The New 8-bit Heroes

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Upon a visit to his former home in Central New York, Sarasota filmmaker Joe Granato discovered a box of sentimental artifacts. Among them were forgotten illustrations, designed by he and other eight-year-old neighborhood friends, of concepts for a video game for the original 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System.

After reveling in nostalgia, he decided it might be fun to try to realize those ambitions.

But instead of creating a new experience for a mobile device or modern console, he set out to use the same techniques and adhere to the same limitations that would have been employed in 1988 to make a new cartridge based game that would actually be playable on the now archaic hardware for which it was originally intended.

Gathering a small team of modern creatives, what began as an explorative novelty project about building a video game for a system 30 years removed from relevance escalated to a two-year, ten-thousand-mile journey into an esoteric subculture made up of devotees to this as an art form; those who thrive on the art of limitation.

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