'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:hyper active (registered user: 296 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 00:30 ( . )

Hi there.
For 3 days now I have tried to remaster this game
Way of the Exploding Fist The (UXB).nib
it's looking for something on track 19. So far I haven't been able to get past this point.
The annoying thing is that if I convert the .nib file in to a g64 file and loaded it up on vice, the game will start and play without any issues, I just type in nibconv Way of the Exploding Fist The (UXB).nib explodefist.g64 without any other switches, and the game loads on vice without a problem, but if I use nibwrite and try and load it up on a real machine, it locks up on track 19.
I've tried just about every switch I can think of. some other commandline arguments such as -G, -r and -s require you to enter the right values, but I am not sure what those are. I've even tried altering the speed of my drive, but nothing I do will fix it. Can anyone else help?
Thanks.
ps: I'll try an old version of nibtools and see if that will do it.


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:hyper active (registered user: 296 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 00:49 ( . )

nope, didn't fix the problem, OK guys, it's over to you.


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 09:30 ( . )

I believe it's counting/measuring the sync length on track 19 and then checking for the GCR pattern after- it's been years since I looked at it. I could also be checking the exact length of the track using timers.

Writing it back was hit and miss. I think I tried a few times and eventually it was close enough to work, but it is just finicky.

Disassemble it to find out if you're curious what it's looking for- you can use the VICE monitor and look at the code it's running from drive RAM between 0300-07ff on dev 8: The address it shows when you go to dev 8: will give you a clue to the area of the code to look for. If you don't know 6502 or how the drive works, you are flying blind.


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:hyper active (registered user: 296 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 11:34 ( . )

Yep, literally.
I have an idea. what you could do is to make an option in nibrepair to extract the track 19 from a .nib or .g64 file.
Then all I need to do is to use nibread to extract track 19 from the actual disk.
Then I could send you both files and you could compare them and see what the differences are and this could help you refine nibtools to write it better.


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 12:06 ( . )

Sorry, I am not interested in spending time trying to make a copy of a specific one-off protection. Really, the main goal of this is image use in emulators, and that is not the issue here. Getting them back on real floppy disks is not a priority for me, it's just a happy side effect.

The source is free, you are welcome to study it and make changes yourself to try to make it work.


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:Nate (guest: search)
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 17:03 ( . )

I looked at it briefly.

Once you get to the loading screen, it does an M-W to store in various zp variables:

>8:0200 4d 2d 57 06 00 02 10 10 00 00 00 00 M-W.........
>8:0200 4d 2d 57 00 00 01 b0 10 00 00 00 00 M-W.........
>8:0200 4d 2d 57 0c 00 02 10 11 00 00 00 00 M-W.........

It then gets some data from a block:
>8:0200 42 2d 45 3a 37 20 34 20 33 20 31 30 B-E:7 4 3 10
>8:0200 42 2d 50 20 37 20 30 00 00 00 00 00 B-P 7 0.....

Here's the protection code. Just set a "break 300" in the drive monitor to see it. First breakpoint is the fastloader.

