Map exploration is usually only seen through the eyes of the character you’re playing, which is often limited by the respective physics of each game. For example, it’s easy to miss the surrounding detail when you’re racing around a track for first place in Mario Kart. noclip.website aims to change that, giving users the freedom to explore datamined maps with a freeform camera from their browser.
The website’s namesake comes from the ability to explore without restriction. So far, the collaborative effort has cobbled together maps from a range of different Nintendo platforms, with a particular focus on the GameCube, Wii, DS and 3DS eras, although Dark Souls and Psychonauts are also available to go sightseeing in HD.
Image: Super Mario Sunshine's Delfino Plaza
Using the typical PC control scheme, the website allows ‘WASD’ movement and ‘left click’ and drag to position the camera. While the ‘shift’ button makes things a little faster, the ‘mouse scroll wheel’ enables the fastest movement available. Pressing the letter ‘B’ resets the camera, while ‘Z’ gives an overview of the user interface.
The library is relatively easy to browser, split up via game and then selectable via each individual area. If it requires a loading screen to get to then it’s a different area, which means that exteriors and interiors are listed separately. Everything comes directly from the original games, meaning that it should be quite the nostalgic trip for some. The only variables are NPCs and items, which do appear on some but at this time, some maps are more complete than others.
The “Other” section even dives into some animations found in Sonic Mania, and the collision data of the first Dark Souls game. As development continues, it will be interesting to see what’s added. Virtual Reality support, perhaps?
KitGuru Says: It’s always strange, yet refreshing to see a new perspective in classic video games. I can’t help but click through all of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker’s maps to appreciate the title that defied all expectations at the time of release.