The ports that had no right to work

Game: Doom

Format: Sinclair Spectrum

Okay, so now we’re deep into WTF territory. Past border control, passports fully stamped, and running headlong towards a horizon populated by purple giraffes and dancing golf balls named Geoff . Yep, that’s us right there.

Try to get inside the head of the person who envisioned that this was even possible. Strange, yet brilliant place isn’t it? Though it’s been a dead format for years, the Spectrum’s body has remained artificially animated thanks to the efforts of plucky homebrewers and easily available emulation technology. Give a small but passionate hardcore fanbase a couple of decades to play with, and like that infinite amount of Shakespeare-writing monkeys, they’ll eventually come up with brilliance. Terrible, twisted, beautifully deranged brilliance.

It might not have the bump-mapped textures and dynamic lighting of Doom 3 (And if you’re at all surprised by that, please poke yourself in the eye and have a good think about whether you should really be involved in this gaming thing), but the simple fact that this exists is mind-blowing. Don’t ask us how they did it. Our Spectrum coding knowledge stretches about as far as knowing that loading games makes your ears bleed.  Instead, just watch, consider the hardware this thing is running on (Not too far off the processing power of a cheese sandwich compared to modern-day tech), and be amazed.

It also gets bonus points for having one of the grooviest 8-bit soundtracks we’ve ever heard. Is it embarrassing to admit that we quite like listening to it on its own?

The Speccy version is staggering considering it came from this.


  • Dalibor - September 29, 2009 12:08 a.m.

    I can't believe how some of those games were able to be converted to less graphical systems. That is pretty amazing.
  • RobTheBuilder - September 28, 2009 3:59 p.m.

    No list of incredible ports is complete without the stunning RType conversion to the Master System. That machine had no right to run that game but it did.
  • RebornKusabi - February 10, 2009 4:17 a.m.

    Hehe Halo 3 on a Game Boy Micro... hehe

Showing 1-3 of 3 comments

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