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Game Boy Zelda Comes With Source, Sort Of 200

Jamie found a fun story about a 90s Zelda Game Boy ROM that shipped with the source code- not so much on purpose, but more because the linker padded out the last meg of ROM with random memory contents, which happened to include game source code.
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Game Boy Zelda Comes With Source, Sort Of

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  • by kcbanner ( 929309 ) * on Sunday November 25, 2007 @03:37PM (#21472979) Homepage Journal
    I guess the only way to really avoid the malloc() calls grabbing your source code would have been to compile, then reboot to the extra data thats padded on the end of the ROM image would just be your emtpy RAM contents.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Or you could, you know, manage your memory properly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MBCook ( 132727 )
      Am I missing some reason that you can't just pad with 0s or 1s? Why bother with random data?
      • by simcop2387 ( 703011 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @03:49PM (#21473083) Homepage Journal
        thats what calloc is for, it'll clear it for you, malloc just gets it.
        • Yup. The compiler could also simply clear out the ram. It's not like a compiler is a time critical application that cannot be bothered to make a "needless" call. At the very least when compiling the release version, zeroing the mem should be a given.

          Of course, I'm quite sure the creators of the compiler just didn't think of the possibility. It's rather negligance than trying to squeeze the last nanosecond of speed out of the compiler. Like I said, compilers are hardly real time applications.
      • by billcopc ( 196330 ) <> on Sunday November 25, 2007 @04:31PM (#21473329) Homepage
        When you're a ROM developer, you don't think in such terms. It's all about mapping this and interleaving that.

        Rather than writing the extra few lines to calculate the padding required, set up a 0-filled buffer and truncate the first (or last) buffer, rounding up the fwrite call to 2mb requires 0 extra lines.

        Besides, they don't expect many people to actually look at the ROM code. This emulation craze is fairly recent.
        • by Carrot007 ( 37198 ) <> on Sunday November 25, 2007 @05:06PM (#21473509) Homepage
          > This emulation craze is fairly recent.

          What? I really mean it what?

          I remeber running sonic (megadrive) on a low end pentium (133) back in the day, albeit with no sound.

          I also remeber using various earlier emulators on my amiga before that (speccy and such).

          Maybe you have a differnet definition of recent than me though.
          • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
            A pentium 133 is recent compared to this. When I got my Gameboy my PC was a C64, a bit later we got a 386. Sure, we weren't cutting edge but the best you could get at the time was a really early 486 IIRC.
            • A pentium 133 is recent compared to this. When I got my Gameboy my PC was a C64
              That as may be, the game in question was released in *1998*. I bought my Pentium 233 PC that same year- and even then there were much faster processors available.
              • by kevmatic ( 1133523 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @06:56PM (#21474051)
                First release of Zsnes was in 1997. It was designed to run on 486es, and was written in heavily optimized ASM.
                NESticle was also released in 1997. These pretty much sparked a craze, and lead to the creation of the Emulation Community and its Golden Age was pretty much in full swing by the middle of 1998.

                It has pretty much died, but Zsnes is still under very active development and the new pSX Emulator has revitalized Playstation emulation since ePSXe hasn't been updated in years and leaves MUCH to be desired.

       [] for info on ROM hacking.
       [] for pSX Emulator. Try it!

                • and the new pSX Emulator has revitalized Playstation emulation since ePSXe hasn't been updated in years and leaves MUCH to be desired.

                  Thanks for this link - had just yesterday decided to try and get espxe working again, 2 hours of tweaking settings didn't achieve what the new one does with no setup besides the gamepad configuration.
              • "That as may be, the game in question was released in *1998*."

                actually the color-added version was released in 1998 but the original came out in 1993 [], and since you can play the 1998 version on the old monochrome gameboy methinks it's not truly a title that was entirely redone for the gameboy color and it makes me question whether this left over code could also be found in the 1993 monochrome version of Link's Awakening.
            • This particular game came out in 1998. So we're talking on the very edge of when the original Pentium was no longer being produced and Intel was getting ready to migrate manufacturing to replacing Pentium I/II with Pentium III.

