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Old 12 August 2020, 22:43   #1
squirminator2k
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Early build of Worms: The Director's Cut [ARCHIVE NOW INCLUDED, HELP US LAUNCH IT!]

This weekend, a friend sent me an early build of Worms: The Director's Cut. Supposedly it was hidden somewhere in the Cris Blyth A4000 archive, but I've not been able to find it myself. Given that the drawer also contains an LhA archive called "WormsDCAF", I would hazard a guess that this is a build that was sent to Amiga Format for review purposes.

This build has a file creation date of 11-11-96 for the main executable, which is a good few months before the date of the final build (03-04-97, for those wondering). The executable is also considerably smaller than that of the final build.

Most curiously, though, is that the game boots up and prompts for a copy protection code. This is particularly interesting because, unlike other Team17 games of the era, WormsDC didn't bother to include copy protection.

Now, I've tried codes from several Team17 Amiga titles - Worms, Alien Breed 3D, AB3DII, and The Speris Legacy - but so far the codes haven't worked, so I can't actually get into the game. As a result, I've not yet been able to actually play this build.

Has anybody else come across this version of the game, and if so has anyone figured out how to get past the copy protection and into the main menu?

Update: I've uploaded the LhA archive to my Google Drive. So far, nobody has been able to get past the copy protection screen. Maybe somebody can crack it open...?

Last edited by squirminator2k; 13 August 2020 at 23:53.
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Old 12 August 2020, 22:57   #2
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Here's a screenshot taken in WinUAE (curiously, if I use Amiga Forever the background is instead the Team17-on-fire logo, but loaded with the colour palette of the worm artwor
For reference, the game shows the Ocean and Team17 logos, then prompts "Press Right Mouse Button or Blue" as it does in the retail release. Once you right-click, the copy protection screen appears instantly.
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Old 13 August 2020, 04:44   #3
Matt_H
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Neat find! The build date makes sense given that Amiga Format reviewed the game in their Christmas 1996 issue. I think that was the same month they did a coverdisk demo, so I wonder if the demo files are kicking around that disk archive as well. There must be older versions somewhere, too, since I remember the mags running screenshots of "Worms+" in the preceding months.

With its black-on-black printing, Team17's copy protection was some of the most annoying I've ever encountered. I'm glad they decided to do away with it for DC before the commercial release, but fascinating to see they were still planning on it up until pretty late. As for getting past it, if none of the other codebooks are working they must have generated a new set of codes for DC. Maybe one of the WHDLoad folks can disassemble it and figure out what the code is doing?

Is there any source code in that disk archive?
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Old 13 August 2020, 04:55   #4
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Not that I've found, unfortunately.
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Old 13 August 2020, 12:17   #5
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I notice its a 3 digit code. How many attempts do you get because you could start at 000 and work your way up to 999 until it lets you in.

Or share the files on here so somebody can crack it.
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Old 13 August 2020, 13:28   #6
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For the original Worms, you had 3 goes before it would quit and you had to reboot the machine. It also gave a nice "Not guessing are you?" message as it did so

I had the AF demo coverdisk, I'm sure it's still around somewhere...
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Old 13 August 2020, 18:52   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
For the original Worms, you had 3 goes before it would quit and you had to reboot the machine. It also gave a nice "Not guessing are you?" message as it did so

I had the AF demo coverdisk, I'm sure it's still around somewhere...

This early WormsDC build does the exact same thing!


I've uplaoded the file to my Google Drive, if anyone wants to have a go at cracking it open.
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Old 13 August 2020, 22:43   #8
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I hope someone will crack it so we can see what differences if any to the release version. I installed the Amiga format demo version (2 disks) which has no protection check so I had the bright idea of overwriting the executable of this one with the demo on the off chance that it was the same as the full version only less levels. Like I thought though it didn't fool it and just crashes to a guru.

Over to the pros now
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Old 13 August 2020, 22:59   #9
squirminator2k
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The development of WormsDC is something of a fascination of mine - I've extensively catalogued the various bugs, tricks and glitches across all versions of the game, and I've started documenting known releases of WormsDC as well. Getting into this release is particualrly improtant to me, from a historical perspective - this represents the earliest playable build of the game to date.
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Old 14 August 2020, 02:27   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_H View Post
Neat find! The build date makes sense given that Amiga Format reviewed the game in their Christmas 1996 issue. I think that was the same month they did a coverdisk demo, so I wonder if the demo files are kicking around that disk archive as well. There must be older versions somewhere, too, since I remember the mags running screenshots of "Worms+" in the preceding months.

With its black-on-black printing, Team17's copy protection was some of the most annoying I've ever encountered. I'm glad they decided to do away with it for DC before the commercial release, but fascinating to see they were still planning on it up until pretty late. As for getting past it, if none of the other codebooks are working they must have generated a new set of codes for DC. Maybe one of the WHDLoad folks can disassemble it and figure out what the code is doing?

