Cracker's Map: Norway

Welcome back to another issue of Cracker's Map. This is where I take you, our dedicated reader, on a focused journey through the major scene country cracking groups and their members. How they started, what they did and why they are remembered.

In this segment, the journey continues to the frost north, Norway is on the map. It has a rich history dating back to the very beginning of the scene. I hope to give some detail on each group, in some cases directly from the people involved, as well as some interesting trivia dug up from the depths of time.

Special thanks must go to Baard Harald Fosse (BHF), Zero The Hero (ZTH), Glenn Rune Gallefoss (GRG) and Gene. You guys helped fill in some of the blanks!

Disclaimer: notice missing detail? something wrong or want to leave some feedback? Send me a mail.






More than normal
Founded by Power, Rocky, Hero, Fist, ZTH, Stone & Hot Dog on the 14th of June 1988.

The group founded when The Hidden Forces and Laser Cracking Service Norway merged. They started their scene life as a demo group (first demo being Snubnosed) but then progressed to cracking, providing serious competition to Illusion. THF was at this time controlled by ZTH and Power, and LCS by Fist, Hero and Buzz. Power was trading with Hero from LCS, and because they all lived close, talks were made about making a new, hot group - joining forces together. A name was not decided before ZTH and Hero talked on the phone about the matter. Together they agreed that it should be a name that came up early in greetings lists. ZTH looked in a dictionary and threw suggestions at HERO. They both felt good about the name Abnormal, and agreed to talk it over with the rest of the crew - the rest is history - Abnormal was born the next day. Their very first crack was "Supertrux".

When Abnormal was still very young two boys from around Fredrikstad/Norway (Torp) joined: Rocky and Hot dog. They were best friends and were very productive together - making a lot of demos. Rocky become a decent cracker too during the year Abnormal ruled the scene. A Danish coder by the name Trap'88 joined too (later Trap of TRC and Bonzai fame), just after summer of 1988. Zeb, a local hang around of LCS in Trondheim called ZTH and told about his desires to join, and so he did. Also The Bright Lion (TBL), Stone and Hex joined Abnormal. By summer 1989 Metal from Denmark joined in. Not only were they on the C64, but also Amiga with Hotdog, Highlander, TLW, Blackie Lawless, The Creature, Softer and Zeb. Also, the group co-organised the IT, Razor 1911, Abnormal, Hoaxers, Network Gigaparty in June 1989 where Zeb also later became a member.

In Autumn 1989 the cracking section around Fist, Hero and Rocky joined forces with Sauron of Future in order to build up a new cracking group called Illusion. Abnormal died shortly after and ZTH founded a new promising demogroup called Panoramic Designs.

ZTH and BHF started up again in 1996, but only demos on the PC. In 2011 Abnormal released again on the C64. This time not cracks but with some demo releases, STANDING TALL ABOVE NORMAL - ABNORMAL!

ZTH: "One reason for the name was that it's very near the beginning of the dictionary (we wanted to appear at the top of people's greetings lists, which were usually alphabetised), and "Abnormal" seemed to fit us nicely, we were different."

* Organiser of the Razor 1911/Abnormal/The Cartel copy party in Stojrdal, Autumn 1988.

Members:
Bozz, Buzz, FIG, Fist, Hero, Hot Dog, Power, Rocky, Snowbear, The Bright Lion, Trap'88, ZTH, Zuggly.
Download Abnormal C64 cracks








One of the early pioneers of the Norwegian cracking scene. Not to be confused with the Dutch variations (like the one from Steve/1001 Crew), Antisoft hailed from the Norwegian capital Oslo.

Involved in many early musings such as Gorf, BC's Quest for Tires and Pitfall II.
Download Antisoft C64 cracks









Future, We Stay In Style
Founded on the 8th of the 8th 1988 by Sauron, Garfield, The Arc and Hawkeye. Died in June 1989 when Illusion was formed and their most prolific cracker Sauron being part of that.

Members:
Brooz, CIA, Cobra, Hawkeye, MRG, Sauron, Stein, The Arc, Xymox.
Download Future C64 cracks









Scandinavia's #1
Founded by Garfield, Rocky, Sauron, Fist and Hero on 23rd of June 1989 at the Network Gigaparty. Sauron: "I remember playing 'Just an Illusion' over and over again till people got really sick of that tune from Imagination... :)".

Illusion was built in June 1989 by Garfield/Jazzcat Cracking Team, Sauron & Hawkeye/Future and the cracking section of Abnormal. All initial members came from Norway. In the early days the group had been mainly known for its quality cracks spread via mail trading. Sauron was the main cracker in the beginning with originals from Hawkeye (who was also getting Amiga wares back then too).

When Bros died, their Norwegian section Gene, Firkin and Dwarf joined (September 1989). This is when Illusion got active in the US BBS scene, initially trading with Exodus. Their first North American boards were Wild Warez and Warez Galore.

NATO asked Illusion in November 1989 if they would be interested in a coop, but Illusion refused. Because Illusion didn't have many fast originals at that time, Gene, Firkin and Kilroy decided to leave in Feburary 1990 to build up Unisex, a group which died only a few weeks later.

The English section around Firefox, Dean/Reble MC and Richie (all former Rough Trade Incorporated) joined a few days later. As the English section was strong in supplying fast originals, from then on speed and quality cracking have been brought together and Illusion grew to one of the leading European cracking groups. Gene and Firkin killed Unisex and rejoined Illusion in March 1990. In the US Illusion changed its trading partner from Exodus (mainly due to a personal war between Gene and Exodus) briefly to Optical and finally to A Touch of Class. This is when a long lasting collaboration between Illusion and Pudwerx started. The Forum, one of the most famous US boards ever, became Illusion and A Touch of Class headquarters. A Touch of Class was one of the leading US importing, cracking and NTSC fixing groups at that time.

Illusion and ATC started a co-op in the summer of 1990. The co-op was terminated after a few releases only due to the fact that Pudwerx left A Touch of Class to form a new US super group together with Stormbringer/XDS called Random. Illusion stayed loyal to Pudwerx and therefore was trading with Random from then on.

In February 1991 Garfield quit the c-64 scene and later in May 1991 Illusion died. Most of the members joined forces with the German sections of Crazy, Lotus and Paramount to build up Enigma.

In February 1992 Illusion got rebuilt. Richie, Sauron, Hero and Fist (who had in the meantime moved to Talent) teamed up with Freestyle and the US dudes Pudwerx, Despiser and Prodigy to plan the comeback. A few days before the reunion, "Judgment Day" was announced on all boards and this caught the curiosity of a lot of sceners. On "Judgment Day" Illusion was rebuilt by many of the original members and the two legendary American old-school boards The Forum und Terminal Obsession were put back online. Pudwerx/ex-ATC re-entered the scene to NTSC-fix the constant flow of first-releases. Again quality (Norwegian cracking section, US fixing) and speed (UK section, Richie) came together. More members mainly from ex-The Dominators joined in later: Gene, Baze, Rebel, Derbyshire Ram, NME... Further Reble MC, a former ILS member returned to the scene.

In November 1992 the two Swedes Tronic and Sodapop joined in. Paradize the leading European BBS became Illusion HQ. Further Radar joined after his beloved mothership Arcade had grounded but left again after only a few weeks.

In spring 1993 many bad news had hit the group. Forum and Terminal Obsession went down again. Pudwerx and the English section had slowed down their activities. Derbyshire Ram was the only active original supplier and cracker left in the UK. Also, disaster struck the group in May, as Gene, Hero and a few other Norwegian members from Oslo and Trondheim were caught for abusing AT&T cards and fined $25,000 by the Norwegian phone company.

