Video game remake

A video game remake is a video game closely adapted from an earlier title, usually for the purpose of modernizing a game for newer hardware and contemporary audiences and is coded from scratch. Typically, a remake of such game software shares essentially the same title, fundamental gameplay concepts, and core story elements of the original game.

Remakes are often made by the original developer or copyright holder, sometimes by the fan community. If created by the community, video game remakes are sometimes also called fan game and can be seen as part of the retrogaming phenomenon.

Pokémon Red and FireRed comparison
Pokémon Red and Blue for the Game Boy (top) were remade for the Game Boy Advance as Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen (bottom).


A remake offers a newer interpretation of an older work, characterized by updated or changed assets. A remake typically maintains the same story, genre, and fundamental gameplay ideas of the original work. The intent of a remake is usually to take an older game that has become outdated and update it for a new platform and audience. A remake may also include expanded stories, often to conform to the conventions of contemporary games or later titles in the same series in order to make a game marketable to a new audience. For example, Sierra's 1991 remake of Space Quest, the developers used the engine, point-and-click interface, and graphical style of Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and The Time Rippers, replacing the dated graphics and text parser interface of the original. However, elements that had not become dated, like the narrative, puzzles, and sets, were largely preserved. Another example is Black Mesa, a Half-Life 2 mod that improves in-game textures, assets and models, and facial animations, while taking place in the events of the original Half-Life game.

Similar concepts

Games that use an existing brand but are conceptually very different from the original, such as Battlezone (1998) and Defender (2002) or Tomb Raider (1996) and Tomb Raider (2013) are usually regarded as reboots rather than remakes.

A port is a conversion of a game to a new platform that relies heavily on existing work and assets. A port may include various enhancements like improved performance, resolution, and sometimes even additional content, but differs from a remake in that it still relies heavily on the original assets and engine of the source game. A port that contains a great deal of remade assets may sometimes be considered a remastering or a partial remake, although video game publishers are not always clear on the distinction.


In the early history of video games, remakes were generally regarded as "conversions" and seldom associated with nostalgia. Due to limited and often highly divergent hardware, games appearing on multiple platforms usually had to be entirely remade. These conversions often included considerable changes to the graphics and gameplay, and could be regarded retroactively as remakes, but are distinguished from later remakes largely by intent. A conversion is created with the primary goal of tailoring a game to a specific piece of hardware, usually contemporaneous or nearly contemporaneous with the original release. An early example was Gun Fight, Midway's 1975 reprogrammed version of Taito's arcade game Western Gun, with the main difference being the use of a microprocessor in the reprogrammed version, which allowed improved graphics and smoother animation than the discrete logic of the original.[1] In 1980, Atari released the first officially licensed home console game conversion of an arcade title, Taito's 1978 hit Space Invaders, for the Atari 2600. The game became the first "killer app" for a video game console by quadrupling the system's sales.[2][3] Since then, it became a common trend to port arcade games to home systems since the second console generation, though at the time they were often more limited than the original arcade games due to the technical limitations of home consoles.

In 1985, Sega released a pair of arcade remakes of older home video games. Pitfall II: Lost Caverns was effectively a remake of both the original Pitfall! and its sequel with new level layouts and colorful, detailed graphics. That same year, Sega adapted the 1982 computer game Choplifter for the arcades, taking the fundamental gameplay of the original and greatly expanding it, adding new environments, enemies, and gameplay elements. This version was very successful, and later adapted to the Master System and Famicom. Both of these games were distinguished from most earlier conversions in that they took major liberties with the source material, attempting to modernize both the gameplay as well as the graphics.

Some of the earliest remakes to be recognized as such were attempts to modernize games to the standards of later games in the series. Some were even on the same platforms as the original, for example Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness, a 1986 remake of the original that appeared on multiple platforms, including the Apple II, the same platform the source game originated on. Other early remakes of this type include Sierra's early-1990s releases of King's Quest, Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry. These games used the technology and interface of the most recent games in Sierra's series, and original assets in a dramatically different style. The intent was not simply to bring the game to a new platform, but to modernize older games which had in various ways become dated.

