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Sans réfléchir, ne me demande pas comment...

a bit of nostalgia
my first game crack was purely accidental (i own the game too!):
both edited by Microprose, F15 Strike eagle II and F19 stealth fighter had the same structure:
a small (F15|F9).COM file calling the main GAME.EXE file
what if you swap one game's .COM with the other game's ?
well, it turns out that in F15, the protection check was in the .COM, and in F19, it was in the EXE.
so if you swapped COM files, F19 was getting 2 protections checks... and F15... none :)

my first cheat patch was not completely accidental, but totally lucky too (I had no assembly knowledge at the time):
by checking in games magazines, I noticed it was often a matter of switching a 74 xx with a 75 xx, or replacing it with a 90 90...
so I took my favorite game at the time (Super Off-Road Racer), a hex-editor (PC-Tools 4.30 ! yeah !), and looked for hex sequences, trying blindly one after each other:
and ... it worked... I eventually (ahh, youth !) replaced the right sequence, giving me infinite nitros...

it was... in 1990 ! Doh! I feel old, suddenly...
a bit of nostalgia

mon premier crack était purement accidentel (j'avais le jeu original, cela dit):
tous deux de MicroProse, F15 Strike eagle II et F19 stealth fighter avaient la même structure:
un petit fichier (F15|F9).COM qui appelle le GAME.EXE principal
que ce passe-t-il si on intervertit les 2 fichiers COM ?
et bien, il s'avère que dans F15, la vérification de la copie se trouvait dans le COM, et dans F19, dans l'EXE...
donc, si on intervertit les 2, F19 vérifiait successivement les 2 disquettes... et F15... aucune :D

mon premier patch pour tricher n'était pas complètement accidentel, mais quand même très chanceux (je n'avais aucune connaissance d'assembleur à l'époque):
à force de regarder les magazines qui proposaient des patchs, j'avais remarqué que souvent, il s'agissait de remplacer un 74 xx par un 75 xx, ou de tout remplacer par un 90 90...
Donc j'ai pris mon jeu favori à l'époque (Super Off-Road Racer), mon éditeur hexadécimal favori (PC-Tools 4.30 ! yeah !), et j'ai essayé de remplacer chaque séquence au pif, l'une après l'autre...
et... ça a fini par marcher (ahhh, jeunesse !)... au hasard, j'ai fini par patcher la bonne séquence, me donnant les nitros infinies...

tout cela... en 1990 ! Je me sens vieux, tout d'un coup...


  1. Similar funny story:

  2. oh yeah, i remember trying to disable it by just using a GameWizard - and got the same result.
    Delphine Software is actually famous for common 'partially deprotected' games changes: Moto Racer had a flying skull in the menu, and then wouldn't let you choose any other track but the default one.
    I also liked Metal Mutant (by Silmarils) that, if tampered with, would tell you 'this teleport is broken' inside the game, making you completely stuck - much less funny than 'Cracker=Blaireau' though.

  3. PCTools and GameWizard, two of my most favorite tools back then :-)

    One of my very first test with PCTools was to edit a Simcity map and make it completely uniform, no river, no forest :-)

    Nostalgia !