Crackers Cracking Cracks

Akira has uploaded a bunch of C64-games at CSDb. As seen here before, the Argentinian C64-scene was special because 1) they had its own C64-clone that worked with the obscure PAL-N standard, 2) it was common that shops sold demos and cracked games, and 3) Argentinian crackers cracked cracks – they took cracks from other groups and put their names on it: so-called re-cracks. This is a big no-no among crackers, but I suppose it was possible since it stayed within Argentina. Cracking was business. To control the market, some crackers even introduced a new “copy protection”, such as a code that you had to know to start the game (read here). Akira also posted a C64-game made in Argentina in 1990: Team Tetris. And here are all the cracked games he uploaded:

http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=91996
http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=91995
http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=91992
http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=91990
http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=91988
http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=91998
http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=91999
http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=91997
http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=92000
http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=92001
http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=92002
http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=92003

And for no apparent reason, here is some classic (for me anyway) Amiga music in a cracktro by M.A.D (who later became Paradox). Does anyone know who made it?

12 Responses to “Crackers Cracking Cracks”

  1. Akira / 8GB Says:

    Another method of “copy protection” was that lamers like Bad Boy would, on purpose, distribute broken copies of games (to those he considered lamers) which then would get copied across town and make a mess of non-working copies.

    They also hoarded disk copying software and techniques, information, etc. It was all done to be “elite” and make a buck out of it. They had european contacts who sold them packs of disks to be sent by mail. So, some people in Europe who probably got everything for free made a quick buck out of these poor saps, who in turn made a HUGE buck out of us. He mentioned in his recent appearance online how much money he made and believe me, it makes you angry.

    It just shows how different the scene was. Since the access to tools and resources like a computer and friends who have another was not widespread around here, getting the software was also a complicated task, much easier done in Europe.

  2. Akira / 8GB Says:

    In brief, down here, the competition was not to see who’s cooler to crack and release first and better a certain soft, but to actually see who sells more copies. It was, as you said, business, and if the numbers given by Bad Boy are any true, really fucking serious business.
    The version of that Team Tetris game I posted had the credits screen removed because it said it was made by people from a certain software shop. something Red Point wouldn’t allow to happen! So they removed that and spread the disk that I got with their intro linked instead.

    • chipflip Says:

      It’s bizarre. I guess it could be quite a lot of money involved. I just know that the ‘pirates’ (which, at that time, meant selling wares) back then were disliked by most of the elite people, while the lamers didn’t mind paying a bit for their stuff. Plenty of my friends did it secretly to make some extra cash, those bastards! X-COPY BOING — the sound of indecency.

  3. chipflip Says:

    For whoever’s interested, 4-mat found the song that’s in the cracktro: http://files.exotica.org.uk/modland/?file=pub/modules/Future%20Composer%201.3/-%20unknown/thalion.smod

    Still don’t know who the author is though. If you’re reading, get in touch :)

  4. TRUE CHIP TILL DEATH • TCTD Links for 2010-05-28 Says:

    […] Crackers Cracking Cracks f/Akira https://chipflip.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/crackers-cracking-cracks/ 7 hrs […]

  5. ftc Says:

    There are some comments here:

    http://flashtro.com/page.php?id=2339

    WayneK says something like “(C) Carlsberg” regarding the music, which I don’t really understand, and other comments are ambiguous as to whether the tune is actually by Jochen Hippel, or whether that is only referring to the player rather than the tune.

    By the way, I have the beginning of this tune as my ringtone on the mobile. It surely rules. :)

  6. ftc Says:

    …and according to this page, the tune is made by Jochen Hippel.

    http://kestra.exotica.org.uk/demo.php?id=25662

    Dunno if that is really true though, but of course it could be.

    • chipflip Says:

      The carlsberg-thing was just a bad joke. I’ve e-mailed The Leaders in Crime, who cracked for M.A.D, and asked. I also asked in PARADOX’s facebook group (LÖL). The truth is out there somewhere among the starfields and copper bars.

      • Conqueror / FLT etc... Says:

        Hmm, I never seemed to get that email, as I was the cracking half of “Leaders in Crime” of M.A.D. long ago. Where did you send it? Anyhow, I remember the intro but I can’t recall who coded it or who made the music. But it sure reminds a bit of Jochen Hippel’s style. Did you try to contact Olivier of M.A.D/PDX to ask him?

  7. ne7 Says:

    yeps pretty much 100% sure its a tune by Mad Max (hippel) pretty sure its converted to the FC replay from his replay :) sounds awfully similar to the classic Thalion intro zik by him from atari/amiga too :)

    • vim Says:

      I’ll third it. If it’s not by him then it must be a pretty good rip-off.

      A shame they didn’t take the filter off when recording that video. That really gets on my nerves.

  8. Al Warka and the Iraqi Home Computer Scene « CHIPFLIP Says:

    […] important to not forget other regions. I’ve previously written about C64 cracking in Argentina, but there’s lots more to research about e.g Asia, Africa and the Middle East. After […]

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