Video game demakes are a delight, whether they’re playable projects or animated videos that simply imagine a game in the style of a classic console. It’s nostalgic and charming to see a popular game in pixels: the game’s fearsome enemies shrunk down, though no less intimidating.
A new project from the popular demake YouTuber 64 Bits imagines Elden Ring for the Super NES. It opens with a sweeping view of the Erdtree, before showing the player — riding Torrent, of course — exploring the world’s map. The YouTube video reinterprets it as a classic Legend of Zelda-style overworld map, where physically running across it takes a player to a new region level.
The best part of the demake is the way it portrays some of Elden Ring’s most famous characters in pixel art. There’s the Stormgate troll, one of the first trolls players encounter, plus Radahn on top of his perfect horse, Leonard. More beloved characters also appear, like Ranni, a Pot Boy, and most importantly, the Pope Turtle. Here’s the best part: When a player approaches the turtle, they’re given the option (based on a popular meme) to “Praise the dog.” The answer is an obvious yes. Why couldn’t I do this in the original game?
There’s a charming cognitive dissonance to demaking Elden Ring. The game’s world is enormous and filled with secret regions, split across various levels. Hidden caves and castles dot the map. It’s hard to imagine the game on consoles from previous generations, but it’s fun to think about what that might look like. And numerous fans have done just that, creating demakes for both Game Boy and the original PlayStation.
64 Bits has become known for its demake videos — like Mass Effect for the Game Boy Advance and God of War for PlayStation. These videos capture the nostalgia of the era, thanks to their attention to detail, from game menus and loading screens to the sound design of text pinging onto the screen. They also show off what a hard copy of the game might have looked like if it had been released in that era — for example, 64 Bits’ God of War demake video shows off an illustrated cover on a CD-ROM case jacket.