Classic FPS Perfect Dark gets an unofficial PC port 20 years later

Classic FPS Perfect Dark gets an unofficial PC port 20 years later

A perfect dark box showing a close-up of Joanna's face.

Image: Rarely

It’s an eternal mystery why so many big gaming companies work so hard no selling us their classic games remains as inexplicable as magnetism. But like the N64 GoldenEye 007 finally making its way to the official Nintendo Switch Online service next year, thanks to a successful decompilation, slightly less official avenues will now be able to port its spiritual successor Perfect Dark on PC.

Decompilation of game code is a process that involves taking machine code and turning it into human-readable code, using a combination of careful experimentation, months of painstaking human effort, and witchcraft. Previously we have seen Nintendo 64 games like Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of time have the same treatment, leading to PC versions with greatly improved graphics and resolutions. Now that the team has completed successfully monumental task to do the same for Perfect Darkwe can expect the PC versions to appear in a few months.

The legality of such actions is obviously questionable. The team behind Perfect Dark‘s decompilation very sensibly insists that anyone attempting to recompile the game only do so while owning a legal ROM of the original game. They add that, “When a matched decompiler is compiled with the same compiler used by the original developers, the output will be exactly the same as the retail game, byte for byte.” The point is to simply backup your ROM.

Of course, that’s not why anyone actually does it, and that’s where things get murkier. It may be a violation of Nintendo or Rare’s intellectual property to offer decompiled code, and Nintendo sure doesn’t accept to all efforts to distribute their decades-old games to the PC audience.

At the same time, these the games remain nearly impossible to play legitimately without access to a time machine. (Of course, you have a cart and an N64, so you can just plug it into… oh wait, how do I get these fat gray plugs into the little holes in the back of my TV?) It’s pretty nice though? It’s important to note that this is not entirely the case with Rare’s Perfect Darkwhere the 2010 remake is currently included in Xbox Game Pass.

Anyway, all this aside, the broad-adored but it’s almost impossible to play the N64 version Perfect Dark will soon be compiled for PC, with inevitable improvements in framerate, resolution, and maybe even graphics. Heck, mouse and keyboard support for the classic shooter will be a revelation.

Companies: we want to give you our money for these things, even though we already did twenty years ago. We are so gullible. Let us do it.

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