Knight Force copy protection

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Knight Force copy protection

Postby Myloch » 2018-5-05 @ 12:57

I recently ordered a used box of Knight Force by Titus (the EGA-VGA 3½ floppy version).

This is one of those games that cannot run in dosbox without modified exes (invalid disk error or other glitches like missing sprites, freezed time, ending scene not triggered and so on).

But no one that I know ever mentioned if the original floppy can run as is in dosbox or pc dos machine newer than pc/xt/at/ps machines where it was supposed to be used, like let's say a pentium machine with standard internal floppy reader and win98 real dos mode.

Any personal experience with this crap is well accepted.
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Re: Knight Force copy protection

Postby Shagittarius » 2018-5-05 @ 15:55

Knight Force is a really tricky one, I've only gotten it to run properly on my IBM 5170 from a floppy disk. My advice in trying to get it to run on anything is start with a floppy, the game doesn't like being on an HDD from my limited experimentation.

Just gave a quick run again on my Pentium 90 and the game freezes up once you get to the gameplay. With a few Moslo attempts I was unable to even get to the title screen.
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Re: Knight Force copy protection

Postby Myloch » 2018-5-09 @ 13:14

Quick resume:
My copy of Knight Force arrived and it worked quite well in my p200mmx machine + Win98se real dos reboot + slowdos.
You can copy the floppy to hard disk and play it from there BUT the original floppy has to be present in the floppy drive. No Dosbox tests (yet).

Image

After a failed attempt with my usual image dumper DiskExplorer (I/O error), I managed to make a disk image with ImageDisk (full analysis + keep bad sectors).

Image

As you can see from the result, the culprit of the protection is in the final (bad) sector.
The bad thing is that you have to hope the original floppy doesn't go byebye because the imd image can only be used in emulators like pce, if you attempt to write it back to another floppy, it doesn't write bad sector(s), due to standard floppy drive limitations (?). Unless you buy some fancy and costly special card. I wonder why the imagedisk creator doesn't mention that (or maybe I missed some txt infos).
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Re: Knight Force copy protection

Postby Myloch » 2018-5-10 @ 16:41

Samdisk creator claims his low level floppy driver can successfully write back to floppies most of those protections without use of special hardware. I still have to test that program but it seems hella cool and promising.
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Re: Knight Force copy protection

Postby Shagittarius » 2018-5-11 @ 01:41

Whats the date on your executable? Mine is 9-22-89. Im curious why yours runs at 200Mhz and mine wont run at 90.
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Re: Knight Force copy protection

Postby Myloch » 2018-5-11 @ 07:36

I'll check asap. In the meantime, Imagedisk's programmer sent me a nice confirmation I copy here:
IMD has no capability to reproduce bad disks. It will record if there was a read error on a sector, but it has no way to recreate a read error when writing a disk. IMD does not support "special hardware", only the NEC-765/Intel-8272 controllers as found in PC's.

To copy copy-protected disks, you need something like the "Catweasel" which is a hardware bit by bit copier.
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Re: Knight Force copy protection

Postby NewRisingSun » 2018-5-11 @ 09:03

I don't have Knightforce, but Prehistorik 2 (from the same publisher) has a similar protection that vanilla DOSBox has no change of emulating. Check if the game's executable file has the string "Best Protection Kit by E.ZMIRO !!".

You could buy yourself a Kryoflux or SuperCard Pro device to make a preservation-grade copy of the disk and use it with Hampa Hug's PCE-PC or my DOSBox-TC. Supposedly, 86Box emulates some protections as well using a proprietary and ill-documented format, but I know nothing specific about that.
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Re: Knight Force copy protection

Postby breiztiger » 2018-5-11 @ 09:15

hi

can one of you make a kryoflux dump from your disk to test writing back ?

@NewRisingSun : where can we download your DOSBox-TC ?

thanks in advance
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Re: Knight Force copy protection

Postby Myloch » 2018-5-11 @ 10:11

Dosbox-TC › "tc" means transcopy?

A simple imagedisk image of the disk and the game worked in Hampa Hug's PCE-PC, but I had to ☑ the keep bad sector option . I highly doubt I'll ever buy a special card. Not really have nothing else protected to preserve. I will test with teledisk and copyIIpc too.
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