Dungeon Master - Clever Floppy Disk Anti-Piracy | MVG

  • Published on May 27, 2019
  • Dungeon Master - the classic 16 bit dungeon crawler that defined a genre was one of the best ever games for the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga. Released in 1987 by FTL (Faster than Light) it saw many ports to different systems including the Sharp X68000, MS-DOS, Apple IIgs, Super Nintendo and more.
    It also had one of the most devious floppy disk copy protection schemes ever created. In an age where most games were cracked in a matter of hours, FTL's clever protection took an entire year to crack with many attempts to defeat it, resulting in failure over and over again.
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    #DungeonMaster #AntiPiracy #FloppyDisk
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Comments • 1 887

  • synthesis
    synthesis 16 hours ago

    This is my new favorite channel. I got to work at 9 this morning and now its 10:15pm and I have not lost interest. Granted, I skipped around a bit this morning. But Jesus, talk about in depth

  • Freedom Of Motion

    And now I can play dungeon master on my android phone , and the expansion. Awww yisss

  • Ice Karma
    Ice Karma Day ago

    10:53 That's not how floppy disks work, either. =(

  • Ice Karma
    Ice Karma Day ago +1

    10:47 That's not how data is encoded on a CD or DVD -- it's the pit-to-land or land-to-pit transition, or lack thereof, that encodes ones and zeroes. =/

  • Ice Karma
    Ice Karma Day ago +1

    With very few exceptions, 3½" DSDD formats had 80 tracks. 2 sides × 80 tracks × 9 sectors/track × 512 bytes/sector = 737 280 bytes or 720 KiB.

  • Mark West
    Mark West 3 days ago

    if i rmember rightly , the atari st hardware copier was called the Happy Cartridge and thats what i used to copy dungeon master.

  • Mark West
    Mark West 3 days ago

    i actually managed to copy Dungeon Master flawlessly but I had to use the Atari St with that hardware copy tool but it only ever copied once which might have been a fluke but it worked

  • Trumpocalypse Now
    Trumpocalypse Now 3 days ago

    The description in this video of how data is stored on an optical disc is incorrect. The logic of pits and lands is complicated and relates to error correction on many formats. It’s not a simple case of “pit=1 land=0”.

  • Chet Manley
    Chet Manley 4 days ago

    I remember "borrowing" Street Fighter 2 from a friend for the 486 in high school, and it had the verify a number code from page/line method, with the code manual being a non-photocopyable black on red paper. Got around it anyway lol

  • undeadwilldestroyall

    Your videos are fascinating and well put together

  • Ash stinks R6
    Ash stinks R6 5 days ago

    I remember using x-copy to copy some ST games which I couldn’t copy
    On the Atari 👍

  • lonelyPorterCH
    lonelyPorterCH 5 days ago

    11:22 I would call it a QBit^^
    (Quantum bit, is 0 and 1 at the same rime)

    • Fayt Albel
      Fayt Albel 2 days ago

      It's not both at the same time though it's a 1 or 0 but never both.

  • lonelyPorterCH
    lonelyPorterCH 5 days ago

    Well, when I was a kid, nobody used floppy discs anymore^^

  • D. C. S.
    D. C. S. 7 days ago

    And now in days everyone whines about Denuvo slowing down computers and such, I haven't experienced that on games that use that. If anything I think if game makers go back to Shareware OR Demos of games, piracy would drop, at least with those who pirate games to try them out to see if they want to buy it. DRM will never go away totally, and I see why they do it. Piracy will never end, movies, O/S, Programs, music, or games it will always happen. I mean who here has NOT pirated? Everyone has done it at least once and if you haven't then good for you.

  • Utoobguy
    Utoobguy 7 days ago

    I remember playing this game as a kid. My dad got it for me on the 1040 and it blew my mind. This, Sundog and Phantasie are my best memories of my Atari ST.

  • Jason Adams
    Jason Adams 8 days ago

    That is awesome

  • Charles Sanders
    Charles Sanders 8 days ago

    Should have mentioned pokémon and its bad eggs

  • StaticWrap
    StaticWrap 8 days ago

    I absolutely love these videos. Thanks for putting them out. Something comfortable about them. Makes me happy lol!

  • H2O_Benta
    H2O_Benta 8 days ago

    What is the game at 0:20 ?

