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The ATARI years (1988-1993)

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In the beginning

From the ashes of the Bladerunners ( which was formed by one of the old Hotline members ) not much was left. Together with another member from Hotline ( 64 division ), we formed Hotline on the Atari. Only 2 members just me and Lethal, since I had some excellent contacts that had supplied originals for the Bladerunners  and Hotline on the 64. Since Lethal was picking up cracking quickly Hotline was gathering fast fame on the atari frontline. Another group that was active in holland was MCA, since we had a lot of dupe releases i decided to give them a call, a pact was formed between Hotline and MCA so there was 5 guys in the group now. Since The Magician from MCA was one hell of a cracker and gained world wide fame for some of his cracks of well known proff. programs, he proved to be a valueable asset for the group for many years to come.log_mca.gif (1796 bytes)


Quick overview from other groups on the ST :

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 XXX International - the Exceptions - the Replicants - Pompey Pirates - the Medway Boys - the Delta Force, and more.

Ofcourse we were not the only people on the ST. Other hackers like the Replicants (mainly from France) were very active. With members like Snake, Ral and others. In the UK you had the Medway Boys, compilation makers LSD + Was (not) Was who joined forces to form Automation in a later period. Pompey Pirates with Alien and his group (they formed the Corporation later on together with the Medway Boys and Sewer Software). 42-Crew with Martin Backschat (the Author of Fastcopy), the Delta Force (mainly from Germany). the Exceptions (who formed Thalion Software) with members like ES, 6714 and others. demogroups like the Carebears, Sewer Software (were Lowlife was a member of before he joined the mighty Hotline), Ilja, Softrunner Group and more. Well, that's about it in a nuttshell. I'm not going to talk about all details and things, I'll leave that up to other people.


From 2400 to 9600

Now the modem scene sucked big time on the atari and i was scouting around to find some good pirate Atari BBS's in the US.   I quickly discoverd that the scene in the US was pretty slow, so when i started to upload ( with my 2400 baud modem !! ) they noticed that there were quicker channels to reach here for the new shit. I came in touch with the ST/Amigos who were willing to send me a 9600 Baud modem if i could send them all the latest stuff, no strings attached. A month later the modem went into pump mode bashing out new stuff at a daily bases. Other groups followed and got modems from the ST/Amigos who lived in the UK, since most of the software was published there, it was a smart move. Finally software was pushed onto the modem scene, that became interesting for me as well.The whole delay of mail trading was gone for a big part. 



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The first decent ST diskmagazine for the Atari. People involved :

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(STabloid preview issue. Main menu)

Went all to the Atari Messe held in Dusseldorf, Germany for it's first release. Although we worked really hard to get the first issue out there, we didn't manage. As so many projects fail under those circumstances. What we did have was a preview from STabloid. It had some interesting articles, interviews and some usefull programs. Firepacker 2.0, Jampacker 4.0, Icepacker 2.3, Neochrome Master 2.25 from the Delta Force. After the preview's release we got some very good reviews from the other magazines like ST News, and ST Format from Future Publishing. All we had to do now is bring out the first issue, the graphics for the 2nd issue were already being made, and the high-res (monochrome) version of the magazine was there as well.

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(STabloid 2nd issue. Main menu)




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(Screwballs ; from Lair, Lotus, Lethal and Sense) Mmm, how many members did we actually have starting with an 'L' ?


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Eternal was formed by Lair and Sense and Lotus who formed Syntdream which was the audio department of HTL.
They released No buddie's Land under license of Zae's 'NExt' dodgy software label for the Atari ST and Amiga500.
I said dodgy because the people involved on No Buddie's Land simple didn't get what they were promised. I've heard these storie's so many times. In the early days of software developement so many people got screwed by company's like this. the now well known System 3 was one of them. Guys putting so much effort to finish a game and bring it onto the market, it makes the shops and money. Somebody else runs of with it. And it's just to expensive for the guys to start a law-suit against those company's.
The Amiga conversion from No Buddie's Land was done by Anthony Donkers and ..........


I met Jabba on the convention in Stuttgart in 1991 held by the Delta Force. Since then those two have been swapping warez back and forth. Later the amount of cracks were that brutal, so they swapped 44Mb Syquest every time. Jabba always had interesting German releases, which were hard to get our hands on.


Chip Composer

L.A.Looter was a Sentry member who joined in the later days of Hotline on the Atari. He did some crack-intro's together with Lowlife. Later he did a music-program in cooperation Lowlife and the musician Iso, called Chip Composer. Which has never been released, in 1993. You can D/L Chipcomposer here ! It's in [.ST] Format.

