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Clever anti-piracy measures in games

adamma666

Member
Jun 6, 2004
471
0
1,225
Germany
in a copied version of Settlers 3 for the PC, the iron smelters produced pigs instead of, you know, iron.

 

DryvBy

Member
May 10, 2009
11,252
2,341
1,535
Maine
www.doubledpads.com
When I was a kid and downloaded games because my summer job was too far away, I never ran into anything cool like these. What's the earliest DRM like this? I think the last game I downloaded was Titan Quest years ago, and I bought it after finishing Act I.
 

Roto13

Member
Dec 5, 2008
26,051
1
820
For the PSN version, I just cycled through all the possible codes until I got the right one...
Take that Kojima... you insane genius!

And if you start at the beginning, it takes like 30 seconds, because it's the 16th possible frequency. It's faster to just try the numbers in order than to look in the digital instruction booklet, where the frequency is found in the PSN version. :p
 
Sep 14, 2012
4,080
0
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New Delhi, India
And if you start at the beginning, it takes like 30 seconds, because it's the 16th possible frequency. It's faster to just try the numbers in order than to look in the digital instruction booklet, where the frequency is found in the PSN version. :p

I also found Nastasha this way since I did not get a codec call that introduced her/gave her number or might have missed it.
 

Yawnier

Banned
Nov 12, 2010
16,657
0
0
No Spyro: Year of the Dragon mentions yet? I'm surprised.

Where as I believe the game resets on the final boss with the Sorceress and the player's save data is completely lost as well. Plus, the fairy girl says a few things to Spyro several times and one or two of the levels has voice-overs in a language that is not English.
 

Persona7

Banned
Sep 24, 2007
30,521
2
0
Oregon
The eartbound piracy screen sucks because my aging cartridge inadvertantely triggers the boot up screen every so often and I have to take out and insert the cartridge several times before it boots properly.
 

Thorakai

Member
Aug 9, 2007
8,138
0
1,135
I think it was Pokemon Black/White where you couldn't earn any experience in battle from pirated copies, I believe it was reported as a 'tutorial' intro for the sites that wanted first dibs on Pokemon news.
 

alr1ght

bish gets all the credit :)
Sep 25, 2005
55,610
6
1,440
The eartbound piracy screen sucks because my aging cartridge inadvertantely triggers the boot up screen every so often and I have to take out and insert the cartridge several times before it boots properly.

And this is the problem with these measures. Even one false positive is too many.
 
May 14, 2008
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I think it was Pokemon Black/White where you couldn't earn any experience in battle from pirated copies, I believe it was reported as a 'tutorial' intro for the sites that wanted first dibs on Pokemon news.
The backpedalling that resulted from this by Serebii was hilarious. I know he reads GAF too...
 

NekoFever

Member
Feb 21, 2007
13,309
1
1,385
UK
Some Square Enix DS games would give you a 'thanks for playing' message after 20 (?) minutes if the game was pirated, effectively turning pirated copies into demos. I always thought that was quite clever.
 

Azure Dream

Member
Oct 30, 2004
18,051
0
0
40
The eartbound piracy screen sucks because my aging cartridge inadvertantely triggers the boot up screen every so often and I have to take out and insert the cartridge several times before it boots properly.

I'm pretty sure I had it trigger on a legitimate rental copy one of the times I rented it when I was younger. Made me paranoid about picking up the game to play it since I found out about that (upcoming VC release aside), since it's hard to tell what the "correct" spawn rate might be when you're not that familiar with the game. And like hell do I want to grind all the way through just to have my save wipe at the end.
 

Man God

Non-Canon Member
Nov 2, 2007
70,821
1
1,260
It's pretty easy to trigger the anti piracy measures on the SNES, whenever my SM All-Stars would get slightly dirty it had a chance of seeing that scary legal message.
 

Rapstah

Member
Jul 20, 2009
13,183
0
0
I was just about to post this.

I believe it's in the code of every game, but FR/LG is the only one it shows up in-game.

