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Someone Is Making A Portal Demake For The Nintendo 64

Portal is one of the most highly acclaimed video games of modern times. The physics-based platformer, developed by Valve and based in the Half-Life universe, remains strong in the minds of those who played it, and one player was clearly inspired by it. So much so in fact that they're de-making Portal for the Nintendo 64.

Although Portal is now fairly old by video game standards, since it launched in 2007, the title released on PCs and the Xbox 360 – computing machines that are far more powerful than the Nintendo 64. But the solo developer is somehow making the portal physics work on the 1996 console.

The person in question is one James Lambert, who is working on Portal64, his de-make. Today, he posted a YouTube video that shows one of the most important additions to his game: working portals! "This comes as part of an update to include more complete collision detection for both the player and physics objects in the scene", his description reads.

In a Reddit thread, Lambert confirmed that he's using real N64 hardware rather than emulators. But why work with such an old console in the first place? Because the Nintendo 64 happens to be Lambert's favourite console and he enjoys working within the technical constraints.

As the video shows, the project looks to be workable since the thing that made Portal Portal was the portals, and from the looks of things these appear to be working. As one Redditor says: "I'm impressed the N64 can handle that level of portal physics".

Lambert replied: "The N64 had a pretty beefy CPU for its time. Most games are limited by the GPU". Famously, the Nintendo 64 was based on 64-bit architecture, which was a step up from its great rival, Sony's 32-bit PlayStation. The hardware allowed Nintendo to show off what were impressive visuals for the time in games such as Wave Race 64 as well as the expansive 3D worlds of Mario 64.

So while the visuals are clearly not as high definition as Valve's Portal, Lambert's Portal64 has a peculiar charm to it, easily recalling such classics as GoldenEye 007, except we're navigating corridors with a Portal Device rather than a pistol.

It might be a while yet before we see the full Portal game de-made for N64, but for those wanting to give Lambert's creation a spin a ROM is available to download here. While it's always impressive to see just how far old hardware can be pushed when code is optimised and laboured over with such care.

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