- Cracktros are mini adverts created by cracking groups to announce their releases to the community. Initially, these programs were inserted and launched whenever the cracked software was in use. We have over 400 cracktro and crack-intros for Windows individually itemised for download, while another 3400 of these for MS-DOS are playable in your web browser! Also, we hold a collection of 430 scene software installers that complimented the cracktros and 200 demoscene productions to juxapose.
- NFO or information text files are generally in every scene release of which we hold 5800 items.
Often, they are stylised with ASCII text art and arranged in a standard format.
In the early days, these texts included detailed group information, but now they focus more on the cracked software.
Also, we hold a collection of 140 NFO viewers and editors.
The 4090 group release proofs are to verify the use of retail-ready physical media that's supplied for release.
- Coloured ANSI text art was commonly used on BBSes for advertising and theming of their sites. This collection includes over 3000 pieces used for marketing BBSes, FTP sites, group NFOs and brand logos.
- Bulletin Board Systems were a proto-Interweb for online communication and the exchange of files during the 1980s until the mid-1990s. This collection of 13500 files include 6400 BBStros, 2700 ANSI art, many images and 1800 text files. We also have a large collection of FTP ads plus lists of BBS sites and FTP sites are also available.
- Before the web and social media existed, groups used to exchange ideas and write articles on their communities in the form of digital magazines and newsletters. The 990 issues for 180 publications are also listed under their publication titles.
- Filepacks are packages of files that share a common theme that people have collected and curated for easy distribution. Popular pack topics include ANSI art, BBS ads, NFOs and cracktros.
- Scene databases are often once private datasets of cracked software titles, release dates and associated groups. Due to their size, these sets are often incomplete and sometimes inaccurate. You can also download a live copy of the Defacto2 database used by this website.
- The vast majority of scene releases involve text and documents such as the 12320 text files hosted here. Of which, 5800 are NFO files plus the 2530 texts created for the Commodore Amiga. There are also more modern document formats such as PDFs, HTML, and websites. As well as some files covering the former Apple ][ and Atari ST scenes.
- Scans and retypes of computer magazines and newspaper articles that attempt to report on the scene.
- Reports and alerts for software pirate arrests and police raids.
- Rules and agreed standards for the various divisions of the scene.
- The very competitive scene often has led to online flamewars and occasionally offline conflicts.
- Public notices and community farewells.
- Adverts for commercial goods and online services, that vary in legality.
- Calls for new group memberships or employment and tools for possible applicants. Sometimes a trial crackme is made to test one's abilty.
- Internal tools and documents that were never intended to be made public, but give a great insight into the operations of scene groups.
- A small collection of hacks, exploits, cheats and trainers for legacy PC games.
- Texts and guides on how to analyse, patch and crack legacy software.
- Legacy software to analyse, decrypt, patch and crack other programs.
- Legacy software used to create and edit ANSI art files.
- Legacy software designed to create and edit NFO text files.
International Network of Crackers (INC)
Razor 1911 (RZR)
Bandido 1999Of Drink or Die and RiSC, Griffiths made global headlines in 2007 after being extradited to the USA despite never visiting the country
Bryn Rogers Aug, 2012My memories of Lamers of Power
ChinaBlue June, 1998Retirement and the 'bust or be busted' scene mentality
Marvel July, 1999An artist for Future Crew, the most influential demogroup on the PC
TGK June, 1998Scenelink interview about Amnesia
- Software written for the original x86 operating system and precursor to Microsoft Windows. This platform was popular in North America during the 1980s and for much of the world during the first half of the 1990s.
- Windows became the inevitable replacement for MS-DOS on the x86 platform. Most Windows software released in the 1990s and would probably target Windows 95 and 98 while later releases would be for Windows XP or 7.
- Is the software created for Apple's macOS and earlier OS-X line of operating systems.
- Scene software created for the Linux desktop and server platforms. This software may fail to run on modern distributions
- Shell scripts and software created in interpreted programming languages such as PHP, Perl, TCL, Python and Ruby.
- These milestones for the PC cracking scene are based on what we have collected. There were earlier and more notable communities on other microcomputers for which the PC scene often poorly mimicked.
First PC August 12
- IBM PC 5150
Earliest distributed cracked game
First PC clone March
- Compaq Portable
Earliest unprotect document May 12
Earliest PC groups
Software Pirates Inc (SPi)
EGA graphics standard October
Earliest info text October 17
Earliest text loader May 26
Dam Buster Documentation by Apocalypse BBS
Earliest PC loaders June
and later Frogger II by SPI
AdLib audio standard
VGA graphics standard
Earliest PC demo June 22
First 32 color VGA game December
Rockford: The Arcade Game
The first 256-color game on the IBM PC
Earliest standalone BBS ad April 4
Swashbucklers II BBS
Earliest ANSI ad June
Paperboy by BSP
Earliest NFO-like document July 30
Earliest ASCII art October 6
Fire Power by $print
The earliest example of scene drama November 25
- TNWC accusing PTL of stealing a release
First 256 color VGA game March
688 Attack Sub
The first 256-color game on the IBM PC
Earliest BBS ANSI loader March
Earliest PC intro April
Earliest PC cracktro April 29
- The Underground Council UGC
- ↪ Triad
- Norwegian Cracking Company NCC
- ↪ International Network of Crackers 1990
- Pirates Sick of Initials PSi
- ↪ Triad 1990
- Future Brain Inc FBI
- American Pirate Industries Newsletter
Sound Blaster audio standard
Use of the .NFO file extension Jan 23
Knights of Legend by The Humble Guys
Earliest PC cracktro with music December 2
First enchanced PC game on CD-ROM Winter
- Mixed-Up Mother Goose 1. 2.
Earliest BBS VGA loader March
Earliest contemporary cracktro April 12
Earliest elite BBStro October 21
- Licensed to Draw LTD
- ↪ Mirage 1992
- Graphics Rendered in Magnificence GRiM
- Relentless Pursuit of Magnificence RPM
- Silicon Dream Artists SDA
- Fairlight + United Software Association USA
- UNiQ + XAP
- ↪ The Untouchables 1993
Dimention XXX +215
Manhattan Project +503
Midnight Oil +214
Midnight Oil iii +818
Silicon Wasteland +713
Spyrits Crypt +802