ONLINE > RECOLLECTION issue 1 > C64 Legends
Story by MWS & Jeff Smart, ILLEGAL ISSUE #30 (Released on September 17th 1988)

Some corrections done throught the years by MWS.


What was the first game that you remember to have seen on your C=64? Good, if you are an old user, probably one was " COMMODORE SOCCER " (cracked by a german called 1103 {oliver joppich}, or MULE of Electronics Arts (cracked by OLEANDER {Oliver Eikemeier} ), or " HART HAT MACK " (cracked by OTD {Oliver Thomas Dietz} ), or SUMMER GAMES (cracked by JEDI 2001).

JEDI was probably the first group of crackers in the scene. The members were 1103, OLEANDER, OTD and KBR (KOTZBROCKEN). All of them were German and cracked new developments like Mr. Robot, QuickCopy 2,0 , Sentinel and others... All this happened in 1982 (+/-).

1982 is remembered as the beginning of the nightmare of software companies. A group called ANTIRAM {KINGSOFT} begins its activities with games like DALLAS QUEST, POGO JOE, MINER 2049, RAID OVER MOSCOW. Also from the German crackin' nation. GERMAN CRAKING SERVICE (GCS)! Its list of new cracks includes games like HERO, ZAXXON, SLAMBALL and FLIGHT SIMULATOR II !

And in Singapore, a guy had a shining idea that revolutionary changed the atmosphere in the United States, the first one cracker in EAGLE SOFT INCORPORATED was not an American! This boy (whose name has been forgotten) had 2 American friends, called GIVES and JASON, and the fairy tale began!

The story went on until 1984 , the year in which piles arose from good groups of crackers! TBC {Stefan Husch, coder of Compacker V2.0} cracked and spread KENNEDY APPROACH , whereas CRACKMAN CREW did it with HEART OF AFRICA { Zorro, Frank Brunos Boxing and later FCOPY 3}. They were the first group in making the PAL fix in a game: BALLBLAZER. {nope, that was JEDI with Summer Games} {Crackman Crew were Alf Maier, Darius Zendeh and Claus P. Lippert also from Germany}

The first English groups were YAK SOCIETY, that cracked all the games from Elite (also FRANK BRUNÓS BOXING). {later Aaron Liddiment changed his handle to THE MASTER and got Section 8 and FCG/RADWAR as first contact in Germany, he was a true neighbour of Jeff Minter and did a lot of service programming for him. Aaron was also the guy who first exported the ZZAP 64 magazine to Germany. Thanx again, Aaron}

... and TEESIDE CRACKING SERVICE (TCS). {with their cracker brain THE OMEGA MAN. I remember some nice phone talks with him about protections like in Magnetic Scrolls adventures (THE PAWN, ...). Peter & Jamie where really tuff guys and we had lot's of fun these days}

The panorama during 1985 totally was {totally} dominated by SECTION 8 (that put in circulation GI JOE, AIRWOLF, ARCHON II) {and more than 100 other cracks, hell they were the fastest group these days, but the quality wasn't always good, so we called them the CRACKERS with the magic button (RESET), they loaded the original, resetted the system and saved the memory from $0800-$D000 to a 202 Block file and searched for the JUMP-IN-POINT, then they changed some text and voila, that's S-8. Only the versions done by Mr. Frank Thomas aka F-16, f.e. Summer Games II and The Eidolon where really true and good cracks}

... and ABC {Mr. Frank Tip from Holland himself} which pointed with MR.DO, THE HOBBIT II and others...). INDIANA JONES 1933 {Jörg Filsinger / Germany} he was also fixing games to work on PAL and he cracked all the new developments of Broderbund Software.

The first importer and important distributor was called ALI {yep, that's right ... his name was Andreas and he lifed in Frankfurt ... next to the JEDI, S8 and TBC Headquarters *lol*}

Soon, groups such as FLASH CRACKING GROUP (FCG) and FEDERATION AGAINST COPYRIGHT (FAC) appeared. {yeaahh, and that's when our scene-carrer began in early 1985 ... hehehe, and we ruled with crackz like TOUR DE FRANCE, HYPER SPORTS, FIVE A SIDE SOCCER, URIDIUM, SPINDIZZY, ....}

But, That what are all of them doing today, what have they done after crackin' ?