              But yes. for the original GameBoy, a 486 would have been pretty cutting edge. and XTs and 286s were still very common systems.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 25, 2007 @06:15PM (#21473855)
            "Maybe you have a differnet definition of recent than me though."

            No, he just apparently has a different definition of "craze" to you. Being the only person in your state to emulate a megadrive on a low-end Pentium without sound doesn't mean that's when the emulation craze started. That was just you pushing the boundaries of what was available at the time. The average gamer wouldn't have understood you back then if you said the word "emulation" to them.

            Only in recent years have so many people been emulating earlier consoles and arcade games on their home PCs, with pretty faithful representation of the original experience.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
              I remember a big craze back when I was in highschool. About 10 years ago. Almost all the kids were into it. We played mostly NES and Gameboy games. I remember Pokemon being a huge hit. I actually think it was more popular back then than it is now. You could play games on your computer that were only 1 generation behind the current technology. Now the emulation hasn't really kept up with the advancing consoles. The bests emulators you can find are Playstation and N64, which are very old systems by to
              • The bests emulators you can find are Playstation and N64, which are very old systems by today's standards.

                PSX emulators - ePSXe in particular - are okay, if a bit slow on my machine; but I've never seen an N64 emulator which wouldn't have been alpha quality (meaning very slow and crashes. Is there a useful one fro Linux there; I'd really like to play OoT ?

            • by Romancer ( 19668 )
              Again the "recent" word being used without numerical thought. The game was released a year after the defacto emulator (zsnes) was created and was downloaded by millions a year after that. These numbers are not recent, they also don't define a craze but they at least help narrow the discussion.
            • Actually, as one who followed the whole thing pretty closely, the GP was definitely correct. The days of everyone and their dog running console/arcade emulators on their PC was years ago. There's been little activity in the area since maybe 2001-2, and anyone doing it now has either just bought a PC, or is a die-hard emulation enthusiast.

              Seriously, in recent years emulation has reached the masses by way of officially licensed collections of ROMs for PS2, Gamecube, etc - but in terms of running an emulator o
          • by PhoenixFlare ( 319467 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @07:11PM (#21474117) Journal
            Same here, I used to run all sorts of SNES games in ZSNES on a 200 MHz Pentium, at normal speed. Heck, I even managed to get a NES emulator running on a 20 MHz 386 with 2 megs of RAM....Only at about 30% speed, but still.
          • The parent's point is still valid.
            The game boy color hit the market in 1998 and modern video game emulation was just starting to take off about then.
            When the developers were working on the Zelda DX they weren't concerned with emulation. Their code has gone unnoticed for 9 years now. Emulation has been around for decades. The emulation "craze" is far more recent.
          • by nurb432 ( 527695 )
            I remember running MSDOS on PCDitto long before that.
      • by mikael ( 484 )
        The point is that the game was developed using an emulator running under a MS-DOS/Windows system. When it came to saving the image used to burn the ROM cartridge memory, the cross-compiler simply malloc'ed a large block of memory, copied the code, data and static stack segments into this block and wrote the solidified block out. Unfortunately, the block of memory also contained fragments of system memory (editor source code, registry settings, and just about everything else floating about in system memory).
    • by Kelz ( 611260 )
      Reboot the link. Haha. Good one.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by antime ( 739998 )
      Malloc isn't the only culprit - some old DOS-era linkers would directly allocate disk blocks but not clear them, so whatever old content that wasn't overwritten remained in the final binary.
    • by jmv ( 93421 )
      I guess the only way to really avoid the malloc() calls grabbing your source code would have been to compile, then reboot to link...

      How about:
      - Using calloc() instead of malloc()
      - calling memset() after malloc()
      - Using a good ol' for loop

      You make it sound like writing (zeros) to memory wasn't invented at that time!
      • It was, but presumably not writing the zeros was faster, and a faster linker meant faster development time, so compiler/linker developers learned to favour speed over trivial-seeming things like clearing memory.

