. Sigh.

        • DrGonzo says:

          IE 10 seems pretty good too. The best thing about IE though since IE9 is the video quality. There is a significant difference in picture quality between IE 9 + 10 and the other browsers. I still generally use Chrome for my browsing, but I now use IE10 for iPlayer etc.

  2. Nero says:

    No love for Netscape Navigator :(

  3. Space_Masters says:

    It doesn’t seem to work in Firefox for me. It loads up, but I can’t click to move or interact with anything. The square cursor is not there. It works in Chrome, but I prefer the fox.

    • Smarag says:

      In the game Firefox is promoted all the time(e.g. invulnerability powerup is the suit of a Firefox and the description of the last achievement says “you know have the power of the fiery fox”) … You probably have an old version installed.

    • stahlwerk says:

      FF 3.5 won’t upgrade to the fast update path (where it’s at version 11 now) by itself. You need to manually install the newest version.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      So help me god if you’re still using 3.6.X….

      • LionsPhil says:

        You can take my proper menu bar, status bar, addons window that actually has a changelog for updates and isn’t the full size of a tab for no reason, and foward button that doesn’t play hide-and-seek when you can pry them from my cold, dead maintenance branch.

        • Solidstate89 says:

          Just put the menu bar back. Just put the status bar back. Neither one of those things even REQUIRE add-ons to do. Just checking a box. The add-on tab page is superior as you can get everything from the one tab – it’s quite stupid to want a window.

          And seriously? The forward button? Did you try hitting “Customize” and adding it back in? Why do you even use Firefox (the BEST browser for customization) if you don’t even know these simple tweaks you can make? You get your GUI for 3.6.x along with all the HUGE performance and memory benefits of the latest versions of Firefox.

          Best of both worlds.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Oh good, fanboys being obnoxious and telling me that I don’t want things I just said I want. Wheee, I must be on the Internet.

            (None of that shit works, either. If you turn on the status bar you get that AND the fucking useless add-on bar. Thanks, Mozilla. Thozilla.)

  4. stahlwerk says:

    IE10 in Win8 supports Websockets.

    link to


    • djbriandamage says:

      Furthermore, IE10 will support the proprietary H.264 video codec (as will Chrome) whereas Firefox will only support free open source alternatives (which all the browsers will support). It’s not clear whether Microsoft’s license for H.264 extends to all applications running in Win8 or only the IE application itself.

      • Brun says:

        The latest I’ve heard is that Firefox will support hardware implementations of H.264, but not software implementations.

      • Solidstate89 says:

        Incorrect. Mozilla has just announced they’ll add support for both their B2G phone OS as well as the Fennec browser for Android.

        It is also believed it will be added to their desktop browsers as both Windows Vista/7/8 and OS X (whatever number they’re on now) allow browsers and various other programs to use their built-in codec support.

    • svick says:

      Doesn’t work for me on Win 8 CP. It loads, but I am unable to name my character.

  5. Lemming says:

    Is it me or has Browserquest pretty much traced around LOZ: A Link to the Past?

  6. deke913 says:

    Just played a little using Waterfox browser, and it ran smooth. Quite charming, exploring is like in Zelda where you go to the edge of the screen to advance the next map area. Several people on there playing as well.

  7. Bremze says:

    If you’re on Opera, you might have to run opera:config#Enable%20WebSockets in the address bar.

    • EvilMoFo says:

      Ah, thank you. I was about to post that it does not work on Opera.

      • ShadowNate says:

        For me it still does not work. It is stuck forever in the “connecting to server…” screen. (Opera 11.62, websockets enabled)

        • rapchee says:

          needs restart after changig the setting
          edit: actually it doesnt work for me either. doesnt go any further than inputting the name

  8. scopie says:

    When I saw that image my brain stem was like “NUHHHGH ZELDA” and I got very excited. This is still cool, though.

  9. Torgen says:

    mmmm, Scully.

  10. pakoito says:

    Got to the engame in less than 10 minutes. Just run, scream and steal the final boss loot. Don’t forget the racial slur on the chat.

  11. Postal76 says:

    Nowadays … I have no emotions


  12. rawrty says:

    Was i the only one disappointed that the agent scully link was lmgtfy and not something more…how do i say…AROUSING?

  13. Ahtaps says:

    I want someone to make a version of Lynx with HTML5 support and translates all images into ASCII art. Then my life will be complete.

  14. Eldray says:

    From a game design perspective, the big issue of this game is that the optimal strategy is to run the final boss, wait for someone to kill it, and instantly get the best loot without having to gradually move up the ladder.

    Still, it’s surprisingly a really fun game (albeit really short), mostly thanks to the accessibility, multiplayer and the achievements.

    It would have been nice to have used SVG instead of bitmap graphics though.

  15. Scandalon says:

    I just played it, and am posting this, on a (borrowed) iPad. The browser really is the OS now, most of us just haven’t quite caught up yet.

  16. danphango says:

    Bleh, it’s not working on my chrome. got stuck on the “connecting to sever” screen.

  17. figvam says:

    Somehow it’s touted as an achievement in the web browser gaming, but Command&Conquer: Alliances has been able to get there first, and it’s a much more complex browser-based game, albeit in the different, Farmville-like genre.

    • LionsPhil says:

      There’s nothing here that couldn’t have been done in a Java applet, and I say that with my intense loathing of Java intact.

      Getting excited about running games in inappropriate platforms like inside a web browser is as ridiculous as getting excited about running Linux on your toaster.

  18. Dosium says:

    This is amazing :D If i didn’t like the gameplay, I’d keep this on for the music.

  19. loshon says:

    Aw yeah, pumped out a cool 20/20 achievements in around 45 minutes.

    Feelin’ accomplished now.

  20. Melf_Himself says:

    Can’t decide whether voiceover man is artificial e.g. Dr Sbaitso, or merely some kind of obsure European.

  21. Fitzmogwai says:

    Gah! Yoda Stories flashback.

  22. Milky1985 says:

    So does HMTL 5 actually exist now? According to the html 5 website its stilla draft standard so anything saying its html 5 could actually not work (because the standard has changed since then).

    Not to be cynical or anything, but maybe companies shoudl wait until its done and dusted and on paper as set before bigging it all the damn way up!

  23. Kaira- says:

    I really like how it asks me to turn my device to landscape mode. I think my laptop is already in a landscape mode, thank you very much.

  24. DrGonzo says:

    I’m playing the game in IE right now. The actual latest version of IE runs it fine. But you didn’t try and load it in the latest version did you? Bit mean, and completely wrong needs to be corrected.