B.A.T. are all cracks bugged?

Started by alexh, 09-10-2022, 12:59:47

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alexh

A post on Facebook from a vlogger trying to make a B.A.T. Atari walkthrough claims all the available cracks are bugged in the same place making it impossible to finish. They seem to have lots of experience having created a walkthrough for the PC version.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/115708225120589/permalink/6128858987138786/

QuoteHi everyone! I'm trying to make a video of my walkthrough for B.A.T. by Ubisoft. I successfully did it for the PC version (see video below), but I believe that all the Atari versions of the game that I tried are bugged (I'm using an emulator):
- I found a version cracked by "The Replicants", but apparently this group proudly released their crack (they really brag about it) without even testing it. If they did test it, they would have realized that they messed up the interface that is supposed to make use of both left and right mouse buttons. The result is that we have no access to B.O.B, which is crucial for the game (we use it to translate the alien and robot language, to determine whether we are hungry or thirsty, and to check our injuries). In addition, sound is totally absent. I realize that having the sound in this game was challenging, since the original game makes use of the MV16 sound card. Anyway, the game is unplayable without B.O.B.
- The other versions I found are those cracked by "Termination", a (supposedly) French version, and an English version. I say supposedly French, because that's what the filenames of the disk images say, but when I run the game, it is actually in English. Nevertheless, the good thing is that the interface works properly, doesn't seem to crash at any point. And, cherry on the cake, they managed to output the sound without having to use the MV16 card. However, I believe that there is a bug when we arrive to the maze. The reason is that I was able to complete the PC version, and I built a map. Everything in the maze matches with the Atari version (except that the Atari version is more confusing because we don't systematically face the direction in which we just turned). But when we cross the last door, there is a glitch that makes us reappear in a location that is inconsistent. I don't know how to explain it, but I can send a video of the glitch if you want to see it.
So, I have two questions:
1) Has anyone ever completed the game on an actual Atari?
2) Has anyone ever completed the game on an emulator?
#bat #Ubisoft #UBI

I noticed that your HDD install was made from one of the cracks that he mentions? Perhaps it also contains these issues? Possibly some left over protection? Maybe the original Atari disks contained a bug? I think it's worth investigating to ensure this game is preserved complete? Thx
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Petari

Quote from: alexh on 09-10-2022, 12:59:47.....
1) Has anyone ever completed the game on an actual Atari?
2) Has anyone ever completed the game on an emulator?
#bat #Ubisoft #UBI

I noticed that your HDD install was made from one of the cracks that he mentions? Perhaps it also contains these issues? Possibly some left over protection? Maybe the original Atari disks contained a bug? I think it's worth investigating to ensure this game is preserved complete? Thx
[/quote]

Actually I have 2 HDD installs - English and French versions. Because original releases of BAT require that MV16 sound device (supplied with game) that's the 'copy protection' too. If you'd read carefully file LOG.TXT you could notice it: "Music via AY (YM, PSG), no need for MV16 . Sound rut. by FM . "
So, man with nick FM made code what plays game's sound via Atari ST's sound chip.
Game of course checks presence of MV16, and will not work if detects it not. So, first part of whole 'cracking' is to disable that check(s) and allow it to play without sound or with sound via PSG chip of Atari (FM fix).
I did it all mostly because some people at atariage forum asked for, and there was demand for French v. too - what needed extra work, since it appeared that it works not good with English TOS (and TOS 1.04 UK in RAM is used in hard disk adaptation).
So, I recommend to visit atariage forum, do some search and will find those threads. As it usually goes, feedback after point that people successfully starts and plays game for some time  - is very weak, rare. I don't remember that anyone wrote about finishing game, or problems on some later stage.

And to add that I used STX images too. Even disassembled main code of game. Compared files in diverse releases. All that needed lot of time.  Surely will not test myself all those games what I adapted for HDD (Flash cards rather now) .
Too bad that 'great' Atari ST forums like AF and AA give zero support for some organized testings of diverse Atari SW releases - including originals, floppy cracks, hard disk adaptations (patches) . We are not progressed since 80-es, when mostly kids did those floppy cracks, was no Internet, and all it was full with bragging, 'we are best' type claims, and even spitting on other crews . All it shown before games start.
There are known bad releases, but all that info is not available on some database supported by many of who are involved in current 'Atari ST scene' . All it is on diverse sites, very partial, and of course those old crackers just avoid whole thing - they don't like to be pointed on errors on their releases. Or in other words, they don't respect Atari ST users. They just want to keep that childish 'we are best', 'no errors in our ...', and like . Time to grown up !  Everyone makes mistakes. And biggest mistake is not to admit mistake done .

