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The Force lives on: Star Wars: Galaxies’ emulated servers

This used to be classed as “good graphics”

The Old Republic may have usurped Star Wars: Galaxies as the chosen one, but there are still hundreds of fans of the original Jedi MMO screaming, “These graphics are too good!” or, “It’s just not the same!” or, “I HATE CHANGE” at the screen. SWGEmu is an attempt to placate these fans by reverse engineering Star Wars: Galaxies’ servers.

The open source project aims to take Star Wars: Galaxies back to its 2005 state, just before the controversial game-changing Combat Upgrade was installed. The team doesn’t have access to the original server-side code, so they’re reprogramming the servers based on observing gameplay and seeing its effects.

It’s no mean feat, and thanks to its open-source nature none of the developers are getting paid for their efforts. “Every bit of code developed at the SWGEmu project has been written from scratch by freelance developer's committing their time and effort,” says SWGEmu’s FAQ.
As with emulators like DOSBox and ScummVM, you’ll need to have the original, legal software to play the game. It - naturally - goes against the game’s terms of service, but as the game’s servers have been taken down this doesn’t really matter. The SWGEmu software is completely legal, though, because it doesn’t use a smidgen of developers Sony Online Entertainment’s original code.
A proper release for SWGEmu is due “Sometime in the far future”, but those who are interested in joining the current alpha testing phase can register here.

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