    • H2O_Benta
      H2O_Benta 8 days ago

      Found it, it's Turrican II

  • djraxx068
    djraxx068 8 days ago

    Great Video! However, your CD explanation is slightly wrong: a 1 is a change from Pit to landing or vice versa, a 0 is no elevation change

  • Ronan Biong
    Ronan Biong 10 days ago

    before bath water 2:48

  • Aiman Al-Khazaali
    Aiman Al-Khazaali 11 days ago

    Wow. Marble Madness. I haven't seen that in 30 years.

  • Solipsystems
    Solipsystems 12 days ago

    Great game. Someone gave me a copy of their snes rom collection once and I gave this one a shot and I sure got a whole lot more than I expected

  • Johanna Langner
    Johanna Langner 12 days ago

    We cloned the disk and launched the clone as a disk 😀😁😅

  • Jake Englund
    Jake Englund 14 days ago

    TIL (well, finally understood) why Dungeon Master was unplayable on SNES emulators for so long, on top of gaining an even greater appreciation for clever copy protection techniques. This is so cool, thanks for making this video!

  • OmikronWeapon
    OmikronWeapon 19 days ago

    no offense, but your punctuation is a little distracting. Some of your sentences. Go on in a weird way that makes them hard to follow perhaps you. Could slow down your pace a bit? Seem like you want to rush through too fast.

  • OmikronWeapon
    OmikronWeapon 19 days ago

    I had a few point and click games that used the manual protection stuff. I always saw that as the first puzzle.
    I think Simon the Sorcerer had something like "which of these four symbols appears on the bottom of page x?"
    After enough tries I had reverse engineered the code for most of the questions.
    Though I guess having to type an actual word or even letter would have been much more of a problem.
    A friend of mine had some age restriction questionaire at the start of some 18+ game. IIRC, it was Leisure Suit Larry or something. I remember her big sister calling out the questions to see if we kids knew the answers. One of them was "What was Hitler's first name?" crazy times. A lot more innocent.

  • Lukas Steinbrink
    Lukas Steinbrink 25 days ago

    A disk that is shown as NDOS in Workbench means only that the disk is not in a readable format for the Workbench it has nothing to do with an copy protection the game uses its own file system and only the game knows how to read it. If such a disk doesn't have a copy protection build in it can be simply duplicated by simple disk copy software's.

  • Verwarde man
    Verwarde man 26 days ago

    does anyone know the name of the first music track used (the intro) thanks

  • randomguy8196
    randomguy8196 26 days ago

    Really wished there was some magic form of copy protection that allowed backup and modding while still preventing piracy.

  • teemofie
    teemofie 27 days ago

    Piracy in the 80s ahhhhh
    I remember the local Amiga club, 20 odd people selling copies at £2 a disk!

  • Hard Gaming
    Hard Gaming Month ago

    Do a video on computer hardware evolution please.

  • ian frogfish
    ian frogfish Month ago +1

    Was that a 'i have no fu**ing clue' at 1:46 ? lol

  • Peka Chu
    Peka Chu Month ago

    What is the title of game is at 2:50?

  • Soupinator
    Soupinator Month ago

    Ah the golden age of DRM, back when it didn't punish legitimate customers, slow the game down, or even damage your hardware (remember Starforce?)

  • Luxi Turna
    Luxi Turna Month ago +2

    How the eff do you write a bit that sometimes reads 0 and sometimes reads 1?

    • ian frogfish
      ian frogfish Month ago

      You need special hardware, someone writes about it here.dmweb.free.fr/?q=node/210#toc10 and you can get more technical detail on this page here. dmweb.free.fr/?q=node/1429#toc60

  • Floofers
    Floofers Month ago

    ...thieves and beggars... never shall we die...

  • Mike UK 1970
    Mike UK 1970 Month ago +1

    I think rainbow islands was a hard one to hack on the atari st if i remember from our hacking meets

    • Neopiru
      Neopiru Month ago +1

      oh... thanks I always wondered why I couldn't pass through one of the last islands .... it was literally your character falling down and black background only

  • Vladimir Putin
    Vladimir Putin Month ago

    6:50 when he said it made the game unplayable, my youtube crashed... hmm

  • Enrique M C
    Enrique M C Month ago

    Does anybody knows if the "Power Button" affect Pentiums processor. I have a brand new pc At case with power botton, i want to mount a funtion pc, but only have mobo socket 7 and pentiums. Will POWER slow down Pentium o should i get 486?

  • Matías D.
    Matías D. Month ago

    Modern Vintage, it would have been a good idea to explain how it is possible that a bit gets read as a 1 some times and as a 0 other times...
    I started making all kind of guessing... Best theory I have is that the bit is only partially magnetized... But I'm gonna have to find out somewhere else....

