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ParanoidLittleMan

Tetra Quest complete image - hopefully

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Finally, I was able to combine complete floppy image of Tetra Quest. Based on 2 images from different sources - one is STX image at atarimania, other is SCP image

https://mega.nz/#!s2p2gSII!9efB9yyBkqjq9ECNKzRLHsx0EkUaBl6CTPi4o-Yl85Y

Both have errors, but luckily not on same areas. So, it was actually 10 minutes task to put together image combined from good parts of 2 . I already deprotected it years ago, and it works.

Tested only in Steem 3.2 with TOS 1.04 and Hatari 2.1 with TOS 2.06 . Half Meg RAM is enough. Don't see that level code entering works, and lazy to look manual :)

http://atari.8bitchip.info/ASTGA/T/tetraq.php

 

This is what missing from image what is at atarimania - and that's not because floppy was damaged or like - it's just edition done with mastering error, untested properly for sure.

Let's we be better than those money hungry publishers .

 

TetraQuestHsc.png

 

TetraQuestHsc2.png

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tetris1.png

Yeah, 24 hours ago was before 2012. Poor hater, can not even check simple facts. Somebody please ban this utter troll ... no, that's compliment for posts like his ones. Psychopat would be much better.

Ah, what that column 'Val' is for ? What are those letters "C" there ?

http://atari.8bitchip.info/SCRSH/tetraq.html

I really don't want that New Year continue like this ...

Happy New Year for all Atari fellows :party:

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I'm getting awfully tired of all this childish bickering over who was the first one to successfully dump this or that Atari ST game, whose crack is better, who provided better instructions, etc. There have already been several of these arguments; if they continue, I'm going to start booting people from the threads.

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I'm getting awfully tired of all this childish bickering over who was the first one to successfully dump this or that Atari ST game, whose crack is better, who provided better instructions, etc. There have already been several of these arguments; if they continue, I'm going to start booting people from the threads.

Absolute agree. Here is what I wrote about all it, some 10 years ago on my Game Archive section, with title "Crackerubbish": http://atari.8bitchip.info/ASTGA/zippyim.html

But what when someone claiming complete false things on his site or in some forum ? I have already fresh example for it, just spotted it. And this is my last link of such nature here, in this forum. Really no need to point on obvious: that some just care for own fame, and will do anything to presents self as 'only', 'best' - so ignoring facts, ignoring search on Internet. https://atarilegend.com/news/news.php You can find in 1 minute the answer, btw. It's Internet time, Flash card time, but some still act like it is 1988 .

Happy New Year 2018 :cool:

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I'll avoid the whole personal issue ...

 

Finally, I was able to combine complete floppy image of Tetra Quest. Based on 2 images from different sources - one is STX image at atarimania, other is SCP image

https://mega.nz/#!s2p2gSII!9efB9yyBkqjq9ECNKzRLHsx0EkUaBl6CTPi4o-Yl85Y

Both have errors, but luckily not on same areas. So, it was actually 10 minutes task to put together image combined from good parts of 2 .

I'll repeat what I already said at AF. These two dumps are completely different releases. They aren't images that are identical except on the damaged/missing areas. Several tracks are completely different, and again, that's besides the bad tracks. Then joining of these two images as both Kodak80 and you did, is a mix of two different releases. It is not a clean original dump. There is no way no know if the missing tracks on the retail release were supposed to have the exact same content that is on the other compilation release.

 

This "mix" or whatever you want to call it seems to be working. So it definitely has some value. That is good and some people would happily play this mix, as many others would like to play the old cracks. But again, we still miss a good clean original dump. And it should exist a fully working retail release because the working crack is earlier than this compilation release. So the crack has to be based on a previous release.

Edited by ijor
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I'll avoid the whole personal issue ...

I'll repeat what I already said at AF. These two dumps are completely different releases. They aren't images that are identical except on the damaged/missing areas. Several tracks are completely different, and again, that's besides the bad tracks. Then joining of these two images as both Kodak80 and you did, is a mix of two different releases. It is not a clean original dump. There is no way no know if the missing tracks on the retail release were supposed to have the exact same content that is on the other compilation release.

This "mix" or whatever you want to call it seems to be working. So it definitely has some value. That is good and some people would happily play this mix, as many others would like to play the old cracks. But again, we still miss a good clean original dump. And it should exist a fully working retail release because the working crack is earlier than this compilation release. So the crack has to be based on a previous release.

Well, that's what people usually say - 'personal issue' . Just this: it's never personal when someone in public, and Internet is public place, actually most public place ever on this Planet - claims false things about someone's work.

Plus, those who like to do it use 'technique' of 'majority' - there will be those who will stay on their side on forums. We saw here good examples for. But that 'majority' is of course just impression done in purpose, and relative to usually solo counterpart. I will tell ya something 'new', people of West: Slobodan Milosevic, ruler of Serbia used basically same system. Example: on TV news they started to talk about need for some measures, then read about 5 letters sent by 'average people' with text what asked for basically same thing. With similar arguments. You got it: manipulation. So TV watchers got impressions that majority in country want that. And last sentence about 'personal issue' : there were sayings in that time, place: 'Close TV and open window/eyes'.

 

I remember well that you Ijor and me had some talk about that STX image at atarimania, and why it is bad. There are probably traces of it at AF. I wanted to release playable 'crack', 'adaptation', image - call it whatever you want. And I wanted hard disk version in first place, because that's my priority. I seen exactly what is missing - 2 screen bitmap data. 2 pictures in first post. And I found them on some crack - sorry for not crediting concrete cracker.

Modded game's code to display them when needed - because I packed it with my packer. And that was released in 2012. There is actually floppy image file in it. But with tracks of size 5.125 KB - yes

"* sector #11 is only 128 bytes !" - quote from my S file. I could do floppy release, but was lazy or whatever :) What we can see is that there was for sure good version published, otherwise there would be no those screens in crack(s) .

I was happy to see that some new dump popped up. It was obvious that there are errors at beginning. And I remembered that missing screens were at the end - so easy prey for doing 'combo' - would not call it mix - it is not coffee :) Combining from multiple sources is practice what many did. For instance Kryoflux team, once even in collaboration with me. Game Rock'n Roll .

This two sources may differ, but fact is that combo works, and highscore shows properly. Btw. I made it with ST images, not STX images, or SCP tracks. Ah, that could be reason why not doing floppy version in 2012 - should use hyperformat (11 s/t), what I avoid, so should rework whole thing - lot of time.

So, I spent 10 minutes or less to make combo, and it worked. I tested it little more since last year, and realized how level code system works. But will not write it here. Everyone who play it little more can see ...

 

As said many times: some want faithful copy or image of original. Some want source in format what is most easy, practical to use, on up to date storage, with possible trainers, cheats. Yes, I'm of second type.

So, I don't care is it combined from different releases. And the reason why I started this thread is simple: testing will decide is this combo really good, will some problems appear after longer playing, progress. So simple.

And brag time: my ST, MSA images are usable on more 'platforms' than STX, SCP ... :) Not to mention trainer - what can make whole testing much faster. After this, please don't ask anymore do we need cheats or not :grin:

Wanna checked adaptation ? Cheating will help ya ! Don't like cheat ? Don't use it. It's free World. Don't like cracks, adaptations, modded games, improved games ? You know the answer :twisted:

 

I agree, we still miss original, full and error free dump. And chances for it are smaller and smaller, as floppy degradation never sleeps (after Neil Young's song) :)

So, next step is to get some good src. for Son Shu Shi . In this year, if possible :)

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And ... What about floppy format program what can do the same as in this game - tracks with 10 full 512 byte sectors + 1 quart of it (what is not supported by WD1772).

There are other games which have shorter last sector - if remember correct, Wrath of Demon has 256 bytes long last sector on track .

Then can make more reliable floppy writes than with 11 full sectors/track .

Edited by ParanoidLittleMan

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......

I agree, we still miss original, full and error free dump.

Not sure I understand the purpose of the long rant if we agree at the end, don't we?

 

I was happy to see that some new dump popped up. It was obvious that there are errors at beginning.

 

Btw, I am starting to think that actually this new Tetra Quest dump that Kodak80 made from the Warriors II compilation release, is probably ok. It is not damaged, the sector with errors at track 0 is part of the protection. I suspect it runs fine with the "right" system. The reason it doesn't run is because there seems to be an emulation issue. But also might not run on real hardware depending on the computer and TOS version. I will need to make more checks to be sure.

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Not sure I understand the purpose of the long rant if we agree at the end, don't we?

.

Not sure what you see as 'long rant' but that was insulting. Especially when I spent time to write all it. If you can not understand something, and why someone wrote it, don't call it with improper words.

You need full dump of original, some other people just don't care for it. And was it rant to say that chances for getting flawless image are smaller and smaller ? That was actually said to make people doing something before is too late. Oh, sorry that I push people, what a prick I am :-D

 

Btw. you went in similar rant at the end of your post :-D But at least, there is someone who is willing to deal with it :thumbsup:

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...

Btw, I am starting to think that actually this new Tetra Quest dump that Kodak80 made from the Warriors II compilation release, is probably ok. It is not damaged, the sector with errors at track 0 is part of the protection. I suspect it runs fine with the "right" system. The reason it doesn't run is because there seems to be an emulation issue. But also might not run on real hardware depending on the computer and TOS version. I will need to make more checks to be sure.

I tested SCP image in Steem SSE, and it crashes under any TOS v. , any RAM size. Tested STX made by Aufit in Steem 3.2 - same, any TOS. 1.00-2.06 . There are many differences, and not only in track 0 . But most of tracks is identical.

I think that Kodak80 floppy is damaged, possible some writes happened during usage. Less likely some mastering errors. I guess that he should test original disk in some real Atari, with good floppy drive to be sure.

TETRAQ4.ZIP

In ZIP above are 4 ST images. Tetra Quest.st is converted from STX image at atarimania. TetraQuestDepr.st is how I 'cracked' it - and that's only replacing $02 40 FF at pos $7E2 with $30 3C 2D .

Did same with TetraQ.st (based on Kodak80 SCP img.) and got TetraQD.st - and it crashes not. But can not start game and there is some longer pause in disk access at some point - what's most likely because corrupt data.

Code is at $49E2 - move.w #$2D00,d0

Original: and.w #$FF00,d0

More can see if trace it in Steem Debugger.

 

Even if 2 versions are not same, location of those 2 screens at the end is same, files are same, and that is enough to make version what missing it OK if we put in it those tracks. To be smarter playing it is needed. Controls are pretty much laggy - maybe to deal with IKBD code in game ? In my hard disk version I have already 3 IKBD code corrections, but that was mostly to make it work on Falcon, TT .

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I tested SCP image in Steem SSE, and it crashes under any TOS v. , any RAM size. Tested STX made by Aufit in Steem 3.2 - same, any TOS. 1.00-2.06 .

I think that Kodak80 floppy is damaged, possible some writes happened during usage. Less likely some mastering errors. I guess that he should test original disk in some real Atari, with good floppy drive to be sure.

 

As I said already, there is an emulation issue, timing seems to be wrong. And it's also possible that the timing might fail even on real hardware depending on the computer.

 

Kodak80 disk is not damaged, that's almost sure. The only sector that has any errors is sector 2 on track 0, which is the disk copy protection. Conceivable it is corrupt and some sectors were overwritten, but now I suspect it is not. Yes, I already asked him to test it on real hardware.

 

 

Tetra Quest.st is converted from STX image at atarimania. TetraQuestDepr.st is how I 'cracked' it - and that's only replacing $02 40 FF at pos $7E2 with $30 3C 2D .

Did same with TetraQ.st (based on Kodak80 SCP img.) and got TetraQD.st - and it crashes not. But can not start game and there is some longer pause in disk access at some point - what's most likely because corrupt data.

 

 

The US retail release (the Pasti at Atarimania) is not really copy protected. The protection was removed by the publisher. The disk can be copied with a software copier. What you see at that location is just a leftover of the original protection.

