When it comes to the best way to spend Halloween night, you might think of opening the windows and carving a pumpkin while watching Michael Myers bloody his dagger across multiple victims, answering the door intermittently to dole out candy to little Pennywise clowns and Fortnite tomato heads. Well you're doing it wrong, because the actual best way to celebrate All Hallow's Eve is by playing Castlevania on a spinning LED cube.
IT WORKS! Castlevania played on an LED Matrix Cube with infinite scrolling. SPOOKY! 🦇🧛♂️ #ledcube #Castlevania #NES pic.twitter.com/EH53vDFP9KOctober 31, 2019
This incredible creation by Twitter user and programmer Greig Stewart spins in synchrony as you move through Castlevania's levels. Stewart built the mechanism around a Raspberry Pi 4 to emulate the game and documented the entire research and construction process in a detailed blog. Even for non-tech heads, it's astounding to read through the different processes and creative decisions behind getting an NES game to function properly on an LED cube.
Stewart himself built the frame, assembled the LED panels, tweaked the game's code to make Castlevania's scrolling background stay fixed, and figured out a way to get the spinning motor to match the speed of Simon's sprite. That's right, the LED cube spins in proportion to Simon's in-game movement speed, allowing you to stay still while your character moves through different panels as they rotate positions.
Better yet, Stewart says this isn't the last we'll see of his LED cube emulator, throwing out ideas for a multiplayer game with a player using each screen or a game that reacts to your movement. Both ideas have my personal green light, but I'm sure either would require a level of technical know-how as to disqualify my opinion on the matter. And to that end, I'll just give a silent round of applause and thanks for the retro delight on Halloween night.
Most of us can only dream of assembling something like this, so here are the best retro game consoles to sate your 8-bit craving.