‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ * DOMINATION #15 * - Special Edition - An independent production released in April 2001 _________________________
Domination technical realisation details Intro Code................Stryyker/Onslaught/Tide Logo.........................Cupid/Padua/Hitmen Music..........................Red Devil/Fairlight Outfit Outfit code.......................Doomed/Padua Outfit graphics..................Sander/Focus Proportional font..............Sander/Focus IRQ loader...........................Hoogo/Padua (de)packer..............................MMS/Taboo Outfit design...................Sander&Doomed Officially distributors Code 18/Onslaught, Zapotek and Cactus/Samar.
Exclusive music 'Sealed Universe' - Rayden/Breeze 'Moods' - Arman/Xenon/Role 'Another B.' - Grg/Shape/Ons/BM & Geir Tjelta/Shape Bonus music 'Legend' - Martijn Schutten/Legend 'Shock' - Danko/Censor 'Last Ninja: Tune 4' - Anthony Lees & Ben Daglish 'Tusker - Level 1' - Matt Gray 'Turrican 2 menu' - Markus Siebold 'Last Ninja Remix' - Reyn Ouwehand 'Thunder Blade' - Mark Tait Bonus sids relocated by: H.M.Murdock
The Staff Main editor................Jazzcat/Onslaught Co-editor............................Scare/Active Guest editors..................The Shark/INC Derbyshire Ram/Remember Jack Daniels/F4CG Antitrack/Legend Vengeance/Onslaught MWS/Radwar King Fisher/Triad Raver/DCS Count Zero/Scs&Trc/Cpx Heiko Zimmermann
The good old days. Times when I would finish school and get all excited as it was that time of the month again to purchase the latest Zzap64!, Commodore User or C+VG magazine! I loved these times, reading all those fantastic, optimistic articles and drooling over the sneak previews of anticipated big name game titles. Two games I purchased around these times (1990/91) that absolutely got me hooked to the C64, were The Last Ninja 3 and Turrican II. I had played and enjoyed the originals of both game series and was impressed
hugely by the new installments. Loading up Last Ninja 3 and being mesmerised by the unique cinematic intro sequence, containing luscious visuals and atmospheric music. Turrican II was incredible, visually it looked like Manfred Trenz had stretched the C64 to it's limits (or beyond). I remember I was so addicted to T2 that I mapped out every single level of the game totally (including the 3 shoot 'em up levels) and sent it to a magazine. It was so fun when school was finished for the day - straight home, arriving to a big amount of mail packages. Also now and then I would order
original games, such as the previous ones I mentioned. What a thrill it was when these arrived, especially because I was addicted to the ULTIMA games by Lord British. These games (parts I - VI) came with cloth maps, manuals and other lovely additionals. System 3's "Premier Collection" was another nice one that comes to mind (containing Flimbo's Quest, Myth, Dominator etc). I am sure a lot of people can remember these times, when the scene was full of action, when the game companies were going crazy. These were probably the best times on any computer ever.
During these 'golden years', the scene wasn't dominated by QUAKE LAMERS, MP3 traders and IRC clowns, instead it contained hardcore fanatics dedicated to their computer and their scene. The lamer level was lower then than in modern times and the scene was more 'underground', not commercialised like the internet and PC these days. Our scene was the only one that truly contained a 'soul', our sub-cultures within the scene were truly atmospheric. Who could ever forget the days of the BBSes in both Europe and USA? or the mail scene, when swappers were getting over 10 packs a day, or the demo scene when groups like
Panoramic Designs, Censor, Triad, Blackmail etc., were all competing and with no damn 4x4 PC inspirated effects. Let's take a journey back into this older era on the C64, back to the gold years of the cracking and game industries. This SPECIAL edition is focused totally on the game and cracking scenes, primarily the cracking scene. Apologies to the demo and legal scene readers, but just for this issue will we specialise in the illegal area of the scene only. However, next issue, the 16th to be exact, will focus only on the legal scene and also will spawn a brand new outfit!!!
So, what little surprises are install for you in this edition? I won't mention everything, as you will have to discover it all for yourself. However, there is some segments I would like to make special mention of. The first thing that comes to mind is one of the hardest scene tasks I have performed in many years. This is the TEN YEAR LIST, yes, you read right! It contains a list of all first released games made between 1991 to 2000 in group order. It also has an introduction and summary chapter, which are also important reading. The summary of the list contains overall information on the
last decade and awards handed out to me by the best contributing groups. The TEN YEAR LIST is a nostalgic journey in the last decade of games released on the C64. Quite a lot of research has been put into it, to ensure it's accuracy, as you will surely notice. Next up is one of the most interesting articles I have ever had the pleasure of typing into this magazine, this is the IMPORTING SCENE, parts 1 and 2, by The Shark/INC. This fantastic article takes the reader through the early periods of the C64 cracking scene, it also discusses the foundations of the scene and how things have developed.
Apart from the larger than normal amount of guest edited articles, our interview section returns once again, this issue we managed to chase up people like The Hell Hacker/TSM, Nightwriter/RSI, Radar/Arcade, Psychobilly/RSI, Magicman/Crazy, Goblin/Genesis*Project and more. We have touched on some interesting topics with these people, so be curious and kill some cats ☺ You can discover the rest, with which I hope you find them all entertaining, particularly for sceners from the crack/import scene generation. Over to my colleague SCARE for some important words...
Preface by Scare/Active When briefing me concerning the preface, Jazzcat told me to speak about the older times rather than the current - to keep it 'positive'. So now this is an issue focusing on the cracking scene, which started what we call the 'scene' today. Intros and demos, as well as magazines, are nothing more than products of a living and competing cracking scene, and all these froms of art have contributed to a certain aesthetic style, which still rules the demo scenes on several platforms and attracts sceners and non-sceners.
But this isn't new. Also the output of the cracking scene - the cracks - was widely spread into the masses. Every kid and everyone who had a C64 also had at least a handful of cracks, but only a minority represented the 'scene'. Cracking and hacking have never been seperate, both have always belonged together. Without hackers: no possibilities to spread warez fast - without crackers: no warez to spread. Since our ethusiasm ran into an overall internet hype, much of the former hacker culture went mainstream, at least in the internet. And you can easily find aspects of demo culture in current games and Flash presentations.
Sociologists will write about the roaring 80s and the 90s in the scene, a working part of society. But what am I talking about? It has already started. The online-edition of the most famous German magazine, DER SPIEGEL, interviewed no-one else than Jeroen Tel, and he told them some story about composing game music right after coming home from school. The Commodore 64 was and is a part of popular culture. I don't like the guys who release just to release (Hi Role!). More over, those who are always praying for 'the real thing', instead of emulator software, are suspect to me. Now that almost everyone has put his bread case into
the cellar, we are dependent on the emulators. And they have evolved, in any case. The other day I read that the final version of Sidplay 2 is finished. Sounds good to me. The CCS64 is being updated regularly to integrate it into the DirectX environment. Thumbs up! The scene will never be gone. You can crack everywhere. As a cracker you keep a specific philosophy the whole of your life and, by stating this: regards to King Fisher, whose article on "The conscience of a Cracker" I translated into German several years ago. KF's article was just the beginning of a larger project, which culminated in a whole book, namely "Copyright finns
inte" ("Copyright Does Not Exist"). The english translation can be found on the internet at <http://home.c2i.net/nirgendwo/cdne/> Unfortunately, recent TRIAD demos are really bad and boring. But no reason to regret this. Wrath Designs is one of the few groups which still do a good job. If you don't know what I'm talking about: Go and grab their demo from the Floppy 2001 party! Last not least, I shout out a hello to Macx/Chromance, the youngster among the megaswappers of the nineties, whose name I spotted in some Swedish newspaper some time ago. Not to forget my Czech comrade
McValach/React and all the others who gave me feedback. Regards, Frank Fischer aka Scare/Active 2001-03-29 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
Jazzcat back again, feeling regenerated after reading the uplifting words from Scare. This edition's concentration on the cracking scene is another step in the right direction for a scene magazine in 2001 in my opinion. So many magazines these days simply lack C64 related articles. There is so much of our heritage we should be writing about - it gives older sceners some lovely memories and newer sceners some education. The 'oldie' cracking groups are some of the hardest working cracker crews in today's scene. I am amazed by the quality being delivered by the likes of Remember and
Nostalgia. I have heard rumours of another 'oldie' cracking group called GOLD, does anyone know anything about them? 'Onslaught Antiques' is a new group who join the existing 'oldie'-game cracking groups. I cannot say too much about the lable at this time, as the official press release has not yet been made. However, the group consists of some old familar faces and we plan to give some quality games to the hungry audience out there and also give some competition to the other existing groups. There are so many games that weren't cracked correctly, have bugs, lack
documentation and basically could be done a whole lot better. The drive of Remember, Nostalgia and Antiques is to repair these games and deliver them to the scene in a modern standard. But what about the new games? Plenty is on the way too. So many people complain they cannot find information on new games (or new projects on the C64 in general) and I should mention, most of these people are populating IRC. New games in development like Utopia, Enigma, Godz, Reaxion Extended, Co-Axis 2189, Metal Dust, It's Magic 2, Newcomer Enhanced, Pac It, Turrican 3
Heroes & Cowards, Roy Sheldon and even more. These are the big name titles arriving sometime soon on the C64, enough to keep the first release groups elated with anticipation. This edition of DOMINATION will be released live at the Mekka&Symposium party in Germany - a special thanks to Slator, Hoogo, Scare, and others who made this possible. Also party greetings to those who have attended - let the good times roll! ☺
In closing the editorial, I would also like to mention the exclusive wares that will be spread with this collection. SUPREMACY 2 - The Domination music collection containing the exclusive musics made for this magazine. CRACKTROS 1 & 2 - To support our "cracking scene" theme this edition Game Level editors - Hawkeye, Turrican Fred's Back, Katakis and more! Enjoy these support wares spread with Domination #15.
If you wish to become a part of the staff, have some news, reactions, suggestions for improvements and general feedback. Simply contact: Jazzcat/Onslaught David Simmons PO Box 361 Launceston TAS 7250 Australia. or email: jazzcat@c64.org scare@c64.org Don't forget the homepage also: http://domination.rules.org
‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Back to the roots! * DOMINATION #15 * _________________________
* NEWS * An informative on the cracking scene. ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ In this special edition of Domination, we will not be giving legal scene or demo scene news, instead we will focus on the cracking scene. For all the latest general news, seek the pages of the latest edition of Vandalism News. Question: Is there still a cracking scene on the C64? Answer: Yes, read the following pages.
EXCESS (Ger) This all-round group are still active here and there, however the new edition of their old magazine NITRO is still delayed. Excess gave the scene one of the most promising looking games in a long while, this being TURRICAN III Preview - the official version. They have also been actively competing with other first released titles, albeit slowed down slightly in recent weeks. They gained DANZIG/ex-Alphaflight at the X2000 party last year. He joined as NTSC fixer and cracker.
Memberstatus: (source: webpage) Black Duke, Danzig, Faayd, Ghost, H-Bloxx, Master S, Metador, Nameless, Red Rock, RHX, Sentinel, Spinball, Stormfront, Vague. http://excess.iscool.net
F4CG (Swe, Bel, Ita) The fantastics are still around. One of the oldest C64 cracking groups that still grace the scene. They have not done much since the departure of instrumental member Newscopy. But there is promises for more activity again and soon. BA returned to activities after some months. He is mainly doing 'oldie' cracks under the Nostalgia lable. Domination spoke with the C64 leader of the Fantastic 4 Cracking Group, being ZeSmasher, and this is what he had to say:
"Be afraid because F4CG is not dead at all and you'll notice that very soon! Some surprises from us will show up very soon... I mean exactly what you think: releases ☺ Nobody in the crew wants to see F4CG as a past C64 group, so the glorious 8-bit section will be kept active and it's our intention to release cracks (1st and quality mail versions) and small demos for the rest of this millenium. We are also in need of new fresh blood, so if you think you are a good coder, artist, composer or cracker and want to join F4CG and be part of the family, send a letter to ZeSmasher at: smr@ticino.com We also don't want to concentrate our
activities only on the C64 and PC worlds but plan to move onto some unexplored ones... We are recruiting people to build F4CG- BA, the new Gameboy advance section.. Memberstatus: (source: ZeSmasher) BA, Bitman, Case, Dannie, Despair, dW, Hans, Intruder, Melange, Motley, Mr.Alpha, Neotec, Pinball Wizard, Scorpie, Sneaper, Solar (PC HQ), Stasi, Therion, ZeSmasher (C64 HQ), Zyron. All-timers list: Playboy, Goz, Tornado, Jack Daniels, Draz, King.
NOSTALGIA (Nor, Ger, Swe, UK) This crew together with Remember are producing the most quality cracks on the C64 this millenium. They released a new spread disk by GRG which included the rather tidy version of Last Ninja (+8/doxx/one sided). BA returned to activities after some months. Some new releases from him soon. SIDBURNERS 06 is in the 'organizing' stage at the moment and should be released sometime soon. Mr. Alpha announced the return of TUNNEL OF WAREZ. Old board callers would be familar with
this old BBS that was based in New York, USA. Now it is the official FTP site for all of the cracks released by Nostalgia. Memberstatus: (source: webpage) BA, Bob-UK, Dandee, Didi, GRG, Lexi, Lupo, Mr.Alpha, Scare, TMR, Zyron. http://www.c64heaven.demon.co.uk ftp://tow.ath.cx
ONSLAUGHT (Aust, Ger, Pol, UK, USA) Together with Laxity, they are one of the most active cracking groups on the C64 these days. They are not only doing first release games, but also announced a new lable called 'Onslaught Antiques', which will focus on old games only. The official press release and homepage of this new lable will be released soon. FUNGUS is inactive, but will return when he has a stable internet connection again. He has been calling the Onslaught USA BBS, Deadzone, in recent times. FADE/ex-Ruffnex joined as mag editor.
HOLY MOSES, long time member and sysop of the longest running German BBS, Sanitarium, left the group and teamed up with ROLE. Bizarre, Donar and EU Geniusz were put on the inactive list. Memberstatus; Blender, Code 18, Deev, DJB, Fade, GRG JailBird, Jazzcat, Jolz, Leming, Ltrimm, Naphalm, O'fire, Praiser, Shapie, Slator Stash, Stryyker, TMR, Trouble, Ultimate Hacker, Vengeance. Deadzone +1/215-744-5885 http://www.onslaughters.org ftp://c64.rulez.org/pub/c64/
REMEMBER (Ger, UK) This group is the most active out of the crews cracking old games. They released their new spread disk in March which contained classics such as Lazy Jones, Armalyte, Gremlins, Legend of Kage, Wizard of Wor, etc. L'TRIMM was removed from the group, his time is less these days, especially with moving house and his girlfriend. Memberstatus: (source: webpage) Derbyshire Ram, Fatman, HOK, Intruder, Jack Alien, Rough. http://www.bitte8bit.de/newremember/
ROLE (Bel, Ger) The Raiders Of the Lost Empire have been doing some small first releases here and there. This quite large group are active mainly with the release of their magazines. SATYR joined as a swapper and graphician and they also gained HOLY MOSES who left Onslaught and joined Role as a coder and graphician. BRAINDEATH left the group and the active scene and will only swap with a few close friends. There has not been too many quality cracks from them since their divorce with the group WOW.
Memberstatus: (source: webpage) Commander, Swayze, Icegirl, Silverfox Yaro, Checky, MCC, H-Bloxx, Rude, Starfighter, Stirf, Sign, Xel, Ochrana, Mist, Vip, Low, TDB, Simple, Thorgal, Bugjam, Almighty God, Mediator, Leo, Zak, Zuber, Restive, Jaco, Nootka, Swap, Tomz, Faith, Faayd, Cactus, Avenger, Franky, Computer Kidz, Glare Satyr, Holy Moses. http://www.role64.com/indexx.html http://pitel-lnx.uvis.fnt.hvu.nl/ ~ochrana/
TRIAD (Swe) This old and legendary cracking group are still around, primarily focused on demos, however still some first release games from them. Taper/Triad: "We have no plans what- so-ever to stop releasing games, that's for sure." Memberstatus: (source: Taper) Jerry, King Fisher, Cash, Tao, Twoflower, Iopop, Taper, Aton, JFK, Killsquad, Quorthon, Logger, Hollowman Ibanez, Wiggen, Con, Mindflow, Gerry. http://www.triad.c64.org/
Other news: * RADWAR & DANISH GOLD will make a reunion party around August or September, 2001. "Grand daddy 2001 ReUnion" will be no copy party or competition party but instead will be a friendly gathering of old and new friends to Danish Gold and Radwar. Mores info and reservations: http://www.danishgold.dk/partyinfo.htm * Success&TRC together with Xenon have announced the X2001 party in Holland - November 2001. Keep checking http://www.scs-trc.net for further news!
* AXELERATE is dead! It is unsure what has happened to most of the members, but it seems they have just stayed in their other groups. * DOMINATORS rumour. We have heard that Dominators may plan a small nostalgic comeback on the C64. Members such as Tricket, Dishy, Dogfriend and more. * LEGEND are working again on their webpage, it will be open for the public in the next coming months at: http://www.legend64.com/
Cracking group links ACRISE - http://www.acrise.com ACTIVE - http://active.c64.org AXELERATE - http://www.axelerate.net CENSOR - http://www.censor.net CHROMANCE - http://c64.rulez.org/chromance
DANISH GOLD - http://www.danishgold.dk EXCESS - http://excess.iscool.net FAIRLIGHT - http://www.fairlight.org http://www.ludd.luth.se/~watchman/ fairlight GENESIS PROJECT - http://www.genesis-project.de HITMEN - http://www.hitmen-console.org
INC - http://users.dhp.com/~shark LAXITY - http://members.nbci.com/laxity64 LEGEND - http://www.legend64.com MOTIV8 - http://home3.inet.tele.dk/bird-m8/c64/ c64.htm http://www.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de /~grfrog
NOSTALGIA - http://www.c64heaven.demon.co.uk ONSLAUGHT - http://www.onslaughters.org RADWAR - http://www.radwar.com REMEMBER - http://www.bitte8bit.de/newremember ROLE - http://pitel-lnx.uvis.fnt.hvu.nl/ ~ochrana
SCIENCE 451 - http://www.ctrl-c.liu.se/~malo/science 451.html SUCCESS & THE RULING COMPANY - http://www.scs-trc.net TALENT - http://www.talent.demon.co.uk THE FORCE - http://www.netune.net/scs/tf THE WANDERERS - http://www.wanderers.cx
TRANSCOM - http://home.mira.net/~transcom/c64 TRIAD - http://www.triad.c64.org TRISTAR & RED SECTOR INC - http://www.trsi.de THE SHAOLIN MONASTERY - http://www.isd.net/mhillmer/tsm WOW - http://members.aol.com/skonarkows
THE LIST Documented by Jazzcat The List is a chart based on new games released into the C64 scene, otherwise known as 'first releases'. Since 1990 this chart has been in use, and as the years flow by and things change, so do the rules also. In this edition we have liased with the most active cracking groups and formulated a new and more relevant set of rules. Triad, Onslaught, Success&Trc, Excess, Laxity and Dytec have all had the opportunity to influence and make a
better, more modern approach to the first release laws. Ofcourse not everyone agrees with each other, especially in the cracking scene, let's start at the beginning... ----- The release rules and why have they changed? Years ago the European and USA cracking and importing groups had developed the first release chart system. This system was designed to document who was the first and also to increase the amount of quality cracking and games released by the groups, aswell
as the overall level of competition. European groups such as Ikari&Talent, Legend, Action, ICS, Deadline, DOM, Enigma etc., would obtain a new game and crack it. The USA groups, dominately made up of importing groups rather than cracking crews, grabbed these games and NTSC fixed them. The Europeans did their job and the USA guys did their job. The whole scene was happy. In all cases a 100% ntsc/pal working version would over shadow a PAL ONLY or NTSC ONLY firs release. Fixing became harder, as new graphic and code routines became more and advanced, especially in the early to mid
1990s. This was the time when the true NTSC cracking groups and importing (now called fixing) groups disappeared. During this stage the European scene were progressing in activity with each month, as they had to NTSC fix their own games. Not for the quality of the crack as a number one priority but also as a sure way of claiming their NTSC/ PAL fixed version as the one and only 'first release'. Thus, it would secure them the points earned through the game in the monthly release chart (now known as The List). Eventually almost all NTSC sceners stopped fixing, most decided to change to other scenes. And as the USA scene died there was more and more emphasis
on EUROPEAN groups fixing their own games. The magazines introduced a points based system. As the true 'full price' game production and overall quality of games was reducing, so they thought to maintain competition and to change with the changing scene, a points based system would be ideal. For a time it was, there was hardly any NTSC sceners that were 'hardcore', merely people casually checking out stuff from time to time but not producing. Fixing was relevant at this stage in two ways. One; the USA people still got to play and view PAL software, two; the PAL groups still got the proper
recognition of a 'first release' by ntsc and pal fixing it. Now, let's move on once again... The year is 2001, can you believe that new games are still being produced on the C64? Infact more were released in the year 2000 than in 1999! A incline or decline, calculate your own opinion... In this day and age there is hardly anyone using their NTSC C64s actively. A small handful of people in which quite a large percentage use an EMULATOR on the PC (which can view software in both PAL and NTSC modes).
Observing this, we found that people were releasing software just for points software that was below average and years ago would have been released under a LAMER-LABLE such as Ultimate DOH or BURP. The reason for this is obvious, quality games were no longer abundant, but groups still wanted to "show face" and get as many points as possible - to rule the chart (afterall, isn't that what the first release scene is about? 😊 However, several things are wrong with this. Lots of games of low quality were released, often made by the cracking groups themselves, just to obtain points.
A lot of previews were released, some times 2,3 or even 4 extending versions of the same game. The emphasis on obtaining quality games ceased, people had taken the easy road, that magic little word: points Another fact is that the recognition for being the fastest with the game and doing the real first release was lost. People were too loyal to NTSC fixing, when they were doing it for: A.Points B Quality (if asked why they did it) The true and original word 'importing' was also lost, people wanted to fix their own games. When in a logical and arrogant way, I feel that if NTSC wants to play PAL games they should
fix the software themselves (how it used to be) and if PAL wants to play NTSC, then they should fix it themselves (also how it used to be). Now we are in 2001 and the rules need to be adjusted in order to respect the old rules and also to make them more relevant to the modern scene, a scene that is largely PAL only and has a huge EMULATOR base. Let's begin...
OFFICIAL RULES FOR 2001 ONWARDS ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Written and revised by Jazzcat, Taper and The Vengeance. * SEPERATE FIRST RELEASING AND NTSC FIXING. If someone first releases a PAL (or ntsc) only game, they get the first release points for doing just that, releasing the game as first. If another group PAL/NTSC fixes the same game after the first release, they will NOT take away the points of the first release, but instead get fixing points, as that is all they have really done, ntsc fix, the real first release came earlier.
If the fix is bugging or is not identical on both PAL and NTSC formats, the releasing group only get one point. If the fix is 100% on both C64 formats, they receive three points. This structure also incorporates the quality of the actual game fixed, which is an additional 0.0 to 0.9 (scale based on quality at the discretion of the release chart editor). The PAL only, true 'first release' receives 2 points aswell as the game quality points. Why does the PAL release get less than the NTSC/PAL fix? Because the fixing group put in extra effort, which should be recognized.
As a note: if the fix is extremely bad, even to the point of fatal crashes, it will not be awarded any points or deducted any points for that matter either. To maintain a quality level in NTSC/PAL fixing, we have kept the 100% rule. If group AAA does a 95% fix and group BBB does a 100% fix, then BBB will get the points and AAA does not get any points. However AAA will always have the points until a group 100% fixes the game. This rule only applies to complete games, previews do not need to be ntsc fixed, however nothing is wrong with doing so either.
* EXTENDED FIXING TIME LIMIT. The old rules allowed a group 6 months to release a 100% ntsc fix of a non-100% ntsc/pal working crack. In modern times, the C64 game has moved up a level in graphic formats and loader routines, which has made NTSC fixing more into RECODING, which takes more time. Now groups have a total of 12 months exactly from the first release or non- 100% ntsc/pal fix to do a 100% fix and claim points.
* STRICTER RULES ON RELEASING PD/SHAREWARE GAMES. The source of supply is mainly low budget, budget and freeware games. These games almost anyone can obtain, people are releasing games that NEED training or improving but are only intro-linking. From now on, no level packing (if needed) and training (if needed) games will be excluded. An example of a game not needing training would be a two player simulatenous game. As neither side could win, thus defying the point of the game in the first place. This rule only applies to full games, not previews, which do not need training anyway.
* Definition of a first release. A game that has never been available before to the public. The actual age of the game is considered irrelevant, just as long as it has never been released. - First releases and NTSC importing is only counted if uploaded to the following FTP sites: The Digital Dungeon ftp.scs-trc.net/pub/c64/ Gangsta's Paradise c64.rules.org/pub/c64/ Banana Republic ftp.elysium.pl
* The 24 Hour Rule. This applies when two or more groups who either 'first release' the same game simultaneously Or two or more groups NTSC/PAL fix the same game simultaneously. The group uploading to the majority of the three counted FTP sites within 24 hours of the initial first release or ntsc/pal fixed game will receive the points. The groups that fail in this 24 hour period do not receive RE-RELEASE points, however if the game is released 24 hours after the official first release or import, then it will receive RE-RELEASE point deduction.
* RE-RELEASING. Is when a group releases game onto the FTP site incoming/games/new directory that has already been released to the scene before. The group have 5 points deducted from their total for full games and 1 point for game previews. If group AAA first release a game, and over 24 hours later group BBB release the same game, then BBB will get minus points, if another group called CCC release the same game again, then they will get minus 7 points instead of minus 5. RE-RE-RELEASING has to be dealt with in a harsh way.
* SALES VERSIONS. Are a different, enhanced or official version of a game that was already released before. Normally it is the official version made by the producer themselves. Sales Versions differ from the original game in ways such as extra levels, intro sequence and other enhancements They will only receive one point for something special. However, if the Sales Version is extremely different from the original release, it will receive full first release or ntsc/pal import points as if it was a new game.
* TRANSLATIONS. Games that are released in any other language other than ENGLISH will not receive points. This only applies to full games. If a game is translated it receives an extra point on top of the first release or NTSC/PAL import points. If the game also has graphics which were redrawn from another language into the ENGLISH language, this will also earn an extra points. Meaning that a game can earn two points maximum through translating alone. Some games may contain some small amount of non-english text, this could be an external file to the game. If the text is considered not necessary to play the game properly, then it does not
need to be translated. * GAMES THAT ARE NOT COUNTED. No points or minus points are awarded for games made in publically available game creators such as SEUCK, GAC, RACING DESTRUCTION KIT etc. No points or minus points are awarded for games using the basic and compiled basic programming languages. If the game is over 50% made in machine language but contains some basic files or routines, it still gets points. Utilities and lamer lame group releases are not counted either.
* GAME CLASSIFICATIONS. PREVIEWS: If a group releases a preview, no fixing level packing or trainiing is necessary. If a second preview of a game is released by the same group who released the earlier preview, it will only be awarded points if there is noticable changes in the preview. A maximum of a Version 3 preview is counted, beyond this no points will be awarded. This is to stop groups who have almost the full game or are infact making the game, create more advanced previews just to obtain points.
PD/SHAREWARE/FREEWARE: A game that is available from the author or distributor free of charge, or publically available on the internet or via mail order (where mail order charges is all that applies). BUDGET: A game that is distributed on the COVER DISK of a magazine or offered in a game collection with several other games at a low price. For example, Commodore Zone, GO64, Loadstar, etc. FULL PRICE: Games that are offered for $12 US or more (ie; Crazy News), or have a professional boxed packing with manuals. This is much rarer to come across these days but is still evident.
* THE POINT SYSTEM Previews: 0.0 to 0.9 points on a scale of game quality. PD/Shareware/Freeware: 2 points Budget: 3 points Full Price: 5 points Ntsc/Pal import: 3 points Non-100% Ntsc/Pal import: 1 point Text translation: 1 point Gfx redrawn translation: 1 point Re-Released full game: -5 points
Re-released game preview: -1 point Re-re-released full game: -7 points Re-re-released game preview: - 3 pts -----
SUMMARY Ofcourse not everyone was happy with these rules when they were first suggested. We do not look down upon these people, as most would know, C64 sceners have many different views on what should be the right way to do something (and I am glad, as the scene would be more boring otherwise). With these rules we have tried to make them as fair as possible. We have tried very hard to make a perfect compromise between obtaining points and recognition of being first with a game and also delivering satisfactory quality with both the game itself and the work done by the first releasing and/or ntsc/pal fixing group.
THE LIST ‾‾‾‾‾‾ November 2000 to March 2001. * NOVEMBER 2000 * AXELERATE (Pol) Atak Sapera (-5) (C) Samar. Re-release Wyscigi Prv (-1) (C) Samar. Re-release EXCESS (Ger) Turrican 3 Prv (0.9) (C) Smash Designs.
LAXITY (Ger) Freespace 2075 (3.1) (C) M.D. Ntsc fixed Quadron (4.2) (C)Protovision. Ntsc fixed Slither (4.1) (C) M.Jenson. Ntsc fixed * DECEMBER 2000 * EXCESS (Ger) Blood Prv (0.2) (C) Arts of Darkness Blood (2.3) (C) A.O.D. Ntsc fixed. * LAXITY (Ger) Gravity 101% (2.1) (C) M.D. Bug fixed.
ONSLAUGHT (Aust, Ger, Pol, UK) Lazytech Prv (0.9) ROLE (Bel, Ger) Quattro Prv (0.3) (C) Spiders-Crew. ----------------------- New rules apply from here onwards -----------------------
* JANUARY 2001 * LAXITY (Ger) Blood 101% (3.3) (C) Arts of Darkness. * Kestrel - Bird of Prey Prv (0.2) Metal Warrior 3 100% (2.9) (C) E.H. * Metal Warrior 3 Keep It Version (0.0) * Metal Warrior 3 Final Version (1.0) * ONSLAUGHT (Aust, Ger, Pol, UK) Brothers in Blood Prv (0.5) Metal Warrior 3 (1.9) (C) E.H. * ZZZZ (1.0) (C) Commodore Zone. *
ROLE (Bel, Ger) Tron 2000 (2.1) (C) Out of Orderia. * FEBRUARY 2001 * ONSLAUGHT (Aust, Ger, Pol, UK) Deadly Racer (2.1) (C) Lost Brain Super Starforce Prv (0.4) (C) F.Line ROLE (Bel, Ger) Who becomes a millionaire Prv (0.4)
* MARCH 2001 * ROLE (Bel, Ger) Defuzion 3 Prv (0.2) (C) TND Special notes: * ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Quite some things to discuss, so let's start with the easier matters first. AXELERATE re-released Atak Sapera which was released by Onslaught in 1999. Same with Wyscigi Prv, also released by Onslaught in 1999 under the title No Name Prv.
EXCESS will only get FIRST RELEASE points for the game Blood, as the Laxity fixed version contains no flickers in the note on ntsc (which contained a bug in the Excess version which was not in the original). This was a hard decision based on the fact that the Excess first release is counted in the old rules and the Laxity 101% version is counted in the new rules. METAL WARRIOR 3 - much happened with this game as with the other MW titles. Firstly, ONSLAUGHT did the real first release, providing their verson many days before anyone else (with a walk through note also). LAXITY followed this up with a 100% version. This had some ingame bugs fixed and some bugs
in the Onslaught version fixed. However, there is still the bug of the infinite energy trainer still not working in the "flying" part of the game. So the ONSLAUGHT version only gets one point for doing the first release, as something special, they are deducted one point for the ingame bugs not removed also. The Laxity version gets normal first release points. Next came the Metal Warrior 3 Keep It Version from LAXITY. The programmer of the game improved the game slightly by lowering the difficulty level and changing some of the graphics.
After this came the Final Version from Laxity. Again, more improvements from the programmer of the game. I decided to award LAXITY one point for something special in releasing these last two versions. Full points are not awarded, as the initial 100% version was given the full points. Lastly, the game ZZZZ from ONSLAUGHT is an old game. It has been "rehashed" by Jon Wells, with some minor ingame changess and an added intro sequence and docs file which were not in the original release of the game. So one point is awarded for releasing something special.
Official first release chart Pos: Group: Points: Releases: #1 Laxity 20.9 7 #2 Onslaught 6.8 6 #3 Excess 3.4 3 #4 ROLE 3.0 4 Between November 2000 and March 2001, there was 9 full games released and also 9 game previews. Easily the best titles would be: TURRICAN 3 PREVIEW, LAZYTECH PREVIEW and all the versions of METAL WARRIOR 3.
Once again I must thank my colleague ULTIMATE HACKER/ONSLAUGHT for checking the titles for bugs on his NTSC computer and TV. In this chapter, it is so hard to please everyone, but I hope you found the calculations accurate as possible. Be certain to also check the YEARLY LIST and the big one - the TEN YEAR LIST, also included in this edition! Regards, Jazzcat/Onslaught. Complaints or suggestions: jazzcat@c64.org
-> THE YEARLY LIST <- Performed by the only master of law Jazzcat/Onslaught It is that time again to publish a yearly list, accounting for ALL first releases in the year 2000. I will not ellaborate on the errors, bugs corrections and special notes, as these are opinionated in former issues in the normal List chapter. Special greetings to Ultimate Hacker of Onslaught and Destine who checked the games on a proper NTSC C64 for any bugs. The C64 is dead! Long live the C64!
AXELERATE (Ger, Pol, Nor) Points: 0 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Abrakadabra Prv (-1) (re-release) Atak Sapera (-5) (C) Smr (re-release) Cyborg Prv (0.5) Micro Fighter (-5) (C) AOD (re-release) Who Fried my Concorde Prv (0.1) Wyscigi Prv (-1) (C) Smr (re-release) Releases: 6 Comments A pity about the re-releases and also bad luck that group is now officially dead. Still a couple of real firsties here and I hope they continue in a new crew.