>8:0300 4c 83 03 1c 09 79 00 00 00 00 00 08 L....y......
>8:030c ff f7 08 00 00 04 00 14 a9 78 8d 05 .........x..
>8:0318 03 ad 10 03 49 cd 8d 10 03 ad 11 03 ....I.......
>8:0324 49 c8 8d 11 03 ee 05 03 ad 05 03 30 I..........0
>8:0330 17 58 ad 13 03 85 08 ad 04 03 85 09 .X..........
>8:033c a9 80 85 01 a5 01 30 fc c9 04 b0 e1 ......0.....
>8:0348 6d 11 03 8d 11 03 ee 11 03 a9 78 8d m.........x.
>8:0354 05 03 ee 05 03 30 17 58 ad 03 03 85 .....0.X....
>8:0360 08 ad 04 03 85 09 a9 80 85 01 a5 01 ............
>8:036c 30 fc c9 04 b0 e4 6d 11 03 8d 11 03 0.....m.....
>8:0378 ce 11 03 6c 10 03 f5 35 35 ff 35 a2 ...l...55.5.
>8:0384 03 50 fe b8 ad 01 1c dd 7e 03 d0 f3 .P......~...
>8:0390 ca d0 f2 a0 c8 a2 10 50 fe b8 ad 01 .......P....
>8:039c 1c c9 e9 90 e2 ca d0 f3 88 d0 ee a0 ............
>8:03a8 04 50 fe b8 ad 01 1c d9 7e 03 d0 cf .P......~...
>8:03b4 88 10 f2 86 00 8e 05 04 6c e8 ff 58 ........l..X
>8:03c0 a9 13 85 06 a9 b0 85 00 a5 00 30 fc ..........0.
>8:03cc ad 13 03 85 06 a9 83 8d 01 03 c6 06 ............
>8:03d8 a9 e0 85 00 8d 05 04 ad 05 04 30 fb ..........0.
>8:03e4 60 53 00 d1 5a a6 04 22 c2 d9 d4 00 `S..Z.."....
>8:03f0 de 5a b0 04 22 d4 d2 c2 20 20 20 30 .Z.."... 0
>8:03fc 00 eb 5a ba 4c 40 04 00 14 e0 a9 00 ..Z.L@......
>8:0408 85 01 20 00 fe b8 ad 00 1c 30 fb ad .. ......0..
>8:0414 01 1c b8 a2 01 8d 00 05 50 fe b8 ad ........P...
>8:0420 01 1c 9d 00 05 e8 10 f4 a9 00 8d 05 ............
>8:042c 04 6c e8 ff a9 12 85 0a a9 80 85 02 .l..........
>8:0438 a5 02 30 fc c9 04 b0 f0 58 a2 7e bd ..0.....X.~.
>8:0444 00 03 49 11 9d 00 03 e8 d0 f5 20 bf ..I....... .
>8:0450 03 ad 04 04 85 08 a9 06 8d 01 04 a9 ............
>8:045c e0 85 01 8d 05 04 ad 05 04 30 fb a2 .........0..
>8:0468 6e bd 00 05 c9 55 f0 04 c9 aa d0 bc n....U......
>8:0474 e8 e0 73 90 f0 ad 02 18 8d ec 04 ad ..s.........
>8:0480 00 18 8d eb 04 78 a2 0a a9 00 a8 8e .....x......
>8:048c 00 18 20 ed 04 8d 00 18 c8 d0 f4 ad .. .........
>8:0498 eb 04 8d 00 18 ad ec 04 8d 02 18 58 ...........X
>8:04a4 a9 78 8d fc 04 ad 03 03 8d fa 04 85 .x..........
>8:04b0 06 a9 b0 85 00 a5 00 30 fc ee fc 04 .......0....
>8:04bc 30 17 58 ad fa 04 85 06 ad fb 04 85 0.X.........
>8:04c8 07 a9 80 85 00 a5 00 30 fc c9 04 b0 .......0....
>8:04d4 e4 b9 00 03 49 ff 99 00 03 c8 d0 f5 ....I.......
>8:04e0 a2 00 9d 00 04 e8 e0 e2 90 f8 60 60 ..........``
>8:04ec 60 a9 14 8d fc 04 ce fc 04 d0 fb a9 `...........
>8:04f8 00 60 00 08 00 eb 5a ba 12 04 82 11 .`....Z.....
>8:0504 00 4d 45 4e 55 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 .MENU.......
>8:0510 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ............
>8:051c 00 00 02 00 00 00 82 11 01 46 49 53 .........FIS
>8:0528 54 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 T...........
>8:0534 a0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 01 00 ............
>8:0540 00 00 83 11 02 3c 20 43 42 4d 20 36 .....< CBM 6
>8:054c 34 20 3e a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 00 00 00 4 >.........
>8:0558 00 00 00 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 82 11 ............
>8:0564 03 14 42 4c 4f 43 4b 53 20 46 52 45 ..BLOCKS FRE
>8:0570 45 2e 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 E...........
>8:057c 00 00 01 00 00 00 82 11 04 00 00 00 ............
>8:0588 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ............
>8:0594 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 01 00 ............
>8:05a0 00 00 82 11 05 21 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 .....!......
>8:05ac a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 00 00 00 ............
>8:05b8 00 00 00 00 00 00 03 00 00 00 82 11 ............
>8:05c4 07 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 ............
>8:05d0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ............
>8:05dc 00 00 0e 00 00 00 83 10 00 21 21 a0 .........!!.
>8:05e8 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 ............

After running the check, it looks like this:
>8:04ec 1a a9 14 8d fc 04 ce fc 04 d0 fb a9 ............
>8:04f8 00 60 1c 08 79 eb 5a ba ff 11 11 11 .`..y.Z.....
>8:0504 11 19 2a 22 62 22 4a 22 22 22 2a 22 ..*"b"J"""*"
>8:0510 22 2a 45 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 29 11 "*E.......).
>8:051c 31 11 2a 22 22 22 3a 22 62 54 44 44 1.*""":"bTDD
>8:0528 44 44 94 44 44 44 44 6a 22 22 22 22 DD.DDDDj""""
>8:0534 32 22 22 51 15 25 19 11 31 11 15 29 2""Q.%..1..)
>8:0540 11 11 11 1d 19 11 15 11 15 11 11 11 ............
>8:054c 28 88 88 88 8e 88 88 92 8a 8e 8e 88 (...........
>8:0558 95 11 3d 11 11 11 11 31 88 88 88 88 ..=....1....
>8:0564 aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa ............
>8:0570 aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa ............
>8:057c aa aa aa aa 00 00 82 11 04 00 00 00 ............
>8:0588 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ............
>8:0594 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 01 00 ............
>8:05a0 00 00 82 11 05 21 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 .....!......
>8:05ac a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 00 00 00 ............
>8:05b8 00 00 00 00 00 00 03 00 00 00 82 11 ............
>8:05c4 07 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 ............
>8:05d0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ............
>8:05dc 00 00 0e 00 00 00 83 10 00 21 21 a0 .........!!.
>8:05e8 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 a0 ............

