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The Ys mystery

Started by kamiboy, February 29, 2016, 07:07:57 pm

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kamiboy

Has anyone managed to play Wanderers from Ys on an X68000 via illegitimate means?

I ask because when I try I run into a strange issue that sort of has the whiff of hidden copy protection.

There are no versions of any of the Ys games on the HDD images except for the Baller image, which is no good because it creates virtual drives from the floppy images, which means you lose your saves when you turn off your machine.

So I just write the images to floppies and play it that way, but when you get to the bottom of the first cave your path is blocked. This does not happen in any other version of this game for other platforms.


kamiboy

Nobody loves Ys, and its awkward combat? Come on guys, there is more to the X68000 than shooters. There are too few action RPG's, we need to get to the bottom of this Ys mystery, and include both Wanderers from Ys and the first Ys for the X68000 fully working on the next HDD image.

kamiboy

Actually I think I just cracked this mystery. It seems as if there are bad dumps of Ys floating around the filthy romz sharing sites. If you use the dumps that come in dim format the cave is open, but they are sealed off in the xdf version of data disk 1.

Still could be nice with a HDD install of this game, though I doubt that it would be trivial since the game seems to be using its own disk format.

famiac

Thanks for figuring it out kamiboy!

kobushi

Falcom was pretty devious with stuff like this.

There's a similar problem with Legend of Heroes on the PC-9801. Many of the disk images on the net are not fully cracked, and the game freezes as soon as you try to cast a spell.
There's another game (Ys 2 maybe?) where you get stuck in jail, and if your disk is pirated, Dogi never comes to break you out! You're stuck in jail forever because you're a filthy pirate. Ha ha, Falcom. ::)

kamiboy

Ha ha ha ha ha! Now that is a great sense of humour, filthy pirates belong in jail, the message is clear as day.

caius

I made an HDD installation of both YS1 and YS2, theyare  included in my past released MiniV2 HDD image but I don't know if they are the games you are looking for.Try yourself and let us know.

http://nfggames.com/forum2/index.php?topic=5821.msg39986;topicseen#msg39986


kamiboy

March 13, 2016, 06:05:20 am #7 Last Edit: March 13, 2016, 08:48:40 pm by kamiboy
Cheezus on a cracker, there are so many hdd images floating around that I am going cross eyed. I'll have to check that mini v2 image out then.

The strange thing about Ys for the X68000 is that there seems to be several versions of the first game. One is clearly custom made for the X68000, and is graphically a bit odd, albeit in a charming way. The other looks so much like shit that I am certain it is somehow either an emulation or a straight port of an 8bit PC version, likely the PC88 or MSX.

Though, the one I want a proper HDD install of most is Ys III: Wanderers from Ys.

SuperDeadite

Official Ys 1 for X68000 was made by Dempa/Micomsoft under license from Falcom.  While Ys 3 was made and sold directly by Falcom.

Ys 2 was never officially made for X68.
The ports Caius linked are doujin works, 100% clones from the PC88, they run in 24khz.

kamiboy

Thought as much, they had that unmistakable 8bit PC jank. The Dempa port is really funky with all redone graphics, which is more than can be said about the somewhat lazy port that Falcom did of III. The actual gameplay takes place in a tiny window. No doubt an artefact of the original version having to run on inferior hardware, but they could certainly have done a lot better for the x68000 port if they had bothered to spend the resources to redraw assets, which they clearly didn't.

Well, at least the soundtrack is absolutely fantastic.

kamiboy

Looks like I am yet to get to the bottom of the Ys mystery. I've played as far as the fire dungeon, where you are supposed to fight a fire serpent, but have hit yet another obstacle. Indeed, sirs, this too reeks of copy protection. Before there was a wall where there should have been none, and now we have a boss that has gone missing. You enter the boss lair, the boss music plays, but no boss.

Well played Falcom, well played.

I've also noticed that you seem to gain level a lot slower than on, say, the SNES port, so the game is a lot more grindy. Not sure whether this is also some copy protection shenanigans or Falcom just chose to crank things up to 11 on the X68000 port.

Now, granted, I am still on the xdf version of disk 1, so that might be the issue. But the trouble is that the savegame is on the first disk, so if I write the dim version to disk 1 I lose all progress and it would take hours to reach that dungeon again to confirm whether the boss shows up. Since the Ys disks are not proper Human68k disks with files I cannot even copy the save files over and back them up.

Looks like the only way to play Wanderers from Ys is via original disks, and even them I am screwed since I have a Compact.

I have to imagine that Japanese players cracked all security features on this baby a long time ago though...

SkyeWelse

April 26, 2017, 05:45:18 am #11 Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 06:08:22 am by SkyeWelse
Kamiboy, I was reading through your progress with this and as I am new to the X68000 scene and just got my XVI fully working in the last month or so, I was finally able to start playing some Dempa Ys I and Ys III action since I own the originals, but as you said, it's kind of a shame when you have to use real disks since they will eventually die out.

One fix might be to try and get either an HxC or Gotek Flashed with HxC firmware that is connected to the X68000 machine with whatever tricks that tell the system to soft eject disks in place. I don't fully understand it... yet, but that may be an option.

The other thing that I wanted to get some clarification of as a X68000 newbie is how exactly the program for loading disks into memory works provided you have enough ram. I have about 10 MB of RAM in my XVI, so that shouldn't be a problem provided if my system sees it or not (I told it in Switch.X, but I don't know if the machine actually sees it because I'm not sure how to test it exactly). The reason is that I wonder how well it works in comparison to the ERCACHE program that is typically done to do the same type of thing for PC-98 machines. With ERCACHE, I was able to find a way to keep the virtual saves to the disk without issue. I'd have to go back in and relearn the process I did for a bit, but I had it working for Ys I, Ys II, Ys III, Fray in Magical Adventure, and AIZA: New Generation. The main idea was that when you loaded the game disks into memory and then saved to a userdisk, that userdisk would then be created as a temporary file on the HDD if I recall correctly. If I reset the PC-98 without powering it off, I could then go into the DOS file manager and run a script that would copy the temporary userdisk file into an actual file on the harddrive that would be saved permanently as a new disk with a name that I didn't define myself. I could then edit the launch script which calls ERCACHE to load that new disk and it's file name into memory which would make the job much easier.

So in a nutshell, whenever I wanted to play Ys, I'd load it up in Ercache, play the game, Save the game. Soft-Reset the PC-98, go to the DOS filemanager, run a script that copies the temporary save disk in memory into a new disk file on the hdd, and then simply move that new disk file to the Ys directory, replacing the old userdisk file and my save game would be right there ready for me the next time I wanted to play it.

If you are curious to see how I've got it setup and know your way around a PC-98, I can link you to a version of the YADHI image that has these games ready to go with a set of instructions that begins as soon as you launch the game. I wonder if the same practice for this could be applied to X68000 games that only work off of disks and not the HDD?

Thanks for reading!

Edit: Kamiboy, Also, recently I came across your Floppy Disk ReAnimator program and just the other day the first 5.25 drive in my X68 Expert seems to have stopped reading disks. I was reading the readme file for your program and it seems it was created for 3.5 X68 Compact drives. Could I write this program to a 5.25 floppy and try it on my Expert, or is it designed to only work with the Compact model 3.5 drives?

-Thomas

kamiboy

I actually bought a copy of Ys III which is in its way to me. Playing around with HxC won't do much if, as I suspect, the problem is due to copy protection. I can't help you with the disk loaders either since I have no experience with them, I just wrote the Ys III images to actual 3.5" floppies and tried to play it that way.

As for the old ReAnimator, I have never tested it on a 5.25" drive machine, but it should work. From a software point of view the drives are used the same way.

SuperDeadite

I have no experience with any of this, nor the hardware.
But I believe the HxC supports Kyroflux Stream files now, if that truly works,
then any protection should be correctly emulated as well.

kamiboy

You'd need access to a kryo image of the game then. Not sure whether those are easily available.

