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Old 29 June 2002, 00:15   #61
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Quote:
Originally posted by DPainter
OK, don't torment us any longer: show us the in-game screenshots from Arctic Fox on an Amiga emulator, and don't try to fool us with the Atari ST version.
A triple

Get out tha funkin' piccies! NOW! :laugh
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Old 29 June 2002, 01:36   #62
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shadowen
Well, chances are there isn't a cracked version if one hasn't turned up to this point. You know that not every Amiga game has been cracked.
I haven't considered this because I have a copy somewhere on tape that is DMS'd and works. I had an original of the game back in the day and I used one of the parameter copiers to make a copyable version of the disk. I have it, I just can't get to the bloody thing. For all I know, that overdump was done by me, I just can't remember which disks I'd imaged a few years back. But I was using some Amiga tool that would get corrupted after so much time and would change the size of the FMS devices on my system (I know, I watched it do this after several overdumps were created...no idea what caused it or anything like that, but it happened, this I know for a fact).

I am sure I kept all of my DMS files, so it will resurface unless someone takes their original and images a copy the same way I did back in the late 80's. And as soon as I get a power supply/case for my dat drive, I will begin dumping my tapes, which will invariably create more work than I could handle at this time anyhow.
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Old 29 June 2002, 07:46   #63
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shadowen
@Fiath

You have my apologies- I was jumping the gun a little (I was at work and had to type in a hurry from memory). I wasn't merely talking about your software imaging tool, though. The wanted section on the CAPS page hints that a hardware/software solution will be developed if the necessary information/tools can be provided so that floppy drives (normal or adjustable) can achieve the feats of tracer machines for those games that cannot be physically re-mastered at present (There are also references to hardware in the WIP section. Am I reading too much into all the snippets?). If so, I imagine that any hardware/software solution developed will probably vary drive speed for physical re-mastering of said disks to be successful.

Ah, I see. Okay, I was talking about what we currently can do.

The hardware part (that we have probably hinted at) is in fact being worked on, but it is just theory at the moment.

It might be interesting to note though, that the approach that we are talking will be a fully fledge mastering device (with CPU & RAM etc) and should be nothing short of the quality of a Trace machine. The side effect of this also that it should be platform independant - your own little DIY mastering machine.

However, this is all theory, future stuff and may not in fact come to light. We are working on it - but it is in a peliminary stage at the moment.

But yes, the aim is that it could be used to write back *anything*.

Quote:


I also missed a couple of critical words out in my previous post and meant to refer to writing an image back to disk as opposed to dumping an image for the purpose of anything but (i.e. emulation etc.). As you said, you can't write tracks back (yet!). However, I'm sure that hardware such as the Burst Nibbler on C64 can be reproduced for Amiga.....just need some brilliant people on Amiga (like the C64 Retro Replay developers perhaps) to take an interest in this sort of project. Burst Nibbler had a phenomenal rate of success in reproducing copy protected disks on the C64, with failure being in the order of 1%.

Nice... Why not?

Quote:


> You cannot vary the drive in most (if not nearly all) Amiga's.

Copiers using dedicated parameters and hardware vary the speeds of normal Amiga drives in writing tracks, don't they? 3rd party Amiga floppy drives also exist where you can vary the speed of writing for each track (as rare as they are).

Yes, you are right. I was talking about normal unnassisted Amiga's. These copiers have it easy though - because they can synchronise two drives to do it (which results in a rather bad copy (as you mention later on)) - we have to write it from an image, which is a rather different story.

Quote:


Anyway, this has gone far away from my original point, which was that if people owning an Amiga want Arctic Fox (or any other uncopiable game) so badly, then why not just buy it rather than spend months or years in threads hoping that someone will deliver them a free image. Few games fall into this category to begin with and even fewer would be impossible to source out or unreasonably priced.
I am generally talking about the technical merits - that is why I jumped in.
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Old 29 June 2002, 08:09   #64
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Quote:
Originally posted by DPainter
OK, don't torment us any longer: show us the in-game screenshots from Arctic Fox on an Amiga emulator, and don't try to fool us with the Atari ST version.
LOL

"The mere thought, hadn't even begun to speculate, about the
merest possibility of crossing my mind." - Mr Prosser, HHGTTG.

It's more complicated than that, and besides as everybody probably knows by now - we are not at the stage yet where we can have CAPS images supported in an emulator.

