I remember buying Westwood Studios (miss those guys) point-and-click Blade Runner game to play on my old ThinkPad, back in the late 1990s. It was the first game I can recall owning that spanned multiple disks. While I was surprised to find that the main character in the game neither looked or sounded like Harrison Ford—I didn't know much about how licensing and actor's contracts worked at the time—I was completely hooked from the first time that I turned it on. I finished the game multiple times over the years until, sadly, a friend that I lent the game to moved out of province without returning it to me. By then, I'd moved on to other games and had tired of changing discs just to travel from one area to another. However, every once in a while, I sigh, wistfully, wishing I could give it another go. Today, I found out that this is a very doable thing:
From The Verge:
Blade Runner is beloved to this day, but until very recently, the odds of a digital rerelease seemed almost nonexistent. Westwood lost the original source code in 2003 during a move. So players needed to find one of the game’s increasingly rare hard copies or an unofficially cracked version of it, then go through the considerable trouble of getting it to work on a modern PC.
That started to change this summer when a team started publicly testing ScummVM emulator support. The game became playable through ScummVM in October, but the content still couldn’t be officially found online. Now, the last piece of the puzzle is in place. As GOG explains on its site, the team of programmers spent eight years reconstructing the game from retail discs instead of the original source code, and they apparently worked with film studio Alcon Interactive Group to legally release it through GOG. It’s a new beginning for a game that was once considered lost in time, like tears in rain.
Count me in. If you head over to GOG right now, you can pick it up for twelve bucks.
Image via GOG.com