Leaked Wipeout source code leads to near-total rewrite and remaster

Screenshot from Wipeout Rewrite

Enlarge / Do you remember how fast Wipeout was in 1995? It’s just as fast now. You, however, may not be as fast. Just saying. (credit: Psygnosis / Dominic Szablewski)

There have been a lot of Wipeout games released since the 1995 original, including Wipeout HD and the Omega Collection, but only the original has the distinction of having its Windows port source code leaked by (since defunct) archive Forest of Illusion.

Dominic Szablewski grabbed that code before it disappeared and set about creating a version that’s not just a port. He rewrote the game’s rendering, physics, sound, and generally “everything everywhere.” He documented the project, put his code on GitHub, and has some version of a justification. “So let’s just pretend that the leak was intentional, a rewrite of the source falls under fair use and the whole thing is abandonware anyway,” Szablewski writes.

Most of the code seemed to come from Wipeout ATI 3D Rage Edition, a “lackluster port for Windows” that was bundled with ATI GPUs, Szablewski wrote. It is a mess. There are fragments of code versions from DOS, PlayStation, Windows 95, and Windows 98, with lots of things shakily patched in, including some kludgey 25-to-30 frames-per-second physics calculations in moving from European PAL to North American NTSC. The result was bad geometry, sluggish performance, and even goofed text rendering.

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