ST cracking tutorial

All 680x0 related coding posts in this section please.

Moderators: simonsunnyboy, Mug UK, Zorro 2, Moderator Team

WayneKerr
Atari nerd
Atari nerd
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 7:41 pm

ST cracking tutorial

Postby WayneKerr » Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:46 pm

Hi,

Just thought I should mention that I've written a tutorial on ST cracking (specifically the game "Alien World" (c) Hi-Tec) that was published recently over at http://www.flashtro.com.
It might be of interest to some people, even if I'm not really the person to be writing on the topic :)

User avatar
troed
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1438
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:20 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: ST cracking tutorial

Postby troed » Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:38 pm

Thanks, nice read :)

This little snippet is probably of interest regarding preservation efforts:

The PASTI image from http://www.atarimania.com is the one I've used here.
[---]
Also worth noting here is the file "end.dta" fails to rip correctly, but not because of anything
we've done - the original PASTI image doesn't include data beyond track 79, so it is
missing the end of the file!


/Troed - ex cracker. Never filed a game.

User avatar
Mug UK
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 11379
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 7:16 pm
Location: Stockport (UK)
Contact:

Re: ST cracking tutorial

Postby Mug UK » Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:54 pm

Nice guide. Easyrider's problem with mistaking data for code and vice versa were a bane of a lot of people's lives back in the day :)

It also looks like the PASTI needs re-creating for Alien World. Can't remember if it's one I did back in the day or not.
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

User avatar
catmando
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 987
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:56 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: ST cracking tutorial

Postby catmando » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:48 am

Interesting read, here's the link to the direct article http://www.flashtro.com/index.php?e=page&c=MFM&id=4125
Atari Falcon Tos 4.04 | 14mb | IDE CF 2GB
Atari STE Tos 1.62 | 4mb | HxC Slim SD 8GB
Atari STE Tos 1.62/2.06 | 4mb | Floppy A-B Mod | IDE SD 4GB
Atari STFM
Android Devices (Running Hataroid and SToid)

Atari Forum Wiki - Use it before asking

User avatar
Zorro 2
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 2205
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 12:44 pm
Location: Saint Cloud (France)
Contact:

Re: ST cracking tutorial

Postby Zorro 2 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:46 pm

Nice tuto mister WK !

I meet you to help us to post some interesting stufs in this Wiki.

Thanks and hope an another tuto soon :D
Member of NoExtra Team

bandit
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 9:02 pm
Contact:

Re: ST cracking tutorial

Postby bandit » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:22 pm

nice one, a NMI int is done very easy with a few cables directly to the cpu:)

WayneKerr
Atari nerd
Atari nerd
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 7:41 pm

Re: ST cracking tutorial

Postby WayneKerr » Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:22 pm

Thanks all, glad some people read/liked it.
Am I missing any really obvious techniques/tools that were used "back in the day" on ST? Some awesome cartridge/hardware that I am unaware of?

What about the actual transfer of protected disks over modem - on the Amiga we used "warpers" (see another tutorial on the subject on flashtro.com if you're interested!), what was the ST equivalent?

User avatar
dlfrsilver
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1467
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 1:41 am
Contact:

Re: ST cracking tutorial

Postby dlfrsilver » Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:26 pm

Hi Wayne, long time no see :D !

I have another candidate if you want, it's "Les Aventures de Moktar/Titus the Fox", only the revision 1 of this game has been cracked, while the revision 2 is not :)

I have both handy as original images if you want to do another tut :)
Now SPS France representative since the 19th of June 2014. Proud to be an SPS member !

AtariZoll
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Posts: 2978
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:42 pm
Contact:

Re: ST cracking tutorial

Postby AtariZoll » Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:41 pm

I can only say here that today doing cracking with original floppies + real HW, so old fashion way is pretty bad idea.
We have Steem Debugger and lot of STX, SCP images - that makes it much more efficient.

I think that Discovery Cartridge was used most among ST crackers. What made some SW houses adding test on cartridge presence and deleting everything if it's detected.
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.

