F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

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F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby AtariZoll » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:07 am

I could write error instead misery, but this is really not normal how bad is it.
While doing hard disk adapt, I chose Superior crk. instead Replicants one, because expected that it should be more reliable choice. No dump of original, so if someone has it, would be nice to make some STX, SCP ... image.
Zone 5 works not - it goes in endless load instead starting it. That would be not so rare case that final level of some game works not (well) - even in some originals I seen it. But in this case there is start zone selection in launcher, so really hard to get how they released it untested.
Now, some may say that maybe disk(image) went corrupted. But that's just extremely unlikely - all files are packed, and did not get any error messages by depacking, all got proper length - ahh, actually not - they got len. what is in archive header. But after comparing with files from Replicants release I see that 5 files are shorter. There are some other strange things with Superior release, so may be that non working zone 5 is not only error.
Very interesting is that exactly those 5 files have fake packer signo ACE! instead ICE! :D Like Replicants wanted that competition use not their files ?

Then look this: http://www.stonish.net/Flame-Of-Finland-Superior-219#st93
Fully working ? Yes, if you test as it goes usual - only starting game ... Really could at least briefly to try all zones.
All in all, lot of sites just horde stuff, does not care about how good is it all, and even give false quality info. Better would be to remove it, or test well all. Just my 2 fillers (that's monetary unit, not what you thought :D ) .
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby Brume » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:08 pm

AtariZoll wrote:Then look this: http://www.stonish.net/Flame-Of-Finland-Superior-219#st93
Fully working ? Yes, if you test as it goes usual - only starting game ... Really could at least briefly to try all zones.
All in all, lot of sites just horde stuff, does not care about how good is it all, and even give false quality info. Better would be to remove it, or test well all. Just my 2 fillers (that's monetary unit, not what you thought :D ) .


Yes, I try to test each level of each game, but in a few minor cases, I'm not vigilant enough (try to test more than 2500 menus and you'll see what I mean). Also the condition is established on the menu itself considering various sources: if one level doesn't work on all sources i got (I don't speak about sources on the internet, please keep in mind I have more than 4000 floppy disks around here), I don't consider the disk as a damaged one.

Last but not least, please read the FAQ: http://www.stonish.net/faq
"At last, maybe the menu is damaged and I didn't notice it. Nobody's perfect ;) In that case, I'll repair it and I'll re-upload it here as soon as possible."

Thanks for the report, I've updated the website consequently.

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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby AtariZoll » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:25 am

Well, what bothering me is that "fully working" . That's very misleading formulation. Man just think that it is flawless, and can play whole game without problems. Much better would be to put there only "working" or something in that meaning for all cases where it is not fully tested (to stay at that word).
And there still stays same, despite that yourself tested it. I don't get how you don't see contradiction there.
But this is actually easy case, as said already, since you can reach zone 5 directly, without longer play(test) .What is with thousands of games where no start level selection ? And here starts my longer blah:
Yes, you are perfectly right about that testing thousands of floppy images is enormous work. I talked about it here several times that only with some coordinated testing is possible to well, thoroughly test all it.
Myself found many errors, even in originals, not because I play so much, but because hard disk adaptations. I got too lot of error reports of Atari people.
I even wanted to start here section about bad cracks, bad releases, but some just did not like it. There is really bad attitude by certain people about that: for instance I wrote some error reports to D-Bug forum, about their cracks. And what they did ? Deleted posts, banned me, called troll ... Instead just fixing error, or adding note that it has that and that error. And I know for sure that there were reports from other people too - like for Helter Skelter. This was just one example, crew which was active still some years ago. But most of those, who did cracks, menu disks is not accessible. Some are active here, indeed, but I don't see that they care much about quality info of their releases, to call it so.
Maybe I am more sensitive about all it, since I spend lot of time dealing with it. For instance I wasted some 5-6 hours with that bad Zone Warrior crack, while they would need max 5 minutes to check are all 5 zones work. And it is not only that 5 files are shorter than originals, but there is some mess about file loading order in code, errors in RAMdisk code. So, I needed to do almost everything again with Replicants release - which has same number of files, but pretty much different code for loading them. All it would be faster and less troublesome and more reliable with some image of original.

I recommend that look here: http://forum.8bitchip.info/preservation-error-reports/'bad'-games-list
There is almost all what I found in last 10 years. Some people contributed too.
What I can say is that it is not rare case that game works fine until very late, final levels, and there is a crash, error. The usual cause is extra protection. Like in case of Wrath of the Demon - it has plenty of checksums at all levels, but final level load and check is total different. So, only way to make it right is to reach that level and test there. Indeed, that's much easier today with some Debugger emulator than in old times with real HW. It means that we can now do better cracks, hard disk adaptations in less time than 20-30 years ago. And I can say that I did a lot. Over 1000 games for hard disk. Lot of diverse floppy release fixes - and there are many extra fixes too for better TOS version compatibility and like.

When I proposed here some database for Atari ST SW, what would contain quality info for all diverse releases of some title, usual critic was that I want it in purpose to advertise my site with hard disk adaptations and like. Now, imagine how much it would help your concrete site.
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby troed » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:01 pm

If FoF released a non-working crack then a fully working archive of that crack _is_ the non-working one. A new release by AtariZoll where it's fixed is another, separate release.

