Hacker brings Google Maps to the NES. Yes, the fucking NES

hacker google maps nes

There’s no good goddamn reason to bring Google Maps to the Nintendo Entertainment System. Okay? I get it. That said, I still heavily fuck with this sort of oddity.

Hit the jump for more info and his YouTube video.


Almost a decade before the world finally realized how tedious April Fool’s Day pranks are, Google revealed a farcical 8-bit port of Google Maps for the iconic Nintendo Entertainment System. The prank was quickly forgotten, but not by one maker, who, nine years later, has made the NES version of Google Maps a reality.

Although Google did provide an online demo at the time, a promised fully functional NES cartridge version of the mapping service was never meant to be (nor was the Game Boy version that Google also teased) but it turns out the idea was very much technically feasible. YouTuber ‘ciciplusplus’ used two other clever hacks as a starting point for their 8-bit version of Google Maps: a guide for creating your own custom NES cartridge by YouTuber ‘TheRasteri’, and this work by Alastair Aitchison that turns Bing Maps aerial imagery into what looks like The Legend of Zelda world map.

If the world seen through ciciplusplus’ Google Maps 8-bit conversion looks very familiar, it’s because the imagery generated by Google’s mapping service is converted to a 16×16 grid, with the colors in every grid averaged and replaced with a matching pixelated image based on the graphical tiles used in the original NES version of The Legend of Zelda.