A special type of Video Game Remake
Like a Fan Sequel
, a Fan Remake
is a (generally freeware) game created by fans of the original game. Unlike a Fan Sequel
however, this is an attempt to reproduce a faithful copy of the original game itself.
There are many reasons why fans might opt to do so. The most common reason is to port a game from one system to another (for instance, creating a "Windows-friendly" version originally found on an older operating system or porting from console to PC). Another common scenario involves games that were once popular but are now out of print or difficult to find. Naturally, these two may overlap.
Also like a Fan Sequel
, the bane of a Fan Remake is the dreaded cease-and-desist order
. Corporations don't do this just
from greed—sometimes it's because the fans wound up using registered trademarks of the company in their remake (in which infringement must
be challenged to maintain ownership of the registration, compared to mere copyright infringement). Fan Remakes
can also hinder what a corporation can do with its own remakes, as any new elements in a Fan Remake
belong to the fans who wrote it, or severely mess with the story and setting in such a way the company finds unacceptable.
(Note: This doesn't count games where the creator has been granted official access to the source code. Those probably fit better under Game Mod.)
- Cracked gives us a rather handy list with 5 Improved Versions of Classic Games That Fans Made For Free
- The umpteen-million free remakes of games such as Tetris, Pacman and Space Invaders.
- Tetris is probably the single most remade game in the history of video games. It probably also sees the greatest number of cease-and-desist orders.
- One would also think Pong is part of this list. Some colleges have courses where students must create a Pong game early in the semester. Meaning there are probably more remakes of this game alone than any other (not that many of them get very popular.)
- RetroSpec are a group who spent a lot of time recreating old ZX Spectrum and C64 games (their Head Over Heels and Wizball are awesome). Although less active now than in the past, in 2010 they released remakes of Knight Lore and the isometric Batman from Ocean (the original was made by the same authors of Head Over Heels).
- There are many, many remakes of older games based on SMW. Some notable ones include Castlevania Mario Edition and Castlevania Dracula X Remake, TWO remakes of Castlevania: Dracula X using the SMW Engine. Wario Land SNES a full remake of the first Wario Land game and tons and tons of remakes of Super Mario Bros. games in general.
- The OpenMW team is currently working on an open source remake of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. It will still require the original's game resources to play Morrowind, but the engine itself could be used freely for total conversion projects.
- Somewhat similarily, the XL Engine project aims (and has made significant progess towards, releases having occured) to make an engine that can handle a number of older first-person games, including Dark Forces (the most finished part) and Daggerfall (the second most finished part). Just as openmw, it requires the originals' game resources (though Daggerfall is available for free legal download).
- The Morroblivion project attempted to recreate Morrowind in the Oblivion engine, while the Skywind and Skyblivion projects are joint efforts to recreate Morrowind and Oblivion in the updated Skyrim engine. A copy of the game being recreated and the game whose engine is being used is required.
- Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2 modders have ported a large number of pen-and-paper D&D adventures using the toolsets. They've also written remakes and sequels of CRPGs including Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, Icewind Dale, Pool of Radiance, and even Zork (which was never a D&D game to begin with).
- Baldur's Gate Reloaded received gaming media attention for recreating the entire Baldur's Gate campaign (with the Tales of the Sword Coast North expansion) as a Neverwinter Nights 2 module.
Individual remakes, listed by original game in alphabetic order:
- The NES game Action 52 has seen new life on the Internet as prime Snark Bait. More recently, it's been given a much kinder treatment in the form of ACTION 52 OWNS, a collaborative effort to remake all 52 games indie-style, which has produced some legitimately good titles: particularly recommended are Streemerz (which even received a 2.5D sequel), Illuminator, Sombreros and especially Non-Human.
- Advanced Strategic Command started as a remake of Battle Isle but is now a separate game in its own right.
- Advanced Strategic Command is more of a Spiritual Successor to Battle Isle series, but with BI resource mode and a special unitset (Mk4) can more or less emulate these games. Obviously, an original data cannot be attached or converted due to copyright, but ASC source seems to include functions loading Battle Isle 3 maps and working with BI data formats if you already have the game.
- The Amstrad CPC retrocomputing scene has produced remakes of the CPC versions of Bubble Bobble and R-Type.
- There have been multiple attempts to remake Castlevania II Simons Quest, perhaps the most notable is Castlevania II: Dracula's Shadow which added new characters, areas, alchemy, ect. ect. You can get more details by watching this review.
