Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby dlfrsilver » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:29 pm

AtariZoll wrote:It is still not on Atarimania. And doing search here for "defenders"gives 0 results. Must be entirely my fault :D
Not to mention that I will go in fixing of it only when get some decent error report.


Not your fault as it seems, you take care of it in 2015. So no dump available at this moment.

the fight between Heman and Skeletor is corrupted at the end of level 1 of the game.
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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby ijor » Tue May 02, 2017 12:18 pm

Steven Seagal wrote:Get a "HALT" in Steem.


It's a bug in the Pasti DLL. The RAW/STX conversion might be not perfect in addition, would need to double check it.

But something is odd with the protection. The software protection by Tsunoo Rhilty seems to be very good. But the on disk copy protection is not well designed at all. It might fail depending on the exact TOS timing. And doesn't seems difficult to copy with a software copier.

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby ijor » Tue May 02, 2017 12:21 pm

dlfrsilver wrote:
ijor wrote:Please post the RAW files.


I'm not allowed to do that. The CTR file works so that's enough :)


I'm not sure I understand why you are not allowed, but can you please post, or PM, the raw file just for track 79 alone.

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby dlfrsilver » Tue May 02, 2017 1:41 pm

OK, i'll see that tonight :)
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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby dlfrsilver » Wed May 03, 2017 8:51 pm

track79.0.raw.zip
ok here it is :)
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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby ijor » Fri May 19, 2017 1:16 pm

Sorry for the delay, being busy lately ...

dlfrsilver wrote:track79.0.raw.zip


Thanks, it was useful ...

The RAW/STX conversion is not perfect, has some minor defects, but they are not relevant here. The STX image is good. It doesn't (didn't) run with Pasti because of a bug in the library. That was already fixed in my internal developer build and the image runs fine. According to Nicolas there was a similar situation with Hatari, and he already implemented a fix.

But as I said before, there is something quite odd with this game. The software side of the protection seems to be very good. That is expected when being implemented by a former well known cracker. But the disk copy protection is not very strong (a software copier should be able to copy), and it is not very reliable. Furthermore, the software test of the on-disk copy protection doesn't really match and doesn't make much sense. Seems like an adaptation not done correctly and it runs mostly by coincidence.

The protected track, track 79, is pretty weird. May be there was an intent to confuse the software copiers available then. But it also seems as he copied a track himself with a plain ST when creating the protection. Strange.

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby ijor » Fri May 19, 2017 1:25 pm

npomarede wrote:Having extra sectors without data (11,12, even 255 is possible) can't really be counted as real sectors, it's just here to fool some of the less advanced disk copier softwares on the Atari ST


I think this is just for the purpose of speeding the loading under TOS. It's the same, "extra header", technique used by FastCopy Pro.

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby npomarede » Fri May 19, 2017 1:26 pm

Hi
I confirm this is fixed in Hatari devel version ; as you say the software side might not be reliable on every ST because the protections uses several xbios(8) in a row to read sector 8 on track 79. But what if a different TOS versions had different timings between 'step' and 'read sector' ? Hopefully, it seems to work with TOS 1.02 to TOS 2.06, but it was a risky bet :)

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby npomarede » Fri May 19, 2017 1:28 pm

ijor wrote:
npomarede wrote:Having extra sectors without data (11,12, even 255 is possible) can't really be counted as real sectors, it's just here to fool some of the less advanced disk copier softwares on the Atari ST


I think this is just for the purpose of speeding the loading under TOS. It's the same, "extra header", technique used by FastCopy Pro.

You're right, in this case as mostly everything FDC related is done through TOS function, this was certainly to speed up the "verify" sequence when doing seek/step commands, not really part of a protection.

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby ijor » Fri May 19, 2017 1:57 pm

npomarede wrote: ... as you say the software side might not be reliable on every ST because the protections uses several xbios(8) in a row to read sector 8 on track 79. But what if a different TOS versions had different timings ...


It is more than that. I'm not really sure he knew what he was doing. When reading those sectors it performs a comparison that doesn't make any sense. After reading each sector it compares the first bytes of the sector with the text "prot", and it will take different paths depending of the result of the comparison. But all relevant sectors have the same starting bytes. That comparison will always match, original or copy.

I am guessing and speculating that this is a bad adaptation from another protection. My theory is that originally that part of the protection didn't depend on timing but on the content of those initial bytes.