With the birth of the retrogaming phenomenon, remakes became a way for companies to revive nostalgic brands. Galaga '88 and Super Space Invaders '91 were both attempts to revitalize aging arcade franchises with modernized graphics and new gameplay elements, while preserving many signature aspects of the original games. The 16-bit generation of console games was marked by greatly enhanced graphics compared to the previous generation, but often relatively similar gameplay, which led to an increased interest in remakes of games from the previous generation. Super Mario All-Stars remade the entire NES Mario series, and was met with great commercial success. Remake compilations of the Ninja Gaiden and Mega Man series followed. As RPGs increased in popularity, Dragon Quest, Ys and Kyūyaku Megami Tensei were also remade. In the mid-'90s, Atari released a series of remakes with the 2000 brand, including Tempest 2000, Battlezone 2000, and Defender 2000. After Atari's demise, Hasbro continued the tradition, with 3D remakes of Pong, Centipede, and Asteroids.

By 1994 the popularity of CD-ROM led to many remakes with digitized voices and, sometimes, better graphics, although Computer Gaming World noted the "amateur acting" in many new and remade games on CD.[4] With the rise of brand new genres and 3D gameplay, remakes became somewhat less common in the late 1990s, with notable exceptions like Doom 64 and Lunar: The Silver Star. Emulation made perfect ports of older games possible, and compilations became a popular way for publishers to capitalize on older properties.

Budget pricing gave publishers the opportunity to match their game's price with the perceived lower value proposition of an older game, opening the door for newer remakes. In 2003, Sega launched the Sega Ages line for PlayStation 2, initially conceived as a series of modernized remakes of classic games, though the series later diversified to include emulated compilations. The series concluded with a release that combined the two approaches, and included a remake of Fantasy Zone II that ran, via emulation, on hardware dating to the time of the original release, one of the few attempts at an enhanced remake to make no attempts at modernization. The advent of downloadable game services like Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network has further fueled the expanded market for remakes, as the platform allows companies to sell their games at a lower price, seen as more appropriate for the smaller size typical of retro games. Some XBLA and PSN remakes include Bionic Commando Rearmed, Jetpac Refuelled, Wipeout HD (a remake not of the original Wipeout but of the two PSP games), Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram and Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.

Some remakes may include the original game as a bonus feature. The 2009 remake of The Secret of Monkey Island took this a step further by allowing players to switch between the original and remade versions on the fly with a single button press. This trend was continued in the sequel, and is also a feature on the new remake Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.

The Nintendo 3DS' lineup has included numerous remasterings and remakes, including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Star Fox 64 3D, Cave Story 3D, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey.

Community-driven remakes

Games abandoned by the rights-holders often spark remakes created by hobbyists and game communities.[5][6] An example is OpenRA which is a modernized remake of the classic Command & Conquer real-time-strategy games. Beyond cross-platform support it adds comfort functions and game-play functionality inspired by successors of the original games.[7] Another notable examples are Pioneers a remake and sequel in spirit to Frontier: Elite 2,[5] CSBWin a remake of the Dungeon crawler classic Dungeon Master,[8] and Privateer Gemini Gold as remake of Privateer.[9][10]

Skywind is a fan remake of Morrowind (2002) in the Skyrim game engine (2011). The original game developers, Bethesda Softworks, have given project volunteers their approval.[11] The remake team includes over 70 volunteers in artist, composer, designer, developer, and voice-actor roles. In November 2014, the team reported to have finished half of the remake's environment, over 10,000 new dialogue lines, and three hours of series-inspired soundtrack. The same open-development project is also working on Skyblivion, a remake of Oblivion (the game between Morrowind and Skyrim) in the Skyrim engine, and Morroblivion, a remake of Morrowind in the Oblivion engine (which still has a significant userbase on older PCs).


