Valve’s Portal on a TI-83 Calculator

For science! And because it looks drat awesome, a handheld version of Portal running on a calculator.

Portal Prelude image 1

2007’s critical darling Portal has seen numerous gaming platforms since its release – PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Mac – but this one is no doubt a humdinger. It’s also tremendously nerdy.

Although, considering that this first-person puzzler is set in a scientific testing facility, perhaps this unusual port is a match made in heaven. Portal for a Texas Instruments Calculator; specifically, the TI-83, which has been for a long time, heck since I can remember from my High School days of long ago, a trusted companion for mathematicians everywhere.

It’s also been known to play “some” games thanks to resourceful coders. They lack the graphical depth of today’s gaming standards, but they do exist and happen to be fun in that “wow, you can play that on a calculator?” fashion… that often only lasts for a brief moment until you realize that controlling things on a TI-83 is extremely awkward.

Portal Prelude image 2

Don’t get me wrong though, it’s a stellar act of programming, which is what Portal Prelude is. The game is a monochrome 2D story taking place before the events of the first Portal game and has users in control of a blocky-looking test subject trying to safely make their way through ASHPD, i.e. Apeture Science Handheld Portal Device.

The only name associated with Portal Prelude is a user on the Omnimaga forums going by the hacker alias of Builderboy. My deepest kudos go to him/her, the presentation to their TI-83 creation is as faithful to the original Valve source one could get running on a calculator. Honestly, it looks amazingly cool.

Head over the Omnimaga website to see how you can get this munchkin-Portal on your calculator running (that’s if you have one around, of course.) You won’t get sound like in the video above – I think that was just added in post – but you can at least see for yourselves what makes this port special. Gives me ideas, actually, of a handheld version for the 3DS/Vita; now, that would also be sweet!

Sweet would also be the batch of geeky posts here on Walyou: limited edition Star Wars coffee makers, a Twilight Princess soundtrack made by fans, and the rest!