It's uncertain if that's something that someone inserted into a very early version put onto the internet or if it's just a really well hidden anti-piracy message not triggered in the same way as the rest of the games' text at all. The talk page of their Cutting Room Floor article has people both claiming it's nowhere to be seen in a full dump and one guy claiming he totally saw it in his retail copy. I'm pretty sure it's not actually in any retail copy of the game.
 

gryz

Banned
Dec 21, 2011
3,602
0
0
Seattle
B-17 Flying Fortress would ask you a question about a word in the manual to type in, except actually there was a separate page that had the list of all the actual answers to the questions and if you typed what was in the manual it still wouldn't work.
 

Labrys

Member
Sep 19, 2012
3,863
0
430
United States
if i remember corectly, SMT: Strange Journey has an anti-piracy measure that disables random battles if you pirate it

Yep! Along with your save data becoming corrupted, and the game randomly crashing on you.

Another one I remembered was Love Plus+. You can't pursue any of the girls if you have an illegal copy, they all reject you outright.
 

xn0

Member
Sep 14, 2011
466
90
770
What the Game Dev Tycoon guys did was next level other than funny stuff developers put in games. What Game Dev Tycoon did in a nutshell was to preemptively release a version of their game on torrent sites that makes creating a successful game/game development studio impossible due to piracy.

Why this is next level:
With the pirated version of the game it is impossible to beat the pirates and have a successful game company. This caused the people that pirated the game to start discussing how to potentially beat the pirates on the forums. The devs are getting questions like "is their any way to research DRM?" etc. on their game forums. Its really interesting to go in an read the posts from the pirates suggesting adding DRM,Always on,Media changes, everything they are against in order to "win the game" by defeating piracy.

TLDR: Game Dev Tycoon got people that pirate video games to discuss how to defeat pirates.
 

BY2K

Membero Americo
Sep 12, 2010
37,300
0
0
31
Canada
  • Cross Days (ero visual novel)- at the start of the game you fill out a personal survey about yourself. It asks for a LOT of personal info. If you are playing a pirated version it sneaks and screenshots your desktop to show what you are browsing and doing and not only posts your activity online for folks to view, but ALL your personal info including phone number and name if you filled it out honestly (many did lol)

This is messed up.

And probably illegal.
 

IdreamofHIME

Member
Sep 14, 2010
21,433
3
540
I bought a copy of Legacy of Goku from a market in Thailand and the game reset everytime Gohan fights Frieza.
I think it was like 200baht, but i was still pissed lol.

Can you explain tihs? never played MGS

There's a part of the game where you can't progress unless you radio a certain character, you're only clue is her radio frequency is on the box.
Kojima printed her freaking frequency number on the actual back of the game box (and GCN version), so if you were pirating or even renting it, you were shit out of luck.
 

MrT-Tar

Member
Apr 17, 2012
2,566
1
0
I googled 'Cross Days anti-piracy' and now just can't stop laughing. How have I not heard of this before?
 

faceless007

Member
Mar 11, 2008
10,274
0
0
There's a part of the game where you can't progress unless you radio a certain character, you're only clue is her radio frequency is on the box.
Kojima printed her freaking frequency number on the actual back of the game box (and GCN version), so if you were pirating or even renting it, you were shit out of luck.

They sort of screwed this up in the PS2 Essential Collection set by not printing it anywhere on the box or cases. It is printed in the manual on the page listing all the characters' frequencies, but still, with the characters telling you to look on the back of the box it caused a little frustration.
 

Oemenia

Banned
Jan 31, 2010
3,259
144
835
A lot of the cases on PC games where there is a game breaking measure, do pirates simply have no chance? I mean the Earthbound stuff doesnt even show up on emulators and most cracks for PC games remove a few lines of code.
 

Skyzard

Banned
Jun 3, 2012
20,767
0
0
MGS should never have done that imo. Trying to figure out what I wasn't understanding just broke the immersion.

This was terrible because this was back in the day when I threw my games in a CD spool and threw the jewel case away :(

I know you were younger and other people do this but I can't stop shaking my head whenever I hear it.