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Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3
Calling all hackers - a list of old software that needs hacking

After the successful attempt to fill some gaps within our 80’s Mac software library, let’s try the next step.

We’ve got lots of software on here archived in a pristine state. Unfortunately, that also means these titles retain their copy-protection, rendering them unusable. (Be it the requirement for a master floppy to be inserted or a short-sighted online-activation scheme)

You can not only help to preserve the software, but to keep it accessible as well. The general idea is to add a separate - hacked - version download to the pages. If you can provide some info on how you hacked a title along with it, all the better!

Here’s a list of titles in needs of hacking:

4th & Inches - Requires a master disk

AlphaNatix - Needs a registration key

Blazer - Needs a registration key

boogaloopers - Needs a registration key

Centaurian - Needs a registration key

Cubase 2.5.1r3 - Requires a master disk. Any way to bypass it?

Cubase 3.0.1 VST - Requires a master disk; protected by Interlok

DINR 1.1 - Requires a master disk; protected by Interlok

Kaged: The Magic Orbs - Needs a registration key

Lunar Commando - Needs a registration key; protected by Interlok

MacWars - The game has a severe protection. It reboots after the title screen ...

MasterList CD - Requires a key disk to install; protected by Interlok

Medival Empires - hack the game and unlock all the scenarios

Microbian - Needs a registration key

Morgan's Trivia Machine Jr. - Requires a crack to allow play without a master CD-ROM

Name That Game - Needs a registration key

OIDS 2 & OIDS.X - Need registration keys

Quark - Needs a registration key

Shards - Needs a registration key

StarFighter 3000 - Requires a master CD-ROM

Star Seed - Needs a registration key

Sword of Kadash - crack the copy protection

Tactical Jet Fighter - Unclear what needs to be done

Webster's Revenge - Needs sector copy protection lifted.

Zebulon - Needs a registration key

---------------------------------------------------------------

Please note:
This list is in no way complete. Please point to other software that needs a hack. Feel free to discuss your efforts in this thread.

Success stories:

iTunes Skin Master successfully hacked by hamburger

SoftWindows 1.03 - successfully hacked by powermax

Galaxus - successfully hacked by powermax

OrbQuest - successfully hacked by powermax & LanHawk

Alter Ego (female version) - successfully hacked by LanHawk

Forbidden Castle - successfully hacked by LanHawk

Maze Survival - successfully hacked by LanHawk

Voodoo Island - successfully hacked by LanHawk

The Lüscher Profile - successfully hacked by LanHawk

The Toy Shop - successfully hacked by LanHawk

Tass Times in Tonetown - successfully hacked by LanHawk

MacRobots - successfully hacked by LanHawk

Hacker II - The Doomsday Papers - successfully hacked by LanHawk

Temple of Apshai Trilogy - successfully hacked by LanHawk

Sensei Geometry - successfully hacked by powermax

Mystery Master: Felony - successfully hacked by powermax

Investigator No. 1 - successfully hacked by LanHawk

Comments

mrdav's picture
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Joined: 2011 Dec 3

Don't forget MacRobots. That needs hacking too. Not on the Garden but there is the link I mentioned in the other thread. Maybe I should make a page for it?

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Yes, please! Upload it and then we'll add a link to it here.

m68k's picture
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Joined: 2016 Dec 30

Aaand SoftWindows 1.0.3 should be on top of that list! Wink

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Thanks! And added Smile

powermax's picture
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Joined: 2020 Sep 5

After playing a bit with MacsBug, I was finally able to make an older SoftWindows S/N to look like a 1.0.3 one. Here you go:
2300-0201-9529-7514
You need to enter it in the Password field of the registration dialog. Name and Company can be an arbitrary string.
Please be aware that the DL #1 on the SoftWindows download page is broken. The installer located in Win Install 1:Data folder doesn't work under MacOS 9.
To make SoftWindows 1.0.3 to work under OS 9, the following steps are required:
1. copy all six archives Windows Data [1-6] into the same folder and launch StuffitExpander on the first archive. It will produce one file named "HDD Data"
2. launch SoftWindows and register it by entering Name, Company and the above serial number
3. you'll be asked to create a new hard drive
4. in the last step, you'll be asked to locate the Windows image. Navigate to the file created by the step 1. SoftWindows will proceed with HD creation that can display an error. If it does, quit SoftWindows and double-click on the freshly created HDD image. SoftWindows will be automatically launched and everything should work.

It works for me like a charm Cool

swamprock's picture
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Joined: 2010 May 31

iTunes Skin Master 1.1
Missing serial to convert to full version. Company is long gone.

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Yep. Good one too. Added it to the list. Thanks!

hamburger's picture
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Joined: 2020 May 9

I didn't find a single serial for iTunes Skin Master, but hey, after 2-3 nights of running that bloated piece of C++ through macsbug (and restlessness), I did manage to whack it to the point both the startup and quit nag screen no longer appear, and custom skins do work (well for me at the very least, there's no longer any "demo" watermark on applied custom skins). Meanwhile, the splash still says 'demo', and the registration dialog works as before. I don't know if it's a good idea to use the upload/download feature, so since feature-wise it's essentially functional I'd say looks sufficient to me.

