List of copy protected software titles on cassette
Disregarding uses of the 'Locked' bit of the Acorn cassette format, this page (ideally) lists all titles that either cannot be copied using
*SAVE (given sufficient memory) or that depend on highly accurate hardware-level behaviour. It is intended as a compatibility checklist for emulator developers.
8N1, 8N2, 8O1 etc. refer to asynchronous frame protocols -- the number of data, parity and stop bits to each byte. O and E respectively refer to odd and even parity, as understood by major UARTs.
|Title||Publisher||Author||Platform||Description||VLSI SERPROC compatible|
|3D Grand Prix||Software Invasion||Mick O'Neill & Dave Mendes||BBC B||Block numbers of GP5 and GP6 increase in steps of 255.||Yes|
|Alien 8||Ultimate Play The Game||Kevin Edwards(?)||BBC B||Custom loader + evil VIA decoding||Yes|
|Android Attack||Computer Concepts||Paul Hiscock||BBC B|| Filename
|Arkanoid||Imagine||Peter Johnson & Jason Sobell (copy protection)||BBC B||The name of the largest file changes at every block. Its block numbers start from &0100.||Yes|
|BASICODE 2||The Chip Shop (BBC Radio 4)||ir. P.G.M. Maathuis||BBC A/B||Not copy protection per se, but the programs themselves were transmitted in a continuous 8N2 stream. The 1984 Chip Shop issue of the loader and saver programs, with a few small changes, will work with the Serial Processor.||Yes*|
|BoulderDash||Tynesoft||Andrew Bennett||BBC B||VIA timer based decryption.||?|
|Caveman Capers||Icon||Jason Sobell et al.||BBC B||Loader checks for two streams totalling 53 standard bytes before the final file.||No|
|Citadel||Superior||Michael Jakobsen & Lars Østerballe||BBC B||Filename changes upper & lower case||Yes|
|Doctor Who and the Mines of Terror||Micropower||Gary Partis||BBC B||The game was supplied as a cassette and accompanying paged ROM. The cassette "has bytes alone with bits of pilot tone before the next byte." Clusters of low and high tone also appear. There are "some non-standard format blocks as well."||?|
|Eagle's Wing||Software Invasion||Boris Obinskofh||BBC B||The name of the largest file contains a control character that changes at every block.||Yes|
|Elite||Acornsoft||Braben & Bell||BBC B||Non-standard blocks, interrupt routines and obfuscated code.||Yes|
|Estra||Firebird||A.J.Field||BBC B||Loads a custom stream that swings between 8E1 and 8O1.||Yes|
|Facemaker||Applied Systems Knowledge (ASK)||Gloria Callaway||BBC B||Loader checks for a stream of 11 standard bytes at two points.||No|
|Fortress||Pace Microsystems||Mat Newman||BBC B||Final part is a data stream that switches from 8N2 to standard format (8N1) and back to 8N2.||No|
|Hareraiser Prelude and Hareraiser Finale||Haresoft||?||BBC B||"To scupper the pirates, the tapes include information that the average computer owner will not be able to reproduce. Should copies be taken, the user will not be aware that all the data is not present. As a secondary precaution, each tape has its own registration card which the purchaser must complete." "The cassettes are specially coded so there is no possibility of duplication and each one must correspond to a special code from the originator." Given the circumstances surrounding Haresoft however, the claims are questionable. Kleen found no protected data in Hareraiser Prelude.||?|
|Hyper Sports||Imagine||?||BBC B||VIA timer based decryption.||?|
|Impact!||Audiogenic||Gary Partis||BBC B||Saves frame set files made up of custom 8O1 blocks. Program is only locked.||Yes|
|Impossible Mission||U.S.Gold||Peter Johnson||BBC B||VIA timer based decryption.||Yes|
|Knight Lore||Ultimate Play The Game||Kevin Edwards||BBC B||Custom loader + evil VIA decoding||Yes|
|Lunar Jetman||Ultimate Play The Game||?||?||"bewilderingly complicated protection"||?|
|Manic Miner||Software Projects||D.J.Coathupe||BBC B||In most files the block number starts from &FF00.||Yes|
|Nightshade||Ultimate Play The Game||Kevin Edwards||BBC B||Non-standard stream; Multiple-stage decryption using VIA timers after loading. Subject of a huge thread on STH on getting 6502 and VIA emulation good enough to decrypt it.||Yes|
|Orbit Zero||Graphic Research||?||BBC B||"uses non-standard data blocks" ||?|
|Poker||Ducksoft||Tom Pinone||BBC B|| Does
|Revs||Acornsoft||Geoff Crammond||BBC B||Loads a continuous 25 KB standard stream, displayed as though loading a file named 'Revs02'.||Yes|
|Skirmish||Go-Dax Software||Delos D Harriman||BBC B||Custom loader with display synchronised to tape. Loads a 25 KB stream that switches from 8O1 to 8N1.||Yes|
|Stairway To Hell||Software Invasion||?||BBC B||Names of some files change in length at every block. Zeroed load and exec addresses after first block. Block numbers increase by 255 each time.||Yes|
|Starquake||Bubble Bus||Kenton Price, Stephen Crow & Gary Partis (copy protection)||BBC B||Uses an encrypted custom loader that takes control of the hardware and reads in 101-byte blocks of 8O1 data. ||Yes|
|Superman: The Man Of Steel||Tynesoft||?||BBC/Electron||"no one can crack the customised tape loader"||?|
- In file
LDX #3must be changed to
LDX #8to select the 19200 baud receive rate, as found in OS 1.20.
- Stairway to Hell Forums post by Peter Wood, 10th September 2007.
- Andrew Bennett, "BoulderDash for BBC Electron".
- BBC Micro Mailing List [http:http://mdfs.net/Archive/BBCMicro/2000/07/31/212726.htm post by Bill Carr], 28th April 2003.
- Stairway to Hell Forums post by Fraser Ross, 1st February 2004.
- Reply to Rich Talbot-Watkins by John Kortink, 28th April 2003.
- The Micro User, August 1984, p.24
- A & B Computing, October 1984, p.13
- Excerpt from A&B Computing, February 1988. Argus Press.
- Stairway To Hell Forums post by Rich Talbot-Watkins, 6 October 2010
- Stairway To Hell Forums post by Arcadian, 10 August 2009
- BBC Micro Mailing List post by Shaileen Shah, 31st July 2000.
- Reply to Bill Carr by Rich Talbot-Watkins, 28th April 2003.
- The DVD, Dave Edwards, Acorn Electron World.
-- beardo 16:43, 7 October 2010 (UTC)