- Chrono Resurrection was a project for a fan remake of the game Chrono Trigger with 3D graphics. However, near the end of 2004 they received a Cease and Desist from Square Enix, and were forced to drop the project.
- Free Civ and FreeCol, free somewhat extended clones of Civilization and Colonization respectively.
- Renegade X, a remake of Command & Conquer: Renegade on the Unreal Engine 3. A singleplayer demo was released to show off the new engine and all of the changes made, with the multiplayer still in beta, but due to be out soon as well. This mod ain't free though; it costs around $20 USD to purchase.
- Dark Forces - The original Dark Forces remade as a mod for Jedi Academy. The team behind it have so far released two demos, from which the second contains the first six levels of the full game.
- Classic Doom is a mod for Doom 3 which is a remake of the shareware Episode 1 of the original Doom, using the Doom 3 engine and resources. While gameplay is largely like Doom 3, it's been heavily tweaked to give it a more classic feel (guns no longer need to be reloaded, the shotgun is no longer a Short Range Shotgun, imps throw fireballs in a straight line instead of an arc, etc.)
- Doom 64 was first recreated as Doom 64: The Absolution using the Doomsday source port. A developer was unsatisfied with the inaccuracies of the port and created an even more faithful recreation called Doom 64 EX.
- Dragon Ball Multiverse:
- Two of the specials are a remake of the two movies Broly appeared, so it can fit in the chronology.
- The first of the two chapters about U3 can be seen as this too (in this case, a remake of the Bardock TV special).
- Oolite, of Elite.
- osu! is a PC remake of the Nintendo DS games Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents. With over a quarter of a million players and almost 100 million ranked plays, what more proof does Inis need to see that we want a sequel.
- And for something incredibly meta, we have this. It's a Fan Remake of a Fan Fic on a Fan Remake. And it's awesome.
- Team Avalanche on the Qhimm forums is a group working to update Final Fantasy VII. A demo of the Bombing Mission will be released sometime soon.
- Final Fantasy Mystic Quest Remastered is an RPG Maker remake/expansion of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest with a slightly expanded storyline, new additions, and a more traditional party setup.
- FreeSpace Port is, surprisingly, a port of FreeSpace: The Great War on the improved FreeSpace 2 Open engine.
- The team also has the subproject (it requires the FreeSpace Port) Silent Threat: Reborn, which remakes the Silent Threat expansion (a simple port is part of the FreeSpace Port proper).
- GoldenEye: Source is a remake of the classic Goldeneye 007 multiplayer experience in the Source engine.
- Black Mesa (formerly Black Mesa: Source) is a fanmade rebuild of Half-Life in the Source engine, spurred by disappointment in Half-Life: Source. Valve approved of the rebuild but requested they remove "Source" from the title so it would not be confused for an official release (as well as calling dibs on playing the finished game first). Don't be surprised if the creators
end up working for Valve are assimilated by Valve, adding their biological and technological distinctiveness to Valve's own. Both the mod and its social media campaign suffered severe Schedule Slip, but the game's stay in Development Hell ended in September 2012 with the release of the portion of the game covering the events in Black Mesa itself. The Xen part of the game and a multiplayer component is currently still under development.
- A fan remake of the remake was later released. Disappointed with the shortening of the "Surface Tension" chapter in Black Mesa, the fan proceeded to restore the chapter.
- Old (1998) sandbox commercial/scifi flightsim Hard War was not widely known, but the small fan base it had was ferociously loyal. Once the developers went out of business, and it was clear the source code was lost forever, several projects sprang up to recreate and improve the game from scratch. Sadly, none of them came close to releasing anything but a few proof-of-concept screenshots.
- After two and a half years of development, the point-and-click remake of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has finally been released. The dialogue's a little cheesy in places, the graphics are even cheesier in places and the music is a bit weird... so it's pretty much equivalent to the TV miniseries, and thus better than the movie in most fans' eyes. Unlike most Infocom games, there's no chance of a cease-and-desist order from Activision because the game's rights reverted to Douglas Adams years ago, and the game's already been released for free twice.
- AGD Interactive's remakes of King's Quest I and King's Quest II (was more like a totally different game than a remake — one most consider much better than the original, given that King's Quest II was the Black Sheep of the series until King's Quest: Mask of Eternity managed to steal its title) and King's Quest III, and Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire. (You can find 'em here if you like adventure games.) Josh Mandell (a former Sierra staffer and the definitive voice for Graham), has now voiced Graham in more fan-done King's Quest games than he was in canonical ones.
