Fan Remake

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

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. Perhaps they think the fan programmers messed up severely. And then, any new elements in a Fan Remake belong to the fans who wrote it, and so the public and accepted existence of Fan Remakes hinders what the corporation can do with its own remakes; thus, the need for corps to make examples of high-profile fan remakes.

(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.)

Examples of Fan Remake include:

  • 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 characters, in addition to a few elements of Smash 64.
  • Mechwarrior Living Legends, a remake of the Mechwarrior series on the Crysis engine.
  • Marathon: Aleph One is a remake/port of the original Marathon to the new engine.
    • 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.
  • Oolite, of Elite
  • WinSP:WW2 and WinSP:MBT, both of Steel Panthers II: Modern Battles
  • 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.
  • SFIBM, a clone of Street Fighter II (also a notable Porting Disaster).
  • Pokémon has a few notable ones, such as Pokemon Shiny Gold.
    • "Shiny Gold" is a hacked version of Fire Red (which, funnily enough, is an official remake of the first game) that was tweaked into a remake of Pokemon 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.
    • Also, Moemon.
  • 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.
  • The umpteen-million free remakes of games such as Tetris, Pac-Man 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.)
  • FreeCiv and FreeCol, free somewhat extended clones of Civilization and Colonization respectively.
  • LGeneral - Panzer General (also has a WWI campaign).
    • There's also PG Forever, which includes Allied General and two fan-made campaigns for World War One as well.
  • Battle Isle series:
    • Advanced Strategic Command started as a remake of, but is now a separate Spiritual Successor game in its own right. It still can be used as a "modernized engine", as it has BI resource mode and a special unitset (Mk4) allowing to more or less emulate these games. Obviously, since copyright is still there, original or converted data cannot be attached, but ASC source seems to include functions loading Battle Isle 3 maps and working with BI data formats if you already have the game.
    • Crimson Fields is more of a portable engine remake for Battle Isle and History Line - it runs on smartphones.
  • X-Com remakes:
    • OpenXCom - engine supporting the original data without many and horrible bugs (though some of non-crashing ones can be emulated with addons).
    • Project Xenocide (though it's gone from port-friendly C/Ogre3D to C#/XNA).
    • There's also UFO Alien Invasion, which is cross-platform.
    • Xenonauts
  • Scorched Earth, Mother Of All Games, has Scorched3D and Xscorch.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • However it seems to be stuck in Development Hell, as the last twitter update was nearly two years ago.
    • 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 Counterstrike plundered all the players. Then Team Fortress 2 came out, which does things to the TFC formula that the Fortress Forever staff do not like.
  • Similarly, GoldenEye: Source is a remake of the classic Goldeneye 007 in the Source engine.
  • 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.
  • Almost exactly what happened to Rocket Jockey. Differs in 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.
  • 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 in game mods for Vega Strike engine.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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 and Bass) for the Overly Long Gag scene in Mega Man 9's ending.
  • 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 Fanfic on a Fan Remake. And it's awesome.
  • After two and a half years of development, the point-and-click remake of The Hitchhikers 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.
  • Renegade X, a remake of C&C 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.
  • TIE Fighter Total Conversion [dead link] 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.
  • FreeSpace Port is, surprisingly, a port of Free Space: The Great War on the improved Free Space 2 Open engine.
  • For Rhythm Heaven, we have Karateka Mania, based on the Karate Man minigame.
  • 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 and Sombreros.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • There have been multiple attempts to remake Castevania II: Simon's 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.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 2 HD is 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 looks far more coherent artistically as a result, and development appears to be more progressive.
  • MDDClone is a freeware remake of the three episodes of the Mercenary series of computer games, developed with permission from the former Novagen team.
  • Legend of Princess, a Zelda-inspired platformer.
  • OpenTTD, an upgraded and expanded remake of Transport Tycoon Deluxe.
  • 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.
  • Micropolis—GPL remake of SimCity. Initially conceived for the One Laptop Per Child XO-1.
  • Freedroid RPG is a remake of Paradroid (1985, for Commodore64), with improved graphics... and Linux mascot as the hero.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wing Commander: Privateer Gemini Gold, a remake of the Cult Classic Wing Commander: Privateer using the engine from its freeware Spiritual Successor, Vega Strike.
  • Spring engine, with Evolution RTS, originally created as a 3D successor for Total Annihilation.
  • Stars! - projects Stars! Nova and Freestars.
  • OpenDungeons - inspired by Dungeon Keeper series and Evil Genius.
  • Sonic P-06 is a fan-remake of Sonic the Hedgehog that seeks to improve the game's notoriously poor performance, as well as introducing moves and gameplay elements from other games in the franchise.