Hungry Harry in Haunted House - mdv archaeology.

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Chr$
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Hungry Harry in Haunted House - mdv archaeology.

Postby Chr$ » Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:27 pm

Had to share this, as I was quite excited about buying it and getting it working. The packaging is probably the most amateur I have even seen for a QL game, but it certainly has it's charm. It's actually a Sinclair branded single mdv cartridge box wrapped in paper. The chap I got it off is on here, so he can own up if he wants to.
20210605_165844.jpg

20210605_165733.jpg
When I got it I re-felted it and dumped it, and to my delight all sectors where recovered. I moved the image to Qemulator and it was full of random home made stuff, nothing at all related to Hungry Harry in Haunted House. There wasn't even a boot file. I was suspicious that it might still retain some originality due to the odd character named cartridge and because there was a file that also consited of odd characters. So I ran it through Cartridge Doctor and it was able to find three very important deleted files: the boot file, the main game file and the clone file. Once I added those to the image, it actually worked! It's really not a bad game for being almost entirely SuperBasic. The main game file is 41kb. Here are some pics:
Image1.jpg
level2.jpg

By level 4 it becomes impossibly hard as it goes into night mode and you can't actually see the maze.

Very cheekily, when you run the clone file it makes a copy onto mdv2_ and then deletes the clone file on the source and the destination! So you were only ever allowed to make one copy of it. And dangerously this also means that the cart was never write-protected, which I suppose could have led to it being overwritten by accident (it also needs to save the high scores).

It has an interesting copy protection too that I am not skilful enough to crack. When you do a clone, before it copies the files over it renames the destination cart name in mdv2_ to an accented U. This is the code that does that:

Code: Select all

1000 DEFine PROCedure readcode
1010 RESTORE
1020 r=RESPR(70)
1030 FOR x=r TO r+70:READ d:POKE x,d
1040 CALL r
1050 END DEFine
2000 DATA 96,20,0,6,77,68,86,50,95,219,0,10,77,68,86,49,95,67,76,79,78,69,65,250,255,234,112,3,78,66,112,4,114,255,65,250,255,230,78,66,78,117,85,24,0,0,84,254,2,0,0,0,152,254,255,255,253,56,2,220,0,0,10,48,0,0,158,234,0,0,78


Then it copies each file over that it finds on mdv1_.

It only seems to work though when the cartridge has that dodgy accented U name and so far my hunch is that the code file it LBYTES from the boot file may check this? Not sure, as there are some other pokes going on (I think to do with the graphics though).

Attached is the file that has a funny name (CHR$(251)&CHR$(251)&CHR$(251)&CHR$(230)) and is LBYTES'd in the boot file. Looks like it adds the command 'SETUP' which is refenced in the main file, so perhaps that has nothing to do with the protection.
Attachments
ûûûæ.zip
(1.04 KiB) Downloaded 22 times


Collector of QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't really understand how they work!
Original QL's: many (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 170+ original software titles)
Custom XT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
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tofro
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Re: Hungry Harry in Haunted House - mdv archaeology.

Postby tofro » Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:52 pm

The code in the 70 bytes of machine code indeed formats mdv2_ to "mdv2_û" (a name for a cartridge you can't give from BASIC) and then deletes "mdv1_clone".

Apparently, some other code in the program will then check for this funny cartridge name and refuse to run if not found.


ʎɐqǝ ɯoɹɟ ǝq oʇ ƃuᴉoƃ ʇou sᴉ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ʇxǝu ʎɯ 'ɹɐǝp ɥO
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Chr$
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Re: Hungry Harry in Haunted House - mdv archaeology.

Postby Chr$ » Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:48 pm

tofro wrote:The code in the 70 bytes of machine code indeed formats mdv2_ to "mdv2_û" (a name for a cartridge you can't give from BASIC) and then deletes "mdv1_clone".

Oh, that deletes mdv1_clone too does it. In the 'clone' file that's also in the basic simply as delete mdv1_clone (and the same for mdv2_clone) and I removed them, only to find that it still kept deleting the 'clone' files, so that explains that at least.


Collector of QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't really understand how they work!
Original QL's: many (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 170+ original software titles)
Custom XT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
QXLII card installed in a PC
Q40 and Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.
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vanpeebles
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Re: Hungry Harry in Haunted House - mdv archaeology.

Postby vanpeebles » Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:55 am

Great find! When I first started out on the QL, I destroyed an original copy of this by accident. :lol:

"Very cheekily, when you run the clone file it makes a copy onto mdv2_ and then deletes the clone file on the source and the destination! So you were only ever allowed to make one copy of it. And dangerously this also means that the cart was never write-protected, which I suppose could have led to it being overwritten by accident (it also needs to save the high score)"

That got me :lol:


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dilwyn
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Re: Hungry Harry in Haunted House - mdv archaeology.

Postby dilwyn » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:15 am

Nice find, chr$. Never seen this game before. Interesting protection system!


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tofro
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Re: Hungry Harry in Haunted House - mdv archaeology.

Postby tofro » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:20 am

I do admit it's the cutest package design I've ever seen for a QL game ;)


ʎɐqǝ ɯoɹɟ ǝq oʇ ƃuᴉoƃ ʇou sᴉ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ʇxǝu ʎɯ 'ɹɐǝp ɥO
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Chr$
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Re: Hungry Harry in Haunted House - mdv archaeology.

Postby Chr$ » Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:09 pm

vanpeebles wrote:Great find! When I first started out on the QL, I destroyed an original copy of this by accident. :lol:

Do you remember if it came with printed instructions or anything along those lines? When it starts there is a function that allows you to print the instructions to a printer, but all you get is a basic info paragraph.
howtoplay.jpg

tofro wrote:I do admit it's the cutest package design I've ever seen for a QL game ;)

Less is more.

Wonder what happened to Richard Snowdon and John Goodwin - if they ever happen to be googling the old QL game and find this page, please say hello.

Here's another observed oddity: There are two types of ghosts and I'm not sure if the ghosts you get are random or quite what's happening there. This variety is very Pacmanesque and is also the type shown in the intro screen:
pacmanghosts.jpg
pacmanghosts.jpg (96.5 KiB) Viewed 384 times

And sometimes they are the ghoulish outlines as shown in the original post above.


Collector of QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't really understand how they work!
Original QL's: many (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 170+ original software titles)
Custom XT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
QXLII card installed in a PC
Q40 and Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.
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vanpeebles
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Re: Hungry Harry in Haunted House - mdv archaeology.

Postby vanpeebles » Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:20 pm

Chr$ wrote:
vanpeebles wrote:Great find! When I first started out on the QL, I destroyed an original copy of this by accident. :lol:

Do you remember if it came with printed instructions or anything along those lines? When it starts there is a function that allows you to print the instructions to a printer, but all you get is a basic info paragraph.
howtoplay.jpg


Mine was cart only sadly :(


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Chr$
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Re: Hungry Harry in Haunted House - mdv archaeology.

Postby Chr$ » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:02 pm

Snowsoft kept the cart sticker simple too.
20210605_165554.jpg


Collector of QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't really understand how they work!
Original QL's: many (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 170+ original software titles)
Custom XT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
QXLII card installed in a PC
Q40 and Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.
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Andrew
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Re: Hungry Harry in Haunted House - mdv archaeology.

Postby Andrew » Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:16 pm

Chr$, is it possible to upload the mdv image of the game ? Or is the game still copyrighted?



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