Game-Ception: Pokemon Red Playable Inside Minecraft

If you’ve ever wanted to take a dive into and visualize a game’s code, this could be a seminal example in a literal sense. After twenty-one months of effort, the entire Pokemon Red game is now playable inside Minecraft.

[Mr. Squishy] is the mad genius behind this project, laboriously re-coding the game literally block by block. A texture pack is needed for the specific sprites, but otherwise it is playable without mods. It’s not immediately apparent when loading in to the level, but chip your way through the floor of the stadium and you are confronted by something awe-inspiring: sprawling constructions, like great soaring cliffs, comprising approximately 357,000 command blocks — equating to the same in lines of code. Every animation, tracked stat, attack and their effects, the various pokemon and their properties, and so on are rendered in the game’s physical space for you to wander through.

Beneath that are levels of maps, positional data, properties of those areas, NPCs, and a clever glitch that [Mr. Squishy] used to keep everything loaded at once.

[Mr. Squishy] admits the design process wasn’t entirely structured and to that end the code isn’t as elegant as he might like. His philosophy through the development process was to pick a game mechanic or system and get that working smoothly before moving on, with only a relatively short period at the end where he amalgamated it all.

If that sounds a little farfetch’d, then take a moment and check out [John Baichtal]’s case for using Minecraft to visualize logic.

[Thanks for the tip, David!]

24 thoughts on “Game-Ception: Pokemon Red Playable Inside Minecraft

    1. I like [Daniel Wagner]’s answer: “[…] nor gates are universal, redstone torches are nor gates, and all graphs can be embedded in 3-space; so yes, Minecraft is Turing complete!”

      As ever, practical limits intrude.

  1. i hope it’s possible to edit the save-file, so this can be generated in a semi-automated fashion at least, i don’t dare imagine how long this would take to build in-game.

    1. “After twenty-one months..” .. yeah, I can’t help but think that in that time someone could have mastered some other knowledge/skill/degree..

      i mean, i could imagine it being helpful as a visualization tool for educational ends, but if it’s just copying a design you have the prints for, I would have definitely spent my time reverse-engineering the game save-file format to automate the copy.

  2. Fascinating topic, utterly unhelpful article. HOW DOES IT WORK? The Youtube video, surprisingly, is useless and aimed at entertaining passers-by who’ll think “that’s neat” on their way to 10 TOILET MISHAPS YOU HAVE TO SEE TO BELIEVE and other 10-million view bits of navel fluff.

    But speaking as the audience on a site full of geeks, many of whom are quite keen on computer programming, wouldn’t it be interesting to hear something about the computer programming? What I’ve gathered from the video, is it doesn’t seem to be a Gameboy emulator. Which is perhaps the wrong choice because it might well have been quicker to write one. It’s something to do with shifting animation scenes on the “screen”, but how that’s done, I dunno. Looks like he’s sortof re-written Pokemon, re-coded it, to run on the hybrid hardware-language that is Minecraft blocks. A gigantic ad-hoc bespoke state machine for just one purpose.

    But that’s just my interpretation. Because there’s no actual fucking information anywhere actually telling me about it, so who can say for sure?

    In future, if all you have is a Youtube brochure on something, just don’t bother doing the article. This isn’t the sort of information we hanker for. This is just “isn’t this clever?”. Yes, it is, we know it is, but we want to know WHY and HOW. Just knowing clever things exist, in a quasi-magical realm the way my Mum thinks the world works, isn’t enough.

    HAD’s standard is better than this, and it ought to continue being.

    1. A hacker’s mentality is to see something like this and work out the why and how. You can’t expect a hobby project to give you a handheld step by step guide on everything on a platter. The source is available, if it piques your interest, go and pull it apart and see how it works. He mentions the why in the video and that was to keep his brain active, the same way people do crossword puzzles.

    2. You say it has no info in the video then go on to say what the video says as it is just blocks filled with the code bits from the actual game. No, it wasn’t a blow by blow tutorial on how to build one, but enough info is there for most reasonable forum divers to suss out. It is certainly no worse than some asshat putting a Raspi into a lawnmower to have an OLED fuel gauge of which there are plenty here. Maybe watch the video again and lighten up.

  3. Seems like he reimplemented his own game here, instead of making a Gameboy emulator (and some kind of script that turns roms into blocks). I’m sure there’s a reason he couldn’t do latter, I wonder what it is

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