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Old 02 January 2020, 19:34   #21
lordofchaos
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Yeah. I remember playing a cracked Superfrog, tons of corrupted graphics, so I bought it. Probably a fault with the disks but still. Ended up buying all the games I enjoyed playing, bit difficult near the end of the Amiga lifespan, with so many shops no longer selling.
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Old 02 January 2020, 20:09   #22
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I waited a while for Supercars 2 (a widespread crack had buggy data for race 4 of hard level). Even tried to buy it original but it was out of stock. Then once someone showed up with a different crack, with all disks okay !
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Old 02 January 2020, 20:28   #23
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Had the exact opposite problem here in the States.
Nobody had an Amiga, so you could hardly ever find anyone swapping games. But I remember plenty of times buying a game from the store and having to return it because it wouldn't run.
Maybe it was labelled ntsc but actually pal, some hardware issue, or the floppy was corrupted.
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Old 02 January 2020, 20:33   #24
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Originally Posted by Galahad/FLT View Post
With respect, the likes of Turrican 2 and BC Kid have been 1 disked today has little bearing on the past.

I recently 1 disks Nitro, but that wasn't possible until recently because packer technology has advanced in 20+ years.

For one, the format capacity of Turrican 2 and BC Kid were more than an AmigaDOS disk, hence why when cracked they were both on more than one disk.

What Wanted Team did with Turrican 2 and BC Kid would have been no small effort, taking a couple of days.

No cracker had "days" to crack anything back in the day, because you always assumed another group had access to the game as well, and thus you were working as fast as possible to get the job done and released.
I was never in a cracking group but i can understand the rivalry and that first to release was key. My point is that if you had two cracks and one was on one disk and the other was two disks then I'd say the crew who released the two disk version would have egg on their face with all things being equal.

I'm not sure if it ever happened like that though.

Off topic but one thing that did piss me off was when I had my half meg ST, I recall a few games being released needing one meg when they only needed half meg on release.
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Old 02 January 2020, 20:38   #25
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Off topic but one thing that did piss me off was when I had my half meg ST, I recall a few games being released needing one meg when they only needed half meg on release.
This happened quite often on Amiga too. One of the reasons was that the coder used all available memory which means there's no room for MFM buffers or other needed patches in the 512k memory space so the crack required 1 MB. When I did my Eliminator crack a few years ago I also had a hard time to place my patches in memory due to the reasons mentioned above and it took quite a bit of time to do a proper crack with all trainers and fixes which works on 512k machines.
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Old 02 January 2020, 20:52   #26
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I remember the protection on Jurassic Park always seemed quite good and the crack (I think was Fairlight 5 disk version) was really buggy and the game was very hard. I enjoyed it though and eventually bought an original copy of the game which came on four disks and the raptors in the indoor 3D levels were noticeably easier to kill than in the cracked version.
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Old 02 January 2020, 21:35   #27
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Perhaps back in the day companies should have released "cracked"versions of their games under some pseudo to warez sites that show buggy behaviour late in the game or can't be completed to keep the cracker groups from competing for the 1st crack...
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Old 02 January 2020, 22:38   #28
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After reading all the messages from coders begging crackers not to rip off their games (in the other thread), and others where the programmers were bragging about how difficult they would be to crack, what could anyone have done in the Amiga days to stop crackers? I'm guessing nothing, but could they could have made things very hard for crackers?
a) Inside every original game box - free Marsbar choco
b) Inside every original game box - free A1 wall sized poster of Violet Berlin
c) Random original game box - Golden ticket to visit software house and meet developers
d) One original game box - gold plated floppy disc

Cracked disc = no marsbar, no Violet Berlin poster, never meeting your idols, no gold.
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Old 02 January 2020, 22:48   #29
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Big grin

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Originally Posted by Paul_s View Post
a)
Cracked disc = no marsbar, no Violet Berlin poster, never meeting your idols, no gold.
Yeah, but saved enough money for a years subscription to Razzle.
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Old 03 January 2020, 02:06   #30
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I never bothered protecting my games too much... we just slammed in the simplest of checks for the Rob Northen protection. Essentially we didn't protect games to stop (inevitable) cracking. We protected them to stop people just buying one copy and making quick copies for their friends.
Do you believe that there was an ideal price range that would of sold a lot of software and helped prevent piracy or do you think it is a age thing? School kids will pirate adults will pay for their software?

How much money did you software house loose when people sold their software on after finishing the game?

