"Ripping", in case you're wondering, is the fine art of extracting music from a game, demo or otherwise whole program, so that you listen to it without loading that program. Therefore, you can listen to some of the fine music from games whilst browsing the web, or playing solitaire, or writing an essay, or whatever.
I've done simple ripping with the fantastic Amiga programs Exotic Ripper, Chipsaver, ProWizard and NoiseConverter for many years, however I only recently started on the 'hard to rip' tunes, ones that need a disassembler just to find, ones that no automated tool can extract for me.
I was spurred on by reading a 'most wanted' list on a website called Hacked Amiga Music and thinking 'I can rip that!'. The reward? Well, the music firstly, but also major kudos!
Commercial games: You can find all my commercial game music rips at UnExoticA, which is
a site dedicated to archiving all Amiga game music, regardless of
- Captain Planet was really easy, but then I had written the hard drive installer for the game.
- Operation Stealth was interesting - it was a hard rip, but it has been done as a script that can be executed by anyone who owns the original game, therefore allowing me to put it on Aminet.
- The Turrican 2 loader music (by Chris Hülsbeck) was my first "hard to rip" success.
- The First Samurai ingame music (by Nick Jones) was my next 'hard to rip' success.
- The Stormlord ingame music (by Maniacs of Noise) was a really simple rip. However, the format of the music required the 'MON old' music player by Florian Vorberger. This has computer-crashing bugs in it, so I fixed these while I was at it, and also 'hacked' the rip so that people without the fixed player wouldn't have their computer crashing.
- I converted the F1GP title music from a custom (Dave Lowe) music format into a normal Protracker module. The important thing here was that I invented an automated converter that would print out the musical score in ProTracker style. One of these days I will develop this into a generic 'notescroller' program for a music player.
- PD and Freeware game music: Crazy Sue, Crazy Sue 2, Dynamite Warriors Escape 1 and 2, Fatal Mission, Megasquad and many others in the MiscMods set.
- demo music: I particularly love music from Sanity demos, including Turmoil, Jesterday and Interference. Other demos I've ripped include Booodemo by Melon Dezign, Emptyhead by Rednex, Real by Complex, Switchback by Rebels, Technological Death by Mad Elks and Voyage by Razor 1911. I also ripped two encrypted mods by Anders Hamre from the AM-FM music disk. Some time in the near future, ExoticA will open a section for collecting music from all Amiga demos, regardless of format. One particularly bizarre rip is from the Push intro by Extreme. In this intro, the music samples are generated on the fly - but it then 'renders' the music into a 6Mb buffer. The 64Kb intro requires 16Mb of RAM to run! When I hacked the music routines out and made them record to a file rather than memory, the routines broke! They really have to have that 6Mb buffer.
To be ripped in future
- Quirk Nostalgic Reflection demo - this little nasty has a self-modifying replay, and uses the CIA timer. I believe it's a hacked/improved Protracker format. Capable of handling 62 samples - it should be 63, but there's a bug. It may be better just to decode the module, rather than fix the replayer.
- Euphoria Disposable Hero game demo - this comes from an old Amiga Format coverdisk, and isn't in the full game. This game is frightening, it does all its work (music, blitting, scrolling, control) from the vertical blanking interrupt, and the main code sits in a loop doing decrunching on demand! This also means that I can't trace the instruction flow - damn! I was rather impressed to see the game play normally, but be able to watch the graphics data being unpacked on demand! The main code was in trace mode, of course, because I was trying to debug it with transparent breakpoints, but the interrupt code which actually ran the game is immune to tracing.
- CINDER.EXE from Assembly95 (CUST)
- Roketz game demo (MED)
- System 3 Putty (endgame - does this exist?)
- SSI Eye of the Beholder 1 & 2 (SMUS with extensions)