The .ST-file contains : - XLR8CHIP.PRG The Editor (COLOR and MONO)
                       - XLR8CHIP.TXT The short manual
                       - XLR8PLAY.TTP For playing *.XMS Files from the desktop
                       - PLAY.S        Assembler Source for playing *.XMS Files
                       - PLAY.GFA For playing music with GFA
                       - Instruments, VoiceSets, Songs ....
This package should run on every ATARI ST(e)/TT/Falcon, with 512kb or more. It supports both ST Low and Monochrome modes and will run on every vertical
sync frequency (50Hz, 60Hz and 71Hz).


Chip Composor is a program to compose music for the Yamaha 2149 soundchip that is included in every ATARI ST(e)/TT computer. With this musical
editor, you are able to compose music on this chip with maximum quality.


- Three channel soundchip music on every ST
- For STE/TT users it will be possible soon to compose music with three channel soundchip and two channel digital sound for drums.
  This will make an amount of five channel sound that is never been done before on Atari.
- A complete instrument-editor to make your own sounds with six different syntheses.
- Tone Slides
- Volume control for every pattern and note
- Possibility to save musicfiles that include the song and voiceset with a replayer in 680X0-machine code, so you are able to use
  the music you made with it in Assembler, Basic, Pascal, .....
- It works with transposable patterns like Midi-programs, so you will get very small music-files.
- The replayer is very fast, so it is also usable for demo's and games.


Since the ATARI ST was released in 1985, there have been a many musicians who made music on it. A few of them became very famous on Atari.
The music that these people made was often used in many demos because there was no possibility to make your own music.
Every one in the demo-scene wanted to have the 'Mad Max - editor' or any alike editor, so they could make there own music.
But none of the musicians wanted to spread there magic tool. There came a few new musicians and a few stopped their activities, but still
there were no editors available. But then! There was Music mon, but this commercial editor didn't get enough of the possible sounds of the
Yamaha chip out of it, so your music was doomed to be worse than the DemoRoutines. And till the day of release of this editor there hasn't been any music-editor available that was good, fast, nice to see, and took complete advantage of the soundchip.

Here are some screenshots of both the color and monochrome versions of the program.

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Color Version - main                    Color Version - voice editor          Monochrome Version - main       Monochrome Version - voice editor



So many intro's have been used during a long period. We will update this archive on a regular basis, so that in the end hopefully there will be a complete list of Hotline / Elite intro's.

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Elite intro by the Vegetables

Elite intro #1 by Synergy

Elite intro by the M.C.A

Elite intro by L.A.Looter and Lowlife

Bladerunners intro by Ratboy/STCS

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Hotline intro by Lair

Elite intro by CIA, dr.B/Galtan6, graphics by Lowlife & Sense.

Elite intro #2 by Synergy

Elite intro by Mekano & Bagheera

MCA intro by Tjeerd Bruisma (Before the Elite period)

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Bladerunners intro by MCA

Elite intro by some French dudes

Elite intro by Hurrache

Elite intro by L.A.Looter and Lowlife

Bladerunners intro by the Gigabyte Crew (Marc Rosacha/Eclipse)

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Hotline intro by Lair

Intro by Lethal, Sense & Lowlife

Bladerunners intro by the Gigabyte Crew

Here a some fullscreen ST screenshots from Lowlife's work. All pictures were pixeled in 16 colors using Degas Elite on the ST. On a later stage Radium dissasembled Degas Elite and build some extra functions in. For sending the image via a linkcable direct to the copier for the SNES for example. We'll add that version 'Degas Elite Pro' on the Elitendo-page later.

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* An intro for our BBS Hit'n Run.                                       * Just another one of those demoscreens.                        * Endpicture from a neverfinished Christmas demo.


Here you'll find a complete Archive of ST Games. The list will be updated from time to time (on a regular basis). And there will be 1 diskimage online every week. Click on the link !


Bitch on a jack move

The leader of ST/Amigos was a woman.. never have i met a person with such a fucked up personality.The term PSYCHO Bitch would suit her just fine.This mammy thought, she could boss me around ! And tell me all kinds of bullshit stories that everybody was jealous of here. And more crap like this, ,just to keep me away from other groups and bbs's. To bad she didnt had any control over me, since i had my own resources to stay in touch were ever i wanted to go. Unlike most of the groups from the UK, that became here modem slaves and were totally depending on here to stay in the buss. Oh yeah the cow here name was L.L. which doesnt stand for Lame Log / Leave Life / Looking Lively   nah.. none of these cool names !? It stands for Little Lulu.., she picked a name that fitted her perfectly, a shallow and flat personality just like the Cartoon character she borrowed the name of..

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These were 2 images used in an intro (this one was used for : I Play 3d Soccer). An intro to tell what we felt about 'LITTLE LULU'.
Quickly put together by Sledge/Lethal & Lowlife.


