Bible Builder Copy Protection

Bible Builder is the lesser-known of Bridgestone Multimedia’s Christian PC games. It’s more edutainment-y and less interesting than Captain Bible. That said, it does have a surprising copy protection method.

You can see it coming from the warning on the Credits screen:


If you play a pirated version, it warns you on launch that the copy is pirated:


If you continue, you can only click 5 bookmarks before the candle instantly burns out and you get dumped to this screen:


After that you get kicked to the DOS prompt.

The copies of the game on “abandonware” sites are this anti-piracy version - just check out the comments complaining about the copy protection.

But the game doesn’t actually have copy protection. The game doesn’t check for the CD being present. I have a big-box copy and used that to install the game to my computer, and I can play it in DOSBox without having the disc mounted.

It seems that there are really just two totally different executable files floating around out there. The one from my retail disc is 67.9 KB and doesn’t contain the piracy message in the EXE. The one you can download from the internet is 71.7 KB and contains the “anti-piracy” text from the image above.

If you try to boot the retail game files using the 71.7 KB anti-piracy EXE, you get the same warning. The EXE itself is the problem.

And even stranger, this anti-piracy EXE isn’t the same as the demo version of Bible Builder that was included on the BibleWare CD. That version has the same 5-bookmark limit, but it has a different warning text on bootup:


So we have the retail EXE, an anti-piracy EXE, and a demo EXE. So how did the 71.7 anti-piracy EXE get out there, and where did it come from? I have no idea.

Since I don’t know where else I would ever mention it… Peter Engelbrite had a photo album up on his personal website for many years. It requires Flash and doesn’t work now, but in that album there was a photo where you could see a framed original (?) of the Bible Builder key art in the background, hanging on a wall.

See also