Edited by ijor

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It is copy protected. Not some strong protection, but ST image crashes with bad data (code) at $4A26 . So, not removed copy protection. That some SW copy PRG can copy original is not relevant here. We have only STX image, and as I know, you can not write it on real floppies together with protection. And surely not leftover, since it executes after every boot. Why I still have feeling that you don't read carefully what I write ?

And even if it is crappy floppy code, we need to correct it for those who want to run game with emulators - including HxC - do you remember that it can not deal with all STX images ?

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OK, that's not the copy protection, but Steem + Pasti's not flawless floppy emulation. Bad timings, like in case of Microprose Golf ? Because it works fine in Hatari 2.1 .

I guess it is too hard to put on pasti WEBsite some updated version ...

Anyway, my fix does not harm, and I was able to test it with Steem - my 'combo' .

It works fine, so I consider this testing of combined MSA/ST image as closed from my side.

 

Highscore save works, but it is done really lame - you don't see anywhere what are scores, and will be able to enter your name only if make more points. Otherwise it will just show highscore screen. What is especially annoying in case when you want to test is everything OK.

Password entering is even more confusing - really don't get what they wanted. You will see grid with lines used for txt, input. But only if there is some high-score achieved and name entered can really enter password. But where you can see that password ? I assumed when entering new level, and then can start at that level after entering password. But none of this exists/works. I entered right password - what was XXXX - looked it in Debugger, but it still starts at level 1 :-D

All in all, game seems unfinished, unpolished. As said, playability is ruined a lot by laggy controls. Amen.

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OK, that's not the copy protection, but Steem + Pasti's not flawless floppy emulation. Bad timings, like in case of Microprose Golf ? Because it works fine in Hatari 2.1 .

I guess it is too hard to put on pasti WEBsite some updated version ...

Anyway, my fix does not harm, and I was able to test it with Steem - my 'combo' .

 

So we finally agree. Yes, there is a timing issue that is in some sense similar to Ms Golf, but here it is not only about floppy emulation.

And yes, of course, I agree that for better compatibility, avoiding any dependencies on strict timings certainly doesn't harm.

 

Personally I'm still very interested in the original fully copy protected version on the Warrriors II release. No reply yet from Kodak80 about testing his disk on real hardware. I hope it works. Not only because then we would finally have a clean fully working dump of the original version. Also because the disk copy protection is very unique. It might need a new Pasti version. But note that this is not the reason that it crashes. It crashes before reaching the actual protection check.

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I don't think that it will work for Kodak80.

Here is how it looks in Debugger:

"Atarimania img" :

post-31554-0-83402600-1546537457.png

"Tristar Warriors img" :

post-31554-0-46974200-1546537518.png

 

I did set break point before crash of TW image - where a1 is odd, certainly as result of corrupted data on disk.

 

Will ever see good image of this game, I mean image of unchanged original, the good version ? That's just matter of luck, will someone who still have it in good condition read this, or rather put it on Ebay ... Personally I'm not interested that much about floppy copy protections. And never was actually. I solved preservation of my originals different way. And that was actually more than 20 years ago.

 

What is worth to do, is to fix this Steem problem. Especially as Steven Seagal left the scene, and as I see his latest SSE v. still has this floppy timing problem. I already did some changes with Steem 3.2 - like separated PSG and DMA volume setting, analog input support - can DL it here: http://atari.8bitchip.info/SCRSH/oids.html

And there are even some simple floppy related changes - considering format. That would be something more interesting than just agreeing - solving problem together.

Edited by ParanoidLittleMan

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I don't think that it will work for Kodak80.

Here is how it looks in Debugger:

...

I did set break point before crash of TW image - where a1 is odd, certainly as result of corrupted data on disk.

 

I know, but again, this might be an emulation timing issue. Run the SCP image. Set a break point at $49E6. When it breaks, changes register D0 to $2D00 (same fix you did for the other version). That's all it needs and it runs fine. And the value of the D0 register at that time depends again on timing. The timing might be wrong for several reasons, including an emulation issue. Conceivable yes, the timing might be wrong because the disk actually is corrupted or it came wrong from factory. We still don't know.

 

Pasti will fail the protection check later because, as I said, it's an unique type of weak sector. Probably would need a Pasti update. If you want to check the Pasti version you need to perform one more change. Set a break point at $4A72. Modify the branch at $4A8A so that it is not taken (change the branch to NOPs). Then it would run.

