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Strange retro topics #1: Mid 1990's pirated PC Games CDs.

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Bit of a weird one this, but I was chatting to a guy in work today about how, back in the nineties I was able to procure (and I can't remember how) a copied CD full of disk versions of many popular pc games at the time.

I'm almost positive it was called "voodoo" something or other, and to install the game you had to select each individual zip file - each represented a disk) and extract them to a c: folder and/or onto blank 1.44mb disks.

The actual front end had some work put into it. It was fairly user friendly and, in my memory at least, was reminiscent of those trainers you'd see at the start of an amiga copied game...

I'm just wondering if anyone else had these, where they came from, who made them and are any of these relics still around these days?

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I saw many similar things some going back as far as the Speccy days. Usually they were just done at computer marts with someone on hand who was a bit nifty with coding menu's. Yours is probably just the same, failing that it could be a group of pirates that released a bundle.

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Yes, I saw this a fair bit in the 90s, they were often shared around a computer club I frequented. Can't remember the front end of it though. But the disc was full of zips of some of the biggest games of the time.

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I remember getting hold of some dodgy compilation CDRs in the mid-90s. They tended to come in series. The ones I had were Cappuccino and basically had a ton of floppy images on there. And wow, you could get a lot of floppies on a CD.

These came just before the internet became popular with normal people and I'm guessing were the primary way to spread cracks to people who weren't on BBSes or the information superhighway. Plus CD-ROM software wasn't the standard media at that time.

Loads of games, MS Office 4.2, Photoshop 3, the latest Chicago beta (would come out as Windows 95).. You'd also get a text file listing the contents of other discs in the series, a mouthwatering selection of stuff!

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Yes, the ones I used to see had applications as well. I seem to remember getting the Doom clone, Corridor 7 off one of them.

Can't for the life of me remember what they were called, but now I think about it, I do recall some kind of front end.

I remember the guy who used to sell them, Graham his name was. He used to drive all the way from Oxford to Wolverhampton because he was making a small fortune off the people at this computer club. I think he used to charge £35-40 a disc. Which obviously sounds a lot (and is/was) but you'd end up with maybe 50-60 games if you were lucky. Split between a few mates, it seemed like a bargain. This was back in 1994, when CD writers were about £1000 and blank CDs were a tenner each.

Makes me nostalgic for Automation compilations.

Never seen these before but they look to be very similar -

http://twilight-cd.com/research/timeline/

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There was a guy at the first place I worked who had a CD burner at home years before everyone else did and he used to bring these in whenever new ones were released and sell them for a fiver. He was well pissed off when we got a burner in the office and started duplicating them ourselves.

I remember they had all sorts of curios on them - they were the first place I saw MP3, as one of them which I got around 1996 or so had the complete Nirvana doscography.

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I remember there was this guy at ours, who'd essentially bring them in, lord them around a bit but not let anyone copy anything of it. We had the machines networked for Doom so one of use would ask if we could just have a look at the listing on the disc. The others would then map the CD drive and copy stuff off while one of us was reading the text file.

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The chap I used to get the CDs from had a 1x CDburner. He must have been coining it in at the time, but as has been said when the prices of discs and burners crashed that was the end of that.

On a related note I remember going to a computer fair off Tottenham Court Road in 1998 which was a real eye-opener. One seller had a table stacked high with blank CDs, £10 for 10! That was ridiculously cheap at the time. Theee were also a couple of sellers flogging video CDs. Lots of dodgily-photocopied covers, all the latest stuff. Can't remember how much those were going for but I'd seen enough VCDs to be wary of the quality.

By that point it was getting much easier to download dodgy software, although you had to jump through hoops to get it (finding the right IRC channels or compromised FTP sites mainly).

By about 2001 you could get a decent enough CD writer for under £200 and discs were just coming in under a pound each.

- they were the first place I saw MP3, as one of them which I got around 1996 or so had the complete Nirvana doscography.

Bloody hell, it must have taken a week of solid processing to make those back then!

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This is going back a bit, and slightly off topic, but I remember buying a CD-R (a "gold disc", even) of the NVG Amstrad FTP from Craig Rothwell back in the late 90's. He would later go on to be the guy behind the Open Pandora handheld and the catastrophe that followed. I think he's now disappeared from the internet.

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But of a weird one this, but I was chatting to a guy in work today about how, back in the nineties I was able to procure (and I can't remember how) a copied CD full of disk versions of many popular pc games at the time.

I'm almost positive it was called "voodoo" something or other, and to install the game you had to select each individual zip file - each represented a disk) and extract them to a c: folder and/or onto blank 1.44mb disks.

The actual front end had some work put into it. It was fairly user friendly and, in my memory at least, was reminiscent of those trainers you'd see at the start of an amiga copied game...

I'm just wondering if anyone else had these, where they came from, who made them and are any of these relics still around these days?

I have a vague memory of this. The word voodoo...But I'd say it was later than floppies. Pretty sure I got one from a mate and it had things like Mechwarrior 2 on it. Possibly GTA.

Hm.

Next time I'm home I'll try and have a dig, but I suspect it is long gone.

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I had a Voodoo games disc, it had discworld on it and loads of other stuff. I also had one called golden games 4 which had a Fade to Black and Magic Carpet 2 amongst others. I remember my dad used to get them for me at £40 a pop!

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I had a Voodoo games disc, it had discworld on it and loads of other stuff. I also had one called golden games 4 which had a Fade to Black and Magic Carpet 2 amongst others. I remember my dad used to get them for me at £40 a pop!

Yes!! I knew it wasn't just me!! Do you happen to have any of these ??

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I remember they had all sorts of curios on them - they were the first place I saw MP3, as one of them which I got around 1996 or so had the complete Nirvana doscography.

MP3 playback was a killer app in the mid 90s. I recall several friend's replacing their Pentium 100Mhz machines with a low-end Pentium 2 so they could play MP3s while working on their dissertations. (the P100 could play MP3s, but only if you didn't run anything else, IIRC).

As an Amiga owner, I preferred MODs over MP3s (and real CDs), though I did briefly play with MPEG Layer 2 when CU Amiga ran an article on it.

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I've think i've still got the Blobby And Capp ones laying around in the loft but there were a good few others like Twilight.

I got into floppies from the Amiga days - but i don't have any left.

The first one i bought was Wonderboy in Monster land. I won't forget that.

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2 hours ago, Slayer1976 said:

I came across some of these disks recenly, mainly due to a project i undertook to build a retro PC. I do think this time was golden era for PC games

 

Every era is a golden era for PC games, really. 

 

Which have you got? As Droo says, postpicsplz.

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On 2/12/2015 at 9:51 PM, cubik said:

Were they not blobby discs? I remember having a few of these with utils on.

 

I picked up a few blobby cd comps from ingliston market. I remember one had Tomb Raider 3, Leisure Suit Larry Casino and a handful of others.

 

And was it fuck the golden age of PC gaming, it was generally a pain the arse to get anything running compared to todays 99% smooth running. Today is the golden age of PC gaming.

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I recall getting some of those cds with a bunch of game highly compressed. The only one that comes to mind is some fps game called Mozoma revenge or something.

 

On 13/02/2015 at 0:02 AM, knightbeat said:

MP3 playback was a killer app in the mid 90s. I recall several friend's replacing their Pentium 100Mhz machines with a low-end Pentium 2 so they could play MP3s while working on their dissertations. (the P100 could play MP3s, but only if you didn't run anything else, IIRC).

As an Amiga owner, I preferred MODs over MP3s (and real CDs), though I did briefly play with MPEG Layer 2 when CU Amiga ran an article on it.

 

I used to listen to MODs all the time when working on my Amiga. There was a bunch i loved, some are still on my CU Amiga cds but i forgot what my faves are and there are hundreds of files on the disc..

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I've got a bunch of these kicking around, I'll do my best to share some screengrabs of the interface and what was on them.  Always an interesting trip to the Barras on a Saturday to grab the latest Blobby CD!

 

Never realised they used protection on the disc, what a weird setup.

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On 06/06/2016 at 11:12 AM, Riley said:

Oh nice, 90s warez CD topic.

 

As a collector of such CDs, it's always nice to find such topics when Googling.

 

I'll try to chime in with my knowledge: and I'm always looking for ISOs (or even better, MDF/MDS dumps made by Alcohol 120%, as I know later Blobby-series CDs were heavily protected - this started to happen with Blobby 9, which renamed all the .zips, and increased with Blobby 10, whose menu had protection and whose .zips were passworded; from what I hear, Blobby series CDs from around 1996 violated the Red Book standard, and had 4 files of the same name in the root) of these -- especially because people (like Mortis in this thread!) are throwing them out...

 

 

Well, that's interesting. Namely because of the following two facts:

1) I have Cappuccino 2, it's obviously a rebrand of some Taiwanese warez CD. Here's the list that came on the CD: http://pastebin.com/R0VS9HRS

Some of the stuff mentioned on the list was completely missing, others ("CAMIPRO", "CWIN31") were Traditional Chinese.

2) I hear that putting floppy images on CDs was very popular in Taiwan...

 

Another thing I know about is later, around 1996, warez CD authors in the UK started to reshack Dennis Publishing's magazine cover CD browser and use that. I have somewhere an ISO of Dragon Utils 1 from 1996 that does exactly this. I used to have a few Suite Dreams CDs from 1998 that did this too (and reshacked a Corel autorun.exe too, and included the Corel autorun .wav of that time also!); however, some rotted and others were lost, before I could image them :(

 

If you want pictures, I'm afraid you'd be out of luck, as I only ever had second-hand copies of the warez CDs themselves. Unless you count my copy of Visual Studio 6 Enterprise, which came from the Suite Dreams creators, and even though they were second-hand copies, the original cover also got photocopied... I hear some had great covers though...

 

Any idea about my vague memory of voodoo as a title?

 

Welcome to the forum by the way.

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I had a voodoo games cd and also one called golden games 4 that my dad bought from a guy at work for £50! It had Fade to Black on it along with some other things. I had loads in the end that I ended up getting from car boot sales. I might still have them kicking around, I'll check

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4 hours ago, Rev said:

 

Any idea about my vague memory of voodoo as a title?

 

Welcome to the forum by the way.

Voodoo indeed was the name of a UK warez cd series.

 

By the way, here's a whole ton of listings (over 1000!) of UK warez CDs, if anybody is interested: https://aww.moe/2knd4w.rar (original file name: notel97.rar) The lists range from mid-1994, to the end of 1997.

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