If you have been reading my blog for more than five years you know that I like RPGs.  April Fools\’ Day is so fun today for many RPG fanatics because Google released a trial of Google Maps for Family Computer (Famicom/NES). To activate this version you just click \”Quest\” at the upper right hand options of Google Maps.

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The Best Homage to Dragon Quest Ever

Admitting that they have long neglected one of the most popular computer systems ever sold — the NES, Google released their first product for NES and it\’s called Google Maps for Family Computer.

It\’s epic in so many ways.

The logo is a copy of the exact of Dragon Quest title (aka. Dragon Warrior). Google also used the original soundtrack, sound effects and characters. If they used Final Fantasy it could be awesome as well but the point is, Google used all the nostalgic materials that they could use.

Let the hunt begins!

Did I mentioned that there are original Dragon Quest monsters scattered all over the world! I didn\’t know how they were discovered but there is a long discussion in Reddit about 8-bit world landmarks and Dragon Quest enemies.

One of the more interesting hidden enemy in the map is this wizard that when you zoom in more, it will change to a dragon.

In the Philippines, I found a drakee monster lurking somewhere near Masbate island. (If you find more, let me know!)

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This exceeds all my expectations because there\’s so many things you can do with this Google Maps 8-bit version. the 8-bit map itself is rendered in detail and this is the first time I saw the world map in 8-bit glory. If you enjoyed NES graphics in your childhood you have to see it.

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I tried to look for prominent landmarks and tourist spots in the Philippines but it seems that only Chocolate Hills is designed to appear in 8-bit. I couldn\’t find Rizal Park, Mayon Volcano or Rice Terraces.

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In the video Google claimed that to overcome the technical and design hurdles of developing 8-bit maps, they needed to run 100,000 servers. The cartridge is equipped with dial-up technology, too. As part of the April Fools\’ Day prank, you may get  this message that \”Your system may not meet the requirements for 8-bit computations.\”

The obligatory \”blow the cartridge to fix bugs\” is also demonstrated in the video and it pokes fun on how we used to fix the game cartridge if the game doesn\’t start properly after loading.

Afterthoughts

I really hope this 8-bit Google \”Quest\” map is not just for April Fool\’s Day. I mean it. This was made possible with the support of Nintendo and Square Enix and I wish that this gem is released somewhere as a separate sub-site. It was mentioned that it will be available in Google Store so let\’s see if they really put it there afterwards.

Enjoy the video below.

  • Aloehrer

    Loch Ness monster if you type in Loch Ness.  There is some sort of monster in the Black Forest.  And a Yeti near the Himalayans/Nepal.   

  • Looks like it’s been removed.  I wish I had seen this post yesterday, I would’ve loved to check it out!

    • If you click on the links to Google Maps they still show up even though the “quest” option was removed. Also if you add &t=8 at the end of Google Maps URL it will still show the 8-bit version.

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