Interviews



Interview with Midfit

Published in Vandalism News #31
Performed by Duke


In this edition, I will try to not stray away from the subject of cracking and keep the spotlight on the cracking-scene as much as possible, though I am not a cracker. I have decided to meet up with one of my true peers in the C64 scene, who recently returned to the spotlight with Legend as their main cracker. Legend failed to fulfil their plans of returning to former strength, but I like to think that our guest was successful in his efforts to bring back Legend as a cracking-group.
 
Readers, please welcome, Midfit!




D)
Welcome Volker, and thank you for granting us this exclusive interview.

M)
No, I have to thank you for showing interest in my profile. There have been times, when I asked myself if it all was worth the effort I putted into it. People who had an interest in my person, always made me going on. This is something I am telling somebody for the first time, except for my long time pals Ramirez and Leeway.


D)
You are with Propaganda, and I trust you are happy still working with Newscopy?

M)
Of course, Per is a person, a brilliant and talented mag editor, just as you. There's no question of who is better or not as the other. There is the question that’s there to entertain you with the latest gossip about THE SYSTEM and for me there are only four choices these days...

1.) You  2.) Newscopy  3.) Jazzcat  4.) RRR ... The rest are just cheap imitations of these characters. These people I named however stick to the business by playing what people like JEFF SMART, NOSAH/DCS, Antichrist, etc. did have started by putting out paper mags... The Scene Journalism, as you may call it... I really respect these people!


D)
Kind words indeed. You recently chose to give up on cracking all together, following the downfall of Legend. Please tell us what provoked you to make this decision, and if you think this will be the very end for you in terms of ever cracking a game again.

M)
This is a hard one to answer. First of all I used  to be jobless for quite a long time, so there was enough time to do something, so I rejoined the C64 scene with Onslaught and brought along that Sting lamer (...still using his lame Ripoff IFFL routine of the Tyger IFFL!), who's now sitting on something which my connections did open for him, without me him he would have been never be able to be in the scene again, cause of all his dirty games he played together with his butt friend Maniac against nearly everybody. However, as I was in Onslaught, on wish of my pal Ramirez I realised the facts finally.

Cracking was more like training and fixing your own coded games. So I officially moved to the PC with Hybrid, where I after a time took Ned from Alpha Flight along and had a nice time with joining up DYNASTY (German #1 in Game releasing) and SUPERIOR ART CREATIONS and working with the 5 best coders of the PC scene. At that time I made a cross through any C64 plans I still had up my sleeve.

However I had that trouble with Jazzcat (and I'm damned proud we can talk like normal humans these days!) and still called the BBS to rag a bit on that Sting creep, who even needed to reply in German-English (a language he invented on his own! Something like: "Was a nice Wetter we have da draussen!") and of cause on my buddy Digahole (No bad feelings!).. However somehow I ran into my pal GENE, who told me that LEGEND set up 2ND2NONE again. I asked him for an account and some hours I ran into Westbam and asked him if  he considers getting back onto the C64.

The rest is history. Not that well, but believe me.. If I would have known that the games LEGEND released would've been RE-RELEASES I would've never ever touched them, also I don't think WESTBAM did know these facts. However after Legend was more or less said gone I saw no future for  me, as nobody releases better games anyway. There is definitely a lack of nice games and therefore I rather do something else. Since 1 month I am in RAZOR 1911 together with Sun Dancer, who also got a fine pal of me. Somehow I always had a line to Danish people, they are a really nice folk. Hope their soccer team will prove their qualities against BRASIL, because they're also good in soccer and I know they can beat them! Thumbs for DENMARK!

(ED - We all know how that game went. Denmark played football, but Brazil won 3-2. Unfair indeed, heh.)




MIDFIT - THE PERSON

D)
Let's begin this faceless interview with uncovering the true face of the person behind the handle: "MIDFIT". Who is Volker?

M)
Well... Who's that creep behind that handle. Let's say it like that. Midfit or yes, call him Volker, is 22 years old, born on the 17th May of 1976 in Gelsenkirchen - Germany. He has fair hair, brown eyes. It is of cause hard to describe yourself. But I think I am some kind of a fanatic, esp. in my hobbies. Generally said I am a very calm and solid person in my private life and I would always prefer a book before TV Broadcast. I'm some kind of idealistic, I believe in my country and I am loving this piece of earth I was born on. I am helpful, and I always try to be a gentlemen, sometimes more - sometimes less (depends on the person!)... If you're interested in what I am doing at the moment I am going to a computer related school to get some certificates I usually don't need, but companies need to get interest in my person for computer related projects. I am a learnt salesman for transports. Something which really nobody did knew about me is that I was writing short stories (Most often HORROR), but unfortunately never released one of them. I'm of cause very emotional and I think I can be a good friend, I'm not taking myself that serious, I can laugh about me and my mistakes (...also mistakes I did in the scene, nobody is perfect!).. And of cause I have a very open way... If I don't like somebody I say it to him... I like watching Soccer, good Horror movies (not that splatter crap! intelligent ones!) and I am loving my family they're what makes me strong and they do even understand my weird hobby!