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby npomarede » Fri May 19, 2017 2:04 pm

ijor wrote:
npomarede wrote: ... as you say the software side might not be reliable on every ST because the protections uses several xbios(8) in a row to read sector 8 on track 79. But what if a different TOS versions had different timings ...


It is more than that. I'm not really sure he knew what he was doing. When reading those sectors it performs a comparison that doesn't make any sense. After reading each sector it compares the first bytes of the sector with the text "prot", and it will take different paths depending of the result of the comparison. But all relevant sectors have the same starting bytes. That comparison will always match, original or copy.

I am guessing and speculating that this is a bad adaptation from another protection. My theory is that originally that part of the protection didn't depend on timing but on the content of those initial bytes.

I saw those "prot" comparisons too on each sector, as you say maybe it just worked by luck once Tsunoo saw that reading 3 times sector 8 resulted in reading the expected sector 8 with the correct checksum on the data to "decrypt" the 68000 opcode at the end of the protection.
Looking at the protection code, I also had the feeling that he expected to read the correct sector with a maximum of 3 tries, but in the end it always does 3 tries, even if the correct sector is read on the 2nd attempt.

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby ijor » Fri May 19, 2017 4:03 pm

npomarede wrote:I saw those "prot" comparisons too on each sector, as you say maybe it just worked by luck once Tsunoo saw that reading 3 times sector 8 resulted in reading the expected sector 8 with the correct checksum on the data to "decrypt" the 68000 opcode at the end of the protection.
Looking at the protection code, I also had the feeling that he expected to read the correct sector with a maximum of 3 tries, but in the end it always does 3 tries, even if the correct sector is read on the 2nd attempt.


I suspect all he saw, and all he cared, was that it worked. It is much easier for us now, with "modern" emulation tools, to see exactly what's going on.

OTOH, the software protection seems really good. It is not my main area of expertise, but probably as good as it can get when not implemented by the game developer himself.

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby npomarede » Fri May 19, 2017 9:52 pm

As I posted above, he also made the protection for "le manoir du comte frozarda" which was released after "Le nécromancien", it could be interesting to see if the protection was changed. Unfortunately, there's no dump of this on atarimania, I'm afraid this was a rather rare game (maybe french only)

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby ijor » Sat May 20, 2017 9:05 pm

I found two other titles, Masque+ and Chimera. They all have exactly the same on-disk copy protection (didn't check the software side).

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby npomarede » Sun May 21, 2017 9:52 am

ijor wrote:I found two other titles, Masque+ and Chimera. They all have exactly the same on-disk copy protection (didn't check the software side).

In an old interview, Tsunoo said he had a contract with Ubisoft to provide the protection for 5 of their games, unfortunately he didn't name them.

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby Brume » Sun May 21, 2017 11:41 am

Tsunoo also made the protection of Iron Lord.
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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby ijor » Tue May 23, 2017 11:38 am

Brume wrote:Tsunoo also made the protection of Iron Lord.


Do you know if we have a good dump of the retail version? I've see the budget release only.

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby dlfrsilver » Tue May 23, 2017 1:17 pm

i have a good dump in pasti STX, unfortunately, the disks are seen as modified on track 0 :/
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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby ijor » Tue May 23, 2017 4:51 pm

dlfrsilver wrote:i have a good dump in pasti STX, unfortunately, the disks are seen as modified on track 0 :/


The retail version? Then please post what you have. Or you already did?

But please, not the converted STX image only. If you have the RAW images the better, otherwise the CTR one at least. Or you have a Pasti image produced directly on an ST?

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby Brume » Tue May 23, 2017 8:41 pm

Here is a RAW dump:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=31718

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby dlfrsilver » Tue May 23, 2017 9:04 pm

ijor wrote:
dlfrsilver wrote:i have a good dump in pasti STX, unfortunately, the disks are seen as modified on track 0 :/


The retail version? Then please post what you have. Or you already did?

But please, not the converted STX image only. If you have the RAW images the better, otherwise the CTR one at least. Or you have a Pasti image produced directly on an ST?


ah i have indeed CTR files, but i have some not really good tracks inside disk 1.....

Want me to post them anyway ?
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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby ijor » Tue May 23, 2017 9:10 pm

dlfrsilver wrote:ah i have indeed CTR files, but i have some not really good tracks inside disk 1.....
Want me to post them anyway ?


Is that the same version that Brume just posted the RAW files (english, 3 disks)?

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Re: Le Nécromancien / Ubisoft

Postby dlfrsilver » Tue May 23, 2017 9:15 pm

nope french release ! The original one :)
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