Pygnosis’ 1995 PlayStation launch title introduced the combination of futuristic anti-gravity racing and 90s rave music. And it came complete with music by legendary Welsh game composer CoLD SToRAGE – arguably eclipsing even tracks in later editions that included Leftfield, The Chemical Brothers, and Orbital. And now Wipeout arrives in a browser port of a source code leak – and it’s a fascinating technical portrait, and least while it lasts.
Play the game: https://phoboslab.org/wipegame/
Plus, I mean, there’s really no amount of Wipeout that to me is too much. Not too many editions, not too much music. Never enough Wipeout. Give me a cold… uh, whatever energy drink we were drinking in 1995, Mello Yello or something probably … and let’s go. The original:
To be fair, this leaked port is not the best way to play the original Wipeout by far – though it still somehow manages to be fun. That’s because the source code in the 2022 leak seems to be something like a bad Windows port, the Wipeout ATI 3D Rage Edition.
But there’s good reason to check out the browser version, both as a gamer and a geek. On the gamer side, this really is a fun distraction – and you can say you played wipE’out” in-browser while it lasted. But second, Dominic Szablewski’s write-up of how they rewrote the source code for Windows, Linux, macOS, and in-browser WASM and WebGL makes a fascinating read – insights both into the game code itself and how you’d approach this now.
And then on top of that, there’s revisiting the ingenious score by CoLD SToRAGE – aka game creator Tim Wright. It’s the fusion of visual, track design, and concise, economical music that just makes you want to … mmm, squeeze a gamepad button and race.
Okay, yeah, I played the 2097 version of this game – thank you, my sister’s PSX.
And hey, if you wondered what Tim Wright is doing, well still uploading tracks – and playing with a Dirtywave M8, of course (now there’s a celebrity endorsement):
Also, check this video for a link to a new plug-in that’s doing a SID 6581/8580 emulation:
Pay attention next time you’re transferring through Bergen because you never know when the Wipeout composer/creator is playing the piano at your gate.
Let me actually make a prediction. So right now we have trending fast music. We have 90s music. We have a bunch of stuff that is influenced by trance or rave culture. But it often sounds like it’s trying too hard, the new stuff – like it wants to be featured on TikTok or something but falls apart after a few seconds. I think bringing back the cool futurism of stuff like Wipeout – the feeling that the reason for that machine speed is that you’re flat-out in an antigrav polymetric car – could bring some context back to the music. Anyway, if we pretend it’s a trend, we’ll have a good time, so who cares about anyone else?