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alexh

#2
Quote from: Petari on 09-10-2022, 14:26:36original releases of BAT require that MV16 sound device (supplied with game) that's the 'copy protection' too. If you'd read carefully file LOG.TXT you could notice it: "Music via AY (YM, PSG), no need for MV16 . Sound rut. by FM . So, man with nick FM made code what plays game's sound via Atari ST's sound chip. "
Yes. I am aware. The Terminators crack replaces MV16 with YM. The YouTube video you have on the BAT HDD adaption page shows it displaying the Terminator crack text at the start.

Quote from: Petari on 09-10-2022, 14:26:36I did it all mostly because some people at atariage forum asked for, and there was demand for French v. too - what needed extra work, since it appeared that it works not good with English TOS (and TOS 1.04 UK in RAM is used in hard disk adaptation). So, I recommend to visit atariage forum, do some search and will find those threads.
Thank you very much. We the community appreciate all your work. I will read through that AtariAge thread.

Quote from: Petari on 09-10-2022, 14:26:36As it usually goes, feedback after point that people successfully starts and plays game for some time  - is very weak, rare. I don't remember that anyone wrote about finishing game, or problems on some later stage.
I understand. But now we have some feedback from an enthusiast for this game, the person trying to make their walkthrough. They are native French and so tried the French version. Here is there feedback on the French version:

Quote from: Val RousseauI just tried the HDD French version (my native language) and, although everything seems to work, it is unplayable because we get attacked by a killer robot no more than 2 seconds after starting the game, before we get a chance to get a gun from our contact.
I will work with him to confirm this is 100% repeatable.

Quote from: Petari on 09-10-2022, 14:26:36I used STX images too. Even disassembled main code of game. Compared files in diverse releases. All that needed lot of time.  Surely will not test myself all those games what I adapted for HDD (Flash cards rather now).
We totally understand. I hope that now, with feedback from someone enthusiastic with this game, prepared to put in the hours testing for you, we can give quality feedback that will allow you to make these HDD adaptions playable to the end?
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alexh

#3
I apologise the quality of the bug reports here is very low. We will look to improve them.
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Petari

Well, I got e-mail from Val Rousseau today. Without any description of config on which it happens. I answered him that I myself played it for some 10 minutes, so that 2-3 second attack from start is really not something what happens. And to add - did not see such thing in any game - OK, maybe there is one exception, and funny thing, first video game I ever saw:  Pong - it was in 1979 - I made myself it using that AY chip, made TV output, control handle circuits ...  I guess if computer or other player starts
 game, it will be less than 2 seconds from start when he shoots the ball :-)


And something I experienced today:  game  Vengeance of Excalibur: it was published on 5 floppies. In 3 languages - English, French and German. After some struggle, I made English version to work from single floppy image file on hard disk. It is 1.8 MB for 1 language v. There is some bad code, what needed correction. And English v. now works fine from hard disk (2 MB min), as game needs 1 MB when run from floppies. But stupid thing is that it will not warn immediately after start on 512 KB that is is not enough, but will get some memory loc. error when start play - from saved game or as new game. Not well done.
And I can not make French and German v. to work from single image - after play start will get message Error 34, and that's end.   Btw. only 3 files differ between them and Eng. version - main exec and 2 files which contain test.  I guess again some silly code is the problem. Will be very hard to trace.
And 'best' thing: some could consider it as bug in HDD version. Nope. There are zillion ways to code it so bad that just fail from hard disk/RAM disk or whatever. And no, I don't talk about copy protection.
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Blue Moonshine

Hi everyone, I am the "vlogger" (Val Rousseau). So, I used Petari's French HDD version on the emulator Hatari v2.2.1, running under Ubuntu 20.04. I tried several TOS, and one that allowed me to run the game is TOS 1.04. As I mentioned, I get attacked as soon as the game starts, even before meeting the contact in the bathroom. But, after trying several times, I was able to escape this attack without being too much injured, I rushed to the pharmacy, got healed, then rushed to go get force fields. From there, I was able to search for Merigo, found him, killed him, and used his key to go to the maze. And there, as with all other cracked versions, I got stuck after crossing the the last door (which in the PC version leads to the room where Lydia has to use her jewel). One could argue that the maze might be different in the ST version, but I rebuild the map entirely, and it is exactly the same as in the PC version. I tried all doors. Either we can go through (then I extend my map), or we instantly die, or the door doesn't open. There could be a key or a card to use for this door, but nobody has ever mentioned such a thing, so I believe there is something wrong there.
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