A coder named Ryan Dwyer has reverse-engineered the entirety of the code for the N64 classic Perfect Dark (as spotted by VGC and Nintendo Life), opening the door for a PC port and potential mods.
Dwyer has successfully decompiled both NTSC versions of Perfect Dark, including the launch 1.0 version and a later release that introduced fixes for a number of bugs.
As VGC notes, the decompilation status page still states that both the NTSC versions are at 97%, but Dwyer has argued that this is because of a technicality. He writes on GitLab:
"The ntsc-1.0 and ntsc-final versions are fully decompiled, but a small handful of functions are not yet byte-matching even though they are functionally the same. The status page doesn't show these as 100% because it counts matching functions only."
If you're wondering what this means, well, those with the necessary skills will now be able to port the game over to PC along with additional features like faster framerates, better textures, or higher resolutions. This would follow in the footsteps of Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time which have both been decompiled over the years leading to more feature-rich ports.
Worth noting is that these projects are technically legal as they don't use any copyrighted assets and are recreated entirely from scratch. Any ports made of these games also require an original copy of the ROM (legally sourced) to extract the assets necessary to get them to run.
What do you make of this news? Is a PC port enough to get you to put aside your original copies? Let us know!
[source ryandwyer.gitlab.io, via videogameschronicle.com, nintendolife.com]
Exciting! Will definitely be keeping an eye on this. Perfect Dark is one of my favorite games, so I'm glad to see it getting these kinds of tools for future projects.
PD doesn't need a PC port nearly as badly as Ocarina of Time or Super Mario 64 did, seeing as it already got that Xbox 360 remaster. (Also, 4K60 is achievable even on the original N64 version, thanks to emulation.)
Even so, this could eventually lead to some really interesting things. New campaigns, perhaps?
Great news! There's something about N64 shooters that, for a lack of a better term, hit different, you know? WinBack is a brilliant example of that for me: a game that definitely isn't the greatest in the modern day, but is filled with enough late 90's action movie cheesiness and classic polygonal glory that it's one of my all time favourites on the console (those gun sound effects are legendary). Can't wait to play Goldeneye for the first time when it comes to NSO and can't wait to play a version of Perfect Dark with mod support!
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