THE SOUL STILL BURNS

Games kept alive by loyal fans

Retro Gamer - - EXTRA LIFE: KEEPING OLD GAMES ALIVE -

STALKER: Shadow of Ch­er­nobyl

This cult clas­sic sur­vival hor­ror FPS has per­formed its own feat of sur­vival, thanks to its ded­i­cated fan­base. A strong mod scene has kept the game go­ing for a decade, most no­tably through the stand­alone pro­ject Lost Al­pha. Draw­ing on old promo im­ages, previews, and leaked builds, Lost Al­pha recre­ates cut con­tent and in­tro­duces new sys­tems to cre­ate an in­cred­i­ble Stalker ex­pe­ri­ence.

PHAN­TASY STAR on­line

This pioneer­ing MMO was al­most killed when the servers were switched off, first for Dream­cast and Game­cube and then for Xbox and PC. Its fans came to the res­cue, though, set­ting up their own servers to keep PSO go­ing. It’s re­mark­able that over a decade since Sega shut down Phan­tasy Star On­line, there are sev­eral servers to choose from, each with a healthy pool of play­ers.

SUBSPACE

This As­ter­oids-es­que MMO shooter didn’t last long, ef­fec­tively be­ing aban­doned a year af­ter its 1997 re­lease as de­vel­oper Virgin In­ter­ac­tive En­ter­tain­ment ran into trou­ble and sold much of its as­sets to Elec­tronic Arts. How­ever, fans stuck with the game and, in 2015, a fan-de­vel­oped ver­sion called Subspace Con­tin­uum got a free-to-play re­lease on Steam.

Sonic THE hedge­hog SE­RIES

Fan ports are nor­mally shut down by pub­lish­ers, but Sonic fan Christian White­head man­aged to per­suade Sega to give his Retro En­gine ver­sion of Sonic CD an of­fi­cial re­lease, its suc­cess lead­ing to mo­bile ports of Sonic and Sonic 2. Christian’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with Pago­dawest and Head­can­non, the crit­i­cally ac­claimed Sonic Ma­nia, fol­lowed, giv­ing clas­sic Sonic lev­els a new lease of life.

Myth ii: Soul­b­lighter

Bungie’s tac­ti­cal RTS re­leased in 1998, Myth II, is still alive and kick­ing thanks to the ef­forts of the fan-run Pro­ject Magma. The pro­ject en­com­passes map mak­ing, a spe­cial forces plug-in that re­places Myth II’S fan­tasy in­spired char­ac­ters with Ww2-styled units, man­ag­ing web­sites ded­i­cated to the game, and any­thing else that will help the game to keep on go­ing.

gold­eneye 007

Us­ing Valve’s Source en­gine, fans have recre­ated N64 clas­sic Gold­eneye 007 for a mod­ern au­di­ence. All the game’s clas­sic maps are faith­fully recre­ated, but the Source ver­sion also fea­tures up­dated vi­su­als, ad­di­tional maps based on orig­i­nal’sfilms, sin­gle-player lev­els that didn’t ap­pear in the mul­ti­player and oth­ers in­spired by other James Bond as well as some ex­tra modes.

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