Contents

Technical Documentation - Dungeon Master for Atari ST History

Overview

The goal of this history is to list all the differences between each version and the previous one. Note that this is still a very incomplete work in progress (the list of differences in graphics.dat is exhaustive, though).

Version 1.0 English (1987-12-08)

First released version.

Version 1.0 English (1987-12-11)

Program

The game version number is now displayed in the upper right corner of dialog boxes when saving and loading.

Graphics.dat

Item #0232: The switch is now visible on the graphic. Crack Switch
Item #0396: Torch on floor graphic now looks better. Torch
Item #0558: Offset 0x0c81 '0' replaced by '2'. Fixes the issue with crack switch that was moving up when pressed because the pressed switch image was using a wrong coordinates group.

Version 1.1 English

Program

Dungeon Master bugs described by Wayne Holder
The following text was posted by Wayne Holder on some online service. It was included in SPRINT Docs Disks #18. I don't know where or when. The date seems to be a mistake, as the game was released in December 1987 so it was probably written on January 15, 1988.
Subj: Dungeon Master Bug
From: Wayne Holder, FTL Games, San Diego
Date: 1/15/87

This memo describes three bugs in Dungeon Master which can happen  near the
end of the game.  Not everyone will experience these bugs, and it is easily
possible to complete the game with a bugged version.  Unfortunately, it is
necessary for us to give away a bit of the ending puzzle to describe the
bug solutions.  If this bug has detracted from your enjoyment of Dungeon
Master, as president of FTL games please accept my sincere appology.

In order to complete the game you must face Lord Chaos (The black robed
figure found on the level with the Black Flames.)  The bugs relate to him.

Bug 1: You should not close a door while Chaos is standing in it.  This can
freeze the game.  Chaos cannot be killed anyway, so this is not useful to do.

Bug 2: Chaos can teleport to escape you, but sometimes he teleports into
one of the Black Flames where he becomes invisible.  If Chaos vanishes on
this level, you should try "Fusing" the Flames to find him.

Bug 3: In order to win the game you must "Fuse" Chaos.  But, Chaos wants
to escape from this fate.  You use the "Fluxcage" power to trap him.  Chaos
is trapped when he is surrounded on all four sides by Fluxcages.  However,
ONCE YOU TRAP CHAOS YOU MUST NOT PUT A FIFTH FLUXCAGE ON TOP OF HIM.  Doing
so will prevent the game ending from working.

We hope to have these bugs corrected shortly.  Once again, please accept my
sincere appology for this problem.
Dungeon Master versions described by Wayne Holder
In this message, the date is again a mistake and should be Feb 8, 1988 as the game was released in December 1987.
Subj: Dungeon Master
From: Wayne Holder, FTL Games
Date: Feb 8, 1987

Release Versions

   Since its introduction on Dec 15 1987, Dungeon Master has been updated
several times to correct software and graphic bugs.  Different release
versions can be distinguished by selecting the save game option and observing
the upper right corner of the save menu box.  All versions execpt the original
release version show the message VER x.x where x.x is 1.0 or 1.1.  Ver 1.1 is
the latest release version.  Version 1.1 is the most extensive update and
corrects a bug which can result in the game freezing near the end of the
game.  Note: these problems can only occur while confronting Lord Chaos and a
workaround to this problem is described in an earlier update release.

  Users with an earlier version can receive a free update by returning your
original disk and stamped, self-addressed envelope with sufficient return
postage for the disk to:

                            FTL Games
                   6160 Lusk Blvd, Suite C-206
                       San Diego, CA 92121


Known Problems

    Ver 1.1 has only one known bug.  When restarting a saved game where
one or more party members are dead the party arraingment box in the upper
right corner of the screen will sometimes not show all of the remaining
party members.  If this happens, simply click on the empty squares until
the member is found.  The problem is then corrected for the remainder of
the play session.  We hope to have this problem corrected in a future update.

Disk Problems

  Several people have reported intermittent problems with the game freezing
(possibly with the game printing an error message such as "SYSTEM ERROR xx.")
As far as we know, these problems are not caused by software bugs.  We suspect
that these errors are due to drive misalignment problems and are compounded
by a little known bug in the Atari TOS ROMs.

