'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Mon, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 18:59 ( . )

Hi, I was wondering if you can tell me if a "good" copy of Alternate Reality: The Dungeon exists? I have several copies with slight variations but none of them allow you to create a character disk.

If you load the game and goto the Utilities Menu to create a new character disk it just hangs and does nothing after you insert a new blank disk. I tried d64 and g41 disks but nothing seems to work.

I was wondering two things is the game legal to distribute and if so is it possible to get a copy? I found this text in an Alternate Reality FAQ written by Robert Hagenström. "Philip Price, the copyright holder of the Alternate Reality series has granted free distribution of all versions of the original two AR games." If that's not possible is there any way to get at least a blank character disk?

The game is playable in many emulators but you can't save the game due to a lack of a character disk and/or the ability to create one. I have looked on all the websites I could find and posted on several forums but no one has a working copy of a character disk for the Commodore 64, not even on the dedicated Alternate Reality sites.

I would love to be able to play the game and save it. The UCF version is playable from beginning to end but only in emulators with freeze states. The problem is the emulator (CCS64) changes freeze states as it updates the program to make the emulation more accurate so every few updates it's no longer compatible and you have to start the game from the beginning if you want to use the current version of the emulators.

I didn't see anything that said I couldn't post this type of question but if it violates forums discussion rules I am sorry. I was hoping you might have a copy since I seen you had one verified copy in your database. Thank you for any help and have a great evening.

Chad.


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Mon, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 19:11 ( . )

Hi Chad,

Certainly it breaks no rules!

I tried it with the original disks and it works fine. If you look at the version in Gamebase (UCF crack) there is a file called "AR Formatter" on the disk. On a real C64, you would run this on a disk first, then uncrunch the files onto it. The reason for this is that the disk ID on the disk was formatted with don't match the "cosmetic" disk ID on t18s0. Many disks are like this, and they must be run from a G41 for it to work since D64 doesn't support anything except the cosmetic disk ID.

To get it to work for you, here is a G64 attached of a freshly created blank character disk. That violates no copyrights that I know of.

Attachments:
1239664310_ar-dungeon-char.zip


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Mon, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 19:39 ( . )

Wow, Pete I have been looking for a way to save the game since CCS64 3.0 Beta 1. It's been several years, thank you so much!!!

I come from the side of playing the games and I don't understand the technical side at all so I didn't quite understand what you wrote.

I did find that A.R. Formatter on disk 1 and I formatted a disk and noticed that little block in the Disk ID was missing from the UCF version.

What I tried next was using 'D64 Editor' and I changed that one character on the d64 version (it took a long time to find the block with trial and error on the keyboard that was the lower right hand corner).

What that allowed me to do was actually get to the screen that said insert a blank disk. Before changing that one character it would keep asking for Disk 1/Side 1.

What I tried next was using Fast Hack'em I found on a Wiki site to copy the disk after using the A.R. Formatter but it would duplicate it and remove that block. Also the game would crash and not run with any copy I created.

Lastly I tried using 'DirMaster' to move files after formatting a new disk but it always crashes too.

Is it possible to make a good copy of the game with the d64 image? I read some of the posts and what you do is way beyond my scope of understanding. Is there a program to move the image to a .g41 disk to make a fully running game? I would be forever grateful. Well I am forever grateful just having a save disk is just amazing! Thank you!!! :)

Chad.



REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Nordin (registered user: 1 posts )
Date: Mon, May 12th, 2014 @ 11:20 ( . )

Greetings. Is that character disc availble nowadays? Been trying to format a disc for some time now and cannot get it to work.
/Chris


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Fri, Jan 16th, 2015 @ 12:39 ( . )

On 05/12/2014 @ 11:20, Nordin wrote :
Greetings. Is that character disc availble nowadays? Been trying to format a disc for some time now and cannot get it to work.
: /Chris
--



I do know there is a version out there now where you can actually make a character disk from within the game (extremely nice).

