Iron Lord last maze mystery

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Kroah
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Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Kroah » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:05 am

Hi all,

Coy recently contacted me to try to find out how to finish the last maze of Iron Lord on ST.

Brief history:
This part of the game differs from other version (Amiga, CPC...) because it seems less complete. There are no doors nor objects to pick up (keys, swords, health potions...). On top of that, time elapses in the labyrinth and bosses are much more difficult to beat.

In all versions, mazes are linked with stairs. The player must reach the deepest level (6th maze) then use the last down stairs to face the last boss and win the game.

The problem:
On Atari ST, players were unabled to find the down stairs on the last maze.

So, with the help of Coy, we've extracted the 6 levels (from a Steem Engine dump) using the STX version of Iron Lord.

Here are the levels:
Iron Lord - Maze Level 1.png
Iron Lord - Maze Level 2.png
Iron Lord - Maze Level 3.png
Iron Lord - Maze Level 4.png
Iron Lord - Maze Level 5.png
Image

Effectively, we can see the last level doesn't have any stairs down 8O .

So i hacked the memory and added them to see if the game has really been completed by the developers:
Image

Then the last boss appeared:
Image

And after defeating him:
Image

There are 2 explanations:
- The stairs have been forgotten and the game never tested :roll:.
- The dump is bad or the game has some copy protection (even with a Pasti image?)

Now i'm going to see how the mazes are loaded in memory. Maybe a bug in the loading process?

What do you think?

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Klapauzius » Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:17 pm

Could be any of the three factors you mentioned.

Anyway, it wouldn't be the first time that a game can't be completed because the programmers didn't test their game thoroughly. ;-)

One I came across is "Captain America Defies the Doom Tube".
There was a certain number of baddies to be shot in this game, which could not be scored by the player, no matter what he did.

I guess there will be more titles.

Anyone know any other games that can't be completed because of a bug in the game?
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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Kroah » Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:41 pm

I've studied the loading part of the maze. The data are stored in "file07" of the first disk.
After the deciphering and decompression steps, i got exactly the same data i used for generating the maps.

I haven't checked if there are some codes somewhere in the binary which will add the missing stairs on certain conditions for the last maze though.
I stop my research here, unless someone has an idea...

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby dlfrsilver » Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:20 pm

Just one thing, on the website aitpast, Blood has finished the game and posted a screenshot of the end game. This means that you can complete the game.
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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Xerus » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:03 pm

I completed the game in the past on ST (with my brother for arm wrestling, crazy event :lol: ) .
In fact there are several versions of the game as Captain Blood, maybe you are not the good version ;)

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Kroah » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:05 pm

dlfrsilver wrote:Just one thing, on the website aitpast, Blood has finished the game and posted a screenshot of the end game. This means that you can complete the game.

I can only find the following review from aitpast:
http://www.aitpast.com/index.php?page=jeu&id=197
All screenshots are from the amiga version and i don't see the one of the end game.

Is this the link you talked about?

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Kroah » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:21 pm

Xerus wrote:I completed the game in the past on ST (with my brother for arm wrestling, crazy event :lol: ) .
In fact there are several versions of the game as Captain Blood, maybe you are not the good version ;)

Maybe, but we tried the Pasti version (STX) and a 2 disks version from Tosec (bad dump by the way). Both gave the same result :( .

One mega-fan should try with a real disk on a real ST to find the good disks. Without this we will not be able to know if the dump, the emulation, the crack or the game is bad.

Still a mystery for me...

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Xerus » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:27 pm

I saw two different intro for this game in my memories so if you test all same versions, you will be the same result ;)
I will see if i can help you :)

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby dlfrsilver » Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:35 pm

Ok, it's maybe a bug due too to the 68000 emulation under steem ?

Did you tried with Saint 2.13 ?

If there was a trained version to try, i will test it on my STF and STE, but i don't know any :(
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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Xerus » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:16 pm

Here 3 different versions:
Overlanders (beta?) and Replicants, at you to see the game of 7 errors :mrgreen:
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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby coy » Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:09 am

Xerus wrote:I saw two different intro for this game in my memories so if you test all same versions, you will be the same result ;)

The Overlanders version has indeed a different intro screen but the load/save function seems corrupted; it doesn't want to load any saved game made with the others versions.. plus when you try to save from this one, nothing appears on the disk...

That means you have to replay the whole game (admitting the maze part works here) - won't do that, especially because of the arm-wrestling event.. (once is enough :evil: ); that's why Blood swapped with the the amiga version anyway , because of a trick you can use in Winuae

The replicants v2 is the 2 disk version i played the game with
The pasti doesn't work either

Xerus wrote:I completed the game in the past on ST

Humm .. Really? :)

Was it with the french version?

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Xerus » Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:55 pm

coy wrote:
Xerus wrote:I completed the game in the past on ST

Humm .. Really? :)

Was it with the french version?

Sure and my brother was been witness :)
i will search my floppy disk version, we will see if your mystery has a end :wink:

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Kroah » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:11 pm

coy wrote:The Overlanders version has indeed a different intro screen but the load/save function seems corrupted; it doesn't want to load any saved game made with the others versions.. plus when you try to save from this one, nothing appears on the disk...

I've looked at those versions, thanks Xerux.
The overlanders version seems a beta release. Beside what Coy said, i wasn't able to hack the menu to launch the wargame, it crashes everytime.

