Normally we open these kinds of stories by asking our readers if they remember an old game, but it’s extremely likely that nobody outside of Japan has heard of Sega Splash Golf, a golfing MMO that originally released in 2008 and lived for only about 10 months before Sega shut it down in February 2009. So why bring it up at all? Because one extremely dedicated gamer has started the process of rebuilding the game.
This effort comes from someone by the name of Ninji, a 28-year-old software developer and self-described fan of reverse-engineering and old technology, who has so far been chronicling his efforts on his personal blog. The game’s existence crossed his notice when someone gave him a copy of the game client back in August. Ninji has since been writing granular posts about his work to revive the game, with close looks at cracking anti-cheat encryption, reassembling features, and making it all work on a computer outside of Japan.
At this point, Sega Splash Golf can be played in practice mode and has a functional character creation tool, all of which can be seen in a gameplay video below, but it’s playable only on Ninji’s private server right now. He hopes to create a server that lets others play together and release that later, but he also admits that he has sunk more time into the project than he anticipated. “Am I capable of doing it? I think so. Do I have the motivation to do it? Not really,” he writes. “It may not be as glamorous – but I shouldn’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. So many of my projects have fallen to that fate already.”