  • plonk420
    plonk420 Month ago

    also check out Jason Scott: "Rescuing The Prince of Persia from the Sands of Time
    " or "You're Stealing It Wrong! 30 Years of Inter-Pirate Battles
    " (the former being more interesting IMO). they may seem long, but give him 5 minutes... no 3 minutes and see if you like his style...! :O

  • JamieVegas
    JamieVegas Month ago

    1s and 0s on a CD-ROM are not pits and lands! That's a myth. On a CD-ROM, a 0 is when there is no change from either pit to land or land to pit, and a 1 is when there is a change. So, a series of lands can be either a series of 1s or a series of 0s, depending on what came before it. Per the standard, you cannot have more than three 1s or 0s in a row, so all bytes on disc use EFM (8 to 14 modulation) to turn all 8 bit values into 14 bit values that don't contain runs of 0s or 1s. But, again, the idea that a pit is a 0 and a land is a 1 is FALSE.
    It's done this way because a rising or lowering edge of voltage is much easier to detect and resistant to noise than trying to detect high and low values.

  • Duncan Sheik
    Duncan Sheik 2 months ago

    3:34 that The Verve reference < 3

  • Alex Holland
    Alex Holland 2 months ago

    Lots of technical errors in the video

  • David Johnson
    David Johnson 2 months ago

    Interesting video, but you may need to do some fact checking www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=37394

  • RetroHQ
    RetroHQ 2 months ago

    Atari and Amiga floppies were 80 tracks or more per side, not 40 (sorry, pedantic mode ;). Early ST’s had single sided drives, so were 360k as standard (9 sector, 512 bytes, 80 tracks), whereas the later models had double sided drives and were 720k standard. Some floppy drives could format upto 84 tracks, although 82 was the most you could generally use and be compatible. I remember odd 1k or larger sector formats for copy protection, and similar odd things like 8k sectors on the Amstrad CPC. The 8k sector couldn’t be written by the FDC as the write gate wouldn’t shut off quick enough and would actually overwrite the beginning of the track without hardware mods. Those were fun days... ;)

  • OldSlowCat
    OldSlowCat 2 months ago

    Such a fun game. Thank you for bringing back memories of my misspent youth :)

  • Menace312
    Menace312 2 months ago

    Diffenately an intended pun! Dont lie ;)

  • Verwarde man
    Verwarde man 2 months ago

    does any body know the name of the first piece of music in the intro

  • AetheralMeowstic
    AetheralMeowstic 2 months ago

    I wonder, can you re-create the fuzzy bit on non-magnetic media?

  • AetheralMeowstic
    AetheralMeowstic 2 months ago

    You're forgetting the entire Pokémon Mystery Dungeon side branch.

  • Alexander Vikman
    Alexander Vikman 2 months ago

    799$ for an Atari in 1987?? That´s like 1800$ today :O

  • Mike 7
    Mike 7 2 months ago

    Lol do they really have a right to complain I guess it comes with the territory

  • Andreas Woll
    Andreas Woll 2 months ago

    Does anybody know how the music is called which is played at the beginning of the video? I am unable to find it anywhere on his Bandchamp site

  • smsuikup
    smsuikup 3 months ago

    DM was my first game when I got an Atari 520ST in 1988. It's my favorite game ever.

  • Nagytika
    Nagytika 3 months ago

    C64 Hungarian game developper DRM "The curse of Ràtkai" "Időrègèsz" is the name of the game).
    During those time when you copied a floppygame you usually put more game then 1 on 1 since floppy was expensive and wasting space is wasti g money. At the start the game checked how did you started the game(with what command, since there is a different command for launching a floppy with a sole program or a floppy with more than one program on it.
    The drm simply just randomly overrites some bytes every time...so for the 4-5 load every other game including this becomes unplayable. (And bact at those times you could get games like onve every m9nth at the big gathering if you were lived close to Budapest.

  • Rodrigo Gonzalez
    Rodrigo Gonzalez 3 months ago

    Only a few know the song used around min. 7:00 comes from the pirated Spyro 3 copies :^)

  • Fanos Socratous
    Fanos Socratous 3 months ago

    Man I love your content! Also I always wanted to ask you where are you from? You look very greek to me 😂

  • Lee & my Games room
    Lee & my Games room 3 months ago

    Brilliant. Where is was a very young boy i remember uaing x copy to sell copies at senior school. Each game i sold for £5 it was a booming business for a 13 year old. But i do remember some have manuals to as protection and there were about 200 pages long so to photo copy was hard unless the teachers were not about to use their photocopier.