Although remakes typically aim to adapt a game from a more limited platform to a more advanced one, a rising interest in older platforms has inspired some to do the opposite, adapting modern games to the standards of older platforms, sometimes even implementing them on obsolete hardware platforms, either physical or emulated.

Modern demakes often change the 3D gameplay to a 2D one. Popular demakes include Quest: Brian's Journey, an official Game Boy port of Quest 64; Super Smash Land, a Game Boy-style demake of Super Smash Bros.; a Flash version of Portal; Rockman 7 Fc and Rockman 8 Fc, NES-styled demakes of Mega Man 7 and 8, respectively; Gang Garrison 2, a pixelated demake of Team Fortress 2; and Halo 2600, an Atari 2600-style demake of Microsoft's Halo series.[12][13][14] There is also a NES-style demake of Touhou Project game Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. Some demakes are created to showcase and push the abilities of older generation systems such as the Atari 2600. An example of this is the 2012 game Princess Rescue which is a demake of the NES title Super Mario Bros.

For much of the 1990s in China and Hong Kong, black market developers would create unauthorized adaptations of modern games such as Final Fantasy VII or Tekken for the NES, which still enjoyed considerable popularity in the region because of the availability of low-cost black market systems.

See also


  1. ^ Chris Kohler (2005), Power-up: how Japanese video games gave the world an extra life, BradyGames, p. 19, ISBN 0-7440-0424-1, retrieved 2011-03-27
  2. ^ "The Definitive Space Invaders". Retro Gamer. Imagine Publishing (41): 24–33. September 2007.
  3. ^ Kent, Steven (2001). Ultimate History of Video Games. Three Rivers Press. p. 190. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
  4. ^ "Invasion Of The Data Stashers". Computer Gaming World. April 1994. pp. 20–42.
  5. ^ a b Rainer Sigl (February 1, 2015). "Lieblingsspiele 2.0: Die bewundernswerte Kunst der Fan-Remakes". Der Standard.
  6. ^ Craig Pearson (2014-01-01). "Ten top fan-remade classics you can play for free right now". PC Gamer.
  7. ^ Luke Plunkett: Fans Remake Classic RTS Games Like Command & Conquer, Red Alert, Kotaku (2016-09-05)
  8. ^ Walker, John (2012-03-29). "You Could Be Playing Dungeon Master Right Now". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2015-08-03. There is a version that just works, without an emulator, and it’s free. [...] A madman by the name of Paul Stevens spent six months, eight hours a day, writing 120,000 lines of what he calls “pseudo-assembly language” to rebuild it in C++. And then released the game and source code for free. Can he do that? I’ve decided that yes, he can, which legitimises my promoting it to you.
  9. ^ "Privateer Gemini Gold 1.02a Review". Macworld. January 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  10. ^ Largent, Andy (March 7, 2005). "Wing Commander: Privateer Remake for OS X". Inside Mac Games. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  11. ^ Owen S. Good. "Fans remastering Morrowind give another glimpse of its landscape".
  12. ^ Beschizza, Rob (August 3, 2010). "Former Microsoft VP brings Halo to the Atari 2600". Boing Boing. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  13. ^ Bogost, Ian (August 1, 2010). "Halo 2600: Ed Fries demakes Halo for Atari". Retrieved August 26, 2010.
  14. ^ Agnello, Anthony John (November 19, 2013). "Back from the dead: 9 modern games for obsolete consoles". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
Binary-code compatibility

Binary-code compatibility (binary compatible or object-code-compatible) is a property of computer systems meaning that they can run the same executable code, typically machine code for a general-purpose computer CPU. Source-code compatibility, on the other hand, means that recompilation or interpretation is necessary before the program can be run.

