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Reverse engineered source code for Diablo is now on GitHub

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This is a bit of a surprise! Someone going by the name 'GalaXyHaXz' has put up source code for the original Diablo that was apparently reverse engineered called 'Devilution'. It doesn't have the data, so you do need a copy of the original to work it.

The goal of Devilution itself is to recreate the original source code as accurately as possible, in order to ensure that everything is preserved. This goes as far as bugs and badly written code in the original game. However, it becomes a solid base for developers to work with; making it much easier than before to update, fix, and port the game to other platforms.

As a side goal, Devilution helps document the unused and cut content from the final game. Development of Diablo was rushed near the end--many ideas were scrapped and Multiplayer was quickly hacked in. By examining the source, we can see various quirks of planned development.

I don't know enough about that myself to say if it's legit, legal or anything, but it's still rather interesting. It's especially fun, since in the FAQ, the developer noted they plan a separate project to update it with a Linux port with OpenGL, modernize the UI and much more.

On the project page, the developer notes that it can apparently run in Wine on Linux right now.

It will be interesting to see what Blizzard do as a response to this. Find it on GitHub.

Thanks for the tip Roney.

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34 comments
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slaapliedje 23 June 2018 at 4:02 am UTC
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slaapliedjeMore on topic, it is not illegal to reverse engineer things. People do it all the time, like openmw, etc.

"Clean room" reverse engineering is legal. Copying copyrighted code is not. So if they reconstructed the original engine from scratch - it's fine, but if they had code dumps from the original Blizzard code - then it's a problem.

100% correct. Since this was established as decompiling the code and patching it, this definitely is in the 'not safe to distribute' area. At least if you take what other comments are saying.

That's quite different then 'we sniffed protocols and recreated the engine ourselves.'
Seegras 23 June 2018 at 12:09 pm UTC
Mountain ManAt any rate, I'm pretty sure that reverse engineering software is illegal

Absolutely not! Stop sprouting other assholes propaganda!

Of course o load of bad companies would like it to be illegal, but it's not.

It's illegal to copy code verbatim, but "reverse engineering" implies this is not the case.
Mountain Man 24 June 2018 at 1:28 am UTC
Seegras
Mountain ManAt any rate, I'm pretty sure that reverse engineering software is illegal

Absolutely not! Stop sprouting other assholes propaganda!

Of course o load of bad companies would like it to be illegal, but it's not.

It's illegal to copy code verbatim, but "reverse engineering" implies this is not the case.
It depends on what is done and how it is done.
Randall_Linux 4 July 2018 at 4:51 am UTC
stretch611More than likely, it is not legal. If it was legal chances are that Blizzard/Activision would be making the announcement, not some unknown "hacker" named "GalaXyHaXz". Also, if it was legal, I would expect the original source code to be released... not some reversed engineered code.

In many cases, it is hard to tell how a company would react to 20-25 year old code being released illegally. Some companies may not exist anymore, and others would ignore it as it is not likely to be worth much more than a curiosity of a time long passed.

However, this is Blizzard/Activision... We have seen what they have done to people that have tried to extend their code before and it results in takedowns and lawsuits. Even people who create bots have been taken to court by Blizzard. Expect the same treatment here... a quick DCMA takedown notice to the site hosting the code, followed by a major lawsuit against the hacker.
technically it is quite legal, this was reverse engineered, not just outright theft of code. but when it comes to the civil court room, legality takes a back seat to "can I afford to defend myself in court against a giant corporation with more expensive lawyers"
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