Interview Dragon/Ellfire
Interview Kasar

Interview Kelvin


Interview of KELVIN by The Fuzion Shrine 07/2002

TFS: Could you introduce yourself?

Kelvin: I am called Jean-Baptiste, JB for the close friends, but my official pseudo in Fuzion was " Kelvin ".
I lived in Annecy during this great time. Now, I live in Grenoble, and I am 28 years old. I am designer of electronic circuits.

Which were you first contacts with the data processing? With the ATARI ST?

I started data processing when I was in high-school, with a ZX81!! I let you figure out, a read-write memory of 1K with an extension of 8K, and an external tape reader that I did not even have!! You type keys during two hours to had a tennis game worthy of good old consoles, you play for 10 minutes because you get quickly bored, and you lose your program while switching off!!

Then, I acquired a CPC 6128. Haaaaa, happiness!! Games of anthology, such as " Sorcery ", " Cauldron 2 " or even " Boulder Dash ". It is towards high-school end that I started to code in Z80 ASM on CPC. I learned thanks to two newspapers from the time: " Amstrad 100% " and " Joystick Hebdo ". In the first, there was mini tutorials of assembler for those who wanted to add the infinite lives to their preferred games. And in the second, experienced guys provided assemblers routines in the form of data, and while analyzing them, I realize that to add the infinite lives, the programmer passed the protection...
On Z80, I discovered how to crack!! I thus exploited these routines for not only cracking, but also to reduce to some 80Ko (at the time it was enormous!!) a game which took a complete face of a 3'' diskette!!

It is during the summer between high-school and college that the idea to buy an Atari ST germinated I have met by chance at the Fnac ( a french store ) a person who was going to become my mentor thereafter. This guy was in Annecy for its holidays, it returned visit to his/her Grandmother. One discussed assembler in the Data-processing part of the shop, and convinced me to pass on ST. At the time, It was called " Arconix ", but it had his hour of glory under the pseudo " TST-D0 ".

When did you join your first group?

I do not know exactly any more if i created a group with Arconix. I remember only that at the time, I was called " Speedy ". In fact, I quickly met Kasar from Fuzion, which was in the same college as me. Our first discussion related to a sprites routine, which I had developed, but that I never could give him, because my diskette was crap, and I had all lost. I had not had courage to rewrite it... he then spoke to me about Fuzion, and I told him that I do some cracks at my lost hours... The members of Fuzion tested me with " Strider 2 ". It is how i entered in the group.

Kasar lived in Meaux before coming to settle in Annecy. It is because of removal that I joined Fuzion!!

Of which groups were you member during all these years? Which were your pseudos?

I had only two pseudos: Speedy and Kelvin, but I think that I just take part in Fuzion, and then in Positivity (the legal spin-off of Fuzion!) for Professional Mega Ripper.

I would have requested more precise details from TST D0, but it is unfortunately not any more in our world....

When did you start up to code, swap or draw for FUZION? And Why?

I thus started with cracker for Fuzion during the beginning of college, that was to be in November 1990. To crack protections was really a pleasure for me, much more than to play! Sometimes, it is very simple, it is enough to change a BNE (conditional branch) by a BRA (unconditional branch).

And sometimes you work two whole days to remove all the shits that programmers has spreaded in the game! In other cases, it is necessary to use of stratagems to circumvent the " anti-trace " routines of the programmers! But in all the cases, it is pleasant to have identified protection, and to have neutralized it!

What did you make at FUZION who makes you the most proud? The most shameful?

What makes me proudest, it's the CD containing " Vroom " and " Hunter ". Well, the training of Hunter is a little crappy if I remember well. But this CD contained at the time two imposing games And Vroom was rather vigorous to crack. I remember that with Cameo (of the Replicants), we called each other several times per day to keep up to date with our progress, each one warning the other of the criticize places to trace. And even if I were finally the first to provide it, I believe that we can say that there was a true team work on the crack of Vroom.

I also draw some pride from a famous game of Delphine software: " Another World ".
When I called my friend Cameo for him to say the good news, it was astonished, because nobody in the Replicants had not still succeeded. It should be said that these whores of games programmed in C then compiled are an infamous shit to trace. I believe that I had some luck to get on the protection...

Mega Ripper is another pride. Not for the performance of the software, which was very rudimentary, but for the idea. It is then primarily to Kasar that return the making of the Professional Mega Ripper (PMR).
I do not have to be ashamed of my Fuzion period. I regret only that Kasar had as so much works to push me to finish the PMR.

Wich was your best memories? Your worse one?

I have an excellent memory of Transbeauce Demo Party. Hundreds of aligned machines, everyone being meticulous with its demonstration. I remember that it is at this time there that I met for the first time Cameo of the Replicants. It had a great tooth ache, and was healing himself by drinking the gnaule ( a strong french alcohol ) that he had put in a Synthol bottle!! He was really drunk!