EXCESS (Ger) Points: 6.6 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Blood Prv (0.2) (C) Arts of Darkness Blood (2.3) (C) Arts of Darkness Ishido Prv (0.0) Micro Fighter Prv (0.5) (C) AOD Micro Fighter (0.0) (C) AOD Space Invaders 2000 (2.2) (C) DataLand Turrican 3 Prv (0.9) (C) Smash Designs Venom Blazer Prv (0.5) Releases: 8 Comments I was very impressed with their release of Turrican 3 Preview, the official one, I hope Excess can follow it up with the full game soon.
F4CG (Bel, Swe, Ita) Points: 3.5 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Metal Warrior (3.5) (C) Electric Harem Releases: 1 Comments The only first release by them all year. I did remember getting some news that Ze Smasher is in charge of the group and that they would do a new batch of first releases soon. This nice game Metal Warrior is the first in the quality game series by Cadaver, and was released in coop with Wow&Role.
FORTRESS (Ger) Points: 0.0 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Trainer Prv (0.0) (C) Secret Lab Prod. Releases: 1 Comments Mr.Mister is back, the guy who loves writing about the underaged provided a one sided game preview that was in the German language only.
KEMPELEN (Hun) Points: 0.4 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Ishido Prv (0.4) Releases: 1 Comments The debut release for the group. Hopefully we will see more from Lion soon.
LAXITY (Ger) Points: 38.8 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Aake 3 (0.0) (C) Low Bit Software Abrakadabra Prv (0.8) (C) ElectricSheep Bloo's Magic Trip (2.4) (C) Gareth Taft Escape from New York (2.2) (C) Cadaver Metal Warrior (0.0) (C) Electric Harem Metal Warrior 2 (3.7) (C) Electric Harem Revenge Prv (0.3) Q-Billion (0.0) (C) Cyber Systems Pum Prv (0.2) 2pac Prv (0.2) (C) Pure Productions Acid (-5) (C) Sanity (re-release) Freespace 2075 (3.1) (C) Mirage Designs Gravity 101% (2.1) (C) Mirage Designs Heavy Metal Solid Prv (0.2) (C) TND Indiana Jones & The Golden Head (2.4) Little Batty (2.1) Magyk (2.1) (C) Mirage Designs
Missle Busters (2.1) (C) TND Missle Busters 2 (2.2) (C) TND Moon Madness (2.1) (C) Mirage Designs Quadron (4.2) (C) Protovision Slither (4.1) (C) Morten Jenson Target X (3.1) (C) Mirage Designs Thunder Arena (2.0) (C) TND Titanic (2.2) (C) Backward Engineering Releases: 25 Comments A massive effort from the guys in Laxity! They were a driving force in the year 2000, mainly thanks to the efforts of Didi, Goat and The Dekadence.
ONSLAUGHT (Aust,Ger,Pol) Points: 37.4 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Acid (4.2) (C) Sanity Action Biker '99 (1.0) (C) Masteronic All Terrain Gardner (3.7) (C) Ubik Bolo ii Prv V2 (0.4) (C) Go64 Classic Bat'n'Ball Tennis (2.1) (C) JWells Defuzion (2.1) (C) TND Defuzion 2 (2.2) (C) TND Escape (3.5) (C) Twisted Rainbow Labs Fluff (2.1) (C) Mirage Designs Gravity (2.1) (C) TND Hysterix (2.1) (C) Mirage Designs It's Magic 2 Prv (0.9) (C) Protovision Ouch (2.2) (C) Binary Zone PD Pac It Prv (0.7) (C) Protovision Prizone Prv (0.7) (C) Byterapers Space Invaders 2000+e (10) Target X 2 (2.1) (C) Mirage Designs
Lazy Tech Prv (0.9) Metal Warrior 3 Prv V2 (0.9) (C) EH Micro Fighter (2.5) (C) Arts of Darkness Releases: 20 Comments They supplied probably the nicest games of the year and were very active. Together with Laxity they were hard competitors.
ROLE (Bel, Ger) Points: 3.8 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Metal Warrior (3.5) (C) Electric Harem Quattro Prv (0.3) (C) Spiders-Crew Releases: 2 Comments The Raiders Of the Lost Empire chipped into the new games scene with two releases. Their cooperation with Wow has now divorced, hope to see some more from them.
TRIAD (Swe) Points: 3.4 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Aake 3 - Sales Version (2.4) (C) Low Bit Metal Warrior 3 Prv (0.9) (C) EH Razor Prv (0.1) (C) Silverfox Releases: 3 Comments The famous old Triad are still putting out some nice things here and there. I am certain more is coming, will just have to annoy Taper a bit on irc 😊
WOW (Bel, Ger) Points: 3.5 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Metal Warrior (3.5) (C) Electric Harem Releases: 1 Comments Only one first release this year for them. They have a great cracker in their crew, in the form of Sorex, hopefully some worthy games arrive his way soon and that he has the time to do them.
The 2000 first release chart Pos: Group: Points: Releases: #1 LAXITY 38.8 25 #2 ONSLAUGHT 37.4 20 #3 EXCESS 6.6 8 #4 Role 3.8 2 #5 F4cg 3.5 1 Wow 3.5 1 #6 Triad 3.4 3 #7 Kempelen 0.4 1 Full games released in 2000 - 35 Game previews released in 2000 - 22
On a positive note, there were easily more new games and game previews released on the C64 in the last year than in 1999. Take time and also check the 10 Year List - an excellent resource for games released between 1991 to 2000 and also a great step into history on this machine. Let the good times roll. ^ Jazzcat/Onslaught ^
May You Pirate In Interesting Times: ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ A peek into the North American C64 Scene (circa 1983-1990), and other rambings... by The Shark of International Network of Chaos (INC) March 6, 2001 The old North American scene... Visions of rushed releases, endless wars, and multiple intros per release all come to mind for many people part of the newer scene.
Still, despite these negative labels, the old scene was the most fascinating era on the C64 due to the mass wave of releases, the large number of users, and the technical advantages occurring weekely. During this incredible time, the scene could be divided into two primary regions -- Europe and North America. Today, I'll be giving you a peek into the old North American scene... where, through the ubiquitous modems, warez moved fast and furious.
First, let's look at the birth of a pirate in the America. After all, to understand the scene, you have to know the players. It's well known that the C64 was marketed as the first affordable family computer of its time. With the primary market being middle to mid-lower class citizens, the average family could afford the 1-2 software titles per month at $30-$40 per title. For your average game, this was a hard price to swallow since arcade games were still $0.25 a credit. Next, factor in that many of the C64 users were 10-18 years old -- not exactly your most responsible age group. When a kid saves up his allowance to buy a game only to find out that he just
bought a stinker, certainly there is going to be some resentment aimed at the gaming industry. Finally, and most importantly, the temptation of hundreds of free software games is too strong to resist even for a preacher's son. This is where the rationalization comes in. You think to yourself, "What harm is it to pirate this game that I couldn't afford to begin with?" You think some more... you convince yourself that it's not as if you are taking money from the programmers because you never were going to buy the game to begin with. Nothing physical is being taken. In fact, you tell yourself, you are simply duplicating software, a harmless crime. And so you cross the line guilt
free with a smile on your face as if you had just beaten an unjust, greedy system. But who is kidding from whom here? With the potential for all those free games, there really is no rationalization going on in a teenager's head. Not all pirates start this way -- some are just as greedy as the software industry or have little morals to begin with. But I think the above describes how many pirates start off - pissed at the gaming industry and unable to resist all the free games. This entry-level pirate, as you will later read, can often mutate into a hardcore scener.
When you become a pirate, certainly you'll need others to trade with. In the young 80s, many American C64 users would trade software at school, through friends, or at local C64 user groups. It seemed that nearly everone who owned a C64 pirated at some level, and those who didn't could be detected by their personality or simply by their lack of knowledge about the pirating world. You simply didn't bring up the subject around such people, although the authorities back then really cared less. The primary targets were the mass spreaders of software or the people profiting on the sale of pirated software. And the focus was usually on the more expensive software found on other computer systems such as
IBM-PCs. Nonetheless, you seldom would volunteer your pirate status to non- pirates back then just to be safe. Much of the software at this time was "cracked" through Mike J. Henry's "Fast Hack'em", a commercial program that would remove software protection for most of the major titles. Due to this automated cracking, the cracker in this case didn't really feel like he achieved a major accomplishment. Thus, much of the early software passed around had no mention of the party responsible for the initial violation. Occasionally, though, you would see text on the title screen of a cracked
game stating something like, "The Bandit was here" or "Cracked by Mr. Disk". As a young pirate you would wonder who these mysterious people were but at the same time marvel at their defiant abilities. Over time, informal trading networks were formed. Sometimes trading was done through the mail, although this was less common in North America compared to Europe. Usually your mail-trade partners were a cousin or a good friend because you needed to ensure that you would get something in return (after all, those disks were expensive for kids back then).
If you had an out-of-state trade partner, you were likely considered "the man" among your locals sinc you'd often receive different games than what everyone else had already passed around. This kind of power (i.e., controlling the warez) can get to a kid's head so, like in any society, the scene formed hierarchical levels. The more games you had as well as how quickly you obtained them decided your status. And note, pirates aren't exactly full-fledged Robin Hoods -- they can be very generous, but they often do expect something in return for "their" software. If you had no warez to offer in return, eventually your contacts would cut you off until you offered something new.
Cutting off a contact was almost fun. They'd call asking if you had any new warez. You'd say, "nope" or you simply wouldn't return the call. Those who couldn't get new warez eventually got the hint. It was at this time that you were likely labeled a 'lamer' by your former contact. The label, though, didn't apply to everyone who lacked the latest warez. People who could show skill on the C64, such as programmers and artists, were seldom given the lamer label, even when their warez collection was small/old. In addition, you could be a lamer to the people above you while being a key contact to people below you. So there was a place for everyone, and most of
everyone was at least partially pleased since the warez eventually flowed downward. Near the mid-80s, the scene underwent a monumental change. An incredible device for the C64 was now affordable -- the modem. Believe it or not, at one time people on the C64 actually used 300-baud modems. Even for its time, this modem was considered slow by most, but it was bearable since now you could get software from someone in 45 minutes away without leaving your chair. Although the modem was so slow that you could probably drive over and copy the game faster than the modem could transfer it, a 45-minute drive for a
teenager was a tough feat if you had no car or even a driving license. But the modem wasn't just about getting games. The modem became the lifeline of the scener for tools, games, information, entertainment, meeting new people, etc. And note, most American cities had umlimited local phone calls for a flat fee, so sitting on your modem all day was not an monetary issue like in Europe. With the popularity of the modem booming, a new problem presented itself. Unless games were properly cracked, people were unable to send them over the modem. Fast Hack'em cracks often
were only suitable for full-disk copying since part of the software protection involved hiding the files on the disk. Since a full disk copy would copy even hidden files, it didn't matter if the files were hidden or not. With modems, though, the software back then could only transfer files (visible files, that is). This meant that people had to get these games to a state that we called "fully cracked" (to distinguish it from a Fast Hack'em crack). (Note, eventually zipping tools were released that allowed the transferring of the semi-cracked games.)
With a cracker putting in so much effort to fully crack a game, naturally enough he would want to place his alias somewhere on the crack. But by now, with so many people trading software with each other (mostly with friends), the idea of working alone was on its way out. And thus the pirating group was formed. The first pirating groups consisted of all local members who were friends before the group formed. They'd create a group name often boldly stating what they did and where they were from (e.g., the "Philadelphia Cracking Group" or "East Side Crackers").
With the modem allowing games to be spread quicker, groups discovered that their cracks were getting spread statewide or even to neighbouring states. With such exposure, a simple little text message in the title screen of the game was no longer sufficient. Something much more grandiose would be needed! And so the intro was created. Simple compared to today's standards -- often a static picture perhaps with the group's logo and all the member names listed. Back then, though, this was jaw dropping since here now was a group of pirates who had joined forces. More strikingly however were their
brash attitudes expressed by their "look at us" intro. It was as if they were standing on a hill top shouting, "Everyone! We did this and we dare you to stop us!" Near the same time as this modem and cracking revolution was beginning, the Bulletin Board System (BBS) world was growing rapidly. Rather than trying to coordinate a time with your contacts for transferring files, there were now dedicated systems out there where you could upload/download software as well as post messages to all or even individual users. This hugely increased the availability of software further speeding up the distribution.
Looking back, what I now find so fascinating about BBSes was that they only had a single phone line. Thus, they had the capacity for only one user at a time. (Note, there were some BBSes that handled multiple users but those were extremely rare.) With people now a little closer to each other on the BBSes, something interesting began to form -- competition. In order for a group's intro to be seen, that group would have to have their warez on the BBSes. But now with multiple groups all trying to use the same distribution method, only the fastest would survive. And it wasn't just a matter of who could crack the
fastest. You had to buy the game quick as well, or at least hope that the shipments to the store were quick. Since the production locations for the software houses were scattered through out America, one region could get the game quicker than another. To make competition even more interesting, another big scene development was also occurring about the same time. Phone calling cards were becoming very popular with the American consumer since it allowed you to take your long distance service along with you. The security codes for these calling cards were initially pathetic. A five digit code would be given to each paying customer. This code wasn't
appended to the user's phone number; it was a stand-alone code. Thus, if a company had 5,000 customers you had a one in twenty chance of finding a valid code! Perhaps these companies figured that not many people would manually try to hack their code pool. They were right in that regard. Sceners simply would use hacking software and let their modems do the work while they slept. You would awake with anywhere from 5-10 new codes a night that would last you a good three months. With little tracing going on back then, hacking these numbers was extremely safe. Note, some pirates, especially in
Canada, could Blue Box. This involved generating a tone of a certain frequency into your phone receiever causing you to get someone else's dial tone. I think the process involved calling most any 800 number and then blowing the tone. From their, you'd get their dial tone. But I should say that it was rare to meet a Blue Boxer on the C64 scene since the phone companies were pretty much preventing it from working by the mid-80s. With calling cards, or codez, now readily available, sceners began phreaking (calling for free illegally). Very repidly the idea of competing locally now turned into competing
regionally (i.e., South West) and then eventually from coast to coast. Initial competition wasn't too intense, and for the most part it was friendly. There was plenty of warez for everyone and no one really took the competition too seriously. The idea of trading software long distance was still new to many so it took a while for efficient spreading of the software to become common place. But software was certainly moving faster than ever, and with games being released by the truckload, there were times where you didn't have enough time or blank disks to download everything.
Similar to the local pirating communities the BBSes also had a class system based on how quickly one obtained warez. The best BBSes soon advertised that they received warez "0 dayz old". Lower on the totem pole would be 0-3 dayz, 0-5 dayz, and then after that people usually didn't mention how old their warez were. (In case you haven't noticed, pirates love z's.) The real lame BBSes that catered to mostly local callers would often front as a public domain BBS. Only if the BBS operator (SYSOP) knew you were part of the scene would they give you access to the pirating section of the BBS.
Elite BBSes on the other hand were private and usually required you to have references to gain access. Another sign of eliteness on BBSes were the type of download credit systems pirates were placed on. A credit system was needed in order to prevent leeching (the art of obtaining pirated software and return very little in trade). Many BBSes gave users two blocks of download credits for every one block uploaded. This policy varied from board to board. Mega-elite pirates, those who were members of the top pirating groups, usually received unlimited credits since they often uploaded all their new releases. Plus, sysops loved to boast
about their user lists so they would offer unlimited "creditz" to the most famous pirates. Shortly after the mid-80s the BBS scene really started to roll when 1200 baud modems became affordable. I can't begin to tell you how pleasant it was to quadruple your transfer speed. By now, warez spreading was very organized with groups utilizing designated software runners (simply called 'spreaders') whose sole purpose was to spread warez to as many BBSes as possible. Spreaders were needed in order for groups to rightfully claim that they were the first to release a particular warez title.
Groups now counted their victories by how many 'first-releases' they had and how popular the cracked titles were. Releasing highly anticipated games such as Maniac Mansion, Defender of the Crown, Beach Head II, Winter Games, etc., were seen as massive victories to pirating groups. With the scene quickly maturing, not only was the competition more intense and organized, but now pirating was becoming more about group promotion rather than people trying to get new warez. Group intros evolved into elaborate displays containing animated sprites, multi-colored scrolling text, music, and quality artwork.
Being the #1 group on the scene was now the driving goal. In fact, some sceners weren't even playing the games they were releasing. And some sceners would download games released by other groups with the primary purpose of viewing the intro. This weird culture was now made up of what I refer to as "hardcore scener" - a mutation of a normal pirate. When a scener no longer plays the games he pirates, something is seriously wrong. (Well, it seemed strange to me!) Considering that hardcore sceners were often immature by default, it was
only a matter of time before this organized competition led to wars. Scene wars were usually started by some small act, such as one group member changing group, and would sometimes esalate into large-scale wars involving groups not even part of the original dispute. Wars often included the following annoyances done to the enemy: Spread their phone numbers, crank calling at later hours, having phone lines disconnected, ordering items to their house, and nearly anything irritating in your bag of tricks. These wars always spilled onto the BBSes providing some of the most
humorous ragging of the times. Undoubtedly these wars were very childish, but they did add a little spice to the scene. The group that would release more warez once the war started was considered the victor since actions spoke louder than words on the scene. Plus, the more you released, the bigger fan base you had backing you up helping to declare you the winner. These victories helped strengthen your group's reputation, and reputation on the scene was very important. Reputation was short lived, however. The scene has always had the mentality of "what have you done lately?"
Although winning wars helped a group's reputation, the best way to gain respect, as mentioned earlier, was to release many high profile titles. The most prolific C64 American cracking groups to do this were the following: Eagle Soft Inc. (ESI), Untouchable Cracking Force (UCF), North East Crackers (NEC), A Touch of Class (ATC), and No Frills International (NFI). Without a doubt, ESI was the most dominating and most remembered. Not only did they release some of the hottest games during the C64's golden era, they also had a massive arrogant, elitist attitude further escalating their
reputation. Think in terms of how the top 1% of the wealthiest people behave in society and you'll get the idea of their attitudes. For example, only friends of ESI could be on their BBSes (being elite wasn't enough), and only a select few were 'privileged' to speak to their cracker, Mitch. (Such a boring alias for someone so famous. Actually, Mitch was his real first name.) In essence, Mitch was ESI, and the other members were just riding his coattails. ESI's fame didn't happen overnight, however. It happened over a series of years as they became more and more dominating eventually controlling around 90% of the American cracks.
ESI's monopoly had to be preserved at all costs. Any groups competing with them were usually targeted for no reason other than being a threat to their dominance. The only group to ever give them a run for their money was UCF, and eventually UCF fell like the others in the most famous war in C64 history. It was a battle of the two biggest groups on the scene with nearly every other group forced to take one side or the other. ESI, unlike many other groups of the time, contained many adults - men among boys, if you will, who were able to outwit or intimidate their teenage opponents. It all ended in 1987 when JJ the Breaker, UCF's cracker,
graduated from high school and headed to the Navy. With no competition in site, ESI's reign eventually ended when Mitch decided to leave the C64 at the end of 1988. The other groups mentioned before all had their brief moments of fame, especially NEC. But since NEC's domination existed in the early 90s, a time of few releases and a shrinking C64 scene, their fame could never be compared to ESI. ---- End of part one ---- Continued in the next chapter
---- Part II ---- Thus far, the focus of this article has been on American cracking scene. However, the history of the American scene certainly would not be complete without also mentioning the European cracking scene. Although I do know quite a bit about the Euro scene from my time, I will only mention Europe from the perspective of the American importer. (It would be much more appropriate if Europeans wrote their own history for obvious reasons.)
Due to the C64 being released in America prior to Europe, America had a slight head start with creation of C64 software. The vast majority of the early major C64 titles, such as those from Epyx and Electronic Arts, were American. Most American sceners were completely unaware that Europe was making C64 software until about 1985. It was at this time the American scene began to see a few games from "unknown" software houses that would occasionally list their country of origin. But none of these games were being released on the store shelves - they were all cracks. Yet somehow they were being transferred over to America.
During this time recall that 300-baud modems were popular, and phreaking on the C64 scene was in its infancy. Although sending the games through the modems overseas would have been possible, modems like the ones used in American were not popular in Europe. Furthermore, many of the calling card companies during the mid-80s would not allow international calls. This meant that phreaking to Europe was extremely difficult unless one Blue Boxed, so people initially traded software the old fashion way - snail mail. At this time, European trade partners were found similar to how American trade partners were found. For the most part, these were close
friends or relatives who could be trusted (money for disks and overseas postage added up). And if you thought having an out-of-state trading partner at this time made you "the man", then having an overseas contact made you a god. The reason: you now had games that people couldn't even go to the stores and find. Interestingly enough, European games had a different flavour compared to most American games. American games were often more strategic and involved slower game play. European games conversely were often similar to arcade style games in that they required quick hand and eye coordination. This made European
games extremely popular among many of the American teenage sceners. With both continents demanding new warez from each side, more and more mail trading was established. By 1986, the European warez were now commonly found in many American sceners' collections. And the number of European warez was growing fast. It seemed that for every one American game released, Europe released five. Part of this was due to Europe releasing budget software, but the primary factor was the C64 was really taking off in Europe. Evidence of this could be seen in the technical advances found in much of Europe's software. And I might jealously add that Europe even had
dedicated C64 game magazines unlike in America. With so many European warez available, Americans were now commonly exposed to European crack intros. Just as with the games, Euro intros were of a different style compared to the American crack intros. Often Euro intros would display some nifty programming skills. American crack intros, on the other hand, were commonly made up of a hi-res intro with scrolling text. The two styles of intros massively differed in size since, ofcourse, hi-res takes up a lot of memory. Unlike in America, Europeans were very size conscious with their cracks since they
predominately traded warez through the mail (trying to use as few disks as possible). Again, most Europeans at this time didn't have modems, and even if they did, they still had to pay for local phone calls making the post a much cheaper option. Europeans also established organized trading networks just like in the America, but their networks were through the mail. And note that they were much bolder with their personal information compared to the Americans. They often would place their home address and phone numbers in their crack intros providing a convenient way to invite other trade partners.
This personal information would come in handy for American sceners when in late 1986 something very wonderful happened - telecommunication companies such as Sprint (with their sweet fiber-optic connections) and MCI began to handle international calls. These were the crown jewels of calling cards, and with international calls being a little more expensive, phone companies were finally wising up. The calling cards this time grew to about 7-9 digits in length presenting a little more of a challenge to hack. Instead of hacking 5-7 codes a night, you'd often only get 1-3 a night (three if you were luck!). The good news was that those codes often lasted 2-4 weeks at a time
depending on how much use (or abuse) they were getting. With codez becoming harder to obtain, it became a point where they were becoming more valuable than warez in terms of trade price. Now that American sceners had the ability to call overseas, of course the first people they called were the top cracking groups who listed their phone numbers in their crack intros. The only problem was that the Europeans needed modems, and it had to be modems that used the same communication standards. But would the American modems work in European C64s as well as with European phone lines? The only way to tell would be to send a
modem to Europe and hope for the best. And this is exactly what some people did. It was rough going at first since there was often a small delay between the calling parties. Any delays over 0.5 seconds often made the transfer near impossible. Furthermore, international calls back then were often full of random problems such as static, echoes, tones and cross line problems. C64 modems were already very sensitive to begin with (no error correction and such). For example, a family member nosily picking up the phone while you were on the modem often caused a
disconnection. You can see now why I called Sprint cards "sweet". I don't know who was the first to make a successful connection to Europe, but I do know that Fucked Beyond Repair (FBR) followed by The Survivors (TS were some of the most famous early importing groups. That's right, there were groups whose sole purpose was to import software from Europe. After all, not everyone could crack. Cracking was a very difficult task that only C64 programmers could handle. Most sceners were game players - not programmers. In addition, there was hardly enough American games to go around to support the existing cracking
groups. Thus, other sceners hungry for fame found a new niche for themselves. This was true even during the mail trading days with Europe. In fact, importing groups eventually decided to add their intro on top of the European crack intro in order to achieve recognition for their efforts. (This resulted in two intros per imported game. Fun, eh? But getting those codes and putting up was the hassle of overseas transfers was worth at least a pat on the back, right? Hehe) It's interesting to note that the idea of a group performing both importing and cracking wasn't a popular idea until the late 80s. American crack groups felt that cracking was so much more glamorous
than importing that to import would be like taking a step down. Despite this view of importing groups, both importing and cracking groups co-existed on very good terms. Anyway, modem trading with Europe suddenly shaved 10-15 days off the amount of time it took to get warez across the Atlantic. And one multiple Europeans had modems, America acted as a bridge back into Europe helping to spread the Europeans' cracks around Europe faster. Naturally, the European cracking groups who had modems were at an extreme advanatage when it came to winning the warez races in Europe. But note, in Europe, althought it was important to be quick, it was also very important to produce a quality crack.
A quality crack in Europe meant having mega-trainers, being as small as possible, and including amenities such as the title loading picture. Such cracks were common prior to the modem days since the cracker could have all night before the mail ran the next day. Conversely, in America, being the first with the working game was primary goal. Since Americans used modems with free calls, size meany very little. Time was of the essence. Just a different of an hour between two crackers could be enough for one cracking group to claim the "first- release" victory since the spreading network was so quick. European groups with modems eventually succumbed to the American way in order to win the
race. Except for the freeze-cracks (the lamer way of cracking), most of these fast European cracks were still cracked with pride. Freeze-cracks, done with the aid of a cartridge, were hugely frowned upon since they were often very large and somewhat buggy. With the European-to-America communication hurdle now solved (well, at least tolerable), there now would be a smooth flow of warez going back and forth causing an integration of the two scenes. However, there were new problems on the horizon. The prime issue was a compatibility problem causing headaches for many importers. Software relying on minor
hardware differences between European and American C64s was causing some new European games to be unplayable on American machines. The root of this issue was caused by dimensional differences between European (PAL) and American (NTSC) TVs, which is understandable since they probably never envisioned the two continents sharing much software. Of course, any European program using this part of the screen would get that part chopped off on NTSC TVs. Another problem dealt with European games utilizing timing techniques based on the larger screen. The larger screen gave them more time per raster update to do various calculations or image movements compared to American
systems. Advanced video games often require precise timing, so even minor delays caused lock-ups or garbled graphics. Lucky for Europe, it was rare that an American game wouldn't work on their European systems (unless the game had some interesting disk loader). The PAL-NTSC problem was seldom an issue prior to 1987 since most games didn't really push the C64's technology. But by this time Europe was beginning to push the C64 abilities into new realms beyond what the original creators of the machine envisioned. As more and more games failed to work on the American systems, American programmers finally decided to come up with ways to fix the problem.
Sadly, it is unknown who was the first to NTSC fix some of these games. What I can tell you is that scene legend Mitch/ESI fixed a few of the earlier games (and he seldom took credit for it!). There was also a programmer by the name Blackhawk from Rowdy American Distributors (RAD), a popular importing group, who gained some fame as an NTSC fixer in 1987. By 1988, it seemed that around 25% of the warez from Europe needed an NTSC fix. Importing groups who didn't have a sharp programmer who knew how to fix were soon surpassed in the standings. Plus, since the best games often used the best technology, groups with NTSC
fixers were able to release some top- notch warez. Two groups who thrived at this during this time were Exodus and my own group, INC. Among Exodus' ranks was perhaps the greatest NTSC fixer of all time, Stormbringer. Keep in mind that fixing was a difficult art, to say the least, left to the more advanced programmers. And the knowledge of how to fix wasn't exactly passed around much due to the competition. NTSC fixing wasn't the only pain for importers. Also in 1988, phone companies once again were improving their counter measures against hackers. International calling cards
were now starting to be based off people's home phone numbers. With a four-digit pin appended to an American phone number, calling cards were now 14 digits long, a length improbably to randomly hack with a C64 modem. In addition, phone companies were now using 800 toll-free numbers instead of local 950 numbers as the access point for the long distance call. Since your phone number would be logged whenever calling an 800 number, one would significantly increase the odds of being caught if they phreaked or hacked through the toll-free number. Unliked with small-scale pirating, phreaking was something that the authorities actively pursued. The reason is that the phone companies
had significantly more revenue than the gaming industry giving them much more influence in America. Plus, they often could trace calls of the offender giving them at least some evidence to work with. The game industry couldn't really track pirates in a similar manner. With overseas calling becoming increasingly difficult and risky, a new strategy had to be developed. One idea was to have all Europeans call to America since these international calling cards could be used from Europe with little threat of being caught. I don't hae the technical details as to why this was so, but I can imagine that it had to do with the phone infrastructures not being nicely compatible in addition to European
phone systems using older technology compared to America. This option meant that the flow of warez could continue if somehow the calling cards could be obtained. Ofcourse, where there is a will, there is a way. Enter social engineering. You wouldn't believe how easy it was to call an unsuspecting phone customer and get their calling card directly from them. With a bit of confidence in your tone, and the claim of being from "AT&T Security", people would often read their card to you with little hesitation once you explained to them "the situation".
And so the warez continued to flow from our brothers in Europe, but now they called us instead of the other way around. They also started to call the American BBSes, and to my humor, soon these European groups were setting up their distribution headquarters on American BBSes just like Americans had done in the years past. The concept of importing was no longer what it used to be due to Europeans now being in direct contact with the American masses. Nonetheless, importing groups survived since they were the ones who supplied the Europeans with their lifelines - the calling cards. So trading European warez from for American calling cards
was the new deal, and Europeans would simply snag all the warez they needed from the boards instead of their American trade partner sending them over. Although the European C64 scene was just starting to embrace phreaking, by 1989, American sceners' own lifelines were beginning to dry up. Obtaining the basic non-international calling cards was even becoming a feat since phone companies continued to advance the technology making it very difficult to hack codez. Sceners were now having to rely on hackers for help here. Don't confuse pirates with hackers, by the way. Just because pirates could
use their modems to hack calling cards didn't make them hackers. Hackers were an interesting but secluded breed who didn't really care for pirates since they thought of pirates as juveniles (who bugged them for codes all too often). Despite this, hackers would tolerate pirates in order to grab some warez from them now and then. Even hackers enjoyed an occasional game. Plus sceners often tried to befriend a few hackers since they were always good to have on your side during wars. Just have a big name hacker on your side was enough to scare other groups from even considering warring with your group.
Codez weren't the only item beginning to dry up in 1989. The amount of American games released was starting to dwindle. This was understandable since an upgradable computer like modern PCs. Thus, here was 1982 technology competing with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and the Commodore Amiga. The NES had already started to slowly chip away many of the C64 freaks since 1985. By 1988, the nes had 65 titles, which was miniscule compared to the thousands on the C64, but the NES was using newer technology and drew in some big game companies. And for the Commodore enthusiasts, many began to head to the Amiga, especially with the
Amiga 500 being an exonomical option. Even in Europe, the number of C64 releases was started to slow a little (but not as bad as in America). And with the 16-bit Sega Genesis arriving plus the growing popularity of the IBM- compatible PCs, the writing was on the wall - the C64 was headed on its way out. Despite the slowdown, there was still enough warez being released to support an active scene - at least for another year. What's interesting though is that some importing groups attempting to enter the cracking market as well as some cracking groups trying to enter the importing market - in essence, groups were becoming "super groups".
This wasn't particularly amazing, but it showed that the rules were changing in the American scene where tradition had previously been hard to break. Another example of changing times was seen when American crackers began to train and crunch their games. It was a case of the European scene influence now rubbing off on America. By 1990, the scene was really starting to hury. Commercial C64 releasings in America was now ridiculously low, and Europe was hit hard too but at least they had some good activity around summer and the Christmas season. At this time, I think there were only 2-3 American cracking groups left, and these groups were usually much smaller
than the cracking groups from the 80s. As for importing groups, there were probably around 5-7 serious groups. Phreaking was now primarily done on risky 800 numbers of smaller phone companies since 950 numbers were pretty much gone. Times were changing. It would be safe to say that any American scener hanging out on the C64 at this time was more of a casual scener. This differs from the hardcore scener found in the eighties in that the casual scener spent much less time with scene activities. The idea of competition still existed, but just on a smaller scale. The scene now began to undergo a metamorphose
adopting a new philosophy. Instead of catering to warez races, the new scene was leaning more towards a playground for hobbiest who enjoys pushing our dear machine further. More precise details about the scene from 1991 to the present will have to be presented by someone else since I've now run my course. Now for some final thoughts on piracy and the C64 scene. I am not an advocate of piracy, but I think that there is a reason for it. Primarily, people feel as if they are being overcharged, and all indicators say that they are. The software industry is one of the most profitable industries in the world,
yet they act as if piracy is going to put them out of business. Well, you can believe them or you can believe the revunue statements. And I'd like to note that the estimates they give for loss of revunues due to piracy is grossly inflated. Their esitimates are based on how many people they believe are pirating their software. As I mentioned earlier, there are people who pirate software who would never of bought the software to begin with, so that must be factored in. Firthermore, these companies have incentive to inflate the numbers in order to influence lawmakers to make stricter penalties for piracy. They argue that such strict policies would scare pirates out of piracy further increasing their profits to an
even more absurd level. And finally, blaming piracy always serves as a good excuse to have in their back pockets whenever companies fail to make their projected profits. I am not saying that because the software industry is profitable they should be exploited. What I am saying is that they are grossly profitable and therefore they set themselves up to pirates who attempt to defeat what they feel is an unjust system. This is no different from people phreaking to stick it to the phone companies for, again, absurd profits and monopolistic practices. If your phone company undercharges you, do you call them up and let them know of their error? Unlikely.
