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New Google Maps
March 31, 2012 9:13 AM   Subscribe

Google Maps comes to exciting new platform: The 8-bit NES.
posted by GuyZero (68 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
I know it's for April Fools, but this rocks anyway.
posted by JHarris at 9:16 AM on March 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


This needs to be the default view from now on.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:18 AM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


For those who don't recognize it: The music, sound effects, and some aspects of the graphical style are taken from the game Dragon Warrior.
posted by jedicus at 9:20 AM on March 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wow, they even extended it to street view--the person now holds a sword and they mess with the color palette on the images.

(And seriously, it's way faster to render the 8-bit map than it is the regular view. Love it.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:22 AM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Street View is equally awesome
posted by DeltaZ113 at 9:23 AM on March 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's cool that they included Street View, but this is how it should have worked.
posted by oulipian at 9:25 AM on March 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Can anyone figure out why some cities have a "castle" icon while other larger cities only have a village? Las Vegas and New York are castles, while Chicago and LA are villages. Practically every city in Australia is a castle. I guess this was developed by bitter Australians?

Also, there's landmarks scattered around (some seen in the video.) How many can we find?
posted by Wulfhere at 9:25 AM on March 31, 2012


Related: load up maps.google.com, click on "start your quest" in the left-hand sidebar, then click on the "try it now" button.

*flashes back to playing early Ultima games*
posted by hippybear at 9:27 AM on March 31, 2012


Oh, wait, it's the same thing. Nevermind.
posted by hippybear at 9:28 AM on March 31, 2012


I followed the "try this quest" route, and found a monster!
posted by gemmy at 9:35 AM on March 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is beautiful. I just used "Quest" mode to look at my home. I live in a remote village in Scotland, and seeing it in 8 bit with little trees is SO RIGHT! This is how it feels to live here! They had better keep this feature forever. That's all I can say.
posted by EnterTheStory at 9:36 AM on March 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was wandering around the plains of Chicago and found two guys in beanie propeller hats. Any idea what those are?
posted by naju at 9:37 AM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Previously and previouslier, another implementation of online 8 bit maps by Brett Camper.
posted by Nelson at 9:41 AM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


So good!
posted by latkes at 9:44 AM on March 31, 2012


Any idea what those are?

That's one of Google's offices.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 9:45 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, monsters, right. I was trying to figure out what the weird sprite was supposed to be.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:45 AM on March 31, 2012


I just showed this to my wife and her parents. Her parents understood the 8-bit images, but were baffled at blowing on the cartridge. My wife and I laughed at that part. I don't think her parents played enough NES to get the joke. Bravo, Google. Bravo.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:47 AM on March 31, 2012


There are some other neat landmarks. Check out Tech Tower near the Google offices in Atlanta.
posted by goHermGO at 9:52 AM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I discovered this this morning when using google maps for, you know, google maps shit. It didn't even cross my mind that this was an April Fool's joke.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:58 AM on March 31, 2012


Awww.... April Fools? Really? :(

And here I was hoping to get that tiny cartridge jammed in my NES with no hope of retrieval.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:00 AM on March 31, 2012


And it's still March...
posted by Sys Rq at 10:01 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's April 1st in Tokyo.
posted by GuyZero at 10:02 AM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was hoping this would help me find hidden locations in all those old RPGs. Instead, when I try to get to the bus stop, I have to fight Slimes, and my local store only sells 3 things at a time. Yay, Google.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:04 AM on March 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Street View is equally awesome

If you have WebGL turned on, it's the same as always. You have to turn it off to get 8-bit mode.

Hopefully it'll let me turn it back on again. :-)
posted by Malor at 10:13 AM on March 31, 2012


This is The Best.
posted by meese at 10:16 AM on March 31, 2012


It looks like Erdrick's Token is either in upper Northwest Territory or in northwest Russia. No indication of where Gwaelin's Love is, though.
posted by klausman at 10:50 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Famicom actually had a modem.