A new US section was formed: Lucifer, Brett, Susie Uzi, Serpent & Grego. Lucifer left again after a short while to build up his own H/P and fixing group called Coderz. Brett was running the new US Headquarters called Purgatory. The choice to take "Purgatory" as new US HQ turned out to be a mistake, as ample diskspace was missing, the board was often down and was taken down for good only a couple of months later. It was rumoured that Brett took it upon himself to kick Freestyle and Zorlac in August and then also Rebel, who went on to join Legend. This was the result of an internal storm that had been brewing between swiss Freestyle and Brett over control of the American boards (Purgatory and In Living Color).

Freestyle continued to press his demands of control onto them, as well as other members of the group, and it culminated in him discussing internal Illusion matters in the public subs of Holiday Inn Cambodia instead of internal Illusion subs on their own boards. In the end, Freestyle demanded a vote on the Americans status and everyone voted for them staying except him and Zorlac, so he left.

The group died on December 1, 1993, when troubles between the new US section and the remaining Europeans could not be solved in peace. The Norwegian section stopped. Darklord, Richie, Derbyshire Ram, Freestyle and Pudwerx left to form Avantgarde together with a bunch of German sceeners like Deff, Jack Daniels, Magic Man, Weasel, HOK, Peter and Jack Alien.

Members:
Atmos, BaZe, Brett, Buzz, Cerberus, Comic, Cutter, Cyberpunk, Darklord, Dean, Deff, Derbyshire Ram, Despiser, DMC, Dwarf, Firefox, Firkin, Fist, Frank, Freestyle, Garfield, Gene, Gene, Grego, Hawkeye, Hero, Jazzman, Kilroy, Lucifer, MRG, NME, PK, Prodigy, Professor Entropy, Pudwerx, Pyle, Radar, Rastan, Rebel, Reble MC, Richie, Rocky, Sauron, Scarface, Sebio, Sodapop, Susieuzi, Tankard, TLW, Tronic, Zix, Zorlac.
Download Illusion C64 cracks










Founded in 1986. Died in 1987.

Gene: "Jazzcat was Firkin and my inspiration when we made The Guardians Inc. When we were in The Guardians, we got their originals the day after they had cracked them. When Jazzcat went Amiga, we got some fresh originals from them. That is what put TGI on the map and allowed us to trade with BB, Fusion etc. in the beginning.

They had an insider at a software house that sometimes got them originals months (!) before they were in the shops. When they went Amiga, they gave us one of those, which Firkin cracked. That was our breakthrough and way into ACE.

I still remember getting a copy of Jason's contact book, so we could mail our Guardians cracks to Mitch, Mr Zeropage, TLC, TMC, DG, DD..."

Members:
Danger Mouse, Firecat, Garfield, Jazoo, Little Mosquito, Mozart, P.C. Fuzz, Psyco, Shockwave (aka Jason), Swopper, Tic-Tac.
Download Jazzcat Cracking Team C64 cracks










Founded in 1985 and died the following year in 1986. Originally a Norwegian group, until Dutch TMC (Charles Deenen) joined them at one point. Newlook and The Stars merged into New Stars. Newlook had the advantage that their original supplier worked for the biggest computer store in Oslo at the time. The same shop Smash/Dwarf later started working for.

Members:
Anon, Dr.Matrix, Headbanger, Jazoo, JEB, Law Breaker, NASA, The Idol, The Mercenary Cracker, Znatt.
Download Newlook C64 cracks










Founded by 3469 & Steppenwolf in 1986. They had some inactive period in the scene but came back in 1989 when Newton, Deadline, Aztec and Bitbuster joined. Other members besides those just mentioned were Bound and Pinky, all of which were demo coders. There is also Zaphod who cracked and Razor, a Swedish member. They folded in 1991.

Gene: "Human of Commando Frontier joined up with Laffen of Raw Deal. We thought of them as competition for a short while, and were at war with Laffen. He was from L°renskog, Human was from the west, Kristiansand, I think."

