Hacking and Ebay scams force a mod team to release previously lost Resident Evil game.

After the smashing success of the original Resident Evil, Capcom quickly went to work on a sequel, only to scrap most of their work at the last minute and start over. Dubbed by fans as Resident Evil 1.5, this lost game was never finished, leaving us with nothing but extensive gameplay videos, until now. Some talented fans got a hold of the aborted code and have been toiling away, translating, fixing bugs, and finishing this lost piece of gaming history. Now they’ve released a rough (but playable) build, but there’s more to it than that. Like any good Resident Evil plot, the real story involves greed, shady legality, and a good, old-fashioned betrayal.

The Resident Evil 1.5 Restoration Project intended to wait until they reached a final, playable build make a public release. However, a Mr. Joel Welsh (aka, Colvin) obtained a leaked copy of their code and started hawking copies of their work on Ebay. While working with the old Capcom code was a fairly shady legal area in the first place, selling said code could sink the whole project with a nice, fat cease and desist.

For that reason, they’ve made a public release and undermine the scammer. As they announced online, “it was a tough decision to make, due to the uncertainty of what lies ahead in terms of releasing this build, but we ultimately decided to make a proper compile of the build Colvin has been shopping around, wrap it up so it can run in normal emulators and on real hardware, and release it to the public – to avoid further misuse and misrepresentation of its content.”

In a forum post, the team announced that “[p]eople attempting to profit on our non-profit efforts, and both our personal and monitary [sic] investments is something we cannot stand for and is something we feel greatly taints the Resident Evil community, the prototype community, the archival and preservation of video game history, the integrity and face value of people, and our goal and intentions for this here restoration project.”

The Resident Evil 1.5 restoration project has a series of demo videos which not only showcase their work, but demonstrate how they re-engineered Capcom’s code. The game itself can be downloaded here.

Source: The Horror Is Alive via Eurogamer

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