When archiving, it's the actual disk content as they were that is important. However, sometimes when archiving there are bad tracks etc, problems with the physical media, and that's what should be indicated in Brume's page - so that other who see the same release pop up when archiving know that it's of interest.

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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby AtariZoll » Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:01 pm

troed wrote:If FoF released a non-working crack then a fully working archive of that crack _is_ the non-working one. A new release by AtariZoll where it's fixed is another, separate release.
When archiving, it's the actual disk content as they were that is important. However, sometimes when archiving there are bad tracks etc, problems with the physical media, and that's what should be indicated in Brume's page - so that other who see the same release pop up when archiving know that it's of interest.

Excuse me, but do you see what nonsense you talk ? I did not fix that release - as said there are diverse errors in code, bad archive files, so no talk about some damaged tracks, physical media problems, or even some error by transferring on internet. That release was bad from start. It is impossible to fix, as is not possible to fix Son Shu Shi. What I did is getting Replicants crk. and doing hard disk adaptation based on it.
Mine release is not for floppy users.
When it says "fully working" that means that is fully playable. People does not care what kind of error is there, how it is damaged, when, where. They want good images. If you want to indicate that it is 100% same content as original release, use some other term, not "working".
But even it is very unlikely that you can be sure that it is 100% same as original release.
The problem is that all it was not archived properly in old days. People had only floppies. Then around 2000 started imaging of floppies. With not always really good SW. And people not knowing much about all needed for that task. Worse was with archiving, transferring it. I remember DL-ing plenty of images in years 2006-2007 on few sites, where it was possible. In those years, it was considered as illegal, and sites were shut down regularly. So, I DL-ed thousands of it, and later tests indicated that there are many errors. Even some ZIP files were damaged, too short.
Biggest problem is that people just don't know with what deals. Copying, distributing not thoroughly tested content means just that we drag all errors with it, and if continue as majority does currently, it may be that some people will find in 2222 that level 22 of same game crashes. Can imagine that someone will be able to fix it at all then ? They will say that those barbarians in 20-21st Century were so lame. And I say that will be in right :mrgreen:
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby troed » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:02 pm

AtariZoll wrote:Excuse me, but do you see what nonsense you talk ?


Everyone's entitled to have an opinion.

As I wrote: If FoF released a crap pack then that's still what should be archived and indicated whether it's a proper archive or not. Whether their release is fully _playable_ is something else.

"State of disk: fully working"

vs FoF/Superior menu #102A:

"This disk is missing, damaged or only the intro is available.
If you have a working disk, please help us."

But sure - I agree it could be made more clear that archivers are talking about the quality of the archiving effort itself. Not if there are bugs in the programs, releases or if crackers didn't playtest back in the day. Hey, I know I didn't.

/Troed

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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby Steven Seagal » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:18 pm

There are two different concepts: correct disk image, working programs.
Maybe one shouldn't use 'working' to say the image is correct.

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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby Brume » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:45 pm

Thanks for the discussion, guys.
There are four states of disk on the website:

1. Missing
--> the disk is fully missing.
2. Intro only or partially damaged
--> we have the intro only or the full disk, but at least one game doesn't work.
3. Slightly damaged
--> we have the full disk, but one small stuff less doesn't work (a .doc file for instance). It concerns fewer than 10 disks on the site.
4. fully working

I'm aware "fully working" is probably unappropriated, but I wanted to differentiate it from the 3rd state. It also means all games have been tested and should start. Sorry again for Superior 82A, this disk flaws escape my attention, but believe me or not, I do my best to test all games on each menu disk, and I try to get a different source when something looks wrong.

Let me know how I could replace the "fully working" state. Maybe with "working" as suggested by Steven ? I'm open.

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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby Greenious » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:02 pm

This is somewhat difficult, since given the circumstances you can never really be sure unless you also actually test every part of a menu in all possible iterations. I suspect some menues are not 100% to begin with either...

My suggestion would be 5 states

1 - Missing
2 - Partially damaged
3 - 99% (insignificant stuff not working/broken) (It also emphasize that you want better dumps in a better way imho)
4 - Complete (Believed to be fully working)
5 - Fully working/Perfect, complete and tested to 100%
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby Greenious » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:16 pm

Actually, swap complete and working. Complete implies it's perfect imho.
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby AtariZoll » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:48 am

On my hard disk adaptation page I called it "validation" . There is explanation: "column 'Val' - validation shows is adapt. well tested and complete, error-free. C means complete, checked thoroughly. FE - finish errors. Some games can not be finished normally, as case of Crazy Cars 2 - likely game bug. DD - damaged data - case of Son Shu Shi ."
So, I used same term as Greenious - complete. (Why not edit first post ?)
As you may see, even when not dealing with floppy images, there is inherited damaged data case. But that costed lot of time to be sure that it is the case. Of course, I can not be sure when data went damaged. Most likely original cracker made some error, but it is even possible that original disk he used was already damaged. Less likely, it was OK crack, and during copying of it went damaged. All releases of Son-Shu Shi are based on that crack.
Then, there are cases of bad originals too.
Maybe something like "faithful image" is what should indicate that it is flawless copy of certain release. Some native English speaker probably can give better term.