The PAL Version of Summer Games fixed by JEDI was sold by Epyx in all Europe. Of what happened with JEDI , I can say to them very little, but... always I was told that 1103 had a store of PC's, AT's and networks, and converted " QUIWI " from Kingsoft for Atari ST. {yep, he did the company OMIKRON and later on he developed the first good browser for the MAC}

OLEANDER works in PC's, {nope, he is still a student in mathematics in Frankfurt Germany} whereas OTD developed PROLOGIC DOS {yep right and also 64'er DOS and he is now a freelancer in network business}.

F-16 from SECTION 8 {Mr. Frank Thomas} created the FASTLOAD v3.0, COPY+ , and at the moment he works for DISCOVERY SOFTWARE. {nope, in 1991 Mr. Andreas Hommel from E.C.A worked for them with SODAN}

Some guys of GCS worked for RAINBOW ARTS {yeahh, right but i won't tell ya who it is, he likes to stay anonym ... but there is a Company for Cookies in Germany with the same name *lol* } INDIANA JONES is in Amiga {and also PC and is travelling throgh the whole world right now, actual he's on a trip to INDIA}

TBC {The Friends...} created the Compacker v2.0 {and suddenly Stefan dissappeared and was never found again...}

Crackman is programming on Amiga {they founded CACHET Software and distributed HQC's X-COPY}, ALI has quit all computer activities {that's a pity, he was a real nice guy}

YAK SOCIETY works for the well-known LLAMASOFT of Jeff Minters.

READ the original Story here:

This is yet another part of the 'what happened to stories' and this time I bring you the one and only Crackman Crew (CRM).

Crackman Crew were:
Alf Maier (coder and cracker)
Darius Zendeh (coder and musician)
Claus P. Lippert (organiser)

All from Germany.

Crackman was responsible for their elite crackings on FCOPY3 (see the story of JEDI and Tempelmann) and pal fixing the USA version of Lucasfilm's Ballblazer (and that was really a masterpiece).

They also released lot's of epyx games in copyable file-versions like Summer Games 2 and winter games. Ah and of course nice versions of the Bard's Tale trilogy and Heart of Africa.

In 1987 I started to work for the german magazine RUN in Munich together with Claus Peter, who made the job possible for me.

Later on Claus Peter started his own company CACHET SOFTWARE, they released the masterpiece duplicating tool that probably everybody used on Amiga these days: X-COPY (coded by HQC, as far as i remember).

Alf Maier also worked for CACHET as programmer these days and after some years of making a fortune with X-COPY - Alf and Claus Peter went to live on some island in the carribean sea. There CACHET SOFTWARE was managed for some more years until the amiga market broke down. Alf & CPL went back to Germany, but we lost contact to them.

Darius Zendeh, also known as MARK II of crm, was responsible for the nice AXEL F tune in the CRM intro (routine coded by him) and he also did some game musics on r-type together with chris hülsbeck.

He also did some coding in the late 80s on the Nordic Power cartridge for the c64, Darius and me worked as freelancers for a guy called Klaus Rohreger at that time.

On Amiga Darius coded the Mark2 Soundsystem in 1989 for Cachet Software together with Andreas Scholl.

Editor can be downloaded here:


Nowadays you can find Darius on his new launched homepage at

I had a talk to one of the first game-coders on the C64, his name is Henrik Wening.

I guess most of you never heard of him, but for sure all of you have played his games - and there really were many of them.

Henrik was responsible for these nice titles on the good old Commodore 64.

