Tomb Raider on the Nintendo Game Boy Advance is incredible | MVG - iplayphonegames.com

Tomb Raider on the Nintendo Game Boy Advance is incredible | MVG

Modern Vintage Gamer
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The open source Tomb Raider engine known as OpenLara is running on the Nintendo Game Boy Advance. In this episode we uncover how this impossible port was achieved. And indeed how it runs at good speeds on the GBA.

Huge thanks to XProger for taking the time to answer my questions about this incredible port!

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Music:

► Tomb Raider I, 1 featuring Lara Croft (1996)
► Tracks by: Nathan McCree
► Eidos Int. Limited / Core Design

Credits/Sources/Links:

► Download OpenLara for the GBA –
► Hard4Games : Tomb Raider on 3DO!!! What?! –
► Tomb Raider N-Gage – EKA2L1 Emulator –
► Rodrigo Copetti –

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#Nintendo #GBA #TombRaider

220 Comments

  1. Thank you for the video, I really like those kind of videos where you explore how people optimize resources in order to "make the impossible possible" 🙂 Your explanations are very clear, thanks again!

  2. i was instantly thinking about the ngage version and was so glad you mentioned it

  3. I wonder what the ngage version would look like side-by-side.

  4. The GBA hardware was always underrated & quite beefy, but this is just amazing!

  5. Lol so cool to see it running on the Pocket!

  6. Absolutely insane! I hope this encourages more development on the GBA in the future! Oh the possibilities!

  7. Very impressive! I get that I'm missing something but why do this? It's beyond a typical challenge of a hobbyist. To the point where a full project that could be sold to the public could have been developed using the same amount of resources and time. Clearly there is a purpose and reason the guy is a genius just curious what I am not seeing?

  8. 1:11 How is this „a stock GBA“ if the display has background light? Incredibly impressive port nonetheless.

  9. i read the desc of baphomet kun's beef video, and now im here. why

  10. Very very impressive but also nobody gonna mention how the original GBA he’s playing on is also backlit? That’s also a pretty cool mod.

  11. The same hot mess of affine warping and cracks from back in the day but now even more pixelated: Love it!

  12. I'd be interested to hear more on the art assets used. Are textures scaled down? Any artist changes to the models? Some compressed geometry format? Reduction in frames of animation?

  13. The GBA has a 32 bit processor. I think the hang up for everyone keeps being portability. The smart phone you have in your pocket can run circles around a PS2 – didja know that guys?

  14. I love this! Now I want to try to play through the full game from beginning to end all on a GBA

  15. I thought the N-Gage version was a technological wonder (and I do love my N-Gage, still have it after 14 year!), but this goes even further!
    Simply amazing!

  16. Core design "We will not make a Tomb Raider 2 for the Saturn due development issues"
    Fans 20 years later: "Let's port it to a toaster, GBA seems too easy"

    I'm seriously waiting now the Saturn port to develop a bit more so we Saturn fans finally can Play TR2 and 3 on it.

  17. Resident evil on an N64 is an impossible port? Are you on drugs? The N64 is twice as powerful as a PS1. How is that an impossible port? EDIT: Oh, we're talking strictly file size….yeah, that makes sense. My bad..

  18. Meanwhile Square Enix gives us a cook book and refuses to bring back Lara's dual pistols despite even new players' requests. Well, Tomb Raider is neither the first nor the last franchise Square ruins, which explains a lot.

  19. I've always loved the idea of impossible ports on older systems and the challenge it would take

  20. Awesome! And it's not as far fetched as it might seem at first. There are software rendered real-time 3D demos (with multi-channel audio mixing) running on GBA so why wouldn't this be possible? Sure, the lighting in this game is relatively complex not to mention the geometry but it's certainly doable. The FMV stuff makes me wonder though, but I'm not surprised that they managed to get a couple of levels going at least :). I love the idea of going ham and just assembly optimizing that software renderer too :). That generation of ARM hardware is really lovely! I used to do assembly optimisation work of audio software on ARM9 for a living and you can definitely do some crazy cool stuff on that hardware. One of the coolest hardware platforms around IMO :). And, yeah, porting to Motorola MC60k060, like an Amiga 1200 with a 060 turbo card would be interesting to see. (although, they would most like have to BUTCHER that game to make it work – especially to get it running on interactive frame rates :D) Have you seen the demos by The Black Lotus and Madwizards on that hardware ;D? The frame rate of some of the more complex scenes isn't great but they HAVE managed to get raymarching of 3D fractal geometry going 😀 😀 <3. Check out "Rift" from back in 2014 for example ;D . Now, that isn't interactive of course, so that would be the real challenge :).

