X-out original protected

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dlfrsilver
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X-out original protected

Postby dlfrsilver » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:29 pm

i have created pasti images of X-out, and strangely, steem seems to load
forever.

Is it a bug or a missing feature ?

the pasti images are in the thread games request 'anybody want some ? ^^'


thanks for your help.
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Postby ijor » Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:13 pm

It’s a bug, or more precisely, lack in functionality in the Pasti imaging tool.

That game has an interesting protection that I never seen before, and Pasti is not interpreting it correctly.

Just out of curiosity, somebody knows if this game was published (protected) in France? I ask because the protection seems to follows similar concepts than other French protections. They basically are creative, sometimes weird and sometimes even amateurish, ways for producing protections with cheap non-professional equipment.

(admins: might be better to move this thread to the Pasti forum)

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Postby dlfrsilver » Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:55 pm

OH yes :wink:

Rainbow arts games were published in France ^^.

We got X-out, Z-out, Turrican 1,2,3.

Is it a game protected with a long track ? The amiga version use something like that.

Can you provide more information ?
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Postby ijor » Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:24 pm

It is a track recorded at faster bit rate (long). But this is not the problem, Pasti can easily handle long/fast and short/slow tracks.

The problem is how the sectors and headers are arranged. This track has two sector headers right after the other. Note that the headers themselves, and not the sectors, are too close (otherwise it wouldn’t be a problem). This is fooling the analysis performed by the imaging tool.

So it is actually a combination of two protections. But only one of them is problematic for the imaging tool.

The program protection doesn’t actually check the length of the track. It just checks the number and content of the sectors. And it might be possible to actually recreate the protection at standard speed/track-length. I’m not sure about this, would need to check it. But if so then a software copier could copy this disk.

This is interesting because it shows that Rainbow Arts used both “almost amateurish” protections as in this case, but also one of the most advanced protections as in Turrican.

Note btw, that protections sometimes affect Pasti in the opposite way. I mean that some simpler (but stranger) protections can sometimes be more problematic for Pasti than very advanced ones. This doesn’t make the protection of X-Out better or more advanced. The protections are designed to defeat copiers (both software and hardware), and not Pasti.

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Postby dlfrsilver » Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:26 pm

can you tell about turrican atari ST protection used?

I'm interested here again ^^
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Postby ijor » Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:51 am

dlfrsilver wrote:can you tell about turrican atari ST protection used?


Turrican also has a combination of two, or three if you want, protections. But the one I’m referring is, in some senses, the most advanced floppy copy protection that I know.

I’ve seen it so far in about a couple of dozen titles. Some examples with this protection, with a couple of variations: Dizzy Treasure Island, Ghostbusters II, Ghost & Goblins, F-29, Death Trap (and several other Anco titles), etc.

It is quite complicated and long to describe the details, and some technical background is required to understand it. It has no relation to any other type of protection. Let’s say that it consists on an area of the disk surface being erased.

This is the only “non-physical” (no physical alteration of the disk surface) protection that defeats hardware copiers such as the Discovery Cartridge (and yet it can be duplicated).

It is sometimes possible to make working copies of this protection (some people succeeded with analog copiers after many retries). But after examining the copy the protection was not actually copied. So it seems that some variations of the software protection is buggy.

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Postby dlfrsilver » Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:14 pm

Well i have some knowledge in this area, can you try to explain ?

I know the amiga uses 7 copylocks + supersized data tracks which lead
to cut the game on 2 disks if you crack it.

I'm interested to know the bits on ST version ^^.

BTW if you have the pasti image, can i have it ? ^^
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Postby ijor » Sun Jan 08, 2006 3:39 am

The track layout has a bit higher capacity than standard one. It is almost the same as the one used in Dragon’s Flight and other titles. It has the equivalent of 11 sectors per track. I can’t say if a crack using 10 sectors per track could fit in a single disk or not, it depends on many factors.

But this is not the protection, because this track layout could be copied/created by a software copier. The main protection has no relation to CopyLock or to any other protection based on bit-rate/bit-cell variations.

As said, it consists on an area of the disk surface being erased. More precisely, it has strong DC erasure. This has different magnetic characteristic than other types of erasures, and you are enable to reproduce it.

Sorry, a more detailed description would require a full article and not a simple “post”. I will eventually publish articles about the protection techniques used in the ST. But in the meantime, if you have a specific question about this (that won’t require an article for an answer :wink: ), I will gladly answer.

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Postby dlfrsilver » Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:21 am

Very very interesting ^^.

So well does anyone have turrican in PASTI ? ^^
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