User avatar
troed
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1438
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:20 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: ST cracking tutorial

Postby troed » Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:18 pm

WayneKerr wrote:Thanks all, glad some people read/liked it.
Am I missing any really obvious techniques/tools that were used "back in the day" on ST? Some awesome cartridge/hardware that I am unaware of?


Ultimate Ripper is the only name of a cart I can remember, but I still have it and when I tried it a while back it didn't seem familiar. I think I used some other cart when I cracked.

What about the actual transfer of protected disks over modem - on the Amiga we used "warpers" (see another tutorial on the subject on flashtro.com if you're interested!), what was the ST equivalent?


IIRC the images I downloaded from our supplier were not true rips so they didn't include whatever protection scheme was on the original disks. It was never a problem, but I can see how it could've been.

/Troed

User avatar
dlfrsilver
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1467
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 1:41 am
Contact:

Re: ST cracking tutorial

Postby dlfrsilver » Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:35 pm

AtariZoll wrote:I can only say here that today doing cracking with original floppies + real HW, so old fashion way is pretty bad idea.
We have Steem Debugger and lot of STX, SCP images - that makes it much more efficient.

I think that Discovery Cartridge was used most among ST crackers. What made some SW houses adding test on cartridge presence and deleting everything if it's detected.


I was absolutely not talking about original disks. I was of course talking of original disk images......
Now SPS France representative since the 19th of June 2014. Proud to be an SPS member !

User avatar
Mug UK
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 11379
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 7:16 pm
Location: Stockport (UK)
Contact:

Re: ST cracking tutorial

Postby Mug UK » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:04 pm

There was the hacker's version of MonST which you over-wrote the Ultimate Ripper EEPROM with. That was much more useful than the Ultimate Ripper - unless you needed to extract sprites or images, but I'm glad I replaced the one with the other.

You could invoke the version of MonST on the cart, load up the bootsector and step through it if necessary too.

It was especially useful (to me) when I was doing music rips the old fashioned way - instead of using UR's built-in (but limited) extraction tools.
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

AtariZoll
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Posts: 2978
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:42 pm
Contact:

Re: ST cracking tutorial

Postby AtariZoll » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:44 am

I mixed up those cartridge names - actually, Discovery Cartridge was probably only device in old times, with which could make some usable image of copy protected floppies, keeping protection in it. What format was used, I don't know - what know that it is used in making of STX images. Such STX images are not same as those done on Ataris without add-on - what is easy to see is that they are smaller size (no extra sector dumps when there is track dump).
Was it usable for disk duplication ? I really don't know. Maybe Ijor could tell more about.

Idea to put Monst on cartridge is interesting - but I see main problem in using it that it needs TOS workspace intact - so low RAM. If game uses low RAM, destroys TOS, Monst will not work - unless it is heavily modded.
That's why emulator based debugger is much better - you have total control, and code/data can be anywhere in RAM. Only thing I miss is some good disassembler in it - that would be great help for those non-TOS games - Steven, do you read this ? :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.

WayneKerr
Atari nerd
Atari nerd
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 7:41 pm

Re: ST cracking tutorial

Postby WayneKerr » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:41 pm

AtariZoll: Yes I'm aware using an emulators built-in debugger is a much better modern way of working - the point of the tutorial (and all the tutorials on Flashtro) is to re-visit the past and use the tools + techniques that were available at the time to crack the games in the same way as they were originally in the 80's/90's.

DLFRSilver: No thanks :) I have some other thing to work on right now, I won't be cracking anything on ST (or Amiga) for a while... I'm sure there are many more qualified ST guys on here who would look at it for you!

User avatar
MagikGimp
Obsessive compulsive Atari behavior
Obsessive compulsive Atari behavior
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:59 pm
Location: Wales, UK
Contact:

Re: ST cracking tutorial

Postby MagikGimp » Tue May 21, 2019 10:56 pm

Updated link- http://flashtro.com/alien-world-amiga-atari-st/. Sadly the attachment seems to have disappeared since the site had an 'upgrade' (which isn't much of an improvement if you ask me when compared it to how it used to look). Maybe you still have it, musashi? :contract:
Want to preserve all those old floppy disks? Then head on over to P. Putnik's Floppy Image page!
Image


Social Media

     

Return to “680x0”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests