Here is a demake of Portal… for the N64

Demakes are super fun and cool, as most recently exemplified by PSX Bloodborne, a demake that captured the imagination of many of us. Well, here’s my new obsession: programmer James Lambert is working on a demake of Portal that runs on real N64 hardware.

Lambert’s ragged-edged portal polygons are a delight to watch, and this is the first video to include a functioning portal gun – just a month ago, it had little more than graphics. Throughout the last video, which highlights the portal weapon itself, Lambert’s most fun joke is figuring out how far he can go with recursive rendering in portals.

“Actually, I can go up to four [layers] now”, he says at one point, before cutting the footage where… he has five portals… then six. It’s, frankly, shocking that this kind of rendering works on the N64. Then it becomes more shocking as he renders 14 render layers, where the portals at the end are little more than a handful of pixels.

It’s an interesting project, and I think one to keep an eye on if you like those kinds of demakes and the programming shenanigans you do to make various things work. You can keep an eye on what Lambert is doing by Youtubeand you can also check the code he is using on GitHub, where it’s clear he’s been doing projects for a long time in and around the N64 software space.

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