D)
Do you think the C64 and the scene can sometimes become a little too personal - and do you think it has in your case?

M)
The scene is personal and it will stay personal. Of course it isn't okay to me... Some people really enjoy to play dirty tricks to reach higher areas of this scene and I learnt to know several people of this calibre. Personally I ask myself for what? I already said it.. I always used to be idealistic. I never did harm to anybody to reach something higher. I played with my possibilities to reach something. I never wanted to be known anyway. I enjoyed the idea of having friends all over the world. I got several of them and I got enemies. Those I consider as enemies do however play by the rules.

There is a third group that I call low lives, because they did several things which are not okay to me and which I will never ever forgive, cause they were meant serious. These people being guest in my house, receiving guest friendship and setting up rumours like I would be living in a social family and stuff like that. These tries were most often of a jealous nature, as they know that I had things in my life they would've been never able to buy (an intact family for example!), but believe me these things were earned by hard work of my family and esp. of my father who unfortunately died so early and so far away from me in Romania - Europe. However these things do really hurt. What really hurts is that the fame of this person also resulted in me being in his back and leading him into the big business. I never wanted a thank you. But I expected respect!  But how should someone who plays judge about my life, and even being behind my education standard, have respect for me?!? It is a nice question you have brought up, Alex.. But understand that I do not want to make anybody more famous as he deserves anyway...



MIDFIT - THE BACKGROUND

D)
You have earned yourself respect and fame from your activities in the cracking-scene over a great number of years, and looking back, when did you first find yourself wandering into the realms of the C64 cracking business?

M)
Everything started in 1987/88, I saw several intros and I wanted to be like those! One of my idols used to be Conan/SF+MOVERS. I later cracked and trained together with him on the Super Nintendo, in a scene with people like BAMBAM, SLEDGE, etc, etc. I think you know these names… However my first group was in 1988 the German group THE NEW FASHION 1977, where I learnt to know RRR/Oxyron. Later I joined SODOM and had my first contact with MARC/ALPHA FLIGHT who just lived one street away from me. However serious things had to be moved to a later date, as my father died and I had to help my mother to get along. Words about my character were loud when I was calling around for the first time as Dr. Jones and later got Midfit from TRISTAR and RED SECTOR INC. where I proved that I can do some more than just talking with several fixed games and well cracked games like the one-filed version of DINOX crap before anybody else.


D)
Please give us a historic description of your C64 scene career, starting with your first project, leading up to present date.

M)
As I mentioned I joined the scene as a lame swapper in '88/'89 and joined TNF'77, later SODOM. Then I returned in '93 with SACRED (as coder), went to VISION (as coder, cracker and supplier… supplied several of their first releases at that time!), went to TRSI and changed my handle, not cause I was afraid of anything bad in my history (Everybody has a start!) but I was tired of the fucking lame handle I had at that time. However the TRSI time was really successful for me, esp. at the coop time with DYTEC.

A longer stop on C64, where I used to concentrate on the SNES with TRSI (together with CONAN), later RESPECT (a group with nearly everyone of the old C64 fame ELITE) and ended up in ANTHROX, the #1 Console group where I used to run the entire cracking and training business for several months, because their other crackers got lazy and made a very good #1 spot in front of other famous people like the ELITENDO/HOTLINE guys, as well as in front of the fucking lame PARADOX (He, he, he)... I even coded several smaller part demos, even a intro collection was under them and got real known. The first time I feel REAL success, it didn't make me arrogant or whatever, it just made me nervous. I was calling the major console BBS like USS ENTERPRISE in the states 6 times a day to wait if p.e. SWAT did put out another ACCLAIM game which needed a crack or even a trainer. But hell it was a really nice time. 06:00am till 2:00pm I used to be at work, abusing the phone line to download a certain release if it was already out and trying to train some points at work with my SNES DEBUGGER TOOL. Phun! Felt like the C64 scene  in the hottest days (86-91). However as the console scene  slowly faded, cause of PSX etc. I left the scene until
RAMIREZ called me to asked if I want to do something again, so I joined ONSLAUGHT, CHROMANCE and then
LEGEND. Nowadays I am spending my time with your old pal Sun Dancer in RAZOR 1911  on PC. Sunny is about to do a mag in which I will take place and I am working on a DirectX WIN95 intro for this group, as well as on basic routines for a PC game under Windows.



