In recent years, the gradual move away from backwards compatibility and physical editions has led to this a growing concern for the preservation of classic games. But even if older games are available on current systems through remakes and remasters, certain features are often no longer available They are lost over time due to hardware quirks that no longer exist.
let’s think about it Final Fantasy Crystal Chroniclesa 2003 GameCube game that relied heavily on its multiplayer functionality a unique cooperative experience that didn’t carry over to the 2020 remaster. For many, the loss of these types of features can be easily overlooked when the game itself is still generally playable. But for a group of four friends, Their love for Crystal Chronicles was inseparable from their shared teenage experience. When they failed to fully recreate their youthful experience in the 2020 remaster, they embarked on a project that would allow them to play much of the original game together in all its glory.
Thus the “Hypercube” was born.
The Hypercube is a device created by Bork Yeah Games content creator couple Steven Squitieri and William Rankeilloralong with two of his friends. The four are lifelong friends who played Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles together on the GameCube as teenagers. with its unique multiplayer feature. Originally, up to four people could play Crystal Chronicles on a single GameCube by connecting four GameBoy Advances to the console with a single cable. The GBA then served as second screens and menus for each player, allowing them to advance their adventure as a group.
However, when Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition came out for Nintendo Switch in 2020, overhauled the multiplayer features in a way that didn’t sit well with the group of friends. Only one player could progress in the remastered multiplayer mode, with up to three friends providing additional support in the dungeons.
“This means if you wanted to play the Remastered Edition with a static party of four, You would have to play the same dungeon four times in a row before you could move on to the next oneSquitieri explains in an email to IGN. “For many, including us, The remastered edition wasn’t worth playing, as it had lost the soul of the original. Too bad because The Remastered Edition introduced new content and challenges.
“Yet, we were still looking forward to playing the game again. Unfortunately we are now hundreds of kilometers apart so it’s quite difficult to meet in person.” After lots of nightly Googling, hectic theories and testing, the HyperCube was born.“.
No hardware limitations for four nostalgic friends
If you find it overwhelming, that’s normal. This is the shortened version: Basically Squitieri four GameBoy players connected (a device that allows you to play GameBoy games on the GameCube) on four GameCubes and then, connected these four GameCubes to a Wii running Crystal Chroniclesmaking all four GameCubes possible serve as Game Boy Advance controllers for multiplayer.
He then used it a program called Parsec and a bunch of different adapters So your friends who live far away can press buttons on their remote controls at home that these inputs are registered in the GameCubes, which work like GBA controllers in Crystal Chronicles. And it uses a streaming program, Open Broadcaster Software, in combination with a special camera to broadcast a quad-split screen to all players. This allows four of you to play Crystal Chronicles original multiplayer online together from anywhere in the world.
Bork Yeah Games presented the Hypercube on his channel today and plans to do so Crystal Chronicles re-airs today, Saturday 12th August, on the occasion 20th anniversary of the game. But Squitieri tells me that Crystal Chronicles isn’t the only game his setup is good for. Youcould also be used for The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (which also requires GBA controller). Another possibility is to use a simpler version of the system (with a single GameCube, no Wii or GameBoy player) for other, more traditional multiplayer games. And Squitieri tells me that Bork made Yeah Games recently a Pikmin 4 stream where the group “passed the controller hundreds of miles” On each matchday, who played would take turns, just like a group of friends would in the same room. What’s more, he claims so Anyone can assemble such a setup relatively easily; The biggest hurdle is that it’s a bit expensive: “The only real limit here is the adapters. A similar setup could theoretically be used for remote play on many other consoles.”
The Hypercube project is a fantastic example of this wit and determination players continue to enjoy the games they love, even as it gets harder and harder. But it also highlights the difficulties involved in preserving games. Crystal Chronicles It’s by no means the only game with features that make it difficult to enjoy in its original formand a growing number of retro games will be completely out of reach by 2023. As groups like the Video Game History Foundation continue important preservation work, It remains imperative that publishers and intellectual property owners take steps to prevent art from being lost over time. But until that effort grows, exciting projects like Hypercube will continue to prove the worth of bringing old games back in their original spirit.