With Blazing Guns

I came in contact with some other group called the Big Four ( a few US + canadian guyz ) who i became good friends with. A full blown war was the end result of all this, since i starting to dig up all kinds of dirt of the inferiour leader of the ST/Amigos, it pushed me over the edge to drop this group at the spot. It seemed i made a serious jack move here, it was the talk of the US modem scene, that i ditched the bitch etc.. . I started to supply the other group the latest warez, it resulted into a modem war   that split the USA into 2 zones.. those supporting the ST/Amigos and those that were down with the Big Four. In this period that lasted 2 years and more, people got busted / fucked over etc. simply coz there were hooked up with the wrong crew.

World Domination

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Another group that was rocking France at the time was called The Empire this was a big group that existed out of 4 smaller ones. Since i was already spreading there cracks for them in the US, the next logical step was that we all joined into one big group. So The Empire / Hotline & MCA & The Big Four joined up in this massive new group called ELITE.

Elite in the beginning was HUGE, we had dupe cracks inside our own group. The Empire got re-organised, also thanks to some busts and some guyz left coz they thought they couldnt do anything usefull for the group. You could say we was kickin it large, and that was true for a long time, members were added, members got busted..original suppliers left, new ones were added..

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Mothafuckin Insult !

Then some guy in Italy who was making a shitload of money on selling software, started his own group called ICS. So here is a new group with members in france ( 2 ex-members from The Empire ). Money was send to have the latest games bought and cracked and to have his adres stuck in the intro to get as many custumers as possible.

This was a serious kick into the face of all crackers around, never had we been confronted with a group who has only there for the money. It was a straight insult for any respected cracking group. Since they were close to some very fast shops in Paris they became serious competion it was another Enemy added to the list. I dont seem to recall how long ICS has lived in the atari scene, but they sure as hell were a pain in the ass for a long time. The latest thing that happened frequently was members that were lured into another group with a lot of cool promises.  All kinds of shit were happening that had little or nothing to do with cracking, it was more rules and tricks added to the laws of a cracking group. It more took on the shape of a real Gang, doing anything short of a rip-off just to stay on top. There is nothing wrong with some competion to stay fresh and on edge, but now that its all in the past i wonder if all this crap was really necessary.

More changes..

Meanwhile changes inside Hotline & MCA were taking place, there has even been a Demo-division that later split off. maybe you seen the Demo's from Synthdream but it was some nice things they made at the time. Another thing that happened that was odd, was the European BBS that popped up, i myself had the ELITE WHQ set up in Holland with several other bbs's in the UK 'Risky Business' with Frosty, France , Germany 'Dreamscape' , Sweden and Italy 'Night Express'. This was in some ways a odd thing, since all the software had been re-routed through the US 'Outer Planes'. But since 98% of all Atari software released was coming from the UK , France or Germany it stayed inside Europe again.
o-sysops Lowlife and Grimlock. also WHQ for Elitendo. You didn't need to have really expensive equipment to set up a bbs. Hit'n Run was running on a Mega ST with 2 80Mb Quantum Harddrives, and 1 line with a USR 19.2 Modem. It was a busy time those days. The lines were not as fast as the internet lines we have nowadays. But running on 1 line wasn't enough. After half a year we went to run the BBS on PC Express. Simple because it could handle 2 nodes.st_icn2.gif (662 bytes)



Who cares ?

After a while i couldnt be botherd to spread cracks out, i let other people grab it from my bbs.The easy wayz to make free calls was drying up rapidly, so trading inside europe became very popular. The good old USA became slow as fuck again. Most companies that were into making games went to work on the SNES and Sega Megadrive and PC, because there was much more money to be made there. Loads of people went towards the PC, myself inclueded. The true Atarians had a hard time with the fact that i was running an Atari bbs on a PC, the only reason for this was that i could run 2 Nodes.

I myself was busy with other things as well like setting up the Super Nintendo group called Elitendo. When the SNES was going into overdrive i left the Atari and gave command to Faramir , a member from belgium that seemed to understand the buss. The funny thing is that Elite is still around. Those Atarians..  fanatics to the end. If your still down with the Atari scene you know this is true fact of atari life.


The end of an era

We put an end to the ST era of Hotline / Elite being the number 1 cracking crew on the Atari. We (Sledge, M.C.A, Lowlife) all went to the Super Nintendo scene. Still using the ST for programming etc. But sadly for us, the Atari was dead. It went all downhill with Atari. After a while we got rid of the Atari, which had to make place for the PC. We closed down Hit'n Run for good. Many people did not like the idea of Hitn'run being shut, but it had to be done.

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