OpenLara - a stunning GBA port of the 1996 classic Tomb Raider


In what appears to be an impossible feat, GBAtemp member @XProger has managed to get the the original 1996 PlayStation and PC classic, Tomb Raider running on the Game Boy Advance.

OpenLara is open-source project that can function as a replacement engine for Tomb Raider (1996) and is available for a number of platforms (including but not limited to the 3DO, Raspberry Pi, Xbox and more).

Lead engine developer @XProger has gone a step further and managed to scale the project down to run under the GBA's 16.78MHz arm CPU at a frame rate that appears to hover around the 16fps mark - an outstanding display of technical wizardry.

In what @XProger describes as an alpha version, OpenLara for the GBA currently only offers 3 levels of the game and excludes original FMV sequences, however the developer has expressed their intent to continue work on the GBA port by improving performance, trimming cutscenes down and more. The author goes on to state that they expect the complete package will be able to fit within a 256Mbit ROM.

Hi guys, I'm the lead developer of OpenLara engine.
More than year ago I released a tech demo, back then I was not sure that the GBA is capable for such game. But over time I improved my ARM skills, found new ways to optimize rendering and logic. The result is what I can honestly call an alpha version. There are many further improvements in the plan, as well as optimization of content and video to fit the entire Tomb Rader game in a 32 MB cartridge, but so far only 3 levels are available.

Check out the video of OpenLara in action on the GBA above and follow the links below for further information and to support the dev.

:arrow: OpenLara Github page
:discuss: OpenLara discussion thread (GBAtemp)
 

raxadian

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That’s still a playable game as far as I’m concerned, just one that’s a work in progress. It’s not like we haven’t seen less content on offer in the era of Early Access, three levels of a game that by all accounts grossly exceeds the hardware spec is no less astonishing to me.

In my time it was called shareware or playable demo.
 

raxadian

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Oh, I remember shareware. Lots of those were full games too. :P

No, some made the mistake of including so much of the complete game it felt like the full game. Or were so hard or long you got many hours of fun with just the free stuff. For example the Doom shareware was 2/3 of the full game so many people didn't bother to get the full game. That's why Doom 2 didn't have a demo or shareware version
 
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    NeoGaming @ NeoGaming: but able for to sell it i had to unhomebrew it which was a pain