- Marathon: Aleph One is a ZDoom-style remake/port of the original Marathon to a new engine, allowing the game to be run on modern systems. It now also includes Marathon 2 and Marathon Infinity.
- More accurately, it is a fan made update of the Marathon 2 source code, with improved features and ports to platforms other than the "classic" Mac OS (including OS X, which is rather incompatible with it's predecessor).
- Also worth noting that this remake is done with complete permission from Bungie, as they made the code open-source years ago, and put Marathon in the public domain sometime after.
- Likewise, Marathon: Resurrection is a 3D, complete remake of the original Marathon (both singleplayer and multiplayer) using the first Unreal Tournament engine. Like Aleph One, it's been officially approved by Bungie, and the remake's home page is even currently being hosted on Bungie's website.
- MechWarrior Living Legends, a remake of the MechWarrior series on the Crysis engine.
- Rockman 7 FC and Rockman 8 FC are retraux remakes of two non-8-bit games, Mega Man 7 and Mega Man 8. These stick more closely to the NES formula than the originals (no intro stage, all eight bosses available instead of four at a time, no shop in RM7FC, etc.), and RM8FC is a composite of the Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn versions of the game (Tengu Man's stage theme from both versions take turns playing). Most interestingly, RM8FC replaces the Saturn-only Cut Man and Wood Man with Time Man and Oil Man from Mega Man Powered Up (you even get their weapons from them, unlike the original bosses). Interestingly, Capcom made their own 8-bit renditions of the final boss area backgrounds of both games (and Mega Man & Bass) for the Overly-Long Gag scene in Mega Man 9's ending.
- MDDClone is a freeware remake of the three episodes of the Mercenary series of computer games, developed with permission from the former Novagen team.
- Megaman Day in the Limelight which is Mega Man 2, except without Mega Man. Instead you play as the Robot Masters from the original Mega Man.
- Project AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake) is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The Tech Demo, titled Confrontation, can be played here, and the official blog can be read here.
- One team is planning to remake the original MOTHER by hacking EarthBound.
- LGeneral - Panzer General.
- There's also PG Forever, which includes Allied General and two fan-made campaigns for World War One as well.
- Freedroid RPG is a remake of Paradroid (1985, for Commodore64), with improved graphics... and Linux mascot as the hero, plus Design It Yourself Equipment.
- Pokémon has a few notable ones, such as Pokemon Shiny Gold.
- Shiny Gold is a hacked version of FireRed (which, funnily enough, is an official remake of the first game) that was tweaked into a remake of Pokémon Gold. What makes this interesting is that the original game allowed you to visit the Kanto region, making the hack a lot easier. And what makes this even MORE interesting is that Game Freak eventually released legitimate remakes of Gold and Silver, on the DS.
- Firestart is a remake of the Commodore 64 game Project Firestart, reimagined as a First-Person Shooter.
- Quake Generations was a mod for Quake 2 that featured the player characters of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, and Quake 2 as player characters. Although multi-player focused, it also included a recreation of the shareware Episode 1 of Quake 1 in the Quake 2 engine, which could be played either any of the 4 characters. Unfortunately, the mod was killed by ID Software (due to using content ripped from Quake 1) and is no longer available.
- However, there is a similar mod called SOG (Save Our Generation), which reportedly used elements from this mod (with some changes, like names), recreated a lot of enemies from each game, as well as most of the weapons, and had a whole single player campaign dedicated to this. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to reacquire this mod. The closest thing you'll get is a playthrough of it here.
- Rocket Jockey, a little-known game with a very dedicated community. That one remake is still alive and supposedly under development, although the fact that the author has flat out asked the fanbase if anyone's still interested doesn't bode well at all.
- For Rhythm Heaven, we have Karateka Mania, based on the Karate Man minigame.
- Scorched Earth, Mother Of All Games, has Scorched3D and Xscorch.
- Micropolis — GPL remake of SimCity. Initially conceived for the One Laptop Per Child XO-1.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 HD was an in-progress remake of the original game with entirely redrawn HD graphics, taking cues from both the game itself and official artwork. The project has a rather storied history of setbacks, most notably regarding the redrawing of the sprites; when the project first began in 2008, redrawn artwork was submitted and modified on a collaborative basis by the Sonic Retro community. However, after numerous disagreements about the art direction began to hinder progress, the main development team took matters into their own hands; artwork submissions were closed and all of the then-final art was redrawn to an internally-agreed standard. Whilst the decision was inevitably controversial, the game certainly looked far more coherent artistically as a result...until things fell apart. * The project was officially canceled and unofficially put on indefinite hiatus (it was revived in mid-2014), but in the meantime, it DID inspire others - and hopefully without the same issues that imploded in on itself.