        If the game developers wanted to zero that memory, they could probably have done it after the linking step was done.

    • by sukotto ( 122876 )

      Reboot to link

      ha ha very punny :-)

  • Deja Vu (Score:5, Funny)

    by hlomas ( 1010351 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @03:38PM (#21472991)
    News Post Comes With Article, Sort Of
  • Whoops... (Score:3, Funny)

    by foldingstock ( 945985 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @03:40PM (#21473007)
    Awesome. :) This must be why they always say not to code whilst drunk.
  • by Dwedit ( 232252 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @03:47PM (#21473059) Homepage
    Air Fortress [] (Famicom version) also included a portion of the source code due to not clearing memory before linking.
  • Not true (Score:5, Informative)

    by Megane ( 129182 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @03:48PM (#21473067) Homepage

    Now the site is Wordpressed (like Slashdotting, only the other way around) and you can't get to it, but one of the last posts before it died pointed out that this was from a trainered version. That's where someone adds cheat code to a ROM. As it turns out, the original doesn't have any of the code in question. Dissassembling for the purpose of adding cheats is a completely sensible explanation of the code that was found.

    The moral of the story? Start with a known clean dump (look for the "[!]" tag) before assuming that the introns were in the original game.

    • Re:Not true (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @03:56PM (#21473117) Homepage

      Now the site is Wordpressed (like Slashdotting, only the other way around) and you can't get to it,
      Uhh, the wordpress site is down and slashdot is up - that's a classic slashdotting. A "wordpressing" would be if the wordpress blog linked to slashdot, and enough people came to slashdot to bring slashdot down (good luck on that).
    • by hxnwix ( 652290 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @04:06PM (#21473187) Journal

      Now the site is Wordpressed
      When slashdot brings down a site running Apache, we call it slashdotting, not Apache-ing. When slashdot brings down a site running wordpress, we call it slashdotting, not wordpressing.

      the original doesn't have any of the code in question
      Are the other games mentioned also trainered?

      "X-Men - Wolverine's Rage" (MD5: b1729716baaea01d4baa795db31800b0), which contains Windows 9x registry keys and INF files, "Mortal Kombat 4 (MD5: 7311f937a542baadf113e9115158cde3), in which you can find some small source fragments, "Gift" (MD5: e6a51088c8fea7980649064bd3a9f9ff), which will tell you that the developers had some Game Boy emulators installed on their system, or the "BIT-MANAGERS" games "Spirou" (MD5:5aa012cf540a5267d6adea6659764441, Turbo C, MAP file, source) and "TinTin in Tibet" (Game Boy Color version, MD5: 8150a3978211939d367f48ffcd49f979), which, amongst other things, contains references to Nintendo's Game Boy Advance (!) SDK ("C:\Cygnus\thumbelf-000512\H-i686-cygwin32\lib\gcc-lib\thumb-elf\2.9-arm-000512, "/tantor/build/nintendo/arm-000512/i686-cygwin32/src/newlib/libc/stdio/stdio.c").
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dattaway ( 3088 )
        Wordpress has rightfully earned this term. Wordpress is so script intensive that nearly every web page on a server farm, that a few concurrent hits causes the load average to soar. Wordpress may be responsible for a significant portion of electricity usage in data centers. Want to kill every virtual account on a server? Install Wordpress.
      • by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) * on Sunday November 25, 2007 @06:20PM (#21473897) Homepage Journal
        Now the site is Wordpressed

        When slashdot brings down a site running Apache, we call it slashdotting, not Apache-ing. When slashdot brings down a site running wordpress, we call it slashdotting, not wordpressing.

        Except Wordpress comes pre-Slashdotted for your convenience.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by eulernet ( 1132389 )
      The 'disassembled' routines are simply a filling routine with register D and a copy routine.
      As a Z80 developer, you really don't need to disassemble this kind of routines.