Members:
3469, Aztec, Baloo, BitBuster, Bound, Conan, Chevignon, Creator, Deadline, Hypocrite, Iron Man, Laffen, Lord S, Mr. Wonderful, Newton, Pink Panter, Razor, Steppenwolf, The Force, TRP.
Download Raw Deal Inc C64 cracks










Originally Razor 2992, the group was founded by Sector 9, Amiga & Sputnik 4 in November 1985 and died in September 1986.

In the Autumn 1985, Amiga, Sector 9 and MC Miker started a group called Trondelag Cracking Service (TCS). One crack was released, Kik Start. They got their first greeting from Hellmates and lived happily but the happiness was short. Zzap of SCC told them that TCS already existed as Teesside Cracking Service in England. Then Hellmates invented the new name Razor in November 1985.

On the 13th December 1985 their first rip came, it was 'Rambo Loader Music'. Amiga made an ugly Koala picture and amazed Sector 9 when he could use it without Koala-painter.

In April 1986 Mr.W and Creator joined Razor and made a 182 blocks demo called Music Selector I.

In the Summer of 1986, Amiga changed his name to the more powerful Dr.Jekyll but then discovered that a certain guy in Norway was called Dr.Jekyll too. After a short war they agreed that he had the name longer and Amiga's new name became Doctor No.

In September 1986 Razor broke up: Mr.W & Tilt (Creator) left for Thunderbolt Cracking Crew and later again to Scandinavian Cracking Force, Rocky became single again, Sputnik 4 (MC Miker) stopped and Doctor No and Sector 9 joined the famous Megaforce Crackings but after a while in Megaforce they decided to join an even larger group; Active Cracking Crew.

Why 1911? 1911 is $777 in hex which is the opposite of 666.

Members:
Tilt, Mr.W, Runar, Sector 9, Zeen, RAZ, Sputnik 4, MTH (Motorhead), Dr.Jekyll, The Amiga, Nexus.


From their website:

On a rainy evening back in October 1985 three young Norwegian guys decided to form a computer group. We were not exactly sure about what we needed the group for but we were really inspired by other big groups at the time, such as Flash Cracking Group 1941, Section 8, Electronic Cracking Association 1998, ABC 1999, Jedi 2001, 1103, Djenghis Khan, Hellmates, SCC, Dynamic Duo etc.

These three founder members are today known as Doctor No, Insane TTM and Sector 9.

A good group does of course deserve a good name, and thanks to Hellmates we decided to call ourselves RAZOR 2992. (No, that's not a typo). The number was put there to separate us from eventual future jerks who would come and steal the "Razor"-label. Besides, most of the other groups used a number too - so why shouldn't we? (We actually had a group of nitwits on Commodore C64 who stole our name for a while and added "Express" behind it - ie "Razor Express". Not many remembers them today though).

It didn't take us long to realise that 2992 was a dull number. So we came up with 1911 instead. We all agreed on that it sounded much better. Many people has asked us through the years why we chose exactly 1911. The reason is that the scene on Commodore C64 was full of brainless kids who, for some odd reason, enjoyed using 666 (the number of the beast - from the Revelation) on their demos, letters, diskbags and God knows what else. We thought this was rather childish, after all what has occultism got to do in the scene anyway? So we chose 1911 because it translates to $777 (in the hexadecimal numbersystem). 777 happens to be the opposite of 666 and so it was our small "grow-up-and-get-a-clue"-message to the immature kids in the scene. It may also be mentioned that we seem to be immortal and thus GOD-like (777). Later on we used the name "Project $777" in a demo on Amiga to slag off everyone that we just didn't like in the scene but couldn't find a good excuse to yell at under the Razor-name. This time more people realised what was going on, but most of them thought it was quite funny so we got away with it (we always seem to).

