Vince “deater” Weaver, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Maine, is a master of demakes, in which he takes a game for one system and adapts it for a less powerful machine. His low-res Apple II demakes include Another World (originally for the Apple IIGS), Portal (Xbox 360), and Kerbal Space Program (Windows).
The Atari version was the subject of a recent feature by Benj Edwards:
“The biggest challenge on doing a demake for something like Myst is the graphics,” says Weaver. “Back in the ’90s, Myst was famous for having stunningly nice rendered graphics. Translating that to old 8-bit machines is hard. It’s even more difficult on the 2600 as you are constantly racing the beam and have some extreme limitations. For example, generally, you can only have two colors per line, and anything more than that takes a lot of tricky coding.”
Due to console limitations, Weaver doesn’t plan to port the entire game over to the primitive 8-bit console, but he wants to get enough puzzles working to make it “real” game, as he writes on his website: “The full game requires at least 800 scenes, which would be roughly 200k, which would be both a pretty hefty cartridge as well as a lot of graphics to draw.”Ars Technica, “30 years later, Myst demake for Atari 2600 reminds us how far we’ve come“
v2.0 of deater’s Atari 2600 ROM (released 28 June 2023) is available for download from deater’s website. However, of his three Myst demakes, only the low-res Apple II version is currently fully playable.