      I guess the source code parts come from the intro, and its coder was not very good either. For example: CALL/RET instead of JP or disassembling a copy routine, and keeping it called L_B000_2914.
  • This is a non-story (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dwedit ( 232252 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @03:50PM (#21473097) Homepage
    This is a non-story. This only applies to a specific Pirate ROM Dump of Zelda DX. The clean dump does not contain any embedded source code.
  • It happens (Score:5, Funny)

    by Diomidis Spinellis ( 661697 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @03:53PM (#21473103) Homepage
    This used to happen more often than one would expect. In the 1980s I found portions of Ashton Tate's Framework II source code in "blank" sectors of floppy disks containing printer drivers. Those were the days where:
    • each application came with its own display and printer drivers,
    • people were using floppy disks to move around source code, and, worse,
    • other people had enough free time to trawl "blank" sectors for interesting tidbits.
    • by urcreepyneighbor ( 1171755 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @04:08PM (#21473205)

      other people had enough free time to trawl "blank" sectors for interesting tidbits.
      Eh? I still do that.... Then again, I am urcreepyneighbor....
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
      That's nothing, I bought a pack of supposedly empty 5.25" disks for my C64 in a store, when I looked at them without formatting it turned out they were all filled with warez. Different warez, even, not the same for all disks.
      • by empaler ( 130732 )
        ... so, you bought a pack of used disks from the store? Did you return and complain or did you just keep your loot? :-)
    • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @05:39PM (#21473705) Homepage
      A company I worked for once participated in the beta test program for Adobe Illustrator ... I think it was version 7. We were primarily a Mac shop, so we were using the Mac versions of the CD-ROMs they sent us. One build they sent us had a funny property... when you put the CD-ROM in the drive, the Trash can would turn full. Oh but wait -- before you old Mac people start going "ho ho ho," there wasn't actually anything important in the Trash can. But that's when I noticed that a couple of extra folders would appear on the desktop, too. ;-) In one of those was about 340MB of source code for Adobe Illustrator, Dimensions, Streamline and some other stuff.

      About four days after we received this particular build (and I had noticed its interesting attributes) I got a call from Adobe:

      Adobe: There are problems with the latest build of Illustrator. We need to recall those CD-ROMs immediately.

      Me: Gosh ... sounds bad. Problems?

      Adobe: Yes. We will be sending you a prepaid FedEx return envelope. It's extremely important that you return those discs to us right away.

      Me: I see. Oh, my. Look ... can you tell me what the problem is? It's not a virus, is it?

      Adobe: I can't really say. It's a technical issue. But if you've installed Build 378468434 on any of your equipment, you should un-install it right away.

      Me: Oh, dear. Oh, dear oh dear. I will do so, ma'am, immediately. It ... it wouldn't damage any of our systems, would it?

      Adobe: Um... you should be OK. But, just to be on the safe side you should be sure to uninstall it from any of your machines and make sure you send those CDs back to us right away.

      Me: Yes ma'am, will do.

      Adobe: Thanks, have a nice day.

      Me: (pushes eject button on CD-R burner, grabs a Sharpie)
      • Wouldn't happen to have the source for Framemaker would you? I'd love to get that working under OSX...
        • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

          Wouldn't happen to have the source for Framemaker would you? I'd love to get that working under OSX...

          Haha, no. And, given that this was probably around 1997, I doubt that the code would be of much use to you anyway. If I remember right, what I got was neatly organized into CodeWarrior projects, but it wasn't complete, i.e. it wouldn't actually build a binary.

    • Re:It happens (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Deadstick ( 535032 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @07:14PM (#21474141)
      Ashton-Tate wasn't above having somebody ELSE's code in their products either. When they wrote the "laser burn" copy protection routine for dBase III, they needed to put a hook in the BIOS -- which wasn't so easy in those days of expensive memory, because the BIOS used to run directly from ROM instead of being shadowed out into RAM. So they wrote their own BIOS -- by which I mean, they copied some 700 bytes of the IBM Fixed Disk BIOS (which was published in the PC-XT user manual), added the hook, and then hid the dirty deed under an encryption routine that was absurdly simple (although very tedious on a floppy machine) to penetrate.