If someone wants to test it, I'm putting it here when I get up cause right now I'm pretty thrashed.

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Sweet! It sounds way more functional than it was and a great addition for GUI junkies like myself Smile

hamburger's picture
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Joined: 2020 May 9

Took some extra time, the app was quitting too early and the prefs were not getting written to disk. Fixed that.

See iTunes Skin Master (and my comment)

swamprock's picture
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Joined: 2010 May 31

Nice work! I'll test this afternoon when I get home from work. Thanks!

lilliputian's picture
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Joined: 2010 Jul 29

Cubase 2.5.1r3

Works fine from the disk image (made using ShrinkWrap), but there doesn't seem to be an easy way of copying it to an actual diskette or installing it to a hard drive. Plus, the image is a SMI—a self-mounting archive—and doesn't launch on its own in its intended (pre-system 7) environment.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

Have uploaded a backwards compatible image (for SSW 6 or newer) to that page. Disk Copy 4.2 image with date & time stamps restored (the original upload was written to, in 2020).

-mind, this topic is for finding cracks/hacks to old software, not for system compatibility issues.

lilliputian's picture
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Joined: 2010 Jul 29

Thanks for that. But I mentioned that only as an offhand to the fact that it requires a master disk, which was only preserved in the original image. You will note that trying to run the copy you uploaded does not work, sadly. "This is an unauthorized copy. Please insert your Cubase master disk..."

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

Oh bummer. Sorry about that. It's one of "those" disks then. In which case it really does need some attention.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

I've replaced my previous upload with one that works in 6 & 7. - the only method I found that works was by converting the self-mounting disk image to a DiskDup+ image. Still the same drawbacks associated with the image but at least it is now possible to run it in SSW 6. I used the Grenier archive for the disk conversion, as it has additional files (System 6 DA's etc) that weren't present in the MacGUI derived copy.

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

The Macintosh Patch & Hack List 3.4

mrdav's picture
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Joined: 2011 Dec 3

MacRobots
Morgan's Trivia Machine Jr.

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

thanks! added both to the list Smile

Franky233's picture
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Joined: 2019 Apr 6

I was wondering if a request like this would be... Wink Good! I'll help as I can, of course. But, just FYI, note that some of (very old) softwares requires some hardware, like for example Kryoflux or SuperCard Pro (not the famous software, here Smile) and will not run under "classic" emulators, but specifics like PCE-Mac. So, the question is: Is there a way to remove this kind of protection from a copy-protected software?

[EDIT] See my post about SoftWindows. Thanks.

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Could you please add Cinepak Toolkit 1.0 + Cinepak Pro 1.0 to the list?

For me, it stopped right before encoding a video file and complained that the serial was not valid for the computer (apparently, the serial was entered on the original Mac and the programs' installed files were archived after)

By the way, what happened when you tested this software? (I only remember that it wasn't a good outcome)

eastone's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 12

Have you tried there?
http://phussa.net/ss/var/C.htm

eastone's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 12

Fixed version will be uploaded.

PS
Uploaded. Please test it.

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Thank you, Eastone, I will! Laughing out loud

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Does it work? Or should I still add it to the list?

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

I have to run it on my Win server but it's not in a good location Sad and when I try remoting in to run QEMU, once QEMU 'captures' the mouse, the mouse goes totally haywire; this forces me to have to do it right at the server's location, which is very uncomfortable.

m68k's picture
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Joined: 2016 Dec 30

Does this run under Basilisk-II?

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

I don't see why it shouldn't, why don't you give it a spin and see? Smile

Franky233's picture
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Joined: 2019 Apr 6

Looks like there is another damned for the "sentence" Smile: MacWars...

hamburger's picture
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Joined: 2020 May 9

Did anyone test the cracked iTunes Skin Master 1.1 I've uploaded a week ago? Got no feedback whether it works for anyone else so far.
If it's good (or if it's not), I'm interested to know.

swamprock's picture
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Joined: 2010 May 31

I'll test it when I get home today, and report back. Keep an eye on the comments on that page...

swamprock's picture
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Joined: 2010 May 31

It works just fine, as far as I got into it (some window and controls editing). I'd say that this is more useful now. Thanks for your work!

Mu0n's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 15

I've NEVER EVER seen "Déjà Vu", the tile memory game from Rubicon Publishing, anywhere online since I started looking in the late 90's for old Mac software. It seems to be a forgotten title. This is not the Icom Simulations adventure game with the point and click + window game here, but a totally unrelated tile reveal memory game where you match pairs and can play hotseat or against an AI.

It has a full page ad in the very first MacUser issue of October 1985 (page 89). You can find it here https://vintageapple.org/macuser/pdf/MacUser_8510_Premier_Issue_October_1985.pdf

I have a physical copy of the original game, no box (maybe it came in a bag, maybe in a flimsly miminal sleeve, it was so long ago) and to my knowledge, that game has some master disk copy protection. I've been able to make duplicates by using DiskDup since I still want to play it and my 3 year old daughter loves playing it. We use the "success" and "failure" sounds of that game in all sorts of unrelated situations together, it's a blast!

