What is your favorite anti-piracy message?

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For as long as video games have existed, so too have pirates. No matter the personal reasoning behind their choices, there's always gamers out there eagerly waiting for the second a game launches, not to buy it, but rather so that the scene teams can get their hands on it and undo the DRM protecting the game's files, or so that it can be played on an emulator.

Sometimes, these quick DRM-removal uploads miss something, and the game KNOWS that you're playing an illegal copy. Depending on what tricks the developers left in the game, it could mean a secret hidden message that calls you out on your actions, or it's a simple way of messing with the player. One of the most notable "anti-piracy" messages comes from Pokemon Fire Red and Leaf Green, which famously has a message that triggers when playing a copy on an early version of a GBA emulator, or so the story goes. While talking to the ferryman who checks your ticket to board the S.S. Anne, he'll let you through, but not before giving you a passing message of, "By the way: if you like this game, buy it or die".

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The legitimacy of the text has been debated for years, and interested dataminers have tried their best to find this mysterious message in the ROM's files. Present in only a single incredibly early ROM dump and nowhere else, the most sensible explanation is that the original hacker who backed up their game left the text in a place where it wouldn't immediately be found, but would be seen by just enough people to make waves across the internet.

And it did, for years. Both startling and funny, the message's legendary status likely inspired developers to include such references in their data. A legitimate occurrence of a game's developers having their last laugh at pirates can be found in Game Dev Tycoon, a game about making games. As you build upon your career as a video game maker, your company will grow and prosper...at least until you're given a report within the first hour of the game. If you're playing a "cracked" copy--which was uploaded specifically by creators themselves, they left a sneaky surprise. Your studio has tons of fans, and your games are well-liked, but it seems that...gamers keep pirating your games! Game Dev Tycoon goes meta, claiming that if the players don't support the official release and rely on piracy, then the company you've spent a while managing will go bankrupt! Well played.

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Recently, fake anti-piracy messages have been flooding YouTube, attempting to make realistic-looking or creepy-pasta level AP text, proving that players are still amused by hidden messages from developers still to this day. Whether it's Pokemon Black and White trolling the player by not giving you any EXP at all, Earthbound upping the encounter rate to an unbearable degree to punish you, or Mirror's Edge taking away the ability to run, what's your favorite anti-piracy message or effect?
 
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Aren't those by definition not the "smaller people" who would be affected by piracy..?

But that debate has been done a bazillion times over already.

No I mean the one I'm thinking of was talking about the guy who does the lighting or holds the camera etc... as if their paychecks are effected in the slightest by piracy.
 

Codemastershock

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I really enjoy the anti piracy screen for DKC2, I just think that it's funny nintendo reused a game over screen for an anti piracy message.
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I hated this so much, happened to me a lot. I rented DKC2 so many times and it was an original copy.
I think the anti piracy measure in this game was kinda wonky to the point of it can trigger for no reason. Many games only trigger this warinig if you connect an unsupported accessory (like connecting the mouse on a game it doesnt support).
 

ccfman2004

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A few years ago the maker of Gary's Mod added a special error message that only appeared if you use a pirated version of the game. The maker made a forum post asking if anyone has across this particular error. Of course the post was flooded with users posting screenshots of the error. Unbeknownst to them part of the error message included the user's Steam ID code so he immediately knew who was pirating the game and had them punished.

https://www.techspot.com/news/43292-garrys-mod-developer-exposes-pirates-with-fake-error.html
 

ccfman2004

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I still think that it’s better to make a pirate believe they won but make it so the game is brutal like Earthbound and screw you at the moment you are just about to win. Or Spyro 3 where the game warns you that it may be pirated and to continue at you own risk and the game slowly makes it incredibly difficult to keep going as the dragon eggs you need to collect to get to end keep disappearing from inventory and when you get to the boss fight the game sends you to the beginning with all progress erased. Then games like Operation Flashpoint with FADE where the game acts like it’s breaking down and made completely unplayable. Still my favorite is Gary’s Mod I posted about earlier where pirates were trolled into revealing themselves.
 
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Matt849

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I once had an AMIGA manual that said 'any fool can pirate software, it takes a little more intelligence not to'. So for a school project on safety, I pirated the statement and my poster read 'any fool can get hurt at a building site, it takes a little more intelligence not to'
 
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Julie_Pilgrim

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I once had an AMIGA manual that said 'any fool can pirate software, it takes a little more intelligence not to'. So for a school project on safety, I pirated the statement and my poster read 'any fool can get hurt at a building site, it takes a little more intelligence not to'
Ironic
 
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Matt849

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Lol yeah it was kind of playing them at their own game. It was actually too long a statement for a school poster and it didnt stop the thugs from down the road stealing tiles from the new houses LOL
 
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godreborn

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I've thought about going totally legit. I'm already legit on the switch. I've thought about it on the ps3 as well. the ps4 is too expensive to buy a new system.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

basically, I'd buy a second system aside from my hacked or exploited ones. I'd still help you all. I'd just be legit though.
 
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naughty_cat

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140.15 :ha:

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Interestingly enough, there were a lot of bootlegged copies of MGS1 out there that had a CD case with front and back cover art, and to my recollection, non of them had Meryl's frequency on the back cover :rofl2:
 
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tfocosta

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140.15 :ha:

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Interestingly enough, there were a lot of bootlegged copies of MGS1 out there that had a CD case with front and back cover art, and to my recollection, non of them had Meryl's frequency on the back cover :rofl2:

I remember thinking this was such a brilliant idea at the time. Glad I got a legit copy borrowed from a friend. :D

Funny that I've played this game recently on a PSX emulator and, in the end, I had to google this to make sure I got it right, as I was no longer sure about the correct frequency for Meryl to move forward. :D
 
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ClancyDaEnlightened

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I don't know about any DRM that's "nice", but I think we all know a really bad one:
View attachment 242369
0/10 would not recommend, even if that's all we had before RxTools came around.
Go to the end to see it in action

Still have not had this happen to me, when you're cheap, you get what you pay for with clones,

This was not the first time
Just use ntrboot

 
Last edited by ClancyDaEnlightened,
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