Games

Leaker Just Released The Source Code for Beloved ’90s FPS

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Blood

X0r_jmp, the leaker(s) behind the cavalcade of prototype Dukes Nukem released the past year, has branched out to another famous and loved ’90s shooter franchise, Blood. On January 4, x0r_jmp made Blood’s in-progress source code from a year prior to its release available to the public.

Developed by Monolith, who would go on to create FEAR and the Shadow of Mordor series, Blood was made in the same Build Engine as Duke Nukem and can thus be seen as a sort of sister game. Blood has the lightning-fast movement and sprawling, maze-like levels common to shooters of the time, and also distinguishes itself with a special arsenal as well as a gothic, horror-adjacent atmosphere.

Unlike prior releases in the Year of Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem-Adjacent Leaks, there doesn’t seem to be anything actionable for players or modders here⁠—Blood has had excellent source ports like NBlood and Raze for years. The real treat is academic: this archive is a window into the development of a PC classic and can deliver insight into Monolith’s creative and technical process.

The BLOOD.txt file in the archive includes a changelog for the in-progress game, with patch notes dating back to January 1995. That first entry has a round-up of the enemies executed in the game up to that point, alongside a brief summary of their state in the build. Describing Blood’s riff on the Evil Dead disembodied hand enemy, the log’s writer declares it’s “Way cool!” I just find it neat to see the creator’s fingerprint in this way, especially when it’s so endearing and completely unaffected.

Similarly, the ’90s FPS Twitter fan account Build Engine Aesthetics found criticisms and snarky digs at Build Engine architect Ken Silverman buried in the comments on the build’s code: “Call this function periodically to fix all the problems Ken causes by rearranging the database with abandon,” one comment reads.

However x0r_jmp keeps finding these classic shooter artifacts, a peek behind the curtain of gaming history that just feels special and unlikely. If you’d want the Duketrove + Blood for yourself, you can find the files on x0r_jmp’s Rentry.co page.

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