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First post, by siddhartha

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I'm currently working on a project where I am going through my retro game library and making "clean cracks" for games that require a document check.

The idea is to completely bypass a document check that appears each time the game is loaded so that the check prompt does not even display. Document checks in the middle of games (the King's Quest series come to mind) aren't touched because I consider that a part of gameplay.

Many are just simple byte patches or SCI patch files, but some require more complicated TSRs that modify the game code in memory.

This is all mainly for my own amusement, but also to teach my son basic assembly. I've been considering setting up a GitHub page with tutorials that go through each game as a programming exercise. Is there an appetite for this? Should it ever be linked on this site? Is it even legal?

Reply 1 of 5, by krcroft

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I think this is very valuable information both for the preservation of this (increasingly) lost art as well as to gain historic insight into the software protection mechanisms themselves, and how they evolved over time. My understanding is that performing, documenting, and teaching these actions is legal.

Reply 2 of 5, by shan2752

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The WHDLoad project for the Commodore Amiga has been doing this for years. They remove the protection and also allow the game to be run from a hard drive. They also add other improvements like bug fixes and trainers.

http://whdload.de/

Reply 3 of 5, by chinny22

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I would think so.
I quite enjoy Modern Vintage Gamer on youtube even though he's more console based and I'm not even into the console scene.
It's interesting to see how the protection worked, and how it was cracked.

Reply 4 of 5, by Banjo

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siddhartha wrote on 2021-05-03, 13:25:
I'm currently working on a project where I am going through my retro game library and making "clean cracks" for games that requi […]
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I'm currently working on a project where I am going through my retro game library and making "clean cracks" for games that require a document check.

The idea is to completely bypass a document check that appears each time the game is loaded so that the check prompt does not even display. Document checks in the middle of games (the King's Quest series come to mind) aren't touched because I consider that a part of gameplay.

Many are just simple byte patches or SCI patch files, but some require more complicated TSRs that modify the game code in memory.

This is all mainly for my own amusement, but also to teach my son basic assembly. I've been considering setting up a GitHub page with tutorials that go through each game as a programming exercise. Is there an appetite for this? Should it ever be linked on this site? Is it even legal?

I would be very interested in this, especially in the case of games that only ever had shoddy unprotects that cause glitches or instability. A lot of old games never got official "cracks" the way some (like Sierra) did, and preserving them is really important.

Reply 5 of 5, by siddhartha

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Ok, I have some scripts in my head for a couple videos. I think I'll better be able to present the information on YouTube than a document. I'll keep everyone posted and link to an episode once it's complete.

If you have any favourites or know any notoriously difficult games to crack that you would like the document check completely removed, let me know some titles and I'll take a look. I found a fairly large list at Moby Games.