rainbow islands

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mlynn1974
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rainbow islands

Postby mlynn1974 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:56 pm

I've always liked Rainbow Islands on the ST.
My friend had the original big box 2 disk version. It is also available in Pasti format.

It was also on the brilliant Pompey Pirates Menu 26 with Bubble Bobble, an intro and some music.

Now the original is supplied on 2 single sided disks.
Disk 1: Loader
Disk 2: Data
These are both single sided disks. It is not double sided with the same data on both for early STFs.

Now it seems The Alien copied side 0 of disk 2 to side 1 for PP26.
How did he do this? Was there a copier at that time that could read one side of a disk and write it to another or did he have a custom copier for this purpose?

He then seems to have extracted the loader and removed a little copy protection check on track 79 which isn't too difficult. Still an awesome crack and pack.
Still got, still working: Atari 4Mb STe, 520STFM, 2.5Mb STF.
Hardware: Cumana CSA 354, Ultimate Ripper, Blitz Turbo, Synchro Express II (US and UK Versions).

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Re: rainbow islands

Postby AtariZoll » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:27 pm

Oh dear God. You don't need special equipment to copy A side to B or B to A. It's all on SW. Myself wrote such.
But what need is some change in game, to make it not try to read second floppy on side A, but on side B. And it is done in many cases, by many Atari people.
Btw. later official release of Rainbow Islands is on 1 DS floppy.
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

mlynn1974
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Re: rainbow islands

Postby mlynn1974 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:46 pm

I know you didn't need special equipment to do that (I'm not that dumb...) but FastCopy 3, ACopy etc. available at that time (1989) couldn't do it. Of course changing the code to read the correct side is trivial.

The Alien claims to have cracked it in 20 minutes but that seems a bit optimistic. It would have taken that length of time to pack the loader and he still left in the "Insert Disk B and Press a Key" message which should have been easy to bypass.
Still got, still working: Atari 4Mb STe, 520STFM, 2.5Mb STF.
Hardware: Cumana CSA 354, Ultimate Ripper, Blitz Turbo, Synchro Express II (US and UK Versions).

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Re: rainbow islands

Postby AtariZoll » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:20 am

Sorry, mlynn1974, but nothing in your post indicated that you know that don't need special equipment, contrary :mrgreen:
But there are worse things: this is forum section about preservation, and you come here with praising one single crack, one cracker - what would be OK, if it would be something exceptional, but it is not. And that talk about how long cracking took - please ...
And worst thing: Quote: "How did he do this? " - when I replied on your question, you went insulted :mrgreen:

Now, I would even probably not look this thread, but I recently spent pretty much time with Rainbow island. Protection self is easy, but I wanted to pack it. So, extracting all files from floppy with some custom filesystem and some of weirdest loader code ever seen. That was multiple days of work.
And I still need to make floppy release with packed files - what means that all it will be on 1 SS floppy. Thanx for reminding :cheers:
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

mlynn1974
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Re: rainbow islands

Postby mlynn1974 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:33 pm

If my post is too trivial for this thread then delete it.
Automation made a right mess of Rainbow Islands - 1 Meg only, ages to depack.

with some custom filesystem and some of weirdest loader code ever seen

Yes, so you admit yourself it's a bit "special" and "different". The game was written by one of my favourite programmers Dominic Robinson with his 68000 "development system", which seemed to allow the games developers to write the game some sort of intermediate language that generates 68000 which is probably why the code is so weird. And why does it use Timer D interrupts all over the shop? I haven't spent too long trying to figure it out myself. Oh well.

By the way, the game engine can handle about 60 sprites at 25Hz which is pretty good.
I'm probably also one of the few people that typed in Dominic Robinson's Rainbow Processor in Your Sinclair (Aug 1987). That fried my brain.
Still got, still working: Atari 4Mb STe, 520STFM, 2.5Mb STF.
Hardware: Cumana CSA 354, Ultimate Ripper, Blitz Turbo, Synchro Express II (US and UK Versions).

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Re: rainbow islands

Postby Brume » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:28 pm

AtariZoll wrote:But there are worse things: this is forum section about preservation, and you come here with praising one single crack, one cracker - what would be OK, if it would be something exceptional, but it is not. And that talk about how long cracking took - please ...

You're right. Topic moved to the Games - General forum.

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Re: rainbow islands

Postby AtariZoll » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:32 am

mlynn1974 wrote:...
Automation made a right mess of Rainbow Islands - 1 Meg only, ages to depack.
...
Yes, so you admit yourself it's a bit "special" and "different". The game was written by one of my favourite programmers Dominic Robinson with his 68000 "development system", which seemed to allow the games developers to write the game some sort of intermediate language that generates 68000 which is probably why the code is so weird. And why does it use Timer D interrupts all over the shop? I haven't spent too long trying to figure it out myself. Oh well.
By the way, the game engine can handle about 60 sprites at 25Hz which is pretty good.
I'm probably also one of the few people that typed in Dominic Robinson's Rainbow Processor in Your Sinclair (Aug 1987). That fried my brain.

Well, Automation did what usually did: went on packing it. And because couldn't extract separated files, they simply packed whole second floppy (or side B), what is 400KB. It is unpacked in high half Mega of RAM, that's why need 1MB RAM. But there are at least 2-3 different cracks where side B is untouched. Ages to depack - yes, depacking 400 KB with slow ICE or whatever is long. But not so rare case. Still loaded faster than Dungeon Master :mrgreen:
I meant that crack is not special. Game is it indeed. Surely was coded very well. Considered as one of the best arcade conversions.
However, since I needed to play it thoroughly, so I played all levels, I was little disappointed with how hard game is . I died probably some 200 times during it - of course used trainer. One of main reasons for so much dies lies in laggy response on controls - just couldn't escape enough fast from all those nasties on later levels.
I don't think that floppy code is weird because intermediate language. It is done so intentionally, to make it hard for hackers. I did not look are care for other parts, so really can not say about. But it is hard to believe that generated 68000 code can do so fast sprite draw. That's done for sure in ASM. Maybe game logic is what is done in intermediate - and that's again something done by others too, often . :D
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

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Re: rainbow islands

Postby insanity » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:13 am

mlynn1974 wrote:I'm probably also one of the few people that typed in Dominic Robinson's Rainbow Processor in Your Sinclair (Aug 1987). That fried my brain.


I typed that in too... I was amazed at how he got so many colours in a small area on the humble speccy! :) Great stuff!

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Re: rainbow islands

Postby Cogweasel » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:02 pm

insanity wrote:
mlynn1974 wrote:I'm probably also one of the few people that typed in Dominic Robinson's Rainbow Processor in Your Sinclair (Aug 1987). That fried my brain.


I typed that in too... I was amazed at how he got so many colours in a small area on the humble speccy! :) Great stuff!


Oh I think I remember that article, but don't think I ever typed it in though :)


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