RIPscript is a vector graphics language. It was meant to be interpreted by RIPterm, a terminal software package used to dialup bulletin board systems, introduced in 1994. BBSes at the time were mostly text-based, and RIPscript's EGA-quality graphics were a vast improvement. Users were now treated to pretty graphics, and some door games became much better.

On the downside, since RIPscript was a text-based language, it took some time to download, even on the then-speedy 14.4 modems. Some door games became worse since the graphics took forever to transmit. I remember preferring the text version in some cases.

Some ANSI art groups (most notably ACiD, iCE, and CiA) adopted RIPscript, creating BBS welcome screens and RIP graphics promos. Eventually, the scene had gotten to the point where the graphics were so detailed, the RIP files were weighing in at file sizes greater than raster images! Even with a 33.6 modem, it was pretty unbearable. I must admit, however, that during my stint as RIP artist for KLF, I participated in that debauchery of detail.

Modems got faster, and broadband arrived, but by then BBSes, even with graphics, were outmoded by the internet. The last release of RIPterm was in 1997, and RIPscript died a quiet death with it.

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