However, if a restaurant undercharges you, do you let them know of their error? Well, depends on the service and the food you received, but most likely you will. The difference is that one may not be trying to stick it to you. It doesn't matter the industry - as long as there are people who feel as if they are getting raped, they will attempt to counter one way or the other. This is basic human nature. Now, to address the myth that the C64 and Amiga were the most pirated computers of all time. Nah, the IBM PC wins that hands down, and look how well its doing. And how about the myth that piracy killed the C64/Amiga? This is likely started by Commodore or failed software companies on
Commodore machines in order to blame others for their own business miscues. Piracy didn't kill the C64. Obsolete technology killed the C64 market. Period. It was 1982 technology trying to survive in 1989. Everyone knows computers have a short life span, especially static computers. Let's not forget that many C64 companies made millions of dollars with C64 software and spawned into major software gaming companies that exist to this date. Companies that didn't survive were likely their own worst enemies. Epyx comes to mind with their reckless business plans in the late 80s. As for the Amiga, it is well documented
that Commodore failed to market and support the machine correctly. One reason why PCs did so well is because they culd do business applications nicely. So could the Amiga, but Commodore never though about pumping money into business software. Software sells hardware, not the other way around. So there you have it. Piracy and the C64 Happy times. The C64 was a great machine surrounded by a fascinating but strange sub-world that we called "the scene". This scene was at the dawn of piracy and during a time a key technical breakthroughs.
Although there will always be pirating scenes, they'll likely never again be one quite like the one on the ol' Commodore 64. The Shark/INC.
The Ram Files with Derbyshire Ram/Remember First I would like to put right a statement I made in the last issue of 'Domination'. It was pointed out to me quite rightly by CBA/TRC, where I paid tribute to some of the best crackers, in my opinion whose cracks I had had the pleasure to see, here I stated that 'Nightshade/SCS&TRC' was one of them in fact Nightshade was never a cracker but a 100% devoted swapper, a big scene friend, I should have named either 'Burglar' or 'Moren' in effect. Put it down to my age or whatever, my
memory is nowhere near what it used to be. I never had any personal contact with Niels (CBA), but I did see plenty of good stuff coming from his direction also, and I suppose this is just another instance where you lose track of older sceners, there were so many, both famous and infamous. Here Niels made another interesting point also, he quit the 64 scene just two years ago, mainly I assume because of the lack of games to crack, the point he made was that way back in 1992/3 most of the old hardened sceners thought we who continued to crack were totally mad as the scene itself was as good as dead. I have to argue on that point as some good games have appeared early to mid
90's, it is just sad that the past 3/4 years have produced little or nothing worthwhile. Recently I was sorting out some older disks for formatting, disks I had not looked at for years, amongst these disks were quite a few 'imports' from the USA, I loaded a few up for starters and got a few smiles, it seems like the recent 64 'wars' we often still hear about were like 'handbags at six paces' compared with the wars the old US groups had, I get the impression groups like 'ESI', 'UCF', 'ATC' and many more were warring before most of us even got 64s, and these comments were only made in the intro texts of games, I would love to have seen some of the disk notes kicking around then, or even
heard the conversations. Warring on the 64 has always been a common thing it seems, though I personally kept my distance and just laughed in the main. I had both seen and heard of simple indifferences between cracking groups turning out really nasty, nasty to the point where guys were being seriously 'shopped' then consequently busted for their 64 activities, probably more so in the USA than Europe. Phreaking and similar activities in the US have seen guys ending up in prison, it was not uncommon to hear of guys being raided by the CIA and the FBI, not for cracking exactly, but other deviously related activities, mainly phone phreaking, hacking calling cards,
telephone exchanges, etc. 'Illusion's' last BBS in the states was 'ILC' (In Living Color), was raided, and the owner 'Grego' had nightmares for a year or more awaiting his fate, he ended up doing a load of community service for which he was thankful, after all these years he could well have been behind bars and probably would have been if it had not been for a small technicality like the FBI and CIA tripping each other up. In Europe it has mainly been a war of words where some indifference has occured, I guess most of the better known groups have had their share of warring in Europe, so many I forget them, but certainly 'Red Sector',
'Censor Design', 'Alpha Flight' and 'Genesis Project' had their indifferences, and odd guys did get busted as a result of some of these wars, but as ever there is always a bad apple stuck in somewhere for good measure. I make no apologies when I say that 'Crossfire', man of many disguises, but lately of 'Motiv 8' was the most notorious scener in Europe, even I crossed swords with him on several occasions as I can only assume did many other sceners. I got a good roasting from the German group 'Pandora' for cracking a game for 'Dominators' called 'Tonido', they went barmy as the game was their own coding and had not been sold or released, just
initially cracked by them, no prizes where I got the 'supposed' original from, yup, you got it in one, 'Crossfire' who naturally denised all knowledge of it being in existance. This also happened with a game, I believe it was called 'Sixteen' a puzzle game cracked initially by 'CBA' for 'SCS&TRC', in which CBA left his own private code, as did many crackers, yes the 'original' came from 'Crossfire'. The truth was that we were supposed to be swapping originals for mail-trading purposes. As Kim wanted English originals, and me being trusting simply got on with the cracking without even thinking about looking inside the program first. Call me stupid, but he changed his
handle and group name so many times over a short period I did not realise he was the old 'Exory of Holocaust', a guy I had seen slagged off so many times before in diskmags for re-cracking, something Kim has always denied and maybe still does. During his time in the short-lived group 'Epic', a member of the group 'Eddie' visited 'Grego' whilst 'Grego' was running the 'Illusion' BBS, whilst 'Grego' was at work this guy 'Eddie' took two of my cracks from the system which were awaiting fixing, a few days later both games appeared on the boards cracked by 'Crossfire', both games were coded by me in remote areas of memory but he still denied all knowledge of this, and probably still does.
It is my opinion that a guy like this brings down the reputation of 64 sceners in his own group, he should have just stayed in 'TBT' (The Bingo Team) and do what he did best, S.E.U.C.K. games, always assuming they were not ripped from 'Mayhem'!!. ----------- Well, what is the definition of 'cracking', I suppose you can liken that to 'how long is a piece of string', I guess it is only fair to say that every cracker will have his own opinion about this as I doubt any two crackers crack alike. In the old days for some reason most cracks had their own trademark, like a simple trainer menu would almost
always tell you who cracked the game, the classic case probably was 'Megasnail' of 'Nato', loads of people said his games did not work in 'cheat routine', or would not work at all. The truth was that Damien came from the North East of England where the word 'yes' was very rarely used, they said 'aye' instead, so on his cheat menu you pressed 'A' for yes, I hate to think how many people that fooled over the years. He did have a bad habit of using an early version of 'Cruel Cruncher' which was not compatible with 'Action Replay' cartridge, so everything either had to be slow loaded or re-set otherwise the program would hang up, cagey guy.
Not many UK disk based games had good protection, assuming you could obtain them, as I said in the last issue, tape based games were the norm here. With a disk you could frequently stack up files in the 'Action Replay' or 'Expert' cartridge's memory, theoretically save them out and away you go, but no provisions were made for doing this sort of thing from tape, at least not in later years, where the dreaded 'Cyberloaders' were a real pain in the backside, and a lot of those varied from game to game, then came the games which used up to three different loading systems, time to freeze the game out for me I admit as time never seemed to be on my side. I am sure too that most old crackers will tell you that on occasions, games
have code added to make the game work mainly on 'frozen' originals where code would be lost and never re-appeared even if the game was re-started. I have to admit one game that really bugged me was 'Dizzy down the Rapids' I had this game weeks before the 'I+T' version and saw quite a bit of re-written code, and me being a cracker of the modest, well crude sort with little or no coding experience could still not understand it, so there is one crack at least I can get no credit for!!. This is just one instance where freezing a game to crack it is of no use at all, had the memory jumped up to above $0400, then it was possible it could have been relocated, sadly, this
one just dissappeared into what we would now call cyberspace. I never looked at the first release 'Genesis' had with 'Sly Spy', well I never looked inside the game, but what surprised me was that all the levels were still frozen in the crack, but it still got top marks for a first release, and I did not see another version of this game so I cannot comment, a bit surprising for 'Genesis' I admit, maybe someone out there has the answer. I could be wrong, but I seem to remember this crack being credited to 'Snacky' which is even more surprising, was he not their 'Jewel' cracker?? I am still sure in my own mind that cracking is a personal thing, personal in
so far as cracks have their own trademark, it is seldom even to see crackers using the same relocation routines as most crackers use what suits them best, if you get the time and are cracking for fun you can make a good job of almost any crack, if you are cracking, or were cracking to get a first release then anything goes, 5 minutes could have been the difference in getting points or not ten years ago, this is why I have always preferred mail trading, I found far better cracks this way than spending hours trying to log onto a BBS for an inferior crack. When I joined 'Avantgarde' I got an early release of 'Suburban Commando'. Unfortunately as usual it was a tape version, I saved out the files and sent
them via modem to 'Darklord', this was our first ever release, so he quickly +2 trained it and got it fixed and up to the boards, within the week we got a 'mail' version, +8 I think it was and much shorter, the proof of the pudding....!! I would like an honest opinion from the older 64 crackers about some of the cracks we have been seeing over the past 3/4 years, not the games, the quality of cracking, I would not be extremely surprised if there were not some extremely rude comments, but, I will not take anything away from anyone who attempts to crack even the poorest game, it shows there is still interest in the 64, and that is what counts.
Personally I felt hard done by in the 90's, again due to the bitchiness on the part of some idiotic 64 scener, not English, but certainly European. I had a good thing going with most remaining UK Software Houses, like I got priority on new games coming out. I knew a lot of 'insiders' from 'Zeppelin', 'Codemasters', 'Thalamus', 'Alternative' etc., but they did not know me as a cracker, just some mad guy hell bent on getting new games via mail, (I pleased that no shops in my area sold 64 games any longer), I was on first name terms with at least seven people inside Software Houses and was onto a good thing. Then, some idiot called all the Software Houses one fine day and shopped me, claiming to be some executive from a
ficticious Software House in Scandinavia whom I had been ripping off. I have no cast iron proof to this day who did this, but boy, do I have my suspicians!! It was not all gloom but far from convenient as I had to use my daughter's address and name to get the games, but far far slower. I ask you, how can you be an uncontrolled, devious and underhand rogue when you are my age...........easy!! Derbyshire Ram
Corruption Stuff Corrupted? ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ by Jack Daniels/F4cg It's been years since the last issue of Corruption was released. After issue number 14 and an extra edition of one of the most famous mags around the end had come. Even though rumours were spread that there should come a gold edition, like from some other magazines, issue 14 was the final one. This was what happened to the magazine itself, but did you know what happened to the three editors afterwards? This little article shall give you an idea what happened to 3DK
and Deff after they left the scene and why they quit. As I am not very active in the scene either, so I will also give you some facts about my activities also. Let's start with 3DK who was my companion from the very beginning of Corruption. He left the C64 scene at the time when we both were still in Dominators. That must have been after issue eleven if I am right. That was the time when Deff (at this moment still in Enigma) joined our magazine crew. 3DK quit the C64 for real and sold all his equipment except his Amiga 500. He joined the Dominators Amiga section and stayed there for a while, plans to
establish a Corruption magazine for the Amiga failed. Not too much later he also sold his Amiga and got some DJ equipment instead. At this stage he had no computer at home at all. Back in 1996 he made his final exams and graduated from school. After doing civil services he started an accomplishment as a System programmer for Germany's biggest incentive and incoming agency Kogag. For now he has 2 years more to go. Can you imagine that I met him after a real long time by coincidence in his school where I had a course for travel agents? Besides he works since he left the computing scene as a (Techno) DJ and
is quite known in clubs and parties in and around our hometown. He mixes under the handle of 3DK as well. Deff and me left the scene at the same time. After issue 14 we both decided to quit Dominators and the scene for good. We both had some important exams in the near future and both of our girl- friends couldn't stand these long Corruption and BBS nights any more. But as you all know, Deff and me returned a little later with our project Avantgarde which was quite successful when I remember that right... (But nevertheless we simply didn't feel to start Corruption again). After the death of AVT, Deff and me joined our friends
in F4CG. It was obvious that Deff couldn't spend that much time in the scene any more, as he had just moved to Berlin and started working for Bertelsmann Ariola, Germany's and probably as well Europe's biggest record company. He started as a trainee for one year, but after this (quite successful) year he got the opportunity to work as a talent scout and took the chance. This was the time when he quit the scene for good. He now lives together wth his girlfriend and her child in Berlin and still works very busy for BMG. Bands like H-Blockx, Spectacular and the return of Modern Talking are his projects.
Now for the easiest part of this article, what happened to me? I am pretty sure that you know that I was one of the founders of Avantgarde and joined F4CG after it's death, where I am still in. Honestly, I can't consider myself being real active in the scene but I try to stay in touch. Writing for some magazines is the closest relation I still have to the scene. In private I finished an accomplishment in a travel-agency this January and went to Australia afterwards. After my return to Germany, I started studying again. At this very moment I am a student of tourism related economics in
Wilhelmshaven at the German north- east coast. Besides that I still run a little travel agency with my brother and that's what we want to concentrate on when I finished my studies (in some years). So, dear readers, now you know what happened to the three musketeers who were responsible for the Corruption magazine. If you want to get in touch with one of us, feel free to contact me either by sending me an email or catch me on ICQ: Email - tobias@airborne-services.de ICQ - 86947390
I would also like to mention that the contents of this issue are rather unique so make certain to check all articles! Until next time, Jack Daniels of F4CG.
The Secret of Fast LZW Crunching ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ by Antitrack/Legend Section list: 1. Introduction 2. Normal Operation 3. A simple idea of improvement 4. Life is not so simple at all 5. A Tour de Memory 6. The source part 1 7. More sources 8. The source part 2 9. Summary and final analysis
Introduction Every Commodore 64 scener has most likely used these fiendish, evil, little utilities known as "crunchers". Whatever work of yours is about to finish - your demo or your crack - one of the last steps in completing your work will most likely be to compress it. And what a step it is! Many a cracker has spent a whole night waiting for the compression program to finish it's work. A 230 block program which is already packed with an equal-char-packer may well eat up seven hours of crunching. Thats not exactly overwhelming if you consider that people might want to
finish (and, hell, yes, PACK!) their demos at a party in time! Other, more clever folks, may have tried to convert their data to another computer, in order to find out that compression utilities on these devices tend to finish their work faster by dozens of times! Obviously, this cannot only be done by sheer faster computing power... the algorithms on other computers are supposed to be better! In this article, we will take an in-depth look at how an equal-sequence- cruncher works on the C64, and we will find the reason why it is so slow. We will find ways how to speed up things, and what means, hardware- or software-wise, are required in order to
accomplish that. At the end of the article, we will try to optimize all these means and will generally tend to juggle around with them in order to get fast compression with a reasonable amount of extra hardware (most noteably, memory). Surprisingly, we will also try to use other hardware to improve crunching! Normal Operation In order to improve anything, we better get a deep understanding what is going on already. So, what basically does a LZW (equal-sequence) cruncher do? The answer is, ofcourse, it scans for similar strings in a given file, and tries to eliminate them, so they appear
only once. Let me try to draw an example: An input file consists of the following bytes (all values in hexadecimal): ADDRESS BYTES $1000:::: $00 $01 $03 $03 $0a $0d $01 $03 $03 $0a $03 $03 $0a Yes, this string is packable very well. A LZW cruncher will detect all similar strings, and will only store the largest of the similar string in the output file. Any time the string should appear in the decompressed memory, the LZW cruncher will store some special codes instead of the string there. These special codes will tell the uncompressor where to look for the bytes, and how
many of them. In the example, the result might look like this: $00 $01 $03 $03 $0a $0d (<code for get "earlier mem"> <code for "4 bytes"> <code for offset>) (again code for "get earlier mem"><code for "3 bytes"> <code for offset>) (again code for "get earlier mem"><code for "3 bytes"> <code for offset>) The decruncher needs to know atleast 3 things: 1. shall it put these bytes into memory or shall it get a string from the memory earlier?
2. If I get a string, how many bytes is needed to copy, and 3. from what memory address? There are really a lot of methods to encode your information so that the decruncher will know -in an orderly manner- when to simply put data into memory, when to get a string from memory, and when to stop. For example, some compressors ALWAYS think they have to copy data from memory unless explicitly told otherwise! These compressors have "chunks" of data everywhere, which are superceded by a header information in front of each chunk of data, much like every disk sector on the disk has a header telling the disk drive where it is.
However, we are not interested in the format of the headers and bytes encoded. We are interested in why the encoding process is slow slow, notably on larger files, and what we can do about it. To understand this, let us return to the example set before: ADDRESS BYTES $1000:::: $00 $01 $03 $03 $0a $0d $01 $03 $03 $0a $03 $03 $0a What is the cruncher supposed to do? The cruncher has a pointer, say, $0002/$0003 (2 zeropage addresses) to our program at $1000. It looks in the whole memory from $1000 to $100c for a sequence. Here, it is reasonable to
assume any sequence consists of at least 2 bytes, so the cruncher will look in $1000 to $100c for the bytes "$00 $01". It will not find them, so it will simply output $00 $01 without any special notice. Next the cruncher will try to find the next 2 bytes, $01 $03 in the memory, and it will find them (at $1001, $1006) and proceed to crunch them. Crunchers operation will continue at $1005 (at the $0d byte), then at $1006 ($01 $03 again), then at $100b (another sequence). So basically, on the C64, the cruncher is stuck up in a DOUBLE LOOP. For each 2 byte sequence there is in the memory the program will scan the whole other
memory! This looks (and behaves) much like a basic loop in the following style: For i=1 to 50000 do for j=1 to 50000 do ....(crunching alhorithm) next j next i A double loop is, unfortunately, not a real fast or favourable way to handle stuff like this. What do we need to speed up all this? The answer is, after due consideration, we have, somehow to avoid the double loop. The first idea a programmer might have, is: "Hmmm. It would be something wonderful if we had some big, big arrays that contained all the memory
addresses of all sequences!" Any time the computer looks for a sequence, he would scan the array instead of the whole memory. How would such a code look like? A Simple Idea of Improvement We remember that the cruncher tends to look for a sequence that is atleast 2 bytes long. Well, then it would be cool to have some HEAVY extra memory and have all addresses of all 2-byte values in some big arrays. Each array would have to be 64kb in size, ofcourse, since our 64kb input file may consist of only these 2 bytes appearing all over again. Let us, for a
(strange) moment imagine that we have had a sort of super-c64 with infinite memory, and try to code some "search next sequence" routine. Somehow (magically) we already have the addresses of all 2-byte-values in some big arrays: We have: all addresses of all $0000 values in an array going from $0000- $0000 to $0000-$ffff $0001 $0001-$0000 $0001-$ffff $0002 $0002-$0000 $0002-$ffff $ffff $ffff-$0000 $ffff-$ffff A rather big bunch of 65536 arrays, you will say. Yep. And how would our search routine look like?
Answer: The search routine would look very simple, we imagine we have a super-C64 that can address 32bit addresses: ldy #$0000 (16 bit y register, rite) lda $ea2d0000,y (we are looking for the sequence ($ea2d) (akku is a 16 bit accu, miraculously) (LOOP) beq end of crunch (if no more sequences, end) jsr encode iny bne loop rts (END OF CRUNCH)
Wow, this would be great! Just some self-modifying code at the "loop" label, and we are set. However, life is not that simple. We *can* code the example above with 8 bit registers (akku and y register, typically by using zeropage) but what's not so easy is to get a Commodore 64 with none less than 2^32 bits ram = 4194 megabytes of ram! Obviously, we have to think of something else less memory-eating. Here is how.
Life is not so simple at all The basic idea is to use a CHAINED LIST. A chained list is a rather clever data structure that is composed of, basically, three things: A) An easy-to-find start pointer to the chained list B) the middle of the chained list, consisting of link and data (in whatever order you decide) C) the end of the list Case B) is unique: The middle of chained list consists of two things. The "link" is a pointer to where I can find the next chain of the list. "Data" is any data we want, and what
we want, is, ofcourse, still the 16 bit address of where our 2-byte-sequence resides in the C64's normal memory. We might reserve a special values for "link" or "data" for special reasons! For example, it is reasonable to assume that our input file will never be larger than $0801-$ffff, so we might assign special meanings to the values $0000- $07ff as "data". However, all for now, we only need one special value to help us detect case C) (which is, the end of the list), so we will use a combination of data=$0000 and link=$0000 for this very case. Most readers are getting uneasy here, so let me sum up the monumentous task that lies ahead of us:
We are going to split the task of LZW crunching in TWO parts. Part one will be to construct an array of big chained lists, and for programming convenience reasons we are going to wast all extra 512 kb ram of external memory just for this "big array of chained lists". This big array of chained lists will contain all the addresses for all 16-bit- values that we can find inside the C64's memory (which, ofcourse, contains the data we want to crunch). As you will see later, it really is convenient to have so much RAM to waste. Trying to make all this less ram-wasting tends to very much increase the amount of programming.
Part two of our work is dedicated to actually make use of these mess of chained lists, which is rather simplistic anyway. For any sequence that likes ahead of us we will look into the chained lists of this specific memory. This is almost as simplistic as the imaginary 16-bit- supercode program that was mentioned before, so hold your breath, it's worth the trouble! But first lets write some code to actually use the big bunch of "pseudo arrays with the links in between".
A Tour de Memory Let us try to draw a memory map: The 512 kb REU is being split into 8 banks, bank 0 up to bank 7, so lets try to make use of that: We will use: Bank 0 to hold the low byte of all start pointers to all chained lists Bank 1 to hold the hi byte of all start pointers to all chained lists Bank 2 to hold the low byte of all END pointers to all chained lists
Bank 3 to hold the high byte of all END pointers to all chained lists Bank 4-7 will hold all the chained lists "Wait a moment! Where is the middle byte of the pointers?" Some clever readers may ask. "You see, we have 512 kb ram, well, atleast 256 kb ram to access but only 16 bits (2 bytes: low and hi byte" of pointers! Where are the other 2 bits?" Well, this is a valid question. Indeed, if we have to have pointers to a big area we need more than 16 bits... DO WE? There is a little trick clause here: We assume that our small pieces of chains are at an even address only, since they take 4 bytes for each piece
of link. So, each piece of link will be at an address like $xxx0, $xxx4, $xxx8 or $xxxc. There is no need to store the least significant 2 bits, since they will always be at zero! Nice trick, huh? This also means, we will have to shift 18 bit addresses to 16 bit addresses, and when we get them back, we will have to shift 2 zero-bits in again to get the 16 bit address. Simple, but saving tons of memory! Anyhow - how are we going to construct this list? First, we are going to clear the whole 512 kb of extra RAM with zero. You will see that this task will not only clear everything but save us lots of work
later. What we, basically need, is a single integer-variable, a sort of counter, that keeps track of where some free memory in the REU resides. Every time we insert some of our chunks into the REU memory, we will have to increase this 16-bit-counter in order to keep track up to where we have wasted REU memory for our chunks. Now, we will start with a pointer to the start of the data that is to be packed. We will get 2 bytes there (Let us assume, for readability, 2 random bytes, e.g. $ea $db). So, we will try to get the start pointer. If the start pointer is $0000 (no start
has been set yet), the solution is simple put a chunk of data into the next free REU memory (our counter points there), then put the start pointer (REU pages 0 and 1) there, and also put the end pointer (REU pages 2 and 3) there. If, however, the start pointer is not $0000, it means the chunk already exists (somewhere in REU memory) so we have to follow a more tricky strategy of memory allocation: First, we will still put our chunk at the REU place the counter tells us, but then we will look at the end pointer (pages 2 and 3 of REU) for the selected linked list, and change the link info from $0000 (end of list) to $xxxx (wherever the counter told us the "free" mem in REU)
In all cases, at the end of this routine we have to correct the end-of-list pointer from the old value to the new value (our trusty counter tells us where). This was tricky, wasn't it? Lets look together at the source code that does it all. We will mainly assume our part 1 code has been properly inserted into any version of Darksqueezer, and a jmp command was nicely placed into the DSQ cruncher after all C64 mem was loaded with the data to be packed, and before the actual packing process starts.
The source part 1 COUNTLO=$FE ;this is the 16 bit counter that tells us where to find next COUNTHI=$FF ;free REU address (18bit wise, between pages 4-7 thus 256kb) *= $1000 ; some nifty start address SEI LDA #$2F STA $00 LDA #$37 STA $01 ;reu page 4 mem $0000-$0200 is reserved for temp storage our chunks will never start before reu page 4 mem $0200 LDA #$80 STA COUNTLO LDA #$00
STA COUNTHI LDA #$00 ;the main DSQ code didn't tell us yet the proper start/end address, so we have to correct this here SEC SBC $AE STA $AE STA ENDE+1 ;some nifty self modifying code here, in order to remember $ae/$af data start/end LDA #$00 SBC $AF STA $AF STA ENDE+5 LDA #$00 ;start address in c64: $0200 (Temp variable) STA $DF02
LDA #$02 STA $DF03 LDA #$01 ;one byte transfer STA $DF07 LDA #$00 ;one byte transfer STA $DF08 LDY #$00 STY $01 ;$01 = 00 : RAM only on LDA ($AE),Y ;get program byte into mini ringpuffer at $02/$03 MAININS LDA $03 ;move ring puffer STA $02 LDY #$00 STY $01 INY LDA ($AE),Y ;get next byte off C64 memory into ring puffer STA $03
LDA #$37 ;enable ram expansion STA $01 STA $D020 ;do some $d020 flicker LDY #$00 ;get start pointer $00xxyy and $01xxyy STY $D020 ;from REU page 0 and 1 LDA $02 LDX $03 JSR SET456 ;get page 0 reu pointer lowbyte for this chunk JSR READ BEQ COMPLINS ;if value of pointer not 0 choose complex strategy INC $DF06 ;get page 1 reu pointer hibyte for this chunk JSR READ BNE SIMPLINS ;hibyte AND lowbyte are at 0, this means the link doesn't even exist, choose simple strategy
COMPLINS LDA #$02 ;this is the complex strategy STA $DF06 ;get existing upper end of linked list JSR READ ;from $02-xxxx (bank 2 reu) STA $0100 ;store at $0100 INC $DF06 ;get hibyte of upper end bank 3 reu JSR READ STA $0101 ;store at $0101 JSR MULT4 ;calc 16 to 18 bit, 2 least significant bits = 0 INC $DF04 ;add 2 to get to the link INC $DF04 LDA COUNTLO ;write current chunk (16 bit) lobyte JSR WRITE ;to end of linked list INC $DF04
LDA COUNTHI ;write hibyte of current chunk to end of linked list JSR WRITE JMP COMPLCON ;continue with complex insert SIMPLINS LDA $02 ;this is simple insert LDX $03 ;write current link address to $00-xxxx LDY #$00 JSR SET456 LDA COUNTLO JSR WRITE ;and hibyte to $01-xxxx INC $DF06 LDA COUNTHI JSR WRITE
Now that all the pointer work was done we do the real work of storing the chunk. This is, storing the value and storing the link to the next chunk, and, remembering the proper end of list. COMPLCON LDA $02 ;we will remember the end of list at $02-xxxx LDX $03 LDY #$02 JSR SET456 LDA COUNTLO ;the end is ofcourse at countlo/hi in REU JSR WRITE ;storing at $02-xxxx INC $DF06 ;end of list hibyte pointer at $03-xxxx LDA COUNTHI JSR WRITE ;storing at $03-xxxx
Now we have sored all sort of links only, its a good time to store the actual chunk. Thus we convert the 16 bit counter to 18 bit again, then we store the chunk at the 18 bit address. LDA COUNTLO ;store countlo/hi in $0100 as a temp variable STA $0100 LDA COUNTHI STA $0101 JSR MULT4 ;shift 16 to 18 bits, 2 0-bits inserted at bit 0 and 1 LDA $AE ;write data to chunk address c64 mem lobyte JSR WRITE INC $DF04 ;write data to chunk address C64 mem hibyte LDA $AF
JSR WRITE Now we would actually have to write $0000 to the new chunk at address COUNTLO/HI in REU. However we don't need to do this because the whole REU was filled, earlier, with $00-bytes. INC $DF04 LDA #$00 ;write "end of list" link value $0000 (not necessary) JSR WRITE INC $DF04 LDA #$00 JSR WRITE
INC COUNTLO ;since we have stored our chunk at address "COUNT" in REU, we have to increment COUNT here BNE IN1 INC COUNTHI IN1 INC $AE ;we also increment to the next address inside the C64 mem. BNE *+4 INC $AF LDA $AF AND $AE CMP #$FF BEQ ENDE ;until end of memory JMP MAININS ;end of memory not reached goto main loop
ENDE LDA #$00 ;end of mem reached: restore some important memory zp locations ($00ae/af) using self modifying code STA $AE LDA #$00 ;attention self modifying code STA $AF LDY #$00 STY $01 LDA ($AE),Y ;set an internal flag ($87) for Darksqueezer EOR #$FF STA $87 DEC $01 RTS
MULT4 LDA #$00 ;mult4: convert 16 bits at $0100/$0101 to 18 bits STA $0102 ;shift in 2 zero bits at bit 0 and bit 1 ASL $0100 ROL $0101 ROL $0102 CLC ASL $0100 ROL $0101 ROL $0102 LDA $0102 CLC ADC #$04 ;add 4: select bank 4 as starting bank and store $0100/1/2 into REU address select registers: $df04/5/6 STA $DF06 LDA $0101
STA $DF05 LDA $0100 STA $DF04 RTS SET456 STA $DF04 ;select REU address manually STX $DF05 STY $DF06 RTS WRITE STA $0200 ;write a byte to reu: store byte at $0200 then write it to current reu address LDA #$FC STA $DF01 RTS
READ LDA #$FD ;read a byte from reu store byte from reu at $0200 then get byte into accu. STA $DF01 LDA $0200 RTS -----(insert coffee break here!)-------- CONTINUED IN THE NEXT CHAPTER
The Secret of LZW Crunching by Antitrack/Legend -Part II- If you have done all your homework and carefully followed the maze-like array of linked lists, you might have been somewhat uncomfortable. No, not due to the fact that you might be lacking brains to follow all these links, but that so much memory has been wasted. After all, do we really need these no less than 128 kb memory... just to find the end of the linklist, stored in bank 2 and bank 3? Answer: No, we did not really need these extra 128 kb. Instead of having a huge array of end pointers, we might
follow the list up to it's end everytime we decide to chain another chunk to the end of the list. However this would mean we had to scan the entire list each time we decide to insert another chunk. This is eating valuable crunching time, this is rather unacceptable. Phew! We are nearly set! Now let us take a close look at what DSQ really does 99.5% all of the crunching time, and lets write the code to improve that performance by using the carefully constructed maze of lists before. Much to our pleasant surprise, we will find out it's rather simple to code and short too! But first let us disassemble what DSQ
does 99% all of the time. Suck and see: if you crunch a large file using DSQ 2.0 or 2.2 and if you press your freezer cartridge button, you will most likely end up inside a little code fragment that's inside the zeropage. Let's disasm that one (and yes, ofcourse it's some clever self modifying code...) More sources ;akku contains the 8 bit low byte of the sequence ;we actively search for the sequence by finding the first 8 bits, first...
0030 D9 00 EE CMP EE00,Y;searching for lower 8 byte of 2 byte sequence... 0033 F0 0C BEQ 0041 ;similar? good lets do work 0035 C8 INY ;no, scan the rest of this page 0036 D0 F8 BNE 0030 0038 E6 32 INC 32 ;still not, scan the whole mem 003A F0 04 BEQ 0040 003C C6 2F DEC 2F ;or scan at least as many pages as in $2f 003E D0 F0 BNE 0030 0040 60 RTS --------------------- 0041 AA TAX ;store accu in x for later use 0042 84 31 STY 31 ;self modifying code
0044 A0 01 LDY #01 ;try to determine sequence length 0046 B9 2E EC LDA EC2E,Y ;self modifying code 0049 D1 31 CMP (31),Y 004B D0 05 BNE 0052 004D C8 INY 004E C0 FF CPY #FF 0050 D0 F4 BNE 0046 0052 88 DEY 0053 C4 02 CPY 02 ;compare with minimum profitable sequence length in $02 bigger? Yes: do real crunching 0055 B0 09 BCS 0060 0057 8A TXA 0058 A4 31 LDY 31 005A A2 00 LDX #00 005C 86 31 STX 31
005E F0 D5 BEQ 0035 ;its smaller than profitable, so keep scanning 0060 4C F8 11 JMP 11f8 ;do real crunching ---------------------- Ok, so here is the summary: This heavy self-modifying beast searches for the next sequence by scanning the whole memory for suitable (equal) strings. $02 seems to hold the current "at least wanted" string length. $0030 and $0031 hold the start of memory, $0047 and $0048 hold a pointer to the sequence in the middle of the data. This is rather important since we will have to use the same pointers in our source.
What can we do about it? Well... $0030 and $31 hold some important pointer, so it would be unwise to modify anything here. The BEQ command at $0033 actually could SERVE us to do something useful. That is to say, if a sequence seems to be immediately ahead, this very BEQ will be executed. So we will leave it alone aswell. But, at $0035 the INY is part of the dreaded slooow loop that scans the memory. We will mercilessly place a JMP at $0035 to our own code: $0035 JMP $0338 As you will soon see, we will have enough memory in the... TAPE BUFFER to do all the scanning that will replace
the loop at $0035 up to $003e. Yes, our routine will be longer, but not considerably longer! Let's sum up again what our routine has to do: Our routine has to scan for a sequence, whose LSB we know (in the accu) and whose hibytes is in $0031. The sequence address of the same sequence must be bigger or equal than the number we have identified to reside in memory location $0047/48. 47/48 also point to a sequence with the same two bytes as in 0030/0031. We will use pointer 47/48 in our case only.
We will add some special flags that will make our life easier if multiple instances of the same sequence are being need each "call" to our routine (well its not a call, its a jump, but who cares, you get the meaning). Simple enough? Yes it is. Lets look at the code now!
