Woody Woodpecker Racing is a video game published in 2000 by Konami and developed by Syrox Developments, based on the animated series The New Woody Woodpecker Show. Released on PC, Playstation and Game Boy Color, a Dreamcast version was planned before being finally cancelled.
In the tradition of Crash Team Racing or the famous Mario Kart, Woody Woodpecker Racing plunged the player into a graphic universe very close to cartoons to accomplish crazy races.
All the characters from Woody's universe were accessible and others were hidden and waiting to be unlocked by progressing in the game among a dozen different circuits.
If the scenery could seem empty, the bonuses without variety and the single player mode relatively short, fortunately the multiplayer mode promised many hours of fun in perspective, like all games in the genre!
First discovery of the game, March 30, 2023
Andrew Borman, active in the preservation community, had the source code and resources of the game for many years (I was afraid it was incomplete). It was only recently that he decided to take a closer look, with the help of Jollyroger (a developer by profession).
To get it to work on Dreamcast, Jollyroger had to analyze the source code to determine which tools (SDKs, compilers, etc.) were used by the developers, since there was no immediately visible project information. He was able to discover that the developers had used the official SEGA Katana SDK version 10 and the MetroWerks Codewarrior C/C++ compiler.
From his Katana development kit, after many hours of work, he was able to import all the appropriate source files into a new Codewarior project and modify the compiler options. The audio data was missing, so he had to extract the audio data from the Playstation version, change the file format, and then add it to the future Dreamcast version. This way, he was able to create a GDI image of the game running on an emulator and on a real Dreamcast console.
No release is planned for the moment, we have to be satisfied with the video made by Borman. However, it is not possible to share things online for reasons that are specific to its owner. The important thing is that the game is preserved and that the community is aware of its existence.
Rediscovery and release of a prototype of the game, November 28, 2023
Since Borman couldn't release his Woody Woodpecker Dreamast prototype, the only chance for the community to play it was to wait until someone found another build of the game and made it available to everyone. This can take a long time, sometimes 20 years or, in the worst case, never! We'll just have to deal with it...
It didn't take long, as just 8 months after seeing the game in action for the first time, a new Woody Dreamcast prototype appeared on the Internet, but in an unusual way.
The discovery was made inside a Katana Development Kit belonging to the Syrox development studio. Naoki Saito shared, on Archive.org (Dev Kit download here), the contents of the Dreamcast Dev Kit of Jupitris, its current owner, in the hope that someone would be able to get a prototype of Woody Woodpecker Racing Dreamcast running on it. Thanks to Megavolt85's hard work, this has now been achieved. It was far from an easy task, as he had to modify the game's executable so that it could run.
Please note that this playable version of Syrox's game is not perfect. Here's just few of its special features:
The bar on the right of the screen should perhaps correspond to the processor load.
Characters are not yet implanted in their vehicles. Cars are empty.
Original source of the prototype upload:
Link to download the prototype (in CDI without sound problems, you can even burn it):
Link to download the prototype (in GDI without sound problems):