'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. :)


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'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! :)


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'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! :)


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'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. :)


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'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!!! :)


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'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%. ;)



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'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!!! :)


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'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.


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'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.


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'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.


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'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.


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'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?


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'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?


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'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!


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'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.


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'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.


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