Space Pilot, Kingsoft, 1983
Galaxy, Kingsoft, 1984
Zaga Mission, Kingsoft, 1984
Space Pilot II, Kingsoft, 1985
Zyron, Kingsoft, 1986
Fire Galaxy, Kingsoft, 1987

Henrik told me, that he wrote his own 6502-assembler in early 1982 on a CBM PET and he connected both, the c64 and the PET to one disk drive, so he could share the drive and use the system as a kind of cross-assembler. If you take a look at his first game 'Space Pilot', you may find out that he was one of the first game coders, who completely switched of the 64 kernal ($35 in $01) and nearly used the whole memory for gamecode, gfx and sound. The code is quite funny and had already nice ideas, I'm not sure, but with Space Pilot he started a complete new way of game-coding for the zevi.

Do ya remember HYPRA-LOAD, one of the first FLOPPY-SPEEDLOADERs for PAL Systems ... it was released by the German magazin '64'er' and it was programmed by Karsten Schramm and Boris Schneider.

Karsten also wrote one of the best books on the commodore 1541 floppy with a complete documented ROM-Listing. The Book was released through 'Markt & Technik' and titled 'Die Floppy 1541'. With this book i learned how to speak to my disk-drive and as you know, i did a lot of protection stuff on it.

Well knowadays Karsten is the OWNER of one of the biggest FREEMAILERS in Germany, yes you're reading right ... Karsten is responsible for all your fake accounts at GMX *g*.

More German info:

About Boris Schneider, he worked for the magazine Power Play and did a lot of text translations for Rainbow Arts & Lucas Arts aka Lucasfilm Games. He was responsible for nearly all Lucas Arts Adventures in german language (Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, a.s.o.) today he is the man behind the X-Box for Microsoft in Europe...


Microsoft's imminent superconsole, the X-Box, should be familiar to everyone since the official launch at the CES in Las Vegas. Sony's advanced Playstation 2 suffered from poor initial sales as a result of supply difficulties and distinctly average games. Microsoft will be hoping to avoid any mistakes from now on and make Xbox the next generation console, both technically and in terms of game quality. We spoke to Boris Schneider-Johne, the man behind X-Box's presence in Europe.

More in English
More in German

Here's another part unscratched from my memory.

I'm talking about two German guys from Holzwickede/Dortmund/Germany, who called themselves 'The Dynamic-Duo'.

DUO 1: Hans-Jürgen Grahl (the organizer, spreader and gfx-artist)
DUO 2: Robin Wunderlich (cracker and coder)

The group was founded in 1985 and they really ruled in 1986 with lots of releases. Ghost'n'Goblins, Green Beret, Super Cycle, Alley Cat, 10th Frame...

In the beginning they had no contacts, all spreading of their releases was handled by HEADBANGER (Georg Panagiatidis) from Dinslaken/Germany. HB had two copy slaves named KRABAT & SYNTAX 2001 and they did all the copying and snail-mailing for him.

Dynamic Duo totally concentrated on getting ''brand new' originals from a very fast software-reseller in England, they cracked the stuff and gave it to Headbanger. Headbanger used the stuff to swap with nearly every big group around the world and with the help of DD he always had really hot stuff. In Return Headbanger gave all the software he received on trading back to DD. So both parties were happy, they always had the latest software within some days. (remember at this time there was no bbs trading at all)

HJG of DD was a really nice guy, the whole LIGHT CIRCLE team was once invited to his big birthday party and we celebrated at his house for 2 days. HJG, RADWAR, FCG, CRM, NSC and some others i can't remember. RW of DD cracked the game W.A.R. while we were boozing and Headbanger came later also to HJG's house to exchange some new software. So the birthday party changed into a small and cosy copy-party. (there we shot some cool photos and one was called 'RADWAR bekommt den ARSCH aufgerissen', that meant that my JEANS crashed and you could see my naked ass. Perhaps AVH or TC of RADWAR still may have these somewhere, I'll ask 'em .. I also guess we had a video tape from that day.

The only bad thing on DD was, they had really lousy intros, and some day my old pal FLASH (FCG/TLC) wrote a real colourful one for them and they were really happy with it. I guess you all know what intro I mean.

Later that year (on my 17th birthday) HJG from DD came by motorbike (Honda MTX 80) down from Dortmund to Heinsberg and as usual he had a nice present with him, 'KNIGHT GAMES' from Electric Dreams which was cracked the night before and yet not released.