  This bug (corrected in the newer "Blitter" ROMs) prevents TOS from retrying
on certain sector read errors.  The result is that TOS returns a garbage
sector and says that it is good.  The problem is most likely to occur if your
disk drives are misaligned and your drive misreads a sector.  Normally, TOS
will catch these misreads and retry, but sooner or later it will miss one.
The result is that DM will report a mystery error, bomb, or freeze.  Normally,
rebooting "cures" the problem (that is the exact same problem will not
reoccur.)

  Alignment problems are hard to spot because disks formatted on the
misaligned drives usually work fine because the misalignment cancels out.
Realignment is a simple process but requires a special alignment disk and
calibration tools.  Consult your dealer.

  Some users have reported symptoms where game disks suddenly ceased working.
In some cases, these users returned the disks to us and received replacements
which later ceased to work as well.  Normally, there should be no reason for
a DM disk to stop working except the disk becoming damaged.  If the write
protect is set on (as we recommend for DM) it is impossible for the software
to damage the disk.  Problems like this suggest a serious problem with the
disk drive.  Double sided drives can have a problem where the top read head
can become bent or detached.  We are not sure what causes the problem, but
the result is often improper head contact which wears out the disk.  Consult
your dealer at once.

Copy Protection

  Users often assume that disk read problems are caused by or related to
copy protection.  In our opinion this in unlikely, except that copy protection
checks are just as likely to be affected by drive errors as other misreads.


Reporting Problems

  The above notwithstanding, bugs are an ever present problem with software.
If you experience a problem please let us know.  It helps if you can contrive
a way to recreate a problem reliably.  Simply reporting a problem that
happened once but you could not recreate is not of much help to us.  If a
problem happens periodically, but always in a different circumstance, please
note any distinguishing factors.  For example, did you recently save the game.

Graphics.dat

Compared to version 1.0 English (1987-12-11)
Item #0556: 'Antiven Potion' was renamed to 'Unven Potion'
Item #0559: Offset 0x522 '26' replaced by '36'. The Spell Range for the Red Dragon creature was changed from 2 to 3.
Offset 0x91c '23' replaced by '0B'. The graphic used to display a 'Snake Staff' on the floor was changed from 35 (a Torch, see graphic above) to 11: Snake Staff
Item #0560:
Offset 0x060 '09' replaced by '14': Experience gain of action 'Shoot' is 20 instead of 9.
Offset 0x0c6 '08' replaced by '0A': The stamina of action 'Chop' is now 10 instead of 8.
Offset 0x0d3 '0D' replaced by '11': The stamina of action 'Thrust' is now 17 instead of 13.
Offset 0x0d7 '1A' replaced by '28': The stamina of action 'Berzerk' is now 40 instead of 26.
Offset 0x0dd '11' replaced by '19': The stamina of action 'Melee' is now 25 instead of 17.
Offset 0x427 '0F' replaced by '12': The skill associated to the 'See Through Walls' spell is now 18 Wizard 4 instead of 15 Priest 5.

Version 1.2 English

Program

Party sleep is much faster.
Richard Kaapke wrote the following sentence in one of his posts in the comp.sys.atari.st newsgroup:
"Dungeon Master 1.2 (the rev is on save and load dialog boxes) has been modified to work better on Mega STs (ie boot up period)."

Graphics.dat

Compared to version 1.1 English
Item #0556: 'Unven Potion' was renamed to 'Bro Potion'. 'Mon Potion' was renamed to 'Ma Potion' (There were two potions called 'Mon Potion').
Item #0560: Offset 0x074 '0E' replaced by '07': The skill trained by action 'War Cry' is now 'Fighter' instead of 'Priest'.

Version 1.2 German

Graphics.dat

Compared to version 1.2 English
Item #0001: Interface - Main title 'Presents' replaced by 'Präsentiert'
Item #0004: Interface - Main menu screen 'Enter' replaced by 'Eingang', 'Resume' replaced by 'Weitermachen'
Item #0006: Interface - 'The End' label replaced by 'Ende'
Item #0010: Interface - Item actions area 'Pass' replaced by a cross icon.
Item #0027: Interface - Character sheet - Rename champion 'First name' replaced by 'Forname', 'Last name \ Title' replaced by 'Nachname \Titel', 'Backspace' replaced by 'Rükteste'
Item #0030: Interface - Character sheet - 'Food' label 'Food' replaced by 'Speise'
Item #0031: Interface - Character sheet - 'Water' label 'Water' replaced by 'Wasser'
Item #0032: Interface - Character sheet - 'Poisoned' label 'Poisoned' replaced by 'Vergiftet'
Item #0040: Interface - Character sheet - Resurrect and reincarnate 'Resurrect' replaced by 'Auferstehen', 'Reincarnate' replaced by 'Reinkarnieren'
Item #0556: Items names translated to German
Item #0560: Attack names translated to German. The text block is 400 bytes long (300 bytes in Version 1.2 English). All other parts are identical.
Item #0562: Offset 0x36b '9F' replaced by 'AF': Updated rectangle coordinates for 'Water' label 'Water' replaced by 'Wasser'.
Offset 0x373 '9F' replaced by 'AF': Updated rectangle coordinates for 'Food' label 'Food' replaced by 'Speise'.
Offset 0x6ab '69' replaced by '54', Offset 0x6ad 'D7' replaced by 'EC', Offset 0x6b3 '67' replaced by '52', Offset 0x6b5 'D9' replaced by 'EE': Updated rectangles coordinates for 'restarting' the game.

