You remember Blake Stone, right? No? It was a series of popular first-person shooters -- developed by JAM Productions and published by Apogee Software -- that consisted of Aliens of Gold (1993) and Planet Strike (1994). Both used an enhanced version of the Wolfenstein 3D Engine and relied on the then-popular shareware system to get PC gamers hooked.
"Many players wondered how Apogee would follow the success of Wolfenstein 3D in 1992," reads the description of Blake Stone. "The answer was Blake Stone! Where Wolf3D took you into the past; thrust into a world at war – Blake rockets you into the future where a sinister madman, Dr. Pyrus Goldfire, is using genetics to create an army of bizarre creatures and wage war on Earth. In 'Planet Strike', British agent Blake Stone will find himself in a life or death struggle for the control of humanity’s future."
Just recently Apogee launched the Throwback Pack on Steam ahead of the Rise of the Triad remake launch. This bundle costs $9.99 and consists of the original classic Rise of the Triad: Dark War and Extreme Rise of the Triad expansion pack, as well as Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold and Blake Stone: Planet Strike. Apogee said on Monday that an interest in Blake Stone is now at an all-time high.
Does that mean a remake is on the way? Possibly although the company hasn't acknowledged such a project. Instead, Apogee has unearthed what was up until now considered to be long lost: the source code to Blake Stone: Planet Strike, or rather what's left of it. After nearly 20 years, it's now being made available freely to the public.
"When we were selecting games for the Throwback Pack and decided to put both Blake Stone games in, I knew we had a golden opportunity to finally release the source code that Blake fans have been wanting for all these years," said Terry Nagy of Apogee Software. "And when I contacted Mike Maynard, he agreed that it was definitely about time. Nice to know that those old 3.5″ floppies retain data for so long!"
The source code is archived into a single RAR download and located on the company's Dropbox account here. Have fun.
News of the source code release arrives as the PC gaming industry is seemingly reflecting back on the golden age of classic shooters by remaking or rebooting popular titles like Wolfenstein, Shadow Warrior and Rise of the Triad. What we need now is a return to Blood (Monolith), Heretic/Hexen and my all-time favorite, Quake.