It’s July 1998 when a fake version of Twilight 25 hit the market. Can we distinguish the fake illegal product from the real illegal product? Oh how they messed up!
At first glance
Simply looking at Twilight 25 gives the right impression: this looks like a Twilight CD. It has the cover art, the yellow tag-star and a nice futuristic front-cover. The font-cover artist deserves some credit.
Only when looking closely mistakes are identified. This is what’s wrong:
- Twilight shade is less subtle
- Inlay does not match with the file list
- File list mixes up apps and games
- Typeset errors in the yellow tag star, rotated fonts make for missing letters.
- Typeset errors all around: characters are overlapping. It’s a mess.
- Only 6 games, while games are the major selling-poing
The only thing done right is the front-cover image. It looks genuine.
The actual discs look really fine and the bootleggers deserve some small credit for that. It is upon really close inspection that you might find some small errors:
- Disc 1 shows scratches on the inside ring of the disc. This suggests a cheaper manufacturing process where the master disc has been altered.
- The “paint” on disc two was cheaper, as you can see right through the ink and disc.
- Discs where unreadable in a sensitive cd player, suggesting a cheap pressing method.
Popping the CD in the tray
TL25_1 is in the CD drive, instead of TWILIGHT025A, and the first thing that strikes as an error is a completely redesigned Twilight menu. Twilight.exe is also written in Delphi and it lacks all kinds of features from the real menu. This is when you start to cry, here are the errors:
- Scrolling red text, red-outlined fonts.
- Downgraded graphics, european logo and preview images
- Fully dependent on information in game directories
- Crazy spelling errors
- “shoot with the mouse everything dead” instead of “click to kill everything”
- Misplaced images
- Two different executables, one per CD
- Just six games (!?!?!)
- No context menu or help-menu
The directory structure doesn’t show a list.txt or various.txt.
The bootleg menu
About the files
Maybe not the strongest argument, but we have found the most interesting stuff while looking closely at the files. First some more errors on this bootleg release:
- No List.txt or Various.lst
- Including File_ID.diz files
- Allowing large files such as .tif to be shipped
- 582 meg of 650+ used
Oh, and how the messed up…
Making matters more interesting, a RECYCLED folder is located on disc two: TW25_2. Directories like this are exactly the reason why one would quadro-check their release: people will find them. The directory contains the following files:
- DD0.TXT – Info regarding FUTURE FILES
- DD1.EXE – Executable showing a menu
- DD2.INI – Information that is supposed to be shown in the menu
- DD3.DAT – A binary file containing a links table to the microsoft ftp server.
- DD4.LOG – A log dated 7/9/98 0:48, regarding a Photospray installation.
- desktop.ini – A .ShellClassInfo file with GUID 645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E
- INFO2 – a binary file containing info on previous drive locations.
- D:future files.txt (now is DD0.txt)
- D:futurefiles.exe (now is DD1.exe)
- D:futurefiles.ini (now DD2.ini)
- D:profiles.dat (now DD3.dat)
- D:install.log (now DD4.log)
Taking out the garbage
With the help from INFO2, we can drag out the garbage and re-create the orginal filenames. Then, everything starts to work.
What we get is a rogue warez release called Future Files. It is made by DFO productions, which can be reached at email@example.com. The menu shows the original components recycled in Twilight.exe. Below screenshot says it all.
Inside the application
As with menu95.exe, we’ve “resource hacked” the application. There is some TSecretPanel that does nothing. And below is the image in the background. No interesting stuff was discovered.
A quick look and first impression gives the feeling this is the real Twilight 25. The front cover and discs both look like the original, albeit different font-cover artwork. It is when inserting the disc an entirely different menu shows, it’s downhill from there.
This is certainly a bad release, containing just six games and all kinds of superfluous files. They even included a trash directory containing their original menu. It’s definitely a sloppy rip-off and they deserve only one point five spaceships out of five.
Welcome to the new FUTURE FILES We are here to stay and bring you great cd's every month. Everything from the games is tested on C: The Pro is installed from the CD. With Simply SETUP. CD1 Games Team Apache Commandos - Behind Enemy Lines Dominion Hexplore Rocky Mountain Trophy Hunter Unreal cd2 Games Descent - Freespace the great war World Cup 98 Pro 3D STUDIO MAX v.2.5 WIN95NT Adobe Photoshop 5.0 Users Guide Adobe Photoshop 5.0 CakeWalk Pro Audio v7.0 DAO 3.5b 16bit DAO 3.5b 32bit Intelligent.Windows.Tuner.v1.01 Microsoft Terminal Server 1.0 Multi-Edit 8.0c NewsMonger v1.5.1 PaperPort Deluxe v5.1.3 Partition Magic Pro 3.05 QuarterDeck Zip-It v4.0 Symantec Visual Page v2.0 WebPainter v2.0 Winrar v2.04 Zipcat Pro V3.007
- Twilight.exe from Twilight 025: Download
- Futurefiles.exe from Twilight 025: Download