The wargame/labyrinth program (Overlands) has the following description:

Code: Select all

Programme ecrit par Floreal GABALDA
Version 3.10 du 18/01/1989


But the other versions have:

Code: Select all

Programme ecrit par Floreal GABALDA
Version 3.10 du 18/01/1989
Routines et optimisations
par Claude SABLATOU le 15/09/89


coy wrote:it doesn't want to load any saved game made with the others versions..

The overlanders version is looking for a savegame named "IRONGAM.SCE" whereas the others are looking for "IRONLORD.GAM". But even after having changed the name, the game loads then crashes. The savegames are not compatible :( .

coy wrote:Was it with the french version?

Even an english version is OK, as long as the game runs on ST :) .

Xerus wrote:i will search my floppy disk version, we will see if your mystery has a end :wink:

Cool! Can't wait for that! :D

Edit: corrected the quote
Last edited by Kroah on Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Xerus » Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:21 pm

For now i just found my save disk !
I continue the excavations...

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby coy » Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:44 pm

Xerus wrote:i will search my floppy disk version, we will see if your mystery has a end :wink:

Thank you Xerus :) you my hero Image

Anyway, i was thinking, maybe you have completed the game but with another emulator (Saint, Hatari...), as i think we've grabbed and tested all french version avalaible?

Anyway, for trying to resolve out the mystery, please accept an Iron Lord Remix I found as a little gift (the sound differs (a bit?) from the st version.. :?)

The video link is here

Hope yo don't know it yet :)

iron lord remix.zip
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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby coy » Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:05 pm

Kroah wrote:
coy wrote:plus when you try to save from this one, nothing appears on the disk...

The overlanders version is looking for a savegame named "IRONGAM.SCE" whereas the others are looking for "IRONLORD.GAM".

I was not talking about loading an external saved game with the Overlanders Iron Lord version, but about making a save from the Overlanders version :)

It doesn't write anything on the blank disk, neither IRONGAM.SCE nor IRONLORD.GAM..

Doesn't matter anyway, this version seems useless too..

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Kroah » Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:40 pm

coy wrote:It doesn't write anything on the blank disk, neither IRONGAM.SCE nor IRONLORD.GAM..

Yes i did understand. I quoted the bad sentence.
I wanted only to explain why the other savegame was not recognized by the overlanders version (along the fact that the save feature is bugged as you noticed it).

Do you have the guts playing the overlanders version using the "save game" provided by the save state of steem engine? :wink:

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Xerus » Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:26 pm

coy wrote:Thank you Xerus :) you my hero Image

Sorry, i'm a zero in fact because i didn't find my game :cry:
Shame on me !

Anyway, i was thinking, maybe you have completed the game but with another emulator (Saint, Hatari...), as i think we've grabbed and tested all french version avalaible?


It was on a true STF that i saw the end, not with an emulator, proof is my old sav disk !
My brother thinks that the staircase are invisibles and that you just move on the zone to activate the end.

Anyway, for trying to resolve out the mystery, please accept an Iron Lord Remix I found as a little gift (the sound differs (a bit?) from the st version.. :?)
The video link is here
Hope yo don't know it yet :)

No, i don't know !
These remixes are amazing, a real work has been done on these musics and the sepia is a good idea.
Nice tribute :cheers:

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Mug UK » Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:36 pm

My list says that I've got Iron Lord in two versions - the original version from UbiSoft and a budget re-release by Action 16. Do both of these need PASTI-ing up?
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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Xerus » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:00 am

Kroah & Coy, have you tested the Zuul et Empire version?

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Desty » Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:09 pm

It must be pretty devastating to play a game hardcore for a long time then find that you can't complete it because it's bugged!

At least sometimes you can cheat around it (e.g. the magic carpet bug in Ultima 7), but imagine running into this problem with Iron Lord before having the internet and google :?
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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby coy » Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:54 am

Xerus wrote:Kroah & Coy, have you tested the Zuul et Empire version?

Found the Empire version yesterday but haven't tested it yet


Anyway,
Xerus wrote: My brother thinks that the staircase are invisibles and that you just move on the zone to activate the end.

Interesting.. I wanted to ask you if you remembered the way (i.e the exit) on the last maze that allowed you to finish the game

This could explain a lot of thing, including that there is no exit drawn on the 6th maze :P

Problem: what zone are you talking about? :?

Xerus wrote:No, i don't know !
These remixes are amazing, a real work has been done on these musics and the sepia is a good idea.
Nice tribute :cheers:

That's what I think. Glad to have made you found this link :)

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby coy » Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:59 am

I have wandered in the maze for a very last time, activitating the fire button at every step...

Well, I must say, the exit is really well hidden :lol:

I think your brother is wrong anyway; it would have been illogical, not to say unfair from the developers to have set an invisible exit, I mean there are no clues, no hints anywhere you can find either in the maze or in the manual; nothing that can make you think of such alternative.. It would be only luck? I don't believe so..

I won't test the others versions

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Xerus » Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:58 pm

In this case it's a problem with the emulators or a bad TOS version.
It's a very strange story !
When i'll have time, i will try to play on a real ST with my old save disk (if it still works).

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Re: Iron Lord last maze mystery

Postby Kroah » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:13 pm

Xerus wrote:In this case it's a problem with the emulators or a bad TOS version.
It's a very strange story !

Agree.
I remember the time when i played with tons of Dungeon Master versions where "War Cry" sometimes increased Ninja, sometimes Priest, etc... It's only some years later i understood i used several versions of the same game which behave differently.

Xerus wrote:When i'll have time, i will try to play on a real ST with my old save disk (if it still works).

Here's Coy's savegame (played with the "more standard" version of Iron Lord) if yours doesn't work anymore.
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