The 64-period was rather short. We made a lot of demos and a few cracks and became one of the better groups here in Norway. However - we didn't come up with too many outstanding productions. A few of them are still in circulation today on those CD-Rom compilations of Commodore 64 demos. Some of them are worth taking a look at, at least as a curiosity. So after a year the group broke up for a while. One half went to TCC while the other half (Sector9 and Doctor No) went to Megaforce (later known on Amiga as Scoopex). This only lasted for about a month - we decided to join Active Cracking Crew. This is where we got in touch with the WORLD for the first time. Through ACC we got to learn how the big crackers of C64 worked, we entered telephone-conferences and talked to everyone in the scene that was worth mentioning. About 6 months later we went to one of the big parties at the time. Back then parties were only for the "top elite" people. If you didn't have an invitation and couldn't legitimate yourself you could forget about even entering the place. They were actually even called "COPY-parties", and instead of boring demo competions we voted for the best cracker of the year (I remember that this year, 1987, it was Mr.Z from Triad, a few votes ahead of Laffen from Raw Deal) and the competition was when Danish Gold (the organisers) came up with a brand new original and every group could have a go simultaneously (If I'm not mistaken FairLight did some cooperation-crack together with ACC on a James Bond game there). Sorry about the digression folks, I just get really nostalgic from time to time. Anyway, on the plane from Denmark back to Norway we decided to give rebirth to Razor on the Amiga together with two members (Lord Sand Hypocrite) from the highly successful cracking roup Raw Deal.


Trivia:

- Razor 1911 was born on the Amiga at the Danish Gold Party in July 1987 by four Norwegians from the C64 scene; Sector 9 and Dr.No from Active Cracking Crew (ACC, both original members of Razor 1911 on the C64) and Lord Strangelove (aka Lord S) and Hypocrite from Raw Deal Inc. The group was originally based around the city of Trondheim, Norway (Sector 9, Dr.No), with a section in Aalesund, Norway established a small while later (Red Baron, Nosferatu, Bug).

- The new Razor 1911 was the source of some controversy when it was formed by Colorbird/Illusion, Lizardking and Tony/The Silents and Odeon/Phenomena in late 1993. Their only claim to the name of the old heroes was that Colorbird was once a member... The real Razor had moved to the PC, and wanted the Amiga side to die with their passing.
Download Razor 1911 C64 cracks










The 1986 group and the 1988 group. The history here is a little confusing as there was two versions with the same name in Norway and also the merger of Newlook and The Stars in 1986 giving birth to the "New Stars" (not the same as Fist/Illusion's version). Ole Marius: "The confusion here is that there was three different versions of The Stars. First there was The Stars, then The New Stars, then The Stars that came from merging members from The Troopers and A.C.E., and a couple more.

Stein Pedersen was a member of Newlook and all three versions of The Stars".

Members: (original 1986)
1030 (Stein Pedersen), Anon, Fax, Fist, Fury, Headbanger, Jazoo, JEB, Law Breaker, NCC, Snowman.

Members: (1988 version)
Devil, Firkin, Gene, Shade, Smash, Spirit, Stone (Stein Pedersen)

Members: (New Stars)
Dr.Klyster, Fax, Fist, Jazoo, Law Breaker, Mr.Newlook, NCC, Snowman, Stein Pedersen.
Download The Stars/New Stars C64 cracks








Miscellaneous:


* Thunderbolt Cracking Crew 777 (from Stavanger) later became part of The Stars.

* Hellmates.

* Rambo (Bernhard Eide from Trondheim) cracked games with his friend who whose name was Remo.

* Star One (Trond Westre from Aalesung), Section 9 also worked with him.

* Telephone Crackers Norway (from Sandnes).

Others include:
Nor-Copy, Djengis Khan (did a nice version of Exploding Fist), The Evil Ones, Terminators, CHIC, Quackers, 3711 Crackings INC, 008, Nukesoft, The Zapp (from Harstad) did intros and cracks.

A lot of Norwegian cracked games are still missing. The Norwegian scene was small compared to others and it died very quickly in the early 1990's. I suppose there was less than 30 people being active around 1993 and many of those were new to the scene. How many of those backed up and preserved their disks? The D64 format and copying to PC was first introduced in 1994.

We will continue to research this country and add information to preserve.



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