Cracker's Map: France
Welcome back to this ongoing series, the continuing adventure into the illegal side of the scene - where those war mongering, competitive, egotistical maniacs once roamed. This segment focuses on the major scene countries and their cracking groups; how they started, what they did and why they are remembered.
A lot of information missing - people are too lazy or too new to the scene to understand the severity of preservation!
Rather than providing you with misleading information from unreliable sources, we hope to bring you real facts in a real C64 production, ultimately to take you back to the glory days of piracy. With a patch on one eye and swashbuckler in hand, I have set off on an adventure of hardcore research, some of which has been made easier by my own experience as a member of the cracking scene.
In this segment we venture forward into the French Republic, the most visited country in the world and home of some memorable and obscure cracking crews!
As one of the lesser scene countries, France has a small but potent cracking history.... Special thanks to Mason for his invaluable information as usual! Disclaimer: notice missing detail? something wrong or want to leave some feedback? Send me a mail.
In 1991 a lot of cracks were released by Babygang and another handle showed up on the list of crackers in the group, this was Mr. Stark, and it was rumoured that he was a well known scener from another group. Many people pointed at T.M.R. from Cosine as he did the intro with the Babygang sprites, but also rumours circulated that it was Derbyshire Ram behind the handle, and also some said it was Telemachus.
Babygang died in 1992. Afterwards, Dany helped Success with the supply of Crazy Cars III, also some members joined Success in secret around the same time the group collapsed.
* BYG had a war with Transcom around 1989 (when Babygang released "Prise De Tete" which is a French expression when two people fight each other or as a "headache").
* They had an Amiga section.
* Design Division were the demo section of the group.
* The commercial game Crazy Cars III; which was released by Titus was made by members of BYG and music by Guy Shavitt/SCS/The Force.
* Dany Boy told all the scene mags that the UK section were kicked, this is actually incorrect. It appears there was quite a rift that had formed between the UK section and Dany, this is hinted on in the scroller of the last release for Babygang by Mr. Stark and Chancer.
* They also did some first releases such as Hektic.
In 1987 C64CG was the first group to really get known outside France. They had one of the best crackers in the scene called Unknow. A lot of people remember them for their intro with the Comics Group multiplexer and the well known music by Red/Judges that he did for the Think Twice 3 demo. When Unknow started to crack games for C64CG it mostly looked like the standard cracks everyone else did, but when he later joined Transcom he showed his amazing skills.
C64CG died in 1988, some of the members such as Unknow, Slight and Johnny B then went on to form Transcom.
* C64CG had 2 subgroups: Le Groupe (Greystoke, Malibu, LKJ) and FBD'C (IRQ, Chett, Number 7)
Catch the Best
The group also cracked some of the US games that was released in France. One of their known crackers was New Style, who later joined Babygang and F4CG.
* Poltergeist holds the trainer record for Wonderboy II (Wonderboy in Monsterland) - a massive 107 trainers by Al Capone!
Founded by Chipster in 1991. The group was created after Transcom became more and more inactive and one of the members decided to make a new group with some of their friends. PX had a brief cooperation with Deadline which produced a small handful of cracks. After the coop was over Project X did a few releases. I heard they did an import for Simpsons - The Arcade from the states (cracked by Mirage), has anyone got a copy?
The group died in 1992.
Founded in 1985, also known as OK Koral Productions, they were one of the very unknown groups from France, but the first cracking group from there as far we know.
The group was in close contact with X-OR Cracking Service from The Netherlands. OK-Koral also used some pretty intros like XCS and X-OR did (maybe they got their inspiration from him?). Not much else is known, other than they were around in the early days and therefore should be mentioned in this part of the Cracker's Map.
Split up sometime in late 1986.
Reseau des Crackers Associes Parisiens was founded in 1986 and distributed locally only. RCAP released a nice bunch of cracks, mainly through their member H.Syl who also had released quite a few wares as solo. H.Syl later went on to join the Amiga group Ackerlight.
RCAP did a personal tag to their cracks, adding their logo into the title screen of the game which was a cut above the usual "broken by screens" during that time.
A Touch of Luxury
Transcom had one Belgium member in the beginning which was the Hobbit, who also was a member of Fairlight. His graphics were often seen in the Transcom paper mag CCCP and in the French only paper mag Hackers Voice. Since Hobbit was the only Belgium member some of the French members who lived in North France often visited him and had close contact that way. Later another Belgium scener joined called Reset.
Transcom was also in coop with X-Ray in 1991. The coop did not last long as the members of X-Ray did not think Transcom did their share of the work. When Transcom was in coop it was when Unknow started to slow down his cracking activities.
Hibisch took over and cracked most of the games except S.W.I.V., which was one of the harder titles. After a lot of pushing, Unknow finished the crack which became his last release.
* Known to do imports from the states during 1990/1991.
* Transcom = Transcommunists!
Another French crew was the Yankees which were founded in 1989. The group was not as popular as the other French groups. They did some cracks until the crew died in 1990, but the games were not the most complex in protection.
The group was in coop with Beastie Boys (when it was run by The Management).
- Not to be confused with the Swedish group called The Yankees.