  21. What in the living hell?? I played this rom on my actual gba sp. my jaw was on the floor for over an hour…

  22. Imagine how fast and efficient video games could be run today on weaker hardware if the game engines weren't all spaghetticode and the games unoptimised as shit… :'(

  23. This is incredible I never thought it was possible to do something like that.
    To play The Original Lara Croft on a GBA.
    And I prefer the Old Version Lara Croft.

  24. Missed the most important bit.

    Does it have a Nude mod ?

  25. The best convincing factor would have been that this game runs on Nokia N-gage, which is from the same era as the GBA.

  26. Some of the assets are repeated but still stacked probably. So you could reduce that and only use a single texture / map for the objects that require it. Instead of using Stone02_L / Stone02_M and or Stone02_S, I'm sure using Stone02_S for all object surfaces that require that texture map will most likely push the frames higher since there is less to render. This would inturn also shrink the asset library down so you end up with a smaller rom in general.

  27. This has to be some of the most impressive work on the GBA I've ever seen. Imagine if this was released back in the day instead of the 2D games the GBA officially got. Would've blown people's minds.

  28. You got your description of painters algo and z-buffer algo backwards I think.

    Painters algo doesn't have logic for deciding what does and doesn't get drawn, it simply draws all which keeps it simple. What it does, instead, is drawing everything from back to front, and if anything happens to overlap, it will simply be "covered" by the next "layer." It has a sense of quickness, because you don't have to sort or organize, you can just go go go. It's draw back is that it's wasteful.

    The obvious optimization would be to figure out if something in front (Laura's head) is covering something else (a rock in the distance) and simply save yourself from drawing the covered object. However, to do this, requires some notion of order in depth from the camera, which requires something like a z-buffer. But, doing so would enable you to remove pollys that will never be visible in the view port, before you go off and draw them.

  29. And I struggle to emulate a windows Phone game on a windows 10 System…

  30. Damn! That's impressive as hell!

  31. xproger more like xpogger
    sheesh thatsa nice work

  32. No cause I just know when it’s optimized they can definitely fit it on a cart 😂

  33. To run this on the analogue pocket do I just sideload it onto micro SD card and it works? Please advise

  34. Vindication for never getting the N64 port

  35. I'd like to see this game ported to the Atari Jaguar.

  36. despite of all this achievement…nintendo ALREADY move-on, they have the Switch right now that have the capsbility to play all legacy nintendo games…so in other words Nintendo didn't fucking care about this .too bad .

  37. No… no… this can't be working.
    oh.
    this can't be the complete game…

  38. Now this is far, FAR more surprising and unbelievable than seeing RE2 on N64. I could easily see how you could squash a PS1 game to fit onto a little N64 cart; but a PS1 game onto GBA cart!? Thats a whole different kettle of fish! I don't know how big their carts were but the fact it can render realtime 3D polygons is what really impresses me. Why did GBA have no 3D games if its GPU is capable of realtime 3D??? What were Nintendo smoking if they didn't even know the machine THEY made can render 3D lol?

  39. blows ya mind ! all these old systems never reached their full potential not even those who made them managed it !

  40. After watching this, I feel like my MDK port idea is not that far-fetched but probably not a task for me 🙂

  41. In 1995, a Shogi game for the Super Famicom was released featuring an ARM7 clocked at 21.47 MHz. It would be interesting to see OpenLara running on this hardware, too.

  42. So Sharp built a device that can run Tomb Raider, and what did Nintendo do? They ported Balloon Fight. 😉

  43. seem like a waste of time to me. like why. why would i bother to play it? why would waste money on garbage. now dont get me wrong GBA was a good handheld at the time and tomb raider is a good game. but there all old and its ancient history. smart people wont waste time or sucker in to this. this proof just how human life are so beyond boring

  44. Tomb Raider lead programmer Paul Douglas commented on this on Twitter: "Pinch me someone, I'm definitely dreaming." I have to agree with that sentiment.

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