So basically I can't do that for you. *yet*

The tools we use indicate that it works, and apart from one track that has not been reverse engineered yet (the long track on cylinder 0, head 1), the disk is verified to be correct. But we have traced it, and I can tell you it does indeed work - the information has just not been fed into the analyser for that track yet.

You will just have to be patient!

BTW - It may be worth mentioning that this game does not seem to work when fast ram is present, have any of you guys tried with kickstart 1.3 and chip-mem only?
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Old 29 June 2002, 10:37   #65
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The Amiga 500 that I had my copy of the game working on when I owned it (both original and copy) was an NTSC 512chip/512slow A500. Once I upgraded the machine to the new ECS Agnus and my memory became 1megChip (and no fastmem), the game no longer worked, along with a handful other other games (mostly early Electronic Arts, plus Street Sports Basketball (US version), and a few others). I believe we may have even had the 1.2 ROM in the original machine, as well, but I just can't remember.

As for emulation, I don't believe there exists any copy out there of this game except for that single image, which is an overdump. I just wonder if it's possible to remove the additional data to restore the dump to 880/901k size. Is this possible comparing the data to the CAPS original dump and the un-truncating it? If so, then it would just be a matter of getting the emulation to adapt to the game's primitive restrictions.
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Old 29 June 2002, 13:16   #66
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Couldn't Toni just check if DPainter's rawread dump can be made work on WinUAE with a tweak?
It doesn't look broken, as far as I could see.
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Old 29 June 2002, 22:30   #67
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Quote:
Originally posted by andreas
Couldn't Toni just check if DPainter's rawread dump can be made work on WinUAE with a tweak?
It doesn't look broken, as far as I could see.
D'OH! I forgot about the other version. My brain just doesn't work anymore...
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Old 30 June 2002, 11:57   #68
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I just tried the overdump (the one in TOSEC) - both trimmed down to 901120 bytes and "as is". I loaded it up on an Amiga 500 1.3 /w 512Kb of chipram and it did not work.

So unless the disk I used was buggered (or the ADF tool I used is, see later), it really is a bad dump.

Interesting aside:

When images are bigger than 901120, people call them "overdumps" but that is not strictly correct is it? For example:

901120 bytes / 80 tracks = 11264 bytes per cylinder

Arctic Fox is 912384 bytes,

912384 bytes / 11264 bytes per cylinder = 81 cylinders

So I doubt it is an "overdump" in the sense that the person who imaged it mucked it up - I think it is far more likely that the long track on the original (on cylinder 0, head 1) meant the crack needed somewhere to store the data because the disk was already stuffed (or it was easier to do it that way) - so the cracker used cylinder 80.

The person who imaged it perhaps knew this, and so ADF'ed the cracked disk version up to cylinder 80 - so we have 2 more tracks worth of data.

Was it okay practice to use cylinder 80 or above in cracks? And say they have done so in the Intro or something? (I guess it used to be a DMS file so this would not have mattered since it would have unpacked cylinder 80 automatically)

This still does not explain why it does not work though... But then, most ADF tools do not seem to recognise ADF's that contain more cylinders than 0-79 (how dumb).

Also these tracks (on cylinder 80) look like they contain a load of bootblock crap - but that could be because the cracker decided to put it there.

Probably all wrong of course, but worth a mention IMO.
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Old 30 June 2002, 12:04   #69
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Quote:
Originally posted by andreas
Couldn't Toni just check if DPainter's rawread dump can be made work on WinUAE with a tweak?
It doesn't look broken, as far as I could see.
Can we write a rawread dump back to disk? - or does it still contain a long track?

(Does Project-D include a hardware device?)
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Old 30 June 2002, 13:29   #70
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As far as that "overdump" is concerned, as I mentioned earlier, it very well may have been MY overdumped image. And while I do remember back in the day making warp files using tracks 80 and 81, I don't recall whether I did this on that disk or not. Since it was a DMS file, I really couldn't have since DMS only reads/writes 0-79. When I was dumping my DMS's to ADF, I was just undms'ing them to the four FMS devices (virtual floppies) on my hard drive. It was a fairly automated process and generally worked perfect. I made the dump, transferred the image to zip disk and did it all again. It became so monotonous, I wouldn't notice that the size at some point went from 901k to 912k. Sometimes, I didn't notice at all and that was how I ended up with a handful of overdumps. What caused it I haven't a clue, but I'm sure it had nothing to do with the game disk itself.