The source part 2 ACCU = $80 ;zeropage wasting code 😊 XREG = $81 YREG = $82 H1 = $83 H2 = $84 BYTE1 = $85 BYTE2 = $86 LASTBYTE1 = $87 LASTBYTE2 = $88 GOT1 = $89 GOT2 = $8A OLDDF04 = $8B OLDDF05 = $8C OLDDF06 = $8D * = $0038 ;our jmp at $0035 gets us here
MAINPRG STA ACCU STX XREG NOFF LDY #$00 LDA '$47),Y ;store 16 bit sequence in hi1 and hi2 STA H1 ;(help variables) INY LDA #$FF ;switch to normal ram and enable reu registers STY $01 LDX BYTE1 ;flag if we have scanned for this flag=0: scan from lists beginning Sequence BEQ NEXTFETCH CMP LASTBYTE2
Sequence BNE NEXETFETCH ;h2 is in accu LDA H1 CMP LASTBYTE1 ;if its really the last used sequence we will take a shortcut 😊 BEQ NOCHMAL NEXTFETCH LDA H1 ;no shortcut, sniff.. thus let us scan the start of the list get start pointer of list into "got1" STA $DF05 LDA #$00 ;bank 0 contains lobyte of pointer STA $DF06
JSR READ ;get into variable "GOT1" LDA GOT1 ;LOWBYTE PHA ;notice it (TAX might work also) INC $DF06 ;get bank 1 hibyte pointer JSR READ LDA GOT1 STA OLDDF05 ;move it to $DF05 PLA STA OLDDF04 ;and $DF04 (lo and med address in reu) PLA STA OLDDF04 JMP CONT If we should get the same link again we
didn't need to follow the procedure befre. However we have to do a sanity check first if we are already at the end of the list...... NOCHMAL LDA OLDDF04 ORA OLDDF05 BEQ GIBTSNICHT ;if link = 0000 then end of list, unsuccessful search for a sequence In any given case, we have to convert 16 bit to 18 bit address to follow the link... thats what the ROLROUT subroutine does. Moreover the same subroutine also reads the bytes into the GOT1/GOT2 zeropage variable.
CONT JSR ROLROUT GOODMOV LDA GOT2 ;now we have to check if the found sequence's address is really bigger than the address found in $0047/48 CMP $48 BEQ TEST2 BCS NICHTNOCHMAL ; bigger address: "not again" BCC NOCHMAL ;smaller address -->scan again TEST2 LDA GOT1 ;comparing 16 bit lowbytes: CMP $47 ;address equal: check again BEQ NOCHMAL BCC NOCHMAL ;smaller
;check again The found address of the sequence is bigger than the address of 47/48. This means we found a fine 2 byte address in the sequence, and can proceed to try crunch. For this reason we will simply jump back to the zeropage-code responsible: the one at $0041. NICHTNOCHMAL LDA GOT2 ;store "result" in 0031/32 STA $32 LDA H1 STA LASTBYTE1: remember this "last used" sequence in case we have to look for her again!
LDA H2 STA LASTBYTE2 LDX #$00 ;correct $01 STX $01 INX STX BYTE1 ;set flag "successfully found sequence" LDY GOT1 ;restore accu and set y properly LDA ACCU JMP !$41 ;jump back to original zeropage code This is the code if the sequence was not found at all (end of linked list reached).
GIBTSNICHT ;"not there" LDA #$00 STA BYTE1 ;set flag "unsuccessful" TAY ;correct registers and quit STA $01 RTS ROLROUT LDA #$00 ;convert 16 to 18 bits and add 4 STA OLDDF06 ASL OLDDF04 ROL OLDDF05 ROL OLDDF06 ASL OLDDF04 ROL OLDDF05 ROL OLDDF06 LDA OLDDF06 CLC
Summary and final analysis Uh, this was quite come code. Can you sum up yourself what it does? It looks for a 2 byte sequence similar to the one at $0047/48. If that is the same 2 byte sequence that the one we have been looking for earlier (a very common case!) then we will simply re-use the old registers with the proper set values to follow the link. If not, we scan the chained list from the start. In any case, we determine if the C64 address from the chained list's DATA is smaller than the current $47/$48 address. If so, we proceed to scan the list either until the end of the list or a proper address was found. If a proper
address was found, we store it's value into $30/$31 and jump back to the crunchers routines. Otherwise, the end of the chained list will be reached soon, and the program will exit with code "sequence not found". Instead of scanning the whole memory, we now scan a rather tiny list (tiny: compared to the whole memory that is). If you press reset in the middle of crunching and if you decide to look at (and follow) these chained lists in REU memory yourself, you will find out they are rather small, compared to a whole 60kb of memory to scan! So actually, what is the worst case? The worst case could be e.g. a input
data file consisting of ONLY 0-bytes. There would be only ONE sequence in this whole file, and only ONE single chained list would be produced by the program from pass one. These are those rare cases where normal Darksqueezer also tends to go haywire (e.g. very slow). No surprise you are advised to crunch your data first with an equal-character cruncher to eliminate such cases. Let us rather look at a typical case. Lets look at a game like "ELITE". It *does* have some sequences that can be eliminated, but, obviously, not too many of them. An equal-char packed version of ELITE has something like 203 blocks, the packed version is 161 blocks. 42 blocks can be gained... this is
impressive, but not too much. Normal DSQ needs 1 hour and 35 minutes to pack it. Our improved REU version takes *gasp*! Only one minute and 35 seconds! What an exciting improvement! A gain in speed by 63 times, with the same output result, you know! Very, very impressive. And how can we explain this? One of the main speed gains is the fact that our chained lists are rather small and thus, convenient to scan. The other (main) reason is, they immediately tell us when it is not worth looking for a sequence! Many times, DSQ normally scans the whole memory for a sequence, but, ofcourse FAILS! Because the sequence only appears once, or really few times.
Now, with our brushed-up REU routines DSQ next-to-immediately knows when its not worth looking for a sequence! If a sequence only appears once, its linked chain is only one item small, and DSQ immediately knows its not worth scanning the memory! A very typical case when you crunch data that is difficult to crunch (e.g. an already crunched program.... try the difference yourself!) If, on the other hand, we have input data which is VERY WELL crunchable (e.g. "Dizzy down the Rapids", an old game) we will acknowledge that crunching takes considerable longer than just one minute and 35 seconds. On Dizzy Down the Rapids, it took like 15 minutes... the longest crunchtime I
have experienced with my 512kb-REU Darksqueezer version! (supplied with this issue of Domination). Pretty long? No way - CruelCruncher needed the whole night again - with 3 blocks WORSE result (so far about "superior packers"... I think I know why I really stuck to DSQ all my time...) But ofcourse, I still hear some people moan that they have only a 256kb ram expansion (and, arguably, still some more time left to waste for crunching). Lets see what we can do for these folks... but not tonight! I will leave this for another, and hopefully kewler, article! Yours truly, Antitrack/Legend!
A short talk with... Welcome to a chapter containing interview style conversations I have had with a few people recently on IRC. Unlike some of the dead boring, "PC sheep" that are on there, I managed to find some interesting people to talk to who were more than willing to discuss the C64. These people are: MagicMan/Crazy/Hitmen Goblin/Genesis*Project Radar/Arcade Psychobilly/Red Sector Inc Let's see what they had to say...
* MAGICMAN/CRAZY/HITMEN * J) Hi Stephan! Welcome to this special issue of Domination. Please introduce yourself. M) I don't really know how I should answer to that question 😊 I am a normal person and I am 25 years old. I am interested in computers since I was nine years old and started when I was 10. I work 14 hours a day. 8 hours for a normal job as a PC-technician and the other time for my own company. I am not rich, but have enough to live ;)
Today my entire life is dictated by computers, and so are my rooms. Five PCs, three Amigas, 2 Commodore 64s, one PlayStation and more technical stuff. I like to play multiplayer games but don't really have much time for that 😊 I hope to be a rich man in some years after my company beats Microsoft and kills them forever, but today it looks more like I should stop all activities for my company 😢 But we will see when I'm 30 years old 😊 So I don't know what I should write so ask me some special questions and I will give ya more explained answers ;)
J) Sure thing 😊 What are/were your jobs on the C64 scene and what do you do on other computer systems? M) In the beginning I did most by myself, (Coding, Grafix, some musics, swapping) but after I met Gotcha the first time I stopped all my activities in drawing Grafix. The same I did wth music and swapping. Since I joined ARRAY I was only a coder of some groups until today (I think the last thing I coded on C64 was an intro for Avantgarde some years ago 😊 Sometimes I had to crack something for CRAZY or ENIGMA (Turrican II,
X-Out, PP-Hammer and some others) but only if there was no cracker available (I think all of my releases were firsties 😊 In 1990 I started coding a little bit on the Amiga, but not very much. After a while I sold my Amiga as I won a PC on a C64 demo competition. So I started coding on PC too. But I never joined any groups on Amiga or PC so I used my PC only for business coding. Actually I am on the way to make some games and some applications to sell to special companies and try to come back to scene activity 😊 I also coded on Atari in my school 😎
Today I work on C64, Amiga (again) and PC but all the time I am more like a lamer 😢 I have not finished any scene related stuff since years and I dunno if I will get something finished in years 😞 J) What are your hobbies outside the scene? and how would you describe an average day in your life? M) My hobbies... hmmm... there are very many things I love, one is to read a book sometimes about philosophy or about some physics stuff. I also like to play guitar, piano or trumpet. Sometimes I work with electronics and
so on. But I think I have not much freetime to spend on hobbies 😢 Most of my day goes to computer and business. But if you are in Cologne I like to drink the whole night with you 😊 J) Sounds good! I will endeavour to make it to Cologne sometime and I will make certain to take you up on that offer 😊 You have been in the scene for around 10 years or more. Over this time you must have had some interesting experiences. Care to say what has happened? M) I can't really remember when I joined the C64 scene for the first time.
It must have been around 1984 or so. The first group I joined was "4712 Crew" I think. It was a lame group with lame members, but we had fun 😊 I remember we had good contact with the guys in TWG as they lived near our place. After this group dies, I joined "JAZZ". It was a group formed by some guys in 4712 Crew and we was all the time lame too. At this time I had some contacts in ARRAY, so I joined "ARRAY" after Jazz died. This was the first time I met GOTCHA and we started to be a team for coding and grafix. We made a demo called "ARRAY-FEVER" and after we finished that we both joined "CRAZY". I think it
must be around 1986 or 1987. I remember we released that demo in VENLO with a CRAZY intro in front which I coded in 5 hours just for VENLO (Crazy Skull Intro 😊 Then the goold old CRAZY time started. In the beginning Gotcha and me only made some kewl intros and after SHINE/ALABAMA and TYCOON/LIONS joined CRAZY we here in Cologne become more famous. We had much fun in CRAZY and I think we had a very good time. But everything comes to an end and so it was with CRAZY too. After the Swiss founder of Crazy quitted, the group gains a new position with just the Cologne members as the front part, but after some months the
differences between the members become more difficult and some started to leave CRAZY. I think I was the last who said okay then CRAZY is dead, until now, and I became a freelancer. I did some coding for my old friends which was in Illusion or Ikari+Talent but never belonged to any group. Again some months later we reformed a new group with most of the old CRAZY and ILLUSION pals. "ENIGMA" was born. I joined ENIGMA and coded some intros for the group. Again GTA and ME made some stuff together but not like the old days as we were a 100% good team. ENIGMA dies after a while because of internal problems and so I stopped C64
scene activity totally for a while. DEFF told me that he will start a new group called "AVANTGARDE" I joined this group. But I had nothing to do with the scene in that time and only made one (and I really liked dis one much!) intro. I didn't notice that the group died 😢 I had first contact with the scene again since, I think 6 years, and joined "HITMEN" coz there are some old pals I remember. I also reformed CRAZY as an oldschool group which (until now!) less activity. But really I will try to release again some stuff for CRAZY and I will make a web page with all the things from the golden C64 days of CRAZY.
J) Looking forward to these new wares and the Crazy webpage! You have mentioned several times to me that Mamba may come out again, there was also rumours at one time that the magazine would join with Corruption and be called Coramba. Is there any truth to this and do you think Mamba will ever be released again on the C64? M) Absolutely NOT! Peter/CRAZY (formerly known as TYCOON/CRAZY) doesn't want to release MAMBA again. He think that nobody can make a mag today with the same style as in the Mamba time. So if he write some new issues for
Mamba they can't get back the old quality. So he don't want this! But without Peter (he was the last writer of MAMBA) I will not release any new Mamba's bcoz it's the mag of the authors! Sorry! But if I got the time to finish my work on the internet site of Crazy you can take a look on MAMBA ONLINE. There you can read all the original Mamba's and ofcourse some new things going around on the C64 😊 But it will need some more time 😊 J) What is Gotcha up to these days? are you in contact with him and the other Crazy people from Cologne?
M) I don't know what GOTCHA did today. I lost the contact to him several years ago. I heard that he studies GRAPHICS and DESIGN. Most of the other Cologne members are my friends today, like Peter (he made nothing around computing today), Frank/Shine (PC and PlayStation just for fun and sometimes a good logo for the Crazy internet site) Sebio/Shine (he is a coder for a company that sells software for workflow management. Two years we worked together in our own company for hard- and software. I wrote a book about JAVA programming together with him 😊 Weasel (I stay in contact with him in email) but last I saw him was 8 years ago or so. He lives in Munich,
Smasher/F4cg (I meet him from time time on IRC or mail, never meet him in real life 😢 he lives in Swiss), Jinx (actually I am in the same group as him, Hitmen, and stay in mail contact only). J) Cool to see there is still some contact with the older guys. Gotcha was criticised by a lot of people when he was working for Mamba. What do you have to say about this? M) I can't say anything about that! I have never worked on MAMBA without some coding. I know that all MAMBA writers tried to give its best and in my opinion
made a good job all the time. But no writers of a mag is perfect and if GOTCHA was criticised its okay. But he made a good work and that is enough for me! I had a good time with GTA and I will never miss the years we worked together. J) Cool. I think most of the criticism was based on jealousy anyway (a normal thing in the scene) if you get a chance check out the interview I did with him in the Olympic edition of Vandalism News. Speak to you again soon Stephan!
* RADAR/ARCADE * J) Hi! Please introduce yourself to the readers... R) Hm, actually I don't believe that I have to introduce myself. Whenever I log into something where the scene keeps part of it, the people still remember my name. Some of them even tell me that I'm one of their idols from the old days. Well, I personally don't believe that anybody from the old days nor that anybody from the present can be any idol at all for anybody out there. But still its funny to see people reacting in this way. It sometimes
gives old 'n' forgotten memories back... But actually, my medicine studying is over. I'm working at a hospital, being big daddy doctor nowadays 😊 While studying I opened my own company, shared with a partner, which is doing great. JUst built my 2nd house in town which means - once again I'm moving... Life simply does great! J) Please give a brief history on your C64 career and what groups you have been in and the general highlights, good and bad...
R) Well, I started way back in about 1983 when I got my old C64. After 1986, when I started to join serious business, I joined some groups. Can't even remember all their names any more... I guess the most known groups are Detail, Shape, Byterapers, Contex, TWG, Dynamix, Success (the old & 1st one), Victims, Arcade, with short visits in Illusion, Dominators, Genesis, Avantgarde... Also I joined Dominators PC, but after the group stopped activity and most of them joined Class, I totally stopped also. In 64-times I was coding intros and some short parts for a demo when needed, cracking games, being into
serious phreaking, doing the co-sysop on several boards in the states and some other stuff like importing, supplying, etc.. I can't even remember. Highlights? Well, when I still was active I always was at the top of the hill, but I don't really call this a highlight... Computing is a hobby... that's just it! J) There have been quite a few arguments within the scene about the scene being too friendly these days. Do you think that wars, and ragging in general help the scene? does it stimulate productive action?
R) Listen, every person having a hobby wants to get entertained due to it. He wants to relax from real life (well, sometimes I remember some geeks on C64 having none at all!). There are still reasons in each computer scene for arguments between different people and groups. So why shouldn't they simply rag the hell out of each other when it's fun and ofcourse its for the point of pride? I remember the wars I had going on several 64-boards a long time ago, beating the shit out of people who rode my nerves when posting dumb crap... So I also remember that people mostly called to see how some poor creep from nowhereland got kicked by my words
only. And at this point the case if fulfilled: People call to see how other people struggle for mercy and their life So it keeps the action and fun. Another question would be - isn't it boring to live in a world of harmony, where everybody agrees to everybody? Damn yeah, so its the same for the scenes... And actually, to see people 'argue' about harmony or being to friendly shows, that there still is the tendency of warring each other 😊 J) Any personal scene wars or arguments that stand out most in your mind?
R) Nah, not really. Simply because I had so much of 'em that I can't remember. Haha. J) What is your opinion about the position of the boards within the scene, how would you describe them and their unique atmosphere? R) Some years back, a BBS was needed for the groups to introduce their team and the work they spent into their hobby. Nowadays, the Internet takes over and there are no boards needed. I personally like the old BBS-stuff more than any Internet-Site (even
though there are some real good ones like Spankerz Heaven - good work Burglar!). But time has changed and so did the scene... it's always a rush to phreak nowadays (well, for me it is now...), so why running for cards, dial-ups, hosts or whatever when the Internet is so close? J) Do you keep in contact with any old scene friends these days and what are they up to? R) Yeah sure, talking to Drake from time to time. Same for Solar. Also emailing people like Pol Pot and some more...
Your all time C64 favourites: Cracking Group: Elite, 711 Cracker: Powerplant, Antitrack, Rockstar, Syndicate and a few more... Fixing Group: INC, NEI BBS: Holiday in Cambodia Musician: Falco Paul & EVS from 20cc Painter: Hein Design Programmer: hmm... hmm... dunno... Magazine: COOCOC 😊 J) If you have any greetings, let them grace these pages...
R) Lets touch some names, where a few of them should go and fucking get in touch via email: Drake, Solar, Rockstar, Dogfriend, Bod, Tyree, Gene, Jihad, Pol Pot, Deff, Darklord, Master Kracker, Derby Ram, Freestyle, HOK, Spitfire, Marc, Magic, Newscopy, Prodigy, ION, AND super- especially Parson & Westbam... 😊 Take it easy! Sorry if I forgot some names in here... but times ticking away now.. (X) Radar
* GOBLIN/GENESIS PROJECT * J) The C64 cracking scene was a legendary one, especially in it's golden years. What is your opinion on the cracking scene and do you think other platforms have copied the C64 scene? G) I think the C64 scene is the root scene together with Apple 2 scene, but I don't think Apple 2 survived and developed like the C64. I think the Amiga scene came out directly from the C64 scene. For PC I don't know for what I saw, rip games would be the more similar to our cracks I won't speak about consoles, those iso
releasers think they invented the word "first release"... J) There have been all styles of cracking groups in the scene, what ones stand out in your mind as the best and why? G) I would say: IKARI (+Talent) : cos of the incredible amount of releases and they were already Ikari when I was nothing. All is said. LEGEND : as they were my competitors (you owe me some nights of sleep!)
TRANSCOM : for being THE other frenchs! But also Fairlight!, Crazy, Dominators, and the Beastie Boys come right to mind when I think of this time! J) What was the hardest game you ever cracked? G) In my opinion there is only 2 protections that deserve to be called like that on the 64: The Timex protection from Mr Cursor! (Yo Ivo) is the best ever made I think I helped with cracking no mercy and it
was a pain in the ass! Also the VMAX protection that was on American games was nice! I traced and extracted files from Defender of the Crown to see if I could do it but would have been funny to try and level pack it, hehe... J) What is the story behind the game Rubicon? Guess Fairlight were quite pissed at the time 😊 G) I don't remember exactly, you should ask Antichrist for that. Maybe it was something like uncrackable stuff like they said the game No Mercy was...
J) What crackers do you respect and for what reasons? G) I respect all the 64 crackers, but the ones that would come first for me: Mr Zeropage for being a legend Antitrack and Snacky for being my true masters and also my nice competition with Powerplant, Rockstar, Sauron... J) What is your opinion on the USA import scene, who ruled and what boards were the best in that time?
G) Exodus and Nec+Nei were ruling both importing/fixing and cracking. Stormbringer/Exodus, Random and Horizon/Nec+Nei were the best in this job while Grimreaper/Nei was a cool importer. WildWarez was THE board, also The Disk Shoppe and Desintegration were cool! Signed, Goblin/G*P
* PSYCHOBILLY/RED SECTOR INC * J) Hi PB, It has been over 5 years since I last chatted with you. Putting that aside, lets get down to the business... Who were your favourite Euro crackers who you liked the most? P) Many, from RSI (Benson, Mr. President Count Zero were the best we had - Irata, Breaker & the other UK-guy were the best original suppliers we had. We kicked Legends, Talents, ILS and all the other guys asses, when they actually dud something!!), ILS (Richie),
Bod the perv & Talent-crew, especially Majesty was a real cool dude, same with Communist, who is a cop (!) nowadays! Action (Gadget, HOK, Jihad... cool guys) and many more I cannot remember... Quite a lot of cool guys were around. In the US: MO, MK, Empire, NW, Unholy & the rest of the gang. J) Yeah that Darren Haggen (Bod) was something eh?! 😊 Who were the best during your time in the scene? P) That changed during the time...
In my early years, were a lot of elite groups... Action, Illusion, Legend, Talent, F4cg and so on.. Later only AFL, Avantgarde (for a short period). Most of the time the important competitor was Legend on full price games. J) Much to say about any wars you were in? P) Far too many I could recall. Most hated was Narc/Westbam of Legend. Tyree was an idiot too, but he
was far too dumb to be recognized and went to jail for drug-smuggling... haha! Ok, thats it... for more I would have to check my old stuff... +++ PB
<< Jazzcat's Friends >> Welcome to a completely biased article! As a once off thing - I have strayed from my normal attempts at objectivity and decided to write what I feel like 😊 In this segment I will give some details on some of the personal and group wars I have been involved in. (known to people like Bacchus/Fairlight as flaming or flame-war 😊 The cracking scene can be turbulent at times, especially in the older and golder times on the BOARDS. Being from this part of the scene primarily, I have been involved in my
fair share of debates. I also have been unfortunate to draw attention to myself with being an instrumental figure of the C64 media. An example of the latter, and why I say it is unfortunate, would be the occassional critic I got who did not agree with something I wrote. A debate would start and sometimes it would get totally out-of-hand, the result was a war, even between another member of the media - infact, usually another member of the media. It amazes me when thinking about the foundation of 'wars' in the C64 scene. Competition and what it can do to people, I am no exception to it's influences either.
This article will cover some of the raggings, debates, wars and accusations I have been involved with over the last 8 years. Some are amusing, some are completely a waste of time and a few are dead serious! * A special note The people, groups or productions I mention here are just for the reader's interest. It is not my intention to open up 'old wounds', this is just an expression of the events from my own point of view. -------
Let's start at the beginning, even before I called the boards. In 1991/2 I was involved in the Hack*Phreak scene, primarily the USA scene (which was the core anyway as the Euro scene was mainly full of phreakerz). During this time I was experimenting with VMB systems, PBXs, "cookies", social engineering and some other small things too. We used to use the 'party lines' to hold our informal conferences (we also made formal conferences, which was contained 100% H/P conversation, through the large phone companies like At&t, MCI, Sprint, Pacific Bell etc).
The party lines were used for our more relaxed conferences. Here we could 'bash' and make fun of the general populous that were infecting the line (no life idiots who used the lines as the basis of their social life). During these times I was also a big C64 freak, not a scener, yet still a fanatic. I never would have thought (at the time) that sceners would call those lines, but they did, and possibly for the same purposes as I did. People like SOLAR/F4cg, BOD/Talent, SKINHEAD/Alpha Flight, NME/Illusion, POWERPLANT & REBEL/Legend, LEXI/Fairlight aswell as several dudes from Genesis*Project and others I cannot remember at this time.
I also found quite a lot of American sceners there, one of those, was the infamous THOR. George (Thor) was one of those sceners that was employed for his skills at ragging, apart from this he could not do much else (he still dreams his group Glory were one of the best). His archenemy during this time was NME/ILS (formerly known as Jade of Dominators) who was a good pal of mine. Thor was ragging on Matthew (NME), he was saying things like how he called his pet beagle JADE, which was NME's old nickname and other things like this. I decided to add my 2 pennies worth and give him a piece of my mind.
Because he had no background on me he resorted to racism to try and get me fired up. This was the start of a series of arguments we both got into with each other. Thor was basically a phreak who prided himself with hearing his own voice. He also had delusions of granduer, claiming to be some type of master hacker. The truth was he had some good resources, such as a friend in the phone company, making things like disconnecting people's phone lines much easier than by indirect means normally used by a H/P. One of his claims to fame was disconnecting the famous Legend BBS
SECOND TO NONE. Another thing he was known for was sending FBI agents to scener's houses in the USA, or credit carding items to scener's houses that they never even ordered. This troublemaker amounted to nothing of special value, simply another entertaining chapter in the USA BBS history. Around 1993 I joined the guys in Alpha Flight 1970. I was enrolled as a megaswapper, H/P, original supplier and modem trader. During my time in this group I got into quite some arguments with our closest competitor at the time, Red Sector Inc.
Both our groups were heavily releasing games, but unfortunately the crackers in AFL were not doing a quality job with some of the first releases (e.g. no level packing, training or ntsc fixing on multifile games, remember Hermetic?). So I was on the back foot immediately, especially being one of the most active BBS callers for quite some years, I was more prone to receive one rag or another. The first arguments were with PSYCHOBILLY and COUNT ZERO. Basically I was just defending the group at the time and things went on from there. Count Zero put a ban on my account on the RSI BBS called FORPLAY. This kind
of thing annoyed me most, as the only other BBS I could rag on him regularly was the Talent one DOWN BY LAW (which was also frequented by other RSI members too, such as Secret Man, PB, Benson, etc). This is not the only time I have had arguments with Count Zero, later on we had our little debates over various topics, resulting in both a war of words and a war of wares. I smile thinking back to more recent times when I arranged the fix of the game SPEEDY SLUG for Scs&Trc. The game was 60% ntsc fixed by C0 and then 100% fixed by my crew ☺ evil grin ☺ Prior to this however, Scs&Trc smacked me in the scroll text for their first release of LEMMINGS. 😊
In present times we all get along very well and help each other out here and there. I asked Andreas about why we don't argue any more, he said the lack of wares competition, and I agree. I am sure we both wish it was the older times too ☺ So where was I? Thats right, bored and in Alpha Flight, they were only an average group obtaining mainly German games at the time, a lot of which were cracked inadequately. One night I got a call from WESTBAM and we discussed the Legend comeback in late 1993/early 1994. I had always respected LEGEND as a group that could provide quality and
quantity. They had a perfect quality policy (which included no previews and less budget games) and had an arrogance that somehow appeals to me. After several phone calls with Westbam (formerly Narc) I got a surprise call from DEFF. He was at the time a friend of mine, who I had got to know better after an over the phone interview with him for an old edition of Vandalism News. Deff discussed with me the creation of a new group together with Jack Daniels and other scene veterans. This group was to be named AVANTGARDE. He wanted me to join as H/P and original supplier. I told him of my
conversations with Westbam and the offer I got from him to join Legend. I then told Deff that I would take Westbam's offer. Little did I know at the time how much trouble this would cause me in the scene. Not from Legend, but from Avantgarde, Alpha Flight and later in the pages of Propaganda and Relax. But let's not get too far ahead. What happened to my friendship with Deff resulting this? He was quite pissed with me, partially because he hated Legend. It resulted in a war between Avantgarde and Legend.
Avantgarde had a member who was in the German budget game lable Twice Effect, (from memory it was Jim Novac known in AVT as Tricom) we stole some of their games of their games, which were made by Twice Effect. This was an embarrasing situation for Deff. He returned the bout by finding out a password of an old inactive Leend member's account on our BBS in Nebraska known as THE SHAOLIN TEMPLE. Deff then logged our private sub and released it in a file called "Legend Lies" This file showed me discussing some first release originals I had knowledge of. At the time, titles such as Flimbo's Quest 2 seemed unbelievable, but were certainly a reality (evidence of this and
other not released games can be found on the Games That Weren't homepage that I assist wth at http://cs.c64.org) Things got quite bitter between the two groups and eventually Avantgarde started using a "Fuck You Legend" intro, along with other groups who decided to jump on the band wagon. Apart from Deff, another member of Avt tried to get under my skin, that was Tycoon/Crazy, otherwise known as Peter/Enigma and later Peter/Avt. When I first called the boards he was online and decided to have a go at me just because I was new to the boards. This person introduced one of the most memorable names I have ever been called in a slag-fest, it was the
highly original "Jazzdog". Memories of his posts on TERMINAL OBSESSION (in green characters) still make me laugh. Avantgarde also accused me of modifying an old Twice Effect game and releasing it under a new name. This game was called AMNESIA and was released by my new group Onslaught and ntsc fixed by Hitmen. These accusations were closed when I provided a letter from Soren Kress of Twice Effect discussing 'Amnesia' and allocating his signature to the letter giving the game authenticity. Anyway, Legend decided to journey onto the PC, so activities faded on the C64.
I decided to leave the guys in Legend and start my own group. The birth of Onslaught was in February 1995. At this stage there were still quite a few disagreements between myself and Deff. So the group was under pressure from the very beginning. Some of the members of AVT were good friends with the Alpha Flight guys, including the mechanical RRR/Oxyron, ex-Afl guy and main editor of ex-Afl magazine RELAX. To explain RRR and his personal disliking of my person, I will need to take a step backward to the times when I was in Rebels.
Both myself and RRR (Ravishing Rick Rude) were quite good buddies. We used to mail trade and he used to give me hints and tips on painting graphics on the C64 (an early past time of mine 😊 I offered him help in selling a game he did the graphics for, this title was a small one file budget game called MYSTERY. I linked the First Blood Entertainment distribution intro to the game and sent it to that weird guy in Visualize called Jon Wells. I called Jon and he was confident that the game would sell and soon. With evidence the dealings were done and as original supplier I was obligated to get the crackers new games.
Mystery was no exception here, especially after what I thought was a successful negotiation on the sale of it with Visualize. So this unreleased title was shipped to The Shaolin Monastery and packed, linked and ntsc fixed by Stealth for Legend. This is when all hell broke loose! RRR claimed that I had re-cracked the game!! Which is ofcourse not true, as I never cracked it 😊 It is true RRR put his own text in the game code, but this does not warrant it to be a genuine re-crack, as the game had never ever been cracked before!
This argument between us was the foundation of a long saga, fuelled by the biased text in the publication known as RELAX. Now moving a step forward to the creation of Onslaught. During the earlier days of my group we got a lot of crap thrown at us by the smear compaign headed by RRR in the text written for Relax. There were many things RRR claimed were facts which were just points of view from other people not even involved in the situation directly. RRR claimed that I cheated the votesheets for one of the issues of his magazine.
This particular incidence is quite amusing for me, as I remember him quoting some of the votesheet in his magazine and it looked like this: "Single artists: 02. Jolz/Onslaught" This is news for me, as I never knew Jolz was a graphician 😊 RRR used the editorial and global report of Relax to vent his dislikings to myself and my group. Especially the news surrounding my group was written in the most biased way. After several issues like this, the public began losing faith in the magazine and RRR in a professional role as magazine editor. The scene's
views especially changed with RRR introducing whole chapters to fight personal wars through the media (e.g. three chapters dedicated to myself and Newscopy in Relax #22). One of the most boring magazines in BBS history earned it's status when RRR took over with his mechanical text based on so-called facts. Almost at every corner RRR would defend Alpha Flight against allegations and rumours. Also take into consideration he was a member of the group, a group that were having problems with my own group and F4cg at the time (meaning Newscopy). He disliked Onslaught extremely, which shows in the news section with almost
each edition of the Relax magazine. To coincide with my assumptions that he disliked my group, he was the graphician of the ONS-LAUGH anti-intro graphics used by Avantgarde and Alpha Flight at the time. To describe all the things RRR did would fill up quite some chapters, and more than likely bore the living death out of you 😊 However, one thing I would still like to mention about him is his change. He was a friendly guy on the scene and then all of a sudden became the opposite. I don't know if it was the elitism that got to him, the position of his magazine or person in the charts or even his intensified involvement in the
cracking scene, but more than one person agreed with me on the fact that he had become a lot more arrogant. During this time I was also having problems with Newscopy/F4cg and his publication PROPAGANDA. Onslaught had formed a cooperation with another new group called Hardcore. The groups eventually split and thats when the situation was taken advantage by Newscopy, who announced that we were a SOAP for the scene, ON-SOAP. Also, funnily enough, my old buddy Deff joined the Propaganda staff, at the same time when all of this started. Propaganda even re-introduced former
editor ANTICHRIST into the editorial of issue #20 of their magazine, who indirectly criticized Onslaught. It turned into a media war, with both Vandalism News, Propaganda, Relax and Domination participating - The Pulse took a back seat and watched it all. I think it was the X-95 party in Utrect, Holland (?) when rumours were spread a federation against Onslaught was created, which turned out to be false. Eventually, several issues of the afformentioned magazines later, the arguments slowed right down and Propaganda and Relax decided to focus on each other.
-------->insert coffee break<--------- During 1997 I had arguments with the German cracker called Dodger. He joined Onslaught and after a while he left the group, not doing much in the way of releasing. He criticized the organisation and yet another exchange of words began. It is funny how a disagreement on one subject then goes to another subject and then another. Dodger accused me of ripping chapters and staff from his magazine called THE CREST.
I remember him on irc saying: "ya ripped the CHAPTERS lamer!!" 😊 What he was referring to was UZZY/RPG's role in The Crest as USA Correspondant and the regular news chapter he wrote for it. Dodger did not realise that UZZY was also a staff member of the Domination magazine, and long, long before The Crest was even created. So when he saw Uzzy's text in Domination, the similar news, same editor and other coicidences, he assumed I ripped the text. This matter was dealt with quickly on IRC, also helped along a bit by Dodger's ellaboration of how he masturbates himself - posted in all it's glory on the
boards (quite a response from the regular callers at the time, let me tell you 😊 Dodger and I still have some "fun" here and there, but only in good humour these days. I know at least one thing with him, he still thinks I am some kind of "yuppie" based on the fact that I like drinking whiskey over beer (but I will drink both if they are free ofcourse 😊 Most people who were regulating the C64 mailing list in it's earlier days would remember the argument I got into with Midfit/Legend, yet another ex-ONS member (a trend? 😊 He didn't like me and caused an argument between myself and Westbam.