HJG and me had a real good friendship and i was proud to be the only one at that time to receive the DD stuff directly from him and not through HB, as the others.

Dynamic Duo retired from the cracking scene in 1988 and RW started to crack games for Quartex on the Amiga.

RW and HJG also wrote the game THUNDERBOY for Rainbow Arts on AMIGA, it was a Wonderboy clone and it was coded in C.

Later on HJG finished his school and founded a softare import and export company called DYNATEX)

DYNAmic duo quarTEX

KEWL, Aehh? no joke

DYNATEX is currently one of Germanys biggest software importer and reseller to other shops.

HJG sold the company to another british software reseller and then he concentrated more on his hobbies... car racin' and snowboarding.

Last year HJG had a very bad accident during a snowboard trip and is situated since this time in coma According to predicates of the doctors, he will never be the person again that he was - if he would wake up again some day.

HJG will always stay in our memories & hearts as one of the finest contacts and friends from the past. We hope he will find peace soon...

This time it's ANTIRAM, one of the first crackin' groups beside JEDI in the very early days.

And I guess some of you will be really surprised to hear who was behind that acronym.

First of all ANTIRAM was responsible for cracks like:

SPACE PILOT from Kingsoft, 1983
Protector II by Ken Rose, 1983
Night Mission Pinball by Bruce A. Artwick, 1983
Gorf (Cartdrige) by Commodore, 1984
Archon II - Adept by EA, 1984
Dallas Quest by Datasoft, 1984
Trollie Wallie by Interceptor, 1984
Raid over Moscow by Access Software, 1984

ANTIRAM was a group of individuals and their head and cracker was Andreas Arens, a guy who also programmed lot's of games and tools for Kingsoft in Germany.

Frankie crashed on Jupiter for Kingsoft 1985 (broken by E.C.A) and Q.U.I.W.I. for Kingsoft and Turboplus Tool Cardtridge for the C16 & Plus/4, 1987 Kingsoft and some more.

During his freelance job for Kingsoft he was at the university of Aachen, where he also started a nice c-64 emulator project. ALEC64, The ALE C64 Emulator 1.12, Commodore C64 Emulator for X Windowing System or Linux Console.

He also did a lot of Linux coding, mainly for VGA chipsets and Adaptec SCSI controllers.

Nowadays it seems that he's working on some game converting projects for LOKIGAMES, a company that is porting a lot of games from the windows platform to LINUX.

Well, that's all about ANTIRAM

Interview with 1103 (JEDI 2001)

mws: When did ya get your c-64?
ojo: Umpf. As soon as it was available in Germany. I can't remember the year exactly.

mws: your handle 1103 , does it have something in common with that old Intel Chip?
ojo: nope, I was born on 11.03.1964

mws: When was JEDI founded and how did ya came to that group handle?
ojo: As soon as we were able to handle the 64. original date is unknown. My Girlfriend and i can't even remember when we first meet, and that was past JEDI. The name came from our surenames (Joppich, Eikemeyer and Dietz)

mws. tell me something about Bummer Games, especially the PAL-Fix for the Diving part.
ojo: that was Eikie's work, you better ask him about it.

mws: let's talk about your protection on FCOPY 3 for Thomas Tempelmann, who did the coding on that and what happened to Alf (Crackman) who managed to cracked it. He told me that you where so proud about the protection that nobody would be able to pass through it.
ojo: these days we were absolutely sure that nobody would come through the illegal opcodes and the compiled basic stuff. Nowadays we know that there is no absolute protection, only the DVD industry is still dreaming of it.

mws: With Speed-Dos you have placed a real big milestone in c-64 history. How did ya come up with the idea and who else worked with you on that project?
ojo: Oliver Eikemeyer and me had the idea for that paralell Speeder. Eiky did the complete Hardware design and I did most of the coding and kernal hacking. Nobody else was involved in it.

mws: now some questions on other crackers in that time, what happened to GCS?
ojo: I didn't knew them personally, but they were located in Dortmund. That's all I know about 'em.

mws: Snoopy & Mam (????)
ojo: Yeah, together with Snoopy I did some games for Kingsoft on the ST (Quiwi and Floyd). Snoopy did most of the coding and in our cracker time Snoopy, MAM and me had lot''s of phone debates. Details aren't present in mind anymore. All the other people I saw on your website (DD, TCS, S8) came some time after I already had my Atari ST, I wasn't that much interested in the 64 anymore that time.

mws: What about today?
ojo: 64 was the best time.

mws: that was what I expected from ya. Oliver thanx a lot and keep up the good work with ya MAC Browser iCAB.
ojo: all the best and nice talking to you, too.

