Google Maps is exploring a brand new frontier with its next expansion: the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Well, maybe not. But it’s a fantastic April Fools’ joke.
Head over to the main page for the Internet giant’s maps tool. In the upper right corner, click on Quest and turn Google Maps into an 8-bit, classic video game wonderland.
“Our engineering team in Japan understood the importance of maps on retro game systems,” writes Tatsuo Nomura, software engineer with Google Maps, at the application’s official blog. “With the power of Google’s immense data centers, and support from Nintendo and Square Enix, we were able to overcome the technical and design hurdles of developing 8-bit maps. Today, we’re excited to announce the result: a version of Google Maps for NES, with beautiful low-res graphics, simple and intuitive controls, and a timeless soundtrack.”
The maps pay homage to the classic NES role-playing game Dragon Warrior, which was known as Dragon Quest in Japan.
Users can even view landmarks in 8-bit form, including The Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument and Mount Rushmore. Fortunately, no Slimes were encountered during our journey.
Google has also posted a great video walkthrough on YouTube of the spoof application for NES, including troubleshooting tips such as “blowing on the cartridge.”
“Please be mindful of dragons while playing,” Nomura jokes. “We wish you a safe and happy quest.”
Google employees certainly seem to love their classic Nintendo video games. Readers likely recall what happens when searching for “do a barrel roll,” a hidden tribute to the classicStar Fox 64.