He also didn't like Sting and Donar (which is strange as he introduced Sting to the group). The argument was quite huge and the emails were very long. During this time I never had stable access to the internet so replying to all of them and with careful consideration was much harder. The topics in the war were varied. From me not ever calling TERMINAL OBSESSION to me not supplying my own hacked codes and instead buying them from sceners in Hybrid PC. Also other things, more personal ones, like Volker claiming I was some crack addict and on other hard drugs.
When Midfit was removed from Legend, we both calmed down and acted like adults once again 😊 I have not heard from Volker in a long time but things were nice and friendly when we last chatted. Also after Midfit's departure from Legend, Westbam sent me an email saying some apologies on our previous disagreement and I did the same back to him. Mike and myself are now emailing each other again frequently and are back to the business.
More recent arguments: GENE - known in the past for his ragging abilities, was prowling around on the scene again. Surprisingly he joined his former enemies in Legend. He decided to jump on my case and try to make some funny stories to entertain the callers of Spankerz Heaven Web BBS and Second To None Web BBS. The stories were quite funny and I like this style of ragging. But anyone with a good imagination can be popular with this style in the board scene and Gene was one of them. While he was ragging me and creating these amusing and unbelievable stories
I was retaliating with facts. However I did try a little bit to meet him on his own level. Bringing up old rags against him such as his single long eyebrow (apparently he had/has joining eyebrows) and referring to the time he was busted for using the same crappy code for months on end. MASTER S/Excess and I have had some little disagreements - again caused by the competition in the cracking scene. It started from him thinking I released MICRO FIGHTER under Onslaught to make a joke of him (who told me he would get the game as first for Excess) This was not intended at all, basically there was a new game ready for the taking and I decided to take it - like
any good original supplier would do. Based from this Master S disagreed with the first release rules and also the new first release rules devised (see this issue). What began was something like in the older days, the scrollers in both the Excess and Onslaught first release intros by myself and Tobias became full of funny jeers at each other. I particularly like the one in the intro of Excess' for their release of Turrican 3 Preview. 😊 I have also made other "friends" during my time in the scene that I won't really bother going into. People such as Nastiness Inc, Nightshade/Success, Moren/Success, Uptonogood/Tsr etc.
In all of my wars and raggings I have not always been right, just like anyone else that participates in them, but I have tried to account myself in truth and opinion purely. I found these times inspirational for me and I thought they could be shared with you, so I hope you have found some entertainment in their reading. Until next time, JAZZCAT.
The boards and how the effected me! ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ by Vengeance/Onslaught. When people talk about the boards, if they were involved, they think about the glory times. If they were never on the boards they think of arrogant assholes talking big time rags and crap about nothing in particular at all. To me the boards were a mix of both. In the early days, for the first six years or so I had in the scene, they were all dominated by the mail scene.
I hated the idea of these arrogant elites in the scene, until I found myself there with my own first releases. Then things changed. I am one person I think that can honestly look at the change of pace in the scene from a certain level. Derbyshire Ram was my teacher in this, in the early days, and hopefully in this chapter, I can give some of you that never experienced the boards a view on it. If you never were involved you think many modem dudes, as modem trading slaves, in some cases this was true but in others it was not.
The boards were kind of a funny experience. Sometimes you loved being in the spotlight, other times you just thought "whats the point of phreaking and risking a court appearance". For me it all started when I got a modem off JERRY of TRIAD. This took me quite a while to pay for. Something I regret in the scene is that I bothered Jerry with not paying him for many months and eventually I don't think I even paid him the full amount of what I was supposed to. Young and dumb. These days that's something I would never think about. Anyhow, the old Aprotek 2400 has served me very well and infact has been
working pretty well since 1992. Now and then I still have a slight problem with it, but then again, it is only used seldom these days. The time when I first got my modem I was in BODYCOUNT, a group I made by myself, I probably only called the boards once or twice in BCT and while I was there I had no idea what was going on. Anyway, time passed, I got my hands on a first release and ended up joining SUCCESS after finally mastering (not that it was hard) how to actually scroll through the messages and send mails on the boards. I discussed the original with Nightshade and Moren, and they must
have talked about me joining the group because Moren asked me in. Thats when my first hardcore night of modem trading started. Spending 9 hours right through until 6:30 in the morning transferring BOLO to THE REAPER (ex-TAT) so he could pass the original onto Burglar for cracking. Bad Bytes galore during the transfer made it fuck up anyhow. So the next night I found another call from MOREN and this time we managed to transfer it successfully. Bolo arrived on the boards and to be honest its really a full price game I'd rather forget.
After experiencing several weeks on the boards I had no more cards and once again, being dumb, started using the home phone direct to call out, in the end I got a huge phonebill and had the phone disconnected for sometime. So I quit Success and started SHAZAM which was a little Aussie crew, with mostly Onslaught members in it. In this time I just lamed around the mail scene dreaming of what was, before when I was in Success and just waiting for the day when the phone would be reconnected. In the end I moved out of home and into my own flat for a period of months. My parents got the phone reconnected. I saw no other reason why not to move back home ☺
A quick call to Moren and BANG, I was back in SUCCESS and back on the boards. Only SUCCESS had just gone into co-op with TRC this time around. I spent around 14 months in SUCCESS+ TRC before ONSLAUGHT was born and this is when I started to get serious with calling out again. I had access to free ways of calling all the time and I don't think I missed many days on the boards in a huge 2 and a half year period. Supporting the boards was my way of paying back for the small bit of leeching I did. But some would call me a modem slave due to the fact that I constantly uploaded wares to several US boards (mainly my own THE DEADZONE) and
bombarded a lot of European boards with Onslaught wares in the hope of spreading them far and wide. The spreading part was easier by mail with Onslaught having Bizarre, Code 18, Ramirez, Shocker and several other class swappers for a long period of time. Not to forget myself and Jazzcat used to swap fairly regularly back in the day, and I believe Jazzcat still does a lot. But away from swapping and back to the boards. The boards had a feeling of competition like no other, well at least the US boards anyhow. I felt this a little when in SCS+TRC but not so much, because we always won
with a lot of first releases then. In ONSLAUGHT it was different, for a long time we had to compete against AVANTGARDE, SCS+TRC, ALPHAFLIGHT, F4CG and many other groups we lost on alot of releases, until I got JOLZ to become a fixer. I remember spending many nights awake until 6 in the morning just to upload a first release for fixing only to lose the uploading battle for points. Those days have been and gone in my opinion. Not enough games to create that amount of interest, time and effort. However, the US boards weren't the only thing that had time pressure
involved with it. For a long period of time I was releasing VANDALISM NEWS on a monthly basis, THE PULSE, RELAX, PROPAGANDA and some other mags were being released quite regularly as well. We had to try to keep the mag coming out with interesting text from month to month, so we could break the news first, so to speak, and then people would look at the mag differently. The boards in Europe; Germany, Denmark, and Sweden were generally the ones I called to avoid "line noise". Line noise used to make my modem disconnect a bit, forcing me to phreaking another phone call.
The atmosphere in those countries was different compared to the USA. Germany was pretty much where the arguments happened. Sweden and Denmark were quite friendly in my opinion. All in all, the boards for me were a blast no matter what countries they were in and no matter what time period, no matter what any other thought of them. They, to me, really kept my spirit in the scene, when I couldn't find any reason to go on. Something there always happened to keep me interested in the C64. Those times have gone and IRC kind of does a little for me. Spankerz Heaven
reminds me of it more. I guess, they are pretty much history now. On with the show. The Vengeance/Onslaught Vandalism News Editor Editing in guest appearance for Domination.
The Conscience of a Cracker ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ by King Fisher/Triad They say a Nihilist is a person who deny common values. This is not the whole truth. A Nihilist is a person who denis certain values and builds new values. A person who deny common values and wants to kick and destroy society is rather a Renegade or plain Vandal, a prophet of non-values. Myself I prefer to call myself an adhererer of Zen-philosophy, the Fallibilism, or simply: a person who believes there are no such fixed entities as "good", "evil" or "private
property", but they are all constructions of the human mind. I am a follower of Nietzche in some sense, but I want to reach beyond Nietzsche since Nihilism is always creative. They say crackers are evil bugs who just want to rip off software companies and steal every penny out of the pockets of poor programmers. Myself I would say: "Information is free, just like the air, and none has the right to build walls around it". If you thought crackers were just another bunch of raging Renegades wanting to tear down and destroy everything just for the fun of it, you are dead wrong. We are infact worse.
We tear down, yes, but we are proud of it, and we do it because we have to. Someone has to set freedom to this information. I crack not because I hate society, but because I love it and wanrt to evolve it. I consider cracking a highly political action, and I most certainly think it is RIGHT to crack. Now you are confused. Let me explain once again. This year, I can walk into any public library, take out ANY book, go to the photocopier and make a copy of every page of it if I like. This is all perfectly legal, atleast here in Sweden. The Swedish state (and many other states as well) have decided
it is every citziens right to copy book pages if s/he wants to. Now, I walk home. I look on my CD- player. I am not allowed to copy any of my CDs to tape if I wish. It is illegal. I look on my video tapes. I am not allowed to copy them. It is illegal. I look on my disk boxes containing some Microsoft software I once bought. I am not allowed to copy these disks either. Well, I might make copies for safety reasons, but not to give away to friends. It is illegal. This makes me sick! What's the difference between Software, CDs, Video tapes and the books at my public library? It's all information, heavens sake!
The problem in this case is not the information itself. The problem is that this society is hardwired my brain to believe information could be owned, just like land or money, or like the Greek or Cotton Farmers in southern America once believed PEOPLE could be owned, and called it slavery. I realize I am a slave of the information-controlling society. Because that is what it is all about. Control. Complete and utter control. I am not telling you I want chaos to replace copyright regulations. If I wanted chaos I would be a destructive beast and not a constructive citzien. I love our society, and I think it is one of the best things about the world there is.
The cyberspace communities like the Scene or Usenet, I love even more since they are international and multi- cultural. That is why I want to tell society there is something wrong, I want to blow the whistle while there is still time. I do not dislike or hate software companies. In fact, I want software companies. I rather dislike the social structure and economic terms that both people and companies are bound by and have to obey. I believe both companies and citziens to be prisoners of the economic system. You say someone has to pay. Why? What is this "pay" anyway? What is "owned knowledge" and "public
knowledge"? Or to use the vocabulary of authority itself: What is this bogus thing called "Intellectual property" you make so much noise about? Which information am I allowed to own? Which information am I allowed to carry in my head? To the people of the post-modern society economics, ownership and right to information is a religion. They adhere to economic gods and think they will be redempted the day they become yuppies in suits and ties, that the guy owning the most cars and electronic gadgets when he dies will win the game. My god how I hate these semi-gods. Information is all there is, yuppieheads. Perhaps William Gibson was the first to
realize this in 1982. Yet very few people have understood what he really meant. Maybe he was not fully aware of it himself. The necessary change in society is to take the control of information away from huge companies and states and give it back to the people who owns it, or the world is likely to look exactly as William Gibson described in "Neuromancer". Therefore, we call ourselves cyberpunks. We are outlaws, wired up and connected. We will bring the new era. To us, information electronics is not a symbol of status or a way to earn money and respect, but an extension of the human mind. That is why Timothy
Leary called the PC the LSD of the 90's - computers seem to widen peoples' views quite a bit. We do not want to steal from the companies. Hell no. We just want our citziens rights back. If I got a piece of information, I want to have the right to copy it. If you try to stop me, I will bite for sure. Don't touch my privacy! Get out of my life! My ideology burns for me like a lamp in the light. This is not an ideology of Liberalism, nor Socialism, Conservatism Communism or any of these ideologies you know from school. This one is called Cyberpunk.
Thos syndicates popping up around the globe, those pirates earning heaps of money from selling games to poor computer freaks, thus making themselves a living as parasites to our society, THOSE you can hunt down and kill if you like. None will miss them. BUT DO NOT TOUCH THE CRACKERS AND SWAPPERS, for those are not your enemies. A real cyberpunk wuld never charge for information. He only swaps, and I regard it his right to do so. Some may not. I do not want to destroy. I want to create. Thus spoke King Fisher.
Ofcourse you can reach me for comments or additions: Linus Walleij aka King Fisher/Triad Magistratsvaegen 55 N:306 226 44 LUND Sweden. Tel+46 (0) 46390785 Email: triad@df.lth.se Email: linus.walleij@microbus.se Hypertext: http://www.df.lth.se/~triad
Refections - C64 cracking scene by Raver "Remember" is a perfect name for a C=64 cracking group today. My memories from the golden era of cracking on C=64 are so different from these most of you got so it's not easy to express what's really going on in my mind. For me there is a strict line bet- ween old times and today since so much did change. I was an outsider, observer from a distant planet and in fact what I was observing was past, I was living in the days which were already gone. In early nineties, I got C=64 and bunch of
disks filled with old cracks and two demos. Yes, two, one of them being "Inimitable" by X-Large (loved these rasterbars!) and the other was "Might" by C64CG. During the next 2-3 years I got some more disks with games, but always outdated, nothing new... So, starting with tape cracks done by FCS, Dynamic Duo, Danish Gold, GCS, Triad and others I was following scene up to times of Ikari+Talent, Illusion, F4CG, Enigma, Genesis*Project, Paramount, Dominators etc. These were times I introduced myself to computers and to the scene as well - I was far away from this bvsiness, I knew nobody who used C=64 (heh except for some lamer who managed to steal me a bit of hardware later), yet I was enjoyed scene as much as later when I got involved my-
self. Intros taught me what's scene, they also brought a lot of information on what was happening on scene at that time. I had my favorite groups, checked old stuff as it was new... Scene was far far away, something I couldn't reach, the USSR just did broke down and the rest of the world was still pretty much unreachable. Nevertheless, I wanted to join the scene. Yet I couldn't - I couldn't get any new software, especially I needed some tools like assembler but all I got was a lousy paint program and no docs on how to code nor any contact with other C=64 user. Tried to write to some addreses from intros but never got reply, seems like they were outdated.
So around 1993 I started my scene activities on Sinclair ZX Spectrum, which was pretty much spread here and there were loads of users and software and docs. But this article isn't really about my "hard days on the scene". Just to tell you - since I joined C=64 scene in 1995 everything changed. The scene seemed quite different than I used to think. I felt more or less as an older scener since I came my way thru C=64 warez as if I came from eighties :) But I didn't. So basically I accepted what was here and found it to be as exciting as before, just a whole new ball game. I went through my second "school of cracking".
WHY? For me, cracking is about a lot of things. One of most important - information wants to be free! I never cared much about copyrights, maybe an influence of enviroment I grew up, but that's a different question and I think there have been a lot of articles on this subject, so go search da mighty web. Crackers culture seemed to be a noble network of digital robin hoods - if you want a poetically-naive definition. Now, already in 1995 very few games seemed to have protection. Freeware and PD was what groups started to release. Now I learnt a different sides of cracking, like quality of release and ofcourse I liked the thing just because
of intros - an another important thing within cracking! But the old atmosphere linked to something noble and illegal was gone. My point is, cracking is no more dead than it was five years ago. It just changed the face, different qualities and aspects took over. I have to admit, tears can fill my eyes when I load up some old release both because of intro and the game itself but hell times are changing and people always tend to be nostalgic, that's the way things happen and you will get sentimental of what's going on now after 10 years! I am glad C=64 has such a history every scener can be proud of, no matter that I even wasn't lucky about to take part back then. But it's up to us to continue it and
cracking is so important part of scene, we shouldn't lose it. Here, step by step I'll try to reveal my thoughts on why should we continue and you'll see there is still a lot to do. Say thanks to past say welcome to future which turns into past every second this very second. FREEDOM. Kinda. If there is protection, it should be removed. Not a big issue nowadays. And it harms remaining game producers too. Err, yes, partly yes. Though this is a freakmachine now any- way so it's not really a way to fill your pocket. And, what's the heck, pay your attention to protection when releasing commercial game. The better it will be, the more copies will be sold. And make
your game to be worth purchasing, do a nice colorful box and paper docs, at least it is true for me that people will buy original of game they really like even if they got a pirate copy. QUALITY. The magical word which is spelled millions of times during the lifetime of each leet cracker :) Yes, that's also a very important thing. No release is perfect and crack- er's job is to improve it to the max yet leaving it as original as possible (hence the "invisible" things are his business: bugs removal, ntsc fix, size-reduction) and adding things like trainer and intro and various addons: fastload, docs,
translation. Therefore lack of copy protection isn't something to moan about. If you like cracking, you have shitload of old games waiting for you, if you want to work on new games, you can improve and fix all the titles coming out. GAMES. Yeah, the games itself. Did you ever thought of them? I did when realized that there are barely any game on PC I would like to play while I got lots of favorites on C=64, Speccy, Amiga and Atari. Now, how many times I've been disapointed of not having manual of game I really liked and not only for ins- tructions but also because of interest game generated in the storyline. And
there are so many games where trainer is a pleasure to have since there is this annoying time limit which ruins the whole gameplay for you while you are fancy with other conditions... Just turn off the time! Heh I wish I could, not everyone can haXXor ;) Basically, crackers helped alot to leave quality legacy behind and the oldie cracking groups does it even better. Retro-gaming freaks can find well cracked and bundled versions on C=64, guess it's all not that bright on Atari, for example, but that's okay, after all atari sucks =)
COMPETITION. It's still here. Not as exciting maybe as years ago but still there are some groups around and some games being released. Hearing all of you crying of lack of time, that's what we need. A calm and cosy competition with each group kicking a game or two in a month. Release charts? Nothing of interest if we see them monthly. But yearly chart is impressive enough :) ART. I am not the one to define what art is but cracking could be one as well - just imagine creative ways cracker are dealing with problems... Yet this is art which is only readable by the other
cracker looking at the code in monitor. But there is something more. It's an intro ofcourse! Intro, this very special piece of code, graphics, music & text, small but effective advertisement of group and the face of group for these not knowing members personally. Intro is great in a very special way, it is not comparable to demo or 4KB intro, size is important but got no limitations and the impression coming from intro may be as strong as one you get from demo. There can be an intro competitions at parties defined in rules as compos for crack-intros but they would never be the same and carry their message if they won't be used in cracks. For fuck's sake, continue your cracking in the
honour of intros :) Don't let them die! NEW MEDIUM I am out of ideas on the topic I started before, so let me end my list and write some more about changes, leftovers after PAST-FUTURE= So, =. The boards are gone I hear. On the other hand there are still some running, like Antidote (or it's down at the moment, Taper?), Bass Planet and Deadzone. Why not to call them? Yes, people are gone. But if you still have friends in scene there are people who can create callers base. You can't afford, don't want to risk, you can keep in touch on the net? Then don't moan. If internet killed the boards nobody is
guilty just you, ex-callers. You did exchange net for the boards not these who quit the scene or these who came later and even don't know what the boards are about. I've never called C=64 BBS but I did call PC/Amiga boards before I get access to internet and I call the till today so I know the atmosphere on boards is something special. And C=64 board should have been something out- standing! For quite some time I've got this idea and perhaps I am not the only one having it - could we set up C=64 BBSes accessable thru internet? A lot of Amiga/console/PC boards now have got both dial-up nodes and telnet ones too. If it is not possible for C=64 to handle TCP/IP, we could hook'em up to
the net using their big bro PC or fat sista Amiga as tool to connect thru. BTW, while we still didn't manage to launch our inet boards on C=64, I would like to advise you to signup and support C=64 conference on The Yard BBS, one of most popular Amiga/console board at the moment. Mail me for details how to get in, all you need is an access to internet and ability to telnet. SOME MORE THINGS TO DO The thing I am also been thinking on for a while is a database on all the cracked games on C=64. Would be very helpful if an oldie-cracking scene will be evolving and interesting and handy for every C=64 enhusiast.
What should we have there? First, name of the game. Then, developers, publishers, year, country, some other details. Then - main part with all the versions released listed. Group, size, year, cracker, trainer pluses, ntsc/pal, known bugs (?), extras (like docs), missing parts, importers/fixers and whatever else you want. And option to download (database owners should cooperate with some huge archive or run one themselves - and mates, help Mason doing good job - transfer your collections and send him to make the MOST complete archive). Gigantic The Best on the net. One hell of work, but worth it. Start small, in some years it'll be big. And may it be never finished!
HAPPY END Hopefully. I know, I havn't said any- thing out of ordinary there, just pulled some things together. You see, chaotic and stuff. But it's hard to express your exact thoughts and feelings in a spoken word, in a written word, whatever. And I just had to express my "cracking" in a small article in a short period of time. Greetings to my friends around the scene you know you make me sing every day! =) Sinking in nostalgy, diving the future, Raver/Phantasy/Dual Crew Shining raver@dc-s.com
What you are going to read is a review of the 'first intro' discussion on the [c64]-mailinglist which started in Oct., 2000. The author, Heiko Zimmermann, was active on different systems, in different scenes, under different hand- les. He entered the C64 scene a decade ago. When the hackers and crackers realized the chance to use their know- ledge to earn money and worked for companies like Computec or Magna Me- dia in the middle of the nineties it was his step, too. Today he's still an atten- tive observer of the scene and he transformed his thoughts regarding the '1st intro' discussion into a brilliant, VERY polemic and thus entertaining ar- ticle. I'm sure you'll have as much fun as I had. * Frank Fischer a.k.a. Scare/Active *
BITS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS THE 'FIRST INTRO' DISCUSSION * by Heiko Zimmermann * Sometimes they go out to hunt the ani- mal. It is too big and too old to know and to feel that they are approaching it from the rear. After a while of stillness the wounded animal falls, hit by their bullets. One of these bullets was shot in the [c64]-mailinglist. Some people went out for hunting there, but didn't return with the bag. Nothing else one can expect when a bunch of almost universal dilet- tants goes discussing on something they have no clue of. Someone had
asked a question - quite innocently - and delivered the subject line for the starting discussion: "Who made the first intro and when?" A big furore started. Everyone who's always posting crap in the mailing list and some others who, although they check for new mails from the list every hour, are quite calm all the time first started to post and only later to think. I have learned a lot by reading these mails. I learned how crunchers work in general, that Weasel, although he has no own life, has an inferiority complex and therefore a strong drive for perso- nal prestige, that Zyron is a workaholic and that the old crack-intros are just intros and just old.
"What is an intro, anyway?" was the most important question in the discus- sion, but it was formulated right in the middle of it, not at the beginning. It originally started off with questions of crunchers and stuff. MWS/Radwar first began an on-line lecture on crunchers and then wrote from his masturbatory model: Dear children, now I gonna tell you about my all time heroes. They are: JEDI, Crackman Crew, MZP, Mr. Z, Ja- nitor, E.C.A., Dynamic Duo, Antitrack, F-16, Omega Man, Van Crack, The Mas- ter and Flash. Now everybody knew about his state of mind and how old he is. But I better give you an objective account of the events so far. On 21 October MWS posted information about GCS. The German Cracking Ser-
vice was founded in 1983 by some guys named Snoopy & Mam, KBR and Antiram. (Zyron was later to state, quote, "Man, with names like that you're bound to be successful.") After a lot of posted nos- talgia by Weasel ("good old memories", "turn back time please", "I remember all them from these days as well", I could expand this into infinity) the well- known and beloved Onkel Wanja a.k.a. Brix/Plush took part in the on-going discussion. Well, then DeeKay, Bacchus and other guys posted something but didn't say anything at all. Bacchus phi- losophised about deeper truths: "...but as the c64 is not the first nor the last computer ever built there is no reason to take for granted that there is an ul- timate truth which is based on the views of the scene on the C64. Some of
us have a wider perspective - that's all, and I don't like when the narrow- minded take their own view as a fact!" ... What could I add? ... Amen. This kinda crap went on for days till Sorex wrote about an AntiRom and a GCS intro from '83. Just after Zyron said he would start to rip some intros from various cracks and upload them into the web, he wrote: "I have lots of games cracked by those guys before the GCS days but none of them had any intro, just some text in the game was changed...usually the (c)- line but sometimes also parts of the gfx. But when they started GCS they also started using an intro, the oldest game I've found is Cohen's Tower from
1983. I even have a version of it with- out the intro but with the same text & gfx changed to GCS like in the version with the intro...I wonder if they did re- release :) I wonder if Bad Brothers weren't the first or one of the first using an intro...or Clonekid & Odball, if it can be called intro :) Can a textline like 'CRACKED BY THE CREAM CRAC- KERS" or "ANOTHER XEROX CRACKED PROGRAM" be called an intro? Or does it need some rasterbars like in 'CRAC- KED BY MR. Z..." How should one define 'the first intro'? Anyone? I'm open for suggestions :)" That was something. Zyron had done the first point in really discussing such a historic topic as the first intro is. I remember that Scare had written an
article about that the scene is current- ly in a state of self-reflection. The dis- cussion about the first intro fits won- derfully clear into Scare's argumenta- tion. The scene is struggling for life and has only the old things and the memo- ries to live from. But let's get back to the events in the mailbox. Zyron asked for the definition of 'intro' on 26 October at 2.09 p.m.. That rest of the day so many emails were posted in the list as in an ordinary month altogether. At 2.47 p.m. (one could think he's sitting in front of his computer screen all the time) Weasel did something he hadn't done for weeks. He posted a mail, which contai- ned real information. He wrote about how he would define the term 'intro',
"any kind of added and additional screen in front of the real game which is presented." At 3.03 p.m. MWS wrote that one needed rasterbars, sprites, gfx or a non-standard characterset to make an intro. Other things wouldn't be intros at all. At 5.13 p.m. Zyron posted again, saying that an intro might be a textline as well as long as it isn't prin- ted using BASIC. The distinction of the source of the text seems to be rather stupid. But Zyron wasn't at least as drunken as DeeKay must have been when he posted at 9.55 p.m. that an in- tro needs a self-made graphic, e.g. sprites (as the GCS used). Moreover, it was questionable if changing raster- colours sufficed to make an intro. Dod- ger reacted on that: "So an intro using rasters and standard font for a scrol-
ler is no INTRO using your definition... damn are you really that stupid???? I remember the raw guys intro using just a scroll... no intro to you??? please someone ban him from this discussion." Emotions, emotions, in a dying scene. Pooh, I hope that's not too much for you and you can stand the account of another day of this discussion. ... Well, then. On 27 October Brix and Heaven posted. They more or less agreed to Weasel's definition and wondered if a text loaded directly into the screen RAM (as I know it from the old tapes) was an intro and whether there has to be some gfx or movement in an intro. The point of Brix was that he always felt an intro to be
somewhere in between a demo and an introduction. Please think for yourself now. ... Right. That was the reason for no-one to react on him. The next day MWS summarized the discussion and in- troduced the term 'cracking intro' into the discourse. A cracking intro was anything that the cracker includes in front of his crack. No cracking intro was consequently a changed screen or scrolltext in the game, or a decrunch text, which is automatically displayed through the packer's decrunch routine. Groepaz later this day demanded coding to be involved into intros. This couldn't of course work out since this is a func- tional approach whereas an intro is clearly given phenomenological. That is to say that you can see when something is an intro although you don't have to
know how it works. After that dense discussion (two days) the events stretched again in time. Heaven asked when, as he calls it, 'sty- lish' intros appeared. Bacchus introdu- ced a distinction between 'cracker traces' (as BASIC lines, in-game pat- ches (text lines, high score lists, pic- tures)) and intro(screen)s (which are special screens before the game's start which state the cracker). The discussion more or less ended the- re since everyone took another view in it. Better get an own perspective, too. Just visit Zyron's collection of intros at http://www.c64.org/~zyron/c64int- ros/index.html which is currently con- taining 681 intros. Maybe you can even
add some more. Just rip it, move it to $0801, add a BASIC line and replace the jump to the game-depacker with a jump to $fce2. Let's conserve our history, our youth. Bottle it up and put it into the web-shelf. "To document all of these nostalgic texts and publish it," wishes a dreaming Jazzcat. Anyone? Maybe you find, as I do, this all to be white elephants to you. If yes, just enjoy seeing and hea- ring them trumpet through the scenery. Yours, Heiko <horatio@gelb.net>
Welcome everybody! This is Count Zero on the keys with a somewhat special chapter for the remaining magazines that are out there... (mainly VN and Dom 😊 Today I am not writing about games, charts or other scene related stuff you may expect from me, but about a project I am working on with Danzig and Checky so far. It's a new Action Replay ROM which is aiming at improving functionality, removal of known bugs and last but not least, improving existing routines.
Many of you will know the famous Action Replay series, also known as Action Cart. The also well-known Nordic Power and Atomic Cartridge are code-based on the AR and therefore are pretty much the same. (Only some menus and outfit work was done on these, so they are not really taken serious by me.. hehe) Next to the ROM software, which is compatible with a lot of the existing AR carts, we are also planning to build NEW cartridges and SELL them to the few remaining people who don't own such a brilliant freezer by now. The hardware development was actually done up to a certain stage before I even started the software project and
when I met Peter Weiss and Andreas Brandmeyer who are responsible for it until now, we discussed some more options which will turn the result into something nobody should really miss. If you don't believe me, read on... 😊 I will try to answer most of the questions which could come up here, but for more information you may take a look at: http://www.ar.c64.org or mail me at: count0@c64.org The homepage contains almost anything about Action Replay related information you could think of. If you have additions, let me know...
About the hardware: The new hardware will be fully compatible with existing AR's but will most probably have a couple of advanced features aswell. The cartridges sold by Datel until the beginning of the 90's contain 32kb of ROM and 8kb of RAM. The hardware will have 128kb ROM, of which you may optionally select 32kb or 64kb versions. This way you have the possibility to put up to 4 different 32kb ROM versions onto a single cart or 2 64kb sized ROM versions. You may also mix them, but I don't think you will ever switch around again when getting used to a complete
64kb version. The new hardware will also have proper reset and freeze buttons since many people complained about the ones used by Datel. They somehow fall apart after 5 years of usage. 😊 Another thing we are looking to include is a crash protection when reading the control register at $de00. Some programs are using $de00 area and therefore crash with normal AR's. More optional, since not yet decided, are the following:
* Switchable $de00/$df00 IO-area to allow REU compatibility (most probably using an additional DIP switch or a jumper.) * Cartridge programmable from the C64 directly (FlashROM... I would love this ...geez) * Expansion port to allow PC-direct- control-connectivity We will set up a voting survey on the homepage soon to make decisions based on the need of the users, but I expect most people to want the full version, hehe.
To be able to produce the amount of cartridges we are looking for WE NEED YOUR HELP aswell! To estimate a number for the production you will need to pre-order first by sending an email to me and LATER on, when we are shortly before production, you will be asked for a prepayment which will be about 50% of the final price. The final price is targetted at about 50 euro. So far we got nearly 1000 hits at the page and only 20 pre-orders, but we are looking for about 200-300 carts to produce, since otherwise it wouldn't make sense to industrially make the carts. Industrial production? Yes!
You will get a real good cart with proper cover, buttons and ofcourse a professionally assembled board. So, contact us! About the software: More than a year ago, in the beginning of 2000 I started resourcing the complete cartridge software which comes with the AR V5. (V6 is the same with just a different startup screen) When I got it running completely I started making serious changes towards the software and rather quickly found a couple of bugs which simply needed to be removed.
New options were added and a lot of people added their inspiration and wishes, so the list of changes and the To Do-list became a challenge. Now there are 4 different versions of the ROM available in several Beta Stages. Two of them are 32kb sized in PAL and NTSC which also fit onto existing AR's when burned onto the right eprom and the cartridge you own has it's eprom on a socket. The 64kb sized ROMs, available in PAL and NTSC aswell, are currently only working with a modified version of VICE, which is also available at the homepage for download.
Currently the 64kb versions don't have many more options than the 32kb sized ones, but we are looking to include heaps of neat options which a real c64 freak simply cannot resist. 😊 If you don't know the AR cartridge series at all, take a look at the complete manual which is also available at the homepage. Incase you own a cartridge or used it before, the list of changes will give you a clue of what has changed and was improved. People used to the cart will (hopefully) simply love most of the new stuff. Here is a list of changes and additions we did so far. It contains only the most important changes.
For a more complete list, please check the homepage. To make up some space the following stuff was REMOVED: - Printer Dump on Freezer - LOADER Saving on the Utility Menu - Tape Slideshow - Tape Speeder Routines - TAPE Parameters. DISK (E.*) is still there. - Are You Sure? - Sprite Viewer (an Editor will be added soon)
Additions, patches and fixes include: - ZAP is back... this option disables the cartridge without having to reset. It also keeps the basic start, so you are able to load an AR-incompatible program, hit ZAP and then run. - SAVELAND in Freezer. This option replaces the silly picture save and enhances by allowing the user to save the currently used charset, screenram, colorram, bitmap, koala picture or even a memory area from $0000 to $ffff. (In monitor you can currently not save areas below $0800 without problems. Don't worry, this will change soon)
- F4 setting on the Fastload Toolkit/ Basic extension now changes Devices, not colors. Comparable to CTRL & D on a JiffyDos equipped computer. When Jiffy is present, the JD routine will be used. - SHIFT-Run/Stop does %0:* (CR) and loads directly off Drive 8 on power up. - File and Disk copy can be quit using R/S on the menu aswell. - @H will re-read the drive buffer and display the correct header without @I on subsequent directory displays. - Various changed on the monitor affecting: Fill, Compare, Assemble, I/I*-Display and Set/Clear Freeze-
and Breakpoints. - Pokefinder now searches for any value between 1 and 255. - New keys at the Powerup screen allowing to fill ram with either $BD or $00 aswell as starting with normal basic or the fastload toolkit. - Sprite/Sprite and Sprite/Background collision killer was fixed to work properly. - Wildcard Hunt for monitor added. - FIND was added. This routine from Arndt Dettke allows you to search a basic program for a given string. Final Cartridge iii has this option aswell.
- The Fastsave routine was fixed to allow filling a disk with 664 blocks. Before, it was complaining with a disk full error although there was enough space left. (1 block, hehe) - POKE in the freezer menu allows to enter HEX-Pokes aswell now. Also mixed combinations are possible now. - Some changes on the freeze routines include an improved SID handling and $dd00 handling. This way chances for freezing IRQ- loaders are increased and the sound should in most cases sound properly when restarting a program. Plus some more stuff...