Brume wrote:...
4. fully working
I'm aware "fully working" is probably unappropriated, but I wanted to differentiate it from the 3rd state. It also means all games have been tested and should start. Sorry again for Superior 82A, this disk flaws escape my attention, but believe me or not, I do my best to test all games on each menu disk, and I try to get a different source when something looks wrong.

I don't think that anyone think that you did not enough testings. It is just that it is not possible to test thoroughly thousands of disks by one person.
And things are even more complicated with Atari ST SW - some will experience that it works not because TOS version, because RAM size in their machine. Then, those making images in past did it even more confusing by adding [a], [b], [c] ... versions of same release, what is on edge of absurdness (TOSEC for instance). They differ mostly in bootsector. Another bad habit was doing extra sized floppies, with 82-84 tracks, even when was no need for that (bigger is better logic ?). It would be really good to sort out all that mess from past, and I think that Stonish,net did already a lot in that direction.
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby Stefan jL » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:57 pm

AtariZoll wrote:. No dump of original, so if someone has it, would be nice to make some STX, SCP ... image.


I just made an SCP image and added to Atarimania... although i did only do some fast testing and teh game loads the first level fine.
The game box claim the game has "no on-disk copy protection" (i don't know if thats true?) and you need the manual to find a code to start the game. I have not yet scanned the manual.
http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-st-zone-warrior_10936.html
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby AtariZoll » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:19 pm

Great. Thanx for your contribution.
Not rare case that no disk copy protection - then usually they use so called manual protection.
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby AtariZoll » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:34 am

I converted it to STX and ST with Aufit - it told that no copy protection. Then converted STX to ST with my SW - got 100% same ST image. So, you can calm down, your image is flawless :D
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby Stefan jL » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:56 pm

Great :thumbs:

BTW: Here is the manual scans: http://www.ym2149.com/zonewarrior_manual.zip

Does anyone know how to enable the built in cheatmode? And also how to reach the secret screen with messages from the makers of the game... i presume it is by using the built in cheatmode wich gives access to the screens?

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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby AtariZoll » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:17 pm

Stefan jL wrote:Does anyone know how to enable the built in cheatmode? And also how to reach the secret screen with messages from the makers of the game... i presume it is by using the built in cheatmode wich gives access to the screens?

I found what is needed to activate cheat mode when game runs. But don't see what sets that "cheat mode" flag on (what is address $204.w<>0) .
Are this screens you posted from Atari version ? Because I don't see any of them, and no text on them too - in depacked game files, and I have it all.

There is file called cheat.cmp, and it shows some face, with scrolling, wobbling text at right side. what is hard to read actually. It seems that it has nothing with cheat mode. Maybe cheat mode was added for testing purposes, but code for activating it was removed from retail version.
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby Stefan jL » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:57 pm

Yes i guess it could be like you say that the cheat mode was disabled for release.

And yes the pictures are from the ST version, you press 1 to 4 to select them when the wobbly scroller is shown :)
I have an old video recording of the screens, but i don't rememebr wich crack i recorded it from?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEbn51OnL-Q
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby AtariZoll » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:41 pm

All cracks I seen have option to activate that programmer's cheat mode. Wobbler screen access is in good, so Replicants release. Thanx for the info, it works with original too - well, when you change file name for load in Steem Debugger :D I did not find any of that txt. from 4 screens. Probably it is encrypted or just pure graphic.
This is first, and hopefully last game where I extracted all 27 not standard files 3x - from 3 diverse sources. And just to add, it is much-much easier with original - protection is easy to fool, and no cracker mess, overpacked floppy .
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby Stefan jL » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:18 pm

They are probably stored as pictures.

I just realised one of the screens actually mention a cheat mode... "cheat mode is lowest score on high table, name as Goldbmw, then keypad to choose cheats"... oh.. i feels so stupid that i missed that :lol: I wonder if it really works though?
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby AtariZoll » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:29 pm

Stefan jL wrote:They are probably stored as pictures.
I just realised one of the screens actually mention a cheat mode... "cheat mode is lowest score on high table, name as Goldbmw, then keypad to choose cheats"... oh.. i feels so stupid that i missed that :lol: I wonder if it really works though?


Huh ! That may be it. I looked for cheat activation in early stage, before loading first level. Need to play it a bit now to check it out :D Someone was obsessed with BMW cars, it seems :lol:
Although, I will do hard disk and floppy versions with little easier way to activate it :mrgreen:
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby AtariZoll » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:16 am

I examined it, played little, cheated little and it goes like: you need to make such score that it will be last in high-score list. As it is currently on image you provided, it means some 60000 . Then if you enter goldbmw as name will activate cheat mode on. If you enter cheat as name that wobble screen will appear. Not bad. To repeat: works only if making score what will be on last place in highscore list.
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Re: F.o.Finland/Superior 82A - Zone Warrior misery

Postby Stefan jL » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:38 am

Thanks for the info, it is added to Atarimania :)
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