SkyeWelse

A friend at my computer club that I regularly meet with owns a Kyroflux, so perhaps I could get him to dump the games if that is the case.

-Thomas

SkyeWelse

Over the weekend, I did an exhibit here in Atlanta of MSX, PC-98 and X68000 machines (might post pics later if there is interest) at the Vintage Computer Festival Southeast. A fellow AHCS (Atlanta Historical Computer Society) member brought his Kyroflux to the event and I was able to make raw stream dumps of Ys, Ys III, Lagoon and Xak. I really have no way of checking of the dumps are good, but I am more than happy to upload and share these with someone else that knows what they are doing more than I. When we looked at Disk A of Ys more closely, we could definitely some weird ass copy protection on Ys for X68000. There are sectors that seem to be misaligned, and some sectors that start with 256 bytes per track instead of 1024 bytes.

My hope is that someone who has a working HxC or Gotek running HxC firmware might be able to find a way to test these files and get them running. If any of these disk work, that will prove to me that getting a Kyrofllux would be a solid investment for preserving disk only games in the future whether it be for X68000 or other platforms.

The one thing that I really like about how Kyroflux dumps the raw files is that it takes 84 tracks of data and separates them in files. You can then look at each individual track and see if there is weird noise or data that looks screwy. From that point you could try to dump only the bad dumped tracks again if you wanted, or for example someone who has the same version of the software were also to dump it, you could compare track data and possibly replace any that were faulty on any particular dump.

-Thomas


famiac

Here's a kryoflux dump of the first Ys game, i think.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/10VlGal8V2gws2YWyGMVvzLKFVSl9MoT8/view?usp=sharing

Will do wanderers from ys when i get it.

X-Col

March 04, 2020, 06:42:30 am #18 Last Edit: March 06, 2020, 06:31:30 am by X-Col
Thanks famiac,

I tried the xdf images in the archive, however I can't seem to buy any weapons in the shop.

Is this copy protection? Do I need an actual kryoflux to write the image?

Update: found another dump that works fine :-)

Look forward to the Wanderers dump!

dlfrsilver

March 21, 2020, 11:33:49 am #19 Last Edit: March 22, 2020, 09:13:36 am by dlfrsilver
Quote from: famiac on February 19, 2020, 04:16:37 pmHere's a kryoflux dump of the first Ys game, i think.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/10VlGal8V2gws2YWyGMVvzLKFVSl9MoT8/view?usp=sharing

Will do wanderers from ys when i get it.

https://i.ibb.co/C1ZShZp/Disk-A-Ys-Weak-Sector.png

Hi Guys,

You see the sector in Red on Disk A of this kryoflux dump converted to DSK ? It shows what we call a weak sector.

This sector can't be copied by the sharp. You need a custom card like the KF board for that.

Basically, the game performs multiple readings on this sector, and the result must differs each time, other wise it's see as a copy !

X-Col

@dlfrsilver

If someone could dump the game with the FDX68 I'm sure that would work. You can also play the dumped game on XM6 TypeG emulator as this supports the FDX format.

I eagerly waiting for someone to share an FDX dump of Wanderers as the copy protection stops the Fire Dragon showing up so you are unable to progress any further.

The copy protection is on the Data disks I think.

dlfrsilver

Quote from: X-Col on March 24, 2020, 10:18:56 am@dlfrsilver

If someone could dump the game with the FDX68 I'm sure that would work. You can also play the dumped game on XM6 TypeG emulator as this supports the FDX format.

I eagerly waiting for someone to share an FDX dump of Wanderers as the copy protection stops the Fire Dragon showing up so you are unable to progress any further.

The copy protection is on the Data disks I think.

I can check the dump is someone uploads it somewhere.

X-Col

May 01, 2020, 02:42:21 am #22 Last Edit: May 08, 2020, 08:31:43 pm by X-Col
Another plea for an FDX68 dump guys.

I did buy this game but the disks were bad unfortunately. I could write new disks is someone would kindly dump the game.

Alternatively, is there another way to make Gilan appear on the current dumps?