The Faux-Vintage Becomes Vintage

For those who might have missed it, there was a brief period in the mid-00s where gamers everywhere eschewed consoles and PCs in favor of simple Flash-based games to be played in a browser. Among these was the game Peasant’s Quest, created by the folks at Homestar Runner and modeled after video games from the 80s. [deater] was a fan of this game and wondered if it would actually be possible to play this retro-styled game on actual retro hardware.

For the experiment he decided on using an Apple II since this computer is featured as a prop rather often by the developers at Videlectrix. It turns out that with some determination it’s actually possible to run this game on the late 80s hardware with very little modifications. Squeezing the sprites into the required space was a challenge, as well as getting the sound tracks to play properly, but in the end the game runs within the hardware’s 280×192 resolution with 6 colors. There are also detailed notes on how the complicated graphics system on the Apple works for those willing to take a deep dive. There’s a lot going on here, but surprisingly few compromises needed to be made to get this to work.

The game itself is available on the project’s webpage for anyone who still has an Apple II kicking around, or for anyone who is willing to try it out in an emulator. Of course you could always play the original Flash version but that’s missing a certain charm that decades old retrocomputers have with games. We certainly aren’t seeing video game controllers like those built for the Apple II anymore, for example.

7 thoughts on “The Faux-Vintage Becomes Vintage

    1. There was a King’s Quest version for the Apple IIe that uses double hi-res (16 color) graphics that looks very similar to the PCjr version. While the Brothers Chaps use Apple II props a lot and mention using Apple IIs back in the day I also agree there’s a much more EGA-era palette type aesthetic going on in Peasant’s Quest.

      I intentionally used regular hi-res here, both because I want to run on my Apple II+, but also because double hi-res graphics are exponentially more difficult to get going compared to the already difficult regular hi-res.

      I do have a mostly working AGI-like graphics library I’ve been using for my hi-res port of Myst, however for various reasons it isn’t suitable for the graphics in Peasant’s Quest.

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