CRACKING ON THE C64

D)
What type of cracker are you, and what did you see as your strength and weaknesses - in other words, how would you describe yourself?

M)
I never felt myself as a cracker, until I joined the Super Nintendo and used to be first to crack a certain and famous protection detecting SNES Backup Units. This one was a very strange byte calculation routine and it needed hours to understand it. This was the first time I ever felt as a cracker, as in the C64 age where I started to touch games (which I never planned!) I felt more like being a trainer-maker, who was stuck to install trainers and a new load system (IFFL or whatever) on a game.

However my strength would've been searching trainers and inserting file systems and NTSC fixing.

There were several track/sector one-siders I touched and where I needed to modify the loading system to fetch the important files from disk, but I don't see it as cracking. But okay somehow it belongs there. My biggest weakness is my today's weakness, the lack of motivation, so I don't think I will ever load up a game again to install trainers or even to IFFL it or whatever. Besides cracking on SNES and on C64 I also tried the PC one and this was cracking. I wish I would have SoftIce for the C64 ;)


D)
What is the hardest protection you have ever faced? And has there been protections, you had to give up on, because they were impossible to break?

M)
Impossible is nothing, it just requires the skills or the time to get through a protection, but okay the hardest one I ever saw is in my opinion the one on the DISK MAG CREATOR by Digital Marketing, which was a Timex system modified by SNACKY. I don't think I would be able to crack it, but I also think you would need the basics of a Timex to crack it, so that means you should have experienced the first versions of Timex and in my time I never ran into a Timex. So why should I concentrate on them?!?


D)
What do you find is the easiest protection of all?

M)
As there are no real protections around on the C64 I would say compared to things we have in our hands (Carys, Memory Expansion, etc.) there is nothing which can be considered as a real protection against a cracker. The word protection is already too funny, even condoms are not safe.


D)
Today the lack of games is equal to the lack of protections on the few games that in fact ARE released. What is your opinion on the skill-level required to be competitive in today's cracking-scene?

M)
There are no real cracking skills any longer, there's basic knowledge which everyone needs to crack/train a game. But there are still people who are talented, and who would have been a number, if there would've been other times. But times are changing so what? Who needs to do a Timex if nobody is using a Timex? Nowadays a cracker doesn't really need to be able to break what is around these days. And even the multi-filers are no big challenge any longer. But work (de-packing, packing, new loader, training, fixing).


D)
What is it like to be a cracker in today's scene?

M)
Looking back on the glory past of others. And seeing a scene system with glory names, more concentrating on putting each others down and more focussed on money.



MAGAZINE BUSINESS

D)
You now work as an editor for Propaganda, and you have been successful in this field as well. When did you kick off your career as a magazine editor, and what made you choose it over cracking?

M)
Like I said before in one of my articles for Propaganda, I always loved to write. Like several people could see on the net-boards, as well as on the major US BBS's. I'm honest I am focussed on the PC right now, but however I still love my C64, cause it had the best scene system ever. And as the C64 was giving me lots of fun I feel like I have to pay something back for it. And through my work as mag editor, which I always like to keep objective I can pay back! As "cracking" is no task any longer to fill some time with, I am writing.

However I am not responsible for all that anyway. It was Per who said, that he went ill while reading my board posts and I was asked to write. I saw it as a chance to show size.


D)
How do you describe your style of editing, and what is your response to the critics as well as supporters of your work?

M)
I would describe it as honest. Simply because you have to be honest, otherwise you even won't find the right words to describe something. And I would describe it as objective. I won't take my work as opportunity to attack anyone I dislike. About the critics & supporters: without the critics I couldn't improve myself in the field I am working, without critics I won't have the motivation to write and the same  for the supporters. I love both aspects. Freethinking is something I always respected and there are far too less people who actually do think.


D)
How well do you think magazines if today cover the cracking-scene?

M)
Very well, although I am quite unhappy with some comrades who do think they only need to cover the scene. They should be entertaining as well. I'm not reading a mag to read something about a XYZ who joined ZYX. I want to see profiles as well, people who have spirit and who're interested in supporting the scene with their views. I don't name these people, they do know who they are. And again... Quantity doesn't mean quality! Take this example: Budweiser is producing as much beer as possible, maybe even the biggest amount of beer in Europe.. But hey.. Is it the best beer?!?




THE INTERNET / BOARD SCENE

D)
The Internet has made it easier for people to keep in touch on a more regular basis, and a large base of people has already gathered there. What is your opinion of the Internet, and how would you describe its role in today's cracking-scene?

