Tages first entered the CD protection scene a number of years ago,
it wasn't used on many games, and was a
very basic form of protection for today's standard (it was however good for its
time), it is now one of the most complex.
Tages main technical asset is its specific mastering process, which builds up
a programmable "secure area" on CD's and makes 1:1 copies near
impossible. The secure area, which is made up of several independent data
registers (each of about 4KB), shelters the game developers own selected data
inserted into it in the form of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). This allows
the game developers to program as many independent multiple and fully customizable authentication checks throughout the entire
application. Examples of this can include: a key to unlock a door, not working when it
should, guns not firing, depleted health, in-game textures of poor quality, which slowly degrades
the game until it is no longer playable. Because of this secured area, the game
developer can program specific protections into any file including exe's,
DLL's, and data sets. The Tages protection is also effective not only during the
loading process but also during the entire execution of the program due to the
Tages also allows for game developers to release versions of their games
"regional specific", meaning versions of the games released in
different countries contain a different protection method, which
makes a "Generic Game Fix" impossible to use.
You can visit the Tages website here.
Detection Of The Protection
You can use the latest version of ProtectionID
to successfully detect if this protection is being used.
The only way to successfully create a backup copy that can be played from a
CD is to use a "Fixed Exe" from the PC Game Fixes section, in which
the entire Tages protection has been completely removed from the various exe,
dll and data files, this includes the API checks, which is very important, as
the game-play will progressively degrade if not successfully removed.
Another method protecting your original CD's from
damage and backing up your game is to
use a CD Emulating tool, these tools will create a virtual drive on your
computer, and the entire game application and protection will be emulated to
your hard drive, where it can be run from your hard drive without the need for
the original CD, which will protect it from damage. The tools/software which
can emulate your games are Alcohol120% and
Tools, as long as these two
tools have not been blacklisted by the latest Tages version your game has, then they will be
able to emulate the game. If it has been blacklisted you will need to wait
until the programs fix the blacklist for the version, which normally comes in an updated version of the software. Tages can be hard to emulate as it is very difficult
for the emulators to do all the steps such an emulation process requires when tages is