I also remember to have cracked the "anti-bitos " in front of its author. It was a protection which Illegal of the Replicants had developed. I had for that used the method for cracking Rob Northern, that Cameo had taught me a few hours rather!! The author of anti-bitos was a little angry, because I just started to be know in the scene...

Paradoxically, one of my best memory corresponds to the summer 1992, period of keen programming for the PMR. I was in my sister's home. The morning, I gave him math lessons of so that she can pass his first year examination, and after midday, it was swimming pool and lazyness, and the evening until 2h A.M., I was on the PMR. I dealt with the part " editor " who is used to read the diskette sectors or memory, with the ASCII format, HeXA or assembler. Perhaps that some have besides noticed the look " familiar " of this editor: I took example on famous " the Discology ", super software which was available on Amstrad CPC!!! Nostalgia....

On the other hand, at the end of the summer, I started to left the world of data processing. It was however necessary to finish the PMR, in particular all the routines of disc access . I must say that was hard, the motivation was not being here any more... Kasar was very correct. It pushed me to finish the job, but never criticize me about leaving data processing.

Which are according to you the best games taken out on ST? The worst?

I did not follow the release from September 1992 any more. But for me, the best games were without any doubt those of Delphine and Lankhor. I always had a preference for the adventure games. I also spent many hours on Dungeon Master... Prince of Persia was also a pretty jewel.

And then TEAM 17 games, of course! Nothing is worth former programmers of demonstrations to make a good game!

I do not have to remember the worst shits, considering they was shits!!

Which are according to you the best demos on ST? The worst?

Doh, I do not remember it more!! It would be necessary that I look at them again to refresh my memory... But I was often astonished by the fullscreen with hardscroll. Because as a coder, I know that it is a crowned technical performance, a routine coded at the cycle!

And then also I liked the musical demonstrations much...

Do you think that the cracking scene killed the ATARI ST?

I do not think. It should be known that the large part of the incomes generated by the sale of a software takes place in the 15 days which follow its release. It is quite rare that the cracked version is available in such a timing... Those which await to get the cracked version would not have anyway bought the game.

And then it is obvious that today the leaders of the market, like Ubi-Soft or Infograme, are still presents, lives comfortably and invests in a massive way for us to offer true films. And yet, with Internet, the hacking never was so strong. It is clear today that the life span of a machine is relatively short, and in my opinion, the Atari ST had its period of glory.

When did you left FUZION? Why?

I left Fuzion at the end of the summer 1992. In fact, I was bored with data processing. I had the impression to have become a autist unable to communicate on other thing but data processing, and that started to bother me.

I then sold the two machines that I had (the Atari ST and Amiga), and I started to get a life, to look at the world !! Today, I still realize that for all my data-processing period (from junior high-school to college included), I was not aware of all what that was around me.

Did you keep contact with the other group members or with the ST scene? Do you have some projects involving them?

I kept contact, but in a sporadic way, with Kasar. As for the others, I have them completely lost of sight. And I do not have projects in sight. But even if I do not program any more, I always have kept the feeling that if I required for me to give there within the professional framework, I would have the capacities. And it is not impossible that in this possibility, I include contact more seriously with Kasar, which I am sure will be open minded with any form of collaboration: -)

Wich computer do you own at present? Have you some projects?

Today, like everyone, I have a fucking PC!!! But I am only one traditional user ! No More time to play with...

What do you think of the current ATARI scene?

I do not know very well the current Atari scene . I only know that talented people have developed excellent emulators, for the pleasure of the nostalgic ones!

What do you think of the cracking scene of the PC?

The major change of the current cracking scene is related to Internet. The diffusion is faster, softwares much more accessible. Of course, there is the international hacking , that one finds in the form of Cds sold a trifle on the Russian or Japanese markets ... but from the point of view of the small consumer who we are, I have the impression that a few organized groups are really known for their activity.

And I do not have the impression that passion animates them... I do not see brilliant demonstrations, nor super softwares . I believe that the cracking scene is like the market:
very industrial, of great consumption, and not artistic! This told, I still not complain for the companies...

What do you think of the evolution of the data processing today?

Data processing today, it is like Mc Donald: You know that it is not brilliant, but you puff out some nevertheless, because in any case, it is not disgusting either, and then you know what it is... it is without surprise!

In addition, I have the impression that the computers becomes inaccessible to the programmer. There are 10 miles layers of software between the programmer and the machine. Therefore, we code heavy programs, which run well because the power of electronics is there. But nothing is optimized, nothing is not truly neat. I don't blame anybody for that, we find only the spirit of universalization, of Mc Donaldisation! And in this system the consumer is the most person in charge, by agreeing to puff out shit...

Have you anything to add?

Yes, I believe that we lived the pioneer period of the data processing, which was synonymous of creativity, and it is for that we has as much pleasure to remember it. This period is now completed, it made place at the mature period, synonymous with consumption and return on investment.

Internet is not a revolution is, it is right a catalyzer of the phenomenon. The true pioneers of today are those which discover in this moment the new extents that offer pseudo-intelligent cybernetics and systems, browsing of human through data processing.