I believe that the consumer should be able to back up the software for personal use only and must destroyed or passed on to the new owner when resold(especially if you live in New Zealand, Australia, and the developer is on the other side of the world). I quite like manual protection that gets activated after the first level, so you can play the first level to get a feel for the game.

For example in a dungeon crawler, when you go to the next level, the wizard has to mix the different crystals and potions to activate the light spell, other wise you are just walking in the dark. and the combinations are mentioned in the manual.
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Old 03 January 2020, 03:03   #31
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I remember my friends original Mortal Kombat being 2 disks and the copy I had was 3 disks with some intro message about messed up graphics on Sonya character lol. Incidentally, the main master was so disfigured that I thought it was his graphics that were messed... later when I owned the original I realised that was not the case.

I have to say, the challenge is making cracks difficult and not uncrackable since given time, crackers evolve and protection becomes more amenable to crack with newer software / greater knowledge.

Kudos to both programmers and crackers for their effort on either side of the fence!
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Old 03 January 2020, 03:12   #32
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Originally Posted by th4t1guy View Post
Had the exact opposite problem here in the States.
Nobody had an Amiga, so you could hardly ever find anyone swapping games. But I remember plenty of times buying a game from the store and having to return it because it wouldn't run.
Maybe it was labelled ntsc but actually pal, some hardware issue, or the floppy was corrupted.
There was this company in Florida that I'd buy originals from sometimes, and on a couple of occasions I'd examine the disks and find that they had put NTSC-fixed copies of the game on the original disks with messages from the fixing group buried in the data, but any intro that might have been there was removed.

Also why was the scene so obsessed with making 100% compliant MFM tracks in their releases? Paula was perfectly capable of writing denser formats (stuff like diskspare.device etc.) and unless you pushed it really far pretty much every drive and blank floppy could support that little extra bit of data. I understand wanting to keep it simple, but if the choice between a 2-disk and a 1-disk was just writing slightly more data, why not? A different track format is not copy protection unless it's one you can't duplicate on stock hardware.

(I seem to recall at least one commercial release didn't use on-disk copy protection but all but the first floppy used diskspare.device!)
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Old 03 January 2020, 03:57   #33
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I have to say, the challenge is making cracks difficult and not uncrackable since given time, crackers evolve and protection becomes more amenable to crack with newer software / greater knowledge.
I've never tried to crack a modern game, but I'd be surprised if something like SecuROM was anywhere near as complex to crack as some of the protections on the 64 & Amiga.
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Old 03 January 2020, 04:29   #34
lesta_smsc
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I've never tried to crack a modern game, but I'd be surprised if something like SecuROM was anywhere near as complex to crack as some of the protections on the 64 & Amiga.
I'm not sure myself, however, there are better tools now to tackle software... even NSA released their own tool (Ghidra) for such tasks!
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Old 03 January 2020, 08:46   #35
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Also why was the scene so obsessed with making 100% compliant MFM tracks in their releases? Paula was perfectly capable of writing denser formats (stuff like diskspare.device etc.) and unless you pushed it really far pretty much every drive and blank floppy could support that little extra bit of data. I understand wanting to keep it simple, but if the choice between a 2-disk and a 1-disk was just writing slightly more data, why not? A different track format is not copy protection unless it's one you can't duplicate on stock hardware.
Mostly tradition. A standard DOS disk can be copied with a wide variety of copiers, a custom format would require a custom copier, or otherwise it would require everyone to agree on a new warez standard and then release new copiers..
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Old 03 January 2020, 09:56   #36
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I think "Pirates!" had a good copy protection. At the beginning of the game you have to answer a question about when the Silver Train or the Treasure Fleet will arrive at a specific place. If you answer wrong, you have to fight a duel you can hardly win and will start with a bad ship and small angry crew. Almost like a demo mode that lets you experience some of the game.

The required info is in the manual of the game. Photocopiers and scanners weren't as easily available in those days, let alone colour scanners/printers for those manuals that were printed green on red to become all-grey when copied in b/w. Furthermore, even if you could copy the manual, it meant getting off your butt and get some fresh air and the copy of the copy of the copy... would deteriorate towards unreadability just as tape cassette copies of LPs did back in the day.

Of course, this copy protection could be hacked away rather easily but was still effective for people that didn't have good fast access to the warez scene and just a friend whose friend actually bought the game. And even if it was hacked away, you didn't have all the info about the Treasure Fleet and the Silver Train from the manual that helps you a lot in your pirating career. Of course, most pirated copies of the game ended up having a small txt file with the required info on the disk and still have the "copy protection" in place.