Was it really cracking?

Then again: Since the first copyprotections were released one or two years AFTER the c64 was released (~1984) it is questionable if these can be really called "cracks" in today's meaning!.. Look at lots of games from these days like e.g. Zaxxon: Many people have a version without ANYTHING, not even a reference towards any Cracker, which is for me a sign that the original was copy-able anyway! It would be interesting to know if the people calling these releases "cracks" actually understood the term in a different way, e.g. like branding something with their name!.. Remember that there were NO copyprotections in these days, so why should they refer to the act of cracking in the meaning of removing a copyprotection?


I can't agree on this, cauze a lot of module games from 82/83/84 had already some nice copy-protections included. A cartdridge game of 33 ($8000 - $9FFF) or 66 Block ($8000 - $BFFF) started through the CARTRIDGE RESET OR R/S RESTORE Vectors at $8000 (like $09 $80 $09 $80 = JMP $8009), the gamecode often destroyed code and data in this memory area, cauze it's original data was well behaved in a ROM.

So the first Hackers changed the KERNAL RESET ROUTINE so that the Cartdriges didn't start and then saved the ROM AREA to disk. But after you removed the cardtridge and loaded the thing from disk, ... haha ... ooopppss ... the game was running only for some time becauze of it's SUICIDE code. You had to parse the code and remove the killer routines to get the thing working.

I agree to a lot of disk-games, you could simply copy them and a lot of these old disk versions came with simple read-error protections in a sort of 2 blocks autostart loader, you had to NOP that out and voila a simple crack was released, i guess people like GCS (ANTIRAM and KBR) and JEDI didn't use their handles for crap like that, that was SECTION 8 business... THEY CRACKED USING THE MAGIC BUTTON -> RESET. (Sorry Matthias, but remember our long, long discussions about that!!). A game that was released on TAPE with a TURBOLOADER and AUTOSTART had always to be (sort of) cracked if ya wanted to spread it on disk, ok,ok you could make a tape copy as well, but that's kiddys school trading. Mostly the American companies like EPYX, SYNAPSE, BRODERBUND, EA, ACCESS SOFTWARE, etc. always used disk protections for theit major titles. EPYX protected the ORIGINAL SUMMER GAMES by using code that wouldn't work 100% on PAL machines, cauze the game was released in the states more than half a year before in europe, but JEDI did a nice PAL-FIX (I guess it was the first on c-64), so the game didn't fuck up at special points any more (diving for example). EA and EPYX where also the first to use different DISK-FORMATS for faster loading and against nibble-copiers. The hardest one I've ever seen was ALTERNATE REALITY from EA, I gave up after 2 weeks.

Without a cartdrige and modified FLOPPY it was nearly impossible to trace the timed and synchronized C64 <-> 1541 decoding. So you see in the very beginning the protections had been GOOD and LAME as well, between 1985 and 1988 nearly every game was good protected (not only major releases), but in the end they stopped the hard protections on special disk-formats ... there where to many problems with incompatible floppies, speeders and stuff. In 1985/86 when ISE-PIC and FREEZE-FRAME and other FREEZER cartdridges came out, there was a new SKILL in protecting games using timers and hidden floppy routines or checks for a PRESSED PLAY BUTTON on the TAPE RECORDER to KEEP the freezed games from working.

SO ALL IN ALL we should still call the old ONES CRACKERS, not RELEASERS or SPREADERS ... that's a different story we could call it 'HEADBANGER's STORY', some of you may know what I mean.

Markus Wiederstein (MWS of RADWAR)