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The original Rez website has been fully restored

We love a story with a happy ending here at the Junkyard, and this one fits right in with that philosophy. Remember Rez? Of course you do. It's that psychedelic shooter with the wireframes and the flashing lights and the thumping soundtrack. You know the one. It's quite good too, apparently. Anyway, in the name of digital preservation and the fight to stop the internet simply becoming a portal to Facebook and YouTube, one man has taken it upon himself to resurrect the original Rez website. Well, the 2001 iteration, anyway.

That man is Brian Hargrove, and as described in his semi-viral tweet on the matter, he somehow managed to acquire the United Game Artists domain and restore the site to its former glory, with all of the content intact:

Naturally, wanting to know more we reached out to Brian to ask what the story was here - skin care products? What's all that about then? Brian explained in his own words:

"I don't think the domain was held captive or anything, just never really used since 2003. After UGA was transferred to Sonic Team in late 2003, the site went down. I have no way of telling if registry ownership changed over the years, but there was an attempt at one point to make a WordPress blog, then it turned into some kind of skin care information site. 

"I knew I had always wanted to pick up the domain and at least restore the Rez homepage. I would check every few years, taking note of the domain expiration date on a Whois lookup. Every time it expired, I was never able to purchase it. Until 2020.

"Early in 2020 I checked the Whois and did see that it was expected to expire in November. So I made a note in my calendar to check back. November rolls around and this time I try Godaddy's expired domain auctions, and it was actually there! The owner finally let it expire and I knew it would probably be my only chance save it. I won the auction and collected all the site backups from Archive.org

"With a Linux utility, I was able to bulk download multiple years of the backup directly from Archive. The majority of the files were recoverable, with only a few images missing. I was able to restore it to what it was right before the site went down."

- Brian Hargrove

It's a pretty cool story, and definitely qualifies as what we like to call a labour of love. So what can you do with the Rez website? Well, you can read upcoming 2001 news, look at screenshots, download assets and do pretty much anything you could with a website from 2001. 

It's worth noting that the site predominantly features the later PlayStation 2 release of Rez along with the Trance Vibrator (and it's curious that the Dreamcast release of Rez is seemingly absent), but seeing as Tetsuya Mizuguchi's masterpiece is a game that's more synonymous with the Dreamcast, we thought it was worth sharing Brain's work here.

If you would like to see first hand how the superb Rez holds up on more modern systems, be sure to check out the official Rez Infinite site too.

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