Available in the 64kb release only are currently: - Renumber - some older AR carts had this, but it was removed due to space problems I suppose. - Turbo Assembler - currently the assembler is only copied into the C64 RAM and started there, but Checky got the sources and is working on a version which will give you plenty of more space for sourcecode and labels, since it will work from the cartridge ROM completely then.
We are planning to include the following options into either the 32kb or 64kb release versions, depending on how they fit onto the ROM: - TASS Macro - as mentioned before, but it will only be available in the 64kb releases. - Sprite and Char Editor. Already looking damn good. You will love it! 😊 - Another load/save routine which is CMD HD and FD compatible and also allows the load and save of the complete RAM area in freeze mode. - Illegal opcodes for monitor aswell as a connection to TASS. Will allow you to do stuff like list labels in monitor also.
- Improved filecopy and backup menus. - REU compatibility (when the new hardware is ready and working with the I/O mapping) - A better Disk Monitor. - Various receive routines to allow transfers from PC without the need to load the receive program. (Very suitable for people working with cross- assemblers (like me, hehe) - a D64 transfer routine (which won't kill your RAM) is planned then aswell.
A lot of other minor and major improvements is in the works aswell. A more detailed list with comments is, did I mention that (?), available at the homepage. 😊 We are also still looking for people who would like to contribute to the project aswell, so if you wrote stuff which may come in handy, contact me! 😊 Another part I am looking to include is a more flexible parameters option which would allow patching most of the existing software with menu driven functions. Basically this will allow the user to load a few bytes with the parameter option and present a menu which could make trainers (with ON/OFF while the
program is running), disable copy protections to allow a proper freeze, etc. For this point I am looking for a skilled coder who is able to code some kind of editor for it. If you are interested, contact me for a more detailed discussion. The timeline for the complete project is a little messed up at the moment, but I hope to get it more straight during the next few weeks. While the software side isn't too important, but constantly gets going, the hardware side relies on the amount of pre-orders.
As mentioned before we would like to produce 200-300 pieces, but since time is a very valuable thing nowadays, Peter (the hardware manager) has decided to drop further enhancements until we are sure there will be a production. Did I get you interested? Hopefully. 😊 Visit the homepage at http://www.ar.c64.org or mail me at count0@c64.org whenever you like to pre-order or register yourself. Also check out the little competition we set up at the page. The Beta Tester with the best comments and bug reports, which are not yet mentioned on the page, will get a free cartridge!
A final word about our motivation: I am personally doing this piece of software, because I am a C64 fanatic who will never learn. 😊 The project was a challenge and I am a good point until now. Danzig is pretty much like me I would say. He is currently developing the combined Sprite and Char Editor, which will be integrated into the cartridge pretty soon. Checky took over the sources of Turbo Ass Macro just a few days ago and is at a very early stage currently. Let's see how time is serving him. 😊
Peter Weiss and Andreas Brandmeyer are somehow hardware freaks who took a closer look at the original hardware and wanted to rebuild it, because so many people at the auctions pay incredible prices for old and used cartridges. All of us are NOT doing this for any money. The final price will not be more than the actual production costs and the costs for mailing the stuff to you. One of the first mails was asking me if we possibly would rip-off the people. Well, all I can say here is: If you don't trust us, let it be. 😊 I am around in the C64 scene for more than 12 years now and I am a regular nowadays on the internet.
People usually respect me for my knowledge about rating games, as a (more or less) skilled cracker and NTSC-fixer aswell as a big-mouth. 😊 Afterall I wouldn't have invested a year of my spare time into such a project if I wouldn't plan to become some sort of legend, would I ? ☺ No, honestly. We are not going to rip-off people, but we expect you to play a major role in our plans aswell. I am always open to constructive criticism and I am the only one who is a regular on the net. If you like to contact Danzig or Checky take a look at the pages and grab their email off there. 😊
So far a lot of people already contributed with ideas, source code or critics and I would also like to take chance to thank them here. They are: - MWS and Crisp/Radwar - Ninja/The Dreams (currently the leading Beta Tester, he will grab the free cart at the moment) 😊 - Marco Baye/ACME Author (a great crossassembler!) - Deekay/Crest - Fungus/Onslaught - Andreas Boose/VICE Development Team (although never answering to mails) - Bacchus/Fairlight - Graham/Oxyron
- HOK and Jack Alien/Remember - Sorex/Warriors of Wasteland - Cupid/Hitmen/Padua - QED/Triangle - Anonym/Padua - JBevren Aswell as many, many people parting IRC channel #c-64. Ok, whenever you are not horny now, I can't help it anymore... 😊 Homepage: http://www.ar.c64.org EMail: count0@c64.org
We are sorry about snail mail users, but we cannot serve it currently. The internet makes development and communication for a project so much easier. If you don't have the possibility to get online, please ask a friend or so. When production is getting closer we will ofcourse offer you a postal address and phone number for contact. That's all, folks... Count Zero / Cyberpunx
'What happened to OLD C-64 LEGENDS' ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Introduced by MWS/Radwar The follow series of text was one of the more interesting topics discussed on the C64 mailing list (c64@rules.org) lately. Instead of the usual debate regarding some emulator or PC related topic, a discussion was opened up on old C64 cracking groups which makes the previous emulation talk look incredibly boring! The author of this information is none other than MWS/Radwar, otherwise known as Markus Wiederstein...
Hi everybody, Today I'll start with the group "JEDI 2001" JEDI was well known for: - Summer Games PAL FIX - Paint Magic - Protecting FCOPY III for Thomas Tempelmann Members: J - Joppich, Oliver (OJO) E - Eikemeier, Oliver (1103) D - Dietz, Oliver-Thomas (OTD) I - Inc.
Oliver Joppich (OJO), started coding on the C64 early 1983 with some copy programs like 'OJO Soft Backup'. Nowadays he's the founder of the company that has developed a new web-browser for the Macintosh. Some links (German only) http://www.icab.de http://www.macwelt.de/_news/detail. lasso?-token.id=6071 http://www.hats.de/inhalt/newsdata/ news1514.html
Oliver Eikemeier (1103), is still at the University of Frankfurt as a student for mathematics, but he's still a really nice and funny guy as you can see on his homepage: http://www.math.uni-frankfurt.de/~eik /fun.html Oliver Thomas Dietz (OTD) did a lot of coding and hardware development for the C64. His first programs were simply named DUBBER, PACKER and LINKER. He developed several programs and hardware for German computer magazines.
- PRINTER PLOTTER for 'Computer Persoenlich' http://www.o-3.de/my_html/comp_per s_plotter.jpg - 64'ER DOS for the C64 magazine from Markt&Technik http://www.o-3.de/my_html/64er_listi ng_des_monats.jpg and his biggest project was the world fastest PARALLEL FLOPPY SPEEDER: PROLOGIC DOS. http://www.o-3.de/my_html/64er_prol ogic.jpg If you are able to read German, just read his personal record at: http://www.lyse.de/lebenslauf.html
The next people in the row will be: Thomas Tempelmann (coder of FCOPY 1 + 2 + 3) Andreas Hommel (E.C.A. 1998, coder of Garrison on Amiga and also coder of Metrowerks MAC C-Compiler) Alf Maier & Darius Zendeh & Claus Peter Lippert of the CRACKMAN CREW. That's all for now, Markus Wiederstein (MWS of RADWAR) ---
Frederico reply to MWS mail: "Oh, this is great and really interesting for me!!!... Be ready for lots of questions & requests of stories 😊" Hi Frederico, I'll do my best "I didn't know Radwar was the old FCG... There was guy in that group named "Lukullus" who really impressed me with his intros and demos! Oh well.. I think I've to wait for your story about that group to know more about him 😊" That's a small MISTAKE -> you are talking about FCS (Fantasy Cracking Service), a group that was located in Germany's old capital city BONN.
LUKULLUS was their biggest & best coder and he lived in COLOGNE, just about 30km from the FCS Headquarter. I think after FCS stopped he joined THE WANDERER GROUP (TWG). If ya like to read more about OUR history, follow the link: http://www.radwar.com/history.htm Markus Wiederstein (MWS of RADWAR) --- p.s. I went through 600 disks and as a result here is our collection: THE LIGHT CIRCLE releases: (MZP, PBA, Omega Man (TCS), TMC, FLASH, DUKE and MWS)
http://home.t-online.de/home/mwieders tein/TLC.ZIP http://home.t-online.de/home/mwieders tein/RWETLC.ZUP RADWAR releases: http://home.t-online.de/home/mwieders tein/RWE.zip ALL in ALL that's 10 MB of zipped D64 and T64 files. I'm very sure that this is not a full complete collection, but as a lot of our disks were taken by the police, I don't have 'em anymore.
Another reaction to the C64 Legends information on the mailing list: "One thing that should also be really mentioned is the fact, that although everyone USED FCOPY-III, none actually bought it ;=p (I remember something like less than 100 originals sold, is that true?)" Yep, there were not sold many, but I guess more than 100. "I guess it was a bad idea to create a copy-program that could copy EVERYTHING, including it's own protection scheme ;=)))" FCOPY III wasn't a nibble copier and you couldn't copy the original with
itself or any other copier. The story why the FCOPY III didn't sell so much is as follows: Tempelmann and the JEDI guys were so proud about the PROTECTION and they announced: NOBODY is able to crack thiz!!! Well, CPL from the Crackman Crew worked at the German RUN magazine (with me) and he heard about the MASTERPIECE and told ALF Maier (Crackman himself) about it. So Alf spoke to JEDI and told 'em that he would like to try the protection and he would not spread it after the crack. The JEDI guys laughed and said: If ya manage to crack it, then spread it...
and so they gave a mastercopy to the Crackman Crew... The PROTECTION SCHEME was horrible: - They used a modified basic compiler to run basic routines to transfer data into floppy, executed it, and send the whole fcopy main proggy through the prallel cable into the floppyram, decode it there, transfer it back, do a lot of check sums,... (may sound simple to you but grab the original and give it a try!!!) Alf cracked the heavily protected FCOPY within a week. After he tried nearly everything to understand the compiled code, useless... but then he used a simple trick.
He made modifications to his computers KERNAL & BASIC ROM, and also to the FLOPPY Kernal, and that was without hardware modifications the only BACKDOOR to trace and change the code. Then FCOPY III was spread with the nice CRM intro with the AXEL-F sound done by Darius Zendeh (one of the guys behind Professional Dos and also the Nordic Power Cartridge). That was around 2 weeks before the final shipping. The FCOPY III Crew was really pissed, but in the end it was "SOMEHOW" their own fault.
Remember the SLOGAN on the FCOPY III main screen: "BEWARE JEDI, you should better crack programs instead of trying to protect them." DOWNLOAD LINK FOR THE CRM VERSION: http://home.t-online.de/home/mwieders tein/FCOPY.ZIP BTW: I'M LOOKING FOR AN ORIGINAL FCOPY III, I'd pay 200 DM for it to get it in my collection!!! Markus Wiederstein (MWS of RADWAR) ---
Today it's Andreas Hommel aka E.C.A 1998 E.C.A is well known for: - Releasing high-quality versions of C64 games (short, trained, level- packed and working!) through 1985-1987 (he was one of the guys that invented this kind of RELEASING, many others followed) - Coding the E.C.A packer/linker/level cruncher on the C64 (1985) - Cracking Marble Madness on the Amiga (1987)
Andreas Hommel is 'very' well known for - Coding the gauntlet clone GARRISON on the Amiga for Rainbow Arts (1986/87) - Coding the gauntlet 2 clone GARRISON II on the Amiga for Rainbow Arts (1987) - Coding Arkanoid (Macintosh version) for Discovery Software (1988) Look at the picture with "Soren 'sword of SODAN' Gronbech" at Discovery Software in Canada, Andreas is on the LEFT. http://www.sodan.dk/Software/Sos/dis covery.jpg
- Coding the Metrowerks CodeWarrior C/C++ compuler (MultiPlatform - Amiga Mac, Win32, Linux) Andreas cracked games on the C64 from 1984 to 1986, cracked and coded games on the Amiga from 1986-1989, in 186/87 he started his 68k C - Compiler project on the Amiga and in 1987 he moved to Canada to work for Discovery Software. He did projects for them on the Amiga and also on the MAC, and he ported his AMIGA C Compiler to the MAC and added C++ syntax to it. After finishing his masters degree in computer science, Andreas did some contract programming in desktop
publishing area and in 1993 the Canadian company Metrowerks was searching for a c/c++ compiler engine. Andreas showed 'em his one. They were really impressed and offered him to lead the compiler project inhouse. He agreed and was employed shortly after this. He is currently the C/C++ front end and back end/linker architect at Metrowerks. He has been with Metrowerks for seven and a half years. Andreas today lives in a small country village about 20 kilometers north of Hamburg, Germany with his wife, two
Australian Shepherd dogs, and two Arabian horses. When he is not coding, riding horses or walking his dogs Andreas still likes playing a good video game. I asked him once: Is there anything that you really miss in ya nowadays computer biz? Guess what he answered .... "My good old C-64..." Markus Wiederstein (MWS of RADWAR) --------
Interview with... THE HELL HACKER/TSM The interview section begins it's journey once more in this * special * edition of Domination. First in the line is with the old USA scener known as The Hell Hacker. He was formerly a member of The Shaolin Monastery importing group back in the good old days. If you want to take a time machine back to the scene in the eighties, then please proceed!
D) Welcome to the Domination magazine - a special edition focused on the importing and cracking scene. Can you please introduce yourself to the readers... T) Thanks for interviewing me! My name is Andy and my alias USED to be The Hell Hacker, although I've grown out of that name ;) When you are in your teens sometimes you do some things you look back on and snicker at. I've been in quite a few groups and haven't been active in the scene since 1989, which is the year I quite altogether.
D) 1989, wish I had even STARTED in the group scene at this time 😊 If possible, could you tell us when you first joined the scene and what happened up until the point where you left it. T) I first joined the scene sometime in 1985. At that time, the major groups were Starfleet, Eagle Soft Inc, Mr.Nike and a few others I can't remember. My first real interaction with the scene was when I started my first BBS, called The Devil's Den. Basically I did a lot of local trading and knew nothing about cracking, and very little programming. The one thing that happened when I was 14 was I met this
guy named Matt, whose handle was Rad Man (another one of those names you come up with when you're a teen). He was from Arizona and he was to become the programmer of my first group, TSI, which stood for Tiger Soft Incorporated. Basically I took the ESI name and just came up with another animal to use 😊 I wasn't over original then! I started a new bulletin board on the good ol' C-NET BBS, version 10 I think, called The Abusement Park. I really liked that name and still do. Ofcourse it was still pretty childish, but it was more original than "The Devil's Den".
We released some pretty crappy warez as TSI. Eventually we met up with NEPA (North East Pirates Association) run by Pira-Ted, who worked for a phone company. I remember he had something like 7 phone lines in his house! From there we met Billy The Kid who was in a group with another guy who ran a voice mailbox system. This was our first brush with fame on the scene. We got our own mailbox on the same system as cracking greats ESI and UCF, and continued onward. Tiger Soft wasn't doing that great, pretty mediocre. By this time we had become good friends of Pira-Ted and
were asked to join NEPA as cracker and programmer. It had just been Rad Man and me up until that point. We did some good releases for NEPA, such as "Spy vs. Spy 3", and Rad Man did a few demos. By this time he had really come into his own and was excellent at doing intros. Many of my earlier releases escape me, so I'm sorry not to be able to recount that many. One of the demos I did was called "Def Jam". It wasn't that great by demo standards today, but I wasn't really a demo programmer. I also programmed two other things, Hack Pack 1 and Hack Pack 2. These were basically programs that would let you do all sorts of DOS
things, and I slapped in a bunch of programs (pirated, ofcourse) that I found useful, as well. When I was in NEPA, I had met The Head Librarian and Mitch from Eagle Soft. The Head Librarian had a group called ABNI (I THINK it stood for Abuse Network... something or other). I became good friends with both of them. I was becoming a better cracker by this time, and could handle many different protection schemes. I would program directly in ASM in my Super Snapshot cartridge Machine Language Monitor. I never wrote anything with a TRUE assembler. Ofcourse, these days I'm not that stupid, I hope.
I spoke with Mitch of ESI quite a bit. We had certain things in common, like old Anime cartoons we used to run home from school to watch. I learned quite a bit from him about cracking and programming. I used to fall asleep on the phone while he was cracking games. I remember one game we worked on together that I released for TSI called "Into the Eagles Nest". We walked through it and he helped me with some of the memory management routines. Some games I remember him cracking while we were talking:
California Games Street Sports Baseball The Games - Summer & Winter editions Indiana Jones (don't remember which) Eventually I was asked to join ESI. At this point Rad Man joined an importing group (I can't remember the name!) and he did demos and NTSC fixes for them. I didn't do much when I was in ESI. I think their motive to get me in, other than us being good friends, was like Microsoft's "Embrace and Extend" philosophy; if I was in the group, there would be less competition. All that had been stopping us until then was a good original supplier.
As ESI dropped out of the C64 scene and Mitch went Amiga, I left the group and Rad Man and I got together once again to form TSM, The Shaolin Monastery. These next 2 years were to be our glory years, pretty much. We became the #1 cracking group in the USA, by sheer output of cracked originals, until I left the scene in 1989. Basically by then there wasn't much left to do in my mind as far as cracking went. I also think I had outgrown cracking. It gave me a wealth of knowledge, which I thank goodness for today. I don't think I'd be working in computers to the extent I am today if it weren't for those early days.
Getting back to TSM, we had a good original supplier named The Gamer. At this time there was heated competition between TSM and NEC. We were basically going to war. NEC wrested The Gamer awak from us, because he wanted to have more power in TSM. This was always something reserved for the founders, which were Rad Man and me. I wasn't about to give any power up to the original supplier, who got all the warez he wanted and ran a great BBS. I didn't see the point; he would get hundreds of "returns" on his investment. Shortly after he left TSM, we got another supplier named Blue Devil. We were releasing many games at this time, beating out NEC.
Our first comeback game after losing The Gamer was "Kings of the Beach" by EA. Shortly after I released a disk trainer for that game so the other team would never get any points. One game I distinctly remember that I beat their cracker on, whose name was Horizon, was a game called "Destroyer Escort". I remember that their load routines were somewhere high in memory, past $f000. Basically what I did was to create my own loader (I had to rip the files too, since the disk was in a non- standard format) and locate it low in memory. For some reason, Horizon, who was an exceptionally great cracker, had problems with this game, and we beat them by a good 4 hours or so.
Blue Devil eventually joined NEC, basically for the same reason as The Gamer. More "power". Mind you, these were MEN in their 30s and 40s! I refused Blue Devil the "half power" he wanted in the group. I didn't start the group to give power out, I started it to crack warez for the scene. So after he left, we still did just as good because a few older members (with credit cards!) banded together to get the games shipped to me next-day air, as I had been getting them from The Gamer and Blue Devil. Sometime after The Gamer had left, he got hit by a car. He was injured very badly and had to be in a wheel chair. I thought this was very sad, and I wished him the best. Many people really
took things hard and liked to be cruel. Even though The Gamer shunned us and kicked sand in our faces, I still was sorry to hear what had happened to him. One of the highlights of this time was a girl that had joined the group back in the beginning. Her name was Arielle, her handle was Aycee. She was a distributor for us. She had been in MSI. I forgot what it stood for. I think "More Stupid Initials". She also handled importing for us. We had some exclusive imports for a couple of major groups, like Talent (Hi Bod!). She opened a lot of distribution channels to the group, which is what we needed to beat out NEC.
Arielle and I were always very close, and I hope someday to find her to catch up. Some of the cracks I remember that we did: Thunder Blade Alien Syndrome Kings of the Beach Magic Candle Destroyer Escort Test Drive There was plenty more, but... I wish I had at least kept a list of these. Sorry again! Here is a link, however, to Rad Man's existing TSM page, which has intros and games on it:
http://www.isd.net/mhillmer/tsm/index .html Matt (Rad Man) and I are still best friends today, after god knows how many years. We are both involved in the computer industry still, but legally 😊 I had taken a major hiatus from computers. I am now 27 years old and married, and I just came back to computers 4 years ago. There was a good 6 year gap where I worked mostly in retail, and then realized I was doing nothing I really enjoyed. I finally got a system admin job at my local library and then moved on to web programming, which is what I do today. It would be nice, someday when I have the time, to put together a little page
about the group and all our releases and dates. D) During your active period on the C64, what were some of the importing and cracking groups around and what boards did you call? T) Wow. I wish I could remember all of that. The groups that were around that stick mostly in my mind still: ESI (Eagle Soft Incorporated) ABYSS FBR (Fucked Beyond Repair) NEC (North East Crackers) ATC (A Touch of Class)
Fairlight Triad NEPA (North East Pirates Association) Sorry to any I missed--don't hate me-- it's been 11 years! I can't remember any of the boards I called! Isn't that terrible? It's probably for the best... D) What disk magazines did you read in the past and what do you think is the general purpose of them to the scene? T) I didn't read any disk magazines. And to be honest, I guess I hated a lot of
European groups at the time. I think it was just a cultural thing; I can't even remember why I didn't associate much with them. I probably shouldn't have said that, but I want to give you an honest interview. Rad Man and I actually wrote a program called "Euro Abuser" which would encrypt/decrypt based on the timing of the computer, so programs would not work on PAL machines! I have no CLUE why we did this. Sorry! Today ofcourse, I have no problem with any of that. A good friend of mine was Strider of Fairlight, and we used to rip on each other all the time over the phone. He is a great guy. I hope I can catch up with him, someday, too.
D) Were you ever involved in the H/P scene? T) This is an interestion question. I was involved in the Phreaking scene. At one time there was a shortage of codes, so I wrote a hacking program to hack a dialup. I had broken the algorithm used to generate codes. I noticed what digits were the same, and formulated a program to take old, non-working codes and try new codes based on these. It worked great and I always had fresh coders that were unused by others. When I was 16, a guy named Gizmo, who was in our group at the time, got busted. This led the FBI and police to
tap my phone, since he had turned me in. Eventually they caught up with me and confiscated all my stuff. Luckily I was adjudicated from this (since I was 16), so it didn't go on my permanent record. My parents were NOT happy! 😊 I still managed to crack games after this. The people in TSM got together and sent me hardware! It was pretty amazing. I have never used a phreak code since! I don't even know anything about the scene today. And I like it that way... Soon after I turned 17, however, is when the scene died for me, and when I
quit, so the bust was sort of a wake-up call for me. D) The last time I spoke with STEALTH was around 1995. He was importing wares for Legend at that time under the TSM lable, our BBS was The Shaolin Temple, run by Aycee, which Legend shared with TSM. Ever thought about doing any cracking or importing again under the TSM lable or have you had any feelings to do some old or new games again just for the nostalgia? T) Well, I'll tell you. Something I forgot about. When I was around 20 years old,
I moved to Colorado to live with my father and some of my step-family. At this time, I was writing a lot (fiction), and I actually ended up writing some cheesy suspense novel, that reads like a carbon copy of a bad Dean Koontz novel. During my year stay in Colorado, I broke out the C64 once again. I actually went back and started to crack ANY originals or software I may have had that was still protected. Some of the games I did: Barbie (!) by Epyx (laugh) Realms of Darkness (no one ever cracked it for like a year after it was out, and ESI finally did it) Kings of the Beach (I ripped it all into files after documenting the whole EA
loader and made it one disk) GI Joe Vorpal Utility Kit DiskMaker 2.0 One distinct thing I remember when I was working on some of these games was the loader by Epyx for Barbie. They used a non-standard format and their loader was called Vorpal loader. In one part, where Barbie was supposed to answer a ringing phone, the actual ringing was TIMED with the end of the load routine! Which means, since Vorpal loads things super-fast, my standard loader wouldn't work. The phone would ring while the game was still loading! So I tapped into their interrupt and wrote a loop that would wait to play the sound AFTER the disk
access was complete. I LOVE figuring stuff out like that! 😊 D) Most old-school sceners from the cracking scene have been involved in a war one way or another. What were some of the bigger wars you witnessed or were involved in and what were they like? T) One of the biggest wars I remember was ESI versus UCF. That was amazing. I knew JJ the Breaker (he was in Michigan at the time), and he was a good friend. I also started to get friendly with Mitch (ESI) at the end of
the war. Basically, what it was all about, was Mitch accused JJ of stealing his cracking routine for EA games (which I later used as the basis for decrypting Kings of the Beach). I don't remember the exact game. It might have been Murder Party, but I'm not 100% sure. JJ basically told me (he let me listen to Mitch's rant on his voice mail) that he looked at the protection routine and couldn't see any other way to do it. Breaking this scheme took Mitch 3 days, I think. EA had some nasty protection as they grew as a company. It was basically a FAT TRACK on one of the higher tracks on the disk, which was the actual protection, but the hard part was the
loader. It was encrypted like you wouldn't believe, it sat in high memory past $f000, and the drive code itself was encrypted. EA also used UNDOCUMENTED Op-codes to make it even harder to crack... What an experience that was! D) What is your definition in the scene of LAME and ELITE? any examples? T) Well, as I've gotten older, these things have, for me, pretty much translated into people that actually DO things in life, contribute, and people that don't do ANYTHING to contribute, and try to
live off the accomplishments of others. LAME basically means that person you work with that does what they have to to get by, or sometimes even less, while you have to pick up the slack. ELITE is someone who goes above and beyond, is not averse to sharing views and techniques to help people, and tries to set a good example. D) What release impressed you most on the C64? T) In my time, I'd have to say it was a tie between two.
California Games: Mitch had to call his buddy Lawrence, who is the guy that constructed some commercial hardware to copy software, a 15 second backup and Burst Nibbler, to get help cracking some nasty drive code. Also he told me that some of the actual TEXT in memory was used as ASM code, so some of the pertinent text display in the game wouldn't be right if he had changed the code. Very intelligent of the protection coders of Epyx! The other was Realms of Darkness which was another crack by ESI (I was in the group at the time). This game was, I think, 4 sides and there were so many files, the protection was so nasty, that it had
been out for about a year. Mitch was bored so he actually started to crack it. A time or two in the middle he had told me he wanted to just put it aside since it was a long and drawn out crack, and no one really cared. But he did it anyway. D) What are your favorites: Demo group: FBR (Death Demon and Changeling RULED) Programmer: Mike J. Henry (Fast Hack' em kicked butt...) Musician: Neil Peart of Rush (the BEST drummer EVER, period!)
Graphician: Death Demon Game: Pirates! Cracking group: Starfleet Cracker: The Goose and DoD (Devil of DOS) of Starfleet. They were absolutely unbeatable. Importing group: FBR BBS: One in the midwest I can't remember! Ntsc fixer: Rad Man
D) What are your views on the internet and how it has effected the way computer scenes and people communicate and produce? T) Funny you should ask; I was just thinking about this the other day. There are a few little things about the internet that I think people take for granted. People can talk about research and learning, easier access to information, etc. These things are very important and make up a lot of importance of the net. I think, though, that the best thing that came of it was COMMUNICATION. That a friend that you can't call (unless you aren't paying for it 😊 that lives so
far away, your kids when they are away at school, or even people you may meet on mailing lists that provide useful information or hook you up with others that you may relate to. This is the real power of the internet. Basically it's zero-wait. I suppose for the intolerant that is a good thing. People I think still are a little intolerant about things like this, even with the internet. Call it what you will, but I think the internet's biggest accomplishment is that it brings people together and KEEPS people together because of the instant access we all have to each other. As far as the scene, it has only made it
10 times better. Also I think that there are fewer risks in some respects, as far as downloading or distributing software. Napster is King, although for how much longer I don't know. Groups today take distribution of warez to the absolute limits, like they are running a corporation or a business. I can only hope that these people have the same dedication on when it REALLY counts, out there in the world. D) How would you describe the differences between scene personalities in the DEMO scene and CRACKING scene? or even the differences between a USA scener and a EURO scener?
T) When I was around, there wasn't really a major demo scene, at least not over here. The differences between the Euro scener and the USA scener were more of cultural differences. It was rare that USA groups, in my time, cracked games from Europe, or vice-versa. Take for instance, the Last Ninja, I remember the import coming in first, but then the USA scene cracked the American release. It was never really a big deal or problem. I did tend to just play the USA releases instead of the European ones, however. Most likely because some were not NTSC fixed at the time. I think a lot of European groups took
the scene a lot more seriously than the USA groups. There was still a lot of huffiness in the USA groups, but the Euros seemed to actually care more, or LOVE the scene, which you can witness through the many that are still around and keeping it alive (like my humble interviewer!) D) We do try our best, unfortunately there is so many parasites who live off the wares only and don't contribute themselves. What is the hardest game you have worked on? and what crack by any other have you see that has been most impressive?
T) Well I think I probably answered this previously, however, I'll answer it again since this is a more specific question and I can't go off on a tangent here! The hardest game I ever did I think was Alien Syndrome. This is actually the game that started the war between NEC and TSM I think. I remember it being hard because I had to not only break out the files for each side of the game, but I had to write a lot of code to make the game work after I did it. This was TSM's first official release, I think. It was probably the hardest because I was just getting myself up to par with cracking. Also the V-Max! protection
was always changing and was a pain! The other most impressive crack was California Games, by ESI. D) What is your reaction when I tell you that the C64 scene is still alive? T) I'd have to say, that's absolutely great! If anyone has the TSM cracks, please send them to me or tell me where I can get them! I'd like to start an archive and maybe put up a homepage for the sceners! I'm very happy that the C64 has a long history and that it is STILL going strong!
D) Do you still own a C64 and your disks stashed away some where? T) Well, please no hate mail, but I tossed it all a ways back. It was at a time when I was making a few life transitions, like getting married, getting our own place and changing jobs. I think it was more emotional baggage and memories that I just didn't want to deal with at the time. Ofcourse, now that we have a house and the business is doing well, I regret throwing it all out! But would I ever get any work done if I loaded up the old 64 and plugged the Super Snapshot cartridge in? I'd probably be wading through zero-page memory right now!
D) Please feel free to send greetings to anyone you know... T) I'd like to just say hi to Player 1, who was a member of UCF and who contacted me recently. Also, I'd like to say hi to Mitch and JJ, Arielle (Aycee) and ofcourse the one and only Rad Man (Matt H.), my best friend to this day. Not to forget Strider (Tony) of Fairlight and Bod (find him on Efnet, IRC!) of Talent.
D) Thanks for your time Andy, any last comments to leave a final impression on the audience? T) Well, first I'd like to thank you, David, for letting me ramble on about all this stuff. I hope some people find it interesting. Instead of leaving you all with some C64 comments, I'd like to leave you with this, instead: Keep trying, keep working, and working HARD. This goes for whatever you do. Approach everything with vigor and work it with integrity and care. When you get to where you are going, you will know in your heart and mind that you
are responsible, through hard work, for your achievements. Signed, The Hell Hacker/TSM.
Interview with Nightwriter/RSI and Count Zero/Scs&Trc/Cpx. Most of the boards callers from the 90s definately had a connect with the BBS called Forplay. In the chapter, Domination managed to discuss these old times with the SYSOP and COSYSOP of the Forplay BBS. During this time, both Nightwriter and Count Zero were members of Red Sector Inc. D = Domination N = Nightwriter C = Count Zero
D) Welcome to the Domination magazine guys, this special edition of the mag we will be focusing on the cracking and bbs scenes only. Please introduce yourself to the audience out there. N) BBS baby sitter C) Cracker, Fixer, Coder, Bugger
D) As a caller to Forplay, I really did experience a nice bbs. Cool graphics, user list and I loved the villain modded version of C*Base that was used - where you could choose between C*Base and UCBBS modes. If possible can you tell the audience what groups you have both been in and some things concerning the bbs. N) I don't even remember how many groups I was in. Here are some: RSI, FBR, Intense, ATC, Action... I would say the highlight of my career was 4Play with Count Zero finally getting it worldwide recognition.
C) Concerning the BBS, for the UC and CBase part, Villain has to be given credit mostly. Basically it were just two sets of C/G files making up UC or CBase... I did some further mods, as you know, but we never made it to the 2 gig streamer with 64 warez, which Nightwriter had in the basement. Nevertheless it was fun modding the slight bits we had there...
D) What are some of the other boards you called and which ones did you dislike and which ones did you respect? N) Downtown which is in Holland and sysop was Bambam. I never phreaked... always paid for my calls. D) BBS gfx artists are something that has faded away from the scene, I remember Chameleon and some others, who do you remember and who was your favourite? N) My favorite artist was David Hartman
from St. Louis, MO. He won a lot of awards from USA magazines for his art. D) What are your activities these days? N) I am trying to get a site together now with Burglar... but I am interested in anyone that has software to be run and tested as a site. D) Any regrets in the scene ever? N) No, not really... had a good time meeting
a lot of people. D) Most old-school sceners from the cracking scene have been involved in a war. What were some of the bigger wars you witnessed or were involved in and what were they like? N) I know Gene of Illusion... he was voted most hated and most liked in the same month. Gene is a war in himself. He was a blast.
D) What is your definition of lame and elite? N) LAME- no respect ELITE - respect D) What impressed you most about the 64? N) Such an inexpensive computer could do so much.
Nightwriter's favourites on C64 Demo group: Contex Coder: Probably again Cyclerburner Musician: Vibrants - Laxity "The Alibi" Graphician: Again, David Hartman Game: Mr.Do Cracking Group: ATC Cracker: Pudwerx Importing Group: ATC with ILLUSION BBS: The Forum (Pudwerx's UCbbs) Ntsc Fixer: Again, Pudwerx did fine on that... but Zsolt of North East Crackers has to be mentioned even though it was always the competition.
D) Whats your view on the internet? N) I really think people need a BBS so they have a safe haven to share files, good times, and to talk about today's happenings. D) How would you describe the differences between the scene personalities of USA and EUROPE? N) USA are more loaners and generally spend more money on the scene. I'd like to say EUROS seem to work better and spend less, but have more.
