10/10/2015

☆ I Was A Pirate In A Previous Life! (a video games one) ☆ #Retrogaming #GamersUnite

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Back in 1993 I owned a beautiful Amiga 600 with 1 Meg of RAM.

It was my pride and joy.

I loved the way it looked and I loved my my beautiful disk box full of blue disks.

The only thing was that collection of blue disks I kept locked in my disk box were 95% copied games!

I WAS A PIRATE!

I am ashamed ..... but I had my reasons.
To Be A Pirate
Piracy was rife on the Amiga and some say it led to the decline in the Amiga.

Selfishly it meant that I could afford to play my favourite video games by purchasing 10 Verbatim disks and borrowing my friends games from school.

The playground was rife with piracy. This was the time when VHS cassettes were being copied alongside audio cassettes and plenty of Amiga disks. This contraband would change hands in the playground of my secondary school with a pound coins or whole lunches swapped for the latest disk.

It wasn't just confined to the playgrounds of the UK it was clearly and blatantly on show at every car boot sale you would visit in those days. Blokes would pitch up with a cardboard box full of "cracked" copies of SWOS, Zool and Body Blows. My excitement at finding these 'dodgy geezers' was massive as I planned my next pound per disk purchase. Pocket Money prices for a kid like me.

X Marks The Spot
When I did my own copies of games I used a program called X Copy, maybe some of you remember it?

Load up X Copy, then slot in the game to copy, then press copy, then slot in a blank disk and press write, take it out of the drive, put a label on it and write the name of the game on it. Job done! I suppose it was a bit too easy and was definitely a shortcut to the latest games rather than waiting until Birthdays or Christmas.

Wheels & Manuals


When the games developers cottoned onto the army of bedroom bootleggers they came up with a few ways to deter the pirates. 

The two main ones I recall were the Championship Manager anti piracy measure that required you to check the a particular page of the instruction manual and put in a result from a particular game that was on that page. 

Me and my mate Paul got round this by getting hold of the manual from our mate Craig and copying every result onto a sheet of paper with the page number attached. That worked a treat. Sometimes we used to just guess the result for a laugh (always 2-1).

The other game that was a ironically a Pirate's nightmare was the 12 Disked Behemoth that was Monkey Island 2 : Le Chucks Revenge. Firstly it had 12 disks, so copying this was a whole evening of disk swapping. Then it had the anti piracy wheel which required you to align particular symbol in order to get a number that you would put into the game screen. It was a tough one to crack as it had so many different combinations. In the end I used to borrow the wheel from my mate Craig or give him a call (on his landline as we never had mobiles back then, his mum wasn't best pleased with me phoning up at random times just to get a code!)

What Would You Do?
Looking back now piracy was a silly thing to do but at that time and at my age it was just the done thing......

Would I do it now? 

No, I wouldn't because I can now afford to buy the games I love and I also understand the work that goes into making a game and I would never want to rob those talented people of the funding to create a new game.

Were YOU A Pirate Back In The Day?

Let Me Know Your Memories In The Comments Box Below