List of PC 98 products by difficulty

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The following is a list of PC-98 software product, rated by hacking difficulty.

This list uses 5 levels:

  • Easy (E): the product is distributed with source code that is interpreted at run time. All mechanics of the product are readily apparent.
  • Medium (M): the product uses standard file formats with little to no compression. Any compression also uses standardized formats.
  • Hard (H): the product uses propriety file formats and/or encryption for most of its content.
  • Very Hard (V): the product does not ship with a FAT, does not install to HDD, and loads its content thru direct sector reads/writes. Disk editors cannot read its data, and the only way to examine its content is by hex editor and/or disassembly. The difficulty is mitigated somewhat by the knowledge that each sector generally has a theme which becomes apparent in the course of disassembly. Products which rely on FAT but do not use it to encode their content in distinct files also fall into this category.
  • Intimidating (I): the product ships with a custom boot loader, a mini-OS that serves as a DOS replacement. The file system is unique and non-standard. The entire product may require extensive reverse-engineering before ANY hacking can begin.
Title Type Year Difficulty
Astro Wars 2 Revival Arcade 1992 E
Rusty Platformer 1992 H
Vain Dream RPG 1991 I