D) Whats your view on the hacking and phreaking scene in the 80s and 90s and how did it effect your BBS or even personal life? N) Many times AT&T, Sprint, and MCI called wondering about why so many Euros called my system... I just told them that as far I knew all calls were paid for and no, I didn't keep logs on times the system was called. D) Do you still own a C64 and your disks stashed away some where?
N) Yes, I have 5 C64's, some old SFD drives, and about 50 kilo of C64 disks. D) Please feel free to say hello to everybody you know... N) I'd just like to say hi to everybody that called my BBS. D) Thanks for your time George and Andreas! Any last comments for the readers?
N) When taking a bow, be careful not to expose your backside!!! Nightwriter & Count Zero
* THE 10 YEAR LIST * First Release games from 1991 to 2000. A lot of research and other effort has gone into the compilation of this list. I think it will show exactly what has happened in the last 10 years and it may also serve some other purposes. One of these other purposes would be that cracking groups could use it as a reference, by name at least, in order not to make a re-release. Which is more evident with the newer cracking groups who don't know the C64 history as good as some of the older groups or sceners.
Some important things to know about this UNIQUE list: * It contains no fake/lamer lable releases, such as games from Ultimate, Burp, Troep, Garbage, TBT etc. * Only the 100% versions are counted. For example if group AAA released a game which was bugging and BBB put out a non-bugging version within the first release time limit (see rules) then the group BBB will be listed with the official first release. * The list is very close to being 100% but ofcourse there is the chance something could be missing. Feedback please!
Special thanks to Derbyshire Ram who checked and ammended my 1991 list. The older the list the harder it was to compile, and I am happy that there is people out there who have a good knowledge on what actually went on. ------ Being the longest first release list editor in the scene, it was quite easy for me to compile the lists from 1992 to the present day, but because I was not on the boards in pre-1990 I could not do an accurate representation of 1990 and earlier. Which would have been fantastic ofcourse! But I am sure a lot of you will find my work valuable and also it may make your mind journey down the happier times in the cracking
and game industries on the C64. This 10 Year List will be published after the release of this issue of Domination on the ONSLAUGHT web site at - http://www.onslaughters.org So look for it there and may we hardly ever see any re-releases again or get any complaints that other magazines cannot present a "release list" in their magazines due to lack of knowledge or reference material. ------ Now I wish to discuss the origins of the first release list and what magazines used them. There is two magazines I have yet to track down, one I cannot remember the name of (which does not help 😊 and the
other is called INFLUX, released by the American group called FBR. Both these magazines were more than likely the first ever to start documenting 'first releases' from cracking and importing groups. A lot of people think MAMBA was, well MAMBA did do a list very early, the editors announced to the public in late 1990 that they would release a list and it was created in their magazine in early 1991. After MAMBA the next magazine to produce a list was SHOCK, the legendary (and my favourite) magazine produced by Censor Design and Legend. I regard the Shock list as the most accurate during it's time. MAMBA's list missed a lot of titles. Soon after Mamba
and Shock, came the PROPAGANDA magazine from Genesis*Project. They were inspired by Mamba, who they were at war with. Stating that their list was inaccurate, thus spawning the creation of their own. The Propaganda research was just as good as Mamba's, but still not better than the Shock magazine, at least in my own opinion. Following Propaganda came the next magazine to try their best to make an accurate representation of the first release scene. This was MAGASCENE by Hysteric. Which introduced one of the more important editors for the list, that
being Psychobilly/Hysteric (later Red Sector Inc). The Magascene never lasted too long, and Alphaflight had just relaunched the RELAX magazine containing first release lists by Skinhead and Skidrow. In 1993 the scene witnessed the birth of THE PULSE magazine, which first came out under the Pandora lable (formerly known as the group Skid Row) During 1993 many things changed in the scene and magazines in general had moved up a level in expectation and quality. The Pulse did a good job to cover these changes, as presented the first ever coverage of a whole scene year for first releases. Psychobilly introduced a
very good and relevant (for that time period) set of rules that were improved from the older rules. The point system increased competition and also made people try harder to obtain new games. After The Pulse, two magazines produced the list. This was VANDALISM NEWS (at the time released independantly) and the DOMINATION magazine. The rules for both magazines were based on the Psychobilly/Pulse system and were edited by myself during my time with the guys in Legend. At the time of these two magazines, C64 journalism had reached it's peak.
Domination, Vandalism, The Pulse, Propaganda, Skyhigh and Relax were all competing in a new level of an arena set down by the Sex'n'Crime magazine. Magazine editors produced more and then delivered, the audience in turn expected more from a magazine. This relationship worked out well for sometime, but then The Pulse, Skyhigh, Propaganda and Relax eventually stopped their engines. The next magazine to do a release list was THE CREST, independantly made by Dodger and Hardsequencer of Dytec and Shokray/Megastyle. Even though it was a small magazine, it was released every month for 12 months. Containing a good chart done
by Dodger. After the 12th issue it ceased to exist. Next to come was the old magazine by Rebels called NEWSPRESS. From memory, I think it was edition #19 released under the Padua lable that was the first to contain the list. This list was very good and was edited by Didi/Laxity. Former editor of The Pulse, Duke, made a comeback with SCENE PLUS, yet only two issues were officially released. The list in this great magazine were done by Crossfire/Fairlight/Motiv8. And here we are today, the year is 2001 and there is only three magazines alive that still catalogue the "first
release" market on the C64. These being Domination, Vandalism and Newspress (although delayed by a very long time now). ----- In this issue you will be treated with an accurate walk down memory lane. Make sure to check also LIST SUMMARY for the total of releases for each year and an overall total for the last 10 years on C64!! Also in this chapter is a mention of some of the better games released in this time and the awards from the Domination magazine to those groups who were worthy. Jazzcat/Onslaught.
Vision without action is hallucination Action without vision is random activity ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
The 10 Year List - Part 1 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ The year that was - 1991. A great year for new games on the C64, I am not talking some semi-quality machine code game either. This year had film and arcade full price conversions, smashing freelance titles (not 85% puzzle games like these days either) and all with some big name groups fighting for the prestige achievement of having a quality first release on the C64. This is in alphabetical order of all first releases made in this year, bug reports and feedback please!
ACTION: 45 Apoloxy Back to the Future III Chips Challenge Clone Clystron Einstein Hazar Hero Quest Jahangir Khan's Championship Soccer Jahangir Khan's Club Squash - aka: Championship Squash Jumping Jack Krymini Lethal Zone Logical Lupo Alberto Mad Springs
Medieval Lords (w/Empire) Moonfall Oracle Pure Seed Rolling Twins Shoikan Shuffle Sliding Skill Stratego System 4 Prv System 4 Tanks II The Cycles Tip Trick Tough Guys Tube Madness Turrican II Warlock the Avenger
ALPHAFLIGHT 1970: (AFL) Oilmania A TOUCH of CLASS: (ATC) Metal Gear Nightshift BRAINBOMBS: Brainwave Dig Diver
CENSOR: Back to the Future III Prv Extreme Hunt for the Red October Spellcast Prv Super Monaco GP Terminator II Prv CHROMANCE: <C> Galleon Prv Jumble Prv Old World Prv
CRAY: Mindbender Rolling Ronny Prv CRAZY: Welltris DEADLINE: 5 Aside Football (w/ProjectX) Dizzy King of the Yolkfolk (w/ProjectX) F1 Tornado (w/ProjectX) Moontorc (w/ProjectX) Round the Bend 100% Skywalker (w/ProjectX) Spellbound Dizzy (w/ProjectX)
DISCOVERY: Plural Square Out Prv Zoomerang DOMINATORS: (DOM) Autotest Manager Banger Racer Bouncing Heads Cavemania Combat Zone Double Trouble Flik-Flak Gem-X Hobgoblin Hugo Insector
Inspector Hecti Interchange Lone Wolf Miami Chase Neighbours Out Take II Plotting 100% Rubicon Prv Soccer Rivals Superkid in Space - aka: Space Kids in Space Supremacy Tarzan goes Ape The Crypt Thunder Jaws Turbo Charge Prv World Class Rugby
ELECTRIC BOYZ: The Malicious ELITE: Exile EMPIRE: Medieval Lords (w/Action) Skulls & Crossbones ENIGMA: American 3D Pool Creatures II Prv
Elvira First Samurai Prv Inspector Spikey Lethal Zone Prv Madness Mindbreaker Nibbly '92 PP's Magic Hammer Prv PP Hammer RBI Baseball Rodland Prv Rugby The World Cup Spike in Transylvania Su Sweet Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Prv The Lords Tilt Prv Twinky goes Hiding World Championship Soccer
EXCELLENCE: (XLC) Scooby & Scrappy Doo EXTACY: Twin Worlds FAIRLIGHT: (FLT) LA Police Department Last Ninja 3 100% Pro Team Speedball II Viz
FANTASTIC 4 CRACKING GROUP: (F4CG) 500cc Motor Manager Big Game Fishing Boxing Simulator Prv Football Champions Formula 1 Grand Prix Circuits Insomnia Italian Night 1999 Prv Narco Police Tilt GENESIS PROJECT: (G*P) Beauty and the Beast Prv Chubby Chester Craft Elephant Antics Hagar the Viking Prv
Hiskado 100% Line of Fire Mechanicus Ooops Up Prv Ostfriesen Games Prv Plants of Death Prv Pot Panic Quick Draw McDraw Rubicon 100% Sequel Square Out Super Trucker Sysiphus The Power Twin Down Turn It 2: Future Edition Vector Ball Warrior Wetten Dass Wild Blood
Woody the Worm Prv HOTLINE: (HTL) Triplex HYSTERIC: Beatball (w/Insiders) Conquestador Dirty Ikarus I want more Diamonds (w/Insiders) Jump Out Mechanicus Prv On the Moon Operation Merkur Pentharion
Pride Reaktion Space Duell Prv Starhope Prv (w/Insiders) Tetroids The Crew Ultrix War of the Crown 2 Wild Blood Prv IKARI&TALENT: (I+T) Cygnus Dizzy Panic Manchester United Euro Manchester United 2 Mark-Set-Go Montrix North & South
Pick'n'Pile RBI Baseball 2 Shadow Dancer Switchblade SWIV - aka: Silkworm IV) Total Recall Vincent ILLUSION: (ILS) Emlyn Hughes Arcade Quiz Jocky Wilson's Darts Compedium Soccer Challenge Super Cars Wacky Darts
INSIDERS: Beatball (w/Hysteric) I want more Diamonds (w/Hysteric) Pentharion (w/Hysteric) Starhope Prv (w/Hysteric) ITALIAN CRACKING SERVICE: (ICS) 1000 Miles 100% 3D Chess Dylan Dog Ferrari 3D Manager Mega Phoenix Over the net Warm Up
JOY DIVISION: Grid Rage Tutti Frutti LEGEND; Alien Storm Another World Ball Game Betrayal Blues Brothers Covergirl Strip Poker Darkman Diplomacy Ditris Dyter 07 Elvira - The Arcade Game
England Championship Special Eskimo Games Final Fight Gremlins II Hudson Hawk Kangarudy Le Parc Lost Ninja Lotus Turbo Espirit Mercs Mighty Bombjack Navy Seals Ninja Rabbits Outrun Europa Pang Pitfighter Predator 2 Robocop 2 Rodland Rolling Ronny
Shiftrix Star Control Super Space Invaders Super Trucker Swap The Last Battle Turbo Charge Prv V2 Turbo Charge Turn & Burn Volfied Western Contest WWF Wrestle Mania LOTUS: (LTS) Final Chess Prv
MANOWAR: Zygnus MIRAGE: 7up Spot Arachnophobia Bad Blood Conquest Dream Team Basketball Gateway to the Savage Frontier Reaction Rings of Medusa Sysiphus 2 The Simpsons - Arcade Xane Prv
NATO: Live NORTH EAST IMPORTERS: (NEI) Death Knights of Krynn TLR Ultimate Baseball ODISSEY: Hammerboy PANDORA: Deri Colours Second World
Solitaire PARAMOUNT: [P] Atomino Enforce Firepit Loopz Protronix Take 'em Xenomorph PROJECT X: 5 Aside Football (w/Deadline) Dizzy King of the Yolkfolk (w/Deadline) F1 Tornado (w/Deadline) Moontorc (w/Deadline)
Skywalker (w/Deadline) Spellbound Dizzy (w/Deadline) SCIENCE 451: (S451) Team Tetris SKID ROW: Slammer Prv Snake Mania SUCCESS: Rawhead Rex The Match
TALENT: Battle Command Chevy Chase Cisco Heat CJ in the USA Dizzy Panic Double Dragon III Final Blow Fireman Sam Hero Quest 2 Jonny Quest Mean Machine Road Runner Robozone Simpsons Sky High Stuntman Slightly Magic Smash TV Stack Up
Terminator 2 World Class Rugby THE BLASTERS INC: (TBI) Foton (w/TRC) Tiffant (w/TRC) THE FORCE: Worm THE RULING COMPANY: (TRC) Blockie Prv Foton (w/TBI) Tiffany (w/TBI)
THE SHAOLIN MONASTERY: (TSM) Hero Quest Prv THE SHARKS: Crown Panic Dizzy Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles TRITRON: Pytos Rator
VERDICT: Gilded Age Imshi Jai Alai Paranoimia Tibo's Tale VICTIMS: Stone Age X-FACTOR: Frantic Goldcorn Express 100% Violator
X-RATED: Gravity Race X-RAY: Decstone Full games released in 1991 - 285 Game previews released in 1991 - 35 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ Now to the release charts, based on amount of releases, including previews.
1991 RELEASE CHART Pos: Group: Releases: #1 LEGEND 43 #2 ACTION 35 #3 DOMINATORS 27 #4 GENESIS PROJECT 26 #5 ENIGMA 21 #6 Talent 20 #7 Hysteric 19 #8 Ikari+Talent 14 #9 Mirage 11 #10 F4CG 9 #11 Deadline 7 Italian Cracking Service 7 Paramount 7 #12 Censor 6 Project X 6 #13 Fairlight 5 Illusion 5
Pos: Group: Releases: #13 Verdict 5 #14 Insiders 4 #15 Chromance 3 Discovery 3 Joy Division 3 Pandora 3 The Ruling Company 3 The Sharks 3 X-Factor 3 #16 A Touch of Class 2 Brainbombs 2 Cray 2 Empire 2 North East Importers 2 Skid Row 2 Success 2 The Blasters Inc. 2 Tritron 2 #17 Alphaflight 1970 1
Pos: Group: Releases: #17 Crazy 1 Electric Boyz 1 Elite 1 Excellence 1 Extacy 1 Hotline 1 Lotus 1 Manowar 1 Nato 1 Odissey 1 Science 451 1 The Force 1 The Shaolin Monastery 1 Victims 1 X-Rated 1 X-Ray 1
Legend - The will of god!
The 10 Year List - Part 2 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ The year that was - 1992. Another good year for the C64. Still lots of fabulous full price titles coming from not only Europe, but also the USA. This year I see as a compromise between old groups still releasing and new groups that have just started in the scene (mostly comprised of older sceners anyway). This is in alphabetical order of all first releases made in this year, bug reports and feedback please!
ACRISE: Rem Force ARCADE: 12 O'Clock Arnie (w/Deadline) Bod the Alien (w/Deadline) Catch Cruel Zone (w/Deadline) Demon Blues Empius Gauntlet III Geo-Matrix (w/Deadline) Haeger International Ice Hockey (w/Deadline) International Sports Challenge Jonathan
Lemmings Prv Little Hero Prv Locomotion No Deeper Meaning (w/Deadline) Obicontrol Pharao's Revenge Quadrant Robocod Prv (w/Deadline) Rock, Paper, Shear Striker in the crypts of Trojan (w/DL) Tank Division (w/Deadline) Tetrados The Bod Squad TDS Prv BRAINBOMBS: Pirahna Prv
CALADAN: Wonderball CENSOR: Robocop III Prv The Jetsons CHROMANCE: <C> Antrock Prv Boxes Prv Connection - aka: Gravity Danger High Voltage Prv Demon's Empire Dragon Hunter Prv Elvira 2
Gravity Prv Overload Prv Overload Starcom Time Puzzle Xertyn-X Xonox Zaxon Prv DEADLINE: Arnie (w/Arcade) Bod the Alien (w/Arcade) Cruel Zone (w/Arcade) Geo-Matrix (w/Arcade) International Ice Hockey (w/Arcade) No Deeper Meaning (w/Arcade) Striker in the crypts of Trojan (w/ARC) Tai Chi Tortoise (w/Project X)
Tank Division (w/Arcade) DEPREDATORS: Angle Devastating Blow Goldrunner Prv Plasto DEVICE: Doctor Foster DOMINATORS: (DOM) Budokan Double Trouble
Hektic Potsworth & Co Winzer DOUGHNUT CRACKING SERVICE: (DCS) Sunball Prv EMPIRE: Turn It II ENIGMA: Callipo Cubin Magic Mouse
Ormus Saga Plexonoid Rebel Racer Relaxed Emotions Robocod Snowman Tetrados 100% U96 Wizerior EPIC: Dynamite Bench FAIRLIGHT: (FLT) Shoe People
FANTASTIC 4 CRACKING GROUP: (F4CG) 3D World Boxing Basket Playoff Catalypse Championship of Europe International Ninja Rabbits 100% - aka: Ninja Rabbits 2 I Play 3D Tennis Moons Wacky Racers GENESIS PROJECT: (G*P) Clik Clak Crime Time Cross It Hydra Mean Car Prv
Patternia Solitax Toy Balls Turbo Tortoise Woody the Worm Yahtzee GENETIX: Nobby the Aardvark Prv HYSTERIC: Amazon 100% Exis Forester Oskar Pearls of Dawn
Pot Fun Spirit of Adventure Starbyte Super Soccer Stone Prv Sysiphus 2 The Golden Pyramids Zellion ILLUSION: (ILS) Alien World All-American Basketball Auggue Doggie+Dad 2 Bangers and Mash Battle Bars Bignose's USA Adventure on Leap Day - aka: Tarzan Goes Ape 2 Black Hornet Bod the Alien Prv
Bomber Breakdown Bully's Sporting Darts Captain Dynamo Creatures II Demon Blues Prv Duckula 2 Ed's Rugby League Famous Five Frenzy Fuzzball Prv Graeme Souness International Soccer Greystorm Hager Prv Hideous Indy Heat International Tennis John Cowe's Ultimate Darts Match of the Day Mission Nada
Popeye 2 100% Postman Pat 3 Round the Bend 2 Prv Sergeant Seymour Robotcop Slicks Prv Space Gun Stuntman Seymour Prv Symbolica Twin Tiger Ugh! Prv World Rugby IMAGE; Biff
ITALIAN CRACKING SERVICE: (ICS) Grand Prix F1 Nautica Hindenburg Marines Risicom 64 Sexy Puzzle Super Lem LEGACY: Angle Nythynel
LEGEND: Addams Family Ammerican Tag Team Wrestling Amoba Black Panther Brain Artitice Brubaker Bubble Dizzy Bug Bomber Chuck Rock Cool Croc Twins Cool World Crystal Kingdom Dizzy Dalek Attack - aka: Dr.Who Die Harder - aka: Die Hard II First Samurai G-Loc Harald Hardtooth Heli Rescue
Hook Indiana Jones IV: The fate of Atlantis Lethal Weapon Neuronics Popeye 3 Q10 Tankbuster Rampart Robocop 3 Seymour goes to Hollywood -aka: Seymour goes to the Movies Steg the Slug Stone Age 100% Streetfighter II Toki Ugh! Winter Camp Winter Super Sports '92 WWF II: European Rampage Tour Xiphoids 100% Zack
PANDORA: ATA - The Revenge Diggits Prv Diggits Escape from Mars Prv High Memory Prv High Memory Memorix New Age Plazma Ball Project Prometheus Tonido Prv Tonido PROJECT X: Tai Chi Tortoise (w/Deadline)
RED SECTOR INCORPORATED: (RSI) Baller Up Battle Prv Cube Magik Prv Echo Hawk Enforcer - aka: Katakis 2 Hyper Aggressive Magic Rufus Prv Nick Faldo Golf Prv Scenario - Theatre of War Sceptre of Baghdad Prv Slide Steinberger Hotel Manager Stuntman Seymour Synopsis Triget Wozzle
SUCCESS: Afterworld Crazy Cars III Doctor Foster Prv Dragon Hunter '92 Expire Fetris Football Manager III Hektik II Lemmings Prv V2 Naughty Nudger Reckless Rufus Rowdy Prv Runestone Prv Smash Out Spheron Vioris 101%
TALENT: Blue Baron Bonanza Brothers Championship 3D Snooker Dizzy Down the rapids DJ Puff Euro Football Champ Frankenstein Indy Heat Prv Murray Mouse Super Cop Seymour Saves the World Slicks Soccer Pinball Space Crusade Titanic Blinky
THE RULING COMPANY: (TRC) Diabolik Prv Double Dare Fantasy Graeme Souness Soccer Manager Munch Plutonium Spiranza Prv Tracker THE SHARKS: World Championship Cricket TRIAD: Dreadnaught 2
VAGABONDS: Echo Hawk Prv Red I. Twist VARSITY: Five A Row WARRIORS OF the WASTELAND: (WOW) Dark Angle X-RAY: Think Cross
Full Games released in 1992 - 228 Game Previews released in 1992 - 40 Now, to the charts for 1992, this chart is only based on AMOUNT of releases, which includes previews. As a note, Legend did the most full games, but Illusion released more, thus they are number one for this year. Be sure to check the List Summary for a full amount of releases between 1991 and 2000 and also some of the highlights between these years.
1992 First Release Chart Pos: Group: Releases: #1 ILLUSION 39 #2 LEGEND 37 #3 ARCADE 27 #4 Red Sector Inc 16 Success 16 #5 Chromance 15 #6 Talent 14 #7 Enigma 12 Hysteric 12 Pandora 12 #8 Genesis Project 11 #9 Deadline 9 #10 F4CG 8 The Ruling Company 8 #11 ICS 6 #12 Dominators 5 #13 Depredators 4
Pos: Group: Releases: #14 Vagabonds 3 #15 Censor 2 Legacy 2 #16 Acrise 1 Brainbombs 1 Caladan 1 Device 1 DCS 1 Empire 1 Epic 1 Fairlight 1 Genetix 1 Image 1 Project X 1 The Sharks 1 Triad 1 Varsity 1 WOW 1 X-Ray 1
Illusion - This is no illusion! ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
The 10 Year List - Part 3 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ The year that was - 1993. Another good year for the C64 yet again not as many full price games but still some nice ones just the same. In this year a lot of older groups stopped releasing, but the newer crews still released as you will see. This is in alphabetical order of all first releases made in this year, bug reports and feedback please!
ALPHAFLIGHT 1970: (AFL) Do or Die Flex Fred's Back II Island of the Dragons Jewel Chest Lions of the Universe Lunar Jailbreak Perplex II Play A Match Space Duell Space Quiz 100% Wings of Circe Zillion ACTIVE: Pair of memory
AVANTGARDE: (AVT) Fields of Hades Prv Suburban Commando CHROMANCE: <C> Acid Runner 100% Ballisation Prv Balljob Bounce Boxes Brain Disease Castle Colour Buster Connect 5 Diamentry Dungeons Prv Fred's Back 2 Prv
Final Encounter Fly Harder Heavenbound Prv Horsekiller Prv Killing Fields Klemens Kosci Zostaly Rzusone Lenitive Lords of the Darkness Lucky Egg Prv Memory Miss Mind Ania Nobby the Aardvark Prv No Limit Prv Poke Prv Reflect Prv Shift Ball Prv Single Extreme Freedom Prv Space Knight Starbrain Prv
Starbrain Starcom Superball The Castle Prv The League Prv Tili Toli Trick Prv Turn Change Prv Two Tris Prv Wasted Time Zaxon C0DERZ: Magic Balls Starship Command
DEVICE: Cilo Prv (w/Epic) Detroid Intruder Prv (w/Epic) Kiss of Death Prv (w/Epic) One Man Army Prv (w/Epic) Predices Prv (w/Epic) Salonic Prv (w/Epic) DYTEC: PP Digger ELYSIUM: Masterhead
EPIC: Ace of Hearts Prv Ball Land Bi Jove Bottle of Budbrain Chemical Cilo Prv (w/Device) Colours Cyborg 2400 Detroid Intruder Prv (w/Device) Galaxy Cop Prv Get Readt Prv Kiss of Death Prv (w/Device) Koncept Magic Board Prv Megatron One Man Army Prv (w/Device) Popper Predices Prv (w/Device)
Robotix Prv Salonic Prv (w/Device) Scoop Press Shards Soccer Cup II The Space Vegetable FANTASTIC 4 CRACKING GROUP: (F4cg) Basket Balls Dribbling Field Fighter Prv Gore Ghost Prv Pile Up Smash Snake or Die 100% Stonophobe
GENESIS PROJECT: (G*P) Methados 100% ILLUSION: (ILS) Arnie II Bee 52 Carnage First Division Manager Fist Fighter Frontball Gladiators Grell & Fella International Truck Racing Liverpool Nobby the Aardvark Que Boy Quest of Kron
Table Tennis Trolls World Championship Squash Wrath of the Demon Wrestling Stars Xipose LITHIUM+RAVE: Chronic the Badger Prv LEGEND: McDonald's Land Megathrusterball Sleepwalker Thunderboy
THE FORCE: Pro Eorit OFFENCE: Alderan PANDORA: Boing Lethal Bombs REBELS: Kill your stick
RED SECTOR INCORPORATED: (RSI) Aliens III Argon Factor Art of China Bounce It Bombsquad Breakthrough Prv Carnage Prv Cheeky Twins Circuit Detonators Duel Strike Prv Duel Strike Eon Fred's Back Genloc Prv Get It Hermetic 100% Holiday Games
Josh Karamalz Cup Knax Lemmings Prv V2 Magic Rufus Magic Stones Marble Springs Matrix Prv Mayhem in Monsterland Prv Minefields Move Out Prv Nick Faldo's Championship Golf Ormus Saga II Plis Psychic Chaos Puzzle Master Robin Hood's Legend Quest Sceptre of Baghdad Shadow of the Evil Smash Ball
Snare Software Manager Prv Suburban Commando Prv Sword of Honour Prv The Examination Think Fast Tracer Wild West Seymour Working Stone RUDE AWAKING: Jimmy's Super League SHAZAM: Pee Wee Hockey
SACRED: A Mocsar Harcosa Cryme Prv Eoroid Planet Force Vari Prv SUCCESS: Arena Blood Rush Prv Bolo Captain Hans Kloss Catch II Prv Cyclone Droid Escape from Colditz Future Shock Prv
Galactic Chaos Holiday Games Prv Magic Fields Magic Formula Prv Magic Marble Marbloid Prv Mazer Moribund Move On Perplexity Prv Poker - The Game Princess of Darkness Prv Quarx Rowdy 100% Time Out Prv Tjetnic Prv
TALENT: Bundesligmanager II Matrix MegaStarforce Ostfrieslandgames Parsec 100% Reederei 100% Tentract II THE RULING COMPANY: (TRC) Bubble Mania Prv Crazy Sue Prv Epilson 4 Frogger '93 Mysterious Worlds Prv Orion Relax
Shellshock Stix 100% Super Bouncer Prv Troddlers Prv Wizland Prv TRIAD: Cross'n'Circle TRANCE: Freeze Prv Frontball Prv Henry Prv Saliva Kid Prv The New Jump
VISION: Ball Fever Ghost Driver Magnetic Perfect Symetrie Pize Prv The Holidays X-RATED: Legendary Deeds Prv Full games released in 1993 - 168 Game previews released in 1993 - 69
1993 First Release Chart Pos: Group: Releases: #1 RED SECTOR INC 47 #2 CHROMANCE 43 #3 SUCCESS 25 #4 Epic 24 #5 Illusion 19 #6 Alphaflight 13 #7 The Ruling Company 12 #8 F4CG 8 #9 Talent 7 #10 Device 6 Vision 6 #11 Sacred 5 Trance 5 #12 Legend 4 #13 Avantgarde 2 Coderz 2 Pandora 2
Pos: Group: Releases: #14 Active 1 Dytec 1 Elysium 1 Genesis Project 1 Lithium+Rave 1 Offence 1 Rebels 1 Rude Awaking 1 Shazam 1 The Force 1 Triad 1 X-Rated 1
No risk, no fun - Red Sector #1 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
The 10 Year List - Part 4 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ The year that was - 1994. This year is totally dominated by the new cracking groups on the C64, some say the last real cracking groups on the C64. Still a good year, however there was fewer real full price games, mainly budget - but quality is what matters! This is in alphabetical order of all first releases made in this year, bug reports and feedback please!
ACTIVE: Funball AIRWOLF TEAM: (AWT) MegaStarforce Remix ALPHAFLIGHT 1970: (AFL) Allan Border's Test Cricket B-Ball Prv Bouncy Cars Brain Spasm Bronx Medal City Invader Prv Cosmic Hero Crazy Prv
Crosses & Circles Prv Dozo's Quest Prv Fear of Darkness Prv Flex Prv Geometric Grafix Jump Heavenbound Prv V2 Iketa Imperoid Prv Imperoid Kitron Later Lemon Blues Magic of Endoria Mastermind 64 Mystery - Sales Version Nocturno Nodule Prv Puzzlacki Prv Robox
Saliva Kid Superball Prv Super Mario's Revenge Swirl - The Comets are coming Prv Think Twice Prv Two Tris Under the ground Prv ATLANTIS: (ATL) Kampf Der Genies - aka: Battle of the Giants Ludwig Mystify Prv Remember Space Battle - aka: Battleship Deluxe The Session II
AVANTGARDE: (AVT) Amorphous Astatin Arc Doors Prv Baby Blues Battle 100% (w/Talent) Blitz 2000 (w/Talent) Bubble Mania Cashman City Bomber Prv Crossfire Cyberblocks Prv V2 Deadline Prv Disc-O-Very (w/Talent) Doctor Mad & The topsy turvy moon men of Mars Elaroo Prv Entity Enzyme
Escape from Arth Fast Future (w/Laser) Firefox Prv Fred's Back III Hardfire Prv Hidden Doors Prv Kitron Prv Koshimo Prv Latent Fusion Mayhem in Monsterland Melee - The Battle Boardgame Minesweeper Prv Motley Tetris Mystery Prv Nova 2 (w/Excess) Oracle 2 (w/Excess) Ormus Saga III Oxyd Penguin Towers Prv Plopp Prv
Polnaese Push It Reactor II Prv Reactor II Smasher II (w/Excess) Snake Attack Square Scape Squost Prv Super Nibbly Tetris '94 Prv The Time Crystal Titbit 2 Treasure Isle Tronic Force Zytron Megablaster
CHROMANCE: <C> Am0ba Prv Am0ba Antrock Aristocracy Avoiditic Prv Balla Balla Prv Battle Prv Cosmic Business Deep in Space Prv Dreamball Fighter of the Marsh Kikugi Killer 100% Killing Fields Logic Prv Logic Marsh Fighter Mercenary
Millmania Newcomer Prv New Shoot Prv Nocturno Prv No Limit Puzzlacki Quiz Show Reflect Santa Claus Helper Smartris Prv Speed Runner Splitter Tectron Tetris Tetrisack Prv Tricky Turn Change Prv Under the Ground Wheel of Fortune Xermaid Prv
Xe-Tron Prv DERBYSHIRE RAM: Astro Pilot EXCESS: Later Prv Nova 2 (w/Avantgarde) Oracle 2 (w/Avantgarde) Smasher II (w/Avantgarde) Who Cares Prv
FANTASTIC 4 CRACKING GROUP: (F4CG) A day in the life of a prehistoric man Agent Uop Arctic Hunt Blurbia Prv Bombi Prv Castle of Kraizar Color Mania DBL Crotch Prv Drip Prv Drip Dylan Dog Eternal Fiveteen Flummi's World Prv Gunrunner Jump Prv Lazarus Lingos
Magazine Prv Memologie Memo Mania Minefield Prv Minefield Sherwood Open Slaterman Prv Slaterman Spook Prv Sunday of Miracles The Birds Wheel of Fortune World of F. FAMINE: Pogo Stick
GENESIS PROJECT: (G*P) Doomed World Prv HARDCORE: Spook LASER: Fast Future (w/Avantgarde) Minimunch LEGEND: Firefox Hyperspace Warrior 100%
Mystery MAYHEM: Blue Dimension Desert Attack Wicked Lizard MENTAL: Iketa Prv MOTIV8: (M8) Abstract Prv Ace Ace 2 Prv
Addgar Arc Angel Prv Arc Doors 100% Avoid'em Prv Ball Land 2 Black Pearl Bullet Circuit Compare Dark Tower Davy Jones Locker Experience 100% Fields of Hades Final St. Funball Prv Jump Kid Prv Meteor Prv Move Move the Stones III Orb 100%
Penalty Shoot'em Up Prototype Prv Reactor 100% Retro Torque Shoot Prv Sniper Prv Space Shootout Spanish Treasure Speed Prv Speed Ball Sperenza Starbrain Stargare Steel Heros Techno Plyn Telecommando The Cairo Connection The Cranmore Diamond Caper The Racing Manager The Session
NIRVANA: Hell Fighter PALACE: Enzyme - Sales Version SHAZAM; Beneath the Tenement Genocide Prv Hammer Bros Jetpack Shatterlands Prv Zuilder Zee
SUCCESS&THE RULING COMPANY: (SCS*TRC) Analyzer Prv Bak Pakker Prv Blurbia Bobix Prv Bobix Born in Space Prv Bound Catch II CJ's 4th Coloured Comet Dark Caves Entity Funduel Prv Fussball Prv Geometric 2 Prv Hysteria Prv (w/Xenon) Iduna Prv
Killer Plants Prv Laser Duel Prv Lemmings Lightphaser Archery Prv Mayday Metallic Legend Prv Metallic Legend Misfortune Prv Muhle 100% Nocturno Paranoid Prv Queens Running Balls Secret of Robert Roy Prv Shatterlands Soulds of Darkon Starburst Prv The Fly 3 Troddlers Prv V2 Warflame Prv
Wizland TALENT: Battle 100% (w/Avantgarde) Black'n'White Blitz 2000 (w/Avantgarde) Boom Disc-O-Very (w/Avantgarde) Genloc Iceblaster Juicy Type Prv Kulfon in Demonland Mercenary 2 Motley Tetris Prv Phantasm Prv Shogun The Curse The King - aka: Wladca
Voice Prv Word Up Prv TRANCE: Imperoid V5 Prv TRSI+DYTEC: Burning Stars Prv Cosmox Prv Cosmox 100% Cheeky Twins II Cubemagik Cyberlogic Prv Dybaboys Prv Vapour Prv
XENON: Hysteria Prv Hysteria (w/Success&TRC) Full games released in 1994 - 186 Game previews released in 1994 - 106
1994 First Release Chart Pos: Group: Releases: #1 AVANTGARDE 52 #2 MOTIV8 43 #3 CHROMANCE 39 SUCCESS&TRC 39 #4 Alphaflight 35 #5 F4CG 31 #6 Talent 17 #7 Trsi+Dytec 8 #8 Shazam 6 #9 Atlantis 5 Excess 5 #10 Legend 3 Mayhem 3 #11 Laser 2 Xenon 2 #12 Active 1 Airwolf Team 1
Pos: Group: Releases: #12 Derbyshire Ram 1 Famine 1 Genesis Project 1 Hardcore 1 Mental 1 Nirvana 1 Palace 1 Trance 1
Avantgarde - (QC) Quality Counts ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
The 10 Year List - Part 5 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ The year that was - 1995. In this year there was fewer first releasing groups, but this meant the active groups each had more releases. The level of quality in both cracking and ntsc fixing was increased a lot in this year, compared to earlier years at least. This is in alphabetical order of all first releases made in this year, bug reports and feedback please!
