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DS

Unique Copy Protection Implemented in Dragon Quest V

by Nick DiMola - July 31, 2008, 4:49 am PDT
Total comments: 15 Source: DailyTech.com

Players who decide to download and play pirated versions of the game will be taking a very long boat ride.

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride released for the Nintendo DS nearly two weeks ago in Japan with a form of copy protection to prevent the distribution of pirated copies of the game. In light of significant piracy due to the R4 and other flash carts, Square Enix decided to protect their latest release by modifying the opening sequence of the game.

Players who load up a pirated version of the game will be treated to a never-ending boat ride at the beginning of the game. At first it was unknown if the boat ride was actually a game breaking glitch, but Square Enix confirmed shortly after that it was included as a copy protection mechanism.

Unfortunately for Square Enix, modders have already found a workaround for the protection and the modified ROM dump for the game is likely floating around somewhere at this point. Nevertheless, Square Enix is attacking the source alongside Nintendo with a lawsuit aimed to stop the distribution of flash carts in Japan.

Talkback

KDR_11kJuly 31, 2008

Oh, I remember all those funny copy protections from the PC (one infamous case was the iron smelter producing pigs instead of iron in Settlers 3). Even funnier was that they'd cause trouble for some legitimate users and the developer would usually take forever to acknowledge that they aren't just warezing it... Meanwhile the pirates got all their cracks and stuff and never get bothered by any copy protection.

planetidiotJuly 31, 2008

Yeah this stuff backfires more than it actually stops piracy.  At some point mankind will reach the level of understanding where they realize that computers read and write data.

NephilimJuly 31, 2008

While its floating around, legit sites that host scene releases normally dont host them, have to search forums and such to find the patch and instructions.
So it does make it harder for the piraters.

KDR_11kJuly 31, 2008

Noone uploaded a cracked version? Strange, all Warez releases I've seen include all tools necessary to get the game up and running.

Ian SaneJuly 31, 2008

Doesn't Earthbound supposedly have something like this in it?  I've heard that the enemies are considerably harder if you played with a pirated version and it affected the ROM image.  So people playing with an original cartridge and those playing it in an emulator were playing at significantly different difficulties for years without knowing it.

I admire how clever it is but it will probably be a pain in the butt 15 years ago when the game is no longer in stores and people have to rely more on the ROM.  I guess we don't really have a right to that, even if the intent is more innocent.  It would be really funny if years later this showed up on a VC like service and they just uploaded the ROM without paying much attention and it activated the endless boat ride.

Bill AurionJuly 31, 2008

I think I recall reading at some point that the pirated version of Earthbound actually erasing its save data towards the end of the game, but I don't know if that was actually true or not...

RABicleJuly 31, 2008

what Square need to do is completely control the distribution of the ROM. THey need to be the ones uploading the 'cracked' version onto ROM sites except that the crack only lets players get an additional thirty minutes of play time out of it. And just repeat this process indefinitely until filthy, unwashed pirates buy the game or just get bent.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusJuly 31, 2008

Quote from: RABicle

what Square need to do is completely control the distribution of the ROM. THey need to be the ones uploading the 'cracked' version onto ROM sites except that the crack only lets players get an additional thirty minutes of play time out of it. And just repeat this process indefinitely until filthy, unwashed pirates buy the game or just get bent.

Hahaha, I hope you sent that in an email to Square Enix.

KDR_11kJuly 31, 2008

Quote from: RABicle

what Square need to do is completely control the distribution of the ROM. THey need to be the ones uploading the 'cracked' version onto ROM sites except that the crack only lets players get an additional thirty minutes of play time out of it. And just repeat this process indefinitely until filthy, unwashed pirates buy the game or just get bent.

You know that the warez scene has quality control systems where they "nuke" (i.e. take off the web) any releases that fail to function properly due to bad cracks or viruses?

PlugabugzJuly 31, 2008

I was hoping they could just have a version that sings i love horses they're my friends! in a loop.

Bill AurionAugust 01, 2008

Quote from: KDR_11k

Quote from: RABicle

what Square need to do is completely control the distribution of the ROM. THey need to be the ones uploading the 'cracked' version onto ROM sites except that the crack only lets players get an additional thirty minutes of play time out of it. And just repeat this process indefinitely until filthy, unwashed pirates buy the game or just get bent.

You know that the warez scene has quality control systems where they "nuke" (i.e. take off the web) any releases that fail to function properly due to bad cracks or viruses?

There isn't any quality control system that couldn't be completely flooded with fake releases... :cool;

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorAugust 01, 2008

I know this would be illegal, but I'd love to see a company release a "fake" ROM that, somehow, breaks someone's DS.  I just want to hear people whine about how it's so unfair that they got screwed over. ;)

KDR_11kAugust 01, 2008

Quote from: Bill

There isn't any quality control system that couldn't be completely flooded with fake releases... :cool;

They could just blacklist you... You're trying to outhack hackers, that's not gonna end happily.

This isn't the first time Square Enix has done something like this on the DS.  Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates had  a feature where if you were playing a pirated copy after about 2 minutes too moogles would pop up and say "THANKS FOR PLAYING!"

The screen wouldn't go away unless you turned the game off.

vuduAugust 01, 2008

I just noticed that Crimm finally has a title.  Congratulations!

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