But from an economic point of view of the producer I think the Pirates!-copy protection was as good as it could be. Simple (little developing man power required) and as effective as was technically possible (because with an Amiga real copy protection is just not possible).

Today I think a nice box to come with your game will be your best "copy protection" as you are selling mostly to middleaged collectors.
This is a great reply! My Son saw lots of stuff I did, I taught him a lot of stuff. One of the things I've said through the years, "If you really, really dig a game or program/utility/tool then buy it. Support that development, that idea. Pirating everything...you're missing some of the greatest stuff, the Artwork, the Box, and supporting that person or team.

I miss the boxes. I don't use console machines, so...I don't buy anything there. I still have many, many Amiga boxes. I enjoyed cracking also.

I agree with Pirates!--the game was well done, and that's how it should be done. For me, Gods - I figured it was a copy protection..and I had to explain that to many. Just knew by how it played. Way too curious to not figure it. Haha! Where where I was, it got a crappy rep, until the crack started making the rounds. Then it was "think twice". "OOhhh, man, this game is excellent!"

I'm a huge fan of Shareware. Which is sort of like what you mean by Pirates!. If I cannot "demo" something...I won't bother with it..I don't care WHAT the screen shots look like. I don't really care for "Steam" games (for Windows)...I go "elsewhere" for "demos" of those, and if I dig the game a lot...I buy. Again....I reallllllly miss boxes. People had creative ideas with them. Like Album covers (a 4-letter band was Really, really good with their music and artwork).

Cracks today..are demos to me. They are demos to many people I know. Gone are the days where you can talk face to face with makers, or get a box with read really cool descriptions, and try stuff in a store. I don't give a [bleep] about X-Box, PS4 and so on. Real games are made for computers, not consoles. This idea was created well after Amiga CD32, haha. You could make your own CDs for that. Wink. If I cannot switch away from a game, or exit it and get back to the OS...it's not "worthy".

Amiga is the Only exception to for me. Many very well made unique games that took over the system.

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Old 03 January 2020, 10:21   #37
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A very interesting thread, so I suppose the bottom line is, if a human mind can construct it, a human mind can deconstruct it. Given the time and willpower.
My Son asked my a question in the later 90's...and I was still very, very much enjoying Max Headroom. He asked, very close to the OP of this thread.. "Will it ever be possible to make a program that cannot be cracked?" I replied, "If a person can think of it, it can be cracked." That was the short version. Later, some months as I recall, he asked me more detailed and I replied, "If a person can think of it, or a Being can think/inspire it...it can be cracked by another. Doesn't matter what it is. If there is a 'Why?' there will always be a 'How?' - or visa versa. Everything is progressive, everything is changing, nothing repeats exactly the same. Everything is infinitely constant in the 'Why?' as well as the 'How?. There wasn't a 'Big Bang' that started everything...that, too, will be cracked. Soon enough (not in my current lifetime), the Cosmos will be understood...as the Ancients understood..but that's part of the cracking process. Everything can be understood/cracked. Get it?" He didn't only say Yes, but I'll leave at that for the thread.

If it can be made..it can be altered. Which is what cracking or hacking is. Nothing is _perfect_, final, done.
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Old 03 January 2020, 10:27   #38
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Had the exact opposite problem here in the States.
Nobody had an Amiga, so you could hardly ever find anyone swapping games. But I remember plenty of times buying a game from the store and having to return it because it wouldn't run.
Maybe it was labelled ntsc but actually pal, some hardware issue, or the floppy was corrupted.
Had you been in CA, haha!! We had..reputations. Amiga was big in CA in the 80's to 2000 and beyond. We also laughed at the people freaking about the Y2K bug.
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Old 03 January 2020, 21:56   #39
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Mostly tradition. A standard DOS disk can be copied with a wide variety of copiers, a custom format would require a custom copier, or otherwise it would require everyone to agree on a new warez standard and then release new copiers..
Like I mean DMS was the format of choice for trading. It could have been easily enhanced to add custom track formats. (Of course DMS in the end turned out to be a fucking joke where the compressor couldn't even 100% accurately reproduce valid data.)
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Old 03 January 2020, 22:23   #40
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I do not think anything is uncrackable, only time!
For the Amiga I reckon Leander was the best, subtle change in level design, nowadays it would be reported and solved much quicker.

Some of the latest games are still uncrackable after several months of release (according to a friend I know!).
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