ACCEPT: Earth 3 Prv ACCURACY: Flagmania Prv Master Tetris Prv Pieces Prv Shoot Prv Superball Prv ACTIVE: Acinna Prv
ALPHAFLIGHT 1970: (AFL) Artris Bad Balls Ballz Prv Battle of Thurn Black It Catch It Prv Colonial Trader Prv V2 Colonial Trader 100% Compare 2 Complex 100% Crosses and Circles Cyberball 100% Darkest Road 2 Dark Star Dioroid 100% Dream Prv V2 Fastball Hangman
Iduna II Prv Joe Klepkomania Prv V2 Mastermind Mc Rat Memologie 100% (w/Motiv8) Orbits 100% Pacball 100% Party Quest Payday 100% Pinfaball Pra-Se Pro-Does Prv Red 20 Prv Roll Over Sha-Jongg Spook 100% Super Mario's Escape Tim Tris 100% Trailrunner Prv
Turbo Racer Twin Balls Prv V2 Worly Zinj Complex ATLANTIS: (ATL) Black Heart Prv CF Adventure Prv Colonial Trader Prv (w/Cascade) Nonsense (w/Avantgarde) Starblast Prv (w/Cascade) Starscaper Prv AVANTGARDE: (AVT) Army Days Artris Prv
Ashido Body Blow Prv Bombi Capture Capture 2 Prv Chicken Colora 2 Prv Colouration Cubic Prv Custer Prv Darkest Road Deadline 100% Dungeon Warriors Flummi's World 100% Gangster Geometric 2 Ghost Town Guesser Heavenbound 100% Ikkiushi 100%
Kitron - Enhanced Koshimo Prv V2 Laced Tiles Long Life - Sales Version Lord MC Sun Prv Mean Cars (w/F4cg) Minesweeper Morfix Mortal Dogfight Prv Miecze Valdgira 2 (w/F4cg) - aka: Valdgira's Sword 2 Mystery 100% Nonsense (w/Atlantis) Numm Oracle 3 Prv Pozitronic Reaxion Prv Silva Pod 100% (w/Hardcore) Spherebrain Prv Spherebrain
Square Scape 2 The House Prv The House 100% The Worm (w/F4cg) The Pinz Prv Time Traveller Triss Twin Balls Prv Walkerz Prv Walkerz 100% Wonky Worms (w/F4cg) Zone of Darkness Prv CASCADE: Colonial Trader Prv (w/Atlantis) Starblast Prv (w/Atlantis)
CHROMANCE: <C> Abnormal Factor Ace Pro Alioth 100% Angel of Hell Black and White Bombmania Prv Bouncy Balls Prv V2 Brain Disease 2 Break It 100% Cola Quest Prv V2 Cybershot Prv Deluxe Strip Poker Prv V2 - aka: Decent Strip Poker Doris 2 Prv Dream Prv Dungeon Master Prv Earth Prv V3 Fifth Ball
Flare Fliptris Prv Go! Prv Laced Tiles Prv Long Life Prv Lucky Egg Megabrain Prv Memory Memory 2 Prv Memory 2 Minescaper Prv Nuts Recog-Nice Prv Risk Shifty Balls Space Ball Prv Speed Tetrisack Trooze Prv V2 Video Meanies
Vitrus Prv DYTEC: Hanseat FANTASTIC 4 CRACKING GROUP: (F4cg) Abc-Puzzle Arcade Pilot Bodega Ejnar Prv Bouncy Balls Prv Business Man Castle 4 Core Wars Pro Crazy - The Mine Chaser Deadline Prv V2 Deadly Crystal
Dinox 100% Doom Prv Duomato - Wheel of Fortune Future World Prv Hyper Cars Prv Jump Ball Klepkomania Prv Kolko Lazertech Leppard Prv Leppard 100% Lions of the Universe - USA version Lost Prv Magic Ball Mean Cars (w/Avantgarde) Minefield 100% Mistakes Twice Monstrum Miecze Valdgira 2 (w/Avantgarde) - aka: Valdgira's Sword 2
Mystery Prv Omnibus Pacifica Prv Pluff Prv Portal Prv Saper Prv Shaman Prv Soko Ban Prv The Pinz Prv (w/Avantgarde) The Worm (w/Avantgarde) Trener Wonky Worms (w/Avantgarde) Worm Prv FORTRESS: S.P.I.X. Prv
HARDCORE: Besieged (w/Onslaught) Bilbo Prv (w/Onslaught) Castor (w/Onslaught) Deluxe Strip Poker Prv (w/Onslaught) Firebug (w/Onslaught) Frog Fanny (w/Onslaught) Henry Prv V2 (w/Onslaught) Longlife (w/Onslaught) Marc in Wonderland Prv (w/Onslaught) Megathrusterball - Sales Version (w/O) Misfortune Prv V2 (w/Onslaught) Mizmo Terran Prv (w/Onslaught) Modem Flaghunt (w/Onslaught) Moppel the Nekroblaster Prv Mortrox (w/Onslaught) Mushroom Torture Prv Mushroom Torture Prv V2 (w/Ons) R. Bomb Prv (w/Onslaught)
Remember Prv (w/Onslaught) Riddles and Stones Silva Pod Prv (w/Onslaught) Silva Pod 100% (w/Avantgarde) Telynr I (w/Onslaught) The Evil Prince (w/Onslaught) Trio (w/Onslaught) Trooze Prv (w/Onslaught) Twin Terrors Prv (w/Onslaught) HITMEN: Ake Prv Alioth Prv Cannon Craze Prv Cross It Cross It 2 Prv Cross It 2 THC Bros Prv
LAXITY: (LXT) Blockbuster Prv Wing Commander Prv MOTIV8: (M8) Aces Up Avoid'em Prv V2 Bouncer Bouncy Prv Bouncy Brick Wall Prv Collins Compare 2 Prv Compare 2 Cryptoquad Cyclia Prv Damsels in Distress
Dystopia Field Runner Prv Final Conquest Immortality in Space Prv International Champions of Soccer Jigstar Matrix Crown Mean Mines Prv Memologie 100% (w/Alphaflight) Minitron Oops Prv Oops Prv V2 Pro Speedway Manager Puzzle Rage Quiz Master Rotation Craze Skyt Prv Skyt Solitaire Store House
S'Words System III - The Final Stone Temporal Timebomb Tric Trac Prv Wonky Worms Prv ONSLAUGHT: [O] Actionauts 2 Amnesia Baffle Prv Bastard Prv Besieged (w/Hardcore) Bilbo Prv (w/Hardcore) Bolo II Prv Castor (w/Hardcore) Chronic the Badger Prv V2 Colora 2 100%
Cyberwing Prv Defensive Prv V2 Deluxe Strip Poker Prv (w/Hardcore) - aka: Decent Strip Poker Dionysus 3 Prv Firebug (w/Hardcore) Fred's In Troubles - aka: Fred's Back 4 Frog Fanny (w/Hardcore) Flashback Prv Genocide Prv Icetea Prv In-Zane Prv Longlife (w/Hardcore) Marc in Wonderland Prv (w/Hardcore) Megathrusterball - Sales Version (w/H) Misfortune Prv V2 (w/Hardcore) Mizmo Terran Prv (w/Hardcore) Modem Flaghunt (w/Hardcore) Mortrox (w/Hardcore) Murder in the Monastery
Mushroom Torture Prv (w/Hardcore) Ograton 2 Quota R.Bomb Prv (w/Hardcore) Remember Prv (w/Hardcore) Shatterlands - Sales Version Silva Pod Prv (w/Hardcore) Space Arena 2 Superball Super Pac Twins Prv Sword of Honour Telynr I (w/Hardcore) The Evil Prince (w/Hardcore) Trio (w/Hardcore) Trooze Prv (w/Hardcore) Tuc Prv Twin Terrors Prv (w/Hardcore) Twin Terrors Warflame
PALACE: Misfired Prv PANDORA: Football Manager '95 Tanis Prv The Puzzle Prv Thorion 2 SUCCESS & THE RULING COMPANY: (←) Base Attack Prv Black Quiz Bombel Prv Brave Prv Brix Prv
Castle Prv Celtix Prv Coldarius 100% Colony Prv Combination 100% Complex Confusion Quest Detector Prv Doris Dropper Duel Erotica Prv Erotica Fasball Prv Fruitmania Funduel Las Vegas Casino Little Duck Prv Logic Prv Logic
Lotti Magazine Magic Formula Prv Mayhem Prv Mega Force Nitro Prv Pumpkin Prv Pyramid Prv Roloid Shaman Shopping AG Prv Sonny Prv The Cross Prv Tim Tris 101% Twin Terrors Prv V2 Vari Vision Prv Watch It Prv Westbam
TALENT: Energy Manager 100% TRISTAR RED SECTOR INC: (TRSI) Cola Quest Prv No Name Prv XENON: Alien War Prv Danger Ball Prv Lingo Prv Lost Maze Prv Misfortune Prv V3 Raz Prv Westbam Prv
Full Games released in 1995 - 183 Game Previews released in 1995 - 159 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
1995 First Release Chart Pos: Group: Releases: #1 AVANTGARDE 53 #2 ONSLAUGHT 48 #3 ALPHAFLIGHT 44 SUCCESS&TRC 44 #4 F4CG 42 #5 Chromance 38 Motiv8 38 #6 Hardcore 27 #7 Hitmen 7 Xenon 7 #8 Atlantis 6 #9 Accuracy 5 #10 Pandora 4 #11 Cascade 2 Laxity 2 TRSI 2 #12 Accept 1
Pos: Group: Releases: #12 Active 1 Dytec 1 Fortress 1 Palace 1 Talent 1
Avantgarde - (QC) Quality Counts ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
The 10 Year List - Part 6 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ The year that was - 1996. The die hard fanatics kept with it and it turned out to be an okay year, moving into the later parts of the decade. Still the occassional full priced game, but more and more noticable is the release of games made by our demo scene. This is in alphabetical order of all first releases made in this year, bug reports and feedback please!
ACRISE: Astromine Prv (w/Excess) Colours (w/Excess) Crazy News Prv (w/Excess) Robotronix Prv (w/Excess) Shootout (w/Excess) Smash Prv (w/Excess) Starship Prv Star Trek Prv Wall Street 2 (w/Excess) EXCESS: Astromine Prv (w/Acrise) Colours (w/Acrise) Crazy News Prv (w/Acrise) Robotronix Prv (w/Acrise) Shootout (w/Acrise)
Smash Prv (w/Acrise) Wall Street 2 (w/Acrise) ACTIVE: Dave Speed Prv Minesweepah Prv Worms Prv ALPHAFLIGHT 1970: (AFL) Alioth Arcade Classics Catch Me Coined Prv Colony Prv V3 Custer Dari
Dave Speed Denniffia Destiny Don't be Angry Doris 2 Fields of Hades (w/SCS&TRC) Hangman Deluxe Prv Hope to Hopp Prv Kill the Saucers Kill your brain Prv (w/Hitmen) Mick Words Prv Rings & Stars Deluxe Rock Run Scorpion Prv (w/Hitmen) Space Tracker Prv The Duel Tronik 100% Vin Tim
AVANTGARDE: (AVT) Apollo 14 Prv Bombel (w/F4cg) Bombmania (w/F4cg) Cardland Cubic Delite Fortress (w/F4cg) Insanity Lost (w/F4cg) On Ice 100% Wyspa - The Island (w/F4cg) CHROMANCE: <C> Anasthasia Prv Ballz Boom
DJ Mixer Prv Drunken Bat and Balls Dune 2 Prv Grumpy Bumper Pinball Hangman Prv Ignoramus Manganoid Prv V2 Mario Megabrain Prv Megabrain Prv V2 Operation Proboszcz Prv Oter Prince of Persia Prv Psycho Space Worms Starfighter Prv Super Saper Toxic Prv Upsidedown Yaba Prv
Yaba FANTASTIC 4 CRACKING GROUP: (F4cg) Bombel (w/Avantgarde) Bombmania Chwat Fortress (w/Avantgarde) Girltris Prv Insanity 2 Prv Jim Slim Prv Lions of the Universe 2 Prv V2 Lost (w/Avantgarde) Manganoid Prv Nodule Skidmark Prv Wyspa - The Island (w/Avantgarde)
HITMEN: Colony Prv V2 Dumi 100% Fields 100% Future World Prv V2 Icemania James Fly Prv Kill your brain Prv (w/Alphaflight) Pipemania Prv Puxxle Scorpion Prv (w/Alphaflight) LAXITY: (LXT) Acinna Blob Star Wars Prv Time Out
Words Don't Come Easy Prv MOTIV8: (M8) Ace of Hearts Prv American Basketball Heroes Boxes Prv Confusing Quest 2 Prv Confusing Quest 2 Drunken Bat & Balls Prv Drunken Bat & Balls - Sales Version Future Tetris Prv Fuzzy Fisherman Gems Hammer Infared II Kiss of Death Prv Mathball Moonraker
Monster Power Owens Escape Paddles Pentron Phu Pogostick Prv Popquiz Prv Pologonamy Prv Professor Calhoon Psycloid Quiz Bang Remote Control Robot Raiders Skyfall Ace Solitaire Golf Sput Prv Stack'em Tetris Stars & Rings Stars & Rings Deluxe Prv Statue Party
Stealth Bomb Super Pogo Prv The Pit The Search Towers of Loadstar Veil of Tiers Wabbit Hunter Prv ONSLAUGHT: [O] Burago Rally 100% Centric Prv Centric Drug Bird Prv Helldiver Prv Ice Tea Into the Nature Jori Prv Leisure Suite Leo 2 Prv
Misfortune Memorix 2 Mood Prv Mortal Dogfight Parallax Prv V2 Pieces Spinball Prv Snakey'96 Prv PALACE: Misfire Prv V2 SUCCESS&THE RULING COMPANY: [←] Aknakereso Car-O-Matic Prv Car-O-Matic
Celtix Cube Head Prv Fastball Fields of Hades (w/Alphaflight) Fred the Fruiter Incinerator Prv - aka: Denniffia Invertus Isolation Prv Megabrain Oklahoma Kid Ratan Ballads Rigor Prv Sonny the Snail Speedy Slug Terminus
TRIAD: Bubble Prv Mood Prv V2 The Run Prv XENON: Navigator Stoned Prv Full games released in 1996 - 101 Game previews released in 1996 - 73 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
1996 First Release Chart Pos: Group: Releases: #1 MOTIV8 41 #2 ALPHAFLIGHT 25 #3 CHROMANCE 24 #4 Onslaught 17 Success&TRC 17 #5 F4CG 13 #6 Avantgarde 11 Hitmen 11 #7 Acrise 9 #8 Excess 7 #9 Laxity 5 #10 Active 3 Triad 3 #11 Xenon 2 #12 Palace 1
Motiv8 - The motivated ones! ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
The 10 Year List - Part 7 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ The year that was - 1997. Some of the new groups started to slow down their activities in this year. Competition and severe arguments were still quite evident however, and there was enough releases to keep all the cracking groups busy. This is in alphabetical order of all first releases made in this year, bug reports and feedback please!
ALPHAFLIGHT 1970: (AFL) Bloodhand Bombmania Prv Brave Deadly Messenger 100% Fliptris Fugitive Girltris Legend of Kyril Prv V2 Magical Formula Merchant (w/Hitmen) Penny Reversi Savage Platform Prv Scortia Prv Star Merchant Target Upsidedown Vision
CHROMANCE: <C> 64 Luff Buddha of Bodhath Chronic the Badger Prv V2 Galleon Horsekiller Prv Interlaced Pairs Last G. Legend of Kyril Prv Magic Land Mr. Setam Nether Prv Picman Prv Twin Terrors - Sales Version Underoid Prv Underoid
DISORDER: Dump Prv Extend Pac It Prv Pac Man DYTEC: Bombmania R-The Ultimate Joystick Killer EXCESS: 48 Hours Prv Bloody Stars Prv Deep Void Prv Mystic Mirrors Prv
FANTASTIC 4 CRACKING GROUP: (F4CG) Cloux Colee Prv Frogs and Flies Knoorkie Manganoid Mr. Ant Prv Mr. Ant Plasm Prv Powertris Rundes Leder Tric Trac HITMEN: Barrel Bunger Prv Colee Cross Invert 2 Prv
Deep Void James Fly Prv V2 Labe Me Prv Maximum Overdrive Prv Merchant (w/Alphaflight) Plasm Tanks Prv LAXITY: (LXT) 5*5 Map Race Outside Prv P. & Fantasy Prv Sweepminer Trazz Prv Utopia Prv Words Don't Come Easy
MOTIV8: (M8) Afterlife 2 Brain Storm Prv Four Corners Guardian Immortality in Space Prv V2 Jailbreak Micro Machines Prv Moonspell Prv Ripp Off Prv Space Battle Words Don't Come Easy Prv X-Tris ONSLAUGHT: [O] Assassin Prv V2 Cannon Craze
Chaoslands Prv Crazy Business Prv Crazy Business Dominoes Find the Pair Prv Ghost Trap Ice Guys Prv On Table Prv Penny Prv Shove Prv Spherix Prv The Castle Three Stone Trooze RAIDERS OF THE LOST EMPIRE: (Role) Super Pacman (w/WOW) Terminus 2 Prv (w/WOW)
SUCCESS&THE RULING COMPANY: [←] Alert Prv Assassin Prv Blood Hand Prv Blox Boombastic Prv Grav Prv Hypercars 100% Ice Guys Monster Remember 101% Scortia Squares Skidmarks Prv Xiom
TRIAD: Aake 2 Prv WARRIORS OF THE WASTELAND: (WOW) Super Pacman (w/Role) Terminus 2 Prv (w/Role) Full games released in 1997 - 64 Game previews release in 1997 - 52 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
1997 First Release Chart Pos: Group: Releases: #1 ALPHAFLIGHT 18 #2 ONSLAUGHT 16 #3 CHROMANCE 15 #4 Success&TRC 14 #5 Motiv8 12 #6 F4CG 11 #7 Hitmen 10 #8 Laxity 8 #9 Disorder 4 Excess 4 #10 Dytec 2 Role 2 WOW 2 #11 Triad 1
Alphaflight - The flight will never stop ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
The 10 Year List - Part 8 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ The year that was - 1998. For some of the groups, this year was a real slow down on activities. For others, it was a chance at a new lease of life. This year was probably the poorest in the 90's, in terms of actual games produced and released. This is in alphabetical order of all first releases made in this year, bug reports and feedback please!
ALPHAFLIGHT 1970: (AFL) Direct Death Prv Supernova Tanks CHROMANCE: <C> Arthema Prv Tetris Original COSINE; Co-Axis 100%
DYTEC: Crazy News Prv V2 Strokeworld 100% EXCESS: Doctor in the House Labe Me Leisure Suit Leo 2 Prv V2 FANTASTIC 4 CRACKING GROUP: (F4CG) 4 by 4 Air Traffic Controller Blocks Bouncy Balls Burgertime
Jax Laser Storm Primitive Ping Pong Starbase 419 Video Poker FAIRLIGHT: (FLT) Black Knight Darkon II Delta Mission Prv V2 Flyer Foxes and Hounds Glory Quest Huddy Ion Mah Gong - Special Edition Minesweepah Prv Monkey Match
Orbit Q-Bix Realm of Zaroc Senat Shoot Prv Space Zoom Zorphon HITMEN: Scorpion Prv V2 Sector Prv Target 2 Prv LAXITY: (LXT) Bombsweeper Cine Prv
Hawk Prv It's Magic Prv It's Magic Leisure Suit Leo 2 Maximum Overdrive Needle in the Haystack Quadris Silent Down Tamagotchi Prv Turrican 3 Prv (Unofficial version) LEGEND: Caveball Prv Firepower Prv Thunderballs Thunderzone Prv Utopia Prv V2
MOTIV8: (M8) Bash Yer Brains Gap Man Magic 6 Mate in Two Mystery Chess Nibble Slot with a Twist Sort of Darts Spiral Slide Star Trek: Klingon Attack Star Trek: Romulan Attack Tank Battle Tetrix Tiamats Tomb Venture War Warlords
ONSLAUGHT: [O] Blocks Prv Four by Four Millenium Assault Shove PENTAGRAM: Colonisation Prv Spook in the mine Prv SUCCESS&THE RULING COMPANY: [←] Purple Haze Prv Skidmarks
TRIAD: Pacmacx Prv Full games released in 1998 - 61 Game previews released in 1998 - 24 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
1998 First Release Chart Pos: Group: Releases: #1 FAIRLIGHT 18 #2 MOTIV8 17 #3 LAXITY 12 #4 F4CG 10 #5 Legend 5 #6 Onslaught 4 #7 Alphaflight 3 Excess 3 Hitmen 3 #8 Chromance 2 Dytec 2 Pentagram 2 Success&TRC 2 #9 Cosine 1 Triad 1
Fairlight - Quality, Pride, Tradition ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
The 10 Year List - Part 9 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ The year that was - 1999. The last year of the 90's and still there is releases coming out on the C64 - even better is the fact that older crews from the 1980's are still around and are still releasing in this year! This is in alphabetical order of all first releases made in this year, bug reports and feedback please!
CHROMANCE: <C> Harboro Last Ninja 4 Prv (unofficial) Mille Borne Shadows in the Night Survival of the Fittest EXCESS: Bladeshot Prv (w/Hitmen) Massacre Prv (w/Hitmen) Crush Prv (w/Hitmen)
FANTASTIC 4 CRACKING GROUP: (F4cg) Acidball Prv Damned Prv Fade to Black Prv Find It Prv Laser Storm 2 Metal Warrior 2 Prv LAXITY: (LXT) Baccy's Nightmare Prv Beauty and the Beast Prv Blitz 3000 Crest Mah-Jongg Crest Pac Man Ferris Christmas Caper Insobada Mental Kombat
Screwy Screws MOTIV8: (M8) Minesweepah Syntron Prv ONSLAUGHT: [O] Abhor Atak Sapera Catch Cyberwing De'Sign Double Go Kart No Name Prv - aka: Wysiadly Red 200
Twinball Word THE MINISTRY: Football Manager '97 Prv Joakim Allstar RAIDERS OF THE LOST EMPIRE: (Role) Crush (w/WOW) WARRIORS OF THE WASTELAND: (WOW) Crush (w/Role)
Full games released in 1999 - 24 Game previews released in 1999 - 14 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
First Release Chart of 1999 Pos: Group: Releases: #1 ONSLAUGHT 11 #2 LAXITY 9 #3 F4CG 6 #4 Chromance 5 #5 Excess 3 #6 Motiv8 2 The Ministry 2 #7 Role 1 WOW 1
Onslaught - It's (H)ammer time! ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
The 10 Year List - Part 10 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ The year that was - 2000. Things are very inactive at this stage, however on a positive note there were more games released in this year than in last, albeit the quality level is lower. This is in alphabetical order of all first releases made in this year, bug reports and feedback please!
AXELERATE: (AXE) Cyborg Prv Who fried my Concorde Prv EXCESS: Blood Prv Blood Microfighter Prv Space Invaders 2000 Turrican 3 Prv Venom Blazer Prv FANTASTIC 4 CRACKING GROUP: (F4cg) Metal Warrior (w/WOW&Role)
FORTRESS: Trainer Prv KEMPELEN: Ishido Prv LAXITY: (LXT) 2pac Prv Aake 3 Abrakadabra Prv Bloo's Magic Trip Escape from New York Freespace 2075 Gravity 101% Heavy Metal Solid Prv
Indiana Jones & The Golden Head Little Batty Magyk Metal Warrior 2 Missle Busters Missle Busters 2 Moon Madness Pum Prv Q-Billion Quadron Revenge Prv Slither Target-X Thunder Arena Titanic
ONSLAUGHT: [O] Acid Action Biker '99 All Terrain Gardner Bolo II Prv V2 Classic Bat'n'Ball Tennis Defuzion Defuzion 2 Escape Fluff Gravity Gravity 2 Hysterix It's Magic 2 Prv Lazytech Prv Metal Warrior 3 Prv V2 Microfighter Ouch Pac It Prv
Prizone Prv Space Invaders 2000 (+translation) Target-X 2 RAIDERS OF the LOST EMPIRE: (Role) Metal Warrior (w/WOW&F4CG) Quattro Prv TRIAD: Aake 3 - Sales Version Metal Warrior 3 Prv Razor Prv
WARRIORS OF the WASTELAND: (WOW) Metal Warrior (w/F4CG&Role) Full games released in 2000 - 35 Game previews released in 2000 - 22 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
First Release Chart of 2000 Pos: Group: Releases: #1 LAXITY 23 #2 ONSLAUGHT 21 #3 EXCESS 6 #4 Triad 3 #5 Axelerate 2 Role 2 #6 F4CG 1 Fortress 1 Kempelen 1 WOW 1
- Laxity - ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
The List Summary or.. the decade that was Looking back at the 1990s and what was released during that time. Some neat titles and great competition, debates, wars and creativity. It is hard to document all of these happenings for the last 10 years, the 10 year list is a shadow of the real action that has made up our scene in the last decade. To break it down year by year, let us examine each year, best groups and my favourite games released in that year.
1991 - The year of full pricers courtesy of LEGEND Some lovely titles arrived this year, produced by the buzzing commercial community still surrounding the C64. Legend dominated the year with a lot of quality games, comprising of 'full price' titles. The closest competitors were Action and Dominators. My fave games this year were Medieval Lords/Action&Empire, Last Ninja 3/Flt, Turrican 2/Action, Rubicon/G*P, Turbo Charge/Legend, Speedball II/Flt, Smash TV/Talent and Outrun Europa/Legend. Full games: 285 Previews: 35
1992 - The year of ILLUSION (more torture trouble with Clyde) Quite a lot of competition for the remaining big titles still being released. Illusion released quite a few taking a lead over Legend, who still competed hard with the most full price titles. Worth to mention is quite a few releases from Arcade. My fave games were Creatures ii/Ils, Elvira 2/Chromance, Slicks/Talent, Gauntlet iii/Arcade, Toki/Legend, Catalypse/F4cg, I Play 3D Tennis/F4cg Enforcer/Rsi, First Samurai/Legend, and Greystorm/Ils. Full games: 228 Previews: 40
1993 - The year of RED SECTOR INC. (members of Hysteric meet again) Red Sector took everybody by storm. Quite a lot of games from them even though most were budget games, as that is where the market was steering. Chromance and Success also kept up with some releases. Still the quality releases goes to Illusion and Legend. My fave games for '93 are Arnie ii/Ils, Nobby The Aardvark/Ils, Parsec/Talent, McDonalds Land/Legend Shadow of the Evil/Rsi, Lions of the Universe/Afl and Wrath of the Demon/Ils. Full games: 168 Previews: 69
1994 - The return of the oldies and the year of AVANTGARDE Avantgarde surprised most of the scene with some great releases and famous names behind them. This caused some action, even more release-wise than in the previous year. Following was Chromance and Success& The Ruling Company. My fave games were Boom/Talent, Mayhem in Monsterland/Avt, Shogun/Talent, Genloc/Talent, Lemmings/Scs&Trc and Motley Tetris/Avt. Full games: 186 Previews: 106
1995 - Competition mania, lead once again by AVANTGARDE The guys in Avantgarde were still very active after their last productive year but had very close competition from Onslaught, Alpha Flight and Scs&Trc. The level of quality expectation also increased, resulting in a higher than usual amount of '100% versions'. My fave games this year were Flummi's World/Avt, Heavenbound/Avt, Walkerz/Avt, Fred's Back 4/Onslaught, Sword of Honour/Onslaught and Coldarius/Scs&Trc. Full games: 183 Previews: 159
1996 - Motivation through MOTIV8 Action faded slightly in the year compared to the previous two years with the departure of Avantgarde. Motiv8 provided the most amount of new games followed by the guys in Chromance, Alpha Flight and Onslaught. My fave games for '96 are Dave Speed/Afl, Misfortune/Onslaught, Speedy Slug/Scs&Trc and Centric/Onslaught. Full games: 101 Previews: 73
1997 - Flying above all, ALPHA FLIGHT Less and less games now but still quite a few arguments, wars and general competition. Alpha Flight made it to be the number one releaser this year, beating off heavy competition from Onslaught. Chromance also released quite a few things this year. Some lovely titles still managed to be made this year, my fave ones were Ice Guys/Scs&Trc, Twin Terrors/Chr, Magical Formula/Afl and The Castle/Onslaught. Full games: 64 Previews: 52
1998 - Tradition & Pride - FAIRLIGHT Fairlight gained extra members in this year, main contributors being Crossfire and Duke. This contributing factor allowed them to release more new titles than all other groups, fending off competition from Motiv8 and Laxity. My fave games were Bouncy Balls/F4cg It's Magic/Laxity, Skidmarks/Scs&Trc, Maximum Overdrive/Laxity and Millenium Assault/Onslaught. Full games: 61 Previews: 24
1999 - Defying the odds - ONSLAUGHT Being one of the more consistant releasing crews for the past 5 years, the Australian based team provided the most titles this year. The only real competition was from Laxity and a little bit from the fantastics in F4cg. My favourite games this year were Cyberwing/Onslaught, Crush/Wow&Role and Red 200/Onslaught. Full games: 24 Previews: 14
2000 - Activity, dedication - LAXITY While there was a few groups competing this year, all of the releases and competition credit mainly go to only two groups, Laxity and Onslaught. Between them they provided around 90% of the new games available. My favourites were Metal Warrior 2/Lxt and All Terrain Gardener/Onslaught. I also would like to mention the quality of promising looking previews like Turrican 3 Preview/Excess and It's Magic 2 Preview/Onslaught. To think, really good games like this are being made in the year 2000!!! Full games: 35 Previews: 22
The cracking groups over the last decade provided the scene with quite a lot of games. A mixture of quality, some being even exceptional. Strange how some people said the scene would die in 1992 or so. Full games released between 1991-2000 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ * 1335 * Previews released between 1991-2000 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾ * 594 *
THE AWARDS Dictated by Jazzcat/Onslaught
MOST QUALITY RELEASES * LEGEND * One of the most famous C64 cracking groups ever have provided more full price AND quality games than any other group in the 90s. Memorable releases such as Toki, Turbo Charge, Shadow of the Beast, WWF 1 & 2 and more were made possible first by them. With their own skills from people like Powerplant, Westbam and Antitrack and new recruitments in the form of Doc, Fletch and XXX things couldn't go wrong. They also chose some good importers such as NEI and TSM.
MOST CONSISTANT GROUP * ONSLAUGHT * For over 6 years the Onslaught crew have provided many first releases and much competition to the other cracking crews. They have never died or showed a slowness in their engine and always seem to be surrounding themselves with the most active people they can find. The most important factor of this award is that they are still active and with no end in sight.
BEST NEW GROUP * AVANTGARDE * One fine day some C64 veterans like Deff and Jack Daniels had a great idea to create a new group with old blood. This group was Avantgarde - a crew that turned the heads of the whole scene for a moment of shock. Quality games, the return of old names and the return of famous boards such as The Forum and Terminal Obsession make this group the best new force to enter the scene in the 90s.
LOW QUALITY OVERDOSE * MOTIV8 * Not a bad award, as a cracking group only cracks the game and does not make them (at least we hope). Motiv8 provided some nice titles but they also gave the scene the most crap ones aswell. Most of these below average games came from the American company called J&F Publishing, formerly known as Loadstar. Apart from being low budget, they were mainly basic titles, which other groups normally released under their fake lable.
RE-RELEASE CHAMPION * ACCEPT * Even though re-releases have not been documented in the 10 Year List, I could not help to notice the huge amount done in the mid-90s by Accept. Infact they became quite good at it, even taking things a step further and providing re-re-releases! The struggle for points, quality and speed are hard at the best of times and this group seemed to have folded under that very same pressure.
Final analysis So there you have it, the European charts for the last decade on the C64. I excluded the importing charts because of lack of accuracy and the shift in procedures of cracking groups. However some brilliant text can be read on groups such as NEI, TSM, NEC, EXC, FBR, EMPIRE and more in the Import Scene article by none other than The Shark/INC, found elsewhere in this issue. Death threats, complaints, reactions and noticable errors can be forwarded to: jazzcat@c64.org Regards, Jazzcat/Onslaught.