- The first Sonic the Hedgehog game got a remake in Sonic Rebirth, the first Sonic fangame project finished in the Sonic Worlds engine. Although it is fully playable, the author seems to have canceled further additions. There is also Sonic the Hedgehog Classic, which is both a fan Sonic 3 & Knuckles sequel loosely based on the Game Gear titles and a planned remake of the first game (although the levels haven't been added yet). In fact, there are a number of other fan remakes in development, such as Project AXSX and the ill-fated creator-driven Project-S which are remakes for the abandoned video game Sonic Xtreme.
- Starcraft Mass Recall, a remake of the StarCraft I and Brood War campaigns using the toolset for StarCraft II.
- The classic game Star Control 2 received a nice open-source fan-made update called The Ur Quan Masters which fixed some game bugs, added in the enhanced 3DO music and sound effects, and made the game run well on Linux, Android and Windows.
- WinSP:WW2 and WinSP:MBT, both of Steel Panthers II: Modern Battles
- SFIBM, a clone of Street Fighter II (also a notable Porting Disaster).
- Streets of Rage Remake skirts the line between this and a Fan Sequel: it not only remakes all three games in the series, it also fuses them together via branching paths, adds a massive amount of completely new content (including a Level Editor), and was made entirely from scratch! Although SORR was taken down from the creator's website, others got their hands on the game, and it can be downloaded easily if you Google it.
- Super Mario Bros Crossover is a free flash remake of the orignal NES game that allows you to play as characters from other nintendo games.
- Though Project M is the Fan Sequel to Super Smash Bros. Melee (and, to some extent, Smash 64), it qualifies a remake because it's designed to replicate Melee's gameplay, physics and charactersnote , in addition to a few elements of Smash 64.
- Fortress Forever is a fan made remake of Team Fortress Classic (itself an official remake of Quakeworld Team Fortress). It was originally created to get people interested in Fortress-style gameplay again after Counter-Strike plundered all the players. Then Team Fortress 2 came out, doing things to the TFC formula that the Fortress Forever staff do not like. Some of the things which they do like have however been included in the game.
- TIE Fighter Total Conversion is a fan-made mod pack which completely remakes TIE Fighter using the X-Wing Alliance engine. Unusually for a fan remake, you require both X-Wing Alliance and TIE Fighter (or the X-Wing Collectors Series) original discs to install and play TFTC, both to try to keep on the right side of copyright and as sources for voice and data files.
- OpenTTD, an upgraded and expanded remake of Transport Tycoon Deluxe.
- Ultima V: Lazarus is a remake of the classical Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny (1988) using the Dungeon Siege engine.
- Several space simulators got remakes as game mods for Vega Strike engine, though some more actively developed than others.
- Vigilante has a fan remake for Windows that takes the graphics from the arcade version and adds new weapons, gameplay modes, and a few bug fixes.
- Wing Commander: Privateer Gemini Gold, a remake of the Cult Classic Wing Commander: Privateer using the engine from its freeware Spiritual Successor, Vega Strike.
- Wolfram is a remake of the shareware Episode 1 of Wolfenstein 3D, done in a completely new 3D engine. It's a proof-of-concept programming student project, and it shows, but it's still pretty cool. The gameplay is significantly different from the original, though (guns have to be reloaded, bullets no longer stunlock enemies (making straight firefights very difficult), and you can kill enemies with headshots.)
- X-Com remake Project Xenocide (though it's gone from port-friendly C /Ogre3D to C#/XNA).
- Zelda Classic was a DOS clone of the original Legend Of Zelda. It eventually evolved into an entire program you can use to create entirely new games using the original engine, although the script system lets some people go beyond even that.
- In the early 2000s, a man named Daniel Barras (who goes by TheRealMethuselah on the internet began work on a project to remake The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in 2D with A Link To the Past-style graphics. Ocarina of Time 2D was for years the poster-boy for Zelda Fan Game Central (ZFGC for short), starting in the forum's early days on E-Z Board and staying with it well into it's transition to Invision and from there to an actual .com address. The project has spawned many imitators, some of which have ascended to being serious undertakings of their own right. As of yet the infamous "Demo 4" of the original (which features playthrough from the beginning to the completion of the first dungeon) has yet to come out, but the project is still going albeit with less steam than before.