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Old 27 January 2015, 02:31   #14
Mark Wright
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Originally Posted by Codetapper View Post
According to the book "The Future Was Here", Tetris was the first Amiga crack. From the book:

"The first crack to appear was apparently of the game Tetris and was released by the Austrian collective Megaforce in February 1986" (page 183, chapter 7 "The Scene")
Ha, even *I* am mentioned in The Future Was Here (look me up on page 313). Their reference to my article (written in 1997) is regrettable: it was compiled pre-internet, based on lots of assumptions, but published in good faith. It was quickly superceded by many better accounts, but I continue to see quotes from it, worst of all in this book. It's great that this book exists, but I spluttered and choked several times each chapter due to its inaccuracies..


I humbly propose that Marble Madness was the first Amiga game to *require* cracking in order to be copied, rather than the first to be scrawled with graffiti by "importers". However, I would also nominate it as the first crack to then do the rounds among all and sundry, who passed it on with a doctored title screen, greeting their lame friends in cyan Diamond/Sapphire font, taking all credit for the "naughty deed" of making it available.

EA were always hot on copy protection, but I wonder whether they had anything in place for their Amiga products before this prestige release? Were there even enough Amiga owners to warrant it? I'd wager that the first wave of EA Amiga products such as One on One and Archon weren't even commercially mass-reproduced - or at least not in the way their C64/Atari 5 1/4 floppy titles were, all of which contained copy protection exploting mass-production techniques.

The Amiga software landscape before Marble Madness was a barren, desolate place. I can't see the likes of Psygnosis coming up with any sort of telling protection plan for Brattacas, or Microdeal/Michtron being hell-bent on wrapping "Lands of Havoc" up in self-modifying loaders in order to deter hackers. Possibly there were a couple of ST ports in 85/86 that had anti-hacker code, but did they circumvent copying from within Workbench?

Leaderboard? Well, it was heavily protected on 8-bit UK release (thanks to Geoff Brown from US Gold implementing the short-lived dongle alternative to the short-lived Lenslok atrocity) but it wouldn't surprise me if Access hand-copied the tiny stack of Amiga disks needed to announce an Amiga release. Tetris? Didn't everyone have the 1988 release of Tetris (as a commercial product) by Tristar, featuring their amazing intro with amazing logo and amazing scroller and amazing Thomas Lopatic music?

Anyway. (Again.)

To find the OP's answer, the question should be changed to "what was the first copy-protected Amiga game?" because there was a lot of "XXX PRESENTS... XXX GAME... "CRACKED" BY XXX..." drivel added to *every* early Amiga spead by lamers who had mastered their Workbench disk. If MFC claim to have "cracked" Tetris (not Mirrorsoft version then?) in 1986, then fair enough.. but it wasn't long before every Tom Dick and Harry had claimed great feats just because they'd learned to alter the startup-sequence and edit an IFF image in Dpaint.

So, yeah. Marble Madness.
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