If you’re an adult of a certain age, you might remember Homestar Runner. Or more likely, Strong Bad’s emails. Homestar Runner was one of the best original web animation sites in the early 2000s, but alas ran on Flash. When Flash died, so did Homestar Runner. Except no, it didn’t! You can still watch Homestar Runner today, thanks to the Ruffle Project!
The Ruffle Project is an open-source Flash emulator that works in any modern-day browser. It works as a substitute for Flash so that everyone involved, from the website owner to the visitor, doesn’t have to do any real work. You can install browser extensions to make any Flash site work. Better yet, a website owner can install Ruffle to the site to do that work for you. And for the most part, it should just work—once the website owner installs Ruffle, that’s it. And that’s the case with Homestar Runner, you can just go to the site and it work work, mostly.
“Mostly” is the key word, though. Ruffle Project emulates Flash, but not perfectly, and it really shows with Homestar Runner. For plenty of people, the start and of Homestar Runner is Strong Bad emails. That’s all they cared about and all they watched. The good news is, most Strong Bad emails are already on YouTube.
The bad news is, not all of them are, and Homestar Runner isn’t your typical Flash site. Go to the latest Strong Bad email, The Next April Fools Thing, and your only option is to use the Ruffle Emulator. When you click on that, you’ll get a warning that this particular email may not play right.
The biggest issue is emails with video elements, which won’t work properly. Instead of a Puppet Jam or death metal video, you’ll get a white box. At least for now. The good news is, Easter Eggs still work. The creators of Homestar Runner and Strong Bad (collectively known as The Brother Chaps) enjoyed putting easter eggs into videos on the site, including Strong Bad emails. Click on the right word or image, and a special video might pop up.
Things break even more when you want to play games. The Homestar Runner has plenty of Flash games to pick from, many inspired by the Strong Bad emails. But click on some, like Peasant’s Quest, and you’ll get a quick greeting to let you know the game doesn’t work right. Sure, you can move around, but you can’t enter a building or pick anything up. Bummer.
The good news is, The Brothers Chaps are working on it. The goal is to get everything working as it should. The even better news is, the Homestar Runner site looks better than it has in years. Remember, Homestar Runner has been around since the early 2000s, with few updates in over a decade. If you visited it lately, all the graphics and videos looked really small. Now they’re much larger. It’s like an HD upgrade!
So if you’re feeling nostalgic, take a trip down Homestar Runner lane. Don’t miss Teen Girl Squad! Maybe check out the Homestarloween party. And if you’ve never heard of Homestar Runner before, well, here’s an introduction for you. Go on, watch some emails.
Source: The Brothers Chaps