Also, the reason it probably didn't work for you on a real Amiga is that the game does not like 1.3, as I recall. And it's probably NTSC-only, as well.

Project-D was software only. If you'd like, I can upload it for you.
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Old 30 June 2002, 14:17   #71
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Quote:
Originally posted by Twistin'Ghost
Since it was a DMS file, I really couldn't have since DMS only reads/writes 0-79.
I thought you could - it just didn't do it by default...(?)

Quote:

Also, the reason it probably didn't work for you on a real Amiga is that the game does not like 1.3, as I recall. And it's probably NTSC-only, as well.
I don't know about the NTSC bit, but the version of the game used with the WHDLoad install is KS 1.3 compatible - you just must have chip mem only... I assumed that ADF version would be the same.

Quote:

Project-D was software only. If you'd like, I can upload it for you.
Cool, so you should be able to write that warp image back to disk then... (?)

Don't worry about uploading it unless somebody else wants it - I was just interested...
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Old 30 June 2002, 17:18   #72
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@fiath, if you can find the Backup Buddy external floppy drive unit, then you can use this in conjunction with the Maverick copier. The drive was a specially modified speed controlled unit that would allow you to backup originals using long data tracks, i.e., some Psygnosis titles along with most of the Readysoft titles Of course this would help you out with any other titles using long track protection of some sort
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Old 30 June 2002, 23:29   #73
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Quote:
Originally posted by fiath
I thought you could - it just didn't do it by default...(?)
According the the docs for DMS, it is limited to 0-79.

Quote:
Originally posted by fiath
I don't know about the NTSC bit, but the version of the game used with the WHDLoad install is KS 1.3 compatible - you just must have chip mem only... I assumed that ADF version would be the same.
I wonder if there is more than one release of this game then...when I dig up my DMS, we can maybe solve this part of the mystery.
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Old 16 July 2002, 20:09   #74
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Thumbs up

Last night I dug through my boxes and found yet another copied disk of Arctic Fox. This is the third copy that I have found floating around in my boxes.

I had the time, so I turned on my A500 and dumped the disk to RAM using rawread, then transferred it to my PC.

I loaded up WinUAE with my KS1.1/512k config and...

...check the Zone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :bounce

Unfortunately, it stops at track 61. But what if I adjusted the CPU emulation speed for chipset to 8.... :laugh
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Old 16 July 2002, 20:33   #75
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Old 16 July 2002, 20:41   #76
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It figures, I knew Walker would get it working
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Old 16 July 2002, 22:01   #77
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@Walker

Could you post your config please
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Old 16 July 2002, 23:09   #78
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Just do as DPainter says! I used an OCS12 config with 512k chipmem only and set the CPU/Chipset slider to 8. I got it working the first time I tried it, so I don't know if there are other working configs (apart from using kick 1.1 like DPainter did).
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Old 17 July 2002, 01:10   #79
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Thumbs up

GREAT GUYS!
Especially infinite kudos to DPainter for digging up an alternative copy!

Yes, THIS ONE WORKS!
DPainter, for reasons of precaution I decided to keep the *very first* rawread ADF you uploaded a while ago. However, using the tweaked configuration settings as described, I couldn't get past track 61 despite this config!
(Well, I did have a glimpse of hope. I was quite sure the emulator was to blame for the game stopping loading beyond track 61, thinking that the barrier could simply be crossed by slowing down the emulated CPU - but I was proven wrong, of course!)

So this new dump seems to be tbe only 100% copy we have - awesome!
Now it must pass the merciless REAL AMIGA test as well.
Thanks again DPainter!

Last edited by andreas; 10 November 2002 at 00:02.
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Old 17 July 2002, 01:28   #80
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Quote:
Originally posted by andreas
So this new dump seems to be a 100% copy - awesome!
Now it must pass the merciless REAL AMIGA test as well.
Thanks again DPainter!
What a great feeling it was to see that title screen after so many years. I remember playing that game WAY back.

Unfortunately I do not think that rawread images can be written back to Amiga floppies, at least not those with copy protection.

I guess we'll need to wait for the CAPS project to release a version that can be written back to Amiga, or maybe someone can try Twistin's crack out on it and see if it works.

Until then, take yourselves back to 1986 and pump up those awesome tank sounds and try to figure out how in the heck to control the game!

Last edited by DPainter; 17 July 2002 at 02:13.
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