Perfect Dark has been fully decompiled, making PC ports and mods possible
Similar projects have led to PC versions of Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time
The entirety of Nintendo 64 title Perfect Dark‘s code has now been reverse-engineered, it’s been claimed.
Coder Ryan Dwyer has fully decompiled both NTSC versions of the Rare N64 shooter – the version 1.0 release at launch, and a later re-release that fixed a number of bugs.
The aim of the decompilation is to allow people to create PC ports of the games which are technically legal.
This in turn means modders will be able to add new features or improve the likes of resolution, frame rate and texture quality.
According to the decompilation’s status page, the NTSC 1.0 and NTSC Final versions of the game are around 97.4% complete.
However, Dwyer points out that they’re essentially 100% complete and the missing percentage is a technicality.
“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,” they explain. “The status page doesn’t show these as 100% because it counts matching functions only.”
The project remains legal because it’s essentially recreating the game’s code from scratch, without using any copyrighted assets (such as textures or music).
Instead, any ports that emerge as a result of this decompilation will expect players to provide their own legally-sourced ROM of the N64 original. The assets from this would then be extracted and added to the code to create a PC port.
This is the latest Nintendo 64 game to be decompiled for potential PC ports. An unofficial PC port of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was released online earlier this year, following its decompilation.
A similar decompilation project led to a Super Mario 64 PC port in 2019. Mario 64’s PC port was quickly modded with new graphics and modern effects such as ray-tracing.