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NewtHack

intric8

Member
Howdy folks,

Back in 1996-97 a fellow named Christopher Dopp created a very cool roguelike for Newtons called Newthack. He even created a sound package for it to really give the game some juice. You start with a character stats screen where you can re-roll your attributes before you start hackin' and slashin' your way through the dungeon of doom.

The problem:
The game found anywhere online is (of course) the shareware version. Once you complete Level 1, the game abruptly ends. You can only continue if you have a software key.

That last version of NewtHack is 1.1.

There is an 8-digit key found on Google Groups, but it is for v1.0. The code for v1.0 doesn't work with 1.1.

Does anyone here have either 1) a registered copy PKG they could extract or 2) an 8-digit registration key for NewtHack? Total shot in the dark but worth a shot.

Back in 2021, I actually contacted the original software dev to even offer to buy a key all these years later. He responded and told me he was unable to recover the Zip disk that had the original source for the project, but he appreciated the flashback.

He also mentioned that he was totally fine with someone hacking the game if anybody wanted to give that a shot to bypass the registration code. He even asked me to let him know if anyone was ever successful.

Anyone have a key?
 

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splorp

Well-known member
Related, does anyone here have the original 1.0 version?

I’ve looked through all of my AMUG, Gem, Planet Newton, Ultimate Newton, and other collection backups.

I cannot for the life of me locate a copy of NewtHack 1.0 … what the actual heck?
 

intric8

Member
@splorp someone told me it was only available for a short time before the author published 1.1. But it is kind of amazing how it seems to have been intentionally scrubbed from our timeline. 🖖
 

aladds

Well-known member
I dug through my archive and I don't have either version of this sadly. What I really, really should do is upload it all somewhere.

However, that registration screen looks awfully similar to the ones in NSBasic and NewtCard, which I decoded the algorithm for a while ago (and my notes are now part of the official github repos: https://github.com/nsbasic-archive ).

Whilst this isn't totally helpful since I had the actual source code for the other cases, it might mean that a tokenised version of the BASIC program is embedded within the newton package which could possibly be decodable given enough time and effort.

Edit: Could you please share the version you do have?

Edit 2: It appears to be here: https://www.applefritter.com/node/15645
 
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aladds

Well-known member
Ok so my Newton hacking is very rusty, but a quick delve into the soup using ViewFrame and I can see that under GetRoot().NewtHack:ChrisDopp._proto there is an entry for "registered" which is set to NIL.

Now I need to remember how to change that...
 

aladds

Well-known member
Ok I was talking rubbish up there. Here's the code which checks the registration code is correct. There is enough information here to make a keygen, but it's getting late now so I will leave this as an exercise to the reader / for when I have a bit more time :)
 

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intric8

Member
I dug through my archive and I don't have either version of this sadly. What I really, really should do is upload it all somewhere.

However, that registration screen looks awfully similar to the ones in NSBasic and NewtCard, which I decoded the algorithm for a while ago (and my notes are now part of the official github repos: https://github.com/nsbasic-archive ).

Whilst this isn't totally helpful since I had the actual source code for the other cases, it might mean that a tokenised version of the BASIC program is embedded within the newton package which could possibly be decodable given enough time and effort.

Edit: Could you please share the version you do have?

Edit 2: It appears to be here: https://www.applefritter.com/node/15645
Yes, version 1.1 is what everyone apparently has. The original 1.0 version is nowhere to be found. Word on the street (which street?? Doesn't matter.) is that 1.0 was only available for a very short time before the game's author published 1.1.

So while we can all find a shared S/N for 1.0, the game itself on all the servers is 1.1 and the code doesn't work for the updated file.

If you ever do create a keygen, I and a few other grizzled Newton lovers will forever be in your debt.
Thanks for looking!
 

aladds

Well-known member
Got it.

I can't seem to make it work for long usernames at the moment, clearly I have some sort of bug. But for short usernames (8 characters or less) it works.

Open the spreadsheet and change the name where it says Enter Name and it will calculate the key for you. Then you need to enter this with the number picker (actually quite annoying as the up/down of each digit is linked to those next to it) and press Register.

I have only tested this in Einstein so far, and only with a couple of usernames, so please check and let me know if it works!

This was quite a fun puzzle
:D
 

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aladds

Well-known member
I feel that I should maybe point out at this stage that I used to be on the NTLK mailing list, so some on there may recognise me (yes I know this has been posted over there, hi! Maybe I should resubscribe!)

And as was pointed out over there, I do think Chris should still be paid for this game if he will accept it, and I hope he is shown my spreadsheet by those who are still in touch.

If for any reason he is not comfortable with this being public then I am of course happy to have it removed from here (but from the original post above I feel that this is ok!)
 

alexshendi

New member
Got it.

I can't seem to make it work for long usernames at the moment, clearly I have some sort of bug. But for short usernames (8 characters or less) it works.

Open the spreadsheet and change the name where it says Enter Name and it will calculate the key for you. Then you need to enter this with the number picker (actually quite annoying as the up/down of each digit is linked to those next to it) and press Register.

I have only tested this in Einstein so far, and only with a couple of usernames, so please check and let me know if it works!

This was quite a fun puzzle
:D
Hi,

just wanted to report that it works for me, if I leave the "First Name" field in "Owner Info" blank and put my last name into the Spreadsheet. Disclaimer: only tested on an old version of Einstein for Android.
 

intric8

Member
@aladds I've been traveling since you did this so I haven't had a change to try it out. But I get back tomorrow and believe me when I say this will be one of the first things I do!

While this was going on, I also posted a similar callout on the Newton email distribution list NewtonTalk. Someone over there sent me multiple files:
- A keygen package of some sort, which includes NewtHack (apparently)
- A copy of NewtHack (he's unsure if it is 1.0 or 1.1)
- The sound PKG for 1.1, which I already had

So, we now have multiple ways of unlocking and playing this great game. I'm going to contact Chris Opp one last time and let him know of the developments, and ensure his blessing.

Thanks again!!
 

intric8

Member
Update:

@aladds When I opened your spreadsheet (I'm on a Mac) I saw you'd prefilled the data with my first name. Makes sense! For some reason, though, the code it generated didn't work. IIRC the 4th digit was wrong. I know it was wrong because the keygen program someone sent me produced almost an identical code, except its 4th digit was different. My theory is since I'm on a Mac and the spreadsheet is explicitly Windows Excel there may have been some sort of garbage created in the formula. Since others here got it to work I'm sure your program is sound.

However, using the code that was created by the KeyGen program produced a working serial number! I followed your lead and changed my Owner Card to only include my first name. (Now that this is working I'll probably go fix it and add my last name.) The KeyGen program has 99 additional programs it can unlock, fwiw, which is kind of cool. I suppose I'll be sliding down a new rabbit hole soon to see which of those applications I might like to try and source and install.

In any case, I now have a fully "registered" and unlocked version (1.1) of NewtHack.

I've reached out to Christopher Dopp with this news but haven't heard back as of yet. It's been 3 years since our previous communications...

In any case, mission accomplished. Looking forward to finding - and retrieving - the Amulet of Yendor!
 

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aladds

Well-known member
I actually created the spreadsheet with LibreOffice on kubuntu. Try the ods version - I’m pretty sure Numbers can import that on a Mac. Do you have both first and last names (with a space) on your newton? I have a feeling that’s the issue with my keygen; if you take the space out of the name it will probably work.
 

Huxley

Well-known member
Got it.

I can't seem to make it work for long usernames at the moment, clearly I have some sort of bug. But for short usernames (8 characters or less) it works.

Open the spreadsheet and change the name where it says Enter Name and it will calculate the key for you. Then you need to enter this with the number picker (actually quite annoying as the up/down of each digit is linked to those next to it) and press Register.

I have only tested this in Einstein so far, and only with a couple of usernames, so please check and let me know if it works!

This was quite a fun puzzle
:D
I'm just dropping by to confirm that this worked beautifully for me, and my NewtHack is registered! I would very much like to pay the original developer if he's interested in such a thing - @intric8, please let us know if he gets back to you. I don't want to hound the guy or throw money at him, but it just feels right to pay for something cool even if it's pretty old (I recently registered my System 7-compatible version of GraphicConverter too!).

Huxley
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intric8

Member
Hey Huxley! Cool to see you here on this thread.

Back in 2021 when I first found Mr Dopp and contacted him, he said:
I am fine with someone hacking the game. If you guys are successful, please let me know.
I'd reached out to him again when we'd become successful in cracking the game in early April, but 4 weeks later I've not heard back. He was completely fine with having folks figure something out. At this point I'm simply happy to have brought this project to a conclusion for myself and am glad a few others here have done the same. (Also, thanks to aladds for their efforts!) Sending Dopp any kind of compensation - or even thanks at this point - seems not to be a priority on his list if he's still with us (hope so!). It's a very fun and impressive game. One of the best I've played on the Newton.
 
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