      It was obvious they knew they were writing a pirate product, because they went through the code and swapped arithmetic and logical shift instructions wherever they were certain to produce identical results, presumably in order to get the fraction of identical bytes down.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by marcansoft ( 727665 )
      It still happens. Nowadays it tends to be random files leftover in a game's directory structure. I seem to remember that Halo 2 came with a script file in one of the directories (I may be wrong on this one), and the Gamecube version of Twilight Princess comes with the Wiimote sounds still in there, plus a different file with some Mario sounds (maybe there's and embedded mario minigame in the Wii version? Or perhaps it's just a demo file). The GC TP also has a whole bunch of linker map files if I remember co
  • Not too uncommon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @04:03PM (#21473163)
    One of the 'Elite' sequels was shipped with a swap file on the CD-ROM. Opening that swap file with a text editor showed it included much of the C code for the game, which presumably must have been swapped out while they were compiling at some point and then copied to the CD by mistake.

    From what I remember the installer copied the swap file to the hard disk, but the first patch either deleted it or zeroed it :).
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I purchased the game "Pirates of the Caribbean" a few years back. My original Sid Meier's Pirates was corrupted and the new one was not yet out. The game was not very good at all. However, when I looked at what was on the disk, there were several files with a .c and .h extension. Sure enough the disc had a lot of source code on it. I am not sure if it was the entire game and I do not know which box I packed it in the last time I moved, so I cannot find it at the moment. However, I remember seeing the C
      • Re:Not too uncommon (Score:5, Interesting)

        by vranash ( 594439 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @05:28PM (#21473647)
        Having that game (Which was actually Bethesda's Sea Dogs 2 rebadged before release.) It had a *TON* of files with it, although I think they were lua-scripts or something, not actual c-code. Regardless they had a lot of options available in them for modifying core components of the game. You could change your characters starting stats, name, ship type, etc. Given the somewhat frustrating land-side swordplay, I ended up having more fun tweaking the game than playing it.

        Having reminded me, I may have to dig it out sometime soon and see what else it's got going.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rucs_hack ( 784150 )
      I bought a bbc model B just to play elite when both where pretty new, and found a text record of a conversation in the BBCs CMOS (think it was there, that was what I was playing with when I found it).

      It was two guys sending text back and forth talking about the legs on a woman who'd just entered the office. It was pretty well buried. I'm guessing they just forgot they'd been clowning around and it got left in when the BBC was put into production. I did write it down at the time, but this was in the eighties
  • While modern operating systems will always clear all malloc()ed memory, so that you cannot get to other processes' data

    What do they mean by clear the memory? Because when I malloc() (and not calloc()) I seem to get whatever was there before..

    • Re:Malloc clears? (Score:5, Informative)

      by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @04:44PM (#21473401)
      "What do they mean by clear the memory? Because when I malloc() (and not calloc()) I seem to get whatever was there before.."

      But you don't get anything from another process. When malloc() runs out of memory and asks for a new chunk from the operating system, a modern system will usually zero the block that it returns, whereas some older operating systems (e.g. MS-DOS, I think?) would just give a pointer to a chunk of free memory which could still contain any data that the previous user had left in it; that could be any program which had previously run on the machine.

      When you free something and call malloc() again afterwards, you may well get a block with old data from your program. But in most cases you won't get a block with old data from a different program.

      The same applies to disk files; with some operating systems in the past you could open a file, write a byte a megabyte into the file and then read a megabyte of old data preceding it in free blocks which had been allocated to you and not cleared. That was obviously a big potential security hole, so most modern operating systems will zero all the data in the file instead (more precisely, they'll probably allocate a sparse file which will return zeros from areas which haven't been written to).
  • There's more (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kayamon ( 926543 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @04:16PM (#21473251) Homepage
    Golden Axe 2 (the arcade ROM) has a good chunk of it's source code contained in there too, including the source for it's security routine (oh the hilarity...)

    And the PAL version of ICO (PS2) had an objdump of the entire ELF on the disc, which is basically a disassembly with full symbol information.

