Looking for info about copy protection used in Australia

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hyperactive
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:18 am

Looking for info about copy protection used in Australia

Post by hyperactive » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:00 am

Hi.
I am looking for information regarding a form of copy protection used on a number of game titles sold in Australia and was wondering if any of you kind
souls could help out, maybe even put me in contact with it's creator?
I've seen it used on titles such as Spy vs. spy, Uridium, Express raider, Paradroid and Tag team wrestling.
The protection consists of a tracksync check between tracks 38 and 39. After this check, The head seeks to track 36 to retrieve some instructions and then
starts loading the game, which has been written out to the disk in a nonstandard format I.e, not normal CBM data. Quite ahead of it's time for the early
1980s.
The Author's name "George Heyward" is located on track 18 sector 11. Does this ring any bells with any of you?
Hope someone out there might be able to help.
Cheers.

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IFW
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Re: Looking for info about copy protection used in Australia

Post by IFW » Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:44 pm

Unfortunately the images we have dumped do not have this...
As for contacting the author, maybe you can try linkedin, facebook etc...

hyperactive
Posts: 148
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Re: Looking for info about copy protection used in Australia

Post by hyperactive » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:59 am

oh well, I didn't think you'd have any images like that. This protection was only used on game titles sold within Australia. A friend of mine who had the spy vs. spy with the George Heyward protection thinks he might have thrown out some old commodore related stuff.
You know I'm really kicking myself at the moment because I am guilty of the same thing, throwing out old c64 and apple disks in the mid to late 90s, thinking I'd have no need for them any more.
grrrrrrr!

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karadoc
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Re: Looking for info about copy protection used in Australia

Post by karadoc » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:15 am

I did the same. I cringe at the thought of it now. As a teenager, I sold a large batch of earlier Amiga games for very little money, just because I wanted some money to buy a new game or two. Some of them were pretty unusual, so I bet a few are still needed by SPS.
Crying shame, but it happens - especially if you were a kid at the time.

Of course, that's nothing compared to today, what with DRM, online play and locked down devices. I console myself with the thought that at least proper preservation is happening for the roots of the gaming industry, which is arguably more important, and certainly more time sensitive.

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IFW
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Re: Looking for info about copy protection used in Australia

Post by IFW » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:34 pm

We may have one of those disks imaged now... although no sign of the author's name, but otherwise look similar to your description.
Would be good to find more, so the format could be added to DTC to verify.

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IFW
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Re: Looking for info about copy protection used in Australia

Post by IFW » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:54 pm

Would be great if anyone could dump games potentially using the same disk system, I guess games distributed by OziSoft and having a fairly simple sticker on the disk (instead of direct print on the disk) are the ones we should try :)

jerrykurtz
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Location: Delaware, Ohio USA

Re: Looking for info about copy protection used in Australia

Post by jerrykurtz » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:10 pm

Did you check my OziSoft dump of Bounty Bob Strikes Back for this protection? I currently have it listed for sale on eBay, so if it needs re-dumped, let me know. I also thought I dumped an Australian version of Spy vs Spy (?). I do have a small handfull of PAL loose disks and some are from Australia, so I should get those out and double check, but am sure I dumped and uploaded them.

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IFW
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Re: Looking for info about copy protection used in Australia

Post by IFW » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:02 pm

See my mail.
Yes, would be good to check whether every AUS disk is dumped.

Anyone reading this down under, feel free to submit dumps from OziSoft distributed disks that have very simply labels, that look like made on a good quality (for the time) printer.
All of those use variants of this format :)

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IFW
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Re: Looking for info about copy protection used in Australia

Post by IFW » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:37 pm

The next version of DTC is capable of fully verifying/decoding this format (actually more than one format internally...).

Games imaged using this format:
*Boulder Dash 2
Bounty Bob
Falcon Patrol 2
*Fight Night
Spy vs Spy
*Paradroid
*Who Dares Wins 2

The games marked with * do not have any kind of checksums for the real data blocks - these are the ones using a custom sector format plus a spaghetti code boot track written in a rather convoluted way :)
The boot code of Paradroid is slightly different, and cannot be (fully...) decoded by DTC since we don't have a good dump, and the disk is no longer available... so we can't redump it.

Thanks everyone for the dumps, obviously people living in Australia should be in a better position to submit more images - the OziSoft decoder in DTC will be updated if needed, if we can ever get hold of more images.

Note; that the custom boot sectors are not interchangeable as they contain hardcoded values for the load addresses of the files, the size of the files, VIC, SID and memory settings etc - to prevent just saving the files.

hyperactive
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Re: Looking for info about copy protection used in Australia

Post by hyperactive » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:00 pm

Here are some more games I've come across using the George Heyward custom spaghetti code format.
Uridium, Tag team wrestling, and express raider.
I was going to call this protection the "Heystack" loader, the "Hey" coming from George Heyward and "stack" part of haystack because of the confusing boot code, it's like trying to find a tiny tiny needle in an enormous heystack that's 3 miles long when you're attempting to figure out exactly what the loader is doing.
I've checked Jerry's copy of OziSoft's bounty bob and the loader is different. There is no checking of sync between tracks 38 and 39 or a retrieval of instructions from track 36.

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