Confessions of an Honest Cracker

The year is 1988. Interplay Productions released The Bard's Tale III this week, and someone from our team has borrowed a copy from where he works at a local software store. His company allows employees to "check out" software so they can understand what they sell. That is how we got most of our games without buying them. The four of us gathered around a little 14" TV that night and started the game. Unlike the vast majority of gamers, we had no interest in slaying beasts or completing quests. The challenges we sought were buried in 6502 assembly code, the language the game ran in.

The Bard's Tale III had a very annoying method of copy protection. Teleporting required you to enter a code from a strange spinning code wheel. We triggered the protection scheme four or five times, monitoring what the code did when we answered correctly and what it did when we were wrong. After a few lines of patched code - voila! Every answer would be right, regardless, which eliminated the need for the code wheel. An hour after first running the game, we had a working cracked version. Confessions of an Honest Cracker | TwitchGuru

Linked by shanmuga Thursday, 15th December 2005 12:44AM