Potential vulnerability for future backup loading

Discussion in 'Wii - Hacking' started by nineplymaple, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. nineplymaple
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    Newcomer nineplymaple Newbie

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    Let's travel back in time all the way to the release of Metroid Prime Trilogy. Pretend that you are Nintendo, only smarter. You see that MPT will not load properly on any known softmod, but there is a workaround that will bypass the main menu and skip directly to the games, with the use of the alt .dol method. Remember, you are smarter than the real Nintendo, so you take your next big launch title, New Super Mario Bros. and you set it up to where the game must load different .dols to run properly. Instead of running the options and gamesaves in main.dol and everything else in some other .dol, you run the menu and the overworld map on main.dol and the levels in individual .dols (world1-1.dol, world1-2.dol, world1-3.dol ...) This would be playable one level at a time, but would ruin the experience of the game to the point that only 5 of the one jillion people playing this game are using a backup method.

    Could this be cracked? Maybe. It might have to be cracked on a per game basis, though and we wouldn't have games like New Super Mario Bros. days before the official release like we do now. I don't have the first clue as to a proper fix to the problem but perhaps right now someone smarter than me can come up with a solution before a game comes along that won't run at all without .dol reloading.
     
  2. jakejm79

    Member jakejm79 GBAtemp Fan

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    Actually I don't think this would cause a problem unless it tried to reload the IOS when it launched each dol, since when you finished world 1-1.dol it would have to automatically launch world 1-2.dol or the game would just crash regardless of if you were playing the retail version or not. I believe the Block IOS option and an on the fly 002 error fix (so that when it loaded the new dol with a cIOS due to block IOS it still thought it was loading with the correct IOS). The problem with MPT (and HOTD) is that they are 3 (or 2) separate games on the disc not just separate levels.
     
  3. nineplymaple
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    Newcomer nineplymaple Newbie

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    Could that method be used for MPT and HOTD? I'm a little out of my depth here, so the example I gave with New Mario clearly isn't the exact method Nintendo would use for anti-piracy. Would the method you suggested work to run MPT and HOTD as if it were the retail copy, or just fix the problem I posed with New Mario? What I meant to ask was whether or not the problem with those particular games could be added to new games in such a way that using alt .dol would bypass more than the menu. Could they set it up in such a way that each level would essentially be a different game on the disc?

    Regardless of the original intent with MPT and HOTD, the result is that you are forced to sacrifice a little bit of menu in order to get to the meat of the gameplay. My real question is whether Nintendo could take what is a small hiccough and apply it to new games with the express intent of crippling gameplay.

    BTW, if there is a way to play those games as intended, with USB, I don't think I'm the only person here who would like to make use of that
     
  4. jakejm79

    Member jakejm79 GBAtemp Fan

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    I think the problem (or at least difference) between your suggestion and the issues with MPT and HOTD is that the dol for MP1 has nothing to do with the dol for MP2 you exit back to the main menu then launch the new game, i.e:

    /-- MP1.dol
    main.dol --- MP2.dol
    \-- MP3.dol

    you are suggesting:

    main.dol -> w1-1.dol -> w1-2.dol -> w1-3.dol, etc

    so w1-1.dol would have to be programmed to launch w1-2.dol or the game would crash when completing w1-1. Now if at each time a dol file was executed it was told to run it with a specific IOS (53 in the example of NSMBW) then that would break USB/Backup Launcher compatibility (unless block IOS reload was enabled), but it would still work for modchip/cIOSCorp users.

    I understand what you are trying to say, but it isn't an effective form of anti piracy protection and would probably have a detrimental effect on the game, if a new dol had to be loaded and executed every time a level was started.

    I think a much more effective method of anti piracy protection would be to have a more stringent check on the IOS running the game rather than just the IOS# or rev, maybe a checksum this should eliminate cIOS/cIOSCorp users since a patched IOS will not have the same checksum as an original one or maybe games that have the IOS embedded into the software where they can't be patched/hacked.

    But I think has the whole thing with NSMBW (and 4.2 update) has shown unless you design the hardware and software with anti piracy protection in mind from the beginning you will always have compromises.
     
  5. WiiPower

    Member WiiPower GBAtemp Guru

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    Yes this would a big problem, for usb loaders. Cioscorp would play the game fine, no matter in how many .dols it is seperated. But there's really A LOT of stuff nintendo could do against backups. Most of the stuff would be easy to crack, but if the next game does 10 different things to block backups, good luck in finding them them all.
     
  6. codone

    Newcomer codone Member

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    I don't have a full understanding of this, but it seems to me they could easily check (in the actual game code) for the existance of unauthorized IOSs that are installed. Things of that nature -- kind of taking what they did in 4.2 to the next level. Not to erase the stuff off the Wii, but just to make the game fail. They could have a disclaimer about not working on systems that have unauthorized modifications. They could really look at how the game was launched (via a USB launcher), or if the DVD drive is even spinning etc.. and IOS, titles, etc, etc.
     

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