M)
Without the internet, the scene would be dead. The PC/AMIGA/CONSOLE since several years already and the C64 since beginning of the last year. And besides that you want to risk your ass by using calling cards to call a lame 2400 BAUD BBS in the states? Oh no... Get real. And don't say YOU WON'T BE BUSTED, I heard that from dozens of card users world-wide, unfortunately I can't find them being around any longer, esp. in these days. Wonder where they have gone?


D)
Spankerz Heaven is without a doubt the most popular place to be for sceners at the moment, and you yourself have also frequented this great netboard - and still do. What is your opinion of this type of site, and what do you feel is the main differences or possibly even advantages from the IRC C64 channel?

M)
First of all: I am not calling out any longer to any netboard, cause I simply haven't got the time any longer to read plenty of messages and to answer them. And we all know that there are a dozens of people without other things to do who want my attention. About Spankerz Heaven, well.. It is of cause a nice work by Burglar, just like Legend did with 2ND2NONE and will be one of the pioneers for the new age of our scene, if there is a new age left. I fear that more and more people will get lazybones and hang in front of their emulators. I fear so. I don't hope so.

The IRC channel is lame, too many idiots around and everybody wants to get heard, even people who never understood one single line of machine language on ANY SYSTEM and esp. not on the Commodore C64. Sad, but true they hang around and talk about things they do not know jack shit about. Some smart people tried a elite C64 channel, but it didn't needed 20 seconds and we saw Maniac on it... No, no.. That's no solution...



D)
A couple of years ago, you also frequented the American as well as some European boards. Tell us about that experience.

M)
It was more elite. You were still able to see people which were from the good old days, today these people are very rare. And most of them, even my long time neighbour Marc (Much luck for you and your wife!) are going ways leading away from the scene, with other words they are pretty much behind being gone already. From the BBS I miss the feeling when using a BB/PBX/CC or when connecting to a BBS and hoping for a good connection. I also miss the chats with the sysops. To be honest it is already so long ago, that I can't remember much from it. Too much happened to me the last years over.





THE CRACKING SCENE


D)
What is your opinion of the crackers that are around today, compared to those that made the headlines back in the days, when you started out and after?

M)
I can't take these new C64 crackers serious. They're much too loud for my taste and they can't respect the work of  others. Just take a look on that DIDI scmuck, he is just a fast rookie without much experience who has skills but a far too high ego for somebody who calls his group after one of the fucking best composers ever in a computer scene. And besides that I don't like people who set up things about me behind my back.


D)
What do you love the most about the cracking-scene, and what do you hate and miss the most today?

M)
I love all the people who have the guts to search for the real friendship. I miss the old people, esp. my friend CONAN. I hate people who are talking behind somebody's back.


D)
How would you describe the state of today's cracking-scene?

M)
More dead than alive (ANY SYSTEM!)


D)
What in your opinion are the main differences between the cracking- and the demo-scene?

M)
The demo scene is much too separated  from the cracking scene already and some people in the demo scene doesn't help this relationship with looking down on the cracking crowd.


D)
If you had to put together a slogan, that would fit the C64 cracking-scene perfectly, what would it be?

M)
For the best die with the best. There will never ever be a better system as the 64!



IN CLOSING

D)
In closing, has there been a price to pay for being a part of the cracking-scene, and if so, do you sometimes regret having been part of it?

M)
Yes, some school marks which had been good or very good sinked into the very bad area, I often refer to it as the red sector, mainly because it was in my TRSI time ;)



D)
What do you have planned for yourself in the future - in the name of the C64?

M)
I think I will create some 32 BIT WINDOWS tools for the C64 in the near future and if I got more time to call these netboards again I will launch KILL THE SMUCKS EVENT 2! I hope you'll be present in it with me as well, Alex! ;)


D)
Why not? sounds like fun! :) Thank you, Volker. I wish you much luck with all your projects, and with working for Propaganda.

M)
Same for you, Alex, esp. with your multimedia thing! And please do me the favour and quit smoking, PRINCE DENMARK... He, he, he, he... It is really bad for the health, believe me!


D)
So is asking people to quit smoking! ;)

DUKE signing off...

Interview with MIDFIT
Conducted by DUKE/FAIRLIGHT  and given to Jazzcat/Onslaught, who with pain, re-typed it into the magazine editor. :)



The interview was originally planned for the third edition of the SCENE PLUS magazine, however, the online project was never realized.

Other articles from Scene Plus Issue #3 are to be found in DOMINATION PAPER edition and the upcoming Scene+4 issue #4 from KBS, Raver and staff...


Regards,

Jazzcat/Onslaught.

[back]