I tried 3 disks types for testing. The .g41 does NOT work. The .d64 and .g64 both do work well through the creation that is. I believe Pete said to use the .g64 so I stick with that type just to be safe as I have no understanding of the technical under-workings of the C64 and only the love for the game! :)


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Wed, Jan 21st, 2015 @ 13:23 ( . )

Sorry for the extra posts. I didn't realize I had done it more than once.

Just a little more information. If you use WinVice it works perfectly with no issues from starting the game, character disk creation, saving a game and loading from scratch.

If you use CCS64. I was able to start the game, create a "Character Disk" and start a new character with no issues.

Where it didn't work was when I tried to save the game. It called for Disk 1 which it wouldn't recognize as the correct disk. What I tried at that point was the "dirty" version or AR:TD with the "A.R. Formatter" program on it. If the disk has the specific Disk ID from the formatter program it does accept Disk 1 but then it doesn't recognize the Character Disk and continually asks you to insert it.

I don't know the difference between the emulators but something under the hood is slightly different. I guess for now WinVice wins this round...but I do like both emulators! ;)


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Fri, Jan 16th, 2015 @ 12:39 ( . )

On 05/12/2014 @ 11:20, Nordin wrote :
Greetings. Is that character disc availble nowadays? Been trying to format a disc for some time now and cannot get it to work.
: /Chris
--



I do know there is a version out there now where you can actually make a character disk from within the game (extremely nice).

I tried 3 disks types for testing. The .g41 does NOT work. The .d64 and .g64 both do work well through the creation that is. I believe Pete said to use the .g64 so I stick with that type just to be safe as I have no understanding of the technical under-workings of the C64 and only the love for the game! :)


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Fri, Jan 16th, 2015 @ 12:40 ( . )

On 05/12/2014 @ 11:20, Nordin wrote :
Greetings. Is that character disc availble nowadays? Been trying to format a disc for some time now and cannot get it to work.
: /Chris
--



I do know there is a version out there now where you can actually make a character disk from within the game (extremely nice).

I tried 3 disks types for testing. The .g41 does NOT work. The .d64 and .g64 both do work well through the creation that is. I believe Pete said to use the .g64 so I stick with that type just to be safe as I have no understanding of the technical under-workings of the C64 and only the love for the game! :)


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Mon, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 19:50 ( . )

In all my excitement I forgot to add it DOES work to save a game with that save disk and the D64 image! In all my excitement I thought my heart was going to explode. I would spend days looking for a good copy and tried version and after version with the same results. (I think they are all mostly the same version just rezipped to different names). After failing to work a 1,000 times trying I would give up for a while and then come back with new hope scouring the internet looking for a copy. Then I found your website and it's nothing short of divine intervention for me! I know it's only a game but I lost hope at times to ever be able to save one of my all time favorite games!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! :)

Chad.


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Rixa (guest: search)
Date: Sun, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 08:48 ( . )

Does it also check the cosmetic id from t18s0 and if not, might it work from a .d64 if that were changed?

I'm not sure what a .d64 looks like in an emulator when examined in more detail than it has, but it wouldn't surprise me if the cosmetic id from t18s0 was cloned everywhere.


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Sun, Apr 19th, 2009 @ 11:05 ( . )

I believe VICE does use the cosmetic ID as the disk ID. That works on some games, but it depends on how the game checks the ID.


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Mon, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 10:48 ( . )

I was able to use Fast Hack'em and copy the original .D64 image to a .G64 blank disk. It does run in both CCS64 and Vice but it still crashes when I try and create a character disk from within the program.

I've had the UCF version since 2001 and completed the game twice with freeze states. I know the only issue is the character disk which makes sense. It stops the player from saving their game and since it can't be completed in one sitting.

I have never seen a good working copy (I've done quite a bit of searching :) Pete's disk makes the game playable now which is awesome but I would love to have a fully working copy.

Is it possible to make a good copy from the UCF copy or would it require advanced knowledge with the proper hardware and the original disks?


