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Home / Technology / Al Lowe unveils his Sierra source code collection and delivers it to eBay

Al Lowe unveils his Sierra source code collection and delivers it to eBay



Al Lowe, one of the leading developers and programmers of Sierra On- Line has been sitting on a bunch of source code files from his original games for over 30 years, believing they're worthless.

"I am 72 years old and none of my children wants this garbage!" Lowe said in an interview with YouTube's MetalJesusRocks (aka Jason Lindsey, himself a former Sierra developer and a friend of Ars). "Does anyone have?"

Lowe is in the process of figuring that out, as the developer has begun publishing eBay records for his entire source code collection. (You've read that right, the whole story.) The launch was accompanied by a MetalJesusRocks video (embedded below) that features a 12-minute tour of backed-up files, original game boxes, original textbooks, and more.

At the time of the press conference, Lowe has listed auctions for the first two Leisure Suit Larry games source code, with bids already rising (both well above the $ 400 mark after going live) , Lowe pointed out to Lindsey that eBay will be followed by other game codes, and this will likely include an astonishing treasure trove: Lowe's other Leisure Suit Larry games, King's Quest III [19659017] Police Quest I and Lowes games based on the Disney franchises Winnie The Pooh and Black Cauldron.

In addition, Lowe has original backups of its entire programming pipeline, including Sierra utilities that interpret ASCII commands in plain text format to interpret code. When asked how inquisitive users might look through the files on these disks, Lowe simply answers, "It's a text file! In Notepad."

In the following video interview, Lowe confidently comments on the rarity of the source code collection: "I deposited everything because I knew Sierra did not know."

Al Lowe's collection, which was hosted by MetalJesusRocks.

Lowe's listing illustrates a few things: First, he has not tested any of these disks, and second, he has none. These disks are not synonymous with possessing the legal rights to freely or commercially distribute their content. "Understand that while you received my data on the day of Larry 1 you will not own intellectual property rights to the game, the code, the art, or anything else." Lowe says in LSL1 list. "Me neither, intellectual property rights have been sold over and over until they now belong to a German gaming company."

In addition to the source code, this Sierra treasure chest contains a rare retail version of A Gelfling Adventure Dark Crystal spin-off game that reused the assets of the first game and an original Disk Softporn – a game in which Lowe did not work, but inspired him to make the leisure suit Larry series. As Lowe admits on eBay, he himself has received this copy of Sierra Williams, co-founder of the US, to replace his own predatory version. ("Sure, there's no box – because I did not get a box," Lowe writes in the eBay list. "But you get a unique piece of video game history!")

Also original game boxes, art and reference books will probably follow. We will bookmark Lowe's eBay channel for the foreseeable future. We've contacted the Video Game History Foundation team to share their thoughts on this seemingly rare and unique collection of game code stories.

If you're less interested in source code and more in playing the games, you have a few options: this depot of Sierra games programmed by Lowe and his colleagues, as well as Lowe's own collection of game files (mostly meant) the out of print , not the entries LSL or King's Quest .

Picture of Metal Jesus Rocks


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