Way back in the day there was a small video game developer called Player1. They released a few games for the Nintendo64, among others, before they had to shut its doors due to a string of bad decisions, as a former employee
described the demise.
Anyway for a period of time during the N64 heyday, Player1 has two password protected zip files located on an FTP section of their site which they linked to from a download section of their website.
The two files were robo64.zip and tommy64.zip
and many wondered what they could be, though Robo64 was most likely Robotron64, but the other file was a mystery. So back in 2008/09 a guy who went by the nickname "herpetic.adventures" set out to solve the mystery of
tommy64.zip. As we all probably know by now, he managed to recover the password and Tommy Thunder was discovered.
It was a game that didn't receive much media attention, if any, and development came to a halt when the to-be publisher went under.
Well when "Tommy" password was recovered, attention was then thrown at Robo64.zip but back then we of course were not able to recover the password, I even gave it a try myself. So everyone pretty much gave up, some including
me thought that the downloaded file somehow had been corrupted anyway, so it was probably not worth the hassle.
Now fast forward to February 2021, I was asked if I still had the Robo64.zip file, and although I wouldn't know where to look for it at first, I did manage to recover the file and it was sent for another attempt at
recovering the password.
Would Robo64.zip be Robotron64? would it be the complete game or an early build?
Well after an hour and 12 minutes of throwing various passwords at the zipfile using "zip2john" by a guy called "Bosconian", the password for Robo64.zip was actually recovered!
Some 24 years after the rom was posted on an ftp by player1 themselves, the zip archive finally could be unzipped The password turned out to be "midway001" and the zip archive wasn't corrupted, but extracted the content just fine.
So what do we have here?
Well the game is indeed Robotron64, a game published by Crave Entertainment and licensed from Midway. While the game at first glance seems very much final, the rom seems to have a build date of October 11 1997, which is 12 days prior to the retail build.
Sofar only one minor detail has been spotted, which is a spinning N-logo screen which for some reason was removed from the final build.
One can only wonder what the build was used for. Maybe a final submission to Midway for a final "ok" for the game, as the IP belongs to them. Maybe it was used as a reference game for other potential publishers...
That's all for now, more as it breaks, but you can download the original archive from the Player1 ftp below. Remember the password is midway001
Have fun exploring and thanks to Baker64 and Bosconian for reminding me of the zip file and doing all the hard work as well, thank you very much for solving an old mystery :-)