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Rixa (guest: search)
Date: Tue, Apr 21st, 2009 @ 00:26 ( . )

If your only issue is that it doesn't recognize a character disk other than the one Pete made for you, it's not 'broken', it's working the way it was supposed to. I guess it could be cracked to work differently, but that would certainly need advanced skills.

A .d64 is just a dump of all the data on a standard system disk. On a real disk there is information on a lever lower than that, having to do with how the data is arranged on the disk. This information does not exist in a .d64 image and the game is expecting to see specific bits in there, so the character disk can't work from a .d64. A .g64 is a more detailed image capable of containing what it looks for.

I pointed out that depending on how the game checks the disk, it could be possible to modify two bytes from the character disk and have a thus-modified .d64 work. But if you don't have an actual problem running your character disk from a .g64, that's not going to be worth doing. I was only thinking about it because .g64 images are currently readonly on a 1541 Ultimate, a hardware disk drive emulator for a c64.

Converting from a .d64 to a .g64 will not make the correct bits appear from nothing. It will make something appear in their place, but the emulator is already doing the same in runtime with a .d64 and it won't work any better. Anyways, modifying the game to check for the character disk differently would of course need something more than image format conversion.


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Rixa (guest: search)
Date: Tue, Apr 21st, 2009 @ 01:38 ( . )


Is it possible to make a good copy from the UCF copy or would it require advanced knowledge with the proper hardware and the original disks?


I read your original post and Petes reply again, and figured that your real problem is the non-functioning character disk create option. Suppose the game disks need a tweak for that to work.

I don't know this game, but I think he already answered you. See what you can do with that "AR Formatter" he spoke of, just make sure that you're working with .g64 (or .g41? I don't know those) or what it does is going to be discarded.


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Tue, Apr 21st, 2009 @ 10:31 ( . )

Hey Rixa, I definitely tried the AR Formatter which works to format any of the disk image formats (D64 and G64).

Then if I run Fask Hack'em it looks like it duplicates the disk and makes an exact copy which runs exactly the same (i.e. - character disk creation crash).

What I did try was using a few programs the copy/move the files over. That seems to work with no errors but the game crashes during the loading process.

I am not sure if I am going to use the proper terminology here so bare with me but what I don't know how to do is move/copy/decrunch onto the G64 disk image so the track and sector layout is in it's original format? If I do a "regular" copy it just crashes right after the UCF logo screen.

With Pete's disk the game is 100% playable now. I did post on the CCS64 Pete's name and this website so he did receive full credit for making the disk because as far as I know there isn't a working copy of the game on any websites out there. Well I am sure there is but not one that is easily found or downloadable. I was just looking for a "perfect" working copy if I can. If not that's ok too. I remember back in the late 80's as a teenager playing the game and I still enjoy it as much now as I did then! :P


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Rixa (guest: search)
Date: Wed, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 02:45 ( . )

On 04/21/2009 @ 10:31, Chad wrote :
: I definitely tried the AR Formatter which works to format any of the disk image formats (D64 and G64).


Be sure to use it to format a G64. It should format the disks in a certain manner for the game to work, but D64 cannot contain the important bits of this information. (The image will still be formatted, but not in a way that will help you)


: Then if I run Fask Hack'em it looks like it duplicates the disk and makes an exact copy which runs exactly the same


Fast Hack'em is copying the disk in too much detail, resulting in the undoing of the important formatting and an exact copy of the unworking disk. Try a simpler disk copier, something that isn't a "nibbler". I can't help you more, as I don't know this title. Your enthusiasm for it got me interested though, so I'll probably have a look at it myself the coming days. :)


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Wed, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 11:12 ( . )

Hey Rixa, ok that sounds great! I will try your suggestions and see if I can find a copy program that will work. I have a whole hand full of them and I know there are plenty more out there so I'll get to it over the next few days and see if I can find the right combination. Thank you for the help too! :)


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Wed, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 18:19 ( . )

Hey Rixa, wow, well...I haven't had much luck with trying to copy/move files. What I have tried was formatting a blank G64 disk I created in VICE. CCS64 creates one called G41? Next I used the AR Formatter and formatted the disk. Then I started "testing" different programs. Not all of them are copy programs and some are nibblers and stuff but I loaded them and messed around a bit just to look. :) I tried:

Fast Hack'em (again)
One Minute Copy
Copy 64 (Single Dual 1541/1571 and Fastcopy)
Online Super Copier
Turbo Nibbler 4.0
Maverick 5.04
Nurse 1.0

The nibbler/copy programs definitely copy it and it runs the game fine except it hangs on a black screen when creating a character disk.

