Image: Naughty Dog
Over the past few years we’ve started seeing something beautiful happen: fans of classic console games are taking old code and creating native PC versions of games that never saw an official release. We’ve seen it with some Nintendo games, but now we’re seeing it with a PlayStation platformer as well.
This isn’t porting in the multiplatform sense that we’re used to, nor is it emulation. This is recompiling the game’s entire codebase so that Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, which was released on the PS2 on 2001, now runs as a native application on the PC.
The project, which is now at around 80% done, is some incredible shit, because it turns out Jak And Daxter was “written in GOAL, a custom Lisp language developed by Naughty Dog”, which means the small team working on it have to “decompile the original game code into human-readable GOAL code” and then “develop our own compiler for GOAL and recompile game code for x86-64".
Interestingly, it’s not a straight port either, as some small changes have mostly been made to the game, mostly in terms of the options available to players:
We have added a plethora of options to the game settings (and removed some that didn’t make sense) so that you can have a more up to date experience, or a more PS2-like experience if you decide. It is up to you! There are also a bunch of extra goodies and added secrets to find out. We are aiming to keep the core gameplay (controls, physics, behaviors, etc.) identical however, so if you find any issues or differences with this then do not hesitate to tell us about it.
Some of those “more up to date” options include better subtitle controls, custom resolutions and camera controls, but in terms of general gameplay they’ve also made the orbs “easier to see”.
While the project isn’t fully 100% completed, it is downloadable (and beatable, it’s just that there might be bugs) from the project’s github site. Here’s some footage of the project running in 4K at 60FPS: