LucasArts (DOS-based) adventure games drove me crazy because the protection was written in the same interpreted code as the rest of the game (makes sense, some commercial protection schemes are based on their own VM, speaking of protection schemes repeating themselves). Anyway, I found one generic solution for all of them. I wrote something that took a snapshot of the data segment (only 64K) and wrote it to disk (using either Soft-Ice or "Undocumented DOS"). Do that twice in a row with a short pause in between before the protection screen, then do it again after the protection, using the manual, wheel or whatever to get past it. Take the three 64k snapshots, and search for a byte that was unchanged between the first two but changed from like a 0 -> 1 or 0 -> 255 between the second and third snapshot. There'd only be 5-10 such locations. One of them is a boolean flag letting the game know the protection passed and it doesn't have to display it again. Write a loader that pops the 1 or 255 in that location on load but right before startup and it'd think it already ran the protection successfully. Poof. Worked for 4-5 games I think. My parents thought I was insane for that week (80 hours in 5 days, I'll never forget that).

I'm fuzzy on this but I think D-Generation also had protection only on install. It would only install the specific drivers (EGA/VGA, Adlib, SoundBlaster, etc.) for your setup, to prevent post-install piracy. Very reasonable. Nice compromise.


On Jun 15, 2004, at 10:28 AM, Lee K. Seitz wrote:

Marco Thorek stated:

BTW, another drive-the-legitimate-buyer-out-of-his-mind copy protection:
"Type the seventh word in the third paragraph on page 22."


You never knew if they counted chapter titles, quotations, or whatever
else was there along regular text, or not.

Yeah, and I remember some friends who had a cracked copy (or cracked it using instructions on the 'net) of Bard's Tale so that it didn't matter what you entered at that prompt, it would always act as if it was correct.

I thought the Empire Deluxe solution was good.  You only had to answer
this type of question when you ran the setup program, which set the
resolution, sound options, etc.  So, in general, you only had to do it
once or twice.  (You were required to run it once before playing.)  Of
course, if you'd been playing for months and decided to change a
setting, then you had to go find the manual, which was frustrating.

--
Lee K. Seitz
[EMAIL PROTECTED]

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