The copy programs only copy files with data in them. Any zero byte file they seem to skip. I think the zero byte files are more descriptions on the disk and not data?

Speaking of zero byte files! I noticed on the original disks two files are zero bytes. "ALTER. REALITY" and "THE DUNGEON/UCF". I think the file sizes are on the left hand side? After copying them over to a blank disk the file size shows "ALTER. REALITY" as 1 (byte?) and "THE DUNGEON/UCF" is 68. Every attempt to copy/move the files caused the new copy to crash almost immediately.

SO with that I did a bit more searching and I found a program called mnib for moving games from the original disks to images. I was reading the readme and it said:

"Currently, I estimate mnib's 'success rate' on successfully copying copy protected games into working G64 images at about 70%."

...

"The following table gives an overview over protection schemes and mnib's chances on copying them:"

...

Copy Protection Used by
--------------- -------
00 Bytes Datasoft, EA, Rainbow Arts

It turns out Alternate Reality is a Datasoft game with 00 Byte protection possibly? I think just trying to move the files requires more knowledge than I have to pull it off. Honestly it's not due to sloth! :) I will try more things if they are possible but I don't have the original disks nor a real Commodore 64 (I didn't quite want to learn THAT much about the C64 inner workings :). I have been sitting on the UCF copy for several years and still have hope of finding a fully working one, if it's possible! :)


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Wed, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 18:29 ( . )

No, it's not using 00 bytes in the protection, it's just a simpler signature protection.

That's not what's getting you, though. The disk has a different cosmetic ID than it's "real" disk ID which is embedded in the sector header.

I'm not sure why you still care about it since I made you a clean character disk. :)


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Wed, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 18:52 ( . )

Hey Pete, thank you for the information!! You make a good point and have me thinking. I don't know why exactly since you're right it does fully work with the save disk you created.

I think it's more of a nostalgia thing or just the satisfaction of collecting a fully working copies of games I played of past yesteryears.

Back in the day we would gather at my neighbors place (he was the only one with C64) and we would play games all night which brings back fond memories.

I have collected almost all the games we used to play (Defender of the Crown, California Games, Elite, Gemstone Healer (not 100%), Hacker, Karateka, Labyrinth, Legacy of the Ancient, Phantasie series, Questron series, Racing Destruction Set, Seven Cities of Gold, Summer, Winter and World Games, The Pawn, The Last Ninja, Pirates and of course a working copy of Alternate Reality: The City that I found a long time ago on Gamebase's 'Rare Games Corner' which doesn't have links any longer but the page is still there with descriptions) and they work fully in emulators except this one.

Anyway I guess that's why I was looking but maybe it shouldn't matter to much. I guess I don't have a good--good reason for trying!!! :)


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Wed, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 18:55 ( . )

I would probably just scour eBay, or even better- ask on Lemon 64 for an original if you want a perfect working copy. One will turn up for you.

That crack just isn't 100%. ;)



REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Wed, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 19:11 ( . )

Thanks Pete for all your help. I really appreciate everything you have done and I will try posting over there and see if I do get a response.

I do like collecting "stuff" whether software or otherwise. I figure part of the fun of collecting is not getting everything you want right away but the searching, social networking, chatting and learning new things is all part of it too!