For a compiled program on a general operating system, binary compatibility often implies that not only the CPUs (instruction sets) of the two computers are binary compatible, but also that interfaces and behaviours of the operating system and APIs, and the ABIs corresponding to those APIs, are sufficiently equal, i.e. "compatible".

A term like backward-compatible usually implies object-code compatibility. This means that newer computer hardware and/or software has (practically) every feature of the old, plus additional capabilities or performance. Older executable code will thus run unchanged on the newer product. For a compiled program running directly on a CPU under an OS, a "binary compatible operating system" primarily means application binary interface (ABI) compatibility with another system. However, it also often implies that APIs that the application depends on, directly or indirectly (such as the Windows API, for example), are sufficiently similar. Hardware (besides the CPU, such as for graphics) and peripherals that an application accesses may also be a factor for full compatibility, although many hardware differences are hidden by modern APIs (often partly supplied by the OS itself and partly by specific device drivers).

In other cases, a general porting of the software must be used to make non-binary-compatible programs work.

Binary compatibility is a major benefit when developing computer programs that are to be run on multiple OSes. Several Unix-based OSes, such as FreeBSD or NetBSD, offer binary compatibility with more popular OSes, such as Linux-derived ones, since most binary executables are not commonly distributed for such OSes.

Most OSes provide binary compatibility, in each version of the OS, for most binaries built to run on earlier versions of the OS. For example, many executables compiled for Windows 3.1, Windows 95 or Windows 2000 can also be run on Windows XP or Windows 7, and many applications for DOS works also on modern versions of Windows.

Black Mesa (video game)

Black Mesa (originally Black Mesa: Source and stylized as BLλCK MESA) is a third-party remake of Half-Life developed and published by Crowbar Collective.

During its eight-year development period, Black Mesa has been featured in several video game publications and received direct attention from Valve Corporation. Due to its long development time, the modification became notable for its delays and dwindling updates on the status of its completion. The delays led to Wired awarding Black Mesa high spots on their "Vaporware of the Year" lists in 2009 and 2010.The first part of Black Mesa, which included remakes of chapters "Black Mesa Inbound" to "Lambda Core", was released as a free standalone download on September 14, 2012, while the second part, Black Mesa: Xen, is due for release on the second quarter of 2019.

Valve, through public voting on the Steam Greenlight program, approved Black Mesa for distribution on Steam, where it was released as early access on May 5, 2015.

CBE Software

CBE Software is an indie video game developer based in the Czech Republic. It was founded in 2006 as Cardboard Box Entertainment (CBE). The first released title was an adventure game Ghost in the Sheet. The studio was then inactive for a few years and its members worked on titles such as Dark Fall II: Lights Out, Barrow Hill and Tale of a Hero.The studio was in 2011 renamed to CBE Software and became a real company. A year later it released three games – J.U.L.I.A. and J.U.L.I.A. Untold. These games were exclusively published by Lace Mamba Global who didn't pay them and the publishing agreement was cancelled. The studio came to financial troubles and so released another game Vampires!In March 2013 the Indiegogo for J.U.L.I.A. Among the Stars (originally titled J.U.L.I.A. Enhanced Edition) was launched. The goal was $5,000 but $14,120 was raised. It was released on 12 October 2014. It is a remake of the original J.U.L.I.A. with different gameplay and story.

Clone (computing)

In computing, a clone is a hardware or software system that is designed to function in the same way as another system. A specific subset of clones are remakes (or remades), which are revivals of old, obsolete, or discontinued products.

Flashback (2013 video game)

Flashback is a science fiction platform video game remake of the original 1992 Flashback. The game was developed by the original game designer, Paul Cuisset, with his studio, VectorCell, and published by Ubisoft. The game was released on August 21, 2013 on Xbox Live Arcade.

Frogger (1997 video game)

Frogger (branded and commonly referred to as Frogger: He's Back!) is a video game remake of the classic 1981 arcade game of the same name. It was developed by SCE Cambridge Studio and published by Hasbro Interactive in November 1997. The game is an expansion of the original arcade game, sporting levels with large maps, an updated set of graphics rendered in 3D, and additional gameplay moves. Critical reaction was mixed, with frequent criticism towards the gameplay, controls, and difficulty; while the graphics were received positively. Despite the mixed reception from critics, it was a commercial success, with the PlayStation version going on to become one of the best-selling titles for the console.

In 2000, Frogger was followed by Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge, which builds on the gameplay elements found in the game.

Insomniac Games

Insomniac Games, Inc. is an American video game developer based in Burbank, California. It was founded in 1994 by Ted Price as Xtreme Software, and was renamed Insomniac Games a year later. The company is most known for developing several early PlayStation mascots, Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet, and Clank, as well as the Resistance franchise, 2014's Sunset Overdrive and 2018's Spider-Man.

The company's first project was Disruptor, for the first PlayStation console, whose poor sales almost led to the company's bankruptcy. Insomniac's next project was Spyro the Dragon, a successful video game that spawned two sequels within two years. Insomniac closely collaborated with Sony Computer Entertainment and created two game franchises, Ratchet & Clank, and Resistance. The two franchises proved to be both a critical and financial success for the company. The company would also begin work on its first multiplatform game Fuse in 2013 (with Electronic Arts as its publisher), but the game regrettably turned out to become one of Insomniac's worst-reviewed games.

Since 2014, Insomniac has actively expanded its portfolio of games. The company worked with Microsoft Studios on 2014's Sunset Overdrive, partnered with GameTrust to release the underwater Metroidvania game called Song of the Deep, released several mobile games and virtual reality projects, and introduced a reimagining of the first Ratchet & Clank. The company released its first licensed title, Marvel's Spider-Man for PlayStation 4, on September 7, 2018.

Despite being Sony's frequent collaborator and having been previously located in the same building as Naughty Dog, Insomniac has never been part of the SIE Worldwide Studios. Over the years, Insomniac Games has received considerable recognition from critics as an acclaimed video game developer. It was named the twentieth-best video game developer by IGN, and one of the best places to work in America by the Society for Human Resource Management.

List of game engine recreations

Game engine recreation is a type of video game engine remastering process wherein a new game engine is written from scratch as a clone of the original with the full ability to read the original game's data files. The new engine reads the old engine's files and, in theory, loads and understands its assets in a way that is indistinguishable from the original. The result of a proper engine clone is often the ability to play a game on modern systems that the old game could no longer run on. It also opens the possibility of community collaboration, as many engine remake projects tend to be open source.

In most cases a clone is made in part by studying and reverse engineering the original executable, but occasionally, as was the case with some of the engines in ScummVM, the original developers have helped the projects by supplying the original source code—those are so-called source ports.

Misti Dawn

Misti Dawn (born February 11, 1986) is an American alternative model, pornographic actress, makeup artist, podcaster, burlesque performer, and online presenter. She is the co-creator and co-host of Keep You Shirt On weekly podcast with Nicole Klepper, as well as a freelance make-up artist who has been featured on Geek & Sundry, HitFix, and more.

Night Raid (disambiguation)

A night raid is a military raid that occurs at night.

Night Raid was a sire of Throughbred racehorses, foaled in 1918.

Night Raid may also refer to:

Night raid (Afghanistan), a military tactic used in the War in Afghanistan.

Night Raid 1931, a Japanese anime series

Night Raid (video game), a 1992 video game remake of Paratrooper

Night Raid (Akame ga Kill!), the main group of assassins in the manga series Akame ga Kill!

"Night Raid", a soundtrack song by Maurice Seezer for the 1997 film The Boxer

"Nite Raid/Rescue", an episode from the animated TV series The Head

Night Raid, a 2001 video game by Takumi Corporation


A remake is a film or television series that is based on an earlier film or TV series and tells the same, or a very similar, story.

Remake (disambiguation)

A remake is a film or television series based on an earlier produced work.