Anyway, it doesn't look like sync-counting to me. It looks like track alignment (fat track) between tracks 19 and 19.5. So you may be able to specify some options to nibwrite to recreate this sequence. Pete will know.

I did not spend much time (10 minutes) on the above so it may be inaccurate.


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 20:08 ( . )

I took another look. I tried to remaster with index hole, no change. I then converted the image to halftracks (with blank halves) and it still loads in VICE, so it isn't checking the halftrack...

If I reimage the failed copy, it sticks on track 19 in emulation also... so it is something with that. If you change even one of the sync marks on that track, the load fails, although you can lengthen it or shorten it with no effect. If you truncate any of the 200 iterations of "F5 FE FD ED FB FA F9 E9 F7 F6 EF EE F3 F2 EB EA" it also fails. I think the track has to satisfy both of those to pass.

Unbroken single sync mark, and exactly 200 iterations of that pattern, starting with 35 35 and ending in a single 35. Modify that in the G64 and no load. :)


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 20:23 ( . )

It's nearly impossible to remaster a track with an unbroken sync with a single byte on each "side" of it because of motor speed jitter (even with a non-belt driven 1571).

That's why it doesn't work most of the time.


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:hyper active (registered user: 296 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 20:37 ( . )

Hi there. I didn't think this was a 1 off protection, many Melbourne house titles use the signature on track 19.


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 20:45 ( . )

You're correct, there are a few others. The problem is when you write a track with a real drive, there is always a "seam" right at the end between the last '35' byte and the sync. It's almost impossible.

Nice protection! :)


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 20:49 ( . )

And on top of that- if you have a different kernal than standard C64 roms, such as JiffyDOS, the game will not load. :)


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 20:57 ( . )

Grab the newest build, 0.7.11 from [link]

Remaster the game with 'nibwrite -bf game.nib'

Use a stock C64 (no carts or alternate kernals) and try the game, if it doesn't run, remaster track 19 a few times until it works (using the -bf switch). It does eventually work - I have a working copy now.

I hope you are not remastering these games to make "reproductions" and sell them.


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:hyper active (registered user: 296 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 21:36 ( . )

(The following is a joke.)
Yes I am actually. That's the whole idea isn't it? I'd make a mint on Ebay.
Thanks pete.


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 21:45 ( . )

On 07/08/2010 @ 21:36, hyper active wrote :
(The following is a joke.)
: Yes I am actually. That's the whole idea isn't it? I'd make a mint on Ebay.
: Thanks pete.
--



Haha, no. Actually some of the team members over the years have expressed that they were afraid it would happen, since it's rather easy to fake the labels.

Though, the disks themselves in loose condition fetch so little that it wouldn't be worth the time. The box and manual (complete package) is where it gets valuable.

There is a guy on eBay "popop2000" (sic) that sells horribly fake-labeled disks. I've reported him a dozen times, but eBay does not care.


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:hyper active (registered user: 296 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 21:53 ( . )

No worries.
Actually, I'm remastering them so that it will help me with beta testing the new upcoming version of vice, Me and a few others are testing out the drive code, and also I'm doing it so that I can help with gathering info for your disk database
whoops, you made a tiny goof with the latest build of nibtools, it's still the old july 3 release.


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:hyper active (registered user: 296 posts )
Date: Thu, Jul 08th, 2010 @ 23:41 ( . )

For a few months now, I've been in contact with the musician who did most of the music to Melbourne house's (aka Beam Software) titles, unfortunately after he left, he lost touch with most of the people he worked with at Beam. I can't promise anything, but if possible, would you be interested in conducting an interview with the guy who worked with beam on the copy protection?


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:Nate (guest: search)
Date: Fri, Jul 09th, 2010 @ 12:47 ( . )

Of course.


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'Nothing I do can remaster this track pro'
Author:hyper active (registered user: 296 posts )
Date: Fri, Jul 09th, 2010 @ 22:30 ( . )

Thanks, it works now. amazing!
For the curious, here is what the broken and fixed tracks look like.

Attachments:
1278729057_broke-and-fixed.rar


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