The interesting thing is that since you can put whatever chips you want in a cartage, you could actually do this pretty easily. Well, maybe not easily, but it could be done. You could essentially use the just as display hardware. In fact in the later days of the NES, cartridges often included chips to boost system power.
posted by delmoi at 11:23 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


awesome! NYC has the Statue of Liberty, Empire State, and Chrysler Bldgs! super cute!
posted by sexyrobot at 11:29 AM on March 31, 2012


DC. I'm not sure why there's a panda by Smithsonian Castle...is it too much to hope that I just haven't yet unlocked a quest to return it to the zoo?
posted by EvaDestruction at 11:51 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are little google people near the google offices. Also, the Mountain View headquarters have a dinosaur, an android robot, and flamingos.

I mean, obviously right?
posted by Winnemac at 12:00 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Map data ©2012 Google, SQUARE ENIX."
posted by teraflop at 12:02 PM on March 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


best part was that they actually found a use for the built-in microphones.
posted by Yowser at 12:12 PM on March 31, 2012


The trippiest part for me? The box in the upper-right hand corner of the map is slightly translucent. And buggy as it turns out, as the map image underneath it is... the regular Google Maps. I wonder if they're 8-bittifying the maps on the client side...
posted by Yowser at 12:14 PM on March 31, 2012


Nice.

As an aside, is there any way to turn off closed captioning? You can turn off annotations but I didn't see a way to turn off the captions, just change the language?
posted by danny the boy at 12:20 PM on March 31, 2012


My neighborhood has never looked so adventurous before! (Has anyone found Lord British yet? That dude owes me an airship!)
posted by SPrintF at 12:24 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


You have to scroll the caption selection widget. It's weird, I know.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 12:25 PM on March 31, 2012


The trippiest part for me? The box in the upper-right hand corner of the map is slightly translucent. And buggy as it turns out, as the map image underneath it is... the regular Google Maps. I wonder if they're 8-bittifying the maps on the client side...

Most likely.
posted by odinsdream at 12:31 PM on March 31, 2012


It would be hilarious if your route always ended with "You Have Died Of Dysentery."
posted by SPrintF at 12:43 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


The trippiest part for me? The box in the upper-right hand corner of the map is slightly translucent. And buggy as it turns out, as the map image underneath it is... the regular Google Maps.

It's like this all the time. When you're in regular Maps view, it shows a little window into the Satellite view, and vice versa.
posted by zsazsa at 12:52 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder if they're 8-bittifying the maps on the client side...

No, for a variety of reasons that'd be really hard. It's the same rendered tile bitmaps as the other basic Google maps; here's a tile with Sutro tower on it, for instance.
posted by Nelson at 1:09 PM on March 31, 2012


This is very fun.
One lonely Moai on Easter Island.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:15 PM on March 31, 2012


MIT gets its own image, but Harvard doesn't. Ha ha ha!

(Boston has three other features - the Cambridge Google office, Faneuil Hall, and the John Hancock building.)
posted by maryr at 1:17 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


8-bit Google Maps Easter eggs
posted by Nelson at 1:20 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's good to know that when the choice came down to "not being evil" and "not being whimsical," Google took the better of the two options. That tumblr is great!
posted by absalom at 1:30 PM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


That guy's desk has Dragon Quest slimes on it!
posted by JHarris at 2:11 PM on March 31, 2012


I requested directions, and at the bottom of the results it said "this route has tolls", which I happily mis-read as "this route has trolls".

Ah the power of suggestion.
posted by Hicksu at 2:12 PM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm so happy that they did this right. It's not JUST 8-bit Google Maps, but it's very specifically Famicom Dragon Quest (or Warrior for US players) Google Maps, the logo, the character art, the tiles, the microphone on the Famicom port 2 controller, even the sounds. My only complaint is that they based it off of DQ1, when III is so much better.
posted by JHarris at 2:15 PM on March 31, 2012


And delmoi is right, although it would be easier to do on a Famicom than an NES as it has more pins for this kind of thing. I expect now it's only a matter of time before someone wires up an Arduino or Raspberry Pi to interface with a Famicom in this way.
posted by JHarris at 2:18 PM on March 31, 2012


Im hoping someone puts up a page with desktop resolution images of different countries, I would love 8 bit UK as my desktop for a while. Unfortunately I am not much of a google mapper.
posted by adventureloop at 2:38 PM on March 31, 2012


And it's still March...

