"Bad" games list

Started by Petari, 02-03-2011, 10:54:02

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Sidewalk original:  starting gameplay is troublesome, especially in Steem.  Code is mostly mess.  Version with fix in Game Archive.

Fool's Errand original (STX images at Atarimania) :   file INITDATA is missing, what results in stucking when NEW is clicked.
Save/Load works not well, + there are some weird messages in file selector. Indeed buggy code.  I took INITDATA from Amiga version, and with that Option NEW in menu works - get in Game Archive .
P.S. Load/Save works inly with TOS 1.00 and 1.02 so-so.


Switchblade II :
IKBD code is really bad - sends (total unnecessary) IKBD reset 3 times, without pause between 2 byte writes. What results in dead controls in many cases - Mega STE, Falcon for sure.


Potsworth & Co.
D-Bug crk: no pic. shown after finishing level 1. After finishing level 3 it freezes, so nothing from playing level 3-6.  Obviously untested.


The Third Courier
There is 2x Trap #14 command in row at one place - what may cause some undefined data on stack, and crash. Happens under certain circumstances.


Prehistorik (Titus) , Replicants crk. - instead music at title screen some nasty noise. They dropped audio track, what is on side B of floppy 1, but then should disable playback code too.


Zone Warrior - Superior crk. : zone 5 loads forever, starts not. As I see, there is still checksum failure. Forgot to test it, despite can set zone 5 for start zone ????


If I may add few more titles :

Bad Brew Crew 29 Dragon Breed:  - crash in the last level (6th) if both 2 flying snakes are displayed at the same time - you can avoid the crash by quickly killing one of them  :)

Pompey Pirates 20 Interphase:  crash in the last level (where else ? :) ) in vault 7 if you read the message - otherwise the crack is ok

Pompey Pirates 108 Robocop 3: freeze (black screen with plenty numbers) : somewhere in part 3 'The Church' just after the message saying 'Lewis was murdered' - again, you can avoid the bug if you know how

Elite crack Secret of Monkey Island (french version): freeze in the prison (with Othis)


Well another one .. I'm playing Ween the Prophecy (french version) - crack Atari Legend. There's a freeze after opening the door in the stele.

I've tried your adaptation (english version) since the save games are compatible between the two versions. Obviously your version is ok (i could reach the other room). Still it's the english version, I would like a release of the french version. Yet I don't know if it's even possible, all the french versions I tested are corrupted ::) I suppose you need a clean version to work with ???

If by luck you happen to find one, it's one of my requests then ;D tks ;)


After the War - there is silly bug with music play at start. Audio track is located on side B of first floppy, so only owners of machines with 2 sided floppy can hear it - what is common practice. But instead of testing readability of side B, they test RAM size in machine, and load music only when it is not 512KB. I thought first that it needs extra RAM, but no - it loads in low 512KB  :)  I fixed it, so music plays on 512KB machines too.


Ice and Fire D-Bug release will stuck when it asks for disk change, and that will be soon after starting play.
No original images available, but Supergau release is OK - despite that is on 3 floppies vs. 2 of DB r. Or maybe right because that ?  :)


Here is more fresh list of games with bugs, problems, some explanations .

Games with bugs:

This should be list of known bugs in game originals.
Bugs like:
Not possible to finish game - probably the worst case.
Diverse errors occasionally - like graphic ones - but it may happen on certain configs, TOS versions only.
Not working on STE - but not because TOS version.
Not working on specific configs or emulators - because silly bug.
Not working with more RAM in machine.
Bad files, corrupted data on original floppies - some releases of game involved.

Iron Lord: not possible to finish maze - no stairs down from 6th level.
Additionally, single floppy English release (Action 16) has corrupted file, and game will
crash after winning battle.

Crazy Cars 2 - after doing all routes, driving thru final location makes nothing
- instead some message, congrat. you can only drive further.

Dyter-07 - game crashes at final level (descent to end boss). Code/data bug.
After some hacking I reached and defeated end boss, and may say that it is
poorest of all them - just to mention.

Trantor - one version of game tend to crash after some playing.
Recognizable by 45283 bytes long executable.

Bad release:

Tetra Quest - US release has corrupted last 2 files on floppy. - Correction: Microdeal release - should be same for UK and US .

Iron Lord, action 16 release - corrupted file, crashes after winning battle.

Not working on STE - because bugs:

Grand Monster Slam: palette writing overshot - on STE will see lines instead graph.

Hyperforce - same as above.

Nightdawn - writing into video pointer crashes on STE. (On ST does nothing).

Not working in Steem with current Pasti.dll :

Rubicon - there is silly bug in code (forgotten #), what causes both floppy
drives being selected at once. On real HW, with solo floppy drive it harms
not, and likely not on 2 drive configs, when second drive is empty. If Pasti is
inactive, it works in Steem.


Not working on higher TOS versions - but not from usual reasons like more
low RAM occupied or Timer-C problem - caused by bugs in code.

Deflector - stoopid bug with address register: copy (w instead l) in game.

Heimdall - graphic bug appears by running on higher TOS versions. Because
some silly code part.

Not working on specific configs or emulators - because (silly) bug:

Pro Tennis Tour - will crash on 2MB TT, if going straight in tournament - because
uninitialized var. - then try to access RAM area between 2-4MB, what on ST(E) does
nothing, but on TT with 2MB causes bus error.
Well, this is really very specific error, and likely only few people, or even
only me noticed it - but is interesting, and needed some time to track down.

