The Strangest Gameboy Emulator We’ve Seen Yet

In the secret Hackaday bunker, we have some emacs users, some vi users, and some people who don’t really care. However, even the staunchest of our emacs supporters had to do a double take at [Vreeze’s] project that creates a GameBoy emulator using the venerable text editor. You can see [Alexei Nunez’s] reaction to the emulator in the video below.

The Eboy uses unicode characters to output the graphics. You can use emacs commands to load ROM images and use your keyboard to control the game.

[Alexi’s] video shows step-by-step instructions which differ a little bit from the official documentation. You can watch him start Tetris, although it wasn’t totally successful. Not every game works so far, and [Vreeze] notes it is a work in process.

This is possible, of course, because emacs is really just a Lisp interpreter that happens to have a lot of features aimed at providing text editor services. People have used it to do all sorts of things from e-mail clients to web servers.

We see a lot of GameBoy cases used to house things like Raspberry Pi boards. It would be funny if they were running emacs, but probably performance prohibitive. If you are into the badge life, you can get a Lisp badge, if you don’t mind a lot of parentheses.

16 thoughts on “The Strangest Gameboy Emulator We’ve Seen Yet

  1. Well it’s about damn time!

    I’m going to have to show my daughter this. She is in 3rd grade but for some reason seems to have a thing for video games from my youth. Now I’ll make an Emacs user out of her for sure! Take that Vi!

    1. “for some she has a thing for video games from my youth”. Keep telling yourself that. Basically she’s latching on to whatever retro shit you dig up just to escape the monotony of not being allowed more modern games.

      1. Hardly!

        We have a Wii. Old, sure but much newer than most of what she chooses to play and certainly not from MY youth. We asked her if she would be excited if we upgraded to a Switch for Christmas. She knows what it’s like, she has played it at a friend’s house. She said she wasn’t interested.

        That was all on her! I was kind of disappointed. I wanted one but don’t have enough time available for gaming to justify it.

        We probably have 8 or 9 Wii-era games. The Wii also has Mario 3 on it that we purchased back when Nintendo had an active Wii store and probably before the kid was even born. Given the choice to play any of those things she usually picks Mario.

        What did she get excited about? Discovering there is such a thing as an NES emulator and nintendo-clone controllers that will plug into her computer via USB. Again, she could have had a Switch!

          1. We had a friend and his lad round in the Autumn a few years ago and it just happened that I had my original Atari hooked up to a 40″ flat-screen TV at the time. Although this lad has modern computer games, we all had a load of fun on the Atari and as they came to leave, the lad gave a cry which has not been heard in this land for many a year “Dad! Can we have an Atari for Christmas?!”. I nearly wept!

  2. Ok, not related to content of the video, but the host is super annoying. It looks like he recorded each sentence in its own take and then spliced them together. So each sentence is kinda cut off/runs into the next one. It is very hard on the ears.

    1. The bad thing about such approach is that listener does not have time to proccess the sentence before next one starts. It forces yu to focus all the time which is very harmfull when you want to watch it just for fun and relax.

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