Munkiki's Castles (inaccessible mobile game; 2002)

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Munkiki's Castles title.gif

Title screen of Munkiki's Castles.

Status: Lost

Munkiki's Castles is a mobile game released in 2002, exclusively for the Nokia 3410 via the Club Nokia service. It was one of the first ever mobile games to feature 3D graphics and also one of the first ever mobile games released for the Java ME platform, albeit only for the Nokia 3410. The game features a character named Munkiki wandering around the 3D landscape by pushing and destroying the blocks to try and collect items to finish the levels.

Technically, it was one of the first ever mobile games to feature 3D graphics, one year before OpenGL ES was standardized. Because of the limitations of the original Java ME (known as J2ME 1.0), Nick Reed and Nick Slaven developed a proprietary API for this game, exclusively for the Nokia 3410 mobile phone, which allows rudimentary 3D graphics rendered on a black and white cellphone display.

The Club Nokia service has been shut down and only a very few Nokia 3410 handsets do have this game installed. Two videos of this game, as well as screenshots for this game, has been surfaced since on the Internet.

On July 10th 2017 Qwerty36078 allegedly managed to get the .jar executable.[1] Despite this, currently there is no way to run this game in any form other than on the Nokia 3410 with the specific firmware installed. For this reason, it is difficult to test whether or not that's a hoax. Further explanation to this is written down in the next section.

Attempts to Run/Emulate

There has been done a lot of research towards Munkiki's Castles and unfortunately, the vast majority of it is of no use; however, some of the research results are worth sharing.

There are many different emulators present for PC, but on every emulator, including KEmulator 1.00, MicroEmulator and even the native Nokia 3410 SDK fails to run this game. This is because the proprietary Nokia 3D handling class "com/nokia/mid/m3d/M3D" is missing in both the game and the emulator libraries. In fact, it is missing everywhere on the Internet and thus can be considered as lost media too; however, since there practically no information about this class on the Internet, it was likely only used in this game thus information about this class would only be relevant in regards to this article.

Search Effort on the M3D Class

Before we go, it is important to differentiate between the terms used in this section.

  • M3D(O) - A library called M3D [O here stands for old, M3D(O) itself is just a nickname] used in Nokia 3410. It contains a class of "com/nokia/mid/m3d/M3D"
  • M3D(N) - A library also called M3D [N here stands for new, M3D(N) itself is just a nickname] used in the latter budget phones. Most likely a newer version of M3D(O) It does have many files; however, "com/nokia/mid/m3d/M3D" isn't present there
  • M3G - A newer version of M3D(N) used in the late Nokia phones such as Nokia X3. Also known as JSR184. Again, "com/nokia/mid/m3d/M3D" isn't present there

Here are some bits and pieces that can help run the game.

  • M3D was greatly described in this scholar article. It is unknown if the topic is related to M3D(N) or M3D(O).
  • There is a thread on a .jar game executable that appears to contain M3D(N) from a Russian forum. However, there appears to be no way to download the subjected game from there.
  • M3D(O) and M3D(N) are nowhere to be downloaded from; however, the M3G library can be downloaded here

Although more information could be found in regards to this library, for the time being, that is everything that is known at the moment.

Running on a Phone

Many Discord members of the Lost Media Wiki community believe the found .jar executable can be run on physical phones. Although many of the non-touchscreen devices do run Java games very well, this game is certainly problematic primarily because, again, it uses the proprietary 3D engine class developed by Nokia. on which there is practically no information. In other words, to run this game, the phone is required to contain the "com/nokia/mid/m3d/M3D" class, which appears to have been used only on Nokia 3410. And to make things worse, a brief analysis of the Nokia 3410 firmware files available on the Internet shows that not every firmware of Nokia 3410 references this class, thus running this game may fail on even the game-native Nokia device. And the best example for this would be the Nokia 3410 SDK that fails to run this game although it natively emulates the Nokia 3410 firmware.



Gameplay Footage
A victory dance animation

External Links