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Of course someone got Doom running on a Nintendo Game & Watch

A shotgun-shooting soldier in front of the Doom logo on the game's title screen.

Oldfangled is newfangled again and that goes double for this inevitable feat of hardware hackery. That’s right, it’s Doom. Of course it’s Doom. More specifically, it’s Doom running on one of Nintendo’s old-but-new Game & Watch handheld toys that was created to run Super Mario Bros. Throw Mario in the bin though because after rip and tearing into this retro-styled device someone has taken it on a tour of hell instead.

Hardware wiz “Stacksmashing” snagged one of these 35th anniversary Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch toys that Nintendo created in the style of their retro pocket toys from the 80s. In an initial video with the device, Stacksmashing explores how to hack new software onto it. Ah, but with this power in hand, what should it run? No, not Crysis. Don’t be cruel. It can run Doom though, and here’s the proof.

It doesn’t run Doom well, mind. Even after identifying hardware and firmware constraints, there was still the issue of finding a version of Doom’s software that the thing could run. Stacksmashing and co-conspirator Konrad Beckmann identified “STM32Doom” which was created to run Doom on a different small processor. The G&W has only a fraction of the RAM and flash storage space that STM32Doom would require, though. Time to rip and tear some more.

Stacksmashing had to strip the game port down further with the use of something called “Minimal Doom” to reduce the game’s visual elements. Even then, the game would crash due to memory issues. Once they got it running, it took minutes for the game to load and seconds for each frame to render. With even more tinkering magic, hey the thing works!

It ain’t pretty, but Stacksmashing says this is just the beginning of Game & Watch homebrew experiments.

It may not be quite as weird as Doom (kind of) running on a pregnancy test, but it’s still quite impressive.

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