Travel back to the year 1987 and you’ll find 7-year-old avid gamer, Joe Granato. He loved spending his days fighting to save Hyrule or rescuing the Princess from the clutches of the evil King Koopa. Playing the NES inspired him to create his own game called Mystic Searches, complete with music, sound effects and storyline. The ambitious young gamer even wrote a letter to Nintendo of America, asking them to send him all the equipment needed to make this game happen. Being 7, he was of course rejected, and he cast the designs aside … for the time being.

concept art mystic searches

Twenty-five years later, he finds his old Mystic Searches artwork, and it hits him just how much of an impact the NES has had on his life. Those 8-bit games are what inspired him to write, make music, and program. He realizes his dream to design Mystic Searches never really left him, and now he has the tools and the team to make it happen, and he plans to have it ready November 2015, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the NES.

mystic searches

This sparks a unique project: The New 8-bit Heroes. It’s actually three projects in one. The primary being developing Mystic Searches to be played as it was originally intended — by popping a cartridge into the NES. Granato and his team are also creating a documentary covering the process of making a new game for a 30-year-old system. For anyone interested in making their own NES game, The New 8-Bit Heroes will also include tutorials to help others on their journey.

new 8bit heroesDeveloping a new game is no easy task, and it’s certainly not cheap. Granato and his team just launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of gaining support for their project. In less than a day, they’ve already raised more than $5,000 with an ultimate goal of $36,000. The campaign runs through Oct. 17, 2014, giving them one year to have Mystic Searches ready for the 30th anniversary of the NES.

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