PlayStation 4 puzzler The Witness may be best known for its painting-like art style and, well, its puzzles. Tons of them. The NES is an older system known for Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. NES and The Witness are two entirely separate entities that have nothing to do with each other. That is until you introduce factor number three: gamers. Fans have modded characters into fighting games, modded games into other games, heck, they’ve even turned an old classic literally on its side. So reverse-engineering a current-gen experience onto a much older system ought to be child’s play, am I right?
As the title says, sort of. An individual that goes by “dustmop” has built a ROM of The Witness for use with the Nintendo NES. However, since the NES could never handle that level of graphics and data, the game has been watered down to only the beginning area in 8-bit and cut to 32 puzzles. Thus, it’s more like a demo than a full game, but the recreation stays as true to the original as possible. Of course, the full game might have been possible in this style, but the idea was for it to actually be playable on a real NES system. And, believe it or not, it is.
Called The Wit.nes, dustmop’s ROM is accessible either with an emulator or on the console with the use of a PowerPak or other device that would allow compatibility. It took two months to produce and can be downloaded for free here. It may not be the most outrageous case of identity crisis fans have ever given their favorite game, but it goes to show that the life of any product can extend beyond its immediate intended use given the right user base. More importantly, it reiterates that absolutely nothing is safe or sacred in the hands of a gamer.
Matt Eschbach is a PC, Mac and Android indie game developer and fiction writer. His works have won multiple monetary awards from various contests. Graduating college in 2012 with a major in Game Design, Matt spends his time making stuff up and then building it. His favorite hobby… is sleeping.