Version 1.3 French

Graphics.dat

Compared to version 1.2 English
Item #0001: Interface - Main title 'Presents' replaced by 'Présente'
Item #0004: Interface - Main menu screen 'Enter' replaced by 'Entrer', 'Resume' replaced by 'Recommencer'
Item #0006: Interface - 'The End' label replaced by 'Fin'
Item #0010: Interface - Item actions area 'Pass' replaced by a cross icon.
Item #0027: Interface - Character sheet - Rename champion 'First name' replaced by 'Prenom', 'Last name \ Title' replaced by 'Nom \ Titre', 'Backspace' replaced by 'Correction'
Item #0030: Interface - Character sheet - 'Food' label 'Food' replaced by 'Provisions'
Item #0031: Interface - Character sheet - 'Water' label 'Water' replaced by 'Eau'
Item #0032: Interface - Character sheet - 'Poisoned' label 'Poisoned' replaced by 'Veneneux'
Item #0040: Interface - Character sheet - Resurrect and reincarnate 'Resurrect' replaced by 'Ressusciter', 'Reincarnate' replaced by 'Reincarner'
Item #0120: Removed unused characters at the end of the font (question mark and 6 runes). Added single quote character.
Item #0556: Items names translated to French
Item #0557: Fixed some characters in the font to improve readability. Added single quote character (two variations) and question mark character.
Item #0559: Extended strings for escape character 1Eh in dungeon.dat texts for wall texts only:
Offset 0x004 '00' replaced by '1C': Empty string replaced by ' '.
Offset 0x00c '00' replaced by '1D': Empty string replaced by ' '.
Offset 0x024 '00' replaced by '1E': Empty string replaced by ' '.
Offset 0x02c '00' replaced by '1F': Empty string replaced by ' '.
Offset 0x034 '00' replaced by '20': Empty string replaced by ' '.
Offset 0x03c '00' replaced by '21': Empty string replaced by ' '.
Offset 0x044 '00' replaced by '22': Empty string replaced by ''' (single quote).
Offset 0x04c '00' replaced by '23': Empty string replaced by ' '.
Extended strings for escape character 1Eh in dungeon.dat texts other than wall texts:
Offset 0x144 '3F' replaced by '78': String '?' replaced by 'x'.
Offset 0x14c '21' replaced by '79': String '!' replaced by 'y'.
Offset 0x164 '00' replaced by '7A': String '' replaced by 'z'.
Offset 0x16c '00' replaced by '7B': String '' replaced by '{'.
Offset 0x174 '00' replaced by '7C': String '' replaced by '|'.
Offset 0x17c '00' replaced by '7D': String '' replaced by '}'.
Offset 0x184 '00' replaced by '7E': String '' replaced by '~'.
Offset 0x18c '00' replaced by '7F': String '' replaced by ' '.
Item #0560: Attack names translated to French. The text block is 400 bytes long (300 bytes in Version 1.2 English). All other parts are identical.
Item #0562:
Offset 0x36b '9F' replaced by '8F': Updated rectangle coordinates for 'Water' label 'Water' replaced by 'Eau'
Offset 0x373 '9F' replaced by 'CF': Updated rectangle coordinates for 'Food' label 'Food' replaced by 'Provisions'
Offset 0x6ab '69' replaced by '66', Offset 0x6ad 'D7' replaced by 'DA', Offset 0x6b3 '67' replaced by '64', Offset 0x6b5 'D9' replaced by 'DC': Updated rectangles coordinates for 'restarting' the game.


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