Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Source Code

The release of the Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Source Code by Jazz’s developers/publishers has been a hot topic in the community for a while.

History of the Source Code Movement

The topic of making Jazz Jackrabbit 2 open source became nontrivial after Michiel Ouwehand, one of the developers of Jazz Jackrabbit 2 at Orange Games, told FQuist in an IM conversation that he would look into the possibility of releasing the Jazz Jackrabbit source. He promised to check with Epic on how to handle this.

Following this news, several people in the community put together a 1.25 taskforce to manage and help create the “1.25 patch“. People who were deemed important/knowledgable or were known to be able to write programs were invited into this exclusive group, which still has its own – albeit quite inactive now – forum at the JCF.

The source code has not been given out so far, for reasons beyond (most of) the community’s knowledge, which are mostly only speculated about, Orange Games did not hold true to its promise, and has yet to establish contact with the community as a whole about what the situation is.

Claims Made About the Source Code Situation

These are a few (sometimes contradicting) claims that have been made by people about the situation with the source code.

  • The source code cannot be given out because, with the end of Orange Games and the merge of the crew into other companies made them lose the rights, which made them lose their rights to the code. This claim was made by someone with semi-frequent contact with the developers.
  • The source code was, at least at some time, not released because the Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Engine was still being used in other projects (Animaniacs for example) and thus the rights of the company to the source code had to be extended – the community would have to wait until things have “calmed down”. This claim is also based on communication with the ex-Orange Games crew (there is a chat log of them making this claim) and directly contradicts the other claim.
  • The source code has possibly been lost, it was either misplaced or deleted (accidently or on purpose). Cliff Bleszinski of Epic Games has stated not knowing where the source code is and that it might be lost, although he was not a developer for the game and did not have contact with the developers about this subject.


As the source code has a status somewhat akin to the holy grail to the community, there have of course been hoaxes dealing with the source code. The most notable one being an april fools joke with this theme. See this thread. There have also been people claiming they would decompile Jazz and thus ‘get the source’ (decompiling does not deliver the original source code for a program) or who have claimed to have contact with the developers about its release. They usually are not hard from anymore after a while.