I seen your name pop in google more than once on a few different sites while searching. I think one had a handle of r.cade. It had your location and age and I thought well we are about the same age from the great golden era of the 80's. Hair bands, heavy metal and leg warmers to name a few. What I was doing was I kept trying to figure out what t18s0 meant. I came to the discovery/conclusion that it's Track 18 Sector 0! I think anyway...ok...I'll keep an eye out and thank you again!!! :)


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Wed, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 23:05 ( . )

No problem at all, Chad. Thanks for the kind words. If any extra originals of AR show up in my collection, I'll keep you in mind.


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Rixa (guest: search)
Date: Fri, Apr 24th, 2009 @ 16:43 ( . )

On 04/22/2009 @ 18:29, Pete Rittwage wrote :
: That's not what's getting you, though. The disk has a different cosmetic ID than it's "real" disk ID which is embedded in the sector header.


After a little poking around it looks to me that the formatter makes sectors with $AC $40 for the first disk, when the cosmetic id is $20 $40.

I made from the .d64 a .g64 with the id on the sector headers altered to what the formatter makes, but it doesn't work much better that way.

Do you know if there something other than the ID at work there? Track 1 is suspect as there doesn't seem to be anything of interest there but the character disk creation jumps there and reads it for a while.


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Mon, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 10:32 ( . )

Hey Rixa, how are you doing? I was wondering if you have an email address? I didn't see no links in the 'Author' profile.


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Rixa (guest: search)
Date: Mon, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 14:09 ( . )

Hi Chad,

I have an email address but I don't want to put it where everyone can see it. I can't help you much either..

I hand-crafted an image I thought should work, but it still doesn't want to make a character disk. The disk ID trickery that was talked about gets it to the screen where it is asking for a blank disk, but then it just dies with a black screen when you press space. I could instruct you to replicate what I did, but since it still doesn't work I'm not sure you want to bother.

I even tried the formatter on a real c64 and real floppies, but it works the same then. I'm now thinking its probably not possible with the information available. Perhaps you can find an original somewhere?

Sorry I could be of no help.


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chad (guest: search)
Date: Mon, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 18:26 ( . )

Hey Rixa, yeah, no need to be sorry, I appreciate all the help you and Pete put into it.

I think how it works now is good enough. After reading some of your posts and what Pete wrote. If you can't get it to go with the information available I know for sure I can't! :)

I was just going to get your email addy since I probably won't frequent these boards to much. I think after reading some of the posts this is a "die hard" crew that gets into the "nut and bolts" of the copy protections. It has to be a passion to push through and enjoy it!

Yeah you're right I am not comfortable posting email in a "public" forum either.

Are you registered on the site were you can receive messages or have you been posting as a guest all these years?


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:winona2k (registered user: 1 posts )
Date: Thu, May 14th, 2009 @ 12:32 ( . )

Hi,

Just joined and this is one of the first threads I read. I do have a working original copy of this game. Disks only though. Just wondering if you might have a Bruce Lee original disk to trade for it?


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Mon, Jul 12th, 2010 @ 19:28 ( . )

Winona - e-mail me on the main web form site- I will trade you a Bruce Lee original for it!


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:jcompton (guest: search)
Date: Tue, Jul 13th, 2010 @ 02:29 ( . )

I have AR: Dungeon as well as City, I will image it soon.


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]

'Alternate Reality: The Dungeon'
Author:Chuck Cochems (guest: search)
Date: Sun, Mar 13th, 2016 @ 12:38 ( . )

The issue with .d64 is it does not store sector IDs at all, and any attempt to read a sector ID is supposed to return the disk ID. Not ll emulators support that properly.

This causes disk checks to fail under emulation a lot.

It is my experience that with picky games, using a .g64 as the blank disk and using the game's formatter will fix it.

Note that sometimes disk checks failing is also related to improper cracking. Every cracked copy of Mail Order Monsters i've tried has failed to make a character disk, even on real hardware. But the original, with a .g64 as data disk, works.


REPLY: [With No Quote] --- [With Quoted Text]


--- 0 Users Online --- 0 Recent Unique Posters

Q388=1639056251 - Threads: / 1639056251