Technocop - crashes on TT, Falcon because silly bug with sr setting.

Rick Dangerous II - '0FFF' bug - and it is present in some others. Makes trouble on
TT only - surely, the reason is mistype by coding, so we have something like: $FFF8800 instead $FFFF8800 or $FF8800 . Problems only with 32-bit address bus.

Ivanhoe - '0FFF' bug - see above.

EPIC - If play with mouse on Falcon, will loose controls after little time. The reason is some
strange code (in traps) activated periodically if 68030 is detected - but it does nothing useful.
I guess that because game is released in 1992, they planned Falcon support, but since it delayed game is published without testing on Falcon.

Not working with more RAM in machine:
There is many. For instance Sidewinder.


Wolfenstein 3D - this is not commercial game, and is not really finished. I found diverse bugs and
partially fixed it. But some levels still make problems. According to coder, he placed crucial parts of code in low 32K RAM, for extra speed. But that area is TOS workspace, so what works under one TOS version, may crash under other. Bad idea for TOS calling game.

Crossland - in audio code IR level is lowered, what may cause activating IR again, before current is finished - and it causes crash. On ST(E) it happens very rare, but on TT for instance after few seconds.

Shiftrix - I don't know on what they tested it, because there is extremely silly bug at start: enabling interrupt before setting it's vector !

Nicky 2 - even if game self needs only 512KB, it crashes with 512K RAM only. Because bug in code.

Special cases, affecting mostly hard disk adaptations (with exit to Desktop opt.) :

Sometimes RAM area above 512KB is intentionally cleared, but there are cases that it is because bugs:

Prehistoric Tale - mistype d7 instead d0 in code.

In many games, mostly graphic code has overshots, writing in higher RAM - Vroom for instance.

IKBD coding seems as big problem - there is a lot of games with bad IKBD code. Usually, playing on regular HW, from floppy you will not notice it. But if doing exit to Desktop from game strange things may happen, if IKBD chip is driven nut. Bad IKBD code may cause problems in Steem too - which has not perfect IKBD emulation. I guess that lack of good documentation is the reason for many bad coding.

If someone of game coders, publishers accidentally reads this, and has some objections, corrections, info about updated versions, feel free to write here.

And of course, I expect users that write here own experiences.



Another my post, from AF. I just think that those things mentioned should be here too :
I will list some reasons why games not run on specific platform(s), without intention to be complete (as some problems are still not clarified) or to list them in some order by how frequent they are.

1: Game runs on machine with 512KB, but not on machines with more RAM. This is probably something stupidest possible, but is not so rare, unfortunately.
The reason is always bad programming. In most cases crackers are culprits, but happens by originals too.
Solution can be to try another crack, and more perspective: using one of small utils to set machine to act as has only 512K - for ST, STE.

2: TOS version related:

2.1: Game is written so that runs on fixed, low RAM locations (not relocatable code). As newer TOS versions reserve more RAM for system, game code will conflict with system, and crash is almost inevitable. Examples: Millennium 2.2, Sapiens.
In some cases game will give message about insufficient RAM at start. Even on machines with 4MB. But game checks actually is there enough free space between system and 512KB.
Possible solutions: running game from AUTO folder. Looking for adapted version. Using Hole.

2.2: Timer C stop problem. It happens on TOS 2.06 , 4.xx (Falcon) . Examples: Space Harrier, Falcon F16, FOTI.
Reason is that Atari changed TOS code by Trap calls, and system will stuck if timer C (200Hz) is stopped by regular Traps.
Solution is: using adapted versions where restart of Timer C is solved somehow. Or running lower TOS version in RAM.

2.3: Sometimes code runs well on some TOS version(s), but not on another one(s). It is mostly because of bad programming (even bugs sometimes), bad system function calls, jumps in ROM and similar.
Solutions: trying with another crack. Looking for patched version. Example: Predator.

3: Hardware related:
Mostly when try running ST(E) games on Falcon.

3.1: Different CPU in Falcon - Stack frame is different by interrupts and Traps. CPU cycles are different. There is cache in CPU. Used stack space is bigger.
Solutions: turning off code and/or data cache. Increasing stack space. Setting CPU clock to 8MHz.

3.2: Falcon uses PMMU table for normal work. It is placed at $700. If some game writes in that area it will crash. Solution is moving of PMMU table in unused RAM.

3.3: PSG shadow registers - Falcon will crash by long writes to PSG (YM) registers. Cure is setting of so called STE emulating bus mode. In some cases it will result with very bad sound, Then only correcting game code may help. Example: Princ of Persia.

3.4: Different video HW registers: screen disalign may happen by direct writing in video base registers. Solution is to use system calls by setting screen base, resolution. There are likely some other problems, as some games crash, freeze by certain points, what needs further investigation.

4. Special, mixed problems: As STE has palette of 4096 colors instead 512 by ST there may happen some problems because of that. Example is Defender of the Crown by which raiding stucks if run on STE. Cure was to correct palette by some pictures where were invalid 12-bit entries instead 9-bit ones. However, it was TOS version related too, since by older TOS versions game worked without stucking (Steem).