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

That's fantastic, Mu0n!

Do the DiskDup+ copies run the game? They would be wonderful to have, even if they are not the typical archival formats we usually post here, no worries there!

Mu0n's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 15

I often get them confused. DiskDup 1.2.3+ Pro does not copy the game, there's an error during the reading phase as there's probably a bad sector.

The duplicate I successfully made, which ran flawlessly as well as the original, was with Copy II Mac 5.4.

Maybe someone can crack this with Macsbug or TMON, I tried simply copying the contents of the disk into a 400kb image file made with DiskDup 1.3.2+. I transfered it into my PC, probably losing the resource fork of that file, but it opens FINE inside mini-vMac on my Windows 7 machine. Not as a boot disk, but as a regular disk once you're in the Finder by your own means.

The behavior: when you attempt to run the game, it goes to a black screen, beeps, and freezes. You gotta restart the machine.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BdTCL03Z3IVRQ8Rhs3PJMhNRsdRCeT8G/view?u...

if you want a crack at it, get it from that link.

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

I don't have the time to hack at it, but IIRC, it expects a bad block error return from the floppy when reading and incorporates this into the logic flow of the loader code. So a simple null operation won't fix it, but jumping over the routine might work -- or working out what it expects to go into the register and manually populating that.

swamprock's picture
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Joined: 2010 May 31

I think iTunes Skin Master can be considered tested and safely cracked Smile

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Thanks for that crack update, Swamprock… real good seeing you, too; it's been a few Wink

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Yeah, our first "success story". Thank to hamburger for his good job on this one. I've deleted it from the "Needs hacking" list and added it to a new section that'll hopefully soon gets populated some more Smile

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

Webster's Revenge looks as though it still needs sector copy protection lifted.

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Good suggestion, thanks! Added to the list Smile

Franky233's picture
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Joined: 2019 Apr 6

Hey! Don't forget that one, of course, please. Thanks. Wink

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

oh my, thanks for pointing out! I've added MacWars to the list. Sometimes it is hard to keep track of all the posts with the forums software here.

Franky233's picture
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Joined: 2019 Apr 6

YW! Thanks. Yep, I understand that it could be not really easy. And particularly if you are already busy elsewhere. Wink

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Added OrbQuest to the to-do list!

Question: Does anyone know a good forums or facebook group to post a link to this thread? Like where the "right guys" hang out that might could take a look onto the titles?

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

At this point, the old pool of "right guys" don't really hang out anymore. I could tell you where they hung out 20 years ago, but now most of those people have busy lives and don't spend much time on online reversing forums.

However, there's loads of new talent out there that might be interested in learning M68k and the Macintosh Toolbox. Maybe places like r/reversing/ ?

There's also a few in the 68kMLA forums still who are currently active.

powermax's picture
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Joined: 2020 Sep 5

Looking for new talents is definitely a good idea. The biggest problem with reversing old copy protection schemes is a lack of handy tools. The only tool available under Mac OS 7-9 is MacsBug. While being a feature-rich (for the 90s) low-level debugger, it has a lot of limitations and bugs making it a barely suitable tool for software analysis.

I remember trying to circumvent PACE Interlok 25 years ago. Interlok is a commercial copy protection used in many pro audio products made by Steinberg, Digidesign, Waves etc.
The only tool I had was the MacsBug. It quickly turned out to be an exercise in futility so I started writing my own tools to defeat Interlok's anti-debugging techniques. It took literally 6 months before I was able to get to the code responsible for verifying the key disk.

The status of the modern binary analysis tools for 68k and Macintosh PPC is still preliminary. That means that we can barely disassemble executables. Virtualized debugging and even decompiling is out of rich. This status is mainly caused by the fact that the Macintosh software of the 90s is considered abandonware so there is only few people that really care about it.

Until we're equipped with the appropriate tools, reversing/cracking old protection will remain tedious and frustrating undertake.

Duality's picture
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Joined: 2014 Mar 1

Regarding tooling, I will note that Steve Jasik is still around and selling Jasik Debugger with MacNosy for $100, regardless of if you happen to be a prior customer of his. His website hasn't been updated to reflect recent pricing in some time.

His reverse engineering software was quite excellent through the 90s. It will have some trouble dealing with large Carbon binaries, though for most Mac software it works fine.

Though yes, as far as modern reverse engineering tools go, Ghidra appears to have a very poor understanding of Mac binaries, 68k and PPC, and I'm not sure if the vastly more expensive IDA Pro is that much better.

One "CTF" team that was given a HyperCard stack to reverse engineer for competitive fun ended up falling back on MacsBug to reverse engineer the XCMD within.

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

How much is IDA Pro? What's it do exactly? These tools sound very interesting, though Smile

powermax's picture
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Joined: 2020 Sep 5

IDA Pro is considered a tool number one for security analysts and reverse engineers.
This is a sophisticated disassembler that recognizes a lot of stuff.
The company behind IDA doesn't sell this software to private customers.
IIRC, a license costs about 5000 - 7000$ depending on additional plugins.
HexRays decompiler plugin costs as much as IDA Pro.