Remake may also refer to:

Remake (2003 film), a Bosnian war film directed by Dino Mustafić

Remake (novel), a 1995 science fiction novel by Connie Willis

Remake, a type of computing clone that recreates old or discontinued products

Video game remake, a video game closely adapted from an earlier title


Remaster (also digital remastering and digitally remastered) refers to changing the quality of the sound or of the image, or both, of previously created recordings, either audiophonic, cinematic, or videographic.

Resident Evil 2 (2019 video game)

Resident Evil 2 is a survival horror game developed and published by Capcom. Players control police officer Leon S. Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield as they attempt to escape from Raccoon City during a zombie apocalypse. It is a remake of the 1998 game Resident Evil 2, and was released worldwide for the PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One on January 25, 2019. The game received acclaim for its presentation, gameplay, and faithfulness to the original.


SWIV 3D (also known as SWIV 3D Assault) is a 3D video game remake of SWIV developed and published by Sales Curve Interactive in 1996. It is the last game in the Silkworm/SWIV series and the only game of the series to use a voxel-based 3D engine.

In SWIV 3D the player must pilot a helicopter navigating through a series of landscapes destroying buildings to fulfil mission goals. There are also opportunities to use an armoured Jeep.

SCi attempted to license some tracks by Hallucinogen for the soundtrack, but due to a difficulty with getting royalties cleared they were not able to secure the license in time for the game's release.In early 1997 Interplay Productions bought the U.S. publishing rights for the game from Sales Curve, intending to publish the game for the PlyaStation in June 1997. However, this version of the game was never released.

Spy Hunter (disambiguation)

Spy hunter may refer to:

Original video games

Spy Hunter, a 1983 arcade game

Spy Hunter II, a direct sequel to the 1983 original

Super Spy Hunter, a 1992 video game developed by Sunsoft originally known as Battle FormulaRemakes

Spy Hunter (2001 video game), the 2001 video game remake by Midway Games

Spy Hunter 2, a sequel to Midway Games' 2001 remake

Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run, the third game in the series

Spy Hunter (2012 video game), the latest appearanceIt may also refer to:

Spy Hunter (song), a song by Christian rock band Project 86

Samurai Spy (1965), a film also known as Spy Hunter

SpyHunter (software), an anti-spyware program for Microsoft Windows

Stop That Roach!

Stop That Roach!, known in Japan as Hoi Hoi: Game Boy Ban (ホイホイ ゲームボーイ版), is a Game Boy puzzle strategy video game by Koei.

The Black Cauldron (film)

The Black Cauldron is a 1985 American animated adventure dark fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation in association with Silver Screen Partners II and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 25th Disney animated feature film, it is loosely based on the first two books in The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, a series of five novels that are, in turn, based on Welsh mythology.

Set in the mythical land of Prydain during the Early Middle Ages, the film centers on the evil Horned King who hopes to secure an ancient magical cauldron that will aid him in his desire to conquer the world. He is opposed by a young pig keeper named Taran, the young princess Eilonwy, the bard Fflewddur Fflam, and a wild creature named Gurgi who seek to destroy the cauldron, to prevent the Horned King from ruling the world.

The film is directed by Ted Berman and Richard Rich, who had directed Disney's previous animated film The Fox and the Hound in 1981, the first Disney animated film to be recorded in Dolby Stereo. It features the voices of Grant Bardsley, Susan Sheridan, Freddie Jones, Nigel Hawthorne, John Byner, and John Hurt.

It was the first Disney animated film to receive a PG rating as well as the first Disney animated film to feature computer-generated imagery. The film was distributed theatrically through Buena Vista Distribution on July 24, 1985. With the budget of $44 million, it was the most expensive animated film ever made at the time. Earning $21.3 million domestically, it led to a loss for the studio, putting Walt Disney Feature Animation near bankruptcy. Due to its commercial failure, Disney did not release the film on home video until 1998.

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