 

You can patch those two instructions on the disk and that probably will make a crack for this version as well. But didn't verify if there aren't further checks.

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Hmmm ... we talk here about running SCP image. That can be done in Steem SSE, and maybe Hatari (never checked) . And it fails in Steem SSE Boiler 3.9.1 . Only works with that d0 to $2D00 hack - what I did not try earlier, I tried only my ST image with that hack, and it failed because not proper floppy emulation (slow mode on) . Yeah, all it is very confusing and hard to follow. In any case, that's part of protection where decrypting happens. What for me seems as bad data. And that could be because of some intentionally weak data or whatever ? Maybe they had good reason to remove it in that Microdeal release (at AM) .

So, there may be Pasti problem, or even Aufit problem too ? Because I don't know other way to get STX from SCP .

 

"But didn't verify if there aren't further checks." That's why testings are necessary. But I'm afraid that this game will not motivate anyone to go thru all, some 100 (?) levels :-D

And as we know, there are really 'bad games' - those with bugs in code, bad data, bad mastering ... So, we need to test everything, not only so called cracks.

Examples: Iron Lord, Action 16 release - bad file, can not play after battle section. + Final level has bug, almost 100% - nobody confirmed that finished it. That stays for other releases (too). Not to mention TOS version incompatibilities.

Dragon Spirit: Version in Domark TNT compilation has minor graphic errors at final boss.

There is more, but this thread is not about lists ..

Yeah, they should do the same: more testing :)

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Hmmm ... we talk here about running SCP image. That can be done in Steem SSE, and maybe Hatari (never checked) . And it fails in Steem SSE Boiler 3.9.1 . Only works with that d0 to $2D00 hack - what I did not try earlier, I tried only my ST image with that hack, and it failed because not proper floppy emulation (slow mode on) . Yeah, all it is very confusing and hard to follow. In any case, that's part of protection where decrypting happens. What for me seems as bad data. And that could be because of some intentionally weak data or whatever ? Maybe they had good reason to remove it in that Microdeal release (at AM) .

So, there may be Pasti problem, or even Aufit problem too ? Because I don't know other way to get STX from SCP .

 

Yes, It is possible that Microdeal removed the protection because it resulted not very reliable.

 

The problem is in Pasti DLL. Currently weak bits are specified as a randon mask. Any bit in the sector can be defined as weak or stable. But in this case it is not enough. Here some bytes are different each time you read the sector, but they aren't totally random. Instead of being random they are all the same byte. That is, if you read, say, a $CB value, then all those bytes will be $CB. Then next time you read the same sector, you will read all of those bytes as, say, $BC instead.

 

This is produced by having actual weak bits only at the middle of the sector. The first bytes and the last ones are stable. But the FDC PLL will loose sync after the weak bits, so when reading the following bytes, even when are they stable at the flux transition level, they will be not at the byte level. The FDC will align the bits differently each time, and might even read the clock pattern instead.

 

You can see this with the SCP image when the program reads the copy protected sector twice in different buffers. It will be something like this:

First read, last 256 bytes (or so) of the sector:
 
CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB
CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB CB
...
Second read, last 256 bytes (or so) of the sector:
 
BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC
BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC
...

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Here is the solution:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-TETRA-QUEST-Atari-ST-Game-3-5-Floppy-Disk-Complete-Box-Manual/183271113714

 

It says 20$ + shipping. Later would be more than price self for me. Someone in USA maybe ?

 

And more:

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Tetra-Quest-for-the-Atari-ST-520-1040-Mega-Computer-NEW-SEALED/312172725645

Edited by ParanoidLittleMan

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They look the same USA version as the one we used to dump the image at Atarimania. We have several dumps from multiple copies of this version and all have the same problem. As you said, it is a mastering error with the last tracks. Chances that it would be the same with these copies at Ebay.

 

Anyway, I think I know what's the problem with the Warriors II release (the fully copy protected version dumped by Kodak80). I need some more tests to confirm it. But If I'm correct, it is not corrupted.

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