  • I remember looking at a PC-Engine CD-ROM ages ago - I think it was Golden Axe - that contained bits and pieces of the source code as well. Probably for the same reason.
  • by localroger ( 258128 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @04:44PM (#21473403) Homepage
    As a kid I had a surplussed computer called the "Interact Model R." All of the game tapes were 8K even, and at the end of many of them I found commented 8080A assembly code for other games and the BASIC interpreter that was supplied with the system (yes, it was on tape for this machine). Starting with 200 lines of source I would eventually reverse assemble the entirety of what I later learned was Tiny BASIC.
  • by achenaar ( 934663 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @05:12PM (#21473555)
    find it amusing that this happened because of the Link-er.
    I can't be the only one...
    Can I?

    I'll get me coat.
  • FoxPro (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 25, 2007 @06:52PM (#21474031)
    Posted anonymously to hide my shame of working with visual FoxPro.

    FoxPro, I discovered after shipping our product for 2 years, didn't really compile anything when you made an .exe It just included a runtime and the source code in the .exe file. If you looked at it ina hex editor, there was the full source code, complete with comments. Apparently there was an option to scramble the source code. The guy responsible for building the installation didn't do that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Shados ( 741919 )
      Java and .NET are almost like that. I mean, you need a decompiler, but the compiled bytecode is so close to the source, you can replicate the original fairly well from the bytecode, thus why many many commercial softwares ship with obfuscated binaries.
  • Beatmania Best Hits (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Myria ( 562655 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @07:12PM (#21474127)
    As for the source code in the ROM, check out some of the comments on our site. The slashdotters above commented on it above. This post is from months ago, too - why on Slashdot now?

    Anyway, A Japanese PlayStation game named "Beatmania Best Hits" came with the complete source code to "Beatmania 5th Mix", another PlayStation game in the same series. Supposedly, it was complete enough to actually compile and run.

    PlayStation games of the era had to have a ~30 meg file of zeros on them at the outer edge due to a problem with the drive. These were known as "DUMMY" files. Some unknown sneaky programmer at Konami put an LZH archive containing 5th Mix's source code as the DUMMY file. (The contents of the file didn't technically matter, it just had to be at the outer edge.)
  • opensource (Score:5, Funny)

    by Paul_Hindt ( 1129979 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @08:01PM (#21474379) Homepage
    Dude, get this...I downloaded this game, I think it was called Quake 3...well, I started poking around on their website and found all the source code! Crazy huh?
  • Reminds me of Weitek (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @09:49PM (#21474809) Journal
    This reminds me of one of the several oopsies that led to the demise of Weitek. (This one wasn't the last straw. But it was a pretty big bale.)

    An administrator decided that, to save money, those darned resource-wasting engineers would be limited to one new floppy disk per week.

    So floppies got reused a lot. And of course eventually somebody got sloppy.

    The master for one of their graphics driver distributions was built on a recycled floppy disk. Of course the old files were deleted, rather than the disk being reformatted with a surface-analysis (and data wiping) pass. And of course this master was sector-cloned for production.

    Turns out the entire source code for the drivers had previously lived on that disk - and many of the algorithms that made the product cutting-edge were either in the driver or had enough info in the driver source about what the chip was up to that it made reverse-engineering a snap.

    So just apply any of several "undelete the lost files" tools to any copy of the distribution disks and you could recover pretty much the whole source code, comments and all.

    Shortly after this, the best of Weitek's cutting-edge algorithms became industry standards.

    That's one of the characteristics of Trade Secrets. Once it's no longer a secret (especially if the owner managed to leak it himself), it's public domain.
  • Yar's Revenge! []

    Hard to read it, though.

    • by Mr Z ( 6791 )

      That isn't source code though, it's machine code. It's not surprising when a game cartridge includes the machine code. In fact, it's pretty much expected. ;-) Yars' Revenge isn't even unique with regards to repurposing machine code as graphics patterns. Intellivision's B-17 Bomber does something similar for its "flak."

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington