Author Topic: Hack (PDP-11 version from year 1985)  (Read 6545 times)


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Hack (PDP-11 version from year 1985)
« on: April 30, 2014, 03:59:42 PM »
I'm not sure where to put it, if topic fits better another section of forum, please move. edit: It looks like it would fit "The Incubator" better - I would like to request move, if anyone capable of doing so is reading this.

So I was tinkering with old Hack versions for some time. For those unfamiliar, before NetHack there was a Hack: Version 1.0.3 of Hack made by Andries Brouwer is still distributed with NetBSD and OpenBSD systems. It isn't much a challenge to get it working on Linux. I decided to go with even older version.

Code for Hack version 1 for PDP-11 was released according to email timestamps in February 1985: I had some previous experience with code archeology (running C code from year 1989), so what not compile PDP-11 Hack then? It took me about hour to patch code a little, maybe more before it compiled, linked and displayed something. Some screenshots:

First one should be familiar. At that point you could move in the game and explore dungeon, but bumping into anything would crash the game (same goes for things like opening help etc). Still seeing this screen for the first time was quite something.

Second one is result of some hidden code. Game prohibited playing in working hours (9:00-17:00 Monday-Friday).

I worked a bit more on code, which included tracing some problems with GDB. In some cases that wasn't much of use either, since whole stack was smashed - venerable printf debugging did come to rescue. I got to the point, when game was quite playable, so I made video with my commentary, which is about 10 minutes long:

I'm not sure were I will go with this, if anywhere at all. As I pointed in video, distribution of changed code is questionable for many reasons. Still maybe some folks here will enjoy this video a little bit.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 04:57:28 PM by melville »


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Re: Hack (PDP-11 version from year 1985)
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2014, 08:01:06 AM »

I'm particularly jealous of the work hours only being 9am to 5pm. Of course they probably weren't on facebook at work at that point either, so maybe it all evens out.