A dedicated Minecraft engineer has been building a working version of Pokemon Red and detailing the build in the Minecraft subreddit. Beginning in late July, user Magib1 began posting about the command-block-powered Game Boy sitting on the flat sands of Minecraft's creative sandbox mode.
"It is a rather ambitious project," Magib1 admits. "I hope to get most of the core mechanics sorted out over the next 3 or 4 months." This is so far beyond the 8-bit calculators and basic computers we've mostly seen over the years. Projects of this scale, like a recreation of the Shire or a walking death bot, are usually built by dedicated teams. Magib1 seems to be working solo.
As for how it works, Magib1 explains (opens in new tab): "All of the background textures are custom maps. In the spawn chunks there is a (very large) physical representation of the entire Pokemon Red overworld, with each block corresponding to a separate map texture. An armor stand moves along this physical map and, whenever the tries to move (by using inventory slots rebound to arrow keys) the blocks for the newly loaded maps are cloned behind the map display. The item frames loading the new tiles then "read" the block type and display the appropriate map, and the remaining frames get shifted up/down/left/right by a block."
The finished product is intended to be a full port of the entire game—the builder already has a working Pokedex and rudimentary collision detection:
Hat tip to Kotaku's Patricia Hernandez for posting this project (opens in new tab).