The classic PS2 platformer Jak & Daxter has been converted to PC by a team of very clever modders. While many older games have been made playable on PC through emulation in recent years, this is a true port of Jak & Daxter, which means that instead of emulating the hardware, gamers may run the program directly on their preferred platform.
The method of porting Jak & Daxter to PC requires decompiling the original program, similar to other initiatives working with Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The difficulty is that, unlike these vintage Nintendo 64 games, Jak & Daxter was developed using a proprietary programming language that has long since been forgotten. “Over 98 percent of this game is written in GOAL, a bespoke Lisp language,” the modders claim. Naughty Dog, the game’s creator, published Jak & Daxter on December 3, 2001.
The team behind this outstanding project managed to decompile the source code, design a compiler to let the application operate on modern platforms, create a tool to extract game assets, and ultimately “create tools to repack game assets into a format that our version utilizes.”
The essential files are available on the project website. While the version is still in development, “most of the renderers and sound are ready, but there are still a few issues,” according to the developer. “We’ve decompiled roughly 400,000 lines of GOAL code out of an estimated 500,000 total lines from the original game,” the modders claim. We have a functional OpenGL renderer that renders the majority of the game environment and foreground. Levels are totally playable, and you may complete the game completely!”
The next phases will involve a significant amount of bug testing. “The game can be beaten completely from start to end, however a few items may not operate properly.” The team also plans to “enhance the decompiler and tidy up GOAL code decompilation,” as well as “examine and rewrite the more difficult renderers.”
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