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Codetapper uploaded a list of his games to a free website in the hope that somebody in the world would want to swap Amiga games and utilities. The response to the site was overwhelming, and a huge number of contacts were gained!
An Australian cracker by the name of Tachyon saw the list of games, and noticed that several of them required cracking. After a few email messages, several games crossed the ditch from New Zealand and were sent back within a week fully cracked and AGA-fixed!
Around the same time, a Swede contacted Codetapper to trade games. Elp turned out to be a very reliable trader and supplied various games and utilities.
Codetapper downloaded a great utility called "Adf2Fms" from Aminet which was written by another Swede called Legionary. Legionary wrote the utility in assembler, and it turned out that he knew a thing or two about cracking as well as AGA-fixing games. He also had a talent for writing intros and trainers for games. He also mentioned he was converting the classic C64 game "Monty on the Run" to the Amiga!
Codetapper mentioned to Legionary that he was considering forming an Amiga group dedicated to AGA-fixing games, as well as writing hard drive installers for classic Amiga releases.
Legionary mentioned that he was in a group called Depth but was worried that the Swedish division was about to die. He also mentioned being in a group called "Trotyl" which specialised in cracking games. Legionary agreed to join the group, and the hunt was on for a new name.
The name Dynamite was considered, as well as Evasion, Psychad and Action. After a few days of discussion, it was agreed that Action was the best and the group was born!
Legionary mentioned that another Swede would be interested in joining. This contact turned out to be Elp, and he became the group's third member.
After the Christmas break, Tachyon sent the source code to the AGA fixed games, and answered email regarding how to code in assembler and how to fix games. Tachyon knew a lot about the Amiga, and was asked to join the group. He did, and really strengthed the Action ranks!
Just before the end of January, Hoju was also asked to join the group. The membership looked like this:
The next few months disappeared very quickly as various standards were devised for distribution and testing of our productions. All ECS games have to be tested on Codetapper's vanilla Amiga 1200 and 500 before being released to the public to ensure Action releases work on the widest possible range of Amiga's. The other members of the group have accelerated Amiga 1200's and Codetapper's friend has an 040 equipped Amiga 4000 for good measure!
DeCreator (founder of the Bass and Drum webring) joined the group as a musician and trader, and another of Legionary's friends known as Shastra also joined the group, specialising in music, graphics and coding.
The website went through big design changes, and various sections were increased in size. In particular, the AGA fixing section and the graphics were changed to make the pages faster to access.
The games Nebulus, Backlash, Empire Strikes Back, Stargoose and Ikari Warriors were given the Action AGA fixing treatment!
Several people sent mail to Codetapper requesting an update to TrackTool allowing you to unpack the archives on Lazarus. These files are stored in GZip or PKZip archives, and Tracktool could not be easily modified to handle these archives.
And so DiskWiz was born! DiskWiz was completely rewritten from scratch, using a very modular approach to disk images. By the end of November, DiskWiz was distributed to all Action members as a utility to write all the main disk archives (ADC, ADF, DMS, GZip, PKZip and ZLib) to any device or archive. This meant you can unpack or convert your archives using the one program! It also has virus checking of the bootblock built in using an external library so you won't be infected! (This is especially important when downloading from Lazarus, as a large percentage of the archives contain bootblock viruses!)
Rick Dangerous, E-Motion, and Federation of Free Traders received the fixing treatment this month, while work continued on DiskWiz and TrackEmu.
Plotting was cracked, trained, single filed, AGA-fixed, quit option added, iconised and documented on Christmas Eve and became release number 28 for Action! Merry Xmas to everybody!
A London trader and graphics man called Teatowel joined the Action ranks. A mailing list service was setup to allow visitors to be mailed once per month with site update information.
Major site update! A new MP3 section was added, and the PC section was expanded after many requests. More games were uploaded, the AGA fixing section was expanded. The site graphics were reduced in filesize to save download time.
Codetapper decided to concentrate on the fully functional system WHDLoad for installs. WHDLoad does almost everything you can think of and includes tools that would take far too long to incorporate into each release. All existing installs will be converted to WHDLoad (where applicable).
Tachyon decided to quit the group.
Codetapper was busy this month, releasing HD fixes for the original versions of Empire Strikes Back, Kiro's Quest, Licence to Kill, Mighty Bombjack, Rugby: The World Cup, Super Methane Bros, Super Monaco GP (with Ralf's assistance!) and Vaxine.
Codetapper took a month holiday in Canada near the end of the month so nothing was released for the following month.
Beach Volley, Castle Kingdoms, Qwak, Summer Games and Tommy Gun were all released by Codetapper!
The site was converted to base pages and created with a perl script. This should mean much more frequent updates and easier maintenance! Thanks to Wepl (author of the fabulous WHDLoad) for assistance in this area!
Bubble Gun, Castle Kingdoms, Frankenstein, Murder, Pro Boxing Simulator, Spy Who Loved Me, Stunt Track Racer, and Tin Toy Adventure were all HD fixed and uploaded! The Spy Who Loved Me in particular was a difficult install and as far as I know, a working crack has never been released of this game. You can check your version by leaving the demo running at the start of the game, as soon as it demos the third level it will crash due to the Rob Northen Copylock not being removed by Skid Row!
The Action HQ was shutdown for the second time in history on Halloween. The same day it was relocated, re-directed and re-uploaded! You can't keep a good site down!
Galahad/Fairlight became active in the WHDLoad patching scene, providing valuable assistance on a number of installs and fixed the very difficult Shadow of the Beast 3 intro!
A new section for wanna-be HD-installers was created detailing how to fix a relatively simple Rob Northen game. Have a read!
On the fixing front, Cybernetix, Tin Toy Adventure, Obsession, 1943, Quartz, Microbes, Batman Returns, Putty Squad Demo and the All Terrain Xmas demo were given the treatment. There is still fierce debate today about whether Putty Squad was actually ever released (some people say crackers obtained the finished game in 1994 but nobody I've talked to actually has it). The 8 level demo is very good and the game was apparently finished but there is no mention of it on the Studio 3 (formerly System 3) website. If you have this game, please contact me at once!
A bumper December saw the release of All Terrain Racing, Elf (Microvalue), Ice Runner, Dynamite Dux, Winter SuperSports 92, Kikstart 2, F-15 Strike Eagle 2, World Cricket and Powerdrive! Ice Runner in particular was hard to source, even the original author didn't have the game anymore! Luckily, Helmut Motzkau had it, and it was patched in no time :)
Another great icons tutorial was uploaded after an idea from Frank, detailing how to create icons and what the different types are. It includes links to many tools and utilities to assist you!
Possibly the first WHDLoad fix of the new millenium, Viz was uploaded early New Years Day (New Zealand time)!
DJ Mike joined the group as another hard drive install author. His first patch was written in late June for the shareware game Magnatron.
The saga will continue...
Site updated: 28/8/2005 ©1997-2005 Codetapper/Action! All rights reserved.