Is there any source code in that disk archive?
I don't think any source code has been found, but that's to be expected as Cris Blyth was a 3D animator, not a coder. However, the source files for all the FMVs in the 1st and 2nd gen Worms games WERE found, as is well-publicised, and the 1st gen Worms ones have been re-rendered in HD and put on youtube (the 2nd gen present more of a challenge apparently due to the extensive use of finnicky plugins which are hard to get working on modern versions of the software). These are probably the most exciting things in the archive, unless of course this DC build proves more interesting! But that's not to diminish the coolness of the whole thing; there's a huge amount of stuff on there, including emails, cached versions of old websites, lots of sound files, and an early Worms sprite sheet as well as some demos of alternative versions of 2nd-gen Worms sprites.

There are other interesting builds too, like what appears to be an earlier version of the CD32 build of the original Worms, but I don't know if that's likely to be as exciting as I guess the original Amiga release had already been finished by then and the main thing to go was the CD extras? In any case I don't think any single person has fully explored everything the archive has to offer so you're definitely encouraged to take a dive in yourself!
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Old 14 August 2020, 22:16   #11
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In any case I don't think any single person has fully explored everything the archive has to offer so you're definitely encouraged to take a dive in yourself!

I didn't realize it was available to mortals
Got a link (or a search hint)?
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Old 14 August 2020, 22:18   #12
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https://www.perifractic.com/takeout-...4000-emulator/

There's an rp9 archive, but some of the .HDFs are stored separately on the archive.org page. It's one of those drives that contained this early WormsDC build.
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Old 31 August 2020, 21:30   #13
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Managed to fluke the password by using WINUAE and saving state at first guess and trying 1st guess (which was always the same question) in increments of one then randomizing the next two guesses (which was always different), I would try something for a little while then stop for a couple of days then try again and then today of all things it was the second guess that got it.
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Old 31 August 2020, 21:34   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LanceT View Post
Managed to fluke the password by using WINUAE and saving state at first guess and trying 1st guess (which was always the same question) in increments of one then randomizing the next two guesses (which was always different), I would try something for a little while then stop for a couple of days then try again and then today of all things it was the second guess that got it.
That is brilliant! I wish I'd thought of that. Are you comfortable with me sharing these screenshots elsewhere, such as on Dream17 and WORMS2D.info?
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Old 31 August 2020, 21:37   #15
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Brute force, nice! From those screenshots it looks pretty similar to the release version. Do you notice many differences?
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Old 31 August 2020, 21:52   #16
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Thanks, I'm okay with you sharing the screenshots.
@mirthturtle I set this up with an altered 1200 config setting (had Action replay 1200 rom) the pre-draw rendering is slow, not sure if the was the same as the main release

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Old 31 August 2020, 21:55   #17
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Thanks, I'm okay with you sharing the screenshots.

Thank you!


Key differences I see so far are the Amiga Format splash text over the logo, and the cursor on the menu appears to be the cursor from the original Worms, rather than the nicer, more detailed one that appear in the retail release of WormsDC.


LanceT, if you type VERSION on the title screen, does it give you a version number? In fact, do any of the WormsDC cheat codes work?
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Old 31 August 2020, 22:12   #18
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Managed to fluke the password by using WINUAE and saving state at first guess and trying 1st guess (which was always the same question)
I thought of doing that; but if I'm totally honest, I don't really like the game much so...
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Old 31 August 2020, 22:37   #19
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... if you type VERSION on the title screen, does it give you a version number? In fact, do any of the WormsDC cheat codes work?
Tried the Directors cut aga codes listed on lemon, none of them seemed to work.

Was looking at the USS (savestate) file to see if it was worth sharing but it looks like the exact files (WB and Worms folder) full path are require for it to operate as it should. I re-saved the state as soon as I got in.

@ Damien TBH I only played the PC version of Worms as my last Amiga was an A500+
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Old 01 September 2020, 02:36   #20
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I don't have time to properly patch the game but squirminator2k (or anyone else), do the following in WinUAE to patch the game at runtime (ie. you'll have to redo this everytime you run the game):

- Get to the protection bit where it asks for the code.
- Press SHIFT+F12 to get into WinUAE's debugger:
- Type: s 6100049041fafc50

You'll get something like:
Searching from 00000000 to 00A00000..
Scanning.. 00000000 - 00200000 (Chip memory)
Scanning.. 00000000 - 00a00000 (Chip memory)
00367260

- Take that 367260 value and use the following command, substituting it with whatever you got: f 367260+4
- Type g to get back into the game.
- In the game, type 111 as your code and press ENTER. You'll be back in WinUAE's debugger at something similar to:

00367264 41fa fc50 LEA.L (PC,$fc50) == $00366eb6,A0

- Notice the value 366eb6? Type the following, substituting it to whatever you got:

W 366e86 '111' (NOTE the CAPITAL W)
fd
g

You should be in-game now.

Anyone that wants to turn this into a proper patch is welcome to do so. I've just got too much on my plate right now.
Also it's pretty much untested. I got in, started a game and it seemed fine. No clue if there's further checks.
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