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Old 01 December 2017, 22:33   #1
Locash
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Leander the cave and nostalgia

When Locash was a young lad he got a copy of Leander from the school yard like so many before him and discovered a great looking and sounding game with a couple of issues.

You could only pick Music or SFX and no matter how hard I tried I always got stuck in cave. Eventually, I took my hard earned paper round money traipsed to the local Microstore and got the original and the Cave problem went away.

Fast forward 26 years and I noticed that Jon Burton of Travelers Tales and creator of Leander has started a Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfV...7zyxajhhRc7i0g channel sharing his tips and tricks of the trade. So I asked him, why the choice of Music/SFX when the games detects the extra 512k of Chip Ram and why did the Cave trap you. Answer below.

Quote:
Reason for either music or sfx was a lack of memory, so it only had room for one or the other
Quote:
The crack uses the extra chip ram. The original game runs in the base 512kb memory. I used so much memory there wasn't enough room for them to crack it and stay in memory, hence the extra 512kb for the hack. Although if you had the 512kb extra I used it for the shop so it didn't need to load midlevel. The missing platform was copy protection to effectively turn the game into a demo. I knew whoever cracked it wouldn't test beyond the first few levels. I also doubled the enemy hit points if cracked...
I kinda figured the platform was intentional as it was so sneaky but didn't know about the doubled hit points and the fact the shop was the only thing that used the extra 512k.

Maybe after Jon finishes his Sonic 3D directors cut a rebuild of Leander with music and sound support might appear.
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Old 01 December 2017, 23:58   #2
Muzkat
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Nice find. I knew about the cave copy protection glitch but not about the enemies having double their usual hitpoints.
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Old 02 December 2017, 10:15   #3
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There is an alternative crack that does allow you to complete the cave level.
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Old 02 December 2017, 12:00   #4
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I remember some crack problems where horse will never show up so you can not jump on higher platform by using carriage.
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Old 02 December 2017, 14:41   #5
PortuguesePilot
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Quote:
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There is an alternative crack that does allow you to complete the cave level.
And which crack is that?
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Old 02 December 2017, 14:49   #6
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strange as when I fixed the game for JST/Whdload I removed the protection without even noticing (it was a longtrack which I skipped)

Unless there's an issue with those adaptations...
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Old 02 December 2017, 14:58   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s2325 View Post
I remember some crack problems where horse will never show up so you can not jump on higher platform by using carriage.
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Old 02 December 2017, 16:50   #8
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And which crack is that?
From what I remember the Skid Row crack ( 3 disk) with the +15 trainer by Legend is ok.

Edit: yes I just tried it and the platform is there and useable.
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Old 02 December 2017, 17:51   #9
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Thanks for pointing out that this guy had a Youtube account. VERY interesting stuff within, although I wish some of the videos were longer! A lot of focus on Sonic 3D Blast, but I hope they cover more of the other fantastic Traveller Tales games.
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Old 02 December 2017, 22:32   #10
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Agreed on the channel. His website has a poll every so often to pick the topic of the next video, how the collision works in Leander is one of the options and hopefully it wins at some point.

Interesting to see the cross over from his early demo scene code on the Amiga making its way into the games he did for the Megadrive.
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Old 03 December 2017, 00:43   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superman View Post
From what I remember the Skid Row crack ( 3 disk) with the +15 trainer by Legend is ok.

Edit: yes I just tried it and the platform is there and useable.
Thanks.
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Old 04 December 2017, 01:42   #12
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I believe Skid Row originally released it with the platform bug and later fixed it. The Company version always worked.
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Old 18 January 2018, 20:54   #13
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Leander copy-protection

Hi,

Just came across this (semi-)interesting video by Jon/S.A.E who coded Leander, about some tricks used in the protection:-

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 18 January 2018, 23:27   #14
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Fun to watch but the tricks used aren't anything special even if he seems to be quite proud of his protection. At least he didn't access the protection code directly. And there always is a way to place patch code in memory, no matter how much memory the game uses.

You do know all that of course, I was just feeling playing Captain Obvious. Thanks for sharing the video though, always interesting to see what coders think of their "inventions".
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Old 18 January 2018, 23:40   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StingRay View Post
Fun to watch but the tricks used aren't anything special even if he seems to be quite proud of his protection. At least he didn't access the protection code directly. And there always is a way to place patch code in memory, no matter how much memory the game uses.

You do know all that of course, I was just feeling playing Captain Obvious. Thanks for sharing the video though, always interesting to see what coders think of their "inventions".
Yeah, because no-one else before Jon thought to use indirect offsets for their protection

Thing is, he's not being entirely honest.

1). Yes Skid Row (well, FFC!!) fucked up
2). Legend trained the Skid Row version and realised something was up quite quickly
3). The Company released their 100% 4 disk crack
4). FFC released a fix for the Skid Row version.
5). Skid Row version is only on three disks like the original because FFC removed several images.
6). The Company didn't remove anything, hence the extra disk
7). Jon doesn't even acknowledge WHY The Company had to use an extra disk because of the originals larger disk format, which lamely suggests The Company were somehow at fault for that.

And then he does a video bragging about it, when half of the story is missing.

Shame that.
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Old 19 January 2018, 01:36   #16
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Looks like my questions may have caused Jon Burton to release a video on Leander . He just put a breakdown of the copy protection up on YouTube.

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 19 January 2018, 14:49   #17
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Holy shit that video is amazing!
I didn't know they would burn holes on a disk. Brilliant!

Leander attacs, BUT ALSO PROTEC.S

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Old 19 January 2018, 14:54   #18
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Hmmm, maybe I should merge with this thread: Leander copy-protection

Edit: Done!!!
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Old 19 January 2018, 15:33   #19
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Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but if his explanation of "Trying to write to a physical hole in the disk" was true it wouldn't be able to work with write protected disks.

Surely it actually just reads from a spot that's either been physically damaged (which seems mighty excessive, anyone mind taking a close look at their Leander floppies to check?) or just has a weak/fuzzy bit and checks that it doesn't get the same result from multiple reads.
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Old 19 January 2018, 19:48   #20
Locash
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Yeah that's confusing me as well, a write protected disk would trigger a failure. Sadly my originals for this are in storage atm so I can't give them an eyeball check.
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