It's currently April 1st in Japan, the home of Dragon Quest (and Google Japan) ;)
posted by May Kasahara at 2:39 PM on March 31, 2012


adventureloop, what is your desktop resolution?
posted by JHarris at 3:13 PM on March 31, 2012


A Slime draws near!
Command?

posted by dirigibleman at 3:13 PM on March 31, 2012


adventureloop, will this do?
posted by JHarris at 3:46 PM on March 31, 2012


Google maps for NES surpasses other attempts at April foolery
Ben Garvey's list of notable places
dragon off the coast of Africa at zero lat / zero long
posted by XMLicious at 5:27 PM on March 31, 2012


So, how do I get back to mapsGL?
posted by LionIndex at 5:35 PM on March 31, 2012


This makes so much more sense, now. I was looking at the Colorado Wild fires map and inadvertently flipped to "Quest" mode. Never thought I'd be laughing at wildfire data.
posted by ghiacursed at 5:57 PM on March 31, 2012


Google Japan has another separate April Fool's joke, but Japanese only: Entering Japanese with Morse code!

http://www.google.co.jp/ime/-.-.html#intro
posted by mariokrat at 7:25 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


.... and the link: http://www.google.co.jp/ime/-.-.html#intro
posted by mariokrat at 7:26 PM on March 31, 2012


I am doing my business now.
posted by hellphish at 7:41 PM on March 31, 2012


Hmm. Good as this is, Google hasn't got the details of the video exactly right. They've used a Dragon Quest inspired title and Dragon Quest inspired tiles (the ocean tiles do not have a shore), they use the movement direction facing, big headed Erdrick sprite from the US release, Dragon Warrior, instead of the always facing the player Loto sprite. I mean, did anyone do a search to check the differences between the Japan and US release??? BTW, Enix already did a real world map back in Dragon Quest III....

I hope they fix these inconsistencies soon.
posted by Mister Cheese at 10:27 PM on March 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


New Googlers wear propeller hats, there is a giant Android statue and s t-rex skeleton covered in flamingos st the mountain view campus.

This map is acurater than the usual.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 1:57 AM on April 1, 2012


I like how it's "officially" called "Google Maps Quest." What if MapQuest sues them? Is MapQuest.com still around? Checks

Whoa, it is still around!

Google hath thrown the gauntlet at the feet of MapQuest. Will MapQuest pick it up and meet Google in a deadly contest?

Or is MapQuest already imprisoned and broken, about to get beheaded by Google's incestuous puke-face illegitimate King? 15 hours 'til the Game of Thrones season 2 premiere...
posted by aydeejones at 2:52 AM on April 1, 2012


Did they use any of the poisonous swamp tiles? (Spent years leveling up my DQ character, only to have someone delete it before I faced the final bad guy)
posted by drezdn at 7:03 AM on April 1, 2012


Google Japan has another separate April Fool's joke, but Japanese only: Entering Japanese with Morse code!

I'm picturing a bunch of Japanese youth staring at a string of morse code trying to figure out exactly what series of emojicons they're supposed to see.
posted by hippybear at 8:13 AM on April 1, 2012


Did they use any of the poisonous swamp tiles?

Northern Siberia is poisonous swamp.
posted by painquale at 8:20 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


aydeejones: Google hath thrown the gauntlet at the feet of MapQuest. Will MapQuest pick it up and meet Google in a deadly contest?

WELCOME BACK TO THE STAGE OF HISTORY
posted by gilrain at 9:21 AM on April 1, 2012


Wow, I can't get over how cool the street view is. So fun to see my house in 8-bits.
posted by marsha56 at 1:29 PM on April 1, 2012


Did they use any of the poisonous swamp tiles?

In addition to painquale's discovery of Siberia's swamp, you can also find some in the UK and the very tip of Florida.
posted by JHarris at 5:02 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


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